Last night I was a bit cranky, a bit down. My mind kept circling in the same grooves, all of which were annoying. I remembered that “back in the day” when I was in this kind of mood, I’d head into SL for friends, live music, some relaxation.
I logged in and decided to head to my favorite go-to location – Fogbound Blues club. There was a time in this blog when I’d remember to capture all the links, the map locations. These days when I log in I can barely remember how to move myself, much less my camera, and even less remember how to find and save information. Trying to change out of my jeans & sweater to my adorable skating outfit was almost painful. 🙂
I made it to Fogbound and had a very difficult time moving about, or even getting my camera to do what I wanted. I finally saw an open chair and SAT there, listening to DJ Panther for a bit. As I sat there I IM’d my friend Honey who was inworld. She invited me to come skating. Ahhh, memories. We used to skate all the time back in the day, back at ShengriLa. (That is not a typo.) I said that sounded like a great idea and she sent me the TP (which is NOT toilet paper, for all you relative new-comers to this blog – it is Teleportation address).
I was just about to accept it when I realized one of my 2 absolute favorite musicians – Noma Falta – was playing live at the moment. (The other absolute fav is Komuso Takagawa, without whose music I could never survive the yearly traumatic procedure on my tongue.) I bopped over to hear Noma. I did a tad better once I got there, remembering how to find her, move closer, not bump into anyone. I stayed for one great blues song but then TP’d to ice skate.
What fun. For those of you who have never become immersed in a virtual reality, you have to believe me when I tell you that for me being in SL, living through my avatar, feels extremely real. My brain can accept what my eyes and ears send it and translate that as “real”. Honey and I skated and chatted and caught up on life. It was simply fantastic. Just what I needed. Well, maybe what I need is a new gaming computer. This Lenovo does NOT render the graphics anywhere near as wonderfully as my Alienware did in its day. My husband and son have fancy-dancy gaming computers. Maybe if *I* had one too, I’d spend more time in SL. Heaven knows reality has not been such a joy the last few years.
The pictures have nothing to do with the post. But you might find this post tl;dr or you might find it a bit distressing or unpleasant. So look at the cats. 🙂
Sigh. So it came back. I knew it would. I hoped it wouldn’t but since it came back a second time I was sure that we are now going to have this as a yearly occurrence. And sure enough – it came back. What is “it”? It’s this stupid area on my tongue, that I never even noticed the first time, because it’s on the underside of my tongue and really – who stares at their tongue all that much? My dentist noticed it and sent me to the oral surgeon. He said – yeah, we need to remove that. We could laser it off but then we won’t know what it is, so we are better off cutting it off. Just stop there a moment folks and picture someone saying to YOU: “We’re going to take a slice off your tongue.” I didn’t really handle it all that well. That first year they used only local anesthesia and I stupidly watched them part of the time and could hear them and I thought I might have a stroke right there in the chair. I was so traumatized emotionally that I couldn’t even process the fact that after the first day it wasn’t so painful and it healed fairly quickly. Somewhere along the line my nerves had snapped and I was completely traumatized. Ended up with an ulcer. Dropped something like 5 pounds in 3 days. I told them if we EVER had to do this again I needed to be unconscious and completely unaware. When the results came back they were the kind that the medical professionals say “oh that’s good” and the patient says “oh dear heavens what is going to happen to me?” All *I* can remember now is that it was “dysplasia“: “Before cancer cells form in tissues of the body, the cells go through abnormal changes called hyperplasia and dysplasia.” Everyone else was like “oh great it’s NOT cancer” and I was “oh dear heavens I could have cancer of the tongue”. No one in my family has or had cancer. A medical friend said to me “and that’s still true”. But it’s not his tongue.
I survived. I wasn’t happy. I refused to look at my tongue for a year. I skipped the 6 month go-back-and-see-the surgeon. I see my dentist 3x a year. I figured if it came back, she would know. It came back. I said you will knock me out so I have no idea what is happening. They said not a problem. But the closer it got to the procedure, the more I thought about it. If it was going to come back every year, well maybe it was time to put on my big girl pants, as the saying goes. How could I survive this? The physical recovery had not been that bad. It was the procedure and the initial terror of the procedure and possible results. If I could get through the procedure, it would be better to not use anesthesia. Especially if it were to be a yearly event, karma forbid. I came up with a plan. *smile* Oh, Komuso Tokugawa, your Downtempo Bluestronica was my salvation. I had downloaded 3 of his Downtempo Bluestronica riffs, each of them just under an hour. I knew that Bluestronica2 was loud enough, with few enough pauses that if I played it VERY LOUDLY through ear buds into my ears, I wouldn’t hear if the world ended around me. And that is what I did. I got to the office, told them I had my big girl pants on, that on their say-so I would start playing the music and would keep my eyes shut, and they could pull out the ear bud when they were ready for me to return. IT WORKED! I was ecstatic! The recovery seemed to be going well. So well in fact that I got overly confident and went out to a plant nursery with my sister on my 2nd full day of recovery. We stopped at a fast food joint for a treat and although all I’d had up to that point was water, I had a dish of what passes for ice cream at the golden arches. That was Saturday afternoon. By Sunday afternoon my entire mouth had erupted in viral sores. Had I been able to swallow pills I’d have killed myself to end the pain. I searched for every home remedy I could find to find some relief. I sent my husband out with a list of items to find – a medical scavenger hunt if you will. Ask Honour about that whole ordeal. On Tuesday I was texting with her and pleading to die. Finally on Wednesday the sores were healing a trifle, the OTC remedies were stopping the pain, and my husband no longer had to bar the door to keep me from heading to the river. And I thought “I can’t do this again.” Sure enough it was the same result – displaysia.
You know the story. It came back this year. The surgeon is sure it must be caused by my tongue rubbing on my teeth. We have tried 2 different mouth guards, and he has ground down the teeth. I don’t actually believe that but I don’t have any other idea. I knew I’d have to call the surgeon and get it removed. I knew I could get by with Komuso’s help. I knew I could not eat or drink anything after the procedure. I would have to gargle with salt water every hour and follow that with a chaser of Rx mouthwash gargle. If I could make it through the first 24 hours of pain, and total gross-out from feeling stitches in my mouth, maybe I could avoid the sores. This is the year of covid19. We sat in the parking lot until it was my turn to come in the side door, wearing my mask and gloves, carrying only my iPod, spare battery, and phone. They checked my temperature at the door. I had to sign 2 different forms avowing I did not have covid19 nor had I been in any contact with anyone who had it. I hadn’t put the pen down before they were disinfecting the counter top. They disinfected the chair and the counters in the room when I entered. Everyone had face shields and gloves and coverups. Yeah, really adds to the calming effort when you can’t really see faces or smiles. 😦 And for me – do you know how WEIRD it felt to remove my mask in front of these strangers???? Amazing at how fast we can be conditioned. I asked it there was any magic wand to prevent the sores this year. The surgeon said that they really get triggered by stress. Sigh. I knew that. I wanted the magic wand. This year the procedure was much shorter than in the past – I didn’t really even have time to disappear into the music. Apparently part of what I thought was “it” was actually scar tissue. We’re waiting to hear the biopsy results. I’m sure they will be the same as the previous years. I asked the doctor if we could laser it next year. We know what it is, we don’t need to biopsy. He said, yeah, that he was thinking the same thing. I was fairly brave. I did end up crying when they give me the needles for the local. Trust me – it hurts and the music hadn’t started yet.
I’m on Day 3 of recovery. So far no sores. The pain was there as expected on the first day, but I kept popping the pain pills, and kept an ice pack to my cheek, and sipped some iced water. That’s how I spent the first 8 hours home. Then I fell asleep and was out for 21 hours. I might wear my big girl pants but they only cover the outside – the inside still goes through the pre-surgery days of fear and anxiety, the actual trauma of the needles and stitches and pain. And of course – I headed into it worn down, as are we all, by life in a pandemic. I still can’t quite chew food, and I’m still more tired than I’d like. My head is still very fuzzy. Spoke to my retired doctor who said, as he has said for year: “You have crapped up ears.” Or some equally technical explanation. I described the odd kind of whooshing or maybe it’s clicking or maybe it’s some other sound I can’t quite identify that happens when I move my head. But not always. And how I’m hearing music in silence. It appears that besides all the other joys I’ve acquired as I’ve aged, I may also suffer from tinnitus. The ‘music’ in silence is not too bad and I’ve had that awhile. It’s that whoosh/drumbeat/whatever when I move my head. He thinks that may be aggravated by the recent procedure and that it might fade as everything else comes back to normal. I hope so. It adds to the general fuzziness from being off schedule and off diet.
I know that in the scheme of things, something like this falls under the self-indulgent category of “first world problems”. I’m fortunate that I have a great RL support team. And that I have my SL escape. You’ll find me there tonight. Calli will be playing big band and jive. I wonder if I’m well enough yet to have a cocktail?
I’ve been reading a LOT, although mostly books that do not challenge and are not edifying and ARE an attempt at escapism. I’ve watched more TV in the last 2 months than I have probably watched in the last 5 years combined – I’m NOT a big TV watcher. I haven’t been able to work in the garden and see the neighbors working in their gardens or folks taking walks. I confess – I was lonely. What do you do if you are lonely and want people and music and company but you are practicing separation and isolation? You go home to SecondLife.
I know that a lot of the folks who follow this blog started following long after my SL days. You seem to enjoy my musings on my cats, my garden, life in general, work, the weather and all those other aspects of what is also known as IRL – “in real life”. This blog started as a chronicle of my adventures in SL. It was a marvelous time. I was privileged to not only enjoy SL in my private life but could work and build and develop as part of my professional career as well. But time moves on, people take new jobs, people die, get new interests, have other obligations. *rueful smile* Gaming laptops age. All of those things happened and I stopped going into SL. It took me a few years to surrender my land. I was paying around $40 a month, I think, for something I never used. I was never able to convince myself to give up my premium status, however. I was paying $72 a year for that until this past payment when it rose to $100/yr. Even so, I could not make that break. I had a zillion rationalizations for why I should keep the account.
I’d been chatting via social media with a friend from those good old SL days and we agreed to try to meet inworld. She had a new avatar, a new life, new friends, new everything there. Last night I went ‘home’. *laughing* Good grief, I’d forgotten SO MUCH. First, my pool with my ducks was making SO MUCH NOISE it was making me crazy. Why did I ever think pool sounds were a good idea? I knew I had to open the item, find the script that made the noise and stop it, but could not remember how to do it. I’ve also realized that at some point when we moved from our home on the water to our treetop home, Drake dyed his feathers yellow. He used to be white. I had 2 white ducks and one yellow and now I have 2 yellow ducks and one white one. I asked Drake why and he said he needed a new look for a new home. Bill, as usual, was totally oblivious to everything.
I did a little better at moving around and getting my panda, Bamboo, to come back and join me. Thank goodness my friend came inworld and helped me remember how to stop scripts, manage sound. Wow. Did she look different. I knew she had a new avatar, but avatar structure and movement have improved immensely since I was there last. Her fingers MOVED! My fingers are very blocky looking. We sat and talked and talked (yes, talked, we both went to voice, not just text chat). She promised to meet me again and take me shopping for a new body, new head, new hair and lots of new clothes!!!! I’m so excited! 🙂
While we were talking other friends logged in and saw that I was logged in. I got several IMs saying hello and *hug*. I accepted a TP from a friend to a performance going on by one of the musicians I always liked – Grace McDonnough. In this case TP means Teleport, NOT toilet paper. 🙂 I had a great time talking to my friend there, and hearing Grace’s singing. From there I headed over to Prim Economy to hear Komuso Tokugawa, who is one of my top 2 favorite performers in SL. I still listen to his music (which I had downloaded). I made a new friend there as we shared conversation about horses and shoes. The inworld versions of both have apparently improved as much as the avatars. She says that when you are riding a horse inworld you actually have the natural movement of a horse (you used to simply move forward with no rise and fall). I’m extremely excited to try riding in SL again. My good friend Calli was inworld. I managed to get over to Tribeca to catch the very last song of her set. Since it was Friday, and it was Tribeca, of course the closing song was “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. It’s ALWAYS Hallelujah. Last night’s rendition was by Jeff Buckley.
I went back in on Saturday, too. This time I remembered how to adjust my draw rate (how far away you can see items) and quality of detail. Slowly but surely some of the tricks are coming back. I caught up with another dear friend from the “old days”. I also got to hear Noma Falta live. I swear she gets better all the time. She was rocking it out at Smokestack. That venue was new for me. I like it. Had good seating, good dancing scripts, lots of people there. I did see one or two familiar names in the audience. It was another lovely evening. I sat there sipping my wine, listening to great music, chatting with my friend, catching up on all that has been happening. I was home. 🙂
If you’ve read this blog from its inception, you know it began as a chronicle of my adventures in Second Life. Although I still maintain my (premium) account, I’ve not logged in for well over a year, maybe even longer than that. But for several years Friday night meant hanging about in SL, and listening to live music. I could always count on hearing Komuso Tokugawa, Von Johin, Taunter Goodnight, Keeba Tammas, Euterpe Queller, and Noma Falta. I loved them all but 2 of my best buds were friends with Noma. Friday nights would find me hanging with them for an hour, rocking out with Noma, who covered a lot of the strong women rockers, with a lot of Melissa Etheridge’s work. I loved my Friday nights filled with music, whether the live performances or hearing my favorite DJ Calli spin the tunes.
It’s been a very long time, as I said, and not only do I not get inworld anymore, I rarely get out for live music in the RL (is that outworld?). When my husband asked me a few weeks ago if I’d like to hear Melissa Etheridge I couldn’t say YES fast enough. Last night was Melissa-night.
We headed out for dinner in town first. We love catching an easy meal at the bar of one of the local restaurants. We love the bar (I mean the physical tangible wood, shape, look), the bartender (we’re on our 2nd bartender there), and the bar menu. I’m less thrilled with the dinner menu – the chef is enamored of pork in all forms and I don’t eat treyf. We were in luck all night long. There was room in the parking garage with a spot right near the exit door we needed. We walked to the restaurant and it wasn’t too cold nor was it raining. Given the weather lately, that was extremely lucky. There were seats at the bar (often come the holiday season the bar is full). When I told Matt (the bartender) I wanted something that would be warm and comforting he mentioned they had hot mulled red wine. PERFECT!!! My husband and I both ordered our favorite selections and sipped our drinks, chatted with each other, with Matt and had a great dinner.
We headed up to the theater and although it seemed like it might start raining, it stopped after just a very light sprinkle. We were warmed up from our meal so I have no idea if it was cold or not. *grin* Funny thing happened as I went through the bag check. The usher was looking in my bag and saw my lip gloss (really a lip moisturizer). She saw the brand name and got all excited saying she had wanted to try that brand, how did I like it? *laughing* So I stood there discussing cosmetics with her before being waved on through.
Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I seem to remember that when someone went to a concert there was no food or drink allowed in the theater, people listened to the performance and being there was about enjoying the performance, NOT about having conversations and wandering all over the theater. Times have changed. I admit I like being able to take a drink to my seat. But I noticed the gentleman in front of me reading recipes on his cell phone (I was standing, he was sitting and I happened to glance down). Really? Melissa is rocking the joint and you’re reading your cell phone?
I’m old enough to remember folks lighting cigarette lighters or matches as appreciation for the artist. I do not find folks holding up their cell phones to shine that light to be anywhere near as intimate and compelling as the fire. 🙂 I also marvel at the people who spent most of the night filming Melissa instead of putting down the phone and WATCHING her DIRECTLY and moving to the music.
It was a great night, don’t mistake me. Melissa has such energy, such passion up there. As my husband said on our way out “she has energy like Bruce” and I agreed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone who has Bruce’s energy but she may have come the closest. Oh really, you need me to tell you who BRUCE is??? Shame on you.
But there I was, rocking out to Melissa Etheridge on a Friday night. It was like SL, but better. 🙂
I’ve been neglecting my blog, I know. First it was no gaming computer, now it’s because I’m super busy. I want to talk to you all about that, btw, so brace yourselves. Today, however, is all about my ‘baby’. Who turned 21. Oh. Em. Gee. That means it’s time for The Cake. I’m baking and cooking for family birthday dinner tonight. Of course I need music. I plugged in my iPod and hit shuffle. Just a few songs in…–> Komuso Tokugawa doing his Downtempo Bluestronica. Perfect. I LOVE his Downtempo Bluestronica. This cake is always fantastic (just ask the folks who get to enjoy it) but this year it will have extra-special good karma from the infusion of Komuso!
Many times in this blog I have talked about how much I enjoy the music of Komuso Tokugawa, SL musician extraordinaire. Several weeks ago he began sharing a new approach in his music – his downtempo bluestronica. It is fantastic. I love it. He played it one weekend and all of the Komuso fans were thrilled. We were tweeting, plurking, IM’ing and emailing friends to come listen. I was riveted all three performances. Each night he played the downtempo for a solid hour at his SL gig. Even better, he recorded all three performances. You can purchase those three hours online.
Today I got to the office. It’s raining and gray and my skylight at home is leaking. I left it with buckets to catch the water. (Yes, I already spoke to my guardian angel handyman.) I got to the office door and the alarm, a high-pitched beep, was ringing. That was 6 hours ago. It is still ringing. It hasn’t stopped. I had an email informing me that one of my “problem” clients has tossed his problem back to me, insisting that what I suggested does not work, even though I know that it does and I suspect a major communication problem. In the office today there is a lot of LOUD talking and laughing and “discussion”. I’m following the news about Penn State way too closely, so that is a roller-coaster of good and bad. (Check out http://www.proudtobeapennstater.com/ – we reached 4/5 of our goal, in less than 7 days. Raising money for RAIHNN.)
What’s a gal to do to make it through the noisy frustrating day? She puts on the headset, clicks on her legally purchased 3 hours of Komuso downtempo bluestronica and glides off into bliss. I tell you – that man can PLAY. You really need to hear it.
Saturday night’s alright for fighting (according to Elton John), but Friday night is for dancing the night away (according to Ahuva). I started the night at the Music Park at Prim Economy, listening to Komuso. Ah, Ko, I love starting my weekends with you!!
Next I headed off to join a good friend at a party, where Satin Xi was DJ’ing great tunes! The contest of the evening was Best in Black. I went through about 3 outfits before I arrived there. But everyone around me kept changing outfits so I did as well! *grin* Hey – girls just want to have fun.
From there, off to Tribeca Blues, where Calli was DJ’ing up jazz and blues and songs of love and loss and a little lust. How could I resist? The room was full of good friends and great music. So I convinced Dale to dance with me. Dale and I have been keeping a photo album of our dances together – we both enjoy dancing so much. Dale’s pics are soooo much better than mine, so I stole this one to share. Is that great hair action or what?
Today, the good times roll on, albeit in RL. It’s spring: warm, sunny, gorgeous, perfect. The following has been playing in my head all morning. Extra credit if you can identify the VERSION, not just the source. *grin* By the way – if you use Google to get this – you are cheating. 🙂
For, lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
My name is Ahuva Heliosense and I am enamoured of Komuso Tokugawa. I “discovered” him several months ago. I LOVE his music. I love his singing. It makes me crazy that he is in Japan and that means that whenever I want to hear him, I am staying up WAY past my bedtime. And most times I don’t know that he is playing until maybe an hour before show time. Which means I have been thinking that I am going to sleep and all of a sudden I realize: no, I’m staying up to hear Komuso. So the other day when Komuso sent out a notecard stating upcoming concerts, I was thrilled. I could PLAN my sleep schedule around his concert schedule! *grin* Even better than planning naps, I could invite RL friends to come inworld and hear Ko. I’ve been raving about him for so long but I never know in advance so that I can bring friends in.
Isn’t it fun when you are talking to someone in RL and you discover that not only have they HEARD of SL, but they have an avatar???? OMG, I was thrilled. We were heading to a RL rock concert and talking about work and such. Turns out he rezzed back in 2005. *grin* He’d not been inworld in awhile, but as we talked, I could see his eyes light up. He asked about places and musicians. Turns out we listen to the same SL musicians. Of course I shared about Komuso. AND mentioned the upcoming concert. I didn’t think much more about our conversation. But the next night, Dz and I were dancing at the first Komuso concert when I got an IM. Mickey was saying “hi!” “Did I know who Mickey was”, he asked? LOL. That was easy. I replied that he must be my “date” from the night before. Indeed, that was who that was. He’d actually come specifically to hear Komuso as well as to reconnect with SL. I sent him the taxi and the 3 of us rocked on to Komuso. Of course it was a great show. Can Komuso DO a bad show??? I’m happy to say that Mickey agreed with me that Komuso was great and he enjoyed the show as well.
After that show, we had time before Ko’s SECOND show of the night (and all at reasonable hours for me, I must say). So we played a bit, chatted, did an art opening (LOVE Calli’s work). Then it was time for the 2nd show. I texted to Faust and told him to get himself inworld – Komuso was playing. LOL. Didn’t take HIM long to log in. Then while the 3 of us were dancing and having a wonderful time, another friend IM’d. He also likes live music, so Gryph accepted the taxi I sent. Another Komuso Tokugawa fan was born. *grin*
I really truly LOVE Komuso’s music and playing. Many of you have heard me groan in mingled agony and ecstasy when I’m just about to log for the evening, and the Chat comes along: “Alrighty then….. ” And it’s Ko and he’s telling us he’s about to play. I cannot log while he is playing. I had my head on the table in front of my keyboard, nearly weeping from fatigue and from joy at the music. That night Komuso played a version of House of the Rising Sun that was practically orgasmic. It was raw, gritty, rough, ripping. I mean – I honestly don’t know any other way to describe it. A peak experience??? I had one of those singing with Michael Tilson Thomas and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, but that was an out-of-body experience. Komuso’s music is so much more visceral. Earthy. Fills my soul. My blood runs hotter when I listen to Komuso perform. *smile* I like his music. I IM’d him the other night and told him my description of his House of the Rising Sun. He laughed and played it again that night. Bliss. I may ruin my health by giving up sleep for Komuso, but what a way to go.