Friday, April 25, 2008

Mentors Mentors Everywhere!

I had a little time yesterday and decided to give it to a volunteer program close to my virtual heart. So, being suddenly responsible, I joined several of my fellow mentors for a mentors meeting. I know, I know. You're shocked at my sudden sudden sense of Linden patriotism.

Honestly, I would be delighted to go to more of these if the players were all a little more professional. Don't get me wrong - the Lindens are almost always lovely. And most of my mentor colleagues in attendance are a hoot. But I really do struggle with one issue that gets under my skin. It's the problem of the group IM chat window.

Cranky mentors don't play well together. If someone needed assistance, they asked for it in a chat window. And generally, people responded. This worked well for me for a few reasons.

First, I had a handle on what was going on with the grid. For instance, the problem of the skirt. My skirts would appear for 1 second, then poof, leaving a small panel across my tooshy and a transparent cylinder around my ankles with what looks like a webpage reflected in light hues. This ended up being a glitch that is being addressed. But in the meantime, here I am, walking around without a skirt, bewildered as to why my bathing suit wrap looks more like some weird restraint device. Open problem solving chat would have put me on to that answer WAY sooner than it took me to navigate the Wiki (which I find a bear as I have no knack for getting around that thing yet).

Secondly, open chat helps me learn. You all know that I stumbled into the plague a few months ago which was solved with mentors from another mentor group (God bless those guys!). It's a semi rare thing, but common enough that lots of people know how to resolve it. And yes, it is on the elusive Wiki (which I searched for over an hour and never found). Had a newbie mentor stumbled into it, and had they posted to chat, and had people responded, we would have witnessed the process by which they corrected the problem and when I stumbled upon it, I would have had the knowledge to walk her through it rather than disturb what ended up being 7 or 8 mentors (all patient, humorous, knowledgeable and a joy with whom to work).

Frankly, I hate spam. Most of us do. But there is a distinct difference between a decent conversation and a bunch of silly flirting or rambling. Instead of learning to work together, the IM chat has been limited to "Chinese speaking mentor needed at THIS PLACE." and "Resident in need of assistance regarding missing inventory. Please IM me." That "please IM me" part is now a REQUIRED thing to have lest you risk be kicked out as a mentor.

God forbid someone actually respond in chat!!! They'll spend the next 5 minutes being rudely attacked, listening to other mentors scream about the rules and how (s)he is a spammer. This has happened to me. Before I was aware of the irritation of others, I responded in chat with some satirical quip (which received chuckles and lols) and before I knew I had three or four people screaming at the top of their non existent virtual lungs about spam and how unprofessional I was. Apparently their OCD doesn't allow for the tiniest bit of patience to leave a chat tab open until things settle down so that they can safely close it, comforted in the knowledge that the discussion is over.

Of course, in our mentors meeting, all was going decently well (okay I tolerated it) until near the end when our Linden buddies make a statement about honoring the chat rules and threatening that if they are not followed, they will shut it down. The language used was beyond stern. It was flat out tyrannical.

I took several deep breaths and tried to be patient and limit my boiling irritation. I wanted to firmly make the comment that people who lose their patience over something so silly should have their mentoring tags removed and be booted from the program. Why? Because if they loose their patience and are rude over conversation that might be helping someone, imagine what they do with residents who are not their perfect little mentoree subjects.

My other mentors group, Open Chat for Volunteer Mentors, rocks. Made of mostly crusty SLers, you post a problem. There is this odd lull. (I imaging the crusty brains processing the problem, their mentoring box in their head scrolling through mentor notecards until they pull just the right one and scream, "Ah ha! By Jove, he's got it!") Then suddenly, someone clearly posts either a pointed question or a solution. If it's a question, I answer it. And during the lull as they roll their Rolodex of answers again, I thank them for taking time to help. I do mean it sincerely, but the timing of doing it is really because I feel bad for asking and disturbing their day. They may not feel disturbed but after the drama in the other chat, I feel compelled. Eventually they work out a solution, we get the resident on their way, and we exchange sarcasm and tea and crumpets.

I think my hesitation and mousy approach to asking developed from drama abuse. Why do I say that? Because that kind of behavior is seen in women who were abused by husbands, children who were abused by parents, and weak men when they approach someone in need of something for themselves. It's a behavior that takes years of therapy and behavior modification to overcome. The result of all of this?

I'm a victim of SL Mentor Drama Abuse.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't Mess with the Best

Said one notable Girlfriend having crashed, "Oh darn it! And I need a makeover!".

Word of advice: if you are going to run a scam, or try to pick up women with "free makovers" don't try it on a Girlfriend. And by the way, for those of you out there who don't know better, don't try it looking like a 12 year old middle schooler who doesn't know how to pull up his pants.

It was a little after 6:30 SL when a Girlfriend posted to the Hey Girlfriend group that someone offered her a free makeover. Of course, the IM noted a strong opinion of this uh... person. His name is Dre Back. His profile shows him as a 20 year old American male. He's an expert on make overs you know - with no groups, no profile "about", no interests and no picks. But he's a makeover pro - for $500 of your hard earned Linden.

With that, we decided we ALL had to get in on that offer. So our Girlfriend TPed us over for a personal mob vending of the boy. We passed the champaign, and rescued other helpless gals from the uh... makeover... Just goes to show that you don't mess with a Girlfriend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

You know when...

I’m in a group IM with the Genovians and also another with Hey Girlfriend… It started like this…

You know you've been in SL too long when....

  • Half of your inventory is missing?
  • You are ruthed and naked?

It didn’t take long for it to go here…

  • You attempt to click a RL building to see who built it or worse, try to derez it
  • You start talking at length with a really beautiful woman in real life, and in your mind you are just positive she's a guy
  • You walk by a bench near a bus stop and are surprised there are no campers on it
  • You look for a lm to go to the grocery store
  • You get impatient and say to yourself "damn this lag"
  • Your excuse for not cuddling or kissing is 'the balls are broken and the menu will not open'
  • You look for the inventory box to get dressed
  • The TV doesn't look right because there isn’t a T.E. HUD in the upper left corner
  • You start shopping in RL based on your taste in SL
  • You see someone annoying and look for the "mute", “eject”, “ban” or “orbit” button
  • You see a girl with *really* big breasts and bad makeup and think "newbie"
  • The local teen agers toilet paper your house you scream out your window "GRIEFER", begging for all of your friends to come help
  • You actually give money to money trees instead of trying to grow one
  • You’re having a bad day with a jerk at work and reach for your Mystitool to resolve the problem
  • You zoom in to see something down the aisle at Wal Mart
  • You’re able to rez your house completely furnished, exactly where you want it
  • You are running late and walk outside your front door into a flying pose thinking you’ll make it faster than walking
  • You start to talk/think in roleplay format
  • You try to attach a tail and ears and walk out the door.. before your friends commit you to a mental hospital
  • Your house ends up filthy because you don’t have to dust or vacuum in SL
  • Your acquaintance looses her job for calling her manager "master"
  • You wish getting a tan was as easy as changing skins
  • You get your hair cut like your favorite ETD hair
  • You try to dance in RL like you do in SL, even though you could never dance
  • You wish you could send your identical alt to work so you can stay home
  • You catch yourself in a clothing store mirror doing poses from SL
  • You grab someone's wallet at the grocery store thinking it’s their profile
  • You are at work and try to zoom or walk around a regular web page.
  • You buy a retractable leash for your dog with the brand name “flexi” and start pointing and yelling at your dog, “Look! Flexi prim!” (This actually happened to a girlfriend!)
  • Your sons figure out that the “hot girl” on your laptop is YOUR avatar, sending them to therapy for 15 years
Thanks to the members of both groups for their witty repertoire and well, much loved sarcasm.


My friend was helping me set up Flikr so that I could transfer my photos from SL straight into the browser DB. I had to set up an account which requested my birthday. So I went to go look at my rez day and discovered it was today's date, one year earlier. I rezzed on April 12th, 2007.

Over the last SL year, I lost a good acquaintance to drama ending a 4+ year RL relationship. I've lived in one club, and three homes, the latest a FABULOUS tree house I love. I was selected as a SL mentor. I lost a business, but became more than viable and was in demand for a variety of other jobs. I've modeled. I've beat the plague and countless griefers. I've helped run a fashion agency. I've helped give a start to six businesses. I got a face and shape I like having. I've visited an alien world, Africa, New York, Australia, Russia, and countless other countries and times. I toured the Titanic - both old and new. And I have consulted on countless business deals and personal matches for professionals.

I've made some wonderful SL buddies who have become RL acquaintances. And while I have had no real love interests, I have had a date (or really more of a hanging out) on occasion. I have become a blogger not once, but three times over. And we held the top 100 SL sites for several months. And I have a network of professionals, experts, and talented artists, DJs, sculptors and others, all whom I admire.

Tarsis talked me into SL with much effort. He welcomed me with a gift of $50 Linden to buy an outfit, took me shopping and put up with my indecision over hair. He started something that day because for those people I know well, I pay it forward. Thank you my friend, for not letting me dig in my feet.

So here is to another year. Pay it forward always and live with love in your heart for those you like, but especially for those who are hard to love.

Blessings always-

PS: Guess who talked me into giving up my red hair?!?! Darn her!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Out of Africa

So RL ate my life. I admit it. I'm a work-aholic with no social life and a blog about a second life I also don't actually have at the moment. You should all be so proud. :)

None the less, some fabulous virtual friends and I were standing around talking one night about Africa. You know - the place with the zebras... and princes chasing pretty blondes in boats.

So this guy Life said we should check it out. He zips us over there for a hot air balloon ride, a little wading and a chance to play with the wildlife. (Probably the only wildlife I'm likely to every play with too...)

The elephant is so sweet. He'll raise his trunk occasionally ... And watch your sounds for the hyenas. (Or were they dingos, guys?) The snakes can also be a bit nasty so keep your distance. But enjoy a swim and snag an inner tube if you can!

**When I posted this, I had no idea it was my rez day. Funny how things sneak up on you!**