Posts Tagged 'Shengri La'

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.

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.

Reminder: Fun things to do

shengri-la-anniversary
Shengri La celebrates turning 3 tomorrow! Come and join in all the festivities! Of course, since this is MY blog and life IS all about ME…. don’t forget to come see the dancing fairies at 7am SLT on Saturday morning. 🙂

There is new art from Callipygian Chrstensen! Images by Calli invites you to The Gallery at Shengri La for the opening of the spring exhibition. There are two ‘Opening Reception and Meet the Artist’ times:

Friday, April 3, 12 noon to 1:30pm SLT
Friday, April 3, 6pm -8pm SLT

As always a new rotation means a new build of the gallery – 4 gallery spaces wrapped around the cliff, with a new collection of images of SL avatars, landscapes and still lifes. Bad boys smoking, lighthouses lighting, Monet-style impressionist pieces..the usual variety 🙂

Location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Shengri%20La/242/128/60

As part of the Shengri La emergence festivities Calli has a restrospecitve of images of Shengri La, in the Small Gallery, and a collection of images of Spirit – the FRI opensim development project. Spirit is brand new and on the leading edge of OpenSim development. The images are located at the Information Centre in Shengri La and will be on view from noon on Saturday.

And thanks to Chadd!! He came by this morning to help me start the day out right! 🙂 I realize that while I have LOTS of coffee, I am woefully short on vittles. But I managed to find a box of donuts and a piece of Kiwi cheesecake. How nutritious.
breakfast-with-chadd

Shengri La Turns 3!

shengri-la-anniversary
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.

Here Be Dragons

doing-my-paperworkI LOVE SL. Okay, you KNEW that already. I’ve not been exactly reticent in expressing my feelings. But today – SL charmed me all over again. I was as thrilled as any newbie. There is so much creativity, so much fun, so much that WORKS.

It was a glorious day in RL. Warm, spring temperatures. The first crocus was up in my garden. Green shoots were coming up everywhere. I dug in the dirt dragon-and-fair-maidenand smelled that wonderful moist earth smell. Heaven. Alas, it’s still too early to be working in the garden and tax day is coming due. Ick. So I was hanging out on a pier at Shengri La Joy, me and the seagull, but I was actually doing RL paperwork. I was enjoying the sounds of the waves and the wind and the seagulls as I shuffled papers and balanced budgets. I heard that familiar IM ping! and checked back. It was Shenlei, telling dragonme to cam over near the Gateway. She told me that there was a dragon and I was missing quite an experience.

A dragon? How can you resist when you hear that there is a dragon close by? So I requested a TP and headed over. Oh my. It was indeed a dragon. A BEAUTIFUL dragon. Accompanied by a Fair Maiden. 🙂 A very very young Fair Maiden – only rezzed the day before. I clicked dragonon the dragon to inspect it and to my great surprise – it was an avatar!!! Not an object – but an avatar! So I greeted them both. FM was very new and did not have much to say. She was still trying to get her bearings and figure out how things “worked”.

The dragon was quite personable and pleasant. He was having fun surf diving everyone-loves-the-waters-of-shengri-lain the waters of Shengri La (which are among the most beautiful that I have seen in SL). We chatted about our likes and dislikes. The dragon got up and moved about for us, demo’ing the capabilities. It was a truly magnificent avatar. I was so excited and pleased. It was discovering SL all over again for the first time. Very few friends were on that had kids. Of course my “child” rising-from-the-mistis off touring overseas. I wanted to share this with SOMEONE!!!! So frustrating. I couldn’t get anyone else to come and marvel. (I just erased all the taunting derogatory remarks I wrote about people who don’t come to be enthusiastic about the things that excite me!! 🙂 I figured that maybe I was over-reacting a tad. But oh wow – what a gorgeous wonderful avatar.)

transformationThe dragon went through its paces for us. It swam. It flew. It dove down from the sky into the waters. It walked about. It was simply fantastic. Then – metamorphosis!! No longer a dragon – but a crow. 🙂 I LOVE SL. I LOVE the fantastical possibilities. Here Be Dragons. And every other wonder you can conceive.

Cowgirls

all-the-pretty-poniesWe were both having a hectic week. A lot to do, deadlines, not much time. The beauty of living in a virtual world is that it takes no time to commute. We can say – I have 15 minutes now – do you? And if the answer is yes, well, there we are. Together. So we got lucky amid our respective craziness shengri-la-sunsetand I tp’d to see all the possible ponies that you can rez at Shengri La. We each picked a pony and set off for a gallop. We galloped til we both crashed. 🙂 Hey – it’s like running or working out. Do it til it hurts. No pain, no gain. I love the ponies of Shengri La. Thanks, Shen.

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life-is-good

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

rhinestone-cowboyAlthough I am totally immersed in SL and am so at home here, I often feel like a newbie. I think many of my friends regard me as quite “young” still. To my great relief and happiness, my friends still mentor me and give me tips, hints, suggestions and clues for making my life in SL smoother and more fun. But compared to a REAL newbie – I am sooooo NOT a newbie anymore.

Shengri La is now an official SL Gateway (Fashion Research Institute). I often drop-in to help out, see who all is rezzing in. It is a mad house there. I had no idea how does-this-shirt-make-me-look-fatmany people rez in each MINUTE. Half the time I try to drop-in, I can’t get there because the sim is full. I’ve had to rez nearby and WALK in. LOL. But I do try to stop in at least once a week (and it really should be more often) and try to help newbies the way all the good folk helped me.

The first thing that strikes me each time is how grateful I am to have an AO. Remember back whenever in the fall when my friend mentioned I looked “stiff”? Okay, she wins. (Actually, she ALWAYS wins but that is a completely different story.) I LOVE my AO. Sure, there are 2 animations of which I’m not overly fond, but I’m more lazy than I am displeased so I’ve not removed them yet. But watching newbies walk queen-for-a-dayabout and stand – wow, stiff dweebs. I’m sorry – that’s just the truth. (And why I HATE working in opensim. Which is also another story. But there at least I am working a deal to get an AO, skin and hair. LOL).

The second thing that I notice is the newbies’ total lack of comprehension. They don’t know where they are, that they are all new, why they are there, or what they should be doing. Ah yes, I remember that well. Most of you reading this probably joined me some time along my adventures, as I met you in SL. But there are a few readers (/me waves hi to M and B, who have been reading since day 1 – Hi guys!!!) casual-attirewho remember how I got started here. I did my research BEFORE I signed up. Not only did I read up on SL and try to learn about it, I even contacted people who were already in-world, lining up my support team, as it were. Okay, not everyone has that luxury. But really – if you don’t know what SL is, why did you sign up?????? Why are you here??? YOU must have had SOME reason. Of course they did…. the streets of SL are paved with sex and money. /me does search on the map to find that sim.

by-george-shes-got-itWell, I truly must be the most repulsive or most unapproachable avatar in all of SL. Despite hanging around with the newbs, and despite hearing such conversations around me, do you realize that STILL not one person has propositioned me yet????? /me shakes head in bafflement. I don’t WANT them to proposition me, really, but the fact that everyone else seems to be hit on could make me wonder what’s wrong with me. (Good thing the auction is still fresh in my memory.) My first day at the hatching farm (gateway *grin*) when I had to walk in, I encountered two newbies who had strayed from the shelter. I met the woman first and was trying to guide her back to the stores and welcome area. Then we encountered the male. Immediately the male was propositioning the female, and they were trying to figure out HOW to do IT. In local chat of course. I said to them both that it was a totally inappropriate conversation and that if they were interested in performing that action at this time, I was not interested in waiting about to help them. The woman was quite surprised and asked me WHY it was inappropriate. Sheesh. Didn’t your mother teach you ANYTHING???? /me shuts mouth before more judgmental remarks slip out. I headed into the Gateway, leaving them to try to figure out how it’s done in SL.

The Gateway is hilarious, as wellcome-here-often-little-girl as maddening. You can’t move without bumping into someone else, because there are so many people. And they bump into you. And everyone is talking in local chat and they haven’t learned any SL conventions yet. *grin* I wait til I hear a specific question, or I see someone standing by themselves. Then I cut them from the herd and try to talk to them. Often someone else joins in. I’m always pleasantly surprised by how fast some people catch on to IM’ing, moving, flying, inventory. I was so completely clueless for days. I know now that a great deal of my problems were due to the terrible hardware issues I was having. Once I resolved that, SL began rezzing quickly and properly and everything made much more sense. So often I wonder if there is a correlation between the people who “get it” quickly and their computer hardware.

gee-she-looks-very-familiarI love watching as they all get items in their inventory. Soooo many nice things for free in the Gateway, but you MUST be a newbie to get them. Sigh. The vending machines tell me that I am too old. Some of the outfits are quite interesting. And some of the people – gee, they look very very familiar somehow. 🙂

Just to Prove I’m Still Here

I’m scripting like crazy. 🙂 I love it. But I’m not doing much of anything else. My latest script is an intruder alert. It senses when people are within 20 meters. It IM’s the owner to say how many intruders and list their names. The sensor repeats. If someone is still there, the alert does not repeat their name but keeps them in the total count of intruders. If someone has left since the last time the owner was notified, the owner is told who left. If that person comes back, the alert knows to tell the owner that name again. The sensor knows that the owner is not an intruder. The owner can create a notecard of authorized visitors. 🙂 It works!!! And I’ve given it away to friends. Wheeeeeee!!! Next up: sliding and swinging doors and a dance floor. 🙂

In the meantime……

You absolutely positively MUST read Prad Prithivi’s blog today!!! Even if you are NOT a scripter, it is hilarious. (Okay, if you are not a scripter….. there are 2 ways to complile your script: LSL and Mono. Mono is newer and runs much faster. I think that the only downside may be that there are either some bugs or some things that are not recognized. But trust me – Prad will make it ALL clear!!) .

And of course – it’s the day for the Shengri La Ode butterfly hunt. Since I’ve only just gotten around to writing, I’m a bit late to let you know about the one starting in 5 minutes. 🙂 Sorry. But there is another one later tonight. This really is a wonderful event. It’s like eating potato chips – you think you can resist chasing those darned little butterflies, but then one flies by and you just HAVE to touch it. Wham. You are hooked. 🙂 It’s fun. Bring the newbies – it is wonderful practice for moving and touching and using inventory and all the rest. Not to mention all the cool jewelry. This really is a wonderful event. It’s like eating potato chips – you think you can resist chasing those darned little butterflies, but then one flies by and you just HAVE to touch it. Wham. You are hooked. 🙂 It’s fun. Bring the newbies – it is wonderful practice for moving and touching and using inventory and all the rest. Not to mention all the cool jewelry. I will see you there and then!

decemberode

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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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.

Lucky Stumps, Bubble Chairs

I don’t know how to classify this post. This COULD be classified as another “Ahuva threw herself under a bus”. It could go under “Strong Contender for laughing the most in SL”. Or “My Friends are Wonderful”. “Shopping Do’s and Don’ts”. 🙂 Of course – it is ALL of those things. I threw myself into the exuberance and energy that is Shenlei Flasheart and laughed for three hours straight.

I’ve never gone Lucky Chair hunting. I belong to a group that sends out Lucky Chair alerts but I’veshenlei-on-the-rocking-horse never responded. I sat in a Lucky Chair twice at an NCI party. But I’ve always felt somewhat skeptical? scornful? too lazy? to join in the pursuit of a Lucky Chair calling for an “A”. It always seemed like way more effort than it would be worth. Until, that is, I saw Shenlei’s new bubble chairs. 🙂 The truth is – Shen makes EVERYTHING seem brighter and more exciting and more alive than probably any three other people put together. Certainly I enjoy our serious talks, but when she is in a mood to play, my face hurts from smiling so much. We were hanging out chatting during the Ode Butterfly hunt this month and she mentioned that she’d been staking out a Lucky Chair the previous evening. She’d fallen in love with Chestnut’s chairs (hmmm, so this is really all Ches’ fault!!!) Shen rezzed the prize for me – 6 bubble chairs, each with its own script. They were definitely adorable. And as we sat there on our bubbles chatting, she told me of the madness I had missed in the amassing of this marvel. It began sometime around the time carriages turn back into pumpkins and continued until the wee hours of the morning. She had friends tp’ing in from all over SL, sitting on the Lucky Chairs, in an attempt to get the chairs to call out an S. 🙂 Shen can be fairly persistent AND forceful. By the time she got to the part where she had a friend come tp’ing in naked, I was already laughing out loud and regretting that I’d missed the party.

Here comes the “under the bus part”. Actually, Shenlei and I differ in our recollection of this discussion. SHE claims that I said that if we staked out these Lucky Chairs and I got a set of bubble chairs, that I would, well, never mind what exactly, because if it comes to pass, I will blog it. (I have a plane ticket standing by so that I can leave the country should it ever come to pass. 🙂 ) Now *I* say that is NOT how the deal went. *I* insist that I held out for a much more rare and intriguing prize. And Shen did NOT deliver that prize. 🙂 However…… the terms of this Ladies Agreement are neither here nor there. The result was that we agreed to meet again to stake out the Lucky Chairs and win me a set of bubble chairs!!!!

The other evening the ping came in…. “tonight’s the night…. meet me at Happy Mood and we will lucky-stump-if-your-name-starts-with-qmake those chairs sing A “. My SL friends know how Lucky Chairs work. But here’s a primer for my RL friends. In order to draw traffic to the store, merchants will have a Lucky Chair in their store that gives away a free gift. Every few minutes the chair will call out a letter. If your first name begins with that letter and you sit in the chair first, you get the prize. If someone sits in the chair and wins the prize, the chair calls another letter. If no one sits in the chair, after a set period of time, the chair will call a different letter. If you try to sit in the chair and you are NOT the correct letter, it kicks you out. 🙂 Lucky chairs, despite claims to the contrary, are OBVIOUSLY sentient, evil, malicious and and all-around hateful. They KNOW what your letter is and that you WANT their prize and they DON’T CALL YOUR LETTER. These bubble chairs can ONLY be obtained through the Lucky Chairs, you cannot buy them. So you have to hope the chair calls your letter if you want bubble chairs. 🙂

First, the lucky chairs in Happy Mood are actually tree stumps. That makes no difference to how it works, but it does explain the picture. Second, there are two lucky stumps. Third, this is one of those things that if you are not doing it, you think, “that’s not so funny” but when you are participating, you get caught up in the frenzy and the hysteria. Think mob psychology. 🙂 Since I always tell you the truth (okay, not really, but mostly) I will confess that I was EXTREMELY apprehensive about this venture. I don’t have that many people on my friends list. Of course “that many” is relative. Maybe I do. But I don’t think so. And many of them are from work. I was afraid that I would not be able to keep up my end of tp’ing in friends to trigger the stumps. Since these chairs were to be for me, I didn’t want to be imposing on Shenlei’s friends (okay, we share some friends, but I’m willing to bet that her list is much more extensive than mine). But I joined Shen in Happy Mood and the madness began.

We were the only ones in the grove. The chairs were calling D and E. Sounds easy, no? No. As I fumbled through my friends list the D changed to an S! Yay! Shen sat down! And from that point on it got increasingly crazy. We had a run of Zs. Js. W. K. For ‘K’ I brought in a D friend and he brought a K friend. 🙂 I had both H and C on call waiting. 🙂 Theoretically Shen and I were positioned RIGHT IN FRONT of the stump. But of course I would be tp’ing in folks for Shen’s tree and she was bringing in folks for mine, and there were more tree stumps that weren’t lucky chairs and there was a lot of lag. Shen and I were calling “come sit on my stump” and people were rezzing in waiting-waiting-waiting-for-an-msaying “I can’t see anything” and other people were hanging about commenting on the farce. 🙂 There is actually a lovely store at Happy Mood. I wouldn’t know. I never raised my eyes from the tree stumps and my friends list and my chat boxes. 🙂 At least 3 of our friends/observers remarked that we could MAKE our own bubble chairs faster than we could win one. Yeah, but that’s no fun. I remember being a little girl at the carnival and wanting my father to win me a stuffed animal. He told me that was a waste of money, that he would buy me one when we got home. And he DID, but it wasn’t the same. 😦 (I’m so spoiled now – I have someone in RL who wins me stuffed animals down the shore every summer!!!)

And so we IM’d and pinged and begged and cajoled and pleaded and laughed and laughed and laughed. I talked to people I have not talked to since I friended them. I talked with coworkers and friends. Many of my friends are now wealthier by a set of bubble chairs. We had such a run of Ks and Qs and Xs. Can you believe that we got stuck on B??? Neither of us had a B online. At one point BOTH chairs were looking for a B. And my former friend T – hmmph!!!! Purple pretender!!!!! NEVER winning-the-chairscame and sat on a stump for me to reset the letter. We had a slow period full of X and K and Z. 7 minutes between letters. Hell had stuck around after winning his set, so he helped amuse us and pass the time. Then we had a run of S. Of course, when Shen was stalking for HER chairs, all SHE got was A. Proof positive that the chairs are malicious. One of the most frustrating moments was when Issa rezzed in for her I, but couldn’t find the right stump (too much lag). By the time she got there, the letter had changed. But of course – now she was hooked. 🙂 I IM’d to some people that I had to think twice before hitting the send. Only 3 people turned me down, and they were all very, very nice about it (except the purple pretender 😛 ). I called some scary people too, and they came as well. Perhaps the scariest call I made, and the one I may regret the most, was my call to my vampire friend. Gulp. I may indeed owe him. eek. But he too was an incredibly good sport and got into the spirit of things. And, of course, walked off with a set of bubble chairs. 🙂 FINALLY!!!! TWO HOURS into the adventure, an A was called!!! VICTORY!!!!

We were set to head out and shop when we realized that Issa still needed her chairs. So we stayed put and continued tp’ing people in left and right. About 30 minutes after my A, Issa got her I. But by issa-on-her-bubble-chairthat time M had come in and wanted HER set. So we stayed. 🙂 Life got crazier and crazier as more people stayed. Lack of sleep is an amazing factor. 🙂 We had a child av with us also, tripping the chairs each time an E came up. She was truly amazing. She was totally a child – never broke character. One of our friends was wearing some space-age boots. E asked if the friend was a robot. For some reason – that seemed to be the straw that broke the sanity camel’s back. People started changing avs, mutating into more sci-fi shapes or fantasy shapes. I was completely immersed by that point – sure that E was a kid, wondering if I was in a Grade B movie and was going to be captured by the mechanical bug-thing, laughing my head off saviouras the centaur kicked up dust clouds and watching E defend us all w/ a huge hammer. M declared that she was throwing in the towel for the evening – we would have to stalk bubble chairs on her behalf another evening. That was the signal for most of us to realize how late it was, and to head off to other adventures.

I have TWO sets of bubble chairs. I have the most fantastic memories. I had an amazingly fabulous time. Without doubt I have the most wonderful, fun friends a person could have – the cavalry riding to the rescue time after time. And Shenlei – thank you!!!! This may even top the night you rezzed a horse for me and I rode all through Shengri La. As I wrote this post, I laughed and laughed again. Thanks for sharing your joy in life!


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