Hello. My name is Butterfree, Dragonfree or antialiasis; I'm female, Icelandic, twenty-eight years old, have been running this website since I was twelve, and have no plans of stopping.
If you desperately want to know my real name, it is Hlín; it rhymes with "spleen" and is the name of a protector goddess in Norse mythology, as well as an alternate name for another unrelated goddess in Norse mythology. (If you think that's weird, Norse mythology also holds that a male god became pregnant with an eight-legged foal after seducing a horse.) Please don't call me Hlín online, however; I like my name just fine, but when I'm reading English, my brain is firmly in my-name-is-Butterfree mode, so being suddenly addressed by my real name just feels jarring and overly-intimate rather than friendly - imagine a stranger randomly insisting on calling you by your full name at all times, and you'll have an idea of why it feels weird.
I was born and raised in Iceland by Icelandic parents, so yes, my native language is Icelandic. I learned English from a combination of school (where we're required to study it from fifth grade or so), video games, Harry Potter and the Internet, in roughly that chronological order. I first got into Pokémon when I was ten, and I still have memories of my bizarrely wrong attempts to guess what words in Pokémon Yellow meant from the context. I was somewhat better two years later when I started this website, but not by much. By now I think I'm pretty fluent, but you be the judge of that.
In Real Life
I'm a kind of weird-looking nerd with long hair that's been darkening from blonde to brown, blue eyes, glasses, freckles, and a smile that tends to make me look like an axe-murderer when I'm photographed smiling. On July 3rd 2013 I married my boyfriend of eleven years and counting, Shadey (also not his real name), and we live in downtown Reykjavík with our cat.
I have a B.Sc. degree in computer science from the University of Iceland, and currently I'm employed as a programmer for a small startup, working in Python and Node.js. I may go for a Master's or Ph.D. degree at some point, but for the moment it seemed like overkill.
I usually travel to England twice a year to attend the MCM London Expo with several of my Britain-based friends; if you're going there too and would like to meet, chat or whatever, that can be arranged.
Hobbies and Interests
Although I enjoy programming and I imagine I will always be doing that as my main source of income, I also have a passion for writing, and I've been writing stories since I was little. Today most of my writing is in the form of Pokémon fanfiction, but one day I hope to finish some of the original story ideas that have been churning away in my brain and attempt to get them published. (This isn't quite the far-fetched high-flying dream it often is: Icelanders publish a ridiculous number of books per capita, but very few write science fiction and fantasy outside the children's section, so I think I have a pretty decent chance of being able to compete there.)
Aside from writing and computer science, I have areas of interest within a wide variety of academic fields. I'm fascinated by psychology, ethics, genetics and evolutionary biology, number theory, cryptography, astronomy, quantum physics, and more. I'm not an expert in any of these fields by any means, but I'll generally gobble up anything I can read about them and am always thrilled to improve my understanding. I also tend to find just about anything interesting when it is explained by someone who is sufficiently enthusiastic about it and is able to get across their own enthusiasm; people who are obviously doing what they love make me happy.
Otherwise, I'm pretty passionate about fiction in general. I'm thrilled by the human brain's ability to empathize with imaginary characters, be excited by imaginary situations and immerse itself in imaginary worlds, and I especially love the psychological exploration that can happen with well-written characters, where the audience can get deeply immersed in a complex person full of biases and suppressed emotions and irrational impulses and actually understand how their mind works and why without it being spelled out explicitly in the narrative. (My favorite work of fiction is the television series Breaking Bad, which does this masterfully.) Aside from that, as a writer I enjoy picking apart what works and what doesn't in a story - I look at everything with a critical eye, and analyzing its various qualities and how they come together overall is immensely interesting and illuminating for me.
I have a major thing for fictional death, suffering and psychological trauma (another thing Breaking Bad provides in ample quantities). I'm extremely opposed to real-life violence in all its forms, but one of the things that interest me about fiction is the ability to explore and empathize with characters in extreme situations, breaking under stress, driven to do awful things, and trying to deal with awful things happening, without any actual people being hurt. I've been drawn towards these dark subjects from a very young age - as a kid, a lot of the games I played when I was alone were full of torture, suicides and brutal executions, sometimes having little other point to them, and even when I was playing with my friends, I kept attempting to convince them to have some of the characters die horribly to make things more intense. I'm not sure exactly when it started, but I do know my favorite book on the shelf at my preschool was a gorgeously illustrated watercolor picture book about horses that ended with all the horses being captured and sold to British coal mines and the main horse's eyes being gouged out because he kept being spooked by the lamps (no, I'm not sure why this book was on the shelf at my preschool), and my favorite cartoon was The Animals of Farthing Wood, which is about cute woodland animals traveling towards a new home while half of them are tragically killed on the way. Cause or effect? Who knows.
I'm relatively introverted; I feel somewhat uncomfortable and don't tend to take social initiative when surrounded by strangers, but I love being with people that I know and can get very talkative with my friends. I'm rather averse to conflict and generally try to get along and understand where people are coming from even when I disagree, though if you start a debate with me I can argue pretty fiercely. Overall I'm generally optimistic, happy and positive - something people sometimes find surprising after reading the sorts of morbid, depressing stories I write and my awfully grumpy-sounding nitpicky criticisms of things. I have a tendency to be blunt, though, and I can be snappy and irritable when tired or stressed out, something I'm slowly working on.
My brain likes to fixate rather obsessively on things when I discover I love them, whether it be TV series, books, musicians or anything else. It usually fades after a month or two, but in the meantime I tend to be annoyingly unproductive. Other things that hinder my productivity include my excessive perfectionism and my love of redoing things I've already done because I've convinced myself they're terrible rather than doing something new. If there's a dearth of updates on this website, some combination of these elements is probably to blame in addition to my full-time job.
My own What Pokémon Are You? quiz fairly accurately tells me this:
More Random Facts About Me
- I am an atheist - that is, I don't believe in God. I never really have (although for a time as a kid/teen I claimed and maybe somewhat convinced myself that I kinda-sorta did, pretty much because everyone else seemed to), and as I see it, when you don't start from the assumption that God exists, there's just no good reason to think so; I don't care what other people believe, though, as long as they're not trying to force it into law or school curriculums. When I was in kindergarten I made up my own religion (I was a strange kid), revolving around this king in the sky that I'd dreamt of once who talked to me and sent me messages through people with dogs, but that was more of an elaborate game of pretend.
- I am a cat person. I've had a cat (well, my family, technically) since I was eight, and my husband and I had a dog for a decade, so I've gotten to know both sides, but cats are just much more my type of animal; they're low-maintenance, relatively quiet, and affectionate in a more soft and cuddly way, rather than the loud, needy, overenthusiastic affection of dogs. I still like dogs, mind you (I'm generally an animal lover), and dog intelligence in particular fascinates me, but if I had a choice of one or the other as a pet, I'd go for the cat all the way.
- I'm not a fan of babies. They're kind of like dogs except louder, more dependent, not cute, and often actively repulsive. I love kids once they can talk and no longer drool or need diapers, but babies just repel me. Obviously everyone was a baby at some point and I have nothing against people having babies; I just prefer to keep my distance.
- I wear my watch on my right hand and have done so since I was little. The button on the watch I had then kind of hurt my wrist on my left hand, and by moving it to the right hand, the button pointed down my arm instead of up at my wrist, solving that particular problem. Then it stuck because the right wrist was where I expected the watch to be. This occasionally confuses me when I'm trying to talk about somebody else's left or right when they're wearing a watch, because my brain automatically associates watches with right instead of left.
- I have a lot of quirks regarding food. For one, my gag reflex is very sensitive to certain textures and if I eat something with the wrong texture it will do everything it can to get it away; in particular, I'm almost completely unable to swallow pills unless they're very small so that they can be washed down with water mostly without touching my tongue, and fruit and a few more fruit-textured vegetables have the same effect in addition to simply repelling me on some deep level; my brain won't even regard them as food. I'm fine with butter used in cooking and so on, but the idea of solid butter repulses me to the point that I'm squeamish about personally interacting with it in any way; I can eat it on bread, technically, but I have to try to put the fact there's butter out of my mind to get myself to do it. Meanwhile, my taste buds have very specific opinions about what kinds of food can be mixed and what kinds can't. (For example, I usually don't put any vegetables on hamburgers, because green vegetables do not go with meat, bread, or sauces; my typical hamburger is just the patty, cheese, sauce and possibly bacon. I can eat a hamburger with lettuce, and it doesn't disgust me the way fruits or butter do, but it's just not my first choice. I'm fine with eating a hamburger and vegetables separately, though, and for whatever reason in later years I've developed a taste for bell peppers and onions on pizza, which used to be right out.)
- I get random nosebleeds. It's kind of on and off - sometimes I don't get any for a while, and then I start getting them almost every day. It runs in the family; my dad and my brother were that way too. Interestingly, Shadey is the same, even though we're not related (well, not to a greater degree than any other pair of Icelanders, at any rate).
- I don't drink, even though I legally can. At some point when I was a toddler my mom gave me leftover beer by accident because she thought it was apple juice, and I apparently hated it; I like to joke that that's why I've avoided alcohol since. Really, though, I've just never seen the appeal. Conveniently, this is also something Shadey is with me on.
If, for some reason, you are interested in following my personal blather, there are mainly two places to do that:
- I have a Twitter, which I tend to use as a dumping ground for whatever is on my mind. This includes incoherent reactions to what's happening in some TV show I'm watching or a video game I'm playing, programming frustrations, links to amusing stuff on the Internet, what I'm doing, or what's going on in my life. I go through phases of not tweeting much and phases of tweeting quite a bit; it's kind of erratic. Occasionally I talk about something I'm doing for this website, but only occasionally - for TCoD stuff, follow the Cave of Dragonflies Twitter account.
- And although the site irritates me massively on a number of levels, I also have a Tumblr blog which these days serves as my main personal outlet on the Internet - it contains everything from rambles about Breaking Bad to silly reblogs to writing frustrations to my deranged dreams. When I make site-related posts, I tag them with #TCoD, so you can see just them here.
Please note that because they're personal and not officially connected to this site, my Twitter and Tumblr may occasionally contain significantly stronger language than you would find here (outside of Morphic, at any rate), or discuss/link to otherwise not-entirely-kid-friendly content - nothing that should scar any children for life, I hope, but if you don't think you should see it, don't go there.
Page last modified January 1 2018 at 16:08 GMT