Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There is No Underwear Fairy

Bringing new underwear to all the good men and boys in the land.....

[I had suggested an article on this topic to the men over at the Y Me blog, but they may not have had time to tackle this yet...or they hated my idea...sigh. In any case, patience is not my strong suit. So, with the holidays quickly approaching I felt a responsibility to bring the issue up now. I am going to quote myself a couple of times from the comment I left on their blog – those quotes will be in italics. ]

In my own personal experience with SL, there is one thing that separates male and female Avatars.
No, not Xcite! accessories.
No, not profiles full of group memberships to the Big Bottom Beach Club and Nasty Slut Lovers VIPs.
What separates men from women is the size of their clothing inventories! Occasionally you might run into a man who cherishes clothes as much as I do, but I haven’t personally met many.
The great majority of men are not spending all their time trolling fashion blogs and chasing new items. But many women do. I often find great things that I think would be adorable on my BF. Meantime he’s busy building.
Think about – apologies in advance – your dad’s underwear. (See? Sorry.) How does it get into his top dresser drawer? Does the Underwear Fairy put it there? Probably not. For most of his life, the majority of his clothing has been purchased by your grandmother or your mom. Ask them. Go on. Seriously. I’ll wait.
See? I told you. Really, if you think about it, our fathers would still be wearing the same underwear they had in 1969, if it weren’t for our mothers. And they would be as happy as clams about it, too. So, my thought is that if women had an easier time buying items that they could then easily transfer to the male Avatars in their SLives, men’s clothing sales would increase dramatically.
Therein lies the challenge. I have tried to buy gifts for people in SL. And let me tell you – it is not easy. More often than not, the item I adore for a gift turns out to be no transfer. (Ummmm….except that for some reason, Second Life has tons of undies that have transfer permissions. But at a certain point, I simply cannot give a SL friend yet another pair of Superman Underoos…it sends the wrong message, you know?)

Jedi night Underoos ...

Now, sure I could go through the steps of IMing or sending a note card to the designer with an order. And then waiting for several IM exchanges occur until an item can finally be delivered to a gift recipient. Add in that you now have to warn the recipient that a gift is on its way from X person or X store and NOT TO DELETE IT when it arrives. Whew. Exhausting. And I don’t get the fun of making up gift boxes and leaving them for recipients to find or the fun of giving gifts at a special time or event.
Some, shops have vendors that allows gifts to be sent directly – which would be great, except for the umpteen times my recipient has declined the inventory offer because he did not recognize the sender. Sometimes the items get sent before I have a chance to let him know a gift would be arriving.

Maybe he'll have to settle for this for Christmas...
And, do not even get me started on the OnRez vendors. True story - I tried to set up an account and went to a kiosk to activate my membership. The kiosk told me very politely that I needed to find a kiosk to activate my membership. When I informed the kiosk that it was, in fact, a kiosk, it burst into tears and ran off. OK, it didn’t really run off, but the kiosks have some serious self-esteem issues.

It's O.K. – I believe you – you are an ATM…there, there….
Successful merchants in RL and SL make it easy for customers to buy. They make it easy for impulse purchases to occur. They give the $Lindens the path of least resistance out of my purse. It certainly happens for women’s clothing. I impulse buy all the time. If I didn’t, I would not have approximately 75,452 pairs of black high heels in my inventory folder.
So, I would really, truly appreciate the choice of permissions for items: C/M/NT or NC/NM/T. Then, I can choose which version I need.
Because while there is no Underwear Fairy, Santa is real and needs to get some SL shopping done.

Yes, Santa, he has been very, very naughty…*wink*…he deserves something wonderful.

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cold Turkey

It is almost time for the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the United Sates. It is my favorite holiday (after my RL birthday, of course) because it remains so pure – just a whole day spent appreciating the good things in our lives and breaking bread with one another.

I know how you feel... (Find this card and other holiday goodies at Home for the Holidays. Pssssttt...bonus for the ladies: Maxxx Night - one of the shop's owners - may be there...sans shirt. Yum.)

If you want to host a Thanksgiving Day meal in Second Life also, here are a few of what *I* consider key elements.... and how to do the holiday Second Life-style:
Crowded Airport
In Real Life, early in the week, you’ll get to stand in an airport, shoe-less and humiliated, while one disgruntled Transportation Security Agent rummages though your purse (No – you cannot have a piece of gum.) and another feels you up -- because something set off the metal detector (read: that odd piercing you forgot to take out). Thankfully, you can skip this one in Second Life. Make a mental note of this.
Apron. Wearing one while you cook to will help set the scene for your Norman Rockwellian fantasies of the perfect family gathering. Unfortunately, the only one you could dig up came from the French Maid costume you wore for Halloween. Try to explain to Grandma why there are holes are cut out in the bib over your breasts. Next time, get a real Thanksgiving Day apron from Love, Aly (The Thanksgiving Dress outfit comes complete with three pretty gingham dresses, a platter of turkey and fixings and animations. The apron and food are shown in the photo below).

Drunk Uncle/Aunt
Valuable for learning family secrets. In SL, you will probably have to settle for drunk Avatar friends. Valuable for learning scripting and/or Linden Lab secrets.
Young Relatives
You will be the drunk uncle/aunt at their holiday dinners when they grow up. Remind them of this as you get a refill on your wine. Watch their little eyes fill up with tears.

Did you know that I am a Master Baster?
Great for keeping the turkey moist. Get yours – along with a spatula - in the Naughty Chef Costume from K.O. Designs. The outfit that comes with it will …oh, never mind….
Kiddie Table
Take your seat at the kiddie table. Wonder why you are still there in your 30’s. Wish bad health upon an older cousin in hopes of opening up a seat at the adult table next year.

Ummmmm....please pass me a juice box...?

How's that cough, Cousin Fred? (Voodoo doll from Abranimations.)
Your brother's new girlfriend, who is meeting the family for the first time, offers to say grace. She happens to be an atheist and fresh from rehab. She recites a variation on the Pledge of Allegiance with a little of the Serenity Prayer thrown in for good measure.
Next, take turns going around and sharing one thing for which you are especially grateful. You say teleporting. (See: Crowded Airport)
They might not like me telling you this, but….you can atch-cay a nice, fat urkey-tay over in aledon-Cay.**

So, can you come over this Thursday afternoon at, say, 1:00-ish?
Cranberry Sauce
And not that homemade stuff either. It isn’t a true American Turkey Day without the canned cranberry sauce. The little marks from the can serve as cutting and serving guidelines.

Crap on the left, luscious on the right. By the way, I could not find canned cranberry sauce anywhere in SL, so I had to make it for the photo. So, the canned stuff is really homemade. (Did I just blow your mind?)
Pie & Whipped Cream
There is nothing better than a slice of freshly baked pumpkin pie. But, whipped cream is pretty darn good, too.Take a microscopic slice of pie and cover it with several pints of topping. Quickly run to the next room and eat it. Later, look genuinely surprised as everyone wonders how they managed to get only two servings out of that can of Reddi-Whip.

I didn’t eat all of it.

Rubber Gloves
Get your mind out of the gutter. The dishwasher will be too full to handle every dish you used today, so someone is going to have to do some hand washing. You can get out of this duty. Put on a nice pair of rubber gloves and wander in and out of the kitchen – everyone will think you are hard at work and won’t ask you to do anything else.

Busy, busy, busy. These rubber gloves are from Punch Drunk's Happy Housewife outfit. Comes with a cute apron, too. The lovely kitchen? Get it at Del Sol.
Even Avatars will need a mid-afternoon nap. Look around at the flop house that your home has become and smile. These unconscious, snoring, drooling people are the people you love. Do not go through their wallets.
All day, all night....the day is an orgy of games and color commentary. Plus, a pick-up game in the backyard. Plus, Fantasy Football League. Too much is never enough.

So, that is how you have a traditional middle class American Turkey Day in Second Life - at least based on the way have I experienced it in my First Life. What am I thankful for in my Second Life? That you are reading this blog. That SL has become such a fun new hobby. That I have had the privilege of meeting such amazing, smart, funny, caring people in SL. I am so addicted to you all - the only way I could ever quit you is...cold turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
**For those who aren't familiar - that was Pig Latin.
© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 12, 2007

♪ Won't You Be My Neighbor? ♪♪

Click here to hear Mr. Rogers sing the song.

When I first entered Second Life, I was quite content with the fact that my Avatar didn’t really need a home. Fewer Lindens spent on rent meant more Lindens available to buy clothes. She could wander across the grid and everything she owned would always be with her. She could adhere
perfectly to my RL dad’s motto of ‘It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.’ Sadly, this motto means that my father wears a fanny pack that is bigger then most women’s purses. (I know, I know - I tell him! Don’t you think I tell him?)

Modeling my RL dad’s version of an inventory folder. (No, I can't believe I found one in SL either, but there you go....)
Since the weather in SL is perpetually nice and I could always manage to find a place to open boxes and change clothing without too much of a fuss, I thought I was set. Occasionally, I would go as far as to find a nice tree on my favorite shopping island and pretend that my Avatar would go to sleep under it when I logged off.
But one day, as I was changing clothing behind a shop, I realized that I was being watched. A male Avatar was eating from a box of popcorn and watching me as I sorted through new lingerie purchases. Crunch, crunch, crunch…, watch, watch. He wouldn’t give me privacy, but he was happy to share his popcorn with me. (See photo below for a panda reenactment of this event.) was sort of like this.....Escapade Zoo & Safari.

So, I decided that a little place of my own with curtains and doors would be a good thing. Plus – I’d need furniture, so right there I had a very convenient excuse for more shopping. I started to get excited about putting up pictures, a Christmas tree, having friends over for a game of Pictionary, etc. Also, I had a growing need for a place to backup my inventory and store things. Finding a home became my next goal.
I gathered as many Lindens as I could in my young SLife and went apartment hunting. I found a cute two room place with a patio. The only downside? It was so incredibly high up above the ground that if you accidentally stepped off of the patio (Did I mention that I have some walking challenges?) you would automatically plummet 500+ meters to the ground. (Hmmm… I guess that would be more of a disadvantage in RL, wouldn't it?)

A photo of me enjoying my patio.
I moved in right away and it was fan-frickin-tastic. I set up a bedroom and clothes changing area. I bought a low prim fireplace and hung pictures on the walls. I set out so many poses that my living room looked like the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. Home Sweet Home.

Please come in and make yourself comfortable!
After a couple of months, my Second Life boyfriend told me about a piece of land that had just gone up for sale near his home. The land was pretty, it had a healthy prim allotment and the tier fees were the same as my rent. So, I bit.
The next step was building a custom home on it. No freebie house for me. Not only have I developed some building skilllllzzzzzz, but I have some definite ideas of what I want in a house.
What do I want in a home? I want a wealthy, naked man cooking me dinner. But as far as features go, I wanted a media room, a GIANT bath room, lots of windows, French doors, fireplaces, room for a small office and teleporters instead of stairs. Oh, and a yard for my scripted dog, Oscar.

Skillzzzz are nothing if you don't have the right outfit to go with them.
So, after several complete rebuilds, a nail gun injury (Sorry, Babe!), hundreds of Lindens worth of textures and scripted doors, and a bit of perspiration, I am officially a Second Life homeowner.
Yes, my fellow Wonderful Land residents – there went the neighborhood!

Tah dah! My house!

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dresses for Angels...

I would like to extend my condolences to the friends and family behind avatar Ginny Talamasca. Although I was only a customer and did not know her personally, Ginny’s artistry and skill has contributed greatly to my enjoyment of Second Life. Ginny's work elicited gasps of delight from me time and again. I will think of Ginny and the real life team behind her every time I wear one of the pieces of art she created. Can you imagine the beautiful clothing being created for Angels right now?

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

*New* Dream Studios Blog

So, remember when I told you I had a JOB now? (Yay!) Well, my modeling agency - Dream Studios, started a blog! So if you missed our fashion show last Saturday, you can still catch pictures of the beautiful clothing and great Calla hair we wore.

This is the red version of the black "Isabella" ZIBWARE dress I modeled in the fashion show. It is the perfect dress for going out dancing...or checking out new blogs, of course! And omigawd - look how great it makes my breasts look!

The show also featured some great men's wear - HOT! You can find links to all the stores on the Dream Studios blog.

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 2, 2007

We All Scream...

I have some ice cream! I have some ice cream! You do not have some! Wanna lick? Psych! (Apologies to the brilliant Eddie Murphy.)

So, so much has already been written in SL media, mainstream media and on blogs about Ben & Jerry’s Island that I will attempt to avoid repeating things, but I cannot promise. I only heard about the island recently, so although I know that I am late to the table, I had some thoughts to share.

When I learned about Ben & Jerry’s Island I got totally excited!! I mean, what a potentially great hangout that would not (I assume) involve BDSM! YAY! An ice cream shop in SL! So, I put on a festive outfit (read: striped socks) and with visions of waffle cones and sprinkles in my head, I TP’d off to B&J’s to explore.

I arrived and wandered into the main building hoping that was the ice cream shop. I searched and I searched. And I learned about global warming. And I learned about recycling. And I learned how ice cream is made. And learned about the WWF. And I learned about organic farming. And I learned to hate in-your-face/shove-it-down-your-throat environmentalists. But I did not find any ice cream and no ice cream shop.
As the Technicolor setting began to make my eyes burn and water, it dawned on me that it might only be a matter of time before I found a Ben & Jerry’s Hydroponic Marijuana Farm. But, that made me hopeful. Surely, having the munchies would have driven Ben & Jerry to put up an ice cream shop on their island. (Kidding, of course!)
I wandered back outside and played the cow poo game that has been discussed so much. I mean, yuck - but $1000 Lindens is $1000 Lindens. [sarcasm] I was so happy to get another little lesson/rant about the environment when I turned them in at the end of the game.[/sarcasm]
As I was depositing my cow poo (and losing my appetite), a cow wandered close by. In SL, I love clicking on animals – because they either say something cute or let you ride them. You haven’t SLived if you haven’t ridden a calico cat around a shoe store or clicked on a bunny had it ask you if you think his fur is soft. So cute, right? I thought I would at least be able to ride the cows around the field. Nope. Come on Ben & Jerry - why can’t I ride the cows??? Is it because they are organic cows?
Rather anticlimactically, I eventually found some ice cream cones for the taking. But there was no sign. Nothing telling me which flavor I was selecting. Not even a place to sit – especially not on one of their precious cows.
Now, the flavors and unique names are some of the things that helped Ben & Jerry’s differentiate itself in the marketplace. (Come on, who doesn’t love - the name at least - Chubby Hubby?) So…..why isn’t there a peep about flavors anywhere on the island? No flavor naming contest? No specially developed SL flavor that would eventually be introduced in RL - Avatar Amaretto™? Strawberry Sim™? Prim Praline™?
There is no reason to return - especially since cheaters eventually obliterated my cow crap high score.

How did they do that?

But, I will make this plea;
Dearest Ben & Jerry,
I don’t want to visit a museum on your island. I want you to do what you do best: make ice cream. Even virtual ice cream. Give me a place to sit and enjoy ice cream with my SL friends. Because, in the end, the real draw of SL is not a fifth-grade-field-trip style museum…the real draw of SL is other people.

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.


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