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4.44 Where Did the Time Go?

Stories about the scene Veronica had made at City Hall were all over the papers the next day. Within a week, the science center phones were ringing off the hook. Some people just wanted to learn more about the program, but many had some kind of supernatural event going on in their house.

Business for Veronica was hopping.


Some customers got a lot more demanding. Genvieve Goth was the worst person Veronica had ever worked with. She spent the entire time Veronica was there screeching. “I called you here to do something about this thing! So do it! What are you waiting for!”


“Waiting for you to get out of the way, ma’am,” Veronica said with a smirk.


“I mean, I could have let you step into the beam, but that tends to send your individual atoms on separate vacations.”

Genvieve stopped talking then and went to pour herself a drink.


Her reception at the Ursine-Langerak residence was very different.


Charmaine was out, but Maya was home and watched everything Veronica did with reverent appreciation.


She treated Veronica like some kind of celebrity. “This is more like it,” Veronica said to herself.


“It’s finished!” Veronica announced.

“What’s that?” Charles asked.

“Why, the treehouse! The ultimate in scientific child entertainment.”


Charles looked the monstrosity up and down. “Usually people build treehouses with wood.”

“Wood isn’t very scientific!”

“I guess it’s more scientific if it has a lot of rivets.”


“Maybe we should be the first to play in it.”


The kids would never know.

Charles’s work was also hopping. His skills as a martial artist and as a teacher grew stronger every day.

One afternoon, a familiar face came walking onto the grounds of the dojo.


Charles couldn’t believe his eyes. “Sensei! It’s been a long time!”


“You invited me to visit your dojo a lot time ago,” Zahn Wu admitted, “but it’s a bit of a long trip.”


While Charles and Wu caught up on each other’s lives, Adjo and Toya arrived with baby Karina. “No time like the present to take up Sim Fu!” Toya announced. “Adjo’s going to give me some pointers.”


Charles looked at the new baby and wondered if that was such a great plan, but who was he to judge?


“So what do you think of teaching?” Wu asked.

“I never realized how much I would enjoy it. I learn more about martial arts every day just by helping people understand,” Charles said.

Wu nodded wisely. “Spoken like a true master,” he said.


They were interrupted by the sound of angry shrieking from the dojo. Adjo stalked outside and paced around the front lawn, fuming. “This better be baby hormones,” he growled. “That woman is making me crazy!”

“Uh, yeah,” Charles said. “Sorry about that.” Better to stay far away from Adjo and Toya’s relationship. Nobody understood it. Sometimes he wasn’t even sure they understood it.


“You sound like a true master of Sim Fu,” Wu continued. “I wonder if you fight like one.”


Charles grinned. “Let’s find out.”


Charles couldn’t remember ever being in a sparring match that intense.


They opened with a few attacks and feints to size each other up.


Then Charles threw his very best attack.


And Wu knocked him to the ground with a flick of his hand.


Wu then proceded to pummel him.


He was so fast Charles couldn’t even see the blows coming.


“Wow, sensei, I’m well and truly humbled,” Charles said. “I may talk like a master, but you fight like one.”


“You’re closer than you think. Work on your technique, and we should do this again soon.”

“Absolutely, sensei!”

Charles got right to work that night.



The treehouse was a big hit, especially with Hunter.


He would declare it a space station, orbiting an alien world of energy beings, and he’d only let Sky and Forest up if they could tell him the airlock password.


It was the most assertive anyone in the family had ever seen him.


The other two triplets were quick to follow along.



Even Forest, who usually liked to be in control of everything.



“I was wondering,” Hunter said wistfully as he sat with Forest in the treehouse with Forest. “Do you believe in magic?”


“Hmmm,” Forest said with an unnerving gleam in his eye. “Magic.”

Zahra had a brilliant idea for enhancing the mysterious lawn gnome that made it back from Egypt with Charles. Charles didn’t remember picking it up, but it started appearing around the house right after he returned from his last trip there.


After Zahra blasted it with the experiment ray, she discovered the most unpleasant tasted of old fridge in the back of her throat.


The gnome started spending most of its time watching television.


This couldn’t have been what was supposed to happen.

“Let me check my notes,” Zahra said.


Man, Zahra’s experiments NEVER turned out right!

Maya Langerak kind of got hit with the ugly stick. I wish I knew who exactly her parents were.

This is the composite post, combining about three things that would have been their own posts. But since I didn’t have a lot of text in mind, this seems like it worked out pretty well as a montage of Sample life.

4.33 Starr’s Truly Spiritual Engagement

The instant Starr Ursine-Sample turned 18, she found a job and a place of her own. In the family gossip circle, the word was that she and her mother Toya got along like oil and water.

Not long after she got out on her own, Charles and family got an engagement announcement. Starr was going to marry her highschool sweetheart Felix Andrews.


And sure enough, she and Felix had a lovely little house with a white picket fence. They probably planned to have 2.5 kids together. Starr knew exactly what she wanted, and she wasn’t wasting any time.

Charles had to teach a late class that night, and that many people together gave Zahra a headache. But Fabian, Ada, and Veronica dressed up and headed into town to celebrate with Starr.

They arrived with Starr’s older sister Charmaine


and Charmaine’s girl-of-the-month, Adrienne Hatch (daughter of Emma Hatch and Christopher Steel, Mortimer’s step-daughter).


Charmaine was still living at home and working hard at the courthouse in a political career like her mother. Toya, who never did have a problem with a little nepotism, was tossing her some choice assignments here and there.

The groom-to-be, Felix, spent the party working in the lawn. This whole shindig seemed to be Starr’s thing, and he was being the dutiful fiance.


Toya and Adjo arrived late, straight from some sort of local government function. Through hard work, dedication, and a little bit of misappropriation of funds, Toya had recently been elected Mayor of Sunset Valley — despite her term in jail for embezzlement. The town loved her no matter what she did, but Starr apparently not so much. Toya lingered in the driveway for a long time, trying to work up the nerve to step in to her daughter’s house.


Adjo, ever the family peacemaker, gave his wife a kiss and made his way to his daughter’s front porch. “Lovely evening, isn’t it?” he said with a wise smile.

Adjo was showing his age these days, but don’t let that fool you. He was Charles’s most dedicated pupil, and he now held a brown belt in Sim Fu. The cane doubled as a fighting staff.


As they all gathered at the door to wish Starr well, Felix shouted from the yard, “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! What on earth is that!”


Ada started giggling. “I know if you don’t!” she said in a singsong.

“It looks like a class three free-roaming specter,” Veronica said. “Nothing dangerous, but let me handle it. Don’t worry. I’m a professional.”


Then she pulled out a massive gun from somewhere under her skirt and blasted it!


The party-goers stood around with their jaws gaping open while Veronica, looking smashing in her cocktail dress and stiletto heels, hauled around a Ghost Blaster 3000 to clear up the haunting in the yard.


“Can anybody tell me where she keeps that gun?” Fabian asked. Adjo and Starr stared at him. “I’m not supposed to ask that, huh? OK, I’ll shut up now.”

But one person couldn’t keep her eyes of Veronica.




When Veronica packed the gun away and declared the house free of paranormal manifestation, Charmaine dashed up breathlessly. “I want you to know how grateful I am for everything you’r doing for the city,” she cried. “You’re a true hero! I’m going to put you in for an award at City Hall!”

“Um, wow!” Veronica said. “Thank you!” Charmaine was such a playgirl that Veronica had been expecting a different and much more uncomfortable conversation. Funny how people surprise you sometimes.


Bwah! So the entire family gets an invitation to Starr Ursine-Sample’s engagement party, and I send Veronica to work on her first job for the night, and they end up in the same place! Then apparently the attire requirement for the party took over, and Veronica changed out of her work clothes and did the job in the formals. I’m not sure that the post is half as funny as it actually was to play.

And Charmaine “brightened” Veronica’s day! Which means she’s Good, and it sheds a whole new light on her going into politics after her Evil mother….

Move Update: At long last, the Samples have moved to their new home. After some pondering about how much of the now-extensive extended family to bring, I gave up and brought all of them. How that works into the story depends on where they show up.

For cross-pollination, I have:

– Bookabets (Bookabet alphabetacy)

– Jo Simself (and dogs!)

– Hodginses (SimDjinn’s wishacy)

– Sleeps (simself couple for Eppy Sleep)

– Bergs (Eppy Sleep’s Pinstar legacy)

– Meringues (Sweetest of Dreams wishacy)

– Mentarys (The Simmentary legacy)

– January Callender. (Callenders Legacy) Ahem. I cannot load February into my game. I had this happen once with a couple of sims of Amhranai’s. My current guess is that this involves stuff pack content that I don’t have — which would be all stuff packs, actually. It can’t possibly be expansions, since I have the all through Pets, and I’m sure that Showtime wasn’t out yet when February became an adult. If there’s any chance you could take another stab at posting a version of February that contains base game hair and clothes only, I’d love to try again. I may still try another alternate installer.

– Martin Luther and Tam Butterfield-Callender

Amhranai, I’d really like to have the current Vosses, but if you don’t want to post them, then with your permission I’ll pull Emma from the Exchange. She seems to be the most recent heir you uploaded.

Everyone is elfified — using the new pointed ear sliders that came with the Supernatural patch rather than the older (and quite nice) custom mod sliders. The effect is subtly different, and I think I like it better. I will say that when EA decides to do something themselves, they do a great job.

I’m also bringing along from Sunset Valley the Cagleys from the Cagley random legacy. Their stories weren’t yet done, and I keep hoping that Redhead will come back from hiatus and have a good laugh at what’s happened to her sims.

The rest of the town population consists of a bunch of families built out of stock simbin sims and celebrity simselves downloaded from ModtheSims. It seemed like good models of real faces would be a great way to get as varied a set of genetics as possible. All names have been changed to keep the game from becoming totally bizarre, but if you see a shockingly familiar face, you might be right. Feel free to guess :).

If you’re reading and would still like in on cross-pollination, please let me know! New sims can be added after gameplay starts.

This process has taken FOREVER. I decided to do it the hard way to begin with — downloading all the lots, laying out the town, and then populating it with downloaded sims that all had to be edited for ears and skintone. But even with that in mind, there have been more unexpected snafus than I can count. I’d love to write a long Simfail post about it, but fear I couldn’t make it entertaining enough. Cannot wait to actually play again.

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.

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!

3.41 Family Matters

When work nudged her toward more work with vertebrate life forms, Zahra discovered another common interest with Charles.

They’d never needed conversation, which was good because Zahra was so bad at it. But their silent time together said paragraphs.

When he wasn’t fishing, Charles got Granddad to train Jabari Keaton in Sim-Fu.

Finally, someone his age to spar with.

(With the train ability, you can compel random NPCs to learn skills! Awesome!)

Ada, on the other hand, discovered her Easy Bake Oven.

When she had all the muffins she could carry, she went and found Fabian, who was sitting at the computer as usual. “Come on, Dad! You’re going to teach me entrepreneurship.”

“Queen to queen 4… What? I’m going to teach you what?”

“Oh, come on, Dad. I need an adult with me.”

So she dragged Fabian to the square and set up shop. Once Fabian got over the unpleasantness of being dragged out of his nice comfortable house, he found a wealth of opportunity.

Harvey Ursine, for example, couldn’t avoid talking to a guy whose brother-in-law just happened to be married to his daughter.

(And Fabian becomes the first character to actually MEET Harvey.)

Harvey was waiting for his new squeeze, Zelda Mae, to get off work. He took up with her within days of Rachel’s death. But you had to give the old bastard one thing — he never stepped out on her while she was alive. At least not so that anybody found out.

Mortimer Goth showed up at the theater on a date with Madison Langerak.

But he spent most of it complaining about Shanni.

Ada was a born saleswoman, and the crowd around her muffin stand lasted stretched down the block.

Fabian had to drag her home past her bedtime. “But there are still muffins left!” she cried.

And in all of this ebb and flow of daily life, Shanni was nowhere to be found.

She’d barely been home since things started between her and Agnes. She certainly hadn’t slept there.

There was a whole world to Agnes that she never let people see.

It only took a visit to the dark, half-decorated second bedroom to set Shanni thinking on the life Agnes had expected before her husband’s unfortunate accident turned her world upside down. No wonder she was so bitter now.

As she was coming down for breakfast, Agnes dashed out of the downstairs bathroom, looking embarrassed. “Don’t go in there dear. I’ve already called a repair man.”

When the repairman arrived, though, Shanni was in for a surprise.

“Adjo!” She gave her brother a big hug. “It’s been too long. Since when are you fixing toilets?”

(Seriously. If I knew Twallan was going to appoint Adjo as the down repairman, I would have taken a screen shot of Agnes breaking the toilet. It was funny.)

“Since Toya had another baby. You heard, right? Another girl. Her name is Starr.”

Shanni nodded. “Yeah, I heard.” She held her tongue on Adjo’s choice of names. “Congratulations! But appliance repair? I thought you were going to stay with busking and avoid working for The Man.”

Adjo looked to the floor. “Well, that doesn’t exactly pay for a growing family, does it?” The edge to his voice was something Shanni had never heard before. “Toya’s home on maternity leave, and I don’t want her asking her dad for money. I got work as a Roadie at the theater, and I’m picking up odd jobs where I can.”

There were bags under Adjo’s eyes, and he seemed pale and wan under his dark complexion. Shanni could barely find her voice. Adjo had always been so sure of what he wanted. She’d never entertained the possibility that things would be less than perfect for him. “Wow,” she said at last. “I’m sorry.”

Adjo forced a smile that quickly became the real deal. He was tired, not beat. “But enough about me,” he said. “What the hell are YOU doing here?”

Shanni flushed. “Um. About that. I’m kind of here with Agnes.”

Adjo blinked. “With Agnes? You meant WITH with?”

“Yeah. I haven’t told any of the family. I didn’t know how.”

“If you and Agnes are a couple, what’s so hard to say?”

“Well, it’s just that, I don’t know. People expect me to behave a certain way. And good grief, Zahra’s so straitlaced. She’ll completely freak out to see me with another woman.”

Adjo took her by the shoulders. “Look, the real question here is whether she makes you happy. If she does, then we’re all happy for you. Simple as that.”

After he left, Shanni kept on thinking. Adjo might be having a hard time, but he was still people-wise in a way she would never be. He’d taken all the confused thoughts dancing around in her head and made everything clear.

She was happy.

Shanni had dated cops and criminals, nice guys and bastards, smart and dumb, relaxed and ambitious. Nothing had ever stuck. Maybe she hadn’t found the right guy because he wasn’t a guy.

Suddenly, she knew what she wanted.

“Shanni, where are you?” Agnes called. “Come have breakfast.”

“Agnes,” Shanni said from the foyer. “Could you come here? I wanted to ask you something.”

When she got down on one knee, Agnes went white. “You don’t want to. You can’t possibly mean it.”

“I’ve never meant anything more in my life,” Shanni said, and she meant it.
Agnes held her breath while Shanni put the ring on her finger.

“But you might change your mind. When you meet my husband’s ghost–“

“Hush,” Shanni said. “Wait till you meet my nephew.”

(I’m so glad you guys enjoyed Shanni’s big reveal! So here’s the gameplay story behind it. Shanni is a Hopeless Romantic. It turns out that if you ever want to play a Wishacy with no challenge to it, make your heir a Hopeless Romantic. Shanni had tons of romantic wishes, but they were almost never for specific people. The only guy she ever spontaneously had a romantic wish for was actually Michael Bachelor, her first boyfriend. All other times, she just rolled high-point wishes to be in a relationship, and if she talked to anyone for very long, she’d roll a wish to kiss him. So she wasn’t going to tell me who she wanted to settle down with after she fulfilled her LTW. I had to look for cues from the story.

And, well, Agnes was one great big cue. She kept popping up in Shanni’s life. More than that, her “secret” trait is ALSO Hopeless Romantic. It seemed like the two of them were a perfect match that was just a little bit less than obvious.

Now, the Heartbreaker LTW is phrased, “Be the girlfriend of 10 different sims.” It does NOT say, “Break up with 10 different sims.” So I figured that once Shanni became Agnes’ girlfriend, her LTW should be fulfilled. Except that once they made a commitment, she didn’t get it. I was getting pretty ticked off. Agnes was the choice. I didn’t want her to have to break up with the love of her life, wait for things to cool down, and then start the relationship up again. And it wasn’t FAIR because that’s not what the LTW said. Even more annoyingly, her commitment tally was 10/10. She needed to be the girlfriend of 10 different sims; the tally SAID she was the girlfriend of 10 different sims, and yet she hadn’t been granted the wish.

In a fit of impulse, I had Shanni propose, since that’s what she was going to do anyway. And lo-and-behold, as soon as Agnes accepted, Shanni got her LTW. It appears that the actual wish is to STOP being the girlfriend of 10 different sims. How you stop being a girlfriend can go either way :).

But wow. Heartbreaker is one heck of a LTW to try to complete with spare. She barely went to work the last couple of days because I was ready to be done and just rolling her through the relationships :).)

3.38 A Bit of Advice

(Two posts for the price of one because I have some posting time. It’s been a rough week.)

Shanni couldn’t believe how long it had been since she’d seen her brother face-to-face. Adjo and Toya had a lovely little starter home overlooking the sea, and he talked it up to her on the phone every chance he got. It was high time she went to see Adjo in his new digs.

It really was a lovely little place. Very rustic.

When she raised her hand to knock on the door, it opened suddenly, and she found herself about to punch Adjo in the face. “Oh!” she cried. “I’m sorry!”

“Hey sis!” Adjo said in a rush. “Great to see you! I gotta head to work.”

“But,” Shanni said at his retreating back. “This is your day off. We were going to do lunch!”

“Sorry!” Adjo called over his shoulder. “I’ll catch up with you later!”

Wow. He looked stressed. Shanni couldn’t bring herself to be mad at him. She hoped he was OK.

Toya emerged from the house as Adjo disappeared. “Hey there! Want to come in to meet Charmaine? Did he tell you were expecting again?”

“You’re what? So soon?”

Toya laughed. “Well, it wasn’t exactly planned. But Adjo wanted a big family. Might as well get the maternity leave over with in one dose, eh?”

Wow. Adjo was going to be a daddy. Again.

“Actually,” Shanni said, “I think work’s calling me.” Shanni headed to work and tried to distract herself. Israel Bauer dropped by on her break. “Hey there! I graduated and have a job and everything! Any chance you’re free for lunch?”

(I have only one picture, and it’s not terribly flattering.)

“Actually, I just had lunch,” Shanni admitted.

Israel was not to be distracted. “Dinner then. Maybe we can hit the theater. What do you think?”

Shanni laughed. “You’re the most persistent guy I’ve ever met. OK, you’re out of school and fair game. It’s a date.”

They had a nice time, though Shanni didn’t exactly feel the pangs of love in her chest by the time they got out of the diner. She had a chance to catch up on Israel’s life, and it had be a rough one so far. His mother Devin Bauer got sick not long after Antonio died, and she died when he was in elementary school. He’d been bounced from one foster home to the next, finally setting down with Malika Williams and her two daughters. It was quite a sob story, but he told it with a smile.

(Seriously, the poor kid has been in Twallan’s “Last One Standing” routine TWICE. Devin died, he got moved in with a foster parent, then THEY died, and he ended up in Malika’s house. I don’t know why Devin died so soon. She was a life stage younger than Antonio when they got married, but I have to guess she was actually just days from becoming an elder back when I photographed Layla visiting her in Gen 2.)

“Want to head back to my place for a nightcap?” Israel suggested after dinner. “I like the sound of the word ‘nightcap.’ It’s so old style.”

“Sure,” Shanni said. There was something about this guy…. it wasn’t love, but she was intrigued.

They headed to the Williams house.

Malika’s older daughter Lisette just happened to back from a date of her own.

The four of them awkwardly shared the front lawn for after-date flirts. Shanni noticed that Israel was constantly looking over her shoulder to see what Lisette was doing.


“This isn’t about me at all, is it,” she demanded of Israel. “You’re doing all of this to make your foster-sister jealous.”

Israel cringed. “I didn’t mean it that way. I was… trying to get over her.”

Shanni glanced surreptitiously at Lisette, who turned out to be glancing surreptitiously at Israel. It was something out of a sitcom. “I’m not sure who is trying harder to make who jealous,” she told him. “Watch.”

She pulled Israel close, but made sure he had a good view of Lisette.

“Watch her make with the green-eyed monster.”

“Oh,” Israel said. “Do you think she really cares.”

“I think the two of you should have a long talk.”

“Wow,” Israel said. “You’re not mad at me for dragging you through this?”

Shanni suppressed a sigh. When had she gotten to be everyone’s dating counselor? “No. It’s OK.”

“When I saw you with Mortimer in high school, I knew you were something special,” Israel said. “You really are.”

Mortimer. “Ah, Mortimer was in your graduating class, wasn’t he?” she asked, trying to sound unconcerned.

“Oh, yeah. He has big plans to be a writer now that he’s out. Want me to say hi to him for you?”

“No, uh, that’s OK. Let’s talk later!”

Shanni got out of there and headed home as quickly as she could.

Mortimer. The wound was as fresh as it had been the day of her birthday.

And it was still on her mind at work the next day.

This had to end. It was time to do something.

(I thought the end of Shanni’s date with Israel was HILARIOUS, and it was totally not staged. I had not idea Israel and his foster-sister were romantic interests. After this, I really wanted to see Israel and Lisette get married, and I considered forcing it for story cuteness, but while I was contemplating, he got involved with the Sharpes, and the rest is history.)

3.29 Into the Unknown

Making a living from his music wasn’t easy. Adjo hadn’t thought it would be, but he had no idea just how hard the truth was.

He started out his busking career working just a few hours in the evening, but soon he was out from the afternoon far into the night. He played until his fingers bled, which is hard to recover from when you have to go out and play with those same sore fingers the next night. He built his calluses fast.

(Spoken by someone who actually does play a stringed instrument. I’ve never been so dedicated as to play till my fingers bled, but I’ve certainly made myself sore. :-p)

But soon he was drawing modest crowds.

They weren’t half the crowds that Grandmother Susie had drawn with that same guitar, but they generated enough tips that a guy could support himself. And maybe someone else. Provided that someone else also had a job.

(Adjo actually drew better crowds than this, but I failed to get a picture.)

“Hey stranger.”

Adjo felt suddenly self-conscious. He’d played for almost everyone in town except the one person whose opinion mattered most. “Hey. I was going to call you.”

“Don’t stop,” Toya said. “It was good.”

Even that little bit of praise made Adjo’s heart sing. “I’m glad you like it. But, um, I wanted to see you tonight anyway. To, um, talk” With trembling fingers, he packed up the guitar.

“That sounds dangerous,” Toya said. “Talk about what?”

It came gushing out. “My tips have been going up all week. I’m making enough to move out now.”

Toya’s face lit up. “Really? Wow!”

She pulled away and leaned her forehead against his. “I think I know just the way to celebrate.”

And she did.

It was a good think Shanni was such a good sport. She didn’t complain once about sleeping in the kids’ room again.

Afterward, as they lay gazing into each other’s eyes, Adjo almost whispered, “Toya Ursine, will you marry me?”

“Sure I will,” Toya said. And as they drifted off to sleep, she added, “Silly.”

In the morning, Adjo got up to shower alone.

(Included because I take a lot of shower shots, and I think they look really cool, and there’s never a reason to use one.)

Shanni cornered Toya in her bedroom. “I just wanted to give you the obligatory, ‘Hurt my brother and I’ll kill you’ speech.”

(Wow. Toya’s sleepwear is kind of amazing.)

Toya gave her a secret smile. “Hurting him wasn’t what I had in mind. Unless he likes that.”

“Your family–“

Toya waved her hand. “Look, I’ve warned that boy off as many ways as I know how. He knows what he’s getting into. But if you’re worried about me, don’t be. The last thing I want is to make him regret treating me like a gentleman.”

And with that, Shanni had to be satisfied.

The next day, Adjo gave his news to the other menfolk.

“She’s the one for me.”

“I can see that.”


Then he made a trip to City Hall to get his marriage license and all the paperwork in order.

This was it. Last chance to back out.

(What he’s actually doing here is about the closest equivalent to getting a marriage license. He’s changing his last name so that the married couple will have the name I want.)

When the day came, the house was all ready.

Adjo worried to anyone who would listen.

(Hey, CourtneyHelen! It’s Kate!)

The bride arrived alone.

Her mother was sick, and her father had “business to attend to.”

(Actually, Rachel was invited and didn’t show. It turns out that nobody has actually MET Harvey in the Sample family. I used three different characters to plan this party, and none of them could invite him.)

Shanni arrived in the nick of time after a long day of work.

Toya wasn’t entire abandoned by her family, though. Her half-brother Jess was there to give her away.

Shanni felt a bit forlorn to be attending her brother’s wedding stag, watching him waltz off to his happily-ever-after while she was single. She half-heartedly hit on Jess, but he had a girlfriend he was devoted to. Even Shanni wouldn’t touch that.

Adjo’s best best friend, Malcolm Landgraab was there as best man,.

And I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Ursine-Sample.

You may kiss the bride.

And after, there were the expected festivities.

Whoops! And even a bottle for Ada.

And that, my friends, is how Adjo Sample joined the family. You know what kind of family I mean.

Best wishes, Adjo.

(*Sniffle* It’s hard to believe, but Adjo is the first Sim I have ever moved out in the entire time I’ve been playing Sims 3. He left the household with his lifetime wish of Super Popular fulfilled and ~70,000 happiness points. Part of me wanted to keep him and see if I could take a shot at 100,000, but the truth is that there were eight Sims in the house, and I was going nuts. Also, having a full house had some unexpected consequences coming up in a Simfail rant.

BTW: Adjo and Toya hyphenated because I like the idea of the descendants of legacy spares floating around the town generations later, and me always knowing what family branch they came from. I’m setting the Ursine-Sample household to “legacy surname” in Twallan’s story progression mod.)

3.25 Welcome Ada

Quick aside.

Ever wonder what happened to Lancelot’s ex-girlfriend Malika Williams? Well, let’s see. She married Gordon Lacy and had two daughters, Lisette and Beatriz, who I can’t tell apart. She reached a fairly high rank in the criminal career (yeah, criminal), then retired when her beloved husband died. These days, she’s keeping herself fit by taking long jogs in the park and trying to nudge her daughters out of the house.

She did just fine without Lance. But that doesn’t mean she ever quite forgave him.

Back to the Samples, Zahra spent most of her maternity leave in the garden.

The science center prized people who would make anything grow. And besides, plants were easier to understand than people most of the time.

As evening fell, she felt an all-too-familiar pain in her abdomen.

Meanwhile, Fabian was out at the diner, hanging out with his partner Hank Goddard and half the rest of the police force.

Zahra didn’t complain. The garden in the evening was peaceful, and it seemed like as good a place as any to labor. So she stayed out amongst the trees and growing things and tried to breathe into her contractions. After the unpleasantness of pregnancy, the pains of childbirth were almost a relief.

Then Fabian got home, and all hell broke loose.

“You’re having a baby in the garden! With the plants!”

“Yes… ooof…. that’s the idea.”

“Shouldn’t I take you to the hospital or something?”

“No, I think I’m fine here.”

“Is there ANYTHING I can do?”

“Just don’t…. oooof…. get in my way.”

Then his freaking out alerted the whole household, and Mom and Dad came out to worry about her too.


Meanwhile, inside, Charles was confused.

“Hey, Uncle Adjo, is Mom ok? She sounds like she’s in pain!”

“Ummm… She’s going to be fine. Really. Why, um, don’t we go play until your brother or sister is born?”

So Adjo distracted his nephew.

Then, at 11:15 PM, Ada Lovelace Sample came into the world.

Mom and baby are doing fine.

Dad is still recovering.

(Finally this kid is born! So much is going on simultaneously. I need a smaller household. Whew. Also, sorry for all the super-dark pictures. I’ve never come up with a way to light the back yard that I like.

Also, seeing as I went through childbirth in the last year, I can only wish it were as easy and straightforward in real life.)

3.24 Who You Know

Adjo was sitting up reading in his teenager bed when Shanni poked her head in on the way to work. He had the kid’s room to himself now, since Charles was sleeping under the stars, but Zahra’s baby would be coming any day now.

“You’re still in your pajamas!”

He smirked at her. “Off to the grind, then? Put in your time for The Man? Another day another dollar?”

“If all that means I’m going to work, then yes. What are YOU doing?”

“Researching career options. You see, I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.”

“You want to be a bum?”

“It’s a movie quote, doofus. Say Anything. That movie was epic.”

At breakfast, he threw out his plans to Mom and Dad.

“So, the thing is, I want to be my own boss, and I think I can make it work. It’ll take a little bit to turn my guitar skills into something that can pay the bills, but I think I can have a working business up and going pretty quick. And, um, until then, do you mind if I stayed in my old room?”

“If this is your choice,” Lance said in a voice hoarse with emotion, “Then you know we support you.”
All right, now was the time to put his money where his mouth was. Or use his mouth to make his money. Or whatever broken proverb fit here.

He took out his guitar and began his life as a busker. For all his bravado, he had no illusions about how easy this was going to be. But he had to believe in himself.

And make a little money.

(Good grief. SO MUCH happened with the twins before the new baby is even born!)

3.19 Adjo Becomes a Man

Adjo’s birthday was coming up. Becoming an adult was a frightening prospect. What did he want to be when he grew up? He was a mediocre student, and nothing had ever really jumped out at him in his studies.

He called Toya as soon as they got home from school.

“Wanna go on a date?”

“Sure! Where should we meet?”

“It’s a surprise. You’ll see.”

He picked her up and took her to the French Bistro for a high end romantic dinner. She was surprised. No one had ever tried to do something so extravagant for her.

“Wow! I’m not even dressed right!”

“We can take a few minutes and change.”

“So, I want you to know that I’m going to wait for you,” Adjo said. “By the time you graduate, I’ll be making enough of a living for the two of us.”

Toya raised her eyebrow. “You know, Daddy….”

“It’s OK,” he said firmly. “I want to do this on my own.”

As she got off work, Layla caught sight of her son pouring his soul out to his girlfriend. She shook her head ruefully, but stayed out of sight. Toya was a sweet enough girl, but she hoped Adjo knew what he was getting into. It’s not like anyone could talk sense into a youngster in love. She’d moved across the world to be with Lancelot because he had honest eyes and big biceps.

They changed into their formal clothes in that magical Sims way we won’t discuss here.

Adjo headed toward the bistro, but turned back to gaze meaningfully at Toya. “Will you wait for me too?”

Toya beamed at him. “Of course I will silly.”

(Adjo ain’t got the style gene. I have no memory of laying out this outfit for him. But Toya surprisingly didn’t do too badly.)

Everything went perfectly.

Now he just had to make something of himself.

A piece of cake.

Um, right.

And not a bad age transition, all told, but here’s how he ended up:

Adjo Sample
Brave, Charismatic, Family Oriented, Friendly, Over Emotional
Likes: French Music, Key Lime Pie, Lilac
Lifetime Wish: Super Popular