Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Reticulating Splines

Align CenterHey, everyone, welcome back! It's been a few days since our last post, and I'm happy to report that I'm not feeling the pressure I once was to do updates daily. It makes the whole blogging process a lot more fun, not to mention it prevents me from having to scrape for time to post when it's just not possible. I just got back the other day from a two day camping trip, the first this summer, and it was a nice break from the norm (despite what appeared to be a bumper crop of mosquitos this year).

In our last post, I mentioned the upcoming reintroduction of some of our sims dating back to our original posts, however, I'd prefer to spend this post taking a look at some of the families native to Pleasantview. Actually, "group" would be a more appropriate term than "family" to describe these particular sims. Today's post takes us to the Omega Ampitheater, home of local garage band, the "Reticulating Splines". Facing the camera, we have blonde lead guitarist, Christopher Spline, and mohawked (is that a word?) Rooster Spline.

Chris is a firm believer in the "shirts are for suckers" school of thought...

And then, we have Shera Spline, the group promoter, and behind her, with the afro, her brother, Fozzie Spline, the drummer. The musicians' different specialties should be fairly obvious (unless you didn't read any of the last couple sentences), they basically stand up on stage and perform, while Shera's job is find people to actually watch them perform. This involves the difficult tasks of greeting passing locals, or heading out to different public hotspots and befriending people with the intention of later calling them to come watch a performance. I know...grueling stuff...

Fozzie: "I don't know, man, 'Eat My Shorts' was kind of a bomb..."

While most of the families in the neighborhood are introduced with the intention of occasionally socializing with others, the "Reticulating Splines", or "Splines", as we will henceforth refer to them, exist for but one purpose - to make the world a better place through music. Oh, and to drink "fruit punch" from the kegs out front. Shera is the only one out of the bunch who is any kind of people person, the remaining members are only allowed on stage or backstage where they live, as they are all about as unfriendly in person as a sim can possibly be. Hey, they're musicians, they don't get paid to make friends (or at all, for that matter).

Shera: "Maybe we should put up a wall so they can't dive off of the stage..."

Of course, when I've got sims visiting public places, nothing keeps the band members from showing up to cause trouble there, but nobody ever said life was supposed to be easy. Anyway, after some heavy duty band practice, Shera decided it was time to throw a launch party of sorts for the band. Granted, it wasn't a very big party because she had to basically pull people off the street to come watch the performance (plus, it just so happened the performance took place the same day the three welcoming comittee members decided to pay a visit). Still, there was a pretty decent turnout. Here, we see Jack Johnson from two posts ago talking to Elvis, whose last name escapes me (no, it's not Presley), then to the far right, Jamal Jameson in the purple suit, talking to Jennifer Smith, who appears to have mugged a clown and stolen his clothes.

...and everyone seems to have forgotten about the band...

Everyone seems so engrossed in their own personal interactions that the band may as well have been a great big radio sitting up on stage. It's been a while since I've been to a concert, but if I remember correctly, half the reason to even attend is to actually SEE the performers, but whatevs. Shera actually seemed to be getting a little too in to the whole promoting thing, and actually let her personal interests take over. It seems Jack Johnson's overwhelming charms had worked their magic on her. Can you blame her?

Jack: "You haven't even seen my junkyard yet, babe!"

Well, it seemed like things were going okay between Jack and Shera for a while, but she eventually either came on too strong, or Jack just wasn't interested, because he started getting annoyed by her advances. I guess the promoter line of work sort of taught Shera to use "hard sell" techniques when promoting herself, and they just weren't doing it for the easy going Jack. It could be that Jack still has a thing for Natalie Jones and isn't interested in playing the field, but again, Jacks' never really expressed a big interest in the whole commitment thing.

Shera: "Well, I didn't want to see your nasty junkyard anyway!"

It's also possible that we're just reading too much in to the whole thing, and forgetting that Jack, while undeniably charming, is also a little weird. Not long after he harshly broke conversation with Shera, he was witnessed getting in to a tickle fight with his good pal, Jamal Jameson. Now, I'm all about brotherly love and hanging out with the guys and such, but a tickle fight in the middle of a rock concert seems a little...odd. Stranger yet, with all the other sims downing party punch like it was going out of style, these two had yet to hit the pineapple, so we can't blame this odd behavior on being "under the influence"...

Jack: "Tee hee! I'm alwas so tickled by you, Jamal!"

Shera actually did have an admirer at the concert in the form of Jamal, although from what I've seen, he admires all the ladies. I swear, he reminds me more and more of Leon Jackson every day. Shera, however, showed no romantic interest in Leon whatsoever, probably because of his alarming resemblencer to her brother, Fozzie. Seriously, if you changed the clothes and darkened Fozzie's skin another shade, he would BE Jamal. Shera eventually forgot about Jack and ignored Jamal in favor of spending most of her time chatting with Jennifer Smith. Shera's job as a promoter involves just getting other sims to like her enough to come to concerts, not to form meaningful lasting relationships, but she was well on her way to doing just that with Jennifer.

Jennifer: "I think the ghost of Elvis is living in my makeup kit!"

I don't know what the deal with that teenage kid pictured above is, but all he did was gripe and moan and keep on having that little pathfinding bubble come up over his head. He was either having trouble finding buried treasure on the property, or couldn't get over the fact that he wasn't allowed backstage into the band's "private quarters". Hey, kid, deal with it. You can't always get what you want! Speaking of Elvis, Pleasantview's resident Elvis wannabe was present at the concert, apparantly for no other reason but to show how unimpressed he was with the performance. Considering his last musical efforts involved singing karaoke at the Free Time Lounge and clearing out most of the patrons, he has very little room to boast.

Don't be cruel, "Elvis"...

Since the main purpose of this whole party was for the "Splines" to get some exposure, and most folks weren't paying them proper attention, the least we can do is take a quick look at the band members in action. Here, we have Christopher, jamming away on his axe...

Christopher: "The next person to ask for 'Free Bird' gets a guitar smashed over their head!"

And then, we have Fozzie and Rooster, who must share a shot together since they lack the coolness Christopher posesses as lead guitarist. Just kidding...or am I...

Drummers and bass guitarists need love too.

Eventually, things started to get a little weird among the spectators. For a while, there was the usual babble, then some talk about flying saucers, then, things really took a turn for the bizarre when Shera mistook Jack for an alien and bit him on the nose (okay, I have no idea what's really happening in that picture, but they ain't sharing a kiss, in case you were wondering). If Jack hadn't already made up his mind about whether or not he was interested in Shera before, you can bet he has now.

Teenage Kid: "Are you sure you won't buy me beer?"

All things considered, the party was a decent success. Yes, there were only about five or six non-group related sims there at any given time, and no, the band didn't have Peter Miller to launch fireworks into the sky and almost blow up innocent observers, but the sims who came wound up staying well into the night and seemed to have fun for the most part (ignore the fact that the "Splines" never once took a break from playing, their comfort isn't really the primary concern when there's actually a crowd willing to stick around and listen to them.) The main goal was for the "Splines" to get their music "out there", and between the playing and Shera's schmoozing visitors, I'd say that job was accomplished admirably.

Jack: "Rawr, that clown over there is HOT!"

At this point, I have no idea what the "topic" of our next post is going to be, I prefer to sort of take a spontaneous approach to these things. More than likely, though, we'll check in on the "returning" sims I spoke of at the start of this post. If you haven't figured out who they are yet, well, I love you, but I can't help you. Spread the love, and I'll see you all next time!