Monday, May 30, 2011

Hello Readers

It's that time again ("to make bubbles with our spit?"). Daddy's home for a week. Which means his laptop is eating up bandwidth. I don't know how. I don't know why. I don't mind except that I guess it being Memorial Day (weekend) his laptop's been running slow, too. Anyway, that means that updates will come slowly, if at all. So if you don't hear from me for a week, that's because I couldn't get anything to load up. But it's loading up now, so here we go. Note to self: copy before attempting to publish.

My nails are still naked. As is their habit, though, a few of them are starting to split. Okay okay okay, I've been a bit forgetful with the zinc. Maybe if I move the bottle to right in front of the computer. I did try the whitening toothpaste, though. Opted for the paste instead of the gel figuring it would be more abrasive. So after (nearly) a full week, here's where we are:

They do look a bit better, I think. At least in person. I painted my toenails, though. Bronze. :D Was going to do pink, but . . . meh. I saw the sparkles and couldn't help myself. I also ventured into another grooming endeavor. Not really a big experiment. I picked up some wax strips because my mustache was just getting to be too much to tweeze. While I was working on that I noticed a hair making it's way out of my nose. *ugh* So I cut up some teeny little strips, shoved them up there and *YANK*. No more nose hairs. Oh, it burned for a while; but the actually de-hairing didn't hurt nearly as much as I expected it to. Yeah yeah yeah, nose hairs are good, they filter debris and germs and blah blah blah. I had a hair poking out of my nose. I'm a girl! I'm not supposed to have wandering nose hairs! So away they went. They'll grow back and hopefully be a bit less agressive when they do.

My hair seems to be doing better. Actually . . . I skipped conditioning it the other day and it frizzed up a lot less. Still had to straighten it for the drive to Dallas (why do I want to look presentable when stuck in the car for 6 hours? Elephino.) but it wasn't a huge mess to begin with. *shrugs* The manic panic is actually really good for hair so I've been contemplating a drastic color option. I just really don't know yet. I know Aaron hates when I get stared at like a freak so I want to go kind of understated if possible. I have time to decide, though. I'm going to use that to disguise the new growth. Once it gets growthy enough to be noticeably ugly.

Sims blog will be coming up shortly. The new ep is being released tomorrow and I have the family sitting ready. Ran the malware scanner, the disc space thing and the defragmenter (repeatedly). So the comp's about as ready as it can be for the impending installation. Things to look forward to!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Now my fingers smell

Like denture cleaner you pervs. lol I think that was the first thing that struck me. I was expecting something minty but my mom's denture tablets smelled kind of funky. I only used a little bit of water hoping to get the most out of the cleaning power of whatever they put in there. I soaked my nails for a bit first. About 20 seconds or so. Didn't want to bleach my fingertips if it got to that. Then I dipped the buffer brush and went to buffing. I do think Brak was right and that it may be cumulative (scientific method be damned!), but I am starting to see a difference. Mostly toward the bottom where the nails would be less stained-through to begin with, but it's a start. Can you see it?

I'm wondering if the buffing is helping make them stronger. Or maybe it's the lack of enamel. I haven't gotten any devestating splits since I started my little experiment. Or maybe I just did a good enough job when I clipped them and got under the worst of the damage. Either way I'm happy for it. I'm not thrilled about something I noticed yesterday, though. I was looking at my nails and up in the white part, mostly on the sides, I noticed some see-through parts. Is this nail weakness? Something I can fix? Or just one of those things? I don't know. I did pick up the zinc, though, and took the first tablet last night so hopefully they'll start to get stronger anyway. Oh, and I also remembered to buff the underside. Yay me!

On a semi-related note, I found something for my hair. Two somethings actually. I found a hair mask (masque?) at Dollar Tree, firstly. It did the same thing to me that the Feria conditioner did. When my hair's wet it feels really soft and is manageable and seems like it's going to be okay, but then once it dries I turn into frizzy mushroom head. It is softer, so I'm not frizzy STRAW head and that's good. I still don't like that my hair sticks out and doesn't bend like normal hair. I'll get a pic to show you I can hold my hair up or out and it just points. Awful stuff. I had my mom trim it a bit to get rid of the split ends and that helped a bit, too. I also found this Garnier Smoothing Milk while I was searching for something else earlier. It does help control the frizz a bit, but at this point it's not doing a whole lot. Since I can't shave my head at the moment (for various reasons) I think I'm going to just give it a color break (unless I Manic Panic it some crazy color while it's all blonde now) and just let it grow. Cut off the blonde while I've got a definitive line and see what my hair looks like normal. I've . . . kind of forgotten.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nail Quest 2

I've been poking around the internets looking for cheap, easy little tricks to getting my nails whiter. I've found a few. Most of them seem logical. Also gotten a tip from my Brak that I have to remember to pick up at some point. Once I get out of the house I become horribly forgetful. Zinc. There, I typed it. Now I'll remember.

Last time (2 days ago?) I tried baking soda and hand soap. The results were unimpressive. Today (10 minutes ago) I tried baking soda and peroxide. I mixed them together into a paste and buffed, buffed, buffed. I wonder if I'm using the proper pressure with the buffing. The paste at least felt like it was doing something. My nails feel nice and clean, but are they any whiter?

I don't know. Kind of hard to tell. Yes, I'm putting them against white backgrounds on purpose. Perhaps I should be buffing the underneath, too . . . . didn't think about that. Ah well, next time. I've also been using olive oil to treat my hair (I think I killed it bleaching it 3 times in 3 days) and that's getting all over my hands as well. We'll see what that does, if anything. I know, I know; scientific method, too many variables. Well, life has too many variables. We'll get over it. Now I'm going to go straighten my hair (maybe) and lay down (possibly). I was going to sim, but . . . I dunno. Kind of sick of looking at the computer monitor.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Go - Away

I'm working on an experiment. Since my former (myspace) blogging efforts were interspersed with tidbits that, though embarassing for me, could prove helpful to others . . . . why not go ahead and blog this as well. I mean, it's far less embarassing than my bowels so what's to stop me? Let me start at the beginning.

In this particular case the beginning reaches way back about 24 years to when I was six or so. Maybe a little younger, maybe a little older. Anyway, I was never really a girly girl, but I am a girl and I do happen to like some girly things. One of those girly things is nail polish. My mom always had naturally long and beautifully painted nails. When I was super young I would bite my nails from time to time. I don't know why. I had a chewing problem. My nails, pencil erasers, barbie feet . . . but I digress. My mom told me that if I could stop chewing my nails she'd let me have my very own nail kit. Emory board, nail file, cuticle . . . pusher thingy. The whole works. Now . . . let me explain something here. I was a kid. I didn't sit and watch my mom do her nails like some little boys sit and watch their dads shave. So when she said "nail file" I kept imagining something like a little filing cabinet to keep my nail clippings in. What the ultimate purpose of such a thing was, I did not know; but I was excited to find out. There you are. A little laugh for you.

Now I'm pretty good at starting up projects to better myself (though my follow-through tends to SUCK for the most part) so right away I stopped chewing my nails. Cold turkey. It was easier than quiting a lot of other things over the years. As my nails started to grow my mom would file them for me, because few things are worse than jagged nails catching on EVERYTHING. After a couple of months my nails remained smooth (meaning: no signs of chewing) and had grown a bit beyond my fingertips. I would go to sleep imagining taking care of my own nails and wondering wtf a nail file would look like and do. Finally the day came when my mom gave me my very first nail kit. It was a brown (possibly faux) leather semicircle with a zipper on the round side. She sat with me and explained what everything was and what it was for. (So that's what a nail file is!) She even threw in half a thing of cuticle cream. I treasured my little nail kit.

Not long after while we were at the PX she picked me up my very first nail polish. It was Tinker Bell brand, just for little girls. It was pink and after it dried you could just peel it off. No nail polish remover required. These humble beginnings were merely the jumping-off point of what some might call an obsessive psychosis. I would paint my nails, wait for the polish to dry, peel it off and then paint them again. As I got older and my color collection grew I began to experiment and paint my nails different colors. Alternating colors, two colors on each nail. I wasn't so bad that my world would end if I broke a nail, but it did piss me off pretty badly. Still does. Another nail-related memory I have dates back to middle school. I was in theater arts and my teacher had the bright idea to make us do some kind of speech. I had neglected to write one but she made me stand up there and impromptu it. Thankfully someone in the class (I forget who, but it was a guy and we were friends for a long while after that so I feel REALLY bad about forgetting, but whoever you were: thank you thank you thank you) said, without the least bit of sarcasm, "What about your nails?" And so I filled my 10 minutes talking about my nails and how long I'd been painting them and how I'm always looking out for new colors and sometimes I like to paint them specifically to match my outfits. That particular day I was wearing a hideous zebra-stripe jumpsuit and my nails were alternated black and white. Perfectly punctuating my point.

Which brings me up to date and my current nail related quest. Recently I wanted to see if I could actually get my nails to grow long all at the same time. So they were the same length. And long. I do a lot of yard and repair work (because I'm not a girly girl) and they break. Especially my middle- and pointer-fingers for some reason. Anyway, I did accomplish that feat. However - two and a half decades of painting my nails have stained them. Horribly. Wanna see?

Yeck. No wonder I keep them covered in pretty colored enamel. But . . . . it's got me wondering if I can get them white and pretty without paint. What if I want to wear just shiny clear polish? So I cut them shorter (shame on me for not getting a "before" picture of the massacre), removed the pretty sparkly silver polish and cried. On the inside. Within an hour I found myself wanting to paint them already. But so far I've abstained. They feel so naked and . . . . normal. *sigh* Today I tried one trick I found online. Mixed a bit of baking soda with some hand soap and buffed. It didn't seem to help much, but it didn't hurt them any. I know it's a little deranged, but the sooner I get my nails white the sooner I can be proud of myself and celebrate by painting them up pretty again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Awesomeness Part 25

Didn't quite expect Theta's story to get quite this far. Is it still interesting? I think so, but then I have the pleasure of playing. Theta, on the other hand, is ready for a break. Which, after finishing the day's gardening, is exactly what she did. Took a break. Just walked out the front door and went on vacation.

She took the first plane out of Moonlit Shores and as luck would have it when she awoke from a nap she found herself in Shang Simla. In case you haven't been paying as much attention as I have (again, I'm the one playing) she still has some books to purchase here and then she'll have them all! But first . . . just as soon as she got settled in her Chinese vacation home she decided to give Nels a call and let him know where she was. So he wouldn't worry. Nels was completely understanding; told her to take as much time as she needed and he'd handle the household while she was away.

Now, it may not be the "hip new" thing to do anymore, but sometimes when you're stressed and need a change you just have to shave your head and bang on some drums to let it all out. And that's exactly what Theta did for three days straight. I took my earphones out while she got that out of her system.

Being in Shang Simla there are many ways to recaptivate that feeling of zen. Meditation, koi fishing, or the relaxing sand zen garden. Except when you're dealing with a sim who's not in their right frame of mind sometimes she'll go ahead and dig into the foundation, because the middle of the living room is a perfectly logical place to put a zen garden.

I guess it's okay, because it actually did help a little. As her hair started growing back she took up her guitar and polished off the rest of her guitar skill. Good girl. Another rung on the awesome ladder has been climbed.

She made it through a handful of the easier books. Her goal, of course, being mental stability instead of mental stretching. Little victories to make her feel good and relax. Why, she barely even noticed that pesky little paparazzo hanging around outside the window.

Out of the blue she wanted to learn how to paint. She set her fancy new easel up on the 2nd story balcony and start flinging paint at canvas. As the paintbrush strokes went from eratic to flowing so did her thoughts. She found herself able to think about Geo, Jaimey and the recently deceased Simone calmly and even pleasantly. As the days went by she mentaly went through her life and where it's taken her. All she's accomplished. Her growing new family. Four children isn't too many, but then there's Sapphire. How is she going to explain Sapphire to Nels? More paint . . . another canvas . . . There really should be a place in Moonlit Shores for artistic expression . . . skills and jobs and children . . . more paint. Before she knew it vacation time was over. Time to head home and take care of her family.

After the clan was fed and tucked in Nels and Theta decided it was time to sit down and have a talk. Because they're a family and things have not been right. And as a wise and wonderful friend once affirmed to me, "Marriage hard." Here is how that conversation went:
N: I'm glad to have you back, honey. How do you feel?
T: Much better, thank you. I hope the children weren't too much trouble.
N: No trouble at all. Leo was a great help.
T: I'm glad. Sorry to up and leave like that. I just had to get away after .....
N: After Sapphire? Look, Ander . . .
T: I don't know what happened! I swear I haven't chea-
N: I know. Ander, I'm sorry. I didn't get a vasectomy after Rebecca. But-
T: Oh thank goodness. *SIGH* I was starting to think it was karma . . .
N: Karma?
T: Yeah. You see, Nels, I have . . . a secret.
N: What . . . kind of secret?
T: My name isn't really Ander Ungen. It's . . . Theta M.
N: You're Theta?! No way. . . .
T: *SSSSHHHHH* I had to get away from all the fame and attention and . . . well, I had a bit of a freakout and abandoned my last family. That's why I had to get away. I saw Sapphires green hair [A-HA! So that's what she was hiding] and it all came rushing back and-
N: So that's why her hair is green. Theta-
T: Ander
N: Ander, sorry, honey. I never thought you cheated on me. I just felt so bad because I got you pregnant again and then you went kind of crazy and I just felt so bad!
T: Well, maybe you deserved to feel bad. Lying to me like that.
N: Wait, but-
T: No buts. You better be snipped now. I'm doing a scar check before we woohoo again.
N: Oh I am now. Ander, I never meant to hurt you. Please, this family means everything to me. No more secrets?
T: No more secrets.
(they kiss)
N: I just have one question.
T: No, no questions. I am Ander Ungen, your loving wife and mother of your children. Whatever I was before that will stay in the past. For the sake of our children.
N: Ok honey. But, uh, what are we going to do about Sapphire's hair?
T: I'll take care of it. Do you trust me?
N: I do trust you.
(they kiss again)
T: Let's go to bed.
N: Thank goodness. I'm exhausted.
(they laugh and go to bed. No woohooing this night.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Awesomeness Part 24

Theta's life, and by extension those around her, has become fairly interesting. Sometimes no matter how simple and straightforward a plan seems . . . things can still go awry. Since I've started this whole family-centered phase of Theta's life things have started to take on a life of their own. This is both exciting and disturbing. I was hoping to be able to turn Nels into a cop so I wouldn't have to keep switching to him (firefighting is an active profession, police work takes place in a rabbit hole), but if I want to try and fulfill his lifetime wish then a fireman he will stay. He's doing quite well and the city of Moonlit shores has recognized this. Notice the medal and ribbon. (If I had shelves like they gave us in 2's Bon Voyage I could also display here his "key to the city"; but I don't)

Between the two of them, Nels and Theta are doing quite well jugglling their children. Both Leo and Nels Jr. were potty trained and learned to walk and talk before the newest member arrived. Speaking of new members, I am proud to present to you Theta's first birthed girl! Her name is Rebecca.

Rebecca's a sweet girl, but like any infant still demands a lot of attention. Which is why Theta was so glad when Nels said he got a vasectomy. Three children are more than enough. But wait . . . if Nels got a vasectomy then why does Theta suddenly feel the now-familiar twinges of new life growing inside of her?

What on earth is with THAT outfit?! I'm not the only one who's concerned. Nels is thinking perhaps he really should have gotten that vasectomy as it appears that pregnancy is starting to take it's toll on Theta's mental well being. Seriously. Look in his eyes! Coming home to this was enough to convince him that, yeah, more kids would be bad. Looks like they both have a dirty little secret now . . .

During this final pregnancy Nels has been extra diligent caring for the children and also caring for Theta. Even though he feels bad about lieing he is very family oriented and tickled pink about the upcoming fourth child.

Physically the pregnancy and birth were unremarkable. No extreme nausea or ongoing back pains. Mentally . . . I'm not sure. Aside from her . . . creative clothing choice I'd like to point out that Theta has yet to let me actually see the child. Is there something wrong with it? Is everything okay?! Or is this just a result of her (hopefully) mini-mental breakdown. All I know is that it was a girl and her name is Sapphire. I also know I'm not too crazy about this look she gave me when trying to capture a pic of Sapphire for posterity.

Regardless, the Unger family is now six strong and while Theta is still on her path-to-awesomeness she's going to be living here until she reaches Level 10 of the gardening career path. Because I'm still god and I say so, damnit! Of course the quant little farmhouse was never intended to house so many sims. Easy enough to build a third floor with some bedrooms for the growing children. Rebecca is still a toddler and shares her room with Sapphire, but Leo and Nels Jr have moved into their own rooms upstairs.

Nels Jr is turning into quite the little tech savvy kiddo. Actually, a computer was the FIRST thing he wanted! Luckily this little space under the stairs was just big enough for a desk. I'm a little concerned about the amount of time he's spent under the stairs, but school starts for him soon and he should make some friends there.

I think Nels still feels a bit guilty about knocking his wife up and making her a touch loopy . . . he's been running the house almost single-handedly. He's hoping that the routine of gardening will help even her out. And using her perfect quality fruits to make this fruit parfait couldn't hurt either. You are what you eat, right?

Just as soon as Theta lets me I'll get you a picture of little Sapphire. In the meantime I'll be monitoring her behavior closely for any more anomolies. Rest assured this will not be the end of Theta/Ander. Not just yet.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Awesomeness Part 23

Halfway through the training session Theta just could not stay awake anymore and had to take a nap. By the time she awoke her trainee was nowhere to be found. Some people just have no respect for the strains of pregnancy. (Incidently, I'm one of them. I'd have walked out too.)

Perhaps her fatigue can be explained by the contractions that hit her later that evening. The pregnancies really just fly by, don't they?

Within hours they were blessed with a second baby boy. Everybody please welcome Nels Jr. I know it's awfully stereotypical of me with this being the second child and all, but I do not remember his traits and never checked for his zodiac sign. So sorry.

Would you believe that Nels was trying to woohoo the very next night?! Sure he's a city-wide hero what with the life saving and all, but seriously? Here you can clearly see Theta telling him "I swear, you had better pull out this time."

Which he did. And so Theta made it through another day un-pregnant. Perhaps it was fate stepping in. Perhaps I took it personally when she said her life felt like a project. Whatever the reason it would appear that this massage relaxed more than Nels' back . . .

Leo and Nels Jr are doing just fine. They're growing up and learning to walk, talk and use the bathroom with speeds I've never seen. This is due in part to Nels helping out with the child rearing. He's reached Level 10 of the firefighter profession and can now work from home. He's got his own fire truck and an alarm in the kitchen connected directly to the fire station. He still goes in once a week to maintain the station's equipment, but for the most part he is home to help. Here's the growing little ones. Aren't they cute?

It's a good thing, too, otherwise I'd almost feel bad about this pregnancy. It's been pretty rough on Theta and I'm not sure why. She just started showing (look at her almost-appropriate maternity wear!) and this is her 5th bout of nausea.

On the bright side Leo is a child now and can more or less take care of himself. I've also helped the family out a bit by selling off some of the promotional freebies that Theta's been sent for being a celebrity. Her agent has eased up on the jobs for the moment so Theta is free to care for her rapidly growing family. Even so she does look more than a little concerned here, doesn't she? No worries, she's tough. I'm sure everything will be okay.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Awesomeness Part 22

We're back! Good thing, too, because a lot has happened lately. So let's get to it, then. As it turns out gardening and firefighting aren't exactly big money-making endeavors. So, with another mouth to feed Nels decided to venture out into East Moonlit Shores and see if there was anything useable at the Salvage (Junk) Yard.

He's still incredibly excited about the upcoming baby, despite his monetary apprehensions. He's quite diligent about making sure Theta is comfortable as possible during these last days.

She, on the other hand, isn't happy just sitting around the house all day. After the morning's chores have finished (including all of the gardening) she likes to throw on her more outdoor-appropriate althetic outfit and head to the park for some reading. The fresh air is good for the baby, after all.

In between handling emergencies, Nels decided to make use of the Fire Station's inventing bench. Maybe he can turn some of that extra scrap into a cute new toy for the baby!

Sooner than I expected Theta went into labor. Nels kind of freaked out a bit, but Theta got them all to the hospital with plenty of time to spare. It was an easy birth. Let me introduce Leo Unger (I have no idea why Nels took her last name, he was the one to initiate the marriage -_-) a beautiful baby boy. Sagitarius. He's brave like his daddy and a tad eccentric . . .

After the previous night's excitement Nels got no chance to rest. The very next day he had his first real fire emergency. With sims in danger and everything!! Here he is carrying a child to safety.

Happy to be alive and rarin' to go after days of celibacy, Nels promptly jumps on Theta just as soon as he gets home. Aren't newlyweds cute? Unfortunately, once again, the little jingle bells of conception . . . Nels certainly has some robust little sim-spermies.

As it's turning out this quant little farmhouse isn't quite big enough for their (rapidly) growing family. I'm not sure if you can see, but here are the before and after pictures of the renovations. I did away with the 2nd story balcony to extend the rooms up there, making the "baby" room bigger and adding a T-shaped spare room which will just be big enough for a bed and dresser once Leo grows up. I also did a bit of landscaping. Turning their dirt lawn into grass and planting a cute little flowerbed in front.

It appears that Theta has a penchant for innapropriate maternity wear as she sports this silver . . . . something. It kind of looks like a mermaid unitard? Definitely going back to her athletic gear. (and possibly digging around to see if I can uninstall this rediculous monstrosity)

Finally things calmed down enough for Nels to take his frivolous inventions to the consignment store. You know, the one where Geo used to work. The new attendant is also blue, but unrelated as far as I know. He didn't get much for his trinkets, but with yet another baby on the horizon, every little bit helps.

Now I've been getting rather unlucky with Nels. He'll do a "quick burst" workout and get good and sweaty (stinky) and then the alarm would go off so he'd have to fight the fire reaking of man-sim-stink. Until finally one day he managed to finish his workout and take a shower before the call-to-arms. After 2 weeks he finally got to slide down the pole! WHHEEEEEE!!!!

Between being pregnant and caring for a now-toddler Theta still manages to keep her garden up to par. She planted a few omni-plants and with little else better to do she fed the plants anchovies. Can you see the little buggers growing on there?

And between all that she had a visitor who wants Theta to train her. Why not, right? Many of her friends have aged and died over the past couple of weeks so it never hurts to make new ones. That's actually what she's doing now. Paused in the middle of helping this sim lose some weight.

On a personal note this growing family is getting to be a bit much for me. I don't usually create big sim-families because it's a lot to juggle. I'm trying to push myself, though, and I want to see how big a family I can handle before Nels gets too old. Granted male sims can procreate all the way into Elderhood (sexism!!), but I don't want him to die and leave Theta with a slew of kids to care for. I do see at least one more kid in their future. Perhaps . . . no, I'll keep that for myself. ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Awesomeness Part 21

After spending so much time indoors they were both getting a bit stir crazy. What better way to spend a day than at the newly un-haunted Museum? Nels' favorite exhibits were in the Chinese wing. He had never seen anything like it, having previously spent his whole life in Egypt.

As a native of Egypt he was perfectly equipped to let Theta in on some little known facts about the artifacts and works of art displayed in the Egyptian wing. He wasn't the least bit uppity about his nation's treasures residing in France; being grateful that they were protected and on display for anyone to see and learn about his culture.

One of the more interesting exhibits was this large vase situated at the end of a dark hallway beyond the bathrooms. Neither one of them was quite sure what to make of it or why it was set so carefully away from everything else. They were, however, quite intrigued by the face carved on the vase and stood there for quite some time admiring it.

In an effort to make their final day in Champs le Sims special, Theta whipped up a delightful Angel Food Cake.

And since the plane didn't leave until midnight they both took a quick nap to make sure they were well rested and ready to go.

Back home things began to progress very quickly. As Nels read some pregnancy books, Theta found herself overcome with morning sickness. A sure sign of the little one in her belly.

Nels is very nervous and unsure of his role in the whole pregnancy thing. Though Theta's already had one child she tries to find supportive things for him to do. She's not quite showing yet, but she is happy to help me demonstrate why I'm less than thrilled that we have absolutely no say in a pregnant sims maternity "wardrobe". Seriously? A silk nighty? With her hiking boots, no less. I know one of the options is tights and a t-shirt. That would have been way more appropriate for a career gardener.