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.


  1. Now I want my Sims to travel to Takemizu, too! I have not sent any Sim on vacation for such a long time I have forgotten how much fun it can be to play there.
    How is Ryan going to get to the top of his new career, now that he is an elder?

    Yes, having the possibility to put different things on the same part of a wall and moving them up and down is very useful.

    1. Vacations can be fun! It does make the round twice as long, though, if you make your Sims get their money's worth and go for 7 days.

      It actually shouldn't be hard for Ryan to top his career; he is permaplat with maxed skills and thanks to Brittanie the household has more than 30 family friends, so it is just a matter of showing up. :)

      Also, he is not an Elder quite yet; I think he will age up right after I start playing them again, on Monday night (Sim time, though it might be Monday night of real life before I find time to play them). I will have to explain how I calculate their ages at some point. (Unlike his girlfriend, Ryan will be about 61 years old before he gets gray hairs.)

  2. Knowledge and Fortune IWs are not IWs at all. Family IW is worst, closely followed by Romance and Pleasure. Popularity is fairly easy too.

    1. Knowledge and Fortune are very easy to play. I find Family easier because I am used to playing large Sim families; before Prosperity that was all I ever did. (They were poor and friendless, but they had a million kids. I like Sim kids the best.) I actually find Popularity kind of hard, I don't know why. Perhaps it is because I have only done it once; perhaps it is because I don't like talking on the phone in real life and thus do not think of the fact that my Sims might like it. :)