Thursday, December 31, 2015

Metamorfaces by Art Oluja on LEA10

"It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality."

—Gaston Bachelard

The landing area of Art Oluja's creation, Metamorfaces, is a cunning combination of boxes, interwoven and bent to make a staggered pathway up into the initial mindscape of a bedroom in disarray. In that same area is a bench in shocking disarray, it's once stable wooden bands bent like ribbons and spilling over the wall and floor. The symbolism becomes obvious upon reading Oluja's description of how she awoke one morning from dreams to find her face was an immobile mask and her long journey toward healing and reconciling herself with those changes. It is at once deeply personal and abstracted, a landscape moved through and experienced simultaneously. I often found myself bogged down with details and minutia, only to look up and realize I was missing what was around me due to a desire to somehow capture the uncapturable.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Four for One Deal on Glamistry's Parrasana Heels

Glamistry: Parrasana Heels

These Parrasana heels come with a fit for SLink, Matreya, and Belleza high feet and have a cunning hook heel detail perfect for spearing marshmallows, fish, and fruit as you stride though life (marshmallows, fish, and fruit not included). The vamp, heel, hook, and sole are all changeable between colors, meaning you can mix and match deliciously.

Now, I've shown off Glamistry's shoes before, and this time I'm able to offer a little more - 3 additional colors when you purchase one for the Parrasana heels. This is a new promotion from Glamistry, and hinges on their awesome HUD based color tinting system, where additional colors can be added for a lower cost - in this case, a much lower cost. In fact, purchase any single color for Parrasana heels and you can receive 3 more colors completely free! That's an additional value of 441L for the purchase price of 379L (147L to add a color if you already own the heels).

Genre: Regency on the Town

Parading Down the Avenue

My coat from .Winged. covers up most everything in a delightful manner - with long fluffy sleeves and layered collar. The poof of a hem isn't Regency, but I couldn't resist showing it off with a few more time-specific accouterments from Genre and this is perfect for all of the Lolitas who want something a little warmer in the winter. It's very well rigged in the trouble areas of shoulder and elbow, both of which can get a little plasticine if not well handled, and the cowl neck and hood are textured along the edge, which covers up any rigging issues there nicely. It's also - bless everything! - nicely lined inside and out. With a wide skirt like this that's particularly appreciated, as a lot of the interior will flash as one goes about one's business. It took me a while to layer under it - the lovely swoops of fabric make it clash with a lot of my wider skirts - but I ended up pulling out Circe from Faida and Fallen Gods which allows one to remove both the bodice and the corset, leaving one with only the hip-down skirt; I love this addition to functionality, though I'm sure when it was created the idea of layering it under a coat never occurred to its creators, and I hope more mesh makers will give us the option of wearing parts of their outfits to allow for more creative mixing and matching.

Ingenue Abroad

Monday, December 28, 2015

Genre: Regency

Genre: Regency

Genre is back this month and it's Regency time - one of the eras of England I'm most familiar with, thanks to an attachment to the fiction of the time. For the wealthy, everything was about restraint and simplicity, sumptuous fabrics and delicate laces being the main markers of class, and this is the Empire that the empire waistline gets its name from. For women's gowns this is the Genre to hit - and there's even an awesome option for the men, entirely historically accurate.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Squee: MetaFilter

The Sunday Squee is about things that make me happy and excited. From books to movies to television shows to podcasts, I'll highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me, magnifying both of our joy.

High Voltage

MetaFilter (MeFi or "the blue") is an elderly website at 16 years old, and I've been a member there almost ten of those years. It's an old school web log turned into a community project with comments under each entry. In 2004 Matt Haughey, MeFi's creator, opened the floodgates to people willing to pay him five dollars for access, and it's been game-on ever since. I love the site for it's interesting discussions, it's broad range of interest, it's often genial people, and for the lessons I've learned wrangling with, challenging, and being challenged by people who are very different from me. It's one of the few sites I check almost every day, and while sometimes I've been frustrated enough that it's made me want to scream, it's always made me feel - and that's a valuable thing!

The paid moderation staff sets MetaFilter apart from other places on the net. It's a 24/7 service these days, with moderators in several different countries. The first moderator besides Matt was Jessamyn, and she set a high bar for the qualities MeFites generally expect in moderation. She also began countering the male-centric site culture that was rampant on the internet at the time, which has resulted in a strong and eloquent cadre of women pushing for equality functionally as well as socially on the site. Other groups have stepped up as well to push for quality and respect - in particular the trans gender community. Because of the hard work of marginalized people, MetaFilter has unusual parity for a general interest site on gender, though it lags behind in racial and class terms.

Depths of Tartarus

MetaFilter is currently run by the second oldest moderator, Cortex, who has indicated he relishes the sometimes uncertain and bombastic aspects of managing the site, took over from Matt in March 2015. Matt and Jessamyn have both retired from the site but retain special badges in MetaTalk (MeTa or "the gray"), which is the only place moderators are set apart from other users (on other sections of MetaFilter, moderators use brackets and small text to indicate when they are making an official comment versus being users of the site). MeFites can contact moderators privately or have Meta Talk within which to voice their grievances and communicate with the site in general. Those long, sometimes emotionally grueling threads are where many people hash out the challenges of human beings interacting with other, different human beings - it can be inspiring and depressing both in turn.

The cash cow for the site, and what used to attract most of it's users, is Ask Metafilter (AskMe or "the green"). Users can ask a question a week and get responses from people who, by and large, consider themselves part of a community. Moderation is strictest on this sub-site - cross-talk is heavily discouraged, ignoring the question is often deleted, and users are expected to be on their best behavior. Other sub sites include one for offline gatherings, one for music, one where you can share projects with MetaFilter, and one for fan discussion of television shows, movies, podcasts, and most recently books. I honestly think most everyone would find something they like on MetaFilter - often more than one something they like! If you end up paying your five dollars and joining in, feel free to send me a MeMail!

Three Lights

Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent: Day 21

Advent: Day 21

Advent Season continues, and there are only a handful of days until the end. My existential dread has lifted a little for this, the darkest night, but there is still a universe of things not being done and a subtle sense of ennui... or not so subtle, as the case may be. I think the funniest thing about this kind of mood is that is is so diffuse - I really have every reason to be happy and very few to not be! And yet, emotions persist.

Cocoa helps.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Advent: Day 20

Advent: Day 20

Why do we do the things we do?

Winter is a time for internal questions, for reflecting back on ourselves and our plans and goals to see if we're happy with where we are. I have mixed feelings - happiness and sadness mingling in a confusing manner. Can we ever be entirely happy with who we are? Or is my very doubt that we could a way to excuse what I'm currently disliking about myself?

The Advent Season keeps on trucking, and so do I.

Sunday Squee: Ingress

The Sunday Squee is about things that make me happy and excited. From books to movies to television shows to podcasts, I'll highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me, magnifying both of our joy.

Ingress is an Augmented Reality Game played via the GPS on various smartphones, begun and husbanded by the company Niantic (subsidiary of Alphabet, which is Google's new umbrella company). You sign in as an Agent via a Google email (no Google+ account required, though they want you to link one up) and chose an identity with which to interact with and be known by in this world of portals and Exotic Matter (XM).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Advent: Day 16

Advent: Day 16

Day sixteen of the Advent Season, and also the day that the Falln Angel Creations hunt is beginning - so swing by there if you want presents for 1$L each!

For this look today I broke up a couple of sets: the Chop Zuey necklace comes with matching earrings and the Emerald Couture boots are actually part of a full outfit of the miniskirt design. I mixed it up more to get a sense of the variety than any sartorial impulses; the pink and teal doesn't really work with the red, even if I did call back the teal in my earrings. It's nice to have something on my feet, though! It wasn't until I ran through this on my non-footed alt that I realized just how pervasive shoes made for pre-made feet are!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Advent: Day 14

Advent: Day 14

I have to admit, today I really wasn't in the mood to Advent - but I'm already thirteen days in, and it seemed a shame to break a running streak. I've been thinking about why I'm doing this, who's reading, and the purpose of freebies overall. It's been fun to see how far I could push the idea of "make an outfit only out of Advent Freebies" and I rather like the results, even if they aren't what I would pay for necessarily. As for who is reading - the nature of Advent is that anything I do won't be a hint as to what I can get but rather an indication of the quality of the stores overall. The flaw in single-day events is the limits on advertising; the advantage is a certain life int he mind of the seeker, who will have to return precisely in order to get what they want. By far, my favorites are the Advents with a little more forgiveness - where they open up over the period of time but can be picked up late - but I can't fault the creators who want to live within the minds of their customers for an entire season.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Advent: Day 13

Advent: Day 13

Advent continues another day - and this was a long day, a tiring but invigorating day. Another day I might have more to say, but today I'm sort of worded out. The world is a strange, wonderful, tiring, snuggly sort of place and I'm glad I'm in it.

Sunday Squee: GaymerX 3

The Sunday Squee is about things that make me happy and excited. From books to movies to television shows to podcasts, I'll highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me, magnifying both of our joy.

Light and Shadow

I just got home after GaymerX 3, and it was a total blast! Three days of deep conversations, thoughtful commentary, and awesome costumes rounded out by an actual Takoyaki stand in the convention center. My head is so stuffed full of thoughts and impressions I'm not sure what to do first - but below is a few highlights of an amazing weekend.

Anthony Burch did an amazing, asshole, semi-sociopathic presentation on "Cynical Reasons to Diversify Your Cast" and shared a little on his experience diversifying the Borderlands 2 game as a writer. I can only hope his slides might someday make it on the 'net and have high hopes of the video going live sometime soon. I want to watch again while not deafened by my own laughter.

Blood Dance: Ribbons

I went to see "We Need More Diverse Games, How to Get There?" for Tanya DePass (I Need More Diverse Games) and fell a little bit in love with Katherine Cross ( CUNY / Feministing / Reality Check ). Gil Almogi, Arthur Chu ( Salon / Daily Beast ), Rachel Keslensky, and DJ Kirkland were also outstanding. It was a dense conversation, and another I'm waiting on the video to try digesting fully. I anticipate a lot of rich thought in the future.

I've never actually played Bayonetta, but Maddy Myers ( The Mary Sue / Paste ) lured me into "Bayo Studies: Year One -- A Deeper Look at the Bayonetta Series" which had the bonus of including two professors, the aforementioned Katherine Cross, a new one named Todd Harper, and Gita Jackson ( BoingBoing / Paste ). The discussion was full of laughter, acknowledging the problematic aspects of a loved thing, and details into how game-play adds to individual interpretations of a controversial character. It helps that everyone involved was screamingly funny.

Foggy Horizons

Adding to the screamingly funny while incredibly serious was "Unheard Voices" with Ken Gagne (PolyGamer), Shawn Alexander Allen (Nuchallenger), Tanya DePass (Fresh Out of Tokens), John James (Art Director, MidBoss), and Anna Tarkov (Unconsoleable). I was already listening to two of the podcasts in question, and two more got added to my list very quickly. You may notice a DePass trend - she was on a lot of panels and was awesome every time.

Both funny and touching was Leisha-Marie Riddel ( #projectsolace ) spoke about the ethnic dysphoria engendered by being a Filipina raised by loving white parents, the racism she internalized, and how she began to address it through writing a story and developing her art. That art also happens to be wonderful and I'm looking forward to reading her comic!

Single Frame Story: Stream

The weekend was absolutely glorious!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Advent: Day 12

Advent: Day 12

Historically, Advent was the Twelve Days before Christmas (or the twelve days between the solstice and the new year) but most of the Second Life Advents go for the entirety of December with a few starting twelve days before the 25th. That day is coming up - but for today we have the lovely number of 12, one of my favorites. This is twelve posts in twelve days - items picked up, opened, sorted, worn, and photographed - all on top of everything else going on. I'm not quite sure what's inspiring me to do this, or when I'd forget, but 2015 seems to be the year of "Deo follows through on some things" and it's interesting to see how it happens and for how long.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Advent: Day 11

Advent: Day 11

December is eleven days old and there are presents for us!!

Advent is still going on, and I'm really impressed by everything I got; I had a hard time setting up this outfit because there was so much that was awesome - as problems go, this one is the best.

I'm also neck deep in a lot of really deep thoughts which will probably be filtering out as time goes on - about diversity, about making characters, about how to make a game, about the complexities of discrimination and the internalization of external forces. The world seems solid, but as I grow older I'm really aware of how permeable we are, how easily we're influenced by seemingly inconsequential details, how we take what is around us and recreate it within only smaller and bent. In short, I am having a wonderful time and I hope you are, too!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dreamers by Cica Ghost on LEA24

When I first landed on Cica Ghost's latest creation, Dreamers, I'll admit to being disappointed by the simplicity. I should have trusted her more.

Dreamers: Ground 01

First - where I began.

The landing point is a platform from which you can see the entire floor level under a sky held back by chain linking that arches overhead in front of an orange sky. The sky itself is built in - a moving texture which does its eerie job perfectly. There are a few scrubly trees here and there; the one technical flaw is in layering the texture of the chain link with the textures of the trees - sometimes the alpha occlusion error kicks in, and it looks a little odd. I found right-clicking the chain link did a lot to solve that issue, though, reminding the browser what was behind what.

Everywhere you look there are crows turning their heads and blinking at you. Fields of rusty flowers, their golden faces turned toward the sky, blossom here and there on an otherwise forbidding, stone landscape. Ghost's landscapes always draw from her past, offering up stylistic consistency and a sense that these all exist within the same milieu, and the flowers serve that purpose here offering echoes of Small Town and Balloons. The trees are black and leaf-bare, and are the only tall things in view except for the sixteen stone faces on long stone necks peering up into the sky. I went with the sim default windlight, and it's a soft light with distinct, dark shadows and heat haze in the air; I can almost smell stone baked in the noonday sun disgorging it's heat into the dreamy twilight and keeping off the chill of evening.

Dreamers: Ground 03
"In a surreal world canopied by a magical sky, sixteen figures look upward to dream, and eight eagerly share their visions with visiting explorers."
It was the sim description that gave me the first hint that I was missing something. Sixteen figures look up, and eight speak - clicking on one of them lead me flying up into the sky to a complete different world so colorful I ended up laughing aloud and clapping my hands in delight. Sitting on each figure takes you to a different world high in the sky, a tiny microcosm of a dream as varied as dreams must be.

I recommend checking out one or two a day; I found after three or four I was so overwhelmed I stopped being able to easily get absorbed into the worlds dreamed up in the sky.

Dreamers: Ground 05

Advent: Day 10

Advent: Day 10

I'm beginning to feel the strain of trying to stay on top of Advent every day - it's day 10! - but it's definitely still a blast to get a pile of awesome prezzies and pretty things to try on. In the spirit of the season this is an entirely positive Advent Show Off - as always there is a mix of quality and style in the gifts, but I'm focusing on what I like and appreciate the most. Frequently, a store that didn't quite hit my sweet spot one day will give me something awesome the next, so there really isn't a loss for me here.You might notice I paired yesterday's Advent from Loordes of London with today's gift - she often does matching pieces over a couple of days, which makes for a fun build up to a complete look if you can hit all the notes correctly. Don't worry too much if things don't change over for her right on the dot, too - her Advent is a manual one and I believe she's having some personal issues, so it's important to be understanding and generous of spirit toward her!

I know you're all feeling the holiday strain, too. What's challenging you the most this holiday season?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Advent: Day 9

Advent: Day 9

As Day Nine of this years Advent comes through, we're only a midnight away from the double digits. I don't think I'm along in saying that this year seems like it's flown by, and it's been a real mix. Overall, I'm in a much better place than I was a year ago; much more stable fiscally and emotionally, but I can't deny that this has been a year that has brought me much sadness and stress.

On a more positive note, I've been having fun outfitting one of my alts instead of doing advent on my main account, and part of that is because the inventory is so much smaller, so it really challenges me to make up an outfit entirely out of what I get on a given day, good or bad. If I had one wish it would be for more hair - I'm getting a lot of outfits, some rezzable things (which I haven't been showing since I lack a place to rez them), but only two hair stores so far, even on the multi-store Advents. Does anyone know about any hair stores doing and advent? I'd love to add them to my list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Look to the Sky

Look to the Sky

Angels and demons circle above my head
cleaving through thorns and Milky Ways
He who does not perceive his calling,
does not know true happiness...

Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!
Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!

I am Calling Calling out!
Spirits, I am calling!!!
To remain myself longer...
Calling Calling, in the depths of longing!
To remain myself longer!

Ghost in the Shell "Inner Universe"

Advent: Day 8

2015-12-08 Advent_001

Day Eight of Advent is upon us and I'm having fun checking out everything there is on offer. The amazing thing is how much variety exists every day, all entirely through free things. Creators are so generous! So far I've managed eight days and only once pulled in something from an older advent - last years; that is simply amazing, and I think you'll agree that each look has been dynamic and interesting.

What's your favorite Advent Gift so far?

Advent: Day 7

Advent: Day 7

Advent continues apace, and this time I ended up in all white for day 7! I ran this one a little late; it's been an exciting and frustrating day. So far this year has been a rollercoaster - joy and suffering tied together inexorably, and today was no different - another coin on the scale of my days. I hope your Advent Season is seeing you happy and healthy!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday Squee: Ask Me Another Podcast

The Sunday Squee is about things that make me happy and excited. From books to movies to television shows to podcasts, I'll highlight less commonly known things as a way to share what I love. If you want to join in the Sunday Squee, please link back to me, magnifying both of our joy.

Sharp Landing

I adore the  podcast of Ask Me Another, from NPR. If you haven't heard it, it's a musical quiz show that is full of laughs and silly interviews - very geeky, very silly. By far my favorite episode is the first one with They Might Be Giants - mostly for the game they insisted on (Wrong wrong WRONG) and how screamingly funny everyone was during it. I like it so much that it's one of the few episodes that remains in my phone for my particularly bad days. It's pretty much a staple of my week, though - a lighthearted, geeky romp which makes me gleeful. Other good shows include The Milk Carton Kids (note the desert-dry sarcasm), Uzo Aduba (her interplay with her sister was amazing), Sir Patrick Stewart (everything I hear from him makes me love him more), Aasif Mandvi (his love for Michael Jackson is inspiring), and also Bobby Lopes and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (the charming couple behind the songs of Frozen). You could just start with a list of your favorite celebrities and go from there, though - rare is any show not entertaining and enjoyable.

 Which are your favorites from this show?

Wayward Breeze

Advent: Day 6

Advent: Day 6

I landed a bit of Old World Glamour from Emerald Couture for Advent and added NOX to my list, as I just discovered she's doing an Advent; blessedly, you can pick up the past Advent's as well - Yay! I'm once more shoeless, though I could have used shoes from previous days, and my hair is not an Advent prize - it's a gift from Analog Dog's Advent last year.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Advent: Day 5

Advent: Day 5

Advent continues apace, and today I landed this awesome dress from Freebiecosmos which actually changes color depending on the lighting - it looks either green or red. Also - it gave me BOOTS! More shoes for me! I hope you're having as much fun with the flurry of freebies as I am; I love Advent Season.

Genre: Victoriana


Genre's theme is Back to the Future for another week and one of the releases there is this gorgeous Victorian Ensemble from Goth1c0 in a rich, dark red. It comes in two pieces - the jacket top and the long skirt, so one could mix and match it if one wished. By far my favorite detail is on the skirt, the lacing down the front of the skirt is simply delightful. The dress is well-rigged and well-lined, making pictures a joy to take - I had a ball with my image of Glamitry's latest heels. Simple, with a low-slung ankle strap, these shoes are fit for every shoe on the block including my own SLink high feet.

A Sudden Fall

Friday, December 4, 2015

Advent: Day 4

I'm still following my Advent List of stores, and I'm ending up with some very eclectic stuff! It's always fun to see whats being handed out as gifts. I figured out that I picked up the wrong skins form yesterday - there is a male and female side at 7 Deadly s{kins} - but I rather liked the effect! Today is a red letter day - I got shoes!!

Advent: Day 3

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Advent: Day 3

One of the fun things about free items is that you often get pushed in directions you don't expect - like Kasdeya suddenly sprouting a beard. Personally, I think she looks lovely!

Advent - Day 3

Advent: Day 2

Kasdeya is getting a bit of shifting around, but I'm still not really sure what I want to do with her. I'm still entirely lacking in shoes, mostly because I don't have SLink feet! Ah! The lament of the alts. I'm decking her out with a bunch of Day Two's Advent goodies - hope you enjoy!

Advent Day 2

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2015 Advent Season

We're in the days leading up to Christmas, and every year creators in Second Life create a variety of awesome gifts for the unwary. Below is my own advent list - a panoply of presents for a grateful avatar.

Advent 1