March 1st, 2011: Trace Osterham – Postscript

March 1, 2011

It’s a glorious, hyperdigitalized mundus novus.

 

Born demigods, we inhabit a world which we construct using nothing but our inspiration.

No contractual adulthood obligations, no fear of death.

What we choose to avoid, we do so with a single swift motion of the mouse.

 

The problems we face so laughably minuscule compared to what haunts our bodies gazing at the screen.

 

And yet its inhabitants are weary, tired of the opportunities this platform promises.

 

They say we are a purpose-driven generation.

Here, we lack purpose.

 

 

Many find temporary relief in fleeting activities.

Creating hairstyles to adorn the eager fashionistas.

Entertaining endlessly looped dancers with streaming music.

Running a blog comprised of articles from three hundred and sixty five different authors.

 

And yet as time goes by we realize that, in the end, we’re still left without a purpose.

No ultimate goal, no final level to defeat.

 

“Goodbye,” many say, “I’m moving onto the real world. A purpose-filled world, a world where things matter.”

 

 

It sounds good.

 

So I tap Esc-Enter and my viewer comes to a grinding halt

Basking in the now dim glow of my screen, I can’t help but think that all purpose in life is fleeting.

 

And maybe, if the blog served a role in one person’s life, whether it be an emotional outlet or mindless eye fodder for the last 5 dreary minutes of their workday, it wasn’t so fleeting after all.

 

It’s a glorious, hyperdigitalized mundus novus.

I’m content being a fragment of it.

 

____________________

Trace Osterham resides in New York City. He is extremely grateful to every single author who contributed to the blog, whether they signed up months in advance or stepped in last-minute to fill a gap. A small part of him will miss running to the keyboard every day at 8PM.

The End

February 28th, 2011: Vittoria Hancroft

February 28, 2011

5.11am

I’m pretty sure today’s going to be shit.

 

5.57am

I walk into work and realize this is where I’m going to be for the next 13 hours. I decide today is definitely going to be shit.

 

5.58am

It dawns on me that today is in fact, Oscar Night.

 

The Academy Awards. The crowning achievement on many filmmakers’ aspirations list, as well as mine. The closest I’ve come is two degrees of separation, my best friend in RL worked on a film that made the shortlist of nominees for Best Short.

 

12.10pm

I deliver lunch to my favourite. He reminds me of Peter O’Toole, now. He spins his wheelchair to face me, but keeps his eyes on the live telecast.  Ho, hum. I’ll catch the rerun later. He looks up only to smile as I leave.

 

3.42pm

I’m back with afternoon tea.

“Am I going to be happy with Best Film?” I ask.

“I think you’ll be very happy.” He answers with his British croak. That means The King’s Speech. I smile as I leave.

 

7.20pm

I clock out.

 

8ish pm

I log on to the grid. Mr Darcy has left me a very romantic surprise. It’s made my day.

I check in with the Thelma to my Louise, Dailyn. She assures me that it’s no mirage, Mr Darcy is adorable and that she hates my guts. I love her just that little bit more.

 

9.38pm

The Oscars broadcast reruns.

I’ve had the privilege of acquiring many stories in my soon to be 24 years of life. Most of them, I feel too young to tell myself. And so, always moving to a strange new place and not knowing anyone feels like The Secret Garden. Running through rainforests and swimming in open rivers with the local kids, feels like Avatar. Seeing those same kids on the streets on my way to school, feels like Children Underground.

 

I’m hoping one day, to be able to share those stories. I know the people in both my lives will be a big part of that. And maybe one day, at the Oscars, they’ll say “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”

____________________

Vittoria Hancroft is a part time caterer/film school graduate, thus the cliché of a struggling artist. In-world, she’s an amateur fashion and décor blogger for SLidioglossia and an aspiring creator of machinima. Credit: Photo by Dailyn Holfe.

 

 

February 27th, 2011: Phoenix Chapman – Cont’d

February 28, 2011

Today, I’m 33 years old.  I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be when I imagined my older self.  But even in my darkest thoughts, I know it’ll work out somehow. It always does.  I’m embarking on a new adventure soon, hopefully in a new city, hopefully with a decent job that’ll support me as I get the education to eventually leave that job.

Today, my mom and I went out for brunch, my favourite breakfast of eggs benedict included in the buffet.  We found a new apartment for her, and she told me my grandmother didn’t like the new bedding she bought last week, the bedding I’ve been drooling over for months now, and that she wanted to give it to me for my birthday.  We went to visit her in her new room in the old-age home she has to live in, and I feigned surprise as she told me herself about the bedding.  My feelings about my grandmother have changed now in comparison to how I used to feel about her.  I realize she’s as much a victim now as I was 24 years ago by her husband.

Today, I’ve left that victim behind. I’m surrounded by love, even if I don’t always recognize or appreciate it.  I have many things to look forward to, even if it’ll require some hard work on my part. I realize I’m looking forward to that work too.

Today, I have secret things that make me happy in my heart.

Today, I realize I’m still glad to be alive.

____________________

Phoenix Chapman is very busy in SL planning the next shoe fair, writing on her blog & working with her marketing clients. In RL, she is planning her move to Vancouver, BC and the next chapter of her life.

February 26th, 2011: Gauge Laville

February 26, 2011

It’s much less dramatic than one might assume.

The alarm is one long tone, followed by three beeps. There’s calm, quiet, yet swift, movement through the base. The senior medic asks me to drive. I bet there is still some quick-shake piss beaded up on his Teflon coated, Ripstop, pants.  As I close the truck door (We never call it an ambulance.) I spin the mounted laptop towards me and quickly scan the notes. (I really hate Windows.) I always tap the dated touchscreen twice because I’m impatient. The GPS “thinks” as the garage door trades places with a cloudy day.

I shift the automatic diesel into drive and check-in with dispatch.

“Medic 6 en route.”

 

My boots hit the ground and I think about Frogger. Pedestrian versus vehicle is a major mechanism of injury. The pedestrian always loses. The patient is a vagrant so there will be no story on the local news. It looks worse than it is. Blood spreads quickly on concrete and the road looks like a slaughterhouse floor. Fortunately, most of the wounds are superficial. This might be the worst mid-shaft fracture I’ve seen. (Ohai femur!) Jerome is not happy about the traction splint but he’s lucky to be alive. The morphine will ease the pain. His newly reconstructed leg will be worth more than your car. Homey D. Wolverine will probably be jumping I-40 guard rails again soon.

Meth teeth sure are sexy.

 

I’m not an adrenaline junkie. My heart rate never rose above 58.

(Yes, I’ve checked during emergency traffic.) I’ll think about the cars later and have a hard time recalling how many lanes were closed or if the traffic bunched up in the opposite direction. (Nosey people deserve a kick in the fucking neck.) I can breathe incredibly well. My lungs expand, my chest feels warm, and I smell things I’d rather not. Things slow down. I see so clearly that it feels like the world tilt-shifted around me.

 

I tried to burn it down and build a better me.

I’m getting there and I highly recommend taking a pay cut.

Consider this my status update.

I feel alive… and I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the sun.

____________________

Gauge Laville is a 33-year-old veteran and quite possibly the only person on the planet who doesn’t own a cell phone. (Jerome had one.) His son loves art, football, girls, and music. He will turn 14 in a month and is surprisingly well-adjusted. They are both completely smitten with an 8 pound Italian Greyhound who prances around the house like a princess on crack. He’s contemplating reopening his store, +blacklisted+ , because virtual fashionistas “need” good t-shirts. He might post again on ThisIsYourSecondLife. He will most certainly continue entertaining himself, and annoying the easily annoyed, on his plurk. ˚That Guy˚ has told everyone he works for, and with, he’s not sold on that Tactical Medic position. He’s hasn’t embraced carrying a weapon again. Deep down inside he knows he’ll eventually take the job and be damn good at it.

February 25th, 2011: Amaliscious Destiny

February 25, 2011

I hate dreaming of you. I hate waking up and realizing it was just a dream and you’re not here. I hate remembering that you will never be here again.

Today it has been two years. Your smile has faded in my memory, your laugh has grown distant, and your voice is only a whisper. Your last day will haunt me until it is my last day. For months I took care of you. I prayed you would miraculously get better. That day never came. I wanted your birthday to be something special. I knew it would be your last, I just didn’t realize how soon after it would be.

February 25, 2009 was the hardest day of my adult life. That was the day my Dad finally decided to “let go”. I had taken care of him for months, and am grateful I was able to be there in that moment, no matter how it haunts me. I have always been afraid of death and sickness. People say death is peaceful, but it’s not. It’s slow and agonizing. I watched him struggle to breathe, and then gasp for that one last breathe. I remember holding my breath trying to go through it with him so he wouldn’t be alone. Watching his eyes glazed over, him lift his hand reaching out for whoever was there to take him to the “other side”. Death is the most helpless feeling in the world. Watching someone you love fight to stay alive, even in that final moment. In the end, you are alone. No matter who is there holding your hand. That moment haunts my every thought. I re-live that day over and over in my head trying to remember every detail. So many things I wish I could have said. I miss your laugh, the way you said “Oh man!”. I know heaven has the coolest angel there is now, converse and all.  I just hope you knew how much I loved you. ☜❤☞

…Icing on a cake

____________________

Amaliscious Destiny is the owner of La’Licious Designs. In RL,she resides in the Midwest with her husband of 19 yrs, and their 4 children.

February 23rd, 2011: Crys Lexenstar – Cont’d

February 23, 2011

I lost track of 2365 and before I knew it, it was about to wrap up shop!  So here is my continued entry.  It’s quite a bit different than the last, but at least I’m going out on a better note.

Second Life took a whole new meaning towards the end of 2010.  Not only did I open up my very own (first) store, but I met someone that has become a staple in my life… be it real or virtual.

I met my SL partner during one of those “OMG I’m bored” moments.  You know, when you do something stupid like TP to Korea to make fun of noobs and laugh at the bling, facelights, & bad fashion sense?  But to my own surprise, I ended up on cam in TinyChat with a group of those random strangers and I guess I got lucky because he just happened to be one of them.   Since that night, we have been inseparable.

Exactly 4 months later (Happy Anniversary sweetheart!), I can say that SL has changed my life (first AND second) for the better.  I met Ayden on a whim and it has become more than I could ever have imagined. He has brightened my day more than anyone has ever done, he has shown me that there are truly wonderful men out there, and more importantly, he has not only broken down the wall I once had up, but he has conquered it and loved me more than I could have ever asked for.  Now, everyday that passes, I constantly ask myself how the hell I got so lucky.

I feel that it always takes something or someone to change your life and lead you down a greener path, and well, Ayden was the one who took my hand and did just that.

____________________

Crys Lexenstar is enjoying being 30, still residing in the snow-covered state of Michigan (albeit for just a lil while longer), and loving every minute with her partner, Ayden.   *raises her glass in the air*  Here’s to 2011, its only going to get better!

 

February 22nd, 2011: Arianna Earst – Cont’d

February 22, 2011

Lying there in bed this morning, I started pondering my current state of being. It’s something I do a lot but I try not to do too often because I get very overwhelmed by my thoughts. I feel like I am floating between two parallel worlds and I have a finger in one world and a toe in the other. It’s an unsettling feeling. It’s as if I am waiting for “something” to happen in my life and my world is on pause. I am trying to enjoy my life as I know that any day can be my last but it’s becoming increasingly difficult. I need to know that I am living each day with a purpose and right now, I don’t feel that way at all.

It’s nice to know that I have a purpose in Second Life and sometimes that fills the void for the short term but that quickly ends when I return to “First Life”. I do have long term goals, but I am struggling to create the small steps that lead up to the top. Coming from a world that was filled with activities, plans and goals… I am beginning to get lost in this new place. I realize it won’t be like this forever but when will it end? Will it be when I least expect it? It’s the questions and the unknown of this whole experience that I am uncomfortable with right now. I think most people would feel that way too, so that kind of comforts me to know I am not floating alone.

____________________

Arianna Earst loves learning new things and is constantly curious and inquisitive about the world around her. It excites her to know that there is always something to learn until the day she leaves this earth. She has been in Second Life for the past two years and has recently begun dabbling in fashion blogging and tries to write in her personal blog when she isn’t stuck in her own head.

 

February 21st, 2011: Mouse Mimistrobell

February 21, 2011

Yesterday, I buried my older sister.  She passed away in April of last year, of an accidental drug overdose. We had a memorial service at the time, but the confusion and disagreement was such that it took 10 months to come to agreement on her final resting place.  She had a terrible disease which no amount of love or caring could cure.  In the confusion and grief of her death, I became, “the person in charge.”  Well, I’ve actually been that for a long time now.  When it became clear 7 years ago that she would be unable to raise her three children, my husband and I adopted them.  It’s been a long 10 months, in which it was hard to talk about what happened, or try to explain the long story of what it was like to become a mother overnight to any but my closest friends who already knew.

In the morning before I left for the funeral, I had a text from Kess, saying, “if you need me, call.”

I’ve been fortunate there were people in my life that I didn’t have to explain to.  They accepted and understood my anger, grief, and paralysis.  Those people are my friends in Second Life.  I couldn’t speak my grief out loud to anyone other than my husband in my real life.  A part of me felt that if I fell apart, my family and kids would too, so I had to hold it together.  But being able to type it out, and have my friends listen and offer love and acceptance, that has made all the difference in the world.

Yesterday was closure, for my family and especially the kids that are now mine more than ever, and who embody the best parts of both my sister and I hope, myself.   So I want to thank my friends who gave me the gift of their time, Kess, Avi, Lizzie and Hethr.  There is a level of acceptance and comfort in the Second Life community that means so much to me, and I really want to acknowledge and recognize it.  It’s helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life.  Thank you.

____________________

Mouse Mimistrobell is a builder and shop owner in Second Life and a wife and the mother of three teenagers in Real Life.

 

 

February 20th, 2011: SugarKane Gumbo

February 20, 2011

Of everything I’ve learned  (and haven’t learned) I know that nothing can complete your life or have you feel like you have a purpose quite like love.  The number 23 is a special number to me, the 23rd is the day I met my first true love.

Flashback 13 years ago: I was 18 years old and knew exactly what I was going to do with my life.   I was in college studying music composition, with full confidence I would be one of the next great composers of our generation and my fiance, the first true love in my life had been offered a football scholarship – heading straight toward the NFL.  Life was about as perfect as can be for an 18  year old, and we were dreamers; nothing could go wrong – or so I thought.  Only 3 months later did reality finally hit me.   The love of my life died suddenly and my world came crashing down.  I lost my music scholarship, and stopped attending college.   The pain seems like a dream today, but I understand now – what a miracle it was that I survived.  I began working at the first job I found hoping I would save up enough money to return to school within 1-2 years.  I dated, but I never truly loved again.

6 years ago I found myself falling in love again.   Truly falling in love.  Butterflies in the stomach, head over heels kind of love.  He is my best friend, the one that thinks the same thoughts at the same time, makes the same jokes about something we see, understands me more than anyone else in this world.

I know I am lucky to have found 2 great loves of my life.  I didn’t become the next great composer of my generation as planned.  But, I found love. Nothing else seems to matter now.  Afterall, in the end… Love is all you need.

____________________

SugarKane Gumbo

 

February 19th, 2011: Alicia Chenaux – Cont’d

February 19, 2011

The older I get, the more I really appreciate the small things.  A really great glass of sweet tea.  A nice smelling candle.  A good morning text from someone I love.   It’s like pouring marbles into a glass vase, one at a time, filling it up to the top with goodness.

Today marked one year since my mother went into the hospital.  It was one of the scariest times of my life.  I went without sleep, without food, just to keep an eye on her at the hospital because she needed me.  It started a couple of months of extremely hard moments.  There was not a lot of good in that time, just 3am phone calls, visits to the emergency room, and fights with doctors.  I slept little, ate less, and tried not to completely lose my mind.  But eventually, it passed.  Things got better.  We were all a little battered up, but we survived. So today, my mom and I spent the day shopping and eating.  We laughed about her hospital trip last year, recalling the terrible smell of the hospital food, and how huge the wheelchair she rode on was.  We had fun today.  It was a far cry from last year, but I think if we hadn’t gone through all of that, we could never appreciate all of this.

A package of coconut M&Ms.  A compact of violet scented blush.  A kiss from a puppy and a hug from my parents.  Logging into Second Life and finding a few gifts.  All small things, but all wonderful things.  Each thing like a shiny marble filling up my life.  As the saying goes, my cup runneth over.

____________________

Alicia Chenaux is still writing way too much on various blogs, has terrible taste in TV shows and isn’t ashamed of it, and is still totally in love with her phone.  Since her last post, she’s gotten back on the caffeine, learned how to cook a mean steak, and has discovered the wonders of zumba.


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