Monday, July 31, 2017

makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yea...

...I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph, so mama don't take my Kodachrome away...

How does such a lighthearted classic pop song and an up-the-butt bikini bottom shot wind up segueing into a long-winded tangential commentary on Second Life such as the one below? Here's how.

It started out with a quick blurb about the differences between what my avatar wears in Second Life and what I wear in the real world. Looking for a title, "...greens of summer " seemed as good as any Paul Simon lyrics. I googled the song to see if it had a deeper meaning and found a Facebook post from 2012 which read:

The song “Kodachrome”, according to Paul Simon, is about the distortion of reality.

...and this came out.

I can't think of a better way to describe the internet. It's no secret it brings out the true nature of people by providing them a safe place to anonymously express elements of their personalities they might not express in the physical world. Sometimes the anonymity compounds all the nastiest bits, turning them into trolls on message boards. In virtual worlds however, there's the added piece of lifelike avatar representations. Then you have Second Life where experiences are only limited by one's imagination and there's no clear objective or road map, not to mention the time and effort it takes to learn how to maneuver. I think it's that investment of time and effort which could be the reason many people start to move past the desire to be keyboard warriors and pseudo intellectuals. We're more interested in playing out our real life fantasies on the screen. Well, most of us any way.

For better or worse, the majority of us are our true selves in Second Life when it comes to how we show up emotionally and mentally. That's reality. But we exist in our fantasy bodies, living in our fantasy houses. We dance our asses off for hours and don't sweat. We command entire mountains to rise up and move to our will. We fly, teleport, change our race, gender, and species with a few clicks. It's a heightened sense of reality, but a reality nonetheless thanks to the lifelike detail of the bodies, the landscape and the environment as a whole. Because we're only experiencing Second Life on a screen however, there's no confusion about the fact that we don't actually look like Barbie dolls and movie stars. Knowing that, our real world physical and material qualities aren't typically factored in to what people think of us. That levels the playing field considerably. 

Some choose to sink deep into the fantasy, attempting to use it to drown out the pains of their reality, but many choose to use it as an extension of their creative selves. Third party viewers provide tools which enable us to become photographers and landscape architects. We design and create goods, build businesses and generate virtual revenue. Some even get married and have babies. 

Real world limitations be damned.

In many ways, the loss of our physical selves and all the complications which come with them seems to be the catalyst for courage to put ourselves out there in ways we might not otherwise. Rejection is so much easier when you don't have to struggle to hide unconscious body language which betrays your disappointment. While that may seem like a minor thing, I'm convinced it's a big part of our subconscious aversion toward taking risks when it comes to expressing our creativity. I for one spent many years taking pictures and writing stories, making every excuse imaginable to not share with anyone but my closest friends when the real reason was my fear of rejection.

I've only been in Second Life for about a year. Since the bulk of it has been spent socializing, exploring, dancing, shopping and taking pictures, I can't speak for the so-called 'dark sexual underbelly' I read so much about on the rest of the internet in my first few weeks. I also know people have experienced profound betrayals, epic drama and that old familiar descent into keyboard warrior status. I know it's all there, it's just not my experience. If that were the case, I wouldn't have made it past the first month. To me, Second Life is many things but above all it's a most excellent creative outlet and I can't help but wonder what sort of real world effect it will one day have on my ability to put myself out there.

Oh right, and the picture...

[hair] Truth - Kasimire
[bikini] Rebel Hope - Brinkly
[tat] Carol G - Perfect Harmony
[body] Maitreya
[Skin] Essences - Lilo (July Powder pack)
[pose] addme no. 89-4

What Next - Sunflowers Bicycle Decor (July 21 FLF)
Pilot - Poolside - Flip Flops
Dust Bunny - My Summer Retreat - Shade Umbrella
Dust Bunny - My Summer Retreat - Beach Bag (cream)
Tartessos Arts - Holidays Beach Decor
Lisp - Bobble deck Chair (July 21 FLF)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Light through the trees

I discovered a new pose maker today. At my young age in Second Life, everyone is new to me but she's actually been in business since 2009. One of her poses reminded me of the ballets I used to watch at a local theater when I was little. I thought it went perfectly with ChicModa's pretty new dress and matching gifty choker from the 5th anniversary round of Cosmopolitan.

[hair] Truth - Tori (July group gift) w/new updated bangs (free for VIPs)
[dress] ChicModa - Mae (New @ Cosmopolitan) taxi to her booth here
[choker] ChicModa - Mae (Gift @ Cosmopolitan)
[rings] Codex - Sandy (@ eBento) note: wrist cuff and bracelet are part of the rings
[shoes] Kokoia - Halle
[body] Maitreya
[head] Catwa Lona
[pose] WetCat - Carmen no. 4
[location] the Enchanted Isle

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

satisfaction guaranteed

The latest round of Uber began yesterday and with it came that familiar collective groan in response to countless failed TP attempts. This month, the event is celebrating its third birthday and most participants brought in guest designers so there are twice as many wonderful things to buy - that is, if you can get in. Most months Truth releases one of his designs at the event and naturally, the Truthies are itching to get it the instant it comes out. Lucky for us, his CSR Amber offers herself up as personal shopper for the VIPs and starts taking orders for the hair right at midnight when Uber opens. And as luck would have it, our mod Luna is on a completely opposite time zone than Amber so there's usually always someone available to make sure no one has to wait until they're able to get onto the sim. So, less than a week after receiving our monthly group gift, we've got another new hair to squee over and this one has so many options, it ridiculous. He also threw in some sweet little daisy addons which can be worn on either side and came with their own hud to change the colors.

[hair] Truth - Margarita (NEW @ Uber) taxi to cam sim :: taxi to main sim
[dress] Tres Blah - Summer Dress (NEW @ Uber)
[necklace] Maxi Gossamer - Isolde
[body] Maitreya
[head] Catwa - Lona
[skin] Essences - Lilo (July Powder Pack)
[freckles] League
[eyebrows] League
[pose] baghold from Thalia Heckroth Backpack

Raw shot taken @ Retrospect

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Moment of Truth

Anyone in the Truth VIP group will tell you how spoiled we are. So it's no surprise that our expectations are high for each new design, and the pandemonium which ensues in the days leading up to the release of his monthly group gifts is pretty entertaining. Today he gave us our gift for July (a little later than usual due to the fact that he was finally able to escape for a much needed vacation) and he designed for us that summery side braid we wanted. But he also gave us the option to change which side the braid is on as well as the option to wear both braids, not to mention on/off buttons for each of the little side whisps - all in the stylist hud. And he put the gift in group notices so we don't even have to go to the store to get it!

[hair] Truth - Tori (July VIP gift) click here to join the in-world VIP group
[top] Tee*fy - Jenna tube Top (May Luxe Box)
[necklace] Maxi Gossamer - Fairy Infinity
[tat] Carol G - Just Love
[pants] Blueberry - DWL (classic)
[head] Catwa - Lona
[body] Maitreya
[skin] Essences - Lilo (July Powder Pack)
[freckles] Just Magnetized - Insta Beauty Set 2 (July Powder Pack)
[eyes] Izzie's - Moka Earthstones (July Powder Pack)
[brows] League
[pose] GingerFish - Rollin no. 5 (modified by straightening out the arms)

Raw shot taken @ Ash Falls

Destination Unknown #4

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”   
-Ray Bradbury

Excalibur Serendipity
This sim is described as a post apocalyptic, speculative fiction themed environment - a seasonal and ever-changing setting to photograph, role play or just hang out with friends. It also has an elaborate backstory. If you're not too squeamish, the creepy carnival in the Dystopia district has a gut-twisting roller coaster. Lots to see and do on this sim rife with urban decay.
Rating: M
Dystopia district @ Excalibur Serendipity
Field of Dreams
"The Human work is an eternal new beginning...
Drought, autumn rain, the ground draining away by the runoff. Human built these gardens terraces which punctuate the landscape from the bottom of the valleys to peaks with meadows, fruit orchards and vegetable garden..."
Blogger Inara Pey gives a lovely detailed description of it here
As of the creation of this post, the sim has been temporarily closed and a new sim will re-open soon. For status updates and new landmark, see Iska's picks.
Rating: M
Field of Dreams

From Greek style villas to rustic beachfront homes, partners Claudia and Chris Morrisey have built the perfect photogenic hang out spot on their aptly named sim, Vibrant Eden. This is a well-built sim and they've paid close attention to detail but didn't overdo it. There's lots to see and explore and plenty of room to roam around. Scattered throughout are many spots to sit and spend time with friends and loved ones. Checkout this video for the full tour.
Rating: A

Footprints in the Sand
Officially opened July 1st, this is a sprawling beach sim designed for photography and hanging out. Waves crash, gulls cry and sandpipers trill. The sim is comprised of many little sandy islands dotted with palm trees and throughout, you can find beach rentals which are separately parceled for privacy. The owner welshy (kristy.enyo) is always quick to return messages and answer questions. Anyone visiting can join the group for rez rights.
Rating: M
Footprints in the Sand

Ash Falls 
This sim is inspired by the Pacific Northwest so of course, being a native, I had to take a look. The whole thing is beautifully built and designed and just being there reminded me of all the time I've spent in the wilderness around the Cascades. There are subtle elements which to me are decidedly Pacific Northwestern in nature like the camping style picnic setup placed high on a trestle, a dilapidated old drive-in screen, all alone in a clearing and far off in the distance on the beach, a little coffeehouse complete with comfy seating. Back in the forest among the trees, I found a solitary set of power lines which seemed at first to be out of place in such a remote part of the forest but when I followed them, I found a spacious contemporary cabin with an open floorplan. The below image doesn't do it justice. The whole place has a very relaxing feel to it with several spots throughout to sit and cuddle or just chill. The group is free to join until the end of the month when they plan on hosting events there.
Rating: M
Ash Falls

Cerulean Mountain
Death awaits you...
The old man smelled like oil and stale cigarettes. 
He looks at you for a brief moment, shuffling in his vest pockets. 
He sighs and points to the house behind you. 
"In there. Clipboard. Read the notes there! Read 'em I tell ya! Daft fools come up here..." 
his voice trails off as he shakes his head. He pushes off from the landing, not looking back. You get the sense he is more than relieved to be leaving and won't be coming back for you.

That's the narration that pops up in local once you step off the boat. As you make your way through the abandoned mountain town on foot, you receive more narration. A lot of love went into establishing a backstory for this sim. One of the creators, Queen Herouin assured me before I went that the zombies were sleeping.
Rating: A
Cerulean Mountain

Previous Destination posts:

If you can, help support the sims by dropping some lindens in the donation boxes. Thank you for reading and happy exploration!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Just slip out the back, Jack

ChicModa just released this super cute top at Cosmopolitan and I'm loving the ruffles and bows. She included huds in the single purchases which allow the ruffles and bows to be color changed.

[hair] Truth - Imani
[top] ChicModa - Jane (NEW @ Cosmopolitan) taxi to her booth here
[skirt] ChicModa - Sady Skirt 
[bag] Mustresse - Mona Bag
[glasses] Thalia Heckroth- Taselian Specs
[tat] Carol G - Meditation Flower Black (July group gift)
[body] Maitreya
[head] Catwa - Lona
[pose] Artis- High F 18

Raw shot taken @ the Last Forever

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I've been watching the setting sun... it bounces off the avenue...turning to gold dust at my feet...

[hair] Truth - Imani
[top] Rebel Hope - Kellie
[Skort] Rebel Hope - Leah
[shoes] Rebel Hope - Antiqua Wedges
[bag] Belle Epoque - Summertime Bag (box) RARE
[earrings] Rebel Hope - Island Girl Tan Earrings (group gift)
[necklaces] AvaWay - Elephant Necklaces
[tat] Carol G - Indian Mandala
[sunglasses] Zoom - Stelar Glasses (closed version)
[body] Maitreya
[head] Catwa - Lona
[skin] League - Ella
[pose] Infiniti - Fans (gift)

raw shot taken @ Good Memories  (rezzing allowed!)

Monday, July 3, 2017

On my way, don't know where I'm going...

So, ChicModa just released this simple little dress at the latest round of Cosmopolitan and it has the perfect balance of sweet and sexy. Don't know where I'm going now but at least I'm going to look damn good going there!

[dress] ChicModa - Julia (taxi to ChicModa booth @ Cosmopolitan)
[hair] Truth - Taja
[shoes] Empire - Jaborosa
[clutch] Zaara - Patchwork Clutch
[necklaces] Avaway - Elephant Necklaces
[bracelets] Construct - SL14B gift
[sunglasses] Izzie's - 90's Glasses
[tat] Carol G - Flying Flowers
[body] Maitreya
[head] Catwa - Lona
[pose] Infiniti - Fan! (gift)

Raw shot taken @ Saint Tropez

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Modish and a worn out pup

[hair] Truth - Elira (sans hat)
[top] Vinyl - Sophia Top - Mishi's Bad Dream (FLF June 23)
[glasses] Modish - Obscurity Shades
[earrings] Rebel Hope - Loriana Feather Earrings
[choker] Modish - DaisyLace
[skin & lips] Modish - Abby marketplace   :: main store
[pup] Jian - Jack Russel Terrier (May Luxe Box)
[head] Catwa - Lona
[body] Maitreya

Raw shot taken @ Whimberly

Saturday, July 1, 2017

New Rebel Hope at FaMESHed

It's that time again! FaMESHed opened today, filled with so many wonderful summery things and Rebel Hope outdid herself by releasing an entire outfit.

[hair] Truth - Sorcha
[top] Rebel Hope - Janelle
[bottoms] Rebel Hope - Tracy Skort
[shoes] Pure Poison - Illy Sandals
[bag] Reign - Beach Bag Doggy (Summer in the Sun Gacha Set)
[sunglasses] Thalia Heckroth - Taselian Specs
[body] Maitreya
[head] Catwa - Lona
[pose] Inspired Poses - P.H.A.T (free gift)

taxi to FaMESHed

Raw shot taken in the little coffee shop on the corner @ Floris