The Drax Files: World Makers [ Episode 10: Robin Sojourner]

If you’ve ever tried to create a T-shirt for Second Life, enjoyed Marianne McCann‘s weekly fireworks show each summer at Livingtree, or tried those famous texture tutorials almost everyone finds in Our world (also at Livingtree), then you know Robin (Wood) Sojourner, at least peripherally. She’s the creator of those T-shirt templates that have become the de facto standard (see here). It is her sim that Marianne sets ablaze with great regularity (SLurl). And any creator worth their salt starts in a little temple that is loaded with texture tutorial note cards (SLurl). Her influences in-world and in Real Life go much further as seen in the current episode of The Drax Files: World Makers from Draxtor Despres.

Watch it here if you’d like, but visit the YouTube page to leave your comments. Hopefully you are like me and you’d like to see an expanded episode with Robin so let Drax know. She has so much to teach us.

Slutwear & Reading

Honest to goodness, I started writing this post about an hour ago, weaving themes and examples in a deep discourse of an obsession with reading and the preponderance of slutty clothes for busty women in Second Life. After a few readings, considerable editing, and even some research across the vast Interwebs, I deleted it all out of frustration and said “I’ll just post this picture of me with The Girls barely covered while I read an iPad in a chair filled with books.” Enjoy.

I guess one point I wanted to make was that while I enjoy SlutWear in SL,
I’d never be caught dead wearing this outfit in Real Life.

Exploring Second Life Meme

Alright, it’s Wednesday and the ever talented Strawberry Singh was far more punctual with her Monday meme challenge this week: Exploring Second Life (original post here). Sue me. Regular readers of this blog know that  I often write about places to visit (heck, explore and exploration are among the mess of post tags I mishandle). After a hectic start to the week I’ve finally found some time to dig into my Landmarks so here goes …

Meme Instructions: Share 1 to 5 of your favorite places on the grid. I feel like exploring and discovering new places. Share places you think everyone should visit and also tell us why they are your favorites.

Cripes! How to choose? My Cool Builds, Recreation, and Really Scenic Places landmarks folders have so many great locations. Here is a more or less random list because some I’d like to recommend are down for maintenance (The Calas Galadhon regions, for example), private access only, or no longer exist (I miss the Isle of Lesbos).

The Lydia Rose Memorial Park – SLurl

One place I often write about (like here) is the wonderful space my brother built in Nangrim, The Lydia Rose Memorial Park, one of my homes in Second Life. With just a few gaps, The Park has been here since before I came to the Main Grid, my brother (CC Columbo in SL) having set aside a space to remember the passing of his Real Life daughter. Today, a simple flowered cross is the only indication of the land’s purpose. As I mentioned, it is our family home. CC lives in the cabin, my pixy characters live in the gardner’s barn, and there’s a family apartment not-so-cleverly hidden well up in the sky for all of us to use.

The “Las” Islands – SLurl

This simple archipelago of five regions represents what I believe to be the best tropical islands in all Second Life so I visit often and have frequently featured them in this blog (like here). Goodness knows that Our World is rampantly populated with tropical spaces, but these are executed so well and feel so natural, I’m drawn here with great regularity. Well worth a visit if you haven’t been here and if you have, it’s time to go back. Today.

Mhindepinde Rez Zone – SLurl

This location outside Bay City is a surrogate for all those wonderful Linden Department of Public Works “Mole” builds that fill Our World. Search my blog for LDPW and you’ll see post after post of such places. Whether you want to launch a boat, fly an airplane, have a thrilling adventure, relax on a beach, explore a seaside village, or most anything you can think of doing, our Mole friends have built something for you.

And with that all-inclusive entry, I’m going to end this post so you can stop reading and get out exploring! I’d love to read your recommendation in the Comments sometime.

Rolling Eyesores

Here is a post (and the pic above) from Shigeko Tachikawa on My Second Life (here) that I think everyone should read. Shig started …

The bus got stuck there several days ago. Contrary to AnnMarie’s claims, it did not auto-destroy itself either after becoming stuck. [x] AR filed (SLurl)

shigeko.tachikawa By the way… I wonder why there’s no response from the lab yet about her (self-replicating in order to circumvent the auto-return) bus stop signs which she dropped at all rez zones all over the mainland.

vick.forcella Since those zombie vehicles run just about everywhere, since she rezzes them from her own land (she must own quite a lot of land), since she attends quite a lot of Linden Lab meetings, I suspect she is Uber FIC and above the TOS.

vick.forcella I guess Noobs will like them, residents that like to explore and drive don’t.

shigeko.tachikawa She does not rez them from her own land most of the time. There are her “Bus Stop” signs now all over the mainland and they are self-replicating to make sure there will be a new one in place as soon as the old one is about to be auto-returned. Worthy an AR for abuse of region resources and littering, if you ask me.

vick.forcella Oh. I haven’t noticed she uses/ abuses the rezz zones. Worthy of an AR, next time I see one.

uccello.poultry May I publish this thread on my blog, Vick and Shig?

shigeko.tachikawa @uccie: Sure, but it’s probably even better to point to the ongoing discussion at SLU, where AnnMarie is even commenting on a few things: http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/general-sl-discussion/86077-guess-whos-again-exploiting-mainland.html

vick.forcella I’m ok if you publish Uccie.

vick.forcella She makes monies from those zombie vehicles: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Beware-of-others-spoofing-your-SL-account-in-messages-to-Lindens/m-p/2157101/highlight/true#M124061

uccello.poultry Thanks, y’all!

Miss Bay City – Angela Seale

A year has cycled by in Bay City and the reign of our first Miss Bay City, Angela Seale-Poultry, is coming to an end. Later today, a new MBC will be chosen during Hot Bay City Nights at the Bay City Fairgrounds (SLurl). The contest starts at 1pm SLT but drop in early if you’d like to enter so various guidelines can be explained and so you can check out the free car the winner gets.

The Poultry Report: Congratulations, Angela, on a full year as Miss Bay City! How does it feel to be a beauty queen?
Angela Seale-Poultry: Thank you, well, it’s not something that I ever expected to be, so I guess this leads to the excitement of Second Life. Here you can experience things that you never would have thought in Real Life.

TPR: What was the highlight of your reign?

APS: I would have say Mole day, and meeting so many Bay City residents, and being able to spread the community of Bay City, I never thought I’d meet so many wonderful people.

TPR: I’d have thought it might have been riding in a custom convertible during the 5th anniversary parade. What was that like, all those people waving at you and such?

APS: That was fun and everything was amazing, but it felt a bit… strange to me being the center of attention. I’m not a very “look at me” person in Real Life, so the fifth anniversary to me is really a blur of parade, party, meeting people, designing, shopping, and it was just a blur to be honest I sort of wish I had a video of it all so I could remember everything.

TPR: You are the first Miss Bay City ever? Pretty daunting task to set the precedents, right?

APS: Yes, and I wish I had been able honestly to have had more time available to set a much higher bar, and I hope that my successors will set a much higher bar than I did. I tried initially to set a very high bar, but I didn’t set it quite high enough for myself to be candid and I hope that Bay City gets a much better representative in it’s future Miss Bay City.

TPR: Any advice for the incoming Miss Bay City?

APS: Relax, absorb everything, meet everyone you can, go to every event you can, and enjoy the whirlwind year you are about to have. Take LOTS of pictures, make lots of memories, and have as much fun as you can.

TPR:  Thank you, Angela, for your time today and for a great year as Miss Bay City!

APS: Thank you, and everyone remember that Bay City isn’t a person, it isn’t a place, Bay City is all of us, and we are in Second Life to have fun!

Sneak Peek: Hot Bay City Nights

It is Hot Bay City Nights time again … sort of like. The event starts August 24th (tomorrow as I publish this) though you could sneak in now (SLurl) and look at the vintage cars for sale, the wonderful build by Marianne McCann, Ever Dreamscape’s Car Wash at the Mole Gas pumps, and more. If you don’t want the surprise completely ruined, just gander at these sneak peek shots I took today.

The event has the quintessential flavor of Bay City, one of Second Life’s most vibrant communities.

There’s more than just cars, beer, girls in bikinis, and dancing. You can actually role play here!

Quite a few vendors are on display, many with freebies, so there’s lots of autos and trucks to drool over.

The runway here will be busy from 1-2pm SLT on the 24th for the Miss Bay City contest with Emcee Pygar Bu and last year’s Miss Bay City, Angela Seale-Poultry, as one of the judges. The winner gets a car and (more importantly) all the prestige that goes with the title.

Did I mention there would be cars? Check out the Bay City Post here for a list of automakers.

Yes, I mentioned beer. But there will be more entertainment than just drinking. There’s a charity car wash to raise funds for Child’s Play, a group that provides toys to children in hospitals. There will be DJs, too, and probably some wacky spontaneity (Ever is involved, after all, you know).

August 23 midnight SLT: Hot Bay City Nights opens.

August 24 1-2 PM SLT: “Miss Bay City” Bikini Contest with Master of Ceremonies, Pygar Bu. Contest judges are ADudeNamed Anthony, Evola Courtois, and Angela Seale- Poultry

August 24 1-3 PM SLT:  Dancing with DJ GoSpeed Racer

August 25 10 AM – Noon SLT: Car wash, with host Benjamin Wahl.

August 28 6-8PM SLT Car Wash: Hostess Nadia Soldya.

August 31 2-4PM SLT Car Wash: Hostess Ever Dreamscape.

September 1 5-7PM SLT Closing party with DJ!

The Normality of Breasts

Starting off Dan Brown style, the following are facts:

  • Women may appear topless (without a shirt or other covering over their breasts) in at least some part of the majority of American states (GoTopless.org).
  • Bare-chested women are not uncommon outside the United States (Topfreedom).
  • Going topless may be legal, but it can be socially unacceptable nonetheless (Huffington Post).
  • Flickr recently restricted my account as fully-adult with limited access due to images of topless women in Second Life but after marking such pictures as Moderate the account was re-marked as Safe (Flickr).

One of the reasons I became interested in Topless Tuesdays in Second Life (and started a Flickr group for it) was to combat what I perceive as prudish social mores about women’s breasts. Having a pair myself I know that breasts are often sexualized. After all, as a reasonably good lesbian, I’m not beyond becoming aroused by a beautiful pair on a woman but I am mature enough to know when to turn off that aspect of who I am. We need to generate that ability in society, as well.

I know many men and women that find men’s bare chests as erotically stimulating, but men don’t have to wear shirts in public. For what little cloth there was, some girls at the mall I visited the other day were practically bottomless (not that I minded, but I cringed when my mother was the first to point it out … “They have four cheeks to powder today!). Only being topless could have averted many pairs of eyes from that sight. Should there be a law against booty shorts?

Maybe I’m fighting the wrong battle or doing it the wrong way. I’m sure belonging to a Second Life fashion group dedicated to making a woman’s breasts stand out in a sexy or erotic fashion (pun intended) isn’t necessarily productive. Part of me wants to keep the mystique and the eroticism of these wonderful treasures, but I know that leads down the path of treating women as objects and that it not a good thing.

My feelings are strong on this issue, but I’m not articulate enough or experienced enough to take the lead. If I really did start the Topless Tuesday trend on MySecondLife.com (as some credit me so) then that’s probably the extent of my capabilities. My phobias often keep me out of public entirely so its not likely that I’d be out running amuck with the girls unharnessed for all to see. So much for living up to my own ideals, huh?

Second Life is a start, though. Thanks to my presence in Our World, it is easier for me to go outside the house and be near people without medication (Tranq free for some time now!). Maybe I’ll work up to letting my own inhibitions go even farther afield. I hope that society works up to that, too.

This is funny and sad at the same time.
An example of how women can be objectified
because of breasts yet it is clever humor.

What do you say, Linden Lab? Can we start the revolution by allowing female avatars to be topless in all regions, not just the Mature and Adult ones?