Just A Hoodie

I’ve been following the story about Trayvon Martin, the teen who was shot and killed in Florida, and I find myself continually more disturbed as the weeks go on.

I’m fortunate that I’ve lived a good life, sheltered even, and have never experienced racism or racial profiling first hand.  I don’t doubt it happens, it’s just not in my day to day life so when I read or hear about it feels so surreal.  I want to believe, perhaps parts of me need to believe, that the police have good reasons for the way this has played out, but I can’t deny the outcome to date doesn’t sit well with me.  I fully admit that I don’t know all the details, perhaps when we do things will be clearer, or perhaps we’ll never know.

What changed this from a tragic news story to something more personal for me is when the discussion turned to what Trayvon was wearing that day.  A certain media personality has commented that perhaps the fact that he was wearing a hoodie in an affluent neighbourhood was a contributing factor.  My guts twisted at this, admittedly it’s not because I’m some great advocate against stereotypes, it’s because I’m a mother.  I’m a parent of a teenage boy who wears a hoodie on a daily basis and I could not imagine losing a child under these circumstances and then having someone say it was somehow his own fault for what he was wearing.  Add to that, the notion that perhaps I am raising him in a world where he could be judged for something as simple as this to the extent that his life could be in danger.

I’ve watched as various marches and rallies have been shown on TV where the protestors are wearing hoodies, the candlelight vigils offering sympathy to the family with all the people wearing hoodies.  I’ve watched celebrities and athletes and every day people changing their Twitter photos to show them wearing hoodies.  Somehow the hoodie has come to represent something about all this.  Whether that be a call for justice, a protest against racial profiling, sympathy for the family, or something infinitely more personal to each of us.

To me it resonates because of all the women who have been harassed or assaulted and then had their choice of clothing called into question, essentially victimizing them all over again.  The “had it coming” argument sticks in my throat.

So for all those reasons, and perhaps a few that I struggle to verbalize, I just felt compelled to wear a hoodie myself.  I am in RL and wanted to extend this to my SL as well.

I was asking on SLU today if anyone had heard of any Second Life Hoodie protests or specially made products. It didn’t seem anyone had so I went in search myself, planning simply to buy a hoodie when I came across one on the marketplace that had a picture of Trayvon on the back.  there was an exciting moment for me where you realize that a perfect stranger that you otherwise wouldn’t ever know if it wasn’t for Second Life is feeling and thinking the same thing you are.  I contacted the creator and had a chat with her about how I was feeling about all this, and what I wanted to do, and she lowered the price to only $10L so that anyone else who wanted to wear this wouldn’t find cost an issue.

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Trayvon-M-Justice-Hoodie-Boxed/3323719

I’m not suggesting anyone has to buy this, please don’t feel obligated.  I’m not even going to pressure anyone into wearing a hoodie at all.  Would I like to be part of something bigger in SL, some type of virtual protest or show of support?  Sure, but ultimately this is a very personal thing for me.

I’m sharing this story just in case there are others out there who wish to wear a hoodie in general, or this one in particular, as a symbol of what they are feeling about all of this.  I know it’s just a virtual world, and one hoodie wearing avatar won’t change anything, but I feel good about this.  I really do.  Maybe that is reason enough.

I’ve also realized, perhaps for the first time, that I can use the photographs I take in Second Life to express thoughts that I’m not eloquent or articulate enough to say in text.

UPDATE:  If you know of any Million Hoodie March products, groups or events in Second Life please leave a comment here on my blog or on SLU on the following thread

http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/general-sl-discussion/71088-hoodie-protest-sl.html

or via Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/SLpancake

I’ve also created a Flickr Group http://www.flickr.com/groups/sl-million-hoodie-march/  if anyone else would like to post pictures of their SL avatar in a hoodie.

Circus Steampunk at Warren Town

A few days ago I dropped in to pick up the latest Al Vulo group skin gift hoping it would inspire me to take photos and blog.  An excellent decision I must say.  As always, the moment I put on the new skin a character began to form in the back of mind.  The makeup on this one was telling me it wanted to be a doll or a mime.  As I pondered that I added the recent ribbon and clock collar I picked up for only 10L at the Hebonon Vial closing sale.  The steampunk flair sent me browsing my inventory for anything Victorian and I found an older Solange outfit that I once bought for an event once and never wore again.

The look came together quite quickly after that. I’m calling it Circus Steampunk.

In one of those serendipitous moments I discuss often here, I knew immediately where I had to go to photograph her.  I had just recently read about the opening of a new roleplay sim called Warren Town.

It was 1863, on the west coast of England. A small town founded by the Warren family, earns a spot on the map just at the very end of the industrial revolution by their advances in chemistry, astronomy and last but not least, the rubber industry. There was something about the town that has attracted great intellect.

Yet, as the industrial acceleration slowed down, Warren started receiving new visitors from the neighboring towns who came in search of some of the famed prosperity. To the locals dismay, these were not the most lectured of scientists or renowned minds, but gypsies (at times called ‘carnies’, since they traveled with a carnival circus) and a considerable troupe of burlesque entertainers. While in previous times the locals would have simply hanged them or blatantly expelled them…they were injecting good money into the town and attracting all sorts of tourists.

Things were just starting to heat up.

Though I felt it was a perfect backdrop for the photoshoot I took the time to IM the moderators (called producers here) of the sim and ask for permission before I teleported down.  Being an avid roleplayer myself I have utmost respect for other people’s immersion.  Though my outfit felt Circus Steampunk enough to title a photoshoot, it really isn’t 100% genre appropriate so I wanted to be careful.  A little courtesy goes a long way in Second Life and it doesn’t hurt to be a good guest when visiting someone else’s sim.

It’s been a while since I’ve roleplayed with any regularity and I admit I do miss the writing, miss losing myself in a story. I liked the vibe in Warren Town and the backstory.  It’s one thing to build a sim with a theme; medieval, gorean, urban, but roleplay needs more than just a themed build.  It needs a setting, a time frame, a backstory, and Warren Town certainly provides that.

One thing I don’t know if people realize when they tour a roleplay sim is that you can’t really judge it in the same way you do a build with a different purpose.  Sure it’s great if it looks nice, but a roleplay sim has another set of criteria over and above appearance.

You need a good flow to the sim, so people move through when they arrive and naturally come further in and meet other roleplayers.  You need places for players to converge and in character reasons for them to be there, a market, a store, a bar, a doctor’s office, etc.  You need roleplay hooks, ice breakers if you will.  You also need a good variety of buildings and businesses in the sim that inspire players to create characters who work and live there.  Butchers, bakers, candlestickmakers… you get the idea.

Overall I would say Warren Town does a good job of delivering these.

Interesting  background story and setting?  Check

A build that supports the genre and contributes to generating stories and scenes?  Check

The final ingredient to finding a roleplay sim you’ll enjoy is to see if the management and player base’s philosophies and styles match your own.  I recognized a few names while I was there, people I enjoyed writing with in the past, so it seems Warren Town is attracting people with a full immersion, text based combat, turn based style similar to my own.  I also agreed with their approach to roleplay.

 WARREN TOWN – OUR APPROACH TO ROLE PLAY

===============================================================>

* Basically, we believe in laissez-faire and we assume we are all adults (both in age and attitude).

* Role play here will be fully immersive, no OOC is ever allowed ever in chat.

* We embrace a clear IC/OOC separation.

* No meters, only text based role play taking turns (if players wish to use dice for outcome, will be entirely up to them).

* No babblers or automated, spamming text/gestures of any kind.

* Victorian era garb is absolutely mandatory.

* Adult human avatars only.

* You can place prims temporarily for a scene at any time (8 hours auto-return).

* There are 3 backstage roles that will help your experience here: Director (sim owner and enabler), Writers (help write the overarching story) and Producers (available to ban griefers and players that bring heavy OOC drama, but sim is mostly self-moderated). You can call them via group chat (Warren Town – Roleplayers group).

* Enjoy!

Being part of a new roleplay sim can be super exciting.  You get to help build the storylines that future characters will tie into.  You get to welcome new players and watch their characters and stories develop.  The early stages can also be a real bonding time before the community population explodes and there are new faces daily.

If you are looking for a new roleplay sim, you might want to spend a bit of time in Warren Town.

Good luck guys and thanks for letting me take photos there.

Credits

Skin:  “natalie * amidala  bronze” from Al Vulo (free group gift) http://slurl.com/secondlife/ReMix%20Yo%20Life/176/156/1351/

Lashes: LesMakeups_Lashes 04 from Miamai http://slurl.com/secondlife/Amat/41/227/23/?title=MIAMAI&msg=Miamai%20Fashion%20Creations

Hair:  “Scarlet Semi-Updo Light Blonde from Pocket Mirrors (free group gift) http://slurl.com/secondlife/Garman/175/64/102

Rose Lace Hat: Former Hunt Gift from Zenith Fashion

Clockwork Collar [Polkadoll] from Hebenon Vial (10L at their closing sale)

Outfit “Victoria” from Solange http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dream%20On%20Bay/89/124/33/

“Checkmate Socks” (part of Checkmate outfit in lucky chair) from Violent Seduction http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Chima/50/38/3003

“Nostalgia Pumps” former hunt gift from Lassitude & Ennui http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nouveau/81/105/36/?title=lassitude%20%26%20ennui

On location at Warren Town  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Warren/128/129/78

TGI…. The weekend!

I’ve been in a such a rut in SL since I came back from holidays.  There are dozens on things on my want to do list but I seem to be standing around in my skybox tabbed out playing miniclip games.  Tower Defense FTW!  Nothing is wrong, I’m just lazy.  Pixel lazy doesn’t even make sense but I have no other explanation.  I didn’t even change my avie’s clothes for days.

Anyway …

The few outings I have done have been to Organica, which I’ve talked about before, the Home of the Happy Clams remember?  That amazing group I met at Burn2 and have been popping in on ever since?  Yes, I knew you’d remember them.

Well this weekend marks the 5th year in a row they celebrate the Equinox festival, the first being in 2007 when founder Thomtrance hosted it on his own little beach plot.  What does this mean for you?  Music my friends, music and wonderful people.

A wonderful line up of DJs will be entertaining from 12 pm until 2 am at Organica on Saturday March 24th and the Wickerman will be lit at 10 pm SL time.  I’m going to be there as much as I can and you are welcome to help us celebrate.

Organica’s  5th Annual Equinox Festival Saturday March 24th noon until 2 am

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Happy%20Clam%20Island/138/126/33

Now if that weren’t enough news to make your weekend guess what else is happening?  Oh come on, guess!  What is the one thing that makes me ridiculously excited in SL?  You got it!  Ravenswoods Theatricals is putting on a matinée performance of Phantom of the Opera at noon SLT.  Remember, there is limited seating to ensure the performance runs smoothly.

Stop by the theater in Cross Check sim to reserve your tickets by clicking the ticket booth, or leave a notecard with Alexiel Czaczkes.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cross%20Check/55/162/65

I still feel all this time later that it’s the single most amazing experience I’ve had in SL, ok not single, since I saw it twice, but you know what I mean.  If you haven’t heard of this production, be sure to have a look at my previous posts.

https://renoobed.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/the-ravenswood-theatre-company-presents-phantom-of-the-opera/

or have a look at my photos of the December performance here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/renoobed/sets/72157628675274897/show/

Have a great weekend guys. I actually have another post in the queue because I went out tonight to check out a roleplay sim.  I think I’ll make you wait a bit though, cause I’m a tease like that.

Muah!

pssst – I know you would anyway – but both these events are made possible through the generosity of volunteers so be sure to leave donations.

The Magic of Papillon Spring Fair & Hunt

First of all, yes, I’m back.  Don’t worry I hadn’t given up this project, not by a long shot, it’s been one of the best things that’s happened in my SL to get out there and explore and meet new people, I was just on vacation.  The week or so before vacation was stressful preparing and the week after was spent recovering and trying to settle into a routine, but I’m back!

Just in time to tell you about the The Magic of Papillon Spring Fair & Hunt going in right now, March 17 to 25th at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sanctuary%20Key/78/104/23

From the Notecard.

Papillon Breedables are designed and created by Butterfly Bellflower.  They are a breedable like no other.  Butterflies, fireflies, dragonflies, wisps, all congregate in a garden community to grow, flourish, and build together!  Join us in celebrating the one year anniversary of these amazing little bugs in a Magical Hunt between March 17th & 25th!

The hunt item, a small yellow flower pot, will be hidden all over the sim the Fair will be held on.  Look for your pots, buy them at 0 Linden, and enjoy the fair fun!  We will be hosting vendors, a maze of Papillon’s releases over the year, not one, but two auctions, as well as butterfly races, trivia, and so much more.

Dare to be pulled in…to the Magic of Papillon!

Come join us in celebrating the first year anniversary of an amazing breedable.  We hope to see you there!

If you’ve ever been curious about Papillon products or thinking about getting into breedables this is the perfect opportunity.  In addition to the market, the hunt, the fun maze and just touring around this the fair there are several events going in.

BPS Spring Fair Celebrating “The Magic of Papillon” March 17-25, 2012   Saturday, Mar. 17th

•    Kickoff 12PM SLT •    Class Flutters 101 5PM SLT IN VOICE!!! (Krysta) •    Trivia 7PM (FINN)

Sunday, Mar. 18th

•    Class 102 1PM– Need a Volunteer •    Photo Voting Opens 3PM •    Birthday party 5PM Best in Magic with DJ Kota

Monday, Mar. 19th

•    Class 103 on Monday at 5pm Kismet Dyrssen

Tuesday, Mar. 20th

•    Class 104 on Tuesday at 6pm (Need a Volunteer)

Wednesday, Mar. 21st

•    Flutters Auction @ 1PM in the Temple! •    Game Night @ Temple Ruins!

Thursday, Mar. 22nd

•    7Seas Fishing Game! – Fish for a gift or two, or three…

Friday, Mar. 23rd

•    Class 101 5PM @ Temple Ruins – Need Volunteer *     Trivia Night 7PM  With Finn!

Saturday, Mar. 24th

•    Photo voting ends •    Class 102 12 PM – 5ynester Blackburn •    Captain’s Quarters Auction 1PM @ Temple Ruins

Sunday, Mar. 25th •    Photo contest winners announced!!! *   End of Fair Party with DJ Kota!

There is also a photo contest!  I’m going to have to brush up on my skills, I’ve gotten quite rusty in this month of not taking pictures, but it’s open to all.  Here are the rules.

BPS – The Magic of Papillon Spring Fair – Photo Contest The theme of the fair is “The Magic of Papillon”, so let us see your magical creativity. Get on that broomstick, pull out that voodoo doll, start spreading the pixie dust – whatever you feel expresses the magic of Papillon breedables.

Rules:

•    One entry per person.

•    Photo must include at least one Papillon breedable and you. •    Photoshopping is allowed, just make sure we can recognize the breedable included in your shot.

•    Please keep the photos PG. (Yes, magic is sometimes worked best skyclad – but for this, please keep those robes on.)

•    Please make photo 1024×1024.

•    Please name your photo: “The Magic of Papillon Photo Entry – [Your name]”

•    Deadline is Saturday, March 17th by 5PM.

•    Please turn in photos to: Finn Lawksley

Photos will be displayed in the maze on the fair sim for voting from Sunday, Mar. 18th at approx. 12PM until Saturday, Mar. 24th at 12PM.

Winners will be announced after the flutter races (Yes, flutter races!) finish on Sunday, Mar. 25th.

Papillon has become such a huge part of my Second Life.  Not just that I enjoy the relative ease and low cost of seeing what kinds of butterflies or dragonflies I can breed, but the group makes up a big part of my social life, from auctions to classes and the silly and helpful banter in chat.

If you are looking for a new hobby in Second Life this just might be it.

A few other references:

Papillon Breedables Main Store http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sanctum/220/197/778

My booth at Flutters Auction and Minimall (shameless plug) http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Little%20Star/209/100/23

Papillon Spring Fair and Hunt (only until March 25)  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sanctuary%20Key/78/104/23

Butterfly Preservation Society Website http://flutteraddicts.org/

Papillon Breedables Reference Website http://papilloninfo.wordpress.com/

Papillon Butterflies Community Album https://picasaweb.google.com/106534268768229904326/PapillonButterfliesCommunityAlbum?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL_NyonlspneQg&feat=directlink#