Thursday, December 31, 2015

there is water, there is snow

I present to you the cast of Star Wars singing Staying Alive. You're...welcome?

While we're at it, have some Jedi & Sith lightsaber training, courtesy of Kuma Films.

And I know the holidays are pretty much officially over, but this was the cutest holiday song I found this year: Text Me Merry Christmas, by Straight No Chaser and Kristen Bell. (Hat tip to Coz O'Kelly, who played it at the last Book and Tankard dance.)

And COCO Designs still has their free rabbit avatar out, in brown or grey, and the free Santa jacket to go with it. Hurry if you want a full mess bunny to hop around in!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

it's the little things

Lemmy Kilmister, singer, songwriter, musician, member of Motörhead and former member of Hawkwind, has passed away at the age of 70 from cancer. He will most sincerely and ardently be missed, and he leaves a hole in the music world that will not soon be filled.

In the meantime...

Morning comes slow today
Memories push through from yesterday
Where will I be tomorrow?
What do I have to show?

I still don't know. Each step I've taken to lead me here has moved me, and sometimes I leave flowers in my wake, sometimes burning wreckage. Sometimes I don't know until the blooming, or the feeling of good soil going dead beneath my feet.

From my life...

There's no life without pain, because pain is the easiest of lessons. Don't do this, it hurts. As children we grasp this instinctively, but many of us still push, wanting to know why, when the point of the lesson is not why it hurts, but that it hurts at all.

Stay, I need you here for a new day to break
Stay, I want you near, like a shadow in my wake

So I stand on another precipice, looking down, down, down. If I jump, will I fall, or fly? It disturbs me that I don't know. And I'm examining everything for meaning, for where it fits, or if it doesn't, and maybe that's part of the problem. One love told me tonight that I'm spending too much time analyzing the life I'm living, and not enough time living it. Is that true? If that is true, how do I stop doing it?

Flow with life down the drain
Memories and force of will sustain
Where will I be tomorrow?
What will be left to show?

Maybe, yet again, it's too many unshared thoughts, not too many thoughts, period. I live largely in my head, and it's always been difficult to let others in, to let them see who I am, where I am. A lot of the recent changes in my life on the grid are designed to push me past my comfort zones, break me out of the old, dysfunctional patterning I've managed to create. And to a certain extent, it is working, but is it causing instability in other areas?

From my life...

Overthinking, also, is just part of my core makeup. I'm not saying it's inevitable, and I'm not saying it can't be changed, but it's been an ingrained thing since I was old enough to think, so changing that is akin to a Philosopher's Stone that works.


And there is still part of me reaching out, yet again. After November, after the main push of writing was done, everything I'd reread and reacted to was still echoing, frozen in those moments of transition. This, too, I need to come to terms with, yet again...and, yet again, stop reaching out for the hand that will never again be there.

It's the little things, little things, little things, that make the world
The little things, little things, little things that make the world

So perhaps it's a case of small movements. I am allowing winter to seep in, but I am not going dormant, I am not waiting for spring. Perhaps I need to. After all, seasons change, people change, and who we are now is not always who we will remain. I've been treating it as the winter that sears through me, but perhaps I should instead see it as the winter that brings sleep, surcease and healing, and stillness.

It's the little things, little things, little things, that make the world
It’s the little things, little things, little things

Spring will come. There is a small part of me that believes that now. At some point the snow will leave, and the refuge I've made will go away, no longer needed. I will create a new space, a new home, and bring the things that matter from the heart of winter. Everything else can stay there; if it will not help with the thaw, I have no need to carry it further.


And when the thaw comes, I may finally be ready to stop asking the question, and waiting for the answer which will not come. Or perhaps, I will finally be ready to acknowledge that the question no longer needs to be asked at all.

(Lyrics are taken from Poets of the Fall's song, Stay.)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

I wanna ride the waves down in Galveston when the hurricanes blow in

We are truly living in the future. I mean, show of hands, people--who expected a functional transparent metal to be developed in our lifetimes? I know my hand isn't raised, there!

There are three holiday freebies here: a snowman with a paper hat, an angel wreath, and a pile of mesh logs with animations for holiday fires/fireplaces (to be set in front of, et cetera, or near the campire, fireplace, what-have-you).

And there's a bit of chat I want to share, but it's out of my usual comfort zone; not in terms of what is said, but, because of who says it, I want to keep one name intact. SO, there's less anonymizing on this one, and if that's a problem, do let me know!
[19:25] Krampus (orvan.taurus): Oy, it's seriously weird when the Manifestation of Holiday Evil is the *reasonable* one in a 'religious' discussion in a venue where there should not BE one. (Yes, I am claiming to be the sane one. THAT'S how messed up it is.)
I gotta agree there. Now, I've always found Mssr. Taurus to be affable and polite, but I also know he can be quite stern when dealing with miscreants, so...
[19:25] Mxxx Cxxxxx: errmm
[19:26] Lxxxxx Mxxxxxxx: Yipes
[19:27] Krampus (orvan.taurus): "If you wish to believe in Santa Claus, or Jesus, or Mohammad, or Krampus or Zeus or Philo T. Farnsworth, fine. If not, also fine. It's the insistence that others also do as you do that is a problem."
[19:28] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: Thank you, Krampus.
[19:28] Krampus (orvan.taurus): There's a line few would expect.
Maybe, but it's a good, solid line. We need more folks with this ethics set.
[19:29] Mxxx Cxxxxx: i don't care what anyone believes or doesn't believe as long as they aren't insistent its the "right" way
[19:30] Mxxx Cxxxxx: basically what Krampus said. :)
[19:32]Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: Actually, it wasn't that long ago, albeit in a different group, a bunch of people tried to tell me I was wrong for being an atheist. I didn't push my beliefs on them beyond telling them what they were when asked... and then I discussed for as long as I felt the discussion was respectful, then asked twice that the discussion end when I felt the respect had dissipated, and finally told everyone I was closing the window, and did. :/ I wasn't telling anyone not to believe. I don't think it's my place to do any such thing. And neither is it anyone's place to tell me to believe, or what that belief should be.
[19:33] Mxxx Cxxxxx huggles [Pxxxxxx] knowing that conversation first hand.
[19:33] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: *hugs*
Yeah, wau, that sounds like it was really difficult to get through. All sympathies.
[19:34] Mxxx Cxxxxx: they were over the top with that, especially considering their beliefs.
[19:34] Txxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: What someone else believes is none of my business, nor does it change how I feel about a person. As long as they are good people, I like them :)
[19:34] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: And good people like you, too, [Txx].
[19:34] Txxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Yay!
[19:36] Myst Cobalt paints [Txx's] claws with red glittery polish
[19:36] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: o.o
[19:36] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: OMG.
[19:37] Mxxx Cxxxxx: wha?
[19:37] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: Someone should make furry claws that accept fingernail appliers.
[19:37] Txxxxxx Rxxxxxxx stares at the sparklies on her claws totally mesmerized
[19:38] Mxxx Cxxxxx: i agree [NPxxxxxx].
[19:39] Txxxx Rxxxxxxx: Hell yeah. It doesn't matter what people profess to believe in if they don't actually practice what they preach.
[19:39] Mxxx Cxxxxx: unless there are and i don't know about it
Exactly. Whatever we believe, whatever we hold true, we should hold true to it, or what's the point? A religion of convenience serves no one.
[19:41] Mxxx Cxxxxx: ugh i hope this wind dies down by tomorrow. really dont feel like getting blown off the road while driving
[19:42] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: So, if someone professes to believe in Cthulhu, but makes no efforts to wake him from his eternal slumber, that's a problem?
Well, technically...
[19:42] Mxxx Cxxxxx: lol
[19:42] Krampus (orvan.taurus): "Do I start the engine... or just throw it into neutral and hoist sail?"
[19:42] Mxxx Cxxxxx: I probably could with the way it's blowing around now
[19:43] Pxxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx: Oh god... anyplace hoisting a sail would work around here, it would throw you ACROSS the road and into a tree.
Yeah, weather's been bad all over. Be careful out there, and try to keep your interactions with religious zealots of ALL stripes to a minimum.

And if you can't just show them this. I guarantee, they'll shut right up.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

it came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter

I spent some few hours two days back, standing in front of the Bellefleurs estate, welcoming in any who happened by. Admittedly, we are nearing the height of the holiday season, so the days are slow, the nights are long, and precious little happens, at least here. Even so, there was a sense of rightness that I was choosing to spend time there, instead of frittering it away following random gift mentions in various groups.

(Standing outside the arched, open gates leading into Bellefleurs.)

Or spending it alone, a habit I've fallen into far too often of late. At least if there is no one with me at Bellefleurs, I still have the history of the place behind me: the echo of music slipping through the walls, the laughter of former patrons, the footfalls dimly heard in memory. Instead of the soft susurration of snowflakes falling, the rustle of branches on sleeping trees, surrounding the small, rustic cabin I put together on my own, with few furnishings never far from the floor and the fire.

(The processional hall inside Bellefleurs.)

I can't help it, I feel comfortable here. I'm still learning the dizzying variety of chairs in the salon, and which are better to leave to couples, which to singles; I'm still learning what everything does, and I don't even have my board up yet, because this all happened so suddenly. Miss Mimistrobell had told me that it would not be a quick process, that the staff of Bellefleurs liked to take their time to consider, and that I fully understood. Far better to take their time than to hire someone who really, truly, doesn't understand what they're trying to do. Because the Blossoms of Bellefleurs are not simply Courtesans for interested patrons; they strive to be Companions in the fullest sense of the word, friends to hearts in need, counselors if necessary, and supportive of each other as they ply their craft.

(In Bellefleur's music room, where most of the Salons are held.)

So, all in all, I thought I'd spend through the end of this month talking to various Blossoms, speaking with management, and perhaps having an intake interview to go over any final questions, to make the decision on whether or not to hire me, sometime in January of the new year. Instead, once I actually contacted Miss M., it seemed to be just a few days over a week. And the time between finally meeting and speaking with Miss Delilah Revnik, the other tireless manager of the Blossoms, and getting hired? About two hours, all told.

(At the back of the music room, the lighted picture displayer aimed at a mirror on the back wall. That is, again, Duchess Canning.)

I can't imagine how I impressed them; perhaps that's a flaw of mine, that I never see in myself what others see in me. What I do know is that I went in openly and honestly to this opportunity. Miss M. knows I have somewhat of a dark reputation, both on the mainland and through the steamlands; she knows that I have had some deeply personal battles with Caledonians of elevated status, and that I have enemies who, while they may or may not actively seek me harm, still exist, and still would likely view my presence with displeasure. She knows all this because I mentioned it to her. Miss R. knows some of this, too, because I told her as well.

(Upstairs, one of the very well-preserved medieval tapestries besides a carpeted walkway.)

I wanted no illusions; so I did not seek to hide in any way. I mentioned the shapeshifting (we're still working that out, as the Duchess is...well...somewhat humancentric, let's say), I mentioned the history, I mentioned mistakes I'd made and victories I'd achieved both. And what I gained for this honesty? While I will likely be seen in human guise, I have full permission to have changeable, odd eyes, strangely colored hair, and--assuming the timing is right--small, delicate horns or other non-human features. (Though I was looking forward to being the first catgirl on staff, after one appearance in neko guise, it was decided that was just too far beyond the pale for management, and I am accepting this with relative grace.)

(A room upstairs, that may be intended as a gaming room in future? The Duchess is always improving on things.)

And what have all these interchanges gained me? A place of employment, yes, but a place of employment I can truly call home, and...oh, the last time I had that feeling? The Enigma was still open! 2006 to now, to find another place to work that I could also count as a family, and a home? Rare indeed.

(Another room that is constantly in flux, the Duchess' office upstairs.)

And I truly feel like I'm settling in. It's less like a chore to "stand guard" at Bellefleurs, even if no one's there; partly because there's always something to sort in my inventory, so I'm not bored, but also, because it's just so relaxing being there.

(Carpets, artwork, and the rich wood paneling seen through a gilded archway at Bellefleurs.)

And you know, there are worse things. Even on days I don't have clients lined up, and currently, I don't have any in particular, it eases my soul to be on the grounds. And at every salon, every dance, I am learning, I am listening, and I am letting myself uncurl and relax, to grow again, to--not to use the pun--blossom, into the next stage of whatever I'm becoming this time.

There are worse things, and I've done them. This is not a worse thing, it's a right thing, a good thing, and how long has it been since the beginning of any path for me began with words like "good" and "right"? If nothing else, I am exactly where I need to be. And that is a lovely feeling, indeed.

Monday, December 21, 2015

wassail, wassail all over the town

Merry Yule and merry winter!
And now to snowy silver splendour,
dark twinkling nights and pewter dawns,
and soft snows powdering the lawns.

Rejoice, and raise the golden glasses!
Dance with merry lads and lasses!
Drink the mulled wine, share the fire,
give in to willed and warm desire.
Release all anger, fear and pain,
and let the year renew again.

Let the very best of our 2015 be the worst of the year to come. Here's to the future.

who are these skeletons with guns, taking aim?

we made ourselves a home out of our dreams
brought with us this love now bittersweet
maybe I could say now that I always thought of you
how you run to walk with me, your whole life through

What is it, old home week? Not only did I run into someone I haven't seen since my earliest days in Steelhead, but in trying to track down a picture for the last entry or so, I dug very far back into the archives for this very blog.

and I know we go deeper than skin, but what lies within
it's still deeper than we know

And while I didn't find an image suitable to use, I did find a veritable surplus of other images. Names and places I'd forgotten, people I still remember, people I wish I didn't. And now I'm asking yet again, what is it with me and demons? Is it just that prototypical 'bad boy' thing? Am I that plebian and afflicted? Mayhap so, because obviously I haven't learned a damned thing.

and for all this pantomime
you should see the state I'm in
I couldn't heal myself with time alone
I have you tattooed on my skin

Page after page, entry after entry. Face after face. Years between the self of then and the self of now, and I'm wondering how much I've actually grown in the interim, how far I've actually moved my now away from my then. I kept examining their images, as if searching these frozen bits of time misplaced would actually teach me anything new.

this house is full of stories we both told
these rooms, their very stage where they'd unfold
these walls, they whisper secrets and memories thereof
but this door no longer leads us to their love

And I kept wondering...well, no, not with everyone, the vampire princeling can go swallow toads for all of me, but...with some of the others, I kept feeling a touch or two of...I don't even know. Faded former emotion, not yet swept up and tossed away? Shreds of affection, long neglected, that somehow missed being recycled? Regret?

yeah, I know we go deeper than skin, but what lies within
is still deeper than we know

Regret. Is it regret? Is that really what I felt, looking at my distant past, and pondering? Do I regret...well, no, foolish question, I am built of regret, formed of it, I have so many regrets I could fill a lake and have regret left over to coat the shores. I know this. I've made a great many mistakes in my life, and not a small number have been mistakes that, once made, led to others in turn.

all I ever wanted was to hold you
what can I do now to make things new?
I ain't trying to write you into a song
'Cause you're too sacred and I would feel wrong

Perhaps it's not regret I'm feeling, looking at these faces. Perhaps it's that touch of melancholy about what might have been. Had things worked out, after all. Had I not tried to make a home in a sim that imploded before spiking all the trees and building skyscrapers. Or had I not thought I could rely on someone who never spoke in truths, only in the language of roleplay for all our interactions...before utterly disappearing from the grid. I don't even remember his name now to see if he's still on SL at this late date.

but when irony life holds,
I was finally ready to meet you half way
You turned and walked away...

Or had I not been thrown aside for an outfit...

But then, these were demons; perhaps they were only sent to bedevil me, not to join with my heart and stay by my side. Maybe it was never in the nature of any demonic creature to do that. And maybe that is that sense of regret I feel, that I ever let any demon close enough to believe.

Maybe that was the lesson I needed to learn in the first place. And in the aftermath, to stay away from anyone with haunted horns and a yearning for the dark side...

(Song lyrics adapted from Poets of the Fall's Skin.)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

trust the wishing well, dance like Tinker Bell

Pixel Box has a lovely gothic tree out in their store, and there are six lovely gifts to pick up underneath it.

The gifts are as follows:
  • A 'Time Machine' necklace that can be worn by either sex
  • A steampunk bowler hat for ladies
  • a steampunk bowler hat for gentlemen
  • a set of steampunk goggles with an adorable propeller detail
  • a modern black leather handbag for ladies, with the ability to add your photo--or the photo of your choice--to a frame charm depending from the straps
  • and a set of black antlers, replete with sounds, lights, and at least one striped candy cane
Now, Ms. Marian Kungler also added there was a set of rosaries to be had? I did not see them, but I do plan to go back, so you might look around for them, should you decide any of these sound like things you absolutely need in your life.

(I, of course, needed all of them, because with the exception of the gentlemens' bowler hat, they all sounded both useful and beautiful, and I am grateful she offered them freely!)

(Edit after publishing: oh my goodness, there's another tree!

(And that is where the rosaries are, one designed for gentlemen, one for ladies. There's also an "Angel Caller" necklace, and a free weekend gift that seems to be a series of alchemical symbols to hang about your neck. Wonderful!)

jingle all the way

Over at Fussy there's a free set of holiday cropped sweaters:

Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of cropped sweaters, though I have more than enough attire to wear under them to make it work. But I do love the tongue-firmly-in-cheek sayings. They come in all colors shown, plus just about every applier for a mesh anything I can think of.

If anyone's in the mood for mostly-red lingerie, Seldom Blue is having a holiday sale, with fairly steep discounts on various bits and fripperies. The SLUrl goes to a NSFW bodysuit set, that is a limited-edition freebie (though the store itself is moderate), but scattered throughout the store are sets for L$1 all the way up to $L115, depending on complexity of attire. Most are system layers, but as far as lingerie goes, I'd rather have system layers under mesh, that's rather the point.

Some come with appliers, mostly Lolas, it seems.

And moving off the grid, there's a holiday gift waiting from The Real Tuesday Weld, to commemorate their holiday gift this year, a playable flexi-EP card. (But you have to sign up for their newsletter to get it.)

And in the meantime, more controversy from that one particular freebie group:
[13:54] jxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I don't get it how can you ladies chat in here do you have to wait will someone posts like an admin ?
Um, no...there are strong group rules that we all try to obey, because having strict guidelines means a general lack of drama...most of the time...
[13:54] exxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: we cant put links to MM boards on adult things right?
[13:55] Bxxx Pxxxxx: It has to be Mod approved first
[13:55] axxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: you need an approval for adults stuff
Right. First, because there are still people who aren't, by personal choice or...ergh...age, not verified for Adult regions. Second, though, there are certain things they just don't want in the group, and eliminating Adult regions handily takes care of some of those. Generally, the list of 'banned' things isn't that long: vehicles (because they are so often copied), AOs (because, again, animations in them can so frequently be copied), Adult items in general (unless the store or the sim has been checked by a mod, and is allowed).
[13:55] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: you mean adult things or adult things
[13:55] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i mean adult sims or adult things
[13:56] Bxxx Pxxxxx: Both
[13:56] exxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: both
[13:56] exxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx giggles
[13:56] jxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: everything has to be mod approved in here
Not everything, because if it's on the list of things that are not allowed, don't bother posting it UNLESS you post it TO a mod for approval; elsewise, you can post anything. And here's the thing: nine times out of ten, if you post something in this particular group and it's not allowed? Mods will simply tell you. I've made mistakes, I've been told, it's all cool, we move on. I don't post those things again. No stress, no fuss.
[13:56] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: excuse the sexting goblings on my keyboard
[13:56] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: waves
[13:56] Bxxx Pxxxxx: Not true [Jxxx]
[13:57] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: o.o
[13:57] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [zxx] i told you your not aloud out of the cave yet
[13:57] jxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I just mean it's like gistapo this groip
That's "Gestapo", and "group", and why? Seriously, why? Because I don't get it. Following the rules--that, overall, make the group run much more efficiently overall--just makes everything go more smoothly, so what's the harm?
[13:57] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ohhh ... sighs and heads back to the dark cold cave
[13:57] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: 0_o
[13:57] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i gave you cupcakes and a pillow what more can someone ask for lol
[13:57] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: what is like gistapo?
[13:58] Bxxx Pxxxxx: Not true [Jxxx]
[13:58] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: The Gestapo (German pronunciation: [ɡeˈstaːpo, ɡəˈʃtaːpo] ( listen); abbreviation of Geheime Staatspolizei, or the Secret State Police
That's not exactly helpful.
[13:58] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ^There ya go Zim
[13:58] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I know what the gestapo is.. but wondered what was she comparing it to?
I'm wondering the same thing.
[13:59] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol ty though [Fxxxxx]
[13:59] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: oh that i dunno LOL
[13:59] sxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: not the soup XD
No, that would be gazpacho.
[13:59] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: okay, i am not trying to start anything but i need to say my two cents lol yes this group has rules and it can be confusing however i would rather have set rules then be in a group filled with offensive dramatic chaos
Well said.
[13:59] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: that's gespacho
No, still gazpacho.
[13:59] sxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i know it was a joke lol the soup ;)
[13:59] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: *gazpaco
Again, that's gazpacho.
[14:00] rxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: mmmm....Gespacho......
[14:00] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i blame the sexting gobblins on my keyboard why i misspell things
Dern sexting goblings.
[14:00] rxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: gazpacho? ;-)
Yes, thank you.
[14:01] sxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol
[14:01] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: giggles
[14:02] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: yes Rose... yummy
[14:02] gxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: we need to start a FREE recipe group now LOL
We so do.
[14:03] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol
[14:05] rxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol
[14:06] sxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: bye be back later
[14:07] Bxxx Pxxxxx: Byee
[14:07] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ello group does anyone speak Portuguese and is able to help someone with appliers ??
[14:09] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ok hello google translate again
Unless we have a native speaker at the time in the group, that's pretty much what we do, yeah.

And one last thing from later in the chat:
[14:42] lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: ugh im so behind organizing my inventory
[14:43] Pxxx Pxxxxx: give it up lil it's a loosing battle
"Losing", but you're not wrong.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

all I want for Christmas

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas this year is this:

I will admit to you, Santa, I am sorely out of practice with things, as I have spent much of the last two years in a small cabin in the mountains, avoiding people. But I want to do better. And other people believe I can, as well, because they've recently hired me as an entertainer at a truly lovely establishment I want to see thrive. And I believe in myself enough that I am taking this leap of faith, and looking forward to rejoining the social whirl with lightness of heart and great anticipation. I've already attended two events at the mansion, and I had SO much fun. And I think owning this beautiful chair would really, really help--even if I just rezzed it out in my little cabin, it would give me practice at understanding menu systems again, and get me back into dancing. And I miss dancing, I really really do.

And it would give me a good excuse to have a practice know, just to help me learn things! And I really wouldn't mind that either...

I hope your holiday season is going well, and I promise, whether or not you agree that I've been good enough to get the chair, I'll leave out an extra gingerbread cookie just for you.



Hey, it never hurts to ask.

Friday, December 18, 2015

all the world is waiting for the sun

I attended the holiday dance at Bellefleurs, and had marvelous fun, but as I haven't had official confirmation on posting pictures of people who aren't actually staff...I'm being chary with the images I took. Discretion is a significant part of House Sakura, and as discretion hasn't been my strong suit in the past, I'm doing what I can to reinforce the impulse early, and often.

(At Bellefleurs for the Viennese Holiday Ball. Miss Lynn Mimistrobell is in pink, Duchess India Canning is in white, and I am in blue.)

Without actually being there, I'm not sure I can adequately describe how beautiful the Bellefleurs estate is. The wide expanse of green that surrounds it is really its own thing; but inside, where everything is burnished wood and medieval wall hangings, icons of saints, marble urns, gracefully appointed furnishings in gracefully appointed rooms...The place radiates beauty and warmth, and that's without talking to the staff.

(Another Duchess Canning in Tudor England, hanging above the ballroom's fireplace at Bellefleurs.)

And in the ballroom, for the Viennese ball, the pervading sense of warmth and charm had increased, if possible. Radiant lights on the evergreen, glittering candles, a sideboard groaning with a variety of delicate nibblements and sparkling drinkables on silk and brocade. And the dresses--for any lover of fashion, they were more than enough to get drunk on, by themselves.

(And my humanized self, dancing in front of the poinsettia display and fireplace at Bellefleurs.)

And I honestly expected to go in feeling tense, and nervous, and out of place, and instead, I came in feeling warmed, welcomed, and I had so much fun dancing the night away to a mix of Strauss, holiday standards, medieval pieces...and it all worked. Start to finish.

Even when the evening descended into one-punmanship, it was still fun. So much joy 'midst the glittering throng...

And at the end of the night, I was hired as a new Courtesan for the House of Sakura, so on the heels of all that joy, all that enjoyment, all that lovely wonder...the deep, abiding feeling that I am back to doing what feels right, and finding my way on my new path. This truly was a lovely holiday spectacle in many ways, and I am both humbled and thrilled to accept their offer.

So, while it is still in my nature to wander, far from where any eyes can find me...I'll be seen a fair amount at Bellefleurs from now on. And happy to be there, indeed.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

signs of life from the smile on your face to the lines you rephrase

Tonight is the annual Viennese Holiday Ball at Bellefleurs:

I will admit, I am somewhat daunted. I do plan to attend, but...I'm not entirely sure what in my wardrobe qualifies as formal, these days! I do know it will quite likely be in tones of red and green, as I have been assiduously collecting holiday attire throughout December.

I suppose my little ragamuffin self will have to do the best I can...and leave the antlers and the painted skin behind, as I think this is also intended to be a genteel gathering of human sorts, and I...well. I've never been that, precisely.

But I'll find something. It will likely require a frenzy of unpacking, but I am undaunted. And I am quite looking forward to attending a formal dance again!

Oh, do I even remember how to waltz, still??

(Do remember: if you, also, plan to attend, that Bellefleurs sits on Adult land, though nothing overly lascivious will be seen at the ball, of course.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

for the first time the past is past

I was his.

But am I still? Oh, in some wise, some part of me will always be. Part of myself I am simply not going to get back, because I gave it away so completely. But the remainder is mine. The rest of me was returned, or never left. It is both by right and responsibility that I take myself back, in the next restructuring. And it is far, far past time to do so.

So I start to build, here. Such a small foundation, but it will grow. This is where it begins. All things start, just as all things end, and this is both.

I was his.

And I have been living in the last third of that statement for far too long. Yes, I can accept and integrate that I was his, but now it is more important to allow myself the realization that I was his. And that the time of being his is past, as so much else is past, has passed.

So gather stones, and hew the wood. Pour foundation, call it good. Make the space and call it home, and know that we are not alone.

I was his.

And I raise the walls of the shelter, to keep me safe in the heart of winter. The door is unlocked but it is shut firm; there are no tracks to follow that will lead to my dwelling place. I am as safe as my insecurity and doubt will allow, which is a great deal safer than I have been in the past.

And all who truly know me, know how to reach me. Everyone else will have to brave the winter to get here, and even hardy spirits may well refuse to face the cold. For these will become my new truths:
  • I do not have to be close to be welcoming.
  • I do not have to be in love to be amused.
  • I do not have to scream and break to say no.
  • I can walk away at any time.
I am my own.

And I do not plan on giving myself away again without good reason.

(Some images taken in Nightfall Cities.)

Monday, December 14, 2015

just a voice like a riot rocking every revision

This message just came in from the Twisted hunt group. Apparently I missed something huge while I was off the keys.
Hello Twisties.

The Twisted Organization Team has always valued the community created by all the people in the Twisted Hunt Group. We consider you all friends and family, and encourage folks to interact - everything from playful banter to rigorous debate. Our community is based on mutual respect for others, friendship, and general awesomeness that is each and every one of you. We tease each other, we help each other, and we share things and places of interest with each other.

Twisted Hunt group only has one big rule when it comes to what you can say: Don't be a Douche. Just don't. Nobody likes being on the receiving end of intolerance, hate, bigotry and prejudice; and, quite frankly, the Twisted Organization Team doesn't like to see it happening. We shouldn't have to police you, because you are all adults. True, some people adult better than others, but we trust you to have some judgment about what is and isn't okay.

However, a few recent events within group chat have left a number of people feeling upset and offended. Without placing blame or outing anyone for their illicit behavior towards others, it's time to let you all know that we do not tolerate bigotry or intolerance for any Twisted member's race, religion, creed, gender, sexuality, or anything else. If you disagree with someone, that is fine, but it is not okay to disrespect another by openly attacking the person in group chat. It is not okay to belittle someone and attack them, period. If you don't agree with what the person is saying, Second Life has provided a means to block people you don't want to see/hear.

In addition, if you feel you can't deal with things being said (and this goes for either party), there is a little X in the upper right corner of your chat window. Or you can hit the ZZ symbol next to that X to snooze chat for a time, likelihood is when it pops back open the conversation will have changed. Either way, the chat will be silenced.

************* BUT **************

Consider this your warning. It may seem ironic, but we cannot tolerate intolerance. Period. Full Stop. We have no qualms punting people from the group if need be, and no one is above this rule!


Be excellent to each other. Any douche baggery hate speech will earn you an instaban.

- Twisted Team
Rox Arten, Sredni Eel, Lokii Violet
Think that's pretty self-explanatory. Don't know what happened, but in case you are in the group, and didn't see this, there you go.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

you sent me no letter, don't think I could forgive you

Google has proven its quantum computer works?

Also, this is the bestest holiday tree and I want one for SL.

Which reminds me--I have recently discovered that apparently, I own all the holiday trees. I own more holiday trees than I could put out with a 1,000 prim allowance. No one needs this many holiday trees. Makers of holiday trees don't need this many trees. What was I thinking?!?
[Posted 7:13 PM PST, 11 December 2015] We are aware that some residents may be experiencing some issues with leaving, inviting, and rejecting from groups inworld. This situation is being investigated. Please continue to check this blog for updates.
Well, it's about damned time,, since we've all been having this issue for months now...what finally happened, some upper-level Linden tried to leave a group and couldn't without a relog? But they've been ignoring all the complaints on blogs, all the bug reports filed with them, all the mentions at in-world office hours? Sure. Well, you work on that, guys. Hope you can fix it before 2017.

The Washington Post Style Guide has finally approved the use of 'they' as a correct singular usage. This is good in many, many ways, not that many of us weren't already using 'they' as a singular along with a plural, but it's still a solid step forward.

Why not? (Retails for L$150 in case you want it, at Fetch.)

Friday, December 11, 2015

it's not what we have, it's what we believe

Wintering under brushed pewter skies, watching the cold rain fall in sheets, the waters rise before freezing over.

The whole of the world dipped in glass, fragile and shimmering. Unsure of movement, every step a hazard, every stir of wind through the coated branches pulling chimes and iced chattering through the chill air.

Standing. Listening. Waiting for direction. I may be waiting some time.

The fog has lifted, and the hope was that once it did, I would know where to go. That the path revealed may not be established, may even be difficult terrain, I had accepted long since.

To see nothing but unbroken snow, glittering swathes of frozen water, daggers of ice gently chiming against each other on ensnaring branches...well, it was unexpected. To say the least.

Do I stay here until the thaw? Do I push forward, trusting that movement is better than standing still, that any direction chosen is still a direction? Is still, at the heart of things, movement forward?

This is the question that stands before the court of my heart. A judgement needed, when I feel least capable to judge.

But standing still is not the answer, either. Either I move, and risk becoming lost in winter, or I build here, shelter from the chill, a place to rest and heal, a place to lay out all my choices like Tarot cards while I debate the ramifications of all actions.

Either way, there will be effort involved. And that is fine--effort is good, effort is necessary.

All good things are earned.

I'll start preparing, here. One way or another, there is work to be done, and now is the time to do it.

(Images taken in the Forest of Zyn, Kalamata, A Silent Night, Driftwood Valley Estates, and the Garden of Whimsy.)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

the waves will break every chain on me

Okay, seriously, I know this is a bindrune, but it's a confusing one.

I mean, that's Sowelu, and...

...that's clearly Kenaz, next to Laguz, so...huh?

I kind of get what they were trying to go for? Inspiration, illumination, paired with power and creativity--the torch held high, the sun burning bright. But the sun--Sowelu--is definitely being sheltered by the torch of Kenaz, which is just...odd.

This was another odd one. Kenaz again, torch and inspiration, illumination for the path--with Wunjo this time, which would add exuberant success, achievement, partnership, companionship...which again, seems like a pretty cool pairing until it sinks in that Kenaz is sort of the hermit's torch, the solitary spark of revelation. So it's another bwuh.

At any rate, you can see the rune circles for yourself (along with fantasy and gothic items for sale, and the glowing-number Advent calendar for the season) at Fairplay.

only you are the life among the dead

I find the strangest things in inventory...I didn't keep this, btw, I just had to show it off.

So, I'd heard of something called the Holiday Haunting, over in LEA4. Seemed much like your normal holiday far...

There's a really in-depth notecard given with the HUD for the scavenger hunt; I'm only going to quote the first paragraph from it:
Holder Heights was a small, but relatively prosperous mining town in the Rocky Mountains. The mine was first opened by a German immigrant prospector, one Albert Reiniger, and his friend, Rafe Holder, in the middle of the 19th century and they quickly established a small town around the mine. Despite rough beginnings – problems with the weather and attacks from what were assumed to be wolves, it became a bustling community with a reputation for the friendliness of its occupants and its great community spirit. This was especially exemplified by the big Christmas party that the mining company used to throw for the whole town.
Thing is, when one puts the scavenger hunt HUD on, it hands one a rather exhaustive list of items to hunt for. Beyond vague indications that we are supposed to explore the mine and talk to past residents, there doesn't seem to be a way to get to any other space beyond the ice rink and the benches surrounding in the mood to poke at things for hours, trying to figure it out. Trip by if you're more up to the challenge, or just stop by to skate, and/or take holiday shots. It seems really well decorated for the latter.

Oh, yeah. I could so deal with this chair. Currently going for L$200, and yes, does include the kitty, at Something New Props 'n Poses.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

when you're free to choose, but the choices leave you lost

Couple more updates on the Advent list...pretty convinced that even if other things come up (at least, until the last-ten-day places go active), I'm pretty much done updating that for the season.

Did you ever want to be your own holiday fireplace? Now you can.

And I am beyond amused at the concept of little luchador puppet tree-toppers.
[00:41] Axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I... am flabbergasted.
I am too. What happened?
[00:41] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: why?
[00:41] Dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: does that mean there are lesbian type skins for females also?
I would certainly hope so. But wait, someone was asking if there were lesbian skins on the grid? Or lesbian skins for males? I'm confused.
[00:42] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: what did I miss?
[00:42] Emilly Orr: And what would a 'lesbian-type skin' look like?
[00:42] Gxx Hxxxxxxx: Well I guess bisexuals are screwed then
I know, right?
[00:42] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: o.o
[00:42] lxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I just logged in but whatever this discussion is about, just... no.
[00:42] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I'm confused because I missed the beginning?
[00:43] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I just logged in to the "flabbergasted" part
[00:43] Bxxx Mxxxxxx: O,O
[00:43] Emilly Orr: Me too
[00:43] lxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: me too, and let's be happy about that
Maybe, but it's an intriguing question, isn't it? At one point, Beebo Brink came out with a line of skins targeted towards tall, lean, androgynous women (she no longer has an in-world store, but the link leads to her Marketplace shop). I knew a few friends who bought one; I even had one at that point. They went very well with short hair and tailored suits.
[00:43] Dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: to be honest there are loads of skin and shape store out there in the sl world, and would suggest you try to look on the MP first for blonde chest hair, and see what comes up [Wxxxx]
[00:44] Emilly Orr: Wait. Someone thinks lesbians have chest hair?
[00:44] Axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [Dxxxx], someone asked if they could be pointed in the direction of a "gay man" skin with blonde hair and blonde chest hairs. We are all shocked there are gay and straight skins, is all. I just wanted to clarify for you. It wasn't naughty, I promise.
[00:44] Lxxxx Dxxxxxxx: someone was looking for gay skin...that's all...and the discussion that followed was that we were unaware that there is different skin for straight and gay
[00:44] Emilly Orr: Lesbians aren't another *species*
It's still puzzling. Other than specific skins for effeminate men, androgynous women, or purely hermaphroditic humans or furs, how would you know? Just from looking at a basic skin?
[00:44] Emilly Orr: Though there are separate skins for bish and fembois
[00:45] Txxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I'm looking for a femboi skin
A-ha. The mystery reveals itself.
[00:45] Axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Well, isn't that because shading needs to be different on them anyway?
[00:45] Emilly Orr: Up until very recently, even, most seriously bish men used female base shapes.
[00:45] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: someone thought they had to have a "gay" skin? wow lol um ok ...we all have the same skins pretty much... well some look more male or femaleish but know what I mean
[00:45] Bxxx Mxxxxxx: quickly changes avie into a rabbit again
Hiding from the weird humans with their weird ideas? I get that.
[00:45] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: but femboi skin is not the same as "gay" skin, guess they didn't know lol
[00:46] Axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i use a female skin for my femboi.
[00:46] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: fembbois may often be gay but not all gays are fembois
[00:46] lxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Well I think the question wasn't intended to be discriminatory but it's easily misunderstood that way, so let's just stop the conversation and say that it's probably best for the personal enquiring to search for a skin he/she feels suits them best.
[00:46] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: no I know it wasn't mean justt suprising lol
[00:46] Axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: -goes back to opening boxes and playing Destiny.
[00:47] Mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I have not [Fxxxxxxxxx], sory
[00:47] Bxxx Mxxxxxx: ummm isn't this "SECOND LIFE"?
[00:47] Emilly Orr: Thursday, Mystic Canvass and Souzou Eien do bish products, though I don't know about skins
[00:47] Axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: What does that have to do with anything?
[00:48] Bxxx Mxxxxxx: leaves drama at door
[00:48] Bxxx Mxxxxxx: just saying
[00:50] Emilly Orr: Flamboyant, Bird Next Door, Rei's Femboy Halfway House, also may sell skins. Possibly Meshmerized for mesh avs.
[00:50] Axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I'm glad you leave drama at the door, but this IS Second LIFE. Life has drama. You ladies and gents have a good night. I'm off to slay Guardians until bedtime. Cheers~
[00:50] Emilly Orr: And I apologize, I wasn't reading in the chat while I was looking for possible stores.
So, there we go. Terminology is strange.

and I've only got my brittle bones to break the fall

Lady, running down to the riptide
taken away to the dark side

So what's the upshot of all this? Introspection, contemplation, depression, desperation. Strip-mining the past to relearn what I knew then. Seeing if it changes who I am now. Is this a good thing?

Or does it just obscure my path?

I love you when you're singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat 'cause
you're gonna sing the words wrong

Maybe it's less about what I knew, and more about what I didn't see. Maybe it's more about what I missed at the time, instead of what I clearly understood. Maybe my understanding was never that clear in the first place.

and she's been living on the highest shelf

And now I'm questioning the things I need to question, have needed to question, as well as everything else, and I think it's just making me weaker, not stronger.

I just wanna, I just wanna know
if you're gonna, if you're gonna stay

Some things are clear. Some things are fixed. Some things I know with absolute, unshakable certainty. The problem is, those things--those clear, solid absolutes--no longer matter.

we made ourselves home out of our dreams
brought with us this love now bittersweet

And I am beyond tired, edging far past exhausted, with rebuilding. But obviously, my foundations are not yet stable. So we start again. New materials, or old ones, but I must be careful this time--nothing in the structure that, when broken, will cause more pain. Because there is that in me which causes fracture at the heart of things, so my beginnings must be clean, my building must be true.

and for all this pantomime
you should see the state I'm in
I couldn't heal myself with time alone

Nostalgia is a poison.

these walls, they whisper secrets and memories thereof
this door no longer leads us to their love

But I have played Sebastian of the arrows before, though with far less effort. Perhaps it's finally time to realize that arrows are bad for me, and move on. It's never been my choice, but maybe it's time for that, too. My decisions. My choices. My path through the fog.

We'll see how it goes.

(Lyric selections are from "Riptide" by Vance Joy, and Poets of the Fall's "Skin".)