Time to Raise ANOTHER Cow

Back in January we raised a cow for Heifer International. It’s time to do it again. This benefit is dear to me for many reasons. First and foremost, Heifer International is a charity that is very special to my family. Both my son and my brother actively raise funds to support Heifer. The other special factors for me: the various people involved, all of whom are talented, creative, generous individuals. We raised a cow in January. We can surely raise at least one cow on Sunday.

Sunset Benefit Concert
On Sunday, May 31, sunset will fall at AM Radio’s The Refuge and the Expansion. Please join us for a final benefit concert to raise funds for Heifer International.

ColeMarie Soleil at 3 PM
Joaquin Gustav at 4 PM
KelvinBlue Oh at 5 PM
(all SL time)

These performers return to The Refuge and once again are donating their time, talents and tips to Heifer International. Please donate generously to show your appreciation for their performances and their generosity.


In AM Radio’s words:

“After a longer than expected stay, The Refuge and the Expansion’s second iteration (hosted at the art installation sims Wales Springs and Welsh Cove by Alexandar Vargas, as curated by Callipygian Christensen) will be sunset. Thank you all who made this installation possible and thank you for your support of the arts. The Refuge and The Expansion was a redux of The Refuge and The Prospect. It represented a laboratory, an opportunity to experiment with ideas and techniques that I had been kicking around since The Far Away (wheatfield) location. I have enjoyed seeing all of the wonderful creativity and reaction to the space. The Flickr group has managed more than 1600 images, recording the space, but also recording how people explored, utilized, and felt in the space. I can think of no better record to document the sim. Thank you all,critics and advocates alike. I learned, I progressed, and all of you will have influenced the next version of this sim, which is sure to be created soon.”

Information on Heifer International can be found at www.heifer.org

Images of The Refuge and the Expansion can be found at http://www.flickr.com/groups/therefugeandtheexpansion/

Sickness in SL?

sick in bedSL denizens do NOT get sick. We don’t have allergies, we don’t spread germs, we never have to engage in such mundane activities as blowing noses or gargling. But our RL avatars are not so fortunate. My RL avatar has been down for the count for several days. Very inconvenient, I must say. So: yes – I still love you. no – I did not uncheck you. no – I am not really ignoring your IMs. yes – I miss you terribly. But my RL avatar, she who types the keys, has simply not been able to do much. 😦 Quite honestly, even focusing on chat has been more than I can do. So….. like MacArthur and the Terminator, I will be back. I’m not sure when, but I’m definitely coming back.

In the meantime…. get yourselves to the Glyph Graves exhibit at IBM2 (read Bettina Tizzy’s great write-up first), go to the FRI graduation on Saturday, and there is a dynamite concert coming up on May 31st at The Refuge and Expansion (3-6pm SLT) to benefit Heifer International. As soon as I get more information, I will post it.

We Knew them BEFORE They were Famous

Yes, we can say that in all honesty. 🙂 Because you and I have known them for months! I believe that my first fashion show was also Jare’s first SL fashion show. I’ve been wearing Misteria’s gorgeous *PDD* Feather Dress for months. I get compliments on it every time. Don’t forget the dancing fairies extravaganza – that was also Misteria. I have a Wollemia Sands suit and just saw her great runway show. *grin* I feel like a proud aunt. I watched these designers grow up and blossom and really expand into fabulous designers.

You can see them graduate and showcase their work. Here’s the invitation notecard from FRI:
designing dreams
Fashion Research Institute “Designing Dreams”
Graduation Fashion Installation for Designers in the Emerging Avatar Apparel Design Program
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Time: 7 am SLT
SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Shengri%20La/155/227/21

Join the designers and friends of the designers as we bid adieu to four of our fine designers who are graduating from the emerging avatar apparel program in the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace. Fashion Research Institute Marketplace designers Jare Capalini (Au V), Misteria Loon (Pas de Deux), Xand Nagy, (Kicks & Twirls), and Wollemia Sands (Bull & Bear Careerwear) each showcase two of their styles apiece in this special graduation installation, created to highlight the dreams they have designed while in the program. Please join us for this uniquely designed installation of fashion displayed artistically.

Designing Dreams is hosted and sponsored by the Fashion Research Institute, Inc. FRI is committed to assisting emerging avatar apparel designers to bring their brand to the next level through programs ranging from courses for aspiring professional designers to incubation and mentorship programs. For more information about FRI and its programs and activities, please visit http://shenlei.wordpress.com.

(c) 2009 Fashion Research Institute, Inc.

GO!!!! You MUST see Glyph Graves exhibit

Glyph's WorldI have no words. I HAVE 90 pictures. This exhibit is phenomenal. Fantastic. Fun. A love story. A sad story. Maybe a hopeful story. Unbelievable. I do NOT want to hear that you have no time, blah blah. GO!
http://slurl.com/secondlife/IBM 2/165/17/22

AS usual, Bettina Tizzy writing for “Not Possible in RL” has the best description/explanation of the exhibit. And excellent pictures as well. Read her post.

I feel like a total newbie again. I am overcome with awe, wonder and joy. I am transported by the creativity and imagination. I have difficulty navigating 3D space. I cannot comprehend how Glyph can not only imagine this but create it. Incredible. Wonderful. Glyph, Tez – thank you so very very much.

I was lucky enough to explore with my good friend Jaymin. It’s much more fun with someone else. He saw so much that I didn’t see. And when I got stuck or fell through things – he was there to tp me back to where I should be. *grin* Thanks Jay!!! I have uploaded my photos to Flickr. I’m sorry – there are way too many pics of me in there – but I was trying to get some sense of proportion/perspective. I also thought that I would edit myself out of most. I had no idea I was going to end up with 90 pictures. So just ignore me…..
Riding a Globe

Art in SL

This is one of those weeks where I am a bit busy and don’t have much time to be creative on my own. So today I am lifting a post from my friend Andrew, who has introduced to me to soooooo much art in SL. He is an art curator as well as an artist in his own right. Andrew’s blog also has one of the best blog names that I’ve encountered: A repository of ten thousand indignities and the harbinger of God knew what. LOL. It is certainly evocative, no??

TezAndrew’s avatar, Tezcatlipoca Bisiani, my favorite purple avatar, is curator for the new two-sim IBM Exhibition Space, located on IBM2 and IBM3 in Second Life. The inaugural exhibition for the IBM Exhibition Space is Strangers Also Dance by Glyph Graves. Glyph is a Australian based artist whose interactive works incorporate sound, elaborate visuals and narrative.

I could lift all of Andrew’s blog, but you can click here and read it all for yourself. Even better – meet me there Saturday, May 23, 2009, 6pm SLT and we can all be part of a new, exciting SL experience.
http://slurl.com/secondlife/IBM 2/165/17/22

And as long as I am stealing from all my friends – *grin* – don’t forget that you should be checking out Chestnut’s weekly recommendations as well – she ALWAYS knows what’s happening and where to go.

Goodbye to Angelwood

The Last Dance

Angelwood Dance PadAnother piece of my “childhood” is vanishing. First, it was Dale’s shack on Pier, my first home. Now, it’s Angelwood. I’m not even a year old and I’m losing my past. 😦 Okay, that IS a tad melodramatic. Pier was the first house I ever saw. Pier, in essence, was my Orientation Island. Once I ventured out on my own, I ended up in NCI, where I met Gideon and Aaronson and Suki and Christine and so many others. Aa and Ahuva Aa was my first friend. He tp’d me and Suki to his home in Angel to show me what possibilities existed in SL. I was so clueless. I went back and looked at my first post about it all. *grin* Wondering why Aa wasn’t hitting on me after I’d been warned that SL was all about sex. Trying to figure out why no one was talking – because Suki and Aa kept switching back and forth between IM and local chat and I hadn’t figured it out yet. Marveling at Aa’s beautiful mountain pool w/ sunbathing towels, waterfall, inner tubes, flowers, birds, sounds. I thought I was in heaven. I WAS in heaven. Angelwood. Angelwood was my first group. Heaven, indeed.

JordanaJordana and Aa own (sigh, owned) Angelwood. Jordana took me under her (literal) wings (Jordana almost ALWAYS has wings!) and taught me soooooo many important things about SL. She made sure I knew how to function, what tools I needed. I owe my 7 Seas fishing and my MystiTool to her guidance. *smile* Thank you Jordana.

So many wonderful wonderful times and parties at Angelwood. Rez day parties. Halloween parties (ah, the Peanuts gang!!!). Dancing. Fishing. Hanging out being friends. But landlords have other ideas for their properties and even wonderful heavenly spots can come to an end. Last night was our farewell party. After May 26 – the dance pad is packed away. We will always have our memories, we will always have our friendships. The Duck Was ThereAa and Jordana are alive and well and we will find other places to rez their dance pad and kick up our heels!! Thank you Aa and Jordana! You made my entry and my stay in SL wonderful! And last night was a wonderful way to say goodbye to the dance pad! Love you both!
Raining Bunnies

Trying to crash the sim

University of SL

A bit ago my sister and I were walking and talking and laughing. I was reflecting on Life. Well, really on MY life because, as you should know, it IS all about ME. *grin* I see life as a series of specific events. You either pass these events or you fail. You get letter grades as well. I mentioned one such incident to my sister, saying that I thought I got a C- at best because although I “passed” it, I really could have done better and learned more. On the other hand, I gave myself a strong A for another rite of passage. She was quite amused at this concept: that Life is a curriculum. Apparently even though we are sisters, we don’t view Life in the same manner. But we started playing with the idea of the University of Life, where there is a core curriculum – things we ALL must do. We identified core courses and electives. It seems to me we could play this game here, too. We are enrolled in SL. There are certain courses we ALL must take. There are electives. I suspect that this topic would be best in the hands of someone like Prad Prathivi in his Metaversally Speaking blog. Actually, he probably HAS had a post on something like this – he had so many truly funny posts on life in SL. *grin* My apologies if I am treading old ground. I am too lazy to go back and read all of Prad’s humor posts (although I would probably laugh all over again, and laughing is good). And I’ve been thinking on this topic for the last few weeks.

So here it is…. Ahuva’s curriculum guide to the Univ of SL. I know it’s incomplete – PLEASE be sure to add to the course list. I am NOT telling you which courses I have taken. *grin* After all – I am still a matriculating student. I have time ……

Orientation Island 100:

Okay, I’ll admit to failing this one. If you are one of the 5 people who have been with me since Day 1 of this blog, you already know that I failed OI. This course allows the new student to learn to walk, talk and “do things”. Since I failed this and was tp’d out of OI in less than an hour, I really DON’T know what happens in this course. LOL. I ultimately took an equivalency exam so I could move on……

inventory 100Inventory 100

You have to learn how to open your inventory. How to buy something and open it to your inventory, how to make folders.

*grin* Okay, here’s the truth. Those aren’t really the kinds of courses I meant at all. Let’s get right to the nitty-gritty. I’ve left out sooooo many. But these are the first that came to mind. *grin* Oops. What DOES that say about me?????

espyCyber 100

Have your first SL sexual experience. Everyone has to at least try cyber. There ARE harmless ways to do this, you know. This reminds me of a wonderful book by Willard R. Espy, The Almanac of Words at Play. He does a WONDERFUL example of porn writing for people who have no desire to read porn. He describes cooking an egg. *grin* But he does it porn-style. So. You CAN learn to cyber straight up (all puns intended) or you could get someone to help you learn “cooking-egg” style. Requirements: LOL. An active imagination??? The proper pose balls??? A VERY good friend??? A total stranger????

Drama Queen 200

Meet your first drama queen. Be part of the emotional storm flung through the local chat and all known IMs. Have people IM’ing you to report back on the drama queen. To tell you the ripple effect. Waste hours and hours on the Drama Queen’s story. Requirements: Make 3 friends. At least one of them is a drama queen, trust me.

Drunk in SL 210

Logging in to SL while you are inebriated. This course is closely related to Drama Queen 200. The most successful strategy for navigating THIS course is to be sufficiently drunk that you are unable to actually work the keyboard or mouse, and therefore you fall asleep before you do too much damage. Requirements: /me blinks. whatever it takes to get you to an altered condition where you are going to say things you really shouldn’t and where you will do something equivalent to dancing on the table with a lampshade on your head in RL. But – in SL – dancing on the table with a lampshade on your head is everyday behavior. *grin*

Live Mic 300

Oh yes, a VERY popular course. Leaving your mic open. It’s bad enough when it’s just feedback. But when you actually start talking over the performer/speaker….. that’s a fail. *grin* Requirements: no headset, open mic, refusal to read chats and IMs where people keep saying to you: please close your mic, we can all hear you. please close your mic- you are causing feedback.

Failed Love Affair 400

You are in love. You shout it to the world. You partner. It fails. Your heart breaks. I’m not even making fun here, folks. It’s a course. It’s life. I’ve watched too many people enroll in this one. Despite the grueling course load – this course always has standing-room only enrollment. Course requirement: the willingness (or stupidity) to trust your heart to another, to let yourself feel, and to learn that SL is like RL – things don’t always work out. Duration of course – much shorter than it takes in RL.

build a pyramidLearning to Create 100

Whether you take on scripting or building, you must try to create something sometime. Either you are hooked and you have found your electives, or you need to find a different vocational path. Course requirement is that you must create something other than a wood cube. *grin* At least change the color of the cube and make it a sphere!!!!!!!

SL Ennui 500

No one loves me. I hate everyone. I’m bored. I’m going to eat worms. SL is the pits and I’m leaving forever. You should too, you know, because SL sucks. I’m leaving. I’m never coming back. I’m never talking or thinking about SL ever again. Course requirements: you need to tell this to everyone you know, everyone you meet, everyone you don’t know. You need to post it to every medium possible. This course lasts 48 hours, at which point you return to SL and pretend you never said any of it. *grin*

Grid Hunts 100

Freebies!!!!! Hunting the grid for freebies! Learning to spot hidden packages. Luring your friends out to join you, getting THEM to waste hours on the hunt as well (you get extra credit for every friend you seduce into wasting time on the hunt 🙂 ). If you haven’t hunted, you cannot graduate. It’s really that simple. Requirements: None. Show up on the hunt. Click on the object. You are hooked. Your inventory is doomed. (See inventory picture above….. I have over 30 Bunny Hop folders. That I still have not organized. Plus all the stuff I also BOUGHT from the stores that I was in while I was wasting hours chasing eggs.)

Live Concerts 315

You must attend a live concert. See the local chat spam. Observe the idiots who feel compelled to shout, scream and perform obscenities in local chat while the performer is singing or talking. Feel the excitement when you realize that there is indeed a real live human being on the other end of your computer. That person is really singing and playing – for YOU!!!! And you get lost in the music and the glow. Requirements: None. Just try it once, that’s really all it takes. You’ll do it again. Really – you’ll take electives in this field, we all do.

SL Blogging 230

Ah, my favorite. LOL. EVERYONE in SL bogs. You must create a blog. You must tell all your friends about your blog. You must send the blog link to EVERYONE you know. Put your blog link in your profile. On every page in your profile. Pontificate to the world about the meaning of life. About the meaning of SL. About your personal hopes and dreams. About why you are so brilliant and wonderful and talented and everyone should take your advice. Requirements: ROFLOL. It’s like making babies unfortunately. They let ANYONE do it. Even Ahuva……

Blogging 230

Our World is What We Make It

By now you know me. I will study and think and ponder an issue until I can reach a place where I feel I understand it. I’ve been having great difficulty with people saying “SL is full of THESE people” or “SL is full of THOSE people” or “Everyone I meet in SL behaves SUCHandSUCH”. But I don’t SEE that. I”m not denying that THESE and THOSE and SUCHandSUCH exist. I’m saying that my world is NOT oriented that way. First I got annoyed – stop painting me with your brush. But then I wanted to understand WHY we are all so sure that our view of the world is correct. So I’ve been chatting and emailing with friends.

One view out a doorI’ve heard some very interesting takes on what kinds of people come to virtual worlds, what kind of people come to SL specifically. Almost all the conversations I’ve had contained at least one insight that helped me understand more clearly why I don’t recognize YOUR world. The following idea comes from a friend who declined to guest blog. She told me to take her email and present it. So that is what I am doing. *grin* I take no credit for these ideas, but I will say that they resonate with me, and perhaps I can finally let this topic rest.

What I would suggest is related back to Rheta Shan’s blog on why people come to SL–that they find something they need. And I would also suggest that the friends they make are related to what they need. So for example, one person finds other people who, like him, need a few hours/day to escape from some trauma or issue in their RL which is so overwhelming that it colors their entire real world. Of COURSE those people would be friends–who else would REALLY “understand” him, and thus “connect” with him long-term? He has undoubtedly met MANY people who do not fit his paradigm, but they aren’t his friends, they are just other people in the same room.

You, Ahuva, found a business environment which you saw as an opportunity to enrich your RL business environment the view out MY door(with which you have been bored and underutilized by for years). You connected with people who are creating the kinds of things YOU would like to create–not the concrete things, per se (i.e. a specific business product) but a “bigger picture”. So it’s no accident that the friends YOU made are very intelligent, high-achieving, creative people who are inventing new ways to interact in a business environment and expanding the opportunities for others to do the same. Those were the people YOU needed to have in your life, hence those are the people you found, and friended.

People find what they need. If they have been damaged and need friends who understand them, then they find other damaged people. If they need to be loved and appreciated and desired, they find a lover. (Obviously so many people need this, that is why the Internet is renowned for sex!) If they need a challenge, they find a challenge. The posts and comments say more about the people who write them than they say about SL.

I think that her words make sense to me. We find what we need. We may need more than one thing, so we will have many friends. But we fill our world with what we need. Our world is what we make it. We all have a different view out our front door.

Work Hard, Play High

I feel as if I am working all the time. That somehow my work day has blended seamlessly into the rest of my life. Maybe that’s what happens when you work in virtual worlds. Certainly the two people I know who appear to log even more work hours than I do both work in virtual worlds. Shenlei and I used to have time to take 15 minutes and ride horses. Go shopping for gardens. Stake out lucky stumps. But lately….wow…. we are lucky if we have time to IM for any extended time. Pretty much the only way I get to see Shen is if I go and attend her work events. Monday night I and several friends attended her presentation on her new Avatar Apparel Design Program. I wish I had the time and the required skill-set to take this course. Maybe the next time it is offered my Gimp skills will be at a sufficient level. Of course, that still means I need to find time.

The Art of the DealThis Thursday there is a fashion show for the business professional within SL. There are a lot of people doing RL business within SL. Sometimes even in SL there is a need to respect RL social conventions, such as clothing and appearance. As more and more corporations are coming into SL to do business, the need for business wear grows. Let me quote from the publicity:
Bull & Bear Careerwear is a new line of sophisticated attire designed exclusively with the business professional in mind. B&B was conceived and launched by Wollemia Sands, an up-and-coming talented designer. “The Art of the Deal” fashion show will feature 20 B&B creations — 10 women’s outfits; 10 men’s outfits — that are finely-tailored and appeal to the discerning professional. “The Art of the Deal” is a collaborative undertaking between Wollemia Sands of Bull & Bear; Shenlei Winkler, CEO of the Fashion Research Institute, Inc.; Suzy Yue of Running Lady Productions (RLP); and, is hosted by Sigma-Aldrich.

This Saturday – treat yourself to some jewelry. primal elegance(See – that Shenlei. She never stops working!!!!) “Twelve lovely ladies bedecked with opulent jewels in a darkly seductive set showcase the exceptional work of Fashion Research Institiute Marketplace designers Yoona Mayo (cocoon), Tiffy Vella (Eclectica), and Rosie Barthelmess (Sable Rose). Please join us for this unique fashion-meets-art installation of fashion displayed artistically.” I have to tell you – I saw this show being setup. My, my, my – those poses are HOT!!!! I played with each poseball and I STILL can’t decide which one I love the most. The jewelry is even BETTER than the poses. So get yourself there and treat yourself royally.

BounceSo if you work hard, you have to play hard. I decided that I needed to remind Shen of that fact. This weekend I dropped a present on her – a stress-breaker toy. I included a note that said the two of us NEEDED a break. *grin* After her presentation Monday, she rezzed it: a trampoline. LOL. We got on that silly trampoline and bounced up into the sky, over and over. Okay, I also went splat on the ground a few times as well but hey, that’s the beauty of SL – splat doesn’t really mean SPLAT! After bouncing for awhile, we relaxed on the lovely green professional looking couches. 🙂 Don’t we look like we’ve been sent to the principal’s office for misbehaving??? Anyway, we did manage to sneak in some fun, relax and laugh. Just what we needed. Just what we all need. So that’s my advice to you for today. called to the principal's officeFind a friend and share a moment to laugh. Yeah, there’s a lot of real bad news, stress, less-than-pleasant stuff around. I’m not denying it. Or even ignoring it. Life happens. But take a moment to catch some sunshine – find a friend and share a laugh.

Wishing you all a good day!