Archive for July, 2007

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Neko life (revisited)

July 29, 2007

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the decision I made in April to live my second life as a neko. I believe what started me thinking about this was noticing how much more cat-like many nekos are when compared to me. Though I started out using a neko skin along with my ears and tail, I have since changed so that I just add a tail, ears, and whiskers to whatever skin and outfit I’m wearing. It has me wondering if identifying as a neko still means anything to me or if it’s all just a matter of fashion.

When I made my neko transformation, I thought that it helped to represent a part of my personality—a fun, playful aspect that didn’t get represented as well without the neko look. I think there are characteristics attributed to nekos that don’t really apply to me, though. Maybe I subconsciously moved away from using neko skins because of that. Maybe I just thought the normal skins looked better on me. Not sure on that one 🙂

Anyway, I’m not feeling the pull to be neko like I once was, and I don’t like that. I hate having my identity in flux, even if it is just an SL identity.

I’m going to try living in the black tabby skin I bought for a while to see how I feel in it. It’s obviously a very different look for me, but I’m curious to see if this will reinstill the same comfort I felt when I made my decision back in April.

Black tabby Chloe

So, if you see me sometime in the near future (because I’ve been out *so* much since being on dial-up), don’t be surprised to see me without my usual freckled skin. It will be the same neurotic Chloe, just in a different wrapper 🙂

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It’s a man’s world

July 25, 2007

Gender bending

Recently, I began working on a male equivalent to my female shape. I’m not finished with it, but this is how it’s progressed so far.

I had intended to write a long post about SL and whether it is or should be a non-gendered world, but I don’t have it in me right now to compose something thoughtful. Maybe I’ll revisit this topic later.

Anyway, I’m more or less just checking in with this post. I’m still alive, at least in RL 🙂

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We’ve got a thing that’s called neko love

July 18, 2007

Yesterday, I got to spend some time with Tobie to help her celebrate her birthday. I believe it was the most amount of time we’ve been able to spend together since May.


Right now, I’m happy 🙂

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Well, I tried :)

July 16, 2007

So, yesterday I made my first attempt to attend a party using dial-up. Yeah . . . I won’t be trying that again.

It was an interesting experiment. When I tped in, I could only see my avie on a field of blue. As I stood, a few things rezzed, but I couldn’t see any people—not even Tobie, who stood beside me. I even let Katrina pounce me, but all I saw was my avie standing—there was no animation on my end :/ And chat . . . people were responding to what I said before I could even see the message I typed.

By the time I left, I could see four people, but none were completely rezzed. It’s too bad, as there were people I’d like to meet there. Maybe it will happen at the next meet.

So, kids, just say “no” to dial-up. It’s not worth it. You’ll just end up insane from frustration and stuff.

By the way, I did see some of the pictures on Flickr, and it looks like everyone really dressed for the occasion. Maybe it was good that I couldn’t see everyone else, because my outfit, though emblazoned with little kitty skulls and crossbones, was not very piratish (yeah, don’t care if it’s a word). It was cute, though 😉

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Here there be pirates

July 13, 2007

Arrr! Avast, ye mateys! Shiver me timbers! Hoist the mizzenmast! Throw another shrimp on the barbie!

Um, ye best be ignorin’ that last one, or ye’ll be walkin’ the plank! Arrr!

Veyron has closed the voting, and the theme for the blogger meet on Sunday is pirate, which is good, considering I’ve already bought my outfit.

I’m going to do my best to be there for at least part of the party, though I’ll likely arrive a little later. Plus, I’m not sure how well dial-up will handle me being in an area with a bunch of other avies. And don’t be surprised if you don’t see me chatting away, as I’m sure chat will be incredibly lagged for me. Of course, since I usually don’t talk very much at these things anyway, you might not notice a difference.

To be honest, I think the thing I’m scared of most is someone else showing up in the same outfit as me. I may have to fake a crash if someone does so I can throw something else together 😉

I hope to see a lot of you there. C’mon, you know you have nothing better to do. Maybe we’ll even have some ninjas drop in and finish the whole pirates vs. ninjas debate once and for all. It could happen!

So dust off that parrot, varnish that pegleg, and make it to dinee’s on Sunday for a ship-wrecking, treasure-finding, cutlass-wielding good time! If ye don’t, ye’ll be feelin’ the point of me blade!

And if ye need help with the lingo, land lubber, ye best be checkin’ here.

Arrr!

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Met a (naked) stranger*

July 11, 2007

Blogging about infractions of SL etiquette is nothing new and probably serves little purpose, but due to a recent encounter, I felt the need to share what I feel are proper actions to take when you happen to tp into someone’s skybox whom you don’t know and are totally in the buff (with your prim penis extended).

1) Apologize. The first thing a rational person would do.

2) Clothe yourself. Yes, you may have spent hours tweaking that shape, and you may have sacrificed numerous lindens to buy that extra member, but save it for someone who will appreciate it.

3) When you mention that you were supposed to meet someone, and I respond that your meeting was probably not happening in my skybox, take the hint. Yes, I could be more direct and tell you to get the hell out, but I’m trying my best to be civil. Please don’t be so dense as to continue to stand naked in front of me while you figure out where it is you’re supposed to go for your sexcapade. I can only resist ejecting you for so long . . .

4) Once you finally decide to leave but find that you can’t just fly through my transparent walls (which are, of course, opaque on the outside), please allow me to create an exit for you instead of flying around and telling me that you think you’ve found a way out. I can understand you might be confused, since you got in without a door (still not sure how that happened), but it’s my skybox, and I assure you that I want nothing more than to assist you in finding the quickest possible way to get out and on to your fling.

So, to my naked aquaintance from Sunday night, I hope that you’ve found these tips helpful. Oh, and one last thing—my skybox is in a PG sim, so you probably shouldn’t have been flying around nude anyway. Not that the Lindens seem to care too much about that, given that I’ve seen at least one mature business in my neighborhood, but for the sake of the children, cover that thing in public 😉

*my apologies to Myg for ripping off the title to her popular series, Met a Stranger 🙂

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Being Beautiful

July 9, 2007


Rod Serling introduces an episode of The Twilight Zone titled “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You” with this passage:

Given the chance, what young girl wouldn’t happily exchange a plain face for a lovely one? What girl could refuse the opportunity to be beautiful? For want of a better estimate, let’s call it the year 2000. At any rate, imagine a time in the future when science has developed a means of giving everyone the face and body he dreams of. It may not happen tomorrow—but it happens now in the Twilight Zone.*

In this episode, a teenage girl is forced to transform herself from looking average into being beautiful. Throughout the episode, the girl resists, even though she is pressured by all those around her to go through the transformation. She debates with them, asking if it is so wrong to want to not be beautiful like everyone else. No one can seem to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to improve her appearance. Given that the technology exists to make anyone handsome or pretty, it makes no sense to them why she would refuse to use it. In the end, the girl goes through the transformation, and not only does she look just like #12 (the model number for the body she’s given, which happens to be the same chosen by one of her friends), she thinks just like everyone else, too.

I mention this episode because it reminds me very much of what opportunities are given to us in SL. At some point, you’ve likely heard someone say, “In SL, everyone can be beautiful,” and generally, that is the case. What has been on my mind recently are the ethical choices we make when we design our avies.

How is avie design linked to ethics? I’ll get to that 🙂

Normal Chloe

If you know me very well at all, you probably recognize this as my avie. Though I’ve gone through various skins, hair, etc., my avie has used practically the same shape my entire time in SL (I did make some minor modifications along the way). The idea in designing this avie was to make her somewhat representative of the RL me. Granted, she’s a slightly improved version, but I like to think we’re similar. My goal with this avie was to make her cute, but not overtly sexy, since that’s generally how I see the RL me.

Sexy Chloe

I made this shape recently, wanting to test the idea that “anyone in SL can be beautiful.” The idea was to change the proportions of my avie to fall into stereotypical ideas of what is sexy: larger breasts, a smaller waist, longer hair, etc. A lot of tweaking was involved to get the shape just how I wanted it (it’s not quite as easy as some would lead you to believe). When I finished, I believed I had managed a good approximation of what is typically considered sexy (at least, typical to America).

Voluptuous Chloe

This was the last shape I made. I decided that with this shape, I wanted to explore the other end of the spectrum, in terms of body shape. I wanted to make a full-figured avie, but I did not want to make her unattractive. I wanted her to be realistic—representative of many women I know of in RL.

I really believe that all three of these avies are beautiful in their own way, and I think that many people would agree with me. Why is it, then, that most women avies I come across resemble Shape 2, with much fewer resembling Shape 1 and practically none resembling Shape 3?

This is where I return to the topic of ethics when it comes to avie design. Hadn’t forgotten about that, had you? 🙂

We get seemingly constant pressure to try to fit within a very narrow idea of beauty, which just happens to most closely resemble Shape 2. We need to be thinner. Have larger breasts. Etc., etc., etc. It drives some women to eating disorders. It drives some others to plastic surgeons. For many, it affects self-esteem. All because they don’t naturally fit into this ideal of beauty.

But now we have SL, and anyone can be beautiful. Sure, we had to wait until 2003 for this particular incarnation of “the transformation” (Serling missed it by a few years), but now we have the option to create the body we want. The face we want. And we can inhabit a world in which practically everyone else is beautiful, too.

But, is it ethical to do so? By giving in and creating these idealized avies, aren’t we merely perpetuating the ideals that have plagued us in RL? By making the big-breasted, small-waisted avie, aren’t we confirming the belief that this is the way everyone wants to appear?

You may wonder why I’m making an issue of this. Part of it is probably my background in literature and always looking for the subtext. Part of it is likely boredom at seeing so many similar shapes. The biggest part of it, though, is that recently I’ve seen some lovely and interesting avies change to appear more like Shape 2, and that bothers me. Is there no room for diversity in the SL universe?

Maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion. It wouldn’t be the first time 🙂 It doesn’t help that I’m typing this at 6 AM, either, after a night of not sleeping.

Anyway, don’t be surprised if you see me walking around in Shape 3 now and then, though no shape will ever replace my default. And Shape 2 . . . well, you may want to say your goodbyes now, because you’re not likely to see much more of her 🙂

Let’s keep SL interesting, people, and maybe resist the idealized notion of beauty that keeps getting pushed on us at the same time. There *is* room for diversity 🙂

*text taken from The Original Twilight Zone Episode Guide