A Second Life
The Magic Always Comes Back
It really does, which is why it is a shame, I have no pictures to show you. Last weekend, Iyoba and I were trying to put a note card giver with a menu in a one prim object and getting nowhere. The script, which I had cut and pasted off a web site, and having zero luck getting the thing to work. It had no rem statements in it, so we thought it was our fault. There was one mistake in the program that even we could fix...but after that...
I ended up begging help from the Hobo Junction group, of which Iyoba is a member. A lady offered to look at the program and then gave it a much bigger edit than it deserved. It really was defective. Now it is absolutely fantastic. I paid the lady, Ludo Merit, back with a dress and the URL for SLCP which is manequin software for testing texture clothing designs.
This photograph has nothing to do with the good samaritan of a couple of weeks ago. I wish it did. It is just a dress, and Iyoba is in it. It is a new dress, a winter dress. Making stuff keeps Second Life young for me. The prim with the menu in it is for a library project. Yes, I've finally decided to build my own library. I have land that is semi-useless, my 512. I don't need very many prims. Most of the work is organizing the links and pages. I do it in spurts.
A texture dispenser in Nippori side tracked me along with the Mermaid Diaries' hair tutorial really side tracked me. I'm still side tracked. I started working on caucasian hair and discovered, much to my utter lack of surprize, that most Caucasian hair textures in Second Life are made with cookbook tutorials. Well, Iyoba wanted "Caucasian hair" and I obliged her. This was sort of a first attempt. It's a spikey style. I like spikes and they are not in anybody's tutorial. This style took longer than it should have done. It has more prims in it too than it should, but it is shiney and smooth. Iyoba is not wearing it in the picture above. I'm a big fan of sculpties for hair for Iyoba. This texutre which you can see in the picture below is sculpty free.
I photographed this one in the grassy sandbox of NYU's island. It is a very pretty sim. Iyoba of course wants more hair, and I'm on the lookout for new and interesting textures. I remember that we got a whole pile of them at the University of Cincinnati, which now has a closed sandbox. Oh well, we find more sandboxes as we bushwhack for the ever growning and never dying spread sheet. It's one of the bonsuses of bushwhacking, and I will have more fashion photos or are they anti-fashion? It's up to you to decide.
Meanwhile, you want to know about the magic. Well, exploring and making things always brings it around, and it does ebb and flow. For me it never goes away. Monday, I listened to a prominent librarian in SL complain she was bored and SL had lost its excitement. I had nothing to say back to her. Actually, what I could say speaks volumes. Making clothes, figure out a new way to make stuff, just going for a walk, going to a new club, all bring back the magic. They don't always do it. They do it often enough to make me happy. Sometimes even routine tasks like gathering turtle eggs, feeding the turtles, or fixing the radio on my land (Yes, it needs fixing again! Stations fly by night, but the radio stays.), can make me happy. Maybe, I'm just wired to be soothed by routine work and aware enough to know when a pleasant break in the routine brings a welcome surprise. I'm not sure of any of this. I still wish I had not been so tongue tied.
Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba BatOni -- November 28, 2011
Why Take Pictures
There are many reasons for taking pictures in Second Life. Often I take fashion photographs. The truth is Iyoba could wear a flour sack and nobody would notice. I even made her a flour sack shirt. She wore it, and the results were predictable. Still, if I make Iyoba something new, I put her in it and photograph her as in this picture. I am working on Iyoba's winter wardrobe. When Second Life is covered in snow, or if I am cold coming in to work, my avie can be toasty warm.
Pictures often show more than clothes. In this case, we had just finished the dress in the Tulane sandbox (Yes that is Tulane University. I keep a spread sheet of educational, library, and museum sites in Second Life. That was why we were visiting Tulane, but a swamp has replaced the art museum or the economics exhibit. Iyoba has a way of falling in water or mud every time she wears a new dress...and she didn't want to end up in the swamp. Did she end up in the swamp? You can guess for yourself.
I suspect I took this picture on Mahos. There was a dance site, and there was a beach, and Iyoba went for a swim. Then we found this gorgeous fountain. Iyoba got to show off her black tulip two piece and stand in front of the gorgeous water and flowers.
And there is always the opportunity to catch a good candid shot. Virtual Ability features a balloon, inner tubes, and a row boat. Iyoba got to go rowing with wearable oars. I think we were both in a conservative mood that day, about six days ago, because Iyoba is wearing her "dress for success" lion fish, two tone, dress. Every piece of business clothes does not have to be black pants and a demure or not-too-demure sweater.
Of course, sometimes a candid shot is just great for angles and light. It's not really about the avie here but about the empty build and all its lovely detail. There is something sad and beautiful about photographing your avie sitting alone at a table through the backs of chairs. The room resembles a cage of light and shadow.
And a picture sometimes is a lot better at explaining a message than words could ever be. You have heard me rant about Amaretto Horses. No, they are not alive, except virtually. Still there is something awful and sad about seeing how people keep them. Now you can see why. This is my neighbor with over twenty Amaretto steeds crammed together like books on a shelf.
And Now to the Story of a Build
Now here is the story I really wanted to tell with pictures. The build is the Cleveland Plus Archipleago owned by Case Western Reserve. At one point This was quite a showcase. Today it is a different story. The build is bad in a variety of ways that inconvenience avies and strain verisimlitude. Some doors open. Others are locked. Yet others go nowhere. One door leads to an unfinished interior that is a grass-lined hole. Other buildings are just pretty shells. This angers any one who has to pay for space to rezz prims, but land envy does not translate well outside of Second Life. Think students' tuition dollars and alumni contributions at work if you prefer.
In a weird way it is fun to compare the pictures in the link to my own. I like the fancy sky. I used a sky setting called Cherry Blossom for my own photographs, but most of them are indoors as is this first shot.
The information booth was empty. No one was home here. Iyoba was just visiting, but no one is ever home at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on ClevelandPlus III. There are two cars sitting crashed on top of eachother in midair, a locked room with security cameras, and a few shelves with Case Western Reserve swag (freebies). There are no notecard givers, no poster displays. The architecture may be true to form, but this building is an empty shell.
No one was also home at Adlebert College. Inside it looks like the library, and the actual library which is one sim over at ClevelandPlus II (This was Cleveland Plus.) looks like Adlebert College. Both are empty if attractive shells. Those books in the background are wallpaper. The computers do not even connect to the real life library's home page or catalog. There are no note card givers, no art display, etc.... The gesture I used in this photo, by the way is called Siri.
I really don't want to do too much of a slap down of the folks who built this sim. It could have been lovely, and I mean that, but this sign made me sad. Look at the date on it. That was more than two years ago. Has this place sat in proverbial moth balls? I wonder at the politics behind it. The good news, which I did not photograph for the reason stated above, is that there is a group repurposing these islands with a health exhibit. The bad news is the exhibit is unfinshed. One finds messy pieces of it all over the place. Maybe in six months, this island will host a current exhibit. Virtual museums or student exhibits in Second Life can be quite impressive. Outdated signs are clearly the opposite.
And there are some parts of the ClevelandPlus archipelago that are trully beautiful and reasonably functional. John Jay High School and a building on ClevelandPlus VIII, are my favorites. This is Iyoba standing on the back stairs by the auditorium of John Jay. The building is the way they used to build schools before I was born. We had an old middle school that was like this in the town where I grew up. It had separate boys and girls entrances. It was an awful building by the 1970's. I went to the "new" middle school, now a generation old, the second year it was open. The old middle school is now apartments, but this building reminded me of how the old Ardsley Middle School must have looked in its prime.
As you can see in this picture, John Jay is one very evocative build. Can you smell the dust motes and stale chalk in the air. Can you hear the muffled patter of students' feet and the slamming of doors and the feeling of boredom and tiredness at two in the afternoon? The animation I used for Iyoba is called "soccer" It's a good action pose, and sometimes you need a little action.
Unfortunately, nothing disguises Cleveland Plus' large emptiness. Building built way outside of human scale don't help. Now, I realize old time schools were meant to be munumental but this image of sun in an empty hallway captures it all.
This is Adlebert College from the outside. Inside is a lot more cozy. The huge granite edifice dwarfs Iyoba who stands on the front step, the only avie for miles around.
I guess this picture best ends the visit to ClevelandPlus II. The builders would never post it to Flickr, but it is part of the build, and part of me feels it has it would have a place if the build were more interactive and useable for all its prims. This is the tunnel between Tower City on ClevelandPlus II and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on ClevelandPlus III. It is huge, lonely, and sad. I like these emotions, but that shouldn't be all there is to this shell of a build. Maybe when the health exhibit is ready for prime time, those at Case Western will begin to salvage this huge build. Let's hope they do.
Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba BatOni -- November 10, 2011