Monday, October 22, 2012

1.19 - Smart is Sexy

You may have been wondering why you didn't see much of Cupid in the last chapter ... well, Isabel's not the only one with romance in the air.

Here is where Cupid has been sleeping lately ...

King Cupid at rest in his leather and suede bed of honor.

And where exactly is this that he's living the fat life?

Eating lobster and steak has Cupid becoming "torpid" too!

At Pamona Pampered Pooch Kennels of course! (Getting pampered)

Cupid's breeder contacted the Twists recently and asked if he could use Cupid as a 'stud' for genetic variety in his puppy breeding program. Cupid gets to shoot some arrows of love haha!

And so, Cupid is now a proud papa.

That's Blanca (now elderly) in the background. Her last litter of pups (with Cupid!), and Bluebell, the lovely Misty Grey female Cupid is also expecting pups with, woohoo GO stud-muffin Cupid!

Henry Vigo also just got married (finally, he's nearing elderly) and had a huge cookout to celebrate his new generation of pups as well as his nuptials.

Since her household has always eaten what they grow in their garden, this is the first time Isabel has ever seen a huge grill full of steaks, and she decides she LOVES it! (Much to Dad's horror) ... Right then and there on the spot, Isabel makes the decision she's not going to put up with all these eco-friendly, vegetarian, living green rules anymore as soon as she's an 'adult' and calling all the shots!

BEEF, it's what's for dinner! (The dogs all agree with Isabel while salivating)

Along with her new lifestyle attitude, Isabel has also really come quite a bit out of her shell since she started tutoring at the Steele horse ranch.

Suddenly, she's getting attention from all three of the Steele brothers, but for vastly different reasons.

Chase, the popular one, depends on Isabel to help him make it through his junior year, he's really struggling with his grades and desperate to graduate on time next year.

Chase Steele may not be the smartest of the bunch, but definitely a dreamboat and very charismatic.

And then there's the oldest brother, Jake, who unfortunately seems to have very very different ideas about Isabel's visits to the ranch.

Jake Steele, already a young adult last year, and a girl-jockey as well as horse-jockey...

Jake being the bad-boy of the three brothers, managed to corner Isabel in the barn one night as she was leaving to head home just before curfew.

Jake: "What's a pretty little flower like you doing alone? I could show you a good time up in the hay loft ..."

But Isabel bravely reminded him that propositioning an underage girl was definitely more than just a "minor offense" if a cop, namely his Dad, happened to get involved. Jake got the hint.

And then there was middle brother, Andy.

Andy Steele. The quiet, shy one of the three.

Isabel didn't really know much about Andy at all because he was painfully shy and a computer whiz, so he spent almost all of his time secluded in his room doing whatever it was he did on the computer for hours on end. Andy was about to graduate in a few days and his birthday to young adult was soon too.

And then one night, after a particularly long tutoring session, Isabel and Chase just started chatting about non-school things. That's when she learned he was an outdoors lover too, and their signs were compatible.

"ohmigosh I love the outdoors TOO!"

Suddenly, Isabel unbelievably found herself asking Chase if he was going to the prom. She has no idea where that came from - just some brave foolish slip she threw out there.

Chase almost seemed a little sad when he told her he was already going with Bethany Barnes...

"Uh yeah, I'm going with Bethany. She's kinda had it planned out all school year, matching colors for our outfits, ugh...  and all that crap ..."

Isabel lamely plays it off with some "School sucks" kind of remarks to cover her embarrassment.

"Yeah, well, I can't wait to just get school over with and leave town anyways ..."

She decides to be rebellious and stay out after curfew and sneak in a quick game of chess on one of their cool laptops.

"Well, school really does suck. Letting off some steam playing the anonymous online player will help deal with disappointment. Yeah, that's it..."

Little does she know, her anonymous online opponent is actually Andy, who's on the matching computer in the next room and has a direct line set up to the other laptop.

"Wow, she's really good. I'm getting pwned like a boss here!"

The match is mercifully short. And when she's won, a message unexpectedly pops up on her screen:

"Smart is Sexy. Chase is a fool to choose that blonde bimbo over you. I'll take you to prom if you promise not to beat me up about dancing the way you did at chess. I suck at both.... yours in admiration, Andy"

Andy meets her at the door as she comes out to see where he's hiding and sent the message from.

Isabel smiles easily at Andy and compliments his style. "That was pretty clever. I'd love to go to prom with you."

Andy does have to warn her that his birthday is tomorrow and he'll technically be a young adult just days before graduation and prom and hopes that'll be ok with her Dad. Apparently he has all the gentleman qualities his older brother lacks in that department. Isabel assures him it should be fine. (She didn't really mention it to Dad, however)

Just the day before prom, drama happens. Isabel gets stopped in the hallway on the way to gym class by none other than Bethany Barnes who claims they were once good friends and gives Isabel a warning ...

In a syrupy sweet voice she says, "Friends don't steal one another's boyfriends, right Isabel?"

Isabel shrugs off the thinly veiled threat. She thinks Bethany is vapid and shallow and not worthy of any serious concern. It's actually laughable considering Bethany doesn't even know who her date for prom really is anyways.

Smirking over the hilarity of it all ...  "Just wait til' she finds out how wrong she is about it. Drama-queen, pffft!"

 Andy's too shy to have a birthday party, and celebrates his aging up privately, so Isabel doesn't get to see his change until the night of the dance.

Andy, aged up to gorgeous young adult the night of Prom.

The prom was oddly a very casual affair, complete with barn dance decorations. No one except a few snooty girls even wore dresses (like Bethany and Kylie Pelly). Isabel was immensely relieved, as was Andy. They had a terrific time being goofy and generally making fun of everyone else.

Here's their prom picture. I have no idea why Isabel has such a ridiculous look on her face, do you?

I'm pretty sure they were mocking Bethany Barnes doing her Diva pose.

Simon had a slight freak out (while tending his fish at the lab) when he realized his daughter went to prom with a fully grown man and was well on her way to becoming a woman soon herself.


But everything went just fine and though Isabel did get her first kiss at prom from Andy, he behaved himself with the utmost manners and had her home by curfew, much to Dad's relief.


Finally, after the school year is out for summer, the Camp Cinnamon Falls project is completed.

Simon's dream is now reality. A campground with fishing deck, bridge and picnic areas makes his favorite place in Appaloosa Plains an inviting park for the community.

The entire town turns out for the grand re-opening ice-cream social. Even the mayor, Booker Singleton uses it as a campaign opportunity, as does local celebrity, aging country music star Honey Darnell.

Everyone crammed into the tiny little one room cabin to partake of delicious ice cream from the fancy ice cream maker that was donated to the park by some wealthy anonymous benefactor who also owns the mysteriously creepy ice cream trucks ... (cue ominous music)

This picture actually tells a very funny story all in itself:  On the left is Booker, who is schmoozing it up for campaign donations from the wealthy Sofia Martingale who is actually his wife now! To her right is Ethan Parrott, who dropped his ice cream cone in order to take a cellphone photo of Honey Darnell, posing with her own ice cream. But he's busy staring at Sofia with the "hate that sim" thoughts because Sofia is one of the two women his Dad was sleeping with which ended Ethan's parents marriage. What a drama scene haha!

The elderly but ever popular Ms. Honey Darnell posed for photos and signed autographs on the lovely new fishing deck and even gave a small impromptu guitar performance. This is the most attention tiny Cinnamon Falls has had in generations. The whole town is talking about it and visiting.

Who knows, maybe she'll put one more platinum country album out before she kicks the bucket!

Isabel shows up a bit late. She just got done dressing up for an interview at the science center for consideration into the Science Academy next year instead of going to regular high school. She's pretty pleased with herself over how well that went and daydreams of her soon-to-be future while riding up to the campground.

Dream-girl dreams of adventures to come ...

As a special present to Isabel, Simon shows her the nice outdoor chess set he's had built into the lovely deck overlooking the lake and falls. Now Isabel can play chess and enjoy the outdoors, two of her favorite activities together! She's really flattered by the sentiment, but hasn't yet told Dad she intends to leave town soon after graduation.

Isabel suddenly realizes her whole life is about to change.

Isabel strikes up a conversation with one of her gifted program classmates, Billy Lee. Billy's already applying to various colleges for med school and they debate about many intellectual things while enjoying the cookout celebration.

This school year has been great. Isabel has a lot of friends and a new boyfriend too. Ok, so her boyfriend is technically unable to even date her now he's a young adult. Minor complication!

Simon happens to wander over as they're talking and does some cheesy introductions as well as slapping poor Billy on the back nearly making him choke on his hotdog while congratulating him on his aspirations to become a doctor.

Well now the conversation just got awkward! Time to go!

As she passes her Dad, she whispers furiously ...

"Don't even try playing matchmaker Dad, no way!!"

Simon likes Billy of course, he's a much safer prospect than the much older Andy Steele.

But Isabel's got this all figured out.

"Simple Math. Zero plus Zero is still ZERO."

Isabel has ZERO intentions of settling down with a local boy and starting a family. If only her Dad really understood.

She's got PLANS.

Love this beautiful girl. This is what you call a "Smirkle"

From: The Pig's Tale
by: Lewis Carrol

Little Birds are teaching
Tigresses to smile,
Innocent of guile:
Smile, I say, not smirkle-
Mouth a semicircle,
That's the proper style.

Imagine the surreal moment as you hear this poem being recited by Billy as a colorful nuthatch perches on his finger ... yeah. That's weird but cool!

Who knew? - Billy's a zoology nut like Simon. No wonder he's trying to hook them up!

Ch. 1.20 - "Endings and Beginnings" HERE.



This has been my absolute favorite chapter to write thus far in my story - especially the scene where Andy secretly messages her that it's him she's stomping at chess and asks her to prom, how romantic is that? =)
Isabel is perched upon the edge of adulthood and so many fun things are happening for her. Next chapter she becomes a young adult and the new generation roll will officially begin for Gen. 2!!

I had so much fun writing in the three Steele brothers. Each has the personality just as written ... the rogue bad-boy, the shy computer geek, and the cheeky charismatic guy who's struggling academically. Isabel received a surprise phone-call after meeting Andy, and I mean literally within one sim-hour, asking her to prom. Shocked me right to laughing and so of course I had to go with it since having her break up Chase and Bethany would have been far less fun for the 'twist of fate' style I prefer! My only regret is that Andy is so much older than Isabel. Chase is only a day or two older but Andy is so much older he'll probably be hitched or moved on by the time she's anywhere near ready to find a partner. She's to remain single anyways, oh well! 

The park I built completely drained the family funds to nearly nothing and so Isabel is going to have quite a challenge herself in getting her career off the ground! Fortunately she has no need to move out of the house yet since she'll be traveling abroad. As soon as Nathan's old enough, I may have Simon and Sarah move out to the cabin at the lake (turning it into a residential lot instead). It's tiny but only needs a stove to be complete! It really seems like their 'living green' kind of dream anyways.

Friday, October 19, 2012

1.18 - Teen Troubles

Things were going well for Simon at his job (recent promotion to senior scientist) and Isabel was starting high school. But Sarah was now the one having a terrible time of things. Her Mother passed away unexpectedly and she hadn't gotten to resolve their differences. This has left Sarah completely depressed and unable to care for little Nathan or ride her horse in competitions which she had not done since before she and Simon got married since she was pregnant.

Poor Sarah. This is more than the baby blues. (Forgot to put a shirt on too apparently)

Isabel really felt bad for Sarah. She didn't have a good relationship with her Mom either. They only talked on the phone once in awhile. She couldn't imagine how bad it would feel if her Mom died suddenly like that. This new sympathy led Isabel to help out around the house a lot more instead of rebellious pranks. This often meant taking care of her baby brother when Dad was busy.

This was, at first, not a very enjoyable task.

"Oh, uuuugh! How can one tiny baby stink so much?!"

But changing diapers and giving bottles also comes with the reward of snuggles and smiles too.

"Did you just punch me in the nose?! You cute little larva!!"

Simon tries to get Sarah outside as much as possible, helping him garden or grooming her horse. But postpartum depression aggravated by her Mom's death seems to be keeping Sarah from enjoying anything at all.

She finally agrees to go riding with her Father, who was also coping with the loss of his wife and also in frail health himself. Sarah and her sister Stacy were the last (twins) of six kids the Gilberts had, so they had been older already nearing elderly when she was born.

"Sarah, I don't have much time left either. I don't want to be alone without your Mother ..."

Despite all their differences of lifestyle, Sarah loves her Dad and it's important  to her he hears that since she hadn't had time to let her Mom know that before she passed away.

"I know your Mother didn't always agree with your "Living Green" lifestyle, but we have always loved you..."

She and her Dad go to dinner to celebrate her aging up to her middle years.

Sarah feels a lot better after spending time with her Dad, and even enters a competition that night, placing a respectable third place. Not bad after being out of the saddle awhile!

"Good job Moonie ol' girl ... you still got the moves!"

Isabel offers to babysit so Sarah can start riding competitions in the evenings. To pass the time, she invites some kids from the chess club over. Only one of them, another fellow genius, is able to beat Sarah about a third of the rounds they play against one another.

"Your birthday party was fun, too bad half the kids who showed up were stupid. You're the only other smart girl I know."

The only problem is, Katie Lanson is also exceptionally grumpy. So every time she loses, she gets mad, dumps the pieces on the floor, and leaves in a huff.

Defeated again!!

Which Isabel thinks is hilarious.

The diabolical genius reveling in her victory.

As a genius, Isabel's thirst for knowledge is insatiable. She spends a great deal of time trying to "Solve the Unsolvable" - special Sim challenges offered over the internet which came with prize money. It's not surprising she was one of the first in the special "Simsa High IQ Society" to solve a new problem in one of her all day long sessions.

"Success! Isabel has found a 0 (n) solution for primality testing. Getting an extra $150 to boot makes solving problems pretty lucrative!"

High School, however, comes with new challenges for Isabel. She is so easily bored by regular classes that she often skips and hides out at the library to study. She has straight A's and her teachers love her, so they tend to overlook her absences.

"If I can just make it to lunch, I can skip out and still have a few hours of computer time"

Her Dad's unwillingness to buy anything new, including a computer, is one of the few points of contention between Isabel and Simon. Privately, Simon likes having Isabel come down to the lab to do research on their clunky old machines anyways.

And research she does. Isabel has it all planned out. She's going to start traveling after school and visit far away places where she can study ancient sim-civilizations.

Dad thinks she's studying, but she's actually running price checks on travel tickets ...

There are a few things Isabel knows she is going to need to start her dream, and one of them is money. Her Dad, though frugal, is not rich. And now, he tells her all their savings are going into a new project he is starting with Sarah. They are going to buy the old run down Cinnamon Falls park and fix it up into a campground by doing all the work themselves using up-cycled materials from torn down barns and farm fencing. Unfortunately the cost of the lot itself is quite high, taking all their savings from the sale of their old house.

"A campground? Why can't we buy the old dinosaur dig site and fix THAT up? Campgrounds are boring!"

It's Simon's dream to own a public piece of a park and give back to the community something for others to enjoy nature. Cinnamon Falls has always been his favorite place and he wants to grow old there with Sarah. Plus, building it gives them something to do together and helps Sarah overcome her depression by keeping her busy.

The plans for the park renovation will take the better part of a year. Sarah and Simon have started  paying Isabel to babysit Nathan almost every night (Simon refused to have strangers babysit anyways). This is Isabel's first after school 'job' though she'd rather be working at the bookstore with her friend Katie, or Billy, who were both in the gifted program at school with her and starting a book discussion club after hours.

Just as Sarah was starting to smile a little more often ... tragedy strikes again and her Father also passes away, broken-heartedly following his wife to the grave with Grimmy.

Isabel just doesn't know what to do to comfort Sarah as she stands at the sink sobbing.

The best thing Isabel could think of was to try and be good and helpful as much as possible.

She tries to learn to cook, but that ends in a minor disaster too.

Sarah didn't even try to help, she just ran and hid in her room ...

Fortunately Isabel's brave trait really comes in handy. This kind of thing doesn't even phase her and she quickly extinguishes the fire. If only the dirty counters and dishes were so easy to get rid of too!

"Crap, there went my waffles!"

Simon tales a week off work to help Sarah through yet another grieving period. They have a small cabin started out at the new campground and Sarah seems better when she's there and much less upset.

Isabel stays home all weekend to help tiny Nathan bust out of his blue larva blanket and become a cute toddler.

Dad's hair color and tiny mouth, Mom's bright blue eyes. Cute kid!

With as distant as Sarah had been after his birth, it isn't surprising how quickly little Nathan takes to Isabel like she's his surrogate Mom. Sometimes only Isabel has the touch to get him to go to bed at night.

"Hey it's ok little guy, I'll be right in the next room studying - don't worry."

Missing Nathan's birthday and spending so much time out at the campground construction site sends Sarah into another tailspin of grief and misery.

Emotionally fragile Sarah.

But both Simon and Isabel do the best they can to pick up the slack when Sarah goes to bed early every night, exhausted from working or sad.

Simon manages to get a meal successfully cooked without another fire.

Isabel gets a break on the weekends from babysitting. Simon's got a good handle on little Nathan.

This house is so bare and drab - but Simon won't buy a single bit more furniture ... damn that Living Green roll!

Nathan picks up walking very quickly, he is almost as active and adventurous as Isabel was, but not quite.

Toddler in jammies, aww!

In her free time when she's not babysitting and on the weekends, Isabel has started up a tutoring program to earn extra money and school credit by helping kids around town with their failing grades.

One of her first "clients" happens to be none other than an old childhood friend... Chase Steele.

Isabel arrives at the Steele horse ranch on her first night of tutoring and is totally thrown off guard by the adorably charming Chase ...

Isabel is thinking "Oh wow, this was totally unexpected ..."

Isabel, typically brave and confident, is left stammering when she tries to introduce herself awkwardly as butterflies swarm inside making her want to laugh nervously.

"Uh ...hi. I'm here to to tickle you... errrr... TUTOR you, I mean...uh. yeah. Tutor." Chase grins, "huh??"

And for the first time, Isabel's got an instant crush. She's not sure how she's going to sit so close to this guy and actually work out algebra problems. Especially when he grins mischievously and says he'd rather sit outside in the fresh air to do his homework.

She sits down shy and uncertain next to Chase.

Isabel thinking to herself, "oh my, help me Watcher, he smells like saddle leather and cinnamon rolls - I think I'm dying..."

But she manages to focus on the work, which comes easily to her - and helps Chase get through studying for his Algebra exam without any dying or further silly slip ups.

"Right, now you've got it. You'll do fine on your test now."

That night, it's something other than travels to faraway places that fills Isabel's dreams ...

The innocence of young love.

Read onward to ch. 1.19 - "Smart is Sexy" -- HERE!



- Poor Sarah has had a yellow or orange plumbob for pretty much almost a full 6 or 7 sim days! Her Mom died, then no sooner was she over that moodlet then Dad up and dies too. Then a stray cat decided to croak on the doorstep, complete with grimmy showing up to suck it up into cat heaven which set her and her own cat Ginger off (she's an animal lover) - then the stove fire, and being humiliated by an argument with her jerky brother pretty much gave her 3-4 bad moodlets at a time hah. Good thing Isabel and Simon took up the slack in caring for poor little Nathan or he'd have had a very bad babyhood of crying in his crib.

- As required by the "Living Green" generation roll I'm having the family buy a park and turn it into a public campground - big park category. (Cinnamon Falls fishing hole lot in Appaloosa Plains) It's underway and I hope to have it finished tonight! I'll update with a new chapter and pictures of it over the weekend. I originally intended to do something quite small to save money but I got carried away and used up all the money from the sale of their house on it haha!

- Chase and his two older brothers all turned out absolutely stunningly handsome - I took tons of screenshots of them (Their Dad and Mom sure have great genetics if anyone wants some fresh beautiful sim genes I'll share them! haha). They'll play a really big part in next chapter as well with a rather surprising / shocking switch in events for Isabel's first teen romance!