AWOL

I am closing this blog for a while.  I have learned to never say never so it may open again in the future but I do not think it will be about dancing in SL.

I started stage dancing in SL in 2014.  It has been a wonderful experience that kept my full attention for four + years.  But as a friend of mine said several times, if it stops being fun it’s time to leave.  Well I’m not ready to leave, I have dances I want to create, showing them may be another story but I’d like to create and film them at least.  The dance community used to be a wonderful, supportive place, full of creative and loving people.  Lately however, I know it is me, I have changed somehow I guess; but the bickering, the finger pointing, the egos, unfriendliness in the community has just depressed me so I am stepping back.  I am finding my happy place in SL and if it does not include you or your venue or whatever, well too bad.

My priority in the dance community is Men In Motion and the Movember foundation events.  Other than that I will participate in what I feel like participating and no longer by my warped sense of obligation.

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Down and Out in Second Life

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I haven’t written in a while.  Mostly because everything I drafted was depressing or angry.  I am not normally, these days anyway, a depressed or angry person.  I expected too much from people in general.  I should know better than that, because they will always disappoint you.

I’m having a mid-dance crisis.  Kind of like a middle age crisis but I’m not going out and buying fancy cars.  Although that does sound like fun.  I have cut down on the shows I perform in, I have taken some time off, I have continued to have ideas and cull music to use for dances.  But, I just don’t feel like it.  My muse isn’t gone, he’s still there riding my back like a monkey.  I enjoy making dances, and I enjoy dancing.  My focus has changed.  I used to be very driven, a bit competitive, wanting to please those I thought were the best in the field.  But life/SLife isn’t like that.  You just set yourself up for disappointments. So you take a step back.  Slow down. I don’t have the bucket of dances at my disposal that I used to.   Just wanted to up date you all on why I haven’t been posting.  But I have a few up my sleeve so stay tuned.

Discrimination

Now that the MIM show is over and I can think again…  I really do not know how people who do that every week manage it.  It’s hard enough for me to get three shows out a year.  At any rate, something I simply wanted to bring to people’s awareness is discrimination.  Take a look at the pictures below.  They both showed up on my Facebook feed on the same day.  Essentially stating that as a man, if I hit a woman I am cursed, however, women can hit me all they want to.  WTF?!  Granted a lot of people have been burned by their partners. But this is what we teach our children.  This is discrimination, period.  No one should be encouraged to hit anyone.

Did you know that while the national domestic violence law is written in gender neutral wording, it is still called the Violence Against WOMEN Act. The law gives men the same legal protections against domestic violence, but in practice they are usually the first to be arrested in any domestic violence call.  So it stands to reason that most women can pretty much freely abuse men and will not get punished for it, ever. And not only that but seem to be encouraged to do so.

Such is obviously not the case for men.

  • Male survivors of sexual assault are marginalized and ignored even more than women are. It’s made worse by the frequent assumption that sexual assault and/or rape is something that “only” happens to women, and by the equally sexist assumption that men always want sex, thus if a man is sexually assaulted by a woman he “should” enjoy it.
  • Breast and prostate-cancer have similar incidence and mortality-rates, yet a lot more is spent both on research into and screening for breast-cancer.
  • Men are 2 to 5 times more likely to commit suicide.
  • Men are forced to pay child support under almost every scenario; even when they’re victims of statutory rape.
  • You only need to read your Facebook feed to figure out the narrative that is going on against men. Men always cheat, all women are different but all men are the same, men are the problem in their relationships, never the women, it is funny to make fun of male-stereotypes but make one comment about women… We get these motivational quotes: “Every woman deserves a man who loves her…” , but if we would reverse it: “Every man deserves a woman who loves him” people would be reacting to it in complete anger: “WHAT EVERY GUY?!! F*** OFF!” Women are angels, mothers are all-knowing and no woman should never bow down to a man, but men should grovel at women’s feet.
  • About once a week I see a meme or post from mothers essentially putting fathers down.
  • And on almost every commercial who is the stupid one, yep you guessed it, men.  Because men won’t sue them for it.
  • And in our Second Life notice how women treat the men because they are in their virtual safety net.

I’m not saying that there aren’t bad people out there, there are. This entry is not meant to complain, or to accuse, or necessarily be negative; it is to bring awareness.  Just be aware that we are all bearing our own weights and discriminations.

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Loss (long)

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If there is one thing I have learned over the years it is loss.  I moved a lot in my youth, 18 schools in 12 years.  For a long time it seemed like anything that I cherished was broken or lost.  I lost extended family like most people do.  Lost friends to drugs, alcohol, cancer and other maladies. The loss of a spouse breaks part of you and does not repair, were it not for the kids I would have probably had a lot harder time with it.  Now I am kind of numb to loss of any kind.  At times it feels as if I have no heart, but really it’s just that loss is no longer perceived as a huge deal, just another part of life. You know, shit happens.

By now you’re wondering what prompted this after a year of not putting anything on here.  Obviously, I suck at blogs and I even suck more as a writer.  As any Second Life dancer knows our creations mean a lot to us.  Either through blood, sweat, and tears or through emotions they hold or express for us.  I guess I was feeling a bit cocky about having 60 dances in my portfolio and life put me back in my place.  Each one a labor of love and dedication.  I did have it well organized, being a bit OCD, how could I not.  But I did have a single point of failure that I was ignoring.  They were all in one folder.  Second Life ate that folder right before a show.

I was preparing to perform at Winds after having successfully practiced a few days before and suddenly I did not have the PD saved with my outfit.  Now that is weird, I thought, but I went to find the dance folder where all of that is kept and it was gone.  Not just that dance folder but the entire 60 plus dance folder.  I say plus because I had other dances I was in the middle of that weren’t yet completed.  I searched several times for things that were in the folder, thinking I some how moved it to another directory.  I couldn’t find it, then I noticed that none of my PD links were saved with the outfits (note to self if the PD is copyable save the final object copy with the outfit instead of a link.) I told the managers in group chat that I would have to pull my dance from the show that night.  I spent the remainder of the night going through everything in my inventory trying to find the folder or parts of it or anything.  Nada. Next night I did the same to no avail.  It was a weekend so I tried other things before putting in a ticket.  Logging into other viewers including the Second Life viewer.  Clearing cache, letting everything reload.  Standing in the bottom of the ocean at one of the ‘get your inventory back here’ spots in the grid.  Still nothing.  I went to the Community and Knowledge Base.

Well seems there is a new bug in SL.  Fully outlined in the “Warning! Don’t Let This Happen To You” thread.

“It now seems clear that there is a random bug that accidentally deletes folders and puts them in Trash — and then may give you a warning message from a new feature, called “Warning: Your Trash is Overflowing”. If you then flush the trash, you will never get back folders that in fact you may not have intended to delete at all. It’s random. “

I remembered getting this message on Saturday morning when I was getting ready for the day’s shows.  I ignored it, several times.  Sunday afternoon I’d had enough of it popping up.  Now I spend huge amounts of time when I’m not creating dances or exploring or hanging out with friends, sorting my inventory.  So it didn’t seem too weird that this message came up.  I looked at the trash folder to see what constituted it being overflowing and it did not seem like it should be at that point yet.  There was not a lot in it.  I did open a few folders in it that were not empty to see if they were the culprit.  After being laggy in a show on Saturday night I figured it would not hurt to empty the trash and get my inventory down.  Weird thing too is that the number of inventory items did not change.  Then off I went to the show on Sunday night and wham… all gone.

Monday morning I put in a ticket.  I got two emails from Linden Labs on Monday. First one saying that they knew this was a problem and were working on it. Second one to ask me a few questions which I answered right away.  Monday I logged in to SL with the mind set it was all gone.  I started searching through my inventory for pieces of my last 3 years in SL.  I recreated the directory structure and put the pieces in the appropriate dances.  A partial stage here, a notecard there, even a few rezzers.  No PDs. But I think I have gotten all the items related to dances in their appropriate folders.  Out of 60 plus dances I was down to five and parts of about 15 others.  On Tuesday, Linden Labs informed me that they attempted to fix it and if I had anything that was retrievable it should be in my inventory.  Nothing there in any viewer or the bottom of any ocean.

This was almost a month ago.  For a while I sorted, taking comfort in the fact of organizing things into buckets (yeah, I’m weird).  My SL and RL dogs playing and laying around me for minor diversions.  I felt empty, devoid of response.  I didn’t log into SL for about a week and cancelled shows I was performing in for the rest of the month.  I slowly came back in and worked with Jo some on her new dance, “Love Runs Out”.  It got me jumpstarted again and I went and took another look at the damage.  I had a 3 hour challenge dance, “I’m Yours”, I’d done a few months ago in a DOL challenge.  I redid it for more people. Then I started the saving and boxing…  I copied every notecard from everything, movers, PD, rezzer, all of it and saved them both in a box together and on my computer and on my back up drive.  I boxed the stages and movers and the choreo rings.  I made a new box for the dance, put those two boxes, the PD and the Rezzer into it and saved it in three places.  The original folder, a system folder in my inventory, and a trunk on my property right behind my build stage so I could look at it every day and make sure it’s there.  Paranoid right!  lol  That done, I had “When I’m Gone” out of that folder when it disappeared because I was performing it that weekend and I did the same with it.  And so on.  Cost me a lot to recreate the PD for the dance, “Earned It” – Couples version (I had too versions) I couldn’t do at Winds as it had a bunch of no copy 3FX couples dances in it.  I got the copy versions this time.  No more no copy.  I know I lost a lot in those PDs.

Now the slow process of recovering those I liked most between making new dances begins.  Did I mention MIM is coming? I am over it.  Shit happens.

Save, save, save and not in the same place.  Keep a box on your property somewhere.