Celebrating a Blues Man

It has been a few months since Bear Rasmuson passed away. Many of the SL Blues clubs where he would DJ still display his poster. We remember him often, talk about him, toast his memory. In that way, Bear still lives because he lives in us. This Friday his good friend Callipygian Christensen is holding a benefit in his memory. Here is the information.


Friday November 11th
4 PM SLT – midnight (or later)
at Calli’s place, just down the hill from Bear’s SL home.

4 – 5 PM Calli will have the stream playing blues, come on over, throw down a blanket on the lawn, have a picnic
5 – 6 PM Ziffy Zarf – live music
6 – 7 PM Kyle Bronsdon – live music
7 – 8 PM DickPinelli
8 – 9 PM Calli Christensen
9 – 10 PM Fiery Otaared
10 – ? Bard Wasp – slow blues

Please join us – whether for a few minutes or a few hours – to celebrate a man who touched so many of us so deeply; not to mourn, but to share the bond he created among us using what he loved – the blues.
Bear was my friend for many years and I know this is how he would like to be remembered- not with crying, not with drama, not with dancing girls dressed like him performing as a tribute band – just with an evening of blues lovers sharing the blues and helping a good cause in the process.

Bear left us in June, and at the time many of you asked where you could send donations in his memory. His son asked me to choose a blues-related charity that Bear would have approved of, and arrange whatever activity in-world that I felt appropriate. Talking with Fiery, another of Bear’s friends, we decided to arrange a celebration of Bear – a full evening of the blues he loved, with all donations and tips raised donated to The Blues Foundation – HART Fund in his name.

From their website: “The HART fund provides assistance to Blues musicians and their families in times of great financial need due to medical emergencies. Donations to the HART Fund are dedicated 100% to artist relief efforts … and have been used to pay medical bills, obtain needed medical care and assist with funeral expenses.” Bear often commented on how many blues musicians struggled with poverty, health care issues etc and I feel this is a foundation he would have appreciated receiving a donation in his name.

You can find more information about the Foundation and the HART Fund here: www.blues.org If you can’t join us, but wish to contribute to the donation in his name, contact Callipygian Christensen for information on how to donate. I will be matching L$25,000 donated, and so will Fiery – so potentially 100,000 lindens for a great cause. Bear would be proud 🙂

The Sea Crystal Carousel

Sea Crystal Carousel
Natalya and Ahuva ride the carouselI love to play in SL. I am always thrilled when I discover a build that lets me interact with the objects there. I love doing things in SL that I love to do in RL. Somehow the juxtaposition of the virtual world with the real world tickles my fancy. That’s why I enjoy sailing, horseback riding, go Karts. So you know I was thrilled when Calli showed me the Sea Crystal Carousel.

Panacea and her sea turtleThe Sea Crystal Carousel is part of a sim recreating Battery Park, NY. My friend Panacea Luminos is part of the SecondLife “NY HealthScape” project. They are recreating Battery Park as a way to represent NYC in their project. They researched Battery Park and began laying out the paths, the seawall, the Castle Clinton, the labyrinth and park areas, reproducing the Battery Lamps and gardens. Panacea came across the plans for the Sea Glass Carousel, which has undergone many years of planning and revisions, and she fell in love with the music and etheral undersea experience of it all. She started dreaming and scheming on how to get it built. As she tells the story:

A friend recommended a builder ~ Foamy Bosch~ Most excellent with interesting geometric shapes and Prim Torture Master! After minimal exchange of ideas, Foamy went off to the top secret building location in the sky…and three days later, had the structure. dolphins, sea turtles and NatThen I was off to find dear friend Ms Martini Discovolante, who creates amazing carousels and sculptures…within two SL minutes, she accepted the commission and enlisted her scripting partner Marion Questi to do the scripting of the windows, carousel and embedding the music. To reproduce the moving images, I never hesitated in calling Calliygipian Christensen, the most amazing SL photographer I’ve met to date, though there are many I admire. As the images had to change and move and work with the starting of the music and the ride AND deal with the alphas, it was quite a puzzle. After several tries, we sent an SOS to RumbleR Boa, who swooped in and saved the day. Music was the final piece, and Calli sugggested Kyle Beltran…and a wonderful find he was, so easy to work with and totally got the drift. So within a few weeks, testing, laying in the parts…the collaborative build ” The SeaCrystal Carousel in Battery Park, WaterWay New York was realized…

oura and jonah ride the carouselI absolutely LOVE it. I have lost count of how many times I have ridden it. *grin* I have tried to bring everyone I know there. If I haven’t brought you yet – don’t worry. I will. Since I never get off the ride once I’m there, I have had to limit my visits so that I can do other things with my life. LOL. Although – not sure that other things are better than riding the carousel. But don’t wait for me – go yourself. You can find it here It is beautiful at any time, but I find it especially magical at midnight. There are more pictures up on my Flickr account.

Nat rides the dolphinIt is truly an amazing ride. The animals go up and down, the music is magical and dreamy, the setting is wonderful. There are many other things to see in Waterway NY. The grounds are beautiful and are filled with art and sculpture. You can sit on a bench and look at the water and relax. Get yourself to Battery Park and discover what New Yorkers have known forever.

New Horizons: Shengri La Chamomile

The Saltwater House
You know I adore my friend Shenlei. She is a dynamo, never relaxing, never stopping, one brilliant creation after another. If I want to get to have playtime with her anymore, I practically have to kidnap her. *grin* I think I need to drop another “time-to-play-and-laugh-for-30-minutes” present on you, Shen. When last we saw our heroine – she’d just published a book. Okay, she topped that. She built 4 regions in Opensim. Yep. Four. Gorgeous, prim-full regions. /me grins happily. I have been there twice already, visiting, seeing the sights.

Resting on the deckFashion Research Institute, Inc. and Intel Labs announced their new research collaboration whose focus is exciting, quality content and optimized performance of the OpenSim platform which, together, will provide for an enhanced user experience. Maybe you don’t know how truly exciting this is. Maybe you don’t play in virtual worlds. Maybe you only play in SL. But as one who has been working in Opensim for the last several months – believe me. This is MAJOR. The efforts being made on Science Sim for both content and performance are huge. You know I am not a techie, I’m not really anyone who “knows” much. I am your typical end user. So what I say reflects the masses, not the cognoscenti. These sims are stunningly beautiful. Fascinating to visit. I think that we are looking at another major step in OS’s rise to fame and glory. *grin* Okay – maybe that was over the top. But since I am NOT technical, I do fall back on my liberal arts upbringing.

Quoting from Shenlei’s blog:
This collaboration is currently scheduled to run for a year, during which time FRI will provide increasingly complex, highly detailed, large scale (beautiful) designs which will be showcased in Science Sim with hosting and hardware provided by Intel Corporation.

We think it is important to have active human agency providing feedback to the technologists about the quality of the user experience. As fashion designers from the apparel industry, we think function should also be delivered with flair, and dare we say it, fashionably. With that in mind, we have begun developing the new Shengri La regions on Science Sim: Shengri La Chamomile, Shengri La Sage, Shengri La Thyme, and Shengri La Rosemary.

Sailing the Waters of ChamomileThere is a wonderful video on the front page of the FRI blog. It highlights the Chamomile region. The hauntingly beautiful music is by Kyle Bronsdon (who you may know as Kyle Beltran), and was composed specifically in honor of Shenlei and Shengri La.

The Horses of the GalleryAt the moment there are sailboats and gardens and landscaping and the stupendous Saltwater House. Also there or coming shortly are works by the FRI interns (hey – they are doing a fashion show in SL in 2 weeks – *grin* you know *I* will be there) and interactive butterfly displays and much more. There is also an art gallery coming, but I’m not allowed to say anything more about that. (Contact me in world – I can be bribed. *grin*) I snuck over and could not resist taking this picture of the grounds about the building. Opensim can be a beautiful space.

Chestnut’s Magic Build

Chestnut transformed Thornbridge into a magical wonderland.
Chestnut transformed Thornbridge into a magical wonderland.

flowers everywhereChestnut made the most incredible build for my rez day party. Gorgeous. Magical. FULL of flowers (because I really like flowers). Beautiful trees too (Chestnut, unlike SOME of us (me) KNOWS how to make a tree). Colors and flowers and lights and flowers and a moon and more flowers. Did I mention casey and augustthat there were lots of FLOWERS??? She turned Thornbridge into the sort of fantasy that makes SL so special. It was breathtakingly wonderful and happy and light-hearted and magical. I guess, really, the only word that truly describes it is “neat”. LOL. Okay – there is someone now reading this and blushing like crazy. The rest of us are laughing. Ches unveiled the build to a friend and asked for feedback. *grin* The verdict? “Neat.” /me rolls eyes and starts laughing again. Ah Chestnut – it was so far beyond neat – it was everything I could have hoped or wanted. I loved it. Every single prim. I don’t know how long you can leave Thornbridge like that, but we need to go back and picnic and meditate and chase butterflies and stretch out on a blanket and simply revel in the beauty.

Kyle and CalliMy rez day party was fantastic. The build, as I said, was neat. 🙂 No – you will NEVER live that down. But Chestnut had the best possible music as well: Kyle Beltran. I LOVE Kyle. I have posted about him before here. He puts on a fantastic show. He sings, plays the piano, covers other people’s songs as well as his own compositions. Chadd and ShaleKyle is so witty and articulate and funny. We were laughing the entire time. I love Kyle’s shows; I was delighted at how many of my friends were IM’ing me to tell me that they, too thought he was great. That even though they really needed to log, they couldn’t because they didn’t want to stop listening to Kyle. If you’ve never heard Kyle – remedy that. He has CDs for sale, performs regularly in SL and is a wonderful talent. Thank you SO much, Kyle, for agreeing to perfom. I had a wonderful, wonderful time listening and laughing with you. *hugs*

Thank you to all my friends who were there to help make the party special. I was so touched and honored that you came. I love the work I do in virtual worlds. I love the mental stimulation, the challenges, throwing myself under the bus again and again. But mostly – I love you. I love laughing and Nat and Helltalking and sharing our lives. I know that for so many of you it was an effort to be there. Natalya and Hell – you are amazing. Staying up til 2am your time to come party with me. You are wonderful. I know at least 2 of you were SUPPOSED to be working. *grin* So I won’t mention your names, but you know who you are and so do I. To all of you – thank you and thank you again. Seeing you and partying with you was the best rez day present I could have. *hugs* to you all.

BaileyI took a million pictures. Okay, about 60, I suppose I DO tend to exaggerate on occasion. *grin* They are up on Flickr, of course. I am including several of them here as well. This way you can see the gorgeous build, and my wonderful friends. Hell also took pictures. He has a wonderful one – imaginative angle, framing. Check it out. That is how SL photography SHOULD be done. Thank you, Hell!

Chestnut, my amazing incredible friendChestnut – you are simply amazing. Thank you my dear dear friend. You went so far above and beyond anything that I expected. You created a magical SL wonderland. You found the best entertainment. You even put out food!!!! *grin* yummy! I think this may have been one of the most special, incredible things anyone has ever done for me. Thank you. It was perfect. I love it. I love you. I am so glad that we are friends.

Shades of Beyond Blogging Conference
Shades of Beyond Blogging Conference

Zha, the landlordAa, dressed for dancing
sweet zazekFricker and Cherie

Oura did me the great compliment of wearing my dancing in my chains ribbons I gave Oura a copy of my “dancing in my chains” ribbons and she did me the great compliment and honor of wearing them. And Calli, beautiful Calli. It was SUPPOSED to be all about ME. ME = Ahuva!!!!! LOL. Your dress was stupendous. Breathtaking. We all inspected the information and did a search on the creator. *grin* We will all be Calli-wannabees.
Gorgeous Calli
After party relaxationOf course, after the party, I had to relax and go over the whole thing again. 🙂 So I stretched out on my carpet, pose courtesy of the talented Bailey Longcloth, wearing my new teddy bear slippers from zazek, and discussed the party, art, life and SL with Oura and Calli. All in all – a perfect perfect night.

Post party party


Calli has a new show opening tonight. Another prolific friend. 🙂 But one who always has time for fun and teaching. I showed you Calli and I playing on her Stylish Carriage. I now have my OWN shopping cart. More to come on THAT. So I’m not really sure when Calli has time to take the insightful and provocative photos that I love so much, but I guess if you never sleep, you have time to work AND play. And teach friends about AOs. *grin* You are great, Calli! I will do my best to make that opening but oh my – that is LATE for me. Especially as I am writing this at 2am SLT.

Juxtaposed: verb -placed side by side, often for comparison

Juxtaposed – an exhibit of unretouched SL images by Callipygian Christensen and Bakersfield Kidd.

Two SL photographers using the same set of tools – the SL interface snapshot function and windlight graphics, with no post production. While one might expect similar results, one look at Calli’s rugged cliff face in Error, beside Baker’s rugged boxer’s face, with its bruises and cuts will dispell that notion. The two styles are very different, and juxtaposed they demonstrate the flexibility the SL graphics functions provide.

Bakersfield is an SL photographer, Live performer, Writer and Blogger.

” My style in photography is more of a Pulp/ Trash Art blend that is heavily influenced by cinema and comic books. Ive worked professionally, both as a writer and photographer for most of my adult life, its a passion that i try my best to transcend into my work here in SL. I shoot raw ‘in World’ captures. Everything you see in the pics is exactly how i see it on my screen when i shoot. I really suck at Photoshop, to be frank about it. So, I do my best to twist and tweak and accelerate the interface of SL, and the rest is just lighting and compostion that ive learned in real life. I get alot out of shooting this way both cause it suits my abilities naturally, but also i like showing people what is still available if you want to shoot raw, no photoshop’n and no post production.”

Callipygian has been shooting images in SL for almost 3 years.

“I’ve come full circle it seems. I started out with images using no post-production (Photoshop was not part of my vocabulary back then :), but I learned to use Photoshop to create windlight skies and skin tones long before they existed in SL. Now that windlight exists, I still use Photoshop to ‘cleanup’ a lot of my images- taking out the odd angles and sharp points created by SL poseballs and avatar mesh, tweaking the images for depth of colour and realism. Windlight has let me revisit unretouched images, and I am enjoying the exploration of what can be done to create glorious sunsets and lush landscapes within SL alone.”

Juxtaposed will be on exhibit at the Museum of SL Photography from June 19 through July 12.


An opening reception will be held on Friday, June 19 from 8 – 9.30 PM, SL time. Join us for live ‘lumpy’ jazz as Kyle Beltran plays his unique blend of original, classic and contemporary favourites, start some lively discussion and view some beautiful art.

Postcards from SL

Some weeks I have nothing much new or interesting to report about my life. Other weeks – I can’t catch my breath. Last week was breathless. I got half of what I wanted to report posted a few days ago. 🙂 Now here is the rest. Shengri La turned 3 years old recently. It is my great fortune to be friends with Shenlei. I attended most of the celebratory events. They ran the gamut: unveiling of the FRI’s Spirit Opensim, fashion show, art gallery opening, special surprise tribute to Shen, musical concert and of course a Rave.

kirssyWe had a rehearsal for our dancing fairy fashion show. 🙂 That should probably have been a post in and of itself. But that’s not happening. Just know that we had fun hanging out and meeting each other at the rehearsal. Oura had already enlisted, but we got Krissy to come and join us as well. Besides the dancing fairies we had fairies perched on leaves and on bunnies. I can’t help but smile everytime I see those bunnies. LOL. We had such an amazingly fun time stalking those lucky stumps for the bubble chairs. And then collapsing all over the bunnies. Hey Shen – we haven’t cut loose and done anything quite that ridiculous in awhile. I think we are overdue. We both need not-my-usual-lookto take a break from work and go PLAY! So here I am as a fairy. Not my usual look. I find that the wings tend to make my back itch. 🙂 I even turned my eyes blue to match the dress. Although the hair isn’t my typical look either, I find it’s growing on me. Most of the other fairies had updos or, if they didn’t have to wear wings, flowing locks. I chose the Defiant Punk Fairy look. 🙂 Maybe if I feel really daring I will post my private Defiant Fairy IMs. If I weren’t so opposed to personal pain and puncturing my body – I’d have been wearing a nose ring. 🙂 I don’t think that I am really fairy material.

As you know, I am really really fond of wearing jeans and boots. In SL and RL. I like my hair down and curly and I like my jeans tight and straight and I like high heeled boots. But sometimes even I concede that a change of outfit is necessary. I was invited to the special sneak preview of a new exhibit of images of Shengri La Spirit (FRI’s OpenSim) shot by Callipygian Christensen. That event certainly required a bit more flare than jeans. So I knew I had to go shopping. LOL I turned to Honour for help. Now if you know Honour you KNOW that she ALWAYS says how much she hates shopping, how it takes a gun to her head to make her go. Well lately – Honour has been taking ME shopping. She got me looking for clothes at the RFL a few weeks ago. And she gave me the name of two stores where I could find cocktail party attire – Vindaloo and Baiastice. Not only did she steer me to the stores – she joined me there to help me decide. 🙂 So now I feel I am fully justified in teasing Honour – calling her my personal shopper! But you know what – I got compliments on both outfits. So you did good, Honour! Thanks! You can see the Baiastice outfit in one of the pics below. What was truly funny about this FRI event was the contrast between the male and female guests. *grin* The women had ALL dressed for the event – formal or cocktail attire. The men – nearly all in scruffy jeans and T-shirts. It was really very very funny. Even funnier to me on a personal note… As I’ve mentioned, I’m in charge of a mall in OpenSim. Well, the gentleman who asked me to take on that responsibility was at this party. I IM’d him and said “Hi! Great to see you!” He replied “Have we met?” rofl. Um, yes. So I wrote back and pointed out that this was the REAL me, and that if he ever got hair, boots and AOs working to my standards in our sim, this is who I would be and how I would look. *grin* Until then – he gets Summer. Sigh. Poor Summer.

honoring-shenleiCallipygian Christensen is not only a phenomenal photographer. She is brilliant. Calli and Shenlei have been friends forever. *grin* That’s a relative “forever”. Calli had an exhibit opening at Shengri La, timed to be part of the Shengri La Emergence Day celebrations. Calli wanted to do what so many of us would like to do: thank Shen for all the wonderful things she has done for both her friends and the community and world at large. Calli didn’t only want to do it – she figured out the most fantastic, personal, wonderful, special present a person could have. Calli commissioned Kyle Beltran to write a piece of music, inspired by and about Shengri La. We all knew that Calli was going to surprise Shen at the art opening, but we did not know WHAT the surprise was. It was breath-taking. Kyle’s composition is truly wonderful: moving, evocative. You can hear the waves on the shore, see the butterflies, smell the flowers. callis_surprise Shenlei is truly blessed to have such wonderfully thoughtful, creative, caring friends. We stood about toasting Shenlei with champagne as we listened to Kyle’s music, surrounded by Calli’s art. (Can you see Oura’s pictures on the walls? And find me in my Baiastice dress.) Honestly – I know that the Shenlei was not the only one with tears in her eyes from the beauty and love shown in that gift. Calli and Kyle – you are amazing.

kyle-beltranIn the afternoon, Kyle Beltran entertained us with his singing and music. Kyle gives a wonderful show. He is witty, charming, good-natured, plays the piano wondefully and I love listening to him sing. There were many of his faithful followers there but we also had a fairly steady stream of newbies coming through as well. Remember – FRI Shengri La is an official SL Gateway. 🙂 It is interesting to watch the newbies mingle with the oldies. *grin* I DO remember what it was like to be a noob. Believe me – I am NOT laughing at them. I think that part of me smiles because I think what a great adventure they have ahead of them. Part of me smiles because I’m glad I finally learned how to walk across a room without crashing into everyone. (well, usually) And certainly some of the outfits they put together are no odder than ones I’ve seen by people who have been in SL a long long time.

fairy-raveNo celebration would be complete with a Rave. 🙂 So the evening ended with a Fairy Rave in the fairy fashion grove. Yes, the attire was fairy. 🙂 So I put my wings back on, took off my boots, and flitted my way to the Rave. Had a wonderful time chatting and dancing.

Shengri La Turns 3!

Shengri La turns 3 this week. Shengri La has been one of my favorite SL spots since Dale and I sailed there back in my newbie days. I met Shenlei and Calli and life became exciting and fun and filled with art and laughter and beauty. Even in my short life Shengri La has changed appearance. Always being tweaked and enhanced and beautified and glorified. Just the other night Shenlei had been showing me photos of Shengri La over the years. It was fascinating to see the changes and the consistency.

So when Shen offered me a chance to be a part of the celebration, I said “yes” before she finished speaking. 🙂 There is an entire day of celebration planned for Saturday, April 4, 2009. Shenlei has posted the schedule and description of events on her blog. I “lifted” the shortened form:

7-8 am SLT Fairy Fashion Installation
10 am SLT Ode Butterfly Hunt
1-2 pm SLT Kyle Beltran plays live
3-3:30 pm SLT, Founders Re-dedication
5-7 pm SLT Fairy Rave with Qee Nishi, DJane

Plus 3 special art exhibits by the extremely talented Callipygian Christensen

I do want to draw special attention to the Fairy Fashion Installation at 7am SLT. That is where you will find all of the celebrities and your friends dressed in the lovely outfits by Misteria Loon. Hint: I’ll be there dancing! 🙂 The butterfly hunts are always great fun – be sure to steer any Newbies you know. The hunts help with coordination and clicking and moving about in SL AND you get a prize for doing it right! Great for encouraging assimilation and coordination. Kyle Beltran is a wonderful entertainer – I’ve blogged about him before. Amusing AND talented! We haven’t had a Rave in a bit, so I’d expect this one to really rock. 🙂 We all have so much pent up energy to release, and for such a great cause.

The Grand Opening

Debutante and Calli’s at Victoriana held their grand openings Saturday night. I believe they were quite successful. I know that the sim was full within 10 minutes of the starting time. I’m glad I got there just BEFORE it started.

modelling-shenleis-beautiful-new-louisa-gownShenlei had given me a copy of one of her new dresses the night before the opening – the Louisa gown in red. ZOMG – it is stupendous. I love most of Shen’s dresses, but this one is incredible. I love the open bodice, the styling, the colors, the lines. I was twirling and modelling it for myself while I was scripting. If I’m scripting down by the beach, I like to sit on the sand. If I’m scripting in my room, I like to sit on my bed. In any case – I like to sit while I script. But it’s not that comfortable to sit with all those skirts. So I left on the bodice and slipped into jeans. Took off the sleeve decorations as well. And LOVED the look.

So that’s how I showed up at the opening – jeans, boots, bodice. I walked into Debutante and there was Shenlei talking to another visitor. They both looked gorgeous in their Victoriana outfits. The Mayor came in just after I. Elegant and gracious as always, he bowed to us ladies. Well. I tried to curtsy back. A bit difficult in jeans. All the others were in proper outfits for the sim, having refined, polite conversation. I was ashamed of myself. Sigh. I don’t know WHY I love wearing jeans so much. I certainly like dressing up. So I slunk upstairs, out of sight. (Ha ha – that’s a joke. You are NEVER out of sight in SL.) I put on the entire Lousia outfit. Smile. I left on my boots. No one could SEE my boots under all those skirts. And I descended the stairs to rejoin the group and be a gracious lady also.

natalya-and-i-at-the-opening-of-callis-in-victorianaThere were sooooo many people pouring into Victoriana. The lag was ferocious. The vast majority of people were in period costume and acting in period. But many people came in their every-day outfits as well. Certainly all were welcome. For me, the whole experience was enhanced because so many of my friends showed up. I often IM with them but don’t always get to be in the same location. So it was great to actually see them all. Natalya came and joined me to look at Calli’s art. I love looking at art with another person, especially one with an eye as good as Nat’s. I like sharing critiques and observations on the art. I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of us together. I am standing in front of Calli’s photo called “How Much?”. That is a photo of Shen and I in the Debutante store. Shen is behind the counter and I am the customer. 🙂 To the left of Nat in the picture is a bit of my favorite picture in the store – Timeless Passion. Timeless Passion now hangs on the wall of my room. I have to laugh – sooooo many people purchased copies of Timeless Passion that night. See – I told you it was sensational. So I decided I needed to start a new group – Owners of Timeless Passion. 🙂

timeless-victorianaAlthough the opening was officially for 2 hours, we were there for nearly 3. Afterwards we tp’d to a party where Kyle Beltran was performing. I’d first heard and met Kyle at Calli’s rez day party. He is a pianist and extremely talented. Not only does he play and sing well, but he has witty and amusing conversation to accompany the singing. You can catch Kyle in just a few days when he performs on Jan 25. I took advantage of the tp lag to slip back into “modern Victoriana”. I simply love this Louisa bodice. Now I NEED the proper jewelry to do it justice. 🙂