Monday, January 31, 2011

72 of 365: A few random thoughts...

My husband has been abroad for the past week.  It feels like longer.  Before he left I told him not to call me because the part of the world he is in is remote and he was only going to be away for a week.  Yesterday I was kind of wishing that I didn't tell him that because I miss him.  We pick him up at the airport tomorrow and I'm looking forward to having him back at home.

I'm having fun with my 365 project, but taking high res pictures everyday in SL is filling up space on my hard drive fast and my photo collection is only going to grow.  So, last week I got brave and decided I was going to move my iPhoto and iTunes library to an external hard drive in order to free up some space on my MacBook.  Moving iPhoto was easy and all my photos are in tact and in working order.  The iTunes migration was a little more complicated, and while at first I thought I did it correctly, I'm now starting to think that I did something wrong.  All my music and podcasts are there, but my ratings and playlists are gone.  And when I plug in the external hard drive, iTunes opens and works, but a copy of it shows up in my trash can.  I don't know what's up with that.  I can live without the playlists and ratings, but if a copy of my entire music collection is still somewhere on my hard drive, it defeats the purpose of freeing up all that space.  

Why I didn't just wait until my husband got home to do this, I don't know.  I get impulsive sometimes, and I'm always stubborn, which equals trouble.  Well, at least I didn't screw up my iPhoto library.  I seriously would have shed tears if I lost all my photos - my rl and sl photos.

Speaking of photos, I had an idea that it would be nice to print off and frame some my favourite photos from my 365.  Or maybe even create my own little gallery to display them in-world.  I still have 193 days to go, but thinking about it now gives me another project to look forward to.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

71 of 365: Few and Far Between

My poems come few and far between.  I'm the type of poet who will write a poem maybe two or three times a year.  Can I even call myself a poet at that rate?  Probably not. 

Actually, that's not true.  I write poetry more than that, but the ones that I feel are worthy of being shared with others and read aloud are less frequent.  Quality over quantity I guess?

I probably would read my poetry more often at the Blue Angel Poet's Dive in SL, but the timing is not great for me.  It's on Sunday nights at 5pm slt, which is 8pm my time and my son's bedtime.  Tonight he fell asleep early so I took the opportunity to log in and head over to hear some poetry.  

Crap read some of his work tonight (which I'm a huge fan of) and I decided I was due to read something too, so I did.  I still always get nervous when I read there with all the "real" poets, haha.

If you like poetry or if you have some poetry to share, the Blue Angel Poet's Dive is the longest running open mic for poetry in SL.  Sunday nights at 5pm slt for the last 6 years I believe.  

Maybe I'll see you there :))

Saturday, January 29, 2011

70 of 365: Spiritweaver Star Party

Well, if you want to double your blog traffic overnight, one way of achieving that is to post a naked picture of your av, and put the word "nude" and "69" in your post title and voila, instant traffic boost.  I won't repeat some of the search terms that showed up in my stats tracker, so use your imagination. Heh.


A few months back I wrote about the Spiritweaver StarSpace at Burn2 by Edanna Spiritweaver.    I was flattered to receive an invitation to her Star Party in her new and improved Star Sphere which took place this afternoon.  

I had a lovely time floating around to the ambient and angelic music. 

Edanna designed the Star Sphere for "meditation, and spiritual exploration through a visual experience of colour and movement"

More from the notecard:

"The human body is a beautiful thing and for a long time, I've experimented in creating colorful flowing prim attachments that would showcase the avatar shape.  But, I kept adding and modifying the prims until the body was almost hidden; then the spirit of the avatar began showing through.  How people decorate their avatars reveals much about their true selves.  By providing these colorchanging flexi prims and a space to animate the avatar, I hope participants can see their inner spirit shine through.  

Safe journey,

Edanna SpiritWeaver"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

67 of 365: Time on my hands gets me into trouble sometimes

Yesterday I had a scheduled day off from work.  With all my household chores caught up on, the kids at school, and my husband away this week, I was free to do whatever I wanted.  So of course I logged into SL, caught up on some blog reading, published a blog post, and since I had the leisure time, I decided I was going to fix the html on my blog template so I wouldn't have those huge spaces between paragraphs.  Not a big deal, but those huge spaces always kind of bothered me a little.

"It can't be that hard to change the html a little", or so I thought...

Four hours later, I tinkered with it a little too much and to put it bluntly, I completely f*@$%d it up!  Pardon my language.  My blog became a hot mess of half missing headers, screwed up fonts and paragraphs and no columns for my widgets.  I ended up having to start over.  

The Template Designer for Blogger is not too bad, and I managed to find one that I could customize to the way I liked.  I had to google up some Blogger tips and tricks to get the header right, but all in all it wasn't that hard, even for me. 

At the end of the day, I'm pretty happy with the new look for my blog.  What do you think?  are the fonts okay?  Are the photos too small or too big?  I have a small 15 inch screen on my MacBook, so what looks good to me, might be huge and annoying on someone else's screen.

I still might tweak it a little here and there and try some different fonts or backgrounds, but to save my sanity, I will not be tinkering with any html ever again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

66 of 365: 1000+ Avatars Project

Back in November, I responded to a Plurk from Gracie Kendal asking if anyone wanted to pose for some photos for her latest creative project in SL.  I eagerly posed for a portrait and have been watching this project evolve ever since.  I went back today and tried finding my portrait on the walls, but with over 1000 portraits up there, I couldn't find mine.  It's there somewhere :)

1000+ Avatars started out as a small project to illustrate online anonymity/identity, with Gracie taking portraits of avatars facing away from her.  It has now evolved into a documentation of the SL avatars.  Every avatar up on those walls is unique and creative and reflects something of the real person behind it.  I kind of wish I would have gussied up my av a little more for my portrait, like maybe put my bear av on or something.  

I hear that Gracie plans to use these portraits for a gallery show in RL and possibly even a book.  She's far surpassed her goal of 1000 portraits, but she's still going strong and making room for even more portraits.  

If you feel like participating in Gracie's project, and expressing your avatar self by posing for a portrait, stop by her studio to check it out.  Don't forget to pick up the notecard at the studio for more info about posing for your portrait.

"Think for a minute about what makes you fabulous and how you can celebrate it" 
- Laura Mercer

Monday, January 24, 2011

65 of 365: Those greyed out names on my friends list

My friends list is haunted with names of avatars that have long since disappeared from SL.  Some of those people were acquaintances, and some of them, or one or two of them were people I was very close with.

I guess having your friends disappear is a hazard of living part of your emotional life online.  It hurts when someone you have shared your time with and care about goes poof from the grid.  The not knowing if they are okay is what hurts the most and the worst part is that you can't do anything about it if you don't have their rl contact information.

Even worse, is trying to explain to anyone in your rl that you are missing and worried about your virtual world friend, because that doesn't usually go over well.  It just leaves you feeling even more hurt and isolated.  For me, it even got to the point where my pent up emotional distress manifested itself as physical pain in my body.  Well, not really pain, but this strange feeling of nauseousness in my stomach that I have never experienced before, and I hope to never feel again.

Tonight, I scroll through my friends list and it feels like a graveyard of greyed out names that will never again be lit up with that familiar bold font that tells you "i'm online".  I should delete them, but I just can't bring myself to do it and I'm not entirely sure why.  It's not because I have any hopes of them ever coming back to SL.  I let go of that a long time ago.  

I had a conversation with one of those friends once about how fragile online friendships/relationships are, and also the strange dichotomy of forming deep emotional attachments online, but yet there is is still a strange element of shallowness in there.  Like, how could these friendships mean anything if they could disappear so quickly?  I didn't get what she meant at the time, but I think I get it now. 

I suppose I keep those long lost friends on my list because the avatar names are the only tangible proof I have that those friendships/relationships we had were indeed very real, meaningful and substantial...and not shallow. 

Even after many months have passed, when I glance through that greyed out section of my list and I come across those ones that abruptly vanished, I still always hope that the real people behind those avatar names are okay, and happy in their Lives. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

64 of 365: Gulf of Lune

One of the reasons why I enjoy taking photos so much in SL is because the time I spend setting up a snapshot - finding a scene, trying different camera angles, going through windlight presets, or sometimes making my own setting - gives me the opportunity to really get immersed in the environment that has been created.  I notice subtle things like small little details in the environment, the music that has been chosen, and the environmental sound effects.  

When I find a place that I really like I often go back again and again.  Gulf of Lune is one of those places for me.  It is a virtual representation of a salt marsh from the American Pacific Northwest, and it is really beautifully done.  

I already posted the last two photos in previous posts, but I wanted to post all my photos together, so sorry for the repeats. 

Visit Gulf of Lune.  This sim is definitely one of my all time favourites :))

63 of 365

I managed to save a few of my photos from yesterday by cropping out the glitchy water parts.  Here's one:  

My mother is visiting this weekend so I didn't have any time to get inworld today.  Watching movies with her this evening was calling me more than SL.  

I haven't looked into the jira link that I was directed to that might fix the glitchy water pics, but I'll have some time tomorrow to check it out.  I'm hopeful :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

62 of 365: Viewer 2.5, why oh why?!

I updated to viewer 2.5 beta the other day, I tried it out and I'm kind of impressed with how quickly things are rezzing.  It's a huge improvement.  

However, I have had the same problem with viewer 2 since it first came out last year...

See all those weird glitchy marks in the water?  WTF?!  I'm particularly irked about this because I spent quite a bit of time taking some photos at Gulf of Lune.  I think I was there for almost two hours.  

So, after I take a ton of photos, I go to my desktop to open them, and they look like the one above.  Any water pictures look absolutely terrible, which means I wasted my time with all those photos.

Viewer 2.5 - two thumbs down.  Blech. 

61 of 365: Black Box Gallery

Sometimes, I come across the coolest places when I look at picks in profiles.  That's exactly how I found the Black Box Gallery.  

I didn't find any information about the place, but I really enjoyed viewing this gallery.  It's really well done and I think the dark decor highlights the artwork and photos very nicely.

From what I could tell, the gallery holds a permanent collection - some of which is pictured above, and also holds some space to display the work of visiting artists.

It's a lovely little gallery and I will be going back again to visit. 

TP to Black Box Gallery

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

59 of 365: Viewer problems...still

I'm still having problems with viewers for SL.  Imprudence, which is my favourite viewer, randomly freezes up my screen which is then followed by an epic crash.  

Viewer 2...lag, lag, lag and when I take photos, there is this strange glitchy marks in the graphics.  It's driving me nuts!

Needless to say, taking photos in-world is like knocking my head against the wall because it takes so long just to set up because I'm fighting my way through lag and waiting for my screen to unfreeze.  

I don't know what's going on, but I hope I can find a fix for it soon.  

58 of 365: PopArt Furniture and my Linden Home

Okay, so I know everyone is probably over the Linden Homes but...for whatever reason, tonight I felt like doing something with mine.  Especially after I came across a landmark for some low prim furniture that looked not too bad.

PopArt Furniture has some pretty nice, low prim pieces.  I was able to completely furnish my 117 prim Linden Home with pieces I bought at PopArt, and everything you see in these pictures (with the exception of the fireplace and the ceiling lamps that came with my Linden home) cost $1L each.  You can't go wrong for that price.   

My decorating style is actually more "eclectic bohemian", but I like the way the house turned out.  It feels very clean and modern and is quite different for my decorating taste.  I like it.

If you're looking for some low prim furniture pieces for a real bargain, go check out PopArt Furniture.  I was pleasantly surprised by this find. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

57 of 365: Cloverfirld Maze

I read a couple of other blog posts about the gigantic maze over in Cloverfirld , so I decided to go have a look for myself...

...they weren't kidding when they said it was HUGE!  

There is a free HUD you can pick up at the landing point which will give you a view overhead as you walk through the maze.

Although, I didn't use the HUD myself...

...I took the super easy way, or you might call it cheating, and I flew up to the tower at the end of the maze.  But in my defence, I only did it because it's late Sunday night here and I have to work tomorrow.  

I can't risk getting lost tonight ;P

TP to Cloverfirld Maze

Saturday, January 15, 2011

55 of 365: Software Update

Something happened on my latest software update that is causing me to crash a lot.  I normally use the Imprudence viewer, but my screen had been freezing up so much since I updated and I haven't figured out what is going on with that. 

So, due to that , every attempt to take a snapshot for today's post ended in an epic crash. Time to dig out a snapshot that was previously taken...

I'll call it a day and try again tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

54 of 365: A charming little place called Roche

I absolutely enjoyed exploring and taking photos at Roche.  You can rez a bicycle at the tp point to roam around the trails and enjoy the dreamy landscape.  

Go check it out for yourself.  

53 of 365: Gratitude

I'm a social worker.  My job is building relationships with people so they will trust me and I can help them improve their lives.  

Today, after working with one particular young woman for over two years, I closed her file.  She no longer needs me, which is a very good thing.  We went out for coffee and closure and she gave me the gift of a silver bracelet she made for me.  She thanked me for helping her and I bashfully said to her that I really just pointed her in the right directions and she was the one who did all the work.  She replied to me by saying "I know, but you did more than believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself, and that made all the difference".

I've been thinking about her all evening since I got home.  I am grateful for knowing her because she has taught me about determination, perseverance and doing the right thing in the face of adversity. 

After two years of being in a helping relationship with this young woman, I wonder if all along she came into my life to help me, because her expression of gratitude and honesty to me today has lifted my spirit in a profound way that I haven't experienced in...forever.   

I don't know what else to say except...Thank you  Thank you  Thank you

Sunday, January 9, 2011

50 of 365

49 of 365: I almost forgot

I was laying in bed under my covers, getting cozy and just about to fall asleep when I realized I didn't do a photo for my 365 today.  

It's always good to have a few back-up photos to choose from for days like this.   

Friday, January 7, 2011

48 of 365: My Personal Favourite Posts of 2010

Well, I'm a little late to start making my "best of" lists for 2010, but it's still the first week of January, so I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on my year in blogging.  

I already have a list of my top, or most commented on posts in the sidebar, but some of my personal favourites are missing from that list.  So here you go, my list (in no particular order) of my personal favourite blog posts for 2010:

1.  A little bit of irony always makes my day
2.  Emerald is my new BFF
3.  Haters Anonymous
4.  Never Say Never...but I have one exception to that rule
5.  I'm just sayin'
6.  Balancing Act:  It's not acting, it's being real
7.  How to Build SL
8.  Why I Blog
9.  Morning Muddle
10.  SheBear:  An Avatar Self-Portrait

My list is a mix of a few hugely popular posts that got a lot of page views and a lot of comments, and other posts that I like but didn't get as much exposure.  The list represents my personal best work that I have put my time, effort and heart into.  

When I look back at my blog in 2010, which is basically my first year of blogging about SL, I think I can say it has been a busy, productive and successful year. 

Here's to another great year in blogging for 2011.  Cheers :))

And now, let's dance...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

46 of 365: Sleepy

Wow, time flies so quickly.  I logged in tonight and started looking for a new prefab house and before I knew it,  a few hours had passed and I hadn't even thought about my photo for today.

Good thing I got smart and I have a few photos on my desktop ready to go in case I don't have time to log in for my daily post :))

Not too much to say today cuz I'm sleepy and it's past my bedtime.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

45 of 365: Awake and Dreaming

I don't really know what this photo is supposed to be of.  I was just messing around in PhotoShop and I kind of like it.  It feels kind of dreamy to me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

44 of 365: Mini New Year's Rant

My Christmas holidays didn't go exactly as planned.  In fact, let's be honest - it was the worst holiday I have ever had.  

I spent the first half of my time off deathly ill from allergies, and the rest of my time angry at someone in my life who continually treats me like a doormat to wipe their shoes on, and who then turns around and accuses me of not being supportive.  WTF?!

I think the only good about my holidays was that I got to spend New Year's Eve at home in peace, watching the Star Trek marathon on the Space Network.  Ya, I think I'm a Trekkie now.  Noone, least of all me, ever would have predicted that.

I'm refraining from making resolutions for 2011 except for not take any shit from anyone anymore.  That should pretty much take care of all the other things in my life I would have been making resolutions about.  

I go back to work tomorrow, which I am somewhat looking forward to.  I never thought I would say that, but my job offers structure and predictability to my days.  It also gives me a break from the never ending chores at home that come with looking after a family of four.  

I hate to bring in the new year in such a funk, but that's the way it is right now.  I'm sure once I get back into the swing of things, I will be feeling better and I will have far more interesting things to blog, maybe even stuff that is actually relevant to Second Life.