Monday, March 21, 2011

Coming Up

Round 4: August 2011 (Summer)
Jeff Reid is 59 and Helen is 57
(Michael and Michelle Reid are 18)
Narrated by Jeff

It's just Helen, the dog and I left in the house since Michael and Michelle left for college. It's so quiet around here, not that the twins were especially loud, but I think we're already used to the silence.

The twins are almost completely settled in their dorm at the university. They were home a few weeks ago to gather the last of their things and to enjoy a few more home cooked meals. They're both anxiously awaiting the start of class.

Michelle's a little sad that she can't bring Alia with her. Pets aren't allowed in the dorms, so she had to leave Alia here with us.

But we're happy to keep Alia for her. Alia no longer growls at any and every little thing and is very affectionate with both Helen and me now.

Helen and I talked about taking a vacation years ago, but with the kids and our careers, there was never an opportunity to go. So now that the kids are gone, I decided to book a week long cruise for the 2 of us.

It seems like Helen can sniff out a shop no matter where we go. She discovered our ship had a specialty shop on the top level and bought, I'd assume, one of everything. But whatever makes her happy. I grabbed a few things for myself, too.

The vacation wasn’t to rekindle the love or passion in our marriage (we don't have a problem in that department) but it turned into a very romantic and passionate trip.

I admit that I got so wrapped up in our own world that I forgot that others were on the ship with us.

I mean there were plenty of other tables the hostess could have sat that kid but she sat him right next to us, ruining our idyllic meal. I was really perturbed about the whole thing.

But Helen's good at reeling me in when I get annoyed and made me forget about it. It really was a stupid thing for me to get upset over.

The week flew by but the cruise was sensational. We're already planning to go on another in the near future and will invite the kids go, too. I know they'll love it.

Once we got home, I had to quickly switch to work mode. I was scheduled to have a press conference which was to inform the citizens of Crystal Creek about some major changes coming.

The citizens needed to know that, starting in 2013, we all will start paying taxes. A number of businesses need massive refurbishment in order to improve and liven the city, and they will need the help of the Crystal Creek government and its citizens to assist them. The money will also help to improve schools, build new businesses, provide assistance to low-income families and provide more scholarships to students in need.

I knew the town wouldn't take the news well and I was right. Some were shocked, others angry, and the rest looked worried about what this would do to their incomes.

Quite frankly, I think they should have expected this to happen sooner or later. They shouldn't have expected the government to continue to pay for everything we’re all benefiting from. At least we're giving them a year and a half to get their money in order.

I've seen pics of this in others' games but this is the first time I've seen the sims salute with their suitcases in hand. This was funny but also annoying because I couldn't get a good shot of them leaving.

I was zoomed in trying to get the right shot of Jeff giving his speech, and as soon as I zoomed out, I saw Alicia and her big pregnant belly standing on stage. Jeff's expression is like "wow, that's a huge belly! Now get off my stage" lol

Notes (and lots of 'em):
-Sorry for keeping everyone waiting so long for an update. I had lots of distractions this past month, along with lots of stuff going on in real life. But I hope to be able to update at least a few times within the next month lol. I’m nearing the end of the round so I’ll have a bunch of mini-updates coming.
-I think of Jeff as kind of stand-offish when it comes to anyone other than his family. Well, sometimes even with his family. So I tried to make him sound that way in this update. He and his family never had to want for anything, so I thought his comments about introducing tax and about the citizens’ reaction to it needed to sound kind of cold.
-Speaking of taxes, I wanted to hold off on it for a little while until I got used to the new gameplay. Now that I've gone through a couple of rounds with my new way of aging, I know how and when I can work taxes in.
-A long while ago I stumbled onto Laurel Crossing's tax forms and immediately grabbed them so I didn't have to do any thinking or calculating. I've changed some of the numbers around (I can't even remember what I changed, that's how long ago it was) but I'm hoping that the results will 1). not bankrupt all my sims, and 2). give the town a decent amount of money for me to start working on my massive community lot renovation project.
-It's something small but I really struggled with the clothes for these 2. I imagine them being very conservative and rarely dress down but it was hard to find the right look. Which is also why Helen switched outfits a couple of times during the update. I really hate the high collar on Jeff's shirt but I was too lazy to recolor a different outfit I found. It still bothers me but whatever.
-In case you’re not a member at N99 and didn’t see the posts about the cruise ship, it’s a Sims Connection lot and it’s available in the Booty. It was made a while ago (definitely pre-Bon Voyage) so the original is not a real beach lot nor a real hotel. But it’s a great lot once it’s updated to be a hotel and more fun stuff is added. This is the smaller ship and I have plans on putting down the bigger one soon. Can’t wait to make that one over. So many ideas!


  1. The vacation looked wonderful and I like you wrote Jeff's personality in this update.

  2. Aww, the cruise ship pictures were awesome! I'm glad Jeff and Helen had such a romantic trip. I think I said on N99 that I've had that lot sitting in my catalog for forever and you really make me want to open it up and use it!

    And oops, nobody looks too happy about having to pay taxes soon! No such thing as a free lunch, Crystal Creekers!

    My Sims seem to do that "salute" with the suitcases more often than not. It drives me nuts! I love getting pics of them walking out of the house with their suitcases.

    Middle aged Sims are a bitch to dress, it's true! I find men are the bigger problem but in case you haven't seen Bunhead's stuff, you should take a look at it. She's done a lot of Mad Men inspired stuff lately and I can see Helen wearing some of it. My Anna was wearing it this round, as was Zaria.

  3. Starr, thanks for reading! I'm glad their vacation looked fun because it wasn't fun for my computer. I had to send them there 3 times due to crashing! But they didn't seem to mind. And I had fun writing Jeff. I just wish I had a little more of the town hall done so I could write out his personality a little more. But there's time for that.

    Carla, thanks for reading and for the compliments on the ship! I'm really glad I finally placed it down because, like you, I've been eying it forever. The view looks great out the window when you have the view distance set to low. It really looks like they're in the middle of the ocean (and why I only took shots from the one side of the boat :)).

    Nope, they're not happy campers but I wouldn't be either if I learned that I had to pay tax after living without it for so long. But, they'll reap the benefits.

    I just found a hack for the sims to stop saluting everytime they go outside. I think it was from Simbology. I can track it down if you're interested.

    Yes, Bunhead's does have great stuff. I think I was just so tired of scrolling through the women's clothes that I just picked whatever the next outfit was for Helen lol. As for Jeff, I found the perfect shorts and shirt separates for him after I had already taken all the pics :(. I was NOT going to restage them, but now I have them.

  4. Beautiful vacations! I love the sea food restaurant! *swoon*
    It seems Jeff was right to take holidays, because he might has to handle lots of protestations now he's back home, with new taxes for Crystal Creek!

  5. Thanks for reading, Sandy! The restaurant on this ship was the main reason why I used this one instead of the other ship first. It really looked classy and perfect for Helen and Jeff.

    And yes, Jeff is not winning any fans in Crystal Creek right now. But hopefully they will enjoy all the fun and nicely decorated community lots once I'm done. :)

  6. I loved the picture you've shared at N99, and I was really excited to see the cruise ship in action! It looks great!! I'm tinking about downloading it too, but I have given myself so much work already ...

    Ah, announcing taxes, maybe Jeff's right and they should have seen it coming, on the other hand, he has money, some others don't... anyway I will look into your system, I'm curious about it :)

    I absolutely HATE salute thing! I love pictures of my sims leaving with their suitcases, but thanks to the salute it's impossible to get one! I don't know why it's even in the game!

  7. Thanks for reading, Tanja! I'm glad you liked the pics of the cruise ship. Both of Sims Connections' ships are great and whenever you can, I highly recommend you download them. They both need a little work since they were made before probably half of the last EPs were released. But once you add all that fun stuff, they're great. I can't wait to convert the other one into a wedding venue!

    Yea, Jeff was right that they should have known that the "government" wasn't going to pay for things the town needs forever, but he could have been more sensitive about it. Like you said, he has money and not everyone else does. He's lucky there are no elections in Crystal Creek yet because he'd have to start acting like he actually cares about other people and their wellbeing.

    That salute is really dumb and annoying, isn't it!? I just found a hack to stop it. You can grab it at Simbology It’s called “NoShadeEyesSalute”

  8. Thank you so much for the link to that hack, I've been looking for it for a really long time! I was sure I saw it somewhere but couldn't remember where!

  9. You're welcome! That's one of those "must have" annoyance fixes :).

  10. That trip seems fun and I remember when you were posted pic on N99. Nicely done.

    Taxing can be hard but if the people want a town to be proud of they have to do it.

  11. Thanks for reading, HCove! I'm glad you enjoyed the pics of their trip. I'm happy that the ship ran so smoothly because I have plans to use it much more in the future.

    Yea, having to give up your hard earned money is always a tough thing to do but I hope the Crystal Creekers will enjoy the changes I have planned. :)


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