Archive for December, 2008

Dear Rosie: Signed Night Elf’s Maiden and more

Posted in Dear Rosie on December 31, 2008 by Rosie Shark

Dear Rosie,

My boyfriend is totally mouth-watering and I want to jump his bones all the time. Recently, he’s begun this habit of setting goals for me in order for us to reward ourselves with getting sweaty once we acheive them. All of this leads me to think that maybe I want him… or sex… more than he wants sex. Well, until he set our last goal. Last night in response to me saying that I want him, he said, “As soon as I level up my Night Elf.” Is he really trying to set goals for me in order to get more accomplished? Does he want me as much as I want him?

signed, Night Elf’s Maiden

Dear Night Elf’s Maiden,

Wait… What? Did it occur to you that you both might be a little on the, uhhhh “intellectual* side? Though I don’t question his mastery at the quest and his nimble use of weaponry, I do wonder at his ability to stave off sex in order to *cough* level up.  And I have to question his mastery of his, yanno, staff? Are you sure he is a human male? Perhaps he’s cleverly disguised the true warrior woodland creature that inhabits his body? Seems his priorities might point to that anyhow. Hope this helps!

~Rosie

Dear Rosie,

I came to SL as a professional businesswoman of sound mind and body. I have found nothing but deceit and underhanded dealings. Though confident enough to speak what’s really on my mind, this shady community has no respect for the truth or for my rational approach to making this a better slife for all. In all shock I’ve found that no one gets me. Where does all this animosity come from? True, I expected my mission to expose the inner workings of the fashion community would be thwarted, I am baffled by the negative impression everyone has of me. I have been nothing but clear, totally sane, and totally rational. And though I’ve handled my investigations into the darkside of the grid with utmost respect and decorum, the powerful of SL seek to ruin my good name. It’s nearing the time when I will bust this whole thing wide open. Then they will see! Daily my list of evil-doers grows. I shall get them all, snarling, lowlife, pondsucking, scum that they are!… It’s them, right?

Signed, Baffled

Dear Baffled,

Uh huh. Clearly anyone who reads one word you write could see the concise, clear-headed approach you take to all things. I love you, truly I do. Without you SL would have been oh-so-mundane lately. Keep up the good work!

~Rosie

Dear Rosie,

I’m dating a man who is very possibly bipolar but I cannot seem to leave him alone. Things seem to be going well for stretches, particularly lately, then he freaks out! He asked me to go and meet his family over New Years, but then flipped out when I asked him to meet one of my friends. He likes me to the point of not wanting  to let me go one minute, and the very next can’t bother to make an appearance. Apparently a bottle of beer is more appealing than me. Since I cannot stop liking him (apparently… yes, yes, I’m looking into help of my own) and it looks like he’s the uncurable kind of crazy… should I kill him? Thoughts? Orange is really not my color.

Signed, Possibly Homicidal

Dear Possibly Homicidal,

Yes. Sounds like a major pain in the ass if you ask me! I say, Kill him. Orrrr seek psychiatric help. I’m a little uneasy with how my advice might affect you and have taken the liberty of hiring a bodyguard in the event that you disagree. I say that with love 🙂 As for the beer, are you yeasty with a rich amber color? No? Well, though I’m not usually a beer drinker, I do enjoy one on a really hot day. Get what I’m saying? ❤

~Rosie

Dear Rosie,

I’ve strived all my life to be the top of my class, the top in SL, more recently – the top of Plurk. And now I want to own ebay. Well, before Callie does anyhow. My theory has always been that when life gives you lemons (or in this case, gallstones) you make… MONEY! Sure the money would be nice, but what I’m really after is lengthening the reach off my online footprint. Afterall it’s my DNA and people would pay good money if they could bottle my spark and have it all to their own. It’s inevitable that Callie will put her kidney stones up on ebay and I had to get there first. New frontier, here I come! So, I was wondering, would you like to bid on them? They’re awfully cute.3154611274_b4851015e2_o

 

 

signed, Gallstones of Infamy

Dear Gallstones,

Although they are lovely, I must resist. I’m saving all my money to purchase Callie’s kidney stones outright as soon as they hit ebay! I wish you luck on your quest. You’ve made huge strides in establishing your online imprint and I’m honored to even have received this letter from you! Let the bidding wars begin!

~Rosie

Dear Rosie,

I, <insert name here>, have been duped! Though a heterosexual female in both lives, I have been unwittingly playing on the other team in SL. Though I declare to my friends that it’s not my fault, <Insert friend’s names here> continue to tease and point and laugh. I was infatuated with the perfect asshole in SL. Looks, style, shitty sarcasm. He had it all… including me wrapped around his little finger. As it turns out *HE* also had one other teeny tiny itty bitty little thing he forgot to mention… A WHO WHO! Much to the disbelief of myself, <insert name here> and my friends <insert friends names here>, yes sadly HE was a SHE! Now, I don’t know who to trust. My slife as it was is over. I will always be distrustful and require new *men* in my life to pass a skype test… one more rigorous than the one I used before. I’m pissed that I have to initiate new measures in order to keep myself from being a duped lesbian again. How can I, <insert name here>, ever trust that any guy I’ m with in SL again will truly be a man? Is there some sort of penis registration process that I can be referred to?

signed, click here to see list of affected parties

Dear List,

Wow. Sucks. It’s ok if you’re gay 🙂 We still love you just as you are. Funny you should mention a penis registration process and more rigorous skype tests… it’s something we’re working on developing for the new year here at the Rev.

~Rosie

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How To Handle Angry IM’s.

Posted in Op/Ed on December 31, 2008 by Iris Seale

It will happen. Trust me, it will. Someday you’ll log in and find an irate IM from either a close friend or someone you don’t know at all. You’ll stare at it, perplexed, and then the anger will set in. You’ll be convinced that you must respond immediately and with as much scathing wit as possible.

Or maybe it’s you writing the irate IM. You’re sitting there seething, just waiting for the person to log on and read what you’re writing. You pound the keys hard enough to make them fly from your keyboard like so many wayward, rotten teeth. You’re verbally whooping ass and taking names–and you’re on fire. You finish your wall of text and are about to press enter…but wait.

Let’s take a step back and think about this for a second. How well do you know this person? Are you close? Consider for a second the possible ramifications on your relationship. Yes, you’re angry, but remember that it’s next to impossible to read emotion and sarcasm through text. Are you sure that they said what you think they said that made you so angry? Are you willing to sacrifice your friendship with this person and maybe your entire clique?

If you don’t know the person you’re writing to, what do you really know about them? And because context is always king: are you sure they meant to say what you took to be offensive?

There is a lot of drama in our little virtual world. Many SL users are very easily offended (that number goes way up if you’re in the fashion community) and are quick to jump the gun and air their grievances. I know that I’ve learned quite a few things from reading the comments on my other blog and seeing people respond to each other.

There are generally two kinds of responses: you can either handle it with class and flare, or you can come off as a flaming, butthurt jackass. There is a middle-ground, but it’s very, very thin.

Here are some pointers on how to effectively handle an angry ‘discussion’ and come out still smelling good at the end:

  • Take a deep breath and walk away. Really, even if it’s just for five minutes, take a break. Give your brain some time to think rationally about your response.
  • Like I said above, consider the context. Are you sure they’re saying what you think they are? Re-read the statement that made you angry.
  • Plot out your response before you start writing. Just make a mental point-by-point outline in your head of what you want to convey.
  • Keep the obscenities to a minimum. Yes, we all do it. But over-use will just make you sound kinda dumb.
  • Is the situation funny? Make a joke and tell them so. Lightening the mood is always good.
  • Keep it to the point. Tangents can be confusing to the other person and lead away from your overall point.
  • Is there something else about the situation they or you don’t know? Leave a door open for more discussion. Most disagreements stem from a misunderstanding, often on both sides.

Keep those in mind and you’ll be a genius at conflict resolution and witty debate before you know it. It’s a new year, so let’s all start it out by being a little more patient with each other.

A copyright owner has claimed your ass!

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , on December 30, 2008 by ♥JellyBean♥


I’ve been many things in SL… a model, a DJ, a blogger, a muse, land baroness, club owner, and a machinimanic. The above video is one that Hawks & I worked hard on a year ago. It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long. “Grinspoon – Lost Control” was probably one of the best planned, best executed, best over-all videos that we’ve put together to date, in my honest opinion.

Hawks & I created JH Productions from my JBM Productions. In the beginning we used YouTube to upload and share our interpreted works of art from SL. It wasn’t great, in fact most of the time it barely borderlined adequate. I still have a few videos on YouTube. That is the ones that haven’t been blocked. Over the past few months YouTube has incorporated a new “copyright infringement” pain in my ass! Youtube gives us a place to upload content *FREE* however if music is used (whether you own the CD or not) if a party or “content owner” comes in and claims it’s their music, you’re fucked depending on how they handle you. There are two options I’ve seen:

Opt.#1 They allow your video to stay up & LIVE but add advertisements about themselves to your vid.

OR

Opt #2 they completely block your vid from public playback until you either comply to copyright and remove song, challenge it or use their “audioswap” which plays crappy music over your music because yours happens to be imbededededed.

We soon discovered Vimeo. Holy shit! The quality is so much better & the vids are so crisp… but most of my first attempts at being a machima-ographer (is that a word?) are still on YouTube. I’ve had my computer crash, break, reformatted, poked, proded, and slapped around since the early days and I’ll be damned if I still have the original avi files. So screwed you might say.

It seems everybody and their SL mothers have discovered the good times of what is Machinima – so I ask you if you’ve been affected by YouTube’s newest policies, if so how did you react? If you don’t use YouTube, where do you show off your art?

“A friend to all is a friend to none.” – Aristotle

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , on December 29, 2008 by hawksrock

In my small circle of friends it seems that the subject of friendship has been coming up on a regular basis of late.    In the virtual world it is readily apparent for all to see who you claim as friend or foe by default based on who is on the “list” and who is not.   Many people wear their friends list like a coat of arms.   It displays where your loyalties lie.   Some people believe that it is a status symbol based on how the quantity or “quality” measure up.

Part I  –  Managing my friends list


Like most things there are rarely a clear set of rules, but I am going to lay out my own theory as to how I manage my “lists.”   I actually manage my worlds with a different set of parameters.

  1. Plurk – I will add just about anybody to plurk.   You can choose your designation as fan or friend, and I will pretty much follow your lead.   If you are boring or annoying then I will not follow your timeline, but I am not going to remove you from my list.  I do look at everybody that adds me, more as a curiousity than anything, but that is about it.  I never really maintain this list.   I blend a lot of RL and SL type stuff on my timeline.
  2. Second Life – I am a little more requiring of my SL friends list.   If I don’t know you then you are not on my list.   We have to either be friends or have some mutual reason to be working together on a project.    I might accept your request today, but then remove you tomorrow if I don’t know you.   I tend to clean my list on a regular basis.   When I am in SL, I am very protective of my RL and it rarely comes up.
  3. Yahoo/Skype/MSN – This list is even more restrictive for me.   I personally am almost always on yahoo when I am online.   I only have a very small handful of virtual friends that make this list.    If I am working on a blog post, or playing WoW or whatever, then I can always be reached by yahoo, which is why I keep it pretty limited.   Yahoo is pretty much my, “hey I need to get ahold of so and so” type system for whatever reason.    This is where Jell and I do most of our talking when we are both online.
  4. Facebook/Myspace – I personally only use facebook, but dabbled in myspace in the past.   For me this is for RL people only.   I have all my high school classmates, siblings, and other significant people in my life on here.   If I started talking about SL and HawksRock Gunawan, people would be looking at me with a glazed over look and be totally lost.
  5. Cell phone/Address – Nobody has my number or address unless you live in Kansas and have dinner with me at least twice a week.   This is one line that I do not cross with even my best friends, and not only because I am cheap and go for one of the cheaper cell plans.   I am readily available online, and am private enough to keep just close RL friends and family in my phone.

This system works great for me from my experience.   As you can see, you don’t glean much from who is on my plurk list, but as you move up the scale it reflects how close someone is to my innermost circle.    For my next post, I am going to tackle the much more gray area of who is on your partner’s list and how much input is healthy.

But for now, I will leave you with a quick message from our sponsor:  Troof Designs.

SLaddiction

Posted in Guides, Real Life, RL, SecondLife® with tags , , , , on December 29, 2008 by Prad

Reach

Thousands of people in Second Life are lying about their age, gender, race, social backgrounds, occupations and heaven knows what else. Such is the power of a virtual identity – it allows us to be whoever we wish to be.

And wouldn’t you wish to be who you want to be, rather than who you are?

What happens when you prefer the virtual identity you’ve created because it’s more appealing than the real one? What happens when you decide to live virtually?

I’ll put my hand up and say that I spend a considerable amount of time in virtual worlds, but that’s primarily because it’s a viable source of income to me, and secondly because it’s an enjoyable experience.

Developing such close contacts with other people in this metaverse allows me to find varying levels of how much people tell about their real identities, and how they react to other people as well their issue with trust in a virtual world. My experience tells me that the people who are the most secretive are the ones who find it hardest to trust others.

On a recent blogpost, someone commented that a large proportion of SL users will have socio-dysfunctional issues, and will henceforth be unable to interact in the real world as well as they do within the anonymity of Second Life.

There is something very enticing about this alternative life that allows us to transform our identity, particularly for people who are dissatisfied with their first lives. I know the reason for me is that I want recognition and satisfaction for my architectural designs, but in real life I lack the age and experience.. my downfall is patience in this respect. I know that someday I’ll be designing in the real world, but I want that experience now – and the virtual world offers that. For other people, the reasons will be different.

Virtual worlds are designed to draw you in and be addictive by nature, at the expense of your first life happiness. The prospect of living a happier, alternate existance where you have more control over who you are is essentially more attractive.

Millions of people in various online worlds are whiling the hours away, and the vast majority are making a conscious choice to live their lives this way. I don’t think it’s something that we should pass judgement on, but the fact is there – we’re SLaddicts. Some with deny this, others will accept it and state “So what.. I’m happy.”

The majority will say they don’t want to quit, and have no intention of doing so. I appreiciate that some people will be on Second Life from dawn to dusk, and that can have a cost to first life – it can be hard to hold down a job, socially interact in the real world and maintain physical health when you’re sat in front of the computer.

Second Life is no less real to the First Life, for the prescence of Love and Money in the virtual world make it feel very real. But there certainly does need to be a balance between the two, and with the New Year approaching, it may be a good time for some people to re-evaluate their priorities.

Me? I’m going to live both lives to the max.

May you have a prosperous 2009.

=Prad=

Resolutions

Posted in Guides with tags , on December 19, 2008 by Catero

The time of year is rolling around when people start talking about new beginnings and New Years’ resolutions. The end of the year has always been a time for taking stock of the past and looking forward expectantly to the coming year. It’s a time for introspective musing, for contemplating the changes we want or need to make in an effort to become the ideal person we aspire to be.

Whether you decide to resolve to tame the bulge, quit smoking, or budget better here are a few tips to ensure you successfully stick to your commitment to yourself.

Write it down (and set reminders). Give your resolution some prime visual real estate. Whatever works for you – tape it to the fridge, set a reminder in your PDA, make a notation in your wall or electronic calendar, journal it in your diary or blog. Writing down your goals gives you a higher chance of success because things become real when they leap from your mind and onto something tangible and trackable, and you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable.

Determine a success indicator. Whether it’s losing 50 lbs. by the end of 2009, giving up smoking cold turkey, or cutting out excessive spending habits you should establish for yourself a point at which that goal has been partially or fully met. In sticking to your guns and following through it’s important to feel good about what you’re doing. It motivates and validates. So, reward yourself when you meet that goal.

Hint: Use some common sense and don’t cater the very behaviour you’re trying to modify as a part of the gratification. If your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight within a specific amount of time, avoid rewarding yourself with food. Those attempting to quit smoking should not involve gratification from smoking or its triggers in goal incentives. Recovering spendthrifts should stay away from buying something superfluous for self-affirmation.

Pamper yourself for that hard work without falling back on the old familiar crutch that you’re trying to isolate and cut out. Keeping yourself motivated with little incentives will help you to believe in yourself and visualize yourself reaching your target.

Stop talking and start doing. Regardless of what your resolution may be, it will never move into the realm of becoming a reality if all you ever do is talk or think about it without putting together a plan to follow through. Unless, that is, if your New Years’ resolution is to talk more. Plan!

Starting by deciding what your end vision is. Consider where you want to be and then work backwards to where you are today, taking into account all that you will need to accomplish while plotting manageable steps to your target. You’ll create an easy and non-daunting action plan to make your goals come into fruition.

Hint: Want to lose that bulge? Decide how you want to lose weight – gym membership, a Wii fit, walking/jogging around your neighbourhood, eating healthier, etc. Want to quit smoking? Talk to your doctor, look into stop smoking programs in your area, cut out and/or avoid smoking triggers (coffee, tea, alcohol) and stop carrying around your smoker’s paraphernalia. Want to save money? Consult a personal financial advisor, or take a look at your typical monthly spending habits and determine the non-essentials that you tend to splurge on.

Research any related costs and commit to a budget if necessary.

Tell people. In making changes to our lives we all need support from the family, friends and coworkers around us. The English poet John Donne wrote that “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”. Human beings are social beings that thrive on and in the presence of others; we do not flourish when isolated from others. In some way or another and in their own way those around you will keep you accountable, prompt you, and keep you in check when give them the opportunity to passively or actively participate in the journey to your desired life change(s).

oh hai.

Posted in Op/Ed, SecondLife®, SL® Fashion with tags , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by luth brodie

Luth here bringing you a bright and shiny new column. I am your resident over worked, dyslexic, opinionated, snarky, cynical, bitchy, angsty, and blatantly honest animator. You may have heard of me. You may not.

Who cares about all that? What you want to know is what am I going to do for you. Fuck if I know. Weeks ago while riddled with insomnia and disgust at the current state of the fashion feed, I started a daily plurk showing what I thought were the worst pictures posted. As something that was just for humour value among friends, it snowballed into some odd form of criticism for which I just haven’t had the time for of late, especially as a daily thing. But now because the infinite wisdom of JellyBean and Rosie, you get to read me blather on.

What I can never understand is with advertisements that bad, how someone can make clothes with what seems like less Photoshop skillz than I have. Years ago, I looked at the clothing templates and stupidly went back to Poser immediately. I could have made a killing instead of living on the fringes of the sacred SL® fashion industry. ‘Eh who the fuck am I kidding…

As probably the most fashion challenged of The Rev bunch, I’m not going to be talking about the items. At least I shouldn’t. I never know what’s going to come out sometimes. It’s mostly going to be about the overall picture itself. Poses will more often than not be brought up since well…. I seem to know quite a bit about ‘em.

What I will never understand is how SLers® can be both anonymous and overly sensitive. Criticism in any form seems to translate into being personal attacks and the writer is in all forms a bitch. That anyone with enough balls to say what they think ends up with drama.* And of course should be only done with an unknown alt, behind closed doors, or anonymously through SL secrets. For some unknown reason, everyone expects to put out their work for all to see and only get positive and glowing feedback. And it’s mostly worked out that way since most are too frightened of the backlash. Is it that opinion gets lost in translation in text form then mutates into the end all of truth? Or are they for the most part overly sensitive?

Creating for SL® is the only art form I’ve ever heard of that is like this. No one ever thinks twice about bashing some RL film or song. As someone who’s spent quite a number of years in the film industry and married to a musician, I can guarantee you that every person involved in those endeavours spent more time and effort then you did making that picture. Art is subjective. I have just as much right to hate it and say it publicly as you have for actually making it. If you can’t handle the idea that someone else doesn’t love it just as much as you do, then perhaps you aren’t ready to show your work to the rest of the world. When all you get is positive feedback, how are you to better yourself artistically?

If you are looking for sugar coating, please look elsewhere. I do not poop or ejaculate rainbows. However, the chosen are not personal attacks. I rarely look at the name and even if I did, constant hiding under my primrock means I really have no idea who you are. If I don’t know you personally, how is it bloody possible that I’m attacking you personally? Thinking otherwise is illogical and borders on paranoia. Maybe you’ll actually get something out of this as long as you forget for a moment that the world doesn’t revolve around you and your brilliance.

Designers:
Perhaps it hasn’t been said enough, but don’t you understand that your ad sells your clothes just as much as the actual items do? Think about it for a minute. Clothing is the largest industry in SL® (you have far more competitors) and yet you can’t easily allow us to demo it. Taking badly lit, low rez screenshots is going to hurt far more than the time wasted in doing it right. And then compositing those in garish ways isn’t going to make me run to buy whatever you worked oh so hard on. Kind of difficult to shop with bleeding eyes isn’t it?

Please take a moment to read this post by Alaska Metropolitan on bad ad design. Memorize it. Then you might not end up in my column.

Bloggers:
Content creators look at your blog before giving you information and/or swag. At least the smart ones do. If your posted pictures look horrible to us, we won’t send you a thing. If you use poses that fuck the mesh, I’m pretty sure no one wants you to post pictures of them in public. Or I might be the only one who cares about that.

The first column will be posted eventually. The pictures are going to be a number of weeks old since I got distracted by work. Remember the over worked part? Yeah. That wasn’t a joke.

* And by “drama” I mean the spineless and rather childish way of dealing with conflict. Life is conflict and dealing with it in an immature way will just get me to tell you to piss off.