Monday, October 29, 2012

A small announcement, a minor correction, and a very large piece of evidence supporting my hopeless nerdiness

First, the announcement: Starting in Week 7, I am going to shorten my rounds to 3-4 days instead of 7. So, the next Kules update will be "Week 7 Part 1.0", covering Monday morning to Friday morning, and then "Week 7 Part 1.5", covering Friday morning to Monday morning.

I could do Monday 8 a.m. to Thursday 8 p.m. if I wanted to be even, but my Sims are often in the middle of birthday parties and such at 8 p.m., whereas at 8 a.m. there is less going on. (I long ago developed the habit of pausing as soon as a lot loads and sending all children to school immediately.)

I am motivated to do this partly because a round takes SO LONG that I get bored and start to forget what happened in the early houses and such; cutting the time spent at each house in half will enable me to cycle through them more quickly and hopefully keep things fresh.

I also did it to keep my neighborhood more in sync; a week is actually a really long time when you're a Sim. It was having a negative impact on friendships among kids from my 'hood; children are only children for a week so it is hard to have a back-and-forth friendship; teens are sometimes teens for only four days. It makes dating really difficult. For example, say you have a child in House #1 who ages up to teen on Tuesday night and thus will be going to college the following Monday morning. All her peers in the other houses on the playlist are children and will remain children as long as I'm playing her house. She will still be a teen after I leave the house (I send them off as soon as I load their house again on Monday morning) but if her intended life-mate grows up to teen on Thursday night in his own house that gives them only one weekend together instead of the two they would have gotten if they had been aging more in sync. (Well, they still would have only gotten the one weekend, but they would have gotten to live it twice over, once in each house.)

That also brings me to college...if Girl Sim grows up on Tuesday night, she will be "17 years old" by my reckoning the following Monday and therefore eligible to go to college. Boy Sim, having grown up Thursday night, will only be 15 and thus will not be eligible for college until a full week later, when he is 22. So Girl Sim and Boy Sim will not be able to marry until a full week after that, when he is 29 and she is 31.

Under the new system, Girl Sim will grow up on Tuesday night and then I will leave her house on Friday morning. Boy Sim will grow up on Thursday night and I will leave his house Friday morning. Then back at Girl Sim's house she will get to spend the whole weekend with her beloved and then he will get to spend the whole weekend with her at his house. She will still leave him behind when she goes to college on Monday (boohoo), but he will leave for college on Friday and join her when she is a junior and he a freshman.

"Wait, what's that about leaving for college on Friday?" you say. "I don't remember you mentioning that!"

That's because I didn't yet. As part of this new system, I will be doing two college "calls." Monday morning, everyone who is at least 16 years old will get packed off to college. I will play them through their first two years. Friday morning, everyone who is at least 16 years old will get packed off to college. They will get played through their first two years and the other batch will get played through to graduation. After one round of this, it will mean that nobody is older than 19 or 20 when they go to college, and a range of 16-20 seems more realistic than a range of 16-22, without having to send every single Sim the year they turn 18 and having chaos.

(They will be between the ages of 23 and 27 when they graduate, which might seem weird, but I decided to do it that way because Sim college always seems like college + grad school to me, what with them graduating and immediately becoming General Practitioners and such.)

This will have the side-effect of eliminating the need for townie placeholders, since there will be a batch going Monday-Monday and a batch going Friday-Friday. Unless I have a baby drought, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

The only negative effect will be on students who want to move out and found new lots. See, if they leave on Friday and graduate a "week" later, it will be Friday for everyone else in the 'hood, but on the new lot it will be Monday. I refuse to allow that sort of discrepancy. So for the time being I am going to say that any Sim who is not permanently moving back with parents or moving in with a significant other has to temporarily move in with a sibling or friend or some such person who has a properly synced lot. 10 days later, they can move out on their own. (10 days and not 3 because part of the challenge rules says that college grads have to stay in their first post-college household for at least 7 days.)

You are probably hopelessly confused, dear reader, so I will give you a pretty picture to make you feel better.

Clicking on that should enlarge it. I made it this morning; it is an index of every playable Sim in the neighborhood, unless I am forgetting somebody. (68 living, 4 dead.) Someday I hope to have all sorts of interesting information in here, but right now it just has names and birthdates.

Right now they are sorted from youngest to oldest, except Ryker who has 0/0/0000 as his birthdate because I couldn't be bothered with giving him a real birthdate. The kids who have birthdates like 0/0/2053 are babies/toddlers and I would have to check in game to know exactly how old they are and then randomly generate a birthday for them. (Actually, with the babies I would have to wait until they become toddlers to know how many days old they are.) I don't have time for that at the moment (too busy making spreadsheets), so they have placeholder birthdates.

Then they are color-coded by when they are going to college. The Pinks are going to college at the beginning of Round 7. Most of them are currently frozen in time with their hands on the telephone waiting to call as soon as I reload their lots. There are 5 of them, which is a nice number, and they even have a good boy/girl ratio. (Their aspirations are respectively Family, Romance, Pleasure, Pleasure, and Popularity, though, so I have a feeling there will be more socializing than studying.)

Orange and Yellow would have all gone to college at the beginning of Week 8 according to the old system. There are FOURTEEN Sims in those two color categories. FOURTEEN. That is way too many to have in college at all, but if I stagger them at least I will only have to deal with 14 students for half a round rather than a full round...though before and after I will have 12 students total (Pink and Orange together, and then Yellow and Green together.) 

Blue and Purple are both more modest and will probably remain so, though if Joan Pons can convince her husband to adopt 3 more children (to meet her impossible want of 10) there might be 1 or 2 more Blues and 1 or 2 more Purples. I also have a pregnant Sim who has been eating cheesecake like it's going out of style, so I anticipate another set of twins in 2054 (just in time for the Purples). 

A couple of quick notes, and then I have to go cook dinner like a normal person:

1. Age is calculated for Sims kind of like it is for Thoroughbred horses: They "age up" on January 1. So, for example, Emmy Whitfill's random meaningless birthday is December 20, 2042. This means that on January 1, 2043, she was considered to be "1 year old." She is only about 6 weeks older than Landon and Ginny Whitfill, but they will always be listed as 1 year apart in age. Fortunately, Emmy will be "eighteen" years old when she goes to college, which makes her 17 1/2. The youngest Sim to attend college for the forseeable future will be Charles Riedmayer, who will turn 16 in September 2057, right around when he leaves for college. (I imagine them going to college sometime between July and September, depending on if they call the taxi before or after school.)

2. I realized when making this spreadsheet that I grossly miscalculated Caitlin and Patrick Seifert's birthdays, originally listed as being in 2033 and 2036. I calculated it out and realized I probably meant to write 2043 and 2046, so birthdates have been updated accordingly in the spreadsheet and in their family's update

Friday, October 26, 2012

Week Six Part One: Kules Korner

Brittanie Kules: 65 years old. Aspiration: Romance. LTW: Woohoo 20 Different Sims. (Fulfilled: Have 20 Simultaneous Lovers.) Astrological sign: Aries.
Ryan Cho: 53 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. LTW: Become Prestidigitator. Astrological sign: Virgo.
Darius Kules: 47 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. LTW: Earn $100,000. Astrological sign: Aquarius.
Elise Kules: 47 years old. Aspiration: Popularity. LTW: Become Hall of Famer. Astrological sign: Leo.
Jaden Kules: 22 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. LTW: Become Space Pirate. Astrological sign: Scorpio.
Alexis Kules: 15 years old. Aspiration: Family. LTW: Reach Golden Anniversary. Astrological sign: Scorpio.
Silas Kules: 8 years old. Astrological sign: Sagittarius
Priscilla Kules: 4 years old. Astrological sign: Sagittarius

The Kules family is the smallest in Prosperity Plains and they have not intermarried with the other families yet, so their family tree is very simple.

"The Impossible Want"

Narrated by Ryan Cho

In 2046, my son, Jaden, finally left for college. He was 22 years old, but the college only admits students from our town certain years and he was only 15 during the last round of recruitment, too young for college.

He was delighted to go, since he is a great lover of knowledge, and I was delighted to see him go. I'd never had the chance to attend college myself and now I'm far too old. I do make sure to continue to expand my mind with reading and things of that sort. I admit that, happy as I was to see him go, I missed Jaden's company during my study sessions. We're like iron sharpening iron, my son and I.

I recruited my daughter, Alexis, as my new study companion during those years. She is less academically minded than Jaden and has often said that she just wants to find a nice man and settle down. I always tell her that a person makes a better spouse and parent if their mind is expanded with knowledge.

(I promise Alexis does have clothes, by the way Apparently she just likes pajamas.)
I didn't spend all my time studying with Alexis, though. When everybody else was at work or school, I would babysit my granddaughter, Priscilla. Well, she is not exactly my granddaughter, but that's how we see it. I don't think I could dote on her any more if she was my blood descendant, and she seems to be very fond of me in return.

I was almost sad when she was old enough to go to school.

(She's pretty cute, isn't she?)

Her father, Darius, was usually the one to help her with her homework--she didn't have much at that age, so it was something they could do together after he got home from work late in the evening.
Darius also taught Priscilla how to play video games. I'm not much of a gamer myself, but Darius is really into that sort of thing and it seems to be a good way for him to bond with his children.
At the time, Darius was working as a director for a movie studio in Sim City. Unfortunately, he had to leave right before the kids got home from school and often wasn't back until after their bedtime. So he made sure to get up and have breakfast with them before they went to school.

Soon after Priscilla started school, the kids fell into a routine of playing video games together after school to relax a little bit before tackling their homework.

Other times, we'd find them together in Silas' room, painting and coloring pictures.

I guess that a 4-year age difference is less of an issue when you are 10 and 6 than it is when you are 6 and 2. My own children are 7 years apart and, although they got along fine, they never really had common interests and activities until Alexis was 12 or 13, at which point Jaden was almost ready to leave for college.

Silas and Priscilla were both doing well in school, but Darius and Elise felt they would be happier and have better opportunities in private school. Since Darius was at work when the headmaster came for the interview, I helped out by cooking dinner while Elise sat down and chatted with the headmaster over coffee.

Silas was curious and decided to join us for Lobster Thermidor; Priscilla was already asleep.

The headmaster was suitably impressed with the family and admitted both children to the school.

The next morning, Alexis kept Priscilla occupied with a breakfast of leftover lobster and tales of how exciting traveling on an airplane would be. Considering that Alexis had never been on an airplane herself, I think there was a lot of creative license going on.

Just before sunrise, we caught a shuttle to the airport and then flew to Takemizu Village. Not one of us had ever been out of the country, or even the state, and we could well afford a vacation, so we went, picking up Jaden in Sim City on the way.

We got four suites in a very nice hotel with an in-house restaurant. Brittanie and I shared one of the queen suites, Darius and Elise shared another. Then the boys took a suite with two twins, and the girls took another.

(This hotel--I think it's The Flaming Dragon?--is the only Far East hotel lot I'll use. The waitress from the restaurant will actually come into your room and wash dishes, which is more than the maid ever does. Stupid maid.)

There was a pond surrounding the hotel with fish; ironically enough, we spent a good deal of our vacation fishing in that pond. (Ironic because, of course, we could have fished in the park in Bluewater Village just as easily and saved on plane fare.) Once or twice I caught Alexis and Brittanie actually talking to each other out there. My daughter and her mother are two very different women, and their relationship hasn't been good since Alexis was Priscilla's age. They still don't understand each other very well, but I think that vacation really helped them connect and put the past behind them.

Most of the time, all of us were going in about six different directions. But there was one night when all eight of us hiked out to this isolated pagoda and listened to an elderly man recite local legends. It was an amazing experience, and as we all sat there together, for a second we felt like...well, like a real family. I know that probably sounds ridiculous; "real" families are what they are, not this Leave it to Beaver togetherness thing. Still, it was something else.

About two days later, I managed to track down this "ninja" guy who was supposed to be able to teach people stealth or something. It's a total tourist trap, but it didn't cost money and I had time to kill, so I approached him when he made this big show of sneaking around behind a building.

Anyway, he said that before he could teach me stealth I had to answer a question. He asked me which was more important, wisdom or courage, and of course I said wisdom. He said primly that a sharp mind is nothing without a stout heart, or something along those lines, and made a big show of sneaking off again.

There was also this wishing well that had glowing lights and a spooky recorded voice to fool gullible tourists. It gave the most general fortunes, told Brittanie that she would have to make a choice (you make a choice every day when you fix yourself breakfast; that's not news) and told Darius that he would have success in his chosen career.

Granted, within a year of our return Darius made a gamble that paid off big. See, he was directing a movie and the star quit. A lot of Darius' friends in the industry were pushing him to act in the role himself, but he was 50 by then and thought it would violate the integrity of the movie to cast himself in the lead role, which was written for a much younger man. So he recruited an untried 20-something actor and the movie was a runaway hit. Darius' cut of the profits was massive; it made him one of the richest men in the country.

In other words, Darius got a chance card which led to the fulfillment of his lifetime want, which was also the Fortune impossible want. His new LTW is "Own 5 Top-Level Businesses," because he wants to kill me.

Just a few months after that, Darius got a star on the Walk Of Fame for his work as an actor and director.

And TOC #1! I am pretty sure all of those things happened on the same day.
At that point Darius could easily have retired and rested on his laurels, and none of us would have said that he hadn't done his bit to support our big crazy household. But it's not in Darius' nature to rest on his laurels...I think he always remembers the poverty he lived through as a child and can never quite feel sure that he's earned enough to stop his children from ever having to experience it.

So he switched from acting to law. I'm not sure how he managed that...I guess they were impressed by his charisma. Anyway, he had a podium where he would stand and practice his cases; when he was at work Priscilla would pretend to be practicing cases herself. Darius seemed to enjoy that; he said she probably could be a lawyer someday, the way she argued about bedtime.

Meanwhile, I had spent the last 35 years working in bars and clubs. First I was a bartender; then when Jaden was little I got into entertainment...magic tricks and the like, not that kind of nightclub entertainment.

It was good work, and I found my success very fulfilling, but one day it just didn't seem like I was supposed to be there any more. I wanted to do something a little more...well, a little more intellectual. I figured that if somebody could go from being an actor to being a lawyer at 50, somebody else could go from being a magician to being an oceanographer at 56.

I got the very first job to which I applied. Maybe a little of Darius' wishing-well luck rubbed off on me.

TOC #1 for Ryan! New LTW: Become Hand of Poseidon. He did manage to snag an oceanography job, so we'll see if he can manage TOC #2.

Darius also started saying that he wanted to use some of the giant wads of cash we had lying around to start his own businesses...not only would it be a smart investment, but we could give back to the community by establishing things they need.

Darius and Elise both started learning how to make certain kinds of electronics; these electronics are so fragile that they can't be shipped very far at all. You can't even buy them in Sim City, much less Bluewater.

I found out during this play session that Elise has silver badges in Robotics and Restocking. I've never done either of those things with her, so she must have been an OFB townie. Note to Simmers: That black-haired teen in the pink shirt and denim skirt is potentially useful!
Meanwhile, Darius started learning how to fix up old cars. Cars you can buy wholesale from Japanese manufacturers, but Darius thought that Kules Kustom Kars had a nice ring to it. I will never understand his and Brittanie's obsession with ungrammatical K's, but I suppose he's a grown man and can name his business whatever he wants.

Even Brittanie took an interest in Darius' entrepreneurial endeavors. She got this mail-order table thing, set it up in Jaden's old room, and started making flower arrangements, saying that someday when she was cold in her grave Darius could make a fortune selling the flower arrangements hand-crafted by his dead mother. People can't resist the bid-for-sympathy approach.

I'm not sure I agreed with her reasoning, but I was glad to have her around more often. We'd been together for almost thirty years at that point, since Jaden was a toddler. (Yeah, we didn't start officially dating until 3 years after we met and 2 years after our son was born. I'm not proud of it, but it is what it is.) But sometimes I felt like we were never really together, like her heart wasn't in it. Maybe my heart wasn't in it either.

One day I even asked her about it. She had always said that she needed to go mingle outside of official parties in order to keep her job as a socialite. She told me that she was just feeling her years. When she first started this gig, she was hanging out with people a little older than Darius; since he was the child of her youth that means those people were hardly younger than she was. But nowadays apparently she's had to mingle with people who are more like Jaden's age, and since he's the child of her old age it's a little too much to swallow. (Well, she didn't say it quite like that, but that was the drift.)

LTW #2: Woohoo 20 Different Sims.

(I think Ryan counted for 3 of those 20: NPC woohoo, regular, and public.)

Plus, she said she had accomplished all she really wanted to in that arena.

IW: 30 Simultaneous Lovers

Basically, her heart just wasn't in it any more.

Yes, she is dramatically facepalming when I tell her to make out with somebody 40 or 50 years her junior. Crazy lady. 

Silas showed great promise as an artist while he was still very young; when he was just 11 years old he painted a portrait of Brittanie in a dress she'd purchased during our trip to Takemizu.

When it was finished, we had it framed and hung it on the wall of our kitchen.
For his 12th birthday, Silas wanted to go roller skating. There aren't any skating rinks around, so his parents decided to have a rink built right in our own backyard. They admitted that it was a ridiculously extravagant gift, but the 12th birthday is a very significant milestone and we could well afford the expense. Darius joked that it was a good thing he and Elise only ever managed to have two children; Priscilla would probably want a sports car for her 12th birthday just to top her brother, and a third child would have wanted his own private mansion.

At any rate, Silas is a kind, levelheaded sort of boy; I doubt one extravagant gift will ruin him for life.

Silas Kules, som of founder Darius Kules and Elise (Kalson) Kules. 
S1 skin, black hair, gray eyes. 
Aspiration: Knowledge. 
Lifetime want: Become Space Pirate.

First off: Just like his uncle! I find that hilarious. (They're BFFs in-game, and obviously Silas has a bit of hero worship going on.)

Also, the skating rink bit was pure gameplay. I wanted to force Silas to roll a LTW but didn't want to reload the lot, and the only want in his panel that could be easily fulfilled was "Go skating." (I think the rest were stuff like "Go to college.") So he got his own skating rink.

I guess that's about all that's happened to us these past few years. Well, I did end up getting a perfect score on the SKILL test. (I don't know what that stands for; Standardized something-or-other. Kids take it before college to determine scholarships, but adults can take it any time just for the sense of accomplishment, you might say.) You can get up to 10 points in each of 7 categories, and, well, it is pretty rare to get a 70. Impossible? No, I wouldn't call it impossible. It's been done plenty of times. And I know other things that are better candidates for impossible...

IW: Max all skills. For those playing along at home: That means three of the four adults living here got their IW this week.

Oh, and just last year Elise made the Hall of Fame for all her sports accomplishments. I know that's been a dream of hers for a long time. I'm not sure where she'll go from here; I think she might settle down and try to spend some time with family and friends.

LTW #1 and TOC #2 for Elise! I didn't note down her new LTW. Since she's the only adult who hasn't accomplished her IW, she might spend the next week working on that 30 best friends thing.

Also please note the family funds. They definitely aren't hurting for cash here, and their total net worth is the highest in the neighborhood, about $250,000.

I also seem to have forgotten to take pictures of the house. It hasn't changed much anyway. As a consolation prize, here's a picture of the Wall of Awesome in the upstairs study: Darius' diploma (SCL in Economics, if memory serves), his gaming plaque, a set of photobooth pictures from when he and Elise were in high school, Elise's music and dance plaque, and her diploma (SCL in Drama). I really need Apartment Life so I can move things up and down on the walls. My birthday's next month and Christmas is the month after that, so I guess we'll see what happens. 

This update was crazy hard to write; the Kules family really does go in 6 different directions most of the time. I had to rearrange pictures a lot to make a smooth narrative; I hope there are no major continuity errors as a result.

Incidentally, I just realized that the last three narrators have all been male. We'll get a little affirmative action going and make the next narrator female. It'll be easy, since next up is Dejackome Place. The only male to ever live there is Gavin, and he just narrated the college update. So Melanie or Annie will take the mic in our next installment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor: A brief digression on intermarriage

Note: This is written from the perspective of the end of Week Six, so if you don't want spoilers, don't read it.

I tend to think about potential future spouses for my Prosperity Sims while they're still in elementary school. This is partly because I'm just controlling like that and partly because I want to intermarry them as much as possible rather than having a constant influx of townies.

There are a couple of factors which complicate intermarriage. One is a gender imbalance. I currently have five single women living in two different houses because there simply were not enough men for them without bringing in a ton of townies. I kind of wonder if the girl skew is built into the game somehow; I know a lot of people who have it.

I actually don't have a girl skew among my current batch of teens and children, though. Prosperity Plains currently has 24 residents between the ages of 5 and 22 years; of those 14 are male and 10 are female.

"Great," you think, "That just leaves 4 guys who have to find townies or marry some of those older women or something."

Not quite. We now come to the second problem with intermarriage: Once you've done it for a generation, everyone is related. Of those 24 young people, no less than fifteen are Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab's grandchildren. Namely: Landon and Ginny Whitfill; Joe, Seth, Jeannie, Gabe, Edward, and Brian Pons; Todd, Fritz, and Charles Riedmayer; and Lauren, River, Elijah, and Tamara Whitfill. (That's 10 boys and 5 girls.)

All the Whitfills listed above are cousins on their fathers' side to Emmy and Shelley Whitfill.

Emmy and Shelley are cousins on their mothers' side to Caitlin and Patrick Seifert.

The only kids who don't have cousins are Alexis, Silas, and Priscilla Kules (Alexis is aunt to the other two), and Charles and William King. (Charles and William are half-brothers to the three Riedmayer boys, though.)

I'm sure you're not following at all at this point, but that's okay.

So, let's look at it from the perspective of the Riedmayer-Landgraab cousins. There are 10 boys, most of whom want wives. They cannot marry their first cousins, so that leaves them Emmy, Shelley, Caitlin, Alexis, and Priscilla. Already that gives us 5 single guys instead of the 4 we would have if nobody had been first cousins.

Meanwhile, there are 5 girl cousins. They have a little more choice, with Patrick Seifert, Silas Kules, and Charles and William King. (Though that does mean that two of them will have to marry their cousins' half-brothers. My brain hurts.) Still, that leaves one girl who won't have a husband unless she goes for townies or marries a much younger man.

It'd completely take care of the problem if Ginny or Tamara rolled Romance (or Pleasure with a 50 first dates LTW), but if not somebody who's Knowledge or Fortune can be an old maid. (If any of the non-cousin girls roll Romance, they're getting rerolled in college.)

As for the guys: Joe Pons and Charles Riedmayer are Romance (20 lovers LTW, too) and Todd Riedmayer is a 50-first-dates Pleasure. So those three will probably establish a happy bachelor pad. None of Joe's brothers can join them, though, because six of the seven Pons children have to marry to fulfill Joan's lifetime want. (So far, Joe has the most family-unfriendly aspiration.) Landon Whitfill can't join them either, because he's the heir to an original house and has to marry and keep it in the family--which means that if he rolls Romance he'll follow in his father's footsteps and reroll in college. Fritz Riedmayer is Family aspiration and I'd like one of the those brothers to pass on their genes so I'd rather not reroll him. Elijah is the only prospect, therefore; I guess we'll see what he rolls when he becomes a teen.

(There is currently a female placeholder in college who will marry the last spare boy, probably one of the Ponses, so there only need to be 4, not 5, in our hypothetical bachelor pad.)

This is why I don't do love-matches. Even if there are a handful of girls who aren't your cousin, some of them are probably your cousin's cousins and you have to marry the one who isn't so your cousin still has someone to marry... Better just to say to my Sims from the beginning, "Okay, Brian, I realize you have three bolts with Priscilla, but if you marry her Landon won't have anyone to marry. So you can marry Shelley; I'll even have her dye her hair to the color you prefer." (All of the Sims in that example sentence are still children, so I don't know how their attraction scores will end up.)

That was random, but I had fun writing it. I promise the next post will be Week Six Part One.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lot tour: ZZE Greek House

I apologize in advance for the fact that this post has about 50 pictures. And the formatting went kind of wonky partway through, though I'm gonna blame that one on Blogger.

The ZZE Greek House is located at 80 Crumplebottom Drive at Sim State University. As you all probably know, that house is the same as the Craftsman's Pride house located in the bin in the base neighborhood.

This is what ZZE Greek House currently looks like on the outside. I apologize for the gridlines. It also occurs to me that there really should be windows on the west wing over there; it looks weird the way it is now.

For the inside, I will first give you floor plan pictures.

The ground floor. From left to right, top to bottom: Greenhouse #1, pool, greenhouse #2. Then the hot tub room, a bathroom, the party room, and the eat-in kitchen.

The second floor. Women's dormitory and men's dormitory. Then the all purpose room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom.

The attic. It's all one big funny-shaped room except for the bathrooms up near the top. (The areas with grayish wood are under the roof and not in use.)

And just for the fun of it, here's the roof. The gridlines are almost helpful here because you can see how the attic area fits under the roof.

Now for the real tour. Imagine that you are a Sim, approaching this house from the sidewalk. In fact, you can imagine you're Random Blonde Girl there. (I have no idea who that is; she's not one of mine.) You will see the usual mailbox and garbage can by the curb. Farther on you will see a telescope and a red sports car. The telescope is mostly annoying, but it is useful as a holding area for Sims just getting back from class. (They come from beyond the sports car and go straight for the telescope and occupy themselves until I notice them and give them something else to do.) The sports car keeps my students from clogging their wants panel with "Buy a car" and allows them to fulfill that pesky Woohoo in Car want. (Why they want that when there are two perfectly serviceable beds just upstairs I'll never understand.)

If you go up the stairs you can see to the right in the above picture, you will come to a very boring, narrow porch and thus to the front door. Here it is.

If you turn to your right as you come inside, you will see a burglar alarm, an archway leading to a dining area (we'll see more of that later), and a flight of stairs.

If you then turn about 90 degrees, you will see the back wall of the room, with a door and some windows. That archway on the far right is the same as the archway on the far left in the previous picture.

This room is empty on purpose; it is used as a mingling area when the college students have parties.

If you turn a little more, you will see a door that leads to the bathroom, the Greek letter, and the stereo with a CD rack. 

Move just a little to the left and you see what is normally an open space in front of the stereo. Right now one of the ZZE residents has her cosmetologist's chair set up there. Just behind the chair is a door leading to the pool area, which we will see later.

There's not much to say about the front wall here. I think that's Sim State Dormitory across the street.

So, let's turn back to the left and go through that archway we saw in one of the above pictures. This takes us into the eat-in kitchen. Here all you can see is Maggie Landgraab sitting around in her pajamas at 3 in the afternoon, plus the chimney of the empty rental house next door.

If you go around the end of the table, you will be able to turn and see the kitchen area. You can also see that people sometimes do their assignments at the dining room table.

If you continue around the table, you can see the fridge more clearly (It looks like a fridge. Very exciting.) and the larger of the two archways that lead into the living room.

Between the two archways is a beige wall that just begs for a painting or something. 

And back to Maggie. From this angle you can see the telephone, which is almost always in use.

Next we'll go back through the living room to the downstairs bathroom. This bathroom used to be the kitchen. Yeah, it was seriously tiny. (I am reasonably certain that I left the walls as-is and just took away the arches and added doors.)

The door you can see in this picture is not the one leading to the living room. It leads to the pool area.

On the left side of this picture, you might barely be able to see the other side of that door. You can definitely see the dresser (which is down here so students can change into and out of their swimsuits more conveniently), the hot tub, the juice keg, and the trash can.

Same room, different angle. As you can see, there is a bar next to the juice keg. I don't know if drinking and swimming is the best idea, but let's pretend.

If you go through that gap in the wall, you come to the pool. There really are ladders leading into the water; they're just invisible for some reason. 

Here's another view of the pool area in which you can see more clearly how it connects to the rest of the house--there's the gap leading to the hot tub area, and then a door leading to the living room.

To get to the back yard, such as it is, you go out through this set of doors.

Down the stairs to the left is a greenhouse.

Mostly students grow tomatoes here, because those are easy to grow.

Down the stairs to the right is a similar greenhouse with orchard trees. They go dormant during winter even inside the greenhouse, which is silly.

If you go back inside and up the stairs, this is where you end up...a sort of landing between the two stairways, with a couple of doors and a random newspaper lying around. There are also, obviously, some easels.

Just beyond that second set of stairs is another door and then the lounge area--TV, video game console, bookcases, lots of comfy places to sit--and the exercise area.

A slightly different angle, from which you can see the chess tables.

The last segment of the room is dedicated to musical instruments of all sorts. You can see here the fourth and final door that leads off of this room.

Through the door off the music area is this room. It occurs to me that those windows should have some dark drapes. They let in altogether too much light.

That bed came with the house that Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab and Malcolm Landgraab bought some 40 years ago. Joan and Edith Riedmayer brought it with them when they came to college 35 years ago. Their daughters--Sarah Pons and Ingrid Riedmayer--have probably both slept in it at some point in the last 7 years.

Here is another angle of the room, in which you can see that there is a little panhandle on the room and another door hiding on the short wall.

That door leads to a bathroom. It is kind of boringly white.

If you turn around in the tiny space, you can see that there are two doors at the one end.

The door on the left brings you here, to a bedroom that is the mirror image of the Goth Room in terms of shape but very different in terms of decoration.

See? That bed was purchased by the original residents of ZZE shortly after they set up this house. Sarah's parents, Greg Pons and Joan Riedmayer, usually slept there. Sarah doesn't like to think about that, since this is the most comfortable bed in the house and if she thought about it like that she wouldn't want to sleep there.

The Blue Room opens out onto that landing at the top of the stairs. If you go through the other door off of that same landing, you come to the men's dormitory, which is also blue.

 There are four single beds in this room, but you can't see more than three in any of the pictures.

The room is also equipped with a dresser. And some more curtainless windows.

And a painfully bare wall. There used to be a bathroom there (Jack-and-Jill style, like the bathroom between the Goth Room and the Blue Room), but I got rid of it after one play session because I couldn't see it well from my preferred angle of play. (It was hidden by the stairs.)

If you go around those stairs and through the door near the lounge area, you come to the women's dormitory. It is the mirror image of the men's, but painfully pink instead of blindingly blue.

These dormitories were established during the reign of the Whitfill Brothers. (I think. I could be wrong.) At that time, there were 4 men and 2 women living in ZZE House, but 4 beds were put in the women's dormitory anyway. (You can only see 3 here, but trust me. There are 4.) In the most recent college round, there were 6 women and 2 men. Whoever didn't get a bed in the dormitory took one of the doubles.

The women have a dresser too, filled with the clothes of a generation of ZZE members.

And they have a blank wall where a bathroom used to be too. We're equal opportunity poor decorators around here.

If you go back out of the bedrooms and up the stairs, you find the attic, a room full of odd nooks and crannies, ancient furniture (that desk and bookcase were brought by Edith and Joan as well), and robot crafting stations.

Just to the right of the desk (to your left if you're sitting at the desk) is a mirror also brought by the Riedmayer twins and a mini-fridge of more recent vintage. Plus a trash can, because there's no point having a "if you want a bag of chips but don't want to go down two flights of stairs" fridge if you don't have a corresponding trash can.

If you look further into the little cranny that houses the fridge, you see that there is a door.

That door leads to a bathroom which is pretty boringly white.

This bathroom is rarely used, but in a house that usually has 6-8 occupants it can sometimes come in handy to have more than 2 bathrooms.

Directly opposite this bathroom is another bathroom. I didn't take pictures of that one because it really is exactly like and very boring.

Looking over the stair rail from the other direction one sees toy crafting benches blocking some perfectly good windows.

To the right (from the perspective of someone sitting at the Goth desk) is a long narrow space with lots of crafting tables...students can practice flower arranging, sewing, or pottery making.

In the opposite wing is the computer lab. In real life it would be utterly impractical to keep computers up here, since it gets very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, but Sim computers don't mind. The Sims get blue sometimes if I make them do their term papers in one sitting in the wintertime, but that's not anything a workout at the treadmill won't fix. >:)

So, there you have it. A sprawling, overstuffed manor that has nurtured a full generation of college students. It's not the prettiest, but they're all rather fond of it by the time they leave.