Archive for December, 2010

December 28th, 2010: Auguste Finistair

December 28, 2010

 

Today I look back on a year up great triumphs; great falls; great happinesses; and great seasons of weeping.

I look back today because it’s my father’s birthday–the 28th of December. I look back today because of all the things I’ve been through and forward because of all the things I’ve yet to experience. (Blame it on my Epicurean bend.)

After staying up until 6 AM and spending hours contemplating my place in this world as I lie in my bed, I wake up to a Televangelist jabbering on in the living room, just outside my bedroom door, at a fitful 1:31 PM. A rather late start for most, but my life isn’t like most. It will consist of my avatar sitting in the same black ‘Andrew Chair’ in the same corner of my SL home as she does every day while I go ‘away from keyboard’ for a few hours at a time to take care of my mother and, for the next few months at least, my grandmother.

Once Gram lays down to sleep for the evening (usually rather early considering the sun is setting at 6 PM nowadays) and Mom goes into her room to lock the door for the last time, I get a breath of relaxation as I am allowed to finally devote some time to me. This is my time to work on projects that need doing or fun that needs having. This is when you’ll find me exploring the Grid, mucking about in GIMP, snapping pictures, making people laugh until they wet themselves by acting like a dork on voice, or role-playing in and out of SL with my good friends.

I would go outside once in a while, too, but it’s currently too cold, a biting cold at that. That’s ok, though; I have plenty of new toys to read manuals for–most of which came from my father only a couple of days ago when my families celebrated our two separate Christmases.

I suppose for now, I’ll just occupy my time with my usual activities until Proserpina returns from the Underworld to the realm of the living; and like the new Spring’s earth I, too, will be renewed.

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Auguste Finistair is 20 year old kid who lives just south of the place you point to when you randomly place your finger in the middle of a United States map; just north of the Lone Stars, in the buckle of the Bible Belt. She’s a Latin scholar, a stream-of-consciousness philosopher, and an amateur politician as well as a SecondLife clothing designer, custom avatar creator, personal and professional shopper, and event coordinator.

 

 

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December 27th, 2010: Suri Yangtz

December 28, 2010
Image by Kait Seidel

December 28th, just a few days prior to this New Year, and I can already feel the hope beginning to seep in.

Where does this hope come from? The answer to that question still eludes me, perhaps faith, would be the right answer. It is this time of the year that I feel the most thankful. Almost three years ago…it doesn’t feel like three years ago…I found a lump in my left breast. I received them a few days after Christmas, right before the New Year. It felt like the burden was mine and mine alone. So I faced the New Year, feeling that at the age of 28, diagnosed with cancer that I didn’t know what the year would bring.

I can’t help thinking about that day as I look out my window this afternoon, snow covering the ground, the roads quiet. Many things have changed in my life but my love of the New Year hasn‘t. I think for myself 2011, is going to be a year of empowerment, a chance to regain what was lost, and to love those around me. None of us will be here forever, this year I will try to remember to cherish what I have. I smile as I think about how I wouldn’t be in Second Life probably if it weren’t for that day three years ago, and I am grateful for that as well. I have met some amazing friends in world, who are a blessing in my life. I wish them all joy, happiness, and peace.

In real life, I just took a long walk before sitting down to write this. As soon as I am done I am going to catch up with my best friend, run a few errands, and later tonight I will log into Second Life and catch up with the comings and goings in this world. I look forward to my day and I am overwhelmed with a sense of happiness, I wouldn‘t have thought possible three years ago.

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Suri Yangtz is normally a mess, and is quite skilled in the art of doing nothing. Procrastination is an adjective that describes her well and she has a love for artsy fartsy things. In real life she likes to spicy food and makes a mean martini. In second life, she is an occasional blogger, pose maker, amateur photographer and role-player. She has been in remission for almost three years and has a final message which she had to include here because it went over 365 words. Suri likes to talk a lot in both worlds. “For people out there who are going through a life changing event, or an emotional crisis, my heart goes out to you. I have been in those shoes all any of us can do is survive each day, realize that we are not alone, and that you are not a statistic. Much love this New Year. -S”

 

December 26th, 2010: Syngen Sohmers – Cont’d

December 28, 2010

I still haven’t finished unpacking Egypt. When we went in September, we went with four suitcases pushing the weight restrictions on the flights; laden with gifts, mostly. My clothes actually only took up one of my suitcases. The other was things that are taken for granted by people living in the US.

They feel the American recession in Egypt. Prices have shot up astronomically, two times or even five times what they were five years ago. American goods are priced beyond the exorbitant. How funny it felt seeing the same funky Crocs I was wearing, and had only paid about $20 US for, hanging new on a rack in Porto Marina sporting a 500 Pound ($100 US) price tag. The thing is, while prices rise, incomes do not. My sister in law’s job as a travel agent brings her about 1800 Pounds a month (about $400). Want to buy an iPad in Egypt? Be prepared to pay 7000 Pounds ($1200 US) for it. How, I ask myself, can people pay for anything with incomes so small and prices so large?

I sit in the back of the boat docked at Porto Marina with my friend Zara while my husband and her fiance Hassan talk in the front. And she tells me that Egypt is on the brink of revolution. Revolution to what? I remember asking. What would they change the government to? A monarchy? A Caliphate? Zara only shook her head at me and said, “I don’t know. But things are going to get so much worse before they ever get better.” I remember feeling so horribly detached. My heart going out, but, come the end of the month, I would be back in The States, and away from the threat of Revolution.

How different things were! And not in the kindest way. I bought a USB modem to hook into my laptop so that I could text client into SL if I needed to. Paid for an “Unlimited” connection that actually translates out to 6 gigs of data. I can count on one hand the number of times I logged in. Spoke briefly with friends to let them know I was well. I updated Plurk regularly with pictures of my explorations and adventures.

What I did not tell them was how my heart was breaking.

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Syngen Sohmers is the owner and designer for Sakinah, a Middle Eastern fashion line for both the historical and the halal. She can’t always be found in world, because she hides like a recluse in her workshop to build. IMs always seem to find her, even when she doesn’t want them to. Her Typist is equally reclusive, a writer, living in the Southeastern US with her husband and a 16 pound cat.

December 25th, 2010: Genevieve Cardalines

December 26, 2010

Hi there! Hope you’re having a Merry Christmas! I know I am. At 12AM on the dot I was opening my mom’s bedroom door and wishing her a Merry Christmas and so my Christmas has begun. A quick run through my computer logging on Facebook, plurk, Skype and Second life to once again wish all a Merry Christmas (you could say I was drunk off the Christmas mood).  Christmas morning is always just my mom and I as we bake the Christmas bread and settle down for breakfast which we had this year around 1:30 am in the morning then off to bed we went.

Ping… PING. PING. That’s the sound my phone made this morning around 7:30 and woke me out of my beautiful  sleep and in came the Christmas wishes from friends and family over Blackberry messenger and surprisingly an email from my Dad wishing me a Merry Christmas before I got to send him one.  So with some quick replies to all messages I rolled over and went right back to sleep.

It’s 9:30 am right now and I woke up about a half hour ago and I’ll be leaving the house shortly. For the rest of the day my mom and I will be delivering Christmas presents to our friends across the island and also we will be delivering Christmas hampers to families in need of a little Christmas magic and joy with Lion’s group. After all the gifts are delivered we’ll come home and relax for a bit doing nothing in particular (I’ll be on Second Life or plurk and definitely Skype) until it’s time to head out to homes of those who invited us over for  Christmas lunch, dinner and Christmas night parties.

Christmas day is always a full event for me but I enjoy it with all my heart so I hope you all are having or had a great Christmas this year. Merry Christmas to you and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

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Genevieve Cardalines is 18 years old and will be turning 19 on January 2nd. She lives with her mom who is a single a parent and current president of Lion’s club of Tropical gardens. She attends the local university in Grand Cayman of the Cayman Island where she will be starting her bachelor’s in computer science this January and hopefully finish it at a university in Ontario. In Second Life she blogs for Life’s Still A Journey, The Second Time Around and enjoys doing crazy massive Skype chats and hanging out with her friends. Those who know her best in second life say “Gen is a very unique and wise beyond her years. She is faithful to the people she loves and always lends and ear when needed.” Or “Genie is one of the best friends Rock and Giz have; she’s the closest and most respected friend and always a great laugh to have around, especially when we tease her.” Her Christmas song this year is by Train– Shake up Christmas.

 

December 24th, 2010: Sunshine Zhangsun – Cont’d

December 26, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

My Christmas Eve started with a startling surprise…I was awakened around 5am by an undeterminable noise…or at least in my sleep it was!   Work was calling…which means a problem!  Forty-five minutes later, hung up the phone, frustratingly composed an email regarding the call, fell back to sleep, and proceeded to sleep through my alarm 2 hours later, ugh!  Now my day was totally off-kilter…but I managed to get up and start my workday remotely answering emails.  Logged in to SL to capture a few offlines and look at our beautiful sims, reviewed Plurk, email accounts and then got ready to head in to the office.

Work was work, and not as bad as it could have been with the latest technical issues.  Left work around 4pm and had to run non-Christmas related errands before heading home.  Once home, ate a late lunch/early dinner as I had not eaten all day. Picked up my laptop, checked in with Plurk, and logged in to SL.

As I rezzed into SL, I once again fell in love with our arctic mountain and surf sims.  A recent change from a beautiful tropical environment to the equal beauty of ice and snow has been refreshing!  It was a very needed change in my virtual life.  I live a fairly quiet SL, and have a few very close friends that I cherish greatly.  I’m blessed to have what I have with my partner of 20 months and we are thankful that we can share our virtual world with others.  We welcome all to visit our sims, surf with the orcas and the ice, and explore the world we have created.

As the holiday quickly arrives and the New Year slams toward us…just a few words…

Support your friends, love and cherish those close to you and let them know daily how important they are to you.

Enjoy the life you have…strive to achieve your dreams, but don’t rush yourself as each day can be a blessing and a lesson (sometimes we just have to look a little harder to find it).

Have the happiest of holidays, and let 2011 float in with fun, laughter and love.

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Sunshine Zhangsun still enjoys Second Life, recently recreating the Sol Mañanero sims into a beautiful arctic winter playground with her partner.  She has spent the last 2 months building more, learning more and trying more related activities while creating this environment.  The estate now offers an exciting arctic surf experience for all and the home sim provides skating and sledding too!  Sunshine still tries to find time to explore, take photos, shop a lot, and still writes the occasional blog, Sol Existence.

 

 

December 23rd, 2010: Foxy Innis – Cont’d

December 26, 2010

What a way to spend the holidays.  Here I am in Paradise, literally, and I have no car, no way to get around unless I want to take The Bus.  My auntie came and stole my mom away to go get mani-pedis and I’m left with my dad and Grandpa.  I love my grandpa.  I only get to see him once in a great while.  He will be 90 this next year and is pretty spry for an old man.

This holiday has been hard for him because it marks 23 months that my grandma has been gone from our family.  It is just weird being in Hawaii with her not here.  There is no one to lock the door when we first get in the car so we don’t get carjacked.  No one to get us lost in downtown Honolulu and its only another block to the bus stop even after we’ve walked almost 20 blocks.  It just makes the holidays hard, but it is way better then having my grandfather be alone for the holidays.

With my mom gone it is my job to make lunch for my grandpa.  I guess being 89 gives you the right to be a picky eater.  There was only two thing Grandpa’s wanted since we’ve been here and that is beef stew and sardines and noodles.  I know it sounds gross, but its one of those family soul food kind of things that when you eat it, it makes you feel like you’re home no matter if you’re in Missouri or in Hawaii.  As I’m cooking my grandpa always seems to forget I know how to cook.  He seems genuinely shocked when I give him his lunch first.  We always make another variation of noodles with tuna for those of us who don’t eat sardines.  And while my grandpa is a man of few words, just to hear him say, “Mmmmm, Good,” at the end of a meal is worth it to stand the stink of sardines.

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Foxy Innis is a perpetual student still trying to find her way in life.  She is spending the Holidays in Hawaii this year with her family.

 

December 22nd, 2010: Grazia Horwitz – Cont’d

December 26, 2010

I’ll be home for Christmas is today’s theme song. Or rather… Will he be home for Christmas? I’m insanely busy today preparing stuff for Christmas Eve supper with my parents, sister and her boy friend, but because of the bad weather conditions, it’s all but sure that my partner, who is in Germany right now, will be able to make it home in time.  I must admit, I rather see him safe in our little home there than facing 500+ kilometers of icy roads, but dang… Christmas will just not be the same without him.

While I stir the chicken stock that eventually will become my family’s favorite soup and have the spicy pears simmering in the divine smelling mixture of port and cinnamon and a couple of other, secret, ingredients, I check the traffic and weather reports online and it’s not looking good.

I put the last decorations in the tree, something that we usually do together, and I realize that he’s not going to see our tree before Christmas is over this year. After all, on Christmas day, well be going back to Germany together for a small vacation. Or, if it’s really going to be impossible to make it home on Christmas Eve, I’ll be taking a train to join him there.

By the time I’m done for the say, it’s become clear that my SO will try to go directly to my parents on Friday, if the weather will let him. Right now there is an inch thick layer of ice on the car, and even more of it on the roads. Not. Safe! But some time tomorrow it should start to snow again, which, oddly enough, should improve traveling conditions. I curl up in our bed and turn off the lights. Well see. He’ll be home for christmas, if only in my dreams.

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Grazia Horwitz‘s partner eventually arrived just in time for the main course on Christmas Eve and right now they are back in their home in Saxony Anhalt where it’s an internetless winter wonderland. They both wish you a Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.

 

December 21st, 2010: Matty Luminos

December 21, 2010

When I picked this date, back in April, I had something very particular in mind. Now that the day is here, I am finding it very difficult to write.

Today is the Winter Solstice, that point at which the sun is at its furthest point from the Earth; the shortest day and longest night. To those who follow a pagan path, it is a day of rebirth; as the sun itself is reborn, so too is the year. The Solstice is the time for looking forward at the year to come.

Today would also have been my brother’s 36th birthday. His nickname was Sparrow, and that was also the name he chose when he finally let me persuade him to join Second Life. Sparrow was autistic, and though relatively high-functioning, he wasn’t able to manage on his own and for most of his adult life I was his carer. Actually we were each other’s careers, as I am physically disabled he handled things I can’t manage alone, and I handled things he couldn’t manage. We were a great team.

In common with many autistic people, Sparrow was gifted, and his gift was music. He was a composer rather than a performer, and our flat was full of instruments, and the music he made with them.

But Sparrow died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage almost two years ago, in January 2009. There were no signs or warnings, it just came out of nowhere; he collapsed in the bathroom and by the time the ambulance got him to hospital it was too late. He left few friends, but a legacy of music and memories.

I was planning to play Second Life today, and visit some of the places I visited with him, places he liked. But most of them are gone now and in the end I didn’t feel like doing that. Instead I spent the day in First Life, and finished it by listening to some of his music, and drinking a glass of wine in a toast for him.

Where ever you are now, Sparrow, I hope you still know how much I love and miss you. Fly free, little bird.

____________________

Matty Luminos

 

December 20th, 2010: jemima Clowes – Cont’d

December 21, 2010

A lot has changed since April, when I wrote my first post, in both lives. I am proud to say that I think I am on my way to having my life sorted, both of them. Really I could sit here and say it’s because I pulled my act together myself. But that would be a lie.

I had a lot of help from two people. One I know in 1st life, he plays SL with me. He still keeps my head on my shoulders and is there for me whenever I am down, Heartless is my rock. It’s been that way for almost 11 years now, and I hope to god even after all the trouble and pain I have caused in both our lives, the good times will outweigh the bad and we will survive.

The second person I only know in SL. No that’s not true. I know her in first life as well. I have only met her in second life. But neither life would be complete without her. My Kat has helped me realize I am worth more than I ever thought. That even when I am having the worst day possible I can vent, bitch whine and moan and she will listen and offer any advice she can to help me. She shares her life stories with me and makes me spit coffee on my screen daily. She has helped me grow as a person, a mom, and an artist

So when asked if I separate RL and SL…. My answer is nope, not one bit. I can distance myself from how much people know about me in SL, but it is very much an extension of my RL now. Something I can’t imagine changing.

So now, I go back to building the last 5 advent gifts for my store and then go finish the craziness of the Holiday season in real life.

Happy Holidays!

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Jemima Clowes or Jemmie to her friends is still a stay at home mom and wife, still looking for a real life job. She can usually be found playing trains and barbies in real life or dancing around to silly kids song with her three little ones. In SL Jemmie  is the Assistant to Kat Alderson, Owner and creator of [TUFT] and can be found being a hermit on her platform seeing what silly stuff she can create next, while stuck in mass amounts of IM’s with her wonderful friends. (and she wouldn’t change any of it)

December 19th, 2010: Janaina Delvalle

December 19, 2010

It’s 6:30am on a Sunday.  Why am I up?

When I first signed up for an entry, I imagined all the things I’d be writing on this day.  Now that it’s finally here…I can’t wait to leave.

Today’s destination: Croatia.  I’ve been waiting for today for some 7 or 8 months.  I thought it would be filled with anxiety of finally getting to be with Sho.  Actually, I’m more anxious that I’ll actually get there on time.  I’m praying that Mother Nature will let up, and that Customs will be kind to me.  Right.  I know.  My mantra this weekend should be: “Everything will be fine…everything will be fine.”

When I take enough time to stop worrying and focusing on the next few weeks, I’m left with: “Finally!”  I’m not nervous in the least.  We’ve grown together a lot in this time and have been through our own share of trials. I remember spending time at my friends’ new home.  Three couples in the room all cuddled up, while my friend and I looked at each other through giggles.  But I was aching inside.  Couples take for granted every day the small things.  Holding hands.  A hug.  Looking at each other.  Small gestures of reconciliation after an argument.  Actually eating a meal together.  The scent on his clothes.  I can’t wait for those simple things that are often overlooked.

I talked to one of my best friends last night who is thinking of moving across the country.  I told her to do it.  I told her to follow her heart and live the life she wants now…not later. Me and my crazy choices are taking me on a plane right into the arms of the man I love.  I so happened to meet him on SL (though I swore I’d never do such a thing).  It’s the real beginning of a long journey, but it’s worth it… … even with all the stress.

Here’s to the next 24 hours.  May they go as smooth as possible.

I hope all who are traveling this season make it safely to their final destination.

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Janaina Delvalle spends her time in SL procrastinating.  She’s been a part of SL photography, primarily doing it for fun or through various SL magazines.  She also runs a small pose store with Sho Kenin.