Gabrielle Riel, owner of the St John Estate where I currently live and have a shop, has come to a hard decision:
I believe this. I always told everyone that if they needed to cut back their time in the virtual world that I would fully support their decision, because as much as I love and respect the platform that I turned into two businesses, I believe in Real Life First. Always.
With all my belief in “Real Life First”, there was one person to whom I never gave compassion or the ability to choose real life first.
Me. And it’s time for that to change. There are serious things that I need to attend to in my real life.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends and residents, I am closing the St John estate and I am semi-retiring from Second Life.
This was the scene last night at Kitty Vinje’s place in St John Bayou, next to his bar, the Love Shack:
I went along on an expedition with Kitty and other Bayou denizens to check out a land sale at one of those sim-rental/sale places. There was a lot of discussion of what to name it but there may need to be more discussion of how many people would be committed to going in on a shared sim rental, with one person designated as the owner to collect rents. They have a lot of thinking and organizing and number-crunching to do, I can’t even imagine. It’s a talented group but what they want to do is re-create their beloved bayou, and that takes work and passion.
Meanwhile, I have to get ready to pack up the shop in St John Parish, change all the landmarks in the Marketplace, change all the landmarks in all my boxed products, and make a fresh start.
I started by going to the beach.
I bought a simple cheap parcel, on the sim edge looking east, just a 512 with a little beach shack I found on the Marketplace called “Life’s A Beach.” I can put out a few things and call it done; last night the others were talking about the prims they need to put out by the thousands. I just need a place to be and listen to ocean waves and maybe a little music.
I spent the afternoon yesterday thinking about what Kitty will do with his wonderful “Love Shack” bar, which has such a wonderfully eclectic collection of stuff. He really does need to find a place with swampy ambiance for it; it won’t do to simply plop it down in the middle of generic grassland. He doesn’t know anything about terraforming or sim management; my dabbling with Open Sim gives me some dim idea of what’s involved with RAW files, terrains, terraforming, prim budgeting, and water levels. I hope he lands on his wee black paws. There aren’t many other places with a bayou vibe, and of those, I don’t know if they have a spot for a tough little black cat in a bowler hat and a set of brass knuckles.
I’ve had a lot of fun in St John but have to admit I’m not as shocked, surprised, and grieved as I was over the closure of Steelhead. In the former case, it was a very unfair situation – the estate owner got in some dispute with Linden Lab and was locked out, unable to pay tier and unable to resolve. In this case, Gabrielle had given some very clear signs that things in her personal life were needing to take precedence. Also, although she had plans for Christmas decorations, I missed any announcements after her first notecard; something went wonky with my ims-to-email and I wasn’t getting inworld messages. I feel like I let Gabi down on my general lack of presence, but my own First Life got busier 2 years ago and there was less time for Second Life.
I just wish we could have had one more Mardi Gras. I missed the last one with my own hiatus, and regret that.
I have some admin stuff to do too, and also I have some simple Blender projects in mind, which this little beach hut will benefit from. The “beach” is a sculpt prim and I’m pretty sure I can improve on it. And as the hut is prim based, it can be edited. There was another hut I liked that had a small deck for lower LI, so I may try that later. I was thinking of making a simple mesh deck and maybe an ice cooler. My needs are simple (and so are my skills).
For now, I will just try to be present, reconnect with friends, and get stuff done that I enjoy doing (along with less enjoyable chores).