Thursday, April 30, 2009


I'm stealing my neighbor's Internet connection to write this post.

Sorry to those of you who read the headline and thought it was going to be about some kind of a fashion drama or skin scandal.

But hey, speaking of, what the hell happened to Lazolli? Those are some of my favorite skins. If they turned out to be ripped, does anyone know from where?

So yeah, I have no Internet today. Yesterday we ordered the Major League Baseball channel package, so the cable guy swung by to screw around with our cable wires. But instead of competently installing more channels, the guy knocked out our phone, television and Internet all in one swoop.

My dad screamed, "THE CUBS!" and I screamed "THE FISH!" at the same time.

The cable company said they'd try to fix it "between noon and 4 p.m." today, which really means "sometime next week."

Meanwhile, I discovered that I can use my next-door neighbor's wireless connection to get online, but it doesn't give me enough juice to get in world. Or at least not for any significant period of time.

Normally I wouldn't care (I swear!) except the Gone Fishing Hunt ends today, and as you may recall, I was REALLY DETERMINED to finish that hunt.

I think I still have about 35 fish to go. I thought I was in the home stretch at Prize No. 92, but the other day Jon randomly caught Prize No. 110 somewhere . . . and it contained a landmark to No. 111.

That's when I put my head down and sobbed.

How many stops does that [stream of obscenities] hunt have?????

I've heard some people talking about how "crappy" ("carpy?") those prizes are anyway, but maybe you have to be a fishing enthusiast to appreciate them. Plus, if there are 992 prizes, there are bound to be a few good ones.

Like Prize No. 87: This "Gone Fish'N" outfit. Catch it at Tyranny Designs.


That was smart of me to shoot that brown-and-tan outfit against that brown-and-tan background.

You can't see it, but it has a groovy little green hood hanging down the back. And the detailing on those capris is really cute -- bait and hooks and stuff in the pockets.

The fishing basket holds some little bunnies with their own little bags of fishies:



The outfit also comes with a hook that sticks out of your mouth, but I'm not wearing it in these photos. 

I never did get that whole Second Life phenomenon of running around with stuff sticking out of your mouth.

That hair, along with a black version of it, is a free gift in the Magika subscribo. It has a long ponytail. You can't see the ponytail because the hair blends in with the wall behind it. Oops. But trust me, it's there.

I'd give you the SLurl for Magika (am I even spelling it right????), except I can't get in world. :(

This is one of the worst posts ever.

/kicks Comcast

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Turtles, mermaids, sex and yo mama

Sorry it's been a while. I know you've all been suffering. 

In all seriousness, I do want to publicly apologize to my friend Ronnie Rhode though. She had a great charity event last weekend and I didn't get a chance to tell you to check it out. But if you missed the post I wrote last year about her heroic efforts to increase SL awareness of RL missing kids, please click and read "Hope blooms in the Garden for the Missing" and show her some linden love -- or even a message of support -- if you can. There are donation boxes at the Garden. And do check out the Garden. 

As for the gap in posts, I don't have a lot to say these days. I'm really really really (and a million more "really"s) stressed-out in real life, but hey who isn't? I guess that's no excuse. But I'm using it!

I've taken on maybe more PR consulting gigs than I can chew, on top of maybe more magazine assignments than I can chew . . . and then while I was walking my geriatric dog the other day, I found a little turtle in my driveway, stumbling around in confusion.

Because I am Queen Sappy Animal-Lover-slash-Stray-Everything Collector (where's my crown?), I picked up the turtle and took it home. (And YES, I washed my hands! I know they can be Salmonella carriers.)

And because, according to a long-ago corporate personality test, I am "A Researcher" by nature, I Googled "I found a turtle. What do I do?" and discovered that a) it's a baby red-eared slider and b) it's supposed to be in water with places to bask on land, so c) WTF was it doing in my driveway?

We have creeks around here. Maybe a bird picked it up, flew over my driveway, and dropped it. Or damn, maybe that thing can walk long distances!

I hooked up a tiny aquarium for it and bought some nasty turtle food (worms! freeze-dried shrimp! pellets! lettuce! Ew!) as well as a "basking platform," but if I really want to go all out and become a full-time turtle mom, I'm gonna have to shell out (pardon the pun) about $200 bucks for a fancy turtle habitat with a heating light, water filter, etc., etc., etc.

You may once again be asking "WTF does this have to do with Second Life?" and I guess the answer is because when most people chat with me in world these days, they get, "Hold on -- I have to put my turtle in the sun" or "Hold on -- I have to feed my turtle" or "Wait, I need to check to see if the turtle is still alive" or "MY GOD, THIS TURTLE IS STRESSING ME OUT!"


I went to a local park and scoped out a pond yesterday, but it was full of kids running around and people fishing and I had a horrible vision of some little kid finding my turtle and taking it home and not making sure it gets enough calcium and Vitamin D . . . or somebody snagging it on a fishing rod.

Then I went to a local creek and it was full of rednecks just . . . stomping around in it, or whatever Tennessee rednecks do in creeks.

:(  :(  :(

Emerald/Erinn waves goodbye to $200 . . . and the blonde highlights she's been fantasizing about getting, which would cost about the same.

So speaking of turtles and fishing:


This "Toxica" mermaid outfit is prize No. 59 on the Gone Fishing Hunt. Catch it at the fishing hole at TempT. The cool hair is included. So is that TURTLE that's soaring over my head (it's called Toxic Turtle Pet). Sorry you can't see his pink radioactive shell in this photo.

(See how I just magically melded two separate turtles in two separate worlds together!!!)

That gray thing around my waist actually is a net belt with a bunch of stuff caught in it, also included in the outfit. It's rezzed . . . they just maybe shouldn't have colored it gray. 

I suck at taking photos (NO! REALLY??), particularly because I should have set my environment to midnight -- I later discovered that the mermaid getup is all COOL AND GLOWY in the dark!!!

(That, um, oyster shell up there is courtesy of a past hunt at Lemania Indigo. No further comment, except that Jon insisted that I delete it from our back deck.)

And yeah, Jon is shacking up with me. Less than 24 hours after I gave him the keys, I come home to find . . . 



The duck thing is an inside joke between us that goes all the way back to real life, before I even knew Second Life EXISTED.

But in Second Life, back when we were noobs, that particular duck was always trying to get in on the action:


Hey, speaking of Jon, I'd like to thank the SL Diva Elizabeth Hallstrom aka Lizzie Lexington for her fashion expertise. We gave Jon a makeover the other day.




(Yes, we wear matching ducks. We're annoying like that. And yes, I think I've gotten Jon hooked on fishing . . . and my phonics -- ha ha ha! *bad joke, sorry*)

Jon is sporting the new . . . shoot, Jonas? Miguel? Mathieu? (I suck) . . . skin from Belleza and I think we lazy-asses also just grabbed the shape that went with it while we were there. We bought a couple of Belleza skins and shapes, actually, and I think Jon is wearing the Jonas skin (and shape?) that Belleza just dropped on its group this week. Join the group and grab it, you manly men!

(But Jon, now that I look at it, maybe I liked the Miguel shape better? LOL)

Jon wants to SMACK ME upside the head right now for dragging him around, bossing him around and basically transforming him into my GQ fantasy. 

I offered to do the same for him -- um, as long as he doesn't mess with my face. He said "occasionally a goth Emerald might be hot."

Uh . . . . . . . who wants to give Emerald a goth makeover? :\ 

Anyhoo, hats off also to my friend Gahum Riptide (haaaaay, ware's your new blog, Gahum??) for allowing me to drag him off the SL InWorld Today society pages (scroll around, you'll find him) for a minute so he could give me some men's fashion advice. I believe he has a side business as a makeover artist/image consultant, should any of you need his expert services.

And another thank you to Elizabeth/Lizzie for taking Jon clothes shopping while I was offline. (HEY, what else were you guys doing????!!! *kidding*)

As far as this post title goes, I think I've covered everything except sex and yo mama. 

I'll save that for some other time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy face

I logged in this morning to find a note and a big bucket of worms from my friend and blogger extraordinaire Caitlain Clowes. (Check her blog Cait's Finds for fun and shopping bliss.)

She wrote, "Sometimes friends give hugs, sometimes they just give you more bait."

(*sniff* Hugs, Cait!)

So I loaded up my rod with Cait's bait, headed over to the nearest fishing hole and caught . . .


. . . . JON???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jon has been away for a really long time.

I guess he heard my SOS.

I missed him. :(


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

See, I could have ended this post sort of dramatically with that picture right there, but I need to point out that rawwwwwkin' rocking chair.

When it doesn't have a big strapping man holding a highly emotional girl in it, it looks like this:


It's called A Quiet Moment and it's a lucky board exclusive at Belle Belle furniture. And yeah, it's got that "awwwww!"-inducing couple pose in it.

While you're stalking Belle Belle's lucky board, don't forget to slap the Midnight Mania board there too. The featured furniture piece will change each week until eventually, if you're lucky, you'll have Belle Belle's entire Luna living room set. I love you (designer) Leyla Firefly!

This week's featured MM piece is the Luna Coffee Table. And as you can see, I was too late to snag it today. *sigh*


A little bird told me that next week's MM prize will be the Luna chair and matching poof (the noun, not the verb).

And leave it to me to totally kill a sort of romantic post with a random furniture tangent.

But hey, would you expect any less?  :D

(Pose at top from VPoses $30L; dress: Vogue in silver from Zenith, $100L; shoes: whatever, they get enough play on this blog.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Fish Rewrite


*blows smoke off the blog-killing pistol*

The first version was weepy.

So, once again . . . and this time without feeling!

Sorry I've been The Queen of Blowing You Off lately. I've got the blues. Fighting a battle. Low on ammunition. Blah blah blahbety blah blah.

The fact that I'm currently writing a RL magazine article called "Ten of the Most Beautiful Brides in the South!" (yes, with an exclamation point) probably isn't helping much. Coming soon to a bridal magazine near you!!


And if you're one of those "chin up and pull yourself together!" people . . . well, take that sh*t somewhere else right now.

I don't want a pep talk. I don't want sympathy. I don't want nurturing. And for the love of God, spare the tough love. If you say anything at all about my Big Blue Monster, just say, "HELL YES, life's a bitch, but don't forget that sometimes it can be SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL too."

Maybe I'll buy that line.

Right now all I want to do is fish. And not think. Unless I'm thinking about fish and what inventory folders they belong in.

Apologies to all the friends who either get my "Sorry - I'm fishing!" response or the occasional and accidental "/1 cast" in chats.

The Gone Fishing Hunt, which ends on 4/30, has become my Great White Whale and I think I'm projecting a bunch of crap (or carp?) on it, because I'm obsessed with finishing it. Never mind that I'm only on Prize No. 59 and I think there are about 987 prize stops. I'M FINISHING IT. And once I finish it, I will get my shite together and do something HYOOOOGE with my life! I swear!


I called this snapshot "Hell" because I was stuck in this nursery for little kid AVs for, I kid you not (pun intentional), an hour. Sorry, little kid AVs, but you CREEP ME OUT.

The prize was that really cool mud hole though. I might put it in my front yard if my landlady lets me. And close-up my hair DID NOT have big bald patches in the back. It fits beautifully, as long as you're not . . . looking at me from behind and far away I guess. I don't understand that phenomenon. My shoes do it too sometimes. I've given up caring about it. I have bigger fish to fry. 

So many fish puns, so little space.

If you too would like to torture yourself, the hunt starting point is at Coull Creations.

And . . .


KUDOS to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for a) your creative marketing tactics, b) making me consider becoming a missionary for five seconds, and c) making me think about sex and the missionary position for about 20 minutes.

Speaking of sex (sorry, Quaintly, that's the only segue I gots right now!), my friend Quaintly is in SLove as she puts it, and when she tries to explain it to me, she gets all esoteric and stuff and that's why I'm in SLove with my friend Quaintly . . . but not like that, Quaintly.

Fall in love with Quaintly in love on her blog HERE.

When I read Quaintly's blog, it makes me miss my friend Jon. We weren't all gooey like that (WHOOPS QUAINTLY, I just called you gooey!!!!) but we were goofy, and goofy is good. I shouldn't have tossed him back out there. Bad fisherwoman!


Wow, my hair was pink, my necklace was not working out so well, and Jon, um, was rocking some really yellow hair and a bad tan. And a weird goatee. We were fugly. We didn't care. Life was good. I had pink wings. There's a country song in there somewhere. 

/me casts my rod and tries to pull Jon back in world.

If you're really into the whole 7Seas thing and you're looking for a certain fish for your collection, ask me if I have it. (Level 6 already!) Once I finish this hunt, I'm going back to chasing jewelry designer Random Calliope's Ode-bearing butterflies at Wanderstill. I'm still trying to catch that mother-fluttering ring in Twilight (and no, I don't think he named the Ode in Twilight set after the vampires, but I could be wrong).

[If you have no clue what I'm talking about, go to Wanderstill sometime and click any butterflies you happen to see. Some of them will give you lovely gifts.]

And in the meantime if you need me, get your rod and bait and meet me at a fishing hole, because for the moment I am Gone Fishing.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How lovely to be a woman! (UPDATED due to LMAO!)

*updated with new Ruth non-nudity at bottom. Thanks, Photobucket!*

(Uh, yeah, that headline is stupid. But I'm stuck on that stupid song, thanks to a stupid American commercial currently airing every five minutes on a stupid TV station near you.)

The madness began when I went over to my friend Krissy's house and started swinging around on her furniture.





That cool frame and the posing Boudoir Chaise below are from Lost Angels:


Then Krissy politely asked me to leave. 

(ha ha . . . ha?)

And then I started thinking about how lame I am. I don't have anything cool for photo props. I just have that damn fish tank. (Wait, I take that back. I also have my rawkin' meditation cushion with animated poses from cool-cool Khargo.)

So I trotted over to Lost Angels and bought the whole Boudoir Set for $1,450L. It comes with the chaise, a chair, a frame, a pillow and a . . . puff. (I'm blanking on what a puff is.) I think they all have poses in them, except for possibly the frame.

I put it in my inventory folder called "This Sh*t is Expensive, So for God's Sake Use It."


Now that I've bought it, I see this set everywhere, so you could be rolling your eyes right now and saying "been there, seen that." But maybe not! Maybe you're saying "Wow, once again Emerald has changed my life with some CRUCIAL Second Life information!"

The chaise is menu-driven, with 10 poses and color-change options. Love! 

If you don't want the whole set (which I was too lazy to set up for a photo - bad blogger!), you can buy the chaise separately. Everyone smack my 38-on-the-slider butt for not getting that price. 

Do check out that store anyway if you haven't. Very appealing wares. (laugh - "wares" - WARE did that come from?)

That dress was a gift a while back from the Mashooka Designs subscribo. I love Mashooka so much, I could eat that store. As you can see, not only is that Holi dress gorgeous, it also cuts through furniture. Magic powers!

If you too want furniture with poses in it but are on a tighter budget, RUN RUN RUN NOW over to Wondrous Strange, where this Victorian Fainting Chaise is on sale for 100L until midnight SLT. (Sorry, I meant to write this post way earlier today.) Otherwise, I think it's 400L:


(DAMMIT, my meditation cushion is floating in the background. I have no space or depth perception here.)


It has seven animated poses in it, and the chaise on sale is outside the store. They also have other colors inside. Those aren't on sale though. If they would have been, I would've gotten the pink one. 

(And are those embroidered dogs on that thing? Boo!)

*puts it back in the "Furniture I Buy and Like" inventory folder* . . . as opposed to, I guess, the furniture I buy and hate? I don't know what I was thinking when I tried to organize my inventory that one time.

People keep asking me about the hair. It's called Sehra by Truth and it's named after my friend and next-door neighbor Sehra! You can change the flower color or make it invisible.

(If you haven't figured it out by now, there's really not much point to this post except to bump the previous slightly-Republican-slanted post out of the way a little. People don't like that stuff!)

Um . . . next topic.

If you're a skin junkie like me, you've no doubt heard the word on the streets: Skin Within is giving away one of its regularly priced 1,200L skins for FREE until 8 a.m. SLT tomorrow (4/19). My friend Galene is a Skin Within loyalist. She loves designer Ayesha Bisiani because she makes skins that beautifully reflect different ethnicities, including Galene's.

And hey, if you get a chance, please check out Galene's new SL blog project, Rhythm of the Grid. (Introductory post is HERE.) Galene also is a real-life friend, and I'm a HYUUUGE fan of her writing out in the real world, as well as her fashion designs. (I keep begging her to bring her clothes to SL.) As such, I'm excited that she's giving the SL blogosphere a whirl. She says it's a work in progress at the moment. I say she's worth your time and you'll like her soul and creativity. She speaks from the heart. And nope, it's not a fashion blog, although I wouldn't be surprised if she shares those insights occasionally.

As for Skin Within, I found the skin. I'm not going to ruin it for you or get myself in trouble by blurting out the name here, but it looks like this, and, um, not so great on me:



A lot of skins don't look that great on me though.

Tasha, however, does. Tasha was the VERY FIRST SKIN I bought as a noob in early 2008, back when Laqroki was called RaC. Then it became Laqroki. And now Laqroki is called LAQ

Please QUIT IT, Laqroki. Next thing we know, you'll just be a symbol. Or L. Diddy.

During the past year, Tasha has gotten even prettier. Unfortunately I think she's about to get retired because she's currently marked 50-percent-off upstairs with the Portrait skins. So on a sentimental urge, I recently bought the fat pack of Tasha in Olive for 990L. For 20 lovely skins, that a steal.


Awwww! Sweet face!

Today I noticed that my fat pack of 21 Tasha skins was missing No. 13, so I raced back to LAQ to grab it. But they didn't have one. So I'm wondering if there's a reason for that or if they purposefully skipped that number for superstitious reasons.

(This blog is so damn fascinating I can hardly stand it.)

Besides spending 30 minutes searching for a skin that I ended up filing in my "Skins, meh" inventory folder, I also went to the Nushru new releases fashion show today.

As always, the new releases were stunning:


I have faith that designer Quiver Quintessa's work is as awesome as always, though. 

And I swear on my grandmother's grave (bless her departed soul) that the invitation asked audience members to please wear bathing suits to reduce show lag. I swear I swear I swear!

But when I got there, it was like that horrible nightmare you have where you go to school and you look down and realize you're sitting in class in your underwear. (Or maybe you don't have that dream, but I do.) 

Except this time it wasn't a dream. It was real. Well, actually it wasn't real. It was Second Life. And I wasn't in my underwear. I was in a bikini. With cupcakes all over it. And everyone else was dressed TO THE NINES, y'all!


Nope, I have no clue who that chick sitting next to me is. I just frantically grabbed a seat and sat down. But I hope I looked as grey to her as she did to me.

I also swung by Putrid Gloom and Lillith Bloobury's new horror RP and shopping sim, Slaughter City. I'm a fan of Putrid's store Show Me on the Doll, so I was excited to check out her new place. There are plenty of store spaces for rent, by the way, and if you're interested in joining in the role play on this sim, please IM Putrid Gloom for a character assignment and Slaughter City's backstory.

Creepy playground:


Lonely scary streets:


I waited a while for zombies or something skeery and then I left. You'll get to see Slaughter City for yourself soon if you're gonna do next weekend's (click for info:) Mystery Cupcake Gridwide Hunt

*clamps hands over ears and screams as the H-word scrapes across my brain like barbed wire*

I'm only doing it because it has the word "cupcake" in it.

Hey, here's what a mob vend (but shouldn't we be calling it a vend mob?) at DV8 looks like:


All we needed was a DJ and it would have been a party. But holy crikey, we got four pairs of sweet Persephone and Eliminator boots for 40L, so the fear of crashing was worth it.

Last but not least, this is hands down the freakiest thing I've seen in a while. I went over to Fierce Designs because they have a new outfit called Candy Girl and I wanted it for a future post on lookin' goofy and lovin' it!

When I TP'ed in, I watched in embarrassment as my AV's arms and legs flailed helplessly around in the air -- you know, that humiliating thing you do when you land on somebody or get stuck in a wall or something? (Wow, the weird things we say in SL.)

Then I realized I hadn't landed on somebody, I had landed on some things, and those things were all a bunch of creepy naked Fierce models or model bots that kept jumping up in the air and changing places. At times new ones would TP in and others would TP out. It was bizarre.

Another shopper and I watched them like a couple of fascinated pervs for a good three minutes.


. . . . wha? huh? . . . . LMAO!!!!!!! YOU'RE SUCH A PRUDE, PHOTOBUCKET!!!!

For crying out loud, let's try it again. I drew some clothes on them this time. Sorry, shocked people who monitor my Second Life pics on phriggin' Photobucket. And good morning to you too!


That weird little RUTHED ONE is the creepiest of ALL!


* screams, grabs the merman and runs like hell*

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I take it back!

My regular readers know that occasionally I *lovingly* make fun of Lemania Indigo.

I only do it because her master-of-marketing skills result in what seems like 46 notices from her a day, 92 hunts on her sim a year and more than 766 of her "dollarbie" gowns currently in my inventory.

That aside, I appreciate her hard work. Some if it is sheer awesomeness. And some of it is -- BRACE YOURSELVES! --a little "meh." You may be shocked at my bluntness, but I'm just callin' it like I see it -- and I'm seein' it all over my inventory.

But today she earned my respect when she passed out these protest tea bags with just a brief note that said, "No pictures -- have to run to an American Tea Party but I have three new dresses for you!"


(No, I'm not wearing one of them.)

(And hey, look at the merman I caught while I was fishing! He's up there in the corner. The only man I've ever caught in SL.)

Anyway . . . 

Hell yeah, Lemania! That was DAMN BRAZEN of you!!!! I mean, seriously, considering the fact that people are so DAMN TOUCHY these days, that took some BALLS, pardon my French (Farm).

By the way, I swung by the tea party here in Memphis tonight. There were more than 1,000 people there. (And no, Galene, they were not all rednecks!)

No taxation without representation!

So I take back all my tongue-in-cheek smack talkin' about Lemania Indigo. I'm not doing it anymore. She officially gets a permanent Get-Out-of-Fashion-Jail Free card from me now. 

I love women with cojones. And she's got some brass ones.

With matching shoes and tasteful, cheery detailing, of course.

Damn, here comes my mom. I gotta go!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

That SL gossip quicksand could also be sucking away at your soul!

(Preface: Hey, before I start this post, I'd like to say that if you're short on time and/or patience, please skip down to the link and statistics at the bottom. They're pretty fascinating and are sourced from some of the first GOOD PRESS I've read about Second Life in a long time.)

The other day a friend passed along a comment that another *friend* made about me.

(reads that sentence again to see if it made sense . . . OK, barely)

That grapevine comment hurt a little. Actually I dwelled on it for a longer period of time that it deserved. (HELL YES, I'm sort of feeling like an SL exile these days, ironically among people I once felt close to. **plays the electric violin and then chucks it into deep space**)

But then I started dwelling on this question:

Why can I get so stung by a comment that someone makes about my Second Life avatar? -- particularly when I can easily shrug off a comment like, "You used to be someone we loved to hang out with until we lost you to your Second Life - haha," which recently was made by a friend in real life, someone who really knows the real me, not a klutzy loud-mouthed avatar.

(ugh, you may have to read that sentence a couple of times too.)

And ironically, the SL comment that sort of sucked was something along the lines of, "Her blog has gotten kind of weird and annoying now that she feels compelled to mention her real life in every post."

And even more ironically, when I heard that passed-along comment, I was working on a post about how my mom just found my pair of cupcakes underwear in the laundry (yet another humiliating dimension of living with your parents), at which point I got a "My GAWWWWWD, no wonder you're still single -- you're RUNNING AROUND in underwear with CUPCAKES on them!" lecture . . .

Like I'm just running up and down the main street of my city in only my cupcakes underwear, waving a flag that says, "SINGLE!"

. . . which inspired a post about expressing your affection for cupcakes in Second Life to your heart's content, if only so your mom won't find your cupcake-spattered underwear in real life and talk about them in front of your dad at the dinner table.

A few pics, since I took them and I don't wanna waste them!:


-- I love that Bandeau Dress from MichaMi. It's only 75L and includes turquoise (worn), red, brown and purple options for the top -- and layer options for each piece. 

-- That sparkly gem-studded cupcake purse is from Spoonful of Sugar , which was given to me as a gift by fun designer Juls Rosca when I had a cupcake cushion transaction problem (which she also fixed, of course) at her delicious store. HUGS, Juls!

-- According to my inventory, that Paisley's Cupcake Hat is from The Sock Shop . . . but it's not a sock! 

-- That pose is Zombie from the Goofy Me poses set (100L for the WHOLE SET) at Pffiou!

-- And scattered around me up there are just a few of the damn "booby prize" cupcakes I've won trying to get stuff out of these all-the-rage-now Lucky Cupcakes (below):


Damn you, Nosotras cupcake!!!! And wow, plunging into one is so ladylike. (No wonder I'm still single.)

*** But anyway, back to gossip and worlds colliding! ***

I don't mean for this post to sound defensive. I'm just pondering something. So please join me while I ponder.

Once I heard that way-aforementioned comment, my first instinct was to think, "Yeah, maybe I need to tone down the real-life references a little."

But then I thought, "HEY, scrooooo that! Maybe I'll be The Blogger Who Does That," because in all seriousness, why are most of us IN Second Life if not to make an impact on our real lives in some way?

There are some of you who get royally p*ssed whenever people refer to Second Life as a "game." If that's the case, then it must mean more to you than just an extended session of online RP gaming. It's gotta be touching your SOUL somehow, right?

Maybe you're here to make personal connections, spend time with a loved one, run a business to pay your real life bills, show off your scripting and building talents, share your art, etc., etc., etc. and a million more etcs. 

Maybe this place has saved your life. Maybe it has healed a wound. Maybe you met your one true love here. Maybe you made a million RL bucks here. (If so, I bet you're not converting all that to lindens.)

Whatever the reason, you can't deny that the effects circle back to your real life. So if you're an SL blogger, what's wrong with talking about real life occasionally -- or hell, even frequently, if that's your thing?

And maybe that IS my thing! YES! That's my thing, people! I'm officially proclaiming it to be my thing!

I'm not gonna go so far as to spatter this blog with real pics. Or even post as my real self, which prolific blogger Kelli does over on City Zen. I will admit, when I first saw Kelli's pretty and real photo next to her City Zen blog, it stopped me in my tracks for a minute. Not judging, just saying, "Wow, that's something new."

*shudder* I can't imagine posting my real pic as my blogging avatar. Why would I want to post about my virtual adventures as THIS:

Photobucket    (LOL, I just "spattered.") 

MY! What big teeth, square jaw and boozy, strained smile you have!! (For the record, my friend next to me kept trying to throw me off my photo game by squeezing my Aqua boob.) That also was the week that I accidentally plucked out half my right eyebrow. Oops!

-- when I could be the new-and-improved THIS?!:


Note the lack of roots and notable absence of red-wine-induced skin blotch! Much better! (Skin: Phoebe 002 by Lazolli -- $1L)

(Hey, I recently discovered those do-it-yourself photo studios and had a glorious time messing around (not like that) at Dickens Free Photography Studio. Fun backgrounds and lotsa poses, including that one up there. And free, though I left a generous donation. That shirt is Laila Sheer Shirt in Coffee, also from MichaMi and YES, I'm addicted to her yummy textures at unbelievably affordable prices.)

This blog is getting waaaay too long (what a surprise) but I'll leave you with these statistics which ran in this health article, "How Second Life Affects Real Life," (click that link!) from the May, 12, 2008, edition of TIME magazine. I'm sure this info has been blogged before (maybe even by me), but new people come in every day, so here it is again:

-- According to Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), the proven real-life phenomenon of self-perception resulting in significant effects on actual behavior also applies in the virtual world.

-- The lab's research shows that the qualities you acquire online -- self-confidence, an outgoing personality, nurturing or the sense of being nurtured -- also can spill over into the real world, often subconsciously.

-- Even 90 seconds of engaging in positive avatar interaction online is long enough to evoke short-term behavioral changes in the real world.

-- In a controlled study (meaning some poor suckers had to look fugly), subjects who spent time in world as attractive avatars obviously displayed more confidence, friendliness and extroversion while they were in world. Later, those same people displayed self-assurance in stage two of the study, which included a a real-world dating exercise. (Read the article to also read how having a taller article affected real-life self-perception.)

I wonder what the real-life subconscious effects are if you take some Exile hair, blow it up into gigantic Southern proportions, and run around in world wearing a Smurf T-shirt and really raised eyebrows?:

(I'm too lazy to pose on Saturdays.)

-- Fitness: In another controlled study, one group watched their lookalike avatars run on treadmills for almost six minutes. (The other two groups lounged around, and watched avatars who looked nothing like them exercising, respectively.) The people in the first group later exercised more in real life than the participants in the other two groups.

(Emerald runs to make a more realistic-looking AV and watch her run on a treadmill.)

I'm guessing the opposite applies as well. People who engage in frequent SL catty wars, smack-talking, confrontations, "drama" (gawwd, I am so over that stupid word), and accidental face-plants into murky gossip quicksand probably end up feeling a little crappy in real life too.

Or at least I do.

So let's go out there and spread some love and friendship around. Tell people how awesome they are. Lift each other up. Together, we can all join avatar forces and finally manifest a giant wave of WORLD PEACE!

Or maybe something close. 

(I swear I stopped smoking weed in my early 20s.)

You are all fabulous!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This one's for the lover in you

Shoot, that last post was SO DAMN DRENCHED IN EMO, I need to post something peppy now!

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been doing something somewhat foreign to me, which is actually WORKING, and I got so buried that I think I went a WHOLE 24 HOURS without logging in!!!


My "Date With Emerald" column runs today over on SL's new(ish?) blog CityZen right HERE, so please hop over there and give it some love if you feel so inclined. It's my first post, and the City Zen blog itself is evolving, so cut me a little slack. They'll get better, I promise! And if you find the concept worthy, ask your single friends to read it -- and volunteer to be my victims!

Meanwhile I've been collecting a bunch of stuff in my "Blog this!" folder and I should probably get some of it out there before it's too late.

Let's start with the TV show "Lost." If you're a fan of the show, you can pick up a free (or $1L, I can't remember, but isn't it supposed to mean the same thing? haha) Sawyer AV and/or Kate AV over at KA Designs right now -- on a table when you walk in the door. And if it's been blogged somewhere else or, even worse, all over the place, my apologies. I'm way behind on blog reading.


And yeah, I'm a mystical purply person in that photo. And all that stuff, except for the skin, is free or extremely affordable. So in case you want to be a mystical purply person, here's where to get hooked up. If not, skip the list below. But the jewelry, the jewelry, the jewelry! Alienbear Gupte is so talented.

Hair: Vira from House of Munster's prize in the MiaSnow Fried Egg Hunt (through 4/19), in celebration of the new Midnight Gardens location. The fried eggs are easy to find and the prizes are fun. And if you're using the cheat sheet that's floating around out there, the one I have *cough* doesn't include the HoM prize (as well as a couple other stores' prizes). But they're soooooo easy to find. Just use the TP board at Midnight Gardens and hit each store.

Shirt and Skirt: Elv'an Translucent Top and Skirt in Water (purchased separately) from Elv'an Magika, where everything costs about $5L or less, including hair and great boots. I'm not kidding you when I say that I bought everything in that store.

Eyes: HooT Eclipse Eyes - free gift at the Harold sim store

Necklace and (barely visible) Belly Piercing: Eostre set from the Alienbear Hunt (runs through 4/15). Pick up the notecard containing your first clue and instructions HERE. Yes, there are clues and some grid-hopping involved, but if I can finish this hunt, you can too. I only needed help with one egg, and my lovely friend Casandra (check out her blog) came to my rescue. If YOU need help, holler at me in world.

Skin: Tone 2/Makeup 8 ($1,200L) from the new Climax line at Pulse.

OOF! I spent about $4K on these Climax skins the other night when Lorac Farella invited her group members to come see her new-and-improved store, and I woke up the next day with an "OMG, what'd I do!?" skin hangover. But DAMN, they're so gorgeous! 

If you like Lorac's work (and how could you not?) I recommend joining the Pulse group, as she's SO generous and the group chat is friendly. At the time of my skin splurge, Lorac also tossed out a free Climax skin as well as items from her new clothing line to everyone wearing a Pulse group tag. It was a par-tay! With nice party favors!!

But enough about all that.

Easter is almost here, and if you haven't gotten it already, you MUST go get this $2L Eggpack with accompanying AO created by the extremely talented Laleeta Xue of Pffiou! Poses without Cramps and Aisuru Rieko of the awesome store Beloved. (And hey, Aisuru, I happen to LOVE your trees!!!!!)

Yes, they're my friends, but I'd still be lovin' this Eggpack even if they weren't. I swear!!! Pick it up at either of their stores.


Oh, oops, I need to scoot it up a little so my shoulders aren't eating it. And NO, the backpack doesn't have bubbles shooting out of the top of it. I just got so excited about posing in front of my fish tank that I forgot to step slightly away from the bubbles.

And that AWESOME (imho) dress (stockings included) is the FREE April subscribo gift from Alatiel Fashions. Because I'm such a caring blogger, I just went to check to see if it's still there and it is, so GO GO GO! Go slap that Subscribo, hit History and get that thing!! It's in one of the first two or three announcements.

That hot Easter mess on my head is the hilarious Bow Peeps in Scarlett group gift at Exile and it makes me laugh. Therefore, if you want to laugh at me while I'm wearing it, that's fine. And it should still be out. Unfortunately, like the lame blogger I can sometimes be, I didn't go check. *sad face*

Close up:


(That Phoebe skin is only $1L at Lazolli. It's been blogged to death, but you never know who hasn't heard the news. It's pretty! It's on one of the tables with the other $1L skin gifts.)

Aerial shot:


Yay, Peeps!!!!

Um, back to the Eggpack, since my fish tank kind of scroooed up that pic, here's what it's supposed to look like:


And I even saw a really cool chick wearing it at Concrete Flowers:


(The lucky letter was Q, by the way.)

So speaking of eggs, I'm almost done with the Bunny Hop hunt. I think I only have about 75 more eggs to go. 

The other day when I was sobbing in a ginormous furniture store and trying to find the bleepity-bleeping egg, I made a new friend named Lord. He has a vast collection of planes. I ended up ditching the hunt and going flying with him for a while. 

(Because, hey, I'm trying to be all carpe diem like that these days, as opposed to the "crap-ay diem" to which I am sometimes inclined.)

And I'm posting the following picture as proof that sometimes I DO participate in activities besides shopping and hunting in SL -- and with the opposite sex, too!!!:


LOLOLOL! As you can see, "some idiot" left her "Show Interfaces" option clicked on in the Snapshot controls. As you can also see, I am SUCH a captivating conversationalist, particularly when I'm with a man.


Lord writes for the Metaversal Arts blog. Read him HERE. He's quite dashing, although I haven't heard from him since the "weeeeeeee!" incident.

And finally, a little something I like to call Loser of the Week. Well, OK, month.

And the Loser of the Month is (drumroll, please):

Artemisa1 Strathearn!

(Hell yeah, I'm calling you out by name, little girl.)

The one thing that sucks about these gridwide hunts is that sometimes you fall in with a group of a-holes. When that happens, you either have to take a break for a while until they move the hell on or stick it out.

When Artemisa1 decided it was fun to seek me out at every egg location and deliberately walk across the room, if necessary, to slam into me, I ignored her for the duration of about four egg locations until finally:

[2009/04/06 17:28] Emerald Wynn: Hi Artemisa, I was wondering if there's a reason why you keep slamming into me -- or are you just bored and/or mentally challenged in some way?

SHOCKER, no answer.

What honey, you can dish it out but you can't take confrontation?

Artemisa1 wasn't at the next egg location.

If you happen to see her, be sure to Hi5 her for being such a gem and tell her that her mom probably wants her to get off the computer and go to bed now.

And one more thing that's annoying me at the moment:


CANKLES! Why?! No!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Beauty in the Breakdown

A friend and I were recently talking about words, and how I recently used the wrong ones.

But hell, that's why writers have editors, and unfortunately I don't have one for this blog.

I'm over the incident now, but I need to mention it one more time to set the scene for this post. 

In a previous (and now deleted) post, I ticked off a couple of people by saying that many people who spend marathon hours in Second Life are either incredibly bored or incredibly damaged.

In that post, I put myself in the latter category. My friend and I later agreed that maybe I should have used the phrase, "many people come to Second Life to heal" instead of the blunt and derogatory adjective "damaged."

Fair enough.

That aside (but not really aside), I've been thinking a lot about how everyone has a story. Hell, every life IS a story. A long one -- with chapters. Some chapters are boring as hell, some are thrilling and some flip the plot around completely.

If I look back and try to pinpoint the day my life flipped, I think it started when I read an Entertainment Weekly interview with "Fight Club" author Chuck Palahniuk. He talked about his hellish, hellish insomnia and how his life at times seemed like a constant battle with it. 

The interview resonated with me because I hardly ever sleep. 

Pakahniuk said he had two particular methods of dealing with insomnia. Sometimes he imagined he was lying in a coffin six feet under ground, dead, without a worry in the world. Other times he imagined he was sleeping in the palm of God's hand.

It was the latter analogy that really struck me: sleeping in the palm of God's hand. "How beautiful," I remember thinking.

You might wonder why I'm talking about this stuff in a Second Life blog. We'll get to the connection later. Stick with it or leave, I guess. It'll take a few paragraphs.

Flash forward to a few weeks later, a sunny day on a popular shopping promenade in Tempe, Ariz. I was successful and happy and probably getting laid on a regular basis and high on my damn horse without a care in the world. A homeless man asked me for some change. Impulsively, I gave him a $20 bill.

About a block farther down that street, I heard footsteps running after me and his voice calling, "MISS? EXCUSE ME, MISS?" and I was terrified. I'm ashamed to admit that I figured that since I gave him 20 bucks, he was going to hit me up for more money.

I turned around and he was standing there, holding the $2o in his hand.

"You gave me a $20 bill," he said. "I'm pretty sure you only meant to give me a dollar."

(Hey, maybe I just dispelled all your convictions that every homeless person out there is a con-artist drug addict!)

"Um, no," I stammered. "I meant to give you that twenty. Take care and good luck out there." I turned and started walking off quickly.

"Miss!" he called. 

I turned back.

"Never forget that God is holding you in the palm of his hand," he said.

"Uh, I sure hope so," was my flippant response.

"This is my own proof today," he said, and held up my $20. 

I remember thinking "whatever" and hurrying on to whatever stupid shopping destination I was trying to reach. *travels back in time and slaps myself* I do remember briefly thinking how uncanny it was that I had heard someone refer to God's palm twice in two weeks.

Flash forward to a couple of months later, to me sitting in a doctor's office, listening to her tell me that some of my cells had gone just a wee bit renegade on me, listening to her discuss my "options," listening to words I had never heard before, new multi-syllabic words that would soon become a big part of my vocabulary, feeling simple words like "procedure" and "treatment" stretch into gnawing nightmarish proportions in my head, imagining bad cells that looked like malformed rabid monsters steamrolling over the good ones.

That's when I started writing a blog about dealing with things that are out of our control, and the sheer terror that descends on us when that out-of-control thing happens to be our own bodies. I kept a diary and flung it out into cyberspace every day, if only to get it all out of my head.

I wrote about fear and about backflipping into the black unknown and hoping to God that I landed in a safe place. I wrote about having to surrender all of it just to keep from going insane -- to place it all in the palm of God's hand, so to speak, if only so I could inhale and exhale and make it through one day at a time.

Once again, I thought about the homeless man on the corner, instructing me never to forget that my life was in God's hands, and I thought about the bizarre timing.

A publisher stumbled upon that blog -- so yes, kiddies, it DOES happen! -- and asked permission to publish some of it in a book. I made the mistake of agreeing without asking my boss. Later, an editor at a now-defunct magazine called Jane read the chapter and asked me to become a contributing columnist.

And, um, it all caused kind of a brouhaha in my company. One day a vice president sat across from me at a meticulously polished wood table, in a room larger than my apartment, and told me that it was "something of a problem" for the country to read that the corporate director of a global company was "sick and frightened."

I told the vice president that a) assuredly, the whole country wasn't going to read that silly book and b) even if so, how refreshing for America to read that actual HUMANS run companies, and not emotionless money-grubbing suits.

I almost lost my job. At the time I didn't give a damn. Well, I needed the health insurance, and that was my only concern.

The morbid thoughts I dwelled on in the heat of The War with My Renegade Cells were small sharp weapons themselves: The fear that my clock was winding down, that I was running out of time, that soon I might actually Die with a capital D. 

"Die. Death. Dead. Funerals. Coffins. No more Chuck Palahniuk insomnia fight club tactics because I really WILL be six feet under ground. And I will come back from the grave and KICK THE ASS of anyone who leaves a lame stuffed animal at the base of my hopefully lovingly selected and tasteful tombstone."

(Literally, I wrote "no stupid little teddy bears or Beanie Babies at gravesite ever" in my will. I also wanted "I Told You I Was Sick!" inscribed on the aforementioned tombstone, and yes, that request and even the thought of it caused a family commotion.)

Months later after the battle was fought and (knock on wood) won, with those thoughts behind me, a second chance in front of me and a new lease on life, I looked around my beautiful corner office and wondered what the hell I had fought so hard for. 

Life, every day, in a lovely corporate headquarters, a comfortable paycheck, this daily grind, boardroom meetings, who's wearing what label and how much did that suit cost, the wonders of cosmetic surgery and should I explore them, making budget to get my annual bonus, is my housekeeper ripping me off, expense reports, what do I have to do to get a competent intern, why the hell can't my assistant ever order the right freakin' pens, why am I working for a company that considered kicking me out just because I said the Big C word in public???

Suddenly it just all seemed . . . not so beautiful and not worth the hell I had been through to keep it.

So I quit that job. And then I guess I had what you could call a midlife crisis or what my doctor called post-traumatic stress syndrome or what I just called "a yearlong nap." 

Last year I took the remnants of my big fat salary, paid my rent a year in advance, put my bills on auto pay, got in bed and pretty much only got out when I had to buy food, take care of bodily business or sit in a hot bath with a glass of wine. I rescued a cat from under a condemned building. We hung out and watched movies together. I sent money every month to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Occasionally I wrote for a magazine or two. I let my hair grow long and wild. I stopped answering my phone. I checked my e-mail once a week. I created Emerald Wynn. I probably spent about $1,500 RL bucks in Second Life last year. I watched a healthy, attractive, vibrant avatar run around on a screen and have big fun and part of me felt like I was having big fun too. And as bizarre as it sounds, I really don't care. Despite what everyone says, it wasn't a wasted year. It was fun. And if I ruined my career by taking a year off, as some people say, well, who the hell cares? What's a career, really? I mean seriously. Career my rear. (juvenile)

Please note that so far I've spoken my truth matter of factly here. I don't want your sympathy. I don't want your applause. It was what it was and it now is what it is. Frankly, it's by the grace of God that I'm here right now. When it started, I did nothing but follow a bunch of doctors' instructions and pray and wait in terror. When it was over, I made a conscious choice to stop moving . . . or quietly freak the hell out . . . or go completely bonkers . . . or waste a precious year of my life . . . or whatever label you want to put on it. My own explanation will always stay the same: I was tired, I wanted to rest, I was sick of working, I was sick of people, end of story.

I will say in retrospect, however, that I don't recommend lying in bed until you run out of money. It's fun while it lasts, but then you're sort of screwed. :\

So when I finally did run out of money, I had to come home. That's why I'm here now. And I'm not going to get into my childhood, but it was not the ideal childhood and home is not the ideal place for me to be. 

But here's where we get back to the palm of God and Second Life, because I'm sure those of you who are still reading are rolling your eyes right now and thinking, "What the bloody hell IS THIS?"

Coincidentally -- or not -- my father -- the person I have been the most terrified of my entire life, the person who "inspired" me to leave home when I was 18 and go from Tennessee to California and then all over the country and the world and never ever ever look back -- hurt himself and recently had to have immobilizing surgery.

Coincidentally, my mother started suffering from physical symptoms of severe stress.

Coincidentally, my father also lost his job and they started having a hard time paying the bills.

Meanwhile and coincidentally, I had no job and a few remnants of my big fat salary and nothing better to do with my time.

So I came home here mainly to help my mom by taking care of my dad. And a lot of me was terrified and the rest of me was gleeful. Frankly it was my wildest dream come true. The cruel, abusive bastard was finally weak and helpless so YES, there is justice for the meek.

At least that was my attitude at first, how much I would love to see the tables turned and my father in pain for a change. How the sight of him hurting and needing my help was going to give me back the power he had taken from me as a child.

But you know what? Once I got here, it didn't feel good, seeing my father suffering and weak. It wasn't the triumph I thought it would be. It wasn't the justice that I thought was a long time coming.

Every day I feed my dad and give him his medicine and clean the house and do the laundry and walk his very old dog and *gulp and puke* empty the bedpan thingy he has to use and politely look the other way while I help him change clothes.

And as weird as it sounds, this position of servitude, of helping him when he cannot help himself, of feeding him and giving him medicine and, hell, helping him survive, has healed my turbulent past and given me more strength than . . . laughing at him and reveling in his weakness ever would have.

I don't understand the transformation that is taking place inside of me right now, but maybe a good shrink could. All I know is that it is a good thing, and it is a strong thing, and that terrified little girl inside of me is no longer terrified, and things that I thought were forever broken suddenly feel . . . well . . . glued back together again.

And I think of the chain of events that've happened and how at the time each one seemed like a nightmare, but then they all fit together like a puzzle.

If I wouldn't have gotten -- and then gotten through -- cervical cancer, my life wouldn't have suddenly seemed like a meaningless, throw-away joke.

If my life wouldn't have suddenly seemed like a meaningless throw-away joke, I wouldn't have decided to up and quit my job.

[Um, we'll leave out the part where I sort of flipped out and stayed in bed for a year, because, well hell, that was just screwy.]

If I wouldn't have up and quit my job, my mom wouldn't have anyone to help her take care of my dad and pay the bills right now.

If I wouldn't have come home to take care of my helpless aging dad, I wouldn't have finally gotten this . . . I guess we'll call it peace and power that I have been searching for in the wrong places my whole adult life. 

I finally got my power back, and I learned to my surprise that it's in my nature to use that power for good. And that made me feel like this life, this life was not a mistake, that my second chance was not just luck.


When my dad's meds kick in and he falls asleep, I sit near his bed with my laptop and I go in world, but I don't talk much to people these days. I close all my group chat boxes. I enjoy the silence. I look for eggs or I fish for prizes and there is something really calming about mindlessly going about small tasks in a virtual world.

For the first time in my life, everything inside of me is quiet. And even though my "nurse duties" make it hard for me to physically leave my house much right now, I can still find peace and even stillness in the beautiful corners of a metaverse. I sit on an icy throne in Narnia or look for pixelated Easter eggs or cast a virtual fishing rod into a lake and wait for a bite, and meanwhile something inside of me that was shattered a long time ago is finally piecing itself back together, and everything that was chaos is suddenly making sense.

We all sleep in the palm of God's hand, Chuck.

And, yes, I've learned that I'm one of many shattered people who come to Second Life to heal. 

But my answer to a recent accusation is no, I'm not a victim. If anything, I've been a student. And the lessons I've learned were of gratitude. And humility. And awe. And gratitude. And gratitude. And more gratitude. (And bling is bad.)

And as a good friend of mine said in her own blog post recently, I will no longer apologize for my words in this blog.

And hopefully all posts from this point on will be FRIVOLOUS and RIPE with bad photography.


P.S. Disabling comments on this one. I just wanted to write it for me, so I could read it later . . . in case I ever get skeered again. Or sick of walking my dad's geriatric blind-and-deaf dog.