Good Clean Fun

New Toulouse has seen strange sights before.  Zombies. Ghosts.  Hurricanes. Floods.  Last night I may have inadvertently added to the list.

You see, I have a skybox at 2000 meters over Java Jetcity’s Cafe Curiousity – since she’s Ceejay’s ‘little sister’, it’s allowed.  This skybox is our workshop, lazy lounging place, dressing room, and the only place Sam the Siamese cat seems to obey parcel borders.  It’s a fun place.

Last night I was working on a boat, getting it ready to sell.   It’s not a ‘normal’ boat. In fact, it’s a clawfooted bathtub with brass plumbing.  ANYway, I was attempting to carefully place two bars of soap into the ornate soapdish, when the Incident happened.  Instead of clicking Edit, I clicked the boat and activated myself as the pilot.

Boat scripts are interesting.  They diligently seek out water level in order to snug themselves down properly with the correct amount of displacement.  And I was 2000 meters in the sky.

The script behaved just as it should, and within nanoseconds I was hurtling through the New Toulouse skies, as my boat sought out the nearest source of water.   I literally augured into the Bayou at top speed.  I was left at the bottom of a swamp and the boat was tossed into my Lost and Found upon impact.

I did manage to keep my sunglasses on during the entire trip.

But I would like to reassure anyone who was on the streets of New Toulouse last night that no, there was no alien invasion.  Just a girl in a bathtub trailing bubbles while plummeting to oblivion.

I’d do it again.  That was fun!  Maybe I should organize a boat race, which starts high in the skies…

With any luck, the boat will be available for sale very soon.  Run away!

 

My Year End List: Phrases I Can Live Without In SL

Tis the time of year when lists are made. The media loves to make year end lists of who rocked, who died, who we loved and who we hated. On a personal level, many of us start listing our New Year’s resolutions. My own resolution tends to be the same every year – Keep Trying. But, this year, I had the urge to make another sort of list. Now MIND YOU, this is *my* list and you may disagree with all or part of it, which is okay. Just don’t run around hollering that I’m gettin’ all uppity and telling people what to do. This is simply a personal daydream that I am pretty sure won’t happen! Now, disclaimers in place, here’s my list.

TEN WORDS OR PHRASES THAT SHOULD BE RETIRED FROM SECOND LIFE SOCIETY FOR 2012

1. Noob: Everyone was one, once. It’s not a disease, it’s just a place you once stood on the timeline. It’s hard enough to get past the trepidation of being the new kid in town and baffled by the culture, the history, the tools and the etiquette. Adding in mockage of your experience and age is NOT HELPFUL. It’s not edifying. It doesn’t foster good attitudes. Sure there will be arses coming inworld just to be, well, arses, but that’s human nature in ANY reality. Give the benefit of the doubt and be kinder to newcomers. Have patience with their questions and flailings. Retiring the derogatory term ‘noob’ is a good first step.

2. Best In (insert color, fetish or wings): A long time ago, social venues started having little contests, usually with a cash prize, to encourage avatars to dress imaginatively with the side effect of a cash prize in your pocket and a higher traffic count for the venue. I entered quite a few of them myself and had a grand time shopping around for fun bits to build my costumes. Eventually, it just became a tired old routine to haul carcasses into your club to help your traffic number and give you a chance to beg for “some Linden love, our dancers work hard for you!” and that leads to my next item…

3. Linden Love: Just point out the tip jar. Don’t ask me to ‘show you some Linden Love’. You sound like a cheap hooker from a bad old movie. No, me don’t love you long time. I do tip quite nicely when I’m well entertained by good music and a genuinely nice and witty DJ. Give me value for my tip and you’ll have jingle in your pocket.

4. LOL: Yeah, just a pipe dream of mine in all realities. 😉

5. Smexy: I can barely type the word without shuddering. I have mild synesthesia so for me this word is usually accompanied by a sense of rancid butter. Yes really. Hey, I did tell you this was my PERSONAL list, right?

6. “The Cake Is A Lie”: It was actually really amusing the first 3,000 times it appeared in group chats. I used it myself. But I think it’s time we left the cake out in the rain.

7. “BRB gotta pee”: Um, thanks for sharing? Nothing enhances a well-crafted stunningly amazing avatar more beautifully than throwing out the reminder that the typist behind it has an achingly full bladder. Just go pee. We probably won’t even notice you left, unless you’ve left Voice on and gift us with the Flush.

8. Anything Uttered by a Talking Tummy: When you are at home, you can duct tape a megaphone to your belly button for all I care, but when you are in public keep your innards outta my brain, please.

9. HoOOOOOOooooOooOOOOOOOOoOOoOOOOOooooooo
OooooOOOOOOOOooOOOOOooooOOOOooooOOOOoOOOO
ooooOOOO:
Quick! Call 911! She’s turning into a rabid owl!

10. NO DRAMA!!!: I’d be fine with this except it’s usually followed by a metric truckload of drama.

That’s it! Now I will stand very, very still and give you a wonderful opportunity to throw bricks and rotten cabbages at me.

Antisocial Networking

(sometimes gossip, assumptions and the overwhelming ‘everywhereness’ of the web gets to me.  This is one of those days.  Just unloading a bit so I can move along.)

“… so Molly’s a bit of a twit, isn’t she?  If she tries that stunt, everyone will crucify her.”  This is nearly verbatim of an email I received this morning.

The above sentence fragment makes quite a few assumptions.  And as the old saying goes, “When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.”

It’s ironic that we have dozens of ways to communicate these days, but in many ways have lost the art of conversation.   Somewhere in Facebook, there’s a Molly Someoneorother posting a comment.  Elsewhere, an instant message conveys shock at what Molly said. Emails begin flying, a snarky Tweet appears, followed by a cleverly vague Plurk.  Molly catches wind of the Tweet, posts a clarification on the forum, the OMG! echoes through IM and we wind back around to Twitter.  Meanwhile, somewhere in a virtual world, Molly confronts a Plurker, arguments ensue, fragments of which are carried by the beakful back to the myriad of social network nests.

… and I still have no idea who Molly is.

(yes, that chatter-trail is conjecture, for the point of illustration.  But when I questioned the sender of the email snippet, that’s pretty close to what I was told was going on. )

Is cryptic the new clever?

 

The Duality of Reality

Greetings from Ceejay’s typist! This is the first actual ‘new’ post in this website. While there are oodles of other posts, they are older, having been imported from a google blog that is no longer in use.  If you’ve linked in the past to Ceejay’s World, you can remove that link and hopefully will be inclined to now link to this site, which is Ceejay’s very own registered domain. She feels so ‘real’ its rather unnerving to her! Now I will hush and let her talk.

… is she done now? Good. Ceejay here, and I wanted to talk about how utterly surreal it is to have a virtual reality wrapped around your shoulders like a warm cloak.  Yes, you heard that right. I am an avatar in a virtual world and right now my typist (that’s the lady that lends me her fingers so I can talk) is in the midst of writing a book about the story of my life.  My reality is having another reality layered over – and somehow, that feels normal.

So far, I know where I came from and a bit about my family – I know how I spent my childhood and teenage years. Before she started this project, I honestly didn’t have a clue, but every time she adds words to that document, they become real to me.  I’m both excited and terrified to see what my past-future holds!

A bit confusing, isn’t it? Well, confusion is something I’m very familiar, and even comfortable with. So, I really don’t mind being dragged along on this journey of self-discovery.

Since I seem to be her ‘muse’, or so she says, I have the notion to make my new website here sorta a hybrid, covering the realms where we cross over.  I’ll no doubt share a lot of news from my reality – the virtual world of Second Life, where I live, work and play.

But there’s hope that  the typist may share some of her thoughts on the art of writing here, too. And that’s okay, cause it affects me a lot, right?  I’ll get her to set up a category called “Writing” for those sorta posts.  We’d both welcome your attention and comments as we strive to finish this shared adventure.

Thanks as always for reading!

 

 

 

 

What’s In A (Sur)Name?

It would seem that the Jira asking to Bring Back Last Names Options! has struck a nerve on many residents of Second Life, including me. The issue becomes more convoluted due to many points of view (and to me, nearly all of them quite valid), depending on individual needs and ways of looking at Second Life. My own comment to the Jira was this:

In a world of our own contrivance, I feel that history and continuity are important components in adding depth and richness to our chosen virtual existence. Amazing sims come and go constantly, but with luck, we avatars have a longer lifespan. The ability to choose a fitting surname means a lot. I also like the legacy system in which names were retired after a span of time. My surname (Writer) is one of those. I take a sense of pride in the years I have given to Second Life, and hope that I help make it a more meaningful place.

If we are to fully immerse in Second Life in a positive way, I feel that our shared cultural history and experiences are a big part of the process. Surnames are one facet of that. Please consider allowing new residents to choose a name they can be proud of – and perhaps they will carry that pride towards their Second Life accomplishments.

This being my own blog, I will only speak for myself, please take it as such and know that I respect your viewpoint too!

On St. Patrick’s Day, 2007, rather than drinking green beer, apparently I was more interested in creating my first avatar. I browsed the list of available surnames, thought of a few amusing plays on words to go with some of them, but eventually settled on “Writer”, as this describes what I aspire to be. For many years, I had answered to an online nickname of CJ, a shortened version of CocoaJava, which is the name of my own website and domain. So, I plumped that nickname up and it became Ceejay.

Later than year, I discovered the Steampunk City/State of New Babbage. It overwhelmed my senses, and I joyfully explored this amazing place built by what I saw as impossibly talented mysterious people well out of my league. My admiration was detached, I did not feel I was worthy of bothering these artists. Then one day I found a Babbage shop called, I believe, Writer Steamworks (I may be off on the shop name, it has been gone a while). And something happened. Something really nice! I realized that another Writer had helped create New Babbage. The name Writer had been retired (that’s how it worked back then, after some months, names were retired and became ‘legacy’ names) and I recall distinctly feeling a burst of pride that one of my ‘family’ had done so well.

And with that realization that New Babbage was not built by some mysterious engineer-gods hiding in the clouds, I formed a new bond with the city. I moved in shortly thereafter, and got brave enough to contribute in my own way to the city I’d grown to love.

Now and then I meet another Writer, and we always say hello. It’s a happy thing. We share a history, having rezzed in during the same time period, and probably share many of the same memories of watching Second Life grow. It is not an elitist or clique-ish feeling, just one of a comfortable ease of talking with someone your same age.

Fast-forward up to yesterday. I have a quiet, friendless worker alt who’s last name is “Resident”. For my purposes, that’s okay, she’s not meant to socialize at all, she just produces work. But as she was running around the grid trying to quickly collect landmarks for a project, apparently she was noticed by the owner of one of the businesses she’d made a stop in. This worker alt does have a cutsie display name, added for my own amusement, but her underlying name of Resident will always brand her as a ‘newbie’. The shop owner IM’d her with this (And I quote exactly) “dontr know why u were here. u give me a bad vibe. Ibanned you”

Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe she’s just a jerk. And just maybe that newbish ‘Resident’ name unnerved her, as we all live in a world where copybotting and other forms of theft exist. Would I have been banned had Miss Writer paid that short visit? I’ll never know. But I’ll wonder.

I realize that there’s more important things to fix in Second Life. Chat, lag, mesh, viewers, a plethora of to-do’s are constantly on the Linden Lab workpile. But consider this: If the people behind the avatars do not feel a sense of connection, community and pride in their virtual self, are they as likely to contribute in positive ways to our overall experience? How will it feel to forever be a member of Clan Resident – never aging in others eyes, always and forever a newbie, giving off that ‘bad vibe’ to older avatars who may be suspect of their intentions.

All the upgrades in the world can’t give one the sense of pride and belonging that their own name can. Names are powerful, in any reality.