Is A/anybody out there? Can Y/you take this weight of mine? Is A/anybody out there? Can Y/you lead me to the light?
i don’t like talking much about my dad. i’ve told the story in here of how he died/how i found out about it… and i’ve told a few stories about him generally – especially when it comes to ways i’m like he was… but otherwise, i don’t really like to talk about him. Tbh, it’s still really hard… 5 years later, things like his birthday still make it feel like it was yesterday.
I wanna see You again But I’m stuck in colder weather Maybe tomorrow will be better Can I call You then?
To Whom It May Concern:
I’m not an easy person to get close to. Hell, I’m probably not even a GOOD person to get close to, though I can point You in the direction of a few people who might argue with me on that point. I’m torn. I want to be close to people… I want that bond, be it a close friendship or a romantic (of sorts) relationship… but at the same time, in the spirit of self-preservation, I push, and push hard. Every time I end up close to someone, I always end up hurt.
So, to avoid being hurt, I just avoid being close.
Looking back, I’m sure You can identify the times in which I felt the closest to You. The times that I was most afraid of You. I pushed back hard… arguments, fights, for zero reason at all. Randomly lashing out at You for stupid shit. Yeah, those moments make a bit more sense now, don’t they? It’s a defense mechanism. Hurt Them before They hurt you. Make Them give up on you.
Because if They give up on me… then I don’t have to be the one that hurts them when I move along. They simply believe we are not a good fit. Or, I believe, as a past Master put it, “we’re not as compatible as we thought, I think.” No… we are. I just pushed hard enough to make Him give up. Am I proud of myself? Not at all. It’s probably the most polar opposite of a slave that I can be… because it’s taking that control back and using it against them. Influencing their actions.
Then again, I believe I’ve told You at least once before, I’m pretty sure I lost my slavery a long time ago.
When Kimmie died, and later when Rya was released, she and I had a long talk. About Men, Masters, Collars, Submission, Slavery… all of that. Rya and Kimmie had grown so close over a shared perception of their purpose in life: They were not meant for permanent collars. And the more she and I talked about it, the more I began to recognize those sorts of feelings in myself.
I’m not meant for a permanent collar. I’m not meant for the ‘perfect bondage’ described in the books, with one Master and one slave being each completely what the other needs. No matter how much I WANT that… I am not that.
I am the filler girl. The in-between. The one that occupies Someone’s time until what they truly want comes along. And I suppose that with the gypsy-like heart that beats within me, that’s ok. Because they will give up on me and move on to what they truly wanted, tossing me aside, and I’ll move along to the next person that I will be the in-between for.
Now that’s not to say that I serve any less. Never. I serve with nothing less than my full heart when I am in a collar… and perhaps that’s the problem. Knowing that I’m not meant for permanence… knowing that I’m the in-between, the filler… and yet still putting everything that I am into my service. It means that I am positively torn apart when I am tossed aside… like all that I did was nothing. Like all that I AM is nothing.
And that… is a pain that I don’t think You can appropriately imagine, without having been there.
This likely wasn’t what You wanted… when You gave me the task to ‘make something’ inspired by purple. The outfit was styled with You (and with purple) in mind. This letter… I don’t know. You told me to fight, and I guess in some way I am. I’m fighting to show me. The real me. Not the ‘good little slave girl’ that I can be when I’m just trying to get by. And not the pushy, defensive me that I can be when I’m afraid.
I’m still afraid. I’m scared to death. Of You. Of being close to You. Of anything having to do with You. But I fight it. Every moment of every day, I fight it. Because there is ultimately nothing that I enjoy more than the feeling of being close to You. Near Your boot.
But I wonder, where were You When I was at my worst, down on my knees And You said You had my back So I wonder where were You When all the roads You took came back to me…
Alright. Today, I’d like to talk about a concept that seems to elude some people in Relay Nation. This is not a new problem that I’m observing this season… it’s been present, at least in some form of fashion from a few individuals, in the entirety of the 4 years I’ve been involved in RFL of SL. (Also, I use ‘entirety of the 4 years’ not as some proclamation of accomplishment, that I’ve been involved for 4 years. In fact, I wish I’d been involved for the other 3 years I’d been in SL and didn’t know RFL was here. I use my 4 years in RFL of SL as a benchmark for how long I’ve observed some of these problems, and some of these egos.)
Let’s start with the first glaring problem that has been on everyone’s radar for the entirety of its existence: The Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back Top DJ Competition.
What was originally irksome to me, the first two years, just looking at it from the outside and not actually attending any of the rounds to see them… is that kiosks MUST be set to The Relay Rockers team. Keep in mind, for those who don’t Relay, there are so many teams within Relay, and not all of the DJ’s that participate in the competition are from the Relay Rockers. So while, in most any other event, a DJ would be allowed to set a kiosk to the team of his/her choice, during this particular ‘competition’, they are REQUIRED to set it to the Rockers.
And for awhile, I justified that in my head. “Well, they are working hard to organize the event, so it makes sense that they benefit from it in some way.” Though selfless acts do still exist in society, folks, I promise. But I can see the justification behind wanting a bit to show for your efforts. So I could get on board with that. Though, of course, then I started thinking of ways to be fair to everyone involved. Give the DJ’s the choice of who to set their kiosks too, but be sure that there is a Rockers kiosk nearby, that people should show their appreciation for the event in general. It wouldn’t count towards the DJ’s total, but it would be a monetary way to say, “Hey, thank you for this event. I appreciate the work you’ve done and want to help your team as well.” The ways to be fair to both sides began to become clearer in my head… and the more I thought about it, the more the one-sidedness of the event began to irk me. But I didn’t feel I had the ‘right’ to complain, because I had not attended any of the rounds to see how anything looked/was run.
Some of you who have been following my blog for awhile might’ve remembered another post I wrote about this competition as well, posted here, after last year’s ‘finale’. I’ll get to that.
Last season, dual-team kiosks came out, and I was SUPER excited. Because, in my mind, it fixed the biggest issue I had with this competition. Dual-team kiosks allow you to do what their name says: set a donation kiosk to benefit 2 teams. Donation amounts are split equally. If I have a dual team kiosk set up between Hands, Hearts, Hope and the Goreans (like I did for a dance event I hosted last year), and a L$200 donation comes in, then L$100 is credited to Hands, Hearts, Hope, and L$100 is credited to the Goreans. In the event of odd numbers, the kiosk alternates who gets the extra linden. So the first time a L$25 donation comes in, Hands, Hearts, Hope would get L$12 and the Goreans would get L$13… and if another L$25 donation came in, then Hands, Hearts, Hope would get L$13 and the Goreans would get L$12. They are scripted to be as fair as possible to both participating teams, no matter which is listed as ‘Team 1’ and which is ‘Team 2’.
To me, this solved the problem that I saw in the competition. A DJ could set out a dual-team kiosk and half their donations would be credited to a team of their choice, if they happened to be representing another team, and half would go to the Rockers, the hosting team, to show appreciation for their efforts. A god-send, right? Yeah… it didn’t happen like that so much.
Last year, dual-team kiosks were not utilized… and that was an incredible disappointment. As Tech, I was asked why they weren’t, and I couldn’t say. I had no idea why a team would not utilize a tool that would make an event the caliber of the competition fair to all involved, and as all-inclusive as possible. It was entirely beyond my scope of understanding, and I had to say the one thing I hate saying as Tech Support: “I don’t know.”
The other part of what I saw last year that I could only see by actually BEING at the event… The Rockers seemed to have a very clear agenda in who they supported and promoted, and who they didn’t. Which, at first reading of that statement, one might think, “Well that’s perfectly normal. They of course want to support their team members, like you would want to support yours.” To a degree, that is true. However, when it results in unequal promotion in neutral groups by the HOST team, a NEUTRAL party in all competing rounds… when mysterious anonymous challenges come in for certain DJ’s that they are attempting to push ahead of others… including several sudden and mysterious anonymous challenges in the finale round that resulted in a previous winner claiming the title again, over someone who had done nothing but DJ his heart out, who deserved it… it becomes an issue. And an irksome one.
These mysterious challenges didn’t come in all the time. They were busted out when it appeared that their ‘preferred’ people weren’t going to be able to raise the amount to move forward, or to, ultimately, win. My response to that? Gods, guys, who cares? We’re raising money. Sure, it’s a ‘comeptition’, but only because you advertise the event that way. Who cares if one person raises L$400,000 and the person whom you want to win only raises L$300,000. Sure, your ‘favorite’ didn’t win, but that’s STILL L$700,000 going to Relay for Life… all in the name of your team, I might add. The underhanded tactics that seemed to be used to push particular people over others just further muddy the waters of the integrity of our Relay. And when you mess with the integrity of Relay in SL as a WHOLE… THAT, I have a problem with.
Run your individual team events however you want to. Use whatever promotional tactics you want to. But when you are in the public eye with an event like that… with so many people outside Relay being brought in to support their favorite DJ… and you give them THAT first impression of what our Relay is about? Then I can’t keep quiet. Then I have to stand up and say, “Dishonesty, deceit, and underhandedly tipping the scales ever in your favor to further your personal agenda is WRONG.”
To any who have been harmed by the running of this event… I can only apologize from relayers like myself… who sincerely hope that you will continue to Relay with us, regardless of that horrible first impression. I spent many a night after last year’s finale worked up to tears… over how many relayers were lost… and how many future relayers were lost… because of how upset people have been. When we have Captains on the verge of advising their team members not to enter this year because of how it’s been done in the past. When we have Relayers who view it as not an event for Relay, but an event for that ONE particular team, to stroke egos and line kiosks… when it appears to have nothing to do with Relay or raising funds as ONE TEAM… it breaks my heart. And I can’t sit back and let it happen anymore.
At least… I can’t sit back and let it happen anymore if I want to keep a clear conscience.
Despite the number of heartbreaking nights that I spent in tears trying to work it out in my head… trying to figure out a way to help assuage the hurt and the damage that has been done by this purely self-serving event… I still held out hope for this year. That it might be different. That peoples’ anger might speak to this team. That dual-team kiosks might serve their purpose. That the hosting team could remain a neutral party involved in logistics only. And that personal agendas could be put on the back burner in favor of a ONE TEAM centric event to benefit RELAY FOR LIFE OF SECOND LIFE… not to benefit solely the Rockers.
Especially when we received word during the off-season that the dual-team kiosks were going to be allowed and utilized more this year. I’m wiggling in my chair thinking, “Yes! ONE TEAM! GOOOOO RELAY! It’s finally clicked in.”
And then I pull the notecard from the group one day, out of curiosity, and find the following line:
6. Competitors who are a registered member of a 2015 Relay For Life of Second Life Team MAY, at time of application, REQUEST a dual kiosk for their Preliminary round ONLY.+
*Sighs* So it appears that everything we were told in the off-season were just to assuage anger and unruffle feathers that were APPROPRIATELY ruffled. Telling us what we wanted to hear, so to speak, so that we wouldn’t continue to question and push the fair way to conduct such an event on those who are organizing this, now clearly, self-serving competition. Notice the emphasis in this particular statement: “REQUEST”… implying that such a request may or may not be granted at the discretion of the organizers. “ONLY”… not implying, but outright stating that dual-team kiosks may not be used throughout the competition… to be fair to EVERYONE participating… but will only be used during the Preliminary round. “Oh, you can represent your team during your preliminary round, but if you make it through, sorry, you have to do all your fundraising for us.”
Come on guys, where is ONE TEAM here?
And as if we need any further emphasis of the lack of ‘one team’ here, the statement is repeated further down the notecard:
****There will be no Dual Kiosks used during any final rounds****
My question to this? Why not? I mean, coming from Tech Support, there is positively no difference between how the original donation kiosks operate and how the dual-team kiosks operate, other than how I stated before: They equally split even donations between the two teams, and they alternate the extra linden back and forth between two teams for odd donations. Other than that, there is fundamentally no difference between the two kiosks. They even LOOK the same. So why would dual-kiosks not be used during Quarterfinals, Semi-finals, and Finals rounds?
Think about it. The final two DJ’s will DJ once during their preliminary round, once during quarter finals, once during semifinals, and once during finals. You mean to tell me that if one of those DJs is from a team other than the Rockers, they can benefit their team ONE time out of the FOUR times they will DJ? Where is the fairness in that? Where is the ‘ONE TEAM’ in that? Why would dual-team kiosks not be used throughout?
I just wanted to make it PERFECTLY clear, from the Tech side of things, my standpoint is that the failure to fully utilize dual-team kiosks throughout ALL rounds is completely absurd. There is no fundamental reason why you wouldn’t, and why you shouldn’t, use dual-team kiosks for those DJ’s who may elect to do so for their team throughout the entirety of the competition: Preliminary, Quarterfinal, Semifinal, and Final rounds. Kiosks fairly split donations evenly. Kiosks continue to show the full kiosk total, so there are no math concerns. Dual-team kiosks simply allow for a bit of a DJ’s hard-earned fundraising to benefit THEIR OWN team. That is not too much to ask for. In fact, that is something that should be joyfully accepted and accommodated. Yet, for the Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back Top DJ Competition, and for the Relay Rockers, it’s not.
And that’s sad.
In other, more positive news, Skin fair opens TOMORROW, and this morning/afternoon I’m bringing you the new skin from 7 Deadly Skins in 2 of their tones. The skin itself is called Temperance, and what REALLY sold me on this skin was the freckle details in the pictures I’ll show you below. There are versions with and without Freckles that I was passed. Though, in the pictures above, I wore my Slink Physique body (not my preference, but the skin didn’t have Maitreya appliers) and there is not, to my knowledge, in the pack I received, a body applier for the freckles.
As you’ll see in the picture below when I zoom in on the freckles, they do not stop at just the face. I took my mesh body off to show the freckles that are on the body as well. Mesh body appliers for the Slink Physique unfortunately do not have that option. Though they DO have a cleavage and no cleavage option for the upper body, just like the base skins themselves do.
Temperance, by 7 Deadly Skins has appliers for the Slink Physique body (hands and feet appliers are included on the body hud, in separate buttons, so if you need only those appliers, that’s where you’ll find it) as well as appliers for Lola’s Tango breasts, in both cleavage and non-cleavage versions. But, again, body freckles will not appear on Lola’s or Slink appliers.
Overall, I love the way this skin fits my face shape, and I’m a sucker for good freckles, so I may find myself wearing this around more often. I can only hope that maybe if I bat my eyelashes enough, there might be Maitreya appliers in the future, and freckle body options! ❤ (*Skin Fair SLURLs being withheld until the opening on the 13th, per the request of event organizers.*)