Paths through virtuality

So a bag-zillion years ago I weblogged (probably more than once) about an interconnected random adventure in SL, where a friend and I landed in some cool place after skydiving, looked up the picks of the creator of some neat object there, went to their store or something, and so on through various hours worth of fun randomness.

It’s been too long since I went nude skydiving :) but I still have these kinda small adventures all the time, I just don’t weblogify about them as much, because I don’t weblogify about anything as much, because I am lazy person.

But here’s one!

As extremely long-time readers will know, one of my very early living places in SL was a little shack on the PIER sim (which I found in turn from making friends with a bartender at The Elbow Room, which stretches the story back just about to my first months in SL I think), and when that sim shut down I started renting a room in Extropia.

At home in Extropia!

Eventually the Extropians redesigned the sim and didn’t have those little rental rooms available anymore, but I stayed in the Extropians group because it was interesting, and after awhile I started to notice cross-posting in the Extropians group from the Dakini Land / Western Geisha / Companion’s Guild group, see for instance this probably-related video.

I visited the Dakini Land sim somewhere in there, but as I recall I was heavily RL-distracted at the time, and couldn’t really figure out what it was. Then I got a notice about (I think it was) some graduation ceremonies that were going on there, and there was going to be dancing and music and poetry-reading and stuff, so I went, and it was a good time, and the people were very friendly and interesting.

Dakini Land

(I eventually did figure out a little of what was going on, which led me to start watching old episodes of “Firefly” on Netflix, where I was by coincidence already watching old episodes of Buffy; everything connects!)

Probably the performance that struck me most at that ceremony was a live on-voice reading of original poetry by Karima Hoisan. I took her picture and gave her a copy (as I am constantly doing, which is one reason my friends list is so absurdly large), and she looked at my profile and saw a Pick there from New Toulouse, which I had added to replace a Burn2 pick when Burn2 ended, and having connections with New Toulouse herself, she IMd, me and we talked, and continued talking now and then thereafter.

Eventually she and frequent collaborator Natascha Randt were working on this machinima about scripting, and I happened to have a script that fit into it nicely, with the result that some of my LSL code ended up in a machinima, which was extremely cool. (Note that it’s not a dry and geeky machinima, either; you must watch it if you haven’t, it is amazing.)

And then later on, looking around at random things on the web as I constantly do, I came across Karima’s machinima series “The Two”, and realized that I had randomly watched an episode from the middle of it somewhere many months before, but not had enough focus to figure out its context or anything.

Ms. Hoisan wisely suggested that if I wanted the full effect I should first read / listen to / experience her “Colored Dreams” pieces first, and then “The Two” in order.

So I did that, and now at the end of this particular branch of the chain of causality (rather than, say, the one that includes having a lovely tea ceremony on a satellite), I am highly recommending to you my readers that you experience both in that order also:

The Colored Dreams (page one page older to start at the start of Part One)

and

The Two (Also page back one to start at the start)

Don’t expect to consume them all in one sitting :) I found that I wanted to stop for hours or days in between just to sort of let it all sink in. It’s hard to describe or characterize; might be called fantasy or even SF, or a series or dreams, or meditations on the human condition and the nature of power and love and trust, or lots of other things. But really, like all good art, it tends to slip away from any words that you try to tie it up in.

And if you’d like to hear the artist live :) she will be doing another reading this very tomorrow, and I recommend that also, and so we tie the story up to the present day.

So! That’s my path through virtual space for today. Now I will go and find some more. Or maybe I will take a nap…

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Goodbye, Hello

As one of SL’s biggest me-related blogs, I thought I’d post some more random pictures of the Big Move, now that the story has a (temporary) ending. Click through to flickr for a few more words on each.

PIER Home

That’s the Shack at the instant that I first set it as my home location back in July 2007 (courtesy of the screen_home.bmp file).

Last day at PIER: the empty shack

That’s the Shack on the sim’s last day, everything of mine moved out except for the giant flower on the roof, the empty vendor stalls looking all emosad in the background.

Last day at PIER: lone rose

An interior shot of emptiness. If you look closely you’ll see a single rose in a vase on the windowsill. Sob!

At home in Extropia!

And here, in the happy ending, is my new screen_home.bmp, showing me in my new home location, my little myPod in the airy upbeat shininess of Extropia. I’ve been renting it for some time, but now it is officially Home. Hurrah!

(And don’t ask me why I haven’t just set my home location to the biggest chunk of land that I actually own and control and where I spend lots of time: the Park in Hughes Rise. Just too obvious, maybe, haha.)

A fond farewell to PIER

‘Way, ‘way back in The Day, I used to hang out at Elbow Room (SL’s most popular 96m2 club) quite a bit. Carys Dahlstrom was one of the more friendly and outgoing bartenders there (as I recall, an ER bartender combined the function of Host and DJ in larger clubs, there not being room for both). She once IMd me asking if I’d like to be a bartender; I replied that if I didn’t have a strict policy against having to be responsible and show up on time and stuff in SL, I would have jumped at the chance.

The then-owner of Elbow Room was a somewhat mercurial character, and on one of the occasions when he fired the entire staff, word went out that everyone was gathering at “PIER”, a club owned by Carys, until things calmed down at ER. At that time, PIER was a very nice medium-sized build I forget where, and a fun place to hang out. Eventually PIER got its own sim (called “PIER”), and there were some nice little rental houses and shacks available, and I rented one.

My Pier Shack

(Click through for the renormous size.)

I forget exactly when this was, but it was a long time ago as SL things go; I’ve been renting ever since, through the various interesting events that’ve occurred there. For awhile I paid no rent, because Carys is extremely generous and let me earn my keep with the occasional informal scripting or tee-shirt making project.

There was that day when the entire region except for my shack was behind banlines (I never really did figure out what was going on there), various other renters coming and going, the creation of the Sub Club (a grunge-themed underwater club space contrasting with the clean seabreeze-swept PIER club itself), the Jazz Club, the marina, the poker room upstairs, the drum-circle islet. PIER features in various postings to this weblog, particularly Where I Rez; my PIER shack has been my SL home location for a long long time also.

As time went on, things changed. There was a great live-music series at one point. Carys bought ER, and got involved with a boy :) and suddenly had less time for PIER. Various long-time staffers left for one reason or another and new people came in. After a long quiet time without much going on, a new management team came in (and we worked out that I would actually start paying rent, which was fine with me), and there was talk of new stuff starting to happen again. I got a couple of new renter neighbors on the islet next door. But then apparently something went wrong (and I’m sure I don’t want to know all the details!), and a group notice came through that PIER was shutting down. The farewell party is, I’m told, on the 20th.

PIER was a great place. The build was nice, a very laid back seaside atmosphere, a nice PG club with an outdoor wood-plank dancefloor and a cozy lounge, couple danceballs but no poles for strippers, a long boardwalk around the back with vendor stalls (that seldom had any shoppers), islets with houses and drum-circles and all, lots of open water, a couple of wooded fingers of land with hidden cuddlespots and fires to sit by. Nothing NPIRL or incredibly unique, just a nice place. It was unique as a community because of the people; lots of nice people coming and going, only a moderate amount of drama. I liked it alot.

I’m wistful about it closing, sort of nostalgic in advance, but not really sad. I’ll take away all my objects, I’ll have all my pictures and memories. People are talking about where we’ll hang out once PIER closes, and I imagine I’ll stay in touch with some but not others. I’ll change my home to the Hughes Rise Park, or maybe my myPod in Extropia, I’ll find a nice place for the kitty to live, and places to show whatever bits of artwork from the shack that I don’t want to just leave in inventory. And I even bought my own copy of the shack! It’s a Barnesworth Anubis prefab, with lovely open windows and a feeling of light and air.

Things change, the world moves. We always carry the past with us, and the pieces of PIER that I’ll take onward with me will be some of the bits of the past that I’m especially fond of. Happy thanks to everyone that’s contributed to it.

(Update:someone said at Tiphares last night, while we were all reminiscing, that the Elbow Room is actually only 96m2. Disbelieving, I just went and measured it, and indeed it’s 8m x 12 m. Smaller than my shack! Shows what can be done in even a tiny space…)

Where I Rez

Inspired by Ches, who was inspired by Crap who was inspired by Zoe, here’s a weblog entry about where I normally rez when I come inworld. It’s here:

Where I Rez (Good morning!)

(Click through to flickr for more details, as usual.) On the renormous bed in my little PIER shack, where I have a convenient sleep-poseball. Tropical breezes through the windows, a friendly club across the water, what could be nicer?

This is also where my home is set to (only outside):

Where I Rez (Home spot)

And here’s the lovely little place from above (on Ultra for nice water effects):

Where I Rez (overview)

The shack is standard, the flower and roof-rug and danceball and… are what part of what makes it Home. (The bright blue light on the lefthand side is serendipitous litter.)

Where do you rez?