At first I thought it a dream… (The Arcade, June 2013!)

At first I thought it a dream that I was in.
Lost , lost in a sea of glass and tin.
But no, so dipping my hand in the back of my jeans,
I grabbed a handful of coins to feed the machines.
“Step up and play,” each machine seemed to say
As I walked round and round the penny arcade.
“Just ring the bell on the big bagatelle
And you’ll make all the coloured lights cascade.”

Roy Orbison, ‘Penny Arcade’

So yeah, it’s that time of year again. The start of a new quarter, a new season, when The Arcade opens up to suck your wallet dry.

What’s there? Well. I’m so glad you asked.


The item from the Arcade in this photo are the two potted plants, the ‘Oolong Teacup Planters’ by ARIA, at a mere L$25 each!  I put out an iris and a moth orchid for variety.  But come inside, plenty more to see… Continue reading

Weird Discovery, Complainy-pants Computer, and One Decent Photo

So I went back to Calas to try to get some more landscapey goodness.  The laptop was Not having the high graphics today, for some reason.  I got booted as soon as I got graphics up to snuff for photography.  When I logged in again, I learned something amusing about how avatar rendering happens, as I had shadows on: Image

Yes, when you’re an orange puffball, you cast a shadow dictated by your AO. Hah!

I did take one nice pic at South Farthing before I had to give up for the afternoon, and here it is. Image

You can visit South Farthing by clicking on this link.  Enjoy!

Everybody Loves Hypnotoad.



These prim eyes came from Avatar Bizarre, Sredni Eel’s shop which features a majestic array of over the top, exquisite, delicious absurdity, along with some very nicely put together work.
Oh and yes, the pupils on the eyes move around just like Hypnotoad’s do.  If you’re curious, Avatar Bizarre’s blog is over here.

Technically these aren’t new, but the ability to use them easily is new to me, as the advent of alphas for eyes with mesh eyeballs coming about means that they’re more readily worn.  I forget how much they cost, but I am 100% certain it was under L$100, and I strongly believe it was under L$50.
These are especially good for convincing people to do what you want, I find.

And you may ask yourself, ‘Am I right, or am I wrong?’

And you may say to yourself, ‘My God! What have I done?’

So I had a mesh accident earlier tonight.  I was putting on my lovely suit of lovely gray from lovely FATEwear, and accidentally clicked on the XL rather than the M size I usually wear.  Didn’t notice for a bit until it had fully rendered.
At first, I snickered, and then I remembered a bit of documentary film from the 80s.


Well, I have a really big head.

stop making sense close up

So I went looking for where to get an appropriate photo, and remembered that I have a contact with the folks who are organizing The Event, an extravaganza that promises to be memorable!  And I remembered that they had red curtains in the build for it! And I tugged the right sleeve and before I knew it I was ready to dance stiffly while singing about psycho killers and other songs about buildings and food…
These are references to Stop Making Sense, a film featuring The Talking Heads.

stop making sense foot up

So remember, space cadets: sometimes what’s new in SL is what you accidentally stumble into!  Stay happy and enjoy your Second Life!

Suit: FATEwear ‘Edward’ suit (c) – London

Shoes: Lapointe & Bastchild loafers

Hair: Exile – ‘Tidal’

Pic #1: ‘Dante’, from Diesel Works
Pic #2: ‘Silly Steps’ from Helamiyo

And venture not there on Yuletide…

So I am learning how gacha fairs work.  People get 9 million of the common items, and swap them around for other common items, or several of the commons for a rare.  This has wound up with me having more antlers than I could shake an… uhm, shake an antler at!

On the plus side, though, I happened to put one pair of them on while wearing a hat and was stabbed with a bit of inspiration.  Herne the Huntsman is one of those charming little folktales of the British Isles: he’s said to have antlers or horns, and to haunt the woods of Windsor Forest, in Berkeshire.  He’s mentioned passingly in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, even:

Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg’d horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv’d, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.

With the antlers on and a top hat, I imagined either a Victorian production of ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, or perhaps someone off to a fancy dress party.  Some poking and prodding later, I had assembled an outfit, like so:


My thanks to Penny Wiesel for suggesting the setting for this one.  Of course, I wasn’t satisfied with that, so I did further tweaks and pokes, prods and modifications.  And got a much better picture!


Ill-met by moonlight, proud Titania.

Much more beautiful photo, to my eye!  I may even make it a desktop image on my computer, why not?

One more pic so you can see the details that make the outfit, the antlers, the ears, the pale skin, the red eyes…


Oh and the ears.

Amazing what a jumping off point a single item you never considered owning can be, to my eye! The interesting thing to me in these is that I’ve had everything I’m wearing for a year or more, save for the hair and the horns.  So sometimes, what’s new in Second Life is what you find just by mixing and matching things you’ve had for ages in new ways.  Who ever thought of Oberon in an evening jacket with an opera cloak?  But it just… it works, doesn’t it?

Take a look at what’s in your inventory that you haven’t played with for a while, see what it inspires when you knock it together with something newer.  I bet you’ll find a brand new use for that ancient outfit you’ve been so ashamed of ever since prim attachments started to be a thing!


Shape: I made this!
Top Hat (Pic #1 only): Hatter Is Mad “Barbed Nude Top Hat”
Skin: Nomine “Ultralight”Hair: Wasabi Pills “Orion – Royal”
Eyes: Fallen Gods “Blood Eyes” Free in their store
Ears (Pic #2 and 3): Hybrid v2 “Mythic Ears White”
Horns: +half-deer+ “Eternum Antlers (Constellation)”
Suit, shirt, gloves, tie: NiCo “Claude – Steward’s Costumes ver.2”
Topcoat / Duster: BHD ‘Charcoal Duster Coat: Large’ – Free: this is BHD’s gift for the boys on the Steam 8 Hunt
Half-Cape: AvId “AvId side cloak”
Pic 1 and 3: Mieville Doyle
Pic 2: Mieville Shelley

Curio Obscura (the New and Unusual)

There are plenty of weird, odd, and amusing things out there in Second Life.  Some of them I got for free (like the salut chaotique and the onigokko), some of them I bought.  A lot of the really terrific ones I own came from a shop called Curio Obscura, whose creations always make me think of a line from Beetlejuice: ‘people ignore the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual.’

So I’ve gotten a lot of interesting stuff there over the years.  The Clockwork Moustache (which was free):

The Rococo Fantastico hairstyle, which every well-dressed drag queen needs (L$450):

And most recently to me, the Riderball (which is a L$75 gacha prize in the store):


The Riderball is one of the most amusing things I’ve encountered in SL in a good while.  Your avatar stands on top, and when you want to move forward your avatar slowly (or rapidly!) walks backwards, rolling the ball forwards.  You can turn and go backwards too, of course.
What makes it is Pandora Wrigglesworth’s attention to detail: she made sure that your avatar’s movements on the ball differ from your AO.  You sway from side to side, with arms darting this way and that to keep your balance.  You walk carefully along the contour of the ball, rather than walking on air above it.

Also, it’s just funny.  I giggle every time I walk around on the thing.

In case you haven’t found Curio Obscura yet, let me throw you a link to to the inworld store, so you can visit.
And that’s what’s new and amusing today!

I found some more fun whackiness from C.O., coming at the Gacha fair!

Surprise Sunday! (unusual avatars)

So this may not be new to YOU, but it’s certainly new to me.  And I imagine that there’re some folks who haven’t seen this lady’s work before, too, so I bring you two avatars from Aley Resident.  These were brought to my attention by Nigel Riel, whose blog is named Trials of Eyeliner, and is very much worth visiting!

First, we have Robot Maria, from the classic 1927 film ‘Metropolis’.  So much of Metropolis informs everything we know of science fiction cinema it’s ridiculous.  Seriously: the conflicted villain of the piece is a mad scientist with a shock of white hair every-which-way, occasionally wearing goggles, and a rubber-gloved right hand as the result of a horrible accident.  There is a sort of 20’s steampunk feel to the film, too.  If you haven’t seen it, you really ought to: if you HAVE seen it, you should see it again, as a couple years back someone found a battered 16mm print that is THE WHOLE MOVIE, save for one very minor scene.  The scenes that were on the 16mm print are really beat up, but enough of the original vision to restore things to Lang’s intention.
Amazing film. And an amazing avatar, which Aley sells on the SL Marketplace.


A standing pic, so you can examine textures and shapes further:


Aley seems to like movies, which is something I certainly have no problem with!  Here’s another avatar from the same shop, modeled closely on Clarke-Nova from Naked Lunch:


‘Bill, I want you to rub some of this powder on my lips…’
It’s a nice creepy little avatar for all your creepy little avatar needs.


(n.b.: chair included for scale)

So yes, two free avatars from a shop I didn’t know about, which is chock-full of interesting steampunk and piratey goodness!  That’s AleyMart!

Crazy Hair Hunt

So I found myself jabbering with somebody today about how much fun the third Crazy Hair Hunt was.  Which led me to showing him some photos of the stuff I’d found, which led me to looking around and realizing oh, shit.
Not only is the designer who did the awesome mohawk that everybody jabbers on about the awesome of gone, but so is the designer who RAN the hunt.  I’m dubious if there’ll be a fourth Crazy Hair Hunt, gorrammit.

So I’m wondering: do you know people who would be willing to take the time to do a silly hair that was in a set theme? Would they want to participate in a hunt that’d drive some traffic to their shops?  Frankly, the crazy hair hunt had some amazingly clever stuff in it, and I feel like we’re missing out on new and fun weirdness in SL because we won’t have it.

Your thoughts?

What Fresh SL Is This?

I’ve been playing around with photography in SL for several years, now: what can I say, it’s handy having a medium where your camera can swing around to any point you might like, and you can adjust your model’s pose however you desire.  The other day, I noticed that a lot of my recent Flickr posts have been about what I find appealing and new in SL: places I’ve discovered, new clothing or accessories.   At the same time, I noted that I especially enjoy new things in SL.  New content: new sims, new efforts at strange and unusual things.  Using SL to allow us to create things that we can’t create in the real world.  So eventually, I decided that I would give this blogging thing a go.  Updates are likely to be sporadic, but I hope to keep everyone amused, and perhaps to boost things that impress me with the care that went into their creation.

But what to call this blog?  I’ve come up with a name for a blog or two before, and I realized I wanted something that would give people a good chuckle, rather than something that’d make me seem like a pompous overbearing self-indulgent twatwaffle.  However, that doesn’t tell me what TO call it, only what I don’t want to evoke with what I DO call it.  What do I want to evoke, though?  Hmmmm…  I went flipping around through various books on the shelf in my library and I came across the perfect name.

I ran across a favorite paraphrase of one Dorothy Parker (who you may have heard of).  So it seems that whenever the doorbell to her apartment rang, she would say ‘What fresh hell can this be?’, according to biographers.  Just a slip of the tongue and we’re wondering about fresh SL, then.

I do hope to amuse you, to entertain you, and to help you find new and enjoyable things in a forum we may all have gotten entirely too hum-drum about.

Why won’t people take me seriously???

Welcome aboard!