Up On This Hill, In This Uncanny House…

(Featuring designs by Izzie’s, Amacci, and ~ghee~… and news about Sightsaver!)
 
Up on this hill, in this uncanny house
This wind makes this place creak, the lights they are flickering
The moon she is lurking, the clock it stopped working
At quarter past three
There’s something dancing here in the shadows
And I wish it were us…
 
(I went through a temper tantrum with my eyelashes and trashed them… anyone got a recommendation for GOOD eyelashes?)
 
Unfortunately, I wish I could explain my week-long absence with the presence of a dance blog… but alas… RL has just gotten hectic with me this week, unfortunately.  I had yesterday and today off, and I’ve been slightly less than productive.  Lol.  But damn I’m tired.  My job in RL is not physically demanding, as it’s home health care… but it is definitely emotionally and mentally drainaing, as I work with the developmentally disabled.  Oh how I wish I could tell you all stories.  There are some that make me giggle, after the fact, and others that still make me livid.  But then of course, they don’t know better.  It’s like being mad at a two year old for calling you a “bitch”… they don’t know what it means… they just repeat what they hear.  That’s how a lot of my people are.  They don’t know a lot of what they’re saying… they just know it’s a word used in conversation, because they hear other staff use it.
You’d THINK that would inspire people to watch what they say, yes?  Unfortunately not.
So of course there are days I go to work with my two guys and I get one of them calling me “honey” because that’s what the other and his girlfriend call each other… and I’ve got the other telling me that staff so-and-so is lazy and doesn’t do anything…. because he’s overheard one of the overnight ladies complain about them.  Then again, this particular overnight lady complains about EVERYONE.  But here’s the kicker… ALL that is done on the overnight shift is house cleaning, and then waking the guys up to get them dressed and take them to work at the end of your shift.  I know… I’ve covered this particular woman’s shift.  So if you REALLY want to fault the evening staff for not finishing one load of laundry in the dryer… when they’ve been running the guys all over creation for the volunteering they do, or the sports they play, or just the places they want to visit… then try actually DOING more on your shift before you complain.  Seriously?  Heaven forbid you have to put ONE load of laundry away in the 8 hours that you’re there doing LIGHT cleaning and sitting on your ass watching TV.  Lord have mercy.
Sorry.  I care about the people I take care of.  And I care about my job.
(Ah the advantage of being the Village Manager on a GORGEOUS sim… amazing photography potential… I’m sure you’ll see this sim again.)
 
Ok.  Sorry again for the rant about RL work.  But I feel like certain aspects of this apply to Second Life as well.  I’m SURE all of us, somewhere in the fashion world, have run into people who are a right royal hot mess who then rip into us about our look.  I mean, I’m trying to be more… polite… in public… *Chuckles*… some of you know I can shoot straight from the hip and it’s normally not pretty.  I’m trying to pretty it up in public, because I represent myself and the places I’m associated with.  But there are times that I’m REALLY tempted to slap someone upside the head and say, “Seriously?  When you can come back not looking like a noob with too much eye makeup and not enough definition in your skin, wearing clothing from 2007, THEN you can talk to me about how I look.”  These are CERTIFIED models walking around looking a hot mess.  Or… even better… the ones who are not certified themselves, have made no effort to become certified, who then try to tell you that you’re not good enough because you don’t have enough experience, enough schooling, don’t know the basics… etc.  At least I’m LEARNING… at least I’m TRYING… at least I’m putting myself out there and saying, “This is me… take it or leave it.  Accept it, or walk away.”  If you leave it, or if you walk away, more power to you.  At least you have the balls to be honest to my face, instead of being all smiley and happy, then turn around and tear into me when you think I’m not looking.
As creepy as this sounds, I have eyes everywhere.  And even if someone hasn’t come to me and told me something, I can usually find it for myself.  My reputation proceeds me for being able to find things that are well-hidden from most people.  “Detective Tivi”, my partner calls me.  Haha.  So don’t think just because you hide it from “normal” people means I won’t find it.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet…. I’m not normal.  And the truth ALWAYS comes out.
(Gorgeous flowy gown in a gorgeous residential sim… Firefox Fonda did an AWESOME job with this place!)
 
Ok.  Now.  To the whole reason I wrote this blog, fashion-wise.
Recently I’ve been accepted to blog an event called Sightsavers.  I’m starting on my blogs early, because the event has been pushed back to May 11th.  Fashion shows will be held on May 11th and May 12th, and the event itself will run from May 11th to June 11th.  So why start blogging items on April 18th?  1.) Cause I like being able to giggle and say, “Neener, neener, neener, you can’t get this gorgeous gown for another month,” in the nicest way possible.  😛  And 2.) With as hectic as RL gets with me at a moment’s notice, I want to make sure I can get all the designers creations in before the event begins.
The thing I liked about Sightsavers that drove it to me instantly is that it’s charity-based.  Some of you know that I’ve been trying to work with the Take Back the Night foundation to bring a Take Back the Night walk into Second Life.  That’s still a work in progress.  The other charity that I have begun to feel very close to lately is called Shoes For Orphans Souls.
Now, there IS a religious aspect to this.  To my understanding, while the people with Shoes For Orphans Souls are washing the childrens’ feet and giving them the new shoes, they are telling them about Jesus.  THAT, in my opinion, is awesome.  I believe in God, I believe in Jesus.  I’m ok with these things.  What I DON’T like, and what people hear me say more times than not, is organized religion.  I hate how “Christians” of today have perverted the word from the original message.  Whatever happened to “God loves you, right where you are”.  Whatever happened to loving the LEAST of these?  Forgive me for the soapbox moment, but my BIGGEST issue with Christians today are how much they look DOWN on other people for what they do or don’t do that makes them “ungodly.”  So normally, for this reason, unfortunately one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, I tend to stray heavily from religious organizations and religious charities.
But these people… with Shoes For Orphans Souls… all they do is share that someone loves them.  Someone loves them enough to speak to the heart of someone in the United States of America (or wherever the donation was from) that allowed a missionary to travel to Guatemala, or one of several other countries these people travel to… to wash these kids’ feet and give them a brand new pair of socks and shoes… some of whom may have never had shoes before.  Isn’t that just awesome?
I’m hoping to reach out and poke these guys as well, see what we can’t get going inside of SL.  People totally underestimate the power of the online community… but they don’t realize that people bring REAL LIFE money into this “game” to buy pixel things.  What if that REAL LIFE money was going to a good cause?  Perfect example?  Relay for Life.  Look at how much REAL LIFE money is raised for this organization, just through Second Life.  It may not be some out of this world, millions and millions of dollars kind of figure… but without Second Life, that much LESS money would be raised.  Every little dollar counts.
So I guess the point of the last part of this really random blog post… was when you see Sightsavers in May… please consider going to the shows to see the clothing… look into the blog posts from various bloggers who are covering this event… GO see the creations the designers are making for this event and consider donating to the cause, and getting some awesome stuff out of it.
Yeah, I know there were a lot of random topics in this blog, and I do apologize for that.  Lol.  It’s been a really random day…
*~* Up On This Hill, In This Uncanny House *~*
(I’ll put these SLURLs… as well as the last post’s… up here soon, promise.)
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You’ve Gotta Get Up And Try…

(Featuring designs by Poptart, SLX, TRUTH Hair, and many more…)
 
(Take note, this is what I’m doing when I should be furnishing my house… you’ll see my lack of work in other pictures…)
 
Quick!  No one in the dance world has made an ass of themselves in the last 24 hours.  Let’s make another fashion post and keep the momentum going!
No, but for serious.  This is ideally what I’d like to do.  Post daily.  Normally at night before I go to bed, because that’s when I seem to find enough down time to do something like this, uninterrupted.  But because I’m too tired at this point to do any heavy research, so I tend to add the SLURLs for the stores in the morning.  Then again, I could be like most bloggers and make you find it yourself, from the credits… haha.  But I try to be a bit nicer than most.
Speaking of other bloggers, the syndication process has been interesting.
(Please note my house in the background… and please also note that there is no furniture in it… I think I put the thing up, like, a week ago…)
 
In my quest to become a syndicated blogger and be taken seriously, I find my journey starting out slowly, but not altogether unsuccessful.  So far, I’ve found myself syndicated on 3 feeds, which, from what I hear is pretty good.  While I’ve been searching the various feeds, though, I’ve found a very diverse opinion of what is considered “the best” or “high quality”.
All of these feeds claim that they only post “high quality” blogs, and that the bloggers that contribute to them are “only the best”, however the types of bloggers and the types of posts that I see very GREATLY.  This is not a bad thing, as I appreciate, and even practice, various styles of writing and blogging myself… but it feels like, once more, there’s no set standard, so some people are left off of some feeds simply because they don’t conform to someone else’s idea of “the best”.
One example I can think of off the top of my head is a feed that I believe I was drawn to on three separate occasions.  (Yeah, my memory sucks and I couldn’t remember that I’d already ruled it out.)  This feed claims that it will only public ‘high quality’ blogs, which it defines as quality clothing, edited photos, and “tight posts” which is basically just the photos and the credits, with very little wording in between.
That’s all find and dandy… and it’s great for people who come to these blogs just to see pretty pictures of outfits they can spend their lindens to recreate, rather than expressing their own UNIQUE sense of style… but for those of us who are writers, it kinda sucks.
I find it amusing as well, because the definition of what a blog is, according to Dictionary.Com, is:

a Web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.

See, from the dictionary definition of blogging, you seem to get the idea that there should be writing involved, yes?  And that the inner-writer in all of us would be embraced, rather than discouraged, right?  There is a time and a place for ‘photo-only’ blogs… but I would call that more of a photo album than a blog.

At the same time, do I believe that EVERY post should be a novel?  Oh hell to the no.  I think we’d all get bored reading it, let alone those of us who write it.  We’d eventually run out of ideas.  There are only so many things to talk about… even with the stupidity of the people around us to rant about occasionally.

 (Before anyone asks, no, I’m not British. My partner is… and I figured he’d appreciate this sweater when He logs in while I’m sleeping.  Haha!)
 
So at this point, I guess I should just chalk it up to another mini moral crisis in my life inspired by the fashion world in SL… but it’s starting to irk me that it occurs so often.  In a virtual world that people come to for their own reasons, and they expect people to not only accept them for how they choose to represent themselves… but they also expect everyone to accept their reasons for being here, their personal limitations, what they want to get out of being here, and they expect everyone to condone their actions and words in the name of individuality and freedom of speech… you’d think in a virtual world like this, that there would be LESS judgment than in the real world.
But shockingly enough, I’m beginning to find that there’s more.
And the biggest issue that I have with this is that it’s not just judgment.  It’s people walking around beating their chests like Tarzan (or I guess Xena the Warrior Princess may be an appropriate female reference) and being ‘loud and proud’ about their choices in SL, their reasons for being here, etc… everything that I mentioned before.  They boast and brag and expect everyone to be ok with them because they are who they are… and they get pissed if anyone dares judge them.  But THEN, they turn around and harshly judge the people they share this medium with.  I’m even guilty of it myself.  But the difference here is that I see that I’ve done it, and I watch other people do it and it BOTHERS me.  There are plenty of people walking around SL (or driving their pixels around SL, as the case may be) who are being completely two-faced in regards to being open and accepting.
So once again, I’m forced to choose… do I try and “tighten” up my posts to appeal to more fashion feeds that don’t want as much text… even though true blogging is about WRITING?  Or do I flip them the bird, continue to write what I see fit, and post the pictures in between, making an altogether cohesive blend of fashion and my own thoughts, in my own little corner of cyber space?
I’ll bet from the length of this post, you can tell which on I chose.  🙂
(Yes, that is an anchor in my house… and no, I didn’t put it there in an effort to put SOME kind of furniture or decor in there… it actually came with the house… I’m hopeless.)
 
*~* You’ve Gotta Get Up And Try *~*
 
(You know the deal.  I’ll post SLURLs tomorrow.  Love you all.)

Just Your Stereotypical Femme Fatale….

(Featuring designs by AdN, Alterego, Breach, Ploom, and more…)
(Haven’t quite figured out how to make my face look fierce yet.  Haha.  I still see the “Aww how cute!” quality that makes me cringe.)
 
Sorry it’s been a few days since I’ve been over here.  For those of you that don’t know, I have a dance blog that I post to as well… and it seems that there are far more idiots in the dance community that inspire random rants.  So I style an outfit, mean to go photograph it, and then some douchenozzle turns around and does something stupid… and thus a dance blog is born and my fashion post gets slid onto the backburner.  Again.
But not this time.
Though, admittedly, this look WAS inspired by the heavily irritated mood I was put in after this past dance blog entry.  If you look on my blog roll over —> on the right hand side, you’ll see Confessions of a Dancing Slave.  That’s me as well.  Those of you that know me, or those who actually pay attention to the text I put in these blogs, have probably come to the conclusion that people who take advantage of other people make me sick.  Unfortunately, that happens all too often here in SL.  And someone taking advantage of the good nature of one of my closest friends is what inspired my last dance blog last night… and the terribly fierce, “I really want to kick your ass,” look that I styled to blog tonight.
(No, I have no idea what I’m looking at…)
 
Now, another thing you might notice is that I’m pale again.  This comes back to the idea of being taken advantage of.  As much as I’d like to tell myself that I’m down to earth and pretty jaded… and that I’m cautious of who I trust… and that I carefully analyze situations to see who is trying to take advantage of my skill and work ethic and who GENUINELY needs my help… but unfortunately, given that I’m a helper and a do’er, I am far too trusting with people who request my help and supposedly believe in me.
I walked this past Saturday for a change at the Top 15 for Colour of Couture.  For those who read my past blog post, you know that a few conversations I managed to have with Sequoia before the semi-finalist list went out were very inspirational to me, and encouraged me to embrace what I FEEL and identify with, rather than trying to portray a more “inside the box” image of my RL self.  What I mean, as a quick review for those of you who didn’t read or have forgotten, I am as white as white can be in RL.  My ancestory is Irish, German, and English.  I don’t really have an ounce of colour in me.  However, when I was in my preteens, I began heavily studying the culture of Zimbabwe, and other tribal African cultures… and I just fell in love.  I roleplayed as a Gorean Mamba in SL for the better part of 4 years and just had fun with it.  When I came into modeling, I let a few wannabe instructors convince me that pale was the only “right” way to be in order to model.  Sequoia debunked this myth and encouraged me to embrace what I feel I want to represent of myself.  And thus, I went back to my darker skins.
However, with my experience in the Colour of Couture walk on Saturday… I definitely had to do some soul searching and determine if THAT kind of operation is something that I want to be associated with.  First of all, I knew two of the judges in particular, and I knew I was screwed the moment that these two entered the sim.  I will always be the first person to admit that I am not a certified model… yet.  Yes, I have a certificate from Steele’s old school, because he HAS been privately training me (which people LOVE to treat like it’s nothing… “You’re not certified by an academy so your experience and private training doesn’t mean anything to me.”).  However, I am also enrolled at Amici.  So I might not be certified YET, but I am in the process.  But, before I enrolled at Amici, I interviewed for an agency with these same two judges.  I was told to prepare poses and a walk, have all this stuff prepared.  I came in in my modeling shape, which was just over 7 feet tall… which is within in the window.  But because I was still a head shorter than the woman, it was determined that I was “too short” and the woman proceeded to stretch my shape to nearly 8 feet tall.  Then it was determined that the skin I’d bought from Skin Fair made my face look too much like everyone else, and made me lose the unique quality of my face.  I was not even allowed to walk for this agency interview… after having spent the 24 hours prior finding the poses, editing the prims to be sure the poses worked, and piecing everything together… I was not allowed to walk for the agency interview and was told to come back when I was certified.  So, as soon as I saw these two people on the judging panel, I knew they were not going to take me seriously.  And because I know how they operate, I knew they would not bother to take a moment to look into my profile and see if I had taken steps TOWARD taking their advice and trying to BECOME certified.  So yes, I was screwed before I even started.
Still, I had hope.  As I cammed on a lot of the models that walked… a vast majority (admittedly more than I expected) had poses that were all kinds of a hot mess… they had prims that were cutting into each other and into the avatar… some had a gorgeous dress and then decided to pair it with cheap, horribly made jewelry.  So I still had confidence.  I will admit that I looked good, I had quadruple checked my prims, and my poses, and my walk.  I had everything perfect and ready to go.
Then the Finalist list came out.  I was not on it.  Was I shocked that I wasn’t on it?  Not particularly.  However… a few things did shock me.
First of all, the thing that was really easy to notice is that it was not a Top 15, but a Top 16.  That was actually a little encouraging.  Sequoia had mentioned judge’s cards, so I assumed actual scoring NUMBERS were being assigned to each model (which, to make sure that it’s fair and not political based on some completely unethical system like, oh, say, voting) and perhaps there was a tie and they didn’t want to break it, so they let both through.  It was encouraging… at first.
Then, as I looked down the list, I saw two people… TWO PEOPLE that deserved to be there.  Other than those two particular people, it was a list of all those models who were a hot mess in their poses, who had prims cutting into their bodies, who missed the mark… one of which was so far forward on the runway I was afraid she’d fall off… lord, it was like other than those two people, I felt more like it was a list of who DIDN’T make it.
And then I saw it.
I saw one name that I didn’t recognize from backstage.  And then I realized that this particular Finalist never walked with us.  She sat out in the audience with the judges and watched all of us walk.  Now things started to make sense.  It wasn’t Top 16 because they didn’t want to break a tie.  It was Top 16 because they let this woman have a free ride into the Finals.
Now, some of you who are like I used to be are instantly trying to justify reasons why she could’ve made finals without walking.  “Maybe she had an RL commitment so she did her walk early.”  Well #1: she was there the whole time, and #2: it was made very clear to us that there would be ONE day to walk, and that was April 6th.  So if she couldn’t make the scheduled walk, she should not have applied… and if something had come up last minute, then that’s the way the cookie crumbles and she should have been withdrawn.
Basically, what it all comes down to, once more, is personal politics and cliques.  And unfortunately, this seems to be the largest community of women of color in SL.  So I had a moral dilemma on my hands… do I continue to attempt to express the culture that I love in the only medium I can express it in, and risk being seen in association with an organization that allows personal politics, rather than ethics, dictate the results of everything that occurs?  Or do I disassociate myself with that community and stifle that piece of myself again until such a time as I can find a more honest community?  Unfortunately, due to the fact that I do have morals… and a conscience… I had to go with the latter… and so now, I am back to being pale.  Which, don’t get me wrong, I love my pale skins, I love the makeup options that I have this way that may look ‘awkward’ on darker skins… and I *do* still enjoy styling my pale skins.  It just sucks that it took less than a month for my dream of finally being able to express pieces of myself around women who not only understood and related to it but EMBRACED it… to be destroyed in the puff of smoke that used to be referred to as ethics and honor.
I have to wonder if everything in the SL fashion industry isn’t going to come down to a moral conflict.  Are there any ethical and honorable people left?  Well… I do know the answer to that, and it’s YES… they are just few and far between.  I happen to be lucky enough to have found a gathering of them at Amici.  And I’m sure I’ll devote an entire blog to the mushy emotional stuff I feel about my Amici family, and dedicate myself to the mission of making Cara and CJ cry… but I think I’ve rambled enough for the night… or morning.  And I need some sleep.
*~* Just Your Stereotypical Femme Fatale *~*
 
Shape: My Personal Shape
Skin: Alys Wonderland blonde brow Fairy (Group Gift): Al Vulo
Eyes: JABU Eyes – Light Blue: -DAMNED-
Hair: Mily – Candy (adjusted via color HUD): ploom *~* mesh *~*
Body Tattoo: Death of Baroque: Hebenon Vial
Makeup (Eyes): Kiss Me To Death – EyesMakeup: -DAMNED-
Makeup (Lips): Voluptuous Lip Junkie – Lipstick 2: [the Skinnery]
Makeup (Tears): I’m Not Feeling Well – Tears Tattoo: Izzie’s
Eyelashes: My Perfect Eyelashes: -DAMNED-
Nails: Long Metallic Nails (Past Collabor88 item): Izzie’s
Facial Piercings: Beast [Ink]: Hebenon Vial
Outfit Top (Collar/Sweater/Shirt/Armwarmers/Armbands): Sabotage: AdN
Outfit Bottom (Shorts/Stockings/Boots): Mystic – Midnight: AlterEgo
Guns: MAC10 – Both holsters with straps: Breach