Shengri La Turns 3!

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.


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.

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!


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.


Happy Rez Day, Chadd!

rezday-duckChaddington Boomhauer turned 1 today!!! Yay Chadd! My fellow Insilico-explorer, my fellow art-show attendee, the gallant duck who always flaps to my rescue. I love his Indiana Duck persona. Or Maybe that is Sheriff Duck? I can see the movie now: Raiders of the Lost Feathers.

His partner, the lovely Shale Nightfire, threw a great party at Zoo La La. She turned the dance floor into a pond complete with reeds and water lilies. Chadd knew that there was a party, but Shale had a wonderful surprise planned. She created duck avatars for everyone who wanted one. Okay, so I didn’t wear a duck avatar. Does that REALLY surprise you? But I DID supply a duck! a-duck-dance-floor-is-a-pond Yes, my gift to Chadd was his very own auto-righting duck. A duck cousin to Bill, Drake and Mallory. 🙂 They are VERY partial to Chadd. They approve of his choice of avatar.

Happy Rez Day Chadd! You are one of the many bright spots in SL!

I’ll Never Be a Builder

If Crap Mariner is correct, I am constitutionally unable to be a builder. Oh, I may indeed build and enjoy it. But Crap froze my soul today in his “Prim Waste” post:

The Law Of Building: Each prim has to carry its own weight or it’s GONE.

after-is-betterThere is NO way that I can follow that maxim the way I think Crap means it.   If he means that each prim must be functional, I’m jumping off that bandwagon.   I am motivated by appearances, not functionality.  (Oh my, does that make me sound totally shallow or what?)   I have been playing with my office in SL.  I was given a maximum prim count and then told it would be best if I kept way below that. every-flower-necessary I keep adding things.  They aren’t things that I NEED. They are things that LOOK good to me. I added an armillary. It seemed appropriate somehow. I’ve added flowers to my desk and credenza. They don’t DO anything but please me. I like to have flowers in my RL office too. I suppose you could argue that their function is to lighten my spirits and to provide a pleasant and therefore productive work environment. Is that carrying “its own weight”?

every-rock-is-necessaryI still mourn the loss of my gardens. I know, they weren’t that good. But to me – they were beautiful. They were really the first thing that I felt I created, that were “mine”, that were “me”. I lavished so much time and effort on planting each flower just so. A tree here, some rocks. I spent so much time arranging the pile of rocks at the base of the bridge. Placing the reeds and the grasses. Building trellises to climb the wall. For no reason other than to make it pleasing to the eye. I understood why they had to go. I felt the lag. But. /me shakes head – frustrated. I want a world where I DON’T have to count prims!!!!! I want as many flowers and shrubs and rocks and ducks in my virtual world as I have in my RL. (Okay, I don’t have ducks in my RL, but you KNOW what I mean.)

I have a friend who is recreating a lighthouse in opensim. He COULD do this faster with prims that are textured to LOOK like many prims. But he is actually using individual prims for each piece of siding, each link in the fence. Using individual prims changes how the build looks – how light reflects, the feel of the build. I’ll be taking pictures and posting more about the lighthouse. In his case, I suspect that every prim DOES pull its weight. But for me – well, my RL garden is crammed full of flowers too. (cuts down on the weeds! *grin*) Thank goodness there is no prim limit in RL.

Ahuva, Landlord

right-this-way“My” opensim mall is ready for tenants. 🙂 If ever there was a misuse of a pronoun, my first word is that misuse. “My” mall is not really mine, of course. It belongs to work, to my co-workers. Not only is it not mine, but I didn’t build it either. Let’s see…. for what CAN I take credit/blame? I picked where it would sit in the sim. I modified the original proposal, reducing the size. I solicited comments from the future tenants and passed those comments to the builder. I supplied the textures. (Well, we could actually say that isn’t true either. A dear friend GAVE me several textures, knowing for what they would be used, but said that we could have them free and clear. So I supply textures much as I build trees. With help!) And, of course, the color scheme is MINE!!!

ROFL. Yes – I proudly admit that the shopping-mallcolor scheme is mine. So there. I don’t CARE if you think it’s wrong. 🙂 Mine, mine, mine. Some of you might actually recognize those colors. I used them in my dining room when I had the house repainted. IMHO, those are warm welcoming colors. *grin* Deal with it. (Hmmm, as I look at the picture I just added, I notice that some things look odd. The gray areas are signboards that have not yet been completed. But there seems to be something else wrong with the walls…. sigh. A landlord’s job is never done.)

We (the committee of three) were putting the finishing touches on the mall the other day, just before I posted the notice that vendors could come stake out a store. We put out balloons to welcome everyone. We put up signs to show violation-14-safety-hazardpeople the way from the entry point to the mall. We covered the pond in the middle so that people wouldn’t fall through. Oh my, did we have trouble with OSHA and the local code officer. /me sighs I considered bribing them, buying them off, but that is soooooooo against company policy. They objected to no railings, to failure to comply w/ ADA, lack of bathrooms, steps the wrong dimensions, lack of sprinklers….. You get the idea. I looked at them. I looked at the money sitting in my bank account. I looked at them checking off violation after violation. I did what any sensible landlord would do. I shot them! LOL Hey – this is MY fantasy world. I get to have a little fantasy here.

Anyway, after we had the building looking spiffed up and ready for prospective vendors, I took a few snapshots. anchor-store-still-availableI passed one of them to a friend who is a very good builder. She approved the build. But then she added that I “might want to find some colors that are a little different”. I started laughing and told her “I picked the textures”. She said “I’ll shut up now”. Ah, you never have to shut up. I’m a big girl. I can take it. And besides…. I did tell the vendors that they could change the inside colors. 🙂 Of course, *I* don’t know why ANYONE would want a DIFFERENT color, but there you have it.

I don’t know what will happen with this mall concept. I think that most of the people in this opensim really don’t have time to do much in the way of being retailers. Not only that – everything is free. The wares are being “sold” for $0. The purpose is to add content and pleasantness to OS. I have 8 stores available but only 38% occupancy. Good thing that I don’t have to pay tier, or this mall would be closing for sure.

bedrock-steps-a-primitive-textureWhat’s my personal interest in all of this? (1) Learning. This process has made me much more interested in learning about textures and building. The mall needs railings and chairs and tables. I made the stairs and learned a lot about repeats of texture patterns. I also had to do some more terraforming. Now THAT is definitely an acquired skill. I need more practice for sure. 🙂 (2) Friends. I love meeting new people. Jaymin – you are a joy! Thank you and thank you again. Not only are you kind and helpful and encouraging – you make me laugh. I enjoy your sense of humor immensely!! (3) I’m REALLY hoping that SOMEONE puts up a decent AO for ‘sale’. I simply cannot STAND how Summer walks. Sigh. This must be why everyone else chooses to fly. I don’t like flying. I like to walk. *grin* With the appropriate AO. AO, skin, hair, boots. In that order!!!!