Farewell Home #3

Last week my life took another sudden turn. I’m not going into it here because not all of it is my business and, as with much of Second Life, real people with real hearts are involved. But suffice to say I am fine, and I sincerely hope everyone else is OK.

Out of everything came the decision to sell the home in Vacuul. I originally bought it on my own on 2 November 2018 in an auction and it was the first place I properly landscaped. I was very proud of it and it was a lovely place to relax either with friends or alone. More recently I shared the place with Abby. But – SL time being what it is – the 124 days for which I owned the place felt like an age, and in a few ways the place held too much history.

Sometimes it’s nice to just rip everything up and start again.

It was sold in just a couple of hours for more than I paid for it – to the person I barely beat to it in the original auction! So that worked out well for both of us, well kinda 🙂

This was actually my third home in Second Life. My first home was a $60L-a-week rented ‘scene changer’ skybox which was actually pretty great – and super cosy! It could be changed into any one of about 25 “scenes” including a beach hut (which was my favourite) but also had options like a Manhattan, Paris or London apartment, a castle, dungeon, various BDSM-rigged rooms (heh, of course *side-eyes-SL-builders*) and lots more. I imagine they are pretty common skyboxes so you might be familiar with these.

Waiting for you
My second home was a 1024 SQM plot my good friend Kendra sold to me for just 100 Lindens (she basically gave it me for free). It was great there because I became her neighbour along with Alice, and we shared some good times.

Sadly it was in the middle of an adult area so did suffer from a bit too much lag, but I did make an attempt at building there – just a simple flat garden around my house, with some little touches. In the end I sold it because I wanted a bit more scope for creativity and I wanted to be by the sea!

missing you

Then when I won the auction I was very excited – it was the first large plot I had ever had at 2560 square metres.

I made a small mistake because I hadn’t realised the sea directly in front of my beach was not ‘protected’ water. And after a long while, one day, it reverted from being sea to having a mesh land mass with a rental sign on it. So it had been rented but unused all that time and it had finally expired. Put it down to lack of experience on my part. So after that I had to pay an additional $650L a week just to keep that rental mesh block reappearing and spoiling the view. However on a positive note it did allow me to add a beach hut and a pier and to moor my new yacht there.

I was super proud of the place, and also had lovely neighbours Candy and Sasha. I will miss it but it’s time to move on, and the future looks positive. More on that in good time.

Here’s a gallery of the old place. Out of curiosity I went back yesterday… funny seeing it all reset and empty again.

Olivia’s Tropical Paradise, 2 November 2018 – 6 March 2019

dunes
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[Edit: SOLD] 2560sqm Mainland parcel

I am selling what was my home in Second Life. It’s a 2560 square metre parcel in a nice moderate region by the sea. It’s not too busy and sim lag is low. But it’s not so quiet that nobody is around -– the neighbours are friendly 🙂

Visit this location in Second Life

Here are a few more photos as it is now, though please note that the objects are not for sale with the land.

entrance steps

garden

dunes

beach

Visit this location in Second Life

On Switching to a Mesh Head

This post is well overdue because I switched from the standard Second Life system head to a mesh head on 19 January, and within a few days I had adjusted it to my liking and was wearing it out in public.

I could never go back!

But gosh I ummed and ahhed about whether I should switch to a mesh head for weeks and weeks. People told me not to change. “Mesh heads cause lag”… “You look great already”, “People with mesh heads all look the same”. There was some truth in these statements. So I will tackle them one by one:

  • Lag – yes everything that has to be loaded in world contributes to lag. By the same argument taken in reverse we could all walk around in textureless cube prims and it would be less laggy in busy places. But I want to look and feel good in my avatar so I want to look as lifelike as possible. De-render me or set a suitable complexity limit in your viewer if you don’t want to see me.
  • You look great already – Well I looked OK from a distance and with some hairstyles. But I was never that happy with how I looked close up and from some angles. And also the main thing for me was not having facial expressions. I had pretty much the same expression in every photo of me. The only time it would change was when certain furniture poses (mostly sex poses) took control over the face. But the system head “enjoyment” expressions looked pretty comical to me.
  • On all looking the same – Some models of mesh head are very popular and some people do not edit the face shape that comes with it. The one I chose was slightly less well known and I spent some time adjusting my face shape until it felt like me. Also the skin I already had came with an applier for my new head so I was able to keep my skin, which itself is a less than common one. I’m pretty sure I don’t look like a lot of other people.

I wanted to do this post for a while but needed some comparable shots of old me and new me to do a side by side comparison. Last night i set up this simple photo studio from Strawberry Singh and took off my mesh head to take these some old me shots:

Old Me 1

Old Me 1 (pre-mesh head, see link in description)

Old Me 2

Old Me 2 (pre-mesh head, see link in description)

Now, in fairness to old me these are not that flattering although the front-on one is better than the 3/4 angle one. This was always my main problem with the old head. I was never happy with how I looked in profile.

I should also point out that I didn’t adjust the hair here, which is set up for my new head. With hindsight I should have made a copy and adjusted it back how it was for these shots. My fringe is too low here. The other thing is I normally wore a blonde version of this hair with my old head, but I wanted to only change the head here to make the comparison fairer. There are plenty of more flattering pics of Old Me on Flickr such as this one and this one.

So onto New Me…

New Me 1

New Me 1

 

New Me 2

New Me 2

Well for a start I can smile now! I love my new face so much, it’s much softer and – obviously more expressive. For those who don’t know mesh heads come with a HUD that lets you control your facial expressions (at least the Catwa and LAQ ones do). Or you can set general moods and it just cycles through expressions that indicate that mood.

My mesh head is CATWA Head Lona (mp link)

Yes it’s quite expensive, but it’s the kind of thing you might only buy once. I tried four of their demos including the popular Catya which is also lovely, but this felt more like me. You have to start with the Bento shape that comes with it, which unfortunately also sets your whole body shape – so I made a note of all my old body shape slider settings and then typed them all back in, then finally adjusted my head shape starting from the new Bento defaults until I had what I wanted.

My skin is Solii :Nude: in (E) Chocolate (mp link) by Stix. As mentioned above I had the same skin before. It includes an Omega applier for Catwa heads.

General thoughts

I have picked up on some snobbery about mesh heads. A friend of mine got told meanly she “looked like a crappy noob” because she doesn’t have a mesh head (she is not a noob). I once got told I could not apply for a job as a dancer because I did not have one.

I think they do generally look better than system heads but it is possible to look totally great with a system head too with some adjustment and the right makeup and hair. There’s no need to be an asshole about it. Some people don’t want to spend $5000L on a mesh head or just don’t care that much and that’s totally fair enough. I’m a bit vain I suppose and just want to look my best. And this new head makes me happy and feels more like me. And the other thing is that I am really into Second Life photography (I take too many selfies) so that is a factor too.

But in no way do I subscribe to this idea that everyone has to go down this route. And yes when a sim is laggy or someone has a bad connection sometimes I appear to be headless while it loads. I guess I will just have to deal with that. *sticks out her tongue*

Stormy weather

More RL updates because I’ve not been in Second Life a lot this week. Storm Freya is being noisy and blowy outside, and our supposedly new roof windows seem to be rattling loudly which does not feel like a good thing. The cats are both safely inside and on laps.

This is my fourth day in a row of being away from Second Life (ok, mostly). This week has not been kind to Second Life Me. Work has been busy, and there’s always the juggle with school runs and ferrying to and from after school clubs, housework and so on.

Then this weekend my parents came to visit…. Which was actually lovely – they were well behaved compared to recent visits (no Brexit talk for once!) But jumping onto SL would have been pretty rude of me to do, obviously. Heh… well to be honest I did log in for nearly an hour toward the end of Saturday night (my dad was asleep on the sofa) but it was chat mode only.

I use this productivity program at work called RescueTime that records how long I spend doing different things on my computer. I am always obsessing about how much time I have or don’t have on SecondLife so I decided to install it on my laptop (that I run SL on) to see how much time I really do spend in world. So far I have had the software installed for 2 weeks.

It turns out I have spent 6h 37 mins running Firestorm this week.

2019-03-03-rescuetime.png

Is that a lot? It felt like I was hardly in world at all… Hmmm I think I might be slightly addicted.

This is in total contrast to last week when my RL situation was totally different and I had a lot of time to myself. I spent 26 hours in Second Life over that week. That did feel like a lot but I had an amazing time. It’s nice to sometimes spend a few hours at a time because you can go and do a few things in one session, visit different friends and so on. Time flies when you are having fun!

2019-03-03-rescuetime2.png

I will keep track from now on and probably blog some boring chart that is literally only interesting to me, in a few months time 🙂

Well everyone has now gone to bed so I will log back onto SL for maybe an hour before bed and see who is around. When you have good friends in Second Life not seeing them for a few days can get you down.

Little plug…

I may as well link to it here. I made something! It’s dead simple – just a wall light that turns on or off when you click it. But I am pretty happy with it. It was my first attempt at scripting in SecondLife, which was a challenge but satisfying too. The light itself is just 3 simple prim shapes – i have no idea how to make mesh stuff yet (well I installed Blender but….. feels like a killer learning curve)

So check out my little wall light. Just 50 Lindens guys! (lol yeah maybe this would have been impressive back in in 2003 I know).

Personally I think everyone should buy one 😛

wall-sconce-5.jpg

Sun is Shining

I have nothing much to blog about today but, this being social media (well, kinda) that won’t stop me blogging.

In brief… It’s warm and sunny in RL UK. The birds are singing and we are going for a walk. I live in a small town nestled between tree-covered hills, and today is one of those days when you’re reminded how beautiful our planet is.

Second Life… Well, suffice to say I have never been happier. I have had an amazing week, feels like I’m still falling down the rabbit hole sometimes but I’m more than comfortable with the sensation. I love my Second Life so much.

Anyway, in lieu of any real news here is a photo of me in the shower. It’s my most popular Flickr pic so far. Not my favourite but the one with the most likes 🙂

Beach Shower

Drawn Town 2

Here I am following in the footsteps of Sheree again 🙂

I don’t have much to add to Sheree’s great post (below) about Drawn Town 2. Inspired by her post Abby and I visited the town this evening and had a good look around. It is very cool…

Only thing to add is that I took a few pics myself, and you can see them here on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/livbxx/albums/72157707003582054

Now go read the post below…. 👇

Virtually Sheree CLOSED

If you’re anything like me, you know that finding originality is very difficult to find where a lot of what we see is a copy of something or it’s a retelling of the story so when something original comes along, it’s time to get excited

So here I am at Drawn Town 2.

I missed Drawn Town 1 which is a shame. I never heard of Drawn Town until photos appeared all over my Twitter and Flickr feeds. So here I am, talking about visiting Drawn Town 2.

Drawn Town 2 coming to life

Teleportation to Drawn 2 takes you to skybox a little above ground. There’s a hole in the floor with a sign saying “JUMP”. Jumping down or falling through is a short 50’ish metre drop where see what looks like a sheet of butcher’s paper with a cute drawing pinned to the wall.

What immediately impressed me…

View original post 247 more words

One Billion Rising in Second Life

I have to admit I hadn’t heard of #OBR until about a week ago when I saw some tweets about it from a few Second Life residents I follow. If like me you were unaware of it OBR is a global movement to end rape and sexual violence against women. You can find out more here on Wikipedia.

OBR is marked on 14 February every year in Second Life, and you can find more about the event at onebillionrisingsl.wordpress.com. It consists of a big music event and lots of art installations and exhibits – each on the theme of unity against all forms of violence against women.

Here’s what the official website said about this year’s event:

The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can come together to dance, surrounded by an area of art installations, arenas for poetry, live music, and dance and dramatic productions, and informational exhibits. A variety of performers will play over the 24-hour period and poetry and dance events will be held at different times, enabling people all over the world to attend this virtual event no matter their timezone.

Sheree made it down to the event on 14 February and blogged about it here and also shared some photos on Twitter.

I was busy with real life stuff during the day but made it down for half an hour very late in the evening along with Abby. Most the the music had finished but there were still plenty of people dancing to some live music at one of the main arenas.

I don’t know how long the regions will exist for (I can’t get into SL today to check) but here is the SLurl: maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/OBR%20Rise/166/236/24

On Friday (15th) in the evening I had a few hours on my own in Second Life so went back and tried have a good look at as many of the art installations as I could. I found lots of what I saw to be beautiful, thought-provoking and also very moving.

I took quite a few photos and you can see them here on Flickr.

I wanted to also share a few favourites here. I’m afraid I didn’t note down the artists’ names or the titles of the work where they were given… A lot of them didn’t seem to be named at all, so please forgive the lack of artist credits provided here.

Untitled

Walls

Earth Fountain

One Billion Rising…

One Billion Rising

Pedestal

One of the most poignant areas was the #MeToo Garden. As I stepped off the main path into that area I saw a cave entrance and instinctively walked in. I found myself in a winding tunnel. I worked my way along the tunnel for a few moments until I stepped into the main cavern. It was beautiful.

Safe Place cave at the #MeToo Garden

I passed a woman near the entrance to the main chamber and said Hello. She was wearing one of the official OBR 2019 t-shirts. After exploring for a moment I told her that I thought it was beautiful, and mentioned that I was taking some photos. She kindly offered to get out of the way.

I asked her about the cave and she told me it was her creation. (Unfortunately I spoke to her in Nearby chat and I don’t have the chat log to find her name.)

She told me she didn’t want to prescribe meaning to others but, as I had asked, she told me that it represented to her a safe place that she had needed to go to at some times in her life. And that the sharp edges represented violence and pain, and the warm colours represented the happiness and magic in her life.

Safe Place cave at the #MeToo Garden

While arguably this cave was not the most visually iconic or sophisticated piece of art at OBR 2019, for me it was the most memorable. Standing in the middle of her creation the woman’s words moved me to tears. I think most of us can relate to that happy place in one way or another, and for me in some ways, and at some times, Second Life itself represents exactly that.

I am sorry I don’t have a name to credit the work to!