Posted in day-to-day, out of character, personal, updates

In this world

I miss the Grid so, so, desperately much right now.

It’s so hard, day after day in this world.

I’m getting by. I’m safe. I’ve got people around me.

But I miss the beautiful Otherworld and its bubble and its magic so much. I miss being Mistletoe so deeply. I want so badly to take a break from this world that words fail me. I’m on the wagon, but fuck, it’s so hard.

Posted in day-to-day, updates, work in progress

Revamping and rearranging

This Blog is going to be undergoing some changes in the coming days. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to hear myself talk, but I want to refocus a bit on what I hear myself talk about. So here are some things that I plan to change, and things I plan to keep the same.

First, what’s not going anywhere, or else will be more of:

  • Advice for online business, just no longer strictly limited to Second Life
  • Free cool stuff I made, to download and enjoy, including some of the printables I’ve already added.
  • Talk about mental illness and video game addiction. It’s a day-to-day process and I know it helps me to know I’m not alone, so who knows, maybe that will help someone else too.
  • The Know-It-All Pages are totally staying, but will likely be updated.
  • Occasional sweary rants. Where the fuck else am I gonna?
  • Cats. Because we all must do our part to power the Internet.

What’s going, or else you won’t see further:

  • Things I made that are on the Second Life Marketplace, largely because I’m not even in Second Life anymore. Because of that I no longer offer support for things I’ve made in the past. The listings will remain, mostly for sentimentality’s sake, but you’re on your own to stumble cheerfully uponĀ  them. I’ll be deleting posts here that link to them in the coming days.
  • In-character stories. They hearken back to my earliest days of this blog, and were fun at the time, but I think ultimately are a little confusing the way they bleed between RL and RP, as well as more than a little self-serving. And, they remind me of a time in my past that I think I’d do just as well to not remind myself of.
  • My personal stuff, except as it relates to the first list.
  • Announcements for past events in Second Life will be deleted. Too confusing.

So, in conclusion, if you want to have a record of some of the things I’ve written or listed in the past, get ’em before they’re gone.

Posted in addiction, entertainment, events, Manic Elf, out of character, personal, recovery, RL, updates

I miss you.

So the next Second Life Birthday is in planning stages. 13 already. Damn. Does that mean that this June would be my 10th rez-day?

SLBs are the hardest time of year for me to keep away from SL, because they’re some of the best of what the grid has to offer all in one convenient spot: a font of creativity and genius, without the Lab putting their dirty hands on it. It’s hard not to miss that; I would be lying if I said I didn’t.

And there are people I miss a lot too. I try to keep up on emails, or chatting with them on Facebook or Twitter, but it’s really not as easy to keep that connection without the medium on which you made the connection in the first place. I want to, though. If you see this and haven’t heard from me in a while: I miss you.

I logged on my alts once, about two weeks or so ago, to shake them down for loose change. It was a little, just under a hundred bucks, and is helping us get through a tight spot. The spots are always so tight these days. My job isn’t going so great, but I’m working and trying to further myself in it. I can’t really afford my hobbies (SCA and LARP) anymore, either in money or in time.

I do have a Fiverr gig going on now, though. After playing Undertale (which a friend got me for Xmas) I’ve wanted to live in an 8bit world a while longer, so I fired up RPGMaker and now I make custom video-game greeting cards for five bucks a pop. Nothing too fancy, but cute as hell: a custom sprite of the recipient solves a puzzle, opens a door, and gets a personalized message from the sender. You should have a look! And if you’re on the evil Book of Faces, you should like my page and share the love!

I’m tempted, speaking of Fiverr, of doing machinima videos of firework greetings like I used to do. But that would mean investing myself in SL again and I don’t think I should do that.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in my world. What’s going on in yours?

Posted in day-to-day, Philomenaville, RL, updates

Again, July

The moon is shining on the East Coast and the sun’s an hour away from setting where I am now. Right about now, all my SCA friends back in New England are gathering around their campfires for music and stories and tales of absent friends. And I’m the absent friend, wishing I was there now. Here it’s traffic and car alarms and motorcycles and piles and piles of loneliness.

Don’t know why I’m saying all this, except it feels like I’ll spill over if I don’t say something.

So back last April, not even a full page of blog entries ago, my love and my cat and I made the trip of a lifetime, towing a trailer behind a little Sunfire from the geographical center of Nowhere, Maine to the city of San Diego. We’d begin a whole new story of our lives. Only, halfway into the first chapter, an unexpected twist in the plot came.

Now, we’re going to pack it up and make the trip of a lifetime, again. We’re starting over, again. We’ve got so much to do, including getting rid of almost all of our worldly possessions (again), planning the route (again), job and apartment hunting (again).

But this time we’re not moving 3500 miles away from the campfires and the stories: we’re going back to them. Or, at least, within a day’s drive. We’re going to a place that himself knows and loves; a place that I hope I can get to know and learn to love. A place where someone as anxious about driving as I am, doesn’t have to drive to get around. A place with rain, and green grass, neither of which can be easily found in San Diego. I never knew how much I’d miss them both until three months without them.

We’re going home to Boston. Maybe I should say shipping up to Boston, like the Dropkick Murphys song.

Additionally, it’s July. If you’ve been along with me for the ride for some time now, you might know what that means. For those who don’t know or don’t recall, July tends to mark the low point in my interest in Second Life. Between having lots to do in RL and just some kind of seasonal cycle of interest, I simply don’t get into it as much. It’s long been my desire in SL to create something that can hold together without me there all the time to do it myself, and damned if the community in Philomenaville isn’t starting to do just that. Mind, I didn’t create that, not all on my own, not by a long shot, and I’m not the only one who maintains it either. And frankly, I like it that way. I like that it won’t collapse without me.

This weekend I’m supposed to relax and do some fucking off at the beach, because after that, we won’t have much fucking-off time at all.

Posted in building, community, day-to-day, I wrote this, Philomenaville, roleplay, roleplaying, rp, updates

How to Improve Your Community in Two Words

Philomenaville is coming along swimmingly. I’ve sent in our application to have a presence at SL11BCC and am waiting to hear on that. Some buildings have been moved around and shifted about. The outdoor freebie market is gone, replaced by a thrift market for people to sell leftovers from gatchas (is it gatcha or gacha? Anywhoodle.) A welcome center is being put together in one wing of Town Hall, a meeting area in the other. The park is sporting a cool new Conservatory building which contains the prettiest damn dance machines you’ve ever seen. The trolley is running well and is no longer spawning additional trolleys (they were everywhere!). We’re gearing up for our first ever dance in the Conservatory this weekend (Saturday! 4PM! Join us in Bushside!) and we’re also gearing up for some RP event type stuff in a week or two. It hasn’t been without some pains in my ass but all in all, it’s going really well.

One thing that hasn’t been going well is that the Friday afternoon Social Hour at the Cafe has been a flop. And the more I talk about it with other people the more I think people just aren’t really sure what to do, or else are bored by the idea of all meeting in one spot without there being any music or anything. It’s not like it’s a town meeting mandated by the Mayor or anything. What do you talk about for an hour? So it annoys me when people don’t show up, but at the same time, if I wasn’t running it, I wonder if I’d skip it too. So I’m hopeful that Saturday afternoon dances at the Conservatory will fill that social void a little better. There’s music. There’s watching yourself dance. There’s lighthearted interaction. People are just more likely to show up.

And really, that’s the secret to making a community work, I think. It’s not me planning the events; it’s everyone else SHOWING UP. It’s not Thaddeus initiating group chat; it’s everyone else SHOWING UP. It frustrates me that I can’t make more people show up so, listen, whatever community you’re in, if you want to make it better, richer, more enjoyable… SHOW UP. You don’t have to be an event planner, you don’t have to be a prolific builder, you don’t have to be a dazzling conversationalist, just show up. That’s all.

Posted in building, day-to-day, Philomena, updates, work in progress

Catching Up

Pardon my taking a while to write anything new. My first life has been really busy lately with us preparing to move across the country at the end of this month. Himself has a new job lined up and we just have to get there.

…aaaaaaand get rid of all our furniture, pack up our remaining belongings, rent a trailer, drive said trailer across 14 states, find a place to live, unload our belongings, get new furniture, and settle in. That’s all.

Some changes are afoot for Philomena. We’ve had some awkwardness and politics and dare I say the “D” word, as well as some creative changes. In that second vein, Philomena is moving more toward a suburban town than a full-on city, with some residential spots. It will still have a downtown commercial-type area, with parks and cafes and even a freebie market. Knowing that we’re going more toward the suburbs than the urbs, I decided that the Elfy Dodger/Viscountess of Vagrancy persona won’t really work in the new setting, so I cleaned myself up and look a good bit more respectable now. I’ll get pictures another time. Another change in the works is new (and more) land; we’re looking at a few mainland possibilities and waiting to hear.

Posted in day-to-day, events, machinima, updates

Finding it fun again

Archimedes and I had a talk about the things we use that make us able to do the things we do that make us who we are. For example, he’s a statistician, and he can’t do the things that make him what he is without a lot of help from the application “R”. When I went from my old Mac to this new Windows 8 laptop, I lost Photoshop, iMovie, CaptureMe, NiceCast, Garage Band… a lot of the tools that helped me “be what I am” so to speak in Second Life and indeed in real life.

So it’s with some frustration that I’m relearning the equivalent tools here. We couldn’t afford the $700 for a new full version of Photoshop (that’s more than the computer cost!) so we got a package with Photoshop Elements (which I don’t even use) and Premiere Elements 11 (which I do, more on that shortly). I have Gimp, and WinAmp, and iTunes but no NiceCast. I tried the free version of Fraps and discovered that I prefer the free version of Bandicam. Not crazy about the watermark on either but what do you want for nothing. I plan to upgrade and get the full version of Bandicam with my birthday and Christmas money. Yes by the way my birthday is coming up, more on that in a bit too.

I’m teaching myself machinima again. I can’t quite do the slick editing that I did for things like The Naughty Chair yet. In fact Premiere Elements is frustrating the hell out of me, because the nice cropped video I see in the preview version of a project is not what comes out in the final exported video. The final exported video has all the controls and watermarks and HUDs that are cropped out of the nice-looking preview version. It’s annoying me to no end.

Machinima is fun, though, and contrary to what the cynic I spoke to yesterday says, there’s still lots to enjoy in SL while using this medium. In fact I got a really fun project in the works and some great people willing to help me out with it too. I’ve done a few burlesque-style shorts (see Naughty Chair, link above); now I’m planning a longer burlesque video with multiple performers. It’s got a seasonal theme but it won’t be ready for this Christmas (sorry!). However I’m hopeful it will be ready to debut with plenty of time before next Christmas. Interested in performing? Shoot me an IM.

And so, yes, I’m turning 39 on Sunday in RL. The weather forecast here in RL land says that I’m not going anywhere so I’m having a party in SL at my good friend Thaddeus’s place, Antique Square. It’s an outdoor skating party with an eclectic mix of music from DJ Noir. There’ll be cake (from Clover’s Kitchen, naturally). I hope you can make it because what I’d like more than anything is to see my friends there. The party is Sunday, December 22nd, at 5PM SLT.

Posted in building, day-to-day, Lionheart, updates

Sorta finding my groove again

My friend Thaddeus has revamped and reopened Antique Square, and it’s lovelier and more vibrant than ever before. I logged on the other day to have a look at it.

Clover received a lovely automated “fill out our survey” message after three years of renting from a single spot. Really warmed the cockles of my heart. It’s not that I think I’m owed a thank you after the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the newspaper, the Pride festivities, the medieval faire… yeah well OK I guess I kind of think I am.

Instead, I got a thank you message from someone I wasn’t expecting and it made me genuinely giddy.

I’m freeloading in a cottage amid some grassy dunes, where I can fish or explode fireworks (but no exploding fish. Ew.). I just got a Christmas tree in there and I like it a lot. I put a one-horse open sleigh ride in at Antique Square, at Thaddeus’s request. And I’m kind of building again; I even broke down and got Mesh Studio.

So I’m not saying I’m full time In Second Life again or anything, but at very least, I’m finding a little more interest in it than I did.

Posted in business in SL, personal, updates

On Closing Clover’s, and more

Made the announcement, trimmed the friend’s list a little (basically any time I couldn’t answer the question “Who is this person?”) and now I’m a bit saddened.

I have the tier on the supermarket parcel til Oct. 3rd. I’m closing shop on the 1st. I figure a day or two of redirecting LMs, then on the last day, blow it up. I’m saddened because all good things must end. But as a wise robot once said, it need not be a sad end or a serious one.

As for what’s next, I don’t really have a SL-based answer. I have a place to stay, much thanks to my good friend Tel. I’m also putting the Lionheart Times on hiatus so I’ll likely close the office to that before too long too. Then again, it’s not a lot of expense, and it’s some comfort having a space. Eh, we’ll see.

Another friend of mine is closing his shop as well, for many of the same reasons that I’m closing mine. He’s found joy in RPing and in streaming entertainment. I just don’t have much SL joy right now. Even Petal’s getting a bit bored.

Right now my joy is in RL, and in the brief space between unbearably hot summer and wonderful, wonderful autumn (wonderful, that is, except for allergies). August never seems to last long enough. I pick blackberries and cook with them, I work on sewing SCA garb, I write and I make comics and I sleepwalk way too much on social media. I’m not depressed with life at all, I’m just not feeling SL is all.