Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mavericks Fan For Life

I am now working some for the Electric Sheep. I am a greeter at the NBA Orientation Island. Here is a picture of me in my Mavericks jersey and a cheer leading skirt I made. My dad and I go to at least 4 or 5 Mavericks game a year. He says I spend most of my time checking out the crowd instead of watching the game, but, I love the Mavs games.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

She's Back - Tanned, Rested and Ready to Go

Hi everyone. Dixie Starr's real life avatar is back from her 3 week Mediterranean Vacation. Just like Paris and Nicky Hilton, Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, or Jessica and Ashley Simpson it was time for a celebrity, star studded trip to the Riviera, Costa del Sol and Tuscany for Dixie and her sister. Well sort of anyway. My sister and I were lucky enough to be invited by our parents to tour Portugal, Spain, France , Monte Carlo and Italy on a family vacation. The trip was a cross between Audery Hepburn's Summertime and Chevy Chase's European Vacation.

The first thing is that my sister and I did get a lot of sun and fun in, as well as, a lot of sight seeing with the Mom and Dad. Sis and I explored the south of France on a scooter and soaked up the rays in Nice, Cannes and Barcelona. We were in Cannes for the opening weekend of the Film Festival though I have no star sightings to report. I visited a lot of art museums (what a surprise). I was specially taken by the Modern Art Museum in Barcelona. We bought a lot of art from street artists. I feel the best way to get a feel for an area is not take the sponsored tour's (although we did take a lot with our parents), but, instead talk to the street artists and ask what to see and where to go. We saw Michelangelo's David at Academia, I am still stunned by it. It was amazing.

Rather, than give a blow by blow account, I thought I would just post a few pictures in the blog to let everybody know what a tough life I live in real life :) Dixie is back in Second Life, tanned, rested and already missing Med.

Scooting around Europe.

I actually made money gambling. Big jackpot on this machine in Monte Carlo.

Dressed for dinner with my sister having happy hour.

Sunset on the Med.

It was basically an Art Trip for me.

My Dad at Pisa. I couldn't get him to pose like he was holding up the tower :(

The Roman Forum.

Wonderful sculpture at the Cathedral in Barcelona.

Mom at the Colosseum.

At St. Peter's Square and the Vatican.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Challenge #13 - Revealing ....

As usual I am late and don't get at things until near the end of the week. This weeks challenge #13 was posted, courtesy of Vint Falken. I have read both Dolmere and Mera's postings, so hear goes.

What big secret does nobody know about my Second Life? Well as you all know, I am always willing to share my thoughts about me and what I am doing. In fact, I often wonder if my blogs were the inspiration for Dol's idea of having a Not-a-Me-Me Blog. The biggest thing I think I have to reveal is that I maybe a little too much of a social gadfly. I find myself jumping between the Shelter, Bali Hai, Paradise, Mystery, the Art Community, SLNN staff and on and on it goes. I am so damn needy it is sickening. So, pleeeeaaassseeee be my friend :) I am sure there is a social disease associated with this, but, I don't know it's name.

The biggest secret I have in real life, is well, brace yourself....... I am in love. It is fairly recent and has happened very quickly. His name is Sean. He is the Golf Pro I have told some of you about. I have known him for over a year, but, have been dating for less than 6 months (I know it is fast). He has been in Second Life, found it boring, but he wasn't like my former boyfriend who hated it. He actually works late at the club on weeknights (past 10), but, is free on weekend nights, so that is why you hardly ever see me on weekend nights. If he asks me, I think I will say yes, but, I would like to keep my last name Starr in Second Life. And yes that is pink in my hair....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Not A Me Me #11 - Voice and Second Life

My turn again. Everybody who knows me has heard by now about my being lucky enough to win the radio promo contest for Relay for Life. Many of you have heard the promos over the Melodies 2 Memories (M2M) Jukebox network of Dolmere's. The fact that my voice will soon be plastered throughout Second Life in these radio spots along with the fact that Oz Spade is a semi-regular Shelter visitor got me to thinking about the voice coming to Second Life. Will I like it or will I hate it? Will I use it or will I not? So that is the topic de jour for this Not A Me Me Challenge. How will voice effect Second Life and will you use it?

I think voice in Second Life will at least at first be a major distraction and very annoying. Most events I go to now if there is anymore than one or two active people is full of multiple conversations going on at the same time in the chat window. How can that work when people are talking? Talking versus chatting in a chat window are inherently two different types of communication. While I often jump in with a random remark in the chat window, I would not be comfortable interrupting people that are talking.

Also how do you know who is saying what with the new voice chat? I understand the spatial 3D kind of hype they are talking about, but, I just don't know. Another great tool for a griefer.... I wonder what W-hat already has planned? It just seems that the Linden's could be spending more time with other stuff like stability. I think voice is just one of those things that is more likely to ruin the experience than enhance it for me. Unfortunately, like most people I like to hear my voice. I can't shut up and as has been pointed out in more than one occasion in my life, don't think before I speak. The chat window has helped moderate that somewhat for me in Second Life (with the exception of the times I may have been consuming liquor while in world).

So, is Voice good for Second Life? My opinion is that is more of that Second Life expanding the boundaries of the Metaverse crap we have all suffered through on top of a pretty good game. So, it won't completely ruin the game, just be another irritation on top of the many others. It is a personal decision on whether you use it and quite frankly, I don't think it is a good option for me. So, it is best that I stay mute in terms of voice in Second Life. What do you think?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not a Me Me Challenge # 10 Response

This one comes from Rose Farina. Yaay, Rose for getting in the Blog Free For All. The Challenge is "Is Second Life like your Original Expectations or different"?

As Dol said in his response, it s a pretty challenging question. When I got in Second Life I thought it would much more like building web pages and the programming I do for a living. I thought I would explore all the builds, do a lot of building, script a lot cool things, write stuff like Mera and Dol have to connect SL and the web and really treat it like the facinating new metaverse that it was advertised to be. Instead for me, it has turned out to be like a much more interesting "mySpace".

I have made a lot of friends and gotten involved way more socially than I ever thought I would. Much to my suprise, it has become my Second Life. Do I sound like an add for Linden Labs? :) I go with friends to listen to music, I have art shows, I report on the art and entertainment scene for Second Life News Network, I am a Lovely Assistant doling out prizes on Trivial Obsession, I make and sell clothes, I am on a Relay for Life Team and on and on it goes. But, suprising enough none of it is the stuff that I had any intention of doing when I first got in.

So in many ways it has not been has not lived up to my expectations in being the metaverse of interesting new technology I thought it would be, but, has far exceeded my initial impressions in that it is FUN. Yes, there it is ..... Second Life is the most fun I have ever had playing a COMPUTER GAME. It is a game and I am not embarrased to say I like playing it!

To prove it is a fun game, I have included one my latest AVIS. It is Alice from my Dilbert series of characters I have done. Being Alice at a strip club ..... now that is what I call really living it up in the metaverse.

Not a Meme #9 - What has Second Life done for your Real Life

I was late as usual on the Not-A-MeMes. Had a busy week. I will catch up on the blog posts in one blogathon evening. This is from Coal Nelson. It is What Second Life Done for your Real Life.

Like Mera's Response, I am going to blame something that may not be Second Life's fault, but, I would rather blame Second Life than blame my lack of control. I gained 12 pounds in Second Life from last Summer to the end of January! Now 12 pounds may not sound like the end of the world, but, when that represents 10% of your body weight it is HORRIBLE.

I blame SL for all that sitting in front of the computer. I may be dancing at the Shelter, but, I am eating Cookies and Cream Ice Cream in front of the monitor. I have gone from a normal, relatively active young person, to a full fledged SLUG as evidenced by a recent picture of me painting that I have enclosed in the blog.

Actually, things have not completely gone to pot. In February, my sister and I started a diet together. Also, I started jogging again which also helps me mentally as well as physically. As of this week, I had lost 7 of those 12 pounds. So at this point I can only blame roughly a 5 pound fiasco on Second Life. Do you know what 5 pounds of fat looks like in a butcher store ..... Ewwww, it is not a pretty site there or on a little Texan gal.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Not a Me Me # 7 - Somewhere New

Mera challenged us to go somewhere new and blog about it. Great idea. I took the opportunity to go visit an artist friend of mine, Amythe Moonlight's sim. Amy has shown in a couple of my art shows and I was always fascinated by her 2D art that appears 3D and has moving prims and textures in them. She also is a builder who is most famous for her Christmas builds. So, I went and visited Love Harbor and Mystery to see the building that she and her partner, Ay6jay Carpenter have done.

The first thing you see when you hit the island is that is "Under Construction" and that is evidenced by the big crane in this otherwise rural English countryside. I have talked to Amy on a number of occasions and I know that she actually lives in Great Britain very near Stonehenge, so I was not suprised by the traditional English gardens and the Stonehenge monument in the distance.

The main portion of the sim is dominated by the Castle which has an animated dragon guarding it. The castle was still being finished up when I visited but peeking in the door you could see a beautiful statue that Amy had done.

From the castle, I went over to look at the Cafe that looks to be a place that will be a popular gathering spot in Mystery. Looking in the front door, from the beautiful patio you can see some of her art and her toy pig. Walking in the cafe, I noticed a hole in the floor with a ladder. So, of course, I went exploring.

The ladder led to a basement which had a glass wall that looked out into the Sea. The view into the Sea included schooling fish and a former civilization's ruins. Had I found the fabled Atlantis :) What a great imagination and considerable amount of talent Amy and Ay6jay have.

I left the Cafe and wandered over to the traditional English Square that had a Pub called the Red Bull which I found to be a great name. To think that there is a pub named after the drink that makes it possible for me to make it through most mornings.

Looking north in the square you can see the main house. So, I took a stroll up there to take a look. I took a peek into the library through the window and decided I had to explore.

Amy's attention to detail is amazing. The living room, dining room, bedrooms and libraries were all looking great. I could almost smell the heather in the air.

Lastly, I went and visited the actual Love Harbor itself. It is a club that is an old fashioned Paddle Boat. I noticed that there was a planned St Patrick's day party, so, I showed up and danced with the Mystery group. They were a great crowd and I really enjoyed myself.

Thanks for the Challenge. It really turned out to be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Jacek has posted the next challenge, Do you consider your avatar an extension of yourself, or a character you can control?

I have found the postings by Dolmere, Mera and Jacek's perspective very, very interesting. Most of you know what I was going to say about that, as you know that I have no problem mixing my real and second life personalities, as evidenced by my SL Profile. But, in terms of "Do you consider your avi an extension of yourself" - for me a picture says 1,000 words! [Dixie+Morph+2.gif]

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Not A-MeMe #5 - Helpful Hint

Dolmere posted up the not-a-meme challenge #5 for a how to do something in Second Life article to help newbies. To think I now have been in Second Life long enough to be able to post a newbie tip is something to be said about persitance and not about how quickly I have picked up Second Life platform. In general, I figure that for everything I do in Second Life there probably is a better way to do it than I know how. So with some trepidition I will post a "tip" expecting that any comments I get on the tip will probably turn out to be people telling me, "You know there is a better way to do that" rather than thanks from a newbie. Anyway here goes:

Newbie Tip: How to sell something in Second Life.

Most people when they get in Second Life, do some clubbing, go listen to music, go at least "window shopping" and then come to the conclusion, I need to sell something. It must be human nature. I know for me it helped justify in my own mind the hours I was spending in Second Life. I was going to make money in SL(haha). In any case, let's say Nancy Newbie, has decided to create an object to sell. Nancy has created a new hat to be worn at parties called the box head hat. She knows that people will flock to buy the box head hat because she has seen many other newbies wearing boxes on their arms, legs, feet, etc.

So, first she first creates a new primitive. She chooses to use the box primitive to create the box head hat. After further deliberation, she decides that she has always liked the look of natural wood, so, does not bother to change the texture or the default color of the box. Nancy places the box on her head and adjusts it to make sure it is what she was really thinking of and after a few minutes of arranging it she has it just right and it is now ready for sale.

Nancy has gone shopping in Second Life and she is really fascinated with the vendors that show off the products and offer them for sale. She gets on SL Exchange and admires the JEVN vendor package, but, then is somewhat taken aback by the Two Grand price tag. She thinks I will have to sell a lot of box head hats to hit my "break even" point. Nancy was a business major in college, when not being the most popular TKE Little Sister at the Frat House, and she knows all about things like breaking even, diminishing returns and market penetration. Fear not, Nancy, there is an easier way to sell that box head hat than these high dollar vendors.

Second Life provides the ability to create objects and then set permissions to share this with others. In this permission scheme is a native ability to sell the object. You basically are setting the object to be able to be taken or copied by another resident as long as they pay you a certain price for the object. This is done on the General Tab of the Object itself. You click the For Sale check box and set it to the price you would like to sell it for. In this example, Nancy Newbie set the price to be 1000 L$, so, that she can get enough capital to get one of those fancier vendors.

You have three choices in how to sell the object. The first is original. When you choose original that means after the buyer has paid for the item it will go in their inventory and disappear from where you are selling it from (i.e. the store). The second option is to sell a copy of the item which means that the items goes into their inventory but there is still the object in the store. These two are pretty straight forward. If you want to sell original, numbered art pieces for example you would sell originals and set the permissions so the next owner can sell it or modify it, but not copy. If you wanted to sell the item, such as a fabulous box head hat in a store, you might put the hat on a table with a for sale sign next to it and set it to sell a copy of itself.

The last option is to sell the contents. Let's say Nancy has made a beautiful dress. She want to get a picture of herself in the dress and put the picture on the wall. Nancy would like buyers to be able to touch the picture on the wall and be able to buy the dress. That is what contents option is for. She takes her picture using the Take Snapshot option underneath the File Menu and then she uploaded the image using the Upload Image option underneath the File Menu. She then created a object and shaped like a picture to hang on a wall and selected the picture of her in the dress as it's texture. Nancy opened this picture of the dress and went to the contents tab and dragged and dropped the dress from her inventory into the contents.

Nancy now has a picture of her wearing that great looking outfit with the dress itself in the contents of the picture. She goes to the General section of the picture (not the dress) and selects For Sale and Contents and sets the price to be 2000 L$. Nancy is thinking big. She needs to remember to set the dress permissions to be what she wants, for example, modify and not copy.

I hope this guide to Simple Selling helps all the Nancy Newbies of the world because we all know there is a shortage of aspiring Fashion Designers in Second Life :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Official Response to the Unofficial Not-A-MeMe

Dolmere Talamasca has issued the Not-A-MeMe challenge this week. Based on a Second Life Insider article, he asks the question, "Let's pretend I'm rich. I'm going to give you a sim. The only thing is, you must use that sims resources to build one (or more) statues of great figures and/or events in Second Life's history."

This is a tough one. Being still an SL Rookie in her first year, I have many personal heroes that I have met that I am tempted to mention as potential statue honorees. But, since the question is framed around "great figures or events in SL history", much as I would like to list all the fantastic builders, artists, scripters and organizers I have happened across in the last year, I have decided to talk about an event that has had a great deal of impact on SL. I would build a statue to Relay for Life.

This event gives people playing a game a real chance to make a difference in a person's life. Over 1000 residents participated and raised over 40K USD for the American Cancer Society. Beyond this, the event has provided a palette for some of Second Life's most talented individuals who put in uncounted hours building and organizing events. This year should be no different! I would build a statue park with a giant cancer awareness ribbon surrounded by statues of Aimee Weber, Jade Lily, Timeless Prototype, Fayadrina Foley, Iumi Cline, Catherine Omega ........

Kudos to all and let's have a great 2007 SLRFL!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Shelter Cares - A Relay for Life Team at the Shelter

I have posted the following in the Shelter forums, but, for those of you who may be reading my blog instead of the forums, I thought I would repost it.

As some of you know, I am trying to form a Relay for Life Team from the Shelter. I was not in Second Life in time last year to participate in this event, but, the Relay for Life is an important part of my Real Life. My mother is a cancer survivor of 8 years now, so, I am indebted to everyone that has made an effort to fight cancer. I was away at college when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent treatment, so, I guess I have always felt I wasn't there enough for things like Relay for Life help me feel like I am making an effort where I can.

In Real Life I am a Relay for Life participant. I participate now with a group from my work at the local track. I walk and jog for exercise and as you can probably guess by those who know my personality I am not shy in asking for help, so, I am proud for what little I can raise for the ACS and Relay for Life. So, this gets us to where I would like to ask you for your help.

I know the Shelter is full of energetic, caring and creative people that could do a great deal in raising money for cancer research and care programs. Because of this, I am asking for your help in this year's "Quest For A Cure" Second Life event in Relay for Life by asking you to join the "The Shelter Cares" - Relay for Life Team.

Besides, the main Relay for Life event in which we will walk through the many sims that have been set aside for the relay, there is a great opportunity for staging some Shelter Events that could be used as fund raising events. I can think of no other group of people that have more talent in doing this type of thing in terms of creative energy than the group that I have gotten the pleasure to get acquainted with at the Shelter. You guys Rock!

Though Reina is tied up in Real Life for a few weeks, she has offered to help as the co-captain of Team Shelter. I also need help from some of you better organized Shelter planners. As you know, planning and consistency are not exactly Dixie's strengths. I have bursts of creative energy, but, can fail in so many other ways. So, I really do need all the help I can get.

The Shelter Cares. Please IM me to get involved.

Check out the for more details.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My Friends are Video Rock Stars

My friends over at Bali Hai, the Merry Idiots are now rock stars. Aenea Nori has made a machina video. You can see it on her blog or on Google Video. The Merry Idiots loved being Video Rock Stars. I just hope next time they invite me :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Challenge #4 - Not-A-MeMe - SL Circa 2009

I would like to post the Not-A-MeMe challenge #4 blog. I have always wanted to use the phrase prolific prognosticator and pugnacious pundit so here goes. Dixie Starr, Second Life's most prolific prognosticator and pugnacious pundit poses the puzzler, "What will be Second Lifes biggest positive change and biggest negative change in two years (circa 2009)?"

My response:

Biggest Positive Change Prediction is that Second Life will have benefited from the overall Web 2.0 explosion because of their decision to open source the Client and Server. Second Life will have the ability to mash up with other web applications and technologies such as deep linking, friend networks for shared content, AJAX and other "function sharing", Google Services such as calendar, embedded SL Search, docs and spreadsheets. If you can get at it through the internet you will be able to integrate it within Second Life. The creative resident will have many more tools at their bidding to create a true metaverse.

Biggest Negative Change or Disappointment: I believe the Second Life has already started heading down the Gartner Technology Adoption Curve like the now well known article "Gartner says Second Life hype near peak" trumpeted earlier this year. And yes in 2009, the Linden's are no longer independent, they are owned by Google. This provides part of the big positive earlier stated, but, alas, "big brother" will make Second Life no longer the hobby playground it is for so many of us now. Google will attempt to pull back in the creativity that was released with the open source outlet that the Linden's relented to in 2007.

Bottom Line: I believe more positive than negative. Dixie Starr will still be in Second Life except she will be Dixie Starr Incorporated a wholely owned subsidiary of the Shelter Coroporation.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Challenge #3 Response - Have You Burned Out on SL

This is hard to be a not-a-meme post. So, I will do an answer from my perspective about my already fairly well documented SLuicide attempt around Thanksgiving. Though not burn out, closely related. I gave everything I own and my money to Eugena and our group account and cancelled my account . I completely swore off SL. I deleted everything on my hard drive, client, folders with fashion, etc. Everything associated with SL was gone. Even went as far as deleting bookmarks in Firefox. It was truly SLuicide.

Why did I do that? Was I overextended like some of the other bloggers noted? Though, I was doing my art and a little fashion this wasn't the reason. Was it that I ran out of things to do and was bored? Nope, I loved all the things going on; game shows, artist talk, fashion design, partying. Was it the people in SL? Not hardly, as far as I know I haven't made any enemies and I have no one even on mute. I really enjoy the people I have met in SL. So, why did I do such a drastic thing? The reason was alluded to by some of the other bloggers. It was GUILT!

I was guilty that I was ignoring my First Life. I had just had a group of fights with my boyfriend of nearly two years about Second Life. He was complaining that I was spending too much time in Second Life. That I was addicted. I wasn't paying attention to him. So in a despair, I committed SLuicide. However, turns out, the problem was not Second Life. It was the boyfriend. Boyfriend became history by Christmas and I got back in Second Life and I have a new boyfriend who isn't quite as selfish. Luckily, I had a 3 month account and the Lindens were able to reinstate me. I had lost a lot of other stuff locally on my PC, but, no big deal and best of all Eugena forgave me and is still my business partner and best friend in SL.

This brings me to the conclusion of the not-a-meme. Is it burn out or is it guilt that drives some of us away from this game called Second Life? Will we ever treat Second Life as just a part of life or are we too set in our nose-to-the-grindstone, all work no play, society? I worry a little about the guilt thing going forward, but, like the bloggers have said, sometimes you just need to take a little time off.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Tell us what you like most about Second Life. Not-a-meme

Mera Pixel Not-a-MeMe Challenge

Dolmere Talamasca Not-a-MeMe Response

The Not-a-Meme challenge is "What do you like most about Second Life". To add to the challenge, I had promised that in my next blog I would make an attempt not to mention the first, second or third person that is writing the blog in it. Indeed a formidable challenge. But, after spending 10 minutes trying to do that neat little linguistic challenge I said forget it and rewrote the following because I realized my favorite thing about Second Life turns out to be "that Second Life for me is an unabashed, no excuses chance to celebrate the person that is ME!"

Before you go and think, oh brother here is Dixie again trying to be a "smarty pants", let me explain what I mean. When I first came across Second Life it appeared that it would be a great place for maybe doing some creative programming. I had been doing some Java based websites in my evenings and thought this would be just another interesting programming experience. I still have a "How Second Life Works" word document that I created the first two weeks in Second Life where I built a structured outline of all the things I needed to learn in order to become a proficient developer within this thing called Second Life. I look at that now and think, "Wow are you weird!"

Here is an excerpt from this embarrassing document:

A class is typed. A class can be made up of multiple classes and therefore multiple types (simple vs complex class)
Types in LSL = Integer, Float, String, Key, Vector, Rotation
An object has a class associated with it
An instance is the actual usage of a class
Each class (i.e. type or collection of types) can have a variable associated with it
Each instance has states which are represented by the values of its’ instance variables
Each state has event handlers. A state must have at least one event handler otherwise it isn’t a state. Each event handler is triggered by the LSL Virtual Machine. The event handler is how the LSL VM (i.e. sim) passes data to the instance
There is a whole set of states an object has coming out of the box.

Stuff like the above goes on for about five pages of technobabble and drivel. Then one night I had a break through. I decided to stay home and drink a bottle of wine and got into Second Life. I figured since I was "In Vino", so to speak, to not open the Technobabble document and document how SL must work and just wander around to get a feel for the content. That is the night I came across the Shelter. I stumbled into a game of Payment Podium. I had so much fun playing trivia, talking with the people and then dancing until I passed out that the "Understanding Second Life and LSL document" has lain fallow since.

Instead I decided to treat it like the game it is. It is the game, that truly celebrates the ME! It especially frees the "Creative Me". Who would have thought that it would unleash the fashion designer lurking inside or really get me excited about doing abstract art again. I now get on my computer and I am way more likely to pick my graphix tablet and paint something or design a new dress than I am to do anything resembling coding. I leave the programming at the office now. The computer has become a great new toy for me. I had never been a big game player beyond Bedazzled and some Solitaire. Now the computer is the best, coolest toy I can possibly imagine. At 26, I am a kid again!

That is what is best about Second Life for ME! It is Me Unleashed! It is about the creative Me in all of us being unleashed.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Weekly Challenge - Where To Send Newbies

Dolmere Talamasca has posed the intersting approach to having blogs about things instead of about ME - ME - ME. As you all know, talking about Me is always a lot of fun, especially for Me. But, I really like Dol's suggestion of having challenge subjects to blog about it, so, we all don't get tired of hearing about Me Me. So, I am going to throw caution to the wind and talk about something besides Je, Ich, Mim and Yo.

Two places to take newbies to get them started, hmmmmm? I know what you are all thinking and "No, I wouldn't send them to my store or gallery". Though I usually do give them some clothes and talk to them about SL fashion sense. Meeting Dixie in SL, is sort of like being on the TV Show, "What Not To Wear"! Feed the hungry and clothe the newbie is my slogan.

I usually first ask them how they found out about SL and what they think they would like to do in exploring the meta-verse. That often shapes what I would suggest for places to visit with them. Lately, with all the new residents from around the world, the newbie is apt to no speak English or at least it is a second language. If that is the case I take them to McDunnough's. Jed and Faye go out of their way to ease the transition of non-English speakers. With Salsa nights and people on the staff that talk Spanish, Portugese, French and German. IshtarAngel also runs an immigration agency at McDunnough's to help acclimate the international newbie. There are usually a lot of music events, Salsa dancing and plenty of places to shop there as well.

Again, it is hard to say where I would go with them next. Muse Isle, NCI, DarkLife, and Artropolis are where I would go with them if they specifically expressed interest in music, scripting, game playing or art. Otherwise, I take them to the Shelter. I know we all would like to say we take them elsewhere. But, honestly there just is no better place to go, if you are a newbie. I know it seems like a cop out for this blog as we all know the Shelter is the best place for newbies. But, I just want to go on the Blog record and say, that the people that have made the Shelter the experience it is deserve all the credit in the world for making Second Life fun and easy to get around in. I have been in SL for over 6 months now and I still ask a newbie question to Sumar or Oni at least one week.

Wow, two paragraphs and no use of the word "Me", but, 11 uses of the word "I". Hmmm, even though I have the best of intentions, I am afraid I may be a "Me" addict. The next challenge I take will be to specifically write a blog that has no mention of me in the first, second or third person.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Free At Last - I Love My New Graphix Tablet

I got a new graphix tablet. Goodbye Mr. Mouse, nice knowing you.

I am in love with my new Wacom Intuos 3 Graphics tablet. Got some new painting software too. So, I have been off exploring what I can do in the world of digital art versus what I can do on a canvas. Great, great fun. Did I mention I love it!

Lately, I have been doing portraits in SL. Kind of strange, take a snapshot of a character that all ready is an image and use it for reference for painting. Art imitates life, in this case Second Life, I guess. So, here are some of my current portraits.

Me hard at work in my workshop, which is on the third floor of Eugena and my Gallery in Clear. I have a picture of Eugena, a self portrait, a picture of Chaos in front of a Madelbrot Set and the picture of me with some of my real life art.

Birthday painting of Ms. Reina. Reina is my adopted sister from my "Shelter Family". This is an acrylic, painted with a big brush and broad primitive strokes. Sort of like Rei! :)

This is a Rez Day picture of my friend Bethany Heart. Beth is my party sister and the leader of the Merry Idiots "family" that I love to hang with. I used finer acrylic brushes and a camel hair oil brush on this painting.

This is my concert going sister Elizabeth Antonelli whom I met originally while living with the "McDunnough Family" in SL. You see Liz at many of the live concerts and she has been a great supporter and helper in Second Life.

This is my evil Step Daddy in Second Life, Filthy Fluno. Filthy is probably the most famous artist in Second Life and now oversees the Artropolis Sim. Filthy has taken me under his wing, so to speak and let's me know when I am creating Crap instead of Art. :) This picture of Filthy as a Viking Warrior was my first commission in SL!

Speaking of Dads, my real life Dad was over to my sister and my new house we are renting a couple of weeks ago and commented that we were wandering around like a couple of Zombies (mostly he was commenting on our tired, listless appearance due to a little too much partying the night before). In any case, being a good daughter I painted him this painting of his two "Zombie Daughters". What a great kid I am!

And lastly, I made another animated TGA. I made a number of these for SL "best friends" for Christmas, like, Reina/Pati, Jacek/Roe, Roy/Karen, etc. This one was for Chaos. It transitions from the Mandelbrot Set to an oil painting I did of him. I looked at the Mandelbrot Set and said, "Hey that looks like a penguin's profile." It inspired this work. I also did some new sails for Chaos's sailboat. We went sailing which is always way cool, even though this time I was lost at sea. I felt like Rose from Titanic.

Thanks for looking at the art!

Ciao for Now.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Welcome Home

Those of you who were at the Trivial Obsession last week probably know that I was unaware that the Shelter had a slogan. It is Welcome Home. While being a little embarrased about my lack of paying attention over this last few months, I found out I was not the only one lacking this important information. Why didn't I know that? Which leads to the subject of the blog: branding.

One of the things I have noticed is that in Second Life, like with all things media related, you tend to remember things that are branded. In other words you remember people and places that have spent time developing an identity through some type of trademark. So, what kind of branding works?

Well, colors obviously appear to work. When I say "Green", you think of a certain person. If it is "Purple", you narrow it down to two people. Another thing is Avis stand out. A Skeleton, Penguin, Frogg, Elephant and Puppy instantly brings five people to mind.

So what is your trademark, your brand, your handle? My logo for my clothes is my Flying Star, unfortunately easily forgetable. I am the Starr-ving Artist for my Paintings. Which again unfortunately is not just a trademark, it is the sad truth as well. :)

Now back to Welcome Home, the Shelter slogan. Would it be more memorable if it was something more like "The Puppy Pad" or "So Simple A Caveman Could Visit Here?". Or should have I just been more aware. That probably goes without saying.

Ciao for Now.