Friday, April 27, 2007

New clothes

Since I had nothing to do at work yesterday, I decided to whip up a new top. As you can see it's a beaten up cutoff tee with lots of holes, a Norton Manx on the front and tiger stripes on the back. I'm probably going to make a couple of variations of this top. View the largest size to see all the detail. Special thanks to Chloe Streeter for letting me use her photo studio for these shots =)

Manx & Tigerstriped top

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A new dawn, a new day

Well, as we're all acutely aware, the latest version of SL was released yesterday (v Amazingly, this version seems to be running better on my work computer than the last version, though not without its bugs of course. (My work computer is an Apple G5, dual 1.8ghz, 2GB ram, ATI Radeon 9600 XT w/ 128mb ram.) Some of the bugs I've experienced seem to be pretty common: friends list issues (hippos??), lag, slow-rezzing textures, and surprisingly...the reappearance of the rainbow noise texture bug. Yes, I have the "open GL vertex buffer" option deselected, and it's still there. I'll file a bug report about that the next time i'm in-world on my work computer.

Amazingly though, I was able to go to Midian City last night without too many problems once everything rezzed completely, which took a while. However, the lag did make me splat against the sides of buildings as I was trying to leap from rooftop to rooftop =P

I haven't had the chance to install and run the new client on my home computer yet, but I'm expecting it to run much better than my work computer, since it always does. It's a much newer and beefier system than my work mac. (My home computer is an Acer motherboard-based PC running XP and also now Ubuntu. It has an AMD64 3500+ processor, 2gb ddr ram, and a Nvidia G-Force 7950GT w/ 512mb ram) I'd like to try installing SL in both XP and Ubuntu to see which one runs better, but I first need to get the drivers for my video card for Linux before I can do that. I know next to nothing about Linux, so that may take a while =P

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gives a new meaning to the term "Virtual Instruments"

My friend Ostara Voskhod in SL is also one of my longtime friends irl. We usually share dorky news & gossip about electronic instruments and good new (and not so new) music and things like that. He's a musician irl (a far more capable one than I am) and in SL he's been building himself a "studio". I put the word "studio" in quotes, because although many of the instruments he's built do produce sound, they're not fully functional instruments by any means. But boy do they look really good! His studio reads like an electronic musician's wet dream. I'll let him describe it in his own words:

let's see. counter-clockwise from top right. roland system 700, moog IIIc modular, part of the keyboard for the doepfer a100, nord lead 2, dave smith polyevolver, roland tr-808, 909, and dual tb-303s, neve mixer, sci prophet v, roland jupiter 8, virus ti polar, minimoog, mellotron 400, roland cr-8000, and cr-78, orange thunderverb 200 & 4x12 cab. protools ICON console.(hopefully i'll swap that out for an analog desk like a neve or an amek.) believe it or not, there's more equipment on the way.

Here's some pictures. Keep in mind, he made all of the instruments in these photos:

Ostara also gave me the Roland CR-8000 and CR-78 drum machines (the CR-78 is on my coffee table in my skybox; it makes a nice conversation piece) and a Moog Minimoog model D.

You can see all of Ostara's photos here:

Monday, April 23, 2007

This isn't supposed to happen

So yesterday I was working on some stuff at home, and then I took a break to go get a bite to eat. It was still light out and really nice out. While I was out driving, I saw two young women walking on the sidewalk and chatting, and one of them was the spitting image of my avatar. No kidding! If she had neko parts on, she would have been a clone. Um, and she was the tan me, not white. Her hair looked like Kin's Koda, which I wear all the time. Clearly she is copying my avatar's look, but irl.

Obviously, the only thing to do is to find this girl and eat her brains.

That is all.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New Midian City Flickr Group

Yup, what the post title said; I made a flickr group just for Midian City photos. Here's the url:

It's a public group, so feel free to join and submit your images of this great roleplaying sim =)

Monday, April 9, 2007


In case you're totally new to SL and/or clueless, a Neko is someone with a cat-like appearance (usually ears and maybe a tail are generally considered the minimum) but who retains humanoid features. Cat-people, in other words. Neko is the Japanese term for a domestic cat, and it's also slang for a submissive lesbian. PWND magazine actually did a great issue last month devoted just to Nekoism in SL, so I highly recommend checking it out if you want to know more about it. The really interesting thing that I gleaned from the issue (and have realized on my own) is that being Neko means different things to different people, which really isn't all that surprising. Obviously, this post is about my own take on Nekoism.

When I first joined SL, I knew there were humans (duh), and I knew there were furries, but I hadn't yet encountered a Neko until after about a month. I didn't even know the name of them at the time; I just thought they were "cat people". Right away I did searches to try to find where I could pick up ears and a tail. (As an aside, I still wear my first tail, but I don't usually wear my original ears, since I have a nicer pair now.) What could possibly be the compulsion for me to do this? Well, I've always felt an affinity towards cats, I have often dressed up as one for Halloween (and other masquerade events), and I do have this somewhat moody, very playful, cuddly, funny, cute and slightly devious personality. It just felt natural to express this part of me "physically" in my avatar. Why not? It's certainly a lot easier to do so in SL than it is IRL, that's for sure. So, I did.

As you've probably already read in the evolution of my avatar, change happened gradually...and becoming Neko for me was no different. At first I wore just the ears and the tail, and not all the time:

October & new top

Then I added the leopard spots to my tattoos (on my arms and my legs):


By this time, I was basically always Neko. I added a few extras like the eyes and the whiskers, and I have an assortment of collars. I don't actually wear these eyes now; the ones I normally wear are much nicer:

Guttersnipe Neko

I stayed this way for quite a while, until very recently when I picked up the new skin from Hybrid. This skin is the one I wear when I'm roleplaying in Midian City. I also wear it normally as well, but I do still wear the white one. Anyway, this is really cute, but it's about as catlike as I want to take things:


For all you budding Nekos out there, it does help to be around other helped reinforce what I was doing and made me feel accepted. When I first went "fulltime" Neko, I was becoming good friends with Kriss (Lehmann) and Jezebella (Electricteeth), who were/are both Nekos. Of course, as it turns out, I didn't have anything to worry about because people seem to really like how I look and automatically accept me. If only real life were that easy!

As far as Neko culture goes, I'm not a part of the Neko Tribe or any other Neko group, nor do I really visit any of the usual Neko hangouts except for Midian City for roleplaying. I do shop at stores that cater to Nekos, like Gritty Kitty and Miau Haus and Temenos Island, but that's mainly for accessories and things like that. There are certain things I really like about the Neko culture, though. In general, the boys are pretty cute and more on the femme side, and they're pretty snappy dressers, and there's often a sense of friendliness and affection between other Nekos, which I like. Also, a lot of the fashion that Nekos seem to wear is either clubwear or streetwear (I'm a bit more streetwear these days, myself) and often really well done. Of course, you can have any of these things without wearing a set of cat ears and a tail, and also the flip side of that is that many Nekos use the ears and tail simply as a fashion accessory to change their appearance at will. There's nothing wrong with that either. But obviously, it's more than a simple fashion statement for me.

So that's my take on Nekoism. I have to go now; it's time for me to play with my catnip mouse and take a nap. ;-)

(PS: For other views on becoming Neko, visit my friends Menno and Chloe's blogs!)

Monday, April 2, 2007

My second life's second life

For those who don't know, I've been trying to get involved with roleplay in the Midian City sim for almost a month now. When I first visited there, I immediately fell in love with the place. Stylistically, it's very heavily influenced by the Los Angeles as portrayed in Blade Runner but with the barely-holding-on-to-civility personality of Mad Max. In a word: awesome. Then as I wandered around and visited some more, I got a feel for the type of roleplay that's done here and how it's played...and that made it even more attractive to me. I then found out that there was the "Midian City Roleplay Academy" that had just started up, for people like me, and so I decided to give it a shot.

As a bit of background, I have not done any rp (roleplay) in SL at all up until now, and although I do have some rp experience (D&D, Cthulu), it's been well over 10 years since I've dusted off the 20-sided die, so to speak. So, obviously, I have not done any computer-based rp either. I don't play WoW or um...any of those other games...which I don't know the names of. However, I am a big fan of the Silent Hill games, and I also like Fatal Frame and The Thing, which are almost like rp because you do put yourself in the shoes of the character and (hopefully) empathise with them. However, those games are very scripted and have limited outcome possibilites as well as freedom of choice. Now, picture those games, combined with virtually unlimited freedom of choice and you've more or less got the idea of what rp in Midian is like.

On Friday, after some begging and pleading to the mentors by myself and another fellow student who had also been waiting to take a class, I was finally able to take my first and only rp class with the Academy. Our mentor just happened to be a member of the Catwalkers, which is a gang of Nekos in Midian. The class went well and afterwards she spent at least another hour talking to me and introduced me to another member of the Catwalkers as well. It was a very warm welcome, to say the least. The very next day I would be brought to the city to start roleplaying for real.

The way students are being introduced to the city is through a shipwreck scenario, in which a cruise ship which we are either passengers or staff on, becomes stranded off the shores of Midian and we have no choice but to go to the island on a lifeboat in order to survive. My character was one of the ship's maids. We started off the night by being immediately mugged by Catwalkers (they let me go because I'm feline, but I accidentally left my belongings at the landing site and didn't recover them), which was followed by being chased around by another Catwalker, witnessing several assaults and other fun stuff. I spent some of my time on my own and some of it with a fellow student, Reinhardt. He ended up getting in a lot of trouble with the catwalkers due to some things he said to them.

October's first night in Midian City
In the photo above, I'm high above the ground and somewhat close to the Catwalkers' lair. Shortly after this photo was taken I was ordered down by gunpoint by a member of the gang.

Overall it was a lot of fun, and I think I've found a second addiction in SL aside from shopping!