Posted in building, events, I wrote this, list, party, rant, travel

SL8B: The Awesome and the Lame

"Dancers" at the Royal Court of Prussia Build at SL8B.
I’ve been in SL just over 3 years now, and this years SL8B was the first SL Birthday I’ve ever attended. I actually sent my “niece” Petal to check it out, since she’s usually the avatar I log on when there’s exploring to be done.

Two builds really stood out as superior, in my opinion: The Royal Court of Prussia, and the 1920 Berlin Project. Looking back and trying to deconstruct why I liked them so much, and why some others (for which I had higher hopes) were disappointing to me, some common ideas came to mind.

The Best Builds…

  • Were visually appealing at a distance.They’d have something in their architecture that looked tasteful yet attractive, and rezzed quickly so I wasn’t looking at a giant “ball” where a sculpt had yet to rez in. A well-built and well-textured area was a real joy to look at without being an eyesore (more on that in a bit). They may have used animation or particles, or just interesting items, or a combination of the above, to get attention.
  • Were approachable from more than one side. Multiple points of entry and exit made the exhibits more interesting from more spots, so that no matter which way I was coming from, I could see and easily get into the exhibit.
  • Immediately answered the question of “what am I looking at?” They put their exhibit name in the parcel name, and put some description in the Parcel description. There was some simple-to-read, quick-rezzing signage with more information, but no more information than neccessary.
  • Immediately made the visitor feel welcome, and like a part of the exhibit. The hands-down winner at this (of what I’ve seen so far) was the 1920 Berlin Project build. They’re a historical RP sim, and their build had people there in costumes interacting and welcoming people and offering them drinks and a place to sit. Everyone who walked in, be they a 21st-Century fashionista, an anthropomorphic horse, a neko, or a nine-year-old elf girl, got a warm welcome and as a result they’d often stay and visit a while.
  • Made excellent use of the space they’re given. 1024 square meters may not seem like a lot, but in the hands of a skilled builder, that space came to life in fascinating ways. I’ll mention the 1920 Berlin build once more: their space contained a pub, an inn room, an art gallery, a bit of street with an antique parked car, and a working movie theater, all with plenty of headroom and without a feeling of being crowded.
  • Gave the visitor something to do. It may have been a dance ball, or a maze, or a ride, or a hunt, or even karaoke; but all the best builds had something fun for visitors to do.
  • Had awesome freebies. Lots of unbelievably cool free things. OMG. I thought I’d never leave Bear Island, for example. I especially liked how the 1920 Berlin Project put their freebies on the least visually appealing side of the exhibit, against a wall. The Royal Court of Prussia put theirs inside their palace.
  • Immediately answered the question of “How is this magic?” The theme of this year’s celebration, of course, is The Magic of Second Life. And the very best exhibits made that theme clear without question. They would either transport the visitor to another time and/or place, do unexpected things to make you think, “I’ve never done that before!” or otherwise made the jaw drop.

Lame Builds…

  • Were obvious advertisements and little more. They only related themselves to the theme by sticking “magic” in the name, but not explaining what was really enchanting about it. And along with that, the only freebies (if any) offered were a t-shirt with their logo on it. Weaksauce.
  • Left me wondering what’s going on here. They didn’t fill in their parcel name, didn’t put in any description, and/or had so much signage in trendy (i.e.: hard-to-read) fonts that they’d take forever to rez and were near impossible (and not interesting enough) to read.
  • Didn’t get the memo of how tacky “Glow” can be. Some builds were a treat for the eyes; others were a shrieking assault on them. I won’t say all builds using “glow” were tacky; I will say that almost all tacky builds used “glow”. The same can be said for particle overkill as well.
  • Made me have to work for it. Walk around this huge blank wall. Now flip eight pages to finally open the only entrance into the build. When it’s open, jump (not walk, but but jump) through it. And you better do it quick, or it’ll close and you’ll have to start all over. Now say some things on one channel to make something that doesn’t work happen. Try it again. And again. Oh, there we go. You’ll want to be in Mouselook. Now say something on another channel to make something else that doesn’t work happen. By the way, you’ll want to make sure you use Viewer 2 so you can see the cool media on the prim effect. Don’t have it? Here, watch this preloader for 10 minutes and see if anything happens. Also, make sure you set your viewer to “midnight”, your draw distance is set to 8,000,000, your Particles are set to as many as your graphics card can handle, your sounds are on, your stream is on, your media player is on, your voice is on, and anything else you can find to crank to its limit is on. Now, sit in this rotating chair. Now, I’m not going to tell you what you have to do. You have to figure it out by clicking on random shit. Now push this button. Now do it again. And again. You can’t go out that way. Or that way. And you can’t see which way you came in. FUCK THIS I’M RELOGGING.

So there you have it. What did you think of the builds at SL8B, and what were your favorites?

Posted in events, music, nightclub, nightlife, party, performing, photos, roleplay, roleplaying, rp, Wee Little Irish Pub

July 3rd at the Pub

Some pics and description of the fun from yesterday!

Caoilte Skytower took the stage for the first time since April. He was in excellent form as usual. Instead of just giving him a cash tip, I invested 249L in a song download from him. At least one other person did the same. I think it’s a great idea. People feel like they get even more from their tip, something that lasts long after the show; and, the music gets shared with more and more people. I REALLY need to get over my fear of recording and just do some recordings with Archimides.

After Caoilte’s show, I filled in DJing for Rusty from 4-8. The poor guy had net issues but was able to call his girlfriend who IMed me to let me know. Too bad, because I really like his music, but I did what I could in a pinch. I played the download I picked up (Spanish Lady), and even played a rare recording I found of myself from 1994. It was tough listening to it, because I focused on all the spots where I was messing up. “See? There, I’m running out of breath and going flat.” But I wanted to confront that fear of mine. And, I’ll be damned, people liked it!

Then, at 6, we were treated to a belated Canada Day burlesque show from my longtime friend Pajobra “PJ” Zessinthal, of the famous New Champagne Rooms. She’s even appeared on Treet TV, as a burlesque dancer (and later murder victim) in a murder mystery show.

She entered by way of the back door, dressed as a naughty Mountie. She moved about the room until she found one of our gentleman guests and handcuffed him to the barstool. Realizing her mistake in apprehending an innocent man, she then proceeded to look for her key, which was somewhere on her person but damned if she could find it easily…

(By the way, “officer”, I left your boots behind the bar. Stop in anytime and Bridget will give them back. 😛 )

I tried to get a picture of the little maple leaf on the back of her panties but I guess I couldn’t hit the moving target, haha. Burlesque differs from your usual striptease you find at clubs. It’s got a more old-fashioned feel to it, for one thing; for another, it’s more literate and involves a high degree of RP and audience participation. And finally, it isn’t “full monty” (or should I say, “full mountie”?). By leaving a bit to the imagination, it creates (in my opinion) a more sensual and exciting show that leaves the audience wanting more.

Thank you again to everyone who came to perform for the Wee Little Pub.

Posted in building, day-to-day, humor, music, nightclub, nightlife, party

What kind of radio?!

Ladies and gentlemen, let me start by saying, I’m taking a bit of a risk and re-opening a pub in SL. It’s ittybitty, on a 256 sq. m. parcel, and I get all of 116 prims to make it happen. But, what the hell, the rent is right, and if the pub doesn’t make tier on its own it can easily be covered by Clover. The name that keeps coming back to me is the Wee Little Irish Pub. You know: just what it says on the box.

Anywho, one of the important things a pub needs must have is a radio changer, and I found a one-prim dealie for pretty cheap. I didn’t end up keeping it, because I can’t program the radio stations in myself, and that’s crucial for when I have DJs and live acts. But while checking it out, I noticed the menu on it allowed me to select a genre. I clicked the closest I could find: Celtic. Shudder.

I had a problem with this for a few reasons. One, just the whole calling Trad music Celtic music. If you don’t know where I’m coming from on that, it’ll have to wait for another time. Second, the default station was LiveIreland, for whom I have no love (another story for another time). And third, and most interestingly, among the stations was a button labeled “Gorean radio”.

This is the part with the sound effect of the record being scratched to a sudden stop.

What?!

Is Gorean radio kinda like the fundie Christian radio stations? You know, with the fundie stations, you get really bad music with lyrics containing variations on “power and glory” “hallelujah” and “eternal life”; you get the awful call-in programs where they discuss the evils of the world and how it’s the fault of the Homosexual Agenda; and you get commercials for bibles and icons and whatever other sort of Jesus gear one might need.

So that’s what I’m envisioning the Gorean station (which wasn’t coming in, so I got no actual data for ya) might be like. You get really bad music with lyrics containing variations on “rape is love” (I hear “I Only Got Shackles For You” is climbing the charts…); then you get call-in programs where they discuss the evils of the world and how it’s the fault of the Feminist Agenda; then you get commercials for collars and silks and whatever other sort of Gor gear one might need. My hubby adds that they probably also have a stand-up comedy hour where they tell jokes like “What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?*” They tried “Who’s Got the Silliest Thing Under Their Silks” but it didn’t translate to radio well.

Anywho. I got a different radio changer, one I can program myself, so it’s all good.

We had an impromptu party today while I was in the process of building, and was especially surprised to see Grimley Graves in all his undead glory. He does a mean Thriller dance, not surprisingly. Greythistle Twine spun some tunes and his lady Cate had a good chimera for us to dance on. And rounding out the group was Cern, who looked happy and comfy in his red kilt and bare feet.

I totally don’t have a SLURL to the new place yet, which is just as well because I’m not officially ready to open yet. But, the Wee Little Irish Pub. And yes, folks: Bridget is back on the clock.

*You don’t want to know the punchline to this one. Honestly you don’t.

Posted in child avatars, events, Love 146 in Second Life, nightlife, party, raving

All Ages Benefit Dance Today, 4PM SLT

I want to pass this message along, as it is in support of Love 146, a cause which I hold very dear.

Join us for an all-ages dance party in the Seven Isles, to benefit Love 146. DJ Hopalong Easterling will play oldies and silly songs for 2 hours, so come and kick up your heels (or fins, or hooves…)!

Donations from this event will benefit Love 146, an organization that combats child slavery and exploitation, and provides aftercare for young people who have been rescued from trafficking. Did you know that in the U.S. alone, as many as 100,000 children are bought or sold per year? You can learn more about Love 146 at http://love146.org .

April 16th is celebrated in Washington DC as Emancipation Day, so guests are encouraged (though not required) to incorporate cherry blossoms, red or pink, or the number 146 in their outfits. Though this is a fantasy RP sim, medieval/fantasy garb is not required for this OOC event.

So bring your friends, your kids, your date, or just yourself to make new friends to the Clubhouse at the Seven Isles! Together, we can make a difference in helping to make slavery history.

This is the place! See you at 4PM SLT!

Posted in events, music, OpenLife, party, performing, raving

Virtually Live Events opener yesterday

Other than some glitch that wouldn’t make me stop dancing (no matter how many times I clicked “stop animations”, it would start up again), I had a very nice time at yesterday’s big opener for VLE. I don’t know what the final peak number of attendants turned out to be (was it 32, did I hear?) but I know it was very well attended and a quality performance.

The first performer to take the stage was Junivers Stockholm. Personally, his style of music isn’t my favorite; the phrase “if you like that sort of thing” comes to mind when I think of what to say to anyone who didn’t make it to the show to hear for himself. It was a lot of techno background and effect-pedal tricks which made for lengthy, meandering songs. Kind of like the longer intros into newer Pink Floyd songs, only to me it was like the song never quite began. Again, this is my personal taste in musical style and not meant to disrespect Junivers’ musical ability. The guitar playing was clean and harmonious, the sound quality very good. Technically very good, stylistically not my cup o’tea.

Next was Zorch Boomhauer, whose performance was a sharp contrast to the previous one. He didn’t have dancing girls or an electronic orchestra or effect pedal; it was just him and his guitar and his own original songs. I can best describe his voice as a blend between Cat Stevens and Jimmy Buffet, with the addition of a charming accent when he speaks. I have to brag a little: his suit and hair were my own creation, commissioned by Shai a few weeks before his performance.

So the performances seemed to me to be a fascinating contrast: the first felt more image than substance, the second more substance than image. All in all, a fine opener. I think VLE is/will be a fine starting point for musicians in OL, but I hope it doesn’t take the attitude of becoming the only venue.

Posted in Cat Agus Cu, events, music, party, performing, raving

Cat Agus Cu’s LIVE debut in OpenLife!

Today (the 19th) marks our first performance in OpenLife, and we hope you’ll be able to join us! We’re doing a half-hour mini-concert for Virtually Live Events’ Seasonal Party at 10PM GMT (which is 5PM Eastern, or 2PM Pacific). Himself and I will sing Christmas songs for the event, so likely several you’ve never heard from us before!

If you can’t make it inworld, you can go to this site at the time of our performance to hear us online. We’ll have our tip jar if you’re feeling generous, or you can support us via PayPal:

The event is to help support Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders). We hope we “see” you at Virtually Live: Virtual Life, Real Music! Read more about them here

Posted in events, music, nightclub, nightlife, party

Irish Music Night @ Dreamers Pub

Join me at Dreamers Irish Music and Dance Bar in Merina for 2 hours of Irish music. All kinds of Irish music, from Clancy Brothers and Chieftains to U2 to Flogging Molly.* The fun starts at 8 PM GMT (which is NOON Pacific and 3 PM Eastern).

*Just no Enya. I don’t like Enya.

Log onto the Merina region in OpenLife and follow the directions.

Can’t make it to the pub? You can listen at http://orange.neostreams.info:12958 .

Posted in Cat Agus Cu, Cat And Dog Pub, events, Mistletoe Creek Outfitters, OpenLife, party, performing, personal

Don’t know if you’ve seen it yet…

But I’ve decided to make a blog for my OL shop after all.

Looks like I picked the right time to get the hell out of Dodge*. I’d made this decision before the XStreet “roadmap” was announced; this just confirms that it’s the right time.

*I got a million of ’em. Hope you’re not sick of them yet.

Preparations are underway for the Farewell party at the Cat And Dog. On 12/2 at 1PM SLT, Funky Feats will join us for a last dance for 2 hours. Then at 4PM SLT, Cat Agus Cu will perform a farewell show. We may, after that, have a DJ’ed “hoedown” in honor of the new frontier I’m moving to, depending on if the DJ is available. So if you have cowboy/western/pioneer type clothes, you’re encouraged to dress up in them for the occasion.

I followed himself’s advice and cashed out most of my Ls now, before the end of the month. Just over $80 USD worth so far. Not half bad.