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Creative Writing

Coffee is good for you when consumed responsibly... AKA a Fishy Tale


[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each) https://m.facebook.com/sierra.sugar ]


A tale about why coffee is good for you...

We have a salt water fish tank and our fishy eats frozen fish food. Every morning I get up, let the p3 out to go potty, turn the light on the fish tank, and put a cube of the frozen fish food in a cup with some water to melt while I get coffee started. I know. I know! That process of events is backwards. Coffee should always come first. But the other is a better use of time and keeps me from walking in circles. Usually, I fix my cup, then take my coffee along with the plastic cup of fish food to the living room where Lt. Dan (our surviving fish) gets fed and I sit and sip my coffee enjoying the sunshine from the open door. This morning The first part of my routine flowed normally without problem.

That is until I went to fix my first cup of coffee.... I poured my cup of coffee, added creamer and sugar, grabbed the spoon, stirred, picked up the cup to take my first sip and paused. Thank GOODNESS fish food has a fishy smell. I had stirred the fish food and nearly took a long, not so comforting, first sip of.... fish food soup, mixed with creamer and sugar. Talk about gastric disaster. Fish cup emptied and rinsed, new fish food defrosted and fed to Lt. Dan AFTER I had a full half a cup of coffee.

Remember folks... Safety First - Coffee before anything!

~sierra

Humor or Horror in Housework



[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each) https://m.facebook.com/sierra.sugar ]

Remember the Steven King movie (and book) Maximum Overdrive, where all the machines come to life? Or what about The Transformers and the Spark that brings electronics/machines to life? Could that have happened already with our common, everyday house cleaning equipment?

Because I am convinced my dryer is carnivore, or a clothivore, or perhaps just a sockivore!

Why is it every time I do laundry an even number of socks go in but an odd number comes out? Has it somehow had a spark and come to life needing a regular diet of tubular cotton fiber? Perhaps it is seeking a certain flavor, something that reminds it of some far off planetary system it's collective intelligence called home; therefore it keeps trying different socks hoping to find that reminiscent taste? Kind of how we take a bite out of a chocolate and put it back in the box because it wasn't what we were looking for. So the dryer eats only one sock out of a set, deciding it isn't the flavor it wants and therefore leaves the other one untouched? Should I be amused at the daily dietary divergence of my dryer or horrified at the mass slaughter of socks that leaves the twin sock orphaned and alone?

Either way, I am convinced that yes, my dryer does in fact snack on socks, and lint is the undigested remains of said socks.

~sierra sugar

Openness, Honesty, and Faithfulness

Faithfulness, Openness, and Honesty
One kitty's opinion of the values of friendships and deeper relaitonships.

Disclaimer: opinion only.  This is how i feel and how i've always felt. i don't want negativity here, debates, arguments, etc... if you are an extremely closed and private person who doesn't like to share with anyone, that's fine. That works for you.  These are just my thoughts and how i work.

Faithfulness, openness, and honesty.  These are important qualities for any relationship, no matter the type.  They build a foundation of trust and security.  Sadly, it seems to me these are also qualities that many seem to have forgotten.  No one is perfect.  We all tell little white lies from time to time.  But still, open honesty is always preferred over obscured omission.  As the 80s love song says, "I'd rather hurt you honestly than mislead you with a lie". Perhaps my opinions and values are remnants from an older age.  I admit I have some strong old-fashioned values when it comes to friendship and love, relationships and committment.  Older values mixed with newer ones.  This is just what is right and wrong for me, my life, and how I struggle with and build my various relationships.

Its hard though to find that line in today's world of perpetual connection on what should be shared in good faith and what is really no one else's business.  Because of the internet, the news and paparazzi, cell phones, pda's, smart phones, and more and more advanced technology we begin to feel entitled to know everything.  I think we all are guilty at one time or another of feeling that way.  But human nature also instinctively defends our own sense of privacy.  

"Drama" as the common term for it has become, happens when we act on that sense of entitlement that we need to know and be involved in everything, every minute detail of someone else's life, someone that is not necessarily a close and important connection in our lives.  A casual aquaintence, casual friend, friend of a friend, co-worker, etc.. That we actually have a say and control, or some sort of opinion on their lives and activities we really do not.  Its not the only reason for drama, but it certain seems to me anyway, that this sense of entitled knowledge and constant input *contributes* to the cause many times.

A bigger problem though, again in my opinion only, is less about drama, which usually involves a large number of people, but rather these conflicting mindsets of entitlement and privacy as they relate to very personal relationships.  How much does one share with close friends? Significant others? Potential signifcant others?  How much do you hide?  Is it misleading to promise or show one thing, but really do another when no one is looking?  If a tree falls in the forrest and no one is around does it really make a sound?

Relationships, all kinds, are built on trust.  Trust is built from being open and honest.  Lying is still lying, even if its just a lie by omission.  When you enter someone's life and put them in a position of importance in your life, they deserve the respect of honesty, even if the truth may be painful and/or upsetting.  Finding something out by mistake, even though the other person omitted the facts simply to spare feelings, always backfires and ends up hurting more.  You may feel that some actions are not for the general public, and this is true.  

However, when you place someone in your life into a greater personal or intimate position, the fact is they do deserve to know more information.  The higher the elevated status and perceived sense of importance in each other's lives (from friend, to close friend, to casual dating, to potential significant other, to significant other), so is the need for more openness and honesty.  If you can't trust them with that, then they should not be given elevated status in your life because ultimately you will hurt them.  If you're not willing to be open and at times almost brutally honest, you will never build that sense of trust that is demanded for a stable relationship.  And if you're not willing to listen and hear, and protect that bond of trust, then you should not allow yourself to be placed in such a position. 

It is a sacrifice both parties must make.  Honesty is not always easy to give, we are divuldging bits and pieces of our lives and ourselves to another person.  We run the risk of being judged, ridiculed, and rejected.  Neither is hontesty always easy to take.  Somethings we don't want to hear, not because we don't want to hear them but because we simply want them to be different.  But you have to be open to hear these truths and acknowledge how much less painful they are hearing them first hand rather than finding out by accident some other way.

The closer you are with someone, the more you let each other in, the more intuitive each becomes regarding the other. When friends or couples say things at the same time, feel each other's pains or joy from a distance, complete each other's sentences, these are all signs of a greater connection.  Remember that. Respect that.  Don't lie to or hide things from these people who share this connection with you because they will know it, and will be hurt by it, and the trust will falter.

Remember communication is more than just words, its actions, expressions, and even silence too. Be conscious of what you are communicating and how it can and will effect those you care about.

Humans are selfish by nature, but if you care about someone then you must be considerate of them.  You have to be open and willing to share even those things that may hurt you or them.  Becuase trust me, a little pain or shame now is so much easier to recover from than the magnitude of hurt and anger if you hide certain truths and they are found out down the road.

Don't make someone feel like they are a priority or important to you when they really are not.  Don't TELL them they are important to you and then do things that show them they are not. Actions speak louder than words.  And even if you think you are hiding your actions well, trust me not as well as you think.  The truth always comes out.

There are many different relationship constructs.  If you have multiple people of similar importance in your life, be sure they atleast know there are others, and maybe even know each other.  This is especially true for close, intimate type relationships, not so much casual friendships.  Don't make someone feel like or tell them they are the only one, when they are not.  Again, honesty wins. Don't sneak and hide.

Don't make promises you can't or won't keep.

Implied promises are still promises.  Be careful what you say and how you say it.

Don't say something that isn't true.

I guess what it all boils down to is the age-old golden rule of "do unto others"; because trust once lost is incredibly difficult to build back.  If someone is important to you, endevour every day to make them feel that way. Never let them have doubt or feel ignored.

~sierra

Steampunk the Bird (aka, Happy Rez Day Maxwell Graf)

A faint breeze drifted through the partially opened window carrying in the smells and sounds of the not-so-distant port. The over-sized brass hinges held the weight of the heavy stained-glass pane of abstract design. The sunlight, finished with its game of chase with the clouds, fell upon the window and a cornucopia of color burst through breaking the dusty haze of the workshop, and caused the man inside to lift his head.

Perhaps this was the first time since his day began that he found his mind no longer focused on his never-ending work, only the man himself knew. His concentration broken, he gazed around allowing his eyes to fleetingly acknowledge each of his creations then move on to another. Some were finished, many others in various stages of completeness. All crafted with genuine passion for his trade and a tender touch that comes only from one who’s work becomes so much more to them than a mere means to earn a daily copper.

His eyes focused on the open window just as a breeze picked up and ruffled his mussed dark hair. He sighed softly as the same breeze cooled his skin. Then he heard it, the faint clack-clack whir, clack-clack whir. A  repetitive sound, rhythmic, faint but seemed to be slowly intensifying in volume. Somewhere beyond he could hear the earthy cry of the gulls to the men on the wharf for a bit of food. He could hear the sharp snap of sails being pulled quickly to attention from a gust of wind. And even could hear the deeper sounds that were more thump than clack that the large corkscrew airships made as they hovered above the docks.

But there rising above all the din and bustle of the port was the clack-clack whir, clack-clack whir, and yes it was indeed getting louder. The man removed his half-moon, brass-rimmed glasses then pinched his soft wool shirt around the glass in an attempt to wipe away the dusty splotches that accumulated while he worked. When he placed them back on the bridge of his nose he gave a resigned smirk that for all his efforts, they were still dirty, however the splotches had become smudges. Tonight he’d have to wash them in the basin.

The clack-clack whir, was quite distinct and audible now, and seemed to be approaching the half-opened window. The man maneuvered around various desks and piles of work and stepped to the window to see if he could locate the source of this noisy interruption. Just as he fully opened the second pane of glass a gust of wind blew itself in ruffling his hair more and he heard several sheets of parchment take flight landing against a wall or floor behind him. Then he saw it. The little brass flyer as it mightily flapped its wings and made a bee-line for the window.

He stepped back in wonder and surprise at the flyer with its brass wings ablaze in warm colors from the late-afternoon sun. Clack-clack whir, clack-clack whir, he heard again and again until the little flyer was hovering, rather noisily, above the windowsill. There was a longer whir as the wings retracted and a slight clatter when the minuet flyer landed on the sill with its little brass feet. Much to the man’s amazement its movements were more delicate than normally seen by mechanical contraption, and such the clackity bird placed on the sill a glass-blown yellow rose with intricately crafted brass leaves.

The tiny, wondrous flyer then began a bell-clear chirping as it shook one of its legs at the man. There was a miniature scroll attached with coarse hemp binding to the little flyer's leg and he wanted it off. A single tug unraveled the bow, and the scroll rolled to the window where the man scooped it up before the wind could catch it. Opening the scroll, the man read with a smile.

Dear Maxwell Sir,

As you labor away through your various works and projects, remember to take a moment to catch a breeze, hear the birds sing, appreciate the small things, and smile at the beauty of the day. Today is your day, a mile-marker to be celebrated (or not) as you see fit. Peace and prosperity be with you my friend, as well as happiness beyond measure.

The little bird sang with its bell-like chirps once more then leapt from the sill taking flight back towards the way it had traveled. The man stood quietly, watched and listened as the clack-clack whir faded into the silence of the approaching night and smiled.  

                                                                                                       (c) sierra sugar 10/09/2011

[Just a fun post to wish Maxwell Graf, the creator of Rustica, a happy 5th Rez Day in Second Life.  His works to improve sculpt maps as well as pushing towards a better, more usable Mesh are appreciated by many throughout SL.   Thank you, Max, and very happy rez day!]

Life - The Greatest Show on Earth

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Too Bright

, originally uploaded by

~sierra sugar~

.

Tiny steps echo across a wooden floor and come to a stop.

There is a moment of silence and then the lights come up.

"Over here. No, down a little. There ya go! Kitty center stage.

They say all the world's a stage.

And I say, Forget Barnum and Bailey's, this is it folks. This is the greatest show on Earth, and we're living it.

Except there is no dress rehersal, no retakes, and no scenes left laying on an editing room floor.

Life, is live-action in real time with no commercial breaks.

Everyone has a role, and there is no part too big or too small. Every moment is a vital scene that you alone complete.

So while that spotlight is on you, give it your best, all that you've got. Because you never who's watching and who's heart you might touch, mind you might inspire, or soul you might comfort.

We've only got one chance while the camera is rolling, cause once it stops...

...the rest is silence. "

stage lights fade to black as house lights shine on the rest of the world.

(c) sierra sugar 10/6/2011

Post partially inspired by the tremendous loss of an inspirational man, Steve Jobs, and partially inspired by personal loss in my life.

NEW POSE FROM eMOTIONS - "In the Spotlight" set, "Too Bright"

Skin:[rQ]Pale@TYPE.o4-B.o2 (lightBROW)

Hair: *~*Damselfly*~*Etta II White Pearl

Nails:[ Love Soul ] Prim nails+Ring*baby doll*Silver

Ears:*Dreams* (aka Somnia) Tied with a Bow Snowy White Twitchy Ear

Tail: PN Extreme Corset neko tail

Shirt: A Netherworld - Incantation Corset - Black (J)

Pants: Zaara : Ishaya Velour slacks *black

Necklace:Kunstkammer String of Tahitian Pearls (black)

Bracelet:Kunstkammer Tahitian Pearl Bracelet

Pose: eMOTIONS - "In the Spotlight" set, "Too Bright"

.❊ ڪʈℜ○ηģƸℜ ❊.


Broken, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.


"I'm done hopin' we'll work out. I'm done with how it feels, spinin my wheels. I'm done thinkin' you'll ever change and I know my heart will never be the same, but even on my weakest days......I get a little bit stronger."

There is much talk about love and holding on, never giving up, always being patient. The movie "A Walk to Remember" quotes 1 Corinthians with this definition of love:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4"

But what do you do when you feel all of that and more but it is not returned? "Just Friends" is the most painful phrase to any heart in this position. What do you do when you would do anything for someone, but they in turn would do anything for someone else? What do you do when the daily friendship is like acid in your chest. When every conversation with them, every phone call from them, every message from them, as innocent as they may be, is a reminder that everything you want stops at the word "Friend"?

At some point you have to protect your heart, and your sanity. Sometimes, the hardest thing you'll ever have to do is just simply let go no matter how much they beg you to stay. Let go and wish them the best. Let go and hope they continue to find all the happiness in life you ever wanted for them, and that maybe someday you will too. Let go because being just friends is a daily reminder of just how much it hurts to never cross that line. It doesn't mean you're weak, or that you love the person any less, but that maybe its time to love yourself a little too.

"I can't make you love me if you don't. I can't make your heart feel something it won't. Here in the dark in these final hours I would lay down my heart and I'll feel the power, but you won't."


Virtually Six


In the normal chronology of life six years can be a significant amount of time. If a person lives to be 60, six years is 1/10th of their life span. If an average adult marriage lasts 30 years, six years is 1/5th of that time. To a teenager six years is longer than one spends in high school or for many even college. But in terms of virtual chronology six years is more than a lifetime, to many it may seem like an eternity. In an age and environment where technology is outdated nearly as fast as it is developed and changes are measured in terms of gigabytes per second, a year marks an extreme passing of time.

It also marks the virtual age of Sierra Sugar. Six years ago today Sierra was “born” if you will into the virtual world of Second Life. Seeking an escape from the grind and drama of the average raid oriented guild in MMORPGs, a friend of mind recommended this “new” game. Knowing my affinity towards The Sims, he thought SL would be a nice change of pace from the XP grind of WoW. Little did I know what I was stepping into.

In a world where any person can be and create anything their heart desires, Sierra was created as and has remained a virtual extension of her real life user. The only deviation from that real representation was the addition of kitty ears and tail, call it a personality trait expressed visually. Many use Second Life as a way to be something they are not or could never be. I have used it as a means to express who I really am. The person who was always a bit too quiet, or too shy for her own good could finally have a voice and be seen. It allowed me to step out of myself and take a good look. It showed me many things I did not like, and quite a few I realized I did. It has afforded me opportunities for amazing friendships, incredible love, unending creativity, and yes even unbelievable heartache. Through the laughter, the tears, the good times and the bad, after six years Sierra still remains.

Six years is definitely an eternity in Second Life time. And in those six years I’ve seen this virtual world change exponentially. It was a much smaller world back then. The grid could easily be traversed by foot, vehicle or hot air balloon in the course of a couple hours at best. There were no private islands and mainland was being bought up in large quantities by a budding virtual real estate entrepreneur, Anshe Chung. The only known custom skin maker was Munchflower Zaius of Nomine fame. There was no flexi nor sculptie. And any average Second Life citizen could enter into chat with a Linden simply by asking for help in world.

In 2005 if you logged in and there were 8,000 people online you know the world was going to crash. I remember the first time I saw there were 12,000 people online. And again when there were 20,000 online I sat back and went “Wow!”. Now on any given day there will be on average 65,000-75,000 online. Again, just “Wow!”.

In my six years in Second Life I've seen people meet from half way around the world, fall in love, meet in real life, and make it work. I’ve witnessed the growth of virtual support groups and learning centers. I’ve both witnessed and personally experienced extreme acts of kindness and generosity given to “friends” in a virtual world shared so closely, where yet the real world separates them by hundreds and even thousands of miles.

Residents of Second Life span the globe and their charitable interests are expressed accordingly. Funds have been donated in large quantities not just for RFL, but also for the relief efforts of Katrina, Haiti, Japan, Abused Women, education, Mobility, and various other charitable organizations. Our first year in working with the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, citizens of Second Life barely raised $100,000 USD. Yet that amount was considered a significant achievement brought about by merely a bunch of virtual gamer geeks. The past two years Second Life RFL teams raised over $2.5 MILLION USD each year. Again, just “Wow!”.

In six years here in this Second Life I’ve also witness heartbreaking sadness and acts so inhumane rage and disgust can’t even begin to express accurately. Negativity and evil exists in the real world just as surely as it does in a virtual world. It doesn’t make it right or any less wrong. Human nature being what it is can we really expect others to behave differently simply because it is virtual? Not really. We are who we are no matter what platform or environment we choose to represent ourselves and interact with others. Evil, in what ever context you wish it to be, simply is. We acknowledge it, avoid it if we can, and move on.

Being the perpetual optimist I try to not dwell on the negative. To quote another strong woman from a different era, yet just as equally virtual in its own sense for the time she was created, Ms. Scarlett O’hara once said “Tomorrow is another day!”

And yes it is. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

~sierra

I am me

I don't apologize for who I am anymore!

I feel...everything.  I laugh and I love with my whole heart.  I cry real tears, often.  I get angry.  I get hurt.  I stumble and fall.  I make mistakes and try again.  I'm intelligent but not genius.  I'm talented but not gifted.  I'm flirty but reserved.  I stick my foot in my mouth regularly.  I am never intentionally cruel or hurtful.  I have a knack for missing the obvious.  I crave attention and tend to smother people in return.  I am broken but still trying.  I am strong but still struggling.  Even in my darkest moments I still hope.

Love me, leave, me, want me or hate me.  I really don't care anymore.  I am me.  I am real.  And I do not apologize for the person that I am.

Still Waters

They say still waters run deep.
The surface smooth. The surface calm.
But what you don't see below is the force of those waters, swift and strong. At times a veritable maelstrom of movement below surface warmth. Pushing and pulling from within, and surrounding anyone who manages to find their way inside.

They say still waters run deep.
And there is much more than what is seen reflected back to you. But for most the surface is all they will ever see. It may not always be a peaceful place. But it is my place.

They say still waters run deep. And if you're not afraid to look, you may just find me there. (c) 2010

Argument in favor of a Private Tutor (Another "Big Fish")

"You know before they'll let you live up here you have to pass Yankee School."

This is what he tells me. "Yankee School", an indoctrination into the ways of being a Yankee. Apparently, Southerners cannot legally become a citizen of the Island unless they pass this secretive training camp. And just WHERE is this all-important Yankee School located?

"Yankee Stadium. You'll have to go there for two weeks."

I can feel my heart pounding and the faint tingling of a burn in my eyes. Two weeks?! How am I ever going to survive two weeks in Yankee Stadium all by myself, well all by myself with presumably hundreds of other potential Yankee wanna-bes, or possibly-bees, or how-the-hell-did-I-end-up-here-bees people? It was time for some serious action and negotiating.

The law says I have to pass Yankee School to live there, but it doesn't say I *have* to go to Yankee Stadium. That's just the most common and largest gathering place to convert, I mean teach unknowing Southerner's about the mysterious ways of the North, including their clipped, edgy vowel sounding vocabulary. What if I had a private tutor? What if he was my private tutor? Surely there is precedence for that.

He’s being stubborn. Or coy? Or perhaps playful? “I dunno. Why do you need a private tutor?” He asks.

Oh why indeed. *puts on her most innocent and sincere game face and commences with the powers of negotiation*

Throughout history there have been distinct fashion differences between the North and the South. One has only to watch the transformation of Michelle Pfieffer in the movie “Up Close & Personal” when she moves from South Florida to a news station in the North to realize that there are still distinct differences in acceptable attire for specific roles. And is not a “school girl” a specific role? I believe it is. And thus my argument in favor of a private tutor is that coming from Florida I have only the proper attire for a Florida School Girl and not a Yankee School Girl. It would be unacceptable, inappropriate, and possibly illegal for me to venture out to Yankee Stadium dressed in such clothing. Therefore requiring me to have a private tutor for the duration of my “Yankee School.”

Exhibit A – Proper Yankee School Girl

Yankee School Girl

Skin: Curio – Sunkissed Elf Light Freckles Snug 1

Hair: Truth – Lillian in Blood

Eyes: Poetic Color – Poison Ivy

Shirt: SF Designs Flexi Tie in Ruby

Tie: SF Designs Fair Isle Vest and Short Sleeved Shirt in Gray

Skirt: *Last Call* Hunt Club – The Baroness in Blood

Stockings: Deviance Flirt Stockings (From the Deviance Flirtatious outfit)

Shoes: Vignette – Toasties in Soil

Ears: *Dreams* Snowy White - Tied with a Bow

Pose: [LAP] Spice – Back to the Wall

Desk: Basic Desk v3

Bookshelf: RFD - Biedermeier Book Cabinet

Laptop: PixelTrix Laptop 1.33 - White

Exhibit B – Typical Florida School Girl

Florida School Girl

Skin: PXL – Lt NE Rose with Light Eyebrow

Hair: Truth – Ashlin in Blood

Eyes: Poetic Color – Poison Ivy

Shirt: B@R - Kar shirt in white

Tie: B@R - Kar pink tie

Pants: Branded – Denim Rolled Shorts

Shoes: N-Core – High School ExtremeHeel in Black

Ears: *Dreams* Snowy White - Tied with a Bow

Tail: *Dreams* Snowy White - Tied with a Bow

Pose: eMOTIONS - Aloof

Backpack: SF Designs – Puppy Backpack

Window seat: Second Spaces - Camille Window Seat w/accessories (Down the Chimney Hunt Prize)

Hopefully I've presented a strong enough case to win him over and have him be my private tutor. A poor Florida kitty wouldn't survive a day, much less two weeks in the chilling New York climate and harsh fashion critical eyes.