Archive for July, 2010

July 31st, 2010: Guenevere DeCuir

July 31, 2010

July 31st, 1938

A date not many people think of, in truth…

And yet it was the day that my mother was brought forth into this world.

For the next 50 years, my mother would face adversity in many forms, and yet still manage to come out fighting. She grew up as an intelligent, “curvy” young woman through the 1940 and 50’s. Despite the social climate of those times, she fought as much as she could to break free from stereotypes. Overcoming an abusive childhood where she was constantly overshadowed by her “perfect” older sister, yet she continually strive to beat the odds and try to make her life better.

Then in 1988, a mere 6 days before her 50th birthday, she lost the greatest battle of her life. Her body… that beautifully curvaceous body… finally gave out as the cancer that was living inside her had won.

I remember hearing her rasping breath echo against the cold hospital walls as she slept. I remember the sun that was trying to break through the thick curtains of the window across the room. I remember how hard the bed next to hers was as I tried to take a nap after sitting with her all morning.

But then the breaths stopped, and the room went eerily silent.

If there’s anything that has been passed onto me by my mother, it’s that I also have had the drive to fight against a close-minded world. I was told I was a horrible writer. I was told I would never be a graphic designer. I was told that having a passion for music, art and philosophy would be worthless in my life. And yet I have all that and more in a little Virtual World where typical social standards and prejudices do not apply.

I often wish that my mother were here to see me today, but I also believe that wherever she may be now… she is proud of who I am and who I have become.

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Guenevere DeCuir is an elf whom channels said passions for music, art and philosophy between way too many freakin’ projects between both Second Life and her Real One. Her alter ego currently resides in Texas but will be moving to the East Coast before the year is out. Oh she did inherit that curvaceous figure, by the way… and wears it proudly.

July 30th, 2010: Ellie Celt

July 30, 2010

There are a lot of great words that start with “S.” Skank, scrotum, soda, salad, sauce, sexy, sanitary napkins, etc. My best friend, Ariel, and I were inspired to write a song about s-words after watching a Zeno Hot Spot commercial, starring one of “The Hills” leading ladies, Whitney Port. Her enunciations are what really did it for us.
“It’s ssssaafe, naturaul, and FDA-ahpropht.”
Afterwards, we talked of how we’d go about shooting the music video, and how our lives will forever be changed when we become Youtube superstars.
At 6 a.m., I finally slept, after trolling /b/ and doodling sketchbook pro. I’d like to think that I dreamt of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but I probably didn’t. Waking up at 1 p.m., I said goodbye to Ariel, after a quickie run to Tim Horton’s for my usual iced coffee.
Loading up the computer, I got a message from an online clothing line I’ve designed for- and found out that they’ll be adding a video I made to their Entourage page.
Feeling pretty pumped over the conversation, I decided it was time to get crackin’ on my SL build for the return of my shop. Long ago (well, a long time in avatar years), I designed hair, accessories, skins, clothes and hybrid items for my store. After years of success, I found myself struggling to maintain its popularity, while attending college to be an animator. But that’s a whole ‘nother ordeal. Regardless, after setting up shop, I reflected on how much I’ve grown in the past few years, and how SL was a huge influence on that change. I’m looking forward to opening my doors in the fall, and showing old (and new) fans who I am, and what I’ve become. Hopefully, I can be as much as of a positive influence to others as SL has been to me.

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Ellie Celt is an open minded sarcastic 24 years old who like to be awkward and laugh really loudly. Most of the time you can find her drawling her cartoons and insulting friends in Detroit Michigan. You can find her work at www.eatrice.org or www.flickr.com/photos/elle_celt.

July 29th, 2010: Cara Geordie

July 30, 2010

My name is Cara, you may know me from Plurk or from seeing me in world.

As most of you may know, I am IP banned.

On July 27th, it was my first full month of not being able to access SL. Like any other day without SL, it’s a dull and boring day. Nothing to do at all, so I just hang around Plurk and talk with my friends. I stay on Plurk because I still want to be around the people whom I love oh so much!

Unfortunately, I did not get age verified which is really stupid of myself. Not being in SL for one month is torture! Like most, I was addicted and starting a business. LL doesn’t have the greatest customer service, and even though the customer service people in LL may lie to you, I know I will get Cara back soon!

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Cara Geordie lives in Northern NJ, and is a very adventurous and ‘outdoorsy’ person. Her real life name is Brianna, nowhere close to her Second Life name Cara. In-world, she enjoys shopping (of course) and hanging out with friends. As far as her favorite food, most of you may know, it’s sushi (hence her plurk timeline title)!

July 28th, 2010: Finn Lawksley

July 28, 2010

One hundred seventy-seven questions.

One hundred seventy-seven questions to figure out what kind of person you are; where your strengths lay.

Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or extrovert? Are you happier remembering the past or contemplating the future? Do you learn something by being shown how or by doing it yourself? Would you rather read or do something athletic? How do you behave at social gatherings – wallflower or social butterfly?

One hundred seventy-seven questions answered to get five descriptive words: Intellection, Learner, Input, Achiever, Connectedness.

I took this “test” today. Is this who I am? These five words and no more? Hardly. And yet… this is what gets done to people every day. They get labeled, judged, elevated for accomplishments that may or may not be their own, or ridiculed for the choices they’ve made, the paths they’ve chosen. There are days we feel boxed in, pushed down, underappreciated. There are days we feel we can fly, that nothing can hurt us, that in the end – it will all be alright. Better.

Everyone has their own reasons for joining Second Life, for continuing to log in – some unique, some not so much so. Some emotionally devastating, some out sheer curiosity, some to escape the world that one hundred seventy-seven questions narrows us down to five descriptive words.

As I sit here thinking of the evening to come in SL, I know that even there amongst the pixels and scripts – people still judge. Just like our offline lives – they persecute and annoy, praise and comfort, sometimes even more strongly than knowing someone face to face. We come across people that we’d rather not deal with, and those we enjoy. And if we’re lucky we find the ones that have an impact on our lives, the ones we look forward to seeing, the ones who touch our hearts.

And now as I think about the day I’ve had so far and am getting ready to log in, I know I’m one of the lucky ones.

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Finn Lawksley is a semi-recent transplant from Orange County, CA to the Monterey Bay area in Northern CA. This thirty-something single mother of three loving – and sometimes aggravating – teenagers loves to read, is known to spout off seemingly insignificant and pointless tidbits of information, and is hunkering down to start her Master’s Program in Library Sciences. In world she enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, decorating, and taking pictures. She has been extremely fortunate to have found her best friend and brain sharer through SL and together with him has recently started a blog called EF-in’ SL (http://efinsl.wordpress.com/).

July 27th, 2010: Vintage McMillan

July 27, 2010

TODAY. I saw Salt with one of my best friends. She and I are suckers for any movie with AngieJo shootin’ up the bad guys and being a downright badass. In saying that, I had every intention of making some cheesy post about how much I enjoy salty foods and then smoothly segueing into a fangirlish outrage about how much I’d love to be a badass in real life.

That was, until I left my phone in my friend’s car. She and I live in opposite directions from the movie theater, so my only way of getting my phone back was to floor it home as fast as possible so I could call her and have her meet me back at the parking lot. Mind you, I was without my phone for no more than a half hour, but, to be honest, I felt inept. I felt like without my phone I was unable to do anything, like I would have to sit in a corner and rot away until I had it again. This got me thinking, Second Life has become such a part of my life, such a part of my daily routine, that if for some reason I lost access to it I would feel useless. I’ve come to have so many amazing friends that have been through so much with me and if for any reason I couldn’t talk to them I’d feel like a part of me was missing.

In Second Life today I spent a good 5 or 6 hours working on a bodysuit that I still haven’t perfected. I mean, what would I do with my time if I didn’t have things to make? People to talk to? Things to buy? Sure, there’s real life, but my life would be running an entirely different course altogether. I wouldn’t be writing this post. I wouldn’t be sitting in Photoshop painting virtual clothing. I wouldn’t be IMing people in other countries that I never would have met otherwise. Who knows what I’d be doing. What I do know, however, is that I like both lives exactly the way they are.

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Vintage McMillan is an out-spoken, over-thinking 20-year-old residing in ~scenic New Jersey. His skillset includes giving side-eye, judging you silently, knowing when to say ‘Ooo gurl,’ and of course, TYPING WITH CAPSLOCK ON.

July 26th, 2010: Marienne Eiren

July 26, 2010

It has been already a week from my first camp in second life. I was looking forward to it since I couldn’t join winter camp for some reason. But at same time, I was very nervous because of my personal issues like time difference and language. I was wondering if I could make it before camp has begun. Now I made it and have enjoyed it so much. I’ve met new awesome friends and got to know more about my amazing old friends. I can never thank enough to Mister Gattz and Miss Jill for everything they have done for camp for kids avatars in second life. One week long and with 2 full sims they and all counselors have put their everything for it. Camp HardKnock would be the best event SL kids could ever ask for. Even though I had to deal with lag like any other event, but I’ve loved even the lag too. It was more than worth to be in.

I was born and grown up in South Korea. My mother couldn’t have any more children after me, and my father was the first son to his family. My grand parents believed that only son should be in succession of a family as like many of old people in South Korea do, they were very disappointed. I’ve been treated very stern and became so timid and shy. I wanted to be different but haven’t had any courage.

But in this world of Second Life, all of my family and friends encouraged me to be what I wanted to. Sopha and Free helped me a lot to settle since I’ve stepped in. Shayenne gave birth to me in her heart and now she is my soul mate. Babydoll gave me opportunity to be a model for her and now I am very proud of it. Mommy Brie, daddy Walter and sissy Kylei opened their arms wide for me when I needed them and I love them so much. My twin FionaRose has been there for me since we’ve met and I will be always there for her. I really appreciate everyone who made my Second Life whether they know or not.

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Marienne Eiren was born, grew up, and is living in South Korea with her husband. In SL she is a child avatar. She loves to spend time with her family and friends, and also loves to play with prims or take photos. She thinks she is still new to SL, and hopes to learn more about what she can do.

July 25th, 2010: Frostie Melody

July 26, 2010

In August 2009, I moved to Baltimore, Maryland to begin my Masters in Electronic Media….
During November of that year I decided to join Second Life not really knowing what I was going to do, but hopefully find a way to generate art in some form.  My focus is in Video and Installation and I was hoping to find content for a series of works…. This didn’t happen.  But what did happen was a way to find creative individuals, creative expression with minimal risk.
Moving to Baltimore was a big change.  I left my beloved Austin, Texas to live in an old city, full of crime and crabs, knowing not much of anyone, except for my program mates.  Being a social person Second Life fulfilled what I was missing in real life.  A group of great friends.
One day I stumbled on a location pick for The Laundromat, an indie music club, and decided to check it out.  I went and was surprised at all the good music that I heard, and the friendly people I met.  In Austin we would throw large dance parties in our house, and the feeling I felt at the Laundro was similar to the fun times I had back home.  I met a ton of interesting people that helped to nurture the musical bug that had laid dormant in the transition of moving.  I began DJing at a few places inworld.  It forced me to consistently find new music to share and opened a dialogue about music amongst other things.  So far I find myself a bit addicted to SL, which may or may not be a bad thing, I have made some close friends inworld.  The amount of sharing and exchanging of oneself and identity is what keeps me here.

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Frostie Melody lives in Baltimore, MD and attends art school at M.I.C.A.  She currently DJ’s at The Laundromat on Thursdays and Bombay Indie on Fridays.

July 24th, 2010: Feline Slade

July 25, 2010

When I was laid off from my job, the first person I told was a friend from SL. That was a year ago this week.

So much has happened since. Days passed as I pasted on smiles while the light of hope at the end of the tunnel flickered and dimmed. Months passed as I pushed people away, my spirits deflating further and further. Yet my friends inworld never gave up on me, even on the days I gave up on myself.

I worked a good temp job that was a bad fit for me for a while. To take the job, I had to sign an agreement to not blog under my avatar’s name. That doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice, especially considering how infrequently I bothered to update my blog before. But I knew that every tweet, every plurk, every comment on someone else’s blog was walking a tightrope. Being unable blog when I had something to say left me scribbling thoughts on napkins, only to leave them discarded like my slowly sinking hopes for professional validation.

Those days are finally behind me now. Yesterday was the last day at the temp job, so my agreement not to blog under any name but my legal one has expired. Monday, I start a permanent job, a year after being laid off of my old one. I turn the page to the next chapter in life, and I can hopefully return to being supportive for my friends rather than relying on them for support. Finally, SL once more becomes a place to visit for the joy of listening to live music, exploring art, and visiting with friends rather than an ineffective bunker for hiding from the uncertainty of the real world.

Maybe I will start blogging again. Maybe not. But I can. And knowing that I can is like being released from an invisible incarceration at last.

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Feline Slade is a cat herder and technical writer. She lives near famous Florida tourist destinations and listens to the fireworks nearly every night. Her patient husband is amused and occasionally bemused by SL, and often says that she needs a wi-fi card implanted behind her ear for ease of internet access. They share a home with three extremely spoiled and somewhat naughty cats. Feline’s much-neglected blog is found at http://felineslade.wordpress.com/, and she chronicles some of the sights she finds around SL on her Flickr photostream. When not attending live music events, exploring, or visiting with friends, she is usually found at the home she shares with her partner, Chris Norse. They live among wonderful friends on the Five Islands estate, which doesn’t actually five islands.

July 23rd, 2010: Meila Solo

July 23, 2010

Here I am, for the fifth day sitting in this hospital bed. I haven’t slept yet because the pain is just unbearable. The epidural is doing nothing for me and all I can do is cry and scream. Tears of not only pain but the emotional scar I am going to hold with me for the rest of my life. All of a sudden I felt a really sharp cramp in my lower area. I tell my mother, (who flew down to Texas from Boston to be there for me), so she goes and finds a nurse to check on me. The nurse who is in training walks in to check on me, sees nothing out of place and nothing wrong. I’m not happy with this answer so she gets the other nurse. She simply says, “We’re going to call the doctor, you are ready.”

I was in labor for five grueling days. These were the five worst days of my life. In these five days my whole life turned around… I lost my son, I went into cardiac arrest once and I became severely anemic. Three years ago today, at 11:45AM, I was giving birth to my first son. Three years ago today, at 11:46AM, I was mourning my son’s death.

I have moved back to Boston with my family.
I am no longer with the father.
I now suffer from depression.
I have anemia.
I lost 60% of my hair.
I do like to say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to myself, even if you don’t think I am .

Also, I will not move my son’s urn from my shelf, I am not ready.

I appreciate finding Second Life. I wouldn’t be here today writing this if I didn’t. I wouldn’t have met such wonderful friends if I’d have done the things I wanted to do. I am so very grateful for the friends I met in Second Life who have been there for me more than my real life friends. Today is easier because I have you guys.

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Meila Solo is a 24-year-old female residing in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a teacher and cat owner. She enjoys spending time in her small store in second life and blogging on her blog, Slaholic. She is partnered to a wonderful person in-world but single in real life. She also really enjoys eating chicken.

July 22nd, 2010: Kimberly Mirabeau

July 23, 2010

I woke up this morning with 3 sweetest little words…  My RL husband standing at the foot of our bed whispering, “Happy Birthday Baby”.

Today is my 35th birthday.  I’m planning on 35 being a fabulous year… because 34 kinda sucked.  Well, not entirely.  I did regain control over my health… that’s a huge plus.  Unfortunately though, I lost my mother to cancer a few months ago… leaving this birthday bitter sweet.  Today I decided to start a new habit.  I woke up this morning and did my usual routine.  Grabbed some coffee, checked my email, and proceeded to hop on my exercise ball and do 10 crunches.  Small I know, but its a start!

Today for me is a day of retrospect.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I decided earlier this week that I’m going to have some fun for my birthday.  Tomorrow I’m getting together with two of my closest friends and going out singing in a karaoke bar.  I cannot wait!  I’ve been singing since I was a young girl and its always been a huge emotional release for me.  Something I need more of, to be honest.  I’ve sang in SL before, and have wanted to sing there a lot more.  My real life doesn’t really give me many chances to do that. Needless to say, tomorrow night is definitely something to look forward to!

It’s around 2pm est and in a few short minuets, my family should be arriving.  My father, his girlfriend, and my sister are heading this way to spend some time with me today.  I always look forward to their visit.  Over all it hasn’t been much different from any other day, except now, I’m a little older.  Wow… 35.  It’s almost strange really.  I’m healthier than I have been in my adult life, so far… I’m the same size (and have been told I look the same) as I was in high school, and I’m very very happy with life over all.  Not alot to complain about. Now, lets see if the family shows up with a cake and 35 candles.  God, I hope I know where the fire extinguisher is!

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Kimberly Mirabeau is a stay-at-home mom of 2 fantastic and high strung kids, ages 3 and 5.  Living in Kentucky, she is happily married in real life.  Kimberly is educated and holds a CPC-A credential in Medical Coding, though her life long dream was to perform.  She loves photo shop, photography, music and singing, and is constantly searching for some creative outlet.  In SL she’s the co-owner of Vain Inc., an artist, photographer, blogger and model.  Though, these days she’s a happy little hermit of the grid