The Day I Played Fixer Upper

Most of the non-blogger men that I know in Second Life don’t change their look too often. They don’t really have to. They can put together a couple of casual looks, a formal look, and that can get them through most things. The funny part is that some of them didn’t even really put those looks together themselves – they had a partner to do it!

My own SL husband is not really an exception to this. Oh, he loves to shop. When we first met, he had a lot of outfits and costumes and even did some modeling here and there. But when mesh came out, and mesh bodies in particular, things got a little harder. It was like that for a ton of people, by the way. Go to any live show or older club in SL and you’ll find a lot of people who simply can’t get down with mesh and utterly refuse to even entertain the possibility. To them, mesh is still a passing phase, despite the fact that we’ve had it since 2011. Luckily, Aldwyn doesn’t go THAT far! I’d never stand for it! But since January 2016, he’s looked like this.

Aldwyn, October 2017

Now don’t get me wrong. This is a good look! He wore the Catwa Jackson head with the Hugh skin applier from The Skinnery. And I’m a fan of older men, so you know I was totally into it!

But there are some problems with looking older in Second Life that we didn’t anticipate when putting together this look. The main one being…it’s freaking hard to dress an older guy!! Seriously, go take a look at basically every men’s store in SL. The clothes are generally geared towards guys who are under 35 years old. Unless he wanted to wear a suit all of the time (which I wasn’t against, tbh) there were very few options for someone who looks 50+. And add that to the fact that the more “trendy” pieces like the ugly dropped crotch diaper pants and oversized tank tops that reach the knees were/are at every event and we hate that look… well, dressing was not all that fun.

When LeLutka came out with the Andrea head for men, I was into it. I knew I wanted to take Aldwyn younger again, because I tend to look a bit younger in SL and while I’m still into older men, I thought maybe it was time for both of us to look near the same age again. Plus, his head was not bento, and if I’m going to be bento, he’s going to be bento because that’s just the way it works. Not to mention, I adore the LeLutka HUD so so so much more than the Catwa HUDs for their heads, and I knew he would like it, too.

If you watched my vlog from yesterday (I’ll link it at the bottom of this post), you know that he gave me carte blanche to play Fixer Upper on his avatar yesterday! So I took him to…

LeLutka… To get the Andrea head. (5000L)

Stray Dog… To get the Breno head applier, plus a skin applier for his body. He uses the Slink Physique body and Stray Dog does not make a skin applier specifically for Slink, only for Signature and Belleza. However, the Signature body applier can be used on Slink if you have the Slink omega relay. So that’s what I did. (590L for the head applier, 490L for the body applier.)

Stealthic… To get the Like Lust hair. (300L)

I created his shape myself based off of what he already had, but just made adjustments to his head to keep the bento head from looking like the mouth had collapsed in on itself. I’ve found that this is the case with most bento heads.

So the grand total for everything… 6380L, or about $27 USD.

Totally. Worth. Every. Penny.

I Made A Handsome.

I did take him to get a few clothing items, too, and oh my gosh. It’s so much easier to dress him with a younger face.

Well, except for the fact that people are starting to only create for the Signature and Belleza bodies, and not for Slink.

But that’s a struggle for another day.

If you didn’t know, I’m doing Vlogmas! If you want to see me taking Aldwyn’s avatar to get his makeover, along with looking at a couple of Advent gifts and dealing with some Christmas “decorations” that Groves left for us, feel free to watch!

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10 Years

Today is kind of a special day for me. Today I’ve been Alicia Chenaux for 10 years. It’s my rez day!

I don’t usually celebrate it. This avatar wasn’t supposed to exist. The night I made my avatar, I did it a bit out of desperation to just run. If you’ve been a long time reader of my blog, you know that I’ve talked a bit about the fact that I had an avatar for a year prior to this one. I also did a video on my YouTube channel talking about that first year. It’s an older video now, so you have to look for it.

I was really messed up back then. I have apologized for it all before. Some people accepted it, some didn’t. That’s life. Even Second Life. 🙂

But more than being my rez day, it’s actually a more special day to me. It’s the day that I decided I needed to stop drinking so much.

See, back then, I had a problem. Well, I had a lot of problems. But my go-to release was to just drink it all away. Just get smashed, it’ll all be fine! I don’t think a lot of people ever knew how much I drank. Or that I combined it with anti-anxiety meds. I think I was pretty good at hiding it. Other than the path of crazy I left behind me, I guess. *laughs*

The night of the 26th, a lot of things happened. A lot of things were said. I’m not going to say that I didn’t hurt people because I did. Even drinking as much as I was, I knew I had to take some of the blame. Other people did, too, but we won’t get into that. But that night was the worst of it. So I made Alicia.

And then I logged out.

I uninstalled Second Life.

I sat on the bathroom floor really wondering what my life was and who was I even?

If it sounds dramatic, remember that I was pretty drunk at the time. Most things were pretty dramatic back then. :-p

But it was that night while I was on the bathroom floor that I thought, “Girl, you have got to change this shit.”

I threw out the alcohol I had left in the house. I cut ties with people who caused me to drink. I did some therapy. I did not consider myself an alcoholic then, and I still don’t think I was, but I think I was most definitely headed down that path.

Then on New Year’s Eve 2007, I wanted a truly fresh start. I didn’t have a party to go to because any party that I would have gone to would have had a LOT of alcohol and I was only a month sober. Blogging, and starting my “$5L A Day” project was much easier. Or harder. I really don’t know.

In 10 years, a lot has changed. Yes, I still have anxiety. That is a life long thing. I can drink now without getting drunk, but I can’t drink without getting sick off of one drink, so…drinks don’t happen often. 🙂 But I’m so happy now. I feel like had I not restarted the way that I did… I don’t even know what would have happened. I just know that every day, I wake up and I’m happy to just be myself. I’m flawed, I’m introverted, I’m sometimes too loud. I can be unbelievably tacky at times. Sometimes I truly do talk too much. I love people to the tips of my toes. I also refuse to have too much negativity in my life if I can at all avoid it. None of that would have been possible without the last 10 years and the people who have been with me on this journey.

I don’t know if Second Life will still be a thing in 10 years. I don’t know if I’ll still be blogging virtual worlds or if I’ll move into a whole other thing. But what I do know is this. Your Second Life is what you make of it. If you’re not having a good time, change it. If you’re bored in it, you’re not looking around enough. If you’re truly unhappy with it – get out of it. You’re never stuck. You can always do something new. And who knows? One small change you make might change your entire world. ❤

10 Years

Border Town

For the past few days, I’ve been incredibly… disappointed. Frustrated. At times, even downright angry. My anxiety is on super high alert. I started off a livestream tonight physically shaking with nerves. I am crushed that something I thought was going to be good turned out not so good. That things I said were chopped up, or made more dramatic.

But I’m trying to breathe. Trying to breathe so that I can talk to others. Trying to breathe because this is not the first time my words have been used in a way that I didn’t intend, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, and that frightensfrustrates me.

So instead of ranting here, I’ll go another route for the evening. (Or early morning. It’s 6:30am and I can’t sleep.) I’ll tell you all a real life story from when I was 13.

I always wanted to go to Mexico. When I was much younger, I thought it would be beautiful, with amazing food and lively people. After all, I was a Tex-Mex girl and when we got together with my extended family, the Spanish flew easily from their mouths, the Tejano music was loud, and the food was incredible.

When my parents suggested that we take a little side trip to Mexico when I was 13, I was elated! Finally I would get to see how the “real Mexicans” did things. Maybe I would even meet someone who would become a pen pal! (This was the late 80s, we didn’t have email yet. I was also fairly naive because I didn’t speak a word of Spanish so I’m not sure how I expected to get a pen pal.)

Imagine my surprise when we ended up in Piedras Negras, a border town on the other side of Eagle Pass, Texas. It not at all the fun, lively place that I had imagined all of Mexico to be. The music was different. The kids were begging in the streets or trying to sell gum. My mom wouldn’t let me drink any water other than bottled by the time we had gotten even near the border. The Spanish was different, not the Tex-Mex Spanglish I was used to. It felt wrong, and a bit dirty. That day, I also learned the chasm between being a Tex-Mex girl who was brought up in a white suburban world and being one of those border town, gum selling Mexican girls was incredibly wide.

But the thing is, we didn’t spend a lot of time there. We simply wandered around some shops, my parents bought me a doll and some Mexican candy, and we left after a couple of hours. I didn’t get to see much of anything or talk to the girls who were in fluffy dresses and trying to sell me some gum. We didn’t eat anything because my mom was afraid I might get sick. I didn’t get to really know anything about Mexico or its people. I just saw what I saw and let that be my lasting impression of the place I had always wanted to go.

And you know what? That’s fine. Sometimes you don’t really get a place. You don’t understand the inner workings of it because you don’t live there and aren’t immersed in it. It’s not your home and that’s just how it is. You end up thinking of it however you want.

But I haven’t been back to Mexico since. Once in a while, people ask me if I have been and to tell them what I think about it when I tell them that I have been. And I tell them that I don’t feel qualified to tell them anything, because I really didn’t experience it very well.

Maybe one day I’ll visit again. I’ll explore, I’ll immerse myself in its culture, I’ll discover both the good and bad parts of wherever it is I go.

Maybe then I’ll feel like I have the right to actually talk about it.

Just Stuff, I Guess

Wow. Really, self? The last post in here was in JULY? For god’s sake. LOL

I have started posts every month since July. I have! But I get distracted easily and that’s that.

Soooo… hi. 🙂 Tons of things have happened since July. I am not sure if anyone is really all that interested since I’ve talked about things in videos, livestreams, and on plurk. Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t follow me somewhere else? I highly doubt it. So I guess I’ll just write and we’ll see what I share. That seems to be how I do my livestreams these days. I just talk and whatever I say is what I say.

Quality content, y’all. Quality content.

Last night, we dressed up for Halloween!

The ZomBEES!

We’re zomBEES. Get it?? Bees. With zombie makeup. Zombees! *laughs* Okay, okay. It’s dumb. But we look cute. We have so many Halloween things to go to in the next 3 days. I am not even sure if we will get to them all. But we’ll see what we can do.

Things are mostly good here. I’ve been kind of down the past couple of weeks, which makes getting things done a bit of a struggle. I’m powering through because November is coming and we all know November is not my best month. I’m trying to get better about planning things out that I need to do but I am not sure if I am the planner type since my mood and energy level changes from day to day. But I’m still going to attempt to plan out my weeks. If I don’t meet all the goals… well, then I just don’t. I’ll adjust. I’ll improvise.

But other than that, things are fine. YouTube is going pretty well and I think I might even hit 2000 subscribers by December! I have so many video ideas and not enough time to do everything I want since there are things that I am committed to already. I think for 2018, I might end up dropping a few things and focusing more on the videos that I have ideas for, but we’ll see. It’s helpful that one of the unboxings I do is just a quarterly thing and not every month.

Oh! Did I mention that I won an award? BVN had “The Bloggies,” an awards ceremony that recognized a lot of us in the blogging/vlogging community. It was so fun! To be nominated for anything was such an honor and every time someone told me that they voted for me, I got all kinds of blushy. I didn’t win either one of the categories where I was nominated [best unboxing vlogger and best narrative blog. Strawberry was also nominated in those categories and no way was I going to win against her! LOL] But the BVN team awarded me with BVN Member of the Year! I was utterly shocked and so grateful to them. I didn’t even know that was a category! I am so passionate about this community and doing what I do, and supporting BVN in any way that I can is really just…I don’t know, it just is what I do. But there are so many members of the group that this award could have gone to because they do much more than I do. I love my trophy!

And…since I just got distracted and I started this post 2 hours ago and wandered away from the computer, maybe I’ll just end it here. Thanks for reading, those of you who still keep up with this blog. ❤

I Hope Your Soul Is Changing

I got to 1700 subscribers on my YouTube channel today.

This seems like a huge number to me, but then I realize there are people like Berry with almost 9000 subscribers and suddenly it’s a drop in the bucket. But for someone like me, 1700 is a number I never thought that I would get. I kind of thought I’d top out at about 500 and even that seemed like a ridiculous number.

Last month I did a short video [just over 2 minutes long] that I was pretty proud of. It was a silly video, just done because it made me laugh, but I am so happy that I was able to do it. It took me just over 3 weeks to complete, from conception of the idea to the final edit. People seemed to like it a lot because it wasn’t just me unboxing items or anything like that. It was shared all over Plurk. People who don’t particularly like me even had lovely things to say about it.

I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.

It made me wonder about the people who really want nothing to do with me. Did they just mute the plurks where the video was shared? Did they watch it? Were they the ones who disliked the video in the hopes that I would be discouraged by the little thumbs down?

There is this small part of me that hopes that’s the case.

Personal Blog - I Hope Your Soul Is Changing

It’s not that I’m “fueled by my haters” or anything like that. I’m almost 40 years old. I don’t talk about “haters” like some silly teen. There are simply people who dislike me and that is just life.

But it makes me want to keep going. It makes me want to produce more content. Not to rub it in their faces that I’m still here. More like to remind them that I’m not the terrible person that some of them think I am. People change. I’m not who I was 10 years ago. Or 5 years ago. I’m not even sure if I’m the same person I was a year ago. I’m always striving to be better, and never bitter. Do I have my bitter moments? Of course. But I’ve changed, and am changing all the time.

I hope you’re somewhere praying, praying
I hope your soul is changing, changing
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, praying

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come

These were just thoughts I needed to get out tonight. Everything is fine, really. I’m pretty happy, actually! I love what I’ve been doing on my blog and I love making videos so much. My only problem is that I don’t have the time to do even half of what I want to do. For example, it’s 4am and I’m writing because this is when I had some time, even though I have a video that I recorded almost a week ago to edit and more blog posts to do. But I’m learning balance. Well. Kind of. *laughs* I hope all of you are well, too!

Maypril Update?

Okay, okay, okay. I know. There wasn’t an April update. I actually DID start writing one! Really, I did! But I got distracted and wandered off and then tried to write more on it and got distracted and wandered off and… well, you see where this is going. 🙂

But, April was a decent month, and so far, May has been as well.

You Can Rest, But Never Quit.

(And yes, I’m brunette now. I think that has been the biggest change of the past two months.)

YouTube has definitely been taking up a good portion of my SL time. I have fallen completely in love with livestreaming! I love doing my regular videos, too, but livestreaming is so much more fun because I get to chat with people at the same time. I also have done a couple of videos with people and that was super fun! I’ve always said that blogging is often a very solitary project, but YouTube can be as well. Being able to interact with people in different ways is REALLY awesome to me.

Oh! And earlier this month, I did a live presentation out at the Blogger & Vlogger Network. I just talked about my vlogging experience and took some questions. It was SUCH a good time! I’ll link the livestream to that at the end of this post, just in case you want to see it. It’s about an hour and a half long, but my real talk was just in the first 20 minutes.

Let’s see, what else… Well, I’m working on learning how to do my lighting better in SL for my photos. The picture I have above, that was just one of me trying to play around with windlight and projectors. I have a tendency to just coast along with my pics for a while when I’m doing other things, but you can’t coast forever. You need to always be improving how you do your hobby.

We’ve seen our whole family a little more this month than we have in a while, because birthdays and stuff. I’m happy about that because I love family time and it makes me feel better when people are online. The girls decorated the house and gave me gifts yesterday for Mother’s Day, which was incredibly sweet. And I did a video on landscaping with my sister! You should check that out if you haven’t.

I mean, really… Things are good. I’m super busy with SL and RL lately, but it’s not a super overwhelming busy, thankfully. I am still trying to figure out how to balance everything I want to do in the time that I have to do it, but I am horrible at time management in general, so that would be a struggle even if I wasn’t really doing anything!

I guess that’s it for the moment. Before I get distracted, I guess. *laughs* I will try to update again soon! ❤

(My livestream from the BVN talk, courtesy of Miss Strawberry.

Better Days

Whaaat? Two whole posts in one month? Girl, get out. *laughs* Okay, so the last post was just showing my house tour video, so I guess technically that wasn’t really an update. But who gets technical around here anyway, right?

Better Days

So March has been a LOT better than February, that’s for sure. I kind of figured it would be because of the time change [yes, I’m one of like probably 7 people who LOVE “springing forward” and HATE “falling back”] because for the past 20 years, that’s basically been the case for me. Plus, I cut way way back on my news watching. I pretty much just keep up with just a few news accounts on Facebook now, and of course there is Twitter, which I have been slightly more active on lately. I know it sounds almost irresponsible to not be constantly up to date on what’s happening in the world, but I also feel like for me personally, it was necessary. And yes, I have the luxury of being able to do that. I fully realize that is privilege.

Being that I’m not constantly weighed down with current events and all, my creativity has slowly been returning to Second Life. I haven’t done as many blog posts as I probably should have done for the style blog, but I’m averaging about 2 a week, even though some of those are video posts. It’s not that I don’t WANT to blog more. I just simply haven’t had the time to devote to coming up with a photo. Vlogging, for all that it is more time consuming, is easier for me these days.

And honestly, that is something I thought I’d never say. *laughs* When I started vlogging, it was weird to me. That people would want to listen to me, and see things that I show. There have been bumps along the way, that’s for sure. Being an introvert with extreme social anxiety, the whole “Omg, let me just stop at your house because you showed it and obviously that means you don’t mind visitors” thing that was happening for a while… yeahhhhh. But you have to take the ups and downs, really! The good has outweighed the not so good, definitely, so if on occasion I have to tell someone “Could you not?” Well…that’s just something that has to happen.

So what else? Mmm…I don’t know. Things are fairly good right now. I am attempting to be a tiny bit more social. I am brainstorming new video ideas. I am thinking of more photo ideas. I really want to start making more poses again.

But that will all come in time. For now, I think I’m going to go play a game. ❤