Monday, November 12, 2007

Creatures of the Night: Part I

You know, there sure are a lot of crabby people in this world. By this world, I mean my job, and I think the greatest concentration of them in the universe exists within 100 feet of my cubicle. That's all I have to say, on the off chance someone I know from work reads this and figures out who I am. Hey, stranger things. On a side note, a weird bug bit me on the neck last night and woke me up, and it didn't leave a mark or anything, but I also haven't begun to exhibit any strange, bug-like super powers either. Darn it. Oh, well…I hate tights anyway.

I played the Sims way too much this weekend. Part of that was because my wife was sick so I wound up sitting around with not much else to do waiting to see if she'd need anything when she woke up. The other part of that was me just being lazy because I could have cleaned or something productive, but where's the fun in that? When I get truly bored, though, I start building houses and creating more families, which can be good and bad sometimes (I mean in the game, obviously). Let's see how our friendly neighborhood sims are doing their best to stave off their own boredom…

We haven't looked at the Andrews family recently…well, you haven't, I have. Actually, they're probably the family I use the most, not for any reason, that's just the way it happened. Amy has the most friends and best friends of any of my sims (like 16 I believe) and Clarence has had three different careers, and almost made it to the top of two of them. Their son, Aiden, isn't doing quite as well. For some reason, despite going to school every day in a great mood and getting his homework done faithfully, he's a D+ student, which he seems to find sort of depressing. Funny, I never had much of a problem with being one when I was in school. Forget school, though - Aiden has other things on his mind, like recently agreeing to go steady with Vyn Daniels.

Aiden: "Who's got time for school?"

Meanwhile, Clarence had reached the top of the science profession, and had been promoted to Mad Scientist. The money was okay and everything, but for the first time, I realized his lifetime aspiration was to become a Hall of Famer on the athletic track. Wow, talk about getting sidetracked! Clarence just didn't really have any desire to build a lab on to the house just to conduct his mad experiments, and the time seemed right to finally pursue his dream. Thus, he picked up the phone, called the mad scientist boss (I didn't realize they had bosses), and quit. Good thing he gets to keep that awesome uniform with that sweet metal hand. It makes a great conversation piece at parties.

Clarence: "No, the pay was fine, I just feel like an evil Michael Jackson in the uniform!"

Clarence wasn't the only one making big, life changing decisions. Amy decided to make a change as well, in the form of buying herself a new swimsuit. Okay, I guess you can't really compare the two there, aside from the fact that Clarence's change of profession involves a change of clothing as well (well, that was the assumption at the time he got the job on the sports track - can you imagine dribbling down the court in that mad scientist get up?) Clarence himself actually has very few friends, and most of his "family friends" are friends of Amy, so if she wants to run off and spend a bunch of money on a new swimsuit, that's just fine…

Amy: "Whew! That hot tub is so…hot!"

Well, Clarence made his decision to change professions unilaterally, and decided to tell Amy about it after the fact. Considering the sports track is one of the highest paying tracks in TS2, it didn't take a whole lot of convincing to make her see things his way. She waltzed right in and congratulated him with a big smackaroo. Way to go, hot shot!

Amy: "I always hated that metal Michael Jackson glove anyway!"

Of course, when someone gets a new job, it's customary to congratulate them for it. I guess it must also be customary to play that little punching game the sims are so fond of to commemorate the event. I swear, every time I turn around, my sims are either playing red hands, throwing water balloons, or punching each other in the arms. Being tickled ticks them off a lot, but these things are apparently okay. Not in my world, buddy. I learned a long time ago to stop trying to make sense of the sims and their crazy idea of fun.

Clarence: "I said I was going to be a star athlete, not a boxing champion!"

The good thing about changing professions when you've already reached the top of another one is you don't have to start out at the bottom of the food chain in the new profession. Thus, Clarence didn't have to take a stupid mascot job, he just went straight to the courts. He didn't have to improve any of his skills to begin with either, since scientists and athletes apparently share a lot of the same skill sets (I never knew). Friends were not an issue either, since Amy had that covered. Of course, one down side to having large numbers of friends and best friends like Amy does is when they just wander into the house and make themselves at home. Below, we see Leon Hartman and Matt Martin watching the Andrews' TV uninvited.

Matt: "Whose house did you say this was again?"

Don't be fooled, though - when you spend almost all day at home like Amy does while Clarence is at work, you crave the constant company (and chaos). I think for a while, she was throwing parties daily, which explains her large number of friends. It also explains why the family burns through money so quickly. Who needs money, though, when you have hordes of people willing to drop by and keep you company for a bit for the small cost of eating your food and breaking your appliances and electronic gadgets so you can pay a costly repair person to fix them?

So many people…so little actually going on...

Amy is one of those weird energetic and outgoing sims who's never ready to go to bed when I'm ready to put her there, and if people aren't around, her social need dips drastically. I find this very odd since she's only two points above being totally grouchy, but I guess that has nothing to do with being social and friendly (more weird simology at work). Most of her lightweight friends seem to have a bad habit of heading home just as the party starts to get good, but Amy found the perfect solution to that…making friends with vampires and werewolves. Did I mention she was desperate for constant company? Here, we see her greeting vampire-about-town, Alfred Witte.

Amy: "Just watch it with those fangs, mister!"

Amy never learned her lesson about vampires, I guess. She was the first of my sims to be bitten after befriending Count Derek Wren (the grand vampire from the Downtown area), and she passed it on to Alfred initially before curing herself. Count Derek bit one of Aiden's teenage friends, and Amy spent days trying to get her to come back to the house to drink a cure potion (clearly to avoid a call from the parents). Count Derek stopped getting invites for a while, but Alfred had done no wrong thus far, so Amy had no misgivings about having him over. Well, she shouldn't have let her guard down…

Alfred: "I bid thee rise, Chickenfeed Charlie!"

So much for Alfred not being evil…moments later, he ran from the house with Chickenfeed Charlie in tow. It's always the same old story - you go out of your way to be nice to a vampire, and they steal the ceramic chicken out of your garden. On a side note, Aiden did wander off and get it back, but he didn't return it to the garden, he kept it in his inventory for his own use (no doubt to give to Vyn as a token of his love and affection). Amy managed to miss the entire incident with the chicken, though, as she had more important matters on her mind…

Leon: "For the tenth time, no…the shorts don't make your butt look big!"

Sooner or later, everyone gets tired of hanging around the house, even if it's a really great house. Amy and Clarence have an 11,000 simolean car sitting in their garage that never gets used since Clarence takes the carpool, and Amy decided it was time to take it out on the town. She headed down to the Freetime lounge and decided to take advantage of the recently added poker table that had been put in place of one of the chess boards. Yes, playing poker is a much better way to earn money than betting on those cutthroat, no holds barred chess matches that are always so popular...

Amy: "Time to put everything I learned from 'The Gambler' to use!"

I'm not sure what factors determine who the winner is when it comes to sim poker (I tried watching the cards to make sure nobody was cheating, but they were just too small), but Amy was making out like a bandit. The only way I could really tell who was winning was by whoever pulled the chips to them after each hand, and it seemed like she was doing all the pulling. Confident that she could handle herself for a bit, I got distracted watching the shows on the sim TV (man, those crack me up). I looked back a little later when I noticed it didn't show she was playing cards anymore, and uh…

Talk about smoking the competition...

Hmmm…looks like Amy might have found a new calling in life. Actually, since buying Nightlife, I've just begun to explore the possible ways to make money without having to get a job, and playing poker seems to be a pretty good one (sure, there's the risk of losing, but let's not sweat the small stuff). At any rate, that's enough for now. Will Amy finally get tired of playing hostess all day long at home? Will her excursion out on the town leave her wanting more? Will the Andrews family play host to more ghoulish guests? Well, obviously, so stay tuned for "Creatures of the Night: Part II".


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