Day 346 of Project 365: Silent night.

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The seasons are changing in Second Life! Here is a glimpse of my wee home all ready for the winter months. When I get irritated by the news — which is often, these days — I spend some downtime wandering through a virtual world. Not that virtual worlds are free of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, mind you. But sometimes escapism is my only coping mechanism.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: the sound of a virtual blizzard.

Day 283 of Project 365: Slow-cooker curry.

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This slow-cooker Thai curry recipe turned out great. Now I have lunches for half the week, too. It’s gluten-free but not vegetarian; I think it could be made vegetarian with a bit more eggplant and sweet potato instead of the chicken, plus a proper substitute for fish sauce.

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It’s disappointing not to be able to share the new-recipe victory with FunkyPlaid, but I’ll just have to make it again when he comes home.

I also made a small gif of the autumn leaves swirling about my home in Second Life.

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Back to work in the morning! I hope this cold shoves off soon …

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: freight trains in the distance.

Day 272 of Project 365: Autumn in Second Life.

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I love autumn in all realities, but until virtual reality can deliver the faintly sweet smell of fallen leaves or their satisfying crunch underfoot, there’s no comparison.

Still, it’s picturesque there, and I like to visit.

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Credits (vaguely left-to-right):

  • Studio Skye – Enchanted Woods v2 – 4 (clearing) [resized]
  • Trompe Loeil – Garden Bard Abode (no gardens)
  • Botanical – Decorative Light Set
  • R(S)W Rail Quilt S1 – Fall Leaves
  • {what next) Rustic Bramley Porch Swing (long)
  • LISP – Mesh Blinds Wide Short – White
  • {what next} Petite Mailbox (offwhite)
  • Sway’s [Door Mat] cats
  • [DDD] Autumn Candle Shelf
  • junk. wall desk. wood.
  • {what next} Vermont Hot Chocolate Tray (Pumpkin Everything)
  • The Golden Oriole – Guestbook
  • {what next} Bramley Rocking Chair  – Rustic V2

{ Visit Chez Cygnoir in Second Life! }

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: my bedtime alarm.

Days 253-259 of Project 365: Myriad mundanities.

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Sometimes you sit at home in a world that only exists in a collective imagination. (Credits below.)

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Sometimes you go out into the real world and inhabit what a joyful fever-dream of a Kevin Costner-obsessed, seven-foot-tall clown who will never speak, only sing and grunt and command people to eat cupcakes while he sings “Under Pressure” at them.

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Sometimes you are at work and an echo of your past heart walks in as your throat closes and you half-kneel, half-crouch, bargaining with time so maybe this moment could last a little longer than it surely will, bargaining with your shoddy memory which deftly picks exactly now to tell you that this isn’t your beloved but rather someone else’s beloved and can’t you see that all the details are wrong and it doesn’t matter but you won’t cry, no you won’t, not at work, not at a new job, and so you make all of your adult body stand up and smile and walk away.

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And the rest of the week? You simply take pictures of the things that fill up other spaces in your brain, colors and shapes in pleasant arrangements, nothing too dangerous, nothing too bizarre: myriad mundanities that somehow add up to a life.

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Credits for Second Life snap (vaguely left-to-right):

 

  • Studio Skye – Enchanted Woods v2 – 4 (clearing) [resized]
  • Trompe Loeil – Garden Bard Abode (no gardens)
  • Schadenfreude Gunmetal Distressed Bethlem Apothecary Cabinet
  • Schadenfreude Dark Angel Dress Form RARE
  • .random.Matter. – Ire Cabinet – Rose
  • Ex Machina Terrarium 1
  • *HEXtraordinary* Chameleon Companion – Green Rainbow – RARE
  • Apple Fall Books
  • Concept} 07. Retro Radio – Cere – RARE
  • Concept}  Retro Radio – Books
  • DIGS – Heritage Armchair – FLF Limited [MESH]
  • junk. battered leather couch. brown. pg.
  • Trompe Loeil – Antique Floor Lamp with projection lighting
  • MIASNOW Home – RUG LOTUS 10 ~black to brown

 

{ Visit Chez Cygnoir in Second Life! }

Writing from: my study in Portland. Listening to: “Wasted Time” by Eagles.

Perpetual twilight in the Beast’s castle.

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NaNoWriMo took much more out of me, creatively, than I expected. Every day this week I have attempted to compose a complete Holidailies entry and failed. But it isn’t all NaNoWriMo’s fault. I’ve been battling the dreaded lurgy since the last week of November, and now this part of the world has been plunged into perpetual twilight.

All right, so it’s nothing so dramatic. But on the greyer days, the sky never lightens completely, and “daytime” is around nine in the morning to three in the afternoon. It can feel rather bleak. Add to that the blustery weather, which has been providing my subconscious with a fun soundscape, especially what sounds like a cut-rate radio drama generic ghost sound wandering the halls with a “whoooooOOOOOOOoooooo!” in the middle of the night.

So what’s a sick, sleep-deprived, creatively-stagnant, FunkyPlaid-missing swan to do?

Mystic Bastion.

You’re right. Touring spooky castles in virtual reality is a spectacular idea.

DRD’s Mystic Bastion is more than an astounding homage to the Beast’s castle from “Beauty and the Beast”. This castle and all of its furnishings are gacha prizes. If you aren’t familiar with gacha, picture those vending machines containing little plastic toys that can be won for a coin. In Second Life, this method of winning random prizes has become a bit of a phenomenon. The end result is elaborate sets like this one.

Upon entering.

For a brief moment, I played gacha machines in Second Life. I stopped because it hits me square in that crazy “collector” place in my brain I try to avoid, the one that says I have to have complete sets of anything I aim to collect. So although I don’t partake anymore, I do enjoy seeing the result of healthy creative competition, especially when the end result is a gigantic castle.

Which one of us is the Beast?

So in the half-darkness, I creep around the creations of others and try to kickstart my own inspiration.

In the Beast's library.

I’m not a fan of fairytales, but I sure do appreciate a gorgeous library.

Photo credits: my own raw snaps from Second Life. Click through each pic for creator credits.

The end of summer.

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the end of summer

Outside, the end-of-festival fireworks are sounding. Inside, and then again inside a home inside a virtual world, the end of summer draws near as well. That is, if you adhere to the symbolism of seasons in a place where they do not have to exist at all, and I do.

I was going to create a new blog only for my Second Life snaps, but I cannot be fussed. Instead, you can view my Second Life category of posts and subscribe to the RSS feed if that’s your bag.

If none of this is to your liking, pretend you “accidentally” peeked through a neighbour’s window just now. That’s all it is … a glimpse into someone else’s set of foibles and fascinations.

Credits (vaguely left-to-right):

  • Apple Fall Clifton Cast Iron Fireplace (white)
  • junk. wannabe boho. petal mirror. metal.
  • [ContraptioN] Music Box: Berceuse des Amoureux
  • [ARIA] Rosalind bent neck swan
  • KittyCats – Stromness (yes, I have virtual cats, too)
  • AF Interior Plant
  • AF Reading Pile
  • Apple Fall Joanne Crystal Lamp
  • junk. boho curtain.
  • Second Spaces – Cluttered House – charging station
  • AF Recycled Desk
  • Apple Fall Coffee & Muffin
  • -tres blah- Hodgepodge – Agenda RARE
  • Apple Fall Bea Reading Chair (Worn Leather)
  • Apple Fall Lightbulb Terrarium
  • Schadenfreude Dark Angel Dress Form RARE
  • Constellation Map – Cygnus Gacha
  • Apple Fall Charlotte Cabinet
  • +sanctuaire+ antique radio – walnut – portable
  • ISPACHI – The Arrival – Lamentation of Swans
  • AF Books
  • Apple Fall Leather Moccasins
  • MudHoney Zelia Bag
  • Sari-Sari – Assorted Mail
  • NOMAD // Wall Calendar
  • Apple Fall Books Occasional Table w/ Blanket
  • Apple Fall Boxed Supplies w/ Spectacles
  • Apple Fall Cotton Cluster
  • AF Rico’s Clock
  • dust bunny . small spaces kitchen . island cabinet
  • Lark – Croissants
  • MIASNOW Home – RUG LOTUS 10 ~black to brown
  • Trompe Loeil – Garden Bard Abode

Portrait of a lady.

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Portrait of a Lady

I smile, of course,
And go on drinking tea.
“Yet with these April sunsets, that somehow recall
My buried life, and Paris in the Spring,
I feel immeasurably at peace, and find the world
To be wonderful and youthful, after all.”

— from T.S. Eliot’s “Portrait of a Lady”

I am fairly sure that Eliot did not have a virtual avatar sipping virtual tea in mind when he wrote those lines, but what better to offer as an apology for my own silence than words from one of the greatest poets who ever lived?

It has been an introspective couple of days.

Writing from: a vanilla-scented lounge (thanks, Ikea candle). Listening to: “Trans Fatty Acid” by Lamb.

A self called nowhere.

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There’s no escaping the fact that we’re all fragile bags of meat. Today my immune system bottomed out. This happens more frequently than I would like, and when it does, there is not much to do but wait it out with rest and lots of water.

Occasionally when this happens I like to set aside the bag of meat for a little while and pretend I am hale and hearty and having adventures. Second Life lets me experience things like virtual ice-skating in a remote winter wonderland instead of just sitting at home, feeling miserable, with the wind blowing hard outside. I am grateful.

[SL] Ice-skating.

It is very important for me to maintain my spirits when I get ill. I too easily fall into the trap of feeling guilty, upset, depressed, or otherwise disappointed in myself for being sick, which is pointless and stupid but I do it anyway. This only prolongs the recovery period. Sometimes a frivolous distraction is exactly what I need to recalibrate.

[SL] Ice-skating closeup.

Tomorrow I will jump on that ever-growing pile of emails. Tonight I’ll skate, leaving faint traces on virtual ice in an invisible world.

Writing from: bed, with the electric blanket cranked up to 11. Listening to: “A Self Called Nowhere” by They Might Be Giants.

Day 52 of Project 365: social (second) life

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This morning I got all worked up about an email on my school’s listserv about how social networks don’t really build community online. I was properly fuming over it … and it wasn’t even 9am. It did not bode well for the rest of my Saturday.

So I made a decision not to think about anything school- or work-related all day today.

It was a great success. Among other things, I spent some time with friends in Second Life, something I hadn’t done for a couple of months. I was even able to make my friend Lou‘s weekly trivia game.

Here is a snap of Lou and me after the game, enjoying our “non-existent” online community.

52.365: social (second) life

For decades now, I have spent time connecting with people online. Some of my closest friendships are with people I rarely, if ever, see in person. It no longer seems strange to me, but I understand how it could seem strange to others. I value online and offline friendships for different reasons, and am very fortunate to have the benefits of both.

The very thought of you.

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There is so much loveliness in Second Life, but I have a pretty specific aesthetic. I have grown so attached to my mohawk that other hairstyles just don’t look right to me anymore.

But when Miss Shippe released her Weep for the World makeup, I had to mix it up a bit.
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