Thursday, 22 January 2009

Not so much as a fashion statement... more of a fashion thesis.

"Here I am,
As I am,
As you make me
Think I am" - Therapy? - Nurse (Published A&M Records 1992)

OK I'm going to come out and say it. My avatar isn't quite what most people expect; and I get a range of comments based on my in-world appearance. ost seem generally quite taken aback with how I look. Some think it's cool... others are evidently disturbed, and the odd few (guys with creation dates less than 4 weeks ago) generally think that because I appear how I do, I must be in-world solely to screw... Well... I'm sure it would have gotten boring after two years if that were the case, but as you can probably guess, it's not.

When I arrived to SL in December '06 I was as lost as anyone else. Well... maybe not *quite* as lost as some. I played about on Help Island 4 for the best part of a week building, figuring out camera controls and getting to know the lie of the land before embarking into SL proper.. and thanks to a handy dandy credit card, and running across SL Boutique I arrived in-world prety much set as I first thought I'd be happy to appear. Short wavy red hair a la ETD, a Nyte and Day black halter, gray mix combat pants and a pair of (what turned out to be dramatically oversized) combat boots, with a shape that was petite; yet not stick thin. Nothing particularly dramatic I give you, but somehing that didn't look entirely like a noob.

In-world, I hit the ol' credit card a second time, bought some more lindens and invested in a Second Skin Labs skin - red to go with the hair... and my work was done... until someone... well... half the grid commented on my footwear being silly. Step in (the then blonde) Trinity Coulter, who whisked me away from Help Island Public, where I had become part of the furniture around the blue circle. She dropped me with aheavy thud in the middle of Curious Kitties, prior to the DK split. I went wow... went nuts and spent a fortune, acquiring practically everything in what were to become my signature colors - red and black. Kalli mark 2 was born.

Kalli, January 24th 2007

This was more or less how I stayed for a VERY long time. I flirted with neko around April, acquiring a Temenos skin and ears selection; but generally as I started to make hair, the effort of throwing together a quirky yet cute wardrobe became less of a priority. Don't get me wrong, I liked the look, and compared to how I am in RL, it was definitely fun. My Av became something of a dress-up doll, and there's no harm in that. Had it continued I suspect though I wouldn't be making hair, and if I were still inworld, I'd be a fashion blogger - knowing me, probably with a page called "Prim Whore" or something... but more on that later.

Either way, it ended because above everythng else, a lot of it felt contrived. While yes, I felt I looked good, and regularly was told I did, I didn't feel entirely comfortable. That and I was starting to work more and more inworld, making hair and so on... so it became obvious to me that when you're locked away from virtual humanity on a posing stand, you really don't have to break out the CK buckle skirt, WRONG braces and skinny rib croptop new from Artilleri. This in mind I started looking for a simple somethng that I could just throw on and work in... then I saw an advert posted in the SL forums. It's random coincidences like this that change your life, I tell you.

Anyway. a new designer (of whom I had never heard) named Jeela Juran had thrown out an advert for metallic hipster pants in a range of colors. I looked at them and though "ooh... they look a little different"... So I went over and after a little umming and ahhing (and a long talk to the designer's other half, Elf Juran) acquired a pair... in cherry red... that matched a camo top from WRONG almost perfectly. From July to October 2007 there I was in-world in a slight deviation from the red theme, and in a slight deviation from what is effectively the whole tee and pants deal. Nothing fancy, but something a little bit different.

Over the next few months, a number of things began to change. I felt more at home in SL... my business became established and I became more confident... above all else, I got to know the palce a little better, and realised that I could express myself a little more freely with how I appeared. I always wanted to push the envelope a little and make use of what was available in-world to stand out from the crowd (as if my diminuative av didn't already). Many people have referred to em as a goth... btu to be honest I never was. More industrial, and one with a penchant for large boots and heavy coats... The development of sculpted prims has been a godsend in that respect, and now I live in sculptie jackets, longcoats and trenches... but often with very little to nothing udnerneath (modesty aside... I cover those bits up!)

I still frequent Jeela's stores, and have updated the hipsters some, now wearing black latex ones rather than red metallic. Why latex? Why not... she does it very well, and I like how it appears. I also know full well I couldn't do it in RL... so it's a fantasy thing I suspect. Naturally I wear my own hair and eyes - Kaiba braids in Penny and Starstruck Alicias (dark hazel) as standard, and the redheaded skin is there, albeit the updated SSL version - a tweaked copy of the Lyra Sublime base.

The one thing I suspect that throws a LOT of people though is the one other item that's become a regular feature... or even a fixture. A Graves G04 leather harness, usually worn over the top of other clothes.

Kalli, 22nd January, 2009

I know what you're thinking. It took me a long while to appreciate why I felt so comfortable walking around in something so binding... so heavilly associated with submission, and that does take some explaination but I am not in any way, shape or form, bound or submissive to anyone inworld. I point blank refuse to, but there's a lot of ground there and I'll save it for another post.

I like my heavy jackets as they offer me protection. I refer to my own RL coat (the one that I take with me everywhere) as my armor, and this transfers wholesale to SL. Underneath it I am weak... vulnerable and easily hurt - hence the desire to be as good as naked under my carapace - more as a reminder to myself than a come-on to others... although it does look rather hot, it has to be said. But the harness is definitely not normal streetwear... but what it does do, symbolically, is hold me in... bound to myself in all my frailty, strapped into my body while offering little protection of its own, but providing a point of focus.

I walk inworld, trussed up in my own bubble. Seemingly confident on the outside but knowing that I am here, effectively, on my own; a prisoner of myself, but protected and safe as a result. I am my own mistress, and submit to my own will.

Until next time,


Monday, 19 January 2009

A sudden flash...

I've not been around SL much for the last couple of weeks, but I do get on (when the system's not utterly dead, logins are not blocked and the rest...) and when I do I notice things... usually.

It was yesterday however that a friend IMed me and said "I see you've erected your treehouse again!"

I froze... I've never owned a treehouse, but sure enough, on a little plot adjacent to my land, a treehouse stood... and a branded treehouse belonging to someone I have not seen hide nor hair of online for 14 months. And in front of the treehouse, I discovered, stood a lifeguard's chair.

I blanched... literally my fingertips went cold where I sat, and my mouth went dry.

I cammed around the chair, and sure enough it was the same one as I remembered from way back when... from before I even opened the store.

A post from the very early days of my shop blog... here, in fact... hints at what was going on.

The friend who erected the treehouse was one of the initial group of people (Help Island rats who decided to escape) who moved first to Puzo in January and then onto Synchronicity in March of 2007. Another of our number was the resident of that lifeguard's chair. It was she; or her memory at least, that made the adrenaline start flowing as hard as it did; and for my RL av to start feeling cold, despite being sat in front of the three bar heater.


Well... She was, and I hope still is one of my best friends in any world... virtual or otherwise; but due to factors that I cannot divulge (because, dear reader, I'm not privy to them precisely) she walked from Second Life mere days after I returned and set up the store, without so much as a word.

Now don't get me wrong... I am not holding any ill-feeling towards her in the slightest; and I understand more than she knows how hard it would have been to tell us all that she was going... that and she was never one to believe in the "grand gesture" in that sense. In fact in many ways I'm grateful she just went... because I still hold out some kind of hope that maybe, just maybe her decision wasn't final.

Seeing the treehouse... owned by an RL friend of hers, makes me wonder if by some fluke, by some slim chance she might come back also... Ok, not to stay... for me to feel like that would be inherently selfish and I'm generally not towards my friends... but just a word... a few minutes to catch up and realise that all is OK would mean so much.

So I wait...

I sit in my own land and wait, watching the the guard station from the corner of my eye for that telltale glimpse of red...

Until next time,


Monday, 5 January 2009

I'm Speechless...

'Hey! y u not voice?'

How many times have I heard that exact phrase (and that exact phrasing) from people in the store, at an event or whatnot...


I do not voice. Voice chat is disabled and no, I do not want to switch it on so you can talk at me while I type replys. My reasons are many... from the practical:

  • I don't have a microphone

  • My computer volume has two settings - Mute and playing earsplitting METAL

  • The latter generally wins as I listen to music constantly and with intent to offend

To the personal:
  • My profile states I'm shy... I am... so not forthcoming verbally at the best of times

  • ...compounded by the fact that I'm softly spoken, and would have to shout, even with a headset mic to get heard

  • ...and unless I really am prepared for a conversation, I'm the proud owner of a nervous stammer

  • ...and an acccent that nobody can understand, let alone place, so they perpetually ask me about it... which annoys me

But the main one I guess is simple... Sl to me is a place of peace, and strangely, for a social networking tool, silence. My SL experience has nigh on always been mute (and particularly after I discovered what gesturbating was in earnest when I went clubbing for the first time)... and as such, I know exactly how everybody I know sounds.

Avatars, in my mind, have personalities beyond that of their RL counterparts. I 'hear' them talking to me as I read; and as such I get to know then that way. Only twice have I heard another of my friends speak (as both were streaming for an event at the time.) The latter I knew was Italian, and DJing in English. The accent was unmistakable, the pitch and intonation of his voice was as I expected... if a little higher; but no real surprises there.

The former, a tall, well styled guy with a serious business empire behind him sounded like... and he knows I love him to bits so please don't take this the wrong way... Deputy Dawg.

My vision of the man was shaken. Then I sat down and thought of all the other things playing through my mind, and would I be let down again if I heard the people I knew speak, removing the mystique... the illusion that I've constructed in my warped little mind. And yes... I think I would.

So, being a selfish cow that I am, I refuse to voice. My world... My imagination... and that's the way I'd like to keep it. It also means that my other half has a voice that makes my clothes melt off me, and woe betide anyone who tries to strip me of that illusion... ;P

(A muted) Kalli