Saturday, May 24, 2014


    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


    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.