Thursday, March 15, 2007

It was going so well....

36 people came to share in the Matronalia festivities. The ritual went without a hitch, the picnic baskets were overflowing, and the dancing was a pleasure.

And then the Linden Gods, jealous things, struck.

Juno never gets a break, dammit.

The Ides of March in ROMA

Over the last few months, Mickey and I have become involved in role play at ROMA, one of the most detailed historic sims that we've come across. Not set in any specific period of the Roman Republic, and full of humorous and educational surprises, ROMA has enough to keep a sightseer happy for repeat explorations. Torin, the sim's builder and manager, has a wicked sense of fun and keeps things running smoothly for the growing group of people who spend time there. This is not a sim that you'll find standing empty - there are always friendly visitors stopping by to look at this wonder of the SL world.

In addition to the pleasure of simply wandering the sim, there are many opportunities to become involved in events and in subgroups within ROMA. There are groups of legionnaires for the combat inclined (but you needn't worry if you're simply walking through the city - the Legion confines their combat to specific training areas), the Senate for the political afficianados, and the Collegia of the Priesthood for those wishing to pay homage to the Roman deities.

Mickey is now a Censor in the Senate, and I've taken on duties at the Collegia assisting the Angelia, the Chief Vestal, as a Lady of Juno. (It seemed appropriate - as the partner of a Senator, I'm not going to convince anyone that I'm virginal, even for a moment. Even in SL, I am ever the matron.)

March is our second month of offering multi-days worth of midmonth festivities. First, this afternoon (March 15) at 1 pm SLT, I will be presiding over my first ritual - the Matronalia, an observance usually held March 1, in honor of Juno. After the rite, which will be held in the Garden, we will have a picnic and - of course - dancing. For the women attending, hair worn loose is the dress code of the day - this is an event where we women literally get to let our hair down.

Tomorrow, also at 1 pm SLT, the Legion XIII has promised us a parade and the Amazons will be providing a martial demonstration, in honor of the Festival of Mars.

And then the grand finale on Saturday - Bacchanalia! At Caligula's Palace (where lovers may rent private space as desired), free (1L) rental time is available all day and at 6 pm SLT we're all meeting in the Plaza in itty bitty Bacchanalia clothing before heading back to the Garden for a bonfire, feast and general carousing.

Spring has sprung in ROMA, and it's coming in with a roar!

Note: The outfit above is my own design, for the Collegia Priesesses. You can find a decent variety of togas for men and women at the ROMA Market, but don't forget to spend a few minutes at the Customs Office where you first teleport to ROMA. You'll find notecards with information that will let you get started in the sim, and if you join the group you will also be able to take a free outfit so you can wander the sim dressed for the occasion. Note, though, that role play is not a requirement of the sim, and you're welcome to come as a tourist without being forced to role play, as long as you heed to rules of the sim regarding politeness.

Ave, travelers!

SLurl for ROMA: ROMA

Friday, March 9, 2007

New York New York

Mystery Isle is perhaps not quite as dark as the "Noir York City" of the Max Payne video games, but it comes close. This is a cooly designed 1940-era New York City that's always shrouded in darkness ... or at least it has been each time we've gone. The daylight photos here come from using SL's force-sun feature, not from the ambient light.

Radio City Music Hall offers dancing and ample seating room for shows. Mystery Isle offers hosted events, including a murder mystery, and some shopping. But perhaps the highlight there is blimp ride you can take from the top of the Empire State Building. Take the elevator to the top (watch out for King Kong!) and wait for the blimp. When it arrives, it will put down a ramp and you can board. Then it will take you on a four-minute tour of the city at rooftop level.

Pay close attention to how the wind ruffles your hair during the ride! Be careful disembarking, too. We both fell off the ramp to a lower ledge at one point or another.

Walk around at street level and you'll find ornate hotels and upscale shops, a diner and some dark alleys. It is a place worth a return visit now and then.

Pictures: Upper left, Radio City Music Hall. Center right, Morgana and Mickey wait for the blimp. Lower left, the blimp ride is underway.