Thursday, April 26, 2007

...Oh, and a cute belt, too!

The lovely Kate's comment on my last post reminded me that I'd forgotten to even mention the cute multi-colored snakeskin belt pack that I'd bought at Shiny Things, one of which Chloe is modelling in the photo below. A pack of 6 or 8 (I forget) thin wrapped belts for (I think) L$250 -- bargain!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cruel Shoes vs Cool Shoes

I'm so loving my shoes right now! I'm wearing my newest acquisition, an adorable pair of bubblegum-pink canvas stacked platform stilettos. They make my already-small feet look even smaller and super-cute!

Unfortunately, while I am busy spending long minutes gazing lovingly at these shoes and turning my feet this way and that to further admire them when I should be working, my feet themselves are not similarly enamoured. No, my feet are not happy with being squeezed into new shoes that pinch and are really too high; and they are rebelling by going numb, and slowly taking my calves with them.

You see, I have high-maintenance feet. Sure, they are small and cute; but they are also a bit too small at size 6 for my 5-foot-8 height. Compounding the body-mass-to-foot-area ratio problem is the fact that I am not a thin girl. No, my body type is the kind usually generously described as "curvy" or "voluptuous" -- and I don't mean that in the Maxim magazine sense of "having big boobs"; I mean actually curvy, as in big boobs, lovely round belly that I could use to fake pregnancy in order to get preferential transit seating (not that I would ever do that!), and bubble butt worthy of J.Lo. Also I have abnormally high arches.

That's why I love shoe shopping in Second Life. Not only are the shoes on offer super-cute, boasting creative designs rivalling anything I've coveted and/or bought in RL (and happily unhindered by the laws of physics as in RL), but they always fit because you can change the size of your feet, and no matter how far or how long your avatar walks, your tiny SL feet will never get tired!

Thus far I've only gone SL shoe shopping once, to the Shiny Things store in SL with the always-awesome Katicus Sparrow and a couple of new friends, Catherine and Melanie, but I already feel the addiction growing.

Here's a pic of Chloe sporting her new look, plus cute shoes!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Feeling the Love

I have comments!! And not just from anyone -- the supremely cool Kate Trgovac of mynameiskate, Eden of Bargainista, and Michael Seaton of TheClientSide. In other words, basically the stars of my "I heart" section to the left there. The cream in my coffee. The filling in my Oreo. And they're reading me!! I'm feeling the blog love, I tell you.

Also feeling the love for facebook (aka crackbook) these days. Every time I log on I have new friends -- sometimes folks I've met in reality who've just jumped on the facebook train, sometimes folks I've met purely through our common facebook connections; occasionally, like today, someone I used to hang with in high school, roughly 17 (!) years ago, manages to find me and we reconnect. It's like a little friendship hit in the middle of the day! These moments are the food pellets that keep me pressing the new media buttons, to use a hamster analogy.

So now that I know people are reading me, let me ask: what are the food pellets of new media for you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Double the Thrill

As anyone who's been reading this blog can tell, I love me some TV, and last night provided a treat: an all-new eppy of Gilmore Girls, a show that I continue to love despite its shortcomings and flawed sense of continuity. It was a good episode too, well worth the wait over spring hiatus.

The absolute highlight for me, though, was the moment when Logan -- played by Matt Czuchry, whom I've always thought is terribly cute -- began proselytizing about Web 2.0 and mentioned Second Life. Swoon! I love it when my favorite things combine. So what if the character of Logan is, as Lorelai put it, overcoiffed and overprivileged; he's tall, cute, buff, smart, and rich, and if he's into Web 2.0 on top of all that? Well, let's just say I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers. (And don't mock -- Matt Czuchry is nearly 30 and therefore entirely demographically appropriate for me to crush on. So there.)

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's freezing in here!

Went to a few Second Life events this week, starting with the After a Fashion outing on Monday night. Didn't buy anything but got to meet the rest of the group and hang with some way cool chicks, and admire the clever, beautiful, amazing, weird shit that people are creating and selling in SL.

Now, I'm not one for fancy lingerie, or gowns, or bling, but MAN ALIVE I gots to get me some shoes. The other ladies in the group were all rocking the stilettos, while I was clumping around in my default shoes, which look like Timberlands. I may be forced to wear sensible footwear in reality, but in SL I should be living out my high-heeled fantasies, right?

Suffered a couple of technical issues during the outing: at Katicus' pad my avatar froze and I had to logout and back in, then when we hit the Hair Fair SL crashed on everybody and I had to bail. I surely hope Linden Labs is working overtime to improve their server capacity because SL is only going to get more crowded.

On Tuesday, Tamara and I hit the Don Tapscott talk at Better World Island. Fortunately I happened to bump into my new friend, fellow Fashion Plate Patrice Primeau, in the holding area, and she got us past the velvet rope into the talk. Thanks Patrice!

Patrice also was very helpful and patient while I bumped around like a drunken moron trying to remember how to sit. I had to laugh out loud at myself at one point when I tried to stop flying and land gracefully next to Patrice... and ended up falling 50 feet onto my face. Sometimes I am the dorkiest dork who ever dorked.

Anyway the talk was ok, most of it sounded a lot like Don's notes for the next updated edition of Wikinomics, and he did kind of brush off some of the more challenging and pointed questions in the Q&A section... I wish he would've referenced Reggio Emilia or the Waldorf methods when asked about how collaborative models could work in education, rather than referring back to how important collaboration is for the next generation, which was so not the point, but whatever -- I was just there to be close to genius. I'm so on board the collaboration train already.

Thursday was the usual Coffee with Crayon, which is getting really popular all of a sudden. I had had the same freezing problems again at Don's Wiki talk so this time I stayed off to the side in case my avatar froze in mid-walk and started bumping into things and people. Always the wallflower, that's me.

I must give props to Cleon for enabling these weekly get-togethers... Much of the chatter goes over my head as I am, after all, The Newbie, and not up on all the latest tech talk, plus I'm not ADD enough to follow the fast flow of conversation -- but I do enjoy eavesdropping to find out what the geeks are hot on this week.

No events scheduled this week but I may pop in and out of SL just to check out a few locations I've heard about. If you have any tips on where I should go, let me know!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Second (Life) Thoughts

Tonight I'm going to attend the 3rd After a Fashion shopping event in Second Life. I'm so stoked! Since I'm still figuring out the world, and bumping into things wherever I walk, it's hugely beneficial to me to have a guided tour to some of the fun (and prude-safe) areas. I don't know if I'll actually drop any Lindens, but just as in real/first life, it's just fun to hang out with chicks and see what the cool kids are into.

Since I got into SL I've noticed that it's a lot like real/first life. Sure, my SL avatar is several pounds thinner and much more fit than I am, and she's got cool pink hair in a massive up-do that I could never pull off in actuality -- I mean, being able to create an avatar that represents a visual you of your own imagining, rather than the skin you're stuck with in real life, has got to be one of the main attractions, right? Well, it is for me, anyway.

But behind that cool, good-looking avatar is, well, me. Still me, still shy, still feeling like the dorkiest dweeb at the party, always the wallflower hanging at the edges of the gathering, unsure of when/how to join in, constantly amazed that these cool, fun, smart people actually want to hang with me.

I guess some things just don't change, no matter what you look like.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Definition of Newbie

While I am a relative newbie to the marvelous world of modern technology, in that most 20th-century inventions were not part of my early, formative years, I have been lucky enough to bear witness to the dawning of the computer age. Of course, it was just a glorified typewriter to me until that fateful day in university when I learned that I could chat online with other students, thanks to an early-adopting prof who constantly digressed from his lectures about Milton to evangelize about the emerging world wide web. My friends scoffed at the number of hours I would spend in the library at one of the public computers, endlessly chatting in online forums with other students in the university network. They called it a fad. Who's laughing now, luddites!

So as with TV, I guess you could say that I've tried to make up for lost time by embracing new media as much as I can -- hence my own, personal definition of newbie: someone who is into, or interested in, new media.

For interest's sake, a quick scorecard. Have I embraced new media? I mean, really?

Well, I do have 2 email addresses, 2 blogs, profiles on MySpace, facebook, and LinkedIn, a Second Life, an IM account, a DVR, 2 PCs and a cellphone.

I don't, however, have a BlackBerry or PDA or laptop (yet!), I don't text and I don't twitter. And, truth be told, I partially composed this entry using pen and paper.

And, for the record, I do go back to the commune -- The Farm -- as often as I can every summer. Yes, it's still a going concern, with about 16 active members and 7 permanent residents. Yes, they've since compromised on the initial founding principles and now enjoy the benefits of running water and electricity, even Internet (although it's extremely slow as the only connection is through dial-up). Although my mom's old cabin still has only a propane stove and one electric light, and you have to bring your own water because there's no plumbing, I enjoy visits there very much. Sometimes it's nice to completely unplug and go somewhere that you really can't be reached by phone, cell or otherwise. If only because it really makes you appreciate what you have when you get back!

Monday, April 2, 2007

I want my TV!

In my last post I described growing up Amish. Ok, not actually Amish, but at about the same level of technology. Then in 1977 my mom uprooted me and we moved to an apartment in Toronto will all the mod cons. Toilets! Hot showers! Electric lights! Telephones!

But, still no TV. Yes, my mother stubbornly clung to the last Luddite principle under her control, and denied me a much-coveted pop culture infusion. Thankfully, my father did have a TV, and shared custody meant that I could -- and did -- immerse myself in the medium every holiday and summer vacation.

My mother did finally get a TV when the nanny she engaged to care for my infant half-brother insisted on it. However, my access was severely restricted with the assistance of my stepfather, who first doctored our black-and-white, antenna-based set so that it would only receive signals from PBS or TVO, and then years later installed a lock on our new color set so that my brother and I would have to ask for permission before we could watch anything. He had the only key that unlocked the set. No I am not making this up.

Aaaaanyway, it's no wonder that when I left home, the first thing I did in my new apartment was call the cable company and get hooked up. A couple of years ago my brilliant husband suggested we get a DVR and I've never looked back! Now I'm a confirmed TV addict.

Where am I going with all this? Well, because of my rather unique upbringing, I've always considered myself a newbie when it comes to technology, including cable TV. Because I didn't grow up taking TV or other tech for granted, I still find myself with a starry-eyed sense of wonder at it all.

Oh -- and I never, ever cede control of the remote. I ain't gettin' locked out again!

Next time: the dawning of the computer age