Tag Archive | ada

4.15 Girl Talk

True to her word, Veronica honeymooned with Charles on a backcountry hiking and camping vacation. She didn’t have a lot of experience roughing it, but she met it with the same enthusiasm she met any new experience.

One night, as they cuddled under the stars, she admitted, “You know, I really hate the military.”

“Why on earth are you working there, then?”

“I don’t know. I hated my last job, and I wanted to try something really extreme.”

“The dojo is bringing in enough money these days. Mom and Fabian make a ton. We hardly need your paycheck. Find something you like and do that.”

“You really don’t mind if I just quit and coast for a while?”

“Absolutely not! Why should you be a slave to The Man?”

As soon as they made it back to civilization, Veronica gave leave to Gnome Military Base and began exploring her Eccentric side.

This meant she spent a lot of time with Zahra. The most logical place to set up a chemistry station was next to Zahra’s inventor’s workbench.

After Veronica stepped in it a few times by trying to make jokes, she and her mother-in-law got along swimmingly. To Charles’s taste, they almost got along too well.

“You know,” Zahra said with a sort of forced casualness one day, “Maternity leave can really crush your career. If you and Charles are thinking about kids, you might want to do it now while you’re between jobs.”

“We what?” Veronica choked.

Meanwhile, Ada was spending a lot of time with her muse, either writing or painting. She loved to hang out at Second Chance Consignment, where the every-changing odds and ends gave her inspiration.


She was selling more and more paintings these days, and she was getting higher and higher fees for them. It was exciting to get a sense that her name was out there.

Unfortunately, though the shopkeeper appreciated her art, he didn’t much appreciate her musing about life. After a couple of conversations, he made sure to keep the counter between them.

One day, she ran into Jabari’s mom, Justine Keaton, stopping by on her way home from work.

“I just wanted to tell you that even though I’m sure you’re thrilled that your son is married and happy, Latisha is always going to be a tramp in my imagination, even if it isn’t true. I prefer to think that she’s making Jabari miserable. She can’t possibly deserve him.”

“You what?” Justine said, stunned.

“Thanks for listening!” Ada said, her face brightening. “I just needed to get that off my chest!”

She went home feeling much more relaxed and had a bit of fun.

Zahra’s scientific research had reached international attention. It was certainly going to her head.


She began dressing and acting more eccentrically. She kept a note pad with her at all times and interrupted conversations to write down ideas for experiments.

She was growing some strange fruit in the garden that kind of looked like beating hearts. Better not to look at those fruits too closely.

Still, there were some definite advantages to all her hard work. She Did Science to all sorts of things around the house.

She found a way to make the beds float.

She invented this amazing new automated way to harvest the garden. It was ten times faster than the normal hand-picking, and it only upset your stomach most of the time.

She didn’t know when to stop, though. Fabian and Charles found themselves carrying her to bed plenty of times.

Good thing she had less single-minded loved ones to look after her.


Basically an interlude piece to show how the girls are doing!

So the big news here is that my husband has taken a job with Google in Boston, Massachusetts. We’re going to be moving in mid-May. Before then, we need to get our house in Albuquerque, NM ready to sell (with a toddler), and we have to go on at least one house-hunting trip to Boston! We are going insane over here, and I don’t know how much I’ll be around.

We moved to Abq from Boston 10 years ago, and we have some very close friends there that we are looking forward to living near again. Still, it hasn’t really sunk in yet, and moving is front-loaded with suck. Lots of goodbyes and lots of stress. Aaaagh!

4.13 A Girl’s Last Night of Freedom


“While the boys are away, the girls will play!” Veronica cried. “Paaartay!”

She rented out The Queen disco club and turned the music up until the beat vibrated the walls.

“Don’t TELL me you’re related to Shanni Crumplebottom!” Veronica had said while they were filling out wedding invitations. “She’s a buddy of mine from way back! She does my hair!”

Shanni was the closest friend Veronica was able to invite to the party, but when Veronica asked her to be Matron of Honor, she had to kindly refuse. “I’ll be at the wedding if I can, but this baby is going to come any day now.”

Not to be outdone, Toya was due with her and Adjo’s fourth child only a few days after Shanni.

“Let’s get down!” screamed Darlene Branch, a coworker of Veronica’s from the military. She’d already had more than enough to drink.

“I don’t think you’re drinking enough!” Veronica declared to Zahra. “LET ME GET YOU SOME NECTAR!”

“Attention! It’s time to drill your sergeant!”

“Look at the pecs on that guy!”

“I’m not sure. I think I need a CLOSER INSPECTION!”

After the dancer finished his act, Velvet Sharpe and Genvieve Goth got into a bit of a catfight over who would dance with him first.

The dancer, meanwhile, headed out into the entrance hall to cool down.

“Um, you’re about to walk into the ladies’ restroom,” Ada said politely.

“I’m what?” the dancer said absently. “Oh! God! Thank you for warning me.”

“I’m Ada,” Ada said. “I’m really weird. Everyone says so.”

The dancer gave her a charming smile. “I’m Alberto Royale.”

“That’s a great stage name. Are you allowed to give me your real name?”

Alberto Royale frowned. “Am I supposed to have a stage name?”

They turned out to have a lot in common. Alberto was saving up his dancing tips so that he could do some traveling, and he was fascinated by Ada’s vacation stories.

“You seem like a really nice guy,” Ada said after they had been talking a while. “Is it weird to ask for your phone number?”

“Totally not!” Alberto said. “But, um, I hope you have something to write on because I can’t keep anything in this costume.”

At that moment, Agnes burst from the ladies’ room.

“Ada, you’re not smiling! Let me help you with that!”

Not long after, Veronica kicked everyone out to go home and sleep it off. She was not going to have a hangover on her wedding day.


So, for story purposes these happened on the same night b/c that would be logical. In fact, I could never have handled two bachelor parties at the same time. Charles slept in so long from his dusk-to-dawn bachelor party that there wasn’t really time to do a wedding the way I was planning without waking him up and leaving him exhausted. So I gave them an extra day and let Veronica have the (shorter) bachelorette party she was wishing so hard for. Bachelor parties are really more her style anyway :).

In an attempt to follow the great party tutorials, I had Veronica bring a key lime pie, but I couldn’t get the “call to meal” menu option to appear at the dance club. I did, however, make sure Veronica was home by midnight, and her party was a “modest success.”

I was surprised to look at Veronica’s relationship bar and discover that she and Shanni were already good friends. I wanted Veronica to ask her to give a speech, but for some reason the menu option wouldn’t come up. I have no idea why. It wasn’t because she was pregnant, because the option was available for Toya. However, Shanni was quite a bit more pregnant than Toya, so maybe that was it?

I have no idea why Zahra changed into a slip before leaving. That’s not even her sleepwear. Hilarious! What happens at the bachelorette party stays at the bachelorette party, I guess.

As far as I can tell, Alberto Royale didn’t actually dance. He just posed under the lights, and the whole group of ladies gathered around to cheer him on. Somehow I missed photographing the crowd, and now I’m sorry. But they really did have a great time watching him. The dancer at Charles’s party didn’t even pose under the lights. I think the first floor of the pub was laid out poorly for her to do her thing, but there was a whole cute second floor of that building with a dance floor that nobody used.

Ada and Alberto get along like a house on fire! What a sweet surprise!

4.9 France is for Lovers

Ada was such a bright and cheerful, if non-sequitur girl that everyone immediately noticed her moping around the house. Maybe Charles was particularly aware of it because he was doing the same thing. The Sample house got gloomier by the day.

Finally, Charles had had enough. “What we need is a vacation,” he announced.

Ada perked up. “I want to paint France,” she announced. So Charles bought the tickets, and off they went.

Ada made short work of setting up her easel, and passersby stopped to watch her unusual creative style.

Charles left her to her passion and took a while to explore the quaint town. And met the kind of reception he was accustomed to seeing everywhere.

It was really getting old.

“Hello! Wow, you’re really something special! Where are you visiting from?”

Charles looked up from an awkward exchange with the Special Merchant to meet a pair of shining, curious eyes.

“Hello! I’m Berthe Girard. You must be a tourist because I know I would have remembered seeing someone like you.” She reached out her hand for his without hesitation.

Charles took it. “Charles Sample. I’m here for the week from Sunset Valley.”

“Really! Where is that?”

They had a bit of smalltalk about tourism and home and then turned to go their separate ways.

As he turned to go, it suddenly occurred to Charles that he was being an idiot. Here was an attractive woman who wasn’t the slightest bit frightened by him. Why wasn’t he trying to get to know her better?

“Berthe?” he called after her. “If you happen to have some free time, would you be willing to show the sights to a couple of tourists?”

Berthe turned around and gave him a bright smile. “For you, I’ll make the time!”

So Charles gathered up Ada and made introductions, and Berthe drove them to the local nectary, cheerfully chattering about local history as they went. She painted a picture with words that almost matched Ada’s canvas.

“This place has been making nectar the old fashioned way for over a hundred years,” Berthe said. “I can show you what I like best, but I think you should try everything. Don’t let the nectarers make you feel guilty. That’s what nectar tasting is for!”

So they had a sip, and then another, and then another, and soon they found that they had run out of conversation and were just staring into each other’s eyes.

Ada, meanwhile, found the nectary tour guide and told him all about how the orbital mind control lasers programmed grapes so that when people drank the nectar they would vote for certain political parties.

The tour guide seemed to take the whole story with equanimity. “All right, then,” he said when she’d run out of steam. “I can do you one better. Have you ever heard of the Zombie of Chateau Nectary?”

“No!” Ada said. “Who is that?”

And he told them.

It was the only thing Ada could talk about for hours afterward. “We have to be careful!” she told Charles more than once. “Did you know that after they saw the zombie, the children were never seen again?”

“I have to go to work tomorrow,” Berthe said reluctantly. “I hope you’ll drop by again before you head home.”

“Definitely,” Charles said, breaking out of the nectar haze. He gathered up Ada, and Berthe drove them to their hotel.

The next day, Ada woke Charles up just past dawn. “Today, you’re going to go with me to the Muse D’Arte!” she announced. “There’s nothing like it in the world. A little more art will do you good.”

Charles’s thoughts were elsewhere, so he just went where Ada told him to go.

“These are the masters,” Ada declared. “I have to learn to be this good or nobody will remember my art.”

So she set up her easel in the middle of the museum and started to work. Everyone was so surprised that nobody told her to stop.

In the evening, she got tired. The bed of Queen Chartreuse XII was out on display without even a rope dividing it from the spectators. It looked so comfortable that Ada had to try it out.

In the morning, she woke to a crowd of astonished onlookers. She smiled at them. “What a great night’s sleep! This museum has such nice hospitality!”

Charles, meanwhile, took advantage of his ghostliness to get up close and personal with the Egyptian exhibit after hours.

Some places were better off unexplored.

Charles left Ada absorbed in the museum and took his time exploring ancient burial mounds nearby. When he returned he drifted into the antiquities dealer and gift shop to sell some of his finds.

There, a charming music box caught his eye. Inside, a clockwork ballerina danced alone to a romantic tune, seeming to beckon the watcher to join her.

“How much?” he found himself asking.

“Less than what you just offered to sell me,” the merchant pointed out.

Something in the ballerina’s dance touched Charles’s heart, and he found himself trading for it more antiquities than it could possibly be worth.

The vacation was ending at last. Charles and Ada’s flight departed the next day. Berthe had been on his mind for the entire trip. At last he took a deep breath and dialed her number.

“I was hoping to see you again before I left,” he told her. “Would you like to meet me at the cafe?”

“Of course I would!” Berthe replied on the other end of the line.

So they met again where they had met the first time. This time, they sat at the table and laughed over coffee. Conversation came easily.

Charles thought of the music box in his bag. It was a gift for a hoped-for lover. Should he give it to her?

Being with Berthe was….

…almost as wonderful as being with Veronica.

Then he knew. He couldn’t ask anything of Berthe because he wasn’t free to ask her. He had to tell Veronica how he felt.

“I have to pack my bag,” he said at last. “Our flight leaves bright and early. Thank you so much for showing me and my sister around the town. You’ve been… you’ve been a great friend.”

Something flashed behind Berthe’s eyes. “A friend,” she said evenly. “I’m glad I could be of service.”

The last of their visit was awkward. Charles watched her go, wondering if he had just made the biggest mistake of his life.

No, this was the way it had to be. He was done being a passive gentleman. He couldn’t step aside and lose the woman he loved because he never let her know.

It was time to go home.


France was so much fun. Lance never went here except a quick trip when he was a teenager because the best tombs and swag aren’t in France. So I got to explore it essentially for the first time.

Berthe was almost perfect. She had fun personality traits, she was Brave and thus not afraid of Charles, she had a LTW I would have enjoyed, and she was single. Plus, she was game-generated. Plus the two of them got along like a house on fire. I’m sure her Charismatic trait didn’t hurt their relationship. Charles should have married her on the spot. Instead, as soon as he talked to her, he rolled a wish to go home. Charles the adventurer wished to go home. If I were going to look for my sim to tell me who he wanted, that seemed like the best hint I was going to get. Plus, hey, Veronica got most of the votes anyway :).

Actually, Charles ran into two more Brave French folk: the antiquities vendor and a random guy playing chess on the plaza. Clearly France was the place he should have gone mate hunting a lot earlier.

I thought Ada looked adorable while listening to the ghost story!

The bit with the music box was from a couple of wishes Charles had. He wanted to buy a music box, and he wanted to give Veronica a gift. I thought they went together nicely.

4.8 Commencing

With Ada’s birthday came her other big day.

“How do I look, Daddy?” she asked eagerly.

“I don’t know how to answer that,” Fabian answered. “All I see is a baby girl I lost a long time ago.”

The ceremony was long and filled with speeches. But Ada got the most important part.

She was voted, “Most Likely to Offend Others,” and she seemed ridiculously pleased about it.

Jabari Keaton graduated the same day. He’d finished his credits a while ago, but he hadn’t been able to attend the ceremony with the rest of his class.

Charles jumped at the chance to catch up with his best friend. “Hey man! I haven’t seen you at the dojo yet!”

Jabari answered with a lovestruck smile. “That’s because I just got married!” he said. “To Latisha Langerak!”

“Isn’t she amazing?”

“Whoa,” Charles said. “I didn’t even know you were dating anyone.”

“It did happen a little bit fast,” Jabari admitted, “but we wouldn’t change anything. Would we my dear?”

Ada watched the conversation, but she didn’t try to say anything to Jabari herself. Jabari had tutored her in Math and English and helped her make a B average by graduation. Had she felt anything else for him?

Halfway through the quiet and awkward drive home, she just said, “I’m happy for him, then.”

That evening, it was time for two more birthdays.

Zahra and Fabian were dragged into their golden years. They might not be thrilled about getting older, but they took it cheerfully.

At least they had each other, with all their flaws, and that wasn’t looking too bad these days.


The game crashed right as Zahra was aging up, and I didn’t get the picture of her makeover. (Notice the clothing change between her birthday and Fabian’s :).) You should see what she looks like in future screen shots.

This update doesn’t advance Charles’s romantic crisis at all either, and it deals a blow to Ada. Poor Gen 4 has been terribly unlucky in love. Ada couldn’t get Lavar Andrews to give her the time of day. So she turns her attention on Jabari, and I got the notification that he married Latisha Langerak RIGHT after the end of Ada’s birthday party. Good grief.

Rest assured. There will be progress :).

4.7 Ada Lovelace Day

Fabian’s little girl was becoming a woman. He wanted to give her the world, but he had to settle for a really big birthday party. He asked her where she wanted to celebrate, but that was just a gesture of affection. Everyone knew it would be at the art museum, of course.

Charles arrived early to set everything up before the guests arrived.

First was Adjo and Toya, with their eldest daughter Charmaine.

Charmaine insisted on bringing her new girlfriend, Jenna Yo.

Shanni, lovely as ever.

Agnes, rocking her fresh status as a respected elder.

And there was Veronica! She came after all!

She even brought her former roommate Trixi Ursine-Hodgins, who needed to get out with her newborn son Harrison. Trixi was Toya’s sister-in-law, and they exchanged a bit of family gossip.

“I’m so glad you came,” Charles said awkwardly to Veronica. “I know it’s kind of weird to come to a birthday party of someone you don’t know.”

Veronica laughed. “There will be cake and dancing, right? How could I say no?”

Everyone crowded around the birthday girl.

“Blow out the candles! Make a wish!”

Ada Lovelace, now a young adult. Her traits are: Artistic, Brave, Born Saleswoman, Easily Impressed, Insane.

“Now it’s time to party!”

“So,” Adjo said, “If you have a minute, could we talk about your intentions toward my daughter?”

“Jabari was so great when he tutored me in English. Do you think he would think I’m too weird to dance with?” Ada asked Charles in a whisper. “If that’s not too many ‘thinks’?”

“Jabari’s a great guy,” Charles said. “Go ask.”

“Wish me luck!”

“Are you having a good time?” Charles shouted over the music.

“Cake and dancing!” Veronica shouted back. “Just what I came for!”

They danced and laughed and visited until dawn, then they helped pick up the dirty dishes and clean the place up for the museum opening. By then, it felt like Veronica was one of the family herself.

Charles decided it was time to make his move. “I’d really like to see you again,” he said, reaching for her hand.

Veronica’s eyes went wide, and she shrank away. “I’m so sorry I gave you the wrong impression,” she said. “I have a boyfriend. Willem Yo. I think he works with your dad.”

Charles was so crushed he almost forgot to say anything. “Fabian’s my stepdad,” he said at last, quietly. “I’m glad you had a nice time.”


Every eligible woman in this bloody town appears to be in a relationship except Genvieve Goth, who is a Coward and not feasible no matter what her personality is!

On the positive side, Charmaine and Jenna have the honor of being our first progression-generated same-sex couple. I thought that StoryProgression was set to give sims a 30% chance of being gay. It turned out that 3 was, ahem, 3%. Whoops. I fixed it.

Man the entryway of the art museum has NO LIGHTS. I need to fix that.

Jabari Keaton did in fact come over and do homework with Ada, but I somehow failed to take screen shots. His aging seems to be delayed as well, because he reached adulthood only a couple of sim-days before Ada did.

4.5 Darkest Before Dawn

Charles avoided Fabian the next morning by spending it in the back room with Granddad’s old weight living equipment. One thing he could guarantee was that Fabian wouldn’t be working out.

It had been too long since he’d had a good workout that didn’t involve drilling or sparring. And of course, that made it clear that the next thing the dojo needed was a gym. He started drawing up the plans.

The currently-blocked-off upstairs bedroom would be perfect.

When Fabian was safely gone for the day, he emerged from his cave and started scrounging up his breakfast. As soon as he headed toward the kitchen, Ada pounced him.

“I want you to teach me to drive!” she announced.

Charles blinked. “Ada, I don’t know how to drive. I don’t own a car. I teleport everywhere, remember?”

Ada frowned at him. “Why should that matter? You’re an adult now. It’s one of those things you’re supposed to do. Besides, you drove us home from the Yo party.”

“I did that because Fabian was drunk, and I went about 10 miles an hour.”

“You can do it again! We’ll just pretend I’m drunk too.”

How did he get himself into these things?

“And why are we doing this in Fabian’s SUV?” he demanded. “Do you know what kind of gas mileage this thing gets? I can feel the trees dying as it drives by!”

“Um, Charles?”

“I don’t see why we can’t get Fabian to sell this monstrosity. He drives his patrol car everywhere, even if it’s just down the block.”

“Charles, could you just tell me which pedal makes the car go?”

“Oh. Um, yeah.”

Afterward, he headed over to the dojo to oversee the upstairs renovation. Things were going along well, and the contract work wasn’t going to take more than a day or two. When he was confident that the workers didn’t need any more supervision, he took a deep breath and dialed Michelle Yo’s number.

“Hello! It’s Charles Sample! We met at your brother’s birthday party. Yeah. We talked about a personal training session, and I think that would be a great idea. Do you think we could schedule some time….”

Michelle was excited. She was there in half an hour.

“I’m so glad you called!” she exclaimed. “The next script on my desk is Kung Fu Chainsaw Madness, and I’m just not confident I can pull of the stunts.”

Charles grinned. He was in his element. “Well, we could schedule a bunch of intensive sessions this week.” That way, they’d be seeing a lot of each other. Michelle was a beautiful woman, and he’d never met anyone with as much passion for Martial Arts before. And she didn’t seem to mind his ghostliness at all….

“Thank you so much for changing your schedule for me!” she said. “I can do any evening but Wednesday. I always spend that with my boyfriend Bill.”


“Well, then,” Charles said, keeping his voice level. “It sounds like there’s no time to lose. Let’s get started.”

The truth was, they had little talk about except Sim Fu. Charles just didn’t have much in common with someone who thought about movies most of the time.

When Michelle left, Charles found himself wandering Sunset Valley’s new club district. He was too restless to sleep. Eventually, he stopped into the new exotic-themed fusion lounge to drown his sorrow in a drink or two.

It wasn’t fair. It was so difficult to make a connection with anyone. He was so lonely.

Maybe his kind just wasn’t made to find love.

He dusted off his self-pity. There was nothing to do but keep trying. At least the bookstore was open 24 hours. Surely there was a book on business taxes he could use to keep himself useful.

Or maybe he could just get a book on fishing.

As he emerged from the bookstore, he had the sudden feeling of someone walking over HIS grave. He looked up and found someone watching him from a nearby bench.

He drifted over uncertainly. “Hello? I’m Charles Sample.”

The woman leaped to her feet. “You’re some kind of spirit aren’t you? I knew it! Everyone says there’s no such thing, but I knew there had to be someone around like you. You’re amazing!”

“I’m, um, what?” Charles asked, dumbfounded.

“Wow! You can float too! Can you fly?”

Then she caught herself. “I”m sorry. I’m Veronica Krane. You must think I’m completely insane.”

Charles smiled at her, starting to relax. “I’ve just never seen anyone react the way you did. I don’t think you’re crazy.”

Veronica gave him a sidelong glance. “If you don’t think I’m crazy, maybe I’m not trying hard enough.”

And so they began talking. And talking. She asked him about his paranormal bloodline and was really fascinated. He asked her about her life and found that she was new in town and trying on careers like other people tried on hats.

Then he looked up, and the sun had risen. They’d been talking all night. Charles had never felt so comfortable with another human being.

Veronica yawned. “Wow, I have to get to work.”

He had to see her again. “Hey, my sister has a birthday party in a couple of days. Would it sound too weird if I asked you to join me?”

Veronica beamed. “That sounds like fun!”

He wasn’t sure, but maybe he’d just made his first date.


I looked it up. Veronica’s last trait is Dramatic. So: Athletic, Daredevil, Dramatic, Eccentric, Good Sense of Humor.

So the deal is that I created Veronica, and Pinstar has a silly rule against marrying sims you create yourself. There’s nothing special about her, and I didn’t design her to be Charles’s mate. She was one of the first sims I created when I bought Sims 3, and she’s designed to be the love interest in my urban fantasy novel. I found her in my files when I started playing again, and I uploaded her to the Exchange. EA featured her, which was pretty cool. She has 500+ downloads from the Exchange. So, I remembered how much I like this character, and I dropped her in my game.

I did tweak her traits a bit because there was nothing paranormal about the base game, and I thought it would be cool to have a ghost hunter. However, Twallan’s StoryProgression assigned her to the military instead. I though you could have NPC ghost hunters, so I may ask about that.

I DID know that if nobody else in town worked out, at least she had the Daredevil trait, so I had my eye out for her :).

I guess I’ll treat this like I do any other Pinstar rule I don’t want to follow ;).

4.4 Lifestyles of the Wannabe Famous

“Zahra! You have to come!” Fabian declared as he burst into the house after work.

“I have to go where?” Zahra demanded.

“There’s a new club opening in town called The Queen. Half priced drinks all week!”

“And why should I be excited that something I’m not going to drink anyway is half price?”

“I’ve heard a rumor that Vita Alto likes the place.”

“The Leader of the Free World? I didn’t vote for her.”

Fabian made puppy dog eyes. “Don’t you ever want to have any fun?”

Which is how Zahra found herself on her way to a disco dance club.

The Queen was creatively lit, Zahra could give it that.

Fabian had failed to mention that if the Leader of the Free World were showing up at a dance club for drinks, there would be extra security. But he sailed right by with his golden tongue and police badge.

“Hey there, Fabian Branch Sample with Sunset Valley’s finest. Keep up the great work!”

The bouncer didn’t even try to keep Fabian out. Zahra slipped through quickly before he changed his mind about her.

There she was: Vita Alto, the Leader of the Free World. Haggling with the bartender over how much vodka should be in her Bloody Mary.

It was as if stars were flashing in Fabian’s eyes. He was drawn to her like a bee to honey.

“Wow, Ms. Alto,” he stammered. “I was really amazed by that, um, speech you gave last week.”

Vita Alto raised an eyebrow. “The one about the trade agreement with Al Simhara, or the one about firefighters rescuing kittens?”


She laughed in a way that was not entirely friendly. “I thought so.”

Zahra sat at the bar and watched her dear husband make a fool of himself.

The food was greasy, but actually not too bad.

She tried to enjoy herself, but the flashing lights and loud sounds gave her a headache. Zahra had no sense of rhythm, and she hated to dance. This really wasn’t the place for her, and she persuaded Fabian to go home early.

“It’s all right if you go out without me,” she told him in the car ride home. “I know you have these… social… needs. I’m perfectly happy to stay home with my science and inventions while you have a good time with other people.”

Fabian’s throat caught. “Are you sure?”

Zahra nodded. “We’re different about this. It’s all right.”

Fabian had never been quite sure that she’d forgiven him for Agnes. It seemed he had her trust back after all.

Time passed, and Hank Goddard was promoted over Fabian. Fabian and Hank had been partners since the beginning of their careers, and it was odd to transition to reporting to him as his boss. There was a little bit of jealousy there too. Fabian was getting close to a promotion to his dream job as a Forensic Specialist, and it stung to know that Hank would get there first. Still, Hank had a list of ex-girlfriends as long as his arm and no real responsibilities, and Fabian and a wife and family. Dues had to be paid.

Fabian’s new partner was Willem Yo. The Yo family had changed since Willem was dating Shanni, however. Willem’s younger sister Michelle had gone into acting and had gotten some attention in martial arts films. Fabian was dying to meet her.

“Ada!” he declared one day as he burst into the house after work. “You have to come with me! I got an invitation to Willem’s birthday party!”

Ada clapped her hands. “Wow! So strange your partner would invite you to his party!”

“This is my big chance to meet Michelle Yo. She is going to be a big star, I’m sure of it. Why don’t you come with me?”

“Sure…” Ada said. “If Charles comes with me.”

Fabian flinched. He and Charles usually stayed in opposite halves of the house. “Why Charles?”

“He helps me keep from doing embarrassing things,” Ada said.

And so they all ended up at the gates of the Yo estate for an evening pool party. Fabian had known that the Yos had money, but he hadn’t really guessed just how much money.

Like any truly fashionable pool party, nobody was swimming. Guests stood around in their swimwear, sipping cocktails and having suave conversations.

Fabian barely spoke to Willem. They could do that at work. Instead, he downed two or three of the bright pink cocktails to get his confidence up to approach Michelle.

“I have all your movies!” he said. “I, um, watch a lot of television. You’re really stellar in Kung Fu Kazam. Sure, you don’t have many lines, but you deliver those kicks with such feeling. That’s acting!”

Michelle seemed to appreciate the adulation. Or at least she didn’t tell him to stop.

An hour and another two cocktails later, and Fabian’s praise was starting to take a more personal tone. “You know you’re an incredibly attractive woman. Do you mind telling me…. what’s your sign?”

Ada gasped and ran to Charles, who was making smalltalk with Michelle and Willem’s younger sister Jenna.

“Charles! Come quick!” she cried. “Dad’s flirting! You can’t let Mom kill him!”

Charles was there as quick as a teleport would let him.

“Hello there, I’m Charles,” he said, shouldering between Fabian and Michelle. “This a great party.”

Fabian seemed to realize that he was being rescued. He went pale. “Hey, um, Michelle, this is my stepson. You should have a lot in common. He runs the dojo in town.”

Michelle offered him a blinding smile, and Charles had a brief insight into what might have made Fabian act like an idiot. Not that it took much to get Fabian to act like an idiot.

“I’ve heard about the Spirit Sample Dojo!” she said. “The choreography in my next film is pretty challenging, and I’ve been thinking about showing up there to see whether you’d be interested in some personal training.”

Charles blinked. “You act in… martial arts films?”

Michelle laughed. “Obviously, you don’t watch as much television as Fabian.”

Actually, Charles never watched television. He didn’t see the point of staying indoors watching pictures of the outdoors when you could just go outside yourself. But he decided it would be rude to say so.

Still, listening to Michelle talk about her career was more interesting than Charles had expected. After quite a while, he was able to pull himself free of the conversation and escort Fabian to the car.

On the way, he picked up Ada, who seemed to have hit it off with Jenna.

“See, it’s not just me,” Ada said brightly as they piled into Fabian’s patrol car. “Charles keeps you from doing embarrassing things too! He’s just like that.”

“I’m a turd,” a sobering Fabian wailed as Charles eased the car out onto the road. Charles shrugged, focusing on the road.

“I’m a great big, stinky, slimy pile of –“

“Please stop.”

“Zahra ought to wise up and kick my ass to the curb.”

“You expect me to disagree with you? Look, I don’t know what Mom sees in you, but you make her happy. If I catch a whiff of you making eyes at another woman, and I’m going to tell her. You know she’ll divorce you.”

“You’re not going to tell her about this?”

Charles sighed. “Not this time. Once Mom knows, there’s no going back. So prove to me you’re not a turd.”

“Thank you,” Fabian said.

“Jenna kept rubbing my knee,” Ada said. “I wonder why. Is my knee more soft than the rest of my body?”


So, after everything Fabian’s been through with Zahra, he started rolling wishes to flirt with Michelle! Ack!

So that’s my Michelle Yo sim. She doesn’t look like Michelle Yeoh, but she don’t look too bad IMHO.

4.2 Master of Sim Fu

“It’s a girl!” Shanni was breathless on the phone when she reported the news to the family.

“Now she’ll go stir-crazy on maternity leave,” Zahra remarked under her breath. “Mark my words.”

Ada took it upon herself to get Shanni out of the house at least a little bit. She persuaded her aunt to meet her at the Art Museum for a short, low-stress turn through the traveling exhibit.

“Here’s little Jeannette!” Shanni showed off her and Agnes’s daughter with eyes that glowed with pride.

And if there were a few dark circles under those eyes, well that was just the price of admission.

“I brought you a gift,” Ada said. “It’s an apple from grandma’s garden.”

“You, um, wrapped up apple to give me?”

“Sure. It’s the thought that counts. I thought you needed an apple.”

(If you’re wondering where Jeanette is in this shot, she’s lying on the sidewalk. Why wouldn’t that be the best place for her?)

“You have that crazy look,” Ada remarked to Charles one morning over breakfast.

Charles raised his eyebrows. “*I* look crazy? All right. I was thinking about doing some more traveling.”

“OK. Where are we going?”

“Well, Granddad taught me everything I know about the art of Sim Fu. It changed my life. I was thinking about going back to China to study under the masters.”

“I’ll get my paints,” Ada said.

So Charles made the arrangements.

And soon they were checking into a lovely Chinese hotel.

Fortunately the dress code was flexible.

Granddad had told them all about the beautiful Zen Scholar’s Garden, so that’s where they headed first.

Ada almost exploded with painting enthusiasm. There was no place to rest her eyes that didn’t belong on a canvas.

Though her artistic interpretation was sometimes…. interesting.

Charles made a beeline to the koi pond.

With pretty good results.

After the first day, he finally had had it with his hair getting in the way. He cut it back to his old style.

The next morning, Ada woke him up with a surprise. “Get up bright and early, sleepyhead! Vacation is no time for rest!” Sometimes he couldn’t tell if she was joking or being serious.

Then they went their separate ways. Ada headed off in search of subjects to paint.

Charles found his way to the Martial Arts Academy.

As he approached the entrance, he ran into the Special Merchant, who proved that China was not any more comfortable with his kind than Sunset Valley.

But the Academy itself was a haven. It was filled with other martial artists just as passionate as he was.

“Hello!” a woman called in greeting. “I’m Amelia! From France!”

“Are you talking to me?”

To his surprise, Charles found himself pulled into the excited chatter of a fellow traveler. This almost never happened to him. Even now that he was visible and fairly solid, most people still reacted to him as if someone had, well, walked over their grave. It was a while before Charles could even focus on what she was saying.

Amelia was full of advice about the best places to stay and the best bargains at the market.

“What I’m really looking for is a Sim Fu master,” Charles confessed. “Someone who can teach me the secrets of the art.”

“I don’t know about that. I’m just a beginner. But I’ve heard folks talk about a Zhang Wu. He’s supposed to be pretty hot stuff.”

Charles thanked her and went off in search of Wu.

A few inquiries brought him to the home of a man not much older than himself.

Wu was an attractive, charismatic guy. He made Charles feel comfortable and at home immediately. He couldn’t think of anyone he’d ever met who was so easy to talk to. It was enough to make Charles wonder if he was serious about Sim Fu at all. Well, that is, until Charles persuaded him to spar.

They were touch matches, but it was clear who was the better martial artist. After trouncing Charles four consecutive times, Wu panted, “You’re amazing! Have you ever considered opening your own dojo?”

Charles was taken aback. “No. I’ve never considered that.”

“I’m going to be out your way sometime this year,” Wu confessed. When I’m on your side of the ocean, I’ll look you up. We should spar some more.”

Charles smiled comfortably. Other than Jabari, he didn’t have any friends outside his family. It was amazing to find such a connection with another person. “I’d love to get another chance,” he confessed. “You taught me a lot. But do you mind if I ask a personal question.”

Wu flashed a blinding smile. “Shoot. I reserve the right not to answer.”

“Well, do you notice anything…. different about me?”

Wu chuckled. “Of course I do. You’re some kind of spirit man. But people come from all over the world to study with me here. You’re not even the weirdest thing I see before breakfast.”

Charles thought about Wu as he explored the Tomb of The Dragon’s Maw.

Wu was an amazing master of Sim Fu. He was clearly much better than Charles, but he didn’t think that Wu was offering false praise. He had the feeling that Wu’s praise was actually pretty difficult to earn.

He probably should have paid a little more attention to what he was exploring.

As he ran screaming headlong into dive well filled with scummy water, Charles learned one important thing about his ghostly nature.

He had no idea if it could kill him, but fire HURT.

“What do you think of this dojo idea?” He asked Ada when he met her in the marketplace for lunch.

“I can’t talk now,” Ada said. “I have to finish this painting while my subjects will stand still.”

“Your subjects? You mean those canopic jars?”

“Yeah. I don’t know how long they’ll sit. They get restless.”


She did manage to finish the picture in time.

Back at the hotel, he ran into a familiar face.

“Charles Sample! Remember me? Amelia? From France?”

“Yeah. Thanks for the advice. I found Wu, and he was amazing.”

“I can’t let you leave without getting your phone number. We travelers need to look out for each other. You really must come to France sometime and meet me!”

Charles had initially been thrilled that a woman he was not related to was so comfortable around him, but that quickly melted away to a new kind of discomfort. Amelia was Mom’s age, and her friendliness was starting to sound like something else.

She called him four times before he left China, and after that he screened his calls.

He was still thinking of Wu’s advice as they readied for the return home.

What would it take to open a dojo? What would he need? Was it something that could be turned into a career? Would anyone want to learn Sim Fu from a half-ghost anyway?

One thing he was sure of was that he was never taking a bath like that again. It might feel luxurious, but it took him forever to shake the guilt over how much water it wasted.

“This was amazing!” Ada gushed as they boarded the plane for home. “China has inspired me to write an epic novel. I’m going to call it Kiwis of Peace.”

“Kiwis? What about China makes you think of Kiwis?”

Ada frowned. “I don’t understand the question.”

Charles gave his sister a hug. “Don’t worry. I know it will be a great book.”


Heh. I think I had too many things going on in this post.

One simple bit of CC that I can no longer imagine playing without is the Portable Easel. Since Sims 3 is open world, I was kind of dumbfounded when Lance took up painting and I discovered he could only do it on his home lot. Why have the option of painting a landscape when it can only be your own back yard. Dragging Ada around to paint the travel landscapes is a ton of fun.

Charles is back to the Battler hairstyle! And now his glasses are gold. His skin is silver. He hardly needs more silver.

Eco-friendly sims are hilarious. Charles took a serious mood hit for taking a bath!

4.1 Some Immortality

Ada developed an obsession with an upperclassman named Lavar Andrews from her literature class. She looked up his phone number on the school directory and started calling him, trying to persuade him to join her at the art museum. Not anything like a date, really.

Lavar never seemed to have time to talk to her. Then he stopped answering her calls at all. What was wrong? Didn’t the Orbital Mind Control Lasers want him to notice her?

One day, she decided to take matters into her own and called his house. “Oh, yes!” Mrs. Andrews said cheerfully. “Lavar’s home and just watching the television. Come on over?”

But when she arrived, he wasn’t there.

“I’m sorry,” Mrs. Andrews said nervously. “He had to dash out to the store. Maybe another night?”

“I’ll wait for him,” Ada said. And she did.

“I really think you ought to head home, young lady,” Mrs. Andrews said coldly when curfew got close. Ada had to leave without seeing Lavar. The Mind Control Lasers were playing tricks on her.

Charles had heard good things about the fish in the graveyard lake, so he headed out one bright morning to see for himself.

He had the place to himself, except for an old busker and his audience of one.

The graveyard…. What an interesting place to busk.

And there was something terribly odd about the guy who was listening.

(Why yes, that is Sean!)

The fish weren’t biting terribly well, so Charles settled down for a long day. He should have been enjoying himself, but there was something odd in the air. He couldn’t put his finger on it.

“Look!” someone shouted. “In the sky! Get out of there!”

Charles looked up and was paralyzed at the sight. An enormous asteroid, wreathed in flames, was hurtling out the sky toward him.

He should have teleported away, but his mind was empty. His life flashed before his eyes.

Then it hit.

Crimson light flashed. The air was filled with dirt, debris, flame. Then it settled down around him.

He hadn’t felt anything. The asteroid had hit him dead on. He was standing in its crater. He should be dead….

…Unless he already was?

Charles was half-mortal, half-ghost. His skin was warm, but he could feel the pull of the Netherworld that his father had returned to. What was he, really?

He looked across the lawn and locked eyes with the mysterious man he had seen earlier.

They had something in common, he knew suddenly. They were both not quite alive and not quite dead. He didn’t know what the man was, but he wanted to know more.

“Hi, I’m Charles,” he said awkwardly, closing the distance with his hand outstretched.

“What the hell was that?” the stranger said by way of greeting.

Then he collapsed at Charles’s feet. Charles started to check his vitals, but he knew that he wouldn’t find anything. The man was all right, just stunned.

There was more metallic debris lying around the graveyard than Charles had ever seen in his life. He gathered up the scrap to bring home to Mom. She might not need to go back to the junk yard for inventing materials for the rest of her life.

He hauled the meteor itself home and placed it in the lawn as a decoration.


OOOOOK. The way this played from the other side of the keyboard:

“Oh, hey, it’s a meteor! I’ve never had a meteor in the game. That’s awesome!”

“Wait. It’s really headed for Charles’s head. I’ll just teleport him out of the way.”

“They won’t let him teleport!! They’re just going to make him stand there and wait? What the heck??”

“Ohmigod ohmigod. Charles is going to die! This can’t be happening! What am I going to do?”



So, I’m pretty sure a direct hit was supposed to kill him, wasn’t it? He wasn’t harmed at all. He didn’t event get the soot-face explody hair. I have to assume that’s because he’s a ghost kid?

Gawping at the meteor is apparently like a birthday party. It seems to preempt everything else in the queue, and it can’t be canceled. I don’t understand why you get so much warning if you can’t run away. Bah. Or maybe I was too clever to try to teleport, and he’d’ve responded if I’d just told him to walk. Charles can’t actually run. He just floats at a very slow ghost speed, or he teleports.

It was pretty awesome to run into vampire Sean. 🙂

3.45 Togetherness

Losing Lancelot came down on the Samples like an anvil.

Everyone was struggling and trying not to drag everyone else down.

They all soldiered through the days. But it was Layla who found herself in that empty bed every night.

She tried to put on a brave face, but she wasn’t really fooling anyone.

Everyone wanted to cheer her up. Charles tried his usual fare.

But she barely noticed.

Ada and Fabian dragged her to the art museum to get her out of the house.

Ada was in her element. “It’s so golden,” she whispered, “and the tiny golden men are singing to me.”

Fabian ran into none other than Mayor Tamara Donner. He was so bowled over that he followed her into the bathroom to interview her.

And Layla tried. She really did.

“What’s this thing again? Dadaist? Dada is a movement?”

When she got home, she declared that all she really wanted was a nice bubble bath. Before anyone else could react, Charles had teleported to the to the grocery store to pick up some bath soap.

And got himself picked up for being out after curfew.

When he got home, Zahra really let him have it.

Zahra was terrifying and unforgiving when she was angry.

But Charles was only trying to help. He carried around his resentment until it exploded.

“Do you have any idea the kind of energy your research equipment is wasting? Do you even care?? We all have to live on this planet too!”

Layla listened to the arguing going on downstairs and wracked her brain.

The grief and tension were ripping the family apart at the seams. Lance of all people would have been crushed. She had to think of something to draw them back together.

“The twins’ birthday is coming up,” she told the household. “It’s been so long since we were all together as a family. I think we should throw them a party.”

Everyone jumped to make it so.

The next evening, the Sample house was busting at the seams.

“I don’t know if Agnes said anything,” Shanni confided in Toya as they arrived. “I’m pregnant! Zahra referred us to a doctor who does work for the Science Center.”

“That’s fabulous!” Toya crowed. “Now that money isn’t so tight, Adjo and I are thinking about trying for another one. Let me tell you about babies….”

Adjo slipped away while the women gossiped to pay his respects.

There was hustle and bustle of catching up on everyone’s lives. Adjo and Toya had weathered the lean times, and Adjo was now in business for himself again as a local band manager. “These kids have talent like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “All they need is one break, and we’re talking national attention, big name label, their voice on every radio station. This is for real.”

While the blood Samples were laughing and comparing notes, Agnes drifted up the stairs alone. Fabian watched her go. He followed and found her sitting on the upstairs couch, staring into space.

“This seat taken?” he asked, not waiting for an answer.

“You!” Agnes said. “What are you doing here? If your wife finds us alone, she’ll cut your balls off.”

“Yeah,” he said amiably. “So she tells me. So what are you doing here all alone?”

“It’s just a little intense down there. I needed a breather.”

“Tell me about it. How’s married life?”

Agnes sighed. “Complicated. It was so much easier with Erik. Or maybe I never got a chance to find out how hard it would be before he died. Don’t get me wrong. I love Shanni. But she’s… intense. And Shanni pregnant is almost more than I can handle. A woman with such a delicate mood should never have a condition that gives her extra mood swings.”

“I know what you mean,” Fabian said. “Monogamy is a lot of work, isn’t it? You might have noticed that Zahra’s the irresistible force AND the unmovable object. I wouldn’t change a thing, but sometimes I wonder how my life could have been different.”

“Yeah,” Agnes said. “I hear you.”

“So we’ve come to this,” Fabian said softly.

Agnes flinched. “Come to what?”

“Old friends. Sometimes old lovers make the best kind.”

She laughed. “Especially old lovers you’d never take back.”

“I deserved that. I think the cake is ready down there. Let’s get going before someone comes looking for us, and I lose my balls.”

And there were laughing, cheering, wishes pondered, and candles blown out.

Under the gaze of old loved ones.

Then cake.

And dancing.

“The thing about the orbital mind control lasers is that most people can’t see or hear them,” Ada told Shanni. “Except me. When the lasers are on, I can feel the heat on the back of my head.”

“I know just what you mean,” Shanni answered eagerly. “Like the invisible words the government inserts into news articles to control the way you think about them.”

“I had no idea you’d understand!”

It was early morning before they could bring themselves to say goodbye. The cloud had lifted from the house. There was cleaning to be done in the morning, but now was the time to unwind.

Layla headed to her empty bedroom with a feeling of peace and contentment. The feeling grew inside her until she realized it was something else entirely.

Layla’s time had come too, and she was ready to embrace it.

It was hard to say goodbye.

But this time, the ones left behind were ready to take comfort in each other.

Who is remembered, lives.


And then there were four. Layla left the household also at age 104 with Lifetime Happiness of (sob) 190,000. If I’d really processed how long she was going to live, I could have nudged her to 200,000. I tried at the end, but it wasn’t soon enough. Plus, she went the last day and a half without generating any wishes. Her last big wish was to throw that birthday party. Still, I don’t think there was enough time to get to the goal even if she’d been more helpful.

This is the last post for Generation 3. It seems kind of fitting that it should end with the farewell of Generation 2.

Generation 3 has been by far the most engaging generation so far. Everyone became a well-rounded personality. Everyone had a story arc. It felt more like a story than either 1 or 2. And you can certainly tell by how many posts I managed to generate for them. 45. Damn.

Oh, yeah, and it turns out that both Insane and Neurotic sims have the “Talk about Conspiracies” conversation option, and it gives them a relationship boost instead of a hit. Shanni and Ada really do understand each other in a special way :).

On to Charles!