Saturday, December 31, 2016

Resolutions

The end of the year and the start of a new one is always marked by public resolutions to do this or that better next year. There's quite a few common ones, like eat better, exercise more, get back in touch with people. Thing is, there's research saying resolutions made at new year's are less likely to be followed through than those made any other time of year. That may just be the sheer number made though.

New Year's in Second Life is a bit different. The focus tends to be more on the party than the resolutions. Sure, people decide they're going to move their homes or terminate partnership, but there really isn't the same level of 'resolution fever' that happens in real life.

Photo references (Left avi):
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: 7 Deadly S{k}ins Evie Chestnut
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate
Makeup: Sn@tch City Lights Metallic Lipstick
Hair: Truth Ami
Clothing: ::PM:: Solaris Dress, ::PM:: Formal Set, :KC: Brazilia Heels

Photo references (Middle avi):
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: alterego | Aaisling - Sunkissed
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate
Hair: Magika Stay the Night
Clothing: [[Masoom]] Hannah Dress, Prism Designs Holiday Tree Jewelry, Bewitched: Moon, Maitreya Gold Indigo High

Photo references (Right avi):
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: Mangomoon Kensi
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate
Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld
Hair: Truth Deja
Clothing:-tres blah- Luxe Party Dress, ::PM:: Formal Set, #Empire Honesty

Sim: My home
Prop/Poses: Exposeur

Friday, December 23, 2016

Looking in the Window

It's the time of year where the weather outside is frightful, but the romanticized activities are everywhere. Every year it feels like an odd time to be single with all the activities, pictures, and fun family questions. There's so much stuff, but not many know how to navigate it gracefully when not fitting the couple stereotype.

The virtual world is both easier and harder. On the one hand, there's all kinds of things just to show up at without any invitation at all, no company required. On the other, there always seems to be a couple fawning over each other n public chat. There's a psychology study out there that says when humans are single, they notice more happy couples, while the reverse is also true. It's odd, especially when sometimes all it takes to banish the lonely is for someone else to send the first instant message.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: Mangomoon Kensi
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate
Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld
Hair: Truth Solace
Clothing: Grumble Strapless Zipper Dress, .*.CPD.*.Triquerta Necklace
Sim: My home
Prop/Pose: Exposeur

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holiday Togetherness

The holiday season is in full swing, no matter which of the thirty odd holidays that fall in or near December happens in the house. Holidays also bring out the family and friends, who in turn bring up the conflicts buried the rest of the year. While not everyone ends up with a crazy conflict, organizers usually breath a sigh of relief when the holidays are done no matter how much they enjoy their family.

Skip into a virtual world and the holidays get complicated. The decoration is always spot on or over the top, that's just how people are when they don't have to worry about falling off a ladder. The family and friends line blurs a bit though, since most families in Second Life are not blood related. While this means grandma can't just bully everyone to family dinner for conflict resolution, it also means there are more moving parts that may break off on their own. In a way, it's a cycle that the holidays accelerate for many.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: [NM] Deamonica
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate
Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld
Hair: Truth Hair Focus
Clothing: Sn@tch Althea Crop Top and Angel Ragged Skirt
Pose: Exposeur
Sim: Junktown

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Silence of Winter

The winter season sets in after the Thanksgiving holiday. It's not the Christmas cheer that magically appears everywhere. It's the snow and the chill and the cloudy days. It's also the feel of solitude looking out the window when there's snow outside and a pile of blankets inside. That quiet feeling is so calming.

Fast forward to a virtual world and winter is available all year round. Most sims add winter elements to their design, though it rarely rivals the dedicated winter sims. It's pretty easy to find a remote corner with some snow to think in, even in high summer. That kind of place to think is very helpful in a frenzied virtual world.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: Mangomoon Kensi
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate
Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld
Hair: Lamb. Only You
Clothing: Foxes Foxy Jacket & Bra, Paper.Arrow Cuffed Trousers, Kisetsu - Omamori Necklace, Essenz Barranquilla
Sim: Winter Trace

Monday, November 14, 2016

See Her

I think many people forget that behind the demands for healthcare, fair pay, and control over her own body is a living breathing person. She's got thoughts, dreams, and visions, same as anyone else. She's also known systemic suppression of her autonomy, figuring out how to be non threatening, and ignored more than one case of sexual harassment in all likelihood. There's no reason for all the stuff that gets thrown at women for wanting anything about her body to be her decision.

Virtual worlds are weird. There's no particular accountability at all, anyone can sign up for an account without providing identification. Consequently, no one can determine who exactly to punish for sexual harassment, griefing, and other nasty things. So in worlds where women have amazing opportunities to talk with like minds and find things, we find the same things that greet us in the real world at times.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: .:Soul:. Ranitomeya - Wild
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: FATEeyes
Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld
Hair: Magika Out Of Breath
Clothing: Perch Bridgette Dress, [Fetch] Wayward necklace
Sim: Take Heart
Pose: Exposeur Spring Singles

Sunday, October 30, 2016

All the Hallows





It's the time of year where there's more holidays than one could conceivably shake a stick at. The first, and one of the more diverse, is Halloween, which took over All Hallows, All Saints, and Samhain to name a few. It's kind of become more of a collection of traditions than associated with any one specific one.

Now, virtual worlds tend to blow up the holidays. In SL, the entire month of October seems to be spent in costume. Lanterns and spooky sims are the norm, rather than the exception, and someone has always had too much pumpkin spice. It's fun though, in the way a carnival is. Eventually though, the enthusiasm winds down.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: .:Soul:. Emma Twilight
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: FATEeyes
Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld
Hair: Magika Take
Clothing: Sn@tch Coven of One, ...Mitresse...Genovia Booties
Sim: Kaminari Isle
Pose: Exposeur Adorably Awkward

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Odd Passion





The word passion generally conjures up a bedroom with rose petals and soft music first. On second thought, passion refers to anything that makes the blood run faster. There are stereotypical passions, by age, by industry, and most commonly by gender. Having passions outside of one of those lines generally lands one the label of 'odd' to say the least.

Extend to a virtual world, and there's a bit better balance. Of course, that there's the ability to gender swap and slide along those scales helps. The hobbies of a virtual world are diverse, and there's nothing that says girls can't build and boys can't design clothing in the new account handbook.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara
Skin: Mangomoon Kensi
Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate
Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld
Hair: Magika Awkward
Clothing: Cupcake Clothing Robotics Club
Sim: Peacehaven

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Naked Form

There's such a wildly varied standard for women out in the real world. Just to start with the body is to open up a mile long can of worms, depending on locale and culture. There's a photo that does around where a girl has marked skirt lengths and adjectives from prude to skank on her thigh. Sometimes seeing it in the physical representation makes people realize how arbitrary the definitions on women's bodies are.

In a virtual world, there are still oddities for women. While it's hard to be physically assaulted, emotional assaults still happen. Virtual nakedness is common, but in a virtual world its most often assumed it's for sex rather than because the person prefers it.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Moon. Hair. Chelsea Dagger
Clothing: Belle Epoque Idella
Sim: The Aerie, Ippos  Pose: Exposeur

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Busy Little Bee

There's quite a  culture built around always being busy. With all the websites advertising ways to make more money in the off hours, more activities promising fun, and more whatever, it's hard not to be caught in an all consuming cycle. It's kind of weird to think about how much effort goes into making money or being busy.

In a virtual world, there's even more to do since there's no physical limitations. Most new people burn out because they can't figure out what to do first or specifically. People usually settle in with friends, and then start branching out. Occasionally though, it becomes necessary to prune out some activities as time demands.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Rewind
Clothing: Ison Gilded Dress, #Empire Xylobium, *League* Floral Rocks Set
Sim: My home  Pose/Prop: Exposeur  Windlight: [TOR] Big Sun Raylanta

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Art of Zoning

Lounging around has a bad rap these days, it's like being not busy is a crime or something to lament. Having things to do is nice, but so is being able to not thing about anything. It's like people forgot that sleep is a good thing, along with not over stressing the brain.

In a virtual world, there's even more that can be done, and more obligations to get into accidentally/deliberately. The idea of just hanging alone or wandering without some kind obligation is an almost foreign concept. In reality, there's a lot of places to find, sit, and contemplate while the real world walkabout is on hold.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Love Song
Clothing: Ambi St. Lucie Top, Paper.Arrow Trousers, -KC- Charlotte Heels, Harambee Triskel Celtic Jewelry
Sim: Hermoupolis Lake

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Taking Names

 There's a couple of different cliches that involve taking names, though I think my favorite is 'kicking ass and taking names.' There are so many connotations to names though, usually in the form of titles for achievements. Of course, the kicking ass part usually involves something else.

In a virtual world, names are more relative. The usernames are a start, but then the display names are changeable once a week in second life. Some people go from Lord of Darkness to Flufferknuckles in that time frame. Names are a lot more reflective than they would be in real life, never mind that someone can decide they want to be master or kor at will. There's power in names, and how we choose to label ourselves.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Bad Habit
Clothing: Ison Lace Up Tank, Cynful Playback Mini, Reign Olivia Heels, Earthstones Power Crystal
Sim: Santa Maria dell'isola Italy

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I Foresee Twisted Things

It's that time of year again, when the fall feeling settle in and the ghosts of twisted hunt cubes past rise from their corners to torment hunters of all experience levels. Of course, the fall twisted hunt is well underway at this point, with the future theme of divination. In predictable twisted fashion, the fine art of divination is required to find the prize containing cubes.

The hunt itself has its moments (it wouldn't be a twisted hunt without those), some of the store owners got quite devious with their decoys beyond the usual carpet bomb approach. Then there's the endgame, which is so much easier with a pad of paper and a pen. Its not an endgame unless there's a half dozen trips to the oubliette and by extension the beginning of the maze even with notes. The coveted twisted survivor tag and the end of game prizes are definitely worth it though.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: +Spellbound+ Augustine  Feet: Slink
Clothing: Nephilim Fallen Divine dress, ~Songbird~ Crystal Divination Necklace, Secrets of Gaia Twisted Magic Threader Earrings, Hilly Haalan Allysa Cut Out Heels
Sim: Midalon Beach  Pose and Prop: Elephante Feel the Magic  Windlight: Phototools Dream Book

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Song of the Tired

One of the many fun parts of working a non 9-5 schedule is that sometimes the sleep schedule gets so screwed it's not feasible to keep it. That means some days there is no sleep to go around. It's a reality, but that doesn't make the thirty six to forty hours any easier. That's not even doing it with a work shift somewhere in there.

Sometimes the virtual world is helpful, sometimes it's not. On the one hand, having people up at all hours of the clock to talk to. On the other, it's incredibly distracting when it's bedtime/meal time/time to go to work/etc. It's a hindrance yes, but it's worth every bit of being tired to feel that connection to people. Being able to have those hours long conversations or seek out a shoulder when one's needed are part of being healthy, even if at times it kills sleep time.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Out of Breath
Clothing: Stories&Co. Scarlett Top, Blueberry Jeans, Vogati Handcuff Jewelry
Sim: Empusa Country  Pose: Exposeur She's Crafty  Windlight: Nacon's Dawn

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Remembering 9-11-2001

The events of September 11, 2001 were some of the most formative for my generation. I remember exactly where I was when I was told, I remember the days after, and I remember the anniversaries following. It's hard for me to believe it's been 15 years since that day, it's all so fresh.

Fifteen years later, there are kids in high school who have only heard about 9-11 as a historical event, ones who've never known time without the War on Terror. That's mind boggling. Of course, there are people living with the effects medical and mental. There's a generation that shares a memory with their grandparents (or great grandparents), of what a terror attack feels like at home. We will never forget.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Rewind Feet: Slink
Clothing: Shhh It's a Secret Independence, Dream Princess Slink Heels Nu. 292
Sim: My home  Pose and Prop: Exposeur

Saturday, September 3, 2016

That Fall Feeling

At least in my part of the country, fall has started coming in. The cooler weather is much appreciated, as is the humidity going down. It's almost bearable to be outside again. Apart from the weather, fall as a season has some perks too, from the changing leaves to the pumpkins (just not pumpkin spice).

Everything is bigger in a virtual world, including the seasons and holidays. Fall is a favorite for many, and a number of sims pop up dedicated to it. It's good for people who don't live in a place with transition seasons, or those who adore Halloween the whole year round. It's also a welcome relief from all the skimpiness of summer, along with people coming back into the virtual world.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Tomorrow
Clothing: ::PM:: Anika Blouse, ::PM:: Just Jeans, COTW Pendant
Sim: My home  Pose: Exposeur

Monday, August 29, 2016

Beyond the Best Face

There are a plethora of terms about how to meet people, like putting the best foot forward or putting on the best face. Those kinds of advice make it all the more difficult to sort through when it comes down to it though. While people put their best foot forward, it's harder to see what's going on behind the scenes.

Fast forward to virtual worlds and it's so much easier to only display a best face, since there's proofreading and no one can read the little muscle twitches when people lie. Sure, lying for an extended period of time is difficult, especially when there's hours of conversation a day, but it's not impossible. A lot of people lie about something, it is the web after all. The degree of the lie usually tells how close they're willing to let people from said virtual world get.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Mint
Clothing: Sn@tch Gilda, Sn@tch Annette Heels, !TLB Witchy Hand Chains, Chop Zuey Gloriana
Sim: My home  Pose: Exposeur

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Tic and a Toc

Not a lot of clocks actually go tic tok anymore, now they're mostly the silent digital variety. This comes out to being both good and bad. There is no more reminder of seconds going by while there's a massive project component due, while the flip side is not having a reminder during the moments humans want to mark. Of course, there's a variation of that at work to, when time flies by and when it crawls by.

Second Life draws in much the same principle. Many people set themselves bedtimes to keep up with the real world, while others pick their logoff times on the fly. Of course, everyone does violate their bedtimes, usually for someone important or because they got wrapped up in a project and forgot to look at the clock. This absence of tic tok as it were makes that so much easier.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Rewind
Clothing: Alafolie Steampunk Robe
Sim: Unzipped  Pose: Elephante Poses

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Every Mile

I put in a lot of road miles in my day to day life simply due to my commute. Since it's frowned upon to do more than turn up the music while driving, there's a lot of time think. Some days it ends up being a case of every mile being a memory, rather than just a mile.

Wandering the world in a virtual world is sometimes similar, especially when wandering alone. Some sims hold good memories, some remind of another place in time, and others hold bad. There's also the ones that are no more for whatever reason. Those are the ones people always seem to remember the fondest.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Love Song Feet: Slink
Clothing: Lavian&Co Ocean Drive, [hh] Allysa heels, .:Emo-tions:. The Promise
 Sim: Crestwick Island  Pose: Elephante Poses

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Too Reserved

It's difficult being different, not that being normal doesn't have hurdles too. I work in a place where the management is essentially those who've been there the longest, rather than those who actually know how to manage real people. So I get scolded for coming across as more reserved than the others, something along the lines of I need to be 'more approachable' for my coworkers, and it annoys me greatly.

Virtual worlds are so much easier if only because there is no management unless we pick it. It's more than that though, there's a freedom to communicate more of us. There are studies devoted to why people feel like that on the internet, a lot of it comes down to the anonymity and ability to find acceptance with quirks.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Meadow
Clothing: ::PM:: Felicity, JCNY Aires Birthstone Necklace
Sim: My home  Prop and Pose: Exposeuer

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Be the Wall

Walls have many connotations, both in and our of literature. A lot of inspirational phrases also use them, in the manner of 'break down the wall' and 'I constructed my walls not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to climb over.' Of course, those sayings tend to cast a negative light, like walls are undesirable.

A virtual world is many things, including a playground for builders and dreamers. It's also a way to let people bare their deeper thoughts, since they fear less judgement when they're anonymous enough. In a virtual world, people become a wall to lean against, or in some cases to break down on. It's those times were it's good, sometimes though, people become the walls that cage the spirit. It's far better to be a positive though, or to learn to let people go when they push off of your support.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: .Olive. Shiny
Clothing: Lolita Diabolique, COTW Clan Pendent
Sim: My home  Prop and Pose: Exposeuer

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Fantasy One

I read a lot, mostly fiction, frequently fantasy. There are a lot of different varieties associated with the genre, from alternate history to dragons. That's part of the attraction, the available variety to sample from. That kind of variety also makes it difficult to pick just one at a time to read.

The virtual world has its upsides, one of them being the types of fashion that can be picked that would not fly in the real life. Of course that opens up a lot more options in the clothes department. While there's way too much to pick and choose from, it's comforting to have the variety. In some ways, it's even amusing to have the randomness in what is and is not available.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Love Song
Clothing: !Devious Mind Namika, .::Supernatural::.Genevieve Headpiece, Cureless&Disorderly Talaria, [Fetch] Wayward Necklace
Sim: Qoheleth  Pose: Elephante Poses Ember

Saturday, August 6, 2016

She's Always the Woman to Me

There are a lot of components to gender, in the real world more so since we have stereotypical roles to fill.  Breaking down gender roles has been a fight for women, especially over the last century or so. That's ongoing, with things like the wage gap and the glass ceiling, never mind the treatment of those who want to start families. Gender became a different creature, and it's eye opening to read the items that are out there by those who've transitioned genders and gone back into the same work space.

When we step into a virtual space, gender takes a different meaning. The only body people have to judge is the one that the individual builds, there's no requirements it be the same as the physical gender of the participant. I stick to my biological gender because that's who I want to be, and who I know how to be. It makes sense to me in the same way that being gender fluid does to some, and being the opposite does to others.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: .:Soul:. Emma Twilight Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Awkward
Clothing: Brii Bastis, Kisetsu Omamori Necklace
Sim: The Trace

Friday, August 5, 2016

Waiting on an Angel

There's a lot of waiting involved with people, especially the more attached you are. It's not the sit around because someone is late kind of waiting either. It's wanting to talk to them in the middle of your work day but knowing you can't. It's desiring to call while they're asleep because your time zones or job hours don't match. Just because you're working a desk or out to dinner doesn't mean you can't also be waiting.

When we add in the virtual world, there's an extra twist. See, it's not just the time lining up, it's the free time too. People don't always login to virtual worlds like SL, and most people certainly don't hand out ways they can be reached in real time to people they're just getting to know. Some people don't even do that with the people the do know really well. For many, it's logging in and waiting to see if that one or two people login as well, and hoping you're right all along and not just killing time.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Meadow Feet: Slink
Clothing: [Liv Glam] Wish I Could Fly, Sn@tch Annette Heels
Sim: Serenity Gardens

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Idea of Schedules

In the real world, schedules dictate anything and everything from when we brush our teeth to what we grab for dinner. At least in the US, it's progressed to the point where not being early for things is considered late in some circles, but especially for business. People use a lot of different methods to handle it. For some people, its a shift schedule. For others, it's giving themselves project deadlines to stick to.

The main schedule in SL is social. Whether its SL live music, DJ sets, weddings, or activities put on by groups, the scheduling is a lot less tight, and promptness is only a plus, not a requirement. Sets wander into overtime, and activities wander for as long as there's interest. It's a difference from the real world, that's for sure, and that's not even mentioning all the things one avatar can get into without anyone else.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Oleander Oz
Clothing: [Liv Glam] Dance Moon, JCNY Aires Birthstone Necklace
Sim: My home  Prop and Pose: Exposeur

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Home

Home in the real world is an abstract concept. The physical place is often not where we think it is, or how we envisioned as children since there are only so many resources to go around. The emotional and spiritual place though is something we make for ourselves, and that's almost always harder than finding the physical manifestation of home we want.

I have a home in SL that I've designed around my interests. This move around, I picked seasons for my theme. I've built a higher path home, and a gothic one too in the past. It's easy to find things in my inventory to work with spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Then all I have to do is relax in it, show it whom I want, and change things as I find fit. For example, I recently started adding elements of a photo studio to it. It still feels like more when I'm around the people I enjoy.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Heartbeat
Clothing: -Tres Blah- Ken Kimono, Grumble Jean Shorts Butterfly, ::DBL:: Forever Angel Celestite wing, Reign Stacy Wedges
Sim: My home  Prop and Pose: Exposeur

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Eternal Mystery

Bonding with people is one of the unending mysteries. There's a meme that goes around social media periodically saying something along the lines of "Friendship is weird, you just pick a human and go do things." How long we tend to do so is a mystery, as is why we do it, apart from humans being social creatures.

Sending ourselves out into the virtual world, like the real world, takes effort and planning. Then we still have to pick other humans, determine what we want to do with them, and how far we want to go. When it's all thought through consciously, it's a marvel we actually do anything at all with others. It's so difficult to form the bond, yet so frequent to break them.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Rewind
Clothing: Sn@tch Impulse Mini, Sn@tch Laced Sweater, Emo-tions The Promise
Sim: My home  Prop and Pose: Exposeur

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nerd in a Virtual World

I fully admit to being a nerd, and at times a geek too. It's just part of me, and I have the random bits of knowledge and obscure TV series to go with it. In the real world, it's not quite as easy to pick people out. After all, TV quotes don't always fit into professional conversation, or even unprofessional conversation.

When we wander into a virtual world, we get all kinds of interesting features. I have a friend who dedicated a whole page on her public profile to Firefly quotes, for example. It's also easier to bring up in text. Since people in SL tend to talk about anything and everything under the sun, it comes up in conversation more even though people can't see the (in my case) glasses. It's difficult to feel awkward when you're pretty sure the person on the other end watches a fair bit of TV too.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Rewind
Clothing: Virtual Attire Heart and Soul
Sim: My home  Prop and Pose: Exposeur

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Lady in Red

The lady in red, the siren, the temptation incarnate is a frequent portrayal, if not always in the real world, then it seems to be eternally present in fiction. I'm never quite sure why the siren is frequently the other woman, since there's great value placed on monogamy in the present society.  She's also the frequently viewed through the eyes of love, when around her chosen partner anyway, and lust when she's not. It's an odd paradigm indeed.

Once wandering into the virtual world, it gets more complex. There are more directions to be pulled, and relationships to consider that might not have been otherwise available. There's those who desire only as long as someone else does, and those with too many desires to name. It's often trial, error, and time that brings out the best relationships for each. Picking the ones that bring our the best light long term is its own mystery, but there is so much reward too.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Meadow
Clothing: Sn@tch Jayne Zebra, Chop Zuey The Lazy Mist
Sim: My home  Prop and Pose: Exposeur

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Three of Me





Second life offers us quite a bit of freedom in terms of what we can do. The avatars tend to be reflections of us, and what we want to express. Different people have different ways of going about it. Sometimes it's a true reflection, sometimes it's who they're trying to be. Some people lead two or three separate lives on SL, or not so separate lives. In my case, it's more of what I want to do while I'm online than separate lives since anyone who knows my alts knew my main avatar first.

I have a main avatar like most people, I spend the vast majority of my time on her. I have one alt because I needed time away from certain people. There's the name holder avatar I started recently too. In a way it's three different facets of me, with one facet more prominent over the others in each avatar.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Surprise
Clothing:*Fishy Strawberry* Yvonne, .*.CPD.*. Alchemist Blessing

Skin: Noya Myriam
Eyes: Noya Ocean Orange Hair: Magika Love Song
Clothing: Sn@tch Suspect Bustier, Apple May Mistress skirt, Tekeli-li Lantern Earrings, Fierce Serpentine Shoes, Bewitched Moon, Mistwood Necklace

Skin: Noya Lola
Eyes: Noya Mediterranean  Hair: Truth Ami
Clothing: Lavian Turning Tables, ::PM:: Frozen Dew Earrings, HOC Industries Noir Stilettos

Sim: My home  Poses and Prop: Exposeur

Saturday, July 9, 2016

High Summer



We've really got me down to the warmest part of the year around here. Being outside when the sun is up is difficult, and the humidity is quite something. Of course, its also the time of year when the songs are written about partying and beaches and those sorts of things, though I'm never quite sure why. Maybe that's because bugs seem to find me tasty, so outdoors became a place to visit rather than live.

Then we get into SL, where the temperature and the humidity are never a concern about being outside. Indeed, Christmas beach parties are a thing at some establishments. It's perfectly normal to go on a wander and end up floating down a river, or in some people's case, to go skiing naked. It's quite a bit of a contrast, but also a lot closer to the songs than real life turns out to be often. The flip side, of course, is that real life has more direct contact with people in the outdoors.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: .:Soul:. Ranitomeya Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Rewind
Clothing: Foxes Tassle kini, Acios Anklets
Sim: Warm Springs

Friday, July 8, 2016

She's My Kind of Rain

There's so much to being attached to people. In real life, there's all kinds of rituals associated with getting to know someone, whether as a friend or more than. In a way it's like an unwritten rule book, break the rules and the rest wonder what's wrong with you. It's quite odd to look at from the outside actually, kind of like watching TV from a few decades back today.

In a virtual world like Second Life, some people choose to mirror the real life aspects of getting to know people, while others do not. It's more of picking humans and declaring yourselves friends, and then working out exactly what that means. There's more brain involved when there's no body to judge on, since even the best person will judge subconsciously. It’s much easier to pick people as people without that input, and to start to love them at times too.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Take Feet: Slink
Clothing: Wicked Claire Ocean, Purplemoon Arehra
Sim: My home  Pose and Props: Exposeur

P.S. She's My Kind of Rain is a song by Tim McGraw: Watch on Youtube

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cages

Everyone wants to be free, or to believe they are anyway. There's a saying that goes around sometimes, "One can be bound in the tightest chains and still be a free man." In the real world, it's the routines and mindsets that bind us most frequently. They're little things we don't think about, and it frequently never crosses our mind to change them.  In a sense, we form our own cages in our thoughts.

Similar things happen in SL. We get bound in our group of friends, our favorite clubs, and our homes. Sure we get into shenanigans, but it's usually with our friends too. Exploring beyond what we do so well seems pointless when we're content, and the risk never quite seems to pay off in happiness. So we go back to our familiar places, and stay far from where we would otherwise stray. In this manner, we build ourselves just as surely into cages as in the real world.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Blame
Clothing: Sn@tch Secret Sweater Dress, Sn@tch Floral Top Stockings, KK Silver Filigree Moon Earrings, Holly Millie Suede Boots, AdN Dope Wristbands
Sim: My home  Pose and Props: Exposeur

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Music in a Virtual World

Music is about as close to a universal language as humans are probably going to get to anytime soon. Music conveys emotion and concepts better than a thousand words could. Those carry over into the virtual world as well, possibly more so since there's less to judge on. There's three main different types of music in SL, when it comes down to it.

First there's the radio music, the kind that's just set to lands that no one really monitors. Then there's the stuff that goes in on clubs. Clubs come in all shapes and sizes, and most attempt to keep to a genre of music. Most clubs don't run 24/7 and revert to radio in off hours. DJs usually play prime time in SL and expand from there. It's fun to go to the sets, usually local chat has something or another interesting besides. Sometimes it's even fun to test the DJs with particularly obscure requests. Then there's live music, where folks come on and sing. Popularity and draw generally influence where they perform, with the more popular taking places in venues specializing all live music.

I personally am not always the biggest fan of live music in SL. Sometimes it just flat out doesn't do it for me. DJs are fun, but of course vary wildly in what they do specifically. Some just run the songs end to end, while others smooth out transitions and are very witty on air. The generic radios though I rarely listen to, since I can simply run my own music and skip around as I like. Any atmosphere must also be weigh the people contributing though, and that alone can make anything interesting.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Soonsiki Treasure
Clothing: Oddworld Clothing Salsa Rhythm, Needful Pixel Music Notes Jewelry
Sim: Serenity Gardens  Pose: Exposeur

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bloodlines

The Bloodlines system is one of many things to do in Second Life, though admittedly it can be one of the more social aspects. I personally wander in and out of the system, but that's me. For some, it becomes an all consuming passion, for others it's something they'd like to forget ever happened.

The way Bloodlines works is simple enough, or at least in theory. It's HUD based, one purchases it to play. Once the HUD is on, the play begins. Each person starts with a 'soul', the first person to bite them gets the soul. From there souls can be moved between people either by willing transfers or forcibly by a potion. Many people place their souls in their liege's hands, but not always.

The lieging and clans are what make bloodlines social. A person picks their liege, and can choose to change at any point. All their statistics roll upward in the system based on lieging. Ultimately the lines of lieging form clans, with the king/queen not lieged to anyone else. Clans usually attempt to develop a family atmosphere, complete with welcome parties for newcomers and clan land. Of course, where there's groups, there's competition to be the biggest clan.

There are some who take the clan thing very far, to the point of starting feuds with other clans and causing bad blood between people. There are also people who send random requests to bite, which most consider very rude behavior, in an attempt to gain souls. Then there are people like me, who drift in and out as it suits. It's no longer quite as imperative to me to participate, even though my closest families and some of my best friends have come from the bloodlines system.

For more information on bloodlines, visit SL Bloodlines

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Blame Feet: Slink
Clothing: Sn@tch Consensual Behavior, Sn@tch Anette Heels
Sim: My home  Prop: Exposeur The Keyhole

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why I Hunt

Second Life makes many pastimes available to its participants. These vary in how many participants are required, and some have some flexibility. One of my favorite pastimes in SL is hunting, for any number of reasons. It's easy to do in solitude, but more amusing to do in a group.

At any given time, there are a dozen or more grid wide hunts going on, a plethora of sim wide hunts, and a goodly number of fairs. It's ample diversion for the middle of the night, and there's a certain rhythm to it that's calming.

Then there's the rewards. It's not quite the same as shopping, but it's a whole lot cheaper. Hunting also takes me to stores that I would not have found otherwise, some of whom I started visiting regularly. Of course, there is a significant expansion of inventory until I have time to go through it, but that's another story.

For more on hunting: Hints on Hunts in Second Life

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Mint
Clothing: Lavian Can't Smile Without You
Sim: My home  Prop: Exposeur Hex Wall

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer

Summer is the season most people look forward to all year. I can't really blame them either, since I only rarely see the sun in winter. Every year we don't remember what humidity is though, or what high noon in July feels like. The other thing about summer is always water, since it has to be warm to be in the pools and swimming spots for extended periods of time.

In SL there is no temperature limit on water, nor on when the beaches are open. There's still something about visiting a beach in the summer as opposed to doing it in midwinter. There are quite a few options around the grid, and each one has a different feel to it. Water especially changes a lot with the environment settings, which the users can play with further. It's so much easier to be somewhere on a beach in virtual reality.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Soul Ranitomeya Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: Magika Luxe
Clothing: Erratic Natasha Monokini
Sim: Baja Sands  Pose and Prop: Elefante Poses - Addy

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Magic

Magic is just science we don't understand yet ~Arthur C. Clarke

There's a lot of magic in the world, and I'm not just talking about the magic shows. There's much that people don't grasp about the world around them. There's also things we may never be able to explain, like why people fall in love. There's one mystery we'll probably never understand.

When we jump into user created virtual reality like SL, magic is in the fantastic. Anyone can theoretically learn to build with prims, sculpts, and mesh.  Yet a lot of people choose to enjoy other aspects of the virtual world. Prim twisting to them is magic. There's scale and detail and feats though that many see only when someone else's imagination gives it form.

So, the summer solstice is today, combined with the full moon. It's a time of magic indeed to those who choose to be open to the wonder.

Photo references:
Body: Maitreya Lara Skin: Mangomoon Kensi Ears: Mandala Skeking
Eyes: Fate Makeup: Sn@tch Underworld  Hair: .Olive. The Shiny
Clothing: Envious White Magic
Sim: Kingdom of Alurel  Pose and Prop: Elefante Poses