Thursday, January 17, 2008

Baby Boomers

Hey there, gang! Good to have you back! Yesterday was both a really boring and really exciting day at the same time - and not exciting in the good way either. My pup, Howie, got his cable loose from its chain somehow, and ran off into town while my wife and I were at school and work respectively. He got nabbed by the dog catcher, but managed to slip out of his collar and escape, only to be picked up by my land lord. He managed to escape from him too, and my wife picked him up later a short ways from our house. It was interesting. I spent most of yesterday getting over a cold I had the day before, and found myself plugging away once more at Resident Evil 4. I've always been a little behind the times, so that game is still new to me, and I'm loving it.

Well, anyway, we've spent a great deal of time lately here focusing on the misadventures of our friends on Leon Jackson's Love Boat, and they aren't over by any stretch (it's not over till Steve turns into a zombie and gets sprayed by a skunk, right?). We'll visit the Jackson's a little this time around, as well as some of the other folks who have recently been "babied". Actually, the first family we'll look in on is that of Aiden and Vyn Andrews, who haven't gotten much face time here since they had their twins, Kati and Jaden. To their credit, that's because they haven't gotten out to do much, and have spent most of their time teaching their youngsters life skills like how to talk and walk. Aiden wouldn't want them to "grow up badly" like he did, after all (I still say his memory that says that is a huge crock of crap).

Aiden: "Well, it looks like we've got 'sit' mastered. Let's move on…"

Thus far in the Sims 2, I've had a few families that had a baby, but the only kids who actually grew to adulthood are Aiden and Vyn. Jaden and Kati represent the first set of "third generation" sims introduced into the neighborhood, and I was curious to see how much they resembled not only their parents, but their grandparents as well. All sim babies look the same to me (besides skin tone), and I have to admit that most of the toddlers I've seen look very similar as well, save for the variation in the clothes (like the occasional really ugly "toddler tux"). Well, I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but when it came time for Jaden and Kati to age from toddler to kid, they both wound up looking a lot like Vyn, and very little like Aiden. Good thing, because that facial hair on a little girl…ugh…I can imagine.

…and neither girl inherited the Andrews "bitchin" sunglasses…sad.

I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but the girls were very, very lucky that their mother, Vyn, was adopted. Grandpa Jack has one of the biggest noses in the sim neighborhood, and there's a good chance that one of them would have been the genetic recipient of said nose - not a pretty sight on a girl (or Jack really for that matter). Vyn has a small, sort of flat nose, and that's what both of them got, not Jack's honker. When the twins were babies, it was no problem to stick two cribs in Aiden and Vyn's bedroom, but with them grown up, space suddenly became an issue. Luckily, the couple still had enough money left over from their initial move to add on a small addition for a "kiddie room".

Not quite as charming as Chucky MacGuffin's room, but oh, well.

It was all good and fine that Aiden and Vyn were able to afford the new addition to the house on such short notice, but having to spend all that money did present a problem. With less than a thousand dollars to their name, the couple began to get the sneaking feeling that sooner or later, someone was going to have to get a *ugh* job. Vyn played the "mommy" card, insisting she needed to stay home to look after the kids, so Aiden promptly took a career on the sports track. Little did he realize that, having aged into children instead of toddlers, Jaden and Kati would be at school all day long anyway, meaning Vyn would have all day at home by herself to do as she pleased. Sneaky. Meanwhile, Aiden was forced to go out in public dressed like a llama for the sake of his job.

Vyn: "Sorry, hon…but I don't kiss llamas!"

Well, good to see things working out for them. I'd really hoped at one point that Aiden and Vyn would have some time to themselves with money and no responsibility so they could make the most of the sim world around them, but having kids right away sort of foiled that plan. Let us move on to another family, one who hasn't actually seen their bouncing bundle of joy yet. If you'll recall, our old pal Tommy Wolf finally came to his senses and ditched Rinoa Hartman, and met the love of his life, Allyn Thomason, who soon found herself married and pregnant. Tommy and Leon Jackson went from being enemies to being best buds. As we drop in on the Wolf house, Leon is once again hanging out there.

Leon: "Who needs a love boat when you can hang out in a shack with indoor shingles?"

I'm not sure why it is, but it seemed like Allyn's baby was a long, long time coming. Heck, it even seemed like it took a really long time for her to start showing she was pregnant at all. That might be partly due to the fact that among other things, Tommy's house is really, really BORING. Adding he and Allyn's bedroom and the nursery really reduced the available space for anything else inside, and fishing was really the only outdoor activity besides the telescope. So yeah, having to spend any amount of time at Tommy's house is a real chore for me. I guess I should try to imagine how he and Allyn feel about it…but I won't. Eventually, though, baby time did arrive…

Tommy: "Hang on a sec…you can't rush a good cup of espresso!"

As advanced as TS2 is, I'm surprised that all the sims who give birth still do it at home. There's an ambulance already coded into the game - you'd have thought maybe it could swing by and pick up the sim preparing to give birth…or maybe at very least a taxi. As it is, though, they just stand around in the house looking uncomfortable, and out pops the ankle biter. I'm also kind of surprised that all the sim babies initially look alike. I guess that's so nobody will be cruel and say, "man, that's one ugly baby", but when you start out with the relatively cute standard baby and they become an ugly toddler, I think that's even more of a surprise.

Allyn, Tommy, and baby Allen…heheh.

Yes, the baby was a boy, and yes, the couple named him Allen. Nothing says "cool" for a young boy like being named after his mother. I suppose he could throw people off the track by telling people he was named after a grandfather or Alan Alda or Alan M. from the Josie and the Pussycats comics, but I'm not sure any of those are much better. Since it takes a while for most babies to discuss (or care about) the origins of their names, I think Allen will be okay for a while. Tommy quickly took to caring for his son. Given the lame, boring nature of the house and lack of things to do, this should come as no surprise…bottle feeding a baby is like Mardi Gras compared to the alternatives.

Tommy: "No fur OR fangs…you sure he's mine?"

Yes, ol' Tommy has come a long way from spending his days alone with his telescope spying on Castle Witte - now he has a son to do it with him. But seriously, congrats, Tommy. We're all happy for you. Now, remember earlier in this post when I made it sound like you'd be getting a break from the Jacksons? Hah…you wish. Really, though, while we ARE dropping in on them again, it's simply because they have something in common with the rest of the families we're looking at today - kids. Well, one on the way. As strange as the whole "alien baby on the way" thing was, though, something even stranger was about to be revealed. One night, while Leon, Claire, Moon Dawg, and Keri were playing cards, Claire let slip some very unexpected news…

Claire: "Do we have any guacamole in the fridge? Oh, and Leon proposed to me..."

Yes, it's unbelievable but true - Leon had, in fact, broken down, and made his most serious commitment to date by proposing to Claire. If you don't believe me, you can see the ring on her finger in that picture. Okay, so it's not THAT hard to believe. Leon has always had a weakness for being friendly with many different women at once, but there was something about Claire that really drew him in (maybe it's the fact that she's kind of a hoochie, and to some extent, the female version of Leon). Whatever the case, the surprise of the engagement news proved to be too much for Moon Dawg, and suddenly…

Leon: "Hey, man…can't that wait till we're done with this hand?"

You don't have to be a biology wiz to know that there are some design flaws to the whole "male pregnancy" thing, not the least of which is the fact that guys don't have ANY of the parts designed for the process. The thing that lingered in the back of my mind the whole time Moon Dawg was expecting his baby was this - how was the baby planning on getting out? I've seen "Junior" with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that movie did provide one possible answer to the problem (and greatly reduced Arnie's masculinity in the process). That baby was surgically removed, but there was no surgical facility on board the Love Boat. In the end, I like to think the baby just came out Moon Dawg's navel, or better yet, used it's alien powers to teleport outside of him when the time was right.

Moon Dawg: "Hmmm…somehow I expected worse!"

The baby was a girl, or at least it was the alien equivalent of a girl. Moon Dawg named her Moon Unit Marley (Marley being Moon Dawg's last name, in case you'd forgotten). Moon Dawg was "over the moon", not just because he finally had that green daughter he always wanted, but because he was free to wear clothes other than the pink sweats. The best part of the whole situation in Moon Dawg's eyes, though, was Keri's response to the alien baby - she went right ahead and started helping take care of Moon Unit like she was her own. That was the clincher for Moon Dawg. So where do we go from here, you may ask? Well, I don't want to say too much, but join us tomorrow for another of our more memorable posts. See you later, mon!


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