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.
I am having NO difficulty getting into the vacation mind-set this week. Let me clarify that a little – MY vacation mind-set. As you know, I spent Monday at Spa Ahuva. That night I sat down and made a list of all the things I needed to get done this week, things I’d like to get done this week, things that at some point need to get done around the house, and the list of this month’s donations. I had everything written down – 4 separate pad pages. Impressed with how industrious I was going to be, I treated myself to logging in to SL to hear Calli DJ’ing. She was at The Vault, doing a set of sultry tunes. It was the perfect end to a lovely day. I relaxed, chatted with the friends who were there, listened to the tunes, and savored the moment. I went to bed and slept a good sleep – the result of spending the day at the spa and the wonderful music.
I woke up the next day and stayed in bed, listening to my husband puttering about (he’s VERY noisy in the morning). There was no BC to come and cuddle. She hadn’t ‘tucked me in’ last night, either. So really – it was all HER fault. I was relaxed, thinking no need to move, let my husband feed the cats, when all of a sudden I realized: IT’S TUESDAY!!!!! I need to make 100 sandwiches this morning. It was about 10 to 8 in the morning. Lately I’ve been getting there about 8:05. I jumped out of bed yelling “It’s Tuesday – I need to make sandwiches”. I threw on my clothes, brushed my teeth, made a to-go cup of iced coffee, called to my husband – take care of the cats and raced out the door. I made it there by 8:20. 🙂 The other 3 were already there. When I walked in, Helene called out “The Birthday Girl!!!!” It’s true – they were 2 days early, but I’d already said I was taking off Thursday. Jay had baked me cookies, and they had prezzies for me and my brother-in-law, who also makes the sandwiches on Tuesdays. They had face masks from the soup kitchen we are supporting. They also brought the Birthday Crown for me to wear. 🙂 I need to return it next Tuesday because Helene’s birthday is the following week and SHE needs the crown then. 🙂 As you can see – I look stunning.
We got the sandwiches and lunch bags done and out the door by 9:30. The stupid squirrels had dug up my dill, and my radishes had died, so I had 2 empty pots that needed flowers. I decided to give up on herbs and vegetables for the rest of the season. I’d planned to go way down to my favorite nursery, but was too lazy and befuddled at that point. Missing the morning routine had me completely off balance. I went to the nearest big box store to find something that would supply bright color and survive the sun (the temps have been in the 90s now for over a week). Well, I saw some canna lilies there at a very reasonable price. They looked so neglected. They looked like they deserved to be rescued. I did what had to be done – I bought 2 canna lilies and 2 pots of yellow marigolds. They were sooooo root-bound. Let’s hope they flower.
I came home, still somewhat off-balance. I looked at my many lists. I made it to the chiropractor that afternoon, before he left on vacation. The nerve! Who said HE could take a vacation??? I made a few phone calls (on my list, unlike making the sandwiches), crossed off buying flowers. I paid the bills, made the donations, and decided the rest of the chores could just wait until tomorrow. 🙂 I have to say, this is the first vacation where I am truly not thinking about work. I see the emails come through on my phone, but I just delete the garbage, mark others as read, and then stop thinking about them. I’m not at all tempted to just send one email, just do one thing. I have a password that is going to expire this week. I’m trying to decide if I should logon and deal with it or just let it expire and deal with it when I return. This vacation is proving a point that my dear friend Honour has been making for years: There is so much to DO if you are not working. I’m NOT going to be bored. Okay, most of my lists are what some would call ‘chores’, but for me they are very satisfying. I’m finally fixing and changing things around the house that have annoyed me for years. There might be something to this whole concept of ‘retirement’.
I started my one week vacation at 5:36 pm Friday night. *grin* That’s when I posted my last document to the team and signed out of all my applications and shut down my computer. Ahhhhh. We headed over to my sister’s where my brother-in-law had made the PERFECT Shabbat dinner: chicken, broccoli, potatoes, challah and SALT STICKS!!!! Oh my, his bread is absolutely amazingly delicious. As was the entire dinner. I drank too much white wine but I kept toasting “To Vacation!”.
We came home, STILL running the air conditioners. Maybe that doesn’t sound odd to you folk who live in modern houses with central air. I live in a house that is nearly 100 years old. MY air conditioners are all window units. I hate the sensation of being locked into the house. I love open windows, fresh air, fans moving the air. We’ve had the a/c going for 8 days straight. That may be a record.
It was Friday, I was on vacation, I was a little tipsy, and I was not in the mood to watch TV or read. What to do? Second Life. 🙂 I logged in. An “old” friend was inworld – I’d not chatted with her in at least 8 years. I pinged her and we had a lovely, lovely chat. We caught up on life, life under the pandemic, and then had a WONDERFUL time chatting about our cats and cats in general. 🙂 I also chatted with another “old” friend – one with whom I’ve maintained contact over the years. I know that some people do not feel as if this kind of connection is ‘real’. I’m sorry for those folks, because in times like this pandemic, for those of us who believe in social distancing, the ability to be together virtually does wonders for my emotional health. I’m looking at scenes that tell my brain I am out and about and interacting with friends. It really works for me. I only wish I could reconnect with some of my friends who are no longer in SL – Dale, Zha, Chestnut, Honour, Jessica, Oura, Svea, Alem, Fricker Fraker, Winston and all the rest. We had such fun back in the day.
Now here I am, the first morning of vacation. I treated myself by staying in bed an extra 90 minutes. BC was obliging. She did jump onto the bed after the first 60 minutes, but settled in when I began rubbing behind her ear. 🙂 She often prefers love to food. When I finally went downstairs and outside to bring in the newspapers, I discovered that the temperature and humidity were at a reasonable summer level. I opened ALL the windows. Yet another pleasure on this first day of vacation!
That’s what WordPress tells me – 12 years ago today I started blogging. That sounds about right because my SL birthday is June 26. Wow. Twelve years. So much has changed. I don’t blog much about SL anymore. I’m not even in contact with most of my SL friends, even though I met so many of them F2F. Maudlin though it might sound – they are all still very much a part of me. Very real to me even if it’s been years. My SL life was so vivid. Intense. It started me on a great path that led to a new job, a new outlook on life, a new me. I think my enjoyment of taking and framing pictures began with all those zillions of screen shots. 🙂 Prior to SL I’d been curating a haiku board on someone else’s website, but blogging my SL life gave me a whole new way to write. I thank all of you who follow me and who just drop in to visit. 🙂 Having reminisced, I know to move on and talk about cats and food and flowers. 🙂
I don’t think I have any new cat pictures to share. WC is not feeling very well. She’s spent most of today under the bed. 😦 She and GC will be 18 in August. They’re entitled to whatever foibles they care to exhibit. BC says she has no foibles. She is a work cat, she says, helping me get things done. Funny, somehow whenever she is in my lap while I’m working, my productivity rate slows.
I do have some food pictures I haven’t shared yet. 🙂 You’re probably tired of me raving about the perfect 40 minute rolls. I baked a PERFECT batch of them the other night. I also made sesame noodles and coleslaw that night. I’m wanting the wheatberry salad but that takes a lot more time and effort.
And of course the garden. There are ALWAYS pictures of flowers and plants. I get such joy from the flowers. I have 2 rose mallow plants growing in the front garden. They are a variety of hibiscus – perennial in this zone. I’m hoping that they thrive. It would be such a joy to have hibiscus flowers every year. I don’t think the colors will be as spectacular as the tropical hibiscus but I think the size of the rose mallow flower is much larger. Only time and good fortune will tell!
My grape tomatoes are ripening! The radishes are doing something, but I really think they are doing something odd, not something radishy. I am sure they are growing down and long, not round. The bits of red I can see between the leaves and the soil look distinctly oblong, not spherical. I’m giving them a bit longer. No pictures of those yet.
I had to hunt down canna lilies this year. Last year I had no trouble finding them and I noticed that the butterflies seemed to really enjoy them. I already told you my thrill upon seeing one of those tropicana canna lilies wintered over and is growing. I have a recollection that I usually head out the last week in June to get my cannas. I went out on Saturday. Unlike my usual style I’ll cut this story short. It took me over 1.5 hours to find them. 3 Home Depots, 1 Lowes, 1 of my usual nurseries and a Walmart. It was the 3rd Home Depot where I finally found some. They were not all that great looking either. 2 of them had tags indicating variety, the other 3 did not. I’m hoping they are tropicanas because those grow to 6 feet. I was planning to go online and pay whatever I had to pay to get some cannas if that last store had not had them. I was exhausted, it had started raining, the humidity was horrible and I was distraught at the idea of no cannas. There were 7 left at the store. At one point I had all of them in my cart, but then I put 2 back. I wasn’t really sure I could fit 7 in the garden (they get fairly large) and I thought maybe someone else was hunting for cannas as crazed as I was by the scarcity. I promise you a picture as they get larger.
My lovage is doing very well in its new location. The ones I left behind in the planter are not as happy. I do like the blue flowers. 🙂 Do you have any idea how difficult it is to weed around a cactus? They don’t seem to appreciate the effort I make to keep their pots clear of clover and other weeds.
My pollinator plants are doing well. I have lots of bees all over the goose neck (Lysimachia clethroides) and the swamp milkweed. No one seems to have discovered the hyssop or the butterfly weed yet. I hope the butterflies get here. 🙂 Can the bees use up all the good parts???
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. 🙂
They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, meaning it happens long after the fact. What do they say about gifts that appear long after the gifting? There must be some equally apt phrase. Maybe it’s “good things come to those who wait”.
I have finally decided to upgrade my blog from a free account to a paid account. I have no good reason. Or rather, I suspect the final straw is NOT something that will be handled by a paid account. The last week or so I’ve been getting trackbacks from spam sites. It was annoying. I’ve also used over 75% of my media storage. I thought I’d investigate and see what I’d learn.
I had a wonderful, informative, upbeat chat with the online chat support. Do you know that they are called “Happiness Engineers”? I think that is a GREAT title. The person with whom I was chatting was a fantastic representative of that concept. She gave me a discount code to give me 2 months free. I noticed something odd when I went to pay. The screen was showing me a $15 credit, bringing the bill to $33. When I put in the discount code, the amount was just over $39. ???? I asked my happiness engineer where the $15 credit originated. She said “The $15 credit is applying the value you have left in your current plan to the upgraded one.” Well that was odd. My current plan was a FREE plan, I had never paid any money to WordPress. The HE agreed my plan was a free one and she investigated further. “I show $15 in gift credit from a user named “Fricker Fraker” back in 2009. Dear reader, I kid you not – tears came to my eyes.
Fricker – I don’t know where you are, or how you are, but thank you, thank you, thank you. What a sweet, generous gesture on your part. Which is exactly how I remember you.
The Jewish calendar has many twists and turns. Our dear friend Lalo Telling passed away on the 1st of Tevet on the Hebrew calendar in the year 2012 of the Gregorian calendar. That means that his yahrtzeit (the anniversary of his death) occurs during Rosh Chodesh. Some Hebrew months always have TWO days for Rosh Chodesh. Some Hebrew months always have ONE day for Rosh Chodesh. Some months, well, it varies. You probably guessed that for Tevet it varies. This month Tevet has one day, apparently. I believe that means that starting at sundown on December 3, 2013 through sundown December 4, 2013 is the first day of Tevet and is Rosh Chodesh and is indeed Lalo’s yahrtzeit. If I’m wrong – I think Lalo will forgive me.
It’s been a year. I miss him still, very much. Passover came and went without him skyping in to our celebration. After only 2 years he was a regular and the other regulars all asked after him and missed his presence. The high holidays came and went in the fall and there was no Lalo to discuss d’vrei Torah and sermons and meaning and customs. Now it’s Chanukah. Last year I flew out to be with him. We lit the Chanukiah, we sang the prayers, we sang other songs and blessings. Despite the sad reason for my presence, we had a very very good time. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be with him then.
Lalo and I didn’t know each other all that long in SL. We met in the late winter of 2011, inworld. We happened to be at the same musical event. I’d been following his blog and IM’d him to introduce myself. As it happens so often in SL, we clicked. We cared about many of the same things, laughed at the same things, enjoyed playing in SL. I still have not written up half the adventures that Lalo, Bamboo and I took together in SL. The one in the truck with Bamboo, when we were run off the road by a tank – that was a true SL/Lalo/Ahuva/Bamboo classic. Shortly after I met him he was blessed with a FL friend and companion, Emspar. He and I had less time to play inworld because his outworld was so full of joy with Emspar and with work. We still had Friday nights at Tribeca with the rest of the gang, and Fridays at The Listening Room with those wonderful folks, and dancing at Fogbound and with Noma and Taunter and Komuso. We visited SL amusements, learned to ride horses at Carriage Trade, did the big SL celebrations. When I look back, by the Gregorian calendar it wasn’t very long. But in SL terms it was. SL has never been quite the same for me since he died. I feel the loss so keenly there. A part of me still checks the friends list to see if he’s logged in yet.
I love to think of Lalo. I love to remember our conversations on Judaism, on engineering, music, books, life. He was intelligent, witty, funny, and so full of interesting information. I miss you, dear friend, more than I could have ever realized. Thank you for enriching my life. Your memory is a blessing to me.
Lest you think I closed my SL account and faded out of the digital world, I offer proof of my virtual presence. 🙂 Dz’s rez day was yesterday and Daez threw a party! *laughing* Of course, being Daez, she put her own twist of fun into it – she had Dz help plan it without knowing that it was for Dz! I rather like that, myself. What I liked even more was that Daez got word to me a week in advance so that I wouldn’t miss the party. I put it on my calendar and made sure I had reminders triggered so that I wouldn’t get distracted and lose track of time.
I rezzed in right on time. It was a big day for Abby Rose, since MALES were allowed to attend the party. Usually the Abby is gals only. *grin* The Abby is MANY things usually but certainly one of them is “gals only”. *grin* Noma Falta was rocking the joint when I caught Daez’s taxi. Dz and Daez were in their usual spot – right up front, stage right. Daez told me the dance hud was on her derriere and to give it a tap. Except…. omg….. I couldn’t remember HOW to do that. Seriously. I stood there watching them dance, trying to remember how to touch something in SL. I actually IM’d Daez to ask how. Thank goodness I remembered before she responded. Whew!!!! Okay, I have DEFINITELY been out too long. That was extremely embarrassing. As usual, Dz needed to give me some directions for getting myself inline. THAT has always been the case! *grin* I parallel park much better than I can line up in SL. Once in my place, I got to rock the night away to the great tunes of Noma, hanging out yet again with Dz and Daez. Felt like home, felt like I’d never been away. *smile*
Happy rez day, Dz!!!!! *HUGS* Great party, Daez! 🙂
On the road, can’t make it inworld. So I did something as good – I met up with SL friends in “RL”. Erev AH5B I had dinner with Dale. Lovely lovely time – great food, great ambiance and wonderful company. 🙂 Tonight I had dinner with another friend I met first in SL. M is no longer inworld but we stay in touch. I was within an hour of his location today so we met for dinner. Again – a wonderful wonderful time. We’d not seen each other in at least 2 years. We talked and laughed and reminisced. So in a very real sense – I WAS in SL for AH5B. When I got in my car to drive home, Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” was playing on the radio. I thought it quite apt. Since I have no SL photo to share, I’ll share the music. I’ll also share my thought: I wouldn’t trade away a single moment of my SL time. It’s been 5 amazing years. I’ve grown, learned, laughed, hurt, loved, lost, lived. I’ve integrated my SLness into my RLness. I may not be inworld as much as I used to show up but believe me – SL is in my world all the time. SL has given me many of the “times of my life”.