Monday, September 15, 2014

Very Late

    That post that I kept saying I would do, sadly, is not to be now. I was planning to do a whole post on Cadair Braeden and some of the freebies available there, along with some discount/cheap things. That is not to be because Cadair is not existing in the same state any longer. I am so happy it still exists, which makes me beyond thrilled because I count it as my home after all these years, but it is different. Smaller. Still pretty, if more even. Still with the people I know. But smaller. I don't mind small, sometimes small works.
    But, there is part of that post I can still do, which is to essentially advertise for my friend, Mederia's, store. She has this lovely gatcha that is only 12 lindens (!) per play, and the ultra rare is that you get all of the necklaces. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the gatcha itself, but there are eighteen necklaces to play for; some stone colored, some metal colored, some natural colors, some with a light or dark version available separately. The stones are the rare. So, if you get the ultra rare, for 12 lindens, you'll get four rares, plus all the other necklaces. It's actually probably the best gatcha setup I have seen, since it is the cheapest one I have heard of so far.
 
Twig Necklace in Amythest
 
    Mederia had been nice enough to pass me one of her necklaces, of my choice, since she claims I helped her somehow. Still doubtful of that, but lovely necklace yet. That's just one of the colors, and there are more to be had, same style, different colors. I really do think you ought to give it a shot if you ever happen to want a leafy sort of necklace for whenever. Or even if you 'just' like accessories.
   Taxi here ( *Mederia* ) for anyone who reads and wishes to go. ( she has nice non-gatcha stuff, too, in case you wondered ;) ) Contemplate. Want. Then go and try your luck. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Third Rez Day

    Haven't written in a while, and still want to do one post before I go for orientation and then the actual learning part for my school. But I realized something the other day when I opened my profile; my third rez day was on the eleventh. Of course I took pics as I realized this (and partly because I wanted pictures with the new hair/pastel color that Truth has temporarily set out for free. Only the pastel pack since that's the new color pack, or so I've ehard.)

Happy Rez to me! My gift to myself? Lazyness :P

    Three years. And I'm trying to remember what I was doing when I originally signed up. I can't, but I do know that I'm still so very glad I had. My reasons are simple, and probably a bit obvious even; I've been able to fall in love with roleplay and meet some lovely people. I've been roleplaying since, well, pretty much since a few days after I created my account. I stumbled upon it, looked around for some clothes fitting enough so I could wander with an observer tag, and then...I stayed. In roleplay and on the sim I stumbled upon even. I'll admit, if I hadn't been helped by one of the roleplayers there, I would've been more lost than I already was when I actually started playing and such. But someone decided to be nice and help me find a nice basis and such for my character Armalla, and I'm grateful still to the person who helped me; without her help, I probably wouldn't have stuck around and met lovely people through the sim.
    The people I care about know how they are, and since I'm rather tired, I'll avoid anything mushy :P But I'm glad to have met them, of course, how could I not? Really all of them I've known for almost the whole three years, though December yet has more meaning than August to me. Maybe that's why the three year mark snuck up on me like it did?
    In any case, three years that I'm glad for. Especially since I've been able to...expand and try to refine my roleplay, as well as get to know these people better; only a few select people (*coughs* three *coughs*), and even with that, one or tow I know better than the others. And then, of course, I started taking pictures in SL, too. Another little hobby to help me bid my time in this virtual world. Wonder how things will look next year, if at all similar to this one or not. Guess it's jsut a matter of waiting and seeing, since I don't see myself leaving SL anytime soon.

Wondering how many more years are to be added...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Women's Colleges

    Alright, so I planned to stick to mostly Second Life things and I did have something planned; but I fear with the latter my mood isn't in the right place to do said post justice, so, even though I have the pictures waiting, they'll just keep waiting for now. I can give some update sl wise, like how I really do like Glam Affair's skims apparently, which is a bit late since i know most people probably have tried their lovely skins before; now wish I had one for my ooc avi. Also, medieval fantasy hunt still ongoing, so if interested go do it, still need to finish it myself, actually. Hm, alright, maybe very few updates sl wise, but i did try at least.
   But something else I feel like poking at is something that was actually thought of thanks to my following a link on Facebook to one of my future classmate's blogs about why she chose a women's college.
    Why am I putting this here? I've no idea, just because, I guess. Plus I did get some pictures to go nicely with it, so works at least half ways.
   So, for those of you who read this and don't know, I am going to an all women's college rather than a co-ed one, which seems more then norm now than separated schools, of course. And that's good, truly, I've gone to a community college which was full of everything you can imagine; people who wear tails (maybe a couple of them my friends), men, women, pansexuals, straight, gay, going somewhere, probably not finishing community college, black, white, mixed, and the list goes on. It was very varied, and that's what I have grown up with; variation. I thrive in a diverse environment; one year in high school my zone waiver didn't get approved and I had to go to my zone school which is predominately black and christian, literally only a handful of people my skin tone. The teachers were wonderful, and the people I met while hiding in the library to avoid the fights in the lunch room were nice, too, but it was so...monotone I, and my brother even, went to the nurse nearly every day complaining of a stomach ache. I think she knew it was jsut that we didn't click with the school, but she let us get sent home, which was only a short walk away. My GPA dropped dramatically and, well, it pretty much screwed up my graduation; I had been so close to cum laude that it still pisses me off that I 'only' graduated with regular honors. Literally only .3 or so points away.
    But I digress. My point is, I need variation, so going to an all girl's school may seem...odd, but I think I need more so the variation of races and religions and everything. The school I fell in love with by some miracle seems varied in race, varied in religion (even various religious 'groups' on campus, Moravian school or no), and , while I'm not sure on anyone's sexuality, at least has an 'Open Up' club which is for people of homo- or heterosexuality to come and meet and such things, which shows tolerance. I need that, I cannot stand close-minded people. I can't understand how they can be so closed minded and I want to hit them with a shovel for claiming things are 'wrong' because some book written forever ago says so.
    And I still digress...I know, I ramble a lot.
    As I was saying, though, even with my want for diversity, I think I could do well enough in a women's college for a few reasons. For one, I can count on one hand how many guys I've dated in my life, so it's not as if I'm going to college for that or anything; for two, I get along better with girls than guys, most of my friends being female.
    Of course I've heard the jokes about 'college lesbians' (which makes no sense, of course) being 'made' in all girls schools, but it's hardly that female colleges are only for people who like girls. It's more about the fact most of these schools were made back when it was difficult for a woman to get a higher education and had to go to schools specifically for them, usually for teaching jobs. These schools were built on a foundation of teaching women, which still can apply to today. Yes, there is a feminist vibe (and, please, if you think feminism is anything but simply wanting equality between men and women, look it up in a dictionary) but that's a given; there aren't any 'I hate men' rallies, I assure you. And that's one of the things my college wants to foster; strong women.
    Another thing that has people, even my friends, question why I am going to a women's school is that it is thought that I will more or less be cut off form all male life. No, that won't happen. There are some male professors, for starters, and, as well, there is a town nearby and time between and after classes, along with weekends, that allows for opposite gender interaction. It's not as if they keep us locked up on campus...though, apparently, my dad likes to think first years can't go off campus, and he's not allowed to know otherwise as my mom and I have agreed. So, yes, only women in my classes, but that's not really a bad thing. Let's be honest, on a large scale women are more emotional thinkers than men. I'm not going to try and pretend men and women think the same, feel the same, learn the same, and I'm not saying all women learn like other women, and the same for men; there is a difference. So, a plus with an all women's school is that the professors can teach in a way that is more beneficial to women instead of searching for a middle ground; the middle ground helping and hindering both genders in a way, unless, of course, you learn quite well with the middle ground. I can work with the middle ground, but I do know that I am an emotional thinker more often than not.
    Women's colleges are also more like private colleges, which means smaller class sizes. I love smaller classes simply because I am awful at asking questions and more or less need closer to individualized teaching. The class of 2018 is going to be their largest since a bunch of years, but they still have smaller classes; they added a teacher for their signature (mandatory) classes so they keep class sizes down. Small classes are really nice, and I always wanted a smaller school.
    Then there is the feeling of...closeness. I've only visited campus and exchanged emails and such things with my admissions counselor, and she already knows my name and face. She recognizes me, something I am so unused to. When I had gone to an overnight stay, I was about to give my name for my name tag, but she was already handing me my name tag, which was awesome! And there are some of the teachers and such I've seen a couple times, and they recognize me, too. I like that. And, form what I heard, that's something that sticks through your whole four years. I hope that'll make this step in my life a bit less nerve-wracking.
    Something else adding to this is my school's 'Big Sister, Little Sister' program, which is essentially where a junior 'Big' is paired up with a freshman 'Little' and the Bigs can be whatever the Little needs; a friend, an academic consultant, etc. Really it depends on what is needed and what not, but it's something else to add to the feeling of closeness and, as the school is sorta-kinda a sorority, the feeling of sisterhood. It could help add to a comforting feeling, which I think will help so many others coming to this school as well.
    I never planned to go to a school full of people my own gender, since I thought I would absolutely hate it. I also was under the idea that feminism was what the connotation is rather than the denotation, so I worried it would be a bunch of extremists. But then at a college fair, I found this one and it is the only one that has felt right to me. Believe me, I looked for co-ed schools that fit my criteria of being out of state and small, but this is the only one I wanted so desperately to go to.
    In short; no, I'm not turning into a crazy female rights activist who gives feminism a bad name, nor will I suddenly turn extremely girly, nor will I 'turn' lesbian. For one, you can't turn lesbian, you are it, or you are not. But, still, I'm simply going to get my education from a school specifically for women, despite the questions of 'why' I am from some people. I understand the questioning, since my younger self would be looking at present-me like I'm crazy, but it just feels like a right move to me. So, as of August 21st, I will officially be part of a women's college that has some thing with daises...and squirrels. But they also have a thing with food, and food makes me happy. Moravian Love Feast with fresh bread? I might not be any sort of Christian persuasion, but I think yes. Education is nice, too, but food wins in the end.

Warning: Image not an accurate representation of a women's college.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Breathe

    Breathe.
    Easy right?
    Yea...should be, especially when I know how this all goes...but still.
    Right now I'm more or less having an issue with that simple action, in the figurative sense, but still. There's just a few things that frustrate me at the moment, RL-wise, and some other things that make me feel worried and such things; but I'm used to this, especially during the summer as strange as that may sound. But with all this is coming a want for various things, and, granted, if certain things weren't as they were a couple things wouldn't be wanted, but, well. One of things I'm seriously starting to lean towards is something I'd more so want to talk to someone about, or, rather, just blurt out my ideas to a listening ear while working on some conclusion, though some input would be nice, too. Especially with limited resources and whatnot. But I'm bad with talking to people, asking for things, or anything...I joke about things instead. It's easier.
    But another thing, which is really why I'm bother writing this here instead of in my diary/notebook/thing I lost the key to and cannot for the life of me open (you'd think I would've learned my lesson by now about putting things where I think I'll remember them), is that one of the things I'm thinking on works to this blog. I know it's not much of a following, really I'm almost certain it's pretty much only friends of mine (which I do not mind in the least, believe me), but as an earmarker for me and just because people do actually read this. I need to breathe, think, and see if I can manage something. Mostly I'm wanting to have it be more...orderly. Right now it is true to its name; my mind's shadow and all the random in there. Of course that's sort of a type of order, but, if I can manage to figure out how to make this turn around, I'll do that. If not, it'll stay random. As it is, my plan may only last for a short while of orderness, then could easily collapse back to random. But will see.
    This may also just be because of my mood, though, so I'm not entirely certain how it will go for that reason as well. It all depends, I suppose, on what is really going on in my head which, at this point, I'm only half sure of myself. But soon the rough patches will pass and I will be able to breathe once more.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Lost Item Found

    This is something related to something that I have written up on a NC in my inventory for something that may or may not one day happen depending on various, ehm, variables, I suppose. I know that makes little sense, but I also know there's at least one person reading who'll understand, but else, I know I make little sense most often anyhow, so I apologize.


    I work at one of the more 'fancy' sort of inns. It doubles as a tavern, yes, but for the right coin we wash clothes and such of those staying as well. My life is fairly simple, and I like it that way, always have, even though it has been disrupted once I would love for it to never be disrupted again.
    I slip outside through the back, a bundle of clothes in my arms, set them down, then get to work with washing them. I'm used to hard work and honest living, which is what I strive to have since a long while. After all, if you aren't living honest then is there much of a point to living at all? I've been called 'stiff' by some of the regulars, but I don't see it. I work hard and try to do my best in life, and I make sure the gods know I try to do as they would wish, but how does that make me stiff? Just because I do not wish to become drunk and pass out on a floor does not mean I am stiff. I may be near enough to being damned, but that isn't enough to make me do silly things. And, besides, if I did such things I wouldn't be able to afford my own small hut; I'd have to live in the tavern with some of the others. I used to, yes, but after a good few years of work, I've managed to save up enough. Some extra I have I like to send home, just in case my family could need it.
    After thoroughly washing the clothes, and hanging them up to dry, I go inside to help serve some of the patrons, as well as clean up a bit more. While I'm best at baking, that's not my duty for the day. The sun goes through the sky, soon enough the moon rising with the stars accompanying it as good friends do.
    I blow some of my hair out of my face, and look around at the night crowd as I take a brief, leaning against the wall only, break. I've been working nearly non-stop all day and, while I could have quit for the day a while ago, it's best if I work longer...especially if I want to keep sending money home.
    That's when I spot him.
    My breath catches in my throat and my eyes widen as I watch a man, most definitely a pirate, walk in. He used to only have stubble on his face, but now it is a true beard; no wonder since it has been a few years since I last saw him. Thinking I must be wrong, I push off the wall and walk over to see what they'd like to drink. His voice only confirms my suspicion...and the amulet around his neck all the more. I smile pleasantly and head back to the counter to put the ordered drinks onto a platter, feeling tears prick my eyes and anger swell up in me. The amulet...the little wooden circle with magic symbols carved around the edges. He's the man who stole it from me. He may be the man who saved me, by pure chance, but he also took that precious item from me as 'payment'.
    I'm a bit slow as I have to recollect myself and serve others as well, but as I watch him out of the corner of my eye, how he interacts with whatever woman who gets into arm's distance, I get an idea.
    As the night wears on, the captain gets all the more drunk and 'friendly'.
    "I'm a captain, ye know. You're not my usual type, but maybe ye'd like to come see me ship?," he asks, his arm around me and his lips close to my ear. I have to fight back the urge to gag.
    "I love to," I respond, smiling to him, and, with that, we get up and leave the inn. I already finished my work for the night anyway, so at least it is not as if I'm passing my work off to someone else. I almost pause as I see the ship, it being the same as the one I had found myself on when I was eighteen. I'd rather not go on it, but if I want to get my necklace back after all this time, what choice do I have?
    He leads me by the hand to his quarters, closes the door and goes to face his bed, starting to unbutton his clothes. He says something about working on my clothes in a moment, but I'm only half listening, my eyes moving around the room until they land on a telescope, that looks heavy enough. It's a hand held one, but it has enough weight on it as I realize when I pick it up and open it to its full length. "Take your time, it'll give more time for my thoughts to grow," I murmur softly in response. After taking a deep breath, I step over behind him and swing with all my might. He falls over onto his bed with a thump, and I allow myself to relax slightly then. I carefully roll him over as quickly as I can with his weight being more than mine, and pull his legs up onto the bed. The necklace lays against his bared chest. It's not as if I want the necklace for its purpose, not even the sentimental value it holds, but because I wish to bury it. The one who gave it to me, because of how his death came about, he was never able to be properly buried nor burned; the necklace must do. Once I hold the necklace in my hands again, I feel a smile form on my lips. I might have to leave the place I've made my home in for years because of this, but third time is the charm with everything, yes? Once I bury this and before tomorrow is over, I will move on again. Or, perhaps, I will send this necklace home for my family to bury or do as they wish with it. It would be better for it to be at home, even if around my brother's or sister's neck.
    Now, to get off this ship before the captain wakes up or any of the crew happen to wonder if he really did pass out because of too many drinks....

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Power of the Written and Spoken Word

    I'll admit this is something that, while I like the idea, I have been putting off because I am not a fan of how my voice sounds to my own ears. perhaps it is different to others, but to me...eh...not so much. And it only sounds strange to me when recorded, so guess will see. The following will be typed, but, if you're curious, and I apprehensively hope you are, there will be a recording of it as well, for the sake of comparison, attached at the end.
 
    People have this funny way of arguing over if writing things or speaking them is more persuasive. Personally I think that, depending upon the topic, they are more or less equal. Yes, the conveying of emotions may be limited when it comes to writing, but if you word things right it really isn't. There's a reason newspapers and various other things can incite riots simply from putting a few emotionally charged words into an article. Some words have strong connotative meanings, ones that override the dictionary definition. Such things may vary from culture to culture, even person to person, but there is still that meaning buried deep inside there. While saying 'Man retrieves cat from tree' may not be so enticing, stating 'Man rescues pet from tree' gives it a bit more meaning. Retrieves compared to rescues, and pet compared to simply cat, is enough to give more than the simple facts do. Little words like that, when used correctly, can evoke a response.
    Voice, too, has its pluses, of course. You can hear the emotion, feel it, without any added benefit of emotional words; of course adding those only drives the point home. You can hear if someone is near to tears or simply passionate about an issue, the changing tones and octaves of one's voice can lead to just as big a reaction as written words. We may generally take our voices for granted when it comes to this, but it is true. And some people have simply wonderful voices that make it so it is most certainly better that they speak things than write them.
    In Second Life, you do not have but so much of a choice. Sure, you can opt for using voice, but that doesn't always means it'll work or that others even can hear you. The generally used media would be typed words, which, of course, is usually accompanied by an emoticon, a simple 'lol', or some emote depending on what is going on. Those various additions you don't see in much besides casual conversation, can add to things as well. It does leave the chance for people to misconstrue meanings, which is probably why the additions are relied upon, but you can still get a point across. Really, I think that we feel a need to use those other bits than 'just' words because we don't want to have someone misunderstand since they cannot hear us nor see our facial expressions.
    Even when you use your voice, too, if you, perhaps, are more of a monotone person, you may rely more heavily on your facial expression and hand gestures. Words aren't always enough to get a point across with either medium, but they are a good base and can do some damage when necessary. So much ill will can be caused because of a carefully placed word here and there, in both lives, with voice or written things. There's a reason drama is abound in SL.
    Both ways have their upsides, but they also have their downsides. As I mentioned, the downside to writing is it is easier to misunderstand, but with actually speaking...well, you may stumble over your own words more often or you might not be able to give as educated sounding an answering and instead flail your hands about trying to explain the word you forgot (I know I do that often enough). I know that sometimes my smart sounding words don't make it form my brain to my tongue...and then my tongue does all this stuff that I swear I didn't tell it to do; I'm pretty much convinced it has a mind of its own half the time. But when I'm typing I could, in theory, look words up. I don't personally, because I'm lazy and I have a backup not as smart word anyway when my brain just draws a blank. Or I just describe something. I admit to doing so in both speaking in writing; of course I can't use my hands in the latter to 'shape out' what it is I'm talking about, so if I want to give a timely response, I have to revert to simple description like 'the wood thing holding the awning up'. But for people who are a bit less lazy, they may look such things up and be able to give a halfways dignified response, whereas if they were speaking they'd have to do something else more than likely.
    It really depends on what you want to get across and to how many people if voice or writing is the best way to go. If you want people to hear things exactly how you do, then voice is clearly what you want. But if you want to get a point across and call it a day, perhaps writing would be more the way to go. Either way, it is mostly the wording, and the extra add-ons, that do count.

    And, as promised, my spoken version...please be kind... If you hear water running in the background, sorry, my fish tank. I also realize I'm stuttering and pausing, but I'm keeping it that way, since my point is general speaking and writing, not practiced and manicured. So...hope you put up with it and enjoy :)
    Oh, and, of course, feel free to listen/read at the same time. There are pics, and it's on youtube, but only because I couldn't get this up here without going through movie maker and youtube >.>


Monday, June 30, 2014

Away


    This pretty much sums up how I've been feeling recently. Well, more so how I felt some days ago, and a little bit now, but now it's more so I'm wanting to just curl up and sleep. I'm tired, but I can never sleep when I should, which is just awful, and then I want to sleep for a variety of reasons; one being I'm currently waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop since Friday. Will see how that goes whenever my phone decides to buzz, could just be my eternal pessimism, but I'm not sure. 
    The wanting to just up and go is something completely different. It's not born from a want to leave those I care about, but just a want to...go. Wanderlust, perhaps. I may be going to another state in August, and that makes me all sorts of nervous, but what doesn't make me nervous is the thought, hope,that  I'll end up in Europe (Germany if life decides to be nice to me) some day. I do things by feeling, rarely do I apply logical thought to anything until after the fact, and going over there is one of those things that just calls me. As it is, if I won the lottery or some way else was able to just up and go to anywhere in Europe, I'd take it. I would go and figure it out from there no matter which point of my life I'm at. I don't like risks, I loathe them with a fiery passion, but when I've a good feeling about something...I do it. I go for it and I hope that I'm right. It may seem rather nonsensical, but that's simply how I operate. 
    As I said, this is still a feeling inside of me, a bit overtaken by my current state, but it's still there. It was worse a bit ago where I was dreaming up various fantasies involving my great-great (think it's two greats) aunt from Germany, some second or third cousins that I know exist but have yet to meet because they live across the Atlantic, and other things. I don't care when in my life I'll do it, but as soon as I've the opportunity, I know I'll go for it. I'll go off to wherever and see what I can do with that. Set down new roots and such. Before I actually obtain my degree, after, when I'm a hundred years old, I honestly don't care so long as I do manage this. There are few things I desperately want in life, and this is certainly one of them. Why? I'll find out when I get there.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Growing Up

    And once more I'm unable to sleep. I'm tired, as I've been more often than not lately, but soon as I try to sleep, I fail miserably..except during the day time when a thirty minute nap quickly turns into two hours. Super fun. Probably won't be asleep until the sun starts to rise again, but one can hope, right?
    Anyhow, on to what this is actually about: growing up. Okay, not growing up in the tradition sense, but in a...changes of avatar way. I don't mean switching between hair colors every other day or shapes or skins or whatever, but I mean, if you have a normal every day look and you start to change it slowly over time. I know Armalla, my roleplay character for a few years now, has had a few 'growing' changes in her appearance; style of clothing in a very small way, eyes, and her skin. Not to mention her shape which I've tweaked the tiniest of bits, basically to make it so her legs aren't so thin.
    But my 'usual' OOC look has changed some, too. I've changed the shape a bit, slowly, over time, my average hair color is the same, skin has changed a bit thanks to group gifts and the like, and recently I've been suing brown eyes (or sorta kinda silver android eyes) more than hazel. Now, the last thing I have a good reason for; the hazel eyes I have are meh and I'm picky with hazel coloring. Some are too bright, other too dark, and other things that make me not go for it. But, on the other hand, I love these silver-ish eyes I have from ~*By Snow*~, which were a freebie I picked up when I had some idea for a picture I never took, and, while they are meant for more robot thingies, I like them. They're pretty. (These ones.) So I use them sometimes. I also have a nice set of brown eyes, add that to my mild weakness for brown eyes and...well...I've started using those a bit, too. Don't get me wrong, I love using hazel, but I'm picky. Very picky when it comes to that shade. And I've looked through marketplace without managing to find a freebie or so that is good enough for me.
    I'll admit to using blonde hair OOC wise, too. Usually that's either because it seems to fit better, or if the only color of the hair that seems to fit I have is blonde. Switching between brunette and blonde actually doesn't seem that strange to me, but that may have something to do with Armalla being a blonde and how used I am to that by now.

Yep. Blonde haired and brown eyed, it happened.
   
    But what I'm trying to get at with all this is that, over time, avatars grow a little in their own way. Assuming you don't change things all the time and, as mentioned, have a 'usual', or two, look(s). You find better skins, decide you like certain eyes better, or a new hair color, etc. Avatars have this capability to grow up so that the picture you have from maybe a few months back will and won't look like a current picture, much like how your ten year old self probably did and didn't look like your sixteen year old self. If you count by years with SL, then you will definitely not look the same if you like to keep updated with new things; basically that just means perhaps you'll look similar, but as newer model fitted with mesh instead of system layers and flexi hair. Though flexi and system layers are still used and can be gorgeous for certain things, two of my favorite shorter styles have are mainly flexi with one of them 'only' have a mesh attachment I've never used, they aren't the 'new' thing. I suppose you could compare updating an avatar with the sleeker items to buying a new model of whatever car.
    I can look back on older pictures, or just go through my saved outfits, and see the differences. As it is, last night, I updated my elven huntress look a bit, but didn't find a sim fitting for pictures. The only real difference is that I used my now OOC skin, the Slink add-ons, different (same colored) eyes, and an outfit for another character of mine. I used the same twisted, flexi bun style. I still used the one pair of sculpted elf ears I have. Same sculpted necklace. So, yes, it looks more like that elf of mine has grown a little bit instead of changing completely. (Curious of what look I mean, click here.)
    And as I look through blogs and Flickr, I see other avatars 'growing up'. Mesh heads, at least the Slink Visage one, give various avatars an older, more 'proper' appearance instead of a rounder face. If you follow this link, it'll actually take you to a side by side comparison; same everything minus the head. If you look through really anyone's SL Flickr not only can you see the change in their photography skills, but also the maturing of their avatar. For example, this is one of my older photos (can't post it up since, sadly, it's on my older hardrive/a flash drive, so would take some digging), and this is newer. Differences? Quite a bit. And you can find other things like that by being bored or curious and nosing through people's Flickrs.
    So they grow up, not as we do, but in their own way. As newer things come out or we feel a need for an updated look, they grow. Actually the need for an updated look may have something to do with most people not wanting to stay stagnant and the same all the time. We change without even thinking about it, without putting any effort into it, but our avatars need a little push. They have to changed with prior thought on it, with energy expended on finding what you what, or just stumbling upon it. While humans as a whole are weird, most liking but loathing change at the same time, change is still something we need, even virtual change. Maybe you keep your avatar the same minus changing to mesh hair and clothes or whatever, but, perhaps, if you have a skybox or something, you change that around every now and again. Adding something, taking away something else. It's not the same, of course, but it's close.
    I think that adding the concept of growing up to our avatars breathes a bit more life into them. You can think of the pixels as 'just' changing when you change them, but growing up seems to be a correct term to me somehow. I'm not sure if I'm expressing myself right with this, and I know it's only in a more rhetorical sense, but I'm hoping at least someone reading this understands what I mean and might be able to phrase it better. Perhaps after I get some sleep I'll take another crack at it, but pictures speak a thousand words and I think pictures is the best way to show this. So go look at someone's Flickr, you'll see what I mean.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Fashion for Life and Layers of Anonymity

    First, a bit of random, and I blame the fact my brain seems to be not working at a hundred percent today, as well that I sort of fangirled over something I saw on a suscriber notice. (Swear I felt my mental gears just stop working for a few seconds earlier today when I'd been in the middle of a post. Hopefully sleep will end up remedying this.) But the random is that the Fashion for Life event started recently, and, if you're like me, you like to go peek at the builds of these events and fairs that crop up. The whole general theme of this event is transportation, which is represented in different ways on the different sims; so that should be interesting. Granted I've recently found I like better to look around these things not on my lonesome, so...we'll see how that goes. Likely will end up as another late night excursion, but shall see how that goes yet since I've yet to ask anyone anything. Okay, fine, one person because I don't know really anybody else I'd want to ask but still.
    Ehm, but the event does have the proceeds benefiting Relay for Life, so that's always a plus as cancer is not fun. It's actually a pretty widespread thing, when you think about it. Not good and something that will take a while to actually find cures for. Thankfully I don't know anyone who has truly had cancer affect them, the closest I've had to deal with is a brief thing with my dad and skin cancer which was caught really early so couldn't develop but so much. Taken care of, so all good there. But there's enough people who have had to see loved ones die form it and...it's never a good thing. Especially if you end up labeled as terminal. But there's always hope things will be made better for future generations. I highly doubt it'll be in my lifetime, or even the next generations, but who knows, right?
    When people design things for an event, and when it's benefiting something like this, they seem to do really well with the sims. Like the Fantasy Faire, for example. Gorgeous sims, good cause. And that has me more wanting to go look at the sims for this event sometime. I'm also going to leave this link here because it made me tear up a little (maybe it's just because of how I am it did, or maybe not, hard to tell) and because I just found it so very...amazing in its own right. Jewelry put together from beyond almost. Click here to read, if curious.



    Now, this half will contrast quite a bit with the first half, though it follows along the liens of creativity. So that's why there's a random picture above this; might replace it later when I'm awake enough to take a new, fitting pic and for a reason to play with a prop and pose pack from the Serafilms Labyrinth event. I'm also going to warn the following is a bit long, so...bare with me. If this wasn't on the very public internet and just a conversation with a friend, it would be longer. So count yourself lucky.
    But earlier today I was talking to someone and I mentioned my lack of creativity. See, that's the thing...I don't lack in creativity when it comes to small scale things, just larger, more than one or two people things. Currently I have Armalla in the middle of plotting something that just popped into my head during a rp the other day, and hopefully this idea will come to fruition soon since I'm kind of excited for it, even if it'll end awfully for her. I know, I'm an awful person for looking forward to such a thing, but...it'll be different, and fun in its own way. Like her being stuck with a demon was fun in its own way, so shall this be. One of those things that has you sit there, wondering just exactly how this'll work, basically. Anyhow, that's just one little example that isn't even really a matter of my having creativity, just that I can bullshit ideas off of other people's starting points. But, still, it's a small scale thing. If it involved more than two others, I would have not come up with that probably.
    Or, worse, I would have and not have said anything.
    What I think is my real problem, is that I come up with larger scale ideas from time to time, but I don't act on them because I'm afraid of someone correcting me, publicly or privately. More worried about the publicly bit, but either way it would have my confidence be shot. I know this is how I would feel from past experience.
    If anyone reading this has ever been a lead on a rp sim, then you know you're expected to come up with at least one idea, no matter if there are multiple leads or not; the others will come up with ideas and you'll kind of just...be in a corner if you don't. I love my corner, I love being under the radar, less drama that way, but sometimes being in a corner is a really bad thing. Really bad. I have small ideas come to mind from time to time, but I never say anything on them because I don't want to be doing something wrong and end up having to be corrected. I don't want to be corrected because I know my confidence will drop for a bit and I'll just feel plain stupid for thinking whatever the idea may be.
    I've played on the sim I'm on for a few years now, and I want to do something, but I'm too nervous to. I want to give, but there's nothing for me to with how rare my ideas really are. Now, ask me to decorate something, or take a picture, and I can do that...just...not come up with larger ideas that I feel confident enough in to speak up on it. Let alone just try slipping it in there without saying anything prior. As it is, there's a reason my character's magic stands as it is, and why she hardly uses it, and why I'm really, extremely careful when it comes to magic type posts when I'm around people who I am not comfortable with. Same reason why I don't put forth ideas when I have them if in relation to larger things.
    There are people who send notices on things that I could never dream of sending a notice on, because I'd be nervous and not want to be told to not do that or something else. And I'm just talking about the guild I'm one of the IC leads of, not the whole sim. Trying to work on it, though, so I don't feel like a dead weight.
     The real reason of my writing on this is because...I think it's something to do with how my own personal anonymity is lowered quite a bit when it comes to Cadair, the sim that's more or less like a home to me by this point. While SL is, as I've stated a few times before, a rather anonymous place, as is granted by the online world, once you've been in a place long enough, it's basically gone. This applies more to those who frequent roleplay sims, I think, since, if you stay long enough, your character (if you don't change characters every other week) and/or your avatar is more or less known by at least a few people. Granted, I'm more in the corner, like I've said, because of my own insecurities, but with others, admins aside, they are known. You know they are there. Whether you like it or not, they're there. Now, chances are if it's not liked they're there, then it's not for good reasons they're known, but still. One of my friends is known by a healthy amount of people because of all that she's done and organized and thought of; and I'm not even going to mention the fact she owns a fantasy shop which actually has some neat things. (Cue shameless advertising) I also have known Taeem since before he was an admin, and he did a lot before he was pushed up to admin, so you can bet people knew/know who he was/is.
    That is just two examples of people who aren't exactly anonymous anymore for good reasons.
    Yes, of course, you still can have your RL self hidden away behind the screen, but you still hold the potential to be known if you've been around someplace, and have actually done things, since you've been there. If you do things, you will loose a layer of that secretiveness. I never really thought of that as a possibility until today when I started thinking about how people I know are names pretty solidly associated with the sim, which leads to them being more in the spotlight and heard of. And the fact they are heard of...it's sort of like with celebrities, though to a lesser degree; you know of them, you might know a few things done, but you don't really know them until you interact with them. But, of course, on a roleplay sim chances are you did interact with them at some point. And no one is lining up for autographs from these known people. Like I said, a few differences, but similar in its own way.
    Thinking of anonymity as something with layers actually seems to be an accurate description. Only so many will get past certain layers, and depending on where you are and what you do, a layer or two may just be gone by default. Strangers get halted quickly. Acquaintances a bit further. Friends even deeper. Family and significant others even further, though friends may be on par with these two groups depending on how you are. Nothing is ever really one sided, or as simple as you'd like to think it, not even if the mysterious thing of being anonymous.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Getting Personal

    I'm finally awake enough to do this. Either I've been trying (and failing) to sleep, or I've had a headache. But I'm managing tonight, since I was determined, especially since this is probably the last night for the whole week I can stay up late. I intend to enjoy that fact as much as I can. So, anyway, onward!
    I had been wanting to this week's Monday Meme, but only getting to it now because tired and/or headaches got in the way. But I'm doing it now, so it's something, yes? But this week Strawberry Singh asked 20 questions, and I just couldn't resist, so here's my bit on this.
 
    Meme instructions: Answer the following 20 personal questions about your Second Life.

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? Simple answer would be boredom plus seeing it being advertised, so had to check it out in August of 2011. (Seems like so much of a shorter time O.o)
  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? Yes, yes I did. Granted none of them kept my attention for long, since things like World of Warcraft and stuff I only joined 'cause my brother convinced me to, but when he'd move on to his console video games, I would get bored quickly. Very quickly. I loved making my own character, just not the run-of-the-mill questing and such. But I'd never done anything even vaguely similar to Second Life before.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations?  I didn't have any expectations, so I guess it has? I mean, it's kept me entertained this long (well, the people I've met moreso) so it met something.
  4. If you could teleport back tot he first ten minutes of your avatar's slife, what would you tell yourself? Don't take that brief break because you get a bit bored, nothing wrong with meeting a lovely person or two before December. 
  5. How long did it take you to master flying and driving vehicles inworld? Flying I was too terrified to try until I got a decent connection going on, and when I did do it, didn't crash at all. Sort of. As for driving a vehicle...only 'drove' a bike before, if that counts. I was decent with that at least.
  6. Do you have a mystery alt? No. I have very few alts, and at least one friend knows of all of them. And two are probably a bit obvious they're me simply because they're connected to my main roleplay character, so...
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? All me, definitely. My personality doesn't change from offline to on, and when I'm moving about OOC I look pretty much the same...only my avatar is prettier by default (But I'm toa  point where I'm comfotable with ym body as is.) and has a bigger wardrobe and can 'dye' her hair easily enough. Now, when roleplaying that's a bit different and I could on with that, but that is more or less expected there. 
  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that has inspired you in your RL? How? I know people have inspired my RL, and names do come to mind and I'm sure they know who they are, but I'm not so sure on the how just yet. Ask me again in a few years and I'll know by then. 
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? I think they're equal...almost. Difference is you need more of an emotional/mental connection in SL, while in RL most things start out with looks or inner circles. Though in SL, inner circles can introduce you to people but I've yet to see that personally. Though, depending on how you look at it, SL can have stronger bonds, and so can RL. RL holds the physical plus, and SL has the purely mental thing going on. Depends on how you look at it, I guess. Personally, I have people in both worlds who I would loathe to lose.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? I never heard of people falling in love with pen pals before, but I did think that people could fall in love with people they've never met. I'm a born romantic thinker, so these sorts of things are easy for me to believe. Especially with the thought that looks aren't what has people fall in love, but rather the mental and emotional connection, which can be brought about just by speaking to someone with closed eyes.
  11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing Second Life? Hm, can't say it's really changed. I see relationships that start and hold in SL as long-distance relationships, assuming the people involved live a long while away from one another. Relationships take work, and sometimes they work out, sometimes not, and that's no different no matter what world the relationship starts in.
  12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing Second Life? Well...I'm not really sure. I mean, like Strawberry, I never thought that people could actually earn a decent income with virtual things. I knew people could earn money from little creative things and setting up an online shop, but I never thought a virtual medium could bring about cash. Though I did figure that if people sold and made things in a virtual world, they could support themselves in that world, else...not really.
  13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. Um...writing, friends, and....my love of random cute/silly things? Or maybe rather just my personality as a whole.
  14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) Oh boy, probably I would. As much of a risk it could be, I would be too tempted to not...plus, it would be kind of neat. I can't quite word the why it would be neat at the moment, but there is a why there somewhere.
  15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they're inworld vs in the real world? Why do you think that is? Some people act differently, more 'boldly' (not exactly in a good way), more manipulative, inworld and that would be attributed to the fact that they can hide behind an avatar. And other people are allowed to be more free with how they are on the inside than they could in the real world.
  16. How has Second Life consumerism changed your perception of of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be "bleeding edge" with fashion? I've never really cared about fashion, only about what I like to wear. As for money...I'm as, eh, frugal, that's a nice word for it, in RL as I am in SL. Whenever I have lindens, it stretches out for a long while, especially since they're usually earmarked for my roleplay character. Though even if they weren't, still think they'd last a while. 
  17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? I actually touched this topic in a final paper of mine. But, ah, anyhow, I think both. I mean, on one hand, it shrinks the world and allows communication between people who would probably never have met else. Two of the people I count myself as closest to in way of SL, are far, far away and I highly doubt I'd have met them if it wasn't for SL. On the other hand, these worlds also allow for limitation, like people never talking to people that actually live near them. Of course that's a worse case scenario, but it's completely possible.
  18. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you'd send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? Hm...I would be freaked out at first, but might adjust, if I could choose who gets my emotions and who I receive them from. Some people I do not want to know that sort of things, and others I would like their emotions to stay at the end of a ten foot stick. It would be interesting either way, though, and very good for relationships of all sorts, I would think.
  19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in Second Life alone. Photography, reactive (rather than planning the end) writing, and...hm...how to write for a guy's reactions. The last one is kind of iffy since I couldn't write first person for a guy nor roleplay as one, but I think, since I am honestly trying to get something near a book/short story done, that the actions of the men in my WIP stories are more...realistic. 
  20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life avatar's name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud, or something else? If I ever have grand kids, then...either they'd wonder/laugh at the fact I spent time in SL or they'd expect it and think nothing of it since, well, I'd probably be as strange as I am now. 
 

    So that's that. And hopefully if there will ever be grand kids that end up googling this, I'm right with what they're thinking :P But there's this week's Monday thingy, done late by your's truly, but I procrastinate on everything anyway, so what's new? Have a lovely Sunday to anyone who's reading this.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Autoresponse

    I'm going to try and make this as non-ranty as possible, but I'm just at the done level.
    This is something that doesn't often happen to me, even when i was new and wandering the 'newbie' places did it only happen once: people making me uncomfortable. Now, I'm generally polite unless you really piss me off, and that is a hard thing to do. I have a high tolerance level, really, but certain things just have me be just...done. People rarely pay me any mind, and I like that, that's what makes it not so awkward for me to go exploring sims...but then there are the times people notice me. Back in October, I was taking some pics Halloween related and some guy ended up showing up on the sim I was on, no where near me and we were the only two there. He ended up IMing me. It went downhill fast, and I had tried being nice and polite at first until it went downhill and I just shut up.
    Might I mention random people IMing me has me be a bit wary, too, because I am just a careful person. I have had a few nice random IMs always just a short thing, most recently someone on a RP sim I was on making a comment how my char's look gave off a Margaery from Game of Thrones vibe, but others not. And the not is what has me be done. Twice within a short span of time has the not happened. Most recently tonight. I was innocently wandering around a very pretty beach sim, Baja Norte, and I passed by people since it was rather busy while looking for a place to take a pic. Some guy IMed me, and I didn't feel like answering atm, so I kept walking. I paused at a place, guy clicked to sit on something near me, sent a friend request while I was continuing on my way, I stopped someplace else, guy followed up. So instead of being a complete bitch, I replied with a hello and a 'I'm good' when asked how I was. He asked what country I'm from, and I knew where this was going, but I gave a short answer, period and all hoping he'd get the point. He only went on to ask my age. So, politely mind you, saying goodbye and telling him in as nice a way as possible that I wasn't going to share my age with a god damn stranger who was following me, I wandered off. Maybe telling him I was looking to take pics had him leave me be? Don't know. But, see, all of that is not what made me be done with all things, it's what came after: 'ok' pause 'baby'.
    No. Just no. I was tempted to tell him to not call me that in a not so nice way, but instead I just Xed out the chat box and continued on my way. Didn't feel like dealing with it.
    Now, maybe I wouldn't be so over this stuff if it wasn't for the fact some guy not too long ago IMed me, and his IM had me check my groups and if he was onsim cause I felt that uncomfortable, basically soliciting me for sex and suggesting I was in a group made for that, which I sure as hell am not. And I don't want to look through my laptop for it, but I'm pretty 'sinister smile' was in his IM. I just straight up ignored that, and he didn't carry on thankfully. The only thing that had me not feel but so uncomfortable, was that I immediately told a friend what just happened. Telling someone I trust made me feel a bit better and like I could hide behind him for a shield if need be...though I know it doesn't quite work like that in SL, the feeling was still there.
    But basically what all this means is that I now have a personalized autoresponse. I have had my autoresponse on sometimes when I'm not exactly at my keyboard, and then I forget to turn it off, but I've never changed it from the default. I always see my IMs, no matter what I'm doing, I see that blinking orange bubble. Might not respond straightaway, but I see it...unless I fell asleep or am actually afk doing something. Basically, yea, it's preemptively saying to people who might want more than just being nice, that I'm going to ignore you. Yep. Thankfully, it's so rare that someone not my friend IMs me, that I don't really have to worry about it, but I prefer something of protection from idiots. I don't like having on an autoresponse, because I am an open person, as told by this blog probably, but I feel a need to sadly.
    There are a ton of nice people in SL, but then there are those who need to be told where to shove it. I just don't feel like wasting energy telling them where that is. I'm an open person, but I don't like people asking me things that are a bit too much when I don't know who you are, I don't know what you want, etc. I also don't like people asking me if I want to cyber them, even if with only text. And I have two reasons for that A) random person, not doing you, even if only virtually and B) if I'm going to do anything the like, there's only one person I'm comfortable enough to do anything even close to the like with, and that's even only done when it's fitting to a scene and such, not 'just because'. Yea, my comfort level has to be pretty high for any intimate typing of any sort, erotic scenes aside even. Okay, so maybe that's technically three reasons, but still.
    Unfortunately with SL being rather anonymous, unless you choose for it to not be, people can be more forward or awkward or creepy or whatever you want to call it. Of course there are those sorts in RL, but it's harder to come across, at least in my experience. And, too, this all kind of reminds me, yet again, of another post I had read a bit back; if you're curious, click here.
    Now, thankfully, I've not had anything like that happen (thank you security orb and the fact I don't think any ballooners are around *double checks*) but the fact that I can relate to a few points. With the recent...interaction...I felt like tping off the sim, even though I had as much right to be there are this random guy. Even with the guy who IMed me and only mentioned a similar group (which far as I can tell was only an art group that we shared in common) I felt a need to check radar and be sure he was no where near; if he was near, I may have felt like fleeing...except again I would've let that thought go because I had a friend there. And then as well with my own being polite, when, if it was a friend of mine and I had the ability, I would've told the person to go away in a very unnice way. I was even polite to the one that I flat out ignored, since it was ignore or tell him to go jerk off to something else, again in a very unnice way. If any of the people had been explicitly rude, I would've gone off more than likely, but they weren't...not exactly at least.
    As the post I linked points out, even, girls are kind of taught to be nice and polite in all situations. I hate how I actually realize I fall into that category, but only when it comes to myself. I'm more prepared to step up for someone else than I am for myself, if it's myself I'll just take it unless someone is just outright rude and nasty. Women are taught, not directly so, to be this way more often than not because of social norms. And social norms suck because they are hard to break from once you've been trained to it. It's not on purpose, of course not, but it does happen. We're conditioned in such a way that we think we 'have' to be the polite person, and turn someone down nicely, even if we want to push them off a cliff. Enough women are not in the lines of this norm, but they tend to be considered 'different' and 'odd' as unfortunate as it is. And I only use different and odd as nice euphemisms for what someone would call a woman who might not be so nice to someone who is giving unwanted attention.
    This norm translates into both lives, which is almost worse in SL, because, short of muting someone, you can't exactly get away from them talking to you. And that leads to more of a feeling of uncomfortableness or vulnerability or whatever depending on the situation. It's not an easy thing, for me, to admit, but it's true. I just hope that it'll change a bit as time goes on, and that people will stop looking past subtle 'go away' signals.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Unfiltered

    My brain somehow seems to only start working halfways decently later at night, since earlier I was...having a few issues with normal brain function it would seem as someone who I accidentally kept awake longer than they shoulder been can attest to. And I still fell sorry for that, but I digress. My point here is that with my mind working at the current speed it is, I read this, and after getting over the fact there are apparently mesh normal people ears (besides elven and those gauges which make no sense to me in either life) I moved on to this which was linked in said post. And then I started thinking which is as equally a good thing as bad depending on what, and in this case I think it's a mix depending on if my rambling seems pointless or not. Also, sorry if I'm reiterating myself at all from my changing standards post.
    I hardly edit my pictures, ever. I do it, yes, when I want to add a certain...touch to something, but else I don't. Even then it's really just a small effect, nothing big. Granted, perhaps if I had Photoshop I might, since I've liked it since I used it in a photography class I took, but I have Gimp and, while it does quite a bit, it doesn't do near as much as the paid for photo editor. And I'll admit, I admire those SL pics that look so very close to real at first glance and wish I knew how to do that, but even if I did/could I would only do it for artful purposes, not 'just because'. I think rather much can be done to make a picture within SL, and in RL, too, beautiful without the need of a photo editor. Of course such tools can make it look pretty, but they aren't needed. It really boils down to a sense of aesthetics and what you want in beauty, but, as the latter post does point out, it can give unreal expectations. I think if these editors were used in moderation, and only when really needed or the photographers wants a certain feel, it would be better. And some people do do that, and others do awesome things with editors. But using them and being dependent are two different things. Being dependent on a photo editor and just using it without looking at your picture and seeing if it really needs it, is not so good a thing. Certain things do need editing, and others don't. Some look better if mildly edited, but heavy editing is hardly needed for day to day use. Even filters aren't really needed.
    Filters and edits are growing in how well they are done and how often they are used. I think must people stay away form such thigns when starting out in any sort of photography since they don't want to mess it up really, except for filters. Filters are possibly used rather much when starting out, since they are easy and you can't really mess up with adding black and white or sepia tones. But on either end, they are used more often, in both worlds. In RL, other than adds, Instagram and such encourages a filter; in SL, possibly the updates of clothes and hair and bodies looking better with mesh has people want to tweak things jsut a bit more. It's easier, perhaps, with the mesh updates to smooth out stuff so you don't have to, or perhaps because the aesthetic want is greater with it looking better unedited than in previous years. There was a greater standard for the 'natural' look (as natural as a virtual body can be), so the standard of the pictured look went up in response. If something looks good in reality, there tends to be some sort of expectation of it being able to be better when captured, at least for the most part.
    Whether in SL or RL, no one is ever going to be able to match an edited picture. As Lucie's post also points out, perhaps what we might change on our SL avatar would be what we'd tweak on ourselves, or at least to a similar degree. Even if your avatar is already looking like a model, you might find more flaws if you feel them in yourself. It was only touched in that post, but I'm going more into since such things draw me to them.
    It would make sense if there was some correlation, at least to me. While our avatars may look widely different from our own selves, what we might wish to edit on them (the normal avi weirdness aside) what we can't really edit on ourselves. We can change our shape in SL, our skin, our hair, our eyes, whatever you want, but if you are trained to perceive certain flaws, you may yet see it and want to change it. The lips aren't quite right; edit. The nose is weird; edit. I personally don't see the problem with the 'usual' lips if the skin creator did alright with them, besides the teeth perhaps but those hardly show unless prompted, but people want to change them. And while you may know that it isn't the real thing, others may think it is and that may make whoever did the picture feel good.
    But if you see a flaw on yourself, again if your nose is not quite the shape you think it ought to be, you might be more picky on your virtual self, as you have a choice, you can change it. So you do what you can in the 'physical' bit, but then you take a picture. It's still there. So, logically, while touching it up to add some effects or however, you pay specific attention to that one part that just isn't quite right in your eyes. In many ways our avis are a mirror of ourselves, physical or mental, they are a mirror, so fixing one's RL imperfections on one's SL self, could perhaps give a confidence boost....until you realize you don't look like that and can't just fix whatever you think looks wrong. That's when worse things set in and, while someone may not do the same edits they would for a SL picture, they may slap a filter over any and all profile picture they have. So what if the people you are friends with/have on your Skype/etc. might already know how you look, adding a filter of sorts that might just draw the eye away from one part of you to another. We edit ourselves no matter if virtual or not, in pictures so we can seem perfect if only for one captured moment in time.
    This really all goes back to the ideas of beauty, but of course it's more focused on the idea of pictures instead. Since pictures are a lot easier (and cheaper in either life thanks to free photo editors) than editing our bodies.
    What I wonder is that, when everything is mesh, bodies and all else, will people still want to edit. (and the entirely mesh thing is getting closer with the starter avis now mesh, a fitted mesh body for sale, mesh heads, etc.) I think yes. Even with the edges smoothed out, people will want to throw a filter over perceived 'imperfections' and will want to cover up little details that they don't like. Perfection is truly unattainable, in either life, at least if you ask me. I don't see any member of the human race looking at any picture of themselves and thinking 'I'm perfect', whether virtual or not. I don't see this ever happening because of how our brains are wired; we always want to find that elusive thing that makes something perfect, but then we find something that that perfect thing doesn't have and need to find that plus the former thing. And it goes on, even if you can accept whatever 'flaw' you see, you'll still possibly go back to wanting to change it. It doesn't matter if the flaw is virtual or not, you'll still want to change it.
    We want more, we want perfection, but we won't get it. We can't get it. Not as long as we continue to think the way we are made to. Editing pictures, while a wonderful thing for art and certain emotions to get across, isn't helpful when it comes to feeling a 'need' for it before you'll dare upload anything. We slap on filters to make things look 'pretty', we edit to make things look 'better', not really is it ever use for the sake of art, just for perfection.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Interaction and Eating in the Virtual

    I started to write this last night since it was much too hot to sleep, and I was worrying about various things across the board, RL and SL wise, so it wasn't a good way to try and sleep. Thankfully I have no classes today, only a final on Monday. But, of course, a headache hit me adding to everything, so I didn't really type much. I did type for my IC blog, but probably going to edit it since I'm not sure where my thoughts were really. Now, while I'm still worrying and feeling bad and all that stuff, it's not too hot just yet; thankfully the sun hasn't gotten to the side where my room is yet. As a distraction, I am writing to try and not think too much.
    I read this post a bit back that had me start to think and I am thinking on it again. (Curious of what post i'm taking about, click here) Now, the restaurant mentioned there is actually a neat concept, granted I'd be making smart remarks the whole time, but a neat idea none the less. And, as pointed out in said post, eating isn't so much 'just' a thing done because we have to, at least in developed/first world countries, but because we can. We don't have to hunt and gather, so there's a lot less work involved in getting food, and a lot less need to conserve it, unless you are tight on cash. Now, personally I don't eat 'just because I can', I eat near constantly because I have a high metabolism. Of course there are times where i can't eat but so much and I have to adjust my body to be used to not eating but so much, but that's something entirely different. Eating is also a very social thing now, too.
    People seem to prefer to eat with others, instead of on their own unless they're in their home, of course. But rarely does anyone go out to eat by themselves, especially with how there are no single table restaurants. (Aside from one that I heard of a while ago that does have tables only for single diners.) But going out to eat is a very social thing, so much so that going to a decent place to eat alone generally has people look at you weird, in most cases that is. I'm not speaking of fast food places, but of places that are where you go, sit, eat more than one course, etc. Booths, more than one chair at a table, all of that is just more proof of how social eating has become. And apparently it is no different in SL, where your avatar won't die for lack of food.
    As I said, it seems an interesting thing to do, if a bit strange, but it really isn't needed. Of course it cuts out the thought of having to figure out exactly what the hell to do with someone, if you need to figure out something to do, since you sit and don't have to wander or anything. Simple. Easy. But weird. As the Kitty, the writer of the post, touches on, too, is that you can't go out and eat with people who live far, far away. But Second Life, in all it's virtualness, does allow for that. Now, if you can put aside the fact having your avatar 'eat' is strange, the idea of having a meal, as it were, with someone who you couldn't with otherwise, is not a bad idea. It's just another thin that helps to close the gap between various places, such as the virtual is apt to do.
    While going out to one of the virtual restaurants that exist isn't something that should be a every week thing, like some do with their friends and family in RL, going once with someone you know (or otherwise even) might be one of those things people could mark down on their virtual bucket lists. Like I said, it's not a bad idea int he fact it mushes the world all the closer, but it's still strange and worthy of smart remarks.
    I guess this sort of thing just fits into the general description of SL; strange, but interesting.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Bloody Countess

    So this idea came from one of the last things my history teacher spoke about; what vampires, witches, werewolves, and djinn were way back in medieval and renaissance times were. I knew about Vlad the Impaler, about the various witch trials and hunts, about how djinn were very not nice, but the 'original' idea of werewolves was, yes, new to me. The only thing that would've made that lesson more awesome, would have been if she included folklore on fae in there someplace. But what really caught my attention was about one of the other supposed 'real' vampires, like Vlad/Dracula, only a woman who was as crazy as the man she was married to. Only worse. So she ended being counted as a vampire. I'm talking about Elizabeth/Erzsebet Bathory, or, rather, the Bloody Countess. For those of you who don't know and may happen to read this, she had this idea that virgin girl blood could help her retain her youth, so she killed a bunch of girls for their blood. She offered to have girls to come to her to learn and when their parents would ask to see them, they would only hear that their daughter was 'deep in studies and not to be disturbed.' Supposedly she bathed in their blood as well, and not to mention killed the servants who brought her the girls. So...if anyone deserves the title 'vampire', I think she wins, along with Vladimir, of course. But she did end up being locked away for four years in a tower essentially, with only a little slot to shove food and light into, dying inside there. 
    But I have a rather...big imagination...and..well.. I love my mythical creatures, and I love turning realistic happenings into something else when I'm bored. So, since this information was new to me and I had to wait for a bit before I could leave the campus, I came up with something playing on the vampire rumor surrounding this countess. And, thanks to this post I found a place that, I think, works quite well for my idea. I also found a simply lovely part of that place that just gorgeous and gave me an idea for something involving IC stuff that I will be sure to implement at some point in the future, if not I'll just drag someone about OOC. We shall see what works. But this picture is in one of the different areas about at Skyfall. And below it will be the story that sprung from a history class of all places.


    Abigail was simply a youth to most, but enough yet knew of how her mother had been a servant to Elizabeth Bathory, The Bloody Countess. Her mother was one of those killed simply because she brought girls to the Countess to kill. Abigail's mother did this to protect her, and, thankfully, even with being killed by her Lady, her daughter was safe.
    Or so she had hoped.
    It wasn't the rumors of witchcraft in her blood that had twelve year old Abigail meet her fate, nor the whispers of vampires loyal to their trapped Countess, not even the nightmares of werewolves, but rather Elizabeth herself.
    By this point in the girl's life, the Countess had been locked in her tower for near four years. But on a late night, Abigail rose from her bed, thinking to hear her mother humming a song that always brought her comfort. She wandered the small house, careful to not wake her father or siblings, but she could not find the source of the sound. Out the door she went with her cloak pulled tight, her auburn hair hidden by a hood, and a torch lighting her way through the strangely empty streets.
    Somehow she came upon Elizabeth's tower and the hole that served as a window and a passage for food. The humming came from inside it did seem. Now, little Abigail knew it could not be her mother, but she was curious and terrified all at once. How could she have heard humming form her room when the tower was not but so close? "Hello?," she whispered, checking for guards and seeing none.
    "Dear, sweet Abigail, I have been waiting to meet you for some time," a soft voice crooned from the hole. A moment later, Erzsebet's face peered through the small window, causing Abigail to jump back, the glow of the torch flinging strange shadows upon the woman's face. A terrifying, vampiric visage framed by stone. "Do not fear, my child, I only wish to ask something of you."
    "A-ask of your children or followers, I wish for nothin' of your acquaintance," Abigail replied, attempting, and failing, to sound brave.
    "My children do not wish to help in such a way I want, and my followers are lazy. But you share the blood of your mother, a strong, hardworking woman. She thought I did not know of her witch daughter, but I did. I never commanded she bring you to me, so you owe me your life."
    "I owe you nothin'. You killed my Ma, so nothin' is owed." By this point Abigail could hardly breathe for the fear in her, let alone move, even overlooking the insult of being a called a witch. 
    "I did not kill her, but rather helped her escape," the Countess replies in her breathy voice, clearly weak from the years trapped, "You must know how rumors of her cursing people were beginning to spread. I cared for Jane, and I can offer you to see her, to live a long life, whatever you want most, lovely girl."
    Abigail wasn't certain if she could trust a murderer, a woman clearly mad. But perhaps the tales of vampirism were true, which meant she was not mad, simply following nature and God's will. Following His will as well an unholy creature could, of course. But that could mean her mother lived. It was known that, if her father could collect enough for a proper dowry, she would be married off soon, or simply stay a burden on his shoulders. If she were with her mother....
    This prospect caught the girl like a fish on a hook.
    She nodded only, and a smile spread onto the Countess's lips, a plan spilling from them soon after to Abigial's waiting ears.
    What did happen that night is largely unknown, as Elizabeth's body was found in the tower once the stench became noticeable, and Abigail became another missing girl. Now, if she was missing like the girls who died at Elizabeth's hands, or if she was simply only missing is a mystery as well. But, perhaps, both she and the Countess received their wishes.
    Perhaps one day the epilogue will be known, but for now comfort lies in the thought that Erzsebet Bathory is dead and gone, nothing more but a mad woman who yearned for youth.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Unexpected

    This is going to be short, but I have to say while it's still fresh in my head: I love when things are unexpected in roleplay. Of course it's better when I'm rping with someone who I'm comfortable with OOC, since that opens up a few more possibilities because of how I am, but still. I'm also counting myself lucky to often play with someone who manages to slip in the unexpected every now and again, not to mention just simply be a wonderful typist. But the main point is that the small surprises, the things that leave you wondering if that really just happened, are jsut one of the many things that makes roleplay so very worth it, at least if you ask me. I know I may not do much that is but so unexpected except for maybe a few isntances, but I don't claim to be anywhere near the pinnacle of roleplayers in the least. No where near it, trust me.
     Surprises in roleplay, just awesome. Deep, raw roleplay is wonderful, but so is the unexpected. To me it is like reading a book; the twists make the book so much more intriguing, even if they make you feel the need to re-read a paragraph or page to be certain something really just happened. As it is, right now I'm thinking of the various outcomes of what may happen because of something that happened today...and that's only what I can think of. And, of course, I'm thinking of various things that can happen tomorrow because of something that happened while I was away/asleep on Friday, but hopefully nothing too bad will come of that. Guess we'll see, but can hope for the best to preserve what sanity a certain character has, yes?
     But that's one of the things about roleplay, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, it can leave you on such a cliffhanger. Just sitting there, twiddling your thumbs while waiting to see what will come. For now, though, I need to get some sleep since I have at least one final on for tomorrow. Once I'm done with it, then I'll go back to my usual daydream of what may be mode.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paper Slips

    Gah, I was determined to get this up for the last day of National Poetry Month, but, well, I forgot about it until now. Still have fifteen or so minutes, so does still count yes? Maybe it's a bit of a, ah, not so happy poem, but I guess I was sad when I wrote it so...it happens. But I like it anyway and working to get it up before midnight, so meh.



    Little slips of paper scattered all about.
    Not good enough.
    Don't cry.
    Can't help. Want.
    Try. Not good enough.
    Keep quiet.
    And more.
    Tears.
    Alone. Always.
    Hurt.
    Take up all the papers, drop them into the bottle.
     Heavy weights drop.
    Forcing them to fit, sealing it tight.
    Bury, hide, don't let them see.
    Don't let them know.
    Quiet.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Renewal

    I like spring, so long as the weather is springy which is rare around where I live since we tend to skip from winter to summer straightaway. The only difference being that allergies still crop up during spring, no matter how warm. Thankfully at least SL has the appropriate weather, without pollen even. So, yes, I like spring and the newness of everything and seeing things grow and all that. But I don't usually tend to actually do the whole 'spring cleaning' thing, but I've started on that today. Bad habit of mine is to let clutter build in a corner and, even though i know where everything is and it isn't that bad, it's still a bit of an eyesore until I finally push myself to do something on it. To say I'm not domestic would probably be an understatement with how rare the mood to actually clean hits me.
    But I'm working on it yet. I figure it all comes back to my procrastination and all that, so that's a whole other thing to work on in and of itself. Still, I am trying. And this does translate to SL, too, in terms of my very cluttered inventory. I keep starting to sort stuff, delete stuff, but then I stop and it jsut becomes a jumbled mess again. I like to be organized, even if my organization is something only I can understand, it's still a sort of organization. I don't need other people to be able to easily find my stuff, so long as i can, I'm good.
    With spring actually seeming like spring, I am trying more than just spring cleaning as well. I have this list of things I've been carrying around in my wallet since new year's and, well, I haven't done quite a bit of it. I'm going to get a bit more into that now, I think. While it's a list of goals, it does still remind me of this superstition of sorts that I was told about by some speaker person in elementary school; basically write your wishes down on a piece of paper and keep it in your pocket/wallet so that it's near to you most times and it'll come true, just don't tell anybody what's on said list. While I'm not sure that actually works, keeping the list close does help me keep in mind what I'm aiming for before the end of the year. Some are more goal-like, and others are just me trying to be a better person. I know I'm not perfect, so may as well try to be better at least. Hopefully I'll get a few crossed off, if not all.
    But seeing as i have the time and probably shouldn't put it off but too much, I'm going to go see what I can do to tame my wild jungle of an inventory.

And just 'cause it's springy, here's a bird.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Dark Light

    Sort of related, as much as an epilogue would be to its story, to a short story that yet lacks a middle.

    My mother had been a Light. Pale hair and skin, golden eyes and markings, and the ability to create light from herself. The Lights that came about decades ago have started to dwindle, just like the more 'normal' sorts of lights. She died in an explosion of light, brought up by her expending her energy so far and trying to make things so bright... Things didn't go as she had hoped they would, the world did not start to become light again. In fact, I think it has grown darker. The stars are becoming lesser and it seems the world will be dark and cold, just as the Dark wants.
    People think that the Lights are the sparks of hope that had been unleashed from Pandora's Box, where this all started thanks to the Agency and a few idiots who went down there. My mother used to say that maybe I was the real hope, but also a possible way for the darkness that cloaks the world to grow. I used to look like a Light, but then I changed when I was little, or so my mother and Henry, someone else who didn't want to kill me on sight, claimed. Now my hair is raven black, my eyes midnight, and my markings pitch; I can absorb the Darklings, forgo food when I do, even. People fear me and hate me. Since my mother, Henry, and I  could never find a small group of humans to accept us, not even our own group, they built a small fort. I still live there. Thinking. Wondering.


    My mother said my father had loved star books and maps, even if he'd never seen a sky full of the various constellations he knew by heart. He wanted a starry sky, and my mother did as well. Henry wanted to see a bright blue sky again, since he was alive when the world became to darken, but he died much too soon for it. Part of me wants to bring the light back, if I can. Absorb the dark as much as I can, maybe...turn it all back against the center of all this. Overflow it with its own darkness. Or just try to take it all into myself. I might feel uncomfortable when the light would return, since I know my mother's spectacular death had ended up with me unconscious out for a long while. Henry told me I had been so for nearly a whole day. Light and I do not get along, simply put, and thankfully none of the Lights we had ever come upon actually acted on their threats of killing me as they do the Darklings.


    But...then there's the other part of me. The part of me that wants to have these people all get what they deserve. They turned us away, because they thought me a monster. I could help them if they had allowed me to. The creatures that attack them never attack me until it is too late. Part of me wants to release the darkness I have gathered onto them, darken the skies all the quicker. Somehow I can see the moon and sun in my mind, both casting shadows over the land and sea, even though I've seen neither before. I want to banish those images, banish the hope those people cling on to. 
    Part of me wants to damn them all.
    My mother used to call me a Dark Light, since I clearly wasn't a Light, but not human either. She used to call me that fondly, thinking I could help one day. Fondly, even though my name, Lucetta, means 'little light' and I could not, can not, live up to that name. I don't want to help. But I do want to give Mother and Henry what they wished for, if only after death. They deserve that, but the others don't. Perhaps when I find the center what I should do will just come to me and I'll know. Maybe I'll know when I see this twisted monster that had been unleashed, the thing that killed Zora, my mother.
    Doing either of my options will likely kill me, but I hope whichever I do chose will let me rest in peace.