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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Haley Salomon's Memorial Service


By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sunday May 7 at 3PM, there was a memorial service for Haley Salomon. Information about her was hard to come by, a couple articles around 2008, notably one from Second Edition that dubbed her "The Princess of Green" as she had a love of green clothes and lived in a green castle. I was later told she was one of the founding members of the Relay for Life's Relay Wizards for Spunky team, an avid Tiny Empires player, a regular at Lauren Live and a close friend of the comedian, a big Star Trek fan who had a replica of the starship bridge, "In real life she was a casting agent and had a masters degree in theater."

While she had stayed out of the limelight, obviously she continued to make and maintain friendships. There were a number of people present, such as Tiny Empires creator Ultralite Soleil, Any1 Gynoid, Lauren Weyland, Holocluck Henly, Crap Mariner, Explorer Dastardly, and DrFran Babcock, who informed the Newser of the memorial service. There were a few pictures up of the lady in green.

Much of the service was done in Voice, so not all of it could be made into notes. While there was sadness in the air, "There is love, we have for each other," there was still an effort at humor, "First class shopper." "Yeah again someone who isn't mute with noise in their place." "Please turn off cellphones." Lauren was elbowed, "Tell a joke!" Someone responded, "I don't have to tell a joke, I AM a joke."

Someone noticed a "Team Fox" kiosk around, and was told it was for the Creations for Parkinsons group and fundraiser.DrFran Babcock was the first to speak, "Haley met her husband Sam in Boston. She gave up her career for him, although he was older than she. His world got smaller, and she stayed with him, shepherding his career. She had a Master's Degree in theater. She was a private person. "I loved her," says Orchid. I wish there was more we could do. I want to think about Haley."

Magnus Broday was next, "I should like to say something," and made a speech in voice. Someone passed around a Kaddish HUD. There was a poem read. They talked about Haley being a regular at the Lauren Live comedy show, "I would be very mean to anyone who sat in Haley's seat (laughter)," Any1 told the group, "Haley was very shocked at how aggressive I was about her territory." Buttermilk Panacek commented, "She took me to that (laughter)." Any1 went on, "Haley believed she could talk sense to anyone... I was ready to get violent with (laughter)."

White Queen (queen.bluestar) had the following poem:

Second life friendships are an ever changing stream of loves. Love
for your best girl friend….. love for your queendom and for your partner.
love for your relay team ,for your many many best friends.
the . loss…… is like a empty stage with the scenery
still there. …… as friends fall in love …..get married .
AS REAL LIFE RAMPS UP
in good and bad ways …….
they fade away and my second life is
never the same
I AM happy for them but will miss them always
.this is dedicated to the ones that stay ..they are the jewels in my
CROWN

Thank you for sharing that Queen," spoke Orchid Jameson. Several other people also complemented her. "Hounoured she asked me to read them on voice," she answered.

RandyAllways commented, "I would like to say something................ Energy can not be created or destroyed as an electronic Avatar, Haley will go on forever. Passing thru distant galaxies, Forever." Holocluck Henly commented, "The Kadish is a reminder of The Lord that he has his greater plan. And to remember and respect. There is no actual mention of death or mourning." Explorer (explorer.dastardly) commented, "It's the renewal of life." Any1 was in tears, "I am crying hard now." She described herself as having a broken heart.

Shmoo Snook commented, "I would just like to say that I'm not the most agreeable person, but the only thing I ever disagreed with Haley about was ABBA." Ivy Lane commented, "We do not have rez rights here so if anyone wants the folder with the heart or any of the frames with all her photos in them feel free to IM Phil or I." Queen responded, "Of course NOW I am still going to send her links to green hair and green skirts and tops...because I always am on the lookout for good one's as I whisk round the store" Ivy continued,

"Haley was always there. It's hard to think of her not there (sad)." DrFran added, "Haley was beloved." Lauren commented, "She traded in her Mesh skin for a Mesh soul." RandyAllways added, "Second Life as an eletronic medium makes all our Avatars immortal."

Phil Metalhead commented, "I don't have a whole lot to say, but I can say that in my 14 years here in Second Life, there has never been anyone like Haley, and I don't think there ever will be. She was a wonderful friend, and always positive and helpful." Lauren responded, "Hey.....all of Haley friends are like 'no one else'." ArminaX Saiman (arminasx.saiman) spoke, "I will certainly miss her a lot. I liked to make her laugh as often as I could, but in the past while that’s been challenging. We always had ridiculous long discussions had about things important and not, but I will always remember the laughs. That’s what I will remember the most, like if ufo's do exist."

Quarlo Quandry spoke of a Tiny Empires moment, "I can only speak for my own self -- but last time I got offered to change to someone else in TE, they offered me 20 million gold -- I turned them down -- as long as there is Green, I am in it and none other." Explorer commented, "tears we shed are golden tears of love, for every tear we shed the loved one feel the love."

Ultralite Soleil told everyone, "When I first met Haley I thought she was Shawna's little sister or something. Always together they were. I always liked to see Haley and I will miss her. Rest assured she will remain in Tiny Empires just as she is now, whether her avatar and land still exists or not."

DrFran agreed to do the Kaddish., speaking the following, "Yitgadal V'yitkadash Sh'mei Rabbah (Amen). [May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified] B'alma De'v'ra Ch'reutei Vayamlich Malchutei. [in the world He created as He willed, May He give reign to His kingship] B'chayeichon Uv'yomeichon Uv'chayei d'Chol Beit Yisrael. [In your lifetimes and in your days, and in the lifetimes of the whole House of Israel] B'agala Uv'zman Kariv V'imru Amen (Amen) [Swiftly and soon, and say Amen] Y'hei Sh'mei Rabbah M'vorach L'olam Ul'olmei Olmaya. [May His great Name be blessed forever and ever] Yitbarach V'yishtabach V'yitpa'ar V'yitnasei. [Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled] V'yit'hadar V'yit'alleh V'yit'hallal Sh'mei D'Kudsha Brich Hu (Amen). [Mighty, upraised, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One Blessed be He] L'eileh Min Kol Birchata V'shirata. [Beyond any blessing and song] Tushb'chata V'nechemata D'amiran B'olma V'imru Amen (Amen). [Praise and consolation that are uttered in the world, and say Amen] Y'hei Sh'lama Rabba Min Sh'maya V'chayyim Tovim.  [May there be abundant peace from Heaven and good life] Aleinu V'al Kol Yisrael V'imru Amen (Amen). [Upon us and upon all Israel, and say Amen] Oseh Shalom Be'm'romav, Hu Ya'aseh Shalom. [He Who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace] Aleinu V'al Kol Yisrael V'imru Amen (Amen). [Upon us and upon all Israel, and say Amen]

Shmoo commented, "As we say in Yiddish, oif simchahs. May we gather for happy occasions." Explorer responded, "To life Haley, forever in my heart. Amen shmoo, only joys." Anh Lycia added, "She was always the fiercest fighter in your corner, no matter what." Hacker Jannings stated, "She was my oldest friend in SL - I will miss her greatly." Xo (xochitl.ninetails) spoke, "Adios amiga Haley." RandyAllways added, "Aloha, Till we meet again."

Holocluck gave the lyrics of a song.

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream
I'll cross the stream, I have a dream

Ivy Lane also had this to say, "I had a bad relationship, who hasn't had one of those in SL? Haley listened to me cry, never once did she criticise me but constantly she told me that I was not happy , that life should not be this way that I could find happiness if I learn to seek out things that made me smile and laugh, becuase of her consistant sweet gentle support I left that man, and met the love of my life and every day I laugh and smile at least one time or more and Phil and I share the friendship of Haley. ... Brick and Blue: Family may not like each other. But, they teach us how to love deeply. Haley knew how to teach people to love. She was loved by many, many people - even the ones that did not necessarily like her, they loved her nonetheless."

After this, people began leaving, "Time to crash a Relay event." "Good night everyone - thank you for a beautiful memorial." "Good night everyone. It is wonderful to know that HALEY touched so many lives all over SL." "She touched all of us and more, many are gone and not even in world anymore we contacted some people from the early days that we know in FL." "I have been blessed to meet so many great people from here in FL, I went to the SLCC a few times, I drove to Missouri to meet Bob, I met Phil and Sallyanned in Cali, would have met Haley....... but she said no (sad)." Some asked how to get to her land, then were told her castle would be up a little longer.

And so, the friends of one departed resident had given their goodbyes.

Special thanks to DrFran Babcock

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, May 19, 2017

Interview With Arizona Ballinger-Whiplash At The Relaystock


By Bixyl Shuftan

Last weekend was the Relaystock, one of the more popular of the events in the middle of the Relay for Life season. Although organized by the Relay Rockers, they opened the event to multiple teams where some make thousands of Linden dollars more. I recently talked to the woman who organized the event: Arizona Ballinger-Whiplash (Arizona Ballinger). Although sometimes overshadowed by her noted partner, Trader Whiplash, Arizona can and has gotten much done in her own right.

Asking her how she found out about Second Life, her answer was, "Wow...that was a long time ago.   I happened to see an article in old online publication about virtual worlds, I forget the name of the publication now, but they mentioned Second Life.  I thought I would give it a try."

I then asked Arizona how her first days inworld went. She answered, "Probably like most (laughter). Stumbling around, walking into walls. One shoe on, one off, hair drawn down in my face (cause there was no attached hair then) and thinking I was the best looking avatar!  I shudder at that thought now  .. ha ha!

And how did she find out about the Relay for Life? Her answer was, "I found out about Relay when I wandered into LEGENDS Classic Rock club one day and met Trader.   The Relay Rockers were holding a dance event I think it was.  I have been on the Rockers since and have not looked back. That was ten years ago."

How had the Relay Rockers team and the Relay as a whole changed over the past ten years? Arizona answered, "Both have grown a lot.  Each year Relay has something new and exciting.  Each year there is more news about research findings.   It is so great to know what we do makes a difference."

Arizona had to take a short break to care of something, but was soon back. After I asked when she started helping to plan events for her team, she told me, "I started helping with event planning for the Rockers right away, and I was team captain  in 2008 and 2009, and again this year 2017." Was it a difficult job? Arizona answered, "You know, (laughter), it really isn't.   We work as a well oiled machine.  Our five or six coremembers know what it takes and how to do it. They are dedicated, efficient, and so amazing.  You ask and they say 'Yes.'  They come up with their own events and run with it.  Always something new each year.. When we go to new communities to bring Relay to them, we help them organize, but they run the event. They know their people the best.  And the next year they are more self sufficient in organizing the event for the team."

With this weekend's event being the Relaystock, I asked Arizona how it began.  She answered, "It started in 2014.  The Relay Rockers were still doing their CelebrateRemember Fight Back (CRFB) Top DJ Competition. The previous year we had held our finals at Halfway There event.  In 2014, the Halfway There event was a bit different and we wanted to do the CRFB Finals in a large team atmosphere.   We tossed around ideas and RelayStock was born.  Although the CRFB DJ Competition is no longer active, RelayStock continues to grow each year. We wanted to find a way to thank teams for all their support of Relay Rocker events, so we kept RelayStock going and are now finishing the 4th year."

I then asked her this being a Woodstock tribute, were there baby boomers looking back with fond memories and some younger people getting something of a music history lesson?" Arizona's answer was "Oh most definitely....and some enjoying the tunes they grew up listening to because their parents played it all the time (laughter)."

My next question concerned the clothes the avatars were wearing. Was there a difference between older and younger residents? She told me, "I think the older residents go more for the authentic bo-ho style that wasprevalent at Woodstock, where as younger residents wear the tye-dye.  But everyone has their own style to bring to RelayStock and it all works."

And what did she think stood out of any particular outfits, or impromptu events, at any of the Relaystocks? Airzona had to think on that, "Oh gosh... that is a tough one.  I think Santa dancing in the mud in 2015 was pretty funny.  As always Fuzz and 'The Hair' taking part. Cars and bikes going around before it opens is exciting, always some funthings happening.  I love the opening and am sad at the closing. Otter (Rowena Dubrovna) mud dancing is good for a laugh. He sinks to his little otter waist (laughter)."

After the Relaystock, there was still weeks until the Relay Walk. What events was she looking forward to in the time in between? Her answer was,  "For the Relay Rockers, we have a big Bid Me Bald May 17 with BioBreeds creator, Ozzie Drucker, he does one every year for us. Coming in June we have our HardCore For The Cure at various heavy metal and alternative music clubs, and we have the Twisted Hunts Summer Faire running for the month in support of the Rockers.   The Home and Garden Expo is one event I look forward to every year as well as the Medieval Faire by Unmasking A Cure, and the Inspired Dreamwalkers have a fun grid wide event Destination Hunt coming up that sounds like a lot of fun!   There are many on the Event Boards that I look forward to attending as well."

Getting close to the end, I asked what she foresaw for the future of the Relay for Life in Second Life? Would there will be a Relay for Life in Sansar? Arizona told me, "I think the Relay in Second Life is still going strong and will be around for a few years yet to come.   With Sansar, I can't really answer that.  It is very different than Second Life. Sansar's focus is  on the Creator and the virtual spaces are self contained. But I am sure if the American Cancer Society sees it as a viable platform, then they will have a presence in there."

Arizona concluded the interview, "When communities across Second Life come together for one common cause, something wonderful happens.  That something wonderful is Relay!"

Arizona, and her partner Trader, will continue to be a force in the Relay for Life for quite some time.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Interview with Trader Whiplash At The RelayStock


By Deaflegacy

Trader Whiplash-Ballinger and I met at the Relaystock.  There was an event happening so we went to the back.  I also got a chance to meet with Arizona Ballinger-Whiplash, Trader's partner.

My first question was how Trader got involved with the Relay. He answered, "I am a survivor.. In 2005 I was in Second Life and heard about a new charity event forming in world.  Relay For Life.   Nuala Maracas, this years RFL Event Chair, Alliez Mysterio and I decided we wanted to take part in it.  We formed a small team and fundraised at our club, La Vie En Rose in Rue dAlliez." said Trader.

My second question. one which made Trader laugh, was where the idea of "Bid Me Bald" come from. "I have leukemia," he answered, "In 2007 I went through six months of chemotherapy to treat it.  I would spend my nights here in Second Life with Nuala, Arizona and a group of friends.  Two of them, the late Catt Gable and Madelyn Majestic, said they would go bald if I lost my hair.  I said 'Wait, before you do that let's find a way to make it an event.' We tossed the idea around and came up with the idea of asking volunteers to sacrifice their hair in return for donations.   We decided $20 a day - L$5000 was a good amount.  We started it in the 2008 Season as a team event.  This is the 10th Anniversary of the event."

I asked him how he describes the T-1 Radio and his DJ style. He thought about his answer a little, "Let me start.  When I first came to Second Life, the music scene was primarily Electro Club music.  Everywhere you went.  I was given an opportunity to DJ on Radio dAlliez and decided to do Classic Rock as a fresh sound here. I love music. I grew up when 60s music was brand new.  I play guitar and studied music when I was younger.  I like to blend my sets.  Many DJs just play music.  From a hard rocking acid group, to a ballad, to a slow blues song, to pop.  There is no cohesiveness, no transitions or segues.  I like to find songs that segue from one to the other, even if the tempo or style changes. I want it smooth. If a song ends with a piano in  I look for the next song to compliment it.  Maybe fade in in a complimentary key or similar beat."

"He is a fantastic DJ." said Arizona with a smile.

Trader hates it when the DJ drops them off a cliff between songs.  He spends an hour or more queing songs as he builds a set list.  Trader also like to share facts about the music or artist, saying, "I want T1 to be like a terrestrial station.  I grew up with the legendary DJs from WMCA, WABC ad WNEW-FM and i want our station to live up to that legacy."

Trader has many favorite moments.  But he can remember the anticipation of Relay weekend.  "Every year is special," said Trader, "watching the community get so excited.  My highlights though, I guess 2014 when we relayed in Alliez's memory and took Purple Level, again in 2014 seeing us raise $415,000."

Trader remembers the closing ceremony in 2013 when they broke convio as they passed 2 million dollars. "Of course being inducted into the Relay hall of honor with Nuala and T1Radio was a humbling moment I will never forget," said Trader, "And of course walking the track during the Survivor Lap with Nuala and Arizona."

I asked Trader about the challenges. "We all face challenges.  Teams big and small are faced with challenges. How do we move to the next level? How do we avoid fatiguing our donors?  Trying to keep our teammates and community from burning out.  But its no different than the challenges we all face in life.  As a survivor the challenge of living with leukemia taught me a lot about facing challenges." said Trader. "But when it gets tough I have Nuala, I have Arizona and I have the Relay comnmunity to lean on."

On that note, I took a picture of Trader in the front of RelayStock.  I have a feeling that I have a lot to learn when it comes to Relay.

Deaflegacy

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Interview with Shockwave Yareach


By Deaflegacy


Shockwave Yareach and I met at his area at Sunweaver Space , high above the sim.  Shockwave said we are in space, that's why it is named Sunweaver Space. "One of us has to build in orbit." said Shockwave. He took a moment to say this, "By the way: we are a kilometer up.  So be careful of the edges of the platform.  It's a long drop."

"Thank you for the warning. I was afraid of going over the edge." I said.

He told me this was his development area. I asked him what he had built so far. He started by showing me what he called a prototype for their campfire in the Relay for Life. "Yes.  I've started playing with Neon," he told me when asked if he built it. It had various plasmas and electrical sparks.

He then showed me the meditation tube,"You just stare at it and relax." said Shockwave when asked what the meditation tube could do. When he was asked about the avatar jumping in the chair, he said that it cycles among animations. Shockwave also showed me the plasma curtains. "The plasma curtains are for walking through." he told me, "They are just decorations.  Most of the textures I use are Raytraced using POVRay - a very old and slow graphics program."

"I made this parcel.  But not the whole sim." said Shockwave when we started talking about Sunweaver Space.  "I WISH I had a whole sim - could put out some of my maze games.  They consume land area like you wouldn't believe.  In this parcel, I can only rez my smallest."

We started talking about his role as a builder. "The first thing was Squid on a stick." said Shockwave.  "It was stupid, but silly.  You waved at people and the tentacles slapped them."

"I have a partner, Cynthia.  We build together for Relay For Life and for our store as we can." said Shockwave when he was asked if he had an assistant.  "The past year we've both been busy.  So except for RFL, our production has been slow."

 "I help my team.  But I don't think I'm an advocate.  Others are more eloquent -- I just do what I am able to do." said Shockwave when he was asked about his work with Relay for Life, specifically Team Sunbeamers, the Relay team of his neighbors the Sunweavers. We talked about his role in RFL.  "I love how we can use the special abilities in Second Life to create special events that would be impossible in real life.  It adds a lot to the experience." said Shockwave. His work with the Relay eats about fifty percent of his inworld time, but Second Life is still mostly socialization and relaxation for him.

"Cynthia and I build stuff for steampunk builds and mad science looks." said Shockwave.  He and Cynthia have worked on a number of joint projects over time. When he was asked if he had ever build a store, he said, "Yes, but it is gone now."

Shockwave had been building on Second Life for a long time, as well as real life. "You've seen the Christmas lights dancing to songs?  I do that.  But I don't have the budget others have so I have to make stuff myself and with my own designs." he told me.

Shockwave had been on Second Life for over 10 years.  I asked him when his rezdate is and he said, "Sept 29 2006." Then Shockwave said something about his work in real life. "I used to work at Nasa." he told me,  "15 years. I did a good job."

When Shockwave was asked if he goes to any club, he said, "Cutlass and Xanadu principally.  Now and then I'll find a blues club here or there.  I'm usually in Sunweavers or Caledon territory." Shockwave added that he goes to the Irish club in Caledon. "Heh.  I'll pass your complements to the dance ball builders" said Shockwave when I said that Shockwave and Cynthia are amazing dancers.

I found out that Shockwave write filk songs.  Shockwave gave me the link http://www.furaffinity.net/gallery/shockwave77598/ where he has some songs. "Once in awhile someone at a club will come up with a silly idea.  And if I have the free time, I try to make it real." said Shockwave. "Zorro wanted the song CARS done about Tanks.  So..."  And with that, he gave me the link http://www.furaffinity.net/view/17593029/ . "I gave it a more Industrial twist." said Shockwave.

Shockwave used to write furry and Scifi, but he had not done much lately.  There was no time for him to write furry and Scifi. "Would you say that you are still a writer even though you don't do much of that today?" I asked. "I think so.  Out of practice is all." said Shockwave.  When he was asked if he has a blog, he said, "Alas, no."

Shockwave plands to continue coming on Second Life until the end.  Until then, he will continue to build things and maybe sell something.

Before the interview ended, we talked about my house-building.  When I asked him if he had ever built a house, he replied that he had built many houses. "I know you helped others build houses.  You've helped me with building a house.  Thank you." I said. "You are very welcome." said Shockwave with a smile, "Let me know if you need more help with the house building."

Thanks, Shockwave.

What I have learned from my time with Shockwave is that he is an amazing person, who would help people in need, like Relay for Life,  and someone trying to build a house.

Deaflegacy

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ari's Piano Recital

By Deaflegacy

I had the great pleasure in covering Ari (arisia.vita)'s piano recital at 2 pm SLT.  It was April 15 and that day, Ari was playing devotional music for Easter. 

Ari wanted to make sure that I post his standard disclosure.  Ari standard disclosure is, "I have long dreamed of using the piano to connect with others and share my feelings with them. Although I can't play in real life, I *can* select both the pieces and performance styles which most closely mirror what I would play if I could. And virtual realities like Second Life give me the chance to play for you and breathe life into my dreams."

"I like to.... Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly." said Ari.

There was a talk at Ari's piano recital about me covering his piano recital.  Ari told me that he'd rather be friends than to be famous.  I asked him about being a big brother, as I see him as my big brother on Second Life, and he said, "Sure."

As Ari plays the piano, Jonquil Gal (esthezia.andel) said that it is her favorite tune and Ari said that's why he plays it.

"Very peaceful ... helps to unwind the stress." said Jonquil Gal (esthezia.andel).  Lyle (lyle.lindman) nodded, "How sweet the sound ..." said Jonquil Gal (esthezia.andel). 

"Amazing." said Ari (arisia.vita).

"I love Ari's piano music. It puts my mind and heart at ease." said Jonquil, "And I love sharing it in a group with friends here in Perfect Paradise."

"And watching Jonquil dance does the same for me." said Ari.

"Ari's music is like  a magic journey into  a  beautiful wonderland  where  peace, bliss and kindness is everywhere." said Lyle.

"I hope more people will read your article and come to hear Ari play." said Jonquil.

"And see Jonquil dance, and hear Lyle's quiet philosophy." said Ari.

"And all is well with my soul now, hearing Ari play." said Yavanna.

"'Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.' - Berthold Auerbach." quoted Ari.

"I'm touched." said sldreammaker.

"I need thee every hour of Ari most beautiful piano playing." said Yavanna Llanfair. Yavanna wanted to know if Ari had ever heard of the pianist, Jonathan Black, and Ari responded he has now.

"This is a general question, would you say that Ari's music is also a healing music?" I asked.  "Oh yes, definitely." said Lyle (lyle.lindman).

"Yes definitely, healing and soothing to the soul." said Jonquil.

When Ari was asked if he accepts tips, he had this to say - "Only smiles.  They are the only tips I accept."

"Your music is a gift. thank you for sharing it with us Ari." said Jonquil.

"Thank you, Ari. i grew up with these songs as a youth." said sldreammaker. "It brought tears to my eyes."

Ari (arisia.vita) plays the piano Saturdays at 2 pm at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Perfect%20Paradise/132/151/21

Deaflegacy

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Memorial Service For Riven Homewood


By Bixyl Shuftan

On Saturday April 8, dozens of avatars gathered to remember the life of Riven Homewood. Noted for her work on libraries, particularly those in the steamlands, and in the Relay, she died suddenly on Monday April 3, 2017. As 10:30 AM approached, dozens of avatars gathered at Calimari Island Park at Caledon South End, which had been owned by Riven, to honor her and share stories in remembrance.. The area was a island park with a number of seats. Gabrielle Riel announced that they were unable to play music on the parcel, so she was playing some on her own stream which could be accessed on the Internet via a music playing program. Among those there were Honour McMillan, Crap Mariner, Baron Wulfenbach, and many others.

"It does not seem real that she is gone," Nyree Rain commented. JJ Drinkwater, who helped organize the vent, spoke of one song, "I have no idea why this song makes me cry for Riven, but it does." He then continued, "There are a hundred things I want to say about Riven, that I’ve thought of this week. But I’m going to save most of them for the celebration or her life later this month. Because if anyone's worth celebrating, Riven is. I don’t even know how to say what Riven was to me. A good friend, a valuable, thoughtful, provoking colleague - provoking in the very best way. She was also an inspiration - the kind of student who teaches the teacher. Because she was a lifelong learner, a lifelong explorer. One thing I loved about Riven is that she'd always tell you what she appreciated about you. It’s not that she never found fault - she could grouse with the best of them.  We had some great 'Yeah, and another thing...' sessions. But she always returned to enthusiasm, to appreciation, to excitement. She saw people kindly. Something that, given how fragile life is, we could all stand to do more of. I've been thinking about that a lot this week. This is what she had as a tagline on one of her accounts: 'Life is short - Be swift to love, make haste to be kind.' I’ve put it on her Pick in my profile, the remind me to be as little more like her."

JJ then excused himself, "I think that's all." Several people gave praise for his words. Kghia Gherardi then spoke, "And next, Miso. Miso Susanowa is representing not only herself but many of Riven's friends on Twitter who could not make it." Miso then spoke, "Hi folks. As mentioned, I knew Riven best through Twitter. She had many friends and conversation partners there. I have chatted for YEARS with her there. As (lapsed) Catholics, we had many long-ranging discussions about faith, spirituality and the Church. I counted on her tweets for interesting, critical or otherwise valuable information. Riven NEVER tweeted a link that was boring! She was also a good ReTweeter,  fascinating, personal and care-full presence. She leaves a big hole in all our lives. She leaves a big hole in many lives."

After Miso concluded her speech, which was followed by some applause, Kghia told the group, "Valibrarian Gregg is able to join us today via his phone, which is limiting his experience a bit. He has asked me to paste his thought into chat on his behalf." She then corrected herself, "I mean, She. *sigh* I was doing so well. ... OK, Val shares the following....virtual path shared / memories more real than dreams / cherished friend, Riven. Valibrarian would also like to say that Riven was a foreword thinking librarian and big supporter of the ALA ACRL virtual world interest group - will be greatly missed. 'ty for sharing Kghia - I am blind on my phone!  but couldn't miss this.' "

Following more applause, next was Madga Kamenev, "It's funny, that after knowing Riven in the largely text-based environments of SL and Twitter - the thing I will remember most about Riven is her voice. She was one of the first avatars I heard on voice - and I think her voice epitomized her. She had such a warm, earthy, infectious laugh. She was welcoming to all, kind and generous and patient, but she had a fierce streak, as well as a taste for mischief and adventure. She was endlessly curious, always inventive, ALWAYS building bridges. She could have made her home anywhere. I'm so glad she made her home here in SL, and in the Steamlands. She made our world, our multiple words, virtual and physical, better places for having her in them. Thank you, Riven. Thank you, Jean. Rest in peace."

Kghia passed on a message from noted blogger Inara Pey, "Please pass on condolences to Riven's family. This is sad news and a loss to so many." She passed on another from anothe rnoted blogger, Daniel Voyager, "Very sad news and huge loss for Second Life." From Lludmarfie, "Riven was one of my earliest friends."

Kghia told everyone, "Will leave early to make room for others. 'Be well, all.' " Linn Darkwatch, stated, "I will go to make room also. I cannot say I knew Riven well; she was just one of those people I saw at events sometimes, always one of the ones that people are happy to see there." Miso was the third to speak along those lines, "Ah, I think I also will leave so as to let others in.Thank you all for your memories of Riven." Otenth HÃ¥kon Paderborn (Otenth Paderborn) reminded the group, "The sim is set to 100 maximum avatars, so no one needs to feel that they should leave to make room for other in the sim."

Beth Ghostraven gave her words, "The last time I talked with Riven, I mentioned how I wished I had a horse I could ride--and she gave me one! A wonderfully generous spirit, she was a librarian to the core, as well as a good friend. I'm going to miss her. ... I am curious about what she used this setting for--it's so perfect for this occasion!" JJ told her, "The parcel description is 'Dedicated to the people and places we miss.' "

RockAndRoll Michigan was next, "First off, I think my first thought I want to share about Riven will sound particularly unflattering at first, but I would like to ask that you bear with me and I think it'll make sense, is that fair? When I think of Riven, the first thing that comes to mind for me is old shoe leather. Unflattering comparison, right? But I don't intend it that way. When I think of old shoe leather, I think comfortable. You slip on that pair of shoes and it's already broken in, soft and pliable, and it just feels good to wear that kind of old shoes, you know?" A few of the people nodded in agreement, "Yes, you did just slip into an easy conversation with her."

Rock continued, "Sometimes I'm afraid I've taken Riven's presence too much for granted for that reason, too, but I've always felt deep respect for her outlook on life and how she treats other people. She was a real gem and I feel blessed to be somebody who can say that I was able to call her 'friend' here in Second Life. Riven and I have really been out of touch for a long while, as I've been out of touch with a lot of you. And when I heard the news, it left a real void that really took me by surprise. I didn't expect it to hit me that hard. I've had a lot to process over the last two weeks, really the last year for that matter. And losing Riven on top of everything else was shocking. One thing it's prompted me to do is to start writing about my experiences in the last almost 11 years here in Second Life, and how the things I've done, people I've met, and general all-around life here has impacted who I am in the real world. Riven just seems to have that kind of effect on people.

"Going to miss you, Riven, my friend. Thank you for being old shoe leather!"

After some applause, Princess Selena (SelenaAnansi Resident) spoke next, "I didn't know Riven very well personally, but she was someone I saw through out the steamlands as a force of good will, intelligence, and generosity.  And while I did not know her very well personally, she was held in the highest of regard by the people who I hold in the highest of regard, so by extension she was always someone I admired. I am feeling the loss of her shining warmth through my friends and I regret not getting the chance to get to know her better. Thank you for letting me be here and share in this beautiful memorial for a lost friend." She ended with a curtsy.

OldeSoul Eldemar (OldeSoul Resident) followed, "I have had many of my very special moments in SL spent with Ms. Homewood.   As others have said, she always kindly retweeted my tweets. Our friendship actually was sharing our ABC horses.  We both had sale barns at Brune's. She and I bought each other's horses. She was very involved in showing horses and at times, she would want to ride one of my horses in a show.  She was much cuter than me. Ms. Beth," she glanced to Beth, "there is a lot to the horse story.  So I would hand her a horse to ride - her horse of choice. She would show the horse and of course, win! Then we would meet in IM or later. She would return the horse and we would divide the winnings - we would laugh uproarious and wink. I know some of the horse folks here know what I speak of. We tossed our winnings in an RFL kiosk.  She was with Steelhead Salmons and with Team ACTS. So she would contribute to Steelhead Salmons and I would contribute to Team ACTS. Our relaying spirits were very kindred - we relayed for those we had lost and we did it our way!

"On a more personal note, I have located all of her horses - in four different places. Her family is definitely in the hearts and minds of the ABC Community. She was very well known and loved by all. I contacted all the VSRs and folks who have her horses. Once I find out what the family desires to do - I will let you know. They  are very busy at the moment and her horses are all taken care of. Thank you for these moments to share." As Olde was on one side of the island, and out of chat range of part of the group, Kghia repeated his speech for them.

Cale (Caledonia Skytower) was next, she making sure everyone around heard, "I am not a paragraph post-er, so please be patient with me.  And pardon the shout posting so that all can read (hopefully). It is incredible for me, to think that Riven has joined the phenomena of ultimate virtuality ... a singular place where mass may be insubstantial, but the sense of loss and grief we share is not.

She joins Circe, Eppie, Stosh, Clark, Serene, and others. I see their names, there as I scroll,  (so much more than just names on a list) and I know that their names will never show in bold again. But their memories will: pungent, poignant, and treasured. Some people are in your life for a long walk, some just for a moment. All of them shape our journey. Never to be forgotten. Never to be deleted. Thank you, Riven, for all and all, and thank you, all."

Podruly Peccable was the next to speak, "I didn't know Riven that well, but we shared some sessions for a number of months outside of Second Life, in Lord of the Rings Online. We would talk on Skype as we negotiated that online world. Of course, she was a mage with spirit animals... she had a high regard for animals. She had such a sharp mind, a great sense of humour, and, as JJ says, a great kindness and ease. And all I can say is that she was a great companiion on an adventure, and I'll miss that. " Princess Selena nodded,  "Oh yes, I played LoTRs with her too, I had forgotten that!  She did have a great sense of humor and I was impressed how fast she caught on to the gaming." Podruly added, "She love to see what was next, over the horizon." Rock commented, "I'm sure she faced this new horizon to cross with the same sense of adventure that she faced the rest of her life."

Bain Finch stated, "My path with Riven never crossed into friendship, but we did crossed paths at many events around these lands of ours, over the years, and from the very start, I could see, Riven was one of these beautiful peoples, I like to call nexus peoples. Nexus people are like a magical key part to any community, that radiated love, life, friends, and making the best of times, happen."

Samantha Poindexter would be the last to give a statement, "I met Riven through Caledon events, and she became a parishioner at my ha-ha-only-serious First Church of Rosedale. She once suggested that we set up a library, for outreach and general edification, and I wish I'd had the time and energy to take her up on that. I'll miss her. Those wanting another look at her animating spirit might like to know that video footage from SLCC 2011 is still online." She then put up two links to videos:  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/16618420 (What Being in SL Has Taught Me About My RL Profession) and http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/16645678 (Victoriana and Steampunk in Communties in SL).

"Before we all depart, I would like to recommend a book I read recently. (Librarian here) I think it is the best thing I've ever read about having a virtual life - and it never mentions Second Life or virtual worlds. It's 'My Real Children' by Jo Walton.  feel like I should end with some sort of parodic scripture, 'Data thou art, and to the asset server thou shalt return,' but I don't really have the heart. Thank you all."

Kghia Gherardi told everyone, "Thank you all for coming and sharing your stories and your energy." RockandRoll added, " Amen, and I think all of us have some portion of Riven's spirit that we will always have with us, whatever she meant to us, there will always be something that she has given to each of us that we will always have as our own personal part of what we can take away from our time with Riven." JJ Drinkwater reminded everyone, "There will be another memorial - a celebration of Rivens life, on April 23rd, at Noon SLT. This happened so fast we know a lot of her friends couldn't come, so I hope the 23rd’s long enough ahead for people to plan for. JJ Drinkwater: There will be another memorial - a celebration of Rivens life, on April 23rd, at noon SLT. For that, I’ll be sending out the usual request for pictures of Riven, books she’s made etc." Someone asked, "Someone make sure her name gets on the Pyramid at the Linden Remembrance sim."

People would continue to hang around and chat for a while longer after the event had pretty much ended, talking about how much they would miss their friend and inspiration.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, April 10, 2017

Interview With Tuna Oddfellow


By Deaflegacy Resident

"Welcome to my space." said Tuna Oddfellow.  "Welcome to Oddfellow Studios. It may not seem like much but in first life I am a magician.  Everything in Second Life, is an illusion but my job is deliver a grand illusion to the world here."  Tuna's space is amazing.  He had shown me several different colours though out the time I was with Tuna. 

Tuna Oddfellow began on Second Life on August 15, 2005.  Tuna had something to say about his stay on Second Life.  "If you have been here for close to a dozen years you do a few things... well I perform a psychedelic graphic are show that takes up the length of a sim." said Tuna.

I asked Tuna if I could take some pictures and he said, "Please do.  This is my big passion in this world.  To push the boundaries of what is possible here." 

As I took some pictures around his place, Tuna said, "What you are witnessing is the culmination of thousands of hours of my life." His talk then turned somewhat personal, "And like you. I have a disability that I need to fight through."

Tuna suffers from chronic pain which is gastro-intestinal in nature.  Tuna has anxiety and was born with hydrocephalus. Even so, he has lived a typical life.  All of that is of being an entertainer and artist.

"Well, for many years my partner in Second Life and in real-life was Shava Sunztu in real-life Shava Nerad. I am known as Fish Fishman in first life. We are still best friends and were partners for over a decade. But she is dealing with her own disability, and can not even come in world to see my show because the effects over stimulate her and make her ill." said Tuna when he was asked about his partner.  "It's tragic real like Beethoven losing the ability to hear his art. Sorry if the analogy hits close to home (a reference to my deafness). I have always designed the art, but she did the research on the science of what we do.  She is my muse and my wordsmith."

Tuna had been performing stage magic for many years.  He spent time as a street performer doing magic in Harvard Square, New York, Salem Massachusetts , New Orleans, and where ever he went.

"It's my chronic pain that makes it very hard for me to keep up the pace of doing shows in first life but I do shows in real-life when I can." said Tuna.

Tuna does encourage people to follow his group, the Tunaverse, on Second Life.

As Tuna was away with a broken PC for six months and stayed in the world, using a mobile phone, but he is back and plans to do shows at least once or twice per week.  Tuna caters to EU and US time zones for his public shows and do private shows, too.  Tuna is available to perform wedding and commitment ceremonies and the party to do with them as a service.  The shows would be at Lagrange Point Spaceport , Lagrange Point (134, 136, 451).

"I love to create this art and there is nothing like in SL or anywhere else." said Tuna.  "There is a science behind what I do and had Shava and I not gotten out health more compromised over the time we were together we would be sharing this tech with people as a tool to help with issues like PTSD post traumatic stress disorder. Many regular viewers find my work to be therapeutic."

Tuna's group for his fans is called The Tunaverse and has open enrollment. He also has a outdated website, http://www.oddfellowstudios.com.  It had not been updated in a few years but it will explain a bit of the tech.

I asked Tuna when his shows would be. "I generally find it best to see how I am feeling but I try to do an evening show and a day time show. I would be guessing if I told you my regular time." said Tuna.  "I just got my PC fixed the other day and need to look at things."

"A big part of my Second Life was my chance to be virtually famous. My avatar won a million linden dollars and appeared on America's got talent in front of an audience of 20,000,000 viewers back in the summer of 2007." said Tuna. 

When Tuna was asked about the sign behind him, "Odd Ball Horror Pixel Show", he said he had designed that for special Halloween performances that he had done.  Tuna is a fan of Rocky Horror.  "So yes, I designed the sign after the Rocky Horror Picture show as a tribute." said Tuna.

"I love this world and the people in it and I like to push it's limits as I do push my own." said Tuna.

When he was asked if he thinks he'd still be doing magic a few years from now, he said, "I feel after nearly a dozen years, I an sure there is another dozen years to explore, both here and in future virtual world space. I am especially interested in playing in environments that encompass virtual reality for a full three dimensional experience."

"I like playing with other artists and finding ways to collaborate too. I have for example been doing shows with an amazingly talented musician. JaNaMooN in several incarnations since 2010 I believe. We will be doing shows together really soon. So stay tuned." said Tuna.  "The capitalization is part of her branding not a typo."

Tuna Oddfellow Is planning to auction off the real-life life Top hat he has been wearing in real life as a performer for over a decade.  "It is an extra large black leather top hat that is very well worn. In the that virtually speaking will be ten of the outfits from my virtual store." said Tuna.

Tuna is also one of the cohosts and collaborators for Pillow Talk.  It is a chat group and community which explores issues of sexuality and lifestyles.  They are meeting two times per month at Commune Utopia.  Tuna went on to say, "Second Life is a space where we can express ourselves in ways people may not be able to in the real world or as I prefer to call it first life.  What we do in Second Life is very real.  Who we connect with here can make all the difference in the world."

Real Life was calling me, making me have to cut the remarkable interview short.  But he does have something to say as I say bye.  "Ta-ta for now, until next time, dream in color." said Tuna.

Tuna is a remarkable person, who has to cope with his chronic pain and anxiety.  As I have had an interview with him, I learned a lot.  How can someone learn in a short time?  Even so, Tuna is a famous magician.  As I left his place, I left with a smile on my face.  

Deaflegacy