Welcoming 2011

For many, many years now I have hosted a small party for New Year’s Eve. There’s the usual suspects, sometimes a newcomer or two. This year I realized at the beginning of December that it just wasn’t going to happen for a variety of reasons. As it turned out, in addition to those reasons, I was still suffering from major smoke inhalation (clearing a fire-ravaged apartment) so it was a very good thing that we (my family) had just decided to stay home and relax. For me this meant reading and getting on the computer.

I logged in to SL to greet the UK folks, who were MUCH closer to the new year than I at that point. It’s also Bailey’s birthday so of course there was a party going on. I realized as I sat and listened to the music, read the chat, watched all the crazy things rez, how much I’ve missed these people. I’ve been in touch a bit through Plurk, but it’s so cheering and fun to be together in one place and time. Thanks all! And Happy Birthday Bailey!

I managed a few IMs to US folks too. *grin* There were A LOT of people logged on this year. Maybe there always are, I don’t know. I arranged to meet Dz and Daez later for dancing. I figured if I was going to try to stay up that late, I’d better eat some dinner. So I logged and took care of food and pets and family. I also ordered a rowing machine online. My office is renovating yet again and part of that includes no more work-out room. I’ve been without stair-master and rowing machine since September and I miss them. Two weeks and I can be rowing.

When I came back in Shenlei was on and was going to go for a ride. She invited me to join her and Chancy. I tp’d over to the stables and met Draenei, who graciously agreed to be my mount. They all agreed that it was about time I learned to “ride”, so Drae turned the controls over to me. I think I only rode us into the bushes maybe 2 or 3 times. 🙂 Chancy and Shen had been practicing their caprioles. They were great. Perhaps once I learn how to go in the direction I intend…..

From there I headed to join Dz and Daez at Von Johin’s concert at Fogbound. I’ve met apollo in the last few weeks – he’s very new to SL. I invited him to join me at the concert. He was there and able to rez, but had insufficient band width for audio also. 😦 So whereas he could dance, he didn’t really get to enjoy Von, who sounded great!

We were monitoring Noma Falta’s group chat while we were dancing. Seemed like she crashed the sim she was at. *grin* That woman can really rock and bring a sim to its knees. She had another show at 9pm SLT, which was MIDNIGHT for me! So I took a bit of a break so I could watch TV with the family, watch the ball come down, and have a new year’s kiss. Tradition! Then it was back to SL and Noma at Prim Economy to start the new year off right.

I was not sure how a new year’s eve without my rl party was going to feel to me. But so MANY folk were online at one time or another during the evening. I got to chat with so many friends, party, dance, ride, see a friend’s new home. It was a lovely lovely evening and a wonderful start to a new year. I wish a happy, healthy, rewarding new year for us all. *hugs*

Riding Lessons

I have found something for the “easier in RL than in SL” list. Taking the jumps. I’m talking riding of course. I mentioned in an earlier post that the horse does all the work in SL. Not necessarily. Those clever HUD designers. EITHER the horse or rider can control the action. I was invited to take part in another Carriage Trade photo shoot to advertise the riding lessons. As always, I jumped at the chance (yes, pun intended *grin* ). I was riding Belvidere Fotherington and Georgianna Blackburn was recording the effort. There were a few other horses around as well. We started off just fine: trotting, galloping. Belvidere is an expert there. Then it came time to take the pictures of the jumps. Bel missed a jump and friends being what friends are, we all teased. Belvidere got back at me, offered ME the chance to control the action. It sounded simple enough – use the arrow keys to move, the page up key to jump. Uh huh. Let me tell you – I am NOT showing you the pictures from when *I* was in charge. We crashed through the jumps repeatedly. The few times I actually jumped, we flew, because I over-paged up. 🙂 Not to mention that I was so busy paging up that I forgot to arrow forward so we landed on the jump. *grin* Good thing Bel is very forgiving.

I spent quite a bit of time at Carriage Trade today. I was wandering around, taking pictures of the stores and the stables. I made some new friends, GORGEOUS horses, and learned how the livery rentals work. As I’m too tired tonight to write it all up, I’ll leave you with the promise of more horse pictures. *grin* I think there may be a lot of those in the future. Pictures of the barn cats, too.

In the meantime, I’m going to be there for riding and jump lessons. And I’m hoping that the HORSE will be in charge. *grin* Or that I have a very forgiving, durable, patient mount.

Carriage Trade

I have always loved horses. I took riding lessons as a young girl. I recorded the name of every horse I rode. I went to riding camp. I still have my yellow ribbon from the show from camp. It was a small camp in Massachusetts, maybe 50 girls. Many of the girls brought their own horses to camp with them. If only. We were all assigned a horse of our own for purposes of stable cleaning and stall mucking. I loved that I had the only “Jewish” horse in the camp: Shalom. I don’t think I ever got to ride Shalom for lessons but every morning I was there, cleaning the stall, feeding him a treatsie.

When I was just a new lass to SL, I met Shenlei Flasheart of Shengri La. She had horses that I could ride about the sim. I was thrilled and many of my ealier posts to this blog cover the joy I had in riding there. Times change, Shengri La is no longer here, I hadn’t ridden in ages. Then I met B and again fell in with the horse set. Except THIS time, the horses are avatars. *huge smile* They are gorgeous. As lovely as the rezzable horses were back in Shengri La, avatar horses are stupendous, MUCH better. So when I got an invitation to participate in a machinima to advertise a horse-oriented sim, Carriage Trade, I was thrilled. I went shopping, of course, to get some much needed boots and riding gloves. My friend directed me to E. Watkins Premier Equestrian Supplies, owned by Emilie Watkins. I had a WONDERFUL time wandering about the store (all 3 floors), gazing at both equestrian and aviation apparel. Despite wanting EVERYTHING horse-related, I restrained myself. I treated myself to a pair of dressage riding boots and some gloves. Ah, I LOVED my rl tan leather riding gloves. Such soft, supple leather, with the loveliest pattern of pindot ventilation holes. I skipped both the breeches and the hunt cap although I was sorely tempted. Another time.

I dressed in my riding finery and decided that I needed to do SOMETHING with my hair. I never went riding with my hair loose. I had long hair back in the day when I rode regularly. I almost always pulled it back, out of my way. I couldn’t wear it up, because that interfered with the jump cap. I rummaged through my hair styles and found one that I thought would suffice.

I tp’d to the meeting point at Carriage Trade. I was going to be one of two mounted riders. There were also 3 carriages. The cool thing about riding in SL is that the horse does all the work. I mean ALL the work. *grin* The horse is the one who has to wear fingers to the bone running through the sim. All I had to do was get up on the horse and enjoy the ride. I had the lovely fortune to be riding Andersine. I never even heard most of the directions and instructions as they were all IM’d directly to the horses. I simply sat there and took pictures. And more pictures. And even more pictures. I took 130 pictures in the hour that we were making the machinima. 130. I couldn’t stop. I had a smile on my face and I kept clicking saving clicking saving clicking saving.

Georgianna Blackburn and Belvidere Fotherington have started a blog chronicling Carriage Trade. Carriage Trade is a mixed-use equestrian sim, with facilities for both horses and riders: residential properties, common areas, retail shops, all in Victorian style. Last week Carriage Trade threw a party to celebrate Georgianna’s rez day and the grand opening. I *only* took 78 pictures at THAT event. *grin* They plan to hold riding get-togethers every other week on Wednesdays, beginning on December 29th, at 6 pm SLT. They will offer riding lessons and jumping practice in preparation for the first Carriage Trade Fox Hunt! /me laughs and orders an larger hard drive for photos.

Making the machinima was a wonderful time, the rezday/opening celebration was a great deal of fun and I can’t wait for the riding get-togethers and hunts! Come join me there!