Stick a fork in me; I’m done

Or, rather, GB City is done. I’m still around, and will be for as long as SL is still kicking and screaming. But I took a long, hard look at my transaction history today, and realised that – much the same as home taping was supposed to be killing music – so Marketplace has killed my inworld store.

In the last month I have had a total of 87 transactions: people purchasing things I’ve made. 86 of those were from Marketplace, and just ONE was from the inworld store. We get plenty of visitors  to GB City, but they never go beyond the landing point. Why? Well… that’s where the lucky boards are. (And yes, I’ve tried out various things, from moving the lucky boards [in which case people stop showing up altogether, because they’re too lazy to go looking for them] to building an entire roleplay location with Daros, to try and boost visitors to the area.)

I’m sorry, guys, but I can no longer justify paying for an entire region of tier (not to mention paying for a weekly classified ad) just so you can get a freebie. GB City will be closing this month and our stores will move to being Marketplace-only. I’m going to tier down to a more affordable level, so I’m no longer paying almost £250 a month for nothing. It’s long  overdue, but I’ve hung onto all of that land for as long as I could. It took us a long time (and a lot of money) to obtain it all, and I suppose that now we’ll probably end up surrounded by shitty, lagtastic mainland-type homes full of poorly-scripted waterfalls and horses (dear god, the memories I have of some neighbours who lagged the sim to fucking soup, but hey-ho).

I could be doing much better things with that £250, which right now I’m effectively throwing away. If people would bother to shift their arses out of their skyboxes and actually go around and shop inworld  then it might be worth keeping, but since most people are too lazy to even leave a fucking review on a Marketplace item, I’m not going to expect them to haul arse to anywhere except the latest lagged-out special events that only the big-name creators get to sell at. Fuck the rest of us little guys, eh?

Bitter? Me? Yeah, I kind of am. Almost ten years in this place and I still go out to visit stores in person and shop there. It’s a shame that so many other people can’t be bothered to do that anymore, and prefer to shop from an online fucking catalogue.

#FashionNotPhotoshop

If you’re just here for the fashion, my sartorial darlings, then scroll down. I have a few words (okay, quite a lot of words) to say before I get to that, on the subject of blogging; specifically how I blog. This post will probably win me no fans on either side of the fence, but since when has that ever stopped me from opening my big gob and saying what I think? (Seriously, though: if this post makes you want to put me on some daft bloggers blacklist then I will laugh so damn hard  at you.)

There was a recent kerfluffle on Flickr between a designer and a blogger. In all honesty, and in my personal opinion, neither of them came out looking too handsomely from it all. The airing of dirty laundry in public – be it one’s own or that of someone else – is never the most elegant of things to do, especially when Linden Lab graced us with a ‘block’ button on every profile for the especial benefit of those that piss us the hell off. And, on the other hand, hassling for free stuff (and making veiled threats, whether or not you have any intention of carrying them out) because you have the privilege (yes, I said ‘privilege’) of being “official” ain’t too elegant, either.

Regardless, one thing I took away from that whole, somewhat unsavoury business was one sentence from the designer, in which it was mentioned that the blogger’s posts (and I paraphrase here, as I don’t recall the exact  terminology used) “hadn’t shown any improvement”.

Now look, my darlings. I know I’m only small beans in a big blogging stew over here, but – the classroom of basic technical skills aside – this ain’t a fucking final exam. Sure, as we continue to work we also continue to hone our skills with light and composition. We learn that – if our computers can manage it – taking 5000px snapshots is highly preferable to taking jagged-edge print screens. We – again, if our computers can handle it – wrestle with Windlight and Advanced Lighting to try and make our images as clear as possible (unless, of course, we’re going for dramatic effect). But do you know what we’re really  here for?

FASHION.

Fashion. Style. Playing dress-up. Whatever label you slap on it. That’s why I started getting heavily-involved on Flickr back in 2009. Once I got seriously into SL fashion there was no stopping me. I fucking loved  it. And almost all of my shots from back then were set against plain backgrounds. You know why?

This is why.

Yeah. I’m here to show you these clothes, not my CS6 skills. Not that I have CS6 (and that’s another thing that separates us small beans from the big stews) but I do what I can with my knackered old Photoshop 6.

(Keep reading, those of you that think I’m bashing bloggers who do  use a lot of Photoshop. I’m getting to that bit shortly.)

<< SIDE NOTE >>

“Why don’t you upgrade, Skell?” – Well, yanno, I would, but you know how Photoshop costs about $700 in the States? Funny thing about tech, both hardware and software: what Americans pay in dollars, we Brits pay in Sterling. Right now, if I wanted to buy Photoshop CS6, this is what I’d pay for it:

Yeah. I don’t think so. I’ve got better things to do with my money. Like pay my rent, put food on my table, and heat my house through the winter. Can’t sell my Grandma, either (both dead and the going price for corpses is really terrible  these days). And no, I’m not going the keygen route. Been there, done that in my sneaky past, and suffered the virus outbreaks that went with it.

<< END SIDE NOTE >>

The point of this post isn’t Photoshop, though. I know there are plenty of decent free image editors out there. The point of this post is that phrase: “your posts hadn’t shown any improvement”.

This isn’t – by the way – an attack on those bloggers who have incredible Photoshop skills. I have nothing but admiration for the likes of Spyder Silverfall, who can make images so breathtakingly-real that I can’t hit the Favourite button fast enough on Flickr. It’s just that I sometimes feel that sometimes every blogger is being held up to that high standard; that – if we don’t constantly improve until we’re at that level – we’re not worth a second glance.

Let me just put that bit here again, in a quote box this time, because it’s the pivotal point of this post:

“It’s just that I sometimes feel that sometimes every blogger is being held up to that high standard; that – if we don’t constantly improve until we’re at that level – we’re not worth a second glance.”

Now, me personally? I don’t give a toss. You either take or leave what I have to offer, and what I mainly have to offer is fashion. Sure, sometimes I’ll come out with photoshoots that look pretty damn good. Sometimes I’ll write stories, play with shadows, set up backgrounds. But I’m here for the fun of fashion, not for the stress of spending hours  in an image-editing program, just to make one jaw-dropping image. I wish I had the skill. Moreover, I wish I had the time. Sadly, I have neither. My talents, such as they are, lie in chucking a bit of this and a bit of that together and coming up with an interesting look. Oh, and a lot of verbiage to go with it.

That’s just the way I do it. And, if that makes me not-worthy of a second glance, then look the other way. I’m over here, having fun and doing it myyyyy waaaa—

Uh, yeah. So, onto that fashion shit, okay?

<< OKAY, HERE’S THE FASHION BIT >>

Exile, oh Exile. Beloved Exile, whose strands I’ve had glued to my head for what feels like years. This is a new style for the current Mens Dept collection. Loose and mussy – just how I like ’em – it comes in more colours than you can shake a comb at (only please don’t; it’s too sexy to neaten up, ‘kay?)

I seem to have these fabulous glasses from Haysuriza glued to my face lately, too. 80s Thompson Twins throwbacks with a vintage Gatsby edge, can we say fuckin’ awesome? I think we can. Same, too, about the Maxi Gossamer necklace (from last month’s collection at Uber, and now – hopefully! – in the Maxi Gossamer mainstore).

The jacket and tank combo is a recent release from A:S:S, with multiple colours available and a HUD to change the design on the tank. (Being Skell – Prince of Darkness [or something like that] – I had to have black, natch). And this ultra-cute little snake ring is by HandVerk, who just keep on getting better and better. I first discovered the store back in 2012, when I bought this fabulous silver arm fur, and I’ve continually bought little bits and pieces here and there since then.

Yeah yeah, I know my FAQ says I don’t blog hipster stuff (seriously, guys, get rid  of that big fucking mesh beard. Yes, it’s an amazing bit of work, but my Flickr dash is starting to look like an episode of Captain Caveman) but hipster bags  are an exception. This little gem from Remarkable Oblivion was at a recent Mens Dept (and should be in the mainstore by now). Always good to have a pen handy, right? (Even if your Slink hands don’t have a ‘holding pen’ option, dammit.)

Pants, natch, from [email protected] I mostly skim Ivey’s notecards these days, as the majority of what she makes is mesh clothing for the ladies (and stunning stuff it is, too, don’t get me wrong). But every now and then Skell does a little seal-clap as system pants appear on the New Release list, and he legs it over to [email protected] as quickly as he can. (And, believe me, that’s not a phrase you’ll hear said about him very often…)

And, finally? Boots from Deadwool. I do appreciate a great pair of shitkickers, and these beauties have definitely been toeing through something unsavoury of late. Love the worn soles on ’em at the front.

Yeah, lookit my lumpy legs. I can’t liquify with the best, but I can out-pout the rest ;-)

Your credits list

Jacket and Vest: A:S:S – Eric Denim (black)* [ photos.nikolaidis ]

Pants: [email protected] – Funhouse Studded Jeans (red) [ ivey.deschanel ]

Boots: Deadwool – Patmos Boots (black) [ masa.plympton ]

Necklace: Maxi Gossamer – Ukai’s Talismans [ maxi.gossamer ]

Hair: Exile – Machinehead* [ kavar.cleanslate ]
– for Mens Dept (October)

Hairbase: Exile – Hairbase2 (rouge) [ kavar.cleanslate ]
– free instore

Bag: Remarkable Oblivion – Hipster Bag (tarmac) [ axsisthorn ]

Glasses: Haysuriza – Glasses ‘Vintage’ (silver/red) [ hays.uriza ]

Piercings: Haus of Darcy – Ri Fhaolchu (royal deluxe) [ aydan.darcy ]

Ring: Handverk – Serpent Ring (demon) [ daphne.klossovsky ]

Eyes: IKON – Hope (glass) [ ikon.innovia ]

Skin: Swallow – Manu (ivory) [ luciayes.magic ]

Hands: Slink – AvEnhance Male Hands (relax) [ siddean.munro ]

Nail appliers: [email protected] – Gloss Tips (faded) [ ivey.deschanel ]

Poses: Momomuller [ momomura.zehetbauer ]

*Review copy

Fuckin’ sing it, Mr Cope:

Uninvited

Like any uncharted territory I must be greatly intriguing.
But you? You’re not allowed. You’re uninvited
An unfortunate slight.

Love this mix of this song. I have a habit of banging it on repeat and singing along (pity my neighbours!) whenever someone’s goaded me, wound me up, annoyed me, pissed me off; anything like that. See, I’m normally the politest, most tolerant person you could ever meet. I’ll talk to anybody (I’m that guy who strikes up conversations at bus stops) and it takes one helluva lot to force me to the point of letting off steam in any way.

(Scroll down. There’s fashion stuff in a minute. I just need to get something off my chest here…)

One surefire, guaranteed way to do that is to be pushy, and that’s one reason why I have so few people on my Contacts list in SL. For many years, the only others on my list were trusted friends I’ve known for years, and recently I’ve added a couple of creators to that number. Very, very occasionally I’ll add someone I’ve spoken to a few times, but in all honesty I don’t actually like  adding people to my list. If I add you and you never contact me again, then after a couple of months you go off the damn list. Why the hell add me if you don’t intend on speaking to me now and then? Not keen on ‘friend collectors’, darlin’.

(Incidentally, if you’ve been added to my list and you’re wondering, “Shit, is he talking about me?” then a clue is if I’ve ever instigated an IM conversation with you. If I have, then I’m happy to have you on my list. Also, if I don’t instigate an IM conversation, but you can see  that I’m enjoying the conversations that you  instigate [and honestly you’ll know if I’m enjoying the chat, because if I’m forcing it then you can see I’m actually making a real effort  to be part of the conversation, rather than it flowing naturally] then I’m also happy to have you on my list.)

The other kind of addition is worse, for me, and it’s my damnable English politeness that makes it so fucking hard for me to say, “Sorry, no,” when I get a friendship offer. That addition is the kind that pushes. And I don’t mean the kind that sends occasional IMs. I mean the kind that:

  • IMs you the very second you log in, before the login progress bar has finished moving across and you’ve even bloody rezzed  (they want your attention NOW)
  • Logs on, IMs you immediately, then logs off again when they get your autoresponse (they only log on because they want your attention; if you can’t/don’t give it, they log off)
  • Constantly asks you what you’re doing, then when you ask them why they want to know they say, “I’m bored.” (they want you to entertain them)

Seriously? That last one actually happened to me with someone recently, and more than once. You’re bored, so you’re asking what I’m doing, because… you hope it’s something I can stop doing so I can un-bore you? What the fuck does that make me, to you?

I AM NOT A FUCKING TRICK PONY WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE WHEN LOGGED INTO SL IS TO ENTERTAIN YOU. GO ENTERTAIN YOUR-FUCKING-SELF.

Booted and muted. Because that wasn’t the first time this person had been pushy and demanding like that. And yes, I know this rant didn’t deserve to be put into a fashion post, but this look was put together while I had this song on repeat, and that kind of behaviour is most definitely uninvited.

What’s also uninvited? The intimation by a certain ‘macho’ section of SL that femme boys (and occasional femme boys like me) aren’t worthy of the descriptor ‘male’. Stop sucking your own dicks, ladies, and go tell it to the flowers. Y’know what? We don’t give a flying fuck what you think of us, because we’re the ones flying the creative flag, we’re the ones pushing boundaries, and we’re the ones with the BALLS around here. You? You just amble around in your massive muscles and boring denims and split-open shirts and look down your over-tanned noses at the guys who are having real fun with fashion. You wouldn’t have the balls  to try anything different. Too. fucking. scared. No homo! No homo! God, get a fucking grip, girls.

Have a pretty, pretty boy, my sartorial darlings. He doesn’t care what you think; he’s just flying his beautiful freak flag :-)

Like anyone would be, I am flattered by your fascination with me…

I’ve had my say and I’ll say no more. Credits are at the end of the post. Enjoy the song; it’s great for sticking the metaphorical finger to arseholes. Pun totally  intended ;-)

“This is not allowed”? You’re uninvited. An unfortunate slight.

Credits

Jacket: A:S:S – Idol Jacket (white) [ photos.nikolaidis ]

Pants: Gizza – Vintage Jeans (ornamental silver) [ giz.seorn ]

Boots: Razor – Dread Boots (bleach) [ kehl.razor ]
From the Final Fantasy Festival

Necklace: Ellabella – Ensorcelled Necklace (lavish) [ ellantha.larsson ]
From the Final Fantasy Festival

Ring: Maxi Gossamer – Royal Khadijah Estate [ maxi.gossamer ]

Hair: Exile – Far Behind (frost) [ kavar.cleanslate ]

Eyes: IKON – Lucid Eyes (gray) [ ikon.innovia ]

Skin: Swallow – Manu (ivory) [ luciayes.magic ]
From the Mens Dept  February collection

Hands: Slink – AvEnhance Male Hands (relax) [ siddean.munro ]

Nails: A:S:S – Slink Appliers (dragon scales) [ photos.nikolaidis ]

Makeup
Down nose – Pin Me Down – Bane [ shyntae.demonista ]

Base layer – A:S:S – Glam Rock Glitter (silver) [ photos.nikolaidis ]

Top layer – A:S:S – Hydra Makeup (black) [ photos.nikolaidis ]

Forehead – The Plastik – Soul Ink Reloaded (Ege) [ aikea.rieko ]

Poses
Purple Poses [ audrey.guter ]

AKEYO (from my AO) [ artoo.magneto ]

The Muse Poses [ audrey.cresci ]

Petit Pont [ hironey.fairey ]

CheerNo Motion [ sinystra ]