swiss on wry

I hate these foggy days, I hate the thought of fog in the mountains, well fog plus big rigs; it makes me break out in a cold sweat and count the number of times I’ll have to brave the weather before the winter break begins. It also makes me want to snuggle up to some prims. I always get ideas about builds, or (impractical) strategies to resolve building problems, when I am driving. Along with my addiction to taking photos of amusing number plates, this no doubt puts me in a category by myself when it comes to Dangerous Drivers.

Last night I was invited over to a new friend’s place. His name is Caliburn and he has a super castle on his sim, he’s a bit shy of publicity and his build isn’t finished so I’ll just put a photo that gives the general idea of his style.

My shoes are all over the place, and I am still fighting with those damn pigtails. I think I am not a builder at heart. I don’t want the challenge of reinventing something already brilliantly made, my version of them is never going to be as nice as the real thing by Damselfly , and I’d gladly give up trying, if only I could get my act together for long enough to just contact… this is what I love about writing a blog, you actually do stuff, like me right now, sending a begging email, and mildly stalking their Flickr … gosh they really do have lovely hair, hmm, look at that comment, interesting…

I have a feeling my  “waste less time running off on tangents” resolution is already dead.

Cal’s castle is gorgeous. He’s a good builder, and has loads of inspiring plans and schemes for the future. He got tired of paying all that money for tier in SL, and, like me, had intended to spend less time doing 3D stuff, but it seems that he and his partner are keeping just as busy with the new builds. He doesn’t see Veesome, or SpotON, as ever becoming a social place; hard to see it getting past the chicken/egg problem of pioneers not being shoppers and shoppers going where the goods are readily available.  Hard to say whether the grid will take off, as we keep being told, and even if it does, whether that will simply become home to business people, or (argh) virtual classrooms, or whether it will blossom into a sort of wild new world. There are so many variables. It’s funny talking in IM in Veesome, here are only a handful of people online at any time, and it’s back to that slightly creepy sensation from early in SL, when you thought that your private chat are being read **although I’m sure they’re not**… apart from that sunfish incident, hmmm…

Not that I have any secrets; I’m happy to tell all about my troubles; it’s a new place and there are wrinkles to sort out, my own sim Chocolate does loads of weird things, like bubbling if you terraform for more than a few minutes; my hair coming and going has been a recent trend, but a perfectly new thing last night was the swiss cheese effect, seen here, which I thought was caused by standing too long next to the new groundcover, a partially invisible sculpty by Spoton’s horticultural genius Felonious Nitely

… on the other hand, that might be my poor computer trying to cope with the fact I have the viewer, skype, chrome, Photoshop, and Netflix all running at the same time. Wow. Omega Man is a really awful film, especially if you’re just following the audio part. ‘Get your dirty hands off me’. Oh wait no that’s the other one. But more comprehensible than that Hungarian film about the subway, it’s hard to follow Hungarian when you can’t see the subtitles. I leave you to your hungry puns.

If you’ve been cheesed, tell me about it. Misery loves company.

craft

Craft! woot! Having missed my flight, by some epic confusionary events last night that I better not go into, turns out I have an extra day here, and what with the fog – look, no bridge! – it seemed pointless to attempt any touristy things until dinner time, when I am promised crabs.

Yum. Both Wizard Gynoid and Oberon have posted about Craft today, so I had to go take a look! Their website is seriously sketchy, but it boils down to a Bring Your Own Sim approach, and of the many hideous newbie avies/outfits, this is one, with her backless shirt is far from the worst incarnation of newbie Thirza. The room I rezzed in was not very friendly, the stairs didn’t seem to work for a start, but there’s something comforting about coming inworld in an enclosed, semi-private space, rather than emerging onto the grid in front of an audience, which is what happens in Spoton. Sure, it’s nice to be greeted, but let me at least change my top before I make new friends.

Craft, which has only really been up and running for about three weeks, has just shy of 300 users so far, but that number is going to balloon over the next few weeks. It bills itself as The Friendly World, and the very first person I saw wasthe lovely Shellina Winkler.

She was naturally sporting a Museo del Metaverso tag, they are the prime movers on the grid, and they are really at the heart of the migration of so many SL artists, especially italophones, who are bound to be drawn inworld by the reputation of Roxelo. And yes, they do need a translator, and no don’t look at me. Anyway, Shellina was on Titania, Oberon Onmura’s sim, which is primed to become a focal point of physical art in no time. It’s fantastic how quickly the idea of independent sims is becoming mainstream, even I am beginning to get a handle on how it all works. OK not really.

As you can see, Oberon is pretty much the same in all worlds; here he has a fancy skin by… I forget who he mentioned made it, but I do know he misses his eyes – he looks very Roswell here, I think. However, with no charge for  uploading or anything else, I’m sure it will be no time at all till he gets that all sorted.

Artistide Despres’ sim of the same name has been up and running for three days already, and so you can be sure there’s going to be a whole world of excellent innovative art to check out before you can say Xmas Vacation.

Hmmm, wherever you go, there you are. Even virtually.

travel

IN RL I am sitting in the Oakland hills, looking out towards the Golden Gate Bridge, a roaring fire and my bff next to me, and an almost full moon beams down out of the frigid morning sky. It was a tiresome trek to get here, but Pacific Time rocks.

Back briefly in SL the other day,  to pitch a pose to brilliant artist Alizarin Goldflake the other day. She wanted a hibernating pose for her new installation, and she liked mine! grr can’t suss out how those wizards at Bits n Bobs achieve eye closedness… I love making anims more than painting clothes or building; minute shifts in shoulders and feet, and getting a body to sway and thrust just so, travelling between two tiny points on the slider is life smoldering inside the avatar… and most of all the challenge of getting body parts just the right distance apart to touch without sinking into one another, or that horrible  ‘phantom fat’ thing, where the man appears to be handling a much chunkier woman. It’s not easy, as anyone who’s tried Qavimator will tell you, because the 100% size avatar doesn’t actually correspond to your average SL person, and even using props, it’s difficult to get your perspective quite right. Of all the many things I’m crap at, this is the one I feel most likely to conquer. Lots of peering at the screen. And in Veesome it’s possible to tweak and tweak without bankrupting yourself, even if there’s no-one there to see it.
As I showed Ali the pose, I couldn’t help noting that Second Life is still the Ferrari of virtual worlds; the bells and whistles often don’t work right, but on the whole it’s undeniably a sleek, superb operation, delicious on the whole.  Travelling in virtual worlds, like Oberon’s Portable1, is a great adventure, but so much is reinventing the wheel. Is it going to be a better wheel? Everyone in OS is determined to learn from the Linden’s mistakes, but it’s a bit like how new parents think they’re going to give their child all the advantages their own mother and father ‘failed’ to provide – only to realize, years later, they simply passed on a different set of hangups and disadvantages, a journey to essentially the same place, by a different route. Soror’s IWz posts (I do hope she’s on commission, she has become a full-time evangelizer!) make it sound like they have found a good balance of old school and new. Thing is, it comes with all the baggage I’d like to escape.

But you can only see where you’ve gone when you get there.

And being unaware of one’s own lameness is key to actually getting moving, to completing tasks, in fact to the progress of world history in general.  Not noticing one’s own lameness is the ultimate way to travel light. Not that all of it is lame, but it can feel that way if you fail to follow Syd Field’s famous dictum – then you’re in the paradigm, you can’t see the paradigm.

Here is a classic piece of lame/non lameness. Thoth Jantzen’s Area 54, sometimes called Club 54 depending on what mood he’s in. He takes videos and makes them come alive in remarkable ways. It’s the best dance floor in the Metaverse. The lameness is all on the part of the teletubbies. I hate them, but they’ve never looked better than they do here. Like all the best people, he has no idea how good he is (apart, obviously, for his taste in British fictional characters).

In the beginning, there was chocolate

Because I am not supposed to be doing any of this stuff, I am supposed to be doing Real things, like completing coursework, and setting up quizzes, doing translations, and writing other stuff that pays. But I can’t resist.

I got a sim and it is called Chocolate. It took less than half an hour for the Veesome ppl to set it up, right next to Thoth Jantzen’s sim Cosmosis, where I’ve been occupying a little island. Jay came to visit, he gave his avie the daftest name, but it was great to have company. That’s Iza, one of many drifters in and out of the world. There are still loads of bugs, but I’m getting comfy. Thoths’ into a sort of etruscan-egyptian theme, so I have gone with the archeologist element – nice 1930’s camp bed, and there’s a crux ansata I ‘dug up’ on the table, along with my usual urns and stuff.

I am learning a lot. This is true pioneering, over here in Veesome, or SpotOn – it’s all very confusing, it’s basically 2 grids, linked, so you can go between them. But I never say ‘spoton’ it sounds like something out of a Clearasil ad. I’ll have to blog the place more in upcoming posts. They don’t do ‘money’ you have to shop online, which I haven’t had time to look into – I know there are goods and services available, beyond the reasonably decent basic freebies, it’s just that it seemed quicker to make what I like, in my own style. I have made clothes and hair, poses and furniture, I’ve terraformed. I am completely crotch obsessed. This is the dress I made for Oberon’s grid, Portable1.

There is no-one here on Veesome, so it’s Thirza’s SL all over again, without the largely redundant Contacts list which only used to make her feel even more isolated, plus, nobody asks for a traduzione a scrocco! for the first time in 3 years, that’s something. Little time for loneliness, I’m too busy  getting ruthed or trying to stop stony contours from bubbling madly. Or threatening to punch photoshop. If I could have stuff, I would have… some of Soror’s trees, some of Natsha’s paintings for the house I’m going to build, Oberon’s chair, Scottius’ crocodile and my octopus Bob, all manner of scripts that I probably can make work if I take the time, and my Damsefly pigtails. I have my own version, but I’d rather have the real thing.

Weird shit happens building in Open Sim, if  you move linked prims, they sometimes disappear into the sky or go to 1,1,1 especially if you use control z, and I occasionally go invisible.

Soror wrote a post about composting 8 hours of work, I feel I’ve been doing that all week, although it’s not true, the discards have all taught me something, and the true frustration is that I have a dozen ideas and schemes in my head. None of them clear, and I’m not good at any of it. The good news is – I am getting better. The bad news – I am NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THIS . So don’t tell anybody.