Sunday, 22 February 2009

King Of The Mountain

I think that many poets don't take constructive criticism - or commentary - well. They like to think they do, and it's true that they are rarely offensive about it, but when you find them repeating something you said as the reason/excuse for whatever you pointed out, the cracks show. I can't blame any of them - really; I don't think I'd take it well, either. But there's no need to be so defensive, gosh. We're only commenting to help. If you don't want people to say anything, don't show it. We understand when we point things out that you probably like it the way it is, or that you have a reason for doing it like that, but if it didn't stick out to us (the readers, and we're arguably the most important ones), we wouldn't mention it. For good or ill.

That said, allow me to show you a few poets who can take constructive criticism well.

Outside Ring: Huckleberry Hax, sabreman Carter, Myself, Sverien Oldrich, and Klannex Northmead.

I think there's something so delightfully evil about putting someone's full name on the internet; Adding another result for google to catalogue, should someone be curious of that person. It's for that reason I took the time to make sure of the above names. Controlled evil. Stops me burning down orphanages, or killing baby lambs.

A fine rear-view of the proprietress and poet, Persephone Phoenix.

The event takes place on a Saturday, at 10am SLT, which is also 10am PST, and thus 6pm GMT. The beginning of the evening for those lucky people in the British Isles and Africa, who don't have to wake up early (although we would, I'm sure).
Typically, it is as intimate as you see in the pictures above. As it only lasts for an hour or so, there is only the time to read three, or four poems. Well, the reading can happen quite quickly, but it's the discussion and criticism that takes place just after that hogs the time. A poem can easily steal a third of the total time on discussion!

I like going. I don't participate much. I usually just mumble things to myself in local chat as the others get stuck into being helpful. I don't know much about poetry yet, but I figure that if I don't put myself in these situations then I never will. I actually disconnected half-way through this time, and it took me a while to log back on, so I stayed at my skybox, busying myself with real life activities until my next appointment, at 12 noon (8pm).

The previous night, we had been informed of the theme for the Trivia at Bookstacks. Recently, some group has been sponsoring to have people come in theme, and the winning outfit/look will win some lindens. I never usually try to win, as I'm up against women and the like - Realistically, I have no chance. But a dear woman introduced me to Male Fashion in Second Life by way of blogs, and I was in the mood for some shopping.

So, I think I ended up pending about L$1600. Now, I appreciate how small an amount this is in the Real Life, but for someone who was happy with charging just 2531 a month to cover his skybox with a tiny bit of play money, this is quite the jump. I'm sure I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have several weeks in hand with the rent. Fairly positive... And I don't even have much to show for it! You really have to pay out the (relative) nose for the good stuff!

But I whimsy. That wasn't a verb before, so now it is. Yes.

Back to Bookstacks. In the time between my departure from the Poetry Workshop and the Trivia starting, I did a little more shopping. I got a pair of neat shorts, that I'll have to find a use for in the summer.

Just me, Kghia Gherardi and Simeon Beresford. (Doing the name thing again, teehehe)

On the Bar row is Taimaru Hak and Myself
Table has Derry McMahon and Lludmila Mirrikh

Did anyone guess the theme yet? Colour. So, after the pleasant-trees associated with meeting and greeting acquaintances, we got down to the reason we were all here; Trivia.
The questions are usually hard. And it often turns into a matter of who can google the fastest. In fact, if you look back a few blogs, you'll see what happened the last time I tried to beat the people with actual desktop computers and the ability to run Second Life with graphics and a web browser with no ill effects. I have an
ultra portable laptop, and no ability to run Second Life without ill effects to anything else I want to do. It even protests at writing this blog at the same time as running SL.

Anyway, I have a trick. I found the one thing that stopped me googling worth anything is the chat lag I get. Before, I'd see six answers before I'd even got the question. And this was because my laptop couldn't handle all the pretty twitches and whatnot of ten seated avatars. So, I turned my client into a text-only viewer. This is done by, simply, holding
ctrl+shift+alt and hitting 1 through 0 (If you just started hyperventilating over what I've done to your client, just do the same again and the pretty pictures'll come back). Try pressing ctrl+shift+1 before doing this, and see how high your frame rate is before and after. There can be quite a difference for me. Most importantly, the chat does not lag anymore.

So, I open up google chrome (I love
Firefox. It has everything I need, all the extras, it's faster than IE. But, chrome googles faster. It just does.) and I am ready.

Questions come, and I answer a few of them. In case you didn't look back two paragraphs ago, I'll tell you what I was trying to point out. I won then, and I set the highest score ever. I think it was 75, or 65. Something like that.

You totally guessed this was coming.

I won again! And I set the new record. I actually got 95 this time, although the pictures here will show me with 100. This is because the board came with a notecard that said 100 is the limit, and we wanted to see what'd happen. Nothing did. Maybe we should've tried 105... Anyhow, yes. Very happy. I'm somewhat of a monster when I get to typing.

If you'll excuse the hasty screenshot - couldn't get SL to pick up on the hovertext.

So, there was dancing.

Here's Simeon in his outfit. He would've won, if it weren't for...

Lludmila. She always wins the theme contest. Cry.

So! I got my victory money, and Lludmila got hers. But, one has to remember that it's not about the money. While winning some has to make you happier, it's a really fun activity and a nice place and a great crowd of people.

And so, that was my Saturday. This happens every Saturday I can make it, although the theme for the quiz changes. I could probably blog about each instance, as something new
always happens, but if I did that, it wouldn't be so special.

Would you like to check out these awesome places?
Click one of these links and Second Life will, if installed, open the landmark.
If no-one is there, have a look around, and maybe find the relevant group joining prim.
These two places are sometimes empty until an event is on, so don't take the emptiness when you teleport there as a bad sign!


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