I’m tired of feeling like I’m f**king crazy…

Regular readers will be well aware that I do like a nice frock, oh, and a nice jumper too. Try as I might I have NEVER been able to get into the mindset that you can wear what you want all year round in Second Life. Can’t do it, won’t do it, and to be perfectly honest a lot of designers won’t, either. Thank the Goddess for that!

At this time of year I’m generally  easy to find scurrying around the grid with reckless abandon like a squirrel on a mission,   looking for the new season’s latest  jumpers and jumper dress releases, and assorted items of comfort clothing to add to my vast collection and readers, let’s be honest here, it’s an issue.

But I don’t care, winter is practically here, the heating is on and I want a nice snuggly long jumper and socks to wear in my virtual life AS WELL AS my real one.  (Naturally, I look a darn sight better in my virtual existence than I do in my real one sporting such comfort attire, but that’s a given!)

Let’s completely ignore the fact that my socks and frock leave a gap where I’m sure to feel a draught around my virtual tumpsy but anyway, I do like this long jumper from RINGO HANNA that I sourced from the latest TRES CHIC event. It’s your basic long knit style that we have kinda seen a million times before but it just works, you know?

I wanted to pair this with some long, lace-trimmed socks of which I’ve seen countless pairs on fashion feeds over the years but you know what, when I wanted them I just couldn’t find them. FFS. So I bought a cheapo pair from the marketplace; a nice straightforward pair with some lacing to the top which adds interest to the look. It’s simple, it’s comfy, what more do you want?

Finally, let me draw your attention to my face. I’m wearing NAR MATTARU‘s ‘Banshee’ eyeshadow on my eyes and I am in love.  Frankly, deep down I am very much a Goth chick at heart and always have been, and I’ve grown up with a particular affection for Siouxsie Sioux. I also play Sisters Of Mercy on a regular basis and have for many years yearned to be Patricia Morrison, but anyway, at least I find a vent for that in Second Life because frankly I look a chuff with black hair (left dye on it once for too long, never again, I’ll stick to dark brown ta very much) and my hooded eyes make winged eyeliner practically impossible.

Second Life, in this case, then is definitely an outlet for my more outlandish makeup dark fantasies and I’m all for the changes that bakes on mesh have brought in and look forward to playing with layers galore on my current head du jour (although as I understand it Genus have not updated to ‘Bakes on Mesh’ yet…)

Anyway, this makeup combo plus this fantastic long hairstyle from MOON makes me look very, well, Lana Del Rey.  Even more so than the actual Landa Del Rey skin I’m wearing; I’ve certainly not adjusted my shape to make myself look more like her and didn’t buy the skin for that reason, I just liked it, but it certainly strikes me as interesting how much a heavy liner eye look has added some hints of ghetto Nancy Sinatra to my appearance, and I’m loving it.

Get ready for the influx of winter woollies fan girl posts in 3..2..1…

KITTY WEARS:

Skin: BOLD & BEAUTY ‘Lana’ in ‘Buttermilk’ (Genus head, Maitreya body)

Hair: MOON ‘Zim’ (Style 1) Browns

Makeup: NAR MATTARU ‘Banshee’ eyeshadow and lips (Genus)

Lashes: DOLLYPOP ‘Lotta Lashes’ set for Genus (Marketplace find, L$299)

Collar: IMBUE ‘Crochet Choker’

Dress: RINGO HANA ‘Rose Knit Dress’ in Black (Maitreya) TRES CHIC

Socks: THE HEART BUTTON ‘Carina’ Knit socks (Marketplace find, L$99)

Kittywitchin has had over 200,000 page views!

Selene

I’m feeling quite emotional today, but in a good way.  Y’see, overnight Kittywitchin’ surpassed 200000 page views, and for me that is an enormous personal achievement.  I’m absolutely stoked by this.

As I’ve written many times before Kittywitchin’ has never been anything other than the blog of an ardent Second Life hobbyist; and even after 8 years of writing about Second Life I’ve still got so much to learn about the darn place!  But one thing has remained constant, and that is the love I have for the virtual world that I also call home.

This past fortnight has been a challenge.  Windows 10 really messed up my ability to log in and blog, but slowly and surely (and thanks to my amazing tech-wizard boyfriend) things are starting to get back to normal. My PC isn’t quite as sick as it was, and I can actually rez in-world for the moment without crashing spectacularly. Huzzah!

Not being able to log in really brought it home how much my virtual life means to me.  I was in despair at a few points during the week. It’s beyond a habit for me now;  I do actually have to log-in as part of my day, even if just for a few minutes.  I’m like Parzival in ‘Ready Player One’ logging into the Oasis on a daily basis and  although I don’t  yet have a haptic suit and gloves,  I do have 3D glasses and I hope to get an Oculus Rift when they (hopefully) launch in Spring 2016.  That will bring a whole new element to my time in world!

What is Kittywitchin’s next goal? Well, for the immediate future it’s to keep writing about Second Life.  But further on down the line I don’t know if I will be writing about Second Life or Project Sansar. As someone who adores her current virtual existence the idea of leaving this occasionally buggy and often frustrating world for a next-gen platform is actually quite hard to even contemplate at the moment.

So until then Kittywitchin’ will carry on, faithfully documenting the many shopping trips I make, the events that  I visit and most of all sharing with you the fun that I hope, no I’m sure, that I will continue to have in this mad, crazy metaverse that I call home.

Thank you so very much for reading my blog.

(Now, if everyone can just get out of Kustom 9 so I can get in, that would be super-awesome!)

To Orb Or Not To Orb, That Is The Question…

winter wALK_001

And it’s a question that I’ve never had to ask myself, until now.
In all my years of being a Second Life resident (almost 8 years now, eeep!), I’ve never been especially harassed by trespassers at my various abodes. Sure, a few times I’ve rezzed into my home-space and found someone enjoying my furniture and epic decorating skills (obviously!), but it’s never troubled me enough to want to inflict ban lines (urgh) on my neighbours, or invest in a security device. The prompt for this change of opinion occurred two nights ago. I logged in at my new residence, a beautiful Brownstone that I recently took ownership of in the delightful Sunshine Mist community. I had coveted these residences from afar, because I particularly love Harlow Heslop’s epic landscaping skills, so when one became available I jumped at the opportunity to rent. I wanted to feel a sense of community, especially as we enter the Holiday season, and the idea of having neighbours again appealled to me. As I write I’m still busily moving my stuff (read: cats) into the property, and it’s fabulous fun.

I’m incredibly fussy when it comes to virtual home-making, it has to be *just* right (I’m a Virgo, ’nuff said) so I’m having a grand-old time making the space feel like home. All the pleasure, with none of the pain (Although fitting virtual curtains is a challenge and a half, let me tell you! )I find decorating virtual houses exceptionally relaxing after a long, hard day in teh real world, and I take great pleasure from it, as I’m sure regular readers can tell. One of my favourite toys as a child was my doll’s house, and I think my love for that has somehow relocated into the virtual world. It’s incredibly relaxing decorating from behind a keyboard, and there are some absolutely amazing items in Second Life that you can decorate with ( I relish my daily read of LTD!).   and, for me, it’s chill out time. Behind the screen in real life I’m enjoying a brew and listening to music,on-screen I’m moving a wardrobe or changing the colour of the cushions at the touch of a button. It’s bliss, it really is, and it makes me so happy.

So I was a little rattled when my home was, for want of a better phrase, intruded upon.  I logged in, and as soon as I did I realised someone was in the house. At this point I wasn’t concerned, and soon identified that my visitor was sat on my kitchen sofa, drinking a cup of tea. I wandered down the steps and into the kitchen-space, and as I did so the rather well-dressed intruder jumped to her feet. Now, at this point I wasn’t angry, nor was I considering making a fuss. I was (if anything), curious, and had things progressed a different way I’d have sat next to her on said sofa and poured her another cup. She was no newbie, not by the way she was dressed, that’s for sure. She was sporting a quality skin, and a retro look; in other words, the kind of look that would take time to perfect. Yet, according to her account, she was three days old?!

If my name was Alice, I would have probably said, “Curiouser and curiouser!” but it’s not, it’s Kitty.

I actually saved the chat-log, but I’m not going to name names, because I think I was dealing with an alt.Not only that, but an alt who either didn’t have English as a first language, or who was actually taking the piss, and not in a funny way. (All spelling appears as it did in-world. Comments afterwards are obviously mine:) 

[10:42] Kitty Otoole: Hello:)
[10:42] XXXXX: Hi do you live here?
[10:42] XXXXX: Cause I move hear alredy (Really? So that’s why the house was empty when I moved in..)
[10:43] Kitty Otoole: Hi, yes, moved in yesterday
[10:43] XXXXX: so can you go please not saying in a bad way  (I’m glad she wasn’t saying it in a bad way because, you know, I might have taken offence…)
[10:43] Kitty Otoole: Oh! Did Harlow Know? ( At this point, gullible Kitty that I am, I thought there had been a genuine mistake. That thought lasted a nanosecond..)
[10:43] XXXXX: yes (Fib! Fibby fib-fib!)
[10:43] Kitty Otoole: Oh ( I’m realising this is definitely a fib)
[10:43] XXXXX: So please.. (Detecting odd sense of desperation..)
[10:44] Kitty Otoole: Well I’d better have a word with her, so I can get my money back ( I put this out there because obviously I had paid rent upfront, and my mysterious visitor had not..)
[10:44] XXXXX: well ok (Ooh! Seems almost legit!)
[10:44] XXXXX: bye (RUDE)
[10:44] Kitty Otoole: You’d better return all my stuff as well (Bear in mind here peeps, she’s sat enjoying a rather lovely BAZAR kitchen, along with all my accessories, some epic NYLON PINKNEY artwork and a few cats. As well as a cup of tea.)
[10:44] XXXXX: no plaese (Eh?)
[10:44] XXXXX: i dont know were to live (No, but you know where to shop judging by that outfit/hairstyle/skin..)
[10:45] XXXXX: so can we live together tham (Hmm, how do I put this? NOPE.)
[10:45] XXXXX: please (A minute ago you were telling me to go, now you’re asking if you can stay?!)
At this point, I lost the plot. I don’t normally, I’m usually very easy-going and wouldn’t hurt a fly. However, I was feeling played here, and a tad pissed off. Had I not been tired and grumpy I might NOT have done this, and I’m NOT proud of it….
[10:45] Kitty Otoole: Go and find your own place like everyone else does.
[10:45] Second Life: Avatar ejected.

And that was the end of that. Two minutes of banter before I ban-hammered.

And you know what? I felt SO GUILTY. Did I over react? I mean this is a virtual world after all, so does it really matter that much?

winter wALK_002

Well, actually, yes it does. I’ve paid rent, bought furniture and invested in the Second Life economy. Had my intruder been a genuine newb I would have perhaps offered some advice about the best way to interact in Second Life (As I poured another cup of tea and offered them a biscuit of course. I’m nothing if not a cordial host!) But my visitor was, quite obviously, not being genuine with me.

Perhaps I’m just too trusting, and perhaps I assume incorrectly that everyone thinks the same as I do, that it IS possible to cultivate respect for fellow virtual citizens, just like your real life peers. But you know, this has started me questioning my own judgement, and now, for the first time in my virtual life, I’m considering installing a security device. And I really don’t like that thought at all. I’m having a virtual-existential crisis here guys!

Thing is, I LOVE seeing how people have decorated their virtual abodes, and I enjoy nothing more than wandering a sim and drooling over the interior ideas I spy around every corner but I set myself hard and fast rules. I always check if someone is in their home before I cam-in, and I NEVER go into a property uninvited. (Probably the only trait I share with a vampire!) But perhaps even that is too much, and I’m no better than my uninvited house-guest?

I get that Second Life can be daunting to a new member, and it can be expensive and alienating as well as welcoming and exciting, but just because this is a world of pixels and polygons it doesn’t mean we have to leave our manners at the log-in screen. 

So the question remains, leave my house as is knowing that people will be able to enjoy it when I’m not around (something I’ve never had a problem with before), or do I hit the marketplace, and buy a security orb?

 Readers, how do you feel about your virtual home? What do you think, am I over-reacting, or is this actually an issue that deserves more consideration? 

Kitty’s 1500th Blog Post!

Snapshot_011Can you believe that this is my 1500th post on the blog? 

Blimey! I wanted to write something suitably awesome to mark the occasion, but quite honestly I can’t think of anything windswept and interesting to post at the moment.  I’m still recovering from the worst cold I’ve had in an age in real life, and it’s really taken a toll on me. Ghastly germs!So instead of my writing a post about something new, a place to visit or an item that you must own, I have a favour to ask.  Second Life, as we all know by now, is a wonderful place to meet and mingle, and we sometimes take our chats off-line onto various forums like Plurk, Facebook and SLUniverse to name a few. However, oftentimes there’s a lot of drama and negativity played out upon these spaces.

I’ve said it before, but I really don’t understand why people hiding behind a keyboard think it gives them free reign to insult, belittle or be downright rude to people.  It’s one thing to have an opinion, but quite another to share it in a hurtful way. It’s such a simple phrase, but the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it” springs to mind.

It’s easy to make fun of other avatars. Heck, I was doing it myself yesterday, I’m not innocent of such immature behaviour.  But after I’d done it, I actually thought what a mean thing it was to do. Even though they will never know, my words are still out there, floating in cyberspace. And I should know better.   Just because someone chooses to express themselves in a certain way in-world it doesn’t give me, or anyone else, the right to make fun of them. We’re as diverse in the metaverse as we are in the universe, and I should be more mindful of that.

So, starting right now, I want us all to be a little more Second Life Conscious.

Words on a screen have just as much power, if not a little more, than words spoken out loud.  We live in an age of  ever-present criticism and condemnation through social media and where does that lead to? Hatred and misunderstanding.  It’s not wrong to say that we need to spread more love in the virtual world, and it doesn’t have to be the kind that requires a Hud or a Poseball.  Spread the Second Life Love! Let’s be more mindful of what we say in our virtual spaces, and how we present ourselves. Would you say that in real life? Why is it OK to say something in a virtual world that you would never say in the real one? Think on that point for a moment.Be graceful.  Manners are NOT a bad thing, they exist for a reason.  Let’s show gratitude to creators instead of constantly criticising. If you buy something and you really love it, drop them a few lines on a notecard and tell them!

People are quick to complain, but rarely as quick to congratulate.

The next time you are in a crowded area in Second Life, or at an event, take a good long look at the avatars that surround you. Read the profiles, snoop if you will, and then PAY SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT.

It doesn’t have to be over-stated either. In fact, this is something that I have been doing for a while now; it’s sort of a Second Life spiritual practise, and not only do you make someone feel good by doing it, you’ll feel pretty good yourself too. Double win!

So, what kind of things do you say?  Here’s an example: Yesterday I spotted an amazing avatar when I was shopping in ISON. In private chat I messaged the avatar and wrote, very simply, “I love your avatar!”  This was a genuine compliment, straight from my heart.  I really liked the way that her avatar was styled, and also because she was unusual.  She had an aged look to her, something that you really don’t see in Second Life that often. I very quickly received a delighted response. “Wow! Thank you so much for saying that!” and that was it. I had a smile on my real life chops, and I’m pretty sure she did too. It was THAT simple.

Of course, you could follow these words up and enter into a conversation, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Oftentimes I just follow my compliments with the phrase “YVW! (You’re very welcome)” or “NP (No Problem) Have a great day!” and that’s that.

It’s such a simple thing to do yet it REALLY does make such a difference. And if you aren’t doing this already (I’m sure some people reading this probably are) then I’d like you to please, give it a go.

Because I know from my own experience that it will make difference, so imagine what will happen if we all start to do this!

OK, in the grand scheme of things this isn’t earth-shattering or life-changing, but imagine how you will feel in a week if you’ve been practising this every day? And even more importantly, imagine how you will have made other people feel too! So please, spread the word.  Instead of turning up at an event, camming around, making a few purchases and leaving, next time take a peek at the avatars around you. Is there one who stands out? Do they have a really great sense of style that you admire? Or are they just incredibly cute and have impressed you with their look? TELL THEM! There’s nothing creepy about a quick compliment, and you may make a real difference to their day.  Plus you get to speak to some pretty amazing people too. (Well, I say people, yesterday I complimented a giant hamster on his cuteness. I think he was pleased!)

We’re a community, and in a metaverse as disparate as ours it’s easy to forget that. With the festive season of goodwill fast approaching, let’s start early in-world, and spread the love.

Thank you for sticking with Kittywitchin’ through 1500 blog posts. Here’s to the next 1500 and beyond! 

(PS If you DO follow the steps above, please share your experiences in the comments below.)