Putita, puttana

Okay, I think I'll blame it on the cold and the difficulty of translating, even with web translators.

I had the same argument today with Racer as I did with Rapido in August/September. It had to do with being called what Google translates into "whore" or "bitch". So, of course, I'd naturally take offense. Rapido was calling me "putita". Racer is calling me "puttana".

Today, I angrily objected and said that I'm not a whore. Racer clarified that I was not "una puttana", but "la mia puttana". Then he explained that, in love, being called someone's bitch is a compliment, not an insult. And suddenly, I remembered that Rapido said the exact same thing several months ago.

I dunno. I still object to the term which I feel is demeaning.

Then Racer calls me "la mia schiava in amore". "Schiava" means "slave", so I again angrily objected. Much later, I realized he was actually trying to be intimate but all these terms were pushing my buttons.

Maybe I should just lighten up. :)

So far, I agreed to be his "amante", but not his "puttana" and not his "schiava". He wants me to be his slave so that I would give him sex when he demands it. I told him I'd give it to him anyway, but as his lover, not as his slave. And he was happy with that. Then he gave two more demands, and I said I would do them only if he asks nicely, instead of demanding. He agreed.

*sigh* This affair is going to take some work.


Happy New Year, everyone!

Racer

I took Alt #11 to Bogart's yesterday. I've been sick since I got back home from my holiday travels and I was feeling miserable. I just needed company.

Actually, I was standing outside Bogart's cam-snooping inside to see who was there and perving people's profiles. Suddenly, I heard a ding-ding. It was a message from someone I couldn't even see inside the ballroom. It turned out he was standing next to me outside the ballroom.

He was very direct. He asked me to dance with that first message. I agreed, he thanked me, and he started walking into the ballroom. I asked him if he realized he had no shoes on. He apologized and said that he was distracted. And the shoes he put on were sneakers. Well, he wasn't wearing a tux. He was wearing a shirt and tie with light colored pants, so I guess the sneakers weren't so out of place.

And he goes fast. Within five minutes of agreeing to dance with him, I learned he's divorced, how long he was married, how many kids he has, and how old he is. Two more minutes and I knew what he does for a living. It's not that I ask him these things; he volunteered them, almost as though he's going through a checklist. Three more minutes and he was asking for a kiss on the lips. I told him I prefer to go slower and kept the conversation on the work he does.

Because of his work, he is not in SL much during the summer. I asked if his romantic affairs usually ended when summer started. He said he had no romances and not many friends either, because "here are many stupid persons and not sincere." Then he added, "i like a woman sincere, sweet and sensual... i think you are all this." I asked him how he knew. This was 20 minutes after we met. He said it was by intuition that he knew.

He asked for the kiss again. I told him he moves fast. He said he drives race cars, so, yes, he moves fast. But after I emoted one, he said he would like to cuddle. I told him, "But at this speed, you'll want sex before we say goodnight." He promised that he's a gentleman.

About 35 minutes after we met, he had already indicated that he wanted to be my bf, he had told me his RL first name, and he had sent me his RL picture. He's a handsome man (the second handsome Italian younger man I met this month; the first one also wanted to be my bf the first day.... I must be broadcasting some vibes). "Racer" has a certain gentleness in his facial features and a certain nerdiness that I find charming.

He tp'd me to his friend's island. We danced a little, dipped in the pool a little, cuddled on the bed a little. I learned more about his family. And I learned that after more than a year in SL, he's still a SLirgin. I know, I know. Sounds incredible, right? But I went along.

An hour and a half after we met, I received two more pictures of him from the neck down. Naked. Damn, the man is sexy.

Long story short, two hours after we met, he was no longer a SLirgin. And neither was Alt #11.

We agreed to meet at 1pm the next day and we agreed to be exclusive for a month.

But something strange happened.

About an hour or so after he said goodnight, he logged back in. (I added him to my tracker so I could come over if he logged in earlier.) I IM'd him and asked if he couldn't sleep. No reply. I called his name. Still no reply. Then it seemed that he logged off, but he actually only hid his status from me. I thought it was rude but I figured I'd give him his space and confront him the next day instead. He logged in a couple more times for long periods until 1pm the next day. But at 1pm, he wasn't there.

At 1:30pm, I sent him a message saying that he doesn't have to hide from me anymore. I said that I was releasing him and that perhaps the reason he doesn't find sincere people in SL is because he himself isn't. Then I said goodbye and took him off my friends list.

At 3:15pm, he called me "crazy" after a string of question marks, followed by "goodbye". I said I wasn't crazy. I told him what happened. When it seemed like he had no idea what I was talking about, I realized that maybe his password was compromised. He doesn't think anybody else knows his password, however.

Then we argued about him not showing up when we agreed. He said he had a class irl, which he never mentioned. I said that, out of respect for my time, he should not have agreed to meet when he had a class. He said, "i not do you justification" and that he doesn't like jealous women. But he said "darling" both times, and how can you stay mad at someone who calls you "darling"?

I told him we couldn't be exclusive. I don't trust him enough at this point and he wants to be free to do what he wants. So, we're friends again, but just friends.

He said he was at a party with friends. I said I was dancing with someone else. But he changed his password like I told him to.

Tip: In an argument, if the other person is struggling with English, have them speak in their native language and use a translator instead. An argument is not the time for an additional layer of miscommunication.

Strange as it may seem, there's something refreshing about an argument with a new lover, if it's done right. It clears the air, assumptions are clarified, you know where you both stand, and in the middle of an argument, the masks tend to come off.

Now that I think about it, the lovers that I had arguments with tended to remain with me longer. Maybe part of that is because, if they didn't care about me so passionately, they wouldn't argue as passionately either; they'd just walk away.

Doms and divas

I rarely make enemies in Second Life. I rarely make enemies in real life either. But I've made a couple of enemies now. And what I've noticed is there's a specific trait that's common between them. They're both female doms.

Now, this isn't a scientific study, just personal observation. But male doms at least respect boundaries. Well, most do, not all. Recently, a male dom sent my alt an IM asking if I was submissive. I said, no. He thank me for my honesty, I thanked him for the direct question, and that was the end of it. No trying to convince me that I really want to be a slave. *That* is respect. And I respect him for according me that respect.

Female doms, on the other hand, simply assume that everyone on earth is their slave and should do as they please on their time. If you don't kiss their asses, they get mad at you and harass you. Sometimes, without provocation.

I had an altercation with one of those female doms who happened to be a designer for one of the MODA shows I was recently part of. She reprimanded me as though I were one of her slaves. She expected me to read her mind and style the outfit specifically as she would have wanted it, even though she neglected to provide instructions. She claimed that I ruined the entire show because of a single outfit. She expected me to chase after her and talk to her when it's convenient for her whether the time was convenient for me or not, simply because she thinks of it as *her* show. She would not even send me an offline IM or an email as I had asked her. No, she expected me to be there when she was there.

Her arrogance stuns me.

I do these shows on my time and I buy the things I need with my own money. Modeling is a time sink and a money sink for models. I started modeling to learn what happens in a show and to help me learn how to market my own products. Done that. These days, I only do it to return a big favor to Juju, who gives me air time for my Mer Betta ad.

Some designers act as though models owe them a big favor. That may be true for models who just want the fame and recognition. It's not for money, I can tell you that. Because models spend way more than they get back in return, even if you include the retail price of the clothes we wear. And sometimes, we don't even like the clothes we wear on the shows. But we go on the runway as though they were our favorite outfits and graciously accept them as part of our compensation. Because most of the time, that's all the compensation we get. Well, besides the intangibles, like the satisfaction of a job well done, etc.

Thankfully, there are designers who treat models wonderfully: Inga Wind, Dany Bimbogami, Leah McCullough, Shinichi Mathy, among others. These are people I would gladly do work for, paid or not, because they treat me as a collaborator in marketing their products, not as a slave.

People in the fashion industry warn about models who act like divas. But they don't talk about designers who act like divas. In real life, the designers can behave like divas because they pay the models very good money. In Second Life, well, ... show me the money.

If you pay me well enough, you can scream at me all you want. But, know that I have a very high price point, for good reason: I've achieved a lot in my real life and I know what I'm worth.

Barcelona del Oeste

Barcelona del Oeste is gone.

Well, the sim still exists, but the build is gone. When you teleport to the sim, you end up in a store up in the sky. At ground level, there's a sign that says:
REMODELACION SIM
"BARCELONA DEL OESTE"
ESTAMOS TRABAJANDO EN ELLO
DISCULPAD LAS MOLESTIAS


It saddens me. The original Barcelona del Oeste was also a mall after all, but it was more than just a mall. It had character. With monuments, a beach, park benches, a cathedral. It was a nice place to hang out and mellow out.

I had wonderful memories with friends dancing inside the Cafe or sitting on one of the tables in the plaza. I remember skating around the perimeter of the sim.

Now, it's gone. Like many of the treasures of Second Life.

Or, maybe it's symbolic. Maybe what I'm really grieving for is the end of my last affair. He hadn't been in for weeks now. I've lost count. I sent him email and joked asking if his doctor forbid him to come into Second Life because I'm likely to cause him a heart attack. He laughed. He replied that it's his computer technician who prevents him from installing Second Life. I figured if he really wanted to, he would find a way; I even told him about the text-based clients and offered to communicate by Skype like we used to. I think he really doesn't want to. He loves me, but he doesn't want to see me. And I couldn't accept that fact. Until now.

I had asked him to play an Il Divo song for me in his radio show when he thinks of me. Now, I listen to Il Divo and, instead of feeling immense joy with the rousing notes, I feel deep sadness.

So I stand here on the empty Barcelona del Oeste beach. After more than four years, I'm still not used to the transience of places and people in this world. And I may never.

Gifts

I received an order today for matching Ms.O.Lei-ny "Etched in Stone" sets with a custom message. The customer included a message for the recipient. She was releasing him unwillingly and this was a goodbye gift.

This is the first time I've heard of this product being used as a way to say goodbye. When I created it, it was meant to express love. I suppose, it still is. Sometimes, the greatest act of love is letting go.

From my perspective, she gave him two gifts. And the jewelry set is the lesser of the two.

I wish them both the best.


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Positive spin

I've updated my profile. I've been reading all these Law of Attraction stuff on the web and it said to put your wishes out to the world in positive terms, because what you focus on is what you get.

Okay.

So instead of the "Leave me be..." tab in my Picks, I now have this tab instead:


Love me...

... only if you understand that SL is NOT a game, because it isn't to me and my heart is not a plaything.

... only if you understand that drama is necessarily a part of any relationship that involves strong emotions, like love.

... only if you see the beauty of my avatar as a reflection of my creativity and my technical skill, and you could love, not the beauty you see, but the mind that created it.

... only if you don't expect me to fight for your affections, because love should be a willing coming-together of two souls, not a chasing-after. If I have to fight for you, you're not worth fighting for.

... only if you understand that SL is NOT separate from RL, and commitments made in SL have the same weight as commitments made in RL. Meeting me in a virtual world doesn't make me less human or less worthy of respect than people you meet in real life.

Runaway bride

Gracie Kendal is building a collection of pictures of avatars for "a project on identity and anonymity."

One of her friends took her to my glass house to view the morphing portraits and she invited me to pose for her. She thought I was kidding when I asked, "The question is how you want me to look... with a mermaid tail, with legs, darker skin, fair skin, red hair, blond hair, dark hair, formal, casual, ethnic, strange, masked, tattoos? Do you want my alts too? My alts don't have as many choices."

*grins*

Well, I decided on wearing the Mer Betta Pasithea and made a pose for the shoot, which we did today.

When I did my interview for MODA Spotlight, one of the tasks was to wear something that I felt represented me, and I wore the Pasithea then too. And here's why: I created the first bridal mermaid in Second Life. Ironically, Opal has never been partnered. In fact, only one of my alts has ever been partnered, and then I put her in hibernation immediately after, because it really was just a symbolic partnership.

Now, the intriguing aspect of Gracie's project is that all the avatars are facing away from the camera. And one of the photos she took of me with the custom pose looked as though I was swimming away from the camera. I remarked that I looked like a runaway bride, and I thought it was so appropriate.

One of my "rules" is that Opal will only be partnered in SL if I am engaged to the same man in real life. But I have long-term commitment issues in real life. Ergo, the runaway bride.

Gracie took more pictures using the poses in my Kamihitoe AO, so I don't know if she'll eventually use that runaway bride shot. But the project is on display as she continues to add photos to the collection. And not all the photos show up in her blog or Flickr, so check it out inworld.

Personal space

Last week, I started uprooting some of the Linden plants on my parcels in Aglia and Zeuzera and replaced them with prim plants and trees from Organica and Botanical. I've been reluctant to make too many changes in Aglia because I want to preserve that parcel's history. Well, at least its history as it pertains to me. :)

For now, I've set down autumn trees which will change in a few months. Or maybe not, depending how I feel. And I'll probably reroute the stream and switch to better sculpts for the water. In any case, the re-landscaping is not quite done. And I won't be touching the main structures, like the glass house, the deck, and the gazebo. At least, not yet. I feel some pride in the fact that they've withstood time.

My neighbors in Zeuzera saw the changes I made to that parcel and noticed that I've updated the dividing wall. I met them when they first moved in, when they asked if I would smooth the dip in the terrain at the border of our parcels. Later, they purchased the parcel I had a bit north when I needed room in my tier. They wanted to purchase the rest of my parcel in Zeuzera but I refused. It is my buffer, in a sense, protecting the main parcel which is the first land I bought. When my neighbors saw the updated wall, they asked if I could remove it instead. I had made the walls transparent on their side, so I didn't see a reason why I should remove them.

To their credit, they've done a wonderful job with their parcels. There are layers of landscaping areas and lovely hidden nooks among the foliage of the trees and rocks. But the sculpted cliffs that surrounded their paradise was transparent from my side yet showed strips of some of the faces perpendicular to the border. And it looked ugly from the wrong side. I explained this and they agreed. Instead, they offered to landscape my parcel as well.

I'm sure they meant well with that offer. And I thanked them but declined. Besides the issue of choosing between opening up my parcel so anybody could rez on it (so I would have to waste my time checking if newbies had left junk on the parcel) or adding strangers to my private group (which would reveal some alts that I don't want revealed), I felt insulted by the offer.

I have never said anything about their trees overlapping at least a meter into my land, which makes me feel like they were invading my personal space. It's not as though my parcels look awful. One of the things they said when they moved next door was that they liked the fact that I built a garden. And for them to build right on my land and impose their idea of a garden on me feels insulting.

I'm sure that's not their intent. They were probably just trying to be nice. But that makes assumptions about what people want out of SL. They probably assumed I just want a pretty place to live in. But it's more than that.

The end result doesn't matter as much as the process itself. I don't just want a pretty place. I want a pretty place that *I* built and put together, using pieces that *I* choose, placing them where *I* want. Only then can it feel as though the space were really mine. This is not a public parcel, although I allow people to spend time in it. It is there for *my* pleasure, not for anyone else's. And, therefore, it should be just the way *I* want it to be.

In fact, I don't spend much time in that parcel anymore, because I had moved my workloft to another sim, and the pavilion I set up for me and my lover is in yet another sim. But I keep Aglia and Zeuzera because they have personal meaning for me. And, because of that, those spaces are more *personal*.

It's not the space or the object or the avatar that matters, but the meaning we associate to them, the emotions that get attached to them. A virtual shrub of gardenias is just another pretty thing until a lover gives it to his beloved. A gazebo is just another nice place to sit in, until friends gather in it and share wonderful conversations in it. A song is just another pleasant sound, until a man dedicates it to a woman because it reminds him of her.

It is the same with these parcels.

Un mes

Well, there were 31 days in August, so this is Day 31. Very few of my previous lovers have gone past the 30-day mark. And none of them had spent hours with me almost every day. And the last time I had sex almost everyday for a month was a couple of decades or so ago.

This one is very different and could very well last a while. Sure, it's mostly about sex. But it clears my head! No tantrums, no storms, because I'm satisfied.

If nothing else, I'm learning Spanish. In fact, I've learned how to make the "ñ" on my keyboard. (It's Alt-0241.) Of course, the words I'm learning are words like conejos, potro, yuega, perro, perra, polla, pelotas, coño, follar, .... *giggles*

In the red

In light of EmeraldGate, I went searching for new Second Life viewers. And after installing and uninstalling a few, I've come down to two:

* Imprudence, which allows me to log into Inworldz as well. (More about Inworldz below.) Purple tag color.
* Emergence, which is a scrubbed version of Emerald. Red tag color.

I have both installed, but I may be using Emergence in SL primarily, for several reasons: a) It has the Emerald features that I want and it generally feels more stable than Imprudence. b) It has LordGregGreg Back's personal guarantee that the code is safe because he only included Linden Lab code and open source code that he had personally reviewed.

I have interacted with LordGregGreg only once because of an Emerald bug that affected my customers. I don't know much about him. But, after more than a day of reading countless blogs and forums and watching interviews and listening to voice chats in YouTube, it seemed to me that LordGregGreg had the most integrity in the whole lot. Even though his name is mentioned in the Phoenix project, he's not the only developer there.

So, I've gone in the red.

Now, about Inworldz. I've been invited to bring Mer Betta there twice. And mfpwtff also tried to convince me to try it. Well, I've tried OpenSim and I haven't logged in there again. Same with Blue Mars. But, LL's upcoming Display Name feature seems to be going forward anyway, in spite of a large number of people bringing up serious concerns about identity theft and its effects on the reputations and businesses we've built inworld, I'm starting to look elsewhere again. I might even just close up shop. I don't know yet. For the measly amount we earn inworld for the tremendous amount of work we do to earn it, is it worth the additional stress of worrying if someone is out there with your name over their head and wreaking havoc and ruining your business? We have enough trouble with copybots and copycats, do we need one more thing to keep us awake at night?

Exclusivity without the promise of

I'll call him "Rapido" because he talks fast.

I met him two weeks ago at Sweethearts, actually. I IM'd him first and, soon after, I got other IMs. Then someone asked me to dance a split second before he did.

As a matter of principle, I went with the other guy who asked me first, but he turned out to be in his 20s and we didn't have anything to talk about as soon as we hopped on the pose balls. So I excused myself and explained that I was already chatting with someone when he asked me to dance and I felt that I made the wrong decision. The 20-something was surprisingly very gracious and he understood. I IM'd him again the next day, apologizing, and he was still very gracious. Whoever he ends up with will be a very lucky woman indeed.

Anyway, Rapido smiled when I said I was free again for that dance, and we went to Sunset Jazz, where there was less lag. We chatted only for about 15 minutes, then he excused himself soon in order to talk with a friend. I figured that was it. He friended me but I'm still being a hermit, so I turned off my status for him too.

Then a few days ago, I decided to go to Franks. I needed company. Franks was as laggy as usual, but I saw a yellow dot on my mini-map and it turned out to be Harper, so I waved in IM. After a brief exchange with her, I saw another yellow dot farther towards the corner and it turned out to be Rapido, so I said hi.

I asked him why he was just sitting there and not dancing. He said he was waiting for me. Uh-huh. LOL. But I needed flattery that day, so I went along. After struggling with the lag, he tp'd me to his rental place instead and we danced for a bit.

Well, it turned out that he's not just a fast talker but a fast mover too. Not that I minded. After sex, he said he had to work and he gave me a link to a radio station. I didn't quite get what the significance was. I thanked him and said I was listening to my own music. He laughed, then he had to go.

Back in my work loft, I tried the link anyway and heard a man with a rich full baritone voice, speaking in Spanish, and some music. The radio program reminded me of radio shows I grew up listening to, with the announcer interrupting the music every so often. The music was fast and had a strong beat and it really wasn't what I enjoy listening to, so I turned it off after a while and went back to listening to Il Divo.

I thought he would be gone the rest of the day, but he logged back in after a couple of hours. I realized that was him on the radio. So, we talked some more and had sex some more, until I was so tired. I logged off at 5:45am.

I usually outlast the men. They log off long before I do, and they don't need as much sex as I do. But I think I've met my match.

The next day, we had sex again before his show. But this time, he logged in using the computer inside the studio and sat with me throughout his show. And this time, I listened. Because I told him that I didn't like the music, he played Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night" and mentioned my name on the air, challenging in Spanish that if I didn't like Frank, then I didn't like the music. When he found out my RL nickname, he mixed it in with other trivia during the show. And he repeated it a few times. I was blown away. After his show, we continued chatting and had sex again.

That's been our routine everyday for the past four days, from 11pm to 5am or 6am. Talking, laughing, learning about each other. He's learning English and I'm relearning Spanish.

And we're defining our boundaries. He's very demanding. He wants exclusivity, for one. After thinking about it and remembering my last affair, I said no. I would give him exclusivity anyway because he fulfills my sexual needs, but I won't promise it. He asked why. I said it's because I've seen way too many men in SL cheat on their wives and their partners. It's not so much because I want to have sex with other men; it's that I don't want to worry if he's having sex with other women. If we're not exclusive, then I wouldn't care if he does. It's not the sex itself that ruins a relationship, but the lost of trust. This way, there are no promises to be broken, because the promise wasn't made in the first place. He laughed but he understood my point.

So, theoretically, we're not exclusive. But, in practice, we are. At least, for now.

Gone

I honestly don't know what happened. All of a sudden, he was avoiding me, he was logging in only when I wasn't in, and he wasn't responding to either emails or IMs.

He had done it to someone else before. Once, when we were chatting, he said he was ignoring a friend who sent him an IM and not responding at all. He said they were meaningless. So, I figured, this time, I became one of the "meaningless".

So, when I finally caught him online, I said my goodbyes as civilly as I could. In a monologue, because he never responded. He probably already muted me by then, like he did his ex.

I don't think I jumped the gun too soon, although my instinct was to run away as fast as I could. But I gave him the benefit of a doubt for almost a week. That was almost half the length of the affair itself.

I had been in a similar situation in the past. Opened my soul to another, who suddenly decided to stop talking to me for no apparent reason. Well, not apparent to me, at least. It was very painful then and I'm sure some of the pain this time around came from that first incident.

I sent him a copy of the monologue by email, just to make sure. I was already hiding from everyone since the day before, to be a hermit for a while. The next day, he removed me from his friends list.

That was last week. I'm still being a hermit.

132.25 kilometers

RFL 2010 Final Pedometer

That's how far I ran this weekend on the Relay for Life track in Second Life. That was about 15.5 laps, with each lap taking 8,500 meters and approximately 45 minutes.

I was up all night, since I had out-of-town friends visiting yesterday, and it's easier at night anyway. Of course, I took breaks too.

This year, I prepared for the hourly themes. But, when one of the DJs on the music stream reminded us of Kimmera Madison's RFL gown, I kept an eye out for it and bought it when I passed by the vendor. I decided to use that instead for the Formal Wear lap, just before the Closing Ceremonies.

Kevlin (who wanted to show me his new shape) tagged along with the "Walk and Talk" for a while. Hans (who came as a cute little ferret) was planning to, but work called his attention and he never got back. Vann came just briefly. But all of them got a luminary. The MODA models joined me at 8am today and we sashayed our way through the lag in our gorgeous gowns. After the Closing Ceremonies, I did one more lap, but, this time, dancing.

What's awesome is that, during the RFL, all the oldbies come out of the woodwork. So many familiar names on the track. Not just friends and acquaintances either, but also people whose names I've only seen as creators on prims.

As of 11am today, the total amount raised was US$214,211.

And, oh, yeah, unlike last year, I already have a boyfriend. ;)

Gone blonde

Well, he met me as a blonde. And he likes blondes. So, ...

Profile 20100714

Yup, I've gone blonde. :)

There are several reasons I changed the skin too. My old skin doesn't look quite right with blonde. He met my alt in this skin as a blonde (don't ask). He thinks this skin looks "angelic" and softer than my old skin.

I've created brand new alts for lovers before. Alt #9 was a redhead because her lover is attracted to redheads. So, why not go blonde for this new lover?

It's still going well. We still keep talking, talking, talking, like old friends catching up on each other's lives after a lifetime of being apart. Maybe our souls *are* old friends catching up on each other's lives after a lifetime of being apart.

I feel very comfortable around him. No pressure, no rush. And there is a depth of character in him that I never expected and it's a wonderful surprise.

(If you notice another face superimposed over the trees and lake, yup, that's him.)

Gone exclusive

He was born in SL two weeks after I was. In January 9, 2007, he stood two meters away from me during a live music event. (I found a line in my chat logs where my radar said he was "02m" away.)

Yesterday, I met him. Today, we became exclusive. On all alts.

We talked for hours today. We found out we have so many things in common, both in RL and in SL. And we shared the same perspective about SL; we both acknowledge that SL is not separate from RL, and we both know how powerful this medium could be.

After he logged off, I tried to transfer my cuddles HUD and my sex HUD (both from Digital Dreams) from my RP alt to Opal, and I forgot that I had set Opal to busy. SL ate the HUDs; they're not in either inventory. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something....

(Update: The HUDs eventually showed up in my inventory. I guess I can have sex again. LOL)

"RL takes precedence"

When someone says "RL takes precedence," what they really mean is that you're not important. To them, you're just a doll that they take down from the shelf to play with when they feel like it, then they put you back up on the shelf when they're done.

Of course, they don't like it when you treat them the same way, because, well, *they* are important.

But that's just the way things are. *We* and *ours* are important to ourselves. And everybody else is chopped liver. And we assign greater value to things that are tangible, or at least things that *seem* tangible to us. Except it's too arrogant to admit that, so people just say, "RL takes precedence."

I've never said "RL takes precedence." But if the occasion arises, I hope that I'd be courageously honest enough to say, "I'm sorry, you're not that important to me. Cutting my toenails in RL takes precedence over you in SL."

Benchmarking beauty

Noni Abeyante asked the MODA Spotlight models to create a comp card. I didn't know there was such a thing until now. Apparently, it's like a mini-portfolio / business card for models.

Anyway, after looking at several examples on the web, I came up with this, which is laid out more like a magazine spread.

Opal Lei 201006 Comp Card

The hardest part of the process is choosing which pictures to include, even after limiting my choices to the ones where I'm wearing my current skin.

And the paradigm shift of the day is when I looked at old pictures and think, "Oh, my god, I'm so ugly!" even where I thought I looked drop-dead gorgeous when the picture was taken. This is the exact opposite of my reaction when I look at my old RL pictures and realize that I didn't look as bad as I thought when I was younger.

And I've come to the realization that, not only do we not own our beauty as Black says, but our perception of beauty changes, depending on who we are at that point in time. And, maybe, it is also influenced by how much control we have in how we look.

Nesting... in a tree

A glass house... a New York studio apartment... a ship... These were homes I had shared with lovers.

The glass house is now a gallery of sorts for my morphing portraits. The last time I called it "home" was in my first month in SL. The NY studio (Alt #9's home) is back in another alt's inventory, and the ship (RP alt's home) will be back in my inventory this week.

Opal's home is set to my work loft, which is mostly bare. After all, when I'm alone, I work. And I'm mostly alone.

But I'm nesting again. This time in a tree. A tree house to be precise. On a floating island. It would be the home of my RP alt and her new elven lover.



There is something very heartwarming about setting up a home with a lover. There's a sacredness to it. And as time goes on, the place is imbued with meaning and sentiment because of the moments you share in it.

I've had to sell the parcel where the ship was and I sent an email to the Captain to let him know that he would have to pick up his objects. But when I went there to gather up my objects back into my inventory, I became intensely emotional and I literally could not take anything back. So, instead, I moved the ship next door to the same parcel as my work loft, and sent the Captain a new message to move the objects instead. Of course, I forgot to turn off the auto-return, so his objects were returned to him anyway.

The NY studio wasn't as difficult, probably because all the objects were mine, so I could easily just rez it if I miss that time in my life. But the Captain owned the gardenia bushes and those had a predominant presence on the ship. It just isn't the same without those gardenias. I don't really want to bother him to come back into SL to set them out, just because I'm feeling sentimental. So, I'll be taking the whole ship back into my inventory to free up prim space.

Hopefully, I won't be feeling sentimental for a long time, because I'd be too busy creating new sentiments in this new home.

The light changed

I've never met a lover through my RP alt. She was created for a lover and I've moved another lover to her, and both times to hide from the cricket. But I've never met a lover through her. Until now.

I met him a week ago. He came back the next day, and the next. He's a busy man, and we both established that neither of us can log in often. But he is compelled to come back to me, so he returns even for just a short time, and I go there to be with him.

When I met him the second day, we found a quiet place that had a bench where I could lay my head on his lap. The intensity of those few hours... the emotions... the words we exchanged... made me heady in real life, like a deep infatuation. I had not been romanced like that in SL before. I thought, if I gave him sex, he'd be satisfied and move on. But he came back with the same intensity, focused on the romance.

At first, I thought it would only be roleplay, but we're discussing the possibility of moving out of the roleplay now.

"When you appeared and spoke to me....the light changed...," he said today, remembering the day we met, "no one in [RP sim] that day mattered...I could not see past you." He said it out of character.

The things he says, they fill my heart with comfort and quiet joy. I'm afraid to hope. But I am grateful to have met him anyway, even if it doesn't move out of roleplay. I'm just savoring every moment while I can.



"It must be time to move on now
Without the fear of how it might end.
I guess I'm ready to love again."

If ne'er the twain shall meet,...

Here's my question....

A lot of people say that SL is SL and RL is RL and "ne'er the twain shall meet."

Well, in SL, my alts are different people. And the only link among them is the human behind the avatar, and that human is in RL.

So, if SL is SL, then they should think of my alts as separate individuals, and they shouldn't care if my alts have other lovers.

Correct?

*grins*

Filters

In my sex alt, I've used my profile to discourage men who expect more than I'm willing to give. It was a way to manage expectations upfront.

Opal didn't have the same filter in place. Until today.

With most of my lovers, even if the romance is SL-only, there's still a genuine real-life friendship. But, lately, I've been opening up to the possibility of a real-life romance.

So, I've decided to put a filter in place to save me from heartaches and wasted time. My 1st life tab now says:

If you're looking for a physically attractive woman irl, sorry, I'm an old fat ugly hag, so... SHOO! SCAT!

Otherwise, I'm an intelligent creative woman with growing wisdom and natural wildness... Say hi.

Gifted

I have a gift.

My gift is that I help men realize how wonderful their current or past partners/girlfriends/wives are. After having an affair with me, no matter how short or long the affair was, they decide to return to their partners/girlfriends/wives.

I've been close to 100% successful in bringing couples back together. What marriage counselor could make that claim?

Yesterday, I had another of those success stories. He chose to go back to an old flame.

I should advertise. "Did your lover leave you? Has your relationship soured? Want him back? ... Send him to Opal Lei for an affair and he'll come running back to you! ... Guaranteed results!"

Stunning normalcy

I met him today while I was logged as my sex alt. It wasn't even at a sex place and I had just tp'd there with a newbie to dance. And after things rezzed, I realized he rezzed right behind us. I thought we tp'd right on top of him. He said hi. We three exchanged some pleasantries, then my newbie friend said he had to leave, so I continued chatting with our newfound friend instead, and we ended up dancing right there.

That was at 8pm.

By 9:30pm, I was logging into Opal to meet him at a sim we agreed to meet at. When I got there, he was chatting with someone else. I excused myself and tp'd to another part of the sim and IM'd him that maybe we could meet at another time instead. He invited me to come back but I said it would feel awkward. Then it dawned on me and I asked if he mistook that woman as me, and I mentioned my sex alt's name. He did. :D A minute later, he was walking towards me.

At 10:11pm, we were just kissing, then out of the blue,...

"Do you have a bf?" he asked.

"In RL, no relationship," I replied. "In SL, I have casual BFs. More like friends with privileges. None exclusive."

"Ok i'll be your rl bf then ;)"


He feels comfortable, like he's a combination of different things from different parts of my life. It's a warm feeling. There's a sense of familiarity in the newness of it all.

I'm still stunned. This whole evening just went whooosh! Like I'm being carried away by the rush of water in a fast river. But, again, it feels comfortable.

The analytical part of my brain still wants to wait and see. I've been this way before. But I have a feeling this one is different, because it feels "normal".

Normal, except that I'm stunned.


mfpwtff sent me a video link after I told him I have a new bf. This is the official version of that video. (Somewhere along the way, he turned into my relationship coach, and I trust him explicitly, simply because he thinks things through as much as I do.)


"Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms..."

Vrroom! Vrroom!

Rodion gave me permission to quote him. We were chatting last night about machinima because I want to create a 30-second commercial for Mer Betta, and the conversation kinda drifted away from that. He was complimenting my avatar.

Rodion Resistance: it's more like me appreciating a sports car that overtook the bus I was riding
Opal Lei: LOL
Rodion Resistance: sorry for the rough analogy
Opal Lei: I love it. lol
Rodion Resistance: its an art thing with sensuality spread like sugar crystals
Opal Lei: Can I blog that sports car comment? lol
Rodion Resistance: sure!
Opal Lei: Yay! lol
Rodion Resistance: but in your case not only a sports car, you're more like an exotic foreign v12 engine supercar
Opal Lei: LMAO
Opal Lei: I think that's one of the best compliments I've gotten.


Vrroom! Vrroom! :D

Black is back

There's a Zen koan that goes something like this:

An older monk and a young monk were on their way to a temple where they would spend the night. Along the way, they came upon a river that was swollen from heavy rains. On the river's edge stood a woman who was trying to figure out how to cross.

Now, monks are not allowed to touch a woman at all and the young monk thought that they would simply pass the woman. Instead, when the older monk realized the woman's dilemma, he said, "Come on, woman," and picked her up on his shoulders. The young monk was shocked at the older monk's actions but he chose not to say anything.

When they reached the other bank, the older monk set the woman down. She thanked them profusely and they all went their separate ways. When the monks were in sight of the temple at sundown, the young monk suddenly blurted out, "You... You touched that woman back there!"

It was the older monk's turn to be surprised. He replied, "I set her down a long time ago. Why are you still carrying her?"


I have two young monks who continue to carry my sex alt.

The first one would IM every month or two for more than a year now, even after I had thought we already said our goodbyes. I was getting him ready to meet Opal when he chose not to move forward. His reason: "Rivers always run." That was after I told him the Zen koan. Months later, he returned and said, "I had forgotten how good you are." Because I had succeeded in tempting him again. :)

The second one also said his goodbyes and came back several weeks later. He has now made it a point to check on me every Saturday.

Black, whom I had talked about in the past, goes in the opposite direction. Whereas most of my other lovers met my sex alt first, Black met my RL alt first. In spite of all the heavy sexual flirting, I haven't had sex with him -- yet. He was gone from SL for a long time, and he came back yesterday. In a different alt. He left because he "didn't want to be tempted by the SL distraction". I think he came back precisely because of the SL distraction.

I think he's my third young monk. But he decided to come back to the river so he could carry me across and, more importantly, so he could set me down on the other side. As friends with privileges, no exclusivity, and in roleplay to muffle the cricket.


(My young lover who wanted exclusivity also returned, still deeply in love with my voice. But he caught me at a busy time because of the faire so I'll have some catching up to do with him too. *sigh* I am blessed.)

Tout ou rien

He gave me an ultimatum today and I don't know what triggered it.

We were just shopping for shoes. I was going to buy it for him, but he refused. Then, somehow, the conversation got to the exclusivity topic again, right there at the shoe store. He said goodbye and stormed off. I went back to my workloft.

A short while later, he tp'd to my workloft and stood there for a few minutes, neither of us saying anything, then he left again. In the evening, he IM'd me again. He was still unwilling to compromise. All or nothing, not even friendship.

He is too young and too inexperienced to understand what a commitment entails. And for him, a commitment is total. Even dancing with other men would not be allowed if we were exclusive. And he doesn't like the fact that I have several other alts. Would he also restrict me using those alts, even if they were just for roleplay or other businesses?

It breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that he refuses to compromise. It breaks my heart that he refuses to keep the friendship.

But it doesn't matter...

*I* will keep the friendship...

In case, he wants it back...

Someday.

A marriage proposal

Okay, I admit I've been guilty of serious pranks on April 1st; and I've masterminded a few that involved organizing. Well, being quite busy this month, the pranks I pulled yesterday were pretty much off-the-cuff.

The most significant one being the marriage proposals on Grant Linden's shout box in AvatarsUnited.com. After proposing to him there, I got a few other women to do the same. Well, it's not a prank if it's just *one* proposal.

Anyway, Grant responded later with the following shout in my page and in Juju's page: "I am afraid that it was explained to me on my first day at the Lab that getting married was not allowed for us hard working Lindens. Sadly, I must decline."

So, to counter that, I filed a jira. It was still April 1st after all. *grins mischievously*

To my surprise, someone reviewed the jira entry this morning and didn't close it. Instead, she changed it from a "bug" to a "new feature". I guess Lindens still have a sense of humor. *grins*

(Apologies to Mrs. Grant Linden. It really was just a joke.)

Young lover

I met him as my sex alt four months ago. It was just a sexual arrangement. He is so young, in his 20s. But, so sweet, I couldn't deny seeing him again. I told him I couldn't be exclusive because I was with the Captain then. He didn't mind, since he had another girlfriend anyway.

We had to find places where we could talk in public chat and still be alone, in order to use the translator. His English is very limited. And, well, I'm learning to cyber in French. *grins*

He was the young lover I left for another in January. I went back to him afterwards and he welcomed me back warmly, repeating over and over that he missed me.

Last week, he wanted to hear my voice and, since I had been seeing him for a while now, I agreed. He fell in love with my voice, with my breaths. I fell in love with his voice and his charming accent as he tried to read the English translations out loud. He has great tenderness for his age. And also great innocence and naivete.

The next day, I decided to introduce him to Opal. After recovering from his initial shock (he was intimidated by Opal's ancient-ness), he was fine. Then I tried to introduce him to my RP alt, and he almost panicked. He said "je veux une femme... pas deux ou trois". Well, the built-in Google translator in the Emerald viewer translated that as "I want a wife... not two or three". The word "wife" made me panic.

We talked again today and it was clear that he wanted exclusivity. I couldn't give it to him. I'm seeing other men but not seriously either. And, yes, I care about him deeply and I love him, but I need more than just sex in a relationship. Even though I focus on the sex, when all is said and done, I need much more than that. As mature and charming and generous as he is, he doesn't yet have the wisdom that comes with experience and insight. Therefore, he could not understand me. Heck, most men my age could not understand me. It can't be a serious relationship if it doesn't go beyond the superficial.

He said he would find another woman, and we agreed to continue to meet as we have before, but no exclusivity. Still, my heart breaks for him, more so now than when I first broke up with him. I wish I were the right woman for him and he the right man for me, but neither of us is. I know my needs and it would not have lasted.

True power

"Are you ready to submit?" he had been asking for the past week, each time he pinged me. My answer was always, "Never." Well, actually, I tried to vary my response, but the gist was the same. He even bought me a collar last Friday, and I said that I hope he could get his money back. And, since then, his question changed to "Ready for your collar?"

He wanted me to yield to his power. What power? For the same reason that bullying is a sign of fear and arrogance is a sign of insecurity, subjugating another is a sign of weakness. His power is illusory; he's at the mercy of his submissive. No submissive, no power. If he had true power, he wouldn't need anyone to submit to him.

In traditional marriages, a wife submits to her husband's will. But he is committed to care for her well-being. Why on earth would I submit to the will of a perfect stranger who doesn't love me and therefore couldn't care less about my well-being? That would be utterly stupid. Would a CEO give up control of the company to anybody who walks in from the street and says, "I want to take over your company"? No. So why does he expect me to submit to him?

I understand roleplaying. I've roleplayed being a dom and being a sub with other lovers as a sexual scenario. But he didn't mean roleplay.

His persistence reached its limit today and he finally gave up. I wished him well and he removed me from his friends list.

I'm not entirely against submitting. But I will submit only to one who has true power, great wisdom, and a deep love for me. Until then, I live my own life, thank you very much.

Stronger medicine

I met him at Frank's. He saw me standing alone upstairs on the balcony, the only one to notice me that night. I had checked out his profile before he pinged me. His About was intriguing, but something in his Picks was disappointing -- he is into BDSM. Firmly.

I respect people's lifestyle choices, but I have always known that BDSM and Gor are not for me. I don't make a good submissive nor a good mistress. Nor do I want to. I am much too independent.

He asked for a dance and I agreed anyway. It was just a dance after all. He himself figured out that I'm "independent and strong" and yet he wanted me to submit to him. After I said I was certain that it wasn't what I needed, he stood up. He said that he misread me and that I had steep walls. Then he said goodnight. He went off to dance with someone else, while I continued to check out other profiles. A few minutes later, he IM'd me again, inviting me to his home for a dance.

I saw him again the next day and the next. Setting boundaries, arguing about them, defining ourselves. I told him I will never be his sub, nor his dom. He agreed that he will not try to control me, although he tries anyway. At the same time, he fights off my attempts to control him. I have not said "no" to anyone in SL as many times as I have to him in those two days.

I told him I don't need just another sexual lover; I told him I needed an emotional lover. He said he wanted me and he wanted to be my lover, sexually, emotionally, and intellectually. He said it in voice, while he was pleasuring me.

I don't know where this would end up or how long it would last. We're both still fighting over the reins. He wants to take my power; I think he had given his up to me and he doesn't realize it. I push him away and he hangs on. He claims he's not hanging on, that it is my strength that attracts him. Regardless, his persistence impresses me.

When I was chatting with mfpwtff about my last lover, he joked that I need someone who's "strong willed too". I laughed. But he might be right.

But maybe not the last lover; his will is no match to mine. Maybe I need stronger medicine. Like this new one.

Condolences to the bride

It was difficult enough to stand there as his best man as he pledged his love to another woman. But he twisted the proverbial knife when he dedicated a song at the reception to his new bride, telling her in public chat that it was their love song. It was the same song he dedicated to me just a week ago because he said it was how he saw me.

It was just a song after all, but it had meaning to me. It was as though a gift I treasured was snatched away and given to another. There are millions of love songs in this world. Why did he have to give her that song? What he did was a pure act of sadism.

Most of my past lovers have remained friends. Good friends, in fact, both in SL and irl, because they truly care about my well-being. He won't be. Because he doesn't.


I have a tab in my Picks titled "Leave me be...". I added a new paragraph at the end of it.

... if you think SL is a game, because it isn't to me and my heart is not a plaything.

... if you don't want drama, because drama arises from strong emotions and, when I love, there *are* strong emotions.

... if all you see is the beauty of my avatar, because my avatar is merely a product of my creativity. Would you claim you loved me if you fell in love with a piece of furniture I created?

... if I have to fight for your affections, because love should be a willing coming-together of two souls, not a chasing-after. If I have to fight for you, you're not worth fighting for.




My condolences to the bride.

Fairy tales

Each of us, deep in our psyches, have our personal fairy tale story. Maybe we dream of the prince who rescues us from dragons or evil stepmothers or a sleeping spell. Or even an ordinary man who saves us from everyday loneliness.

Well, princes have their fairy tales too. They dream of beautiful princesses or pretty damsels in distress or mysterious gypsies or shimmying bellydancers. Or even an ordinary woman who saves them from everyday loneliness.

Maybe, all we're looking for -- when we walk into dance halls and meeting places -- is someone to play the part of that prince or that princess.

And the details don't matter. One can easily change one's avatar after all to match the other person's ideal. Just act the part and everything will be fine. And if you find one who can't act the part, find another.

We're nothing but replaceable actors in a world of fairy tales.

Maybe love is an aspect of how well someone fits into our personal fairy tale. Maybe love doesn't really exist outside a fairy tale.


I didn't fit as the heroine in his fairy tale. He found one who does. He marries her on Wednesday. With HiHo to stand by his side as his best man. Supporting actor.

Surprisingly, I feel at peace. In pain, but at peace. I wanted more than a fairy tale after all.

Back to the abbey

I don't understand him.

There are missing pieces to the puzzle and I understand that they are not for me to see. But because the picture is incomplete, I do not trust what I see.

But he held on.... Amidst my storms, he held on.

I gave him his freedom back and reclaimed mine, yet he stays. I'm pretty sure that, eventually, he'll fade away. After he has sated his curiosity about me, he'll fade away. We'll see.

I don't trust him as a lover. Even though we never spoke of it, I sense that he has that same big gaping ravenous maw of emotional need inside him. And one woman could never fill it, just as one man could never fill mine, though he came pretty close.

Maybe that's what terrifies me. To entrust my heart to one man. To lose control and surrender. And when a lover comes along, I have to be absolutely sure. Therefore, the storms.

So he remains in my life, as he wishes. And as a friend, as I wish. With non-exclusive privileges, as we both wish.

If nothing else, I may have gained a true friend for life.



"And I never want to let you down
Forgive me if I slip away"
- "February Song", Josh Groban



(The title is a reference to that part of the story in "Sound of Music" when Maria returns to the abbey where she feels safe. I'm just sticking to the same metaphor I started with this week.)

48 hours

Is it possible to fall in love with someone within a 48-hour period? And you know it's not infatuation and it's not hormones. It doesn't feel rushed, it doesn't feel forced, and it doesn't feel like roleplay.

The more I get to know him, the deeper I fall. It feels like I've loved him for a lifetime.

I had doubts about the emotions. I still have doubts about the relationship working out. I'm pragmatic. Been there, done that too many times. But, last night, I realized that it would really hurt a lot when it comes time to give him up.

When I committed to be exclusive to him for 30 days on the first night we met, it was a logical decision. This morning, it became an emotional commitment.

Today, he sent me this link to YouTube and asked me to listen. He said that this is how he sees me.


I am overwhelmed.


Today, the Captain responded to my email and he gave me his blessings. I was also able to reach another young lover, who said he hated me after he heard the news. But he forgave me in the end, after he realized that what I found is much more than just a sexual arrangement. I still have two good friends and I am very grateful for that.


When I woke up today, this song was playing in my head:


"He came into my life and made the living fine... He fills my heart...."

He fills my heart. I am overflowing.

Something good



I couldn't focus and I'd been struggling with a script that should have been done in a matter of hours, if only I could finally decide what I wanted it to do.

And I was antsy. I had that feeling that I was missing out on something important. The feeling that I had to get out of my workshop. But where to go? It was the middle of the night, or actually early in the morning.

I tp'd over to the two events that were going on. Neither felt right. I still had that feeling, so I went home, changed, and went to Frank's. I took a while checking out profiles and finally IM'd someone who turned out to not be interested at all. He was working and was just there to listen to music. When I asked if he cared to dance, his reply was that he doesn't roleplay. He considered dancing in SL as roleplaying. *sigh* I probably should have asked him if he cared to right-click on a dance poseball and choose "Sit".

After checking out a few more profiles, I decided to try Sweethearts Jazz. I hadn't been there for ages and there have been changes in the layout. People still just stand around milling. Still, it took a long time before I heard the first ding-ding. He was a software developer and the conversation went from technology to business inside SL. I was wondering when he would ask me to dance.

During that conversation, I got two more ding-dings. One was impressed with my avatar and was asking about my favorite places in SL. The other was impressed with my profile. So, there I was juggling three very different conversations. Then a woman walked over and stood in front of the software developer and he was quiet for several minutes.

During that silence, the one who was impressed with my avatar asked if I would take him to Chakryn Forest (after he asked what's there). I declined and said that I was in the middle of several IMs. He thanked me and that was that. Meanwhile, the one who was impressed with my profile asked me for a dance.

Out of courtesy, I told the software developer that I had been asked to dance. He graciously wished me well.

My dance partner led me to a spot close to the water, then we hopped on poseballs that he summoned from the Intan.

The conversation would have been just another typical conversation, except that, by the time we said goodbye, we were officially in an exclusive romantic relationship.

I proposed the 30-day limit like I've done before, he agreed reluctantly, but he had concerns about it so we talked some more when we met in the evening. I learned more about him tonight that made me realize he's more authentic than I gave him credit for. But I worry that he's jumping to conclusions about me.

But he treats me so well that I could blush. I thought I'd never find someone else who'd treat me as well as the Captain did, but here's one. Could I really be so lucky?

/me hums, "Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good..."

Time and time again

As I lived in Second Life, I've learned that time is the greatest commodity, even in a virtual world. It's what makes virtual life very real. You can have a virtual body, virtual clothes, a virtual home with virtual furniture, a virtual car or helicopter or yacht. You can separate your virtual friends from your real friends, your virtual relationships from your real relationships. You can earn virtual money in a virtual company producing virtual products made out of virtual materials. But there is no such thing as virtual time.

Virtual time is real time.

Time is eternal, but our lifetimes are not. There's only so much we can do in a lifetime and there are many demands on our time. We give time to what is important to us. Likewise, we are given time if we are important to someone else.

Time and priorities. That's all it's about.

Intuitively, I have always known this. I've always felt overwhelmed when a man sacrifices sleep several nights in a row just to spend a few more hours dancing with me, when a man misses his plane to an important client meeting the next morning because he lost track of time chatting with me, when a man parks his avatar next to mine and occasionally says something sweet just so he could feel my presence even while he's working.

I was important enough to them, even if only briefly.

Maybe the true measure of a lover is not how much he loves someone or something. Maybe the true measure of a lover is how much time he allots for the object of his love.

Love, as an emotion, is not a zero-sum game. Love, as an aspect of time, is.