just a little quote…

There comes a point in your life when you realize:
Who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore…and who always will. So don’t worry about people from your past, there is a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.

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I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world…

I tend to go on and on in this blog about the woes of my life, and various pets, lost lovers and Christmas, but there is one thing I mention that I never explain much. That thing, is Second Life.

Second Life is a wonderful (and sometimes TERRIBLE) place where you can meet people from just about any country in the world, share experiences, make friends, partake in role play (anything from being a vampire, werewolf, Gorean outlaw, or Steampunk princess). It is a place to truly express yourself and be anything you want. And I am very serious about that last part. Anything you want means ANYTHING…from a dragon, to a human with animal features, a blood sucking vampire, a stripper, a mother, a simple human (any gender, no matter your real life gender). Anything. People often wonder “What is so good about Second Life?” I like to think of it as getting to play Barbie, hang out in a chat room and express everything I ever wanted but can’t in the real world.

This entry will serve as a how to guide and a peek into the lives of Second Lifers. I though how I would do this, and I’ve decided the best and easiest way would be to create a new character and go through the process with you. Giving lots of hints and tips and general knowledge from someone who has been in world for over 2.5 years. There are going to be terms that mostly are exclusive to either the internet or second life and I have put them in bold with the definition following, and will do my best to explain them. So here we go!

Also, before we begin, you need to decide if you want to spend real money in the game. In world currency is called Lindens. There are several places that offer free clothes, skins, hairs, shapes, etc. but they aren’t really great quality and people will be able to tell they are freebies (anything you can buy that is free.) It is true you can make Lindens in the game, however it is rather difficult and really only done one of three ways: 1. begging (NEVER a good idea. People will grief you, not want to be your friend and generally hate yo.) 2. dancing (basically you are a stripper. Yeah…I know. not really looked well upon in world. Also, you wont be able to do this until you have been in world at least 2 weeks, and several times you already need to have a good looking av.) 3. camping (you sit in the same spot for hours and hours and gain very little money for it.) The Linden exchange is pretty good, and there are a lot of shops out there that are of high quality for very few Lindens. I think of buying Lindens like this: It is a game I love, and it is free. Most other online games or worlds would make you pay a membership fee (think WoW-world of warcraft) but SL doesn’t. $10 USD will buy you a lot, and last a while. Just think about it. No one is forcing you.

Step One: Getting Started

First you will need to create an account and an AV (avatar/avie. This is the character you will be playing in the game.) You can do this by going to secondlife.com. I should mention here, you can have as many characters as you would like. I personally have two that I play on, however one of my best friends has about 40! OK, so you’ve gone to the site, up in the top right corner should be a bright orange rectangle that states “Join Now…it’s fast, free and easy.” Click that. Next you will select what you want your character to look like. This is the one part you shouldn’t pay much attention to at all because you will need to change this as soon as possible. There are people in SL (the abbreveated form of Second Life. Also note, RL = real life) called greifers (these people have in game “weapons” that can do anytihng from make the shape of your av look rediculous to completely crashing the game for you. They are the evil people in the game and very quickly get banned, if the correct steps are followed.) whose sole purpose of being in the game is to terrorize noobs (poeple who are brand new to the game, see also: newbie, newblet, etc.) So by this point you should have chosen a character look that you like. Now is one of the most difficult parts…choosing a name. Now, there will be multiple lastnames to choose from, so if you change your mind you can always change the name that you have chosen, but ONLY in these next 2 steps. Once you have settlted on a first and last name your stuck with it. My advice on this is, your name will follow you around for the entire time you choose to go on SL. Don’t choose a name like ladyluver101 or sexypants or Lauren7. Think of it as a real name. I suggest capitalizing the first letter, as your last name will be capitalized. Numbers in a name look stupid, as does a rediculously long name. Think of possible nick names you will be given (example: one of my characters names is Rubi. She gets called Bubi…which sounds like boobie.) OK, so now you have a first name, choose a last name. Hurray! You have a name. Now enter you information, and activate your account. After you activate your account you will be presented with two options: 1. visiting the tutorials (in welcome island)  and 2. visiting the community gateways. I suggest going through the tutorials because then you wont look quite so noobish. If however you want to skip that and learn as you go, click to visit the community gateways. Select which ever community appeals to you in your preferec language. Once you have chosen, you should be presented with the steps of downloading second life and beginning so do that now.

Step 2: In World

Once you have done the tutorials, or just gone straight into the world, you can log in and begin your journeys. Add me as a friend – Rubi Hawker, Autumn Catnap or my newly created Clover Mandrake and let me know you read this and need some help! I can show you clothing options, help you with any questions and just be there for support. To add me as a friend go to the bottom, click search. Make sure you are on the poeple tab and type in one of my names. My profile will come up, and should have the options of add friend… . You can also click Instant Message and send me a message. I will get it even if I am not online.

And that is how you create a second life avatar. Happy exporing! ❤

I know she loves the sunrise…

…no longer sees it with her sleepy eyes..

In 4.5 days I will be 24. This terrifies me.

My whole life I have been able to envision the future…I knew when I graduated I would move to Florida. I knew when I moved to DE I would work at Starbucks and go back to school. I know what I want to do in the future..but I can’t see it. I keep telling myself “In two years, I will open a coffee shop of my own.” This is my plan, but I can’t really see it. I can’t see anything for the future. This also terrifies me.

I have these visions of myself waking up at 6am everyday, sitting outside with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoying it. Right now I still am unable to do it. I love staying up late. I love sleeping in. I love being lazy on my days off.

I can’t wash my dishes. I can’t do my laundry. I look at it, and even though it isn’t a lot of stuff I feel overwhelmed and tired. Every day I say “Just clean one room.” Then I look at that room and immediately feel defeated. Only one person I know understands.

What am I doing? What is wrong with me? These are questions I ask myself daily. I have no answers though. I am working towards something that I want, but can I do it? I am depressed. I don’t feel depressed, but I know the signs well enough to know I am depressed. I have no desire to cook. The mere thought of heating a left over is so overwhelming, let alone cooking a whole meal. I am living on freezer foods that don’t fill you up. Someone suggested instant oatmeal. I can’t even think of that. I can see in my head these images of me going to Farmers Markets and picking out fruits and veggies, coming home and cooking a lovely meal. But I can’t do it. I want to, but it’s too much.

I missed an episode of Chuck and only  saw the last half of  last weeks episode. When I get bored I say “Catch up on Chuck!” And then I think about it and it is so overwhelming. I don’t even have to move to do that. All I have to do is open at a new page in Firefox, type NBC.com and then go to the Chuck section. It’s too much.

I am out of Q-tips and the store I go to doesn’t carry them.

I make plans and I break them. People get upset and disappointed in me, but I can’t help it.

I want to see the sunrise without having sleepy eyes. I want to listen to music and not feel “bleh” about it. I want to go to festivals and markets and to Kennet Square. It’s only 30 minutes from my house. I have the weekends off, I could go one Saturday. It just all feels so useless.

I’m not sad. I don’t cry and I don’t feel lonely. I just feel empty. I know what to do with lonley. I know what to do with feeling sad. I don’t know what to do with feeling empty. Feeling like a shell with a beating heart inside and no emotions or thoughts. My imagination is broken. I can usually imagine myself away from how I am feeling, but not anymore. I love my imagination. It has helped me through a lot of things. I’ll get it back though.

My cats are perverts…

…they watch me pee.

When I was living in Florida working for Starbucks, we would get the most ridiculous customers. It made me lose all faith in the human race. Eventually I figured, no, it’s just this town. The rest of the world cannot be this bad. Then I moved to Delaware and for a short time worked in Starbucks. The customers did not improve. Eventually I quit Starbucks and worked in Build a Bear where I was just blown away with people. I mean, come on who spends hundreds of dollars on ONE stuffed animal? And then wont donate a one single dollar to children with heart disease or whatever the charity of the month was. The people weren’t as bad there though so I slowly kind of forgot how silly humans are. I finally found a job in the Hotel Dupont coffee shop. I have been there two weeks and I am starting to lose faith in humans again. I have realised, we do not know how to properly communicate anymore. We point to things and say “I want that one” and when presented with the question “Which one?” we get irritated and say “That one!”  instead of “The blueberry muffin.” or even a simple “Can I please have a blueberry muffin?” at the very beginning of the conversation, eliminating all need for the whole “Which one…” conversation in the first place. People order things from a menu without even knowing what is in it. Personally, when I want to eat or drink I want to find out everything about the item I might be putting into my body. If there are no menu descriptions, I say “Oh, what is [insert unknown menu item here]?”. If someone is looking at me, and I am looking at a menu on the wall behind them I would not expect them to know what I mean if I said “I want that.” and then proceed to point to something on the menu. I mean…honestly? I forgot how amazed I could be with people over and over. It really shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but each time I have an encounter with someone like this I just want to stare at them and make them really uncomfortable and then say “Ok. Walk out of this place right now. Then walk back in and be a normal human being.” And I am not talking about teenagers here. I am talking about very important business men and women. People who have degrees upon degrees and figure out the important stuff in the world. Its shocking, really. And yet I love it. In my strange ridiculous way I love it. I want to write it down and write a book, but I know people would probably not buy it because…well…they are those people. Only people who also realize these people are strange would buy it and I think those people are few and far between. When I tell my fellow coworkers about the encounters they don’t understand what I am talking about.

Even one of my bosses does silly ridiculous things. Like, calling me down to the dining room so that I can go into the kitchen and make a cafe au lait. So I walk all the way down, with an empty cup, and then just stare at the kitchen. She proceeds to walk to the coffee and point, saying “This is the decaf, this is the regular.” I then walk beside her and fill the cup halfway with coffee. Then I look at the machine and look underneath the counter and she walks back over and says “What do you need?” And I say “Milk?” and she walks to the refrigerator and says here is the skim milk, the whole milk is on the other side. So I then walk right beside her and pull out the milk. Walking back to the machine I look around and say “Do you have pitchers?” And a waiter guy says “What?” and I say “Pitchers….to steam the milk?” And he just stares at me and says “What??” And I am thinking, “Look. I know you make cappuccinos. Just give me the freaking pitcher.” but instead I say “You know, a pitcher…Like if you were going to make a cappuccino?” And my manager walks back over to me, and picks up a PLASTIC cup and hands it to me and says “Here, steam it in this.” And I look at her, because Dupont is all about safety and all I can think is “Oh..my gosh. This is going to melt, burn my hand and make me spill milk everywhere, then I will really be in everyone’s way and have to clean up a huge mess…” So I say “Steam it in this??” and they all look at me like I’m the one who is stupid and say “Yeah?” So I went “ok…” and proceeded to attempt steaming the milk in the pitcher, thinking “Why in the world is she making me do this?” She is watching me. I then pour the milk into the coffee and she seems satisfied and hands me a bag of macaroons and tells me to give it to the customer for her wait. So I walk out of the door with my manager and give the coffee to the lady. The lady hands me a $20 bill and I say, “Oh, it’s only $2 dollars.” I then have to ask my manager where I can get change. She tells me “Just go into the kitchen and ask the bartender.” So back I go, into the kitchen and walk to the bar…which is empty. I ask the only waitress I know what to do and she says “Oh I will get him for you!” What she really meant was “I will get him for you after I fill this basket slowly with bread and take it to my table.” So she leaves and the bartender happens to walk in and says “Can I help you?” and I show him the twenty, flash my smile and say “Hi, I need change please.” and he says “Oh, the front desk didn’t have any?” I proceeded to explain my instructions and we walk to the cash register. I told him a simple $10, $5, four $1 and four quarters would be best and he FREAKS out saying “I don’t have quarters!!!” I say “Oh! That’s ok…just five ones then please.” So I go back to the customer and give her the change. Then walk back down to the coffee shop. All this time I cannot figure out why they had me come to the dining room to make this overly simple drink, where my manager literally walked every step I did. Was it to prove a point? I have no idea. But it seemed overly ridiculous to me.

It’s these moments that cause me to smile and laugh at the world. It makes me feel smart, and adds one more thing I will never have my employees do when I own my own shop. I will never waste two peoples (mine and the customers) time for any reason.

The people make me think, “Is it worth it? Is it really worth these people…I could get a job sitting at a desk, not talking to anyone, not killing my feet, not stressing over milk orders, and broken espresso machines. I could just sit in silence and be completely happy.” But it is worth it. It really is, because once in a while you get a customer who makes you feel like you are doing an amazing job and you’re an amazing person. And then on the way home you stop at the gas station you love because they have those big bottles of Fiji water and he tells you his day is better because you came in. He says you’re the happiest person he knows, and that your smile makes him feel really good. It makes life a bit more bearable and a little more worthwhile. I love strangers. I love when I get to talk to the business men in the mornings and ask them how their morning is going so far, even though they just got to work. Or when I get to ask them random questions and make them talk to me and you can tell they are just happy that someone actually cares in their life other than family. The business world is tough, cut throat and mean. It’s nice to be able to go into a place and have a ten second conversation with someone about nothing, but know that in that moment someone wants to talk you. They know we don’t have to do that. They know I don’t have to compliment them, or ask them how their son is doing in baseball. I don’t have to care at all. I can smile and say “Have a nice day” and not mean it, but still be doing my job. I can be impersonal and make the experience last two seconds and forget them. Instead I remember their name, their drink, their sons last birthday, the fact that they like the plain bagel toasted on seven with lots of butter and a diet coke (even though we serve Pepsi).

What they don’t know is how much those moments mean to me. Because when I leave I go home to my pervert cats, and my iPod. I drink my Fiji water and think about the smiles on their faces and how one day I can do things exactly the way I want them. They don’t know I think my neighbors think I’m weird or that I want to travel the world. How I think I am a little person in a big big world and will never make a difference, other than putting a smile on someones face. They don’t understand how satisfying my job can be if I let it be. How they are the ones who get me through the tough behind-the-scenes conflicts and disappointments. And that’s ok. They will come and go, the faces will change, new stories will be told, and all the while I will be the constant in that little place. They are all the outside contact I need and want at this point in my life.

I love my job. And I think humans are completely ridiculous. It’s really my own personal oxymoron.

xx

“I’m not sick, but I’m not well…

…and it’s so hot, because I’m in hell.”

76 degrees with 56% humidity. I think the weather people are lying. It says it’s supposed to feel like 76, but to me, it feels like 90 with 80% humidity. This is not why I moved to the north people. Someone fix it.

Here is a list of things I should be doing right now this moment:

  • laundry
  • dishes
  • sweeping/vacuuming
  • typing up a list of things to talk to my boss about
  • cooking
  • shopping for food
  • other cleaning activities

Now here is a list of things I want to be doing:

  • napping
  • napping
  • napping
  • napping
  • playing with a puppy
  • napping

I guess instead I will just go sit outside!

We watched training videos at work today. I love employee training videos. The acting is so terrible, the situations so hilarious. No one else was laughing though. I had to keep a straight face the whole time.

Inspired…

I wish I could write about nights so crisp you could sleep outside. The smell of the trees coming back to life after the recent freeze and the hint of nicotine floating down from the neighbors above. It isn’t warm enough for bugs, well, maybe the occasional stink bug and some crickets, who seem to want to sing me their lullabies which is only interrupted by the occasional car that reminds me that somewhere someone has a place to go.

I wish I could write about the very moment you wake up. Those first thoughts of the time, things to do for the day, wishing you had five more minutes to lie back down. Then sitting up and stretching, your muscles tight from laying down for so long. The instant feeling of needing to relieve yourself, and deciding to brush your teeth because your mouth tastes filmy.

I wish I could write about Pokemon, and how exciting it is to find a new one in some tall grass. The feeling you get when you capture one and the creature doesn’t escape. How good it feels to defeat an enemy and find yourself in a new city.

But instead I have to choose a topic like “Holiday Food Safety Concerns” or “Disaster Planning” or “Superbugs”. Which doesn’t sound interesting at all.

x

What if I stopped, just for a while…

what if i just went away. didnt exist as me anymore. what if i became someone else. Guess what…I have. I am not the same person. My mind has changed, my thoughts have changed. I am not the old person I was…but I am ok with that. I am learning to be ok with that. I miss who I was, but I am proud of who I am. Does that make sense? Its amazing what medicines can do these days.

I am back on Second Life. Its so difficult to stay away…but I have some really good friends there.

And who, who do you think I am…

I miss you so much.

The truth.

I am in love with someone I will probably never get to be with. I met him almost two years ago, and I knew right away what we would become. We were best friends. Talking everyday. I missed him when I wasnt there. I missed him when I was at work. Sometimes, to get myself through the day I would imagine he was sitting at the bar waiting for me to get off work so we could go home and cook together. Weve gone through a lot together. Never have I cried over someone so much. Never have i felt so excited to take a picture and send it to someone. Never have I loved someone as much as I love my very best friend. I went to England and I have never felt so at home. My heart stayed. I cried the entire way home. I cried for days after. We spoke almost every day for the entire time I knew him while I lived in Florida. Then I moved. And things became strained. I didnt think they were bad but I wasnt there for my friend like I had been in the past. But I knew they would get better. Then the unthinkable happened. We broke up. Now my best friend is with someone else. Someone I thought was a friend. Someone who turned out to betray me. He doesnt love her. He told me. He is still in love with me. He messed up. But how does he fix this mess. He cant brake up with her, her past is sad. So instead…he will stay with her. He will be unhappy. I will be unhappy. And eventually she will be unhappy. How do you get over someone who you thought you would spend the rest of your life with. How do you get over someone who says they miss you. Who says they love you. How am I to go on with my life while my heart is breaking.

A new season and a rebirthing of the inner self…

The last week of August two of my very closest friends came from Florida to visit me. They drove all the way (it took them about 14 hours) just to spend a few short days in the little state of Delaware. We didn’t have much time together, but we wanted to make it the best “end of summer trip” ever. So went all over the town I currently live in, ate tapas and Japanese food, and went to this beautiful country drive only to end up in an Amish paradise. While we were looking for places to discover, we found a little market where we bought meat and cheese and peaches. We then went to a small bakery and bought some bread. What would be a better way than spending our last day going on a picnic and eating lots of wonderful yummies! On the way home we stopped at a small winery and bought two bottles of wine we thought would go well with our peaches. We were all set. The next day we made our sandwiches, sliced the peaches and packed up the car. We then set out on what we thought would be a lovely picnic in the park. Little did we know what was about to happen. After we got there we found the most perfect spot between some trees. The sun was shining but it was a little cloudy overhead and the scent of an oncoming rain was in the air. We spread out my old 1800’s quilt on the ground, passed the food, poured the wine into a pitcher with our sliced peaches and just sat, thankful for the wonderful treats we had bought the previous day. We ate in silence, we are all pretty quiet reflective people, and just enjoyed the sounds of the birds and the wind in the trees. Afterwards we were stuffed and decided the only thing to do next would be to take a nap. We cleaned all of our mess up, took it to the car and just laid there, enjoying the smells, sounds and sights the park had to offer. After a while I thought I heard kittens so we all laid facing the forest and listened. Thats when it happened. First a small sprinkle dancing on our legs and arms, giving us goosebumps from the temperature difference. All we could do was lay there, our backs to the sky, and giggle. Then it stopped. We looked at each other, all of us wanting to stay but not sure what the others wanted to do. Then, the sound came through the trees. We braced ourselves for another sprinkling and all decided to just stay and enjoy it. After a few soft sprinkles, the real rain began. We just laid there, getting soaked in the weather, soaking up the refreshing power the rain has. After we were soaking wet and freezing we ran back to the car, off to get wonderfully warm showers then a hot steaming cup of chai.  It was decided then and there we had brought on fall. The next day, my friends left, a little later than planned, but they were off. Sunday, though the sun was shining, the air was brisk. Fall had definitely arrived, and I have no doubt that we helped bring it on.

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