Thursday, July 30, 2009

Let's Randomly Update!

Hurray! Now it's like a party. ^_^ I've been . . . kinda occupied. I don't know if you'd call it busy, but occupied. A few days back I went over and helped Sandy clean out the old trailer. It was fun. ^_^ Yes, fun. Two army brats reminiscing about how glad we are that it's not government housing, scrubbing toilets and sweeping walls. What couldn't be fun about that? Besides, I had to get out of the house.

Around town I've been seeing this new car . . . well . . . . you can't really call it a "car". It's more like a bus! I totally want one! Lookie:

(picture was removed, sorry)

This one has a Mercades logo, but the one in the parking lot has a Dodge logo. *hrm* Here's the page I got that picture from:

Lookit all that stuff they can do to the insides! Beyond awesome.

I've been pretty occupied on neopets too. Got to the very end boss of NeoQuest 2 (it's an rpg) and he whipped my monkey ass! So now I'm levelling up and that's not so much fun so I'm just taking it a bit at a time. They also have a new game challenge and I'm trying so hard to beat AAA's score. It's not an insanely hard game, but his score is really freakin' high. And I have to beat that before they release a new game. Which could be any day. No warning. Kinda sucks. At the moment I'm about 1000 points away. Yeah, I'm playing and typing at the same time cuz I totally kick ass!

Ah, and Sims. Hehehe. My blue playboy has kind of consumed me. He's taken on a life of his own. (350pts away) Somehow a very decent portion of his chicks have been . . . chunky. There are some skinny sims running around, but he doesn't quite dig them as much. So far he's fathered one white child and three blue. Hehehe. One chick that he's flirting with (and trying really hard to impregnate) is married. I knew where she lives because my journalist sim lives two houses down, and early on in their relationship she wanted me to deliver hot dogs to her. Anyway, he had her over and she left to go home. He followed her. Something you can do is peek in someone's window. Well, that's when I found out her husband is a cop! He came out and tried shooing him away, but he had 9 Charisma and schmoozed the cop and even convinced the guy to let him inside! He and his wife went to sleep so I took the kid upstairs, swiped a chair and went home. . . . where he promptly put the chair in the mailbox to return it to get the "good karma" moodlet. I really like the wish and moodlet system. Wishes are like "wants" only you get to pick which ones they keep! So your sim is more personalitized the way you want 'em instead of just random stuff within a certain parameter.

AARRGGHH!! I beat AAA's score and there was "problem's processing your score". I knew that was going to happen. Anyway, beyond that just concentrating on change. I'm re-reading 'Duma Key'. I can't even think of a time when I re-read a fiction book. Which reminds me, gotta make sure when I'm doing dishes tomorrow I start taking over some of those boxes of romance novels. Clear out the trash! *ahem* I'm fine. ^_^ So, yeah, that's what I've been up to

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kinda Disturbing....

Okay, I just had this dream . . . the way it started out it shoulda been a pretty cool dream but it ended up being really disturbing . . . and kinda harsh.

Okay, so it started out to where I was living here by myself with Onyx and Jet. Sandypants moved into the trailer across from me (by herself) and they were closer than they are now. Mine was being refurnished in a lot of parts. We decided to knock down the connecting fence and build a bridge between our two porches. That was pretty cool. At the first part of it she was off hanging out with some people at a waterpark picnic and I was at home doing my hair. (haha very funny, yeah I know) That afternoon we had a ton of people over for, like, a party. When people started showing up I was just trying to find this huge bag of beads that I had just seen so I could fancy up this one part of my hair that was much longer than the rest (think Yuna from Final Fantasy X) and I could not find it! She was helping this other girl finish getting ready (I didn't know her) so I finally gave up and decided to go schmooze. I had a hard time finding anyone who was standing still long enough to talk to. Until, of course, someone approached me. This guy Robert. I don't think anyone reading this will know him (I hung out with him for only a short while after meeting Mike) but it ended pretty badly between us. Now, apparently in the dream it was so bad that he wanted me to call his grandma (who I don't think I ever even met) and apologize to her and he even had the nerve to transfer his spirit into Jet to give me those sad puppy eyes and make me do it. Then I guess the puppy energy got him distracted cuz he went off to eat kibble. I got out of there. I ran into Mike (funny, right?) and said "Hey how's it going?" "S'okay . . . . you know I just want to forget that right?" "Yeah, I know" and . . . ya know, it hurt. Whatever. I was still tired but I'm not going to take that kind of emotional abuse from a dream so I woke up. Enrique and Deemer where there, but why bother? The way that dream was going that probably wouldn't have been worth staying asleep for either. Kind of a weird bit, though. Between the hair and the party I did run into Sandy on the porch bridge and she was showing me pictures of the waterpark picnic, like, actual developed photos, and I could see them just as clearly as everything else in the dream. Mostly people I didn't know sitting at picnic tables drinking those giant 6 Flags type drinks in the big fancy plastic cup things. I don't think I've ever looked at pictures like that before in a dream. There were girls there too, but I think they were mostly Sandy's other friends. Which is kind of fucked up. I had girl friends too. Brak and Jori and Ellie and Eva and Amber and Sabrina.

Whatever. I feel better now, at any rate. Maybe I'll go make myself an Eggo.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adventerous Eating Pt. 5

*trumpeting fanfare* Frog legs! *gasp!* Hehehe. For some reason I was exceptionally excited during the preparation of this adventure. Not sure why. Just something told me they were going to be good.

Here they are being thawed out. Had to make sure they were good and ready.

For the breading! A mix of plain and panko (from O~Mart) breadcrumbs with just a dash of Cajun spice.

Sexy, right? Little frog butts. lmao

All breaded up and ready for the oil! We did a double dip. Breaded 'em, then coated 'em in egg and breaded again. For those extra crispy legs.

No, they didn't jump in the pan.

We didn't have paper towels, but a cooling rack works just as well to let the extra oil drip off.

Doesn't that look yummy . . . . well, maybe a little weird since even fried you can still tell what they are. That is the big question, though, right? How do they taste? Surprisingly good. Aaron was really shocked at how much he liked 'em. For some reason I was expecting to like them. *shrugs* He's dubbed them Bog Frogs cuz of the Cajun spice. They're very interesting. You know how you get a chicken leg and they're all tendony and there are bits that stick to the bone? These didn't do that. Pulled right off the bone. Had a texture kind of like greasy chicken and tasted kind of like fish. Seriously, if you get the chance to, you should totally try 'em.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

School Supplies: Good For A Laugh

Every year about this time the stores start stocking up on school supplies. They are kind enough to provide lists for parents as to what they should buy. Because, ya know, it just gets more complicated and more rediculous every year. Always good for a laugh, and a huge groan, for those of us who don't have to worry about such things. In addition to crack-pot policies, these lists really add to my determination to home school; should I ever have little one(s) of my own. This year's random list comes from Eastern Hills Middle School in Harker Heights:

Binder, Heavy Duty 3 inch Zipper Binders will not be accepted (OMG what about Trapper Keepers?)
3 Sets of Dividers
1 pencil case, fabric, 3-hole
(no plastic cases you can launch at your peers)
1 set of washable markers (cuz, ya know, they're just out of elementary school and all)
1 12inch plastic ruler with inches and centimeters (do rulers come any other way?!)
1 package of wide rule notebook paper (all the way up to 8th grade they expect to use wide rule, wtf?!)
1 pkg #2 pencils
1 pkg blue or black ink pens
2 red ink pens
(who ever used red ink minus the teachers?)
1 set of colored pencils
2 highlighters
(holy crap you mean they didn't specify a color? I'm shocked!)
1 pencil sharpener
1 school glue 4oz (8th graders also need 2 glue sticks)
2 Composition Books (no spirals please) (Yes, it really says that)
1 pkg graph paper (yeah, I had to find this too and never used it!)
1 flash drive, USB (Are you freakin' kidding me?!, our diskettes were provided for us)
1 binder style 3-hole punch (Cuz heaven forbid each classroom should have one to share)
1 pkg construction paper
White Out Tape (Are kids sniffing the liquid stuff? Or is it a safety issue all of a sudden?)
1 set of 4 Expo Markers (Kids have to provide dry erase markers?!)

Okay, I have commentary for these next few, which I am taking out of order for this purpose, so they'll be lumped together:
5 packages 3x5 cards (which they are expecting students to give one package to each teacher -_-)
2 boxes of facial tissue
1 box of gallon zip storage bags
(the size of the ziploc bag actually varies depending on what grade they're in)
2 rolls of paper towels
8 wireless Neat Books (2 given to each core teacher)

Seriously? Why do people pay taxes if the students are the ones stocking the classrooms? This is insanity! How 'bout for 8th grade they also expect kids to bring 3 spiral notebooks. Not insane until they specify Red, Blue and Green. 7th & 8th graders should also provide a pair of 5 inch scissors an for some reason only 7th graders are expected to have "One large pink eraser". Okay, I did well in school and none of my supplies were all generic like this. I had Lisa Frank, thank you very much, and it was neither a distraction nor a hinderance. Do you have any idea how expensive those 3-hole punchers are?! I paid $13 for mine and the S&D team shared it. Well . . . the speech team did cuz we needed little notebooks for our poetry and prose. Those weren't cheap either, actually. lol That's why we each had one that we traded out the pages if we competed in more than one event. These school supply lists are quickly transitioning from funny to just plain sad.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Road Trippin' x3

Hey! Guess who came with us last night? ^_^ Finally got Sandypants to come along. Okay, last night I mapped out the trip on mapquest and we shortly found out that Mapquest is good . . . . not great. In fact, those first two points of interest are where mapquest let me down.

That first one I figured was going to be a pain because *ahem* Cove sucks. Luckily we did find the road there. Then things got interesting. P.O.A 2 is where I tried to shake things up a bit. Take a side road. Get off the highway for once. Mapquest said to turn left on Oak Springs Rd which would eventually lead into CR3220 and eventually 2313, where we would have the option of going South to Kempner or keep heading West to Lampasas. Well, there we are trucking up 1113 when all of a sudden I see the sign for Oak Springs Rd. I take a left at the next available road and end up . . . . I don't know where. It was kind of nice, though. It was a small road with nice houses off of it. Unfortunately it split at the end. I forget . . . . Cr27 or something? Not on my map, not in my direction. So we turned back around and jumped back on 1113.
Haha! Good ol' #3! Also to be known as creepy, twisty, deer-infested, redneck road. This road had so many twists and turns the on-board compass had a hard time keeping up! Every couple of seconds Aaron was shouting "DEER!" I knew he wasn't shouting "DEAR!" because I could actually see the deer, just . . . ya know, after he did. They had the posted speed limit between 60 and 70 and I was doing, like, 40 most of the way. lol Being as this is Texas I made it clear that if we ran across a person covered in blood on the side of the road that I was just going to keep on driving. We finally made our way (the back way) to Lampasas, vowing never to take that particular stretch of road in the middle of the night again. Mostly cuz of the deer. We don't want to hurt anybody.
So here we are on a back road in Lampasas. Some of the stuff looked familiar so I thought maybe we were on the road that my sister works on. Apparently we weren't, cuz you can't miss that place. It's, like, a factory where they make frozen burritos and stuff. Then we got back to the "BigAss Highway Intersection" where 3 highways intersect each other. Even doing well under the speed limit the trip was short. Much shorter than anticipated. So instead of heading straight back we re-took the 183-138-195 route. That seemed much shorter too, but I think it was partly because we knew what to expect. Before we were mostly hoping we didn't have to get all the way to Austin and head back from there. ^_^
It was fun. It only got down to 84 so we ended up using the a/c most of the way. It was still nice to get out, though. Kinda made me want a convertable. Open road, open air. That would be nice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Not-So-Hidden Treasure

This one is more for Killeenons and surrounding neighbors. Sorry. The other day my mom and I went to O~Mart and it was amazing! Their prices were surprisingly competitive with HEB. Their produce was so big and so fresh and so varied! We spent 15 minutes in their fruit/veggie section alone! They're meat and fish counters are crazy! One thing we picked up was frog legs, so look forward to an eating adventure on that one. We'll be cooking those up this weekend. Of course there was the rice, spice and noodle variety you'd expect. Actually, their candy selection was a tad disappointing, but that's okay. Seriously, though, we're going to be doing a lot of shopping there. We picked up frozen leek dumplings. *noms* Fantastic. Oh, there's a lot of stuff they make fresh on-site too. Like crab cakes and kimchee (if you're into that sort of thing) and there's a little cafe thing at the entrance. I can't wait to go back. lol I meant to get this out earlier but I'm actually mapping out our road trip for tonight. We're doing a little off-the-highway exploring and I don't want to get lost. We're heading Northwest! Should be interesting. Maybe we'll take the camera .. . . even though it's going to be the middle of the night.

An Unusual Circumstance?

I know, I don't usually like to blog twice in one day. I'm just overcome with this strange feeling I don't want to get lost.

I never thought my childhood was that unusual. I went to . . . the civillian equivilant of pre-k in Kansas. Spent half a year of kindergarten in New Jersey, then we moved to Karlsruhe, Germany for 6 years. I was young and moving is what we did. I was an army brat and gaining and losing friends on a regular basis was a fact of life. Especially for that time in Germany living on a self-sustaining army base no one expected anyone to hang around for longer than a year or two. This was not strange or sad in any way. It just was. Then we moved here to Killeen which is interdependant with Ft. Hood so the "civillian transition" that a lot of brats go through didn't quite apply. I guess I'm greatful for that. Yet another factor adding to my resolve that my life just isn't that unique. But then I read this:

My father was a career-soldier in the Army. That makes me a military brat, a Brat. I don’t know why military children would be considered Brats; but I acknowledge and accept that title with proud affection.

The active military parent chooses to live within the parameters of military existence. The accompanying spouse elects to accept that standard of living. The children, however, are raised into a unique lifestyle. From my point of view it’s not a bad life. Being a Brat afforded me the opportunity of travel to eleven states and one country. I attended seven schools, and most of the time I lived in a protected environment of a gated community with access to a movie theater, bowling alley, skating rink, swimming pool, and teen club. How privileged is that? But growing up, all I knew was life in transition. Thankfully, my parents had five children, so I have three sisters and a brother, from oldest to youngest, five years apart. They were my playmates, my best friends – they were my constants.

My father put in for a tour of duty overseas so the family could experience life outside the United States. We were sent to Paul Revere Village, a little Army base in the heart of Karlsruhe, Germany. Paul Revere Village was a self-sustaining community with all the services offered stateside, but the American school housed 600 – 700 pupils from first to twelfth grade. Karlsruhe American Elementary School included students from first to sixth grades while Karlsruhe American High School contained students from seventh to twelfth grades. My graduating class of 38 was part of the 317 high school student population. I counted each and every face in my yearbook.

Even though it meant traveling across the ocean, I thought of our move to Germany as just another transfer. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I recognized how unusual I had been reared. How dissimilar my life experiences were from the general population. And as the years passed I realized the impossibility of ever seeing my fellow Brats. Then an innocent Internet query brought information that an East Coast gathering was held every Labor Day weekend right here in the Washington metropolitan area. I made contact! In 2000, I packed my bags and made the 35-mile trip to Ellicott City, Maryland, for my first touch with the past. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I arrived on Saturday to meet and greet, picnicked on Sunday and returned home on Labor Day Monday feeling refreshed and energized.

I guess because we came from a small, overseas school, the emphasis is not on having graduated from Karlsruhe American High School, but on attending the school, period. Everyone counts, even those who left school before graduating, and the tendency is to be recognized by the decade rather than by class groups. For instance, at the gathering there were only three from my class in attendance and, perhaps five or six from my brother and sisters’ classes. Together, we represented the ‘70s group. That’s just the way it is, part of the bond of being a Karlsruhe alumni.

This year I took a five-day visit to the mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina, to attend my first all-school reunion. My sister, Yvonne (also a graduate of Karlsruhe American High School), decided to attend the reunion with me. For a year we planned. We registered at the hotel and reserved a car from the airport, but we kept flip-flopping about our decision to go. Surely, there would be few people we actually knew from our time there. Was it worth the effort?

I wondered why it was so important to meet these strangers? I had not formed any lifelong friendships in Germany. There were a few people I hoped would show but the chances were slim. Then I arrived and met all these new and wonderful people and I realized the commonality. We all shared the same experience as we grew up and faced the same adjustments when our parents were no longer military. We can discuss with understanding the peculiarities of Brathood, such as enduring inspections of your bedroom; coming home from school to find out your family has moved; looking forward to Thanksgiving chow at the Mess Hall; or standing at attention with hand over heart as the national anthem is played. Sadly, we can also identify with the difficulties of acceptance into the “regular” world of civilians. When Brats find themselves thrust into a regular school setting, they often find themselves on the outside looking in, rejected or ridiculed by civilian peers for things unique to our upbringing: Our sometimes-odd manner of dressing (often a holdover from our last tour of duty), our changing accents (depending upon our geographical location), or our speech may be peppered with foreign phrases or military terms. We, who grew up with playmates of mixed cultures and never noticed the difference, were … different.

We have learned the art of adaptation, but for some it was not always easy. At the reunion, the high school jock’s adoring fans once again worship him; he revels in the midst of attention that he has not received since his playing days. It didn’t matter that the transfer stateside in his junior year meant the end of a dream because cemented friendships at the local high school translated into exclusion for the new wannabe. At the reunion, the homecoming princess is once again lifted to a popularity status she has not enjoyed since her Karlsruhe school days. Reality found her an ostracized loner after a mid-year transfer to a school that mistook her natural reserve for snobbishness.

The Karlsruhe organizers worked with the Berlin Brats association to arrange a joint affair that culminated with a picnic at Chimney Rock Park in Chimney Rock, North Carolina. Sports wise, the Berlin Bears had often been the bane of the K-ruhe Knights, but time has a way of calming down rivalry. The viciousness of competition had mellowed into a playful banter that was enjoyed by all because, with maturity, we all identify with a common past that unites us in our present position – we are still Brats.

Paul Revere Village closed in the mid-nineties. For the nostalgic souls, the realization is bittersweet. For us, there will never be a homecoming. All we have are memories of carefree adolescent days in a foreign land. Maybe that’s why some actually made the connection of deep friendship even though contact was lost over the years. With the advent of the Internet there are many websites postings “in search of” and many of the lost are being found. The discovery is exciting.

I spoke to two women who found each other a dozen years ago and have kept in contact through letters and e-mails. One flew in to Georgia from Washington State; the other drove across the border from Alabama to meet her so they could make the long drive to Asheville together.

I met two brothers who have been separated for many years. One brother married while in Germany and found employment with an American contracting firm. The other moved to the Florida Keys. The German immigrant scheduled a month-long visit with his family so they could attend the Asheville reunion. When the brothers arrived, they were met by their best buddy, who had flown in from Serbia on a 48-hour pass just to say “Surprise!”

So many instances stand out in my mind; unfortunately, I can’t share all of them. I met so many new people whose faces will be remembered long after their names have been forgotten. I was even able to connect with a couple of friends, though many have yet to find us or have no desire to reunite (but that’s another story).

Was it worth the effort? Of course it was. The reunion wasn’t big by anyone’s standards. Although Berlin had almost 300 alumni, our little school had less than 100; but we had a blast! We talked, and reminisced, and commiserated, and played, and laughed, and danced … by the time it was over there were tears and hugs and promises made – until the next one. Wait until the next one.

From Karlsruhe American High School Alumni Association

The truth is, I did get to experience a lot of awesome things that many other people can't imagine. I mean, I was there when the wall came down. I was there during base lockdown mid-Desert Storm. I was there for the holidays and celebrations off base as well. All of this I appreciate and will keep with me. But I still can't quite grasp that it's unusual in anyway. I mean, stuff happens everywhere and for everyone, right? One thing about that above passage that I wish I could convey to the author is that for a lot of army grown children there is a very real reason they are called brats. Those of us with career parents were raised differently, but there are so many who are spoiled beyond belief. Well, our belief, I guess. Maybe it's normal for civillians, but we were raised to be respectful. We weren't expected to behave military, but darn close.

BRATS: Our Journey Home

That is a link to a movie made about military brats. The title itself confuses me because Karlsruhe was home! America was overseas! My parents weren't the type to go on for hours about America andhow much they missed it. We spent every possible second enjoying Germany and the time we had there. They, I guess, knew it was unusual.

Is it unusual to have the town you grew up in completely shut down? I don't know. I know mine was. I know it makes me sad. I wish I could get google earth on my computer so I can at least see what it looks like now. I tried to find it on mapquest and all of the street names were changed. From a mapquest map nothing is recognizable. At this moment, after reading that . . . . essay?, I guess, it makes me sad. Sad and lonely. I'm an army brat. I live to move. I have a new extended family and a new home. But it's still sad to know that I can truly never go home. When the base was first shut down I thought "That's great! The troops are no longer needed in that part of Germany. That's the point." But not only will I never get to relive those days of my childhood, no other brats will be able to experience what I did. Heh. While this should make me feel special, it makes me feel bad for them.

I feel like I've blogged this before, but I had to get it out. Maybe my circumstances were unique growing up, but everybody should have the luxury of such uniqueness.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Yes, I have declared war upon my own hair. I started off with some rough stuff and had my mom chop it short. Came out a little shorter than I expected, but don't tell my hair that. As far as it knows I did it that way on purpose. To teach it a lesson. Yeah. Cooperate or else! You're just hair! You'll grow back.

*ahem* Have I mentioned how much I love Aaron? He's so supportive and helpful when I go bananas. Certain other persons would have gone ballistic at the mere mention of blue hair (and visibly cringed the months I had it purple), but not Aaron. No siree. Granted he's not thrilled with the length, but it will grow back. So anyway, here's the rundown of my day. Because I love you guys. You can share in my joy and pain and this experience has been a mixture of both. And rest assured you won't have to look at that picture for too long. I am fully aware that that lipstick was a huge mistake. I'll be throwing it out next time I drag out my box-o-makeups.

First things first. Since I just bleached sections of my hair we picked up the lightest blonde dye we could find. One of Revlon's Ultra Blondes.

Hehehe. Yeah, he totally did that to my head. Kinda funny, eh? I let that sit in for about 50 minutes and then washed it out and let it dry.

I kinda like that picture. Anyway, I still had a bit of the dark blue leftover from the streaking party, we also picked up some turquiose. I wanted to do a strand test to see how the color showed up before going and doing my whole head.

The results were fairly conclusive:

So dark blue it is. We couldn't find our box of latex gloves so Aaron used his rubber REPO glove and a hair painting brush we picked up from Sally's. I left the color in for a little over an hour. It was all hard and crusty by the time I got into the shower, but at least it took this time!

And even only half dry you can definitely see the blue:

One day I will still do the turquiose, but I will have to bleach it for that. All in all I think I've been victorious over my unruly hair. It will learn better than to defy me! Muahahahahaha!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Sims 3

Through a completely unforeseeable series of not-so-random events I've found myself in the possession of the hardware needed to upgrade Franken-puter for Sims 3. (Thanks David! lol) Also, if you couldn't tell from my recent picture uploads (go look at 'em ya lazy bums!) I also have Sims 3. (Thanks David! ^_^) So, was it worthy of all my excitement? Or was it one big ol' disappointment? Keep yer pants on, I'm about to tell you.

First, let's start at the beginning. When I was made aware that Sims 3 was to be a really early birthday present I immediately went out and picked up the strategy guide. Try and get a handle on the new features. Between this and my online research I learned that time in the new Sims is not static. Stuff happens throughout the neighborhood while you're busy tending to your active sim. Hrm. Problematic when you share a computer, more so when there's only one neighborhood that comes with the game. So the first priority was trying to get our hands on that free 2nd neighborhood. Thankfully that stupid EA downloader that I could never get before (because it's 200+MB and dial-up just doesn't cut it) came with Sims 3! Right there on the disc! Hurrays! Actually, didn't even really need it because the game launcher is it's own downloader. Okay, so the 2nd neighborhood was 93MB. It took 10 1/2 hours to download. But download it did! Hurrays! *throws confetti*

Sims 3 is different from 2. Very different. It's still obviously Sims, but it feels . . . weird. But not in a bad way. There is no University, but any sim older than Teen can take classes to raise different skills. Food left in the fridge too long will go bad. If you want to go to the park next door you can walk there and there is no loading time. I think that's the most surprising thing. The whole game loads up quicker than 2 and there is no loading time going from place to place. That's pretty awesome.

Let me tell you about my practice Sim. Her name is Luna Liann. Her traits are Bookworm, Neat, Frugal, Mooch and Lucky. Her favorite color is green, favorite music is pop and favorite food is mac & cheese. She lives by herself in a little house. Her lifetime goal is to make $4000/week in royalties. She is working for the local newspaper as a Spell-checker checker. To get this position she had to learn how to write. She spent some time at the library and at her computer and finally gained enough skill to start penning her first novel. A trashy novel titled "Luna's Lost Love". (If the book is a good seller it will show up at the local bookstore and I wanted to remember years down the line that my sim wrote it) After gaining her current job position she also gained the ability to interview sims. It was also brought to her attention that in order to rise in the journalistic ranks she'd have to start turning in articles. Oh my! So much to do. And that's just for her career. She spent some time in the park on her day off and found some seeds laying on the ground. She took them home and planted them and now has a healty tomato plant, grape plant and apple tree. Nothing fancy, but she's not that skilled yet.

One day after work she heads to the spa. A much needed break from all of her hard work. After being pampered for 6 hours she notices one of her co-workers standing outside the house next door to the spa. She takes some time out for smoozeing and he allows her an interview. She's got one movie review under her belt so even though she hasn't finished writing her novel yet she starts writing up a nice complimentary story about her co-worker. Next day at work she gets two offers for writing work! One from the same sim she interviewed who wants her to pen his biography, and one from her boss to proof-read an article. Oh my! Right now she's paused in the middle of reading her bosses article (priorities). *phew*

One of the coolest features is the ability to customize just about anything. Also, you don't buy clothes. It's just not a feature. You go to the dresser and it's like an everlasting abyss of clothes. The customization allows for variations. The dress she's wearing now was initially a plain olive green affair. I took a pattern I liked (which was originally orange) and changed the color and voila! Very nice. Every piece of furniture can be any color/pattern you want. Take her bed. I could change the bedspread to a metallic pattern (as would be used on faucets and such) for an industrial motiff. Alternatively I could give her a fuzzy pink bathtub if I wanted. Another bit of awesomeness, the bookshelves actually have books. You take books out and each book is individual and the bookshelf empties. You put the books back and it fills up! Stores have sales and you can find coupons in the paper or on the internet (I dunno if it's specific to the frugal trait or not).

But it's not all wine and roses. There are some setbacks. While you can enter and move around in some buildings (like the library) some your sim just goes into and you're waiting outside for them to finish. This is fine if you have other sims to play with, but could get kind of confusing to have sims all over different parts of town. There are no seasons *whimpers* and it's kind of difficult to get relationship bars to go up. I miss the solar panels from Mansions & Gardens. No pets minus fish. Uh . . . . I guess that's kind of it. Obviously at this point in time there's way more to Sims 2 than Sims 3, especially if you're an expansion freak like myself. Sims 3 is pretty great, though. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do for the first expansion pack. ^_^

P.S. For those of you who got stuck in that first bit. Different David. lol

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Independance Day!!

It's not very often that we get to head out and see the in-laws, but yesterday was one of those days! Y'all know we love Autumn and Frankie and the kids. It's always so fascinating going out there. It was slow going for us, at first, though. Between catching up on some sleep and trying to burn some movies for 'em, we didn't end up getting out there until around 7 or 8. Gave us some time to eat some barbeque before dark. Frankie made some potato salad which was the 2nd best I've ever had. It's his dad's recipe and supposedly the secret is to peel the potatoes and get everything mixed together while the spuds are still hot. Got a ton of pics (which I still have to fix) and some videos of the kids playing with sparklers. ^_^

Hehehe. Awesome. Here's a picture that came out really well. I caught Gavin being Potter-ish.

How cool does that look!? ^_^ Even the sparks are cooperating, being all symmetrical. After a bit of that we went in for brownies. *drools* MMMMmmm . . . . brownies. We took Elvis with us and he was a good boy.

Some good news for anybody who was curious, I got the Christmas Lights video to upload! *throws confetti* Check it out:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Another Short Trip

Everybody point and laugh at Sandy and tell her she sucks cuz she totally could've gone with us and didn't. Haha! Okay, enough of that. This one was fairly impromptu. Went out to gather up essentials and thought "Hey, why don't we go to the Walmart in Lampasas?" Well, because it's not 24 hours, that's why. We've been making our rounds visiting different Walmarts, Killeen, Cove, Heights, Belton and Temple. Lampasas could've been on that list (I've been there, but Aaron hasn't been to the new one yet) but, alas, we were too late. Anyways, before I get too deep into storytelling, here's the map of our trip:

We started out at home, naturally. Actually, we went to Walmart in Heights first and didn't find everything we were looking for and that partially spawned the road trip. Didn't feel like going directly to ours, so off we went. Initially we were going to head down 195 and see if we could find the plaza at which we will now be paying our rent (no more landlord visits! Huzzah!!), but . . . well . . . . we didn't. Went down Stan Schleuter instead and headed out to Lampasas. This was before we knew the Walmart was closed, mind you. We got to the Walmart, discovered it was closed and Aaron said "Well, we can keep going down 190 for a bit before turning back." The problem with 190 is that once you get to Lampasas, there's not much left of it. Unless you want to find yourself smack dab in the middle of West Texas and . . . well . . . nobody wants that. We got down to the visitor center (P.O.I #1) and turned back around. Going straight back down 190 would be pretty boring after just travelling it all the way out there.
So what's a person to do? Head South down 183 of course! I had been down that way once or twice for ma's appointments, but Aaron hadn't. Now he has. Huzzah! There's not a lot down this stretch of highway. Actually, about halfway down we could see the mass of light coming off of Austin. It is a nice, quiet stretch, though. Not much too it, but pure Texas land stretch. Totally different feel from this craphole. P.O.I #2 is a tiny little town called Briggs. There was a sign without a population count and as far as we could see. . . . a gas station. And nothing more. I'm sure there is, there was a perpendicular road passing the gas station, but no point exploring tiny towns in complete darkness. What's to see? How would we know?
We kept going and passed the turn-off leading to Florence. With no idea how much further it was until I-35 we turned around and took 138 heading back East. This little stretch was phenomenal!! OMG! Even though we couldn't see anything, something else we didn't see was any other car. P.O.I #3 there is where we hit a temperature low of 80 degrees. It felt so nice. Downright chilly. So nice. Shortly thereafter we hit 195 and headed back North to home. The air became warmer and more oppresive and for about 3.5 seconds we contemplated putting all the grocery money in the tank and just driving off into the night. We didn't. One day, though . . . we just might.