Happy Anniversary to Me!

Image Source:  kjil1057.com
Image Source: kjil1057.com

Today is my wedding anniversary, so I am giving myself the day off!

My wish for you today is that you are as happy as I am.  Life is too short – make the most of it!

Happy Monday, everyone!

WTF, America?

Image Source: www.tuvez.com    Sadly, most Americans would think this map is accurate.
Image Source: http://www.tuvez.com
Sadly, most Americans would think this map is accurate.

I don’t usually discuss politics, because it never leads anywhere good.

However, after yesterday’s elections, I am left to wonder, ‘WTF, America?’

Congress has the lowest approval rating in history.  Election exit polls showed 60+% of people are dissatisfied with our government.  And yet in almost every race, the incumbent won.

WTF????

So America, what you’re saying is, “Congress, we don’t like you or your politics.  But we’re okay with you continuing to do your piss-poor job.  What?  You’d like me to bend over again?  Okay.”

Great job, ‘Murica.  -.-

Do You Flickr?

Image Source:  vernermotor.eu
Image Source: vernermotor.eu

I’ve been blogging for a while now, and I am constantly running across new blogs that I like and follow.  I really enjoy finding new photography blogs, because I love all the wonderful images and fantastically creative people behind them.  (Plus, my computer/connection aren’t that great sometimes, so I very rarely see SL with all the amazing shadows and lights. Stupid cable company. -.-)

As I read through blogs (even ones that aren’t about photography), it seems like every one of them has a Facebook page and a Flickr.  (Those two seem to be the most popular – there are of course Plurk, Tumblr, and others.)  Now, I’ve blogged repeatedly about my feelings for Facebook.  So, even though I would love to be able to keep up with my favorite SL stores, I am NOT going to get on Facebook to do it.  (A real downside for me, since LL encourages stores to have Facebook pages, since Facebook likes are tied to your ranking in search. Why they do this, I don’t understand, since Facebook has shown itself repeatedly to be unfriendly to avatar profiles.)

So now I’m wondering if it would be beneficial to me (and help increase my traffic) if I was also on Flickr.  If you have a Flickr account, what are your feelings about it?  Is it just yet another social media account to keep up with?  Is it useful?  How?  Is there anything I should know before I dive in?

 

New MadPea Hunt

I don’t go on many hunts anymore.  I ended up with a giant inventory full of things I will never use or wear.  So in the interest of keeping my inventory count low (and maintaining my own sanity), I don’t do them anymore.  It’s a great way to find lots of new places, so I sometimes participate for that reason.

However, the announcement that MadPea is doing a new hunt caught my eye.  I did their ‘Lost Mine’ hunt and loved it.  I love puzzles, so I love hunts where you have to solve puzzles.  Plus, you can’t just use ‘area search’ to find the item you need, zoom to it, get it, and tp on to the next spot in the blink of an eye. 😛

The new MadPea hunt (called ‘Blood Letters’) looks like it will be really fun – in a scary, erotic, adult kind of way.

You can read all about it here on Inara Pey’s blog.

It starts November 1st, so get your sleuthing gear ready!

Busy, Busy, Busy

Image Source:  www.brandcrowd.com
Image Source: http://www.brandcrowd.com

There seem to be a ton of events going on in SL right now.  Or maybe it’s just that I’m paying attention! 😛

Of course, Collabor88 is open – October’s theme is ‘Motel Spoopy.’ (I have no idea what that means, but there’s always cool stuff there – go check it out!)  Next month’s theme is ‘Modern Alchemist,’ so I’ll definitely be stopping by then.

The Mystic Realms Faire is going on.  I only made it onto the sim once, so I did a bunch of shopping while I was there.  I found the most amazing avatar costume – perfect for a number I was working on.  I swear, it’s like the creator read my mind!  It also didn’t hurt that I love her work, so her spot at the Faire was one I made sure to find.  If you love amazing costumes, be sure to check out !dM – deviousMind.

The Vintage and Cool Fair is open – I love vintage, so I stopped by and picked up a few new items.  Give yourself plenty of time to explore – there are lots of things to see!

The Tag! Gacha runs through October 31st.  If you’re a gacha fan (or fanatic), this is one you shouldn’t miss.  There are 50 stores and a cute storyline to follow as you travel from place to place.  I wasn’t lucky enough to get a mystery coupon :-(, but I had a lot of fun.

Of course, Builder’s Brewery is holding their annual ‘Halloween Hunt’ with lots of cool free gifts (the group is free to join).

An event that showed up on my radar is The Body Modification Expo.  I’m not really into tattoos and piercing, but there were a couple of items that piqued my curiosity, so I’ll be checking this one out too.

Yesterday I checked out The Fantasy Collective.  Lots of pretties to look at here!

I’m sure there are tons more events, but these are the ones that have kept me busy for the past few weeks.

Now, if I could just figure out what happened to all my Lindens . . . . . .  😀

 

Halloween’d Out

Image Source: quotespictures.com
Image Source: quotespictures.com

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older.  Maybe it’s because my kids are getting older.  But I’m already tired of Halloween.

I’ve never been big into horror films (in fact, I avoid them like the plague).  I don’t watch ‘The Walking Dead,’ and I don’t believe in a Zombie Apocalypse (a social media zombie apocalypse, yes).  You can’t turn around in SL around this time of year without running into something Halloween.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy a holiday as much as the next person.  I love seeing kids in their costumes and handing out candy.  But witches and pumpkins and spiders and ghosts and ghouls and zombies and skeletons  . . .   Not my thing.

I’m on Halloween overload.

 

Realistic vs Proportional vs SL

Image source:  listlovelaugh.wordpress.com
Image source: listlovelaugh.wordpress.com

I’ve had several very interesting discussions recently over the topic of ‘realistic’ and ‘proportional’ avatars.  Though I have not always agreed with everything that was said, I have enjoyed immensely participating in the discussions.  Having had a few days to digest all the information, my original attitude still stands.

There are people in SL who are advocating a change to what they call ‘realistic’ or ‘proportional’ avatars.  Many people use the terms interchangeably.  Because I was curious, because I love words, and because I don’t necessarily agree, I looked up the definitions.

According to Dictionary.com, realistic is defined as ‘resembling or simulating real life.’  Proportional is defined as ‘being in or characterized by proportion.’  (Side note – it’s generally frowned upon to define a word using the word itself.)  Proportion is defined as ‘proper relation between things or parts‘ OR as ‘symmetry, harmony, or balance.’

The advocates of ‘realistic’ avatars in SL have a myriad of reasons behind their opinions.  Some believe that the default avatar was too big (and/or too disproportionate) to begin with, and thus began the problem.  Too-large avatars led to too-large buildings.  Some believe that the default SL camera presets are also partially to blame.  (If you are interested in a detailed discussion of how changing presets can affect your view/experience in SL, read Penny Patton’s post here.)  Other things said to skew your view of SL include the speed at which your avatar runs, and the plethora of too-large buildings (which means that you don’t notice that your avatar is overly large).

There are tons of ‘rulers’ available in SL to help you measure your height.  There is also the appearance editor.  Neither of which, apparently, work correctly.  (For an interesting read about proportional avatars, building to scale, the impact of these on the SL experience, read Penny Patton’s post here.)  According to one such ‘ruler,’ my avatar’s size is deemed ‘ogre-ish.’  Interesting.  (And a little insulting, truthfully.)

After listening to people discuss these issues (and reading everything I could find on the subject), I’m still not willing to change my avatar.  I like the way my avatar looks, and I’ve spent a goodly amount of time making her the way I want. Am I realistic?  Perhaps not, to some.  Am I proportional?  Again, perhaps not, to some.  I understand the benefits to having a more realistic-sized avatar – building smaller buildings means lower LI, more things, more people in one place – I get it.  But ‘realistic’ is not the be-all and end-all goal for my SL.

I can fly in SL.  Is that realistic?  I can instantly teleport from one location to another.  Is that realistic?  For me, a lot of the arguments for ‘realistic’ and ‘proportional’ avatars come down to people’s personal aesthetics.  Some people prefer to have realistically-sized avatars.  Great!  Awesome! Go for it!  Just don’t tell me that I have to as well.

My avatar is (I feel) proportional.  Does she match the ‘standard’ human proportions?  Probably not.  However, ‘standard’ in this respect means average.  And there are plenty of people in the ‘real’ world who would not be deemed ‘proportional’ by those figures.  Does that mean they are not realistic?  Standard sizes for NBA players, for example, are not the same as standard sizes for horse racing jockeys.  Does that make either subset of humanity ‘unrealistic?’

I heard other people (with ‘realistic’ avatars) complain about furniture that did not fit them (i.e., the poses did not work well with their avatar), about sims that would not admit them because they weren’t tall enough, and about ‘float dancing’ (because the animations place their avatar’s feet above the ground).  I have to admit, I’ve never really experienced any of these issues.  I’ve never had a piece of furniture ‘not work’ with my avatar (although I have had to slightly adjust some poses).  I’ve never been to a sim where my avatar’s appearance was an issue at all (with one exception).  And I’ve never had an issue with an animation not looking correct (and, as a dancer, I’ve used a LOT of animations!).

Out of curiosity, I visited a sim that requires ‘realistic’ avatars.  Normally, I wouldn’t have explored further.  As I said, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort on my avatar over the years, so changing something as significant as her shape is a big deal.  That said, there was a free avatar kit (realistically sized), along with clothing suited for the sim.  I donned both, and went exploring.  The sim was nice, but not someplace I’ll probably ever re-visit.  There are several reasons for that (including that most avatars there speak a different language than I do).  But the biggest one was that I just didn’t like being a ‘realistic’ avatar.  It felt – wrong.  It wasn’t a quick visit – I wandered around for probably a good couple of hours.  But the ‘real’ sized avatar did not ‘grow’ on me, as many claim.

For me, one of the great things about SL is that people can CHOOSE to be what they want.  If they want to be ‘realistic’ or ‘proportional,’ they can.  If they want to be as tall as an ogre, they can.  If they want to be a pixie, or a tiny, or a furry, or a Neko, or a dragon, or a robot – they CAN.  Isn’t that wonderful?  SL is a wondrous place, and part of that wonder is exploring places and meeting people that are different.  So I don’t think it’s ‘realistic’ for people to think that everyone should have a realistic and proportional avatar. (Just a side note – if everything is supposed to be ‘realistic,’ why isn’t anyone complaining about the lack of fat and/or ugly avatars?)

There are lots of things in SL that I find personally weird/creepy/un-aesthetically pleasing. I don’t understand the appeal of mesh breasts and mesh booties.  That doesn’t mean, however, that I automatically discount someone because they wear one or the other (or both).  I try (and I don’t always succeed, I freely admit) to judge people in SL by their words and actions, not by their looks.  One of the nicest people I’ve met in SL (and someone I think of as a true friend) is a dog.

In the end, everyone is in SL for different reasons.  Not better reasons, just different ones.  So you enjoy your SL (whatever that may look like) and I’ll enjoy mine.  Alrighty?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to search the events listings for ‘ogre party.’  😀

Witching hour

I love being able to peek into the minds and processes of creative people. That said, it bums me out to think that I need a graphics design/art degree in order to ‘tweak’ my photos to make them look ‘good.’ :/

Xantheanne's 2nd Life

Witching hourSkin: Glam Affair – Artemis
Hair: Tableau Vivant – Amberly
Headdress: Glam Affair – Hope Headdress
Lashes: Nº 7 – Ballroom lashes (The Instruments)
Necklace 1: MG – Vallari
Necklace 2: Birdy – The Witching Hour (The Secret Affair)
Dress: VRSION – Konvert gown 5.0 (The Instruments)
Armband: Aisling – Tallulah

I have kind of a special post today because I actually recorded this photo being edited!

Since my work got featured on New World Notes a couple weeks ago, I’ve been getting questions from people about my post-processing on a daily basis. So I thought, ‘why not just show you all exactly what goes into editing a photo for a blog post’? So I recorded about 25 minutes of footage and cut it down for 5 minutes so you guys can see what I do and how I do it! Maybe…

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Reflections

Today has started off as a day for me to reflect.  Which is kind of strange, because I have a very full schedule today.

I have a number of ideas for posts running around in my brain and it seems that none of them are ready to be born quite yet.

So, I spent some time re-reading old blog posts (here and on other blogs I follow), and searching the internet for inspiration. I love fractal art, so I spent some time looking at images.  This is one of my favorites:

Image Source: www.mouserunner.com
Image Source: http://www.mouserunner.com

I love this picture – the colors, the reflection in the water, the calm feel . . .

Take a few moments today to reflect, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

 

Second Life events happening during October 2014

Check out this listing of October events on Daniel Voyager’s blog.

Daniel Voyager

October 2014 Events Upcoming

Grid Wide Hunts Happening In October 2014

Keep Track of Second Life Events

Do you know of any other events happening in Second Life during October 2014 ? Please comment below and spread the word!

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