When Charles got up in the morning, Veronica was still up. She was even in her work clothes, so she definitely hadn’t been to bed the night before.
“What’s up?” he asked. “Clearly you are, and you should be sleeping.”
Veronica gave him a strange look. “I was wondering,” she said sheepishly. “How attached are you to Sunset Valley?”
Charles frowned. “I’m the fourth generation Sample to live here. I never thought about living anywhere else. Why?”
“Well,” Veronica said. “The Landgraab Science Center got a call from the Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center on Avalon Island. They have a unique paranormal situation out there, and they heard about me after that stunt at City Hall. They’re, um, trying to recruit me to work in their town.”
“Whoa,” Charles said.
“I know it’s a lot to ask,” Veronica said. “But I would really like to go.”
“I need to think about it,” was all Charles could manage.
That night, he found himself sitting at a bar in the club district of Sunset Valley.
He’d watched this town grow from a sleepy town to a flourishing community with an active nightlife and even a decent film business. In fact, his dojo had contributed something real to Sunset Valley’s growth.
Still, had he just assumed he would live here all his life because his parents and grandparents had? What else was out there? If he stayed, would it be because he loved his home town or because he was afraid of something new?
“I can always go back,” he said softly to himself. Charles was a traveler. He loved new places and new experiences. In the end, wasn’t moving to a new home just a kind of travel? He was hardly barred from living in Sunset Valley again if that was what he really wanted to do.
All right then. He’d go, but only if the kids wanted to do it.
That last part didn’t turn out to be as hard a sell as he expected.
“I think Mom’s going to find us an amazing new place to live,” Sky told Forest as they played in the park after school one day. “It can’t be worse than here.”
“The people of Avalon Island are supposed to be pretty weird,” Forest said. “There could be all sorts of things to learn there.”
Hunter was so unaffected by the whole thing that he took a nap.
“Wow! I can’t believe it,” Aunt Shanni said when he told her.
“You know,” she said once it had sunk in, “There’s a Crumblebottom Chateau on Avalon Island. Agnes left her fortune to me, and, well, I’ve been thinking about moving to someplace that doesn’t make me think of her every moment. You see… Jeanna Yo asked me to marry her, and I said yes! Does that make me crazy? She’s young enough to be my daughter!”
Charles couldn’t help but smirk. “Well, only if you got pregnant in high school.”
Shanni laughed a bit self-consciously. “Well, yeah, I guess that’s true.”
“Nobody’s going to think you’re crazy for being happy,” Charles said. “I’m really happy for you.”
Adjo took the news pretty well all told.
“I’m the retired husband of a workaholic politician,” he said. “I have frequent flier miles. You’re going to instruct me in my next belt, don’t worry.”
“There’s no Sim Fu instruction on Avalon Island,” Wu said. “It’s a perfect place to establish a fresh branch of the art if you think you’re ready. Did you know I have a nephew who lives there? I visit Avalon more often than I visit here. Though I warn you… you may find the people there a little surprising.”
All told, by the end of the day, moving across the world felt a lot like moving to the next street.
The one real loss was Jabari. Charles had known they were drifting apart for some time, but breaking the news of his departure made it clear. They sincerely wished each other the best, but Charles knew that with an ocean between them, their once brotherly closeness was a thing of the past.
In light of the big news, the Samples decided to have a private birthday party for the triplets before they moved. The intimate affair seemed like the right way to say goodbye to their home.
And at last Sky…
They ate their cake in the yard as the sun set and listened to the waterfall.
“I guess I’m going to miss this place, at least,” Sky admitted.
“Me too,” Charles agreed. “Let’s hope the next place is better.”
We made it to the last Sunset Valley post! Did you think it would ever happen? I’ve been playing in Avalon for months, and I love it. Which of course means that I have a huge queue of posts again. I will never be caught up. I need to accept it. It’s the nature of the beast.
Here’s a closeup of our triplets:
Hubba hubba! Our evil boy has grown up into quite the fantasy fodder.
I assumed that Hunter had dark brown eyes like Veronica, but it turns out his eyes are very dark green. I’m not sure where THAT came from. Could Layla have had very dark green eyes? At any rate, it really does make him a good case for an identical twin of Forest, though he came out normal weight and Forest is skinny.
She rolled glasses when she became a child, and I forgot to give them to her. So maybe her ghostliness made it take longer for the bad vision to show up. Heh. Charles didn’t get glasses until teenagerhood either, despite having terrible genes for eyesight.
I redid her clothes and glasses later, but I don’t seem to have taken a CAS shot of it. And she’s in the process of blinking here. Argh. I’ll have to see if I can’t provide a better CAS shot of her later.
Their faces are so similar that they could almost be identical triplets. Fortunately, I think that face is pretty awesome.
I haven’t been posting much here because I can’t play the Samples right now, and I was wasting all my time for the family on figuring out why. I still would like to dedicate a post to the excruciating process of discovering this because I’m going to bet there are other Mac users who are getting the same behavior and are pulling their hair out. I friggin’ learned to read crash logs to figure this out. I can never get that part of my brain back. Blast you, EA.
So here’s the technical jargon: Windows 7 is a 64-bit operating system. Mac OSX is a 64-bit OS too. In fact, Mac OS has been 64-bit for longer, and it’s arguably better-integrated and more efficient about it. However, The Sims on the Mac is run in a wrapper called Cider that emulates Windows. I knew this, and though it provided slightly slower response times, it did all right, so it seemed like a decent tradeoff to be able to play the game when it was released like an ordinary Windows user.
But it turns out that the emulation used on the Mac is Windows XP. No really. So all the beautiful computing power of my i7 MacBook Pro has been wasted running a game inside an emulation of 10-year-old 32-bit Windows. This did all right until I installed the last three expansions all at the same time, and then it gave up the ghost. I can play my new Wonderland legacy, probably because it’s a brand new game in an EA world, but the Samples Error 12 and crash to desktop as soon as I load them up.
Somebody said, “They call it Cider because it squeezes the juice out of your Apple.” Damn. They’re right.
The sad solution is that I’m going to have to play the game in Windows 7. To be able to do that without switching to running Windows all the time, which I don’t want to do because I’m a !@#$ Mac user because I like the !@#$ Mac, I intend to run it in a Windows 7 virtual machine within my OSX. To do THAT, I need to upgrade my memory. The memory arrived yesterday, but now my parents are visiting for the holidays, and I won’t be able to upgrade for at least a week.
Then again, the effect should be seamless because I’m about 10 posts behind anyway. At least I won’t be wasting so much stupid time troubleshooting.
So there, DragonWife, is the medium-length version 🙂 :).