A notecard invitation from a friend popped open when I logged into SL and I scanned the text, "Photographic Art Exhibit Upstairs Art Gallery @ MarillaAnne's Place ".
Hmmmmm, this sounds interesting I thought and quickly read through the rest of the note and then did a quick search on LM's.
I sent an IM before TP'ing, letting her know I was on the way.
The owner MarillaAnne Slade greeted me on my arrival,
"How nice to see you again Nazz, so glad you could come over", she said smiling, "I do hope you enjoy the exhibit".
I thanked her and asked, "Tell me about the exhibit?"
Slade replied, "It's an exhibition of original photographs by Tonius Alderson.
I'll be hosting it through November 5th." We took turns on the teleport and she was waiting in the upstairs gallery for me,
"Let me know when you've rezzed." She said as the pictures on the walls and objects in the gallery came into focus.
"That is a great picture of a ballerina!" I exclaimed, "It reminds me of a Degas exhibit I saw in RL".
The dancer in a white dress was in a spin, her skirt twirling as she did; the photo capturing the graceful movement and gave one an impression of motion.
"THANK YOU … DEGAS … That is the name I'd been trying to think of!" she said excitedly, "This collection Tonius is sharing with us is titled "Dance Essence". This is but one of eleven pieces on exhibit."
I studied the picture for a few minutes, impressed by the image of grace and movement.
"Have you looked at the face?" MarillaAnne asked. I zoomed in using my camera control and studied it, the face was blurred somewhat at first but one could see an outline of it.
"I'm looking at it now" I said.
"Tell me what do you see?" She asked.
I told her of my impressions.
She laughed, "You must be one of those "practical men", look again and ask yourself about her appearance, feel yourself drawn to the beauty and be intrigued by it. Think of the season and ask yourself. Is a spirit joining the moment? Is the spirit escaping from the body? Or perhaps, they were only spirits from the beginning?"
I zoomed in again and studied it for a few minutes before telling her that I did appreciate what she had hoped for me to see, but, "I think I may be too much of a "practical man"." I told her. She laughed and said, "Maybe so Mr. Lane ... Maybe so."
We strolled through the gallery and chatting and viewing the images, returning to our starting point, I made an observation.
"The essence of dance is motion, and his work captures that very well." I stated.
"Honestly Nazz, there is more to dance then just the movement of the ballerina. There are feelings being evoked by the movement." MarillaAnne said, "Let that practical side of your mind go for a few moments and feel it. While you do that I have a kiosk to put out."
While she turned her attention on that task, I focused mine back to the dancer, studying her for several minutes. I realized that she had been right as my mind pictured not the image in front of me, but of the ballerina preparing for her spin, her mind focusing not on the movement but as an expression of how she felt. As her body begin to twirl, her face reflected a lovely smile, her eyes shining brightly as she spun. She felt the eyes of her audience on her, my eyes watching her gracefully twirl and she felt compelled to arch her back slightly, allowing us to see her lithe body more fully as she finished the movement.
Having told Marilla of my impressions, she smiled and replied, "I'm happy you were able to not only see the ballerina, but to feel it as well Nazz. That is what she wanted and what Tonuis wanted when he captured her image".
"I would really like to chat with Tonius, do you think that would be possible?" I asked.
Slade replied that she thought he would welcome the opportunity as he was new to SL, but I could check with him and she gave me his e-mail address.
"His RL home is in Italy, with the time difference he generally comes in world your very early morning hours. I suggest you leave him an IM as well." She said.
I thanked her once again for the invitation. "My pleasure Nazz, it's always wonderful to see you. Good luck with the story" she said.
With that I returned to my office and prepared a list of questions that I then sent via e-mail along with a notecard dropped into his inventory.
Having finished my work, I decided to return to the gallery, MarillaAnne had logged off for her dinner so I was alone. I clicked on the picture and realized I could purchase a copy, which I eagerly did, knowing that a dear friend would relish having it for her home. When it showed in my inventory, I called up her profile and dragged it over. A few minutes later she IM'ed me, "Oh my God Nazz! It is lovely. Thank you so much for thinking of me." I smiled, happy that she liked it, I replied and we discussed the essence of dance and the events of our day.
Later I was fortunate to have had Tonius respond to my e-mail interview questions.
They and his replies follow:
Nazz: Is photography your RL profession?
Tonius: No, I'm involved in something completely different but photography is my biggest passion since the early 80's, when I bought my first SLR camera. Photography is a passion that needs time and also - for me, at least - expensive but I'm really happy to spend my time with my Canon's bodies and lenses whenever is possible.
Nazz: Have you exhibited your work in RL?
Tonius: Yes, I've already exhibited my pictures twice, in Sorrento (south Italy), during the "Sorrento Jazz Festival", in 2006 and 2007, as "official photographer" of the event (I've shot pictures of Goran Bregovic, Ray Mantilla, Gloria Gaynor, and many other artists). Some of my works were purchased used for commercial and advertising purposes. I was also one of the "official photographers" of the Sorrento football team during 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 seasons (third division) and some of my pictures have been used by national newspapers inside their sport sections.
Nazz: Had you exhibited in SL previously?
Tonius: No, never before because I just got my SL account (September 2007). I have to thanks Ms. Marilla Slade for giving me the chance to exhibit my pictures and to Mr. Mag Greggan, a photographer as well, which was very important to introduce me into SL and allows me to know Ms. Slade.
Nazz: Do you have plans for more exhibitions? Will it be the same or different works?
Tonius: Yes, I'm planning other exhibitions with Mr. Mag Greggan's help and hope to organize them as soon as possible. My favorite subjects are dance and music events, landscapes, animals and wildlife and reportage but I think I'm going to exhibit these works again because I love long exposures, their ethereal effects and the way they let our imagination playing a decisive role.
Nazz: Where were the photos taken? Did you know the subjects?
Tonius: Some of the photos were taken few years ago at a Raffaella Pandolfi's Dance Show; others (HomoSax and Jazz Solo) at a live jazz events in Italy. I did not know the subjects and most important, none of them posed for me.
Nazz: Do you have a web site where my readers can go to and see your other work?
Tonius: Yes, I have a web site but it is under construction right now.
I hope to let you know about it as soon as possible.
by Nazz Lane
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A notecard invitation from a friend popped open when I logged into SL and I scanned the text, "Photographic Art Exhibit Upstairs Art Gallery @ MarillaAnne's Place ".
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I was recently at the Three Lions Pub when I met Marissa Naheed, a very friendly volunteer there who didn’t mind being interviewed.
Let me give you a bit of background on this. When I first teleported in as a fresh wet behind the collar newbie, the Three Lions Pub was one of the first places I tried out. That was after I managed to get through the door, without walking through it, or a chair or a person, and well let’s face it, actually looking like an authentic drunk! And for once, I was in the right place. But unfortunately, I hadn’t reckoned with the dance mat. At this point, I was unaware of the option in the tool’s bar that says, ‘Stop all animations’, so I blithely clicked on the mat and animated myself, only to find that I couldn’t stop dancing.
Some people would have stayed calm in that situation; I am not one of them. So logically, I thought, ‘if I come out of the dance area maybe I’ll just like, stop dancing?’ No such bladdy luck! Well, there I was making a berk of myself as usual, and getting quite a bit of attention, especially from the Americans who saw me rocking around outside the pub and shouted ‘Hey go Goldilocks go!’ at me. Shortly after this, I crashed head long into an inconveniently placed phone booth, but that didn’t stop me dancing, alas no. Needless to say, I eventually figured that if I clicked back on the mat I could stop dancing.
The ignominy of it all, you would thing I would never have darkened the place’s doors again after that, but I did. You see the people there are so friendly. Phil the owner invited me back again and I also made a friend of Marissa Naheed who kindly gave me an interview for this article.
Marissa has been a volunteer helper for about a year now and she told me about some of the pranks that the staff get up to, what she told me put my dancing debut in the shade, for instance, there’s this bloke called Johnnie that does a ballet dance in a jester’s hat in the bar room, and apparently, on another occasion, he dressed up as a pizza and danced with her sister. ‘Very tasty,’ I remarked, causing her to giggle.
‘Another time, I dressed up as the Pink Panther and wore Groucho Marx glasses, she said offering me a photograph which I gladly accepted.
‘What else do you get up to?’ I asked
‘Well, one day we fumigated the pub.’ She replied.
‘Like how do you fumigate a virtual pub?’ I asked, nearly falling off my bar stool with curiosity.
‘Well, you put up boards and let off a green particle emitter.’
‘Really, it’s that simple?’ I comment. Wondering whether to let one off at the office, better not, Dana would probably kill me!
‘So what exactly were you trying to fumigate?’ I asked.
She answers that it was to get rid of the virtual cockroaches.
‘Oom, I bet that went down like a wet bomb!’ I think, but do not say.
‘We try to make people welcome here.’ She tells me.
‘But no cockroaches?’ I think, but do not say.
Marissa informs me that they are currently building a new resident’s centre for newbies, ie: people like me and other unfortunates. I tell her that I will come and check it out when it’s ready and she kindly offers me her friendship, which I gratefully accept. I need all the friends I can get.
Article Contributed by Amelia Lutrova
Friday, October 26, 2007
What the hell am I gonna do? I've just been fired from my job because I got sprung playing SL at work. I am really freaked out cos my wife is gonna kick my head in for this!
I've just been so goddamned hooked since I came here and she's been on at me for months to spend more time with her and less time plahying here, but I just haven't been able to give it up.
I'm really freakin but in some ways all I'm thinking is good, now I can spend more time here. I just don't know what to do. I don't care about anything cept being here and building and spending time with my friends.
What work is available here? Why do other people do?
Outta Work and I don't care!
Dear Outta Work,
Welcome to the ranks of the unemployed, divorced, pasty-faced and starving-to-death junkies on SL.
I've known many people lucky enough (or unlucky enough, depending on how you look at it), who have access to a computer during the day and can get a fix of SL during their working day. Every single one of them has a "near miss" story of how they almost got sprung having sex / buying a dress / being out on a date / building a house while they should have been working.
EXCEPT you did caught and are now paying the price!
The only advice I can give you is to get yourself a job in a factory, or driving a truck/car where you don't have access to a computer during the day - otherwise, you WILL starve to death because somebody has to put food on the table.
I know people who have lost half a stone (however many pounds that is), because all they can think of, 24 hours a day, is being online and in Second Life - to the extent that eating and going to the toilet is such an intrusion!
My solution has been to set myself a schedule - I can be online from when I wake in the morning until 9am (or 8am if I have to go to work), then it's offline again until 4pm (if I'm working at home) or 7pm if I'm working away. The other saving grace is that I have a dog, and I have to walk her so that takes me away from the keyboard for another precious two hours. If I didn't have those conditions, I would be here 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the biggest smile on my face.
Oh, and by the way, get that job BEFORE you tell the missus you're an unemployed bum addict!
Who else has had a near miss at work?
All the best, fellow-addict,
Monday, October 22, 2007
The first relates to my avie. I had started out with the ringtail foxfolk, partly to stand out, and partly as a reflection of my love of science-fiction. A friend gave me some cash to upgrade, but I postponed it for a while, giving some thought on what to upgrade to.
While in a store looking over options, I got the attention of a couple others, "I don't see too many still in their original skin," spoke one. I explained I was thinking over my options. "Well, I'd make a decision soon. The way you are now, people are going to think you're new. With a new avatar, it's going to change how people look at you."
A friend of mine had recently joined Second Life, so the next day I made my decision. I decided to stay a foxfolk, but with my family part redneck, and one of the online sci-fi comics I read it's red foxfolk were traditionally laborers, I got a Luskwood Red Fox avatar.
So did the way people saw me change?
I've never "paid for it" in real life, sour love life or no, so I politely declined. I guess since I was out of my "baby coat," she assumed I had cash.
A couple coworkers of mine had plenty of tattoos, piercings, odd hair, filed teeth, etc., and managed to find women to marry them. So perhaps it's not hard to imagine that some girls would go for a "foxy guy." ;-)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
AFTER A WEEK OF EMOTIONAL UPS AND DOWNS when I soared from feeling on top of the world, to being downcast into a crying heap I wondered if other people found SL a 'warm and fuzzy' place to be.
I came across the beautiful green-haired Isabella Lubitsch over at the Autumn Writers' Exhibition (AWE) and she replied, "Not often, but occasionally. I find some of it dull."
"For me, SL is about artistic and creative stimulation. I mostly hang in nerdy places where people talk A LOT! I've been inspired to write poetry and try new ideas."
"So what about your personal relatinships?" I asked.
"A few avis are meaningful to me ... I like the chance to get to know someone's mind."
Isabella then commented on how voice has made avis an "interesting new way" to know avis differently. She had noticed that there were a lot of "old voices" from young avis.
"And I've had vice versa! That for me was a big shock with one friend. They have a very wise old avis and a very young voice.
"It was actually delightful to have my pre-suppositions shattered," she remarked, but he is such a great guy that it didn't matter that the 'wisdom' was coming from someone so young."
Over at a 'Master and Slave' sim, Brenna Primrose was waiting upstairs to go join the action below in the maze. When I asked if SL was a warm and fuzzy place to be, she rhapsodized about the attractions of being a submissive on the hunt for a dominant.
"I love SL. I am a long-time text-based roleplayer, so coming here and bringing my character alive is amazing," she enthused. "So, yeah, SL does make me feel all warm and fuzzy, especially around good folks."
Brenna conveniently had her personality type in a tag above her head: "CARP Tag 3.1 - Prey/Submissive; Difficulty - Easy; Straight and Human Pref."
She explained that anyone participating in the roleplay below, had to wear a tag so people would know what role they were playing. She said that she and her friend came there "every night" to make a bet on who would lose their clothes first or find the best roleplayer under the Dominant tag.
While Brenna isn't giggling her way through the maze, she said she was out shopping, decorating, dancing and having lots of fun.
"There's all kinds of people down in the maze," she continued. "People you'd never think you'd meet - Dom/mes, Subs - all running around, playing and laughing."
Oh alright, she was so convincing I promised I'd give it a go ... sometime. But I'll warn you all now, I'm definitely a DOM!
"So what is it that's so satisfying about dominating and submitting?" I asked Brenna.
"I'm a natural submissive, " she replied. "I've always been the one to give and try to please others. Finding decent Dominants isn't always so easy, but I've made some great friends here."
"It's all about give and take, but it's all consensual."
NOW my next couple of landings in the SL world were a bit frustrating and I kept being reminded of that movie line, "I see dead people!" CAMPERS!!!
Sitting on park benches, pushing brooms, sitting at the seaside - blank, staring eyes. No animation. Nothing. And certainly no conversation! COLD LONELY ISOLATING. SL at its coldest. No warm and fuzzy here!
Over at 'The Edge' - they were in party mood and I just couldn't distract them from Mandy Mayne's urgings to:
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: /);;;( /;;;;;;;;;;;;\ /);;;(
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: /);;;( /);;;( /);;;( /);;;(
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: /);;;( /);;;( /);;;( /);;;(
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: /);;;(____ /);;;(__/);;;( /);;;(____
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: /);;;;;;;;;;;( /\;;;;;;;;;;;;/ /);;;;;;;;;;(
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: /______ / /_______ / /______ /
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: *** OKE PEOPLE, REMEMBER ITS .......... ***
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: ___ __ ______
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: | _ \__ ___ _| |____ __ |__ __|_ ____
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: | _/ - \| - )_ _/ \/ / | | | \^/ | - _)
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: |_ |/_/\_\_|\_\ \__\_\ / |_ | _|_/\/\_|\___/
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: /_____/
[2007/10/20 0:00] Mandy Mayne: *** SO LETS ROCK THE PLACE ***
ALTHOUGH, Dusty Gray did call out, "I'm furry! Does that count?"
Then Mandy Mayne instructed me, "Go ask the lindens how they feel!" Before Markita Bing observed, "Sometimes you're on top of the world, and then you're pissed off as you can be."
My next couple of victims were young players, dressed in black, ready for a night's entertainment - "killing nerds". Did SL make them feel all warm and fuzzy?
Megazord Flossberg replied, "It makes me feel alone and cold" and then laughed out loud, adding, (while he polished his 'imperial necklace'), "I am wearing my AWESOME clothes, and they make me AWESOME."
(I suspect that the size of Megazord's guns makes him feel all warm and fuzzy, judging by the dimensions of the equipment he strapped on to go and practice his skills).
While his friend, RanRan Torres reflected, "Only my friends make me feel like that (warm and fuzzy)." Their companion, Cecilia Franciosa said, "I'm grateful for my loves, as they're also my friends."
Talk turned to Identity Verification and the group observed how they had tried to talk to the Lindens about this issue, but had been frustrated in being directed to several Lindens, who, each in turn, referred them on to other Lindens.
As we chatted, RanRan announced, "Uhhh, this topic is making me angry! lol Let's go chop each other up Megs!"
So here ends another perfectly delightful evening in SL ... some of us feeling "warm and fuzzy" with our friends (like old-timer AlterKatze Barnstormer, and other running through chambers looking for someone to dominate us, and yet others, having a perfectly wonderful time "chopping one another up for fun!"
Saturday, October 20, 2007
The other night I logged on and donned my optional ball skirt in anticipation of a bit of light chit chat with a bit of dancing thrown in.
I quickly made my way to ‘Heaven in the Clouds’ and sat down on a rather bright pink bench. I was soon IMed by a guy I met some days ago who asked me if he could join me. ‘Great.’ I thought, agreeing to a teleport request. ‘Maybe I’m in for a nice evening after all.
Unfortunately, he turned out to be the strong silent type, (Did I mention he’s French) and whilst I can get by in French, it’s really a strain speaking it all the time. Needless to say, our conversation rapidly went from not very much to zilch in a very short space of time.
I was just in the middle of asking him why he’d gone all silent on me, when he did a most disconcerting thing, he vanished, quit, ran off, which ever way you want to put it.
Charming I thought, with friends like you, who needs enemies?
So there I was sat in the middle of this heavenly landscape surrounded by shiny happy people who were to all intents and purposes in luv, feeling like the biggest gooseberry that ever went to a ball!
So what’s a girl to do? I asked myself. I thought, ‘If I stay here amongst all these heavenly lovers, I think that I’ll shortly be in need of a bucket.’
So I quickly teleported myself to the Three Lions and I sat down in a comfy chair to sulk and generally feel sorry for myself. Growing quickly bored, I decided to peruse my virtual red book of hapless friends, when I spotted the name of my Australian mate.
‘Well, it can’t hurt to IM him.’ I thought. He replied that he was quitting soon, but that he would come and talk to me for a bit. ‘How kind,’ I thought, accepting his request to teleport him in. When he appeared, he nearly landed on my head, not a good start. He explained that he too had been with someone and that she too had made a hasty retreat.
‘It looks like you’re landed with silly old Amy again.’ I replied.
I tease him and tell him that he could have been landed with me all night. He laughs at this and replies ‘Well.’ Which is as good as saying; I’ll do what I want!’ So like, I’m sat there thinking, well thanks for that; that makes me feel a whole lot better!
Then he asks me who I was with and I explain about my disappearing friend and he sympathises. Then we go silent for a while, and I think. ‘Oh no, here we go again!’
For personal reasons that I can’t go into here, an emergency occurs in RL and I suddenly have to make my excuses and leave.
Such is life in the great friendship hunting ground of SL.
The trouble is, if you find your friends, a number of scenarios seem to crop up.......
What you’ll find is that one; they’re invariably with some one else and have no time for you, so you’ll get a message to the effect of ‘butt out, I’m busy.’ Which roughly translates as, ‘I’m in the middle of a big sloppy kiss and I don’t want that nosy Amelia anywhere in the vicinity!’
Or alternatively two; they are off line, because like, erm the chances of you actually getting together in the first place are about as remote as NASA finding intelligent alien life, especially if he lives in Southern Alaska and you live in rainy old Britain.
So you hope that they will perhaps IM you, a remote, but vague possibility and sometimes they do.
But be warned, if you’re going to attempt a friendship with someone who lives in an opposite time line (and what I mean by that is that you should be asleep when he or she is awake) your road will be a rocky one and littered with sleepless nights, which may or may not lead to you becoming a serial insomniac.
So on reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that finding your way around the SL friendship thing is as fraught with danger, hurt, yes hurt, and frustrating as it can be in real life. Only more so, because at least in real life, you don’t have to wait for the sun to come up in some remote and forgotten place to actually like, talk to a friend!
If you’re reading this and you can empathise. Please do so and make a girl feel better. Yes it’s true, I’m really just a big softy at heart, are you a big softy to? Do people sit on the cushion of your oft broken heart and squash it flat?
Let me know (you can by leaving a comment). My name’s Amelia Softy, what’s yours?
Contributed by Amelia Lutrova.
Monday, October 15, 2007
For your enlightenment I will explain what I’ve been up to in SL this week....
Well, it was like this, I was sat there at the Three Lions feeling bored and, being a virtual wall flower as usual when suddenly, I had a great idea. I logged out, telephoned my little brother and persuaded him to come in as, yes; you’ve guessed it a female avatar.
For the record my brother’s name is Simon, but for the purposes of this article he became Ddder!..... Delores Blister for the evening, well we immediately teleported into Phoenix dreaming and we were just minding our collective business, engaging in a bit of ‘walk about vaguely and pretend you know what you’re doing’ behaviour when Simon aka Delores says to me, ‘Look behind you.’
Well, at first, I thought he might be referring to some item of clothing, or that BMX bike that I managed to attach to my backside the other day, alas no! I turned around to be confronted by the sight of a white clad bloke with a massive tool, (and I don’t mean a hammer), pointing in the general direction of my posterior. Well, I said ‘Come on Delores, it’s Bob the pervert! Run for your life girl!’ Before I ran, I said to the guy, ‘My God, in RL, I was a nurse for twelve years and I never saw one as big as that! To give him credit were it was due, he did then offer to make it smaller, and I said: ‘You’d better or you might give some poor newbie heart failure walking around with that sticking out of your trousers!’ And he said, and I quote: ‘It’s not me missus, it’s these pants, I can’t get it to go down.’
‘Well says Delores, ‘I have the same problem, mostly in the mornings in RL.’
‘Delores.’ I said, 'you’re a bloody girl, remember.’
‘Oh er yes, so I am.’ Replied my sheepish brother, I told the bloke, ‘You’re really subtle you are; aren’t you!’
After that we teleported to Freebie island and with a quick IM to my brother not to go for the bloke things, we set about collecting some feminine products for him.
Well, we came unstuck rapidly after that, being a bloke, he would keep staring at the pictures of the naked women skin offers and typing inappropriate comments to me like
‘Wow, look at the jugs on that!’
If my avatar could have kicked him, she would have done so there and then. If she could have hissed; she would have said, ‘Delores, get a bleedin’ grip will you!
‘Let’s get out of here! Said my brother, and I happily conceded to this request and took him to Reggae Romance, where I insisted that he try out the jumping frog chair.
This proved hilarious, as Delores was wearing a rather inappropriate ball gown at the time.
I said ‘Delores you big berk, go to your inventory and put some jeans on!’ Once he’d got them on, I said. ‘Where do you want to go next?’
He let me chose and we ended up in a place where there was a rather posh looking beach plaza.
I said ‘Come on girl let’s go and explore!’ So off we flew over the island and landed in a café bar. Well, we sat down next to these two guys, ready for some girly chit chat when Delores suddenly says:
‘I need to go for a p***.’
‘Really Delores,’ I hissed. ‘One does not go for a p***; one goes to powder one’s nose, remember.’
‘Whatever!’ replied Delores and promptly disappeared. When she came back she sat down with her legs open and loudly announced that she had been to the fridge for a pint of Tetleys!’
I sent a ‘Pleeeazzzzzzz’ to her and suggested via IM that a glass of wine might be more appropriate?
‘Can’t we go to a strip club and enrol?’ pleaded Delores. ‘I can have a really good look at myself then!’ ‘
‘Delores.’ I replied. ‘I don’t think this is going to work.’
‘No.’ replied my sheepish brother.
At that point, we decided to call it a day and quit. I advised my brother that he’d better stick to being a male avatar in future. I’ve asked him twice now for his new male avatar’s name, but he is being very secretive about it. I can only guess what the little bugger is getting up to.
If anyone out there is lucky enough to get a male avatar’s name as Simon, it might just be my little brother you’re on a date with. So watch out for your clothes girls!
Contributed by Amelia Lutrova.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
ONE OF THE DELIGHTS of being at a writers' festival, is that you are certain to bump into one and really, they are the most MAAAARVELOUS story tellers!
I was at the Autumn Writers' Exposition at Cookie Island and bumped into Skye Soderstrom who was telling me that she was doing a hill walk I think she called it (the Scottish take delight in tramping the hills I believe), and was taking her ease at a stream, shoes off, tootsies in the water when ...
Who should come by but PRINCE CHARLES!!!!
Apparently the poor King-To-Be (one can only hope Charles), had lost his Jack Russell puppydog and was out looking for the canine when he happened upon our very own Skye.
According to Skye, he was ever-so-friendly and bent down to give her own little doggie a pat, when said dog took exception to the familiarity and took a snap and snarl at the monarch (to be). Apparently Mr. Security (who was busy with the backpacks at the time), made a rush but wasn't needed. (Fortunately Skye doesn't own a pit bull).
She begged with his liege not to be put in the tower, and he reassured her on that point but did mention Orstralia. (Whatever that means!)
NOT CONTENT with one fascinating story, Skye had another - about the time Robbie Coltrane's father saved her life and in gratitude, she is determined to write the Great Scottish Novel and have Mr. Coltrane star!
But I've nattered on long enough, and my boss, the ever-so-lovely James Juno will take a dim view of me taking so much space on something that isn't STRICTLY SL.
Cheers! (And Prince Charles ... my dog is much friendlier than Skye's).
(Photo: My dog Marlo (at left) and her friends Neville and Czar, waiting for Prince Charles to come by).
Friday, October 12, 2007
Please read this article in our News section about MTV USA looking for people for their show True Life, who lead a very different Second Life (compared to their First).
Posted by Dixie Barbosa at 8:40 AM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Landing in Second Life for the first time, I make my trembling way to Orientation island, I transport in and land with an audible thud.
As you do when you’re out and about; I immediately walk into a strange looking bloke in a green lizard outfit, who promptly tells me to ‘watch it dewd!’ ‘Fine’, I think, which lizard charm school did you go to?
I make my way passed him and follow a path that leads me to signs that teach me various things about changing my appearance, which I am grateful for, as my checking in avatar female looks like a cross between Cherie Blair and a very disappointed baboon!
Next I learn how to walk and move in SL. I seriously wish I’d spent more time at the ‘moving about’ tutorial thingy. I have been playing for a week now and I’m still staggering into things like a inebriated elephant!
I also go into fly mode only to collide unexpectedly with the underside of inconveniently situated bridges and other buildings!
I recently met a woman at a pub who took pity on my ‘Margaret Thatcher’ hair style and gave me a calling card for the hair dressers, bless her.
When I finish my tutorials; I make my way to a dome like building with ‘freebies’ flashing over the top of it in neon pink letters. ‘Great’, I think and make my way down there imagining that a host of virtual riches are about to come my way. The first thing I click on is a free villa, only to realize later that I’ve no land to build it on, and since I’m a non paying member for now, no Linden dollars to buy it with, great!
After collecting some more useless things, I make my way to the mainland. Once I get there I suddenly realize with something bordering on fear and trepidation that I am on my own. Well, I can tell you that I go through a pretty steep learning curve from here on in!
I click on the ‘search’ button and hit ‘popular places’.
Freebie island flashes up and being materialistic at heart; I immediately make my way there. My landing is not pleasant, I somehow teleport in right on top of a guy’s head who turns around and looks at me with a stunned expression on his handsome avatar’s face. ‘Sorry’ I say sheepishly and move on.
I pick up as many feminine freebies as I can and hide behind a bill board whilst I open the boxes in my inventory and try some things on. I finish altering my appearance only to find that some bloke is propositioning me and asking me if I will let him put his head on my heavenly pillows! I reply. ‘What, in real life or here?’ That scares him off, and with a wardrobe that would put Posh and Becks in the shade, I teleport myself to a jazz club.
I make my first friend there, who turns out to be a nice helpful Australian guy, he shows me how to add people, specifically him in this case to my inventory, and sigh of relief; he doesn’t even mention my heavenly pillows! We’ve been chatting on and off ever since and he’s given me a fair amount of help getting around, and for that I thank him.
Two nights ago, I discovered the Three Lion’s Pub and I promptly teleported myself there to be greeted my Marissa and Phil who run it. I have to say they were very friendly and I enjoyed picking a song or two. I sat down wearing a classy evening number only to be chatted up by several guys, I’m not complaining, but, I mean, can’t a girl have a quiet drink?
When I went to dance, one strange, and I mean strange looking guy with Medusa hair, kept trying to kick everyone up the backside, fortunately, he wasn’t a very good aim, when he came near me I decided that attack was the better form of defence and promptly told him to ‘bugger off’. I decided to leave after that.
Today I tried unsuccessfully to mount a dragon in some ‘magic’ land that I teleported to. Once I got on, I thought, ‘great’ now I’m going to fly you, I think it read my mind, or that it must have been in some sort of dragon rebel movement, because it promptly threw me off its back. I stood there dumbfounded for a moment and then bumped into a rather suspect looking mushroom! I decided to teleport to safer territory after that, so I clicked on the ‘search’ menu and managed to get myself to a rather classy looking beach plaza.
I tried unsuccessfully to get in a boat, but for some reason known only to geeks and people who are obviously a lot cleverer than me at this IT business, I just couldn’t sit down in it or drive it. Are there any considerate geeks out there willing to show me how? (Answers on an IM please.)
Tonight I visited the Three Lions again, and spent half an hour dancing and talking to myself, as everyone seemed to be deep in conversation with their friends and lovers. I thought, ‘oh bugger, I’m a virtual wall flower!’ I made a few facetious comments and left. I hope I didn’t offend anyone, I’m just joking everyone if you’re reading this, honestly.
I did find a ‘Frog Jump’ chair in Reggae Romance club that I think you ought not to warn your friends about. Just tell them to click on it and laugh when they jump up and down like an out of control yo yo.
On the plus side, I’ve made a friend in publishing and some friends on the art side. In real life I’m an artist and a writer. I think that SL is a great place for networking and finding people who share your passion for something, lots of things actually, writing, art, religion, shopping, sex and lots of it, oom we won’t go there!
I’m still finding my virtual feet here. I’d like to say a thank you to Dana Vanmoer and all the others from publishing land that have helped me out so far, even though I’ve got stuck in lifts, collided with stands, and walked into more walls and doors than the average drunk on a pub crawl!
If anybody sees a puzzled dragon wandering around, please feel free to try to ride him, but be warned, be afraid, be very afraid! I think on reflection I’m going to stick to my bike in future.
Contributed by Amelia Lutrova Freelancer
Monday, October 8, 2007
So, some have heard, some don't, some didn't even know about anything related at all...
I am, correction, I WAS a mentor, in service for the Almighty Lindens.
I got fired for a reason I'll explain below.
But I wanted to write my whole history. Show how my Second Life has developed in merely one year.
It started out with a testing account. I bet he's rotting somewhere in a lonely corner, soulless. =P
After testing out, I made an account with the name 'RJ' in. Nobody knows what it stands for, even I don't. Its just a cool name.
I met up with this good friend, he became inactive for a longer time than I can remember.
God knows if he really went on with it...
but he did introduce me to Amsterdam, Babydollz club...
What a wonderful time there...
First off, I sat there for a whole week, on the same couch.
The sploder was broken, so it not only payed out your bet, but also the profit you made.
When this was made, I started using dance pads, a.k.a the current Camping Chairs, but they made you dance, fitting for a club like that.
After I got some money, I made a group, Matrix Hacker Ship: The Second Saint.
I was a huge matrix fan by then, and still am.
This group has got around ~50 members now. Free of charge. Louisia Acropolis is now the main supervisor of it. Even if she doesn't know squat about The Matrix.
Anyhow, with this made, I kept on camping, then I had a load of cash...
Well, a big load for a newling. (Give 150 lindens to a newling and they WILL cherish it! )
Well, I explored, I found a shooting range that, for a 1L fee, let you do some target practice.
The pistol was free, and open source. I had the script in hands for my first creation.
In those times SL still couldn't cope with my imagination.
I built a badly shaped gun, shaped after the Black Desert Eagle, like the Agents in the Matrix Films did.
It was ugly, but in my imagination it was beautiful...(its now for sale as a 1L freebie in shop onrez and SLX.)
I started griefing out of boredom. YES, I ADMIT. I got punished by the fellow residents with their high-tech stuff...justice? I guess so.
I started selling my freshly made stuff on a sandbox.
The Matrix fever struck me and I made a trench coat outfit, and sold it in a sandbox.
Next day I got the shock of my life. Someone told me it wasn't allowed.
What would he do? Ban me? Hurt me? Report me?
He didn't, just reminded me and said I had potential, and that I should get serious on the subject. Work on it, and find a spot to sell it somewhere...
I kinda did, found a free vending spot. Tried to sell there, didn't work too well...
I was mad, I needed money for...stuff. I didn't really know.
Money was power, I guessed...
I MMORPG'd around the nets, then came back to SL.
I found a Dutch stripster in Amsterdam, who was gonna make her own club. I tagged along.
The events that took place are...too private for the involved parties to be published.
Lets just say a difficult divorce had something to do with it.
Then comes a black hole in my mind. I'm sure Louisia is in this part, but I can't remember when, how nor where..
Eventually I found lolsbs. (Lance Of Longius Shield Breaking System, made by Auron Prefect).
I built pro weaponry from now one.
Downloaded images from Google from famous weaponry, then designed it in SL.
All I did was build, build and build. It was in times of Ginko. (they still owe me money)
So, I stocked my money there. And illegally built on a bunny-furry club house when no one was there.
Upon finishing my MP5, I got busted. Didn't matter, he was friendly, he asked me to leave, I did.
During the progress, I set up accounts in slboutique, Apez and SLeXchange.
Apez allowed me to use a vendor system.
But, I needed to vend somewhere? Well, I searched and searched...and found an ideal sim that allowed free usage of 21 prims for a one time fee.
I went around and asked if I could place a vendor. I started to succeed..
At the same time, I threw myself in the job market.
There I met one of my greatest friends and supporters, JamesT Juno...
He looked for reporters. I replied on the forum of the jobmarket. He allowed me in.
I was set, after awhile I got an office...oh well, life was good.
I focused on my sales and the paper mostly. Then our dearest co-CEO and fellow friend, Dana Vanmoer, joined the paper. Things got in high speed. Before I knew (although its not such a big trick to hide stuff from me, haha), Dana and James were a couple, got married and...well. Yeah, they still are, I guess.
I do remember a friend needing a bodyguard. Her house was being spammed by unwanted visitors. She later helped me with a better look. The problem got resolved, I got fired...
Well, my payment was plain and simple: I slept on the couch, and at least had a home.
I yet again focused on my sales and Louisia, who became a good friend and student.
Out of respect, I won't go into details.
One thing, I spread out the rumor we were brother and sister. This isn't true.
It was a rumor so she would have the same benefits as I'd have. Sneaky, uh?
Life was good, I had put out a perfect example of behaviour for a good and long enough time...
Then I my request for Mentorship was accepted.
What came over me? Finally I am getting the respect and reward I deserved for my good behaviour? Well, yes. It kinda did something to me...
The first days were excellent, I got my own office on the Volunteer Islands (I still need to figure out a way to return all that stuff.)
The 6 volunteer sims were there for the freedom of all Volunteers/Mentors. They serve as gigantic Sandboxes-turned-to-be-populated grounds. You could build where ever you want, even next to pro-offices.
Life was good. A fellow mentor met me, we served in Help Island for few minutes, then they found out I hadn't done the Orientation yet.
She brought me there, and followed me ALL the way. It sure has changed since I started out...
Life was good. But then...Mentors were forced to take Orientation lessons, which I practically already had. A friendly Linden, who will be referred to as 'miss Linden' throughout the rest of the story, asked me about my hours and why I didn't attend yet. After explaining my wickety hours, she asked for a date for a personal tutoring, which isn't unusual for those with difficult hours.
Life was good. Not on purpose,but the personal tutoring got delayed and delayed and...well, two busy people. =)
Then came that one day...I was visiting this very beautiful arctic sim
A magnificent snowy mountain.
I had the habit of keeping wearing my Mentor tag above my head.
Not to express power, but to express I'm a helper. Someone hired to help. (you don't get payed, its just cooler to say 'hired' then 'volunteered')
Some pink furry comes up, and persistently, used a gadget to keep standing on my head.
My dopestyle hud protected me from this, and I started asking why he did this.
No reply. I kept asking, still no reply.
He escaped my holding cages (so I could finally talk with him NORMALLY), by using his moderating powers of the sim. He was a staff member. I needed other measures.
I IM'd several related bosses.
Out of desperation, I "toss"-ed him (push him around the sim with a gadget for half a minute, best used as an escape trick to get away from an annoying avatar, for example).
THEN he started talking. Blaming me saying 'I'm using my Mentor status to get a Carte Blanche on griefing or whatever'. I don't know about you, but I say I committed Justice to him, and it wasn't even an attack. Just forcing him to stop annoying me.
The big boss replied, he has demoted and punished him. Whilst the two other, lower-ranked bosses started nagging that "a Mentor can't commit justice to anyone he wants".
The nagging started. And then at one moment I just couldn't take it any more, used my Mentorship as an argument to silence him, and he reported the chatlogs.
Two days later, I got banished, and I have come to realise it could've only ended up this way.
I realise "maybe its time for a change." Ive enjoyed the best parts of my mental life in SL.
I have matured, grown, and learned a lot about myself and others. Hellish viciousness and heavenly sweetness...
So this is it, the end. I am not completely abandoning SL.
I'll be active to put my funds to good use, for someone else.
What I'm trying to say in (presumably) my last article, this one, is that your Second Life is very fragile. You never are really safe. A big shard of people can either make or break you.
And if you think it through, that's how the real life actually is.
For that I'd like to congratulate Linden Labs. You guys truly have created a chance for a Second Life...
I will come back to Second Life. My account will remain active, as I come to check. But that's it. If you IM me in time, you might drag me in longer than I thought I would.
Thing is, I'm trying to release myself from SL's liabilities. And doing this is the solution.
I would like to thank:
Without you, there's no article, and I'd miss out on a big chunk of self-expression.
Thank you, my friend. I'll never forget you.
Gosh, the many chats we had in the short time we've known each other. Its amazing.
Never change, Dana, NEVER change. ;)
The rest of SL paper crew
I could sum up forever, but the fact remains that you were all a great bunch of friends.
One more than the other, but all darn good people, to the bottom of their hearts.
Thanks for accepting me in the first place.
Fellas, I'll never forget you all.
This was one of the dance clubs I had my first experiences at. I won't name the people as I don't know if they'd like that. I just wanna say, thanks for all those good times.
Without them, there is no real SL out there.
You know who you are =)
If you are reading this, I just want to let you know I've had a great time chatting with you.
Thanks for all the support, and for not chewing me up/spitting me out after being banished from the Mentors.
I hope that I haven't lost all of your respect. You make a worthy Linden.
Anyone else I forgot
IF you are reading this, don't be shy to say hi. My IMs are always connected to my Inbox.
I'll ALWAYS reply to everyone. Don't be shy, I'm not dead yet!
Side note, all names are not being mentioned on purpose, except for Louisia Acropolis, who has given permission for her name to be used.
All opinions expressed in this article are solely of their creator, RJ Dumart, and are not the opinion of the community of SecondLife, Linden Labs, The SL Newspaper or any other organisation other then what RJ Dumart is owner of. Being solely himself. At no time will the named organisations take responsibility nor vouch for what is said in this article.
This article is open for grammatical and privacy corrections.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
WELL, IT'S FINALLY HAPPENED - I've joined the ranks of the people that you've pissed off!
For the five plus months I've been here, every time I've heard people bellyaching about the bad service, crashes, lag, inventory loss etc., I've thought to myself, "Oh come on now, give them a break, they're trying ..." but today was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
I'd been invited to a unique orchestral performance over at Intempesta's "Opera Populaire" but the lag was so bad, that it was excrutiating trying to move a couple of feet and given that the performance was all about the audience mingling with the orchestra, it was all but impossible!
Add to that the restriction on audience size to maybe 20 people, which is absolutely ridiculous, I don't know about anybody else, but I crashed several times.
How on earth can you possibly expect ANY business, much less BIG business to be attracted to Second Life, Lindens? You cite almost TEN MILLION residents, yet you can't even offer a stable service to 20!!!!!!
This just isn't good enough! I've had friends who have paid lots of money to buy land and then can't even invite friends over because the club next door to them, has filled the sim.
Lindens, I have no idea what your ultimate goal is as far as Second Life is, but I can't help feeling that your grasp is exceeding your reach ... you are not providing the most basic thing - a stable service.
You can't possibly go home fulfilled and satisfied at the end of the working day, knowing that you have pissed off more people than you've made happy.
I love Second Life and certainly appreciate the world you started for us - but PLEASE make it a stable environment. You are kidding yourselves if you think Coca Cola or IBM or any multi-national company is going to rely on you as a business environment, when you can't even provide a small gathering with any certainty of stability.
I feel like I am travelling in an old jalopy, held together by rubber bands.
With the very best of intentions,
I HAVE A MILLION IDEAS on all sorts of subjects, but the one that I thought might get some legs here in SL, is for me to create a whole new "United Nations".
The one we have in First Life needs some tweaking I think and so, here is how I would go about it:
Every first life country represented here in SL would get one vote in my United Nations. There would be an elected Executive Council - elected by the members of my UN - not because they won a war that was waged 70 odd years ago.
(It seems ridiculous to me that all it takes for what could be a really good proposal, is for just ONE of First Life's UN Executive Council - the U.S.A, China, Russia, France or the United Kingdom - to veto it.) One obstinate country holds the whole world to ransom.
There would also be a proportionate number of spaces on our SL UN Executive Council for really small countries which would not usually get a representational vote. That way, 'large' countries would HAVE to consider the needs, plights, trade and economies of smaller nations.
The headquarters of my SL United Nations (how does SLUN sound as an acronym?) would be based in the poorest nation we have here - which would help its economy because all countries would be encouraged to set up an embassy there. This could be a kind of 'seeding' programme to give the country a financial boost until it managed to establish a more independent economy. Then the HQ could be moved to the next poorest nation.
Conferences etc., would be held in poor countries, not rich.
My SL United Nations would be funded with a small levy on all goods and serviced purchased in SL - that way, vibrant economies would be contributing more, but not in a burdensome way.
Socially, 'our' UN could host a number of multi-cultural events, symposiums, festivals, conferences etc, to foster better awareness and appreciation of other cultures. (Pretty much in the same way it already is in SL).
There could be sponsorships given in particular fields - science, medicine, environment, technology, economics and cross-pollination of research work.
Social issues such as female circumcision, child labour, honour killings, purdah, religious differences etc., could all be discussed in a open forum for better understanding of cultural idealogies.
I've always been fascinated by the concept of world peace and having achieved that, how much better ALL THAT MONEY that is spent on military funding, could be used.
SL is truly a wonderful international community and gives us the ideal opportunity of trying out new social concepts.
Eternal optimist that I am, I think it would be absolutely wonderful if say, the people of Israel and Palestine who wanted to find a workable resolution to their conflict, could find that solution in here, in SL, and take it out into their 'real' world.
I can't remember the time (I think it was ancient Greek) or whether it was a fable or not, but I always remember the story of how a country's women decided to end the war in their country by every single woman refusing to have sex with her man until all the men gave up the fighting. lol (In the fable it worked!)
Maybe I should sign myself Pollyanna!
As always, I'm interested to read what other people think on the subject. Shoot me down in flames or vote me president - let's see!
(My beautiful promo photo is by the very talented Paolo Bade - look him up!)
IF YOU WANT TO CONTACT ME - email BellaTheWise@gmail.com
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
"A Fishbowl View" is a 3D rendition of several of her RL art pieces created by Strawberry Holliday.
Strawberry Holliday is a plus-size woman who is an advocate for size acceptance in Second Life. Her many endeavors in Second life include her plus-size store Peachy Accessories. Her art is featured in several places in Second Life, including The Second Louvre Museum as well as her own Winged Strawberry Gallery.
A preschool teacher in Washington State in RL, Strawberry loves to show children beauty and introduce them to intellectual thought via art. Her goal is that children will hopefully seek out beauty in all forms: peace, truth, love AND art. Strawberry's own distinct art often mixes a colorful child-like style with uncomfortable subjects. Her popular new Second Life art installation "A Fishbowl View" is a 3D rendition of several of her RL art pieces, including the title piece. "A Fishbowl View"
Sunday the 7th of October @ 3pm SLT
Kush City (166, 248, 24)
Posted by J.T.J. at 12:32 PM