Where do you look?

Part of me is reluctant to blog about this again and part of me can’t stop picking at it. I’ll admit right up front that I am thin-skinned, a big baby and that by now I really should have applied all the positive thinking techniques I know and that I should simply move on. Whew. Pause to take a breath. But. Obviously I am NOT moving on. I’m not as upset as I was because I’m not as tired as I was. So let’s it hear it for the benefits of sleep.

Someone asked me the other day if I was wearing an AO because I looked “a little stiff”. Sigh. This someone, X for the sake of conversation, has been inworld a long time. I am closing in on 5 months, more than one of which involved horrendous graphics, router and laptop. You and I have already lived through the one incident back in August I believe when another “well-intentioned soul” told me that I could “at least try”. I am now quite happy with my hair, thank you very much. 🙂 Indeed, I have many old-timers asking me where I got my hair. So there. (And for spite, I think I’ll start emphasizing the word “old” when I talk about THEM!!) My skin was a gift from someone who is herself quite beautiful. She made this skin, I like it, it has what I need 🙂 and I don’t really feel the need to do that much to it. I’m presentable. I did go skin-shopping once. Nothing I saw seemed that much more “me” than what I had. I DO know how to dress up in RL – I can wear make-up, put my hair up, wear ball gowns, sway and twitch my way across the floor or down the street. Most of the time I don’t bother. And that’s how I feel in SL too.

So I was talking to X, who is quite the beauty. Knock you to your knees beautiful. Yes, when I grow up, I wouldn’t mind looking like her. 🙂 Assuming I ever grow up. Don’t get me wrong. yet again this is someone who was being very kind to me and is a friend. She did ask as nicely as I suppose one could ask. But of course, I did feel incredibly embarrassed and gauche and inferior and invalidated and all sorts of other not-good feelings. Especially when I looked closer and saw her gorgeous manicure and pedicure. Sigh. I bet she doesn’t garden in RL or SL. Anyway, I wasn’t wearing my “stand” AO at the moment and so I put it on and asked if that was an improvement. I’m sorry – but do you have any idea how humiliating this kind of conversation is for me??? So I guess I have to go shopping for an AO now. I’ve been wanting some “sits” for awhile. I guess I’m going to look for “stands” as well. Heck I may as well have my own dances, my own gestures. Where does it stop?????? We are talking about avatars, folks. Yes, I am overly-identified with mine. (Obviously, or this comment wouldn’t sting. But does how I stand matter? I can’t go there right now. The answer is that it did and it didn’t and that needs more thought.

The benefits and drawbacks of holding back a written entry to post at another time…. I’m no longer upset about this incident. Definitely the lack of sleep was a major factor. Part of me is still bemused by the idea that how I stand in SL is important. But in the meantime, someone wrote to me about my Oct. 30 post of “Appearances Matter”. So, okay, I have to stick with that conclusion. Appearances DO matter and how I stand DOES matter and so I will move AO Shopping to the top of my “to-do” list. And I want a manicure and pedicure too…

Which leads me to the theme for today. Where do you look when you are talking to someone inworld? We weren’t on voice – we were using the chat box. So I’m not going to compare this to where I’d be looking if this were a RL conversation. We were chatting. I was at her place. It was the first time I was visiting her there, we’ve hung out together other places. So *I* was looking about, checking out her art work and posessions and stuff. But mostly I was looking at the chat box, reading our words and, of course, monitoring any other IMs that may have been happening. So I was aware of where we were standing and what we were doing and the like, but my eyes were not fixed on her to the extent I would have noticed whether or not SHE was stiff. (Oh – by the way – she has a wonderful AO. It was after I saw hers for the first time that i began thinking that maybe I should get one also. So perhaps that also answers the question of “does how I stand matter?”). I keep side-tracking myself here….. 🙂

What are you looking at? What do you see? Where is your camera? What really matters? Is it the words? Is it the image? Is it the gestalt?

When I am dancing – it is the image. No question. Words are practically immaterial when I am dancing in SL. If I am dancing as part of a couple – my camera is back far enough that I can see us both in entirety. Usually there is sound but I think that often fades behind the image of the dancers.

When I am talking to a group of friends – it is the chat box. I can’t begin to remember how many times I have been confused by the text because I have been reading words while someone was rezzing something and I didn’t notice. I have the camera pulled back to show all the people at a level that shows me the majority of the faces. Rarely do I have the camera close-up on anything. And lately, unless I am at a party or bar or concert -I’ve been turning off the background music.

When I am dancing at a concert or a bar – it is the image and the sound. Not a close-up image and not far either. Basically I’m looking for that middle-ground shot where I can see myself and others dancing, but not concentrating on faces.

When I am hanging about with a friend chatting – well, now this does get more complicated. Just like RL, no? unlikely that I have the music on. Certainly if it’s me and Darcey sunbathing, I have the ambient sound turned up as high as it will go. I look long enough to take pics for the blog and then switch to chat windows and multitasking on other things as well. 🙂 (Sorry Darce!) With X, well, I was checking out her home and reading the chat. No music.

The most interesting aspect of the above paragraph is that I realize the great majority of the intimate chats take place in IM, when we are NOT in the same SL location. 🙂 Does that say something about when and how people open up? Certainly in RL one of the easiest times for open and frank discussion is when you are driving in the car. Neither of you has to make eye contact. Maybe that’s part of what works in IM as well. If we aren’t looking at each other face-to-face, it’s easier to bare our souls.

Okay, that’s it for being serious today. I am off to review duck names. And to start polling friends for what I “need” in the way of an AO. 🙂

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There's not much to say about me. I discovered SecondLife by accident, wandered in, and decided I wanted to stay. This blog was a chronicle of my adventures and misadventures in SL. It also includes stray thoughts that occur to me as a result of my time in SL. Both I and my avatar are female. We both love water and the beach and gardening and parties and hanging out with friends. Updating this after quite some time. I haven't appeared in SL in many many months (probably over a year by now) but SL has remained in my thoughts. I do miss my SL, but at least I still have contact with some of my friends from there. In the meantime.... this blog has evolved to be about my RL adventures. :) Nowhere near as risque as my SL but I do keep busy. I still like all the things listed above. I didn't have any cats in SL (only ducks and a panda) so my cats feel that they should play starring roles in my posts. :) I didn't do much eating IN SL although certainly food and drink accompanied me in RL while I roamed inworld. Cooking and baking have become more fun and interesting once I redid my kitchen. That renovation took longer and cost more than if I'd done it virtually, but I'm thrilled to have a tangible new kitchen! I hope you like food and drink as well! Thanks for reading!

9 thoughts on “Where do you look?”

  1. I don’t know if it says something about my connection to my Av, to SL, or to my RL self, but I almost always like to look either at myself, or myself and the person I’m with, as long as both of us are in clear view, with a well positioned camera, taking composition into account. I like it to look like a photograph. Of course while exploring I’m more concerned with how the world looks, but I am aware of how I look in that world. It doesn’t bother me what people think, but I like to always look “right” in my own mind, it’s always a concern.

  2. Well, when I’m talking to you – face to face, so to speak – I watch your hair – cause it moves and it’s cool. And the chatbox. 🙂

    As for shopping – ugh. You know how I feel about that. If you find an AO you like let me know – that way you can do the hard part for me. 🙂

  3. If I’m at the Crown, my cam is way back cause I’m watching everyone. 🙂 Dancing with someone, my cam is on us dancing. Conversation with one other person, my cam has us both or just them. I do cam in on people to see what they are wearing, get a better look at their hair etc. So you never really know where I’m looking. 😉

    If it’s an AO you want, I recommend Vista. The transitions between animations are nice and smooth and the *sit anywhere* is quite handy. 🙂

  4. For an AO I recommend Tinyzig bodycrusher, it’s free and mod. I’ll send you a copy next time I see you.

    If it’s not for tinies I urge you to make your own AO so you don’t look like everyone else. There is a sample in the NCI AO class that you can start from , it’s pretty easy to make and no-one else will have it.

    I look all around, usually focus wide on all the people around me if I am in one place for a long time.

    You can turn on show-look-at and see where everyone is looking and answer your question more exactly 😛

  5. Chadd – you’ve got to be kidding. NOW someone tells me that other people can see where I’m looking????? I am incredibly embarrassed now. Aren’t there ANY secrets in SL?????? /me resolves never to show face in SL again…..

  6. I second the recommendation for Vista AOs. They are not cheap but I have several AOs and like the Visa the best. AOs are not necessary at all. Having said that I would not be without mine as I prefer the natural movement from one position to another to the Linden solider stand, duck walk, and stiff-backed sit.

  7. Show-look-at doesn’t identify the cameras it’s showing so it’s not too revealing. But combined with looking at the direction surrounding av’s heads are turned it’s often easy to figure out who owns which set of crosshairs.

  8. Don’t worry Ahuva I was at least 6-8 months before I even cared about an AO. And then I found it very confusing and difficult to setup. I had to have help. 😦 I still don’t know all the options. I use the ZHAO II which is free and because I finally know how to drop animations into it. 🙂

  9. lolz, I didn’t know there was a show-look-at, either! Must put in a feature request to be able to hide from it. 🙂

    I will always start out by looking at the person I’m talking to, or the crowd that I’m dancing in, or whatever, but then I will start zooming all over the place, camming in on interesting-looking people and pulling up their profiles, conducting my ongoing survey of panty-color frequency :), looking at the vendors two blocks away, checking out the overall architecture of the neighborhood, and so on. Only once or twice have I been embarrassed by, say, continuing to chat calmly with someone, not realizing that they’ve turned into an alligator, or set fire to me, or something, while my camera was far away. And of course this isn’t always true; if I’m having a nice intense conversation with someone in a lovely setting, my camera will be right there, on us, adding the proper visual to the overall experience.

    As to stands and AOs, I’m sure X was well-intentioned, but I really HATE it when people do stuff like that. 🙂 I’m utterly fashion-unaware, and I’m sure it shows, so I don’t get many (any?) comments like that; people can tell at a glance that that’s not something I’m gonna care about. I use a free AO that I picked up as a tiny newbie; all it does is replace the awful default walk and run with the standard ones from Poser (I think it is). I like the default SL stands; somehow they fit my personality well. (Maybe the default SL stands have even shaped my SL personality; there’s a scary thought!) I have at least one “sexy” ZHAO that came with an outfit. I wore it for awhile, and will still drag it out once in a great while when wearing a fancy gown at a fancy party or something, but mostly it makes me laugh. On me, that is; on other people I find some of the non-default AOs very nice.

    I guess my advice would be to pick a set of animations that you feel comfortable with, that feel like you, and not let any random person’s advice sway you one way or the other. (Profound, eh?)

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