Friday, May 29, 2009

In love and gratitude (and I am such an idiot)

Oh wow, I need to digress from my usual highly intellectual discussions to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to my SL friends who did some really wonderful things on my birthday. It made me get teary in real life, especially since my parents kind of Sixteen-Candled it in RL this year. 

My SL Facebook friends who walk in both of my worlds can read all about it in my FB Notes, but basically my RL b'day was kind of a bummer -- for me AND my pet turtle.

In SL though, I was extremely touched. Your kindness saved me from plummeting to complete rock bottom on my birthday, which once again reminded me that sometimes SL can fill huge holes in our lives and work double-time as a virtual band-aid, or at least in my case.

There are too many people to thank publicly here, and that alone is a gigantic gift. Please know that I'm currently searching for SL thank you cards that don't suck.

And hey, LOOKIT my cakes!


(Detour: I love that Belle Belle Luna couch with color-changeable pillows so much I can hardly stand it.)

Look -- it's THE RED CAKE!!! *dances with joy*

And hey BON, that spectacular cake you gave me (on left) is 51 prims, BTW. Fifty-one prims! RAWWWWK! As such, I'm waiting for my landlady to come over and kick my ass. (The birthday decorations will come down in two more days, Landlady, I swear!)

But speaking of my landlady, she's one of the few SL people who has the rare permission to edit my stuff, and I'm so happy she used it to bust in my house and deck the hell out of it:


(LOL at Jon's duck)


The animals got really excited!

Thank you, Ali!

Hey take a look at that picture up there. See that little line under my eye? That annoying line is ALWAYS on my SL screen. ALWAYS. It's not always under my eye, but it's always right there. I've learned to live with it, but occasionally it pops up in photos and bugs the hell out of me. Like now.

If you read blogs besides this one (and I hope to God you do), you probably know that Tuli has a new line of Hope skins out. I'm one of the few people I know who isn't a member of Tuli's group, unfortunately because her skins look like hell on me. 

That's not a Tuli slam; it's an Emerald's Shape slam.

HOWEVER, I was thrilled to recently discover that Tuli has a Picks Prize board in her store now, and since I had an open slot (yeeks, that sounded kinda nasty), I thought I'd give it a whirl. June's picks prize (available now) is a Hope skin in Sunkissed. I'm wearin' it in that photo up there and -- if you ignore that mother-bleepin' line under my eye -- it actually doesn't look that bad on me!


OK, as long as we're looking at stuff in that picture, the Zaara outfit I'm wearing caused a gigantic "OMG I'm such an idiot" revelation today. And since readers have been screaming for more fish tank poses, here's the outfit again (and HEY, lookit my fish tank!!).


That outfit is called Xacuti in burnt yellow. Like many avid SL shoppers, when I found out that almost everything in Zaara's store is half off until June 1, I raced over there and kissed many lindens goodbye. This Xacuti outfit, a steal at 143L (I think) was one of my purchases. Imagine my dismay when I went to file this outfit in my "Zaara Rocks" inventory folder and found NOT ONE but TWO other Xacuti outfits in the SAME DAMN COLOR.

They both had a "285L!" in the name. I do that to remind myself that I actually spent lindens on an outfit and didn't grab it as a freeb.

So not only have I bought this outfit three times, I've bought it in the same color three times, which actually annoys the hell out of me even more, particularly since there are two other color options.

Wow, I'm such a gawd-damn predictable burnt-yellow person. :(

Kids, if you're like me and your inventory is at 85K (*ducks and hides as everyone gasps and throws things*), CHECK YOUR STUFF before you buy something. You probably already own it.

It's a damn shame those outfits aren't transferrable.

Hey, I bet you looked at that photo up there and wondered how I could float magically in the air by my fish tank like that. Yes you did! I know you did!

Last month my friend Cait from the awesome blog Cait's Finds in SL gave me this aquatic pose stand as a "gift for no particular reason," which are always the most fun in my book.


It has fish swimming in it, along with 86 poses. I have no clue where she got it. You'll have to ask her. I love it. There's only one other pose stand I love just as much and that's a sparkly one that my friend and talented creator Aisuru Rieko made.

Some of the poses in my aquatic pose stand kill me, and they're always in the air, which is kind of cool:


Watch out, because I'm about to POUNCE LIKE A LETHAL SPIDER!

I don't think spiders pounce.

But my Ambien is kicking in, so I guess anything is possible.

I know everyone's screaming "OK! DING DING DING! THIS POST IS GETTING LONG NOW! TIME TO STOP!", but LOOK, I want this blog to be a precious, useful tool for my readers, so I just want to say one more thing:

If you love Midnight Mania boards as much as I do, you might want to visit the Slap-a-Thon, running now through June 7.

I got excited when I first heard there was a Slap-a-Thon, mainly because I thought it was a place where we could all go and slap other avatars.

But no! It's a two-story mall with different vendors sponsoring Midnight Mania boards in their booths. Some are well-known, some are new names. All I know is that by noon today I had already scored some RAWKIN' furniture.

The technical description, which ran in an announcement in The Freebie Telegraph group today, went a little something like this:

"SL's first MM Slap-a-thon! Sponsored by the two largest MM Board groups: Midnight Mania group owned by Avalon Asturias & *CS midnight Maniacs!* owned by ChaosSun Woebegone! COME SLAP THOSE BOARDS BABIES! OPEN NOW UNTIL JUNE 7TH. NOTE: Boards are being forced frequently and new items even put out to keep this event running. FREEBIES also on site! Please remove huds, AOs, and wear non-prim clothing (pants, shirts, no flexi) if you find it laggy! Still accepting MM Board owners who want to participate!"

So if you have time to kill between now and June 7, get over there and slap some boards. The cool stuff was already locked down when I went over there today. If I happen to be awake at 2 a.m. my time tonight/tomorrow, I may head over there again for some quality slap time.

My next post will be about the Virgin Mary. How's that for a cliffhanger? (laugh)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

(Sorry I'm kind of a pointless blogging machine lately.)

Screw rez days. It's my real birthday today.

I'm not gonna lie. I'm kind of blue about it.

I don't WANNA turn 30-"something"!

*stamps foot*

And hell no, I'm not telling you my real age, but it's depressing. So depressing, in fact, that last night at dinner I spontaneously burst into tears over a plate full of bratwurst.

I'm just feeling . . . blah about it this year.


Anyhoo . . .

Whenever I want to celebrate anything in Second Life, I go to Sweet Dreams Patisserie at Petite Chou and press my face against the window.


(OK, that's not exactly humping the window, but I couldn't find a "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?"-type pose, pardon the pun.)

Edwina Heron's creations there are oh-so-yummy.

For a few months now, I've been lusting after her Red Lacquer Cake:


(I'm holding a gift card for that store, BTW. But there was no "pay with card" option on any of the cakes. Sigh.)

That cake actually looks like a Chinese red wedding cake to me, but someone correct me if I'm wrong -- I probably am. As you can see, it only costs 200L. And the fact that I keep returning to a store to look at a 200L cake -- from which the proceeds go to charity, nonetheless -- is ridiculous.


But I can't. I just can't spend 200L on a cake right now. And don't encourage me by reminding me that it would benefit cancer research, because trust me, I spent WAAAAAAY too much money at RFL booths at the recent SL Clothing Fair. So that argument won't work.

I also looked at these 200L butterfly cupcakes. They appealed to me in that I love butterflies and I love cupcakes, but mixing the two together just seems a little unappetizing to me.

I'm SORRY, Edwina, but it does:


Especially when it looks like there's a dead butterfly lying in the box.

I finally settled for this very plain little 100L cake. In fact, it's even called Small Pale Green Bow Cake:


Yes, it's a little bland, but so is my mood.

Come over and have a piece if you want though! My friend Lizzie and I were talking about having a party, but I sort of drew a blank when I got to the guest list. I have a lot of people on my friends list, but I doubt they'd want to celebrate my birthday.

*plays a big damn violin here*


Kidding. We still might have one later this week. I'll let you know. I really don't like having a fuss made over me though, unless it's by a good-looking man.

I do have plans in RL. Just me and my brother kicking around, and later dinner with my parents at our country club (sheesh, we're so old South, it's sickening). And this past year was a rough one, but I made it. So I'll hopefully snap out of it after a nap, count my blessings and concentrate on cake.

I only asked for one thing for my birthday, and that was a new aquarium for my pet turtle. So keep your fingers crossed.

Go out and have some fun for me today!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Taking out the trash

Hey, this one is short!

I went to the grand opening party at the new Fashion Mode mall last night.

The party invite said the theme was Trashy Glam.

I have no idea how everyone else interpreted Trashy Glam or if anyone even bothered to dress in theme at all. No surprise, everyone was mostly grey to me, and the place was laggy as hell. I gave up after about 15 minutes of feeling like I was dancing in slow motion underwater.

Later, still dressed in my Trashy Glam attire, I went back to actually check out the stores. I walked by a couple of chickies wearing jeans and, I don't know, little tops from Pixel Mode or somewhere. One of them said "Oh. My." and the other one said "God."


I didn't know whether to feel sorry for them for their complete lack of a sense of humor or because they were painfully dense and pathetically petty. Honey, if I'm walking around like this, do you REALLY think I'm taking myself seriously?:


Um, I also added a cigarette, silver bangles and a big damn cocktail ring. Actually, I still didn't feel trashy enough. But you know what? I'm still running around like this today.


(Bishes, the bunny likes it.)

I hardly ever do this but:

Wild Woman Hair from miaSofia
*Starz* Glasses -- I bought these early last year and I'm not sure where, but the designer is Apple May of AMD, so maybe they're there now. I don't think they were when I bought them though. (Wow, I'm so awesome at this whole fashion blogging thing.)
Earrings: Shiny Silver Large Hoops from Dark Mouse 
Feather Boa: from Last Call. Despite all the feather boas floating around out there, this one remains my favorite (sorry, Nicky Ree).
Dress: Flame Sequin Dress from DYN, prize in the Keys to the VIP gridwide hunt -- and it restored my faith in the usually detested "tiny crotch prim"
Stockings: Laddered stockings from League
Shoes: d'Orsay in Silver Patent from Stiletto Moody
Skin: Meredith (sunkissed) Post Party (past freebie) from Tuli

"I rolled out of a strange man's bed after a long hard night of partying, kissed him on his gorgeous lips as he still slept, rummaged in my bag for sunglasses big enough to cover my mascara-stained and bloodshot eyes, lit a cigarette and followed the scent of beautiful people across the city to the next glam gathering." (at a mall - LOL)

A continued plea to people to occasionally create a damn character and love it, if only for a day. You've got a virtual world at your fingertips. WORK IT! Be a hungover party girl, be a nerdy little chick with pigtails and glasses, be a thunder-thighed warrior princess, be a banana, be a poster girl for prim boobs, be a unicorn, be an elegant gothic lolita, be a fairy, be a Furry, be something -- anything -- that you can't be in real life. (Um, just don't lie about your gender if you're trying to date me. kthxbai.)

Or if you prefer the safety of your Malt jeans and Pixel Mode tops -- and believe me, on most days I usually do -- at least stop laughing at the people who are having a little fun.

But by all means laugh with us though. :D

P.S. Speaking of dorks: YAY! Who Let the Dorks Out? is back!

P.P.S. Speaking of laughs, this Web site usually has me in hysterical giggles: Texts from Last Night

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A creative outlet for fashion enthusiasts

OK, so this post isn't completely about SL.

It's about the Web site But actually, I believe that site has the potential to increase positive awareness of SL. And I HAVE seen the works of SL designers on this site (for example, momo and I Heart SL are referenced HERE). And all that aside, I think some of you might really dig it.

So I thought I'd talk about Polyvore today for you people out there who like to play, particularly with clothes.

In fact, some of you probably already have heard of it. It's been around for a little while.

Polyvore lets you tap into a giant library of pics to create your own fashion collages (or "sets"). Some users are hardcore professionals who use the site quite seriously to create idea storyboards or showcase their image-consulting, personal shopping, and/or design skills. Or, some aspiring designers use the site to showcase and sell their actual collections.

Other users are people like me, who like to create goofy sets to express moods or play with themes.

Many of the photos in the image library are connected to online stores and boutiques, so if you see something you love, chances are good that you can click through to a store and buy it. The site also runs fun themed contests, allowing you to pit your artistic visions against the sets of other users.

It's also got a slight social networking aspect in that people can comment on your work or vote on whether they like it. You also can add your friends or favorite artists to your contacts list. And yeah, I do call them artists because some of them create some truly amazing work. 

If you happen to be on that site, my user name is "I don't know jack abt fashion." My sets are a mix of earnest attempt, goofing off and, um, some silly Facebook and former MySpace profile pics.

It's been a while since I last visited the site, but I logged back on today and laughed at a few of my past sets that have angsty (what a surprise) stories behind them, mostly related to breakup turmoil. It was like taking a darkly humorous trip down dating memory lane.

So, drumroll please, here's some of my "art" (laugh). After you publish a set, you get a handy embed code for blogs or other networking pages (thus the links after each one):

Uh, that one was inspired by my secret love of Hello Kitty, but also my secret desire to corrupt her a little. My mother is convinced that Hello Kitty is one of the many things that are responsible for my single status. "For God's sake, don't wear these pajamas around a man!!" 


Subtitled, "Don't you want to see my stripes?" (I think a weird guy who wanted to sleep together platonically for about three months, but kept dangling promises of eventual sex in front of me, inspired this collage [hell yeah, I finally dumped that guy] --- WOW I 'VE DATED SOME WEIRDOS.)

And those beehive hairstyles up there are made by an SL designer, but unfortunately the link no longer lists the name. Maybe *BP*?


Subtitled, "You could have joined my circus" (obviously created after another breakup).


Subtitled, "You broke my heart, but I took your Valium, so I guess that makes us even" -- after a Mayo radiologist dumped me for a surgically-enhanced Barbie-girl type. And yeah, when I was packing up my stuff to move out of his friggin' palatial mansion, I threw his bottle of Valium in my purse on my way out the door. Bad girl! But HEY, he was poaching drugs from The Mayo supply closets so . . . whatever. Maybe we'll date again when we're both, um, in hell? 


I made that one after a hot bf cheated on me with a vegetarian -- LOL.


Subtitled, "Who's hiring?"


Stuff that reminded me of my childhood - I was a ballerina for a while as a teen. And I loved fairies and unicorns, but what little girl didn't? As for "The Shining," um . . . I think I just loved that movie and the book. Still do.


Subtitled, "Hey baby, I got your 'more cowbell' right here!" HA HA HA!

OK. I think you've seen enough. (Laugh)

I realize that this is yet another blog post that could leave you scratching your head and thinking, "Why is THIS post on THIS blog?" but I believe Second Life is one of the greatest virtual outlets for self-expression, so I love introducing kindred spirits to other such outlets.

I also think that this site could be a fun way for content creators to let "real people" play with and marvel at your work -- simply use the site's clipper tool to capture and add shots of your creations to the Polyvore library. For even more exposure, create a few sets with them. 

It may even drive traffic to Second Life. If the 650,000 Polyvore members love playing with little pictures of clothes, think how much they'd love playing with highly detailed, gorgeous virtual collections on sophisticated avatars.

(Sorry, always thinking like a PR person.)

BTW, I checked the careers section and noticed that the site is hiring software engineers, if that's your bag.

Thanks for humoring me with this post. I know it was a little off-the-beaten path.

Have a great Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The gawd-damn domino effect

Uh . . .

*waves sheepishly*

The next time I write a big damn dramatic blog post -- complete with wince-inducing poetry -- about Never Blogging Again, um, just go ahead and blow off the wolf cry. 

Shoot, I'M HOOKED ON PHONICS! *wails*

It could be worse though. I mean, it could be . . . crack or something, right?

And hey, I think I at least lasted 48 hours this time! WOOT!

I blame my backsliding on something I like to call The Second Life Domino Effect. It goes a little something like this:

(Speaking of getting a bunch of fashion bloggers p*ssed at me -- WHOOPS! -- but gosh, THANK YOU for the group invite!) . . . it all started with a desperate struggle for the technical terms to describe THIS WEDDING DRESS for a real-life bridal mag article:


[Yeeks, I wonder if I'm allowed to reprint that pic here? "Photo courtesy of Redcouch Photography" -- honestly one of the more talented wedding photographers I've seen in the RL South (USA), and I'm not just saying that to stay out of trouble. And HEY fashion writers, I still don't know how to describe the bodice. Or the . . . thingy around the chest. Or the . . . bottom. And actually, the bride doesn't know how to describe it all either. Some help please? Oof.]

OK. Here go the dominos:

- So if I wasn't standing with my face smashed against a giant writer's block, I wouldn't have tried to ease my throbbing temples by taking a mental vacation and checking out some SL blogs. DO NOT EVER DO THAT if you're trying to kick a Second Life habit. It'll throw you off the wagon so fast, you won't know what hit you.

- If I wouldn't have been checking out SL blogs, I wouldn't have read about this juicy polka-dot goodness in Luxurious World's 30-minute camp chair:


(We will get to that RAWKIN' Arabian bedroom in a minute.)

- If I wouldn't have suddenly developed a craving for juicy polka dots, I would have never logged on to camp for that dress.

- If I wouldn't have been trying to kill 30 minutes while camping, I wouldn't have read every group notice I have, including the news that Lorac Farella of Pulse has "hidden" four $100L Pulse Climax skins (usually 1200L) to commemorate the grand opening of Envy Designs' new main store, Ultra Nightclub and Legacy Management. Look for the skins in boxes around HERE. Look for more hunt boxes -- also not free, but with great deals on cute things -- HERE as well. A notecard at that second location will show you pics of most of the prizes.

- If I wouldn't have read that notice, I wouldn't have run to grab those skins -- because when I'm not raving about The Obscene skins, I'm usually raving about Pulse skins. I think I own about 25 of them. Well, make that 29 now:


I think it's called Ultra. Or Ultraviolet. Shoot, I suck. But you can't really miss this skin (in four skin tones, one per box) in four giant purple boxes. No cheat sheet necessary. And laugh, laugh, laugh, it was only when I zoomed in to take this pic that I realized there are PURPLE SWIRLY THINGS around the eyes. COOL!

-If I wouldn't have been looking for that skin, I wouldn't have swung into the Legacy Management Rental Office and discovered a new living concept (at least to me): a menu-driven skyhome. Change the WHOLE LOOK of your fully furnished home with the click of a menu button. WOW! (<-- easily entertained) 

- If I wouldn't have been kind of fascinated with a skybox that is um, as FLEXIBLE as my moods, I wouldn't have TP'ed to a demo and then decided to become a real estate-renting mogul (laugh) and rent one, even though I also rent a perfectly great beach house.

But check it!

Arabian Nights option (you saw the inside up there):


Gothic option (fireplace view):


Jon wasn't with me when I made my spontaneous rental decision. He e-mailed me later and said, "We are never using that Gothic version." 

Sheeeeeesh, Jon. Somewhere inside of you, there IS a dark side that wants to frolic under a picture of a blood-drenched rose. I just know it.

"Redrum" option:


(C'mon over, Stephen King!)

Or you can turn your whole plot into a garden of low-prim love:


Maybe I could have adjusted my Windlight settings for that pic. Oops.

And yeah, just about everything in every version is animated. It's a veritable smorgasbord of sexy poseballs in there. On the downside, the skyhomes are all at the same altitude and feel like they're about one inch apart from each other. They don't have privacy walls either, so it's reallllly easy for me to cam into everyone else's place and watch people doing the nasty, if I feel so inclined.

Which I don't.


Uh, you can rent one for a minimum of *cough* two hours (for 69L, haha, how appropriate) to up to a month (899L). I paid for a month. Then I'll probably give it up. It's taking up a precious group slot.

- So if I wouldn't have gotten a new dress, a new skin and a new vacation home, I wouldn't have felt the urge to share the joy in this blog.

AND THERE'S MORE. (But if you're exhausted, I totally don't blame you if you wanna stop here.)

- If I wouldn't have been reading SL blogs, I wouldn't have seen the smokin' dresses currently in the Ivalde lucky chair and wandered over there in my new polka-dot dress for some quality stalking time while I waited for some Ambien to kick in. (That's a sleeping pill, by the way, for those of you who aren't hip to the prescription-drug lexicon. I'm a chronic insomniac.)

- If I wouldn't have been wearing that polka-dot dress, I maybe wouldn't have started talking about clothes with Taryn Gartner, who happened to also be at that chair and said to me, "Hey, I camped for that dress too!" I don't know Taryn very well, but she's over there on my blog roll. She's new. I like reading what new people think, before they get sucked into the jaded madness.

- If I wouldn't have been under the influence of Ambien, I probably wouldn't have agreed to accompany Taryn to her favorite store. No offense to Taryn. I'm just REALLY shy "in person" and not in the habit of spontaneously running around with strangers. HOWEVER, I do think I need to seize the day a little more and run around with strangers more often. It usually turns out to be fun.

-- If I wouldn't have run off with Taryn, I would have never discovered the really amazing (and perhaps a little over-the-top opulent) store, Sonatta Morales Weird Couture. Lots of gorgeous period clothing, as well as some fantastic exotic costumes on the top floor and vintage hairstyles on the bottom floor. The designs are amazing, intricate and inspired.

To be fair and balanced, the textures on some of the gowns aren't for me, you've gotta be able to work a system skirt with many of them, and some of the seams don't line up perfectly, but you're still going to turn a lot of heads in these stunning gowns. It's extremely evident that mass quantities of love, research, planning and hard work went into them. Actually, Taryn posted a more detailed description (with pic) over on IHeartSL right HERE.

I bought The Drama Dress (800L) as well as a fat pack of this hair (yeeks, I don't have the name at the moment) for 150L:


OK. I suck at modeling.

And hell yeah, my house is also available for rent as a photography studio. I know you were wondering. The animals serve as your awed audience.


Boom boom pow! Actually, I'm frustrated because it looks a little drab in my pics. I can't do it justice here. 

And lookit the back!


Oops. I need to adjust the shoulder pads. But the pattern is really cool. And that hair is in a retro hair net. A less lame photographer would have gotten the brilliant idea to include that in the photo.

OK. That was a long string of dominos (or "dominoes" -- you can spell it both ways!).

Let's get back really quickly to that wedding dress up at the top. Honestly, if you know technical fashion terms beyond "cool" and "boom boom pow," please HELP ME describe it! I'll make it up to you.

And HEY if your RL self wants to be Facebook friends with my RL self, send me an e-mail at emeraldwynn3 [at symbol] gmail [dot] com (yeah, I spaced it out to avoid spam) and maybe we can reveal our secret RL identities. I don't really talk about SL on my Facebook page, but that's kind of the point.

I'm still trying to keep one foot in the real world.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I love you. I hate you. But I'll always love you.

If you caught my post this morning called "Blaaaah-choo!", this is the updated version.

(And hey, at least you get to watch the writing process in action -- laugh!)

Sorry. As always, I guess I shouldn't have dashed off this morning's post (now replaced by this one) without some explanation.

Basically the explanation is this:


I love Second Life. I even love the love/hate relationship I have with Second Life. And I love writing about my love/hate relationship with Second Life. Call this blog bipolar (in the purest definition of the word, not the mental connotation, although some of you probably call it that too) or call it a tug-of-war, but yeah, with my love of SL comes some guilt and shame -- guilt because I could be spending all the time I spend online doing, hell, God's work I guess, particularly when I have a brother who devotes 14 hours a day to helping foster kids. Shame in that my preference right now seems to be to hide in my room online instead of getting out there and toughing out the real world, and in the fact that sometimes to me SL symbolizes my professional downfall and my transformation into sort of a lazy, unmotivated as*hole, pardon my French.

And so YES, while we're on that note, I have no problem admitting that it IS a love/hate relationship.

I love it for the creativity and fun and joy and the few close friends I've made.

I hate it for some of the catty drama, vicious overreactions, the weird way that stuff can really send me spiraling into depression, and the addictive hold that SL has on me.

I'm a daydreamer and an escapist and there are times when I dwell in denial, so for someone like me, Second Life can be extremely dangerous. It allows me to lose myself in a form of non-reality and blissfully ignore the fact that I'm in $27K worth of credit card debt, unemployed, uninsured, living with my parents, and about to file for bankruptcy.

We talk about finding balance as the key to a successful SL life, but for me, Second Life seems to be all or nothing. I'm either really in it or I'm avoiding it like the plague. Some people might be groaning and rolling their eyes at the moment because, yes, I have repeatedly tried to leave before and have repeatedly failed.

I hope to still occasionally come in and hang out with the people I care about, people who often make me laugh so hard that my sides hurt. I hope to occasionally come in and dress up in fun clothes and enjoy the thrill of hunts and sit on my little deck of my little house and listen to the sounds of (fake) waves and seabirds. I'd like to keep a place to where I can occasionally -- and the key word is "occasionally" -- escape, which is why I've paid my rent several months in advance and I don't plan on killing my account.

But I think the only way I can handle SL right now is if I use it as a reward for meeting goals, meaning "If I send out XX resumes today, I can spend XX hours in Second Life," or "If I set up two networking meetings this week, I will allow myself to log on for XX amount of time" or "If I make an effort to get out of my house and socialize one night a weekend, I can spend the other weekend night at home and in world if I so choose."

Baby steps back to reality. Laugh.

What a bizarre way to have to handle it, but I am admitting that I do have an addiction -- broadly categorized, actually as an "online gaming addiction" as much as the word "game" ticks off many SL users. The proven method of kicking many addictions is to 12-Step your way out until you eventually reach a state of sobriety, which you then work to maintain.

But I guess I'm not ready for complete SL sobriety, so maybe this positive behavioral reinforcement method will work instead. ("You lined up a job interview? Good doggie! You get to play in SL for a few hours!!")

I'll still check up on your blogs to see how you're doing. And when Prad recently wrote that he was leaving blogging for a while, I fondly commented something along the lines of "You'll be back -- it's in your blood." And that's kind of how I feel about this blog. Writing about my experiences (real or virtual) is in my blood. 

But this blog for the moment has sort of jumped the shark. It's ranting, it's angry and it's cynical. Some people are taking it the wrong way, and I chalk the misunderstandings up to my blunt language and weakening communication skills. Regardless, the joy behind it is gone. So this blog is going on vacation for a while.

But don't be surprised if once in a while you see a post from me. Someone e-mailed me today and said, "Aw, I just added you to my blog roll and now I guess I have to take it off." Aw, please don't (smile).

As far as the earlier draft of this post goes, I downgraded my earlier drastic resolution to throw my Second Life app in the trash to simply removing it from my MacBook dock.

I'm wrapping up THIS STAGE of this blog with some babble I primarily wrote for someone when her world was crashing down around her. And yep, that someone was me, but it was also for a friend battling breast cancer, and a friend who was dealing with a painful divorce, and a friend who had come to the end of her rope emotionally. I originally posted it a couple of years ago on a blog for real women struggling to overcome real obstacles.

It's cheesy and it's not gonna win any awards, obviously, but I often try to hold on to its theme: that no matter how challenging life gets, there will always be something to believe in. And actually that's not even an original thought -- it's from a song by singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin.

So rock on, Beautiful People. And no, you don't have to be an SL fashionista to fall in that category. ;)

*gives hugs all around and runs off into the sunset for another attempt at the whole "rising from the ashes" thing*

Beautiful Thing
Freeze this moment.
For even if you're sitting staring blankly at cubicle walls,
or slaving away in your tastefully furnished office,
or at home wearily watching your kids on three hours of sleep,
or desperately searching for a job,
or worrying about a loved one,
or grappling with grief,
or pondering what to do with your life,
or wandering through this world without hope,
or feeling humiliated,
or patching up a battered heart (again),
or sneezing, hacking and coughing up a lung,
or scrutinizing your past with regret,
or blindly reaching skyward from the depths of darkness,
I'm thinking that if you look hard enough,
you can still find one beautiful thing
or person
to believe in
and remind you that you too are a beautiful thing
who has merely and briefly
forgotten her own strength.

So go on girl,
grab that beautiful thing and hold on tight.
Then freeze this moment.
Because no matter what dark planets may be hurling your way,
perhaps you've stumbled into my cluttered galaxy
right here
right now
so I can assure you of this one thing:
Pardon the platitude, but this too shall pass.
And in the meantime,
there's still beauty in the breakdown,
and grace will find you at unexpected moments.

Monday, May 18, 2009

UPDATED: Unappreciated? Not by me

First, an apology: If you dropped something on me during the past few days, I guess I didn't receive it. Today when I logged on, I got a couple of notes referencing review items and even a personal gift, but the items weren't there.


SL needs a better way to deal with RL vacations, rather than just CHOW DOWN on all forms of communication while I'm gone.

Speaking of the recent Blogger Appreciation Week (well, oops, I was before I edited this post), I guess I'll be the one to say what the hell? 

I've been a little out of the loop, so I'll admit right off the bat that I may not have all my facts straight. From her blog, it looks like Callie Cline declared it. 

And from what I could gather from the "OOOOH! Look what I got during Blogger Appreciation Week!" blogs and photos, it looked like it was geared toward fashion bloggers, specifically members of the Fashion Bloggers Group.

But hell, I was out of town most of last week, so what do I know?

<---- Queen of Wrong. Wears lopsided crown with humor.

I regularly read about five fashion bloggers at most. And those are the ones who actually show creativity and insight into ways to create distinctive looks, rather than the ones who blatantly fawn over a particular designer in each post or simply rave about a new release. They're the ones who challenge my imagination. They're the ones who write as well as they dress.

Although fashion bloggers can be fun to read and, yes, meet an important need for people who have a strong interest in fashion and provide valuable publicity for content creators, I'm more impressed by as well as extremely appreciative of the "all-purpose bloggers," as my friend Elizabeth calls them -- the ones who strive to show the many sides of Second Life, the ones who discuss relevant SL issues, the ones who share their accomplishments and disappointments -- hell, the ones who get out there and LIVE Second Life, so to speak, and then take the time to share what they've learned, even if those lessons are painful.

In my opinion, these are the bloggers who truly illustrate that Second Life is so much more than just a game of virtual Barbies. These are the bloggers that truly express the meaning behind Second Life, and the effect it has on so many real lives. 

Frankly if we judged SL by blogs alone, without these "lifestyle bloggers," we'd all look like a bunch of kids playing dress-up (no offense, fashion bloggers, and I mean that sincerely). 

The sad thing is, so many of the ultra-fabulous all-purpose bloggers won't ever get an "appreciation week," mainly because, despite their stellar writing skills, touching insights or hilarious observations, they're not as well-known or widely read as the names on the fashion feeds or the cluster of writers on some of the more popular group blogs.

Does this sound like a "Wah wah wah, I didn't get 'appreciated,' invited to a Blogger Appreciation Party or showered with gifts all week" post? Sure it does! But that's not my intention. My intention is to point out that there are so many bloggers out there who are just as worthy, if not more so, of appreciation. 

It's the joyous mix of bloggers out there that makes the SL blogosphere so great. Creating a "Blogger Appreciation Week" seems somewhat pointless if it fails to spotlight new faces and new perspectives. If you're really going to have a Blogger Appreciation Week, promote it further in advance, give new or lesser-known bloggers a chance to shine, and do a better job of publicizing instructions on how to get involved or "be appreciated." 

(My bad, but I'd never heard about the Fashion Bloggers Group before last week. How was I supposed to know I had to join the group in order to be "appreciated"?)

If not, hell, just call a spade a spade and declare it "Fashion Blogger Appreciation Week" instead.

A reader commented that any blogger -- not just fashion -- could have sent a request to join that group and participate in last week's activities, but again, how were we supposed to know that?

I'm prepared for the fact that this post is going to tick people off, but to me -- an Average Jill who spends hard-earned lindens on content creators' stuff and writes honest posts about the things I like -- many posts about last week's events (with some exceptions, including the awesome posts over on Lifestyles of the Broke and Notorious) really just sort of looked like "Hey, the cool kids are getting together to celebrate and get EVEN MORE free stuff than usual!" 

And don't get me wrong -- I read and admire a lot of those "cool kids," and yeah, there's definitely a reason why a lot of them are cool. You'll find some of them in my blog roll. But if you look over there, you'll also spot several names you may not recognize. I encourage you to take the time to check them out. Many of them are just "commoners" (as I once sickeningly heard a glamourous girl refer to people who weren't SLocialites) who write about joy, heartbreak, fun, forming connections, exploring new worlds and trying new things. They're opening their lives to you, they're opening their hearts to you -- hell, they're giving you a glimpse of their souls.

You're not going to find a lot of them hanging around fashionable parties. You're not going to see them flitting around in high-society SL circles (a laughable concept in itself), making Plurk headlines or landing on popularity lists. 

But I bet you'll learn something from them. Or laugh with them. Maybe you'll even cry with them. At the very least, I do hope you'll appreciate them.

Despite their talents and hard work, unfortunately, many of them didn't get showered with Blogger Appreciation Gifts last week or invited to a big "You're Fabulous!" bash. (And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it was supposedly open-house, but you get my drift.)

They get a standing ovation from me though. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A sunburned "hello"

Hi from (RL) Aruba!

At the airport, waiting for a delayed flight, so I finally splurged on wireless Internet.


And wow, this whole Web site is in Dutch.

I had too much fun. I learned that you don't really think about Second Life when you're on the beach. Or at least I don't.

Hey, I wanted to point out a couple of cool SL blogs that I recently found and like. And NO, they're not written by my friends!

-- Hunt Outfits: I really hope Maleficent Benoir keeps this blog up because, man, it'll really save me a ton of time sorting hunt prizes. I'm not sure if the Keys to the VIP Gridwide Hunt is still on, but HOLY COW, she has a pic of EVERY prize in that particular post. BRAVO and thank you for the hard work. I wish I would have thought of this idea, frankly. How totally helpful and totally awesome.

-- Owly Indigo Birds SL: I never really thought about birds in SL, but the aptly named Owly does, and her bird-themed blog is creative and different. Find everything fun and birdy -- from SL birds to bird-themed fashion -- here. And holy crikey, I'm on her blog roll -- I swear that's not why I'm pimping her blog here, but THANK YOU, OWLY!!

Ooh -- they're finally boarding my plane. Thank God.

Love and laughs,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Booty love! (the Russian remix)

So I tried on a bunch of bikinis in real life today, and I realized to my delight and amazement that for the first time in I don't know when, I actually love my body for a change!

I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who has been pretty skeletal and, as such, ashamed for a really long time, so I don't have any problem saying, "Wow, I've suddenly filled out a little and it looks pretty damn sexy!"

THANK YOU, late-night country-fried cooking!

Besides eating, I've been trying really hard to get out of my house lately, even if it means tagging along with my brothers and their friends. Even though I grew up here, after an 11 year hiatus from the place I don't know many people in this city anymore. My childhood friends have all fled.

I'm also thinking of trying to date again soon, even if I have to -- big sigh -- resort to something cheesy like Match or eHarmony.

(Maybe there's a man out there who'll overlook the fact that I'm *cough* freelancing and temporarily living with my parents.)

I don't know. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've realized -- particularly today -- that, my God, I'm wasting large amounts of time during some of the best years of my life -- my 30-flirty-and-fun years! -- at my computer.

So I'm probably gonna try to make a break for the RL border again. My SL friends who know me well will roll their eyes and make another notch on their tally sheets of the number of times I've made that statement, but hey, we gotta keep dreamin' if we ever wanna start achievin'! (Laugh - I made that little ditty up, can you tell?)

Anyway, speaking of bodies that I love . . .

I thought I was the only one who wandered by The Red Commander AV on the Midnight Mania board at Vendom over the weekend and was captivated by her, but to my great delight (it's turning out to be a DAY OF DELIGHT) Chic Aeon from one of my favorite blogs, Chic at Phil's Place, blogged it too!

Like Chic, I saw the impossibly high target number (I think it was 500 on Saturday) and thought "long shot" but I clicked in at No. 187 and imagine my great deligh . . . I mean JOY . . . when I logged in Sunday and discovered that 500 people actually locked that baby down!!!

Here it is in all its glory and yes, it includes this bangin' shape:



I really like the face. It's strong and she looks like she's "a bad-ass mother who don't take no crap off of nobody," to quote my favorite movie "Cool Runnings":



(I really don't know why I've given her a Russian accent.)

And, uh, yeah, when I say "bangin'" I mean it -- this baby's got back and I did, in fact, run around like this today and I did, in fact, get some "OMG LOL"s from some snotty chicks, but I also got some "wow, cool AV!"s from several guys (of course):




I don't have a problem with big glorious booties. I myself have always wanted one in real life. I'm just not used to, um, letting it all hang out like that. So today was quite the social experiment and test of willpower for me. Because yeah, as awe-inspiring as it is, I kind of wanted to cover that ass up after a little while.

If you want that AV, I believe it's only on the MM board on the weekends.

Over on her blog, Chic shows you what this outfit looks like with all the attachments removed and on a more proportionate shape, in case you're not comfortable with the mock-inducing one. And I only call it that because, yep, it hurt when the snarky chicks sniggered at me, even though that wasn't even my normal AV.

And now we've come around full circle to the deep philosophical thought that, here I am with a body that I finally love -- even in a teeny bikini -- in real life, so WHY IN THE WORLD do I give a damn what a couple of stupid little avatars say about my giant warrior princess avatar in Second Life? A shrink would have a field day with the question, I guess, and maybe it's because my AV represents my creative core. 


And hell, maybe being openly laughed at just hurts in any world in any form, but if it bugs me that much in a virtual world, then yeah, I need to get back to my real one.

Because there ain't NO CHICKS laughing at me there! (Well, maybe they're laughing at my new Oompa-Loompa hue, thanks to a strip-mall spray-on tan. You LIED, Totally Tan-tastic! This is not "natural and beachy"!)

But hey, do I sound confident today? Good! Cocky even? I don't give a damn!

A few weeks ago I picked up this computer program called MindHabits from Got Game Entertainment. The exercises are scientifically designed to reprogram your mind to think more positively! Reduce anxious thoughts! Improve self-confidence! Blow off stress!

It's only $19.95 and it's Mac- and PC-compatible as well as downloadable. 

And I'm only pimping it out here because I think it's working!

Some of the exercises are annoying, like clicking on happy faces that irritate me:


So, uh, I guess I still have a way to go. ("0 Points" LOL)

I have a couple more posts to write, and then hopefully I'll vanish for a while. Don't take offense at my "hopefully"! For me, it'd be a good thing!

P.S. Congrats to my good friend Lizzie Lexington/Elizabeth Hallstrom, who got partnered to a cool cool dude over the weekend. I'm always envious of the people who can dive into SLove. As for me, I need to chase real tail or the hopeless, hoorish romantic in me is not satisfied (no offense to my SL roomie and fake fiance Jon).

*begins the post with booty, ends it with booty*

Sunday, May 10, 2009

omg lol rofl wth? (turtle mama)

I've been working on some positive-thinking exercises.

Let's all complete this sentence together:

"I feel happy when I'm . . . ."

Mine is:

"I feel happy when I'm watching my turtle eat shrimp."

That's my "I feel happy" affirmation for the day. My (RL) pet turtle is the only pure vibe I've got going on at the moment. Even my upcoming Aruba trip is sort of causing angst, thanks to six pages of instructions like, "Please wear Elegant Resort Casual Wear but with No Heels to This Event" and "Bring at Least Three Bathing Suits" and "We Are Not Responsible for Injuries During the Off-Road Jeep Safari. Please Sign Contract Below" (uh, wait . . . what??).

*feebly waves my carpe diem flag*

Oh, WAIT! I do have another happy affirmation! 

"I feel happy when I finally finish the Keys to the VIP Gridwide Hunt and make it to the Luxury VIP Lounge!"


Prad, there was so much free sh*t in there, I couldn't get it all in the picture!!!!!

Kidding. Prad knows I am president of his fan club. I don't like his sucka-MC anti-freebie ninja blog moves, but that aside, he's aiiiight. (Prad, DON'T GO! I got banned from commenting on a blog because of a recent post. And I'm still standing! You can take a little madness. It's all in a day's work.)

But yeah, I was out with some real people last night at Memphis, TN's, sad attempt at an Irish pub, and everyone was talking about their lives and the conversation sort of swung over to me, and all I had was,

"I finally got that aquarium heater for my pet turtle today! WOOOOOO! TURTLES FTW!!!!!"

So along that line,

"I feel awkward . . . "

"I feel awkward sometimes when people IM me about this blog because I'm really sort of boring."

Hey, that wasn't positive!

It's true though. If you IM me about this blog, you're either gonna get a response that will leave you wondering whether I have a pulse, or you'll get a jittery "I'm hopped up on something and you can't have any" kind of thing that will scare the hell out of you.

Like, this morning when I was alternating between being AFK and wrapping up that Keys to the VIP Hunt, a cool chickie told me she liked this blog and dropped a hunt hint on me. ("I hope this doesn't ruin it for you," she said. Ha ha! No way. I am the queen of cheat and I wear the crown with pride.)

She got this reply from me about 10 minutes later (literally copied from the chat):

"[2009/05/10 9:03] Emerald Wynn: LOL - thank you, [Name]! Sorry - I was cleaning out my RL turtle tank and making coffee - LOL. I hate it when somebody stumbles across my zoned-out AV. And you RUINED THE VIP HUNT FOR ME!!! ROFL -- not at all - thank you so much. I like this hunt. More mellow. XO - Em P.S. Thanks so much for reading. \o/"

(omg) \facepalm

Could we get a few more cheesy chat acronyms in that speedball please? And chase it with one more line of coffee grounds to snort?

Celebrity Trollop caught me last night when I was zoned out on Unisom, which was probably so much worse.

"I . . . can't . . . what? . . . oh! . . . thanks! . . . I love you too! . . . turtle . . . goodnight."

The same thing happened when I had a real-life blog. It actually worked as a tool to attract men. But they'd ask me out in anticipation of some kind of witty Tina Fey clone and they'd get, well, just me, talking about my pets or something mundane. More than once a man has said to me, "Wow, I thought you'd be so much more entertaining."


Hey, speaking of buzz kills, my inner child screamed in horror this morning at this unicorn tail ($195L) at Catnip.


Fart rainbows??????

Unicorns don't fart, you assholes!

And in honor of Mother's Day, you could swing by and pick up this Your Mom set for 250L:


(Ouch, my eyes! Sorry it didn't rez all the way.)

Hey Catnip, you forgot the bottle of gin! (Ooooooh SNAP, Mom! sorry!)

But yeah, the Mother's Day conversation in my house this morning went like this:

Me, with flowers, card and gift in hand: "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!"

Mom: "Thanks, honey. How are you doing this morning?"

Me: "If you must know, I think I have a bladder infection."

Mom: "You'd better drink some cranberry juice. That'll help it."

Me: "OK"

Mom: "Here, let me put some vodka in it. That'll help it too."

I don't make this stuff up.

Sorry about the TMI bladder infection thing. I should probably apologize to my mom too, for that "Happy Mother's Day! But enough about you! Let's talk about me! It feels like someone is squeezing my bladder with a spiked glove! Oh, oops, did you want breakfast in bed?"

Uh, anyway . . . 

If you too find yourself stuck in Catnip wandering around for an hour looking for a key like I was, cam down under the building to a secret Neko tree. It's there. That's my very vague hint for you. I hope I didn't just ruin your hunt experience.

So, blame it on the vodka and cranberry juice, but I also decided to get up close and personal with one of those weird robot shop assistant things today. They've always kind of creeped me out. Have you ever looked at the faces on those things???


Eeeeevil! The expressions change constantly. And I kept trying to stand next to her, but she kept turning to face me. You get an A in interpersonal communications, freaky robot.

And either this one was monstrously tall or I am really short and stumpy and don't realize it:


I have more positive-thinking exercises to share, but this post is living up this blog's notoriously long reputation, so I'll save them for next time.

Until then, rock on, all you moms out there. This is your day! 

And that goes for the turtle mamas too!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Messing with my head

So, in real life I just got a job writing for a travel magazine, and my first assignment is in Aruba next week.

(Wow, you would think that sentence would have an exclamation point on the end.)

My first assignment is in Aruba next week!

Shoot, I still don't feel the joy, mainly because I didn't realize it was coming up so soon. And now I'm looking glumly over at the "Sculpt Your Abs in Three Weeks!" headline on the cover of Allure magazine and wondering if there's an alternate seven-day plan instead.

The funny thing is, when my editor sent me my itinerary yesterday and I saw that it was filled with a bunch of daring oceanic activities, one of my first thoughts was:

"Well cool, now I can wear that new red leopard bikini from Sn@tch."



Reality check: I don't HAVE a red leopard bikini from Sn@tch in real life, nor do I have an inventory folder of about 200 other bikinis. 

And, HARSHER reality check: I don't have my avatar's BODY either.

AND it's also not an agonizing experience for my avatar to get WAXED.

(Hey, why eat alphabet soup when you can just come over to this blog and get blasted with BOLD ALL CAPS in every other paragraph?)

So I'm dragging my friend Laurie out to go bikini shopping today, and we're wondering if drinking a boatload of margaritas first will kill the pain of the experience or just make us feel even more bloated. (Maybe it'll work if we tell them to hold the salt?)

I would rather go to the gynecologist than shop for swimming suits. Seriously. :(

Hey, but maybe swimming around with dolphins and breathing fresh sea air for a few days will snap me back to reality. And then maybe I'll stop accidentally confusing Second Life inventory items with the real mess that's in my sad, shappy closet.

(I meant to type "shabby," but now that I see that type-o, I rather like "shappy.")

. . . people say my blog posts get too long, but I swear to God it just seems that way because the font is large.


I had one of those "Wow, I'm really, really, really, realllllllllllllly bored" days in SL yesterday, so I logged off and made another alt:


I named her Oceans11 Silverweb with the original fantasy of eventually transforming her into a renowned SL Slingo champion. Unfortunately, that probably won't be the case. Just like my other alts, she'll probably never walk the grid again. 

I like to make them and then I like to forget about them.

But WOW, look at how calm and unfettered and serene she looks! That is seriously an "I don't give a damn about your drama because I am totally immune to it" girl right there!! In fact, that chick wouldn't even SAY the word "damn."

Most of that is just a Peppermint Blue newbie assistance pack. But I'm honestly thinking of switching Emerald Wynn to that shape. I really like that face. She's so sweet, she makes Emerald Wynn look like a drag queen. (No offense, drag queens.)

Even when she's meditating, Emerald looks like she's been around the block a few times:


Oh WHOOPS, pretend you can see my meditation pose there.

A lot of people (that means three) have been asking me about that necklace. It's a prototype that Gilly Wycliffe passed out to some Lucky Kitty Crew members (including me) the other day. I like it. It reminds me of the many, many mix tapes I made as an angst-ridden teen.

Look for it soon in Gilly's store, Cat Crap.

And speaking of new people, there's a girl named Taryn who's writing about being new over on I Heart SL. (For God's sake, Taryn, RUN! Get out now while you still can!!)

I'm getting a kick out of reading her very innocent blog posts: "Second Life reminds me of the first days of High School: you feel awkward as hell but you really don't know what to do and folks really don't pay attention to you."

Actually I added the colon in that sentence. And a couple of apostrophes. She needs a little punctuation in her life. And some BOLD ALL CAPS! Like "High School" should have been "HIGH SCHOOL!" (kidding)

Some people are fashion critics, and then there's Emerald the Grammar Wench. *cracks whip*

And now I have to go out into the cruel real world and look at my sickly white body in three-way mirrors.

Ciao. :\

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I don't give a damn what you're wearing


So I logged on yesterday to find 30 comments on my last blog post. I thought some kind of frightening Blogger error had occurred . . . until a friend of mine told me that blogger Luna Jubilee had Plurked it.

Wow. Thank you, Luna! <3

A friend of mine once told me that the problem with SL blogs is that once an SL blog gets popular, sometimes that blogger starts getting a little preachy, and then the blog becomes kind of a drag.

I don't know anything about that. I do know that I planned this post way before a bunch of wonderful people came and dropped all those comments on yesterday's blog. And that aside, I'd never call this blog popular. Dorky, sure. Not for the delicate and easily offended, yeah. But popular, not in a long shot.

So that said, let's talk about fashion, and let's talk about body oil, and let's talk about pizza and let's talk about not taking everything so gawd-damn seriously.

When I see an outfit in SL, particularly if it's one that many people might label "fugly," I often think about the person who made it. Like, maybe that person spent hours toiling away in Photoshop trying to make this one tiny skirt. And maybe it's not anything that would knock your socks off, but that person put love and time and hard work into making that skirt. And they rent a little store space and they try to sell their little skirt, and they're really proud of it . . . and then some A-hole comes along and laughs at it.

Go ahead and slap me across the face and call me a preachy sap right here. I'll polish my holier-than-thou halo and wait . . . . .

[insert face-slapping theme music here]

I only think this way because I have some real-life fashion designer friends whom I'm always hounding to make some Second Life versions of their clothes. And they always respond with, "How the hell do I do that?" And I always respond with, "To hell if I know!" 

So see, the whole SL clothing phenomenon seems like an awe-inspiring and complicated process to us. 

But if they ever actually did figure it out and try to sell something in SL, well, for me those outfits would have real faces behind them. And that hypothetical scenario makes me realize that behind every article of clothing, there actually IS a real face, and that person probably really cares about that piece of clothing.

And no, I'm not smoking weed right now.

So I'm trying not to rant, and I'm trying not to preach, but a couple of recent incidents sort of struck a nerve with me, and that's why I've been thinking about this stuff lately. And you know "incident" sounds a little ominous, like part of a crime report. I'm changing that word to "instances."

Let's take Instance No. 1:

A couple of days ago, a chatty fashion group was mocking the group Fashion Consolidated. The underlying theme of the mock was that "FashCon has gotten oh-so-ghetto lately." The FashCon announcement that sparked this lively chat-bash was the store Morbid's limited-time offer of a gothy dress for 29L.

As I was reading the chat, during which several people were gagging and hee-hawing over the outfit in question, I pulled up the notice and looked at the pic of the "offensive" outfit.

And you know what? I'm not a fashion connoisseur, but it really didn't look that bad to me. I mean, it's not gonna evoke a standing ovation at a runway show anytime soon but sheeeeeeeeh, I've seen much worse. I shared this observation in the chat and was bombarded with "Are you kidding me? Look at the butt-ugly textures!!!"


I zipped over to the store and dropped a whopping 29 lindens on the gown. Let's look at it, shall we?


Chest detail:


Back detail (tattoo undershirt included):


Short version (stockings are included):


(Please pardon the duck.)


(that was sarcasm)

OK. So it's a whole lotta pattern that's a wee bit in your face. And it's not hanging on the racks of Tres Jolie or Baiastice. But it moves beautifully, a lot of thought obviously went into the detail and, FOR GAWD'S SAKE, I realize we're all entitled to our opinions, but when did we all get so flippin' snobby that we're calling something like this dress "ghetto"????

Somewhere out there, there's a person on a tight budget who likes this style of clothing and is going to love this dress. And if you happen to fall in that category, it's called Morrigan and I think you can still buy it for 29L here.

Instance 2:

Some friends of mine whom, don't get me wrong, I love dearly were having a "dress as fugly as you can" party. Somewhere in the conversation when people were discussing what to wear, someone mentioned that everyone need look no further than hO wEAr for all their fugly fashion needs.

I feebly tried to defend that store then and I'm going to feebly try again now.

Yes, the majority of hO wEAr's selections isn't my preferred style of clothing. But as with many stores, I've found a few diamonds in the booty-shorts rough there. And that aside, HeidiHo Huet is one of the most generous designers I've seen in Second Life. Every day she offers a new $1L outfit. And yeah, they might not all be your cup of tea, but they're somebody's cup of tea and I bet if you checked it out every day, you'd eventually find something you like. Try it! I dare you!

Case in point, let's take a recent almost-free outfit that I deemed worthy of my one linden, called Gothly Night (sunglasses, hat, gloves and tats included):



Here's the long-gown version, which includes a separate lace underskirt (and yes, it all needs a little adjusting):


(Please pardon the duck.)


And here's the ad, since I was too damn lazy to model and shoot the outfit's many options (yes, stockings, jewelry and garter belt undies were included):



No - I'm not going to wear it often (or even again, considering that my inventory is now at 83K), but obviously a lot of thought, work and love went into this outfit and I appreciate the vision. I also appreciate the details. The corset top, hat and shades might even get paired with other things in my inventory. And yep, a few of the accessories have bling, but I dropped a scrubber script in them and, voila (thanks, Eevie!), problem solved. 

I don't know. This place is supposed to be all about fun. God bless the people who make gorgeous clothes and God bless the people who at least give it a shot. When did we all get so critical? When did we all become a bunch of . . . pixel-bashers?



I will admit that my Ambien is sort of kicking in right now.

As some of you know, I recently reunited with my friend Jon. After about a year of not talking, we're trying to get to know each other again. But the other day he said to me, "You've changed. You're way more concerned about clothes now." And it made me sad. 

We used to laugh a lot and run around like this:


YES. That was a bikini made out of PIZZA and -- OMG!!! -- I was also wearing BODY OIL! And SYSTEM SHOES! And Jon has some kind of a . . . a . . . duck head coming out of his crotch! Or maybe it's a goose. Regardless, it has a BEAK!

We looked a mess. But on that particular day, I laughed so hard in real life that I cried.

Now I just drag him around to stores and we spend way too much time talking about hunts and furniture and what we're wearing to parties and ridiculous gossip and . . . where the hell has the joy gone?

We've all created this so-called Utopian virtual world, but then we've put the same superficial petty pressures on ourselves that we do in real life. (Look fashionable! Buy the latest hairstyle! Flaunt your stellar skin! Does this system skirt make my butt look huge???)

My mother always says, "It's not the clothes that make the woman; it's the woman that makes the clothes." . . . or something along those lines.

(Of course she also always says, "If you're having a bad hair day, stuff your bra and no one will look at your head.")

And by God, I am a woman who can make a pizza bikini look FULL OF RADIANT JOY!

So I don't know. I'm glad I've found some Second Life designers that I truly love, and I love the artistry and creativity that so many others bring to the grid. I love reading good fashion bloggers because of the pictures they create with their words, not their poses or Photoshop. And I love the fact that I can wear things in Second Life that I'll never be able to wear in real life.

That little girl inside me who loves dressing up Barbies probably isn't gonna go anywhere anytime soon. But I think I'm done worshipping the SL fashion gods and killing myself (and usually failing anyway) trying to be some kind of a fashion plate.

And I don't give a damn what you're wearing either.

So rock your bling, if that's your thing. And I'll put my pizza bikini on and we'll hang out.

*flashes a peace sign and runs off*