Archive for September, 2008

Is Your Name Sexy?

Bailey found us another fun quiz!! This time, instead of getting your Pirate name, find out why your name is sexy! What’s sexy about YOUR name? I’m not sure that I should be showing you my results 🙂 but here goes:

LOL. By the way – I tried it twice and got the same result both times. 🙂 Thanks Bailey!!!!

Thank You

Behind every successful woman there stands…… a group of wonderful, supportive friends. It appears that the Great Tree Saga has drawn to a close. 🙂 The conference will have trees, flowers, bushes and fountains. How? Because I have wonderful friends who have wonderful friends. Chestnut introduced me to Honour, who came up with a plan. I arranged a meeting with Honour, J and myself. Nothing could have happened without Ches and Honour. Had Chestnut not concerned herself with my problems, I would not have met Honour. Nothing could have happened without Honour’s talent, kindness and generosity.

I want to thank Bailey as well, who was IM’ing me often, offering support, advice and encouragement. Here is where SL falls short for me. In RL I could figure out some way, albeit insufficient, to thank them all. Some favor or gift, some action I could perform in thanks. But in SL – I know of nothing that I can do. They have all been inworld far longer than I. They know much more than I. I wouldn’t even know how to begin to find gifts for them inworld (LOL – I’d have to IM them and ask for more help! 🙂 ) No way to move my pottery or food inworld. Nor flowers. So the best I can do is to thank each of them personally, here, in my favorite form of expression.

Chestnut
Warm, thoughtful Chestnut
Always a hand to help friends
Giant, noble heart.

Honour
Generous artist
Bringing beauty to the world
Sharing it with all.

Bailey
True SL mentor
Full of ideas, connections
Failure not allowed!

CATS!

Last night was cat night at the benches. U was showing off her beautiful snow leopard avatar. C decided to get into the act and became a bunny. That may have been a mistake because U growled “Lunch!”. C bravely reached up and rubbed U behind the ears and the peaceable kingdom reigned. G and U wanted to compare avatars, so next thing we knew, we had G the lion! C definitely began to look like a tasty snack, sandwiched between the two, so she took refuge on a bench. G and U put their avs through their paces – sitting, reclining, roaring and scratching! We were a bit concerned about fleas at that point. 🙂 C slipped from bunny to jellicle cat, waving a fish. We all relaxed, chatting about nothing much, when U mentioned that these animal avatars can dance. G put up a photo of Lion and panther dancing quite sweetly in each others arms (???), on their hind legs. U put on a dance animation. Oh my heavens!!!!! That snow leopard shimmied and wriggled and swayed and boogied! As someone remarked, that image was sooooo wrong on so many levels that it was hilarious. 🙂 Oh for a movie camera! But even if I’d had one – I was laughing way too hard to have been able to film. Cats all over the universe were cringing last night in embarrassment! If that’s how cats dance – I’m skipping the jellicle ball!

Dinner Date?

Dinner Date?

The Lion, the Leopard and the Bunny (and a lampost straight from Narnia)

The Lion, the Leopard and the Bunny (and a lampost straight from Narnia)

What happened to the bunny?   (yummy)

What happened to the bunny? (yummy)

A pride of cats

A pride of cats

More Fragments

Some nights at NCI it’s so busy, it’s BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair! I’d sat myself down on one of the benches. There was only one seat left open then, next to me. My bench started moving – forward, back, sideways. I didn’t have my camera at the correct angle to see who was doing the moving. Finally I said “ENOUGH with the bench, you’re making me sea-sick” and stood up just at the same time E asked me to please get up. LOL. Don’t have to ask me twice!!!! E and G had been trying to copy the bench to make more seats. I realized that I had my OWN chair sitting in inventory. A very very comfortable chair I might add. So I moved over to a corner, rezzed my relaxing chair, and stretched out. If you look in the other corner you can see that someone rezzed a wooden rocking chair as well. 🙂 One is always prepared in SL! LOL. (Hey B – you always complain that my pictures are too small – you can click on this one and see the full size. 🙂 )

Hmmm. Maybe this post should be entitled “Sitting”. This fragment is about one of my favorite places to sit. I know I’ve mentioned my friend the cat before. Usually sitting and looking at water soothes my soul. But sometimes I like company. And sometimes when I’m trying on new clothes or putting together and outfit, I appreciate another opinion. LOL. This cat’s fashion sense is not quite as good as my dog’s (My dog is a true devotee of craft shows. 🙂 ) but he is a very comfortable companion. Always happy to cuddle, never a cross word.

Or call this “My Favorite Cats”. I was sorting inventory this morning when I got an IM from U. She had a new avatar and wanted to show me. So I hurried over and fell in love!!! What a great avatar!!! Complete with poses and growls and tail lashing! She gets TWO pics because I liked it SO much!

D complained yesterday that while he enjoys reading my blog he is “sick of those darn trees”. Well D, I am ALSO sick of the trees!! LOL . So find me some and we can be done with it!!!! You are competent, resourceful and quite the “man-about-town”. You owe me one since you refused to be my bus driver! I’m sure you can deliver. And the ante’s been upped. I heard something that made me think J is attempting to round up trees on her own. What? She doesn’t think I can do this?? LOL. WHATEVER could have made her think that? Perhaps she’s reading this blog……….. /me wrenches a leaf off my house-plant in revenge. 🙂

The View from Under the Bus

When we last saw our heroine, she was under the bus, contemplating trees, as the conference planning meeting drew to a close. 🙂

After the meeting I stick around. J has said that she will give me some help on how to build and she will show me what kind of trees she would like.

A Straylight tree

A Straylight tree

LOL. Our J has excellent taste, no question about it. J likes Straylight trees. What, you may ask, are Straylight trees? Arguably the finest trees in SL. They’ve been showcased on Linden Labs’ SecondLife website. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are expensive. And they are no-copy, no-modify. So you have to buy many trees for a sim the size of ours. Champagne taste, tap-water budget. But I don’t panic (much) – J said that she’d be happy to give me some help on how to build a tree. I pause here a moment and think about how I’m going to be initiated into the world of builders. Little tips. Hidden knowledge. The “secret” builders-only right-mouse click. I wait patiently, eagerly, for her advice. At last she is done talking with other committee members. “Okay Ahuva” she says. “The best I can do is suggest you look at this Straylight tree and see how it’s done.” ????? This is help?? The bus backs up and runs me over yet again. I’m thinking “one of us is crazy”. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to realize that it is me. My ears fill with the sound of Pink Floyd as I hear The lunatic is on the grass…”

Fine. I am a smart, competent woman who has friends who are SL builders. I can deal with this. I login to SL that night, race to the benches, break into the ongoing conversation shrieking “help help I need help!!!” LOL. Okay, that WAS an exaggeration. But it’s an accurate description of what I WANTED to do. Someone asks how I am this fine day and I explain how I have been run over by a bus. My friend S, a builder, tells me that there are lots of trees available for free. I explain that J doesn’t LIKE the free trees. SHE wants STRAYLIGHT-type trees. Everyone on the benches starts googling Straylight and saying “Oh”. They are saying “oh” in the tone of voice that indicates how big this bus is. 🙂 S tells me that she would love to help me but that it takes a lot of time to build a tree, and she really does not have the time right now. I smile bravely, say “No problem” and, like Scarlet, resolve to think about it tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes and I begin searching SLexchange for trees. I find several candidates that I think may be suitable.

A copy/modify but no-transfer Spruce

A copy/modify but no-transfer Spruce

I mark the pages and send them off in an email to J. No point in me buying and modifying them only to have them found wanting. Days (including a weekend) pass. I hear back from J. She likes one of the choices. She likes the privacy hedge. She also suggests yet another pricey SL tree. I can’t even find this one, Chakryn. So I write to the vendor for the hedge, asking for package deals, and asking if I can take a tree out of the hedge and copy it. Less than a day goes by and I hear back. I REALLY like SLexchange – both vendors I’ve contacted have responded quickly. Anyway, he offers me a package deal – 15 different trees for only L$2500 (that’s about $10) and they are all copy/modify. So I tp over to his nursery to take a closer look at these trees. While I’m hanging about there, I get a group message about a Building Basics class about to start in 5 minutes. Karma! I buy a Spruce tree, tuck it into my inventory and tp to class.

Class is okay. The BEST thing about it is that it is at the beach classroom at NCI. There is no music playing – only the sounds of the ocean waves and the wind. For an hour as I sat in class, my subconscious processed the beach sounds. All my tensions and stress began to melt away. Ah, there is NOTHING like a day at the beach. Anyway, back to class. It really didn’t teach me anything I hadn’t already picked up from watching tutorial videos online. It was extremely basic and slow. One of the fellow students was having great difficulty doing even the simplest tasks. But once class was over I went up to the teacher, S. I explained my predicament and showed her my newly-purchased tree.

S looked at my Spruce and told me

A copy/transfer no-modify Willow tree

A copy/transfer no-modify Willow tree

that all I could do with that particular tree would be to stretch it or shrink it. I had wanted to take a branch off here, move it there. Maybe copy and add some leaves somewhere else. You know – “modify”. S told me that I couldn’t add or move branches because they were simply pictures. That probably means something to you REAL builders out there. Or maybe I’m not saying it properly. But the gist of the message was: modifying the tree did NOT mean changing its overall appearance. Even more fundamental: I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. S then tp’d over to check out Straylight Nursery. She IM’d back to me that these trees were incredibly complex, a combination of flexi and sculpti prims. With hand-painted leaves and bark. Hey – there’s a REASON these trees are so great. 🙂 She also added, quite unnecessarily although very kindly meant, that there was no way to learn overnight how to build a tree like this. LOL. I had already grasped this point waaaay back when J said “study it”. 🙂 S, full of pity for an overly ambitious Ahuva, gives me a willow tree. 🙂 Alright!!! Now I have TWO trees!!! LOL

Today was yet another planning meeting. J begins the meeting by talking to ME first – telling me that she got my emails and she will requisition $$$ for trees. Ouch. Right out there in the open, for everyone to hear. What I hear, whether or not that’s what J is saying, is that I failed. I am a little frustrated. As YOU all know – I have been trying very hard to come up with trees for this conference. I’ve not been sitting around doing nothing. A little voice in my left ear is saying “Whoopee!!!! We are saved! Give up this tree foolishness!” A little voice in my right ear is muttering “Hey. We can still do this. We have friends helping us and encouraging us. We have made great progress. Who does she think she IS taking away OUR little piece of the project???”. Okay, you already know which voice won. I open my mouth and tell J that I had friends offering to help me and to supply me with trees. That I thought I still would be able to provide trees for this conference. Oh Foolishness, Thy name is Ahuva! 🙂 So J got quite excited at that. I am still on the team. I am now running my own little nursery for the conference. I am to gather up my trees, place them in a corner of our sim, and everyone can come and take what they want and landscape their own sims. LOL. And the other people are STILL complaining about the quality of their (free) trees. Who was the genius who insisted on putting Straylight trees in our sim so that everything else will suffer by comparison????

Calling all copy/transfer trees, bushes and hedges!! Bring me a Shrubbery!!!

The hunt is ON!!!!!

RL Interjection Into My Saga of Volunteerism


LOL. I almost thought I was fired! For one brief shining moment – I thought J was firing me. 🙂 That hurt my pride. Relief? Wounded pride? A brief war ensued. Oops. Pride won. I told J that I had friends offering to help me and to supply me with trees. (When oh when oh when will I learn to KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT??????) So for all you dear, wonderful friends who have been offering to help me…

Here’s the “new” mission, should you choose to accept it: I have been charged with taking all “my” trees and setting up shop in our sim, and my cohorts in conferencedom will come and take their own trees for landscaping. LOL. So I no longer have to do the entire landscaping – I merely have to provide trees. That would be Copy/Modify/Transfer. Oh forget that!!! Copy/Transfer!!! Ack!!! Ahuva Heliosense’s Garden Center!!!

Bring me a Shrubbery!!! Roflol. Please. Someone. Anyone. Duct tape my mouth shut before the next meeting!!!!!!

Throwing Myself Under the Bus

I think I’ve proven by now that sometimes I really don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. You’d think I’d have learned. You’d think that I would have some small sense of self-preservation that would say “Ahuva – don’t, just don’t”. But no. That does not seem to be the case. I committed the cardinal sin the other day. I volunteered. Yep, I threw myself under the uncoming bus,my eyes wide open, believing somehow that I would emerge unscathed. I’d LOVE to blame my co-worker. In fact I tried, but in truth, said co-worker merely encouraged me to play in traffic. I wasn’t pushed. I jumped.

I work for a company that does some business in SL. I have joined the SL interest group, I’ve attended some meetings in-world. Now there is a conference being held in-world. I met one of the conference chairs, J, at a party in SL several weeks ago. I expressed an interest in being able to help, as much as a “dumb user” can help. So J suggested that I contact her via email in RL. I did so, and repeated that I was offering my “dumb user” help. Are YOU getting the point here??? Are you understanding the skill set involved???? Gee, I hope someone is. 🙂 Next thing I know I am on the list of mandatory attendees for the set-up meetings. Gulp. Okay, be careful what you ask for (yes – I DO know that is a dangling participle -ignore it). You just may get it. So I begin to attend the weekly hour-long meetings. These meetings have been a real-eye opener, but for reasons NOT related to SL. I’ll merely say it’s fascinating to watch how different groups approach the task of holding a conference.

So I bide my time quietly at these meetings. My biggest contribution up to last week was testing someone else’s script. LOL. A woman approached me and asked me to click on her name tag. I was supposed to receive her business card. Didn’t work. 🙂 Can I put “script debugging” on my resume now? 🙂 Then sometime last week J decided that we needed trees to make the conference location look more attractive. Fine, trees are nice, no big deal. Do you see the bus coming over the hill?

Thanks WireGuy for fixing this photo for me!!

Thanks WireGuy for fixing this photo for me!!

No one is volunteering to be responsible for the trees. That meeting ends. Trees still not assigned. The next meeting occurs. Again the call for trees. Again people volunteer for other tasks but no one wants to plant trees. A co-worker and I are somewhat baffled at the insistence for trees, but what the heck, WE aren’t chairing the conference. Third meeting. Vroom! VROOM!!! Trees. I IM to my coworker and say “What’s the big deal? How hard can it be to find a bunch of trees that are copy/modify and modify them? Do you think I could do that?” Supposed friend and co-worker replies “Sure. Easy. You could do that.” VROOOOM!!! So I say “J, I don’t know too much about building trees but I will give it a try.” SCREEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!! J says “Thanks, Ahuva! That’s great!!” THUD!!! I am under the bus.

SL is for More!

Despite puppets telling us that the internet is for porn and despite my recent blogs, I can state with utter conviction that there IS more to do in SL than sex.

The other day a friend and I went to see Glyph Graves’ exhibit at the Crossworlds Gallery. (Thanks Chestnut for your writeup on this in your blog!) Z and I had a great time. Not only did we spend time viewing Graves’ work, but we went to other floors in the multi-level gallery and viewed work by other artists. I had to run off to another engagement but left Z repeating “I have to have that, Oh – I really like THAT”. LOL. So, tah, dearies! A bit of culture! So SL is for ART!

Later that day I logged in to say hi and A was just about to head off sky-diving.

Selecting a parachute

Selecting a parachute

Some FL info here. I have a very very strong fear of falling. I had a little mishap as a toddler and although I’ve managed to shake the recurrent nightmares of the ground disappearing beneath my feet and me falling and falling and falling, I still really do not like the sensation. I don’t like roller coasters – if forced onto one I close my eyes and do math problems in my head the whole ride!!! I don’t like high, arching bridges where you can’t see the other side of the bridge til you are at the very top. I don’t like jumping off the 5 meter board into the pool – I had waaaaaay too much time to know that I was falling. You get my point. I do NOT like falling.

So when A said “Ahuva, come sky-diving with me!” I immediately said “No!”

Wearing our parachutes

Wearing our parachutes

Now I have flown in SL. That doesn’t bother me. I rode in a sky chair and other sky vehicles in SL, no problem. (I can do that in RL, too.) But deliberately choose to fall? I don’t think so!! But then I said – it’s SL. I can’t get hurt. So I said “What the heck, okay, I’ll come.” And immediately felt my stomach turn over. We went to the airport, got a parachute and went out on the platform. A went over all the rules carefully. He explained that my chute would open almost immediately as it was programmed to open at 100m and we were only at 111m. And then he jumped.
The Platform - 111m high

The Platform - 111m high

I walked to the edge and looked down. Yep – definitely DOWN. I backed up, readied my camera, took a breath and ran off the edge. I had a sharp pain in my chest, my stomach rolled over and for one brief moment I could not breath. And then my chute deployed and i was floating, not falling. And the world steadied and I took pictures and all too soon – I landed. And I realized that I felt great, that it had been fun, that floating was wonderful (flying is floating, not falling!) and that I wanted to do it again! So A and I jumped a few more times, from a higher height. It was fun and enjoyable. And I thought – I could practice running off this platform. Maybe if I practice running off platforms in SL, I will be able to go off the 5m diving board again. Maybe SL could be used for people with phobias and fears and other behavioral problems. So SL is for THERAPY!
Floating!

Floating!

Waiting for the elevator so we can go up and do it again!!

Waiting for the elevator so we can go up and do it again!!

Elevator - Going up!

Elevator - Going up!

Power boost chairs to take us up MUCH higher - 1000m

Power boost chairs to take us up MUCH higher - 1000m

Going up!

Going up!

Freefall without Fear!

Freefall without Fear!

Togetherness

Togetherness

Safe Landing

Safe Landing

Something Light

I’ve been blogging on the serious topics. Time for a light interlude. I want to share pictures of my friends with you. I may not be furry or tiny, but I love when my friends are. They have such fun avatars! Not only do THEY look good, they have fun toys too! And this is also a big “thank you” to my SL friends, with whom I chat and dance and float and party and shop and view art and listen to music!

Sheriff is town!

Sheriff is town!

Dragons are Cuddly!!

Dragons are Cuddly!!

Wings are big at NCI

Wings are big at NCI

Any wings are popular!

Any wings are popular!

Floating chairs, high up in the sky.  Can you see me tucked in the one on the right?

Floating chairs, high up in the sky. Can you see me tucked in the one on the right?

MystiTool

MystiTool. I have this too, even though I don't understand half the things that it does. 🙂 It DOES expand my range for seeing who is around - that much I DO understand!

Pursuing the Subject

Sex. Love. Add fantasies.

My blog on sex and love (Difficult Subjects) has generated fascinating conversations in FL and SL. People really want to talk about these topics. No one wants to go on record and post to my blog (okay – there are two brave souls out there willing to talk about sex publicly) but everyone talks to me “off the record”. 🙂 This is not actually surprising to me. Look around you. What are the number one and two topics in books, magazines, music, visual art, performing art, commercials and news? Exactly. We need air, food, water and love.

We do without air, food and water in SL. (Correction. Without drinking water. I crave water and sand and waves as much in SL as in RL). But we need love. I’m using “love” in a very broad sense here. I mean that we all need a connection. We need to be validated by an other. When people talk to me about love and sex in SL, it often leads to fantasies. SL allows us to explore our fantasies. Things that maybe we never say or do in RL. We shelter behind the pseudo-anonymity of SL (see Botgirl’s blog if you want to understand why I say “pseudo-anonymity”). And as I listen and think and read, it seems to me that there are 2 categories of fantasies.

There is the very obvious category of physical action fantasy. Doing things that you can’t do in RL, or wish you could do in RL. That ranges from sex to surfboarding to horseback riding to shopping to walking and talking. But there is another kind of fantasy – emotional. Many people are yearning for a connection that doesn’t exist for them in RL. Again, this runs the gamut. So I think I’m beginning to get a partial answer to my question “Why cyber?” (LOL please note I have ‘corrected’ my terminology.) It isn’t the cyber per se. It’s the emotional content associated with the act. I suppose one could say – Big Duh, Ahuva. *I* knew that. But obviously it wasn’t clear to me. What I started to hear as people talked to me was that the cyber allowed them to switch their internal emotional paradigm. (Again – not for everyone, and not all the time.) I’m also sure that this has been researched and reported and written up in psychological abstracts. 🙂 This is my blog, however, and I’m allowed to post my discoveries, even if I am coming extremely late to the party! 🙂

There was a newbie last night at the NCI benches (okay – there is ALWAYS a newbie at the NCI benches!! that’s why the benches exist, after all!). He started out by asking what everyone did in RL. Sigh. I listened as everyone answered and told “the truth”. So I said “This IS my RL.” Most ‘oldies’ enjoyed that response. Obnoxious, I know. But for Ahuva – SL IS RL. Then he asked our ages. Again, most people played along, even if being a bit vague. I was still feeling rude so I asked “How old do I look?” (As a good friend pointed out to me – I am only as old as my avatar!) LOL. Of course D, who is always very quick with a funny or sarcastic remark, replied “10”. Hmmm. As I type that, maybe he didn’t mean my age. LOL. I’ll have to ask him if that was a reference to the old Bo Derek movie….. Anyway. Back to my point. If I have one. He also called SL a game. I said that SL is NOT a game. He asked “It’s not?” C jumped in at this pointed and explained that SL is a virtual world, not a game. I had been despairing of this newbie but then he redeemed himself. He at least dropped the word game from that point and accepted the correction. But we shall see.

We are all in SL for reasons. Simple reasons, complicated reasons. Whatever. I am developing another theory. I think that the people who come into SL and immediately start trying to define everyone by their RL aspect are probably people who aren’t going to stay in SL very long. They aren’t going to “get it”. People who come into SL and meet people as they are, and ask about their SL aspect, are going to stay. I have no issue with people who know each other in SL having conversations about RL. That’s not what I mean. (I’m not touching the whole immersion theory stuff. Go read Botgirl and Soph yourself.) I mean that people who come inworld and try to force SL into RL terms may not be best suited for a virtual world. Whereas those people who come in and accept what they see may flourish. And those people may find that their fantasies come true.


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