SL14B – Wonderous and Spellbound

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Entrance into the Hof

Today I will take a quick look at the Wonderous and Spellbound regions.

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Exterior of the Hof

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Courtyard of the Hof, where socializing takes place

One of the largest parcels in the Wonderous region belongs to Jo Yardley, creator of the 1920s Berlin sim. 1920s Berlin is a highly detailed and extremely evocative sim that has been around for quite a few years now and has a very highly developed community of its own. My little friend Old Bert lived there for a while. After having lost his home he found a welcoming little corner in 1920s Berlin and who knows, he may still be there, living quietly and comfortably. At SL14B Jo Yardley’s plot is called “Carnival in the Hof”.  The “Hof” is a “Hinterhof”, a little neighbourhood that is made up of a courtyard surrounded by large apartment buildings with small apartments filled with large families.

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Interior of the smallest apartment, looking down on the courtyard

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View of courtyard from the apartment

Tenants of these buildings would use the central courtyard for parties, dances and get togethers, which ties in with the Carnivalesque theme of SL14B. You can wander into 3 of these apartments and get a look at the day to day life of people living in these Hofs, as well as participate in some of the activities that took place in the courtyard. To read more about this, you can find an entry by Jo Yardley in the 1920s Berlin blog by clicking here.

 

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Elsewhere I found the “Spanish with Eugenia” area. Eugenia Calderon began teaching Spanish in SL in 2008.

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And on a completely different note, I also passed by the “Global Online Hockey Association”. Established in 2006, they are in their 22nd competitive season. You can read a bit about them here.

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Masked woman greeter at “Carnivale Fashion hrough the Ages

Now, on to Spellbound. One of the first areas I explored was “Carnivale Fashion Through the Ages”. A spiral staircase carries the visitor up past several rooms in which you can see and sometimes interact with figures dressed in outfits that might be seen at the Carnival. There were some historical figures,

sl14b electrify_121such as Elizabeth I and the Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi), figures from far away places and at the very top a bride, who can only be described as a bridezilla! This is a fun and educational exhibit, but be careful of the bride!

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On to “The Venitian Gallery of Masks by Shayla Sideways”.

sl14b spellbound_009A baroque building contains a display of Venetian Carnival masks, beautifully detailed and presented.

sl14b spellbound_016You can learn a bit about the different types of masks worn during the Venetian carnival.

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Then on to “The Love of Prims Funhouse”.sl14b spellbound_019  The funhouse contains displays of different ways of manipulating (torturing) prims,

sl14b spellbound_023which are the base of builds in SL.

sl14b spellbound_068I then took a break for a snack and a rest at the “Cheeky Tiramisu Café”. I love tiramisu and this little plot was a lovely place to rest my pixels and refresh myself.

sl14b spellbound_054A completely different kind of build was my next stop, “Transylvania’s Vampyre Empire”. Role playing is a big part of SL for many residents and many enjoy exploring this darker side. This build is very evocative, with dark skies, an ancient looking clocktower and bats flying around.

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After this I went on “Torgon’s Ride”, a futuristic looking roller coaster.

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And I ended my day relaxing at the Islands of New England. I may even have caught twenty winks!

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SL14B Art Parcels

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A figure in Tornado to Oz

SL14B is drawing to a close and there is still so much left to explore. I visited the area called “Art Parcels” and had a lot of fun taking pictures and interacting with the exciting creations.  The first plot I visited is called “Tornado to Oz”. A group of mysterious figures, stand in a pool of water. Rising up above them is a mist or cloud, I guess the tornado, and a face can be seen through the water. It is lovely and haunting, you catch a glimpse of another face in the tornado behind the figures, but sometimes it is hard to see.

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Next, I went to a very colourful display, TJ’s Mediamagic, which has a carnival like atmosphere. There is a separate enclosed space in the middle which contains a tv set playing 6 different channels. Depending on the channel you choose, you can see different patterns on the wall, like patterns created by lasers. The builder, Thoth Jantzen created this I spent quite a bit of time watching the different patterns and photographing them.

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TJ’s Mediamagic

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The final build  I visited is called Cammino e Vivo Capovolto, which contained greyish figures, some mesh-like, some solid and some who appeared to be coming unravelled. There were also very large shoes and hats scattered around. Very striking.

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SL14B – Inside Art

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I had a lot of fun with one of the displays at SL14B today. The build was created by Ginger Lorakeet and is called “Inside Art”. It is in the Spectacular region, but I missed it in my first go-round so thought I would post about it now. Essentially it is made up of boxes containing pictures, but you can enter into the picture (there are poses embedded in the works) and become part of it.  If you wish to give it a try, click here for the lm.

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Here you can see the picture as it appears in the build

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Visiting with the fam on Sunday afternoon

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Quiet game of chess in the library

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Alien Games – Totem Tennis

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Lil’ Blue Hot Rod

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Think I’m in trouble

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Something’s following me!

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Farm Life

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Cyber Rain

SL14B Beguile and Electrify

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The Doge’s Carnival

I returned to the Beguile region later on to continue looking around. I found quite a few of the builds to be on the surreal side, particularly

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The Dragon is Born from Chaos

The Dragon is Born from Chaos,

 

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The Spirits of Egregore

The Spirits of Egregore, and SL14B – The Doge’s Ball. All were very striking. But there are also a number of displays that are quite the opposite, including the Virtual Railway Consortium, the University of Arizona’s Cibola Classroom,  Caledon Oxbridge – Colors, Shapes and Patterns, Street Faire on Project Hope and even Roleplay in Second Life.

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Having a quiet moment at the Virtual Railway Consortium building

After visiting The Dragon is Born from Chaos, which as I said is quite surreal, I stopped by the Virtual Railway Consortium to learn a bit about the trains in second life, and relax for a little while.

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Checking out some diagrams

I had some refreshments and checked out some of their plans before continuing on. Boye and I have frequently gone on little voyages on some of the trains in Second Life and it is a very interesting and pleasant way of seeing the world, so I was pleased to find something train related at SL14B.

I dropped by Caledon Oxbridge, where you can learn about building,

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Cibola Classroom

and the University of Arizona’s Cibola Classroom, which represents a center for studying Spanish and Portuguese language and culture.

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Bauhaus Carnival – note I am dancing in wedges, not easy

I then visited the Bauhaus Carnival, an homage to Bauhaus designer Oskar Schlemmer and his Triadisches Ballet.

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Rockliffe University’s The Masque of Literacy”

And after that I discovered Rockliffe University’s “The Masque of Literacy”, which is actually a 3 dimensional logic puzzle. I was hooked by this. 6 characters appear on a stage set, you click on them and they give you clues which you then use to unlock the prize. I must say that I spent some very enjoyable time trying to figure this out and I am extremely pleased to say that I was successful! If you love puzzles, this is the place for you.

As with the other regions, there is lots to see in Beguile and you can find a listing along with lms here.

My next region was Electrify. Many of the builds in electrify are related to communications: the SLNewser Pyramid, Happy Hunting TV show, Newspaper Factory . Others are sports and activities related: Amusementology, SL Surfing Association, Second Life Coastguard “Serious Fun” Show, Giant Snail Races, to name a few. And there were more arts related plots, too: A Spiral Mask, The Globe of Shakespeare, Hybridisation.

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Friendly Dolphin

The first place I went in Electrify was to the SL Surfing Association display, where I had a lot of fun swimming with a dolphin,

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Surfing

trying to surf and just lazing around.

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This is the life!

Once I was well rested I visited A Spiral Mask, very colourful and the generous creator gave some lovely face makeup as gifts.

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A Spiral Masque

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Face paint tattoo available at A Spiral Masque

Not too far away I was happy to discover the Giant Snail Races build.

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Giant Snail Race Celebration with Cake Stage in the background. How SL!

I don’t think there is anything that says SL to me more than the giant snail races, so I was delighted to see them there.

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The Globe Theater

I went to the Globe Theater and tried answering some questions on Shakespeare, not terribly successfully, I am sorry to say.

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My debut as Juliet

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View of the stage

But it was interesting trying to answer and the theater itself is beautiful.

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View of “Hybridisation”

And finally I found a space that is called “Hybridisation”. In the center is a large, colourful double helix, and around it are 4 more helices.

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Looking down through the double helix

The colours and patterns are constantly changing and the visitor is invited to cam around, thereby getting constantly changing combinations of patterns and colours. I spent quite a bit of time camming around and taking photographs.

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Close-up of one of the helices

This is just a taste of what may be found in the Electrify region. For a complete list including lms click here.

 

SL14B – Spectacular and a Little Beguile(d)

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 The Cake Stage, at the center of it all

It’s that time of the year again. SL14B, the yearly community celebration, opened on June 18th. The theme of this year’s event is “Carnivalesque” which was chosen to celebrate the coming together of individuals from all over “in one place in celebration, and form (ing) a carnival-like atmosphere that you simply cannot achieve alone.” (from the SL14B blog  http://www.slcommunitycelebration.info/our-theme-for-sl14b/  )

And indeed, there is definitely a joyful atmosphere created by the colourful and inventive displays on view. The SL birthday celebrations seem to get better and better each year, at least in my opinion. I am always amazed at the creative builds that fit into such small spaces with limited prims that still manage to relate to the yearly theme as well as provide information on the exhibitor’s involvement in Second Life.

sl14b spectacular_126I began my exploration of SL14B with the “Spectacular” region. My first stop was the HHVET Victoriana Free Community display. HHVET stands for “Happiness, Harmony, Virtue, Equality and Truth”, which are the founding ideals of the community. The sim is Victorian themed, the age of the horse and carriage, with the emphasis on horses. HHVET Victoriana Free Community covers three regions of parkland and residential areas, including an equestrian sim. As well there is a library, learning center, sandbox and Rainmayker Memorial Park, a memorial to a valued member of the community who passed away in 2014. Free housing is offered to applicants through an approval process. This is a PG sim and is well worth checking out.

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Look Ma, I’m a Zombie! Gift from Grimly’s Creepy Carnival

I had a lot of fun at the Fantasy Quest plot, also known as Grimly’s Creepy Carnival. There were carnival games to play, and some great gifts to pick up.

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Oh, well

I learned how sexy I am (Unfeeling robot),

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Could be worse (oh wait..)

how strong I am (ants bully me) and then at one game, called the Death Clock (one of the creepier things at Grimly’s) I was fortunate to discover that I am living! Yay!

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Good to know

However, after acting as the target on the target practice bulls eye,

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Looks safe

I came out “hemorrhaging”.

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Not good, time to go!

Yikes!

After that experience I was craving a bit of peace and relaxation, so I went to the Oasis of Nature: Parks as Places of Rest.

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This was a very tranquil area. You can find information on national parks around the world,

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Meditating

meditate or simply lie back

sl14b spectacular_046 and gaze up at the sky.

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This doesn’t feel like being in the middle of SL14B

I picked up some great gifts, too.

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They included; a backpack, a picnic table, banana, apple, trail mix, compass, bear horn, first aid kit, map, journal and some books.

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Colour Juggling – if you look closely you can see balls being shot back and forth from the cannons

Fully restored after my break I continued on to the Colour Juggling and

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Masters of Puppets

Masters of Puppets plots, afterwards stopping for a rollercoaster ride at the Happy Hippo Building school,

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Riding the roller coaster at the Happy Hippo Building School

which is a welcoming space with lots of information on getting started with building.

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Blue Lotus Okiya

I travelled on to the Blue Lotus Okiya, an establishment of geisha training and entertainment set in Edo Japan.

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Museums of Archaeology

After this gracious and tranquil environment, I ventured forth to learn about Saturnalia at the Museums of Archaeology.

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Junkanoo

Nearby was Junkanoo, which I learned is a street parade with music in the Bahamas. It takes place on Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and in the summer. The largest is in Rawson Square, Naussau, which has been re-created at the Junkanoo plot. Full of brilliant colours, incredible costumes and irresistible music, you can watch videos of RL Junkanoo parades and absorb the spirit of these Bahamian festivities.

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Dancing at the Shambhala Sanctuary

Following my visit to the Junkanoo I went on to the Shambhala Sanctuary “Festival of Lights”. According to the notecard I picked up, the Shambhala Sanctuary is “Dedicated to upholding the ancient Shambhala traditions, raising our energy, generating the sense of well being from within.  Shambhala is said to be a place of peace, tranquility and happiness. A society where all inhabitants are enlightened: An inner realm accessed through deep communion with Divine Source. Seek this communion and you too may discover…  the keys to Shambhala are within you.”

There is much more to be discovered at the “Spectacular” region of SL14B. A full listing, including lms can be found here,

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Spotting London City Carnivale Commuinty

I also too a ride on one of the pods that visit all regions of SL14B. While I was on it I passed Big Ben (I know it is actually the name of the bell and not the tower), which was in the Beguile region, so I decided to visit Beguile next.

My first stop was at the London City Carnivale Community, where I had seen Big Ben from my pod ride.sl14b Beguiled_023

I stopped for a pumpkin latte and enjoyed the atmosphere before continuing on to Second Life in the Middle Ages.

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Created by Aemeth Lysette, an artist whose “virtual exhibits often revolve around portraiture or humorous/fictional situations”. She has displayed several pictures dealing with situations we have all found ourselves in in Second Life, such as region restarts, always at the wrong moment, losing things in Inventory and griefing. (need one about lag)

sl14b Beguiled_017She has very generously made these pictures available to visitors to Second Life in the Middle Ages and I know they are going to become a much-appreciated addition to my SL home. And, wouldn’t you know it, just then there was a region restart,

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so I returned home and will visit more of Beguile next time. A full listing of plots in the Beguile region can be found here.

 

Ballet Pixelle presents the Ninth Edition of “The Nut”

The Nut dancing Snowflake

A Snowflake

When I was just a young avatar, fairly new to Second Life,  I discovered  Ballet Pixelle, a ballet company that uses the technology of Second Life to bring ballet to people all over the world. The company was founded by Inarra Saarinen, an RL dancer and choreographer, who creates choreography in Second Life  that is then performed by avatar dancers in the Ballet Pixelle Theater. Inarra creates the scripts which are then used by each dancer to perform his/her part. They are actually dancing and reacting to the music and each other; this is not like when we go to clubs and click on a dance which then moves our avatars around. And furthermore, these dancers are spread out across the world – they gather at the theater from every corner of the world you can imagine and create a unified performance. To cap it all off, the live audience is from around the world too, so there we all are, gathered together from Japan, North America, South America and Europe, all enjoying a ballet together.

The Nut Clara with nutcracker at beginning

Clara

I first wrote about Ballet Pixelle in 2008 (yikes!) when I attended “The Nut” which is their somewhat abridged version of Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”. You can read that post here.

The Nut Clara with tall nutcracker

Clara and the Nutcracker

That was the second year that Ballet Pixelle presented “The Nut” and last night I went to their ninth edition of “The Nut”. There have been some changes made since I first saw “The Nut” but it is still the beloved offering that so many have enjoyed over the holiday period.

The Nut Clara beginning of second act

Clara arriving in a Winter Wonderland

Set in 19th Century Russia, it is the story of a young girl named Clara, who receives a nutcracker for Christmas.

The Nut Russian dancer

A Russian Dancer

She falls asleep holding it in her arms and dreams it turns into a handsome prince who brings her to a magical place where dancers perform for her entertainment.

The Nut Flowers

Dancing Flowers

She eventually returns to her bedroom, not quite sure if her adventures were a dream or not.

The Nut Chinese Dancer

A Chinese Dancer

I strongly recommend this performance for many reasons, but probably most importantly because it is an extremely enjoyable and remarkable experience.

The Nut Spanish Dancer

A Spanish Dancer

The costumes are beautiful, the dancers graceful and the story will put you in the mood for the holiday season.Performances take place on Wednesdays and Sundays at 5 pm SLT.

The Nut Snowflake arabesque

Dancing Flowers

The Nut Finale

Finale with Clara back at home

The Nut Inarra

Founder and Artistic Director Inarra Saarinen

Las Vegas comes to The Lounge

I spent most of the past weekend at the “Aspies Together” Fundraiser.  The theme was “The Haunted Carnie”; outside The Lounge building a tent had been set up, surrounded by carnival related activities -a carousel, photobooth, train cars, fortune teller and cemetery.  Unfortunately my friend Boye Jervil was unable to catch the events of the first day, but he came in later on and we had a look around the sim.

Waiting for Boye to return. He was in for a shock!

Waiting for Boye to return. He was in for a shock!

Boye logged into Second Life before I did, so he sat on my deck waiting for me. By the time I logged in he was afk, so I sat quietly next to him. He got such a shock when he returned because he didn’t recognize me! I must say it was a different look for me.

So strong

So strong

We then went over to The Lounge and immediately began trying all the different carnival activities. Boye started off  by displaying his incredible strength, lifting a barbell with one hand.

I don't know how I get into these situations.

I don’t know how I get into these situations.

I, on the other hand, somehow got locked in a railway car, much to my chagrin. I made some suggestions to Boye as to how I might be freed, but he didn’t seem too worried,

No Worries

No Worries

and perhaps having tired himself out lifting the barbell,  fell asleep leaving me high and dry.

Nap time

Nap time

However I managed to escape (being so slender helped!) and Boye awoke to find that our circumstances had been reversed.

Revenge is sweet

Revenge is sweet

While he was stuck inside the car I practiced balancing on the back of a winged horse, as one does.

This is fun!

This is fun!

Then after I released Boye we went to the fortune teller’s tent, but didn’t learn anything particularly edifying.

No fortune and no snacks

No fortune and no snacks

Later that day we both were able to attend the final performance at The Lounge,

The elegant Xaphyre and John

Xaphyre and John

where the always stylish proprietor Xaphyr Ansar and lovely host Bernice Galtier welcomed everyone and made us all feel like celebrating.

lovely host Bernice Galtier welcomging everyone to The Lounge

Bernice Galtier

At the end of the fundraising weekend we were magically transported to Vegas, Baby,  in the elegant club itself.

.Vegas night at The Lounge

It was glitz and glam time, with Xaphyr playing the music of the Rat Pack and Elvis.

Enjoying the glamour of the evening

Enjoying the glamour of the evening

Vegas at The Lounge

Boye and I certainly lived it up with a particularly lively dance.

Sometimes we surprise even ourselves

Sometimes we surprise even ourselves

Proving that my back goes out more often than I do and there's a good reason for that

Photographic proof  that my back goes out more often than I do and there’s a good reason for that

By the end of the evening my poor feet were exhausted, but everyone had tremendous fun supporting the “Aspies Together” group.

The King

The King