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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Monthly Archives: March 2008

Sunday afternoon. A concert I had been looking forward to all week. Yes, I know it isn’t REALLY U2 🙂 But nonetheless, it is a concert. You know I love concerts.

I had my ticket all ready. I rezzed it this morning to make sure I knew what the directions were. I anticipated my low prim options and prepared mentally to be bald bald bald. To pass the time, Bigd and I did a whirlwind worldwide tour (that was my original blog post plan for the day). Blissie made a couple stops with us. It was shaping up to be a great SL Sunday!

So off I headed at 11:50 am to Dublin – very excited and prepared to remove all my prims (YIKES). To my surprise, I found myself running into an invisible wall. I couldn’t teleport into the stadium. I checked my ticket. It was the right date, right time but sadly I waited among the others hoping to sneak across into the Dublin3 SIM. I did some quick research and IM’d the person who had created the ticket. She didn’t reply, but a colleague of hers did. She was wonderful and got it all figured out for me and next thing I knew – I was in the stadium and U2inSL was on stage!

So I was on my best concert behavior – Hooing only in chat, only singing occaisionally and totally prim free. Silly me – I had deleted all my noob hair. I kept looking for a dance ball – but there was none. Someone offered me noob hair. Then, someone offered me a Raggae dance animation. I was set. I had my spot at the end of the walkway and proceeded to cam all about and shoot hundreds of Lindens of concert pictures.

Then I got an IM and my concert experience in SL that began as stressful and awkward was instantly exactly the opposite!

Staff: Kim
Me: yes
Staff: do you know how to look over an alpha wall with your cam?
Me: um i think so
Staff: if you do alt ctrl T you can see a alpha wall around the stage in front of you – can you do that plz
Me: ok
Staff: you see it?
Me: yes
Staff: you know how to move your cam around that click the screen ect
Me: yes 🙂 i’ve been taking lots of pics
Staff: you know how to get on dance balls? from a distance??
Me: yes 🙂
Staff: wanna dance with Bono?
Me (without hesitation): I would love to!!
Staff: next song – “With or Without You”
Staff: he will come down to the end of the cat walk infront of you
Me: is there a dance ball to click on up there?
Staff: when I say go – get up there – others will jump – you need to be ready ok
Me (beyond excited at this point): ok
Staff: great
Me: i’ll be ready 🙂 – ty so much!!
Staff: you will see the pink and blue balls – get ready
Staff: i will tp you off when done

And I dance, and I find my hands are shaking, and I am laughing at myself for being such an incredible DORK, and yet I am thinking Oh My God – when in the world would I have EVER EVER danced with Bono? God I LOVE SL! And I find composure and sing a little back to Bono in chat – With or Without You and tell him I love U2 and I love you Bono. BigD and Rachel are sitting beside me watching just cracking up at me being so excited and goofy and yet excited for me at the same time.

Then, it is over. As quick and unexpected as it all started. It’s over.

Staff: there – great – hop off
Me: that was awesome – thank you so much!!!! :)- best day ever on SL 🙂
Staff: =) are you dying now lol
Me: i am!! lol
Staff: LOL he’s not the real Bono remember
Me: i just told my husband it is too cool – even dancing with a Bono avi
Me: he’s cracking up too
Staff: mine’s here going so do i have to cook dinner? =/ – 3yrs doing this he still asks
Me: awwww – well thank you so much for all your help today – you are amazing
Staff: yw

And just like that. Both of us were back to RL. Back in my family room, we all laughed and I hoooed it up some more. Bigd spent the rest of the afternoon reminding me – hey – your day has been good – you danced with Bono! And I decided I should go on the road as their concert photographer after opening a Flickr account to upload all my pics. It as fun. It was a crazy fun thing to do. If you get a chance – find a live show on SL. Hoo! (music people, music)


At the end of a long week, it is nice to just make it to Friday. Wake up Friday morning and know you can face the day because it is the final inning – and a double dose of days off awaits. Even if it is an action packed weekend, it means a commute is not needed and a little bit of extra sleep may be had. (ok who am I fooling – I never get extra sleep!)

But yesterday was not like any other Friday. Yesterday ended up having an event in it that struck a chord… a good one 😉

Some of you know about my kids. My middle son, Noah, is in 4th grade. It has been a challenging year for him – being in the elementary school for the first time without the watchful eye of his big brother who started middle school, being the one who has to really face homework this year that gets graded for accuracy, being the one who is home first in the afternoon and has responsibilities beyond just flopping in front of the tv, the PS2 or the computer. We joke sometimes that Noah is 10 going on 45. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is extremely creative and can craft a tale with the best of them (which can also be a challenge when it comes to being his parent). So… on this Friday, Noah was surprised with 4th grade Student of the Month. He was soooooo excited. His parents and grandparents were excited too, and his big brother was even invited to go to school late so he could go to the assembly with us all to Hooo it up.

So if you haven’t been to an RL school assembly recently – let me just share – that the teachers are just as warm and friendly as you remember in elementary school, and school spirit still runs rampant, and patriotism too for that matter. When was the last time you said the Pledge of Allegiance? Or sang the Star Spangled Banner? How about accompanied by a children’s chorus and 600 other elementary kids, a few parents and full team of teachers and administrators? I have to tell you – it strikes a chord. It makes you stop and think about the fact that it is a universal experience for kids in our nation. And, how fortunate we are to have the teachers and schools we do in our country. And, more importantly, those two entities – teachers and schools – get so little GOOD publicity and thanks. Kids aren’t always honored as they should be either for that matter. It’s hard to be a kid these days.

Anyway, I have written about my other kids in other posts and decided it was way overdue for me to give Noah some airtime. He is an amazing kid and let me tell you – he is pretty handy at SL too when it comes to editing. Yes, he has had the mishap of deleting the bottom level of our lighthouse (UGH) but he can also be a huge help in editing clothing or shapes when his dad is needing some help. Most importantly, he is a good kid all around and a great brother. See how patient he is posing with his big brother Zach (hee hee).

So my Friday began with the usual out the door chaos, but followed with this Student of the Month Assembly. The kids even have little pom poms in school colors they wave and cheer when someone is awarded. And, the best part is – they have a school song with a rockin sountrack 🙂 The chorus leads it – gospel style with clapping and dancing – and the student body sings along. Everyone is singing and everyone is smiling. “Thunderbird Code” Nothin like it 🙂 They are the Thunderbirds because they are close to Luke Air Force Base and serve that student population of Air Force families as well. Next time you are in the area on the last Friday of the month, I highly recommend you drop in for a dose of patriotism and a pick-me-up.

Finally, I must tie it all up and connect this somehow with SL because this is a blog called reSiLience in honor of SL, right? I thought about how it all fit yesterday to and from work as I inched my way across the Valley of the Sun. I thought about why I first came to SL and it was because of education. The guru of the Internet in terms of teachers is Kathy Schrock. She was the first to have an amazing website in the early 90’s (Kathy Schrock’s Guide For Educators – now hosted by Discovery Education) and now a leader in the SL education scene. If you want to see what is headed your way as a parent with a future student (a digital native btw), take time to explore Kathy’s website and SIM on SL, called Lighthouse Learning. Education is just now trying to figure out how in the world SL can play a role in teacher professional development and learning communities. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see those ideas bringing educators to SL. I bet you they’ll pull up a chair at happy hour and whoop it up in a club to dance some too – teachers are a crazy bunch.

So… my Friday scattered thoughts turned into a rambling Saturday post… but I appreciate you sticking with me. I hope you will take some time to remember the teachers in your life that you loved, and that may have changed your life, and I also hope you take the time to do something a little patriotic. In a world where we are bombarded with a plummeting economy, a 3 ring circus of primary campaigning and a war waging overseas where the death and injury tolls continue to climb – take some time to be patriotic and remember the people doing good things day to day in our own country. We do have a lot to feel good about. (if nothing else – now it is Saturday 🙂 Hoo!)

So much of our lives are spent waiting. Waiting in traffic, waiting for appointments in a medical or dental office, waiting for someone to call, waiting for whatever is coming next. Waiting for the tax refund (Hoo!).

I continually find myself possessed with the teacher syndrome when I wait. I bet some of you have it too – even though you are not teachers. It is the syndrome that causes you spontaneously to launch into multitask mode. Waiting is a particular state that drives me to it like no other.

While I’m waiting, I better bring 5 things to do in the orthodontist office because, heck, I might even get them all done. Now really, just while my son gets his routine checkup at the orthodontist done and they replace one bracket – can I really respond to all my morning email on my blackberry, complete some online work (if they have wireless – which unfortunately they don’t), work on a blog entry, AND read my latest Oprah Magazine? Good lord – how LONG is that appointment? You would have thought I was heading to the airport on a business trip!

What I have decided is that SL is so damn appealing because there is never any waiting – really, truly. I mean sure there is waiting for an event to start because there has to be parameters of organization. But, while you are waiting, you can go shop, build something, chit chat it up, dance, drive, fly, turn yourself into several other avatar shapes and sizes human and otherwise. It is the ULTIMATE non-waiting experience. It allows us to be impatient in our waiting and have fun in the process.

Ok – while I’m typing this in WORD because I can’t get online (geesh am I being IMPATIENT?) the cute gal from the front desk comes out to open up the blinds in the waiting room and says – what a cute laptop. It is cute – it sucks on SL – but it is cute nonetheless. I ask her if there is wireless and she says – no I sure wish though. I’ll ask Dr. Cain about that – you’re not the first patient parent to ask about that. Hooooo! So… maybe it is worth to ask. I’ll keep you posted. But I digress (you should know by now to expect that from me – heehee)…

Anyway – back to waiting. Recently as I have gone to full sims for events I have noticed a distinct waiting factor in SL. Rezzzzzzzzzzing. Gray people surround me. Half formed images appear. I am horribly ruthed (newbie hair and ugly shape) and must edit my appearance and hope I appear “normally” soon. But the BEST experience I have had waiting for all of SL to magically appear correct has been when I teleport into the newest Jazz club on SL – Savoy. The TP landing spot is set on the beach – in between velvet entry ropes – just as an RL club or venue would have set for you to wait patiently to enter. Others TP in there too and you find yourself rezzing in a sort of line. While waiting to get in – actually waiting to rez – I had a friend even ask me – geesh –is there a line to get in here? It was kinda cool. It heightened my interest in the experience and most definitely my anticipation.

Ultimately I guess sometimes it is important to slow down, breathe and just enjoy the waiting as an act in and of itself. (yea right, kim, take your own advice would ya?) Sometimes waiting is a chance to just sit, just be, just enjoy not doing ANYTHING. And… ironically… I find that it doesn’t kill me. I find new thoughts flit through my brain. I find myself feeling creative. I enjoy just being. Life goes so fast. If I hurry up and use up all the space designed to allow me to pause, or wait, I might miss that space and something happening that could come positively from that waiting.

So… note to self… enjoy the fact that I have to work on this blog the “old school way” in Word. Enjoy the fact that I can’t get on SL and run around crazily spending lindens in an early morning shopping frenzy. Enjoy the fact that my first baby boy is now 12 – a saucy pre-teen who still loves his mom and is becoming a handsome sweet young man who will have beautiful teeth – even if it costs me an arm and a leg and means I have to wait for him.

or… Keeping up with the Jones’

What is it about human beings that makes us what what we don’t have? What makes us want more when we already have enough? What makes us desire what is just beyond our reach?

SL plays on the innermost desires humans have to want more, More, MORE. I, myself, am not above such desires. I remember seeing as a newb how I could tan at T-Mobile island to earn Lindens. I was so excited to just have $15 for my 10 minutes of tanning time, or whatever it was. I was fine with my newb clothes and scant inventory freebies, until I met a clothing designer and others who weren’t so new and I thought to myself, I needed more. I spent an evening at a friend’s island beachside home, a tiny bungalow with great artwork and the sound of ocean waves. And, you guessed it, I wanted MORE.

Now, the idea of paying RL dollars for SL things is one which you cannot think too long and hard about. If you stop to think about how you are paying RL dollars for things that only exist in pixels on a server somewhere far far away, it will drive you nuts. It is kinda like saying the same word over and over and over again until it doesn’t even sound like a word any more.

I remember shopping for clothes months ago – years ago SL time – and $300 seemed like a HUGE amount of $$. Good lord. $300L. But, when you stop to think – just for a brief second that the SL-RL exchange rate is like $250 L to $1 US – you think… huh, I can buy that for just a little over $1 – COOL! So off I go… sucking myself into the SL trap. I am off and running in the Linden world with a semi-full wallet of Lindens and find love and happiness in none other than THE MALL. And… store after store after store after store. What could be better than shopping for the body you always wanted?

Then, that little beach home that was a fun locale for an evening with friends led to a tour of land that was available to rent. It couldn’t have been more classic peer pressure. No real estate agent was needed. This friend of ours figured out how to get to us. Oh come on – how much do you spend on take out or movies or Starbucks in a month? How much would you spend for a babysitter? With that kind of logic, I once again dipped in my Linden purse and signed on the dotted line. Bigd was equally excited and ready for the fun as well.

That was back in July. Months later we were working on the 3rd type of landscaping/home theme and thousands of Lindens invested in SL. My inventory topples 13,000 (mostly objects from re-rezzing my home— ok and several hundred clothing and shoe items 🙂 ). What does this all have to do with manifest destiny? Well… in January… our neighbors moved away. I eyed the mountaintop and thought hmmmm maybe we could own THAT too! Would you be surprised at this point for me to tell you that yes, we now own that? So… an island and a mountain.

Then, Bigd decided that the tallest mountaintop right next door, because it was vacant should also join our land acquisition collection. It is important to note – purchasing estate land like this is WAY easier than purchasing RL land. Click accept to the covenant rules, pay your lindens and wa-la.

I would worry about D and I if we weren’t alone in this phenomenon. Oh – and did I fail to mention – that you not only create on the ground, but you create in the sky? Yes, the sky is yours too. All the way up. Build another something or other in the sky. This was something someone new to SL never even thinks about.

So… back to what comforts me in the darkest hours of the more more more overwhelming feelings in SL? My friends. My friends who own 1, 2, 3, 4, and now 5 plots of land; my friends who have homes, skyboxes, and stores; my friends who’s inventory topples 12 or 13,000 as well; my friends who look damn good in SL because they have paid top Linden dollar for skins and shapes for not just 1 but 2 or more avitars. ROFL I tell ya. Can you possibly HAVE too much of a good thing? NO.

Eat and drink to your hearts content in SL and never worry about a designated driver. Load up that inventory to your desire because you travel with it – you never have to worry where you left such and such – you just have to remember WHAT THE HECK it is called! What was that I just bought this morning anyway? I remember it was cute. Hmmmmm. What? The land next door is for sale? SOLD. Hooo!

Disclaimer: Not to be confused with issues the ex-NJ governor is facing with 3-ways, or Dave Letterman’s inability to understand 3-way light bulbs.

SOOOOO much of the music I like is what I heard someone describe as music by “chick bands.” I guess it falls in the category of “chick flicks.” Yup, I like those too. The songs that give you goosebumps and make you remember firsts – first dances, first kisses, first whatevers related to love, love, love. Silly, romantic me… I will ALWAYS love those kinds of songs. But, those songs are related to firsts. That is a really important distinction. (cough cough – this coming from the girl who LOVES Disney’s Enchanted and she and her daughter sing about finding “true love’s kiss” in “That’s How You’ll Know” LOL)

The other night Rob Thomas introduced “I’ll Believe You When” as a tune dedicated to married people. Everyone laughed. And, I listened very very closely. Remember from posts way back, I’m a lyric person 🙂 And in the midst of my concert craziness, I vowed to go back and think more about that song as I blast it in the serenity of my RL commute car. How right he was!!

…could write up in the sky
Forgive me I apologize
Still if I went through every measure
With my promise to be better
You’d say
I’ll believe you when

Don’t get me wrong – but anyone who is married knows how hard it is, and how rewarding it can be, and how amazingly life affirming and frightening it can be – all wrapped into one. It is WAY beyond the fall in love lyrics I croon over. I was so pleased to put pieces like this together (and please note again I am in the slow group for those of you who already figured this out – heehee).

So… in my new state of music listening mind… I have connected a couple songs to my RL married collection that really stand out. “Everything” by Alanis Morissette is also a perfect choice.

I can be an asshole of the grandest kind
I can withhold like it’s going out of style
I can be the moodiest baby and you’ve never met anyone
who is as negative as I am sometimes

I am the wisest woman you’ve ever met.
I am the kindest soul with whom you’ve connected.
I have the bravest heart that you’ve ever seen
And you’ve never met anyone
Who’s as positive as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part
You see all my light and you love my dark
You dig everything of which I’m ashamed
There’s not anything to which you can’t relate
And you’re still here

There are so many other lyrics I didn’t include here – go back and read the whole song – or watch it on the YouTube link above. She is an amazing writer. Talk about insight into the human condition!

Then, just to round out the trio nicely, there is a perfect Sarah McLachlin song, “Push.” I love this song. It emulates everything I hope to be and everything I hope I am in marriage. Marriage is hard. This song really speaks to my heart and was one I shared with D not too long ago to show him how thankful I was to have him around 🙂

There are times I can’t decide, when I can’t tell up from down.
You make me feel less crazy, when otherwise I’d drown.
But you pick me up & brush me off, and tell me I’m OK.
Sometimes that’s just what we need to get us through the day.

Again – I didn’t do the full song justice – so read the whole thing. I bet you will see yourself in her words.

If you are still reading this post and stuck with me through the whole thing, thank you 🙂 I’d love for you to share songs with me that strike you and speak to you. And, to those of my friends who are married, cheers to you and how hard you work at that committment, day in and day out. It is a complicated thing, but so rewarding, and like nothing else in life. It is a secret bond and an amazingly hard job all wrapped into one. But if you can make it work, it gives back over and over.

One other note I can’t close without sharing is about a couple they had on NBC’s Today Show this week. The couple was celebrating their 83rd wedding anniversary! They got married with Calvin Coolidge was president. They have great-great grandchildren. I can’t even imagine the incredible change they have experienced in their lifetimes. There is definitely something to be said about having the resilience to stay with someone that long and have someone know you inside and out that well. I would think they probably don’t even have to talk anymore and just read each other’s thoughts. 83 years. WHEW!

WOW! I took the ultimate nite off from SL to indulge in RL live music. Bigd and I went to see Matchbox 20. Alanis Morisette warmed up (if she counts as a warm up – shouldn’t it be like a 2 headliner concert??) and another band warmed up for them all – from New Orleans. We never caught their name and once I find it I will edit this post to credit them – they were good too.

I felt like the scream/sing/dance therapy was worth EVERY penny. Yes, I may be too damn old to act like a silly teenage girl at a concert – but, damn, it was FUN! Hoo! We had seats. ROFL. We didn’t realize we had seats. We thought we were in the grassy area of the concert pavillion that was open seating – for the common man/cattle. However, when we got there and actually READ our computer home printed tickets we realized – WHOOO HOOO – we had seats! Kinda NOT that far away. Far enough away unforunately I don’t think Rob Thomas will remember my face but he’ll remember my Hoo – I’m sure of it! (kidding)

There is nothing like seeing music live. You feel the music all the way through your entire being. The bass, the drum reverberate through your body. The guitars and vocals fill your ears until you aren’t sure you can take any more. The lights and the crowd surround you. You become a part of something bigger than yourself. For just a few hours, you are void of all other cares in the world. You soak up every note, every ounce of atmosphere. (ok you people – I’m not talking about the funny smelling smoke in the air either)

Something about this concert was different though. Ok, maybe it is because I am old and married. I wasn’t yearning really to go home with Rob Thomas (hee hee) or because I wasn’t drunk or high like parts of the audience. Or, because at one point the friend who had come with us joked between the Matchbox 20 main show and encore to “just come on out already, I’m too old for this silliness, you know we want you to do a few more songs and we know you are coming back anyway” when we had screamed our faces and clapped our hands off. You know, what made it the MOST different, the MOST ever of any show I have ever attended was that the musicians were all so incredibly GRACIOUS.

They thanked each other and they thanked us. Not just the typical… and now here is so and so on drums but they thanked Matchbox 20 for the opportunity to play with them and tour with them – Alanis and the other band I can’t remember the name of. Matchbox 20 thanked us. Matchbox 20 thanked the newest members of their band – 3 new additional members – new drummer, new keyboards and guitar, and new rhythm guitar for touring with them for the first time. Rob Thomas said something along the lines of – we know there are a lot of ways you could have spent your time tonite and we know how valuable time is and this is time you can never get back, we thank you so much for spending it with us. How cool is that?? Both D and I were blown away by the attitude of gratitude. And yet, we had felt totally gracious we had a chance to be there in the first place (yea grandma for babysitting!!).

So… the concert high lingers into today. No… not a concert hangover… although I AM tired. God… I stayed up WAY past my SL bedtime. 🙂 But driving in, blasting my car stereo (which does sound excellent btw) to Matchbox 20’s Exile CD I relived the concert in the HOV lane and could have cared less about the traffic. I plan to do the same on the way home.

Tonite I look forward to logging into SL and enjoying music there. I thought about that too as I drove in today. Music is a compelling reason to log me into SL. Laugh, listen to good tunes, hang out with friends and forget RL worries for a little while. Kinda like a concert, but not as hard on your ears, not requiring a babysitter, and in the comfy clothes. Maybe Rob Thomas has a SL avitar…. LOL 😉

Final note: Pictures online – you can never see too many pictures of that cutie, right? Matchbox 20 and Alanis Morissette

I have been so caught up in the craziness of RL that comes with being sick and having everyone around me sick that my creativity seemed to take a back seat when it came to blogging. Thank goodness Joonie had a tasty morsel on her blog I could borrow.

Sundays are days we will sometimes have donuts with the kiddos – not today 😦 – but I was VERY excited to see my results turn out to be my VERY FAVORITE donut in all the world 🙂 Hooo!

You Are a Boston Creme Donut

You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.

But on the inside, you’re a total pushover and completely soft.

You’re a traditionalist, and you don’t change easily.

You’re likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it’s sold out.