Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week One Part Three: Riedmayer Cove

Although they were the largest family in town, the Riedmayers had a little more money to begin with and thus were able to construct a small but comfortable shelter immediately. They also had the advantage of having many wage earners. Jack got a job in the entertainment career track. Elwood and Edith became file clerks at a law office. Joan got a job which she prefers to forget. It was hard for the twins to balance school and work. Edith began getting D's in school but good reviews at work. Joan began getting B's but was fired from her job due to poor performance. Fortunately she was able to get another job in the journalism track which suited her better.

Life was not all gloom for the struggling twins, though. They still found time for fun activities like having a water balloon fight in the rain. While wearing their work clothes.

Meanwhile, Elwood was invited on an outing by his acquaintance, Rivka Dejackome. She had told him about her struggles to save up money to adopt children, and he decided to give her a little gift while on their outing. She was delighted. Elwood gave a similar gift to Rivka's best friend, Larita Whitfill, who was also planning to adopt. Larita looked shocked but accepted the gift.

After the exchanges were complete, Elwood enjoyed a game of chess with Rivka.

At the same outing, Elwood met a young, beautiful woman named Jill Smith. He decided that maybe remarriage wouldn't be so bad after all and invited her out on a date. She accepted and they had a lovely dinner, but Elwood soon discovered that she was not interested in settling down and starting a family, so he left the date disappointed.

Beata had a lifelong dream to join the military, but no opportunities presented themselves, so she stayed home and cared for Francine. Around the time Francine started school, Beata found time to pursue a relationship with Malcolm Landgraab IV, a handsome young man she'd met through her best friend, Brittanie Kules.

The two hit it off immediately and soon Beata invited Malcolm to move in. The more the merrier, right? Elwood was pleased at the idea of another wage-earner in the house, but when he found out that Malcolm couldn't actually use his inheritance money to improve his father-in-law's house, Elwood began to hint that the happy young couple should find their own place.

Beata wanted to have a huge party for her wedding, but then she discovered that she and Malcolm would soon be welcoming a little Landgraab--at least, it would be a little Landgraab if they managed to tie the knot in time. So they spent five months planning a small but pretty wedding, which was held in the front yard. Just the family was in attendance...well, and Elwood's girlfriend Jill. Not having any other prospects, he had decided to rekindle that relationship.

Although they had no DJ, the girls enjoyed an impromtu dance party.

The very morning after the wedding, Beata, Malcolm, Edith, Joan, and Francine all packed up their things and piled into a taxi.

Meanwhile, Elwood managed to convince Jill to marry him immediately rather than waiting. After all, the wedding arch was still right there in the yard! They were married privately, with only Elwood's brother Jack as a witness. Elwood had fond hopes that his new bride would produce more young Riedmayers in short order.

At exactly 8:01 on Monday, the Riedmayer house still had only 3 rooms: A great room some kitchen appliances and countertops, a dining table, and various skill-building objects; a bedroom with a double bed for Elwood and Jill and a single bed tucked in a corner for Jack; and a small bathroom that was almost constantly in use while there were 7 people living in the house. However, they did have hardwood floors and paint on the inside walls and siding on the outside, so they weren't doing too badly.

Beata's marriage to Malcolm was a really great move for a lot of reasons: 1) It redirected Malcolm's desire to marry Brittanie. (Romance Sims hate getting married. It's actually best to have your Romance Sims only woo other Romance Sims, because then they both understand that the relationship is totally devoid of commitment and you don't get a couple with opposing wants.) 2) It brought about $28,000 into my neighborhood net worth, plus the money Malcolm has earned since then. (You would not believe how easy it is to play a two working adults, even with several children. [Though I have had a lot of success with the breadwinning father + stay-at-home mother model.]) 3) It cleared out the Riedmayer home so that I had room to attempt to perpetuate the male line.

Elwood's marriage to Jill was not so smart, because now I have another Sim whose lifetime want is to have 20 lovers. Blah. It seemed like a good idea at the time, because she was young enough and he was old enough that she could have 2-3 children and then he would die and she would have the rest of her life to fulfill her want. But then I just plain got sick of playing Romance Sims. However, I should save all that for the next Riedmayer installment.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I haven't forgotten this blog, and I'm still playing the challenge (just started Week 3), but I've been busy and wrestling with this blog is not high on my list of priorities.

I do think I've figured out a workaround for the low quality of the pictures I've been uploading, but fixing the existing posts will be time consuming and writing new posts will be even more time consuming, so don't hold your breath.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week One Part Two: Dejackome Place

Rivka Dejackome's first few years in her new home were extremely difficult. She was trying to save up enough money to adopt some children, so she refrained from building herself a house. She slept under the stars and went to the gym in the nearby village whenever she needed a bath. Meanwhile, she got a job as a playground monitor, but lost it due to poor performance. (When you're an old woman, sleeping under the stars is not cool. It's just uncomfortable and therefore makes you cranky.) Since she was surviving off the free lunches provided for her at work, and since she still had not saved up enough money to adopt, she got another job right away--she doesn't remember what. It was just a job. Unfortunately, an unlucky chance caused
her to lose that job as well.

This time of her life was not all glum, however. Rivka made some new friends, such as her neighbor Larita Whitfill and a lovely young lady from the nearby college named Melanie Tse. One day, Rivka woke up from an uncomfortable nap on the grass to find that Melanie had caught dozens of fireflies in jars and lined them up along the sidewalk--it was a beautiful and heartening sight.

After she lost her second job and before she started at her third, Rivka broke down and had a meal at a so happened that the cheapest thing on the menu was chocolate cake. Rivka didn't mind making a meal out of that.

Not long afterwards, Rivka's resistance to spending her meager savings broke down entirely and she paid for the construction of a tiny shelter. She purchased a bed, a fridge, a toilet, and a shower. It was enough to provide for her needs, for which she was thankful, but now her savings were entirely gone and she still had not fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a mother.

The first week with Rivka was rough and stressful for me to play, and there was nothing I could do about it because I'd set the precedent by playing the Kules for an entire week. Fortunately, by the time I played Rivka again, things were looking much brighter for her. But that will have to wait for the next installment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Week One Part One: Kules Korner

Brittanie and Darius Kules moved into their new home on a Monday morning. They were only able to afford a very small, temporary dwelling. Brittanie immediately decided to get a job, but nothing too strenuous. She found a computer listing for a golf caddy and took it. Darius wasn't sure what kind of job he wanted; when he saw that the SimCity Llamas were looking for a new waterboy he jumped on the opportunity. Professional atheletes can make a lot of money, after all, and everybody's got to start somewhere.
That afternoon, he went off to his first day of work while Brittanie chatted with some neighbors who had come to visit.

The very next evening, Brittanie started checking out the clubs in the nearest city.

Soon, she had met Malcolm Langraab IV and decided that he would be her first conquest in this new town. However, they stayed on the sidewalk rather than heading to the bedroom. (Taking it to the bedroom is hard when you don't have one...)

At the end of the first term at his new school, Darius was pulling a D+ average. So Brittanie sat him down and forced him to do his homework properly. Darius complied meekly; his boss had just told him that if he didn't pull his grades up he'd be dropped from the work-study program.

However, it wasn't all work for Darius. When his mother worked weekends, he invited over Elise Kalson, a girl he'd met at school, and got to know her a little better.

This is the Kules house at exactly 8:01 a.m. Monday, after 1 week of play. (The clock never stops at 8:00 exactly. It's annoying.) Brittanie is writing a novel and Darius is talking to Elise on the phone. (If he and Elise weren't such a cute couple, I'd be mad at them for foiling my plan to set Darius up with one of the Riedmayer twins. But he wanted his first kiss and they were friends; what could I do?)

Note that I made a second room for the beds. That's essential, because that stupid phone rings day and night and wakes them up unless they've got a wall in between.

Although I find Brittanie's active social life kind of exhausting, I like playing the Kules family. They're both self-sufficient when it comes to the basics, for one thing. (Unlike a baby or toddler who needs to be cared for constantly--or even a child, though I force my Sim children to be pretty independent.) Furthermore, they're the only family in which I didn't have to worry about producing a male heir. Brittanie has already produced, so she's off the hook. Darius is too young to have babies, so all he has to do is get cozy with a potential future wife. And keep his grades up so he can go to college.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Introducing the Whitfill Family

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with EA Games, nor am I being compensated for my efforts. I just like the game.

Note: I am going to be writing part of this "in character" and then part of it not in character. I will indicate that by differences in text color.

Larita grew up in a close-knit family and always figured that she'd have a few kids of her own someday, but she just never met a man who made her want to settle down. So she explored the world and had fun for a few decades. Then her brother and his whole family were killed in a house fire. Larita moved to Prosperity Plains with the idea that she could maybe adopt some who need a family as much as she does now, with her family gone. Kids who can carry on the Whitfill name and the Whitfill way of looking out for each other.

Larita is a natural redhead, and in my mind she's a very fiesty, stubborn, opinionated person, though she's an Aquarius like a lot of my other Sims who I imagine as more laid-back. She's Family aspiration, though I don't remember what her lifetime want is. It's funny how both of my single women ended up Family.

Her name came whole from a random name generator too. I pronounce her first name Lah-ree-tah. She lives on the west side of town, right across the street from Rivka. Her lot is called Whitfill Ranch.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Introducing the Riedmayer Family

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with EA Games, nor am I being compensated for my efforts. I just like the game.

Note: I am going to be writing part of this "in character" and then part of it not in character. I will indicate that by differences in text color.

Quinton John Riedmayer, Jr., [in the red shirt] better known as Jack, was never interested in all that "take care of the family business, carry on the family name" nonsense. He was more interested in seeing how many girlfriends one man can have without getting sucked into marriage. He did pretty well, too, until his share of the inheritance dried up and he was forced to move in with his brother.

Elwood Riedmayer [in the green shirt] was always a little ashamed of his older brother. He tried to make up for Jack's indiscretions with his own excellent behavior. He took over the family business when he was just 18, married not long after, and obligingly did his best to father an heir. But his only child was a girl. And not just a girl, but a flighty girl interested only in parties. Elwood did his best to support her and keep her from shaming the family name, but then his wife Edith got cancer and things began to go downhill. Once she died (around the same time the family business floundered), Elwood decided it was time for a fresh start and cashed in his assets to buy property in Prosperity Plains. The only trouble is, now he needs a male heir all over again, and he's not really interested in remarriage.

Beata Riedmayer [blonde hair, colorful dress] was always closer to her mother. Her mother was the one who was home, after all, not always away on business like her father. When she gave birth to twins out of wedlock, it was her mother who supported her and helped raise the twins. When Beata became pregnant again several years later, it was her dying mother who convinced her father not to kick her out of the house to fend for herself. Now her mother is gone, though, and Beata has moved with her father to Prosperity Plains. She hopes that they can find a way to be friends.

Edith Riedmayer [dark hair, blue jacket] was named after her grandmother, but she inherited her grandfather's keen business sense. She also inherited a bit of his impatience with Beata's flightiness. Edith has high ambitions and she needs them, since it will probably be her job to keep the family afloat financially after Grandpa dies.

Joan Riedmayer [dark hair, pink shirt] doesn't like the way Mom runs things (or rather, fails to) any more than Edith does. But she thinks Edith is silly for thinking that money can solve all their problems. The most important thing is being committed to your family above everything else, no matter what.

Francine Riedmayer [toddler] doesn't really care what happens as long as nobody leaves her in her crib too long. She wants to explore the world!

Quinton Riedmayer was another product of the random name generator. I liked the name enough to build a whole family of names around it, but then when I actually started playing I kept thinking of that Sim as Jack, no matter how many times I reminded myself that his name is Quinton. So I built part of the backstory around that oddity.

The twins are biracial. Their father was quite handsome despite being taken straight from the randomizer; it's too bad I had to delete him. I used a different male Sim for Francine, and it worked out such that it's pretty obvious she's the twins' half-sister, which is what I intended.

The elderly brothers are both naturally fair-haired, though Elwood especially has a pretty good tan going. (I think he's blond under the gray, and Jack is a redhead. But it might be the other way around.)

Jack is a Capricorn (which means he's kind of shy and very playful) and a Romance Sim whose lifetime aspiration is to have 20 loves at once.

Elwood is an Aquarius and a Fortune Sim whose lifetime aspiration is to make $100,000. Funny, that's exactly like Darius Kules.

Beata is a Scorpio (very active, kind of low on niceness) and a Popularity Sim whose lifetime aspiration is to become a General (top of the military career track).

Edith is a Capricorn and a Fortune Sim whose lifetime aspiration is to own 5 top-level businesses. That's going to be...interesting.

Joan is a Leo (10 outgoing, at the expense of everything else) and a Family Sim whose lifetime aspiration I forget. I think she wants to graduate 6 kids from college or something.

Francine is a Virgo (shy, serious, and very tidy) and will be a Knowledge Sim once she's old enough to have a real aspiration. I rolled her aspiration with everyone else's, rather than waiting to roll it when she became a teen. Virgo is pretty much the perfect personality for Knowledge, so she should do well in life.

The Riedmayers have a lot on the south side of town, near the water (I'm not sure if it's an ocean or a lake or what) called Riedmayer Cove.

Also, Riedmayer is pronounced Reed-my-er. I'll let you figure out first names yourselves.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Introducing the Dejackome Family

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with EA Games, nor am I being compensated for my efforts. I just like the game.

Note: I am going to be writing part of this "in character" and then part of it not in character. I will indicate that by differences in text color.

Rivka Dejackome has always tried to do the right thing and make people happy. She married young. She was a good, loyal wife. The only thing she couldn't do was give her husband children, and he wouldn't adopt because he wanted to pass on his genes. Pass on his genes he did, over the years, though none of his many children shared his surname.

Then he died, and rather than being a dutiful wife and pining away, Rivka gathered up her savings and bought a parcel of land in Prosperity Plains. She hopes to be able to finally adopt children and have someone who loves her unconditionally, but financial strain and her own deteriorating health might crush her dreams yet again.

I got Rivka's name from a random name generator, and I love it. It really helped me develop her personality for some reason. (She's very sociable, but has depths she doesn't really reveal to anyone and a hidden reserve of spunk.)

She's Family aspiration and a Cancer (very balanced overall, but a little shy). Her lifetime want is to have 6 grandchildren. That'll happen if everything works out the way I hope, but not until long after she's dead, sadly. I'll have to name one of her grandchildren after her so I don't lose that awesome name.

In my head, I pronounce Rivka with short vowels and a slightly gutteral k. Her last name I pronounce Dee-jah-comb or Dee-zhah-comb. I toyed with having it be Dee-zhah-comb-eh, which sounded vaguely French, but gave up on that in favor of the simpler pronunciation.

Her property is on the west side of town and is called Dejackome Place. P.S. After I created her, I was reading the forums associated with this challenge and realized I could have rerolled this family, since it had only elders. But now I like Rivka and Larita (who you'll meet in a later post) too much to roll them away.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Introducing the Kules Family

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with EA Games, nor am I being compensated for my efforts. I just like the game.

Note: I am going to be writing part of this "in character" and then part of it not in character. I will indicate that by differences in text color.

Brittanie Kules has never let herself get tied down. Well, except when she got pregnant her senior year of high school and decided to keep the baby. But Darius was always a chill kid, willing to go along with his mother's flighty ways. And then there was that boyfriend, the one she met when Darius was 10, but she didn't let herself get tied down to him. He wanted marriage and family. Brittanie just wanted a good time. When the pressure got to be too much she did what she does best and just left, blowing away with the wind. She heard about land being sold for cheap in Prosperity Plains and decided to try her hand at home ownership. And home building. And home repair. And a bunch of other things she'd never done before. It's an adventure, right? And while there's not a lot of nightlife around here, public transportation is free and Darius is finally old enough to stay home without a babysitter.

Darius has always been okay with his mother's lifestyle. It is kind of cool that he gets to do a bunch of stuff nobody else is allowed to do, since his mom doesn't really care as long as he doesn't get brought home by the cops or something. But now that he's getting older he's starting to think about his future and feels like he wants a more stable lifestyle eventually. Unlike his mother, he read up on the conditions of land ownership in Prosperity Plains, and he thinks he's up to the challenge of staying here for the rest of his life, of encouraging his great-great-grandchildren to do the same. Of course, along the way he plans to get rich, so he's not always living in a little shack.

Brittanie is a Romance aspiration and an Aries, which works (outgoing points are handy when your lifetime wish is to be in love with 20 Sims at once). She's definitely not the kind of Sim I normally play (which is part of the point of the challenge), but she's growing on me.

Darius is an Aquarius (balanced, but with a little extra dash of playful) with a Fortune Aspiration. His lifetime want is to make $100,000.

I got Brittanie's name wholecloth from a random name generator, and then refreshed a few times before I got Darius as a first name (paired with a last name I don't remember), which seemed to go with the idea of him I'd built in my head. I made him in CAS by creating an adult male and clicking the randomize button a few times until I found something tolerable. (Some of those random Sims are UGLY.) Then I combined genetics with Brittany and got Darius. Then I deleted random blond guy.

(In my head, Darius was actually supposed to be biracial, but I went with what the randomizer gave me and it ended up working out because I have fatherless biracial teens elsewhere in the neighborhood and I wouldn't want to imply that all absentee fathers are black.)

Kules is pronounced like the word cool would be if it were plural. Or like mules with a k. Darius is pronounced Dare-ee-us. Which to me rhymes with Aquarius. Which is definitely not something I did on purpose.

Their house is on the northeast side of town and is called Kules Korner. I cringe every time I think of it, but naming a lot that is totally something Brittanie would do.