Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Big SL Peeve

Okay, I've kicked this around for awhile now. It's not going to stay in any longer.

I detest the slave - master scene in SL. I effing hate it. Do you sense my sincerity?

I think the tipping point was a bit of info a friend shared with me via some avi's profile that is a master. Sure you can say that it is rp and its a game but its total bullshit IMHO. This profile contained nothing but vindictive spew designed to degrade someone to the point of meaningless insignificance.

If SL slavery is just a game, well can I as a white avatar have A -A, African avis as my property? Not that I would but hey its just a game isn't it? Why not have any avatars other white avatars as my property? Reprehensible thought isn't it?

Well then, lets leave the racial malestrom aside, shall we? I'm a male avatar. I think I should have several female slave avis. After all, males are intrinsically superior. We have dominion over all we survey, correct? Even typing this drivel is an exercise in moronic thought .

The point is: people/avis are not property, chattel, collateral, bling....what have you. They are people. We had a pretty serious altercation in this country from 1861 - 1865 to remove that peculiar institution from this land. How people want to take a step back almost 200 years is beyond my comprehension.

Honestly, I don't get it. Don't get it at all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thanks :)

Shout Out to.....

All the people that made my birthday so unique and enjoyable! My beautiful Kimala, the ravishing Miss Bliss, my pal Parker, the incomparable BusyBee, fun loving Quiet, the riddle wrapped in an enigma Iso, multi-talented Mac, gorgeous Joonie, new friend Megan, smoldering Shayla.....

Special shout out to Crighton who DJ's like no one else. As my 5 year old tells me: "that motherfucker is great!" Thanks for expanding his vocabulary :)

Also thanks to the main man of the Midwest E as in Ehric and the steady rolling sound of the South Borday.

You guys made it great!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Audacious Life and Legend Part II

I've finished the book I spoke of in an earlier blog entry. Boy was I stoked that the author himself replied to my blog. The highlight of my blogging career, to this point anyway. Thanks again David.

Sometimes things develop in such an interesting arc. As part of my fab Fathers Day gift treasure chest, besides the aforementioned book, I received two current issues of contemporary surf mags. Surfing and Transworld to be exact.

I was struck with the absolute lack of anything substantive. Their focus seems to be two-fold: selling product and generating identities for the legions of surfers (selling product again).

Damn if Dora did not hit the nail on the head. Spot on man. I wonder if part of his pathos was coming from a spot of uncluttered fun and witnessing, and playing a part in, its descent into the morass of commercialism.

I really don't lament for the multitude of surfers that have come in the wake of our sports pioneers. They do not know any different from what they have grown up accustomed to. They can't surf Stanley's or hustle some waitress that worked at Gaviota Chevron and had Ranch access. Those experiences, like any other are unique to the individual.

What a great book! I'd love to see someone do a history on surfing at the Hollister Ranch. Now there's a complex dynamic at work:).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Only in America....

Last week I saw one of the most bizarre news stories of the past six months. With all of the other horrors and hardships that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, this nugget seemed to encapsulate the absurdity of modern times.

We live in a society that is awash in litigation. I know that I have heard of things that have happened to friends and thought to myself, "They should sue." The following story fits that mindset perfectly.

A woman is suing Victoria's Secret because of an injury she received while wearing a thong. Apparently, or would it be allegedly, an ornamental heart adornment on the aforementioned thong gave way and proceeded to cut the woman's eye. Once this occurred, in the grand tradition of Lewis & Clark and other American virtues, she lawyered up!

I watched this woman, or should I say plaintiff, being interviewed on one of the morning shows. Granted it was a head shot mostly of these two individuals, her lawyer and herself, but from what I could surmise (pure speculation and conjecture your honor!), this woman had no business wearing a thong on anything other than her feet as foot apparel.

Does the possibility of some financial pay-off preclude looking like a total money grubbing ass on national tv? Just made me shake my head. Perhaps my ten year old who was sitting alongside me as I watched the spectacle said it best, "Doesn't she know she is an idiot?" Good question son, good question.....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Audacious Life and Legend

The past few days I've been consumed with reading a book that I got for Dad's Day. I initially thought it was be a nice summer read, nothing to complex. I definately got more than I bargained for.

All for a Few Perfect Waves - The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora is the title of the book. Its very well written yet I don't know if I would recommend it. Odd yet true. This book has filled my dreams and made me confront some sadness that has been long locked away.

Dora was not in the mold of your average surfer in the 50's and 60's. His hair was dark and he was ruthless. He looked to people for what they could offer him. He was the undisputed King of Malibu. His surfing abilities at that fabled spot are legendary. Fluid grace earned him the nickname of "Da Cat".

He foretold the overrunning of all surf spots and the utter commercialization of the sport that was at the core of his being. He watched the demise of the Southern California Dream. He couldn't take it, he traveled the world at the expense of others.

He had mega personal issues that really kept him from finding true happoiness. I told you this book has its hooks in me:) Missed out on so much in life to maintain the personality of Miki Dora. Complex dude and the book follows his entire life. Really makes you think about your own life path and that can't be bad.

Dead and gone since 2001. As tied to Malibu as anything else. To this day, almost 40 years since he sped across those peeling, perfect wave faces, the graffiti along the retaining wall adjacent to Malibus says it all: DORA RULES.........DA CAT LIVES

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Check In

I really don't have a uniting thread to deal with in this blog. Consider it a USA Today experience without all the color and graphs.

For Fathers Day, one of the multitude of gifts I was showered with, along with some Bulgari (yes Bliss), was a book about a surfer named Miki Dora. Great read and a little unsettling. Nice to read a book on occasion that pushes different buttons in you emotionally. Thanks for the wishes for a good Fathers Day, those are important too.

I've been brainstorming ideas to increase my blog readership. I know, I know its a male compete, compete, compete thing but what can I say? If you have any ideas, I'm all ears. I need a critical friend. Hee Hee

It's dawning on me that if I respond to other peoples blogs they will usually respond to mine. Its a daily ritual that I check peoples blogs. Well, at least it is a goal. Ok, I'm working on it :).

I am working on a blog detailing the difference between RL and SL surfing. There are some interesting similiarities and some glaring differences. BTW, in case you were wondering the people on SL beaches are far more attractive. FAR MORE ATTRACTIVE.... lol

Monday, June 16, 2008

Say it isn't so :(, but I can dig it

Some mondays are harder than others....

Anthony Kiedis told Rolling Stone Magazine in an interview published May 20, 2008 that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are "disbanded for the moment." Following the last leg of the tour promoting Stadium Arcadium, the band members have been on a break. Kiedis attributes this to the band being worn out from their years of nonstop work since Californication. Kiedis explained that he is currently preoccupied with taking care of his new son, while Flea is experimenting with new musical ideas, Frusciante is continuing his solo career, and Chad Smith is in Japan working with a jazz band. The band plans to remain on hiatus for "a minimum of one year." However, Kiedis has stated that he is anxious to start thinking about new material. Chad Smith is now playing with a band called "Chicken Foot" which includes Sammy Hagar, former vocalist of Van Halen.[60]

God damn that jazz. LOL

Actually in another article I read after Kimala delivered the shattering news during her commute. Anthony said he was staying at home getting to know his kid and learning to surf. how could I begrudge a fellow father beach and kid time? You go dude and enjoy some RL brother!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thanks Dad

My Dad is an interesting guy. Not prototypical in a lot of ways. Never a big pusher. Never the enforcer in our family. But always my Dad.

My Dad never laid a hand on me my entire life. Odd set of circumstances until you look deeper. My Dad's real father took a hike when he was 6 months old. Left him and his Mother homeless in Terre Haute, Indiana. She remarried six months later to a man that would haunt his his adolesence.

The step-father was a cruel man who meted out both physical and mental punishment in abundance. He was a drunk. My Dad doesn't really go into details about the physical abuse, but I heard about the black eyes and him getting out of the house when his step father had been drinking. He would sleep at a friends houses. He was simply hated because his was the son of another man who had been with his wife prior to their meeting.

The one glimpse that I was given on something that hurt my father deeply was when he was 6 or 7 years old. His step father had told him that they were going to see the Indianapolis 500 in person. This was a big deal back in the day. My father sat outside from 7 am till 9pm waiting for a ride that never came.

Despite this challenging set of circumstances I have never doubted for one second that my father loved me. One proof of his love was that he wasn't the parent that spanked. He did not want to go there. The worst form of punishment that my father would dish out to me was the expression that stated, "you have disappointed me."

He, despite early working hours, always had time for a catch in the backyard. Did he go to all my games in high school and college? No. But he went to my Little League games without fail. Most importantly, he instilled in me a love of baseball and a respect for its tradition that continues to this day. It is still a thread in our relationship.

So thanks Dad for stopping the cycle of pain and hurt. That could have been passed on to me but you made a decision that the cycle would end with you. You are a complex guy who grew up in times of blood and trauma. Despite these challenges, all you have ever shown me is love. Oh, I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for a million laughs along the way.

I love you Dad.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sudden Departures

I, like many others, was saddened by the passing of Tim Russert. I always enjoyed his show and commentary. He was insightful and always fair. Fairness and balance seem to be rare commodities in today's media onslaught.

Russert's passing was sudden and unexpected. Kimala and I spoke at length on this topic. We weighed which departure would be hardest on a family, etc. There are no easy answers on this one.

We have made a conscious decision to always bless one another when we go about our different ways in the morning. It's a family tradition that Kimala started and I am grateful she did!

Life contains an ever-present degree of uncertainty that we all face. I think that if you keep this fact in mind it creates a paradigm shift in your behavior towards others. Being aware that there is a possibility, however remote, that this could be the last time you see, feel and smile at that person before creates an urgency to show your love and caring for that person.

To have a relationship abruptly halted would be a tragedy. To end it on a sour note would be haunting. Love those around you for they are just passing through. We are not immortal. We are not indestructible.

My challenge is to transfer more of this realization into SL. In my wanderings with others and alone I have come across a few memorial sights for avi's that have passed. Or more appropriately, the RL person behind the avi. I may not say blessings on you when you or I say goodnight and log, but I will be thinking it. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You think you're bad? Well, do ya?

It's ok, I'm not that much of a badass myself. BUT;), I did take four kids to Kung Fu Panda today @ 10:00 a.m. Actually a pretty decent film. Kids loved it and they were very mannerly and not too crazy. Plus it's rush being accompanied by four uber attractive kids and feeling so rightfully proud!

I would be less than honest if I didn't tell you I really enjoy the puzzled looks you get from the other movie goers. If you go with one or two it not that much of a mystery: he's taking his kids, he's one of the many divorced Dad's, he is giving Mom a break and taking the kids to a movie, etc.

But with four it just seems to add to the overall confusion. You are either a saint or a scumbag. Sainthood being, "Look at that brave soul, single parent of four kids. What a responsible, wonderful man." Or scumbag, "What type of no good bastard leaves his wife with four children? The capricious, shallow piece of filth."

Thank God, I am neither. I am taking my kids to the movies on a cool June morning, only 100 degrees for the high today guys!, and feeling super lucky to have that as an option for todays activites. BTW, see the movie even if you don't have kids. Jack Black is great even in animation.

One last detail: The older kids will watch the twins while Mom and Dad go see Sex and The City this weekend. Life is all about negotiation baby. I snagged me a win-win.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lamest Survey Ever?

As I logged in this morning there was a prompt to take a survey from the Lindens. I usually bite on these. Even in RL, I feel for the people on the other end of the phone doing surveys. They are just trying to make a buck like the rest of us. I just try to balance the scales somewhat. One can only imagine the torrents of abuse they take from people not in a good space.

So I take the Linden generated survey. It was weird, pointless and more than a little silly. I was given some visual representations of avatars and told to evaluate how they made me feel on a classic Likert scale of 1 to 5. 1 representing strongly like to 5 representing strongly dislike. The medium point being 3 which signified neither dislike or like.

Mostly I answered 3. A few I gave 2's to for the following reasons: one reminded me of my 2nd grade teacher (Mrs. Bernardi) and another reminded me of a next door neighbor I had growing up (Mrs. D). Nice ladies so I gave them a 2. Only one got a 4 because she reminded me of the clown that works for the ADE.

There were these other odd avatars that looked like a papertowel roll creation. How can you strongly dislike a by product of paper towels? Not getting it.

The point is that hopefully we have evolved to a point in RL and SL that you eventually, the time duration choice is yours, base your feelings about someone based on substance rather than appearance. People will always be drawn to the attractive that is human nature. We like to think of ourselves as attractive and fear that we are percieved as unattractive. Thats human nature also.

People you like can be hurtful. While apologizing they can even be more hurtful. That is also human nature. We all make mistakes and will continue to do so. I can accept that in people. Cause I do it myself. Be careful with the words you choose, they have power. Again, I need to remember this also.

SL is a big place with room for all. I do not know what the future holds only a fool would cop that attitude. I may become a paper towel man in a paper towel world. It's probably a very clean place. Time to see some other sights I think.

B.B. King says, "May I live forever." Then he points to the crowd and says, "May you live forever and a day." Smart man that B.B.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Best film of the last 100 years?

The job at FSP continues to be interesting. Most days it is totally funny because guys are such dorks. That seems to be a constant. Occasionally it is something entirely different.

I use two alts at FSP. It was recommended that I not use my true avi for reasons of harassment and some connections, albeit loose, to those few in RL who know the man behind bigd Flanagan. I have a male alt and a female alt. I don't use the female alt to entrap male avis at FSP, these guys entrap themselves constantly. Some of these guys would hit on a snowman alt, I'm not kidding.

If I'm in the female alt, this is how it usually plays out: them: "you wanna ________"?, Me: "no thanks". Them: "sorry". Nine times out of ten thats pretty much how it plays out. Only the buffoon's that don't grasp the nuances of No get the freeze, eject and ban full service option. Plus sometimes you have to launch someone who is there just spamming this and that. They get launched too!

So I'm monitoring things, ahem, there and strike up this conversation. Yes folks it was a conversation! My alt had this conversation with this dude from Russia about another Russian girl he met on SL who know lives in Turkey. They have developed a relationship and spoken on the phone and communicate via email. He was asking me, I mean her, is their relationship real and if the feelings they have for each other are real? This conversation probably lasted 30 minutes or so.

At this point, I can say that SL has definately evolved for me once again. Another addendum to my SL resume can now include: Russian Relationship Counselor. BTW, I do give excellent solicited advice. He was all hung up on the reality of the situation if it takes place in a virtual setting. I told him to concentrate on the real feelings that were occuring to two real people and just take it one day at a time. To enjoy himself in the process of getting to know anther person. What I really was saying in my head was: shut the fuck up pal and enjoy the experience. The guy is a classic overthinker. I'm guessing he is some kind of scientist always asking the why question and needing three additional hypothesis for every possible alternative. Jeesh!

All in a days work. Me, I'm a cop. A sex cop..............

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Well, I'm screwed.....

It's 11:22 and I'm wide awake after falling asleep around 7 ish upstairs. I vaguely remember tickling my daughter before I feel asleep. God, she has the best laugh. So I sleep for about 3 hours and now I'm in the predicament. Oh well, gives me something to write about.

Earlier today, far earlier actually, I underwent my first day of training as a faculty advisor for a program I'm going to be associated with this summer. To make a long story short, I'll be advising/mentoring soon to be first year teachers that will be working in KC, New Orleans and Chicago.

A nuts and bolts day but way too much sitting and listening!! Gets to me after awhile. I do not know why I was so tired when I got home. Could it have been the several texts and phone calls I got from my in-house day care providers? Props to Z and N, btw. My favorite phone call was my oldest informing me that he had given his little sister a five minute time-out. The crime? She was being sassy. I told him to chill on the time-outs.

Overall, very proud of my two oldest. These guys really know how to step up. Of course they can't seem to keep their hands off of one another and make a continuous stream of insults and threats to one another, but they are testosterone pilots in training.

My RL job for real doesn't kick in until 6/23, shortly after Father's Day. So I get another short break until mentoring in earnest. I'm looking forward to it, the credentials of these soon to be first year teachers are impressive. It's a hard program to get into and doesn't involve doing it to get student loans wiped out. They are doing it to make a difference. That's always cool with me.

Okay, its 11:35 now. I got to try to sleep. 5:30 comes quick in these locales:)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

First Day on the job (SL)

Ok, Ive done for my first day of monitoring venue infringemnt in Sex Land. I've reached some, albeit initial, conclusions:

1. Noob sex is incredibly horrible to watch. A friend explained,"It's like a car wreck, you can't help but look." Well stated, and oh so true!!

2. Guys are fucking morons. No big secret here. Going up to any female in any world and announcing,"My penis is out"! is not smooth. Possible replies, "Why yes it is, and you are a nitwit."

3. If a girl is dressed in a whore suit and she has 4 or 5 avatars standing around for longer than two minutes, she is an escort. Say together now: "freeze, eject and ban." Now thats job satisfaction baby...

4. Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex sells!! The more people talk about it, the less they do it. It was true in high school, true in college and true at any other point of life. Think of an avi you know that is constantly talking about sex and you might have someone who gets laid as often as a sea turtle.

Please stay tuned as this story/experience will be ever evolving.