April 28th, 2009

Ellen Ripley 1

Exit, Stage Left

I'm posting this now so I want have to think about it tomorrow. I'm about half asleep, so I doubt I'll be terribly articulate.

About half an hour ago now, I packed up the Alpha Institute library and laboratory in Nor, which is the last thing I expect I ever will do in Second Life. I'd had desperate, stupid hopes that the AI would, somehow, be the One That Worked, even though all my previous attempts at establishing immersive, "simulationist" rp in SL had run afoul of ooc drama, players who could not distinguish SL from RL, or ooc from ic, people who said they wanted to play but really wanted to make "friends" (friend surrogates, I call them), or who hate their real lives so much they try to live vicariously through SL, the damage done by all the many idiotic admins, my own time constraints, and so forth.

I will admit it made me sad, picking up the library. But now it's gone, and I am, I hope, done with SL forever. Maybe one day an SL-like service will exist that will be far more amenable to improvisational theatre and interactive storytelling, a service that will not be consumed by all the bullshit I've spent almost two years trying to best. There were some good times, but only a few, up against what must surely be many hundreds and hundreds of hours of stress and nonsense. The pluses never came close to outweighing the minuses. And no, you don't get from SL what you put in. You can only get from it what it has to offer, and the specific thing I want, it doesn't offer.

Obviously, the only genuine and lasting good that came from my twenty-three months on SL was a number of short stories that were directly inspired by SL rp: "The Steam Dancer (1896)," "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection," "Scene in the Museum (1896)," "Flotsam," and "Regarding Attrition and Severance."

If I were not so bloody stubborn, I'd have left in February 2008, when the Dune sim imploded in a paroxysm of admin-related idiocy.

So, yeah. No SL since the 20th, and Spooky's pleased, and I'm beginning to feel like I'm getting a huge chunk of my life back.

Haven't even needed a support group.

Howard Hughes and the Tilda Swinton Appreciation Society

Right...playing catch-up.

Spooky and I have pretty much recovered from whatever crud assaulted us last week. I'm still amazed that I managed to write through it, but also glad I did, as now I'm only somewhat behind, instead of very behind. Saturday (the 25th) was spent reading over and tweaking "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber." I've been more obsessive than usual about this one, possibly because I was sick when it was written. When Spooky and I were done with it, I sent it to Sonya (sovay), and she liked it, which helped. Mostly, I suspect it wants to be a longer story, but there just wasn't time to make a longer story of it. After the writing, we drove over to College Hill and walked along Benefit Street, as far north as the Athenaeum (photos behind the cut). Then we tried the bbq at United BBQ on Ives Street. Not bad, really. Hardly up to the high standards of Southern bbq, and the sauce was a little sweet for my taste, and the cabbage for the coleslaw needed to be diced, not sliced. But pretty good.

Was there anything else about Saturday worth recording? Late, I watched The Maltese Falcon (1941), which never fails to delight me, what with Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet and all.

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Sunday was a day off. But it was a little bit of a mess. The weather Saturday and Sunday was very warm (actually made the low 90s F on Sunday), and we felt duty-bound to get out of the house. But I was stressed out about two or three hundred things, and probably should have stayed in. We drove south to Conanicut Island and West Cove at Fort Weatherill. I'd thought the trees in South County and out on the islands would be much greener than they were, and the wintry-looking trees coupled with the summerish weather set my nerves even more on edge. We spent an hour or so looking for beach glass and the bones of birds (I'm going to make a set of runes with gull and cormorant bones), but even the sea didn't put me at ease. The tide was lower than I'd ever seen it at West Cove. Spooky found a nice tibiotarsus. There are photos behind the cut. Back home, after dinner we watched the incredibly peculiar Saturn 3 (1980), which I'd somehow never seen before. An utter mess of a film, and I only watched it because Martin Amis wrote the screenplay.

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Yesterday, I spent the whole day trying to write, trying to find the second piece for Sirenia Digest #41, but to no avail. So, I'll be going back to that today, and tonight I'll need to get started on the first-pass page proofs for The Red Tree, as they have to be back in Manhattan by the 7th. I did get a very, very encouraging email from my publicist yesterday, regarding the book's promotion.

And, mostly that brings me to now, I think. Oh, except we watched Francis Lawrence's Constantine (2005) again last night. First time since we saw it in the theaters. I still think it's better than it might have been, but not nearly as good as it could have been. Well, except for Tilda Swinton, who's too marvelous for words, no matter what she does.

Okay. First email. Then I bend to the will of the platypus and dodo.