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Posts Tagged ‘three lions’

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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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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After reading Kimber’s very loving and touching post about me on her blog (I plan to return the honour sweetheart); reading Bailey’s Thanksgiving post on her own blog; and recently deciding to temporarily drop my friends pick in my profile, I’ve decided to write a public “yay” for Bailey Longcloth.

Bailey was one of the most important people in my SL life before I ever fully appreciated it – she was a manager at Three Lions (RIP) and is one of the owners of Crown and Pearl. It took me far too long to step up and get to know her properly – I thought she wouldn’t be interested it getting to know me! It took an argument involving someone else before we finally talked openly and freely with each other, and I think mutually realised how similar we really are: Our sense of humour, the way we see the world and how we should express ourselves in it, and the people we hold dearest.

She gives so much to SL, the latest gift is The Gallery of Light: When galleries across SL are closing down or considering closing down because of the open sims disaster, she opened up one instead. And not just any gallery – one that openly invited and accepted new-comers to the art scene. It can take quite a bit to break into the SL art world because it is understandably flooded with talent, and things like taking part in her gallery is a great way to get some exposure and to even feel like your art is being appreciated and enjoyed.

On top of her generous nature she is also a sweet person, perhaps too sweet. I’ve watched people use her and take advantage of her, and her forgive them for it and not confront them in the way they deserve. I’ve done my best to support her during those times and try to help right the wrongs, and encourage her to act on that deep well of strength I see in her. She’s a fascinating and multi-layered person, and the more I find out about her the more I like 🙂

So next time you’re hanging at Crown, or living on the land you rent from her, or viewing her gallery, or looking at her own creations of art which I know will eventually take their place among the great SL art-works, maybe consider flicking her a quick thank you. Because your SL wouldn’t be as great as it is, without this lovely woman being part of it.

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I’ve spoken about Crown & Pearl in many of my posts. It’s a bar like no other in SL, and to me that’s not just because of it’s unique design, or the talented DJs, it’s about the regulars: The people who turn up everyday and make you glad you do too. One of the special things about our regs is we’re all very open and welcoming to new people, we want everyone to feel wanted there and enjoy themselves as much as we do. Which is a too rare thing in my SL-pub experiences. There are endless things I could comment on about the culture and atmosphere of Crown, but today there’s one special aspect that I want to talk about: The Women of Crown.

There is a sort of core group of women at Crown, it’s “membership” and numbers shifts and changes of course, but there appears to be a constant among us: The way we joke with and look out for each other. So often women in RL and SL fight over men, or bitch behind each others backs, and are never really “friends” in a meaningful sense. Sure we get some of the occasional nasties at Crown, but the dominating and long-lasting trend is we have each other’s backs, like a community feeling to the place. Along the same lines it makes sense that a bunch of people at Crown end up being “related” to each other in SL families, which is definitely a topic I will return to.

That other key component I mentioned was the way we joke with each other. If you ever visit Crown at night (and you should), you’ll find us women all flirting with each other like mad, and loving it. It’s playful and light-hearted and down right hilarious a lot of the time. Some of us are bi-sexual, but somehow it still never gets taken the wrong way, as it often does if you flirt like that with men in SL. We have plenty of men around who get the flirting too, but most of the sexual banter does seem to fall between the females.

Now there were two recent comments made in SL which got me thinking about this topic. The first was the other night when Kimber said how neat it was that instead of fighting over men us ladies were more interested in comparing our RL boobs with each other, which I thought was a good summary of the mood there.

The second comment was one made a while back by someone who had said we were, and I quote “pseudo-lesbians”. Now I don’t know if it was meant in a disparaging way, I suspect then was a bit of judgment going on there, but it kinda ruffled my feathers. To assume that we are not lesbians or bisexual and just playing around was the initial assumption there – believe it or not some women are actually attracted to other women. I know, shock horror right *sighs*. But more so the point is women don’t get carried away when they flirt with each other – try flirting with a man sometime and see his mind start to tick over.. “maybe I really stand a chance here, maybe she means it, yeah I’m sure she means it, I’m gonna score, I’m gonna score..”. Women as a general rule don’t seem to get carried away like that. Not because we’re not lesbians, but because we realise that a lot of the time flirting is just fun and funny and we know where to draw the line. Well, except me, I’ll push the line sometimes, but what I mean is I know it’s just play-time as do the other women at the Crown.

There are plenty of very open and very secret and plenty in-between relationships between people at Crown, as there are anywhere. But as a general rule we all feel comfortable playing with each other in open chat. It is a comfortable laid-back atmosphere that I’ve never felt anywhere else except Three Lions which is a pub that closed before Crown started up (Lions tried – unsuccessfully – to resurrect a few months back).

It’s hard to explain the awesomeness of Crown to someone’s who’s never been there. So tell ya what, next time you’re in world, IM me and ask me for a TP so you can come and see for yourself, and I’ll introduce you to the beauty of the Women of Crown 🙂

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For the first 30 days that you are in SL, you are officially, a noob. You might be able to circumvent the title for some of the people some of the time, but dude there is no way you’re going to hit the cool of a non-noob in that first month. So say me and so it must be. Part of this 30 day categorization is because in SL you’re extremely unlikely to get a job in your first 30 days, plus for those first 30 days you qualify for the money-trees that keep people like tarou coming to Crown & Pearl every single day just to fleece us of our good will. Dude, at least say hello >.<

Ok, enough of that, this is about me. My first month of utter noobness. It happened so long ago that I figure it’s about time I record it lest the memory fade into pixelated-rose-tinted-glasses-category. I was thee utter noob. I mean it. I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, if Orientation Island was a test, I failed it. I almost quit that first hour and one guy was my saviour. Crow Carter. He joined the same day as me and saved me from myself. We met at Orientation Island by pure chance. If I had not met him, if he had not liked me enough to bother with my idiocy, I would not be in SL today.

Him and I eventually settled into a routine of meeting up at sandboxes each day. I loved talking to him, he loved blowing stuff up. He also loved seeing me in fancy freebie dresses as I tried to blow stuff up. His aim was always better than mine and his abilities so impressive. I have never seen anyone learn SL stuff as fast as this guy, not only that but he also taught me everything I was willing to learn off him. I felt out of place though, I always felt like I was lagging behind him, holding him back, and I hate that feeling – people need to be free to be the best they can and I never want to be responsible for them not doing that. So we started to grow apart. I got frustrated. And one day, one fateful pixelated day, he took me on a special trip that would be the beginning of the end for the closeness him and I once had. We’re still close now, eternal friends but not like we used to be.

The day in question was the day he TPed me to a bar that our new friend we had met at the sandbox was hanging out. The friend was Dark, and the bar was 3 Lions. That first day scared the crap out of me. Suddenly at the click of a blue box I was surrounded by friendly people saying hello to me, some girl called Rrishanna Regina was particularly sweet and stuck in my mind. But I was overwhelmed. Crow telling me to turn on my music. Me asking how. Heaps of people trying to tell me how. People were dancing and talking and laughing and I had to get out of there! Sensory overload! Never again, too much, can’t go back, I was out of my depth. But they were so friendly, so welcoming, I felt wanted there. Within the next week I went back. And soon I became addicted and instead it was me trying to convince Crow to come join me at 3 Lions. Slowly Crow and my daily activities grow further apart. My noob days had come to an end. I became a 3 Lions regular.

And that, at least in part, is the story of my 30 days of noob. Now I find myself a manager of the bar that set up when 3 Lions died. That’s how far I came. Now it is me welcoming and helping the new people because it was done for me and I love seeing them as happy as it made me. Feeling wanted, feeling noticed, feeling part of a community. The community of Crown & Pearl, and the community of SL ❤

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