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Preview: Emerald's Eyes

Emerald's Eyes

Fashion, freaks, fun and faux pas in Second Life®

Updated: 2018-03-02T09:17:00.332-08:00


Thank you, SL14B!


I know most of you are probably at Hair Fair today, but in case you're not paying attention to other stuff, it's the last day to visit SL14B. They're gonna blow up that magnificent cake (**sniff**) at 4 p.m. SLT. So get over there and have some fun! (If you feel so inclined, I mean. I'm not one to boss people around.)I love that lady in the background of that pic up there. I waited patiently for her to leave ... but she wouldn't. So I finally said "to hell with it" and let her photo bomb this pic. You're welcome for the 10 minutes of entertainment, lady. I bet she was fascinated by my mesh jeans, prim shoes and system shirt. Me too.Here's a throwback to the early days of this blog, when no one was reading it (kind of like now!) and all my pictures were of my AV's back as I stood and stared at things in wonder:I'd love to hang that thing in my RL bedroom.One of my favorite SLB exhibits this year was this merry-go-round where you ride PEOPLE:Nice! I know it probably has a deeper intellectual meaning, but meanwhile I'm just like, "YEEHAW! RIDE ALL THE PEOPLE!" They talk to you while you ride them, too.On a side note, I love how a few posts ago, I was all, "Hey, I got a computer with the BEST GRAPHICS CARD EVER!" and yet my high-res photos are still kind of jaggedy and crispy-looking. I blame this one slider in my graphics card driver control panel thingy. It asked me if I wanted optimal graphics or optimal performance. At first I said, "GRAPHICS, BABY! I WANT TO SEE!" but then my games kept crashing and stuttering and blah blah blah. But everything's peachy now that I've scooted that slider over to "performance." I guess I can only ask so much from a LAPTOP, even if it does call itself a gaming laptop.But enough of the tech talk. I have a new boyfriend now! ...*parade wave!*Now that's my kind of man! Strong with a nice hat.This exhibit is called ... well, shoot, I forgot to write down the name. My notes just say "weird merry-go-round." But it's by the group Aequitas. Their notecard says: "Aequitas is a non-profit multinational conglomerate of dada intellectuals involved with the exploration of biological impulses and their effect on modern psyche through the medium of anti-conceptual physics and minor abstractions."Uh. OK. So much Googling to be done now. *shame* Suddenly I feel like such a mental lowbrow. But hey, Aequitas, your merry-go-round is cool!OK, I'm signing off now. I have to catch up on some Better Call Saul episodes. Have the loveliest of days, kids!(And the pink elephants say: "When will she stop with the Windlight settings? And where is her FOOT?")LINKS:SL14B Official WebsiteRide some peopleWatch a cake explode[...]



HELP!!!!!I need a mesh head mentor. It's all Greek to me. I'M SCARED! Do I start with a body and then get a head or vice versa?As for the heads, do they make a girl-next-door looking one? Because that's me. Or are they all sultry supermodel-type heads? Because that's not me. I couldn't deal with that look (on me) without laughing.In real life, I look like an aging muppet. I have to stay somewhat true to myself in the AV version or I'll feel like a phony. A girl's gotta have a code.Oh ... wait, you want pics with this post? Ummm ... OK, hold on ....First, a disclaimer: I am not making fun of this designer or these clothes.That said, ready? GO: In real life, I live in Redneckville, Tennessee. I am not lying to you when I say that I recently saw a woman walking around the MALL in a getup like the one above. It was acid-washed. (All you youngsters will probably have to Google "acid-wash." Sorry.)So, first, yes: I hang my head in mild shame when I admit that I was at an all-American, middle-American MALL and not shopping on Rodeo Drive or in a chic boutique somewhere. Don't tell Anna Wintour.But anyway, that's a bathing suit, right? If not and I'm just woefully behind in the SL fashion scene, I apologize. Regardless, it still doesn't matter. We're pretty much all members of The Beautiful People Tribe in Second Life (meaning, I have yet to see a cellulite tattoo/skin layer) and, as such, we could all wear this thing anywhere inworld, no problem. But in the food court at a Tennessee mall ("MAWL")? Not so much.Part 2:I am SO JEALOUS of this chick's virtual butt, I want to weep. If I had a butt like this IN ANY WORLD, I feel like all my problems would be solved. I would just parade up and down ALL THE STREETS with it -- except I'd also wear a T-shirt that said, "JELLY?? Yeah you are!" on the back. Meanwhile, people all around me would gasp and drop to their knees and worship my glorious BOOTAY! They would chant, "BOOTAY! BOOTAY! BOOTAY!" and give me a unicorn.It'd be the closest I'd ever get to being a princess. Maybe if I eat more tacos, it'll still happen someday. But so speaking of, we do have ACRES AND ACRES OF WOMEN wearing leggings/jeggings/pants like this in Tennessee. I try not to stare. And before you get all excited and make plans to move here, I should clarify that -- like a cheeseburger on a fast-food restaurant menu -- it usually doesn't look like the picture. So I'm just gonna say that I commend those gals for their fierce, um, pride and bravery. Rock on with your bad-ass badonkadonks, ladies! (But a tunic or an oversized shirt over those painted-on stretch pants would look cute too. *cough*)Everything I know about the female anatomy, I learned at Walmart.ANYWAY ...Back to SL: I wanted to buy those leggings up there, but -- just like RL -- I think my butt is too flat in SL. Are we buying mesh butts now too? Plus, I'm assuming those are worn with appliers. Which brings us back full-circle (see what I did there?) to my "WTF MESH" dilemma.I need a mesh body/head stylist. I could even pay you for your time if you catch me on Payday Friday.OK, I'm still sprinting through the almost-empty SL14B sims, so I'll wrap up this babbling Even though the birthday performances are over, the sims are still open through July 2 and, blessedly, there's almost zero lag now, so if you haven't checked it out over there, you should go. I feel kind of bad for people who don't get EXCITED about the annual SLB festivities. I love the creative exhibits and the fun free gifts (that I love to snatch but almost never unpack). It's amazing how far SL has come.Thank you, Creators! I bow down before, EmLINK: SL14B Official Website[...]

Me and my shadows


I joined SL in 2008. I don't know if I should feel accomplished or like an absolute dweeb. Mostly the latter, I think. But that's OK.Nine years later, thanks to a decent computer, I can finally see things like Windlight settings. And shadows. And other people. And landscaping. And things don't look as jaggedy. It's like seeing this place for the first time. I can't get over how gorgeous the water looks.I'm impressed, SL! What a difference a graphics card makes!Anyway, switching topics:A couple of years ago, my friend Pay was SOOOO generous and gave me a place to live when I was homeless. The land has changed hands since then, but the new owner was nice enough to let me come back and rent my former parcel from her. I'll be sharing it with a friend, but it's still, um, rather spacious at the moment:Woo.(Yeah, bear with me while I screw around with EVERY Windlight setting ever made. Sorry.)I guess I need to put a BIG. DAMN. HOUSE right there in the middle of it, but that's never really been my style (except during the holidays, when my ice castle goes up). So it's still a work in progress, to put it mildly, but at least there are chairs now.You can find "The Magical Land of E" HERE.For now, I've set permissions to allow everyone to unpack boxes there and stuff, although my landmate and I are still working out our respective living areas. I think she's going to be up in the sky. If not, obviously I won't have as much room on the ground, but until then, if you happen to be an SL wanderer and you need a place to organize your inventory or you just want to chill out on my deck or hang out up on the moon or ride my balloon or whatever, please feel free to swing by and make yourself at home. I'm hardly ever there. If I am, please don't laugh at my standard AV body and -- holy cow -- today I'm wearing a system shirt. Don't tell anyone.Oh, and no SLexing please, unless you absolutely get caught up in the throes of passion. In that case, please try to keep it in or near the water. I'd really like the place to stay free of bodily fluids for a while. And I hate logging in and being shocked by virtual genitals that aren't mine.There's an old-school pose stand (and privacy) in that gazebo over there if you need to change clothes. Please be nice to Bunny. He's getting up there in years too.(Haha, even the most supreme graphics capabilities can't make up for the fact that I still suck at taking pics. Sorry. I'm more of a words person.)And oh yeah, there's booze and cake on the deck. Because OF COURSE!Cake and margaritas for ALL THE PEOPLE!! WOOOOOOOT! Info:Complete Palisades Bar set from What Next. I think it was 550L. Includes 2 stools, drinks, drink giver and garnishes. A non-alcoholic version is also available, as is a less expensive version without all the accessories. The interactive cake/slice/sugar spill in the background is a What Next group gift.Aries hair in Colors 1 pack from Blues; includes HUD for the texture-change ram horns."Chill" system shirt from my 2008 inventory folder. Long sleeves courtesy of "I Can't Match My Slink Hands to My Arms Today."OK, now that I've made my parcel somewhat presentable (cough), I'm gonna go out into the world and check out SL14B. (I say that every day. Tonight I'm DOING IT!)Have a fabulous and colorful day! ♥Links:The Magical Land of EWhat NextBlues[...]

Well hello!


HAY THERE!!! I've missed you guys!!

So it's my first time logging in since 2015 (I think) and I log on to THIS hot mess.


You can't really tell in this pic, but my hands are sticking out of my back.

Anyhoo ...

I finally got a computer with decent graphics. I never knew SL had so much color. I always thought it was just a jumble of vague gray shapes. But WOW, kids! Everything is so FABULOUS!

This is my first time trying to navigate ALL THE THINGS on a PC (sorry, Macs, but your graphics are so yesterday and I wanted a VR headset), so please bear with me while I try to figure some things out.

Like how to work this computer. And mesh bodies. And heads. And probably many, many other things. My AV is the now the official Queen of Throwback SL, I'm sure -- particularly since my feet are backwards and my hands are sticking out of my butt.

But whatever, youngsters. I've been around for almost 10 years. RESPECT YOUR ELDERS!

And on that note ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SECOND LIFE! WOOT WOOT!!! I'll be hanging on these SLB sims for the next few days. LOVE THEM.

More later!

**picks up my floating shoes and hobbles off to the giant birthday cake**

XO, Em

What the hell has happened over here??


None of my photos are showing up anymore.


Thanks, Photobucket.

None of my words are working today (Free 'Pray for Paris' T-shirt)


(Not responsible for my avatar's Resting Bitch Face.)

There are people out there who will write deeply moving and possibly comforting things about Paris today. I'm not one of those people. All I can say is "I'm so sorry."

For those who are also at a loss for words, here are a couple of options:

Chopard Couture has a free mesh "Pray for Paris" T-shirt (shown above), including versions for men and women, on the SL marketplace HERE, as well as at the inworld store.

– A lot of people are hanging out over on the Paris 1900 sim, where you can grab a free "Je suis Paris" sign in the gazebo:

That's about as far as I got in SL today before I crashed. My graphics card couldn't handle all the action, but here's a YouTube video that'll give you an idea of what's been going on over at that sim, courtesy of Grange Wood. (I don't know Grange. People were shouting about this video in open chat. I scanned through it and I don't think anything X-rated is going to pop up, no pun intended.)

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I'm sure someone will organize some kind of structured event soon. When I was there, it was mainly just a sea of people standing around talking – which sometimes can be pretty comforting. 

My faith is a little shaky these days, but yes, in case anyone's listening, I too am praying for Paris – and all of us, actually.

Additional credit: Hair – Louisa by Truth. I love this style because it looks like an updated version of his now-retro Emerald hair, the naming of which remains a highlight of my SL life. ;)

I'm an intellectual witch. With antlers. And wings. I don't know.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Y'ALL!That pic up there is called "Play a gacha scavenger hunt game, put on ALL THE PRIZES at one time!"Wow, my boobs look like they could use some perky slider adjustments. I just wanna grab them and shove them up a little. Maybe I'll crack one of these days and go completely mesh like the rest of the grid. I feel all lonely in my original shape.And yeah, I floundered at matching my Slink hands to that (older 50L Friday) skin, so I tried to cover up the wrist lines with long gloves. I can see from this pic that I failed. Nice try though!Aside from that sudden attack of body neurosis, this has been a fun Halloween in SL. I want to thank all the creators who gave out tricks and treats during the TAG Gacha Halloween game, which ends ... well, tonight at midnight – so as usual, this blog is helpful. You do, however, have through Nov. 21 to visit and play the stunningly visual interactive game at Carver's End, courtesy of Pulse Games and Snatch City. I played it three times last night, mainly because there was so much to see that I had to check it out more than once, but also because at first I had no clue there were tons of fantastic prizes from 21 fabulous designers hidden in those rats all over the place. Check out the website HERE and the Facebook page HERE for the skinny on all of it.I wasn't the only one who was slightly clueless last night. I kept getting messages from other players wailing, "Hey, what are we supposed to be doooooing??" I got a little weary answering them. Put on the radio HUD. Walk through the gates. Click "Yes" when you get a message asking for permission to teleport you at random times, etc. Listen to your radio HUD for clues. Read messages like this:[2015/10/30 19:45] CARVER'S END RADIO HUD: : What the HELL....? It looks like a massacre in here. So much blood...but where are the bodies? Hello....?Awesome.Start by walking down the first street and trick-or-treating at all the houses. Knock on every door. If you happen to get sucked into a scary room, use your SL smarts and figure a way out. Go into all the public places. TOUCH ALL THE THINGS. Get to Mayor Carver's house. Look around in there. And maybe I'm not supposed to tell you much more. Is this cheating? I don't know. At one point I used Wireframe in the SL Advanced menu to get myself out of a maze from hell. And yes, that was cheating. Sorry.AND DO TOUCH AND BUY ANY RAT YOU SEE! Don't figure that out AT THE END like I did. Anyway.Here's my costume tonight.This Samara AV (movie: "The Ring") from Boudoir (400L) is a little old-school, but it's still cool. The dress and socks are mesh. You'll have to strip down to your original AV for the rest of it, which also includes a shape, skin, eyes, hair, a creepy AO and a VCR tape (not pictured). I switched out the included eyes for some other ones by A.S.S. and added some bloody tattoos to the face, along with some black-and-bloody fingernail GLOVES, and MAN, it's been a while since I dug those out of my inventory. Sometimes being an SL hoarder comes in handy, no pun intended.BOO!Speaking of creepy, much thanks to my friend Serenity Semple for posting this Slenderman doll on her blog. I saw it and screamed, "GIMME!"Get it at Trunk or Treat through Nov. 18. (200L, includes rezzable and holdable versions)And if you're out trick or treating tonight, feel free to swing by my Wonderland of WTF and grab a cupcake, spider ring and candy and get your fortune told. I'm sure that stuff'll be out until I feel like putting up Christmas decorations. (Apologies to my new neighbors.)[...]



This post is waaaaay overdue, but I want to give a heartfelt thanks to my friend Paypabak Writer and her friend Ghanie Lane for letting me use one of their parcels to call home for a while.

I'm trying not to horrify them with my typical amusement park style of decorating, but it's MY FAVORITE HALLOWEEN TIME so it's hard.

I became a fan of Pay's waaaaaaay back in the day when I lurked around regularly on the former slFIX/Moonletters blog. Through that blog, she and writer Shauna Vella helped me immensely in getting my bearings when I was a noob. I was always too socially awkward to introduce myself in person though, beyond leaving occasional comments.

You can check out Paypabak's Tumblr blog HERE. It's awesome.


Even though my inventory tops 200K, I didn't have the energy to dig around in it for some of my older Halloween stuff, so I hunted on Marketplace for some cheapies. I found that pumpkin house (actually, it came in a set of two – one with a wide door, shown, and one with a smaller door) for 50L, along with that Halloween treehouse for 50L, both by creator Rod Eun of RE Blueprint Designs. Sure they're a little old-school, but they're cute and they work for me. All the rest of the stuff scattered around is stuff I acquired during recent 50L Fridays. JACK-O-LANTERNS GALORE!

I haven't checked out any of SL's haunted attractions yet. Right now I'm playing the TAG! Gacha Halloween game and trying not to go too nuts with the whole gacha thing. Gawd damn, it has drug habit potential though. Feed those machines money and mainline ALL THE CUTE LITTLE THINGS!

I have no other news. The other day I read through some past blog posts here. They all seemed so full of a juvenile sense of joy and discovery. I don't seem to have that these days. Maybe I'll get that mojo back. Maybe not. I guess if the mood strikes me I'll write something. I write so much drivel all day IRL just to survive ("Five Things You Should Know About Seeing a Chiropractor!") that the keyboard seems kind of nausea-inducing when I have a few free moments to NOT write something.

Anyway, I hope everyone's having fun during this Halloween season. I am. No matter how far I wander from SL, it'll always suck me back in during the holidays. ;)

Slumming it


I'm over the sappy emo-drenched post of yesterday, although the sentiments remain. Let's chalk that one up to hormones and exhaustion and RL stress. Unlike other overly emotional posts in the past, I'm not going to delete that one, though. Moving off Bluebonnet is an SL milestone for me, albeit a sad one. It needed to be chronicled, angst and all. Anyway, moving on now with an attempt at a sense of humor and all that:For a few years, I've been seeing that "Your own private home in Second Life: A new benefit for Premium Members!" ad on the Second Life website.I've been a premium member since I joined SL and have never really taken advantage of any of the premium member stuff (except the linden allowance). So all right, FREE LINDEN HOME! Let's do this! Gimme my 516 square meters and let's ... oh, LAWDY:Can you guess which house is mine? BRINGING THE MOON TO YOUR JAM-PACKED SIM SINCE 2015, BITCHES! I wonder if they're going to let me keep that "Sitting on the Moon" prop up there? The land covenant says (loosely), "No building things in the sky," but what about, um, just throwing things up into the sky? I guess we'll see.Anyway, wow. Just wow. LOOKIT THIS PLACE! I can't stop laughing. It's so ... like, I could reach a hand out my window and slap my next-door neighbor in the face. If there was a next-door neighbor, that is. The place seems deserted. I cammed into some nearby houses (don't tell anyone) and saw nothing. Hell, if that's the case, could I pleeeeeease have some breathing room around my house, Linden Lab? I give you all my monies. I barely ask for anything.At least I'm up on a hill and not down amid all that squalor. Did that sound snobby? Sorry.And I can see the ocean, if I climb up on my moon. As such, I put my "ocean sound effects" rock on my porch. We can always pretend the ocean is right there, as long as we don't look out the ... oh, actually those windows are fake. You can't look out them. Maybe that's a good thing.I have soooo many things to say about these Linden homes, but I have actual work to do today, so let me just share some key observations:1. Perhaps if this idea ever goes back to the drawing board, they could think of a more economical use of land impact and space? These houses take up the entire parcel and leave residents with a mere land capacity of 117 to play with. And oh, ZERO YARD SPACE.Granted, if you're prone to fugging up your yard with bizarre sh*t, maybe the lack of a yard is an intentional blessing for the strangers around you.But seriously, I don't need this much living space in a house. It looks like a scene from The Shining in here.Redrum.I did not adjust my camera lens, and I did not even back all the way up against the opposite wall. That is seriously what it looks like in there.Couldn't they have a "tiny house" option for those of us solo-dwellers who are gardening enthusiasts and like to, you know, plant our own trees? As in, trees that don't look like sad 2010-era paper cutouts?2. Choosing one of these houses is a dice roll. Fortunately, you can abandon and reclaim a new house up to five times in a 24-hour period. Then you have to wait 24 hours. Then you can try again.You can choose your theme: fantasy dwellings, rustic cabins, modern suburbia or traditional Japanese homes. Each theme has a choice of several house styles. Unfortunately, you can't choose the location. And many of these locations are ... I'm sorry, Lindens, but I'm just going to say it ... sketchy.Case in point: I started with one of the Elderglen fantasy-themed homes. (My friend Deoridhe managed to do some awesome stuff with hers: check her far-more-positive blog post here.) I chose the same one she did, actually, because it had several rooms.Unfortunately, you don't get to see the actual houses you're choosing: You do it all from your SL dashboard and then you get a SLURL to your new home. B[...]

Goodbye, Bluebonnet (A love letter to my SL home)


I knew this day would come someday; I just wasn't expecting it to come, well, now.I have about 24 hours or so to pack up my stuff on Bluebonnet and relocate, probably to one of those free Linden homes for a while. That'll be a different post, I guess.I've lived on Bluebonnet since, wow, 2008, I think. But the sim is changing and my friend and soon-to-be former landlady Ali has new plans for it, so it's time for me to go. I'd like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for giving me this safe haven, for finding me when I was lost, for introducing me to so many wonderful friends, for letting me express myself in so many creative and often cringe-inducing ways through my yard and house decor, for letting me call this place home for so long and for all the friendship, laughs and fond memories that came with it. It sounds silly, but I will hold this place in my heart for a long, long time.I take a meditation course in real life. During the first class, the instructor told us to close our eyes and imagine somewhere peaceful and lovely and safe. Funny, but I immediately thought of my SL parcel on Bluebonnet. The instructor wanted us to create a beautiful place in our minds, a place where we could build a big sturdy box and put all of our troubles and "negative stories" and stressful thoughts in that box, lock it up and leave it all there, knowing that the positive power of the place we created would transform everything in that box into things that could no longer harm us, but could only make us stronger.So throughout that meditation, I hung on to that image of Bluebonnet. The instructor didn't have to know it was pixelated. Because really, what better place could there be to find shelter from all the drama, people, bills, cluttered junk, perceived failures, deadlines, screeching editors, financial woes, family fights, health concerns, frequent bouts of self-loathing and soooo many "thanks, but no thanks" job interviews that seem to define my life right now? Second Life, with all its quirks and hilarity and extraordinary creations, has always been a place where I could escape, take some deep breaths, laugh with a few friends, create something beautiful or funny if I felt like it, be a slightly upgraded version of my real self for a while and then, finally, once I felt recharged, close the laptop and return to the real world, feeling better, feeling stronger, feeling happier, feeling loved.I think Second Life works that magic on a lot of people. I feel fortunate that I've had one fixed place where that magic could live for so long, somewhere I knew I could always go if I needed to reconnect with the real me – happy, creative and, in those moments, unburdened by all the ugly troubles that seem to hang around my real neck like roadkill these days.(Me and my apparently really happy, sparkly PlantPet, back in the day.)Before I leave there tomorrow, I will go to a deep, quiet place in my mind one more time and think of Bluebonnet. Once again, I'll try that mental exercise my New Age instructor is always pushing on us. In my mind, I'll dig a hole in that backyard by the ocean, and I will fill that hole with all the ugly self-talk that occasionally sneaks up on me when I'm at my weakest: "You are a complete career failure." "You are not worthy of love." "Nothing will ever change." "There is no hope." "You're all washed up." "You've screwed up your life." "There's no way out of here" and on and on and on.I'll put all those words down in that hole and bury them. Then I'll plant a pink shimmery tree – the kind you can only find in Second Life – on top of that makeshift grave. Its roots will wrap around the words, separate them and shape them into new sentences, maybe: "You are complete." "You are love." "You are worthy." "There is hope." And then I'll say my final goodbye, but I'll leave t[...]

Social Media Pariah: What is Second Life Doing Wrong?


This post is going to be kind of lengthy. I don't expect many people to read this thing, but it's stuff I've been thinking about. And I'd rather write about this topic ATM than my current and rather depressing freelance assignment: "The Plight of Tennessee's Animal Shelters." So buckle up and let's go with "The Plight of Second Life in the Grand Scheme of All Things Social Media-ish" instead. (I should probably break it up into two parts, but then that'd most likely be two posts you'd skip.)But first, here's a picture, because who wants to deal with giant blocks of text and no art?If you're into scattering kitschy-cool little things around your house and yard, get these mermaids in fish bowls as the prize in the Around the Grid in 80 Days hunt at StoraxTree. (Look in the plant garage there.) I'm into them. Thank you, StoraxTree!There you go. News you can use. Now moving on:Several years ago, I worked as a national PR director for a multifaceted, multi-property wellness resort brand. It was (and still is) a haven for people with way too much money, a place where a guest could get a pricey facial and massage, then hike out into the desert and embark on a guided shamanic journey, come back and eat a guaranteed-healthy gourmet meal, get their chakras realigned during an evening energy-healing session, hit the sack in a luxury $800/night room and wake up the next morning and reunite with their inner children by interacting with horses.Yeah, that kind of woo-woo place. (Oprah liked it. So did Martha Stewart.) You see a person out in the world running around wearing that resort's T-shirt, they might as well be proclaiming, "I have a lost, empty soul and TONS of money!"During that time, the executives were employing a team of pricey graphics artists and techie types to create 3D imaging models of our properties in efforts to continue to "elevate brand awareness" and "attract strategic business alliances." They thought a virtual walk-through type experience would not only engage potential business partners during professional presentations, but also attract future filthy-rich guests.I was pretty active in-world at the time, and I admit that I wanted a great excuse to spend even more time in world AND get paid for it! So I suggested they create this virtual experience in Second Life, rather than lug it around the globe on computer software.During my pitch, I explained the potential here (in Second Life); created an alt; showed them some examples of existing beautiful and impressive builds; demonstrated the chat functions (typing and voice); and further explained how they could gather people from all over the world to host lectures and virtual tours, showcase their wellness experts, conduct meetings, etc., in this one very visual and very accessible place.They balked.Too labor intensive, they said. Wouldn't work in business presentations. A Second Life presence would require already harried professionals to download a "foreign program" to their computers, create an avatar and quickly learn "video game skills" in order to function in this particular virtual environment."Who has time for all that?" they asked? "Doesn't this place have a website they can just log into instead?"Well OK, it takes a little effort, but also consider the existing "audience" here, I rebutted. Many of these people are talented, engaged professionals in real life who invest a great deal of money in owning virtual land, running businesses and selling content in Second Life. They like cool things to see and do. You could create a true-to-life replica of one of our scenic, back-to-nature style resorts in Second Life and offer services such as mini meditation classes, virtual yoga demonstrations, virtual healthy cooking classes, virtual "shamanic journeys" using interactive HUDs (they were big [...]

Me and Audrey Hepburn, we got those mean, mean reds


I have no idea what the hell is going on in SL these days. Am I supposed to have a mesh face?*shrugs*Meanwhile, this shirt is cool as long as you don't move your arms around much and you're not picky about the way straps fit.Yeah, I spent 100L on it. I'm a sucker for whimsy. Maybe you are too. If so, get it at The Okinawa Summer Festival through Aug. 24. But if you get it, walk with your arms really, really straight. And walk fast so no one can see your strap-gaps. (Strap-gaps. That should be a real thing. Let's all get on that phrase and make it viral.)There you go. That's my contribution to the SL fashion scene. You're welcome, beautiful people.Oh wait ....These nails are courtesy of A.S.S. They're called "LOOKIT MY GAWD-DAMN RAINBOW FINGERNAILS, BEEEEEEEETCHES!"OK, no they're not, but they should be. Consult with me before you name your stuff, designers. I'll make it that much more fun for the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. (Rainbow Gradient Nails for SLink, 98L, eight variations, also available for Belleza, at the A.S.S. Nail Appliers store)"But wait, what about that tattoo?" you ask. My yard looks like Trailer Park Disneyland, as usual. Pretend I have arms and I'm doing something interesting. That Ouija Tattoo is (was) a prize in last month's Body Art Hunt, from Aberrant. (Thank you!) The hunt ended yesterday, but I checked and the prize is still here, right here, look, look at this here:That purple bottle of ink. QUICK, go grab it. That tattoo is cool! The prize includes a version for just about every kind of body that exists now, even natural ones like mine.Moving on ...Sorry, I'm in a weird mood. I'm in between full-time jobs again in real life. Sheezus, this is so not how I pictured my adult life back when I was a swoony, daydreamy kid. I'm pretty sure that fantasy included basking in the warm glow of a funny, adorable husband, wearing an apron and baking pies in a modest-yet-tastefully decorated home, surrounded by kittens and puppies and 2.5 kids. Not this solitary, frenzied scramble for survival.The good thing about being forced into self-employment is that it's not a devastating thing anymore. The first time I got laid off from a job, it knocked me on my ass emotionally and I freaked all over the place like the sky was falling. Now it's such a common thing that I don't even flinch when it happens. I just do a semi-graceful swan dive back into the shadowy, uncertain realm of freelance writing, write enough stuff to pay a month's worth of bills, then start writing enough stuff to pay the next month's bills. It's fine, but I worry about what's going to happen when I'm an old person. Like, will I be huddled in a large box under an overpass somewhere, maybe with a scraggly stray cat on a string keeping me company, still trying to shovel off my mediocre writing skills on obscure publications while I eat canned meat and let old homeless guys grab my boobs for an extra 25 cents? Will I be in a filthy, state-run nursing home filled with other equally destitute little old ladies, huddled in a corner and mumbling to myself? These are the questions that keep me up at night.Anyway, whatever. But yeah, the amount of time I spend in world is directly proportionate to the sheeeeeety state of my real life. So if you see me around the grid, you can pretty much bet that I've royally effed up something as a real and apparently not-so-functioning adult.(I like hyphens.)That was a long way of saying I've been logging in and wandering around a lot lately. And because I am an SL child of the year 2008 and can remember when they were a genuinely cool thing, I still like SL hunts. So I went over to this Hunt & Hunters Resource Centre because the SL Destination Guide told me to. I have no clue who that guy is. I was like, "Dude, either hurry up and[...]



Watch for my award-winning fashion blog coming soon to a feed near you.


Last-minute loser


Oh damn, it's the last day of Hair Fair 2015.

Predictably, I'm scrambling around at the last minute trying to check it all out, but the sims are full and I crash every time I take a step, cam around or try to snap a photo.

Good times.

See that "Em's Starbucks Fund" button over there on the right? Yeah, feel free to drop $900 in there if you happen to be filthy rich. It will promptly go towards a new laptop that was made during the past decade. Some people fantasize about sex. I dream of a decent graphics card.

Maybe I'll blog something every time I crash. Or maybe I'll eventually give up and take a nap. Meanwhile, forget about hair. I want this BIG DAMN RAWKIN' STATUE in the L&N Signature Hair Designs booth:

I miss those old days when women wore bras that made their boobs look like bullets. "My chest is also a deadly weapon." Somebody work on bringing back that look IRL.

And as usual, all the people who're wearing mesh outfits (meaning, everybody) look like their clothes are sticking sideways out of their stomachs on my viewer. It's surreal. Like that movie "Alien," except with fashion. ("A dress is exploding from my abdomen and soon it will EAT THE WORLD, bitches.")

Don't worry, it's not you. It's my vintage Mac.

The whole effed-up scene does make me feel somewhat grateful for the surprisingly high number of women who are running around in thongs with HUGE oily (glossy? shiny? radiant?) butts. You keep it all about that bass, ladies! At least those boo-tays are in the right places.

OK, I'm gonna try to get back in. Wish me luck. Maybe we'll bump into each other.



Holy cow, it's been almost a year!A YEEEEEEEAAAAAAR!Let's see if I can even remember how to write a blog post.We'll start with an ode to Callie Cline. (I'm not being an ass; I'm being serious.)I always have to log in for the SLB celebrations. HAVE TO. I love them passionately. Unfortunately I missed the whole damn thing this year but managed to scoot in on July 4, the last day the sims were open for people to check them out. I logged in at 8 p.m. SLT. I thought maybe they would cut the slackers some slack and hopefully let us stay there until the wee hours of the next morning, but NO. At exactly midnight I got unceremoniously booted out of the sims and landed on my ass on a Visitor's Island somewhere, which always scares the hell out of me. People in dark, unrezzed clusters, playing all their gestures at one time and usually talking about sex and porn. *shudder* And of course, you always land on about 50 other people when that happens, so on top of everything else (no pun intended), it feels like a seedy orgy.Anyway.I did managed to see a few things first. Like the aforementioned Callie Cline exhibit. I love Callie's annual exhibits because – speaking as a RL person in the PR industry – she gets a BIG DAMN GOLD STAR for building a brand and marketing the hell out of it. This year she built a Tower of Flower Power. (I named it that. It seemed appropriate.) It was fab. The music mashup in there though, WOOOOO! Callie, I love you but it felt like a mushroom trip after a few minutes. Maybe that was the goal. YOU GO, GIRL!Now let's move on to my bad clothes, bad shape, bad everything and the shame I feel when looking at the post before this one. I can't keep up with the SL trends. I try and try, but when you only log in about once a year, you're bound to make a fool out of yourself regardless. Not only that, I see that I've been kicked out of 19 blogger groups. Whoops. (What? TRUTH? NOOOOO! ... wait, is he gone? His blog is kind of outdated like mine, though not as much.)Anyway, kidding. I don't blame those groups. Bad graphics + once-a-year blog posts = Blogger fail.So it looks like it's just mesh-the-hell everything now, huh? So much so that my vintage MacBook Pro screams in agony whenever I log in. You can't really tell in that pic up there because I'm so small next to the Tower of Flower Power, but I'm wearing vintage League jeans with (gasp!) prim attachments. And weirdly, SL kept replacing them with "New [system] Pants," so most of the time I looked like a chick wearing white stretch pants in Wal-Mart.Changes aside, I see many people are still going for that "grumpy face and five-inch thigh gap" look. Sigh.So I fixed some things. I grabbed an old gift skin from Belleza (because I'm broke, FLAT broke; shocker) and sexied-up and standardized Emerald Wynn's shape a little. I passed on the thigh gap though. Curves are sexy, kids. No one wants to bang a bag of antlers."Hey, baby."Looks JUST LIKE ME in real life! (No it doesn't.)I went over to the SOU by 1st Anniversary Event (runs through July 25) and picked up some relatively inexpensive mesh duds by COCO (suede fringe vest in Brown, 150L; wide-leg jeans in Dark, 190L; flower bustier is a free gift at that booth). Then I grabbed some Mykonos Beach platform sandals by Your Skin Your Shape for 70L at The Dressing Room Fusion. (Hat tip to the Seraphim SL blog for the heads up on all this stuff – I wouldn't know where the hell to go without that blog).Then I checked in with The Bunny in our shared trailer. Because, you know, we need an annual pic with The Bunny, just to mark the passing years."Hi. Uh, remember me?"He is raggedy and so NOT mesh, but I will always love him passiona[...]

Mesh bird poop not included


I bought some Slink hands. It's weird having attractive SL hands. It makes me want to run around and point at everyone and everything. "Hey you! Yes you. Look at that over there. LOOK AT IT! Who me? You talking to me? Her? Whatever. Look over there!" That kind of thing.Skin: Erin in Aurora, Sunkissed by League. (AWESOME name for a skin! *wink*); Eyes: Arcane Eyes in Angel by Buzz at The Seasons Story; Shirt: Criss T-shirt by Kitja Cherie at The Seasons Story; Hair: Blown Away by Exile at Hair Fair 2014.Anyway.Check out this Blown Away hair by Exile. It's cool, but if I were a hair creator, I would skip the melodic and poetic hair names and use names like "BIG DAMN RAWWWWWWWKIN' HAIR!" instead.And speaking of hair, there are only a few more hours left to visit Hair Fair 2014. For a list of all the participating creators and their individual Hair Fair SLURLS, click HERE.I would sum up this year's theme as "Long hair, more long hair, even more long hair, long layers, some token dreamy braids and ...Skin: Celestial Femme Fairy by Al Vulo! from a previous The Dressing Room Fusion (with some random eyelash tattoo I found in my inventory); Eyes: Luminous Eyes in Pacific Blue by OTR; Hair: Sopha with Tweeters by Ohmai at Hair Fair 2014"... birds ...Skin: Cannes by Essenz from a previous The Dressing Room Fusion (with eyelash tattoo); Eyes: Ancient Eyes in Fern by OTR; Hair: Sue with Nesting Tweeters by Ohmai at Hair Fair 2014"... birds ...Skin: Erin in Aurora, Sunkissed by League (with eyelash tattoo); Eyes: Herbalist Eyes in Rosemarinus by A.S.S.; Hair: The Birdhouse by Bizarre Hair at Hair Fair 2014"... and MORE BIRDS!"My thanks to everyone who makes this annual fundraiser for Wigs for Kids possible. Also, thank you to the many creators who generously offer fun Hair Fair gift bags. My favorite freebie this year is Ohmai's Companion Tweeters, available in two sizes, both in wearable and rezzable versions. They even sing. :)("I'm Nr. 1!")[...]

That. One. Damn. Thing.


Only the people with crappy computers will understand the sheer agony of standing around for hours waiting for That. One. Damn. Thing. to rez.

I zoomed in and out on it, moused over it, clicked it like I was gonna buy it, slammed my AV up against it, spun around in a circle, cammed somewhere else for a while, danced a jig, backed up, moved forward, scooted left, scooted right, sat on the display for a while, jumped off, sat down in the grass and waited and waited. Nothing. Finally I crashed.

The mystery will probably haunt me until the end of my days.

Oh well.

(I'm Nr. 1!)

Kitja Cherie mesh T-shirts at The Seasons Story, 100L.

Just don't



Chicks who walk into booths at Hair Fair and then stand there for hours blocking the door with their gigantic asses and booty-swinging, hair-flipping AOs.

(Yeah, it's a sentence fragment. Why waste words.)

At first I thought she wasn't wearing pants. Then I realized her shorts were being devoured by DAT ASS.

I didn't snap her from the front, but dang, she was SPECTACULAR in all her glory.

I will never understand this blangin' thug-life girlfriend look, but then again I'm a boring middle-aged woman trapped in the suburbs, so what the hell do I know? At least she went that extra mile (or more) to give her AV some character.

To her credit, she might have been wearing shoes. SL holds all kinds of wondrous possibilities that never get around to rezzing on my computer.

Go ahead and call me mean names, but damn, I love fug-watching. I don't mind admitting it. Hell, I'm the poster child for fug these days in my 2012 retro wardrobe, so just wave at my glass house when you walk by and let me keep throwing my little rocks once in a while. I miss the fug blogs, too. I feel like I've earned the right to make that statement since I've been featured in them myself a few times. Plus, in better days I would have been the first person to give you the fugly shirt off my own back or lindens or whatever you needed if you were suffering. You can laugh at fug and still be a good person. YES YOU CAN!

Speaking of alms for the poor, much love to Whispers Magic for her gift of Slink feet. (When you gonna blog again, Whispers??) I'm looking forward to trying them out and finally having sophisticated feet like the rest of you.

I'm gonna get back to trying to wade through Hair Fair now. Even on a weekday, I crash about every seven minutes. Some things never change.

Let's be models


This is a bad post for me to be writing, considering the fact that the last folder in my inventory right now is "2012 Clothes" (subdivided, of course) and I'm still running around in system jeans with prim leg attachments, which I'm sure is not that hip these days, but whatever.Here we go.I'll explain this picture in a minute. (And oh hey, I standardized my shape to Medium mesh size and I feel like I look a little thuggish with no neck now. Wah.) Anyway, so I was logging into SL the other day and I happened to see this "event" in the Events calendar. --------------"WE PAY $800/hour HIRING MODELS-no experience need-NEW RESIDENTS WELCOME- event to hireTime: 07/13/14 12:00 pmDuration: 2 hoursLocation: DreSS To ImpreSS-mODELS~CatWALK-fAShIONS- LiVE mUSIC on LoonHost: [Name omitted for privacy]Category: Nightlife/EntertainmentCover: FREE~WE PAY $800/hour HIRING MODELS-no experience need-NEW RESIDENTS WELCOME- event to hire- look for blue box at store for instructions -gowns,casual clothes,low prim furniture,body paint,tattoes,bathing suit,costumes,carnaval mask,new avatars look,pretty flexy hair,pretty avatars, models house, fashion clothes,men clothes, men hair, women clothes,women shoes, stilletos, wedges, pijamas,party clothes,land orbit,land security system"--------------I'm not living an RL that affords me a steady flow of lindens anymore, so I saw this ad and thought, "Oh REALLLLLY??! 'New residents welcome,' huh? 'No experience need,' even? YEEHAW! Count me in!"I thought it was a thing, you know? Like, you show up to this place, meet at the aforementioned mysterious blue box, get handed some "pretty flexy hair," "body paint" and "tattoes" and prance around somewhere for two hours at 800L an hour.Wrong. Oh, so wrong.I flew into DreSS To ImpreSS-mODELS~CatWALK-fAShIONS and it was a deserted wasteland — a vast, bright blue deserted wasteland. But LO AND BEHOLD! There was a giant display with a blue box over in one corner – right next to a badly textured catwalk – so I wandered over to it. I thought maybe it was "camp modeling," like you log into a spot and stand there posing for two hours until you get paid.(WHOA, NELLY! My, what big hair and pink lips you have!)I clicked the box for "model instructions" and got this notecard:------------"FOLLOW THIS INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLY FOR MODEL JOB TIRED OF APPLYING AND NOT BE SELECTED? HERE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY.- WE WILL PAY YOU $800 PER HOUR AS A MODEL-ALL MODELS THAT APPLY CORRECT FOLLOWING THIS INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE HIRE, GUARANTEE.- read careful to apply correctly or you will not be selected. - DO NOT SEND NOTES ASKING QUESTIONS SEND IM - If you send IM asking questions that are clear in this note you will get disqualify for this position. So please read all instructions first before ask. NOTE: WORK WILL BE FOR FASHION SHOWS AND ALSO EVENTS. WE NEED MANY MODELS- pictures need to be taken by yourself- professional pictures or pictures taken by friends will be rejected.-get some clothes you think will look good on you for the picture to apply. STORE CLOTHES ONLY- if you can't buy clothes you can't apply-if you don't like my clothes enough to buy why should i hire you?- you have to like my clothes and buy them because you liked not just to apply for model. If you don t like my clothes to wear them. Don't get it. I'm not interesting to increase my sells with your purchase. This is not scam i need to increase my models team.- Take your picture at any place of your preference. make your picture 512x512. full body picture showing the clothes.- Don't [...]

Little girl lost


Let's pause for a second while I stand in a field (skybox) and pensively gaze off into the distance, dreaming of what it would be like to have a rockin' graphics card and not one of the first MacBook Pros ever made. OK, cool. Thanks for indulging me.Fantasizing aside, wow, I didn't realize Hair Fair started this weekend. No wonder it's so lag-a-licious right now. I'll check it out in a few days. Hair Fair has a weird significance for me: That's where I was when I found out Michael Jackson was dead. I was trying on some hair when someone ran through the pixelated streets yelling, "MICHAEL JACKSON IS DEAD!" It was a little surreal.But anyway.An extraordinarily kind person put some lindens in my account with a note that said, "Have fun shopping!" so that's exactly what I did. In the process, I found a new-to-me store that I like. I'm not sure when creators Caresia Adored and SonnetSoleil Resident came on the scene (if I weren't so lazy, I'd ask them) but I wasn't aware of LaNoir Soleil Designs before my two-yearish hiatus. I discovered LNS Designs at the One Word bi-monthly event (open through July 31), another thing that's new to me. SO MUCH FRESH NEW SMELL around here these days! The 'one word' for this round of the event is "Wonderland" and my eyes got all goggled-out when I saw this mesh Internal Wonderland AV (347L) with a BIPOLAR HUD.Yeah, I felt like we needed some sunshine and a handy arrow in this one.GET OUT! That is BRILLIANT! I've spent my WHOLE LIFE feeling like I have a bipolar HUD attached to my brain. If only I could click it whenever I wanted! That manic side, for instance, comes in SOOOOO handy when you have a bathroom that needs to be cleaned and perhaps a closet or two that needs to be organized and even a whole damn neighborhood of houses that need to be painted ... and all in the middle of the night, too!In the case of this avie, that "Eat Me!!" slice of cake will get you Alice. But click the "Drink Me!!" bottle and you get magically transformed into ...It's Malice, bitch.This one's more my style right now.(Um, yeah, I would totally suggest checking out this girl in world on YOUR OWN computer and not through the strained and struggling eyes of my hoopty laptop. Or you can check her out on the LaNoir Soleil blog HERE.) Really cool though – hair, dress, eyes, skin, socks, shoes, all of it changes instantly with a mere click. I want more mesh AVs that change with HUDs. Damn, that would make my SLife so much easier. I love buying clothes and hair in SL; I just hate the tedious chore of changing into them. Weird, huh? I haven't had that problem officially diagnosed, but it's most likely an attractive combination of compulsive shopping and hoarding.I went over to the LNS Designs store to check out the rest of their stuff. Looks good! Lots of cool hair, dreamy clothes and a section full of generous freebies and 12L gifts from past hunts. I ended up standing hypnotized in front of the MAGNIFICENTLY LONG row of lucky chairs until I won all of them, granted most of them on wildcards. The 'E's never seem to pop up on lucky chairs. If I could do it all again, I'd give myself an SL name that started with 0-9.I noticed LNS had another AV for sale at The Co-Op's Nexus Event (theme: space), so I tried out the demo and bought that one too.This Eve Seven AV was an awesomely affordable 427L, and I want to again thank my friend Deoridhe for the shopping spree that made the purchase possible. If you haven't checked out her blog Prim Dolls, you must do so now, and I'm not just saying[...]

Stranger in a barely familiar land


Just call me Claw Hand.Wow, kids! How do you even BEGIN to write a blog post about a place after you've been away from it for sooooooo long? IT FEELS WEIRD, Y'ALL, but here it goes!I logged in the other night and left my parcel for the first time in years. I felt like a stranger in a barely familiar land. I don't even know what the hell's going on in SL anymore. Usually I log in once a month or maybe once every few months just to pay my rent and that's it. I pop in, throw some money at my landlady ("Hi! Here's some money! Sorry it's a little late! *cough* Bye!"), pet the PermaCat, water the plant and then POOF! I'm out.I've downsized to an Artilleri trailer these days. Cute pink though! See it in all its glory on the SL Marketplace HERE.Back when I left, I felt like I needed to pull away from SL for a while so I could concentrate on fixing my mess of a life. (It's STILL kind of a mess of a life, BTW, but at least I OWN it instead of avoiding it.) But a few days ago, I had kind of a rough night. It felt like I had hit an all-time low and I was having a REALLY hard time keeping my demons on their leashes. So I thought, "Hey, I know a place that feels like my NARNIA and makes me happy, so I think I'm gonna push my way through the back of that magic wardrobe and see what's going on." Kind of like a Band-Aid for depression. (Granted, it's more like one of those generic band-aids that doesn't stick very well and just barely covers your raw, oozing sore, but it still takes your mind off the agony for a few minutes.)Plus, I'm a sucker for the SL birthday celebrations, so the timing was perfect."Hey baby, what's going on? I like your ... ponytails."I haven't changed out of those jeans and that stylish trench coat since late 2012.So yeah, it's weird, stumbling around, trying to get my fingers to remember how to work camera controls and stuff. It took me five minutes just to dust off my memories of how to take a PICTURE, let alone more complicated tricks like Debug Settings. Things have changed and there's a lot I feel clueless about — maybe I should swing by one of those centers for noobs and scream, "SOMEBODY HELP ME!"Some things have stayed exactly the same, though. Like my graphics. They still suck. It still takes FOREVER for things to rez and sometimes things just don't want to cooperate, period. An overload of textures, for instance, will make my computer throw up its imaginary hands and scream, "NO WAY, HONEY."GOD HELP US ALL, THAT'S A GIANT CALLIE CLINE HEAD IN THE AIR!Take that grey shapeless mass, for instance. That's me on an elephant that never completely rezzed. Good times. And hell yeah, that's a cupcake on my face. I got my face painted at a booth at SLB11. If you haven't been over there, you can still go check it out until ... well, um, the end of tonight, I think. (Yay for procrastinators!) You'll have to sprint through all the exhibits, but I think it's worth it. There's a lot of cool stuff to see — as well as a few eyesores. (It's funny that we're celebrating 11 years, yet some people are still using textures from 2003, but whatever. It's all good.)My heart is a little broken that the SLB11 Linden Bear vendor isn't giving out Birthday Linden Bears anymore, but there are still a lot of great gifts to be had at the various exhibits if you're in a "gimme gimme gimme free stuff" kind of mood.ALSO, I'll have you SLB11 exhibitors know that I read ALL YOUR NOTECARDS and try to participate in ALL your exhibit activities. I'm that much of an enthusiastic dork at these thi[...]

"The kid next door is dying"


I've been popping in and out of Second Life to say hi to friends, but I'm pretty consumed these days with the real world and this new PR job, which is paying me nothing while it's kicking my ass. (Alone, I manage 10 clients, y'all. TEN.)Meanwhile, also in the real world, the 16-year-old kid who lives next door to me is dying. (Yeah, I didn't really have a smooth segue for that part. Sorry.)I write it here because I want to talk about it, but nobody in our neighborhood is talking about it anymore. It's the big awkward elephant on the street and we are all gingerly stepping around it. His house has become That House With the Kid Who is Dying. It might as well have a giant flag that says "CANCER LIVES HERE" flying in the front yard. About eight months ago he was diagnosed with tumors in his liver and lungs. And so it began. As if in a Hallmark Channel movie, the neighborhood rallied. One day everyone showed up with rakes and collectively cleaned up the leaves in the front yard. Another day, people gathered in matching T-shirts, cheering, "We're gonna beat this!" before leaving for a fundraiser walk-a-thon. People bustled in and out of the house with food and good wishes. Everyone put up a brave front.Then gradually the activity tapered off. Reports came back from the hospital of more and more tumors spreading. The chemotherapy wasn't working. The prognosis got bleaker and bleaker. A big truck came and dropped off a hospital bed. He would spend days on end at a prominent pediatric cancer hospital here and then come home, withered and hairless and nothing at all like the kid who only a year ago was out there shooting hoops in the driveway and talking to girls on his cell phone. He helped me chase my dog once when she managed to get off her leash. When we caught her, we were both laughing so hard we were almost doubled over. Now he has to be carried up the stairs into his house. We've started to get the vibe from his family that they just want to be left alone. The valiant determination has turned to quiet resolution. They come and go in hushed solemnity. Some weeks, the newspapers pile up at the foot of their driveway. They don't want visitors. Our helpless "Is there anything we can do?" is always met with a polite "No thank you." We leave them alone with their grief and hope we're not being assholes by doing it.My (temporary, while I pay off some of this $35K in debt, don't get me started) room on the second floor of my family's home would be right next to his if we didn't have the outside world separating us. Sometimes I lie in bed and wonder if he's scared over there, lying in his own bed. Or in pain. Or asleep. Or on a laptop playing video games. Sometimes I lie here and think, "Only a couple of walls stand between me and Death," and I'll try to project thoughts over there, to Death, as if it really were a dark, cloaked reaper standing in a corner of the kid's room with a scythe in hand, silently watching a giant ticking clock. I'll think, "TAKE ME INSTEAD. I'VE HAD A GREAT LIFE. HIS IS JUST BEGINNING" as loud and as and hard as I can. Or I'll put my palm against the wall and imagine sending a blast of white, purifying light over there, like a laser. I'll imagine it engulfing his hospital bed and seeping into his body and burning away all the cancer that's eating him alive. I'll start thinking about how all this stuff about God and the miracle of prayer and the power of positive thinking and manifesting your destiny suddenly seems like bullsh*t, and I'll wond[...]

Did Elisa Lam have a Second Life AV?


(I swear this post will eventually get around to the topic of Second Life. Just bear with it.)I've been haunted all weekend by the story of Elisa Lam.You've probably heard this story – or at least part of it – by now.In a nutshell: Elisa Lam, 21, of Vancouver, B.C., takes a solo trip to California. Her friends and family members say they're not quite sure why. A few friends say she told them she was going to take a job on a farm in Santa Cruz. Some of them find this reason strange and hard to believe – Who hears about a random job on a farm in California and travels from Canada to take it? Other friends say Elisa struggled with sometimes crippling depression – for a time she had dropped out of school because of it – and had wandered off the grid before. They assumed this trip was another depression-fueled wander.Regardless of the reason behind it, Elisa mentions the trip on her tumblr. She lists the cities she plans to visit – San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and possibly San Luis Obispo – and invites her tumblr followers to offer travel suggestions or plan a meet-up with her. Finally, she heads off to Cali on Jan. 26.She starts in San Diego, kicks around for a couple of days and then takes a bus to Los Angeles. She checks in to the unbelievably seedy Cecil Hotel. It's a couple of streets away from Skid Row, where homeless people live in tents on the streets. It's filthy and dismal, with shared bathrooms and public showers. It has several floors of single occupancy residents. In fact, serial killer Richard Ramirez lived there for 14 months. Actually, I could devote a whole post to the hotel's dark past – so many murders there, so many suicides – but this post is about Elisa.Many of us who are now borderline-obsessed with this case wonder why in the world she would choose such a nasty hotel, particularly since she was traveling alone. Some us think she was misled by the hotel's website, which shows marble floors and ornate decor. Some of us think someone may have suggested it to her. Some of us think she picked it because she was on a budget and it's only $65 a night to stay there and close to a hip, artsy section of downtown L.A.Meanwhile, she checks in with her family every day of her trip. And then one day she stops checking in. Her family gets concerned. Days go by. Elisa misses her Feb. 1 check-out date. Her parents and sister fly from Vancouver to Los Angeles to hold a Feb. 6 press conference with the Los Angeles Police Department about Elisa's disappearance. More days go by.And here's where it gets creepy and disturbing as hell.On Feb. 14, in the hopes that someone will recognize her, police release this Jan. 31 surveillance video footage of Elisa in one of the hotel's elevators. It is, hands down, one of the most chilling things I've watched in a long time: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="" width="640">Is she hiding from someone? High? Hallucinating? In the midst of a mental break? Goofing around with someone? Possessed? Seeing the paranormal? I AM HAUNTED BY THIS VIDEO. I had horrible dreams about this video. I woke up thinking about this video. I will probably think about it every time I get in an elevator now.On Feb. 19, in response to complaints of low water pressure from guests at the Cecil Hotel, a worker checks the hotel's water tanks on the roof and discovers the decomposing nude body of a woman floating in[...]

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


HELLO!I've been gone for about four months. In fact, maybe I'm still gone, but I got this urge to log in and at least do something with my yard and house for the holidays. Because look at this HOT MESS OF A YARD right now – LOOK AT IT!I was kind of horrified to discover that I have almost all new neighbors ("EVERYONE'S GONE!" she wailed), and I'm pretty sure they must hate my guts for having to look at this three-ring circus all the time. Oops.So I was going to write this deeply meaningful post about why I left and what's changed and how it's kind of a relief to be (sort of) back, but how it also feels sort of tainted – like falling off a sobriety wagon – and I'm also kind of bummed about missing Halloween in SL and those rockin' Day of the Dead KittyCats and blah blah blah blah blah blahhhhhhhhh. But I guess I slept with my head and neck scrunched down into my shoulders like a turtle last night because everything from the boobs up is KILLING ME today. There's just too much pain and not enough drugs in the world to accommodate any coherent thoughts for an extended period of time right now. So let's play a game instead! It's a new one I just made up on the Cyclops water sim, where I hung out for an hour-and-a-half (not exaggerating, kids!) while I waited for my 200K inventory to load. (I bet you feel all bright and shiny about your 40K inventory now, huh? You're welcome!) It's called . . . LOOK WHO'S HANGIN' OUT UNDERWATER AT CYCLOPS!But I need to preface it by saying that if my SL graphics were bad four months ago, they seem to be worse now – and I didn't even think that was possible. This one handy little trick I had of quickly hitting "Rebake Textures" before I snapped a pic no longer works. Instead it turns me into RUTH ("RUUUUUUUUUUTH!") before taking an eternity to rebake the textures, which stay sharp for two seconds and blur again. Good times!Anyway, the question of the day is "WTF are all these people doing milling around underwater on Cyclops?" Maybe some are bots, but others were walking around acting pretty animated. A more enterprising blogger would have just ASKED THEM, but I prefer to bask in the mystery of it all instead. (Read: "I'm lazy and antisocial.")Whatever. Let's do this.LOOK WHO'S HANGIN' OUT UNDERWATER AT CYCLOPS!*cue the calypso song "Under the Sea"*If you're looking for a friend or a hot date or maybe even a hooker or two, check out the current selection on the ocean floor at Cyclops.1. SCHOLARLY BEEFCAKEHe's got it all, y'all! Big arms, tiny hands, sharp glasses, dainty waist, bling, "American Idol" T-shirt. (Kidding. That's not an 'American Idol' T-shirt.) He looks like a casino bouncer. I'd hire him as a bodyguard, though. Seriously. And on a cold, lonely night, hell, I'd probably hit that. He's got a nice face, and those glasses kind of do it for me. 2. BACK ON THE CHAIN GANGI don't like your rooster hair or the fingerless pirate ship flags on your hands or your 9 million man-necklaces, but I wouldn't mind sliding down that chest like a chilly stripper on a warm fuzzy pole . . . in a snowstorm . . . or something. Maybe I have to work on that analogy. But can you tell it's nippy where I live today? (The weather, I mean.)3. DARK, BROODING . . . AND VEINYWell, damn. This is my kind of guy. Go ahead and mock me or whatever, but this guy floats my boat, pardon the pun. (GET IT? Because we're in the water? FUNNY! NO? Oh.) If this is a bot, well, bravo to the bot-creator. [...]

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


TEA, ANYONE?Bliensen + MaiTai is BRINGING THE AWESOME to Hair Fair 2012 with this FREE Darjeeling Hair. So grab the gift bag there, but be sure to also check out creator Plurabelle Laszlo's other glammy hairstyles – you know, like the ones that are actually for sale.And in other news, I've been wanting to blog these kick-ass '50s Rhinestones glasses by Eclectica creator Tiffy Vella for ages. I have a gazillion pairs of glasses, but these'll be the ones I keep if, say, Linden Lab ever forces me to whittle down my 215K inventory to a mere 50K items. These glasses have soooo many texture-change options that if I tried to list them here, we'd all collectively collapse in exhaustion. But for instance, I chose a Blossom texture for my lenses, which is why they have kind of a wispy look to them.Tiffy's jewelry and shoes at Eclectica are also just as fabulous. I feel a little lame because that store is new to me. HOW DID YOU SLIP UNDER MY RADAR, ECLECTICA? OK so anyway, I'm really proud to be the only blogger in SL to bring you the exclusive scoop that Hair Fair 2012 starts today. In fact, it's open right now. The four sims have a peaceful Zen-like vibe, which I like. But I don't know – for some reason I'm just not feeling the joy this year. And it's not you, Hair Fair. It's me. I swear.I spent a while pondering my lack of enthusiasm and decided that it's because a) I'm broke, so it's not as fun, and b) I really miss the abundance of goofy hairstyles we had at old-school Hair Fairs. I realize we've evolved since then, but I still miss them. I only found a few this year – I'll try to blog the other ones later today. But meanwhile I dug up some old pics from past fairs for you youngsters who might not know what I'm talking about:He promised me the moon. I didn't realize it would require hair gel.Realllllly could've used a hairbase back then. And cream and sugar.FIERCE! Watch me while I kick your ass and dust your house at the same time. (No peacocks were harmed in the making of this picture.)Nope, no one threw me a baby shower. And yep, in 2009 I released my inner black woman for a while. OK, enough nostalgia. Here's all the info you need.VISIT INWORLDHair Fair 2012 - runs through July 29. A percentage of hair sales will go to the RL charity Wigs for KidsEclecticaEclectica Rhinstones glasses on Marketplace – see pics of some of the texture options hereBliensen + MaiTai at Hair FairFOR MORE INFOHair Fair 2012 WebsiteHair Fair Demo Group – If you want to save yourself the lag trauma and instead try on hairstyles in the comfort of your own home, find this group in Search or type this link – secondlife:///app/group/2e30d166-f3e5-e2de-ff72-b3da2d06ded2/about – in open chat. The demo boxes from the designers are in the group's Notices.Wigs for Kids Website[...]