Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh Snap! Don't People Ever Learn?

Yus! A Mean Girl favorite is back! Despite various examples of what NOT to do with your Avatar in previous Oh Snaps! and other blogs such as SL Fashion Police, folks are still taking individuality to a level that is not what we call... tasteful.

Kaedy and I have a few opinions on these new additions to the Oh Snap! Hall of Shame... so sit up and listen so you know not to make the same mistakes.

The Skank

Guen: Yeah... I tend to find many of my photos at Sanctuary Rock, and this... thing is no exception. Not only does she have BOTH prim hair and system hair, but her body is sorely out of proportion. This is supposed to be sexy? For who? Big Bird? Her Group Tag saying 'Slut for Free' certainly didn't get her any offers from what I saw.

Kaedy: Even Skeletor has more meat on his bones than this... this... OMG what the F is it?

Business Suit Larry

Guen: Okay I know that new players have to get used to the sliders, but this guy decided to take a few of them a bit too far. He looks like Bill Clinton's long lost cousin... who never left Arkansas.

Kaedy: O.O
Holy Smokes!
1. Eyes to big
2. Suit to small. Showing your abs is a great thing but not if you're wearing a suit for crying out loud.
3. Shoes would be nice.
4. Throw in some socks too. They're free
5. And the hair... Hun too much dippidy doo is a bad thing.

The Tattooed Lady

Kaedy: OK... how do you even put something this horrific together, let alone say to yourself.. "oh yeah.. this is hot.. this works". Honey if you were going for the Fashion Don't of the year awards... well here ya go!

Guen: I -think- that's an outfit, but it looked to me like a giant tattoo covering her naughty bits. Shame on the designer for creating it, but shame on this gal for buying it and wearing it in public. O.O Oh and of course the blingy heels just add that extra zest of cheese, don't they?

Pinky Bling

Guen: Yeah I -think- she was going for 'cute but badass' with this look, but once you're blinded with the bling... it's no longer cute nor badass.

Kaedy: Ok.. exactly what direction is she going with this outfit? Rocker/Punk/Teeniebopper/Bratzdoll/Blingtard? ???

Twiggy II

Guen: Not only does this girl need about 10 Baconators, she needs to realize that this isn't Teen Second Life®. Anorexia is just as horrible a disease in SL® as it is in RL, apparently.

Kaedy: Turn her sideways, make her stick out her tongue and voila! A Zipper!

An MG Blawg Post Series. Views on fashion, faces, and unfortunates combined into one general consensus.

If you see something you'd like us to Oh Snap! Please send the pic(s) with full perms to Guenevere DeCuir or Kaedy Ferraris in world.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meat 'N Greet: Kandr Newall

*Favorite Color:

Claret, especially my claret waistcoat.

*SL Rezzday:


*Favorite animal and why?

Bear. Among some native peoples, Bear is a healer and a teacher. In the wild, a bear is often the master of his domain. Also, I like naps and honey. :-)

*What factors did you take into consideration when creating your AV?

I mixed equal parts alter ego and macho fantasy. I created what I thought was a hot Master. I've since learned and grown a lot, and I would probably find my newbie self laughable.

*What's the most embarrassing thing you've done for a girl/guy/furry?

I do outlandish things all the time, and I'm seldom embarrassed. Maybe you'd like to know I bought a centaur avatar to fulfill a friend's fantasy?

*What's the last book you read?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8 (Ain't that a TV show?)

*What's a movie you could watch over and over?

Serenity. Kaylee: "Been more'n a year since I had anything twixt my nethers didn't run on batteries!" Mal: "I don't want to hear that!" Jayne: "I could stand to hear a little more." I'm a cross between Jayne and Mal.

*You could never date someone who _____________

Someone who was too serious. I come here to relax and have fun, and sometimes I get too serious or stressed. Yikes! I need playmates who will laugh with me and laugh at me.

*If you could trade SLives with one other avatar for a day, who would it be?

The owner of an art gallery. I like browsing and buying original art here. Maybe someday I'll open a gallery. That's got to be a rush: discovering and publicizing fresh talent.

*Who would you most like to collaborate with in SL?

A Master or Mistress who can teach me things I don't know. I don't want to plateau.

*Favorite thing to do in SL?

Hanging out with my circle of friends, when we're feeling both playful and naughty. Witty is sexy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

For god's sake, the numbers!

Let's talk names. I'll keep this short.

I've always wondered about people who have numbers in their names. I mean, if their name is like John6 Smith or something, maybe that means they had a hard time getting the name they really wanted.

But what about, like, AOL IM chat names? SexxyGirl69 Somelastname. How many of those have I seen? Or you know, DarkWolf3789 Somelastname or something insane.

It's a name. PICK A NAME. Just choose a NAME. It doesn't have to have numbers in it. Make it a fun name! A cool name, a sexy name, SOME KIND OF NAME. But please, please do not use your IM or chatroom profile name with your date of birth or your zipcode or the last four digits of your phone number or whatever. Just pick a name.

I don't know, maybe it's just me. But when I'm in-world, I am suspending a little bit of reality. So as soon as someone shows up with a name filled with numbers, unless it's REALLY an excellent play on something-or-other, I suddenly start to feel like I'm sitting in a Yahoo chat room somewhere and halfway start to expect webcam requests.

What made me think of this?

I was at SL5B the other day hanging out at a DJ set of a friend of mine, and it ended up being an excellent place to peoplewatch. So beyond the folks with boob sliders at 100 and body fat at zero, the gal with the face/body light that BURNED WITH THE LIGHT OF A THOUSAND SUNS, and a blingtard or two, I also saw some names with numbers. One in particular sticks out, and I will change the name to protect the innocent, but I have friends who were with me who can back me up on how absurd this name truly was.

It was along the lines of:


That's right. It was that long. And it had numbers in it. A YEAR, to be precise. And multiple words. *facepalm*

I tried to imagine what it would be like to emote to SuperAwesomeJohnathan1991. Or if he just asks people to call him John. Or Awesome. Or Super.

"Hey, baby. You can just call me 1991. All my friends do."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Diversity, Part II

I also have had some thought about Diversity in SL®, and since they're celebrating said subject this week for the 5th birthday dealio, I will slide in another few words on the matter.

This train of thought initially started many weeks before the events going on now. I came across a post from Chestnut Rau wondering why do many think that the only way to be recognized and accepted is to be a human avatar?

I know there's many many other Avatar types out there (robots, demons, furries, elves, transgenders, etc) because in truth the sky -is- the limit in this virtual world. I am not attempting to exclude any other avatars by any means. If we are meant to truly celebrate how diverse we are in both RL and SL®, then we have to recognize the creativity of everyone (yus even the Blingtards and 'Oh Snap!' candidates).

Still, I decided to ask 5 folks with their own unique outlook on avatars to see what they think:

Beatrix Noel: A purple fairy with a style that's as diverse as SL® itself
Rosie B: One of our favorite plus-sized ladies
Kaedy: A vampire who's more than just goth clothing and curves
Mirari Cheney: A Neko who will scratch ya as soon as smootch ya
Pangtera Nakamura: The ultimate anti-human

I first asked each of them their true influences for creating a unique Avatar:

Mirari: Mir as she is was a off shoot from a lyv tyler avi. I made her tall which I'm not lol better endowed than i am. So she is ... a fantasy? but then isnt that what SL is supposed to be?

Rosie B: When I logged in for the very first time to meet up with my best friend, I wasn't aware that there were standards. So, when I got to the spot on orientation island and they told me to customize it, I just ... went with whatever I felt like doing. Which was making her on the short and round side. It wasn't until I got TP'd into a busy club and people started commenting about my shape that I realized I had done something out of the ordinary.

Pangtera: My natural curiosity in physically being something that I couldn't in real life. Everywhere i go i see humans, and everyone expects others to be human, and it makes the SL® experience limiting in my opinion. It seems many are afraid to try new things.

So it comes down to seeing beyond the limits of a normal 'human' (and yus -I- think Liv Tyler is beyond human, k?) However... just because you are a cat, or dragon, or alien... does that mean you're not sexy? Who decides what is sexy and what isn't? Vogue? Cosmo? Nah. What about Second Life® fashion blogs like Second Style Fashionista or Linden Lifestyles? Does it really matter?

Mirari: sadly... I do think people put too much into looks here as in rl. People take themselves too seriously here sometimes.

Kaedy: Well some [vampire Av's] are definitely over the top about it.

Pangtera: I personally never bought avatars to feel sexy, but if others think it's sexy or not sexy, it's fine. A lot of people doll themselves up for others, but I dress up for me and only me.

Beatrix: I have to be honest and say I don't see myself as being that unusual. Obviously I am but I'm just me, I have the same shape from when I was wearing regular skin.

With all that being said, then sexy is merely a state of mind... and in the end we're all people behind the screens portraying our own personification of ourselves through our vast imaginations.

Finally, is there any advice to offer for those who wish to step outside the box?

Beatrix: Go for it! or if you are worried try something out. There are plenty of low cost options plus this is SL® and nothing is permanent. When I first started wearing purple skin people asked me why, and I said, "It makes me happy!" and my friend were cool with that.

Kaedy: I guess go with whatever makes you comfortable. After all is a game and the sky is the limit, so be whatever you want to be. But also remember that there are real people behind these avatars. Some people can be so rude just because they can hide behind their keyboards. It ruins it for everyone.

Rosie B: One good thing about SL® is, it's not permanent. But if you're going to pick a nonstandard avatar, and you think you want to be in one nonstandard avie style, own it. Really love it. Make it a part of you, whether it's an avenue for personal growth, or just a hell of a lot of fun, or because you like how you look, have some reason to really make it your own. That'll make your experience as rewarding as it can be. In a world where you can be anything you want to be, there's no reason why you should be something you aren't totally in love with. SL is what you make of it, whether you're "standard," "nonstandard," classic, unique. Just adore yourself.

And so... enjoy diversity whether you're a purple lover, zombie, or a shining ball of light, there's bound to be other folks out there who will accept you for who you really are...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Diversity, y'all.

Diversity. You know, you'd figure that SL was a big enough place that we could all get around and get along, but sometimes that doesn't work out.

Does it in general? Sure.

Does it always? No.

Now, this time I'm not talking about me. Or, okay, I'm not talking about only me. I have been fortunate that through changing my perspective a little and changing my surroundings a little and just being more confident, I've seen fewer and fewer people who criticize my choice of avie.

But what about others?

I have furry friends who can't go some places, or show up places and get immediately banned. I have neko friends who get looked at funny depending on just how neko they are (ears and tails? That's okay, but you have a neko skin? Wow, you're HARDCORE!). Friends who, behind their avatars, are of different ethnic backgrounds who are inadvertently subjected to racial "jokes" and epithets by folks who assume that just because your avatar is young and white, you too are young and white.

What about the transgendered, the "shemale," or those who are one gender in RL but play another in SL? How about people who are one race in RL and play a completely different one in SL?

And don't even get me started on homophobia. Through Guen, On a friend's flickr stream the other day I actually saw a picture of an advertisement, in a store, of a T-shirt for the "sexually challenged," meaning those who were homosexual.

I don't know if I've seen or noticed it more than other people, because I used to get funny looks myself or because I had a hard time finding a spot to fit in the mesh of this world, but holy crap, people. What the hell with all the ignorance? What the hell with people who screech about avatars speaking languages other than their own (I assume many of them don't realize that a great many of the avatars who DO speak English are doing so as a courtesy to the rest of us, since it isn't their first language), who exclude others who in SL or in RL are different than they are, just because they think that's the safer thing to do.

What. The. Hell.

Even LL is getting in the act in its own way, and its own time, but many of you have already blogged about that or read about it so I won't beat the horse here.

I'm pretty much over it. I have a diverse, completely amazing SL family, made up of occasional-furs, nekos, white people, black people, tan people, purple people, faeries, puppies, kitties, tops, bottoms, gays, straights, bi's, transgenders, crossdressers, and one person who is occasionally a wedge of cheese.

So, if you're among the people who are the tolerant, thanks for enriching our experience. If you are among the intolerant, do us all a favor and pull your head squarely out of your ass.

THAT BEING SAID, it's diversity week at Lounge of Dreams, and all of you are invited to come hang out with us no matter what you look like, sound like, feel like, in RL, in SL. We're restricted by LL to adult avatars only, but for everything else, anything goes.

I swear, instead of Diversity Week we should have Kick Someone Intolerant In The Teeth week.

Is that counterproductive?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

OMG I'm A Mean Girl!!!

What can I say? I am so incredibly honored to be asked to join the ranks of the Mean Girls! I just hope I can live up to the name :)

So I'll tell you a little about my evil, wicked mean and nasty self and how I came to be...

I drag my sorry carcass out of bed one morning and decide I want to be a cartoon vampire….Hmmmm… no I don’t think that’s how it happened. Well the dragging my sorry carcass part is probably accurate as that is a common daily event, but actually I’m not quite sure how I got here. I do seem to remember it involved my hubby saying something like “hey check this out” which usually involves trouble, or money, or both. And true to form… it did.

I was such a sweet and innocent noob. I know I know... me??? Sweet and innocent? Trust me, it only lasted about a week. Prim skirts and blue hair just aren’t my thing, but being a vampire??? Well it started off as a joke. See hubby is going to school to be a blood sucking lawyer and we decided to play the part. Little did I know it would stick. I’ve been a member of the legions of undead for just under a year now, and prim skirts are a thing of the past. Now I have a wardrobe that would turn any Hollywood Boulevard Ho green with envy. Amazing what you can wear when gravity isn’t an issue. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have to breathe being dead and all. And thank god for SPF 5000 sunblock.

So here I am living out my wildest fantasies via my computer. When you say it out loud it doesn’t sound so bad. Riiiight? Who would have thought my wildest fantasies would be to own my own island with tier fees that rival my RL house payment? I have a huge house that never requires cleaning, god I need one of these in RL, I never gain a pound, and bad hair days are a thing of the past. Unless you consider not being able to attach it a bad thing. And now that my rear end has recovered from repeatedly having my shoes take up residence there, it really couldn’t be better!

So effective immediately I’m canceling my subscription to RL and moving in to SL permanently. I wonder if I can bring my dog?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Holy crap! Another Rosie?

My name is Rosie, and I'm a big ol' meanie!

Okay, not really.

Well, maybe.

I've been sharing my thoughts and opinions on SL, good and bad, for about a year now. During that time, I've been quite the fan of the MGSL blog.

So imagine my surprise when I was asked to c'mon over and hang a shingle?


I guess they figured since I'm pretty good at giving out my opinion whether or not it's being asked for, I'd fit in just fine. That and, just between you and me -- Rosie Shark and I have founded the Highly Extra Super Supreme Society Of Rosies, and we are launching our plan for world domination. It was only natural that the blog be used as a method of promoting the benefits of our regime, in which we will rule with blatant disarray.

Be good to the Rosies, and you will be assured a comfortable spot in the New Rosie Order.

... wait, was that my outside voice?

Look out MGSL, here I come!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Club Etiquette: The DJ

Ah yes we've reached the 3rd and final installment in the MGG2SL chronicles for Club Etiquette. Now we shall sit and explain in further detail what the DJ does for club on Second Life®.

For this article, it was very difficult to pick just ONE DJ to consult since as an SL® DJ myself I know quite a few. I decided to ask Rosie Barthlemess, the DJ Manager of Lounge of Dreams since she's been as much of an influence on me as I have upon her.

So let's talk DJing...

The first, and most obvious job for any DJ is to play live music for a location. To play that music you need 4 basic items:

1) Music
2) Microphone
3) Digital Player
4) Stream

Music is the easy part since most aspiring DJs already have a decent library to start with. As far as getting new songs? Most folks use Limewire since it's fast and has a very broad network, though you don't have to be limited to using that. Also, be willing to expand your musical genres. Rosie suggests, "There's a lot to be said for versatility. I think it will open some doors for you as a DJ if you're able to accommodate not only the venue in which you're playing, but the varied tastes of a crowd if you're somewhere with no specific format. And, by paying attention to different genres -- even if they aren't your favorite kind of music -- you can increase your knowledge of those other genres, and sort of keep track of what's popular." You should also have your download program open during your sets if possible so that you can get patrons' requests played as quickly as possible.

Quick requests = better tips

Oh and before I move onto the next topic...

BACK UP YOUR MUSIC!!! I've seen too many DJs who've had their hard drives crash and their hard earned libraries deleted. I hate to be a hardass about this, but you don't back up your music then you're just asking for trouble.

A microphone is also a must since you have to talk to your audience. You don't have to spend a fortune on one, however. A decent $15-30 mic should do fine as long as your voice is crystal clear when you talk. Most lower priced gaming headsets are perfect for this... and if you already are using Voice Chat, then you have a double benefit.

Now here comes the tough one... the music player. Unless you plan to be serious about it... there's no reason spend a bunch of money on a digital player, right? If you want to just 'try it out' and deal with the basics, then Winamp is your bag. In fact some DJs still use Winamp because it's just much easier to manage. If you do want to take the next step, you can download SAM (Spacial Audio MediaCast) which has many more options to make your DJ show unique. You can download a free copy to try out and tweak, but Spacial Audio did the sneaky thing of throwing in an automated voiceover every 5 minutes that "reminds" you buy the full version.. and yes it -can- be heard by everyone else hearing your stream. You're better off paying for it in the long run or *cough*finding a crack code*cough* to use instead. Be warned, though... there's a BIG difference between SAM Broadcaster... and SAM Party DJ. Learn more about SAM here.

Finally... you gotta have a stream to play your stuff on, right? Now in -most- cases a club will provide a stream for the DJ already. In some rare occasions (like for store openings or private parties) the DJ will have to provide his or her own. Which is the best? Well most folks I know use SHOUTcast, but there's dozens of stream providers out there to choose from. Prices and payment plans vary, but do shop around and look for things like bandwidth and internet security. If you plan to DJ for established clubs, then you probably don't have to worry about getting your own stream. If you're a more freelance DJ, then mentioning that you have your own stream will be a big boost to getting you gigs.

Now beyond those four things, there is some other details you should keep in mind.

Just like with Hosting and Dancing, NEVER beg for tips. You can kindly remind folks where your tipjar is ('cause tipjars on SL® can be anything from teddy bears to coffins & so often patrons get confused) "...but as soon as people feel like they're being pressured for their money, they'll leave. I think begging for tips is unbecoming, definitely," sez Rosie.

Last but certainly not least, you need to learn how to feel the crowd. Rosie suggests on the topic of how often to speak on the microphone, "...if you ask five DJs, you'll get five different answers. I vary, anywhere between every 3-5 songs, to once an hour, to every 30 minutes or so. I really find it depends on the crowd, how many 'announcements' you have to make, things like that. If I'm with a group of 3-5 people and I've just spoken on the mic, and then suddenly 10 people come in, I might break back in after one or two songs just to introduce myself and offer requests, if I don't do it in chat. But, if it's a core group of people and the dynamic of the group hasn't changed much, I won't talk as much. But I think talking on the mic adds a personal element, and I think letting people know you're live and paying attention to what they want is a benefit." Also don't forget that dressing up for the event you're DJing at shows that you care not only about the club and all the other staff members' hard work, but also helps the patrons get a better idea what the event is. After the host and the dancers, they look to YOU for information from how you look to how to talk on the microphone.

Okay this ended up being the longest of the three posts, but in truth there's a LOT to DJing that goes on behind the scenes which makes it just as tough as Hosting and Dancing. I give a great deal of thanks to Rosie B for her input and hope that this 3-part series has given you all a bigger view of what club employees on Second Life® do to keep YOU entertained.