Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dead Easy

Lots going on in Second Life. Somewhere along the line, I think I forgot to mention SL burlesque. I shall endeavor to remedy this oversight as briefly as I can.

In SL, there are two types of entertainment in which I like to indulge – live music and burlesque. I could write a whole post on the SL live music scene. Suffice it to say that performers schedule gigs at venues and stream the performance. There's a wide variety of music, and quality. I have my favorites whom I try to catch when I can and I've been very successful at introducing more people to the scene.

The other one, burlesque, requires a tad more explanation. In SL, the burlesque scene involves people (avatars) performing dance numbers on sets (think scenery), often while removing articles of clothing and occasionally while speaking/emoting text (e.g., to describe what they are "doing"). The sets can be simple or complicated, similar with the dances and script. Since SL is a sandbox environment, you can get a wide range of set designs, almost anything you can imagine. Some acts feature more than one dancer. Just a wide variety with different styles and such. And there really is a strong artistic component to these – they're not fluff pieces, not at all.

I've been attending SL burlesque shows since August 6. I usually find them to be entertaining and interesting. Some of the acts are downright amazing! Very creative. So back in August, I applied to become a performer. My audition was 2 weeks ago and I passed! I haven't performed my own act yet, but my first one is scheduled for this Friday. Here's how that came about.

On Tuesday night, the burlesque company asked for Halloween numbers for the Halloween show. (Halloween is *big* in SL.) On Wednesday, I came up with an act I call "Dead Easy." It's about a zombie dancing in a diner/restaurant/eatery of some sort. (Turned out to be a diner.) Last Wednesday night, I ran it by one of the bosses and got approval along with an instruction to have it for this Friday. !!! My first act! I'm rather excited about the whole thing.

On Friday, I finalized my clothing for it. On Saturday, I constructed the set (really just cobbled it together – didn't make it myself). All I have left is to put the dance sequence together. I think it looks pretty good so far. And I love that my first act is a zombie one!

The other thing this weekend was that I went in with a new friend (met her last Tuesday night) on a land rental. I think I did it in part because she wanted a conspirator and in part to see what would happen. I haven't had land in SL since my original stint 7.75 years ago. It'll be fun to mess around with it. Plus, I can now stream live musicians on the parcel, for example, if the venue is too laggy or if I'm busy.

So I've been very busy in SL, despite the breakup thing last week. We're still friends, incidentally, though rather more distant. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anger & Pain

Yeah, so things didn't quite work out as I hoped. Tonight she says she wants to be friends, no expectations, blah blah blah. She has doubts, she doesn't want to get in a relationship for the wrong reasons (rebound), she wants to go slower. Me? They're her doubts & fears not mine, then why'd she start this, and how does one go slower other than to end it.

So she wants to be friends and expects me to jump at that right away.

Really? I don't think so. I'm angry and hurt. Maybe when I get past that, when I'm a little more distant, but tonight? F*ck you.

I don't have friends like her. I don't tell friends what I told her. And she wants to just dial everything back and make it all cool immediately?

I say again: Really?

So thanks for all the fun, but tonight I'm sore. Tomorrow? We'll see. Tomorrow is another day. Can't wait to see where that leads me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Long Weekend In Repose

I always like that phrase "in repose." To me it seems to imply some kind of mildly stately, relaxed consideration of something.

NYCC was fun. Thursday walked the floor; Friday bought art (waaaaaay too much art); and Saturday didn't get up to too much. Lots of walking, probably a cumulative total of +16 hours over the three days, 8+ of them on Friday. Got my exercise at least. The too much art bit annoys me a little, but I like all of it and some of it is flat out amazing, so I can't complain too much. Just have to be more selective next year and watch for it. Said hi to Mr. Templesmith, among other people. Saw Stan Lee in passing. Photo with Brian O'Halloran of Clerks fame (Dante).

Sunday was Mark & Mona's housewarming. A little Sour Apples To Apples. I left early, making some excuse about wanting to catch some live music in SL. I haven't told some of my RL friends about Clem, though I will. Part of my hesitation is that I know they'll make fun of me for it. That's not going to keep me from telling them indefinitely, but I would prefer to cement, or not cement, things with Clem first.

Forgot my headphones for today. No music makes me a little sadder.

Things with the SL woman progress. There's renewed talk of meeting up. Then she turns around, throws something (metaphorically) at me and says she doesn't think she's right for me in a particular respect. Responding to that, I lost my cool a bit on Sunday, and I am sorry for that. I think we are okay, and will be okay, as long as we can both be patient with one another. This is not an easy way to go about meeting someone and there are some pitfalls with it that make it more difficult and trying at times. I'm still ever so hopeful that a RL meeting will address a lot of the issues and let us see if it's worth it to figure out the rest.

What amuses me a little (in a non-amusing way) is that we're both afraid of the same things – rejection and incompatibility. We know that we are emotionally compatible, and we enjoy similar things, and we obviously feel for each other. I'm worried over whether or not there's RL chemistry between us, and she's worried similarly (albeit in some slightly different respects). I'm worried about RL rejection over my looks and she's worried about rejection in general based on her predilections. I'm not worried about the latter, largely because she's a good person and that matters a great deal to me.

It's also difficult, in some ways, for each of us to trust the other. Even if she said (says) she's attracted to me, I wouldn't be able to believe it until we meet in RL. Even if (when) I say I'm fine with everything, I don't think she can believe me until... until I prove it to her? Which would be in RL. Maybe? It's hard to say.

I sent her an e-mail last night apologizing and explaining things. I'm hopeful that we're on the same page. Damn, I'm just full of hope these days, huh?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Long Nights

I keep incurring long nights with this woman. Which is wonderful! And slightly tiring in the cumulative. But wonderful!

Looking back, it's been a busy week with her. A small misstep of mine on Monday night, a short Skype on Tuesday, hanging out in-game every night, some extremely late nights on the weekend (4am, 5am and 3:30am for Fri., Sat. and Sun., respectively), and a 1-hour Skype late last night. It's really a lot of fun! I am just enjoying the Hell out of her, and us, right now. Lamentably, it's going to ease up a bit in the coming weeks due to RL events on both our sides, so it's probably good we did this when we could.

I am infinitely more comfortable with it now than I was last week. As anticipated, time, experience and talk temper my discomfort. In particular, I think the Skype talking is good. It pokes holes in the veil of game interactions. There's all sorts more I could relate about her and/or our interactions, but it's not necessary. All there really is to say is that we're both enjoying each other's company. What more need be said right now?

One concept I pondered this past week, and which is still whirling through my head, is the nature of time dilation and Second Life (or any virtual world, I suppose). As of knowing her for 9 days (I think that means I did this calculation on Wed. morning?), I guesstimated that we had spent about 45 hours together. For just this weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), I guesstimate that we spent 35 hours together. Now be aware that these estimates do not factor in afk time or events where we're there together but, for the most part, not interacting with one another very much or the fact that conversations via IM are usually slower and more stop-start or that some of this time is spent in groups, with her friends. These are merely estimates of how much time we've spent together in-game, approximately co-locationally, for certain periods.

Nonetheless, even if you cut those numbers in half that's a lot of time! I mean, to wrack up 20-22 hours you're talking about 3-5 real-world (or real life, RL) dates. For such short RL timespans, the amount of time spent together is almost mind-boggling (e.g., 3-5 dates in the first 9 days).

It does make more sense in the context of a virtual world, however. It's easy to just sign on, meet up with someone and go. There's no cost or toll except for time. Time is the currency. And if you have the time, which clearly we do, as well as the inclination and interest, then it becomes easy.

This is just an observation I made that helps explain how we've become so close in such a relatively short (RL) timespan. I find it rather interesting. I'm often interested in the passage of time and the notion that perception of time passage is variable. Seems like an interesting concept to me, potentially even one with some sort of RL applicability or relevance at least.

I've got New York ComicCon coming up this week. Aaaaaaand that's it for now. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Of Sailing Ships And Sealing Wax And Whether Anything Is Real In Second Life

That first part (the genesis of the phrase) has been circling my brain for the past whenever. No idea why. I do like its rhyme though. And do pigs have wings? (Apparently, I misquoted it a bit.)

It's been a very busy week since that last post. The immediate next day I met someone in Second Life (SL). She said hi to me at a live music event and away we went! Within our first 1-1.5 hours of conversation, I told her I was a guy (my deep, dark SL secret), but she was cool and there it was. I've met up with her in SL almost every night since (not Friday when I was out of town) and, excepting a small bit last night (whoops!), it's going rather well (I think).

Needless to say, I am sufficiently freaked out by the whole thing. Seeing as my last date was over 2 years ago and my last relationship was over 6 years ago, and everything thus far with her has taken place in a virtual world (as it were), I do not think my attitude unfounded. Nonetheless, it's a good deal of fun and I'm enjoying the whole thing quite a bit. We've traded real life (RL) pics and tonight we will be Skype-ing for the first time. I don't own a webcam so that's not on the table (yet).

Also needless to say, I am fully aware that I gave her a key for discovering this blog. I know not whether or not she has availed herself of said key, but let us assume she has. (Hello!) Do not expect any grand revelations here, dear reader, though I shall wet your palate when possible. Mmmm... wet palates...

Knowing myself and my thoughts and attitudes towards the virtual landscape of SL, I often find it difficult to trust others there. Beyond the fiction with which you are presented, you can never be sure who lies on the other side. And so I approach much of the personal interactions there with trepidation and hesitancy.

She blew through that like a warm breeze. I'm not entirely sure how or why, but that Monday night I decided to be completely honest with her, a random stranger. I can't point to any particular precipitating element, but it seemed like the right thing for the time and, judging from the outcome thus far, I think it was. She, for her turn, has been honest in return. Refreshingly so, even. Given the nature of her and our interactions, that's about all I can hope for and ask right now.

I will observe that in this short span of one week, she's actually changed my interactions with said virtual world. Previously, my time there was rather solitary – shopping on my own, hesitating to IM what few friends I have, attending live music on my own. It's amazing how that can change in the blink of an eye. Also, through her I've become friends with friends of hers and my network has expanded almost overnight. It's not something I ever would have anticipated, nor is it something I require per se (clearly), but it is a pleasant byproduct of, well, her.

A lamentable side to this, as though one were requisite, is that she lives on the order of 10-15 hours away from me (to be sufficiently vague). I chalk that into the "not insurmountable" column, though it is there nonetheless. While I do not have literal columns of which so to speak, if they were present they would be full of much more pleasant--

Stupid flowery language. Sorry. To summarize the summary of the summary: She's great!

There are one or two things with her that I'm still wrapping my head around, but for now I'm letting it go. I don't think they have to be deal-breakers and, to me, this is so fresh that I would like to see what further develops before I overanalyze everything to death. I'm a little anxious to meet her, particularly given our virtual interactions thus far, but tonight's anticipated Skype session should be a good step in that direction.

And so faithful reader (you are faithful, right?), I have stumbled upon an adventure within an enigma! Or a mystery within a journey! Or maybe a puzzle in a quesadilla? It.. is something, to be sure, but what precisely remains to be seen. For all of us.