A Day to Remember...

We Will Remember...

Just within the last 150 years there's been so many pinnacle and tragic moments in History that have changed how we are as people forever.

The Battle of Gettysburg...

D Day...

The Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games...

The explosions of Space Shuttles Challenger & Columbia...

The Oklahoma City bombing...

The 2005 terrorist bombings on London's public transit systems...

There are many more I could list, unfortunately, but then this post would become way too long to read.

September 11th, 2001 is one of those highly memorable days that most can relate too and often think about.

My personal experience with that monumental day was being glued to the TV for hours & hours watching the grizzling events unfolded... but also it was the day where my now RL husband & I decided to propose marriage and be together because we just didn't know how much time we'd have left with so much sorrow stemming from these events.

Even 12 years later we're still feeling its effects with certain viewpoints of those of the Muslim faith and a severe lack of trust amongst people in general. I hope that someday we can see past these adverse prejudices and simply see that we're not all that different after all.

Meet My Friend: Emerald Bijoux

Salutations folks!

Remember when I used to blog at least once a week?

Yeah that seems so long ago... BUT I'm trying to get my elfy bum back into doing that in a few different ways. One of them is courtesy of Strawberry Singh who started doing a "Monday Meme" for fellow Bloggers to follow and post their own interpretations for each one she creatively comes up with. I'm way behind but I'm gonna try and at least do a couple to get this blog a bit more active again.

Berry posted a challenge the other week where you pick a friend in SL and post info, pictures & a convo/interview with him/her for everyone to see and therefore introduce said friend to the blogosphere.

I decided to call upon one of my most longtime friends, Emerald Bijoux for this. She's been in SL since October 2004, so she's seen a LOT of the ups and downs that Second Life has offered since its inception.

She's even been a lovely model for my Store :-)

I had a chance to sit with her and reflect on how Second Life has changed and what keeps bringing her back after almost 9 years...

[Side note: This is a 2nd interview because my computer decided to crash and not save the first one. Damn Murphy's Law]

Guen: You've been on Second Life since 2004. That's a LONG time compared to a lot of current residents. What got you to join way back then?
Eme: well I had played Sims for awhile and wanted something like that. I found out that not only could I have an AV in SL but I didn't have to feed it or sleep or whatever AND I could make stuff
Eme: so I decided to try it out

Guen: Yeah the idea of making stuff I think attracted a lot of people over the years. What did you make after figuring out your first wooden cube?
Eme: a chair, I think :P it was a long time ago
Eme: and probably next, a house
Guen: And you continued making furniture for a while after that, right?
Eme: yeah, I wanted stuff and didn't have the lindens to buy it, so I started making my own

Guen: What are some of the biggest differences you've noticed between SL then and now?
Eme: you mean other than no lag...
Eme: oh wait
Eme: there's still lag
Guen: LOL
Emerald grins
Eme: I guess the biggest differences I notice is the amount of sims available, and the quality of things available now to make your AV your own
Eme: like hair \o/ and clothing and jewelry
Guen: and boots LOL
Eme: hell yes

Just doing a silly dance...

Guen: What would you say is the biggest innovation to come to SL? Mesh, Sculpties, Windlight, Voice, Flexi, etc?
Eme: hmmm well this may make me sound "old" but really for me the biggest innovation was flexi. Having hair and skirts actually move when you do was HUGE for us. Before flexi, you could put your dance partner's eye out with your hair.
Eme: and system skirts...need I say more?
Eme: tbh, some mesh reminds me of system skirts
Guen: yeah it can be especially when certain body parts just can't seem to fit properly
Eme: mmm hmmm
Eme: I think I still have my first flexi hair
Guen: now that's impressive LOL
Eme: «--- saves too much stuff but at least its all organized

Guen: Along with building, you also have gotten into DJing on SL. How did that start?
Eme: oh wow
Eme: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...
Eme: I used to hang out at a club that doesn't exist anymore. It was always busy - probably because there were like 4 clubs in all of SL - and it was a lot of fun
Eme: the owners knew I really liked music so they strongly suggested that I try DJing.
Eme: that was about 7 months after I started
Eme: lol first time I talked on air, half the club was like OMG! they liked my voice a lot
Guen: yeah it can take some time to get used to talking live on a mic
Eme: yes, but it was a good place to learn, they pretty much let us play whatever music we wanted so long as it didn't drive the crowd away
Guen: And even though that club is sadly gone... you're still Djing
Eme: yeah, I discovered that along with really enjoying music, I really enjoy entertaining people

Guen: We originally met at a club through Djing. I think we were back-to-back for a while and got to know each other that way.
Eme: yeah passing the stream always gives you some time to chat
Guen: Yup... and we'd hear each other's sets... sometimes hang around... helps that we have similar taste in music ;-)
Emerald nods
Eme: we do have similar tastes in music but we also love music
Eme: I think that makes a difference
Eme: start talking about different music and then its "oh where did you get that hair" and then it just grows from there
Guen: yep exactly :-)

Emerald & Guen @ SR 2013

Guen: Things got more interesting, then, when we were both asked to become DJ Managers
Eme: that was at Sanctuary Rock, I remember when the boss asked me and I was like omg that's a lot of work for one person. so she asked you too and that worked out great
Eme: we balanced each other out really well
Guen: yeah and also made our friendship a lot stronger over time :-)
Eme: agreed
Guen: Then unfortunately some things happened and we lost touch for a while... but eventually we started hanging out again... albeit at a different club
Emerald nods
Eme: its the way of SL that drama happens at clubs, lol
Guen: yeah sadly drama happens just about anywhere you go
Eme: mmm hmmm
Eme: but we did chat a little bit more and more
Guen: yes we did
Guen: Now we're even considered sort of the Elf Dynamic duo at Transylvania LOL
Eme: hahaaha
Eme: yes I'd say we are Trans first elves
Eme: or maybe, fully "out" elves, lol
Guen: LOL

Emerald, Guen, Sabbian & Cuijo - AFK @ Halloween
Speaking of... never -ever- go AFK around Eme. Or me either since I'll take blackmail photos.

Guen: I should ask where you got the idea to be a Drow... how did that come about since there's not a lot of Avs in SL who are Drow 24/7?
Eme: hmmm
Eme: there really aren't many Drow in SL unless you go into the role-play sims
Eme: and even there, there aren't many
Eme: maybe because they are the dark elves
Eme: which is probably why I was drawn to them
Eme: I've always been interested in folklore and fae
Eme: and when I read about Drow and some of their personality traits, I felt like that suited me a lot
Eme: finding good skins for Drow and ears and tattoos took a lot of looking around. fortunately I know an awesome tattoo maker :P
Guen: ;-)

Guen: So all in all what keeps you coming back to SL after almost 9 years on the grid?
Eme: well to be honest, there have been times that I've almost said, I'm done
Eme: and I like to say its the boots
Eme: and hair
Eme: but really its the people I've met in here
Eme: I would miss an awful lot of friends if I didn't log in to SL anymore
Eme: DJing makes it more fun, too
Guen: and helps to meet more people :-)
Eme: yes, very true
Eme: so its like a cycle :)
Eme: I actually have some people on my FL that have been there for years that also still log in
Eme: and some great new friends
Guen: yes same here :-)

Eme: have you ever given thought to being done with SL? I know you are busy with owning a club and making stuff and just DJing
Eme: does it ever get to be too much?
Guen: Oh yeah I thought that a few times over the years
Guen: I think most of us have
Emerald nods
Guen: But like you the friends, the music and other things keep me coming back
Eme: yeah, we have woven some of our lives into this place and its hard to cut those threads
Guen: exactly :-)

And We All Come Together... with Music

A couple years ago I posted a trio of videos based around how people can come together from the most obscure or circumstances and create beautiful music.

The last of the 3 was a video done by Eric Whitacre, who thought up this amazing idea of having people all over the world submit YouTube videos singing parts of a song which would later be combined into a Virtual Choir.

His 2nd project is what I posted before. An absolutely breathtaking song comprised of 2,052 different voices combined.

The top comment I found as I went back to check this piece over 2.5 years later is this:

I cried. Humankind is foolish. They can unite to sing, but cannot unite to bring world peace. This is a bittersweet beauty. It is a perennial flower, doomed to fade, but can be born again if they try, as is humanity. If humans try, if they come together, look what can come of it; beauty. Beauty beyond all else, that transcends all the hate and the prejudice and the war and the sword and gun, that can bring a light to the darkened, charred Earth, and can guide them to an age of happiness for all.

A wonderful quote... and she's right.

Well Eric is still going for bigger and bolder with continued projects including this new one entitled, "Fly to Paradise".

This time he has 5,905 Singers from over 100 countries including a small handful of chillingly beautiful soprano soloists.

This is no doubt his finest work yet... and I can't wait to see more.

A Little Inspiration for Your Day

You know how often people tell you that you can't do something? It seems to be endless with the sheer amount of negativity around us.

I've found over the years that anything is possible if you wish for it hard enough and just do it.

We had a man skydive from space.

We just had a man skywalk over the Grand Canyon.

And then there's this Ex-Paratrooper who defied doctors and beat the odds...

As my RL husband is also an Ex-Paratrooper who suffered knee injuries from a jump, I find this man's journey to be absolutely wonderful and inspiring. :-)

I'll have a box of tissues ready for when you finish watching the video...

And Now for a Little Randomness

For those who've heard some of my DJ sets recently, I'll occasionally toss in a Mashup from a recently discovered Group known as Ithaca Audio. They not only do the Music for each Mashup but also a visual display that goes with each one. Even better... they offer instructions on how you can duplicate them for your own live performances.

All in all they are pretty frickin cool.

Well they raised the bar recently by creating a new website that you can check out (and waste a few minutes of your day playing around with)...

http://film-v-music.com/ takes popular movie scenes (many of these do not have their own Soundtrack) and pairs them with equally popular songs. Some are from movies and others are just earworm-worthy.

So you may get Dirty Harry doing his "Do ya Feel Lucky, Punk?" speech to the William Tell Overture or something even weirder. It's all random thanks to a link at the top you can click on.

Some actually do mesh up pretty well and provide some interesting scenes...

Do check it out and hopefully you won't get as addicted to it as I did ;-)

The Damsel in Distress...

As big of a geek as I am, one of the things I tap into a lot is the realm of Video Games. It's easy to see when you play enough titles that a lot of game elements are reused and rehashed over and over. It's not only Hollywood who seems to have run out of new ideas for storytelling... but video gaming had followed a similar pattern. A lot of the ones I've come across lately follow 2 patterns...

1) You are the ONE savior who must fight incredible odds to save the organisation/land/country/world/plane of existence.

2) Your loved one has been kidnapped/killed/etc and you must then go on adventure to either save him/her or seek revenge... or both.

Anita Sarkeesian from Feminist Frequency (whom many remember as getting a lot of backlash for offering her views on women in society) has started a new Youtube series about the 2nd of these storytelling motivations. In particular she talks about how women are often victims and objects solely to motivate the protagonist into performing the tasks of the game.

She has the first 2 parts up already...

with a 3rd in the works.

I thought I had avoided most titles like this, but she cited one that I enjoy very much... Dishonored as one in the 2nd video. Now that I think about it, it is sort of clique, but I still like the game.

Seeing Life Differently...

For those who remember, I used to have a sidebar element which showed that my writing style is similar to the late writer, David Foster Wallace. At the time I didn't know who that was, and since I am a curious person by nature I had to look up some of his work. He tends to be a bit blunt with his views on the world... specifically making fun of the fact most people in today's society have accepted a blasé existence of 9-5 (or more), 5 days (or more) a week, 50+ weeks a year.

I'll admit that my view on life is very similar. I actually quit my last RL job after 6 years of that same mundane life and decided to enjoy things a bit more with the extra spare time I suddenly had. 3 years later, I realize that in order to survive I'll need to actually step back into the workforce in order to survive... BUT I want to do it on my own terms. Sure I could work at a fast food place for minimum wage and develop an even worse view on humanity at large than I already have. Sure I could just do data entry all day until my eyes unfocus and my brain shuts down.

I simply have made a choice not to do that.

I'm a writer and a graphic artist. It's what I'm best at and what makes me happy. Some people enjoy mowing lawns. Others can't wait to go to work and sell cars. As long as that person enjoys what he or she does, who are we to judge? It's quite ironic that those who judge are often bitter that they did not have the same freedom to enjoy life. No matter who you are or what your situation is... there's always a choice.

Here's a video based around a commencement speech Wallace gave in 2005 to some college grads telling them a few things that you often don't hear in these type of speeches... but still good advice even for those of us who are years past that glint-eyed time when we were ready to face the world.

Don't Mess With this Gecko

Geico This!

As I've mentioned I would do for a while now, I'm attempting to find some of the more interesting photos I've collected over time and finally get them out for others to see. Some were just moments I wanted to capture at the right second, and others are just amusing pieces of someone's life that I couldn't help but snap.

I don't even remember the circumstances leading up to this particular moment above. I simply remember the outcome of Sequoia Mint wearing a Gecko avatar with a Gun and an IV bag of tequila with the perfect pose/response from the danceline.

Seemed a amusing yet disturbing reminder that even the cutest of characters can have a dark side when motivated.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

I'm baaaaaack!

Yes I know it's been far too long since I last placed some words from my brain upon this internet medium...

A lot of "stuff" has been twisting and twirling in and out of my crazy little life (both SL and RL), and sadly it meant letting the blog sit and collect a bit of virtual dust for a few months. I made myself (and a few others) a promise that the blog would not go away like some sweater you got as a gift that you only wear when guests come over. I only ask that for the 4 people who still check this blog on a semi regular basis... just be patient with me.

Anyways I'll be doing a few things on here including getting back into some portraits (yes, Acacia I will get those done), some new and inspiring video links and a project I'd planned on for a while involving various photos I've either grabbed in SL or RL and never gotten around to Photoshopping or posting.

For now... I'd like to leave you all a vid from a recent con where a fan asked Wil Wheaton (yes THAT Wil Wheaton) to make a few comments to her young daughter about how awesome it is... to be a nerd!

Enjoy and embrace your geekiness!