Archive for October, 2008

They’ve said it better

I’m done commenting on the price increases. I don’t own land, I don’t fully understand land ownership in SL and I am not good at envisioning the future. I think that Landsend reflects most closely how I feel. I think that Dale may have the most realistic explanation for it all. I found Soph’s analysis both intriguing and funny. And Night (Yay! so glad she is back) discusses what should be done to prevent another drama like this in the future. That’s it. Read them and read Prad, Bailey and Honour. They are all far more informed and articulate than I. That’s why they are all on my blog roll. As for leaving SL for OpenLife… well, until I can have my hair and my boots, I’m not going. Yeah, I know – totally shallow. 🙂 But as long as Bailey and Honour and Prad and Dale and everyone else are here, so am I.

Aribeth posted the other day about how she felt betrayed and deceived when an SL friend lied about their RL self. I thought about that a lot before commenting on her post. I know that a lot of people come into SL to role-play. As my last post states, that’s not my purpose. I may be picking which of my RL aspects are emphasized, but I am still me. There is nothing about me in SL that is not true of me in RL. (At least, I don’t think there is. But the mind is a funny beast….) The reason I mention this here now is because of Krissy’s comment on my post. Krissy’s statement “And when I make a friend in sl, it’s with the intention of making a real friend. Not friends that are playing a role along side me” has me pondering the subject. I am still not convinced that role-playing is such a terrible thing. I believe that SL is a place where you can and should explore yourself. Role-playing only becomes an issue when you begin to form deep, emotional connections with others. If those people are also role-playing, I suspect there is no issue. But if those people are more akin to me and Krissy and Aribeth, I think that somewhere along the path to emotional intimacy, the role-player needs to reveal the person behind the facade. There is a post in here somewhere, but I need to think on it more and clarify for myself what is troublesome and when it becomes problematic. Since it has never happened to me, I don’t know what I’d do or feel. In the meantime, you might want to see what Ari has to say.

Appearances Matter

I wrote this post a few days ago, before the LL price hike announcement. Maybe this is a good time to post this, maybe this is terrible timing. I’m not really sure. But this post explains one of the reasons why I like being in SL and why I view it as a positive experience, despite the occasional blip.

Reading through endless blogs and following links, I ended up back on Hamlet Au’s blog. He mentioned the Stanford Study, research done in 2006 by Nick Yee. The study was way more than I could handle in my greatly-fatigued state, so I am relying on Au’s summary. Basically, and I am copying this directly from Au’s blog: Yee “found that people using physically attractive avatars tend to exhibit more self-confidence, both in-world… and in the real world.” I’m no scientist/psychologist/expert, but I am a human being. 🙂 And I’d have to say that my own experience supports Yee’s conclusions.

My father died 2 years ago. Although it was not unexpected, it was traumatic. I aged years overnight. I felt that I had become the front-line troops. That the security and well-being of my entire family depended on ME. Everyone in the family suffered greatly when we lost my father. Many emotions and issues surfaced. I realized that I had to grow up emotionally and psychologically or my life and my marriage were going to spiral down into depths from which they might never recover. I’ve already directed you to Botgirl Questi’s blog and her mention of Byron Katie. I am not familiar with Katie myself, but judging from Botgirl’s comments, the philosophy sounds much like the one I managed to embrace and internalize. There is no question that I was able to save my sanity (and thereby my health and the well-being of my family) by changing the way I look at life.

I have learned to really like myself. I have learned to look at others and accept them for who they are and what they are and to throw away my demands of what they “should do/be”. (Okay, my dear son – this does NOT apply to you – I am your mother. I have a FULL set of expectations for YOU and your behavior. Sorry. That’s my job! 🙂 ) Anyway, the point here is that I have reached a stage where I like who I am. And yet…. I still have issues left from those wonderful teen-age years. 🙂 C’mon – we all do. 🙂 But I have discovered SL.

Here in SL I can choose what parts of my RL existence are emphasized and which are played down. Ahuva is me, I am Ahuva. There is no difference. One of my SL friends has great difficulty believing that I am so “immersed”. I’m not really immersed. I simply am. But let’s face it. Ahuva NEVER wakes up with any physical aches or pains or zits or other aggravations. Ahuva’s clothes fit perfectly, or all it takes is a mild edit. She can dance all night in stiletto heels and look fresh and relaxed and pay no price the next day. Ahuva and I both react to stress by buying more boots. 🙂

Since Ahuva IS me, since she is doing what I like to do, being who I am, Ahuva is inside of me in RL. I walk about and I am She and She is Me. I walk like Ahuva. I feel the same confidence in me that Ahuva exhibits when she moves about inworld. I feel a lot of that buried teen-age angst dissolving. As Ahuva’s appearance has been tweaked and modified, so has my RL appearance. I hear again and again from people about how “great” I look. I look and sound younger. I have much more energy and excitement than I’ve had in years. I look hot. LOL (You GO girl!! ) I’ve lost weight. I went back to wearing my hair a different style. I have a picture posted on my social network that shows us side by side. 🙂 We are NOT identical, but everyone sees the similarity, the connection. (And Ahuva’s profile has been updated too – forced her to be a little more honest about what she was doing inworld 🙂 ) I was doing okay before SL. But Ahuva and I together – we are really quite a team.

This was supposed to be fun

I’m still a little under the weather, so that makes me tired, and tired makes me less able to handle set-backs in a positive frame of mind.  I’m concerned with all the RL events – the economy, the elections, personal issues.  SL was a source of joy and escape for me.  A chance to have fun, to be free, to explore myself, to experience new things.  I really didn’t need another source of stress and confusion and upset and anger.  This is not about “me”, but I feel the tidal wave of emotions that is flooding the SL community. My SL friends know what I’m talking about.  For my RL friends, Linden Labs changed their pricing policy on Monday.  I’m not savvy enough to understand all the ramifications, but I do understand the anger and passion and frustration raging across the SL community.  Below are some links that I found informative. Mostly I’ve been reading the posts within the SecondLife blog/forums. You need to have an SL account to access them, so I won’t bother with links.

The announcement itself
Bailey Longcloth: Sigh
Prad Prithivi: The Death of a Dream
Crap Mariner: has interesting comments as well as links to other articulate posts.
NPIRL: Should we move to OpenLife?

Haikus for Lovers

I read a very powerful blog today by Nightflower. I thought of all the people I have met in SL, all the stories I have heard and read. It’s raining outside in my RL, I am physically a little under the weather today, and I found my mind drifting in 5-7-5. No titles, no identifications, other than saying that the first one is for Nightflower.  Otherwise – if it fits – you are welcome to it.

But you are NOT me!
Your facade betrayed my grief,
Imprisoned my pain.

.                                               Snared by your dark light
.                                               we have nothing in common
.                                               My wings work in vain.

I know your secrets
your past history, your friends
so glad I am yours.

.                                                    Official partners!
.                                                    You brighten my SL life
.                                                    My joy spreads to all.

Turn-about is fair!
Sometimes I lead, sometimes you
But pleasure always!

.                                                     Mysterious one
.                                                     Showed me possibilities
.                                                     then you disappeared.

Inworld but rarely
yet my heart partnered with yours
joy when you are here.

.                                                     We weathered the storm
.                                                     Our love deeper than ever
.                                                     We complete our selves.

Love should equal joy
But often love hurts, frustrates
Partners not the path.

.                                                     I collared you, love
.                                                     Hope one day so in both worlds
.                                                     I love you truly.

Thirty-one years love.
Sometimes so hard to believe
Passion flames again.

Cloud Castle Masquerade Ball

You are cordially invited to attend the first ever Cloud Castle Masquerade Ball. This event will be held on: Saturday, October 25, 2008 starting at 7pm SL time. Costume or Formal Attire is strongly encouraged, but not required. There will be prizes for the best in costume. Your hosts for this evening of Dancing, Romance and Intrigue will be DL, Sammy and Oura. This event is also being used to raise awareness for Project Children.

Decisions, decisions…. Should I go in costume or formal???? I have so many beautiful gowns. I probably should have picked formal. But I didn’t. 🙂 I was in my gypsy costume already so I stayed in costume. But how often do I get invited to a CASTLE??? Trust me – not that often. And it was soooo elegant. Even the invitation was special:

Maybe I should rename this blog to The New York Post. 🙂 You know how this works – click the small pics to see them larger. 🙂















Now? Party!!

I may not be planting virtual flowers anymore but I’m certainly not sleeping, either. 🙂 I DO miss sleeping, I have to admit. But I really like partying even more. This is the Halloween season. That means one fantastic party after another. I’m very lucky to have such creative and generous friends. They throw the best parties. And what an excuse to stimulate the SL economy! LOL. I know *I* went shopping for an outfit and accessories. I was helping other friends find pieces for their costumes and admiring others’ new purchases as well. What fun! So, hey, I’m doing MY part!

As always, Shenlei and Rez outdid themselves with the Gypsy Rave. Lots of fun costumes, beautiful people, tons of imagination and creativity, billions of particles and lots of laughter and teasing. I think that some very scary ideas surfaced at that party. I’m hoping that perhaps I’m mis-remembering plans for a future event. 🙂 As always, you need to understand that the live event was WAY better than I am capable of capturing in photos. Pounding music, conversation, animation, particles exploding. One day I will learn how to take videos of these events. 🙂 Gotta get there early if you want a shot of the staging! Otherwise all you see are people and particles and little bits of the stupendous scenery. This one is click-able.

First up, our host and hostess! Rez was streaming light, Shen was prancing and floating (thank GOODNESS she managed to complete her costume to handle the floating 🙂 ). I snuck into that pic too. You know – SL is the only time I actually get pictures of myself. In RL, I take all the photos so that I am never in any. Tends to make me doubt my existence….. 🙂 I have no idea who that is in the back, but she has cool hair! Click on this one to see it larger.

Okay – the rest all speak for themselves. As always, I don’t post names – you know who you are, you know who everyone else is. Or not. LOL. I IM’d Shen to compliment another guest’s costume and asked who she was. Shen said “Have no idea!” 🙂 Some of these are click-able, some are not. /me shrugs. 🙂







You really have to like particles if you go to a Shengri La rave. 🙂

So Now What do I Do???

So the conference is over. The all-consuming all-out effort of preparing and attending – it’s done. Suddenly I have all this time. I don’t remember what I used to do. I feel somewhat bereft, to tell the truth. What do I do now that I am not searching the world high and low for trees? What do I do now that I am not endlessly planting. And ripping out my plants. Will I ever see my ducks again???? Looking on the bright side, however, I added several friends to my contacts list. I hope I get to see them again now that the conference is over. It will be fun to see other parts of the world and meet new people.

Speaking of which…. I’ve followed my friend Bailey to her pub, the Crown and Pearl. What a blast! I have taken to going there after work to unwind and have fun. The conversation ranges from light-hearted to serious. You can tell that these are good friends who enjoy hanging out together, teasing each other, supporting each other. The music is good, the DJ’ing superb and I always come away in good spirit. And they throw fun parties as well. Had just finished listening to Noma live when a group chat opened up. Lingerie party in progress. It did take me awhile to believe that they were all in lingerie. You have to understand – I don’t know them all that well, but I know enough to realize that they would definitely tease by all being there completely dressed and convincing me to tp there in my undies. 🙂 But after being reassured by a trustworthy group member, I changed my clothes and joined the party. Definitely lingerie. 🙂 Amazing how far you can get with a well placed sock. 🙂

And I have my first friends also. After the lingerie party I ended up back at Shengri La. Shenlei and Michele were modelling some beautiful new outfits available at the Vintage Marketplace. Then Calli tp’d in, fresh from the honor of being inducted into the SL Photography Hall of Fame! Way to go, Calli!!!! Shen modeled another outfit for us all. It really was simply beyond words. So I am relying on Calli’s photography to show you what I can not describe. 🙂 You have to click this to see it at full size. You must!!!

So here I am. Another chapter finished, time to move on. Maybe I’ll even remember what it is to sleep. 🙂 Because it IS after 2am. Oh wait! Forget sleep…. I see a new friend has just logged on. /me waves – Hi T!

Scavenger Hunt!!!

Whoo Hoo!!! My ducks made it to the scavenger hunt!!!! 🙂 As part of the conference social activities, there was a scavenger hunt. The broadcast went out: “Scavenger hunt: I’ll give (prize) to the first person who can tell me where to find one of the following items: a teacup; a swimming duck; an insect playing a tiny violin; etc. “. I LOVE my ducks!!! 🙂 During a break between sessions I took T over to see my ducks swimming in the canal. He, having good taste, also loved my ducks. So he arranged for them to be part of the scavenger hunt. I visit the ducks daily. Finally had to put a rock in so I had some place to sit while I watch them. 🙂

Conference is still going well. Interesting talks, some minor glitches that get handled quickly. Really an amazingly smooth event. And it’s even fun. 🙂

And now for something serious….. Bogirl has posted about a “One belief at a time” workshop. If you find that little setbacks make you angry or frustrated, if you find that you blame others for your emotional state, if you wish to face life with greater calm and control, GO TO THIS WORKSHOP. I learned this approach somewhere somewhen else, and it changed my life. I have never been as happy, relaxed, and confident as I am now, as a result of this kind of technique. Here’s how I was first introduced to this concept. You are driving down the highway. Another driver cuts you off and you narrowly miss having an accident. You:
(1) get angry and curse and scream at the other driver who is obviously an idiot, incompetent, selfish, etc.
(2) you freak and think oh no oh my I could have been killed, that was awful, so terrible, why do these things happen to ME???????
(3) you say “gee, aren’t I a good driver? look at that – there could have been an accident but I was on top of things. I really am a good driver and handled that well.”

Be honest. I know that I looked at my friend as if he was crazy when he posed this question to me. OBVIOUSLY #1 is the right answer. Well. 🙂 It took a looooonnnnng time, but one day, I was driving down the highway and was cut off. I thought “Wow, that could have been bad. Didn’t I do well to avoid THAT?” And I realized what I had managed to achieve (thought-wise, not driving) and I literally laughed out loud. I was so free and happy and light. Go for it folks. You have nothing to lose but a lot of anger and stress and misery. 🙂

Conference Report

It’s here!!! The conference began!!! It’s going very well considering the size and scope. There were a few minor glitches with the presentation viewers but they were straightened out fairly quickly. I crashed out at least 4 times and I know other people crashed a bit too, but that also was an inconvenience, not a show stopper. The voice connection was working and helped greatly when speakers asked for audience response. Lots of helpful people with identifying banners to assist attendees. You can see the banner “Greeter” behind my head – I am blocking the view of the person. Everyone seemed to make it to their sessions on time. I heard lots of positive comments from the attendees. I was reading a review in our company blogs – basically very favorable. What was MISSING from that blog, of course, was the flower review. 🙂 She did have a “lots of beautiful places to visit” picture, but she neglected the close-ups and panoramic views that the landscaping deserved!!! 🙂 Someone has to say it, so I will: We did a great job folks!!! Kudos to J, J, M and of course ME!!! (And everyone else who did landscaping – I know there were more of us.) I checked the swan and ducks and they were very happy. (Hmph – that review didn’t mention them OR the butterflies! Some people really don’t understand what’s important!!!)

So here I am, surrounded by co-workers. Click on this pic to see it larger. Does this count as my RL or as my SL??? The chairs were VERY comfortable! They are equipped with a multi-position viewer. The moment you sit down the camera pans to center stage. You can page-up and page-down to pan about the hall. It’s very well done and a particularly effective tool. Nice touch!

Don’t forget the next Shengri La Rave –Gypsy Moon – coming up this Saturday, Oct. 25! I already have MY costume!!! 🙂 (You know, Shenlei, I think you and I do more to boost the economy than any one else in SL! LOL)

Disappointment

Into every life a little rain must fall. Sometimes it’s a lot of rain and it rains very very hard and washes things away. Like flowers. As in, all the flowers that I planted last week in the flower beds for the conference. They are all gone. No more. Sigh. I ripped them all out last night.

Friday at noon we ran a stress test for the conference. Only fifty some people there and it was fairly laggy. Most things seemed to work, by and large. After that I continued to do some landscaping. Snuck in the swan and the ducks. 🙂 By Friday night I was pretty tired of planting flowers and trees and arranging rocks. On Saturday I released butterflies into Margie’s gardens. But otherwise I stayed away, spent most of my time in RL (whee! that can be much fun too!!!). Sunday night after my company left and I’d cleaned up, I logged in to catch Noma rocking the weekend to a close. No sooner had I waded my way into the crowded sim when J pinged me.

She said “Hi Ahuva, I really hate to ask this.” I laughed and said “You want me to remove the ducks and the butterflies?” She said “What ducks??????” Still laughing I said “Oops, shouldn’t have told you!!” But as you already know, it wasn’t the ducks. (So far the ducks have been spared. I told her I was willing to sacrifice the butterflies but that I LOVED the ducks 🙂 ) “My” flower beds were at the entry to the conference. That was why I started there and put so much effort into it – the point was to make the entry looked good. There is good and there is over the top. This was over the top, not in beauty, but in prims. Apparently 3300 prims in that sim were mine. Flowers that is, flora gold. The way J figured it, each flower is probably a 1024×1024 texture — that is 32 bits deep, so each texture is eating 4MB. I have no idea what I just wrote, except that obviously it is not a healthy situation for the sim. 🙂 X had also had 3300 prims in that area and removed them at J’s request. That improved the FPS (frames per second). So J asked me to remove mine. I gulped and asked “All of them?” She suggested that I start with some and we could see what happened.

I don’t know how to remove “some”. I tried to link flowers before and pull them out, but I hadn’t gotten very good at it (had problems getting the angles and groupings the way I wanted them). So J taught me “rubberbanding”, as she called it. This was exactly what I wanted earlier in the process. If I’d known THIS, I’d have been done in half the time, I’m sure! And the flower beds would have been identical. 🙂 Rubberbanding, should you want to know, is a form of copying. You select Tools from the menu, then click “Select Only my Objects”. Next click on an object in a corner of the area you wish to copy. Draw a yellow box highlighting all the items that you wish to take/copy. And there you have it. So I did that. I didn’t catch everything on the first bed, but I caught enough that should there ever be an opportunity, I could probably recreate the missing corner. I caught more of the 2nd bed. We simply tossed the flowers that were in the quadrants under the trees. What the heck.

So then I got my next assignment: Make it look good using only 2 plants and many fewer instances. LOL. Right. Okay, well, the world used to be black & white before they invented color photos, right? 🙂 Planting goes MUCH faster when you are limited in which plants and how many. So my gardens are gone, long live the gardens.


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