Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jesse and the James Gang

What is it about staying up until 1am and getting up at 5am that makes a person so draggy and tired? I've done it enough that I should be used to it by now, but alas, I think midnight is my new cutoff point for how late I can go to bed and still be awake the next day at 5. I'm not old by any stretch, but I'm definitely not as young as I used to be - I remember pulling a two day all-nighter in college with no sleep either night watching MTV with my roommate and eating out of the vending machines only. Yeah, those days are over…

I like to keep a lot of diversity in my sim neighborhoods, as much as possible. This means not just adding a couple of families and letting the PC generate all my neighbors, but actually making my own potential friends (and enemies) for my sims. The Fultz family (not featured much here yet I don't think) is one such example - I never spend any time playing as them since their creation, they were just created as "familiar faces" for my numero uno sims to interact with. Some of the families I create on the side though I do wind up using actively, so I always plan accordingly and make sure their house is at least functional before I leave them on their own (note that functional does not mean attractive by any stretch). Today, we're going to meet the newest family in town, the James family…that's Jesse holding the cards, his dad Dudley in the blue coat, and his sister Keri wearing the yellow slicker.

The family that gambles together stays together...

We haven't had a cowboy at Monkeesims since Clint Cartwright, and I was feeling a huge void there, weren't you? I thought so! Well, Jesse is here to fill that void, albeit without the rhyming verses introducing him like Clint had. Yes, filling the cowboy void was one reason I made him. The other reason was because I had yet to make any sims with the pleasure aspiration since installing Nightlife, and wanted to see what it was all about. Well, I'll tell you this - it's a heck of a lot easier to fulfill pleasure aspirations than say money or knowledge aspirations. Let's see…buy a painting worth at least $2,000, or play darts? Beat death or soak in the hot tub? Let me think here. Yes, the James family is a family of simple needs. While fulfilling his aspiration to get a drink from the bar, Jesse spotted Kitty Wilson for the first time, with the predictable results.

Jesse: "Well, hello, Miss Kitty…"

Man…I swear that she's everywhere. Just like with TS1, there are certain sims that are either always the ones to welcome new families to the neighborhood, or are out and about at every community or downtown lot "making the scene" (does anyone say that anymore?) That's good because they get a lot of interaction with other sims and new contacts while I don't have to monitor them. That's bad, because some of the interactions like fighting or flirting have lasting consequences I have to deal with when I play the families later. That's good, because it makes for more drama and excitement in later posts. Speaking of drama, after like five minutes, of pointing at Kitty from down the bar and talking to her (to which I saw no response, I'm assuming it was to her), Jesse had but one thing on his mind…

Easy there, cowboy…I think someone beat you to it...

Well, Kitty paid the lonesome cowboy very little notice. She has been on her best behavior since her and Marty patched things up, with a deep abiding hatred for Leon Jackson and indifference toward Tommy Wolf. I don't think Jesse really wants to work himself into that equation anywhere (you'll see in posts to come just how bad Kitty's temper can be toward folks who cross her - I witnessed it and it wasn't pretty!). Jesse decided to amuse himself in less potentially harmful ways, and wandered behind the bar to start juggling glasses. I've been in bars more often than I care to admit, and it's been my experience that most of the time, they don't like people wandering behind the counter whenever they want to. I guess since there's no tip jar or cash register here, it doesn't much matter.

Bartender: "You're going to be washing your filthy handprints off those glasses, cowboy…"

Keri joined Jesse for a drink…or rather, she had a drink while he continued to juggle the glasses (believe it or not, juggling stuff is one of Jesse's aspirations…I swear…). Does anyone else find it weird that every sim has the inherent ability to juggle expertly, even without any skill points built up? I don't know about everyone else, but I've tried it before, and it's never gone well (I can keep one ball up in the air for a little bit, but add a second or a third and you've got a mess). Keri's drink went straight to her bladder, as is the case with all sims, and she headed off to the bathroom. When she came back, she started babbling to Jesse about seeing a ghost…

Jesse: "You're sure it wasn't just a piece of toilet paper?"

One good thing about the James family is that they're a very tight bunch. They enjoy hanging out with each other and going to bars together and gambling to win each other's money since it stays in the same family anyway. Being close with your family members also means always having someone to watch your back. Of course, that can also be a bad thing. Observe as Keri tries to make conversation with the nice man in the bowling shirt…while Jesse stands directly behind her shooting daggers at the poor shmuck she's talking to. That's gotta' make it tough, ya' think?

Jesse: "I've got a 12 gauge on the rack out in my truck, partner..."

Yeah…she's never getting married. Not until Jesse bites the dust anyway (and then he'll probably come back as an overprotective ghost and ruin the honeymoon). After bowling shirt guy gave up trying to talk to Keri, Jesse stopped keeping an eye on her long enough to go check the rest of the place out. Well, what he found was a really crabby old women who started poking him repeatedly and babbling on about something incoherent (I guess that part is nothing new, it's all incoherent). Some people have a really strange way of making a first impression, especially since I think she was one of the employees at the establishment.

Woman: "…and your breath stinks like whiskey! And you need to shave, you slob!"

Well, Jesse isn't the kind of guy to poke a lady, even if it's a really mean one who started poking him first, so he did the only thing he could think of to make her stop - found something to interact with (I tried simply cancelling her "poke" interactions, but new ones just kept coming up…what a persistent wench!). It seemed only natural for him to head over to the karaoke machine to do the "lonesome crooning cowboy" bit. Or maybe he was doing the "I'm so tired of strange old women I don't even know poking me" bit. Either would apply in this case I suppose.

Woman: "I don't believe he's really Tim McGraw..."

The old women stood there and just kept staring, so Jesse just kept right on singing, fearful of what would happen if he were to stop (I'm no Nostradamus, but my guess would be more poking). Meanwhile, Keri decided to take the opportunity to do some flirting without interference from Jesse, and flirt she did…with none other than the dashing Schroeder Fultz. You may not be able to tell just by looking at him, but Schroeder is a pretty nice guy. And I think this is one of those cases where "nice" is also used to distract from the fact that there's no way you can possibly say anything good about his looks.

Keri: "Someday, I'm going to move out and fulfill my life long dream of becoming a secretary!"

Well, Keri and Schroeder hit it off pretty well for a while, but just after they hit the "friends zone", they parted ways. Keri is fun and all, but Schroeder found greater amusement in the form of Ms. Crumplebottom. She sauntered up to the bar, but instead of ordering a drink, she whipped out a scarf and some needles and started knitting. Kitty was still sitting there…still drinking. This is many sim hours after the James family first arrived too. She must be trying to forget how much she hates that skunk Leon Jackson.

Schroeder: "Man, Ms. C! You really know how to party!"

The funny thing is that during all of this, Dudley James was at the card table, playing with random strangers who stopped by, making a decent amount of cash in the process. None of the James family has jobs at the moment, so every source of income counts (a real job would just interfere with the burning desire to play darts or jump on the couch). Well, speaking of sources of income, I've got to cut this short and get to work, since break is technically over now. Drop by next time for an extra long post as we witness a major event involving the Andrews and Daniels families. See you then!


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