Thursday, May 28, 2009

Erste Wolken am Himmel des jungen Glücks

Ruh-roh! Looks like Giacomo needs to call FEMA.

A virtual life is by nature one in which change is not only imminent but also instantaneous. So, let's say you could have a quick conversation with your landlord about a terra-forming project he's planning to implement and you be all down wid dat, you see what I'm sayin'? And then you go out dancing and when you get back, your living room is full of sand. The little bits and bobs you had out in your yard are now inside the ground (which is, thankfully, hollow so you can cam around and find them).

At this time you get the inkling that you're going to have to move. So you ask and you're assured that you won't be moving. But then you notice that the name of your land has changed and the name has now been assigned to an area on the other side of the island [island in this case being used in the common sense of the word as opposed to another word for a sim]. Hmmm, you think. Then you get the news that you are, in fact, moving.

How hard can it be to move your house in a virtual environment where everything you've got can fit into an invisible file folder? Well, there seems to be more to it than you'd think. For example, a house comes in pieces. If there are moving parts, they are separate to the house. The doors are an example of this. If I want to adjust the house after rezzing it, I have to have all the bits selected by clicking on one piece to edit and then joining the rest of the pieces by shift+click. Then everything will move as a unit until you click away. You can also take it into your inventory this way, and then re-deploy it when ready at a new spot with all the pieces intact and where they were. It is recommended you re-deploy while Edit is active, so that it will all stay together.

Despite knowing all this coming into the moving process, I was still able to mess it up. I thought I had clicked on everything when I took my house and furnishings into my inventory, but I had apparently missed some things.

In the interval, I put up a freebie tree house that I was sure the landlord's terra-forming could not possibly cover without revealing not-so-latent hostility. Ha! Take that!

Once the re-forming of the geography was complete and the go-ahead to move was received, I re-deployed my house and its furnishings ... and didn't like the way it fit. Then I tried moving it, but I hadn't deployed in Edit mode and had to re-shift+click in a hurry, which caused me to forget some bits. Finally, I "took" all the bits back into my inventory and resolved to redecorate after I'd decided where the house looked best.

A new waterfall (almost as important to me as carousels, I guess) was created for my new area. Trees were put in, and plants, and I was told I could return anything I didn't want. I'm unable to move them. That makes me a teeny bit cross. But I jiggled and I tinkered and ... it just isn't the same. It will take some getting used to, I guess. I had walked the old land like a Cherokee woman walks a deerskin before making it into anything. I walked it day after day. I looked all around. I tried to see a new and different house on the site. In the end, in a flash of inspiration, I bought my heart's desire and placed it where I wanted it. True, I was getting complacent and putting a new house together is more fun than actually just living in it day to day ... but it just wasn't right. I can't put my finger on it. It just isn't right. It might be later. For now it's not. It may look fine to others, nicer even, but I feel the house isn't sitting right on the land. I started putting things back in, but gave up. Because it isn't the same.

Then and now ...

The title of this post is from "Die Dreigroschenoper."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gee, Sounds Like Me!

Giacomo, looking relaxed.

I found a link to this blogpost on Twitter and, because I'm always interested in these things, gave it a read. It reminded me of an experience I had recently with my male avatar. Now, I don't have any alts, that is to say, an avatar with a different account and name. If I change shape, which I do all the time, the name remains the same. Transparency is an issue with me. Oh, I give them little nicknames to keep them separate in the inventory (they all have their little outfits that look best on them), but they are all called Lludmila according to SL. It might be obvious to me that "Lludmila" is a woman's name, but not everyone seems to think so.

Anyway, I created a new (I've had several, all based on the same freebie shape and some freebie skins) male av just in case I needed to go places where a female av might cause comment, say, a mosque. Rather than dress wrong for that, I just slip into the old male av and take off my shoes and all is well! Like the author of the linked post, have made a male av that appeals to me. The burly, pin-headed types I see in SL revolt me ... almost as much as they do in Real Life (tm). Giacomo (above) might look a bit girlie, but, you know what? That seems to be what we prefer. Eight out of ten women prefer something other than a Mr. Universe wannabe. (I just made that up, but I betcha there's some truth to it. SL men, wise up!)

Lately, I've been slogging through the 570 location SL Discovery Hunt. For these (think: scavenger) hunts I try to stay low prim, dressing casual, but it's whatever av I have on. I had been trying on some guy stuff a while back and, after checking my Avatar Rendering Cost, went off to cull more treasures in the hunt. [If you don't know what I'm talking about, hunts generally involve going from one location to another (commercial locations, such as shops and malls) and searching for a three-dimensional symbol that you click on and "buy" for nothing or a low figure. You receive a package containing some small prize and a slurl, an address, for the next location. Some shop owners are quite fiendish in their secreting of these objects and the hunters wrack their pointy little RL (tm) heads over it. This generally leads to unofficial teamwork. First, you start watching where other avs click (and this clicking involves a particle beam from the av's fingertips to the object). After a while, you put some "hangtime" into your click to indicate to another frustrated hunter where you've found the object or you go so far as to IM them and say, "Hey! I finally found the d@mn thing!"] Looking for the hunt objects requires that my camera, my eyes, drift quite a ways from my av. I will often forget what I look like. So, I might start out the hunt thinking I should be more reticent about speaking or IMing other avs because I'm wearing the male av, but then I'll forget and start being helpful.

Now, being helpful as another "female" av is one thing. Most avs are grateful as hell for help on some of the tougher locations where even the hints have not been at all useful (and, yes, I mean you, Shabby Chic!), but I don't know how well they would take it from a guy av. Would they find "him" pushy? Or would they take that as an opening gambit? Anyway, I try to be careful. Once you and someone else have found an object together, you go on to the next location and see each other again. Sometimes relationships develop, even for just 10 minutes or up to an hour (if you can standing hunting that long).

So Giacomo and I were being careful. I had slipped up and shared information with one av, but it wasn't turning into anything and I felt secure in continuing the partnership-lite. Then suddenly I was double-teamed. Another male av started chatting with me in a furniture store. He claimed we were twins, not unlikely if we're wearing pre-packaged shapes and skins. A female av came up shortly afterward. Now, this was annoying. They were keeping me from the hunt, but I feel like I should be polite. The two seemed to know each other. And they were still being friendly, but I started to get nervous. I've been solicited before, as a female av, but I could just say "No, thanks" and disappear. I didn't want to leave this store until I found the object and they were distracting me. Not being a real guy, or perhaps being similar to a real guy with a fishing pole, my inclination is to ask them to shut up and get out of my way. I could just feel the concept of a "three-way" marching its way towards our conversation. I felt I would be letting my adopted sex down if I had to say, "Ewwww, no way!" - but that doesn't mean I was going to say, "Sure - where?"
I was rescued by my hunt-buddy who told me where to look for the object. I cammed over and, after saying a swift farewell (virtually impossible in the virtual world), I moved on, sweating at my keyboard.

I blame the new haircut (see below). Someone who already knew me IM'd me for a dance later. Methinks Giacomo is going back into the inventory for a while ... to cool off.

Giacomo gets a haircut.

This is all very, ho-hum, interesting, I hear you mumble around a tongue firmly inserted in your cheek, but ...
Well, let me get to the telling part. Yesterday, I was out hunting as my little zombie self (the one I consider to be the real Lludmila) when a male av I'd been seeing around the hunt the past few locations IM'd me, calling me "little one." Okay, he has a point. Lludmila is only 4'8" tall (I shrank her years ago to fit her into a space capsule). I took issue, though, with the term "little." And within two sentences, Mr. Smooth had me in an embrace. Mind you, this is all in chat. Our avs are stock still in a huge store while I search in vain for the object. I counter with a knee to the 'nads. No, I delete that. I slip away from the embrace. Apparently, I am just playing hard to get, and he makes another play for me. I pointedly mention the hunt. He claims to be on it as well. I've checked his profile and while it doesn't look scummy, I still don't like being distracted from the Business At Hand, especially with unwanted sexual advances. This in no way stresses me out. It's a petty annoyance and I swat it away, find the object, resolutely not tell him where it is, and teleport on to the next location while he suggests "Perhaps another time." Like hell! (Note to self: Must put bigger hints on my profile.) I was just short of being rude to this guy, had no qualms about swatting away attentions if it came to that, and barely gave it another thought until I started writing this.

So, why does Giacomo's typist sweat the distant footsteps of a three-way and Lludmila's typist go "phbbbt!" and wave her hand airily and almost totally forget the actual chat-grope? Does the idea of a three-way so appall her? Or is it the unfamiliar social behavior of a male av?

Lludmila and the cuddly toy she got on the latest hunt - Dawwww! It's just So Cute!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Now the Tricky Part

Lludmila contemplates home ownership tinged with melancholy (note memorial photo).

I had a lot of furniture. In two and a half years I've collected plenty and even made some (very primmy, not being sculpty), but not all goes with the new house. And I'd just bought that pot bellied stove in the corner and needed to be able to use that somewhere. That and the flamingo lights sealed the deal on the choice of the Homedecked house. They were the first things to go into the house. Next came the free carpet ... and the free stack o' books chair (so perfect for a librarian on a book-related sim!).

Lludmila relaxes on the best thing to come out of the Twisted Hunt.

Another freebie is this lovely cart full of sacks of something (Lludmila imagines sweet feed and drinks in the smell of oats and molasses.) There, now I don't have to worry about what goes under the deck. Most people would park their jalopy, or a mule if they had one. I have this cart that seats two. That was another thing that had to be in the yard, at least.

I have beds. Some I made and some came with 50 sex positions or something (who knows, who cares - although my husband did ask me if I was going to try them out), but they were too modern or too gothic. I went all over looking for something suitable to the house and a resident zombie and I think I found it.

Lludmila in her bed: a mattress on the floor. Also pictured: freebie mosquito light, freebie carpet, crate from a pack that was about 10L for the lot, and a seascape that is an actual painting that hangs over my bed in RL.

Other additions include: A rocking chair that only cost 1L with texture changing cushion (turns out it only rocks along one axis - but that's okay, I just make sure it's aiming the right way), another seascape from my RL house, freebie "Japanese" wooden deck chairs and small table (for the upstairs deck). I'm considering an art or photography exhibit ... outside on the beach. I'm supposed to have a party, so that people will come to my house. Apparently, just accepting an invitation to visit isn't good enough. Parties entail dancing or something. Sigh, that would mean another weary round of shopping, and I've walked little Lludmila's legs off!

Lludmila collapses from exhaustion after her latest shopping expedition that involved freebie grabbing, lucky board/chair wrangling, and actually cash-linden purchasing.

Happy Homemaker

Weeks and weeks later, I've finally decided on a house. I had a few ideas in mind: thatch, wattle and daub, Tudor, medieval ... something that would fit in with the community. I used all sorts of search terms: "rustic," "Tudor," "cottage" and ended up looking at castles and Tudor townhouses. Prices ranged from 150L to around 4,000L. Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be an architecture review committee, so when I chose the dilapidated hobo beach house, there was no picketing or mysterious returning to my inventory. Phew! Also, the pink flamingo lights can stay, which is a relief because I actually paid money (well, Linden dollars) for them.

My new house: Homedecked from Never You Mind.

I can see you looking at this in vain for any thatching, wattle, daub, or period touches earlier than the 1920s. Well, the best laid plans yadda-yaddah a-gley. I went to Never You Mind (people ask me, "Where did you get it?" and I, of course, say, "Never You Mind." So, there's even a nice joke built in by the creator!) and waited patiently on a rustic carousel for things to rez, not having high hopes for this place. I probably even made a pit stop in RL. When I got back and things had rezzed, I looked around in amazement. I wandered off and immediately found this totally cool two-story house with a waterwheel! It was even turning! Suddenly, I wanted the waterfall back. I'd find a place for it, or, by thunder, I'd stick that side into the ocean! Soon I was flying (literally, because I couldn't walk around fast enough to look at it all) all over looking at buildings. Then, near the watertower, I saw my One True Love: Homedecked. Sure, I went to look at other houses, but none of them spoke to me like this house. It had "A Zombie Lives Here" writ large all over it. The only thing it didn't have written ... on anything, were the dimensions. I popped a note into the proprietor's mailbox and hoped for a quick reply.

I was still dithering the next day and looking at the photos I've taken making notes on them when I realized that my heart was set on Homedecked. It had everything I wanted and I'd make it fit if I had to put some of it out over the water. Luckily, that wasn't necessary.

I recommend going to Never You Mind. It isn't laid out as a shop for buildings and rustic accessories. It's laid out like a community, a shabby community, granted, but a community. It's fun just to wander through.

Never You Mind