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Saturday, April 12, 2008

CULTURE: My Meeting with Lanai the Great- Prince Sonoda Reporting...


It is not everyday that you get to meet a star but I did. I really did. I
took a trip close enough to where the CEO of the SL Enquirer lives and while
at a hotel in the next state, I decided that it would be fair game to meet
Lanai. I contacted her in game and told her that it would be neat if we
could meet. Surprisingly enough, she said yes. After requesting a full
police background check (Just kidding), she gave me directions to where we
would meet. Asking around, I found out that the drive would take about 2
hours to get there. I was not deterred. I rented a Ford Focus from one of
the few car rental companies around.
It was around 9:50am when I started my drive. I had no idea how to get
there since the directions that Lanai gave me started from the next state
over. So I drove, and drove҆
And drove. 3 hours later, I was starting to think that I was never going to
make it. I would have given up if that were any other task. But I really
wanted to do this. Ever had one of those things that you must do at all
cost? This was one of those.
I finally stopped by a gas station on the interstate and asked for
directions. The lady behind the counter looked at me and smiled. Honey,
she said, you are lost. That, I knew, but by how far, I was not aware. She
took a map and an orange marker and pointing at a spot that looked like the
varicose veins behind the church lady¹s leg, she said: You are here.
Pointing wayyyy up on the map, she said: You need to be here. I felt
lightheaded when I heard that. I took my map and went back to the car. Sat
down and thought that since it has been 3 hours already, maybe I should get
back.

CULTURE: My Meeting with Prince the Awesome- Lanai Jarrico Reporting...


It was just after 7 am EST on April 2, 2008 when I got up, stretched and wandered off into my bathroom to look around at my pile of cosmetics and curling iron cords all wrapped around the countertop…*sighs* yup is just another day in the life of me…
Looking in the mirror at my morning hair and removing some sleep…I thought to myself, wow Im going to meet The Prince today. …Smearing toothpaste on my toothbrush I began to think (too much so I’m told) about Meeting a friend from the Internet. It is a nerve wrackin experience even knowing Prince Sonoda in Second Life for over a year.
Normally, I don’t go meeting strangers at some starbucks across town or anything like that. Im anonymous in my home town and I don’t mind it at all, Id rather be behind the scenes But when he asked to meet me, I wasn’t afraid to say yes. He has always been the same positive person that has kept me focused. .. Calling me “Lanai the Great” and putting me on a pedestal next to Einstein and that Silence of the lambs guy. *climbs down*...Really Im no genius, but it’s a cool compliment...
 After getting clearance from the home front and telling some friends I was meeting my advisor… Their first reactions were “OMG be careful”…”be in a public place, have 911 on speed dial, “take tae bo”, “send in a decoy” ect. Ect. Ect. That’s when all the nervous thoughts started to creep in…
OMG! He better not have a trench coat on or have a duffle bag big enough to fit me in it because I would have been sprinting out the back door of the gallery…
 Working myself up for a week about it, On The day off, I was as calm as a person could be, meeting a friend from the internet for the first time.Especially,one I had never talked to over the phone or on voice chat even *hears all the gasps*…I know I know…Insane but something in me said.. Everything was going to be ok.
That is the vibe he gives off, He is a Guide …an advisor to many and most of all he is my friend one who accepts me as I am and believes in what I do. So with that said, I felt at ease.
By 9:30 am est., I arrived at The Gallery, went to the 3rd floor and waited for him…..and waited…and waited so I decided to bust out a pack of crayola markers and make a poster mural on some cardboard scrap I found …it wasn’t too fancy but it was a good way to pass the time. If I was in 1st grade I would have been proud….
At around 1:15 I received a text that he was about 20 minutes away, so I decided to call him back and for the first time I heard his voice. I would say like music but he already beat me to the punch with his article so I’d say more like a warm Caribbean breeze...
 He had the voice of a person that matched his avatars demeanor. So my worrying went from the horrors to the OMGs… Will I be what he expected or will I totally embarrass myself…
When we finally met there wasn’t an awkward staring contest or any stuttering going on. I came over and gave him the greatest hug and he returned it, it felt like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a looong time and meeting to play catch up. After collecting up my handful of things. I welcomed him and expressed my need for food, so we breezed thru the gallery tour and walked across the street to a cool restaurant Were we actually got to sit down and chat. For the first time I was able to talk freely about what I do here and have the person sitting across from me totally understand and not look at me all strange. It was refreshing. (So was my ice water. but marinara in my macaroni and cheese wasn’t so great…anyways)…We talked about SLE and Second Life, a little more about us and before we knew it, It was time to go.
On our way out we stopped at the arcade where like a kid at a carnival, I dragged him into the photo booth to take a cheesy picture before getting him back on the Highway and on his way back to where he came from.
As He drove off I watched his ford focus disappear into traffic. He was exactly what I expected…. The Prince I see him as In Second Life.
  Now... if only I could TP Home…

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