A Defense Against Falsely Accused Copyright: By Alexis

Hello again,

As I’ve stated in a few of my blog posts in the past, especially dealing with circumstances that I find sensitive, I would like to state that this is the first and last time I am speaking about this. It does seem that every 6 months or so, somebody comes out of the woodwork to try to bully me, defame me, or humiliate me. I have a right to defend myself. I have a right to voice my opinion, and to share my side of the story along with sharing some truth behind all the mischief. I have a right to protect my name both in SL and in my Real Life. I have every right to defend my -character- and ethics.

Recently my name, Absinthe Montenegro, and the brand that I created for myself in SL through years of hard work, dedication, and money has been under attack by an internet personality named Thalia Heckroth. However, because this ordeal has taken a stark right turn into dealing with reality, I will still respect her by not using her real name.  — I am not creating a “lynch” mob, or asking people to pick sides. I would really like for people to leave Ms. Heckroth alone. However, as she made this a very public affair by trying to humiliate me, I am allowed to defend myself. Remember, she started this.

So let’s take this to the beginning. Shall we?

Sometime in April I got with a dear friend of mine,  Eira Juliesse, and we were both chatting about the abundance of awesome clothing we had from a particular store in SL. So, we decided that we’d make a fashion video about it. We spent weeks matching our looks, comparing what we had, and picking accessories.  Eira even made the poses. From there, it only made sense to shoot our video on the sim where the store was located. So after contacting the owner, we received permission to shoot there using his products. The sim is a beautiful desert setting (one of the best in SL) and is a popular location for bloggers and machinamist to use for their work. We spent over a week gathering our film, as we were going to make two separate videos, and then I edited my film and posted it up on my flickr.  This was the second video that I had ever made and spent quite some time making, and I was very proud of it. This video was a gift to a brand that we love and also practice for us as we are just starting to make videos. We were not making any profit from our videos and we had not been paid to make the videos.

Insert Ms. Heckroth.

I do know of Ms. Heckroth and in fact, I had spoken to her only a few times in the past as we used to have a mutual friend. I had always been very polite and respectful to her, but we were never true friends or even acquaintances. I did not follow her work, simply because she was not on my radar or .. somebody that I cared about. I do believe that her jealousy has helped her to make very poor choices.

A few weeks after I posted my video, Ms. Heckroth sent a notification to Yahoo saying that I have violated her “copyright” and my video was taken down. Then, I got pissed (you all know me by now. I don’t take being bullied lightly and I have no problems being vocal in order to stand up for myself ) and I stated on Facebook what happened. Then, I posted my video on Youtube after reworking it, because I still had no idea why this person said that I violated her “copyright”. Ms. Heckroth, obviously keeping an eye on my account, had that video taken down as well.

So, here’s the truth and the facts. Not some hodge podge evidence to make somebody look guilty in the form of cyber bullying.

Fact #1:

Where, in all of her evidence, did she show that she made attempts to contact me prior to taking down my footage and filing false copyright claims? Where is the email showing that I blatantly said that I was not going take the virtual meerkat out of my video? There isn’t any evidence, because Ms. Heckroth did not contact me prior to creating this fiasco. I like to think that I am a kind person and I’m logical as well. If she had simply IMed me or sent me an e-mail “Hey Absi. I used the meerkat in my video from ages ago and I think that’s too similar. Would you mind taking it out?”  I would have gladly done so! I would have taken out that measly 2 seconds in a heartbeat!

I hate to break to Ms. Heckroth and and those who believe her, though this may be shocking. My fashion video was not about virtual meerkats in a virtual desert. In fact, the footage of the accused virtual meerkat is <1% of my entire video footage. Instead, Ms. Heckroth chose to file false copyright claims against me, and then decided to create a debased and false blog post defaming my name.  All of this could have been so easily resolved. (I’ve made copies of the blog post and forwarded the link to my lawyer).

Fact #2:

Thalia youtube notice 1 -marked


She did not contact me to inform me as to why she had my videos taken down. Some people tried to encourage me to contact her, but.. why? From my point of view, I did nothing wrong. I didn’t have the problem, but she became my problem. I feel that her actions were hate filled, deliberate, and on a personal level that astonishes me. Here is a copy of the Youtube notification that I received and on it she put Video not from Youtube “123”… In a court of law, this is unacceptable if this were a true DMCA filing. From all I can tell, this is a hoax or maneuver to have my video removed by simply writing “123”. This provides no information stating what I violated so that I may communicate back to her, through Youtube, with my response to her concerns.

Youtube does provide space and highly suggests that the person filing states what exactly about the video is violating their copyright.  This was a great place for her to say “You used the meerkat! How DARE you! Take it out!”  — and then in response to her I could have agreed to do so, and then she could retract her false filing.  This is not the case and I believe Thalia wanted to shut my ENTIRE video down… not just our famous virtual desert friend. This suggests that I copied Ms. Heckroth’s entire video… when, in fact, I did not copy any of it. And coincidentally, she renamed her video on Flickr to reflect this “123” in her false copyright claim.

Fact #3:

meer thalia copyrightmeerkcat - thalia copyright doc 2                                     Reference: http://thaliaheckroth.com/2014/06/how-absinthe-montenegro-copied-my-work/


I have also sought the advice of an excellent copyright lawyer several times about this ridiculous case. All of which, when she bursts into a fit of laughter, makes me feel better. This is not public opinion, but within our US Constitution in our copyright laws.  If I am going to be fearful of this document, I would first need to see the DATE of the copyright. It’s conveniently blurred out. Okay… So then share the FULL registration number on the certificate to show that this legal document hasn’t been forged or tampered with? The fact is that this document has no evidence on it to say that the “copyright” is of legal standing and has not been tampered with. Furthermore, this leads me to think that this copyright was filed -AFTER- I created my video and published it, which makes this entire ordeal even more petty, ridiculous and a waste of time.  If it’s not, then she should prove it, since she likes to share “evidence”.

Fact #4:

From Thalia’s blog post, referenced above.

meer thalia threat

Here is where Ms. Heckroth threatens to bankrupt me by taking me to court in a very backward way. She acts as if I will be forcing her hand to to take me to court, and she really really doesn’t want to (which is doing me a favor.) This feels very manipulative and threatening. Then says she’d hate to do it because this is a video game … This woman would be willing to come to a US Court of Law, pay all the legal fees, sit in front of a Federal Judge, over a virtual meerkat in a video that takes up <1% of my footage? Shouldn’t it be that … because this is a video game, Ms. Heckroth should be confident enough in her own work that she would leave me alone and not make false allegations against me? Because this is a hobby… she would have contacted me from the beginning so we could have spoken civilly about it instead of filing false claims and creating blog posts meant to damage my reputation? This threat, which I have documented and sent to my lawyer, is very evident. Ms. Heckroth made this entire situation very real and it doesn’t stop there. In addition, this is a threat, because she wants me to be quiet and not stick up for myself.

Fact #5.

Thalia’s virtual meerkat:

meerkat thalia

My virtual meerkat:


This is not enough to claim copyright infringement. As stated above, the virtual meerkat in my video takes up less than <1% of my entire video footage.  Okay let’s be more factual. The accused virtual meerkat makes it’s appearance at the very end of my video (I needed filler) for 2 seconds. So, the virtual meerkat in this position, bless him, only appears for .0121% of my video. Secondly, I suggest that Ms. Heckroth understand more of US copyright laws, because she does not have copyright on an angle. I will admit when I first saw this post, before sending it to my lawyer, I was shocked at how similar the shot is, but also… this is a screenshot. There’s no telling what her virtual meerkat does in her footage, what it does in my footage, and where the camera moves afterward. Basically, this 1 second shot is what she’s filing a false claim over.

Ms. Heckroth does not own the virtual meerkat. She does not own the virtual sim where the virtual meerkat is located. In fact, the virtual sim is open for public use and is a popular place for many to take pictures. I did not use Ms. Heckroth’s footage in any way. In addition, there is not much to shoot on the virtual sim but other virtual items like a windmill, some cacti, and .. the meerkat. My video is very different —

Clothing. Different — the brand was different where we used several clothing from one store and she used clothing from a different store.

Poses. Different.

Models. Different.

Music. Different.

Videography. Different.

Location: Same, but video shots are in different spots on the sim.

How many movies are shot in the same location? How many movies do you see a car driving down Route 66 in the desert? How many people have shot pictures on the same sims in front of the same light house? Wearing different clothing, but the lighthouse was the same? That does -not- give somebody a right to slander somebody with copyright infringement.

To make matters worse, Ms. Heckroth had my footage removed so as she spread her false claims and wicked accusations about me, there was no support (or visual evidence) on my behalf to show just how petty and ridiculous her claim was (though I did find her post really really self-incriminating.) You cannot claim copyright on an angle of an object that you do not own, confirmed by my lawyer. You cannot claim copyright infringement on my own video footage. IF Ms. Heckroth has a copyright on her video, it is just for her actual video footage,  of which I did not use -any- in my video. I have all of my original content, footage and tapings for evidence. And even then, if you look at the screen captures,  the angle that I used is -not- identical. The only person who can sue, in this case, is the owner or the designer and creator of the virtual meerkat.

Fact #6

Her incriminating, and defaming opening post as referenced above.




By starting off her blog post like this, I can only think that she wants to mislead readers about this situation and make it appear bigger and more treacherous than it actually is.  Everything from her title, to the paragraph before is blatantly WRONG and false. The fact is that I did NOT copy her work. The fact is that I am innocent and that I am being attacked through a very vicious, manipulative means of cyber bullying.

Fact #7The truth behind Youtube and Flickr copyright removals.

meer copyright 2 -- take down meer copyright 1 - take down

So. Some people think that Youtube and Flickr sided with Ms. Heckroth because “they agreed” to take my video down. I will quickly educate you on how this process works and also explain the newest form of cyberbullying that’s taking our internet by storm.

When you file a copyright notification on Youtube, or Flickr, the content automatically comes down. Everything is automated. They do not investigate to see if the claim is false or say one person is right or wrong. Ms. Heckroth presented this information in a way that made it appear as if Youtube and Flickr agreed with her, when that was not the case. Youtube and Flickr acts as 3rd parties in facilitating the establishment of Federal Court cases between two parties — they do not have an opinion in any way.

Once a person files a copyright notification against you (even if it is false which the majority are these days) your content will come down automatically. You then have an opportunity to fight it by filing a counter-notification. This counter-notification states that you did not copy another person’s work, that everything in your footage was fair use, and that you are the owner of your product. This process is very time consuming, especially in my case as Ms. Heckroth’s blog post has been published for quite some time. It takes about 1 week for Youtube and Flickr to accept your counter notification, then a few days for them to send the counter notification to the complainant, and then they have 10-14 business days to file in US Federal Court against you, and THEN a few days after that before they reinstate your video. All in all, it is a process that takes a little over a month and a half —  just to clear your name.

By filing a counter-notification against Ms. Heckroth, I also had to put my real life name, address, and phone number on the document — to which Youtube and Flickr carelessly forwarded to her without further investigation of the false claim (something else my lawyer is looking into). So, not only was I being harassed by this woman’s false filing and blog post, I also had to give her my information. This is the part that was absolutely devastating to me. Though I do not have much to hide with my real life, I deserve privacy and safety just like everybody else. I deserve safety from seemingly mentally unstable people on the internet.  My enemy, which is who she has established herself to be, should not be in possession of this.

However, this is not a one way street. Because I have invested in this situation, I also have her real life information as well. You cannot expect Youtube or Flickr to be the ones to give that to you. Their systems are flawed and are abused daily.  There are a plethora of blog posts and complaints on the internet asking for Youtube and Flickr to change the way they handle copyright, simply because there are people, like Ms. Heckroth who are abusing the system.

Here is a blog post of somebody who’s gone through my situation as an example. There are many more. http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/08/abuse-of-youtubes-copyright.html

DMCA does make statements about those who abuse this form of copyright and make false claims:

DMCA quote 1It’s important for people to refrain from sending unsubstantiated takedown requests lest they face monetary damages and other court orders. There are also criminal sanctions available for false DMCA takedown request senders since the requests are sent under the penalty of perjury.

Fact #8: Youtube and Flickr Restores my videos. Evidence.

meer restore1a

youtube reinstatement marked

Thank goodness! However, I have made my Youtube video private for the time being as I am still seeking legal consultation.  I am still waiting on Flickr as today is the 20th of June. Due to the hundreds of thousands of false claims these companies get per day, I fully expect my video to put up again in the near future. I have yet to receive a court order by Ms. Heckroth and it has been 10 days.

yahoo waiting copyI’ve held my tongue and waited long enough to address this. I want to put it to bed.

———————-Update ———————- Yahoo puts my footage back up.

Yahoo reinstatement2

yahoo waiting updated

Fact #9

meerkat eira evidence


This was a personal attack against me. This had nothing to do with proper DMCA copyright violations. My good friend Eira posted her video on Youtube as well and her video has not been touched. We both filmed our videos at the same time and we did our own editing. Eira’s video has been up for …  days. and yes.. our famous virtual meerkat makes it debut in this video as well.  I will say that her video is stunning and an excellent piece of video work, so please go check it out and give her props. She’s amazing! This was a project that we both enjoyed and were happy to do together.


All of this could have been avoided if she would have had the common courtesy to have approached me before hand. I think that of all my poor experiences in SL, this is one of the biggest I’ve had to encounter because somebody has taken things to the next level and wrongly threatened my real life on such a severe scale over a virtual meerkat. To make these threats and file all these false claims takes time, effort & energy and is a violation of our US Constitution. This was a deliberate act in attempt to damage my reputation.

The purpose of my post is to simply shed some light on this subject and also to clear my name. As I stated before, I have absolutely every right to defend myself. I refuse to be silenced by threats of bankruptcy. Also, as stated before, the accused footage is not identical to hers, is not her actual footage, she does not own anything in the footage, and… even then.. it takes up 0.0121% of my ENTIRE video.  ….    ….   …

And, if Ms. Heckroth had done her homework by reading the US copyright laws, she would also know that she’d get very little money from me in the INSANE chance she were to win this court case. The video that I made was not for sale and I did not make any money from it. Instead, I am every bit confident that I would win this, and then also sue for compensation for all my lawyer and court fees, for her filing false claims in Federal Court, for emotional distress, and for time missed from work. I think this is all so illogical and so ridiculous to have to go through when a simple email or IM would have completely avoided all of this ugliness.

Who wins in the end? To what purpose would this serve? This is a hobby, right?

I have never ever been attacked like this before and I have found it to be very upsetting. This past month has been another dark part of my SL, however I want to thank all my friends and family who support me. All the people who decided that what she was doing was wrong and ignored it. All the people who continued to be my friend.. despite what looked like a good opportunity to kick a girl when she was down.  I have lost some more “friends” through this situation and I have been rebanned from sims and so forth. But, at the end of the day, I am never going to sit on my hands and let somebody push me around.  I have been provoked into action.

Through all this, I hope that Ms. Heckroth will learn that she can’t bully people by threatening their real lives over false DMCA claims and pettiness. I hope she learns that petty hate filled acts and showing damaged or manipulated evidence is wrong. I hope people recognize that her behavior, no matter how righteous she may think she behaved, was very very very poor and cruel. Just.. simply.. cruel. I do not want people to bother her, or to IM her. But, use your own minds and make your own decisions.

Second Life is a place where we are allowed to be anything we want to be! We can build, we can play dress up, we can make videos, we can be fashion models or animals! We are allowed to be creative and to simply have fun. We’re also given a chance to be better people– better than we are in our first life. We’re given a second chance to be kind to people, to help them when they are in need, to be strong and better than we are in our first life. To squander it on hate filled acts and pettiness that threaten the real lives of others is such a waste.

I would like to be one of those people in Second Life that can just do their thing and people leave them alone, but I just don’t think that will be the case for me. I will say this. I will not sit back and get bullied without sticking up for myself. I am not going to let somebody violate me in this manner without speaking out about it.

I have never done anything to Ms. Heckroth, and I never had anything to do with her in Second Life. I hope that she will stay in her playground and leave me alone, because I have absolutely no desire to have anything to do with her. I hope she moves on from this and will remember that I will fight back.

I have disabled comments, because frankly… I don’t need a pat on the back or a kick to the shin. This situation is very, very serious and frightening when Second Life should be a place where we all can have fun and enjoy our virtual experience.

Absinthe — Player Alexis

Good morning with O’Clock Magazine

One of my secret passions in Second Life is interior decorating. I don’t take pictures of my projects or my happy spaces simply because I think there are some things in Life and in Second Life that need to be private. Part of my sanity when I log in is that I have the world that I created just as I want it, without making it public for potential judgement.  Most people know me for some fashion related activity or another, but really I like to spend my nights quietly stressing over decorating my now-in-shambles livingroom in the Spring Cabin #2.  *sostressedoutomggg*  I have about 1/2 sim stuffed with decor and I’ve been slowly updating the houses. Two of them are almost done, and then I’ll plop down a 4th.

I think to myself … with 4 houses surely I’ll be happy. ~.^

My reason for picking the morning in this kitchen is because it’s one of my favorite places on my sim. I wanted to share all the knick knacks and the shabby-chic feel to a small cottage home which is a contrast to the perception some people have of me. Absi wears many hats, but this is one that I’m most comfortable in. No shoes. Messy hair. A cup of coffee. And a kitchen that’s in need of organizing and a little cleaning. :)

Thanks Sidney for making these pictures so wonderful and for allowing me to share a piece of my private life in SL in such an elegant way. <3

The Details: O’Clock Magazine #3

Mother’s day

The sun was setting and they’d been out in the garden all day. It was the kind of weather where humidity felt like you were swimming on land — sweat soaked tops and dirty feet. The kind of heat that felt like lemon aid on a summer’s day. It was vegetable pickin’ time, and she enjoyed being in her garden around this time of the year. There was something fascinating about watching something as small as a seed grow into a delicious watermelon. The time, tender love, and care that went into maintaining a garden always reaped the greatest rewards.

“What’s another kind of vegetable, Westy,” her words hummed in the sweet soprano a song bird to some jazzy beat that was stuck in her head from listening to the radio this morning. Her toes dug into the cool earth and she firmly planted her rump against the heels of her dirty feet. “Westy?… ” she asked again more sternly, however she wasn’t angry. Perhaps he didn’t hear her over the buzzing sound of his carrot plane. That mighty fast orange plane which was whizzing, and diving bravely around his head.


“Ummmm… ” the propellers paused however the carrot plane magically stayed afloat. “Cabbage!”  He was so eager with his answers and he was always slightly amused by the simple questions she asked him. This routine. The sentiments never changed.

“Very good! And what color is cabbage?” Her voice trailed as she pushed a beetle along with her ruined manicure, and then tossed a yellowing squash into the wagon careful not to clonk Westy on the head again. From the smattering of dirt across his forehead and the dried tears that salted his cheeks, that was clearly an accident this mommy didn’t want to do again.

“Green!” he raised his arms up champion style and she clapped.

“You’re so smart, bug.” The smile and love she had for her child was like no other. It’s the kind of love that wraps you, hold you, squeezes until it’s painful even thinking you could breath without it. “You could teach your Auntie a thing or two about eating vegetables, you know.”  Emerald hues drifted to her sister who was partaking her afternoon wine.  She always loved her sister who was the better half of them. Kind. Funny. Soft. Precious… and of course the better looking. And, it was nice to have her there for these simple things..

Her sister laughed. Tossed her head back in a frivolous way and swirled the wine in her glass in the air — almost the same pattern as Westy’s carrot plane, “I prefer fruits to vegetables and in a liquid format. Thankyouverymuch.”

Westy’s plane stopped and he nodded wisely and with all seriousness in his tiny 4 year old voice, “.. Me toooooo.”

Mother's Day b 050714

(This is for my mother who’s spirit has been revived and her soul nourished <3 For the love that she has for me and shares with me every day, and for her goal to start gardening again at the end of May when her chemotherapy treatment is over.  I love you mom! I can’t wait to come home and help you, unbegrudgingly, with your garden this year.)

Absinthe’s style :
Hair: Elyse by Truth
Hat: Spring mesh straw hat by Baiastice
Earrings: Leather feather earrings by Mandala
Bracelet: Hokusai bracelet by Mandala
Bracelet: Dubai bangles by A|Beauparlant
Shirt: Highneckcroptop by COCO
Jeans: Boyfriend Jeans by CM (May Fameshed)
Poses: Del May & click

Garden beside my house in SL :)




My modeling story .. in a nutshell

I haven’t been posting here much lately, but for my friends and family who actually keep up with my withering blog, they know why. I’ve been busy working with a talented group of artists publishing our first wholesome, SL fashion magazine Ferosh: A Visual Art & Fashion Experience. In edition to that, I’ve been shooting editorials for other magazines like Versus, and also participating in another secret project that has really, really touched me, O’Clock.

I don’t view myself as a fancy person, or even outrageously talented. I don’t think I’m the best thing since colored television, and I’m not one to toot my own horn when I’ve done something well. I simply count my many blessings, thank the people who’ve pushed me along, and work harder to do better the next time — thankful that I do have a next time.

This will be the very first and last time I write about this.

I know what people must think of me. Especially models in the so called SL “Fashion Industry.” I get the general sense of it on a daily basis, and luckily it’s something that I’ve grown immune to. I get this sense that some feel as if I don’t deserve the achievements that I have, or the accomplishments that I’ve accumulated.  I think that’s life. There’s always somebody to spout about one person not deserving this or that. However, in SL modeling it’s more of a peculiar situation.

I’m not a MVW. I never was. Granted, when I was 3 months old I would go to that sim and look at the towering stack of applicants wishing I had the guts to do it. I never did. In fact, there were several circumstances that changed my mind about it all together. I’m not saying I’m for or against the contest — I’m saying that it just wasn’t a good fit for me. So, I chose a different path. I wanted to be unique, and innovative, and more … couture.  I just couldn’t imagine the models in my VOGUE editor’s picks volume  — doing beauty pageants. I wanted to pretend I was that girl on page 105, in some crazy couture outfit on a beach with a ribbon of cloth floating in the air.

I’ve never worn a crown, or owned one. I was never Miss this.. or Miss that.. or Face of this .. or Herald of that. I won a few small contests and, joined some great agencies.  So in a sense, I haven’t paid my “dues.” I didn’t get raked across the coals by that kind of rejection.  To be honest, I think it’s simply because I just didn’t have the heart to. There were many contests where we’d run and buy all the clothing as a marketing ploy for the designer — a model would win the crown and then they close up shop a few months later.  I’m not saying all contests are like that, however this taught me how intangible a crown was. That you really don’t -own- it. The tags. The letters above your name. The brand.  You’re simply a pawn.

Of course there can be sport in it and friendships. Contests can be a healthy way of getting your name out, getting runway practice, and having a bit of fun.  Some girls are REALLY REALLY good, and I am always so impressed! For people who enjoy that and keep it simple, then I’m sure they’re great experiences. Why else would they still be so popular? But for me, I want to enter contests to win. Knowing I wouldn’t win, I just didn’t bother. lol — that’s keeping real.  This admission doesn’t make me brave, but at least I’m honest with my expectations.

So, I know myself. I know my limitations. I know what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy in Second Life. I know that with Absi’s peculiar face, that she’s hard pressed to get some fancy ornament plopped on her head. This was something I came to terms with when I first created her nose. I said to myself, “Well… there goes pageants. So, what should we do.”  For me it was kind of a relief. I was entering into a realm where I my hopes and dreams didn’t rely on the validation of others!

Not. Quite. There are agency castings, runway castings, vendor castings. I must admit that I have been blessed to work for the top agencies in Second Life. I was afforded many great experiences by working with them, learning from them, and all the great people that accepted me for who I am.  I was rejected a great deal, too. I wallowed in grief for a few days and then would pick myself back up and work on it again.  I really started to grow as a model and these weekly rejections were becoming less painful — the few times I succeeded became very special to me. I worked for nearly everything I had in SL as a model back then.  But, once again, it was about getting validation from others. “You’re good enough to be in our agency.”  “Your look is good enough for us.” I found myself collecting tags again, but in a different way. Ultimately I realized that.. no matter how long that list was on my “Modeling Picks” — I wasn’t going to be happy. It didn’t make me happy. The duplicity and cruelty of some people simply because you have a certain tag can really be astonishing. I also started to realize that SL fashion isn’t about what you know, but who you know.

Go Figure.

But, like I said, I had some of the best experiences of my SL life in some of these agencies, before I had the wool pulled from over my eyes, especially in the case of Avenue. I never thought that I’d be able to survive that catastrophe. The lies, rumors, cheating, stealing of money, more lies, bickering, dramatics — all presented with a pretty name that had stars in the tag. The stars that people believed in when it was all a crock of shit. — But, of course my name gets drug through the mud with it.  Avenue broke my heart. It changed my perspective on SL modeling and how agencies should be run. It nearly broke my desire to continue. I still think the staff was top notch and they were the glue that held it together. I really commend them for all the work they did, and I enjoyed working with them.

So. I was back to square one again. Not a pageant girl. I left many inactive agencies and was kicked out of the Avenue modeling group (never mind the fact that I earned my place there). The people I worked with had stopped talking to me, hated me, or were probably told some obscene lie or rumor that I must have said about them, and so my friends list was dwindling.

This was also around the time that somebody tried to publicly humiliate my avatar on facebook. They made fun of her appearance, called her grotesque, and disappointed me in their behavior. This person, despite what she has told people, has never apologized to me. The way that people outwardly expressed their dislike for me was one of the most painful experiences in my LIFE.  I guess for my real life, I have never been picked on .. and definitely not for my appearance. I learned how crushing it felt. Even though Absinthe is not how I look in my real life, I feel that she is how a part of my soul looks. Her big eyes, strange nose, quirky ears is a reflection of my (sometimes odd) personality. So yes, this was a personal attack to me and I was very blunt when I handled it. At that point, I was simply -tired- of the underhanded, manipulative, passive way people handle situations on Second Life. And, I’m not even one iota apologetic for my response. I was at all all time low in SL. A very.. dark place where I wanted to give up.  I just wanted to quit.

Why, when my real life is so nice and comfortable, would I subject myself to the hostility, cattyness, and cruelty of online personalities? Why would I bother logging in, when somebody is going to take a picture of my avatar, and make fun of her like that? And then to see…  all the comments from all the people that I looked up to, or I thought were my friend…  litter that post…

As you can imagine. My friends list was … losing a lot of weight. It felt like so many people were rejecting me. Not me from being in their agency, or exclusive group, or some pageant. They were rejecting –me-.  I never felt more like a fashion reject in my life. And I heard so many times before “You won’t make it anywhere with that face.” or… “Your avie looks soooo fuuuucked up!” from random people at Truth hair, or at Collabor88.   I had spent all that time collecting titles and tags for them to be ripped away on the whim of somebody “not liking me” anymore (or my breaking up with them, either way..)

So. Here I am. Back to square 1.

I guess like with many things in life, you have to hit rock bottom before you can really make a change. I realized that.. the people who trashed me, talked about me, stopped talking to me, removed me from their friends list, kicked me out of their agencies….   they weren’t my friends to begin with.  That, my Second Life is not about the validation of others. It’s about validation from myself.

And whenever I logged in after that I said to myself, “As long as I have my clothes, and my camera, I’m okay. Nobody can take that from me.”  No agency. No hater. No fancy CEO with a title that wants to act like they’re God’s gift to fashion. Noone can take my love for fashion away. I realized at that moment that I could leave it all — and as long as I had those two things, I was okay. I was going to be okay and this was not the end of the world. The SL world, anyway. I also had to stop reading gossip websites. They don’t have the facts. The people who post there don’t know half the story — it’s just a place that is designed to make me feel like shit.

I blocked them from every internet browser in my house and I haven’t looked back. I have absolutely no desire to read what retched thing somebody thinks about me today. I will pass.

It was time to get back to basics. Taking pictures, exploring fashion, and then also.. decorating! You can ask my SL son, Westley Dalton, but I spent nearly 3 months decorating straight. I said it was therapeutic, but really I was healing and thinking. I met my brother, Long Pausch, during that time and I spent a lot of time with him — going to his shows, and I decorated his first little club. He’ll never know, but he saved me by giving me something to do. Kera was a constant ear for me — she heard my cry and held me together.  I started to look up to a different group of people. Not the ones with the fancy crowns and the famous tags, but people like Neva Crystall and Petra Messioptra.


Well, it’s simple. Their SL is exactly what they make of it. Their world and creativity is divinely expressed through their love of art and family. I started to see the richness and wholesomeness of their SL through their pictures, but also through how they live their SL lives. And, that… validation will never, EVER, ever come from a tag. It will never ever come from how many groups you’re listed in, how many fashion agencies you belong to, how many runways you tromp down, or who’s magazine you’re in this week.


It comes from the simple things that you enjoy. From your friends and family who appreciate you. From the people who support you, pat you on the back, IM you and say they’re proud of you. It comes from offering a piece of yourself to others without the expectation of it being returned.  In giving, and not receiving.  This is what my Second Life is about now. I have people that I love, my true friends, and my family that really care for me as I do them. I have my half sim that I’m bargaining more prims for (damn that LTD magazine lol), and I have my pictures.  My not so perfectly edited, but somewhat decent pictures that make me go “cool. I like that.”

I don’t do this for the hearts, the stars, or the likes. If I did, I think I’d be a really unhappy person, because I don’t get many. I do it because I love to. It’s my hobby, and it makes me happy. :) I love my sister, Kera and my hubby Rob. My son Wes. I love Xandrah, Vikeejeah, Cassie to bits. I love ALL of my family and friends (it’d be obnoxious to list them all).  And, I’ve forgiven, gotten over, and built a bridge over the ones that I feel have disappointed me when I was low. I apologize to those that I may have wronged — but ultimately if they don’t want to talk to me about whatever the situation was that may have hurt them, I can’t fix it.

So, now, what is SL modeling to me.

I think that.. it will always be a rat race of the sorts, and you have to choose if it’s what you want to do. I think that if you have the right perspective it can be a lot of fun as it was for me once-upon-a-time. SL modeling to me is simply being a girl with a camera, dressing up a barbie to make some really cool looks. It can be going down a runway in designer clothing, and modeling in vendor pictures — but it’s more being my own manager — doing what makes me happy, shooting people that inspire me, and wearing clothing that make my toes curl with their “couture goodness.”


Link to O’Clock Issue 3

This is why this O’Clock issue is so special to me. Because I’ve had some SL highs and some really low lows. And it just touches my heart that somebody believes in me enough to want to do a book just about me.  I had always dreamed of being on the cover of a magazine alone, however this was like…  that dream x 13990438443845.

Who would have thought? So, I get it. I get why.. people feel about me the way that they do. But, I also realize that through my SL experiences, I’ve toughed up. I can take the heat. I can take how people blatantly ignore my accomplishments when I praise theirs. I am humbled and surprised by the cold nature of some personalities. And then I am blessed by the warmth of others.

I am so honored and happy to be apart of O’Clock 3. Thank you to Sidney Mopp for picking me for your magazine when you had no idea who I was. You took a risk and gave me a chance and I’m so honored and thankful to you. I’m so happy to call you my friend. I’m so thankful to the people who picked me up when I was down, like Mila Tatham, and my family. Mila is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in SL, and her store and designs are simply magic. Picked me up and hugged me when I needed it. Sometimes it sucks being so strong when it feels everybody’s got a bone to pick with you. You know? When you try to tp to a shopping event but your banned, or you try to go to a store and you’re banned from there, too. It’s nice to have a sister, Kera,  who can say “Well screw that place. Let’s go dance without panties!”  — I’m blessed to have my people. I love.. love.. love my people.

Ferosh came from a dream way over a year ago. Kera and I actually thought it up while we were working with that agency I won’t name again. Of course, we had every right to be scared to share our idea then. This was something that I had always wanted to do in SL. I just didn’t know how. I wasn’t equipped. I think if I would have tried before, I wouldn’t have been emotionally equipped to handle how harsh people can be. I’m ready now.

Timing is everything. Vikeejeah kicked us in the ass and said “Let’s DO THIS!!!” and so without her, I seriously doubt I would have. I kept thinking to myself, “Nobody will want to work with me. Not with the way that I think people see me. They’ll all say no and laugh at me…”   But thank god she did.

And yes, some people we approached declined and 1 fell out. But, ultimately, we were able to work with a fantastic group that gave us a chance and took a risk. To them I’m forever grateful.

I think that it’s through my experiences in Second Life that Ferosh will be different than the stereotypical agency where you have to weave through runway acrobats and have a slew of titles behind your name for recognition. I’ve done it all in SL fashion from layouts, to production (poorly as I hate doing that), taking pictures, to runways… to creating budgets and managing a magazine (without the tags). I have the experience to do this, and thankfully the support.

I’ve also had it all taken away from me. The tags. The titles. The agencies. The “friends.” Yes, I was very hurt, but also I learned through that process I’m so so so much more than that. So, I’m not scared of losing these intangible things. They mean nothing to me.

When I look for people to join Ferosh family, I want to see their art, their passion, their personal style. I want to see what they love to do, and and their skill. I want to see a model in some small agency who’s just *rocking* that runway because she’s so happy just to be on it! That is Ferosh.   It’s not something that I can pass out to people, but something that people already have.   It’s when you’ve let go of that desire to be the BEST, and are simply satisfied in being the best YOU.

Short. Small. Broken Nose. Red hair. blue hair. Big ass or… not. However you want your avitar to be should be just as it is. Though it may not be accepted by some, there are at least 15 other people who do accept you. It has been said that Absi couldn’t be a model with this face.    …        Well. Thank goodness I didn’t put in weight into that opinion. Thank goodness.

I am happier now. I don’t expect for people to take my path, or follow my footsteps. I don’t even know if I have a path to be honest. But my God, it’s not an easy one. But, there will always be struggle when you go against the norm. However, be thankful for where you come from, who you are, and for the people that love you and support you. Be thankful every time you get to do a runway show (if you like that kind of thing) or if you get to be in a vender ad. Thank the people who give you opportunities and be sincere about it.  Do your best to be on time for your appointments, to dress or style as they have asked, and to meet your deadlines — these are the people that are giving you a chance to participate in making something wonderful.  :)

Try to go to events without wearing your tags sometimes. Just be you. Beautiful. Fabulous. Wonderful. You.  :) IM somebody you haven’t spoken to in a while and tell them you like something they’ve done (you must really like it) and don’t expect that they’ll shower you back with compliments. Do it because giving and sharing positive energy makes your life more wholesome.

I am so thankful, and so excited for where the future may go for me and Second Life. It’s time to start a new chapter! And its started off with a bang! So cheers to how this virtual world can teach you a little bit about who you are in your first world. <3

Anybody anybody ever needs to chat, I’m all ears and closed lips.

VersuS Magazine: Romantic Spring

When I first approached by VersuS magazine to work as a stylist and a photographer, I was quite cautious. I had some … less than pleasing previous experiences that had left me jaded and also heart broken in the past. But, the ladies who run VersuS and the management are really top notch and enthusiastic. I’m thankful that they gave me a chance. :) Cheers to them!

Versus Magazine.
Second Issue. Spring

Model & Photographer: Absinthe

Page: 280 :)