Saturday, July 5, 2014

Stranger in a barely familiar land

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Just call me Claw Hand.
Wow, kids! How do you even BEGIN to write a blog post about a place after you've been away from it for sooooooo long? IT FEELS WEIRD, Y'ALL, but here it goes!

I logged in the other night and left my parcel for the first time in years. I felt like a stranger in a barely familiar land. I don't even know what the hell's going on in SL anymore. Usually I log in once a month or maybe once every few months just to pay my rent and that's it. I pop in, throw some money at my landlady ("Hi! Here's some money! Sorry it's a little late! *cough* Bye!"), pet the PermaCat, water the plant and then POOF! I'm out.

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I've downsized to an Artilleri trailer these days. Cute pink though! See it in all its glory on the SL Marketplace HERE.

Back when I left, I felt like I needed to pull away from SL for a while so I could concentrate on fixing my mess of a life. (It's STILL kind of a mess of a life, BTW, but at least I OWN it instead of avoiding it.) But a few days ago, I had kind of a rough night. It felt like I had hit an all-time low and I was having a REALLY hard time keeping my demons on their leashes. So I thought, "Hey, I know a place that feels like my NARNIA and makes me happy, so I think I'm gonna push my way through the back of that magic wardrobe and see what's going on." Kind of like a Band-Aid for depression. (Granted, it's more like one of those generic band-aids that doesn't stick very well and just barely covers your raw, oozing sore, but it still takes your mind off the agony for a few minutes.)

Plus, I'm a sucker for the SL birthday celebrations, so the timing was perfect.

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"Hey baby, what's going on? I like your ... ponytails."

I haven't changed out of those jeans and that stylish trench coat since late 2012.

So yeah, it's weird, stumbling around, trying to get my fingers to remember how to work camera controls and stuff. It took me five minutes just to dust off my memories of how to take a PICTURE, let alone more complicated tricks like Debug Settings. Things have changed and there's a lot I feel clueless about — maybe I should swing by one of those centers for noobs and scream, "SOMEBODY HELP ME!"

Some things have stayed exactly the same, though. Like my graphics. They still suck. It still takes FOREVER for things to rez and sometimes things just don't want to cooperate, period. An overload of textures, for instance, will make my computer throw up its imaginary hands and scream, "NO WAY, HONEY."

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Take that grey shapeless mass, for instance. That's me on an elephant that never completely rezzed. Good times. And hell yeah, that's a cupcake on my face. I got my face painted at a booth at SLB11. If you haven't been over there, you can still go check it out until ... well, um, the end of tonight, I think. (Yay for procrastinators!) You'll have to sprint through all the exhibits, but I think it's worth it. There's a lot of cool stuff to see — as well as a few eyesores. (It's funny that we're celebrating 11 years, yet some people are still using textures from 2003, but whatever. It's all good.)

My heart is a little broken that the SLB11 Linden Bear vendor isn't giving out Birthday Linden Bears anymore, but there are still a lot of great gifts to be had at the various exhibits if you're in a "gimme gimme gimme free stuff" kind of mood.

ALSO, I'll have you SLB11 exhibitors know that I read ALL YOUR NOTECARDS and try to participate in ALL your exhibit activities. I'm that much of an enthusiastic dork at these things. And wow, I had no idea we had such intelligent and productive groups in SL. I'm always shocked to discover that people are actually doing things here besides shopping.

Granted, because of my crappy graphics, there are bound to be some occasional misunderstandings when it comes to reading all the signage at these types of events:

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Where is this enjoyable rice of which you speak and will I need chopsticks with that HUD?

All that aside, I guess this year's theme for SLB11 was "Big Damn Scary Heads on Parade."

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Yep, this is SL through the eyes of my ancient computer, kids. Doesn't it look like a blast? Eventually that thing rezzed. It still made me run the hell away, though. (After I poured myself a tall frosty beer with a lemon in it.)

Let's look at some more.

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I believe this one belongs to a group that helps new avatars. Insert your own joke about eating them afterward here.

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I have a Chia Pet that looks like this, albeit not half as serene.

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KIDDING! She's lovely! (The head, not my Chia Pet.)

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Props for the lip piercings, but not so much for the nightmares I'm going to have for the rest of my life.

That's about it. Those are my deep, meaningful pictures of the SLB11 Celebration, in case anyone wants to use them in the Chronicles of Second Life History someday.

Meanwhile, I made a quick list of personal observations about SL after being inactive for a couple of years.

1. I don't understand mesh boobs or how they work. Or mesh butts, for that matter. Or fake hands. Or fake feet. Clothing vendors say confusing things about tangos and shaders. Belleza has some kind of phat azz vendor thingy. The word "applier" is everywhere and c'mon, seriously WHAT??? SO CONFUSING! So actually, just make this item "mesh bodies in general." What's going on? Is everyone wearing mesh AVs now? Am I, like, old-school Ruth with my normal shape? **sad face**

2. I'm way too poor to be in SL on a regular basis. Times are tight in RL. Buying lindens is a luxury I really can't afford right now. Hey, that $8 could buy five boxes of Lean Pockets OR 1/4 of a tank of gas. Sadly, that's how I think these days.

3. It looks like I've been booted out of most of the blogger groups I once belonged to. WHAT?! You mean you don't want a member who hasn't updated her blog in almost two years? I'M SHOCKED! (My deepest thanks to A.S.S. and The Plastik for keeping me on their love lists though!)

4. Even sadder, many of my friends are gone from my friends list. (Prad? PRAD?!!) Maybe they left, too. Or maybe one day they looked at my name and thought, "Who the hell IS this anyway?" Or maybe they've gotten all New Agey and decided to simplify, simplify, simplify. Sigh.

5. The death of Google Reader played a huge role in the death of my Second Life participation. Even after I stopped logging in regularly, I still used to cruise through my Reader frequently and check out all your blogs. Now that Google Reader is gone, I can't seem to find an RSS feed I like. Damn you, Google. Why'd you have to take a good thing and slaughter it?

6. Despite it all, I can't deny that there's been a huge grin on my face the whole time I've been in world these past few days. It's good to be back. Hell, it feels like home.

I think I'll stop now. Somebody fill me in on what's going on these days. You may see me in world from time to time now and again. It provides a little relief from some personal stuff I'm dealing with. Who knows, I might even start blogging again. [Insert the deafening sound of two, maybe three people clapping here.] I had forgotten how cathartic it can be! :D


Whispers said...

I had a hard time finding a reader and finally settled on one called "The Old Reader" It's free and for me seems just like the old google. Good to see you back to blogging! I saw your avie pop on and it made me smile. :) Hang in there! <3

Deirdre Graves said...

The mesh additions are all the rage. The feet and hands I adopted a while ago, I find the heads deeply creepy, and the bodies are interesting and mostly a reaction to fitted mesh now being an option, so mesh can respond to some of our body sliders.

<3 Yay you're back. 8D I missed you. 8D

This is Deoridhe, by the way. Ignore the name Google+ saddles me with. Stupid social networks. Everyone knows me as Deoridhe.

colleen said...

Well, hello stranger! It's nice to read you again.

If you are mesh capable viewer wise there are some stock mesh avatars in your SL inventory folders to play with. Have fun with them.

It's funny because I had just pulled up your blog last week and wondered how you were doing. Hope to read more from you soon.

Welcome back.

Tigo said...

Welcome back Emerald!
It's good to read your stories and see your goofy pictures again.

Mariko Nightfire said...

Yesterday, the sun shone more brightly, flowers more brilliant and birds sang more sweetly. And at night, the sky blazed with falling stars. I knew that something wonderful happened somewhere in the world …. Em is back.

Anonymous said...

Emerald Wynn is online.That's what popped up the other night. yay, I gotta go check out her blog. Welcome home Em

RedIce Cioc said...

So happy to see you! WELCOME BACK!

Asthenia said...

Ah I love your blog posts <3
I have recovered from the death of Google Reader with Feedly btw :-)