Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Quaintly wrote a post about her awakening from SL and, since we have always argued about the “reality” of SL, it got me started into a long comment (for example, that spending countless hours with your virtual wardrobe may look shallow, but in fact shows respect for your enviroment and people’s immersion… and, err, well, it is pretty fun), which ended  with me “londoning” it.

The main point was my answer to this lines of hers: “What SL is, is an illusion. It seems real, but it isn’t. And before anyone tries to argue the point, of course the people in it, and the friendships we build, are real. Just as real as the friendships you have with the co-workers in your office. But when you switch jobs, move to a different company, how many of those friendships remain? Only a few. The same thing with SL”.

I simply can’t get it; if SL is less real because you can leave it, doesn’t make a job illusory too?

Aha! Got you with your own words! *grins at Quaintly*.

After all, if we check how we where before SL, and how we are now, and it has changed us, doesn’t make it real?

Errr…

No?

I’ve been changed by books and films, by wonderful, fictional stories that made me look at life in new, open ways, but that doesn’t make them real.

In fact, it would be a bit silly to argue about a film being or not being real and, in the same way, it is a bit silly to discuss if virtual worlds are real; they are and aren’t, in the same way other activities are and aren’t: entertainment, work, pornography or spiritual shelters.

I’m afraid that, deep inside, the problem is always the same: is the people behind the screen real? Can I accept a virtual personality as such, or do I need an RL link? Are we being deceived?

Yes, relations may be catastrophic when one end don’t meet the expectations… and yes, we can talk about ye olde trucker joke *rolls eyes*, but mainly about people who fakes care, compromise, disappearing in the shadows of anonymity when they get what they want; I think this is why many people thinks this place isn’t “real”.

But I disagree; yes, there is many many people around who aren’t what they seem, people whose shyness, physical traits or society enviroment didn’t let them be what they wanted, until they found this strange, virtual canvas; but that doesn’t mean they are fakers. And yes, I’ve met some bad apples in my SL years, and I’ve been deceived by them… but that also happens at RL: the only difference is, it is harder to spot them here.

Of course I’m partial, being one of those aumengtationists myself; London’s RL counterpart isn’t so pretty, flirty, daring, crazy and… well, it may come as a shock, but I don’t have kitten ears at RL *pouts*.

By staying away from SL we can free an incredible amount of time, discover little RL joys we had forgotten, and get rid of heartaches and emotional debris; thus, I fully understand when a friend decides it is time to leave, and I am glad if we keep contact through mail, even if it means sharing our (booooooring ;-) RL everyday.

But I stay at SL, maybe because, having committed virtual adultery, I can’t bring myself to port SL lovers into full disclosure RL friends, or maybe because I don’t want to lose that special, crazy piece of me, that only lives here.

I stay, and keep believing. Does that makes me a dreamer, and SL an illusion? Does it matter?

As Calderon de la Barca wrote:

What is this life? A frenzy, an illusion,
A shadow, a delirium, a fiction.
The greatest good’s but little, and this life
is but a dream, and dreams are only dreams.

I am buuuusy, but I’ve downgraded a bit my study expectations, so there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel; even if, with my luck, it will be the Shinkansen. But, if everything goes right, I should be free, really free, in a pair of months.

Gosh, I can’t remember what “being free” means.

If you are wondering what I’ve done at SL in this, ouch, 3 months since my last post, it’s easy: went homeless for a while, then rented a small cottage at Zippora’s land and had a lot of fun trying to furnish it while keeping a low prim count.

Then Nat got a Linden House, and now I have two homes, and two  landladies, and still have to furnish the second one! (I mean the home, not the landlady).

The shop also changed places (yep, again). By now Peter and Ivanova have kindly let me set a vendor at GREENE Concept and, with a bit of luck, it will stay there forever… even if one of the first things I did was break the shop’s entrace *sighs*. I’ve been giving a try at making a kiosk, and the one in the picture (most of it based on Faerie’s suggestions) is my best effort up to the moment; I am sure I can do something better… but not today! :-)


So I’ve done a bit of moving, and put all the freebie animation packs in a single box to save prims, but I doubt there will be real news about the shop until I have time to get back and work seriously on it… maybe September?

And what about me? This long rest, and the fun of extreme furnituring, have brought back some of SL’s Joie de vivre… and knowing how many good friends do I have at SL helps a lot, too. So let’s see what happens :-)

(If you forgot: since I am RL busy, I am trying to enjoy my SL by “dedicating” Fridays to it, starting by last one).

Last Friday I seriously logged in at SL, with mixed results:

- I was able to talk with people I missed, like dear Quaintly, dear Peter, and some other dears… but I wasn’t able to meet some of them “in person”, which is sad, and some weren’t around at all, like Natsumi or Katrina (my fault, Friday isn’t a day that fits them).

Bittersweet.

- Anyway, there was a moment when nobody was around, so I had some free time… which I spent dressing, when I should had been doing shop updates.

Silly in a fun way.

- Then my daughter got me by the throat, and forced me to build her a canopy bed, only I cheated and used a tent Quaintly had made before, and I simply tweaked it a bit and tinted it in deep pink.

Sillier, and funnier.

- Later, Peter took me to a haunted mine at Steeltopia Station, that he had explored, and we, well, explored it, which was fun.

Must I say it? Another bit of silliness ;-p

So, how was it?

I wrote: “SL bores me to death when I don’t have enough time to spend at it with my friends” and, at her latest post, Zippora answers to it with “A good old friend stays very dear to me, even if I haven’t seen them for months”, which is true (at least emotionally true, if not gramatically… but who am I to criticise that?

(lol, see what I meant? I just run the spell check and discovered “grammatically” is written with two ems :-p).

We, my RL friends and I, have a dinner every two months. We talk about our families, TV series (“How I met your mother” being the current favorite, winning over “House M.D.” for a whole head) and mostly laugh a lot, making all the guys around feel pretty insecure. In all logic SL friendships should work the same way, accepting long periods of absence, or even that you may want to log in to do something, instead of meeting people. And it does, it truly does…

… up to a point.

For example, Faerie and Dunan are very tolerant friends, that assume we almost never meet in person; worse, they know how much do I stink at multitasking, so most times we don’t even IM each other.

(oh my God! I forgot to water the bonsai they gave me! that is soo typical :-( At least this one will only need a reset to revive).

But many of my SL friends aren’t only that, and I know at least one had been angry at my long absence (being told four times in a day helped to notice it :-p). Imagine meeting a RL boyfriend, or girlfriend, once each two months…it may work if you are in a long distance relation, but you would feel guilty if you didn’t call after a while. And going to the city but not paying a visit, because you where busy?

Urgh.

But things aren’t so easy. Which is an “urgh” at RL is a very different matter at SL, where many members of our friend list may be more than friends but less than boyfriends, a pretty volatile state. Also, for some of us SL is a sad place if we can’t spend a lot of time building, creating, or simply mixing and matching the clothes of our (typically mastodontic) wardrobe.

Having a rich emotional life at SL (aka, having more than a handful of boyfriends and girlfriends at the same time), I’ve always being torn between the need to behave in the right way, RL style, and the feeling there is never enough time for anything. It isn’t strange I’ve been crazy half of the time; now I only need to find an excuse for the other half.

But noticing this is a big step, isn’t it? What comes next?

*Sighs* No idea.

Logic tells me that, if I really need to spend most of my time building (or scripting, or shopping, or dressing), I should do it. Logic tells me that, if I can’t dedicate my time to a single boyfriend, I’ll have to learn to give them only little crumbs of my time. And I know some people at SL who has managed to do just that, and they are happy.

Me?It is worth a try, but I doubt I’ll be able to do it. I am pretty sure it will feel wrong, but at least I know why, now.

Meanwhile there was that last Friday, that ended at late night, playing dice with two old friends at Steeltopia’s Black Fox tavern.

Fun in a very, very sweet way.

a whole week has passed, and I felt the tug to log in again, to post about this, but I am very very very very very very bu…

wait …

… sy studying lately, as I will be in the next months, so I resisted the temptation and waited,waited, until it was Friday again :-)

Btw, studying isn’t as boring as people says: now I know how a vitroceramic plate (infrared or inductive) works; that, since 2006, we only have eight true planets (poor Pluto is now a dwarf planet), that magnetic fields are made now of Photons. Well, by “now” I mean the latest theories about it, of course, not that somebody changed a switch on the Universe… even if that would be fun, isn’t it?

Meme!

As Zippora says, it is this time of year, and when I got a meme from dande it seemed a good idea to join it, at least while waiting for my SL day to come (at the end I’ve selected the Friday… I wonder if everything still is where I left it :-p).

But sending notecards? It is easier to post it, even if I risk being lame ;-p

******************

Welcome to the 2010 edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here’s  what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be lame and spoil the fun!

Change all  the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of  people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you.   Some of you may get this several times (that means you have lots of friends).

Name: London Spengler

01. What is your occupation
Writer

02. How many items in your inventory?
A bit over 5000

03. What are you listening to right now?
TV cartoons; they keep my daughter hypnotized so I can write this :-p

04. What was the last thing you ate?
At the time I started writing this, we just came back from having our breakfast, where we had half of a chicken/lettuce/mayonnaise “hor d’oeuvre” (we call them “pinchos”), and half of a toasted croissant with butter and marmalade. I didn’t share the tea :-p

05. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yep, as most people at Spain; we don’t like automatic gears.

06. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
One of those rainbow ones, that look so cute but are sooo useless.

07. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Maybe my mother, six days ago? I’m not a phone fan.

08. Do you like the person who sent you this?
Yes, I do, or I wouldn’t take the effort answer all this crap :-P

09. How old are you today?
42 years old. But I am proud of age giving me maturity, gravitas… now, the fucking little wrinkles round the eyes, aRrrRrRRGhhHhh!
Or three years and something.

10. Favourite drink?
Decaff-latte-capuchine-diet-choc and strawberry coffee.
Kidding, it is milk :-) When traveling I like to ask for a “medium” coffee and see what happens: where I live you get a huge breakfast cup, at some places people gives you half of a little cup, and you can get lot of strange variations in the middle ranges.

11. What’s your favourite sport to watch?
Mmm… hard one…

None?

12. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Long ago I had some golden highlights done to me. Strangely enough, all pictures from that period of my life seems to have disappear, sometimes with extreme prejudice. Same about the perm age.

13. Pets?
At RL? A hamster and a husband. At SL? mmm…

14. Favorite food?
Many, but octopus is probably one of the best (delicious!); it also gives extra fun when I describe the dish to foreign people *grins widely*.

15. Last movie you watched?
Dances with Avatars.

16. Favourite day of year?
None, all.

17. What do you do to vent your anger?
I make incisive, quiet comments. If that doesn’t work, I start fuming and browse for “hitman”.

18. What was your favourite toy as a child?
Building games (Exin’s “Tente”).

19. Whats your favourite season?
There is a tie between spring and autumn. Summer and Winter aren’t bad, too.
Life is so nice :-p.

20. Hugs or Kisses?
Brief kisses, usually a peck in the cheek or lips. I probably give a pair of dozens of them a day.

21. Cherry or blueberry?
What for?

22. Do you want your friends to send you this back to you?
Now I took the effort? Sure! Let’s spread the pain :-)

23. Who is most likely to respond?
Oh, no, I couldn’t point at anybody… that would make it easier for the others!

24. Who is least likely to respond?
Obviously dande, since she sent it to me in the first time. Isn’t logic nice?

25. When was the last time you laughed?
Around a pair of hours ago, when I was supposed to be working. It was only a brief rest, I promise!

26. When was the last time you cried?
Often when seeing films, and SL has given me its share of tears. If we ignore both, years ago.

27. What is on the floor of your closet?
Jerseys, and a poor pair of tracksuits that we don’t use anymore.

28. Who is the friend you have had the longest you are sending this to?
I’m cheating here, since I am not “sending” it… How about my oldest SL friend, which is Nat, instead?

29. Favourite smells?
Wet soil, grass just cut (I dids scythe a field once, it was interesting… at first.).

30. Who inspires you?
To do what?

31. What are you afraid of?
Mime players (or, more seriously, the classic metaphysical fears; nothing original here, please, keep walking :-p).

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers?
Cheese, and spicy, and also with a bit of pineapple. Why be a gourmet when you can be a gourmand?

33. Favourite car?
Tough ones; I tend to bump a lot.

34. Favourite cat breed?
Not a particular one. I like those that let you tickle their tummy, but also with a bit of spunk, and even better if they are crazy.

35. Number of keys on your key ring?
3.

36. How many years in your current job?
No easy answer for that; I don’t have a standard job, but my longest (and still active) relation with an enterprise is ten years.

37. Favourite day of the week?
None at all, but I have a weak spot for the 30 of February.

38. How many states have you lived in?
We don’t have states, but I’ve always lived in the same city anyway; it’s comfy and suits me well.

39. Do you think you’re funny?
Not really, I know that, at first, people laughs out of embarrassment, wondering what the hell was I trying to do. The good thing is that after a while they get accustomed, so they end thinking I am fun, even if I am not. It is a kind of Pawlovian reaction.

40. Favourite tree?
Chestnut.

41. Favourite all time music Album/CD
It isn’t easy but, if there must be only one… Queen’s Highlander OST?

The cookie thing

A busy Christmas kept me away from SL, but now I am even busier, studying around ten hours a day for a competitive exam that will take place in the Summer. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I am doing it in my own unique style, that includes seeing Brad Pitt’s “Snatch” (drools) while writing up schematics.

The thing is, I am busy, but not busy enough to keep me so far away from SL as I’ve been, and yesterday I decided it was time to write a post in the hope I would discover why. Yes, blogging as the cheapest form of psychoanalysis :-p.

It started easy, with some redundant topics of mine: my inability to deal with a friend list (sigh, I’m more and more sure my Dunbar’s number at SL goes around 10), that I need some hours in a row with somebody to feel really connected, and how easily I feel detached when interrupted by an IM (multitasking), when chat lags (multitasked), when RL intrudes, when there are technical issues… you know, everything :-p.

The problem is nothing of this was new, and it didn’t fully explain why, when I get a pair of free hours, I tend to read or see TV instead of logging in.

So I started digging into relations, and after a whole day I noticed they where the same old clichés: I don’t desire enough and/or I am not being desired enough. I can’t give what he/she needs, and/or he/she can’t give me what I need, and so on.

No relation is perfect, and it is true I’ve been feeling lots of negative emotions, from boredom to jealousy,which I hate and makes me hate myself. But it is also true that my heart flutters when I meet a loved one, that I laugh and enjoy the company of my friends. So no luck here, try the other one.

So, after spending a whole morning writing a post, I deleted it! And it didn’t went better in the afternoon, believe me :-(

But after a bit of sleep I think I’ve reached a conclusion: SL bores me to no end… unless I have lots of time to spend with my friends, work in my shop or write endless posts. I need time enough to connect, and I doubt I’ll have that kind of time until September, and that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Or not?

After all, adding chocolate chunks to cookies seemed impossible at first, isn’t it?

I am going to try to dedicate all my free time from a whole day to SL, probably the monday; and if that doesn’t work, I’ll keep trying, and trying. Because that’s the way the cookie crumbles ;-)

Na’Vi

I agree with the general opinion: while Avatar’s plot isn’t new at all (I browsed for “Avatar” plus “Dances with wolves” as soon as I got out of the cinema), Pandora’s night enviroment is incredible beautiful, and its inhabitants savagely attractive.

Btw, isn’t it fun how Avatar’s world name matches my shop, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with my awesome products? *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*.

Anyway, soon after the film’s release Avatar has reached Second Life, and here you have Faerie Hax’s new Na’Vi avatar, which captures the alien mixture of stance and expresivity we have seen in the film.

As the promo says, for only 250L$ you get four skins variants (with or without a yellow streak, and in standard or PG flawours), a tail, a mod/copy shape, and also a style card with landmarks to places where you can find suitable suits of clothes or hair, including my favorite panther outfit from Zion Creations, that she is wearing in the promo.

Of course this post wouldn’t be complete without a personalized picture, and after trying some outfits I  found that BareRose’s Enthraller, while not too matching with the film’s look, absolutely fitted the original shape (I also found that Photoshop had stopped working, probably after I updated to Windows 7; that is why the picture only got a touch of Windlight :-p)

Remember, you can find this avatar at Faerie’s shop “FH skins” (and yes, I know this is the third time I’ve used this skin’s picture in a post, but it is soooo lovely).

Quiet days

At Spain children have huge Christmas holidays, which span from 22 of December to January the 7th. Considering both dates fell very close to a weekend, that means three long weeks where most of we do is care of our little girl, crazed by a mix of tidbits and boredom.

I’ve spent a month without logging in; first I was busy, then it was busier with Christmas, but being busy doesn’t fully explain why.

Three years ago I was mildly happy with my nice marriage, and then SL came and teached me how to be passionate again. This lesson of love had their ups and downs, but it was worth it, and I hope I’ll never forget it again.

Ironically SL success on awakening my RL feelings has made things complicated, because a day isn’t big enough to fit two full lives, and that is why it has been so relaxing to keep away this month: simply being who I used to be before SL was busy enough.

Lost in the haze of only being my RL self, I kept postponing to log in, to answer mails, to keep in contact. That doesn’t mean I didn’t miss my SL family, or blogging, or commenting. I did, but it was so hard to find time and strength to come back, that I kept delaying it.

Before this long absence my SL had evolved into a slow, easygoing life, and now I see that was just what I needed: three years ago I found a passionate SL for my quiet RL, and now I need a quiet SL for my busy, passionate life.

Once my daughter returns to school I’ll be back to SL, to keep looking for that elusive balance between two sweet lives.

Meanwhile? It’s late, bed is calling, have a happy new year :-)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.