Friday, October 30, 2009

The Corn Field - A Second Life Halloween Treat

The Corn Field lay dormant for ages. Once a place of banishment where miscreant avatars were sent to contemplate their transgressions, cut off from all communication with the rest of Second Life. Aimless wandering among the rows upon monotonous rows of corn under that dark starry sky might well push one to insanity rather than repentance.  A relic of another virtual age, the Corn Field was closed and passed into legend.

For this Halloween season, Linden Lab opened the Corn Field to the public and has dared the brave at heart and the foolish to enter and put at risk their sanity and their souls. Its a frighteningly fun Halloween experience. To enter the Corn Field is to instantly loose all bearings. But keep your eyes open and your wits about you and you may get out alive. Step over the mangled corpses, creep past the black marauding wolves, and be prepared to face down some ghastly ghosts, creepy ghouls and fiery demons. And beware, the place is crawling with Lindens who have reverted to their true form - to ravenous brain-munching zombies. Happy Halloween.

The Corn Field

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eulalie Hellendale, R.I.P. - Maybe

Eulalie Hellendale At Peace

Nine Warrhol tells us that she is really dead this time. We can see for ourselves. There will be a wake for Eulalie where she will be lying in state for viewing. But even as I walked through the door of the funeral home, I still wasn’t convinced. The lady has nine lives. Yup, there she was stretched out in a coffin. The mortician did a good job. She looked good…perhaps too good.

I paid my respects to a dear friend
I approached the coffin and knelt beside it. I looked intently at Eulie for any sign of movement. None. I opened up my makeup compact and held its mirror close to her face. No fog. Then I drew a hat pin that I had pinned onto my sleeve, and, when no one was looking, made a quick jab into her arm. Not even a twitch. Rising, I turned to the gathering and announced, "She’s as stiff as a board."

Nine Warrhol offers a few last words.
There was a collective sigh of relief in the room. Nine got up and gave a moving appraisal of Eulalie and her second life:

"Well Eulalie began her Second Life® career as a stripper to make extra money for her male counterpart, Cerulean, at that time. But she didn't think that was the life suited for such a fab being, so she began her career in fashion, SL™ fashion. Eulalie was always attitude and fashion, and a nice escape from the confines of the real world. She was in essence, a character. She met and made many good friends in SL, and also created alot of unnecessary drama in her wake, of which she is sorry for, if she were to speak. Her time here was full and well rounded, but alas, we bid her goodbye..blah blah yadda yadda and stuff. OK thank you."

The place was now full of teary eyes and runny noses. Thank goodness for GeeGee Zerbino who passed around a box of tissues. Remembrances of our dear departed friend filled the room:

Samantha Kazakov: i remember the first time i met eulalie, and i asked her if she was a man.

catalina Mistwallow: i remember eulalie and i rode chickens. we bonded on a spiritual level.

Trevor Wetherby: I didn't know Eualie much, but she always brought a smile to my face. Mostly because she was talking with other people and not me.

GeeGee Zerbino: im not much for dead pple either

Even I was affected by the emotions of the moment:

Mariko Nightfire: sob... she was horrid .. sob ... so terrible .. sob .. i'll miss her soooo much .. sob

Victoria Halostar: She's going to come alive and eat everyone's brains.


Eulie was certainly dead; but, might she be UNDEAD? The thought sent shivers down my spine. Looking around, I asked, "Did someone remember to bring a stake?" With that suggestion, GeeGee became unhinged. She was screaming that Eulie had moved. She swore that Eulie was smiling at her. The panic spread to others in the room. Nine tried to calm everyone down; but even he succumbed to the hysteria, "and she did just move good lord save us."  Amidst the uproar, a low calming voice was heard croaking from the coffin:

Eulalie Helendale: STFU

Poor Eulie was obviously high on embalming fluid. The sooner we plant her in the ground, the better.

Previous postings on this blog about Eulalie Hellendale:
Cerulean Zessinthal is Dead
Recalled to Life

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn Colors & Pumpkin Daydreams

Pumpkin Patch Daydreams

Jaysun brought the autumn season to his island home. I wanted to enjoy the fall colors; so I dropped in for a visit.  Nor was I disappointed. The island was ablaze with the yellows, reds, and oranges of autumn.  Orange is my favorite seasonal color, and nothing is more autumn than orange pumpkins. Of course, keeping in spirit with the season, Jaysun planted a pumpkin patch, a marvelous patch with some good size pumpkins. And I discovered that a pumpkin patch is a wonderful place to sit and daydream. Do avatars dream? We most certainly do.

In autumn, gardens put in one last mighty surge before declining and going to seed. Plants grow to their tallest and flower to their fullest. I caught Jaysun's flower gardens at just the right moment. I took advantage of it and struck a fashion pose for this nice picture.  The pose is SS-POSE03-2 from Slow Kitchen. I'm wearing a colorful wool sweater dress called ALB TROVE from ALB Dream Fashions. My footwear is J's Gather Wedge Sandals from J's Mainstore. My hair is a style called Liu and can be found at DrLife. Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing

Actually, pumpkins are not very comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. Garden benches are so much better. And this bench is nicely placed in the prettiest spot on Jaysun's island. Our dear friend from Australia, Smidget Beamont, was celebrating her real life birthday. We invited her to join us. My sister Victoria also dropped in to wish Smidge a happy birthday. We all gave Smidge a birthday hug. Autumn, pumpkins, friends, and a birthday. What a wonderful day.

Birthday Girl Smidget with Victoria and Me

Slow Kitchen

ALB Dream Fashions

J's Mainstore

DrLife Mainstore

A YouTube Find

Monday, October 12, 2009

AVATAR MGZ - Hot Off The Presses

Mony Markova, Founder and Publisher of AVATAR MGZ

Yesterday saw the launch of AVATAR MGZ, an exciting new online magazine. AVATAR MGZ's  focus is on the avatars that inhabit our virtual world.  Mony Markov, publisher of AVATAR MGZ, sees her magazine as the People Magazine of Second Life. With insightful interviews conducted by Mony, AVATAR MGZ presents slices of Second Life that collectively promises to deepen our appreciation for the virtual world's creative richness and social diversity. I was thrilled to have been interviewed by Mony for the first issue; although I can't measure up to fellow interviewees: Skyra Woodget, a brilliant creator and entrepeneur, and Tankgirl Blackheart, who I am delighted to learn is larger than life in real life as well as in Second Life. Take a look at AVATAR MGZ. It is a fun read as well as informative.


A link to my interview in AVATAR MGZ:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kasbah Comes To Hallelujah

New Kasbah Grand Opening in Hallelujah

There have been major changes at Hallelujah in the past few weeks. The big surprise was the transfer of ownership of the sim from PT and Owly to Gwendolyn Bieler. But this change actually means continuity.  As Gwen expressed it, "I love what Owly and PT have created, and I love being a part of it." And Gwen is committed to keeping Hallelujah a thriving community and building on Owly and PT's vision. This is actually a positive development as PT and Owly are not able to devote as much time to Hallelujah as they have in the past. Happily, the pair will still be around as beloved members of our community. PT is making Junco his home base. And Owly has an island in Hallelujah. And, as I brought Gwen to Hallelujah and introduced her at a Tub Talk, I feel good about the whole thing. One lesson learned from the demise of Mill Pond is that the active particpation of the sim owner is the indispensible element in maintaining a Second Life community that embraces a shared vision. We all have great confidence in Gwen.

The crowd begins to build on opening night.

The other major development, and a very exciting one, is the opening in Hallelujah of Kasbah, a gorgeous Moroccan-themed club that will feature a nightly line-up of live performers. Kasbah was originally operating on another sim where it had become one of the best venues for live performances in Second Life. The owners, AthenaLV Constantine and Loegan Magic, are former residents of Hallelujah who have now brought their successful club to a place that they have always considered home. It is wonderful to have them both back in Hallelujah.

Athena and Loegan booked a fabulous line-up of some of SL's best live musicians for yesterday's grand opening. The day of live music began at 10:00 AM SLT and ran through 11:00 PM SLT. Throughout the day, the crowd was building at Kasbah. By evening the crowd was enormous. It was one of the best music and dancing events that I have ever attended in Second Life. Congratulations to Athena and Loegan for a successful opening. Kasbah is a magnificent addition to the Hallelujah community.

AthenaLV Constantine hosting the grand opening
 in a fabulous outfit from ALB Dream Fashions

Naiya dropped by in the morning. She certainly has grown since becoming a runway model. She's over seven feet tall, the height required by most Second Life modeling agencies. Here I am trying to measure up to her. She is fabulous.

Lulubelle dancing in Kasbah's Great Courtyard

Stig made an appearance and looking grand.

Relaxing and listening to the music with my sister Victoria and Jaysun. Jaysun helped Athena and Loegan with preparing Kasbah. Jay did much of the landscaping.

Kasbah at Hallelujah

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cheesecake Mariko: Autumn Sweets

I am learning to love Autumn. Its a season we don't have in Hawaii. This will be my third autumn in the northeast, and I glory in the fall colors, the harvest, the crisp cool air, and the WORLD SERIES. Autumn has its own sweets - candy apples and candy corn and pumpkin pie. For today's dessert, lets have a nice serving of pumpkin pie, shall we?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Truthball Cafe Grand Opening

ArorA Chadbourne performing at the Truthball Cafe

Last night, my good friend Leesa Donner hosted a memorable Grand Opening for the Truthball Cafe, her stylish new coffeehouse. I've been excited about this opening for over a week because Leesa arranged for ArorA Chadbourne to provide the entertainment.  I get a special thrill being at an ArorA performance where large numbers in the audience are hearing her sing for the first time. ArorA's opening numbers are always Shock 'n Awe, and the audience reaction is fun to be around.  Its energy jolts everyone as would a sudden mega watt charge of electricity and then all are transfixed by the richness of ArorA's voice. And its impact is especially huge on new comers. Whenever I bring friends to a performance for the first time, ArorA's openings inevitably elicit IMs shouting 'WOW'.  And that new comer WOW factor was definitely in play at Truthball last night. The praise flowing from the guests for the performer and the songs was continuous. It was wonderful seeing ArorA connecting with her fans and gathering  many new fans as well.

The Truthball Cafe is a very classy establishment with a comfortable and inviting layout. I love its warmth and intimacy. Leesa always does everything well. We all miss the late Open Latte, and Leesa wanted to capture some of the feel of the early Open Latte in her cafe. And it certainly does. But, personally, I think that it captures more the style and attraction of my own late Tradewinds, a fine wine bar that I managed with my partners Erin and Tricia. Tradewinds was a smaller and more intimate, upper scale alternative to Open Latte, which had begun its decline. So Truthball Cafe has a special appeal to me. Its grand opening certainly showed off that appeal to all the guests. Everyone was very impressed and pleased with the cafe. I do intend to come often where I hope to meet my friends and make new friendships.

I was so happy to see Naiya at the grand opening. I haven't seen much of her since she began her career as a top Second Life fashion model. She looked fantastic.

My Sister Victoria and I entertain Stig with our synchronous dancing
while Rocko and Tricia are in their usual clinch.

Truthball Cafe

YouTube: ArorA Chabourne Make a Wish:

Arora's (Jamie Brayden) website with some great sample songs:

Other great Jamie Brayden websites with songs:

You must listen to Jamie singing Twist of Fate:

My other ArorA postings on this blog

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fashion Blog Pics, a Diatribe Against Windlight and This Week's Photo Mariko

When planning a photo shoot for my fashion blog, I travel to a number of sims looking for interesting background for the fashions. I also experiment with poses and angles. When shooting the picture above, I was sampling the atmospheric effects available using windlight. As a rule, I don't use windlight principally because it makes avatars look crappy. Under windlight, avatars tend to be waxy in appearance and look as artificial as department store manikins. There are windlight settings that undo this effect on avatars. But they essentially remove windlight, so why use it in the first place. Windlight is great for taking pictures of landscapes with marvelous clouds.  However, unless you are a skilled Second Life photographer or use a setting that removes the its lighting effect on avatars, I think it is best to not use windlight to photograph avatars. As for people who walk around Second Life with windlight always set, don't set me off on this subject.

For an extensive examination of windlight and avatar appearance, see my post Walking With Windlight Again - Windlight is Not Avatar Friendly:

I am planning a fashion blog posting of this gorgeous jacket from MEB Fashions. I want an autumn background and one of the sims that I am considering is Japanese Tempura, pictured here. I love this sim; but, perhaps the background is a little too busy to highlight the jacket. However, I do like this picture. Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing. Oh, by the way, the delicate facial features and the translucent quality of the skin seen here would be hard to capture and probably lost using windlight. Windlight can remove up to 50% of the details of a finely crafted skin. That is why many avatars look like cartoons in photos using windlight. After seeing this picture, the details of the skin lost in the previous picture should be obvious.

Pictured here is a location that I considered when planning my fashion post for New Yippie  by Baiastice (posted on June 12). The picture was taken at a magnificent Patch Thibaud designed estate in Costa Rica. I didn't use this location for the blog post. I decided on The Forbidden City in Beijing. But I liked the realism affected in this pic. A picture like this would probably not be possible using windlight without using settings that effectively remove windlight.

A lovely Japanese silk screen provided the background for this outfit called Indiana Boho by SySy.

This is another outfit which I am considering for a future fashion post. Rather then using a sim as background, I experimented with effects achieved in a photo studio.

My sister Victoria is developing an interest in fashion photograpy. This is one of her pictures. She shows great talent doesn't she?  And, I must admit, she worked well with windlight in this picture.

One of Victoria's fashion pictures was a winner in the monthy photo contest held by Nyte N Day. I am so proud of my sister. The kid has star power.

It was Fall Fashion Week in Second Life, and I attended a number of fashion shows. This picture was taken at a fantastic show of fairy themed fashions put on at the Patch Thibaut Auditorium. Lovely, but quite impractical. Can you imagine wearing that on a date, even one in Second Life?

Lulubelle and I wearing 'lion mane' hair in the new flower display
created by Jaysun at my Hallelujah garden.

Lulubelle looks fantastic in this pic.

Where's Waldo?

Jaysun and I at La Cafe Poulard in Mount Saint Michael. I will be writing a blog post on this magnificent sim.

Just a picture to close this post.