State of Affairs, 2011.

I know no one is actually asking me what brought me back. (Heck, I know no one’s even reading this thing anymore.) But in retrospect, it’s tough to explain what’s actually drawn me back.

Of course, I never fully checked out; I still keep SL feeds in Google Reader, and am mostly up to date on what’s happening in-world and in in-world fashion (grammar?). In particular, I am enamoured — pure deep love, I say — of the styles put together by Nana Minuet and Dailyn Holfe’s Daily[n] News (both old and new sites are linked there), which I find extremely inspiring and drool-inducing. I can specifically cite Nana’s look in Vive9’s recent Ginta skin for making me log in and buy Lindens in June, just so that I too could be that cute. :)

Here’s a brief list of other things off the top of my head:

  • Oldbies. For some reason, many old friends who had mostly been away from SL have been dipping their toes back in lately (or maybe it’s just me being around enough to run into them again? :) ). Maybe we’re all in a stage in life where we need old friends again? Or to have that personal connection we once felt in SL?
  • Outfits. This is silly, but I love the versatility and practicality of outfits in Viewer 2.x. I never had the discipline to make outfits before, and the few times I did, they’d always include some item that was No Copy, and then my inventory would slowly get out of whack, and I’d never recall where I’d put those damn shoes. You know. So now, on a lonely night when no one’s logged in, I will rummage through my inventory and pull together a complete outfit and shop around until I find the perfect accessories.
  • Better performance. Say what you will about the Viewer 2.x UI, which I’ve gradually grown accustomed to. In early versions, its performance on my two-year old iMac was hideous to say the least: 2-4 FPS, hideous load times for textures, freezes every 15-20 seconds or so… But recent releases have really stepped up the game, greatly improving performance and just generally being more stable. I alternate between Firestorm Beta and the official viewer, and am satisfied with the advances I’ve seen in SL’s technology coming from Linden Labs for the first time in forever (I wish I had the hardware to actually run shadows and DOF, but it’s not time to upgrade yet). They are truly giving us our money’s worth as residents, even if said residents remain as bitter as ever on the LL blog and similar fora. This is doubly so if said residents don’t actually PAY any money to play the damn thing…
  • Less voice. This one I can’t really explain, but it seems like fewer of my friends voice anymore in-world. Since I rarely can voice because of the hours I keep, I’d always felt a little left out and marginalized, but beyond that, I enjoy the chance that text gives me to craft what I’m going to say, and sound a little smarter, or a little wittier, than I would if it were just the first thing that came off the top of my head.

In all honesty, for the first time in a long while, I have fun every single time I log into SL. I hear my old voice, I can enjoy being silly, I’ve met new people… so for the moment, SL is really working for me.

Here’s to having that continue to be the case for a while.

Brushing myself off

I left SL six months ago.

I left because it had lost meaning for me. I’d lost friends, lost my purpose, lost any sense of fun.

This was, and is, a reflection of my feelings RL now – how could it be otherwise? – the pressures of daily life, of frustration with work, and needing to find new direction in my life.

For me, SL was, and is, a distraction, a time sink.

At its best, it’s a time sink that can enrich you and help you find companionship when you most need it. At its worst, it’s the most diabolical tool for lost productivity ever devised.

I came back three weeks ago, because Bethy asked me to, and because I missed her very much. Since then, it’s been a flurry of bonding, shopping, dressing up and contacting old friends. It’s made me want to write again in here, even if no one’s really listening. Being back feels like being with an old friend again. And this blog is such a boon, having the opportunity to touch my self as I was two, three years ago, and to feel that joy that I felt every day when I logged in to get my fix.

It’s still a terrible time sink. I’m still in a not-so-good place in RL, and I need to keep SL in check before it becomes a crutch and distraction from dealing with the things I need to.

But SL still gives me something that I deserve to have as part of my life, and I don’t want to burn out again, and I want my experience here to be positive and fulfilling, just as it used to be. I need a purpose here, so that it’s not just hanging out, and that I know that this too has a path to follow.

Creative writing (IMO)

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I logged into Google Docs by accident today, and found some work that I did for my friend Mellow Poppy long, long ago. We were dorking around while she was making shapes, and I started making up back stories for the shapes she showed me. We liked the idea so much that she asked me to come up with backstories for her entire line of men’s shapes as a marketing tool.

I’m not sure if she ever actually used what I wrote, but I really enjoyed doing this — I don’t often go out for creative writing — and hate to think that it was just going to languish there in my Docs folder.

For the record, I was especially enamored of Ernie. I think it’s evident in his profile. :)

– o –

Tom
Tom was president of the Young Republicans at Texas A&M until he was expelled from the organization for public indiscretions involving a bicycle, a garden hose and a large badger. Dejected and driftless, Tom found his lifepath through transcendental meditation and veganism, and today has a thriving business doing deep emotional release bodywork in Toledo. Customers there don’t really understand his affinity for boots and cowboy hats, though.

Ernie
As lead bassist for hot Nebraska-based emo/post-Radiohead band “The Neuron Machine”, Ernie has seen his share of heartbreak, hotel rooms, and hot groupie backsides. His bandmates are envious of his obvious talent, but are also concerned about their careers if Ernie were to seriously consider going solo (“VH1 Where Are They Now?” anyone?). Ernie’s delish bubble-butt can be attributed to a pre-band career as a bike messenger, and his succulent bee-stung lips can be attributed to monthly collagen injections and daily Lip Venom lipgloss.

Bob
As a child, Bob got his ass kicked almost every day before, during and after school, and frequently on weekends too. Years of deep-seated insecurities finally found an outlet when Bob had his first training session at the YMCA and loved the feeling of power it gave him. Today, Bob can bench-press 250 lbs, and frequently lifts his lady friends to show off.  Bob’s ex-girlfriend Sharona convinced him to tattoo her name across his chest; when they broke up, he got the tattoo guy to cover her name over with tribal designs (with only moderate success).

Lee
Single Asian hetero male seeks pretty single woman for pretty much anything. I like women who are intelligent, confident, and sure of what they want. I also like a woman who wears pantyhose. I find the sensual feel and look of a woman in pantyhose to be quite exciting. Really high heels a plus. I’m 26, a college graduate and a San Francisco native. You can be slim or full-figured as I appreciate the beauty of both, but really prefer slim.

Sam
Sam was born on the Right Bank, but definitely aspires to the Left.

Eli
Mild-mannered research assistant by day, when night falls, Eli becomes *Magnetomic Man* to face the evils of the Emerald City! Clad only in his bright green tighty-whiteys, and accompanied by his sidekick Emo, they fight crime through their amazing psycho-energy powers, well-synchronised high kicks. and finely-honed sense of the absurd. Criminals and evildoers of Seattle quake in fear!

Ty
Naomi? Check. Cindy? Yep. Tyra? Been there. Kate? Did blow with her. Gisele? CALL ME BABY!! So yeah, you could say Ty’s done the fashion world.  And Hollywood too: Salma? Needs to get over herself. Gwyneth? A lousy lay, limp as a dead trout. Penelope? Memorable lips. Madonna? Flexible!

Ty’s been around, I guess. He’s also a major STD vector.

Chad
Let’s face it, girlfriend! Chad’s sooooo full of himself!! Seriously, like, get on the cover of GQ just once, and he totally thinks he’s God’s gift to women!! And he’s so insensitive in bed! — he keeps getting distracted by his own reflection in the mirror. He just never seemed interested in satisfying *my* needs. O. M. G.!

But, well, on second thought… he *is* loaded, and he *is* luscious to look at, and he feels *so* right once you get him into bed….

Max
Max is a simple guy. Max likes fish. Max likes goldfish, koi, guppies, swordfish, blowfish, marlin, trout, salmon, clownfish, surgeonfish, razorfish, barracudas, and groupers, but Max is especially fond of mahi mahi. Max drinks Pabst when he thinks about his fish. Mmmmmm… fish.

Letter to Obama

I know this isn’t a political blog, but sometimes there are things that you need to say. I believe firmly that this is a very important election, and I also believe that Obama stands the best hope that he can work to unite the country again around common visions and a plan for the future, as it was some 30 years ago before we became so divided and partisan.

I sometimes agree that Obama relies excessively on his oratory and rhetorical skills. At the same time, I believe it’s fundamental that the next leader of this country is someone who can galvanize people around common goals, while working to build up our confidence and self-reliance. That is something that requires a leader with the ability to express him or herself effectively, and to rally people together; it is my hope that Obama will be another leader like those at various critical junctures in our history have come to power: Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy.

I was asked to participate in a short survey by Barack Obama campaign, since I’ve been supporting him since the primaries. I’ve become disenchanted with the campaign since the primaries concluded. I still have no doubt that Obama is the best choice for president, but I would like to see him get there staying above the fray, and not getting down in the dirt with the lowest-common denominator tactics the Republicans have used for the past 20 years.

So I told him so:

I’m concerned that Barack isn’t expressing enough about the policies he plans to support, spending his campaign days engaged belittling McCain. I understand that you have give as you get, but in the process, this has descended to become a regular presidential campaign again. There was a great deal of pride in seeing a candidate who was above the fray and the small-mindedness of the Republicans and the Democrats in general, but we seem to have lost that.

Furthermore, it seems that the only communication those of us who’ve supported him since the primaries receive anymore are attempts to convince us to keep on donating. Give us ideas! Give us hope! Give us something to believe in, messages to share, ways to add value. I can’t believe that all Barack needs from me is my $25. I hope to see him get back on track, and not wallow in the mud with his adversary.

I’m not sure why I wanted to post this. It seems important to say *something*, especially since I’m in Mexico, and can’t do many of the things I could do in the US to support Obama in this election. I understand *why* I’m voting for him, and I think the least we can all do is to reason our votes, and not allow them to be taken with lies, tall tales, or force of habit (the latter has been my eternal argument with my parents, where they’d simply vote Republican as a knee-jerk instinct, without any reasoning as to which candidate was better for the country).

What keeps *me* distracted

My friend Nadir has started a blog which is as profuse with words as any normal chat with him could be in SL. It’s a bit dizzying to read (and it’s in Spanish — this post is just to appease any remaining English language subscribers I may still have :) ). It makes me want to ask him to slow down, explain himself, and use small words (just like I do when we talk in person).

His latest post talks about the distractions that we use to fill up whatever remaining “leisure” time we have left. For him, it’s GTA4 (um, Grand Theft Auto has a 4?) and his PS3 and some leftover time for SL.

What’s kept me away from SL for most of the last month and a half (aside from the traveling and the family things) is my most favoritest show ever, the new Battlestar Galactica. It has killed Lost for me, superseded however much I ever loved the Sopranos, and my friends know that I was a confirmed addict.

In March, my friend Killian introduced me to Surf the Channel, a most dangerous time sink if there ever was one (especially for someone who lives in a country where most of these shows aren’t on cable here, or show up months-to-years later). I started watching Lost there, a movie or two, then a bit of Sex and the City, and then, out of curiosity, I stumbled onto BSG.

I was *riveted*.

Yes, I know I’m a geek (um, you read me because you play Second Life, right? Mhmm. Just checking.), but hear me out:

This is awesome drama. Don’t let the sci-fi thing throw you. The show attacks politics, religion, culture, relationships, family. It takes on everything that TV is afraid to talk about and, by couching it in a sci-fi scenario, makes it something we can explore without taking offense. The writing is exceptional, theactors are brilliant and, in most cases, beautiful to look at, too.

It’s taken me about a month or so of late nights to work my way through the first three seasons (and in the process also become *intimately* familiar with Chinese video-sharing sites like 56.com and Tudou when STC gets a bit too overwhelmed to feed my addiction), watching one or two episodes a night.

Now that I’ve finally caught up with the real world (the show is halfway through its fourth and final season now), my routine has changed. I watch a Season 4 episode, and then I download Ron Moore’s podcast/producer’s commentary track, which I listen in the car on my way to work or while running errands. I love the depth that it adds, especially as the show keeps throwing me increasingly hard with surprises. I savor each episode as I feel it on my palate. This is the way (good) television should be experienced.

So. That’s where I’ve been. I’m almost caught up to the airdate (only three episodes to go), which violates my cardinal rule for enjoying television on the internet: *never* start watching a series til it’s already aired most of its season. Now I’m going to have to wait til the fall or maybe even next year to see how this show ends.

I will most likely die in the meantime. Or maybe even log into SL.

PS – This is another of those posts that has nothing to do with SL, but I desperately needed to write a loveletter to this show for those who haven’t seen it. We now return you to your occasional regular programming.

Aenea, circa 2007

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Para ya dejar por la paz el tema del artículo de High End (y por ser obsesiva), les quería incluir el texto del artículo, que puede ser un poco difícil de leer en la publicación por la letra tan pequeñita:

MI VIDA VIRTUAL

ESTA SOY YO
ESTE ES MI MUNDO
ESTA ES MI VIDA, MI SEGUNDA VIDA
ESTE ES EL LUGAR AL QUE LLAMO HOGAR

¡Hola! Mi nombre es Aenea. ¿Que quién soy? Es muy probable que te suene extraño pero soy parte de un mundo que jamás podrás tocar, sentir u oler, pero en el que sí puedes vivir tan intensamente como en el tuyo. Soy un “avatar” dentro de Second Life, una proyección virtual de mi yo real, de una persona que como tú tiene un nombre, que tiene una vida real. Soy una representación digital de lo que en su mundo nunca podrá ser pero que en este, sí.

Mi creadora vive también esa análoga vida que consideras tan real, un mundo en el que todos los días te paras a las 6 de la mañana para llegar a trabajar, un mundo lleno de exigencias, limitantes y expectativas.

¿Ese es tu mundo de todos los días? ¿Ese es tu concepto de libertad? ¿Esa es tu idea de comunicar, de experimentar, de compartir, de vivir? ¿No extrañas las expresiones de manifestación artística o de cultura que sacrificamos a diario por falta de tiempo, esa libre convivencia en un ambiente creativo, seguro y competitivo?

Aqui, en mi mundo, soy un artista digital, periodista, amante de la música, el cine, la publicidad y diseñadora de moda. Tengo una gran vida social, y soy pícara, inteligente, leída, opinionada, curiosa y fiel. Mi outfit es perfecto, mi look es único y lo mejor es que estoy rodeado de gente como yo, en una comunidad en la que diariamente nos comunicamos, formamos conexiones reales, intercambiamos información, nos divertimos y sí, nos ganamos la vida.

En mi mundo ya somos más de 6 millones de personas digitales conectadas, en un espacio en el que todos los días nos comunicamos, creamos, compramos, vendemos, hacemos negocios, nos divertimos, bailamos, generamos arte, experimentamos una vida que solo en tus sueños habías imaginado y que solo aquí es “virtualmente real”.

No, esto no es la Matriz – es mil veces mejor, tenemos un mundo libre, puedes ser quien quieras ser o simplemente ser tu, mil veces mejorado. Tenemos una nueva economía basada en el libre mercado pero con una moneda, que tiene cotización en tu mundo real: el “linden” (L$), que actualmente se cotiza en 265 lindens por dólar estadounidense. Y ¿sabes? ya somos una nación, una nación digital independiente a cualquier otra, diversa e internacional, autosustentable con crecimiento sustentable.

¿Cómo llegué aqui? Este mundo tiene casi cuatro años de existir, y había venido escuchando de este mundo donde podías construir y ser lo que quisieras, pero – ya sabes – ¿cómo yo pudiera jugar un videojuego así? ¿qué pensarían de mi? ¿Para qué?

Hasta que empecé a escuchar de las grandes cosas que estaban ocurriendo ahí; presentaciones de autores reconocidos, exposiciones de arte, presentaciones de músicos, y la congregación de una masa de gente creativa que había creado un mundo entero virtual de la nada, un mundo que podía ser  tan parecida a esta como quisieras, pero que muchas veces era tan increíble que no te lo podías imaginar.

Así fue como nací hace 11 meses, adquirí un nombre, creé mi cuerpo e imagen y comenzó todo. Desde el primer momento en que abrí los ojos me di cuenta que pertenecía, este era mi mundo y estaba en el para marcar huella.. Éramos en aquel entonces solo 1.5 millones de personas y día a día veíamos cómo este mundo comenzaba a crecer y tomar vida.

Al principio batallas para comprender lo que puedes hacer. Imagínate, puedes volar, puedes teletransportarte de un lugar a otro, puedes crear lo que te imagines con las herramientas que forman parte del mundo.

Y empecé a hacer amistades, gente que me ayudó a aprender y a integrarme, y encontré algo que jamás me había imaginado: en este mundo virtual, las conexiones personales entre nuestras almas son tanto o más intensas como en tu mundo. El texto se vuelve un medio perfecto de transmisión de ideas, sentimientos e ilusiones, y  tu virtualidad te limpia de las restricciones que has acumulado a través de tu día. Tengo amistades entrañables y cariño real con gente de todo el mundo que realmente adoro y que jamás he conocido, y con los que jamás he hablado. Increíble, ¿no?

Mi creadora compró algunos lindens, suficientes para comprar un terrenito, donde construí mi primer jardín – ¡flotaba a 300m de altitud! Empecé a practicar mis construcciones de edificios y de artículos personales, gradualmente aprendiendo a explotar las figuras del juego con las texturas que creé en Photoshop, creando artículos que vendo en varios cientos de lindens. Y empecé a explorar hacer mis propias películas en el mundo, y que ahora me han servido para atraer clientes que me contratan para hacer videos promocionales de sus negocios.

Ya estoy pensando en abrir mi propia tienda para poner a la venta las cosas que he hecho. Por supuesto también soy una artista digital y mantengo un blog dedicado a exponer todo lo que sucede en Second Life.

Tengo amigos que tienen tiendas de ropa, que venden arte, que venden experiencias, que son músicos que se presentan a diario en el mundo y ganándose una vida real a través de este mundo virtual. Y con estos queridos amigos también me voy de reventón, a pasar las horas platicando y riéndonos acerca de lo que está sucediendo y lo que estará pasando.

Los que vivimos aquí amamos este mundo, por lo que nos permite ser y vivir. Esta es una cultura forjada sobre una increíble comunidad intelectual y artística que desarrolla todo lo que existe acá.

Pero como te habrás dado cuenta, este mundo virtual es súper real para mi. He vivido cosas increíblemente enriquecedoras que me han hecho aprender acerca de mi misma y crecer en mi vida real, con ganas de explorar y desarrollarme.

¡Vente, te invito – juguemos un videojuego! Hay demasiado que hacer y experimentar aquí – te prometo que te cambiará la vida!

Con la distancia del año que ha pasado desde que escribí esto, extraño el entusiasmo por SL que era evidente en mis comentarios. Algunas cosas no van conmigo, que eran parte de la línea editorial que me pidió Jonathan: las preguntas rhetóricas, la forma platicada y algo forzada que de plano no me van.

Pero le tengo que reconocer que me dio la libertad de editar el artículo del primer borrador, de redactarlo para que fuera menos sensacionalista y más sincero, y que reflejara de una forma más real lo que realmente era Second Life, para mi y para mis amigos.

Por eso digo que para mi, esta es una cápsula de tiempo, que me recuerda esa forma tan vívida que pasaba día a día.

No se. A lo mejor el hecho que esté motivada a escribir aquí de nuevo, y que estoy sacando fotos en SL de nuevo, a lo mejor es un nuevo intento por recobrar esa vitalidad.

Mi mundo en SL es muchísimo más pequeño ahora, que diría es el mayor cambio que he sufrido. Salgo menos de mi círculo de amigos íntimos, que sin duda es una tendencia de RL que se entrometió en mi SL. De cierta forma, no le estoy siendo fiel a la imagen de Aenea que vivía en mi cabeza, y por haber perdido esa vitalidad y esa distinción de lo que es mi cotidaneidad de RL, le encuentro menos sentido a invertir mis energías en SL. En pocas palabras, me aburrí, y por consiguiente, me volví mas aburrida.

High End

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Cosa rara. Todo el día he tenido ganas de escribir algo aquí. Y como las cosas de repente se dan por pura suerte, me encontré en el twitter de Jonathan Alvarez un comentario acerca de la publicación de una nueva edición de su revista High End.

En algún momento del pasado, en mi breve lapso como “micro-celebrity” mexicana en SL, comenté acerca de una publicación en una revista que pensé jamás se había concretado. Pensé que la revista había quebrado antes de poder publicar mi participación, que consistía en un artículo, muchas fotos internas, y mi carita en la portada (con fotos tomadas por mi hermanita adorada Bethany Heart).

La revista High End ha resuscitado ahora como una publicación digital (en el super formato iPaper que se utiliza también en la revista de modas de SL G.L.A.M.), y creo que la revista ha mejorado como resultado, sin las restricciones inherentes a una publicación física. Esto lo detalla Jonathan en un artículo singular por su transparencia y honestidad acerca de su experiencia en la primera versión de la revista (página 31 – ahi sale mi foto, tal vez como ejemplo de porqué dejó de publicarse la revista ;) ).

Mantiene un estándar visual y de diseño muy alto, a la vez que ha inclusive aumentado la calidad editorial, tal vez por menor presión a ser comercial.

Jonathan me ha prometido que me enviará copia de mi revista, para tenerla como recuerdo de esta etapa tan tierna de mi segunda vida. Mientras tanto, estoy subiendo imágenes preliminares de los artículos de Second Life que en su momento me había enviado… nunca he tenido la imagen de la portada, así que se las debo para algún día que logre que Jonathan me envíe mi copia.

Se preguntarán… ¿porqué ahora? Ahora que estoy tan lejos de SL, ¿qué finalidad sirve publicar este artículo? Es algo del que estoy muy orgullosa, que refleja una gran parte de mi vida que disfruté mucho y que me ha dado mucha satisfacción creativa y personal. El artículo (mi primera publicación profesional, RL o SL) es una foto de mis sentimientos en ese momento, de mi entusiasmo por SL y de lo mucho que estaba entrelazado mi espíritu con este fantástico mundo virtual.

Y, tal vez, sirva para recordarme esos sentimientos, y que me permita encontrar la manera de volverme a conectar a ese mundo tan rico.

PD – Otro artículo que encontré hoy mientras leía el fantástico blog del economista Tyler Cowen, fue éste artículo con sabor a SL circa 2007, acerca de la Fed y sus experimentos con el mundo virtual en Second Life, claro que antes de que Linden Lab volviera ilegales a todos los bancos en SL. Tal vez eso explica el porqué varios bancos no le contestaban a la analista de la Fed…

Componiendo mi teclado

Prefacios:

a) Ya se que tengo meses de no escribir nada aqui (y que cada vez que he escrito este año, he empezado dando escusas. Me siento culpable, ¿ok? Con decirte que el otro día que traté de entrar, se me había olvidado mi password de wordpress :/). Realmente se debe a que cada vez he estado menos metida en SL, y con menos ganas de contar de mi vida. Esto no quiere decir que tengo totalmente abandonado a mi blog ni a SL, porque me encanta escribir y entrar de ratitos, pero me falta encontrarle el cariño de nuevo.

b) Este post no tiene *nada* que ver con SL. Lo pongo aquí porque: creo que tendrá algo de utilidad para ciertos usuarios; se que éste blog se Googlea y quiero estar segura de que se comparta esta herramienta. También responde a que tengo meses volviéndome loca buscando una solución a esta situación, hasta que me vi forzada a arreglarlo yo misma.

c) Esto será únicamente de utilidad para la pequeñísima intersección de usuarios/lectores que utilizan una iMac de la última generación en México (u otros países que usen los números y acentos como México), que viene con el teclado plano plateado de Apple.

El Cuerpo del Delito:

En febrero, por buen comportamiento, mi esposo me regaló una iMac nueva. :) Esto también se debió principalmente a que mi hijo se ha acaparado, a sus escasos dos años, de mi iMac anterior, y me es imposible utilizarlo ya entre su afán de picarle a todos los íconos y cambiar las preferencias como 20 veces al día.

Mi iMac nuevo lo compramos en una tienda de Apple aquí en Monterrey, por lo que venía con un teclado en español y adecuado para México. Pero ahí empezaron los problemas.

El soporte de Apple hacia Latinoamérica es tal que la configuración del teclado está equivocado en todas las máquinas que vende en la región. Con decirte que ni siquiera existe una foto en línea del teclado en español del iMac. Tuve que hacer una versión fingida en Photoshop para que me entendieran:

Por ejemplo, en mi iMac anterior (la blanca de 17 pulgadas), sólamente viene un archivo de configuración de teclado, llamado Español (ISO) en el que el teclado numérico siempre había puesto una coma como decimal (como se usa en Brasil, Argentina y Chile, entre otros países) en lugar de un punto decimal (que es como se presentan los números en México, y creo que también en Perú y algunos otros países de Latinoamérica). Esto fue algo que siempre como que me daba lata, porque hacía bastante inútil el teclado numérico cuando estaba haciendo cuentas o trabajando en Excel.

Con algo de emoción encontré que mi iMac nueva (plateada, de 20 pulgadas) venía con una configuración de teclado que se llama “Mexico” (así, sin acento). En esta configuración, funcionaba perfectamente el punto decimal del teclado numérico, pero los acentos aparecían así:

as´i

Osea, los acentos no se combinaban con las letras que estaban acentuadas (algo que se llama “dead key”). Como se imaginarán, es un poco molesto esto. Además, el shortcut típico de Option-E+la letra del acento te da más bien el símbolo de Euros. :(

Total, cuando escribía en español, tenía que poner el layout de teclado de Español (ISO) (que mueve muchas otras teclas), y cuando volvía a la escritura normal o en inglés, volvía al keylayout de México. En internet por más que buscaba no encontraba alguien que tuviera un formato de teclado que resolviera esto, así que por casi tres meses me he tragado la incomodidad.

Por fin decidí tomar las cosas en mis manos, y encontré el Ukelele, un editor de los archivos de teclado para Mac OS X. No es muy amigable el aplicativo que digamos — el manual está lleno de palabras técnicas que me confundieron un buen rato. Pero logré editar el archivo del .keylayout de “Mexico” para crear un archivo que funciona perfectamente con mi teclado para los acentos de México (y el diéresis), y también te da punto decimal en el teclado numérico. No estoy seguro si como está basado en el formato “Mexico” que venía en mi máquina si hay algún tipo de propiedad intelectual, pero lo veo como servicio público para los que aman sus Macs, como yo.

Me tomó más de 800 palabras para explicar, entonces, la razón que hice y les comparto este archivito para mis paisanos que quieran utilizar su teclado de iMac sin problemas:

Mexico Acentos.keylayout.zip

Deben deszipear este archivo en su Mac, y colocarlo en el directorio de User > Library > Keyboard Layouts. Luego, para activarlo, deben entrar a System Preferences a la preferencia International, y seleccionar este nuevo archivo de “Mexico Acentos” dentro de la pestaña de Input. (sorry que no me se estas referencias en el sistema operativo en español, pero en esto soy media gringuita :) ) Con esto ya se activará este teclado; hay de que des-seleccionar cualquier otro teclado que tengas dado de alta para que no hayan conflictos.

Espero que les sirva!

Littlest Things (Remix)

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A few months ago, Bethy and her partner, Kafka Dinzeo (aka Mic Rocka in RL) asked me to make a video for them of one of Kafka’s songs. As has been apparent in my output, it took me a couple of months to have the time to finish editing it.

Remixing Lily Allen’s “Littlest Things”, Kafka overlaid it with a lovely, heartfelt rap which shows the enormous talent which has garnered him a loyal following in SL.

Roslin Petion of Fleur was so kind to allow us to film on her sim for most of the shots, and we did Kafka’s individual shots at one of his concerts at The Gentlemen’s Club and on a set I built on our sim.

I’m really proud of how this video turned out. :)

Technical info: Most of the tracking shots were made with the Filming Path HUD, but toward the end of the shoot I discovered Joystick Flycam, which is in my opinion the coolest hidden toy in SL at the moment; the extremely smooth shots of Kafka and the dance were shot this way. (I intend to write up a tutorial on using Flycam sometime soon.) I captured with FRAPS in Windows as usual, and edited in Final Cut Express on my iMac.

A typical evening

So last night, after Catero left me at Armidi in Bethy’s highly-qualified, yet Armidi-overwhelmed hands ;), Puma tp’ed Miko Omegamu, who was highly inebriated, and Miko proclaimed we had to have an “underpants” party.

So I made a careful investment in Armidi dainties (the latest release of which are positively gorgeous), in which we then danced in the middle of the store to the delight and/or annoyance of many, I’m sure.

Suddenly, the theme of the party changed to “what you looked like as a noob”. We all dug deep in our inventory to find our old shapes, hair, clothes and skins. Amazingly enough, I managed to recreate what I looked like at about week 2 of my SL experience, which I honestly found quite appalling to relive. Here, then, are never-before-seen pictures of Aenea v1, decked out in my old shape (named, appropriately enough, “new shape”), a CS Charmed skin (o.O the makeup!), old Lost Thereian hair, Mynx shoes, and my first non-freebie outfit from Nyte ‘n’ Day (back when she was still in the same sim as ETD). There is no better evidence than this of how much creators and quality have improved over the past 1.5 years.

Sidenote: If you weren’t meant to blog your moments of embarassment, what did God invent blogs for? :)

My regular 2am tp arrived to see something Spiral Walcher had built, a pose that replicated the look of a frog in his amazing (and still-under-construction) Rezzable build. Now that I think of it, that pose could also be easily mistaken for something of a more sexual nature.

And THEN. Then I realized that in the process of upgrading my Huddles this weekend, I’d not only lost all the no-copy AO poses I had from Outrider, but I’d also lost ALL of my no-copy Sine Wave dances. I cried and gnashed my teeth, opened and closed and reopened my inventory, inspected my old Huddles, but they’re all gone. :( That means I’m out about L$5000 in purchased dances, which is a huge bummer for a dance-a-holic like me. WHY OH WHY do creators insist on making no-copy, no-transfer items such as poses or animations (which are intangible and can easily disappear into the SLether)? Yes, I know, so that clubs can’t use make copies to use in multiple dance balls or whatever. But that is bad policy for regular people like myself.

So I wrote up a very nice notecard for the Sine Wave people, asking them if they could possibly serve a replacement, and gave all of the relevant transaction data. (Sidenote #2: ALWAYS download your transaction history every month!) Of course, after I’d sent it I read the tiny letters in the customer service person’s profile that said they won’t replace any items lost due to bugs or errors in third party software, which seems like a giant cop-out. So I’m not sure how it’ll work out.

I still haven’t received a response, so I don’t know what tack they’ll take on it. I hope it works out for the best, because otherwise I’m not buying anything else from them ever. I’ll just do the freebie rave dance everywhere I go, or bum off of others’ chimeras. :)

SO. Not in bed early, but through no fault of my own. :)

The last call

The fashionably-correct thing to say these days is that I finally got in to the Last Call sale. But more truthfully, I finally bothered to try to go, and at 9SLT on a Wednesday there were only 31 people in the sim, so I had no problem at all and shopped with relatively little lag.

I haven’t written about fashion on this blog for a while. I used to be deeply passionate about Ginny’s clothes, and I’d visit Last Call maybe once a week to pick up the new releases. It was a love-hate relationship — in my transaction stats, for the longest time Ginny was the largest recipient of my lindens, and the vast majority of my clothing inventory (and I assume, of many other women’s) was created by her. There was also always something about Ginny’s av which grated me (yes, I know, it’s a silly sensation, but Ginny’s face always looked so *smug* in her ads…).

That feeling never got in the way of the enjoyment which I got from her work. What truly was important was the amazing quality and the breadth of the creativity that she displayed week after week. Her output was truly amazing in design and quality, and unmatched in volume by any other designer in SL to date.

I was of course mentally conscious that Ginny has left us. Last night, though, as I browsed the racks, I was struck by a feeling of nostalgia and melancholy that I was totally unprepared for from actually being in the store looking at the posters one last time, and knowing that there will never be any more new releases. Seeing the incredible display of her craft in Photoshop and Lightwave which defined the bleeding edge of fashion in SL, and which in a sense expressed her personality as I knew her. It was also touching to interact with her once again, enjoying the last bit of art which she created in her life. To know that this was the last time I’d be grated by her av ;) , even as I clicked on that Buy button just one more time, seemed somehow fitting.

I never met Ginny, but she always made Aenea look good. Visits to Last Call were a part of my slife — almost a rite of passage and of having grown up as an av: Last Call always meant dressing up in grown-up clothes.

There is something in that any artist will always be remembered by the oeuvre they leave behind. I was happy that Ginny’s partner decided to make these final sales transfer, for now I know that Ginny’s work will be passed from one person to another, enjoyed by many, perpetuating her legacy and impact on SL fashion.

Spiral’s Scarab

I’ve written several times about my love for the art that people make in SL, where there are no physical restrictions, and where the only limits (at least in theory) are what one can imagine. Previous recipients of my love have been Starax, the Greenies Home, and the ZeroG Skydancers, among others.

I was fortunate enough to have been invited to be a member of Not Possible In Real Life (NPIRL), a group that Bettina Tizzy founded for the appreciation of these kind artists and their work, in spite of my lack of apparent talent. :) The group discovers and is often the first to see some of the most amazing creations on the grid, and I have to say that it’s been one of the most enriching parts of my second life over the past few months.

Last week Bett invited the group (she is the consummate Connector :) ) to explore the Synaesthesia sim, I got to meet Spiral Walcher, about whom Bett has written extensively. Spi invited several of us to visit his newest build (the subject of the aforementioned article), and I was stunned by what I saw.

Spi has invented a new kind of art in SL, taking advantage of the Glow feature that has been introduced in the recent WindLight viewer. Using barely one prim, one texture, and one simple texture rotation script, Spi has created some beautiful, hypnotic pieces of art. His Electric Forest is merely a proof of concept compared to the much vaster work in production that he showed me.

Photo by Bettina Tizzy, npirl.blogspot.com.

In fangirlish awe, I begged sufficient hints to figure out some of his techniques, and the simplicity of the idea and its implementation is astounding. Spi’s late night (~4AM) IM’s over the past week set off storms of buzzing creativity in my poor, sleep-deprived head.

Spi showed me his latest piece a few days ago, a scarab bracelet and necklace which include one his glow figures as a jewel, which he was kind enough to gift me. To see it up close is mesmerizing:

The video can’t do the fine details justice — you’ll have to see it in person. Spi says that he hopes to offer these pieces for sale soon, a truly unique NPIRL piece of jewelry.

I’m so excited to see the final product of his work. In the meantime, I create my own figures based on Spi’s work, and buzz with the possibility.

PS – YAY!! WordPress.com now allows embedding Vimeo video!

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