Friday, June 4, 2010
The other reason I haven't posted here is that I've started a new blog, but not an SL blog...a RL blog. *gasps* So, that's where my writing time goes these days.
The final reason is that I'm busy as hell right now. The boy is out of preschool for the summer, and I'm doing my very first fruit & veggie garden. I had no idea how much work such a little plot of land could be, but I'm finding out.
At any rate, I'm still around and I'm doing well.
peace & have a great summer!
Monday, March 29, 2010
This was Troy's place at Nunki Kai before the sim wipe.
And this is the exact same shot afterward. Thank goodness I didn't crash!
Fortunately for SL, Bill isn't leaving the grid entirely, just massively scaling back his time commitments. I look forward to seeing what he does if/when he finds more time to devote in-world.
I logged on very late Saturday night to find the sims of Nunki Kai engulfed in thunder & lightning. Also, for the first (I'd guess only) time, Flight was enabled. I flew around the sims to see the apartments knocked to the ground, fires smoldering, and a few dragons wreaking havoc.
After the dragons & Bill knocked down each sim's biggest structures, they did a sim wipe. In one massive stroke of the mouse, every single thing on the sim disappeared. In addition to nearly crashing SL for me each time it happened, I was struck with the tremendous sense of impermanence the command created, not that any of us need to be reminded of that, in SL or RL.
Bill left the Nunki Kai sim to the very last, as it was the first sim he created. This was the sim Troy lived on when I first met him, and fittingly, it was the sim where we were living when Bill announced the closing. I chose to go stand on Troy's old deck as they did the final sim wipe. One second it was there, and all the memories along with it, and the next, the sim was nothing but land. Of course, the memories remain.
We experience time in a linear fashion, only moving 'forward.' We remember the past but not the future, an interesting point raised by quantum physicists, science fiction writers, & theologians alike. The future is there in the same way the past is, with one important distinction. The future is filled with waves of possibility, and because our choices haven't been made...anything could happen. So, annoyingly, we can't see the future the way we see the past.
Waxing philosophical is a sure sign this entry is finished. I will be uploading a few pics from the demolition, as soon as blogger starts cooperating. They don't do justice to how cool it actually looked, though.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Though I'm still recovering from some personal losses, I did manage to pull myself up out of my funk to organize a surprise birthday for my mom, who hit a milestone year in February. I have never thrown a surprise party for anyone, and now I know why! I organized twenty-some guests, secured a restaurant, picked hors d'oeuvres, ordered a gourmet cake, chose flowers, purchased decorations, hid/entertained surprise guests in my home until party time, and decorated the restaurant. All would have been for nothing, except that I also managed to lie, rather spectacularly, to my mom, so that when I led her into the room and everyone yelled 'surprise' the look on her face was infinitely worth the time, effort, and worry that someone would accidentally spoil the whole thing. It went off without a hitch!
Of course, the tears she, her sister, and an old friend she hadn't seen in years all shed confirmed to me it was a huge hit! That, and her continued threats to kick my ass. hehehe It was easily one of the nicest things I've ever done for anyone, and though the party was weeks ago, there is still a happier tone in her voice than I've heard in a long time. She later told her sister that we couldn't have any idea what that evening meant to her, and that means everything to me.
So, turns out, doing something truly nice for someone else makes you feel pretty damn good. I guess you could file that one under 'no shit.'
In other, actually related to SL news, Bill Stirling is closing Sagittaria Estates, where Troy and I have lived off and on (currently on) for over 3 years. Unlike when Xavier Hathaway closed St. Lucia Properties, Bill gave us two-plus weeks notice, will be refunding our rent, and is helping residents find new places to live. He's a class-act, a brilliant estate developer, and I look forward to the return of Sagittaria Estates someday when his RL allows it.
We did manage to find a very nice place in one of Bill's smaller sims that he's keeping, and as Troy knows, decorating a new place is one of my favorite SL pastimes!
So, Spring is teasing us, and all I want is to sit on the deck with a beer in hand, watching my husband grill lots of very-bad-for-you meat on the grill, while the kiddo runs around the yard.
C'mon Spring, quit being such a bitch.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The trouble is, this blog is the closest thing I have to a journal, and I've always felt that it was a sort of online journal. Funnily, I've kept a diary since I was eight years old, but I stopped journaling when my son was born (almost four years ago!). So, this blog has been where a lot of my philosophical ramblings have come to roost. Except, sometimes, life takes my philosophy and incinerates it.
How much more vague can I get? Suffice to say that even the most charmed life, which I certainly lead, can be laced, sometimes fully submerged, in a grief so deep that it isn't even considered appropriate to talk about. I've hoped for good news to proudly post here. I've had none to post.
As they say, third time's a charm. I hope like hell that 'they' are right.
Friday, January 8, 2010
And here is the current look I'm sporting. I don't change clothes very often now that I'm no longer Hosting. Hair from Cross, skin from Tuli, shape from Platinum World, top from UK Couture, jewelry from JCNY, tats from Collisions (unseen ;), bangles from Snatch, boots from Reboot, and LX jeans.
If I were feeling really brave, I'd post the pic of what Lissa looked like before she found the freebie skin, but if you've ever seen a kid's drawing of a very pale, blond lady, you have the idea. ;)
Stay warm out there...baby, it's cold outside.
Monday, January 4, 2010
1). I have learned more about Gor than I ever wanted to know.
2). I have discovered some completely amazing live music in SL.
3). I have built a few things, not good, not marketable, but fun & challenging nonetheless.
4). I have been an editor for an in-world journal that just barely failed to see the light of day.
5). I have been lied to.
6). I have lied.
7). I have taken eight SL friendships into RL with no regrets.
8). I have been briefly employed IRL as a writer/editor due to a friendship that began in SL.
9). I have worked as a host & dancer at four SL clubs.
10). I have lived alone on my own island.
11). I have lived with Troy on our own island.
12). I have lived in apartments & houses on land, but I can't stand skyboxes.
13). I have never, and I will never 'own' property in SL.
14). I have spent more money than I would like to know on clothes, boots, jewelry, hair...
15). I have never understood how some people can be in SL 24/7, even at the height of my SL addiction.
16). I have been blogging about SL for more than a year, despite never having anything to say.
17). I have never been impressed with or drawn to people who act like bitches and/or assholes in SL. They are, in my opinion, the most profoundly insecure of them all.
18). I have gotten a bit more computer savvy as a result of my time in SL...but just a bit.
19). I have never, ever run SL on anything other than a laptop.
20). I have never friended an SL avatar on my RL facebook page(lissa does not have a facebook or myspace page, nor will she)...except for one person who should feel deeply honored. :P
Well, that didn't take as long as I thought. Interesting what occurs to you when it's off the cuff.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Kaedy has such an amazing eye for design, and I always loved the sim, but never more so than a little over a year ago when she decorated the club for the reception Troy & I held after we partnered. Troy dedicated a DJ set to me (with the songs starting sweet & romantic but gradually becoming more...hmmm, well, those who know Troy won't have trouble figuring out the direction he took the songs...lmao) and then Norris Shepherd took the stage. Troy and I danced, friends snapped pics and sent them to us, friends stopped by to wish us well...it was my favorite day in SL.
So, let's see, the first home Troy & I shared no longer exists, nor does that entire rental/ownership group. We've moved three times since we were forced to leave that estate, and we've found ourselves back in a cozy (aka inexpensive) little home on the water's edge at Nunki Kai. We've both quit all our jobs in SL, and we've yet to manage any quality time there since our last shift together before the end of November! Why, you might be asking, am I whining? Do I have a point? No, not really. :P It's sort of leading up to something, though, and here it is. Try to keep up with my digressions...in my fuzzy mind, it all comes together nicely.
As a general rule, I can't stand those CSI-type shows. I think as a culture, we've become so desensitized to suffering, violence, and death that the crimes depicted (the dead bodies nothing more than props--distraught family members quickly ushered into another room) become ever more disgustingly horrific to keep watchers interested. Criminal Minds is one of the most intensely disturbing of the genre. I used to love it, but the criminals, the crimes, the level of degradation the writers seem compelled to show for 'entertainment'-- I just can't stomach it anymore. At any rate, I caught the last ten minutes of an episode last week waiting for the nightly news. One character always does a voice-over at the end, oftentimes quoting something from politics, science, or literature that relates to the case. I'd never heard this quotation before, but I've since slapped it on my facebook profile and lissa's as well. As the new year is upon us, as we reflect on the past and look forward to the future, I am drawn to this quotation not because it scares me, but because it challenges me. I hope it does the same for you.
Friday, January 1, 2010
One of the very first gifts Troy ever gave me was a menu-driven necklace and matching earring set from JCNY. It's a sweet set, and you can customize the metal and the stones (not to mention turn off that asinine bling).
The second item is the invitation Troy made for our partnering reception. He did it 100% on his own, and when he showed it to me that first time, I must admit my eyes welled with tears (but don't tell him, that...wouldn't want him to get a big head). ;)
And, finally, the ring Troy gave me when we bought our matching set for our partnering. Given the somewhat non-traditional aspect of our entire relationship (for example, his rl wife and I are fb friends and love to send each other stuff from all those time-wasting apps!), I was actually really surprised that he wanted the ring...but, of course, so did I. :D
So, almost 17K items (neatly sorted into folders and sub-folders, thank you very much), only three matter, only three make my SL worthwhile, and only three cannot be replaced.
Happy New Year, again! :P
Thursday, December 31, 2009
I was, however, able to log onto SL earlier in the day in order to tender my official resignation to Tempest & Nessa. I was sorry to do it, but I really think it's for the best right now. I do love Sanctuary Rock, and I certainly don't discount the possibility that I might return some day--I just don't have the time right now. It's a great club filled with dedicated folks who make it truly unique & kickass!!! Cheers to you all!
Happy New Year! ;)
Saturday, December 26, 2009
So, I got an email from my SL rental group letting me know the rent on the place where Troy and I live is up in a week. We generally pay 4-6 weeks at a time, so these messages are helpful. Anyway, I just now logged on to cap off the rent...and I could not remember my SL password.
Troy stopped DJing around Thanksgiving, and I quit hosting at the same time. Since then, we've hardly logged onto SL at all...not even on our one year partnering anniversary (Happy Belated Anniversary, hun). My relationship with Troy is so much deeper than SL, and has been for so long. I did think, when we decided to quit our jobs, that perhaps I'd try to come back to hosting after the craziness of the holidays passed.
So, I couldn't remember my password? I think that's my answer, right there. SL is a gorgeous world, and I will never 'leave' (I always chuckle when people make big pronouncements about "leaving SL") but it's clear hosting is not a very big part of my life right now. Could that change? Of course. I leave all options open. Do I think it's likely? Not particularly.
The whole reason Troy and I stopped working was to make sure any free online time we had was spent doing stuff we wanted, and I think, now more than ever, what we want in SL is just to log on and have fun, hang out with friends, listen to music, and chill together.
Anyway, it's hella late, and I've got house guests who are going to want fed in the morning.
Stay warm and toasty. :D
Saturday, December 5, 2009
After the first of the year, Troy & I are going to decide if we miss working, and if so, one or both of us will probably return in some fashion. If not, we'll simply use the limited time we have in SL as OUR time, hanging out with friends, listening to other DJ's we like, and getting to more live shows.
Oh, and 19 shopping days to Christmas, and I've purchased a total of TWO gifts...so, erm, you know what the next few weeks hold for me. In "wtf were you thinking?" news, I've decided to host my in-laws for Christmas this year...which will mean cramming upwards of 13 people in our tiny house, and then FEEDING them. I know 13 isn't a lot, but it is when you only cook for three. *insert panicky sigh here* I wonder how much a keg would cost. I think it would be cheaper than how many bottles of beer it's going to take to get me through the event.
In the midst of the materialism of the holiday season, let's not forget one of the reasons for the season. The birth of a man who had the radical idea to love your enemies, heal the sick, feed the poor, take care of the elderly, and never pass up a glass of wine.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The 'official' start of the holiday season (in the US) is this week with Thanksgiving. A holiday shared in many cultures across many centuries, in one form or another. The growing season at an end, the harvests completed, stores of food to last a brutal winter, and a big party to celebrate and brace for the difficult months to come. Historically, in the US, it's tied to the first pilgrims and their rather miraculous survival (with the help of those who were already here). It didn't become an official holiday here until the 1940's, I think. But the heart of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for life, health, food, family, and friends.
This is a hard time of year for many folks, myself included. Things have changed for me in recent months...a devastating loss, and then a slow but steady path back towards healing. Of course, there's also a little blond boy who rules my world--he has certainly helped to bring back a sense of wonder to my Christmas spirit.
For the past month, I've used my status updates in facebook to express what I'm thankful for each day. It's been a great deal of fun...I've given thanks for the simplest things, a pretty day, a good cup of coffee, a talk with a friend, and I've given thanks for my husband, my son, and my incredibly blessed life.
The habit of giving thanks is a sure road to happiness. The more you stop and see what you *have* rather than what you don't, the more you count your blessings and the happier you become. Well, it works for me anyway.
So, I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to any American followers, and to anyone else who happens to stumble along, have a good holiday season. :D
Monday, November 9, 2009
But before the insanity of an over-commercialized, highly inebriated christmas, we've got to get through Thanksgiving. My husband is working that wednesday, thursday, and friday, and my mom and I are planning a road trip with my son down to OK to see some relatives. This should be very interesting. (that's code for 'wtf was I thinking agreeing to go without my husband?')
In my youth, my family was tightly knit...holidays were passed together, with kids sleeping on floor while the adults laughed into the early morning playing cards. Cancer, death, divorce, & MUCH relocating have since intervened. My son won't get to experience these big family events, not in the same way, not the Norman Rockwell perfection I clearly remember. *sighs* So, I pack up the kiddo and head south, trying to recreate some of that 'spirit of things past' for my son. Wish me luck.
'Tis the season...let's try for peace.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I constantly try to practice the art of gratitude...seeing that many of the things I take for granted are actually incredible gifts of fortune...from my home, my husband's job, & our health to something like a washing machine, a good cup of coffee, or a talk with a friend. The curse of Modern Life is that it's too easy...free time is a gift that most do not know how to use (think of the precious hours of your life squandered in front of the television). When not managed properly, with a sense of purpose & urgency, free time allows one to wallow, to become overly introspective, to become weak. I'm not condemning or pointing a finger; I'm speaking from experience.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was the wife of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Her writings, her activism, her sense of purpose remain inspirations for many still. These are my two favorite statements pulled from her writings.
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
I italicized the second sentence because the implications of it are so powerful to me...it's about challenging yourself, fighting chaos, fighting inertia, & recognizing the time is NOW, and excuses are the surest paths to regret. I'd rather regret the things I did yet failed at than regret NOT doing the things I was too afraid to try. If that makes sense?
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. "
This is probably the way I try to look at every encounter with someone who *seems* to have more than me. Humans are insecure by nature, and no one has the market cornered on feeling sorry for oneself. While some like to beat the "we are all alone" drum, I acknowledge our isolation, but I take solace in the shared needs, the need for love, acceptance, purpose, strength, and laughter.
That's enough philosophical ranting for one day. I suppose the final need, laughter, is the most important to me. If this life is a tragedy, (and it IS going to end badly for us all), then it's the laughs along the way that I need most.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So, a lot of stuff that I don't have a clue about happened this weekend at Sanctuary Rock, and the result is that a group of people left the club entirely. I didn't know either mOxi or Eme that well, but of the few interactions I did have with them, I don't have a single negative thing to say. They were nice, helpful, & professional. My relationships with Leetah & V, however, certainly affected my day-to-day life in SL.
Leetah hired and trained me as a host. She is kind, funny, laid back, supportive, professional, and she was a great boss. We never developed much more than a working relationship, but it was a good one because of her managerial style. I am certainly sad to see her go.
Veronica is one of the few people in SL I actually consider a friend. I think we tend to view things in a similar way, and we really enjoy just having fun & being goofy in Local chat, especially with Jopps & Troy. We flirt, we tease, we laugh. My favorite shifts hosting at SR were the ones she and Jopps attended. And, she's gone.
I don't know what happened between the managers at SR, and frankly, that's the way I prefer it. But, I am sad to see good people who poured a great deal of time & energy into SR go, especially since it seems the vibe/morale is pretty bad right now. I wish the new managers (and those old managers in new positions) all the best. Continuity is a rare bird in SL, but a club like SR needs it to survive. The concepts of a fun atmosphere and a sense of family at the club, well, those concepts are what make any club (SL or RL) a place people want to be--they are the things that make Sanctuary Rock special. I hope the club, and those who are still there, can work to repair the rift that losing these good people has caused.
I guess that's enough pontificating.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Dallas is maybe an 8-10 drive for me, and I think someday I'm going to really regret not pushing harder to get a sitter for the weekend, a credit card I could charge the whole thing on, & a friend who'd let me drag her down there. Since my husband works most weekends, he could serve as neither caregiver for the kiddo nor road trip buddy. *sighs*
In other, better, news, Troy has picked up a four week gig back at The Colosseum Of Rock starting next Friday, 11 -1 SLT. I'm hoping to host those events for him, and I'm really happy to see him getting excited about DJing again. :D
Oh, and my two year rez date came & went. So much for all the insight, philosophical musings, blah, blah, blah. :P
Monday, October 12, 2009
I told her what I knew about St Lucia Properties disappearing, and then she returned the favor. Turns out she knew Xavier and Lexus in RL, or on facebook, etc. They'd both deleted themselves from her facebook account/msn/etc. From what she knew, it seems that they were in dire straits, dealing with RL job loss & bankruptcy. So, I'm not quite as angry about losing $10 in rent. I wish they'd have handled it differently, even if they couldn't/wouldn't refund prepaid rent amounts. But, if it was a choice between taking the linden OR paying the mortgage in RL, I know what I'd have done. So it goes.
Troy & I decided upon a fabulous place at Chiron Towers back in Nunki Kai. I've been having a great time decorating. I also became a Twisted Survivor from the Twisted Hunt!! It's going to take me weeks to open 156 boxes! It's like an SL Twisted Christmas. ha
Then, Troy took two weeks off from SL/djing. Knowing, as I do, the physical struggles he deals with on a daily basis, I wasn't surprised at all. He's burnt out & needs a break. A few days ago, he told me if I left SL, he would follow...that I was the only reason he came there. What's funny is I've said the exact same thing to him.
So, once again, we find ourselves on the precipice of moving our friendship entirely into the realm of RL, which, honestly, is where 95% of it is carried out anyway. Makes me wonder, as always, what any of us (who aren't artists or musicians or entrepreneurs) are doing in SL. Talking fetuses, lame cartoon sex, high school gossip, bullshit drama, and precious time spent staring at a monitor rather than a friend or lover. (sighs whilst humming "we're all crazy now")
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I clicked on the tab, assuming someone was throwing a party, needed help with deeding a tv or radio, or was simply bored. What I was able to deduce, after a few questions, is that the owners of St Lucia Bay, Xavier Hathaway & Lexus Daviau, had posted the entire community for sale in an Invite-Only (slumlord) group, picked up every single rent box, deleted all St Lucia Bay residents from their friends' lists, left the St. Lucia Bay Properties Group, and "left" SL, due to a 'family emergency."
They sent NO group notices, they issued NO refunds (Troy and I had five weeks left on our new place that we loved), they gave NO warning to any residents PRIOR to posting the sims for sale. Xavier did send a one sentence IM to a few St. Lucia Bay Residents Monday afternoon, but not to me, and it explained nothing. Everyone generally found out via the Group IM as residents of the first few sims to sell logged on to find their houses gone and all their possessions mass dumped into their Lost & Found folder. They turned to Group IM, and that's when Xavier's actions were discovered. Only one member of the management staff had the courage or decency to answer questions as best she could, and help people with 'deeded to group' items.
Needless to say, former residents of these sims are furious, stunned, and saddened. For Troy & I, the sims held great sentimental value. That's the first place we lived together, that's where we lived when we partnered. Many, many good memories....Gone with the Grid. (okay, so, I haven't lost my sarcastic sense of humor).
There is no legal accountability to Landlords in SL, so it's "Renter Beware." I know that. I also know that SL Landlords have a long & ugly history of buying/selling sims with NO concern for the residents. While commiserating in Group IM, I learned many of my former neighbors have gone through this sort of thing SEVERAL times in SL.
I find the actions of the new owners, deleting people's homes and mass returning their stuff into a jumbled mess in Lost & Found, JUST as rude and thoughtless as what Xavier and Lexus did. Again, no one even bothered to send us a Group Notice. You just logged on & figured it out for yourself.
I'll fill out the LL Complaint form, knowing it will do no good. I already sent Xavier a notecard asking for a rental refund and an explanation. He's not accepted it. I counted him as a friend and an honest businessman. I don't know what the family emergency was, but he had enough time to do many things before he left, but refunds & communicating to former tenants were not his priorities.
So, Troy & I are back at Nunki Kai for the time being, until we figure out what to do. I guess it's a good thing we never got a chance to throw that House Warming Party...
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Troy & I are doing the Twisted Hunt. It is the first such hunt for both of us, and we're loving/hating it. We're both dangerously OCD, so the *need* to find every damn box will keep us going until the end. We're also both incredibly impatient, which speaks for the 'hating' part.
What I will say is that if you've never done a hunt, start with this one. DV8 is the first stop (and if I knew how to add a slurl, I would...look it up in search in-world, damn it). What I've loved, besides getting great hunt items, is finding these awesome stores & designers that I never would've known about otherwise. If you're tired of your searches for clothing turning up the same results (Naughty Neva...really?) then you are definitely ready for the Twisted Hunt. Do it! Ya know ya wanna...but hurry, it ends the end of September.
I'd like to give major kudos to the Hunt Organizers who staff the Twisted Hunt Group IM, doling out much needed hints. I'd also like to slap the group members who are rude in IM. Some get angry when they don't get their hint right away, or when the hint doesn't help them. Again, really? It's free, it's a *hunt,* and the group moderators are volunteering their time to help us. So, rather than being a jackass, how about some patience & a "thank-you" when someone tries to help you?
Whew, got that off my chest. Okay, what else? Next month is my second rez day in SL, and the first anniversary of this languishing blog. So, erm, that will probably make me all philosophical...you've been warned!
Oh, and damn it, there's another Jam Session with SL Live Musicians, this time in Dallas, Texas October 23-25. I want to go soooooo badly. It's not a very long drive for me. I seriously doubt I find the money OR the childcare to do it, but if you are in the Dallas area, I strongly encourage you to get the details and attend. You can drop me an IM or NC in-world if you're unsure who to contact. I've got the registration info in my inventory. I'm betting Norris has some info on his blog about it, too.
Okay, my beer's getting warm. I gotta cut this short.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
When Troy & I decided to move in together last fall, we also decided to make a fresh start in a new place. Troy, with little patience for shopping, entrusted me with the property search. hehe We agreed to rent and not buy, and we had a price range/number of prims in mind. Now, one of my favorite past times in SL is looking at land/residences/estates, so scoping out the grid for our first place together was great, great fun. In my search, I stumbled upon St Lucia Bay Properties, owned by real life husband & wife Xavier Hathaway & Lexus Daviau. That was over a year ago, and though I still sim-surf for properties, I've never found anything with the combination of privacy, attention to detail, value, and management of the St Lucia Properties.
Troy & I also share the characteristic of, shall I say, thriftiness...and as such, we've gone back & forth from the luxury of having a big, private island with lots of prims to the practicality of having a smaller place/rent. As I've previously gone on and on about, we've each had a difficult summer in our RL's. Though we've stayed together, and are stronger for it, it has not been easy for either of us. Today, we decided to treat ourselves to a little something special, and we rented our biggest place yet in St Lucia Bay Properties. It's a stunning home on a little island on the edge of the 11 sim region. I'll post a pic soon, but you can see it on my in-world profile now.
I'd like to say a special thank you to Xavier. He and his wife do a wonderful job managing these sims, and they've recently opened a mall area and nightclub, with great events, live dj's, and contests. As SL landlords, they are readily accessible for problems, they provide excellent customer service (certainly an endangered species in SL) and Xavier has put up with me repeatedly pestering him for almost a year now. Troy & I are very grateful.
I'm looking forward to decorating our new home, and we hope to have a little housewarming party very soon. Today was a good day. :D
Saturday, August 8, 2009
So, it's been one of those seasons. I'm not a macabre person by nature, but I've had my share of illness & death this spring/summer, so death weighs more heavily on my mind than usual. I'm inspired by the courage of those around me who battle illness, and I'm moved to ponder the afterlife.
Ten years ago, my grandmother lost her fight with cancer. I was at her side (as was the rest of the family) when she died. One moment she was there, breathing, crying, talking, and then, she was essentially an inanimate object. I guess that's why some refer to the body as a shell that houses spirit/consciousness. I do not believe in the pearly gates of the judeo-christian heaven, but I DO believe that her essence, her love, her energy, they had to go someplace, right? I remember asking myself "Where did all the love she held in her heart go?"
The summer preceding her death, I had an "intuitive portrait" done by a mystic/seer. I wasn't entirely certain how much I believed in such a gift, but the things this woman knew, such as I disliked cats and loved dogs, was a night person, liked birds, had taught/would return to teaching (right on both counts), it made a believer out of me. The kicker was that this woman "saw" my Native American spirit guide. Mind you, this was the middle of winter, I was as pale as could be, blond hair, blue eyes...and she saw the guide...a female ancestor who watches over me. hmmm
I sat down to write this blog entry in a moment of inspiration, presumably with a point. Said point has since eluded me. Maybe the thoughts of my grandmother's death, this spirit guide, and my own recent experiences are connected? Maybe whatever was going to tie it all together for me will come back to me...or maybe the connection is the point. I've not had enough coffee to go further than that.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
In a completely unrelated point, I'm going to rant about a huge pet peeve of mine, and that's a person's inability to see the 'big picture' because he or she is too mired down in petty selfishness. I guess I feel I've gotten an ass-kicking worth of perspective this summer, and I'm still working through it. Two RL friends of mine both lost their younger brother within a day of each other. One was 30, and the other was 26; one had a very rare medical condition, and the other had a car accident. Both left behind grieving families, and one leaves behind a widow and two small children. My RL sis is battling cancer, a best friend from high school battles MS. Real struggles, real heartache, real tragedy.
Then I look at all the trivial ways people manage to feel sorry for themselves, all the energy they spend nursing old wounds or manipulating or hating, and I just wonder if that's really all they have to do with their time--because our time is in damn short supply. I'm not what you'd call an optimist, but one thing I try to practice is the art of gratitude. I'm thankful for my health. I'm thankful that the people I love are still with me. But, I am tired of other people's selfish bullshit, and I wish they'd spend as much energy being grateful for what they have as they spend bitching about what they don't.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The only positive thing I can see is that despite all that we've been through, Troy and I have been through it together. It's no lie to say we've each gone through hell for the other over the past (almost) two years of friendship and seven months of partnering. That's something, something pretty damn significant. We're still together, still providing support for the rough times in RL, and a little bit of relief when we meet up in SL.
The other, much much happier reason for this entry is to highlight some amazing events in Live Music this weekend. Norris Shepherd, Max Kleene, Jase Branner, and Mash Rhodes are just a few of the SL musicians who will be meeting up this weekend in Montreal, with a full day of concerts scheduled together. It's going to be completely amazing. I'm pasting in the link from Norris's blog with a list of show times. You should absolutely, positively, without question attend a show. :D
Friday, July 3, 2009
So, what pontificating can I do? I think one of the trickiest part of navigating through SL with an ex (or more) lurking about might be if the Great Divide between SL and RL has been breached. Once you let someone into your RL, it's not quite as easy as deleting a name from a Friends List and hitting "Mute" on a profile. Many SL residents are also engaged in relationships that might get them into a fair bit of RL trouble, and crossing that divide can potentially threaten established RL relationships. Even if the divide stays firmly intact, the heart doesn't differentiate SL and RL. My profile once stated "Hearts broken in SL are also broken in RL." I think that says it all. I guess the question becomes...why do we put ourselves out there, taking the 'virtual' risk for RL trouble and heartache? Yes, that IS the question, isn't it?
And for that, I have no answers...or too many answers...or answers that contradict...or I need another cup of coffee and it's time to end this rambling.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Happy Belated Anniversary, hun!!
This is a series on the way love is 'played' out in SL that I started long, long ago...and it's been over a month since my last entry. This one is particularly pointless, but it's the best I can do.
I remember the good ole days...stalking involved prank phone calls, driving past someone's house, friends' houses, place of employment, bars he or she might frequent...it was authentic, and it required actual effort. These days, stalking is done electronically from the comfort of one's own home...facebook, myspace, blogs, twitter, IM, email, texting...and then there's SL.
There are two basic types of stalkers: the ex and the never-was. The ex, pathetically, can't or won't move on, and resorts to cyber-stalking in an effort to stay relevant, to continue to be a topic of conversation, to maintain the connection with their former love. Rehashing things on one's blog, making snide comments on facebook, (or in SL, on one's profile), popping online as soon as you do--just a few of the ways the stalker tries to stay in the picture.
The never-was is exactly that...someone you never dated who is ALWAYS keeping updated on your activities, always IM'ing you, always there--too friendly, too eager, too creepy.
Lots of folks in SL choose to check the box that keeps their online status hidden to everyone except Friends and Groups...and many times, their groups are also hidden or by invitation only. I wonder...is this because they are the stalker or the stalkee? If you suspect you are being stalked, and you only know the person in SL, you can delete him or her from your friends list, leave all mutual groups, check the aforementioned box, and move on. If you've let that person into your RL, then, you've got all the other avenues of contact to deal with. I know this is another reason people pick up Alts in SL...avoiding the stalker (or is it to become the stalker?) :P
I don't have much else to say on this topic. Having been stalked by an ex in RL, in a situation that became very scary, the concept of cyber-stalking seems pretty lame to me. I know it's hard to let go of the ex or the never-was, but sometimes, a clean break is the best way to heal and....
Next time: The Exes
Saturday, May 9, 2009
First off, to define the player, and then to address various ways the Player operates. In my opinion, a Player is someone who thinks virtual sex/intimacy in a virtual world is nothing more than a means to feel better about him or herself in the real world. A Player does not appreciate or respect the fact that each avatar is, in fact, a real human being, bringing real emotions to the grid.
The Method: This is when the lying begins...
There are lots of ways to manipulate, lie, cheat, and hurt someone in SL (just as in RL), but I have tried to distill it down to two categories. The first category is the Alt. Using an Alt to carry on sexual and emotional relationships with more than one resident, a person can lead several partners to believe they are engaged in monogamous SL relationships. The stories of treachery and heartache I've heard of because of the use of alts are just as destructive and devastating as what happens in real life. A broken heart does not differentiate SL/RL.
The other method a Player will use is the exact opposite. This person espouses a personal philosophy of 'free-spiritedness' which includes, as far as I can tell, scanning his or her friend's list every time he or she logs on to see who might like to hang out (and fuck). Everyone is supposed to keep their hearts in check, have a good time, and bed/ball hope with disease-free bliss.
When fuck-buddies are foolish enough to let their hearts get involved, or when the resident with multiple Alts finds his or her partners becoming increasingly suspicious, the Player finds himself in a tricky position. Cut & run (which would be a tremendous gift to the other partners) or try to juggle a handful of hearts? Excuses, unexplained absences, E-mails and IM's that somehow never arrive, blaming online/offline status discrepancies on SL 'glitches', claims to have missed online notifications...the ways the Player will try to keep everybody happy, satisfied, and in the dark are as hopeless as they are lame.
Whether in SL or RL, the victims of the Player, ultimately, must find the strength to say good-bye. There's an old saying that the former US president had some trouble with..."Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." And that's exactly right. If you think some jackass is screwing around on you, dump him or her and move on. Period. If you know some jackass is screwing around on you, then every minute you continue to stay in that relationship eats away at your self-esteem. To stay is as stupid as it is self-destructive. As Eleanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." The question is, why give that consent in any circumstance, least of all, a virtual world of anonymity.
In truth, I feel a bit sorry for the Player....substituting virtual sex/intimacy for something real, lying and hurting others in a desperate attempt to feel relevant or needed...it's pretty pathetic. The defect, of course, is obvious. The path of destruction runs both ways. Karma (and this I know from experience) is a cold-hearted bitch who will win every single time.
Next time: The Stalker
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Saints and Sinners - Whitesnake
Hysteria - Def Leppard
Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
Full Moon Fever - Tom Petty
Zenyatta Mondatta - Police
Back In Black - AC/DC
Appetite for Destruction - Guns n Roses
Streetlife Serenade - Billy Joel
Hotel California - Eagles
Blues Brothers Soundtrack - The Blues Brothers
Perfect Strangers - Deep Purple
Flex-able - Steve Vai
Joe's Garage - Frank Zappa
90215 - Yes
Heavy Metal Be-Bop - The Brecker Bros
Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Nightfly - Donald Fagen
The Blizzard of Oz - Ozzy Osbourne
1984 -Van Halen
Chronicles - Rush
David Lee Roth - Eat 'em and Smile
Among the Living - Anthrax
Freeze Frame - J Geils Band
Sheryl Crow---The Globe Sessions
matchbox 20---Yourself or Someone Like You
Ani DiFranco---Not a Pretty Girl
Def Leppard---Pyromania AND Hysteria
Van Halen---5150, FUCK, Balance
Sarah Mclachlan---Surfacing AND Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
ac/dc---Back in Black
Paula Cole---This Fire
U2---The Joshua Tree
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers---Full Moon Fever
Don Henley---Building the Perfect Beast
Stevie Nicks---Rock a Little
Eagles---Greatest Hits vol 2
Guns and Roses---Appetite for Destruction
Melissa Etheridge---Yes I Am
Foo Fighers---The Colour and the Shape
Phil Collins---No Jacket Required
Say Anything soundtrack
Still working on my SLove series (she says with less and less conviction). :P
Oh, and I just got hired to host at Sanctuary Rock. WooT!!! Leetah totally rocks and trained me with great patience and skill. It was the first time we'd really spent any time together, and she is damn cool!!
My shifts start next week, Thursdays from 2-4 with DJ Troy, and Saturdays from 2-4 with super-SEXY Guenevere DeCuir...come watch me over-spam and foul up the voting. :P
Monday, April 13, 2009
But, alas, the times, they are a'changing. Due to RL, Troy has had to pull back his DJ schedule a bit and do some rearranging. As our friends may have noticed, lately, we just aren't in SL that much unless he's working. We've missed our SL time together, but on the other hand, we've always communicated via other methods throughout the day. SL is sometimes more a hindrance to us spending quality time together, really listening to each other, than a help.
My RL is also undergoing some fairly profound changes (details to come, maybe), and I see myself phasing out, to some extent, of this fantasy world. One of the issues about SL that troubles me the most is that SL pulls people away from RL friends and family by draining both time and emotional energy (our most precious resources) spent while logged on. For those who don't have RL friends and family, or those whose RL relationships trend towards the conflicted & painful, I can understand the draw of SL. It's a great way to feel a sense of community, to express oneself, to socialize.
But for too many residents, I think SL lets us hide from, deny, and avoid the things in our real lives that we should be dealing with, only we just don't want to. Ignoring a problem is always easier, for awhile anyway, than facing it. To tell the truth, for a time, I even let SL isolate me from my RL friends and family--I pushed people away so I could log on. Not any more, and not for some time now. Maybe it's just because my focus has been so sharply redirected towards RL that I'm thinking about all this now. SL is not inherently evil, is it? :P I don't know. I think I've begun to ramble. ;)
I'm still working on the SLove piece, but my RL has been very demanding, and the series is not something I've wanted to dedicate the time to. I've not left it, though.
Did I have a point? Oh, yes. Happy Anniversary, Troy. You are truly the very best thing about SL for me. xoxoxoxxoxo
Sunday, March 22, 2009
When I first joined SL, I marveled at the notion of SL residents partnering. I may even have laughed at their folly and uttered the world 'never.' My, how times have changed. :P
For a mere 10L, you and your SL sweetie can show the world how you feel via the Profile Partner Box. While some residents view partnering as the equivalent of marriage in SL, others treat it as 'going steady' or the facebook designation 'in a relationship with.' Still others seem to do it because they like spending 10L on a whim.
It is certainly possible to be monogamous in SL without being partnered, but for those who take it seriously, adding someone's name to a profile box shows the rest of SL the two people involved have attained some element of exclusivity in their online relationship. It sends a definite message.
Or does it?
For a slightly higher, but still damn cheap, fee of 25L, you can once again announce to the world you've had a change of 'heart.'
I'm not sure if LL has done a statistical analysis, but I'd ballpark the average SL partnership at lasting less than a month or two. Granted, time is SL does this virtual compression-thing, but even by Hollywood standards, a month is pretty pathetic, especially if you aren't picking up his dirty socks or listening to him snore.
Though my partner will deny it, he, in fact, proposed to me. I don't know which one of us was more shocked by his actions. We don't call it a marriage--we both have RL spouses. We didn't have a wedding ceremony; we didn't have an officiate; we don't have an SL marriage certificate. For us, it's a best friend/partnership that also shows the rest of SL that we are exclusive. He's one of my very best friends, in both lives, and I'm proud to call him my partner, even if it's only in a pixelated fantasy-land.
One of the most complex aspects of SL partnering involves residents who are monogamous or married (to someone other than their SL partners) in real life. There are two primary views regarding SLove and married-in-RL implications.
The first is that it's cheating. A few months ago, a friend and fellow blogger published a very good piece on the subject of SL partnerships focusing on the ethics when the people involved have real life spouses. Her stance was that if you are married/monogamous in RL and you engage in SL romance, you are cheating on your real life spouse/partner. I believe she made some very good points, but I also believe that her views do not take into account the fact that every RL relationship is unique, and what works for some does not work for others.
The second view, and the one I believe many in SL use to justify their behavior, is that because SL relationships are 'virtual' they do not constitute real life infidelity. By this definition, the sex has to be real in order for cheating to have occurred. In other words, if you aren't staying late after work to make out with a co-worker, or having a fling on your business trip, and it all stays online, you've not broken your RL vows. I believe this view discounts or ignores the very real emotional impact of online relationships. However, this view does suggest, and I agree, that it's not entirely reasonable to expect all your emotional needs to be fulfilled by one person, for ever. Let's not forget that marriage is a social construct designed to stabilize a society and make sure children are well cared-for. Monogamy is not the biological imperative.
Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.
In my opinion, a resident who dates or is married in SL can be accused of cheating on the real life partner only if the resident hides his/her activities from the RL partner. If the RL spouse is aware of, or has made known that he or she does not care/is not threatened by what happens online, then I do not view that situation as cheating. So, ask yourself...If your RL spouse wouldn't like what you are doing and/or considers it cheating, then aren't you cheating? By the same token, if your RL spouse knows what you are doing and/or doesn't care, then I say, you're in the clear. ;))
Partners are motivated out of love, desire, friendship, and the willingness to take their relationship to the next level. The problems with SL partnerships are many. First of all, the lack of real human contact makes any SL intimate relationship inherently limiting. Ball-hopping and xcite aren't even in the same universe as flesh on flesh.
Second, thanks to alts, TPs and IM, cheating is practically impossible to discover, and paranoia about that fact runs rampant.
Finally, if half of all real marriages end in divorce, what percentage of SL partnerships last forever? What constitutes forever in SL, anyway?
There are three possible outcomes for every SL partnership: the couple breaks up in SL, the couple hooks up in RL, or one or both of the individuals stop logging into SL. I guess that would be the equivalent of "till death us do part" rather "till disinterest in SL us do part."
It's a complicated mess, as anyone who's ever partnered with the best of intentions can attest. Throw into the mix the RL crossover, and, well, you can find yourself in murky and sometimes painful waters, indeed.
I wouldn't change one single thing in how life with Troy and Lissa has turned out, and I hope that it is eventual disinterest in SL by one or both of us, and not disinterest in our friendship, that spells the end for Troy and Lissa.
Next time: The Player
(and I greatly prefer Norris Shepherd's version of this song...but this is a great Canadian band and a gorgeous song)
Monday, March 9, 2009
Probably fairly obvious...this is someone who chooses NOT to engage in romantic relationships in SL at all. Reasons for this may vary. Some residents who are married or involved in a monogamous relationship in real life view SL romance as a form of cheating, and they choose not to date in SL for that reason. Others have tried SL dating, found it horrendous, heart-breaking, and pointless, and have subsequently sworn off romance 'forever.' Still others can't get past the silliness of cyber sex or online dating, prefer their intimacy to be a little more 'real,' and focus their energies on other things while in SL.
The SLelibate often enjoys walking the line, I've noticed. I've also noticed a hint of moral superiority amongst them. Not that I blame them. I've frequently thought that the slogan of SL should be 'Helping you Relive the Drama & Angst of High School since 2003.' To purposely remove oneself from that scene is certainly a smart move. :P
Next time: The Partners...