Posts Tagged 'Shengri La'

New Horizons: Shengri La Chamomile

The Saltwater House
You know I adore my friend Shenlei. She is a dynamo, never relaxing, never stopping, one brilliant creation after another. If I want to get to have playtime with her anymore, I practically have to kidnap her. *grin* I think I need to drop another “time-to-play-and-laugh-for-30-minutes” present on you, Shen. When last we saw our heroine – she’d just published a book. Okay, she topped that. She built 4 regions in Opensim. Yep. Four. Gorgeous, prim-full regions. /me grins happily. I have been there twice already, visiting, seeing the sights.

Resting on the deckFashion Research Institute, Inc. and Intel Labs announced their new research collaboration whose focus is exciting, quality content and optimized performance of the OpenSim platform which, together, will provide for an enhanced user experience. Maybe you don’t know how truly exciting this is. Maybe you don’t play in virtual worlds. Maybe you only play in SL. But as one who has been working in Opensim for the last several months – believe me. This is MAJOR. The efforts being made on Science Sim for both content and performance are huge. You know I am not a techie, I’m not really anyone who “knows” much. I am your typical end user. So what I say reflects the masses, not the cognoscenti. These sims are stunningly beautiful. Fascinating to visit. I think that we are looking at another major step in OS’s rise to fame and glory. *grin* Okay – maybe that was over the top. But since I am NOT technical, I do fall back on my liberal arts upbringing.

Quoting from Shenlei’s blog:
This collaboration is currently scheduled to run for a year, during which time FRI will provide increasingly complex, highly detailed, large scale (beautiful) designs which will be showcased in Science Sim with hosting and hardware provided by Intel Corporation.

We think it is important to have active human agency providing feedback to the technologists about the quality of the user experience. As fashion designers from the apparel industry, we think function should also be delivered with flair, and dare we say it, fashionably. With that in mind, we have begun developing the new Shengri La regions on Science Sim: Shengri La Chamomile, Shengri La Sage, Shengri La Thyme, and Shengri La Rosemary.

Sailing the Waters of ChamomileThere is a wonderful video on the front page of the FRI blog. It highlights the Chamomile region. The hauntingly beautiful music is by Kyle Bronsdon (who you may know as Kyle Beltran), and was composed specifically in honor of Shenlei and Shengri La.

The Horses of the GalleryAt the moment there are sailboats and gardens and landscaping and the stupendous Saltwater House. Also there or coming shortly are works by the FRI interns (hey – they are doing a fashion show in SL in 2 weeks – *grin* you know *I* will be there) and interactive butterfly displays and much more. There is also an art gallery coming, but I’m not allowed to say anything more about that. (Contact me in world – I can be bribed. *grin*) I snuck over and could not resist taking this picture of the grounds about the building. Opensim can be a beautiful space.

Postcards from SL

Some weeks I have nothing much new or interesting to report about my life. Other weeks – I can’t catch my breath. Last week was breathless. I got half of what I wanted to report posted a few days ago. 🙂 Now here is the rest. Shengri La turned 3 years old recently. It is my great fortune to be friends with Shenlei. I attended most of the celebratory events. They ran the gamut: unveiling of the FRI’s Spirit Opensim, fashion show, art gallery opening, special surprise tribute to Shen, musical concert and of course a Rave.

kirssyWe had a rehearsal for our dancing fairy fashion show. 🙂 That should probably have been a post in and of itself. But that’s not happening. Just know that we had fun hanging out and meeting each other at the rehearsal. Oura had already enlisted, but we got Krissy to come and join us as well. Besides the dancing fairies we had fairies perched on leaves and on bunnies. I can’t help but smile everytime I see those bunnies. LOL. We had such an amazingly fun time stalking those lucky stumps for the bubble chairs. And then collapsing all over the bunnies. Hey Shen – we haven’t cut loose and done anything quite that ridiculous in awhile. I think we are overdue. We both need not-my-usual-lookto take a break from work and go PLAY! So here I am as a fairy. Not my usual look. I find that the wings tend to make my back itch. 🙂 I even turned my eyes blue to match the dress. Although the hair isn’t my typical look either, I find it’s growing on me. Most of the other fairies had updos or, if they didn’t have to wear wings, flowing locks. I chose the Defiant Punk Fairy look. 🙂 Maybe if I feel really daring I will post my private Defiant Fairy IMs. If I weren’t so opposed to personal pain and puncturing my body – I’d have been wearing a nose ring. 🙂 I don’t think that I am really fairy material.

As you know, I am really really fond of wearing jeans and boots. In SL and RL. I like my hair down and curly and I like my jeans tight and straight and I like high heeled boots. But sometimes even I concede that a change of outfit is necessary. I was invited to the special sneak preview of a new exhibit of images of Shengri La Spirit (FRI’s OpenSim) shot by Callipygian Christensen. That event certainly required a bit more flare than jeans. So I knew I had to go shopping. LOL I turned to Honour for help. Now if you know Honour you KNOW that she ALWAYS says how much she hates shopping, how it takes a gun to her head to make her go. Well lately – Honour has been taking ME shopping. She got me looking for clothes at the RFL a few weeks ago. And she gave me the name of two stores where I could find cocktail party attire – Vindaloo and Baiastice. Not only did she steer me to the stores – she joined me there to help me decide. 🙂 So now I feel I am fully justified in teasing Honour – calling her my personal shopper! But you know what – I got compliments on both outfits. So you did good, Honour! Thanks! You can see the Baiastice outfit in one of the pics below. What was truly funny about this FRI event was the contrast between the male and female guests. *grin* The women had ALL dressed for the event – formal or cocktail attire. The men – nearly all in scruffy jeans and T-shirts. It was really very very funny. Even funnier to me on a personal note… As I’ve mentioned, I’m in charge of a mall in OpenSim. Well, the gentleman who asked me to take on that responsibility was at this party. I IM’d him and said “Hi! Great to see you!” He replied “Have we met?” rofl. Um, yes. So I wrote back and pointed out that this was the REAL me, and that if he ever got hair, boots and AOs working to my standards in our sim, this is who I would be and how I would look. *grin* Until then – he gets Summer. Sigh. Poor Summer.

honoring-shenleiCallipygian Christensen is not only a phenomenal photographer. She is brilliant. Calli and Shenlei have been friends forever. *grin* That’s a relative “forever”. Calli had an exhibit opening at Shengri La, timed to be part of the Shengri La Emergence Day celebrations. Calli wanted to do what so many of us would like to do: thank Shen for all the wonderful things she has done for both her friends and the community and world at large. Calli didn’t only want to do it – she figured out the most fantastic, personal, wonderful, special present a person could have. Calli commissioned Kyle Beltran to write a piece of music, inspired by and about Shengri La. We all knew that Calli was going to surprise Shen at the art opening, but we did not know WHAT the surprise was. It was breath-taking. Kyle’s composition is truly wonderful: moving, evocative. You can hear the waves on the shore, see the butterflies, smell the flowers. callis_surprise Shenlei is truly blessed to have such wonderfully thoughtful, creative, caring friends. We stood about toasting Shenlei with champagne as we listened to Kyle’s music, surrounded by Calli’s art. (Can you see Oura’s pictures on the walls? And find me in my Baiastice dress.) Honestly – I know that the Shenlei was not the only one with tears in her eyes from the beauty and love shown in that gift. Calli and Kyle – you are amazing.

kyle-beltranIn the afternoon, Kyle Beltran entertained us with his singing and music. Kyle gives a wonderful show. He is witty, charming, good-natured, plays the piano wondefully and I love listening to him sing. There were many of his faithful followers there but we also had a fairly steady stream of newbies coming through as well. Remember – FRI Shengri La is an official SL Gateway. 🙂 It is interesting to watch the newbies mingle with the oldies. *grin* I DO remember what it was like to be a noob. Believe me – I am NOT laughing at them. I think that part of me smiles because I think what a great adventure they have ahead of them. Part of me smiles because I’m glad I finally learned how to walk across a room without crashing into everyone. (well, usually) And certainly some of the outfits they put together are no odder than ones I’ve seen by people who have been in SL a long long time.

fairy-raveNo celebration would be complete with a Rave. 🙂 So the evening ended with a Fairy Rave in the fairy fashion grove. Yes, the attire was fairy. 🙂 So I put my wings back on, took off my boots, and flitted my way to the Rave. Had a wonderful time chatting and dancing.

Reminder: Fun things to do

shengri-la-anniversary
Shengri La celebrates turning 3 tomorrow! Come and join in all the festivities! Of course, since this is MY blog and life IS all about ME…. don’t forget to come see the dancing fairies at 7am SLT on Saturday morning. 🙂

There is new art from Callipygian Chrstensen! Images by Calli invites you to The Gallery at Shengri La for the opening of the spring exhibition. There are two ‘Opening Reception and Meet the Artist’ times:

Friday, April 3, 12 noon to 1:30pm SLT
Friday, April 3, 6pm -8pm SLT

As always a new rotation means a new build of the gallery – 4 gallery spaces wrapped around the cliff, with a new collection of images of SL avatars, landscapes and still lifes. Bad boys smoking, lighthouses lighting, Monet-style impressionist pieces..the usual variety 🙂

Location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Shengri%20La/242/128/60

As part of the Shengri La emergence festivities Calli has a restrospecitve of images of Shengri La, in the Small Gallery, and a collection of images of Spirit – the FRI opensim development project. Spirit is brand new and on the leading edge of OpenSim development. The images are located at the Information Centre in Shengri La and will be on view from noon on Saturday.

And thanks to Chadd!! He came by this morning to help me start the day out right! 🙂 I realize that while I have LOTS of coffee, I am woefully short on vittles. But I managed to find a box of donuts and a piece of Kiwi cheesecake. How nutritious.
breakfast-with-chadd

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.

Here Be Dragons

doing-my-paperworkI LOVE SL. Okay, you KNEW that already. I’ve not been exactly reticent in expressing my feelings. But today – SL charmed me all over again. I was as thrilled as any newbie. There is so much creativity, so much fun, so much that WORKS.

It was a glorious day in RL. Warm, spring temperatures. The first crocus was up in my garden. Green shoots were coming up everywhere. I dug in the dirt dragon-and-fair-maidenand smelled that wonderful moist earth smell. Heaven. Alas, it’s still too early to be working in the garden and tax day is coming due. Ick. So I was hanging out on a pier at Shengri La Joy, me and the seagull, but I was actually doing RL paperwork. I was enjoying the sounds of the waves and the wind and the seagulls as I shuffled papers and balanced budgets. I heard that familiar IM ping! and checked back. It was Shenlei, telling dragonme to cam over near the Gateway. She told me that there was a dragon and I was missing quite an experience.

A dragon? How can you resist when you hear that there is a dragon close by? So I requested a TP and headed over. Oh my. It was indeed a dragon. A BEAUTIFUL dragon. Accompanied by a Fair Maiden. 🙂 A very very young Fair Maiden – only rezzed the day before. I clicked dragonon the dragon to inspect it and to my great surprise – it was an avatar!!! Not an object – but an avatar! So I greeted them both. FM was very new and did not have much to say. She was still trying to get her bearings and figure out how things “worked”.

The dragon was quite personable and pleasant. He was having fun surf diving everyone-loves-the-waters-of-shengri-lain the waters of Shengri La (which are among the most beautiful that I have seen in SL). We chatted about our likes and dislikes. The dragon got up and moved about for us, demo’ing the capabilities. It was a truly magnificent avatar. I was so excited and pleased. It was discovering SL all over again for the first time. Very few friends were on that had kids. Of course my “child” rising-from-the-mistis off touring overseas. I wanted to share this with SOMEONE!!!! So frustrating. I couldn’t get anyone else to come and marvel. (I just erased all the taunting derogatory remarks I wrote about people who don’t come to be enthusiastic about the things that excite me!! 🙂 I figured that maybe I was over-reacting a tad. But oh wow – what a gorgeous wonderful avatar.)

transformationThe dragon went through its paces for us. It swam. It flew. It dove down from the sky into the waters. It walked about. It was simply fantastic. Then – metamorphosis!! No longer a dragon – but a crow. 🙂 I LOVE SL. I LOVE the fantastical possibilities. Here Be Dragons. And every other wonder you can conceive.

Cowgirls

all-the-pretty-poniesWe were both having a hectic week. A lot to do, deadlines, not much time. The beauty of living in a virtual world is that it takes no time to commute. We can say – I have 15 minutes now – do you? And if the answer is yes, well, there we are. Together. So we got lucky amid our respective craziness shengri-la-sunsetand I tp’d to see all the possible ponies that you can rez at Shengri La. We each picked a pony and set off for a gallop. We galloped til we both crashed. 🙂 Hey – it’s like running or working out. Do it til it hurts. No pain, no gain. I love the ponies of Shengri La. Thanks, Shen.

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life-is-good

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

rhinestone-cowboyAlthough I am totally immersed in SL and am so at home here, I often feel like a newbie. I think many of my friends regard me as quite “young” still. To my great relief and happiness, my friends still mentor me and give me tips, hints, suggestions and clues for making my life in SL smoother and more fun. But compared to a REAL newbie – I am sooooo NOT a newbie anymore.

Shengri La is now an official SL Gateway (Fashion Research Institute). I often drop-in to help out, see who all is rezzing in. It is a mad house there. I had no idea how does-this-shirt-make-me-look-fatmany people rez in each MINUTE. Half the time I try to drop-in, I can’t get there because the sim is full. I’ve had to rez nearby and WALK in. LOL. But I do try to stop in at least once a week (and it really should be more often) and try to help newbies the way all the good folk helped me.

The first thing that strikes me each time is how grateful I am to have an AO. Remember back whenever in the fall when my friend mentioned I looked “stiff”? Okay, she wins. (Actually, she ALWAYS wins but that is a completely different story.) I LOVE my AO. Sure, there are 2 animations of which I’m not overly fond, but I’m more lazy than I am displeased so I’ve not removed them yet. But watching newbies walk queen-for-a-dayabout and stand – wow, stiff dweebs. I’m sorry – that’s just the truth. (And why I HATE working in opensim. Which is also another story. But there at least I am working a deal to get an AO, skin and hair. LOL).

The second thing that I notice is the newbies’ total lack of comprehension. They don’t know where they are, that they are all new, why they are there, or what they should be doing. Ah yes, I remember that well. Most of you reading this probably joined me some time along my adventures, as I met you in SL. But there are a few readers (/me waves hi to M and B, who have been reading since day 1 – Hi guys!!!) casual-attirewho remember how I got started here. I did my research BEFORE I signed up. Not only did I read up on SL and try to learn about it, I even contacted people who were already in-world, lining up my support team, as it were. Okay, not everyone has that luxury. But really – if you don’t know what SL is, why did you sign up?????? Why are you here??? YOU must have had SOME reason. Of course they did…. the streets of SL are paved with sex and money. /me does search on the map to find that sim.

by-george-shes-got-itWell, I truly must be the most repulsive or most unapproachable avatar in all of SL. Despite hanging around with the newbs, and despite hearing such conversations around me, do you realize that STILL not one person has propositioned me yet????? /me shakes head in bafflement. I don’t WANT them to proposition me, really, but the fact that everyone else seems to be hit on could make me wonder what’s wrong with me. (Good thing the auction is still fresh in my memory.) My first day at the hatching farm (gateway *grin*) when I had to walk in, I encountered two newbies who had strayed from the shelter. I met the woman first and was trying to guide her back to the stores and welcome area. Then we encountered the male. Immediately the male was propositioning the female, and they were trying to figure out HOW to do IT. In local chat of course. I said to them both that it was a totally inappropriate conversation and that if they were interested in performing that action at this time, I was not interested in waiting about to help them. The woman was quite surprised and asked me WHY it was inappropriate. Sheesh. Didn’t your mother teach you ANYTHING???? /me shuts mouth before more judgmental remarks slip out. I headed into the Gateway, leaving them to try to figure out how it’s done in SL.

The Gateway is hilarious, as wellcome-here-often-little-girl as maddening. You can’t move without bumping into someone else, because there are so many people. And they bump into you. And everyone is talking in local chat and they haven’t learned any SL conventions yet. *grin* I wait til I hear a specific question, or I see someone standing by themselves. Then I cut them from the herd and try to talk to them. Often someone else joins in. I’m always pleasantly surprised by how fast some people catch on to IM’ing, moving, flying, inventory. I was so completely clueless for days. I know now that a great deal of my problems were due to the terrible hardware issues I was having. Once I resolved that, SL began rezzing quickly and properly and everything made much more sense. So often I wonder if there is a correlation between the people who “get it” quickly and their computer hardware.

gee-she-looks-very-familiarI love watching as they all get items in their inventory. Soooo many nice things for free in the Gateway, but you MUST be a newbie to get them. Sigh. The vending machines tell me that I am too old. Some of the outfits are quite interesting. And some of the people – gee, they look very very familiar somehow. 🙂


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