Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Simpourri

I love sunflower seeds. They keep my mouth busy in an environment where constant talking is discouraged, they taste great, and they fool my stomach into thinking that I'm not really hungry for most of the day. This is a very good thing, because when you work a job where you sit, and you combat its boring nature by "boredom eating", that can be a very bad thing. However, the seeds aren't perfect either, because eat too many of them, as I do daily, and they completely numb your sense of taste for the day and sometimes even longer. I don't care - I've already tasted all the foods I've been eating lately at least once before, so it's not like I'm missing anything (except when my blood pressure was a lot lower prior to all the sunflower seed salt).

Now that you've been given a lesson on dietary pitfalls in the work place, lets move on to something a tad less boring. Heck, that could be just about anything. That's sort of the theme for the post today too…a little bit of everything. A few posts ago, Aiden and Vyn Andrews became the proud parents of twin baby girls Jaden and Kati. Time flies pretty quickly for sim parents, and while Jaden and Kati were teeny tiny babies last time, their birthday came about pretty quickly (well, sort of - it still seemed to take forever having to monitor two babies, even with two unemployed parents).

Vyn: "Look, Kati! Grandpa Jack is in his Speedo again!"

Well, the double birthday party was thrown, and it took two cakes to make both of the babies grow up properly. I always get a little freaked out when the transformation process from baby to kid or kid to adult takes place in TS2, because you really have no idea what you're going to get. I think the game tries to pick the worst features of the parents of a child (frowning mouth, heavy brow, etc) and make sure that those are the ones that are most prominent on the offspring…and you can't change it! Well, Kati didn't turn out bad at all…

Um…what's up with the little white tuxedo??

Yes, it's true - she's wearing a little white tux to go with that fetching bandana in her hair. Seriously, the little white tux shouldn't even be an option for baby girls, and I'm not convinced it works for boys either. As for the hair, well, Aiden and Vyn had really been hoping that at least one of the girls would grow up to be a blonde like their mother. Now THAT can be changed. One might question the decision to color a toddler's hair, but come on, we're talking about a sim toddler here. Besides getting blonde hair, Kati also got changed into her PJ's to hide the tux, but I forgot to take an "after" picture. Here's Jaden below.

The little toddler bandana is apparently very "in" this year...

Jaden's clothes actually weren't that bad, but it seemed odd to dress Kati in PJ's and Jaden in her regular clothes, because then they didn't really match. In the end, the babies wound up with matching PJ's and bowl cuts, which isn't the greatest look in the world, but it beats the ugly "upside down clown head" picture one of my Sims 1 babies got (please don't ask about that any further). We'll visit the babies again a bit down the road and see how they're doing. It's time to look in on a couple other new arrivals to the sim neighborhood, the Hartmans. No, not Leon and Rinoa, or even Iris and her clan. I'm talking about Elrond and Eowyn, son and daughter of Spruce Hartman. They were plant sims at one time, then they drank the plant sim cure and now they're elves instead.

No, it's not a hideous night club…it actually is a house...

Spruce has been exhibiting some odd behavior recently, including abusiveness toward others, poor fashion sense, and general surliness. It wasn't surprising when he decided he needed to produce plant baby clones of himself, given his giant ego. However, Elrond and Eowyn actually turned out to be pretty nice, normal sims. One might question their decorative tastes at first glance, but when you think about it, elves in the movies love the woods, and a massive wood and bamboo tiki shack has a very "woodland hut" feel to it. Elrond and Eowyn's aunts from the garden center seemed to like it pretty well.

Eowyn: "Why…I never thought about it before…how DID I get a navel?"

I'll admit that I've been curious about it before, and had some of the Hartman plant sims drink the plant sim cure potion to see how they looked as normal sims. Well, basically, they all look better green. I think when the game generates a plant sim, it takes the basic features of the parent, narrows them quite a bit, then turns them green. Rinoa's face is just okay to begin with, and when you start squishing it around, it makes for some funny looking offspring. For some odd reason, Elrond and Eowyn didn't look quite as bad when they made the transformation. Below, we see Elrond hanging out with his uncle Willow, while his old man, Spruce, hangs out at the bar in the background (I was looking for a way to incorporate "old man willow" into that sentence, but it didn't quite work out).

Willow: "You really don't prefer the cool green sweats?"

One good thing about having a cool tiki dance shack for your home is that you can DJ all you want and as badly as you want, and nobody can complain about it (well, besides your roommate, assuming you listen to them). Elrond has a great love for working the DJ booth, but he lacks the great talent needed to make it not sound like crap. I guess when you play music loud enough, it compensates for that a little bit, not it's still painful when it switches over to big band music in the middle of a half decent mix. Another cool thing about the tiki dance shack is the flame shooting devices in the floor, which only occasionally catch anyone on fire…

Elrond: "If you can't take the heat, get out of the hut, baby!"

One other great feature of the Hartman tiki house is the hot tubs right out on the front lawn, so close to the sidewalk that you could actually reach out and touch it from inside the tub. Some of the disadvantages to having hot tubs next to the sidewalk are people kicking crap in them when they walk by, zero privacy, easy access for dogs and other passing creatures to pee in or drink from them, and so forth. I can't actually think of any advantages to such a location…maybe there are none.

Elrond: "Just a little closer to the street, and we'd have to duck when cars drove by!"

Well, after seeing the wicked awesome potential of the Hartman tiki house, some of the garden center Hartmans (who live right next door incidentally) found themselves feeling strangely empty. In case I didn't mention this before, the doors to the garden center are locked almost 100 percent of the time to keep the plant sims from wandering too far from the sun lamps when night comes along. This means that they have only each other for company, which isn't a problem really in itself. I guess if you start factoring romance into the equation, then it's kind of a problem, but I'm still not sure to this point if that’s something plant sims actually care about or not. Usually they just stand around looking a little green…

Willow: "Ya' know, this place feels a little more like prison every day!"

I always assumed the satisfaction of growing the most mouthwatering vegetables in the neighborhood in huge quantities would be enough to keep the plant folk happy, but there's always got to be a whiner in every bunch. This time, the whiner was Willow Hartman, the other male plant sim (as opposed to Spruce, who's strangely absent from these garden center pictures). Well, there are many ways to meet new people in the sim world, most of them involve a little effort, but effort be darned. See, the Hartmans have not one but two wishing wells given to them by the Garden Club, and to this point, nobody had dared to use them. Well, extreme boredom makes you do daring things…

Willow: "I wish I had some friends...who cared about something besides eggplants!"

I'm assuming the well works something like that dang genie lamp from TS1, and I'm assuming there is a possible negative outcome to any wishes made. I haven't read up on the wishing well, and I hadn't used it before, so I honestly have no idea. All I know is that Willow wished for friends, and moments later, a bunch of dudes showed up. Well, I guess that's sort of a fulfillment of a wish. I looked at the relationship panel, and there was no relationship to speak of between Willow and the dudes who magically appeared. What?? He has to make them into friends on his own? What a rip!

Willow: "How can you say this place sucks? You haven't even been inside yet!"

I found myself missing the days when Leon Jackson got a train set or cursed the house with roaches or made his buddy Steve's wife Doris fall in love with him, all through the use of the genie lamp. Having to do the actual work to make friends with people magically transported to your home is kind of lame, and Willow decided that if he had to go to all that trouble, he might as well get to pick the people he befriended. Those dudes look like they're dressed to go hit a nightclub somewhere, not hang out in a big greenhouse with nothing to do. Luckily, Willow spotted his niece, Eowyn Hartman, and struck up a nice conversation with her.

Willow gives Eowyn the gift that keeps on giving…a mouthwatering eggplant...

I wish those plant sims would quit worrying about friendship and stuff and just stick to their vegetables. I guess they need to be friends with some people though because the only way I can make them distribute produce is if they know someone well enough to call them up and give it as a gift. What an inefficient system. On the topic of efficiency, let us mosey on over to the Andrews home, where we find Clarence hard at work trying to maximize his charismatic abilities. In case you forgot, he quit his job as a scientist after he reached the top so he could fulfill his dream of being a Hall of Famer. Well, he was only one promotion away from living that dream, and it was taking forever to get the needed charisma points. Luckily, there was a "special" reward hat designed to expedite the process…

Clarence: "I feel twice as smart…but look three times as stupid!"

Geez, get with it, buddy…Amy had long ago fulfilled her lifelong aspiration to become…er…reach the top of the law enforcement track (almost gave away too much there!). She wasn't interested in changing careers like Clarence was (he's already been a criminal, a scientist, and an athlete, and that's not the end of it). It was becoming increasingly difficult to find ways to kill time around the house. Amy still had a couple of skill points she could max out, but they were for skills not used around the house, and she didn't need them for her job. She decided to remedy her boredom by wandering around the house scanning things with her little crime scanner gun. Like THAT's going to do a lot to liven things up…

Amy: "Aha! Clarence HAS been licking the dishes clean again!"

Well, Clarence eventually got tired of looking like an idiot with the light bulb hat, and was growing weary of Amy pointing out everything he'd left his "dirty fingerprints" on, and decided it was high time the couple got out of the house for a bit…anything to break the monotony. Considering how much the Andrews family loves to socialize, I think they're probably the sims who actually leave the house the least, which is kind of odd (I guess when your friends come to you, there's little need to head out looking for them). They decided to check out a nearby park resort that had been recently constructed. It started raining as soon as they got there, and of course most of the attractions were outside. Luckily, there was a bar - the staple of any good community lot.

Bartender: "I'd love to make some drinks for you folks, but I seem to have lost my pitcher!"

Well, he did eventually find the pitcher, and I left the couple to their own devices for a bit. Of course, the end result was them standing around drinking forever and talking to each other, because nobody else seemed to be coming by (it's possible they were in the upper levels of the establishment, but the lure of the bar was such that Amy and Clarence never actually explored that far). Whenever a bar is present, be it at home or away, my sims will head for it first, and stand there drinking till they pee themselves…I kid you not. I had higher hopes for Clarence and Amy, though, and eventually cut them off. Well, it was still raining outside, and I wasn't about to let them go out and get sick, so…

Everyone loves a good indecent PDA...

Hey, man, watch those hands…if this were Sims 1, grabbing someone's butt would result in a little puff of flowers and a cradle in the corner. Man, we've come a long way. After what seemed an eternity, the rain finally subsided, about the time Clarence and Amy were getting tired and ready to head home. I wasn't about to let the trip be totally wasted, so I sent them outside, which didn't have nearly as many attractions as I thought originally. There was always dancing to the juke box, which is such a huge change from dancing in front of the radio at home…or not.

Amy: "I'll have to ask them how they make this deck hover off the ground like that…"

Well, I think we've seen all this post has to offer. Our next installment of Monkeesims will take us to the Wilson trailer, where there will undeniably be some trouble brewing…but what kind of trouble? Well, that can only be answered by dropping in for the next post. After that, of course, will be the 100th post celebration that I keep talking about and it will probably be a big letdown after all the hype…lol Well, let's hope not. See you later!


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