Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sim Search #2

Oh. It's you again. I thought you'd be back. Wondering if there have been any major breaks in the case, are you? Well there haven't been. Now go away, I have a headache. . . . *sigh* Fine. You want to know how things have been going? I'll tell you.

Stop snickering. This is a perfectly acceptable method of detection. It's called testing Murphy's Law. If the whole town could mysteriously re-appear while I've got my ass hanging out at the public pool then I could go back to Bridgeport and be done with this mess. Before you ask, it didn't work.

Like my new door? Just because I won't be having any new clients doesn't mean I shouldn't have an office.

Got my bedroom/kitchenette to the left and bathroom off to the right. Shame I didn't have room for a mini-bar. Now, with everything in order, I can get down to some serious detective work.

Searching for clues became tedious very quickly. The quiet around here is starting to ring in my ears. By all appearances I'd be willing to say that the whole town was simultaneously abducted by aliens. Unfortunately, everyone knows there's no such things as aliens.

Meticulously I visited every household and place of business, rummaging through trash and checking mailboxes. Each building told the same story. Two weeks ago (three by now) everyone disappeared at the exact same time. Left cars and, as far as I can tell peaking through windows, belongings exactly as they would have been like they had every intention of still being there. Time to step up my game.

Remember when I said I wasn't to the point of breaking and entering yet? Yeah, well, that was last week, this is this week and if I'm going to crack this case I'm going to have to dig deeper.

So many houses. So many fingerprints! I've narrowed my dusting to only those things that nefarious persons would be likely to touch. Chair arms, window locks, etc.

The hard part was trying to figure out where each household would keep anything valuable. There was nothing obviously missing in any of the houses, but then I don't know these people so how would I know what they owned? I didn't find any blood or signs of forced entry. Like a giant movie set. . . .

I compiled all of the fingerprints I lifted and sent them to the Federal office in Bridgeport. What?! Yeah, I could access the town's fingerprint databases in the hospital, police station and military base. Sure. And spend the rest of my life trying to figure out which ones don't fit. Screw off. Let a team of other people do that. I've still got work to do here while I wait for the results.

Patchwork Moment

Oh my goodness I have got to get my sleep schedule under control. I haven't gotten too much done the past couple of days and it's starting to bug me. I was doing so well. At least I'm still doing well with the exercising. 21 on the bike, 32 walking. Which almost makes up for the ice cream yesterday and capuccino this morning. *sigh* I can't wait for August 15th. Well, I can, but I don't wanna. I'll have structure, and a plan, and a buddy and all those things help.

I had a strange dream last night. Not as strange as previous ones, but . . . well, disturbing in it's own way. We were in this house, and our neighbors houses were the same. Except the trailer across from us was next to us (so we were all in a line instead of an L) and we were in the middle of a field and next to a highway. I think I was inside, but I had a kind of bird's eye view when a huge semi came crashing through our fences and turned through the other (side) fence to get from the highway to this other road in front of us. I wasn't sure what was going on, but after the second or third semi went through I guess I figured there was some set-up detour or something. When my vision returned to first-person I found myself looking through the door's window and was shocked when David (my ex) was standing outside the door staring at me. He really freaked me out at first, so I'm not sure what made me open the door. He wanted to talk. We walked towards, then down, the road the semis were trying to get to (using the hole they made in the fence) and it started getting very dark very quickly. I'm not sure if we actually talked, but suddenly I became aware of someone running up behind us. I sensed he was coming for me and picked up a big stick which I swung at him when he got close. He got on a bike (not sure where it came from) and started heading back in the other direction. David just sort of stood there (like he was glitched or something) and I ran off after the guy waving my stick. I threw it at him and knocked him off of the bike.

Yeah, that's it. Very weird. I'm also in the process of sizing-down my favorite pair of jeans. It's going well so far and hopefully I'll get the legs done today. If I'm really good maybe I'll even get the waistband back on. The shorts will be easier, I can just move the buttons over. Super fun! Now to set my alarm and try for a nap and hopefully I won't wake up hungry because we're having sausage for dinner and I've almost used up my calories for the day. Oh, and there will be a sim blog after my nap. How do I know if I'm, also, supposed to be missing? Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the story! Some people . . . . hehehehe

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Or... on the seat. The bike seat. Made it up to 20 minutes today, plus 45 minutes of walking. All this in addition to my strength and yoga this morning. I really should yoga more often. Almost hurt myself. Anyway, the 20 minutes were sweaty and I had to push myself for those last two, but that's way better than 5. Tomorrow is cardio only so I'm going to try for 25, but as long as I can manage 21 I'll be happy. Hey, don't give me that look! I'm also re-increasing the tension on the bike. One notch each time I use it until the curvy arrow is back to it's "smiley face" position. Oh I could release all the tension and up my speed and just fly for however long I'm on it, but this way I feel like I'm working harder (even if I barely maintain 20mph) and I think I kinda need that part. And soon I'll be up to 30 minutes on the bike and I can just do 20 minutes of walking to cool down and clear my head.

Oh, before I go, one last thing I'm pretty proud of. I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I know, who doesn't? I'm also a bit of a compulsive eater. If there's a half eaten bag of cookies, I'll finish them off so they don't get wasted. Can't help it. Anyway, back when I was a kid I gave up candy for Lent. I was young and believed in the principle and it was easy. Now . . . . not so much. And dessert flavored gum does NOT help. The good news is, I've learned that I don't have to give it up. Granted I probably shouldn't eat a 2lb bag of Twizzlers to myself overnight. . . but I have found a system that's working. I love gummies. Especially Haribo. So when my mom went out of her way and bought me a bag of Haribo cola bottle gummies I thanked her and ran off with it. Normally I'll take down half the bag before I realize what's even happened. This time was going to be different. I punched the nutrition information into Spark People, checked the serving size, then went and got a little tupperware container. I removed 3 cola bottles (1/3 of a serving, roughly) and put the rest in the tupperware and stuck that under the computer. As it turned out, 3 was enough. I enjoyed the taste and the chewing and got my candy fix without going overboard. And since I put in all the prep work before indulging, I found that I really was good after those 3. It's like a treat, and since the tupperware keeps them fresh I don't have to rush through. So, yeah, yay me! :D

Now to try and sleep. I hate to waste the post-workout energy, but the heat has been just awful and it's only going to get worse these next few days so if we can keep running errands in the morning that would be super helpful. It'll be fall soon enough and I can workout in the middle of the day. All things in time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sim Search #1

Hello Readers. My name is Hardly. Jack Hardly. I'm a detective from the town of Bridgeport sent to Moonlit Shores to investigate the sudden, unexplained disappearance of every single citizen of this little town. I tell ya, Readers, I couldn't believe my ears when the chief told me about this one. Everyone gone? It would appear so. Even the town's god/narrater has gone missing. That's why I've taken over this story.

When I first entered the city limits my gut told me this was going to be no ordinary case. Even in the sleepiest, most backwoods towns you can "feel" that somebody lives there. Here, it doesn't even feel like anybody used to live here. If it weren't for this statue of the town's founding father I'd swear this was a movie set. As it is, I'm not 100% sure it isn't.

I made the public library (conveniently across the street from the park) my first stop. Let's see what we can find in the news archives. Even as far as libraries go this place is quiet enough to be unsettling. The only thing unusual is that the "recent" news stops 2 weeks ago. No reports of an impending evacuation or the beginnings of an epidemic here. I searched around to find an office or archive room and came up empty handed. Could this town really have stood empty for two weeks unnoticed? I intend to find out.

The local police station was only slightly more helpful. Only because it contained an encrypted internet computer I could use to transmit my findings back to Bridgeport. No tipping off the press or any possible perpetrater. Been on the job longer than that. I checked the processing logs which also stopped suddenly two weeks ago. This is starting to give me a headache.

Turns out investigating a ghost town isn't all bad. I can mix my own drinks without watering them down. Think next time I'll try a more manly glass....

*ahem* I'll be honest, I really have no idea where to start looking from here. This is, by far, the damndest thing I have ever seen. And these empty cars just stopped in the middle of the road are becoming more and more unsettling.

Outside of one of the town's central hot spots I ran into this fellow. Darby Barabus, he said his name was. Looking for his cousin who he hadn't heard from in, you guessed it, about two weeks. I flashed my P.I. badge and got his contact information then sent him along his way. This kid barely had two brain cells to rub together. I told him it was best he left town and he would be notified once his cousin was found. Didn't even seem to notice the whole town had gone missing . . . .

Hey, don't you judge me. Don't see you wandering around an empty town trying to figure out what happened to everybody. And besides, if I'm going to confirm this "two weeks" business, there's only one reliable source of information.

*shudders* This part of the job never gets any easier. What did I find? Well, aside from a boat-load of dirty diapers (my luck I pick a house with an infant) the most recent newspaper was indeed dated two weeks ago. So's not to jump to conclusions I checked the rest of the houses on this street as well (no I haven't gotten to the point of breaking and entering just yet) and each can yielded the same information. Most recent paper thrown away was two weeks ago.

Hey! A little privacy!! And for your information this "house" I've settled into has not had a resident in far longer than the two weeks the rest of the town's been empty. Some people think they need to know everything . . . . *grumble*

After a restless night's sleep I headed back to the park. The central point of Moonlit Shores and, in a town this size, the likliest meeting place of rogue townsfolk. I sat in disguise until sundown. Can you see me? Neither did anybody else. I'm getting too old for this shit.

So, Readers, what have we learned so far? Not much, I'm afraid. Worse than Roanoke out here. . . . I'm open to suggestions. Before you ask, no I did not hear the rogue shuffling of zombies or mummies or vampires or any other such silliness in the night. When I tell you everybody has gone missing, I mean everybody. Not even a sim bot in sight. Except that idiot Darby. Why do I have a feeling I'll be near begging for his company before long. . . scary thought indeed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is it karma?

Yes. I was weak. I caved. I can admit it. I'm only human, after all. I sinned against the Natural Nail Gods and they smited me. I was only going to do my toes and then I thought to myself "It's been so long. And it's only translucent glittery pink. That shouldn't do too much damage, right?" Well, maybe not. Until I go to put my sandals on and break a nail. Then while I'm cleaning up the back yard I break another nail. Then later I break another, again, while putting on my sandals. *sigh* I said I was going to keep them shorter, but you know me. So lazy. *winks* One of these days I'll trim the rest of them so they're all the same length again.

Since I dyed my hair back to brown (as close to natural as I can remember it being) I haven't done anything else to it. It's so damaged I'm kind of afraid to mess with it. I haven't even straightened it. I had a little extra money laying around so I shelled out the big bucks for an economy size bottle of Pantene 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner for medium-thick frizzy hair. Pantene is really good stuff. And this girl Jori had really nice hair and used to use Pert 2-in-1. And I remember from before (I just searched for the link where I previously blogged it and couldn't find it) that I tend to over-condition my hair and it does better with slightly less, so I thought a 2-in-1 would be a good investment. Unfortunately, either Pantene's 2-in-1 isn't as good as their seperates or my hair is so fried that it's not working yet. So I've also been using this Garnier leave-in smoothing conditioner. That doesn't help so much either. My hair's still a big ol' frizzy mess. Ah well. It's just hair. It'll all grow out eventually.

Ok, it's late and I have a feeling Aaron's going to wake me up in about an hour so I should try to lay down.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Sim #10

Back again, checking in on the Simmelsons. Let's see how Hesper's fitting in.

Looks good to me. As it turns out her sudden appearance wasn't as much of a shock to the household as I would have expected. Perhaps they did sort of sense her the whole time. Everyone is working so hard. Janey's made her way up to squad leader, the kids are all on the honor roll, and Joseph has topped out in the business career. Went straight from Chairman of the Board to Power Broker. He is now making 500simoleons an hour and looking to increase that. After all the money spent on the kiddos he's gotta think about retirement now. Which is what I assume he was doing on Wednesday, his day off, when he decided to pop open a bottle of 1,500 year old nectar he picked up while he was in France.

He made it halfway through the bottle and was relieving himself when the maid showed up and . . . wait . . . . what's she doing with the nectar?!

Oh noes. It should come as no surprise that by Thursday the Simmelsons had a new maid.

And with mere days left until graduation (and after seeing the way the rest of his classmates responded to her) Thorn decided to let Hesper know exactly how he feels about her.

How cute. Apparently a sim can end up having a real physical relationship with their (formerly) imaginary friend. Even though they have the same last name, their family trees are not attached. I guess if anybody's going to love this hot headed looney for himself it would be her.

After much frustration and a few crashes, the triplets are now triumphantly teenagers! Aside from sharing the 'Virtuoso' trait they now also all share the 'Artistic' trait. And so it seems only natural that they'd decide to start a band together. They're still working on increasing their skill and haven't thought of a name yet, but they wasted no time making their practice area look just as kick-ass as they could make it. Amazing what can be accomplished with combined allowances. Now, here is the very first music video. Presenting Azalea on guitar, Lily on drums and Rose on the keyboard.

I dunno what Azalea's problem is. I've had her facing the right way once and not again since. -_- Uhm, I mean . . . isn't it nice how they're all facing each other while they practice so they can . . . uh. . . give each other notes and stuff? :D

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reworking the System

Through the end of this past week I've been increasing my bike time. I went from my pathetic 5 minutes, to 10 minutes the next day. Saturday was a 'strength' day, but I got my strength workout done early in the room so after sunset I was able to increase my bike to 15 minutes (which was rough!) and ended up walking for about an hour. Not too shabby. I found this article on SparkPeople about the 13 Best Abs Exercises. So I modified my 'strength' routine from Squats/Pushups/Crunches to Crunches/Squats/Bicycle Crunches/Bench Press. I removed pushups because I just suck so bad and don't care enough at the moment to keep trying when my arms just collapse out from under me. I added the bicycle crunches because (if you read the article you'd know by now) it was clinically tested as the best (if by a small margin) abs exercise; and for a while this Spring I was doing the bench press anyway so I know I'm not horrid at that. And it'll work my pecs better than falling on my face.

Sometime in August (if I remember correctly) Brak is doing a green smoothie fast/detox diet. It's part of a whole thing for people with food sensitivities. I don't have any food sensitivites of which I am aware, but my last attempt at something similar left a lot to be desired. I think if we can do it together (....concurrently, at least) then I'll have a better shot at getting through it. And, no, I'm not just trying to use it as an excuse to not exercise. I'll spend the week meditating and yoga-ing. My personal yoga routine is fairly basic and unstrenuous so it shouldn't be a problem. If you'd like help making your own, check out Yoga Journal. Anyway, back to my introductory sentence: I need to find all the parts to a blender or my juicer. -_- And feel free to refer to this post if you're curious about my true motives.

I guess that's all I had to say about that. Today is my 'rest' day so no strength or cardio scheduled. Aside from the scrubbing I'll be doing. And lifting. I've only lost .1lbs (yes, "point one pounds") this past week, but I think as long as I can keep up with the bike next week should be better.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another Dream

I'm going to try to get this out in as much detail as possible, but it's so hot in here and it's already starting to fade.

Again, we all lived in this house, but this house was situated where the one on Carrollton was. Except, I guess, it was a *bit* less inhabited. Aaron and I were at some kind of arcade, or arcade within a movie theater or something. There were a couple of crane games in a sort of hallway. One of them had he box stuffed full and the other one looked promising as well. Aaron handed me a wad of money and went off with someone to do . . . something. I don't remember who the person was (if I even knew them in the dream) and I'm not sure (even in the dream) what they were going to do in such a hurry; but they had to get there in a timely fashion and so I was left to deal with the prize collecting. I wish I'd had a bag or something. I didn't. I sat on the floor and started by pulling the prizes out of the first machine. There was a mis-matched pair of Eeyore and Piglet slippers which I put on my feet. There were some stuffed Wile E. Coyote toys, "Lodge" Barney and a few other stuffed toys as well. I'm not sure what they all were. There was a little girl standing watching me and I gave her a handful of them. There were so many. What interested me was two sets of miniature Christmas lights. Like, really, miniature. Like the kind you put on wreaths. They were themed and really interesting. The first set was still in it's packaging, but the other was loose and I had to wiggle my arm into the machine to grab it all.

I don't remember if Aaron and his friend ever came back, but I had to get home. I was still wearing the slippers when I exited the building, hopped on my broom and took flight. Yes, just like you'd expect, it's nothing new to me in dreams. What is new is that it wasn't the old-fashioned wooden bristled brooms, it was the newer wooden handle with the wide, flat straw bristles. I situated it so the bristles were horizontal so I could use it as sort of a seat. Was a bit akward, but didn't hinder the flight. Didn't lose my slippers either. I got myself up above the trees and headed straight for home.

There was a lot of stuff going on all at once. There was a girl we knew (I don't know where from or why, but she was nice) who had gotten a new car. It was a really neat car. The hood had a mild relief that was a giant cobra head and the headlights were the eyes. It looked pretty sweet. I came around the corner (I guess the house normally situated on the corner lot wasn't there?) and Sandra and dad were sitting in my car. Or, what looked like my car. I told Sandra about the car and the three of us sat around gossiping about something (I forget what) for a little while before I went around to the back of the house (this trailer, remember) to check on the construction. It was coming along really nicely. Except for the fact that the landlord had decided to go with a Smurf theme which hadn't been implemented yet so we were all dreading that little addition. Even the construction workers.

I sat at a picnic bench on the new back porch (really new, it wasn't even sanded yet) and admired the finished work on the kitchen windows. I guess the trailer was situated proper because here the back porch is next to the living room, not the kitchen. Anyway, this is one of those things I dreamt that I wish I could have taken a picture of because the work on the windows was breathtaking. It was rough dark wood, like a log cabin, but it was very delicate. The window frames were plainly sticks, but there was a mosaic of yellow, orange and brown stained glass for the windows and very thin wooden shutters. The roll-up sheet kind, not like venetian blinds. Except being wooden they didn't "roll" up they just "went" up, if that makes sense. I was sitting there admiring the beautiful windows when the guy responsible for them came and sat by me and asked what I thought. He was young, younger than me, I think. And kind of good looking. We weren't together. I was with Aaron and he had a girlfriend, but it was really comfortable and really nice sitting next to him talking. I told him I loved the windows and he did a really good job. We sat and chatted for a little bit before dad called me.

I'm not sure why, but it flashed to him, my mom and myself down near the gas station two blocks down (and one over) on Illinois. I'll try to explain this the best I can, partially because I know this area is somehow significant because I've had several dreams that took place in this area. It doesn't matter if you know it, all you have to do is follow me. We started heading from the gas station back towards the house. There was a truck with some rowdy construction workers (I assume they were working on another project nearby) that zoomed past us. My mom was in her van and my dad and I were following behind us in my car. He was driving, I was in the very back with the hatch (yes, I'm aware I have a trunk and not a hatchback) open holding onto some bar. The truck nearly hit my mom and she honked at him. They started laughing and swerving and took the left then started to take the right and then stopped. My mom went to get around them and they sped back into the road and cut her off and then stopped again. She kept going and made it up to the house. My dad started passing them and I yelled "Assholes!" at them from the back and flipped 'em off. They sped about halfway up the road and pulled over. As we passed them again I saw one of the guys (there were 4) pull a gun (some kind of rifle) from the back of the truck and start making his way up the street.

Here's where things got a bit dodgy. We knew he was heading to the house to "take care" of my mom. Regardless of how many people were milling around the house. So my dad sped up and got ahead of him and blocked him off. The guy doubled back and tried to get around us so I started directing my dad. "BACK BACK BACK" and "FORWARD TO THE LEFT" and "BACK AND TO THE RIGHT" and he followed my directions perfectly but the guy kept dodging the car. Yes, I was trying to hit him. Not kill him, but stop him. Finally, just as his friends had drunkenly made their way up to our end of the street, dad put the car in reverse, jerked the wheel to the left (as per my instructions) and the back bumper hit home. The guy flew back. Like I said, my intention was not to kill him, but stop him. The guy ended up at the far corner across the street from us (which was a tad closer in the dream than it is in real life). My dad rushed to the house (we didn't have cell phones, I assume) and I rushed to the guy. He had a leather jacket, long face and long, dark hair. I rolled him onto his back and started to lightly slap his face to get him to wake up. His friends circled behind me, dumbfounded. When the guy opened his eyes I told him not to move and told him an ambulance and policeman were on their way. He seemed to have come to his senses, couldn't imagine why a policeman was needed, and kept trying to move. I'd gently lay him back down and keep his hair out of his face, again telling him not to move. He seemed okay, just a bit stunned.

And that's where I woke up. Sitting over him with his friends behind me waiting for the ambulance. I think I was aware of my dad making his way back up the street. It was all kind of odd. I think what impressed itself on me is just how much happened in such a short span of time. Now, the rifle he had I've seen something similar. It is on the small side with a really thin barrel and some kind of horizontal thing on the end. I don't know what kind of damage it would do, but it's still a gun and we were still going to stop him. I don't know why he didn't shoot me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Sim #9

I wonder if perhaps my naming this portion of the blog the way I did inadvertantly influenced the contained sims. Joseph and Janey each decided they 'want' another child! I have denied them this. No way, no thank you, nyu-uh. Janey is nurturing, but neither of them is "family oriented" so I dunno what their deal is.

Oh, but I'm getting side-tracked. There is some fabulous news in the Simmelson household. The triplets are now children and fully capable of taking care of themselves! Ah, sims. As long as they're inside by curfew nothing really horrific can happen to the childrens. What's even more amazing is that during the age-up process they were each granted the 'Virtuoso' trait! Sound of Music anyone?

Perhaps not. All of that renovating left Joseph and Janey strapped for cash once again. So, after a celebratory slice of freshly baked key lime pie, Janey re-enlisted in the military.

Interesting, though, what children can get into. Since they didn't have to be watched 24 hours a day they managed to get their hands on some interesting, and familiar, dolls . . . once Janey saw this she had a mild panic attack and quickly took the dolls from the girls and burned them up in the oven. There's something not-quite-right about those dolls . . .

A feeling which was confirmed when she passed Thorn in the kitchen. Poor fella. Talking to air again. She hoped this would not hinder his chances at landing a good job and a decent wife to take care of him.

Turns out she need not have worried so much about him. (or perhaps she need have?) As she went back to military life and Joseph made his way to the office, Thorn ushered the girls onto the school bus. He then assured the bus driver he'd get to school on his bike (he has a bike?!) after he went in to grab something he'd forgotten. Against his better judgement the bus driver shuttled the girls off to their first day of school. Thorn stayed behind and worked feverishly at the chemistry set as Hesper watched from a safe distance on the couch. After five grueling hours he triumphantly presented Hesper with this vial.

He encouraged her to drink it, looking only slightly deranged as he did so. They had been bestest friends since before either of them could remember so she didn't hesitate to try out his latest concoction. Suddenly Hesper's head started to spin and she was overcome with a tingly, bubbly feeling inside.

There was a bright flash of light and once Thorn's eyes adjusted he saw Hesper standing before him. Not the doll-like friend he'd come to love over the years, but the real Hesper! Being imaginary had not afforded her the luxury of being able to open the fridge and eat so the first order of business was to feed her before she starved.

Aren't they so adorable together? Once everybody gets back home Thorn will make all the proper introductions. Hesper, naturally, knows everybody and everything about the household, having been a part of it for so long; but no one else even believes she exists! Yet. And in case you're curious, her traits are: Disciplined, neat, angler and. . . . hot headed. Lovely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Sim #8

Despite a stupid repetitive glitch (which according to the Sims 3 forums is related to travel) time still ticks by in Moonlit Shores. Shortly after the triplets were born Joseph aged up into a proper adult, which was a relief for Janey who assumed it would make him more responsible.

I don't know how much more responsible he could be, already being at Level 8 of the business career, but it was nice to see him pitch in with the girls while Janey got in a few naps.

That Friday was a massive birthday celebration in the Simmelson household. The girls were due to age up that afternoon, but Janey figured she'd get a jumpstart (since her and Thorn's birthdays were also that afternoon) and bought each of the girls a cake to age them up that morning instead. Aren't they adorable?

Janey's birthday was about as lonely and uneventful as Joseph's, but she did manage to pick herself out a new outfit before returning to her motherly duties. Thorn had the benefit of sharing his transition into teenhood with the one girl who's always been there for him.

That weekend was certainly no time off for anybody. Three toddlers is a lot to handle and everybody pitched in with the potty training and teaching Azalea, Lily and Rose to walk and talk. A true family affair.

Not all goals were accomplished, but they did make enough progress that Janey was sure she could handle the rest herself. So come Monday Joseph and Thorn could leave for work and school respectively without worrying about the girls' development. Still . . . I wonder if Joseph would be freaked out if he knew he had company while watching the morning news before work. He didn't seem to sense her at all.

Prom came in the middle of the week this year. Not sure who's bright idea that was, but this was one event that Hesper was not going to miss. Here she is jumping into the limo just before it takes off.

While he was away, and Joseph was on the phone making those ever important inter-office connections, Janey managed to get the last of the teaching done. The Simmelson 3 were now fully capable of walking, talking and using the potty all by themselves! Quite an accomplishment. And a set of tasks I'm very happy to have behind me.

Unbeknownst to me, or anybody else for that matter, Thorn picked up another random trait during his age-up that made the diagnosis of "happy go lucky" rather moot. He is now hot headed, which triggered a lifetime want of being a supervillian and also managed to get him into five fights at prom! These fights "persuaded" the rest of his classmates to vote him prom king. And to top it all off, given his state of insanity, when Thorn struck up a conversation with Hesper while standing for his prom picture, the principle told the photographer to snap it anyway figuring that would be the best they were going to get.

The triplets will be aging up soon and Joseph and Janey were suddenly struck with a problem. There is no way that two bathrooms are going to be enough for six sims. It's barely enough for the three of them. For the moment, at least, the girls are all getting along so the reasonable thing to do seemed to be to expand their bedroom and give them a dorm-style bathroom. Now the "master" bedroom is the dinkiest room in the house (which barely resembles the shack it once was), but at least the children have plenty of space. Even if the girls will have to cut through Thorn's room to get to the playground . . . perhaps a gate would also be a good idea.

I thought I was doing well enough with Thorn, but I didn't get to pick his 4th trait. The girls . . . at least I'm a good enough juggler that they haven't been taken away by social services.

A Sweaty Experiment

I've never claimed to be the brightest crayon in the box, so if you read this and think "you really should have known better", you're probably right. I mighta shoulda known better, but I did learn and that is what's important.

My girl Brak and I have been randomly discussing physical fitness. She's a lot more dedicated (and in way better shape) than I am so when she mentions something that sounds interesting or better than what I'm currently doing, I look into it. That's part one of the set-up explanation. Part two is more of a reminder. I joined Spark People and am still finding it pretty helpful, and the more I learn and get used to the site, the more involved I'm trying to get. I have a hard time with actual nutrition, but I've been doing really good keeping my calories between the recommended 1250-1550 per day. What I'm not doing so good at is getting my calories burned to reach the goal. I can do my minutes, just not doing enough in those minutes.

Are we back? I think we're back. So in her last blog she mentioned a video (on that showed an easier way to do squats. Well, I'm all for easier! So I checked it out, tried it out, and she was right. Much easier. Since it's Wednesday (strength day) I went to sparkpeople and changed up my strength routine to simply crunches, push-ups, and squats. I felt these would target the areas I'm trying to target better than what was on there (that I had been doing) so I'll give it a shot 'til I get bored.

So here's the experimental part. I usually slack off on the warmup and stretch so I made sure I would get that in. I stretched a bit first and then did 10 minutes of walking. After 10 minutes I did one set of my strength routine; stretched again and walked for 20 more minutes. Did my second set just fine (okay, it was hard but I did it!) and thought I'd finish strong (15 minutes) on the bike since I went through the trouble of taking it back outside. This did not go so well. I managed 5 before sliding off and resuming my walking for the last 10 minutes.

Here's the new plan: Walking only on strength days (until I get more strength) and bike first then walk on cardio only days. I used to bike like crazy (as some of you may remember) but since Elvis got really sick and I kinda quit doing it . . . I've had a hard time resuming. So starting off every other day just as much as I can muster and knowing I can finish off my 45 minutes with walking if I have to should help me get back on track.

So, there we have it. Feel free to laugh. I always did wish I had taken physical fitness more seriously in school.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It was only a dream

I only laid down for 2 hours or so, but I just had the longest, strangest, most intense dream I can remember having in quite some time. In fact, it was so strange (and sims has been so glitchy) that I thought I'd take some time to share it with you. As usual I'll try to remember everything as clearly and in order as I can.

The dream started out with us moving into a house. All of us. Aaron, my parents and myself. I think my sister may have also been there, but even with us it seemed like the house had too many rooms. It seemed to switch quickly between day and night. Either that or a lot of the windows had really dark blinds. I had a vague awareness that the house was two floors, plus a basement even though I only spent time on the top floor. I also had a vague awareness of my mom telling me at some point in the past that we were moving into this house, and that it was unusual because a girl had disappeared from the house and we were somehow loosely connected to her or the family. She had bought the house because it was only $12,000.

There was a lot of stuff left in the house. Furniture, clothes, toys. I ended up picking the room the girl had stayed in. This ended up being somewhat of a mistake, I thought, because I couldn't find a closet. There were two beds, but no closet. It was very dark, though, so I tried to turn on the light and the switch was loose. It kept dropping down. Even when I held it full up, though, the light would not come on. I could see the darkened shape of a cieling fan, so I climbed on the bed in the middle of the room and started pulling chains. Nothing happened. Except that a longer chain that was sort of settled up on one of the fan blades fell on my head.

I went to the window and it was indeed blinded. I pulled away the blinds and each of the two windows had fans in them. I pulled one fan away and it collapsed on itself. There was a tree *right* outside of the window and it had a wooden . . . . floor? Like someone was going to build a tree house, but never got around to it. I thought maybe I could climb out onto it, but when I stuck my head out of the window I saw Sandra and a cat in the window of the room next to mine. I also noticed "the dogs" in the yard. One was Elvis, one was Scruffy. There was another dog on the other side of the fence antagonizing them. Elvis just stood there staring at me, but Scruffy kept backing up and throwing himself at the fence trying to get at the other dog. The light outside went quickly from night back to day.

With the blinds open I could see that there was a closet. A pretty big one in fact. It was filled mostly with cobwebs and toys, but there were some clothes hung up. One piece that caught my attention was an old (looking) "southern belle" type of dress. I took it down and started looking for someone to show it to. The house, at least this floor, was set up very strangely. The room across from mine was another bedroom and it had three small beds. Next to that was what looked like a dining room. My dad and a detective were in there. The detective was sitting in a chair, my dad was half curled in his like he was trying to sleep. The detective looked at the dress, looked at me, then said "This chair smells funny" and had me lean over to smell it. Just as I tried the dog (a medium-sized grey pitbull) from the other side of the fence came barging in from what looked like a kitchen. He was growling and tried to bite me! Apparently this dog was also left over by the previous family and came with the house. It did not like me. I grabbed it by it's neck and drag-pushed it through the door and closed it; only to have it return through another door! This happened two more times before I noticed there were six doors in all that led into this room and got all of them closed. I looked at the detective and said, "I don't know why big dogs don't like me" and my dad rolled over and said "It's because you're a liar." WTF?

After that I ended up in a different house. It was much nicer and had a very fancy kitchen. For some reason I was helping Piers Morgan "fix" a Big Mac. He had the Big Mac, but there was something wrong with it and he was trying to heat it up on one of the fancy burners, but it came apart. I ended up making him two burger piles and somehow ended up with melted cheese all over the floor. I was trying to mop up the cheese when I caught my reflection in the patio door and realized I'd gotten quite fat again. I was about to start crying when my dad got a call on his phone from *somebody* saying they needed a key and I had to go to the "something Armory". I forget what the first word was. I knew the person and knew the place, so I went off in search of the key but never quite made it down the street.

There you have it. I think there was a bit more with Piers, but if there was, I forget. I kinda remember sitting on a porch with him and a couple of other people before he went inside to "fix" his food.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Extra Sim-y Content

In the interest of filling you in on this little imaginary friend without breaking up the continuity of the story too badly, here are a couple of videos for you to enjoy. Hopefully. They're a bit grainy. In the first one you can see the difference between Thorn's imaginary friend, and what happens when Thorn falls asleep and his imagination is otherwise occupied. Also happens when he goes to school.

In this video Thorn is see-sawing with Hesper (duh) and I'm switching the active sim from Thorn to Janey.

And as a sad little tribute, the final video of Theta that I forgot I had taken. It was intended to show off her walking with the cane. I apologize for not putting the walls back up for it.

There. Hopefully that'll make up for the awfully uninspired story I've been trying to throw at you. I'm still a bit sad over losing Theta and Cleo so prematurely. :(

Family Sim #7

School has just started and while he's met a few other children, Thorn is having a hard time fitting in. Then, it is only the beginning and lots of us don't fit in off the bat. I'm sure he just needs to get to know his classmates a little better. Though, it would help if Janey could convince him to not wear his swim trunks to school . . .

Between his genius and insantiy Thorn can keep himself occupied, with or without friends. What parent wouldn't want that. Well . . . most parents wouldn't leave their chemistry set out in the open where children can reach it, none that I know anyway. He seems to be doing alright, though. I wonder what he's up to?

After making a stink bomb (and getting a little cocky about it) Thorn ended up exploding his next creation. I guess even genius falters from time to time. The downside to having such a realistic imaginary friend is that sometimes it walks in on you when you're trying to take a shower and you don't quite get that singe off before collapsing into bed.

I swear, sim gestation gets shorter and shorter. It's already time for the Simmelsons to greet the newest addition to their family! Janey is a bit skeptical about hospital births after the way Thorn turned out and figures she could do better at home. By herself. "No sweat" she says and tells Joseph to go ahead and help Thorn with his homework. I think perhaps somebody should've gone into another room.

Turns out, she was right. It was a perfectly smooth birth. And it was a good thing she was at home otherwise there wouldn't have been enough hands available to carry all these babies!

Joseph and Janey Simmelson are now the proud (if a bit astonished) parents of triplet girls!! :D I'm guessing blue is a recessive skin tone. Anyway, from left to right is Azalea, Lily and Rose. All perfectly healthy. I was going to write down their traits, but I forgot. I'll get those to you next time. As it was getting them all off the floor, fed and into their cribs was a bit of a juggling act. Good thing Joseph was promoted to CEO (his lifetime wish fulfilled) and makes almost 2000simoleons a day. All those mouths to feed . . . .

Family Sim #6

Thorn's little friend has not become any less of an integral part of his life. And his parents are both so busy they pay her no mind. Early testing alerted them to Thorn's insanity and since they've yet to see any indication of this affliction, they do not believe Hesper to be any harm. In fact, perhaps her constant presence is actually helping keep him more focused.

This is especially important this week as Janey's maternity leave is over and it's time for her to return to work. They're unsure how Thorn is going to react to being left alone with a stranger, but with their financial situation still incredibly unstable they see little choice but to head to work and hope for the best.

That first day was not too terrible. Jaimmee was a fantastic babysitter and even kept Hesper involved in playtime. Quite a relief. For Joseph because he was flat out exhausted. A long day of meetings earned him a promotion to Division Manager; and a stroke of luck at the Bistro rocketed him right into the Vice President position. All he did was join in a round of "Happy Birthday" not even realizing the celebration was for his boss's friend! (I really should make more "ambitious" sims) He came home and passed right out. For Janey because she's struggling with refinding her groove after so much time away. Her superior officer gave her a pile of papers to sort through and she was appreciative of Hesper's ability to keep Thorn calm and occupied while she piled over her stack of classified information.

Over the coming days Hesper's even guided Thorn to his other, skill building, toys. This one promotes logic. Is she really being helpful, or is there some other motive at work here?

I'm not sure what's going on here, or if it's more disturbing because Thorn was on the verge of aging up . . .

Now, Joseph and Janey are very loving parents. And they feel guilty having to be away so often. But perhaps they went a little overboard with the gift giving on this particular birthday. Thorn not only has his own room, but his own playground complete with sandbox, see-saw, rocky horse, and club house (not to mention the hopscotch board built into his bedroom floor). And when Thorn insisted on having a big boy bunk bed to share with Hesper . . . well, they certainly weren't going to deny him that, either. They were starting to save up a little nest egg, but this massive splurge sent them right back down to a little over 200simoleons. And right before the weekend, too.

Uhm . . . granted a lot of kids have imaginary friends. It's really no big deal, right? But . . . uhm . . . this one seems to be tottering on the real side of "imaginary", doesn't it?

And even though we can plainly see Thorn getting to know his good friend Hesper, his parents see this:

Well, he is insane and it was bound to manifest eventually. School is starting soon and so they hope that making real friends will help. Perhaps they'd be more worried if Janey weren't expecting again!

At least they still get to spend a few meals together as a family. Even if Hesper is still coming along for the ride . . .

Sunday they recieved a special post notifying them of their obligation to have Thorn tested for any aggressive psychological ticks of which the school should be made aware. Despite this unusual display , the psychologist assured them that their little boy was more the happy-go-lucky type of looney.

Not only that, they were informed that their son is also a genius! Oh my. An exciteable, insane genius. Sounds like a handful. Perhaps that's the explanation for his overly active imagination?