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nikadreamscape
28 January 2008 @ 12:49 pm

Alright, its official. I've moved my journal over to Wordpress. You can find my journal at the following link: 

http://nikadreamscape.wordpress.com/

If any of you have me included on your blogrolls and could switch the link to my wordpress site, it would be much appreciated. Thanks, and hope to see you there. :)

 
 
nikadreamscape
27 January 2008 @ 08:59 pm

Since I got into SL, I've spent so much time working on customizing my look.. be it my hair, clothes, skin, etc. My friends Salaamata and Abracapocus have been wanting for us all to go on a 'shopping spree' for awhile now so they could get some good 'upgrades' for their own avatars. We finally got around to it tonight. Here's their before shot, with the two of them in their 'newbie default' skins. 



And after a trip to Calla.. 



Such a great couple! I love hanging out with those two, they're a lot of fun. :)

 
 
nikadreamscape
26 January 2008 @ 07:02 pm
 I finally got around to checking out the SL version of Slingo- Zyngo. I've been a HUGE Slingo fan pretty much since AOL introduced the game several years ago.. but I've never quite been able to get my fix since I hate AOL. I have in the past paid for an AOL account for the sole purpose of playing the multi-player slingo. Yeah, I know there are freeware versions floating around out there, but it just isn't as much fun playing solo as it is competing against other people. I guess you could call it my guilty pleasure, since I love slot machines, and I love bingo. 

I noticed they had "Slingo' here on SL pretty much since the day I joined.. but I hadn't gotten a chance to experiment with any games yet. I finally got around to it the other night.. after doing a lot of scouting, I found a place where I can more or less play for free. ($1 games but $1/10 camping so it balances out pretty well.) Plus, they have a scoreboard that pays out every week.. I think top score gets $250L, and 5th place gets $50L. Something like that.. either way, not bad considering I'd play regardless. Who knows, maybe I'll actually win some money. I just played a couple games a little bit ago. The scoreboard reset today, so most of the scores are pretty low- but I managed to snag 1st place. At least, for now.. I imagine I'll be bumped way down the list by the end of the night. But if I'm lucky, I'll manage to stay at least in 5th place for the week. I snapped a picture since I'll probably never see myself that high on the scoreboard again.



I also noticed they have some reasonable rent on shop space at the boardwalk shops surrounding the slingo area. I'm really hoping to rent some shop space very soon so I can start selling my art.. I do have a free spot in the shops near where my house is, but those shops cater to the sci-fi/fantasy and dragon avatar related merchandise. I want to keep that spot there- I did manage to make one sale so far. But I'd like to find a decent shop in a high traffic area where people might be selling more mainstream items like funiture or clothing. I have a LOT of ideas kicking around in the back of my head as far as art and projects I want to work on. Too bad most of my motivation comes when I'm at work. By the time I get home I'm too tired, and on the weekends I'm usually busy or distracted. Still, my plan for this weekend is to do some scouting around and start making a list of possible places where I can rent. I'm looking to spend around $100/week.. I can't really afford more than that- I'll be hard pressed even to make that rent. At least, until I start making more sales to offset the cost. I assume I can rent shop space when I'm on a basic account. I do plan to upgrade to premium at some point.. but I'm not ready yet. I want to have a much better understanding about building or owning land before I shell out any real money. 

The shop space by the slingo area I've been playing at has several options, but the one I noted was $100/week for 20 prims. I know 20 prims is probably really low for most people.. but considering my items are only 1-2 prims each, its a good start. Of course, that was the first place I checked out.. I plan to do a lot of scouting around this weekend, so maybe I can find a better deal somewhere else. However, I'd rather pay $100 for 20 prims in an area that packs in that much traffic, than pay the same for more prims, but in exchange for a remote store location. Too many times have I go to shopping regions and not seen another person anywhere on the sim. 

Ah well, I'll have to see what I find. For now.. I'm just trying to get into SL with my hair intact so I can watch a concert.
 
 
nikadreamscape
21 January 2008 @ 10:41 pm
My posts are beginning to fall out of order again, but I wanted to write about something that happened a few nights ago. I was wandering around on podcaster island, and Chugabug was nearby. She called me over to show me something that she said she hadn't shown anyone in awhile. It was something called a Paradise Blanket, and she said that it works sort of like a portable skybox. It has several 'destinations' programmed into the blanket. It allows you and a small group to all sit on the blanket and then elevates you into a skybox setting of your choice. She hadn't used it in awhile and it was lacking a few updates. But between her and Radar, they got it working again. No matter how cool I thought it sounded by their description, I was really impressed to actually see it. We played around with that thing for probably an hour or two. 



This picture was from my favorite of the ones she showed to me. It sets you down on a small campsite, with a fire burning and a little tent set up nearby. Across from the tent and the fire is this gorgeous waterfall. I forced my sun to midnight, and it made even more beautiful than it already was. The fire was glowing and popping up sparks, and the water was luminescent. I've always had a weak spot for nature related settings, and anytime I find a cave or waterfall in SL I immediately go inside to look around. We found a blanket with some cuddle pose balls behind the waterfall for couples who want to be alone. It was really pretty behind there. 



Arri Gaffner joined us a short time later when Radar sent him a TP. We were all huddled on the blanket in this picture, discussing where to go next. Those things are way too cool- I've got to get one, someday.
 
 
nikadreamscape
20 January 2008 @ 10:08 pm
 A couple of days ago marked my entry into Second Life.. my rez day was December 18th, and I've learned a LOT in the past month that I've been in world. Apparently though, I still have a long ways to go. Up until tonight, I've been blown away by so many of the graphics in Second Life. I've heard people talk about adjusting the draw distance so you could see further.. but I assumed mine was already turned to the highest setting. I always thought I could see as far as the game would allow. I didn't realize anything was wrong until I was exploring a garden sim on a cliff face earlier tonight. The sign by the balcony said to sit and enjoy the view. I stared out at the blank gray sky and thought, "What view?" It wasn't until then that I decided to go into settings to see what my draw distance actually was.. 64. I couldn't believe it! For just over a month, I've been playing on the lowest possible setting. I cranked it up to 512, and was shocked! I feel like I'm seeing Second Life for the first time. Even the colors are brighter and more crisp than they were before. I always had trouble finding my way around podcaster island because I couldn't see more than a half block ahead of me.. but when I went there earlier, I was for the first time able to see across the entire sim. Its so much smaller than I thought it was, all this time. But it also looks a lot neater, and is so much easier to find my way around now. I went to a few places and took some before and after shots.. the first picture is how I've been seeing the world on 64, followed by the 'after' shot on 512. 


Podcaster Island - this is why I couldn't find anything!




I always thought Botanical Gardens were pretty -before-. 


Even the water is a deeper blue. 


I always thought there was nothing at all outside the back windows of my skyhouse. 


So much for privacy!
 
 
 
nikadreamscape
17 January 2008 @ 08:06 am

Time for a super quick post during my break at work.. 


Last night I decided to bypass most of the live music events in leiu of some serious shopping. I noticed it had been a few days since I've found a new outfit.. I do check the Fab Free website daily, but I'm so picky with what I wear, that I haven't seen anything in awhile that I really like. I decided to spend some actual money this time, so I was bopping around SL trying to find something I like when I got a group notice from Second Style Stylecast about a $100L sale over at Last Call. I grabbed the Surl and tried to go over there.. I have never seen so many green dots on a mini map ANYWHERE on SL. Not even in the newbie areas.. To make matters worse, I was able to see all really great clothing inside.. but I absolutely could not get to it! This was something beyond a lag. I've dealt with lag in SL.. its annoying, but never before was it physically impossible to move. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent over 10 minutes just trying to get away into the front door of the shop. All I could do was walk in place.. now and then I might manage to move a few feet forward, but then I'd be bounced back to my started point again. I even tried flying, thinking there were people unrezzed in the way. (I normally don't barrel through people, but at least move away from the door so others can get inside!) I don't think that was the case, though.. even up above the crowd,I could do nothing but fly in place. I considered trying to just camera around the store from where I was and to shop that way, but I really wanted to look upstairs and around the other aisles. Eventually I left with the decision to try back in the morning when it wasn't during prime time hours. 

This morning when I logged on before work, I had another group notice from a cool shopping area called The Shops.. it said they had several gift boxes hidden around the mall contain free goodies- even entire living room sets. My house is still completely empty, so I dashed over there first and ran around finding all the boxes. I ended up with about 10 boxes of home furnishings, and a couple freebie outfits I didn't even look at yet. :) 

Next, I tried Last Call again. Success! It was still packed, and still a bit laggy. But I was at least able to move around. I walked away with a gorgeous red gown that I haven't even tried on yet.. I ran out of time and had to go to work. But this weekend, I can't wait to start unpacking all those boxes to see what sort of stuff I managed to pick up. :)

 
 
nikadreamscape
15 January 2008 @ 08:24 pm
 Today was mostly uneventful.. I didn't get a lot of anything done. I had intended to park myself over at the Pharm and camp for some money during the day while I worked on some art for my shop. But I got sucked into the blogosphere, and whittled the entire day away by reading some of the SL blogs. I'm trying to figure out how to subscribe to some of them via an RSS feed.. I know how to do it on Itunes, but not so much for blog readers.. I think I have a couple on Google now. But honestly, I find it easier to just bookmark the ones I like and go back to them that way. 

Speaking of blogs, I'm in the process of moving this one from Livejournal to Wordpress. It seems like a lot of people use either wordpress or blogspot, and LJ doesn't have some of the features I'd like to use for my blog. I was talking to GoSpeed Racer last night at the open mic on Los Arboles.. she noticed my Blogger tag and said hello. I was asking her a bit about wordpress, and it sounded like something I could use. I've been moving my posts over there throughout the day.. once its all complete and I have it set up how I like, I'll post the new link and leave a message up on this blog directing people to the new one. In the meantime though, I'll continue using this one until I have time to work out the other. 

I knew PR Lovenkraft was going to be doing a show at an open mic later on this evening, but while I was hopping around trying to find something good to listen to in the meantime, I got a group notice from Rhythm Nation informing everyone of an open mic at Maximillion Kleene's hangout, The Zone. (At least, I think its his place.) Phemie Alcott was on the list of performers, so I decided to go over and have a listen. She's still coughing up a storm, poor thing. But she sounds absolutely amazing, regardless. She's probably one of my favorite performers on Second Life. The venue kicked ass, as well. It was an outdoor setup.. a series of rocky steps circling a huge bonfire.. it was a very chill, laid back atmosphere that I really liked. The last guy who went onstage was too cool. His name was Skinny Shepherd, and he would tell stories and talk about his life in between songs. I love that sort of thing, when the performers chat up the audience a lot. He has a website at http://www.alexbevan.com



I got a group reminder from PR (I really don't like calling him that, I'd rather call him Phil since thats how he's known by his other work. But I don't know how he feels about that, so I try to remember and address him by his Second Life name) that he was going on in a few minutes. So, I said goodbye over at The Zone and TP'd myself over to the Merry Prankster where PR would be performing. 

He put on a great show. I was really glad to get a chance to hear him since I didn't get to the other time he had played back when I first started on Second Life. (Like that was forever ago, haha. It was just a few weeks, but sometimes it feels like so much longer.) In any event, he said this was his first performance of 2008. He did a great job. Watch for his shows on the music event list, or you can join his group by doing a search for Lovenkraft Music. He also mentioned a Myspace page: http://myspace.com/philrossimusic

 
 
 
nikadreamscape
14 January 2008 @ 08:19 pm
Tonight, I attended another live music event. Every Monday at 6pm, there is an open mic night over on Los Arboles. It lasts a couple of hours, and the musicians are varied in their styles, and all very talented. Tonights lineup included:

Rich DeSoto http://www.richpalmer.com/richdesoto/
Joaquin Gustiv http://www.purevolume.com/joaquingustav
Rain Vieria http://www.myspace.com/vivemusic
Julian2914 Hifeng http://www.myspace.com/julian2914hifeng
Juel Resistance http://www.thesixtyone.com/JueLResistance/ or www.myspace.com/7juel
Jackson Oxberger (No site yet)

I really enjoy the whole open mic concept on Second Life, because its a good way to get to sample a mix of musicians without having to go sim hopping all over the grid. I've done that before.. played leapfrog from venue to venue to venue trying to find something I like, and it can be pretty tedious. Already, I found a few really good musicians tonight that I'll probably see again at other shows now that I've heard their music. I particularly enjoyed Rain Vieria, who had a really interesting and amazing style. You can sample his original music on his myspace page, where he has a handful of songs available.
Rain Vieria at Los Arboles open mic

As I was listening, I jotted down the people who performed so I could grab their websites from their profiles. But when the time came to sit down and write, I realized that Jackson Oxberger was the only one who didn't have a site listed anywhere. It surprised me because he's really good, he did some instrumental electric guitar and was very talented. He had mentioned at the end of his set that he had to go because he was playing another open mic somewhere else. I wanted to send him a quick IM and ask if he had a website he wanted me to include in this post, but I wanted to make sure he wasn't onstage performing at the time. So, I checked the events list to see where the 8pm open mic was at and saw one listed at Moulin Rouge. I popped over there, and wow! What a great venue. I think the only thing I don't like about live music shows is that it gets very crowded and its hard to see or move around. This place was huge, though. When you walk in, you're standing at the top of a roped off balcony overlooking the stage and dance floor which in itself is very spacious. I wasn't planning on sticking around, but I liked the atmosphere that I'm still there listening as I write up this entry. 

As for Jackson, he said he does not have a website yet but hopefully he will in a couple of weeks or so. However, according to his profile you can see him every Monday night in Los Arboles, and weekly at the Merry Pranksters. 

I'll end this with a photo of Mich Rumpler performing at the Moulin Rouge Theatre and Grand Ballroom. 



I really need to learn how to post surls.
 
 
nikadreamscape
14 January 2008 @ 03:30 pm
 Just a quick note- I've added a listing of SL related podcasts, blogs and SL musician sites to my profile. I feel like I might be missing a few people, but I'll be constantly updating the list as time goes on. If you know me and I've forgotten you, just give me a nudge and I'll add you to the list. :) 

Everyone else, feel free to take a look. There is some really good stuff out there that you might not have stumbled across yet.
 
 
nikadreamscape
13 January 2008 @ 07:09 pm

Its funny how often times I really, really want to write in my blog. But for whatever reason, I can't seem to do it. Its not a matter of time, or material to write about. I think I'm just really picky about how I write.. I can't tell you how many times I'll start writing and get an entire paragraph or two out.. then just delete it all away. I love taking and posting pictures in this blog, but I don't want to let myself get into the habit of making this a photo blog. I'd like to have some good, solid content in here as well. I love pictures as much as the next person, but I like to read about other people's thoughts and experiences to go along with those pictures. I can only assume thats the case for most people. 

I guess sometimes the words flow easier if I just open my mind and let myself write down my thoughts as they come to me, rather than mentally outline everything I want to talk about. 

Having said that, now I feel like I can move on to the point of this post: Live music in Second Life. 

When you consider that by the time I was a freshman in high school I started getting into independant musicians and started up my own fanzine.. later moving on to freelance journalism and music promoting, that I'd be more into the music scene on SL. The truth of the matter is, I've largely been missing out on most of that until recently. I briefly caught Phil Rossi (aka PR Lovenkraft) over at the Lonely Yak Club on one of my first nights on Second Life.. but I didn't stick around very long, so I'm hoping he'll do a show again pretty soon. I had not seen any other live music until a week or so ago when I caught the Maximillion Kleene concert on Podcaster Island. That was pretty much the turning point for me.. I wasn't planning on staying for his whole set. I had other plans to go dancing with a couple of friends over at Club Caramel at the Bellagio. The idea was to stop in and listen to maybe two or three songs by Max, then move on. All three of us (Salaamata, his wife Abracapocu, and myself) were so impressed, we ended up staying for the whole show and put our own plans off until it was over. I wanted to join his group that night so I could keep up to date on his upcoming shows, but the sim was so insanely packed that I didn't want to even try finding his group organizer or trying to get close enough to the stage to click his sign. So, I waited a day or two and joined the group later on. I was really happy to find out that Max plays a lot more often than I was expecting. I assumed I'd only be able to catch a show every now and then. As it turns out, he seems to do at least two or three shows a day. I'm pretty sure I saw him just about every night this past week. In fact, I had to really buckle down and do some serious camping and surveys yesterday and today to regain some of the tip money, since I now tip at every show I go to. I still can't afford to tip as much as some people, but I contribute what I can. 

Funny thing is, even though Second Life is a virtual world in which we're all just people controlling pixels on a computer screen.. I noticed that a lot of the SL musicians seem to all be suffering the same kind of cold/sore throat issues this weekend. I caught Max at the Hard Rock last night, and he was really favoring his throat and clearing it alot between songs. He still sounded great, but I could tell he was struggling a little bit. I wasn't surprised to get a group notice earlier that he had to cancel all of todays shows. Its probably a good thing that he did, after singing at least two or three hours a day, he could probably stand to give his vocal chords a rest. 

Since I wasn't going to be able to catch a Max show tonight, I did a little exploring on the live music search to find something else to listen to. I tried to catch someone called KevinMThomas Carpool, but when I got to the venue I heard them mentioning that he's sick, too. There was a woman onstage taking over his set by the name of Phemie Alcott.. She turned out to be suffering the same bug, because she coughed through her entire set as well. Still, she sounded great and I really enjoyed her music so I stuck around for the whole thing. You can find her at http://myspace.com/phemiealcott . 

As for Maximillion Kleene, you can find his group by searching under groups for Rhythm Collective, or visit his myspace. http://www.myspace.com/maximillionkleene . From what I've seen, he's got to be one of the most popular musicians on Second Life. He does some really great covers, and I love his banter with the audience. Its a lot of fun to see him perform, so join his group or do a live music search to check out one of his shows. He usually plays around 6pm SLT most nights. 

(There I go, promoting again.) 

I'll end this post with a picture from the Podcaster Island concert where I saw him for the first time.