Monday, 31 March 2008

Collage Addendum

I know, I'm at it again with the two posts a day, but I just discovered this site - or rather, WillowZ discovered it through Ana and I exclaimed and followed her there - and thought I'd make a pretty collage. As you can see. Just my little friendly tribute, as you do.

Left to right (with a downward dip in the middle) that's me, WillowZ, SylvieGirl, me again, Laura and SmallerBorn. Frankly it's a toss-up as to which of us is the most adorable.


Ordering the phoenix

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a teenage boy trapped in the body of a pushing-30 woman. The SLers™ (how I resent having to put that bloody ™ in) among you will not find this a strange concept, but that's by the by.

I have the musical taste of a teenage boy, I play the same computer games as a teenage boy and now, to top it all off, I've developed a bit of a thing for the most recent Harry Potter movie, which, as the observant among you will know, was one of the items on my surprise shopping list last week.

I can't get over how fantastic the effects are and how well they've told the story - the ones that came before this fifth installation were fairly good and the fourth is one of the movies I like to have playing in the background when I'm on the pc. But this one was the masterpiece and, as well as making magical effects look absolutely beautiful, brings across the darker tone of the later books very nicely. I shouldn't like it this much, but I do and that's that!

All of which makes me slightly concerned that I'm in the wrong body. Fortunately, I only need remind myself how much I enjoy playing Barbie dolls with my lovely, pretty avatar and dress her up in something ladylike with frills for all to be well again.

Until, of course, I remember that I also bought the pc game of the movie...

Friday, 28 March 2008

Cheese Addendum

On her way to Mother & Toddler Group today, Laura parked in the nearby car park and walked off for a minute or two to buy a ticket. When she returned, there was a cheese slice on the bonnet.

(Apparently, this is nothing: a friend of hers once found a chippolata at the bottom of her cup of tea - and she'd made it herself.)

This emergency blog post was brought to you in an effort to make sure that snippet of comedy genius is not consigned to the mists of history. The mistory, if you will.

Apples falling from trees

MummyC is an avid fan of shopping channels, so much so that poor DaddyC is forced to make constant trips to the Post Office. In fact, he is made to send back such an alarming number of unwanted items that rumour has it her habit costs upwards of £20 every day in postage.

Meanwhile, DaddyC has discovered eBay, onto which he sneaks every day to buy, sell, buy, sell, faff about then buy some more. I suspect that, when he grumbles about MummyC and her QVC passion, he is, in fact, calling the kettle black.

And then there's me. I have to tell you, I did not see this coming. But here we are, buried under an avalanche of things I don't remember ordering from Play.com, apparently in excitement over the lack of postage fee. I'm quite restrained in SL (shup -.-) but I seem to have begun having lapses of attention in the real world during which I spontaneously order Items I Do Not Need.

Over the past week or so, parcels have arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep containing items I have no memory of deciding I need. Transformers, Stardust, the full 3 series box set of Black Books, Mirrormask, Elizabeth, Atonement, Harry Potter 5, Neverwinter Nights 2, three adventure games, three books by Neil Gaiman and four books by Philippa Gregory.

I clearly need help, but the arrival of the postman is admittedly more exciting nowadays.

I also ordered Firefly, which I've only seen bits of before, but I was and remain a huge Buffy fan and appreciate Joss Whedon's touch and humour. Conclusion? I am a) in love with Nathan Fillion and b) in love with Firefly. Only two episodes left....ack. Am I too late to join the protest to get it back on the air?


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

New layout

As I'm sure is fairly obvious, I've changed my blog layout, mostly through sheer boredom. Also I fancied something a little more girly. Do we like it or have I made a blundering error? Feedback, please!

p.s. I really must say a big thank you to WillowZ at this point, for spending a whole morning trying not to kill me while I failed to properly explain the problems I was having and made her trawl through at least six billion blog layouts trying to find one I'd like.

p.p.s. Also tempted to change the name...any suggestions?

Me and Angelina...

Christ knows who Norkys Batista is, but I'm not going to complain about Angelina Jolie...



And I'm definitely not complaining about this one! 97% like Angelina? Marvellous.

I'm very interested to know whether we base our avatars on our own facial structures and characteristics, whether through familiarity or because we are our own basis for attractiveness (HA, not in that photo, thank you). So all I need to do now is find a way to test me against my avatar and get everyone else to do the same...

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Spanky the Beautiful Computer

I speak to you this evening from a brand spanking new computer that I have named, aptly I feel, Spanky*. It was part birthday present from DaddyC (MummyC is still breathing into a paper bag), part necessity - my old beast had reached a stage at which even opening Word seemed a bit much for it.

Enter Spanky, a glorious creature, all shiny and new and so pretty I want to cry. Here are its specs, for the techy among you.

After a false start, during which Vista looked scornfully at my gypo old modem and informed me that it thought not, and a delightful delay in Coffee Republic, introducing Tim to hot drinks that are essentially Toffee Crisps melted in syrup with a pile of cream on top, I have rearranged my entire flat and got it up and running. And I am in love.

I will now be much more fun to go SL shopping with, which should please everyone who has ever tutted their way through a 3-hour session of me crashing, swearing, waiting 25 minutes to exit, reappearing, freezing, not moving, whining, crashing, rinsing and repeating.

Is it wrong to caress hardware lovingly?

*Flopsticks may at this juncture feel it necessary to point out that I already used that name for my horse in World of Warcraft. I can really say nothing in my defence except that I'm not all that imaginative with names and feel it suits both admirably. Also Kitty made me do it.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Relay For Life

Having discovered that the swanky Mac I use at work is far happier in lag than this poor old pc, I couldn't resist going on a trolley dash around the RFL sims at lunch today.

I only made it across the winter sim and half of another one (no point asking me where I was, I barely know where I am right now), but I managed to pick up an armful of yummy things. I don't normally blog what I'm wearing, but this is a bit of a special case: all the proceeds are going to cancer research.

I think we've all come in contact with cancer, or will do in our lifetimes; for my own part, I lost a favourite teacher to throat cancer and my mum had a brain tumour that is constantly monitored in case it regrows (it was too close to the stem to completely remove). I know some of my nearest and dearest have had similar experiences. This is one of the worthiest causes I can think of.

So I thought I would show you the pieces I grabbed, in the hope that you will love them as much as I did.

Tuli's donations were, as you might expect, to die for. The dress on the right is a limited edition that comes with long and short versions, shoes, bangles and a necklace from Muse - one of the most exquisite jewellers on the grid, in my opinion.

In the second picture we have the Azalea Sunset dress from Icing with Hexed boots called Paola. In the centre is the Gold Dot Skirt from Creamshop, who I've never heard of before but dear christ is there an awful lot of fabulousness going on in that shop. Forgive the shirt I put with it, I didn't have time to get something more appropriate - the black bit doesn't come with it. On the right is the Emma outfit by Vitamin Ci.

There's plenty more there, this haul was achieved in a barely rezzed state with very little time to trot about, so please go and support the cause and grab some unique wearables in the process!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Five Things I Like About You


Five Things I Like About You
Originally uploaded by Willow C

As we all know, Alicia does the best memes, and this one is a particularly interesting one. The challenge is to list the five things in Second Life that you simply couldn't live without.

Now, I've been around and about SL for four years now and the things I wear, the places I go and the ways I spend my time and cash have changed over and over again. A few items have seen me through quite a lot of that time, however:

1) Hoop Earrings - I do vary my earrings every now and again, but for the most part you're likely to find me wearing hoops - the bigger the better. In fact, they seem to increase in size as time goes by. My current favourites are these from Digital Dragon Designs, which I think were a Christmas freebie (see? I do use my tat!), but I have around 10 pairs. I'm the same in real life - if I wear earrings at all, that is.

2) Eyelashes - fitting eyelashes may well be my least favourite part of virtual vanity. Hours, it takes me. Which is why I stick with these ones, come rain or shine: Lynnix's Lashes, which I don't even think are available any more. I've had them for two years and never liked another pair as much. They're huge and they're dramatic and I love them. None of this subtle lash-fluttering for me, I could take down planes with mine.

3) AO - I couldn't go back to standing around like a muppet with nowhere to go, I simply couldn't. Turning my AO off even for minutes causes me intense mental anguish. My AO, like everything else, has evolved over time and is a mixture of Maitreya, Torrid and goodness knows what other poses. I do need to update it, but it works for now.

4) Photo Studio - I used to borrow pose stands when I needed them or simply stick a white prim behind myself and click a pose, but I'm now so attached to my Tillie's HUD pose stand it's alarming. I bought a pose stand of my own to throw all the hundreds of poses floating around my inventory into, and it's come in ridiculously handy. I've fashioned a little photo studio around it, which nestles happily up in our skygarden, generally making a mess of things (although we also have two glasses for dancing in, a Punch and Judy show built by Kitty and Tie and some dogs out there, yet no flowers or trees, so it doesn't look as out of place as it might).

5) Facelight - my avatar was designed for a facelight, she looks dreadful without one. Most people I've seen adapt fairly well to Windlight or having their facelight yanked off. I do not. I will be resisting Windlight up until the very last second.

So there you have it, welcome to my large-lashed little SLife.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Zombified

For the past few months, I've been working through a freelance journalism diploma with the London School of Journalism. I managed to forget all about it for a while, but I've returned to it now with renewed vigour. Just as well there's no time limit on these things.

Part of the assignment I just completed was to write a review, which turned out to be something I really enjoyed and my tutor greatly approved of. I'm considering taking a few steps down that road to see where it leads, so I thought I'd see if you lot liked it too.

It's about a book Tim recommended at the end of last year and reviewed so well himself that I hopped on Amazon within minutes. So here's my take...


There are no stories left to tell about zombies. The familiar yarn of mindless monsters craving live flesh has been told forwards, backwards and sideways until their mouths drip with clich├ęs rather than raw flesh. But this is precisely why Max Brooks has chosen to spin his novel, World War Z, around them.

More of a sociological study than a horror tale, the book describes a zombie infestation that spreads quickly across the globe. Each chapter is a unique interview with a survivor, whether a soldier, medic, holy man, researcher, colonist or simply observer. From the outbreak of the ‘disease’ to the battle to win back the continents, every wrong decision, horrifying choice and bloodcurdling incident is described by the people who experienced them. There is no single voice to thread the stories together, for this is the story of humanity.

What shocks and terrifies about World War Z is not its featured creatures. The novel showcases with bleak honesty that, as a species, we are perhaps not as worthwhile as we like to think. Very few individuals perform the sort of heroic stunts one has come to expect from this genre. People follow orders blindly, make selfish choices, take action through greed and harm others for the sake of survival. In short, they act on the primeval impulses that still control us as a species, though we hide them behind laws, morals and niceties. They think of number one.

Why zombies? Perhaps because, when you take a close look, they don’t present such a contrast to humanity as we might like. Instinctive self-preservation drives these fantastical beings to hurt and destroy, constantly taking from the world and other people, heedless of the consequences. All of which sounds rather familiar.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Dum dee dah

I'm at home sick today and a bit bored of sleeping, so I thought I'd entertain myself with this lovely exercise Abby suggested.

1. Go to www.photobucket.com (don't sign in)
2. Type in your answer to the question in the search box.
3. Use only the first page to look for the appropriate answer.
4. Copy the HTML and paste under the question for the answer.

1. What's your name?
Willow

2. Relationship status?
single
(Yes ok, theme going on already)

3. Favourite colour?
red

4. What are you listening to right now?
rain

5. Favourite movie?
Lord of the Rings
(Ah cmon, like it was gonna be anything else)

6. Where is your dream vacation?
Egypt

7. What's your favourite dessert?
Chocolate cheesecake

8. One word to describe yourself...
writer

9. Your eye colour is...
DARK

10. The last book you read...
The Other Boleyn Girl

11. Night or day?
night
(Awful lot of intricate fairy drawings on this site, aren't there?)

12. Oranges or apples?
strawberry

13. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate
(Like, duh)

So there we have it, nonsense for a Monday. I'm going back to bed for a little grumble now, if anyone feels like bringing me a cup of tea and a warm blanket, that would be grand.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Proof the world is in danger

SylvieGirl and I have noticed something worrying: everywhere we look, all we can see is Alan Dale.

If you don't know who this is, you obviously didn't grow up watching classic soap Neighbours during the 80s, but those of us among that minority are well aware of Jim Robinson, the archetypal Australian dad. After he snuffed it and made us all cry, we thought we'd seen the last of him.

So why is he all of a sudden in every American tv programme on every channel?

Lost
...
Ugly Betty...
The O.C...
24...

Star Trek: Nemesis...
(not strictly a tv programme, but my god that one gave me a giggle. Talk about sneaking in)...

Torchwood, CSI: Miami, ER, Navy NCIS, The X Files, West Wing - even this morning's GMTV, apparently, and the new Indiana Jones movie.

Any I've forgotten to add? Have you spotted this man, lurking in the shadows, plotting to take over television and eventually the world?

I'm telling you, if he turns up on America's Next Top Model, I'm calling David Icke. Although when I suggested this to SylvieGirl, she pointed out that he's probably played by Alan Dale.

Monday, 3 March 2008

The Birdiekettle

Mother came up this evening for another impromptu whirlwind visit, mostly to drop off the birthday presents I've failed to go home to pick up yet. She tends to go off on theme tangents, so among the goodies were no fewer than three scarves. One stripey to stop me coveting Richard's, one indoor stripey for, well, being striped indoors and one made of fake fur that's The Right Kind of Soft.

She also gave me my first set of pearls and matching 3-string pearl bracelet, which are absolutely gorgeous, plenty of books, a Kenwood Frothie (which, let me tell you, I've been whining about for years) and, finally, this wonderful objet d'art.

I know that at least one of my nutbag friends has a predilection for bird-themed kitchenware, so I'm pretty sure this will appeal to her. This post is therefore a peculiar dedication to the person who owns a mustard dispenser in the shape of a bluebird. I give you: The Birdiekettle.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Being bookish

I've thieved this meme from Tim because it looked like fun, and because reading is something I'm infamous for doing more than your average bear, so it seemed appropriate I take it upon myself to join in. Either way, here we go:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

I'm actually reading three books at once right now, so I've been a good girl and picked the nearest one, as instructed:


Listening to this music is like having a length of ermine pulled through your head. If honey could make a noise, this is what it would sound like. It becomes the perfect soundtrack for your spag bol and Chianti supper party.

Taken from The World According to Jeremy Clarkson and wonderfully illustrating how the man could write about shoelaces and still be engaging - haven't a clue what he's on about, but it still made me smile.

On further inspection, it seems to be a column about Ibiza-style chill-out music. Thus demonstrating that he's nothing if not versatile. Even if you hate anything with an engine, I will eat my socks if you don't enjoy the way he writes about them. If only all writers worded things as beautifully as Clarkson...I know I wish I did.

Tagging time...hmmmm.....in alphabetical stylee: Laura, Kitty, SylvieGirl, Tymmerie and WillowZ.