Using Second Life to Quiet the Inner Monologue

This picture is a lot more interesting if you click and make it larger.

I don't normally think of myself as an anxious person. But occasionally I have a running dialog in my head that teeters on worrisome and the normal things I do to calm down like take a hot bath or listen to some music don't work. Sometimes walking around an art installation in Second Life allows me to get outside of my inner monologue long enough to divert my attention.

When I run out of coping mechanisms I sometimes resort to drugs prescribed by my Oncologist. I have no shame or guilt about that whatsoever. You try living with cancer.

The past two days have been Xanax days. Hopefully tomorrow tea and music will be sufficient.

Visiting the Old Neighborhood in Second Life

I woke up this morning after a horrendous night of insomnia with a raging headache. A rational person would go back to bed or hid from other humans but I decided I wanted to blog. So I logged in to SL and browsed the SL Destination Guide.

It is increasingly hard for me to find interesting sims in Second Life. The destination guide is not as useful as it once was, particularly since they started added clubs and sex venues. I am not entirely sure when Erotica Club or the Lestastic Lesbian Club becme "Destinations" that are promoted by Linden Lab. I have zero problem with either place (although I have never been) but I don't recall the Destination Guide including sex clubs back when I was actively searching for events and places to go. I could be wrong about that, of course. Maybe that stuff was always there but those places are just not the kind of activities I am interested in blogging. SLex is not something I do.

Today I found a church in the Destination Guide that sounded peaceful and given my mood I thought I would sit and try to find some inner peace. I don't know what I have done to offend God or the sim owner but I was booted out upon arrival by a security device. It could be I am banned from the Church in question but since I had never heard of it or been there I doubt that is the case. More likely the Destination Guide has an outdated SLurl to a place that is no longer open to the public. Possibly the sim owner has a device that detects godless atheists upon landing?  Hard to say.

Then I got the idea to visit places where I used to live to see how SL has changed over the years. So I hopped over to Marawa on the mainland. I flew around for a moment and grabbed the stunning view above.

I think hiding from other humans is the best course of action this morning. I will try to find a sim to explore later.

Cancer Support in Second Life

This is a place called Geisha Dreams I happened upon. My computer is fussy today and I was having a hard time getting any photos at all. This will have to do.

Relay for Life is huge in Second Life. Lots of people put in enormous effort to raise money for cancer research. By any measure SL RFL is a huge success. A large amount of money is raised and people from all across the grid are involved. Organizers and participants are justifiably proud of the wide variety of events from fairs to concerts to auctions to readings and classes. As a person living with cancer I am thankful because it is wonderful to feel the support of so many.

Oddly, I have not been able to find a support group in SL for people living with cancer. I am talking about a group that meets regularly to talk about the daily indignities of cancer treatment and the roller coaster of hopes and fears people like me experience. I found a few groups in search and joined but there seems to be no activity. I have met individuals here and there and we have chatted. But, where are the groups?

Is is ironic that communities join together to support cancer research in the abstract but the one on one support seems to be missing?  Maybe I simply have not found the active cancer support community just yet. Can anyone point me in the right direction, please?

And Now for a RL Interlude

I had an Oncologist appointment yesterday. My blood counts are better than they have ever been. I have no palpable lymph nodes and I feel great. I have not had a scan in a while but all evidence suggests I have little to no active Lymphoma.  So, YAY!

When I say I am going to the Oncologist or I am going for treatment for my cancer I inevitably get the same reaction. First there is what I have come to think of as "the look" which is a mix of pity and fear. Then there is either an uncomfortable silence and a refusal to make eye contact or a story about their cousin's neighbor's best friend who tried this great herbal remedy from Iceland that cured her without chemo, or something of that nature.

Sometimes I get really exhausted by managing other people's emotions about cancer. Other times I am a little over it and I talk about my illness openly and watch people squirm without feeling the need to protect them from my reality. On top of our own worries, the last thing people with cancer need is to worry about managing other's fear and sadness about our illness.  But if you ask most people with cancer to identify their biggest worries the answer is likely to be "I don't want to be a burden" or "I don't want to see my family suffer."

So, next time you talk to someone who has cancer, please do me a favor and refrain from looking at them with puppy dog eyes. Keep your anxiety in check. For goodness sake please do not tell them about magical cures that are not based in science.  Here is a video I have shared widely but it is worth watching over and over.

Mainland Sim Returns Artist's Work, Linden Lab Offers No Help

Scarp Godenot is a Second Life artist who owns a mainland sim he calls Scarpyland. The other day on Plurk he talked about how he logged in to SL one day and half his objects had been mysteriously returned to his Lost and Found folder. One of the builds that was destroyed was his Alien Jungle Forest that was comprised of 7,000 individually placed prims.

Scarp contacted Linden Lab and asked them to roll back his sim to a point in time prior to the glitch that destroyed his art. Sadly LL gave him no help whatsoever. His sim remains a ghostly suggestion of what once existed.

What is left of the Alien Forest 

Unfortunately, anyone who has been in Sl for any length of time has heard about people who have lost builds or parts of their inventory. I personally don't like to think about the lost jewelry folder debacle of 2010. It happens. We all know it.

What I will never understand is why Linden Lab does not seem to care at all. What other company would sell you a product and shrug their shoulders when the product or service did not perform as expected? Linden Lab does not apologize, they do not offer a remedy and they most certainly do not offer refunds. And the really crazy part is we customers are so used to this that we grumble and complain but we keep logging in and we keep giving LL our money.


I stopped writing and did some research on Stockholm Syndrome at this point. Without meaning to trivialize actual hostage situations, I wonder if people who have created rich and important SLives for themselves do experience something like Stockholm Syndrome. Why do we allow LL to treat us so badly? Why do we get so excited when  we cross paths with a Linden inworld? Why do we get excited if a Linden comments on our blog like I did when Pete Linden visited here the other day.

I have questions. No answers.

So, How Private Are You? Lanna asks, I answer

My dear friend Lanna wrote a post asking "How private are you?" Before I respond to her question I ask that you add her blog to your blog reader. Lanna is a gifted and thoughtful writer and is, like me, coming back from a blogging hiatus. Lanna was the New World Notes Events writer before I got the job and I have her to blame/thank for helping me land the gig.

But back to the question - how private am I? I think the answer is not at all and very at the same time.

With about 5 minutes work anyone with basic Google skills could find my RL name, address and probably where I went to college. You could learn about my health and my children and most anything you cared to know. I am sure most people would find my life spectacularly uninteresting. I work, I raise my kids, I pay the mortgage and occasionally I run off to the Infusion Center to keep my cancer in check. I am a privileged white suburban mom who is well aware of how lucky I am in life.

Still, there are so many things going on with me that I quite literally do not share with anyone. Not my husband. Not my sister. Not anyone. I am deeply introverted, despite all evidence to the contrary and while that tendency manifests mostly by a dislike of big social gatherings and a regular need to shut myself off from the world to just be, it also means I have a really hard time opening up. Some things are just mine and its not that I can't share, its more like I don't feel the need to do so.

I am not sure if that makes sense to the world or not.

This week has been hard. Multiple conflicts arose in weird ways. I can't make sense of my world and I can't put my finger on why. I am sure I will figure it out in time but I am equally sure I won't share with anyone.

So how private am I?  I would say I am open about a lot of things and superficially my life is an open book but the deep stuff is locked in a vault.

Pretend Sailing in Second Life

I am a terrible sailor. I can't seem to find the wind and get from point A to point B without meandering all over the place or occasionally running aground. Still, I find messing around with sailboats enormously relaxing. Occasionally when I find myself stressed out I rez a boat, find some open water, put on a bikini that fits perfectly and does not make me feel fat and sail the open seas of Second Life. Oddly, it helps.

I happened upon a super cute, free Nemo 3 today and if you want your very own you can TP to this dock and pick it up.

Unfortunately you can't rez the boat right where you get it, which is kind of silly but you can rez it at this spot I found.  I am sure there are lots of other place to sail and I hope to find them.

Good luck Sailing Nemo!


PS I have no idea how I functioned without the tool in Firestorm that keeps track of my TP history. Before if I got a SLurl wrong or forgot where I saw something I would panic trying to figure out where I was or where I saw that cute thing that one time. Now? I just TP back through my history and I can find most anything. TY Firestorm team.