Saturday, December 26, 2015

Not the Easiest Christmas Ever

But at least it's over, right?
2015 hasn't been the best year... my sweet father attempting suicide, losing Hugh, losing my best friend, the death of my brother. It's been a year of incredible loss for me.

I feel like I've had the absolute shit kicked out of me this year. And, yeah, I might be having a bit of a pity party right now. I think I'm due one.

Today was incredibly rough. I've never been a huge fan of Christmas as an adult... hell, even as a child, really. Being the youngest of eight, my childhood Christmases were full of hearing stories about these magical Christmases when all my siblings were younger... by the time I came around, they were all moving out on their own, starting their own families and their own traditions. It's also the time of year I associate with my oldest brother committing suicide. He didn't actually do it until February, but I remember the chain of events that started at Christmas... and it's my last memory of him. I was only 10, but it's etched on my soul forever. Oh, not to mention 3 out of 4 of my grandparents died in December.

As a non-Christian, or heathen if you grow up in Kentucky, I certainly don't celebrate the holiday as the birth of the son of God, since I don't believe that. And, let's be honest... Jesus, the man, wasn't born on December 25th anyway. Really, I'd just rather not have to be a part of the whole Christmas thing, but it's impossible. You simply cannot avoid it. From music on the radio, to every freaking ad, to all the events at work - and if you try to distance yourself from them, you get labeled as a stick-in-the-mud.

This year, even knowing it was going to be an especially hard one, I did try to summon up some Christmas cheer and participate. I did the Secret Santa at work. I went to my brother's house to celebrate the day (which is a whole nother bunch of angst I'm just going to leave alone for now). Hell, I even put up not just one, but TWO Christmas trees in SL. Hung stockings for me and Hugh... until I got dumped on my ass. Then his came down... and it was just sad.

I missed him today... a lot. Kept wanting to try to reach out to him... just to feel some connection, but there was none there. I hoped for a Merry Christmas email that never came, of course. It hurt. It still hurts.

And I feel badly for feeling so hurt and so blue... because I do have someone new in SL. And even that is causing me a bit of angst instead of the joy I should be feeling by having a new love. I want to be able to shake of my sadness over losing Hugh and just enjoy this amazing man who has dropped into my life. This incredibly wonderful man who understands that I'm still in love with Hugh, even though I'm also falling in love with him. And should I feel guilty for that? For falling in love with someone else when Hugh and I just ended?

Also, I can't share much about the new man because of previous drama in his last relationship. Even though they have broken up, and were broken up when we got together, just to stay out of the drama that is sure to follow we're keeping us secret. And that makes it feel like we're Doing Something Wrong when we absolutely aren't. Both of us should be free to move forward together, and there is a big part of me who's thinking to hell with the drama or repercussions and just let it all out, but... god, who wants to deal with the drama? Who has the energy for that? I don't, and I don't think he does, either.

I just want to put Hugh in a special place for very special, happy memories and be able to give myself, completely, to this new man as he deserves. I want that. I really, really do. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself... what Hugh and I had was beautiful and we were together for a very long time. We didn't end because of a fight, or because we fell out of love. We just couldn't be together anymore. I should cut myself some slack... I can't be expected to get over that, over him, in a week or two.

And I shouldn't feel bad about falling in love with someone else. It's fast, yes... but I fall in love fast. I always have... I always go all in. I've never been good at holding back my heart.

Yes, I'm ready for 2015 to be over. I'm proud of myself for still standing at the end of this really horrible year. I've wanted to crumple up into a little ball of sorrow and just cease to exist many times... but I'm still here. I want a fresh start, a fresh year, to make things better - for myself and for those around me that I love.

I'm tired of being tired... of being blue. I need some things to change. I want my joy back, damn it.

I'm ready for 2016.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Picking Up the Pieces

Okay, well... I got that bit of anger out of my system.
I knew, deep down inside, we weren't going to be able to make things right again. I was just stubbornly refusing to admit it.

I love Hugh, and wish him nothing but happiness and love. We had an amazing ride... our time together was a beautiful gift.

I don't hate his wife. She's certainly not my favorite person, but I don't hate her. And how can I blame her? I'm not party to the intimate workings of their marriage. That is something Hugh protected, and kept from me, for the entirety of our relationship. We spoke very little about it out of an abundance of respect for her, and for their real lives together.

From the little I know, she's a good woman. She has to be... he loves her.

And so I wish them both well. I hope they work through this and find their bliss with each other.
As for me... well, I'm doing okay. I can't quite say I'm great yet, but I will be. It hurts to lose him... to lose the friendship we've built.

But I'm cautiously moving forward.

I've made a new friend. A new lover.

Yes, it was fast. But for all intents and purposes, I've been alone since September. That's when the missus found out about me, and Hugh and I have had very limited contact since then, and certainly no sex. He became a monk immediately. Any attempts at flirting and seduction were met with distraction and redirecting on his part. Though we tried to maintain something, it wasn't the passionate love affair we'd been having for the previous year and a half.
I know I want a relationship again. I love being part of a couple. I love giving my love to someone else and having it returned.

It's far, far too early to be using the big L word with this new person. We are both coming out of long term relationships and are treading very lightly. We're taking our time to get to know each other, to be friends and to be the person we can talk to about our mutual heart breaks.

But holy hell, he's a sexy motherfucker. Our first time together was last night. He knocked my socks off and it felt so good to drown in someone again. To feel sexy and desired again. To be touched and held and loved but good. The kissing, the feel of new hands touching me. The taste in my mouth of his cock, the intimate feel of abandon and release as he slid inside me, marking me, taking me.

Oh, how I've missed that.
It's not going to be easy. We both still very much love the people we're trying to leave behind. I'm not looking to replace Hugh. What we had was unique and beautiful and us. I won't taint the memories we made by trying to slide someone else into his place. And my new lover deserves to be taken on his own merits. He isn't Hugh... he's him.

We may crash and burn... I just don't know yet where it's going and I'm not going to try to force it into being anything. I intend to let it grow and flourish at its own pace.

I'm still shedding tears over my loss... our loss, because I know Hugh is feeling it as acutely as I am, even though we no longer speak or have any contact. There are certain songs that send the tears streaming down my cheeks... words and phrases he spoke. Reminders of what once was surrounding me.
But I've no choice but to pick up the pieces and move forward. My smile might be a bit shaky, but it's there. I had everything I wanted... and now I don't. There's nothing but to let myself grieve that loss, and rebuild in my own ways and time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bare Fingers

Well, the email finally came tonight.
The one I've been expecting for a couple months now.

The one I hoped would never actually come.

The last email from Hugh. The one where he said it was really and truly over and we wouldn't speak again.

Ever.

I can't say I was surprised... but I still wasn't prepared.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be doing. I read the email twice, cried twice. There have already been so many tears these past couple of months. I don't want to cry anymore, even at this finality.

I immediately jumped on my computer and started erasing all traces of him... hid the emails, the photos. I know not to delete them. Someday the pain won't be so bad and I'll be able to look at them again.

Logged into SL. Took down all the photos, sent Opus (his horse) back to him. Took him off my profile. And the final two, utterly devastating things... I removed his rings from my fingers, and I defriended him.

Shit, I'm crying again.

I once thought I'd leave SL when Hugh and I ended, but I'm not going to. I need it.

I'm angry. He got to say his final words to me... I didn't get to say mine to him. I didn't get to say goodbye. I gave him nearly two years and I didn't even get to say goodbye.

I hate her. His wife. I'm told she harbors no ill will towards me. Oh, but god, I hate her right now. I know that it's anger and I don't really hate her... can't blame her... but god, I hate her right now. And I DO blame her. You fucking cold bitch. If you didn't want your husband to cheat, you should have been down on your knees sucking his dick. Fuck you. I know you read this blog. So fuck you. Fuck you for what you took from me, from him. Fuck you for being a shitty wife. And from how it sounds, you don't plan on doing a god damn thing to be a better wife now. You're just going to keep being a frigid bitch and make him miserable. Fuck you.

You win. You have everything. I have nothing. Congratulations... and fuck you.

What's next for Beth Macbain? I don't know. I will always love him, but I know I won't always be in love with him. Right now I want to punch him in the nuts. Fuck you, too, for being her doormat. You deserve better.

That's all I have tonight. I'm sure there'll be more as it sinks in... that I will never have another conversation with him.

But right now... it's just pain and anger. A lot of anger.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Boxes

Once upon a time, like yesterday, there was a woman. 
A fine woman. Intelligent, strong, thoughtful. Busy.

She was a very, very busy woman and as such, she accumulated a lot of stuff. 

Big stuff, little stuff, important stuff, annoying stuff, happy stuff... lots and lots of stuff. Being a fine woman, an organized woman, she began sorting her stuff and putting it all in boxes.

And she sorted every box, and carefully labeled every box. Some were marked "urgent", some "not-so-urgent", some had a big sticker that said "to be dealt with"... but there was one box, one very special box, that she labeled "My Most Precious Thing". And inside that box was just that... the one thing she held most dear to her heart, one thing above all others.
It was a beautiful box that she put her Most Precious Thing inside. No ordinary brown box would do. It was a fancy box, covered in sparkles and ribbons and brightly colored bows. No one seeing that box could mistake it for anything other than what it was - her very most prized thing. Her Most Precious Thing.

She put the box in a place of honor. Someplace where she could always see it, where she would always know it was there. 
And then she set about dealing with her other boxes. So, so many boxes! She dealt with the urgent ones, going through their contents, sometimes sorting them into other smaller boxes, sometimes solving the puzzles the boxes held and discarding them before moving to the next box. Sometimes she'd have to deal with what she could, then put things back inside their boxes. Some stayed labeled "urgent", some got relabeled "to be dealt with" or "not-so-urgent". 

This took a lot of time, especially since there were always new boxes arriving. They, too, had to be labeled and sorted and dealt with. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months... months to years. Boxes, boxes everywhere. She was up to her ears in boxes. They filled her house. The porch. Her attic, her basement - all full of boxes.

And her special box - her most special box - sat there, unopened. The box containing her Most Precious Thing. She knew she needed to check on the contents of that box. What was inside needed special care, after all. It needed nurturing, needed to be nourished and reassured that it was indeed her Most Precious Thing. 
She knew this, but there were so many other boxes - so many urgent boxes. And she could see her special box, sitting there, unopened, and she knew it was fine. Oh, yes, she had her eye on the sparkly box, but she just couldn't stop taking care of all those other boxes, especially since she could see it right there and knew her special box with her Most Precious Thing was okay. 

Wasn't it? It was still sparkly and pretty, the ribbons and bows were still vibrant and beautiful and she knew the box was protecting and shielding her Most Precious Thing. 
So she carried on, opening and sorting and dealing and reboxing and relabeling all her stuff. She accepted delivery of new boxes and made room for them.

Years passed, and one day she found herself with a tiny window of time. A few quiet moments with no new deliveries and all her other boxes stacked properly, though teetering, for just the briefest moment of time and she decided to take her special box off the shelf, open it up and check on her Most Precious Thing. 
That's very odd, she thought as she lifted the box into her lap. It doesn't weigh as much as I remember.

She realized that though the box looked just fine from the front, the view that she saw every day, the view that all her visitors saw, it had begun to disintegrate. She, rather reluctantly if truth be told, pried the lid from her special box and gasped.

Some of her Most Precious Thing was gone. It had spoiled... gone rancid, for the most part. Not all of it, but a damn good chunk of it had festered with neglect and simple decayed. 
She blinked a few times. She felt certain her Most Precious Thing could be made whole again with some TLC. She'd had it for so long... she was so comfortable knowing it was there, safe, in its special box. She'd grown so confident in its presence, so completely assured that nothing could ever happen to her Most Precious Thing.

She had taken it for granted. 

She'd simply assumed her Most Precious Thing was safe inside its special box. It showed no outward signs that it was rotting away. She couldn't be expected to see through the sides of the special box, and her Most Precious Thing certainly hadn't made its difficulties known to her. It hadn't peeked its head outside the box and said "Hey, I need to be tended, too. I need to be dealt with and sorted!" 
How could she be expected to know her Most Precious Thing was falling apart? 

She got angry. She shoved the lid back on the special box and pushed it back in with the stacks and stacks of other boxes. After all, more boxes were being delivered now. And they were marked "urgent"!

Her Most Precious Thing should be able to take care of itself. It had years to get used to it. It had gotten too big for its special box, she decided. Thought it deserved something better than the wonderful special box she had made for it. How ungrateful! How very selfish of her Most Precious Thing to not appreciate its beautiful box!

Her Most Precious Thing had always been there for her. Stalwart and strong and faithful to her. How dare it go and get all needy on her?
There was something else she didn't realize, though. Her Most Precious Thing was actually pretty damn happy in its box. It was comfortable in its special box - no, more than comfortable. It was content and it was at home in its special box. Oh, and this Most Precious Thing loved this woman. This very busy, very intelligent, very wonderful woman who tended so many boxes - because her Most Precious Thing understood. If she didn't tend to those boxes, those urgent boxes, who would? And they did have to be tended. Her Most Precious Thing was proud of the woman. It was honored to be in her special box and honored to be her Most Precious Thing. If truth be told, there was nowhere her Most Precious Thing would rather be than in her special, sparkly box. 
It just needed a little something more than she was able to provide, what with all those other boxes that needed her attention. Those parts that had disintegrated... well, they weren't actually gone. They'd left the special box for a bit, yes. It didn't intended to, but the box was falling apart and it spilled out a little bit. This little bit of Most Precious Thing found itself floating in the air, in the ether, for the first time in many, many years. And in the blink of an eye, it found itself in another box, one without a lid. It could settle into this box and make itself comfy for a little while before floating back home to its own special box. And the owner of this borrowed box was a woman who also had some other boxes, but not quite so many, and she made this little open box her own very special box for the time this little wayward bit of Most Precious Thing was inside it. 

This other box-tender watered and pruned and dusted off this tiny part of this Most Precious Thing. She knew it wasn't hers... a Most Precious Thing can only truly belong to one person, as a whole. There were rules. There were truths. Incontrovertible truths, written not in stone, but in wurtzite boron nitride! But still, she loved this small piece of Most Precious Thing. She missed it terribly when it went back into its special box, with the sparkles and ribbons and bows. 
She understood that it had to, but it saddened her so. Not just that this little piece was gone from her boxes, but because she could see that it was still starving, because the woman had slammed the lid down on it again, enshrouding it in darkness once again. The woman was still angry, and her Most Precious Thing settled into its special box, frayed and broken and decaying, to wait once more. 

Nothing was happy now. Not the woman, not the other box-tender, and certainly not the Most Precious Thing. 
But there were boxes to be opened. The woman, through gritted teeth because she was still angry, tossed vague assurances at the sparkly box, with its ribbons and bows, that it would be dealt with and sorted, eventually. 

But there were boxes to be opened.

And life went on. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Is this the real life?

Is this just fantasy?



I've had occasion recently to think about what I must seem like to a person reading this blog who not only doesn't know me, but doesn't know Second Life.

I know people sometimes stumble upon this site and take a gander... just like people who aren't avatars find my Flickr feed and follow me. I always wonder why, and it's my practice not to follow them back, even if they take lovely photos.

For me, this is all about Second Life.

My real life is pretty out of sorts... no more, and no less, than anyone else. We all deal with things, stress, family, work, job, relationships, money, and any of 100 trillion other things. And we all choose to deal with it in our own ways. Hobbies, for instance. Some people knit. Some play sports. Some read, some prop themselves in front of a television for hours.

I "play" Second Life.
Yes, the character I've chosen is very similar to RL Beth in a lot of ways. I do try to stay pretty true to myself, on the inside. Physically, I certainly don't look a thing like SL Beth... maybe when I was in my early 20s, but certainly not as 46 year old RL Beth.

I think of it a bit like playing adult Barbies. It's fantasy... I play dress up, I play house. I play some very adult themes. It's fun... it's a goofy escape from the real world. When I log on, for a bit of time, I get to forget my family issues, work issues, all the personal issues that I have to deal with on a daily basis just by the nature of being an adult.

But I'm very well aware where fantasy ends and real life begins. Even as I type most of these blog posts, I'm usually logged in because I'm being Beth Macbain. The friends I've made in Second Life know a lot about my real life, as I know about theirs - as far as they're willing to share with me. But once I'm logged in, I'm SL Beth, not RL Beth. What happens inside Second Life doesn't spill over - much - into the real world.

I say "much" because there is some, of course. When you become friends with someone, you care about them, online and offline. But there is a very definite limit as to how far that goes. I used to blur it a bit more because I would occasionally talk on the phone, or do voice chat in SL but I stopped doing that a couple of years ago. I found that it destroyed the illusion. When you start putting a real life voice to a character, things get too complicated.
I had the chance about a year ago to travel to meet a couple people I met in SL. Musicians. Completely PG, I was just going to go hang out while they jammed. One of them I'd even talked to one the phone a couple of times... I remember it well because when I answered the phone, she said "OMG, you really are a chick!"

Anyway, I flat-out chickened out of that meeting. I didn't want to meet anyone from SL in my RL.

I don't want to meet anyone from SL in my RL, and that includes Hugh - tenfold, actually. It would probably surprise most people to know we've never even talked on the phone. We established very early on in our relationship that there were lines that we were going to stick to no matter what, and we have. Our thing was strictly SL. Yes, that included emails... but those emails were always between SL Beth and SL Hugh. We shared RL stuff, but our relationship was firmly planted within the confines of SL and that's the way we both wanted it.

Neither of us were, or are, in any position to change a thing about our real lives. Beyond that, neither of us want to change a thing about our real lives. We're both pretty darn happy with where we are in life. No boats need to be rocked. We both needed something... that little escape from RL... and we found it in Second Life and with each other.

Which, I suppose, leads me back to my original point. What would a... er... regular?... person think about me by reading this blog?

It's hard for me to say because I think there is such a dichotomy between my words and my photos.

My photos... as I said, SL is a bit like playing grown-up Barbies to me. RL Beth does NOT have SL Beth's body. RL Beth would not pose nude or wearing lingerie. No way, no how. I don't want to scare people!
And it's fun to be sexy as fuck in these virtual photos of a virtual girl. I do think there is an artistry to it... something I practice and am constantly learning new things about. A hobby within a hobby? And it's very much part of the character of Beth Macbain. She's a very sexually liberated, open-minded woman. RL Beth is, too... on the inside. It's not something I play out in RL. It's been so long since I've had actual sex with a real life human being I might as well be a born-again virgin. I'm old. I'm a fat middle aged woman who is too damn tired at the end of the work day, or work week, to bother with exploring any kind of real life sex life. I come home and change into my pajamas immediately. And they aren't sexy pajamas, either. Any make-up that I haven't already rubbed off during the day gets scrubbed off. Hair gets piled into a messy ponytail. I curl up on the couch to greet the cats and start chain-smoking. I eat something wildly unhealthy and check Reddit and Buzzfeed and Facebook. I play some games on my iPad while listening to the news in the background. Eventually, I'll either log into SL or find something on Netflix to binge on.

I go to bed later than I should, wake up tired and do it all over again. Take care of my elderly father. Deal with family drama. Do my job. Buy some groceries. Go out to dinner with friends or family every once in a while, but since I'm a huge introvert, I'd always really rather be at home, in my pajamas, with the cats.

And logging into Second Life to escape my completely satisfactory, mundane, generally happy life. And I get to be this exotic form of myself... this sexy beast with a sexy boyfriend and we dance and do sexy things together and both just de-stress and decompress and relax for a bit and forget about the real world and all its inherent things we have to deal with.

It's funny, because I very much judge the people who play SL as children... child avatars. I think I've blogged about it before... I can't remember. But it creeps me out. No matter what they say, what the reasons are, it creeps me out. But I have heard many times that some use it as a sort of therapy. Maybe they were abused as children and use SL as a way to relive their childhood, but this time they have the power to make it a happy childhood.

I've often wondered what a psychologist would think about that.

And yet I've just realized that I use SL as a form of therapy. I feel good about myself in Second Life. I feel confident and in control... and I realize that when I log off, some of that confidence comes with me. I feel like Beth Macbain for a while. I get to view myself as someone who has everything under control and it sends me out into the real world with a bit of that control. It does give me some strength to carry forth with whatever burdens happen to be around my shoulders for a while.

Is that healthy? I don't know. Maybe that's for another blog post to explore. I don't see how it can be anymore harmful than losing oneself in a book or a TV show. Hell, at least I'm not out LARPing (not that there's anything wrong with that, either).
SL Beth is definitely a part of RL Beth, but it's only one small part... and a part that I don't let bleed over into my RL too much.

But that's why I post the erotic photos. And sometimes the erotic words that go with them. But mostly the words are more... real life stuff. Issues happening in the world. Stuff that's on my mind that I need to stumble through and figure out.

Sometimes those words are about Second Life. There are certainly a lot of words about me and Hugh. And me and several other men before him. Those words are all about... god, I hate to call it a game, because I really don't think of SL as a game, but I can't think of another way to phrase it.

RL Beth isn't in love with RL Hugh... because she doesn't know him, and he doesn't know her. Yes, we know things about our real life selves but those are quite limited. As I mentioned, there are lines we just don't cross. In addition, I don't think either of us believes you can really know a person you've never met. I know I don't. SL Hugh is the guy I know and love, and I'm very aware that he's a character... and just like me, SL Hugh is a part of RL Hugh, but just a small part of who I'm certain is a very complex, complicated, quirky human being, just like me. Are those quirks things I could deal with in real life? I don't know. I don't want to know. I don't need to know.

That's not part of us. We both turn off our computers and cease to be those characters we inhabit in Second Life. And I would hope that anyone reading this who doesn't know Second Life, and doesn't know me, would realize or understand this on some level. We have this wild, outrageous love affair in SL that is always new and fun and fresh because we can make it that way because he doesn't have to see me picking my nose or stuffing my fat face in a vat of ice cream and I don't have to see him scratching his balls or cutting his toe nails. We're not there in sickness and in health. I don't have to deal with him when he has the runs and he doesn't have to hold my hair back when I've got the flu and am puking into the toilet.

All that stuff... the good and the bad... that goes along with being a real life human being, sharing your life with another real life human being. We don't have to deal with any of that. He can't hold me when I'm crying and I can't give him a back rub at the end of a long day. We can't curl up in bed together and discuss what we've got on our plates for the next day. We can't reach out to each other and give that reassuring touch that lets you know someone is there for you, just for you, for always and ever.

We only get this little fantasy world where everything is perfect... but perfectly unreal, too.

I have no idea if any of this makes sense to anyone but me... but it was something I felt I needed to say.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May your world be filled with peace.




Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fuck your Exclusives

So I'm a Belleza mesh body girl.
It isn't that I don't like the Maitreya body - I do. It's perfectly lovely. I even bought it. It's delightful... on others. It's just not for me.

And when I see an item for sale somewhere and it says "Exclusive for Maitreya", it says to me that this designer doesn't want my money.

What an odd thing! I have money, I want to spend money... but you don't want my money?

I don't quite understand what's going on. I know there are politics involved and I've read a few things here and there about the mesh body creators not giving out developer kits to every Tom, Dick and Harry that wants one.
I imagine there's a lot of "I'll give you my kit but you have to agree not to use so-and-so's kit."

I'm not sure why the designers are agreeing to this blackmail, if that's what's happening.

In my mind, there are 3 viable choices for the women's mesh body - Belleza, Maitreya and Slink. I know there are many others, but I count those as the big three. There's another popular one, but I don't include them because I think their method of doing business is scammy as fuck.

I don't know any of the creators behind those three bodies, other than a couple chats with Tricky Boucher of Belleza. I hear lovely things about Siddean Munro, but I've never spoken to her. Until the Venus came out, I was head over heels in love with my Slink hands and feet but don't need them anymore with the Venus. I don't even know who the creator is behind Maitreya... Onyx something-or-other?
I've read some troubling things, though. I have no idea what's true and what isn't but let me be very clear... I don't care.

I don't care.

I. don't. care.

Whatever politicking is going on behind the scenes, I don't give one single shit... except it's inhibiting my ability to spend money.

And I like to spend money.

I'm not a fashion blogger, I don't get freebies or gifts. I buy everything I have.
It makes absolutely no sense to me that the mesh body creators aren't handing out developer kits left and right. Sure, I sort of get that they want to maintain some quality control because there are some shitty ass clothing designers out there. But so what?! If people want to wear shitty clothes, let them. Money is money, right?

I probably should have tried to speak to some of the folks making these decisions before posting this. Tricky, Siddean, Onyx. And maybe some of the designers, too, to try to find out what is going on. Especially those who are designing the exclusives.

But again... I don't care.

I just want you to make clothing for my particular mesh body. And the other ones, too, so we can ALL spend our money and fill the pockets of the designers so they'll keep creating for us.

By designing exclusives, you're cutting out entire segments of the market that want to give you money.
And if one of the mesh body creators gets shitty about it and doesn't want to give you a kit because you won't agree to be exclusive, fuck 'em. If enough designers stand up and say no, well, that's going to be money out of the pocket of the body creators... few people are going to buy a mesh body that they can't shop for.

If it hits them where it counts, they'll stop demanding this exclusive bullshit. 

I'm getting sick and damn tired of going to event after event after event with my lindens clutched in my lovely mesh hand and not being able to spend them because of items designed for one particular mesh body. Why the hell are event organizers allowing those designers into their events unless it's an event specifically for that body? If your item isn't designed for the wider audience, stay the hell out of events.

Since you're so damn exclusive, your exclusive customers can go to your exclusive store and buy your exclusive items.
And I know it's a pain for the designers to have to create all the different sizes for all the different mesh bodies... but you know what? If you do, I will pay for it. Up your prices, if that makes it worth your while. When I find something that fits my body perfectly, I'll spend the money to get it. In several different colors even. Sometimes I'll spring for a fatpack if it's something amazing. So go ahead and charge what you feel is fair for the work you put in.

I want more clothes. I WANT MORE CLOTHES.

It's really that simple. I want more clothes and I'm willing to spend the money to get them.

Tricky and Onyx need to stop holding their developer kits hostage. I don't include Siddean in this because I've not noticed it so much with Slink. Just for shits and giggles, I tried to apply for a developer's kit from Belleza because I wanted to see what was involved in the application and agreement designers have to sign. But you know what? APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED.

What? WHAT? Why? Why the fuck are applications closed? In fairness, I checked out Maitreya and Slink, too. Maitreya and Slink both seem to have applications open but both make it clear that not everyone will get the kit.

What I really don't understand is why there even needs to be an application. Just let designers have the damn kits. 

Again, as a consumer, I don't give a single shit about the reasons. I just want to buy things. ALL THE THINGS.
The consumers are the losers here. Followed by the clothing designers. A couple of mesh body creators are holding all the cards.

And that's a damn shame, when the SL economy isn't exactly booming like it was a few years ago. These people are purposely inhibiting the market for their own selfish reasons, be it artistic or simple greed. 

But it's going to bite them in the ass. In the short-term, they may think they're doing the right thing by holding their developer kits. But if they're in it for the long haul, they are simply going to have to accept that there is, and will always be, competition. That's the beauty of the free market. 

There will always be those who choose the buy the cheapest things... or, that's all they can afford and that's fine, too. Not everyone has the pocket money to spend in SL on clothing. But in the same vein, there will always be those who will pay for quality. 

The mesh body creators are simply going to have to let up. The crappy ass clothing designers are already out there half-assing it by trying to make clothing without the kits. This just makes it look worse... the clothing looks shitty on the body and, in turn, that makes the body look shitty.
This dress... god. How many "designers" have bought this template, re-textured it and slapped it on the MP? I tried a couple demos and it looks awful - at least, it looks awful on me. And there seems to be hundreds of them.

And that makes the body creators look shitty because their logos are all over it. Since I can't find the original template maker's name on any list of official designers, I'm assuming he's just winging it without any official kit.  

So release the damn kits and let people figure it out on their own. I won't buy something without a demo. If it looks like crap, I won't buy it. Eventually, that's going to separate the wheat from the chaff. The bad designers will get left in the dust by the good ones... and the body creators will come out on top because more people will be buying their bodies if there is more selection in clothing. 

What can we, as consumers, do about this situation? I'm certain that any of the big creators would be most happy if we switched to their bodies simply because of the availability of clothing. 

I'm not going to do that. I love the way the Belleza Venus looks on me and I'm not going to be pushed into wearing different bodies like I wear different shoes just so I can wear something from an "exclusive" designer. 

I suppose all we can do is yell and hope they listen. 



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Life, Interrupted

Shit happens.
And I am soooooooo tired of shit happening.

I had a nice blog post ripping the mesh body creators all lined up and ready to go, but fuck it. I'm too tired.

You see, I was supposed to be on vacation this week. Remember, I was going to get my shit together and get back on track?

sigh

My beloved papa had a fall on Tuesday and fractured his hip.

He's going to be fine. Had surgery last night, got a few weeks of rehab ahead of him, but he's in good spirits (great, actually, with all the drugs in his system) and will kick rehab's ass to get back on his feet.

But it quite ruined my little vacation.

His care over the past couple of days, once again, fell to me. I am NOT angry with my father for this... no way, no how. I'd have been there for him even if I'd had to hop a flight from Mars to get to him.

My siblings, though... they didn't. And I'm mad about that, and I'm not. Two of my six siblings (that live out of town) took off on their own vacations instead of changing their plans to come be with Dad. One other did take the day off yesterday to drive up and be with us. One brother was out of town for work and came straight to the hospital as soon as his flight landed tonight, relieving me and giving me some much needed time away.
And my sister... oh, holy fuck. She was actually picking him up for lunch when he fell. He was walking out to meet her. She followed the ambulance to the hospital... and stopped on the way for a burger.

She was around a bit yesterday, but left before his surgery started.

Well, we thought she left... she tried to leave... instead we got a text from her 45 minutes later that she couldn't find her car in the parking lot. My brother found her out there having a complete hysterical meltdown.

She hasn't been back to the hospital since.

I guess I don't expect my brothers to have canceled their vacations... but they also knew I was supposed to be on vacation. Why wasn't mine as important as theirs?

And that's what gets me. It's just expected that I'm going to be the one to drop everything.

Because I will. For Dad, I always will.

And though I'm happy that Dad acknowledges that... and tells me regularly that I'm the best of the bunch... it burns my ass that it means he also knows that the others won't do that. I had to send them all a polite reminder today that he has his cell phone and maybe a call or two would be nice.

It's not that they don't love him... they do. They just take it for granted that I'll be there to take care of things.

And that is exhausting. Because while I'm taking care of him, who's taking care of me?

Me, of course. And that's fine. I'm used to it... but, jeez, would a little acknowledgement be too much?

I started to send them all a message yesterday just asking what they'd be doing if I didn't exist. Would Dad just be lying in the hospital in monstrous pain all by himself, or would they then somehow be able to change things up and make arrangements to be there with him?

I don't know because I didn't ask. Because I'm the good kid.

Anyhoo... I'm too tired to make much sense, and certainly too tired to write a meaningful blog post about anything.

In a weird way, though, this has all helped. It's a nice reminder of how strong I really am and how much I can take on my shoulders.

So since I have the night off, I'm just going to lie in this bath, and breathe for a bit. Recharge a little before I go back to the hospital tomorrow.

And pat myself on the back, because I am fabulous.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Goats

I had a completely different post written for today, but I'm going to save that for tomorrow.
These sexy as fuck pasties make me happy.
Check back for my rant about mesh bodies creators, clothing designers and developer kits.

Instead, I'm going to devote this post to things that make me happy.

You see, I received one of those random, out-of-the-blue IMs today from a gentleman who had read my last couple of blog posts and decided I needed his wisdom.

This blog is my journal. As I've said before, I use it to help unscramble the mess of thoughts floating around in my head at any given time. And being a mercurial human being, those thoughts change fast and often.

Lately, though, the subjects have swirled around the mess that is my relationship and my unhappiness and anger over the situation.

Firstly, I'm only presenting one tiny part of one side of a very complicated story. Believe me, there are many, many details about what's happening with me and Hugh that I've not shared publicly. And a lot of feelings and emotions I have that I'm sharing only with Hugh.

As for Hugh's side... it's not mine to tell. And I won't. It's no one's business except his, and those he chooses to share it with. I won't betray that trust.

And his side, and my side, are only parts of the whole of what is happening with us.

But anyway, this dude today told me I'm coming across as (paraphrasing here) bitter and angry. He said I talk a lot about things that don't make me happy, but not much about what does make me happy.

So I've spent the better part of today thinking about the things that make me happy. And I didn't write all this out for that guy... I wrote it for myself, and also to all my readers because I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression. I'm not a bitter, miserable person finding fault with everything around me.

I'm just dealing with some shit right now, much as we all deal with shit at different times.

So, anyway... things that make me happy.

Hugh, of course. Even with everything that is happening, he still makes me goofy happy. I like the guy. It's not only our big love affair and all the grandiose emotions that go along with that. I just like him. He's a neat fella and has lots and lots of admirable qualities that I adore. Listing them all would take over this blog. But I like him, I love him, and he makes me happy.

I'm pretty damn happy with myself, too. I like me. I happen to think I'm pretty fucking awesome. That's how I know my depression right now is situational. I'm not hating on myself one bit - I'm hating on some situations I'm involved in that are beyond my control. But me? Hell, I'm fabulous!

I have the world's best dad... he's 86 years (and counting!) worth of spitfire and determination and awesomeness.

I adore my kitties. I have a kick-ass family that has my back no matter what. I've had the same best friend for over a quarter of a century and no one makes me laugh harder than her. And she's there, every single day.

There are the obvious things that make me happy, like having a place to live, clothes to wear, food to eat. A job that I don't hate working with people that I love. Speaking of that, I have this boss who is just incredible. Working for her is the bomb-diggity.

My car is paid for. I have health insurance. I've got a monster of a desktop computer that lets me explore SL with ultra graphics and nearly no lag. I've got an iPad so I can lie on the couch and surf Reddit... or porn. An iPhone for when it's not convenient to use the iPad.

I live in a very safe area where I don't have to worry about forgetting to lock my door for one night. Neighbors that mind their own business. I have like a three minute commute to work - with traffic.

Aside from those things... well, there's chocolate cake. Plain chocolate cake. You just can't beat it. Oh, and chocolate chip cookies. Fuck yes. Mango. Brussels Sprouts and Lima beans. Pretty much any kind of pork, but especially country ham. Cheesecake. Jesus, people, CHEESECAKE.

A baby laughing is pretty damn awesome. The music of the Beatles, and my favorite band, the Fratellis. The existence of the goddess of everything that we all know as Taylor Swift. Christ, I adore her!

The Little Prince, and the Hitchhiker's Trilogy. Sherlock and Dr. Who. NETFLIX. Stephen Hawking and Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I'm big fans of theirs and their joyful exuberance of intelligence and learning. President Obama makes me happy, and watching Bernie Sanders shake up the presidential elections is great fun. I love politics.

A big old thunderstorm, the first flowers of spring. The beach... everything about the ocean makes me happy. Dandelions and daisies and wildflowers. Ladybugs and dragonflies. Lightning bugs in June.

I get super happy when I hear or read about someone doing something nice.

My comfy bed and sliding under the covers with my kitties curled up with me all safe and sound, and knowing there in the middle of the night, that all my loved ones are safe and sound, too. Everyone is asleep and no one is out on the road with drunk drivers, or feeling sick, or lying awake worrying about the world. Being on vacation this week and being able to turn over every morning and shut off the alarm and going back to sleep. Being able to stay up as late as I want.

Orgasms. Orgasms are good. But those orgasms where two souls come together, two souls who really know each other and know just where to touch, and just where to taste, and just how hard to thrust... oh, those make me really, really happy.

All the animals... all of them. But especially goats. Goats are the best animals (other than my kitties). I plan to own a goat farm in my retirement and be surrounded by happy, bouncing goats.

And that's just a really small sampling of things that make me happy. In spite of the situation I'm in with Hugh right now, and it does suck ass, there are a lot of things in this world (and beyond it!) that make me incredibly happy.

And as for that dude that IMed me today? You know, he approached me much in the same way Hugh did nearly two years ago - after reading some of my blog, they both decided to give me some advice.

The difference? The big ass difference? Hugh gave me support... I still remember his first words to me. They were words of encouragement. This guy? His first words to me were that I needed to let go. Knowing very little about me, nearly nothing about my situation other than what I've shared here, he thought it was appropriate to chime in without so much as a hello first to tell me I needed to get over it and move on. And then questioned why I was so angry.

Hugh was a solid rock of support from the moment we first spoke. Through every decision I made, every rock I stumbled over... For good or for bad, Hugh supported me and my decisions, even when he didn't necessarily agree with them. Because he supported me. And still does.

And that makes me happiest of all.

What am I doing?

I've found myself wandering from sim to sim to sim lately... searching.
Corruption
Mostly sex sims, I'll admit. I'm tarting myself up, parading myself about, hoping to find some sort of connection.

I don't know what I'm doing, or why I'm doing it. Loneliness, I suppose. I'm aching and empty without my partner, my companion.

So I'm trying to find something, anything, to fill that void.
Creamy's Spot
I had sex.

With a stranger.

Don't worry, Hugh knows. I've no idea what he thinks about it because I've not heard from him, but he knows. And that's part of the problem - I've no idea what Hugh thinks about anything.
Hot Wax
The sex was awful. Empty, cold, emotionless. Someone I didn't know, will probably never speak to again, will certainly never fuck again. I wasn't attracted to him, felt nothing for him.

But I fucked him just the same.

I faked it just the same. There was no arousal on my part. I was just typing words in between browsing Facebook and shopping on the Marketplace.
Teqi's
So why did I do it?

I wanted the flirt, the seduction. I wanted so desperately to feel something.

Wanted. Desired. I wanted someone to make the effort to make me feel warmth. Wetness. Not alone.

I still felt alone.
The Bower at Hollowtree
And yet I'm not stopping, even after the miserable experience of sex with someone I care nothing for.

I'm still wandering... from Teqi's, to Creamy's, to Corruption, to Hollowtree and Hot Wax. FMDs. The Fuckery. Naked. The Cyprian Garden. Even the Chamber. And I'm perving profiles and just waiting to be approached. (Am I missing anyplace? Where do people go these days?)

Few approach me.
The Chamber
I'm untouchable, and aching to be touched.

Is that fair? To anyone who might approach me? Who might strike up a conversation, a friendship? Anyone I might fuck?

Because let me be perfectly clear... the moment Hugh is back in my world, if that is ever able to happen, everything and everyone else will be dropped.
The Cyprian Garden
It's him. It's only him, it's always him. I love him. I am his, above and beyond all else, I am his.

And that is who I want to be. With him, joy is boundless, endless. Our bubble, our intimacy... it's perfection. He makes me a better human. The love is tangible and real and extraordinary.

I know I won't feel that with another man. I won't feel anything even close to it. And yet I don't stop. I keep searching even though I know what I want... but can't have.
The Fuckery
Life can be vicious and cruel.

Confusing, cold. Lonely.

When what I want, need, is out there... just beyond my grasp. Beyond my reach.

Is it getting easier? No. The tears aren't flowing anymore... I've cried them all. And what's left is just... emptiness. Anger. Despair.
FMDs
I'm not an unhappy person. I still smile and laugh. I see the beauty in the sunbeams. Puppy breath. A smile.

But I'm missing the person I share that with.

I miss him.

I miss you, baby.
Naked

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Not Broken - Just Bent

So... I've been going through a pretty rough time lately.

If you're a regular reader, you know I struggle with depression. It's mostly almost entirely under control with medication, but lately I've really been having troubles.
There are things happening in my life that I can't control. I know this is mostly situational depression, but it still sucks.

First and foremost, of course, are the issues Hugh and I are dealing with. There is still no solution, no remedy, nothing. And it's wearing on my soul.
God, I miss him. I miss what we had. Just being able to be there for each other... to make each laugh, to love, to comfort. I miss it so much. I miss him so much.
But even beyond that, it just seems there are problems popping up all over the place. We had a health scare with Dad that put him in the hospital for a couple of days, things are rough at work with some people that are causing a lot of negativity, I'm having a bit of money trouble, one of my beloved kitties is really showing her age and declining. My hard drive got fried. My brother's birthday is just around the corner.
And the season is changing from summer to fall and everywhere I look, things are dying. The colors of the falling leaves may be beautiful, but they're still dying. And the air is chilled.

Everything just feels very bleak at the moment.
I've taken some time off work to try to get myself centered again. Just a week, but still... I have 10 days to pull my shit together.

I'm working on it. I'm trying so hard to focus on the good things in my life. And there is plenty. Hugh loves me, even if we can't be together. I have family and friends that aren't going to let me end up on the street. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and my sweet old cat isn't in any pain. I love my job and what I do. My father is the healthiest 86 year old around.

My computer is fixed, though it cost an arm and a leg.
And fall leads to winter which leads to spring, and a rebirth. I just have to hang on.

I just have to hang on.

I'll be really honest... I didn't realize I was suffering from a pretty severe bout depression. I knew I was anxious and irritable, but it wasn't until I was lying in bed the other night and realized I was thinking about ways to die that I realized just how deeply in the black hole I was.
But I'm aware now, and that's half the battle. For the most part, I'm feeling okay... it's just when it's late at night and I'm all alone with my thoughts. That's when the monster starts speaking to me, telling me things are hopeless and futile and there's no reason to keep fighting.
But I know the monster is wrong. I'm not broken - just bent. I'm stronger than the monster of depression and I'll come out on top. I'll beat it. I always do.

But the struggle is hard. It's so hard.

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