Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

194 of 365: Not a good day

I wasn't feeling so good yesterday.  My day started off with an offline message in my email with bad news.  

How many second and third chances do you give a person?  I'm mad as hell, mostly at myself.

"Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me"

Can't, and don't want to talk about it.

The day didn't get any better when I arrived at work.  Hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait.  Too much waiting and time on my hands leaves my mind to wander.  

Thursday is my last day of work then I'm off on vacation for a week.  I have no big plans other than to head up north to my parents, sit in a lounge chair on their back deck, stare at the lake, watch the sunsets, and pet cats.  Let's hope my allergies don't go all wonky this time.  

They have wifi...thinking about leaving my laptop at home.  I need a break, and some perspective.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

193 of 365: A Vanity shot

I don't post enough vanity shots of my avatar face, so here ya go...

Sorry, that's all I have for tonight.  Busy day and I'm tired.  

Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

192 of 365: SL8B - "Invisible" by Kerupa Flow

An installation called "Invisible" caught my eye while I was hovering by on a pod tour of the SL8B sims.  

By the way, if you feel overwhelmed with touring all the sims, I have discovered that the tour pods make it so easy to roam around and discover cool builds.  You just hop in and float around and you can jump out when you see something that catches your eye.  That's pretty much what I have been doing the last few nights because otherwise, I get lost and end up roaming around in circles.

But don't ask me where the pod tours start.  I don't know.  Empty pods just seem to randomly pass by me which is when I jump in them.  There must be a starting point somewhere and if anyone knows the location, please let me know.

"Invisible" by Kerupa Flow, illustrates the artists emotional reaction to the devastation of the Japan Tsunami and the destruction of the Nuclear Power plant in Fukushima.

Walking through the build, a sense of destruction overtakes you.  You can then teleport upstairs to a tranquil meditative area where you can pick up a free "Pray like Japanese" animation and take a moment of silence and prayer for Japan.  

Tomorrow, June 26th, is the last day for SL8B.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

191 of 365: SL8B - "The Magic Soul of Prims"

Another really great build at SL8B, "The Magic Soul of Prims" by pallina60 Loon.  

Beautiful storytelling machinima.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

189 of 365: SL8B - "Together" by Mikati Slade

Well thank goodness for Twitter because if it wasn't for people Tweeting SLurl's to builds at the Second Life 8th Birthday celebration sims, I might have wandered aimlessly for hours, lost and confused.  

There's a lot to see and having a place to start is helpful to help get you oriented with the place.  

My first stop, thanks to some Twitter peeps, "Together" by Mikati Slade:

I love this extremely cute pop art build that I think perfectly captures the 'magical' theme of this years SL birthday celebrations.  The build is bright and colourful, and makes me happy!  And the music that Mikati has selected is pretty cool too.

From the notecard:

"People are often inhibited by numerous limits and handicaps, such as their appearance, gender, or age. In envisioning a better future, it makes sense to try to address this issue. In Second Life, people can push aside some of the obstacles that trouble them in real life and live, work, and develop relationships in a freer environment. It's the vision of a better future materialized in Second Life today. This is the magic of Second Life."

While I was viewing the build, I had the pleasure of meeting Mikati, whose avatar is just as bright, colourful and expressive as the build itself.

Judging from her creation at SL8B, I would not have expected her to be any other way :))

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

188 of 365: The sun is setting on Lost Gardens of Apollo

2.5 years ago, on a cold grey February day, I was sitting on the subway train when I happened to pick up a magazine on the empty seat next to me.  I don't recall the exact magazine, some kind of PC gaming one.  I leafed through the magazine because I was bored and some screenshots from a place I had never heard of called Second Life, caught my eye. 

Those screenshots were from the Lost Gardens of Apollo.

Perhaps because it was winter, I was bored and not happy with my 9 to 5 job and daily routine, I made a mental note of this Second Life place, with intentions to check it out.  The screenshots looked interesting, and it looked like a place I would rather be than in the cold and crowded city, heading to a job I was not happy with at the time.  Life felt flat and uninspired, but in those screenshots, something called out to me that felt like...possibilities.

I don't usually get too attached to places in SL.  Everything is really only temporary especially in the virtual world, and I would like to think that when one place disappears, another new and wonderful one will make a debut.  Yes, I'm an eternal optimist, and maybe to my detriment, but oh well.  

When I heard that Lost Gardens of Apollo was closing, I felt a little sad and nostalgic because like so many people, it holds some fond memories for me.  It was where I made my very first friend in SL, Lace Jonstone, when I had impatiently left Orientation Island on my first day (because it was boring as hell) and I was wondering around lost and confused and wearing a box.  

Good times.

This morning, on this summer solstice and longest day of the year, I headed over to Apollo to get a last look around and recall fond memories of times I spent with friends in this magical place.  

Even though the sim will soon be gone, I will never forget how it was this place where my SL journey first began, 2.5 years ago, underground on a dull subway train in the middle of winter.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

187 of 365: Something that totally inspired me and fed my creative spirit

Yesterday was Father's Day, and I spent a lovely day with my husband and children filling up at a brunch buffet and then going for a walk along the Humber River.  

As we were walking, we noticed this man gathering rocks and balancing them to make sculptures:

I heard about him before in the news and I really admire his work and dedication to his art.  If I had the time, I easily could have sat and watched him all afternoon as he delicately balanced river rocks to create his art.  And no, he does not use glue to hold the rocks together.

You can read more about his work at the link below:

“There’s a centre of gravity, an invisible spine where it will stay in place. You just have to jiggle it around until it’s standing on its own,” he said. “Over time you get a really good feel for matching rock surfaces and counter balancing.”

It got me to thinking about the beauty and transient nature of art, how some of the most beautiful art is only temporary, and this very nature makes it even more special. I thought about how much physical labour, skill and hard work is involved in creating something that looks effortless and beautiful, and makes people FEEL.

It was a good day yesterday.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

185 of 365: Embracing my Contradictions

Contradictions.  I am full of them.  It's a normal part of being human, but there are times when I take a good hard look at myself and I see my contradictions as weakness and I wonder why anyone would take me seriously.  

Reading back over some older blog posts, my voice sounds so strong and confident.  I'm proud of my writing and I still stand by what I said, yet when I read my words there's a part of me that winces because although my writing says one thing, lately my choices and actions in SL say another.  And there's no place like SL to make choices that contradict yourself is there?

In my first year of SL, I experienced all the usual highs and lows, the wonderment, the joy, the drama, the silliness and the heartbreak that so many of us go through.  In fact, it was just before my first rez day that I turned to blogging to start my SLife over again and to help me make sense of all the thoughts and feelings that arise when living a part of your emotional life online.  

If there is one thing I know for sure, it's that change is the only constant.  Do I like it?  Not really, but I do know that resisting change makes it all the more harder.  Seasons change, friends change, interests change, and personal opinions and viewpoints change too.  

Just over a year ago, I was getting over a certain heartbreak in SL that left my fragile heart in pieces.  At the time, I was angry and I resolved to never ever get emotionally attached like that to anyone in SL ever again.  My firewall went up.  It hurt too much, and the complexity of living two separate lives was way too much to bear.  Honestly, I didn't think there was any other way but to compartmentalize SL and RL, so I decided that having a relationship in SL wasn't something I was willing to, or even should explore, so I took the moral high ground and closed that door.  

Well, things always change when you least expect them to, don't they?

Someone I was once very close to (one of my first friends in SL), and who for very good reasons left, came back.  It was something that took me completely by surprise and brought back all kinds of questions and unresolved feelings that I thought I had long since forgotten. Turns out I never forgot.  I just swept all those hurt feelings under the rug and they were there lurking just below the surface, waiting to push at my foundations.  

Suddenly those feelings felt fresh and raw again and I was scared.

It's been a couple of months since my friend's return, and the fear is gone.  It feels good to have an old friend back and contrary to what I first thought, things are different this time.  This is not something I talk about to anyone because most people are quick to make assumptions and judgments because yes, I am married in RL, and happily so.  I have no complaints.

All I can say is that this friendship in SL is not what people would think it is, and even when I was once quick to make judgments about the topic, I am learning now that my judgments came out of fear and misunderstanding.

I am learning now that you can never really know what goes on between two people and what looks like one thing from the outside, is actually completely different on the inside.

I'm learning that to feel love for friends in SL doesn't mean that it takes anything away from your relationships in the real world, and maybe those pixel friendships even make our real world relations all the more better.  Love grows exponentially and there is always enough for everyone.  

I am my own harshest critic, and making sense of such contradictions is a painful thing for me to face.  I work hard to come across all confident and sure of myself, when really all I feel is fragile and vulnerable, like an oyster out of it's shell.  More contradictions. 

Today I choose to silence my inner critic, stop worrying about what people will think, and cherish and enjoy the friendships I have made in SL as blessings that ultimately enrich my Life as a whole and make me feel good about ME. 

I am human and I embrace all my flaws and contradictions.  I would rather be open and honest about my inconsistencies than perfect, polite and predictable.  Some of the best things in the world defy explanation, and refuse to fit into neat little boundaries.

There is more beauty to be found outside the margins, in the blurred edges and grey areas.  It's what makes Life interesting and worth living.

Friday, June 17, 2011

184 of 365: Good times

Yes, I have been slacking off a little bit with my 365 project this week.  But I have good reason...I'm simply enjoying SL too much to remember to take photos.  

Seriously, every evening this week my time has been filled chatting with friends, making some new ones and reconnecting with old friends who left SL and I thought would never be back.  Time flies by so quickly and when I look at the clock and realize it's 1am and I have to wake up early to go to work the next day, I log out in a flurry and when my head hits the pillow, I realize I completely forgot about a photo for my 365 project.  

Last night was no exception.  I attended Chestnut's 4th day rezz day celebration which was a blast.  Even though I didn't stay very long, I was there long enough to have a few good laughs and enjoy some chit chat.  I feel so blessed to have such beautiful and creative people in my life.

The rest of my evening was spent sharing YouTube links, enjoying the comfort and solitude of being with an old friend (and my best friend in SL) who loves and accepts me just the way I am, flaws and all.  

Life is good.  Enjoy your day :))

Thursday, June 16, 2011

183 of 365: Video - 29 Ways to Stay Creative

I love Twitter because it gives me access to news, info and links that I normally would probably never come across.  I'm kind of a Twitter wallflower, more of a lurker, although I'm trying to get more active Tweeting.  

If you're on Twitter, look me up.  I'm @callmeSheBear.

I came across this cool video today which is very helpful in my ongoing quest to let my creativity flow.  

No SL photo right now.  Maybe later this evening.  I have a couple of days to catch up on my 365 photos. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

182 of 365: Playing with Shadows

I've been playing around with shadows...

I'm not sure if I like the pic with shadows or not.  Maybe I'm just not used to it.  

I have finally found some inspiration for my home on Piper Point.  I made a stone path around my parcel and I have plans to make it into a sort of art walk with sculptures and photos along the path...if I have enough prims for everything.   

I may have to empty my house to free up some prims, which is fine with me.  I'm just not getting rid of any Meeroos up on the sky platform.  They stay until Aubree and I get sick and tired of them ;)

Whenever it's all done, I'll be sure to post a SLURL here for anyone that wants to stop by.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

180 of 365: Cadeling Garden

179 of 365: I have Shadows, and Depth of Field!

I gave up hope long ago on ever getting shadows to work on my Mac, but yesterday I heard on Plurk that the latest release of the SL Development viewer resolved the problem in rendering shadows on Mac's with ATI cards.  

I downloaded the viewer right away to see for myself, and it works!

Depth of Field never worked for me either, despite having tried several different viewers, and that works too:

I'm super excited about this and I'm going to have a lot of fun taking pics with these features.  

I haven't actually used the SL V2 in a long time.  Last time I used the beta release I lagged bad and crashed often, and since then I have been using the Firestorm Preview Viewer which runs very smoothly on my MacBook.  I'm pleasantly surprised that the SL Development Viewer is doing even better for me, so far.  

Out of all the new features in V2 and that terrible slide out sidebar, I could probably get used to that.  The thing I hate the most is the mini-map being on the other side of my screen, and now with my Meeroos hud, I have nowhere to put the mini-map.  That kinda sucks.  I don't know if there is any way to customize the UI like in Firestorm. 

Besides that, it's a pretty good day.

If you have a Mac computer with an ATI card and you want shadows, you can download the SL Development Viewer here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

178 of 365

I'm resisting posting cute pictures of Meeroos here everyday, but I don't have a lot going on in SL right now, so...

I've joined a fellowship which is quite fun.  You know, the Meeroos are cute and all, but I think they just provide a good reason to hang out, chat and make some new friends.  It's cool.  

It's kind of nice to take a break from always being on the hunt for a photo op. or doing something photo related.  Nice to just sit around and relax :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

176 of 365: Meeroo Playdate

Back when my kids were babies and toddlers, I used to get together with my mommy friends for playdates at the park....

Looks familiar.  

Babies... erhrm, I mean Meeroos everywhere.  Craziness. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

175 of 365

Got a new sculpture for my SL home.  I'm on a mission to collect unique pieces of art for my place.  I think is a pretty good start. 

174 of 365

I went for a long bike ride today.  It felt good, however I have a feeling that my legs will be very sore and stiff tomorrow.  

The city looks different from a bike.  Lots of cool places not accessible by car or transit.

No Second Life picture today.  I'm finding more and more inspiration in RL and it feels good :))

Sunday, June 5, 2011

173 of 365

Aubree and I put down our Meeroos long enough to pose for a picture...just long enough for a quick snapshot. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

172 of 365: Random stuff that inspires my creativity and some frustrations

Since my 365 Photography Project is all about flexing my creative muscles, I've been paying a lot more attention to random things in my Life that inspire me.  They could be simple things like how cute my son looks when he lays on the floor and watches cartoons, or how grown up my daughter tries to be in front of her friends by not holding my hand in public, but still calls me "mommy" at home, by little pieces of news items that provoke an emotional response in me like the death of someone I once misunderstood but later came to understand - i.e Jack Kevorkian death.  Once in a blue moon inspiration will strike me like it did when I wrote this poem.   

While I was driving my kids to daycare this morning, I heard a song on the radio that I haven't heard in ages:  Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil.  I love that song and it always resonates so deeply with me because it touches on my passion for political issues for the Indigenous peoples of the world, and it is simply a really great tune and visually impressive music video. 

I have ideas for creative projects that draw on my interest in social justice and all things beautiful.  I want to bring them forth in SL, but my building skills are so lacking, and even more lacking is my patience to learn.  Yes, i've tried playing with prims and piecing them together to express an idea for a sculpture in my head, but it's so frustrating because it doesn't match to my vision.  The perfectionist in me just wants to give up at this point.

My output to express my ideas is not up to par with my creative input of inspiration. 

I'm trying too hard and you know old the saying, "the harder you try, the harder it comes". 


I'm not sure where to go from here, but in the meantime, I'll just keep paying attention to and enjoying the random bits of inspiration I come across throughout my day and try not to get down on myself about this.   

Thursday, June 2, 2011

171 of 365: It's a boy!

Yes I have succumbed to the Meeroos craze...and I love it.

I've named him Otis and my pixel heart is already so smitten with him that I can't put him down.  

I tried the breedable bunny thing, which didn't last very long, I was never into cats or breedable horses, but this little Meeroo?  Be still my heart.

I'm too smitten to give you any good practical advice about his latest SL pet craze, but Chestnut wrote a really great post about the Meeroos so you should go check it out.   

You can also check out the website:  World of Meeros

170 of 365: I'm locked out of Blogger

In case anyone was wondering why I haven't updated in the last few days, it's because I have not been able to log in to Blogger from my home computer.  It is obviously something to do with my laptop because I can log in from my work computer.  My husband comes home today from a work trip so he's going to fix it for me.  I never stick around to find out what it is he actually does when he "fixes" my tech problems...maybe I should watch and learn a thing or two.

If I was organized, I would have emailed my photos to myself so I could post them from work, but I'm not super organized right now so oh well. 

I dug this old one from my Flickr that I took but never used when I blogged about the SpiritWeaver Starsphere.

I expect to be blogging again by tonight or tomorrow at the latest.