Monthly Archives: February 2012

From Graffiti Alley to Suburbia

So in contrast to our family graffiti/street art tour downtown on Saturday, we spent our Sunday in the suburbs looking at homes for sale.

There is no graffiti there, and everything looks the same.  

The houses we saw are spacious and nice.  I could have my own office! Imagine that.  But would we fit in there?  I’m so used to downtown urban living.  If we did move away from the city, I’m kind of worried about adjusting to life in the burbs.  It would be a lot different, that’s for sure.

Driving around the suburban neighbourhoods, I was reminded of my Linden home…

Maybe, if we did move the burbs, we could ‘tag’ our own walls with graffiti so we would feel more at home.  You know, make it look more like our natural habitat…?

Do you think we would still get invited to the neighbourhood street parties with our home all graffitied up?  

Well, whichever affluent suburban neighbourhood or small town we move to, I hope they don’t mind the riff raff moving in.


A little break from exploring SL art to explore some RL street art

I think what I love most about graffiti is that it’s not supposed to be there.  The nature of graffiti art is that it is out of place, which is part of the appeal.  In my city, and in most other places in the world, graffiti is illegal and basically a form of vandalism.  Creative expression via spray paint on public walls is a defiant act, which I think results in some very beautiful and unexpected street art.  

Funny, because I have lived here in Toronto for 15 years and have never really viewed graffiti as a form of art.  I’ve seen it, passed by it and thought “wow that’s cool” and never really gave any further thought to the question of “is this form of creative expression, art?”

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do appreciate how the various art and murals contribute to the culture of the city and beautify the neighbourhood. 

This wall mural brought to mind Claudia222 Jewell and her current art installation in Second Life, “Spirit”.  I guess it’s the style of the plants and flowers that I find reminiscent of it: 

Yesterday, with my children in tow, we explored Kensington Market in search of graffiti and wall murals.  Kensington is a pretty popular downtown neighbourhood.  It’s very bohemian and hippyish, and is ripe with graffiti everywhere you turn.  I think it’s safe to assume that the Kensington community expects the graffiti to show up and even welcomes it.

I’ve been having fun with taking photos with my iphone and sharing them on  I have a lot more of my graffiti pics up over there.  If you’re on and want to follow me, my username is ‘callmeSheBear’.

I like dark and skully things, so this Grim Weeper of Kensington, that we found on the side of a produce shop, is a favourite.  Not that they aren’t all cool and beautiful in their own ways…

We just barely scratched the surface of street art to be found in Kensington Market.  When the weather is warmer, I plan on going back to take more shots.
As we were hunting out the laneways and alleys downtown, I was thinking about the transitory and fleeting nature of graffiti art.  As “tough” as this art genre is, it is also vulnerable.  It could get tagged, defaced, or covered over by the city at any time. 

Just like 3D digital art in the virtual world, it is transient and fleeting, and could disappear at any time.  The nature of it, frustrating as it is, is part of it’s appeal and makes me appreciate it’s beauty even more.  

Just a few photos from Pteron

So last week was a rough week at work.  I had another big deadline, and of course I was trapped in meetings most of the week.   Today is a holiday here, so I get a long weekend, which is great, but when my thoughts turn towards going back to the office tomorrow, I feel a tinge of anxiety.

I have a backlog of photos to go through and share here, but I have no words.  So, I suppose I’ll just post a few photos today and try not to worry about the mountain of paper work waiting for me to push around my desk tomorrow.  Ugh.

A politically correct celebration of Love

I read a “disclaimer” like this in a magazine yesterday and have shamelessly ripped it off and expanded on it to make it Second Life appropriate…

Please accept, under no obligation, this not-intended-to-be sexually harassing, politically correct, gender neutral, avatar species sensitive, socially responsible, environmentally conscious token of my like, love, lust of friendship/partnership as defined in the religious, cultural or socially acceptable persuasion of your choice.

This gesture in no way guarantees the success of aforementioned friendship/relationship/partnership or whatever the hell you wanna call it, for any given length of time.

The sender reserves the right to make amendments to this disclaimer when deemed necessary and appropriate.  The sender also reserves the right to claim that it was all just a “SL relationship” for entertainment purposes only when sender gets bored, or finds someone else who has a way hotter avatar to partner with.

*Please note that this disclaimer is deemed null and void should any parties involved are revealed to be portraying an avatar of the opposite gender under false pretenses.

Now that we got that out of the way…

“Will you be my Second Life Valentine?”

(waits while lawyers consult and negotiate…)


Wishing you all an enjoyable, politically neutral, non gender biased, non-denominational, and not just for romantic love…uh…Happy Heart Day!  

Three years and counting

Well now, last night I happened to look at my profile and realized that my third SL rez day has come and gone and I didn’t even blink an eye!  Can I now claim that I am a “disgruntled oldbie? Well, I completely forgot about my rez day so that definitely qualifies for “oldbie”, but disgruntled? Me? Never!
I thought about writing a long sentimental post with shout outs to all my dear friends and how much they all mean to me, and how much I love Second Life and it’s the coolest thing ever, which is all true…but nah, I’m too damn grumpy to do that 😉
No, seriously, my SLife is good. I have no complaints. In fact, Life is good all around. I remember reading somewhere on the vast internet that the average lifespan of an avatar or person’s participation in online communities is about three years. Don’t ask me where I read that, or maybe I’m deluded and completely made that up. It’s my age you know…
Back to my point…

I can’t imagine that my SLife is reaching it’s completion now. That first day that Carrie rezzed at that welcome centre, did I ever think I would still be around three years later and have invested so much time and effort into my virtual life. No. Hell, that first day, I logged out after about 20 minutes thinking this was “a stupid game and I’m never coming back!” (maybe I still think that sometimes ;p)

But I did come back that day, and I keep coming back, so here I am.  Ready and waiting for what my fourth year in SL will bring me.  More art, more poetry, more live music, more blog posts, more pictures to share, more laughter, more good times, more people to meet, more junk in my inventory, more, more, more…

Bring it on…


A new destination called "Hazardous"

I suppose it’s because I live downtown in a large, noisy city, that I am always searching for quiet, peaceful places in Second Life to explore.  I’m particularly fond of minimalist sims with sparse landscapes, and soft music.

“Hazardous” is a new sim brought to you by SL resident, Wendy Xeno who is the creator of the other well known SL destination, HuMaNoiD.  I searched this blog for a link, as I was sure I blogged HuMaNoiD before, but came up with nothing.  Well, that gives me another destination to take pretty pictures of and share here.

If you are familiar with HuMaNoiD, arriving at Hazardous you will immediately recognize Wendy’s unique style.  She has a special talent for putting together elements that make Hazardous not only a destination, but also a real ‘experience’.

There are recommended region windlight and water settings to use, but you know me, I had to try them all before going back to the recommended settings.  After cycling through almost all my presets, the recommended ones really do look best. 

There are some places up in the sky on floating islands to explore, some pretty scenery, some of it kind of dark, and also romantic spots to cuddle with your loved one.  I think I also saw some couples dance and cuddle poses down below too.  

I missed it the first time I tp’d , but there are some balloons just outside the landing point that you can use to float around the sim if you feel like it.  I tried getting a picture with the balloon, but it’s kind of hard hopping on the balloon, steering it, cranking up my graphics to ultra and taking a snapshot of a moving object.  Well, it’s not so hard, but on a lazy Sunday morning, I’d rather just float around the sim and sip a latte rather than fuss around with my settings. 

I had a lovely time exploring Hazardous, and I hope you will too!  Now, I must get back to my loud, dense and busy city lifestyle…have fun 🙂


"Spirit" by Claudia222 Jewell at Art Screamer…today!

One of the reasons why I love Second Life so much is because every weekend, or any given night/day of the week really, there is amazing 3D artwork waiting for me to enjoy.  

I have always enjoyed and appreciated art, however there is something pretty spectacular about the kind of art you will experience in a virtual world like Second Life.  I can’t think of one art exhibit I have viewed in the atomic world that I have felt so fully immersed in and that triggered my senses on such a deep emotional level.  I’m serious.  

The latest art installation at Art Screamer, entitled “Spirit” by Claudia222 Jewell did just that.  It is simply amazing and you must go and experience this for yourself.   

“Spirit” is Claudia’s first full sim installation in Second Life and it opens to the public today on the Art Screamer sim, curated by Second Life residents Zach Cale, Chestnut Rau and Amase Lavasseur.

The build is mainly made up of mesh objects, so you will need a mesh viewer to see the
amazingly detailed mesh art work that Claudia has created. 

I literally spent hours there last night and again this morning.  My avatar is parked there now while I listen to the peaceful music and type this.  I never want to leave!

Speaking of avatars, don’t forget to pick up the free mesh avatar at the landing point.  This is probably the most beautiful mesh avatar I have ever seen.  I really felt like I had become part of the installation wearing this av.

From the notecard:

“This exposition for me is the letting go of a long period of grief, to let the spirits pass, and to start anew in peace.” – Claudia222 Jewell

Well, enough gushing from me on this.  Just get your butts over there and experience it for yourself.  “Spirit” opens today at Art Screamer for your viewing pleasure.