Archive for the ‘Crown & Pearl’ Category

PradI’ve often considered doing a post solely about Prad, but the same problem kept coming up: When do I write it? He keeps doing new awesome things for me and I knew if I wrote one he’d just do something else awesome and I’d have to write another post. My whole blog could have ended up being an ode to Prad, and I really don’t like looking like a fan-girl / stalker. Finally though the time is right.

It’s so hard to know where to start, might as well go from the beginning. He was a DJ at Three Lions when I first got to know him, and I loved going along to his sets, they were a huge crowd favourite, with good reason. I just thought of him as some nice funny popular guy. Which actually sums him up really well to this day. It wasn’t until the pub closed and we all started hanging out on his roof that we started chatting a lot more and I got to know him better. And every new thing I found out about him just made him more real and more interesting.

Once Crown & Pearl started up, I knew it would be my home base, mostly because I knew Prad’s presence and influence would bring to it all the best people and aspects of Lions. It became so much more though. God I’m going to miss that place so very much, more than I ever missed Lions.

My friendly attitude and own popularity got noticed overtime and they made me an official greeter there. Then security, then manager. It was such a huge deal to me to be considered staff at Crown. And the first half year of being manager was the happiest time in my SL existence. The place’s existence, and my promotion to those positions, wouldn’t have happened without Prad.

And then there’s the art. I would be nothing in the art field without Prad. I only even noticed Flickr because of him and his own talents. I started my own Flickr account soon after and started taking my own pictures. He saw my potential and gifted me a year’s pro subscription to Flickr for my RL birthday last March. He offered me the use of his studio at his home, he gave me the pose ball script I ended up using everyday, and he gave me encouragement and support. I don’t hesitate to say that I became one of the well known SL artists in my time; I was included in exhibits, I won and got placings in many contests, I had my picture included in a well-known SL magazine, and I had a steady stream of paying clients. I also don’t hesitate to say that it couldn’t have happened without Prad.

Even this blog wouldn’t exist without Prad – I only noticed SL blogs because of him. So all the hits I’ve had (which recently went over 5000, yay!), all the people I’ve met through blogging, and the joy I’ve got from this experience in itself, again wouldn’t have happened without his influence in my life.

Prad’s been there on so many important occasions for me – one of my favourite SL memories is the day I became a mentor and Prad’s alt was there becoming a mentor too at the same session. I laughed so damn much and everything was hilarious, because he was there sharing it with me in IM the whole time. What could have been a very boring hour turned into one of my favourite hours. And that is the influence Prad has had on my SL life as a whole – when things should have been horrible or unbearable, he made it all OK and helped everything turn out alright. When I thought I stood alone, he always had my back. When I thought I couldn’t keep going, he let me know I had it in me to be great and helped bring that out in me. In every part of my Second Life he has helped me become so much more than I thought I could be and so in leaving SL I feel like I’m letting him down.

Yet even now he stands beside me and supports me. Even when I’m leaving so much behind he hasn’t gotten angry or indifferent towards me, he is still my friend today as much as he was yesterday. And hopefully years from now I will say the same.

Even though I won’t be in SL (except every now and then in the smallest regard – only for pictures), I will always do whatever I can to look out for him back. For his SL self, and his RL self. For everything I managed to achieve in SL, my RL persona is more successful and powerful, and those skills I have will continue to be at his disposal for him whenever he wants or needs them. In the same way that he has always been there for me, I will continue to do whatever I can to support and help him.

Of all my friends, I will miss him the most. I still have him on external message systems, but I’ll miss the way it always made me smile when he came up on the mystitool radar, and how the mood in a room always shifted for the better when he appeared, and his DJing, and his drunken singing, and just his very distinct avatar. There aren’t many people in either worlds like Prad who can make the world a better place in so many ways. He’s not just a builder, a DJ, a photographer, a bar owner, a blogger, he’s my friend. And that transcends pixels, even on ultra high graphics 🙂

Thank you Prad. For everything ❤

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Until recently I was making sure that every night I alternated between posting a picture to Flickr, and writing a new post here – so that I was consistently contributing to both. Flickr’s right pissing me off lately because it’s removed almost every favourite I’ve ever had added to my pictures, which is an annoying glitch that I’ve asked them to fix. Even if it wasn’t pissing me off, I’ve just been too darn busy to keep up with the expectations I set myself.

Busy in a good way though – as I’ve already said in previous posts I’m back managing Crown & Pearl (which actually involves quite a bit of work – especially with the big auction tomorrow / today). I’m also working on a writing piece for a new SL magazine (which is even more work than managing Crown and Pearl right now). Plus when I get the chance I am trying to work on building a home to retreat to on some land I now have. And still everyday making sure I never forget my friends in IM and that I hang out with them at Crown and Pearl as well.

When I go to my home it’s to work quietly on things without external in-world disturbance – when I’m there I’m usually talking to people about work matters in IM, or working on writing things up in notecards. So colour me a tad annoyed when my neighbour (from waaaay down the beach), walks on to my precious plot of land, stands there staring at me, then IMs me to say hi. At which point I’m already confused – why walk all the way up to me, on my land, just so he can IM me..? He could have done that from his own plot of land. He mentioned a few inane things that I can’t recall – because they were inane – then pointed out his home to me. It was clear where it was all going so I politely but firmly said that when I’m at home it’s for some private time and I wouldn’t be coming round his home to see it. He took this quite well considering he’d gone out of his way to find and talk to me, and he wandered off to from whence he came. I’ve lived on five different sims in my life, and hadn’t met anyone before that day who thought going around uninvited to neighbours plots was the polite thing to do. I would have thought private living quarters were where you went to escape, not to socialise (unless you choose to live with other people there).

Anywho, not sure how I got onto that. I’m quite tired so chances are I’m forgetting to edit myself right now ^^

So that’s all really – just explaining why my posts and pictures have got a tad more sporadic of late – I’m appearing lazy because I’m busy 🙂

Oh yeah, and remember to come bid on me at the auction (Feb 8th, 1pm SLT at C2P / Angel Square). Else I’ll beat you up. Unless you like being beaten, in which case I’ll refuse to beat you up.

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Me standing at the entrance to Crown & Pearl

Me standing at the entrance to Crown & Pearl

A month ago – on the new year’s day as everyone else was celebrating the start of 2009, I was announcing to the owners of Crown & Pearl that I was standing down as manager of their bar. Now, a month later – a month full of new experiences, skills and jobs – I asked if I could have my job back and they said yes (thank you Prad and Bailey <3). Why I stood down doesn’t matter anymore, what does it that those reasons for leaving have been resolved. And it feels like coming home.

So many tiny little things that most people won’t notice: Having my staff tag back, having my powers back (though Lucien noticed that since I froze him a few times today – but he totally deserved it), the ability to invite people to join the group (always a buzz when they accept), my image going back up at the entry way, wearing my staff necklace again; just lots of little things that make me feel re-complete. Even while I was away Crown & Pearl had remained my set home point, it never stopped being my real home.

Crown & Pearl is like an existing entity for me – I was there when it was born, I’ve seen it flourish and I’ve seen it wane (and always inevitably flourish again), the good times, the bad times, even when I’ve “hated” it it was only because I cared so much that really I loved it. That might all sound a bit toss-pot-ish but I’m not sure how else to express it. There is no other place in Second Life which makes me feel that way.

I’m there everyday again, so if you ever want to track me down in person you know where to start looking. And if you want to understand what is so damn lovable about the place you can always check it out yourself http://slurl.com/secondlife/Crown%20and%20Pearl/115/123/26 . See you there ^^

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On February 8th, at 1pm SLT, Crown & Pearl is auctioning off “dates” to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. It will be a large event so we’ll shift down to the new club – C2P – at Angel Square for it. Make sure you’re a member of the Crown & Pearl group in-world to get all the updates and reminders, or you can just ask me for details and a reminder and I’ll help you out ^^

We had the same event last year and it was very successful, and a lot of fun. We had a huge turn out and I’m hoping this year will manage the same.

It’s quite simple really: People get bid on and all proceeds go to the charity, and what you get if you “win” the person is a “date”. The date doesn’t necessitate anything dodgy (well unless you both really want it to!). It’s just buying an hour with the person’s charming company, for the sake of a damn good charity.

If you’re interested in being auctioned off just IM Bailey Longcloth by Thursday. So far the people up to be “bought” includes: Prad Prathivi (I’ll give you a second to drool, let me know when you’re finished…), Bailey Longcloth (co-owner of Crown & Pearl, Angel Square, Gallery of Light – if it’s classy she owns it :p), Aribeth Coronet, Rrishanna Regina, Kimber Enoch, Kitty O’Toole, Mia Deluca, Meghan Dench, and myself (of course).

There are more people than that who have said yes, that’s just a taste of why you should come along or join in. And make sure you bring plenty of lindens – it’ll be a lot of fun and for a very worthy cause 🙂

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Dancing on BD's chim at Crown & Pearl

Dancing on BD's chim at Crown & Pearl

I have a very vivid memory of being given a free chimera (“chim”) at a Second Life club one night. Maybe it stuck in my mind because the club had railway tracks running straight through it with regular train crashes, which was very disconcerting the first time it happened! But the stronger aspect that stuck with me that night was some girl I’d just made friends with dancing on a table, trying to explain to me how I could sync up with her movements. The next day I was asking around another pub – Three Lions – if anyone perhaps had some dances I could drop in my chim. I was given quite a few dances by helpful people, but the one that sticks in my mind was MJ Massey dropping something called “caramel” on me, which became my favourite dance for quite a while after that.

Basically, a chim is something you can attach to yourself which holds a sequence of dances, and you can invite other people to touch it to join in the same dance sequence as you – to sync with you. The word typically used is chim as in chimera but the best I can figure by my in-world experiences, that is just a brand name for the bigger concept. I have an attachable dance machine which does the same thing under a different name. In my Second Life I’ve had three of these chim things, and every single one has broken after a while – becoming unreliable or completely un-usable. I don’t know why, I’m a tech-phobe so it’s not something I’ve tried to figure out. I still love being invited to other people’s chims though, in fact it’s way up there as one of the best parts of Second Life for me. Let me use today as an example of why.

My close friend Bailey Dazy (BD) was doing a DJ set at Crown & Pearl – a Second Life bar that I go to everyday. She was dancing and her sets make me want to do the same so I smacked her arse (um, clicked her virtual bottom which is where she attaches the chim) and synced up with her. As more people arrived they also joined in and over time there became a group of about nine of us at its peak. Now dancing in sync in-world is really a lot more fun that it sounds. It probably sounds a bit pointless and cheesy to people who haven’t been in Second Life but it’s a rush: If you can get a group of individuals from across the world to gather in a group, and all decide to do join the chim, who are clever enough to get themselves facing the same way as everybody else already dancing on the chim, it looks damn cool. What was even better today was BD was neko (part cat) so I decided to go neko too – chucking on some ears and a tail, and everyone who joined us on the chim was either already neko or became neko to retain the look – our tails swishing around as we danced in time. We were also all females (most of the time) – even Lucien who is a male in real life and uses a male avatar, went off and chucked on a  female avatar with the neko set up before joining us, now that’s dedication. Phineas and Corben joined in at one stage – both guys who weren’t nekos, but we forgive them for ruining the perfection of our dance troupe :p

Days like today – all dancing on the chim – remind me of the good old days of large groups of friends hanging out at Three Lions. One of my favourite Three Lions memories was the “dance-off”: I had a bunch of people on my chim and someone else came along and started their own chim group. We lined up across from each other and had a Second Life version of a dance-off. It was hilarious, though admittedly the hilarity was more due to the chatter about me being the High Priestess of the Cult of Jaco. The chim dance-off though fed the atmosphere and became a topic in itself of course. That was also the day I became good friends with TheManKnownAsDaveP, who joined my chim. I’ve met some very interesting and memorable people through being on the same chim as them, and he was one of them. The stories I could tell that rotate around chims are numerous but some of those will have to be for another day.

So today was another good day, full of chimy goodness and reliving some old memories. The aesthetics of watching the chim, added to by the joy of listening to BD DJ nine Britney songs in a row at one point just to annoy her partner MJ, made for one of those days that remind me why I love the uniqueness of Second Life. It wouldn’t have been as excellent as it was if BD’s chim wasn’t such an awesome one too – this girl has great taste in everything: Clothes, music, dances. So I have to end on a big “Yay BD!” 🙂

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Dancing with Prad on my RL birthday in March, at Crown & pearl

Dancing with Prad on my RL birthday in March, at Crown & pearl

Over a year ago The Three Lions pub closed down in Second Life. The dominant personality at the pub was not the owner like you might expect, rather it was Prad. This was not a contested fact. And depending on which rumours you listened to, his decision to leave the pub was the last straw for the existence of the place. I don’t want to get into the specifics of why it closed down, all that matters for this post is that even back then Prad had a following of sorts; people enjoyed his company and thought he was a good person to be around.

Once the pub closed there was a suitable amount of aimless wandering between locations. At the time I semi got a following of my own, people who wanted to be where I was; I could get a crowd without a hassle and often did. It wasn’t me who noticed this fact first, a friend pointed out to me that I could get the “party started” and that when I left things often fizzled out. The only place I could go that already had a group of people from the old pub hanging out before I got there, was Prad’s home. He likes to joke about opening the Crown & Pearl to get us all off his roof. It wasn’t just a “place” we went, it was because it was his place.

Once Crown & Pearl was set up, I was just a regular. But I knew I had found my home. There were many other places that were set up when Three Lions went under, some are still around today, most are nothing more than a blip on the radar. I decided my loyalties were with the place, and even though I’d get frustrated now and then with things there, my loyalty was always firm: Until Crown & Pearl was shut down, I would not become a regular at any other bar. Even when it hit some very quiet dead lulls and the owners would talk about dismantling it, I stayed on. “Oh there’s more people over at Lilly’s” or whatever the latest catch-cry was, hell sometimes I knew the owners were hanging off at the competitors bars too, and even then I stayed firm and would greet everyone who TPed in at Crown and make them feel as welcome as I always did there.

Now there’s nothing wrong with frequenting other bars, I’ve been to more than I can count, but Crown & Pearl was an infant bar and I wanted it to grow and thrive and be great, so I knew what I had to do and I did it. And what I was doing got noticed. Over time I was made a “greeter” there (at the same time that Molaskey’s had been looking at taking me on as a host), then security, and one day I was made management. Each step taught me new things that I applied to the next, I feel like I earnt the powers and privileges I have there now.

So we get to the point of this post.

Every couple of weeks I get someone telling me the same thing, “you know what, you should get your own Crown & Pearl!” The reasons for the recurring comment are varied, whether the comment is said flippantly or seriously, brought on by something or nothing, but it comes up often enough that one day I said to Prad something, and I have to share his response for you to really know and understand what sort of person this guy is.

I said I’d been thinking about how it might be neat to open my own bar, and spoke about a potential opportunity to do so on a friend’s sim. Before I tell you his answer you have to keep a few things in mind: Prad had openly acknowledged that I was kind of a female him, meaning I could get parties going and keep them going, and that there was a group of people who liked hanging around me – a group that would find it’s loyalties split if I was to branch off. We’d watched the bars fighting for the same group of patrons ever since Lions had closed, and it wasn’t pretty. Despite all of this, he said to me “I’ll support you in whatever you choose to do”.

He could have disowned me and called me an ungrateful cow, he could have said it was treachery, he could have said it would be pointless and no one would go to it, or that he’d squash me like a bug. He could have given me the cold shoulder, or tried to manipulate me out of it, or taken away my privileges at Crown in concern over me abusing them to further my new pub. But he didn’t. He was calm, and he was encouraging.

How could I ever hurt a friend who would do that – who would support me in my decisions and endeavours even though he knew if I was successful that it would damage his own to some (possibly significant) extent. I had been somewhat interested and excited at the prospect of having my own bar, but when he said that I knew I could never do it. Besides the thrill (and accompanying terror) of being fully responsible for my own bar, there was no other reason to bother with it – I love the way Crown is built, the way it is run, and the people who go there. In the months since the idea of my own bar was slightly attractive to me, I have been given even more free rein at Crown; over time the owners have come to realise they can trust my judgment and my instincts and in turn have told me to feel free to use both more. There is nothing having my own bar could give me, that Crown doesn’t already do.

Now I don’t know if my own bar would have succeeded. And I no longer want to know. Crown & Pearl has graduated from infant struggling venue fighting for a select group of patrons, to a fully fledged venue with a strong daily group of regulars, and a steady stream of newcomers. I doubt very much that anything I do or don’t do at this stage would effect that. My ego doesn’t need to test the theory, I don’t overly care if I can “pull a crowd” (though it is kinda cool), what I do care about are the people sitting in that room with me who let me be part of their crowd.

At the end of the day, if you want to know the heart of Crown & Pearl, stand in the room when Prad sends out a notice that he’s DJing and see what happens. They come in fast and strong, I’ve never seen someone who picks up the stream on a whim be able to pull that off the way he does. The heart and soul of that place is the same heart and soul of The Three Lions. So should I start my own Crown & Pearl, is the wrong question. Because I couldn’t. There is only one, there only needs to be one, I’d only want there to be one.

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I feel like I’ve been hitting  lot of peaks lately, and even though it can be a bit draining, now is not the time to slow down. Rather I want to build on the momentum.

The first task I’ve dedicated myself to is working on the next picture for the Gallery of Light. Bailey as always has come up with a good and challenging theme, and I’m looking forward to tackling it.

I’ve also committed myself to regularly helping out on a future SL-based magazine, and helping out with the pictures for an SL calendar. I don’t like giving out details of future ventures until they’re actually underway, so we’ll see what comes of those two tasks. I am very keen on both though so I’m hoping both hit the ground running soon.

As usual I also have my ear out for anyone wanting to pay me for pictures – nothing quite so wonderful as being paid to do something you love. The photography business has been quite lucrative for me lately so I’m enjoying not worrying about where the next linden is coming from.

And of course I will still be spending most of my in-world time at Crown & Pearl, managing it, as such. People sometimes wonder what management I do (since it’s mostly behind the scenes this doesn’t bother me), while other people think I should get paid for my work. Either way I’m just happy to be involved with the best bar in SL. I’d like to step up my involvement though especially over the holiday season.

Finally I intend to push some small skills I have, a lot further: In particular I enjoy making poses and can see a lot of ways that I could be improving the poses I do make. In time I intend to turn this into a more established line of business connected to my photography.

All up I’m going to be busy, and happy, and keep on pushing through to find those next peaks 🙂

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