Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I was suddenly and involuntarily unplugged from all my vices last night. I had no phone, no tv, no internet. Hmmm you know those very attractive discounted "packages" that the cable company offers? Well, caveat emptor should be written in red across them. One glitch and wham! you are cut off! Now, we all have lost our internet connection at some point. Sometimes we've had cable tv outtages and now that I've made the switch to cable phone, now I have to add phone issues to that list. But, problems with all three? At once? No, that's a first.

Ok, I took a deep breath. I live in a black hole with limited cell phone service. No towers or something I've been told, but "they're being built." Uh-huh been waiting for 4 years and not a new tower in sight. So anyway, I have a few hot spots around my house where the cell will work--like a foot above my head in the middle of the living room, near the rear window ledge and across the street. Oh yea,practical, especially when its near freezing temperatures outside. But, I had no choice.

Operator number 1 could care less about my predicament. Her attitude said it all. The best that could be done was sending a repair tech 3 days from now. When I made a fuss she said she'd "call me back" after she looking into what could be done. An hour passed, no call back. Well, I'm sort of the impatient type so I decided to take matters into my own hands and called back. I got Operator number 2. She seemed a bit more interested but assured me that nothing was wrong on my account (well I knew that already!) so I'd just have to wait. When I protested a bit more vocally that surely they could do a systems check on their end, she transferred me. Operator number 3 at least volunteered to do a systems check. Now remember I'm on my cell and the minutes are ticking away on my basic calling plan. I was put on hold while they "checked" for nearly 30 minutes listening to horrid drive-in style music. Even as the minutes ticked away I was hopeful.

Then, the lights flickered on my modem! All green at last! But, as fast as they turned green, they shut off again. It's my modem the technician declared. However, he then told me that the technician would be out "tomorrow morning between 8am-11am." After being first told it would take 3 days, this news sounded good to me! Now, what to do with all the time in between? It was only 7pm, cold and dark outside...

I discovered my laptop had games. I played chess, solitaire, mahjong and hearts. I really wanted bejeweled lol The computer beat me at all the games over and over again. So, I decided to watch a DVD on my laptop. It was great! I loved hearing the movie through my headset. It was all in my head! One movie later I was quickly growing bored. After a few more games of chess I was frustrated AND bored. Sleep sounded like a good way to pass the time...

The next morning everything was still off. My fantasy that things would miraculously "right" itself by magic were not fulfilled. So, I waited for the technician to arrive...and waited...and waited. Hmmm 3 hours later I called the cable company again. I was told I did not have an 8-11am window, I had an all day window until 5pm! No way. Now, I threw a hissy fit. Ok, not a real hissy fit but a stern "I-am-not-a-satisfied-customer" rant. I even threw in mention of Verizon's Fios cable alternative for added effect. That didn't work either.

It was time for the big guns. I demanded to speak to a supervisor, who of course was busy and would call me back. Uh-huh mister, I've been promised that before! Well, long story short the supervisor did call me back and he took names and promised to make heads roll. Now we were talking! He gave me just enough empathy and validation to make me say "viva cable!" Well, almost lol Supervisor Man promised that the technician was amazingly in my neighborhood. Oh really? wow! And no one knew that before? Even more amazingly, he'd would be knocking on my door very soon...

And about 5 minutes later he was! He said he'd be back in 2 secs. He disappeared outside and then returned. All fixed, he declared. Oh? but you haven't seen my modem, I frowned skeptically. No need he said, your service had been turned off, just like a few other neighbors.

Ooops. Someone had flicked a switch and turned off our accounts. No apology, of course. I'm supposed to just be grateful I'm plugged back into the world again....

Now, where was that Fios advertisement?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy 2nd Rez Day to Me!

November 16, 2007 was the night I first signed on to Second Life, not knowing what to expect or not to expect. Good thing because I landed in a volcano hub! I had no instructions, had no idea what to do or not to do so I sat...and sat...and sat. Still, something fascinated me enough to draw me back the next day and the next and the next...but still I was in that dreadful volcano. I noticed people appearing and disappearing but I had no idea where they were going or how.

I wonder why I kept coming back. It probably has something to do with making things a quest not if mastered quick enough. The "failure is not an option" mantra comes to mind lol

How I eventually got out of that volcano hub is another story. But suffice it to say I did and went off to discover a whole new world. Alice, finally found her way past the rabbit hole!

I'm glad I did keep coming back though. 2 years and many adventures later, many houses later (dare I even count? could I even count them?) a long history of friends (some still friends, some not, some left, some drifted, some parted ways), work from RL now in SL and of course finding my wonderful partner, I find SL is very much like RL. Nothing is constant in RL...nothing is constant nor predictable in SL. It's really all a parallel world no matter how you slice it; not perfect, sometimes bumpy but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I look forward to another great year! viva SL!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm baaack!

So many weddings, so little time! In the mad, whirlwind world of Second Life love is definitely in the air! Just like in the real world, weddings in SL are as unique as the people saying their vows.

In the past few months I've been in 2 weddings as maid of honor. One was held in a castle high in the sky, the other on the edge of a cliff in an elegant, traditional setting to rival any in the physical world. I've attended lavish weddings and simple ones on the beach with only a few guests. One wedding was abruptly cancelled on it's eve with only the cryptic explaination of "technical difficulties." It was not rescheduled and I noticed that the pair were no longer partnered shortly thereafter. Yes, even in a virtual world couples get cold feet.

But, by far the most fun wedding was our own! Bo proposed on one knee on the balcony of our island home on September 24, 2008. I had expected it at some point but despite knowing that it would eventually happen, I was nevertheless very emotional when the moment actually came to pass. In fact, I was so excited I said yes before he even asked! Fortunately one of us had the presence of mind to focus. "Let me ask you first, darling," he reminded me patiently. Well, oookay....geesh, details, details lol

What followed in the following days was a fun, albeit sometimes frustrating hunt for a church. We had both decided that we wanted a traditional wedding with all our friends witnessing our union, complete with an officiate to marry us with vows, a blessing and a full works reception. In other words, the whole enchilada.

If anyone has planned a wedding in real life, it's about the same. Couples still have to discuss and agree and make decisions. What type of church, what type of ceremony, traditional or personalized, Christian or civil, chapel, church or cathedral, music, flowers, color theme, bridal party, tuxes, dresses, bouquets and boutonnieres (or button holes as they are called in Europe). And, that's only for the church. There's also the reception, DJ and music selections, first dance song, to throw the bouquet and garter or not, cutting the virtual cake (yes) and the best man's toast. Needless to say, there was very little time to go dancing (although we did manage to plan "nonwedding" days to keep ourselves from getting frazzled).

Everything actually fell into place fairly easily for us at first. It only took a few days to find "the perfect church" which also happened to have "the perfect reception" area. Plus, they also happened to have the date we wanted open! The very last time slot! We grabbed it. With that booked and done, we could breath a collective sigh of relief and enjoy the next few weeks of engagement plotting out the other wedding details.

Ha, as they say the best laid plans...As it happened, Bo and I were Best Man and Maid of Honor for a couple's upcoming wedding. Because the European way is to not fuss over your own impending wedding until a friend's wedding is over, we didn't mention the date nor our plans to our friends. That is, until the night of their bachelor/bachelorette party when, I could hold it in no longer and blurted out that our wedding invitation would be arriving shortly and to make sure it was opened outside because it was quite large (a major understatement). When I said the date it quickly became known there was a "problem." Uh-oh our intended Best Man was going to be out of town! Big uh-oh. So we had to quickly decide if we wanted to change the date --that is, if the reception place had an opening for the night before. The good news is that they did--the last spot again but it could be ours. The bad news was that because it was now a Friday night instead of Saturday, many of our friends would not be able to attend because of time zone issues, including a long time friend who had offered to DJ our reception.

We weathered all the challenges with a humor, patience and lots of love. Little did we know that one of the biggest challenges was still ahead of us--the quest for the perfect wedding ring set! In SL hours are like days so to say we spent days and days looking for wedding bands is no exaggeration. I think we visited every jeweler in SL and saw every possible ring set. Then, we finally decided...or so we thought. I exercised my female prerogative to change my mind and so the hunt began again. I'm glad we did. I love my wedding ring set and wear it proudly. It was worth every minute of the hunt.

My wedding dress had to be perfection. No, it had to be beyond perfection. I found the perfect gown very early in the search but of course I kept on looking...and looking...and looking. I think I tried on every gown demo in SL but I kept coming back to "that" one. I thought about it and realized it just needed a few extra customized touches and it would be my perfect dress. So, I contacted the creator at Adiva Bridal and asked could she do this and that? And, amazingly she said yes. Now, if you knew how rigid and/or finicky most SL designers are, this was no small feat. I asked her to add long, fingerless opera gloves. Done. Then I asked her to add a ring of crystal flowers around the waistband to match the headpiece. Done. I had my perfect creation!

In the end, on October 24, 2008 Bo and I exchanged vows in front of over 25 friends at the church at Fanatasia Island. Our attendants were Simon, Charlie, Cirrus, Apache, Anna and Gen. Our first dance song was supposed to be "The Power of Love" by Celine Dion but the DJ goofed up and played "Falling Into You" instead. It's a beautiful song but we've decided at our 1 year anniversary to have a recommitment ceremony and have "The Power of Love" officially played as our song. Wouldn't that be lovely? Maybe Celine Dion will be in SL by then :)

So, that's what I've been up to. I've lots more to report, more fun times, more events and lots more memories. Stay tuned as my SL journey continues!

<--Puglet (USA) & Jim (Australia)'s wedding Oct 2008

<-- Our wedding Oct 24, 2008

<---first dance

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17
God's GPS