Helen

All posts tagged Helen

I woke up at dusk and headed downstairs.

“Hello, sleepyhead,” Mama said.

“Mom!” I said. “I’m undead! Treat me with dignity!”

“Oh, is being undead dignified? You should have told that to your father.”

I looked around. The kitchen was empty except for me and Mom.

“Oh, they’re about,” Mom said, and she proceeded to tell me.

Justin was brown-nosing his teacher by running errands outside of class.

JustinPermissionSlips

Irene said she had to do some research for a book report.

A book she really, really hated.

Helen was admiring herself.

Before I could get Mom to stop the family gossip, the phone rang. Not a moment too soon!

It was Linn Valstrom. Why was she calling me?

Oh, right…. she’s my girlfriend.

“Hey Frankie!” she cooed on the other end of the line. “I haven’t seen you in ages! We should totally get together tonight!”

Frankie?

“I was planning to write poetry tonight,” I admitted, “but it could be fun to go out on a date. What did you have in mind?”

“I’ll meet you at the bowling alley in half an hour,” Linn said and hung up.

Bowling? That’s not really my style, or really any style at all, but I guess it was decided.

While I was standing outside the bowling alley, thinking about how the wall decorations are such a joke, Linn came up behind me.

“Frankie! I’ve missed you so much!” She cried. “You are the sun that lights up my life.”

“That’s a pretty flawed analogy,” I said. “I can’t even go out in the sun. I burn up, remember? Perhaps I can be the clouds that block out your sun.”

“Hmm,” Linn said. “That doesn’t have the same ring to it.

So we went inside to bowl for a while.

This place makes my eyes hurt. It’s filled with tasteless patterns that clash with other tasteless patterns. Pings and beeps and buzzes. Dim lights with bright flashes. This place needs to pick a theme and stick to it.

In spite of the artistic disaster, it turns out that I am brilliant at bowling.

“One pin left!” I shouted to Linn. “Beat that.”

“All, right!” she cried. “Did that!”

Meanwhile, Mom was having a romantic adventure of her own.

Magnus Mango asked her out on a date.

I guess she’s over my dad and ready to move on. If I were in her place, I would still be pining away in grief, but I guess I can’t judge. She doesn’t have the same appreciation of the beautiful darkness of despair that Dad and I do.

They met in the forest at dusk. Apparently, there was some real chemistry between Mom and Magnus.

ErinMagnushot

But just as things were starting to get good, he had the uncontrollable urge to go rob a grocery store or something.

Mom knows how to pick them.

At least she had a chance to catch up on her reading. In the woods alone. In the dark.

While she was gone, Gideon realized that he had been eating dinner for hours, and he was exhausted.

So he went to get another bite to eat.

I think he needs to review the correct procedure to deal with sleepiness.

“I think I have humiliated you enough at bowling,” Linn said. “Do you have any other ideas for the evening?”

I took her into my arms. “Of course!” I said. “The evening’s just getting started.”

“Of course! You’re such a romantic! Get ready for a big dip!”

“We have dated all the way through high school,” I said. “Now that we’re both adults, I wonder if you would like to take this relationship to the next level.”

“Oh Frankie!” Linn said. “I thought you’d never ask.”

I dropped my voice low, purring so that only she could hear it. “I can’t help it. You just seem so …. delicious.”

“You really are delicious!”

Mmmm!

“Frankie!” Linn said “That wasn’t what I had in mind at all!”

“No?” I said. “I can do one better. Come closer.”

“Let me show the darkness inside of me!”

“That closer to what you had in mind?”

“Um, no,” Linn said. “Why don’t I just show you?”

So we left the bowling alley and headed to the much more tastefully artistic theater.

“So you want to see a film?” I said. “I hope it’s a foreign independent one.”

“Not exactly,” she said. “Just follow me.”

“Well, I appreciate the darkness….” I said.

“Hush,” Linn said.

Oh.

Ooooooh.

“NOW our relationship is on the next level,” Linn said.

“This has been the most enlightening night,” I said. “I have shown you the darkness of my soul, and you’ve shown me the pinnacles of pleasure. The sun is rising now, so I must leave you. My dark soul will call to yours for every moment we’re apart.”

“Sure thing, I guess,” Linn said. “Maybe the woohoo will be better next time.”

FranklinMediocreDate


Another post!

My parents visited for a week, so I got even less done than usual. I’m also finally starting to get a sense of Franklin’s voice.

Also, Gideon, what the heck?

Passing out: 22 + 1 = 23

Linn is not a spouse candidate, due to being normal human until Franklin turned her — I love that bat animation for making vampires. He has 4 more sims to turn for that part of his LTW, and it may be a challenge to find that many normal humans!

Oh, is that you there? Hello.

My name is Franklin. Franklin Wonderland.

I’m ready to take over this household and bring it something that it has been missing from the very beginning.

A sense of style.

FranklinSupernaturalFan

I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on the purpose of my life. I’ve decided that I am going to dedicate it to bringing the dark, smoldering beauty of the soul to the Simworld.

FranklinTurntheTown

My father never got a chance to make his mark. I’m going do what he never had a chance to do.

You can’t even guess how my dark soul sang when I finally celebrated my birthday. No more school! No more stifling conventionality to force me to live the lifestyle They chose for me.

Most importantly, no more waking up in the morning and sleeping at night in order to participate in the mind control known as “education.” I was free.

Everyone else went to sleep at night, but I had other plans.

I was off to see the world.

Starting with the cafe at the amusement park. I was dying for a latte.

That’s a joke, by the way. Unsophisticated form of art, but I couldn’t resist.

I remembered the barista from my last visit here for my baby brother’s birthday. She seemed cuter than I remembered.

I ordered a tall soy cinnamon mocha. The little bit of cinnamon makes up for the lack of blood.

She was delighted to make it for me.

“Everyone else orders such boring coffee!” she said. “I wish more picky people you like you came here.”

Hmm. I prefer to call myself “discerning.”

Afterward, I was thirsty. You know, thirsty. So I started up a conversation with the cute barista. I really turned up the charm.

“Who are you?” I asked. “Your eyes are like fire.”

“I look into those eyes, and I lose all sense of balance. Tell me how you do it.”

“You are so cute!” she squealed. “That’s the most creative pickup line I’ve ever heard. My name is Jiao Hatfield.”

“Don’t worry, Jiao,” I said. “This won’t hurt a bit. You’ll even enjoy it.”

“What!” Jiao gasped. “What are you doing with your eyes!”

Then it was like a bomb going off at the base of my skull.

“Whoa, lady, what are you?”

There was a whole lot more to this girl that meets the eye!

JiaoNoPlasma

“Are you all right?” Jiao asked.

“Please don’t bleed. I can’t stand the sight of blood!”

JiaoCoward

“Please help….” I whispered.

“Yes! Please let me help!” Jiao cried.

“I need…. I think I need your phone number.”

“I think you’d better leave, mister.”

Well, that was unkind!

I was still desperately thirsty. I decided to ask the crystal ball to help me find someone with a drinkable blood supply.

This is encouraging! It looks like my meal will come to me!

FranklinVisitFriend

The sun was rising. I headed home before I got too burnt.

My brothers and sisters were getting ready for school and generally being responsible citizens. The poor deluded souls. Someday their minds will expand, and they will understand that there are better ways to be.

“Hey, Gideon,” I said. “Do you think you could do the dishes before you leave? This place is a mess.”

“You could help around here,” Gideon shot back.

“Ah, but you see,” I explained. “I don’t eat food, so I don’t dirty dishes. This is your problem.”

I did get a chance to catch up on family gossip.

Aunt Caitlin is doing quite well for herself.

CaitlinDivisionManager

But Uncle Christof thinks a lot more like me.

ChristofRetired

 

After a while, I realized that one of my siblings was missing. “Hey,” I said. “Where’s Helen?”

“Oh, she’s around,” Mom said. “She said she had to pick something up before school.”

 

“You all have really inspired me with your entrepreneurial spirit,” I said. “It’s making me wonder if I ought to alter my philosophy.”

“Perish the thought!”


No fails! (Yes)

Here we are. I finally started Generation 3. Jiao Hatfield is, obviously, one of Franklin’s mate prospects. I liked her when I saw her in the amusement park coffee shop before, but she was Face One, so I randomized her face in CAS. I think she came out adorable.

But there are other options. Hang tight.

This was a really hard post to get into the spirit for. I’m in the middle of a really miserable job hunt, and I learned in January that I’m infertile after my husband and I spent over a year trying for a second kid. So it’s been kind of a crappy 2016 so far. I’m working on keeping my head up. The sludge can’t last forever.

Franklin was up to do his homework before the sun came up. He just prefers to do everything in the dark if he can. I think it’s the creature of the night genes he got from his father. Oh, his father. Sigh.

But he was in for a surprise. When the sun came up, he decided to go downstairs to get some blood for breakfast, but the way was blocked.

I guess Bungle was feeling a little passive-aggressive that morning.

Everyone else was able to get ready for school on their own.

I love it that they’re so independent these days. It lets me do other things with my life.

My kids were all very responsible. They went straight to school and stood around all morning trying to find the door, just like the rest of the kids in town. I’m so proud of them.

The cats are also taking care of themselves. We barely have to feed them. Goofy cleans up all the food that the kids drop when they’re feeding themselves, so we don’t have to deal with ants.

Micky hunts in the pond.

Minnie keeps with tradition.

Even Mikhail and Nova haven’t lost that lovin’ feeling.

They look so cute together, rolling around in the upstairs bathroom, which I haven’t cleaned in a generation.

So where was I?

KeytoCity

Oh, right! Receiving the highest honor that the town can bestow on a civilian!

That’s right. Yours truly received the key to the city from the new mayor of Aurora Skies. The old one resigned on indictment for taking bribes. I might have had a little bit to do with that.

I knelt and let the new guy knight me. And the crowd went wild.

It was a perfect moment — the pinnacle of my career. Most folks don’t get this kind of recognition for their contribution to their town. Then again, most people probably don’t contribute as much as I do either.

ErinKey

“I hope we have a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” the mayor said. He shook my hand just a little too long. I think I should go wash it.

I was ready to celebrate, and there was only one way I could think of to do it. I headed over to the dojo.

Oskar Olsen. He was just where I expected him to be.

He greeted me so warmly. “Detective Wonderland! What a nice surprise!”

So here’s the deal. It turns out that Shawn Ivy knew what she was talking about after all. Ever since I conned intelligence out of him at his own football party, I hadn’t been able to get Oskar out of my head.

“I’ve been thinking of you every day,” I said. “I think we might really be able to make some fireworks. And by fireworks, I don’t mean lights in the sky.”

Oskar looked sad. “I really like you, Erin,” he said. “But you know I have a partner.”

I hesitated. Oskar had been with his boyfriend as long as I’d been living in Aurora Skies. They were a good couple. I needed to respect that.

Oh, to heck with all that.

“W-wow,” Oskar said. “That was amazing!”

If only Oskar’s boyfriend could see us now.

Then again, he’s not bad either. Maybe we could get him to join in.

ErinJamWIthHusband

“You guys are so cute!” a pregnant yogi exclaimed nearby. “Maybe you two will make some ghost babies together!”

Nothing doing. Nothing.

The kids had a convocation after school, so I had to leave before Oskar and I could really get rolling.

I found Irene at the caffeine again.

I think the proprietor of the school coffee shop is encouraging her. There’s just something about that guy.

But on to the convocation.

FranklinGideonAwards

Franklin had a debate club…. recital?

OK, I confess. I don’t even remember what after school clubs they’re signed up for.

My kids better get some awards, because I cleared out my private investigator schedule for this.

GideonProud

FranklinProud  

Nope. Both got some kind of honorable mention.

I hope both my boys appreciate how much I love them. I could have made a lot of money solving a case, but I sat around watching them get a non-award for participation.

Then I loaded us up into the minivan to go home.

Except Gideon, who looked embarrassed and wanted to go home alone.

Good thing, too, because he really stank.

GideonPeesSelf

When I got home and counted the kids, I came up one short.

“Hey, where’s Justin?” I asked.

“He wanted to stay at school and sleep in the treehouse,” Helen told me.

Oooookay. I hope he remembers to wake up for class.

When we got home, Franklin and Helen headed outside for some one-on-one basketball.

“Can I join in?” I asked. “It seems like it would be a good time for some mom-kid bonding.”

Helen rolled her eyes. “Mom, how can we make two teams with three people?”

“Maybe I’ll be on both teams,” I said.

“I don’t think you get how this works,” Franklin said.

“Who cares!” I said. “Let’s just shoot some hoops!”

Ouch!

Then my phone rang.

“Hey Branden!” I said. “What? You want to wish Franklin a happy birthday? But it’s not Franklin’s –”

Oh. Whoops.

———-

Self-peeing: 13 + 1 = 14

Huh. I totally thought I’d already posted this. I logged on to do my first post for Frankin’s generation, and I found this one still in my drafts! Well, here we sign off with Erin and prepare for a bold, new, impeccably stylish new torch holder.

Farewell, Erin. She had a precious short time as torch holder, since her eldest won the heir poll. It was a nice final day, where she got to receive the Key to the City *and* fulfill her wish to kiss Oskar Olsen that had been lingering since she heart-farted him while on a case. I was kind of hoping he’d call her for a date or something after she turned idiot and they’d develop some kind of romance, but as of this playing no go.

I’m going to miss her. She was a lot of fun. And she DID max her career, which was nice, even though she didn’t reach a LTW. I haven’t completely given up on that, btw. The Logic-and-Athletics LTW is something that in theory I can have Franklin push her to work on as an idiot. We’ll see.

Erin was actually in the process of calling for a birthday party when Franklin aged up. It was just after dark, and I thought I had more time. Whoops! Well, that’s about right for an ISBI anyway.

Oh, and as a nice touch, the key to the city ceremony actually WORKED! This is the third time I’ve triggered this opportunity, and both other times failed. It doesn’t work for the City Hall rabbithole rug OR any EA City Hall combined rabbitholes. Aurora Skies has a dedicated City Hall rabbithole, so I gave it one more shot. Dang, it’s cool. I wish it weren’t so finicky.

I’ve played several days of Franklin, and I’m trying to make sense of him. I guess we’ll see how his voice comes out in the next post.

Stay tuned for a cat heir poll, too! The departure of the spares will be good for clearing out the household for moar cat breeding.

The boys headed home after school, but Irene had been up for thirty-six hours on coffee alone, and she was ready for a new challenge.

IreneBuzzed

She decided to shadow her Aunt Caitlin for a school report on… whatever it is Caitlin does at her office building.

Back at home, we had some birthdays to celebrate for the littlest members of our family.

Goofy grew up!

Also Daisy, though she did it more quietly.

Irene really enjoyed working with Caitlin.

IreneRestaurantWork

Until her coffee buzz finally crashed.

And she got a caffeine headache.

So instead of going home to get some sleep, she decided to show off some of her magic for the pantsless paparazzi.

When she didn’t come home for dinner, I had to call her. “This is your mother. Do you know where my daughter is?”

She took the hint and headed home.

The paparazzi was a little slow on the trigger.

But apparently, she made her deadline by making up crap. Poor Irene.

IreneArrestRumor

After a good sleep, Justin came downstairs dressed to the nines

so he could pick up his toys. What a nice boy. Maybe he’s the secret angel who mopped up all the water from the broken washing machine. I never did figure out who did that.

I went hunting for my wrench to go work on that blasted dishwasher.

Bungle found me. “Whatcha doin’?” he asked.

“The same thing I always do,” I told him bitterly. “Holding this family together with chewing gum and bailing wire. I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it.”

Bungle’s goggle eyes rolled with surprise. “Why would you say that?” he asked.

“Well, it’s not like I’ve been able to work toward my big goals in life,” I said. “I’ll never solve all the cases I wanted to solve. The kids just slow me down too much.”

ErinLTWFail2

Bungle thought about it. “I suppose so, but you’re at the top of your profession. Is solving a lot more cases really what you want out of life?”

I thought about it. “You know, I guess I’ve really been wanting to work out. You know, get in shape, be stronger and faster. I spend a lot of time hitting the books, and it makes me feel sluggish.”

ErinAthleticWish

“Then maybe the problem is that you’re dreaming of the wrong thing!”

ErinChangeLTW

Everything become so much clearer! “You might be right about something for the first time in your life!” I said to Bungle. “I knew you were my best friend for a reason. Thanks!”

ErinNewLTW

“Is it the migraine, or is Mom talking to thin air?” Irene asked.

“If you ask me, she’s a little bit looony,” Gideon said. My family so supportive.

Wait a minute, maybe I did have a screw loose! I don’t have to fix this blasted dishwasher again! I have magic!

Take that!

After questioning my sanity, Irene decided to go to bed to sleep off her headache.

But she was barely asleep when she jumped up

and fell out of bed. Maybe next time she won’t try to take the chemical way out and sleep more than once in two days.

Gideon was a good boy. He looked over his sleeping brother and did his homework.

Helen was out playing hoops while her siblings screwed up their bedtime.

And she’s gotten pretty good at it, I have to say. I think those swim flippers give her extra lift.

I went out to check on her. “Hey, you’re shoving that ball through the hoop in a pretty angry way. Are you all right?”

“Yeah, Mom. You’re giving all the attention to the screwups. I didn’t even show up in the last chapter because I actually went to bed!”

“I’m sorry, kiddo,” I said. “Sometimes it’s really hard to be the responsible one. I really appreciate that you didn’t give me any trouble today. And now it’s bedtime again, so why don’t you head off and get some rest?”

“Are you kidding, Mom!” Helen cried. “You can’t treat me like a child! I’m not going to do what you say!”

Then she went to bed.

Sometimes I think the best way to get a kid to be responsible is to treat them like a screwup.

And then the house was quiet.

Everyone was sleeping… somewhere. Some of them even in their own beds.

It was a beautiful moment.

———-

OK, should I could Irene’s fail? She literally climbed into her bed, got under the covers, and started sleeping, then canceled the action so she could get out of bed and pass out. GAH.

I guess I will, because Sims.

Passing Out: 22 + 1 = 23

I’d never seen the twirly-finger-by-the-ear thing that sims do when they walk by someone talking to her IF. So funny, especially in this house!

Helen was indeed the only kid who slept the previous night, but she still got in trouble — maybe from heading to school a little late? At any rate, that scene was Erin letting her off the hook. Then Erin suggested she go to bed. Helen refused, and they got a negative relationship. Then Helen went to bed.

I am the proud kid sister of a corporate climber! Caitlin called to tell me she’s been promoted into middle management. I think that’s pretty high. She was really excited about it anyway.

CaitlinDepartmentHead

She still hangs out with her twin a lot, which I think is sweet. I’m not sure they were that close when they actually lived together.

CaitlynChristofHangOut

Deanne has given up on girls for a while and is focusing on her garden. It seems to be working out better for her.

DeanneGardening4

And Caitlin’s youngest daughter is a child! I can’t believe time has passed so quickly.

ShonnaIvy

Yup. She’s definitely a Wonderland.

As for me, I’m just THE new security consultant for City Hall. After I exposed the Mayor’s corruption, they fell all over themselves to get me on the payroll.

They even made up a new award, just so they could give me a medal.

ErinMedalofMindful

It’s a nice fashion accessory, if I do say so myself.

I got out of my consultation with the city cabinet late, and I needed to do some research,

so I headed over to the library.

It has a pretty extensive collection of financial records.

I found evidence of embezzlement! That got me a promotion and a hefty finder’s fee.

ErinPrivateEye

I was so busy, I decided not to head home to watch over the kids at dinnertime. I mean, how bad could it be?

They’re smart kids, and I provide them a great example of personal responsibility.  I’m sure they can get themselves to bed.

Well, that’s what I thought, anyway. I found out later that they stayed up all night.

When I got home, Irene was looking for her energy at the bottom of a coffee mug. “Who needs sleep when you have caffeine?” she said.

Franklin was even too tired to complain about the art.

“I’m not sure I can go to school today,” Gideon said. “I’m not feeling so well.”

I wasn’t terribly sympathetic. “I bet you aren’t,” I said. “You’re going anyway.”

So they all grabbed their brooms and trooped off to school.

Where I hear the the school day was delayed by a rampaging werewolf.

GideonTerrified

I was just finishing breakfast when Franklin walked in the door.

“What the heck are you doing here?” I cried. “You’re supposed to be at school!”

“I thought you’d be out on a case by now!” he said. “I just wanted to grab a bite to eat!”

He headed to the fridge to grab a pack of blood, but he didn’t make it.

He could have slept in his own bed, but I guess the kitchen tile will do when you’re a pigheaded teenager.

When he picked himself up off the floor, I handed him his broom.

“I have to go back to school, huh,” he said.

“You got it in one guess,” I replied. “And I’m going to follow you there to make sure you go in.”

This time, Franklin made it in, just in time to fall asleep in math class.

So what did I see standing outside in the schoolyard?

“Giddiyup little horsey!” Gideon cried. “Oh, Mom, I didn’t see you there.”

“What in Simworld are you doing??” I shouted. “Are you crazy?”

“Yeah, Mom!” he said. “I got it from you!”

Then he ran away from me…

…and flew all the way home.

“All, right then,” I said, “I’ll drive you to school.”

So I escorted him into the van.

Wait, what?

“I think school just let out,” Gideon explained.

Why do I bother??

After school, Irene headed to the campus coffee shop to load up on more caffeine. I think she’d been up more than 24 hours at this point, but she was going strong.

Justin passed out from exhaustion as soon as he stepped out of the school.
BenIvyCreeping

His cousin Ben, Caitlin’s older kid, stopped to make sure he was all right. Then, instead of helping, he just stood there and leered for a while.

Clearly my sister is raising her kids right. 

 

 

 

Once Justin picked himself up and headed home, it was Franklin’s turn.

“Aiee! Not the sunlight!” he wailed.

So at least he passed out in the shade.

At home, Justin went up to his bedroom and stood staring at his bed as if trying to figure out what to do with it.

But figured it out before I came up there to shove him bodily into bed.

Franklin didn’t seem so conflicted.

All these vampire kids prefer William’s old tomb.

Whew. Now that’s over. I hope.

———-

Passing out: 19 + 3 = 22

Well, that was a traumatic first game session back on the ISBI. After staying up all night, both older boys queue dropped their go-to-school action from fatigue and went home. Erin tried to drive Franklin back in the Motive Mobile, but he pushed back to school by himself while she was executing her action, so she ended up driving to school by herself and finding Gideon — who then went home, and lather rise repeat.

I’m not counting Gideon passing out from seeing a werewolf transform. That’s not about needs. Apparently, that happens in the school entrance line EVERY DAY. Is there some reason the town teen wolves feel the need to transform while going to school every day? Also I think that puddle at school is from students peeing themselves in terror…. ew.

On the positive side, Erin topped her career! Sadly, that doesn’t get her a LTW. It’s still cool, though, and it should help with her pension when she retires. This family is not exactly rolling in the money.

Two more posts before the passing of the torch!

 

The next day dawned bright and sunny. It was just the right day for the huntress Minnie Wonderland to show her apprentice Goofy how it’s done.

She began by showing her kitten brother the prey.

Goofy watched with breathless admiration as she crouched, silently, then leapt into action.

MinnieHuntShrewFail

I don’t think Goofy was all that impressed.

Inside the house, we finally settled into life without our father and partner. We set William’s urn in the living room, where we could all feel the presence of his spirit from the Netherworld.

Then we got out the broom and dustpan and cleaned up the rest of him.

Williamashes

The family called with good news and bad news. My niece Rosie tied the knot. I’m not sure why they didn’t invite us. I’m sure there was a good reason.

LokiRosieMarried

And my brother Branden had to lay our beloved old cat to rest. She lived a long life. Rest in peace.

SingularityDead

I could tell that my next case was going to be a long, hard one. Just talking to my client made me want to starve myself to death.

ErinJamRandolph

This case was big — the kind of case that makes or breaks careers. I intended for it to make mine.

ErinCopRogue1

But it wasn’t going to be easy. This was about corruption at the very top of the Aurora Skies’ food chain. Corruption never sleeps, and neither would I.

I began with an all night stakeout at the park.

The dark silence of a long stakeout can really get to you. After a while you see, or think you see, some pretty strange stuff.

Fortunately, I’m an old pro. Nothing gets to me.

I can lurk in the shadows for as long as it takes, silent and unseen, until the moment to pounce.

I hope the kids can manage all right without me.

They’re growing up, but they’ve been through a lot with the loss of their father. I hate to think of them up late worrying about their other parent.

In the morning, Christof showed up with Randolph and their daughter Kari for a day at the park. He waved from across the path and shouted, “Hey sis! What are you up to?”

“Hush!” I hissed. “I’m invisible over here!”

After all these hours of stakeout, he could totally have blown my cover! But I was in luck. My quarry finally arrived to seal the deal.

ErinCopRogue2

It was Jennika Wong, the sweet little girl who used to play at our house and watch her father die in our basement. Now she was grown up and facing a life of crime. Tragic.

Wait, are those scales??

What kind of creature is she?

JennikaMermaid

After Jennika and her contact left, I poked around the spot where she had been standing, looking for clues.

Christof’s daughter Kari totally ruined the mood by shouting at me from her Sim Gnubb game. “Hey, Aunt Erin? Are you doing detective stuff? That’s awesome!”

I can focus much better when my extended family doesn’t follow me to work.

Kari’s doing all right for herself these days. She started a career in looking at dead people.

KariGraveyardJob

Christof was the next one to break my concentration. “Hey sis! Great to see you out and about. Want to shoot some hoops?”

I tried to brush him off in a friendly way. “I’d love to, but I can’t. Today I have to get someone arrested.”

Then I saw poor Randolph in an argument with

 

My old friend Melanie Worthington was finally able to provide me the lead I needed. I’m including a picture of her here because she provided valuable testamony, not because I think her wings are gorgeous. Honest.

I met up with my client, Detective Cassidy Wrede, to report my suspicions. This was no small police corruption ring. This was a conspiracy that reached all the way to the top.

“The top?” Cassidy asked nervously. “How high is the top?”

“Erica Berge,” I sad. “The Vice President of the Free World.”

Cassidy looked like she was going to be sick.

“This is above my pay grade,” I told her. “You need more than one gumshoe to bring down something this big.”

“One gumshoe is all I have,” Cassidy pleaded. “I can’t bring in anyone else. If we don’t root out the conspiracy, my job or even,” she gulped, “my life could be in danger.”

What can I say? I’m a sucker for a cop in distress.

“All right,” I said. “If we do this, we do it my way.”

“What’s your way?” Cassidy asked.

“A sting,” I told her.

Cassidy suddenly pushed me out of the way. “Look out!”

I jumped back as an enormous black stallion brought its hooves down where I had been standing.

“That was close,” I panted. “I never would have thought they’d use wild horses to take us out. We have to wrap this case up before innocent people get hurt.”

I called my kids to tell them that I wouldn’t be home tonight. “You’ll have to find your own dinner,” I told them. “Everything’s fine. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

“That’s fine,” Irene told me. “There’s plenty of birthday cake in the fridge. Justin! Get down off the furniture!”

I hope they’ll be all right. I never lose track of the sacrifices I make to serve the city in its time of need.

The game was on.

The Vice President of the Free World had a weakness, and I was just the person to ferret it out.

That weakness turned out to be named Oskar Olsen. He was her personal assistant. According to rumors around the capital, he was just a little bit gullible. It was a small advantage, but it was what we had.

I drove to Olsen’s house at sunset.

He met me at his front steps.

 

“I’m from the government employee incentives department,” I told him. “I’m here to tell you’ve won the hardest-working secretary award for Aurora Skies!”

Oskar was overjoyed. “Really?” he squealed. “I knew all that overtime would pay off!”

At that point, my brother Branden’s fiancée Shaun Ivy showed up with her whole extended family.

As they pushed their way into the house, I grabbed Shaun’s arm and held her back. “What are you doing here?” I demanded.

“Oskar makes great nachos,” Shaun said. “We dropped by to eat and watch football. But wait a minute. What are YOU doing here. Are you two going on a date? I know it’s kind of soon, but you’d be so cute together!”

Me and Oskar Olsen?

Ewww.

“I’m here on a totally professional capacity,” I said quickly. And that was true, after all. It was my job to lie about why I was here. “I just need to borrow Oskar for a short award ceremony down at the courthouse.”

“What do I need to do?” Oskar asked eagerly.

“Call your boss Ms. Berge and ask her to meet us at the courthouse. Then we can complete the paperwork and present you with a big fat check!”

“Wow, the Vice President?” Oskar squeaked. “All, right! I’ll do it!”

He called his boss, and she agreed to meet us at the courthouse. It was like butter.

I hoped Detective Wrede could make good on her end of the plan.

As I held the door to my van open for Oskar Olsen, I thought again of my kids.

This was so unfair to them, leaving them alone and anxious with no adults.

I hope while they’re home and lonely,

they can remember that I’m doing this all to make the world a better place for them.

Oskar and I arrived at the courthouse.

 

Where I distracted him with a quick enchantment.

Vice Present Berge was there on schedule, along with the Second Gentleman.

“Is Oskar here?” Erica Berge asked. “He said it was important!”

“It is, Madam Vice President,” I said. “Very important. I need to talk to you in your office.”

And that was it. Erica Berge started to suspect something, but it was too late. She couldn’t get out of escorting me to her office now.

Meanwhile, Detective Wrede lured her corrupt colleagues in the back door.

We all showed up at Vice President Berge’s office at the same time. In the moment of shock, our suspects threw all sorts of accusations at each other that I won’t repeat hear. I don’t need to. We caught it all on tape.

Cassidy Wrede had the unexpected honor of handcuffing the Vice President of the Free World and reading her her rights.

I’m glad I’m just a gumshoe.

ErinCopRogue10

ErinCopRogue9

Though, I have to say, Erica Berge might have been a crooked politician, but she sure was hot.

———-

And this is it! The last post before the heir poll!

This was the Cop Gone Bad case — the longest, most confusing, and most glitch-infested case in the Private Eye career, I think. I try not to give a blow-by-blow of all Erin’s cases, but there was so much entertaining byplay while she hacked her way through this one over the course of about 36 sim-hours.

She did the stakeout five times, literally all night. The first time, one of the sims showed up, but the other one didn’t make it. Then I did the action over and over again, and each time it completed without anyone showing up. The glitch didn’t seem that different from the bug that I thought I fixed by removing GoHere. This turned out to be something different, though. It looks like if the game summons two inactives to complete a stakeout action and only one of them gets there before the stakeout times out, the whole opportunity gets into an unrecoverable state. I had to reset Erin for the stakeout to start over and send two people to whisper to each other.

Erin’s barely more than halfway through her lifetime wish of 35 completed cases. That’s a lot of cases. However, she’s just pixels of job performance away from topping out her career. There is that.

I was kind of hoping we’d get to see more of Justin before the heir poll, but it was not to be. This is about as far as I can play without knowing who the heir is. So on we go! Heir poll time!!

Poll up as soon as I can assemble it. Probably tomorrow.

I got home as the sun was rising over the waterfall behind our house.

First thing I set out to do when the kids woke up was push the magic button to make their glum funk go away.

Everyone lined up. We were so sick of feeling like crap.

It was so good to see Franklin back to his old self. He even critiqued himself in the mirror.

And approved!

I swung Justin in the air. “Come on kiddo. I promised everyone some fun today, and we’re going to have it.”

I strapped my little vampire baby into his stroller,

And we all piled into the van.

It was off to the new amusement park of Aurora Skies. If we couldn’t have fun here, we just couldn’t have fun. Which actually was a possibility.

While the teens stood around at the entrance, trying to figure out what to do next,

I took carried Justin off behind a rollercoaster.

We sat down together in the grass,

and I taught him his last words. “Microscope” is an important word for a toddler, you know?

Franklin’s brain almost exploded at all the art to critique. He went from awning to awning, assessing their artistic value.

Irene found the café and turned on the jukebox.

She’s always happiest when she’s dancing.

Gideon hid in the men’s room and practiced asking girls out for dates.

Helen found the game room and started

After Justin and I were done with his vocabulary lesson, we went for a stroll around the park.

Franklin challenged Irene to a basketball dunk-out.

Beside them, Helen was still wrapped up in blasting aliens.

Justin and I were still walking.

Franklin beat Irene. That surprised me when I heard about it. Irene’s a way more physical kid than he is. He prefers to stand around and look at things. He was a pretty good sport about it, though.

Justin and I finally made it up to the boardwalk.

Ah, this is what I was looking for.

It was time for Justin’s birthday.

All his big brothers and sisters gathered round to cheer. No more toddlers in the house! For real this time.

Justin was just as eager as we were. He leaned down to blow out the candles himself.

Here he goes!

That’s my little boy.

Huh. He looks a lot like William. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I need to think about it.

Then again, he has my eyes. I like that.

The kids abandoned the picnic benches I’d picked out and all went to eat cake in the cafe. Humph.

The proprietress of the cafe, a woman named Jiao, seemed to enjoy watching everyone hanging out. I think she would have preferred it if we didn’t bring our own food, though.

I was left with a whole lot of extra slices of cake and a random bystander who wanted to mooch.

I hope she appreciated the cake anyway.

I gave it my own personal touch, shall we say.

The cake moocher wasn’t terribly conversational. She finished eating and gave me a quick goodbye before hurrying off.

Turns out she saw Irene at the fortune telling station, and she wanted to see if she could get a free fortune.

Irene gave her a great one.

IreneBogusFortune

Whatever Irene said, the lady was delighted to hear it.

She was so impressed that she just had to open a book and start reading right then.

Justin finished up his cake and made a beeline to the playground.

Franklin and Helen decided that now would be a great time to do their homework.

My phone rang while I was cleaning up the party plates. It was Randolph, my brother Christof’s husband. I think these days, I’m closer to him than I am to my brothers and sisters.

“Thanks for caring,” I told him. “I think I’m going to be all right.”

Night had fallen. Franklin lingered by the cafe, watching the proprietress.

She really was unique. Perhaps beautiful? Could it be…

Ewww.

Not at all.

Good thing she never noticed he was watching her.

Helen tried her hand at telling her own fortune.

She wasn’t thrilled with the results.

HelenFryingPan

I wasn’t going to leave without trying out the roller coaster. Seemed like I ought to be able to get *one* of my creature of the night children to be brave enough to go with me. I finally guilted Franklin into it.

 

 

We’re upside down!

Wait? Where’s the track?

I can see for miles!

That’s a long way down….

Wahoo!

Not again!

Eeeeee!

Glub glub…!

*Splutter* Were we supposed to be underwater??

That is NOT a shark! Right?

Right??

Wow. I didn’t expect the ride would actually go under the water. They spare no thrill on these rides! Woo!

While they waited for us, Helen made some ice cream.

 

Everyone at the park crowded in to get some.

Especially some town girl who wearing no pants, who thought Irene was really interesting.

Irene tried to ignore her.

But she just stood there, in front of the ice cream maker, staring.

And giggling.

This was about the time I ought to get all the kids out of the park. It was approaching midnight, and clearly the weirdos were out in force.

Justin wouldn’t hear of it, though. I was going to have to haul him bodily off the playground.

So instead, I just went home without them.

Good thing too. When I got home, I found a naked guy in the hot tub!

Get a load of that!

Bwahaha! He’s so wet and pruny!

Naked guy! Just the thing to cheer me up!

I speed dialed the kids. “You have got to come home and see this!”

THAT got them to come home.

———

So, Justin is a child! I have one more post, and then heir poll! He managed to get two skills in all the melodrama. Erin potty trained him, and the playpen gave him most of his talking skill. Erin finished it up at the amusement park. I didn’t realize until now that the playpen fills hunger and sleep motives. That seems completely unreasonable. I’ve downloaded a mod to stop that.

Justin didn’t do too badly with two skills, though. He rolled Schmoozer. He’s now an Insane, Hydrophobic Schmoozer. Genetically, he’s all right. Not the perfect afterthought kid that Erin was, but he’s not a clone either. William is dominant, but the eye shape and eyebrows at the very least are Erin’s. He has Hetal’s gray eyes, and I think he might actually have Allison’s skintone. If you remove the vampire pallor, his skin is really rosy.

This post was mostly pic-spam from the Boardwalk venue. I picked it up a while back, but Avalon, where the Samples live, doesn’t have a lot this large. This was my first chance to play with it, and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures.

The roller coaster has great animations, but the little car goes through at about walking speed. Sooo slow. Better for pictures than gameplay, I think.

It was fun to just follow everyone around with a camera.

Unfortunately, the game didn’t really push anyone else to the park. Not sure why. I’ll have to check the visitors allowed settings. The two folks wandering around were both role sims. This was the proprietress of the Showtime stage I added, which I may or may not keep.

Look at this! I’m pretty sure she was bred from Charles! Either that or Charles’s immaculate Chinese love child Charlotte, who I saved to the bin to load into the hometown when I found her on vacation. She’s clearly Charles, even if you don’t look at the skin. But that silver skintone should NOT be installed in this game. I may have to do another clean folder install to get rid of stuff that got accidentally installed with sims Sims3Packs. Argh.

Still, pretty cool to see a bit of Charles in the Wonderland game!

And then there’s Jiao Hatfield. Isn’t she amazing? Isn’t her name so delightfully Sims?

I have no idea what the china doll skintone is. It looks like it goes from powder white all the way to powder white. Is that also some unintentional CC?

Whatever it is, I love it. She really looks like a china doll. And I actually think she might have been bred from one of my simselves. Wow. Not so distinct as Charles up there, but eyes and face shape look familiar.

And… she’s a genie!!

JiaoGenie

I’ve saved her to the bin. She WILL marry into this ISBI. The question is only when.

It was Irene’s birthday, and none of us were really in the mood.

We tried to throw her a party and invite all our family. A lot of them couldn’t make it. It turned out that Deanne and her daughter Rosie were out on a double date.

They both got engaged!

DeanneJuliet2

RosieMarried

Branden showed up, but he was in a pretty bad mood.

While he was waiting for us to answer the door, he got into a huge fight with the mailbox.

When I walked out to invite him inside, he was storming off in a huff.

I don’t want it to sound like I’m taking sides here, but I have a pretty mild-mannered mailbox. I’m pretty sure it didn’t start this fight. Branden has his own issues.

BrandenLeaves

When the zombie showed up at the door, I thought we’d better get this party started before things got any worse.

I went to get the cake. Meanwhile, Caitlin decided she had something better to do.

CaitlinLeaves

My family really knows how to be supportive, let me tell you.

Gideon took one look at the cake and took off running to the bathroom.

To throw up.

I don’t know what was up with him. Honestly, I think it might have been grief.

Helen was upstairs, watching TV and trying not to think about her father.

By the time Irene was able to blow out her candles, all the party guests had left.

But I was there for her.

Here we go!

That’s my littlest girl! I think she’s pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

Franklin was also there to show support. He tried to put on a happy face for his baby sister. He wasn’t very convincing, but at least he tried.

The memory of William hung heavily over the table while we ate our cake and tried to be cheerful.

Then Gideon showed up and started sobbing.

“OK, guys,” I said. “Why don’t we just go to bed. Tomorrow will be more fun, I promise.”

Little Goofy took this suggestion to heart. He curled up right where he was — in the middle of the puddle of water from the broken dishwasher — and went to sleep.

Micky was more skeptical.

The kids all said goodnight. Irene tried to be patient while Gideon got over another fit of crying for his dad.

“Dad is dead, and Minnie stole your bed!” Gideon sobbed.

“Hey, that rhymes!”

“Whoa. Head rush.”

Franklin just bypassed the problem by stealing William’s bed.

That caused a big scene with Helen. “I wanted to sleep in Dad’s bed!” she complained. “Why did you get it?”

“Oh, Dad, I miss you so much!”

where was Justin during all this depression? Playing in his playpen, mostly.

I guess Helen won out on the bed dispute. When I woke up in the middle of the night, she was the one sleeping in my room.

I was sick of all this gloom. Would William have wanted us to torture ourselves over his loss?

 

Actually, yes. He probably would. Well, I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction.

I had a case to complete.

I got up, got dressed, and stormed past the ghost of Mama.

A late-night stakeout of the grocery store was just what I needed to head off another produce heist.

ErinFlatfoot

Oh, William. Even fame and fortune isn’t the same when I can’t celebrate with great woohoo.

All right. Enough of this. I’m done.

I’ve said goodbye to William. I’m ready to get on with life.

If the poster over my desk bears a certain resemblance, well, that’s just a coincidence. Really.

———-

Woo. That grief moodlet is vicious. After a day of wrestling with it, I just had to give up. Hooray for the Moodlet Manager.

I think Irene looks pretty awesome. Woot for a good genetic combination.

I’m really not sure what caused Gideon’s nausea. The teen puking animation is particularly icky — the kids just shove their face all the way into the toilet bowl. Heh.

I’m also not clear on what caused Branden and Caitlin to storm off from Irene’s birthday party. It looks like there was some argument or inappropriate action that I didn’t capture.

William had an idea, and what an idea it was.

WilliamJam

As it turned out. It was the worst idea in his long unlife.

“I miss playing the guitar!” he told me. “Why don’t we make a family band?”

“I studied a bit of piano… at some point. I don’t rememeber when,” I said. “I could give it a try.”

Franklin decided to bang on the drums, and Gideon picked up the bass. We sounded awful, but not as awful as I thought we would! This felt pretty good!

“Hey Mom!” Gideon called. “You suck!”

That’s my boy. “You should listen to yourself!” I called back.

Then, of course, I got a phone call. It was a case.

“I have to go investigate an international black market fruit ring,” I told the family. “Don’t have too much fun without me.”

ErinSupermarket

I have contacts in dark places. I happened to know the name of the local fence in stolen apples. I arranged a clandestine meeting with her.

I left William in the basement, jamming with the kids. I was sure they were having a good time. I just hoped he had the good sense to take care of the important things.

WilliamMadlyThirsty

He’d never get so absorbed in his music that he forgot basic necessities, would he?

Or let the kids distract him from something important?

William’s a responsible guy.

William2Hours

He could handle himself. And the kids.

He’d done so dozens of times before.

Why did I have such a bad feeling about this?

Yeah.

The kids told me all about it later. How Helen sobbed for her father as badly as she did the broken dishwasher.

How all the kitties showed up

to bid farewell to their favorite playmate.

How William’s spirit threw himself to the floor to beg the Grim Reaper for more time with his family.

I’ve never seen William grovel for anything, so I’ll take that as a compliment. Maybe what he really wanted was one last woohoo.

At least Justin was spared the trauma. He slept through the whole thing.

Irene was hanging out in the basement.

She headed to school without knowing she was the last person ever to talk to William, and it had been about the fight scene in “Asskicker League Issue #26.”

Grim’s kind of a cat person himself. After he rained despair and death on my household, he hung around to play with Mikhail.

And that’s how I found him when I got home from bringing the produce thieves to justice.

I’m going to skip the conversation I had with Grim. I’d just lost the best woohoo of my life. I’m not responsible for what I said.

I found Helen hanging out in the bathroom.

“Why are you not in school?” I demanded.

“Mom! Dad just died in front of me!”

“That’s no excuse! Get to school or your grounded!”

I escorted Helen to the door.

And made sure she headed to school.

And found Franklin hanging out by the door. I read him the same riot act. “Our personal tragedy is no excuse for skipping school!”

“But Mom! I really have to pee!”

“You should have thought of that earlier!”

Then I stopped yelling. I had an uncontrollable urge to catch raindrops on my tongue.

Franklin took the chance to grab his broken umbrella and dash out to school.

He was exhausted and desperate to pee, but he managed to make it school without embarrassing himself.

Then the house was silent, except for the toddler howling in his crib upstairs. Numbly, I took him out of bed and set him down on the floor to play.

He had no idea there was anything wrong.

Then I headed downstairs to drown my sorrows in a plate of waffles.

“What am I going to do without him?” I asked Bungle in despair. “No more painting at all hours.”

“No more hard pecs and firm sixpack against me…”

“Are you going to get around to fixing the dishwasher?” Bungle asked.

“I think you’re missing the big picture here!” I cried. “I’m a widow!”

“No you’re not, technically speaking,” Bungle pointed out. “You already divorced him.”

“I was hormonal,” I retorted. “I didn’t mean it. We were going to get remarried.”

I couldn’t bring myself to take down William’s easel yet.

 

Maybe his spirit would someday come to finish his painting.

———-

Untimely Deaths: 0 + 1 = 1

So, that happened.

When I saw it coming, I had to talk myself out of shutting down the game and loading from my last save. This is, after all, the great WTF of playing an idiot challenge.

William was within throwing distance of getting a Master of the Arts LTW. All I had to do was get him to play the guitar a bit more. I saw Somebodysangel of the Young Reverse ISBI get her idiots to play instruments by jamming with them and then canceling out to do other things. When William rolled the wish to jam with Erin, I thought it was a great idea. Erin even had a piano skill point lying around — maybe from playing xylophone as a toddler? Then I thought, “Hey! What about a family band?” So I got them all in on the action.

Then, for some reason only The Sims knows, William didn’t drop his queue when he got to a -40 thirst moodlet. He didn’t start complaining about thirst until he’d been sitting on the emergency -80 moodlet for a while. And even then, he might have made it to the fridge if Irene hadn’t desperately needed to talk about comic books RIGHT THEN.

Erin was off the lot the whole time. She couldn’t help at all. He was the definitive ISBI victim.

Clearly, the Madly Thirsty moodlet didn’t actually last 24 sim-hours. I’m not sure what was up with the label. Everyone came home from Love Day using the Moodlet Mobile, so they had full needs in the middle of the night. I think they started jamming sometime after midnight. Erin headed back home from her case when it became clear that disaster was imminent, but she didn’t make it home in time. She arrived around 10AM, thus all the scolding for missing school. The time between the start of the jam and William’s death couldn’t have been more than 8 sim-hours. Maybe the moodlet was mislabeled because due to some kind of calculation glitch from William’s extended vampire lifespan? If I’d realized just how little time he had left, I’d’ve sent Erin home earlier.

Franklin did manage to make it to school without passing out or peeing himself, even with the scolding delay. I don’t think he even passed out on the way home, which is remarkable.

Goodbye, William. You were a truly awesome idiot spouse. Your great genes will live on.

I woke up feeling like a million bucks.

“I have big plans for today,” I told Bungle as I munched on the waffles thats someone had kindly left on the counter for me.

Like teaching Justin to poop on his own!

Isn’t he so adorable with his toy yeti?

Deanne called. She has a new girlfriend! It’s high time. She’s been mooning over the last one for ages. Maybe she’ll be a bit more fun to be around now. Also less likely to go to jail for stalking.

DeanneJuliet

Helen didn’t take the news so well. “Why can’t I have a girlfriend? Or a boyfriend? I don’t care which.”

The dishwasher broke. Again. Mistakes were made, but not by me.

I’ve had it with broken appliances, especially the kind that can kill you. I decided it was time to get out of the house.

Today is Love Day! We headed to the festival rather than dealing with the dishwasher.

Everyone immediately started having fun. Like Franklin, who got into a huge argument with his dad.

FranklinCharisma

Franklin really seems to have learned a lot from William about how to behave. He’s a real chip off the old block.

FranklinInsultingText

Irene, ever the studious one, seemed to think that the Love Day Festival was just another place to study.

William hadn’t been there long before he started feeling woozy.

“I think I’m going to–” he started to say. Then he fell right over.

And passed out.

I guess it’s not such a good thing for vampires go out in the sunlight. I guess I read that in a book.

WilliamKnockedOut

A reporter from the local paper wrote an article about vampires passing out in the park. Justin cleaned out his noes.

After sunset, William woke up and yelled at the speaker system.

Dang it, I was determined we were going to get something good out of this Love Day if it killed me, and it just might.

“OK everyone!” I shouted. “We’re going to have a nice family picture!”

So, of course, it started to hail. OUCH!

And Justin disappeared! After I ran around the park shouting his name, I discovered that he’d been returned home by a “helpful” friend.

I dispatched a babysitter to look after him while I got the rest of the family together to get home.

The babysitter just stood there at the front door. I think he was chatting with his girlfriend or something.

Justin amused himself inside.

Justin’s such an independent little squirt.

 

And full of surprises!

That con man of a babysitter was sure quick to collect his money when we got home. Thanks for nothing, kid.

BabysitterLeaves

I think even the cats had a more inspiring Love Day than we did.

Nova’s showing her age, but she’s still got a lot of spunk.

But at least we made it through the day in one piece. I have a nice picture to show for my efforts.

Even if Justin isn’t in it.

———-

Passing Out: 18 + 1 = 19

So…. should a vampire passing out from sun exposure count as passing out? I think I’m going to say yes. I actually didn’t realize they passed out from sun exposure. It seems like I’m always running into sparking, smoking vampires hanging out in the park. If they can pass out, that makes their sun aversion a bit more powerful.

Since the heir will probably be a vampire, I think I shall have to invest in the happiness reward that turns you into a sparkly Twilight vamp.

I think I will NOT take away points for the automatic babysitter being called, though. As far as I can tell, the game glitched and reset Justin. Maybe because they were out at the park at night? It wasn’t nearly 3am, which I think is when NRaas Overwatch sends abandoned toddlers home. The hail? I can only guess.