Sticking my head out into the new year

A/me dusts off this blog, looks around, and thinks it’s cozy enough to settle in for a stretch.

Hey there!! Happy New Year!!

This is not my real look, but I really like this picture :)

SOOOO…

Most of my activity lately has been on Twitter, which is my new sideline obsession and which is excerpted in the sidebar of this blog (yeah, down there, around the posts from October?). Thanks to Gwyneth Llewelyn, who posted the wonderful link to a UK Telegraph writer’s predictions for 2008; Second Life figures prominently.

February: The population of Second Life passes that of the entire continent of Africa. An independence movement argues that control of the servers should be handed over to participants in the game. Mobs of angry avatars besiege in-game branches of Gap and American Apparel.

Linden Lab, owners of the game, denounce the “cyber-terrorists” and cancel their accounts, impounding their imaginary assets. They are sued for restraint of trade, theft of intellectual property, and human rights breaches. The accounts are reinstated, and Linden Lab signs over control of the game to the rebels.

Their leader declares himself President of Second Life, and promises to hold free elections. Asked at an online press conference about the timing of the elections, President Dude-Mom-Later’s avatar turns into a bee.

 Later in the year, we again come to bear on the world stage:

June: Based on its real-world GDP, its “soft power” and its popularity, Second Life is admitted to the G8, displacing Canada. The virtual world sends a purple woman with a narwhal horn, a leather basque and improbably large breasts to the summit.

Second Life joins the World Trade Organisation and Nato. “The EU is for pussies,” its ambassador says in a curiously floaty voice.

/me wonders if the “improbably large breasts” are perhaps *sculpty* breasts? (Unfortunately, I can’t find the link Catero passed me for actual humongous sculptie breasts on OnRez. They were rather impressive.)

And finally, the belligerent segment of the Second Life population finally takes on WoW:

November: […] Azeroth, imaginary setting of the online fantasy game World of Warcraft, declares war on Second Life. “Bring it, dwarf,” says Second Life’s ambassador. “You think you all that, with your red beard and your Mithril Meat-hammer, but you ain’t. We bad nasty.”

Treaty obligations signed in the summer oblige Nato forces to launch a tactical strike on World of Warcraft’s Northern European servers. An estimated 100,000 people in Sweden are fatally irradiated. Azeroth is destroyed.

YAY!! And so Second Life’s plan for world domination comes to fruition at last.

Am I a geek because I laughed so much at that? 🙂

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Eight random facts about me.

The Rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight random facts about me:

  1. I’ve never been tagged before in one of these memes on my blog. I’m not excited by it, but I was sort of expecting/dreading it in a way, especially as it was a way to make me actually post.
  2. I was going to be on the cover of a magazine here in Mexico, with a six-page photo-spread accompanied by an article that I wrote (the first time I would have had my writing published), but a) the magazine went belly-up the issue before mine, and b) the media’s euphoria with SL lapsed at the same time. I need to remember to post the proofs from that sometime here, just for old time’s sake.
  3. I’ve never smoked in my life, and I only started drinking when I was 20 because I went to Europe, and I decided if you don’t drink in Europe you’re just totally dumb and uncool. Also, wine’s cheaper there.
  4. I only learned how to SMS and what it was useful for this year. I normally consider myself ahead of the curve on technology, though.
  5. I’ve lived in the same apartment for over ten years. Yes, I’m paying rent. Yes, my landlord loves me.
  6. I want to move away from Monterrey, but I’m afraid to leave.
  7. I am intensely critical of everything I do, which explains the wide variety of unfinished projects that I have lying around. It’s easier to not finish something than to endure the sharp edge of my self-critique.
  8. I took a skills and aptitude test at work this year called the Birkman. My results came out heavily skewed toward creative (musical and artistic), scientific and entrepreneurial interests. I work in finance, though. The first thing the evaluator said to me when she saw my results was, “What are you *doing* working here?” I still ask myself that question everyday.

/me makes a mental note that “random” does not necessarily have to mean “boring”. I apologize to my readers, and proceed to tag Bethany Heart, Hillary Melville, Bettina Tizzy, Helix Rehula, and Ananke Kronos. That should round out every last blogger in SL. 🙂

Finding myself

It’s been a tough couple of months for me… tons of work, tons of real life demands on my time, tons of travel. I miss writing here, but I also realize that with so little time spent in SL, I have little to contribute to this discussion, which was always supposed to be about my second life.

So going from a full-time SLer (4+ hours a night) to a *really* part-time SLer (logging in a couple of times a week at most) practically cold-turkey has taught me an important lesson:

SL is a harsh mistress.

There *is* no such thing as part-time SL. If you can’t make the time commitment, you can’t keep the relationships which make SL so valuable. As a part-timer, your scope of options becomes more limited. You can’t get involved in long-term projects or relationships because you’re only in for a bit; you can’t keep up with the topics or the conversation, even. It’s tough to engage with people who are full-timers, because you can’t relate as well to the minutia of everyday life in SL anymore — the relationships, the events, the bugs, the (face it) drama.

So, in isolation, you wander around… explore, shop, hang around with old friends for a bit. And then you get bored, and log out. It becomes a vicious cycle.

I don’t know how to half-live my second life. I know the good things it’s done for me, and the wonderful people I love so much who are still there, but I also just can’t find the will to engage anymore on that same level as before. I miss that feeling, but I also know that moderation is good for me, in this case.

It’s a complicated time for me at the moment. My son is at his most precious age ever and I don’t want to miss that. The season is obviously demanding in terms of commitments and errands; and spending Christmas vacation essentially offline (no Internet for two weeks? I’m going to die.) means that the outlook for SL time isn’t going to improve soon.

I don’t know if it’s a self-reinforcing filter, but it seems like SL is going through a tidal change at the moment. Not necessarily among my friends, but it seems like a renewal is happening. Oldbies (omg I’m one of them) are leaving, or disengaging, or reducing their involvement. Friends have sold land they had for years, or closed their SL businesses. Maybe it’s a natural trend in SL, and I’m only just noticing it in my old age. Or maybe something’s changed, that has changed the value of SL for many people who formerly got a great deal more from it. (the constant stream of problems posted daily on the official Linden blog surely wouldn’t be a motivator for that, would it?)

I promised Bethy I wasn’t leaving, and especially not suddenly (her exact words were, “pulling a Bombi”. You know who you are out there, folks. 🙂 ), and I really don’t want to. But I need to resolve the dilemma of doing this on a part-time basis in a way that still has value to me and still feeds all that I used to get out of SL.

I’m not making threats; I’ve been accused of that before and it’s not my style. But this blog has always been an outlet for my feelings, and lately I’ve needed to be able to get these things off my chest.  Things will play out as they must, and I’ll most likely still be around in some fashion, as there is too much water under the bridge to just let it go like that.

encuérese

Ananké escribió un post super provocador en su “bló” buenísimo ayer:

La cosa es que […] platíquenme ¿por qué les da tanto pudor mostrar sus perfectas skins en SL?

Digo e insisto, esas skins no tienen celulitis ni estrías ni cicatrices, lo hermoso de esas imperfecciones sólo está en RL, y si no me creen, pa’ los que están en el DF vayan a la exposición de Spencer Tunick y los casi 20mil encueratrices que anduvimos por allá en una fría mañana de mayo. ¡Ahí si pa’ que vean harta celulitis, estría, cicatriz, imperfección en su máximo esplendor! Nada de RaC ni Naughty, ahí éramos de todos colores, olores, tamaños, dimensiones, razas, credos e ideologías…despojándonos además de la ropa, de pudores y prejuicios…¿por qué en este mundo de SL no se puede?…Mi no comprender.

Ananké Kronos, Lo Inevitable Sucedería

Al empezar a dejarle comentario, se volvió un post hecho y derecho (últimamente me ha estado pasando mucho eso…):

Anky nos reta que porqué no somos capaces de encuerarnos libremente con nuestros perfectos cuerpos en SL. Para mi hay tres temas aquí, y todos difieren de los comentarios que hizo ella, o que dejaron en su blog:

1. Porque me identifico muchísimo con mi avi. Aunque a lo mejor esté mal, yo no hago gran distinción entre la que soy en RL, y la que soy en SL. Mi forma de comportarse es igual; si pudiera, en RL me vestiría como me visto en SL (uy, si los lindens fueran dólares, olvídate! 🙂 ). Me identifico tanto con Aenea que tengo pudor por ella; mis modos en rl las traduzco directamente a ella. No puedo separarnos, y por eso no puedo hacer roleplay con Aenea, ni soy buena para tener un alt. Así como me ven, me leen y me oyen, así soy, entonces no me puedo portar de manera distinta cuando estoy vestida de Aenea que cuando estoy vestida de yo (osea, rl).

(Corrolaria chistosa: hb me comenta ayer que tenía rato de no ver a Aenea, que qué se había hecho. Así que le mostré esta foto del domingo:

… y me regañó, que eso no era la imagen que debiera proyectar Aenea… 🙂 Claro que este look fue una cosa momentánea, un sentimiento que me despertó el increíble pelo de Armidi, pero como quiera lo adoro por el comentario.)

2. Como mujer en SL, te atienes a las embestidas y el acoso de los hombres; si vestida relativamente conservadoramente me lo hacen, imagínate si me vieran encuerada. Para las que no estamos buscando ese tipo de atención, es super molesto tener que estar siempre buscando evitar ese tipo de situaciones. No se si sea ventaja, pero muchas veces intimido por mi forma de hablar (palabrotas! ironía!), y generalmente ando con amigos en lugar de ir a sims donde me van a hacer sentir incómoda, pero es algo que concientemente busco evitar de ser posible…

3. Una gran motivante para mi en SL es la moda y la ropa. Claro que me encanta mi skin, y trato de tener los skins más bonitos, pero son como para que el perchero esté lo mejor posible para que luzca el look total, no para estar viéndome en cueros… Es más, yo creo que me tardé como dos o tres meses antes de haber conocido el hmmhmm de mi skin de güera de Lovey Darling… 🙂 (a mi me dio un chorro de risa darme cuenta de eso 🙂 ) Obviamente este es el punto menos importante, pero es signficativo que tengo miles de ropa y miles de pelos, y no voy a dejar de usarlos para andar en cueros.

Entonces por como me identifico con Aenea, el encuerarme para mi tiene un signficado especial, igual que lo tiene en RL. Llámalo pudor o algo más, pero es compartir una parte de mi, porque no puedo separar lo sensual de los pixeles. Esos pixeles engloban también el 100% de mi conciencia en ese momento que vivo de mi segunda vida, y lo que hacen esos pixeles es representación fidedigna de lo que siento y percibo en cada instante. Aenea no es muñeca, aunque lo parezca.

O como decía famosamente la Jessica Rabbit, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”

Second-to-last Radiohead post

To the two readers who still follow this Second Life-cum-Radiohead blog:

I got my download today, and I’m about to sync it to my iPod (in other words, I HAVE YET TO LISTEN TO IT. Am I weird?). But, as you may have picked up from previous music-related posts, I am extremely anal about what goes into my iPod. The fact that this album has no cover art has impeded me from actually syncing it.

So I made my own cover. There was no creativity involved, just freely sampling from the imagery on the In Rainbows site. But for the completists like me out there, this is a pleasant alternative to the slightly more gaudy image that was suggested here.

which is downloadable here.

And finally, people with *actual* talent posted some great alternatives here.

Why “second-to-last post”? I’ll undoubtedly have something to say when I actually get around to listening to the thing. 🙂

Postscript – Some of the covers at the Hicks Design link were so good that I ended up using different images on each song 🙂

To renew or not to renew

I got this email today:

Dear Aenea Nori,
We hope you’re enjoying your Second Life.  This is a reminder that your Second Life Premium Annual Plan will be renewed on October 23, 2007, at which time you’ll be charged $72.00(USD).  You don’t need to do anything; renewal and billing are automatic.
To review or modify your account details, or to change or cancel your Membership Plan, visit https://secondlife.com/account.

Best Wishes,
Linden Lab and the Second Life Team
http://www.secondlife.com

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Yes, I love Second Life. But my initial motivation for becoming a Premium account was the First Land offer. That was my first and last relationship with the Mainland, tyvm, and I made a tidy profit on that little transaction at the time (gracias Nadir!!). Since then, my tier has been donated to the Bluffs to support the upkeep of ZeroOne’s project. So in essence, I gain very little from the 512m tier associated with the account. I now own land in Pinswang from the Otherland Group with which I’m very happy, and for which I don’t need tier.

The other benefit of the Premium account is the stipend. While not as lucky as others (as the stipend rate has declined over time), I managed to lock in a L$500 stipend level when I signed up. So on a purely financial level, on the Lindex US$72 will buy me L$19,000, while in stipends I will receive L$26,000. This one’s a no-brainer, although my real linden burn rate is much higher than that :/

So it comes down to this: Do I plan to stay another whole year here? Can I imagine myself having spent another year of my life devoting so much time (~20-30 hours a week) to this game? Can I continue to spend that much time here faced with the increasing demands on my RL time (I thought toddlerhood would demand less of me than babyhood, but boy, was I wrong 😉 )

I read recently that the net result of seriously playing games like SL is that we *make* time for them, one way or another, even when we claim we have no free time available. So that means there must be some 500,000 sleep-deprived SL users who take time out of sleep in order to invest it in their second lives. (There are also always the cautionary articles about those who choose instead to take it out of work or out of their real lives… I’m looking at *you*, Wired Magazine.)

I guess I can afford the 72 bucks (plus what I’m paying monthly for Pinswang). I can’t really foresee what I’ll be doing in a year, but I know that I still love the people, experiences and skills that I have here. I know that I’m sacrificing real time for this — time for my son; for my husband; for exercise; time for me, even. I understand that I *will* go through phases (like now), where it’s more or less important to me, or where I take time for other activities, or where I just choose to sleep for a while to stave off the feeling of accumulated exhaustion.

But this has become my hobby, and many of my ancillary interests revolve around it. It tweaks the receptors in my brain that savor social interaction, that crave the mental challenge of learning and dominating something new, that frolic in the new experiences and that rejoice in a good conversation with interesting people. I don’t get these stimuli in RL nearly as often as I’d like, so at the moment, I see no suitable substitute for this addiction.

Seventy-two dollars is cheap in that sense. /me antes up again.

Pérdida de Inventario

De un comentario que dejé en el blog de Anky:

Yo he perdido chorromil cosas en el último mes (por ejemplo mis shapes). Generalmente son cosas que tengo rato (tipo unos tres meses) de no ponerme o usar, pero he perdido ropa, zapatos, pelos, ¡mis orejitas neko! y HUDs… No les pasa a todos los avis, pero una vez que empieza en tu inventario, parece que sigues perdiendo cosas gradualmente. Es muy frustrante y aparte caro estar perdiendo artículos por los que ya había pagado…

Envié mail a soporte Linden, pero me dicen que lo único que se puede hacer es Clear Cache, que no arregló nada. Ellos no se hacen responsables, ni te reponen los artículos perdidos.

El único consuelo es este: Como te queda el registro del artículo en tu inventario, haz click con botón derecho y selecciona Properties. Ahi puedes ver el nombre del creador, así como la fecha en la que compraste el artículo.

Mándale un IM al creador con la fecha en la que compraste el artículo (para que puedan confirmar en sus registros tu compra), y en general con gusto te envían un repuesto de lo que perdiste (solamente no he recibido respuesta acerca de un HUD que había comprado).

Lo que es una lata es tener que hacerlo tantas veces conforme vas encontrando las cosas desaparecidas, y que algunos creadores no guardan copias de sus artículos más viejos (como por ejemplo Elika, quien borra sus pelos antiguos para optimizar su inventario) pero es peor perder tus preciados lindens en artículos perdidos…

. . . . .

Por otro lado, les doy este tip:

Vale la pena por sanidad mental ir guardando tu historial de transacciones en Excel. Para los que no sepan, este archivo se puede bajar directamente en formato Excel de la siguiente liga: http://www.secondlife.com/account/transactions.php Se pueden bajar hasta 30 días de información, y yo los voy juntando en una tabla enorme en Excel que tiene mi historial desde principios de año (no se me ocurrió hacerlo antes :/).

Así, en caso de cualquier problema facilmente puedo encontrar el registro de compra del artículo. También me permite analizar cuanto estoy gastando (!!!) y en qué tiendas (mera curiosidad 🙂 ), usando tablas dinámicas sencillas.

Blown away

I visited the wheat field this weekend, and had the opportunity to meet its creator, AM Radio. I’d been seeing beautifully desolate pics appear on Flickr for a couple of weeks, and then saw the link to its location on Bettina Tizzy’s profile.


Photo from Torley Linden’s Flickr stream

Bettina’s blog, NPIRL, has become one of my favorite SL reads recently, because it tackles a topic dear to my heart — the promotion of artists who use SL as a medium to create art and experiences that are only possible here in Second Life (i.e. Dancoyote Antonelli or Starax).

AM’s build is solemn and beautiful, and it reminds me of the feeling I used to have when I lived in the midwest as a girl and the thunderstorms rolled in over the plains (where I lived it was corn on the ground, but the sky still looked like distilled fury). There is a touch of whimsy in the table set for two, with a view to the fields or to the sea, which is tempered by the forlorn old locomotive waiting to rust apart in the field.

AM apparently built this on a whim on one of IBM’s private sims, and Bettina rescued it by donating her land for him to relocate. As a result of its sudden popularity, AM has started a campaign to raise money for Heifer International toward buying a cow for a family in poverty. Donors can purchase one of several replicas of the wheat field ranging from L$1000-3000 (from the base field, to the field with the locomotive or an old rusted Ford), and AM will contribute the money raised to Heifer.org.

I bought a wheat field which will be my new skybox. I already love the juxtaposition of the wheat field with my photosphere.

In Rainbows

I don’t think I’ve expressed here what a huge Radiohead fan I am. I have every album, almost all the imports, several live recordings, and the bootleg tracks from the mini-tour they did last year to test tracks from the new album. They are without question the most listened-to artist on my iPod, and I never tire of them.

Today, they announced the release of their first new album in four years, In Rainbows, on Oct. 10th as a digital download (this is probably all over the blogosphere already…). The coolest part is that the download is Choose-Your-Own-Price:

Click the question mark next to the blanks, and you get this:

🙂

Many many years ago I was completely convinced this was the way to go for artists in the music industry. Radiohead at the moment has no record label, but this will no doubt be a huge seller worldwide, and it will validate a fan-oriented model where the artist can control their own distribution and can disintermediate the middleman who adds little value to the equation.

It remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to withstand the download onslaught next week, as they’re currently not able to process the volume of transactions they’re receiving (I tried to buy the album three times today with no luck).

BTW, I’ve listened to four of the tracks off this album already, from the pre-release tour last year. They’re all kinds of awesome, a continuation from where the band left off after Hail to the Thief.

(Sorry for interrupting your regularly-scheduled SL-focused inanities, but Radiohead’s bigger than all that for me. 😉 )

The Nicholaz Edition

I think we’ve all suffered through the increasing instability of the SL viewer over the last year of releases. Mac-based users (like me) especially have to suffer a slow, laggy client which suffers from tremendous memory leakage, and will regularly crash two or three times in one four-hour SL session.

I’d been reading for some time about Nicholaz Beresford, a German programmer who has recompiled the viewer incorporating patches that he finds to correct the most nagging problems with the viewer. In particular, he’s recovered the old IM/friendslist/chat history windows, removing the new joint “Communicator” window. But more importantly, he’s devilishly good at rooting out the problems that make the viewer unstable. I hadn’t installed it because the process seemed technically complex, and also Windows-oriented (I only use the Windows client when I play on my laptop, and in Bootcamp on those rare occasions when I’m shooting machinima).

So lucky me, I was reading his blog last week when he posted that two people had compiled Mac builds incorporating Nicholaz’s patches. I chose Barney Boomslang’s “Bleeding Edge-q” version, just because I’ve met and know of Barney, but either version should be ok. Don’t be scared by the “bleeding edge” designation — it only means that it’s using the most recent version of the Linden Lab’s Release Candidate as its base, but I’ve had no problems with it at all.

I went whole hog this weekend. I installed these versions on both my laptop (Windows) and on my Mac, and used them all weekend. I think I’m in love. 🙂

Mac: The Mac install is a little weird, as the Release Candidate doesn’t have an installer — you have to drag the application from the mounted disk image into a folder on your hard drive (I put it into a folder on my desktop, but since there are no little files generated, you could just as easily place it directly on your desktop). Then you run Barney’s patcher, select the folder into which you copied the RC, and watch as it applies Nicholaz’s patches. You then run this version of SL by double-clicking on the Release Candidate icon, which will run the patched version.

Windows: The Windows install is a bit easier, although the instructions are slightly unclear. First you install the Release Candidate. Then you unzip Nicholaz’s patcher (an .exe and three .xml files) into the same directory as the Release Candidate (which by default should be c:\Program Files\SecondLifeReleaseCandidate). Create an alias for the Nicholaz.exe file and place it on your desktop (the alias’s icon is actually a different color, a nice touch to remind you of the differing version). Run the patched SL by double-clicking on the alias.

When you start up the patched RC client, it will say you’re running Second Life (Nicholaz Edition) with the version number. What you’ll notice is a huge leap in stability and speed (NO CRASHING YAY!!!), your av’s skin texture no longer re-rezzing three or four times after you change skin or clothes, less lagging and freezing, and most notably, a return to the old interface of separate chat history, IM and friends list windows (yay!! ctrl+t works correctly for the IM window again!). In a way, I’d grown accustomed to the new window and found ways to make it more friendly to my style of SLing, so I missed it a bit, but I wouldn’t sacrifice the stability I gained with this version.

If you can handle the process of the install, I have no qualms so far in recommending that you use this version instead of the official viewer. I like that I no longer have to think about the client while I’m playing, because it just seems to work.

Losing my self in SL :/

This was funny when I first got the message when I logged in, so I snapped a screenshot. I mean, I’d dealt with missing assets, and I thought it the epitome of irony that now I’d lose body parts — I mean, which parts can even be detached? 🙂 I realized that it was only that the bald I was wearing had “disappeared” from the database.

It wasn’t so funny when I later realized that I’d lost *all* of my shapes except the one I was wearing (my skirt shape). NONE of them were in the database, and I was in full panic mode, fearing I’d lose my avatar because of the random inventory loss I was experiencing. I’d also lost my various balds (I make a bald for each skin, as the bald controls the shape of the eyebrows, and each skin has different eyebrow positioning).

Over the next couple of hours, I worked to make a “backup” of the shape I was wearing, the only ways I could think of: I gave a copy to my sis Bethy and to my alt, and I copied down all my sliders to an offline text file, so in case it was necessary, I could recreate myself (I’d deal with the distortion of the skirt shape if and when necessary).

I started compiling a list of missing assets (I’d previously noticed missing clothing, hair and jewelry over the past couple of weeks) with asset UUIDs to send to Linden support, in the hope that there was some way of recovering them.

Before I was able to send the complaint, and after two hours of being a total mess, I tried one last time to put on my basic shape, and I didn’t get the dreaded error message. Most of my shapes had come back somehow. I was still missing a few balds, and all of the real assets I was missing (the hair and jewelry), but I’d recovered the items that were most important to me.

This is the first time I’ve ever had problems with the asset server. I’ve watched others complain about this particular issue in the blog and on the forums. I now know the distress this can cause. People who know me would say that I’m fairly level-headed and not given to bursts of emotion, but this had me on the verge of crying. Ana Lutetia has told me that she’s had similar temporary shape disappearance, too, and has felt the anxiety that this provokes.

My shape is a fundamental part of me; I don’t mess with it other than for minor adjustments (my Lovey skins required major shape-surgery to not have taco-sized lips).

Losing assets is losing money. It happens in rl just as it can happen in sl. I can always get more money, and I can re-purchase the assets I’ve lost. Oh well.

But losing my shape is akin to losing my identity, losing a part of myself. Yeah, I could mostly recreate it, but it would never be exactly ME again. *That* is distressing, and a much more powerful and painful sensation than I would’ve imagined it to be.

I hope this never happens to you, and I hope that LL can finally fix this problem which has been dogging them for months.

Random thoughts

OK, I’ve been terrible about posting lately, between RL stress and SL not-much-is-happening-ism. So I’ll jot down a few things to feel productive at least and not squander what little goodwill I have left with you folks.

* I’m loving dailylit.com. Read public domain books on an installment plan via email. I finished Pride & Prejudice last night (which I’d never read before because I went to school in Mexico, tyvm). I get my fix everyday at 1:30, right before lunch, and head home all perky, romantic and Lizzy-like. Of course, I cheated, and read the last 75 installments (from Pemberley onward) in two days, by clicking on the “send next installment” link many many times. 🙂

* Real chat excerpt with Bethy from a few days ago. We were talking about hiphop a second before:

Aenea: i’d just like to say
Aenea: that Darcy is a twat.
Beth: Darcy?
Aenea: chap 18. pride & prejudice
Aenea: darcy is a twat.
Aenea: 🙂
Aenea: that, sis, was a non sequitur.
Aenea: lol
Aenea: sorry.
Beth: lol
Beth: ooooooooooh
Beth: oh you’re reading it
Aenea: lol remember?
Beth: yeah!
Beth: LOVE that story
Aenea: he reminds me a bit of Cat
Aenea: without the smarmy richness, of course.
Beth: lol
Aenea: and i don’t mean that in like a three musketeers-bar sorta way.
Beth: lol

* I am obviously NOW in love with Darcy. Gotta love a Victorian novel for that. 🙂

* I’ve not been much in SL lately, because I haven’t had much time for it, unfortunately. I’m excited though, because I own my first real plot of land now. Bombi sold me her half sim at Pinswang (I still owe you!), which I’m so in love with. Of course, first thing I did was autoreturn ALL the crap on it by accident (um including houses, skyboxes, trees too…). So in my tremendous noobiness, I beat Bombi.

Then Linden Lab disappeared my sim.

It’s back now.

* Having my own land reawakened my desire to build (nesting instinct, anyone?). So I’ve been on a texture, sculpty, learning kinda tear when I have time in-world, and when I’m not hanging out with the usual suspects.

* OMG, I normally don’t shop Artilleri, but i LOVE THIS COAT SOOOO MUCH. I was having a hard time getting into the fall fashion spirit, but I’ve been wearing this coat with different, new ETD hair every day for the last three days. They’ll have to strip it off of my cold, dead avatar.

* Trying to get committed to Twitter, but I have a hard time keeping track of it.

Random enough for ya? 🙂

Empty Streets

I *finally* completed the machinima I wrote about back in… ::looks around sheepishly:: um, May. I would work on it in spurts over the weeks when I had dead time, but I never really sat down and committed to finishing it until this past weekend (just in time for Bethy to get home from vacation… wb Sis!!).

Bethy and I shot this in Devil’s Moon, a sim that’s SO atmospheric it just begs for machinima. Its industrial/post-apocalyptic feel somehow perfectly fits the track that Bethy suggested.

the city feels clean this time of night just empty streets
and me walking home to clear my head
i know it came as no surprise
i’m affected more than i had guessed on what was said

Technically, this was more difficult/challenging to put together. We made extensive use of my Filming Path HUD for the tracking shots; the duration and distance of these shots meant that there was occasional rubberbanding, and the ever-present threat of the sim’s auto-return deleting my waypoints. I reedited the song down to a more manageable length in Audacity, so as to keep the viewer from falling asleep. And I continued learning Final Cut Express, which makes precise editing possible, and even (almost) fun.

As you can tell, the technical challenges of learning my tools are almost more fun for me than actually finishing the end result. Sue me, I’m a geek. 🙂

So, anyway, here it is:

As always, the higher quality version (especially helpful in this case because of the darkness of the video) is available at Vimeo.

Clasificados

Para todos: La verdad he estado super distraída en RL con el trabajo, así que pronto espero arrancar con un calendario más regular de posts a este blog. Extraño escribir…

Para Bombi Zeluco: Maldita, te he mandado chorromil mails… ¡pélame! 🙂

Y para que no sea totalmente sin contenido este post, les quiero compartir mi última excursión por Photoshop, que ahora es donde me encuentro cuando ando estresada y necesito relajarme… Me encanta el proceso de creación visual… a lo mejor algún día me servirá para hacer algo productivo en SL… 😉