Saturday, May 31, 2008

How To Make Friends in SL

While discussing ways of recruiting new subjects in Tiny Empires, I may have made a friend.

Thalia Jie: Maybe we should go on a fishing expedition?
Ribbons Whitfield: I'm happy to go along and hold the bait
Ribbons Whitfield: Anything I can do to be helpful
Thalia Jie: <---- happy to BE the bait.
Ribbons Whitfield: Hey, anyone named for the Greek muse for shoes is hold worthy. In fact, we should just bow down.
Thalia Jie: *laughs* ... Ribbons I think we can be good friends. :-)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cuba Drool

I was putzing around SL a few weeks ago and TPed over to Cuba, mostly because of Looker Lumet Photography's piece. Easily one of the best photographers in SL, Looker provided pictures that were so - there is only one word I can think of that describes it - romantic that you nearly wanted to lick your monitor. Then again, Cuba has always inspired that in me so maybe I am biased.

In part, Looker had some help. The Emvee Cuba SIM creator's textures are so rich and delicious that three quarters (if not more) of Looker's work was done. Then again, I know nothing of photography so don't take my word for it. Visit Cuba yourself.

When you land, pick up your tourist camera and look for the blue camera spots. I did and the best I could come up with is here - note the blue block on the right. Idiot proof photography. Perfect!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One More...

Missed one!

For our professional computer geeks, educators, programmers, tech journalists, content developers, etc etc, the Virtual Worlds Expo is a go for LA (California, USA) in September.

"Virtual Worlds Expo is dedicated to helping businesses harness the power of virtual worlds to engage with their customers, partners and employees. Conference agenda will include consumer worlds, enterprise worlds, investment and strategy, education uses of virtual worlds, virtual law and visionary/future development" These guys pick up heavy hitter sponsors like Electric Sheep Company, IBM, SL Grid, Virtual MTV, Cisco, etc.

Interestingly, if you sign up now, you same some MAJOR Linden... er... um... dollars. As in US dollars!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good Stuff to do in (and out of) SL

Two biggies this week. Yeah yeah, I know. I'm a little late getting them out. So sue me. [Shut up my friend(s) you- know- who- you- are- attorneys- who- have- nothing- better- to-do- than- hang- out- in- SL!!!]

The first is that it is prom season. I know, you're dying for the details. Me on the other hand, I'd not even mention it - reliving a prom I never went to in the first place (for very good reasons) doesn't sound like a party to me. So "why bother?" you ask? It's for a really great cause: the American Cancer Society.

Stealing from the promos....

"There will be live music, fabulous DJ'ing, dancing, and more encompassing four islands. Scheduled to perform on Saturday night are Maximillion Kleene and srv4u Conacher. Scheduled for Sunday night are Jano Runo and Dann Numbers. Mixing it all together both nights will be Gwen Carillon. The music will be broadcast across the four regions.

"Each night there will also be a very special, one-of-a-kind auction for the Prom King & Queen crowns and the Prom Crashers Party King & Queen crowns! The crowns will go to the highest bidder, and all bids will be paid directly to Relay for Life.

"It wouldn't be a Prom without the pictures! Photos will be taken for a small donation, and yearbooks will be made available after the Prom.

"If you have any questions, feel free to contact Tigerlily Koi, Haedon Quine, or any other member of the Designers in Seclusion Relay for Life Team!"

Who: American Cancer Society's Relay for Life
What: Prom 2008
Where: Skin City (99, 105, 586)
When: Saturday, June 14th from 3pm to 7pm SLT and Sunday, June 15th from 5pm to 9pm SLT.
Why: To raise money to help support efforts to find the cure for cancer.

In other news... grab your wallet, your swimwear and your non prim business cards and head on down to Tampa, Florida (USA) for a little real life partying in September. You think I'm nuts? The folks at the Second Life Community Convention (SLCC) opened their registration for the hootenanny last week. "Who goes to these things?" you ask? SLers. Builders. Somebodies. Business people. Socialites. Fashionistas. Scripters. DJs. Nobodies. Musicians. Educators. Basically, everybody.

"Huh?" you say? In 2005 a bunch of SLers enacted a "real life invasion of Linden Lab" as they put it, arriving in San Francisco. It ballooned from there into an international gathering of people from all over SL meeting in RL. This is what I officially call Worlds Colliding.

Ticket prices are $220 USD (or $58,220 Linden). Register Here.

Interested in becoming a SLCC sponsor? Contact Nexeus Fatale. Questions? Contact Nexeus Fatale. Complaints? Contact Nexeus Fatale. Questions about housing? Contact Nexeus... wait... no... Call the Marriot.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I do... really... I do.

I received a message from someone who had asked why I am taking on this new endeavor. Let me begin by saying that I am creating the wedding blog I do. because I am absolutely nuts.

Few people know this about me but in RL, weddings are part of my work. I'm nuts about joyful moments in peoples lives and I love weddings. Over the years, I've picked up a few tricks here and there, heard and shared some good advice, and drooled over the occassional gown. I've helped brides pair just the right veil, select jewelry that complimented rather than overpower, and said "you know, you can always buy shoes and have them dyed to match that perfect bridesmaid gown" at least 300 times.

I have seen real life Jewish weddings, Chinese weddings, Korean weddings, and African weddings (wait, no, that was an African funeral...). I helped plan an outlandish wedding for one very cool retro hipster who absolutely loved Marlyn Monroe, putting her bridesmaids in peacock blue ball gowns with matching arm length gloves and enough bling on wrists and tiaras on heads to blind you. I have helped to plan simple, traditional, intimate weddings with candlelight dinners and clean lines on the tablecloths. I also used to teach basic etiquette to small groups. Real life professional, no. But a graduate of finishing school, modeling school and a bunch of other schools that mean little to anyone but etiquette junkies.

With society being what it is, etiquette seems rarely appreciated with one exception: your wedding. It is at that point in time when people break out Emily Post and panic when they discover that yes, you have to put a postage paid envelope in your invitation if you expect a RSVP, and no, it is not appropriate that you ask for money as a gift. Yes, you have to invite that guy who makes the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard every time he swallows just because he happens to be the brother of your finance. No, you do not have to invite your ex BFF from gradeschool just because you promised each other when you were eight. And yes, I advise that you consider your preference of a formal wedding, semi formal, casual, or informal. There actually is a difference. And honestly, the gifts really should be delivered to the bride's mother's home, not taken to the wedding or reception.

I do. is dedicated to all the wonderful things that make up a perfect SL wedding: you, your friends, and the best photographers, designers, places, even planners SL has to offer. Here's to you!

God bless!

Ribbons Whitfield

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yet Another Milestone...

While these things mean nothing, I cannot help but to admit that I was a little giddy this morning when I logged on and discovered that Ribbons Learns to Swim made, for at least a moment, the Second Life Top Sites number one slot.

Thanks to all the readers who helped make it happen. We're now officially well, officially... Official. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Milestone...

[19:29] Catty Loon: Thanks everyone
[19:30] Ribbons Whitfield: Wow... I did not just do that
[19:31] Ribbons Whitfield sits, stunned.
[19:31] Catty Loon: What did you do??
[19:31] Ribbons Whitfield: Did I just contribute fashion advice????
[19:31] Catty Loon: Yes you did!!!
[19:31] Ribbons Whitfield chokes, falls over onto the floor
[19:31] Catty Loon fans Ribbons
[19:31] Catty Loon: Someone have some smelling salts?
[19:31] Gloriana Congrejo: She choked, do the Heimlich
[19:31] Catty Loon: It's ok Ribs'll be ok, you'll survive this
[19:32] Ribbons Whitfield groans and mumbles incoherently
[19:32] Catty Loon fans faster
[19:32] Catty Loon: Someone slap her!
[19:32] Catty Loon isn't good at violence
[19:33] Ribbons Whitfield: Don't... You can't... Yvette must not know.
[19:33] Ribbons Whitfield sits up, then passes out again.
[19:33] Catty Loon: Yvette would be proud!!!

It's always so heartwarming to know you have Girlfriends to help you through difficult times.

Brazilian Bossa Nova Moves!

It is with some delight (and giddiness and excitement and joy and woot!) that we've moved the Brazilian Bossa Nova night to the high in Skiddaw.

Thanks to the generosity of Ribbons Learns to Swim friend Nexeus Fatale, Tarsis will spin all your Bossa Nova favourites on Wednesday nights. Join DJ Taris, Geda Hax and the team for a little salsa, samba, some hip wiggling and maybe a caipirinha or two.

And we promise, no virgin (nor shoe) sacrifices.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Virgin Sacrifice

A nice conversation over why I am no longer wearing shoes in SL....

You: I've sacrificed some of them. There was this whole virgin and volcano thing....
You: I convinced the village women that my shoes were a greater sacrifice than, well, me.
Marcus Chalet: The shoes were virgins?
You: They were.
Marcus Chalet: My shoes...they've been around.
You: Yeah, I don't want to know about your slutty shoes.
Marcus Chalet: The volcano god would invite them in to drink hot lava and tell stories - but would not want them as a sacrifice.

Words of Advice for SL People

People often ask me if I have any words of advice for young people. Well here are a few simple admonitions for young and old. Never interfere in a boy-and-girl fight.

From William S. Burroughs' "Words of Advice for Young People"

What is amazing to me is the number of people in SL who are struggling. Granted, we are all struggling (that's just life). But the number of people SL draws who seek out it's comforting nothingness as a means to escape, no avoid their RL is astounding to me.

So, some thoughts.

1. You are not as popular as you think. With hundreds of thousands of people in SL, you are one. Callie Cline is an exception. You are not Callie Cline. And by the way, do you have ANY idea how many people have NO IDEA who she is?

2. If you don't know how to make RL relationships work, you probably will not be able to make SL relationships work. SL relationships have their own set of challenges in addition to the RL relationships. To expect that you'll make a go of it without the work and effort is silly. Worse, you bring your standard of how you "do relationships" to SL and apply it there. If it isn't working, either you are doing it wrong, or you are choosing the wrong people.

3. To our ladies, if he dumped you because of a rumor or something someone said, count your blessings. If he truly cared about you and was man enough to be a good mate, he'd have come to you to work out the problem. If your relationship is so flimsy that you two are not working together in complete trust and harmony, then you don't have a relationship. You have a partner in a game.

4. Pride. Pride gets you into all sorts of trouble. Being honest with yourself and admitting that it's okay that you do not know everything will get you further than bragging that you are something you are not. That will get you into trouble every time and likely cause much drama. By the way, if you really THINK you are all that, and others are upsetting you telling you you aren't take a reality check. Maybe you are and you have bad friends. Or maybe you aren't and you're kidding yourself.

5. The irrational. If you see someone who one minute claims they are desperate, then the next is bragging in the same conversation, I would advise that you question their stability. Which means you question why they are in SL. Which means you ask if this is a person with whom you should be working/involved.

6. In SL, people claim they are a lot of things. If you stumble into someone who claims that they are a CEO or a famous person, it isn't likely that they are who they say they are (official events aside of course, although, frankly, even then you never know as expert SL handlers may be running their avatar on their behalf). I have been blessed to know a few RL celebrities (business and entertainment alike) and most opt to run around SL incognito. That noobie might just be Bill Gates.

7. Given people are not always what or who they claim to be, have you considered how simple it is to create a relationship of trust? In most cases who end up on my proverbial couch, it usually takes not more than two minutes to get someone to open up. I know their story, their fears, their kids names, their home town, what they drive and sometimes even where they work. I might know where they hang out, if they go to church, where, the college from which they graduated and the fact that they go to the movies on 2nd and Wood every Tuesday night at 7pm. If I were someone of bad intentions, I would have all I need to track you down. "Oh that will never happen to me" is something I have heard all too many times, and sometimes, never heard as I have held the hand of the survivor because "me" didn't make it. Protect yourself and protect your kids.

8. You are only as good as the choices you make. If you choose to be with people who treat you poorly, do not blame them. Blame yourself for choosing to be with people who treat you that way. This, I think, is the source of a LOT of SL drama. I've been fortunate. My friends in SL work together to be friends. My acquaintances, while all kind, nice people, may or may not (we'll see!). But I make sure that the people whom I give some trust are people who guard against being eaten by drama.

9. "But she's my friend and I want to help her!!!" (If you had any idea how much this one is a red flag....) If you are going to help anyone, the first rule is that you cannot become a part of the problem issue. You MUST be able to draw a line and stay objective. If you are unable to do that, then you can be supportive but you probably will NOT be able to help anything. You may bring comfort. You may remind someone that they will not walk alone. But help? No. Call a wise friend. Call a therapist. Call a clergy person. Call a psychiatrist. Call a social worker. Or call the police to help bring someone to a place where they can get their mental health back.

10. Second Life is not a life. To get a life, you need to meet REAL people in REAL life. While SL is not just a game, it does not count as a life. A life is when you get up from your keyboard, get your shower, step outside into daylight (remember that?) and go meet real people in a real place... Like maybe a cafe. Or a bookstore. Or church. Or a park. Then you, get this, talk to them. THAT is where you start having a life.

Burroughs finishes off his advice with the following- it just seemed so appropriate to SL business I couldn't help but to share it.

An old junk pusher told me -
Watch whose money you pick up

Monday, May 19, 2008

Everybody is doing it.

Doing a read-by on Wrath Pain's blog and stumbled upon this nice little quiz (I could never do him justice). Turns out, everyone is doing it. In light of my new decision this year to be a follower, I've opted to start here by being one of everybody. We'll see how this works out.

1. What time did you get up this morning? — 3:34 am
2. Diamonds or pearls? — Well, diamonds are quite lovely, especially for evening attire. I'm probably about the age that I can carry them off without being tacky. But I am a classicist and appreciate the soft glow that a strand of real pearls provides, softening features and bringing about a general sense of femininity.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?— Hmmmm Honestly I cannot remember but it may have been the last Bond film.
4. Favorite TV show?— Don't watch a lot of T.V. but I have always been fond of the Golden Girls.
5. What do you usually have for breakfast?— Lunch.
6. What is your middle name?— Michael. No I am not kidding.
7. What food do you dislike? — Seafood & veggies. Don't mean to steal this from "everyone" but it's really really true.
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment?— My i-pod.
9. Favourite sandwich?— Oooo wow.... um. Probably the taco sandwich ring I make for tea parties
10. What characteristic do you despise? — Selfishness- you know, the "all about me" people who forget that they live in a community and their actions DO impact others. ALL of their actions. And I really despise those who say, "That's their problem." No honey, it's YOUR problem because you making them cranky makes for cranky communities and then you wake up one day and live in a place YOU hate.
11. Favorite item of clothing?— my jeans and either my Ropers or my 4" heeled sandals
12. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be?— World Tour. I kid you not.
13. What colour is your bathroom?— At the moment, it's beige with white spackle streaks. Last room in the house yet to be refinished.
14. Do you make friends easily? — Friends? No. Acquaintances? No, not really.
15. Where would you retire? — You mean I get to retire? Wow. I thought I'd be stuck in the tree house forever. That was a nice thing! Thank you for sharing!
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday?— Well, my 22nd was pretty memorable. Not really a good memory but a memory none the less.
17. Favourite sport to watch? — At the moment, HOCKEY! Futbol, football, rugby, pool and ski ball.
18. How many towns have you lived in?— 17 I think. I put cities in there too.
19. How many people do you think will send this back?— pft
20. What’s on your bedroom floor right now? — my life.
21. Favorite saying?— Fabulous! or Absolutely! I have no idea where I picked them up. They are mildly annoying I am sure.
22. When is your birthday?— Yeah, see, we don't discuss that day.
23. Are you a morning person or a night person?— I perk up around twilight and warm up at sunset.
.24. What is your shoe size?— Little.
25. Pets?— Two dogs, a cat, and a friend's 38 year old son.
26. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?— Nothing you want to hear. Everyone SAYS they want to know but they never really do.
27. What did you want to be when you were little?— Astronaut. Really. Until I was about 15. I couldn't keep up with the math.
28. Which talent would you most like to have?— Self value. And maybe something creative like all the rest of my friends.
29. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?— Absolutely. NO WAY. Hooray! and probably "You may want to turn your volume down a bit" which isn't very SL friendly unless you are actually on voice.
30. What is your favorite flower? — Anything unusual (and no, birds of paradise are not unusual). I had a boyfriend in college who used to take me to wildflower fields and pick me bouquets. I really dug that.
31. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?— The one where I get to take it off.
32. What color are your eyes?— Like all the rest of "everybody", gray blue green pending mood, tears, nuclear explosion and the occassional drink.
33. What was your favorite toy as a child?— the big huge pillows I was allowed to use to build forts. And interestingly, I was into this construction toy I had... *thinking*
34. Summer or winter?— Oh geeze, SUMMER. Like that was even a question.
35. Hugs or kisses?— Huggles and smooches that help express my love to my love. I don't have a love...
36. Chocolate or Vanilla— Tin Lizzy. No really. But with almonds or maybe pistachios. Or Chocolate. And yes, you can mix chocolate with SO MUCH.
37. Do you want your friends to send this back to you? — I'm mildly curious. But it won't kill me.
38. When was the last time you cried?— Cried? Cannot remember. I don't cry. I got a little misty at a dog memorial last week.
39. What is under your bed?— dust and shoe boxes.
40. Who is the friend you have had the longest in SL?— Well, Tarsis. You know, it's his fault you all have to put up with me.
41. What did you do last night? — Came off the job, ate, hit the sack and tossed and turned from flashbacks. Oddly, they weren't the ones that everyone would be concerned about.
42. Favorite smell? — Onion rings and cooking onions. Certain flowers. The smell of the Montana mountain air up near Glacier Park. Fresh pears. I could go on forever.
43. What are you afraid of?— Mean criticism that has an impact other than on my ego (which if I stopped to think about it, the only way that happens is if it hurts my ego).
44. Plain, sweet, or salted Popcorn?— Not a big popcorn fan. Prefer it with a ton of butter. Always hated kettle corn but a guy made a special batch for me on Saturday and added Cajun seasoning. THAT was fabulous - warm, sweet AND salty! It was a party in my mouth (shut up Wrath). (Shut up Nex.)
45. How many keys on your key ring?— Depends on the day. At least 6. As many as 40. I don't have a "ring" I have a (c)karabiner. A big one.
46. How many years at your current job? — Eight I think... although this latest twist, since Halloween last year
47. Do you have any scars?— Sure do. I'm the daughter of a jet-setting playboy. You'd have scars too.
48. Favorite day of the week?— I kinda dig Thursdays. It's kinda like, "Whew! I made it!" Then Mondays cause you know, "Whew! I made it!"
49. How many people will you be sending this to? Sending? Nada. Posting, Absolutely.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some people deserve recognition.

[20:31] You: How DO you want to make the blog?
[20:31] Marcus Chalet: Oh, I have a draft.
[20:31] You: Send it darling. I'll review it.
[20:32] Marcus Chalet: I'll tune it up a little, then.
[20:32] You: Do Marcus. It's due on Friday
[20:34] Marcus Chalet fades into the sunset, unmentioned in the blog...

There. Happy? LMAO

Friday, May 9, 2008

Show Me Some Skin

I'm hanging out with pals yesterday and a girlfriend rushes in all aflutter. She'd been helping another friend with two upsetting matters. One, a rl boyfriend and two, a much more upsetting issue, a stolen skin.

Shopping Cart Disco recently posted a note received from a rather upset RL graphic artist who claims that her work was stolen by Minnu Skins. She provides a series of photos (such as pictured) that demonstrate the accused rip off. Frankly, they appear convincing.

While a copyright violation is possible, perhaps even likely, I would urge everyone to take pause. Simply because someone claims their work has been compromised does not necessarily mean that it has indeed been stolen.

When I was first approached on this matter of content theft several months ago, I encouraged a self governing board to gather, made of skilled artists who can help review these matters and bring some fairness to the system. Otherwise, liars can take graphics that do not belong to them and make a skin (or other item), and liars can claim that their work has been taken and ruin reputations. Unfortunately, no such board exists (to my knowledge) and we continue to have little recourse in the interest of truth. Mediation seems to me to be a viable SL Content Theft option for resolution.

I do not know the Minnu Skins creator, nor am I of the acquaintance of Danae Kotsi. But I do feel it necessary to make the call towards temperance and perhaps, encourage a sense of justice - that one is innocent until proven guilty and everyone has a right to defend themselves.

Let us all hope this is a mistake, one that can be properly explained. Otherwise, the SL Drama will have an impact in lives beyond the pixel. I can only imagine the stress, frustration and perhaps anger of Ms. Kotsi. The feelings of Minnu remain a curiosity, but I have no doubt are not pleasant.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Kiss Kiss Kiss

So we're hanging at the high for the Thursday Night Dance Party and I am hostessing for Nexeus Fatale. While sitting on the bar, in an IM with Hellman, I engage in a conversation about the value of sticking out one's tongue. You know, like this :P . The conversation ended up somewhere along the lines of don't stick it out if you don't intend to mean it. Next thing I know is the following... IN MAIN CHAT:

*Hellman stands up, looks Ribbons deep in the eyes, raises her chin lightly with his fingers, kisses her full on the mouth and licks the tip of her nose lightly, "Yes, I was ready to use it."
*You: Yikes!
*You: Er um...
*Hellman sits back down and smiles
*Ribbons Whitfield turns red and falls backwards over the bar
*You: Some guy. Does that and leaves me on the floor...
*Hellman picks her up and sets her back on the bar

Word to the wise - if you are going to randomly go around kissing strangers, make sure they are not bloggers, twitterers, Live Journalists, or MySpacers (etc.).

Nexeus chooses this moment to play a new song (appropriately titled) and after, assumes responsibility... you know, in his own way...

*Bashir: kiss kiss kiss
*Ribbons Whitfield sighs
*Nexeus Fatale: who what?
*Nexeus Fatale: :-p Ribblet don't be blaming things on me!

All I could think was "Oh no. Here we go again with the :P"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My pretty...

While updating my Twitter, I discovered something kinda neat. Ribbons Learns to Swim friend Nexeus Fatal twittered that he was recently added to a nifty site called Alltop.

Alltop takes RSS feeds from any given topic and drops them into category pages - anything from shopping to music to virtual worlds - kind of like a dashboard of info of interest to you. Nex was recently added as his own box (congrats Nex!). But what I dig about this is that DANGIT! They list FREEBIES. YES FREEBIES! Freebies my pretty!

They also list news. And some gossip. And Linden updates. And professional SL services. And charitable events (hooray!). And some other stuff of interest. And did I mention FREEBIES???

Yup. They've got virtual worlds covered.