October 28, 2006

Random photos of the week

(Click on a thumbnail to see a larger version.)

So first of all, my apologies for the lack of updates at the blog this week; as mentioned in my last entry, I've been feeling a bit of burnout over SL recently, plus had some things in RL Chicago that recently needed taken care of as well. Those things are almost over, though, and I find my enthusiasm about the grid gaining steam as well; so that most likely means daily entries again coming Monday.

Anyway, so here are this week's random photos, from my various (sometimes undocumented) wanderings around the grid; and by sheer coincidence, this week's collection is an all-shopping one as well. What can I say? As much of an anti-consumerist, Zenlike minimalist I am in real life (and I am), I'm just a total consumer whore when it comes to the grid; perhaps because it's so much cheaper than RL shopping, perhaps because there are so many more innovative things going on, perhaps because none of your belongings take up physical space when you're not using them. In any case, on with the free-market capitalism!

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So to begin with, I finally had a chance to visit a place that dozens of people have urged me over months to see, a fashion superstore of sorts called Blaze. And boy, it doesn't disappoint; great clothing, good prices, an impressive build, and an intuitive layout to the place. The hype is correct! Definitely go check it out whenever you have a chance.

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Ah, so check out this curious store I came across in the Caledon complex last week; called the Keyhole, it reproduces elaborate Victorian-Age textbooks in a 'heads-up display' (HUD) form that you can display in your virtual home. I'm still not the biggest fan of in-grid publishing, frankly, simply because of all the off-grid options that work so much better; the books at Keyhole, though, were pretty impressive, I have to admit. For those who don't know, by the way, Caledon is the fabled 'steampunk' community of SL that is always getting so much attention; an entire series of private sims that have been stitched together, where only Victorian-Age architecture and dress is allowed, although such period-specific science-fiction elements as giant brass robots are also allowed. (Think Jules Verne; there, you've got it.) I'm seriously thinking, in fact, of making steampunk the feature of next month's issue of ITG; for example, I'm currently in the process of trying to secure an interview with the brilliant and elusive Ordinal Malaprop, although it's not going so well as yet (i.e. she hasn't returned any of my IMs). Anyway, if you have any steampunk things you think I should check out, by all means drop me a line at inthegrid [at] gmail.com and let me know.

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Ooh, check this out! I was out the other day at a store that sells customized parts for sailboats; and it just so happens that they sell photo-realistic replicas of grand pianos as well, including a script that makes your av look like it's playing it while you're sitting on the bench. I'm a real-life piano player as well, and in fact grew up with a piano remarkably similar to this one (except brown, a little shorter, and 150 years older); if it wasn't for the insane prim count the piano takes up, I'd give some serious consideration to installing one at the ITG headquarters. Hmm, maybe when I have more land.

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And then I also ended up going back to Reel Movement this week, the customized pose store that I mentioned in last week's random photos, to check out more of their slackerific animations. Now that I've passed the six-month mark of being a player in SL, and am finally getting an intuitive sense of the interface, I find myself getting more into such subtler aspects of the game like poses, textures and the like. It's a natural progression, I suppose; and of course cool that there are that many layers to the grid, that both new and veteran players can be kept interested and challenged.

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And then finally, what's a week in the grid without another dozen new outfits? Seriously, I think I have a problem; I may need to seek help soon for this virtual-clothing addiction of mine. Oh, and I found something this week I really dig, too; this clothing store that sells their suits as separate pieces, meaning that you can mix and match them, including ties made out of flexiprims that blow in the breeze. Why didn't I write down the name of this store!? Arrgh! Some journalist I am, I'm telling you. Anyway, if you know the identity of this store, won't you please mention it in the comments, so I can update this entry? Thanks!

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And then here, another combination; the "I'm your professor but I'm also a hip guy, no really I am" look. Hey, I'm a 37-year-old intellectual in a big city; this look is as natural a match for me as tornados and mobile homes.

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And then here, either ready for a night at a postmodern Dutch danceclub, or a night of gay cruising. Perhaps a little of both.

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If this looks familiar, it's because it was worn by my friend Samantha Poindexter to the release party for issue 1 of this magazine last week; it was made by a designer named Szentasha Salome, and I loved it so much that I just had to run over to her store [Glow Estates 85/188/24] and pick up a copy for myself. I'm Queen of the Nerds! I'm Queen of the Nerds! And it's even got a working jet pack and everything, which doesn't actually do anything to your av, but does open up and glow this cool green whenever you're flying versus walking. Resistance is futile! You will be assimilated!

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Here, just a groovy Audrey-Hepburn-type outfit I randomly picked up one day.

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And of course, with all this sailing I've been doing the last couple of weeks, I had to go out and get me some decent sailing clothes, right? Of course! Anything for a little more shopping, I'm telling you. I don't shop often for general GAP-style clothes like you're seeing here; but the good news is that such things are so easy to make within the grid, most designers will bundle up 10 or 12 of them in different colors, and sell them for one small price. That lets me go out and get an entire closet full of shorts and polo shirts, and mix and match them according to my mood or whim of the day. That's how it should be with most generic clothes, I think; it's a good example of the free market in action there.

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And then finally, a nice little black dress I recently came across (even avs are on the constant lookout for the perfect basic black dress), as a free promo at a clothing store, although again I forgot to write down what exact store that was. Sigh. I swear to God, I'm going to get better at this.

(UPDATE: For those reading this through the RSS feed, Samantha Poindexter just let me know in the comments that both the Audrey Hepburn outfit and the black dress are from Blaze; and then I also just discovered over at Men's Second Style that the suits are from Blaze as well. Wow, I bought a bunch of stuff from them!)

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