Why I Would Rather Try To Find The Funny Than The Meaning Of Life

queenbrat:

Laughter really is the best medicine and with all this writer is going through if she can find humor then so can I.

Originally posted on Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings:

Some look at life’s journey as a pitched battle, and some as a noble quest. Either way, a smart knight should be prepared for the dragons he or she is bound to encounter along the way. My weapon of choice is a feather duster.

It has only snowed once so far this weird winter.  I took advantage of the unlooked for boon of ice-free roads here in the country last week and went for a walk.  My mood was somber as I set off down the road, well bundled against the bracing cold.  I needed the lift that nature always gives me because I felt lower than I have felt in a long time.

I was thinking about my dear cousin, Moe. She’s experimenting with multiple chemo treatments, locked in mortal combat with the cancer that has spread despite her efforts. We recently learned that her husband, Paul, a great…

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American Idol Season 14 Started Last Night

American Idol Season 14

My husband and I have watched American Idol from Season 1 on. Last year, Season 13, was the first time we stopped watching mid way through because it was so bad. The talent was just not there but worse than that, they picked people who could not perform. I could see it from the first auditions on. People who had not an ounce of interesting personality or charisma. We tried, we really did. But the overly enthusiastic judging, telling everyone they were the one to beat or were going to be in the finale. Randy Jackson just did not do the contestants justice with his mentoring. Harry Connick JR blasted him at every opportunity for his lackluster mentoring. And it was deserved but changed nothing. The winner was Caleb Johnson. His album “testify” was a huge bomb. Selling only 11k in albums the first week which made him the lowest selling idol winner to date. His coronation song, “As Long as You Love Me” failed to make the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Candice Glover the previous season winner’s album only sold 19k the first week.

Do you see where I am going with this? If not I will say it, when the season started last night my expectations were low, very low. I would like to say that after having watched I was relieved that I was wrong. But alas there was no relief so far because after seeing the first episode of the season my expectations are still low. They started out with letting us hear the top 24. They didn’t let us see their faces and had never done this before. But after hearing them I am not sure of what to expect other than a lot of similar sounding people and a few pretty good voices. Of course I need to see them perform. See the whole package, to make a real determination but I was not overly impressed. After that we saw 1 or 2 singers and a whole lot of what I call fluff. Silly outtakes of the waiting room or interviews with Ryan and a whole lot of judge banter. But didn’t I watch the auditions to hear, you know, singing? A few funny moments followed, with a few bad singers. But when we got to the finale singer of the night I was still underwhelmed. However the last singer, a young girl named Emily, was impressive and I will remember her. I am fairly sure I heard her voice in the final 24. I was pretty sure 1 other young men, I forget his name, but he got Jennifer Lopez to slow dance with him in what I thought was rather awkward but my husband said at least she’s a good sport. So for that I will remember him if not his name and Emily who could sing, and sing well. Tomorrow night is a 2 hour show and I really hope we see more singing, and more people who can actually sing because the majority of people they put through tonight did not impress me.

The glasses the judges drink out of have been pushing Coca-Cola every season that I can recall so why not now? I read it was because of the declining ratings and also that AT&T dropped out as a sponsor as well. Ford did remain.  Is this an ominous sign of things to come? My guess is yes.

What I have learned on FaceBook this week.

Unfortunate Life Lessons to be learned on Facebook. 

I won’t go into everything that happened because most wont know what I am talking about at all. The bottom line is the things I learned are a direct result. Don’t trust people on FB and don’t trust Whitney Bell, Daniela Curatolo Galletta, and September Angel, this post is all about them. They should be ashamed of themselves, I mean really ashamed for not only how they acted but how they treated me. That being said, read on so you know what lessons you need if you use the FaceBook site.

1. People will do all kinds of wrong behaviors and tell other people off if they do the same things but should you ever need to ask them to stop, they act offended and martyr themselves for their other friends who believe the fake act. Never bother with this sort of person, the how dare you say that attitude makes them fake. Bad behaviors are ok for them so no need to be friends with people like that. Good people will take responsibility for how they acted, those are the people you want. People are backstabbers and hypocrites.

  2. People like to claim to be a Christian, actions speak louder than words for me when it comes to that. If you use the words but your actions show otherwise please stay away.

 3. There are 2 sides to every story, always. Most never bother getting both sides. They will believe the loudest person. The quiet person who doesn’t spread their problems all over FB will never be heard, listened to and no one will even ask. The loud person is covering though for wrong behavior, they are often passive aggressive and will make it seem like they are such a great person. They will lie and leave out every important detail. They will misconstrue every detail and never ever say what they in fact did. For every person you see like this, wonder what they did that they feel they need to make a public spectacle all the time.

 4. Don’t trust anyone. You can’t. People will be nice to your face while stabbing you in the back. People will claim to be on your side but the entire time working against you.

5. People will take credit for what you accomplished and get rid of you as soon as they can.

6. No one cares about your problems. The stuff you are quiet about and don’t broadcast. It is a social site so you think they care, but they don’t.

7. If you ever have an issue most likely Facebook will do nothing to help you. Even if the situation is completely wrong and unfair you have no recourse. None at all.

 After saying all that, I am there for my friends who want to talk. I will listen and not judge. I wont call you names. I completely understand that games, shows, groups, favorite hobby pages and the internet are an escape from real life problems, sometimes very serious problems. Those issues are what  matter. Most don’t care what those issues are and will just make fun of you if you mention it, but I wouldn’t. So for everyone who has ever had people  on FB pretend to be their friend and then crap all over you, know that not everyone is like that. I am not. The people mentioned above and many others, are.

 

Does my butt look big in this?

Has this happened to you? Calmly standing on a pose stand when my avi’ s head suddenly spins around? I think it is quite convenient really. How many times have you tried to get a good look and see if your butt looks big in an outfit. Well, if your head spun around it would be easy to see then!!  When this happens though, I always think I am having an Exorcist moment, although since my head doesn’t do a full 360 turn I suppose it is a half an Exorcist moment. But, regardless, I’d say to avoid my avi when I am in this mood just to be safe. lol

Lag in SL

   So, I was in a fashion show on Friday and Saturday and the lag for the show on Friday was terrible. For my last pose my avatar wouldn’t even turn around. The lag for the Saturday show wasn’t as bad just small delays.  Lag is present in every fashion show. Models just have to work around it, work through it and accept that it does odd things sometimes to you. Here are some well-known tips for reducing lag in SL. I realize this is a long post but there is a lot of good advice here. I can’t credit the originator of these tips as I have gotten them in many places in SL. Whoever originally did this list thank you. Some people have said it’s from Monica Balut, if so, thank you Monica.

1)  Clear Your Cache:

    a.  Prior to the Show use  Edit -> Preferences -> Clear Cache.  Close the viewer -> Restart the SL viewer.   Once restarted, open your Inventory, and in the Search bar type a long string of characters like “***********”.   This forces SL to immediately reload your inventory.  Give yourself at least 15 minutes.  This can take some time especially if you have a lot of items in your inventory.

    b.  After your inventory items have reloaded, Cam out into the audience and showroom to reload all the textures in that area.
   
    c.  Try on all the outfits you will be wearing in the show to make sure everything can attach.

2)  Edit Your Preferences Settings:

    a.    General
        i.    Show Names -> Never (if you can get by without seeing the names of your team members)
        ii.    Start Location -> My Home (if you crash on the runway, you do not want to rez back there in the middle of someone else’s walk.
        iii.    Small avatar names -> Hide My Name on My Screen, Hide All Group Titles -> checked
        iv.    Show Online Friend Notifications -> unchecked

 b.    Network
        i.    Maximum Bandwidth -> A mid range setting is probably best.  If too low, your pipe to the internet is too small.  If too large, you may be trying to take more data in than your computer can sustain.  If you are experiencing high packet loss, you may want to reduce this setting. (Monitor packet loss with View -> Statistics Bar).  If you find yourself “rubber banding” (your avatar walking a short distance and suddenly snaps back) this is a sign of packet loss.  If this is happening first try to do everything described below.  If it continues, reduce your bandwidth setting.

        ii.    Disk Cache Size -> Set to the maximum that your hard drive can sustain.
       
    c.    Graphics
        i.  Set the Quality and performance slider to low.  If you have trouble seeing if you are in a dark place, World -> Environment Settings -> Midday.  This is one of the most important things you can do.  It reduces significantly reduces the work your computer must do to render the scene.

        ii.  Check the Custom check box.  Further set the following:
            1.  Shaders: Uncheck everything
            2.  Avatar Rendering: Check: Avatar Impostors and uncheck the rest
            3.  Draw Distance: 64
            4.  Max Particle Count: 0
            5.  Move all remaining sliders to low
            6.  Lighting Detail: sun and moon only
           
        iii.  HARDWARE OPTIONS – Click to open menu
            1.  Uncheck Anisotropic Filtering
            2.  Antialiasing choose Disable
            3.  Uncheck Enable OpenGLVertex Buffer Objects
       
       iv.    Check “Run SecondLife in a Window” and consider reducing the size of that window as you would when running any program in a smaller than maximum window.
           
    d.    Audio & Video
        i.    Turn off the sound by clicking on the speaker icon to the right of the master volume.

        ii.    Uncheck all the other boxes
       
    e.    Voice Chat
        i.      Uncheck the Enable Voice Chat box.
       
    f.    Communication
        i.      Uncheck everything you can get by without.

3)    Further Reduce Unnecessary Rendering –

  Uncheck the following to revert to the default settings when you restart the viewer:

    a.    Advanced -> Rendering -> Types
        i.      ctrl-alt-shft 3     Tree
        ii.     ctrl-alt-shft 6     Sky
        iii.    ctrl-alt-shft 7     Water
        iv.    ctrl-alt-shft 8     Ground
        v.      ctrl-alt-shft 0     Grass
        vi.     ctrl-alt-shft –      Clouds
        vii.    ctrl-alt-shft =     Particles
        viii.   ctrl-alt-shft \      Bump
       
    b.    Advanced -> Rendering -> Features
        i.      crtrl-alt F5            Foot Shadows
        ii.     crtrl-alt F6            Fog
        iii.    crtrl-alt F7            Palletized Textures
        iv.     crtrl-alt F8            Test FRInfo
        v.      crtrl-alt F9 (opt)  Flexible Objects
       
    c.   Press CTRL+ALT+D to open advanced menu, then click Advanced- Debug Settings
        i.      Type:  RenderAvatarMaxVisible
        ii.     Change the value to 15 (or lower) if you dare BUT CAREFUL it will affect your view you will not  see all avatars anymore.  Only 15 or whatever number you allow will be visible, the ones that are most near.  But it is great for lag reducing.

4)    Reduce Load on the Servers (the sim) at Linden Labs
    a.    Detach any HUD attachments that you are not going to use during the show.
    b.    Keep shoes and jewelry as low prim as possible.
    c.    Do not wear bling items.
    d.    Do not wear anything with scripts in it (except of course your walk replacer and pose player)

Here are some other helpful tips. This part of the list is from JCNY for tips when in a show.

    Other Recommendations:

    a.    Advanced -> Rendering -> Axes
        i.    Turn this on and a vertical white line will appear through the center of your body and upward.  Use this to line up with where you want to walk.  (It tends to be a little inaccurate in tight places where you can not see very far ahead, like when the camera auto zooms in over your head because of nearby invisiwalls)
   
    b.    After every wardrobe change, immediately Edit Appearance and close the window.  This forces clothes to appear more quickly.  Then rebake textures (Advanced -> Character -> Rebake Textures or Ctrl-Alt-R)
   
    c.    Avoid wearing sculpties because if they do not rez you are wearing balloons.  If you need to wear them, make sure you have a quick alternative available.

    d.    Turn off the typing animation.  This keeps you from inadvertently starting to type if you accidentally enter text in the chat box. Advanced -> Debug Settings -> PlayTypingAnim -> False.

    e.    Uncheck Advanced -> Character -> Tap-Tap-Hold to Run.  If this is checked and if you inadvertently hit the forward arrow key twice in a row quickly, you start running down the runway.  (Not cool).

An average Sunday

JCNY
Sunday Showcase at JCNY

   So today was like most weekends in SL for me -very busy. I went to compete in a contest and wasn’t eliminated which is always good. After that I went to JCNY for the Showcase models get to do on Sunday. It was sponsored by Divine and I got this great dress to wear. This is me after the show modelling for a while. This morning I was at House of Beningborough and tonight I have an audition. Then after the audition I have to go to a grand opening for a friends  magazine. Docseree Mistwalker opened DMG Creations and E-Style fashion magazine. She’s great so people should check her out. A magazine people can  read. What a great concept. I can’t tell you how many times I got a magazine to read but the print was so small or the magazine so poorly done I was thinking what’s the point.

So very busy,this is how weekends are a lot for me. I have to go from 1 thing straight to the next. But, it’s fun and I enjoy it. I hope I did well in my audition. I didn’t have a chance to change. We were told hey there’s an audition in 30 mins but I was afk working on my blog! lol By the time I popped my head back into SL I had 10 minutes to get there.

  If I had a store or an agency I would give out more notice. It is just a pet peeve of mine. Only models online during that specific time frame could audition which leaves a lot of people out. Granted even with last-minute notice there were still maybe 15 people there. I just feel bad because I know how I feel when I miss opportunities because I didn’t know. I think it is fairer if more notice is given so people have a chance to audition.

 On a positive note, I entered the Vanilla C Calendar Contest with a picture that can be seen on my flickr. I didn’t win, Katherine Comet won with a terrific picture and I am very happy for her. However, I was chosen to be on May in the calendar. I took the picture myself so getting anything from my own pictures is very rewarding and makes me want to keep pursuing photography.

Exploring SL

Botanical Gardens in SL
Striking a pose at the gardens
JAPAN TEMPURA ISLAND in SL
pretty location in SL

I really don’t think enough people spend time exploring all the awesome places there are to see in SL. Above are pictures from 2 places I found. The first is the Botanical Gardens of SL. They have very pretty gardens with nice water views and sunrises and sunsets to see. You can buy some of the plants too or just hang out and enjoy the beauty.

The second picture is Japan Tempura Island. This Sim is so pretty with the forest and colors. There might be more to see in the Sim, but I can never get past this area because I like it so much. My point however, is there are so many Sims to visit in SL. Some people never leave their small chosen areas and explore. I’ve been to outer space, Paris, Atlantis,beautiful gardens, wild animal parks. The list is endless. I highly recommend doing a search for something you like and just going to check it out. The other plus in doing this as a model is that I find places to take pictures. Pictures taken in world instead of in a studio can be quite nice. All you have to do is go look.