Saturday, November 14, 2015

None of my words are working today (Free 'Pray for Paris' T-shirt)

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(Not responsible for my avatar's Resting Bitch Face.)

There are people out there who will write deeply moving and possibly comforting things about Paris today. I'm not one of those people. All I can say is "I'm so sorry."

For those who are also at a loss for words, here are a couple of options:

Chopard Couture has a free mesh "Pray for Paris" T-shirt (shown above), including versions for men and women, on the SL marketplace HERE, as well as at the inworld store.

– A lot of people are hanging out over on the Paris 1900 sim, where you can grab a free "Je suis Paris" sign in the gazebo:

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That's about as far as I got in SL today before I crashed. My graphics card couldn't handle all the action, but here's a YouTube video that'll give you an idea of what's been going on over at that sim, courtesy of Grange Wood. (I don't know Grange. People were shouting about this video in open chat. I scanned through it and I don't think anything X-rated is going to pop up, no pun intended.)

I'm sure someone will organize some kind of structured event soon. When I was there, it was mainly just a sea of people standing around talking – which sometimes can be pretty comforting. 

My faith is a little shaky these days, but yes, in case anyone's listening, I too am praying for Paris – and all of us, actually.

Additional credit: Hair – Louisa by Truth. I love this style because it looks like an updated version of his now-retro Emerald hair, the naming of which remains a highlight of my SL life. ;)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I'm an intellectual witch. With antlers. And wings. I don't know.

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That pic up there is called "Play a gacha scavenger hunt game, put on ALL THE PRIZES at one time!"

Wow, my boobs look like they could use some perky slider adjustments. I just wanna grab them and shove them up a little. Maybe I'll crack one of these days and go completely mesh like the rest of the grid. I feel all lonely in my original shape.

And yeah, I floundered at matching my Slink hands to that (older 50L Friday) skin, so I tried to cover up the wrist lines with long gloves. I can see from this pic that I failed. Nice try though!

Aside from that sudden attack of body neurosis, this has been a fun Halloween in SL. I want to thank all the creators who gave out tricks and treats during the TAG Gacha Halloween game, which ends ... well, tonight at midnight – so as usual, this blog is helpful.

You do, however, have through Nov. 21 to visit and play the stunningly visual interactive game at Carver's End, courtesy of Pulse Games and Snatch City. I played it three times last night, mainly because there was so much to see that I had to check it out more than once, but also because at first I had no clue there were tons of fantastic prizes from 21 fabulous designers hidden in those rats all over the place. Check out the website HERE and the Facebook page HERE for the skinny on all of it.

I wasn't the only one who was slightly clueless last night. I kept getting messages from other players wailing, "Hey, what are we supposed to be doooooing??" I got a little weary answering them.

Put on the radio HUD. Walk through the gates. Click "Yes" when you get a message asking for permission to teleport you at random times, etc. Listen to your radio HUD for clues. Read messages like this:

[2015/10/30 19:45] CARVER'S END RADIO HUD: : What the HELL....? It looks like a massacre in here. So much blood...but where are the bodies? Hello....?


Start by walking down the first street and trick-or-treating at all the houses. Knock on every door. If you happen to get sucked into a scary room, use your SL smarts and figure a way out. Go into all the public places. TOUCH ALL THE THINGS. Get to Mayor Carver's house. Look around in there. And maybe I'm not supposed to tell you much more. Is this cheating? I don't know. At one point I used Wireframe in the SL Advanced menu to get myself out of a maze from hell. And yes, that was cheating. Sorry.

AND DO TOUCH AND BUY ANY RAT YOU SEE! Don't figure that out AT THE END like I did.


Here's my costume tonight.

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This Samara AV (movie: "The Ring") from Boudoir (400L) is a little old-school, but it's still cool. The dress and socks are mesh. You'll have to strip down to your original AV for the rest of it, which also includes a shape, skin, eyes, hair, a creepy AO and a VCR tape (not pictured). I switched out the included eyes for some other ones by A.S.S. and added some bloody tattoos to the face, along with some black-and-bloody fingernail GLOVES, and MAN, it's been a while since I dug those out of my inventory. Sometimes being an SL hoarder comes in handy, no pun intended.

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Speaking of creepy, much thanks to my friend Serenity Semple for posting this Slenderman doll on her blog. I saw it and screamed, "GIMME!"

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Get it at Trunk or Treat through Nov. 18. (200L, includes rezzable and holdable versions)

And if you're out trick or treating tonight, feel free to swing by my Wonderland of WTF and grab a cupcake, spider ring and candy and get your fortune told.

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I'm sure that stuff'll be out until I feel like putting up Christmas decorations. (Apologies to my new neighbors.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


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This post is waaaaay overdue, but I want to give a heartfelt thanks to my friend Paypabak Writer and her friend Ghanie Lane for letting me use one of their parcels to call home for a while.

I'm trying not to horrify them with my typical amusement park style of decorating, but it's MY FAVORITE HALLOWEEN TIME so it's hard.

I became a fan of Pay's waaaaaaay back in the day when I lurked around regularly on the former slFIX/Moonletters blog. Through that blog, she and writer Shauna Vella helped me immensely in getting my bearings when I was a noob. I was always too socially awkward to introduce myself in person though, beyond leaving occasional comments.

You can check out Paypabak's Tumblr blog HERE. It's awesome.


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Even though my inventory tops 200K, I didn't have the energy to dig around in it for some of my older Halloween stuff, so I hunted on Marketplace for some cheapies. I found that pumpkin house (actually, it came in a set of two – one with a wide door, shown, and one with a smaller door) for 50L, along with that Halloween treehouse for 50L, both by creator Rod Eun of RE Blueprint Designs. Sure they're a little old-school, but they're cute and they work for me. All the rest of the stuff scattered around is stuff I acquired during recent 50L Fridays. JACK-O-LANTERNS GALORE!

I haven't checked out any of SL's haunted attractions yet. Right now I'm playing the TAG! Gacha Halloween game and trying not to go too nuts with the whole gacha thing. Gawd damn, it has drug habit potential though. Feed those machines money and mainline ALL THE CUTE LITTLE THINGS!

I have no other news. The other day I read through some past blog posts here. They all seemed so full of a juvenile sense of joy and discovery. I don't seem to have that these days. Maybe I'll get that mojo back. Maybe not. I guess if the mood strikes me I'll write something. I write so much drivel all day IRL just to survive ("Five Things You Should Know About Seeing a Chiropractor!") that the keyboard seems kind of nausea-inducing when I have a few free moments to NOT write something.

Anyway, I hope everyone's having fun during this Halloween season. I am. No matter how far I wander from SL, it'll always suck me back in during the holidays. ;)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Slumming it

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I'm over the sappy emo-drenched post of yesterday, although the sentiments remain. Let's chalk that one up to hormones and exhaustion and RL stress. Unlike other overly emotional posts in the past, I'm not going to delete that one, though. Moving off Bluebonnet is an SL milestone for me, albeit a sad one. It needed to be chronicled, angst and all.

Anyway, moving on now with an attempt at a sense of humor and all that:

For a few years, I've been seeing that "Your own private home in Second Life: A new benefit for Premium Members!" ad on the Second Life website.

I've been a premium member since I joined SL and have never really taken advantage of any of the premium member stuff (except the linden allowance). So all right, FREE LINDEN HOME! Let's do this! Gimme my 516 square meters and let's ... oh, LAWDY:

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Can you guess which house is mine? BRINGING THE MOON TO YOUR JAM-PACKED SIM SINCE 2015, BITCHES! 

I wonder if they're going to let me keep that "Sitting on the Moon" prop up there? The land covenant says (loosely), "No building things in the sky," but what about, um, just throwing things up into the sky? I guess we'll see.

Anyway, wow. Just wow. LOOKIT THIS PLACE! I can't stop laughing. It's so ... like, I could reach a hand out my window and slap my next-door neighbor in the face. If there was a next-door neighbor, that is. The place seems deserted. I cammed into some nearby houses (don't tell anyone) and saw nothing. Hell, if that's the case, could I pleeeeeease have some breathing room around my house, Linden Lab? I give you all my monies. I barely ask for anything.

At least I'm up on a hill and not down amid all that squalor. Did that sound snobby? Sorry.

And I can see the ocean, if I climb up on my moon. As such, I put my "ocean sound effects" rock on my porch. We can always pretend the ocean is right there, as long as we don't look out the ... oh, actually those windows are fake. You can't look out them. Maybe that's a good thing.

I have soooo many things to say about these Linden homes, but I have actual work to do today, so let me just share some key observations:

1. Perhaps if this idea ever goes back to the drawing board, they could think of a more economical use of land impact and space? These houses take up the entire parcel and leave residents with a mere land capacity of 117 to play with. And oh, ZERO YARD SPACE.

Granted, if you're prone to fugging up your yard with bizarre sh*t, maybe the lack of a yard is an intentional blessing for the strangers around you.

But seriously, I don't need this much living space in a house. It looks like a scene from The Shining in here.

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I did not adjust my camera lens, and I did not even back all the way up against the opposite wall. That is seriously what it looks like in there.

Couldn't they have a "tiny house" option for those of us solo-dwellers who are gardening enthusiasts and like to, you know, plant our own trees? As in, trees that don't look like sad 2010-era paper cutouts?

2. Choosing one of these houses is a dice roll. Fortunately, you can abandon and reclaim a new house up to five times in a 24-hour period. Then you have to wait 24 hours. Then you can try again.

You can choose your theme: fantasy dwellings, rustic cabins, modern suburbia or traditional Japanese homes. Each theme has a choice of several house styles. Unfortunately, you can't choose the location. And many of these locations are ... I'm sorry, Lindens, but I'm just going to say it ... sketchy.

Case in point: I started with one of the Elderglen fantasy-themed homes. (My friend Deoridhe managed to do some awesome stuff with hers: check her far-more-positive blog post here.) I chose the same one she did, actually, because it had several rooms.

Unfortunately, you don't get to see the actual houses you're choosing: You do it all from your SL dashboard and then you get a SLURL to your new home. But when I got there, my house was crammed up against a hill on one side, so much so that grass was sticking through one wall.

And then the rest of the sim: So many residents had put up those privacy barriers/no-fly-zone things around their homes that the whole place looked like a giant crime scene.

I've been around in SL long enough that I don't care who the hell walks in my house or sees me naked. I just don't. And it's not like they're going to steal my stuff. I did walk in on a couple SLexing in my skybox once when I was a noob. It traumatized me back then. Now I'd probably try to take a picture first before telling them to get out.

Anyway, this post could go on forever with the failed attempts at finding a house that wasn't in a weird position or hanging off a cliff or slammed up against someone else's crime scene tape that jutted through the window or flashed on and off like a disco nightmare.

3. In terms of pleasant-looking sims, I had better luck with the Japanese-themed homes. The one I finally picked, pictured up there at the top of this post, is on a sim called Daylily. (I can't seem to get away from the floral thing.) It's bearable. I don't spend a lot of time inworld anyway these days, so whatever.

That Japanese symbol on the front says, "You're too broke to own decent land."

I still have my eye on this fantasy-themed version:

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(Photo stolen from Jack Linden on the SL Community Boards. Sorry, Jack. Let me know if it bugs you. I know you read this blog avidly.)

Mainly because it has GRASS on the roof to make up for the lack of a yard and OH WHAT FUN I could have with that. The dinosaur wants out of my inventory!

But those official SL pictures lie. No way is there that much space around these homes. They might as well name the sims SardineLand, CrowdedHouses, JapanCram and GetOffaMyLawn.

I don't have the time or energy to keep spinning the Linden Home roulette wheel right now. At least the house I have at the moment has open space on one side. That seems like kind of a rarity among these things.

I have to go. In real life, I'm writing an article on "How to Have Great Sex When You're Also a Cancer Patient" for a health magazine. It's having a rather bleak effect on my mood, to put it mildly. Can you tell?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Goodbye, Bluebonnet (A love letter to my SL home)

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I knew this day would come someday; I just wasn't expecting it to come, well, now.

I have about 24 hours or so to pack up my stuff on Bluebonnet and relocate, probably to one of those free Linden homes for a while. That'll be a different post, I guess.

I've lived on Bluebonnet since, wow, 2008, I think. But the sim is changing and my friend and soon-to-be former landlady Ali has new plans for it, so it's time for me to go. I'd like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for giving me this safe haven, for finding me when I was lost, for introducing me to so many wonderful friends, for letting me express myself in so many creative and often cringe-inducing ways through my yard and house decor, for letting me call this place home for so long and for all the friendship, laughs and fond memories that came with it. It sounds silly, but I will hold this place in my heart for a long, long time.

I take a meditation course in real life. During the first class, the instructor told us to close our eyes and imagine somewhere peaceful and lovely and safe. Funny, but I immediately thought of my SL parcel on Bluebonnet. The instructor wanted us to create a beautiful place in our minds, a place where we could build a big sturdy box and put all of our troubles and "negative stories" and stressful thoughts in that box, lock it up and leave it all there, knowing that the positive power of the place we created would transform everything in that box into things that could no longer harm us, but could only make us stronger.

So throughout that meditation, I hung on to that image of Bluebonnet. The instructor didn't have to know it was pixelated. Because really, what better place could there be to find shelter from all the drama, people, bills, cluttered junk, perceived failures, deadlines, screeching editors, financial woes, family fights, health concerns, frequent bouts of self-loathing and soooo many "thanks, but no thanks" job interviews that seem to define my life right now? Second Life, with all its quirks and hilarity and extraordinary creations, has always been a place where I could escape, take some deep breaths, laugh with a few friends, create something beautiful or funny if I felt like it, be a slightly upgraded version of my real self for a while and then, finally, once I felt recharged, close the laptop and return to the real world, feeling better, feeling stronger, feeling happier, feeling loved.

I think Second Life works that magic on a lot of people. I feel fortunate that I've had one fixed place where that magic could live for so long, somewhere I knew I could always go if I needed to reconnect with the real me – happy, creative and, in those moments, unburdened by all the ugly troubles that seem to hang around my real neck like roadkill these days.

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(Me and my apparently really happy, sparkly PlantPet, back in the day.)

Before I leave there tomorrow, I will go to a deep, quiet place in my mind one more time and think of Bluebonnet. Once again, I'll try that mental exercise my New Age instructor is always pushing on us. In my mind, I'll dig a hole in that backyard by the ocean, and I will fill that hole with all the ugly self-talk that occasionally sneaks up on me when I'm at my weakest: "You are a complete career failure." "You are not worthy of love." "Nothing will ever change." "There is no hope." "You're all washed up." "You've screwed up your life." "There's no way out of here" and on and on and on.

I'll put all those words down in that hole and bury them. Then I'll plant a pink shimmery tree – the kind you can only find in Second Life – on top of that makeshift grave. Its roots will wrap around the words, separate them and shape them into new sentences, maybe: "You are complete." "You are love." "You are worthy." "There is hope." And then I'll say my final goodbye, but I'll leave those painful thoughts behind me, where the soothing sound of the waves and the benevolent rays of a painted sun and the kind work done by deep, magical roots will hopefully soften and change them or at least hold them tight so they can't find their way back into my head.

And then one last time, the Bunny and I will say, "Goodbye, Bluebonnet! Thank you for all the fun!"

I promised myself I wouldn't cry when I wrote this silly post. I lied. Crying sentimental tears over a fake place in a fake world. Those harsh inner voices are having a field day with that one.

Oh well. Enough of that. Now please excuse this self-indulgent parade of photos of the many faces of Emerald's Iceland at Bluebonnet. I've chosen some of the more extreme stuff, because well, the boring ones are boring:

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Jesus is coming ... to take your cows. The octopus looks nervous.

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Eventually I ditched the UFO and cows, but kept the floating Jesus. This photo was my last artistic attempt at anything before I logged out for a while.

But in the beginning, there was a simple beach house, provided by my landlady, on a sandy parcel. I added a trampoline for kicks. Really, really high kicks, that is:

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Sometimes there were pranks.

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Happy Thanksgiving. No, that is not my glowing platter of turkey, but yes, it delighted the hell out of me. And I don't know if that chair is supposed to look like a strip of bacon, but OK.

I would always deck that house out for the holidays:

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Eventually I started experimenting with new houses:

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Oh wow, yeah, and chickens. Those were the days before KittyCats. These are all photos taken from old (realllllly old) blog posts. I'm guessing that "OMG" is either referring to the fact that the breeding of animals had gotten so extensive that it required a stable or the fact that the stable is a little, um, large and unsightly. My poor neighbors.

I tried a treehouse for a while and learned I'm not really a treehouse-dweller type:

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At least that's what I'm thinking, because when I dug up this photo, it was called "effing treehouse."

And then there was this monstrosity, which lasted for about a day:

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In fact, there were times when I fugged up my yard with so much bizarre crap, I'm surprised I didn't get booted years ago:

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Yeah, that's my gigantic, gnarly tree.

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And my kraken.

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I had a threatening peacock for a while.

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And a creepy Christopher Walken that wandered around my yard.

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And hair that would not fit in my house.

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And a swimming, realistic mermaid that kept keeling over and really didn't didn't work out so well.

Winter was always my favorite time on Bluebonnet. The other night I did a halfhearted search for parcels for rent on "winter sims" because, damn, I'm really going to miss the changing of the seasons and all the holiday festivities. I couldn't really find anything. Maybe I'll keep trying. Maybe I'll let it go. But in that spirit, some Winter at Bluebonnet pics:

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My friend Aisuru's ice castle remains one of the favorite things I own. She left SL a while ago. I wish she would come back. She has always been one of the most talented creators and wonderful people I've known. She was my next-door neighbor for a long time, God bless her. She had to put up with so many oddities.

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And of course I had to violate that thing with as much Christmas cheer as my "prim allowance" (that's what we called it back then, kids; none of this "land impact" stuff) could hold.

Sometimes I opted for simpler seasonal houses. *cough*

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Two of them, I guess. And a magical Christmas whale, apparently.

And then there was a time when we entered The Age of the Dinosaurs. It started with a cartoonish one:

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(I guess it was Halloween.) (And the whale!)

But then things got real with this thing:

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Yeah, don't ever let anyone tell you that you cannot put a tree on a balcony, kids. YOU CAN.

I used to sit up on that dinosaur and get all contemplative about life:

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But then to my delight, it began to serve as artistic inspiration for some of my friends:

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I was mainly all about the yard at Bluebonnet, but occasionally I did try to do something with the inside, which could sometimes get just as painful to look at. I spent my first year as a noob living in skyboxes that looked like low-rent sets for amateur porn or weird little rental houses in strange beach communities full of bikini-clad women with lots of bling and body oil. Regardless, those early homes were always furnished, so moving to Bluebonnet was my first opportunity to buy my own furniture and try to do something with it. I kept it really simple at first.

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Eventually I added a little more character:

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Occasionally there was a fish tank:

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And sometimes my friends would come in and add their own decorations:

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And so speaking of friends:

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Thank you for the memories, everyone! ♥  

Goodbye, Bluebonnet! Thank you for all the fun!

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