Jealousy??

Kris: It seems like I’m always working… While Gracie is always exploring… Who lives the better life?

Gracie: Yea, I think I do have the better end of the deal here. Just catching up with my great friend Micah from Pennsylvania. I mean how cool is that to chat with friends from all over the world. I know one day you’ll meet Micah too.

Kris: Yea, absolutely!! I’m so proud and very lucky to know him in any reality.

Gracie: So did you get sick walking in the rain? I mean it looks awfully cold. I am pretty lucky, don’t have to worry about getting sick or cold.

Kris: Yea, but can you feel the lovely, sensuous tickle of the rain as it softly touches your body? Hmmm I think not.

Gracie: No, but I was able to travel to Immersiva and experience Bryn Oh’s amazing installation. Did you? Oh yea, I guess you did too… Hmmmmm I have to think about this. Should I be jealous of you?

Scents and Sensibility…

Kris- So I see you have been wearing the same clothes for a little while now…

Gracie- Yea? So what of it? Do I stink?

Kris- Hmmmm not that I can tell, but, well, here’s the thing…  it may hurt your chances with a perspective beau.

Gracie- Ohhhhh, hadn’t thought of that.  Hmmmmm. But, if I don’t stink, then what does it matter? Don’t you remember it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but whats on the inside… Or so they say.

Kris- Hmm I wonder who did say that. I still don’t believe it.

Gracie- Yea, I know you don’t. You still have a lot to work on!!

Kris- Yea, Yea. I’ll start on the 1st.

Gracie- Uh huh.. How many years have I heard that?? *rolls eyes*

To be, or not to be… Is that a question?

Gracie- Sooooo, you went to the movies today??

Kris- Yes, in fact I did.

G- And, you saw “Avatar?”

K- Why are you asking, you know I did.

G- Haha, ok. Just trying to make conversation.

K-Yes, I know.. haha

G- So what did you think?

K- OMG I thought it was sooo amazing.

G- Yea? Did you think of me while watching it?

K- Of course I did. I mean you are an avatar.

G- Yea, but not the same.

K- No, not the same, but close.

G- So if you could, would you do what the guy did? Inhabit my body?

K- I don’t know. That is a good question. It’s not the same.

G- Really, How do you mean?

K-Well, in reality, or whatever you call it, you are really more 2D than 3D. I mean you are still an animated character that I use, inhabit, live vicariously through, but only to an extent.

G- Hmmm, Ok, but I still don’t get it.

K- If I could feel the way he did. If I could smell, touch, kiss, fly with the wind on my back, then yes, I totally would.

G- Yea, I guess I do have limits… sighs!!!

K- Yea. I know you feel as I do, as far as emotions and personality, moods, laughter, tears, etc. But to be able to touch someone, is soooo important. I have been missing that in my life for a long time now, and I want that.

G- Yea, I know you have. I’m trying to help you with that, as much as I can.

K- Haha, yes I know. Thanks. I do miss it. Even just a hug. Virtual hugs are all well and good. We share them sooo freely all the time, but people need real closeness and the intimacy of  touch. I want to hold someone’s hand, hold them in my arms, rest my head on their chest and run my fingers through their hair.

G- Ok, this is a PG rated blog isn’t it??

K- Haha, of course it is… although….

G- What?

K- Ummm nevermind… I was just thinking of what I did the other night.

G- What is that?

K- Sighs… well I was in a weird mood, and “have camera, will take pics.”

G- Ohhhh, you didn’t??

K- Yes, yes, I did.

G- WOW!!! I can’t believe it!!!

K- Hey, people have been taking nude pics in the name of art for years and years…and before that they drew nudes… what is the problem? Somone else joked about my blog when they heard that I was taking pictures of myself every day. They made the comment, I’m sure jokingly, when they were going to look at my pics, that they hoped they weren’t nudes. I didn’t think anything of it. Now that I have taken some, I don’t think I could ever show them here or anywhere, but just the idea that I did it.

G- Yea, geesh, thats all I meant!!!  I know how much you hate your body.

K- Yea… and taking the pics and looking at them after wasn’t fun…hahaha. But I did and they are done, and that is all.

G- Hmmmmmm….

K- What?

G- What about taking nudes of me?

K- Hahaha… you? Why? For what?

G- Hey, you said its all in the name of art right???

K- Ummmm yea… but you really want me to?

G- Sure why not. I love my body. I am not afraid to show it, or share it.

K- Hmmm I’ll have to think about it.

G- Yea, sure. I know what that means.

K- What?

G- That means, No.

K- Hahaha. Maybe or maybe not? That is the question.

“Me, My Alts and I”

There are many kinds of support in our lives. Yesterday I was going to my therapy appointment in real life… and then in Second Life, I was chatting with one of my best friends, Chrome Underwood. Not only an amazing artist, but a gracious, sweet, caring, witty and OMG intelligent guy. Thank you for always listening and offering your unstinting words of wisdom and kindness. (And Douglas if you’re reading this, you know I feel the exact same way about you!! :P)

“Me, My Alts and I”

Alt: “Alternate accounts… multiple identities… We all have them in some way or another. Perhaps in real life you’re an entrepreneur in the morning, soccer mom in the afternoon, and vegetarian chef in the evening. In Second Life, you get to externalize these roles in customized, uniquely identifiable personas — otherwise known as alt accounts. How cool is that?” (https://support.secondlife.com/)

So as always, I have been tirelessly thinking about this project. Sometimes I am stuck. Other times ideas just come to me with no idea where they came from.

I was sitting here with the girls thinking about where this project is going? what it will become? where my journey will take me? You know, all those serious deep questions we all ponder in our lifetimes.

I have already thought that I want to make this project into a book. Especially the “Days” portion of it. I have also been working on a couple other offshoot projects. One called “The Adventures of Gracie Kendal” and another “Me, My Alts and I” which will be installed the beginning of next year sometime. I realized that these are actually chapters in this whole project. I’m really excited to see where these go, that’s for sure.

Speaking of chapters… So often people talk about chapters in our lives. One chapter ends, another begins and so forth. I look at my life and feel its a postmodern book. My chapters seem to overlap, disconnect, go backwards, go against the status quo (whatever that is) and question my own identity. In this ecclectic pastiche (I love that phrase) of a book, I often think about the last chapter. What would it say? Would it be a mash-up of greatest hits from my life? Or a final wish fulfilling, fairy tale happy ending? Would I be depressed because I didn’t achieve what I wanted? What do I want? What are my hopes, dreams and wishes? What makes me happy? That is what this book is about. This is what my journey is for. I don’t want to end in that last chapter asking myself why I didn’t do this or that. What my life was about? What happened to me? I don’t want any regrets.

Speak for yourself… or threesome?

Gracie- Sooooo, I see you are trying something out here, aren’t you?

Kris- Ummm yea, a little bit.

Gracie- Tell me about it.

Kris- Well I had an alt from a while ago. Well ok a year and a half ago. I never really used it. In fact, when I just logged on, it was still the newbie, cybergirl goth figure.

G- hahaha, yea, I saw that.

K- So I took her shopping today. As I was shopping, I started thinking about what I wanted her to be like.

G- Yea?

K- Yea. I decided to see what it would feel like to create a figure whose body image was more like mine. I remembered seeing Harper modeling plus size Second Life fashion so I went back and looked up where she got her shape.

G- Oh wow. I am liking this already.

K- Yea, I found the place and actually got a free shape. I think it’s still a bit thinner than I am in RL. At least it isn’t as big in the thighs and the breasts are A LOT bigger.

G- Haha, yea, I saw that. You can have fun with that though.

K- Mmmhmmm sure. Haha.

G- So then what did you do.

K- Well I went and bought a skin and hair that Harper also recommended and I decided to get clothes similar to mine. And actually, they are similar to yours too.

G- Hmmmm, why did you do that?

K- Well I wanted her to be more like me. Like I am right now, this moment in RL. I know you wear similar clothes and shoes that I wear, but you are what I want to be like. Not what I am right now.

G- Hmmmm…

K- Yea, yea, yea. I know. Need to think more about why I am doing this. Anyway. So I got hair, glasses, shoes, everything. And as you can see in today’s picture, I think she is pretty darn close. The hair is a little lighter. Ok a lot lighter. But I am going to remedy that in RL pretty soon.

G- Yay!!! It’s about time.

K- Yea. I know. I decided I am sooo tired of looking warn out, tired etc. I want to look better. And I think treating myself to a new hair-do will help a lot.

G- Yea, totally. Good for you.

K- Thanks. So question for you? Who is that hot guy your dancing with.

G- Oh stop that. You know who it is. It’s you.

K- Hahaha, yea, I know I know. So how do you feel dancing with yourself?

G- Hmmm well I’m dancing with you.

K- Yea, and I am you. So you are dancing with me, and I am dancing with you, right?

G- Hmmm ok. So I guess I am dancing with myself?

K- Yea. And I am dancing with myself.

G- So how do you feel about that?

K- Well the dialogue seems to get pretty interesting. But I do yearn for more stimulating conversation.

G- Hey now!!! That’s not fair. I think I am pretty stimulating.

K- Haha. Yea, but it’s not as much fun by yourself.

G- Speak for yourself.

What a girl wants…

Gracie- So what are you thinking?
Kris- Hmmmm actually I haven’t been thinking much and it’s been nice.
G- Oh yea?
K- Yea. My last day of school was Thursday and just been working the last 4 days.
G- Oh yea, thats right, You haven’t even been in second life very much lately.
K- Yea, I know. Been too busy working and sleeping as you can tell.
G- So what is new. I know you’ve been reading that book.
K- Oh yea. “Eat Pray Love.” It reminds me of the conversations we have together.
G- Oh yea?
K- Yea. The Author also has similar conversations with herself. Her inner soul. Her unconscious/subconscious. It’s pretty amazing.
G- Well I could have told you that. I really like talking to you.
K- Yea. Me too. When we first started, I wasn’t sure if I was going crazy. I also wondered if the people who read this would think I was going crazy.
G- Who cares what other people think. You sooo need to get over that and btw, you aren’t going crazy. Well ok, maybe you already are. But you’re an artist so comes with the territory.
K- Hahaha. Well don’t tell my Art History Professor. But Yea, I know I agree. I tend to believe in a lot of the tropes that artists are known by. This book  though, actually is helping. I am reading about myself in the words of the author Elizabeth Gilbert. I feel like this book was written about me.
G- Yea?
K- Well some of the life experiences are different of course. But, her thoughts, ideas, emotions, personality seem so much like my own. And I am realizing, it is ok to feel as I do. To think as I do. To act as I do.
G- Wow, that is a huge idea.
K- Yea. I know. I have been hiding for way too long. I am tired of hiding. I know I have a long way to go in finding myself. I am already on this journey, but I feel like I am getting somewhere.
G- That’s great.
K- Yea. I mean I admit I still am not eating that well. I am eating a little better than I was, but still have had M&M’s and Ice Cream.
G- Well, that’s ok. You don’t want to totally deprive yourself.
K- Well yea. I need to learn the phrase “everything in moderation.” I hear it all the time, but don’t know how to implement it yet. It is something I need to learn.
G- Yea.
K- I think I am a lot less stressed since school ended too.
G- Yea, I can sense that. You seem a little more like yourself.
K- Hmmm that is an interesting statement. “You seem a little more like yourself.” What do you mean?
G- Well, I think, especially seeing you at work, that you are more open and outgoing. Not that you weren’t before, but you seem to be smiling more and talking to people more.
K- Well I think that has a lot to do with the work environment lately. The last 4 days I’ve worked have been very smooth. The people I have worked with have been really great to be around. And I have been less stressed. So I think it’s a combination of things.
G- Yea, but you are feeling better, aren’t you?
K- Yea, I am. But again, I think its because I am less stressed. I actually did my Christmas cards and am trying to get in the Christmas spirit. Even listening to Christmas music at work.
G- Oh yea, I think everyone is getting sick of that by the way.
K- Hahaha. Well, it’s not loud, and I think It’s probably gonna get old fast anyway.
G- Ok.
K- I decided I want to volunteer somewhere. Help out with a charity. With people who are less fortunate than I am. Jan gave me info on MEND, and I realized that CSUN is also involved with them. I have the application and am going to volunteer a couple hours a week I think.
G- WOW, that’s great.
K- Yea. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want lately. What makes me happy. Honestly, I haven’t been able to name much that makes me happy. I was trying to think of instances where I have been truelly ecstatic, and what made me that way. I could hardly think of any.  I honestly don’t know. Maybe I haven’t experienced being truelly happy yet.
G- Wow you need to get on that then.
K- Yea, I know. I know. Hmmm just thought of one time I was happy. It had to do with a guy. We had talked and decided to date and he kissed me. Just a little peck, but it was really great. I remember afterwards feeling light as a feather and so excited about the possibilities. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out. I wish they would have, but they didn’t. Another time I was happy was when I was in Europe. I remember walking through Paris, thinking…OMG I’m in Paris. I’M IN PARIS!!!
G- So what you’re saying is having a lover and traveling around the world would make you happy.
K- Ummmm yea, I think so… Hahahaha
G- Well you know what you have to do then.
K- Mmmmmhmmmmm

In the Blink of an Eye…

Kris- I found you out.

Gracie- What do you mean?

Kris- Nice try. I have seen what you do when I’m not looking.

Gracie- Oh, ummmm, yea. That.

Kris- mmmhmmm

Gracie- Oh, You can’t tell me that you don’t do stuff behind my back!?!?

Kris- Hahaha, yea, right!! Like what? I am a good girl.

Gracie- Yea, right!! Now who is hiding?

Kris- Hmmmm, I honestly can’t think of anything outrageous I’ve done.

Gracie- Oh, I’m sure you can. Think about it. Who flew to Scotland ? Who stayed in that hotel with…

Kris- Hey, stop it right there… I know where you’re going with that…

Gracie- What are you afraid of? What you did was totally natural. I mean you actually….

Kris- Heyyyy.

Gracie- Date is not a bad word.

Kris- Ohhhh, that is what you were going to say.

Gracie- Ummm yea, What did you think?

Kris- Nothing. Nevermind.

Gracie- Well, whatever. What happened to you the last few months? Why did you stop dating?

Kris- I don’t know. That is a good question.

Gracie- Well, you need to get back to it.

Kris- Yea. I know. I really want to.

Gracie- Well, what is stopping you?

Kris- I don’t know. Maybe I’m afraid.

Gracie- Afraid of what? Rejection?

Kris- Well, yea a bit.

Gracie- Well you better get over that really fast. Rejection is a part of life.

Kris- Oh yea, I am already painfully aware of that.

Gracie- Well, you can’t let things get in your way, no matter what they are. There will always be obstacles, hurdles to overcome. You just have to keep trudging along.

Kris- Oh yea, I know. I have always felt that life is too short. We have to live in the moment. From my life experiences, especially working in the ER, I know that life can change in the blink of an eye.

Gracie- Yea of course. Are you really satisfied with your life right now, if something were to happen?

Kris- That is a very good question. There are some things I am satisfied with. But I feel there is so much more out there. So much more life to live.

Gracie- So why aren’t you living it?

Kris- I’m trying. I’m working on it. I want to be happy. Sometimes I don’t know what that feels like. It’s been a long time since I think I’ve truely felt happy. I want to enjoy life and have fun. I haven’t done that in a long time.

Gracie- Well I think you know what you need to do. Maybe learning to pole dance like I did will help? It was quite a thrill. Don’t know if I’m gonna do it often, but It felt good and free.

Kris- Hmmmmm yea I totally would, it’s just finding the money to do it.

Gracie- Oh, you’ll figure it out. Maybe you can advertise, “Will trade Art for pole dancing lessons?” You’ve gotten pretty good at bartering.

Kris- Hahaha, yea, we’ll see. Actually, have thought of learning belly dancing too. So there is Yoga, Pole dancing and Belly dancing. Hmmmm.

Gracie- Ohhhh gooo for it. Trust me, those are all such fulfilling, sexy activities. You will love it. But you have to promise to check into it. You totally flaked on going to the yoga loft the other day.

Kris- Yea, I know. I did. But have you checked into teaching?

Gracie- Yes, actually I did and I am working on it.

Kris- Ok then.

Gracie- Ok then.

Bargaining…

Kris- So I see you have been dancing a lot eh?

Gracie- Ummmm yea, I have.  So what about it?

Kris- Nothing, Just noticing you are getting out a little more.

Gracie- Well I can say the same thing about you.

Kris- Well, out of the house, yea. But not necessarily out meeting new people like you are.

Gracie- Yea, well I decided I was tired of just doing the same things. So I went to a Jazz club and actually had a good time. Met a new friend and had a great talk.

Kris- Yea, he seemed pretty nice.

Gracie- Hey, quit eavesdropping on my dates.

Kris- Oh, your date now, huh? I see.

Gracie- Ummmm, well we were just dancing.

Kris- Uh huh.

Gracie- So I see you are getting out a bit more.

Kris- Way to change the subject I see.

Gracie- Uh huh.

Kris- Well yes and no. I mean I’m here in front of the puter talking to you aren’t I?

Gracie- Um yea, why is that? I thought you had a lot to do.

Kris- Well, I have a few things, but have the day off so have plenty of time.

Gracie- Yea, but weren’t you just telling Peter, that you felt guilty that it’s 11 and you haven’t done much today?

Kris- Now who is eavesdropping?

Gracie- Well, fair is fair.

Kris- Uh huh.

Gracie- Yea… so I see you are still sitting there.

Kris- And so are you? Don’t you have something to do?

Gracie- Hey, I have been taking care of art stuff all day long, hanging a show, talking to a gallery about another one, planning an opening… I’ve been busy.

Kris- Ok Ok. So have you looked into teaching in Second Life yet?

Gracie- Ummm no, as you can tell I’ve been busy.

Kris- Uh huh.. dancing, yes I know. I see.

Gracie- Ok, I’ll look into it today, if you go to the Yoga Loft?

Kris- Ohhhh what is that, bargaining?

Gracie- Mmmmmhmmmmm

Kris- Ok Ok.  You’re on.