How to Not Make Friends and Influence People

fri_wand

Related to the last post, I was thinking just today about a social faux pas I committed some 17 years ago (almost).  (See, I told you I obsess over stupid crap.)  One day, in a writing class in college, my seatmate and I were supposed to discuss… well, I don’t remember what anymore.  It may have been something as inane as “get to know your neighbor”, which was pointless since the class hardly had any collaborative opportunities.  I was holding my day planner in my hand and I accidentally tapped it on my classmate’s knee.  He recoiled like I hit him with a hot poker.  I apologized immediately, but he still acted repulsed.

 

Normally, per my new strategy, I would have just put this memory out of mind, but it got me thinking about how some people just Do. Not. Like. You.  They’ll never like you.  They’re constitutionally incapable of liking you regardless of how you behave.  They’ll treat a minor faux pas as though you just murdered their favorite pet.  I can’t claim that I always react to social awkwardness in the best possible way, but, assuming I don’t think the other person is The Worst Person in the World, I’ll almost always seek to disarm a socially charged situation.  But then I also know how it feels, and I want to be liked.

 

As a somewhat more experienced adult, I’ve finally started to grasp the fact that there are people out there who simply can’t be pleased (at least by me), and, man, do I wish I’d learned that lesson 17 years ago.  Probably most of my regrets stem from caring too much about what other people think of me, particularly every time I failed to advocate for my own self-interest.  Maybe I’ll convince myself that those things “didn’t happen”.

Letting Go

judas

I’ve been working on a new tactic lately to stop obsessing over mistakes I’ve made in the past.  These mistakes can be as profound as significant failures to minor awkward moments that a normal person would have forgotten about by now.  My new tactic when I find myself dwelling on something ridiculous or profound is to tell myself it never happened.

 

Of course, it did happen, and, particularly when it was a major mistake, it’s something I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life, but something about this exercise seems to work.  It definitely shuts that self-destructive thought process down.  Not being able to live down past mistakes has been linked to depression.  Depressed people can’t stop obsessing over past mistakes, and there’s something about depression itself that causes them to relive those mistakes over and over; depression somehow breaks down the mental wall that helps healthy people leave their mistakes in the past.

 

I’d like to think that this new exercise will only have positive results, but I guess it remains to be seen.

Believe it or not, I am usually right

“Requested” takes a direct object?  I.e.  “I requested them to join me for dinner”?  According to the dictionary, that is appropriate usage, but damn if that doesn’t *sound* wrong.  To me, it would make more sense as “I requested that they join me for dinner”, or some variation thereof.

 

The more I learn by correcting grammar at work.

The Sims 3 Fire Meter

This week I decided to experiment with demonstrating what a pain in the ass the fire meter in the Sims 3 console is.

I started by moving Danielle, her husband, and her son out of the huge mansion I had eventually set them, Roman, his wife, and their son up in.  I chose a large lot, but put a relatively small house on it.  It’s smaller than the Vanger house and has two main stories and a small attic.

As you can see, construction of the house alone, with no furniture or decorations beyond doors, windows, and wall and floor coverings, filled the fire meter more than halfway.

And here’s what I managed to put in the thing before the fire meter maxed out.

In the attic office:

Three lamps, two desks, two chairs, two computers, one bookcase, and two paintings.

In two of the bedrooms:

Four lamps, two beds, four bedside tables, two dressers, one desk, one chair, one computer, two mirrors, two works of art.

In a bedroom and bathroom:

Four lamps, one bathtub, one sink, one toilet, one mirror, one medicine cabinet, two towel racks, one toilet paper holder, one dresser, one mirror, one bed, two end tables, one work of art.

Same deal for another bed/bath:

For the dining room:

Two lamps, one table, eight chairs, one buffet table, one work of art.

For the kitchen:

For once I went with overhead cabinets, a luxury I never afforded my Sims when they had a garden and a full refrigerator.  Also, two lamps, five countertops, fridge, oven, dishwasher, trash compactor, Cuisinart, microwave, espresso maker, one work of art, a paper towel holder, a utensil holder, and a row of containers.

For the living room:

Three lamps, TV, bookcase, virtual reality helmet, video game console, stereo, two chairs, couch, coffee table, juice bar, two bar stools, one work of art.

For the gym:

Two lamps, two pieces of equipment.

For the deck:

A foosball table, two deck chairs, a table, an umbrella, four chairs, a telescope.

For the pool area:

Four pool lights, two ladders, a mosaic at the bottom of the pool, two deck chairs, a table with umbrella and four chairs, two countertops, barbecue.

I wanted to have a row of hedges around the house, but had to settle for a few plants placed here and there including three trees.

I also forgot to take photos of the garage, which contained two cars and a teleporter; the downstairs bathroom, which was identical to the two upstairs, and the hobby room, which contained two lamps, an easel, a chess table with two chairs, and a work of art.  Additionally, I put a bunch of lighting on the outside of the house for the benefit of being able to see what’s going on during actual game play.

This time around, I would call the decorations adequate.  I still wasn’t able to supply the house with even just one indoor plant, and, if my Sims generate a lifetime wish like the perfect garden, master chef, or the perfect aquarium, I would be completely hosed.  Normally, I would never, ever, let the fire meter max out, because that would mean my Sims could never have a garden, could never have a refrigerator full of food, and could never have 13 fishbowls with the tables to hold them.

Then there’s the matter of my designing the house for four Sims. Two more bedrooms would mean far less decoration in the rest of the house.

I started out with 1.6 simoleons when building this thing.  I deliberately chose the most expensive materials and furniture.  By the end of construction, I had 900,000 left, which will never, ever get spent, thanks to that stupid fire meter.

In short, there’s really no reason to play Sims on console, and the fire meter is the main reason why.

Review of Sims 3 on Xbox

Now that I’ve switched over to the PC version of The Sims, I figure it’s time to praise or trash the game on console; I think I’ll do a little bit of both.

 

Among the things I liked:  It’s ease of use.  There are various frustrating things about the setup, but there are relatively few glitches in the program, it runs fast, and build/buy mode is easier to use than on PC.  PC can be ridiculously twitchy.  Just the other day, I was trying to move some furniture around, and the slightest overcompensation of my mouse would send the item flying to the other side of the lot.  Very annoying.

Another fun thing is being able to play ghosts for several days after the Sim dies, and sometimes for much longer, but this benefit does have its drawbacks.

 

Among the things I disliked:  There are no expansions and no opportunity for mods.  These two issues are specific to console, so I won’t fault EA for it, but it ultimately was a deal breaker for me.

Also, you can only have a maximum of six household Sims unlike PC’s eight.  There’s much less diversity of NPCs; I swear I jump every time I see a Randy clone. Sims you kick out of the house are completely deleted, meaning there’s no point in your Sims having more than one baby; unless you like murdering Sims, you heartless bastard.  The entire household has to move just to delete one Sim.  The town is divided into separate neighborhoods so you can’t keep an eye on Sims throughout their day.  That fire meter is the bane of my existence.

The town being divided into neighborhoods means that you can’t have Sims off in different parts of town fishing, hanging out with friends, or busking in a park.  If a Sim goes into another neighborhood, you have to leave all the other Sims behind, at which point they stop doing whatever it is you told them to do.  Want your child Sim to do his homework while his parents are on a date?  Sorry, won’t happen.  When you “get back” to the house, various things will be in a state of disarray; the baby will be on the grass outside the house, multiple dirty dishes will litter the kitchen, and no one will have gotten any sleep if you, for example, send a Sim to the graveyard to fish for deathfish during the night.  On console, your Sims will never leave the house except to go to school or work or unless the house is full of boring elders.

The fire meter is easily the most frustrating thing with the least justification for it.  I understand that the game needs to run smoothly, and packing a house full of stuff would interfere with that, but there’s a reason why all my console houses were so sparsely decorated, because I didn’t have any other choice.  Just having a garden is enough to pack the household so full, there’s no room for art or adequate furniture, let alone fun Sim gadgets like the virtual reality helmet and the teleporter.  Essentially, there’s no point in maintaining a legacy on Xbox, because, once they’re rich, you can’t spend their money.

Also, regarding the drawbacks to having playable ghosts, once your Sim goes to the netherworld, they’re never coming back; unlike the PC game where ghosts will visit the lot during the night.  You also don’t get gravestones for your deceased Sims, so you’ll never be able to have a graveyard for your legacy.

That brings me to another frustrating thing about The Sims on console.  The console gives the player hints and tips that apply to the PC game and not the console game.  To wit, the game specifically tells you that ghosts may visit the lot in the future.  It also says that your Sims’ novels will appear in the community library.  Through five Schreiber legacies, which consisted of two prolific authors and experienced at least ten deaths, I haven’t seen either even once.

This can only be a massive oversight on the part of EA to differentiate between the PC and console games.  What a pathetic fail on EA’s part.

 

I’d recommend this game for kids, although more likely Sims Pets, since it has more options for gameplay, but not really for adults, teens, or anyone reasonably comfortable fixing the PC game when (not if; when) it gets jacked up.

Giving In

I’ve finally conceded that I need a Sims blog separate from my “real” blog.  Among other things, I hope this will force me to blog on subjects other than the antics of my digital people.

 

Therefore, I have created a Sims legacy blog The Schreiber Legacy.  This is actually good timing as I’m at the point of switching to a new format (PC vs. console) and starting a legacy challenge.

 

Now I just need to publish everything again.  Crap.

Twenty-Second Sims Thursday

Same old, same old in Moonlight Bay.

Roman has nearly maxed out his logic, which will fulfill his lifetime wish.

John, whom I really want to die at this point, had a wish to visit the graveyard.  Since there’s nothing else to do with him, why not?  I’ve also heard it mentioned that visiting the catacombs runs the risk of untimely death.

Damn!

I figured, since he has to die sometime, he might as well hold an autograph session.

It was a resounding success.

In no time, Danielle aged up into adulthood.

Since she was determined to be an astronaut, I chose the trait handiness to further her career.

The party continued.

Randy chatted with his son again.

Erika did her homework.

And I made sure she introduced herself to her father.  I suppose his hatred of children doesn’t extend to teenagers.

The next day, I had Danielle sign up for the military career track and got her started on her handiness straightaway.

Erika, the bookworm, started her first novel.

Randy had a wish to play a game with his coworker Meagan Marcus.

When they were done, she went into the exercise room and started dancing.

The next morning, on Sunday, Danielle and John generated wishes to go swimming.

And they held a breath contest.

Erika, meanwhile, had a wish to visit the art gallery.  Since most everyone was being boring, I followed her there.

She was really psyched to look at the art.

But she thought that statue was just meh.

Since no one was at the art gallery, she painted a bit.

A protest was going on outside city hall.  Those Sims really don’t care for llamas.

Then I sent Erika to the library to read a charisma book.

Marion Garnett?  Could he be one of Karen’s kids?

Ack!  Creepy stalker.

When Erika got back, I checked on the other Sims to see what they were up to.

Danielle was standing over the toilet with the action “dispose”.

Jackie?  Noooooo!  I’m sorry, Jackie, we should have taken better care of you.

The certificate hallway is now officially all full up.

Randy, at this point, is in his 100s.  He’s been alive for six Schreiber generations.  So, look at the gardening opportunity he just got.

Thanks, game, for taking so damn long.

I declined it.  Omniplant seeds are irrelevant at this point.

Jody Godfrey is trying to remember… something.

Danielle’s career is coming along swimmingly.  She gets promoted with stunning regularity, even though she gets stressed out pretty easily; must be her excitable trait.

I sure do love a Sim in uniform.

I got a pop-up saying that Bert Kraft didn’t have much time left.  Since it was Kirsten’s day off, she invited him over.

I had Erika do her homework and take a bath after school.  Just as I had her geared up to go over and talk to her father one last time, this happened.

So much for that.

The Schreibers had managed to clog the toilet while Danielle and Randy were at work and Roman was sleeping after a long night of hacking.  For once, I had them call a repairman.

The repairman showed up and started working on a laptop.

Had a freakout.

And then worked on another laptop.

He fixed the toilet and then left, leaving the two laptops in the dining room.

Score!

Once Kirsten became an elder, she started generating cooking-related wishes.  First, she wanted to cook three dishes perfectly.  Once she did that, she wanted to learn all recipes.  Since her cooking level wasn’t maxed out yet, I had her get to work.  She made autumn salad, flame fruit pancakes, waffles, fruit parfait, eggs Machivellian, key lime pie, peanut butter and jelly, french toast, life fruit cobbler, dim sum, cookies, cheesesteak, hamburger, ratatouille, grilled cheese, grilled salmon, tri-tip steak, stuffed turkey, and mac and cheese.  Only then did she finally max out cooking.  I sat her down to read the recipes for angel food cake and ambrosia.

She then wanted to cook five dishes perfectly.

I had put her to work doing that, when this happened.

What the hell?  She’s only 90.  John, meanwhile, is 112, and Randy is 117.  I’ve been tapping my foot waiting for them to die.

Oh well, fine.

After taking her soul, Grim booed Kirsten.  Whatever, dude.

Grim was going to read The Noble History of Socks when Kirsten interrupted him to chat.

He then sat down to watch a little TV.

That night, Bert came out to play.

Literally.

I figured a little ghost-on-ghost action was in order.

But Bert wasn’t in the mood.

He wandered off and took a nap on Roman’s bed.

A few nights later, death took Randy.

Finally!

Randy is one of my favorite Sims, but it was getting on my nerves how long he was sticking around.  He was 121 days old, 21 days older than the first time he died.

Begging?  Are you kidding me, Randy?  Have you gotten too used to being alive?

Afterwards, Grim checked himself out in the mirror and used the toilet.

And thought about being couch potato.

Oh crap, they’re on to me!

I was determined to make all my alive Sims best friends.  At Erika’s birthday party, I had them do just that, while Randy’s ghost kept the guests entertained.  Randy is best friends with everybody already.

Kirsten was taking a bath when she suddenly went to the netherworld.  She won’t see her daughter age up.

Birthday!

Erika isn’t incredibly skinny, but I’m fine with that outcome.  I gave her the final trait, childish.

A clusterfuck of Sims.

The next day, I had Erika join the journalism career track, to fulfill her lifetime wish of becoming a star news anchor.

Then, Roman aged into an elder.

After he aged up, I wanted Erika and Danielle to talk a bit more.  I set them to do that, when Erika started walking out the front door.  What?

Oh, I see. Danielle magically appeared on top of the swimming pool.  I guess she must be the second coming.

Randy was working at the computer when he had a sudden desire to go to the netherworld.

Bye, Randy.  Thanks for all the fish.

John got a call while he was swimming.  Chatting on the phone and swimming at the same time?  Impressive.

I sent John off to do what I hoped would be his last autograph session.

Three Sims cheered simultaneously as he was giving someone else an autograph.

Wow, Mendy is still alive.

Danielle had a wish to hang out with her coworker (or is he her boss?) Everett Nolan.

And more.

Much more.

Much much more.

He’s married, Danielle.  I expected better from you.

Teehee

Being thoroughly fed up with John’s continued existence, I decided to be a meanie.

First, the fireball karma power.

While this was going on, it occurred to me that I really shouldn’t be stressing Danielle out like this while she’s pregnant.  I sent her to the salon.

Then, a haunting.

Prepare to be scared, Roman.

Uh oh.

John passed out.

And pissed himself.

He was also hungry, but I made him go to work without eating or taking a shower.

I don’t know if my shenanigans had any impact, but that night John finally passed away.  He was 123 days old.

John was one of my favorites.  Who wouldn’t love their daredevil gay uncle?  But I was glad to see him go.  It is possible to live too long.

C’mon, John, you’re better than this.

He finished his bath, and then I sent him to the netherworld.

The house is getting mighty empty.

Roman and Grim bonded over being couch potatoes.

I couldn’t resist, one more fireball power.

With the house so empty and quiet, Erika decided to take a new journalism job in Sunset Valley.

Her cousins threw a going away party for her.

Danielle tried to tell Everett about the pregnancy.  He was not pleased.

He then saw every attempt by Danielle to flirt with him as awkward.

Since she’s a good Sim, her only option for being mean to him was to tell him she just wanted to be friends.

He didn’t take that well either.

I'm sorry, Danielle.

The party wound down, and it was near time for Erika to go.

Just one more slice of pizza.

With just 16,000 simoleons in her pocket, and her beloved Paddington in hand, she drove away.

Not wanting to be alone in such a huge house, Roman and Danielle downsized.  They found a lovely rustic home next to the waterfall.

And life continues.

Twenty-First Sims Thursday

After his formal party, John had a wish to become good friends with Malik.

Hello!

I sent Roman out of the house to eat at the bistro to avoid the same problems from last time.

Aww, yeah.

That makes me feel better.  I felt bad that John didn’t have anyone to spend his golden years with.

That evening, it was time for Danielle to age into a teen.

I had John invite all of Kirsten’s ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends.  No drama ensued.  *sad face*

Before Roman got home, I made sure that John asked Malik to go steady.  Hopefully, that’ll cancel out Roman’s belief that John is cheating on zombie Sri.

Birthday!

The game assigned Danielle the good trait, which is a little boring, but I think it suits her.

Danielle and Roman had almost simultaneous wishes to become friends with each other.

I never noticed this before.  When good Sims donate money to charity, they have a little halo over their heads.

Say dragon.

Say Grim Reaper.

Police cruiser.

Maybe they sound similar in Simlish.

For a while, I thought John’s elder work outfit was unusually non-passive aggressive.  Until I noticed the shoes.

I liked the hat hairstyle for Danielle, and I was glad it didn’t stay in place for her sleeping wear or her pixelated nakedness.  But it does stick around when she wears her athletic clothes.  I really wish I could choose different hairstyles for different occasions.

Malik stuck around the house for quite a while, and he and John spent quite a lot of time together.  But it wasn’t meant to last.

Poor John.

Grim stuck around afterwards; Roman chatted to him for a bit.  No insults were exchanged.

Grim even complimented the Schreibers’ house.

Alas, it was time for Kirsten to age into an elder.  I achieved three of the four things I intended for her.  She achieved her lifetime wish of becoming the leader of the free world.  She broke the hearts of more than ten Sims.  She had a baby.  But I never managed to get her in shape for perpetuity.  She’s doomed to yo-yo dieting.

Anyway, she got to know Kyle Kane.

And Jamil Kraft.

Birthday!

I decided the beehive was a good look for her.

And I decided she needed some companionship.  She flirted with Bert Kraft.

Anthony Flint, who crashed the party, was not pleased.

Not pleased at all.

Hey!  Jerkface!

Kirsten yelled at him and slapped him, and I also queued up “fight”, but the coward ran off before she could lay the hurt on him.

At least he thinks it was a good party.

John and Roman got to chatting at one point.  When I came back to check on them, to my great surprise, Roman had asked John to train him.

A couch potato wants to be trained?

Sim training is pretty funny.  The trainer yells at the trainee non-stop.

Danielle sat down to do her homework all on her own.

Aside from working on her athleticism, Danielle has had multiple wishes to use the telescope and discover a star.  She was trying to do the latter one night when she generated a lifetime wish to be an astronaut.  Her great-great-uncle Michael already achieved that.  I canceled the wish.

A while later, she generated the wish again.

Oh, all right.  Maybe I’ll buy some new appliances so she can work on her handiness as well.

Kirsten tried to woo-hoo with Bert.

Damn elders.  Always getting stuck outside when it’s time to get down to business.

After woo-hooing, Bert got up for a bit.  Then he decided to sleep in John’s bed.

Awww.

Don’t you just love the big dipper?

Double birthday time!

Oops, I forgot to change Randy out of his pajamas.

Having gotten over Malik, John put the moves on Anthony Flint.

Which were appreciated.

Birthday!

Roman maxed out his handiness, just in time to upgrade almost all of the Schreibers’ plumbing and appliances.  He’s already at level eight of logic.  And he makes a ton of money from hacking almost every night, probably more than Kirsten makes as leader of the free world.  Now I just need to get him laid.

As it happens, after he aged up, he chatted with Holly Brennan for a bit.  And he came up with a wish to kiss her for the first time.

I think we’ve found a candidate.

Another birthday!

I assigned Erika the bookworm trait.  Judging from her double chin, it looks like she’s going to have weight troubles just like her mother.  I had her start exercising almost right away.  I think I’m going to experiment with having her exercise every day as a child and teenager.

Randy had an intimate moment with Jaclyn.

And more.

Then Jaclyn decided to sleep in John’s bed.  He wasn’t in bed yet, and I knew he wasn’t going to willingly get into bed with her.  So I bought a second bed for him just for that night.

Like I said, Sims are stupid.

I always wanted a canopy bed as a kid.

John invited Anthony over the next day before work.

I got them up to extremely irresistible, then John suggested that they woo-hoo.  Anthony bumped him down to very alluring, but strangely woo-hooed with John anyway.  I’ve never seen that before.  Getting bumped down to very alluring has always resulted in woo-hoo being rejected.

But you won’t hear me complaining.  John should have some fun.

Anthony came downstairs to watch TV.  Kirsten insulted him, slapped him, and beat the stuffing out of him.

That’s better.

And told him to leave.

That evening, after work, Roman invited Holly Brennan over.

She didn’t mind his flirting.

Not one bit.

Aww, yeah.

Good grief.

Whee!

Already, Erika’s exercise seems to be slimming her down.  I also don’t let her eat anything other than autumn salad, although I’m not sure if that really makes a difference.

John needed to improve his relationship with his coworker to improve his work performance.  He invited Ronald Holmes over one evening.

I also had Randy invite Jaclyn Kraft over, figuring he could massage her aching back, but she called right back and said something came up.  Very shortly thereafter, Randy became a father for the eighth (?) time.  Welcome to the world, little Nellie Kraft!

After John went to bed, the coworker stood outside the Schreiber house, playing guitar for hours.  Since he apparently wouldn’t go away, I had John continue to improve their relationship the next morning.

Uh oh.

Whoops.

And now he's tired.

And Ronald continued talking to John as though nothing had happened.

Once John was done with him, the coworker went to the patio table and sat down, apparently expecting food to just materialize in front of him.  And then he finally went home.

Soon enough, it was time for Erika to age up.

Danielle and Erika did their homework together.

Erika, as a loner, doesn’t care for crowds.

She prefers to play in her room alone.

Birthday!

Much skinnier than I expected.  The exercise must’ve done the trick.  I think now I’ll let Erika have a break and only work out every other day on average.

Twentieth Sims Thursday

Thank you, Roland.  Now make sure that actually winds up in the trash compactor.

Roman had a wish to become friends with Karim, and John still wanted to become good friends with Bert.

And Randy’s newest child was born.  Welcome to the world, Jamil Kraft.

That night, the ghost came out to play.

She’s not too thrilled with John, it seems.

But Victoria still thinks highly of Kirsten, despite dying at her fundraiser.

This is how Roman reacted to seeing a ghost in the house.

She took a nap on her grandfather’s bed.

And then disappeared.

It came time for Kirsten to break up with Rene.  Since she achieved her lifetime wish, I want her to break her last heart and then have a baby.  But Rene kept refusing to come over.  He told her to call back hours later.  He said he would come over and then didn’t show up.  He finally came over and then disappeared as soon as he got to the front door.  When Kirsten called him again, he admonished her for calling him too late.

That’s it.  The jerk’s got to go.

I got Kirsten up early the next morning and then sent her over to the Godfrey house before work.

Jody and Rene were playing guitar outside their house, as they do.

Bye, Rene.  Not sorry to see you go either.

Rene thought Kirsten was “behaving inappropriately” and started to come over to tell her to leave.

Too late.  See ya, sucker!

This is what I was greeted with when I got back to the Schreiber abode.

Might as well have dad come outside to teach the little one how to talk.

John persistently had negative emoticons in regard to his coworker relationships.  I checked his relationship meters and he strongly disliked his coworker Maria Henning (one of Kirsten’s ex-girlfriends).  I had him invite her over to heal the rift.

That afternoon, Kirsten invited over victim number ten, Kristopher Grady.

I felt bad about this one too, but Kristopher is a grump, so not a good baby daddy candidate.

 

Damn you, Roland!

Well, maybe you can still be good for something.

Kirsten invited him over for baby making.  When it came time to do the deed, “try for baby” wasn’t coming up.  I had them go through with it anyway, hoping that the option would come up once they got into bed.

Nope.

I unfortunately jumped the gun and had Kirsten go steady with Roland.  Now she’s broken eleven hearts.

Buh bye.

Up next, Anthony Flint.

Still no “try for baby”.

I think I’m piecing this together, and it explains The Immortal Holly Brennan and why Jason couldn’t make babies with her.  I’m assuming that the service NPCs (mail carriers, maids, firefighters, cops) aren’t included in story progression for some reason.  They don’t age or die and they can’t have babies off lot or impregnate playable Sims.

Annoying.

Kirsten’s list of young, non-heartbroken male Sims is getting short.  Time to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Bring in the child hater.

Ding-a-ling!  Finally.

Soon enough, it was time for Danielle to age up.

John continued to use his considerable charms on Rob Jolly.

Roman kept the other Sims busy.

I unfortunately failed to monitor Danielle’s stats during the party, so she wound up being woefully fatigued when it came time to blow out the candles.

Sorry, Danielle.

What a lovely young lady.

Since Rob Jolly was invited to the party, a new maid substituted.

Motherfucker!

I tried to get Randy to fire Irving Cowart on the spot, but the coward ran off, not letting any of my Sims interact with him.

Roman pulled an all-nighter, hacking and tinkering.  He’s just about maxed out his handiness, but he has a lot of work left to max out logic.

Coffee is helpful.

Danielle’s childhood is going along swimmingly.  She doesn’t really have many skills to work on, so she’s been focusing on becoming friends with her relatives and playing, as kids should.

Kirsten went into labor all alone in her bedroom.

Interestingly, she had no desire to go to the hospital, maybe because she was alone?

Meet Erika Schreiber.  She’s artistic and a loner like her grandfather.

John had a wish to throw six great parties, so I had him throw another pool party just because.  I also wanted Kirsten to fulfill her wish to prepare a home-cooked meal for a party and to get her some more campaign cash.

I invited a bunch of Sims they didn’t know that well, which made for slim pickings.

I guess that’s why one of the guests turned out to be the Schreibers’ mail carrier.  Oops.

Dance, everybody!

Kirsten made hot dogs.

Kirsten called everyone to the meal.  Two Sims managed to grab some dogs, when suddenly they disappeared.  That asshole maid, Irving Cowart, grabbed them and put them in the fridge.

That’s it.  Last damn straw.  No more maid service, period.

Once she ate, Kirsten got the guests dancing again.  Crisis averted.

John’s getting to know his grandniece.

Another party just because.

John put the moves on Rob Jolly, which weren’t rejected, but I couldn’t get Rob past “flirty”.  Oh well, wasn’t meant to be I guess.

Roman was asleep upstairs.  His father flirting with a man who wasn’t Roman’s father was apparently enough to damage John and Roman’s relationship.  Even though Roman wasn’t in the same room.  Or even awake!

Get over it, Roman.  Sri has been dead for ages, and you barely knew him.

Kirsten got to know Malik Grace and got a hefty donation out of him.

Shayla Beckwith isn’t happy with Kirsten at the moment.  She’s not an ex-girlfriend, so I’m not sure what’s going on.  Maybe she’s Malik’s main squeeze?

Later that evening, Randy and Danielle made friends.

John tutored Danielle for school.

And John and Roman became best buds again.

After an uneventful infancy, Erika aged up.

No one likes a crying baby.

Birthday!

After aging up, Erika was ignored.  It was left up to her to crawl over to the TV for a little entertainment.

I again had John throw a party just cause.  A formal one.

Randy’s newest offspring, Jamil, attended.

Kirsten had a leftover pregnancy wish to eat spaghetti.  She made some for the entire group.

Roman is getting near mature adulthood, but he still hasn’t had any romantic diversions, being a night owl isn’t helping.  Neither is the fact that Bree aged into an elder shortly after he aged into a young adult.

I had him get to know Lorraine Henning at the party.

Just put the baby to bed!  Put the baby to bed, damn you!

Sims are so stupid.