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August 2009 Issue


That’s Entertainment! Art of Geisha : Beauty, Peace, Love and Intelligence The Gay Clubber Mixes with the DJs Booth Classical Dance Drama of the Kabuki Theater Eddi Haskell Interviews SL DJ Legend InsyX Piranha

172 262 210 228

Zindra Style Landscape Photography From the New Continent of Zindra

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Travel-LOG Japanese Gardens of SL The Fascinating Orient Shekhawati : History, Art & Culture of India

Crossing Barriers Sizzling Summer Job Search Tips Business Spotlight Rusch Raymaker : Avenue to Success Japanese Houses in Second Life

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cont


108 108 110

118 128 136 144 22

170 154 244

Designer’s Den Asian Fashion Kahiro Watanabe Sequann Kidd/Aryanna DeCuir, Hana Henderssen Weiwei Platthy Aradhana Voight Solene Hoisan Asalt Eames

From the Desk... Eddi Haskell Interviews Avery Webb Builder of The Forbidden City

Human Interest Yours Truly, Ann SLanders Exploring the Blue Lotus Okiya Mixing it up at the Ancient Tree.... Traditional Japan Laced with the 20th Century

tents


Editor’s Notes: Our Dear Readers, It is my pleasure to present to you our special issue on ASIA. A theme close to my heart as I am from this continent in RL. Asia is a place of wonder and mystery. A place where tradition meets the modern world, and yet it has that distinct flavor of uniqueness. There are lots of Asian in SL and we, through this magazine would like to share with you what Asians can offer. Also, this August, we will be starting a month long festival on Steampunk and Cyberpunk. We have invited lots of creators, designers, builders that are in this lifestyle that are eager to show to all what it is all about. Its a very exciting event and we would like to invite everyone to witness this. On another note, Zindra, the new mature continent is having their flag made, and starting a contest. We would like to invite as well the mature folks to visit and see it. I am sure it’s something new to see, as Zindra marks the beginning of a new republic. With that....happy reading dear friends, this issue is for you. Cheers!

Ariel Lingiuan Ariel Lingiuan Publisher + Editor in Chief VR Style


On the Cover: Beijing’s Forbidden City in Second Life, photography by Eddi Haskell. An interview with Avery Webb, the designer, and additional photography can be found on page 22 in this issue.

VR Style Editorial Staff: Ariel Lingiuan Publisher & Editor in Chief Aristippus Larssen Sherrie Shepherd Iolejanana Chajit Nadia Felwitch Segment Editors Eddi Haskell Creative Director Contributors: Sherrie Shepherd Eddi Haskell KathleenK Spitteler Cort Parkin Luscious Giano Rajeesh Navarathna Shartan Silverstar Willow Wonder Staff Photographers: Luscious Giano Pam Astonio Nellie Choche Carey DeCuir


Th

My first impression of some of the Japanese gardens of Second Life was that of great peace and order. The Japanese traditional landscape gardens can be broadly cast into three types. Tsukiyama Gardens (hill gardens) Karesansui (dry gardens) and Chaniwa Gardens (tea gardens). Tsukiyama Gardens have ponds, streams, stones, flowers, bridges and plants are used to create a miniature reproduction of natural scenery which is often a famous landscape in Japan or China. The name Tsukiyama refers to the creation of artificial hills. Kaersanui Gardens reproduce natural landscapes in a more abstract way by using stones, gravel and sand and sometimes patches of moss for representing mountains, islands, boats,seas and rivers. Karesansui gardens are strongly influenced by Buddhism and used for meditation. Chaniwa Gardens are built for the tea ceremony. They contain a tea house where the actual ceremony is held and are designed in aesthetic simplicity according to the concepts of sado (the tea ceremony) Chaniwa gardens typically feature stepping stones that lead towards the 12

Tempura Garden


he Japanese Gardens of SL By : KathleenK Spitteler Photography by: Nellie Choche

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Moma Garden

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tea house, stone lanterns and a stone basin (tsukubai), where guests purify themselves before participating in the ceremony. The first garden I explored was a perfect example of all of these aspects of the Japanese gardens. At Tempura you will first see the beautiful Japanese fall garden. The leaves are golden and the sun seems to cast a golden hue everywhere. The next thing you will notice is the beautiful music drifting through the trees. Then you come upon the cherry blossom trees, all decked out in pink blossoms, so magical! Keep wandering and you will come to various tea houses and the Karesansui rock garden with it’s raked stones, representing all that is this style. Along the way, notice all the beautiful rocks covered with moss,also very much in the Japanese style. Do Tai Chi in the many spots provided. Tempura is a very large sim. It can take quite awhile to explore, so leave enough time to enjoy every nook and cranny. The next garden on my tour was a sweet little garden, called Moma. It was a small garden but large in spirit. If you want peace, this might be the place. It’s a very lovely setting, 15


with most of the things that make a Japanese garden wonderful. There’s meditation, kites, and the inimitable moss covered rocks. Go to the coffee machines and get a coffee. The Japanese, contrary to popular belief, are huge coffee fans. They dispense it from machines along the roadway. It’s cold and very sweet and with lots of cream. Also to be discovered is the “magic beach”. I’m not going to tell you about that here. Go see it for yourself. It’s a wonderful surprise. Evo’s Japanese gardens is quite unique. You can feed the swans. In the Japanese tradition it’s quite orderly and simple with bonsai scattered around. There’s a quite interesting gong that you can ring. You will, however, have to turn your music off to hear it. Be sure to look at the wonderful soji screens. The are wonderful works of art, as this small but beautiful garden. The wonderful music drifts through this gardens and puts you instantly at peace. So if you’ve had a hard day, come here and let your mind rest.

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Evo Garden

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Welcome to another issue of VR Style Magazine. This column is my place, as VR Style’s Creative Director and lead photographer, to share some observations I have with our readers about Second Life, Design, and the emergence of design and style in virtual reality, in addition to conducting one in-depth interview with a leading Second Life designer or builder. Before I begin my interview with Avery Webb, designer and builder of the massive Forbidden City project, the old center of the Chinese Empire in Beijing, I want to share with you what has been on my mind over the past month . In one word, it is Zindra- the new adult oriented continent. Zindra is simply a gorgeous space. It has been designed as the green environmental continent- with broad green spaces, rivers, gorgeous bridges and dams. Zindra was an amazing site to see when it first opened, all fresh and well planned, and empty. Although much of it has been filling up, Zindra still is a gorgeous space to visit I have a photography feature in this issue called Zindra Style, which features some photography I have taken. I urge you to visit Zindra (you can start at my new outdoor gallery, the SLURL is located at the end of this article before it becomes more built up, and 22

From the desk of VR Style’

Eddi Ha interviews Avery the Forbi

Photography b


’s Creative Director

askell y Webb, builder of idden City

by Eddi Haskell Eddi Haskell creative Director of VR Style

loses a bit of its charm. The Zindra Alliance, the association of merchants and designers of Zindra, and an open enrollment group headed up by my Second Life partner Jago Constantine, is conducting a contest to design a new Zindran flag. Prizes and an interview in VR Style magazine with me await the winner. Please contact Jago for an entry form with a note card if you are interested in submitting an entry. When I decided to interview Avery Webb, who is also an accomplished clothing designer, it was an obvious choice for an Asian themed issue. Quite simply, the Forbidden City is an aweinspiring build. As in the real Forbidden City, which I had the pleasure to visit in the summer of 2007; it is massive yet well proportioned. The entrance to the imperial throne room, through all these courtyards, moats, and bridges is most impressive. Avery did a good job with textures, and also had low prim restrictions to work with. Although the Forbidden City in Second Life is a very empty place, with unrented shops and few people, it is well worth a visit. I now begin my interview with Avery Webb.

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The Main Palace Hall


Eddi Haskell: Avery , thank you so View up to the Main Palace Hall much for taking the time today to talk to VR Style about the Forbidden City. It really is an impressive project. Why don’t we start with telling our readers something about your real life? Avery Webb: Well, I hail from sunny California! Most people don’t know that I’m a guy in real life. I originally made Avery to test out some of the female outfits I made but ended up making a bunch of contacts with her. She runs anything related to business now for me in SL. As for what I do, I actually make art for video games for a living. EH: Do you have any formal design training? What did you study? AW: Actually yes, I have a Bachelors of Science in Game Arts and Design. Quite applicable don’t you think? EH: When did you first start designing things, and what did you first design? AW: I think I started making things after a few weeks of joining Second Life in February 2006. The very first thing I designed was actually some random t-shirt with a funny saying on it. I then moved onto importing an outfit from one of the characters I had modeled in 3D. EH: What do you primarily design now? AW: I have not designed much lately. I 26


Gilden Lion stands guard at Palace


was in the middle of revamping my old store when I left SL for a while. In fact, I just logged back in just to do this interview. I was a bit surprised that the Forbidden City was still there. EH: You told me that there is an interesting story with the Forbidden City. What is it? AW: I was commissioned to design the Forbidden City by some guy in China, I originally built half of it first (the half residing on Obscuro sim) and when I finished the owner paid me. After about a year or so, and not doing much with it (he intended it to be a large mall) he gave me a commission to build the second half of it. This was after he purchased all the area around the original build. I agreed and he gave me a down payment, and promised the rest of the payment upon completion. The owner then disappeared without paying me. I chased the payment for months, and still have not received it. Threatening to delete the sim didn’t do much either. I just couldn’t bear to delete such a beautiful place, so it still stands to this day. EH: Who is the owner? AW: The group “Asia Realty” appears to be the owner. This group is run by Tradewww Tani- the person who hired me to build in the first place. He has not been in SL for years, however. If anyone has an idea on who at Asia Reality is actually paying the tier, or how to contact Tradewww Tani, please drop me a line. EH: Have you ever been to China or Beijing? I was there two years ago, and your reconstruction had me thinking that you had actually been there. AW: I’ve been to Beijing. This place isn’t really built to scale since the owner asked to have so many buildings built into such a small space, so I had to settle with a not to scale facsimile. EH: Where did you get your textures? AW: My textures are hand painted in Photoshop using my trusty Wacom tablet or heavily modified from various photographic sources, which I usually find via Google or Flickr. EH: How long did it take you to complete it?

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The throne in the Hall of Preserving Harmony


One of the Five Bridges over the Golden River


AW: The first half took about three weeks and the second half took about a month.

Jade urn in courtyard shows great detailin back of nine dragons screen

EH: Can you tell our readers some more about your building processes or techniques? AW: Most of my large scale builds start with a small scale miniature block out. I basically drop a bunch of boxes and make a layout of what the place looks like. This way I have something to show the commissioner for approval and something to remind me of what goes where and how much space I need for which, etc. After that I block out the actual prims used for the build and apply textures. EH: What do you like the most about the Forbidden City? AW: My favorite part would definitely be the area around the garden. It’s a nice change of pace with all the stone everywhere else. My friend Ribbon Dye did a great job on the prims on the statues in the area. wanted to rent out the space as a mall. EH: What would you change now if EH: Can you tell us about your current you could? design projects? And plants to build AW: I’d probably update some of the any more large scale structures or cittextures and made some of the interi- ies? ors more detailed. The owner asked for AW: Well, I was taking a break from SL, me to keep a low prim count since he but I might just start up again. I used to

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ng in

own Alter Ego Studios in Undercity, but I sold the land off to take a break (as much as I want to pay 80 bucks in tier for nothing at all). If someone commissioned me to build a new sim, I’d probably do it. Otherwise I’d probably be looking for some new land and work on my store again. Maybe spit out some new clothing designs. I’ve been considering getting into the modular buildings or futuristic motorcycles business. We’ll see. EH: What advice can you offer our readers who are new to the Second Life design scene? AW: Just keep at it and don’t give up, even if your products look like crap at first. Even Leonardo da Vinci had to start somewhere. EH: Thank you Avery! I loved your clothe designs too, and hope you will come back to SL soon and design something—it will be a better place with you here! AW: Thank you Eddi for your time today! The SLURL to the Forbidden City: www.slurl.com/ secondlife/Obscuro%20Valkyrie/78/51/28

Eddi Haskell is the Creative Director of VR Style Magazine. SLURL to the Eddi Haskell Gallery: www.slurl.com/ secondlife/Uxert/223/156/49 Eddi’s main blog is at www.eddihaskell.com Eddi’s YouTube channel is at www.youtube.com/eddihaskell Eddi’s landscape photography can be found at www.haskellphotography. blogspot.com

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Pavilion in Golden River


Bridge over Palace Moat


Temple in Forbidden City complex


Rusch Raym

By: Sherrie Shephe

It was my pleasure of AVENUE Inc. AV Studio, AVENUE M enterprise focused over 140 SLers. Th marketing, public re of 2007, has been AVENUE Inc. One w CEO; Publisher & E Show Director/Prod generously shared

Sherrie Shepherd: endeavors in mind?

Rusch Raymaker: LO unaware even of w traveling, like the s this new wondrous w glimpses into their m

SS: What would yo

RR: AVENUE seeks to in the gamut of activ production, marketi we do, to continually

SS: How did you ge world gorgeous, or

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maker: avenue To Success

erd

Photo courtesy of Avenue, Inc.

e and honor to recently interview Rusch Raymaker, Founder and CEO VENUE Inc. is the management company for AVENUE Models, AVENUE Models Academy and AVENUE Magazine. This growing and creative on building avenues for collaboration and achievement, has a staff of he AVENUE Inc. team offers the top of the line in model management, elations and event management. Raymaker, an SL resident since March the driving force, the creative genius behind the remarkable success of wonders where she finds the energy to handle the many roles she plays: Editor-in-Chief; Designer/Stylist; Events and Marketing Specialist; and ducer/Choreographer. During the course of the VR Style interview she her story, her views and her insights. When you joined SL, did you join with any or all of these business

?

OL, hardly. I had no idea what SL was all about. It was a new frontier, what a virtual world consisted. But as soon as I stepped in and started starry eyed explorer and adventurer that I am in RL,I was taken in by world...the boundless imagination of residents’ creations, intrigued by the minds and visions.

ou say is the overall mission and goals of AVENUE Inc.?

o forge collaborations and provide avenues for creativity and professionalism vities we do; be it from training models, model management, fashion event ing & PR to publishing. Our goals are to achieve excellence in whatever y raise the bar and explore ways to innovate and progress.

et started? Was it the designing of shapes, which BTW are out of this r fashions, or both?

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RR: I started with the idea of setting up a modeling agency and a studio that supported the needs of models to photograph their portfolios. As part of the agency’s services, we would create and stage innovative fashion shows. It was a natural progression for me to bring in-world the plethora of experiences I have had from my RL working experience in event production and talent management. That’s how AVENUE Models came to be. :) From there AVENUE expanded to have a Models Academy to train professional models to the standards we wanted. A couple of months later, I decided to embark into publishing a fashion and lifestyle magazine that would provide print jobs for my models and to achieve my visions of a quality magazine. This probably draws from my own real life experience in publishing where I was a writer, fashion stylist and also tapping on my years in advertising and marketing. Then when I finally had some downtime with AVENUE over Christmas, I got bored and started experimenting with making male shapes. Why male shapes? *laughs* Simply because I found it distressing to find men in SL running around in hulk-like figures or disproportionate shapes that would never be hired by me as male models in my agency. So

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2


26

I set about creating male shapes with the aim that if I look at this shape on an avi walk into my office, would I hire them as a model. When I showed my male shapes to friends and peers in the fashion industry, the women especially were delighted with them. ;) This was an encouragement to me and coupled with my joy of creating and styling them, the idea of making a fashion store for shapes was borne. But with my relentless ambitions and vision, I started to expand and enlist collaborators to create the female shapes, modeling poses, a couture fashion line and exquisite neo baroque furnishings. Thus Stylissimo as a lifestyle fashion store was born. SS: What was your inspiration for those breathtaking shapes? RR: When I make a shape, I do not have a fixed face and body shape in mind. I explore as many male skins I can in the market, try them on and when a certain skin is something aesthetically stimulating for me...my inspiration begins. With the skin, I start to sculpt the shape in no particular pattern of process. I just let the skin speak to me and my mind starts to form a vision of how I would like to interpret this skin into a certain look, character and feel. With my real experience in managing and working with top models in real life, I keep that standard in mind and strive to make each

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male shape as modelesque as I can. SS: When I read about the curriculum for your models, I get a sense of the genuine interest that you and your team put into each student. Can you speak to the success rate of your graduates? I also noticed that you have graduation ceremonies for your students. That is a very personal touch and I’m wondering if that is something that you instilled in your team.. that personal touch.. the genuineness of your approach? RR: I spent considerable time with my appointed Head of Academy, Kryptonia Paperdoll, developing this curriculum. We researched the industry and from her SL experience and my RL experience, we came up with a comprehensive program that would equip any aspiring model with the skills and knowledge to be a professional model. We wanted an all-in-one program without breaking it into parts and having students pay for another level of course in order to start embarking on a modeling career. Our success rates have been very high in that at least about 90% of graduates find work or representation in the modeling industry. Graduation ceremonies besides being a celebrative affair and that final culminating moment for our graduates to exhibit and put all their knowledge into a live show, is also the final test for us to offer representation in AVENUE to successful graduates that meet the mark. The whole course is much like an extended interview that allows us to know our students or prospective models better...assessing their attitude towards learning, adapting and working with their peers and staff of AVENUE. That said, I have always tried to maintain the environment in AVENUE like a family. Any student, model, staff, client or supporter of ours is considered like family. There is no hierarchy,

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no supermodel or top model tags. Each music selection or choreography, we and everyone is an important part of the always work towards superseding their family. expectations. I have trained up my staff SS: Where in the evolution did you to go beyond the norm to learn how to start to promote and manage fashion create choreography for fashion shows that titillate and amaze. Our objectives events? are always to enhance our clients RR: I launched AVENUE with a fashion branding and business whilst entertaining event. With whatever little knowledge I and informing our audience. had of building and scripting, I sought collaborators to help me create our first SS: I understand that you are of Chinese runway and set based on a simple vision Singaporean background. Singapore at first. The first show for the launch is a major center of the fashion industry. packed the sim up to over 80 and I had What part did your background play in my landlady tapping her feet impatiently your success in the SL fashion industry? by my side backstage insisting that I do RR: Well, I have had some of the most something about the inability of other interesting jobs in RL that has helped sim residents being able to enter the sim. me bring the wealth of experience into Of course, this was an event to learn SL. For that I am thankful to have had from and everything we learned came RL roles that involved writing, fashion from experiences and experimenting and styling for shows and magazines. event evolving from there. Within 3 months, and entertainment consultancy, fashion AVENUE’s name grew from strength to show choreography, DJing, talent and strength coupled with active PR. model management, marketing, PR, SS: When you plan an event for a advertising and even photography. client.. can you speak to what goes into I have worked in the fashion industry that? many times from a client side of RR: Firstly, we find out what the client wants and needs by having a thorough understanding and brief from them. If necessary we do research on them. Their creative and business goals are ours so to that end we design something tailored to their aims. Every step of the way, be it stage/set design, PR, styling,

things to being a consultant or service provider. I have produced fashion shows in Singapore for brands like Jean Paul Gaultier, Miss Sixty, Levis, Diesel, Harley Davidson, Escada, fashion festivals just to name a few. SS: How much of your time is taken by your CEO responsibilities?

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RR: Honestly, AVENUE has become my RL work so I devote almost every waking hour to it. You could say it is a labor of love and passion. The projects we undertake and initiate as well as all the 50 over staff I have working with me, keeps me very busy. SS: Where do you see AVENUE Inc going in the future? RR: We have begun to provide PR & Marketing consultancy and services to SL & RL companies in recent months and I definitely see this being an area that we will be developing more actively in the next few months. I foresee AVENUE developing large scale fashion events and I hope to work on a TV show idea I had last year which had been stalled with the introduction of AVENUE Magazine. It is my aim to grow AVENUE into a fullfledged marketing and creative agency. SS: I noticed that the magazine, AVENUE, is a media partner for the Second Life Community Conference (SLCC) in August. How did

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that come about? It’s exciting that AVENUE will get that RL exposure. Can you reveal anything about what the theme for that edition of the magazine will focus on? RR: The idea came about when my VP of Marketing Jesika Contepomi presented the idea. She had connections with the organizers of SLCC and after some brainstorming together, we decided to embark on this ambitious project. This RL issue will be dedicated to the crème de la crème of Second Life in the areas that we cover monthly, i.e. fashion, architecture, interior design, business, entertainment and the arts. An additional involvement with SLCC is that we’re helping with sponsorship marketing as well as organizing the first ever fashion track. One of our panel discussions will be done in mixed reality, live at the conference and in-world. For more information, you can read it up at www.avenuesl.com and to stay posted about it just join our open group ave angels or click on one of our subscribomatics at AVENUE Lobby. SS: I know that you’ve rec’d recognition by way of a prestigious standing in the SL Entrepreneur Award for 2008. Are there other forms of recognition that

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you have received as well? How does it make you feel to receive such recognition? RR: That would be my first and only award so far, which came as a surprise when I found out I was nominated by other residents. To have received such recognition made me reflect on what I had accomplished in the half year that AVENUE was active…A re-launch of AVENUE, setting up a successful and credible models academy and a young but reputable magazine. It reminded me that my efforts were on the right track and strengthened my verve to press on in whatever my passions and vision lead me to. The greatest reward lies in knowing that I am creating a business that contributes and enhances other residents’ lives and that I was providing fun and creative possibilities in employment for all the staff and models that I have hired. SS: I noticed that you are involved with the Merovingi Fashion Award (MFA) event. In what capacity is your involvement? RR: AVENUE became the official partner to handle the event organization, sponsorship marketing and PR for MFA 2009. However, just recently, the board of directors of MFA had come to the conclusion that their RL schedules and commitments prevented them from progressing this year’s event and has postponed it to next year. We look forward to working on it next year with the team at MFA. SS: The level of your success is outstanding. It’s not likely that too many others could achieve what you have. However, do you have any advice for others considering an SL career in the fashion industry? RR: Well it depends on which level you are speaking of. But I would say across the board, one should always adopt a learning attitude. Get any form of training you can that is available in SL. Get as much experience working on the job or be mentored by credible and successful fashion professionals. For example, one

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of my producers Livia Mastroianni who was also a graduate from our academy came to me and expressed her interest in fashion show production. With her good learning aptitude and attitude, I trained and mentored her on the job and grew her from someone who knew nothing much about fashion show production to be one of my prized producers and choreographers. I hate to generalize this but I have seen so many graduates that come out of modeling academies and they start thinking that they can be a trainer, an agency owner or a choreographer. To achieve excellence, one must set absolutely the highest standards for oneself to learn and evolve, objectively critique oneself regularly to see how you could reach your goals. Experience as much as you can in all areas of the fashion industry and network, network, network. This is key, to develop a network of whom you can learn from and work with.

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SS: I must mention that I’ve visited AVENUE Inc. and am impressed with the build there. The runway is amazing, situated in the middle of a reflecting pool with lovely fountains strategically placed. Was the design your own? Did you do any of the build yourself? RR: Unfortunately, my building skills are limited but what I do have are a healthy appetite and resource of concepts and ideas. :) The build was a collaboration with the owners of JC Designs who created what AVENUE is today at ground level based on my vision and direction. SS: Is there anything you’d like to convey to the SL public as the CEO of AVENUE Inc.? RR: I wish to thank our supporters, friends, clients and partners for believing in us and entrusting us with their brands and businesses. I hope my team and I can continue to serve and entertain the Photo by: Carey deCuir community at large and if you haven’t read AVENUE Magazine, or attend a show by AVENUE Models then I would like to invite you to drop by AVENUE and begin your journey with us. It is also a personal wish of mine to see more collaboration within and even outside of the fashion and media industry. This can only bring about greater accomplishments that any single entity can achieve. SL is a boundless space for our imaginations. Let’s not limit it. :) Rusch Raymaker is an intelligent and consummate professional with, as you can see, a very eloquent way of expressing herself. That doesn’t keep her from adding that personal touch even given the impossible work schedule she juggles. At a fashion show hosted by AVENUE Inc., you can be

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assured to see and hear Raymaker herself, who personally hosts and DJs every event. Her generosity of spirit is evident in the sage advice she offers to those contemplating a career in the SL fashion Industry. SL is truly graced to have her presence adding style, class and value to the SL experience. To find out more about AVENUE Inc. and the many facets of that enterprise, please check the following links: AVENUE Inc, AVENUE Magazine | AVENUE Models | AVENUE Models Academy | AVENUE Studio, http://www.avenuesl. com; AVENUE: Media Partner of Second Life Community Convention 2009, http://www.slconvention.org/; Stylissimo http://stylissimosl.com.


Are you taking a break from the job search and surrendering to the lazy days of summer? The conventional wisdom is that almost everyone is in vacation mode from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Consequently, many postpone job searching until September. Is this a mistake? Could you be missing opportunities if you take the summer off? We asked the career experts to find out.

Sizzling Summer Job Search Tips By: Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert Summer Job Searching -- Worthwhile or Waste of Time? “I often hear job seekers say that they want to take the summer off,” says Wendy Terwelp, career coach and president of Mequon, Wisconsin-based career management firm Opportunity Knocks. Terwelp says that by the time the summer ends, job seekers who took the summer off will be competing against even more job seekers who have followed the same strategy. Anne-Marie Ditta, president of First Impression Career Services, agrees. “A fair number of job seekers think that recruiters and hiring managers are unavailable during the summer,” Ditta says. Therefore, many believe it’s a waste of time to job search from June through August. Debunking the Summer Vacation Myth “Few people take long vacations anymore, so for the corporate world it’s business as usual in the summer,” says Laura Berman Fortgang, a pioneer in the personal coaching field who has appeared on “Oprah” and “The CBS Early Show” and wrote Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction.

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“It may take a little longer to get internal consensus on a hire because of staggered vacations, but why waste three months when you can move things forward during that time?” suggests Fortgang, who says that summertime can offer advantages to job seekers. “Sometimes, summer’s quieter pace gives hiring managers a bit more ‘brain space,’ so they are more attentive to employment applications,” she says. Summer can be a prime hiring season for some employers. “Many projects hit the ground running in the fall, and employers want new people in place,” says Fortgang. Six Summer Job Search Tips How do you keep your search moving forward in the summer? Our experts offer these tips: * Capitalize on Seasonal Events: “Summer is a terrific time to network,” says Terwelp. “There are festivals, barbeques, weddings and other gatherings that can be a perfect time to connect.” Fortgang says that using personal and social gatherings to let people know you are looking is an excellent strategy. * Don’t Get Discouraged: Summer vacations may make reaching the right people more challenging, but “don’t use this as a reason to back off,” says Fortgang. “Be patient and consistent, leave polite messages and continue due diligence,” she says. Keep in mind that receptionists and other gatekeepers take vacations, too. “You might connect with that otherwise hard-to-reach hiring manager while your competitors are lolling around waiting until September,” says Ditta.

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* Keep a Job Search Schedule: Yes, it’s summer, but don’t be lulled into laziness. “Even if it is just an hour a day, put structure in place to keep you going,” says Fortgang. * Build a Network: “Form a group of like-minded job seekers to keep your summer job search on track,” Fortgang suggests. Meet regularly to share information on who’s hiring. A job opportunity not right for you may be perfect for someone in your network, and vice-versa. * Take Stock of Your Resume and Skills: Summer is the perfect time to assess and update your resume and skills. “Review your resume and add any new accomplishments or training,” says Terwelp. Also, brush up on any skills that may be lagging. “Take a class or two in the summer. Not only will you be improving your skills, but you can network with your classmates.” * Get Outside: Warm weather is the prime time for outdoor home improvement projects, and by helping your neighbors you can help your career at the same time. Walk around your neighborhood and offer to give someone a hand. While you’re helping that neighbor, you can share that you’re job hunting and tap into someone else’s network. “This can lead to more connections, informational interviews and maybe even a new job,” says Terwelp. When it comes to your job search, summer doesn’t have to mean slow. While that perfect swimsuit may remain elusive, you can use the summer months to find an ideal career fit. Your time and effort can reap big rewards and even land you a new job before autumn.

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Japanese Houses in Second Life by Eddi Haskell Photography by Eddi Haskell

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The Japanese aesthetic, with pure clean lines and respect for nature has been a favorite structural and interior design style for many Second Lifers since the inception of the virtual world. There are few residents who have not marveled at the ability of a Japanese house or other structure to impart dignity and a high sense of style in a very small amount of land space and prim usage. Unlike the crowded and unnatural settings of much of the housing in Japanese urban centers, the Japanese residential structures in Second life are usually set in harmonic villages, island, or mountain settings, among native vegetation, that makes the purchase of such a structure such a delight. This article takes a look at 12 prefabs made by 8 Second life builders and designers that can be purchased immediately and placed on your property. Some of the smallest structures, the teahouses, require only a 512k parcel to be successfully placed. The largest structure reviewed here, the ____ palace, is actually massive with a There are other Japanese structure designers who are excellent and not covered here, this article is by no means comprehensive. Please check both XStreet - https://www.xstreetsl.com/ - and the inworld search function to find other good designers. Eddi Haskell is the Creative Director of VR Style Magazine. SLURL to the Eddi Haskell Gallery: www.slurl.com/secondlife/ Uxert/223/156/49 Eddi’s main blog is at www.eddihaskell.com Eddi’s landscape photography can be found at www.haskellphotography. blogspot.com

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Pippas Papp’s Adadutiker line of homes has several houses and other structures that are done in a Japanese style, some have very interior courtyards gardens that come along with them. The homes are set in a very attractive (and realistically crowded) Japanese town setting/ The Japanese Domus house is 206 prims and can be purchased for L$ on-site. Slurl to Adadutiker: http://slurl. com/secondlife/City%20of%20 Magic/155/219/26


Adadutiker Japanese Domus House


Another design of Pippas Papp is the expansive Geisha Guest house with a welcoming central courtyard. It is only 186 prims, which is very low prim usage for a structure of this size and detailing. Slurl to Adadutiker: http://slurl. com/secondlife/City%20of%20 Magic/155/219/26


Adadutiker Geisha Guest House


Carrah Rossini Dreamfall http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Dreamfall/210/118/732 Japanese mansion 123 prims 799

Dreamfall Japanese Mansion


Tami TimelessThe Box Now Includes More Accessories!! The Japanese House with Attached Bubbling Koi Pond and Fountain. Five Different types of Shadowed Koi Fish. The Different Types of Plants including lilly pads; matching Red Square Carpet; Black round base fire pit, with realistic fire sound; Privacy Screen with Visible or Clear option; and a Wall of Fire as seen in the picture. 2500 87 prim http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Assiettes/79/87/49


Timeless Treasures Koi House


JohnnyD Posthorn’s Kama tea houses is an unfurnished but realistic structure that works well at a lake or beach side. It is only 93 prims, and unlike some of the other homes in this article, not adorned with many decorative frills. I found it so relaxing and evocative of a Japanese lake setting that I purchased it for my own use. The price is only $L 1000. SLURL to Kiamascapes; http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Cobra/201/186/22


Kiamascapes Kama Tea House


Kiamascapes South Water Dogo

Kiamascapes has several attractive Japanese residential structures in a very nice aquatic setting. It is well worth a visit just to enjoy the setting of the area. The elegant and modern South Water Dogo is 202 prims, but sells for a very reasonable L$ 1500. SLURL to Kiamascapes; http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Cobra/201/186/22


Tobias Novi makes a series of Japanese-themed tree houses and smaller structures that can be used for commercial or residential purposes. The tree houses are majestic and highly realistic looking and are some of the best in any genre in Second Life. Pay a visit to his sims just to enjoy the beautiful settings. Tobias also sells very realistic – looking one and two prim trees that can be used in an Asian setting, and even gives away a very nice 1 prim tree. Make sure you only purchase one copy of each, as they do duplicate ( the author of the article actually wasted some lindens purchasing several copies of some trees for his own usage since they seemed so low priced). This tree house (simply called Japan) contains multiple structures and walkways, is on a huge and realistic giant tree, and takes up 259 prims. The cost is L$ 4700, which is well worth it. I would purchase this for my own usage if I had the free space. Slurl to Nove: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Mycenae/104/92/32


Novi Japan Tree House


Xena Barzane and Mitia Messmer’s X& M Design sells some of the most detailed and well proportioned Japanese structures on the grid. The Meiji-era Japanese Pagoda is a tall and well proportioned structure at L$ 3498. Put on a mountaintop, or in an appropriately majestic setting, and with good Japanese landscaping, it will take the breath away of your visitor. The landscaping at X and M is simply stupendous. SLURL to X & M Design: http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Ayokubou/39/174/23


X&M Meiji Era Pagoda


X&M Master Teahouse


A small, yet elegant and roomy structure that can fit on a 512k plot is the X & M Design’s Master Japanese tea house. It is available in several finishes. At only 29 prims, and L$ 398 Linden, it is a good buy, and comfortably sits 6. Please check out the landscape gardening at X & M and the other structural items they sell like bridges and lanterns, this sim is one of the best done on the grid. SLURL to X & M Design: http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Ayokubou/39/174/23


Heian House v. 1 4300 555 Nice roof Paper screen Interior gardening


Ayumi Designs Heian House


Joukai Castle V2 Ayumi Designs Joukai Castle 80 x 80 2998 40 k / 36 k Ayumii Kohime http://slurl.com/secondlife/ A m b a s s a d o r % 2 0 Travel/43/207/23


Seaton and Darkstone Okinawa House


JCaris Seaton’s Homes by Seaton and Darkstone can be rezzed on a very plain viewing platform. They make several Japanese-themed homes and skyboxes. At first, they did not make much of an impression on me - but once I concentrated on the gardens, plants, ponds, and textures that are part of the structural package, they became a favorite. The Okinawa is only 266 prims, which seemed to be a low figure for all that was included. The price of L$ 3500 is realistic considering all the extras that were part of the package sold. Slurl to Homes by Seaton and Darkstone; http://slurl. com/secondlife/Dark%20 Sea/75/56/542 http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Dark%20Sea/75/56/542


Veekay Navarathna, co-founder and primary builder of Shekhawati

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Shekhawati, the newest Indian sim, http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Shekhawati/107/147/23, graces SL with a vision of historical India complete with its rich cultural influence, unique architectural design, and beautiful art work. The artistic presentations are found not just in the Shekhawati Art Gallery but adorning the buildings as indoor murals and outdoor frescoes of open air art. Veekay Navarathna, founder and primary builder of Shekhawati, originally joined SL to establish an extension of his RL business. When he explored the existing sims representing India, he felt they fell short in delivering a reflection of the RL India in terms of the quality of the builds and the lack in capturing the art of the culture. Navarathna explained, “I looked around to see what could be built that would be unique for SL and also showcase the art and architecture of India.” Having a passion for the history of India, he focused on the RL Shekhawati region of India, a semi desert region, steeped in culture and history, and named for a ruler, Rao Shekha. The name Shekhawati means garden of Shekha. He chose this particular region as he said, “because of its uniqueness, and the ingenuity of the people, the merchant class, who built

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Shekhawati residents dance the traditional Indian Punjab Bhanga. L to R, Unidentified, Veekay Navarathna, salzam Skizm, Kajol Nandahar the towns and palaces in defiance of the restrictions of rulers who asserted that palaces could not be built by the merchant class.” Navarathna reflects, “Today the descendants of those merchant classes are the captains of industry in India…. And the beautiful towns and palaces, built by their forefathers, still stand as museums in tribute to their ingenuity.” Navarathna continues that tribute to the

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forefathers of the Shekhawati region of India with a stunningly beautiful and architecturally accurate replica at the SL Shekhawati. His vision and the mission of SL Shekhawati is to showcase India’s rich culture and heritage and to serve as a platform to grow a community that will participate in further development of Indian art and culture in SL. Horses play an important role in Indian


life style so horse rides around the sim are available, if a guest chooses to travel that way. However, a visitor to Shekhawati can simply stroll down the avenues lined with Havelis (mansions) all decorated with brightly colored paintings bringing art to every corner of the sim just as in the RL Shekhawati. Throughout the sim brightly colored kites float above dancing in the breeze.

Flying kites is a popular past-time in the Indian culture. The Hathi Bazar provides the market place for Indian fashions and other Indian wares. The mini-havelis of the Vijay Nagar residential area give SLers the opportunity to live a traditional Indian life-style. The Open Air Art gallery, a centerpiece of the sim, has both the classic art of noted painters in India as well as more contemporary art of RL and SL Indian artists. Some of the SL artists on exhibit there are Shanti Bright’s photography of India, Cavin McGinnis’ digital art, Maria Binder, a European Artist, displaying her drawings by hot wax, and portraits by Jil Dagostino. RL artists are represented as well, like Latha from Chennai and selections from the Padma Art Gallery, with paintings made in Tanjore style by local artists. The Mandir Temple provides a peaceful place for meditation for those seeking a culture of love and devotion to a personal deity. The majestic Shekha Palace in the sky beckons SLers to live the life of a Maharaja with the luxurious accommodations of the Heritage Hotel. Also provided at the Palace are such amenities as dancing at the Durbar Hall, sunbathing near or soaking in the beautifully tiled swimming pool, enjoying a game of tennis or golf,

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or relaxing and watching a movie on the wide screen TV. The impressive Amphitheater is the center for regular events, themed parties, concerts, and horse races. Navarathna has requested some Indian fashion designers to design clothing of the RL Shekhawati region in the period of three-hundred years ago. He wants to provide that option of attire for the residents of Shekhawati but says that wearing that particular garb will not be compulsory. In terms of role-play (RP) for the sim, he sees a democratic way of living with no other particular RP in mind. By democratic he means to have elected elders of the village, who would be the first step in dispute resolution. Speaking of the process of building Shekhawati, Navarathna says, “It was wonderful. There was tension but creativity drove the solutions to any problems encountered. My major concern was meeting my targeted deadline but then God above came to my aid.� He is quick to say that he was not alone in this noble project, but had several major contributors. Having a background in Information Technology he understood the potential in SL and formed a an RL company, Medley Webserve Pvt Ltd, expressly for SL activities. He was fortunate to have three RL friends, all with highly professional backgrounds, join him in his venture into

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SL and participate as co-promoters of Shekhawati: Rabin Navarathna; KAKES Medier; and Nandu Titanium. He especially has appreciated the help of his SL Creative Team, colleagues Cavin McGinnis and niksarojaz Titanium for their hands on efforts in bringing Shekhawati to life. He says of McGinnis, “he is our techie guy for scripts who in addition to assisting with the builds, the amphitheater and the shops, did the packaging of the animations for our traditional group dances.” Of Titanium he says, “Nik (Titanium) creates textures, designs concept art and assists with sculpties. In addition, he developed the animations for two popular Indian group dances, namely, the Bhangra from Punjab and the Dandiya from Gujarat.” McGinnis feels that working on the Shekhawati project was a great experience. He describes that experience saying, “I must confess that when I started working on Shekhawati, I had no knowledge of what it was. Veekay (Navarathna) taught me about the culture and the history. My first massive build in SL is the Amphitheater in Shekhawati. Veekay first showed me the Haveli he was working on and I was totally fascinated by the detailed work he had done.” Niksarojaz Titanium shares the same impression of the project and takes great pride in the finished product saying, “We worked on this huge project for over a year and finally

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it is done. I feel certain that SLers will building. I had seen previous Indian

regard Shekhawati as a fabulous place to see and will appreciate the power of our imagination.” Titanium looks forward to future development efforts at Shekhawati. Another major contributor is Perdita Lacey. Navarathna explains her role and how she got involved with the project, “Perdita (Lacey) came along when I was desperately looking for additional help and she took charge of building the residences.” McGinnis adds to that, “She was a great surprise for me. Not being of Indian descent, she has done an amazing job on the builds.” Of the overall team effort McGinnis adds, “It is the team work that all four of us put into the project along with our love for Indian culture that helped us to achieve what Shekhawati is today.” Navarathna agrees that it was a true team effort. He references a saying in his profile, “I have an Urdu saying there, “Himmat-e-Mardan Maded-e-Khuda”, which basically means God helps brave hearts. I took up this project and was, at one stage, desperately looking for help to complete the project in time and along came Perdita to offer help in 104

themed builds that she had done and knew she was the one to handle this.” Navarathna would like the SL community to, “come and see. It is not just about art and architecture. It’s also about the spirit of innovation to overcome the dictates of rulers to build your place of abode to your liking.” He’d like SLers to view Shekhawati as not just a glimpse of India’s heritage but as catalyst to inspire them to innovate. For more information about Shekhawati or to provide comments about your visit there, contact Veekay Navarathna.


Model : MIkaela Yifu Outift : Joko-domo Lilac Kimono Accessories : Pink Umbrella from Joko-Domo

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Model : Ariel Lingiuan Outift : Joko-domo Pink and Blue Kimono

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Model : Mikaela Yifu Outfit : Milky House Shung Hair : HK Marumage Skin: GD Ayame - Sr. Ma

Model : Eddi Haskell Outift : Milky Kimono Hao Skin : Belleza Miguel-Tan Hair : Uncle Web Grain H 110


gei-josho

aiko Promises-Formal

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Model : Lanzer Cleanslate Outfit : Milky Kimono Haori & Hakama Karyu Skin : Redgrave Emil Hair : Hayate’s Hair Lab Model SOH

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Model : Iolejanana Chajit Outfit : Milky House Haruno Hasakura - Hime Skin : GD -Keiko Bisque Odori Hair Piece : HK Wareshinobu Semi formal

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Model : Nadia Felwitch Outfit : Milky House Oiran Kimono - Yohime Tamaki Skin : GD Ayame - Sr. Maiko Promises Hair Piece: HK Formal Sakkou for Erikae

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Model : Tesan Lane Outfit : Milky Kimono Haori & Hakama (AOI )

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Model : Glitter Bolissima Outfit : Milky House Iyuni Hitoe Moegi Skin : GD Promises - Informal/ Formal GD Odori Make-up A1 Hair Piece : HK Minarai Pinwheel Kanzash 116


Model : Owen Landar Outfit : Milky Kimono Haori & Hakama - Karyu Skin : Damiani Noah Full Beard Dark Haired Hair : -N- The Outsider - Black Pearl

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Model : Glitter Bolissima Outfit : Chinese Impression *Qing Dynasty ( Manchu Princess )

Model : Glitter Bolissima Outfit : Qing Dynasty: Manchu Princess Outfit with Hair Skin : GD Promises - Informal/ Formal GD Odori Make-up A1 118


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Model : Mikaela Yifu Outfit : Chinese Impression QiPao Beautify Flamingo with Hair Skin : Indian_M3 by Nany Merlin

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Model : Nadia Felwitch Outfit : Chinese Impression: Princiess Phoenix Tang Dynasty with Hair Skin : Cyrano 123


Model : Glitter Bolissima Outfit : Chinese Impression Sinkiang Girls’ Outfit with Hair Skin : GD Promises - Informal/Formal GD Odori 124


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Model : Iolejanana Chajit Outfit : Chinese Impression Cheongsam Pure Lightcoral with Hair Skin : Redgrave - Sakura Tan 127


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Model : Glitter Bolissima Outfit : Sunaina Gharara with 3x Indian Diamond Jewellry Skin : KA Designs Skin, KIM V3 Sunkissed Hair : O Style Pompadour Model : Tesan Lane Outift : Veer Suit

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Model : Mikaela Yifu Outfit : Kavita Gharara with Royal Raiput Jewellry Skin : Indian_M3 by Nany Merlin Hair : 0 Style *ItimatuHair *_ Black_L Model : Eddi Haskell Outfit : Mohan Suit Skin : Belleza Miguel - Tan Hair : Uncle Web Grain Hair - Black

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Model : Nadia Felwitch Outfit : Maharani Bridal with 4X Indian Pearl Jewellry Skin : Cyranno Egyptian Hair : Sky Everett Kiera Blonde Model : Owen Landar Outfit : Sashi Suit Skin : Belleza - Ewan Tan 3 Bald Hair : .::MadDesigns Hair::. - ~LEXX~ SB II

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Model : Iolejanan Chajit Outfit : Royalty Gharara with Royal Raiput Gold Amber Jewellry Skin : Red Queen Sun Type 01 Hair : Analog Dog-Fleur Black Model : Lanzer Cleanslate Outfit : Royalty Suit Skin : Redgrave Emil Hair : Hayate’s Hair Lab Model SOH 135


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Model : Glitter Bolissima Outfit : Ancient Tree - Golden Patchwrok Skin : KA Designs Skin, KIM V3 Sunkissed Hair : 0 Style Pompadour Model : Eddi Haskell Outfit : Ancient Tree - Dark Samurai Skin : Belleza - Miguel Tan Hair : Uncle Web Grain Hair - Black 137


Model : Iolejanana Chajit Outfit : Ancient Tree - Crimson Garden Skin : Redgrave - Moon Pale Hair : Red Queen - Hush in Onyx Model : Tesan Lane Outfit : Ancient Tree - Imperial Green

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Model : Nadia Felwitch Outfit : Ancient Tree - Black Concubine Skin : Cyrano Hair : Kiss - Spice Black Meld Red Tips Model : Lanzer Cleanslate Outfit : Ancient Tree - Blackfish Skin : Redgrave - Emil Hair : Hayate’s Hair Lab Model SOH 141


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Model : Mikaela Yifu Outfit : Ancient Tree - Blue Komon Skin : Indian_M3 By Nany Merlin Hair : 0 Style *ItimatuHair*_Black_L Model : Owen Landar Outfit : Ancient Tree - Red Dragon Skin : Damiani Noah Full Beard Dark Haired Hair : -N- *The Outsider* - Black Pearl 143


Model : Iolejanana Chajit Outfit : *Sweetaholic/* Shiromuku Skin : Redgrave - Moon Pale Model : Eddi Haskell Outfit : Sweetaholic for men/Yukata:01 Skin : Belleza - Miguel Tan Hair : Uncle Web Grain Hair - Black

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Model : Glitter Bolissima Outfit : *Sweetaholic/* Shinran 2.0 Skin : GD Ayame - Sr. Maiko Promises Formal Hair : Chinese Sinkiang Girls Model : Lanzer Cleanslate Outfit : Sweetaholic for men/Kimono:01 Skin : Redgrave - Emil Hair : Hayate’s Hair Lab Model SOH 147


Model : Mikaela Yifu Outfit : *Sweetaholic/* Reien 1.0 Black Dress Skin : Indian_M3 by Nany Merlin Hair : 0 Style *ItimatuHair* _Black-L Model : Tesan Lane Outfit : Sweetaholic for men/Yukata: 04 Skin : Hair : 148


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Model : Nadia Felwitch Outfit : *Sweetaholic/* Hime 1.5 Skin : Cyrano Model : Owen Landar Outfit : Sweetaholic for men/Kimono:15 Skin : Belleza - Ewan Tan 3 Bald 150


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e h t a g y i n i k r O o l s p u t x h o E c t i L w l e e F u a l i d B : Na By

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I remember back Inside the Main Ochaya ( Tea House ) when respect, honor, kindness, and politeness was just common courtesy. Society acknowledged the special qualities of those around them therefore everyone engendered a feeling of respect by others. Treating others with respect and kindness was part of our values in life taught and instilled at childhood. Unfortunately in today’s society, we often forget these values amongst our high paced and demanding lifestyles. I found it quiet fascinating that a small place in a virtual world practices these values on a day to day bases. Let me tell you about my opportunity to visit and learn about the Blue Lotus Okiya. Before beginning my tour I was given information from Mikido Yoshikawa, Okasaan at the Okiya; to help me understand what Blue Lotus Okiya was all about as I had the slightest clue. The Blue Lotus Okiya is one of SL’s oldest geisha training facilities. It was founded by Marian Barbossa, April 9th, 2007. At The Blue Lotus Okiya the students are taught the skills to be a vision of Art, Culture, Grace and Beauty from learning about the history and traditions of a Geisha. I’ll pause briefly here to explain what a Geisha is as I myself was not clear on that. Geisha are most misrepresented as being “Asian prostitutes or courtesans”. The Webster dictionary describes “Geisha (“person of the arts”) are traditional 156


Japanese artistentertainers”. Mikido Youshikawa helped me to fully understand the true meaning of a Geisha with her very informative note cards. “Geisha are entertainers of a high caliber that use traditional Japanese forms of music and dance. They also excel in the art of conversation, and as highly respected companions that do not indulge in courtesan practices.” As I finally clicked my mouse and tp’d over I instantly was aware that The Blue Lotus is not only a school for geisha training but the atmosphere here is simply amazing. The sim itself is beautifully landscaped and rich with Japanese Culture. Upon rezzing I was welcomed immediately with such enthusiasm and kind spirit “Ohayou Felwitch-sama, how are you?” with lots of “bows respectfully”. As I stood there trying to decide how to respond back; I watched as others came and went; each person being greeted with the same kindness and respect as I had been. I was definitely intrigued by now. I looked around and found myself at the Ochaya and surrounding gardens. The Ochaya is the main teahouse where most of the entertainment takes place. The geisha entertain the guests with conversation, music, and dancing here. There’s also a 157


Rehearsal of Play small stage for plays. As I was there I had the honor to see the geisha ladies practicing for one of the up coming plays on stage. Each Month Blue Lotus Okiya brings to SL many traditional Japanese festivals, plays, music, and celebrations. July was the month of Gion Matsuri, one of the three largest festivals in Japan. Two of the main events in July were the Hanagasa Junko or Flower parasol parade that featured the floats and costumes of Gion Matsuri and the Tanabata 158

Legend Play which was presented in voice. While at the Ochaya and during my tour of the Blue Lotus I had the pleasure of interviewing a few of the sisters of the Okiya: Mushroom Nissondorf, Hana Hendrassen, and Whirligig Kira as well as one of the Patrons, Genezix Nyoki. Nadia Felwitch: What made you become interested in becoming a geisha?


Mushroom Nissondorf: Well... may be the delicacy and beauty they dedicate to every day events As well as the whole Japanese culture, even sitting to take a rest an have some tea becomes an opportunity to enjoy beauty. NF: How long does it take to become a geisha? Whirligig Kira: Considerably less time than in the physical world. I do not expect to become a geisha for some time, a year or two perhaps. Hana Hendrassen: Well, I’m an apprentice geisha and I’ve been here about 9 months now. It varies from place to place. In RL it takes about 5 years. It is a career really. Hana Hendrassen and Mushroom NF: Is anyone here Nissondorf actually a geisha in RL? M u s h r o o m Nissondorf: Well... not as far as I know But many of us are very informed about the geisha culture Like our Okaasan or many of our sisters NF: Okaasan? What is the Okaasan? M u s h r o o m Nissondorf: Our Okaasan is like our mom, she takes care of all of us And she is Yoshikawasama. She is also our teacher; most of the classes are


dictated by her. She was a student here as well but with the time she became the Okaasan, and I arrived when she was already at that rank. Genezix Nyoki: Yoshiko-san (Yoshikawasan’s professional name) works very hard for her students and Okiya. NF: May I ask if you all are Asian in RL? Hana Hendrassen: No, I am not I’m from the US. Whirligig Kira: I am not. I am a North Carolina WASP. Mushroom Nissondorf: I’m from South America and there’s a sister here that comes from the UK Another from Germany the cultural diversity is big at the Okiya “ Genezix Nyoki: California NF: So you don’t have to be Asian to become part of the Blue Lotus Okiya? Hana Hendrassen: iie! In fact I think most Okiya in SL don’t require you to be Asian.

Mushroom Nissondorf: We have 30 students here, counting shikomis and minarais, as well as maikos. But only two geikos or geishas, one of them is our okaasan

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Whirligig Kira

NF: How many geisha do you have in the Blue Lotus group?


Mushroom Nissondorf: Hai hai! I’m a shikomi. This is the order of it: 1. Shikomi, 2. Minarai, 3.- Jr Maiko, 4.- Senior Maiko, 5.- Geiko

Genezix Nyoki

NF: The last part of your title is the level of geisha you are at? Is that correct?

NF: What does the patron do here? Mushroom Nissondorf: A Patron is a regular guest of the Ochaya Almost like part of the big family of it Genezix Nyoki: Mostly the patrons come to events, relax, enjoy the company of the geisha here, and donate when they can to help out of course. My next stop was the marketplace filled with all types of designs from various creators. NF: do you design any of the market things here? mushroom Nissondorf: I do design something’s but I’m not as talented as my sisters yet. NF: What things do you like to create? mushroom Nissondorf: Maybe yukatas and some foods. Yukatas are quite easy to make, they are like summer kimonos and not so complicated as furisodes or komons. And well..some candies for the Ochaya are always welcome so I enjoy creating them, as I’m also a big fan of

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Performing Geisha

Japanese sweets.

2008. It was a real challenge at first NF: Does each student learn to create but I was really happy with the results some type of Asian design and sell in so decided to continue with it. the marketplace? NF: What are the different styles of Hana: Not necessarily. All the students hair? Do they have a special meaning? here are encouraged to be familiar with Hana: Maiko (apprentice geisha) go how to build, but selling our designs is through five different hairstyles during purely by choice. their service before they become fullyI had the great pleasure of speaking fledged geisha: wareshinobu, ofuku, with Hana about her designs: HANA katsuyama, yakko shimada and sakkou. Each one is specific to the girl’s rank KATSURAYA Fine Japanese Hair and Kanzash for and sometimes an occasion. After a girl finishes her maiko period to become a Geisha and Beyond. geisha, she only wears one kind of style, NF: How long have you been designing the taka shimada. If you know what hair for geisha? you’re looking for, you can tell just by Hana: I started on my first hair shortly a picture how much experience a maiko after I joined SL in September 2008, or geisha has, and even what time of and my first hair ornaments in December year it is, since their hair ornaments

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change from month to month.

purchase of Hana’s hair informational NF: Does a certain hairstyle go with a note cards are included describing the tradition and inspriation behind certain kimono? the type of hair. Hana so graciously Hana: In a way, yes- just as there are allowed me to sample 4 unique styles different hairstyles for different ranks, of her geisha hair: there are different kimono styles too. Also on some special occasions there are I. Formal Sakkou for Erikae specific kinds of hairstyles and kimonos “Susuki, or pampas grass, can be seen that are worn to reflect the formality of growing in fields all over Japan during the event, so those also go together in the summer and is a common kanzashi that sense. motif for August. While it grows all Hana and one of her sisters, Eva Teardop over the world, the Japanese variety has a Kitsuke Journal coming out soon in particular is noted for its starbursts that explains about different styles of spiny leaves and small flowers. The of kimono and hair styles. With each kanzashi is usually made of iridescent

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paper or fabric, with the sr. maiko variety having a silvery-blue tint that nearly glows in the light. The sakkou is the last hairstyle worn by a maiko before she becomes a fully-fledged geiko. It may be worn a month to two weeks before her erikae (turning of the collar). During the late Edo period this hairstyle was worn by newlywed women, and the husband would have cut off the topknot of the hair to symbolize the wife’s devotion to his family. In much the same way today, though the hair being cut is not the maiko’s real hair, wearing this hairstyle symbolizes the maiko’s devotion to her life as a geiko.” II. Pinwheel Kanzashi for Minarai “Minarai are young girls in the second phase of geisha training, who have not yet debuted as maiko but dress in traditional style and attend at teahouses. The dress of a minarai is marked by color and vibrancy, and while they may wear seasonal kanzashi as maiko do there are also motifs that are special to the minarai stage and emphasize youth instead of seasonality. One of the unique motifs worn by minarai is the pinwheel. Commonly a symbol of time and transience, here the colorful pinwheel could be seen as a suggestion of her young age and the transition she is making into the world of geisha. Fuji (Wisteria) Kanzashi for Maiko: Fuji, known as wisteria in English is a beautiful part of many Japanese gardens and a common May and late spring motif for maiko. In days past, the trailing blossoms of the fuji decorated the homes of nobles and were grown in entertainment districts to add beauty to the area. Fuji kanzashi can be beautifully diverse, and can be suitable for all stages of maiko (though it is more commonly worn among younger maiko). “ III. emiformal Wareshinobu for Junior Maiko “The wareshinobu is the first traditional hairstyle worn by those in the geisha path. A girl starts having her hair dressed in this style when she becomes a minarai, and will continue to wear it until she becomes a senior maiko. The bright red cloth that splits the mage (topknot) at the top and bottom is said to accentuate the loveliness of the young maiko. Included is a kanoko dome which goes in the center of the mage. The wareshinobu is resizable with a color-change tama kanzashi.” IV. Marumage for Married Women “The marumage is a style which originated in the Edo era and was one of the 164


styles worn by married women, and is now donned mostly by hopeful singles and geisha of the Toyama prefecture for the Marumage Matsuri. This style’s predominant characteristic is the mage (topknot) that is spread wide on the back of the head and has a shibori cloth looped through the middle.” After finding myself wanting to buy up all types of marvelous creations in the marketplace, I was lead to the cherry paths; A most relaxing and beautiful area for entertainment. Mushroom explained “here we could play some instruments, and have tea with our guests”. Along the cherry paths two other smaller semiprivate teahouses are found tucked away in the landscape. Exploring a bit on my own I found many other attributes to be taken in. Many places to sit and relax and take in the beautiful scenic views, places to fish, a sushi restaurant to dine in, and one can even paddle around in the canoes! My tour ended on the highest point of the sim with a most exquisite breathtaking view on a snowy mountain. The snowy mountain is the home of the Temple and the house of the Miko or priestess. The priestess helps with the passing rituals.

Hair Piece samples


Blue Lotus Restaurant


Nadia Felwitch: tell me more of the passing rituals? mushroom Nissondorf: Well is mostly for the ones that determine when we are passing from one rank to another. Some of them are based on the Buddhism and here we try to keep that as accurate as we can. Finally, Patron Genezix sums up all that I came to experience while visiting the Blue Lotus. When I asked him: Genezix what brought you to join Blue Lotus? He replied Genezix Nyoki: Honestly, I had a friend who told me about it. According to him, nowhere on SecondLife was he treated with more respect and kindness, and to be honest, I’ve had the same experience. I enjoy the atmosphere, and I find using the honorifics properly reminds one to be respectful to others. In today’s society, politeness, respect, and ...oh what’s the word...common courtesy are not found as much as they used to be. “Art, Grace, and Mystery” three words that most definitely describe the intriguing atmosphere and culture found at Blue Lotus Okiya.

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Yours Truly, An

Miss SLanders takes a lighthea and how to deal with each oth in this wondrous world of SL. Some consider Second Life to be only a game but so many depend on the Dear Ms. SLanders, people they meet. It can be a source I feel so devastated. I had a bf on of friendship and love for some. There SL for so long but he seems to have are so many lonely people in the world. disappeared. I just sit and cry over Just keep busy. I’ve found that to be him. I have no idea what happened the best cure for a broken heart. And to him. What am I to do? one day, you will find it hurts less. Find something that interests you, perhaps Lost and Lonely some charity. Second Life has so many Dear Lost, worthwhile charities. Sometimes when This is the chance we take here. If you can help others, it helps you. someone chooses to just leave Second Ms. SLanders Life or change their Av. We have no choice but to forget them. I know you Dear Ms SLanders, were close to him but things happen in people’s lives. He may have some My gf is always dragging me off to good reason why he hasn’t contacted dances and clubs. Every time I go I you. Just keep the faith, that he’s ok. I keep crashing. Why isn’t she happy do hope, however, that he isn’t playing to just hang out at home? some kind of game. I think that’s the Rather be home cruelest thing to do, but I have seen it happen. I have no idea how anybody Dear Rather, can do that to another human being. Well Rather, I can only say that ladies 170


nn SLanders

By: KathleenK Spitteler

arted look at friendships, romance her with more respect and humor like to go out and see and be seen. Ladies like to get dressed up, what can I say? We also like to shop and talk to our friends. So if she doesn’t get the chance to dress up in her RL, let her play. It’s only natural. What can it hurt? Let her have her fun.

your interest in Second Life. Get out and explore. try a live concert, get involved in building, try education, learn a language, go to book reviews ( as good book book review can help you to find something exciting to read when you’re not on Second Life). Oh my gosh! There are so many interesting things to add to your RL. Exploring can be fun, especially when you share it with someone. Bring a friend and share. There are so many clever people who have put so much time into building venues that we all can enjoy. Try games. There are places that sell chess sets, tennis courts, bowling alleys, airplanes, cars and motorcycles. You can be challenged on a race track if you want. You can try for the trophies or sit in the grandstands and watch.

Perhaps a compromise would help. Divide your time. Go out with her one night and then the next, stay at home. I think perhaps she could be happy with Just think of what you would like to do that. You will both get your way. in RL and you can do it here. Whatever Ms. SLanders your mind can think of, it can be done. Dear Ms SLanders,

Ms. SLanders

I’m starting to get bored with Second Life. I talk and talk to people but nothing seems to change. What can I do to get interested in something? Bored Dear Bored, There are so many things to hold

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Jr. Maiko Maczutto Zelin (Geisha Katsumi), kneels, ready to perform

Art of Geisha: Beauty, Peace, Love, Intelligence By: Sherrie Shepherd

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Traditional Geisha performances are a sheer pleasure to experience and SL residents are fortunate to have access to this unique form of entertainment steeped in custom and performed with such reverence by the Geisha of the Little Yoshiwara Okiya Geisha School. The performance will normally begin with the Oka-san (Head Geisha) welcoming everyone and saying “Domo Arigato”, meaning “Thank you” for coming, while taking a humble bow. Oka-san will then introduce one of the Geisha who will tell Japanese monogatari (tales) while three or more Geisha will gracefully perform the traditional fan dance in beautiful kimonos. Accompanying them will be a musician playing a traditional instrument like the koto. Each tale will end with a valuable lesson learned for those in attendance to ponder. When the monogatari are completed, the Oka-san will treat the appreciative audience to a traditional Tea Ceremony while explaining the history of the ritual. She will close the ceremony with saying to the audience, “So, kind audience, when in winter we have our warm tea and in summer our fresh one. May we always have these four principles 173


Geisha of the Little Yoshiwara Okiya Geisha School Perform, L to R - Jr. Maiko Geisha Lezlie Latte (Geisha Komayo). 174


o, Maczutto Zelin (Geisha Katsumi), Sr. Maiko Jael Enderfield (Geisha Ayami), 175


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in our hearts: Harmony, Reverence, Purity and Calm.” The Geisha perform at the Kabuki Theater in Little Yoshiwara, Milarepa (30, 9, 44) and other locations throughout SL . Xuemei Yiyuan, founder and owner of The Little Yoshiwara Group and Geisha School, talked about the background of Geisha dances which are referred to as “buyo.” She said, “The term ‘buyo’ relates to both historical/ ritual dance and folk dance.” She reflected upon her Japanese ancestry and her special interest in Geisha. Her RL university studies have focused on Pre-Modern Japan with a specialization in the Early Edo Period (c. 1604-1725). Yiyuan said, “At Little Yoshiwara we attempt to recreate the role of Geisha during this period as distinct from the later form of Geisha… commercial imitations of the earlier ‘mythical’ Geisha.” The Yoshiwara Okiya Geisha School trains women wishing to learn about, and practice the art of being a Geisha. Students are not only schooled in the geisha arts necessary to perform the role professionally in SL, but are also taught about the history of geisha and important aspects of Japanese culture. Students at the school progress through three ranks, 177


from Minarai, to Maiko, and finally to Geisha, with promotion being based upon performance of her rank duties and dedication of time and energy to the Okiya and her sisters. Entry into the school is based upon a short interview with the Oka-san (or other senior member), and the signing of an agreement to abide by the conditions set forth in the Okiya Contract. Yoshiwara geisha, maiko, and minarai do not provide sexual services. Traditional Geisha are primarily entertainers, who provide ‘repose’ to their clients through music, dance, vocal entertainment, intelligent conversation, and pleasing companionship. A special ceremony, called the Misedashi, is conducted to signify the special step from a student’s old life to her new one as a geisha. At one such ceremony, the Oka-san presents Jael Enderfield (geisha Ayami-chan) as a new Maiko. Enderfield thanks those in attendance and expresses how honored she is that they chose to be present on her happy occasion. She then tells the story of Inari, the patron of rice in the Shinto religion. Upon ending her story about Inari, she tells another about an old miser. She tells her stories while dancing HPDAA Auro accpanies the performers to the accompaniment of traditional instrument, the Koto 178


musical instruments. Sorasu Romano (Geisha Yoneyu) who oversees the Kabuki Group, said she had been looking to join an Okiya and when she met Okasan Yiyuan, who spoke with such warmth about Little Yoshiwara Okiya, she was convinced to join. Of her experience as a Geisha she said “It’s been most wonderful. I am well loved here and I’ve been able to provide the service of letting other people know about Little Yoshiwara. I love working here.” Yiyuan founded Little Yoshiwara to establish a traditional sim set in the Early Edo Period where the core values are Beauty, Peace, Love, Intelligence, Courage and Dreams. She has perpetuated those concepts through the Little Yoshiwara Okiya and shares this with the SL community.

on the tranditional Japanese musical

Yoshiwara Okiya Geisha can be hired for public and private performances. Costs for services provided depends upon the number of geisha needed for a performance, the time required, and (in the case of private entertainment) the rank of the geisha employed. To find out about scheduled Geisha performances, join The Little Yoshiwara Group or contact Xuemei Yiyuan. 179


Zindra Style adult-oriented

Zindra is a beautiful place.

Zindra is the new continent which opened in late june 2009. All establishments with adult (i.e. sexually oriented content) are not in the process of moving off Linden mainland regions the 100-plus sims that constitute the Zindra region. Zindra has room to expand to over 500 sims if demand warrants.

Landscape Photog new Contine

By Eddi Haskell , Creative Directo

When you first think of an “adult� oriented continent, visions of tawdry establishments with bright neon lights come to mind. Although there is certainly some visuals on Zindra that might make one blush (including the author of this article who is by no means a prude), Zindra is a gorgeous, well designed green space. Suspension bridges, beaches, green mountains, and a stunningly futuristic city center at Kama, with a monorail station on Mosh sim, that compete with the very best large scale architectural designs in Second Life. Please enjoy this selection of landscape photography by Creative Director Eddi Haskell and plan to be impressed during your next trip to Zindra- but make sure to get age verified first. 182

VR Style Creative Director Eddi Haskell at his new gallery on Uxert Sim at the Museum of Sex Furniture in Zindra


graphy from the ent of Zindra

or Photography by Eddi Haskell

Eddi Haskell is the Creative Director of VR Style Magazine. SLURL to the new Eddi Haskell Gallery in Zindra on Uxert sim: www.slurl.com/ secondlife/Uxert/223/156/49 Eddi’s main blog is at www. eddihaskell.com Eddi’s YouTube channel is at www. youtube.com/eddihaskell. Eddi has several videos featuring his Zindra photography on the channel. Eddi’s landscape photography can be found at www.haskellphotography. blogspot.com

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Route 69 is next door to the Museum of Sex Furniture on Uxert sim. It is a very evocative waterfront town, and very attractive. It reminds photographer Eddi Haskell of the towns near Cannes on the Mediterranean in France. Eddi produced a still image video of Route 69 set to Charles Trenet’s famous song “La Mer” which can be seen at http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjnumLSIsPs


The dam and fishery on Guittarez sim show the “green� side of Zindra. Power generation is accomplish by wind driven turbines


The information center on Gilda also functions as a dam. The ubiquitous, but rapidly disappearing Zindra Cypress trees can be seen in this photograph.


Realistic shadows under the monorail station in Mosh near Kama City Center were accomplished by using advanced settings.


The monorail center at Mosh in Kama Center, the urban hub of Zindra, is flanked by two large and attractive suspension bridges. Additional photography of these bridges is located on a time of day sequence this article.


Zindra has several suspension impressive suspension bridges which actually can be driven and walked across, albeit slowly, and at least one that open and closes to let ships and boats through, a video of which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jJZNEl80c. This is the gorgeous Pengallen Bridge in autumn hues at the center of the current Zindran continent.


Bastille Day on July 14, 2009 at the Museum of Sex Furniture on Uxert.


On the night of July 3, Zindrans celebrated Zindrapendence Day with Fireworks on Rhianna sim after the reading of the historic Zindran Declaration of Independence. EddI Haskell’s still image video of the event can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9h74bFNHfI


The island at Arapaima off the continent of Zindra that functions as a Safe Hub.


Street lights reminiscent of water lillies at the Arapaima safe hub.


Photographer Eddi Haskell took this building of one of the many nonmodern “themed’ buildings of Zindra on Zindrapendence day morning, July 4, 2009. The complete video with over 40 images showing the diversity of the Zindran landscape can be seen at http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=jM0uR3r9qSo


Midday view of Kama Center

Here are four photos from a series the day that photographer Eddi H show the two large suspension brid Southern part of the continent to Ka The complete video time lapse seque www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WHP0

Sunset view of Kama Center


Evening view of Kama Center

of 24 shots representing 24 hours of Haskell shot near Kama Center. They dges that serve as an entry from the ama City center on a noon-noon cycle. ence can be seen on You Tube: http:// 0rQsBQ8

Sunrise view of Kama Center


There are mountain ranges on Zindra. This view of the Tyrell Mountains was taken using a rich Sepia monotone by photographer Eddi Haskell.


Classical D of the Kab

By: Sherr

Actors perform the g 210


Dance Drama buki theater

rie Shepherd

great dance-drama Musume Dojoji at the Little Yoshiwara Kabuki Theater. 211


An authentic replica of an Edo Period Kabuki Theater is the backdrop for performances of the Ichimura-za Kabuki Troupe of Little Yoshiwara (LY), http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Milarepa/80/88/44. Kabuki theater represents stylized classical Japanese dance-drama. It’s known for elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers. Kabuki is sometimes translated as “the art of singing and dancing.” The history of kabuki began in 1603 when actors began performing a new style of dance drama in the dry riverbeds of Kyoto. Originally female performers played both men and women in comic playlets about ordinary life. Xuemei Yiyuan, founder of LY, built the LY Kabuki Theater to be a replica of a Kabuki Theater of the Edo Period. Her RL university studies have focused on Pre-Modern Japan with a specialization in the Early Edo Period (c. 1604-1725) and Yiyuan has created LY to follow the architecture and traditions of that period. Under the management of Sorasu Romano, Geisha Yoneya, the LY troupe recently performed one of the great dance-dramas of the kabuki stage, 212

Masumi Manamiko wears the mask representing the serpent-demon


Musume Dojoji . It recounts the ancient legend of a young woman possessed by unrequited love. She transitions from innocence, through frustration, to her transformation into a vengeful serpent-demon. Romano portrayed the innocent young dancing girl, Kyo-hime, who eventually becomes the demon. Masumi Manamiko, by donning a hideous mask, portrayed the transformed, Hanako, the incarnation of the demon woman, Kyo-hime. Cousin Gabe portrays Anchin, the love interest of Kyo-hime, who forsakes her for the priesthood. Sadly, in a fit of rage, Anchin is destroyed by the demon persona of Kyo-hime. An outstanding cast of supporting actors contributed to the most enjoyable performance. Romano said of her experience managing the troupe, “The experience has been a challenge, much different than just the normal duties of a Geisha. It’s been a pleasure to work with so many talented people. We’ll be performing this play again in mid to late August.” If you’d like to attend a performance at the Kabuki Theater, contact Sorasu Romano for a schedule of performances. 213


Xuemei Yiyuan, founder of Little Yoshiwara and builder of the Kabuki Theater, attends the performance


The Fascin

By: Shartan Silverstar 218


nating Orient

Photography by : Nadia Felwitch 219


“Konnichiwa, Shartan san!” And I knew I had arrived in the Orient. As they say, the opposites attract, and the western man has long been attracted to the “far east” and their way of life. The fascination of the Orient has been different for different people; while western women have looked with envy upon the beautiful, colourfully adorned dresses, men have always been drawn to the manly, and often violent, forms of martial arts. The distance between the east and the west made it impossible to explore the Orient for anyone unless they were independently wealthy. Second Life, however, is truly the land of opportunities, and if you are one of the ardent admirers of the Far East, you can now indulge in this hobby and explore the Oriental lifestyle right here without leaving home. There are a number of sims in Second Life that specialise in Asian roleplay but the underlying motivation for all of them is the same – adventure in an alternate lifestyle. Typically when teleporting to one of these sims you will end up at an infohub where you will be well advised to 220


take pause and familiarize yourself with the lay of the land. Some of the sims make you agree to a few rules by means of a popup as soon as you move out of the landing spot. If you by any chance, click “Disagree” on this popup, you will immediately be ejected and teleported to your home. Your browser may not support display of this image. This same infohub or “Welcome point” as it’s called in some sims provides you with a complete set of rules as well as free articles of clothing and weapons. This is where you join the relevant group if you are serious about roleplaying here. The first stop after the welcome point would be the shopping area where you can buy various types of Oriental dresses and weapons to augment your free collection, were you so inclined. Different sims, of course, have different rules to play with, Fedual Japan in Nippon, for example, doesn’t stop any form of creatures to roleplay as long as they are friendly and respect others’ right to have fun. The Nippon Emperor himself sports quite an imposing persona of a tall, well-dressed fox walking on two feet 223


and carrying a staff that represents his authority. However, the Emperor is not above helping a visitor or providing information about life in Feudal Japan.

develop.”

In answer to the question if all RP stories revolve around fighting, he replied, “No, not all. But as a combat sim we do lean towards the combat When asked about the roleplay, he aspect. This keeps the Roleplayers said, “RP is kept Light, to maintain and the Gamers equally happy.” the fun for everyone. RP stories are Your browser may not support display usually improvised. We give a small of this image. Each sim operates based adventure hook and let the story on their own rules and regulations 224


books but apparently, roleplayers do like to pick plots for their own adventures out of books and movies. Also, unlike the Gorean sims there is no requirement for an application to be made to become a citizen. Simply joining the main sim-group is enough for a person to be accepted. Other than indulging in roleplays with a small group, the players can also take part in sim-wide tournaments which are held regularly in order to spice up the life. Even if you have never been spellbound by the sight of a beautiful, well-dressed Japanese girl, do pay a visit to one of the Asian sims and you just might find yourself buying a Kimono and a Katana.

but they all have a hierarchical structure in place consisting of a monarch and magistrates and other officials to support him. Anyone can join the main sim group to become a regular player, but in order to join a particular Clan one has to wait for an invitation. Unlike the Gorean sims, the Asian sims are not based on a specific book or 225


Eddi Haskell Interviews SL DJ Legend InsyX Piranha Photography of Aqua Lounge & Ironworks by Eddi Haskell Insyx Piranha is one of the best known and most establish DJ’s on the gay club scene His own club, Aqua Lounge, plays a wide range of music types. Insyx is one of the main DJ’s at Ironworks, one of the largest “leather” scene gay clubs. Gay clubber Eddi Haskell interviews InsyX on the gay club scene in Second Life. Eddi Haskell: Thank you Insyx for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself, including where are you from, and what you do in the real world? Insyx Piranha: I was born and raised in New York City in the borough of The Bronx. I grew up listening to music a lot, playing video games, watching television, and reading Japanese anime. I’m a huge sports fanatic, and sports bar / Irish pub patron. I run my own IT solutions company. EH: What sort of music do you like? IP: I either go for rock or electronica, or a mashup or remix of the two. I produce my own music as well-techno/trance/ambient/triphop. I took up playing the piano and electric keyboard as a way to work on sounds and syntheses needed for making my styles of music. EH: Is SL your first virtual world? IP: SL is definitely my first sim like virtual world. I am more of a first person or action gamer. I have never been into the Sims or World of Warcraft / Diablo like games. At first I treated SL a 3-D chat room and nothing more, until I got to Fire Island sim. Then I finally saw what life on SL was or could be about. 228


Dancers Bruin Prospero and Malden DeCuir studio. EH: Have you ever been a DJ in real EH: Is being a DJ something you life? always wanted to do? Is SL meeting IP: I never DJed in real life per se, I a secret fantasy of yours? would get gigs at shows, lounges, and IP: Being a DJ was one of the many parties/raves playing the music I made. things I wanted to do in real life. SL In real life, I go by ReignphireX, and I is totally about living your fantasy don’t DJ my own music, but I run back yet being real about it. This “game” and forth against all my equipment can teach you some of the things you trying to redo what I did in my home could only imagined that you could 230


Aqua DJ Kaj Juutilainen 231


Aqua Club Owenrs InsyX Piranha, MountainBear Botanical, and Gay Clubber Eddi Haskell


IP: Of course! We do not just call ourselves a ‘Gay Club”, only the owners are gay and most of the patrons. We are open to all to enjoy. Our only rule is that you have fun and get along. EH: Why do you no longer play at AquA Lounge? IP: The reason I stopped playing at my own club is that it has evolved, and I have evolved. The club no longer needs me to be successful; it has grown to have its own staff and shining lights. My DJ’ing has grown as well. We can both stand on our own two feet. EH: Would you ever consider selling AquA Lounge? IP: I still own AquA Lounge with my hubby MountainBear. It is my baby and it will be buried if I ever leave it. I would NEVER sell the club EVER!! It is unique in that it started small, in the front yard of my home. The AquA Lounge has been providing enjoyment to all. The first day this club opened is also the first day I decided to DJ on SL. EH: Does Ironworks have a unique role to play on the gay club scene? IP: Ironworks took the spot at night as a hangout that went missing 233


have done in RL. Then you can take these new ideas into the Real World. EH: What did you first do when you entered SL in October 2006? IP: I did not come into SL thinking of owning a club; I did not even know they existed. The first thing I did was to join Starfleet. After that I found Fire Island. I then met a fellow New Yorker named Kirk Claymore, the co-owner of KMADD, and he took me to Rainingmen, the first big club I had seen on SL. Still, I was not yet inspired to run a club or be a DJ. However, I did meet my hubby, MountainBear Botanical there Aqua for theGymnastics first time. EH: you feel thatclosed. clubs in Marcus SL can whenDo Rainingmen be a bit repetitive, playing the same Steeplechase and Meatjockey music all thehad time? Lederberg that perfect solution. IP: This depends. for the At a time whenI never other was clubsone nightime trendy repetitive clubs.about I spin sex, at many activities were mostly they clubs anda my differ. think a lot opened clubgenres that was forI everyone, of other multi-genre DJs night. are the same; or different for all each Those thatwere try toyou copy another club’s EH: How able to support style tend to be repetitive. A club is Ironworks after you opened AquA nothing its patrons; you can Lounge?without Aren’t they competitive? have regulars at more than one venue. IP: When Ironworks opened, AguA A different crowd greatly changes the Lounge was still in the in the start small club experience from club to club. and friendly mode. I did not see them as EH: When you opened AquA Lounge competitive, and continue to support 234

both clubs. When Ironworks opened, they took the bull by the horns and did in February 2007 did you have a everything I always believed needed unique vision in mind? to be done to build a great club. And IP: vision theabout club theyThe did primary it well. The onefor thing was just another place but Iron Works is that you cantobeparty, yourself without competing other great there, which is whatwith a club needs to clubs I happen to DJ at. AquA do to which be great. Lounge is dedicated to working with EH: Please ell our readers about Ironworks, AussieBoys, Arsenal, Gay some of the DJ’s at AquA Lounge, World, DJ World, and other great and what sets them apart. clubs; bringing great entertainment, IP: running AquA Lounge DJ andMy a longest trippy vibe. is Kaj Juutilainen. We worked together EH: Are non gay patrons welcome at at Alter Ego and have maintained a AquA Lounge?


connection since. Kaj’s Alternative own DJ World and know how to work Tuesdays is the longest running AquA together. Lounge event and still going strong. In addition to Sasch, fellow Iron Works Kody Taurog I have known each other DJ’s who play at AquA Lounge are for a long time. He is young and fun to Vortmax Mumfuzz, LilTank Thibedeau, hangout with and listen to. He’s finding and Queen Edman. These his DJ voice, and his music is always guys play well anywhere, and make pumping; whether it is his favorite style sure that everyone has a great time. of rock, or venturing into another style I also have fill in DJs from time to time like electronica. from other clubs, including Dehrynn Sasch Petrov is my Friday DJ and he is just so fun to hear. He is also a fellow Iron Works DJ. His jingles will make you spit out your drinks. We both co-

Aqua Crowd Gymnastics

Shepherd and Fmeh Tagore. I hope one day to get them on a regular basis. I have many other DJ’s who I like who work at other club, including Wesley


Gay Clubber Eddi Haskell and Jazz St. Louis


Irownworks crowd at Friday Oink event Spengler, Muhu Janus, Alexcub12 Hax, Blaise Pooley, and MJsHotboy Skytower. When you co-own the biggest DJ directory group as in DJ World you tend to make a lot of favorites and love a lot of styles.

club’s success.

IP: First, be patient. Start small and do not have a big ego. Start out with friends just coming to hear you or someone close to your DJ. Keep it low key and just fun. Let the word of mouth or your friendships guide the

an extension of your fun and bright ideas. If people like you, then they will like being in your head. Your club is of course and should be an extension of your thoughts, art, and imagination.

Second, don’t become overly competitive. Don’t go on thinking that you are going to take down an established club for any reason. Competing usually get you rocked EH: What advice can you offer new and causes drama. club owners? Third, just be you and let the club be

237


EH: What are you future plans in SL? IP: My future role in SL will not change much. I am at a point where I wear too many hats in SL. I own a clothing store, DJ/club gear store, Aqua Lounge, and own the DJ World group with Sasch Petrov. In addition, I do photography and graphics, and design logos. I also need to spank MountainBear daily. My SL family also is very important to me. I need to continue to strike a balance between all of these activities, and do new things in everything I just mentioned. EH: What advice can you give aspiring DJ’s in SL? IP: The number one word of advice is to join DJ World! We are an organization dedicated to bringing the public a great time. We believe in outreach and variety. DJs in the group will have easy access to help if need be. They are also among peers here and can share music and beliefs. The best way to survive and grow is to network with your peers. Do not be afraid to ask questions, people out there will help you. EH: Finally, any final words for our readers? IP: Just be yourself and no one else. I know in SL you can play a fantasy 238

Meatjocky Lederberg and Marcus Ste


eeplechase owners of Ironworks


Ironworks crowd gathers for the evening and be someone you always wanted to be or not be, but if you do not put a little bit of your heart and soul into it then it is all for nothing. Never give into drama or fakers that try to force you to take sides in some imaginary war. Live together and not apart, then and only then, will we all! EH: Thank you Insyx for a great interview! Insyx Piranha can be seen at the following clubs� ARSENAL- Sundays 11am IRONWORKS- Sunday 7pm (rotation), Mondays 8pm (not in the summer,, and Friday- 8pm MILEHIGH CLUB- Wednesdays 4pm GAY WORLD- Thursdays 3pm BEYOND OBSESSIONS- Thursdays 7pm 240


AUSSIEBOYS- Fridays 5am BOX CLUB ON MAYNE STREET- Saturdays 6pm ATLANTIS 2100- Saturdays 9pm The website for DJ InsyX Piranha and Aqua can be found at www.djinsyx. com. The website for Ironworks can be found at www.ironworksclub.com. Eddi Haskell blogs at www.eddihaskell.com.

DJ InsyX Piranha at Irownworks


UnZipped and Steampowered Nuts I, Tesla Isle (113, 118, 24)


Mixing it up at the Ancient Tree Traditional Japan laced with the 20th Century By: Nadia Felwitch

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Add together a simful of Asian culture, 3 great friends, a heaping of nature, a passion to create, a desire to teach and learn, and a splash of bdsm; mix it together and what do you have? The Ancient Tree!! You may ask now how in the world does all that make a tree. Well this is no ordinary Tree!!! The recipe behind this marvelous tree is truly scrumptdelicious! If you have never tasted the atmosphere, beauty, and history of the Ancient Tree then you are missing one tantalizing Treat! The Ancient Tree is marvelously represented by an actual large old tree sitting atop a huge rock surrounded by a beautifully designed observation deck. The Deck is used for the meetings of members and guests of the d/s discussion group. A library containing notes on the meetings and stories of the Ancient tree is stored here. I attended one of these meetings and found it very intriguing. Anyone that is interested or just curious to learn more about d/s should definitely come to at least one of these sessions. The united banners are proudly displayed in several areas around the sim. Amongst the beautiful landscaped sim one can shop till they drop. The main stores are easily accessible along with the marketplace full of a variety of vendors. Between the shops is a lovely designed stage for geisha performances. A few

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private residential areas are hidden along the backside of the sim with traditional Japanese themed homes and hidden amongst the clouds, a small secluded dungeon, for private bdms usage. I met with one of the owners, Solene Hoisan, for a brief interview: Nadia Felwitch: Solene, tell me about the Ancient Tree how did it come about and what things do you offer residents of SL here? Solene Hoisan: the ancient tree banner was originally created by JonathanDimitri Soderstrom. He created the d/s (bdsm) community which had a Japanese background to it. Then he created a small kimono line for the members of the group. At one point he got too busy in RL and couldn’t manage it anymore. He left the group to other members and sold the kimono shop to me as I was a big fan of his work! It started small but kept growing with the help of my friend Daphnia Asbourne who invested in it and helped me a great deal to make it what it is now. Since Jon recently got the time and desire to take care of the d/s group again, which was pretty dead at that time, I offered him to join me to reunite the banners again here. So, on this sim, there are the 2 Ancient tree Main stores: The one for women (Maikos,

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Solene Hoisan


Geishas and Oirans influenced products) and the store for men which is more recent. I constantly work on developing different types of kimonos and accessories. Also, I now have a full range of items for Oirans, which are a very elaborate type of kimono for courtesans. I do not make traditional accurate kimonos yet as it take a tremendous amount of knowledge to do so, and I have a wide range of customers; from the geishas to the bdsm peoples, the role players and others.

what types of things you discuss?

SH: We discuss d/s in real life mostly, most of SL groups talk about bdsm and d/s in SL,, our difference being that the 3 owners, we are in a d/s relationship in RL, so... it goes with our interests and it helps people wanting to make the gap. More the psychological aspect of a relationship than the bdsm toys so, its more about people into a relationship,, dealing with the power exchange stuffs. Oh its such a vast subject, you can learn all your There is also the Ancient Tree Market with life, it s a lot about knowing yourself and various merchant more or less related. personal growth. Like Don Reginaldo Cigars, Joko Domo, NF: You said you have bdsm area here Hosoi Hichiba, OUbliette, Be Real and is there a secret place for that? Arthur’s animations. SH: Oh we have a little dungeon up in the I also have a performance stage, which sky, above the tree is available for geishas or other groups wishing to perform in a nice environment. The actually story behind the Ancient Tree It’s free, people only need to IM me for is one that I myself find very warming reservation and bring their tip jars. I only and heartfelt, a story that I feel should ask for voluntary donations. A tea house be shared with our readers, a story that is also there to complete the performance I myself cannot retell and put into my stage and give a nice opportunity for own words as it should be read as it was written. I would like to share this story performers to meet with their public. with you my readers that Solene shared The D/s group is located in the SW corner. with me. Which is a discussion group oriented on real life d/s topics. The Ancient Tree NF: Is anyone welcome to come to the The Story Part 1 by JonathanDimitri discussions? Soderstrom SH: Yes, the group is on invitation only, Akira Nihonjin was a Japanese Master. but yes everyone is welcome. He spent most of his life in a Temple NF: What’s the discussion group about; dedicated to the Cult of the White

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Dragon which he built with his own hands. Among his passions was the art of Bonzaï. He spent his whole day taking care of them and writing books about his art. When I bought the Temple, it was almost a ruin, but the library was totally intact ... which surprised me a lot. As I am a curious person, I have begun to read his books. I have learned a lot about him, about his art, about the trees he loved. But the most interesting book was probably his personal diary. Each minute of each day was carefully explained and detailed ... which gave me the idea to ... follow it myself and in a way live his life again. I spent years reading the diary and applying it to my own life ...so, meditating, and reading and writing became my every day’s occupation with a lot of discipline. One day, I opened the book to read the program of my day and realized that one whole year had passed between this page and the last one. My respected Master was very old at this time of the diary and he fell sick one whole year. He had to move to the Healing Mountains where monks would take care of him. During this period of his life, he was so weak that he couldn’t even write in his diary. In this page, he described the day he came back to the Temple. It was totally Ancient Tree and Banner abandoned to nature. He rushed to see

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his beloved bonzaï trees but sadly ... they had all died of sadness. Hmmm not exactly all of them; He counted them and one was missing. My dear Master always had 13 trees and he could only count 12. The answer to his question was so obvious that he hadn’t seen it at first sight: the 13th tree, instead of dying, had grown up and become a huge and majestic tree. My Master explained in his diary that he had never seen such a beautiful tree in his whole life. But he could not understand why this tree had survived when all the others had died. So he took his diary and read carefully the last pages he had written before he gets sick. The Story Part 2 by JonathanDimitri Soderstrom Sadly he didn’t find any clue in his writings. The last day had been a normal day, and the day before, and each day before. He spent his first night at the Temple thinking about it. And after a couple of hours his thoughts began to become confused, blurry and he finally fell asleep. When he woke up, the tree was even bigger than the previous day. And each following day, the tree was taller and more powerful. My master was pretty confused as he didn’t know what to do with this magnificent yet potentially dangerous tree. So one day, with no alternate solution, he decided to

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consider it as it eventually was: a bonzaï. He began to cut its branches to channel and restrain its power. That took him one whole day. Once his work done, he measured the tree and fell asleep. The following day, he measured the tree again and realized that it hadn’t grown up. It was the exact same size as the previous day. But the tree was looking even more beautiful and healthy. So he decided to spend each next day taking care

Ancient Tree Dungeon of it with patience and discipline. Years passed by. Decades even. And my Master was still alive, full of energy and working each day on his Tree. He was very proud of the result but he never wanted to show it to anyone. He knew that his work was perfect, his technique great. So he didn’t need anyone to approve the quality of his piece of art. The joy to watch the tree getting better everyday was his best –and only - reward. I had decided for some time to read more pages each day for two reasons: the first one being that I didn’t have a tree to take care of, the second one that I would probably die before I finish the book. My master was indeed amazingly

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old. One day, I reached the last page. His words were the following ones: “Today as I wake up, I eventually found the answer. I know why I went sick. I know why my tree survived. And I know why I lived such a long time. Everything is so clear in my mind. I have shown discipline, patience, honor, respect, commitment, trust and love all my life. Now that I’ve reached awareness, my work is almost done. My life is almost fulfilled. My last mission is to transmit all I’ve learned and experienced. You who read this diary have learned a lot with my words. It is now time for you to experiment what you’ve been taught. Find the Temple. Find the Tree. Find the Ancient Book. Follow your own way. “ I had found the Temple and the Tree after years of exploration. The place was as if it had been left the previous day: clean and ordered. But the Ancient Book was yet to be found. The Story Part 3 by JonathanDimitri Soderstrom I was exploring the ruins as I enjoyed doing it every Sunday. I hadn’t seen Akira there for a pretty long time and was hoping to meet him. But as usually, I could not decide that - he would find me, or we would not meet.

Ancient Tree Geisha Stage


Ancient Tree Main Stores where you are not ready to see more. After a couple of minutes, I heard him But you have come far enough to join call my name “Jonathan ... “I stopped me.” walking, watched in every direction. I Well, I was at the same time pretty couldn’t see him. I went on walking and honored and also surprised - I am not after a couple of minutes, I heard him sure that I could understand fully his again “Jonathan, it’s time ...” But I still words, but I trust him. I trust him totally. could not find him. So, I closed my eyes, He said “It is time for you to join me, sat on the ground and waited for him to your place is not at the surface anymore, appear to me. I heard his voice again and it’s time for you to go on your way “Jonathan, it’s time for you to join me”. in the underground. You have enough I opened my eyes and he was there, light inside you to go on brightly into standing, right in front of me. I stood darkness now.” up quickly and asked him “what do you He offered me to grab his hand. I had mean?” never touched him before. I wasn’t He replied “you have explored a lot even sure that he was “alive”, I mean, of your way; you have come to a point “touchable”, made of meat and bones.

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So I asked him and he said “I am made eyes. I contacted some of my Ancient of what you need me to be made.� Tree friends and all told me they had I closed my eyes, touched his hand. And not visited the Tree in some time. this is how I became an Ancient Tree I set out on a journey to find answers Spirit. to the mystery. The road was not easy, crossing streams that flowed quickly Saga Part 1 by Blazey Homewood with slippery rocks trying to dislodge Many things had kept me away for an my footing; a mountain range with many extended period of time but I looked hazards hidden in its caves and crevices, forward to my return to the Ancient where I met a cragged old man hiding Tree. Upon landing where the Tree in one of the caves. He was fearful of once stood I found nothing saved; a me at first, throwing rocks at my head as few dead branches and some scattered I approached. I held out my last scrap stones. A gaping hole in the ground the of food to him hoping to gain his trust. only evidence a Tree may have stood Slowly he approached, keeping his eyes there at one time. I looked around for on me while he reached out for the food. several minutes unable to believe my As he snatched it away I sat on a nearby

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rock. I watched as he tore at the bit of food, His eyes glancing at me from time to time until he had finished his morsel. He finally sat back on his haunches and stared at me. “My name is Blazey Homewood, I have come in search of answers.” His eyes narrowed but finally he spoke, “I am known as Xann”. His voice was gravely as one would expect of someone that has not talked for some time. “I have lived in these mountains for many years, strangers seldom pass this way”. “Of what do you search?” I leaned forward, “I am looking for a living thing, A Tree to be precise”. His eyes narrowed as he looked me up and down. “There are no Trees here in the mountains, leave me alone”. He turned his back on me and I was afraid I would lose my only contact in the area. “Wait Xann, my search was for a Tree in the lowlands, not here in your mountains. It seems to have disappeared without a trace. I was hoping to find out what happened to it”. He turned back to me and put his bent fingers to his chin. “A few days ago there was a great storm that came through the mountains. I watched from the mouth of my cave as much debris flew overhead. One object that passed by was very large. At the time I did not recognize it as there were many things flying around. But, a tree......yes, it could have been a tree. But such a large tree I have never seen”.

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“Do you know which way the wind blew it? I must know I must find it”. “To the Northeast I believe, over the mountains.... that way”. His craggy finger pointed up over the mountain. As I left the old man I began to regret losing my last scrap of food. Hunger began to grind in my stomach. Saga Part 2 by Blazey Homewood As I reached the peak of the mountain I sat to rest. The sunset was peaceful as

Ancient Tree Residential


I sat taking stock of the bruises and cuts sustained in the climb. My rest was fitful that night in the thin air of the peak. The cool air made me shiver and shake as I lay there hearing noises all around me. As dawn broke I arose to the gnawing of hunger in my stomach. As I looked around I notice a wolf standing scant feet from me. As I reached for my knife the wolf spoke.

on my face. “You didn’t expect a talking wolf? There are many things in these mountains that may seem strange.” My hand released its grip and I stepped toward the wolf. “Perhaps you can help me then. I am looking for a large tree. It seems someone saw a large object flying by during a storm. I seek what remains if anything”.

“What you seek may be lying in the “No need for violence here. I mean you valley below. I came across some new no harm.” The surprise must have shown debris after that very storm. But a tree?


Ancient Tree Discussion Area I cannot be sure where it was. But there was a large area covered with many branches, wood and stone. I can lead you there if you wish�.

worse than I suspected, The Ancient Tree, twisted and torn asunder was now a pile of kindling ready to be burned. As I dug through the remains I would find a familiar piece of a picture here, part of a curtain there. Everywhere I looked I found memories of what I had once loved. I knelt down on top of a large chunk of the Tree and wept. Our beloved Tree was no more. Now only scraps of its once majestic branches were left.

With that he turned and began his descent to the valley below. I followed along keeping a safe distance just in case. As we neared the valley I began to see traces of the storms fury. The first object I found was a length of chain with a piece of stone still anchored to it. Then wooden planking splintered from the force of the storm. My heart sank as I neared the main pile of debris. It was Saga Part 3 by Blazey Homewood

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tell our friends? Will I tell them the Tree was destroyed for lack of attention? Can I tell them every stick and stone was swept away and is no more?” I fall to one knee weak from my journey and heart heavy with sorrow.

As my head was bowed I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun around my hand drawing my knife from its sheath. In the twilight I only saw a glimmering shape of a man, “Blazey my old friend”. It sounded like Master Jonathan, the spirit master of the Ancient Tree. I rubbed my eyes thinking my fatigue and hunger had caused me to hallucinate. “Your sadness has called to me from afar. Why do you weep my friend?” I look at the shape in disbelief, but finally found my tongue. “The Tree, it is gone. Torn apart and left here to rot. What will I

“Fear not my friend; we have been through this before. The Tree was threatened and was reborn. Many times our attention is drawn from our duties by other matters just as important. Thus, the Tree withers and in this case splintered into dust.” Master Jon looks around at the debris. “What you see here is not the Tree. What is here is the wood and stone that kept us safe and warm. The materials that heard our stories, listened to our laughter, and kept our secrets. The real spirit of the Ancient Tree is in our friends. They are alive and thus so is the Tree. For without our family from the Tree there is no Ancient Tree. As far as the shelter the Tree provided, it can be grown again. I have been keeping some seedlings from the Tree safe from harm. In time we will have our Tree back and hopefully our friends will come back and join in our celebration of rebirth”. Master Jon smiles and places his hand on my shoulder. “Go home my friend; go home to your shy. Make love to her and tell her of your adventure. Then spread the word to all of our friends that soon the Ancient Tree will stand again, magnificent in its stature; Welcoming all to come meet under its green canopy

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and speak openly of their feelings; to laugh with and at one another; to love and be passionate about their individual lifestyles�. With that the vision disappeared and darkness was upon me. I gathered some branches with leaves from the old Masters Tree and lay down to rest. I gazed up at the stars and found peace that night. The next day I arose early, eager to begin my journey home. My heart light, my energy expanded. Yes, I would hurry home to spread the joyous news. The Ancient Tree would arise again. The New Story Part 1: the Spirit by JonathanDimitri Soderstrom I was feeling sad and glad at the same time. It was such a pleasure to have met my old friend Blazey again. It Ancient Tree Market Place reminded me all the good moments we had had at the Ancient Tree. It reminded me the many times we laughed, talked, felt, and shared. It reminded me our girls’ dancing and entertaining us. It reminded me the Tree, My good old Tree. And this is what made me sad. The Tree was now dead. The Tree brought us so many things and we had let it die.

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That night, I met Akira again. Well, as usually, he rather met me. We had a long talk about the Tree, about the group, about our friends. My occupations had kept me away from the Tree during one whole year. I needed to take the time necessary to learn more about myself, to learn more about life. I needed to take the time necessary to grow. Being Away from the Tree I had become a Spirit of the Ancient Tree and had started my long way into darkness. After a couple of hours, he told me “It is time for me to go again. But before I leave you and before we meet again, you need to hear some words from me. Your friends have tried their best to keep the Tree alive while you were away. The Tree has died, but its Spirit is still alive. It will be alive as long as you are alive. You are the Ancient Tree Spirit and therefore you are the only one who can plant the seeds you kept preciously from the original Tree. Blazey, Shyvixen and Susicat have done enough. Go and talk to your other friends, find some help, and grow a new Tree. Invite old and new friends to celebrate. And the Ancient tree banner will rise again.�

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Akira disappeared into darkness and I was alone again. His words had warmed my heart. It was time for me to go and talk to some old friends and start a new adventure. I had someone in mind ... Someone special to me, someone who had been close to me during all my time away from the Tree, someone who had become a very close and dear friend. The way to her home was long and dangerous, so I prepared my bag, watched the mountains a last time, and began my journey to Solene’s home. To be continued.....

finally reached Solene’s Island. When I arrived, she was busy preparing a custom Kimono for a famous geisha. I went close to her and whispered “Hello my dear old friend ...” She turned her head in my direction and when she saw me, i could read surprise and happiness in her eyes “Jon!!”. She jumped in my arms and we had a long and warm hug. She invited me to sit and talk about all the things that had happened since the last time we met. It was always such a pleasure for us to spend some time together.

After an excellent dinner and some glasses of wine, I told her the reason The New Story Part 2: the Rebirth by of my coming. I would lead the Ancient JonathanDimitri Soderstrom Tree again. She was so excited by the After a long travel and many hours news, she immediately offered her help spent walking, swimming, climbing, I and she told me “I will give you a piece

Ancient Tree Banners


of land and the 2 banners of the Ancient Tree will be united again”. We talked a lot and during a long time about the way we could start something new again. We both were so excited. While we were talking, quite loudly I have to admit, I heard someone call my name from the other side of the tavern. I watched where the sound came from and I saw a man with grey hair waving at me. Could this be possible? “Oh my, Mitch!” Our good old Mitch was in our tavern too, having a drink with some friends. We invited him to join us and his first words were “Jonathan, Solene, it’s amazing; I was talking about how I was missing the Ancient Tree to my news friends ...” After some good laughs, and some other glasses of wine, Mitch offered kindly to join the adventure. Of course, we accepted. The new team was

ready. The Ancient Tree could rise from the ashes. When I went to bed, my heart was warm and my mouth was smiling. I would plant the seed of the Ancient Tree tomorrow and start building a new place. I would then tell all our friends the good news and invite them to celebrate the rebirth of the Ancient Tree.


The gay clubber is a monthly feature in VR Style Magazine which focuses on the clubs, personalities, and events which, when combined, make up the red hot Second Life gay club scene. In this issue, and in the past July issue, we conducted a short survey of the background and interests of some of the the many DJ’s who make the scene the lively place that it is. Since many clubs are now opening and closing at such a rapid pace, please check with the DJ’s surveyed to see if they have added any clubs to their schedule if you want to hear them play. We at VR Style feel that they are all spectacular in doing such a great job and letting us dance and socialize while listening to some really great tunes. Thanks for reading, Eddi Eddi Haskell is VR Style’s Creative Director. He blogs at www.eddihaskell. com 262


Merrick Ying Location : Cambridge, Massachusettes. Favorite color? Red Favorite food? Apples Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? Takeshi Kaneshiro, (Asian actor). Firstly, because he’s a total dreamboat -- Secondly, because he really is a dreamy dreamboat. Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? India How long have you been in Second Life? 63 days. When did you start to DJ in Second Life? May 27, 2009 What do you most like about being an DJ : Interacting with my SL friends on another level. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? N/A Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite • Siouxsie & the Banshees - “Hong Kong Garden, Utah Saints Mix” • Annie Lennox - “Little Bird” • U2 - “Desire, Hollywood Remix” • Placebo - “Every You & Every Me” • The Creatures - “Right Now” Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Wednesday evenings: 6pm - 8pm SLT at Starfall 263


Kito Kyong Location : Good Old Germany Favorite color? The colors which are filling my life. Mostly, i like the colors of the rainbow flag!! Favorite food? The food, what i eat with good friends, but pls no Brussels sprouts or pumpkin - fui bas Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? Oh my, not one special person. But mostly again with my love Erra. Kisses, mon amour! Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Havana How long have you been in Second Life? January 2007 When did you start to DJ in Second Life? October/November 2007 What do you most like about being an DJ : I love to entertain people, because music brings people together. I´m not fixed in a special direction, so i´m very flexible, so many music styles has awesome songs What do you not like about being an SL DJ? Some awesome sets are too late or not reachable to realize because rl. Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Eisblumen - Leben ist schön • Katy Perry - Waking up in Vegas (manhattan cluque bellagio remix) • Faithless feat. Cass Fox - Music Matters (Mark Knight remix) • GunsN‘ Roses - This I Love • Lady Gaga - Love Game (Dave Aude remix) Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Tuesday - Mondlicht at Berlin Dance Arena; Thursday - Gay World; Friday REACTOR at Gayllywood; Saturday - Milehigh Club at Whirlygig and Tiger´s claw at Arizona Ocean; Sunday - Zeus at Gay Zone Cologne;

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Yummy Andrew Location : I am from Utah Favorite color? Black Favorite food? OMG I have to limit to one? Favorite would have to be Thai Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? Johnny Depp, and why? Why Not! /me faints :P Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Ireland How long have you been in Second Life? 8/21/07 When did you start to DJ in Second Life? Around July of 2008 What do you most like about being an DJ : LOVE to share my love of music with others and be surrounded by good friends and have a great time. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? I LOVE being a DJ. Nothing in it that I do not like. Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite • Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow • Beyonce- Halo • The Killers - Human • Rihanna - Breaking Dishes • Madonna - Give it To Me Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Tuesday - Bleeding Heart; Wednesday - The Ultra Lounge; Thursday - Club Seven; Friday - Club Fierce; Saturday - Galthie’s; Sunday - Club Seven 265


Queen Edman ( DJ Queen )

Location : Maryland, USA Favorite color? Don’t really have a favorite color. Favorite food? Jambalia Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? TitPig the porn star. hes hot and i love the way he barks when having an orgasm Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Italy How long have you been in Second Life? over 2 years When did you start to DJ in Second Life? 5/6/2007 What do you most like about being an DJ : its exciting to see people loving what you play What do you not like about being an SL DJ? MUSIC GESTURES Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Kaci Battaglia - Crazy Progressive • Livvi Franc - Now I’m That Bitch ( Jason Nevin’s Club ) • Pepper Mashay - Lost Yo Mind (Georgie Porgie Club Mix ) • Jeanie Tracy - Maybe God is Tryin’ to Tell You Something ( Altar Anthem Dub ) • E-Nomine - Vater Unser ( Padre Nuestro ) extended remix Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Club Shampoo (wed. &sun.); IronWorks (sat. only for the summer ); Aqua (wed.), Diamonds & Denims “country” (mon., tues.,thurs,fri.)

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Arcangelo Hellmann

(DJ Arc) Location : Just outside Washington D.C. Favorite color? Royal Blue Favorite food? Salmon Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? No answer... taking too long to think on this one. Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? New Zealand How long have you been in Second Life? 17 months When did you start to DJ in Second Life? I believe it was August 2008, maybe September. What do you most like about being an DJ : The most important thing is to pass on my love of trance to others. To share such a wonderful genre of music with people makes being a trance/prog dj so much fun. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? Truly, there is nothing that I do not like about being an SL DJ. I enjoy every set I play, and I love sharing the music I can’t get enough of. Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Ilya Soloviev - Universal Universe ( Original mix ) • Above & Beyond - Lonely Girl ( Gareth Emery Remix ) • Marco V - Unprepared ( Original Mix ) • Saints & Sinners - Peace ( Breakfast Mix ) • John O’Callaghan ft. Sarah Howells - Find Yourself ( Cosmic Gare Remix ) Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Wednesday ( The Lair, 1-3p; JustBe, 330-6p), Friday ( Club GLO, 6-8p), Saturday ( DiscoTheque The Mighty, 12-3p; E-co, 4-6p), Sunday (Bleeding Heart, 9-11a; Club Thunder, 4-6p)

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Kev Darkfold Location : Texas, USA Favorite color? I don’t have a single favorite. It somewhat depends on the day. Favorite food? Again, no single favorite, though Tex-Mex and Italian are front-runners. Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? Well, if he were still around, Heath Ledger, just because I thought he was really hot and one source (who apparently worked with him on _A Knight’s Tale_) said he was a really nice guy. Staying with people who could theoretically be available...as of this writing I’m SL and RL single, so the guy who’s the real answer to both questions is yet to be found. Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Ireland. How long have you been in Second Life? Since December 2008. When did you start to DJ in Second Life? At an open mic set on the Wharf on 2009/05/14. My first regular set was there one week later. What do you most like about being an DJ : I get a serious blast out of doing live performances and entertaining people and getting them to get up and dance and have fun (I have previously done other kinds of open mic sets at local coffee houses). Music adds a lot to all of our lives--I’m offering fun and diversion to everyone who’s there listening and dancing. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? Two words: stream problems. Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: Oh man, that’s a hard one. There’s so much good music out there that I like and play. There’s even more that I listen to (but as a DJ I have to distinguish between dance tracks and listening tracks). If I can really only pick five, maybe this is a good sample: • Coldplay - Clocks • Dave Matthews Band - Stay • Talking Heads - And She Was • The Offspring - Come Out and Play • Van Halen - Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Starfall, Thursdays, 6-8+ PM SLT

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RazonMuse Audion aka

( Barden Darkstone ) Location : U.S. - Midwest Favorite color? Indigo. I love that it is both blue and purple. Favorite food? Cornish Game hen. Yum Yum. Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? Hmmm. My RL man. No one else holds the key to my heart outside of SL. Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Ancient Egypt. As in Egypt during its dynastic period. I would love to see and experience the “cradle of civilization,” as Phaoroh of course. LOL How long have you been in Second Life? Depends on which Avi to which you are refering. Braden close to two years now, RazorMuse a few months. When did you start to DJ in Second Life? About 6 months ago or so. What do you most like about being an DJ : It’s all about having fun and partying. Djs help the party, but the people make the party and are its life and soul. Any DJ who loses sight of this doesn’t get what he or she is here for. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? Grid Problems and Linden Lag. Oh, and Club owners who forget people come to see them and their staff as much, if not more so than the DJ. Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: This list changes daily with my moods and the people I party with. heheh • Real Life - Send Me an Angel • Lady Gaga - Boys • The Killers - Human • Ferry Corsten - Rock Your Body • Erasure - Love to Hate You Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Club Thunder Fridays and Tuesdays, The Lair Saturdays, Lucifers Remorse / Gabriels Promise / Club Leviathan Whenever a group of people want to party

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Jared Palianta

Location : Tennessee Favorite color? Purple Favorite food? A Greasey Cheeseburger Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? My B/f Kelly he rocks my world Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Paris How long have you been in Second Life? Sept.2,2008 When did you start to DJ in Second Life? a week ago. What do you most like about being an DJ : What do you not like about being an SL DJ? So many Clubs in SL it hurts the crowds. Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Fergie - Clumsy • Britney Spears - Circus Lady • Lady Gaga - Poker Face Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Tru Colorz Saturday Night 6-8

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Travie Tyles Location : USA-CA-San Francisco Favorite color? Strawberry Red or Sky Blue Favorite food? Depends on my mood, but I love Italian Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? Real life person like..famous? lol i would say i want a day in rl with Carl Wilder and Jarrod Fitzpatrick and Tithe Aichi, though with us four together it would go from romantic to crazy fun, but im okay with that... Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Malta How long have you been in Second Life? er over a year by just a bit When did you start to DJ in Second Life? few months ago What do you most like about being an DJ : Getting to set up a fun mix of music taking requests and building my own music library from other peoples preferences. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? lag, its not what i dont like about djing but what i dont like about clubs, but thats where djs work. soo.. there yah go Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Body Rox - Yeah Yeah • Pink - This is How It Goes Down ( or any song by her ) • The Veronicas - Take Me On The Floor • Robyn - Be Mine • Anouk - Good God Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Right NOw? none but thats only because i had lag trouble and computor trouble but im looking or jobs and will be attacking the club system soon :)

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Sasch Petrov ( DJ Sasch ) Location : Gießen / Germany Favorite color? Red Favorite food? Italian Food Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? I would love to meet my SL husband Jacki in real life. I love him and he makes my life so much better. Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Hawaii How long have you been in Second Life? March 22, 2007 When did you start to DJ in Second Life? July 2007 What do you most like about being an DJ : I love to entertain. I did in RL since 20 years and it was great to go on with it in SL. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? i miss the real recordplayers Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Freemasons - Uninvited • Armin Van buuren - Going Wrong • Filo & Peri - The Anthem • Buckcherry - Crazy Bitch • Yeti Girls - Material Girl Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Ironworks, Mondays 6pm (in summer 7pm); Starfall, Tuesdays 5pm; Club Third Dimension, Wednesdays 5pm; Arsenal, Fridays 12pm; Aqua Lounge, Fridays 6pm

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Jonas Lunasea

Location : Boston, Mass. - USA Favorite color? Black Favorite food? anything Vegetarian and i totally dig indian food Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? my sl partner charley trenchcoat Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? London How long have you been in Second Life? since xmas of 2005 When did you start to DJ in Second Life? 2006 What do you most like about being an DJ : I’m a live performer and a dj and i love the audiance attention..IRL its easy to become background music..but here your the focus What do you not like about being an SL DJ? the personal connection of seeing who your audience is Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: right now the black eyed peas, beyonce, The Ting Tings...i love mash ups..taking oldies and mixing it with a current top 40 Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Le Club De Copain, Le Bella Vita, The Traumatic Lounge...too many to list! I’m all over the grid daily

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Adonis Lubitsch Location : Germany. But I am Bavarian, and I come from Augsburg Favorite color? Blue Favorite food? Ice Cream Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? My partner Trace 17 Junkers of course Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Australia How long have you been in Second Life? Almost 2 1/2 years When did you start to DJ in Second Life? one year ago What do you most like about being an DJ : I love to see people having a great time when I DJ. And I love to meet new guys from all over the world who come to my club, Tainted Boys. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? I can’t think of anything I do not like! Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Bass hunter - Now You’re Gone • The Killers - Human • Lady Gaga - Poker Face • Tiesto - Traffic • Polarkreis18 - Allein Allein Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? I play at my own club, Tainted Boys, on occasion, if I am in the right mood at the time.

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Ralphy Triellis Location : Florida, USA Favorite color? Blue Favorite food? Chicken Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? My late lover Dane. I’d give the world for one more night with him Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? San Francisco How long have you been in Second Life? about 9 months When did you start to DJ in Second Life? 10/18/08 What do you most like about being an DJ : I like to take the music I love and share it with people but it’s even better to take the music they love and make it somethign more with a special dedication to someone or a special song played at the rite moment. What do you not like about being an SL DJ? When my set ends and the people leave. Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire • AC/DC - Thunderstruck • Pink - Ur Hand • Nine Ince Nails - Closer • Donna Summer - Fame Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Handy’s Beach club - Friday and Saturday, 5 to 7 pm SLT; Mosh v2 at Impulse - Saturday 8 to 10 pm and Sunday 4 to 6 pm SLT; Deranged - Sunday 10 to 12 noon SLT

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Forbidden Keng Location : New York City, USA Favorite color? Black, Purple, Blue Favorite food? Pizza or Mc Donalds Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? My beautiful sl wife Gypsy Littleboots which is my real life lover. I look forward for the day we meet in person and yes i want the most romantic date with her. Why??? Because Shes my world...i love her whole heartedly. I love you baby Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? London How long have you been in Second Life? 5 months When did you start to DJ in Second Life? April 2009 What do you most like about being an DJ : Making the crowd happy. Theres no better feeling then making an entire club come alive. Especially when you play there requests What do you not like about being an SL DJ? Crashing and not being able to fulfil a song request Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Lady Gaga - Love Games • Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow • Beyonce - Halo (Techno Mix ) • 3oh3 - Don’t Trust me • Pink - Please Don’t Leave Me ( Techno Mix ) Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Tadd’s Cabaret & Dance club, MilesHigh Club, Sky Ranch/Beach, Inferno Ice, AWT - A Womens Touch, Truck’s Place, Blue Fusiontime.

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Johny Alderton Location : Manchester, UK Favorite color? Red Favorite food? Pasta/Chicken Which real life person would you most like to spend a romantic evening with and why? The most real life person i would like to spend a romatic evening with would be Brad Pitt, i know so would every one else but ever since the film interview with a vampire i was bitten. Which one place in the world that you have not been too would you most like to visit? Australia How long have you been in Second Life? 7 months When did you start to DJ in Second Life? begining July ( although i am a RL DJ and entertainer so slt fits in we my rl work ) What do you most like about being an DJ : there is nothing better than seeing people enjoy themselfs and expressing energy through dance and music. awesume !!!!! What do you not like about being an SL DJ? its been fun every time i have streamed, but i guess its the real life communication and sweat on the dance floor that i miss Please tell us your top five recording artists or bands that you like to play at clubs, and the one song that is your favorite: • Lad Gaga - Poker Face • Pussycat Dolls - Hush Hush • Beyonce - Halo ( Dance Mix ) • Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire • Cascada - Evaluate The Dance Floor Which clubs in Second Life are you currently playing at, and at what nights of the week? Tadds Cabaret & Dance Club - Co Owner & House DJ - Wednesday Euro Dance 4pm SLT, Sundays 6.30pm SLT - 8.30 SLT - Fonting The Amazing Noma feltzImpulse - Saturday 8 to 10 pm and Sunday 4 to 6 pm SLT; Deranged - Sunday 10 to 12 noon SLT

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August 2009 Issue of VR Style  

August 2009 Issue of VR Style

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