Serendipidy’s Autumn Song

Autumn song

by Serendipidy Haven

I like the Autumn, although its arrival always brings mixed feelings. On the one hand, the quality of the light and sheer gamut of colours can’t be beaten, and although the weather inevitably takes a downward turn, we still have the odd glorious day of sunshine, which because of its timing, feels even better that the Summer sun. Then there are stunning sunrises and sunsets, and with the new harvest, we start to see our dinner tables graced by the likes of fruit crumbles, hearty stews and the first bottles of last year’s country wines.

On the other hand, there’s a distinct chill in the air, the rain showers are nowhere near as pleasant as they were in warmer weather, and the shorter days confine us indoors, whilst those of us who have to commute, do so in darkness. Alfresco meals are set aside – the barbecue packed away for its long Winter sojourn, and beneath it all we know the colourful display of leaves on the trees will soon be replaced by stark, leafless branches and that it’s only a matter of time before the bleakness and frosts set in.

Autumn is also a reminder that the end of another year is just around the corner – a realisation that always catches me by surprise. How did the time pass so quickly?

Speaking of time passing… Next year marks my tenth year in SL, and it really doesn’t seem that long. My relationship with this crazy virtual world has outlasted any of my RL relationships with people, by a good margin; it’s survived five house moves, three changes of job, numerous crises and challenges and a vast number of life changes. It’s also survived a fair few changes inworld too: Three avatar’s, four changes of home location, two partnerings, and many, many opportunities, successes and failures. Yet, despite everything, most days when I’m able, I’m still logging in.

In a weird twist of reality, SL has perhaps been one of the most stable and persistent constants in my life for nearly ten years.

There have, of course, been changes – there have been times when I’ve spent hours inworld for days on end because I had the time, the inclination and – dare I say it – the necessity. Inworld events and activities that were once sacrosanct, have had to be sacrificed to make way for the real world; some things virtual have taken off in ways I never anticipated, whilst others have died a natural death. Sometimes it’s been a roller-coaster, at other times it’s been a sedate amble.

At the moment though, it feels something like autumn in SL too. It seems to be a time of fruitfulness and reaping the rewards of the time and effort that I’ve expended in the course of my virtual life over the past ten years – I’m starting to see things come to fruition that wouldn’t have been possible in the past and I’m enjoying the results of my efforts. Then again, there’s also a sense of winding down – a settling into a routine that feels comfortable and homely, although that’s not to say that I don’t have a clear feeling that there’s always the chance of inclement weather and sometimes the path of virtual life – like the real thing – can suddenly become harsh, cold and frosty. Of course, we all hope that it won’t, but I think it’s wise to be pragmatic, because you never quite know what’s around the corner, no matter how well you think you’re prepared.

Not that I’m too worried about the future: Almost every year I’ve been in SL there have been unexpected challenges, dire warnings that the virtual world is about to end, and a whole load of messiness that’s inevitable when you put diverse people together in an environment that encourages creativity and individuality… And so far, I seem to have survived!

So, it may be Autumn, but I’m ready for it, and for whatever follows too. How about you?

s. x

So when you hear this autumn song
Clear your heads and get ready to run
So when you hear this autumn song
Remember the best times are yet to come
Manic Street Preachers – Autumnsong

Serendipidy Haven | November 17, 2017 at 8:09 am | Categories: PhilosophicalisticalityRLSL | URL: https://wp.me/p17sWN-3Fc
Comment        Like
Social Share Toolbar

Reality bytes by Serendipidy Haven

Reality bytes

by Serendipidy Haven

Fun conversation in SL last night amongst the usual suspects: “What if we all met up like this in RL – do you think the conversations would be the same?”

It was a great conversation starter that got everybody thinking about how we communicate inworld when we’re gathered together in a group – unlike many groups of people who meet up in SL, we do tend to be rather talkative in open chat, and that in itself made me wonder whether how we converse inworld could actually translate to a real-life setting. When we meet up, it’s not unusual to have a number of conversations going on simultaneously in open chat, and to be actively involved in contributing to all of them; whether this would be feasible in RL is debatable, since I’m pretty sure the end result would be a cacophony of voices with little hope of deciphering individual strands of any one conversation, let alone discussing multiple topics at once.

Then we started to realise that how we do things when together in SL might not translate terribly well to the real world… It would become rather absurd pretty rapidly if every time somebody left to go to the bar or to nip to the loo, everybody else piped up with “Hurry back!” – and then, on their return – “Welcome back!”: We all do it inworld, but in a real life situation, it’s more than a little naff! Similarly, we all seem to feel the need to formally welcome everyone who comes into range in SL, and conversely, every newcomer is at pains to greet everyone assembled by name, and let’s not forget the chorus of goodbyes from everyone present as each person leaves. Not really the done thing in RL.

You can guarantee too, that if a decent song came up on the jukebox, a number of us would invariably pipe up with “Tune!”, or “I love this DJ!” – again, it wouldn’t draw a second glance inworld, but elsewhere it’s more than likely to cause bemused stares, even an irate response from those wishing to enjoy a quiet night out, having to contend with us reprobates spoiling the atmosphere.


As for the conversation itself, once we’d managed to sort out who was saying what, to whom, we might struggle with some of the things that we tend to take for granted in SL. Copying and pasting funny quotes might be a little problematic, and the opportunities for seizing mischievously upon unintentional typos would rather limited – well, non-existent! And everyone would have to sit together, because SHOUTING ACROSS THE ROOM is just not acceptable in a real life public place, and it’s something we just don’t have to concern ourselves about whilst inworld. And whilst we’re considering keeping the volume down, those private conversations that we can conduct effortlessly in SL by IM, would be somewhat hampered if we wanted to communicate with anyone whose ears were outside whispering distance – perhaps we’d have to resort to passing folded notes across the room, hoping that no-one else would have a peep; hardly a discrete way to have a conversation.

Then there are the other considerations to be taken into account: Inworld, we think nothing of having a deep discussion whilst simultaneously dancing frantically for hours on end, with music blaring in the background; and as anyone who has ever frequented any sort of real world club will be well aware, it’s nigh-on impossible to conduct any sort of conversation under those circumstances and if you attempt it, within a very short space of time you’ll end up completely breathless, hoarse and incredibly frustrated. Yet, that’s how the vast majority of conversations that I’m party to inworld tend to be conducted.

I guess it’s indicative of the vast gulf that really does exist between reality and virtual living – a gulf that we’re pretty much completely unaware of – until that is, we try to transpose the one over the other and realise that in practical terms, it simply wouldn’t work.

It’s a funny old world.

s. x

A little less conversation
A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
Elvis Presley – A Little Less Conversation

Serendipidy Haven | September 20, 2017 at 7:22 am | Categories: PhilosophicalisticalityRLSL | URL: http://wp.me/p17sWN-3D5
Social Share Toolbar

Another gem from Seren

Erectile dysfunction

by Serendipidy Haven

Spam email is not something I tend to suffer from – I have rather robust measures in place to avoid it, nevertheless, no system is foolproof and some messages do manage to elude my defences. Recently, I’ve had one rogue email that keeps on sneaking through which is offering me breakthrough drugs for my ailing potency. Clearly, these aren’t going to be of much use to me, but I’m quite happy to forward them to anyone who is suffering such unfortunate circumstances.

It does bring to my mind however the whole thorny topic of SL sex – mainly because, I’m reliably informed that gentleman avatars do not come ready equipped with ‘appendages’, which has resulted in a healthy niche market for attachable – and scripted – dangly bits. The same is true, of course, of lady avatars who when they come into the virtual world are similarly ill-equipped for, shall we say, full functionality! Personally, I do of course, completely understand the desire to look and ‘feel’ that all the appropriate bits are in their rightful place and that our avatars are not bowdlerised freaks of nature, but when it comes to the whole properly performing protuberances position, I’m less than persuaded.

I’ve always been a little surprised by the sheer lengths (no pun intended), and not inconsiderable expense, some male avatars will go to in order to primp and preen their tackle – maybe it’s a male thing, I don’t know. As for myself, I’m perfectly happy if things look anatomically correct, and are generally kept covered up in public – and that goes for the female variety too. I really do question the need for something that has a full range of angle of dangle, is capable of producing a wide variety of questionable bodily secretions in various doses, can perform tricks, and (for all I know) is able to sing The Star Spangled Banner in fourteen different languages!

To be absolutely honest, the whole realm of pixel sex is something that leaves me rather bemused. I have – of course – tried it, who hasn’t? But, I really cannot see the attraction of it, or understand why so many seem so so obsessed with it. After all, at the end of the day – and I shall put this as delicately as I can – one’s real pleasure is likely to be ultimately taking place in private and is a purely solo affair, stimulated by what is occuring on the screen in front of one; and with that in mind, I really don’t understand the allure that watching simulated activities perpetrated by pixels could possibly hold. To me, it’s no different really to watching Fred and Wilma Flintstone getting it on together – and I find it quite difficult to grasp how on earth such cartoon antics can be a turn on? That said, it is true that the brain is the biggest sexual organ, so I can appreciate that there’s an awful lot of imagination in action, but surely there are better and more imaginative ways to employ it, even in the context of SL?

To me, bumping pixels is about as stimulating as watching pixel paint dry, once you’ve jumped on the poseball/bed/other ‘adult’ contraption, you may as well just wander off and do the hoovering in RL, have a cup of tea and catch up on your emails, than sit there bored and throwing in the occasional emote to show that you’re still participating. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong, or maybe I just need more in the way of stimulus to get me going? (This, by the way, is not an invitation to all and sundry to offer to show me how to do it properly, or to suggest that I just haven’t found the right person yet, and perhaps I might like to take advantage of their services to demonstrate that they are ‘the one’!)

So, straightforward virtual bonking is, as far as I’m concerned, a bit of a mystery – sure, if it works for you, great, but for me it’s a no thank you. I can however see where SL can play a role, and that’s when one starts to move away from the stricly vanilla to more exotic flavours of fun and shennanagins. There is a great variety of more adventurous entertainment to be had that may not be available to us in RL, and which perhaps might not even appeal to us in a real world context, or is dubious, questionable or patently impossible for us to even contemplate for real, (not that I’ve ever allowed that to deter me 😉 ). Yet inworld, we can give it all a go – even if it is to all intents just make-believe – and experiment, experience and enjoy a whole range of sexuality that may be denied us in real life.

But, as for plain old pixel porn… Nah, you can keep it!

s. x

But shoot it in the right direction
Make making it your intention – ooh yeah
Live those dreams
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax

Serendipidy Haven | August 25, 2017 at 11:41 am | Categories: PhilosophicalisticalityRLSL | URL: http://wp.me/p17sWN-3Ci
Social Share Toolbar

New post on Serendipidy Haven’s Blog

Relaxed

by Serendipidy Haven

Yesterday was a quiet evening inworld: A taking it easy, pottering about, nothing much in particular evening. There were no events planned, nowhere in particular I had to be, and nothing specific I wanted to be doing. After logging in, I caught up on a spot of building, then joined a couple of friends at our virtual ‘local’, where nothing much occurred, other than a bit of chat and socialising.

There were none of the frantic goings-on that so often accompany everyday virtual life, nothing particularly exciting took place, and the time was memorable only because it was so quiet and so little of note occurred to report.

It was all very pleasant, and a good time was had by all.

Sometimes you have moments like that in SL, and I find that rather than just settling down for a couple of hours of rest and relaxation, many of us are prone to thinking that something must be horribly wrong… Have all of our friends deserted us?; Has the virtual world come to a grinding halt?; Did Facebook usurp SL while we weren’t looking? Alternatively, we may lean towards that peculiar feeling of guilt that nags us from inside…. rather than sitting in front of our computer screens doing very little of merit with our time, we should instead be doing something else more rewarding instead – running marathons, mowing the lawn, feeding the kids.

We’ve become acclimatised to thinking that if we’re logged on inworld, we should also be active in some way and that it is somehow worrying to simply be killing time, taking it easy or just chilling in the company of friends. Unless we’re being chased by zombies, dancing the night away or doing a spot of virtual sightseeing, we seem to be under the impression that somehow we’re not making the most of our time in SL. I find that quite odd, especially since – if we weren’t logged in – there’s a very good chance that, in the alternative, we’d be whiling away the hours chuckling at cat pictures, swiping through pages of status updates on social media, or investigating the weird part of YouTube, thanks to that interesting looking link we clicked three hours earlier. Somehow, although we might acknowledge that we really should have been doing all those other things that might actually be a little more important, we don’t feel quite as guilty as we do when just idly passing time in SL.

Yet, there’s nothing at all wrong with doing just that, whenever and wherever the mood takes us, and if that does happen to coincide with a couple of friends doing exactly the same thing, then what really is the problem with that? Whilst it could possibly feel like we’re frittering away our time when we could maybe be doing something a little more constructive or productive with it, surely what we’re actually doing is making use of SL in exactly the way it is intended – as a diversion from the real world; a means to escape from the demands and distractions of RL. Even better if we happen to be doing so in the company of friends, even virtual friends: after all, this is a social platform and socialising doesn’t necessarily mean doing any activity in particular, it can just be passing the time in the company of friends, with no agenda, other than simple companionship.

I some ways i think that maybe we occasionally need to take time out from the hectic round of activities, events, and planned excursions and become a little more laid back in our approach to what goes on inworld. Perhaps, now and again we need to switch off and enjoy a bit of downtime rather than trying to fill it with activity, especially if we can do it in the company of friends.

I hope to have lots more quiet, unstructured evenings inworld in the future – opportunities to reconnect with friends at a more human than virtual level, and if we end up just killing time, so what? As far as I’m concerned, that’s time very well spent.

s. x

Take it easy (easy skankin’);
Lord, I take it easy! (easy skankin’);
Take it easy (easy skankin’);
Got to take it easy (easy skankin’).
Bob Marley – Easy Skankin’

Serendipidy Haven | July 17, 2017 at 9:52 am | Categories: PhilosophicalisticalitySL | URL: http://wp.me/s17sWN-relaxed
Social Share Toolbar

Serendipidy Haven’s Blog

Social Share Toolbar

Another gem from Seren

Mistaken Identity

identityOne of those things I’ve always vowed never to do is meet anyone from SL in the flesh – for me one of the most attractive features of living in a virtual world is the way in which you can choose for it to be entirely removed and distinct from reality. I can be whoever I wish, and do whatever I want, in whatever context I desire whilst inworld; that does not in itself convey any need or wish for my virtual existence to be in any way connected with the real me. If I choose to share something of my virtual life with someone in the real world, (a situation that has not yet occurred), I will do so, but it will be on my terms and only to the extent to which I feel entirely comfortable. Similarly, if I choose to disclose elements of my real life to those I know from the virtual community, it will be on the same terms, and there are a number of things that will always remain strictly private, confidential and none of your business.

Not everyone feels the same way, but each to their own, and whatever works for you is fine.

When it comes to my virtual friends and acquaintances, I’m afraid this produces an unequal equation: Many of those I know inworld have no problem with sharing information and details about their real lives that I, for one, will never share about myself, except with a very favoured few. There are those who, if I was to run into them in the street, I would instantly recognise: I know roughly where they live and I know what they look like and sound like in the real world. They, on the other hand, could walk past me and never know they’d encountered Serendipidy Haven, unless they are one of the handful with whom I have shared my photo and voice – and even then, it’s such a rare occurrence, I might still pass by unnoticed.

I’m pretty certain however that those of you who do associate with me inworld, or even through the pages of this blog, have some sort of mental picture of the real me, and in some cases that may well be a fairly accurate one. However, I discovered only recently that imagination and reality can be worlds apart when it comes to the facts, with amusing results.

I shall paraphrase the recent exchange that took place between an inworld friend and myself over the course of a few days:

Friend: Who’s that girl pictured on your blog then?
Me: Huh? What girl… What picture?
Friend: That girl. It’s you, isn’t it?
Me: I don’t think so!
Friend: I think it is!
Me: I don’t even know what picture you mean, but I know it’s not me!
Friend: I’m sure it is. I worked it out.
Me: OK – I’m intrigued now – send me a screenshot of the picture.
Friend has offered you inventory
Me: Erm, that’s definitely not me.
Friend: Bet it is.
Me: Nope… That’s Scarlett Johansson!

They were very disappointed; I was very flattered!

litNo doubt, the friend in question will wish to beat me to a pulp when they read this – but I certainly wouldn’t wish to humiliate them over such a sweet mistake, so they shall remain completely anonymous and if anyone asks me who it was, my lips will remain tightly sealed.

It’s weird how our minds, when presented with only the bare minimum of information, will still nevertheless, try to fabricate a coherent picture from what is available, and will latch on to any strand of detail that comes their way, no matter how tenuous it may be. Throw in some intelligent guesswork, a bit of luck and you may – Nutrimatic fashion – end up with something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike me!

This is probably a good thing, since:

a) You will be spared the true horror of experiencing the true reality of me;
b) I will be spared the true horror of ever being recognised in RL by you;
c) I am more than happy to be mistaken for Scarlett Johansson.

There is a further aspect to this whole anonymity thing that also merits exploration – some people in SL really do appreciate the anonymity the virtual world provides, for the simple reason that they actually do wish to remain anonymous and experience things as a normal, everyday person. What if – and you have absolutely no way of knowing the real facts here – what if, in real life, I really am Scarlett Johansson? Surprise!

The problem with being famous is that it’s very difficult to escape to normality – the moment anyone suspects you might be a celebrity, they’re all over you asking for your autograph, taking photos, bragging to their friends about meeting you and generally meaning you never have the opportunity to have fun and do all the things that normal people get to do. It’s bad enough not being able to pop down the shops for a loaf of bread without the paparazzi hounding you, or being unable to leave the house without a disguise, but if you can’t even escape to a virtual world and experience some semblance of normality, then fame can be a real bind. So we may never know when the rich and famous are amongst us in SL – our best friend may be a superstar, and we’d never know it!

scarlett. x

Fame, (fame) what you like is in the limo
Fame, (fame) what you get is no tomorrow
Fame, (fame) what you need you have to borrow Fame
Fame, (fame) it’s mine, it’s mine, it’s just his line
To bind your time, it drives you to crime (fame)
David Bowie – Fame

Social Share Toolbar