Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's about time it was over

Way back in May I blogged about the sales vendors I had in my store. They were to be there for a limited time only, giving people a chance to pick up back-catalogue items before they are no longer easily available.

Well, I reckon that the 'limited time' is about to expire. So go now. It's your last chance. Don't delay. This stuff will be gone. Forever. Deleted. Well, almost. I'll still sell pieces out of my back-catalogue, I reckon. But the easiest way is to get them from the vendors. They're at least 60% reduced. You can't go wrong, eh?

Oh, and current collection out on the walls, the Spring Spirals, that's about to be replaced too. So if you need something a little pastel-y for a light and airy beach house, for example, don't hang about or you'll miss out.

As a teaser, the new collection, to be released very, very soon is called Diffusion. Or perhaps Liquid Light. I haven't decided yet. But the pieces are a little different to my usual work. A change is as good as a rest, as my nan used to say. But you'll be the judges of that, eh?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I can haz skillz - BBBC 2010: 7

Yes, I realise that the BBBC only had six questions, not seven. But I am special. And Alicia gave me a special seventh question all of my own.

The dialogue in plurk, for those of you that can't see it, went a little like this:
[Ali] : Marnix gets his very own 7th day blog question: Tell us what talents you have. IN DETAIL
[me] : RL or SL?
[Ali] : Both.
[me] : Aw man. That's a toughie
[Ali] : That's what you get for making me come up with another question that didn't have anything to do with me.
I guess, in summary, it is my own fault for moaning about a week of blog challenges not lasting a week.

But it is a toughie. What are my talents? If I were to enter a talent contest what would my act comprise? Were I to appear on New Zealand's Got Talent what would I be doing at the second three big red crosses sparkled above my head? To be honest, in the traditional sense, I got nothing. I can't sing. I can't dance. I can't play the kazoo. I haven't trained a dog to do any of the above either. I can wiggle my ears but I think, despite that mind-blowing talent, I might have to cast my net a little wider for the benefit of this post. says a talent is "a special natural ability or aptitude". So it is something congenital rather than learned. What am I just good at?

RL sees me sitting at a desk all day doing numbery, spreadsheety stuff. In brief terms, much of what I do involves taking lots of data and condensing it down and summarising it so and drawing conclusions that other people can understand it. Sometimes I make pretty graphs. I guess that is a talent - making something incomprehensible comprehensible, right?

What else could be considered a talent? Perhaps being affable? Having the ability to put people at ease, being easy to talk to, making them laugh with my dry and understated, self-deprecating wit? Yeah, maybe. If so, I guess that one would extend to both worlds. I hope that people feel comfortable around me and that I make them smile. I know sometimes people don't get my sense of humour and think I am serious when I am totally joking, but that's just something that comes with time, I guess. It's cultural. Bear with me. You'll get there.

And if we move to SL, I guess my one talent would maybe be my art. I hope it is somewhat of a talent anyway. Otherwise I am wasting everyone's time, right? I know it is art, and clearly that means appreciation of what I produce, like all other art, is highly subjective, but I hope enough people like it enough for me to keep doing it. I enjoy it if nothing else. I just hope others gain enjoyment from it too. I struggle with motivation when there is no prospect of sharing.

I was never arty at school. I couldn't draw. I couldn't sculpt. I could do technical drawing a bit, but that was just maths with a pencil and ruler really so it doesn't count. I always felt like I want to have an arty side. I was just rubbish at it. Numbers were always easier. And they were right or wrong. There is no subjectivity in algebra. So when I discovered this abstract art I now create I felt a release in finally having an outlet. The tap had opened, the damn had burst and pretty, abstract art poured forth. A bit like my words on this blog.

It is actually quite hard to list your talents when you don't have any of the traditional ones. Also I reckon talents are quite subjective. What others might see as a talent in you, you might just see as 'you' rather than anything special. I have tried to do the question justice but self-promotion is definitely not one of my talents.

All alone

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Checking out the competition

I found myself in SL tonight. With nothing to do. It is so long since I have been in SL with nothing to do that I decided to explore a little.

When I was a noob I used to randomly tp about the place, chasing green dots, upsetting couples in-flagrante. Not on purpose, of course. I have grown now. I am beyond that. But being beyond that also limited the scope of my 'what-to-do'. Fortunately, before I gave up, I remembered that I had a gallery tour HUD in inventory. Yes, I thought. I am feeling cultural. A gallery tour sounded ideal.

Think of the HUD as random tp-ing about the place. But instead of chasing green dots, you chase art. Just to see what you can find.

If you're interested you can find a list of all of the galleries covered by the HUD here. To quote the obligatory notecard - "The Art Galleries of SL list was created and is maintained by Sasun Steinbeck for the benefit of the wonderful galleries, artists and art lovers in Second Life." If you are feeling exploratorily cultural and want to grab a HUD, you can click on the kiosk at Swirly Disco Flames.

Tonight I discovered that art, like everything else in SL, is mixed. There is some good. And some bad. Some stuffs grabs you. And some repulses you. Some is clever. Some is stupid. Some is just a major reminder that art is in the eye of the beholder. Even if he is blind. I don't know why I supposed it would be any other way.

One thing I was reminded of tonight though is how much RL photography displayed as art in SL just doesn't sit right with me. It jars somehow. I don't know what it is. And it doesn't even depend how stunning the photograph is and how much I would love the photo via some other medium. I just can't mesh the two ideas. Abstract stuff, yes. SL-based stuff, yes. Graphic art stuff, yes. In fact, anything virtual or digital, yes. But real and analogue, nope. Sorry. Not for me.

Oh, and another thing I was reminder of tonight - there's a lot of sex in galleries. The gallery tour HUD even has three categories - one of which is 'erotic', for if you're so inclined.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Six days a week - BBBC 2010: 6

So we come to last post of the challenge. The last of the week. Yes, six in a week. I know, I know. Don't blame me.

And the topic is: What did you get out of your experience? Do you think it will change the way you blog in the future?

Hmmm. Well, to answer the second bit first - no, I don't think it will change the way I blog in future. If you've been around here any time at all you'll know that I waffle sometimes, about anything. I just ramble on. About nothing. And for me, that's what this week has been about. Except someone else has given me the topics to ramble about. It hasn't changed how I blog or what I blog. It has perhaps made me blog every day this week which is a first for many a moon, but it won't change anything going forward. I'll blog when I feel the need. Or when I want to plug my gallery. Or when I have something I just have to get off my chest.

But what did I get out of the experience? That's trickier. I have been thinking about this for a while now and to be honest, I'm not sure. I have enjoyed being forced to write. Because I do enjoy spouting forth nonsense. So that's a definite bonus. I enjoyed participating in a fun challenge initiated and organised by one of my best friends. But as for anything deep and spiritual, full of insight and meaning. Neh. Probably not.

Maybe one small thing I have got out of the experience, to finish up, is a reminder that for some people this challenge has been about being heard rather than listening to others. For me as much enjoyment has been gained from reading the blogs of friends and strangers as from writing myself. But for others, it is all about them. They write because they think that not writing would deprive the world of their wisdom. They don't care about what others write, only that as many people as possible digest their tasty morsels of vocal pricelessness and are grateful for the privilege. That's not the spirit of the challenge for me. Or blogging in general. But what do I know, eh?

Friday, June 18, 2010

An empty vessel - BBBC 2010: 5

Topic #5 - Blogger's choice! Write about anything that's on your mind!

I can write about anything? Anything at all, huh? So why's my mind gone blank?



So, .... no, not that.....


Do you know how hard it is to just write something on request? Do you think Alicia realises the pressure this is putting on us? There's nothing on my mind. Not food, not sport, not sex. What else is there for a man?

I jest. I am not like that. Not all the time.

So, what's on my mind? Nope. Got nothing. Work. RL stuff. Cat's crapping over the edge of litter trays. Stuff none of you want to read about. SL stuff? Nope. I hardly get inworld at the moment. So there's nothing to write about there. I only survive in an SL sense most of the time through plurk. [You should add me, you know :) ]

Will this do? Can I stop rambling now? Please?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ageing gracefully - BBBC 2010: 4

The next BBBC topic is a hard one to answer. It is not something I have ever thought about. I guess it means this will be a short post.

Topic 4: Is your avatar more or less your current biological age? Do you portray a younger avatar, or older? Why is this?

As I say, I have never really considered this. It has never entered my head. My av is just me. The way I am. Perhaps the way I want to be, mebbe, rather than the way I am, in some respects. The way he looks just kinda depends on the skin I am currently wearing. I have never set out to give my av "an age". I don't play a child av, and I don't wear a skin that makes me look like a sun-dried prune. Marnix just is.

I guess at some point, if I stay in SL for like twenty years, then Marnix will be younger than me, or at least he'll look younger than me. But other than that, given most of us are in the 25-40 bracket, and most skins fit that bracket too, and mostly it is hard to tell, in SL or RL, where an individual person quite sits within that bracket, it doesn't really matter to me whether I look younger or older than my actual self.

Does this answer the question? I guess so. Mostly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


In my BBBC 2010:2 post I was kinda cryptic about a positive thing in my SLife. I said I couldn't give details at the time. I now can.

A while ago, I approached the talented Rayvn Hynes of MudHoney fame about a collaboration. Well, collaboration is a big word for enquiring whether she'd be interested in selling my art in her store for a cut. Exclusive custom-made art to fit her designs, I might add. Surprisingly she said yes. I nearly fell off my chair.

Due to a few RL things and other commitments nothing then happened for a while. But late last week I got the nod. She had a room set about to be released and had some empty picture frames that needed filling. Bring on the art, was the call, and I answered.

So here we have it. The Lawrence office available here complete with five exclusively available pieces of my work. Check it out.

MudHoney ad
To nick words from Rayvn's own desciption of the set:
"The desk set was part of my Spruce Up Your Space item from last month, and I've added to the room to make a complete set. It's 283 prims of cute accessories and little details. And, since the pillows turned out so adorable, I've made it so they can be purchased separately, too, so you can scatter them in other areas of your house.

As usual, you can get the full set in copiable OR transferrable. The awesome artwork was done by Marnix Malifozik of Swirly Disco Flames, and I love how he's pulled the colors from the room into his pieces. [round of applause] "

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Covering old ground - BBBC 2010: 3

So, topic 3: How hard do you think it is to find a relationship in SL? If you have an SL relationship, have you met in the physical world? Would you meet them? Do you think it would change your SL relationship if you met?

Ooh, so many questions. Where to start? Where to start?

Well, first up, in terms of my relationships in SL in general and my view of them, you only need read back around here to find a lot of heart-felt posts. I am no stranger to relationships, for better or worse. Also, if you were here round the time of my rezday, you might have read my historical relationship overview. Given all that, I might keep today brief. I have covered some of this stuff before.

So, in short, I think it is remarkably easy to find a relationship in SL. I will add to that though, that this is as a guy. For girls I think it is different. As a guy there seems to be more choice and more opportunity. As a girl you perhaps have to be less fussy.

Met in RL? Nope. At times in various relationships there have been times (and still are) when I would have liked nothing more. But perhaps that was the little brain thinking ;)

That kind of answers the next question too. Would I meet them? Certainly there have been times when I would have grasped an opportunity to do just that with both hands.

And would it change the SL relationship? Well yes. I am talking for me here, of course, and not generally, but how could it not change things? It would be going from existing in each other's virtual lives to existing in our physical ones. Boundaries would change. Expectations would change. I like to kid myself that things would not change. But they would have to.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Positive vibes - BBBC 2010: 2

I know, I know. Two in a day. But I was playing catch-up before, and now I am getting ahead as I won't be near a PC tomorrow. The rules are fluid, I'm sure. Alicia will understand.

Topic 2 of the Big Bad Blogger Challenge 2010: Write about three positive things going on in your Second Life.

Three, huh? Sheesh. Three?!? Hmm, let me think...

Well number 1, I guess I ought to mention Jordy. I don't see her inworld nearly enough. Plurk keeps opens the lines of communication, but it's a poor substitute for spending time together. We seem to work well together. We seem to understand each other. We are there for each other when we can be but don't make demands of each other, especially unrealistic ones. She is definitely a positive thing going on in my SLife.

Number 2, I really wanna tell you details of. But I can't. Not until later this week. All I can say is 'furniture' and 'art' and 'collaboration'. There. I've said enough. My lips are sealed. But suffice it to say, I am quite excited about the prospect of these developments. But I can say no more. For now.

And number 3, I have to mention Ali, source of the BBBC. When I first arrived in SL and searched out people on their blogs, as I mentioned in BBBC1, I placed all the bloggers on pedestals. They were something to aspire to. Some sort of celebrity community us normal folk could only look at in wonder and awe. It turns out though that they're normal too. But along the way, those bepedestalled bloggers became friends. I got to know them. Some more than others, and none more than Alicia. In the last ten or so months we've hung out, we've chatted, and we've got to know each other better and better, until now, via the joy of various electronic media, we chat almost every single day. Despite being half a world apart she is one of my closest friends and someone I share much with. She also is definitely something positive going on in my SLife.

Kick up the jacksie - BBBC 2010: 1

Ok, so I am a day late signing up. But that's ok because I am in the future, right?

At the very worst, at least signing up gets me to blog about something other that my gallery and stuff. That makes a change, eh?

Right, so topic 1: Why did you become a blogger? How has it enriched your life?

When I first arrived in SL I didn't know anyone. I sat at work each day thinking about SL but not really knowing anyone. I knew that I needed to know people so decided to google 'Second Life', mainly for hints and tips. The result, I was surprised to find out, was page after page of blogs. I read through as many as I could find avidly. There was like a whole community out there.

Now, I had been a RL blogger for maybe two years at that stage. I blogged about my move to the other side of the world, both the run-up and once it happened, under the pretence of letting friends and family back home know what was going on without the need for multiple emails saying the same thing to multiple people and never knowing who's up to date and who knows what. That was the pretence, and perhaps even initial logic. But after a short time I realised that blogging was a great way of saving my thoughts for me to look back on. Especially with a 30-something memory lacking the vitality and capacity of youth.

As a result, it was not too big a step for me to consider SL blogging too. Especially when I realised that blogging, getting seen around, commenting on the blogs of others, that would be a great way to 'meet' people. Just kinda getting my name out there. Also, just like with RL, the blog became in time a great way to document my thoughts, memories and experiences.

So that's the first part. That's why I became a blogger. But how has it enriched my life, eh? Well, the answer has to be people. Simply the people I have met through it. And the friends I have made. I have met people as they have commented on my blog just as I commented on the blogs of others. Some people I know in passing only, but others I am proud to now consider my friends. These people enrich my life. Even if I am on the other side of the world I can see what they're up to, they can see what I am up to (even if it has been very little recently) and we can let each other know we're around and that we care. They enrich my life.
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