Saturday, July 23, 2011

The 2011 Relay for Life Walk

I’ve gone to every Relay walk since 2007, when an old friend told me about the first one. Last year in 2010 was the first I did do as part of a team, the Passionate Redheads. The event then was truly a blast. Some yearly events I’ve gone to, the old feeling of excitement of the first time isn’t there. But that certainly wasn’t a problem here.

Just before noon SL time on Saturday July 16th, I arrived at the castle set up on the four corners of the sims the four sims RFL Wish, Unity, Voulenteer, and Treatment. The place needed the capacity of four sims as it was truly packed. When I brought up the map, I counted a total of 127 avatars in four sims. I watched the event along with fellow Redheads Nydia Tungsten, Treminari Huet, Lomgren Smalls, and Skylark LeFavre, along with a variety of other avs from tines to merfolk to superheros to robots.

There were a number of speeches given at the opening, but one stood out. Bootedgirl Foxtrot gave a speech that could be done only through a computerized voice. Cancer had taken away her larynx.

I relay for, each day we all can awake, with the gift of time we are given, to see the world, and love and be loved, and continue to pass on the very hope that will live on forever. I relay for the dream, for more time, for all those touched with cancer, to have quality time, in life, without pain. I relay for each day I awake, for each moment I see my Second life partner, my Love Jay, who saw me through many late hours of pain, and now enjoy many late hours of laughter. I relay for others to have what I now have, a chance to live and give back hope, and help however I can.

Shortly after her speech and the cheers that followed, the hour was up, and it was time for the Survivor/Caregiver lap. Those whom had faced the disease and survived, and those who cared for them, were invited to take the first of the official laps. Some Sunweavers such as Elphias Kojishi walked the track. Others just went to our camp and cheered them on. Among them was Rita Mariner, back as a purple bunnygirl after being “pardoned” from her remaining time stuck as a human. Two of the Redheads, also bunnygirls, did their cheering in cheerleader outfits, which was an interesting sight for the guys walking the track. As the survivors and caregivers walked, someone pointed out that the music being played was written just for the Relay.

there is no finish line until we find a cure,
together we begging like soldiers in a war,
and we won't slow down 'till we win this fight,
the Relay for Life.

Our camp “Peace to All Who Enter Here,” was a peaceful forest area, with a gateway of roses. Virtual critters such as squirrels and deer walked about the place. The center was dominated by a huge tree. the back of the camp had a picturesque waterfall. There was also a ride, a balloon, that took riders over the camp for a few minutes. A prayer book recorded messages, which then floated into the virtual breeze.

A number of Second Life notables took part in the Relay. Some such as Bryn Oh had contributed builds. Others did the Walk. Among them was Jaycatt Nico of the noted “Jaycatt & Frogg” musical pair. He greeted me and the rest of the Sunweavers, hung around a few minutes, and made a good-sized donation before leaving. Blogger DrFran Babcock walked by and gave a hello. I also saw two longtime friends Breezes Babi and Glitter Xeltentat walk by. One of the Relay staff, Samara Barzane, came by as a pink catgirl.

The total number of people I recognized, well, not enough room to mention them all.

And then, it was the team’s turn to walk. With Danneth Kivioq, Rita, and Dusk leading the way, we got on the track and began walking, waving our huge Sunweaver flags. Helping us was an accessory called a “walker” that was worn on our backs that allowed us to walk automatically while typing, or taking pictures. We just needed someone to follow. And so, we began our journey down the track, those without walkers picking them up at one of the stops along the way.

The Relay’s theme this year was “Season of Hope,” and many of the sims reflected the seasons. The northwest had spring, the southeast had summer, including the water sims with a beach area, the southwest had autumn, including a school for the youngsters, and to the northwest winter, most of the sims there snowed over. The Redhead’s camp was in RFL Family, in the northeast corner near the middle. And going throughout the track, we found a variety of builds. Some were very well done and imaginative.

Unfortunately with all the people on the track, lag was a persistent problem. A time or two it was so bad that the teammates around me were all rendered invisible. And there were times some of us were left behind due to it, and someone would have to port us forward to rejoin the group. We had to stop a few times due to a sim that was closed from further people entering, appearing like it vanished. And a few times I would just up and crash. And I didn’t reappear where I crashed, but where I had logged off the previous night, at the rest stop sponsored in Artistic Fimicloud’s name. By some coincidence, the first time this happened, my teammates caught up to me, which got a few comments from them.

The result was we made our lap, but we’d had to skip sims due to the lag and crashes, and some of us got back later than others. Some of us stayed at the camp, others kept going, “I want to complete the lap for real.”

For the themed laps, many of us dressed for the occasion. On the “I Can’t Believe I’m Wearing This!” I went back to the human avatar I wore after my “Bid Me Human” Event. Others had some avatars that certainly drew attention. On the “Ride Your Favorite Horse,” I tried to bring out my mount, but for some reason it wouldn’t rezz.

At times, we didn’t walk, but took a moment to look at some of the builds. This included the Steampunk New Babbage, or the Activity Water Region. There was also a scavenger hunt taking place, mostly in the four corner sims, where one had to find the objects on the list.

Over the group chat, I heard of “Bid me Bald” events being done. But one lady had a different idea, a “Pumped Up for Relay - Evangeline Ling, Co-Captain in team Relay for HOPE will be getting PUMPED UP and will be a body builder for every 1000 L donated to her challenge kiosk.” Enough was raised to give her an athletic look for several weeks.

At 7PM, most of us took a break from the walking to head to the club at the Unity sim, not far from the castle. It was Dusk Griswold’sturn to DJ, and as always she did it well from a stocked playlist. She played a number, some were requests. But at one point, she had one in honor of Artistic Fimicloud, the late Sunweaver & Redhead whom is always remembered. For her, Dusk played “Calypso.”

To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean,
to ride on the crest of a wild raging storm.
To work in the service of life and living,

in search of the answers of questions unknown.

To be part of the movement and part of the growing,

part of beginning to understand,

Aye Calypso the places you've been to,
the things that you've shown us,
the stories you tell.

Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit,
the men who have served you so long and so well.

At 9PM was the Luminary Ceremony, and the Redheads went back to camp. The track darkened all over to night, and everyone went silent, in memory of those passed on. But at 10, the sunshine came back, and we were out on the track again. 12 AM was the Masquerade, and out came my vampire bat avatar, flying over the track.’

Yours truly had to take a break to get some sleep, but woke up a little early to rejoin the Relay. This time, a couple Redheads whom couldn’t be there Saturday made it on Sunday, notably Alleara Snoodle. In previous Relays, Alleara had either helped with the building or designed items such as clothes. But this year, events in real life simply couldn’t be put aside. Fortunately, she was able to join her teammates this day.

The Passionate Redheads officially reached “Platinum” status at the Relay Walk. Daaneth made the announcement sometime on Sunday, “Congratulations on all your hard work. You have made me proud to be a Redhead.” And for every Relayer in all of the teams, a small “Teamwork Awars” trophy was delivered.

Finally at 10 AM were the closing ceremonies. Getting back to the castle, the walls and avatars alike took a good deal of time to rezz. Congratulations to all had been going around since the morning, and continued at the closing.

YOU ALL ROCK! - Every last one of you has contributed to making this an amazing Relay. From the tiniest *waves at Lom* to the biggest *waves at King-Kong!* It has been a wonderful experience! And the commitment of our sponsors to RFL of SL has been heartwarming and generous. Thank you ALL so much. Here's a blogpost by Poppy listing y'all.

It was announced we had broken our seasonal fundraising record, again. Nearly 75 million Lindens had been raised, equaling over $373,000 US dollars. There were also some stories of inspiration at the closing, though before the ceremonies, Redhead Nydia Tungsten shared the following:

Why I Relay I had never heard of RFL before in my life, even though I watched my step father slowing die from cancer, it was here in Second Life that I learned of it as I listened to some one speak of it, she was describing someone to me that she had lost as well, and I heard others speak of her, that is how I got to know Fimi, and Dusk Invited me to the RFL Team "Passionate Redheads" since then I lost someone else dear to me Kamryn Noel, so I run for all of them, and for you all. I even run for me. When I was a kid my cure for a sunburn was to get another one on top of it. So now I have moles all over my back that I need 4 to 6 biopsied each year. I am terrified that one day I will get the news that I have it. But I will always relay for all of you no matter what.

My own reasons to Relay? Cancer doesn’t run in my family, but it has taken down those around me in real life. Neighbors, coworkers, and family pets. Here in Second Life, I’ve met a number of friends, including the Sunweavers whom make up much of the Passionate Redheads. I arrived too late to have known Fimi, but I can’t help but admire her from how she continues to be talked about.

Funding and research do work. More treatments are discovered. More methods found. And survival rates for some cancers have gone up. The true cure for all cancer still eludes modern science. But throughout the history of medical science, one disease after another that was once a death sentence have found cures and treatments that work at any stage of discovery. Maybe this will be the year a team of scientists makes the public announcement we’ve all been waiting for.

So until then, the Relay for Life will continue on, both in real life and in virtual reality.

Following the closing ceremonies, there were a display of fireworks outside the castle. And there was one last official lap, the Victory lap, the one taken in celebration. At Noon Second Life time, the 2011 Relay for Life Walk was officially over. But the Relayers remained on the grid, continuing to walk laps, explore the builds, enjoy the attractions, or just meet up for a good party. Hours later, I ran into Team Steelhead and Fuzzball Ortega still whooping it up.

The fun continued for the next few days. A few builds went down on Monday and Tuesday, but most stayed up until Wednesday night. Of the unofficial parties, two stuck out. On Tuesday was the second annual “flood party," the first one last year coming about on a whim. And Wednesday had a small “Tear-down party.” On Thursday at Noon, what builds remained were removed. It was then that the Relay for Life Walk was truly over for another year.

The fundraising season isn’t officially over yet, though. August 20 is the official closing event. And once that’s over with, comes the planning for next year, and the planning for the next Relay track, with teams trying to make their next builds better than ones before.

And of course, continuing to meet up with the new friends we made, and old friends we caught up with.

Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, July 22, 2011

Interview with Amythe Moonlight

Amythe Moonlight, the manager of Mystery, long a beloved personality in her sim, becoming known as the "Princess of Hearts." Recently she became the center of attention with her “Masked Lover” Bloodrose Writer revealing himself, and then Mystery’s “Royal Wedding” between them both. Recently, I had a chance to interview her about her time in Second Life, past and present.

Bixyl Shuftan: So how did you find out about Second Life?

Amythe Moonlight: Someone in another game told me about it, so I came to see what it was all about. I discovered I could make things in here. That interested me and I started building. I began with art, and moved onto other things, In fact, we are sitting in one of the first big things I built - Stonehenge.

Bixyl Shuftan: Oh? Interesting?

Amythe Moonlight: it wasn't on Mystery then. It was moved here.

Bixyl Shuftan: (looks around) I didn't think this was among someone's first builds.

Amythe Moonlight: It was one of mine (laughs), after the art and a few tables. I actually created it from a photograph I took of the real Stonehenge.

Bixyl Shuftan: Nice, what kind of art did you create?

Amythe Moonlight: I started with 3D animated art, abstracts, and some photographs. I used to do a little landscape photography in real-life.

Bixyl Shuftan: Sounds interesting. How did you meet Tygeria?

Amythe Moonlight: I met her at a live music event (smile), and she asked to see some of my work.

Bixyl Shuftan: So she developed an interest in your artwork?

Amythe Moonlight: No, by then I was building houses and had built an semi-Asian style house. She asked to see it.

Bixyl Shuftan: What happened with the house?

Amythe Moonlight: She came and looked around, and was interested in part of the rooftop garden I had built on it. She asked me if i could build a shrine, which I did. Then she asked me for bridges. I think some are still here on Mystery. That's how I became part of Mystery really. I saw what she did here and wanted to help. Tygeria has an amazing talent for bringing out the best in people. So much talent. She is an amazing lady.

Bixyl Shuftan: It's my impression people think of you more as an organizer than an artist. When did you become Mystery's manager?

Amythe Moonlight: Well, I began to build on Mystery. Tygeria was changing things around then, and I worked with her trying to make the things she was seeking. The more I worked with her the more, I learned and the more I fell in love with Mystery and it's concept. To help people, with information, with knowledge, with somewhere safe to visit, with friendship, residents new and old, and to give them somewhere to come to feel at home. In my eyes that was such a wonderful concept, I wanted to become part of it. And so I started here as a builder, and then it grew, and grew, and I never left - and I never will. Mystery is a very special place, and The Queen of Hearts the most wonderful place to call home.

Bixyl Shuftan: How much of Mystery have you built?

Amythe Moonlight: I think Stonehenge, the cafe and the pub, and one shop in the village were originally my builds. But I have worked on other parts of Mystery along with Ayjay. And of course as we update, things change a little. That is one thing about Mystery that I love. The fact it doesn't stay the same. It is seasonal and changeable. You never know what you will find here. What is here this month may be gone next month, or be changed, or be added to.

Bixyl Shuftan: That's true, over time, there have been some interesting things that appeared for a while, like the funhouse.

Amythe Moonlight: Yes the funhouse, the rollercoaster, ruins have come and gone. We even had a kraken live in the lake for a while. That has moved on, though Nessie has stayed throughout . Our lake monster has been here from very early days.

Bixyl Shuftan: The lake monster?

Amythe Moonlight: Nessie - our version of the Loch Ness monster. Even Nessie changes though. She must be getting older; she found a hat and scarf last winter when we had snow here.

Bixyl Shuftan: Heh, with the 7Seas fisher at the lake, does anyone get their rod and reel yanked away? (grin)

Amythe Moonlight: Hehe! No-one has reported it yet! ... Well we have bumper boats out there, so they might scare her off. Hehe!

Bixyl Shuftan: Heh heh. ... Of the seasonal builds, do you have a favorite?

Amythe Moonlight: Ohhh, hmm, that's a hard one. I love the village in the winter with it's snow covered rooftops, and it's trees and lights. The little shops look very quaint. Last year we had ice-skating on the lake that was great fun, with a Christmas market all around the edges, quite Dickensian.

Bixyl Shuftan: Considering that Mystery has thrived for five years, I imagine there have been quite a number of memorable happenings.

Amythe Moonlight: The anniversaries and the supurise parties spring to mind. But everything here is memorable. And the fact it changes keeps people coming back to see what is here now.

Bixyl Shuftan: Anything stand out from the first few years?

Amythe Moonlight: I think the biggest and best thing in the early years for me was meeting Tygeria herself and getting to know her as well as I have! She has taught me so much. She is very inspiring and has the most creative ideas. I just try to make them come to life (smile).

Bixyl Shuftan: Someone told me that you and Tygeria make for an interesting pair of personalities, she the lively funmaker, and you the "straight woman" trying to keep her in check.

Amythe Moonlight: No-one keeps Tygeria in check. We work well together though, and have been sim partners for several years now.We are different, it's true. I tend to be quieter, but we both work towards the same goals and concepts.

Bixyl Shuftan: One of the more recent events has to do with another over a year ago, when you started getting some aynominous love notes.

Amythe Moonlight: Oh the Mystery Man! Yes someone was requesting songs for me from the DJs and live artists, and doing it anonymously. I could not think who it was, though I tried to find out. The songs were wonderful! And I admit it intrigued me. Early this year at one of the live events he revealed himself to be Bloodrose Writer.

Bixyl Shuftan: How long until it get to the point Tygeria was putting up "Wanted" posters?

Amythe Moonlight: Hmm I think that was after the first few months . She posted a reward! No-one claimed it though, since no-one guessed. He sent requests vs newbie (accounts) and remotely. He wasn't in Second Life at the time, so I never suspected him. I had known him for years though, and worked with him a lot in past years, but with him out of SL, I never dreamed it was him.

Bixyl Shuftan: Heh, I imagine it was a big surprise when he reveled himself.

Amythe Moonlight: Oh yes!!! And at an event too! Good surprise though.

Bixyl Shuftan: Did you ever suspect Tygeria might have known who it was?

Amythe Moonlight: I did ask her once, but she said she didn't. She seemed as puzzled as I was.

Bixyl Shuftan: So only speculation as who the "Masked Man" might be?

Amythe Moonlight: Yes it was all speculation until he revealed himself. I believe the live artist Debi Latte was in on the secret, but only for the last couple of weeks.

Bixyl Shuftan: So now that Mystery has had it's most memorable wedding, what are you plans for the future, for you and the sims?

Amythe Moonlight: Well I own Mystery's sister sim, Conundrum. Conundrum is a retail and visiting sim. It has a selection of small shops and a boardwalk and quay with boats to drive around the sim, as well as beaches and things to do. I design clothes and have a dress shop over there, and hope to have a fashion show later this year. I also have my Bears &Stuff business there, animated and chatty bears for all occasions. “Gone Squirrely” also has it's HQ there, so you have to keep one eye out for stray squirrels!

Bixyl Shuftan: Oh yes, the squirrel game. (grin) Supposely it's real fun to play in micro avatars.

Amythe Moonlight: Yes the squirrel game with rogue squirrels to catch! It's such fun! Ayjay and I have been working on that for a long time. We should have version 2 coming out in the near future.

Bixyl Shuftan: How have the practice games gone so far?

Amythe Moonlight: They went well and it is out for sale as version 1. Now we are working on a new version with even more in it! There will be some changes on Conundrum soon, and some exciting new merchandise in a new shop over there, so keep an eye out!

Mystery of course, always changes, and to see the changes here you need to keep visiting! The sim grows with us - it is a place much loved and cared for and as the seasons pass so she grows new things to entice us. As for plans, well there are many. But suffice to say I think we will see several changes here in the coming months.

Always a mystery! You never know what you will find!

Bixyl Shuftan: Anything else that you'd like to add?

Amythe Moonlight: Working with Tygeria and with Mystery is both an honor and a delight. She is my closest friend and my confidante. Without her Mystery would not be what it is today and neither would I. I have grown and changed since I came here as the island has herself. This is the magic of the place.

They say magic is full of mystery. But I say, Mystery is full of magic, both seen and unseen. It touches the heart and resides in the memory. I am so glad I found this place and became part of it, it is now part of me.

Bixyl Shuftan: Thank you for your time Amy.

Source: Queen of Hearts

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, July 15, 2011

Adopt-a-Family’s Summer on the Boardwalk

Summer on the Boardwalk, a carnival for Adopt-a-Family, was held this weekend, July 8 – 10, at SnickerDoodle (126, 135, 25). Adopt-a-Family is an organization that helps make holidays a little better for Second Life residents facing economic hardship in their real-life. The carnival was a huge success, raising over $288,000 L for this charity.

The festivities included rides, food, live music, auctions, and even a dunk tank. Although the rides could be ridden for free, a convenient ticket box near each one allowed you to donate to the charity. The rides included a Merry-Go-Round, Bumper cars, Ferris Wheel, Jet Scream, and more. I got a great bird’s eye view of the carnival from the Ferris Wheel, but the Jet Scream ride was awesome. It started out tame, but soon was revolving like a rocket. Good thing I rode before I ate the hot dogs and cotton candy.

There was a House of Mirrors that looked interesting, too, but I never made it inside. I was distracted by a few fun-loving residents at the dunking tank who were having a great time. Instead of looking in the mirror, I decided to join them.

Lacie Beningborough and Laetitia Vella had Ted Floresby right where they wanted him—in the dunk tank. Ted splashed into the tank quite a few times thanks to Lacie’s mean arm! Laetitia and I cheered Lacie on a bit, then I had to give it a try. For a small donation I got 3 balls. I made the last one count—and downed Ted again. He was a good sport and was doing it for a great cause.

Other SL celebrities, including Frolic Mills and Dousa Dragonash took a turn in the dunk tank, too. Guess they know us mere mortals love dunking the rich and famous. BlackBarbie Bravin, who is both a SL celebrity and businesswoman said “it was a hoot.” “What's most important,” BlackBarbie said, “is that we are able to help others. It was a great experience and the best reason to ever to mess up my hair.”

On Sunday there was live music. Avantguard Frequency started the show off. When I stopped by he was getting a very warm reception from the crowd. Other musicians were slated to play during the day. Lacie Beningborough, who organized the carnival, said, “Other musicians heard about what we were doing and asked if they could volunteer. So we added an extra 2 hours to the show-- that was totally amazing!”

In addition to the rides and music, jewelry and fashion designers donated items for the auction boards that lined the stage area. Lacie said Frolic Mills and the folks at BOSL volunteered and worked hard to make this event happen. They all deserve a big “thank-you.”

Lacie Beningborough began Adopt-a-Family in November of 2009, when she discovered that a SL resident was in need in RL. The family was in jeopardy of losing everything because the husband had just lost his job, and the couple had two chronically ill children. Lacie organized a benefit to help the SL resident. The fundraiser was a huge success, and she promised to have it become a SL tradition. This year’s Christmas show will be December 19, 2011.

During the year Adopt-a-Family raises funds to help families in Second Life to have Christmas in real-life. The identity of the recipients is known only to the Board of Directors to protect privacy. Donors have the option of remaining anonymous or allowing their names to be used. If you know a SL resident that will need some help during the holidays, you can contact Lacie Beningborough before November 15, 2011.

Grey Lupindo

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The South Sudan Independence Party

On Saturday July 9th, the world had it’s newest internationally recognized country. South Sudan had officially declared it’s independence from Sudan. News reports showed people dancing in the streets of it’s capital Juba, celebrating the end result of a long, hard struggle. The country has been quickly recognized by the United States and many other nations.

In Second Life, a “South Sudan Independence Party” was held the following day on Sunday July 10th at the Saffa Islands sim to commemorate the new African nation. With Sandy Kira as the DJ, the event began at 2 PM. The event was held at a beach club, with thatched roofs and surfboards, but with the South Sudanese flag prominently displayed. People were also waving small flags of the new country.

I only managed to catch the tail end of the event, but it was not boring. People were paying attention to a film being broadcasted on the screen set up at the club. A Emmanuel Jal was speaking out to an audience about his struggle as a child soldier, a “War Child,” in the wars of Sudan following his village being burned down, and eventually making peace with those he once saw as his enemies. One resident couldn’t hep but comment, “Wow they were sooo young. Babies with AK47s. These kids must be damaged in a way I will never know.”

The event went past it’s scheduled end of 4 PM. People thanked Tonny Storm for the occasion, “Thank you for this nice evening, Tony.” Following the video, Tonny had this to say, “I am really thankful to all of you. You celebrate this moment with me here. I am far away from Sudan and South Sudan, but I am happy for this nice time with you guys. And I have a short thing I want to tell you about myself. I am not from South Sudan. I am from the north, actually. But I have been working with many groups in the north for people of South Sudan and (the) whole (of) Sudan in general. ... I am happy for (the) south, but also sad because our efforts to keep one country that respects all it is citizens and lives with democracy and respect (for) human rights (is) gone now. Yes, South Sudan’s people get their Independence, they can shape their own future now. But I still have commitment to the other people in Sudan whom still suffer, to get the country we dream to have one day.”

“I had (a) Sudan sim for a while. I tried to tell the different story about Sudan, the story (the) media never tell. (The) media always tells a single story and stereotypes people to it. So today give proof by South Sudan’s independence that besides suffering, there is always hope. And there are always people whom work hard for a better future. They can succeed or lose, but the struggle must continue. Thank you everyone.”

Tonny’s remarks were met with applause, “Tonny, you make me cry now.” “Thank you, I am crying also, trying to hide the tears.” “We pray that the people in Northern Sudan find strength in the victory of the Southern Sudanese, and continue to work for the good of the community.”

Tonny told me, “I must thank my awesome DJ Sandy. She did some great tunes. Sandie Mistwallow, she built the club. She did an incredible job in no time, gathering everyone.” He passed over a notecard with several links, as well as one to South Sudan’s wiki entry, “please watch the videos, they tell the whole story.”

I asked about their opinion about the country’s lack of paved roads and how hard would it be to attract international investment. One of the women there, Karima Markova, answered, “Building infrastructure is a critical concern to be sure. If the government cannot organize it, roads will be build to extract resources. The people will lose. Africa has seen too much of this in its history.”

The links Tonny Storm provided were Youtube clips, “Introduction,” “Independence Day” (Al Jadzeria), “Dr. John Grang,” “Emmanuel Jal: The music of a war child” (the video shown at the end of the event), and “South Sudan song,” in addition to the country’s wikipedia entry:

"Thank you very much."

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, July 9, 2011

“An Enchanted Evening with MoShang and Cypress,” Followed by a Generous Donation of Goods for Passionate Redheads

It was a good week for the Relay for Life team Passionate Redheads.

The night of Thursday July 7th had a special event in Southern Colorado. In the Enchanted Forest, there was a live music concert featuring two musicians. One was MoShang Zhao, the other was the self-described “best ambient artist in Second Life” Cypress Rosewood.

Come to the beautiful Southern Colorado sim and the Enchanted Forest for a mesmerizing concert with Second Life artists MoShang Zhao and Cypress Rosewood as they present a two hour concert called "An Enchanted Evening with MoShang and Cypress" on July 7th, 2011 from 8-10 PM SLT. Don't miss this event, it promises to be spectacular! Sponsored by the Passionate Redheads, all proceeds from the show go to benefit the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life.

And as 8 PM approached, people began showing up at the entrance of the forest. Some of the Redheads teleported directly over from a favorite club of theirs, Club Zero, which had an event just before the “Enchanted Evening.” A few dozen people in a variety of avatars came to listen in.

Sabine McGettigan: Hi everyone, Cypress Rosewood and Moshang are playing a duet for us here in SoCo. Take a break and come listen! Nydia Tungsten- Foxtrot (nydia.tungsten): and they are GREAT! Sabine McGettigan: Heavenly :)

Cypress played first, followed by MoShang doing his solo on his flute. Then the two went on stage together to play. People sat down on cushions rezzed for the event to listen, or danced to the music. Two kiosks were set up to collect funds for RFL. Several thousand Lindens were raised. It wasn’t as much as some earlier fundraisers the Redheads have held, but the event was still considered a success.

At 10 PM SL time, the event came to a close, the musicians giving their thanks to all, "Thank you so much. See you next time, thanks, and good night."

For more of Cypress Rosewood’s music, he makes regular appearances at the Space Music Theater at Spinthrift (156, 81, 98) at Sundays at 8 PM SL time.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On Friday, the Passionate Redheads received a special gift from an old friend. With the Relay for Life Walk about a week away, builders for the team were setting up their exhibit, or “campsite” as they called it, with a "Forest in the Spring Theme." Previous exhibits have had help from friends. Among them, Lilith Heart, the owner of the Heart Garden store. On Thursday, Sabine McGettigan got a message from her.

I will send you some boxes to get things started. And if you need more of anything please let me know. Also if you see anything in the garden centre you would like me to send, pop a list on a notecard and I'll send those too. If you have too much of anything, maybe you could set the boxes for sale and the proceeds could go to the Relay. Have a fun weekend :-)

Her “some” boxes totaled over two dozen! They were rezzed at the campsite temporarily. In group chat, there were cheers and praises, “WOOOT!!!” “She's always good to us! :) ” “It's kind and great that a designer has done that.” Daaneth Kivioq got yours truly a group tag to get over to the campsite to see the goods for myself. It wasn’t long before builders Dusk Griswold and Lomgren Smalls showed up, and they and Daan began unpacking the boxes and setting things up. They were joined by other builders, including Shockwave Yareach.

Lilith’s Heart Garden store is in Heart 1 (124 124, 28)

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With all the “Bid me Human” events the Passionate Redheads have pulled, a few of their furrier teammates have asked, “So who’s having a ‘Bid me Furry?’“Almost lost in the excitement of SL8B, a couple weeks ago on June 25th, the “Cure Chasers” RFL team, noted for their cheerleader uniforms, held just that.

Yes once in a lifetime because she will never do it again. “Turn Sienna Thor Into A Furry For RFL.” Sienna has been been locked in a back room at the Red River Saloon since Thursday so she could not get away. She will turn her beautiful body FURRY for $L10,000 for the first week and $L1,000 for every additional day after that.

The event went on for several hours, with DJs Stormie Windlow, April McCoy, and Jocelyn Sands providing the music. Yours truly dropped in about halfway when about $15,000 was raised. Sienna was there dancing away as a racoongirl. She remarked of one of the greetings she had gotten from a furry passing by, “Hello cutie,” was that it had been months since anyone had ever greeted her like that.

For whatever reason, the stakes were soon changed. After $20,000, she would take on the form of a “tiny” raccoon. It wasn’t long before that was raised, and she shrunk in size to kneecap height. Fortunately for her, there was a “tiny” danceball for her and the other tiny present to dance around in.

There was also a kissing both there for additional fundraising.

Also that day, singer Lance Rembrant was giving a two-sim concert to raise funds for Relay for Life. So much was happening that day, there just wasn't time to write about it all.

With about a week to go until The Walk, the various teams are pulling numerous events. One I noticed was a “biker babe” Road Rash rally being held this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There’s no shortage of events, so be on the lookout for one if you’re inworld, and stop by.

Bixyl Shuftan.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Passionate Redneads’ “Bid Rita Human” Raises Nearly 75,000 Lindens

Rita Mariner, the owner and “Chieftess” of the Sunweaver Estates, has emerged as this year’s champion fundraiser among the Passionate Redneads. But this honor came at a price. Her coat of fur.

Rita, the proud and confident leader of the Sunweavers, has been known to change her avie on occasion, but has always been known for her purple kani bunnygirl look. Following the success of two “Bid Me Human” events held by the Passionate Redheads, Rita volunteered for one of her own. If anyone would get a lot of attention from those among the Passionate Redheads also in the Sunweaver group, surely she would, and in the process raise a lot of Lindens.

The two previous events of this kind had gone differently. The first resulted in the volunteer having to spend a month without his fox avie (a few events excepted). In the second, the three week period the vixen would have had to gone furless was suspended after a larger donation came in to keep her foxy.

One thing was gone to make sure this event would be a bit different from both. There would be two kiosks for the event, one for those voting with their lindens to bid Rita human. The other would be for those donating to keep her a “purple bun-bun.” A minimum of 5,000 Lindens was needed to get her to change, both kiosks counting to the total, plus an additional day for every 1,000 raised. *But* the total on the “human” kiosk had to be at least one linden over the “furry” one. Otherwise the bunny would escape without as much as a moment as human. The event was set for Tuesday from 5 to 7 PM SL time.

Join the Passionate Redheads Relay For Life of Second Life team for “Bid Rita Human ... or NOT!” Tue Jun 28, 2011 5-7 PM SLT Come party with the Redheads while the bidding war for Rita Mariner becoming human begins! 5000 L$ for a week, then 1000 L$ per day after, but only if the human kiosk wins! Which will it be?

There was a little confusion about where the party would be, SL Newser mistakenly hearing it would be held as a special event at Club Cutlass. But instead like the first Redhead’s Bid Me Human it was held at Southern Colorado near Fimi Falls.

And at 5 PM, the Redheads, from the Sunweaver lands and elsewhere, began gathering at Southern Colorado. Friends from other teams were also there, such as Fuzzball from Team Steelhead whom showed up in the enormous wig he had promised to wear if his team went Platinum, this time dyed red. Besides the mix of human and furred avatars, there were a few of the “bronies,” plus one of the Sunweavers went feral fox for the night, musing he thought someone should represent the local wildlife. DJ Nydia Tungsten and Jenn Chant, normally foxy and feline respectively, went human for part of the event to symbolically "pass the torch," Nydia being the previous volunteer for a bid event.

From the start, the Lindens were coming in. Unlike the event with DJ Nydia, the money to bid Rita human was coming in quite fast. The tough landlady wasn’t exactly drawing the same reluctance from those in furry avs to make her go tailless for a while, nor from the normal humans, “Skin her! Skin her!” The $5,000 was soon raised, and Rita was set to spend at least a week as human. But the purple bunny wasn’t going down without a fight. She added some cash to the furry kiosk, sending a message if the Relayers if they wanted a little fun at her expense, they’d have to fork over a lot more for it. And over time, the amount was slowly matched.

It's close (21:09:49 )The bidding is hot and heavy to get Rita human. 26149L's for her to be human, 25153 for her to stay furry ( but she put in 25K in that one). So come help us keep the balance in human favor!!

The party went on for a while with more coming in. Then with ten minutes to spare, Rita put in another six thousand Lindens. Unless almost 5,000 more was raised, her cottontail would get away. So the Redheads and friends reached a little deeper in their pockets. But with one minute to go, they were still 1,000 short. Last-minutes amounts came in from tens of Lindens to a few hundred came in, and at the last second the human kiosk won.

And It's HUMAN! Well, looks like the Sunweavers will be having a human Chieftess for a while. The results are in, 36903 vs 37909. It's Human by a nose. A final total of 74812, which is 76 days as human for Rita. Let's hope she has plenty of sunscreen for those days at the beach. Thanks again for your willingness to take one for the team Rita, or in this case take seventy-six, and Go Redheads!

And as promised, the Sunweaver leader went from bunnygirl to human lady. Like the first event, it was an ethnic look. This time it was East Indian, with a silky gown. She was not exactly acting thrilled over it, despite a bunny whom tried to console her by dancing with her, “I was hoping to get friends to save my fur. Instead they bid me bald. ... 76 days, I think I will kill myself.” Other friends tried to reassure her as well, “Samara knows the best places to shop.” “Thank you to everyone who came over to make this a huge success. Its always scary to put yourself on the block!” “After this, we may end up with lower stakes, such as ‘ Bid me Mousey.’ “(How about) bid me barefoot?” “Heh, I'm already barefoot. (grin)”

The total in US dollars raised was impressive as well, Team Captain Sabine McGettigan announcing, of the total raised this year, “$2199 is what we have raised so far! That's REAL MONEY! Can you believe it? It’s like ... a CAR!” Daaneth Kivioq soon had an announcement of his own, “Actually - its 2500 USD now by the website.” It was also announced that since the founding of the Passionate Redheads team, they had raised a total of $30,500 US dollars.

Already the team was looking forward to further events. Lomgren Smalls announced his new RFL microkitty would soon be available for purchase, in male and female versions. And of course in Sabine’s words, “Less than three weeks to Relay!” The Walk would be soon.

For those of you wishing to meet Rita Mariner to give her a few words of thanks, she frequently appears at Club Cutlass on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 6 to 8 PM.

Bixyl Shuftan