Monday, June 1, 2009

Invasion of the body snatchers


(She said in a Southern accent.)

The lovely and talented Luna Jubilee was kind enough to ask me to jump on her new Shopaholic blog feed -- the Community feed, not the Fashion feed, and I think there's even a Designer feed -- *checks* -- yes there is! Woo hoo!

I know many of you have some smokin' slice-of-SLife blogs and, as such, you need to jump on that feed too. Get to jumpin' HERE. You don't need an invite, I think. However, you'll probably get booted if you don't follow the Terms of Service.

So speaking of getting booted, Luna's probably gonna show me the bottom of her shoe immediately because I'm about to get all introspective and possibly offensive and talk about CRAZY PEOPLE, Y'ALL!!!!!

OK. Here we go. Try to follow this chain of thought down the rabbit hole, won't you?

On Sunday, I went to the Frozen Turquoise Valentine fashion show on the Costa Rica sim. It seemed lovely. My friend Joonie was sitting nearby, and she waved and sent an IM: "Awwww! Your AV looks so SAD!" to which I replied "Huh? What do you mean?"

Because as far as I knew, I looked like this:


But then she snapped my picture and sent it to me:



I asked her if it was a Snapshot glitch, BUT NO! I REALLY looked like that to her! The whole time!

So I'm sorry, FTV, but I missed your fashion show because I was frantically looking around for anyone nice enough to handle an IM from me that said, "Hi. Sorry to bug, but do I look like a moth-eaten crackhead Bratz doll to you?"

Maybe it's that ominous SL skin glitch we've been bracing ourselves for. Or maybe my early-2008 RaC shape didn't roll with the 79 SL viewer updates I've had to download during the past year.

I checked with a couple of friends later that day and they said I looked fine. One friend said that, yeah, certain graphics cards WILL make people look a little jacked-up, like for instance the graphics card on her computer at work. (Laugh - I'm telling your boss!)

But it worried me for a while. And actually, I was already in a pretty crazy mood because -- and I'm not joking -- I had spent AT LEAST an hour that morning messing with my AV's ears. Yes, my ears. Not about what to put on them, just my ears in general. I got in a weird, neurotic ear zone and couldn't stop tweaking the angle and the size. And the more I tweaked, the weirder they looked.

Then I decided that it WASN'T my ears, it was my neck. It was too thick. Wait, actually it was too thin. Giraffe neck -- too long. But when I moved the slider, it started looking like a squished turtle neck (the animal, not the clothing item).

It made my brain crawl.

So, before we go any further, if you're reading this could you please shout out your neck (length, thickness) and ear (size, angle) dimensions? I have completely lost perspective of mine.

The horrible fact that I had spent about an hour and a half obsessing over my pixelated ears and neck made me think of my late Crazy Grandpa. Don't get mad that I called him crazy. He loved to call himself crazy too.

My grandpa suffered from clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, among God only knows what else. The stove was his worst enemy. He had to check it a certain number of times every hour to make sure it was turned off. Sometimes we'd all try to go out to dinner and we'd end up having to stop and drive all the way home so he could check the stove again. It was exhausting for me as a kid, but it must have been hell for him. They didn't have a lot of meds for that stuff back then.

That was my dad's dad. My mom's side of the family is of the annoying, robust "keep your chin up!" breed. For this reason, whenever I go a few rounds in the ring with depression or get wiggy about some weird detail in a public place, my mom will roll her eyes and say, "You got your father's crazy genes."

Yep, we're that functional in my family. 

And yeah, sometimes I get wiggy. Like, I CANNOT eat in restaurants that have chotchkies all over the walls and the ceilings. I look at all that crap and start vividly imagining dirt and dust piling up on them and drifting down into my food. Or once I literally had to leave the restaurant Bamboo Club because I noticed the filthy carpet and couldn't stop fixating on it.

Actually, maybe I'm not nuts. Maybe I'm just a dining snob.

So the other day when I got all wiggety and couldn't stop obsessing over my AV's ears -- I even tried to go shopping but ended up stopping in my tracks in the middle of a store to screw around with my elephant ears some more -- I started thinking about the effect of Second Life on people who struggle with mental illnesses or emotional obstacles.

This is probably a topic for a more serious blogger. Sorry.

Once my schizophrenic friend Jim (yeah, I have friends in all walks of life) asked me to show him Second Life and it messed him up for the rest of the day. I should have known better. He said that even after we turned off the computer, the AVs kept talking to him. 

But then again, during my Black Year of 2008 when I only left my apartment an average of once a week, Second Life provided me with vital human connections, some of whom played an influential role in my healing process. (If you can call this current state "healed.") I imagine it could do the same for people with agoraphobia. But I'm no expert.

There are several resources in SL for people who are trying to heal from depression, abuse, bereavement, addictions, you name it. The RL Support for Healing organization has an SL Support for Healing Island where weekly support group meetings take place. When I went to check it out, I grabbed a notecard with the meeting schedule - holler at me in world if you need it or click the lotus flower on the island HERE.

SL also has a 12-Step Recovery Meeting Hall -- for people battling or recovering from addictions to alcohol, drugs and more -- HERE, where you also can pick up a meeting schedule. I believe you have to join the related group for access to the building.

I imagine those are just two of many such resources.

I once got in a huge debate with an SL resident who was lobbying to have signs posted all over the Orientation centers -- as well as a notice to people when they signed up -- warning that Second Life is potentially addictive and also could be harmful to people with certain mental disorders.

I'll agree that if you're prone to dependency, Second Life can become another crutch. And if you have a problem with impulsive shopping and living beyond your means in real life, I think you'll find yourself dropping lindens like mad in SL. After all, for many of us, SL feeds off an umbilical cord to our credit cards, and we only have to look at those invoices once a month. It's easy to spend lindens and forget that's it's real money. Or at least it is for me. 

And yeah, if you hear voices in your head, you should probably stay away -- this advice is from my friend Jim.

My beef with that guy's proposal mainly was centered around his desire to have weekly support group meetings in world for people with "Second Life dependencies." He also wanted separate meetings for friends and family members who had "lost" a loved one to SL.

As to his first idea, I told him that would be like holding an AA meeting in a bar.

As to his second idea, uh, we don't have the time or the space for my thoughts on it. In short, I give it a thumbs down.

I'm not sure I really had a point to make in this post. It's all just something to think about, I guess. If you're having problems, I'd urge you to seek help in real life first, but know that there are also people and places in Second Life who can offer support.

But meanwhile, could someone please help me with my ears and neck?

OK. I promise my next post will be about funny stuff and friends and snowmen and lips. And it'll be shorter. With more pictures!


Luna Jubilee said...


Owly Indigo said...

My eyes are darting around and I'm biting my lip as I think of all the many things I would like to say in response ... the turtle neck clarification ... the so-not-crazy germ thing ... the OCD with the stove ... I'm gonna have to settle on this: We were promised a Virgin Mary post.

Anonymous said...

Lizzie Lexington jumps in SL to make Emerald a no mod shape. LOL jk. My obsession is noses on shapes FYI. Sometimes I get so focused on my shape I'm messing with it for hours!

Loved the post Em!

Emerald Wynn said...

Owly - LOL - yeah it was a tossup between the Virgin Mary and Crazy Grandpa.

Crazy Grandpa won.

It was good seeing you and your Jello today!!!!

Nuuna Nitely said...

When I'll get in world I'll check my ear and neck numbers for you.:D I think then you can never be an elf...they have loooong ears! :D