Lifelong process

Today’s Monday Meme, my sartorial darlings, is all about what Second Life has made us learn. Learning is a lifelong process, and—while it may not seem obvious that you’re learning something—you’re doing it every day of your life, in some way or another.

I’ll be illustrating this with some steampunky images, featuring new releases from A:S:S Decades and IKON, plus some of my own creations, as that’s kind of relevant to this post.

Meme instructions: Share things that you have learned because of your involvement in Second Life, either personally or professionally. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments so others can come by and read your answers as well!

1. 3D Modelling
I guess this one’s a given for anyone who has built anything in SL. 3D Modelling doesn’t have to mean full CAD software or programs like Maya or 3DMax; the built-in SL tools are also 3D modelling, and both Daros and I started making stuff within a few months of arriving in SL. I still have some very old screenshots of my early stuff, created way back in 2007. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and most of my early creations came about from experimentation and simple play. “What does this do? Oh wow, I like that!” etc.

The table and chair set, lower-left, is the very first thing I made in SL. To anyone who came in recently it will look amateurish and laughable, but back then it was incredible that we could do this stuff. We could make things, let our imaginations run riot, and then even sell these things!

And I’m about to start (finally!) learning Blender, now that I’ve found a set of tutorials that I fully enjoy watching, that explain things simply and clearly.

OK, old pictures out of the way, and let’s move on to the new stuff.

2. Running a business
In the real world I’ve always worked for other people, until very recently. In SL, though, I’ve been able to run a business. Sure, to me it’s more of a hobby that I pick up and put down, and I don’t give it as much attention as I probably should do, but nonetheless I make things, I market them, I sell them, etc. I use update groups and Subscribe-o-matics, I create ad images, I write (hopefully!) entertaining notecards that draw potential customers in to buy new releases, etc.

3. Dealing with rude people.
Unfortunately, as Berry noted in her original post, the internet affords some people the cover to be pretty damned unpleasant to others. As a business-owner I’ve been on the receiving end of extremely-rude customers at times, and as an avatar-at-large (particularly one that doesn’t tend to follow the visual ‘norm’ expected of a male) I’ve been subjected to some nasty comments from other avatars in general.

Out-and-about, if I get abuse, I usually ignore it. I’ll mute that person and move on. If it’s severe or I’m being physically bumped into, I’ll teleport out, and—if it’s in a store—I’ll contact the owner to let them know, as I did this one time in Redgrave where I was called a paedophile by two child avatars just because of ‘the gay thing’. I’ve had guys come up to me in stores and scream, “HEY FAGGOT, WHERE’S THE HAIR IN HERE?” and both Daros and I have had guys walk into our home when we’re cuddling and say, “Ugh! Why can’t you just be normal?” I’ve had people telling me they hope I die of cancer (makes a change from AIDS, I guess) and… yeah. It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does I tend to withdraw and go into a building frenzy. The last time some idiot subjected me to homophobic abuse I retaliated by making a glammed-out and proud freebie skybox. It’s still available at my store and on marketplace, if you want something blue and gold and OTT to use as a backdrop, or to live in.

However, as a business-owner I can’t afford to ignore people. A person receiving good, polite service may tell one or two friends (or, more usually, nobody at all) but a person receiving rude or unsatisfactory service will tell every damn person they know. It’s not worth the risk of upsetting someone when their opening gambit to you is along the lines of: “I bought XYZ from you and WTF? Is this a joke?”

Yes, that actually happened. The person concerned hadn’t read the Marketplace listing correctly and was upset that a fully-enclosed skybox didn’t have a door. I ended up refunding them the L$50 they’d paid, and I bit my tongue on the “next time, READ THE FUCKING LISTING!” that I really wanted to say.

4. Fashion.
Okay, maybe a bit of an odd one, but I wasn’t rezzed this stylish, y’know ;-)

There was a time when I played it (mostly) safe in my fashion choices inworld, and it wasn’t until I started using the then-Phoenix viewer and discovered multiple attachment points that I went gung-ho with the fashion. The first outfit that I put together using all of this new stuff (I recall at the time I could also use tattoo makeup layers around then, too) was a crazy thing, overloaded with about three belts, two necklaces, and a big flowery eye patch.

5. How to say ‘no’ and not feel bad about it.
And it gets even weirder, I know. Two things work against me with regard to learning that:

  1. I’m that person who’ll chat to anyone (I strike up conversations at bus stops, although these days I usually just get glanced at before the person I’m talking to goes back to playing Candy Crush on their phone or updating their Facebook status to “some nutter’s trying to talk to me, omg leave me alone!”) and then—when the friendship offer comes—it makes for a very awkward moment where I have to refuse. I have my own personal reasons for doing this. My friends list is reserved for Daros, Rannon, and our alts. I’ve been the victim of too many attention-whore ‘friends’ in SL (we’ve all known at least one, and one is one too many) as well as people who add you and then never speak to you again, so now I always say no. I’ve even removed designers who added me to make it easier for them to contact me, purely because when I decided I would cull my list I really meant it.
  2. I’m English and I naturally find it awkward and difficult to just come out and refuse a friendship offer. I mean, someone is being friendly, right? And if I’m refusing it, I’m pretty much telling them “no thanks” to their friendship. Okay, I know that’s labelling it with the internet definition of ‘friend’ (which usually means “person you’ve spoken to for a few minutes” or “someone whose updates you want to follow”) but still; ‘friend’ is an emotive word, and while the list in the viewer is called ‘Contacts’ the default friendship offer—which most people don’t change—still reads something like “Would you be my friend?”.

So now I simply steel myself and come out with something like, “No offense, but I’ll have to refuse. It is  in my profile that I don’t accept any friendship offers. I keep my list very tight; just my boyfriend, and one other person.” If they wanted to friend me so they could contact me at a later date (say, they’re a content-creator or manager of a store and I’ve asked them to check something) then I’ll offer to send them a calling card they can use to get in touch with me instead. (A little hint there: when doing anything that could be construed as negative, always offer a positive or another solution.)

6. A fascination with how things are made.
I kind of always had this (as a kid I had loads of those “How Things Work” books) but these days I walk around daily life and look at things, and I wonder how the hell they could be made in SL. I’d walk past a row of terraced houses and think, “I like the look of that little porch; wonder how many prims that would be?”, and I’d keep staring at it, mentally breaking it down into cubes, tapering, shearing, and suchlike. It’s added a new layer to how I look at the world.

I guess SL has probably taught me a lot more than that, but those are the things I can think of off the top of my head.


Outfit: A:S:S Decades – Laurence (black)* [ photos.nikolaidis ]

Boots: Schadenfreude – Amargosa Boots (darkness) [ allegory.malaprop ]

Hair: Monso – My Hair (Matthew – black/brown) [ morphine.janick ]
– at The Mens Dept

Bracelet: NOMAD – Bound Wings Bracelet (silver) [ piraiyah.novikov ]
– at Men Only Monthly

Eye Patch: Pixel Box – Steampunk Monocle [ marian.kungler ]

Pocket Watch: Pixel Box – Steampunk Clock and Key [ marian.kungler ]

Brooch: Eclectica – Blenheim Baroque Brooch [ tiffy.vella ]

Eyes: IKON – Charm Eyes (quicksilver)* [ ikon.innovia ]

Skin: Æros – Javier (praline) [ pi.rain ]

Beard: Æros – Beard (scruffy soft) [ pi.rain ]

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

Fireplace: Ex Machina – Vulcano Fireplace [ hatris.panacek ]

Furnace: Ex Machina – Vulcano 2 [ hatris.panacek ]

Armchair: 22679 [bauwerk] – Tufted Armchair* [ paco.pooley ]

End Table: Kastle Rock Home – Accent Table (wooden) [ spooky.mistwallow ]

Lamp: 22769 [bauwerk] – Industrial Floor Lamp (resized)* [ paco.pooley ]

Building: Domicile – Steam Hunt Special from Steam VI  [ skell.dagger ]
– no longer available

Painting & potted palm: Domicile – Steam Hunt Special from Steam IX [ skell.dagger ]
– no longer available

On fireplace: Domicile – Rotational Fascinator [ skell.dagger ]
– no longer available

*review copy


Million Dollar Man

How did you get that way? I don’t know.
You’re screwed up and brilliant.
Look like a million dollar man.
So why is my heart broke?

Everyone and their auntie’s cat has blogged this The Dandy  suit from Deadwool at The Mens Dept this month, and with good reason. It’s quite possibly the most fucking incredible  three-piece (two-piece optional) that I’ve seen in SL. Smart, but just crumpled enough, and timeless in its elegance.

It’s rare for me to wear an entire outfit without putting some twist on it, but this thing is that  good it doesn’t need anything else. The pants and jacket/shirt/vest are sold separately, but at a total cost of just L$600 it simply can’t be beaten. Available in two colour options (I went for taupe; the more neutral of the two) you’ll get a three-piece option of the jacket that includes a shirt and vest, plus a two-piece option with just the jacket and shirt. But hell, what Dapper Dan wouldn’t suit up all the way, huh?

I only have one tiny quibble with it, and that’s in the shoulders. They’re just a little bit too sloped for me, but that’s a personal preference.

The hair is also from The Mens Dept: Dura-Boy’s style #57. I’ve been a long-time fan of Dura, and I love this slightly messy tied-back style (yes, there’s a teeny little gatherered ponytail at the back). I love the fact that it lends a sliiight  touch of sleaziness to the suit; kind of a “would you buy a used car from this man?” effect ;-)

Skell’s eyes are from IKON’s new Charm  line, in hazel. As with all of IKON’s new eyes, they have a very user-friendly HUD (just remember to click the size of eye that you want at the top of the HUD; the texture won’t apply until you do that).

Y’know, this suit could almost take you into a 1930s roleplay location. Okay, it’s not precisely-tailored to that era, but it’s close enough to pass muster at a glance. It’s pretty timeless that way.

With a suit this classic you need understated jewellery that nonetheless screams ‘money’. This Rat Pack Ring  from Chop Zuey Couture Jewellery is perfect for the job. Be aware that it does feature a little bit of subtle bling (type bling off  into chat to stop it). I’m afraid I can’t stand bling on jewellery, however subtle, so that always has to go.

And, of course, a single earring to match. Again, from Chop Zuey Couture Jewellery (no bling this time!) I’ve opted for the Razor’s Edge Earring, which come in a pair, but this guy’s just a single-wearer ;-)

Top-to-toe, and now we’re at the feet. You’ll need some classic footwear for this look, and these Bradford Shoes  from Pixelfashion will see you just right.


Suit: Deadwool – The Dandy [ masa.plympton ]
– at Mens Dept
– pants and jacket sold separately

Hair: Dura-Boy – 57 [ chiaki.xue ]
– at Mens Dept

Shoes: Pixelfashion – Bradford Shoes (black) [ amandine.arai ]

Eyes: IKON – Charm Eyes (hazel) [ ikon.innovia ]

Ring: Chop Zuey Couture Jewellery – Rat Pack Ring [ belle.roussel ]

Earring: Chop Zuey Couture Jewellery – The Razor’s Edge Earring [ belle.roussel ]

Skin: Æros – Javier (praline) [ pi.rain ]

Beard: Æros – Beard (scruffy soft) [ pi.rain ]

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

Poses: Diesel Works [ rogan.diesel ]