Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Cornfield

A couple of weeks ago at the Saturday night discussion, I'd mentioned that residents used to be banished to a mysterious cornfield when they'd been naughty in the eyes of Linden Labs. It gave them a place to wander around and think about what they'd done along with the other bad apples. The cornfield eventually disapeared and was rumored to be no more than a SLurban myth, but long time residents swore of it's existence.

Earlier today, when I learned that the cornfield had been made available to the residents of Second Life just for Halloween 2009, I nearly squeed with glee. I couldn't wait to log on during my lunch break to go check it out.

I was greeted by Trick or Treat Linden when I tped in (pictured above.) He was like.. the Santa-O-Lantern.. with pressies and everything. A really good reporter would have opened the gift box before doing her story, but I'm not, so I didn't.  I have no idea if I got candy, the 100th freebie witch's broom so far this week or glow-in-the-dark condoms. Besides, what fun would it be for ya'll if I told you what was in the box?

The cornfield was ginormous! I had lots of ground to cover, so I ran without ryme nor reason all kittywampus in every direction, looking for cool stuff.

I ran into this dude staggering around amongst a pile of empty beer bottles. It kinda ticked me off that he had such little regard for cleanliness and upkeep of our beloved grid, so I gave him a firm talking to. I don't think he cared though, he just stood there looking stupid, even after I used my angry voice.

I'll have to admit, there were spots along the way that sorta creeped me out. There were times when I just had this uneasy feeling, like I was being watched. I tried to shrug it off, but I was convinced I was being followed. It turns out I was right. The culprits?

Butt sniffin' Hell Hounds. The stupid things are everywhere. Why don't we have a dog catcher on SL? I know, let's set up a Griefer Pound where we can toss all the trouble makers in with the wandering Hell Hounds. That way, the griefers are out of our hair and the unmannered hounds will have plenty of tushies to bury their inquisitive little faces in.

Granted, there were lots of things to see, but there were also endless rows of.. well.. corn, which made it all the sweeter when I met a real life, honest to goodness ZOMBIE!!! Better yet, this particular zombie wasn't just some prop or a n00b trying out his freebie av.. no.. he was a real undead LINDEN! Blondin Linden to be exact. And? HE SPOKE TO ME! (I'm assuming it's a he, it IS topless and there seems to be an absence of any Emerald induced bewbie jigglage.. AND this wasn't on a mature sim.)

Actual conversation between myself and Blondin Linden:

Me: "Oh.. hai!"

Blondin: "Brains."

Me: "Depends who you ask, I guess."

Then? He poofed.

After I came down from my excited giddiness.. I mean it's not everyday you have a brush with greatness.. I realized that I was going to be late getting back to work, so I stole a tractor I found sitting in a pumpkin patch and hurried back as fast as it would go.. which wasn't very.

I may have dozed off at the wheel, but I still made it back to work on time. I don't know how long the infamous cornfield will be open to the public so you'd better get down there before Halloween is over. There's no tellin' what you might find.

Here's the SLurl so you can visit for yourself!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Swinging On a Star

The turnout was a little light at the social media discussion at the Second Slice Cafe Saturday night, but it was still a great group and we met some new folks, so it's all good. I was excited to see one of my old Bear buddies there, I really miss those guys.

Sunday he and I went exploring a bit at the Drill Factory. Now.. I'd never heard of the Drill Factory before then and I was a little nervous. Mental images of some weird, dental fetish sim or a violent, sexual fantasy sim involving power tools and oil rigs ran through my head, but it was none of that.

Cool carousels, steampunk style carriages and glowing neon puzzle pieces, seemingly suspended in space are not what I expected.

The scene pictured above was taken inside a snow globe. If you get a chance, you should really check it out.

After the social media chat ended, a few of us headed over to the Longhorn for some country music. I'm not normally a big fan of country, simply because my RL is and always has been saturated with it, but I've said before that talent outweighs genre and I had some inside information that the performer that night was not to be missed.

We had a great time showing the brand spankin' newbie we'd adopted (it was his first day!) the wonders of dance balls, couples dances and live music venues. While we were there, I met someone special. His soulful dark eyes attracted me immediately, his salt and pepper hair giving the impression of someone who'd really lived life and was now content to kick back and enjoy the ride.

Oh yeah.. I forgot to mention he's a real stud...

... and sorta horny.

The constant mooing took a little getting used to.. but that means he likes me, right? I'm sure we'll be very happy together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happiness Is..

Tymmerie Thorne from Girl Wonder Speaks (and also one of my Plurk buddies) issued a proclamation suggested that today, everyone should either blog or plurk something that makes them happy. Normally, I'm not one to go along with the crowd, but she kinda scared me with her authoritative voice and the way she was waving that riding crop around inspired me with her search for happy thoughts on a day when everyone seemed to be in sort of a slump.

And? RL is kicking my kiester this week and I was thankful for an idea to work with. My brain is limping along in safe mode.

The above picture features a nice view of Wando, where my little magic cabin is located. It's been touch and go there for a couple of weeks. It looked like we might lose it, but after a change of ownership, I'm happy to announce that we all get to keep our homes.

Weird how you can get attached to a virtual place, isn't it?

By the way, a cute little Gypsy vardo was added just a skip or two from my front door. I'm excited that I'll have a neighbor to share my little corner with. If anyone's interested, give me a holla in-world and I'll send you a tp. I promise not to hang around outside naked.. when you're home. There's also a new, smaller pirate ship available for lease across the island.

Next, this dress from Azul is my current favorite fashion.. and yes.. it makes me happy. I can wear it to those venues where Mr. Voice Crush is crooning which require formal attire, yet it's got just the right amout of skank factor to keep it interesting.

I don't care how high falootin' you think you are, every girl needs a little skank in her closet.

Of course, there's alot more about my second life that makes me happy, but I'm going to save those until the next time RL decides to turn my happy place into a mosh pit.

We'll talk again soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Special Occasions

I was hanging around Second Slice Cafe last night, waiting for some retro decorating inspiration, when an old friend stopped by. He looked alot different than the last time I saw him, much thinner and.. well.. HOT!

Nye and I share the same rezday, even though we didn't realize it until we'd been friends for quite a long time. It's sort of a tradition for us to meet up around the anniversary of the first days of our Second Life to get caught up and see what the other had been up to.

I love that we've been around long enough to have a  yearly tradition.

Do you mark any special events in SL? Engagements? Partnerships? Divorces? How do you celebrate? Drop me a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear how you mark special occasions in SL.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Has it really been three years? Saturday, October 17, 2009 will mark my third year in SL. When I signed up, I was one of those annoying newbs who show up and ask for directions to the nearest place to get rich.

Three years later and I'm still not a millionaire.

My life has been enriched by experiences I wouldn't have had any other way and in that sense, I consider my Second Life to be pretty successful. I've met all sorts of cool people from the farthest corners of the globe, dressed as tiny bunnies, tranny vampires and one annoying bulldog who'll do anything for an argument, as he wanders the grid chewing an old stogie while sporting his very fashionable KFC bucket hat.

I've been partnered twice, been involved with a few others, had drama, tears and a broken heart or two. I ran a semi-successful business for a while, spent way too much time parking my cute little pixelated butt on a brick wall, chatting up newbies and verbally bitch slapping the neighbors.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

These days, I'm still learning, still discovering and in many ways sometimes I still feel like a newb. In years past, I celebrated my rez day by donning my Godiva hair, hopping on my big black horse and riding him, nude, through Bear Infohub. I'd never do that now, it would violate the new terms of the L.L. T.O.S.


So, in celebration of my rez day, Saturday night's discussion at the Second Slice Cafe  (6pm SLT) will be about what you expected to find in SL when you first signed on, be it riches, romance or adventure and how your experience differed from your expectations. Everyone's welcome, whether it's your first day or your 1200th. We'll hang out, chat and make some new friends while we listen to some oldies.

I hope to see you there, but for now, I need to go find my Godiva hair...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bringing You the News that Really Matters

The recent release of the latest version of the GreenLife Emerald viewer has lead to some interesting discussions about the newest developments and some older features that some of us hadn't yet discovered.

But don't worry, this article isn't about the handy dandy built-in radar or the "Show Look At" doohickies. I'm here to talk to you about something far more innovative, something that will change our entire Second Life experience.

There can be no turning back once you've seen...

Jiggly Boobs!

That's right. Forget all that techie stuff about new Windlight presets. We can have bouncy, jiggly, bodacious tattas of happiness.. in Second Life!

If you're using the new viewer and you've not discovered this feature yet, go to Preferences - Emerald - Page 2 - Effects and start experimenting. Some users have reported that they've had to re-log for the changes to show.

Of course, once you've made your adjustments, you'll want to test the settings to find your optimum jiggilocity. First, you'll need to find some jiggly bewbage friendly clothing:

Please disregard my addled, slightly hungover expression. I was out late last night listening to my voice crush croon past my bedtime.

To see your shimmy shake in action, try one of these suggestions:
  • Rez a box, sit on it, then move it briskly up and down
  • Hijack the nearest stripper pole and pan your cam around
  • I'm told lapdance animations work well too, but I wouldn't know from experience *cough*
  • Participate in nookie related activites (In the privacy of your own home or on adult rated sims, please)
  • Sneak over to your neighbor's property while they're away at work and jump on their trampoline
  • Ask any random, passing stranger if they'd mind checking your bewbage for jiggilation. You may also ask for a tip afterwards
After a few hours of obsessing over your avatar's newly shimmy enabled breasts (and, if you're like me, feeling a little creeped out by your behavior,) keep in mind that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pay a little attention to those RL tattas.

Because regardless of their age, whether they bounce up and down, lay on your belly or perkily peek-a-boo through wet t-shirts...  they're all fabulous.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How Would You Change Second Life?

Saturday night's discussion group was a roaring success, I want to thank everyone who attended, we had the biggest turn out yet! The topic was, "If you could change one thing about SL, what would it be?" Of course, the first thing everyone said was LAG LAG LAG! And while we agreed that it was probably impossible to eliminate SLag completely, there is always room for improvement (and Jello.)

In my early days of SL, log on totals of 20K would lag everything down, so when you consider the resident numbers you see now, there already has been a considerable improvement.

Other Second Life wish lists included:

  • A Police Force  This suggestion created some debate over the need to keep SL a free society versus the need for greater enforcement of the rules that already exist. And if there are rules, is it truely a "free" society anyway? I'd love to be able to IM someone when my land gets invaded by griefers. It wouldn't have to be that expensive. Linden Labs could hire residents, in-world, paid in L$ to make rounds of events, just to see how things are going. Lord knows there are crap loads of people wanting jobs in SL.
  • Shared inventories between primary and alt accounts Granted, it would make it alot easier than logging off one account and on to another to pass stuff back and forth. Not that I have an alt. *cough*
  • Bringing back the cornfield During the discussion, I mentioned that I used to hear rumors about residents who broke the rules being "sent to the cornfield" (a reference to the classic Twilight Zone episode?) and had always wondered if it was real. According to a long time SL resident, there really was a cornfield where naughty avs were exiled for periods of time. The practice was discontinued due to people deliberately commiting violations, just to see the cornfield. Is it still in existence? I think they should bring it back. Just cuz.
  • Improved map and search options Recent improvements have helped, I hope it's an ongoing project for Linden Labs.
  • Beautiful gowns which, when worn, don't turn into pant suits with giant flaps There are some designers out there who've mastered the flexi flow. I've got a few gowns among my favorites that continue to look all flowy and full when you move, although the skirts still disapear when you sit down. One designer that I know of (I believe it's Nyte and Day, but I might be wrong) now has a scripted prim skirt that doesn't disapear into your booty when sitting. Designers are continuously coming up with new ways to manipulate flexi prims and sculpties. I'm constantly amazed by the talent available in Second Life.
  • Time limits on free accounts or a limit on the number of free accounts you can have at one time I kept a free account for a long time and when times were hard, I downgraded back to a basic account after keeping a premium account for a while. I'd hate to see that option disapear, however, I do think they should put a limit on how many free accounts you can have. I think it would cut down on grief attacks, when griefers are banned, they just come back on another account. It's pretty annoying.
  • Limiting the creation of new land by Linden Labs to boost the Second Life economy I can see how this would help residents with real estate holdings, but I'm not sure it's realistic. The bottom line is, Linden Labs is in the business of making money. Putting more in the pockets of the residents isn't their primary objective.
  • Regional Windlight settings I think this is an excellent idea. I wish I could change my default settings to one of the Windlight options as well, instead of having to go in and select one of the presets every time I log on. Unless of course, there's already a way to do this and I haven't figured it out yet. If that's the case, we'll just quietly forget I suggested it. Kay? Oh and.. tell me how it's done.. please?
I'm sure there were more, we had around 30 participants over the course of an hour. About halfway into the discussion, we were invaded by griefers, forcing me to test my lockdown, eject and ban skills, which are more than a little rusty. Mayhem ensued for a couple of minutes, but we recovered nicely.

Again, I want to thank everyone who came by and I look forward to see ya'll again this Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zombies, Rooftops and Restless Hearts

The spooky season is upon us. I tped to the Second Slice Cafe the other day, turned to walk inside and spotted this in the window.

What the crap?

I didn't know if it was the ghost of an attempted suicide by hanging, one of those mournful, whiney assed spirits who don't believe they're dead, no matter how hard you try to convince them, or if I was witnessing the pre-brain slurping zombie state of some poor, unfortunate soul.

Because seriously? If it were the latter, I was going to need to rez a baseball bat. I don't like zombies, the sonsa biatches ticked me off when they invaded my last SL business. I have a strict bash-heads-ask-questions-later zombie policy.

Fortunately, it turned out to be a newbie standing on one of the tables in "away" mode. She probably has no idea how close she came to dying alone in a deserted cafe with Dean Martin singing in the background.

Dang.. that would make a killer opening scene for a horror movie...

But anywho...

I've been hitting the music scene in SL alot the past week. I checked out some great rock performances, one or two country singers and one phenomenal singer who blew me away.. but I'll have more on all that later in the week.  I also did some sprucing up around the cafe, I redid the 45 records/dance floor out front (free to copy if you want to grab one,) and did some tidying up around the cabin.

You never know when company might stop by.

The discussion group Saturday night was fun, two guys showed up with snakes, one of the regulars morphed into a giant eyeball and I got to freeze/eject/ban my first booger brain!!  It was an eventful evening. The next chat will be this Saturday night, but I've not settled on a topic. I'm open to suggestions, leave yours in the comments or drop by the cafe (follow the slurl in the advertising area of the sidebar) and drop a note in the suggestion box.

Oh and I almost forgot, Second Slice has it's own domain, so now you can get a second slice of your second life by typing in your browser. Coolness!

While it's true that I've been taking in all the live acts available in SL lately, I always end up going back to my favorite, Davide Paravane. His golden voice makes my heart flutter, I could listen to him for hours. He's added more acoustic tunes to his repertoire, you should check him out if you get the chance.

Don't look for me though, I'll probably be around but I tend to hide in the rafters or dance on the roof like I did Tuesday night:

That's where I'm less likely to commit any social faux paus by doing something stupid or saying the wrong thing. I guess I'm one of those people who just don't belong in certain social situations. I chalk it up to spending too much time sitting at infohubs, honing my verbal combat skills.

I guess what they say is true.. you can take the girl out of the mountains.. but.. well.. ya'll know the rest.

We'll talk again soon, ya'll take care.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Escaping Reality

I had heard about Second Life for a while before I finally signed up three years ago. Aside from my strange fascination with all sorts of techie geekdom, I was captivated with the idea of a utopian virtual society, where you could be anything you chose to be, free from judgement, where oddity was embraced and everyone was free to experience a life different from their "first life."

Of course, what I found was something entirely different. Sure, you were free to wander the grid in your freebie skin, prim hair and $L2 jeans, but the SL elite were also free to inform you of your errors in judgement and publicly humiliate you.

In those first days, I became great at finding the best modifiable freebies, then tweaking and adjusting them until I got what I wanted. I think I'm still wearing my first freebie shape, that I've stretched, shrunk, twisted and mutilated like a plastic surgeon on heroin.

One day, I landed at an infohub, having worked on my look for days but still wearing my system issue helmet hair and was approached by a handsome man with pale skin, a tall, lean shape and freakin' fabulous hair. He was dressed in a dark suit and had entrancing eyes that a girl would follow anywhere. He sent me an IM saying, "Great look, but you need hair. Follow me"

He tped me to another location (no, I didn't hesitate for a second to follow him... he was damned fine,) which turned out to be Calla hair, gave me $200, helped me pick out a new do, showed me how to adjust it and then *poof* he was gone.

He was my Hairy Godfather.

Now, three years later, I've watched the fashion industry in Second Life explode with fashion shows, trendy publications with models and photographers everywhere. Skins are more realistic, the clothes are mindblowing and we've even got prim feet.

But I think we've lost something as well.

A few days ago, I was privvy to a conversation among some members of the fashion industry. Someone shared a picture of an avatar she'd seen in a store and commented how pretty it was. I took a look and I agreed, the avatar she'd seen was quite lovely. But others started chiming in..

  • Her shoulders were too wide
  • Her hips were too narrow
  • Her nose was "wrong"
  • All her clothes came from the same label
  • She was too tall
  • Her hair was wrong for her face
Maybe I'm wrong but, if our avatars have to conform to some idealistic standard of beauty to be considered attractive, haven't we just recreated one of the worst aspects of our first lives?

Fanstasy sims with dragons, trolls and faeries have been replaced with strip malls and mega shopping sims. Elaborate builds where you could walk along and pick up copies of trees, flowers and little prim critters that were "free to copy" now all come with a price. Perfect prim feet are replacing long, flowing mermaid tails and  I don't remember the last time I saw someone walking on an SL road.. just exploring.

In our quest to create things more realistic, we've stumbled and instead made them more like reality. I thought that's what we were trying to escape.

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