We Could Be Related

One of the things I said I wouldn’t do for a LONG time, if ever, was get a mesh head. I know, I know. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I was one of the first to hop all aboard the mesh train when it came out in 2011. In fact, the day it rolled live, I blogged one of the first mesh dresses that came out that day. If you joined SL after 2012, you don’t know how crazy the mesh revolution was. How nothing fit properly, how standard sizing changed a lot of how we looked, how a simple couch could have eaten up 100 prims of your parcel allotment, or why we still refer to things as mesh, rather than just calling it what it is, or just how many designers we lost when mesh came out because they were unable – or unwilling – to keep up and learn how to make it.

I don’t think we quite realized the impact mesh would make on Second Life. In fact, in that blog post, I’m quoted as saying, “Yes, mesh gives us some great things, but there will always ALWAYS be the need for regular prims, textures and sculpties.”

Hahahahaha! Oh.

I was thrilled to wear mesh clothing. I was even more thrilled to get new mesh furniture that wasn’t 12 prims [or Land Impact for you newbies] for a simple pillow. I danced with joy to dump my sculpted feet and put on mesh ones. I waved my sad system hands in the air for the last time and slipped on pretty mesh ones. I loved the way I no longer had to Photoshop my pointed calves and square butt once I got a mesh body.

But heads? OH HECK NO.

I loved my avatar’s face. I am one of those rare bloggers in SL who has never changed skins too often just because once I look like “me,” that’s kind of it for me for a while. I like to look and feel like myself. I’ve always demoed a lot of skins for fun, but when it comes to day to day SLiving, I like being me. So the thought of covering my face with a head that didn’t really look like ME? Pfft. No, thank you. I did demo some but none felt right to me. I liked the way I looked and that’s that.

While we were on our last vacation, Aldwyn [who was WAY quicker to get into a mesh head than I would have expected] decided that I needed a mesh head. I believe the conversation went something like this:

Aldwyn: You need one.

Me: But whyyyyyyyyyy?????

Aldwyn: Because.

Me: I don’t want it.

Aldwyn: I don’t care.

* You have received a gift! *

Me: …this isn’t the one I wanted.

So he bought me two heads that night, LOGO’s Alex and Chloe. And, being me, I decided that if he was going to spend the money on me, I was certainly not going to let it go to waste. So I put on the Chloe head and told myself not to take it off for at least a week.

It’s been over a week. *laughs*

Surprisingly enough, I fell in love with the thing. I wear no appliers because the base skin is perfect for how I want to look. I hadn’t really seen my system face in months. But I decided to give it a look last night, and then couldn’t resist taking a side by side picture with myself. [It’s not perfect. I’m not great at the cloning thing.]

We Could Be Related

I still like my system face. But… goodness, I look SO much younger! I feel like my mesh head looks polished and older, while the system face is someone you’d find hanging out at the beach on spring break. Or like my system headed self is my younger sister who was trying to hit on my husband. LOL! My plurk friends say that both are similar, and they are in some ways, I guess. I think I can tell more of a difference just because I’ve spent the past however many years staring at myself.

Have you switched to a mesh head yet? Which ones do you like? If you haven’t done it, why not? Do you plan on it? I have questions!πŸ™‚

But I Thought They Were Going To Disney?!

So last month, Abby and Birdy came to me very excited. A camp was going to be happening in July, and would it be possible for them to go? It wouldn’t even cost us a cent other than buying the normal supplies. Well, of course I said yes! All kids need a summer camp and with Camp Hardknock no longer in business, I was glad that they found one that they were interested in. This would be a great chance for them to get away for a week, have some fun, and hopefully meet some new friends. They said the camp is actually going to be happening at Disney! They will be taking a train with other campers all the way to Disney. We heard that there might have been some problems with the train tracks… but hey, I’m sure they have it fixed by now. Although I also heard that last camp, the plane to Disney got lost with the kids on it. Maybe that’s why they’re taking the train this year?

They leave for camp on Saturday, so today we started packing them up. Camp girls need lots of things, like surfboards and dolls and spare underpants and…

But I Thought They Were Going To Disney?!

Wait. Why do these girls think they need a bow and arrows, a sword, tactical gear, and a…bomb case?! What in the world?!

Hmm. Why do I get the feeling there’s more to this camp than they are telling me?

PS: I said no to the tactical gear and bomb case. I’m a good mom, after all.

Sometimes

One great thing about having this blog and having blogged so much of my Second Life is that I can go back and read things again. One awful thing about having this blog and having blogged so much of my Second Life is that I can go back and read things again.

Sometimes

I’ve been re-reading posts here and there from around 2008. And while some of the things I did or said make me laugh even now, part of me is a bit sad because I miss so many people who are no longer in my life. Especially my friend Cen.

Let me just preface what I’m about to say with this: I love my SLife. I do. I love my family and my home and my blogs and all that. I love doing videos. I am truly happy with how things are.

However… Lately I have just been feeling like something is missing. And I think that it’s that sometimes I miss having a best girl friend inside of SL. Just someone to chat with and laugh with that will be up for adventures and all that best friend stuff. Things like Cen and I used to do for a while.

One of the main reasons that I don’t really have that right now is that my tastes and needs have changed over the years. I don’t like being “super sexy” or half naked all the time. Even though I’m a fashion blogger, I am not super high fashion. I don’t really enjoy going out to troll people. Going to go hang out at “adult fun” venues is not really my cup of tea. I’m not going to be on Skype constantly during the day. And unfortunately, most of my existing friends, which are primarily on plurk, are into all that. Which is fine for them! I’m not saying that it’s not, trust me. It’s just not really for me right now. I would prefer to be with someone who is more family friendly, keeps their clothes on most of the time, who is around my age or older, who enjoys chatting in off and on in IMs or just hanging out in world but doesn’t go AFK every 2 minutes when we’re having a conversation, who isn’t constantly talking about how they “give no f*cks”, and who isn’t overly clingy or needs a ton of my attention.

*laughs* Geez, I don’t ask for much, huh?

I don’t know. I like friendships to develop organically and unfortunately, I tend to be very shy and I don’t really put myself out there that much. Maybe I’ve simply forgotten how to be a good friend in SL? I’m not the type to always be in someone’s IM or even need daily interaction and … I don’t know. Maybe that’s wrong?

Bah. I’m getting emo for no dang reason.πŸ™‚

Honestly, I am very happy with my SLife and the people in it. I was just having some “I need a friend” thoughts over the weekend. It’ll pass.

Enjoying The Day

So this has been kind of a cool week for me.πŸ™‚ I have actually been chatting with people who watch my videos! That was an unexpected side effect of doing YouTube. *laughs* I want to do another video kind of just chatting about that, so I’ll save my thoughts for another day. But it’s been cool, most definitely.

Another thing is that I’ve gotten some wonderful feedback on my post about family! I kind of didn’t expect that either! People can be super judgmental about something they don’t quite understand or aren’t interested in, so it’s been great getting comments and IMs and stuff about it. So today I’ve just been relaxing in SL [because lord, it is HOT outside in RL and I can’t even with that right now]. Luckily in SL, I can relax and enjoy the day and not fry to a crisp.

Enjoying The Day

I had a comment in my last post with a question and I thought I’d answer that here rather than in a video just because I tend to get long winded at times and since I’m subjecting you all to probably another 30 minute video on Friday [Luxe Box opening!], I figured I’d just write.πŸ™‚

So Kate asked what I thought about virtual pregnancies. Honestly, I think what you want to do in your SL is your business. For me personally, it’s not something I’m interested in, but I truly understand people who do them.

I mentioned my friend Renee in my post about family. She was one of those people who went through a virtual pregnancy because in her real life, there was no way she could possibly get pregnant. She wanted to experience some form of motherhood and pregnancy, so that’s what she did and she enjoyed it. Again, I think that is probably one of the best uses of SL – doing things that you truly want and would never ever get to experience in the RL.

Now I know that when people think of virtual pregnancy, they think of 2 things. One, those dang tummy talkers that yell at you if you bump the mom, or let the whole world know when your baby wants you to eat your vitamin or is swelling your ankles. Trust me, I’m just as annoyed by those as anyone else. *laughs* And two, they think of prim babies, like the Zooby babies. And for a lot of people, that’s as far as it goes. But there is another side to the virtual pregnancies that, if you’re not in the family community, you might not know about.

It’s not uncommon for parents who have adopted kids in SL to later “birth” the child. No, not like… no, not like you’re thinking. LOL! I know what you’re thinking. But the mother goes through the traditional virtual pregnancy knowing that at the end, the “baby” is their adopted child. It’s more symbolic than anything else. Once the child is born, they are no longer considered an adopted child, but instead are considered a true born child. Actually, our friends Jill and Gattz have done this with all of their kids, and you can read about Jill’s last pregnancy on their blog here. Like I said, it’s more symbolic than anything else, although I think most of the people who do this do get a Zooby baby named after the child.

Now would I “birth” Abby and Birdy? Uhh… probably not. *laughs* I mean, if it was something they truly needed, I would do it. I understand the meaning behind it. But I don’t really have an interest.

So really, like most things in SL, I think virtual pregnancies comes down to “You do you.”

But for real. Turn your stupid tummy talker off. No one wants to hear it.

Chit Chat

So I made it to New World Notes with the blog post that I wrote about family stuff! You can read about it right here. And a big thanks to Hamlet for the questions because as many times as I’ve been asked to write about SL families, I have rarely been presented with many questions other than “So why are you doing this?” *laughs* Which is a valid question, of course, but doesn’t lend to a very long conversation.

Speaking of family, we had our traditional 4th of July party this past weekend! It was wonderful, as usual. This was actually the first time in a LONG time that the whole family was able to be together, so that made it more wonderful. We had food and music and dancing, and of course, fireworks! If you follow me, or any of my family, on plurk, then you have seen a lot of our photos and gifs already.

Zanzibars on the 4th

Hm…what else, what else… Oh, our house is basically finished as far as decorating goes. I really love it. I still have a bit to do in my blogger room and the dining room, and the downstairs bathroom needs a few more things [other than a sparkle tub and Birdy’s zombie] but for the most part, everything is finished. I am totally in love with it in a way I haven’t been in love with a house in a long long time. I think what I love best about it is that it’s not “perfect.” If you follow the home and garden bloggers/Flickr folks, the photos are always so perfect. Everything matches, everything is ridiculously pretty. I didn’t go for ridiculously pretty. I’m sure the H&G people would look at it and slowly back out the door. *laughs* But to me it’s warm and homey and very much us, so I’m happy. The only problem is that I’m so happy with our home, I want to be online all the time, and that’s not good! But … it’s not bad either.πŸ™‚

And on that note, I’m going to log in!

What had happened was…

So we switched houses again.

If you’ve known me for a long time, you know that in the before kids days, I used to switch houses frequently. Aldwyn used to complain that he never knew where exactly he’d be logging in at most days. When you don’t have kids and you have an abundance of new houses and a partner who never decorates, it’s no problem at all to switch houses. PLUS, back in the pre-mesh days, we didn’t have so much stuff. Have you all noticed that? If you had 500 prims to work with, you had a small house that probably took up half your prim allowance, if not more, and a few trees, a bed, a couch, and maybe decorations and that was that. Now you can literally have 500 things on your 500 prim parcel, and houses are sometimes not even 100 prims. That’s a lotttt of picking up to switch houses. *laughs*

But after we got kids, I didn’t like making them pick up their rooms too often. And houses started to feel a lot more like homes and not just places where we stood around in. So when Birdy joined our family, we moved into a very big house and stayed there until last August when we moved into a new house. Then we moved back into the big one. And now… well, I needed a change. So we moved into a house that I absolutely loved a few years ago but that we hadn’t stayed in long.

It’s been really fun decorating! This house is a lot smaller than our last one. Rooms are smaller and it didn’t have a feel to it already. In our huge house, I felt like everything had to be very neutral and clean. In this one, I’ve been letting my boho girl flag fly free. I had to ask Aldwyn if I was going a little overly boho because basically nothing matches. *laughs* But it’s making it feel very homey and more like me, so I’m happy with it so far.

But sometimes…

What Had Happened Was...

See, what had happened was… I put this tv out. And I wanted to see if I could use the tv. But I could not. So I pulled out another tv to match it to this tv. And then I went up to our movie theater to turn on a movie to see what would happen. And well. Then I just laid down and watched a movie.

That’s what happened and why I still have other rooms to decorate.

Answering Family Questions!

So Hamlet from New World Notes gave me some questions to answer about being in a Second Life family! I definitely don’t mind answering things when asked, especially about family life in SL, just because I feel like it’s one of the more misunderstood sections of SL. People seem to just get it when someone wants to be naked all the time, or wear a collar, or sing for money, or design a dress, or be a cat or a vampire or a jerk. But for some reason, family life is unacceptable to some people. And I know what that’s like, I do. I didn’t quite understand it myself until I got into it. But just as a disclaimer, this is how family life in SL is for me personally. If you’re in a family or have been in one before, your experience is probably a bit different.

Let’s get on to the questions!

What inspired you to have a virtual family as opposed to just a virtual boyfriend?

When Aldywn and I partnered [married] in SL, the first question people asked was, “Are you going to have kids?” I think some people said it as a joke, but it was something that was always kind of in the back of my mind. In my real life, I can’t have children and I’ve always wanted them. In SL, we can do and be almost anything we want that we can’t do in our offline lives. If someone who doesn’t have the use of their legs in RL can come to SL and dance, why can’t someone with fertility problems come into SL and have a kid? My friend Renee [who passed away in 2012] had congenital muscular dystrophy and was in a wheelchair and had a breathing tube. But in SL, she had a wedding, she danced, and she got to experience motherhood. To me, this is one of the better uses for Second Life – to do the wonderful things that your real life might not let you do.

What does your RL family think about it?

As far as RL family goes, I only have my parents, and they don’t understand anything internet related! No, really. My parents are in their 70s and one time my mom asked if I had a “Twitter machine” because she didn’t get that Twitter was something on the computer. But they know I have had online friends since 1998, so to them, this is no different. My RL boyfriend absolutely knows about my online family. It would be hard to hide it when he hears me talking on Skype to Aldwyn or the whole family, and sees me holding the girls! He doesn’t really fully understand it, because our not having kids doesn’t affect him like it does me, but he knows it makes me happy, and that seems to be good enough for him. He’s quite supportive of my online life because it makes me happy and because I never let it interfere with anything we want to do together in RL. Balance is important!

Do you know your SL family in real life?

How do I answer this one? No, I have never met any of my family in real life. None of us have ever been face to face. But I feel like I know them because we share so much of our real lives with each other. I know schedules and phone numbers and workplaces. I’ve seen pictures and videos. I know about their RL families. Abby and I have each other on our RL Facebooks. Birdy has let me send her a gift to her house. Maybe some people would think because we’ve never been in the same room, we don’t know each other, but I feel like we do.

And if so, tell me a bit about who they are in real life.

I don’t really want to spill their secrets.πŸ™‚ So I’ll just be general about it. In my entire SL family we have parents, grandparents, teachers, nurses, gamers, musicians, and more. Everyone has a great life story, and we love to share with each other. This also means that we don’t all have a lot of time to be in SL together, so we take our moments where we can.

Finally, what RL need or desire does having an SL family satisfy in you?

Well, as I said before, I finally get to be a mom. It has always been a big deal to me that I haven’t been able to have children. In fact, it sent me into a depression for a long time after I found out that it just wasn’t going to happen for me. And adoption, unfortunately, is not in the cards for me in RL for various reasons. Also, my immediate family is very small. I have never had a sibling close to my age because my sisters were quite a bit older than me when I was born, so I was basically raised as an only child. It’s just my parents and me now, and the rest of our extended family all live very far away. So having my SL family helps me so much to feel connected to something. The fact that we live in the same place in Second Life is even better!

And I think that’s what it comes down to. I feel connected. I feel like I belong to something that is beautiful. I feel happy and loved when I get to be with them. They support and encourage me when I try something new. They let me know if they think something might not be a good idea. I don’t feel like I always have to be entertaining or like I have to be giving constantly to be liked. They let me just be myself, which makes me want to give them everything. I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and unicorns all the time. We have had our problems here and there. But it’s usually short lived and we are better afterwards. After many years in Second Life, and doing many different things that didn’t always make me feel happy, I know that this is exactly where I belong. β™₯

And now some photos, and a little video I made earlier this month talking about family stuff.

Zanzibar Family Fall Picture 2015

Style - The Reason Why...

Lolita and me, vacation formal

To The Moon and Back

Taco Tuesday with the family!

The Family OZ - Easter 2015