Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Middle Passage Discussion

About two weeks ago, I visited the Middle Passage experience in the Saminaka sim. Today, there was a follow-up discussion led by Acuminous Watanabe, a psychologist in RL, for those who went through it to share their impressions. Like me, others were affected by what their personas went through--being ripped from families and their homes, and the confusion and inability to communicate in this new foreign place where they were treated so horribly. One thing we all agreed upon was SL's positive aspect as a medium with which to be able to share something like this and be able to discuss it--despite the painful aspects it brings up. I believe, and will continue to believe, that SL helps us to see past barriers we might have in place in RL and see one another as persons--no matter our ethnicity or anything else.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tinies Dogfighting in Steelhead Port Harbor

Lunar has been making changes to the beautiful steampunk port sim of Steelhead Port Harbor. He created a great floating runway for an the upcoming tinies dogfight in conjunction with the "Summer of Flight" aviation exhibit at the Steelhead Public Library organized by Miss Riven Homewood and Mr Nichus Bermann. Planes of all eras from the collection of Hotspur O'Toole and myself are out on display at the Hotel & Ballroom in Steelhead Capital City.

The Tinies Dogfight itself will be in Steelhead Port Harbor on Wednesday, July 1 at 7 pm SLT, but there will be an overseas-friendly one at 1pm SLT as well. Free tiny aircraft by Cornelius Fanshaw will be provided and everyone is welcome. Just bring your bravery and your tiny self! And feel free to come to Steelhead and practice your flying beforehand. After all...you wouldn't want this to happen to you ("Oh, the huge manatees!")...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Resting A Bit

Things have been so busy, but finally I was able to curl up on my comfy sofa in my sky gazebo to catch my breath for a bit! Should be releasing some new pieces soon. Designing is hard work! Speaking of designs, I'm not a fashion blogger, but I got so hyped when I saw this Zaara "Mrinali" dress that I am wearing. You can't see the asymmetrical hemline on it, but "Wow." I love it. I actually don't like to shop (*gasp*) very much, but this dress had to come home with me! Okay, that one and like 5 other outfits too...

On a good note, the Fantasy Faire raised over 2 million Lindens ($7000 USD) for SL RFL! I am glad I participated in it and thank you to all of you who attended and gave.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Midsummer Grand Tour: Al-Andalus

Given all of the stability problems this weekend, Phin and I genuinely thought we'd be kicked out at 10:30 SLT, but when we found ourselves still inworld, we thought we'd take our chances and head on over to the Al-Andalus stop of the Grand Tour RFL benefit dances that went throughout the historic sims. I think it's safe to say we danced a pretty sulty tango...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vegas Night in Steelhead

Steelhead's party theme tonight was Vegas...a place that I love! I put on my spangles, feathers and back piece and headed on over...
We even had a flying Elvis...You know what they say: "Whatever happens in Steelhead, stays in Steelhead!" Ooo...buffet!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Remembering the Middle Passage

There are times that surprise you with the emotions you feel inworld. For me, this was one of them. On a tip from NWN, I thought I would go to the Saminaka sim after hearing about an interactive experience that allows you to experience the Middle Passage--when almost 20 millions Africans were enslaved and sent to points overseas. Upon my arrival, I was instructed to choose a persona box, which came with clothing and information about the person you were portraying. Mine, "Nzinga", was a 36-year old Kongo married mother of six who was captured by the Portuguese traders in 1619...You are instructed to go to the Door of No Return--which represents the last time that most stood on African soil before being loaded onto the ship. You are instructed to strip down to only your loincloth undergarment and I also put on the shackles that were provided. What I did not expect was my RL visceral reaction to doing so. I stood there and hesitated. I did not want to...
I found myself actually taking a deep breath and stepped through. I passed the Egungun--representing the ancestors. As you walk along the representation of the ship there are large flowers to touch, each containing RL narratives/accounts of experiences. When you get to the end, more boxes await and you choose the one with your persona...this time it is for when you have arrived in America...
Now in my new garments of an American slave and with the name "Mary", I find that my persona was sold to a captain in Jamestown, VA. To find out what happened to her and others, you must go and visit for yourself. I found it to be a very moving experience. This is the kind of thing SL is truly meant for and I commend Tamsin Barzane for creating it.
I felt this inworld experience was worth it. I know that many of my RL ancestors experienced this and I am here today because they were strong enough to survive it. In 2001, RL me got a chance to stand Goree Island, Senegal's museum and memorial "Door of No Return". For me, it meant a lot to me that I did...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elle's Avatar Influences

Zoe and I had a big discussion about influences for our avatars yesterday and I promised I'd post mine too. I joked that the two of us had similar ones given our love of beautiful, curvy bombshells such as Raquel Welch and Sophia Loren:

The gorgeous Dorothy Dandridge was a big influence on my look as well...

Then of course, there is...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fantasy Faire 2009 Kicks Off

As a fundraiser for SL RFL, the Friends Fighting Cancer team has organized Fantasy Faire 2009, a week-long multi-sim event featuring creators across the fantasy genre:As you know, I love being a dark elf whenever I get the chance (which hasn't been nearly enough lately!), so I thought I'd go ahead and put in for a spot. I had a lot of fun creating my shop space, located in the Elvencourt sim. Yes, I managed to bring a bit of the Underdark to the surface. Click HERE to see my shop and visit the many other wonderful creators there as well! You won't be sorry as there is something for everyone...Lunar and I took a break in some flower chairs by Elorian Garden. I made a joke about the size of his weapon. Feel free to fill in the punchline for yourself...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Bit of MST3K Fun

I was watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K): The Movie today and couldn't stop laughing (it used "This Island Earth" as the movie). It had been a long time since I had seen any MST3K. Pure comedy.

I remembered that I took this shot while having fun with Lunar on the Make Him Over Hunt the other night. Yeah, sure, not the most ladylike of poses in a minidress, but I don't think they care...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thinking Out Loud...

I have been very busy inworld lately, between some building projects and trying to work on some new things for the shops. I have been more low-key lately in general, as I mainly just want to create and be with close friends that I care about. I'm still quite active in Steelhead and I love participating in the community there.

I've been busy in RL as well, between travel, RL writing and art projects, and spending time with my family. I also think I must have lost my mind as I will be taking the Foreign Service Officer Exam in two days, which is like...well, Jeopardy! with its almost quiz show-like questions, which to me--you either know or you don't. You can prep for it, but I don't think you can truly "study" for it. All of these pressing things on my RL time have been making me think again about what I want from my SL.

You know, I'm usually pretty positive. However, I often see how we treat one another while in SL, which is often in unnecessarily ugly and/or hurtful ways. I don't know if it's the relative anonymity of it all or what, but insecurities, egos, hurts and misunderstandings seem to be even more amplified in here. I often find myself thinking after reading about or even experiencing something: "For what? Why does it matter so damn much? Why do/should I even care?" I came to a simple conclusion: I can't. I often feel...tired.

Our SL is what we make of it and our purposes within it varied. All I know is I just wish to be happy while there, otherwise, why bother? I'm no angel, by any means, but I want my own SL to be a bit closer to heaven than hell. You can't change others, but you can change how you deal with it.

Just thinking out loud.