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Sunday, March 3, 2013

"The kid next door is dying"

I've been popping in and out of Second Life to say hi to friends, but I'm pretty consumed these days with the real world and this new PR job, which is paying me nothing while it's kicking my ass. (Alone, I manage 10 clients, y'all. TEN.)

Meanwhile, also in the real world, the 16-year-old kid who lives next door to me is dying. (Yeah, I didn't really have a smooth segue for that part. Sorry.)

I write it here because I want to talk about it, but nobody in our neighborhood is talking about it anymore. It's the big awkward elephant on the street and we are all gingerly stepping around it. His house has become That House With the Kid Who is Dying. It might as well have a giant flag that says "CANCER LIVES HERE" flying in the front yard.

About eight months ago he was diagnosed with tumors in his liver and lungs. And so it began. As if in a Hallmark Channel movie, the neighborhood rallied. One day everyone showed up with rakes and collectively cleaned up the leaves in the front yard. Another day, people gathered in matching T-shirts, cheering, "We're gonna beat this!" before leaving for a fundraiser walk-a-thon. People bustled in and out of the house with food and good wishes. Everyone put up a brave front.

Then gradually the activity tapered off. Reports came back from the hospital of more and more tumors spreading. The chemotherapy wasn't working. The prognosis got bleaker and bleaker. A big truck came and dropped off a hospital bed. He would spend days on end at a prominent pediatric cancer hospital here and then come home, withered and hairless and nothing at all like the kid who only a year ago was out there shooting hoops in the driveway and talking to girls on his cell phone. He helped me chase my dog once when she managed to get off her leash. When we caught her, we were both laughing so hard we were almost doubled over. Now he has to be carried up the stairs into his house.

We've started to get the vibe from his family that they just want to be left alone. The valiant determination has turned to quiet resolution. They come and go in hushed solemnity. Some weeks, the newspapers pile up at the foot of their driveway. They don't want visitors. Our helpless "Is there anything we can do?" is always met with a polite "No thank you." We leave them alone with their grief and hope we're not being assholes by doing it.

My (temporary, while I pay off some of this $35K in debt, don't get me started) room on the second floor of my family's home would be right next to his if we didn't have the outside world separating us. Sometimes I lie in bed and wonder if he's scared over there, lying in his own bed. Or in pain. Or asleep. Or on a laptop playing video games. Sometimes I lie here and think, "Only a couple of walls stand between me and Death," and I'll try to project thoughts over there, to Death, as if it really were a dark, cloaked reaper standing in a corner of the kid's room with a scythe in hand, silently watching a giant ticking clock. I'll think, "TAKE ME INSTEAD. I'VE HAD A GREAT LIFE. HIS IS JUST BEGINNING" as loud and as and hard as I can. Or I'll put my palm against the wall and imagine sending a blast of white, purifying light over there, like a laser. I'll imagine it engulfing his hospital bed and seeping into his body and burning away all the cancer that's eating him alive. I'll start thinking about how all this stuff about God and the miracle of prayer and the power of positive thinking and manifesting your destiny suddenly seems like bullsh*t, and I'll wonder if he's over there thinking the same thing.

His looming death has become interwoven with our lives. We will inevitably mention him during dinner, we will text updates on his health when we get them, we will become suddenly quiet when we pass his house. Often I'll be cleaning or walking the dog or sitting here messing around on my laptop or getting ready for some big stupid thing at work and suddenly I'll stop and think, "The kid next door is dying" and feel, well, guilty I guess. And sad. And helpless. I would like to say something uplifting, like "his oncoming death is making me appreciate my own life more," but I'm embarrassed to say that's not true. I'm old. I'm jaded. I'm tired. I've been through this so many times with so many people. As cold as it sounds, the unspoken thought that often hangs here is more like, "So this is how his story ends." And if I'm lucky, someday someone will be watching my own story end and, in doing so, at least honor the fact that I had one in the first place. I feel like we are all on this journey with him and I hope he at least feels our silent presence, but besides that, if there is some great lesson to be learned here, it's being wasted on me at this point.

I've noticed that even though his name is Maximillian – and he hates it when people call him Max – we always refer to him as "the kid next door," as if by refusing to use his name we are selfishly putting distance between us and the massive waves of grief coming from that house. Or maybe it's because if we refuse to use his name, it keeps its power – it gets to hold on to an identity that doesn't include dying. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I don't know.

So anyway, I logged in today to screw around with my virtual SL house and, as always, out of the blue, I thought, "The kid next door is over there dying." Then I hoped that God or whoever is running the universe would at least accept that acknowledgment as some kind of a prayer. Because you can only get down on your knees and say, "Please God, don't let that kid die" or "Please God, help him not to feel lonely and scared" or "Please God, give his family strength" so many times before you start feeling like a broken record that nobody's listened to for a while.

The kid next door is dying, and I don't really have a way to end this blog post. Sometimes I still cling to a tiny sliver of hope that his story will have a surprise ending. Until then, I take some small comfort in the fact that the cursor has stopped here, still blinking – that I don't have a sentence to write here yet.

Sheezus this blog is becoming a real downer. Sorry 'bout that.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Did Elisa Lam have a Second Life AV?

(I swear this post will eventually get around to the topic of Second Life. Just bear with it.)


I've been haunted all weekend by the story of Elisa Lam.

You've probably heard this story – or at least part of it – by now.

In a nutshell: Elisa Lam, 21, of Vancouver, B.C., takes a solo trip to California. Her friends and family members say they're not quite sure why. A few friends say she told them she was going to take a job on a farm in Santa Cruz. Some of them find this reason strange and hard to believe – Who hears about a random job on a farm in California and travels from Canada to take it? Other friends say Elisa struggled with sometimes-crippling depression – for a time she had dropped out of school because of it – and had wandered off the grid before. They assumed this trip was another depression-fueled wander.

Regardless of the reason behind it, Elisa mentions the trip on her tumblr. She lists the cities she plans to visit – San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and possibly San Luis Obispo – and invites her tumblr followers to offer travel suggestions or plan a meet-up with her. Finally, she heads off to Cali on Jan. 26.

She starts in San Diego, kicks around for a couple of days and then takes a bus to Los Angeles. She checks in to the unbelievably seedy Cecil Hotel. It's a couple of streets away from Skid Row, where homeless people live in tents on the streets. It's filthy and dismal, with shared bathrooms and public showers. It has several floors of single occupancy residents. In fact, serial killer Richard Ramirez lived there for 14 months. Actually, I could devote a whole post to the hotel's dark past – so many murders there, so many suicides – but this post is about Elisa.

Many of us who are now borderline-obsessed with this case wonder why in the world she would choose such a nasty hotel, particularly since she was traveling alone. Some us think she was misled by the hotel's website, which shows marble floors and ornate decor. Some of us think someone may have suggested it to her. Some of us think she picked it because she was on a budget and it's only $65 a night to stay there and close to a hip, artsy section of downtown L.A.

Meanwhile, she checks in with her family every day of her trip. And then one day she stops checking in. Her family gets concerned. Days go by. Elisa misses her Feb. 1 check-out date. Her parents and sister fly from Vancouver to Los Angeles to hold a Feb. 6 press conference with the Los Angeles Police Department about Elisa's disappearance. More days go by.

And here's where it gets creepy and disturbing as hell.

On Feb. 14, in the hopes that someone will recognize her, police release this Jan. 31 surveillance video footage of Elisa in one of the hotel's elevators. It is, hands down, one of the most chilling things I've watched in a long time:



Is she hiding from someone? High? Hallucinating? In the midst of a mental break? Goofing around with someone? Possessed? Seeing the paranormal? I AM HAUNTED BY THIS VIDEO. I had horrible dreams about this video. I woke up thinking about this video. I will probably think about it every time I get in an elevator now.

On Feb. 19, in response to complaints of low water pressure from guests at the Cecil Hotel, a worker checks the hotel's water tanks on the roof and discovers the decomposing nude body of a woman floating in one of them. It is later identified "by body markings" as the missing Elisa Lam. Authorities later determined the body had been there for at least 19 days.

The subsequent news stories were unfortunately not so much about Elisa as they were about the fact that the Cecil Hotel's residents had been drinking, showering in and brushing their teeth with water in which a decomposing corpse had been floating for weeks. It explained why some guests had complained that their shower water was black and their drinking water had a "sweetly, disgusting" taste to it. . . .

OK, I have to break the serious tone of this post for a minute to say SHEEEEEEEEZUS that could be the grossest thing I've ever heard. I'm sorry, but WOW. I would probably puke for WEEKS if I was one of those people. "We're not well mentally," said British tourist and hotel guest Michael Baugh, 27. YOU THINK?

On Feb. 20, officials issue a "do not drink" order to guests and residents of the hotel. (Um, too late?)

An autopsy on Feb. 21 was frustratingly "inconclusive." Now those of us who are emotionally invested in this story are waiting six to eight weeks for toxicology reports. And wondering. Was she murdered? Was it a drug-induced accident? Was it suicide? Was she in L.A. to meet someone whom she met online – someone who turned out to be a sicko?

Anyway, so here's why I wanted to talk about Elisa and Second Life.

So many people out there on various forums are speculating about this young woman's life, trying to find out who she was and if she'd be prone to suicide, drugs or weird, crazy gestures in elevators.

As for me, one way I really got to know Elisa was by reading her blog Ether Fields. In it, she talks very openly about her struggles with depression and her frequent inability to leave the house or get out of bed. When she did, it was an accomplishment. I know how she feels. She also talks about connecting with people online. A pretentious guy on one conspiracy theory forum described her blog as "boring, not particularly interesting." I wanted to tell that guy that a-holes like him probably contributed a helluva lot to her often-bleak outlook on life.

Some excerpts:

"I spent about two days in bed hating myself.
Why don't I simply do the things that I know will make me feel better?
It isn't rocket science. It isn't that difficult. Get out of bed. Eat. See people. Talk to people. Exercise. Write. Read. "
"Things are going fairly well in that I am leaving the house and got myself a part time job. My room is still a mess. I haven't actually done any school work and I berate myself for being such a lazy person."
"I feel I am wasting my time compared to my fellow peers. I had a relapse at the start of the term and had to drop 2 of the 3 courses I was taking. Now I am down to one course and I have missed 3 weeks of classes since my sleeping pattern is completely reversed." 
"I haven't felt 'fine' in over 3 years. This relapse makes me feel as though I haven't made any progress at all." 
"I'm very disappointed in myself for breaking down during the term forcing me to withdraw from courses. I've been at university for 3 years and I've only managed to complete three courses. That means I've been a first year for three years and this September it will be for the fourth year because I require 30 credits in order for second year status."
"I just wish...someone around me could understand what it really means to be depressed." 
"Bless the internet. All those who wish to find a way to express their sadness can go there and feel less alone. So many of the tumblrs I follow seem to carry the same grief as me in some way or another.  . . . I simply have no motivation to do anything, let alone leave my bed. My computer and the internet is my one lifeline, one link to the world and reminder to look beyond my immediate situation because there is always more. Always. "
"On one hand this helps me deal with the sadness but on the other hand I basically become a potato. On the outside I look like a catatonic hobo on my bed in front of a glowing screen (no sleep schedule whatsoever but this appears to be a norm for the jobless and the people on the internet) and not eating/sleeping/functioning like any "normal" person. And I shout at anyone saying "Maybe.... you should try getting off the computer?" Leave me alone, I'm happy, this makes me feel better, I need this, this is the one thing that makes me sane, I can't deal with people, just leave me alone, this is something I can actually do, nobody is judging me, I feel less lonely because all these people think like me. "
". . . despite the overwhelming majority of tumblr-ers who seem to be your soulmate, the actuality is they are the minority of the world. And perhaps, they only exist on their computers and they are a muted version of their online selves in real life. And maybe I'm looking at them through the rose-coloured glasses (pixelated screens I think there's a funny analogy in there somewhere) and seeing the person they aspire to be."
Does any of this sound familiar? Doesn't it sound like so many of our blogs and conversations? I know it sounds like a lot of mine. Hell, I could have written these things – just substitute "jobs" for "courses" and change "not getting out of bed for days" to "years."

People might disagree with this opinion, but I think she fits the profile of so many people in Second Life: dealing with depression or isolation, connects better with people online than in RL, sees the Internet as somewhere to escape, recognizes the power of expression and reinvention that an online identity can give.

At one point in her blog, she talks about not wanting to blog under her real name:

Why am I writing about issues that I know people f*cking freak out about? What kind of a narcissistic twit am I anyway to think my little voice will add anything useful to the blogosphere? Why do I feel the need to do this at all? What have I already published that people could use against me? What if there are already crazies out there Googling me? 

Oof, if only she knew just how much some of us would be Googling her. :(

And her mysterious trip to California – well, it reminded me of so many of my SL friends who finally took that leap and traveled somewhere in RL to meet an SL friend or partner. You just can't tell most people in RL about a trip like that because many people wouldn't understand and many would think you had lost it.

I think Elisa Lam would have liked Second Life. She was passionate about fashion and loved to express herself visually as well as verbally. It just makes me wonder if she had an AV here. I remember the weird panicky feeling I got when one of my SL friends up and vanished a few years ago. I remember just feeling helpless because I really didn't know who she was in RL. I sat around wondering if she had been in an accident or if she had just decided to make a run for the border.

Do any of you have an SL friend who mentioned a trip to California and vanished? Do any of you know someone who recently went from being regularly active to suddenly gone (besides me, LOL)? If we give her name to Linden Lab, would they check? Probably not.

The problem with forming an online community is when you lose a member, sometimes you never find out why. And vice versa – when something horrible happens out there in the real world, sometimes you never know which, if any, of your virtual friends are affected by it. Sometimes people just disappear, and all the searching in the world never brings any clear answers.

Anyway, I can't get away from the word "haunt" here. Her story haunts me. I am haunted by the sickeningly ironic fact (sing: "Isn't It Ironic?") that when she finally managed to get out of bed and make an effort to get a fresh perspective on life, she came to a horrifying, gruesome end. I am heartbroken for her family – how horrible, not only to lose a daughter and a sister, but to lose her in such a macabre, public way. She's not Elisa anymore – she's a rotting corpse that contaminated a hotel water supply for days. She's a weird girl doing creepy things in an elevator. Depending who you ask, she's on drugs, insane, plain stupid or suicidal. Nobody's talking about the tragedy of a bright life that was suddenly taken. Nobody's talking the fact that she loved "The Great Gatsby" and Harry Potter, that she had a wonderful eye for fashion, that she was often bravely trying to find her way back from the brink and allowing so many people to share that journey, that she rejoiced in the feeling of being madly in love and loved back, that her Instagram album was pretty cool.

She has been reduced to a morbid mystery. :(

Elisa, I wish I would have found your blog while you were alive. I would have told you that so many people can relate to what you were going through. SO MANY. And if you didn't know about SL, maybe I would have told you about it. We take care of our own here. Or at least we try.

Rest in peace.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Do you believe in strangers, finding that they are old angels?

HELLO!

I've been gone for about four months. In fact, maybe I'm still gone, but I got this urge to log in and at least do something with my yard and house for the holidays. Because look at this HOT MESS OF A YARD right now – LOOK AT IT!


I was kind of horrified to discover that I have almost all new neighbors ("EVERYONE'S GONE!" she wailed), and I'm pretty sure they must hate my guts for having to look at this three-ring circus all the time. Oops.

So I was going to write this deeply meaningful post about why I left and what's changed and how it's kind of a relief to be (sort of) back, but how it also feels sort of tainted – like falling off a sobriety wagon – and I'm also kind of bummed about missing Halloween in SL and those rockin' Day of the Dead KittyCats and blah blah blah blah blah blahhhhhhhhh. But I guess I slept with my head and neck scrunched down into my shoulders like a turtle last night because everything from the boobs up is KILLING ME today. There's just too much pain and not enough drugs in the world to accommodate any coherent thoughts for an extended period of time right now.

So let's play a game instead! It's a new one I just made up on the Cyclops water sim, where I hung out for an hour-and-a-half (not exaggerating, kids!) while I waited for my 200K inventory to load. (I bet you feel all bright and shiny about your 40K inventory now, huh? You're welcome!) It's called . . .

LOOK WHO'S HANGIN' OUT UNDERWATER AT CYCLOPS!

But I need to preface it by saying that if my SL graphics were bad four months ago, they seem to be worse now – and I didn't even think that was possible. This one handy little trick I had of quickly hitting "Rebake Textures" before I snapped a pic no longer works. Instead it turns me into RUTH ("RUUUUUUUUUUTH!") before taking an eternity to rebake the textures, which stay sharp for two seconds and blur again. Good times!

Anyway, the question of the day is "WTF are all these people doing milling around underwater on Cyclops?" Maybe some are bots, but others were walking around acting pretty animated. A more enterprising blogger would have just ASKED THEM, but I prefer to bask in the mystery of it all instead. (Read: "I'm lazy and antisocial.")

Whatever. Let's do this.

LOOK WHO'S HANGIN' OUT UNDERWATER AT CYCLOPS!

*cue the calypso song "Under the Sea"*

If you're looking for a friend or a hot date or maybe even a hooker or two, check out the current selection on the ocean floor at Cyclops.

1. SCHOLARLY BEEFCAKE


He's got it all, y'all! Big arms, tiny hands, sharp glasses, dainty waist, bling, "American Idol" T-shirt. (Kidding. That's not an 'American Idol' T-shirt.) He looks like a casino bouncer. I'd hire him as a bodyguard, though. Seriously. And on a cold, lonely night, hell, I'd probably hit that. He's got a nice face, and those glasses kind of do it for me.

2. BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG


I don't like your rooster hair or the fingerless pirate ship flags on your hands or your 9 million man-necklaces, but I wouldn't mind sliding down that chest like a chilly stripper on a warm fuzzy pole . . . in a snowstorm . . . or something. Maybe I have to work on that analogy. But can you tell it's nippy where I live today? (The weather, I mean.)

3. DARK, BROODING . . . AND VEINY


Well, damn. This is my kind of guy. Go ahead and mock me or whatever, but this guy floats my boat, pardon the pun. (GET IT? Because we're in the water? FUNNY! NO? Oh.) If this is a bot, well, bravo to the bot-creator. Now make one that can hang out in my house, hold halfway intelligent conversations, whisper sweet nothings in my pixelated ear and then magically transform into A REAL MAN that looks just like him, and all my lindens – all 300 of them – are yours, Bot-Maker.

Let's see how close we can zoom in on his face:


OK. You look like you've been hit with an elephant tranquilizer, but all the better to take advantage of you with, my dear! (Yep, you're right. In real life, I haven't bumped nasties with a man since March. MARCH. As in "March to Eternal Celibacy," apparently.)

Oh, sorry. There were women hanging around there, too.

4. PEEP SHOW


Lovely hair. Pretty face. Slightly blurry. (My fault, not hers.) And all she wants for Christmas is an alpha layer or two.

5. SAILOR MOON SAYS 'GOOD JOB!'


I'm not gonna diss this chick. She looks like my Super Dollfie, same wig and everything. Well, except my SD isn't stacked like that. And her hair is purply-black. And she has kind of a goth-circus vibe. And she doesn't look as street-smart as this AV. Or as . . . experienced. But whatever. You go, little Anime Girl With Gills! Rock that underwater Japanese swagger!

6. OIL AND WATER DON'T MIX


OH how I hope that's underwear and not hair-down-there! She gets points for having a festive, Christmas-y collar though. And her claws match her eyes, which match her dress. Maybe that scores big points with horny mermen looking to catch some shiny slip-n-slide action.

7. POSSESSED-LOOKING DORK WITH SAGGY BOOBS AND A DOLL HANGING ON HER BRAID


Oh wait. That's me. HAHAHA!

Big hugs to all of you! I missed everybody!

VISIT INWORLD
Cyclops Underwater Sim – an excellent low-lag place to load massive inventories and people/bot-watch. Occasionally a tugboat will drift by. Or a plane will cruise overhead. Besides that, there's not much going on, which is a good thing if you're having a hard time getting your inventory to load.

GET IT FOR A STEAL!
Bianca's Cow Abduction – 50L on Marketplace. Includes ship, beam, cow emitter (3 prims). Also includes extra cows. Does not include Jesus.

BLOG TITLE
Yeah, those are song lyrics. I read a ranting blog post once by some random blogger who HATES, HATES, HATES it when people use lyrics as blog post titles. HEY. Sometimes it's necessary just to get the damn song out of my head, honey. Anyway, those lyrics are from the song "Old Angels" by The Freddy Jones Band. One of my all-time favorites, and I often think of it when I'm surrounded by strangers. Check it out on iTunes if you feel so inclined! The band is kind of obscure, so I couldn't find a decent YouTube link. Sorry 'bout that.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Go ahead. Make a spectacle of yourself. (Oh, and Hair Fair 2012)


TEA, ANYONE?

Bliensen + MaiTai is BRINGING THE AWESOME to Hair Fair 2012 with this FREE Darjeeling Hair. So grab the gift bag there, but be sure to also check out creator Plurabelle Laszlo's other glammy hairstyles – you know, like the ones that are actually for sale.

And in other news, I've been wanting to blog these kick-ass '50s Rhinestones glasses by Eclectica creator Tiffy Vella for ages. I have a gazillion pairs of glasses, but these'll be the ones I keep if, say, Linden Lab ever forces me to whittle down my 215K inventory to a mere 50K items. These glasses have soooo many texture-change options that if I tried to list them here, we'd all collectively collapse in exhaustion. But for instance, I chose a Blossom texture for my lenses, which is why they have kind of a wispy look to them.

Tiffy's jewelry and shoes at Eclectica are also just as fabulous. I feel a little lame because that store is new to me. HOW DID YOU SLIP UNDER MY RADAR, ECLECTICA?

OK so anyway, I'm really proud to be the only blogger in SL to bring you the exclusive scoop that Hair Fair 2012 starts today. In fact, it's open right now. The four sims have a peaceful Zen-like vibe, which I like. But I don't know – for some reason I'm just not feeling the joy this year. And it's not you, Hair Fair. It's me. I swear.

I spent a while pondering my lack of enthusiasm and decided that it's because a) I'm broke, so it's not as fun, and b) I really miss the abundance of goofy hairstyles we had at old-school Hair Fairs. I realize we've evolved since then, but I still miss them. I only found a few this year – I'll try to blog the other ones later today. But meanwhile I dug up some old pics from past fairs for you youngsters who might not know what I'm talking about:


He promised me the moon. I didn't realize it would require hair gel.


Realllllly could've used a hairbase back then. And cream and sugar.


FIERCE! Watch me while I kick your ass and dust your house at the same time. (No peacocks were harmed in the making of this picture.)


Nope, no one threw me a baby shower. And yep, in 2009 I released my inner black woman for a while.

OK, enough nostalgia. Here's all the info you need.

VISIT INWORLD
Hair Fair 2012 - runs through July 29. A percentage of hair sales will go to the RL charity Wigs for Kids
Eclectica
Eclectica Rhinstones glasses on Marketplace – see pics of some of the texture options here
Bliensen + MaiTai at Hair Fair

FOR MORE INFO
Hair Fair 2012 Website
Hair Fair Demo Group – If you want to save yourself the lag trauma and instead try on hairstyles in the comfort of your own home, find this group in Search or type this link – secondlife:///app/group/2e30d166-f3e5-e2de-ff72-b3da2d06ded2/about – in open chat. The demo boxes from the designers are in the group's Notices.
Wigs for Kids Website

Monday, July 9, 2012

For once, it's a voice that's not in my head


Apologies for the fastest blog post ever, but my real life is in turmoil right now.

I'm sure by now you've read about the One Voice fundraiser to assist Curio Skins creator Gala Phoenix with legal fees as she battles accusations of copyright infringement.

I support this cause, which is why I'm blogging it, but I also feel like I wouldn't be doing my journalistic duty if I didn't point out my friend and fellow blogger Tigo Volare's blog post HERE, which presents a different view (as long as we're talking about voices). And along those lines, I do wish we could rally together more often to assist lesser-known content creators. And speaking as someone who has lost her own primary source of RL income due to layoffs and a crappy economy and has an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney looming on the horizon (YEEHAW), I too wish we lived in an ideal world where people cared as much about all kinds of miserable plights, legal or otherwise. Tigo is right – we all inevitably have to deal with sh*t that knocks us off our feet sometimes. I guess the thing that makes it bearable is when there are people around to help pick us back up again. Blessed are they who have friends with big hearts and deep pockets, I guess. I don't know. I'm not great with words or insight or inspiration or any emotion beyond apathy these days, as horrible as that sounds. I'm dealing with my own bleak survival issues.

But anyway, I'm glad I can do something, albeit small, to help another person who's also treading water. And on that note, if you need help from me, you don't have to be a big snazzy content creator to ask for it. (YOU DON'T, TIGO, I SWEAR!) I'm sort of trying to get the hell out of Second Life right now, but I'm always willing to pop back in and lend my voice to somebody in need. Hell, I'll even run a picture of your lost cat here if you need me to. Whatever helps.

Anyway, here's the what, when, and where:

WHAT: One Voice Fundraiser for Gala Phoenix – A shopping event featuring works from some of SL's most talented content creators, in which some or all of the proceeds will go to assist Gala Phoenix with RL legal fees in a copyright infringement dispute.
WHEN: Begins midnight SLT July 9. Runs through July 16.
WHERE: HERE
FOR MORE INFO: Read updates on the Curio blog HERE.


PICTURED (All items are donation items at One Voice)
DressIndyra Originals – Celeste, mesh, 400L
SkinAl Vulo! – Georgie in Custard, Red, 800L
HairExile – Break Away in Vanilla, 200L for a color pack of five
Hair OrnamentBalderdash – Fascination hair bauble, 145L
SunglassesAmarelo Manga – Avenue Sunglasses, 200L
Necklace{me.} Jewelry – Aster Metal Stones Necklace, Long Set, includes texture-change HUD, 100L
Bracelet{me.} Jewelry – Aster Metal Stones Bracelet, includes texture-change HUD, 160L
EarringsCollisions – Fantasia Hoop Earrings – 50L
ShoesN-Core – Shark 2, 495L
CabinetArt Dummy – once. cabinet with lanterns set, includes optional bookends (pictured), 120L
LanternsLISP – Fairy Jars (set of six), 50L
PoseBENT – The Definition of Hip, set of 10 poses, 150L

Friday, June 29, 2012

Your own personal Jesus (And Oleg Dou. And nip slips.)


Hey, see if you can find Jesus in this picture.

Speaking of going to hell, usually I wouldn't be caught dead in anything that exposes my nips. I'm just not that kind of girl. Just call me Prudy McPrudess of Prudeville.

But I really like this Naughty Alice dress from Sugar. The skirt is mesh and the details are fantastic. But yes, just a warning: This saucy take on Alice in Wonderland (also available in Little Red Riding Hood Red and Snow White-inspired Black) is PRO-NIPPLE. So get ready to air those babies out!


Uh, yeah, I covered mine with contraband Hello Kitty pasties, which were a gift from my friend Soph. She found them on Marketplace. (Shocker!)

I also wanted to show you one of the JeSyLiLO skins inspired by the work of acclaimed Moscow photo artist Oleg Dou. If you're unfamiliar with his art, visit his Website HERE. To quote him on his style: "I am looking for something bordering between the beautiful and the repulsive, living and dead. I want to attain the feeling of presence one can get when walking by a plastic manikin ...." (Source: Oleg Dou official Website)

I think creator LiLO Glom did a beautiful job on these skins. She's got some very ethereal ones at her store that are the most true to Dou's surreal vision, along with a slightly sweeter Valentine series. And she recently released the Oleg Dou Pierrot line at ZombiePopcorn Carnival – I'm wearing one of them. (She's also got one carnival-exclusive Pierrot skin there. It ends tomorrow, June 30.) To get the full effect, I recommend wearing the included shape.

Shoot, I need to segue somehow to Jesus. Consider the subject abruptly changed.

I found this mesh Jesus on Marketplace. I thought it was a lawn ornament. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it can also be worn as an AV. (Use a full-body alpha layer with it.) I put it on and wandered around as Jesus for a while, but then I started to feel a little blasphemous. So I launched him into the sky over my house, where he's just kind of hanging around now.


I may still wear him to a club one night though. Maybe we'd kick ass in a Come As You Are contest.

ROLL CREDITS
Skin, Shape, EyesJeSyLiLO at ZombiePopcorn Carnival – Oleg Dou Pierrot, GoSTon J3 ("ghost tone"); teeth and cleavage versions, shape and Candy Eyes in Yellow included, 700L
HairTruth*NEW* Brandy w/Roots in Champagne; rigged mesh, includes roots and standard versions, 250L per color pack
ShoesISON – Color Block Prism Pumps in Red, 249L
DressSugar – Naughty Alice in Light Blue; includes stockings, mesh skirt, 299L
Kite pose propLISP at Collabor88 – Shindig Kite Pose Set; 10 kite poses in wearable and rezzable poseball versions with texture-change mesh kite, 148L. The June collection ends July 7.
Catholic Jesus!All Meshed Up on Marketplace – limited quantities available, 100L. That whole All Meshed Up Marketplace store is filled with amusing mesh AVs, BTW. Check it out.

VISIT INWORLD
JeSyLiLO Main Store – Oleg Dou section

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nice bulge!


New Enaid mesh eyes at Vision by A:S:S!

("I'M WATCHING YOU!")

You get two versions — clear and natural whites. I prefer to call the natural ones "veiny" though. And my AV uses Visine.

Each set also includes an eye alpha layer, a resize HUD . . . and a pair of system eyes in case you get a little crazy with your mesh resize HUD and decide to see how big you can blow up your eyes and then start laughing really hard and then get too weary to fix them or even put periods or commas in long run-on sentences and you think "Maybe I'm too juvenile for mesh eyes — THANK GOD there's a system pair."

They're beautiful though, huh? (80L per pair or 600L for a fatpack of 10. See the colors and what they really look like HERE.)

**and she never received review copies of eyes again**

Meanwhile, if your maternal instincts are kicking in but you don't have a linden to spare . . .


Free baby, TANNED AND BOXED! (Version 3)

You don't have to breastfeed in that tanning bed anymore!

. . . OK, see now I feel bad.

I mock because my life is so empty.


Seriously, there are five babies of varying shades and dress in this free set. And an adjustable holding position in each baby. And they make sounds and everything. Very generous. Now you don't have to be rich to be a pixelated parent! Get them HERE. (I did.)

I think I'm done. My apologies to Vision by A:S:S. Thank you in advance for not kicking mine.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

**time sensitive** LAST CHANCE to grab SL9B gifts!


Hihi! You've got about nine hours left to get over to SL9B and check out the exhibits before they close to the public today (Wednesday, June 27) at 11:59 PM SLT.

At one point this week I intended to see ALL of them, but I realize now it's never going to happen. Oh well. I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make SL9B possible and everyone who took the time to create an exhibit. The SL birthday celebrations always remind me why I fell in love with SL in the first place — all the people and possibilities and creativity.

As always, there are a ton of amusing and/or awesome freebies at many of the exhibits this year. Here's a rundown of some of them with SLURLS in case you want to jet over and grab any. I meant for this list to be much more extensive, but I'm going through this thing where looking at my computer monitor makes me nauseous. I think it's because I'm starting to associate it with unemployment, dwindling finances and job application rejection emails. Ooch. Thus the short list.

I'm sending oceans of gratitude to all the generous exhibitors who are giving out gifts this year. Also, grab all the notecards you can – you could learn about some interesting places, events and stories. I have.

– Let's start with the FREE BIRTHDAY KITTEN from KittyCatS. I know you're all probably aware of it by now, but I wanted to include it just in case you've been asleep for two weeks or something. So look at that pic up there and go grab it like you want it. Even if you're not into KittyCatS now, I'd grab it with a hoarder's mentality and throw it in your inventory — you can always birth it later — because YOU NEVER KNOW when you'll get an urge for a kitten in SL.

Get it HERE.

That Haruko Geisha Mesh AV by Dirty Linx in the pic (that's me!) is not an SL9B gift, but I'm diggin' the whole mesh avatar concept because you can lower your avatar rendering cost significantly by wearing one without having to go bald and shoeless. I found it — WHERE ELSE? — on Marketplace HERE for 149L, and there's also a tiny version for 99L HERE. (Other kimono colors and makeups are available, so you may want to browse the Dirty Linx's Marketplace store, if this thing floats your boat like it did mine.)

Maybe I should just dub myself The Marketplace Blogger. That place is an endless source of mirth for me.

More free stuff, minus the four-paragraph descriptions. Just click them for the SLURLS:

FREE PLANES!

FREE RIDEABLE SHETLAND PONY!

FREE TINY SNAIL AV!

FREE SILVER SCULPTURE OF A DEAD WASP! (Or maybe it's a bee! Or a fly!)

FREE LEOPARD, ZEBRA AND GIRAFFE SAFARI HATS AT THE AFRICA EXHIBIT!


Shown: Free leopard-print safari hat. (Also: Hair - Lelutka, Belle in Harvard; Skin – Rotten, in Decay, by Fallen Gods at Zombie Popcorn Carnival; Zombie Throw-On Top – PaperBag; Jeans – Garage jeans in Turquoise by League; Shoes – Color-Block Prism Pumps in Red by ISON)

I haven't been to the Africa sim since I was a noob and some griefer-tribal guy chased me around with a GIANT (as in cannon-sized) PENIS that would make me crash every time he smacked me with it. Hopefully that dude is gone by now.

FREE BIOBREEDS DOBERMAN! (Unlike the KittyCatS gift, this one is not alive though. Wait, I mean it's not dead either. It's a model.)

BIRTHDAY BEARS!: Many of us are mourning the absence of a Linden Bear this year, but there are several great alternatives. There are a few bears and their locations noted in THIS POST on the SL9B Website. I also found several cute ones at the Dragsworn exhibit HERE. And there's a Juggling Teddy on a Stick (along with other gifts) at the top of the Tinies of Raglan Shire exhibit (just click the pedestals that surround the sundial).

NOOB SPIN DANCER! I know you're asking "what the hell?" but I really have no words. You'll just have to go check it out for yourself.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE A RAILROAD, INCLUDING TRAINS AND TRACKS!

PRINCE PROSPERO AVATAR AND STORK STATUE!

ALL KINDS OF OLD-SCHOOL NOSTALGIC FREEBIES (in the tunnel) AND PROBABLY MY FAVORITE EXHIBIT AT SL9B! (Time Tunnel by Campanula Aeon)

Wow, and my list totally stops here. I'm probably going to spend the next several hours over there for one last wander, so I may be updating this post throughout the day if I find more cool things. And feel free to leave your own discoveries in Comments.

I realize I should have posted this stuff days ago, but you know I live by the "better late than never" credo.