Category Archives: real life

[RL] Fighting for New Orleans

2 years.

That’s how long it’s taken our country to forget about New Orleans and the 9th Ward. To erase from our minds what happened when Hurricane Katrina with all its force took down a city so rich in culture and full of history and made it a swamp. In a heartbeat, thousands of people were left homeless. With some kind of luck, the Hurricane didn’t take the lives of as many feared.

Earlier tonight Chris Penn posted a little map on his blog showing how the 9th Ward looks now. How little progress that has been made is shocking.

People have forgotten, Americans have forgotten what it was like to watch people standing on their roofs waiting for rescue. To hear the stories and see the horrifying evidence that our country was a failure at meeting the needs of its citizens in a major city during a crisis that was *anticipated*.

When are we going to learn? When are Americans going to learn to stop being refocused by the media, to stop forgetting about things that have scarred our hearts and start fighting for answers?

Has anyone noticed that Katrina isn’t even a major issue for Presidential candidates? No one is asking questions. Take a look at Hillary Clinton‘s website. See, there, under issues? Nothing on Katrina. Go visit Barack Obama‘s website. Issues? Katrina? Nope. But the #2 thing? Strengthing American ties overseas. Hm. Could it be that showing other countries that we care about our own might help that?

What if several organizations got together and invaded New Orleans at the same time? What if we together brought the media to New Orleans around election time? What if they couldn’t ignore the questions anymore a month to two weeks before the election?

Are you willing to help? How?

Podcamp New Orleans.

Since the mention of Podcamp New Orleans I’ve been excited that sometime soon in the future my community will choose to make a difference. We’ll stand in New Orleans and get the stories that should be told and make sure that they are heard. We can only do this *together*.

I’m tired of no answers. I’m tired of inaction. I suspect people in the 9th Ward are more tired than any of us.

Instead of being tired, I’m going to take action. A friend told me a few weeks ago that many people are willing to stand up but sometimes not as many are willing to take action to make something happen. I want to take action. I want to make a difference during Podcamp New Orleans. I want YOU to make a difference, too. I want you to consider that your time and effort could affect a huge change in one person’s life by the time that weekend is over.

I know my community can stand up, question is, are you willing to take action?


[RL] definition of a pixie

I think I need to introduce myself.

Hi. I’m Michelle Wolverton. Also known as Chel Pixie. Now that you know my name, let me tell you who I am.

I came to the web to find community outside of the small sleepy Arkansas town I lived in. To that end, I joined Memespace (the old version on Caucus), which was founded by Christopher Abraham. Memespace held a lot of interesting people who inspired each other. I was a host there for a period of time before the Caucus version closed it’s doors and moved.

From there, I found my way to Howard Rheingold’s Brainstorms. I’ve been a member of this virtual community since 1999. Here I learned to communicate better online, to voice my opinions to a group of people and hosted two or three conferences. I was also editor of The Brainstorms Scoop for a time before several projects refocused by attention.

During this time, I also majored in Paralegal Studies at Kaplan University. I am member of Lambda Epsilon Chi honor society. I love reading and writing legal documents and doing legal research for cases. Family law is most interesting to me though Contracts is a close second.

Last year, I discovered Second Life. My avatar’s name is Chel Pixie. I am events planner/coordinator for SL Brand. I am a Second Life Relay for Life team member. I love events and people and live music. I love planning events and creating an environment for people to have a good time. Second Life is a great platform for live music, several musicians that I’ve had the opportunity to hear are Rich Desoto, Cylindrian, Uncle Seth, Jaycatt Nico, Kurt Bestor, and Louis Volare.

I discovered podcasting through Bucket and went on to add a list of podcasts that I’ve found interesting and inspiring. I am contemplating my own and working on a project that is inspired by podsafe music. I am looking forward to PodCamp Boston2 to learn more from people who are willing to hand you their knowledge and inspire you to use it.

Professionally, I’m working with my partner and mentor Christopher Penn as Project Lead and Marketing with Virtual Hot Wings. Virtual Hot Wings is a digital CD of tunes from Matthew Ebel‘s Second Life tour. Many people have asked why are you talking about this musician at great length? Are you getting paid for this? And er, some other not really repeatable suggestions. Isn’t enough that I believe in someone enough to give them my energy and time?

I am spreading the word about Matthew because his music is more than just another album released. Each song tells a story and I relate to each story. His music inspires me every morning when I wake to do better, to do more, to make my effort on something that matters. He’s very gracious and for the record has never asked for anything of me. I’m fueled by my own desire to help him and others.

My desire, my goal isn’t only to reach people about Matthew Ebel or Anji Bee but to make them pay attention to the issues in the music industry and to help them discover why indie music is so important. Imagine shutting down the RIAA because the public takes their listening habits in their own hands and makes the decision to listen to independent and podsafe music. There is a community available that I have joined that can help make that happen.

I am the pixie behind WickedPixieMedia is new media music label. It is representative of the musicians and the music that I promote and support, using new media to reach out to others about independent music. Then to encourage others to discover independent music, to encourage them to realize that it’s only with a community that a change can begin.

I am the student of new media and using it to market an idea or thought or presence that seems interesting to me and that I think other’s will find interesting. Ideas that can expand the community and its knowledge. I love learning how to apply these skills to reach people. In the past, I’ve managed an office, been an assistant to 2 CEOs, a receptionist and then later a legal assistant.

Who I am has changed in the last couple months. My mind has been opened to what I can achieve and how. I’ve found confidence that I didn’t have before in my ability to make a difference. A little instruction and an open door can go a long way in bringing out the best in people and inspire them to great lengths (thanks ninja).

I think I’ve summarized in a few sentences what’s next and in more than a few who I am. That’s changing because we grow and change on a daily basis. Want to find out more about how to open the doors? Just click on that contact me button at the top of the page, I love conversation.

[RL] 8 things about me meme…

Karen, aka mrsb, tagged me earlier today for 8 things about me meme. I’ll name 8 things that you might not know about me and then pass the meme on to 8 people.

1. My first kiss was from the cutest guy in my class and happened in the woods while we were hiking.

2. I write short stories and essays.

3. I can cook a catfish dinner for a crowd of people and learned to do this as a kid when my dad’s fire department had fish fries for the department and their families.

4. I hate deep water unless I’m swimming or boating in it.

5. I cannot stand mayo and use sour cream in my chicken salad.

6. I am the oldest grandchild.

7. I received a letter with a picture (of him playing the sax) from Bill Clinton when he was still governor.

8. My high school graduating class had 12 people.

Now I tag:

Matthew, Kroosh, Daphne, Crap, Polensky, Anji, Andy, and CC

[RL] 691 miles, 10 hours of driving and 7 hours of Matthew Ebel later…

I am now safely landed in Columbus, OH. A city where I lived for four years before going back to Arkansas. I have real life friends here and will be visiting them over the next couple weeks while getting a break from Arkansas. I will also be getting together with Rich Palmer and his lovely wife! I can’t wait to meet Rich and Sierra and give them RL hugs.

Today I’ll be spending the morning getting organized and then this afternoon, I’m hoping to see one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I was only going to come back to Columbus some day to see him but as it turns out I can see him a few times over the next two weeks, that’s even cooler!!!

During the trip, I didn’t get the MacBook out to take photos but the drive was pretty uneventful. I wanted to get here and fast because driving ten hours is really not fun, especially with a cracked rib. Note to self: don’t do that again. What made it even better was listening to Matthew on the way, I started my trip out appropriately with ‘Drive Away’. Now my iPod holds all concerts and Virtual Hot Wings and Beer and Coffee at the moment, so that and a little Diana Krall and Howie Day kept me going.

I am planning on speaking with a couple of places for a bird to play in Columbus. There are a lot of great music venues and OSU campus is one of the best places to play near. Plus there’s the shopping factor of High Street which is calling me. Urban Outfitters, here I come! So far that’s all I have actually planned. This more of a freestyle type of trip. And I’m enjoying every minute of it. Well, you know, except for the soreness.

[RL] there is a way to influence the world, what’s yours?

Between Christopher Penn and Chris Brogan it’s a wonder I don’t have a headache. Christopher posted about a month ago about Second Life, Superheroes and the greater good. Last week, Chris Brogan posted about being the grasshopper.

I’ve been a little busy with a little something so I’ve just now gotten the chance to comment on some of this stuff.

I wanted to share my response to Penn’s post re: superheroes. I think it’s important to realize that we all hold a very special key to something that can change the world.

“We’re only as good as the powers we put to use in our lives to reach out and touch the world and make a difference. It doesn’t matter *where* you are physically, if you’re online, you’re in the game. In Second Life (and this applies to real life too), there’s a wide open door to anything that you want to do. Personally it’s taken my powers of insight, the ability that I have to feel out and touch other people, to hold their attention and give them something to talk about. And a bird and ninja.

It cannot be left to one person to change the planet however, that’s why there are superheroes, not a single superhero. You can change the world one person at a time, but that change has to affect others. So that the effect is those taught become superheroes and pay forward in their own way. Creating a chain of goodwill and affecting the greater good. Teaching what you know and sharing that with others is the key. Brogan’s words are still ringing in my head, “Be a grasshopper. Teach. Share. Grow.”

That, IMO, is the real way to being a superhero.”

Teach to share, share to grow. Tap into your knowledge and gather people around you that ask you to use it on a daily basis. Remember that we all need help building our dreams.

Toward that end, I’m pretty lucky that there are some real superheroes that I’ve worked with lately including C. Penn, Matthew Ebel, C.C. Chapman, Crap Mariner and Dedric Muriac.

Memorial Day

Kevin and Taylor

Today is a special day in the U.S. It is a time not only to reflect on sacrifices made by our military from the birth of the United States to the present day. As I listen to the Memorial Day edition of Financial Aid Podcast, here are my reflections.

I am grateful for the sacrifices made by our military. For some of us, Memorial Day touches our lives on a more personal level. In my family, we visit the graves of those who we’ve loved and lost.

On a crystal clear day in Dec. 1998, two vehicles were racing around a curve into a small sleepy town that our family lived in at the time. One of those vehicles crossed the center line and met my brother’s car head on. He was killed instantly in the accident. And in that instant, my family changed dramatically.

Today, I grieve the most for my brother. Losing the person that you grew up with changes your perspective on life. For me, it also changed my perspective on faith. Something I still am struggling with today.

The biggest question that still exists for me is if I had acted differently that day, called out to him as he got into the car, made him talk to me for a couple of more minutes as I had been tempted to do, would he still be alive right now. While over time, the answer to that question seems less important, on days like today it is on my mind and in my heart.

why you should support independent musicians reason # 386

Virtual Hot Wings has been a fantastic project and if I haven’t said it loudly enough; working with Christopher Penn, Matthew Ebel, C.C. Chapman, Crap Mariner, and Dedric Muriac; has been an amazing experience. That experience was celebrated yesterday during a concert by Matthew in Second Life.

ME playing @ Virtual Hot Wings Release

During the concert, I received some IMs regarding the CD and the concept. One of the IMs was from a guy and what he had to say touched a nerve. The conversation (with names omitted) went like this:

[11:53] Random Guy: oh which CD?
[11:53] Chel Pixie: virtual hot wings
[11:56] Random Guy: ah didn’t even read most of the web page, it’s a cap of some Concerts in SL?
[11:57] Chel Pixie: it’s cuts of the concerts and then the concerts
[11:57] Chel Pixie: as well
[11:57] Chel Pixie: 7 hours
[11:58] Random Guy: ah I get beer and coffee
[11:58] Random Guy: the streams I can cap myselfe 🙂

He was wearing a fan tag above his head, enjoying the music, and it wasn’t the first time he’d been to a concert.

Yes, you can capture and record the future streams yourself. Think about it this way, if you couldn’t access the artist in the same way, if you had to purchase a CD in order to hear the music that you loved, then you would do so. No questions, no second guessing. You would be supporting that artist in doing so the only way you could. Supporting Matthew is one purpose of this project.

There is no money that gets sent to iTunes, there’s no money that CD Baby eats up, it’s all 100% to feed that bird who sang and played his heart out to his fans several nights in Second Life. This CD isn’t just a few tunes cut and slapped down to download, it’s over 7 hours of music.

If you don’t like Matthew’s music, I can understand not making the purchase. Not making the purchase because you can capture future streams yourself, that’s not supporting the artist who you claim to be a fan of.