Archive for March, 2009

Shengri La Turns 3!

shengri-la-anniversary
Shengri La turns 3 this week. Shengri La has been one of my favorite SL spots since Dale and I sailed there back in my newbie days. I met Shenlei and Calli and life became exciting and fun and filled with art and laughter and beauty. Even in my short life Shengri La has changed appearance. Always being tweaked and enhanced and beautified and glorified. Just the other night Shenlei had been showing me photos of Shengri La over the years. It was fascinating to see the changes and the consistency.

So when Shen offered me a chance to be a part of the celebration, I said “yes” before she finished speaking. 🙂 There is an entire day of celebration planned for Saturday, April 4, 2009. Shenlei has posted the schedule and description of events on her blog. I “lifted” the shortened form:

7-8 am SLT Fairy Fashion Installation
10 am SLT Ode Butterfly Hunt
1-2 pm SLT Kyle Beltran plays live
3-3:30 pm SLT, Founders Re-dedication
5-7 pm SLT Fairy Rave with Qee Nishi, DJane

Plus 3 special art exhibits by the extremely talented Callipygian Christensen

I do want to draw special attention to the Fairy Fashion Installation at 7am SLT. That is where you will find all of the celebrities and your friends dressed in the lovely outfits by Misteria Loon. Hint: I’ll be there dancing! 🙂 The butterfly hunts are always great fun – be sure to steer any Newbies you know. The hunts help with coordination and clicking and moving about in SL AND you get a prize for doing it right! Great for encouraging assimilation and coordination. Kyle Beltran is a wonderful entertainer – I’ve blogged about him before. Amusing AND talented! We haven’t had a Rave in a bit, so I’d expect this one to really rock. 🙂 We all have so much pent up energy to release, and for such a great cause.

On Pain

Blinded by the pain
Sharp steel jaws sunk deep in me
Gnaw the cursed limb off

Masks

masksThere is an absolutely terrific art exhibit happening in SL this month – the Masks! Show at Erato of Caerleon. It opened Sunday, March 29 and runs for a month. Sabrinaa Nightfire put together the show and also contributed a mask. I heard about the exhibit from Dale’s blog earlier in the week.

I had a ton of work to do this weekend, including some scripting that requires a lot of thought. So I was a bit concerned about making the opening. Openings are always fun – freebies, music, dancing, fun! But I managed to make substantial progress on everything so when 1pm SLT rolled around, I DESERVED a break!

the-art-criticsLucky for me, just as I decided I was entitled to play, Krissy logged on. Krissy and I have been ships passing in the night the last few weeks. Every now and then we wave and say hi, how are you, we MUST get together….. but…. well, we have not been on the same schedule. Today was our day! I IM’d Krissy and asked if she’d like to join me, showing her Dale’s post. Krissy loves art and knew several of the artists exhibiting. So we tp’d over to see the masks.

As I walked in, Sabrinaa greeted me and handed out some gifts. There was a copy of her mask as well as two wonderful tops. 🙂 Clothes!
Of course I immediately slipped one on – a gorgeous red and purple snowflake top. Well. That meant I had to change my boots too, to match. *grin* Sabrinaa has a wonderful eye for color and pattern.

mask-with-hudKrissy and I began wandering about, starting with the three masks by Alexith Destiny. A great place to start. Each of the masks had a unique mood: earthy & upbeat, futuristic, and dread creeping up your spine. I IM’d to a friend that the one mask was downright “creepy” (and I meant that as a compliment – definitely it made the hair on the back of my neck rise). It was very powerful. I checked the name and realized that I’d gotten the message loud and clear: The Masque of the Red Death. No – I’m NOT posting a picture of the mask. Go See It.

I continued wandering about the room, admiring the masks, chatting with other people enjoying the exhibit. It really is an impressive show. It’s one of my favorite approaches to an exhibit – give the artists a theme, and see how they interpret it. The masks range from fairly straight-forward (yet elegant and detailed) to the abstract. Many of them have moving parts. Many have masks that change expression. Be sure to touch the various masks. Many of them will give you a wearable, free copy. Others are scripted for actions.

freewee-in-her-maskKrissy and I circled the exhibit several times, discussing the concepts and techniques. Many of the artists were there, wearing their masks. One of my favorites was FreeWee Ling’s Mask with Hud. There were different buttons on the wall you could press, and watch the mask change. FreeWee was there as well, wearing her mask. We all had a brief conversation about avatars wearing masks. *grin* An interesting concept, no? Aren’t our avatars our masks already? And yet… I’ve been invited to many “masked balls”. Masks wearing masks…

The show runs for a month. Go. It is worth the visit.
mask-exhibit

Starting the morning right

midsomer-library-catsI was at both my RL and SL desks before 7:30 am today. I had a lot of building to do, emails to send, meetings on the calendar and I’d not slept well. So I sat there staring at my virtual office, trying to decide what came first, when the fairy tale began.

dancers-at-midsomerIn walked a handsome stranger, dressed in an elegant tuxedo. I greeted him and he replied and asked if he might sit down and join me. I said of course. Isn’t that one of the purposes of my office – meeting with people? 🙂 So we chatted a bit about why we were in SL and what we liked. We read our profiles and discovered that we had a favorite pick in common: Midsomer Isle. I remarked that I hadn’t been there in ages, that it was probably time to go back. Blue suggested that we go then. I thought – why not? So I said sure. Blue tp’d first and sent back the taxi. We went to the library first. 🙂 The kitties were still there, adorable as ever. But no dancing.

considering-our-next-moveSo we went over to the pavilion to dance. It’s lovely, with roses everywhere. But…. also another couple already dancing there. So we strolled over to a gazebo to discuss what we would do. Blue decided to look for another dance spot and I promised to change into dance clothes. But he was fast and I snuck in some rl work. So I never changed.

blue-and-ahuva-dancingWe danced. I started my morning twirling and soaring and spinning and feeling my spirits lift with each pass. Blue had to take a business call, I fended off some emails. 🙂 But we came back and continued chatting and dancing. All and all a lovely start to what had promised to be a bleak day.

Now here is an example of true tackiness. 🙂 Blue and I are dancing and IM’ing and having a wonderful time. I noticed a guy in a bathing suit come by us once or twice. Didn’t think much of it. Then a blue box appeared in my window: Bathing Suit asks if you would be his friend. Excuse me????? I’m dancing with some other guy. You’ve not said a word in local chat. You’ve not even pinged me to say hi good-looking. And you’re extending friendship????? I think NOT. ahuva-and-blue-dancing*grin* C’mon buddy – get with the drill. You at least want to say hello first. Oh – by the way – Blue and I ARE friends.

12 Hours in SL

Yesterday and this morning were a great example of the fun you can have in SL. I logged in relatively late last night. I started IM’ing with friends, catching up on their news. Honour was shopping. Oh my yes. Honour. Shopping. I had the correct noun, the correct verb. 🙂 She was supporting the Relay For Life fund raiser that has been going on in SL all week. She described some of the clothing that she was seeing. LOL. We both agreed that it sounded much more like Ahuva clothing than Honour clothing, so I tp’d over to join her. Many of the outfits did indeed appeal, but I realized quickly that I wasn’t really in a spend-money mood. 🙂 So I simply tagged along, checking out outfits.

party-at-indolenceHonour was searching for the House of RFyre store. VERY nice clothes at RFyre. We were searching about in a fairly unorganized fashion, not having much success. I realized that Oura knows EVERYTHING. 🙂 That if I IM’d Oura, she would undoubtedly know exactly where it was and get us there. I was in luck – Oura was online. She did not know where it was. But being Oura – within 10 minutes she got the information. LOL. She went to the main store, spoke to a designer, who tp’d to the RLF and then sent the taxi for Oura. Who sent for me who sent for Honour. Success!!! And the RLF scored more donations! All in a good cause.

We wanted to thank Oura for all her help. I remembered that we could vote for Oura. *grin* slow-dancingHey, you want to know more than that – YOU contact Oura and tell her to tell me to blog about it. So Honour and I headed over to vote. Just then DARCEY logged in!!! YAY!!!! DARCEY is back!!! Darcey is my niece. 🙂 She used to hang out a lot in SL, then took a break. But she came back just this week. So I IM’d Darcey and said “come vote”! And Dale logged in and I IM’d Dale, who came to vote. Sammy and Jonah showed up there too. We were all hanging about and admiring the surroundings and realized that we had an impromptu party going.

So we headed over to Indolence, Dale’s club. We changed into party outfits and sent out more IM’s to folks to join us. 🙂 And they did. We even managed to convince the hard-working Shenlei to stop in for a bit as well. We had fun dancing and chatting. Now there are SOME people who simply have no manners. You might be among the people who say thatahuva-and-darcey *I* have no manners, because I opted for my tattoo instead of …. well, um….. instead of, shall we say, proper undergarments. Hey folks – it’s pixels!!!! I LIKE my tattoo. I, however, say that the people with no manners are the people who tried to take photos of me for blackmail purposes. I think that is VERY tacky. Thank goodness I had a counter-defense. I maintain my own supply of blackmail photos. 🙂 The best defense is a good offense. It was a short party, but fun.

This morning I logged in early. In one of my groups, someone was offering evil bunny slippers to the first 4 IM’ers. ahuva-enjoying-her-evil-bunny-slippersToo funny for words. I really didn’t think I needed evil bunny slippers. But after a few minutes, when the last pair was still available, I took them. 🙂 Not only that – I learned something new. I’m sure you all know this. I learned that if you click on someone’s name in Chat, their profile appears, so that you can IM or give inventory. I never knew that. I learned it because I wanted to send my benefactor a photo of me enjoying my new evil bunny slippers (with vampire teeth, no less).

What a fun 12 hours!

Duckshine

Last week was still winter. It was winter in the weather – gray and gloomy. My spirits were much the same. As ever, I turned to my family and friends for support. They came through as always. All that love and support did the trick. You are wonderful! My thanks to you all for all the chats.

yellow-duckiesNot everyone, however, has time to chat. Some friends resort to other tactics. Now is the winter of my discontent turned to glorious summer by my Yellow Hemisphere o’ Fantasticness!. 🙂 Perhaps Dale is of the house of York, I don’t really know. In any case, it was neither a red rose nor a white rose that Dale passed to me the other day. It was a Yellow Hemisphere o’ Fantasticness! What, you may ask, is a Yellow Hemisphere o’ Fantasticness!? It is a yellow hemisphere. *grin* It produces an endless stream of yellow duckies!!!!! My own never ending sunshine of yellow duckies! I defy anyone to look at all those silly yellow duckies and NOT smile!!! Mallory, Bill, Drake and I had a wonderful time watching all those duckies rez and rez and rez!!! (By the way – those duckies couldn’t rez without scripting!! That is a relevant comment… stay tuned for my thoughts on building and scripting.)

SL is a Mirror of my Soul

There is a lively conversation going on at my company concerning avatar appearance. Much of it started with a coworker posting the following:

having an AV can be a positive, educational experience: I’ve heard people talk about how it can be a chance to ‘start all over again’. And it can be that: our AVs may be tougher, or more sensitive, or more masculine, or feminine, than our real-world selves. And our RL selves can learn from the experience.

And one thing I’ve noticed is that people demand the use of their real names during real business events. Doubly so if they’re a ‘mover & shaker’ with a Big Name and a Big Reputation. They’d also like for their AVs to look exactly like their RL selves, too — but The Name is the important part.

At approximately the same time as this thread appeared, I was listening to a Metanomics show.  Robert Bloomfield offers a Connecting the Dots segment where he comments on feedback.  I regret that I can’t seem to find the appropriate link for the segment that I heard.  But if my memory serves me correctly, he spoke about avatar appearance and “Are you really going out looking like THAT?”.  His point was that for business conducted in a virtual world, you need to LOOK like a RL business person. That opinion is supported by another coworker who posted that, according to a survey of business people, the majority of those polled wanted their “work” AVs to have both their RL name but also look like themselves.

Interesting. I have no problem with my avatar bearing my RL name for business meetings in a virtual world. I even agree that it is NECESSARY for a work avatar to bear the RL name. I am also sure that the first person had it right – the bigger the name, the greater the demand to have it displayed. Hey – that’s life. That person worked hard (usually) for that reputation. If they are inworld doing business, then it’s important to maintain that identity that gives them status and credibility. But I am not so sure about appearance.

I am quite satisfied, even pleased, with my RL appearance. But I don’t want to look like the physical me when I am in a virtual world. Virtual worlds allow me to portray myself as I see me from the inside. I don’t have to be constrained anymore by physics and gravity and reality and the fortunes of fate. I’ve talked about this before. Your avatar appearance can change your RL experience ( The Stanford Study ). There is no question that my avatar has changed my RL persona and that I have learned a great deal about who I really am.  I am making a definite statement about myself when I customize my avatar. It’s not just vanity. Or maybe it is. So what?   If it’s vanity – I’m STILL conveying something essential about myself. Yet another coworker posted what I think is a fascinating insight:

“I’m almost wondering if this need for reality in identity is actually more of a generational manifestation? “

That coworker goes on to say that the current generation of youth (I’m going to say that for me – I think it’s people 30 and younger) already have developed avatars for themselves and that they carry those representations of themselves through all the social media that they utilize. I agree with this whole-heartedly.

I know that most of you reading this blog are not in SL for business purposes.  But take a moment and think about this.  If you COULD have your avatar look like your physical self, would you?  Now imagine that in your job, your current RL job, you had to hold meetings and do business virtually.  Imagine meeting all your coworkers inworld.   Now what is your answer?

SL is not the mirror of my body.  SL is the mirror of my soul.

they-are-all-me


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