Archive for June, 2010

June 29th, 2010: Carrie Lexington

June 29, 2010

Today I am in a whirlwind of home visits, trying to touch base with my clients before my vacation.  I will be off work for 1.5 weeks, and I’m trying reduce the amount of voice messages and emails I will be returning to at work.

I forgot to book an agency vehicle, so I’m taking public transit.  I travel from one end of the city to the other, using my travel time to write my casenotes between visits.   As I pass downtown, I look up from my notes to observe the boarded up store fronts and protest graffiti from last weekend’s G8/G20 world leaders summit.  The violence that occurred during the summit was disturbing, however, today it’s back to business as usual.

Casenotes… my head is a jumbled mess of problems, dilemmas, and crises to find solutions for.  No wonder I have an aversion to drama in SL… I see enough of it at work.

Finally, my work day ends and my thoughts turn to my children. Did my son have his afternoon nap? What kind of snack are we going to have when we get home? Last day of school for my daughter, I don’t have to make lunch in the morning anymore!

We have a quick bite to eat, tidy up and sit down to find something to watch… Alice in Wonderland

With the kids settled, I log in to SL, knowing I won’t have much time in-world before I get them ready for bed.  But it’s enough to clear group notices, respond to an IM or two and get my SL fix.

I have been feeling less and less inclined to log in SL for long periods. Summer is here… outdoor activities and weekend trips keep me busy.  I’m looking forward to vacation and quiet time. Maybe I’ll get some time for SL too… 0n second thought, I would rather sleep-in until noon, swim in the lake with my kids, go for a bike ride, and hiking with my family.
My laptop will stay home this time.  Second Life can wait.  Carrie is going to be there waiting for me when I get back, ready to pick up where we left off.

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Carrie Lexington is a resident of the Costa Rica Sims Estate.  She is a self-proclaimed people watcher, profile stalker, plurk lurker, sometimes blogger, wannabe model, group jumper, freebie collector and general all-around shopaholic. In the atomic world, she works as a Community/Social Worker for a downtown Toronto grassroots agency.  Active in the social justice movement, her life’s work is dedicated to improving the lives of Aboriginal(Native American) children and their families in Canada. She also spends a good chunk of her spare time breaking up fights between her own kids… damn sibling rivalry.

June 28th, 2010: Eva Bellambi

June 28, 2010

When I sit at my dressing table in the real world and peer into the glass I see a woman with fairly distinct smile lines at her eyes, but those eyes still sparkle and light up when she is happy.  I see someone who has two intelligent, beautiful young daughters, who has achieved many of her professional goals, and has several hobbies that entertain her.  I see the woman who thought that her life was quite full before May 28, 2006.

Now peering into the glass that is Second LIfe, I see a slightly different reflection.  The woman in this mirror – Eva – is me too.   This woman is younger by a few years, has fewer physical flaws, but is most certainly me.  Eva has given me a way to reflect pieces of my personality that had not been visualized – or perhaps had been long forgotten – in the day-to-day that is real life.

May 28, 2006 is the day that Eva Bellambi first rezzed into this brave new world in all her Ruth-like glory.  And while, like many avatars, Eva got off to a slow and tenuous start, she eventually found her voice (my voice) as a fearless explorer, a story-teller, a romantic, an event planner & hostess, a clan chieftainess, an ironclad boat captain.  Through her, I found a way to fill some voids that were in that life I though was already full.

Today, I found myself in world only briefly,  I checked messages and took care of a few bits of business that required my attention.  I admitted to myself that I seem to be in an SL middle-age slump.  “Where is the adventure?  Where are the games now afoot?  What events do I wish to plan?”

But perhaps the beauty of this reflective relationship between Eva and me, is that while I am not experiencing new and exciting things right now in world, the real world is providing lovely experiences for me.

We are not yet finished, Eva and I.  We have much more to do – in both worlds.

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Eva Bellambi is a resident of Winterfell Anodyne and has been an active citizen of the Steamlands of SL.  She is the Lady of Skye, Clan Chieftainess of Clan Bellambi, & the Duchess of Loch Avie.  Her typist is a Registered Nurse, and a program manager at an academic medical center in the eastern United States, and enjoys singing, reading, skiing.

June 27th, 2010: Summer Deadlight

June 27, 2010

I converted to the online world many years ago.  I found myself much happier to be in front of the computer than to be in front of people.  This is a common concept for many people.  I wondered over the years if this is my fear of others, insecurities about myself, or whether the concept of who I am is better expressed in a place where I’m looked at for my personality, thoughts and emotions without the prejudices of that physical judgment.  Whatever the reason, fifteen years later I have realized that I have lost fifteen years that I can never reclaim.  Do I regret being a digital girl? Not one minute.  What I regret is that my choice of one experience has left me wondering what the other experience could have been.

I recently returned to school in a serious nature.  I have declared a major in Human Services and I am taking courses to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor.  I have a personal history filled with stories of alcohol, drug, food, sex, smoking addictions and I can add internet to that list. 12 Step anyone?  I took a big step back these last few months because I realized that real life had passed me by and I began to wonder about the things that go on there.  People who hang out together, have dinner, laugh, family get-together’s, Holidays, dates, first kisses, going on vacation, going to a club, laying on a blanket in the park, reading books, calling friends, having favorite television shows, and other activities that seem foreign to me.

I have done these things somewhat, just in the world of 0’s and 1’s; binary me.  Does that count? Is it too late to feel truly human? I have found love, companionship, friendship, community, emotions, and bonds with online people, people I don’t see or touch, much more fulfilling than walking outside my door.  I tried real life recently, I made tentative friends, watched TV, read some books, had coffee and dinner out; it was like a vacation.  I find myself back home now, Digital Girl, Digital World.  Today, June 27, this is me.  This is who I am; and it’s wonderful.

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Summer Deadlight is a virtual Model, online DJ, Writer, Poet, Mentor, and Founder of Runway Kidz in SL, sometimes photographer, sometimes blogger, who lives on the Second Life grid and in Azeroth- Horde4Life kthx.  She has been partnered with Tiago Morales for 18 months online, and they hope to try that real life world together someday.  Real life she is a non-traditional student, works at a call center,  lives with her two cats Trixie and Winky, loves 80s and 90s era of music and is a registered tribal member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi.  Her worlds are blended with a preference for the digitized version of herself.  [Matrix Brushes used in photo by http://peristrophe.deviantart.com/%5D

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Hallie Galli

June 26th, 2010: Hallie Galli

June 26, 2010

I tried to write this blog post several times before the due date. I realized that if I was going to be honest and open, it would mean I would have to just sit at the computer and write what came naturally.  So, I erased all the previous “rough drafts” I had and sat down.

Today was what I’m hoping every Saturday is like for me.  I woke up and did some errands before 10am.  They include your basic food shopping and picking up prescriptions that I hadn’t had a chance to get to during the work week, followed by some laundry and a nice nap.  After writing that, it seems really boring but I enjoy the routine in it.

What I like most about SL is that I can choose to interact with people on my own terms.  I can be as social or be a hermit as much as I want.  I keep a very tight-knit group of friends in SL that know me, the person behind the computer screen.  My SL has really just kind of merged into my real life and it’s great.  Whether it’s spending a night playing omgpop with some friends, trying to keep a straight face when buying lingerie and a stepladder with Apatia, blogging with Trevor, holding hands with Gage shopping for little Kidrobot toys, finding stores for the Starlust or talking with Melatonin on the phone about my day.

I have a new condo that I bought about a month ago.  I broke off my engagement and moved out of my ex fiance’s house.  I’m still trying to figure out what the little hums and creaks are of the place.  I don’t understand what switches go to what lights and the toilet upstairs pisses me off every single day.  My cat has finally adjusted and leaves his toys all over.

For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m home.  I just hope I don’t turn into an old single cat lady.

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Hallie Galli is a 33-year-old living in Connecticut with her cat Jack.  On SL, she is the rental manager of the Starlust Motel and a blogger when she’s in the mood.  In RL, she works in the insurance industry and knows far too much about insurance than any normal person should.  She loves iced tea, handbags, Jack, Boston rolls and a really good book.  If she loses her internet for more than 10 minutes, you will find her rocking back and forth in the dark corner of her office mumbling to herself.

June 25th, 2010: Lavea Alter

June 25, 2010

Work.  RL work.  SL work.  Most days I feel that’s all I do.  Well, that and take care of my dogs.  Oh, and my dad.  Luckily, SL work is my joy…most days.  Today Addi and I rented a new satellite space.  I spent a bit too much time searching for a shop for it with success!  Odd that something so benign can make me so happy.  Almost three years in SL, and I am still overtaken by some of the beauty that is created in SL.   I’m also disappointed in some of the ugly SL has but that’s just like RL, isn’t it?

SL is my pipeline to my RL sanity, namely Addison Mortlock.  It has been a means for us to hang out even when we can’t be together to truly hang out.  My RL and SL days just aren’t right if I haven’t seen Addi.  I also don’t feel right unless a certain Cat has hugged me far too many times each day.  I’m chuckling now at how odd it sounds that 3-D images hugging is an important part of my dad.

Today wasn’t much different in RL for me than most days and yet it was better than most…all because of some digital barbies.

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Lavea Alter is a RL work-from-home contractor that spends far too much time staring at computer screens for her RL and her SL.  She also spends way too much time taking care of other beings and not enough taking care of herself.

June 24th, 2010: Thadeous Drucker

June 24, 2010

She said I have ADD.

I woke up this morning at 3:00 A.M. to my housemate yelling at a drunken stranger to get out of the house. Tonight I’ll try to remember to lock the doors. I went back to bed. I dreamt my good friend murdered someone. It made me feel really uncomfortable. I haven’t been able to shake this feeling all day. I need to call him before I go to bed. I woke up at 5 A.M. and did three loads of laundry and had a shower. I had to go to the city today for a job interview. It went well. Despite the fact that I’m a criminal, I interview well. Maybe that can only take you so far. I need to become a more productive citizen. Before leaving town I had to stop at a shop and pick up to breakfast biscuits to be delivered to a friend in Seattle post interview. Breakfast biscuits transport well for 90 miles. My doctor called, it’s not broken. I need to remember ice and ibuprofen. I stopped by a fruit stand and purchased 30 ears of corn and ten pounds of potatoes. I need to remember to buy butter and sour cream.  Then I drove a little further and stopped at an outlet mall. I purchased two new pairs of sneakers and a new backpack for my dog. I need to remember to go to the hardware store so I can build him a dog run at the camp site. A man yelled at me and he said USE YOUR BLINKER. I thought it’s a turn signal. A blinker is a baby name for a turn signal. I came home to a topless lesbian sitting with my topless neighbor. I simply shook my head then checked my laundry. I need to remember to get more detergent.  I took my dog and we went to a large chain store.  A lady yelled at me to pull up my pants. I wanted to talk with her about judgment. I went to my uncles, played basketball with some kids, prepped meals for 40 and now I’ve taken the time to write.

I’m fading fast.

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Thadeous Drucker is from a tiny town in the Pacific Northwest just outside of Seattle called Oreopollis. He believes he is a super hero and he spends his days coloring on walls reading the news, trading mixtapes shopping at the market, and overseeing the disillusionment of young children. He also likes riding bikes and eating salsa.

June 23rd, 2010: Zippora Zabelin

June 23, 2010

The last week of June tends to make me contemplative. Maybe it’s because my birthday is in this week, but perhaps it’s just because I’ve been a teacher for most of my professional life and June always was the time of finishing things and making plans for the next school year. Fact is that June has been a time of change for me in the past years.

In June 2007 I spent my last days as a teacher. My temporary contract was not extended and I was relieved, because after thirteen years I was fed up with the job. It was not completely coincidental that I was also severely addicted to Second Life at the time. But then, within a week,  I met two people in Second Life who would change my life forever.

The first was a storyteller in both first and second life. I was carried away by his stories and amazed to hear that one could actually tell stories as a real life job. It sounded like a dream to me.
A few days later I met the man who would become my partner in SL and a very close friend in first life. He encouraged  me to chase my dreams in first life instead of online and he was right.

Two years ago – in June 2008 – I gathered my courage and registered my own business at the chamber of commerce. My main activity: storytelling in schools and child centers.
June 2009 was another milestone, when I finished an intense storytelling training and had my first performance in front of an adult audience, an exciting experience which after that  has been repeated regularly.

And now it’s June again. My business is not profitable yet, but gradually it grows. Most important for me is that I can do what I love to do and I can be myself, something that I’ve partially learned through Second Life.
A couple of weeks ago I made another step when  I told a story in English for the first time.  I did this in the place where it all began: in Second Life, in June.

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Zippora Zabelin has been in SL since January 2007 without any particular achievements, but landscaping her own modest home. In first life she lives a rather normal life in the Netherlands with her husband and two sons.  She regularly shares her pondering about this bi-worldly existence on http://zipporaslife.blogspot.com

June 22nd, 2010: Annechen Lowey

June 22, 2010

The muse is inattentive today. Building seems flat, and though I have much to construct, it a chore to log in. Not because of a fight with a friend, or even the technical difficulties we often have.

It is worry. Life is fleeting, beauty is transient, but I hope we have more time than the layoffs seem to indicate. From the rumors flying about, the Investors want their money. I honestly think most of them do not understand that the residents do want the grid, but  if we left, why would they need the servers?

The people who are going seem to be popular with residents, not that the opinions of the average resident seems to count anymore. I understand that we are not important to the management. I have had my nose rubbed in it often enough, the average resident does not matter to the ones In Charge. But I will be sad when the whole thing collapses on their heads.

Not because they did not know it would happen. We have told them often enough, but since we are not Large Corporations, they have little regard for our opinions. We are annoying grains of sand. Yet they do not see the pearls that grow around each grain. Each grasping maneuver to get more money for the Investors alienates another resident, and they leave. Some take a break and come back, but the numbers of those returning are not growing. A new user interface is not the answer, but the ones In Charge do not get it. After all, the one at the top of the heap does not visit except for photo opportunities. He does not get the fact that Relay For Life of Second Life has raised L$33800802 so far this year, except that the Investors are not getting that money.

I hope that the Lindens being let go find success and bliss. I hope that perhaps they can follow their dreams, that they are not going to be out of work long. I hope they do not have to look for work for two years, like some of us have been.  I hope things change, and for the better, soon.

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Annechen Lowey is a resident of Caledon Kittiwickshire, Steelhead Harborside, and Winterfell Absinthe. Though she may share some characteristics with the one at the keyboard, she is not the same person as the out-world agent. While this separation may confuse some people, it makes for some rather interesting conversations, most of which are unprintable.

June 21st, 2010: Cheyenne Palisades

June 21, 2010

I love to stand on the wooden platform on Whimsy Kaboom, looking out over the sea at lovely palm-covered islands in the distance and watching the resident humpback cavorting nearby.

I love to travel to the robot sanitorium high above and watch visitors pressing levers and trading in their puny bioforms for shiny metal robot bodies.

I love to snuggle with my sweetie in our home in the sky, watching television and hatching absurd plans for intricate steampunk machinery and freebies that run away from their new owners and self-propelled brooms.

I love to indulge my creativity by rezzing a simple cube and turning it into a torii gate or a giant bobbing bird or a catapult or dilapidated and leaky SCUBA gear.

I love to challenge myself by animating my prims with scripts, making them turn and clank and move and emit fireworks or smoke.

I love to listen to live music without having to leave my home and see art from around the world or dance with friends, just a teleport away.

I love to see things sublime and laugh at things silly, to see the amazing creative works of people like me.

I love having met my sweetie in world. I love having a Second Life partner who has now been my real-life partner for more than three years.

I love to be eaten by predatory flowers, stalked by zombies, and to have the airship in which I’m flying disintegrate about me while apologizing for not being stocked with parachutes.

I love looking at objects in the carbon world and estimating how many prims it would require to build them.

I could and do indulge my tastes for beauty and ridiculousness and love in the carbon-based world, but only in Second Life can I have it all, instantaneously and for free—or almost free—or for a substantial monthly payment, which is my choice.

Second Life has certainly not replaced my carbon life, but it has assuredly enhanced it, bringing me new skills, endless entertainment, and for the first time in many years, love.

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Cheyenne Palisades has lived in two worlds since October, 2006. She resides on the Whimsy sims with her semi-anonymous partner Sweetie. Chey and Sweetie are the creative force behind the Whimsy Kaboom robot sanitarium, home for the many mentally malfunctioning mechanoids of the Metaverse. In their carbon lives, they live 850 miles apart, but manage tp spend lots of time visiting one another.

Chey has been a writer and editor for many years. Her Second Life blog can be found at http://cheyennepal.blogspot.com.

June 20th, 2010: Addison Mortlock

June 20, 2010

I created my Second Life because of a former friend… but I stayed because of Rose. That’s not her real name, but it is what we call each other. It’s an inside joke that makes me laugh and smile. I don’t always do a lot of that. Laughing and smiling are sometimes hard for me. But today is Rose’s birthday and she brings joy to my worlds.

We live about four hours apart in our first lives. It’s really hard to be that far from each other. SL allows us to spend time together every day if we wish. We can sit in the same room and go about our business, chatting when we feel like doing so. Most times, we start typing out of the blue at the same time, about the same thing. It’s generally something outrageous such as comparing another friend’s opensim location to the Mirror of Erised. Or being stabby. Or perhaps being able to turn other people into worshipping piles of goo just by speaking to them.

My Rose is having a horrible day today, but we have talked on the phone a few times and I hope that I have made her smile at least once. Rose, you are my rock, my sanity, my very best friend in the entire world. I do not know what I would do without you.

So here’s to you, DR and June. Thank you for giving me the perfect rose, stabby thorns and all.

Love you, Rose.

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Addison Mortlock is a bartender, mother, grandmother and wife in her first life and a real pain in the butt in her second life. As the co-owner and marketing manager for A-BOMB, she lives to force her business partners to refine each product before it is released.