Friday, April 8, 2011

Let the Waters Lift Us

It has been almost a month since an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, causing massive damage, staggering loss of life, and an ongoing nuclear disaster - not to mention countless aftershocks hampering relief efforts.

I've put finger to keyboard several times to try to put down my thoughts on it, but nothing I have written comes close to adequately say what I want to express about it. For some things, there just aren't words.

Since this event, there have been amazing responses - both good and bad, both in the real world and in SecondLife. As it normally happens, catastrophes bring out the best and worst in people. Personally, I can't understand any human response to what is happening in Japan other than absolute compassion.

Several benefits sprung up in SL seemingly overnight to try to raise money for relief efforts, including the Pacific Crisis Fundraiser, the Help Japan Fundraiser, and Project Fur Japan. So many creators donated their time and content to raise money, and I am grateful for each and every person who did something to try to help.

It has been a month, but the need does not wane, even if our attention might. Here is a reminder of how you can help directly to organizations offering relief in Japan.
  • The American Red Cross. Using your cell phone, you can text-message donations of $10 to the agency. Text the letters REDCROSS to 90999 to make the $10 donation, or visit the organization's website.
  • The Salvation Army, which has had a presence in Japan since 1895. In Tokyo, the Salvation Army "opened its main building to help shelter commuters who were unable to reach home. They served hot drinks and packed meals," said a spokesperson. You can text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts.
  • Doctors Without Borders, an international group, already has teams working in Japan. The groups notes it is "drawing on unrestricted donations" given to it to fund its efforts, and "we are not accepting donations specifically earmarked for the recovery efforts in Japan. We greatly appreciate your generosity and encourage your support of our work. We will continue to post updates on our homepage, Facebook and Twitter as new information becomes available." To donate, call 1-888-392-0392.
  • The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is raising funds to help children in Japan. Donations accepted at website, or by calling 1-800-367-5437.
  • Mercy Corps  is "accepting donations to help survivors of Japan's earthquake and tsunami through our longstanding partner, Peace Winds Japan." Donations will go to meeting the "immediate and longer-term needs of the survivors," a spokesperson said. You can text “MERCY” to 25383 to donate $10.

 For animal relief:
  • World Vets (veterinarians) offers veterinary aid around the world in collaboration with animal advocacy groups, veterinarians abroad, other governments and military organizations. The organization has a Japan Disaster Relief Web page where you can donate.
  • Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK) says it will accept care of as many quake-tsunami related homeless animals as it can. Donations can be made at the website using PayPal, and money contributed will be used specifically for that, the organization says.

If you're wary of donating to any charity, the Better Business Bureau has information on how to give responsibly. Also, the Charity Navigator is always a good resource when considering how to help causes you believe in. (I seriously wish there was one of those in SecondLife!)


Dress: Agnes Finney - Agnes Blessing for Japan (for Project Fur Japan)
Hat: Vita's Boudoir - Cherry Blossom Bonsai Hat (for Help Japan Benefit)
Jewelry: Alienbear - Kitty Cyrus Collection (for Project Fur Japan)
Poses: Adorkable, Exposeur, Gesticulate/Status - (Posers Unite package for Pacific Crisis Fund)

Hair: Bliss Couture - Cecilia, Vanille
Glasses: Wrigglesworth - Cat Eye Glasses

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In a peep of trouble!


I was on my way to Wilmur's house to fetch whatever was left of a 20-pound bag of sugar he had borrowed from me yesterday when I heard his excited yelp.

Oh, the sight when he threw open his door!

"Auntie Edith, just look at my newest invention! Can you believe it? I'll make a fortune! Why this could end hunger as we know it! Or better yet, I could create an entire army of Peeps!"

 Before he could come up with any more grandiose plans, a grotesque gurgle bubbled out of the creatures, and they multiplied before our eyes!

 Just as I was wondering if these creatures were docile, one lunged at me! Thank goodness for Wilmur's catlike reflexes! He took that Peep right out!

The ground shook and another, louder, gurgle erupted behind us. We turned to see the mother of all peeps growing before us! Boy was it mad! Surely it was out to seek revenge for the toppled peep that lay at Wilmur's feet!

Between us, darlings, I was glad I had my adult diaper on - I was so frightened! I knew we were done for! Thankfully, Wilmur kept his wits about him. He dashed into the house, grabbed his still lit bunsen burner, and threw it on the hoard of Peeps descending upon us.

Soon, the once frightening Peep army was nothing more than a bubbling pool of gooey fluff! I made Wilmur promise not to try to create another army of Franken-peeps. I'll certainly think twice before I lend him sugar again!


Goggles: BlakOpal - Safari Expedition Goggles
Jacket: Soap - Scientist Coat
Shoes: HoC - Men's Formal Dress Shoes
Socks: Pig - Argyle, Gabe
Pants: Avid - Moonlight

Hair: Bliss Couture - Deanna
Dress: Donna Flora - Melba
Shoes: Donna Flora - Sofia (free!)
Glasses: Donna Flora - Brenda, pearl
Necklace/Earrings: Donna Flora - Amalia
Rings: Paper Couture - Diamonds and Pearl, Leather Blossom
Hat: Split Pea - Nobody Broke Your Heart (FLF for April 1st! It's so lovely!)

Poses: Adorkable Poses - Poodle Pack (really full of sweet poses - but they work well in times of terror, too!)
Peeps!: Adorkable's free Spring gift in the main shop! They are wonderful - go grab them!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Lovely Parade!

So good to see you, darlings! It's been such a long time!

What's that? Oh darling, really - you shouldn't listen to petty gossip! All of Wilmur's arson charges were dismissed once they saw what actually happened!

You see, my sweet nephew noticed that my rezday was very near the rezdays of two of my closest pals, octagons Yazimoto and Corksoaker Gloom. They decided a parade was in order, but not just any parade! A parade with wonderful floats!

The first float was made my our lovely friend Katharine Mcginnis.

Isn't it colorful? Don't look too close, though, or you'll see how macabre it really was!

It looked like such a happy, charming float before the rabid, blood-soaked bunny and the impaled noobs were discovered amongst the bright, cheerful colors.

For her float, octagons went above and beyond - literally! I can't tell you how floored I was when she pulled THIS out of her inventory!

Isn't it marvelous?! She even made Sammy Davis, Jr. Jr.! One thing is for sure, we never lost where she was on the parade route!

That creative girl also made a giant Wilmur float, but it was TOO large to maneuver!

There is even one of his beloved kitties on his shoulder!

Wilmur's float was quite stunning too! There was just one problem, as you can see.

He put so many sparklers on the cake that it lit the presents on fire! The arson wasn't intentional, of course. He's not that sort of lad! Oh darling, how sweet of you to worry! That isn't really me dancing up on that cake, but a cutout of me! I was in no danger whatsoever, and enjoyed the parade from the sidelines.

The parade was quite spur of the moment, but was so much fun! Yes, dear I too hope there are more parades with spectacular floats in the future. If you're interested in participating in this Just-for-fun-and-giggles event, send me a notecard! If there's enough interest, perhaps we can have monthly themed parades on different obliging locations!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pirate! --part one--

Captain's log #489

Life these past few weeks while stuck in port have been such a bore! Oh sure, the nightly drunken parties were charming at first, but after awhile it grows tired on my nerves. How I long for the creaking of waterborne wood and the stinging smell of antiseptic as the crew and I fight off scurvy.

I'm not the only one starved for adventure. My crew lazes about, drinking while awake until they just pass out again. Morning maneuvers are becoming more difficult, as most are hung over and can't tell hull from rudder. At this rate, we'll be a sad example of her majesty's fleet when next we take to open water.

Captain's log #490


An urgent note from the Admiral arrived this morning. An unnamed threat has been attacking supply ships and must be stopped! Countless crimes against humanity and other lifeforms have been committed. Only wreckage and ghastly clues remain from the scenes, and no one is able to identify the criminal responsible. I feel a tugging deep in my mind. Could it be....? No, perhaps it is just too much rum.

The sound of my alarm greeted the sunset and immediately my crew began scrambling. My lovely ship, the H.M.S. Samantha Davis, Jr.Jr. seemed eager to stretch her legs. Before we even had a chance to unfurl her sails, she began inching out into the harbor.

My first matey Wilmur scrambled up to the crow's nest to have a gander at the crew's progress. He took a look behind him and gasped, reaching for his inhaler. What sight befell his veteran eyes to cause such a response?

My arch nemesis, Octy von Yazi on her mighty ship, the Corksoaker!

So, it really wasn't the spirits! As soon as I read the Admiral's description of the heinous atrocities, I knew it could be none other. She has a reputation of the most despicable kind - a heartless, merciless, kitten killer of a pirate!

What a coincidence that she would come into port just as I was leaving to search her down. Or was it?

A blood-curdling shriek arose from her throat as she saw the Samantha Davis, Jr. Jr. She jumped on the side of her ship and yelled, "Arrrr! So finally we meet again, Captain Edith O'Gelby! Finally I will have my revenge on ye and this port shall be smeared with the remains of ye and yer crew!"

Her ship pulled alongside mine with such haste, we barely had time to arm ourselves before her miscreant crew had climbed aboard and attacked. Wilmur had his hands full with von Yazi's ruthless first mate, Killer Kath McGinnis - a heathen so corrupt and guileless, anyone who came up with a better nickname for her perished under her blade before it could be uttered.

I, however, didn't waste time on the small fish. As every hero does, I pushed and slashed my way through the hoi polloi until I got to von Yazi herself. With a hellish shriek, I engaged her. We fought in every crawlspace and hold of the ship, as control of the battle was passed back and forth like a holy eternal tug of war.

Finally, on the high topmast, we were far enough away from the commotion below to exchange banter.

"Dandy legs you have there, Octy."

"The finest mahogany, thank you. I made them from the chair of the last captain I slaughtered."

"I have to admit, they do give you intimidation points. One would think you'd thank me for taking both your legs!"

Fire flashed in her eyes and she lunged. I wobbled, almost falling, and I cried down to my first matey below: "Wilmur! For the love of everything holy, release the weapon!"

"Aye-aye, captain! The weapon is released."

I turned to my rival and gritted my teeth. "Now, Octy von Yazi, we shall see how well those wooden legs can serve me as well as you! Behold! Her Royal Majesty's beaver!"

With a yalp and a screech, the desperate pirate grabbed a rope and swung down to the deck, leaping into an escaping rowboat of her comrades. As her tuck-tail cohorts made rude gestures and yelled threats and insults, Octy von Yazi climbed to the bow and crowed back, "We will meet again, Captain Edith O'Gelby, and perhaps then no beaver will help you!"

Oh, how the crew rejoiced! Cheers and hoorays quickly drowned out the jeers from our retreating foes. How convenient, everyone decided, that we were still in port where there was a healthy supply of drink with which to celebrate our victory with!

As the crew started to disembark, I called them back sharply, adjusting my hat with resolve. "We may have won the day, lads, but not the war! Now get back on this tub and get her sea worthy! We have a pirate to catch!"

To be continued?

(To keep my already long story posts from being painfully longer, credit details are in the comment section below, or you can find credits to specific pictures on my Flickr Page. A directory of SLurls can be found here.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Age dwells in despair,
in disappointment,
in pangs politely called experience.
It does not walk with shame,
covering Its face to hide,
skulking in shadows
of desolate alleyways.

Rather, it flaunts,
brilliantly frocked,
wrapped in hungry regalia -
the beauty of sapped innocence.
With pomp and swagger,
It parades the streets
waving to throngs
of no one.

The others who find themselves
in this brief, dreary place,
are inside out:
contained in their sadness,
instead of it being
contained in them.

They feel through,
instead of think through,
their loss, their regret,
their missteps and mistakes.

They only know
that they don't know:
where they are,
how they got here,
or how they will get through.

This is Age's prey,
this learning youth -
shocked by bitter pills,
disrobed, birthed bare,
new eyes bleary, blinking,
the desperate, sighing,
failing heart.

This dove is Its quarry
and It comforts,
pleading and promising:

"I know where you are.
I know how you got here.
I know the way through.
But, I must be paid."

Permission granted,
Age draws near,
compelled and confident,
its vestments of memory
to taste and absorb
this feast before it fades.

Grasped too hard,
the sacrifice trembles,
petrified, paralyzed from
steely clasped fingers;
and with sudden recognition
of what will be lost,
and scared of unknown
reconsiders too late.

Pitiless, ruthless,
knowing it hurts to heal,
Age drinks.

In a hiccup of time
containing all gravity and none,
Age drinks.

Of willing fruit,
ready to fall and rot,
ready to seed and start again,
Age drinks.

Sated for the moment,
Age allows the flush
to seep in and renew,
feeling the intoxication
of what life before Despair is like.

Capturing the remembrance,
It weaves every thread
of it into Its garb,
before the constant thirst
forces forgetting
and Age must hunt again.

But what of the crestfallen?
The berry, harvested and juiced -
what has become of her?
Is she but husk of skin,
used up and discarded,
flotsam and jetsam
on the tide of time?

No, she has risen -
up and above -
wiped away the grime
of tears and shame.

She stands now
with Age inside,
for though It took away
the freedom of naivety
It also gave her
the grace and warmth
of Wisdom,
whose armour is far more comfort
than the fleeting allurements
of youthful beauty.

And so she travels
beyond Despair,
with eyes forward and up,
and though she is cold
and ill-dressed for weather,
she will find her way
from the map that Age has lent her.

She will endure.


(Dresses featured are from Miamai. To keep my already long story posts from being painfully longer, full credit details are in the comment section below, or you can find credits to specific pictures on my Flickr Page. A directory of SLurls can be found here.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mission 1: The Contact (A Double-O Dame Adventure)

Ah, the misty throes of dusk - when Bill and Jane Normalperson have finished their Salisbury steak TV-dinners and are settled in for a night of Law and Order reruns. Not all are comfortably numb on their sofas, or in front of their computers trying desperately to get into the Truth sim. No, not all. Not me. Not the Double-O Dame!

At this shadowy time of night, when small, fragile creatures huddle into their burrows and the fierce predators begin to stalk, this is when my work begins.

Tonight's mission: liaise with a contact from the notorious DMA crime syndicate. Lives were threatened and many hats were lost arranging this most secret of meetings. The Agency would not leave it to a rookie to carry out this mission. No - only the best would see it through. Only the Double-O Dame.

What would be learned? Was this a tryst.. or a trap? Would we finally know the name of the mastermind behind the ring of heinous criminals? Would we discover the motive and full scope of the DMA's secret HAT campaign? Would we finally know what DMA stood for in the first place?

Soon, hopefully, I would have some answers.

The smoke of his cigar mingled with the heady scent of his oiled Italian leather shoes - a stark contrast to the dark, dank abandoned subway he insisted we meet in. My guns drawn in anticipation, I listened to his breathing around the corner. A gruff whisper cut the silence.

"Has the beaver badgered the bologna?"

"The salami remains intact."


"Ah, they sent the Double-O Dame."

"Only the best for you, mister..."

"You may call me Harris Pilton. Do you have the requested payment."

"I have payment, although how much depends on what you are offering, Mr. Pilton."

"Only evidence to blow the entire DMA organization sky-high."

"Show me yours and I'll show you mine."

"Wait... what was that?"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blip: When it rains, it pours ... and pours and pours and then, of course, it floods!

Unless you've been living under a rock, darling, I'm sure you've heard of the horrible flooding that has been happening in Australia over the past month. Three-quarters of Queensland has been declared a disaster area. For perspective - that's as big as Texas and California combined, and an area the size of France and Germany combined remain under water! Many have died. Many are still missing. Hundreds of thousands are stranded.

In Second Life, friends gather from all over the world. If you've been here even for a short amount of time, at least one person you've met has been affected by this ongoing disaster. Sanura Sakai of the Home of Sanu has organized a special Extend a Helping Hand Event, aimed at raising money for the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal, which will be used to assist those affected by the floods. Many vendors have donated items where some or all of the proceeds go to this fund.

At this event you'll find everything from shoes to skins to gowns! I'm wearing the Mavi dress donated by Miamai for the event. There are even items for the young men! Wilmur is modeling a fine cardigan donated by Young Urban.

Being safe and dry far from where so many aren't, it is easy to feel unsure of how one can help. This is one small way that you can. More information about the Extend a Helping Hand Event can be found here, and to follow what is happening with the floods, you can go to the official Queensland Government flood website here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Day at the Shore

Good afternoon, darling! Oh, so good of you to notice! Yes, I am all aglow, aren't I? Tut dear, of course it's not love - just a day at the shore!

It's been such a stressful winter, my nephew Wilmur and I were in danger of losing all our cheer. Why, last week, I went four entire days without wearing a hat! Can you imagine?! Surely, a small holiday would get us both back in fine form.

As soon as we arrived with our trunk, the healing rays of the sun and the frothy crash of the surf began to sooth our ruffled souls.

As the concierge handled our trunk, Wilmur and I enjoyed a lovely brunch. What did we have to eat? The best no-calorie pastries and mocha I've ever tasted! No, I'm sure it was all calorie free. The waiter said so... something about the salt air interacting with the sugar, blah blah blah. I'm no chemist, darling! I don't understand how it all works - I just have faith that it does! 

As Wilmur called to confirm a tour reservation, I eyed the beach. It's been ages since I felt sand between my toes... in my fingernails, in my hair, in my ears, in my mouth, and everywhere else - mostly where it isn't wanted.

Just as I was second-guessing the whole beach adventure, Wilmur burst from the telephone booth in his swim trunks, let out a whoop, and ran down the boardwalk to the water's edge, completely ignoring my warnings about swimming so soon after eating.

Ah, the call of the sea! Has anything ever inspired the hearts of men more?

By the time Wilmur was finished swimming for the day, ("Look, Auntie Edith, my skin is almost as pruned as yours is.. only all the time!"), it was time for us to get ready to head to the lighthouse for our tour. Wilmur was quite brave and took the stairs to the very top!

Tosh, of course I wasn't scared to go all the way up! It's Sammy Davis, Jr. Jr. He has a fear of heights, you see. I couldn't just leave him, scared and trembling, as I went on without him! No, I was content to stay on the lower deck, enjoying the view.

After our tour, Wilmur and I separated to have some alone time. I'm not sure what Wilmur did, but I'm sure it was exciting! Bungee jumping? Sky diving? Who knows?! He's such a thrill-seeker!

As for me, I enjoyed just sitting under the tree, chatting with a handsome new friend. Tut tut, darling - what happens at LISP and Art Dummy stays at LISP and Art Dummy!

It was a such a lovely day. By the time Wilmur and I met back up for the early bird dinner, the sun was low in the sky. As we sat and watched it sink below the horizon as we waited for our taxi, a tinge of sadness tugged at my heart. It really was a shame to leave such beauty behind. But then I remembered all the lovely frocks and hairpins at home, and knew I was returning home to beauty. A different kind of beauty, perhaps, but beauty all the same.

After all, one can't simply sit and marvel at the natural beauty of the world all the time. It is just as important to share the experience and inspiration of that beauty to those around us - through art, music, hats, or in many other countless ways. That way, when our days are dark and our cheer has left us, we can always dig into our memories and remember what we saw and how we felt, and allow ourselves to again be moved.


(To keep my already long story posts from being painfully longer, credit details are in the comment section below, or you can find credits to specific pictures on my Flickr Page. A directory of SLurls can be found here.)