Aug 202014
 

Once upon a time I thought it would be fun to be a fashion blogger. I love to dress up my avatars and take pics of them in cute poses, and I love to take SL pics in general, so it seemed like it would be a perfect hobby. The fashionista thing never took off for me, though, I’m far too lazy (and can’t afford) to keep up with all the new releases, and I’m not sure I have the style sense to put together terrific outfits on a regular basis. For these reasons I don’t usually attempt fashion challenges, but I saw Kitty O’Toole’s denim challenge and thought, “But I looked so cute in that outfit I saved, I have to take a pic of that…”

Much like myself, my avvies wear denim most of the time, so the real challenge was finding something that wasn’t a pair of blue jeans. I love the little denim jacket from Coquet that I’d picked up at Fameshed a few months ago. I’ve found if I wear it in large instead of my usual medium it goes nicely over some of my other mesh clothes and doesn’t look like it’s too big, which is terrific.  The dress is from ColdLogic, with an ancient (for SL fashion) tank top peeking out underneath from Celestial Studios, probably purchased in my first year or so in SL. Hey, I still like a lot of my system texture clothes, particularly for layering under mesh. A lot of it still holds up very well, I think.

I don’t know if I’ll attempt to tackle any more days of denim, I may be a bit too fashion challenged for that! But it was fun to be fashionable today. Thank you Kitty! :D

 

Credits for most everything, (even though you can’t quite see some of it…)

Dress: coldLogic – jolie.onyx
Shirt: Celestial Studios Trixie Cami Nightfall
Jacket: Coquet Denim Jacket Blue/Burnt
Shoes: {Gothica} Maria’s Wooden Sandals
Glasses: Kumaki Glasses Style Saria 1.00
Jewelry: Maxi Gossamer Fay Malla Wooden Necklace – Group 1
Hair: Dura-Girl*51 (Dark Brown)
Eyeshadow: [mock] Dalek Copper eShadow
Lipstick: [mock] Cosmetics Sweet Coral Lipstain
Skin: *League* Erin (No brow option)
Brows, portrait pendant: mine

Aug 132014
 

I went wandering today, looking for quiet and peaceful landscapes. I love the abstract, wild, impossible in real life sims, but I always seem to have the most fondness for the pretty, realistic, naturally landscaped places. I often wish I could transport myself into one of the quiet spots in SL and sit on a swing and enjoy the quiet.

With Love in Her Heart is one of those pretty places that was a joy to visit. According to the Destination Guide: “With Love in Her Heart is a simple seaside farmstead that evokes memories of days gone by. It offers a relaxing peaceful surrounding with spaces to hang out and enjoy the company of friends. Visit and experience, just know that it was created with love in her heart.

I also noticed this week that  Strawberry Singh has a new blog meme up, asking about computer specs and performance. I was curious enough to turned my stats on while I was taking the pics above, and on average I stayed at about 15 FPS, with things about one notch below ultra. This, to me, was perfect for exploring. I’m content puttering through the world at 10 to 15 FPS, I know I can more than triple my frame rate if I turn off advanced lighting and drop my draw distance, but I’d much rather have a low frame rate and beautiful surroundings.

  1. Share any of your computer specs (video card, memory, etc..) -  2011, it’s a bit aged now:  2.00 GHz core i7, 6GB ram, Nvidia 460M.
  2. Which viewer do you use most often? – Firestorm.
  3. What is your FPS (Frames Per Second) when you have your graphics on ultra? - It depends entirely on the sim, anywhere from barely 1 FPS up to 35 or so in really empty spaces. Quite a few of the art installations or nature sims will turn SL into a 2 FPS slideshow (dense forests are particularly hard on me) so I often try to find an out of the way spot to park my pixels, then I explore via the Space Navigator. It’s still slow going, but never seems to crash me like extensive camming with the mouse can.
  4. How often does Second Life crash for you? Is it usually just a viewer crash or your whole system crashes? What are you usually doing at the moment of the crash? I’ve only had viewer crashes. About half the time when I take a snapshot I will crash when I try to save to disk, but only on the first try, and usually if I’ve been camming a lot before the shot. If I can successfully save the first shot then subsequent ones never seem to be a problem, so I sometimes take a throwaway pic after I log in.
  5. Do you know of any tips or tricks in the settings that would improve performance? I think when I insist on running with graphics cranked up there’s not going to be much I can do to improve my performance short of getting a brand new machine, so I am tipless.

Berry says she’ll not be doing regular weekly memes any more, but I’m hoping she might give us a challenge at least once a month, I’ve really missed doing these. :D

 

visit With Love in Her Heart

Aug 042014
 

I lost July. I know it came and went, but I didn’t really notice it. I kept meaning to go into SL and find interesting things to do so I could take pics and blog, but I just couldn’t seem to motivate myself. When I did log in I spent most of the time in my house playing around in my inventory instead of exploring and going on picture taking adventures. My Second Life has been a lot like my offline life.

It’s certainly not the first time a month has slipped away from me. I still feel as if I am caught in a bubble outside of time. I know that it passes for others, but I just don’t feel it.

People keep repeating to me that there’s no time limit on grief. That I should take as long as I need and not worry or apologize for it. Sometimes I think I’ve taken this advice a bit too much to heart, though, and I’ve been using it as an excuse to sit at home, lost in thought and memories, and hide from the world.

Sometime I will have to think of rejoining life again. Sometime I’ll pick myself up and begin making my plans to rebuild my life, to go out into the world, to accept my “new normal.” Sometime I’ll begin to accept that grieving the loss of my husband doesn’t mean spending the rest of my life as a hermit.

But it’s just so easy to sit in the house and let time pass.

Jun 212014
 

This past Monday at Strawberry Singh’s blog, Edie Sedgwick brought us a new meme for the week:

Your challenge this week is to imagine your own avatar demise. Choose a sim, a pose, and wardrobe. Snap a photo of your avatar corpse and blog it! And of course, add your link in the comments below so we can all grieve over the loss of someone so beautiful.

I would never kill off any of my avatars in the sense of deleting them, but I was very tempted to retire Ravensong after my husband died because bringing her in world without him felt too lonely. I did put her into semi retirement for a while, and let her take some time off while I used a different account for a few months until it felt right to bring her back. Now I don’t think I would ever retire her for good, but if did for some reason it just seems logical she’d return as a zombie.

  1. What would you eat for your last meal?  I think I would have something from Chipotle. Zombie Raven says any avatar that doesn’t run fast enough is fair game.
  2. Where do dead avatars go? Well, today Zombie Raven thought a stroll on the pier would be fun. And she had to stop and take a selfie, of course.
  3. Have you ever been to a cemetery in SL?  No, and right now I’m not sure I could bring myself to. I’m still taking baby steps to deal with my own loss, seeing the emotional losses of others would be hard to bear.
  4. What would you like them to do at your avatar wake?  I don’t think any of my avs would require a wake, they’d just quietly transition to their next stage of existence.
  5. What would you like it to say on your avatar tombstone? “Watch out, I’m right behind you.” }:D
  6. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? When they move away. Usually if you are losing touch with people nearby it’s because you’ve begun to grow apart and don’t have a lot in common anymore.
  7. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Zombie Raven will just hang out and wait for her friends to turn.
  8. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Sometimes we have to do things we don’t enjoy a lot because we need a paycheck, and we don’t do as many things as we’d like because we can’t afford it.
  9. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Hang in there, kid. And watch out for zombies.
  10. What color is your underwear? Underwear?

 

Love

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Jun 152014
 

I’m still lost in memories.

Eight years ago tonight we were making the last preparations for our wedding. We were getting things ready, picking up my maid of honor from the bus station, and looking forward to the big day. I was a nervous wreck, but he was calm. He was always calm. Tuesday will be, or would have been, our eighth anniversary. Thinking about that has been extremely hard, and this is going to be one of the toughest days I’ll face, but I’ll try to make the day special, and maybe try to get out and do something we enjoyed. And maybe I’ll go in world for a bit, and tour some of the places we liked to visit together.

Now and then I entertain the idea of logging his avatar in and just sitting with him. I’ve logged his av in a few times to do some account maintenance and if I have need of his inventory, and a couple times I’ve logged Raven in to stand beside him, or cuddle on the couch for a few minutes. It’s one thing to do that with one of the alts, but when it is his own main avatar it’s a strange feeling. Strange and lonely and sad. It’s quite surreal to watch his av standing there, moving around on screen, while knowing that he will never be the person behind that avatar again. I still haven’t completely grasped that he won’t be a part of my real life again either. I still think I’ll hear him come in the door, and everything will be normal again. Full acceptance is a long and hard journey so far, I’ve still barely gone more than a few steps.

Amidst all my musing about love and memories, I noticed that the weekly blog challenge that went up this past Monday over at Strawberry Singh’s blog, is about love. It comes courtesy of Edie Sedgwick, who is keeping the lights on while Ms. Berry is vacationing. Edie asks us to grab an avatar we love, a friend, a partner, a colleague, and take a selfie. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not terribly social in SL, I never have the courage to friend people and I rarely get friend requests, so any of the “grab a friend” memes have been a bit challenging.

(As an aside, I thought I had actually added a new person the other day, after a brief pleasant chat… I would swear to you that I clicked ‘accept’ on the friend request… but when I logged in there were no new names on my friends list. I don’t know if the other party thought better of it after I logged out and unfriended me, or if I just somehow manged to mess it up, and I’m too embarrassed to send an IM asking if it was my mistake. Oh well.)

There were actually a couple of people I could think of that I might have grabbed and photographed, but as always my thoughts go straight to my husband. You’d think that since I have another blog created just to work through this widow thing that posting there would be enough. Nope, I still must talk to anyone who will listen. He will always be the first person I think of when I hear the word “love” in any context. He was and will always be the love of my life, so I thought I’d answer the questions and gaze at his pictures.

  1. How did you and the person in the photo with you meet? • Via match.com. Sometimes the online dating things work. Or, at least they did several years ago when we tried them. I’d never have the courage to do it again.
  2. How long have you known each other? • Next week would have marked our 8th anniversary, and about 9 years together.
  3. What do you love about this person? • His creative spirit. His calm. His confidence. A million other things.
  4. What place in SL do you love? • I always seem to fall hardest for the scenic, natural landscape sims.
  5. What clothes or shoes in SL do you love? • L&B jeans, they just have such nice butts! Looking through my inventory, I probably have more clothes from Sn@tch than any other individual designer, especially when it comes to texture clothes. I also used to love Artilleri a lot. For mesh clothes I like Cold Logic, and I’m trying to branch out a bit and learn some new designers.
  6. What does love mean to you? A shared joy in each other’s company. Or a particular attachment to something, like nutella. No really, I love the stuff. :D
  7. What is your biggest regret? The past seven and a half months have been filled with “What if?” moments. What if I’d done this differently? What if we’d been more in tune with our health? What if? What if? What if?  It’s hard to shoo the what if’s away.
  8. Which is the one event that has had the biggest impact on you and your life? Meeting my husband.
  9. What do you love and hate the most about the human race? We have such capacity for compassion and joy and friendship. Sadly, it seems many also have a great capacity to be cruel.
  10. What color is your underwear? • Blue ^_^

Thanks to Edie for the meme! :)

Memory Lane

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Jun 052014
 

I’ve found that when, in RL, I start going through too many old photos I begin to get too depressed to function for a while. That’s been happening to me lately, and I suspect it’s worse because my RL wedding anniversary will be in a couple weeks. It would have been eight years this month, but on that day instead of eight years of marriage,  I will have been looking at almost eight months of widowhood. I don’t want to think about that, so I dive into the old photos and try to relive happier times, but I think I just miss my husband more with every photo I see.

I sometimes find that it’s just as hard to look through my old SL shots of his avatar, or the two of us together. It may not be the RL us, but for each shot I can remember what we were doing, whether it was some fun little random moment at home, or out exploring. And for each shot we were together, a few feet apart, in RL. We were constantly looking over each other’s shoulders to see what was going on. I miss that terribly. Every time I go in world I miss him. I want to take him to fun new places, and watch him find spots I never thought of exploring.

Given that I’ve been feeling sad for the past few days you wouldn’t think I’d want to dive into nostalgic photos of our early days in Second Life, but I just felt like doing that today. Maybe it was the idea of “Throwback Thursday” that inspired me, I see people on blogs, or Facebook, or Twitter, posting with that theme every week. so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. So back I go to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when particle clouds floated in non-Windlit skies, and ad farms were cultivated all over the mainland.

4-JUNE_002

The old home site. Looks a bit empty these days.

Every now and then I like to go back to the first parcel we ever owned, just to see what it looks like these days. I should have thought of this last month, as it was right around the first of May in 2007 that we decided we really needed to own land. Technically the first land program was still in effect when we joined, but it was never available so we went shopping for a suitable little 512 parcel and eventually found one that wasn’t too pricey, and was bordered on one side by what would eventually be a Linden road. These days there’s nothing there and it has been abandoned to Governor Linden, but back in May of 2007 it was a little green patch amid flashy nightclub supply places, resorts, and big stores.

05-MAY-07 HOME SWEET HOME_002

Almost the same angle as the pic above…

Still, it was all ours and we loved our little patch of land. We happily rezzed a cottage from the library, moved it around a few times, eventually built a privacy screen at the sides and back, then finally moved up into the air, where my hub re-textured the cottage and built a turret, with a little library inside.

16- June b_005

But the best part was the giant flexi earthworm hanging out under the platform

We kept the first plot for about five months before selling it off to the guy with the giant store across the road, and moved to a larger spot. At first I just rezzed the old house, then we began building our own hobbit hole, and I kept trying to set up garden spots with just Linden trees and freebie landscaping items. It may be a little cheesy by today’s standards, but at the time I was just excited to be building stuff and I didn’t care how bad it looked, it was all wonderful and fun.

03-SEP-07 hobbithill_001

In a hole in the ground lived two avatars

We spent tons of time in world in the early days, just building anything and everything we could think of, then deleting it and trying something else. Part of it was because the ability to make stuff was just so much fun we couldn’t resist it, part of it was we were super stingy. If I wanted something to decorate with we hated to spend money on it, at least in those early days, so we tried to make things ourselves. Some of the biggest joys of my second life were watching my husband get absorbed in creating something.  As he started experimenting with making sculpts he decided to build a tree house. I actually quite miss the little tree house, I think if I had my own land I’d be tempted to fish around in his inventory and rez some of these things, just for nostalgia’s sake.

7-OCT-07_015

With fab particle clouds, and spinning ad signs too! Woot!

Much like the first, the area around our second land is mostly empty these days although a large build sits in about the middle point of where our land was. I looked around for a bit, but I didn’t want to loiter too long because there were people about on their own property and they were probably wondering what sort of trouble I might get up to, just standing around on the road, so I flew away.

A lot of the land around where we had the second home was up for sale, though some was at a steep price for a landlocked bit of mainland. Part of me considered the cheaper parcel for a little while, I’m not premium anymore but I’ve contemplated going premium again to get a little plot of my own. I’m not really sure I’d want to live on either of our old sims again, though. Too many memories of the things we built, and all the fun we had there. I have enough trouble wandering through my city in RL and finding spots that remind me of my husband, I’m not sure I want to have that be any more of a thing in SL than it already is.

Still, it was fun to look back, and remember how excited we were about everything in those early days. It was a nice little trip down memory lane.

If only First Life were as easy.

 

 

 

 

Jun 032014
 

This week’s Monday Meme from Strawberry Singh is a new look at the What’s Your Digit question, as well as asking our opinions on fitted mesh. Easy peasy challenge this week! Still, I thought I’d just stand against the wall and look cute rather than post actual digits, because these days mine conform to mesh standard sizes so there’s nothing really remarkable about them. I usually am either in an exact large (as in the pic above) or a medium… the mediums seem to fit better in most mesh clothes so I probably wear that more often, but I really prefer the way a higher body fat setting looks and always keep it higher if I’m stepping out in texture layer clothes.

I did check Ravensong’s height, she’s currently 6’1″ in the Slink flat feet, and 6’4″ in the mid height feet, and her body proportions remain on target for an average human.  I think she’s come down in height two or three inches over the years, but she’s still pretty tall.  I rarely make more than minor adjustments to the face unless I’m switching to a new skin, but I tweak body shape settings not related to the standard sizes all the time. I’m happy with how Raven looks right now, but my avatars will always be works in progress.

Onward to the questions:

  1. What are your thoughts about Fitted mesh? • So far I haven’t had much success with getting fitted mesh to work with my shape. With only on or two exceptions just about everything I’ve tried seems to fit if you wearing a small or below, but on my shape some of the clothes clip through the avatar at their edges, so you couldn’t even hide that with an edited alpha. Hopefully everybody will continue to include standard sizes in their releases even if they go to fitted mesh.
  2. Have you tried any of the new fitted mesh avatars released by Linden Lab? What do you think of them? I played with them here and here. I, along with every SL photographer out there, love the zombies. The rest didn’t impress me.
  3. Have you tried any fitted mesh avatars/bodies created by residents? • I have a petite, but I’ve never tried a full mesh body for a regular sized avatar. I keep meaning to pick up demos just to see what they look like.
  4. Have you tried a mesh head? What are your thoughts about mesh heads? • I think they look really pretty, and are very well done, but unless mesh heads begin to offer the same degree of facial  customizing that I can do on the basic avatar I’m not interested in one for myself. It’s like the petite avs… they’re cute and pretty, but the faces all look the same.  I’m way too attached to my face to use a mesh head.
  5. Do you foresee a lot of changes to our current Second Life avatars because of fitted mesh?  Among the fashion and avatar photography community, sure, of course. They will always be innovative and showcase the newest things available to make SL look stunning.
    Among the general population, I don’t think fitted mesh will make much difference. Lots of people don’t wear mesh clothes or hair now, or buy mesh replacement bits for their avatars. I’m not sure they’d see a reason to buy fitted mesh, which still requires demos and some degree of adjusting one’s shape to make it fit properly. A full mesh replacement body would probably require a new wardrobe as well, especially if you didn’t have many mesh items to begin with. It may be too big of an investment for it to become the common standard for all SLers. Still, this is all early in the game. It will be interesting to see where it goes.