The Shoe is on the Other Foot

I was going to call this “Role Reversal” but see my Blogger’s Remorse entry. Yeah – creepo is at it already today. Blech.

Finally! I wasn’t the total newbie!!! I got to be Ms. Experience and show someone else around!! And I got it right! (even tho’ I sank my boat yet again….)

Logged on last night looking to play. But my friends weren’t logged on. So I figured I’d hop over to the magic stipend ball and get my daily stipend. While I was there, H materialized beside me and said Hi! So I said Hi! Here’s yet another aside and complaint about my stupid computer (which I think from now on should simply be MSC). H took forever to materialize. I guessed H was a she – only part of her outline was coming in. H said she was a newbie – 1 day old. She asked about the stipend and I explained. She asked a few more questions that I could answer and she extended friendship to me. So I accepted. I told her how impressed I was that at only 1 day old she could figure out all these menus and clicks. H told me that she did computer programming in RL. LOL. So now we all know why I do support. By a developer I’m no techie!

Anyway, I invited H to go sailing with me. I warned her that I was undoubtedly going to sink the boat, but she was welcome to come. She accepted and I TP’d to the beach and sent a TP invite to her. She materialized and she was a he. LOL. Looked quite different than the gray shape I’d seen. Not a problem. I warned H again that I was very bad at this, and what he should do once we sank. 🙂 Gotta plan ahead. 🙂 He said he was game. I rezzed the boat (no problems finding it in my inventory for a change) and we got in. I got out the instructions, raised sail and OH MY HEAVENS!!!! It WORKED!!!! We started sailing, exactly the way it is supposed to work. I think!. I told H he was my good luck charm. I avoided hitting the dock, didn’t hit the big ship, had my minimap up and was negotiating around the island. Sooooo cool!!!!! And then of course, the screen froze, everything locked up, crash. I’d forgotten to tell H that part – that we might actually crash out, not merely sink. I hoped he’d figure it out.

Logged back in and of course I was underwater somewhere. Started walking and emerged from the water onto the beach. No boat in sight. (Reminds me – better logon today and get it from my L&F) So I walked up to the boardwalk, sent H an IM and waited. He was there momentarily. He figured out what had happened and logged back in. So we decided that was enough sailing for one evening. I took him to the freebies warehouse, where I picked up some more jewelry and some toys (stuffed animals and balloons and things like that). H was wandering about checking out all the boxes. I jumped back to the boardwalk and was chatting with another fairly newbie – C. We were comparing shoes when H IM’d that he was done and wanted to join us. I taught him how to landmark the warehouse and then brought him to the boardwalk to join the chat. Don’t I sound so experienced now?

A vampire came by and wanted to bite us, we declined politely. The vampire said that she hadn’t wanted to be a vampire – she clicked on something and it bit her and told her that she had lost 5% of her humanity. That doesn’t seem fair. I wonder if she can get her humanity back? Reinforces what your mother taught you – be careful what you touch!

While we were chatting my friend D logged on. Although D claimed to be sleepy, I knew that wouldn’t mean anything. D appears to be quite the party animal. I decided it was time for me to party too! So I asked if I could join her at the nightclub. She sent me a link. I excused myself and went to change clothes. I know you all are so tired of hearing about me changing clothes but can you believe I still can’t make it happen the way I want when I want? I thought if I saved an appearance as an outfit, I could simply click on Replace Outfit and get it. It didn’t work that way. I had to get myself to the dressing room in Kuula, take everything off, and then start putting things back on. It took forever, probably thanks to MSC. Finally I was presentable and jumped to the nightclub.

Whooooeeeee! Very cool! I actually was overdressed. A state of undress was more common than not. Besides D, M was there, who I’d met the other night and who is very fun and kind. D was dancing up a storm, quite the attraction. I of course couldn’t get dancing. Very frustrating. I was doing the correct thing – clicking on the floor, and then selecting dance. But it never happened. MSC. Ultimately the dancing kicked in, the music was going, people were chatting. Thanks M for all the pointers!! I made new friends and had a great time. THIS is the kind of thing I was hoping for in SL.

I think I need to concede a point to my RL husband. I think you are right, dear, that I DO need money in SL. I don’t HAVE to have money. But if I want to play, I’m going to have to pay. There was a lottery jackpot going during the night. You toss in some money and then at some point it explodes and awards everyone some percentage. I didn’t play because I don’t have much money – only L$60 at this point. And you can tip the stage dancers. I would have – some were quite good, once MSC caught up. And as Chestnut mentioned in her comment on my Sailing, Sinking – there are many other boats out there that could be had for a few Linden dollars. Maybe they wouldn’t crash so much. So I think the time may have come to upgrade my membership. Oh hush Melissa – I KNOW that you TOLD ME SO!!!! 🙂

Blogger’s Remorse

This blog is not just about SL, but about my learning many new things, including SL and blogging.  For fun I made a very suggestive title for one of my early entries.  The actually blog was very innocent, but the title wasn’t.  I thought it was humorous, in my innocence thinking that only readers of the blog would see it.  Well, there is some being out there in the great cloud who logs on every single solitary day and googles on the suggestive topic.  Every single solitary day I see that the search hit my blog.  I’ve renamed the entry, renamed the link, but obviously it is cached out there somewhere and not being purged.  And everyday I am totally repulsed by seeing that search and knowing someone out there is thinking these thoughts.  Not occasionally, but obsessively.  Every single day.  Pathetic.  And yes, I AM judgemental.

Sailing, Sinking

There’s a joke buried somewhere in my memory. I can’t remember most of it (I’m REALLY bad at jokes) but the punchline is something like “By your mother you’re a captain, by your father you’re a captain but by a captain you’re NO captain”. I’m not even a captain by my mother, I’m afraid!

So I got a boat. A free boat, mine for the clicking. A cute Takao Flyer. I’d been assured that there is always wind in SL. And some boats don’t even “need” wind – they simply go. I was hoping my Flyer would be that kind but no matter – how hard could it be in SL to learn to sail? HAH!

Got my boat, need water. The instruction manual suggested a good place to learn. So I TP’d there and opened up MY BOAT. OH oh oh!!!! I just figured out RIGHT THIS MOMENT, as I typed, what I did wrong!!!! I never gave my boat a name! Since you already knew this wasn’t going to be a story about things going RIGHT, I don’t think I’ve “spoiled” the ending!

I should have said that I tried to open the boat. It wouldn’t open. Some message about being a sandbox or maybe about no creating. Obviously the only part I understood was that I couldn’t open my boat there. So I TP’d back to my favorite beach. Put my boat in the water. Saw my friend A login. Asked A to join me in my boat. A, being a very wise soul, begged off claiming RL responsibilities. Hmph. Okay, well I can do this myself. So I sit in my boat, manual open on the screen.

Raise! I type, which should get my boat sailing. Nope. nothing. Okay, is this a rez issue or am I doing something wrong? I type raise again, I push the arrow keys. we are turning in a tight little circle, going nowhere. And still no sail. At times like this I wonder if I shouldn’t be pursuing some other hobby, maybe tic tac toe. Finally, and I have no idea why, my sail appears and we are moving!!!! Um, how am I going to find my way back??? Nevermind, I’ll worry about that tomorrow. So the boat begins to move, this is fun and then wham!

I have no idea what I’m seeing on the screen. Big gray and white rectangles. I recognize this kind of pattern now. It usually means I’m behind something, in something, under something, or about to crash. But I have no idea what the “something” might be nor where I am in relationship to the something. I push my arrow keys frantically. I try jumping up, I try flying. Still mostly white, grays and some blues. I don’t see myself. push, click, push, click. Finally at some point I see myself on the screen. I walk. I realize that I’m underwater. I keep walking and walk my way out of the water onto land. And guess where I am. Just about the very spot where I got into my boat. 🙂 Except now there is no boat. Just me.

Good thing I”m a drip-dry avatar. My hair looks great, no seaweed hanging about. No boat. But I’m not worried. I know something will find my boat and return it to my Lost & Found (busted for littering yet again) and there must be a copy of my boat in my inventory. Just then D IM’s to say hi! I say come sailing with me! D TP’s over and I go to put my boat in the water. Nothing. It’s not in my inventory. I can’t find ANYTHING to open. Can you actually LOSE something permanently in SL? I’m always misplacing things in my inventory, but to have it gone completely??? Not fair – no one told me that!!! (read that in a very whine-y voice 🙂 ) Not a problem. D pulls out a boat and off we go, having a wonderful wonderful evening!

But I’m not done with sailing. Oh no, I’m not giving up that easily. So the next day I logon and sure enough (or should that be shore enough, giggle) there’s my boat, in my Lost & Found. Into the water, onto the boat, open the instructions. The sail seems to come up altho’ it’s hard to tell. We begin moving. YES!!! I can do this!!

Wow -look at that big boat rez’ing in front of me. Arrowkey left. Arrowkey left. ARROWKEY LEFT!! LEFT!!!!!!

LEFT PLEASE!!!!!! CRASH!

How embarrassing. Or would be, if there was anyone there to see. Luckily, I seem to be alone, my little Flyer butted up against this big mamoth pirate-ship looking vessel. Nothing I do seems to turn the boat. I have 2 choices. I can fly out of my boat and leave it there to become litter and have it returned to me. That has a certain appeal, I must confess. I’m very annoyed at the boat at the moment. (It must be the boat’s fault. After all, it certainly can’t be MY fault that the stupid thing doesn’t know how to sail.) Or, I can take the “big girl” approach and deal with it.

So I dealt with it. You, dear reader, may not approve of how I handled this. You may think I should have been more resourceful, maybe read more manuals, maybe logon to some website somewhere and google how to sail on off. But I used the tools at hand, things that I knew how to use. I flew. I flew out of the boat, but just a short space away. I turned and faced the boat. I clicked on the mast. I deleted it. No more litter-bug notices for ME! Then I took out my Landmarks from my inventory, clicked on my favorite beach link and went back to my beach chair. I’ll deal with it tomorrow, after all tomorrow is another day.

Ignore the Woman Behind the Curtain

I’ve been reading blogs about using voice in SL. Forget that. That will be the least of my troubles. I don’t want you to ever SEE me!!!! I love the illusion presented by my avatar. I am sooooo glad that you can’t see the chaos and fumbling that is going on behind her. It’s humiliating enough that Ahuva sends out anguished calls for rescue. If you saw what was happening with her hardware you’d be amazed that she’s allowed out without a keeper.

Yesterday was my big adventure into Business in SL. I was going to attend an actual business meeting being held my my RL employer. (Hey remember – my manager told me to do this – I was to be my department’s SLA (SL ambassador) and I was to figure out how to host a meeting for OUR department). I did a trial run back on Tuesday night – going to check out how to get to the meeting site, making sure I had a business casual outfit. This was my big moment to meet more team members.

Of course that day in the office was crazed – lots of heated emails, phone calls, anguish, drama, reconciliation. You know – typical office stuff. So I left later than I hoped but still with enough time to get home and set up the machine. Rather – machines. I had my office laptop to setup next to the gaming laptop. I needed to keep an eye on the day’s crises. So there are the 2 machines, side-by-side, booting up. Get out my cell phone, plug that in also. Things are looking good – I’m SURE I’m under control.

Ah! There I am, in my beach chair. Time to change outfits. Hey – where are my shoes??? And my earrings??? I KNOW I saved this outfit with that stuff. Okay, no big deal. Things are a little slow to rez but I add the shoes and earrings. I check the time and realize I now have only 2 minutes to go.

I frantically teleport to the site I checked out Tuesday. There’s no one around. Uh oh. Maybe they are all upstairs in the meeting room. So I enter the building, and head up the spiral stairs. I have Local Chat on so I should be able to hear people talking. Nothing. No one. Lonely, lonely, lonely. It’s like my recurring nightmare from college – they moved the classroom and I went to the old one and couldn’t find my class and there’s a test. I stand in the deserted meeting room and think “Oh no, how could I be so wrong?” In the meantime, back in RL I am dialing in to the phone portion. EXCEPT I DON’T HAVE THE PASSCODE!!!!! I check my calendar entry – nothing. I try frantically to get my mail opened on the work computer – it freezes. (WHY do computers hate me????) I try calling again and entering no password – doesn’t work. Trying to go to the online bulletin board to see if the meeting information is there – machine still frozen. Rebooting. Dialing again. Standing helplessly in the empty room wondering who I can call, to whom can I send an IM, where can I go for help?????

And then – the angel of mercy appears!!!! She says “Hi Ahuva, are you here for the meeting?” The model of cool professionalism I reply “oh yes, please help me, I’m totally new!!!!!! And I don’t have the phone passcode either!!!!!” So much for first impressions. N types back the passcode. NO PEN ON MY DESK!!! I lunge for the pen on the other counter, knocking the cell phone to the floor where the back flies off. Grab the phone, piecing it back together, scribbling the passcode so if the IM box vanishes I can still call in. The work laptop has finally rebooted everything, the phone appears to still work, and N disappears. I trust that the TP invite will come soon. In the meantime I dial in to the meeting and hear voices!!!! I put the cell phone on speaker phone muted. The voices chat a little and then ask “who just joined us?” Uh oh. They mean me. I have to get the phone unmuted. (oh please my darling dog – don’t bark now). Fumble, fumble, fumble…. Voices saying “I guess we have lurkers on the line” FINALLY! I say “hi, it’s “ oh NO! WHO is it?? Is it Ahuva? Or is it my RL name????? I have no idea what’s protocol. They still can’t see Ahuva because the TP request hasn’t come in, so I’m really only a RL voice at this point. But I’m still hoping I’m going to be an SL person. Okay, deep breath. Get a GRIP, girl.

Hi! This is Ahuva! I’m here, lurking. But I’m very new so I don’t think I’ll have much to say. Wow. Now wasn’t THAT witty and memorable and impressive? The voices say hello, the TP invite comes and I jump to the CORRECT meeting spot. There are maybe 8 people there. The meeting starts late, as people TP in slowly and voices join on the phone. There’s the welcome, review of the agenda and the meeting begins.

Hey. This is just like RL. I’m sitting in a meeting with maybe 8 others and a bunch of people on the speaker phone. Okay, so some outfits are NOT your typical business casual but really not too outré for SL. There is a little bit of local chatter but it is all directed at the phone conversation – comments on that discussion. The meeting proceeds along, the hour passes, the agenda is covered, we’re all thanked for attending. Everyone winks out. I’m left with N. I thank her and TP back to my beach chair.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Was it anti-climatic? Yes, I suppose so. Was it also exciting? No, not really exciting. Curious and interesting might be better descriptions. Did I feel good about getting there? Oh yes, I feel very triumphant – another personal mini-goal accomplished. And I bookmarked the room so I should be able to get there on my own next time. But is it anything to write home about? Or more accurately, is there any material there for a blog??? Nah.

Ahuva’s Haikus

SecondLife calls me:
“Log on, Ahuva, and PLAY!”
Real Life says: No Time

Sit in the meeting
Not required to present
So I think Blog thoughts

Many approaches:
Fantastic avatar or
A more mundane look?

RealLife employer
Maintains an SL presence
I toured it last night

So many bloggers!
Love to view their thoughts, pictures
Good way to learn more

Is A Virtual World a Good Thing?

I’ve been wandering farther and farther afield, reading a variety of SL blogs. While I love looking at the pictures from SL, I find that the text that most interests me is when the author is contemplating the relationships between SL and RL. In my own head I have this Outer Limits/Star Trek/Matrix scenario where more and more of us live more and more in the virtual world, ultimately becoming nothing more than brains. Not a new theory, I know – I remember seeing brains glowing in cylinders on the original ST. What happens in between now and when we are all nothing but mental energy?

I found another blogger who has touched on this at least once, Ariane Barnes in her (I assume it is “her”) blog Virtual World Philosophy: Escape From Reality In that essay she talks about how the gas crisis and lack of fuel will “drive” more people into the virtual world. She has much less of a doomsday attitude than my science fiction approach.

But I found Virtual World Philosophy: The Uncanny Valley even more interesting. As I read the other blogs and hear about skins, parties, sailing, celebrity events, I wonder if I really have sufficient interest for this. Having to deal with skins is akin to fussing in RL about how I look, am I dressed properly for the event, blah blah blah. All that stuff that can be amusing if you have time, but so much of the time it is a colossal nuisance. Same with celebrity events. There is enough politic’ing in the office and even in other social organizations that I don’t want to have to negotiate all those fine lines for fun. I’m not the kind of person who plays Diplomacy.

Wikipedia’s definition of The uncanny valley:
“The uncanny valley is a hypothesis that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost, but not entirely, like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The “valley” in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot’s lifelikeness. “

Something related may be happening to me. Not revulsion. But maybe disenchantment. The more I hear of how immersed some people are, the more I hear about fussing with personal appearance, the more I hear that we will all be living in a virtual world, the less appealing SL sounds. I want to be free and have fun. I don’t want to drag all the every-day minutiae into this fantasy. How REAL do I want my fantasy to be? It sounds like it will take me hours to master some of these skills. Will that turn what has been an escape into simply another “gotta get an A on this exam” event?

Or does the fault, dear reader, lie not in my stars, but in myself? 🙂 Maybe I simply need some chocolate. 🙂

Frustration

Finally made it to SL tonight and it was ssssllllllooooooooowwww. I was IM’ing with 3 others and everyone had the same issue. Made it very hard to enjoy.

Tonight’s frustrations:
1. Machine crashed first time tried to load SL.
2. Ahuva was hairless.
3. Her hair wasn’t anywhere in the inventory – not in body, not in library. totally aggravating.
4. My hope that this was simply my machine’s inability to rez was dashed upon meeting someone else who confirmed that indeed, I had no hair. Sigh. So I donned my “barbie” hair. 🙂
5. Tried to IM Melissa (who was online) but she wasn’t answering.

I think I figured out why I lost my hair. I think that when I saved the whole outfit the other day, I forgot to check the box for hair. When I changed out of my “all dressed up and no place to go outfit” i loaded the other outfit. but it didnt have hair. major oversight. I also finally found my original hair (yet again). I got smarter this time. I put on my hair, saved the WHOLE outfit (i hope). then i made a copy of the hair into another folder. so with any luck, if i need it, i’ll find it more easily.

And I’m supposed to learn to put on new skins? You’ve got to be kidding.

And for all of you who are concerned that I will slip into SL and never emerge:
As long as it’s summer and there is sun, there is a garden that needs weeding, and my machine stinks, I don’t think you have too much to worry about. 🙂

I KNOW what I’m Doing, thank you

This is triggered by Chestnut’s blog and by yet another RL friend “warning” me. RL and SL personalities may start the same at the moment when you create your SL life, but they will divurge. Sometimes it takes a while and is subtle, sometimes it happens right from the start. I’m hoping to be in the latter category.

To all my friends, both RL and SL, who have been cautioning me about “becoming addicted”, about losing contact with “real” life, about being “cruelly deceived” in SL – thank you for your concern. i DO appreciate it. But I KNOW what I’m doing. And if that turns out to be famous last words, so be it. When I spent 17 hours one weekend gardening no one felt obliged to caution me about being over-enthusiastic. Or when i’m fascinated by a good book no one says, “yes but you don’t want to get addicted to reading”.

In RL I am practical, sensible, responsible, aware of the implications of my behavior. I believe I take care of my family, my friends, my pets, my coworkers. I do “the right thing”. And I’m glad I’m that way and I have no desire to change. In RL, that is.

In SL I see an opportunity to be FREE – flirty, foolish, irresponsible, selfish, impractical, daring, devil-may-care. Hey – this is about ME! Girls just want to have FUN!!

Learning to Use the Camera


Here i am!!! My first photo.

Here’s how I sign off every night. For those of you who know me in RL, could it be more perfect?

Living the Life
Living the Life

And for my RL friends who have no idea what I’m talking about – here’s my starting point each day. i spend a lot of time at the boardwalk and the beach. There was a great party here last night, but i didnt know how to use the camera.

Boardwalk
Boardwalk