Holiday Sale

•December 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This is an ‘unofficial’ Wine And Roses update. I’m still intending to start creating again, but in the meantime I’ve reopened my store and I’m having a holiday sale! I’ve marked everything down to $10L-50L.  All items are transferable, so they can be gifted to others. Also, I’ve hidden one free items somewhere in the store. All you have to do is find it!

Please stop by. 🙂 Wine And Roses Mainstore

P.S. Don’t mind the kittycats!


Social Island

•November 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I happened to log in world the other night while Itazura Radio and several other of my friends were recording the Coronaverse podcast. After we finished up, Itazura took us on a field trip to see one of the latest projects he’s been working on as a Mole, Social Island.

Itazura was one of the first people I ever met in Second Life, and has been a good friend for years. But it wasn’t until fairly recently that I found out his (then) secret identity: Abnor Mole. The Moles are a team of builders contracted by Linden Lab as part of the Linden Department Of Public Works. They’re the ones responsible for the roads that run through Mainland like Route 8, as well as contributing to some of the builds you see in places like Bay City, Zindra, Second Life Birthday events, and now- Social Island.

Social Island is one of the new starting areas that acts as the initial landing point for people entering Second Life for the first time. It’s a lot more friendly than the old Infohubs of the past, like Ahern. And unlike the more recent starting areas where you can’t return once you leave- anyone can go visit Social Island. The first thing you see when you teleport to the island is a series of tiki huts set out in the water, connected by a winding dock. I thought this was really pretty!

Following a path up a nearby hill, I encountered this interesting structure that contained multiple portals that were labeled “Music”, “Art”, “Social”, “Wilderness”, etc. I assume this is a more ‘physical’ representation of the Destination Guide, and I think it’s a good idea. Someone new to Second Life is probably more focused on exploring their environment and I think flipping through a bunch of search panels might break their immersion. I think this is a good jumping point to send them off into the world for more exploration. My only complaint is that it seems kind of off the beaten path. Tucked between a couple of mountains, it isn’t that noticable. Although in retrospect, that is actually the beauty of Social Island. A far cry from the earlier infohubs- this place is packed full of hidden places of interest and things to explore. This is my third time back, and I find something new every time.

Despite the lack of people in these pictures, Social Island is actually quite full. Although I notice that the majority of people seem to congregate on the platform at the center of the island, and don’t tend to stray from that spot to explore unless they see someone else nearby the interact with. While taking pictures, I would start out as the only person there. But within moments, more and more people would start to show up.

This ‘zen’ mediation spot is probably my favorite place on the island. There is a rain storm here, with lightening and thunder, and you can see the raindrops on the stones. I was the only person in this section but by the time I got my camera lined up, someone had followed me and fell into the pool and was floundering around, trying to get out. I stuck around for a few minutes, messing with different angles and photos. By the time I got out of Flycam mode and looked around, there were two people stuck in the pool and a couple more clustered around me.

From the landing platform, you can follow a glass walkway down to another of my favorite spots- Club SL.

This place is very well done! It features several club and lounge areas overlooking a pool area and dance floor. I recommend paying extra special attention to the chairs at the bars.. there is more to them than meets the eye. 😉

As I said before, there are a lot of hidden little nooks and crannies to discover. Some of them are easier to find than others.

I especially liked the H2O Lounge. I almost missed it the first time I was here, since it’s kind of tucked underneath the dance floor. Easy to overlook if you aren’t paying attention, but I think that’s part of the charm. Once you go inside, you’ll see a private little swim-up lounge area. It reminds me a lot of the swim-up bars that are popular in many of the hotel pools in Las Vegas.

All of these places are just a part of Social Island. I left several things out- partly because there are just too many things to show. And partly to encourage you to go explore for yourself! I think I might come back sometimes just to meet some new people who are just entering Second Life for the first time, and maybe help them out a bit. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the habit of just hanging out with your own social circle. Stepping outside of your comfort zone to meet someone completely new might not always be easy to do. But sometimes, that’s how the best friends are made.

A New Beginning

•November 14, 2013 • 2 Comments

I first joined Second Life back in December 2007, but I still remember quite a bit about those early days. I can still recall standing in an info hub and watching all the chatter fill my screen. There were still SL Mentors back then, and the one there that day was standing on some steps, answering questions. She was wearing a long, flowing gown and had a pair of white angel wings. I was very impressed by her avatar.

Of course I did the whole freebie experience, exploring malls and shops, going through the various tragic looks that most noobs endure. There were still camping chairs back then, as well as money trees and those survey terminals that would give you a few Lindens. I had also made a friend along the way. A transgender guy named Sal, who has since undergone a sex change operation in real life and changed his avatar to a female named Sally. I remember seeing an outfit I fell in love with that cost 100L. I saved up for weeks, using camping chairs and money trees until I had enough to buy it. Sal came along to witness my first real purchase, and it was an exciting moment.

Interestingly, I still have Sal on my friends list to this day, and often see her online. We never talk anymore, but we each know the other is still out there. I don’t think we’ll ever remove each other from our friends list, either. It’s sort of like a silent understanding, and I think that’s kind of neat.

It’s been years since I had that full noobie experience. I believe that when we first join SL, we are set on a path by our early experiences and the people we meet. My path led me to Podcast Island, where I met people like Radar Masukami of SL Under The Radar podcast, Keeme Brown of Keemecast, and many others.  The first Blogger I met was Crap Mariner. These initial meetings are what led me to become part of the blogger and podcaster community.

I started my first blog really early, just a few days into SL. My original blog was over on Live Journal. Amazingly, it still exists, and it’s so incredible to be able to go back and relive some of those initial reactions and discoveries. Most of them I had completely forgotten about, but I am extremely happy that I documented those early days so well. As I go back and read the entries and see the pictures, it all comes back to me so clearly.

So, I got to wondering- what if I hadn’t gone to Podcast Island or Edloe? If I had not met any of those people, where would I be right now? What community would I be a part of, and what would my life in SL look like? This is what gave me the idea to start a new blog project, which as of yet is still unnamed.

Last night, I created a new account and logged into that initial starting area- and stayed there. My objective for this project is to forge a new path on this avatar based entirely on the people I meet. I’ll step outside of my comfort zone and talk to everyone I encounter, and see what sorts of friendships I make, and what sort of places they end up sending me to. I am not allowing myself to rely on previous experience, or cheat by searching out places that someone truly new to Second Life wouldn’t know about yet. If that means I have to trot around with no AO and in the default skin for months, so be it. I’ll be documenting my journey along the way, and finding out what other sorts of lives and people are out there on the Grid that I wouldn’t otherwise encounter through my own circle of friends.

It should be quite an adventure, so be sure to follow this blog to see where it leads.


•December 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

I logged into SL for the first just now, in I’m not sure how long. It started with a picture I saw on Crap Mariners blog, of a Christmas tree on the ice in Nowhereville, with snow drifting down around it. When I first joined SL in 2007 it was winter time, right around Christmas. All the sims were decorated similarly, and it all felt so new and magical to me. When I saw that picture on his blog just now, I got such a sense of nostalgia.

“What if I logged in, right now?” I thought to myself. Could I? For some reason, its been so long that the separation feels permanent. I wasn’t sure I could even remember HOW to log in, or how to find my way around in there. Would my old client still work? Is the password saved? Do I even remember it, if it wasn’t?

The calender on the wall next to my desktop still says July. That’s how long ago I bought my laptop and moved to WoW. I managed to log in, and found myself in my Linden Home, where I last logged out. The candles were still flickering on the wall shelf, where I left them. I grabbed the mouse and tried to walk forward, and nearly deleted a bookcase. I tried to turn around, but all I got was aaaaaa. People who play WoW will understand what I mean.

My space navigator was unplugged next to my computer, with the wire all coiled up. I plugged it in, hoping it would help free my line of sight from my avatar, so I could get a better look around, and regain my bearings. As soon as I plugged it in, my avatar was airborn, smashing around the walls and ceiling of my home like a moth trapped in a windowsill. Maybe they changed something with the settings since I last used it. I looked at the Advanced menu at the top of my screen, but had no idea where to go from there, so I unplugged the device, and managed to land my avatar next to the front door.

I wanted to see who was online in my friends list, but hitting O didn’t do anything. It took me a few seconds to remember which was the right button. I found Stuart online,and he TP’d me to Rezzed TV island to give me a tour of the new VWE arena. Moving around was difficult. I couldn’t remember how to jump over a barricade that was in my way. Walking felt agonizingly slow, and I automatically glanced to the right of my screen for the hot key that would let me mount up on my horse. I wanted to at least run, but had to ask how to toggle that on. Flying though, was surprisingly fast. WAY faster than my epic mount.

After Stuart left, I tried to decide what I wanted to do. I felt sort of like wandering around a store, and looking at clothing. Where to people shop these days, though? I dug around in my inventory for some of my old favorites. Redgrave and Digit Darkes.. no longer there. The LM to Blaze still worked, but the store was completely empty. I sort of wanted to go where I could find people I know.. plurkers, bloggers. But I guess there never was a central hang out spot, unless someone was having a party. In WoW, I could just go to the Trade District, Blue Recluse or Pig and Whistle. But here?

I found myself hovering near the ceiling of Blaze, without a clue where to go next. I TP’d to one more store but eventually got bored and frustrated as I stared at twisted sculpties and gray textures.. I don’t know where to go, what to do or how to find anyone. Eventually I gave up, and logged out. I have ghost mushrooms and ragveil to farm, anyway..

Second Life Double Rainbow!!!

•August 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Loody Graves encounters a double rainbow across the sky!

(It’s so intense.)


•July 25, 2010 • 1 Comment

In my dream, I was just leaving a friend or family members house, on the night of my birthday. It was fairly late at night, probably around 10 or 11pm. I was carrying my purse, and a couple of bags that had some gifts in them. My car was parked in a short driveway type pull in at the front of the house, but it didn’t lead all the way up to the house because it was surrounded on all three sides by a lot of bush-hedge type landscaping. They were all neatly trimmed, with gray rock landscaping. It must have been wintertime, because it was lightly snowing – even though in real life, my birthday is in August. As I approached my car, I was thinking to myself- ‘Wow, it is REALLY dark out here..’ The street lights were off, for some reason. And it was unreasonably dark. I guess because of the snow- the moon wasn’t even out.

I was just opening my car door, when a man’s voice demanded, ‘STOP.’ He was approaching from the sidewalk, on the other side of the car, maybe 10 meters away. His arm was outstretched and aiming a handgun at me. He looked to be in his early 30’s, maybe about 5’10”, very pale skin, short dark brown hair and a small dark mustache. He was neatly dressed- wearing a white cotton polo-type shirt, and faded blue jeans. I can’t even describe the shock and horror I felt when I saw him. You hear all the time about people getting mugged, but it’s never happened to me. “Noooo!” I kind of moaned in horror. My ipod touch is in my purse! I thought to myself. I can’t let him..” It was an unreasonable thought- but in that split second, my unfortunate instinct was to try and just get away. I threw my purse and bags into the passenger seat of my car- “Man, I’ll bust you up..” the man snarled, and rushed towards me. His voice was really deep and menacing. I slid into the driver seat and slammed the door, just as he reached the rear of the car. My hand moved to lock the door, but I was so petrified.. I felt half paralyzed, like I was moving in slow motion. My hand found the lock button just as he reached my door. I beat him by probably a quarter of a second. Keys. On the seat somewhere next to me, but I could hardly move. I could see him in the window, out of the corner of my eye. I was committed, now. Do I honk the horn, and hope he runs away? Do I try to drive away and just hope he doesn’t shoot me through the glass? My mind was racing a trillion miles an hour, all of these thoughts flying by in that next second. And terror like I’ve never experienced in my life..

Then I woke up, abruptly. My body felt like it had waves of ice cold water running over my skin, and my mind was still crystal clear from the adrenaline rush. 2:40 am. Every tiniest detail was captured in my memory. Strange, because I very rarely have nightmares. I can probably count the number of times I’ve woken up from one in my whole lifetime, on both hands. Normally, my dreams in general are very abstract. Disjointed ideas that make little sense when all put together.. and I seldom have nightmares. When I do- they aren’t really scary, on a personal level. Creepy and interesting, maybe. It’s more like watching a scary movie. Even in my dream, they usually don’t directly pertain to me. Or even if they do, it’ll be something I’ll vaguely remember when I wake up in the morning, and they’ll be so fragmented that they really don’t make a lot of sense.

This dream was bizarre. Every detail was captured so vividly, and seemed so real. I was compelled to get up immediately. Turn on every light in the house, and write it all down. Strange. The house was not familiar to me-  I don’t know anyone with a house like that. I don’t know why it was my birthday in the dream, yet it was snowing. The man didn’t really resemble anyone I know. The only parts of the dream that seemed to be mine was the car itself, and my ipod touch.

This has nothing to do with SL, obviously. But like I said.. I felt completely compelled to write this down, and this blog seemed to be the only outlet. The fear itself faded quickly. I still feel hyper alert and slightly disturbed, but not scared. It’s 3:15 AM now and I’m sipping my first cup of coffee. My cat Hunter is curled up next to me, in that half asleep, half awake state that cats are so good at. Everything feels alright, now. It was just weird.

If you read this, thanks for letting me share. 🙂

SL7B – Miraculous

•July 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Diversity Within Unity

Asterion Coen

The Restorationists

My Chronical Of Serendipity

Identity Crisis

Eshi Otawara & M Linden - Doodle

TP to Miraculous