My acting career continues! :)

Marvelous talented friends Karima and Nat have another movie out, Drink Me With Your Eyes; another rendering of one of Karima’s poems (a passionate piece in mixed English and Spanish), in amazing visuals of dancers and horses and eyes and… well, go see it. :)

rearing horse

I got a little bit part in the bar scenes (expertly sitting on a poseball!), and also in the horses-running-about scenes (as the Slightly Confused Horse), and got to contribute a little miscellaneous scripting also. But mostly just watched Karima and Nat and wondered to myself how they do it.

I will stick to scripting. :) Although I understand some people find that mysterious also!

“Festival of Love” Comes to LINC Island Friday Oct. 18th 1:30-2pmslt

This is just to reblog this post of the same name on Digital Rabbit Hole, ’cause this sounds awesome, and it’s tomorrow already, and I may or may not be trapped out in RL where my selfish atomic self is like changing employers or some silly RL diversion like that.

Extremely talented friends Karima an’ Nat will be hosting a half-hour segment of this German-based virtual-worlds Culture and Art event, and showing two (and possibly a teaser for a third) of their wonderful Machinimas (Machinimae?).

Oh, just go over there and read all about it! And attend! :)

Xyla in Mulberry

I are a fashion models (again)! :)

V good friend Vrem of VreMode has used some boxcover pics that I took of me, plus her own l33t photomanipulation skillz, to make the vendor image for this gorgeous dress:

VreMode Xyla mulberry

(Click through to the Marketplace to see the full size, other images, and to buy things!)

The Style Card:
Hair: Antonia, from Dark Mouse
Skin: Gisele Vanilla, from Cupcakes
Lipstick: Ladylove – Sienna – Wine Plush, from Cupcakes
Earrings: Cherub Wings, from Violet Voltaire
Necklace: Heart Container, from Violet Voltaire
Shoes: VreMode Nude Heels, from VreMode again
Eyes: Fantasy Purple 4, from Jenika’s Eyes and Optics

some or all of which may no longer exist. :)

Thanks to other v good friend Michele for use of and fun time playing around on very nice photo studio with classy and amusing poses; Vrem used two of those pictures as alternates in both the mulberry and turquoise versions of Xyla.


Reflect On This: Dactyls Are Dharma,Too

Y’all know how shy I am and reluctant to blow my own horn :) but I can’t resist passing this along. I did National Poetry Writing Month in my RL weblog (maybe I should post them all here too!), and shared some of the results (one poem a day for a month) with a few SL friends. Karima Hoisan (see prior post) liked the rhythm in one of them, and to my enormous surprise she and her frequent collaborator Nat made this extremely neat machinima around it. From little nuts do mighty oak trees grow! :)

Digital Rabbit Hole

Where to begin?
I will not make this post too long or long-winded..I really just invite you to scroll down and see the YouTube at the bottom hopefully in HD and Full screen.
I use this little creation as another perfect example of crazy creatives getting together to produce a few minutes of visual and vocal insanity. As those who read my blog regularly know, one of the things I most love about our Second Life, is the possibility to collaborate on artistic projects.
The first time I read Dale Innis’s poem about dactyls, and caught the “dactyl beat” and the idea, I knew I wanted to perform it. Without mentioning that, I wrote a piece of music and background voices and noises, and recorded it, and sent it off for approval. I got the green light from Dale, so I tempted my favorite visual genius, Natascha with yet another…

View original post 128 more words

Horns on the street in Costa Rica

So I still don’t use voice to speak of (haha!) in Second Life, for pretty much all of the reasons I gave so long ago; but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad, and when good things happen I do like to mention them.

The other night I was hanging about as usual, and some of us were on voice and some weren’t (which is always an interesting dynamic), and gradually noticed this sound of distant music.

“There’s someone playing a horn out in the street outside my window, can you hear that?” someone said; someone who happens to be physically RL-located in Costa Rica, which is a place far away from here.

“Yes!’ We could indeed.

And that was extremely neat.

I took a little online survey about SL the other day, and the first question was like “What do you primarily use Second Life for?”, and the possible answers were things like education and training and business networking, and buying and selling, building and scripting, and stuff like that. I had to check “other (specify)” just to write in “social interaction”.

If the second thing hadn’t happened before the first thing, maybe I would have written “listening to the horn from the street in Costa Rica”.

(This is why I’ve said in various places that virtual worlds will be important for business not primarily because they are directly useful for business, but because they will revolutionize the way we live, the ways we interact, and that means big changes to revenue streams, and that means business.)

But business aside, this is the kind of thing I love about SL; lying around writing scripts into parts of the world that didn’t used to do anything, watching fireworks on demand, sitting listening to live music and browsing the audience’s profiles, and talking to friends I’ve never met, hearing in the background of their voices the sound of horns on the street in Costa Rica…

SL Auction; Belle Harbor Yacht Club build fundraiser for Belle Harbor Victims of hurricane Sandy

Mostly a pointer to this item on friend RJ’s weblog:

It was just in April that I was building a new discovery, the lovely Belle Harbor Yacht Club (1914) is a quintessential example of a private yacht club during the golden age of sail’s twilight. Below is a picture of the yacht club in Second Life, and a gallery of the yacht club as it looks today. The trouble with Real Life is the real weather that came with the storm this October. Sandy has changed a lot of lives, including those close to me. You can see more pics on my facebook gallery. An auction of this never-sold item is raising funds for the victims of this storm. The auction will be taking place for three days, at this location, bids will be taken, all proceeds will go to victim relief in the Rockaways. Winning bid takes home the Yacht Club Build on Nov. 23, at 3pm ET. Thank you everyone for donating!

Pictures and stuff on original post. A good cause!

Ooops, sry!

So personx (not eir real name) is a relatively young newborn who friended me randomly at some club, like newborns do, and IMs me equally randomly now and then.

I just thought this was funny…

[19:04] personx: teleport me
[19:04] personx: fast
[19:04] personx: i’m falling off a cliff
[19:05] Second Life: personx is offline.
[19:06] Dale (dale.innis): lol oops too late!
[19:06] Second Life: User not online – message will be stored and delivered later.

I should watch my IMs more carefully; you never know when a quick reply may be called for!

Sabrinaa Nightfire

I have been so out of touch the last month that I only tonight found out that we’ve lost Sabrinaa Nightfire, SL artist, patron of the arts, and generally wonderful person.

Here is a nice posting on the Prim Perfect weblog about Sabrinaa and her passing and various ways her less out-of-touch friends have remembered her.

I will just post a few pictures.

Sabrinaa's Peace and Love Oasis

That’s Sabrinaa dressed all festive at her Peace and Love Oasis build at Burning Life. She made big colorful things, things that made you happy just to look at. And she was all about peace and love and health and all that kinda stuff.

Sabrinaa Surveys Her People

That’s her at the opening of the Caerleon Museum of Identity, looking appropriately all mature and mentorly. She was always giving people things, and holding artistic Challenges to encourage people to make stuff, and generally fostering the community. (See how many of my own postings here mention her.)

She made all sorts of artworks, and not only displayed them, but also randomly dropped copies on her friends. Clothes, flowers, sculptures, solid frames full of interesting things.

Here are three of the latter:


These were done for some “Illusions” show. Left to right, I think they are called “Illusions Just for Fun”, “Illusions of Time”, and “Illusions of Love”.

Utterly fitting, writing this now, that she herself is in the middle one.

Here is I think the last surprise that suddenly appeared in my inventory from her:

Sabrinaa Nightfire's Genesis

Still big and colorful and delightful, but a bit subtler, as some of her more recent things have been. I think I will leave that one on display in the Park for awhile…

Sabrinaa Nightfire, an EarlyTree

I’ve had this very festive tree sitting in my park forever (near the money-giver thing and the dogs playing poker). I’m so used to it that I didn’t even think of it when I was rustling around for Sabrinaa things to take pictures of, until suddenly there it was…

Such a happy thing.

Damn, I miss her!

She was great at prodding me into actually making things. :) Here’s the last thing that I made for one of her challenge shows.

The Red Ball

It was for “Black and White and Red All Over”, which I don’t think she ever quite had a chance to open (unless I was just offline and missed it). It’s called “The Red Ball”, and I’m very fond of it. And I will think of Sabrinaa every time I see it.

Among the Colors -- Sabrinaa's Enchanted Garden

Thanks for the dance, friend. And the art. And everything…

Adric Antfarm

We note with deep regret the passing of a good friend.

Adric was a complicated person, a funny person, a person who often wore a clownish or grumpy or vulgar mask; but under the masks and the grumbling was someone good-hearted, warm, and I think more sensitive and caring than he could always bring himself to admit.

His weblog is a testament to humor and complexity and grumpiness, a wild place of talking cats and armed insurrection and sardonic humor. When he left us, he was working with Amalia on a Burning Life build that had a bouncy-castle, crayons, and a hopscotch court. Which I’m sure he would have taunted himself about extensively in the weblog.

Adric could always make me smile. I will miss him.

Happy Rezday, Ches!

It’s Chestnut Rau’s rezday! Yay!

Here is a picture of her being fetching:

Ches is one of my favorite SL people. Who I ought to IM out of the blue more often. :)

(No offense to other v good SL friends whose rezdays I haven’t weblogified; I am very random!)


(Note that this is a really rambling and wordy and possibly pointless piece. I was in that mood. :) )

People play. Critters play.

I like reading about animal play (link to online article thanks to Wikipedia), because it helps focus thinking about people-play (and because it’s interesting in itself).

Play is, sometimes, doing stuff that usually matters, but doing it in a context where it doesn’t, in fact, matter. Two cubs pouncing on each other in the manner of predator and prey, even though neither is going to eat the other. Two small armies struggling to control a patch of land, even though at the end of the game neither one will actually own the football field.

In World of Warcraft, the structure of your typical five-person dungeon party roughly parallels the structure of the traditional family group:

  • The tank, like the traditional father, stands between the party and the monsters, and takes their attacks onto himself,
  • The healer, like the traditional mother, supports the tank (and, when necessary, the rest of the party), healing wounds, curing disease, making sure that everyone is doing well,
  • The DPS, like traditional children, attempt to cause as much damage as possible, using knives, guns, explosives, wild animals, and demons summoned from the netherworld.

All of WoW is play, in general, because it doesn’t matter; no one is really going to die. But DPS matters the least. In a few cases, like when the Lich King is slowly slowly coming after the party in the Halls of Reflection instance, and the walls of ice won’t go down to let you all run away until the DPS have killed all the swarming undead, your DPS had better be good and fast or you’ll wipe. But in general, like in the crypt under the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard, when Bloodmage Thalnos is waving his arms around and not really being paticularly dangerous to anyone at all, the DPS can take their time, as long as the Tank and Healer are doing their jobs; there’s no rush and no pressure. A DPS can go AFK there (PDQ!), and the others will just have to work a little longer to finish the instance.

As a rogue, Spennix is pure DPS; she sneaks in there and stabs things in the back while the tank is shouting and looking shiny in order to hold their attention. Except in, say, Halls of Reflection, it doesn’t really matter how well she does; if she has a bad day and keeps facing the wrong way and not stabbing the monsters much, the other DPS will take care of it, and probably no one will even notice unless someone’s watching a damage-meter add-on.

As a soloing rogue, Spennix is even more just playing; she’s level 80 now, which is the highest possible level (until the next expansion comes out), she has pretty good gear, she has tons of neat mounts, and so really nothing that she does matters much even in game terms. She can play around, say, doing favors for the Sha’tari Skyguard, with an eye on eventually getting one of those cool flying mounts, but if that doesn’t happen today / this month, that’s fine.

Recently I’ve been playing tanks and healers more. It’s interesting! Definitely a different set of skills. I have a human priest, “Holy” specialization, healer, at like level 34 as of this writing (here he is!), and a Draenei paladin, “Protection” spec, tank, slightly lower level (here). Both of them are currently doing Scarlet Monastery Graveyard over and over and over and over (that being just about the only instance available to low-30’s characters).

Healing and tanking are both fun. They are also, in some limited sense, less playful than DPSing; because what you do matters more.

There’s only one tank, and only one healer, and if you’re it and you mess up, the party’s likely to die. If the tank doesn’t hold the attention of the monsters, and they decide to (say) kill the healer, it’s often All Over. And if the healer doesn’t keep the tank healed, and the tank dies, the monsters will then eat up everyone else. Not always, but often. Even usually.

There are lots of bad tanks; the typical bad tank will either not be able to (or not even know they are supposed to) hold aggro, or will rush madly on ahead without making sure that the healer is ready, or both, and get everyone killed. And then, typically, blame everyone else for not keeping up, or for distracting the monsters.

There are fewer bad healers, but there are some. Usually it’s just a matter of not having good judgement about how much to heal the tank and when, either letting the tank die from insufficient healing, or running out of mana from too much healing (followed quickly by the tank dying from a sudden complete lack of healing).

I don’t, of course, want to be either of those! So when I’m tanking or healing, there’s responsibility. What the tank or healer does matters, with respect to the success of the party (although the success of the party does not itself matter, in any particularly significant sense).

So perhaps it’s that DPS is playing even in the context of play, whereas the tank and the healer aren’t playing in that context (although the context itself is play).

How much is Second Life play? What matters, and what doesn’t matter? What is the context?

The questions remind me of a classic Sophrosyne Stenvaag piece about the pricing of virtual goods. If we’re playing, just having a good time, and it doesn’t really matter, than sure charging basically nothing (100 Linden Dollars, for instance, is about US$0.40) for a piece of clothing or a device is perfectly reasonable. But if it does matter, if people want to have virtual businesses that sell virtual goods in a sort of real-life “value for money” way that one could actually live off of, then giving away stuff so cheap is undercutting those people, and maybe that matters,.

People matter. In both WoW and SL, people matter. It’s okay to kill members of the other faction in WoW, because that’s part of the play; but it’s not so okay to promise to show up for a raid at a certain time and then casually not do that, or to tell X what Y said about them, even though you promised Y that you wouldn’t. The fact that X is a Blood-elf Warlock and Y is an Orc Warrior doesn’t negate any of that stuff.

(Some people consider SL to be a place where all sorts of things don’t matter, including some very people-things. More than once Girl Dale has had some total stranger propose random fornication, and on the proposition being refused had the stranger say “why not? it is only a game!”. Boys are weird.)

People need to play, like to play. I, in particular, need to play, want to play, when I get home in the evening, especially if the day has been particularly bruising. I like to play on long weekends, relaxing with maybe some milk and cookies and my laptop, between naps and chores.

Tanking and healing in WoW is fun and interesting, but it’s less playful and less relaxing. Sitting up in my lab in the sky in SL and making random odd things is pretty much pure play; it doesn’t matter at all whether or not it works. Keeping up four or five IMs while having a deep conversation with one or two people in virtual person all at the same time and not wanting to offend any of them by cutting them off, while trying to decide which of three or five party and event and visit invitations to accept, is less relaxing, because those people do matter, and I don’t want any of them to feel bad, and I really do want to talk to them all at once, because they are all fascinating. And I don’t want to miss any of the parties!

At this point some of my SL friends, and You Know Who You Are, are thinking “oh, Dale’s saying that I should leave him alone and stop IMing him all the time”, but that’s not what I’m saying at all! I’m just saying that you matter to me; I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing. In fact it’s a very good thing!

Play is good, but having things matter is also good. I like that SL is a place to play, but if it was only a place to play it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting and significant. (It would, in a way, be more like WoW, which is really only a place to play for me, because I’ve never gotten deep into Serious Raiding Guilds or anything, and I don’t know anyone there really well; I just cook and fish and fight monsters.)

When I’m in a pure relaxing-and-playing mood, I’m more likely to play Spennix than Brothersteve or Spaenorus. I may also be more likely, these days, to play WoW than SL; or if I do go into SL, it may be on my secret antisocial building alt. On the other hand, healing and tanking are fun and interesting things to do when I’m feeling a bit more, what, ambitious in my play. And talking to all of the marvelous current and future friends in SL is one of my very favorite things to do, ever.

And that’s exactly because it matters. :)

Alts: a public service announcement

I am okay with her.  :)

Dear friends and potential friends and casual acquaintances and minions and potential minions: I am okay with your alts.

If you’re out on the grid as an alt that I don’t know, and we happen to run into each other at a club or something, casually, and even get to talking for whatever reason, it’s okay if you’d rather not tell me that you’re the alt of someone I know. You don’t need to worry, to feel guilty, to run off as soon as you see me to avoid having to tell me who you are, or anything like that.

Of course if you want to tell me, if the knowledge imbalance would feel too strange, or if you just feel that it’s polite, that’s fine too; it would make me happy that you cared enough to worry about it. And if you didn’t tell me, there would be a knowledge imbalance, you would know something relevant to me that I wouldn’t know. But that’s okay, I don’t mind knowledge imbalances now and then. I like to take things as they happen to come to me. And in fact you’ll find that I will tend to treat you and your alt as different people even if you do tell me, because, well, they seem to be different people to me. :)

I am not okay with anyone using an alt maliciously, toward me or anyone else, but I know you wouldn’t do that. You are nice. And I know some people are not really okay with friends having alts that interact with them and they don’t know that they are alts, and I can understand that, and I don’t mean to be criticizing them for that. I’m just saying, as a public service, for the next time the situation arises, that I personally am perfectly okay with it.

And the time this other friend IMd me from an alt, and told me that she was an alt, and challenged me to guess who of, that was good fun too. :)


Having picked up a copy of AM Radio’s lovely roadster (Michele and Chestnut both wrote up the event), I naturally wanted to drive it around. I was frustrated on one racetrack, designed more for puny go-karts than big muscular roadsters that want lots of room to devour. Then Michele suggested the big empty salt-flats of (appropriately enough!) an AM Radio build.

Here I am, having just rezzed the roadster. Does it not go beautifully with the setting and the sky?

AM Radio 32 Roadster (KelvinBlue Oh edition)

(Click through to flickr on all of these for access to larger sizes etc.)

Michele got hers out as well. They were different colors!


We didn’t figure out until later that there’s a dashboard control that lets the driver instantly recolor the car. Another advantage of SL! That, and harmless crashes. :)

Here’s roughly the same picture with the HUD showing. (The roadster includes a lovely HUD dashboard, that also puts the world in a very AM-Radio soft light.)


Tearing happily around the salt flats:


(And yeah, I was by coincidence wearing a dress shirt and vest that went very nicely with the overall ambiance.)

Parked out by AM’s 1912 Spring Racer airplane, available for a mere 700L (I bought one):


Proceeds go to the Heifer International charity.

AM Radio’s sense of design is amazing. These pictures just take themselves. :)

Recent adventures: fun, wonder, and friendship

So this is just going to be a few words around a few pictures of me doing things with friends, because doing things with friends is good, and I like posting pictures of it. :) And maybe some of it might be inneresting and/or useful to you, even.

Here is a picture of me an’ Steph (you remember Steph) in a hilarious photo booth in a carnival that she found somewhere.

Photobooth: Dinosaurs!

We are afraid of the dinosaurs!

(My nice top, by the way, is a dollarbie I think from Cat 5, that I got in a tiny shop somewhere on Shengri La I think. My bead choker is I’m pretty sure by Wednesday “Woo” Soon, who I haven’t seen in far too long, and who probably has a store somewhere where she sells it, but I think she gave it to me because she is nice.)

And here we are obviously having some sort of friendly disagreement:

Photobooth: Harrumph!

“Harrumph,” Steph is saying, and I am saying “blehhhh!”

(You sit with a friend in the photo booth, and when you push up-arrow it changes your pose to the next one of the various funny built-in ones, and when you push down-arrow it changes the background. It also puts your camera somewhere vaguely useful for taking snapshots.)

Hanging out with Steph is always fun. :) We laugh alot.

And then v nice friend Michele, who took some great pictures of the Pteron sim that I admired the other day, v generously showed me around the place.

It is an absolutely amazing build; you really must go look at it. It’s lovely and enigmatic and intelligent and intriguing. I think there may be some Myst-like puzzle hidden among the amazingness, some secret to be guessed or mystery to be solved, or maybe that impression is just part of the overall ambiance of the place. The colorscheme, the prim shapes, the motion, the music, the textures, everything fits together seamlessly, in the service of a single fascinating effect. It is full of secrets; I’m sure we didn’t happen upon half of them, and I’m not even going to show you all the ones that we did find, so you can have the fun yourself.

You arrive at Pteron standing on empty air. You pass through a gateway, ride to the main complex on a graceful floating hemisphere, and you’re there. I had to go AFK for a bit shortly after we arrived (isn’t that always the way?), so I sat down on the roof. Here we are, Michele waiting very kindly for me to come back:

Pteron: Roof

(I really ought to go look up and give credit for the pretty wings and stuff; maybe I’ll come back and do that next time I get inworld.)

Here and there around the build are various enigmatic objects, including subtle teleport buttons on the ground, floorstands emitting sparks, and these lovely orbs (purple thing is the end of one of my wings):

Pteron: Orb

Some of them give you presents when you touch them; one of the presents is a Dream Dance, which Michele and I are demonstrating here:

Pteron: Dream dance

I’m running out of laudatory adjectives for Pteron, and I still have more pictures :), so I’ll just show one more (there are a couple of others, including one of a graceful ridable boat we found, if you click through to flickr).

This is one of the flyable glowing pods that you’ll eventually find if you explore long enough (I had the advantage that Michele had been there before, so we knew roughly what to look for):

Pteron: Pod

Isn’t that amazing? It seats at least two, and you can fly it around high up in the sim, where there are more secrets and mysteries and enigmas and beauty.

We found the pod on the way to the most amazing and lovely of the secrets that we found. But I’m not going to tell you anything about that one. :) You’ll have to find it for yourself.

So that’s one fun giggly silly time, and one amazing aesthetic being-impressed time.

Also, today is Ahuva’s birthday, and I gave her a present, to celebrate her tendency to be thrown (or throw herself) under buses, and emerge triumphant. She liked it (yay!), and Plurked a picture. And that made me happy too. :)

As I’ve said a hogshead of times before, I originally came to Second Life figuring that it’d be interesting to build things and program things and explore things. And it is! But the reason it’s so utterly wonderful is because of the people.

I have the best friends…

The next seven

Having had some very validatin’ feedback on my two previous Calling Card posts, here’s the third. I’m finding riffling through the oldest cards to be great fun, in terms of memory and perspective; I recommend it to all.

Calling cards seem to come in bunches; after Veronica Quackenbush, there are four people that I don’t really recall, although according to my notes I met one of them at a weapon shop, and one came to a rather risible “skybox security seminar” that I held once, the most notable feature of which was a replicating grid attack that happened during it (providing a good excuse for hardly anyone showing up). The other two, I have no idea.

Then there are three people that I definitely do remember.

The second Seminal Event of my newbiehood, following the art opening I talked about last time, happened when I was flying randomly around the mainland, and seeing a single dot on the minimap went over to see who it was. It turned out to be a woman in a Playboy-style bunny suit, building some barstools and spiral staircases for a club. Her name was LadyLutha Harlow, and she was helpful and friendly; she told me that my AV (I was pretty much always a boy at the time, still) was really too short for most SL things (I think I was about 5′ 9″ as a boy then). She showed me some cutting and twisting tricks involved in making one-prim bar stools (this was long before we had sculpties!), and spiral staircases. She showed me (purely Platonically, mind you) my very first Paradise Blanket, which completely blew my mind.

(If you’ve never seen a Paradise Blanket, you should. It looks like a nice picnic blanket, complete with basket, that you and a friend sit on. But then you get a menu, and on command the blanket will transport you high in the sky and rez an entire room or landscape around you, chosen from a potentially quite enormous list. You can then get up and walk around and stuff, and when you’re done picnicing you sit again, choose from the menu again, and the surroundings vanish and you return to the ground. It’s quite astonishing! Especially if you’re like a week-old newborn.)

I think that serendipitous visit with LadyLutha was also the first time I had a sim go down around me. We got the “this region will be shutting down in five minutes” messages, and laughed and decided to stay around and watch the world end. I think she was also the first person that I gave one of my little sparkling fairy companions to (I really ought to revisit that script sometime and fix it up in light of actually knowing what I’m doing now!), because she admired it when I brought it out to show off.

LadyLutha also gave me a landmark to the club that she was building, and that leads to the next Calling Card in the list: Sugga. That’s her in the picture there. :)

Sugga was an aspiring dancer at the club, and I met her (and two or three others that I think are going to appear in the list a little later) when I followed LadyLutha’s LM. The club wasn’t actually open yet, but people were moving around setting things up, and dancers were auditioning and figuring out the dancing devices and tipjars and stuff, and people were dancing and having fun.

Sugga was one of the shyer dancers as I recall, and it’s funny that she’s the one that shows up first in my Calling Cards. But we talked alot and went exploring a bit together. I went back to the club several times, and it became my second-favorite hangout after Gypsy’s. I remember partying there as a girl, with rave-sticks and particle storms and stuff, and everyone being amused by and approving of my gender ambiguity. I’ve been so lucky in my SL career! :)

We were all newborns then (the oldbies were a sort of mythical race of deities, occasionally glimpsed from afar). Sugga pretty much always wore the skin pictured here. I forget the name of it, but it’s apparently now (whether it was then, I don’t know) a popular freebie, maybe even full-perm, and whenever I see it on someone with even vaguely the same face I’m reminded of Sugga.

At about the same time that I vanished from SL for a week (have I ever told that story here?) Sugga also went off into RL, not to return. We’ve exchanged a few emails since, but she is mostly just a fond friendly memory.

And the last Calling Card for this entry, right after Sugga’s, is one of my very bestest friends ever, Zha. Zha and I go ‘way back; our typists shared an office back in the Triassic when we were both summer students or something, and both Zha and her typist (along with other people that we haven’t gotten to yet) were wonderfully supportive during and after the eventful week that I vaguely alluded to above. And way back when, we were SL newbies together (can’t find a picture of her in that freebie pointy-hat hair, darn!).

She’s technically sharp, solidly realistic, and much much better at avoiding the temptations of SL and Internet drama than (for example) I am. It has also been said that she has more of a fashion sense. :) And the lucky thing even has a day job that to some extent involves SL. (Although it was hard work, not luck, that got her there.)

So those are some more of my Calling Cards, and my friends, and my history. Aren’t they great? :)

More gold

Yesterday’s post was such fun to write, in terms of personal reminiscence an’ nostalgia an’ all, that I think I’ll continue riffling forward in time in my Calling Cards folder, and see what comes up.

The next Card after tree Sprawl’s belongs to Gwenhwyfar. (I’m giving last names or not in these postings pretty much on whim, with no particular rhyme or reason to it.) Gwen was at the time a dancer at a club that I newbied into more or less at random, and she friended me I suspect because I was a little more articulate than the average newborn. Or maybe she just friended everyone who walked in, I dunno! I’ve heard from her a few times since, mostly mass-announcements to her friends list about places that she was dancing or DJing or similar.

It occurs to me that the number of dancers mentioned in this posting might give you a certain impression of my early days in SL. I assure you that that impression would be really quite accurate. :)

Poison!After Gwen there are four random folks with mostly blank profiles whose names I don’t particularly recognize, and then comes one of the high points of this part of the Calling Card folder: Cyanide Seelowe!

Cyanide is the founder of the Virtual Artists’ Alliance, which does various shows and the Photohunt and the Haiku Speedbuilds and related, and all sorts of other cool stuff. She’s also a really fun and cool person (and not at all stuck up). And while she isn’t a dancer per se, there was that one time she TP’d me over for a naked dance-a-thon at a beach club… :)

We became friends on 3 December 2006, which was probably that very crucial day in my SL life when (and I’m sure I’ve told this story somewhere before but can’t find it right now) I tried to go to an SL fashion show but the sim was full, so I went to an art opening instead, and met both a bunch of artists (including Rez Kokorin and Cyanide), and joined the VAA, and also (at that same art opening) met Lynn, a dancer from Gypsy’s who we haven’t gotten to yet, who invited me to look the place over sometime; and both the VAA and Gypsy’s (of which more shortly) have had enormous (good) effects on the way my Second Life in general has gone.

After Cy there are three more random folks that I don’t remember, and then there are Tusk and Sherri and therefore Gypsy’s. Tusk was a dancer at Gypsy’s Midnight Club, a nice little dive in Specter (not Spectre), which I went to explore shortly after Lynn gave me the landmark at Rez’s art opening. Sherri was also a dancer, I think, or at least a regular who would get up on a dance pole now and then. (Gypsy’s is very informal that way; one of the things I loved, and love, about it.)

I’ve never been all that attracted by the idea of strip joints in RL; I guess a really classy one might be fun, but they have all these connotations of exploitation and sleaze and performers who don’t actually like the customers. On the other hand in SL, or at least at Gypsy’s, the dancers were there ’cause it was fun, and they liked the customers (at least the regulars; the occasional jerk was of course still a jerk). And they were very friendly and helpful to a penniless newborn. :) I think Tusk and Sherri have both pretty much left SL, but Tammy (who we haven’t gotten to yet either) still holds the occasional event at Gypsy’s, and even though they’re pretty late at night my time I try to get there sometimes. (I should really do a whole entry about Gypsy’s sometime.)

Speaking of being helpful to penniless newborns, after one more random person that I don’t remember, we get to Adrianna. I met Adrianna when I threw a “Tentacles!” event, mostly just to try out the Event system. I found a piece of special Linden land (’cause you could only schedule Events on special Linden land or land that you own, and I didn’t own any) where it was possible to rez stuff, and I put up an Event via the Events web page with the title “Tentacles!”, and some nonsense description that in some way involved tentacles (in a clean sort of way). I of course had these tentacles in mind.

So like three or four people actually showed up, mostly fellow newborns as I recall, and we talked and laughed and did random things. Someone (less newborn) showed up in a fancy flying car and showed it off for awhile. And then these two other people showed up, and one of them was a disembodied head in a jar. I hadn’t until that moment realized that you could be a disembodied head in a jar, and I was fascinated.

As well as being unusual, the head in the jar was friendly and helpful, and we even became friends. (I forget who offered, but I assume it was her, since I’ve always been very very shy about offering friendship, and hardly ever do it, on the assumption that I Am Not Worthy.) And that was Adrianna. I’ve seen her a few times since, and she’s still friendly and helpful and funny, and likes to play with odd objects (like things that cause you to be a head in a jar).

VThe next person on the list really deserves her own weblog entry, and maybe I’ll eventually write one. Veronica Quackenbush, or more properly Veronica Elizabeth Roxanne Iris Taryn Almaaz Samantha Quackenbush, was also a dancer at Gypsy’s, and also one of the dancers in charge of hiring new dancers, and a big part of the reason that Gypsy’s was such a great place (and why so many of the dancers were either PhDs or PhD candidates).

Veronica loves vehicles, and back in the day she would sometimes invite any of the dancers and regulars who were still awake enough when the club closed, up in one of her rocket-sleds or whatever for exploring and/or nude skydiving. She also knows a huge amount about the history and geography of the Grid, and would entertain everyone with stories about the names of the continents and roads and landmasses, when a particular bridge was built, whether the railroads were running. She taught me that it’s good to know where you are, and where you are relative to other places, even if you can instantly TP from place to place without knowing those things.

She’s still into transport and vehicles, even if I haven’t seen her at Gypsy’s in ages; she’s one of the founders of the Okema, Nakiska, & Southern Railway. Look it up in Groups, check out the railway, join, contribute money and/or right of way and/or train skillz. Trains are great! :)

And wow this has gotten pretty long, hasn’t it, and there are probably about 275 or so calling cards to go. That should be worth at least two or three more posts!

One is silver and the other gold.

For today’s obligatory posting, I’m going to dip into the Calling Cards section of my inventory. Which is roughly like dipping into the Friends list, except that you can have Calling Cards for people that aren’t on your Friends list, either because they’ve just given you a copy of their Card (using the extremely obscure “Give Card” choice on the AV pie menu that no one ever uses), or because you were once friends but aren’t anymore. Or perhaps for other mysterious reasons. And also a Calling Card has some useful information on it, most notably the date that you acquired it (i.e. typically, the date you became friends with the person). See?

Calling Card Properties Sheet

As a structuring trick and a way to reminisce, I looked at the very bottom of my Calling Card folder, sorted by date. Some interesting dusty stuff down there! Including ol’ Royal Coronet, above; we’ll get to him in a minute.

The very last item in my most-recent-first Calling Card folder is for Dun Lubezli. It’s an odd Card, in that its acquisition date is “Unknown”, and the description field says “A friend you invited to Second Life”. I don’t remember ever knowing anyone named Dun Lubezli, and Dun’s profile is completely blank. My best guess here is that it’s someone that I know in RL that I told about SL, and that when they signed up they gave my name as the name of the Resident that referred them to SL or something (is there a field like that when you sign up?), and that generated this Card. Too bad I don’t get a cool mount or anything as a result. :)

The next item (up) in the folder is my very first actual Friend in SL, Thi Flossberg. We became friends on 23 November 2006, the day after I first rezzed. Unfortunately I have no memory whatever of Thi, and Thi’s profile is completely blank. This was also before I knew about writing stuff on the Notes page in profiles, so that’s completely blank too.

Thi, if you’re reading this, give me a buzz. We’ll do lunch!

My second actual Friend, made the next day, is someone I actually remember: Royal Coronet. That’s the person in the Properties box above, there. We met in the Help Island sandbox, where he was walking around wearing the “partycules” freebie thing, and so was surrounded by this like ten-meter-diameter sphere of glowing dancing red, yellow and green particles. I thought it was the most amazing thing ever (hey, I was still new), and so did the three or four nubile newborns following him around admiringly. (It’s a great name, too: “Royal Coronet”!)

He gave me a copy of Partycules and we talked a little and apparently became friends. I don’t recall having any interaction with him since, but his Calling Card definitely has sentimental value.

(And I still use variously-recolored versions of Partycules for various holiday celebrations and similar occasions to this day.)

Then there’s a bunch more people that I don’t remember and didn’t take any notes on and who mostly have blank profiles. There’s also Steve and Kleber, who I remember better, if not vastly better. I hung around Warmouth Infohub alot back then; it wasn’t my first stop after Help Island (that was some crowded and hard to navigate infohub whose location I don’t actually recall), but I made it my home pretty early, ’cause you could rez there, and it had some interesting neighbors.

I ran into Steve and Kleber at Warmouth, I’m pretty sure. We were all newborns together, trying to figure out what was going on. You could rez at Warmouth in those days (last time I visited that had been turned off) and it was quite the chaotic place, full of HippyPay vendors and BananaPhones and people wearing full-sized battleships on their heads and all. Great fun! For some time Steve and/or Kleber would IM me semi-comprehensibly, or send blind TPs. Steve had a little store at once point, where he was like selling slightly hollowed spheres with freebie textures on them for 5L or whatever. Haven’t seen either of them in quite awhile, either, although Steve’s profile today says that he’s an Event Manager, so he may have graduated beyond spheres (as I suppose I have, if only just heh heh).

Skipping over a few more folks that I’ve pretty much forgotten, we come to the first actual friend-Friend in the collection, Eleanor Fanwood. Hi, Eleanor! Although her RL’s been very busy lately and I haven’t seen her for a bit, she’s still in SL and still definitely a friend. Of course I’ve known her forever in RL also, so she has an unfair advantage. :) There are a few pictures of her in the ol’ flickr stream, spanning quite a span of time. How far we’ve come!

Eleanor’s Card is the twelfth one in the folder. Lucky thirteen is tree Sprawl (another great name), who I also haven’t seen for ages, but who I also have fond and grateful memories of. Her profile suggests that she is primarily a Tringo player, but I remember her because when I was snooping around the Grid completely at random, thinking about maybe I would get some of that “First Land” (back in December 2006, when there was still First Land), I for some reason stumbled onto a little park she had on the mainland, where she was dancing by herself among some stone arches, and she said Hi and we talked, and she showed me her little 512m2 plot of First Land that she’d started with, and she also introduced my to her boyfriend, and bought me a pair of skates, and showed me how to ice-skate.

She said she enjoyed helping newborns, and I certainly enjoyed being helped! I’ve benefited over the aeons from lots of devoted newbie-helpers (and probably not done enough to fully pay it forward, but I try now and then). I could keep going through the Calling Cards folder and we’d find quite a few more, but I think I’ll stop here for now. Don’t want you to get bored. :)

Fishin’ and Cruisin’

Just a lil innocuous weblog post about having fun in SL.

Fishing At Edloe

Since Ahuva taught me to fish, I’ve kept half an eye out for places to do it more (have to get a top to go with the bikini bottom that I caught that day!). So when I was walking around Edloe Island the other day (the domain of Crap Mariner, briefly noted in an old flickr snapshot) and noticed a barrel sitting by the water whose description text said something like “Allows fishing within 50 meters”, I sat down on the nearest object and cast out a line.

Didn’t catch much (just a couple of common fish, I think), but with the mist and the rainbow and the general relaxing, it didn’t really matter.

And speaking of generally relaxing :) I had a lovely two-level suite on the absolutely enormous cruise ship S. S. Galaxy (it takes up three entire Regions in SL, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was the largest “single thing” (whatever that means) on the Grid), for a week and a few days. (Why I had it is a long story, involving a coupon that I got a long time ago and decided to use and then misinterpreted the terms of, etc, etc, etc in painful detail.)

When the rental was about to run out, I spammed the group IM of my favorite shopping group with an announcement of an ad hoc open house and cruise party. Not alot of people came by (everyone was busy, like, shopping I think), but those that did were high quality.

Galaxy Party

From left to right, Phinn, an’ me, an’ Michele. A couple other ppl of obvious taste an’ discernment came by, too, but I didn’t get pictures of them. :)

And, as comes as no surprise anymore, lounging about on the deck of a simulated luxury cruise ship and talking with friends turns out to be huge amounts of fun, and soothing to the soul.