A year ago today I lost a brother. I am not saying this is why I went all psycho on my kids (yelling about a dirty house), it has been on my mind and is certainly why I had no control. I knew what I was doing either way but that’s not why I posted this. This is to honor my fallen brother.
“Juanito, You are missed and we will soon be sitting on that boat fishing without hooks brother. I love you and thank you for teaching me to be a good man. I stumble now and again but I get up, dust off and remember what you said to me about being good to others.”
I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to write for this blog post. I guess I could have talked about all the things I’ve gained from SL. But instead, I want to dedicate this entry to a friend who I miss very much, and who should be remembered.
Juanito was Keeme’s (my partner) uncle- but as he was only two years older and they grew up together, they were best friends. When they were in their teens, Juanito was in a very bad car accident that left him a quadriplegic. Keeme told me how he’d hide out in Juanito’s hospital room after visiting hours, and they’d stay up talking well into the night, but Keeme would not leave his side.
Early last year, Keeme was able to buy a laptop for Juanito that would run SL, and sent it to him at the hospital where he lived. Juanito had spent the majority of his life in a hospital bed, and Keeme wanted him to experience the freedom SL could give him, as well as the social benefits of being able to meet and hang out with his friends. I was excited to meet Juanito, because I had heard so many stories about him from Keeme. It was clear how much Keeme loved and respected him. When Juanito was able to start logging in, Keeme and I were there to guide him along. Because of his very limited mobility as well as a vision impairment, he was not able to navigate around as easily as most. He could not type or read text chat, access his inventory or use the map or search functions. But he was able to walk and fly around, accept teleports and voice chat with people. Those times meant more to him than a lot of people ever knew.They were special times, and I’m so glad I got to know him.
Juanito died last summer, due to complications from an infection he got in the hospital. Even though his health had been poor for years, it was still sudden and unexpected. One week from today, I will be visiting SL Memorial Park for the Day Of Remembrance.
There is a painting Keeme and I keep somewhere on our land, to remember Juanito by. It’s a photo Keeme took of the two of them, not long before he died. It moves around, depending on the build. But it’s always there, somewhere.
Hello anyone who reads this. I started this blog (Sim Crossing) in September of last year. A lot has changed since then. I opted to travel the maps of Secondlife and write stories of these travels. I started out doing just that and somewhere along the way I got sidetracked with life. I stopped writing in December of 2008 and since then I have had other adventures. I lost a person so close to me I sorta dropped out of life myself. His name is Juanito and we grew up together. I lost him after we had finally became close again, there were many years of disconnectedness. He was a part of Secondlife (after some coaxing) and he loved it! He loved the people so much, it made me see SL in a whole new light. I also spent a great deal of time layed up in the hospital after his passing (about 4 months) and have finally made my way back to the land of the living. I decided to re-visit this blog. I found a cool place on the Destination Station wall at Corona Cay island and said “what the heck”, clicked on a link and off exploring I went. I was impressed with the Sim so much I had to share the photos I took. I share these with anyone who may or may not remember this blog. If I am alone with it, so shall it be written. Maybe explorers in the future will find this and say “Damn that was one weird guy, but this is a really cool sim.”
My visit to Virtual Harlem began with a stop at the Cotton Club
I really liked the look and feel of this place, not just the club but the entire sim. I read on one of them all too familiar and annoying cards we get at RP sites, “the visitoris not to disrupt the classes that would be held and to respect.” Along with the message was the traditional “no guns, no naked, no idiot moves in general” line, *Damn, I had to rethink the lobster*. I have to admit this is one of the first times I thought (at the end of the journey) I hope no idiots come to disrupt this p
I managed to take a ride on a street car and had a fantastic time. The car would stop and give history lessons about the very places we were visiting. I forgot all my own worries and read all the info as we approached the various landmarks. This sim has a lot of educational value along with being well built. From what I gathered it was a proffesor of African American literature in RL who created this to teach how this wonderful community came to be (the era he chose was the 20’s and 30’s). Bryan Mnemonic (SL name) has this text in the 1st life tab of his profile
professor of Africa American lit and visual culture at a small univeristy in the midwest….searching for the real in the virtual. I currently teach cyberculture and composition courses within SL and hope to expand that to include my literature courses.
I was feeling lost and scared before I came into SL this evening. This sim made me feel alive and hopeful. When we, as human beings, find something beautiful, be it man made or natural, our souls are recharged by it. I now have a full tank and hope to come back here when there are more people exploring and sharing similar life experiences.
The Savoy ballroom
Harlem branch of the New York library
The Apollo Theater
The Abyssinnian Baptist Church
Now, I have never been to Harlem in real life… but I bet this sim can take, even those who have, back in time to how it was. Thank you sim builders whoever you all are.
Ok ok, just kidding. Keeme and I aren’t really having a prim baby. I found out about something that looks as if it’ll be even more fun!
First off, I have to extend a huge thank you to Alicia Chenaux for blogging about this in the first place. I briefly saw a plurk of hers that she wanted a baby chicken and she was asking everyone to go click on a Midnight Mania board so we could all get one. I saw a picture of a cute little chick running around that she had posted, honestly was rushed and didn’t get a chance to read the actual blog posts about it until this afternoon. I haven’t tried any Midnight Mania boards yet- (apparently, you click on a board that a store owner has out, and if enough people click by a certain time, everyone gets the item.)
I TP’d over to the store- what a cute place! I was busy at the time so I wasn’t able to stop and really look around. But I saved a LM there, because it looked really interesting and I wanted to know more about it, later. I saw all kinds of eggs for sale, but didn’t really know the drill.. I clicked on the board, then was on my way. Later that evening, I got a little egg basket delivered to me with two eggs in it!
Reading over the notecard, I saw that it would take a couple of hours for the eggs to hatch. I wanted to wait until I had time to be there for the hatching, so I put it back in my inventory until today.
A couple of hours ago, I rezzed one of the eggs for the first time. Keeme was online at the moment, and I was hoping he’d be able to watch the hatching, also. I figured I’d just rez one of them but save the other for later. That way if I missed it, I could try again when I had more time.
So, I rezzed the first egg.. then sort of tried to push Keeme off our sky platform when he was reading the notecard. He tried to get revenge by turning into a Trex, and attempting to step on and push the egg over the edge!
The egg is physical so I was afraid he really would knock it down to the ground. So I tried to sit on the egg to protect it. its not easy to sit on a round, physical object.
Eventually we settled in to wait for the chick to hatch. Keeme kept an eye on the egg, and I got motivated and decided I better build a fence around the edge of our platform- otherwise the chick would be sure to wander off the side. When the egg was at 98%, we both put our cameras on it, and waited..
And waited.. and waited some more. And then-
[16:57] sionEgg rev2: Hatching delayed because of region lag or missing rez permissions.
Oh no! It didn’t work. I wasn’t sure if it was because I only rezzed 1 of the 2 eggs.. or if the land was laggy.. or maybe I wasn’t set to the right group. Who knows.. I went over to Lavish SionChicken Cottage to see if I could find any other help, or leave a message for Alora Jewell, the owner. She got back to me pretty quick and said maybe it was just land.. but she sent me some replacement eggs, just in case. So nice!
However, when I got back.. Keeme was gone, and I saw he had been up to no good.
Very funny.. actually, I did think it was pretty hilarious and sent the picture to Alora. She said at least one of them was BOUND to hatch, lol.
We settled in for some more waiting, but eventually I got impatient and remembered that the notecard said that BOUGHT eggs will hatch in 15 minutes. So I went back to the Chicken farm and picked out a new egg- Cinnamon Spice. Once I got it back and rezzed it though, the timer is going slowly as if it also will take two hours. Ah well, we sit and wait.. only about an hour left on the red egg.
But then.. as I was typing that last paragraph, actually.. I saw some egg shells roll past on my screen. Turned around- and there it was!
There will be a lot more to post about, later. These chickens have some extremely cool features that I plan to explore. More updates on the other 2 chicks to come.
Back when Keeme and I had our house on Nowhereville, a running joke sort of developed between us. He was saying how he wanted to build a garage behind the house, and when I tried to suggest a good spot, he started saying it was too small and he only had a little tiny space in the back for his stuff. His protests were greatly exaggerated, believe me. But every since that day, he’s always joked about his postage-stamp size section of whatever house we happen to have at the time. Meanwhile, I’ve always kept it in the back of my mind that I really would like to build or buy him a garage, someday.
A bit of backstory, here. In real life, Keeme repairs and restores cars- and a big passion in his life are classic cars. Its something that he always has talked about, as long as I’ve known him.
The other day at work, I got the sudden urge to go ahead and tear down the Hydro prefab house I’ve had up for a few weeks now, and do something different. I never did anything with that house other than use it to sort inventory. I didn’t even furnish it, yet. But I realized, our parcel was going to waste, right now. I knew it was time to do something else with our land. Now seemed like a perfect time to do something for Keeme, or at least make an attempt at it. I decided this towards the end of my workday, and started planning out how I would try to build the garage. I’ve never built anything larger than a vase before.. and I sure haven’t tried to make any buildings. But I had an idea in mind, and I was determined to try it. So, as soon as I got home, I leveled our parcel down to bare ground and got started.
I’m not very good at building, at all. Every time I’ve tried to start something, I get frustrated and give up after a few minutes. But this time, I had a very clear vision in mind of how I wanted to build. I started with a megaprim for the floor. Once I got that first prim put down, the rest of the garage came together surprisingly fast.
I was so surprised, and proud of myself. The garage actually looked like a garage. Once the building itself was done, the next couple of days became like a treasure hunt of finding all the extras and accessories to complete the build. I started with some auto shop tools, a workbench and desk, and parked a car inside.
The more things I added, the more it started to really look like an auto repair shop. And the more enthusiastic I became, looking for more things to add. A fire extinguisher, a couch and table for the waiting area, a couple of road cones, a coffee machine.. And knowing how much Keeme loves classic cars, I started to scour Deviant Art and Google, looking for the best classic car art I could find.
Everytime I thought I was just about done, I’d think of something else. A car diagram chart. A bulletin board. A stack of tires..
I’ve never worked so hard on a build before, or spent so much time looking for little things to add. But I’m having a complete blast, doing it.
Keeme says he loved it, which made my day. It also encouraged me to think of more little details to add, and surprise him with. I started googling up images of car repair receipts and bills for the bulletin board, even a takeout menu.
And of course, the table in the waiting area needed magazines, so I started googling magazine covers that I thought you’d likely find in a repair shop. Sports Illustrated, some car magazine, and a Maxim. (With Halle Berry on the cover, cause I know Keeme loves her, haha.)
This is the most fun I’ve had with our land, so far. And its completely different from the type of builds I usually like. Thats what makes it fun, though. I like surprising our friends and trying to come up with something different every few weeks.
I think its finished for the most part, now. But I’m sure I’ll make little changes here and there, as they occur to me. And I especially love trying to think up new little touches to add that Keeme would like, for him to find whenever he comes online.
I originally planned on not posting about this on the blog, or making any official announcement. But I decided that its simply too huge in my SL life to not mention or acknowledge, so I simply must post about it, here.
After talking about it this evening, Keeme and I have decided to fade our podcast, Diamonds and Rust. This was an incredibly hard and painful decision for me, and believe me, I lost a lot of tears over it. Of everything I’ve done in SL, DAR has been the one thing I’ve been the most proud of over anything else. And I really have Keeme to thank, both for helping me to achieve something that I had been wanting to do for a really long time. And for being at my side through all of it. He was a podcaster long before I ever met him, and after I got to know him.. I knew that I wanted to do a podcast, and I wanted it to be with him. I remember hinting around about it, and then being SO happy when he suggested we start a show together. We almost lasted a year, with the podcast. Seventeen episodes, and all of them are full of memories that will be ones I’ll look back on.. and laugh, and smile, for a long time. Out of all of them, episode 17 was my absolute favorite. So I think thats a perfect note to end on.
Its been a fun ride. But both of us have been busy with other things, and it was getting harder and harder to find times to record. I wanted this to end as something people would look back on and think, yeah, that was a really good show. I think we accomplished that much, anyway.
I was hurting a lot over the decision, and I still am. I know its the right one. But sometimes that doesn’t ease the pain. Keeme came in world and we spent some time just exploring together. At the end, we sat on a boat in the middle of an ocean, and talked about it. He made me feel a lot better, and helped me remember to always do something because its fun, and there are a lot of other things to experience, learn and try out there. “Its a big world”, he said.
As for the seventeen episodes we put out over the last year, those will still be available at http://diamondrust.mypodcast.com/ . And pretty soon, I’ll probably move them to archive.org as well, just to make sure they won’t get lost.
So I’m sad, yes. But I’m also happy that I got to go along on this journey. And getting to do this with him was a huge honor, and one I’ll never forget.
As I’ve mentioned before, Keeme and I are sharing the land we own on Corona Cay. The original plan was for each of us to only take a couple of weeks to do what we wanted with the land, before we turned it over to the other. I had the land first, and plunked down my Nicky Patterson house to work on for awhile. I feel like I got some pretty good things accomplished with the interior, but never really fnished it or did much else. More and more time passed by, and I kept poking Keeme and asking him when he wanted to take his turn. He kept telling me that he was almost ready, he just had a lot going on in RL at the moment. I let some more time go by, and then a few nights ago decided to tear down my build. I figured if the land was clear, he’d get more motivated to do something.
The very next evening, I TP’d home expecting to see the empty land. But this is what I saw, when I rezzed in..
WOW. Not only did he put down a really cool looking build, but he landscaped, and everything! I have to admit, I am terrible with landscaping. I never did really landscape around our home on Nowhereville, and I sure didn’t plant so much as a flower while I was taking my turn with our new land. And here, Keeme has planted an orange grove to one side of our house, a bunch of Dogwoods on the other, and some bamboo shoots in the back. One of my favorite things he did was something simple, but I love the effect it gives…
I really love the cracked pathway, that leads down from the front porch to the street. The hill is on a very sharp incline, and I like how some of the pathway sections are turned at different angles or half jutting from the ground.. as if time and weather has moved them even more, and caused them to become more sunken and buried in the hillside.
This is another of my favorite things. As soon as I saw it, I made a beeline for it. I had no idea what it was, but I thought at first maybe it was an oriental fountain. I thought by clicking on it, that water would shoot up from the hole in the center. When I clicked, there was no water but a beam of light, instead. So then I thought maybe it was some sort of art sculpture, and was even MORE impressed. Later on, Itazura came by and said it was the hatch from that show, Lost. LOL. Keeme didn’t know it was the hatch, either. I have never seen the show, and apparently he hates it. But I begged him to let the hatch stay, because I still think it looks extremely cool, and I like it.
I love what he’s done, so far. I think its pretty neat to be around someone for so long, and still discover cool things like this that you never knew they could do. In fact, part of me is embarrased now that I see how far I have to go, and how much I have to learn, still. It takes so much more than tossing up a couple walls and doors to make a build your own. But thats why we are sharing the land.. so we can do things like this together, and I can learn from him. He told me I can use the rest of the prims to add some things myself.. but I dunno. I like where he’s going with this, so far. I’d like to wait and see what he does, next.
A lot has happened in the past few days. I’ve made a couple of very big impulsive decisions. And both of them, I’m quite happy with.
The first was Christmas morning. I was on plurk, sipping coffee and catching up on things. Maybe it was the holiday spirit that got me, but I suddenly decided that it was past time that Keeme and I have land again. I was actually looking for a very specific type of land. Unfortunately, I’m SO specific in what I want, that realistically, I don’t think its out there. I was hoping for an area that was very low in traffic, residential only with no commercial builds, no beaches, sand or oceans. Lots of privacy. For terrain, I wanted something in a forest, woods, or possibly mountain setting.. lots of trees and grass. Something like Botanical. And I wanted to pay a tier of around $15/month.
As you can imagine, thats probably not out there. Or if it is, it’s going to take me some time to find. Meanwhile, Itazura Radio has bought Podcast Island from Gary Leland and is currently making a lot of changes and opening parcels up for rent. Since the Destination Station is a huge draw for traffic and its centered in the middle of the island, I didn’t think I’d want to buy land there. But after spending some time looking for land last night, I realized that I’m probably not going to find ‘that perfect spot’ anytime soon. If ever. So in the meantime, why not go ahead and rent some land on PI for Keeme and I to play with. I talked to Itazura and he showed me a spot of land across from Gomem’s castle. So, I went ahead and send him the funds, and got us some land! When I plurked it, Nicky Patterson saw it and sent me this REALLY cool prefab she built. I love it! And its only like 80 something prims. I dropped it on our land for now, but I still have some major terraforming to do. So, here are a few ‘before’ pictures of both the land and the house.
I was SO excited about this.. but I’m even more excited now because Keeme and I have some really great ideas for this land. First of all – my original plan was to put down the Villa Romano house thats been sitting in my inventory since right before we had to give up our land on Nowhereville. Its one of my favorite prefabs and I never even got a chance to use it yet. But when Nicky sent me this extremely cool house, she sent it to me full perms and said I could use it to play around with. I LOVE that idea because I’ve really been wanting to practicing modifying a house, but I’ve been afraid to try it with our last one. Both the crime house and the Villa Romano are the types that rez in several sections and have to be adjusted with a rezzing box. This one is all in one piece, so it doesn’t intimidate me to move it around or even delete and re-rez it. This will be PERFECT for me to practice retexturing the walls and floors, and possibly even adding on other walls or sections. I cannot say how happy and excited this makes me- not to mention that I LOVE how this house looks already! Nicky- thank you so much!!
I can’t wait to start practicing with terraforming the land and then start working on the house. And now that I have Photoshop, I can begin learning how to make my own textures.
Which brings me to the other idea Keeme and I have. For one thing, we’re going to share this land by taking turns with it. I’ll take a couple of weeks of playing around with the land and the house- and then I’ll completely clear everything back down to bare dirt again, and turn it over to Keeme. Then he’ll have it for a couple of weeks, to do anything he wants with. We did some talking and also plan on collaborating on some neat ideas for the land. We have some things we want to work on together, so the land I’m renting will probably be changing often as we work on some of the things we’re talking about. Its going to be a LOT of fun, and a great learning experience. I’m very excited and very happy.
Technically, this is not my ‘first’ Christmas in SL. I rezzed in world for the first time last December 18th, so although I was ‘here’, I didn’t really experience Christmas in Second Life, because I was too new. I didn’t know hardly anyone yet, and I was still hanging out in the newbie areas because I didn’t know what else was out there. In fact, I don’t remember anything about Christmas day in SL last year. I assume I logged in, but probably just for a short time and then left without seeing anyone or doing anything.
This year though, has been so much different. I’ve been in world for just over a year now. I’ve gotten to see the seasons change, I’ve gotten to experience all the holidays celebrations as they have unfolded. From Halloween through Thanksgiving, and this whole month leading up to Christmas. I noticed, the first time I started to see snow appear on some sims. I noticed the first Christmas trees and holiday decorations.
I used to hate Christmas. Yeah, it kind of sucks to say that, but its been true for years! Christmas lost a lot of magic for me once I was old enough to be out on my own. Christmas is usually a lonely and stressful time for me. I suck at finding presents, and the combination of not driving much (phobia), procrastination and not a lot of money takes a lot of the joy out of the holidays.
This year though, has been very different. I’ve had so much fun watching the month long buildup all December as Christmas and New Years approaches.. everyone has been in high spirits, everywhere I look I see snow, Christmas trees and menorahs, holidays cards and gifts are being exchanged, all my friends are happy. And so am I. And its been so great to be able to share Christmas with Keeme. That guy makes me laugh and lights up my life in so many ways.
Speaking of that! I had such a wonderful surprise on my rezday, and then an even BIGGER one a couple of days later. I didn’t even know that many people knew it was my rezday on the 18th, but Keeme put together a really sweet rezday party for me that night. He TP’d me in and when I saw some of my friends gathered together on Podcast Island, I was SO touched. I thought that was completely sweet, and it really made my night. He kept apologizing later on for it being so small and ‘lame’, but I thought it was wonderful! I just felt bad that he kept beating himself up over it, needlessly.
A couple of nights later he came online and said he wanted to show me some yardsale places, because he was thinking of starting a new blog related to outdoor home items. I was all into it and was about to start pulling landmarks out of my inventory of different places he should check, LOL. He said he wanted to show me another place he had been to earlier, and sent me a TP. The destination said “Yard Sale $$$”, but when I took the teleport.. I landed at the Destination Station on Podcast Island.. surrounded by tons of my friends! I really can’t tell you how shocked and surprised I was. That completely blew me away- I was NOT expecting any sort of party for my rezday. Not to mention a double/fake out surprise party! Keeme showed me this notecard he had been sending out. It made me laugh so much, because I didn’t think the first one was ‘lame’, at all!
RULE #1 DO NOT SHARE THIS WITH NIKA DREAMSCAPE
RULE#2 WE DO NOT SHARE THIS WITH NIKA DREAMSCAPE – PLEASE
Rez Day Party for my girl. She thinks she “found out” about a party I am having for her Thrusday 12/18 – her rezday… so I am having a mock party on that day at podcast island. Anyone who wants to come and play the part of a bored guest… please do so at 8PM. The real party will be
DATE – SATURDAY 12/20 TIME – 8PM SL time PLACE TBA (Crap Marnier is hooking us up! She loves that cat *GLOWERS AT CRAP*)
for details, please see Chugabug Goodnight Keeme Brown
So the deal is to fake her out on Thursday and BAM! Surprise on Sat.
OKAY, back to your porn.
Keeme has spoken… bring anyone you like… lets crash some sims.
And not only he organize this great party for me, but he put together the sweetest video of all the snapshots from the past year. It must have taken him ages to do this, and I was so blown away by it. I love it!
I want to thank all of you for making my rezday so awesome.
Thank you for coming, and thanks for all the gifts and well wishes. It meant a lot! In fact, thank you ALL for making 2008 such a wonderful year. I love all you guys! *HUG!*