Yoakemae / ???? (pronounced yo-aa-kay-maa-ae), or sometimes YM for short, has had quite some history to it. The site has the honor of being known as a “gift domain” – under my dad’s tutelage and encouragement, I’ve been creating websites since 2004; but it wasn’t until December 2005 when dad decided to buy me paid hosting and a domain name as an early Christmas gift. Suffice to say, I’ve never been happier.

If the Japanese text hasn’t tipped you off by now, the name of this site’s definitely *not* English. I lifted it off the 3rd ending track from Rurouni Kenshin, one of my all-time favourite Japanese animes. Literally translated, it means “before dawn”. Plenty of people warned me against picking a name related to Japanese anime “because you’ll think it sounds silly when you grow up”; but I like it. It’s got a pretty meaning, it doesn’t sound weird, and it reminds me of my affinity with Japanese pop culture. :)

The domain name was originally registered by Netrillium; then promptly moved over to Dynadot when I discovered that Netrillium was a tad dodgy. From its conception until now,’s been housed on Surpass Hosting on their OC5 shared hosting plan (discontinued now.) Their service has been top notch until now, and I’ve got no complaints whatsoever. I highly recommend them (along with Dynadot) if you’re looking for a good host + registrar combination. :)

I *do* offer hosting, so if you’re looking for a home for your site, walk this way!

so, what’s your function?

Before I owned, I had several sites: a personal/collective called Flyaway Dreams, a blog called Outspoken and a graphics site called Winter Skies. Then I got the domain, and decided to merge both Outspoken + FD together; so YM became primarily a blog with some odds and ends on the side.

As for Winter Skies, it survived until around 2006 – I shut it because I’d grown a bit jaded of designing for the web. I still design, but more for real life use; i.e. page templates for yearbooks/school magazines, artwork for mugs/homework planners and so on. At the moment I’m compiling all of said art to redisplay as a portfolio of sorts – it’s a work in progress, but check out Surrealle for a sneak peek!’s been through oodles – more than 10 theme changes (more than half of them designed by myself until I couldn’t keep up with updates in HTML), plenty of pruning/archiving and a definite change in the author’s writing style. It’s funny to look at the earlier incarnations of the site (in my personal archives) and see just how much I’ve changed in the way I write.

At present, YM’s defining feature is my blog – most of the other odds and ends are pretty much nonexistent. Well, at least until I get around to reworking those. ;)