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7.16 No time to waste

Dylan rose early, dressed in his tuxedo, and cleaned the house. He had to do something with all his proud energy. It was a very special day.

Edmund had to be called home from the fae caravan, where he spent most of his time these days, brooding on the magnitude of the magic he still needed to learn for his project.

Victoria, on the other hand, was eager to be distracted.

Her online dating options looked truly terrible. She wondered if she would ever find love or if she really cared to.

It was time to set aside all those distractions. It was graduation day!

Winston received his diploma from his cooking magnet school.

His talent for cooking more than made up for his lack of interest in most academic subjects.

Gamora was much less interested in the proceedings.

A diploma was only a scrap of paper, after all. The most important thing was that she was free to pursue her own projects.

After the ceremony, Andria and Dylan took a nice long bike ride home together. Sure, they weren’t exactly dressed for it, but they were too old to care much about appearances anyway.

Edmund stayed behind, engrossed in a book his fae mentors had loaned him.

He was so animated while he read that he attracted quite an audience.

Winston knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he wasted no time. He didn’t even bother going home to change.

“You’re Tyrone Batts, the premier acrobat in Avalon,” Winston said.

“Retired,” Tyrone said.

“I want to be your apprentice,” Winston finished.

“I wasn’t planning on taking on any more students,” Tyrone said thoughtfully.

“Please please please!” Winston said. “I’ll be the model student.”

“Perhaps on a probationary basis,” X said.

“Anything,” Winston pled.

“All right, you’ll start with mime,” Tyrone said.

“Great!” Winston exclaimed. “You won’t regret this. When should I –”

“First lesson is right now,” Tyrone said. “We begin with mime.”

 

“We have a lot to work on,” Tyrone said.

“Ooof,” Winston said.

Gamora, on the other hand, celebrated her graduation at the seaside, alone. In the rain.

She had a new invention to test out.


Here’s another one! Let’s see how long I can make it go!

A bit of the two characters who have gotten less attention recently. I’m trying to get all the spares to their LTWs, so you’ll need to hear more from them. Then again, I’ve never fully decided what Winston’s LTW should be. Cooking or acrobatics? Argh.

I should have notes for a Gossip Column someplace. I’ll see what I can do.

7.15 Much to learn

Edmund wrote his mother’s directions down on a scrap of paper. He didn’t much hold with fancy smartphones. It was something he and Andria had in common.

She could tell him the way to the gypsy caravan without a moment’s thought, though she hadn’t been there in years herself.

“Always be reverent,” she warned him. “No matter how rude and condescending they are. They talk down to us because they are powerful enough to do whatever they like, and they know it. But they’re not entirely capricious. They’ll listen to you, and they might help.”

Edmund rehearsed what he was going to say many times before he knocked at the door. If he was lucky, the fae — his mother’s people — would recognize him as their own. If he wasn’t, what did he have to lose? Did he have anything to lose?

“You have much to learn, and clearly your mother is not going to teach you,” they said. “We will answer your questions, but we will do it in our own time. Until then, you will learn what we want to teach you.”

Edmund could not have wished for more.

“It’s sweet of you to make me hot cocoa!” Victoria told him that evening. “You’re not usually the most domestic kind of guy.”

“I’m very good and putting mugs in the new hot beverage machine and pushing the ‘cocoa’ button,” Edmund said.

“I’m not sure, but it seems like you might want to talk about something,” Victoria said.

“You’re right,” Edmund said. “You’re a lot better with people than I am.”

Vickie raised her eyebrows. “I think you might be the first person who actually thinks I’m good with people.”

“I want to help someone, but I don’t know if she wants my help,” Edmund said. “I’m nervous about asking her, but at this point I need her to work with me.”

Victoria took a long sip of cocoa. “I’m really not that good with people,” she said.

“Maybe it’s just that I’m so very bad at it,” Edmund said darkly.

“I can listen, though,” Victoria said. “I mean, if you want to work through your ideas for how to talk to her.”

“That’s a brilliant idea,” Edmund said.

The following evening, he knocked nervously on the door of a Victorian bungalow.

He had spent many long nights of research simply tracking down where she lived. He had no idea how she would react when she saw him.

Marisela Flynn was in front of his eyes so fast that Edmund wasn’t sure whether had blinked too long or she bewitched him.

“We seem to keep finding each other,” she said, eyeing him. “But this doesn’t seem to be happenstance.”

Edmund swallowed. “I want to help you,” he said.

“You think I need help?” she asked, raising an arched eyebrow.

Edmund forced himself to look her straight in her sinister, luminescent eyes. “Can you tell me you don’t?”

Her lips twitched. “Touché. What, exactly, makes you think you have some way to help me?”

“I don’t know, but I think I might,” he said. “Can you trust me?”

“Trust,” she said slowly. “I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I’ll follow where you lead and won’t hurt you, for now, if that’s the assurance you need.”

He led her back the way he’d come that morning, but as they drew closer to the fae caravan, Marisela slowed down.

“The fae are the enemy of my kind. Do you want to get me killed?” she demanded.

“You have my protection,” Edmund said with more confidence than he felt.

Marisela chucked darkly. “Well, that settles all my worries.”

“Please sit down,” Edmund said, gesturing at an ornate table that held a huge crystal ball.

“Are you going to tell my fortune,” Marisela asked.

“No,” Edmund retorted, “but I might learn something to help your future. Please let me concentrate.”

Then he fumbled his first burst of magic and nearly dropped the priceless magical artifact on the ground. Keep it together, he warned himself silently. Please keep it together.

Marisela was abruptly riveted by the orb. “I can see my father!” she whispered.

“He’s your sire,” Edmund said. “It’s because of him that you are a vampire.”

“He wanted an enforcer for his battle with his ancient nemesis,” Marisela said bitterly. “My father has been at war with another vampire for control of the underworld for generations. I wouldn’t help him. Now I’m alone.”

“Think about him,” Edmund instructed, growing more confident. “He’s your tie to the undead. I have to learn about that connection.”

“That’s not hard,” Marisela said darkly. “I spend most of my time thinking about him.”

They stared at the orb in silence for a long time. Mists swirled within it. Sparks flew around it.

At last he let it fall back to its cradle and stood up. His dragon flew down to rest on his arm, squawking fondly. He stroked her scaly head thoughtfully.

“Are we done here?” Marisela asked. “Did you learn what you need to know?”

“I’ve learned all I can,” Edmund said.

“Do you still think you can help me?” Marisela asked, her voice carefully neutral.

“Maybe,” Edmund admitted. “But we won’t know until I try. Do you want me to try?”

Marisela didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”


So, it’s been a long time. I hope it won’t be so long until the next post. I know at least one person is still reading!

It’s been a really difficult year. It seems like life has been one drama after another, and there hasn’t been emotional energy for anything creative. It feels good to want to do something. I miss my Sims.

 

Simantics: Invisible Pancakes

Rosie Winter’s house has a bit of a laundry problem.

(I edited the lot to force delete all the clothing piles and track down the laundry basket. The laundry system is just dangerous as heck for inactive households.)

This stuff pack bathtub shows off its magical anti-water effects.

Charles! He spent about an entire generation with a corrupted headstone, so I’m excited to have him haunting us again.

Susie bonds with Victoria over video games. “No! Don’t go there! Don’t you see the monsters??”

Here are a bunch of adorable shots of Andria arguing with Charles the Evil Chicken that I lost in my screenshot folder until it was too late to use them.

Awww….

Beware the trampoline. It will cut you off at the knees.

One of the biggest townie hangouts is the science observatory lot, which is just marked Visitors Allowed. I periodically set the camera over there to see the antics. It’s good to know that Sawyer and Abby still keep in touch.

“Hey, whatcha cookin?” asks Lancelot.

“Invisible pancakes. Can’t you tell?”

Here I discover that the steep roof of this lot is going to cause me screenshot troubles….

 

Avalon Gossip Column:

It turns out Sawyer knows how to have more fun than I gave him credit for.

sawyeremilyengagementparty

Sean Flynn has found a new plaything. We don’t want to look too deeply into his and Forest’s personal life. Sadly, StoryProgression seems to have forgotten that Timothy is happily married to Sherman Mentary with two kids. Perhaps Timothy wasn’t quite so happily married, or perhaps Sean’s really horribly with his vampire mojo. Which one shall we guess?

Judith’s father, who has always been single and adopted Judith from foster care (read: adopted her as a newspaper girl who grew to teenagerhood and became too important to the active family to allow to fall into homeless obscurity), has found a sweetheart!

 

Emily’s Sample-Doctor’s ex-husband Greggory continues to fail at romance.

Java Weaver is a crummy educator. Since he’s a Coward, I assume he’s afraid of the children.

Chaim Sample-Erikson, OTOH, is a model police officer.

7.14 Extra Cake

“Yeah, this afternoon!” Winston said. “Of course there will be cake!”

“Just so long as you don’t expect me to eat any of that disgusting stuff this time,” Gamora said.

“This coming from some who thinks fertilizer is a delicacy,” Winston said. He made a face.

“I think this is the time for an important decision,” Victoria told him. “Which will you be, a good witch or a bad witch?”

“I’m always good, sis,” Winston said with a wink. “You should know that by now.”

“You certainly have a good ego, brother dear,” Vickie said. She let out a squeak as he scooped her up in a hug.

“Hey there, bro!” Kain McWilliams said as he strolled through the door. “I thought I’d brink cake!”

Winston looked at him sidelong. “I did say we were providing cake.”

“You invited Kain??” Victoria hissed. Looking at him still made her skin crawl.

“Not me!” Winston protested. “Maybe it was Gamora!”

The next guest was Aunt Abby. “I wasn’t sure what to bring, so I had the chef whip up some nut-crusted tilapia. That goes with birthday cake, doesn’t it?”

“Judy!” Andrea exclaimed. “I’m so glad you could make it.”

“Hey,” Judith said. “It’s my best friend’s baby brother. Mason and I couldn’t stay away!”

“You two are joined at the hip these days, aren’t you?” Andrea asked.

Judith cast a glance to where her boyfriend was talking a few feet away. “Maybe it’s better said we’re on a short leash.”

As soon as the crowd arrived, but before Winston could do anything, Gamora seized her chance. “Happy birthday to me!” she sang.

“Wait,” Judith whispered to Andria. “Wasn’t this Winston’s birthday?”

“I have no clue what goes on with Gamora these days,” Andria admitted. “I didn’t think her birthday was near, but if she says this is it, I guess I’ll roll with it.”

“All right,” Gamora said to Winston. “It’s your turn now.”

“Let me take a picture of the birthday boy before he blows out the candles,” Cortney Pierce-Hodgins said with a sly wink.

“Here, let me pose!” Winston said. “How’s that look?”

In the corner, Paulette Mai tried to hide her sadness. Whenever Cortney was in the room, Winston was drawn to her like a moth to flame. There was no sign that Cortney had ever taken Winston seriously, but Paulette was forever trapped in her shadow.

“All right. Bring on the cake!”

“All together now! ‘Happy birthday to you…!”

“Blow it out in one breath, or your wish won’t come true!”

 

Paulette gaped. Adulthood looked very good on Winston.

Winston grabbed the seat next to Cortney.

“You brought an extra cake?” she asked.

“I didn’t bring that,” Winston said. “I don’t know who’s going to eat it.”

Winston stood up, and Judith immediately took his place. “All right, girls,” Abby said with a conspiratorial wink, “let’s talk about men.”

Judith laughed. “So long as Mason is on the other side of the room!”

“Hey cuz, guess we’re both grown up now!” Winston exclaimed.

“One of us is grown up anyway,” Gamora said.

“Hey,” Winston said. “What are you doing these days. I haven’t seen you in ages. Maybe we could hang out.”

Cortney laughed lightly. “In groups, maybe. My boyfriend would get jealous if we spent too much time alone!”

Victoria found Paulette watching the party from the sidelines. “My brother is kind of dense, you know,” she said.

“Sometimes I just want to shake him!” Paulette admitted.

“Maybe that would get his attention, but I’m not sure!” Victoria said. “I’m rooting for you.”

Paulette smiled for the first time since she’d arrived.

“Hey Kain,” Gamora said. “Glad you could make it.”

 

“You sent me the most intriguing invitation,” Kain said. His eyes were hungry.

“I hope you’ve been thinking about me,” Gamora said. “Here’s some more incentive.” She kissed the tips of her fingers and breathed on them.

“What is that?” Kain demanded.

“They look like… rose petals?”

As the petals touched his skin, they disappeared. Kain’s pupils widened. “Wow…. that was… groovy. Do it again, whatever it was. Please!”

Gamora smirked. “Since you asked so sweetly…”

“That’s quite enough,” Sawyer said.

“What kind of conduct is that?” Sawyer demanded. “You’re making a disgusting spectacle of yourself.”

“The experiment was working!” Gamora protested. “I’m grown up now, Dad. You can’t keep treating me like a child.”

“You won’t use mind-altering pollen to dazzle other sims while you live under my roof.”

Gamora sighed. “You can design my next experiment.”

Sawyer paused thoughtfully. “I want to see your control group.”


Wow… it’s been a long time since I posted. But I got some energy to read other Sims blogs, and Shannon Simsfan gave me the boost I needed. I have a huge backlog, since life stress (mostly work) has just sapped all my creative energy. If I can keep rolling, there are a lot more posts where this one come from. We shall see.

Moving on…. Gen 7 is all grown up now!

I somehow thought that travel Into the Future would freeze aging, but it didn’t, so Gamora is now the same age as Winston and will become older than he is the next time she travels.

Gamora rolled a wish to use the flower kiss on Kain McWilliams some time ago, and I’d been idly trying to get them into the same place. The joint birthday party seemed like the right place. As soon as she queued up romantic interactions with him, Sawyer autonomously decided to pick a fight with her. He stood there in her face, waiting for her queued actions to complete, then jumped between her and Kain to argue with her. It was so hilariously appropriate. Sawyer is hard to love, and that’s the truth. He and Gamora deserve each other. (Story-wise, she still lives with him. In reality, she’s in the active family. She gets most of her rest photosynthesizing and doesn’t need a bed.

I thought I liked the look Winston aged up into, but I quickly changed my mind. There will be a makeover next time you see him.

Winston still wishes for Cortney and can’t manage more than about one social with her, while Paulette shoots glances at him from afar. Love triangle, sims style.

I HATE all the Plantsim outfits. WTF. Some CC-maker created some fabulous leafy outfits for Sims 2 Plantsims, but nobody seems to have been interested in creating for Sims 3 ones. Ah well. If you see anything, drop me a line.

PS: I lurves my Avalon gene pool.

Holy Crap, it’s been 6 weeks

And what a six weeks.

Work has been intense, though I think mostly it’s been very good.

I had a huge falling out with my brother. That sucked.

Then there was the election. Yeah, that happened.

I haven’t been able to face even opening my Sims stuff or looking at any other Sims blogs.

Today, I just dipped a toe back in. I miss my families and you guys.

I’m so far behind that it’s hard to imagine ever catching up, but I’ll give it the old college try.

7.13 When it rains

Andria was surprisingly protective of her greenhouse. This was the fewest plants she’d had growing anywhere she’d ever lived, so each one received a larger fraction of her love.

Still, Gamora was able to persuade her to relinquish enough space for her to plant the crystal flower seeds she’d brought back from the Tourist Trap of the Future.

They seemed to respond to care like any other plant, but it helped that Gamora’s lab was beneath the greenhouse. When she took a break from her bot research, she could come upstairs to chat with them.

Dylan was so captivated by the setting that he began to paint it.

He sometimes lost so much track of time that Andria found him on the upper deck with his canvas at dawn.

screenshot-685

“I should be annoyed with you,” she told him, “but the truth is that I find your artistic dedication sexy.”

screenshot-686

Dylan could only blush — even after all these years.

screenshot-684

Victoria had a room to herself, and it wasn’t a child’s room any longer. She decorated it to her nautical heart’s content.

screenshot-682

It was even sound insulated so that she could make all the noise she wanted.

Connery had unlimited food and plenty of space to laze around. At his age, that was all he could ask for.

When Gamora saw the wedding announcement in the newspaper, she knew it was past time to strike.

ashmanishamarried

She jumped on her hoverboard after school.

 

It didn’t take her long to find her way to the home her mother shared with her current provider.

f

She didn’t even try to disguise her handwriting. Manisha would never recognize it, but she’d know who it was anyway.

She slipped the note into the doorframe and rang the doorbell.

Then she was gone from sight with a soft woosh.

She still had a lot to learn about how to fly a hoverboard. Fortunately, she was out of sight behind the house before she lost control.

She couldn’t help herself. She had to watch from out of sight.

To her disappointment, Manisha’s new husband, Ash Sample-Baerwyn, was the one who came to the door. He walked out with his new puppy and looked around the house. “Damn kids,” he grumbled.

As he turned back to the house, he saw the paper that had fallen onto the welcome mat. Written in read, it said simply, “I hope you didn’t think I’d forgotten about you.”

Ash stared at the paper. “What the hell is this?” he said aloud — a little too loud. He was rattled. And he’d tell his wife about it. That would be almost as good as her finding it herself.

That same afternoon, Victoria arrived at Coffee Under the Sea, where a Simfest had already started.

Frederick was waiting for her. “Vickie! I wasn’t sure if you were going to come! It’s so good to see you!”

She grinned at him. “Sure! This is your first Simfest performance! I want to see it!”

They’d been out for coffee a few times since their dinner date. He was good company. When he looked at her, he had that hungry look in his eyes that told her he wanted so much more, and yet she hesitated. She didn’t mean to lead him on…

“Oh, look!” Frederick said. “It’s Shannon Reacher the acrobat! She can’t possibly plan to perform at a Simfest!”

“She’s someone important?” Victoria asked.

“The best in the business,” Frederick agreed.

“Maybe I can get her autograph!”

Victoria started in the direction of the coffee house when her eyes fell on an old friend.

“Danial! It’s been a while. How are you? Are you going to sing?”

“Hi Vickie. No, not this time. I’m mostly here for professional research. I think I’m going to wait a bit longer to make my big move. You here to watch your boyfriend sing?”

“Frederick? He’s not my boyfriend. But I did come to show him some moral support. This is his first Simfest as a performer.”

“Hey bozo! Learn to sing!” Jody Ursine-Sample shouted at the stage.

“What about Sasha? Is your wife with you?”

Danial flinched and then tried to shrug nonchalantly. “Sasha’s not feeling well.”

“What is it with you and Sasha?” Victoria asked. “Do you do anything at all together? I don’t think I’ve seen her since high school.” She wasn’t sure if she was joking or serious. What was it about Danial that always seemed so… off?

“It’s starting to hail!” Shannon Reacher shouted. “Run for cover!”

“Show me you love meeee….” The performer wailed from the stage.

“Yike!” Victoria said. “I thought I felt a drop, but this is crazy!”

“This Simfest is a bust,” Danial said. “Let’s get out of here and go see Sasha.”

“But what about Frederick?” Victoria asked. But as she looked around, she saw he was already running for his car. “OK, I guess I’m free after all.”

“This way!” Danial said.

“That’s your car?” Victoria demanded. “Where’s the rest of your family?”

“Just get in and get out of the rain,” Danial said.

“Well, it’s certainly comfortable,” Victoria said. “Where are we headed? I didn’t think you lived this way.”

“We’re not going to my house,” Danial said.

When they pulled up in front of Ygraine Memorial, the rain was like a river pouring from the sky.

“You’ll have to run for it,” Danial said.

“We’re at the hospital,” Victoria said blankly.

“Yeah,” Danial said. “Hurry, or we’ll get soaked.”

While they were inside, the rain slowed at last.

And the Simfest officially ended.

“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Victoria asked at last, “after all this time?”

“Sasha was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we got back from our honeymoon,” Danial said. “She that that if our friends knew, they’d be different around her. I guess, it got to feeling like the only way to feel normal was to pretend for everyone else that we were normal.”

“Is there any hope?” Victoria asked.

Danial’s jovial mask finally fell. The face behind was bitter and tired. “It depends on what you mean by hope,” he said. “There’s hope she’ll wake up one more time. I stay by her bed every day because I’d hate myself if she woke up and I didn’t get those last moments with her.”

Suddenly Victoria realized why Danial’s music career had been advancing so slowly. A lot of things made sense.

Impulsively, she threw her arms around him. “You’re not alone,” she said fiercely.

Danial hugged her back. “Thanks,” was all he said.


So this is Danial Ibari’s big reveal.

This is my story justification for one of those absurd May-December romances that StoryProgression always comes up with. Sasha Saunders Ibari is the daughter of Beatrice Saunders (a.k.a. Buffy Summers simalike). She’s older than Dylan and could literally die any day now. When Danial emerged as a player in Vickie’s story, I tried to figure out what to do with that, and this is what I came up with.

I’m so friggin’ far behind on all my reading, but I’m trying to catch up. I really am

7.12 Looking Amazing

“Who wants breakfast?” Winston exclaimed.

“Me!” Andria cried. “Me first!”

“For you, Mama, I add a little something special.”

“Mmm! Perfect!”

Andria chuckled. “That’s quite a performance for dash of extra cinnamon.”

Winston scrunched his nose at her. “This would be more fun if you knew less about cooking.”

When breakfast was finished, the family dressed up and got ready for the big event.

Everyone was gathering at the Old Mill Cafe.

Sawyer’s sister Rosie Winter was home with a cold, but she sent her two daughters, Angelina Winter

and Shalonda Winter.

Roderick was also not there, which was just as well because Victoria wasn’t quite finished being annoyed at him for messing with her date.

Sawyer’s close colleague, Sam Pistachio.

Sawyer and Dylan’s cousin, Gina Sample-Baerwyn, was on her honeymoon with her new busband Bryant Wu. But, to everyone’s surprise, her daughter Leona came. Leona was Great Uncle Hunter’s granddaughter and Victoria’s second cousin. She looked so much like her grandmother Eliana.

Or perhaps she was just there to fish, and the family gathering was a coincidence.

Victoria tried on several outfits and decided on what she hoped was classy casual.

Gamora powered through the guests on her hoverboard. “Make way!” she shouted proudly. “Make way for the bride and groom!”

Afterward came the guests of honor:

Sawyer

and Emily Sample-Doctor.

Emily chose to be married in the form that best suited her personal identity.

The couple was married at City Hall, but Abby insisted there be some sort of a wedding reception. Brunch at the Old Mill Cafe was the compromise.

“Hooray!” everyone cried. “Congratulations!”

It was a while before Sawyer and Emily were ready to see anyone but each other.

Abby and Chaim couldn’t help but be inspired.

“Please, join me for a spot of tea,” Edmund said to Sam.

“Oh! Samantha!” Emily exclaimed. “I’m so glad you came. I wanted you to see how amazing I look!”

“You’re just how I imagined you’d be,” Sam said without meeting her eyes. “Nice to see you in, ah, human form.”

Sam had  been a rival for Sawyer’s affection back in the day. Emily didn’t want her to forget how that turned out.

“Let’s all have a croissant,” Sawyer suggested, giving Emily a hard look.

“That’s a wonderful idea!” Angelina Winter said. Sam got away from Emily and slipped into the seat beside Angelina.

“How could you have sunk so low as to play that role in Jupiter Resembling?” Gamora shouted at Abby. “Do you know how bad the science was in that movie?”

“You take a few acting classes, and then we can talk,” Abby retorted.

“And then you ask the patient to throw paint at the wall,” Sawyer explained to Victoria. “It’s very therapeutic.”

Tea concluded with a cutthroat game of shuffleboard between the three siblings.

And Sawyer rejecting the advances of an intern at the hospital who seemed to have had too much mind-altering herbal tea.

She was going to have a bad day at work when they saw each other next.

Victoria and her family returned home for a lazy afternoon,  though Edmund did stomp her at a practice duel.

Edmund showed off with a bit of fancy spellcasting.

And shot himself in the foot. Literally. Fortunately, the spells wasn’t harmful.

“I don’t understand my brother at all,” Dylan admitted, “but I wish him the greatest of happiness.”

“If he and Emily are half as good together as we are,” Andria said. “He’ll do fine.”

As the family headed to bed, Victoria sat up and thought about love.

You just knew, didn’t you? It just happened?


So, Sawyer and Emily were released into Story Progression for about two days before I got a notification that they were engaged. I thought it would be fun for Abby to throw him a bachelor party. While I was getting set up to throw that party, I got a notification that they were married! Thus the party became a wedding reception instead. Somehow I thought that Sawyer and Emily wouldn’t bother with the whole legal marriage thing, but they proved me wrong.

Emily wanted to spend the entire party in her robot costume. I forced her to switch to her formalwear. She switched back. I gave up.

It’s nice to see Sawyer’s story end in nerdy bliss :).

7.11 How to know

“Hey, Gamora,” Winston said. “You’re doing homework too? What did you get for Question 37 in math?”

Gamora put down her pencil and glared. “You really think I’m working on homework for school?” she said. “I finished all the exercises in the math book last week.”

“Jeeze, okay,” Winston said. “It sure looks like you’re doing homework. Why are you sitting in here if you got it all done?”

“I’m doing an efficiency analysis on the plant-animal crossbreeding program at the Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center,” Gamora said. “Of course.”

“Of course,” Winston said wryly.

GamoraScience

After her report was finished, Gamora made sure nobody was watching her and sneaked up to the rec room to watch the latest episode of Steamy Amazon Love.

Victoria was back in the ocean.

In addition to shells and antiquities, there turned out to be a decent market for live-caught marine creatures.

She no longer panicked at the sight of a shark. They weren’t terribly difficult to avoid if you knew what you were doing.

In the afternoon, she returned to the Arcane Institute to talk to Manu about her most recent haul.

“Where’s Manu?”

“Oh!” the antiquities shopkeeper said. “You must be Victoria Sample. My father told me all about you.”

“You’re Manu’s daughter?” Victoria said. “I didn’t know he had a daughter. It’s nice to meet you!”

“I arrived last night,” the shopkeeper said. “Dad died suddenly of a heart attack. I guess I’m taking over the business.”

“He died?” Victoria said. “I’m so sorry! Does Mom know? He had your dad were such good friends.”

“I’ll make sure everyone knows,” the shopkeeper said. “But I’m trying to focus on some good things too. Can you show me your wares? Dad says you bring the very best inventory, and I can’t wait to see it!”

After such a sad and surreal consignment meeting, Victoria almost felt guilty for catching coffee with Judith. She and her best friend had been so busy building their post-graduation lives that there’d barely been time to do more than text in ages. It was so good to sit down and really take the time to catch up.

“I can’t believe you’re still dating Mason James!” Victoria teased. “He was such a dork in school!”

“He’s a fantastic dancer,” Judith said, “and he’s really smart. It’s actually kind of serious. We’re talking about moving in together.”

Victoria blinked. “Wow. That’s like one step from being married. That seems so… grown up.”

Judith laughed. “Being grown up isn’t all bad,” she said. “What about you? Is there a man in your life?”

“Nobody special,” Victoria said defensively. “Different guys at different times, you know.”

“Vickie the heartbreaker,” Judith said, her eyes twinkling.

“No, really, it’s not like that,” Victoria insisted. “I’m not ready for a serious commitment. How would I know if I found the right guy anyway if I don’t know what guys are like? I want to know what my options are.”

“You really haven’t been in love yet,” Judith said.

“I guess not,” Victoria replied. She really wanted to change the subject. “I’m having fun, though. Tonight I’m going out with a guy I met on Simmy-Cupid.”

Judith was aghast. “You have an online dating account? Do you have any idea the kinds of creeps that hang out on places like that? Tell me you’re going to meet in a public place?”

“Relax, relax!” Victoria said. “Lots of people make dates on the Internet. Anyway, we’re having dinner at The Round Table. It’s perfectly public and safe.”

Rosie Winter met Dylan and Andria at the door. “I’m so glad you could make it on such short notice!” she said. “The papers just went through. This is my first dinner party as a single woman!”

“It feels odd to say, ‘Congratulations for being divorced,'” Andria said, “but single seems to suit you.”

“I brought a lime mead up from the cellar to commemorate the occasion,” Dylan said. “I propose a toast.”

“Hey, Mister and Missus Sample,” Roderick said as he walked in the door. “Thanks for coming to celebrate with Mom. Just curious, but did Vickie come to dinner too?”

Andria gave him a sympathetic look. “I’m afraid not. She told me she had a big date tonight.”

“A date?” Roderick said. “I, um, hope she has a good time.”

Andria snagged a goblet from Dylan’s tray. “Before we toast Rosie’s new life as a single woman, I’d like to raise a glass to my old friend Manu. I guess, at our age, I can’t say that we lost him too soon, but I guess the truth is it’s always too soon.”

Rosie and Dylan raised their glasses. “To Manu.”

“Wow!” Rosie said. “I think this is the best nectar of yours I’ve ever tasted!”

dylanpomelolifenectar

Frederick Rudolph suggested that he and Victoria meet on the beach before dinner, just to get acquainted. Victoria couldn’t think of many things more romantic than the ocean under the stars. This seemed like a good start.

She had to admit that he could use more hair, but at least he didn’t make a big deal out of hiding his baldness, and otherwise he seemed fairly attractive.

They chatted for a bit about her career as a diver and his as a Sing-A-Gram Professional. It felt so weird to call what she did a “career,” but that seemed to be how grownups talk, and here she was supposed to sound mature.

Frederick was just at the beginning of a singing career, but he had big dreams. His favorite dessert was also fruit parfait. They collected all the standard smalltalk about each other.

Suddenly, her phone rang.

“I’m sorry, Fred, do you have a moment?”

“Oh, sure! Take your time.”

“Hi Vickie!” the voice on the other end of the phone chirped. “I was wondering if you were free tonight.”

“Rod?” Victoria gasped. “Is that you?”

“Sure. I was just thinking about you and thought maybe we could go out for drinks.”

“This isn’t a very good time, Rod,” she said. “I have someone here.”

Rod laughed. “You aren’t out with a guy, are you? After the Love-o-Meter said we were meant to be?”

“You know!” Victoria hissed. “You know full well I’m on a date!”

She felt a hot blush creeping up her face. She hung up the phone without saying goodbye and set it to silent. “I’m really sorry about that,” she said.

“Oh, that’s all right,” Frederick replied. “It gave me a chance to finish another chapter. You really ought to try this book. I just can’t put it down.”

After that, they headed to dinner. Frederick offered to pay, but Victoria found a way to gracefully refuse. He seemed fine with that.

The smalltalk continued. Victoria talked about how much she loved her new house. He shared funny stories about sing-a-gram customers and the big audition he was preparing for.

I’m supposed to feel something, aren’t I? she thought to herself as she looked across the table at Frederick. He was a nice guy. She enjoyed talking to him. But wasn’t there supposed to be a spark or something? Wasn’t she supposed to know if she wanted to go out with someone a second time?

What was he thinking?

Dinner ended. They bade each other farewell and promised to send messages on Simmy-Cupid. Victoria waved to him as he sat down in his cab. Then she lingered, caught in her own thoughts. Did she have any idea what she was looking for? Would she even know if she found it?

“Hey, Vickie!”

She didn’t recognize the voice at first, but the face was familiar. “Kain? Kain McWilliams?”

“I saw you over there with that guy, and it kind of looked like you were on a date. You wouldn’t go out with another guy behind my back, would you?”

“B-behind your back?” Victoria stammered. “Kain, we haven’t gone out since before graduation. I never said I was your girlfriend.”

“Are you kidding?” Kain said. “How can you deny the magic when we’re together? Can you really pretend we’re not meant for each other?”

Victoria took a step back. She was suddenly very glad that they were at a public restaurant. “I’m sorry, Kain,” she said, working to keep her voice calm and steady. “I don’t want to see you again.”

“I can’t believe you,” Kain spat. “I’m a nice guy. I’m way better than that loser you were with. I hope he breaks your heart.”

He turned and stormed away.

Victoria went inside the restaurant and called a cab. She stayed inside while she waited and watched for it through the window.

While she waited, she transitioned from shocked to furious. Kain didn’t own her. She didn’t owe him anything.

Judith had worried about a guy from an online dating site, but guys you met in person could be just as scary.

Was dating and romance really worth it at all?


I’m baaack! Or, at least, I hope so. My job is going fabulously, but the new life routine has been rocky. My kid starts kindergarten on Tuesday, so even more disruption. But it sure felt good to write the Samples again.

Grump. Manu has disappeared — deleted by the game. He was an Elder, and it’s possible he really did die of old age. It would have been nice to get a notification or something, considering he was Andria’s best friend outside of the family. I guess it serves me right for making friends with role/service sims.

So, I didn’t make this stuff up — Rosie’s partner was Dylan’s old highschool flame Corina. They never actually married (because SP is weird sometimes), but they lived together for most of their adult lives and had four children together. Any place would call that common-law marriage.

Right after I got the breakup notification for Rosie and Corina, Rosie invited Andria to a party. As usual, they were the only ones to show up, but Roderick came home during the visit. At the same time, Vickie was out on her randomly-generated date, and she got a phone call from — you guessed it — Roderick.

After Vickie’s date left, I noticed Kain on the lot. Vickie had never been able to get him into a conversation so she could, “Just be friends” to get rid of the lingering romantic interest status from prom, so I did it here. Here’s a gripe — you can send a breakup text, but you can’t send a just friends text, so it’s harder to get rid of RIs than it is boyfriends. And yet RIs can still trigger cheating. Argh.

Just to clear up any concerns about family relationships, I’ll just remind you that all the Gen 6 Samples are half siblings. Rosie Winter is Sawyer’s cousin through his other mum. Roderick Winter is Rosie’s son, and he’s Gamora’s second cousin, but he’s not related to any of Dylan’s kids.

This has been your incest false alarm. Dude, my breeding population is about 100 sims, and it doesn’t take long for everyone to be related to everyone else.

 

7.10 By the Seashore

“Great Watcher, how can this be?” Edmund gasped.

“What?” Andria cried, rushing in from the hall. “Are you all right?”

Edmund sighed and closed the tome. “I’m fine,” he said. “It’s just that the answer isn’t here. The longer I look, the more questions and half truths I find.”

“So many mysteries of the supernatural realms,” Andria mused. “If only you had someone to ask, someone wise who devoted her life to the study of magic. A family member perhaps?”

“I don’t mean to question your expertise, Mother,” Edmund said. “It’s just that this is a subject too deep in the dark corners of the supernatural world for you to be able to help me.”

“Really?” Andria asked archly. “I’d be more inclined to believe you if you told me what you were trying to do.”

“I seek a spell to grant life to someone who is trapped as an undead.”

Andria let that sink in. “Oh.” She said. “You want to cure a vampire.”

“I suppose that’s another way of saying it,” Edmund agreed.

“Well, I can see why you are stymied,” Andria said. “You’re looking in the wrong place. You need to start working with potions. I have never attempted something that involved, but I can point you to the standard references.”

“The standard–” Edmund began. Then, “Thank you.”

So Edmund began working with potions.

At last, he was making progress.

With Sawyer and Emily woohooing at all hours in their small house, Gamora spent most her time at her Uncle Dylan’s home.

She set up bot design equipment in her father’s lab.

The rest of the Samples seldom saw her. She preferred to work at night. Sometimes she stayed up until dawn.

Daytime was more useful to her as a time to rest, and she had no real reason to return home to sleep. She had discovered a way to replenish herself that was unique to her bioengineered body.

Photosynthesis. Rain made it even more nourishing.

Her time away from her father’s house also meant she could be sure she wasn’t around when Sawyer discovered some surprises she’d left for him.

“Gamora! Why??”

Connery was growing more sleepy in his old age. His favorite place was on the sofa, dreaming of playing games with his people.

One evening, Dylan found Andria standing the back yard at bedtime, sadly surveying her garden.

“It’s beautiful,” Dylan said. “I have never seen plants as beautiful as yours. I guess it is, quite literally, your magic.”

Andria sighed. “Even with the help of my magic, I can’t keep up with all of this anymore. I’m growing old, Dylan. It’s not a great feeling.”

Dylan took her into his arms. “We both are in our twilight, my lady. But it’s a golden twilight.”

She held him tight. “You make everything seem more elegant,” she said, “even something as lousy as old age. There’s no help for it. I need to downsize to a much smaller garden.”

They sat down with the family the next morning and discussed their options. In the end, they decided to look for a new home. Victoria longed to be closer to the ocean. She scoured real estate listings to find a home for the family by the sea.

At last, they said goodbye to the stately home that Dylan had lived in since he was a teenager.

And moved to a lovely home a the end of Isolde Way that backed up to a private beach.

Victoria, who desperately wanted her parents to approve the house, made arrangements for a greenhouse to be built before they moved in.

Andria loved it. She had wept the night she left her garden to its new owners, but in her heart, she was relived to leave it in the capable hands of the new owners. Here, she could make a fresh start with something smaller and less taxing.

Victoria was first to enter the house on moving day. She walked around the first floor, drinking in the soothing feel of the place.

She could hear the rolling waves gently in the background and watch the surf from her window.

This was truly her home.

Then the rest of the family thundered in and made themselves at home.

Dylan set up his canvas on the second floor deck.

And his photography equipment in their new bedroom.

Andria began feeding everyone.

Edmund surprised everyone by suggesting some exercise options for the back yard.

Edmund had never really shown interest in physical exertion before now, but he said the workout cleared his mind.

Beneath the greenhouse was Dylan’s nectar cellar, and to the back of the cellar was a portal that could only be Gamora’s.

Now she had a lab that was truly hers.

Connery was as delighted as the humans with his new digs. After a hard day of watching the humans move their stuff, followed by a big meal, he needed a long rest.

“Come dance with me, my lady love,” Dylan said, and he twirled her to the sound of the music box that his grandfather Charles Sample had once given to his grandmother Veronica as his first expression of love.

Then they retired to their new bedroom to sleep.

When everyone was asleep, Victoria set about putting a few more personal touches on the home. A few wards here, a few repairs there.

There were so many practical uses for her magic, and she was just beginning to discover them. Who knew you could use it to prevent a sink from breaking?

Or that you could enchant the home against unwanted visitors? So many possibilities.

This was just the beginning, and she knew it.


This was a bit longer than I planned because I discovered that I’d set the bit between Edmund and Andria aside for a future post, and this was the last one it could be used in before the move.

I like to have each generation move to a new home that suits their personality. It took me a bit longer to find a house that I thought suited Victoria.

On a personal note, I thought I’d mention that this is my 401st post! The 400th was that Simantics post, and I forgot to make note of it. Yes, I know I’m insane.

Also, I GOT A JOB. Not just a job, but THE job — a perfect match for my skills and interests. I start on August 1. I’m really excited. Since I’ve complained on this blog about my miserable job hunt, I thought it was important to mention that it worked out!

 

Simantics: Sassy tirade

Here I discover that my NRaas Dresser mod resets the outfits of all the residents as soon as the actives arrive. My Dresser settings exclude clothes from the future expansion, so the first time I arrived, Emit looked like this.

Afterward, I tried changing the Dresser settings, and it STILL screwed up all the clothes on the future residents. I finally had to take the mod out. Hmmm… wonder if I put it back yet.

And here is why there was no exterior shot of the Bot Emporium. It’s never a bad time for the ice cream truck.

Sawyer got on a sassy autonomous tirade. I tried, but I just couldn’t come up with anything to use this for in the story. I think it was adorable.

When we returned, I reset Gamora’s flower walk style by removing her Plantsim occult and replacing it. This is how she turned out.

I really hate the female plantsim outfit. But apparently there are also 2-3 different plantsim hair colors, and she got a different one this time. I restored her old appearance in CAS.

Sawyer is shocked by the floating birthday party horn after he becomes an Elder.

When Greggory pulls Sawyer aside for a heart-to-heart about Emily, Sawyer got fresh insight into why they divorced in the first place.

Greggory is an incredible bore.

The kind who bores you to death.

Avalon Gossip Column

Jean Reacher, husband of Shannon Simsfan Reacher, is doing well in his new career in education.

JeanSubstituteTeacher

Java Weaver, my simself’s bastard, may be a coward, but the school kids haven’t driven him away yet.

JavaSubstituteTeacher

Sam Pistachio is nearing the end of her life, and she doesn’t seem to have done much with HER career.

SamSpellChecker

Ah! Here’s someone who is doing well. Chaim is a lovely randomly generated police officer.

ChaimLieutenant

Looks like Greggory has a life after Emily after all!

GreggoryClaire

Or maybe not. Greggory doesn’t seem to be much of a catch for anyone.

GreggoryBreakup

And then there’s this. Kari is the late-in-life daughter or Joanne Bookabet (Jo’s simself) and Ada Sample’s daughter Tomas. I believe she and Greggory may still be dating, but they hate each other.

KariMovedOut

This is just included for the awesome book title. I doubt anyone cares, but Dennis is descended from Charlotte Stemple, Charles’s immaculately conceived Chinese love child.

DennisPocketLint

Here, Sean and Forest show that they have the same taste in many things, including other men…

SeanTimothy

ForestTimothy

The disturbing thing is that Timothy Weaver has been happily married with two kids to Sherman Mentary for a whole generation.

And there we have the state of the town.