Archive for December, 2010

Gingerbread Men

Bill Amend's FoxTrot -

This has absolutely nothing to do with SL. Not at all. But I don’t seem to be able to share links anymore on Plurk and I don’t know why. So I’m using my blog instead. This comic strip made me laugh out loud for real this morning – a good, loud, laugh. Not a snicker or a grin, but laughing.


Gingerbread people and stars

Gingerbread people in Star Fleet RED uniforms

He inspired me to make gingerbread men. My son helped. Yeah, I’m a geek. Most of the time I’m a geek-wannabee. But today I rate as unqualified Geek. *grin*


It only took me two years, but I finally know what people are talking about when they talk about Windlight. Oh, I knew it had to do with lighting. I thought it was some special add-on thing that you had to learn. I never grasped that it was already in the SL viewer. Live and learn. Or rather, hang out with Honour and let her teach me all the things I’m too lazy to learn on my own. I do sometimes wonder why my curiosity level for these things is so very low. “Why?” gets my interest all the time. “How” never really seems to interest me until I come smack up against it.

I’ve been trying to force myself out of my sky box and back into the world. I tried to plead hunger when Honour IM’d me the other day, inviting me to come and see the world. It WAS my lunch hour, after all. But she reminded me of my resolution so I took the taxi and arrived in Innsmouth. Innsmouth is a wonderful build, New England in the 1930s – straight out of H.P. Lovecraft. If you don’t know Lovecraft but you like creepy, unsettling stories, you MUST read his writing. What intrigues and terrifies me about his writing is that it is so completely plausible. Totally realistic, believable, true-to-life until the moment he opens a seemingly everyday door. And then you step through into horror. I can be sitting in my own very wonderful warm secure house, in bright sunshine, with my pets around me, birds chirping outside and if I am reading Lovecraft, I start twitching, looking behind me, running out of doors into the sunlight, where nothing can sneak up on me. I BELIEVE in Cthulhu at that moment and I am SCARED.

We went first to the movie theater. It was beautifully creepy and evocative. You can SMELL the decay. Honour reviewed the basics of camming about for me and then we proceeded out to explore. I’d never dropped down the environment menus before. First I went through some of the canned settings for windlight (world/sun/environment editor/advanced sky/presets). Then I started moving the sliders and tints and colors. It was such fun to watch the sky change, the lighting change, the shadows. Between the great build and the monsters and mutant toads and playing with the environment, it was a wonderful way to spend a lunch hour.

Things change so quickly in SL these days, so get yourself over to Innsmouth and explore. It’s a wonderfully spooky place. Make sure you have your sound turned on, because there are wonderful sounds effects as well!

My Holiday Wish List

The holiday referenced is New Year’s Eve. My wish – to recapture a little of SL glory past. I have been thinking on how to word what I want to recapture. I realized that the “peak” SL moment typically differs from person to person. There are the oldies who say it happened in 2003 – the first moments. Then there are those who claim it was 2006. For me, obviously, it happened between July 2008 and now. *grin* And it IS all about me, let us not forget. Even my own “peak” moment does not encapsulate everything. It’s missing a lot of people who I knew then but weren’t part of the selected locale. It’s missing all of the building and learning I did for work. Most of the people that I want to be there would tell me that I’m wrong – that was NOT the peak time for that place. That is all true. But I want what I want.

I want a New Year’s Eve party at the Crown and Pearl this year. Yes, I know there is no more CnP. I know that everyone has moved on to other places, other pursuits. I know that many of the people who I think of when I think of the CnP are not even in SL anymore. Many of the people I want there were not on my Friends List nor am I on theirs. But they were there.

I want Prad and Bailey to reopen the Crown and Pearl for a holiday party. Dress-up. I want to see the people I think of as “my” regulars. I want all my other friends to come also, so they can experience a CnP moment too. I want to hear the DJs. I want a sploder. I want silliness and good humor. I want sheep. *grin* I want to see: Bails, Prad, Alann, Aribeth, Bailey (yes, there ARE two),Dark, Hell, Jellen, Mowgli, Nat, Rrish, Stoo, Landsend, Marisa, Clare, Ryker, BabyGlock, Kumi, Lucien and all the other people who used to be there but now I can’t remember their names because my brain is a sieve for things like names. But I want them all. (I’d really like all my NCI friends and my work friends and friend friends showing up as well.) And I want my New Year’s Eve day dance with Dale.

Giving and Receiving

I have a memory of having posted about gifts and presents before. Certainly I always think about it at this time of year as I listen to everyone around me agonizing over what to give and what to request. For me, gifts and presents are different beasts. I get lazy and often use them interchangeably, but when I am careful, I use them differently. A gift is something that the recipient wants. It doesn’t matter if you, the giver, likes it, thinks the recipient needs it, thinks it’s “appropriate”. The recipient WANTS a gift. A present is something that the giver wants to give to the recipient. The GIVER thinks the recipient should have it, should appreciate it, needs it, deserves it. It doesn’t matter if the recipient doesn’t really care for what’s being given. The giver wants to give THAT. Sometimes a recipient so desires a particular item that even if the present IS something that could be appreciated sometime, at the moment of receipt the over-whelming recipient reaction is despair, frustration and dislike. The recipient was craving the gift so passionately, so furiously, so totally, that all that can be seen in that moment is the “not-gift”, not any of the thought or care or consideration of the present. Even if the present will actually BE a gift in time. So what happens then is that the giver is angry and frustrated and disappointed, the recipient is angry and frustrated and disappointed, and yet – under a slightly different scenario they would have both been delighted and fulfilled.

I’ve been on both sides of that equation. I’m sure you have as well. I’m in it again at the moment although with something intangible. A dear friend of mine is in the same position. Presents are being offered. The presents reflect respect, value, trust. Except it is the gift that is craved. I know what to tell my friend, to tell myself. Smile, accept the present, recognize it for what it is, and try to forgive it for not being what it isn’t.

When I was a mere lass, I had already decided that appearances mattered. *grin* Oh, such a surprise to hear that from me, right? My sister is older than I (Oh MUCH MUCH older. *grin* oooooooollllllllllllduh) SHE had – gasp – makeup. I did not. I coveted her cover-up cream because although I did not have makeup, I had zits. Imagine. On the other hand, *I* woke up early and she did not. Not only that, she slept like a rock. She tells wonderfully funny stories of all the things through which she has slept, from bunk raids at camp to rock concerts in stone stadiums when she was seated next to the speakers. So, being the deceitful determined pre-teen that I was, I would sneak into her room in the morning, open the drawer where she kept the cover-up and TAKE SOME. I never got caught. *triumphant grin* Chanukah was coming. I requested cosmetics. One night, my wrapped gift was soft. It felt like a tube. It felt JUST LIKE my sister’s coverup makeup. My heart began pounding. I KNEW my dream was coming true. YES YES YES!!!!! No more sneaking into her room in the morning. No more lies and fear and deceit. My eyes shone, I smiled, I ripped the paper open, salivating. It was a tube of hand lotion. Do you know, as I type that, I still feel the ache in my chest. The disappointment. The overwhelming unhappiness. I think I smiled at my mother. I hope I smiled and said thank you. But all I remember, to this day, which I have to say is (gulp) decades later – the total “this gift stinks how could you possibly give me this and think I’d want it”.

Flash forward. I’m a mom. I don’t believe much in Chanukah gifts. I’ve tried to teach my son this. I thought he “got it”. Actually, my memory is that he got it. But we were talking the other day and he reminded me of his own coverup makeup story. Apparently he really really REALLY wanted an xbox. Game cube? I don’t remember. Some such thing. I’d thought I’d made it clear that was NOT happening. I guess I didn’t communicate that properly. I’d found an adorable “make your own bug” kit at a craft show. My son is so creative, clever, artistic. I thought he would have a blast inventing bugs. *grin* You can see this unfolding, can’t you. I gave him the gift. He was ungracious, to say the least. I took back the gift. Yeah, that was wrong. I was hurt and angered by his attitude. He was hurt and angered by my attitude and lack of understanding. In case you are wondering – we have both moved on and forgiven each other. I think. I know that he will never forget that disappointment just as I will never forget the hand lotion.

Is there a point to this post? Yes. When what you get is not what you wanted – whether it’s a tangible object or the reaction to what you gave – try to take a moment and forgive the giver. I am trying to realize that what I got was indeed a gift, not a present. It’s not what I craved. But in the immortal words of the Rolling Stones:

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

Dashing Through the Snow

It seems to be winter. The last few days have been in the 30s F around my house. Windy. I’ve been weatherproofing and bringing out the humidifiers. The cats and dog seem to be napping closer to the radiators and fireplace. I love the change of seasons. I love the change. *grin* Often by the end of a particular season I’m MORE than ready for it to change. Certainly winter tends to stick around a bit too long for my taste. If it’s going to be winter, I want WINTER. Snow. Cold. Snuggle. Fire in the fireplace. Comfort food. Good friends, good drink, good times. Spare me the gray, dismal, cold rain, and the 40s and the dreariness. Winter or go away.

In SL, I get winter the way it SHOULD be. Snow. Sledding. Horses’ steamy breath. I met up with my friend B the other night at Shiro Castle. We both needed to run and run and run the week’s stresses away. Well, my knees aren’t what they were, so I let B do the running. I dressed up in winter fantasy clothing. Bamboo and I hopped into the sleigh and cheered B on as we raced about.

There were other horses about and B stopped to exchange greetings. We saw a foal. *smile* Lots of snorting and stomping and neighs and tail swishing. It was a wonderfully relaxing ride.


I learned some very bad habits when I was young. I know they are bad. I know I shouldn’t indulge. And yet….. sometimes I just slip right back and do it again anyway. I’m talking about snarkiness. Down right disagreeableness. About feeling that things have to be some sort of notion of “fair” and “my way” even when logically that makes no sense.

Why do we hurt the people for whom we care? What is it that drives an otherwise sensible reasonable adult to deliberately attempt to provoke and hurt another? I did it again tonight. Intentionally. I opened the conversation KNOWING that I would probably be nasty, snarky and mean. WANTING to be belligerent and pick a fight. Why didn’t I just stay quiet????? I certainly don’t feel BETTER. Do I feel better thinking/hoping that I made the other person feel crummy too??? The old “misery loves company” syndrome?

I suppose a “mature” approach would be to analyze and figure out WHY I want to be snarky. Except I’m still in my 6-year-old “because” mood. If I attempt any analysis it will probably be flawed.

So…. sigh. I don’t feel better for being snarky. Oh maybe there is one perverse part of me that DOES like having been snide. But I am sorry. Truly. Because really – I don’t want to cause hurt. Or pain. And I’m only trying to cause hurt because for whatever reason *I* feel hurt. Which makes no real sense, but when were feelings ever sensible? And none of what I said was what I really wanted to say.

One of my favorite comic strips, Rose is Rose, has a wonderful recurring bit: The dungeon of resentment. So here I sit, miserable in my dungeon of resentment. Locked there by myself. Kept there by myself. Waiting to figure out how to unlock the prison and tear down these stupid bricks that keep me from what I want.

Fun With Words

Lately many of my blog posts may seem to be non-SL-related. But often they are triggered by SL connections. This post, for instance, comes to you by way of a plurk from my friend Thaumata, who is also an SL friend. True, I met her first on Plurk, but we are friends now in SL also. And I started in Plurk as a way to keep in touch with my SL friends. Thaumata finds the most delicious links. I also thank her for my post on Thanksgiving with the Hallellujah Chorus flash mob.

This time Thaumata has plurked the link to MatadorAbroad blog. This particular post is from Heather. Heather is writing about words that have disappeared from English but that, in her opinion, should be brought back. I have to say, upon reading her list, I agree. *grin*

So I’m starting with two of “her” words: Deliciate and Brabble.

Deliciate means “To take one’s pleasure, enjoy oneself, revel, luxuriate”. Isn’t that wonderful? I deliciate in eating Lindt’s 85% Dark Chocolate. I deliciate in my hot tub. Oh yes I do. I deliciate on the beach, with the hot sun beating down on me, the sound of the ocean waves in my ears. Or in my pool, floating idly in the sunshine.

Brabble means “to quarrel about trifles; esp. to quarrel noisily, brawl, squabble”. Hah. Please forgive my snarkiness, folks, but easily 90% of the plurks I read are brabble. Oh dear, I suspect I’m going to be defriended. Rats. I should have used Facebook instead of Plurk. *grin*

Here’s a shout-out to my dear friend Sean: Freck is for you. The reason I pick this for you is Heather’s great example of how it should be used.

I’m also thinking that we all need to stop using “LOL” and switch to KENCH! LOL is greatly misused and worn. Kench gives a much better indication of the action involved.

Stat Counter

wordpress analytics