Thursday, October 31, 2013

Veil of Darkness

I love Halloween in Second Life.  There are so many attractions and activities. We wear the most fabulous costumes, attend Halloween parties and dances, and massacre zombies by the score at one of the Zombie Apocalypses that pop up during this fall holiday. But, Second Life's best Halloween tradition is exploring the delightful special Halloween attractions with their creepy mansions, haunted castles, ghostly graveyards, asylums for the homicidal insane, and amusement parks from hell and finding those that chill our bones and curdle our blood. My pick for this year's most bone chilling and blood curdling Halloween attraction is Veil of Darkness, build for our macabre enjoyment by Tuck Meredith and Tymus Tenk, owners of the wonderful  Calas Galahon Park

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

Veil of Darkness covers an entire sim. So, there's much to explore and much to terrify us. Oh, that baby boomer sneaking up behind me at Veil of Darkness is my dear friend Syd. You might remember Syd from my post Shall We Dance. There are Halloween adventures to be had here. A marvelous adventure is the Swamp Raft Tour, a tour of the waterways and swamps of the Veil of Darkness. I made this raft trip with Jaysun.

We begin our adventure. Jaysun is piloting the raft, and I'm the lookout at the bow.

There are charming views along the river.

At first, it seems so lovely and tranquil.

But there are horrors lurking in the shallows.

And dangers along the shoreline.

The swamp is primordial and full of alligators and creatures out of time and myth.

And around the bend ... high adventure.

Later, I went exploring with Stevie and Chisaki, my two amigos in adventure, and we followed the mountainous path to the castle.
We found Syd was lurking in a shallow cave along the path. But, he's harmless. Nevertheless, we were lucky to make it to the castle alive. Many travelers before us weren't so lucky.

There were a lot of fat guys running around the castle with meat cleavers.
And they made quite a mess.
The castle is a maze of dead ends and hidden rooms. There were dangers and horrors everywhere. But, we kept our cool and our wits about us and slowly worked our way up the maze.

And at the top of the castle, we found an wonderful attic where we could relax among odds and ends from Alice's Wonderland. And memories of the horrors we experienced melted away.

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mariko Magic: Bewitching ALB Pumpkin Witch

I was shopping for a witch's outfit for Halloween. I didn't want to be your typical black clad wicked witch. Too many of them around running around this time of year cackling and shrieking. I wanted something visually exciting. I knew that I would find it at ALB Dream Fashion. ALB's Analee Balut is one of the most original and exciting fashion designers in Second Life.  

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

And I found it. It's called Pumpkin Witch, and it's a enchanted celebration of autumn's most dominant colors. Now, if you're going to be a witch, you might as well look fabulous as one. And Analee certainly cast some wondrous magic in creating this witch. I'm wearing the feather plumed conical hat, the figure flattering corset, and a colorful cloak, very mystical and seemingly oriental with a spider motif, very appropriate for Halloween.  And I love the orange toned silks and black lace of the witch's skirt. ALB Pumpkin Witch also comes with  comes with 3 skins, a lace cat suit,  jewelry, lace gloves,  jeweled gloves, and more. It sells for L$777

For a wicked witch look, the outfit  also comes with a simple conical hat, a bright pumpkin orange cape, and a witch's broom. Of course, I won't be cackling and shrieking and boiling toads and eye of newt. That's not my style. Perhaps, you'll find me bathed in moonlight and humming a bewitching tune, casting a spell, much like Kim Novak in Bell, Book, and Candle. My familiar isn't a cat named Pyewacket. It's a little pug dog named Miyamoto Musashi. ... So, on whom shall I cast my spell this Halloween in Second Life?

My hair is a pageboy cut from Kik called Shinobu. It comes in a five color set for L$200. The colors are black, blonde, brown, coffee, and honey. Shinobu is also available with a texture changing headband and hat. All three sets can be purchased for L$450.


These pictures were taken in the Veil of Darkness located in Calas Galadhon. Veil of Darkness is the creepiest and scariest Halloween adventure in Second Life this season. Don't miss it. And, if you should suddenly come upon a witch bathed in moonlight with a little dog in her arms, and she begins humming a bewitching tune ... RUN!

ALB Dream Fashion


Veil of Darkness in Calas Galadhon

Related Posts

Kim Novak and James Stewart in Bell, Book, and Candle

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tadaima! I'm Back.

These cherry blossoms are so lovely and teasingly playful. Only in Second Life ...

Goodness, it's been such a long while since my last post. But, it's good to be back blogging. Although I've been absent here, I haven't left Second Life. However, my real life had become exponentially busier. I just completed one graduate degree and started on what should be the final one.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

Oh my, there's a strong breeze coming in.

Although I'm spending less time in Second Life, I'm still hanging out and dancing at my favorite pubs and clubs and shopping in the stores of my favorite fashion designers. And, of course, it's really my friends that bring me back to Second Life. However,  I'm finding so much nostalgia now in my Friend List - so many names no longer in this virtual world - so many dearly missed - so many memories of good times. One's circle of friends will always ebb and flow. That's life.  But, it seems so much more conspicuous in Second Life. STOP! I'm sounding too much like a SL old timer. Halloween is fast approaching, after all, and it's one of the most fun times of year in SL. So, let me do some exploring and find some Halloween magic for my next blog post.  

I better leave before this wind carries all these cherry blossoms away.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Blog Enters Its Fifth Year

My blog has entered it's fifth year. It and it's companion blog Mariko Magic: Fashion in Second Life are collectively approaching 100,000 total page views since counting began in May 2010. Its endurance to me is wondrous, and I thank you dear readers for inspiring me to write this journal of my sojourn in Second Life. On the last anniversary of my blog, I pondered on the Google searches that brought many people to this blog and posted a selection of keywords, amusing and what not, used in those searches. Many Googlers also come to the blog when searching for images. Now, I don't consider myself a Second Life photographer of any note or talent. I'm certainly no Strawberry Singh. But I'm thrilled when one of my pictures has attracted someone's attention and has brought them to my blog. So this anniversary, I want to post some of the more frequently selected pictures from those image searches. Let's start with the picture of my favorite virtual kimono. Google searches for Chinese brush painting bring searchers to the pictures of my new avatar wearing my favorite kimono in the post Chinese Brush Painting/ A New Mariko.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

My most popular posting ever is my tour of the Sistine Chapel in the post Second Life Treasures: Sistine Chapel. Just about all the pictures in that post show up in Google searches. In this picture, we're looking straight up at the famous ceiling frescoes by the magnificent  and indomitable Michelangelo.


Ancient Nubia was the first great black African kingdom, a civilization as old as Egypt, its neighbor to the north.  Image searches for ancient Nubia brought Googlers to these pictures from Out of Africa. I really like my deep Hawaiian tan.

Have you ever seen a circus clown with such beguiling eyes?
That's Lulubelle in I'm off to join the circus.

Exploring the walled city of Kowloon in City of Darkness.

I find it surprising that so many people are searching for images of donkeys.
This one is from the 2010 post Photo Mariko for August.

Posted in Deadly Sexy. That says it all.

She's even Deadlier and Sexier in Anna's Many Murders - The Babysitter.

Googler's searching for alien landscapes select this one from Walking with Windlight.

Another alien landscape - that of the planet Pandora from the movie Avatar.
This picture is from Avatar Inspired Fashion at Boudoir.
This picture of lovely Moni Markova from Some People and Places 
is a favorite among Google searchers.

As is this picture of Samantha Kazakov posted in

Mowgli and Jungle Mariko Prowling the Tall Grass At Opar
Popular pic from a 2009 Cheesecake Mariko post fittingly titled Call of the Wild.

This Autumn Nymph certainly called to the wild in some Googlers.

Googlers searching for Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus
stopped to look at this picture from Autumn Nymph.

And Googlers searching for images of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven
come to this picture of Whom the Angles Name Lenore.

This  picture of Bacchus Ireto in Its a Grand Night for Singing must also be calling to the wild in some Googlers. What else can explain its popularity?

Don't Panic. The secret to surviving a zombie attack is
staying cool and looking fabulous.

Zombies are very much in vogue, and my blog gets a ton of hits from the pictures in
Zombie Hunter.

Searching for a picture of Gulliver and the Lilliputians?
Googlers found it at Random Clicks and Notes.

Popular Cheesecake Mariko picture entitled Baby, The Rain Must Fall.
The less said, the better.

Sinister evil inspired fashion posted in Alecto - A Touch of Evil.

Cute!  Cute! Cute!
 Cute hat from Tra la it's May.

Googlers searching for pictures of offshore oil rigs are smitten
by this oil rig babe in Drill Baby Drill.

A winter scene designed by my friend Kaja Ashland posted in Second Life Winter Memories.

 The world ending in ice from Fire and Ice.

 And speaking of cold winter weather, two of the most frequently selected pictures are these wintery pictures from Russian Snow Princess, Encore.

As always, I am grateful for your readership, and I want to personally thank you for dropping by. As I begin my fifth year of Second Life blogging, I hope that I can entertain you and hold your interest over the next year. So please drop by again.

Your's Always, Mariko Nightfire


“The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”John Adams, 1818

Peggy Noonan calls George Will's lecture at Washington University in Saint Louis the most important speech of the young 21st century. A political commentator and atheist, George Will delivers a brilliant analysis of religion in American politics in the context of what he calls Madison and Wilson. James Madison, our fourth president and father of our constitution, embodies the values of the nation's founding that define our national experiment in individual liberty. These founding values derive from the concept of natural rights that the founders believed to be self-evident and inalienable. Woodrow Wilson, our twenty-eighth president, embodies the modern Progressive Movement which rejects the concept of natural rights as an outdated artifact of its time and promotes a concept of rights that are not endowed by nature (and nature's god) but conceived by society and codified in law; rights that are alienable and inherently changing as human nature progresses and the enabling instrument of government perfected.  Madison versus Wilson is the debate of our time. It's liberty versus paternalism. It's limited government versus the expansionist regulatory state. It's a constitution of enumerated powers versus a 'living' constitution. It's the right to the fruits of one's labor and risk taking versus wealth redistribution. It's those who want to fundamentally change our nation and close the book on the American Revolution and those who wish to write more chapters in that book. These differences are irreconcilable and the reason for our political acrimony and gridlock. To understand politics in America today, one must understand Madison and Wilson. So regardless of where you stand on Madison versus Wilson, be informed and savor this lecture by George Will.