Posted in day-to-day, depression, health, personal

Bouying Up Slowly

I’m currently in the “anxiety and irritability” portion of our program, but make no mistake, I’m on my way upward if slowly. Depression just really fucking sucks all around but at least I can see a way out of it, if long and slow.

I’ve been showing this to everybody. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s like that. Yes. She nails it to the fucking wall.

Let’s see, let’s see, what news. The festival is over. Anytime I ever feel like spearheading a nine day event again, in particular when my availability is limited, do us all a favor and check me in. I’m officially certifiable for going forward with that and expecting different results.

That’s not to say it wasn’t without its moments of enjoyment. There were even some moments of outright fun (like blowing the grounds up…). And, none of it could have gone over without the help of my friends who were also my staff. And, to the performers and merchants who made it more than just a really pretty vacant lot.

But you see, a depressive crash hit me right square in the middle of it all. And with it came the “what the hell is the point?” described in the link above (seriously, GO READ IT). And so it means even more than it ordinarily would that those whom I could count on, stepped up and held things together while I tried holding me together. With the crash came the bitter disappointment of such low turnout, and by the time the second weekend rolled around, well, you had one elf ready to just throw in the towel and stay in bed. Which I pretty much did, on Saturday.

I can’t really state just how much of myself I end up pouring into things like this, so it’s hard not to take it personally when it falls miles short of expectation. So to everyone who said, “Mistletoe, this was a great event,” you made me cry. Which is a good thing because you got to my partially-frozen (due to the depression) heart and really made a difference. THAT, is the payoff I get for doing stuff like this.

Posted in business in SL, events, I wrote this, list, Mistletoe Creek, New Year, Northstar, OpenLife, personal, RL, Wee Little Irish Pub

Self-serving New Year Post (2010-2011 edition)

It’s time to do what I did last year and review my virtual life over the past year, maybe make some predictions, and make some resolutions.

2010: Mistletoe In Review

January 2010 opened with me in OpenLife Grid and mostly out of Second Life (or so I thought). I had big plans to open up a region of my own in OL within a month or so, a Wild West RP sim called Mistletoe Creek. But frustration with OL was getting the better of me. Ultimately I decided to stick it out and try to open the new sim, figuring if it doesn’t work then at least I gave it my best shot. Meanwhile disgruntled former OLers were contacting me anonymously, and I called them out.

I also don’t want you to worry about me being “harassed”. I know you were fretting over it, which is why you protect your own identity. I mean, that harassment must be brutal. I for one never knew that digitized text could be such a dangerous thing, but then I’m green to many of the ways of the world. But at any rate, it should please you to know that nobody has harassed me. This cult of OLG supporters you all seem so worried about hasn’t said one word in opposition to me, even in my angriest rant. They must be scared of a 130-pound elf. I’m such a badass after all. Rawr. Fear the elf. FEAR HER.

Continue reading “Self-serving New Year Post (2010-2011 edition)”

Posted in crime, day-to-day, rant, RL, security

You May Want To Uninstall Emerald

I personally find it very disheartening to read what I did at Modular Systems’ (makers of the Emerald Viewer) blog today. In summary:

This idea was to target a blog owned by a creator of a malicious viewer, and boast of the traffic Emerald has captured. The method for doing this was to add links to the Emerald log in page linked to said blog. Each time anyone logged in, our page loaded up and also the other page loaded up – simply to show off our volume of traffic.

This was not a DDoS. This was a poor attempt at boasting that failed miserably. Once we discovered this, these links were deleted and the dev concerned was disciplined.

In other words, they admit to making you and me any every other user of the Emerald viewer, party to this “prank” every single time we opened up the viewer.

More on the matter can be read here, including a screenshot of the offending code.

I don’t claim to know much about coding or such things, but I do know that I was made a party to what could very well be illegal behavior without my knowledge or consent, and that the strongest thing they can say at Modular Systems is that the developer who came up with the idea was “disciplined”, not canned.

So I’m currently back to pre 2.0 SL viewer until I can find something better. Snowglobe is off the table, being too much like 2.0 in its interface.

Posted in building, Making your prims count, photos, prim torture, tutorial

Make Your Prims Count Part 2: Lighting

Welcome to my second post on ways to cut back on prim use for your home, shop, or club. Today I’m going to do a bit on lighting. It’s kind of surprising how prim-intensive lighting can get, especially in objects like candles and torches. I once saw a wall torch with twenty-two prims, and can’t for the life of me figure out how they can even get that many on there! I own a taper candle in a holder, a gift from a friend, which has 8 prims. And so today I’m going to show you how to take a huge bite out of your prim usage, as well as show you some of the basics of lighting.
Continue reading “Make Your Prims Count Part 2: Lighting”

Posted in personal

You all deserve better…

I’d forgotten the rule when it comes to new ISPs: add a week.

Between there and here I was able to piggyback a wee bit from the neighbors; I even got Clover logged on once or twice to take care of rent and such.

It’s increasingly likely that I won’t be back at Open Life. I feel, however, like the friends I’ve made there deserve better than how I’ve been behaving lately, including before the planned disappearance for moving. I don’t know how to explain it other than to say, I just don’t love Open Life. I’d hoped I would grow to but I just don’t. I don’t love Second Life either but at least I’m making money there, and there’s the familiarity factor. Right or wrong, it’s what I know. I think the loyalty shown by the people who do love OL are really what will make the difference between success and failure for the grid. And, who knows, another year from now, when even more is working according to Sakai’s plan, I may stick my head in again.

What I love best about OL is the building. You can build with much more freedom of prims than you can in SL. I could build that manorhouse I’d always dreamed of, and still have primmage for pubs and shops. But it’s too discouraging to want to invest my all into something that likely won’t last, due to new and radical changes on the horizon for OL. There’s also, I’ve learned, something very satisfying about “If I can’t have it now, I’ll earn it later.” It’s more satisfying even than “I can do everything I want RIGHT NOW.” So my plan is to save up and later earn that pub and/or household in SL. Also, Digi, I owe you back rent and I’ll make that right within the next couple days.

Shai, thank you especially for believing in me enough to trust me with something as huge as a whole sim so early on. It didn’t go the way either of us planned but I think it was important for both of us to have undertaken. In times of confusion and turmoil, I never had any doubt of my trust in you as a friend; I still don’t. I hope we can continue to share gossip from each other’s worlds.

Digi, my first landlord and one hell of a sim owner, thank you for making me feel welcome in OL by way of the help center in Danaus, your patience when I deleted your shop building on the first parcel I rented (d’oh!), and your enthusiasm in events. Anyone who acquires a sim, in that grid or another, would do well to look to Digi’s example of what sim ownership can and should be.

Freyja, the second most humanitarian elf I know 😉 , your generous heart and creative mind have restored my faith in the elven race. Once upon a time I saw too many of my own kindred as aloof, haughty, or otherwise unpleasant; you, however, are a great opposite of all these things. May generations of our people gain from your example.

Cheops, your building skills are phenomenal, your patience nearly boundless. I’ve watched you take a complete newbie on their first day inworld and transform them from duck-walking “Ruth” to stunning individual avatar in a matter of minutes, for nothing in return but the joy of helping to make someone’s virtual life easier. Your enthusiasm is contageous; may it never wane.

Pants, I could easily say the same for you. In the short time that we were neighbors, your builds took my breath away, and were so immersive that I feared the mere sight of them would distract from my own works. I envy your vision. When I think of you, the U2 song “Elevation” always comes into my mind.

Grim, a fine RPer, creator, and voice for peace in the midst of conflict. Were the OL community a ship, you would be its rudder. The most even-tempered zombie one could ever hope to know. Thank you for not eating my brains. 😉

So many of you have been kind and helpful while I was there; far too many to name, but I can at least try: Lion, Trista, Casi, Maggie, Lexi, Caro, Chenoa, Tom, Adec, Surreal, Gert, Sparrow… if I forget to name anyone, please accept my sincerest apologies for absentmindedness on my part. Each of you, in big ways or little ways, made an impression on me while I was there, and I appreciate it more than I can say.

Some of you I hope to catch in SL, if and when you’re around. For example, Cate, I still look forward to sailing on Tuesdays. Others I know are on Skype, and I have emails. There’s always here and Twitter for comments and for checking in to see how each other is doing. You guys are what I’ll miss about OL. Be well and I wish absolutely nothing but the best for you all.

Posted in building, day-to-day, OpenLife, out of character, personal, rant, RL

“Have you been sick?”

How you know you’ve been out of touch too much or too long: someone asks you that.

I like lots of the people I’ve met on OL. I love building there, too; I finally have the family manor-house I’ve always wanted, but never had the money and prim allowance to make in SL.

Both RL and getting my SL business back on track have been kicking my butt. In RL, I’m gearing up to move about 130 miles away at the end of the month (which is rapidly approaching). In SL, I’ve been busily getting Clover’s Kitchen to a point where I don’t have to focus so much time on it. That includes re-LMing ALL of my products, swapping out servers, not to mention making new products.

Add to that the fact that big huge changes are in the works for OL. For the better, I’m sure, but it sounds more and more like the things I’ve built and made there (including the AT LAST manor… maybe that’s what I should call it in fact…) are going to be obsolete before too long. It’s hard to want to go and enjoy and get attached to what won’t even be there. And that big weekend-long update, I’m sorry, looks like a step backward to me. Suddenly we have to tweak and work-around things that used to work just fine. I’m really trying to maintain my faith in OL because I very much like the people I know and I really like my build and having so much room to be creative.

And, the things that piss me off about SL haven’t gone away. I still refuse to do business on XStreet, for example, or even give them a dime. If I see something I want on XStreet, I go to the seller’s inworld place and buy it there. But for all its faults, SL can be counted on to be there tomorrow or next month or in a year. And, even though they keep a chunk of it for themselves, I can still actually make money there. That is and always has been the biggest appeal of it for me. It was that fact alone that made the difference between “I don’t have time for something like that” and “What the hell, I’ll see what it’s like.”

Uncertainty, you’ve heard me say it before, is something I do not like at all. And it’s the biggest turn-off about OL. I just don’t know what it will be like next week or next month.

So I dunno. I guess lately I’ve been bi-gridual.

Posted in Cat Agus Cu, OpenLife, rant, RL

So many kinds of pissed.

I might just give up on OL altogether. Yeah, I know, here comes the fuckload of vulture comments. Fucking save them, I don’t want to play in your grid either.

Tomorrow’s my last day at my RL job, and my RL boss has decided to take the opportunity to maintain control over me one last time by sticking me on a shift that A) I’ve said I’m unavailable for from the get-go, and B) nobody’s available to cover. Add to that the fact that I was GOING to play a gig tomorrow, or at least attempt to, as much as my damn hands have been hurting. Believe me, there’s a huge number of things I’d RATHER be doing than working this lame ass shift; and playing music in my living room is HIGH on that list.

So, forgive me, Mr. Event Planner, if my being unavailable because of RL is messing up your event, and that that’s the biggest problem you got. Spare me the passive-aggressive bullshit.* Suck it up and deal; that’s what I’m trying to do.

*I got plenty for the both of us.

Real life comes first. That’s just the way it is.

Also, I’m not going to play for you in the future either.

Posted in building, North Star Pub, Northstar, OpenLife, photos, work in progress

My Tiny Piece of Heaven

I finally got some long-awaited pictures of my parcel in OL, which I call Northstar.

The North Star, my wee pub.

Click any image to see larger.

Seamus Linden, the bartender, and me in my spiffy North Star Pub shirt.

He's a good sort, Seamus is.
The other end of the pub: stage, piano, dance floor
A vending booth, and one of Freyja's cool street lamps.
The North Star and a vacant shopfront. Fountain and waterlilies by Freyja Bailey.
Another cool streetlight, more shop space, and my house in the distance.
Me napping on a park bench outside a vacant shop. Note the cool 'Northstar' sign in the lower left.
A corral outside my house. Horses by Jon Haskell.

Join me next time when I give a tour of my house. In the meantime, you’re welcome to visit Northstar in the sim of Merina anytime:

Posted in building, day-to-day, nightlife, OpenLife, raving, work in progress

Where Everybody Knows My Name

I don’t talk much about RL here because I have other blogs/places to do that. But let it suffice to say that today in RL was an emotional whirlwind to match the blustery weather outside. It started with dragging myself unwillingly out of bed after a pep-talk from Himself, continued with a physically demanding work day which included sudden news and a visit that left me thinking “Of all the sub shops in all the towns in all the state…”, went on to have jaw-dropping surprising news, and now I’m wiped out.

You know what’s good after a day like today? A pint.

Course I don’t drink IRL. And the weather out there isn’t fit for man nor beast, what with roads flooding and a rattling wind. And so I turn to the wish-fulfilling element so appealing about virtual worlds: I turn to my virtual pub.

I have one, you know. A new one. It’s called the North Star, and it’s not “officially” open but folks are welcome to come in anytime to unwind and hang out. Which is just what I did.

Seamus the bartender’s a great listener. He listens more than he talks: a good quality in a barman. I’ll want to make him a t-shirt and apron.

Pay Seamus a visit at the North Star in Merina (in OL). That is, when we can go to OL again after the maintenance.