Social “Me”-dia

Social Media.  Me.

Unlike peanut butter and chocolate, these are not easily blended.  I use social media constantly, daily, but I’m always uneasy about it.  I’m familiar with the mechanics of Facebook, Twitter, Plurk and Blogs, but at a loss to embrace them in the same way that most of the online world does.  I am *appalled* on a daily basis by the level of misery and TMI that gushes forth on the internet, and equally enchanted by the beauty that’s shared. We’ve developed this amazing capacity for instant communication and are able to conquer distance between family and friends, but the actual *use* of the medium is quite interesting to watch, especially when you have a brain that works like mine does.

Imagine now that you are reading your friends list, but somehow, your brain was switched with mine.  The CeejayBrain comes with these Bonus Features:

  • A hyperfocus on the actual literal function of the words used, often to the point of absurdity. Typos or word misuse can send me reeling. “What have you got to loose?” can trigger a fantastical voyage inside my noggin, as all my worldly possessions suddenly take flight, bobbing in the air, trailing electrical cords, ropes, bookmarks, belts…. as I am left helpless, watching my television rise through the clouds, followed by a trail of sweaters, all holding cuffs.  It can be quite amusing.
  • Constant bafflement in the face of textspeak. I must remind myself, often, that not everyone is using a conventional keyboard when they post their messages. It’s VERY difficult for me to take a message seriously when it’s shortcutted to hell and back after squirming it’s way  into the world through a phone.   I try. I may be getting more tolerant but it’s a slow road.
  • I have a mild form of Synesthesia. A good explanation comes from this blog: “Synesthesia comes from the Greek words syn and aesthesis, literally meaning together-perception. As commonly defined, people with synesthesia have mixed senses where one sense unconsciously triggers another. Some people can taste colors and feel words. However, the most important thing to remember is that everyone with synesthesia experiences it differently. No two people with synesthesia experience the same thing, even if they have the same form of synesthesia.”  How does this affect me? A few examples: “Pregnant” is squeaky word. The number 7 moves at 100 mph, “Cat” is indeed a feline, but it’s also bulging, like an overly filled balloon about to burst. Yes, really.  What you are saying to me may carry more weight than you realize!


Listing to the Left

Today I learned that two of the art blogs I link to in my sidebar changed URL’s, so I popped in here to change them.  Do take a peek at Virtually PJ and I Derryth if you’d like to keep up on the Second Life art scene.

As I was making this update, I noticed something that got me thinking. And you know how dangerous THAT can be! There’s a few links in my list that are to friends sites. I include them because I like those friends, and they’d possibly feel hurt if I didn’t link them.  But – I have a lot of friends I like, and why haven’t I linked to ALL their blogs?

I know the reason why, and am feeling honest. Some of the blogs I don’t link to belong to wonderful people who I enjoy immensely; I simply am not interested in the topics of their blogs. And they are mature people who don’t take that as a slight. In reverse, I’m certainly not offended if my blog isn’t on their list, either. There’s no law that I must be interested in everything my friends are, and vice versa!

If I expand this reasoning beyond my blog roll, things quickly get out of hand. Facebook is still tightly controlled, thank goodness, and only for contact specific people for specific reasons.  But when I look at Plurk, and my Second Life friends list, eeeeegads!

I know there’s heaps of people on both those lists that have no need to follow me. As likeable as they may be, we aren’t into the same interests. But, both sides are most likely caught in the catch-22 of ‘I can’t unfriend her! She’ll think something offended her! I can’t handle the potential of drama!’  And I know that happens – I’ve unfriended very nice people for absolutely no dramatic reason whatsoever, and been guilted into adding them right back.  Tricky, tricky stuff.

I’m not writing anything new here. We ALL have this issue.  But, did you know that you have my blessing to remove me from your plurkline or your SL friends list, with the assurance of no drama and complete understanding?  I won’t assume you hate me. I won’t wonder what horrible thing I said or did.   I’ll still know your name, and who you are. And if something interesting comes along I think you’d enjoy, I’ll let you know about it, with no strings of ‘official list’ friendship attached.

I dare you.  Unfriend me if I’m just an odd remnant on your list.  And feel free to chat me up when next we cross paths, with no hesitation.  Big Hugs!






Welcome! Or Not.

I will not name sims in this entry – but you may recognize some of the situations. If you do, that’s great. Maybe you can help make a difference. If you don’t, congratulations! You may be a resident of a wonderful region.

Right, then, on with my rant.  I’m tired of stifling my thoughts on what I consider to be appalling behavior in city group chats. The regions I follow,  by and large, need new residents. Occupancy rates are low, and current residents are, to be honest, stagnant. It’s the same people time and again just buying new lots and dropping old ones. Let me play out a sample scenario for you, to illustrate what is going on that is bugging me so much:

Susie Resident, new to the grid and very excited to be a part of it, stumbles upon an amazing looking region.  She’s only seen random shopping malls in mainland up till now and is astonished that entire themed cities exist! This is more like it.  She’d like to put down her tiny new roots in such a place.  While picking up freebies from the local arrival point, she learns that the region has an inworld group, which welcomes all to join.  How wonderful! She does, and with eagerness begins to listen in on the chatter, a little step to get to know her potential new neighbors. And what does she hear?

“I just ate cheese!” *digresses into an hours blather of every morsel that’s passed everyone’s lips that day*
“My lumbago is acting up today” *digresses into everyone’s aches, pains and sordid details of everything physical and mental*
“Oh geez, its noob season again. I see a Resident downtown. She’s got bling on! Let’s throw things at her! Bomb her back to Mainland!”
“Hey guys!  I just picked my nose!”
“My mom is so MEAN to me! She made me clean my room!”
“Im un meds andhve a concushion doctor saidI hsould be restnig”

Suzy Resident can’t decide if she’s embarrassed about her bling (she didn’t know it wasn’t cool!), shy about having been spotted in town, worried the place is overrun with kids, or hesitant to strike up conversation with People With Issues.

And she wonders where the visionaries are that built this wonderful town.  As she walks past a vacant lot that’s in her budget…  she hesitates.  She thinks perhaps if there’s one beautiful region in Second Life, there’s got to be two, or three, or more.  She quits the city group, and goes to seek her fortune in another place.

Later that evening, the local residents grumble about all the vacant land and why can’t one of the locals take on just one more plot?  After all, it’s our town and we’d do anything to keep it, right?

Stop blaming the economy, and start welcoming visitors in a way that makes them want to be your neighbor.  It’s easy to make groups. If you really MUST talk about cheese or compare bodily malfunctions, pull your friends into a group chat on the side and babble to your heart’s content.

Would you stand in the middle of a city street in your real-life and tell every passer by how many times you burped that day?  Why are you behaving this way in your chosen city in Second Life? Why do you think it is you haven’t seen anyone new in town lately, other than alts?

*steps off soapbox, expects snark, doesn’t care, converts the soapbox to a birdhouse*

Postscript, as encouraged by others. What are GOOD topics of conversation in a city group chat?  Feel free to reply with your opinions, too!  I would think topics pertinent to the REGION are primary.  Discussing new buildings, talking about last night’s event, anticipating upcoming events, bits of roleplay (with occasional mentions that it IS roleplay for those just logging into chat), recommendations for shops that sell clothing and items that would suit the region, sharing of photos, links to sites that inspire the residents….





The Sacrifice

One last thought about the Al Stewart concert Saturday, and then I’ll hush about it!  After the concert, during a conversation with Al, a man asked him if he always opened his performances with House of Clocks.  Al said “That’s a very good question!” and then explained why he does. This is heavily paraphrased, from memory. This is NOT a direct quote so don’t view it as such.

When I first come out on stage, people are too focused on how I look. They aren’t paying attention to the music yet.  So I have to have a ‘sacrifice’ song to give them a chance to get used to me.  House of Clocks gets sacrificed.  Then, once they’ve gotten over the fact that I’m old, I’ve lost most of my hair, and they’re done analyzing what I’m wearing… then they can hear the music.

What I take from this is a lesson: If you’re too focused on how someone looks, if you judge on appearance and aging factors that NO one can change and will eventually affect us all, you’ll not hear their personal song.  Don’t miss the treasures of deeper music by getting lost in the shallow waters of judging the exterior!

And furthermore, I refuse to let House of Clocks be sacrificed.  Enjoy.

House Of Clocks

I once had a qilded clock
Constructed in la Belle Epoque
The hour hand broke, now it won’t turn back
So long, so long, so long

I once had a sundial too
But green and wild my garden grew
The undergrowth obscured the view
So long, so long, so long

Not a word could make her stay
The East wind blows the sun away
Oh I lost her on St. Swithin’s day
Oh why?

I grew up in a house of clocks
And late at night I’d sometimes walk
Listening to their rhythmic talk
So long, so long, so long

Clocks that sand in ringing chimes
To take the measure of the times
Clocks that spoke in wordless rhymes,
So long, so long , so long

Not a word could make her stay
The wine is spilt and flows away
I lost her on St. Swithin’s day
Oh why?

Presenting! Ceejaytoypia Imaginarium

So. It’s like this. When I am tired, stressed, rolling thoughts around in my mind, or planning the next chapter in the book, I tend to smash prims and mangle sculpties.  More often than not, I make silly stuff, simply because it’s fun, and it makes me laugh.  I figured as long as I’m making this sorta thing, I might as well indulge in an outlet to share it.  And thus is born Ceejaytoypia Imaginarium! There’s two shop locations:  Port Babbage (turn East, run up the stairs, keep straight, you’ll see it), and Armada Breakaway.  Same silliness in both locales.  What sorta nightmare-fuel am I throwing at the shops? GLAD YOU ASKED!  Read on!  Here’s the stuff I was brave enough to fling into a vendor-frame and offer out for sale.  Touch the frame and you’ll get a descriptive note card to keep.  Click to Pay the vendor, it will tell you the correct amount, and if you agree, you will be the proud (?) owner of the oddity.  Please enjoy!  (and do click each pic to nicely embiggen them!)

So often it happens that you are invited to a boating race, but you are just about to get into the bath. What’s a busy nautical sort to do? How can you balance your need for good hygiene and your desire to go boating?  Simples! Now with The Clean Getaway boat, you can enjoy the next regatta while soaking your cares (and dirt) away. The Clean Getaway comes with two complimentary bars of soap in a generous dish, two plush towels (one draped and ready to dry you off, the other to cushion your tuckus as you bounce through the waves), and all the plumbing a porcelain bathing device needs! Happy boating, and don’t forget to scrub behind your ears!

What more can I say? It’s candy. It’s eyeballs. Poke them and they spout famous eyeworthy quotes.  Drop the box on your coffee table and you’ve got a classy, creepy accessory.

Your mother said ‘don’t play with your food’, but your Mother never built a seaworthy ship out of her breakfast, now did she? I feel the end justifies the means, and I am pleased to offer the tastiest boat you will ever sail. The “Over Easy” has been carefully cooked up, using only the freshest ingredients:

*Waffle Hull (Crispy enough to resist waterlogging!)
*Toast Sail
*Pat of butter on toast for extra smooth sailing
*Sunny Side Up Egg on sail for easy identification by other ships (or chefs)
*Fresh Orange half seats
*Sausage bumpers
*Whipped cream and strawberries (I need a reason?)
*Sterling silver fork mast
*Coffee cup crow’s nest
*Frosted donut lifesaver

*BONUS! The “Cheerio!” rowboat is filled with swirling cereal in milk and features gleaming silver spoon oars. The “Cheerio!” is towed behind the “Over Easy” by that universal joiner of all that is good… bacon!

My take on the classic arrow-through-head as worn so gracefully and well by Mister Steve Martin. Who is, as they say, one Wild and Crazy Guy. And my lyric-glomming apologies to Bon Jovi.

I will close this entry with those three words everyone dreads to here:  MORE TO COME!   Oh! And look for the freebie. Find the clown dancing in a macabre manner with a horseshoe (so wrong, so wrong) and tap him.  He’ll give you a free clown nose!  You’ve been telling yourself for ages you need one. Now your dreams are coming true!

With Great Pride And Sincere Apologies,

Ceejay Writer
Ceejaytoypia Imaginarium