Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 6: Emerald the Huntress yells, "QUIT IT!"

But first, a picture:


We throw "LOL" around a lot in conversations, but this Rococo Fantastico hair (450L) from Curio Obscura really made me Laugh Out Loud today -- enough to evoke a "What're you laughing at?" from the folks. (sigh)

(Privacy, kids. Privacy is priceless. If you have it, treasure it. And if at all possible, NEVER throw it away.)

Curio Obscura is releasing three new hairstyles this weekend at that fair that everyone's talking about. I'm buying all three of them. See them on Curio's most awesome blog HERE. And if you haven't been to that store yet, RUN.

(UPDATE: Rococo Fantastico will only be available at Curio's booth at the 2009 Hair Fair during the duration of the hair fair. Shoot that's too many hair fairs in that sentence. HAIR FAIR!)

And now for the "yelling."

The final Big Bad Blogger Challenge topic for today was, "What did you get out of your experience?" That's hard for me to answer because this week was an extremely painful one for me in both "lives." So every blog I wrote (except for one) was wrapped in a cloak of pain and highly charged emotions, and the aftertaste is still bad. (Shoot, I just mixed metaphors. Sorry.)

I learned that when I blog spontaneously, sometimes if I'm lucky it's good. When I'm blogging on demand, so to speak, well, it can get a little stale.

Mostly, I want to thank Alicia Chenaux for getting this challenge organized and motivating everyone to blog every day, including creating a massive blog roll of participants. I loved getting to know new bloggers.

The girl deserves a GINORMOUS appreciation party! Who's throwing it? (We can jitterbug around my aquarium if we have to.)

So anyway, instead of getting all emotional, I want to talk -- in my usual roundabout way -- about Fred the Asshole Parakeet and what we can learn from him.

I logged into Second Life this morning with three goals: 1) to find out how my friend Galene/Opheila/Hera's RL job interview went yesterday; 2) to wrap up The Storybook Hunt; and 3) to hit the hunt at Retrology (info HERE).

Instead, I ended up standing in my beach house for something like five hours (bald and topless if you need a visual) dealing with all kinds of mess.

Here's the thing, beautiful readers. I'm a huntress. Just call me Emerald the Huntress from now on, and if I have to run around in a loin cloth with a bow and arrow to prove it, I will. I have a low tolerance level for unnecessary Second Life drama. And if I'm offending you right now by calling your drama unnecessary, well, so be it.

I love you. I hate to see you hurting. But I also hate to see a virtual world affecting your life SO PROFOUNDLY. And I'm talking to about 19 people here, not just one. If you happen to be one of them, well, there are other more deeply immersed people in Second Life who are probably much more qualified to offer you helpful advice. I'm not one of them.

I'm not playing the violin here because I dug the grave that I'm subsequently lying in, but my real life is a big damn mess at the moment. So I come to Second Life to play, laugh and hunt.

I'm not paying Second Life 90 bucks a year for pain, agony and angst.

And if I've just made you mad, at least hear me out until the end, OK? Because Fred has something to say to you.

So yeah, that leads me to Fred the Asshole Parakeet.

But first, a photo break:


Still laughing. From the Curio Obscura blog: "It takes six zeppelins and four propellers just to keep it up! Includes clockwork ballroom with porcelain dancers. Choose your own colour, bows, flowers, and style!"

When I put on this hair, it rocketed my ARC from 500 to 1900. HA HA!

OK. Back to Fred:

I'm unfortunately shacking up with my parents while I'm in between jobs. (I have to keep throwing in this detail for any new readers.) And we have a parakeet named Fred in our kitchen that we've had since I was about 24. So, um, the bird is OLD. And angry.

Being the all-American family we are, we also have a television in our kitchen. Fred's cage is right by the television, which my father insists on keeping on The Weather Channel, FoxNews, or the Major League Baseball network.

Combine that with the fact that my father is losing his hearing. And he used to be a drill sergeant in the Army. And he's just loud anyway. And now so is that damn television.

Now add the fact that my parents currently are being audited by the IRS. That's always fun. And they've never been shy with adult language. So the four-letter words are flying -- at high volume -- in my house pretty much all day, every day.

So, long story long, Fred the Asshole Parakeet screams out obscenities, weather forecasts and politicians' names all day. It gets really really tiring. I don't want to hear the F-word while I'm trying to eat my morning Cheerios. I just don't.

Blessedly, my parents have been out of the house a lot lately. My mom works. My father doesn't, but he's in post-surgery physical rehab right now. God bless those therapists who work him to the point of exhaustion three times a week. If they could just shoot him with an elephant tranquilizer before they send him home, that would be awesome. *contemplates a bribe*

So anyway, I'm wandering around our empty house one day, turning off lights and closing toilet lids so the chi doesn't get sucked down the drain (it's a feng shui thing; Google it if you have to) and suddenly I realize, damn, it is LOUD in this house. I don't know why they insist on blaring that television all day long, even when they're gone. And no wonder the bird is so pissed.

As soon as I had the "damn, it's loud" epiphany, I turned the kitchen television channel from baseball to classical music on the Music Choice channels (and turned the volume down about six notches).

And guess what? After a few stunned minutes, Fred the Asshole Parakeet started to sing.

This was a new and amazing occurrence in our house. We didn't know Fred could sing. He can curse in English and Spanish and yell "DICK CHENEY!", "CUBS WIN!" and "HEAT INDEX!" but he's never really burst into song.

My mom came home from work and said, "My God, is Fred SINGING???"

My dad came home from rehab and said, "WHO TURNED THE GOD-DAMN CHANNEL?"


Whenever they leave now, I go downstairs and "turn the god-damn channel." Sometimes Fred listens to Classical Masterpieces. Sometimes he listens to Light Classical. Once I tried Jazz but got loud protesting squawks. And now I really think he's leaning toward New Age these days.

Fred sings a lot now. And that makes me kind of teary. (And it's not just because I'm a little hopped up on Midol and gin at the moment.) I'm glad, during what have GOT TO BE the golden years of Fred's soon-to-be legendary existence, that he finally got to sing a little.

God did not intend for birds to scream, "KISS MY ASS!" and "NORTH KOREA!" all day. He gave them the gift of flight (which believe me, I always feel guilty about when I see a caged bird) and he gave them the gift of song.

My parents say, "Well look at that! He finally learned to sing in his old age!"

No, beloved parents, he finally found something beautiful that made him WANT to sing.

Photo break:


(still laughing)

The moral to my story: Second Life should make your heart sing, lovely people. I'm not being a sap. That's what it was created for -- so you could build a world that brings your imagination to life, that gives you everything you've wanted in your real life but maybe haven't yet found there -- be it companionship, a best friend, a stylish wardrobe, an island paradise, beautiful butterflies that bring tears to your eyes, or even a rawkin' aquarium!

To all my wonderful, drama-laden friends, I love you so much. I wish I could take your pain away from you and smooth out the wrinkles in your Second Lives. I can't though. I said in an earlier post that the only gift I have to give at the moment are my words.

So my words to you are these: I love you. I want you to be happy. I want your heart to sing. If you're not singing in Second Life -- and Fred the Asshole Parakeet backs me up on this -- turn the volume down. Fill your Second Life with beautiful music -- in whatever form you choose that to be -- and get rid of the mindless chatter, the hateful words, the he said/she said, the echoes of your painful past. If you need a hand, I will take you to a really beautiful place and we can cry and laugh and dance and catch butterflies and do whatever we need to do to get it out of your system once and for all. We can leave your pain behind there. You can spread your wings and start all over.

We unite for so many noble causes here. We take stands for so many charities and movements. When are we all going to stand together and proclaim a drama-free week in SL?

Someone make a "No More Drama" T-shirt, a skin, a hairstyle, something.

I for one will wear it and run laps around the grid.


Nemesis Waffle said...

Great post. This really made my day and not just because every time there was a photo break I got to marvel at the awesomeness of that hair. I've never experienced much drama in sl so I can't imagine how it must feel to be in the middle of it. Honestly the only thing that concerns me is the alarming rate at which my L is dropping (Am I shopping in my sleep now too?). But I hope that we can all at least find one thing in sl and rl that can make us smile.

Meara Deschanel said...

So very, very well said Em. :)

*gives you lots of big hugs*

chestnut rau said...

This is one of the best blog posts I have seen in ages. You are wise, funny, and your blog always makes me smile.

Elora Henig said...

Brava!! To you Em.
*[opera clapping]

Oh, I wonder if Fred would like Opera?

Krissy Muggleston said...

No one could have said it better. You've echoed what so many of us stand by. Seriously though? I think I want a parakeet now.

Ari K said...

Yes. Just YES.

Stray comments:
I always said that if SL drama was getting me down to the extent it was messing up RL, I'd 'do something'. It DID get like that, so...
I toyed with the idea of leaving (see huge rambly post on that), but in the end am trying to change direction. Trying to find a *balance*. How trite. But basically, it goes like this.
- Building stuff: more. Prims are at least creative and don't go into meltdown... but they come with their own frustrations.
- Drama-potential aspects: fewer, but requires teeth-gritting and the mute button, which I hate.
- Barbie moments: no change - I need those.
- Social things: Well sure. My friends here are amazing. But they also need to know I need to be Left Alone To Build at times.

(and sometimes, all this even works... just not this weekend. But anyway...)

Second stray thought: people who stick up large 'this is a drama free zone' (and possibly who wear the T-shirts) are, in my (note: personal) experience, the ones who are the *most* sucked into the drama of it all. I could be wrong. I'm pretty sure I am, for some people, but it was always the ones with 'I don't do drama' in their profiles or on their walls who wanted to suck their landlady (moi) into their SL crises rather than fishing their rugs (pictures / fishtanks) out of walls, floors, etc.).

Glad I'm no longer dealing with 40 tenants. I don't have the patience for it. But I'm also glad I did it. I can be a cranky broad about it now and KNOW it's not a part of SL I want to go back to. Much as I loved some of 'em. (That was a digression).

So basically (sorry don't expect coherence, I'm translating economics - and yes that IS an excuse, you should see this damned paper), drama is sort of part of SL. It's *so* hard to keep out of it I've got to the point I'm just working on this balance thing.

Anonymous said...

well said Em. *hugs*

Elizabeth Hallstrom said...

I hope you find the peace you are looking for. Hugs.

nikianan noel said...

cracked up laffin :p