A perfect sea urchin

A Second Life

This area belongs to Iyoba, my favorite avie from Second Life and me. We share our thoughts here and discuss our adventures in the metaverse. To return to the main blog page, just click here.

Sometimes the Night is Sad

People complain about getting sick of Second Life, and I never really understood it. I still don't. As this blog shows, however, some nights Second Life can just be fantastic. There are new sims to discover. New clubs open. One finds old songs and sometimes a visual project just works. There are other times though, and last night was one of those.

Iyoba went over to Club XxesS which has happily reappeared at Sunset Creek. There she met another wanderer who was sad to find that the club was empty. Empty clubs are as common as dirt in Second Life, and Club XxesS is trying to get off the ground. Despite the club's name, it is a very respectfun place, or Iyoba wouldn't go there. I felt bad. The wanderer also felt bad. She gave me a landmark for her favorite club. I did not think of giving her a Pacha House landmark or a landmark for White which has replaced Anjunna. One of the reasons I withheld the Pacha House landmark is that place advertises like crazy, and I'm not sure how much longer White will be around.

I think that tonight, Iyoba is going to check on some of these places. This can be a very sad, errand, but I am in the mood for such thinngs. Maybe it is the rain in "real life." Meanwhile, Iyoba headed over to Pacha House. She did not want to go back to Praia do Forte on Afrodite XVI where I found the lost song and I did not want to go back there yet. Pacha was all but empty. The DJ played good, sad, soulful mix. His girlfriend and I were there. I had to go in and out to wash shirts in the sink in "real life." I'm glad I did that now.

One of the most awful things about an empty club in Second Life is that the announcer keeps going even when there is no conversation so one is subjected to an endless stream of: "Welcome to Club Pacha," "Don't forget to tip your host and DJ" etc.... That is depressing! It would be nice if there were a way to turn that off. The DJ who is new was just there. I don't know if he paid to play or just didn't have the friends in that time slot on which he could draw to fill the club.

Sometimes Club Pacha has been full of DJ's and their associates from all over. Luka Danik, who is a famous DJ has controlled the music stream there, and I've seen DJ's who place elsewhere or at other times in the audience. Last night's DJ must have been either an outsider or a nwebie in the DJ community. Tonight, no doubt, Iyoba and I will find Club Pacha packed with the old crowd. White should still be there as should Fuokoka.

On one more sad note, the kitty friend (really a cat couch) who used to lie in the rain and blow bubbles on the awning of the Arare Cafe in Akiba is gone. Hopefully he is dreaming his dreams in sunnier parts. Ms. Cat is still there and Iyoba has sat on her back and petted her.

Eileen Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/30/10

How to Make Your Avie Ecstatically Happy

Iyoba had been complaining about constantly having to dress up to go to clubs and to go do our volunteer stint on Info Island once a week. Second Life's inventory structure favors the creation of whole outfits even though there really is nothing that beats mix and match. I know this from "real life." I promised to make Iyoba two pairs of shorts. She needed a green pair and a brown pair.

I thought of lifting a photo. Many clothing textures in Second Life are lifted photos, but electronically drawn textures really do work better. Twelve layers (Yes twelve folks!) I had a shorts template. I still have it. I used more technique than you can throw a stick at, filters, air brushes, paths, you name it. I even found some excellent fabric. The shorts looked great.

I put them on Iyoba while she stood near her land in Hartley on Gaeta. Then I started going through her inventory for shirts. Suffice it to say, my avie now has close to twenty new outfits, and boy did she look happy in them! I can feel how much more comfortable she is dressed informally. We also found two additional pairs of shoes in her inventory. That made us feel even better. I still want to make dresses or perhaps just mroe tops for a while. You can only wear so many dresses on one avie body. Iyoba is right about this one.

Eileen H. Kramer -- 5/28/2010 and yes photos are coming...

The Lost Song

I don't understand all this. I don't pretend to understand. I can think for myself sometimes, but I still don't understand. The One Who Thinks She Knows, has a lot of memories. I use them, but I don't always understand them. This is one I don't understand. Long ago, The One Who Thinks She Knows, wrote a story. The story has no end and it keeps branching forever. The One Who Thinks She Knows believes that the story has a theme song. She says the song went through her head as she wrote the story. It was just a midi, but she somehow lost the midi when she revised her web site. She loves this midi. She has always wanted to hear it again.

One night last winter, we heard it again when I was dancing at Ilha Afrodite. "What is that song called?" pleaded The One Who Thinks She Knows though I have to speak for her. She can sound pathetic at times. No one answered because we either did not have a translator or else it did not work in the crowded shopping mall turned dance club, and the language they speak there is Portuguese, not English.

Well last night, you can guess what they played at Praia do Forte on Afrodite XVI. I felt The One Who Thinks She Knows go all to pieces. She was going to cry and almost was howling with sobs. Once again she had me do the begging and pleading but this time she used the word, "canta" which is the Portuguese word for singer. She thought it was the word for song, but that was enough. She left me to dance while she hunted down the lost midi. She has several versions of it now. She also thinks she may buy the album that features the song which by the way is called Eva. Ivete Sangalo performed it as part of a group called Banda Eva.

The One Who Thinks She Knows marvels at all of this just a little bit. Without the internet, and without exposure to midi in the 1990's and Second Life late last night, she never would have learned about Ivete Sangalo or a whole bunch of songs she still has only as midi. Anyway, she is tired but happy. I hope that all of you find your lost songs soon.

Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/28/10

Slivers of Solace

I'm sorry there are no pictures to accompany this post, but I would have had to ask others if they wanted to be in the shots, and that gets very awkward. I do have some great Iyoba pics from Koblenz and I'll probably have a few more in a few days. I promise all of you another photo shoot.

I got on Second Life yesterday feeling very anti-social. There are times like this and I have real life reasons for feeling down. Iyoba was upstairs at the Arare Cafe in Akiba, which is a Japanese sim. I brought Iyoba there two nights ago to test out her translators. Version 2 of the browser wreacks havoc with translators. Her old Metanomics translator no longer works. The Universal Translator feels clunky, but at least that one works. Iyoba was stil in last night's clothes. She felt dirty. We headed downstairs into the main part of the cafe.

Much to our mutual chagrin, it was full of people having conversations that translated into telegraphic English. English lives and dies by its pronouns and articles. Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese are very different. Think of music created using different scales or doing math in hexidecimal instead of base ten. Still, I wanted to test out the translator so Iyoba took a seat.

There was only one problem, the conversation was weirdly social and Iyoba and I respectively felt out of place and disgustingly anti-social. In three short sentences, I told my tale of woe. Then Iyoba announced that she would drown her sorrows. She found some beer in her inventory. Iyoba's inventory is full of drinkable and eatable objects. It's just a question of finding the right one. The one Iyoba grabbed came from Hysteric Honey who owned Kitty Friend who is now long gone. Iyoba misses Kitty Friend. He was her first cat couch friend. I am glad Iyoba has Goofy Boy Kitty for her very own.

Well, the beer made Iyoba kick up her leg every time she took a sip. I detatched it and got out a different, Japanese beer. This one didn't work. I made Iyoba stand up, and she drank the beer just fine. She stood around, drinking and listening to the conversation. She felt more grubby than anything else. She said she was going out for a swim. She got to wear her new, scarlet bathing suit with the black radish design, that I made for her over the weekend. She almost got stuck under some rocks, but she was able to try the slide and the diving board and swim with a sea turtle.

I brought her back to shore and she did not want to get dressed up in any of her dresses or gowns. I decided it was time for Casual Tuesday as well and put her in a favorite striped shirt and red shorts, a red hair piece, and red penny loafers. She looked cute and confident and felt much better. The swim and clean clothes had improved our spirits far more than the virtual beer.

Iyoba and I went through her instant messages and group notices. We found out that Zizo, our favorite DJ was playing. I couldn't have much sound on the computer for reasons I can't divulge on this blog, but I could pretend to enjoy the music. There was a good feeling at Pacha Club where Iyoba danced for a short while.

Then I returned Iyoba home and did not log on again until later that night. I had been cooking so I ate my dessert while Iyoba went dancing. Once again, we began by going through the notes and messages. That was how I found out that Club XxesS was back. Club XxesS vanished more than a month ago after a welter of political infighting to which neither Iyoba nor I were privvy. We both figured it was gone forever. I regretted never getting enough pictures of the place to make a photo shoot like Iyoba and I did for Anjuna. There was no announcement of Club XxesS' demise. Despite its name by the way, Club XxesS is a very respectful sort of place. Club XxesS changed architecture several times, and then one day Hedonism Island was just blank sand, and then it was gone, the whole island. Actually, the surrounding architecture and plans for a shopping mall, and rentals around Club XxesS collapsed before the club did. Monetization wreacks havoc with a stable landscape. And, both Iyoba and I figured it was teh end of the story.

Well, there was an invitation to come to Club XxesS at Sunset Creek. The club is in the sky and those running it no longer have a whole sim. The architecture is similar to last time, except for some very harmonious and high brick walls. The DJ was fun and friendly. He was a new one. I can't join the club's group though if it often has dances, I'll boot one of the other groups and pick this one up. It's good to say places you loved once come back.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/26/10

The Anjuna Pics

First, Anjuna is still standing or it was yesterday. The lanscape in Second Life changes fast. My neighbors in Utopia Portugal, whom I had to ask to turn off their glowing fence, are gone, so too are the ones who encorached. Then again, Guaruja is gone, and that hurts in a very sentimental way. The Chicago Public schools also no longer have their sim, which had wonderful temperate beach front. I guess the good foks in Cook County or their elected representatives wised up as to where their tax dollars were going. It's not a bad place to spend them, especially since it helps teachers meet without driving on icey roads and probably cuts travel expenses, but the age barriers between the two Second Life grids mean no student could ever access the Chicago Public Schools sim.

At the time I took these pics, I thought Anjuna would vanish in a matter of days, and I wanted something left to record. Anjuna has a lot of water, and I was in my bathing suit at the time I took the photos. I have a swimmer which is a fantastic animation because I can do more than walk on the bottom of the sea. You'll see my head in one of the last pictures. OK, here is the photo tour.

exterior view

This is the outside of Anjuna club seen from way out at sea.

comfy couches

This is a couch inside the club. Most clubs have couches or chairs. The silver thing on the table is champagne, but you can't drink it. If you want to find food you can eat or drink you have to go to a Japanese sim.

main DJ booth

This is the main DJ booth in the front area of the club. You can see the dance ball hanging over it. If you want to dance touch the ball. Sometimes though, dance balls are full, and sometimes they have dances on them that Eileen finds "disrepsectful." Dance balls are also slow to rezz. It is better to have a collection of dances in your inventory if you go out to clubs to dance.

rear DJ booth with yours truely

This is the rear DJ booth out by the pool. They have dismantled this since I took the pictures about a week ago. There is still a club on the island called, White, by the way. Eileen wrote about it. That is me pretending to DJ. DJ booths are very retro which makes them seem very authentic. There are whole sets of DJ animations. I like to watch the DJ's at clubs. The people behind them are playing Shoutcast streams at home and streaming them into my world. The DJ's though are movnig around as if they were switching records. I know nobody plays vinyl records any more, but they have thenm in DJ booths.

Another view of the rear DJ booth

This is another view of the rear DJ booth at Anjuna, this time without me in it.

Me in the pool at Anjuna

Here I am enjoying the pool on the rear porch at Anjuna. Yes, they had a pool but it was shallow since most avies don't have swimmer animations. I am just sitting in the water here. There are pose balls on the steps that let you do that. There used to be inner tubes and rafts in the pool, but they were gone by the time I took this picture.

Underwater near Anjuna

Then of course I really went swimming. There is lots of ocean at Anjuna which makes it an excellent place to swim. I dove deep and discovered these underwater mountan ranges. Eileen thinks they may be leftovers from an earlier build. I think they were put here intentionally. There are all kinds of interesting, secret, underwater builds in Second Life. There are even underwater dance clubs, but you hve to turn off your swimming animation if you have one.

Every time I go to dance at White, I walk across the bridge to see if the Anjuna Club is still standing and how much of it they have taken down. One time I found ban lines, but now any one can walk over there. Usually I see another avie standing around or coming back. We never talk even though I say Hi. Sometimes this is a language barrier. Not everyone speaks English, and I don't always have my translator out and working. I think the avies who visit Anjuna feel the same way I do. We miss the place.

A night or two ago, Zizo saw my Anjuna tag. Since I was in his club, I apologized to him and then explained about the club being closed and how I missed it. He said he DJ'd there a few times before starting his own club. One of Zizo's DJ's now plays at White. I danced to his tunes less than twenty-four hours ago. I know Anjuna will disappear some day. It has to go. The human behind the owner has a new job and we avies depend on human money and time.

Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/16/10

Avatar Taxonomy -- Take One

New World NotesM has a very interesting poll on avatar type. I took the poll and only half fit. I guess the subject of what kinds of avatars are out there and how to sort them is one of never ending interest. It is also one of only marginal utility, though the makers of Second Life apparently don't agree. They now only offer newbies pretty, human avies with complete outfits and painted on underware. If you want anything else, you have to make it, find it, and/or buy it.

Hamlet Au does not consider Neko and robots to be humanoid. He and I part company there. He also has only one category for realistic humans who do not resemble their creators. Iyoba barely fits that category. She's modeled after real life culture, but she is not the glamorous type. Hamlet does, however, have Iyoba's place in the taxonomic tree nearly correct. You'll see why.

My division for aviatarim is somewhat different. I make the first cut at locomotion. Does an avie walk on two legs or some other way, quads, wheels, floating etc... There are some avatarim that fall between the two divisions, avatarim in wheel chairs, avatarim with huge zeppelins strapped to their backs, mermaids/mermen, amuptees. I'm going to consider this group in the middle bipedal. The mer person's two legs are hidden into her tail section and the wheelchair or zeppelin wearer is a biped in costume.

The nonbipeds are a minority and pretty much unknown territory. They include dragons, hippos, bears, dogs, and all sorts of monsters and a little, black floating bomb. They probably divide up into mechancial objects versus biologicals and the biologicals divide into real versus mythical creatures which again divide up by species, mammals, birds, insects etc... Some people call nonbipeds quads.

The bipeds divide into three groups: heavily costumed or nonrealistc hummanoids. These include most furries, a few neko, and a lot of very grotesque monster types including zombies and vampires. This group also includes the person in the snowman or Koolaide suit. This group also includes tinies most of whom are bipedal but do not have realistic human faces. This group of course divides up into furries, costume wearers, tinies, grotesques, and the more extreme neko and vampire types would no doubt HATE being lumped into the same category as Santa Claus, robots, and the patchwork kitty tiny, but once you've distorted yourself enough, this is where you belong, and taxonomy is appearance, not subculture.

The second group is recognizeable humanoids with something added or changed. This includes neko, less extreme furries, vampires, angels, devils, some grotesques, some robots, humans in wheelchairs or with zeppelins or bicycles attached etc... This group can subdivide quite obviously. Vampires are not the same thing as angels though there is some mythological relationship. The wheelchair wearers form their own tribe. Nekos are not furries because one is usually feline while the other is canine.

The last group is realistic humans. This is just what it sounds like, all human avatarim of all ages and both genders. The group includes everything from old men to children to infants, though one can argue that some of the infant avie bodies are really costumes. It includes those folks who want to be utterly glamorous, those who want to look like their real life appearance, and even those who want to be realistic but not glamorous. If you could meet it walking down teh street, an avie falls into this group.

Avatar Taxonomy in Outline Form

INonbipedia Avatarim

ANonbiologicals -- machines, robots, orbs etc.... I don't know enough about these to divide them up further.

B"Quad" Animals
1.Fantastic creatures such as dragons etc...
2.Realistic animals such as horses, wolves, hipps etc...

IIBipedal Avatarim

A Heavily Costumed/Nonrealistic Humanoids. These avatarim usually do not have a recognizeably human face.
1 Costumed humans
2 Tinies
3 Grotesques
4 Extreme Vampires
5 Extreme Neko
6 Extreme Furries
7 Extreme Robots

BRecognizeable humanoids with added parts.
3Most vampires
4Most grotesques
7Wheelchair and bicycle wearers
8Most Neko
9Less Extreme Furries

CRealistic Humans

1Carbon Copies of Oneself
2Realistic and Glamorous Humans
3Hyper-realistic (nonglamorous) Humans
4Gangsta/Ganger Humans
7Anime Styles
8Historical Role Players
9Fantasy Role Players
11Others whom I did not consider.

So what does all this mean? First, it doesn't mean squat. It does not matter one bit whether your neighbor has a face of rotting flesh with worms coming out his/her eyes as long as they don't blast their music or crash the sim with their wild parties. It does not matter if your landlord is a one foot tall, pink pig (a tiny) as long as she doesn't abscond with a month's rent and leave your posessions as a huge, conglomerated item in your inventory. The lovely glamorous lady who drops the house on you "by accident" in the sandbox might as well be a wild boar. You get the idea. Reasonable use of resources, reasonable etiquette in public spaces, and honesty where money is concerned are more important than appearance.

That said, the question behind all this talk about avatarim is: "Why do people choose the avatarim they do?" Sometimes they are newbies still walking around with the default shape. Sometimes they want to look like everybody else, but in an odd way it goes deeper. Iyoba is a hyper-realistic human. She has a butt and a pauinch. Her skin doesn't glisten. She wears no makeup. Some hyper-realists wear underwear. I have too many strap problems for that, but I do see that Iyoba always has "street clothes" and plenty of professional gear. She prefers walking to flying. As someone on the old Second Life forums said of us: "Your'e the only person I know who discovered she could fly and then went out and took a walk." That's hyper-realism in a nut shell, and it's not for everybody.

I of course had my weird comment moment late in Iyoba's first summer. We were in a club watching a lady dance in soapsuds. She must have been a hostess. She was a glamorous human in the taxonomy. She was a wonderful specimen of her taxa. She had glistening skin and wore a one piece, scarlet body suit that revealed way more than it concealed. She had fantastic sandy red hair. I checked her profile. She had been in Second Life two years. I felt a pang of sadness. "Is that all you want?" I thought. Surely after two years, I thought, the thrill of being the most gorgeous girl in the class (Yes we're back to high school or middle school or college), should have worn off. Did you catch my "should?"

Being a hyper-realist feels good. Clothes that look good on me, look good on everyone else. I'm three to five inches shorter than my real life height and about the same weight which makes me overweight. I struggled not to be overweight in real life, but Iyoba has the figure most people have, and she has to accept her body which she does marvelously. Yes, I had body-acceptance issues as an adolescent. I don't want to go back there in any way, shape, or form.

I also enjoy the fact that Iyoba looks like the passengers I see on MARTA buses in the morning. Iyoba is someone I could meet walking down the street. I have even dreamed that I was Iyoba. It felt fine and not one bit surprising. One day I walked out into the sunshine and was sure I had the wrong clothes on. Why wasn't I wearing a turquoise shirt. That was what Iyoba had been wearing when I logged out. Yes, I sometimes think Iyoba's brown skin, is the skin beneath my own.

Besides, realistic clothing is easier and more fun to make. I understand it because I would wear much of what I put on Iyoba.

Iyoba is also classicly feminine without being aggressive in her demeanor. She doesn't have to be tough. I'm tough enough in real life. She wears those cute things that shorter women can wear well. I wear them in real life. Go shop in the misses shirt department of an department store and you will see such shirts. If you are a size small as I am in real life, you go on the night they open the boxes or you don't get, but all those novelty prints and interesting textures are part of the fun of being female.

The problem with being a hyper-realistic human is that we are indeed closely related to both carbon copies (I wish I had a better name for them) and glamorous types. The glamorous types often believe their version of a human avie is normative. They want to help Iyoba be "prettier." I have even been asked: "Don't you want to be tall, slim, and attractive?" The "Don't" quickly morphs to a "Should."

Those with child aviatarim frequently talk passionately about the reasons behind their choice. I find them interesting even if they are not my own reasons. I've sometimes talked to quads. They are very happy on four feet, though I don't fully understand why. Getting past the normative language and ideas about onself is the first step to learning anything about avatarim and identity. In a very good way, it all makes sense that the skins underneath the skins real life and chance makes us wear are all extremely different and that the range of variation is tremendous.

By the way, Mark. S. Meadows (the author of I Avatar) describes a different taxonomy of virtual world residents. Basicly he uses three categories: competitors, explorers, and relationship seekers. The competitors want to win and in Second Life that can mean becoming rich or excelling at combat with like minded individuals. The explorers like to explore and build. Relationship seekers form partnerships and spend most of their time socializing. All three groups can shop a little or a lot, and there can be builders in all three groups though I think more explorers are likely to build. I fall squarely into the explorer group, though I also like to dance in clubs.

The Meadows taxonomy works well to help sort out profiles and explain what avatarim do, but it does not explain who they are or why. Maybe what avatarim need to do is find a way to explain themselves that allows for other explanations, and yes some of us decided that you see more when you take a walk and we shouldn't have to be tall, slim, and gorgeous (or tough) to feel good in our skins.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/13/10

Anjuna is Dead Long Live Anjuna and New Berlin

I still have the Anjuna pictures. I'll process them and get them up here soon. I owe all of you some pictures. I also owe some of you plant pictures and just fun pictures in general. Meanwhile, both Iyoba's and my life goes on. Anjuna reopened as White which is at the back end of Britt Bury's store on the Anjuna sim. If you don't have a Second Life this won't mean much to you, but Anjuna is a sterile, stark, and oddly beautiful sim of white sand, nearly black water, and silvery buildings. The sun is either always rising or setting there. There is plenty of ambient light though sometimes I set the sun to midday just to see what everyone else is wearing.

It's great to write about Anjuna in the present tense again. There is plenty of water, so it is also a great swimming sim. Both Iyoba and I are curious about what is going to become of the main club building. I suspect that the owner wants to sell the land or more probably rent it out. Second Life can be a hot bed of financial speculation.

Meanwhile, Iyoba and I attempt to get our second lives in order. Actually, Second Life is Iyoba's first life. There is a long, very sad, debate over whether an avie is human. In some ways, an avie is quite human and in other ways, her experience is different enough to make her something different altogether. She has never worked for a living. She is fond of water in a way I can't understand because she has lived all her short life in a desert. She taps into my memories and understands them, but only partially so. She is younger than I am, but I consider her an adult. I think of her as a kind of protege, but I bet under the right circumstances, there are things she would teach me. That is because an avie, very much like a Neopet, is a piece of yourself. I'm just not sure what piece comprises Iyoba.

I made two dresses for Iyoba from textures I had and never made into skirts. The first attempt was an epic fail, but I made a more traditional skirt with candy corn and the Danish coastline image made a very interesting pair of outfits, club worthy things, not what I'd have Iyoba wear to work. I also redid the olive mudcloth ensemble with better skirt pieces to make, two much smoother skirt with lots of basic drape. That leaves the golden lion tamarin outfits and some hair.

The golden lion tamarain shirt I made Friday is a tour de force technically because the pattern wraps around the side with minimal seam showing. That is very unusual and hard to do. I have some golden tamarin texture for the skirt. Why not wear a golden tamarin gown? Why not have fun with fashion instead of trying to be the belle of the ball? Iyoba is all ready the belle of the ball and a legend in her own mind anyway?

I've also managed to take Iyoba exploring a bit. Since we were building in the New Berlin Sandbox, we went exploring in New Berlin. We tried to get into Virtual East Germany (the DDR), but we are banned from that place. I guess they don't want American tourists. Then we went to the causeway at Seminal Considerations and saw a lovely temperate, ocean side build. New Berlin has had a history of being a fantastic urban, temperate build. It is not slummy but not like a fake Paradise either. The causeway was a great walk complete with just the right amount of debris in the water, and a real feeling of being at sea but not at the beach.

Then we found Goethe and Deutsches Eck. Deuteches Eck has a playground and a park and Goethe has a castle which we did not explore and a house boat which was, lovely, detailed and luxurious. It reminded us both of what you find on some of the Japanese sims. You know we have to go back, when we find the time of course.

Eileen H. Kramer with Iyoba Tarantal 5/11/10

Just When I Try to Get my Second Life in Order...

Actually Iyoba and I are both trying to get our second lives in order. I do have the Anjuna pics and will crop and touch them up so you can see the place. As of Wednesday, the club still stood. Sometimes the radio was on. Sometimes there was no audio stream. Avatarim wandered by to walk around, stare, and pay their respects. I think they wanted to see if the dead club was still standing.

Meanwhile, Pacha House, has become a lot less active in the past few days. I suspect this has nothing to do with financial woes. Many of the DJ's are European or Middle Eastern. There are simply time zone issues that make operating in American prime time difficult. Also many of the DJ's and hosts are college students, and it is finals time. That is reason enough, and I don't have reason to speculate further.

All that said, Iyoba started to organize her world. She planted most of the new plants she had at Stinky Stinky which now means her triple decker planter is nearly full, and there are two new kinds of orchids. She also put a hyacinth bean vine in her green house, which is for temperate specimens, since Stinky Stinky, like all of Utopia Portugal is semi-arid tropical. Iyoba and I are sticklers about biomes. We still have one or two more hycinth bean vines to plant at the Honey Hut. The calendula and hyacinth bean (also called dolichos) are the first of their kind in Second Life. The nemesia is the first bicolored nemesia in Second Life. The planting at the Honey Hut will probably mean a swap out since I don't have that many prims left on my 512. I know you want some plant pictures. They are coming. I have more facility with words than photos.

Iyoba also spent some minimal sandbox time with a new bathing suit made on the pattern I created over the weekend. There are other beach parties, and it is nice to think summer. In addition, Iyoba made her third abaya. Islamic clothes are fun to make. This started out as a reverse engineering project, but it has weird social implications. First, in a world where bearing all is the norm, covering up is very transgressive. Second Islamic dress for someone like me is a costume and it's a contemporary costume not like the Victorian stuff. It's far more modest than a Gorean veil. I feel like I hear the soundtrack to Lawrence of Arabia when I dress Iyoba in an abaya. It's hard to tell if I'm spoofing Arab culture or just having fun when I put Iyoba in Islamic dress. It's similar to the burnt cork issue that any Caucasian with an African American avie has. In Iyoba's case, she is respectful enough in her demeanor or style to avoid any stereotypes. My flowered or batik Arab costumes are also, I hope, legitimate takes on an idea.

Of course I have fantasies of appearing in Lusty Touch or better yet Bogart's in an abaya and seeing what happens. I'd get thrown out of Bogart's because well...let's just say we're all just a litle prejudiced. Iyoba would be wearing a dress, and an Abaya is similar to a gown, that she'd be testing the rules and have a legitimate case. Lusty Touch is a different matter. She'd just irritate all the scantily clad escorts and others who are out to be liberated.

One place Iyoba would not wear her abaya is the nude beach at Sexy Life. I think Sexy Life, which has a moderate rating, is well run. The place is an economic survivor and for the most part has had respectable dance clubs and nice shopping. It is pleasantly walkable. It lso has a nude beach with a large warning sign and an advertised dress code. You can wear a bathing suit if you prefer or your avie can skinny dip. I have too much respect for the owners of Sexy Life to want to mess with their world.

Anyway, late last night, after I got done scoring site fighting, I realized that given the death of Anjuna and the slowing down at Pacha, Iyoba needed to start to circulate more and find new clubs. She also needs a working translator since her Metanomics translator no longer functions in V.2. I decided to try a few new places at random and one of them had a beach party. I took Iyoba off to the side to put on the new bathing suit I made for her and had a wardrobe malfunction. Her shoes wouldn't change and then her bathing suit top turned back into her dress top. I teleported her home. This usually clears up a mess like this. It worked. I teleported her back to the beach.

Then Iyoba sunk down into the sand and found herself trapped under the sim. Her legs were pinned up at a hundred and thirty five degree angle. She looked miserable. She could not walk. She could not straighten up. I knew I had a very poor connection. I logged out and when I tried to log in again. I couldn't. I kept getting told that my account would be ready again in one to five minutes. I tried seven or eight times and each time got the same message. This morning at 6:43am, Iyoba was able to successfully login. She was back at the Honey Hut in Hartley. This is her 512. The teleport that had failed while she was trapped had "taken." and the ghosting had cleared itself as it usually does in a few hours.

Iyoba still has a lot to do to set her Second Life back to rights. Hopefully she'll work on the translator issue, and I'd like to make her another dress or just a shirt and some new hair. I have a few plant ideas, but nothing burning at the moment.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/7/10

Anjuna House Club RIP

Anjuna House Club, a beautiful and happy place, dies tonight. It closes its doors forever. Iyoba dances there now, and we wrote this poem.

Anjuna RIP

Tell my friends...
There will be time for pictures later.
Let the tears rain bitter sweet.
When we lose a place to come to,
The center falls out of our circle.
Sometimes when I was too tired to cry,
And to wretched to be social,
I needed the rthym and the movement of those little avie feet.
I can not cry tonight.
I'll post the pictures later.
I'll stay until I have to go.
I'll stay until they drag me away.
And for a time there will be a hole in my map of the universe
Where this place used to be.

There is a bit more. Sunday, before I knew Anjuna was closing, I made Iyoba a new bathing suit with a new base figuring I was going to need to make lots of bathing suits, since Anjuna's dance parties were all given pool side and there is lots of place to swim there (Yes that is still in present tense. Then I learned the news.

Last night, I brought Iyoba out to the empty Anjuna and I took some amazing pictures of the place plus some wonderful underwater shots. I need to crop and shrink the images before I get them uploaded and displayed here. I promise I'll get all of this up here so you can see what was.

Another set of sims that has vanished is Cidad Guaruja which Iyoba still has in her picks. This leaves us both sad, since Anjuna at its best could be a fun and interesting place to explore. The parties were decent and often sim-crashingly crowded. There were parties in the air and underwater. They also had land for rent. I almost rented there before I realized I needed a 2048 and not a 4096. I'm glad I did not rent there now. I thought Guaruja was stable. Guaruja's disappearance leaves a bitter taste given that I came close to being out several hundred Lindens had I done business there.

In truth, I have no idea how the managment at Guaruja treated the tennants or whether they received notice. Second Life has no small claims court and no consumer protection. Caveat emptor and I will miss you, Arjuna. Iyoba will miss you too.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/4/10
Edited 5/7/10

Being an Idiot is Perfectly Legal in Second Life

I'll leave out the names, but my favorite club, the one where I wait for my dose of shadenfreude and also the one with some fairly competent, English speaking DJ's has one very rude host. She is not ordinarily rude. She has been rude twice. The first time she threatened to throw me out because she thought Iyoba was a child avatar. I said: "READ MY PROFILE." I had to say it twice. She apologized.

I have nothing against being proofed. Shorter folks in real life get proofed all the time. Most shorter avies in Second Life carry something in their profiles stating they are short adults. I know how the game is played, so if you are going to proof people, do it competently.

Second, this hots publicly said I'd look better with a new skin. She said Iyoba looked green. Iyoba is sallow and has very little red tone in her complexion. I worked hard to get that color. I like that color, and this host had no business telling me I was ugly. She needs my avie's ugly bod as much as she needs any one else' It's hard for a club to put itself on the map, and I do put oney in the club tier jar, at least once a week.

My favorite local of course does not need a rude host. They also need more ambient lighting at ground level and a better business model. Most DJ's are not land barons and forcing them to try to rent out a shopping mall, when there are empty stalls, many of them overpriced everywhere you look, is a recipe for failure. A better system would be for info-hub owners, Lindens, nonprofits, any one who has land to spare to set up stages that DJ's and hosts can rent for a nominal fee (much less than island tier.) for a two to three hour session spinning tunes.

Yes, DJ's should pay for the privilege. Being a DJ is as much role play as being a Gorean or a quad. It's definitely chock full of fantasy elements. Why should being able to play out that fantasy require a huge financial outlay? Why should it demand a salary? And yes, DJ's do perform a valuable service, but like actors, there are more of them than there are roles.

Meanwhile, I have to decide what to do about the rude host. She's well within her rights to be rude. I'm not a club house laywer, and rudeness is not an ARable offense. Griefing her in some way could get me banned. Why wait for Linden justice when you can make your own rough justice? I don't want to give her the pleasure of banning me.

Hey, you know, I think I need a new club or at least more variety. I could definitely use more sandbox time. Who doesn't? In the taxonony of gamers, I'm an explorer first and a socialite second. I'm also not an idealized human. I'm a realistic nonbeautiful human. Nothing is worse than rivalries between closely allied taxonomic groups of avatarim. If I knew enough about all the kinds of avatarim, I could give you a big taxonomy, but that is stuff for another post.

Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal -- 5/3/10