Posts Tagged ‘Strawberry Singh’

You probably think I’m a poor speller, and are expecting a video like this…

I’ll admit I am a terrible speller.  Spellcheck is the only reason you may not be aware of this, as the computer fights a constant (and losing) battle to hide the fact that Typonese is actually my first language and English a distant second.  But I’m actually at the computer, cool, refreshing soda in hand, thinking about who has guided and taught me in my blog-forging.  You see, this is the next WordPress.com Daily Prompt that I’m tackling:  Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.  Photographers, artists, poets: show us SUPPORT.

Since I can never resist a pun, particularly if it is slightly risqué, I thought about focusing on support.  I could don my lolas, set them to somewhere between super-sized and extra-ginormous, and talk about lingerie fashion and occasional back pains.  As added bonus, the pictures for such a post would practically pose themselves, as cheesecake close-ups would be the obvious choice.  However, I really did want to talk about mentors and guidance.

I look so serious when I'm typing...

I look so serious when I’m thinking what to write…

In one sense, I am a self-taught blogger.  No one sat me down (in either Life) and explained how or why to blog, talked over with me about what my purpose was, gave me tactical or strategic advice on blogging better.  I pretty much follow a “push the buttons and see what happens” approach to blogging, setting my mental filters to ‘low’ and seeing what comes out.  Every so often I learn something new and add a metaphorical new button to push.  After all, I’ve admitted before and will probably admit again: I am my own target audience.  Writing makes me happy, helps give me a purpose in my wanderings.  That I also bring some momentary brightness into other peoples’s lives, that I’ve found a little community of fellow bloggers where I get to hang on the outer fringes, that I’ve seen some insights into improving my lives and writings, these are all gravy, bonuses on top of having a place to write and just be me.

Sometimes working hard becomes hardly working...

Sometimes working hard becomes hardly working…

That is not to say I am without influences.  Examples that I have attempted to incorporate into my approach to blogging, and/or writing.  I don’t necessarily have a favorite author, per se, as I tend to live and read for the moment, becoming enthused about whatever I am currently reading.  However, there are certain authors I return to frequently and whom I see as examples of the sort of tone I hope my writing holds: Isaac Asimov, particularly his non-fiction; Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, John Connolly, David Drake, Louis L’amour, P.C. Doherty.  There are also a few bloggers I should definitely mention:  There’s the blogger who inspired me to start a tumblr account and start playing at fashion blogging: Cheryl Blossoms.  There’s the first tumblr I followed: Cozey Daily.  There are two bloggers I consider close friends who have definitely given me food for thought and who I love my rare chances to just hang out online with: Shae, and Zee.  There are other follows, too numerous to list here.  (Yes, father, I should start a blogroll…)  Although he isn’t a second lifer, I also follow iamfunny2’s “What If” blog, random rants and writings and whimseys, generally in response to prompt sites like WordPress.com’s Daily Post.  If I didn’t exist and my firsty had a blog without me and my adventures in Second Life, it would probably be a lot like Okay, What If?  And of course, if you’ve followed me for any length of time, or if you’ve visited some of my ‘Monday Meme’ responses, you know I adore Strawberry Singh.Snapshot_007

The claims that I want to be Strawberry when I grow up are obviously exaggerations.  After all, I don’t want to grow up, period.  Maturity is too much like reality, both are places that require occasional visits, but I would rather live in the bright primary colors of innocence and enthusiasm.  Still, Berry is an excellent exemplar of what I would like my blog to someday be.  She writes well, articles that are interesting and enjoyable.  She’s beautiful (sure, in Second Life that’s ‘only’ a result of good shopping skills.  So what?  in First Life it’s only the result of a roll of the genetic dice.  Second Life beauty actually is the result of choice and judgement…).  She is a very good photographer.  She’s a teacher- my snapshots are definitely better because of the lessons she has posted and pointed out about Second Life photography.  She is a warm, caring blogger who promotes community and connection in a Second Life where far too many people are griefers and drama queens.  I’m sure I’m embarrassing Berry a little by heaping such fulsome praise upon her, but I really and sincerely admire her, and the example she has provided me and the occasional feedback, like, and comment have been the closest I have had to a mentor in my blogging.  It’s kind of amazing how often I find reason to say “Thank you, Berry.”

In a recent pose, Berry admitted, ” I totally admit, I am a youtube addict. I have been watching various youtubers since 2006,” so I’m going to bring this post full circle with another video.  I love music, so when I learned how to insert youtube videos into WordPress posts, it became a common occurrence for me to put one or two songs every other post or so because music is a big part of the wanderings I lead.  This video, Pork and Beans by Weezer, is not only a great song, but has enough Youtube video cameos to satisfy the most demanding Youtube addict…

P.S.: the obligatory listing of fashion credits: Shape: Kids5B Gigi Teen; Skin: Amar by WoW Skins; Hair: ‘Black, Half-Long’ source unknown, but created by Svenja Jewel; Outfit: JayBee Veinte from EdelFabrik; Earrings: *JStyle.  Hope everyone is having a cool and stylish weekend!

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“Welcome to Blogetty Blah Blah, the show where we talk on and on and on with bloggers about blogs and blogging.  My name is Ted Bogus, and I’m your long winded host!  Today I’m here with Emily Marik and her firsty, Matt, the creative mind or minds behind SL: Time Well Wasted.  I guess my first question is whether I should refer to you as one creative mind or two creative minds…”

Matt: One mind.  I’m sometimes have questions about how exactly that mind works, but we are just different aspects of that mind.

Emily: Definitely two minds.  We have a lot in common, but I’m my own person and I have distinctly different tastes and attitudes then my firsty, and sometimes we just flat out disagree.

I am sooo ready for my close up now….

I am sooo ready for my close up now….

“Well, that clarifies a lot.  I think I can already tell how this interview is going to go.  But I’m going to ask my questions anyway, if only to fill otherwise dead air time.  These questions about Halloween were sent in by Strawberry Singh, a woman who puts the blah in blogging!”

Emily: You might want to rephrase that.  There is absolutely nothing blah about Strawberry Singh!  She’s my idol and my role model!  I wanted to start a cult of Strawberry to worship her blog as holy writ, but my firsty is a spoilsport.

Matt: (Winces a little.) Yeah, I’m pretty sure Emily wants to be Strawberry when she grows up.  Or possibly to try to kill her and take her place.  It’s a little creepy sometimes, and I think everyone will be more comfortable if we just move on to the questions…

“I certainly will be.  Fortunately creepy is a good cue to talk about Halloween.  How do you two feel about halloween?  Did you go trick or treating as a child?”

I do believe, I do believe!

I do believe, I do believe!

Emily: Every year.  Usually I would browbeat my dad into to taking me to other neighborhoods so I could trick or treat multiple times.  And the upside of looking as young as I do, I can still go out every year.  Which almost makes up for the hassles every time I buy a bottle of Captain Morgan’s.  Hopefully by the time I can’t pass as a teenager anymore, I’ll have a friend with some small children I can borrow for the night and pretend to be an enthusiastic parent or nanny.

Matt: Only until I was eight or nine.  My parents believed in fairness, so if I went out panhandling for candy, someone had to be at home to give candy out to the other neighborhood kids, which neither of them particularly cared to do.  As soon as they could convince me to give up Trick or Treat, they could revert to their preferred plan, which was turn all the lights off and close down the house, and go out for dinner and a movie and not come back home until trick or treat was over.  A night out with the grown ups was a bigger treat then candy, so I jumped to the grinch side of the Halloween fence fairly early in life.

“Other holidays than Christmas can have grinches?”

Matt: Why not?  The original Dr. Seuss book is about Christmas, but the idea, someone with a negative attitude that spoils others’ holiday enjoyment could apply to any holiday.  Admittedly you would hard pressed to find someone who celebrates Arbor Day enthusiastically enough to be a Grinch about Arbor Day, but it could happen in theory.  Heck, look up the definition of Grinch online, and you will find that it is generally defined as slang for any killjoy or spoilsport, not just holiday killjoys.  (Except for http://www.urbandictionary.com, which instead defines a grinch as a particularly sweaty and hairy female body part, which I suppose would spoil the sport, but gives a whole new meaning to the Grinch who stole Christmas…)

“So you don’t care for Halloween costumes.”

Matt: I don’t care for Halloween, per se.  I love costumes… cosplay, theatrical costuming, Renn fairs and sci-fi conventions, et cetera.  Last saturday, a radio station from the next city over was advertising a zombie pub crawl, with prizes for scariest and sexiest zombies, and I would have loved to go, in costume if I could get someone to come with me, or just to watch as a wall fly observer. I’ve seen Emily pull it off, but it’s still hard to imagine a ‘sexy zombie’ costume on this side of the computer screen.  I tolerate Halloween for the sake of costumes, but I find the commercialism of the holiday and the “gimme candy” greed to be just as irritating as Christmas commercialism and greed are.

“Well then, what are the best Halloween costumes you’ve ever seen or worn yourself?  And Matt, let Emily get a word in, you’ve been monopolizing the conversation.”

You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind...

You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind…

Emily: (sticking her tongue out) Yeah.  Let me have a turn.  I love costumes too, one of the traits my firsty and I have in common.  I change outfits and looks so much that it’s harder for me to pick just one costume.  For instance, I wanted to be a fairy princess when I was a little girl, so I really love the costume I’m wearing in today’s post.. It’s the Kiddy Crew Tinkerbell costume from Fierce Designs, leotard, tutu, wand, wings, and hair with glowing ribbons all included.  It also came with ballerina type slippers, but I wanted to give the costume a little more of my own punky flare, so I swapped those out for stockings and my signature Prozak red leather kicks, as well as adding my lip rings and a tattoo from Orsini.  The pimpled skin is also a Kiddy Crew release from Fierce Designs, and the Meredith ‘tweenie’ shape was created by Dawn Canadeo.  Looking through my inventory for costumes I like enough to have multiple design variations on them, I also apparently love Alice in Wonderland, and Sexy Nuns.  Actually almost all of my costumes are ‘Sexy fill-in-the-blank’. Can I blame Matt for that?

Matt: Not and still maintain that we are two different minds.  Which battle would you rather win? (Sticks his tongue out.) I’m torn on which costume also, but when I was a little kid, I wanted to be a rabbit.  I learned to read on the books of Thornton Burgess, a Massachusetts naturalist and children’s author, and loved his main character Peter Rabbit.  I loved the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons.  As a very small child, I would do what was more of a kangaroo hop around the yard and pretend to be a rabbit.  Rabbits are traditionally associated with the trickster archetype, someone who succeeds through wits and outside-the-box thinking, and I would hope that I would someday be associated with that same archetype.  So my favorite costume was the bunny costume my mother made for me the year I was six.

Little stars on springs

Little stars on springs…

The base was a pair of blue footie pajamas with white over the stomach.  Mom sewed a big white cotton ball on the seat for a bunny tail.  For ears, she found a head band with two little stars on springs sticking out.  Yes, Emily, very like those glowing stars from Wierdiculous you just found as an example.  My mom sewed blue and white slip covers that slid over the little stars and turned them into bunny ears.  A little bit of halloween makeup gave me a pink nose and some whiskers on my cheeks and voila!  Instant bunny.  I had just finished one of my growth spurts, and the pajamas were big on me, so I was even able to repeat and reuse the costume the following year.  If they made footie pajamas for adults over six feet tall, I would probably try to recreate the costume thirty years later… Definitely the best costume ever.  I was an adorable little boy!

Emily: So what happened when you grew up?

“Hey now!  I still have questions to ask, so I need you two to behave and remain civil until we finish.  So what is each of your most vivid Halloween memories?”

Matt: Most vivid memory?  Another costume story.  Ten or twelve years ago, when I was working my first serving job, the company that owned the restaurant wanted to be ‘fun’ so we were strongly encouraged to dress up.  There was a waitress there, I’ll call her Kelsey to protect the guilty, who was kind of a landmark at the restaurant.  ‘Kelsey’ had a stable of male regulars who came in to see her every Friday.  She was a good waitress, and fun and flirty and very attractive.  At the time I was in my twenties and thought Kelsey was a gorgeous older woman.  Now that I’m getting close to the age she must have been then, I would just say she was a gorgeous woman.  Blond, busty, with just an undefined hint of bimbo/party girl that made her more fun.  So I didn’t just go the drag route, I intentionally modeled the costume after her.  I found a blond ringlet wig that looked very close to Kelsey’s actual hair.  At a local full time costume store (as opposed to those cheapo costume stores that sprout up like mushrooms at the beginning of September just for the season) I found a foam chest insert of prominent boobs. They even had permanent ‘head lights on’, much like Kelsey… My god, Emily!  I had lolas before lolas were cool!  (Emily just shakes her head and snickers.)  I used my usual work shirt, which with the foam lolas was very tight across the chest- again much like Kelsey.  Waiters had to wear khaki pants, waitresses were allowed a choice of skirts or pants, and Kelsey always wore a skirt just barely long enough to be regulation.  So I wore a khaki skirt, and matched her bright red lipstick and wore bright red press on nails.  I had quietly asked a few people, just to make certain that Kelsey would recognize imitation as a form of flattery and not be offended.  Unfortunately they had given me bad advice.  I got to work that Friday, coming in for evening as Kelsey was leaving from her lunch shift, and was greeted with the name ‘You Little Shit!”, not used as a term of endearment.  Worse, a few of her lunch stable regulars came in that evening and instantly recognized that I wasn’t doing generic drag but specifically imitating Kelsey.  Guys thought it was a hoot.  Women I waited on were more impressed by the nails and that I had managed to do them myself.  Last footnote to the story.  I got out of work late that evening, got into my car, still in costume, and hopped on the highway to drive over to my girlfriend’s off-campus apartment.  Not only did I want to see her, but I still lived with my parents at the time, and I didn’t really want them to see me in drag so I figured I would change at my girlfriends.  Between the costume and the undergarments to push me into a more feminine shape than I have naturally, the costume was kind of hot (in the sticky, sweaty sense rather than the sexy sense) so I had the window down for the breeze.  A semi pulls past me, and the driver lays on the horn and ogles me from the cab.  It takes me a split second to realize what just happened.  I speed up again, and as I pull even with the truck, I blow the truck driver a kiss.  I then pull my wig off and blow him a second kiss, before speeding up more and pulling away.  The second sounding of the horn sounded a lot angrier than the first.  I was still laughing when I got to my girlfriend’s place.

“Emily, this segment is going a little long, so I’d like to cut to a commercial break and give you a chance to change costumes.  Folks, we’ll be back shortly, depending on Matt’s typing speed.  In the meantime, here are a few blog posts you might find interesting:

Tani Sakura recently started a new blog, and we are waiting to see if she sticks with it, but this post about a new costuming inventory tool definitely caught my eye…

Amanda Randall posted this gallery of halloween costumes for those who prefer to look scary instead of slutty…

And Cheryl Blossoms has two more halloween costumes on display at her most recent post…  Now stay tuned for the return of the Bloggety Blah Blah show!”

Strawberry’s Monday Meme for the week is a fun one.  (Check it out here if you haven’t yet!)  Essentially, Berry is asking what we avatars get up to when our firsties are not logged in, moving us around like little puppets.  I have a different conceit.

A conceited conceit, perhaps?

A conceited conceit, perhaps?

Now for the record, when I say I have a conceit, I am not describing my (high, but deservedly so) opinion of myself.  Rather I’m referring to the literary definition, a fanciful or whimsical image, generally involving an extended or elaborate comparison.  (See, my blog isn’t just about cuteness and whimsey, it is also educational!)  Strawberry isn’t the only blogger who maintains the idea that her SL self has her own existence, that when she is offline, her avatar does its own thing and then makes sure that she is back in place before log-on.  My friend Shaedyn (check her out at Shaedynlee.com; she is well worth the read, and has a great fashion sense!) maintains a similar whimsey.  It’s a fine little daydream, it makes me chuckle and it also reminds me of the toys in Toy Story… my conceit is just slightly different.

When I refer to my firsty, it is short for “First Life Avatar.”  I don’t talk about logging out of Second Life but about logging into First Life.  My whimsey isn’t that my firsty and I are separate entities, overlapping when he is at the computer and independent when he isn’t.  Instead, I decided that Second Life is as least as real as so-called First Life and pretend that we are each playing the other.  I’m pushing buttons on the keyboard, moving him around, chatting up various coworkers and customers, discreetly checking out hotties in the area… not really that different from what I do day to day.  So when I’m logged into first life, I’m actually being fairly sedentary compared to when I’m out shopping and flirting and being cute.

CREDITS: My desk, chair, and computer are from Furniture011.  I don’t often give furnishing or pose credits, but in this case the computer was kind of central to the picture I needed to take.  I’m wearing the Dark Miss dress from [Revenge], a sadly out-of-business store.  Sad because I thought their outfits were very cool.  My accessories all came from Grumble, Grumble (bangles, glasses, facial tattoo) and *Jstyle (earrings, boots, necklace).  The skin is Vodka from Egoxentrikax, and the hair is Marcella from Miss Canning.  (The shape, Tiffany, is source unknown, although I believe I got it from the free avatar sets available at Zoha Island Mall…)

Kicking back while I plan my next move.

Kicking back while I plan my next move.

Just needed to stretch a bit...

Just needed to stretch a bit…

PostScript: Since we sort of strayed into “through the looking glass” territory, my firsty dreaming that he is me dreaming of being him and so forth down the rabbit hole, it seemed appropriate to end with a video of the Cruxshadows song, “Wake the White Queen.”

There is nothing wrong with your computer.  Do not attempt to adjust the picture.  We have taken over this blog.  If we wish to make it louder, WE WILL TYPE IN ALL CAPS.  If we wish to make it softer, we will change the font to a whisper.  We will control the pictures.  We will control the content.  You are about to experience the awe and randomness that extends from my inner mind to- the outer limits of sanity.

Emily generally calls me “Firsty”, but you can call me Matt.  I’m the guy on the other side of the keyboard from Emily, and she is graciously allowing me a turn at the blog today.  (‘Graciously allowing’?  That makes it sound like you gave me a choice….)  I’m thirty-eight, happily married, and less happily employed.  I serve and sometimes bartend at two different restaurants.  I’ve been doing it for over fifteen years, a mixed blessing.  On one hand, I’m a damned good server and a decent bartender; experience and intelligence are a tough combination to beat.  On the other hand, Steve Dublanica, blogger and author of Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip, was right when he said most servers are in transition, waiting tables as a temporary stop on their way to some other life goal.  Fifteen years of failure to move on is draining on the most resilient soul, and I don’t think my soul is particularly resilient.  Moreover, my wife (also a server) and I want to start a family, something difficult to do amidst the instability of inconsistent incomes and unpredictable schedules.  Ironically, everything I’ve read about it suggests that my dream job is even less stable than serving.  I want to be a writer, which means I’m jealous of Emily because she already is.  I’m well aware that statement alone could put a therapist’s firstborn through college…

Of course you're jealous, firsty!  I'm just that cute...

Of course you’re jealous, firsty! I’m just that cute…

I’m terribly confused sometimes by the question of how to explain Emily, particularly to people (like my wife) who aren’t engaged in Second Life.  After all, in one narrowly literal way of looking at things, I’m a married man of almost forty who spends hours every week pretending to explore an imaginary world as a twenty-something single girl in skimpy clothing.  Although I won’t deny occasional creeper moments, (You better not!  I have pictures somewhere…), Emily is more than that.  My best explanation is an analogy.  Many actors have immersed themselves in a role, only to argue with a director that a script isn’t right, their character wouldn’t behave that way.  Many authors have shared the feeling of a character in a book taking on a ‘life of their own’ and not just doing what the writer wanted them to do.  For me, Emily is that fictional character who has taken on a life of her own, and I love logging in to see what she is going to do next, not to mention where she will end up and how she will look while she’s doing it.

My two sources for blogging ideas when I need an inspiration are WordPress.com’s Daily Prompt and Strawberry Singh, who is, as far as I’m concerned, the definitive Second Life blogger.  I don’t have the hero-worship-crush Emily does for Strawberry, but I am very impressed by her and I’m pretty sure I would be as tongue-tied meeting the RL Strawberry as Emily would be meeting Strawberry in SL.  This experiment- writing a blog entry as myself rather than through Emily’s voice- actually arose when ideas from both places coalesced into one inspiration.  For the ‘I’ve seen the future’ blog entry I wrote recently, I imagined I would occasionally guest blog for myself.  Some of my visitors come here from ‘real life’ links, and at least one of my goals for the blog: to keep writing and develop my writer’s voice, is more about real life than Second Life.  My blogs often touch tangentially on the whole “how much of Emily is me and how much is from somewhere else” question, so it seemed like something that could logically grow out of what I had blogged so far.  From there it was a small step to actually try it and see what happens.  The second idea I suggested in the comments area for one of Strawberry’s posts last week, ‘Falling in Love’.  Her sheepishness about trying to explain to an RL boyfriend that she had an SL alter ego, reminded me of my own sheepishness.  Which is amplified because Emily is a girl, and because Emily has a bigger digital footprint than I do.  My imaginary alter ego is not only more successful at my dream, being a writer, than I am so far- she has more ‘fame’ and presence on the web than I do.  Apparently my hypothetical therapist’s firstborn is going on to grad school…  Anyway, I suggested there was potentially a Monday Meme in the whole question of digital footprints, and I wanted to put it into a more usable form for Strawberry.

If I walk in this virtual stream, will it hide my digital footprints?

If I walk in this virtual stream, will it hide my digital footprints?

So here it is, an idea for future use:

Digital Footprint Meme Instructions:  First, measure your digital footprint.  Google yourself (or Bing yourself or Yahoo yourself if you really must…) under both your real life name and your second life name and look over what comes up.  Then post a picture inspired by the phrase ‘digital footprint’ and/or answer the following questions.  (P.S. Don’t show us your searches unless you want us all to see your real life name as well.)

  • How did the two digital footprints compare, and did that surprise you? In movies, I’ve seen characters google themselves to find out what the world knows about them, and I always assumed it was Hollywood taking liberties.  Kind of like CSI is within the realm of scientifically plausible, but ignores that real crime labs don’t have the time or budget to do what is routine upon the show, or gets fingerprint hits immediately and DNA results just as soon as two characters finish discussing another clue.  Google your own name and you get millions of results, including lots of people who share your first or last name, but the google results you are actually looking for are buried somewhere in the middle.  So I was shocked when I googled Emily Marik and immediately saw pictures I’ve published on the blog for image search, links to my blog, to an article my friend and fellow blogger Zee wrote about an outing we did together, a link to my proto-blog on tumblr, even links to the facebook account I set up in Emily’s name.  (Yes, she’s on Facebook, sort of, and I’m not.  Another therapist issue, I’m sure.)
  • Does anyone interesting share your name? Admittedly, part of the reason for Emily and I’s respective results is name sharing.  In addition to the uncounted ‘just normal schmucks’ who share my name, there is also a backup musician and a screenwriter who happen to share my name.  Neither is famous enough to be a household name, but both are in that semi-famous/almost famous range, both have professional reasons to want to push their name out more, and so I’m not the most relevant me in Google’s eyes.  There are no famous or even borderline famous Emily Mariks with whom Emily must compete.  If Emily happened to be named Angelina Jolie or even Tess Gerritsen, finding her footprint would have been a lot trickier.
  • Are you happy with the size of your digital footprint, or do you wish either one was larger/smaller?  Despite a slightly neurotic response to the realization that my fictional/imaginary alter ego has a bigger footprint than real me, once I had a chance to think about it, I’m o.k. with how things stand.  I like my privacy.  Things may be different once I start getting things published and have a valid reason to encourage people to know who I am, but at the moment, I’m content that creditors and nuisance suit lawyers have to work to find me.  (Although most of the creditors are finally under control and I’m not in any nuisance lawsuits that I know of…)  Emily is a blogger: she wants readers, so I’m glad she’s findable and hope she becomes even bigger.  At this point, I think I may even consider publishing under her name rather than mine, just because she is easier to find and therefore to promote.
  • If you woke up/ logged in one morning to discover over night you had suddenly gained rock-star status, and everybody knew who you were and wanted to know what you were doing… what would you do?  Panic?  I would definitely use my new found fame as a ‘bully pulpit’ to send a few endorsements, both positive and negative, to some people and causes that need endorsing.  That part would be fun.  Particularly the negative endorsements.  I’m fairly non-confrontational and don’t believe in burning bridges- but I also believe anything worth doing is worth overdoing.  Once it’s time to burn a bridge, I’m bringing plenty of gasoline and dynamite.  On the other hand, since I am a fairly private person, and I’m not a fan of change, I would also be pretty nervous about living under the spotlight.
Speak for yourself, Firsty!  I DESERVE to be a rock star!

Speak for yourself, Firsty! I DESERVE to be a rock star!

Two quick post scripts: First, Emily would be upset with me if I didn’t take time to point out that today she’s wearing the Simplicity Golden Silks from Roawenwood.  She’s recently used the belly button jewel that came with the outfit, so today I had her wear the whole outfit.  (Firsty, there really isn’t enough cloth here to justify calling it a whole outfit.  Particularly when you made me take the first photo in a snow field…)  The shape underneath is PetiteDollyDDD from Alady Island, what passed for a curvy shape back in the days before Lolas and Phat Azzes.  The skin is one of many *Jstyle freebies, the Kesia, and the hair is the Calla ImSoElegant.  The hose, heels, collar, earrings, and tattoos were all just odds and ends we’ve collected over time.

Second post script: I should have finished this post yesterday, but my wife and I lucked into a rare evening off together and went to see Gravity, which is particularly worthy of note since Gravity was the movie that Strawberry saw that helped trigger this blog entry.  For the record, like Strawberry and her new beau, my wife and I agreed the picture was breathtakingly beautiful but otherwise disagreed.  She loved it.  I didn’t care for it.  I didn’t hate it or think it was badly made, I just never really cared.  I wouldn’t use the phrase “boring and predictable” that Strawberry ascribed to her date, but I can see where it would come from.  Most movies are semi-predictable because there are certain rules and structures to good story.  You generally know the protagonist is going to ‘win’, but you care because you are invested in the protagonist, you want to see how they win, and you wonder about what cost they may pay for winning.  I wasn’t invested in the characters in Gravity.  Enough bits and pieces of back story were revealed to make an interesting vignette or scene, but not enough for a full story.  End result, for me the story was flat and not really that interesting.  Since Strawberry said her new beau is into long intellectual discussions I’ll guess that like me, he is someone who leads with his mind not his heart, (T rather than F if you are into Myers-Briggs classifications), and theorize that reaction to Gravity ultimately depends on how much empathy you have for Sandra Bullock’s character.

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Now all I need is a good book...

Now all I need is a good book…

Eek..My firsty has been crazy-busy the last few days in First Life, so we were both more than happy to hand the reins over to me for an afternoon.  I caffeinated myself, threw an outfit together, primped a little bit… and then looked blankly at myself in the mirror asking, “Well, now what?”  (I cannot tell a lie, my actual question contained an F-bomb or two, but ‘now what’ gets the gist.)  Normally I hit the ground running when I post, as I log in with a goal or two in mind.  Today, I’ve got nothing as I didn’t so much run TO Second Life today as run AWAY from First Life.  Fortunately, when I’m feeling at loose ends, I have a few places I can seek guidance and direction…  such as Strawberry Singh’s latest meme!

Bridge over calm and peaceful waters...

Bridge over calm and peaceful waters…

I suppose I’ll start with the questions.  (“Questions, always questions!  You are so nosy, Strawberry!”)

Is autumn your favorite season? Why or why not?  I love autumn, although my reasons are a little goofy.  Growing up, I always looked forward to autumn because of what was going on: Halloween, the local Soccer league, returning to school, friday night football games, etc.  Even though most of those don’t really apply anymore, autumn is still my favorite on residual good feeling.  Plus, we get our daylight savings hour back in the fall, something I regret giving up every spring…

Do you call it Autumn or Fall?  I lean towards autumn because that just sounds right.  I do bounce between the two, however, because here in the midwest most people call it fall.  Plus fall lends itself to better puns…

This secluded pond and waterfall didn't seem very fall-like, but did seem beautiful....

This secluded pond and waterfall didn’t seem very fall-like, but did seem beautiful….

What kind of weather does your area get during this season? What weather don’t we get during this season?  I live in southwest Ohio, an area where several weather patterns meet and merge.  (Which means the meteorologists here have a built-in excuse for when they are wrong…)  Hot, cold, rain, snow, fog, wind, cloudy, clear… in a typical fall, we get them all.  (See, there I used the word fall for the rhyme.  “In a typical autumn, all those we got ’em” would have rhymed too, but not sounded nearly as good…)  The joke in this region is that if you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it will change.  That’s an exaggeration, of course, but when you mix the region’s natural variability with the transitory nature of autumn you really do get weather that is all over the place.  I love variety, however, so I think you chalk that up as another reason why I love autumn.

Which color do you always associate with autumn?  Orange.  Not the bright orange of a pumpkin or a tangerine, but the orange of the leaves, slightly mottled with yellow and red.

Which Autumn themed sim is your favorite at the moment?  I’m not sure if I actually have one- just as my favorite book is one I’m currently reading and my favorite song is one I’m currently listening to, my favorite sim tends to be the one I’m at.  I found the sim for today’s pictures by doing an SL  search for autumn, and this site, Natural Wilderness, was at the top of the list for most visited.  I can understand why, it’s beautiful and has a lot of couple friendly pose props, so it would be a nice place for an SL date.

Yep, that's the color I was looking for!

Yep, that’s the color I was looking for!

And I’ll finish with one of my favorite subjects: me!  Today, I’m wearing the ‘turquoise kitty’ outfit from Virtual Attire.  It’s most of what I’m wearing, including the ears and tail, the boots, the gloves and arm warmers, the stockings and garters.  I picked the Calla ImSoPlayful hair in dark brown because it matched the tail nicely.  I also added my nose piercing and a belly button ring that came from a set of silks from Roawenwood.  My shape today is the Meyko from Egoxentrikax and the skin is an ‘Arabian Princess’ skin that was included in Fierce Arabian Princess costume I picked up during my Gift Card bonanza at Fierce Designs earlier in the week.  (Side note: I spent all my Fierce Design gift cards, and in less than a week I’ve acquired another 350 L$ in Fierce gift cards… Beware another impending shopping frenzy!)

Looking for a birthday present...

Looking for a birthday present…

How do you celebrate an idol?  Yes, I idolize Strawberry Singh, and I’m willing to bellow it from the rooftops.  You see, every Monday I breathlessly await SS’s MM (Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme if you weren’t following the acronym) and plan how I shall respond.  It’s kind of like stalking, but everybody’s doing it, so it is socially acceptable stalking.  It’s hard not to idolize Strawberry.  You can disregard the fact that she is beautiful, after all almost everybody is beautiful in Second Life.  (Although check out this tumblr-blog to see some of the exceptions… Just sayin’.)  You may be able to disregard the talent she shows in her photography.   I’m personally jealous, and wish my shots came out as well, but since she’s admitted to augmenting her eye with some judicious photoshopping, I suppose the purist can claim she is somehow cheating.  Maybe you can even find a way to disregard her writing.  She writes with passion, expertise, and verve, and creates a blog that is entertaining and fun to read.  She helps explain the sometimes arcane world of Second Life photography and some of the newer fashion gizmos, she also talks about the fashions she wears and models.  (There are literally dozens, maybe hundreds, of “here’s-my-picture-here’s-the-credits” blogs, some of which are quite beautiful, but the short list of SL bloggers I adore- Shae, Zee, Lil Cao are the first examples off the top of my head- is made up of SL bloggers who actually have something to say.  Strawberry was the first name on that short list.)  Still, the internet is saturated with bloggers, so the law of large numbers says there have to be a certain number who actually write, and maybe you just aren’t impressed that Strawberry is one of them.  The reason you must adore and idolize Strawberry is that she doesn’t just write about the community of talented people who infest er, live in Second Life; she helps create the sense of community that binds us closer together.  Her interviews with the artistic people who help create the beauty in Second Life that we all cherish… Her creation of (and sharing of) the Monday Meme to help the blogging community find and meet and get to know each other… her involvement in the Second Life arts community (such as her role in Romeo and Juliet)… Her warm support and encouragement to struggling writers and artists…. Second Life probably gives more attention to the role-play and virtual sex communities, but the greatest joy of SL for me is the arts community, a virtual equivalent to Montparnasse in Paris and the expatriates between WWI and WWII, with artists and writers and creators of beauty all rubbing pixelated shoulders and inspiring each other.  Strawberry is the Gertrude Stein of this community, her blog serving as the Salon where we all meet and greet.  So, yes, I adore her and you should too!

This space intentionally left blank.

This space intentionally left blank.

So, I repeat: How do you celebrate an idol?  You can let her know how you’re dressed.  (Yeah, it’s not very celebratory, but it’s kind of part of what I do, so I have to work it in somehow…)  This little outfit is another cute and free gift from *JStyle.  It was a complete avatar gift, so it included the skin, the pink dress and heels, the bangles (and by now, you all know I love bangles almost as much as I love Strawberry!), and even the hair (something many other JStyle complete avs have not included, fair warning.)  I find the shapes from JStyle to be a little ass-heavy for my tastes, so I subbed the Meyka, a beautiful slim shape from Egoxentrikax.  And then, to add some personal touches to the avatar, I dipped into my closet.  (Yes, I have an inventory folder named “my closet” where I keep the single pieces I return to again and again.)  I felt the heels and short dress deserved some stockings; these are the “plain lace stockings” from Sugar Emporium.  I also added the rose tattoo on my breast, an undershirt layer tattoo from Prozak, and my black choker and lip and nose piercings.  All of this, because if I’m going to celebrate Strawberry, famous for being beautiful without and within, I should take pains to also be beautiful without.  (For within, you will just have to settle for cute and punky rather than beautiful, because that’s just the way I am…)

It's true: Pixilated birthday cakes have zero calories!

It’s true: Pixilated birthday cakes have zero calories!

The next step is to create a gallery of birthday images.  The ideal picture would be a slightly surreal picture of me climbing a giant multi-layer pink-frosted cake.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the technical chops to make such a cake, so instead I have to wander blindly in the hope someone else has made a giant multi-layer pink-frosted cake and just left it lying around for random bloggers to visit.  (This is Second Life… It could happen!)  Fortunately, I love to wander blindly and I found a few interesting backdrops and foregrounds while I searched for cake.  The cake I finally settled for wasn’t giant or pink-frosted, but it did have some beautifully rendered Strawberries on top, which made it perfect birthday cake for a beautifully rendered Strawberry.

I should definitely stop at a bar and toast Strawberry a few times for her birthday...

I should definitely stop at a bar and toast Strawberry a few times for her birthday…

In addition to toasting Strawberry for her birthday, I should answer her meme questions.

  • When is your birthday? – July 17th, 1975.  (Yes, my firsty is thirty-eight years old, which means, despite his valiant efforts to stave off any form of maturity, he is far too old for me.  I consider him a near and dear friend, but I could never date him.)
  • Pick one person who shares your birthday and share what you know about them. – Apparently I share my birthday with Donald Sutherland, Phyllis Diller, and David Hasselhoff.  I’ve had a soft spot for Donald Sutherland ever since I saw The Eagle has Landed, a decent movie made out of a brilliant book by Jack Higgins.  Currently he is in the NBC series Crossing Lines, which has grown on me.  (It took me a while to make up my mind that I liked it, and Donald Sutherland is probably the reason I gave it long enough to decide in its favor.)
  • List one notable event that took place on your birthday. – Disneyland opened in California in 1955 on what would eventually be my birthday.  Everyone in SL should dress as a Disney princess (yes, everyone, even the male avatars…) to celebrate my birthday next year…
  • Tell us about a holiday that falls on your birthday. I apparently have the one day of the year there are no holidays as my birthday.  According to wikipedia, there are some religious feast days I’ve never heard of, Constitution Day for South Korea, Independance Day for Slovakia, the King’s Birthday in Lesotho (I couldn’t make this up- really, I couldn’t because I’d never heard of Lesotho and didn’t know it had a monarchy.), and the World Day for International Justice.  The best holiday in the list was the statement that the Eastern Orthodox church has their liturgical celebration of July 17th on July 17th.  It makes a twisted sort of sense, but the mental picture of Eastern Orthodox priests, in their black robes and rimless stovepipe hats, throwing their hands in the air and yelling “Whoo-hoo!  It’s July 17th!  Saints be praised!” just kind of boggles my mind…
Sitting and thinking: What to do next?

Sitting and thinking: What to do next?

Then I thought of writing Strawberry an original poem for her birthday.  Greeting card writers do it, and I’m narcissistic enough to assume I’m smarter then they are, so here goes:

There once was a blogger quite pretty,

Whose posts were so brilliant and witty.

She was named for a fruit, which is really a hoot,

‘Cuz I always think ’bout her titties.

Um, for the record, I am totally going to blame that one on my firsty, because I’m much classier than that.  What I meant, is next I wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Strawberry.  There is one slight technical problem with that of course… My appearance is all mine.  My soul and personality are mostly mine, although messily entwined and melded with my firsty’s.  My voice, unfortunately, is all his.  It’s actually not a bad voice, and I think my firsty should be a little less shy and do more with it- but I’ve no desire to be a deeply resonant baritone, even for Strawberry.  So instead I harvested a few birthday songs off the internet…

In conclusion, happy (belated) birthday Strawberry, and thank you.  I love you and adore you 365, but your birthday is the perfect opportunity to make my gratitude explicit (Firsty, quit leering, I don’t mean that kind of explicit!) and underscore what a huge difference you make as a mentor, guru, salon hostess, and even padawan to all of us who bask in your shadow.  My Second Life is richer and I have more connections to the arts community of Second Life because of you.  Thank you, Berry, Thank you very much!

Are you surreal?

Posted: September 17, 2013 in Monday Meme
Tags: , , ,

Living on, well over, the edge...

Living on, well over, the edge…

So, Strawberry’s latest Monday Meme was at once both simple and complicated this week.  Meme instructions: Create an image in Second Life that has a surreal feel to you. Don’t forget to share your link in the comments and add your picture to the Blog Memes flickr group.  

Simple?  Umm, have you looked at my past photos?  The more surreal locations in SL are the ones that capture my fancy, so locations like the 109 Prim Circus, Childhood, or Bogon Flux are places where I love to run around and take pictures of myself.  I visited Bogon Flux, an art exhibit on the LEA sim, earlier this month, and decided I wanted to come back.  And playing with windlights provides lots of way to get surreal lighting.

Complicated?  Well, if my normal pictures are somewhat surreal, how I do I take a surreal picture that doesn’t somehow seem normal?

I'm on the inside, looking out.

I’m on the inside, looking out.

Plus I forgot that the flux in Bogon flux is that the whole structure keeps falling apart and reassembling itself… After I took the first picture, looking through a window to nowhere, I got distracted trying to remember and find the song ‘Road to Nowhere’.  By the time I found it, the room I was standing in had disappeared and I was sinking to the bottom of the ocean underneath.  I stopped, coming out of the water, to take this picture because I liked the angle and effect in shooting from the water…

Taking a picture with the camera under the surface of the water... boo-YAH!

Taking a picture with the camera under the surface of the water… boo-YAH!

Oh, and the fashion details: As you may or may not have recognized, the Gigi Teen shape, Tiffany skin, and Dark brown knot were all from the Kids5B free avatar that I think of as my base look.  The boots were the red leather kicks from Prozak that, again, I use often enough that they are kind of ‘default Emily look’.  The Octoberfest dress I just bought from Clothes Horse..In a sense it was my first First Life modeling gig!  My firsty needed a graphic for an Octoberfest beer at one of the restaurants where he works, and his first thought was to grab a picture of me in a dirndl and run some effects on the picture to make it look more like clip art.  The Kids5B stuff was great for his purposes because it makes me look very like a coworker at the same restaurant and helps him stir the pot and cause some trouble.  (In case you were wondering, my firsty’s a brat and I’m the nice one.  Now you know!)  Here are the raw and processed shots…Snapshot_003

Is it art?  Nope, it's just me... *grin*

Is it art? Nope, it’s just me… *grin*