That 10-yr Challenge

Or, Why I Love My Avatar.

I have no intention of participating in the current “10 year challenge” that is happening on social media. ahuva-in-sl First because I’m sure it is another attempt to mine personal data for someone else’s benefit, not mine. Another reason is that often my profile pic is not of my face, but of something special – flowers, the ocean, a cityscape. That type of picture does not lend itself to a 10 year comparison.

When I began this blog all those years ago to document my life and adventures in Second Life, I set up a Flickr account as well, for all the pictures I enjoyed but would not be posting to the blog. Lately I’ve been seeing emails about “Your Flickr Account is Changing!” I confess that I tend to ignore those types of emails. As it happened, however, I wanted to login to Flickr to see and like someone else’s photos. just-2-weeks-ago Once I was in, I got a warning that “Your photos might be at risk”. Apparently the free accounts will be limited to 1000 pictures. I didn’t think that would matter to me but I was somewhat surprised to realize that I had well over 1000 pictures posted to Flickr, including pictures from First Life, not just Second Life. I began opening my photo albums.

Well. I have thought that I am aging fairly well. Taking care of my skin, my hair, my weight. I thought I was not doing too badly. Ouch. I saw a picture of me, Shen & Oura from about 9-10 years ago. Oh my, I looked SO GOOD!!!! I will go so far as to say I was ‘hot’. I looked at that picture, I thought about what the mirror shows me. I am going to have to revise my definition of “aging well”. *laughing*

In the meantime, Ahuva looks great. *grin* As good now as she looked 10 years ago. πŸ™‚


Just returned from Las Vegas, Nevada. *laughing* IS there any other Las Vegas???? Saturday night was spent at the Fremont Street Experience. Fremont Street was the original “strip” in Vegas before the current strip – with all the amazing theme resort casinos. Fremont Street has Glitter Gulch. The Golden Nugget. Tony Roma’s. Now a 5 block stretch of Fremont is covered over with a huge arch which hosts an incredible light display every hour. There are music stages in the street, vendors, drinks, casinos, lights, food, and people EVERYWHERE in the street. People dancing in the street. Drinking in the street. Taking a million pictures in the street, because there are dozens and dozens of denizens dressed in costume. The tourists are dressed in a complete spectrum from bathing suits to full coverage and the costumed regulars – well – let your imagination run wild. I loved it. It was when the 2 furries passed me that I realized why I was so happy and why I felt so comfortable. Fremont Street is the closest I’ve ever been to experiencing SL in RL. There are mostly naked people, furry people, oddly shaped people, people in every kind of outfit you can imagine, people in thongs and pasties and high high heels, people with ‘wings’, superheroes. I loved it. I walked about with a huge smile on my face, wishing that I’d had on some of my Ahuva shoes. Most of Ahuva’s outfits are way too tame for Freemont street, but I do have a few that would have had tourists paying me to take my pic with them. *grin* Oh yes – shoes….. *bigger grin* shipped home TWO pair of cowboy boots. Ahuva does Vegas.

Ladies’ Day Out at the Fashion Show

I racked up another first yesterday. I attended a fashion show. I’ve never attended one in RL or SL before yesterday. But I got word of a fashion show at Shengri La – Jare Capalini was having a show of his latest creations. So my curiosity was piqued. I decided that I would attend and find out, perhaps, what the world of fashion is all about. But being the natural coward that I am, I decided that I needed friends to keep me company. I still have doubts about my ability to manage the camera, the chats and the surroundings all at the same time. I figured friends would make sure I didn’t miss anything I needed to see. Turns out most of the folks I know had never been to a fashion show before either. So we all tp’d in to the event not having any idea what to expect.

jare-fashions-1We were greeted warmly when we arrived and were encouraged to pick up the shoes (designed by Jare, of course) being offered to the attendees. They are very cute! The stage setting was lovely which by now is exactly what I expect when I visit Shengri La. The bar is quite high there. πŸ™‚ And Shengri La is wearing its winter weather – snow all around. At first glance it appeared that there might not be enough chairs for all of us. We were five and I only saw 2 empty chairs. But these chairs were cleverly designed by Dale. Once the last chair was filled, another chair rezzed into an open space. The script even displays an arrow to warn you where the next chair will rez. So there were seats aplenty. We tried to stick together on the edge of the crowd.

We settled in and did not have long to wait for the show. I was wondering if there would be VOIP or a running commentary in the local chat. Instead we were all welcomed to the show with a brief introduction and then the models began to walk the runway. From my point of view it appeared that all the models came out on time, no one tripped, things seemed smooth. So kudos to Michele! Now you know that I am totally clueless about fashion. πŸ™‚ I don’t know the right terms, phrases, techniques. So bear with me while I attempt a description. I apologize in advance if my lack of knowledge in this subject leads me to say something incorrectly or to say something inadvertently insulting.

To my eye, it seemed as if Jare had focused on a winter theme. The colors appeared to be fairly monochromatic – a lot of whites, with some gray. Many of the outfits made me think of snow – light, fluffy. I, of course, kept zooming in on the shoes and boots. Yeah, I know – I have a one-track mind. But that is something I will keep in mind for my next fashion show. πŸ™‚ I need to get my camera aimed at one good spot on the runway, so that I can snap pictures of the outfits quickly. I missed several shots I would have liked because I am too slow to focus on a moving target – a model attending-the-fashion-showwalking the runway. πŸ™‚ We were all quite taken with Jare’s original and intriguing creations. I’d seen the pod coat before but the gowns were new. I know I sound so completely newbie and naive but I am so impressed by how inventive builders are in SL. Everytime I see textures and shapes used for clothing and art I am awed at the talent all around in SL.

This show confirmed something that I think I realized awhile ago. For me – SL is about friends. I like seeing what everyone creates and invents and all the possibilities. But I REALLY like hanging out with friends, laughing and talking and sharing stories and having a good time. It was fun to introduce my friends to each other and see everyone get along. After the show we went shopping together at the Vintage Marketplace. We swapped landmarks for buying hair. We made plans to play again. I think we all had a lot of fun. And at the end of the day – that’s why I’m in SL.

What Does YOUR SL Look Like?

Alright…. don’t say I never listen to you Dale. Keeping the meme going…. It seems to have started on Osprey’s blog. then HeadBurro AntFarm took up the theme. I have to say – I have never heard of some of the options mentioned! I will be heading from here to learn more. For instance – I didn’t know I could turn off my own name!!! πŸ™‚ I found the thread when Dale posted it to his blog. I looked at his screen and thought – wow – that doesn’t work for me. So my screen probably doesn’t work for YOU, either! πŸ™‚ What DOES your SL look like?

I always have the mini-map and camera controls. My inventory opens in the bottom right. I close it down when I’m done with it. My Mysti Tool is always on the bottom right, under the inventory. My AO is on the bottom left. I don’t separate my local chat and my IMs. But I rather liked how Dale had that – maybe I will start. πŸ™‚ Obviously my name is on (since I don’t know how to turn it off) but I never have a group tag on unless I must. When I am working, I usually need voice chat so that is on the bottom left. Never heard of chat bubbles, hovertips or selection beam, all things that HeadBurro mentions. HeadBurro also mentions something about camera constraints (#17 on his (her?) blog) so s/he doesn’t build underground. Okay – I REALLY need that – I keep rezzing things on the 1st floor when I’m on the 2nd floor. πŸ™‚ And I don’t know what Osprey and HeadBurro mean about “suppressing the UI”. So I’m guessing that I don’t do that. I do tend to leave the camera on the middle left when I use it – just habit, since that’s where I first got used to it. I don’t leave Search or Map open – I simply put them in the least annoying spot when I use them and then minimize or close them as soon as possible.

Okay – here it is. I hope I managed to keep everything confidential that I need confidential. πŸ™‚ Tried to make sure no names were showing. πŸ™‚ I notice that property lines are still on. LOL. I NEED them because I still don’t know where my land starts and stops. πŸ™‚ Maybe once I finish landscaping I will turn them off again.


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. πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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….. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ (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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

They’ve said it better

I’m done commenting on the price increases. I don’t own land, I don’t fully understand land ownership in SL and I am not good at envisioning the future. I think that Landsend reflects most closely how I feel. I think that Dale may have the most realistic explanation for it all. I found Soph’s analysis both intriguing and funny. And Night (Yay! so glad she is back) discusses what should be done to prevent another drama like this in the future. That’s it. Read them and read Prad, Bailey and Honour. They are all far more informed and articulate than I. That’s why they are all on my blog roll. As for leaving SL for OpenLife… well, until I can have my hair and my boots, I’m not going. Yeah, I know – totally shallow. πŸ™‚ But as long as Bailey and Honour and Prad and Dale and everyone else are here, so am I.

Aribeth posted the other day about how she felt betrayed and deceived when an SL friend lied about their RL self. I thought about that a lot before commenting on her post. I know that a lot of people come into SL to role-play. As my last post states, that’s not my purpose. I may be picking which of my RL aspects are emphasized, but I am still me. There is nothing about me in SL that is not true of me in RL. (At least, I don’t think there is. But the mind is a funny beast….) The reason I mention this here now is because of Krissy’s comment on my post. Krissy’s statement “And when I make a friend in sl, it’s with the intention of making a real friend. Not friends that are playing a role along side me” has me pondering the subject. I am still not convinced that role-playing is such a terrible thing. I believe that SL is a place where you can and should explore yourself. Role-playing only becomes an issue when you begin to form deep, emotional connections with others. If those people are also role-playing, I suspect there is no issue. But if those people are more akin to me and Krissy and Aribeth, I think that somewhere along the path to emotional intimacy, the role-player needs to reveal the person behind the facade. There is a post in here somewhere, but I need to think on it more and clarify for myself what is troublesome and when it becomes problematic. Since it has never happened to me, I don’t know what I’d do or feel. In the meantime, you might want to see what Ari has to say.

Appearances Can Deceive

Okay, WHERE are my eyelashes??? I was all set to put my photo up on my profile. No eyelashes. Now I know I don’t wear much makeup in RL OR SL, but really. No eyelashes?? Even in RL I usually brush on a bit of mascara. If I edit my appearance in SL and check out my (blue) eyes, there are eye lashes there. I see them. I still can’t flutter them, but they are there. But when I take a close-up picture w/ the camera – no eye lashes.

I’m on strike. I refuse to update my profile until someone finds my eyelashes.