Saturday, May 31, 2008

On Turning Another Year

I am waiting for a thunderstorm to subside so I can go out into the world. I got to thinking , "Screw it!" Why not let everyone see the typist behind the avatar?

Here I am at 21, when local runway modeling paid for my college books... Here I am at 33. I wear less makeup now than then, go fig..
And today I am 34.

Why show my RL pics? Because behind every avatar is a RL person. How and what we choose to present in terms of ourselves inworld could be dismissed as irrelevant, but we make very conscious choices about it--whether the year-old resident who clings to their newbie skin and hair, a model-like fashionista, a kid, a furry, an elf, or that buff guy wielding a sword. We all have our reasons for being here and last time I looked, we're all adults here. And if you are not over 18 and you're in the main grid (which is rare), you're wrong, you deceitful little idiots. Where the F are your parents?

I can't change this RL avatar, but inworld I can be literally anything. I know I reflect how I feel and who I feel I am through my inworld avatars. There are plenty of things that make me raise an eyebrow, but I respect a resident's right to be who--or what--they please. That's the way it is in RL, for good or bad. Why should our virtual life be any different?

My RL storm has lessened a bit and I'm going out. I get the feeling an inworld one is just beginning...

Out in The World

After seeing The World on Torley's blog, I got Phin to join me there and don his former neko look for my RL birthday! He's so cute with his kitty ears and tail!Here I am playing in the fountain a la Anita Ekberg...
Later, I curled up next to him and we talked about everything. We have a really easygoing, caring relationship that works, even after 8 months together. What a lovely way to spend the first hours of my birthday...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stars and Monsters and Quiet

I Heart Madcow. He is always so much fun to talk to. We were discussing art and astronomy and how beautiful the universe is and how it inspires our work. I gave him a piece of my RL "Starbirth" art series and he gave me a "Solar Dragon" AV as an early birthday present (it's this Saturday). He had created it for himself based upon a piece at his NMC installation, "Ars Simulacra." You can see a shot of the original sculpture here, although photos just don't do justice to how beautiful it is...Kheph is the creator of the Lovecraft god-monsters at October Country and invited me to a surprise birthday party thrown for Taliesin Morgath. Of course we showed up as the Deep One and me, as a Mi-Go. Another partygoer came as an Elder Thing. Seeing us dance was pure comedy. Only inworld...
I ended the evening with Lunar, talking at the SL Botanical Gardens. That's a quiet place I hadn't been to in a long time...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Visit to Aglarond

I love when others show me their favorite places inworld. Tonight, Lunar gave me a tour of one of his, Aglarond, a medieval fantasy sim. He was in his demon-like blood elf form, which is pretty spectacular with the armor and silver horns and the wings and *sighs*.

Me? Just my human self tonight, and at one point while exploring he told me to look up and see something I might like. He was right...

Take to the Skies

Phin is a SL aviation enthusiast and a very good pilot, so for his Rez Day I gifted him with two planes. The nice thing is that they are both two-seaters so I was able to go along for the ride! We headed to Second Skies and took to the air...This one is my fave...the B24 Liberator bomber. Four engines and great sound effects made it a lot of fun. I'm the nose gunner...
I had way too much fun as Phin expertly took us up and over the sim of Extropia Core nearby...
Here we are with a dramatic takeoff in the F94 Starfire jet...Whoo!!!!
All three handled very well, with no hiccups or crashes or triple-0 limbo incidents. They all handled sim crossings very well too. I had a great time.

Elle's RL Match

I've done this in RL before for the fun of it, but it seems an almost meme is going around where folks are matching their inworld selves to their RL celebrity counterparts. Hey, why not, you know? Here's mine...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Finished the Zaghareet Ruby Version!

I tend to design in big batches, so I've been pretty productive lately. Here is the ruby version of the Zaghareet Egyptian dancer's outfit...I love a dress that flows well when I dance...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ghosts of Landmarks Past, Pt I

I thought that I would be good and do some inventory cleanup. Looking through my landmarks, I realized I had some really old ones and thought I'd bounce from LM to LM! A lot of places moved or changed hands, especially a lot of my fave salsa dancing haunts, but some were still there like the Gardens of Apollo in Acropolis...I landed on my head a lot. Barely escaped banlines and security orbs. Rezzed into water...a LOT. I popped by my first home, the island of Digital Nirvana. My former corner lot now has a treehouse on it. I smiled as I remembered really good times with a handsome neighbor there. I moved on...
And rezzed on a pier in the island of Ibiza to a wand wielding woman and two Mr Potato Heads. Dear God, did she do that to them? I took a snap and Tp'd out just as one put on his tongue and came a little too close to me. But at least it isn't as bad as TP'ing to a LM and surprising a brand-new club owner in the middle of building and the lovely lady beside him holding a clipboard and wearing just a strap-on. All of us laughed actually when I explained that I was just popping through very old LMs. The bouncing around was actually a lot of fun and made me recall my wide-eyed noob days, when I explored constantly and lately, I've been doing that again. It's a big world out there with lots to see...even Potato Heads.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Of Building and Inspiration

I sat perched on my favorite place to sit on the Tower, the hand, and just thought about the past few days. When I submitted the proposal to Bettina for the Rezzable Garden, I took a chance. Who knew me as a builder? Who knew Kheph as one beyond his inventions? But all that I knew is that I thought the two of us could create something beautiful together. My general artistic concept was "aethereal steampunk" as I saw a delicate tower of oxidized copper in the sky...
When I saw some of the names already selected, I was like "Oh hell" and a bit of fear--alright sheer panic-- actually set in, which was unfounded as my fellow Gardeners have been nothing but supportive and wonderful. For two weeks and countless hours we were busy building, usually Kheph during the day and me during the wee hours of the night. Tweaking textures. Replacing pieces. Trusting each other with mod rights and each other's work. Give and take. Pushing each other creatively as we have for months now in other things we do together. And when we stepped back finally, we couldn't believe ourselves. To have the Tower be as well-received as it is has been an absolute surprise and both Kheph and I are amazed and thrilled at how much folks love it.
Meet Frank. Being able to create is highly valued in our world and that's an ability I want to be able to share with others, so I gave Phin a building lesson and told him "Build me a cat. See it. See the shapes of it. Don't worry about what others will think of it. GO." It was the first time he has ever done anything like this and that night, it's like something clicked inside of him. This experience with the Garden is wonderful...and being able to pass on that inspiration is part of what being inworld is all about...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Egyptian Dancer Elle

Lord Greystoke, Gnarlihotep Abel, threw a fun hafla dance/party at his RFL Egyptian-themed build above Caledon Greystoke. Here I am at his Karnak Temple in my 1860s Egyptian dancer's outfit that I whipped up just before the party. You'll be able to find it in his bazaar there as well as my shops by Friday.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sophrosyne's Salon: "NASA Looks at Virtual Worlds"

I love space and astronomy. So much so that a series of my RL artwork is based upon NASA/ESA Hubble photos and astronomy/theoretical physics concepts. So today's salon in Extropia Core about NASA and its presence in SL was very interesting to me. The speaker was Universa Vanaltern, who works in the Strategic Communications office at NASA HQ in Washington, DC.

She spoke about how NASA is using its CoLab as a way to experiment and collaborate by giving scientists, employees, entrepreneurs, and engineers from all over the world a place to work on projects. The Space CoLab group is open to all, and the CoLab is open to visitors, especially on Tuesdays, when there is a welcome at Noon SLT.

"Education is about inspiring the next generation of explorers," Vanaltern said. She spoke more about the challenges of making space exploration important, NASA's projects, and how NASA has helped create innovations that have been helpful in other fields such as medicine. But to me, one of her most interesting statements was about investing in the future for mankind: That NASA gets 6/10 of 1% of the federal budget, yet the usual advice is that one is expected to give 10% towards your retirement/future planning.

I love the idea of NASA being present and able to use SL as a medium for collaboration. If you would like to come to one of Sophrosyne Stenvaag's salons, they are usually held at 1 PM SLT on Saturdays. You may also check her blog or the Extropia Core main site for future events.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Posts from the Garden: Opening Day

Opening Day at the Rezzable Garden of NPIRL Delights found me roaming the build as an angel in Nix Sands' beautiful 1400s golden armor. I started off at Madcow's "Heterotroph"...It being Friday, I was invited to a shabbat candle lighting ceremony over at my build neighbor Jieux Shepherd's, led by Beth Odets. I had never been to one before. Thank you for including me Jieux!
Over at the Tower, SL celeb fashion designer Callie Cline stopped by to tell me how much she liked it and we shot the breeze talking for a while...
Phin sat in the scales and got judged. It ain't lookin' good for him...
Later, Lunar and I danced on the wall--or is it a floor--of Darkle Sands' "Labyrinth" build...

Rezzable Garden of NPIRL Delights Open!

I sat perched upon our creation waiting for the time for the Rezzable Garden of NPIRL Delights to finally open to the public! Based upon Hieronymous Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" (one of my absolute fave pieces), the Festival features some of SL's best creators and scripters. Around 12:05 SLT I was amazed as it was as if the sims fairly exploded with green dots! It was so incredibly exciting to see!Madcow Cosmos and I were both excited and had fun watching people going by. Remember Madcow, the HUD is the navigation-challenged's friend!
My build with Kheph, the "Tower of Industrial Judgement", is inspired by the "Earth" central panel of the triptych. My concept was that of a "aethereal steampunk tower" and we thought of man, technology, and the Tower of Babel. Kheph and I ran with that, making it a truly collaborative build, both of us adding onto it and surprising each other. Madcow asked me my fave part of it. I love building the fishie, the scales, and oddly enough...these walkways and platforms that I think give it a certain delicacy...
Fellow artist and Gardener Eshi Otawara came over and ended up trying out the swinging wrecking ball. Her dress has this unbelievably beautiful texture...
But I am already finding that a crowd favorite is high in the flying fishie, based upon the painting and my late fighting fish Magic. Please come and visit the Festival! You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sophrosyne's Salon: "Coming of Age in SL"

Being a SL explorer, I am always interested in discussions about interactions and the various sub/cultures that exist here in SL, so when I saw a notice for a salon held in Extropia Core by Sophrosyne Stenvaag, I had to attend. The speaker was Tom Buchowski (RL: Tom Boellstorff), who is a RL anthropologist at UC Irvine who did an ethnographic study on SL and as a long-time resident himself, wrote a book entitled Coming of Age in Second Life.

He found that he had to change very little about his research methods and that it has been hard to get his colleagues and others to see past what they think SL is, as well as the stereotypes of people inworld as such things as "geeks, loners or elitists." I asked him to tell us about the broader patterns that he saw and he was excited, saying the following (in brief):
1. Place: Our world is a persistent environment that goes on whether we're logged in/out and it is not bound by physical law
2. Time: "Synchronic sociality" and how despite our worldwide physical locations we have to come together at the same time. PST is the virtual worlds' GMT.
3. Embodiment: Flexibility of how we can present ourselves literally in any form and how alts challenge that by being multiple embodiments.
4. Techne: I personally found this concept the most fascinating point."Techne" is a Greek concept of "craft", as compared to "episteme", which is knowledge and science. As a RL & SL creator myself, his notion of how the virtual worlds' emphasis on "techne"/creation could become central to social relations and interactions/beliefs was really thought-provoking to me.

Please visit his site (above) for more information about his work, and if you would like more info about the salons and Extropia Core, please visit their site as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hopper's "Nighthawks" and a Mondrian Megaprim Build

Phin invited me to join him in the PrimTings sim to see the Edward Hopper "Nighthawks" build...While there, a performance art piece involving creating a Mondrian piece with megaprims was going on and I followed the tp and found myself inside...

David Rumsey Maps & Inspiration

I got Lunar to brave the borky horror that was inworld late last night to visit the David Rumsey sim with its selections from his historical map collection presented in amazing ways such as this one of Yosemite...
My favorite was the 1792 "Globo Celeste" by Giovanni Maria Cassini, with its planetary orrery swirling below you as you glide by, surrounded by images of the heavens...
Here inworld, there is such potential for beauty and shared knowledge. For creators and thinkers and artists to inspire and share those inspirations with everyone...
Even when we feel at our smallest, we can bring something truly wonderful to this world.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

[SOLD] Caledon Regency Parcel Available!


I am selling the parcel rights to my beautiful 1536 waterside lot in Regency as I would like to relocate to another lot closer to the hub there.

It is at #10 Thornfield, Regency's main road, just at the bend. The neighbors in Regency are friendly, the architecture's pretty, and yes, you really can sail from there (I've done it!).

I am selling it for $18,432L which is the original price I purchased the land rights for from the Guvnah. You will continue to pay tier to him. It is a double prim lot with 702 prims available and if you would like to a copy of the pier with its Caledon bunting, I will be more than happy to give you one. Click HERE if you would like to visit and see the property.

Please contact me inworld if you are interested. Thank you!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Of Flowers and Beauty

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched...but are felt in the heart.
--Helen Keller

I can not wait to show this to Vittorio...

It is his beautiful meadow on a large scale, like a wild remnant of this town's natural past, as realized by Lunar in the heart of Steelhead Boomtown after seeing mine. What Lunar told me personally about it truly touched me and makes me smile.

For meadow is a piece of my friend and my "happy place" that few get to see. But this one? I hope the folks of Boomtown find it just as stunning as I did as when I first saw his...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lazy Borky SLunday

Congrats to Zoe on the Connolly Aerodrome being named the #1 Wonder of Caledon!

Things inworld had gone a little borky, so I curled up with Phin on the hammock overlooking the residential part of Mayfair below. Usually when we're at the Aerodrome we are flying, but today seemed a perfect day to just lie there and talk. Do we look comfortable or what?

Friday, May 9, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

*sighs* Yes, I was Dorothy tonight! I was all dressed up for an Oz-themed party in Steelhead. Someone joked that my Toto looked like he got smacked over the head with a cod...

I have great news though! Vittorio woke up today! I was IMd and told that he woke up, spoke to his nurse and went back to sleep. The doctor joked to his family "See! Told you he was just faking it!" Clags and I knew that he was way too stubborn to let a little accident get in his way.

This has truly made my day!

Have Inventor Friends? Will Be Guinea Pig!

Newbe and Kheph are both steampunk inventors and scripters. For as long as I've known both, I've been their willing guinea pig. Today we tested Newbe's new balloon skydiving lift that he'll be releasing early next week so look out for it. You can pick both the height to drop from as well as the ascent speed. It's a lot of fun...Freefalling through the air. At least THIS time I had my parachute on!
And here we are gliding towards the ground at SteamSkyCity. Yeah!