Tuesday, September 30, 2008

been a hard day's night

Rough few days. Moving past it. In the meantime, I've been checking out--tentatively--the new client. Already it's found something to irritate me with.

Whilst exploring for Hallows textures and the like, our intrepid quartet of adventurers discovered ADA Textures--and the world's swishiest dead angel:

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I kid you not, this thing has flexi set to insane values. Sadly, it's not theirs, it actually is an offering from Ramos Designs, along with a few other extraordinarily swishy ghosts.

Observant gentles will note the presence of HUD attachments in that picture (on the large version; as usual, click to see it). This is because unbeknownst to me, the new viewer's auto-capture settings start with HUD objects--and name tags--visible, instead of the other way 'round (everything discreetly hidden away). This is bothersome in the extreme. To wit, our trip through the "Love Bugg Haunted House". (I'm serious. It's an adjunct of the "Love Bugg" Club, apparently--if one is to believe their advertising--the "most popular dance club" in SL. Yeah, riiiight.)

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You will note--I've cropped out all I can, but our name tags are visible, as well as other floating-text tags in the immediate area. This? It's not a terrible thing, it's not even truly a bug, but it's very annoying.

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At any rate, it seemed fairly simplistic at first--press the green button (avoid if red) and wait for the pumpkin car to rez out. (Try not to die if it leaves the track and comes after you.) Then sit and listen to an interminable amount of ghosts chanting "Getttt...ouuuut..." on overfast loops, while you and your three friends (each car can seat four) wait. And wait. And wait.

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Did I mention the waiting?

Finally the thing starts, and it's actually rather interesting, the mechanics of the track itself. This is Second Life, the track is unimportant, but the track there is a visual guidemark on progression. And the pumpkin car moves like it's being jerked forward by mechanical chain. It's unreal.

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Slow progression through fog and cobwebs, evil clowns and hanging corpses, everything with insanely quick-looped sound effects that were making me want to leave the car, liberate an axe, and chop the maker! However, behind that, it's not bad, all things considered....j u s t . . . v e r y . . . s l o o o o w . . . .

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I'm not kidding on the slow--the entire thing, start to finish, will eat about forty minutes of your life. We noticed some folks up ahead, in other cars, had just said the hell with it and were walking. I don't entirely blame them.

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At any rate, it's something to do during the holiday season, and don't let me give you the impression that it's bad, per se--it's fine if you have the time. If you don't, you'll find yourself vibrating halfway through, debating between jumping from the car and porting home.

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Oh, and you won't get out of the house alive...

Next up: little did you know, there were auto-pulled down pants on SL.

Little did you know there was a need for half-mast trousers, huh?

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(The full version? Definitely not safe for work. Full frontal male everything.)

And Discord Nightmare City is having another hunt for the holidays. Discord is always an interesting place, anyway. They've got it set to a hubbed port point, but hit there, a black cage will be around you. Find the teleport sign, teleport to Discord directly. Find the glowing purple sign--there's about seven of them--and port to Discord Nightmare City.

Then find twelve mini-pumpkins hidden around the store. It's harder than you think.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

how many gods does it take to screw in the likes of me?

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising is now for sale! What's stopping you? GO BUY IT!

*coughs*

I mean, this is very, very wrong. And not wrong on Cheetah's part, wrong on the two...*ahem*...gentlefolk on the bed. (Miss Jameson is right--this link? Sooo not safe for work.)

I want to talk a little about Absinthe & Arsenic, however. They have their own sim now, Draco Isle, and to date there's not a lot of the build completed--but the club is, and the club's open.

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(Dancing during the Craziest Hair event.)

There are six dance poles on the dance floor--two in each corner of the front of the floor, one in the center, and three in a row along the back. They have one each of the two three-set dances from Sexy Jesse's, and an Intan couples' dance machine floating between the house dance machines--one rigged for women in red, one rigged for more "masculine" dances in black.

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(The prices for..."private sessions"...are remarkably reasonable, and they don't go out of their way to throw dancers at you. They encourage clients to IM the dancer that interests them the most, and ask there if they are in the group that hires out. Somewhat elegantly done.)

They've also decorated their new space in lovely, rich dark woods, and deep-toned velvets and leathers. Rich glossy finishes on everything that make the new club a comfortable, warm space to be.

All in all, the dancers are pretty, the hosts are friendly, the crowd usually doesn't irritate me beyond all things, and to date, the music has not disappointed--a convivial mix of old-school goth, metal, industrial, sprinkled with new dance and goth music options.

I don't know who, beyond me, was looking for a good strip club to make my new hangout, but I'm fairly sure I've found it. And I'm glad I did.

Friday, September 19, 2008

hush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry

Voice.

At once both the forefront of invention and the thing most bitterly despised on the grid.

I've said more than once, possibly even on these pages, that I am not equipped for, nor do I intend to employ, voice. That in our text-based world, voice is not the lynchpin to propel us forward, voice is not the deciding factor in how anyone, on the grid, relates or should relate to me.

Voice. It's a bane and a blessing. And it never stops being both.

Perceptive sorts will notice, over the past few months, that the bright white dot of the voice-enabled now hovers over my head--in those zones which are voice-enabled themselves. Don't worry overmuch: by and large, you will never hear me speak. (I leave out such unusual occurrences as the destruction of Saint Kitts'--clearly, I was...*coughs*...overcome.) But being voice-enabled, being able to both speak, when I desire to, and to listen in, whether or not I choose to speak...it's been enlightening in more than just the usual sense.

Voice can be an invitation to deeper intimacy. To hear the voice of the one loved reveals more of their personality, day by day, than even words will; words show the mind, voice carries more of the spirit. I don't think this is an invalid conclusion. I think we can learn a great deal about someone, just by hearing their voice.

On the other hand--and this, I also know full well--voice can be the single greatest barrier to future intimacy ever developed. First of all, because it is so easy, so very easy, to get caught up in netskimming and forget other things entirely. We talk about politics, religion, games, movies, music, books, mythology, computers...we discuss how to make webpages walk the plank and the daily toil of the Goddamn Batman. We discuss building and business, Bare Rose and cybernetics, go on scavenger hunts and forage for freebies and explore the weirdness of Japanese sims...

...and, between custom commissions for him and Bare Rose shifts for her and hosting and everything else for me, there's not a lot of time for...well. Anything else.

Add in the annoying tendency of both the SL voice channel and most microphone equipment to drop out voice entirely in low ranges--so 'whispering sweet nothings'? Will result, nine times out of ten, in a 'What did you say?' being asked across the wire. Which is, you might agree with me, the thing you crave least to hear.

Then, of course, one has to add in the oddity of being me. Let's take last night as the stunning example. At times, for no apparent reason, I cannot speak. I want to; I can make noise; but something prevents the words from reaching through the fence of flesh and bone they strain behind.

Last night? Was one of these nights.

So, suddenly, for no reason, I...could not...talk. Voice was active, open, waiting to transmit...nothing but the sound of my breathing. It was unbelievably frustrating.

I am lucky in that I have a love who was willing to--even with the voice channel active--return to the keyboard and the written word, and slowly, slowly, I regained my voice. But it was surreal to the extreme.

So to those who have not yet ventured into the voice arena...be careful. It could be the thing that brings you and those you love together, bind you more deeply, bring you closer than you ever thought possible...or it could drive a wedge in your relationship that you slowly, painfully, try to chip away before it severs each from each completely.

Could go either way. You make the call.

Literally--the button's on your screen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm just sippin' on chamomile, watchin' boys and girls and their sex appeal

I can't decide if this is genius, or a travesty. Maybe it's both; who else would ever think of mixing Gilbert & Sullivan, Pirates of Penzance, and Sir Mix-a-lot's Baby Got Back? (Besides Jonathan Coulton. And even he didn't toss in Gilbert & Sullivan.)

I don't normally advertise item camps, but this one gets in for two good reasons.

One, it's part of the chain (five sims; when did SICK become five sims?!?) of SICK, in sick2 to be precise, and SICK in any sim is a marvelous post-apocalyptic build, with fun little back alleys, piles of end-time junk, decaying neon and poseballs scattered in the strangest places.

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(Very powerful fan. Sometimes you need to be careful when clicking random poseballs.)

Two, of course, is, in just fifteen minutes of rotating in space, you too can have your very own anti-gravity AO.

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Of course, the instructions are bound to be in Japanese, but hey, that's what Babelfish is for. And, in-world, Simbolic.

I favor this new trend, anyway. Don't get me wrong, I find myself in need of a few extra Lindens more often than not, but frankly, camping for money--doing nothing to earn it but stand there--or, more often, sit in place--it always struck me as wrong, somehow. Or at the least, tacky.

Camping for things? Bring it on. One chooses where to camp, what to camp for, and then spends the time washing floors, scrubbing windows, sweeping--or, at present in sick2, camping for a chair inexplicably made of junk--falling forward on one's face every minute or so--really, whatever the maker wants one to do. In this instance, I am exchanging time--which, these days, is valuable to me, I never have enough of it--for an item; exchanging service for goods. This makes sense to my brain. And I feel I'm earning it, somehow.

Just remember, with these two (and all the other) item camps, they won't kick you when you've earned the item. You have to count the time off and stand up. (The AO goes for fifteen minutes, remember, and the chair wants twenty-five.)

In other news, it's been an odd few days. Two of them were spent battling zombies in two separate sims. Digital Hollywood's hunt is over, so I'm fairly sure the zombies went back where zombies go...on the other hand, Nipponbashi's Dead Shot is still around. And still fairly thrilling. (Here's an excellent explanation on why. Though now I'm willing to bet the strange red objects have been replaced by what we faced two nights ago--ravenous chimpanzee-like multicolored feral men with knives!)

One night I spent dancing at Le Cimetiere for their third anniversary party. The swag package was worth going for, a lovely collection of fetishy boots and fun necklaces, and a near life-size voodoo doll box--but the best part was just touching base again, in an odd way.

One of the first sims I went to when I landed on the grid two years back was Le Cim. It was one of the places I'd go when everything else got too glittery, hectic, and blinged-out (remember, two years ago, I was on the mainland). I doubt they remember me from anyone, especially since I'd hang out in the darkest corner of their cemetary dance club. I struck up a few conversations, but for the most part, Le Cim was my escape from the world of being perpetually perky and blonde.

Yes. For most of my career dancing at Enigma, I was blonde. Reel in horror now.

I went there when I tired of sunshine and beaches, I went there when I tired of smiling every three minutes. And they never failed me.

So it was good to come and dance for a bit, in celebration, in commemoration, in tribute and triumph. I hated missing the first part, but I was overjoyed I didn't miss it all.

Also--though this will make an appearance on the shop blog when we're ready, we recently acquired a small parcel in Regency. We still anxiously await the arrival of neighbors with torches, but we're doing our best to be unobtrusive.

There's not much out, until we open, but we're slowly putting things together. Kartiny is still upstairs, Autogenic Alchemy is still downstairs, and there are Caledon postboxes by the front entry to drop notecards or IMs for Mme. Allen or myself.

There will doubtless be some sort of party to announce our arrival formally. Until then, look for the Octavia Tower near the docks. We're No. 3.

Oh, and on this question, Fawkes, since I didn't answer it in world? Normally my answer would be anime, but for that particular game, the CG actually looks better. So I have to say the CG animated version would be my choice.

Not that I know anything at all about the game...

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(Upon reflection? I love my new chair. All thirty-eight prims of it.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

it rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again

Sari Telling is having a little grand opening hunt at her shop space in Jirisan.

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She has a fun design sense, and she strongly believes that color brings vibrant joy to life. She may not be wrong.

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The hunt is for seventeen small balls of multicolored yarn that her turtle, Pladoon, hid. (The turtle in question lopes around the shop--he's slow, but very amusing.) The hunt is only within the shop buildings around her enclosure, not outside of it, and yes, nothing is buried underground or hanging mysteriously in midair. She's done a good job of hiding, but it's not brain-fracturing as a hunt.

By the end of it, your wardrobe will be richer for tattoos, henna work, bindis, choli tops, and flowing skirts--all of it in intensely shaded silks or busily batiked Indian cottons. Her prices for her normal outfits aren't bad, either. Check it out.

In other news...I've been talking to friends who script, and friends who build, who know more than I do.

[0:14] Hn: The thing in your blog?
[0:14] You: that wasn't a hunt, that was a haunted house
[0:14] Hn: Ah
[0:14] You: We're *still* trying to figure it out
[0:14] You: Fawkes says it cannot, absolutely cannot, be the scripting
[0:15] Hn: Nope
[0:15] You: Zen says he's not responsible, which is what I expected him to say
[0:15] Hn: It isn't.
[0:15] You: But it *only* happens with his scripts, so it has to feed into the glitch *some*how
[0:15] Hn: It's holding the control while clicking in the inventory.


So. Expected behavior when any object is dragged from the inventory, into another item? It's when ctrl is held down, for anything?

[0:15] Hn: Well, his scripts are part of the problem.
[0:15] You: Oh, I did ask if we have any HUDs in common? Drill and I have Mysti Cookie's hud, she has the free version; but Neome doesn't
[0:15] Hn: He didn't bother to build in any trash collection or any intelligence at all.
[0:16] You: And I'm running ZHAO, and so is Neome, but Drill's running Franimations
[0:16] Emilly Orr nods
[0:16] You: Which is part of the problem?
[0:16] Hn: If he had written the script better, it would have never done that.
[0:16] Sf: that would explain why Zen's is the only script you've encountered like that, does that
[0:16] Hn: Well, it didn't help, but it was a user error as well.
[0:16] Hn: So, it was a combo of ebil.


So in a sense, Sir Zen was right when he said that it was Neome's fault, but it's also his fault for writing a shoddy script, was my initial conclusion from this. But we went on from there.

[0:17] You: Fawkes and Becky--and Zen, too--insist this is what happened:
[0:17] You: Inventory open.
[0:17] You: Select folder.
[0:17] You: Hold ctrl down, select another folder, click open, drag key to locker--everything previously selected copies over
[0:17] Hn: Actually?
[0:17] You: And that makes sense. that makes logical sense.
[0:17] You: Save I didn't do that
[0:17] Hn: It doesn't even need that.
[0:17] You: And neither did Neome
[0:18] You: Oh?
[0:18] Hn: Nope
[0:18] You: So what did happen?
[0:18] Hn: Open inventory. Open folder with item. SL has tagged a random folder. Hold control on the item to drag out = Mayhem.
[0:19] You: Okay, fine, but what you're saying is, when you click objects, say, SL tags a random folder too?
[0:19] You: Or what?
[0:19] Hn: It can.
[0:19] Hn: Not always.
[0:19] You: Why?
[0:19] Hn: It can also keep the last opened folder as part of the mass-select.
[0:20] You: Right, if you're holding Ctrl down
[0:20] Hn: Why? Because of sloppy coding of course.


And the sloppy coding in question, we're thinking, may not be Zen's at all, but Linden Labs'. In which case, it's a larger grid-based behavior, not localized.

[0:20] You: Well, okay, but--maybe we're looking at it wrong
[0:20] Hn: They don't start the control selection after you hold control.
[0:20] You: We've been looking at our end, the end user end
[0:20] You: Open objects, click on key, hold down ctrl, drag item over
[0:20] You: You're saying it goes beyond that
[0:21] Hn: They include any items that were selected before you held control.


Now, this is a baffling thing to me. Who remembers which folders you've had open and active for all the hours you've been on the grid? The grid, apparently. So there's a set chance of this happening, to anyone, at any time, because of how SL structures memory and inventory.

This is not good.

[0:21] You: How long does SL 'remember' things?
[0:21] Sf: too damn long :P
[0:21] Hn: Till log
[0:21] Hn: Or relog
[0:22] You: Because in my case, I am in and out of the notecards folder CONSTANTLY
[0:22] Hn: That clears it
[0:22] You: But Neome swears she didn't do anything with the latex folder--one of the folders she lost--before dragging the copper ring out to the paintintg
[0:23] Hn: I have seen all sorts of inventory issues with lag at the wrong moment.
[0:23] Hn: It's not a good system.


So partially, it's a hint to keep your cache cleared, and to relog every now and again, even if you don't need to, because it kills those history markers that SL is placing in, that the end user doesn't know about. Again, though? This is not good.

[0:25] Sf: Had you determined yet whether any no-trans items were affected?
[0:26] Hn: I have some of them backed up out of world, but not all of them.
[0:26] You: Not yet
[0:26] Hn: Oh, LL is also to blame for one more part of the debacle.
[0:26] You: I need to work on the names, and run by Draconic's
[0:26] You: See what she's selling those items as
[0:26] You: Because they're most likely to be notrans
[0:26] Hn: They should have the same warning about moving trans items.


So my friend decided to set up a test, to see--on his own--if notrans items were copied over and deleted in a similar script. What he discovered astounded us all. A notrans, copy/mod item that he had in inventory--an extra one his partner had sent him, before she fully understood the permissions system--was eaten without a stray chat line by his mailbox. Which he wrote the script for. And subsequently the original item vanished from his inventory.

So, notrans items can copy over in situations like this. This, in my opinion? Makes this a potentially major problem.

I have no clue how to phrase something like this for the JIRA, however, and we're still having the problem of reproducing it, every single time. Because the main problems reported on the JIRA, I thought, had to be verifiable.

So this is now a larger problem with the structure of memory and inventory, and the structure of LSL when dealing with items and objects crossing paths. I still don't get why all previous tests worked fine without Zen's scripts, and didn't with them, but my friend has now proven it can happen with other inventory-drop scripted items.

We're still working on things.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

and you can tell from the full-body cast that I'm sorry that I asked

Pursuant to the last entry...some interesting things have been learned.

I decided that, since I had the scripts, I would set up two test objects, along with a test 'key'. I didn't name the test object 'key', I just wanted to see what would happen.

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(Setting up the test. The sage object has the 'Locker' script, the lilac object has the 'Blue Lady' script.)

Then we dragged in our recalcitrant employee from sordid casino-hopping, and told her to buy the key and transfer it to the objects, one at a time.

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(Miss Drillicent Gothly, in desperate search of an elsewhere to be.)

She bought the object I'd set to 0L, closed all folders in her inventory, opened the objects folder, clicked on the test object, held down Ctrl, and dragged it into the 'locker' prim I'd set up.

It announced four items were transferred, which were not selected. But even more interesting was, when I opened the 'locker' prim, I found twenty-three other items in there.

I told her to buy a new copy of the test 'key', and repeat what she'd done--click open Objects, click 'key', hold down Ctrl and drag to 'locker'.

It went over, along with twenty-three objects as well, and one intriguing new addition--the "zen_inv1" script, created from the scripts Sir ZenMondo Wormser left in the earlier entry's comments. A script, by the way, which Miss Gothly did not have. Essentially, the object's own script ate itself.

And after which, that prim failed to work.

We never could get the 'Blue Lady' reproduction item to do anything but calmly and quietly accept the test object prim. So it's not a constant effect.

What is causing the misbehavior--which, by the way, never seems to happen with scripts not written by Zen, though I grant you, we may very well be doing things entirely differently--of the 'locker' and 'Blue Lady' scripts? We still don't know.

Mr. Allen maintains it's not the scripts. More, he maintains it cannot be the scripts, that there is no way that LSL can work in the way I've described. I keep asking, then what is it?

We're still trying to figure that out. But in the meantime, we have the additional mystery of Miss Gothly's missing twenty-three objects...and the prim then turning and eating its own script. That just makes no sense, whatsoever.

(Oh--and there are no death rays in Morgaine. Really. Ignore the presence of the...err...NON-death rays, that's it...in...the pictures...*coughs*)

my voice drowns deep underground

I'm not best pleased to do this, but...I must issue a warning.

Brookhaven Hospital is not safe. And I do not mean, it is not safe in that it is a horror themed attraction, in that it's a tribute to Silent Hill's Brookhaven Hospital. Miss Becky Book has built a fairly impressive tribute to the source of some of Mary's nightmares, and--for all it's all on one level--what I've seen of it has been genuinely creepy, as well as game-authentic.

Unfortunately, that's not where the terror started.

Though Sir ZenMondo Wormser claims no responsibility, in fact, attributes what happened entirely to user error, this, near as I can figure, is what happened. I can only claim personal knowledge of four to which this has happened, but four, in my opinion, is more than enough.

I am a Silent Hill fan. It's no secret. Anything that even lightly touches on the source material resonates with me, so, when scanning for haunted attractions for this season upcoming, I was originally overjoyed to find Brookhaven. But the first night we went through, I dragged an item from my inventory into an object on the site--it's something of a puzzle, with prizes; one must hold down the Ctrl key, drag the item from the objects folder which one has found earlier, into the item it goes with, to open/unlock/reveal the next piece of the puzzle--and then watched in stupefaction as a subfolder of my notecards fed into the locker. I could not stop it, I could not alter it, I could not stop the flow--and there were notecards in that folder that contained, shall we say, highly personal information I would rather have stabbed someone else's child rather than reveal.

In a state of mild panic, I messaged Sir ZenMondo, who reassured me that no harm was done, that the object would auto-delete anything dragged to it, that neither he nor Miss Book had been sent a parcel containing said notecards, and that it was just a glitch. A glitch, by the way, he reinforced by saying it hardly ever happened, and likely wouldn't happen again.

More fool I, for believing him.

We ended up leaving that night, Mr. Allen and I, but Mr. Allen wished to return, so a few nights later, I, Mr. Allen, and Miss Neome Graves returned to Brookhaven. We managed to open the locker without incident and retrieved a very nicely detailed jersey jacket, featuring the image of Pyramid Head. Then we went deeper into the structure.

On one wall we saw a picture of a seminude woman, wrapped in a wisp of blue cloth, with one prim arm reaching out of the picture. We pondered for a moment, and then remembered--the copper ring we'd found! It was sheer mischance that sent Miss Neome to drag the ring onto the arm first.

What happened next still makes my heart sink.

The painting calmly, and with no notice whatsover, swallowed every item in her clothing folder. Now, unlike me, she sorts by color or maker, mostly, but her default clothing folder held most of the items she'd received by the now-defunct raffle trades at Bare Rose Tokyo, along with special scavenger hunt items, staff-only gifts (some of which are now discontinued), and items from other designers, including Draconic Lionheart, hyasynth Tiramisu, and Szentasha Salome, and Damen Gorilla of Adam & Eve.

She has no hope of recovering everything she lost--something over three hundred items and, as noted, many no longer made, many impossible to acquire again--in one moment of following the game at Brookhaven. This was worse than panic-inducing--this was a gut-punch to me, watching, and the loss to Miss Neome was staggering in the extreme.

All I could think of to do was send a notecard, explaining what had happened in detail, to Sir ZenMondo as the scripter, and Miss Becky Book as the builder.

Miss Book, to her eternal credit in my eyes, wrote me the instant she received the notecard, asking what she could do. She flew to the scene of the devastation, checking the locker for any remaining notecards--she found none, most thankfully--then moving to the painting of the Blue Lady.

She managed to retrieve, and carefully packaged up for us, eighty-four random items from the Blue Lady painting, and sent it to us. Mr. Allen sent me a script to list all items in chat, so we could compare them to items she'd lost. This is where things truly got dark.

Of the eighty-four items we received, eighty-two were objects of attire that Miss Neome had not even known she'd lost. So that pushed her total loss of clothing, shoes, AOs and objects to over three hundred items, three hundred and sixteen to be precise.

The two not on that list? Wandering shoe-forms that she did not previously own. Which leads me to my conclusion that there is a fourth woman this has happened to, on a list that includes myself, Miss Neome, and Miss Becky Book herself.

Miss Book sent the package to me, as I said, for later sending to Miss Neome, and offered what limited funds she had as some small form of recompense. As I thought it was truly a script error at that point, and thus, not her fault, though it was her attraction, I explained that we were both grateful for the offer, but we could not lay this at her feet.

No, it was the responsibility of the scripter. Which brings us to Sir ZenMondo Wormser. Who took over a day to get back to me after sending the notecard to him. Who spoke with me only after I initiated contact, after that day. And who then, with apparent blithe disregard of any element of conscience, disregarded all responsibility and blamed Miss Neome for the error.

I admit, I know Sir ZenMondo somewhat well, so, though I had hoped for some financial recompense for her savagely gutted inventory, to help her reacquire beloved pieces that she could, I knew it would not happen. What annoyed me further was his insistence that there was nothing he could do at all, and that it was her fault for dragging the items into the painting.

I have no idea where to turn at this point. Conversation with a staffer at Linden Labs resulted in no result of consequence. Sir ZenMondo's customer service is clearly lacking. And I truly believe blaming Miss Book would be the height of rudeness, and unfair to boot.

So I am left with this warning. If you do choose to go to Brookhaven...know you may leave lighter by far than you went. And that you may lose more than your peace of mind.

Monday, September 8, 2008

unzip my body, take my heart out

Could a body close the mind out?
Stitch a seam across the eye
If you can be good, you'll live forever
If you're bad, you'll die when you die


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Couldn't shake off the dreams this morning, after far too long a night before. Not nightmares, not that, but disturbing, and feeling more like communication, soul to soul, mind to mind...mind to mine, with a mind not mine.

Hearing only one true note
On the one and only sound
Unzip my body
Take my heart out
'Cos I need a beat to give this tune


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My subconscious speaks in code anyway, in hand signals, indications of language, hints and allegory, inference and vague suggestion. Many of the dreams featured Lindens changing hands, from small to large amounts, and the rest was blurred violence, emotional violence, pain and desperation.

Taking a picture of--
Taking a picture of--
Taking a picture of--


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Three times I woke up enough to know I was dreaming, know there was a world just beyond my closed lids, and I had that oddly placid, yet desperate feeling of dragging myself away from what was happening, towards reality...and never quite being able to make it before I fell back into the world the images made.

Oh the body swayed to music
Oh the lightning glance
If I would give it all and all
Maybe you would hear me
Ask for half a chance


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There was a lot of reasoning, I know. A lot of bargaining. A lot of trying to figure out what was happening, while everything was happening. Anger. Hurt. Deep rage, deep pain, and not from me. My body in the dream shaking so much, it translated to my actual body, the few times I was close to surfacing.

Hearing only one root note
Planted firmly in the ground
Undo my heart, unzip my body and
Lend to my ear a clear and a deafening sound


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I've had worse dreams. I've had much worse nightmares. This was more the equivalent of watching a horror movie, that I've seen before and liked, and talking to folks in the same room about the issues of the day, over living in the world on the screen, and being terrified of what was going to happen next.

Unzip my heart

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This was comprehension, understanding as far as I could, over ignorance. This was knowing that a led to b, hurt led to struggle, pleading led to pain. This was experience, and whatever dark lessons such experiences teach; this was not trapped in the storyline, just another taut line of vibrating ink drawn on parchment skin.

And if I need a rhythm
It’ll be to my heart I listen
If it don’t get me too far wrong


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It's a small detail, a somewhat precise and miniscule distinction, but a valid one. Art versus life. Words on a page, not the universe within the pages. But it rocked me, these dreams, and I haven't quite shaken all of them off to back storage.

And if I--
And if I--
And if I need a rhythm
It’s gonna be to my heart I listen
If it don’t take me too far gone


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Part of it was that sense of conversation. That I was not alone in this dream, that it wasn't just me alone, interacting with characters my mind had spun of whole dreaming. Instead, I kept having the strong feeling, the unshakeable sensation, that I was communicating with someone beyond the barrier of my skin.

Everybody smile please
Nobody pay no mind to me
Finger in position on the switch
A little flash photography


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Part of that, also, was that the bulk of each dream centered on someone else, someone not me, interacting with someone else entirely. I was...bystander. I was barely an interested party, save for my wanting to stop what was happening, needing to stop what was happening, and never knowing how.

Taking a picture of you
Taking a picture of--
Taking a picture of me
Taking a picture--


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Simple deduction, this one: the events of last night (still unresolved, for which I'll have to speak with someone I was hoping I would not have to speak with) have left me feeling a sense of shared loss, a mournful frustration, a tinfoil-gnawing inability to offer more than support. I was, last night, stunned into silence and shocked mute, all of me wanting to reach out, all of me cripplingly unsure of the right words to speak, the right actions to take.

Ramalama Bang Bang
Flash Bang Big Bang
Bing Bong, Ding Dong
Dum dum d-dum dum


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But that doesn't explain the major themes of this dream set. That doesn't explain the participants my mind chose. That doesn't explain the feeling of conversation, over imagining.

With a hammer Bang Bang
Flash Bang Press Gang
Bing Bong, Ding Dong
Dum dum d-dum dum


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Far be it from me to go overboard on the psychoanalysis, but everything else made sense to me--from the setting to the scenes--until the actors of the play stormed in. Then all sense flew out the window, and I had to sit back and wonder, when I was capable of such detached observing, why them? Why those names, those faces? Why those hearts set against mine?

With a st-stammer
Bang Bang


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I still have no answers, and more questions for every possible moment of comprehension I push myself through and beyond.

And if I
And if I need a rhythm
Gonna be to my heart I listen--


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And through it all, every second, every moment, of dreaming, I still have this etched in razor-sharp clarity: that I did not invent this on my own. I still have this persistence of presence, this sensation from somewhere beyond me, that I shared these dreams, these fragments, with someone else.

On that, I most sincerely hope I'm wrong. Because there is no way to ask, and no answer I'd be able to accept.

(Lyrics from Roisin Murphy's "Ramalama (Bang Bang)".)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

show me the way to the next whiskey bar

I must own this AO.

You might need to own this AO, too.

I think I started laughing uncontrollably at "SEE THINGS THAT AREN'T THERE..."

Just go to Sine Wave Island and pick one up. I plan to. :)

Canimal not only has new boneyard shoes (they look damned cool, they really do), but one of the weirdest av toys I've ever seen.

Tired of carrying around a mouse, a fish, a lightbulb (yes, all things in my inventory)? Now carry a bag of blood!

Don't ask me why any self-respecting vampire, ghoul or zombie would carry one around like this. But on the other hand...it's kinda cute.

At some point, I have to go through my shoulder pets folder. At present I have a small zombie, a ghost hand, crystal dragon, an angelic egg (complete with wings and a halo), a nigh-zoo-full of shoulder-sized animals (including two different mice, a Himalayan panda, cats, grubs, spiders, chickens, a monochrome reindeer and a li'l pink pig), a cute l'il Thing with Tentacles, several tiny plants and rocks, and a shoulder train.

You heard me. A shoulder train.

No, I don't know where I got the shoulder train, either.

Tonight, I finished the Absinthe & Arsenic arsenic bottle hunt.

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There are twenty-six bottles to find, some hidden in very difficult places to get to, all traditionally-styled bottles of vintage arsenic trioxide tablets with dark brown glass.

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(Don't match up the pic with anything in the club--you won't find it. This is one I rezzed out on the lawn at Tea & Strychnine.)

But considering it's a goth/vampire club? Dark brown glass blends in so well.

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I admit, I like the art.

All in all, the people were fun, the dancers talented, the host amusing, and they're hiring. If I had more free time...

And I should bring up the Crypt Puzzle Game from Bleed Designs.

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(Fawkes learns not to click on ritual circles.)

It's a tad tricky in spots, and the end room is mind-bendingly difficult...but if you win and solve the puzzle? A), you get to leave Hell (yay!), B, you get a t-shirt that said you survived (also yay), and a copyable bloodbath/shower combo (which they sell in the stores for a not insignificant amount). So it's worth the walking through.

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(One of the clues? Involves fire. I got a tad bit crisped.)

Then we went back to the Raft.

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We'd done several of the haunted rooms available there, but we hadn't actually walked through the murder mystery. It is quite challenging. We never made it past room three.

This is going to take some thought.

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(By the end of Sunday I was starting to feel better.)

All in all, though, a mostly worthy evening. Save for the fire.

Oh, and Paradisis is having a 50% off sale. Why are you still reading this? GOOOO!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

hope for anything but light

(We have always had ways to communicate.)

Circling around each other, widening circles, elliptical orbits. We have ways.

Whether we want them or not, whether we listen or not. Things are said, information is exchanged, we communicate.

Now for the first time, I'm not sure of what I'm hearing. And I wonder, is it due to recent transitions, or extended absence? Have I finally lost that small subtle gift of knowing that one's heart, even at a distance from mine?

I went to Steelhead for the Consulate staff meeting. Ash Mason is the newly elected Wulfenbach Liaison to Steeltopia. I believe he was also made an honorary Jager. Might have something to do with being a construct.

(Communication, by word, by inference, weaving between the speeches and silence. Ribbon of truth, ribbon of doubt. Which face is real, or all they all false?)

I was invited back for the Wulfenbach celebration dance on Friday, later this month, and for the Wulfenbach Consulate anniversary, Saturday, later still. I had nothing near the 20th at the time, but Radio Riel seems to have lost many hosts of late. I had to pick up more shifts. Now, I'm booked.

(Is it what I wanted, though? Not to go, or to have good reason not to go? Or does it just rely on lack of staff? Is it forethought or simple ill luck?)

Last night I danced at Novem. I'm told they changed ownership, that the woman who founded the tavern was evicted from the premises. This bothers me, because that means I finally got to see it, after it's no longer in her hands.

(Side glances. Side comments. View through a tarnished mirror, over the shoulder and down. What is real? What is imagined? What isn't my imagination?)

Today I'm told to make a change. And it's not even one I disagree with, on the surface. But it took incredible courage to make that change. I was literally shaking with emotion afterwards. All from the click of a button.

Reaving. Parting. Dissolution, even. All these things.

(Maybe we are still communicating. Maybe we're just not saying anything the other one wants to hear....)

Friday, September 5, 2008

sometimes I will ask the moon where it shined upon you last

Quick little intro to the day--the nigh-traditional Tribute Island gig is changed a bit this week. Anyone who's interested, I can port you in--once I track the back lot down!--and we'll have dancing and wonderful music.

Now, the semi-tragedy of hearing this moments before I go into world? There's going to be a Marilyn at the event.

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Hmm, now what?

Oh, well, Dorothy it is--just remember to come to the backstage lot at Tribute Island, not the floating bar--because after all, this one? Is all about Hollywood...

[Later insert: Miss Sasha00 Laryukov, everyone:

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She's AMAZING. Apparently this is all she does in SL, celebrity impersonations, desiging one-of-a-kind celebrity skins. Just phenomenal.]

Thursday, September 4, 2008

you don't know how you betrayed me

Look here she comes now
Bow down and stare in wonder
Oh how we love you
No flaws when you're pretending
But now I know she


One of my loves attended, at the behest of her friend and mine. I stayed in the aptly-named sim of Cursed, pondering. Should I be there? Some part of me felt I should, but there were those there who would become upset at my presence, I thought.

For their sake, I stayed away. To spare them pain, I chose not to attend the wake of a former love, a former adversary, to contemplate more deeply the nature of redemption and revenge.

By later account, apparently I did the right thing by staying far away.

Never was and never will be
You don't know how you've betrayed me
And somehow you've got everybody fooled


I was right not to attend, I was right not to go. And this, this is the final act, and there will be nothing more.

I hold no allegiance or loyalty to the house of Bloodwing under any name. I will not serve, even by silence, its new Regent in any wise. I sever all ties, even those I've maintained for memory's sake.

Should allies or members of the House wish to retain friendship with me, I have no objections, and I will do my best to remain accessible in limited ways. But the House at large, as an ideal--no. Ashes in my mouth, and curled around a considerable bitterness, I say no.

I cannot maintain the cheerful smile and the extended hand of aid to a new 'Founder' that despises the fact that I breathe, and has done everything within her power to see me fail. I left Steelhead because she was uncomfortable. I no longer attend Tuesday meetings or Friday dances, once a very large part of my life on the grid, because she might be made distressed by my appearance.

But she will not let it go. Over a year and she still flounces off like a spoiled child whenever we do meet, grumbling under her breath about me. Enough, I have had enough.

I say no. Three times I say no, and what I say is true.

We are at an end. Nostalgia only goes so far, and this goes too far. The Foundation will have no more of me.

(Lyrics taken from Evanescence's "Everybody's Fool".)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

released from circles guarded tight

Oh, how we love our tortured boys.

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(At Hair Fair, Here Comes Trouble's booth, after purchasing the "Candy" braided ponies from Wilted Rose.)

It's been a saying for a very long time. I don't spend the bulk of my time overanalyzing--for that particular saying, at least. And I also know women affect me differently--a woman in pain, I want to bandage the worst wounds and lift her up again, arm her and send her out fighting.

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(ReignShadow Walker learns the trick of making books in Avaria.)

Men, though...men in deep pain fold me in around my core of adamant, pull me farther out of myself, sometimes, than I'm comfortable going. Sometimes that's frightening, sometimes I'm so far beyond understanding, in that moment, what's going on that I'm left blind by the riptide draw.

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(Using copper ore and crushed quartz in ginger jars, SubGirl lays the groundwork for the assembly line system in Avaria.)

I want to help, I need to help, I've moved heaven and earth and planets in their orbits, anything to free them, even for a single moment, of whatever it is that's shredding them inside. I shouldn't say just men pull this out of me--anyone I love, I'd destroy sinew and bone, put all of me to one side, to help any way I can--but men pull strongest. Men in pain, wounded men, if there's a way, I have to help. I have to help. Denial of self, perhaps annihilation of self, but I can't not reach out.

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(The thought did occur the night I took this--what particular game in SL requires dressing up as a bloodspattered, punked-out Paris Hilton while wielding a nail-studded plank? Sadly, the world may never know, but at least Miss ame Meili had fun beating the sockets out of the Lucky Fortune game at Sugar Mill Poses.)

Even when I tell myself not to reach out, I still find ways to extend my reach. Even if they're only visible from my perspective. Even if I'm the only one who knows.

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(Apparently there is a Torley version of the Facelight 3000. I have fear.)

Some of it, I know, comes from my particular version of loyalty. It's not mindless, it's not instinctive, I do think about the things, the ideals, the people to which I'm loyal. But once I am, once I exist in that moment, it takes a tremendous effort to wrest my loyalty away. Wrong or right, I will defend those I've chosen, unless they turn on me.

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(Sometimes, you just can't trust labels.)

And even then, even then, my loyalty tends to hold. I may not walk with them longer, I may not be a focus in their lives...but in my own way, I watch, I listen, I guard. As much as I am able, as much as I'm allowed. It takes a very, very long time for that sense of loyalty to dissipate. Loyalty, I've found, lasts even longer than love.

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(Ow pain ow burning ow. Scavenger hunts should not require self-immolation.)

Perhaps it does make sense--after all, those I love, those I've befriended, those I've chosen are my shields. Why shouldn't I shield them in return, as much as I'm able? It's not perfect--as I've said, I do make mistakes, I stumble, I lag behind and lose the path--but it's the free gift of my heart, no recompense requested or required.

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(There's such a thing as too much glow. Occasionally, Bare Rose forgets this.)

Even when it binds me further to those I've left behind, those who've left me behind. So far, it's the price I'm willing to pay. Though, admittedly...of late, that price has grown costly indeed.

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(There is no death ray in Morgaine.)

Perhaps it's time to seek a new path, make different choices. Listen to the voices of the future, not the past. As frightening as that sounds to me...