Friday, 27 February 2015

116: Seven dog years (my first anniversary!)

It was one year ago today -- February 27, 2014 -- that I made my very first post to this blog. I've remarked before that a year in SL is rather like what we call "dog years"; every year in SL is like seven years in real life. I'll celebrate this as my first anniversary, but gee, it sure feels like I've been posting a lot longer.
   On anniversaries, it's frequently customary to look back over the previous year and try to sum it up, and I wanted to do a little of that today. I went back 116 posts to see what I had to say a year ago, and what I looked like, and to me it's quite amusing.
   I've changed my looks, of course -- like so many people do in SL. I stopped wearing my l'Uomo mesh body and went back to a shape that's shorter than most male avs, and more of what I'll call the "chunky hunky monkey" look; I just prefer myself that way. I've changed my hair a couple of times (no, you won't be seeing much of my huge Afro in the future, that was for a 60s look for a party). I've changed my eye colour at least twice, and gone through more chest hair than an Italian waxing salon ;-) I was a lot more fascinated with black eyes and bruises a year ago than I am today. I still have my trademark caterpillar eyebrows, though!
   More to the point, I've changed a lot about what I blog about and why. I seem to recall starting out with the intention of doing a lot more fashion blogging than I've actually accomplished; if you follow this blog, you know I'm not much of a fashion blogger. Occasionally I find a piece of clothing I really like, and that seems to suit me, but for the most part I think I do a lot better as an interviewer than a fashionisto, and since there are plenty of fashion-forward bloggers covering that ground, I'm okay with where I've ended up.
My first published photo,
taken at The Grindery a year ago today
   One of the things I talked about a year ago today was my intention to become a better photographer. And holy moly, was that ever a bad shot I published a year ago. I can see that somehow my chest hair got mixed up with my tank top ... I wouldn't even publish this shot today except to give us all a bit of a chuckle. (These days, I have a policy that I won't knowingly publish a shot where someone is having layering problems or alpha issues with their outfit; I've been too embarrassed too often by that myself to want to document it for anyone for the future.)
I went back to The Grindery this afternoon
and took a similar picture, just to illustrate
the differences a year can make ...
   These days, I have a little bit different philosophy about photography. I realized early on that I was never going to be as good a photographer as some of my friends, and nearly all of my fellow bloggers. Instead, I have decided that my philosophy is that, damn it, I take the same kind of snapshots as a lot of other people -- it's just that I take more of them. I'm a huge Andy Warhol fan, and, looking back at the early days of Interview magazine, that's what he did; he took a lot of Polaroids and published interviews verbatim. I don't know if it's the best policy, but it seems to be mine.
   I don't seem to have any instinctive talent for photographic composition, and I don't own a copy of Photoshop or anything like that; what you see is what I see, and the most I do is set the sun to noon so I can see the details of people and objects. Believe it or not, I don't use poses (well, occasionally, when I find them at a location, or they're built into furniture). I just snap away until I get a picture I like. Yes, it's frequently a bit awkward and a bit naive, but that's the kind of photographer I am.
   As far as interviews go, well, I always ask the same questions; I may branch out a little bit in the future, and I'm thinking of different kinds of interviews for the future, but for now, I think it helps my readers to understand people when they read how my subjects answer the same questions that everyone else has answered. I like talking to people who are DOING things in Second Life, because I think they are people that other residents would like to know about; I'll continue to do that. I'll also continue to try to find unusual places to go and take pictures -- think of it as me trying to find things that it will amuse you to check out on your own.
   I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's been supportive and enthusiastic about what I've been trying to do with this blog over the last year. Especially I want to shout out to my fellow bloggers, all of whom you'll see in the blogroll to the right. Some of those folks, like Eddi Haskell / Ryce Skytower and Ziggy Starsmith and Bock McMillan, have been producing intelligent, high-quality Second Life blogging for longer than my av has been in existence, and I owe them a great debt for leading the way. NakedCarl Paneer and I have become colleagues who seem to cover the same ground, and I thank him for keeping my nose to the grindstone to keep posting. Bloggers like Darkyn Dover, Richmond Damiano, Filippo Bergan / Chary Hera, and Carthalis Rossini spend their time and money making beautiful, intricate images, and I thank them for working at a level that constantly delights me. And bloggers like Ciaran Laval, Hamlet Au, Iris Ophelia, and Strawberry Singh have shown me that Second Life blogging can make people think as well as show them beautiful images. Thank you all, and I recommend that my readers check out everyone in my blogroll. Some of them have become friends as well as colleagues. Every single one of these folks has been an inspiration to me at one time or another, and they're all worth following.
   I also want to thank all my friends in Second Life. There are way too many to name, I'm already beyond my tag limit for this post, and (like an Oscar winner) if I name only a few I'll insult the rest, so -- if you're on my list of friends, in SL or on Facebook or both, thank you. It's your support and kind words that keep me blogging. Thanks for putting up with me pestering you for interviews and photographs and "just a few minutes of your time". Thanks for your comments and likes and thumbs-up on Facebook, and for passing around links on Google Plus, and all your interest and support. Thanks for being great DJs and hosts and designers and landlords and neighbours at 3Bears and everything else that you do. Thanks for telling me about cool things that you think I should check out. Thanks for teaching me how to do cool stuff. And thanks for reading my blog!
   Finally, as many of you know, one other important thing has changed in my Second Life in the last year. I first met Alex Thaub out dancing, and he seemed like a nice guy, and I interviewed him, and we went out on a date, and kept hanging out together -- and now we're partners and we're getting married soon. He's become the most important person in my Second Life and I thank him for his constant love, hugs, support, and understanding, and for realizing that when he pops into the house and finds me chatting with a stranger, it's for an interview ;-) You will all be invited to our wedding in the near future, and I'll be blogging about that whole process. Thanks, Alex, for making this a great time in my Second Life, and thanks for saying yes when I proposed!
   Here's to another year!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations. A truly fine blog and I wish you many more years