Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy customers

A little while ago I made a piece of custom art for my friend Magen for her store EmJay. Recently her store has moved and looks a little different and, fortunately for me, she liked my previous work so much that she asked me to make her a piece for the new store.

Once the usual RL Christmas stuff was out of the way I was able to settle down and get around to it and this afternoon I was able to present Magen with three options all along a similar colour theme that will fit with her store. As it happens it liked them all so much she took the set!

Why not go along and have a look. And while you're there check out what EmJay has on offer.

Magen's three pieces :)

Oh, and one last photo for this post. This is Magen in her store. She had such cute wellies on that I couldn't resist a final snap.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More presents

My good friend Quaintly gave me a cupcake for Christmas. I learned today that she made it! Yay for building stuff :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lovely girls

This evening I was over at my gallery when I saw two yellow dots I recognised over in another part of the sim. I wandered over to find Jewellah and Chry worrying over piles and piles of presents all gathered together under a tree.

They then presented one to me! To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement.

Given that tonight was my last time in SL for maybe a week due to festive travels the girls said I could open my gift there and then. Which I promptly did, to find myself bestowed with a shirt and trousers combo from Alphamale. I tried it on so they could see the visual fruits of their searching endeavours. Purple suits me, I think.

As well as the shirt there was also another small gift from the cheeky lasses. I tried that on too, as I think that was kind of their aim...

Thank you so much, Chry & J, for making me smile tonight. I totally wasn't expecting a Christmas present. But you surprised me with one. You're both lovely, whatever you try and claim.

Monday, December 21, 2009


On Friday, in RL, I had the Christmas party for my team at work. Somehow during the course of the evening the discussion moved on to me and my love of spreadsheets. At this point Mrs Marnix revealed to everyone present that I keep a spreadsheet of sales of my art work in SL. (New range of work, entitled Symmetry, on sale now, btw!) Cue the usual "Second what?" questions.

I am not quite sure what I stammered and stuttered to try and explain what Second Life was, why I 'play' it, and how it quite works that I sell art I create in RL to people in SL to adorn the walls of their virtual houses and stores etc. but I am glad that the pizza restaurant was dark enough to hide my blushing cheeks. I think the end result was quite a few people not quite understanding the concept and thinking that I am perhaps even more of a geek than they already think I am because I know my way around a spreadsheet.

This whole experience got me thinking. Why do I, or even we, find the concept of SL such a difficult thing to explain? Why does the idea of meeting people around the world and making friends seem such an alien idea to others just because it exists through the medium of computer software and an avatar?

I really felt embarrassment at having to explain what I spend some of my non-work hours doing. I have really no idea why though. What is more shameful? That I have a Second Life, or that I struggle to talk about it?

Sunday, December 20, 2009


If you've only been stalking my blog a short while you might not know this, but I have a gallery. It is filled with my fractal-based artwork. I filled a sim back in September at the launch party, mostly due to my lovely friends, but since then it has kinda stagnated. I've not changed any of the stuff on the walls since then.

Or at least I hadn't. Until yesterday. I felt inspired and created a whole new load of work and have revamped the gallery. I have gone with a theme this time, the theme of Symmetry, so if you need some new work for your house, you need a gift for a loved one for Christmas, or if you just want a nosey around, please come on down for a look around. Swirly Disco Flames is feeling refreshed.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Feeding the hungry

A friend came to visit me in my gallery today. She wasn't coming to see my work though. She was just coming to say hello. She came wearing a supermodel stick thin shape so I did what any generous host would and rezzed her some food.

She didn't look impressed.

Although her reluctance to eat could have had more to do with me watching intently to see if she partook of the culinery delights than a distaste for the cuisine on offer itself.

I am not sure she even liked the new ultra-violet club-style lighting I was toying with. There's no pleasing some people.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Keeping my head warm

There are four reasons for this post.
  1. I am still feeling the wintery, festive mood from the other day and wanted to continue the fun
  2. I am having fun messing around and learning PS Elements a bit
  3. My friend Lolita has an SL Snowball fight group going on in Flickr that I wanted to post some more pics to
  4. I have a lovely new bobblehat to show off
So, I give you, me, a bobblehat and a snowball fight:

Some are better than others. As I say, I am learning :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Changing clothes

I bought some new clothes the other night. Three outfits from the same shop. This is not unheard of for me though. When I find a place I like I tend to buy the whole catalogue. But really the point of this post is where my mind wandered next, while trying on the new clothes. I just kinda got to thinking about how my fashion tastes have changed since I've been in SL and how I've gone through phases.

I guess when I first arrived I flitted around, not really knowing what was good and what wasn't. I didn't know what was quality, didn't know any of the big names in fashion, so just bought what I saw. I was not discerning in the slightest.

I even went through a stage of wearing my PJs everywhere I went.

But then, as I learned a bit more, started reading some of the male fashion blogs, and got more of a sense of what was out there I started being a bit more targeted.

I guess my first real direction was kind of a smart casual kind of look. AlphaMale was a shop where I spent quite a bit of time. And money.

After that I discovered less generic, and more targeted fashion, I guess you could describe it as. I loved what RFyre did but my big love was Silent Sparrow. It is definitely fair to say that this was my brocade period.

I have never really done anything rock-y or punk-y in my time here. Somehow that just doesn't feel Marnix. In fact I didn't even own a pair of jeans for months and months. I struggled to dress in anything less than smart casual. And even when I finally bought some jeans I paired then with a shirt and waistcoat. I just couldn't help myself.

And now I think I have reverted to my 'sharp' default setting, especially since my shopping the other day. I just think suits can look damn good in SL. Especially when they're done well. And now I have three that I expect to wear rather a lot over the coming however-long.

I have remembered I like to look sharp. And damn these suits are sharp.

With this sort of thing you can't go wrong, eh?

Feeling festive

After the other night and all that wintery behaviour I have been feeling decidedly festive in SL. I even went along to the Winterstock fashion show yesterday (mainly to cheer a friend on who was walking) and dressed in a nice warm jumper and coat combo to stay warm. Today I wanted to go check out a friend's place because I'd heard she's got a particularly nice wintery cottage chalet type thingy I wanted to check out and share with you all.

And so, I give you Velvet's place. It's pretty stunning really. It makes me pine for those European winters, those regular pre-Christmas visits to the markets of Vienna, those evenings spent huddled round mugs of mulled wine.

[Coincidentally, it's the same parcel where I used to live a while back, but that's by-the-by.]

After I'd finished taking piccies I saw a yellow dot on the mini-map so wandered over to say hi to a friend. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than sitting on giant Christmas presents nattering about nothing, eh? All we were missing was the mulled wine and mince pies.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter sports

Moving from the northern to the southern hemisphere, one of the biggest differences for me to have to get used to, and something I continually struggle with, is inverted seasons. This is especially the case for me when it comes to Christmas.

For me, Christmas is a winter thing. All the movies, the cards, the music, the shopping mall imagery - it's all wintery. Even here, in the height of summer, it's all wintery.

This year though, things haven't been quite so bad for me. Either I am slowly getting used to the idea, or else, more likely, my first Christmas in SL is allowing me to get a virtual winter fix. After all, I can sit here in shorts and t-shirt while having a snowball fight...

...or going ice-skating, can't I?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reminds me of the old days

Tonight I was inworld messing with poses. I decided to unpack the one hundred and twelvety poses I had lying around from a hunt I did a few months back and try them out. But I got bored. Fairly quickly. My attention span does not extend to adjusting them to fit my av size.

As something a bit different to do, I headed over to my gallery and saw that two of my oldest friends in SL, Chry & Jewellah, were perched around the corner. It would have been rude not to wander round to say hello.

Sometimes it is just good to sit and chat and share secrets and laughs. Friends are good, y'know. Even when they take offence at your clothes and make you change your shirt.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tongue in cheek?

I had my attention drawn to a new blog in town today after someone posted a comment here. I was unsure quite what to expect when I started reading, and to be honest, I am still not quite sure. It's kinda intriguing if nothing else, and probably worth a glance.

It seems that if you have a problem in SL you can ask Anneka for advice and she'll post you a reply online. Different, huh?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Serial offender

Sometimes I look in the mirror that is my computer monitor, see the avatar gazing back at me, and wonder quite how I got to be that person. It amazes me how traits are distilled through a digital medium; how our RL safeguards and fail safes are rerouted and overwritten.

Yup, it's another of those navel-gazing, self-analysis plurks. If you don't wanna be an emo voyeur, look away now. Don't say I didn't warn you...

It is true I wear my heart on my sleeve, I launch myself into things and it tends to be everything or nothing with me. I struggle with anything in between, it seems, for whatever reason. I also seem to be able to make a girl feel special, like she is everything in my world. This is not a good thing.

It seems like it should be. It seems like it should be brilliant. Everyone's a winner, right? But it's not. It causes pain and hurt, especially when coupled with my other characteristics I listed above.

Y'see, when a girl is everything is my world, I dive in, head first. And she feels overwhelmed, pampered and special. So very special. For a while, everything is rosy and songbirds dance around our heads singing sweet songs of spring. But then something will happen or something will change, and I might not even know what or why. The initial lustre will fade and my binary switch will flick from 1 to 0. When that happens I know there is only one outcome. So I bail. It really is for the best.

Only, the girl is still seeing those songbirds. She is left stunned and confused and hurting. I hate that I do that.

There are one or two girls scattered around the SLuniverse who are nodding right now, assuming they're reading this. They know what I am talking about. They have experienced it first hand. I have hurt them. I intensely dislike that I have. I don't mean to. But I never learn my lesson. I always plough on regardless, blind to the road signs screaming "caution", disregarding the impending road crash, thinking this time it will be different. But it never is.

And so, I plead with you, heed my warning. I don't know what the future holds, who fate will cause to cross my path. I only know that falling for me leads to pain and anguish. If I start to pay you too much attention pull up the drawbridge, man the battlements and set that boiling tar a-bubbling. I might lay siege to your castle, but do not open your gates. I'm a trojan horse.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


A good friend often tells me I wear my heart on my sleeve by posting so much emotional stuff on here. She is probably right. Another friend told me that when I get an idea about something I throw everything at it, heart and soul. She is right too. The downside of both of those is that my emotions and relationships can tend to be a public roller-coaster with extreme peaks and troughs.

At the moment I am sat in a trough. I am driving. But it still hurts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Penguin experimentation

I don't think, if you've been reading recently, that this post needs any explanation.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Did someone say "Fish supper?"

I went to a party at the weekend. It is a rare occasion that someone has a party in SL in a timezone that is useful for me. And it is even rarer that I get there and don't spend the whole of forever crashing. But it was my friend's husband's rezzday party and Tymmerie and Jerremy throw such awesome parties that I wanted to be there. And when my Saturday plans ended earlier and I arrived home with an hour of the party remaining I knew I wanted to go along and wish Jerremy a happy rezzday and boogie for a bit.

Tym and Jerremy do themed parties. And when they do a themed party they take it to the extreme. The theme of this party was a sort of underwater aquarium thing and they excelled themselves. Everyone who attends a Thorne-Darwin party tends to go along with the theme so I knew I was in for a treat, in terms of costumes.

I guess I sided towards the underwater half of the theme, rather than the aquarium side, dressing as I was, as an otter. A very cute otter, I have to say. I figured that if there were no nibbles provided at least I could munch on the fish-themed guests.

The party was held in a purpose-built aquarium, complete with stones on the floor, coral, the little castle you see above and shoals of fish.

The guests certainly did make an effort. I love the thought people put in. It must make all the work worthwhile for Tym and Jerremy as I am sure they must work hard on these parties.

I wanted to take more close-up pictures but my computer decided it had had enough and I kept crashing so I only managed a few long-range shots and a couple of close-ups. There were so many awesome costumes I wish I could have captured for you.

Here we have the DJ, Princess Alicia, along with Boss and Lolita.

I think this was Queen Kellee, although I could be wrong. As this stage I was trying to figure out if the dances in the treasure chest danceball would work with my tiny av.

And finally, on the left here, we have rezzday boy Jerremy and Tym themselves, complete as the king and queen of the sea-monkeys.

I wish my timezone allowed me to hang out with friends more often. It doesn't so I appreciate the limited time I do get with them.

Cl-cl-cl-click on a penguin

A little while ago I found something awesome on XStreet. Meet Blasty, he's a penguin. But not just any old penguin. He's an exciting penguin, as a few of my friends have found when they've had one left on their land or dumped into their inventory by me. I like to share the love.

I also like to share the blood and guts. Which is good. Because, y'see, when you click on Blasty he, as his name suggests, explodes showering blood and internal penguin organs all around.

Now, this is entertaining enough for a while. Like for at least an hour or two. A day. For a month. Or two. But eventually a boy needs more. A boy needs bigger and better. So I got to thinking. The penguin explodes on a click or a bump...the penguin shoots guts about the if the body bits are physical then by standing penguins next to each other...

I tried rezzing two penguins first, right next to each other. I clicked on one and it exploded. Brains and liver and kidneys leapt into the air in a shower of blood. And then, yes! Success! Penguin two exploded. But two was never going to be enough, was it?

You see where I'm going with this, don't you? Think domino rally, but with no dominoes. And with penguins. And penguin offal.

It worked perfectly. The penguins exploded down the line, each one setting the next one off. Boom, boom, boom.

Sometimes the effect would not be immediate, but usually a stray bit of intestine bouncing around would trigger the next one eventually.

By the end the poolside was littered with penguin parts. The pool was pretty full too. But ah, bugger, a problem...

Y'see, the penguins explode and disappear and leave their internal bits around for a while. And then, after a pre-determined time, the organs and brains and stuff disappear and the penguin re-rezzes. But if penguin number one rezzes while penguin number sixteen's spleen is still bouncing around on the tiles there is a fair chance that penguin one will explode again. And by the time this happens penguin two has rezzed. And so on. And so on.

I found myself in an endless penguin loop. The lag from the scripts and the bouncing lungs and hearts even caused Arora to crash. I thought it would never stop.

For a while there I was actually worried that it would actually never ever stop. I has visions of the whole sim being closed and taped off with that yellow police crime scene tape to prevent anyone getting tangled up in the penguin loop. I imagined huge danger and warning signs around the edge of the sim. The map would be marked "Here be penguins".

By the third or fourth time down the row I was madly trying to delete penguins as they re-rezzed before they exploded. It was, to be honest, a little manic. But finally I managed to delete enough of them for the others not to explode. And....relax.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Getting antsy

This time of year is always busy for me. Summer sport has kicked off again now the evenings are getting longer, I have some other stuff on a couple of evenings a week, and basically I don't get home before 9 or 10pm on Monday through Wednesday. Also Thursdays are quite busy too. Then we're around to Friday which can be when social stuff happens and the weekends are always hit and miss whether they're packed or not. And even if they're not, getting time sat at the laptop can be tricky at best.

Basically, it feels like I haven't been inworld for ever. And the next few weeks are going to be the same. And then it's Christmas which will be a lottery when it comes to SL-time. I miss SL time - exploring, buying stuff and my friends especially. If it wasn't for plurk they might be searching the online Kiwi obituaries for mention of someone with a "secret internet life" by now.

It's kinda hard sometimes, being on plurk, seeing friends posting about inworld stuff, showing us pics, telling everyone how much fun they're having. I miss it. I want to be there too, right alongside them, laughing and being silly with them.

Don't get me wrong, I don't resent RL stuff. I enjoy the stuff that is keeping me out of SL immensely, and it is usually all by choice. I love summer as I can put some shorts on and run around and get all hot and sweaty. And I love spending time with friends.

But I still miss SL. And I'm getting antsy. I have stuff to do. My inventory won't sort itself, the house won't decorate itself, and I hate to think of the mess Buckley has made with no-one cleaning up after him. I have a filter-cam to review, I have poses to sort, and my swans and koi won't appreciate being left in my 'animals' folder.

Maybe if I stopped working I could spend all day in SL and then still have the evenings free for RL...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Did someone call security?

I've got a new job. It's a very important job. A life or death job. I have to protect some VIPs. I have agreed to lay my life on the line ensuring the safety of these VIPs. Although strictly speaking, I guess they're VIBs.

So what is my new vocation? Well, I'm a .....bunnyguard.

A big thankyou goes out to Chase for the pose at very short notice :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Channels of communication

When you're in SL, and you start IMing someone for a bit, but you're both doing different things, and perhaps IMing others, and the IM conversation sort of tails off - do you need a goodbye before the other person signs off?

The reason I ask is that this happened to me the other day. I arrived inworld and someone IMed me to say hi. We chatted for a while with the usual 'how are you?' and 'having a good day?' stuff but then we were both busy and the conversation just sort of tailed off. You know what I mean, you've all been there, I'm sure.

So I continue what I am doing for a bit and then have to leave. So I log off. But then next time I log in I find an IM from the person saying "fine. good bye to you too!"

Now, I'm not really writing about that particular instance, but more about SL communication in general. It just got me thinking about communication in SL. I hadn't really thought before how we might treat it differently.

Y'see for me, I guess I see it a little like walking into a busy room at an RL party. There are people around. You chat to some for a bit, you move from person to person, group to group, don't necessarily have to speak to everyone there, and then when it is time to leave, you might say goodbye to the person you are currently speaking to, but you don't stop the party, get everyone silent and then say "Ok, I'm going now. Bye everyone." That'd be a little arrogant wouldn't it?

But it seems, for others, that IMing is maybe more like a telephone call. And you wouldn't hang up on someone without saying goodbye, would you? I know the analogy doesn't work perfectly because you wouldn't have three or four conversations on different phones at the same time, while shopping for new shoes, while talking to someone in the same room who is blinging with their buttcrack hanging out. But you get what I mean.

Maybe those people are just more needy and self-important than me. Or maybe I'm just rude and ignorant. Or perhaps reality lies in the grey area somewhere between the two extremes. Doesn't it always, eh?

A tad remiss

I've not been in SL much recently. This is a busy time of year for me, RL-wise, and then when I have made it online recently, my time has been spent with one person in particular for the odd hour or so I have, rather than out and about doing stuffs, seeing stuffs and meeting stuffs...erm... people.

As such the much promised inventory sort will have to wait, Wherever Wednesday is taking a sabbatical, and the continuing new house furnishing is delayed a smidge.

[Ooh, that's a point - did I tell you I'd moved? I don't I did, did I? Well, more on that when I can show we're ready to accept visitors. But the bottom line is that I have moved. But you probably gathered that much by now, eh?]

So yeah, no interesting pics to show you. No news of exciting new places I've visited. And no random musings on SLife.

I whole-heartedly apologise. Normal service will be resumed in a bit. I promise.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Getting into the spirit

I don't usually do halloween. For a number of reasons. The primary being I just cannot be arsed. And when halloween in SL seemed to start in August I was so definitely over it even before we reached October.

But then some cheeky little Kiwi kids came knocking at the door last night asking for candy and threatening to throw eggs at my windows so I embraced the spooky season. I wish I had an attack dog to chase them off at times like that but I had to make do with the hosepipe.

But yes, sorry, I am waffling. Halloween and SL. Below you will see my efforts to fit in. OK, so dressing at a giant marshmallow Caspar-type thingy is not really ever going to mean fitting in, but you know what I mean.

As always, please excuse the dodgy water shots. My video card has extreme limitations when it comes to water.

[Oh, and speaking of water, if a certain person is reading this - you know water, right? It's that stuff that can be both under a bridge and off a duck's back. For everyone else who doesn't know what I'm on about - don't worry about it.]

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A hats gripe

I have a gripe. In case you missed the title, the gripe is about hats.

I would love to be able to wear more hats in SL. I would love it. Really. But I just can't figure them out.

It seems to me that there are four options. You either switch your hair for a buzzcut, you have hair sticking through the hat, you postion the hat so it perches delicately on the top of your hair, or you make your hat so large that you look like Jamiroquai.

Surely if boobs can bounce someone can do something about making hats work, can't they?

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