I wonder when fond nostalgic feelings for the 80’s and its questionable style choices took over from our collective sense of shame for that decade. The Netflix series Stranger Things may have played a small part in that, although the makers probably already sensed that humanity needed a story that was set in the 80’s. It was such an innocent time, but that is what every generation says about their childhood. Mind you, if anyone ever is going to look back at the past five years or so as an “innocent” time, I dread to think what kind of future they will be living in. But there shall be no more dread in this blog post, only a bold splash of colour and a bit of spandex that leaves little to the imagination.
If you want to jump into the 80’s and also satiate your craving for gachas, then you should check out Noche’s Champion Gacha at The Epiphany, which is one of the more high end gacha events in Second Life™. If you’re not a fan of the gacha system, you can also just smack down a lump sum of Linden dough and buy yourself the fatpack. Noche’s designer does a good job listing what’s in this gacha set in his Flickr post, which saves me from repeating it all like a silly parrot. (Polly wants a cracker!)
This gacha set was inspired by an 80’s aerobics competition and it not only includes an outfit and sweatbands but also a virtual representation of a real life stage used for the 1988 US National Aerobic Championship. Now all you need is some synchronised aerobic moves and you’re set up for hours of fun with your sporty SL friends. For the setting of my shoot I went for something I found at Backdrop City, which pretty much screamed 80’s too. I mean, you’ll be hard pressed to find a stack of those fat TVs these days and even harder pressed trying to stack our modern day flat screens. Coincidentally this backdrop happens to be a gacha item too, but not at the current round of Epiphany. It’s from the Retrowave Gacha by Amitomo. I wasn’t familiar with this creator, but I felt right at home at their store, wearing my Noche Champion outfit. The place is a bright pastels extravaganza. I think I shall be having colourful dreams this night.
I think we have finally come to the end of my tour of Castor Cottage, the (for me) huge house I decorated way back when I still did a bit of socialising in Second Life™. These days I tend to keep to myself and I also seem to have lost “voice” somewhere along the way and haven’t been able to get it back. It’s not that I can’t enjoy a nice chat on the tippie-typie thingy (a.k.a. keyboard), it’s just that I haven’t got the energy to invest in (new) people. Anyhoo, this is meant to be the final leg of the tour of the Chilmark House by Brook Hill Living, not a session of me delving into the pros and cons of socialising in SL. So no more dilly dallying, let’s take a look at what I called the guest suite (see, I really was being sociable, I had a suite for guests!).
I think I was running out of prims at this point, or possibly out of patience, or maybe I didn’t want to over burden the sim, so I kept this guest suite very uncluttered. Throughout this house I used an interesting mix of wall papers, which I found by just looking for real life samples online and turning them into seamless patterns when necessary. The Meadow bed and Maurice side table by Lisp Bazaar look quite at home in the country setting of this house. The Judy lamp by MudHoney works well as a light to read a book by and when my guests need something to sit on to gracefully put on their socks and avoid that clumsy one-footed hopping around, they can use the leather strapped trunk by Apple Fall. The art is by Dali, but the frame is from the Apple Fall botanical study.
Of course I couldn’t call this a suite if my guests did have something else to sit on than their bed. Opposite the sleeping area, there’s this cosy corner with the Nutmeg Chesterfield sofa (a group gift, which I can’t find at that their store now), made even cosier with the “Sunday Morning” throw pillows by Aria. The coffee table doesn’t seem to be in my inventory, which makes me suspect that this item was rezzed by my “land lord”. He constantly was spurring me on to finish this decorating project by rezzing things for me to look at (and reject). The Apple Fall Blue Bell painted closet fits nicely against that narrow bitt of wall between the windows and offers a place to put some flowers on. The box with roses and vase with meadow flowers both are by Apple Fall, as are the decorative bed warmers on the wall above the closet. Again the artwork is something I’ve picked up from the internet.
No guest suite would be complete without a little work area. The desk from the Inspired Space set by Serenity Style looks simple, but it has doors and drawers that open, so my guests can keep their work space clutter free for however long they are staying (hopefully no longer than it takes for fish to rot). I think that desk was part of a Decocrate set and I can’t really find it at the Serenity Style store.The chair is from another Decocrate set by Sari Sari and I couldn’t find that either. The idea of the Decrocrate subscription boxes was that items were going to be exclusive to the boxes for some time. Once boxes were retired, the designers were free to put the items up at their store, but I think some of them didn’t do that. These days a new Decocrate only comes out a couple of times a years instead of each month. I’m shedding some light on the work space with the golden Task Lamp by The Loft (and Aria) which you actually can find at the store (oh look, a useful credit!). Of course I couldn’t leave that other big wall empty, so I placed the Tarte DIY entryway table there (it kinda is an entryway because the door leads to the spacious terras). Obviously one can’t just put a table out there without putting anything on it, deuh! So what we have here is the lovely Seaglass lamp (gacha) by Lucas Lameth and Apple Fall white iris. The carriage clock with books is also by Apple Fall, but it’s a gacha item you’ll only find in Marketplace these days.
In hotels the storage space often is disappointing. No guest of mine shall be lacking in space to properly unpack and neatly put away their clothes for the duration of their stay (seriously though, are you moving in or something? *nervous giggles*). The Modular Wardrobe by Consignment really helped me deliver on that promise. My Little Glowing Boyfriend by Bauwerk is their to make sure my guests can see what they’re doing while they’re getting dressed… so what’s their excuse for looking such a mess?
Obviously I absolutely cannot have a guest suite without an ensuite. I imagine this part of the house has been modernised at a later stage and instead of putting in a classic bathtub, I’ve opted for the sleek N4RS Wet Man Shower. Guests will find an ample supply of floofie towels in the Apple Fall Noel cabinet and some more towels are already waiting for them on a little Nutmeg wooden stool for immediate use. Because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mixing utilitarian sleek design with a more rustic style, I installed the Apple Fall Lange washtand and hung up the Dutchie antique mirror. Et voilà, there’s your ensuite.
And with that and a bit of gratuitous nudity (hey! it’s called “Wet Man Shower”, okay!?) we have come to the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed this episode and you can find previous episodes by using the search at the bottom of my blog.
I’ve got this feeling that I would rather enjoy being somewhere far away from everything for a little while. Glamping seems rather attractive at the moment. In Second Life™ I wandered around a bit at The Hollow, a temporary sim that’s only open until April 20th. It’s the Dust Bunny Wanderlust Hedera Caravan I found there that set me on this day dreaming path.
I’ve even given my attire some thought in that daydream. Because it’s not full-on camping, I think I can get away with something that is comfortable and casual without being the kind of thing you see at stores that sell tents. While I’m at it, I’ll imagine slightly warmer weather too than what I’m currently living with in reality. The Will outfit by Noche does the trick for me. Noche’s designer got inspired by Taylor Swift’s video for her song Willow and he did a great job on the details in this outfit. As usual the fatpack is almost flowing over with colour options, so I spent some time mixing and matching to my heart’s content, until I settled on greens and browns that suit my imaginary green surroundings.
And while I’ll allow my mind to drift off into this meandering daydream, I’ll leave you with the…
I just collected the update of the Akeruka Advanced M01 male mesh head. The current version is 3.5 and I never picked up the version that came in between this one and the first one. I guess there have been some subtle changes to the rigging, which explains why my shapes for it are looking slightly weird now (no mister director, I am NOT ready for my close up!). Oh well, I do love a little update project! I won’t give you a full list of credits at the end of this post, but I’ll leave some hints along the way.
For my Tim shape, the skin I used was Evan by Birth for Catwa mesh heads and it still works but I can’t make the eyebrows look quite right. The good news is that the skin includes a browless version and the head comes with built-in HD eyebrow options. The great thing about these is that, on top of being able to change the appearance of the eyebrows by editing your eyebrows shape, the hud for the Akeruka Advanced head allows you to move the brows up and down and closer to each other or indeed further apart. Eve the size (meaning the width) of the eyebrows can be adjusted. I absolutely adore these little personalisation options. My Tim look now has considerably heavier eyebrows than it had before, but I kinda like it. The hair is by Wings and the eyes are by Avi-Glam, applied to the rigged eyes that come with the head. Make sure you wear the alpha that hides system eyes and you’ll need the Omega relay for Akeruka to be able to apply the texture on the eyes. I’m using a facial stubble that comes with the skin and the HD beard that comes with the head on top of that. The body is Legacy Meshbody.
The next shape I had to update is Joshua. For this one I used the Birth skin named Dagger for Catwa mesh heads in a dark skin tone (#7) and again I went for the browless skin combined with the built-in HD eyebrows of the Akeruka head. It’s starting to look like this is going to be my preferred solution, until someone creates more skins that have been made for the Akeruka Advanced heads. The dreads are by Camo and the hoodie is from Noche. The body is Belleza Jake.
For my Connor shape I used the Stray Dog Jay for Catwa mesh heads with… you guessed it, the Akeruka brows. The hair is by Stealthic. The beard is part of the skin (version without beard is included) and the body hair is one of the options that comes with the Stray Dog body skin. The body is the free Classic Meshbody. I use this shape with Legacy Meshbody without making changes. The butt is a bit more voluptuous in that case, but I don’t mind that at all.
Last but not least, here’s my Rickard shape. This look used to be made with the Stray Dog skin that came with the head but these days, the 3.5 version of the Akeruka Advanced M01 is being shipped without any skins at all. On the one hand that feels odd and on the other hand, most people don’t want to walk around with the standard look anyway. So now I’m using the Stray Dog Erwin skin for Catwa heads, browless with the head’s HD brows. The hair is by Modulus and the body is Belleza Jake.
Note: When I first got the update, there was an issue with the offset of eye lashes. I raised the issue in the AK group chat and after a bit of back and forth discussion with SlackGirl, their customer service rep, the issue was brought to the attention of the creator, KAOZ. He had to go run an errand (actually, he needed to go get diapers for his baby girl… nice to get a bit of insight in the private life of mesh head creator eh?) but he got on the issue soon after and a new version was available for download via the redelivery terminal that same day. The only thing that slightly annoyed me with this experience, was how I had to jump to some hoops to show that it was I myself who was doing something wrong. I guess they haven’t got the time to check first who you are before they start treating you like a noob.
As you can see, I’ve used skins that were originally made for Catwa heads for all of these looks. Odly, I feel that they worked better on the first version of this head. Perhaps the knowledge that this version uses the SL UV map will help me to find other better fitting skins. Having said that, the result with the skins made for Catwa is already much better than what I was able to achieve with Akeruka heads from previous generations. Things can only get better… Oh, I feel a song coming on!
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t really get into role playing in Second Life™. How does one go about it? Do you just sit there, having pretend (chat) conversations, making it up as you go along for hours at a time? I imagine it’s a rather popular thing for those that are into fantasy avatars. Luckily I don’t let my lack of enthusiasm for role playing stop me from occasionally putting together a fantastic fairy look. Most sims won’t mind if you show up wearings wings and pointy ears anyway, they don’t even need to have a fantasy theme. Whenever someone does take offence or if you’re breaking some covenants, they can always let you know, or be complete self-righteous pricks about it and ban you without warning. But hey, at least you’ll be flying away from that sim in style.
Sometimes an outfit starts with a particular item and then I build my colour scheme around it. The Easter themed headband by Bauhause Movement, which I got from a hunt a couple of years ago, is a good example of that. I’ve picked up the turquoise of the eggs with the texture of the harness and then paired this with a loincloth in simple white. Arguably the arm and wrist bands are more of a Roman thing, but the bit of bling ads another touch of festiveness to this look, don’t you think?
Before we take a closer look at the deets for the outfit, we should have a whatchamacallit moment… Mindfulness! That’s the word I was looking for! Lost Unicorn is a good sim for that kind of thing and you can easily wander around and explore it without having to engage into any kind of role playing adventure. For me the sim has a relaxing ethereal feel to it, especially if I allow their film music stream to play. You’ll run into other fairies, dragons, unicorns and other magical creatures here, so who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend. Meh, people overrated. I’ll just chat up a unicorn. Wait! Isn’t that role play kind of thing? How did this happen!
Naturally, if you are a “devout” catholic, Easter is a very meaningful time for you. For the rest of us it’s just an excuse to eat way more chocolate than we should and have a couple of days off from work, if you’re lucky enough to live in a country where you get one or two bank holidays for this. I definitely belong in that second group. With Belgium being my birth country, I’m practically obliged to eat chocolate on a professional level, although Belgian chocolate is far less easy to find in Stockholm than for example the Swiss brand Lindt. Oh well, when in Rome…
This isn’t exactly the kind of outfit I’d advice for a family friendly activity, such as an egg hunt, but it definitely is suitable for an adult easter themed party. Noche has given their Evan Harness the latex treatment, so now there’s a version that goes perfectly with their Ayo Jockstrap. One of the nice things about that jockstrap is that with the fatpack you can choose a different colour for the crotch and straps which adds another dimension to the colour coordinating fun. I’ve picked up the pink of the jockstrap with the latex gloves and in some of the details of my boots. The Cox Kinky Bunny leather mask definitely finishes this outfit, but it’s a shame I can’t find it in Marketplace or the Cox store. I’m going to assume I got this from a hunt somewhere once upon a time, or I have been sleepwalk purchasing again. Altogether I’d say I look naughty and nice like sugar and spice and I’m on my way to becoming a type two diabetic.
It’s an NX-Nardcotix David day for me, it’s beach time (again!) and it’s time for some fatpack indulgence. You may or may not know that it’s a challenge to find clothing for the lovely NX-Nardcotix mesh body. I don’t really know why that is and it might be interesting to get some comments here with reasons why you never bought the David body or, if you are a clothing creator, why you don’t support it. But let’s get on with some positivity and see what you CAN wear with this body.
Those of you who have read some of my previous blog posts regarding the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body now that the Aesthetic size (a.k.a. Enzo size) can be a lifesaver when it comes to jeans and bermuda shorts. The Alec shorts by Tori Torricelli are a very nice example of that. I could literally pop these shorts on without really having to alter the Travis shape I made for this avatar. I did tweak the butt size and saddle bags just a little bit, to create a tighter fit, but it wasn’t really necessary. For my Troy shape (the black avatar) tweaking was actually necessary but minimal. Naturally when I find something that fits David this well, I just have to grab the fatpack, even if it is a bit pricey. I just know I’m going to wear the *beep* out of these shorts with David.
Wear them without anything and you can dive straight into the ocean with these shorts, but add a tanktop and a pair of sandals and you’ve got yourself an outfit. Alternatively you can strip down to one of the very few swimwear options available for David. Basically, this is just another virtual beach therapy day.
That’s it for this somewhat stripped down episode of shopping with David. I’m going to enjoy the sights and sounds of Tulum Reserve a bit more before it’s time to get back to Real Life (it’s so lame, it doesn’t even deserve a trademark).
Today I’m dusting off one of the most muscular mesh bodies in Second Life™. The Niramyth Aesthetic mesh body has been around for a long time, but it still is very popular with a group of loyal fans. You have to be loyal to stick with this body, because there haven’t been any updates in years, nor has there been any talk of updates to BOM for example. The lack of skin options for the Aesthetic body has always been the main letdown for me and maybe if it was updated to BOM, someone might feel inspired to make a new skin for it. But alas, all is quiet on the update front.
For those of you who are heavily into muscle worship, the Aesthetic mesh body is still one of the better options. Personally I don’t bulk this body up too much with my shape, but that doesn’t stop me from having a bit of fun with the Pec Flex muscle animations by Birth.
While there are no 3rd party skin options to speak off, Niramyth does offer a couple of options themselves and you can tint the skin to match a Catwa mesh head. At this point I should mention that the body automatically comes with its own mesh head, but if you stick with that, the options to personalise your look become even more limited. Still, if you just want a very buff avatar and don’t care that there might be some clones of it running around (hey, that might even be a fantasy of yours, you filthy bastards!) the complete Aesthetic avatar is a bit of steal at L$2799.
The hot as hell underwear and swimwear brands like Thirst and Noche don’t support this body, but it comes with its own free pair of tighty-whities and these boxer briefs have been sent out into the grid as a full perm item, which means you can find a ton of texturing variations when you have a look around. RGDW Couture and No Shirt Sherlock are some good places to start of with. For something a little bit more original in the underwear and swimwear department, you can go take a look at Quite and Guilty.
As for outfits, there are some high-end brands that carry the Aesthetic size. Good examples are Legal Insanity, Dufaux, Invictus and Guilty. This list is by no means complete and you can of course search on “Aesthetic” in Marketplace and then filter down to men’s apparel. The top tip as always is to make sure that the Aesthetic size is included by taking a demo first.
Right, enough blah blah blah! It’s time to leave you with the credits and hit the gym, cause this body doesn’t build itself you know (eeehm, yes it does, you’re just going to hit on hot guys).
If you don’t know what to do, or perhaps more importantly, don’t know where to go in Second Life™, you can click the destinations button in your toolbar for some inspiration. I rather like the Editor’s pick section because it constantly changes and it has guided me to some quite exciting destinations. Alternatively you can check out the more extensive Destination Guide on the SL website.This is how I discovered the soothingly pretty Tulum Reserve sim.
This sim has everything… Oh that particular phrase makes me want to launch into a SNL Stefon bit. “This place has everything: ziplines, fish food, that fat Hawaiian guy that nobody invited, an old Pakistani woman that looks like a California raisin…” But seriously though, there is a lot to look at here. Lush jungles, pristine beaches and mysterious mangrove marshes await you in the beautifully landscaped Tulum Reserve. It is a residential sim, so some areas (private residences) are of-limits but you can grab yourself a piña colada and sunbathe by the pool at Ethan’s Casa Del Mar Beach Club anytime you like.
There’s no mentioning in the covenant that this is an LGBT friendly sim, so I just take that for granted. Nobody intervened when some serious heavy petting was going on for this shot, so I guess it was O.K. It helps that this is an adult sim, I suppose. There are several gorgeous spots with accommodating furniture for you and whomever you bring along.
To be honest, all this is just a bit of an excuse to show off my new beach ready outfit. The Noche Stringer Tank has a nice build-in function that lets you lift it and even take it off completely. The new Noche David Trunks pair up beautifully with the tank and I’m completing the pink theme with a pair of Semller Canvas Hi Tops.
In Stockholm, one should never make the mistake to think winter is over, just because it started thawing out a bit. Right now we’re getting a gentle dusting of snow again, which is rather cute like icing sugar on a cake and jack frost is nipping at my nose once more. I could really do with a change of scenery though and I have been day dreaming of beaches I’ve spent time on. I was never one for sunbathing, but there was a time in my life that I was an admin intern at a hospital in Margate and living in Broadstairs. I would often meet up with fellow Belgian expat interns at the pub and after some drinks, we would occasionally sit in the sand on the beach in the dark and just talk nonsense, like one does in one’s early twenties . I remember that as some of the best months of my life. Other beaches (and beach towns) that hold some significance in my life are Ostend (Belgium), Ballybunion (Ireland) and pretty much the whole coastline of Jersey (The Channel Isles). *Sigh* All about a century ago.
In Second Life™ there is a section of the destination guide dedicated to beaches, but the one I find myself at today isn’t in there. It’s Oost Harbor at the Oost-West sim. This is technically a gay sim, but I don’t think they kick you out for being straight. It’s also a lot less trashy than some of the other gay or LGBTQA+ sims. Did I get all the letters in there? Personally I’m going with “human”, though I’m not always sure that’s a good thing. It’s such a fekking cliché to say I don’t let my sexual orientation define me, right? Anyhoo, beaches. This is a kind pretty one, with things to look at and a town to wander into when you start heading away from the beach. It all rather makes me wonder what SL is like with VR goggles. I know it’s not really made for it, but I definitely would want to try it one day. Mind you, this place does have weekly parties at which people will be dancing naked and with those Physics Cocks swinging around, the chance of losing an eye is not entirely non-existing. You can’t say I haven’t warned you!