The Top of the Heap
This has been a long, long weekend for a variety of reasons. For starters, we're getting ready to move before too long, and the packing began in earnest this past Saturday - everything has been tossed around every where, and it looks like a tornado hit my house. Oh, and speaking of tornadoes, we DID have some hit some of the towns not too far from here, and there were incredibly strong winds blowing for like two days that littered the yard with big branches and made it impossible to sleep. To top it all off, sewage has been backing up in our basement on a daily basis. Sound like fun? Oh, it is...it is...
Last time we saw Rinoa, she seemed to be recovering more or less from breaking up with Leon and kicking him out. She realized if she was going to get promoted at work, she needed to make friends of her own to make up for the ones she lost when Leon left, and invited a bunch of folks over, including Peter Miller, who she formed something of a romantic relationship with. Well, checking in now, we find she still hasn't gotten a promotion, despite keeping up her skill points and making sufficient friends. Rinoa had gone and bought a servo, but thus far, hadn't activated it, probably because she knew of the bad fortune others who had activated them experienced.
Rinoa: "…zzzz…Leon's a jerk…zzzz…"
Inviting people over is easy. Actually getting them to accept the invite and show up is a little harder. Turning them into actual friends once they agree to visit your house takes even more work, especially when you try to befriend multiple people at one sitting, and the effort required to do that coupled with the energy she was devoting to her job was just too much for Rinoa. She fell into a rut where she was just too tired to invite anyone over, but she still longed for companionship. The easiest solution to the problem was to purchase one of those little bricks with faces that are so popular around town. Considering every family in town owns at least one of the dumb things, I think the only person the bricks really cheer up is Amy Andrews, who gets to pocket the money from their sales.
Rinoa: "I would kiss you, but you really need to shave..."
Well, Rinoa may have been teetering on the brink of going off the deep end, but she still had enough sanity about her to know that talking to a brick wasn't going to get her anywhere (as much fun as we all know it can be). She decided that if she had any free time, and she wasn't going to spend it building skill points or pursuing new friendships, she may as well be spending it doing something that would still be somewhat productive. She didn't have a garden planted at the moment, and she was feeling to lazy to bother getting one started, so she instead decided to grab a fishing pole and pay a visit to the pond behind that house.
Rinoa: "Fishing at night during the winter is much less crazy than talking to a brick!"
It really was high time that Rinoa catch some fish to stock her fridge. Virtually every family in the neighborhood I've ever controlled has wound up with a large supply of fish, either by way of fishing themselves or buying it at the Daniels' fish stand. Rinoa has been the one exception, and for no good reason, she's just never appreciated the value of fish. Maybe it's because she doesn't want the annoying penguin who comes into houses and jumps around in front of the fridge if it's stocked with fish (she usually has plenty of vegetables in there, and there's no annoying creature that shows up to try to take away your fruit). Whatever the case, Rinoa never had an opportunity to experience the wonderful benefits of fish, because as soon as she cast a line, the pond froze over...
Rinoa: "Clearly the whole world hates me..!"
Poor Rinoa. All she wanted was someone or something to occupy her time, but after finding no satisfaction in talking to her brick buddy, and being "frozen out" by her own fish pond, she was starting to get desperate. Despite the horror stories from families who had activated servos and had to deal with the subsequent indecent proposals and jealous rages they seemed prone to, Rinoa decided there was no harm in activating the servo she'd purchased. After all, she wasn't in a serious relationship yet, despite her romantic interactions with Peter Miller, and even if she was, she wasn't about to let some lousy robot decide who she was dating.
Rinoa: "I dub you 'LE-1 Hartman'..."
Hmmm, ever get the idea maybe she's not entirely over Leon yet? This whole situation sort of echoes the whole weird situation with Regina Daniels and her robot replacement for Jack Daniels when he died. The difference, though, is that Rinoa decided to take advantage of having an extra set of hands around the house, and rather than give the servo lots of time to make a pest of himself, she instantly ordered him to work. Her first official act was to plant a garden, which she and LE-1 spent plenty of time tending. Rinoa decided if there was any pest spraying to be done, she'd leave it up to LE-1, since she'd already caused enough excitement the last time she turned into a plant sim.
Rinoa: "He may not have Leon's looks, but at least he's good for something!"
LE-1 didn't turn out to be as obnoxious as the Jack Daniels servo or C-3P0 and Dot Matrix Andrews, mainly because Rinoa continued to keep him busy and kept social interactions with him to a minimum. Not to say she didn't interact with him at all, but not in a misleading semi-romantic fashion. Having "someone" around the house though did get her thinking she might be ready to have some real company over again, and so, Rinoa invited Pete over again to hang out. It was a little late to begin with, and the two hung out for a bit before Rinoa took a break to make dinner. Well, when she was finished, guess what - Pete had gone off to bed again, just like on his previous visit. He did get up a while later to eat, but by that time, the food was more than a little funky.
Rinoa: "Maybe I should just be dating LE-1..."
Rinoa was starting to get the very distinct impression that if things were to get serious with Pete and he were to move in, she'd be right back where she started when she lived with Leon, having to do all the work around the house herself and make all the money at her job while he hung around the house sleeping and doing nothing (an accurate assessment, since that's just what Pete does at the Jones house). Rinoa's invitations to have him over became fewer and fewer, as she spent all of her time trying to keep herself in a good mood to be ready in case the promotion she'd been waiting for for so long ever became available. As luck would have it, she did eventually get it…
Rinoa: "Does this space suit make me look fat?"
Getting promoted to astronaut not only meant a pay raise, but it also gave Rinoa the opportunity to get as far away as possible from the real Leon whenever she was launched into space (however frequently that might happen). Suddenly, there was little time for socializing or anything of that nature, as Rinoa found herself burning the candle at both ends again trying to build up skills to be promoted once more. Having LE-1 around the house became more important than ever, as suddenly it was Rinoa who was neglecting any form of house work, wholly obsessed with career advancement instead. LE-1 had no problem with helping around the house, but like all servos, he had a tendency to seek out fun and excitement from time to time as well. He purchased a robot making station and spent much of his time making little robots…
LE-1: "I suppose this is the closest I'm going to get to reproducing..."
As with the promotion to astronaut, achieving General seemed to take forever, and it wasn't because Rinoa didn't have the required skills or friends - it's just that the world seems to hate Rinoa, and wanted to make her work for it. Day after day, she went in to work in a perfectly good mood, with a near full aspiration meter and still nothing. Eventually, though, the powers that be caved in, and she got the final promotion, as well as the snazzy threads that go with it. It seemed the perfect time to get a haircut to commemorate the occasion, and Rinoa decided to finally put away the blue dress thingy she always wore and use the General threads as her everyday wear. Talk about making a fashion statement…
Rinoa: "Being important just isn't as much fun if you don't remind everyone of it constantly!"
Yes, much had changed for Rinoa since she first appeared in our story. A sim who started out interested in little more than flitting around from guy to guy and fooling around with guys other than the one she'd most recently "flitted" to transformed into a no-nonsense, career driven, responsible individual. As much as I hate to see that happen to anyone, it really seems to be what Rinoa has been best suited for all along, it's just that it took her several lousy romances to realize that guys weren't what she needed. Of course, that didn't work out so well for Peter Miller, who was just starting to get attached to Rinoa and warming up to the idea of being with her on a long term basis.
Rinoa: "Sorry, Pete. Maybe you can find a genie lamp and wish for another girl!"
Poor Pete - so close to finding love for the first time here at Monkeesims, only to have the rug pulled out from under him at the last minute. Even when Rinoa is trying to behave responsibly, she still manages to break peoples' hearts. We'll leave Rinoa and the gang on what's more or less still a happy note, though, and drop in on the Everdark family instead. Last we saw them, they'd just moved into a new house in the middle of town, one that more or less resembled a normal house. Unfortunately, building and decorating the house was costly, and money would soon be needed if the family was going to survive. Luckily, the gang came up with a solution that didn't even require leaving the house…
Presenting the "Fangs for the Memories" junk store...
Yes, the solution was so obvious, I was amazed I hadn't thought of it before (although I don't think I've had Open for Business as long as the Everdarks have been around). With four otherwise unemployed family members and ample extra room in the house, conditions were perfect for transforming half the house into a little "knick knack" shop, complete with everything nobody ever wanted. Kali took control of the cash register, while Melyssa handled most of the customer relations and shelf restocking. Meanwhile, Kyle and Nicholas did basically nothing. So typical of males, even the vampire variety.
Kali: "If only I'd gone to college, I could be working a better job!"
Ordinarily, the idea of having sims run a home business hasn't appealed to me, mainly because it's more fun to open up a shop in the business district (with the exception of the Hartman Garden Center), but I suddenly realized the value of being able to do so with the Everdarks being unable to stay out of the house past certain times. A fringe benefit was the family members were able to socialize with the customers in between sales, allowing them to meet a bunch of people they might not otherwise have met. Apparently, everyone in town was in need of old statues and cursed idols, because the business quickly picked up momentum, and Melyssa was restocking almost constantly.
Melyssa: "You get a free 'Frogurt' with each cursed idol you purchase..."
The junk store business turned out to be profitable that money was no longer a concern for the family, thanks to all the weird local sims who have nothing better to do than shop for knick knacks at 4 in the morning (now that's customer loyalty for you). Let's hear it for rampant consumerism! Coming up next, we've heard nothing out of Reeve Madrox or his wife Claire since they got married many posts ago, mainly because they've never been the most exciting characters. However, one question remains unanswered - what has become of C.U.S.S. since their marriage? Also, Katrina Wilson has found love in the form of Leon Hartman, and Antonio and Aimee moved out of the Wilson house - but what of poor Mia Kay? Will she ever find love or a life of her own? You know of course there's only one way to find out. See you next time!