alaska metro

The Monster Mesh

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I have a lot of thoughts tumbling around in my head at the moment, with regards to mesh heads, mesh body parts, and the like. All pleasant thoughts, mind you — it’s more a matter of my own curiosity than anything. I owe many sincere thanks to the Mesh Body Addicts blog for their excellent “mesh bodies for newbies” guides, which have been very helpful for someone like myself who has barely mastered the art of alpha layering. Well, to be true, I owe them gratitude AND grumbles. I’m meant to be saving my precious pennies, girls. You’re not helping in that regard one bit! :)

Feeling a bit out of sorts and lost in my meandering, I poked around in Search to find a quiet beach to relax at for a while. Searching the word “beach” returns a significant number of results, so one trick if you’re looking for somewhere less populated is to sort by Traffic: High to Low and scroll way down the list until you find a place with a traffic number around or under 2000. You can certainly sort by Traffic: Low to High, but many of the places with 0 traffic will either be inaccessible or end up being parcels for rent. I also opted to filter out Adult regions, simply to narrow to results a bit.

As an aside: the way that traffic and region popularity is calculated in Second Life is quite fascinating (for a geek like me, at least!) There’s detailed information in the SL Knowledge Base, but to sum up, the number seen in Search listings and under the About Land tab is calculated by taking the total number of seconds spent on the parcel the previous day, dividing it by 60, and rounding it to the nearest whole minute. So that means that a location with a visitor volumetric of 2000 had a bit more than 30 cumulative minutes spent there by visitors the following day, which makes it a moderately low-traffic area by SL standards.

After I found a place that looked promising, I clicked “Show on Map” just to double-check that it was in fact a beachy area (sometimes people sneak popular keywords into their listings), as well as to determine how many other members were in the area. Regrettably I don’t recall where I ended up when I got this shot, but I was all by my lonesome — save a few spirited, jumping dolphins — so I was perfectly content. If I do happen to land there again, I’ll be sure to update with a SLURL!

Life's a Beach
Please click for full size.

Body
Skin / Lumae | Adore 4 Peach – Quirk | Group Gift
Hair / No.Match | No Milk – Rainbow | Group Gift
Eyes / Inkheart | Essential Eyes – Faithful | SL Marketplace
Lashes / VoodooMonkey | Mascara 6 | SL Marketplace
Eyeshadow / XCW Gift Eyeshadow – Green Blue | SL Marketplace
Freckles / SHOCK | Tintable Freckles | Group Gift
Lipstick / Alaska Metro | Light Lipgloss – Golden | SL Marketplace

Style
Earrings / Maxi Gossamer | Faylinn Flower Charm Earrings | Group Gift
Necklace / Pure Poison | Aileen Necklace | Group Gift
Piercing / Besom | New Age Septum Ring – Gold | Group Gift
Top / SMC | Cropped Blouse FTW | Lucky Board
Shorts / Blah Blah Blah | Carlie Summer Shorts | Midnight Mania Board
Sneakers / Rien Ne Va Plus | Camo Girly Style Sneakers | SL Marketplace

Poses
Pose Maniacs / Marcia 4 & Melanie 1 | SL Marketplace

I’m experimenting with how to notate when items are group gifts or giveaways; please let me know if you have any suggestions! I always appreciate when it pops out at you in a credits listing when an item is free, on sale, or a promo. You know me and my love for wonderful deals. <3

Speaking of deals, nearly everything in this look is either free or L$1! I’ve treated myself by joining several paid groups that I had been lusting over (primarily hair brands, because HAIR!) No.Match has a one-time joining fee of L$50, and they graciously keep their past group gifts out for new members to pick up. The retro-inspired “No Milk” hair is fantastic; I love the cascading ponytail and soft, pastel-rainbow hue. I’m fairly certain that the Blah Blah Blah shorts came from a Midnight Mania slap, but they have so many wonderful promos (MM, Lucky Boards, group gifts, weekly sales) that I’m not actually 100% sure. As Jedi Master Yoda might say: organize better, I must!

All of my accessories are group gifts (so many thank yous to all the generous designers!), and my sweet cropped top comes from SMC, which has an amazing assortment of Lucky Boards to stalk. Oh! And my hella cute sneaks are 100% compatible with system feet, which is more and more difficult to find these days. And they’re free! Happy days.

I’m off to continue pondering, considering, reflecting and ruminating on tackling the mesh monster. For me, I think a full body is the most appealing prospect, primarily because I imagine it will just look so lush in photographs. What do you love or loathe about your meshy bits n’ bobs? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Give Me One Accessoreason

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Nay, I say: give me FIFTY!

Ever’s Age: 19 days
L$ Balance: L$615

After unpacking my way through all the fantastic freebie finds from the other day, I noticed that I was experiencing a lack of accessories to go with my clothing cache. Then I realized that I hadn’t completely finished my group gift scouting at this month’s round of We Love Roleplay, so off I went to explore!

Like Chapter Four and FaMESHed, We Love Roleplay also celebrates its anniversary this month, and the gracious participating designers made sure that visitors would be delighted with free gifts and specially-priced items. There are many free and nearly-free offerings to pick up as you explore the booths, and these are just a few of my favorites! (Click for a full-size image.)

We Love Roleplay Group Gifts

We Love Roleplay Group Gifts (L$0), available through May 31st:

ieQED Double Nose Ring
Haste Dangle Chain Necklace
Evie’s Closet Tinuviel Collar & Grown
Fallen Gods Inc. Siren’s Call Tintable Face Tattoo

Also shown:

Skin: Insol Body Skin Scarlett – Ivory (L$0, no longer available)
Makeup: Alaska Metro Full Face Makeup – Two-Faced Earth 01 (L$0)
Lip Color: Alaska Metro Lip Stain Tester – Rose (L$0)
Eyes: AG. Destiny Eyes – Grey (L$0)
Hair: Wasabi Pills Irene Hair – Sorbet (L$0, FaMESHed group gift through May 27th)

But the generous Accessory Gods weren’t finished with me yet! Thanks to a tip from the excellent Teleport Hub blog, I visited the store Pure Poison to pick up the newly-released Gabrielle Jewelry Set and was amazed to find an entire collection of free gifts awaiting me!

Pure Poison Group Gifts

37 group gifts to enjoy, and most of them necklaces, earrings and jewelry sets. Incredible! I wholeheartedly appreciate this trend that brands have employed where they allow members who are new or are returning to the group to access previously-released gifts. You see this most often in groups where there’s a joining fee, but for a brand with a completely free in-world group to offer the same perk to their members? Truly an uncommon and fantastic find. Thank you so much, Pure Poison!

I have to admit though, I’m becoming just the teeniest bit antsy to get out and start exploring and enjoying the grid. Don’t get me wrong, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that I’ve been able to double my wardrobe after only spending a scant L$2! I’m just one of those people who can’t bear to have a collection of unorganized items and objects in my inventory, so by nature I’m held back until I get everything unpacked, sorted out, and put away. Is that unusual, I wonder? My lovely friend Raznay says she hasn’t finished unpacking finds from the Wayward Hunt last month, and I understand that was a huge event with a lot to collect. I just want everything laid out neatly in nested and nestled folders, all ready to be worn at a moment’s notice. (Okay, I lied: I would never get dressed that quickly!) I even teased @SecondLife on Twitter that I’d be a very good lass if they would kindly implement an “UNPACK ALL THE THINGS” option, but they probably called my bluff. Curses! Maybe one of these days months years? ;)

L$2 Legit 2 Quit

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Ever’s Age: 6 Days
L$ Balance: L$615

Every noteworthy era has to meet its end, and after schooling a newbie on metaverse sextiquette, I decided I’d had my fill of the Tutorial Land That LL Forgot. After poofing through the portal, I landed at Social Island, and a quick peek at the world map revealed that there are six Learning Islands and three Social Islands total, which new members are presumably rezzed on at random when they sign in for the first time. Oddly, Learning Island D looks nothing at all like Learning Islands 1 – 5 (at least from the overhead view on the map), so I’m wondering if there are special circumstances that result in someone rolling the D experience. But as suspected, I could no longer access the Learning Island sims, while all three Social Islands are ripe for the teleporting.

Ahhh, Social Island(s) – an oxymoronic name if there ever was one. Let me put it this way: I immediately encountered a gentleman whose profile mentioned his love of perving and fapping, and while his forthright honesty was commendable, I wasn’t particularly keen on being molested. I happened to land at Island #1, and after camming around a bit, I checked the other two and found them to be identical in build and in visitors. Which is to say, an even mix of 0 day newbies standing around seemingly confused and lost, and primarily silent veteran residents, many of whom had completely blank profiles despite hundreds, if not thousands, of days in their respective account ages. It reminded me of a shopping mall I worked at as a teenager, where all of the smaller boutique shops had closed and only the larger department stores remained. The facades were there, sometimes even the lights were even on, but no one was home.

Out of curiosity, I ticked the box to allow Voice, as I wasn’t sure if spoken word chatting was more common in these areas. Social Island 2 and 3 both have voice chat turned off at the main hub, but Social Island 1 allows it, and even the two or three people whom my radar indicated were voice-enabled were keeping quiet. However, I did run into one newbie who spoke to me in an distinctly young-sounding voice, which prompted me to quickly teleport away. I know that children do sign up for Second Life against the TOS, but hearing one speak was nonetheless alarming. I’m not even sure if you can send in an Abuse Report for that kind of thing, since voice doesn’t have the same ability to be captured as proof of abuse in the same way that local chat or instant messages would. Regardless, I’d had my fill of Voice for the night. Which means – drumroll, please – it was time for Operation Ever-Lution: The Marketplace Edition!

Ever Afterr - Day 6
How YOU doin’?

Skin: Insol Body Skin Scarlett – Ivory (L$0)
Eyeshadow: XCW Freebie Eyeshadow – Pink/Orange (L$0)
Lip Gloss: Alaskametro Light Lipgloss Tester – Golden (L$0)
Eyes: TSYI Light Me Eyes – Light Blue (L$0)
Hair: Alice Project – Summertime Sadness (L$0)
Hairbase: Delizio Hairbase Tattoo – Chocolate (L$0)
Dress: Corvus 13 Dress (L$0)
Jeans: LARRY Jeans Dollarbie Pack (L$1)
Shoes: MYLU Cora Boots (L$1)
Pose: DESIRE Free Model Pose F08 (L$0)
Wall Texture:  Dy’s Yardsale & Texture Shop Grunge Shaded Texture (L$0)
Floor Texture: DT.com Parquet Wood Floor Textures (L$0)
_____________________________________________________________
Total Spent: L$2

2 Legit 2 Quit
L$2 dolla bills, y’all!

Pretty cute, hey? I probably could have gotten away without spending those Lindens, but I have both the Larry Jeans dollarbie pack (comes with 3 pairs of jeans) and the MYLU boots on my main account, and I’ve gotten lots of use out of them. Speaking of footwear though, one thing is becoming troubling clear: it’s going to be problematic finding shoes for system feet, particularly ones that aren’t boots or sneakers. Thankfully I have a penchant for both, so I won’t necessarily mind wandering around the grid in a summer dress and close-toed stompers. But Slink mesh feet are becoming so ubiquitous, it’s genuinely difficult to find footwear options (mesh in particular) that don’t require them. Here’s hoping that the system avies in the upcoming Project: Sansar platform aren’t saddled with the same clubbed tootsies that SL ones are!

So I’ve officially “arrived” in Second Life! While I’ve made stops in newbie-friendly spots like Caledon Oxbridge (where I enjoyed a quick chat with Miss Lindal Kidd), New Citizens Incorporated and The Shelter, it was primarily to snag landmarks for my “helpful tips” notecard, so my visits were brief. But with the weekend finally here, and my inventory stocked with a modest cache of freebies, I feel like I’m ready to become a true resident of the grid at long last. Excelsior!