Sunday, April 29, 2007


Sure enough, they'll be sellin' stuff
When the moon begins to rise
Pretty bad when you're dealin' with the man,
And the light shines in your eyes
"Come On, Baby, Let's Go Downtown" by Danny Whitten

Patrice and I now have a run-down one-room apartment in the Chinatown part of the soon-to-be-opened Downtown sim. No, we're not moving away from Beaver Beach. But Patrice has this fantasy.

She imagines us as supermodels who are holed up in a crummy flat trying to lose weight before a big fashion show by eating very little and doing drugs. So naturally, our flat is not in the best part of town. When I first beamed in, before I'd looked off the balcony, indeed before much had rezzed, I asked her if this was one of the brownstones. She said she'd got a place in Chinatown because it would be easier to get drugs. Just kidding, children! Drugs are bad, m'kay?

As well, the view is pretty cool. I love neon, and flopsie just showed me how to change a setting that's supposed to allow light sources to glow like when that hit of acid has kicked in (not set yet when I took this picture). Oh no, there we go with the drug references again! And I'm not sure if Downtown would be a good place to do psychedelics. I think you need your wits about you on the mean streets.

I told Patrice that this scheme might not work. See, we'll go down on the street to score, but we'll come back with a bunch of fried dumplings as well. So we'll be strung out and gain weight. We'll have to see!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Come On, Baby, Let's Go Downtown

New York New York, big city of dreams
And everything in New York ain't always what it seems
You might get fooled if you come from out of town
But I'm down by law and I know my way around
"New York New York" by E. Fletcher / Melvin Glover / Reggie Griffin / Sylvia Robinson

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five—now that's kicking it old school! And when it comes to New york, forget Disney-fied Times Square and scrubbed subway cars. No Rudy Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg here. Let's get down and dirty and gritty, but with class and charm as well.

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of seeing a preview of a new sim that will be opening early in May called Downtown. Our landlady flopsie McArdle was one of the builders, along with sim co-owner Natalie Defiant (gage Rousselot is the other owner), our friend Pushbutton Skolnik, Abbey Underall, and Trevor Turner. As flopsie describes it, Downtown is somewhere between the East Village and Brooklyn, and I can already tell that it's going to be a really exciting destination for lovers of the urban experience.

Patrice and I met flopsie at one of the five subway stations—actually, on one of the elevated sections. We were joined a while later by our friend, neighbour, and fellow Canuck Mischief Fairymeadow. The subway does not work yet, but it will. The attention to detail is amazing, something that I noticed throughout the tour. This is a subway that still has graffiti and flickering lights, although thankfully no DNA left behind by people with dicey hygiene habits. There are poses that let you sleep in the corner, sit and read, and hang onto the rail.

Since this was a station on the el, maybe we were in the Brooklyn part. The streets are dark and dingy, and again beautiful detailed. There will be all kinds of shops opening soon. Around the corner, we found ourselves in Chinatown, complete with hanging lanterns over the street and with yet more shops, including flopsie's store, for which the displays are vintage Communist-era posters. Nothing like a touch of neo-realism!

I was relying on my tour guide, because it would be easy to get lost in or below these streets. I know I was in a tunnel at one point, not sure of the way out, although somehow I did end up safely in a subway station. I also had to rely on Patrice sending me teleports, because I'd stop to take pictures, or go back to take pictures I'd forgotten to take, and lose the others.

Not all is grit and grime in Downtown. One street is lined with brownstones, again with terrific detail. I believe these are apartments that can be rented. Didn't see inside, but I imagine the detail doesn't stop at the outside. And right near the brownstone street is a park with an obelisk, half Nelson's Column and half Cleopatra's Needle, as well as a couple of low breast-like hills that Patrice made (my wife is obsessed!). This is a more open part of the sim, the part through which a river runs (flopsie says it's polluted).

We hit yet more cool stores. The record store is full of vinyl, with an animation that lets you browse. I love the detail of the baseball bat behind the counter. No trouble in this store! Oh, and a vintage cash register. Leave your debit card at home. Next door is a book shop, from the days before every bookstore had an espresso bar in it (although I did suggest adding one). There's even more cool stuff that I forgot to take pictures of, including a movie theatre and a club. And I just love the "PARK" sign for a parkade (that's "parking garage" for non-Canadian readers) with the "R" burned out. That's the kind of detail we're talking about here.

We ended up back where we'd started, or maybe at different el station. Just before Patrice and I left, we were joined by the fourth and final resident of Beaver Beach (our newly renamed parcel—double entendre intentional), Sarah Fouquet. The conversation got all nostalgic at that point. I am the baby of the bunch, but I've known all those girls for most of my Second Life. They've known each other even longer. Mischief's first rez day is coming up very soon! I'd better remember to get pictures of that party.

I was totally blown away by Downtown. When it opens, you have to check it out. It's about as far from the pastoral tranquility of Toscana as you can imagine. It's going to be a lively and interesting place to hang out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Espadrille Caper

The quest for Second Life shoes that approximate the espadrilles that Penelope Cruz wore in the film Volver continues, although I did find something at least in the ballpark.

Patrice in her comment on my last entry pointed me to the same shop I'd found through Style Disorder, so as soon as I had a chance yesterday, I went to Digital Dragon Designs. Once I got there, it took a lot of waiting for pictures to rez, a lot of flying around to find what I was looking for, and one false start (never be hasty on a purchase, it might cost you 300 lira), but I finally found the shoes that had been featured in the blog—not the stripy version, but the same shape.

On the plus side, they have the ridiculously high heel and not a bad side colour. The ones with black ties had black sides, and that was just wrong. And in general, they look pretty cute. On the minus side, those are ropes, not ribbons, and they're white. I can't wear them with enough outfits. As well, the side texture isn't quite what it ought to be—looks like a fabric texture, not rope (in fact, suspiciously like "linen" from the SL Library). Worse, at 400 lira, they are no bargain. For 400 lira, I would expect the ability to change shoe colour. I've paid a lot for shoes at, say, Coconut Ice, but there I get 140 colour options. So this purchase was OK but not entirely satisfactory.

If I could magically move shoes into SL from eBay, I found some pretty good candidates. This one on the left is the closest I've found to what I'm looking for—high-heeled, rope sole, open-toed, with ribbon ties. You can't really see how it would look tied up because the ribbons are lying by the sides, but I think it's a reasonable approximation that brings all the right components together.

This one on the right is also a pretty good match, with an even higher heel, although it ties with strings and not ribbons. Still, the overall look is pretty good.

I'm still looking for my ideal Penelope espadrilles on SL. I'll keep hoping that some designer also saw Volver, also fell in love with those shoes, and also noticed the demand in First Life, which I'm sure would translate into even more demand in SL.

Yes, I will leave fashion aside again for a while. I have something cooler coming up. I got a preview of an awesome urban sim that sets a new standard for detail and quality, not to mention serious grittiness. Next time, it's anti-fashion!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cruz shoes

OK, back to fashion for a bit. SO and I saw Volver on DVD this weekend, and now I am on a mission. I must find an approximation of the espadrilles that Penelope Cruz was wearing. In general, her character in the film is a fashion disaster, but those shoes are to die for. Apparently, they come from a maker of espadrilles in Barcelona called La Manual Alpargatera and are a particular Catalan variety called espadenya, with the ribbon that laces up the ankle.

A bit of Googling showed me that apparently I'm not the only one looking for these shoes. Of course, those people are looking for the shoes in First Life, which would be lovely, but I need them in Second Life.

SL is crawling with talented designers, including people who make shoes. Yet I find no espadrilles like these at Shiny Things, my favourite all-around shoe store. I have some awesome ankle-ribbon shoes from Coconut Ice, but they are stilettos. The search engine in SL Boutique is hopeless. I did a search for "espadrilles" at Linden Lifestyles and came up with only one hit for shoes that in fact are not espadrilles at all (they're not wedges, for one thing), let alone the coveted espadenya style. No hits at all at the Second Style Fashionista Blog. What's a girl to do?

Impossibly high wedges. Rope texture. Ribbons that lace up the ankle. I mean, come on, these are just so SL. Someone must make them. Or someone ought to. Au secour!

But wait. Is Style Disorder going to come to the rescue? I don't check that one regularly. Perhaps I should. A search produced one actual hit. Not quite what I'm looking for, but maybe close enough for rock and roll. We shall see!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tranquility base

First Life has cut into my Second Life time lately, not to mention my blogging time, and will continue to do so at least for the week coming up. Work, gardening, volunteering, chores—it all adds up. Oh, and in SL, I have a story due at the end of the week for which I am still doing interviews. So forgive me, gentle readers, for going with a bit of an evergreen. But it's something I wanted to write about anyway.

I met Cahide Meadowbrook at Patrice's and my wedding. Patrice had met her earlier at the Blue Note jazz club, where Cahide was at the piano. Cahide was managing a club that was about to open called the PowerPlant, and she offered Patrice a job as a host. Just minutes after I'd met her, she offered me a host job as well, which I accepted with gratitude.

Later, I met her butler Charles Nighbor, who was working as personnel manager at the PowerPlant. Like Cahide, he is English, and a proper English gentleman he is. Charles is one of the few people I know in SL who is not young in appearance. Since he is somewhat older in FL, his avatar reflects that—balding, with white hair and a trimmed white beard.

Cahide and Charles are two of the best people I know in SL. Even though the PowerPlant didn't work out (it's closed now), we have remained friends. While I was working for them and ever since, they have always been kind and generous to me, exemplary bosses and exemplary friends.

A short while ago, I gave Charles a ping. I hadn't seen him in some time, and I wanted to remedy that. He beamed me to the parcel where he and Cahide live on a sim called Kawaii, which seems to be kind of a cross between Hawaii and the Japanese countryside.

Charles gave me the full tour. They live in a mostly Japanese style house, except for one of two living rooms, which has western lounge chairs. The place is on the ocean and surrounded by gardens with butterflies and bird sounds. It is quite a restful place.

Just before I had to go, we were sitting in the "western" living room, and Charles demonstrated the weather system they had installed, which is what you see in the photo, which I finally remembered to take! First, it was raining. Then, there was something much more northern Japan than Hawaii—snow! We continued to chat as we sat and watch the peaceful scene.

Charles has been busy since then. His current project is building a cave for his new neighbour, who is a hermit. He has already built some sort of small prayer spot on top of a very steep hill. Next time I visit, I will have to take more pictures.

I am thankful that I have friends like Cahide and Charles in SL.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sonic Reducer

Last night, I had the most fun anyone can have with their clothes on. I was the DJ for about two and a half hours at my favourite club in Second Life, the Velvet. The regular Tuesday DJ, the beautiful Qualsha Nordberg, is taking a break for a bit, so club owner Pushbutton Skolnik (Push) is having "rotating DJs" on Tuesday nights. Having ripped just about enough music, and having equipped myself with the right software, I got in touch with Push on Sunday to ask if she had any slots available. When she said, how about Tuesday, I just about plotzed.

I frantically ripped even more music. I found a cross-fade plug-in for the Winamp player. I made sure I'd be able to connect properly to the Velvet SHOUTcast server. See, streaming music into Second Life is easy, except when it's not. As with any electronic process, there are numerous things that can go wrong—not quite the right software, a firewall in the way, a mistake in the port number. But once I had overcome a few glitches, I was as ready as I was going to be.

People have their own peculiar collections of music, and I'm no exception. I would love to own everything that people want to hear—at least of songs that I like—but you don't want all DJs to be alike, playing the same music, right? So even though I want more stuff, my collection is what it is, and I'm not sorry about that. Before going onto the web to get more, what I have available includes some classic rock (more '60s than '70s), a bunch of old school punk, various bits of '80s new wave, a generous helping of '90s grunge, bands from Boston you might never have heard of, and enough Canadian content—"CanCon," as we say up here—to keep the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission happy.

(And this is not counting the reggae and Cajun that I might rip when I get a chance, or the folk, jazz, and classical that will probably remain on the shelf—not much demand to dance to Carmina Burana, eh?)

Push set a punk theme for the contest, so even though I wasn't constrained to play only punk rock, I did want to skew in that direction. That reduced the available tracks a bit! As well, some of what I have just doesn't fit the Velvet, at least not when Push is listening. So I didn't segue into INXS's "Bitter Tears" or "Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil. Some other time, some other venue! I got a bit of grief for playing Soundgarden—the consensus was that guitarist Kim Thayil is punk, but vocalist Chris Cornell is not—but in general people were kind and generous and supportive, and showed the love to my tip jar.

If anyone thinks DJing is easy, let me disabuse you of that notion. It's possible to put an entire set together in advance, but I find it better to be at least somewhat spontaneous. I want to see how people are responding to what I'm playing, and make adjustments if necessary. Staying only a song or two ahead also lets me accommodate whichever requests I can fulfill. So being a DJ is not a relaxing thing! I've seen Barely Schlegal pull down more than two grand in tips, and let me tell you, he's earning every Linden penny.

By the end of the night, I was exhausted, but I can't wait to do it again! I've already made three improvements—a better cross-fade plug-in, a plug-in that sends song information to the server (didn't know I needed that, and I hope it works), and a compressor/limiter plug-in, which I certainly hope works with SHOUTcast, because it's way better than having to adjust the volume for different source material.

Big thanks to ComradeX Munson, who told me about the basics of getting set up. More thanks to Merik Drebin, who patiently let me test my connection repeatedly with her SHOUTcast server (you can hear Merik streaming, and maybe me too at some point, at the Anarchy Club). Thanks to Push for letting me lose my SL DJ virginity at her club and for being generally supportive. Thanks to Jasper Haifisch, one of the regular Velvet DJs, for his kind words and support all night. And as always, thanks to Patrice, who believes in me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Unstuck in time

In the courtyard in front of the Velvet on Iron Fist, there is a memorial to Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I think club-owner Push started it, or maybe someone else associated with the club. (I didn't ask—too busy trying to connect to the Velvet stream so I can DJ. But that's another story.) There is a photograph of Vonnegut on one side and a quote from him on the other. What's really touching, however, are all the little tributes people have left in front of the memorial, flowers and the like. I saw one that seemed particularly appropriate—an ashtray with a burning cigarette in it.

I have read Slaughterhouse Five more times than I can remember, and have seen the film more than once. I read God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. I saw the film Mother Night, and I can remember enjoying From Time to Timbuktu on television when I was a kid. So I am not a major Vonnegut fan, and certainly not an aficionado of his work. Still, I greatly appreciate what I know of his work, and I'm sure I would enjoy more if I took the time to do more reading. His death is a great loss.

Kurt Vonnegut spent time in Second Life. If he could see the memorial and the spontaneous tributes, I'd like to think he would be pleased. I don't know how long Push is going to leave it up, but if you're into it, you might want to beam over there and leave your own tribute.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lucky number 13

I let yesterday slip by without mentioning that April 13 was six months to the day since Patrice and I said our vows to each other. For those of you who are keeping track, that is. Married on Friday the 13th, and six month later, another Friday the 13th! No bad luck here. We still love each other, still like each other, still love having sex with each other, and generally feel pretty fortunate.

We keep learning about what a Second Life-only relationship means. A lot of people seem to have trouble making such relationships last. In many cases, it might be because they're not that interested in such a thing, and there's no shame in that. After all, there are so many things to do in SL, and most don't require a partner.

I have to admit, having an in-world-only relationship is kind of a weird concept. It's not something you could easily explain to friends and family, and you can explain it to your spouse only if said spouse is unusually enlightened. But our relationship is precious to us, brings us a great deal of joy, and is something from which we continue to gain knowledge of ourselves and each other. It still makes sense to us.

Happy belated six months, Patrice! And hats off to any other SL-only couples who have made it this far or farther.

Oh, and don't forget to check out PixelPulse Magazine! One big article and one small one so far. I'm really enjoying the gig and enjoying working with Cheri and Lienna.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Burning down the house(s)

Tuesday night was the opening of my dear friend Tatsuko's club Anarchy, which is in the midst of her Underground (as in the comic and movies) role-playing SIM. Shrink-wrapped black leather is a popular choice for attire! The space is funky and unpretentious, kind of like an urban roadhouse, if you can imagine such a thing. The anarchy flag flies over the dance floor along with the flags of Japan and the former Soviet Union, just for fun.

It didn't take long for the club to fill up, based mainly on word of mouth. DJ Merik was streaming hot indie rock and lots of requests for the mostly female dancing crowd. Lots of friends there! In fact, I saw girls I hadn't seen since my early days at the Wet Kitty. Many (including me) even went topless at 8 p.m. in a kind of tribute to the old days. The place was shakin' and the pheromones were wafting, lemme tell ya!

Last night, I took a dancing shift at the Activ8 club with Ana "Booga" hosting and Blake streaming the tunes. It was pirate night, and since I don't have a pirate costume, I dressed in my "serving wench" dress from PixelDolls. Oh yes, and I added an eye patch. As usual, not everyone dresses for the theme, but there were some great pirate costumes among both the males and females. Cute guys in pirate gear tend to get my attention! In fact, three of the boys tied for first place in the contest. I never did find out which of the girls won, although I hope it was Blake's sweetie Emra, who wasn't quite dressed as a pirate but looked adorable anyway and did have a pirate hat on.

I was working furiously all night, doing my best to follow the chat, say hi to those just arriving, and throw in plenty of witty chatter to complement Ana's hosting. Things started slow and tended to ebb and flow, but by 10 o'clock the joint was jumpin'. The word was that the sim had 77 avatars on it! It wasn't long after that announcement that I noticed I couldn't move, so I knew the sim had gone belly up. I shut down my client and tried to log back in, but it was a hard crash, and it took several minutes for the sim to return. Now that's a party! We actually got a fair number of people back after the crash, which was pretty cool, and I kept working all the way to 11 (this one goes to 11). Even my Canadian flag tip jar was reasonably happy!

And I was too busy to think about taking pictures, which is too bad, because the place was really jammed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We'll always have Paris (1900)

When Patrice came online tonight, she suggested we take a break from dancing and do some exploring. That was fine with me! You must get sick of reading about yet another fun night at the Velvet. I mean, it's fun for us, but probably not all that interesting to read about, although I do try to make every entry as entertaining as possible, and the usual suspects at the Velvet are often helpful in that regard.

On Monday, however, we went on a real adventure—to the place called Paris 1900. We materialized in the Metro, which was an interesting way to arrive. You have to read the rules, in either English or French, and agree to them, but they are not nearly as heinous as those at many places. They're mainly about no sex and don't dress too inappropriately.

We emerged from the Metro station to face the Moulin Rouge. Unfortunately, since it was 4 a.m. Paris time, there was nothing happening there. Great build though. We amused ourselves by clicking on a set of dance balls called "Hokey Pokey," which I'd never seen in SL before. I wasn't quite the Hokey Pokey, but it was pretty weird, as you can see. Looks a bit like a pairs figure skating move. On the way out, Patrice pointed out a giant elephant, which was so huge I hadn't even seen it on the way in. You can see in the lower right corner of the picture how tiny the two of us look in comparison.

We figured we had to hit at least some of the shops, so we went into a build in which several were housed. There were fairly nice clothes, from designers and I knew but mostly from ones I didn't, so we did a bit of careful buying. There an annex of Adored Clothing in there. Adored was the first place I ever bought a dress, and my first pair of shoes as well (and I still have them both), but I haven't been there in a long time. I couldn't resist a lovely white dress with a long draped scarf behind, something quite different from what used to be at that store.

We left the shop and headed for La Tour Eiffel. This is a really impressive reproduction of the famous tower. It feels huge. We took the lift to the première étage (first level above ground), then on to the deuxième. Unfortunately, there isn't much to see from up there. I did get hit with a bit of lag, though, and found myself having fallen to a sort of intermediate level, somewhere that avies probably aren't supposed to be. Fortunately, Patrice rescued me with a teleport, because there's no flying in Paris 1900.

Once back at the top, we took advantage of a catwalk from which you can sky-dive. We both have the equipment already so we took the plunge, Patrice in her suit and I in my lavender gown. I didn't achieve quite enough horizontal distance, so I landed about 40-odd metres up on a platform from which I had to jump to the ground. Patrice, being more skilled, had a much better jump. We finished by poking our heads into the Callie Cline shop, but nothing really struck our fancy, except for one sun-dress that I thought was nice, but I got cheap and didn't spend the 500 lira. I might need to remedy that.

Oh, on yet another fashion note (what's going on here?), Patrice sent me a link to a modelling contest that Lacoste is running. So we both entered. As the lottery people say, hey, you never know. I think the shots I sent were pretty good, although I could have used that Callie Cline sun-dress. I had to submit it twice since it seems not to have "taken" the first time. Hope this one works!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Please, no mom pants!

Patrice said that the "Shopping spree" entry made us sound like fashionistas. I said, well, we get that way, but only once in a while. Mainly, we buy what we like and don't pay much attention to trends. I do appreciate when Linden Lifestyles or Second Style (and others, such as Iris Ophelia's recurring feature in New World Notes) bring cool clothes, hair, etc., to my attention, because otherwise my shopping would be woefully uninformed.

I hadn't looked at the Second Style blog in a while, and seeing Celebrity at the Velvet last night reminded me that I have been missing out on some good tips. So I went to the site to do some catching up.

When I saw Grazia Horowitz's entry for April 2, however, I groaned. Not about Blaze Columbia going casual, and nothing against Grazia. About high-waisted jeans, "which is going to be the new trend in jeans," she wrote. Ye gods, deliver us!

OK, I realize that low-rise jeans in Second Life get a bit ridiculous. I really am not into butt crack. So, here's a challenge. Can anyone in SL design jeans that are low-rise in the front but higher in back, something like Lucky Brand Jeans Lil' Maggie or Sweet Dream styles? Jeans that fit comfortably on the hip, look hot, but let you sit down without southern exposure—or the equivalent in SL terms? Obviously it's possible in First Life. I can't imagine it's not possible in SL. Yet I have a virtual closet full of virtual low-rise jeans that seem, if anything, even lower in the back than in the front.

I do not want high-rise jeans! But I sympathize with saying no to crack and whale tail. So, some talented designer, please help me out here! I don't think I'm the only one who would be grateful. Oh, and more skinny straight-leg varieties too.

Friday, April 6, 2007


Still the longest word in the English language!

Hopefully, Patrice and I did not breathe in too much fine silica dust as we did some volcano exploration. We didn't have much time last night, so Patrice took me to a tropical Gorean island that belongs to her friend Kim. After we explored the most excellent shipwreck, we made our way up to the top of the very steep volcano. Now that is some volcano! You can't bathe in the lava, but it really belches black smoke, which shifts as the wind does. And if you back down the hill (no flying in Gor) and watch in from the base, periodically it shoots out fireballs. Quite a sight, which of course I failed to record with my trusty camera.

I had to take a quick break to do a photo shoot for my upcoming article for PixelPulse Magazine, so we met up with my subject at somebody Linden's place. Can't even remember! But it was a pleasant spot with a gazebo where I took some pictures of my subject. So there I did get the camera out, but those pictures are for the article.

With our remaining time, Patrice and I went to Pele, the volcano of fellow blogger Cheyenne Palisades. Finally, I visit Pele! Chey was not there, unfortunately, or I'm sure she would have given us a tour. I could see on my radar that Mordecai, another fellow blogger (see Links for both), was nearby, so I IMed him. He quickly made a request that we not visit the Xubi house and mumbled something about nakedness. Well, yes, I could see on the radar that someone named Maia was in very close proximity to Mordecai. I laughed and told him to lock the door! But we were certainly not about to disturb his pleasure.

So we splashed around in Pele's lava for a bit and checked out the nearby pavilion before teleporting home and then, sadly off. We did meet up briefly later on at the Velvet. Patrice had gone kitty again as she danced with our friend and genuine Neko, Mischief, so I quickly changed species and began to purr. I am only a dilettante Neko, but I'm kind of enjoying it. Meow! Watch those claws!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Shopping spree

Is there any other kind of spree?

I've been sooo good with my money lately, and I was getting sick of everything in my closet. Well, not everything, but you know how it is when you look for something to wear, and nothing is really catching your fancy, and you're just dying to see a new choice in there. So last night, Patrice and I finally went on our long-planned shopping trip.

I actually got a bit of a head start before Patrice came online. It was Neko night at the Velvet. Now, I have never had any kind of kitty attachments, and I was feeling a bit left out. I never did go to the Velvet, but I found myself a cute animated tail and ears at a store called 42nd Life. I skipped on the skin and whiskers because I'm just not that into the look. But I do love the tail especially. Tails are sexeh. Weird, eh? We wouldn't think so in First Life! Then I did a search for "catsuit" and beamed over to Nicky Ree's. My catsuit is red and shiny, and I wanted a black one, which I found. I love the dragon pattern! I coloured the kitty ears and tail black to go along with it.

At that point, Patrice arrived. Turns out she got an even earlier head start, landing herself yet another tattoo and a top. I took her to the Neko store, where she decided she didn't want anything. Or so I thought. We went to check out some tops from Second Wave Apparel that had recently been featured in Linden Lifestyles. Nice deal! I went for the Asian brocade box. Patrice went totally Vegas with the animal prints.

(Sabrina and Salome at Linden Lifestyles are to blame for a fair amount of my spending on clothes and accessories. I don't always share their taste, but when they feature something I like, I know it's going to be good. Before this shopping trip, I had already improved my hoody collection with two of the ones from Radical that I saw on their site. They were right about what they do for your, er, upper body. And that the hood prims are more realistic than other hoodies that I have.)

Next, Shiny Things. Patrice recently got herself a sari, and I know where the best sandals are. But of course, once you're at Shiny Things, it's hard to stop at one item, especially when there's that wall of totally cool boots on display. I held back on the white version of my favourite black wrapped boots, but Patrice went for a very cute pair of high-heeled lace-up boots. At that point, in her leopard top, low-rise jeans, and boots, she was totally ready for the strip!

Finally, I took her to L.A.M.E. Designs, with tattoos by my Activ8 colleague Ana Boogiewoogie and clothes by Eloria LeShelle, among other items. I think this is L.A.M.E.'s third or fourth relocation this year (and Ana seems to have changed the name as well, to Sh*t Happens), but the new store is nice and big, and hopefully I won't have to toss out yet another landmark. At this point I noticed that Patrice was now sporting ears and a tail as well. She gave me the slip! As we were looking at the merchandise, our friend Merik showed up with a newbie friend. Merik was kindly showing the new girl some basics of Second Life, including, of course, shopping. Merik had been at the Velvet and so was looking like a sexy kitty (it's hard for Merik not to look sexy). I saw the familiar Multitool blue box pop up without looking too closely at it. When I clicked to allow it to animate me, I expected the usual hug. Instead, I got pounced on! I'm definitely not complaining, but it was a surprise. Now we all want one.

Merik's friend left, and we wandered over to the clothing part of the store, where designer Eloria joined us. She makes really cute stuff, like this Rope Dress that I fell in love with right away. Patrice and I kept buying things, at a good price mind you, and Eloria kept giving refunds. Hey, girl, I'm trying to make you some money! But it was really sweet of her. Next time there's a pyjama party at the Velvet, I have a feeling we won't be the only ones sporting red droopy drawer longjohns. OMG, at this point, my "shopping bag" was bulging. Time to stop spending.

Before we beamed away, we got some news. Merik and Anwen are engaged! They are two of our favourite people in SL and are really good together. So that makes two weddings coming up soon. Our friend ComradeX Munson is also getting married soon to his girlfriend September—in May, not in September (that would be too weird). An actual male-female wedding—who would have thought?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

O Bondage! Up Yours!

OMG, I won another contest at the Velvet last night. The theme was bondage, or fetish—not entirely sure which. I'm not used to winning popularity contests. Of course, the place was packed, and there were at least three pages of contestants on the board by the time voting closed, so it might have been one of those situations like when Arnold Schwarzenegger first became the Governator with something like 12 percent of the vote. Still, he won, and I won, and I'm grateful to whoever voted for me. DJ Barely Schlegal and the club got the benefit of extra tips.

I sweahtagawd, for most of the night I was wearing the mesh part of this costume (like the gloves and tights), and not all the skin that you see here. :)

It was a fun night no matter what. Patrice was a bit late coming on, as has been the case lately of necessity, but IMs were flying, and the chat was fast, furious, and of course witty, even without Mischief being there. Warning: you might find the next sentence offensive! Club owner Pushbutton Skolnik was up on a cross, overseeing a dance floor full of whips and chains. Sorcha IMed with news that her connection had improved! I hadn't heard from her in quite a while, so I invited her into the fray, and she joined us. It was so cool to see her! I'd forgotten how tall she is—I had remind her to be careful not to step on Barely, lest the music stop. I seem to have accidentally skewered McCabe with my cane at some point, which was flailing around as I dance, at which point he turned into a zombie. Fortunately, all our sins were forgiven.

Once again, the two gigabytes of memory were doing the job for me. That club was full, as you can see from the picture with all the name balloons in it. But I was still able to move my camera around, not lag too badly, and stay online with no weird crashes.

By the way, you might also be able to see a bit of chat in the lower left corner of the picture (click on the picture to see it at full size). That's Sorcha saying, "What do you know? I had a whip in my inventory!"