Everyone’s favorite pastime at the moment. Why does the neighborhood go through these periods of compulsive air guitar?
Victoria tries a new way to get her broomstick to stop.
It’s no wonder that Andria was heckling the Simfest. It mostly consisted of the same magician being announced (Jody, Stanley Marmalade’s fiancé, with the fabulous stage name Tony Levitate Things). He’d then step up on an empty stage and route fail.
I think I finally reset something before Jody’s performance began. Well, I suppose it’s better than the traditional problem of completely empty Simfests. So many folks on the modding forum are looking for ways to get rid of all the Showtime performers in their towns. I *like* them.
I could list the problems with this picture all day.
What Dylan and Andria actually did in the Vault of Antiquity. Are you surprised?
Victoria gets abducted
By this really stylin’ alien.
Martial Arts for the toilet, a Sims classic.
I can never get over these great post-travel mashups.
I have never seen this snowman before, but it’s epic.
Avalon Gossip Column
I’ll start with Jasper Crumplebottom’s new love affair.
He has taken up with Dylan’s old friend, the former proprietress of the Nectary, Fawn Rockwell. She had to resign from the nectary when I decided she was awesome enough to move into town. Aging up to Elder seems to have deflated her great features somewhat.
There will be a child, as per Jasper’s visit to Sawyer. House Crumplebottom needs an heir.
New townies Jake Paradis, spare of the Paradis Legacy, and my lovechild with Tewl Langurd have both found jobs in town.
Java Weaver is a teacher. This is terrifying.
Newsflash! Justin Mai finally paid his child support! I guess being jailed twice taught him a lesson at last. That’s a lot of simoleons.
I’m not even sure which time this was, but I’m quite sure Sawyer earned it.
Inspired by her mother Shannon’s sudden career switch to Acrobatics, Joy takes up a new physical sport.
Which inspires her to write a new guidebook. It doesn’t appear to have sold very well.
Sean Flynn attempts coup number 4 or 5 against Forest. He fails.
Victoria devoted her next weekend morning to Connery.
The old fellow never complained, but you could tell when he was feeling a bit neglected.
Their games lasted until almost noon…
When she was called inside unstick Bonehilda’s arm from the trash compactor.
It was rough being the only one in the house with any idea how stuff worked.
Then she sat down to check her email.
“Gamora! I know you did this!”
Dance was on hiatus, and Winston was getting more and more obsessed with flexibility. He started spending a lot of his off time at the gym.
He was taking a yoga class that was opening all sorts of new range of motion.
“I have GOT to find a way to use this stuff in a performance,” he decided.
It was just a matter of HOW.
“Edmund, you let your dragon sleep on the floor again,” Andria said sternly. “Come get him before he sets fire to the hardwood.” She paused and chuckled. “Not something I ever expected to say.”
“Don’t worry, Mother,” Edmund said. “I’ll take care of her.”
He called her name, and the dragon hatching leapt from the floor to alight gracefully on his arm.
Sawyer was up in the early morning. He usually strolled into work after 10AM these days, but today he was required to do a yearly wellness clinic.
He hated dealing with the riffraff of the town and their piddling little problems. He was supposed to be take apart brains and putting them back together. But the outreach was a hospital program he was required to participate in.
There was already a long line by the time he made it to the park. At least there was a warm cozy place inside to conduct his clinic.
He administered vaccines.
And hypnotized patients out of bad habits. Or something.
“Hey,” Jasper Crumplebottom said. “Can I trust you to be discreet?”
“If it helps, I have no interest in your personal life whatsoever,” Sawyer replied.
“My girlfriend and I really want to have a child, and she can’t, so can you hook me up with whatever it takes for me to get pregnant?”
“Let me take a look,” Sawyer said.
“Hmm. I can’t cure your maleness, but I can start you on male pregnancy hormones.”
“Thanks so much!” Jasper exclaimed. “I won’t forget this!”
“Don’t worry,” Sawyer said. “I can forget it for both of us.”
Sam Pistachio also showed up at the clinic.
She was really concerned about her toddler daughter’s cold, but Sawyer was more concerned about her.
“Being a single mom late in life tends to dull the brain,” he said. “Let me check your reflexes.”
“Ow! Ow! Ow!”
“Your reflexes seem to be within normal parameters,” Sawyer said. “False alarm. Carry on.”
“Actually,” Sam said, “that was kind of hot. Do you take new patient?”
“Call my secretary.”
Dylan and Andria had always been self-employed, but these days they weren’t terribly worried about their careers and didn’t mind taking time off to have fun.
While Sawyer was treating patients, they were at a Simfest in the park — possibly the worst-organized Simfest they’d ever attended.
“Didn’t this guy just go on?” Andria hissed. “Boo!”
“I think he set the same arm on fire the last time.”
Afterward, Andria took Dylan to Monmouth Archives.
“I take it you have something in mind other than checking out books,” Dylan said, trying to hide his confusion.
“Of course I do,” Andria agreed. “This is something I should have done a long time ago. You go on ahead. I need to change.”
“You’re — oh, I see,” Dylan said.
“There it is!”
“Come with me, my love,” she said. “Don’t worry. They don’t bite.”
Dylan took a deep breath and followed her.
“Why have you called us here?” the spokesman for the Fae Council boomed.
“I think it’s time I presented to you Dylan Sample, my husband.”
“You brought him here? The human who drew you out of hiding?”
“I didn’t draw out anyone,” Dylan said. “Andria came out of hiding on her own.”
Andria squeezed his hand. “He was just himself, and so was I. And it worked out fine. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make.”
And at last it came… Victoria’s last day of school.
The afternoon was filled with a huge award ceremony for her class, where she received honors for her grades and for her work in shop club.
“Wow. I think that was the most boring ceremony our school has ever thrown,” Winston said. “At least I caught up on my sleep.”
Andria nudged Victoria as they left. “It looks like Gamora might have taken an interest in your prom date,” she said quietly.
Victoria grinned. “That’s great, Mom. Better her than me.”
It was hard to believe it. School was out for the term, and she would never have to go back. Her birthday was almost here.
I did it!! With no time to spare! (Actually, I wrote the last two posts in one day and scheduled this one to post the next day.)
Gamora did her homework with Kain McWilliams autonomously here, and she’s rolled a wish to ask for his Sign. I don’t think they have any heart-farts for each other, though.
There was no particular plot reason to include pics of Winston doing yoga. I’ve just had that piece of CC for ages, and Winston seems like he’d enjoy it.
I feel like I really neglected the thread of the fae in hiding and Dylan feeling left out of this part of his family. After his tired during Andria’s midlife crisis, I figured she’d want to get him more involved, but I didn’t manage to actually DO it until they were both Elders. Ah, well.
Dylan and Andria have been released to autonomy most of the time, since they’ve completed all their game goals. They spend most of their time romancing each other in weird places. So you have that to look forward to in the next generation 😉
Also, the Ambitions Medical career clinics are the best thing EVAR.
“I told you not to go in the bathroom!” Victoria called back. “I’m fixing it, I swear!”
“And now Connery needs a bath too! I don’t even want to know what he’s rolling in.”
“Oh, Dylan, you’re being so… Dylan,” Andria said. “Give the kid a break.”
“My apologies,” Dylan said. “A big mess like this makes me a little unhinged.”
“You’re cute when you’re unhinged,” Andria said.
“Mom! Dad! Could you go somewhere else!” Victoria said. “I need to fix the bathtub.”
After she fixed the bathtub for the second time, Victoria return to work on the stereo, which was staunchly refusing to be repaired.
That went about as expected.
Dylan was still cleaning the floor in the bathroom,
so Victoria had to clean off upstairs.
She was really starting to hate that stereo.
The Samples extended clan decided to do something different for Snowflake Day this year — a family reunion at the festival park.
The day dawned bleakly overcast and snowing heavily, with the potential of a serious storm later. After a quick conference by telephone tree (because Dylan had never been comfortable with email), everyone decided to head to Little Cottage Park and hope for the best.
Victoria pulled Edmund onto the skating rink.
With mixed results.
For both of them.
Winston expressed his feelings about the weather in a more passive-aggressive way.
Gamora, on the other hand, wasn’t terribly interested in family reunions. She had different plans for Snowflake Day.
She’d found a chemical compound that she could use to treat raw eggs that made them bond with the surface they touched.
Her victim would have to have his door sanded and repainted to get them out.
Even better, her victim turned out to be home. She’d like to claim that the egg that hit him in the face was intentional, but he just managed to open the door at just the right time….
She did manage to throw a couple of eggs into his foyer. That was a bonus.
“What can I do to get you to leave me alone!!” Whitney shouted.
“Oh, you can’t do anything,” Gamora said. “I’ll stop when I’m done with you. Don’t hold your breath.”
Whitney called the cops, of course, but Gamora was safe at home by then.
When she returned home from her mischief, Sawyer was happy to see her. “I hope you’ve had a nice Snowflake Day,” he said. “Social custom dictates that we spend the day bonding.”
Sawyer would probably appreciate her project to punish sims who had hurt him, but Gamora deemed it prudent not to let him know when she broke the law. So she just smiled. “Sure, Dad. What did you have in mind?”
“Have you ever tried a mind meld?” Sawyer asked. “I haven’t tried one in years.”
“Never heard of it,” Gamora said, “but I’m willing to try.”
“I have been really lax with your television education,” Sawyer said. “Remind me to remedy that.”
“Huh,” Gamora said. “I don’t get it.”
“It used to work better than that,” Sawyer admitted with a scowl.
So they played chess instead. That was something they could both appreciate.
The Sample extended family arrived at Little Cottage, starting with Dylan’s cousin Gina Sample-Baerwyn.
She brought her little daughter Leona, who she was raising alone after her boyfriend’s sudden death. She wasn’t interested in talking about the tragedies of her life, but she was delighted with her daughter.
Uncle Stanley Marmalade, Aunt Abby’s half-brother, was also there. He technically didn’t share any blood with Dylan’s family due to Grandma Sky’s messed-up relationships, but nobody really cared.
Stanley was there alone. He was full of stories about his sons and bleary-eyed from new baby sleep. Andria found him sitting outside in the snow and had to pull him inside.
His partner Jody was home with their school-aged son Chauncey and new baby boy Sidney.
“I know what we all need!” Winston declared. “Hot cocoa! I brought my own cocoa beans. I want to try out a new recipe.”
While Winston was preparing his concoction and nobody was watching, Edmund made snow angles outside.
“Wow!” Victoria said. “I never knew hot cocoa could taste so good!”
“Thanks!” Winston said. “I think I’ll add more cinnamon next time.”
“This really is amazing,” Dylan said. “It’s good to get us all together. I wish Abby and Chaim could have made it”
“I married into an amazing family,” Andria said with a smile.
“Of course you did,” Dylan said with a twinkle in his eye. “You married me!”
And the race is on to finish Gen 6 before the end of the year. One more post to go! Can I do it??
It’s been entirely too long since we’ve had some Simantics. Mostly that’s because because I *really* want to pass the torch by the end of the year.
But, they’re stacking up, so here we go!
Victoria discovers a new, more effective way to work out, i.e. a glitch.
It’s good to know how to use store content I haven’t tried to place anywhere in this world.
Sawyer spent the interview with Emit Relevart trying to talk to him and route-failing.
For absolutely no apparent reason.
But it’s OK. Emit knows how to break the ice.
And then there’s this, which I will leave without caption because I can’t think of anything to say.
Edmund, being a Proper sim, takes protocol very seriously. Here he begins his date with Belle Girard with a military salute.
The best elixir moodlet EVAR
Everyone takes a break from the big protest to watch January Callender pass out from sun exposure.
Gamora and Whitney Ursine-Sample bond of the fact that they’re both Hot-Headed. This explains a lot.
After beating Whitney up at the salon, Gamora passes out.
Then Whitney passes out. It was another chance at bonding.
Avalon Gossip Column
Random pictures of Dragonwife’s son with Jian Wu so we can all drool for a little while.
I forgot his name. It begins with a B. Argh.
And, oh hey, here’s Sam Pistachio all old and wrinkly.
Last I checked on her, she was pregnant by Asriel Bookabet before he finally left the mortal coil. I don’t recall seeing the birth announcement. What happened with that?
She had TRIPLETS?
Oh, just twins.
Have a nice time, Elder Sam.
In major character news, Forest is now a partner in his own smuggling operation.
And Chaim got promoted! What a great randomly-generated police officer!
After breaking up with his young girlfriend Devon Marmalade, Jasper has now hooked up with Dylan’s old friend Fawn Rockwell.
If they make any babies, he’ll have to carry them.
Gina Sample-Baerwyn had a kid named Leona by an Elder who died shortly after. I’ll have to look up who. Gina, who is actually Evil, never managed to sustain a romantic relationship, so it’s probably better this way.
Justin Mai the douchebag spends another night in jail for treating his baby-daddy Dion Callender and their three kids like crap.
Hello, what’s this?
I’ve never gotten a prompt like this for an inactive.
I guess Shannon really hated being a bedpan cleaner, not that I blame her. I hope she likes showbusiness better. It’s a good thing her husband Jean is keeping his day job in the food industry.
Since Winston is pretty much destined to be an Acrobat, this may push her into a story role at some point.
“And then she just walked away!” Edmund ranted at breakfast. “I just don’t understand women.”
“It’s probably not much comfort, son,” Dylan said, “but I’ve come to believe that if you’ve with a woman you don’t understand, you’re with the wrong woman.”
Edmund went on to take out his anxiety with a new spell.
That didn’t turn out well at all.
He set the magic aside after that and spent some time focusing on art with his father. That was still the language they could communicate in best.
He did produce a landscape he was particularly proud of.
Sawyer lined up some personal meetings with other neuroscience experts.
He had so much expertise to share with the smaller, less important researchers.
If only they would be a little more grateful.
Dylan and Andria had one more box to check off of their list of things to do on their second honeymoon.
The nectarer had clearly sampled a bit too much of his own wares.
Andria made the first selection.
“That tasted like a dead horse,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever really figured out this nectar stuff.”
“Let me pick one,” Dylan said soothingly.
“You go first,” Andria said.
“Mmmm,” Dylan said. “Fruity with a hint of floral.”
“All right,” Andria said. “If you think this one is good, I’ll give it a shot.”
“Hmmm,” she said, rolling the nectar over her tongue.
“No, I’m sorry, it’s still terrible.”
Dylan laughed and took her hands. “That’s what I love about you,” he said.
“That I can’t stand nectar?”
“Well, maybe in spite of that,” Dylan said.
“Ooop!” she squeaked as he knocked her off her feet.
“What are you doing?”
“Is it that hard to guess?”
“We need to go back to the tower,” Andria said huskily when she came up for breath.
“No,” Dylan said. “Absolutely not.”
“You know you want to try again,” she teased.
“I do not — all right, but whatever happens is your fault.”
“Last chance to chicken out,” Andria said.
“Nope,” Dylan retorted. “Too late.”
He took her by the hand, and they took the elevator to the top.
This time, they picked a better hiding place, and nobody found them.
“I guess I haven’t lost it after all!” Dylan chortled as they left.
“Remember,” Andria said. “I get full credit. You already said so. No takebacks!”
Before they left, Dylan found a perfect place to photograph a landscape to remember it by.
Back at the hotel, Edmund had started acting very strange.
“What in the simworld are you doing?” Dylan asked.
“It’s a spell I’ve been working on,” Edmund said. “It’s intended to coax a dragon hatching out of its shell.”
“Ah, right,” Dylan said. “I’ll just, ah, leave you to it.”
While Edmund made strange gestures and muttered to the egg, Dylan busied himself tidying up. They were headed home tonight, and it would be improper to leave the place a mess.
“Wait!” a guest cried. “What’s wrong with that rock?!”
The shards of the egg fell apart and dissolved into sparkling dust.
The creature inside immediately jumped off the ground and flew to Edmund’s outstretched arm.
“I’ll call you Kalai,” he said.
“Is that really a lizard on your shoulder?” another guest demanded. “Is that sanitary? Should that be in a bedroom?”
Edmund scowled. “Nobody here appreciates magic.”
The return flight left that evening. “There’s no time for me to cool a fancy dinner,” Andria said. “I think I’ll just grill something at the fire pit.”
“OK, new plan. We’re going out to eat.”
Back home, Victoria and Winston set about erasing the traces of their party.
Victoria tried to repair the shorted out stereo.
Which required a bath.
Which required another repair.
Winston, meanwhile, kept his promise to Victoria about the den. After the party, you almost couldn’t tell that it had been cleaned beforehand.
Gamora had no more interest in the aftermath of the party than she did in the party itself. She ignored what her cousins did and focused on scheming.
First she perfected her formula.
Whitney Ursine-Sample had just been practice. Now she had her sights set on her mother, Manisha Kapoor-Yo.
Her chemical formula, when ignited, would make their house stink for days.
The best part was, while her father, aunt, and uncle were away, she was untouchable. A neighbor saw her lurking around the Kapoor-Yo residence and called the cops. They escorted her home, but there was no adult for them to report to.
Freedom, sweet freedom.
Eventually, though, it all had to come to an end.
Dylan, Andria, Sawyer, and Edmund returned to a home that was just as they left it… only more so.
“I can’t believe it!” Dylan declared. “This place is even cleaner than I remember! I never thought you children would be so responsible.”
“Just don’t go into the bathroom,” Victoria said weakly.
Then Vickie caught sight of the shape on her older brother’s shoulder.
“What is THAT!” she exclaimed.
Edmund puffed up his chest. He didn’t need more explanation of what Victoria meant.
“This is Kalai,” he said. “She’s a rare dragon hatchling, thoroughly enchanted.”
“If you’re interested, I could show you the spells I designed to help her hatch.”
“Uh, sure,” Victoria said. “Maybe some other time.”
“Come one come all!” Andria exclaimed. “It’s time for the main event!”
Surrounded by family, Andria was finally ready to step into her next stage of life.
“I am ready to rock this old lady gig!”
Even Gamora decided to have some cake, just for family solidarity.
“Family,” Andria said. “That’s what it’s about. Also cake.”
Dang, I let this post get LONG. I just really wanted to get through the vacation and back on track for Vickie’s birthday. It was so much fun to PLAY, but sheesh — time for the next generation to take over!
As a tribute to Andria, I think this is the first time that everyone has sat at the table without route-failing out of one of the end seats. Woot. I may have moved the table somewhat to accomplish that.
I was really excited to find the accessory shoulder dragon I’m using with Edmund. The baby dragon will sit on your shoulder for a while, but as soon as the sim does any action other than walking, it disappears into inventory. I’d like to see Edmund walk around with that dragon on his shoulder most of the time. UNFORTUNATELY, it took quite a while for me to realize that the accessory dragon doesn’t actually look like the real dragon. I’d love to learn enough CC skills to create a proper accessory dragon. Eventually I’ll find a forum to ask about that.
I thought it would be fun to have Dylan and Andria try woohooing in the Eiffel Tower again. This time they didn’t get caught! But the object STILL didn’t show any hearts or woohoo animation, which was a bummer. I’m not sure what’s up with that.
While I’m free associating in the notes, I’m experimenting with posting this stuff to Tumblr. I really like the Sims community there, but the lack of comments makes it very non-interactive. I’m not sure I’ll stick with it.
I am posting hair conversions over there, though: http://echoweaver.tumblr.com/
Sawyer packed the hall for his research talk on the last day of the conference.
He had a captive audience for all his opinions on neuroscience. It was a golden moment.
After the talk, the attendees lined up to ask him questions.
A prominent trade journal took his photograph for the cover of their next issue.
The whole experience was an unqualified triumph, as far as he was concerned.
Even though he had to admit that some attendees clearly weren’t here for the presentations.
Outside, it poured rain all day. It was so dark and gloomy, it was as if the sun never rose at all.
Edmund watched the storm all morning. He found the weather soothing.
He knew that he wouldn’t get a better time than this to start his search.
He’d been researching in old tomes for months before this trip. He knew his best chance was to find the tomb of Thortonbleu.
The tomb wasn’t nearly as hard to find as he feared.
It was right where he predicted. The whole quest was quite short, really.
He was now in possession of an ancient dragon egg.
All he had to do now was figure out how to hatch it.
The rain stopped in the afternoon, and the stars were peeking out after nightfall. The evening suited Dylan’s plans perfectly.
“Dress to the nines,” he advised Andria. “I’ll take care of the rest.”
He took her to dine under the Simfel Tower.
They both pondered the menu for entirely too long.
“This is delightful!” Andria cried. “Just like our honeymoon, only better. I was wondering when you were going to do something romantic. You never disappoint me.”
“Romance is an art form,” Dylan admitted, “and you are the best of all possible audiences.”
“Would you like to try some of that newfangled phone photography with me?” he asked when the meal was over.
“Only if you let me choose the pose,” Andria said.
“Actually, that wasn’t bad!”
Then he drew her close and moved to the piped French music that filled the plaza.
“Nobody else is dancing,” Andria pointed out.
“Has that ever stopped us before?” Dylan asked. Andria chuckled.
“I’m glad I married you,” Andria said.
“That’s good to hear,” Dylan said. “At this point, you’ve had a long time to regret your decision.”
“I’ve had a long time to reflect on my amazing taste in men, you mean,” Andria retorted.
Then, at the same time, they couldn’t hold back their yawn.
“It’s getting late,” Dylan said. “I think I need to head to bed.”
“I have to face it, my love,” Andria said.
Edmund, on the other hand, was feeling quite young and spry when Belle Girard invited him over to house to, you know, watch a movie or something.
“I’m so glad you could make it!” she chirped when he arrived. “It can get boring here with just me and my grandmama. You seem like such an nice guy.”
So they pretended to watch a movie for a while,
and stole glances at each other, while avoiding each other’s eyes.
Then they gave up on the pretense of watching the movie. It wasn’t that good anyway.
The conversation went much better. Among other things, they shared a love of art. Considering that they’d met at the Musee d’Arte, Edmund shouldn’t have been all that surprised.
Eventually, Edmund realized they were being watched by eyes that weren’t all together friendly.
“Ah!” Belle said, blushing. “That’s Grandmama, and I think she’d rather we took our visit someplace else.”
Someplace else, turned out to be the lawn, where they sat under the stars
and made eyes at each other.
It was a truly beautiful evening.
“I’m getting hungry,” Belle said. “I don’t want to bother Grandmama. Perhaps we could go out for a bite?”
Edmund smiled at her proudly. “Or I could provide a snack right here,” he said.
“Wait, you do magic!” Belle said.
“You have to be kidding me,” she said, turning away in disgust. “I can’t believe I invited a witch to my house.”
“You’d better leave,” she said. “Don’t call me.”
She left him standing on her lawn, holding the apple in stunned silence.
Thus Edmund learned that outside Avalon, his abilities were not always the best way to win friends and influence people.
Berthe “Belle” Girard got along really well on this date. In fact, the front door was marked incorrectly on this lot, so when he arrived, they went into the unlit garage to talk autonomously, where I found them flirting all on their own. The also went autonomously to go watch the stars together. I started to wonder if she was the one after all, but then he autonomously conjured an apple while she started freaking out from low motives, and I took that as a sign. It would have been kind of a pain for him to pursue someone from France anyway.
I got a lot of mileage out of that couple who spent Sawyer’s entire conference kissing and playing air guitar. I don’t think they ever reacted to anything going on in the room.
“Hmm,” Winston said to himself. “I think the sauce is just about perfect.”
He was experimenting with ethnic dishes at the moment. Today the treat was authentic Egyptian shwarma.
“Lunch is on!” he called out the window to Victoria. “Come get it while it’s hot!”
“This is really tasty,” Victoria observed after a taste. “Much better than the last thing you tried. This one doesn’t burn out the inside of my mouth.”
“You’re kind of a lightweight when it comes to spices,” Winston said.
“I just don’t think eating should be an endurance test,” Victoria retorted.
“I was thinking I could cook something like this, and we could serve it at the dance party we’re throwing tonight.”
Victoria nearly spit out out her meat. “Dance party? You’ve got to be crazy!”
Winston pulled her aside conspiratorially, though there was no one else in the house. “Come on, you know we can do it without Mom and Dad knowing.”
“Have you seen the mess that’s still in the den?” Victoria demanded. “We’re already going to get our butt kicked when Mom and Dad come home if we can’t clean it up.”
“I’ll clean it!” Winston insisted. “And I’ll make sure that everything is perfect when the party is over. Come on, everyone does this when their parents are out. If we play this with our noses down the whole time, we’ll never get another chance.”
“We already nearly burned the house down,” Victoria said. “Isn’t that enough for one vacation?”
“I swear you won’t be able to tell when I’m done with it,” Winston pleaded. “You know you want to do this too.”
Victoria thought about it. “All right, but only if you make good on your promise to clean the den.”
So Winston cleaned.
Then he called everyone he knew, plus a few people he didn’t know.
Afterward, Victoria helped him move the furniture in the living room to make space for dancing.
Gamora was supposed to be staying with her cousins while Sawyer was gone, but she’d barely been home since the adults went away. When she was not at school, she was usually at the dojo.
She was getting very good if she did say so herself.
The teens started arriving at the Sample Estate at sundown.
Crowds of them.
Winston was delighted. The first thing he did was make sure everyone was fed.
Then he stole some time to flirt with Paulette Callender, his date from prom.
Victoria was nervous, but she was committed now, so she tried to relax and have fun.
Unfortunately, one of the first sims she talked to was Kain McWilliams, who wanted to complain about Connery.
“Doesn’t that dog of yours ever stop barking?”
“Not when the music’s loud,” Victoria said. “Think of it as a bass beat. Now if you’ll excuse me…”
Once she made it to the dance floor, though, things really started to get rolling.
But it was hard to concentrate on dancing. Victoria couldn’t stop staring at Judith, who only had eyes for Mason James.
Her face was alight with a glow Victoria had never seen.
Could Judith be in love?
Gamora found Whitney Ursine-Sample at the local salon and spa, Tinkerbell’s Beautique.
She didn’t waste any time. She crept up behind him while he was looking away from her
And tackled him.
“That’s what you get for messing with Gamora Sample!” she announced as he picked himself up off the ground.
“You are insane, girl!” he shouted.
“No, but you sure are if you mess with me or my dad!”
Cortney Pierce-Hodgins showed up late.
Winston’s head snapped around so fast he nearly fell over.
His body language was so powerful, some of his classmates noticed and snickered.
He tried to pretend that it was no big deal that Cortney was at his party. He tried to look anywhere but at her.
Cortney circulated through the room, catching up with her friends from school. She hadn’t even said hello to Winston yet.
“Roderick!” Victoria said. “I didn’t see you there! Are you having a good time?”
“This party is fantastic!” Roderick Winter said. “You’re really lucky that your folks trust you with the house like that.”
“Yeah… ” Victoria said. “We’re lucky, I guess. I just hope we don’t screw it up.”
“I’ve been trying to get your attention all night,” Roderick admitted.
“Really? I haven’t been avoiding you or anything. It’s just easy to get lost in this crowd. What can I do for you?”
“I, ah, wanted to know if you would like to dance.”
He looked into her eyes with such intensity. Victoria could feel herself blushing. She’d grown up with Roderick. When did he become so attractive?
“I’d love to dance,” she said, hoping her voice didn’t waver.
Winston saw Paulette dancing alone and looking out of place. He jumped at the chance to focus his attention on someone other than Cortney.
“Hey, Paulette,” Winston said. “I haven’t seen you dancing much. Are you having a good time? Would you like to dance?”
Paulette was such a nice girl, and she really liked him. He’d been chasing after Cortney since grade school. He knew he needed to stop mooning over her. Paulette was a lot of fun, and she didn’t make him feel like she was doing him a favor to hang out with him.
“It’s been great,” Paulette said. “But it is kind of loud in here. I think I might have to go someplace quieter for a bit.”
Cortney definitely noticed Paulette making eyes at Winston. She looked straight at Paulette and then shouted over them. “I’m getting a headache from the lights! Anyone have a painkiller?”
Winston flushed with embarrassment. “I’ll check upstairs,” he said to Cortney.
While he was sifting through the medicine cabinet, Paulette drifted into the den, where she watched the winter simlympics with Kain McWilliams.
The quiet space away from the crowd calmed her down, and it turned out that Kain wasn’t bad company either.
Winston didn’t see her again for the rest of the evening.
Gamora drifted in and surveyed the party crowd.
“Wow, you guys really are the typical teens,” she said. “I hope you don’t expect me to clean up this mess.”
“You don’t have to do anything,” Winston snapped.
Gamora shrugged. “OK. I’m heading up to bed.”
Winston noticed that she climbed the stairs with a bit of a limp, but who ever knew what was going on with Gamora?
Winston wasn’t even sure exactly when his parents were getting home, so he started nudging everyone out the door after midnight.
Victoria caught her best friend before she left. “So what’s with Mason?” she demanded.
“I don’t know, but he was so amazing!” Judith exclaimed. “Do you think he likes me? Do you think I acted all right around him?”
“You have no idea how attractive you are,” Victoria said.
Cortney was the last one dancing when Winston finally turned off the stereo.
“Hi, um, Cortney. I just wanted to say that everyone kind of has to leave now.” Winston could kick himself.
“Winston, I was hoping to get some time to talk to you alone,” Cortney said.
“What?” Winston said. “I mean, you were?”
“Look, I’m sorry I haven’t been returning your phone calls,” she said. “I’ve been a real jerk to you, and you didn’t do anything to deserve it. It’s just that things have been kind of crazy at home. Dad had to resign as chief of police, and I didn’t know how to talk to anyone.”
“Wow,” Winston said. “I didn’t know things were so rough. You can always talk to me about it. I want to be there for you.”
“I know,” Cortney said. “You’ve been my best friend since grade school. I want to be a better friend to you again.”
Winston felt his blood run to his face as she gazed into his eyes. She was so beautiful. “Maybe we could hang out sometime soon?” he asked hopefully. “Maybe this weekend?”
“That’s a great idea!” Cortney said. “I’m going to turn a new page in our friendship. Maybe we could go on a double-date! Me, my boyfriend, and are you seeing anyone?”
“No,” was all Winston managed to say. Then he managed to say goodbye, and she was on her way.
It had been such a wonderful party, but now all Winston wanted to do was crawl under his beadspread and cry.
Woo! Time for a teen party! So much awesome stuff happened! I even got some of the teens to actually dance! And Victoria has another romantic prospect! Roderick is really cute.
Paulette Callender is (I think) the granddaughter of a Matt Smith simalike, and wow his features do not look good on her. It’s too bad, but it’s nice that not all the sims are beautiful. BUT she’s also descended from February Callender, and it’s awesome to see her hair still around! Her parents are Justin Mai, the obnoxious woman-and-man-izing actor Abby dated, and Dion Callender. The game gave her the last name Mai, but since Dion actually gave birth, it should have been Callender by my mother’s-surname naming rule in StoryProgression, so I changed it. I have way too many Mais in my game.
My game crashed near the end of the party, and I had to play it again. The second time through, Mason James took up with Cortney instead of Judith. Cortney having a boyfriend makes sense, since Winston just can’t get anywhere with her despite the fact that they have a maxed relationship bar, and he finds her attractive. But those shots of Mason dancing with Judith were so sweet that I may use MasterController to stick those two back together.
I think the crash-and-reload caused the game to forget that there was a teen party going on AND that the adults were on vacation. I had to use MasterController to reset the lot and get the adults home. That meant there was no chance for the parents to come home early, which would have been fun.
Oh, and I’ve learned that the Consider Attraction interaction is from Woohooer, and it’s broken. It only gives 1 or 10. I need to use Scan Room to get proper comparative attraction scores. I’ll be doing that from now on, though it doesn’t give such a cute message.
As the plane descended into Champs les Sims, Dylan couldn’t help but snap photographs. It had been a long time since he’d engaged in serious photography. I wasn’t prepared for how wonderful it felt to have a camera in his hands again.
The family settled into their hotel.
Andria had plans for the day, and they started with a picturesque spot to fish.
And some study.
And the purchase of a few choice ingredients.
Sawyer was left to his own devices. He had no plans until the beginning of the conference, so he was immediately bored.
His boredom didn’t last long, however. It turned out that the lush countryside was the perfect inspiration for new avenues of genetic research.
Dylan found Edmund unpacking his suitcase. “There is one place in Champs les Sims that you would never forgive yourself for missing,” he said.
Edmund raised his eyebrows. “And that would be?”
“The Musee d’Arte of course! You must accompany me for the afternoon.
Edmund couldn’t possibly refuse. Art was the one passion he could always share with his father.
They took the scenic route so that Dylan could find the perfect place for a photograph.
Edmund was completely unprepared for how magical the museum was. The art was gathered from all over the simworld, past and present. He could lose himself here for years.
“Wow, Dad. Thank you. I had no idea .”
Dylan smiled. “Your father still knows a few things that matter,” he said.
“What is the policy about photography?” Edmund asked. “Some pictures here could turn into some very valuable prints.”
Dylan smirked a little bit. “I already did that, son. There are a few hanging in the house. You should take a closer look.”
“Oh, really?” Edmund said. “Wait.”
“Wait what?” Dylan asked.
“Wait. Who is she?”
Dylan nudged his son. “Go find out. I know when I’m superfluous.”
Dylan drifted over to the woman as if pulled by an invisible string. “Hi, um, I’m Edmund Sample. I hope it isn’t too forward to ask for your name?” He really wasn’t very good at talking to strangers.
Her name was Belle Girard. Though he’d never know it, her grandmother had almost married his great-grandfather Charles. It turned out that the attraction passed down through the generations.
When he had to leave for lunch, He had Belle’s phone number, and they both looked forward to meeting again.
Sawyer’s conference began in the afternoon with a keynote speech, given of course by Sawyer himself. Sawyer was the best known neurosurgeon in the simworld, and he considered it his due.
Of course, a neuroscience conference in the land of love wasn’t quite what Sawyer was used to. The attendees behaved in rather inappropriate ways.
The room was nearly empty when he began his opening remarks. He would have considered that an insult, but the attendees rushed to hear him a few minutes later.
And was the best speech he had ever given, if he did say so himself.
Though the sound system left a lot to be desired.
Sawyer had to admit that the next presentation was almost as interesting as his.
At least, Sawyer found it interesting. Some people at this conference just didn’t seem to have neuroscience on the mind at all.
The men returned home to find Andria hard at work.
“Here you are!” she declared as they wandered in through the door. “Dinner is served!”
Sawyer stared dubiously at the elegantly plated meal. “What form of nourishment is this?”
“Frog legs, of course,” Andria said. “I’ve been longing to learn how to make it, but they’re best with fresh-caught frogs from France.” She gave Sawyer a warning look. “Everyone will be tasting this fine french delicacy, even you.”
Sawyer, huffed and sat down.
Even he had to admit that the frog’s legs were delicious.
As they finished their meal, another pair of tourists pounced on them. “Are you real Avalonians? We’ve never seen any before! We must have a picture.”
“What did you think?” Andria asked Dylan as they cleaned up.
“Magnificent, just like the chef,” he said with a suave smile, pulling her to him.
“Perhaps we should continue this in privacy,” Dylan suggested and led her upstairs.
“You remember?” Andria said. “I think the first night of our honeymoon was in this very room. Our first time.”
“Well, not the first,” Dylan said. “The second time. I remember these things.”
“We’re not done making memories,” Andria said.
So, Belle Girard is, of course, Berthe Girard, the homeless premade French firefighter who was such a good rival for Veronica that I created a mate poll for Charles. Since I long since deleted all my travel files, she was regenerated. I really like her and her genes. She’s a Clumsy, Brave firefighter, which is such an entertaining combination.
Edmund picks up romantic interests wherever he goes :).
Grump. So far, I haven’t been able to make the smaller, bordered images I was using for Dylan’s photographs to work. I guess the images that I ported over from Blogspot probably look wrong too. Sigh.
The Sample teens first day of freedom was a Sunday. It began quietly and responsibly.
That morning, Winston took a gourmet cooking class at The Round Table that he’d been trying to get into for years.
He was convinced that he could enhance the flavor of his creations with a bit of magic. It was just a question of what kind.
Gamora had no intention of getting her butt kicked ever again, especially not by the likes of Whitney Ursine-Sample.
She also spent the morning in a class — this one Introduction to Sim Fu.
“Is that your real skin?” Kari Bookabet-Royale giggled as Gamora showed of her first belt. “Are you a member of some kind of tree-hugging gang?”
Gamora looked her straight in the eyes. “Come a little closer and say that,” she said softly. Kari shut up and backed away.
Victoria also had big plans for her free day.
She planned to spend it alone at Persephone Hot Springs.
The hot springs were warm year-round, so it wasn’t that extreme an idea to go swimming.
Honestly, the 7mil wetsuit was more than she needed. The ocean was colder when she skipped school to go snorkeling in the fall.
It felt so good to get into the water. Since the first snow, she’d been feeling trapped on land. And the floor of the springs were full of beautiful freshwater aquatic life. It was peaceful and more beautiful than she’d expected.
On the other hand, it wasn’t nearly as isolated as she’d been planning either.
Victoria had no idea the hot springs were such a popular place for playing in the snow.
Eventually, it was just too crowded. She couldn’t focus on the beautiful springs with all the laughing and snowball fights. Someone even throw a snowball in the water at her. It was cold! But mercifully only for a few minutes.
So, after a couple of hours snorkeling, she dried off and headed home.
Something was very wrong. She could tell from the end of the block that the smoke rising from her house wasn’t coming from a chimney.
She burst into the house to this:
“Winston! Where are you?” she screamed. She ran to the kitchen to grab the fire extinguisher under the sink.
“How do you use this thing??”
She wasn’t sure that her fire extinguisher was powerful enough to make a dent in the roaring flames.
So she grabbed her phone.
“Hello? Avalon fire department?” she shouted into the phone. “We’re ON FIRE!!”
Fortunely, the Avalon Knights of the Flame were well-trained in talking to panicked people. Victoria could hear the wail of the fire engine almost before she hung up the phone. That was one big advantage to living on a small island.
“Oh, thank the Watcher!” she cried when firemen came running into the house.
But as she walked out of the den, she found the living room had also caught fire.
“Look out!” she cried. She aimed the fire extinguisher at the flames.
“Please back off, miss!” the fireman yelled.
“Let us do our jobs!”
“I’m so sorry,” Victoria wailed.
“I was only trying to help!”
“I get it,” the fireman said. “Well, the fires are out. Now you can get all the help you need in fireplace safety.”
“Victoria!” Winston said as he burst through the door. “What happened? Are you all right?”
“Did you leave fires burning in the fireplaces when you left?” Victoria asked.
“Well, yes, but Mom and Dad leave them burning all the time,” Winston said defensively. “I didn’t think it would be any big deal.”
“Apparently it is a big deal,” Victoria said. “We almost literally burned the house down on our first day on our own!”
“OK, look,” Winston said earnestly. “I can make this right. Let me make a few phone calls. I bet we can get a quick insurance settlement.”
“You do what you feel you have to,” Victoria said. “I’m going to start cleaning up.”
Annnnd I gave Victoria Fireproof Homestead. Dylan had it, but apparently the effects went away as soon as he went on vacation.
The day dawned bitter cold. But within the gates of Camelot, blood ran hot.
The air was filled with chanting voices against police corruption. Some dealings between the chief of police and the Emperor of Evil had leaked to the press, and the citizens of Avalon were having none of it. There would be protests day and night until Police Chief William Pierce resigned.
Besides…. hadn’t he been chief of police for a really long time? Nobody seemed to be able to remember when he was first elected.
Gamora held a sign and chanted for a while, but she was really here to people watch. People were really amusing when they were this angry.
She’d been protesting for less than an hour when she saw someone who made her forget her sign and let it drop to the snow.
Whiney Ursine-Sample, her father’s nemesis dating all the way back to high school.
Well, Gamora wasn’t sweet and passive like her father. Whitney had a lifetime of harassment to pay for, and she planned to start calling in payments.
“Well look at the smelly garbage someone dumped on the lawn!”
Whitney jumped back in surprise. “What’s with you, girl? I don’t even know you!”
“Gamora Sample ring any bells?” Gamora mocked. “Like the daughter of Sawyer Sample?”
“Sawyer Sample! You have got to be kidding me!”
“Look, my dad put up with way too much of your crap, but I’m not my dad.”
“I intend to make your life very uncomfortable, starting now.”
“Look, girl, I can tell you’re even weirder than your dad, but you can’t scare me with your little threats. You can’t do anything to me.”
Gamora suddenly smiled and stepped close. “Is that so?” she said in a sultry voice.
She reached up to caress the line of Whitney’s jaw. Whitney’s eyes locked with Gamora’s. He seemed rooted in place.
Then she leaned in.
“What did you do to me?!” Whitney shouted.
“I’m not sure,” Gamora crooned, “but I’m sure it will be unpleasant.”
“You little freak!” Whitney cried.
Then he kicked her ass.
In another corner of Camelot’s courtyard, the venerable Matt Doctor was catching up with his neice Emily. “What are you looking at?” he asked.
“Are you getting a load of this?” Emily said. “That’s my boyfriend’s daughter. I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed. I think I’m going with proud. That kid knows how to make trouble.”
“Didn’t she just get her butt kicked by a man her father’s age?” Matt demanded. “Aren’t you going to help her?”
“Are you kidding?” Emily said. “It’s much more fun to watch.”
While Gamora was making a scene in Camelot, Andria was baking again, and we all know what that means.
Edmund practiced a bit of magic while he waited.
“Were you supposed to zap your foot?” Victoria asked.
“Not sure,” Edmund admitted, “But it felt pretty good.”
Outside, Gamora made it home and took her fury out on the lawn ornaments.
Then the pie was out of the oven, pumpkin at Edmund’s request.
It was time to celebrate.
Gamora entered just as Andria was serving. “Oh, was there something important about today?” she asked.
Edmund gave her a hard stare. She was just trying to provoke him, and he wasn’t going to take the bait. And he had to admit, birthdays were pretty frivolous. At least he’d been able to persuade his mother to keep this one an intimate family gathering.
Edmund’s family gathered around the table to taste Andria’s marvelous pie and talk about life.
“Have you given any thought to what you want to do with your life?” Dylan asked Winston.
“Not sure yet,” Winston said, “but I think I want to check out some of my roots from the Mai side of the family. Maybe learn some Asian cooking.”
Gamora deigned to hang out with them for a little while. It was never clear whether she was proud that she didn’t need to eat or if she resented it.
After the party, Dylan sought out his wife. He found her in the kitchen, cleaning up.
“I know there’s another birthday coming up soon,” he said.
“I’d rather not think about it,” Andria said.
“Here, let me,” he said, brushing her gently aside. “I can finish the cleaning.” He drew out a scrubbie with a flourish. Somehow, Dylan could always do the grungiest tasks with style.
Andria shrugged and set herself to seasoning the skillet.
“This is a big birthday of yours coming up,” Dylan said, ” and I thought perhaps we should herald it in a big way.”
“Oh?” Andria said. “What did you have in mind?”
“I thought I’d take you back to where it all began,” he said.
Andria raised her eyebrows. “High school gym class?”
He chuckled. “Well, I was thinking of Champs les Sims. A bit of a second honeymoon.”
Andria let the skillet clatter to the stove. “A second honeymoon! What a marvelous idea! You’re so romantic, my love.”
So it was decided. Dylan made the reservations.
Andria gave Victoria firm talking-to. She would be the woman of the house, and Andria needed to be able to trust her, or this romantic getaway wasn’t going to work.
Victoria was delighted that she was being offered this kind of responsibility. “I won’t let you down!” she insisted. “Have a good time and don’t worry about a thing!”
Andria was still a little worried that Victoria might have less responsible things in mind, but she decided to give her daughter a chance to prove herself.
Edmund was going with them, though he promised to make himself scarce. He had some unclear reason for wanting to travel to Champs les Sims that had to do with his magical research.
And, as it turned out, Sawyer would be attending a neuroscience conference. That wasn’t exactly a coincidence. It was his brother’s travel that gave Dylan the idea for a vacation.
Dylan felt years younger as he ran to catch the taxi. A romantic vacation! At his age!
Andria would be the first to tell him that you’re never too old to have fun.
Gamora is a lot of fun right now. First poisoned kiss! I’m not entirely sure what it does other than turn someone green (which is less impressive in Avalon). Maybe makes the target sim nauseated? I need to look it up.
Heh. Now that I’m using the blue City Hall rabbithole from Monte Vista, protests look pretty good. No more people standing with their heads through the wall.
I had a lot of fun with Edmund’s adult look.
Man, I wish they all could be heirs. I’m still fretting about who is going to have to leave the house to make way for Vickie’s family.
As you might guess, this is the “free vacation” opportunity to give the teens a chance to be heads of household. Dylan rolled a wish to travel with Andria way back at his Elder birthday, so I thought this would be the perfect time to fulfill it.