Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ooh, you look so good

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Look at the shiny pretty things. New hat from Elegance Hats. New suit jacket and skirt (harajuku style!) from Canimal. New pants from Schadenfreude...

But aside from all that, when I put on this outfit I thought of the Original Rocker Chick, grandmother of them all, Patti Smith.

I walk in a room, you know I look so proud
I'm movin' in this here atmosphere, well, anything's allowed
and I go to this here party and I just get bored
until I look out the window, see a sweet young thing
humpin' on the parking meter, leanin' on the parking meter
oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
and I got this crazy feeling and then I'm gonna ah-ah make her mine
-- Patti Smith, GLORIA

And now, I must run out and get ready for my daughter's third birthday party. Which is why I don't even have time to photoshop a background into these photos...:D

***Hat: Elegance Hats Martha hat in red
***Hair: Philotic Energy Melantha in black
***Skin: Draconic Kiss Plague Skin
***Jacket: Canimal - Rocker Jacket (Stripey red)
***Necklace: Magikap lightning necklace
***Corset: ~silentsparrow~ ghost velvet corset
***Belly cover: PixelDolls (PD) Black knit belts in underpants layer
***Skirt: Canimal - Rocker Skirt (Stripey red)
***Tights: Schadenfreude bloody stripe pants
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) Mary Jane Mules - deep red

Friday, February 8, 2008

Of webs and coils

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Honest to god, this post is about fashion, but in preparation for it I tried my best to teach myself about the Tesla coil.

I, um, kinda failed to understand electricity. I know that creators in SL are incredibly skillful, and the person who designed this Tesla coil in Babbage definitely knew exactly what s/he was doing, but sadly not me.

This is my best explanation: When channeled into this coil thingie, electricity can reach an enormously high voltage and start appearing as arcs of light. Why is this useful? It creates an energy field that can power lights up to 50 feet away -- yeah -- light from a distance with no need for a cord to the source. Why don't we use Tesla coils nowadays, instead of constantly being plugged into an electrical company's powerline? wireless electricity can't be metered. Yep, Tesla's ideas weren't used because the electrical companies needed a way to make us pay for their services.

I've done a shoddy job of explaining both Tesla and his coil, but his wikipedia entry gave me about half an hour of absorbed reading this morning. Did you know he wanted to make a death ray? And invented the radio? And thought there were aliens? I also learned the word synesthete from this wiki entry, for which I am grateful. A synesthete is someone who crosses senses when they think of something -- like getting visuals to music, or smelling color.

I think my clothing posts are a little synesthetic. I look at an outfit and then imagine a setting, imagine a life, imagine an avatar and being. The beautiful rusty brocade of ~silentsparrow's~ new Anansi suit put me in mind of Babbage, and while there I stumbled upon this Tesla coil. Clothing that inspires; that's what we get to play with in Second Life. Clothing that doesn't need to consider physics...or warmth, although I'm sure my shirtless boy is all warm from the light.

Click for a larger image

***Hair: booN TFH26 black small
***Skin: TheAbyss Scorpio_Dystopian[1]C Smooth
***Earrings: **Encore** Heavenly Cross Earrings
***Tattoo: Canimal - henna Pack
***Suit: ~silentsparrow~ anansi suit in sepia
***Shoes: [T.KING] Steampunk Brass Gear Boots v.1b

Rock-in my Jord

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Everything is contextual, right? The best part of Second Life (and the weirdest) is that it provides you with a context for just about anything you want to wear/be/do. If you want to wear a mecha suit, you can join a combat roleplaying game. If you want to be an eternal college student (but without the silly classes), you can!

The Wastelands is clearly the right place for Draconic Kiss's Jord dress. It's got little arm-strapped pouches, perfect for collecting rocks! Okay, fine, it's meant for ammo... Today, my avatar is a geologist in the vein of Lara Croft, and is here striding fearlessly across The Wastelands in search of new and interesting minerals.

She has a friend and ally there, a squatter that figured out how to cobble together enough technology to play ancient films (from the 1900s and 2000s) at his drive-in. Giuseppe Spicolli is his name, and he's been a Wastelands denizen for a while now. Sometimes he makes her chill out and watch strange movies like Repo Man, but her attention span is small. She'd really rather be getting her rocks ... off. (Hey. Not like that.)

RL note: my daddy was a scientist like Lara Croft, and totally dragged me with him into every single cave he saw. I spent my childhood in Hawaii, which sounds glorious, but most of my time there was in near-pitch darkness listening to water drip from the top of the cave to the floor. Didn't learn how to surf, but I totally learned how to rappel.

When she isn't engaging in rock classification, this dress could also be used for dancing!

***Crown: ::Violet Voltaire:: Pumpkin Queen Crown
***Hair: /artilleri/ dayna v1 *black*
***Skin: []::TULI::[] S5 skins group gift in pale natural 1
***Tattoo: AITUI TATTOO - cherry blossoms v.2
***Dress (including corset, collar, skirt, prim skirt, prim sleeves, prim knee guards, stockings, and two sleeve amo belts that aren't shown): Draconic Kiss Jord in Silver
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) Glossy ribbon boots - black

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I fancied myself in idea his wife

What was it about governesses that made them such an object of contention in Victorian times? I think they were the embodiment of women who were outside of the norm. They weren't mothers, yet had sexuality. They weren't married, yet had their own income.

They were also beholden to the family for whom they worked. Less than wives, more than servants, they eked out independent existences in the houses of the rich... But they were dangerous, because they might catch the attention of the master, and already had the control of the children...

The same strange trope of the dangerous governess is centuries old...we saw it in Jane Eyre, and we can see it even now in movies like The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

Of course, control had to be applied to a governess's dress. If so much as a button was undone, the governess could be sent packing to her ailing mother. And yet...isn't there a sense that the clothes were simply holding back an untamed sexuality? The more that was covered, the more that could potentially be revealed.

My avatar's sexuality today lies in the unkempt hair, the narrow tidy nip of the waist, and the carefully concealed skin.

***Hair: /artilleri/ Jami *black*
***Skin: Tete a Pied (now renamed Fleur!) vivant Boudoir 1 (cream)
***Earrings: ::Violet Voltaire:: spider cameo earrings
***Cameo tie: ~silentsparrow~ from the Emma set on super sale in the sewers!
***Undershirt: Heart Cupcakes *<3C!* White Lacy Shirt
***Shirt: *FI* First Impressions Dress Shirt - store freebie
***Jacket: (forms dress waist) /artilleri/ hanna highwaist skirt
***Prim skirt, glitch pants, gloves: Draconic Kiss Ghost of Christmas Future limited edition
***Bracelets: ::Violet Voltaire:: gank bracelets in black

More violet, more violet

My third guest star in her current favorite outfit is Violet Voltaire.

In Second Life, I'm drawn to the creatives. They're the people who spend most of their time on a pose stand staring into space, very carefully fiddling with PhotoShop and three dimensional objects. They talk to you between uploads, so that the conversation can sometimes be disjointed. They're great fun to chat with, however, because they have all kinds of stories (they're wired into the deep structure of Second Life) and the desire for company...

Violet Voltaire creates jewelry that makes me drool. It's edgy and punk and cute all mixed together, as if each piece was the love child of Vivienne Westwood and the Gothic Lolita Bible. Japanese sims adore Violet! And she adores them right back...

Violet looks all proper and ladylike here in ~silentsparrow~, but when I first met her, she was at Curious Kitties in her Kindly State University outfit of shorts and knee boots. She was staring up at something cute and frilly, and said, "I'm trying to find something to wear for my new necklace!" I thought it would've looked fine with what she had on, but who am I to dissuade anyone from shopping?

Although her personality is downright bubbly for a creative, her name is deep. It comes from this song:

And the sky was made of amethyst
and all the stars look just like little fish
you should learn when to go
you should learn how to say no
And the sky was all violet I want it again,
but more violet, more violet
hey, i'm the one with no soul
one above and one below.
-- Violet, by Hole

***Hair: ETD - Sofia, Blackberry
***Eyes: E's Handpainted Fantasy Eyes - Gleaming -Silver
***Skin: CHAI Skins
***Top: ~silentsparrow~ Sprocket vest & shirt - Dusk
***Bottom: ~silentsparrow~ Dreaded Sunny Day - coal
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) Glossy Ribbon Boots - Black
***Earrings: ::Violet Voltaire:: Girl Germs - Gargoyle

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

With a broken wing you sail

I had this idea about posting dark, despairing images of my boy avatar wandering the ephemeral lands to the soundtrack of Peter Murphy lyrics. I was foiled by the fact that the man was ON SOMETHING when he wrote them. How can you make meaning from something like the following, for example?

If the birds can reach the sky -- to this land --
I'll be with you. Till the sun bursts from your side,
with my hands I reach to you.

when you think your chance is passing by
when you blow your moon away
I'll bleed like the reed, fall with your knife.
it's here I'll be with you

Anyway. Pretend you can listen to the song (Peter Murphy's "I'll Fall with your Knife") instead. It makes a strange internal sense when you sing along to it...

Then, you'll understand why my boy avatar is standing around in fierce (Schadenfreude) pants and a black leather jacket, tossing his pretty girlish locks. You know. It was a Peter Murphy moment.

Click for a larger image of my boy avatar in the ~silentsparrow~ sewers

***Hair: Calico Creations Fossarius in midnight
***Skin: Boneflower Designs, Whispers of Night :: Deathly M [Blood Dawn Slayer] -- someone recommend me another skin for my boy av. v___v I overuse this 'un!
***Tattoo: EtchD, halloween freebie tattoo
***Pants: Schadenfreude striped pants in Midnight Circus (XD Allegory named it after the ~silentsparrow~ suite that it matches)
***Jacket, gloves (so many parts for only 140L!): Bare Rose :::B@R ::: decadence black (unisex)
***Shoes: Lassitude & Ennui Traveler's Boots in black

Less able were we ere we had Ada

Click for more photos of last night's Mardi Gras party in Caledon Wellsian!

Five weeks after the birth of her daughter Ada, Lady Byron demanded a separation from her husband, the renoun poet Lord Byron. Why? He'd had an affair, not with just any woman, but with his sister.

Sickened by her time with Lord Byron, the lady vowed that her daughter would stay far, far from poetry, and made sure that her daughter learned nothing but mathematics and science. Ada's desire for poetry was strong, however, and she managed to infuse her mathematic inventions with an imaginative poetry.

The turning point of Ada's life occurred when she met a Mr. Babbage, a mathematician who desire to create a "calculating engine" with the idea that the machine could not just anticipate results, but act upon the results. Ada was inspired, and despite being married with three children, she worked with Mr. Babbage on his ideas for the Analytical Engine. Ada suggested that the machine calculate Bernoulli numbers...the result was the world's first computer program, before 1850.

Today's outfit is in honor of Ada Byron. Something tells me she would've enjoyed all the straps and cogs, and the freedom to kick her feet around.

***Hat: .:UnZipped Seampunk Tophat
***Hair: Diversity Hair Brat - black
***Necklace: [T. KING] Steampunk Clock Collar
***Earrings: Balderdash - Coggles of my Heart -Black
***Gloves: Digital Dragon Design DDD Ladies Aggression Arm Bands
***Skin: /artilleri/ lily (porcelain) in *choco*
***Dress: (Bloomers, shirt, corset, dress, prim sleeves) .:UnZipped victorian Steampunk v2
***Boots: J's GOTH BeltBOOTS

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

In which there is dramatic foreshadowing

A strange melancholy has settled over the familiar swamp of ~silentsparrow~. I can't quite put my finger on it, but ever since the notice of the sale, I've sensed that change is in the air.

~silentsparrow~ is my home away from home. I've always felt at peace in the eternal dusk, alone but for the sounds of the birds and frogs and scrabbling of friendly rats. I spend most of my time in Second Life alone, partly because it's so damned tough to carry on a conversation when my daughter needs me. Perhaps other parents can understand -- it's nice to have a space where you are NOT a small child's larger, more intelligent mecha extension.

Violet used to be the Victorian color of mourning, but I shouldn't focus upon loss. Every change means new growth, right? All the same, I feel as if my avatar was truly born when I wandered down the bridge of ~silentsparrow~.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
-- W.H. Auden

(At least I'm emoing around in some damned pretty jewelry by Balderdash and Second Mirage.)

***Hair: Calico Creations Sarah II in obsidian violet, Calico Kitty (125, 21, 26)
***Skin: Curious Kitties Butterfly Twilight
***Tattoo: Minajunk free butterfly tattoo (store freebie)
***Gloves: Draconic Kiss Revers a Lacets
***Earrings: Balderdash - Coggles of my Heart -Black
***Necklace: (Second Mirage) Carmen necklace
***Dress: **THE CLOSET** CountryGirl in purple
***Tights: G.L.A.M. tintable tights, store freebie, in light
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) Ruffle Boots in black

I want to be in that number

Candy Flanagan greeted me so sweetly when I stepped into Illusions to take these photos. She was in the process of donning an outfit, and so was I. "I'm supposed to keep it PG," Candy said with a virtual grin, "so I never know how much skin I can wear."

I like people comfortable in their skins. My own avatar has a lifetime of repression issues about revealing too much flesh -- it's Victorian baggage, don't you know. Even for Mardi Gras, she insisted that if the shoulders were bare, the ankles couldn't be. She looks like a young debutante in this outfit, dressed for the Bacchus ball.

Illusion is a gorgeous little store in an evocative sim, Carnivale. If you take a wander around the pillared marble shop, you will see grandly creative items that somehow sell for less than you think they should. Siyu has so many great freebies in her shop, too -- masks, necklaces, horns, everything to outfit the newborn avatar as a sophisticated member of fashion society.

Happy Fat Tuesday. Remember: do all kinds of things today so that you can repent tomorrow!

***Feathers: ~silentsparrow~ from the midnight circus (redux) suit
***Corset, gloves: ~silentsparrow~ from the midnight circus (redux) suit
***Hair: -Hiccup paper tiger in black
***Mask: *~*Illusions Obscurita Femmina: Black, from the FashCon group gift
***Skin: /artilleri/ lily (porcelain) *memphis*
***Earrings: Balderdash - Coggles of my Heart -Black
***Beads: Schadenfreude Longer blue Mardi Gras Beads store freebie and *~*Illusions Mardi Gras Beads! Gold/Purple/Female from the FashCon group gift
***Tattoo: !V Tattoos - NauticStars OnRez freebie
***Glitchpants, prim skirt: *LAST CALL: Milena
***Shoes: (Shiny Things) Party Pumps - black

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tableaux in Tableau

click for a larger photo of fallen Allegory!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

Mardi Gras. Once, I wandered Bourbon Street and saw a girl sitting in the grotesque Mardi Gras street mud (part vomit, part garbage, part spilt booze). She was crying, her pants were around her knees, and she was peeing where she sat. Out of the corner of my eye I saw people on a high balcony, um, subverting normal social mores. The dichotomy of pain and pleasure, mixed with the wildness of the unexpected, is why I love Mardi Gras. I love knowing that once a year, people give themselves over to a kind of holy vice to get it out of their system before the sobriety of lent. I love knowing that somewhere, there's a version of the Christian God that cheers on humans acting silly.

In honor of Mardi Gras, my second blog guest (in her current favorite outfit) is Allegory Malaprop, creator behind Schadenfreude. She's got such a unique style that I can pick her out at 200 paces. My child's color might be pink, but Allegory's sure is green, of a shade best described as "bright ****ing." She pulls it off with her elegant skinny malinky shape and inimitable style.

We're in Tableau, and the story is this: Once upon a time Allegory drank a lot for Mardi Gras. Then she posed for a picture, after which she keeled over dead drunk on Hurricanes.

Shout out to my homies who are at RL and SL Mardi Gras this week. Shake your booty for God, girls! And go get your free beads at Allegory's store.

***Skin: Allegory's own
***Eyes: Miriel
***Shirt: ~silentsparrow~ trenchant jacket
***Hat: Schadenfreude -- to be released eventually
***Earrings: Schadenfreude Jerry skull earrings
***Necklaces: Schadenfreude freebies from the table in Allegory's shop
***Bracelets: "Someday I'll probably do something with these"
***Pants: Allegory's own
***Shoes: ::69:: Succubus pumps in black

Sunday, February 3, 2008

That's where 'Fauntleroy' comes from

As a girl, I was addicted to Frances Hodgson Burnett. I worked my way through The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, and liked her stuff so much that I even endured Little Lord Fauntleroy. I liked best about her heroines that they were beset by enormous woes, but somehow made it through AND got all the best outfits. Sara Crewe, for example, so greatly influenced my taste as a little girl that I tried my best to find a replica of her pink dancing frock for my Senior Prom. It remains one of my favorite dresses.

This desire to look like a late Victorian/Edwardian little girl informs the taste of Gothic Lolitas everywhere, and I am no exception. When I first got onto Second Life my wardrobe consisted of nothing but LicoLico. It was affordable, for one, and it made me look like Sara Crewe! My steampunk Victorian avatar grew up a little when I moved to Caledon and invested in big frocks, and after that I diversified even more when I began to regularly follow the fashion feeds. Now my style goes everywhere (dictated by pure whim), but I remain fascinated by LicoLico.

This dress might as well be my Valentine's Day dress. It's red, and fluffy, and makes me look just like a Japanese Sara Crewe... And I don't have to worry about impressing a date cause I don't have one!

***Hat: Elegance Hats Tillie in black and white
***Hair: Tukinowaguma Mako hair in black
***Skin: Curious Kitties Silent Suffocation
***Earrings: /artilleri/ double cherry earrings
***Necklace: FashCon group gift, JetDolls Cubbies Necklace
***Dress (including gloves, prim skirt, corset, shirt, prim sleeves, system skirt): *LicoLico* LLA 026_02 GothicLolitaDress
***Bloomers: Double Paradox **DP** wonderhul pants
***Socks: (Shiny Things) Nubbly socks in black, store freebie
***Shoes: ::69:: Succubus pumps - DarkCherry

Teacher leave those kids alone

Click for a larger photo

Today, as I stared at the items I needed to prepare for class tomorrow, I felt quite rebellious. I dressed up in my best rebellious teacher outfit and went to the playground. My students won't miss me, will they? Hell, they can come join me on the ferris wheel at /artilleri/.

We don't need no education.
We don't need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teachers leave those kids alone.

Hey, Teacher leave those kids alone!
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

[ Note: Another Fundraiser ends tonight! Get your amazingly creative 50L skins and help UNICEF! ]

***Hair: /artilleri/ caitlin *black*
***Skin: Another Fundraiser Schadenfreude Creepy Carnie Girl
***Earrings: /artilleri/ glitter love *orange*
***Dress: Thimbles - Red Charo POOFY Dress *T*
***Undershirt: ~silentsparrow~ from the sprocket set in blue
***Tights: G.L.A.M. tintable tights, store freebie
***Pumps: (Shiny Things) Party Pumps - deep blue