In early 2003, when I was first getting into the “blogging” game, I launched the original iteration of OctopusHat on Blogger (first post.) I honestly don’t recall where Octopushat came from, but now it is somewhat synonymous with my on-line identity (that and Cuppa Jack on many fora scattered across the internet.) At the time I was struggling with the idea of the Renaissance Man that I had modeled my life after since 4th grade. I was pretty good at a BUNCH of stuff, but was having a hard time building a life as any one thing. Jules and I were newly wed, and transitioning our life from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. I felt pretty overwhelmed by life, and decided that writing about all kinds of stuff would be a good outlet. I think my marketing-speak explanation for the name was “OctopusHat” was supposed to reference the idea that as a modern adult I “wore many hats.” I was trying to be a filmmaker, a student, a writer, and a husband all while building an on-line identity in the wake of my post-undergrad malaise. I had imagined the image of an octopus with a different vocational hat in each arm, swapping which one he wore as he tackled different tasks. I never did get that image out of my head visually, but I think that I captured the feeling of it with Octopushat and its eclectic post topics. Plus Octopuses are awesome bits of evolutionary biology and endlessly fascinating and I thought it would be just “catchy” enough. I guess I was right on that point, as I’m still tweeting as Octopushat.
When I decided to launch this new venture I knew that I would need to distance myself conceptually from yesterday’s Octopushat. But I was loath to fully abandon the “brand” that I had developed for so many years. I spent three days trying to brainstorm a business plan and roll-out strategy for a new internet presence when I decided that I would never get past cocktail napkin doodles without some accountability. Following a mantra that I’ve been trying to use more and more “Act, don’t Plan” I sat down to register a domain name for this new endeavor. Then I started at that blank box labeled “URL” for a long time.
I liked Astro. Astro is synonymous with the future. But also with the idealized past. It conjures the image of a multitude of stars and of the human mind and sprit conquering all of earth’s constraints. Progress. Heavenly bodies. The shared experience of gazing skyward and not having any fucking idea what it all means. But Astroctopus was taken.
Now I need a logo.