Thursday, November 28, 2013

Herr Drosselmeyer's Doll

Herr Drosselmeyer's doll
There she is on the stage
Spinning as she sprawls
Thank God the curtains fall
Her spring is sprung
And dance is done
Spinning as she sprawls
Thank God the curtains fall

Innards Twang as They Uncoil

In the morning, he twists the key quite hard
And ticking, she's brought to a boil
"Relevée, my sweet, en pointe, en garde!"
Her innards twang as they uncoil

Herr Doktor's fingertips trace by
On craquelature from every fall
The daylight made to race quite by
With paint and paste and stitch and awl

"Patience, patient bumblebee,
Soon your audience will admire
A shapely arabesque or three
I'll wind you up, you'll never tire."

Herr Drosselmeyer's Doll

Starry tutu, sullen moue
A frozen carmine mouth
Twinkles as she jerks and swoons
The lady's ushered out

Gentlemen, this fallen angel is the illegitimate daughter of art and science. A modern marvel of engineering, clockworks elevated to the very natural process which even now sets your blood racing and your eyes flashing at such irreproachable beauty. Here is Gaia, here is Eve, here is Lilith, and I stand before you as her father. Sprung fully-formed from my brow, dewy and sweet; she can be yours and yours again, for her flesh is the incorruptible pale--the excuse from the wages of sin!

A Frozen Carmine Mouth

And as the sackcloth, sodden, slumps
Beneath these chipped and china limbs
The sour flesh pines, grunts, and thumps
"Step right up, boys, tuppence for a spin!"
by Abney Park

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Cracks: Souzou Eien, Broken China Doll
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Gloria
Crown & Rings: Paper Moon, Electric Liberity
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Earrings: Eclectica, Manhattan
Right Eye: De La Soul, Rainbow
Left Eye: Rue, Elemental Snow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Lipstick: Heartsick, Crimson Lips
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Key: Eclectic Randomness, Bronze Key
Necklace: G Field, Key Necklace
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Finger Nails: A:S:S, Luster
Dress: katat0nik, Metal Corset Dress
Shoes: SLink, Hera Wrap Heel

Pose: Glitterati

Location: Mythopoeia
Light Settings: Phototools, Epi Vintage Light
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blood in the Snow

At the Market

Within Second Life, it's easy to not make any significant decisions. Second Life is, in many ways, safe. Falling won't kill. Guns won't hurt. Even the words are often insulated by miles an mysteries. Offline, I spend a lot of time not being sure if my decisions are sound. I spend time doing things, then being afraid for the results. Bad things happen, and they're partially my fault, and then I blame myself. I try to do my best, and I so, so often fall far short of the goal. More and more, I'm beginning to wonder if the enormous output of energy I have on reminding myself of how much I suck is really worth it. It makes me stressed and unhappy. It's like those times as a teenager I would get a bloody nose and just watch the blood drip down onto the pure white of the porcelain basin, entranced by my own suffering. The contrast of red on white is a stark one, and one usually associated with a wound or injury. Second Life is a fangless world without actual physical wounds, but the ways in which we preset ourselves through our avatars can reflect the more subtle emotional wounds so many of us carry. Our pain and self-hatred can form themselves as bruises, or gems, or a cracked doll skin. We can reform our weaknesses into beautiful shapes and pictures, somehow redeeming pain with self-expression. The very safeness of Second Life makes it a prime place to flower free in ways we might be afraid to offline, to be honest in ways we may not offline, to relax our boundaries. The lack of consequences has it's own effects, encouraging me to rethink large aspects of my offline life in a place where it's easy and pleasant to pretend to have no cares.

Shadows and Eyes

I'm layered and warm in this look, starting with a curling Truth hairstyle which all  but engulfs my ears, large as they are. One thing I like about Truth's style is how it is open and loose without being too flyaway or formal. I also love the little bows, which are included and matched my outfit perfectly. My lips are a gorgeous shade of deep red from Adore & Abhor, and I was aiming for something rich and slightly dull to go with this charming cape top from Ur Favorite One. The invisi-layer is critical for this, but I quite like the effect of it overall; the hood is adorable, the collar looks soft and warm, and the length is charming. It's also quite unique, which is why I picked it up despite my usual resistance to separates. It's a little difficult to find clothing for underneath, but it works well with a knee length skirt or a pair of pants. I went for the former by layering under it one of katat0nik's latest releases, which unfortunately hides it's wonderful metal bodice but which still shows off a sweetly rigged, knee-length skirt with the simple, clear texturing that katat0nik is known for. My stockings are an old favorite - Stellar - and are a much darker color; I thought they balanced out my wings, from Deviance. I also wanted to capture some of the darker tones right before slipping into these elegant new shoes from Eclectica. I love the way the bows are done in particular; they really look like ribbon tacked on to the back. I also love the texturing - look at the rich red and soft cream, the gentle wood of the heel. It's such a simple design, and yet so lovely.

One Bad Apple?

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Truth, Velvet
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Lipstick: Adore & Abhor, 13 Lips Earth
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Finger Nails: A:S:S, Glamour silk
Cape: U.F.O., Ponpon Cape Coat (Collabor88)
Dress: katat0nik, Metal Corset Dress
Stockings: Stellar, In Bloom Tights
Shoes: Eclectica, Brocade Court Shoes

Poses: Diesel Works

Location: Crash Boat
Light Settings: Phototools, rara Home Fall Light
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Meme: The Geeky Meme

Deoridhe Grimsdottir

There is a certain irony in Strawberry making this meme a geeky meme about what we think is geeky, since I just started practicing writing in Circular Gallifreyan, one of the Alphabets of the Timelords based off of the recent series of Dr. Who, over the last couple of days. Circular Gallifreyan as I'm learning it isn't a language; it is more a cipher - meaning with a couple exceptions (y and c), one is simply reproducing English letters in a new form. I started where a lot of people start with a new cypher, especially one as gorgeous as this one - with my name and the names of people I spend the most time with, so at the top we have my name (Deoridhe Grimsdottir), and below we have Charlie and Rowan, two of my closest friends. A few steps into the process, I realized how easy it was to color these black and white shapes, and proceeded to do so according to what made sense for me, with the open spaces of consonants the background color while the vowels and the circle the consonants are cut out of are color two different colors or fades. Rainbows were obvious for me, and I tried to match the coloration to each person whose name I was making, trying to capture some of their personality in what appears to be abstract art.

Doctor Who was my first fandom (arguably my second; it's difficult to figure out if I was playing with My Little Ponies first, or watching Doctor Who), and was my fandom before we really had the concept of fandoms. The first episode I remember watching was Doctor 5 in The Caves of Androzani, peeking over the back of a couch because I was supposed to be in bed. I still remember being terrified at the changes to Peri's face, and how much I wanted to have watched it from the beginning. Doctor 4 is really "my" Doctor, though; the goofy curly haired man I grew up with. When he was exchanged for Doctor 5 I was outraged and upset, and I didn't grow to like Doctor 5 until years later when I rewatched the series without the same emotional attachments I had had; I still love Doctor 4 best, but I grew to appreciate Doctor 5's subtle humor, and while I still really dislike Doctor 6, when he began I loved Doctor 7 dearly and I was willing to accept subsequent Doctors without the same fire of partiality that drove me when I was a child and a teenager. I still prefer the pacing and story development of the earlier style of season, but I accept that the current style as well - Doctor Who has always been a reflection of our current times, and so it's imperfect as all things are imperfect, but I love the world it created which fired my imagination for so long.


  1. What do you consider yourself to be? Geek? Nerd? Dork? None of the above? All of the above? – I'm probably closest to a Geek. I was always too socially savvy to be a Nerd, though I was friends with Nerds, and I lived comfortably in the Nerd / Geek / Freak nexus that existed in my High School. I played tabletop Roleplaying Games, I own a gaming console, and I was the "expert" in my circle of friends for a video game (though I came to video games late), which I think all qualifies me. I watched Doctor Who, and Star Trek, played Magic: The Gathering briefly, and now spend a lot of my time in a video game called Second Life. I wasn't the computer person when I was a teenager - my brother and I parceled those roles out parsimoniously - but college introduced me to the wider internet and web; I was on BBSes for years, used to program on MOOs, made a web page with a clickable graphic in the 90s, actually made friends through the internet, and now write on a blog.

  2. What was the first computer you ever owned? – We had a Commodore 64 that I used to write on in Paperclip and play Die Pyramid. I got am IBM with Windows 3 when I went to college, and now I have two computers - a desktop and a laptop - both on the cheap end of good.

  3. When and how did you first get on the internet? – My college VAX account, which linked me up to BBSes, MUDs, and MOOs. I used to roleplay on MOOs a lot, and build rooms and program effects.

  4. Which geek fandom do you subscribe to? – Doctor Who, My Little Pony, Star Trek (kind of), Star Wars (I own Princess Amidala and Jedi Dolls, yo), Japanese Anime and Manga (particularly Magical Girl series like Wedding Peach and Princess Tutu), I used to cosplay Anime characters. I spent years writing fanfiction for Mortal Kombat (yes, it has a plot), Gundam Wing, and Final Fantasy 7. I have gotten more into American Comics series, like Avengers and Green Arrow, via the live action reboots. I tend to find the comics themselves too sexist for me to endure, however; the live action can't deform women's bodies the way drawings can, so it's easier for me to put up with the rest of the casual sexism and usual Bechtel Test Fail.

  5. Star Trek or Star Wars? – Star Wars, though I never thought it lived up to its potential. I also do like Star Trek, but the continual reboots lost my interest and certain aspects of it are just goofy. I would pick Doctor Who over both of them, however.

  6. How Geeky Are You? – I got 81%: "Smartypants! Why are you mucking about with stupid personality quizzes instead of solving the world’s energy problems and genetically engineering flies that can find their way around windows?" I'm actually not an engineer at all, but I know HEX colors, of course - I used to manually program my website - and I've always liked Buckyballs (they, like Fractals and other bits of match which become artistic, fascinate me). It would be interesting to know why they picked those questions, as a lot of them seemed to be specifically about historical knowledge and not anything I'd consider pure Geek, but then we'd need an operational definition of Geek and things could get messy.


( More pictures here. )


Built with GallifreyWrite, which was created by Sherman
Textured in Corel Paint Shop Pro

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Twisted Color Challenge: Week 47 - Dawn in Bayou

Arriving on the Train

For Dawn in the Bayou I wanted a simple, casual style. I actually started with an entirely different outfit in mind, but the pink ended up being all wrong, and the teal wasn't quite right, and so I shook my inventory a bunch and this outfit fell out. I ended up really liking it, for all that it was mostly happenstance; I'll start at the toes, just because I normally don't, and because that's the pink I ended up using as my basis. These amazing shoes from SLink are a 100% Donation Item to Soles for Souls, and also feature her new very high heeled feet. I love the color on this, ad the open cutwork along the calves. The medium shoe was a little fatter than my calves, but even up close the divergence is not obvious. There is either a pointy toed add-on to them, or the open toed version I'm showing here. I set my toe nail polish to match, picking Nine Inch Nails' Deco set for a dusky pink; she does awesome things with dusty colors. I added in these amazing rigged shorts from G Field which were released ages ago, and which I'm wearing in large because it fits my rounded stomach, and I love how it flutters down over my thighs really well. The only other bit of pink is my lips - a lovely shade of opal from Mock, with a lovely pearlescent finish. I kept it as close to nude as I could so that my teal eyeshadow - also from Mock - would stand out more.

Rawr Giggle

At belly button level is a gorgeous belly button ring from De La Soul, part of the Glaive set, which are not only color changing, but which also have a really fun design as well - all curls and dangles. I added teal nails from A:S:S, which are a lovely vibrant color that was a perfect match for this Sn@tch top which had been part of a fishing prize. I really recommend staying alert for Sn@tch's fishing changes, as the outfits which can be gotten that way are well worth the hundred dollar purchase of a fishing rod. I have an alt who fishes for me, and I'm always up for a trade. This top isn't mesh, the prims that make it up are snappy and cool, and those outfits usually include everything, from cloths to shoes to jewelry. Speaking of jewelry, this really cute necklace from AZE Designs has been hanging around my inventory for a while, and I still really like it. The shell design keeps it casual, and the turquoise is simply lovely. My hair is a recent release from Wasabi Pills, the jungle color almost right with a little bit of extra blue to make it match the teal. I love the short, loose hair which fluffs out at my cheeks. Finally, my cute and fun poses are from Don't Freak Out. What I like most about them is how natural and quirky they are - not only do I rarely have to content with twisted limbs, but I think the attitude of these poses really add something to my images without making me look like I'm a model on the sidewalk.

Airship Edge

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Mila
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: Mock, Glitter Pop Eshadow
Lipstick: Mock, Opal Lipcolor Matrix
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Finger Nails: A:S:S, Glamour silk
Jewelry: AZE Designs, Flux Turquoise & Puka Shell
Shirt: Sn@tch, Velvet Top (Fishing Prize)
Bellyring: De La Soul, Glaive Piercings
Shorts: G Field, Frill Shorts
Toe Nails: Nine Inch Nails, Deco
Shoes: SLink, Demi Boots Blush (Shoetopia Donation Item)

Pose: Don't Freak Out

Location: Miri's Club at the Station
Light Settings: Phototools, Got It light
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How NOT to pick up a chick in Second Life - Episode 12


It's been a while since I've been hit on - and this particular example is especially astonishing because of the rapid turnaround in attitude after a single "no." This is actually fairly common in these kinds of interactions, along with the astonishing lack of interest in anything about me beyond my appearance - despite the fact that lots of information about me is literally in my profile, a single click away.

[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: hello fairy girl
Deoridhe Quandry: Hello.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: blow kiss onto your forehead

This sort of immediate and inappropriate virtual physical contact is actually a technique used by Pick-up Artists who by and large disdain women. It's called Kino Escalation, and the idea is to build in a sense of familiarity and comfort in women by touching us almost immediately. Personally, it makes me deeply uncomfortable. While I am an inveterate hugger and cuddler, I expect people I just met to be quite a bit more hands off because I don't yet know what they want, and I am suspicious by nature at this point.

Deoridhe Quandry blinks.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: cute!!
Deoridhe Quandry: Thank you.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: very welcome, sweet
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: ok, sorry to bothered you, bye
Deoridhe Quandry: No bother at all.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: realy?
Deoridhe Quandry: Yes, I'm not inclined to lie in general.

[Private Chat] Deoridhe Quandry: I'm being hit on... badly.
[Private Chat] Ro: lol Deo

[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: is a good thing
Deoridhe Quandry: I believe so, yes.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: i like it~
Deoridhe Quandry: You like... what?
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: you're  not inclined to lie
Deoridhe Quandry: Ah, yes. Most people prefer truthful people.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: giggles, sure

[Private Chat] Deoridhe Quandry: Seriously. He keeps giggling at me.
[Private Chat] Charlie: dawww a giggler
[Private Chat] Ro: XD 

[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: lovely eeyes
Deoridhe Quandry: Thank you. A friend of mine made them.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: nice job..and  breast too, smiles
Deoridhe Quandry: Those are mostly the corset. It's a very good bit of mesh.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: yeah, realy  good..

[Private Chat] Deoridhe Quandry: And he's talking about my breasts. >.> Bets on how long it will take him to ask me for sex?
[Private Chat] Charlie: Catlyn is a girl's name btw Deo, did you notice that?
[Private Chat] Deoridhe Quandry: Yup, but male body. Sometimes a G I R L?
[Private Chat] Charlie: BURR is missing the lesbian hitting on Deo!!!
[Private Chat] Charlie: LOL

Finsing My Reflection

Deoridhe Quandry: Creators on Second Life are very skilled.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: yes, is a wonderful place for everything
Deoridhe Quandry: Not everything, but certainly a place for some creators to do wonderful work.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: yes, well to meet cute girls loke you  too giggles
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: like*
Deoridhe Quandry: I suppose. ^.^
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: :))
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: hug's
Deoridhe Quandry: Hugs?
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: yes

That is when I notice he has triggered a "hug" animation. I'm wary of animations from virtual strangers in Second Life, so I prefer to not accept them; it may say hug and do very different things, after all.

Deoridhe Quandry: No thank you. I just met you.
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: so disgusting you are huh, fuck you then
Deoridhe Quandry laughs. "Wow, are you really so pathetic that a single no makes you abusive?"
[Girl Name, Boy Shape]: sorry busy a bit

[Private Chat] Deoridhe Quandry: And "you are cute" to "you are disgusting" in a single no.
[Private Chat] Charlie: Wow... only took two letters.
[Private Chat] Deoridhe Quandry: Astonishing, isn't it?
[Private Chat] Charlie: totally

In many of my posts of this sort I've talked about how this process of being hit on in public is not really a complement - that it is more about the person making the approach than any actual interest in me. The exchange above is a clear example of this - the second I asserted myself as someone who could say "no," even by not responding, this person became first covertly and then overtly hostile. That's because this isn't ultimately about me at all - I am a receptical of all of his assumptions about women and the purpose we serve in his life, and any deviation from what he thinks should happen - e.g. he complements my breasts and I consent to physical contact with him - is met with not just hostility but extreme and rapid hostility. 

This is also part of why women are so reluctant to say no, even politely, in situations where this hostility can be followed up by violence. On Second Life I am safe. Short of griefing me - and there are tons of ways of responding to griefing - he can't harm me, and so it's safe for me to be completely honest and defend my own boundaries. If someone like this were hitting on me offline, though, I would be much more likely to lie and escape as quickly as possible, consenting to what I need to in order to stave off the inevitable overt hostile response to a no as I seek out a permanent escape. In a world where a simple "no thank you" is met with "fuck you,"  from entitled creeps, the best defense for women is to not be clear.

Sun Spots

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Exile, Dream of Paradise
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbowstances 2
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: MiaSnow, rainbow 4 green
Lipstick: Mock, Bella Vetro Gloss
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Virtual Insanity, All Hallows Eve 2
Jewelry: Mandala, Milky Way
Corset: Immateria, Dunwich Corset
Skirt: Mon Tissu, Oxford Pencil Skirt
Stockings: Miamai, Ombre Stockings (Shoetopia Gatcha)
Shoes: Boom, Olycena Bow Pumps (Shoetopia)

Poses: Grafica

Location: Manet
Light Settings: Phototools, Lo Light 04
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Monday, November 18, 2013

Twisted Color Challenge: Week 46 - Rosewood Mist

Twisted and Graceful

I stumbled on my outfit for Rosewood Mist entirely by accident. I've been running so far behind on the Twisted Color Challenge that I started collecting things, and by Friday I was very concerned since I'd landed something for the next challenge, but nothing yet for Rosewood Mist - and then I went to the Limited Bizarre, and a few stops later my entire outfit was set with remarkable east, and a little tinting. To begin with, the gown from Les Petit Details is a limited edition, but when I saw the shape of the dress I simply couldn't resist purchasing it and showing it off. I love an unusual silhouette, and this one manages to combine transparency and blousiness with with a sleek minidress. The dress isn't quite smooth at the waist - it's a rigged mesh mini over a textured layer - and the blousy overshirt doesn't quite touch to the edges of the skirt, but I found as I moved and took pictures that this doesn't stand out at all. I'm sincerely tempted to head over to the store to pick up a few others of this style; despite Second Life being a place where almost anything can be made, a lot of clothing seems to fall into familiar silhouettes and styles. I wanted a loose hairstyle that mixes formality and informality, and this hair from LeLutka fit the bill well. I'm not used to quite such fluffy hair, and I quite like how it looks when my hands end up tangled within it.

Uncertainty in the Sole

Wearing this dress, I then found my way to the Acid Lily Gallery because I had seen some stockings that interested me greatly. Right now I'm in the process of adding to my SLink foot compatible stockings, now that my shoe collection has grown so significantly, and these pastel stockings with wing detail from Cannibelle simply called to me. There is a little bit of overlap at the ankle, something which I believe is almost impossible to remove for sheer stockings, but otherwise they are flawless (The creator contacted me and let me know that if you only wear the underwear level, it removes the overlap at the ankles.). I liked how their sheerness echoed the sheer top of my dress, and the sheerness of my wings, keeping that theme consistent and balanced. On my feet I changed tack and made the blue darker, though, adding some rope detailing in these amazing new releases from Lassitude & Ennui, available at Shoetopia where I took these pictures (Can you believe I could still turn on shadows? Neither can I.). I have long been a fan of their shoes, but these latest releases have simply blown me away. The knots holding the bands of rope are exquisite, and the shoe itself somehow manages to be both rough and delicate all at once. One other thing I adore Lassitude & Ennui for is leaving their shoes modify-ok, which means I'm able to take their white ones and tint them slightly blue, thus pleasing me greatly. One final note on Shoetopia, I found Elysium Hynes' pinterist board for it incredibly helpful. In addition to pictures of all of the available items, she also included links to each area, and so I was able to leap about from stop to stop picking up only what I absolutely wanted to. Bless her, truly.

Bent Relief

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: LeLutka, Dulcina
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Orc Inc, Pastel Shimmer
Bracelet: Eclectica, Nouveau Leaves
Dress: Les Petits Detail, Chica Dress
Stockings: Cannibelle, Angel Wing Tights
Shoes: Lassitude & Ennui, Bound

Pose: Olive Juice

Location: Shoetopia
Light Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Monday Meme: Introspection

This Monday Strawberry is asking us all to be introspective, and since that's sort of my middle name, I'm built for this kind of stuff.I love, sometimes to excess, examining myself and the world around me, trying to highlight the patterns which weave through all of our lives and tie us together.I am imperfect at best, but very good at talking about it, and I tried to pick some of my past pictures that fit an introspective mood.

Soft Cloud
  1. Regardless of your current number, how old do you actually feel? – I felt seventeen for a very long time. Now... maybe mid twenties? It isn't connected to a real age, more of a body sense.

  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? – It really depends on what you're failing to do, and what you're trying to do. I would rather fail at doing something ultimately wrong, than try to do something without integrity. I'm not always sure that trying is the proper thing to do in our lives, and failing is often outside of the realm of our control. In my job, though, I often try to fail as part of sharing with the person I'm working with that failing isn't the end of the world - and I think what I've learned best is how to recover from failure, and how to make an honest apology.

  3. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? – I honestly don't know. I think our entire culture would be so different that it wouldn't be recognizable to us. Even back in the time when the "average lifespan" was forty, what that meant was that infant mortality was extremely high; there were still elderly people.

  4. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? – It really depends on how you define "right." I try to do everything with integrity, though sometimes that integrity is acknowledging my own tiredness and weaknesses because they are integral to who I am. I would not be myself without my flaws. I want to do right things, but I'm sort of resigned to eternal failure on that count, as errors will always be made, and I'm unlikely to ever have perfect enough knowledge to always act correctly (and sometimes there is no correct action).

  5. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? – I think it's impossible for me to be a simpleton. That sounds really conceited typed out like that, but the truth is I was raised with critical analysis of media by my mother, who was really worried about the effect of children's cartoons on me, and even when I'm being joyful and silly and acting deliberately stupidly, there's a layer of self-reflection in there which I think doesn't enable me to be "simple." My training as a therapist has only increased the layered nature of my cognition; I now routinely keep at least two layers of thought going, and that doesn't really vanish even when I'm not working with a client.

  6. Roses and Flames

  7. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? – I have no idea... I should ask my friends. I feel like I'm a bad friend, and that's why I don't have many, but I'm also an introvert. Honestly, I don't know. I know I meet people badly; meaning I am bad at it.

  8. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now? – Yes, and honestly... yes. I have a few things I've been really upset by over time, and all of them have long and lasting effects on my life.

  9. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? – When I got my intern number for being a therapist. I actually screamed aloud and spent a while jumping around. I was a lot more excited by it than I expected I would be.

  10. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? – Absolutely not - I love my job - but I would probably set up a trust to fund my position at my job, or set up some sort of clinic through my employer to better help my clients. We have so little, and we do a lot with it but there are so many more people we should be helping, and we just don't have the staff or the funds or the stability.

  11. Wistful

  12. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? – I would Tardis together my group of friends from where I last lived with two of my cousins, some Second Life friends, and my work friends and clients. Then I'd have to figure out a way to pull together everyone they want to be with on the last day, because I don't think it's right that my desire to be with them should trump their desire to be with someone else. Around there, even in the abstract this becomes a logistical nightmare.

  13. What do you feel is the difference between being alive and truly living? – Most simply, being alive is respiration and truly living is reflecting on the purpose of respiration, but sometimes I think many other mammals have humans beat and live more fully because they are always in touch with their senses, instead of distracted by deep thoughts. Yeah, that directly contradicts itself; I am Legion and I contain multitudes.

  14. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? – I hate knowing how I hurt people. Most of my biggest mistakes are times I have wounded others where I can never make amends; I can never fix it. That's why I hate making mistakes even while I acknowledge I inevitably will. I'm trying to get better at making amends.

  15. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? – I'd wear different clothing. I love Lolita, but offline I feel like I look like a pile of laundry in it (and I haven't prioritized making some that fits me) and so I don't wear it often. I also might go out more; the reality that people judge me based on my weight makes meeting new people really difficult for me.

  16. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? – Find people who will always tell you their truth and use them as your lodestones - not to determine where you stand, but to figure out your orientation when making your own choices. We use North to orient ourselves, but we don't try to move there.

( More pictures here. )

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Twisted Color Challenge: Week 45: Magician’s Life

Two Sides

The Magician's Life is one of slight of hand - of drawing the eye one way while magic goes on the other way. Much like the Lost Town display by Rebeca Bashly, the direction you're looking in changes everything. For a long time I have thought, I'm not sure why, that bell hooks was no longer alive - that I had her books to relate to and think on, but that she herself was in the past. Like how we talk about slavery and discrimination against Native Americans as if it happened hundreds of years ago, there is a way in which my perspective and inherent racism set me at a distance from bell hooks, and it was only through one of those incredible rabbit holes we cannot plan that I had the pleasure of seeing her and Melissa Harris-Perry speak on a wide range of topics related to gender, race, and class - as well as seeing the give and take of discussion, and a small smattering of how they handle various kinds of interactions with others in the community. I finished the talk with a mind stuffed full of thoughts and an increased appreciation for my own blindness. Sometimes it feels as if I spend my whole life preparing for these moments where I will discover I am wrong, I was unable to perceive what is around me - and then all at once it springs forth in front of me. There is barely any room for the shame, so lost am I in the joy of new discovery.

One thing which stood out for me is how we loose other people in our rush to make statements about the circumstances we all live within. This is something I've struggled with myself. In my rush to condemn sexism, I have often ended up targeting other women - policing their dress and appearance, judging their lives and choices, holding myself up against them as somehow better because of my relative wealth and circumstances. This paves over a fundamental insecurity, one which Harris-Perry touched on when she discussed how her voice was amplified at the behest of powerful white men. How power is created, gathered, maintained, and transferred is at the root of a lot of the inequality in the world. Once it passed through land and lineages. Now it passes through cash. In both cases it passed through the hands of men in the history of the culture I am within, and that tendency bends the world. I have a lot more to think about, but I and deeply grateful to bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry for sparking so much thought in only an hour and a half.

Stepping Out of Frame

My hair is a gorgeous release from Alice Project; it was a gatcha prize with this coloration, but the hair itself can be bought at her store. I love her rainbow hued hair, especially when it's all winking in and out of the light like this. I tucked under it a delicate crown from Deviance, another gatcha prize and one of a number of gorgeous choices - all tintable, which is what I did in order to make a silvery circlet match up with the purple and cream of Magician's Life. My wings are also from Deviance, their usual shimmering white tinted ever so slightly toward cream to balance out the purple of my gown. My layered lips are a combination of two lips by Adore & Abhor - the larger purple lips forming a frame for her smaller baroque style, this time in sparkling gold. I tipped my nails in cream and gold thanks to Orc Inc, who has some of the most complete and economical nail sets on the grid. And finally, the gown - this gorgeous gown from Baiastice released for the FaMESHed event, caught my attention from the very first. I especially like the scalloped patterns on the sleeves, and how they are ruched above the elbow, but the careful rigging of the skirt so that it almost always appears like the skirt is skipping along the ground or flowing up with my movements. While I didn't photograph it, one of the !bang poses I flipped through is of my avatar holding her knee, and the dress bent almost perfectly at that joint, with none of the noodliness that you sometimes see with other dresses or boots, where the knee joint is rubbery and rounded. Instead it moved beautifully, and the ruffled edge makes even simple standing poses look elegant and natural.

Pigeons in the Park

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Alice Project, Steph II
Crown: Deviance, Erulisse Circlet
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Lipstick 1: Adore & Abhor, Fluff Lips
Lipstick 2: Adore & Abhor, Silent Star - Shine
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Orc Inc, Pastel Shimmer
Necklace: Lassitude & Ennui, Stacked Pearls
Dress: Baiastice, Shannon

Pose: !bang

Location: Lost Town
Light Settings: TOR, NIGHT That Spells Moon 1
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flying Above It All

Disturbing Wings in Flight

In the oldest books with angels, the first thing the angels would always say is, "Fear Not." In an era where angels are more associated with pretty women in big dresses plucking babes from danger, this seems like an odd opening line. These days, everyone could easily pick an angel out of a lineup and would most likely go to them for directions first, if they were lost. In days long ago, though, angels were fearsome creatures, as likely to smite and burn you as to protect you from danger. The cuddly, sweet version of angels is a modern invention; a de-toothing of the undercurrents of wrath and danger which permeated most cultures around the world. We, and by we I mean the relatively moneyed, privileged sort, can afford this distance from danger over-all because we are so little under threat. With few exceptions, I can count on not expiring from most threats. When I'm sick, I can go to the doctors, and the same when I'm injured. I have more than enough food - even too much some times - and of such a wide variety that I get all of my nutrients. Wild animals are easily avoidable, as are most serious accidents. In a world so insulated from death and despair, and even often minor inconvenience, there is no wonder that the stories children grow up on can likewise be so insulated from pain and death.

And so now angels protect us, and no longer say, "Fear Not"... because we wouldn't fear them anyway.

Walking Into the Brush

All of my expressive poses are are from a relatively new to me store called Don't Freak Out. What I love most is how natural they all seem - there is no stiffness or awkwardness in the poses. Also, many of them have a certain amount of emotional resonance and content which is what I've really been seeking out lately. I felt like their attitude fit this angelic badass outfit from Bare Rose, complete with wings and an awesome spindle-killy thing which I promptly threatened all my friends with. It has all kinds of spikes for smashing and slashing. I love the armor style of the bodice, and how smoothly it moves with me through the world. While bare Rose only comes in one size, it is a size which thankfully works for me, and I think I look fantastic. My cool, buckle boots are the latest release from Dilly Dolls, and they're a really smooth, thick shape with a texture sort of like a heavy rubber. I love the dual color style of them; it really makes then stand out. I saw the hair I'm wearing on someone else and inspect-stalked my way back to Ploom. I love the rise in curly hair on Second Life, especially when it's combined with rigged mesh and length like this - it really looks like the hair is tumbling free and wild, while it is also kept in place as I move.

Under Water

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Ploom, Lislie
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyeshadow: Mock, Pantone Fall eShadow
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Lipstick: Mock, Peenk Secret Menu
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Nine Inch Nails, Butterfly
Outfit: Bare Rose, Fortune
Stockings: Stellar, In Bloom
Shoes: Dilly Dolls, Charla Boots

Pose: Don't Freak Out

Location: Nouk Land
Light Settings: TOR, DUSK Fairytale Glow
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Twisted Color Challenge: Week 44: Autumn Grasshopper

Autumn at a Distance

Autumn Grasshopper makes me think of a new show I just found called Omaki-san and her Seven Companions, a story about the Wolf, the Hunter, and Red Riding Hood which just happens to also have the slothful Grasshopper and the industrious ant (along with a number of other fableline creatures). It is supposed to be a story about how sloth is bad, and industry is good, but re-imagined with Okami-san, it can also mean that what appears to be sloth is sometimes cleverness, and what appears to be industry is... well, it's still getting a lot of things done, but this time with a sarcastic comment as well. I love revisions of old, simple stories that mess with and remake their messages, and Okami-san and her Seven Companions does this over and over again in a thoroughly entertaining manner, all at the whim of the Jinn.

In stories, large groups usually function smoothly, with regularly timed conflict so that everyone can learn a lesson and grow a bit older. Outside of fiction, this is a much messier prospect - allies and enemies are much less clearly defined, and people can want to help each other and do it so ineptly that they end up no longer friends. While sometimes there is actual malice involved, a lot of times it really is a matter of people becoming so caught up in their own way of seeing the world that they miss where the other people are in it. I've seen times when people are saying the exact same things using different words and seemingly fighting over it; it's both amazing and enlightening to the many difficulties in connecting between people. Communication is a lot more of a fraught thing than people think, with flaws both in expression and reception.

Crisp Mask Smiles

I'm decked out in several of my old favorites today - katat0nik with Wasabi Pills for hair, jewelry from Lassitude & Ennui, a gorgeous mask from Spyralle, and feet by SLink. It feels like I've been doing a lot of things outside of my comfort zone lately, so it feels really nice to return to a bunch of stores that I've worn and loved for years. The dress, from katat0nik like I said, is actually the texture-changing fatpack. katat0nik has been experimenting with HUDs and not only does my inventory thank her, but also it offers up a bonus in the form of two areas to texture change, so I could mix and match orange and yellow between the gown and the apron section. You have to buy a fatpack for this kind of service (ouch, my aching pocketbook), but man is it ever fun and worth it - and I'm not just saying that because she leaves cute messages on most of my pictures (ilukat).  This cute, short hair is an example of why Wasabi Pills is, in many ways, "my" hair store. When I'm not sure what to wear or what I feel like, I go traipsing through and usually end up in something from them; the mesh fly-away detailing is part of why - look at those thin strands of hair which a year ago would have been a texture, but now is fully realize locks of hair. Simply splendid. It also interferes with my wings less than the textured hair strands do - mesh textures often make each other disappear when alpha is involved. The bird I tucked in among the locks is from Birdy, a new-to-me store; isn't it completely adorable? It comes in a set of three with blue and pink shoulder birds, but I love the effect of a bird on the head (worth two in the bush).

The really fun mask is one of a long line of gatcha prizes (damn you Kerryth) that I obsessively collected with the exception of one. In the continuing dramahumor of me and gatchas, I got multiples of both Rares but not one of the Commons - it's rigged, I tell you. Rigged. 8D Anyway, the mask is from Spyralle using a form she put out ages ago for some awesome emotional masks, but the textures on these are simply divine. I chose a delicate Mandelbrot of yellow over pink for this look, but there's a reason I gatchaed until I had as many as I could - each one is a tiny work of art for your face. The jewelry from Lassitude & Ennui is an old release for Harry Potter, and marks me inaccurately as part of Gryffindor (I'm actually a Ravenclaw girl, but the blues clashed). I thought it was a super cute idea when I saw it, though - little symbols to wear to show your affiliation; nothing flashing or extravagant, but simple and clear. Finally, hands and feet both are by SLink, and so are these thri-colored shoes which keep mysteriously ending up on my feet for Twisted Color Challenges. Honestly, it's so hard to resist the urge to cover the color spectrum of the challenge on ones feet, and I am quite lazy, all things considered. Also, these are simply stunning shoes which I can return to time and again for both casual and dressing looks.

A Day of Fancy

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Cora
Bird: Birdy, Lil Tweet
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyeshadow: Mock, A touch of Magic (Group Gift)
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Mask: Spyralle, Samhain Mask 7
Lipstick: Mock, Machine Envy Lip Jelle
Wings: Illusions, Apsara Wings
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Virtual Insanity, All Hallows Eve 1
Necklace: Lassitude & Ennui, Heraldic necklace
Dress: katat0nik, Choco Dress
Bloomers: Sn@tch, Bloomers
Shoes: SLink, Tri-Colour Wedges

Pose: Don't Freak Out

Location: Collins Land
Light Settings: TOR, MIDDAY - My Noon
Water Settings: Nam's Beach Scene

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Meme: Best & Worst

Suspicious Noises

Strawberry has a new meme for us, this one a series of questions about best and worst on various topics (I added in a final question, and I'll add others as I read them). This reminded me a lot of "Good Idea / Bad Idea" in a way, too.
  1. Best thing about Second Life: Open exploration of what it is to be people and how we relate to each other.
    Worst thing about Second Life: The limited field and how difficult it is to transmit information.

  2. Best thing in your inventory: Gifts from my friends and gifts to give to my friends.
    Worst thing in your inventory: The holes of things I wish I had, people I wish were close.

  3. Best earliest SL memory: The first friend I made on Second Life, and finding her in a different group where we became even better friends. It was my first experience with the sometimes "small world" effect of Second Life.
    Worst earliest SL memory: A former friend, and one of the first people I met on Second Life, saying that he thought I was stupid and / or crazy for being religious.

  4. Best thing you learned because of SL: Deeper and more serious insight into identity and how it works, especially under pressure.
    Worst thing you learned because of SL: I can like someone and want to relate to them and it can turn out to be impossible.

  5. Best thing about blogging: I actually love commenting on other peoples' blogs and the degree of conversation that can happen on peoples lives, experiences, and opinions. My blog doesn't have a large enough commetariate to support any sort of sustained discussion, largely because I am so inconsistent.
    Worst thing about blogging: How it can trigger my self-righteousness.

  6. Best thing to have with french toast: Real Maple Syrup
    Worst thing to have with french toast: Worcestershire Sauce

  7. Best thing about memes: An excuse to use old pictures and hope people like them.
    Worst thing about memes: Never being sure if what I said was really all that interesting.

  8. From The Poultry Report:
    Best TV show I'm watching in Real Life: I just started watching Miss Fischer's Murder Mysteries, an Australian series set in the twenties, through Netflix. Awesome, feminist, communist, independent heroine with interesting stories full of heart. I am a total fan.
    Worst TV show I'm watching in Real Life: I've been watching Project Runway on and off, and while, and while it used to be one of the best I watched, the drama over quality lever has slipped, and now they focus on drama and don't give the creators the time or energy to really innovate. It makes me very sad in a rather profound manner.

  9. From Virtual Bloke:
    Best thing about my RL job: Watching people move from injured and helpless to confident and capable. I have a couple of people who I just grin endlessly watching them in the world now - they inspire me.
    Worst thing about my RL job: Over and over again, being in that helpless, dark, terrified, wounded place with each new person. It gets easier, but it never gets easy.

  10. From Wulla's Wardrobe:
    Best cola ever tasted: Cherry Coke (with Vanilla Coke a close second)
    Worst Cola ever tasted: Any of the diet cokes; I hate the aftertaste of sugar substitutes. FUnny story about this - I was once a random taste tester for Diet Pepsi versus Diet Coke. I kept selecting the Diet Coke because Pepsi is sweeter than Coke, so I kept choosing the one which had slightly less of the awful aftertaste, and the person kept retesting me - apparently not realizing I could tell the difference between the two. After three tries, I told him I wanted to stop because both tasted so awful to me and it wasn't fun.

  11. From Kittywitchin':
    Best thing in the world ever: Those moments when it feels like everything snaps into focus and you are exactly where you need to be doing what you need to do.
    Worst thing in the world ever: Cruelty to others for it's own sake, and the enjoyment of cruelty to others. I know it happens. I don't know why.

  12. From Chaotic Virtuality:
    The best thing about my own time in SL: Meeting really wonderful people who saw me, and liked me, and think I'm valuable and wonderful.
    The worst thing about my own time in SL: The fear that the people I've lost over the years were right, and I really am not worth anything.

    The best thing about blogging, social media, and/or Second Life: The ability to learn about the lives of people I otherwise never would have met.
    The worst thing about blogging, social media, and/or Second Life: How much time and energy it takes to keep up with everything; sometimes I wish I didn't have to sleep.

  13. From Pics By Peep:
    Best thing to wake up to: My kitty cat snuggling into my side and miaowing gently at me.
    Worst thing to wake up to: A fire alarm. Yes, it's happened, and it was awful.

  14. From Harlow Hesop:
    Best TV show I’m addicted to:  Addicted is an odd word... it implies to me something that I return to time and time again; perhaps even something I own. I think His and Her Circumstances, a Japanese anime, fits the bill the most; it's a very well done series about relationships and coming to age ith a lot of humor and imperfect people who make it work out somehow.
    Worst TV Show I’m addicted to: Teen Wolf. It's a really fun modern series, that I could go all kinds of into depth about, but the truth is that it involves a lot of bare chests and snarling, and that is simply sexy.

  15. From failbait:
    Best part of an ice cream cone: That moment just when it begins reacting to what it's surrounded by - getting the crust it gets in air (or if we ditch the cone, the meltyness with hot fudge, or the fizz with soda).
    Worst part of an ice cream cone: No more ice cream. 8(

  16. From Cosy in SL:
    Best thing to do on a crisp autumn morning: Lie in a hammock wrapped in blankets and read while the leaves fall around you.
    Worst thing to do on a crisp autumn morning: Rake. I hate raking. 

  17. From Angel Style:
    Best thing to have dis­cov­ered in SL one evening in 2006: How to fly. It was exhilarating and overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been different if I stayed in 2006.
    Worst thing to have dis­cov­ered in SL one evening in 2006: How afraid I was of approaching anyone - I still feel that way. If I see a little ball of green dots, I'm most likely headed in the opposite direction. The few times I've approached a group cold, I've regretted it.

  18. From Chic at Phil's Place:
    Best thing to do first thing in the morning: Curl up in bed under soft, fuzzy blankets and sheets with a warm, cuddly kitty cat and a good book.
    Worst thing do first thing in the morning: Get up and go out into the cruel, cold world.

  19. From Pixel Styles:
    Best thing to have for a great kiss: Anticipation.
    Worst thing to have for a great kiss: Too much spit. 8(

  20. From Double Exposure:
    Best thing about my day: Seeing someone I love dearly take the world on and triumph.
    Worst thing about my day: Looking for a new car.

  21. From SL Time Well Wasted:
    Best song I’ve heard this week: Cutie Chaser, on a Dance Dance Revolution Game.
    Worst song I’ve heard this week: I didn't hear any I didn't like... it's hard to find music I don't enjoy, though.

  22. From Fashion Cupcakes Rambling:
    Best thing to do with friends in SL: Play. I love playing tag, racing around sims, or playing games. I especially adore playing Cluedo.
    Worst thing to do with friends in SL: Be frozen out. I had a couple of friends gradually just start to ignore and lie to me, and it hurt a great deal.

  23. From Who What Where SL Fashion:
    Best thing about mesh clothing: Having clothing (and hair) which doesn't cut through your body because it's bending with you. I can remember editing prims to make the flexi arch out more naturally, and it was always a pain in the ass.
    Worst thing about mesh clothing: Changing my shape. I'm a bit of a shape princess, and I like my round belly shape, but most mesh is made for flat stomachs and enormous butts.

  24. From Warm Winter Nights:
    Best thing about photography: Seeing how much I've improved over the years, both in technique and style, as well as how much Second Life has improved over time.
    Worst thing about photography: This is petty, but I'm jealous of the people who get 50+ likes. My top picture is under twenty, and most don't land above five. I know this is more about volume and time spent on my pictures, but I still feel jealous sometimes.

  25. From Ce Soir Arts:
    Best thing to have with a croissant: Café au lait, orange juice, and a small block of chocolate.
    Worst thing to have with a croissant: Anything involving vegetables.
Snow White vs Cage

( More pictures here. )

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Monday Meme: Look Alikes Challenge


This is a Selfie Challenge, and so I decided to break out the cell phone and take a selfie - then take a more full on picture to run through the Celebrity Look Alike Generator and see who I fit. I am awful at noting who I look like - or even who other people look like. I have to admit, the results surprised me - I suppose I can see the resemblance, especially since Second Life gives us nearly perfect faces under the right lighting.For Second Life my nose is very broad, but compared to these faces it seems much more reasonable and natural than I had anticipated; Deoridhe's face is based as closely to mine as I can manage, given the limitations of Second Life, but I'm not sure me as myself would land any of these gorgeous faces - especially since my hair is darker offline than online. My shape in Second Life is an integral part of my self image, so much so that when I tried on a mesh head I was strongly troubled and couldn't wear it for long. I have much less of an issue with this on avatars I don't identify with so closely, but Deoridhe is me in a very long-standing and profound manner, and Second Life images have been my appearance online for years now - prior to that it was Gaia Online avatars, and prior to that it was an image I colored from a drawing someone made of Deoridhe after meeting me.


Identity in an age where so much of our communication happens virtually, over cell phones and computers, can seem like a much trickier thing. There is a lot of talk about how we're in a new era of remote communication, and while I do believe remote communication is more immediate and widespread than ever before, there is a long history of letters flying madly and wildly across the world, connecting together the most unlikely of confidants. Email and telephone conversations have picked up a lot of the letter's slack, though much briefer now; what's really new in this electronic age are things like blogs that have world wide spread - there were always newspapers and journals, but the ease and access is so much greater now than it ever had been. I have heard people argue that this means the level of discourse has become thinned and petty, but I disagree; a lot of what we communicate about is small and about other people. Hidden within this discourse is an undercurrent of deeper ideas, though. How we treat others speaks a lot about what we value and our ethical thoughts and perspective on the world, especially when we're assuming it doesn't matter.

Call Me, Maybe?


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Cora
Bird: Birdy, Lil Tweet
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyeshadow: Mock, A touch of Magic (Group Gift)
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Lipstick: Mock, Machine Envy Lip Jelle
Wings: Illusions, Apsara Wings
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Nine Inch Nails, Deco
Necklace: Lassitude & Ennui, Heraldic necklace
Dress: katat0nik, Choco Dress
Bloomers: Sn@tch, Bloomers
Shoes: Bliensen + MaiTai, Cha Cha Cha

Poses: Adorkable Poses

Location: Isle of Amras (new build)
Light Settings: AnaLutetia, AvatarOpt
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Twisted Color Challenge: Week 43 - Beach Club

My Own Balcony

Beach Club is a really cute color combination, and I ended up with a fun summer outfit even as the weather grows colder. I took the pictures around the Isle of Amras, the roleplaying sim I was staff for which closed recently - we're beginning to make plans for an entirely new roleplay, which looks like it will be a lot of fun and a real change of pace. Probably the most fun thing about it is being part of a large group of people hammering out the details of a fictional world together. Watching the social dynamics, how writing things out work, how having fun and actually getting things done need to be balanced somehow (usually on the backs of our few organized, sensible folk) is very, very fun. It's also exciting to see a bunch of people with very solid opinions and natures go head to head and try to hammer out differences. All in all, I'm having a lot of fun, even if there are the occasional moments of "Mommy and Daddy are fighting. 8( 8( 8(" It helps that everyone is a lot of fun to be around and play with - and I really think that what we make together is going to be amazing. The hard part is setting up the bones to build upon and getting everyone on the same page; once that's done, I think things will go a lot more smoothly. I'm most excited at the thought of having a whole new build to begin to take photographs in, especially one where I have full rezzing rights, so I can set down projectors inside of buildings and really make some awesome images.

Goodbye Courtyard

My hair is an amazing recent release from Underscore which is very unique and Nordic style. I really liked how the four-strand braid reacted to light and shadows - look at how distinct and round it is. I also really like the curls of the bangs and how the hair is uneven along the top; there's a natural effect to it which I really enjoyed. I'm a huge fan of waist length hair, and this one also comes with a boobs-friendly version as well as one for my ...slightly less busty than Lola's figure. My jewelry is from Virtual Impressions and is one of the lower-price new releases I picked up a while ago; their group is one of the most profitable I've ever joined, as for the first week anything new is release, group members get it on a significant discount. I always get the color-changing version, which comes with a HUD, and the jewelry can also be edited for fine refinements. The surplus of options simply makes me squee. My lacy shorts and hairflower are both from the same place, G Field, which is probably one of my favorite stores of all time. I've been seeing more of her creations hit the major fashion blogs, and it makes me so very happy. My amazing and fun shoes are from SLink and are a perfect fit for my SLink feet (SLink hands also shown). I like how the thin ribbons curl up the ankles and how delicate and summer like they are. Finally, my very cute and bright green nails are from Nine Inch Nails, who has an amazing selection of very pretty, formal and informal nails for pretty much every occasion.

Worlds Collide

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Underscore, Olisa
Flower: G Field, Rose Hairpin
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Wings: Illusions, Apsara Wings
Jewelry: Virtual Impressions, Wendy
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Nine Inch Nails, Deco
Shirt: Tiny Bird, St Augustine (dress)
Shorts: G Field, Frill Shorts
Shoes: SLink, Ilena Sandals

Pose: !bang

Location: Isle of Amras (now closed)
Light Settings: Places Betham
Water Settings: Glassy

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Friday, November 8, 2013

How NOT to Be a Manager on Second Life

Faust is Surrounded

A couple of nights ago, four friends and I were goofing around and decided to go to a well-known Sandbox to play around. One of our friends, Nami, went afk at the landing point, and so to keep us all together, the remaining four of us pushed her off of the landing area (where it was no-build) to the green (where it was build) so that we could put her in a ball and roll her to a corner until she came back.

While we were standing around waiting for Faust to build the Ball of Transportation, I was suddenly kicked to the next sim over. I have to admit, I initially thought I was orbited because that's exactly how it seemed the last time; it wasn't until I saw the message below that I began to think it wasn't a griefer, but it seemed very strange that I would be kicked out of a sim while standing there and watching a friend build something.

[2013/11/06 22:16:19]  Second Life: [Resident] ejected you from this land.

I was very confused, and so were my friends (we were chatting over voice) and so one of them - Fluxa - teleported me back, but I was bounced back to my home by something else, which doesn't appear to have remained in my log. A moment later, Fluxa said she had been ejected as well - but weirdly none of our other three friends were kicked. Someone grabbed the rules, trying to figure out why were were kicked; since Fluxa and I were both dressed in Lolita, we thought perhaps it was because we were mistaken for children. Not wanting to make assumptions, I contacted the person in question.

[2013/11/06 22:20:22]  Deoridhe Quandry: Excuse me, why did you eject me?

I never received a response - and I mean that quite literally. At no point did this person ever respond to me. He did respond to Fluxa, but not with anything approaching an answer. We eventually discovered he thought Fluxa and I were pushing Faust, an assumption made all the more incredible by the fact that Fluxa and Faust are partners in Second Life and all of us were standing around each other on the green when first I and then Fluxa was banned. [Her perspective is outlined here.]

After some checking around, I found another manager who was online and had a deeply unproductive interaction. I have no idea if he agreed with [Resident] or not, but he did direct me to who seemed to be the current head manager of the Sandbox, as the Sandbox Group Creator was no longer part of the group.

[2013/11/06 22:30:54]  Deoridhe Quandry: Excuse me, Mr. [Manager]; do you have a moment to speak with me regarding the Fermi Landgroup you manage?
[2013/11/06 22:31:27]  [Manager]: Yes what do you need ?

 [2013/11/06 22:31:55]  Deoridhe Quandry: I was just banned for playing with a friend of mine in the group by [Resident] and I was wondering if there was a way to appeal the ban?
[2013/11/06 22:32:09]  Deoridhe Quandry: He apparently banned me for being one of four people pushing a fifth friend of ours into the building area.
[2013/11/06 22:32:20]  Deoridhe Quandry: But he refused t respond to me; he responded to a friend he also banned.
[2013/11/06 22:33:10]  Deoridhe Quandry: Fluxa Core
[2013/11/06 22:34:32]  [Manager]: well it is him you will need to talk to he can take you off the list but he must do it or the owner. I would help if I could

[2013/11/06 22:34:54]  Deoridhe Quandry: He refuses to respond to me. 8/ But I will contact her - what's her full name?
[2013/11/06 22:35:29]  [Manager]: [Owner] ... even better I think good luck

[2013/11/06 22:35:41]  Deoridhe Quandry: Thank you so kindly.
[2013/11/06 22:35:54]  [Manager]: :)

Newcomers - with Lolas 8D

So, as recommended, I sent the following message to the owner.

Dear Ms. [OWNER]:

This evening (11-06, around 10:00 SLT) at [XXX] Sandbox, I am my friends teleported in to do some building and playing around. Approximately ten to fifteen minutes after I was there with my four friends, I was ejected by [RESIDENT]). When my friends teleported me back (I was confused by being ejected) I was ejected again by an object and now I seem to be banned from the sim.

I contacted Mr. [RESIDENT], but he did not respond. Mr. [MANAGER] was online at the time but said he could not help me, and directed me to you.

Mr. [RESIDENT] did respond to a friend of mine (Fluxa Core, also banned) saying the ban was for pushing a mutual friend of ours (Nami Lithanos) who was afk at the time. We wanted to take her with us to the building area, and when she returned she informed him that we were her friends and not griefing her [Ed. I was wrong about this - he contacted Faust]. He refused to lift the ban, however. Also confusingly, the two other people who were pushing Nami (Faust Steamer and grammaticalerror) were neither ejected nor banned.

I would appreciate your help in this matter, as I find the events highly confusing and disturbing. I wanted to play with my friends, not get banned from a sim.

Thank you very much.


Deoridhe Quandry

We did eventually become unbanned after [Resident] contacted Faust, who had been one of the four pushing Nami onto the green - one of the two curiously not ejected and banned - and he told [Resident] that we were friends.All of us wondered why he simply had not done this at first - especially since Faust was one of the people pushing others; it seemed simply incomprehensible.

I did receive a response from the Owner, eventually, and that is what inspired this post, because I simply couldn't believe that not only did the owner of the Sandbox encourage her Managers to ban people without anyone involved in an interaction registering a complaint, she also significantly did not respond to any of the concerns I raised.  Instead, she cut and pasted a response to Fluxa. This is, of course, her right - being the Owner of a Sandbox doesn't mean one actually has to put any effort into the job, any more than her managers need to learn to respond to IMs or ask for information before banning people, but it certainly cemented my opinion of her sim and showed that her staff mismanagement was a direct result of her wishes.

Hello Deoridhe,

I will simply paste here the message I sent to your friend Fluxa about the events last night on [XXX]:

[06:39] [Owner]: When you arrived in [XXX] and started pushing your friends, it appeared to be a griefing, so the manager was quite right to eject you.  We are not in the habit of patiently contacting griefers to plead with them not to abuse others on the sim as it is no in their nature to respond to such requests.  In view of the circumstances, I affirm [Manager]'s choice to send you home, and also his choice to unban you.  In the future, would you kindly either take active play such as pushing to the vehicle area (the landmark for which I am providing you) [Ed. She did not provide me with this landmark] or contact a manager BEFORE you appear to be breaking the sim rules against harrassment.  It would make things much easier for us.  Also, it might do to contact [Manager] and apologize for the inconvenience.  Have a good day.

One of the frustrating things in Second Life is the arbitrariness of applied rules. Not only did only two of the four people pushing other people get banned, but a Manager choosing to enforce the rules is now considered an inconvenience to the manager, and in some places people are expected to contact those in their surroundings to announce that they aren't engaging in ill-defined harassment - remember there were FOUR of us pushing a fifth, but only two of the four were banned. It also ignores the simple fact that both Fluxa and I contacted the manager, indicating we were more than responsive to IMs.

Inaccuracy of this magnitude is both unbecoming and pathetic.

Also of note - once both Fluxa and I were unbanned we remained in the sim in a sort of ...defiance, and [Resident] circled around us at one point and paused to listen in to our very fascinating discussion of AOs for a while. He never said anything, but he had to come quite a ways to stand fifteen feet away from us, as we had moved to a far corner of the sim to dance together and chat, not wanting to have something one of us did mislabeled "harassment" again.

I seriously doubt this post will have any effect on the sim in question. They are major and established, and I'm not even naming them. I do hope that enumerating this interaction will give other, more responsible Owners and Managers pause, though, in how they interact with other residents and whether they should be a manager if they consider doing a self-imposed job an "inconvenience". If one is going to ban people for presumed harassment, it's rather more an inconvenience for the people who were orbited and banned - and their friends who are trying to get them unbanned - than it is for a person who seemingly can't respond to an IM.

The Cake Is a Stage

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday Meme: Halloween Meme

On the Edge

On time for Halloween, so of course this is after, Strawberry asks us a few questions about Halloween in her Meme. Oddly, for someone for whom every day can be Halloween, the actual holiday has much less of a draw than it ever used to. It doesn't help that most of my Cosplay gear is in boxes in attics still, or that I didn't have a party to go to, but I enjoy the spirit of Halloween I can find every day more than a single fleeting night.
  1. Did you go trick or treating as a child? Yes, and I did the whole costume thing for a very long time.

  2. What was the best Halloween costume you ever saw or wore yourself? Honestly, the best costumes I've ever seen have been for Cosplay, not for Halloween; the most amazing I ever saw was Payne from Final Fantasy X-2 wearing her Berserker dressphere (in X-2, abilities and outfits go together). It was her first costume ever, and it was flawless. My favorite costume ever was when I dressed up as Ozma from Oz, but everyone thought I was an Egyptian Queen; no one ever knows Ozma.

  3. What is your most vivid memory about Halloween? Walking around as Ozma being constantly mistaken for someone else. It was very, very sad.

  4. Bright Smiles

  5. What is the scariest movie you have ever seen? I hate scary movies. I went to see Shaun of the Dead with friends and spent most of it staring at the floor. I also participated in playing the game Phantasmagoria which gets really gross toward the end, and walked away right before it got worse, but it was still really bad.

  6. Do you ever get nightmares after watching a scary movie? Yes, though not at night. I have what I call "daymares", which are flashes of disturbing images while I'm awake. It can be a little disruptive.

  7. Are you superstitious? If so, name at least one superstition of yours. I compulsively knock on wood whenever I say certain things, like "Things are going well." *knock on wood*

  8. What will you be doing for Halloween this year, if anything, in SL and RL? I actually did nothing. Halloween is a lot more fun when there are people around to play with.
Death All Around

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Kelly
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyeshadow: Elymode, Autumn
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Lipstick: Mock, Glasside
Wings: Illusions, Apsara Wings
Jewelry: AZE, Impedimenta Gear Set (Genre)
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: MakeUp Addiction, Pois
Gloves: X-Dollz, Gloves
Dress: katat0nik, Choco Dress (Group Gift)
Socks: katat0nik, Choco Socks
Shoes: katat0nik, Wingtip Mary Janes

Poses: Don't Freak Out

Location: Death Row Island
Light Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only