Looking Forward, and Back

I used to have a RL blog, back in the day. One of my personal traditions was to do a post after the new year, looking back at the past year and writing about the highlights from each month. I thought it would be fun to do something like that for this blog, too. Since this was my first year in SL, I think it will be pretty interesting to see how much I learned as each month passed by. I have met so many great people in the last year, and learned so many things. So this will be a look back at the best parts of 2008. 🙂

January

By the beginning of January, I had only been in Second Life for a couple of weeks. Everything was still extremely new, and I had yet to really get my bearings or figure out what I wanted to do with this new platform. I celebrated New Years Eve on Edloe, and met several of the people that I’m friends with today.  I also managed to find my first home, for free. WaL Krugman of W&M Designs was offering rent free houses to newbies. I took advantage of the offer and spent the month in my first starter home.

It was also very early in January that I started to become interested in creating art. Within the first week of 2008, I was already shopping around for rental space.

I learned about the dangers of going afk, especially around people named Chugabug. 😉

February

By the beginning of February, I had figured out how to do photography in world, and was learning Gimp to create my artwork. I had managed to find shop space and was renting, but was too shy to really advertise or post much about it in my blog. It was well into February before I even posted the Slurl.

I still had a free home from W&M Designs. By this time we had been moved a couple of times, and I was in my third house in the past month. It was actually very pretty, and I had fun decorating it, even if I never spent any time there.

I read about a photo contest in the event calender, and entered Light Fragmented, an artwork created from a photo I took on the contest holders sim. I was surprised and very flattered when I won. 🙂

Valentine’s Day started off as a downer for me. Everywhere I went there were special dances and couples events, but I had no one to spend the evening with. I hadn’t known Keeme that long, and we didn’t even know each other that well, yet. I knew that I liked him a lot, but had no idea if he noticed me as anything but a casual friend. I remember feeling very lonely that night, and hopped from club to club.. but no one would even dance with me. I was really bummed out because even if I did have someone to hang out with, it was really Keeme that I wanted to spend time with, more than anything. I was all dressed up with no place to go, and feeling sorry for myself. And then, a bit later in the evening.. he showed up, presented me with a rose, and we ended up at the Clocktower on Edloe, dancing. 🙂 He really made my night.

By the end of the month, I had managed to find an art gallery that would take my work, and joined Stefanik Dagostino’s S&S Gallery of Fine Arts, where I still display my artwork today. My very first exhibition went well, and I was and am very proud to be a part of the gallery.

March

One of the most significant events of 2008 came in March, when Keeme and I unveiled our podcast, Diamonds and Rust. We had secretly recorded our first episode sometime in February, but didn’t release it until early March. As a fan of podcasts for years, this was a HUGE deal to me, and it still is. I love podcasting with Keeme, and of everything I have done in Second Life, Diamonds and Rust is the one thing that I’m the most proud of.

The land where I had been living for free was sold out from under me, and by this time I was homeless. But now, I was becoming more and more interested in home ownership in SL. I started shopping around for a new house, and was looking at ridiculously large houses and having a blast.

April

April 1st was probably the biggest event of the year in SL, for me. That was the day that Keeme and I partnered. 🙂 We had talked about sharing a house together, when I was doing all my house hunting. It was a funny coincidence that April Fools Day ended up being what will now always be our anniversary, but I don’t think either of us really thought about it at the time. He sent me a teleport to Midnight City, which was the first place he took me the day we met. There, he presented me with a ring, and asked if I would be his partner.

Will you be my Partner?
Here are the vows
Do you take me
In TP and in Rez
For Ruther or for Lagger
Till Reboot do us Partition
So sayeth the grid
You may *HUGS* your Partner

Of course I said yes! And afterwards, we found a photobooth and took our new profile pictures.

Having discovered the trial version of fraps, I started making a lot of mini video clips, including this one of the April blogger party/mud wrestling event.

May

May was a wash. I joined Twitter.

Noooooo!

June

June was a great month. That was the month that Crime House came to be. After several weeks of house hunting, Keeme and I bought our first home together. I was SO excited, I took a video of us unpacking the house. (Too bad the audio was only recording my side and not his.)

Although we had no land yet, thanks to Itazura Radio’s Rezzhud (available on SLX), we were able to use the house on various spots of empty land. (Which is where it got the name ‘crime house’.)  I made a video tutorial, explaining how.

July

July was a very special month, and a LOT of fun. I had grown sick and frustrated with trying to find places to rez our house, and really wanted a place we could call our own. Some land opened up on Nowhereville, and Keeme and  I were allowed to move in. That day was even more exciting for me than when we bought the house. Once I rezzed our home into its spot on the corner of the island, I took this picture, and then spent some time just wandering the island, and enjoying the moment.

Crap came by to welcome us, and we stood inside and admired the amazing view from our living room, looking across the channel to Edloe. It was so beautiful!

It was also in July that I got everyone’s favorite cat, Fricken! 🙂 Keeme pretends to hate the cat.. but when no one is around, he secretly admits to liking him. 😉

August

In early August, I launched the new blog project  I had been working on for some time: Second Homes.

I also wrote a blog post answering the relationship survey that was going around. This post still gets the most traffic than any other I have written.

Things were terrific on Nowhereville, and we were having a total blast with all of our friends and neighbors. There was never a dull moment at the house. Just lots of great times, and special memories.

Rezzednecks was launched, my favorite video podcast of all time. Starring Keeme Brown, Radar Masukami and Itazura Radio.

September

September was a very rough month. First of all, many of us podcasters participated in the Voices Of The Fallen tribute. A list of 2974 names of the people that were lost on the morning of September 11th was divided between a group of podcasters. We, along with many other residents of Second Life, made recordings of ourselves reading the list of names. It was broadcast at 5:46 am SLT during a memorial at the World Trade Center sim. It was a very moving, and heartbreaking thing to attend. Most of us sat together on the grass in complete silence for over 3 hours, that morning. We all sat together, but none of us typed a single word in open chat that whole time. I cried through most of it. But I was honored to be a part of the tribute, and it made me feel so proud to hear the voices of myself and my friends reading from the lists of names. I took a short video clip, during the memorial ceremony.

Later in the month, I was faced with making the tremendously hard decision to give up our land on Nowhereville, due to the bad ecomony and the need to save money. That was a very difficult and extremely sad time for me. Our last day there was bittersweet. It was so painful to leave our home. Although we did have a great going away party with our friends, and got to say goodbye to everyone.

And then after the party was over, we spent some quiet time alone.. just the two of us. We shared a final moonlight dance in our living room, before we packed it all up and hit the road.

The silver lining to that cloud was the launch of Keeme’s blog, Sim Crossing. It was a really neat experience to live as drifters for awhile, traveling along Route 7, taking pictures while Keeme blogged about it. Just us, the cat, and the open road.

October

October was a pretty busy month, for both Keeme and I. We spent some time traveling, and he was blogging about it on Sim Crossing. Meanwhile, I was busy with Second Homes, as well as dealing with bouts of homesickness. During those times, I would rez Crimehouse with the rezzhud and install fake window panels to the interior of the house, then texture them with shots of Edloe and Nowhereville, to make it feel more like home.

We were both pretty busy at times with our own projects and things, both in SL and in RL. But even still, we would always find time for each other. Now and then it was nice to just take a breather, and enjoy one anothers company.

November

November was a creative month for me. I was still busy with Second Homes, and was also beginning to experiment with building and creating other things. I began making vases with my artwork, and opened up my first real store, Wine and Roses.

And sometimes, I just spent some time simply exploring, and indulging myself in some photography, ‘just for fun’.

December

As if I wasn’t already busy enough, I had yet another project under my sleeve. In December, I launched my own podcast, What The Plurk.

December 18th was my first rezday, and Keeme organized a (double) surprise party for me. The first party was supposed to be ‘lame’, but I enjoyed them both very much. The second one, on Saturday, was a HUGE surprise, though. I was so touched at how many people came. And Keeme put together a really sweet video for me. 🙂

On Christmas morning, I was hit with the sudden impulsive decision that it was time for us to own land again. I never spend money on myself for anything, and I decided, damn it, enough is enough! We deserve to have a place to call our own. Gary Leland had just pulled out of SL, and sold Podcast Island to Itazura Radio. So almost exactly one year after I first entered SL, I came full circle and found myself at Podcast Island, once more. This time, Keeme and I are calling it home, officially. We plan on sharing the land, passing it back and forth between us and using it as a place to learn, build, and collaborate. My first build there is a house by Nicky Patterson, that I’m working on learning how to modify and build onto, as well as learning how to terraform the land.

Its all still in its very early stages. But I can’t wait to see what the passing months bring, and what new ideas we come up with. 2008 was an incredible year for me, and I have high hopes that 2009 will be even better. As I said recently, I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

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~ by Nika Dreamscape on January 3, 2009.

One Response to “Looking Forward, and Back”

  1. Hey Nika! What a lovely retrospective of your year! I especially enjoyed learning about your adventures before I met you on Plurk this fall. Thank you! Joankr

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