Monday, January 27, 2014

Chapter 2.47-Anything But Acceptance

         For weeks now Mariah had been planning on something special, a surprise for her Mom, something to cheer her up. She’d checked and rechecked the calendar, called Tibi to confirm the date, checked the calendar again. Then she’d began going to the grocery store day after day, nose pressed against the glass of the cake display making the bakery ladies wrinkle their noses at the mess she made of their sparkling clean glass. Well, most of the bakery ladies. One of the ladies would bring her a free cookie with pity in her eyes when she saw Mariah standing there staring at the sweets.

          Then Mariah had had to save her pocket money, squirrelling it away, counting and recounting it to make sure she had the right amount when disaster struck.
          Taxes. How was she supposed to know about taxes? Thankfully, the checker had said she’d throw in the few extra dollars to pay the taxes and sent Mariah happily on her way.

          The best part was the ease with which she’d been able to talk her mother into having a cake and candles for her birthday. Mariah had been fully prepared for her mom to shrug it off, or to be sad about it, or to act like it wasn’t her birthday- anything but acceptance pretty much.
          But Layla had been graceful and accepted it as her due giving Mariah hope that her mom might be making a bit of a comeback after everything.

          And then it happened. The moment she’d blown the candles out, her eyes had gone blank, and Mariah’s stomach sank to her toes.
          Was Layla unhappy? Or had the moment fled, taking Layla with it?
          Slowly, Mariah lowered her arms and stopped her cheering. A weather eye on her mom helping to keep her from running just in case.

          After a million minutes had passed, Layla finally looked down at the cake in front of her and Mariah sighed. At least she was still here, and there was plenty of evidence to keep her mom in the present. For now.

          Grabbing a knife from one of the kitchen drawers, Layla cut herself a sloppy, if generous slice of cake, muttering under her breath. Once she straightened up she threw a sneer at one of the silhouettes on the wall.
          “Great,” she said nastily. “Now I’m old. Old and alone.” Her scowl disappeared only when her eye landed on Mariah.
          Then she stumped around the bar, banging her plate on the counter top before digging in.
 Mariah waited to make sure she was still invisible before she tiptoed to the cake to cut her own slice. She held her breath trying to be totally noiseless.

          Her plans had all gone wrong. She should have seen it coming. Her mother was far too nice in agreeing to a birthday cake in the first place. And so her cake was as salty from her tears as it was sweet.
          But at least it was a cake, she hadn’t had cake in ages now, only the muffins she made with the little oven that ran on a light bulb. And they were no match for this.

          The sound of the front door opening made her sit up abruptly. She’d been so intent on getting every last crumb that she’d missed her mother getting up and walking off.
          Why would the front door be open though?

          Mariah scrambled off her chair just as Layla’s backside slide out of view of the windows. She stomped one small foot in frustration with a loud growl.
          “Now what?” She asked no one in particular. After all her work to make sure no one knew just what kind of shape Layla was really in here she was about to go wandering out in public while in a sour mood.

          But Mariah knew that wandering around town asking if anyone had seen her mother was a sure fire way of gaining unwanted attention. So instead she went outside to sit at the little chess table outside, hoping her mother would wander past so she could get her back into the house.
          Pretending she hadn’t a care in the world she swung her feet happily, and even allowed a small smile to play about her lips.

          She’d sat there for what felt like hours, tense and waiting, reading the instructions laminated onto the table in front of her. Over and over she read them, until they’d made sense. Reading them made the pain of her mother’s disappearance almost disappear.

          Once they made sense, she’d started practicing the moves the instructions detailed. Over and over again she tried it all out. Noticing the rhythm and beauty the pieces seemed to have when they all moved about the board, tandem and separate all at the same time, like an intricate dance. She noticed how if you thought about it, and thought about your next move, how you could fool your opponent. It was like her book about Seers and The Sight. Logic was her comfort. And here was logic, once again, coming to rescue her in her despair. Also, once again, logic made her forget how horrible and chaotic the world really was.

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          Fall had arrived and Mariah had spent days raking up the leaves until she’d finally managed to form this giant leaf pile she could play in.
          The cooler weather made goosebumps erupt up and down her arms and legs, but she refused to put on warmer clothes or a jacket. She didn’t have any that fit anyway.

          Not that it mattered. Every piece of clothing she owned was about to be too small. Today was her birthday.
          And it was going to be a great one too. She’d slowly been talking to her mom about it to prepare her and had managed to talk Tibi into coming also. Finally, she’d wrangled permission for Roger to be there to help her celebrate. It wouldn’t be the super huge Sweet Teen birthday party Kelci had had. Or even the blow out Andre’s parents had thrown for him. But it would be her party.

          Beyond getting even this tiny celebration, she also was happy because she would finally be allowed to do all those things the law said she couldn’t do for her own safety. Like cook. Or light fires without an adult. Not that Roger or her hadn't been doing all of that anyway.
          The best part was she’d be allowed to go where ever she wanted to after school before curfew without anyone wondering why a child was wandering around without an adult. All that time she could spend at coffee shops, or shopping, or at the park with no one asking questions. Being a teen was going to be wonderful.

          Tibi had come.

          Alongside Roger, her mother was cheering. In fact, Layla had really gone all out, making a small feast for them all to eat afterwards. There was a pizza, a pie, and even fried ice cream. Not to mention the bowls of candy and nuts she’d put out.

          ‘Oh, let being a teen be better than this. Please have teenagehood be better than childhood.’ She supplicated the heavens as the wisps of smoke from her candles rose.
          She might believe in the Watcher and His PlumbBob about as much as she believed in her Abuella Sabria’s ability to predict the future, but anything was worth a shot at this point.

          Roger cheered loudly, along with Tibi’s whoops and hollers as the sparkles overtook her.

          And at last, she was a teen.

          Behind her, she heard her mother’s gasp.
          “Oh my PlumbBob. You grew up!”
         Which just made being a teenager totally make up for ever being a little kid.

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Filler. Sorry. But now we’re where we need to be to get this story moving along. I hadn't originally intended to do birthday's this go around, but Layla was pulling just perfect faces and I couldn't resist. (BTW- those faces were because there was a puddle on the floor. lol)

 A few quick notes-
     I never mentioned it, but Sabria and Santiago (Iggy’s parents) were forever fighting in game. To the point that to date they have divorced and remarried 6 times so far.  So annoying. I’m only mentioning it now because Sabria has finally passed on and Santiago has moved on.
     Cyrus and Phedra have both lost their spouses to old age at this point in game. In fact, Olivia died during Mariah’s party, which Cyrus was at (bloopers page y’all. There were quite a few people at this party you didn’t see.)
     Phedra has moved on so quickly that most people’s heads are spinning. Especially mine when I get the pop up that she’s engaged to Santiago. No. Just…ew. Not allowing that one to happen.
     Finally, Layla has finally completed her LTW to be rolling in cash and I used a Reward to change Iggy’s so he could complete his also. Originally, he wanted to be an astronaut. Poor dear. So it was changed to the perfect private aquarium which he fulfilled in about 2 seconds. Lol
     Mariah’s age up trait was Supernatural Skeptic. I’ve updated the Generational goals page with Tibi’s YA portrait and final traits and Ignacio’s final traits (I LTR-changed those too. Sue me.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chapter 2.46-How To Light A Fire

          Sitting where her older sister could keep an eye on her, Mariah openly allowed the wonder to show on her face. The tattoos on the chick taking the order from Tibi, there was a traffic light, loud music blared, garage doors in the walls, and posters covered every inch of Pop!, a place Mariah had very much wished to visit before. And finally, Tibi had taken her.

          Every kid in school had stood hanging on the fence at recess watching as the glittering gold car had been installed. Then followed weeks where the kids had tittered and come up with wild tales of what might actually be in the new arcade/diner before it opened. Finally, someone appeared at school whose parents had taken them into the wonderland Pop! was rumored to be and they reported of the miracles they had seen. Bowling lanes, snow cones, video games, skee ball, neon lights that stretched into infinity. Slowly and surely everyone had had their turn to visit, but Mariah still dreamt of the time when she could finally walk through the glass doors. Now, she sat trembling afraid the supports holding the car above her sister would break and crush her like a bug. That would be her luck.
          But luck held out, and Tibi soon turned, beckoning her to the dining area on the other side of the room.

          “A little hungry, huh? I think you finished that in record time,” Tibi said a few minutes later, Mariah’s cocoa vanished. “Is Mom feeding you?”
          Mariah was careful to keep her face passive.
          “I don’t need Mom to feed me,” she answered as flippantly as she could. “I can feed myself.”
 “Sure,” answered Tibi with a sigh, pouring a generous measure of liquid from the bottle on the table into her own mug. “Sure, kid.”

          Following Mariah’s gaze Tibi turned in her seat to find the upside down car, and chuckled.
          “You want one for your birthday?” she asked playfully, turning back.
          “What would I do with it?” Mariah returned, slightly bewildered.
          Tibi snorted, “Oh, my dear little sister. You act so grown up, and yet you still have so much growing up to do.”
          “I am grown up,” said Mariah, resentfully.
          “Not nearly, sweetheart.”

          “I am plenty grown up!” it never took much time for Mariah to get hot, and even with the older sister she adored her temper was near the surface. “Just yesterday I did the laundry and took out the garbage!”
          “Whoa, whoa whoa. Easy there,” Tibi said in alarm. “I’m not discounting what chores you might do around the house-”
          “-They are not chores! I do them because I want to!”
          “Alright! Alright! I guess there’s no point is asking how Mom is doing then I suppose.”

          “Mom is fine,” said Mariah, suddenly docile again. “But she misses you. You should come over and see her.”
          Mariah looked straight at Tibi, hoping she was putting on the bestest puppy dog face ever. Layla did miss Tibi. And maybe seeing Tibi would help their Mom… Well, she wasn’t really Tibi’s mom, but she might as well be in Mariah’s opinion.
          “I don’t know baby,” Tibi sighed yet again. Mariah wondered what might be wrong if she was sighing so much. Maybe trouble with her girlfriend, Emily? “It might be a little awkward after…” shrugged Tibi. “I just- it’s probably- we’ll see. Okay? We’ll see.”

          “Hey, I’ve got some news for you,” said Tibi. “Emily and I broke up a while ago, and, uh, I've been seeing your cousin Henry instead. Your Aunt Phedra's son?”
          “You did?” Mariah was very disappointed. One of the girls in her class, Kelci, had been a flower girl in a wedding last summer and had gone on and on about how pretty it all was, and the dress she had worn. Mariah had been hoping she could do something similar when the time came for Tibi and Emily.
          “Aw, don’t pout over it! Be happy that I'm happy with Henry, and life moves on. It's not like Emily and I wouldn't ever grow up or apart.. It’s not like it’s the end of the world or anything. It’s certainly not like I’m leaving.”
          ‘You already left.’ Mariah huffed to herself.

          “Come on Riah, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, but I was fairly certain you’d be upset that Emily and I ended things. Now quit pouting about it. Please? I’m happy with Henry.”
          Mariah rolled her eyes. So Tibi got a new boyfriend and wouldn’t visit her or her mom ever again because she was happy and wanted to forget them. And Mariah would be stuck with Roger on the playground. And she’d always be afraid Abuella Sabria would appear to torment them all. And they’d never get a dog. The end. That sucked.
          “Please, Mariah? I’ll take you into the arcade for glow bowling if you’ll drop it and be happy for me.”

          “Oh Tibi!!! I’m so very happy that you and Emily broke up and you didn’t tell me! You know I always thought she was a bit of a tramp, and only looked out for her own good. And I just know that you’re going to do so much better without her. In fact, I bet Henry is far more concerned about your well being than Emily ever was!”
          “And of course I forgive you for not telling me that it’s not just that you and Emily broke up, but that you've already moved on! It’s not like mom’s also not gone through a rough patch and could use family support, just like you.”
          “That’s quite-”
          “And meanwhile I sit at home waiting on pins and needles for my wonderful older sister and her new boyfriend, who happens to also be my cousin- isn’t that called inbreeding or something like that? I mean aren’t there reality shows on tv about people who marry their own-”

          “-Who’s ready to go bowling?!?”

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          “How much farther?” Roger whined.
          Rolling her eyes, Mariah turned back over her shoulder to see him trudging after her. If he’d only run like she did they would have already been there. But he insisted he couldn’t keep up with her making them walk and slowing them down considerably.
          “If you’d save your breath for getting there, we’d get there a lot faster,” she snapped back.

          Finally seeing where she usually left the well-worn path, Mariah gave a little skip.
          “Come on,” a little more patience in her voice this time. “It’s downhill from here, and easier to run the rest of the way.”
          “Let’s just walk it-Mariah! Wait up!”
          But she’d already taken off, allowing the downward slope to lend momentum to her steps. This time, Roger caught up faster, looking slightly red and flustered as they neared their destination.

          Suddenly, Roger grabbed her elbow, jerking her to a stop.
          “Hey, look,” he said, eyes wide. “There’s a building down there! By the river! Can you see it?”
          “Well, doy,” Mariah rolled her eyes. “Where do you think we’re going?” And she ran on again.
          “Is it safe?” Roger asked. “Hey! Hey Mariah wait.up!”

          But Mariah did not wait for him. She ran all the way down the hill, dodging brambles and thorn bushes on her way to the door of the tiny cabin by the river.
          “What is this place?” Roger panted when he’d caught up.
          “My house,” Mariah answered, peeking around the corner to see if she needed to open the shutters on the other window. “Come on.”

          “Don’t be such a baby,” Mariah pushed the door open, walking in confidently. “And I thought you were the one who wanted to see where I go when I don’t go home.”
          Several weeks ago he’d observed that she didn’t always go inside her home when the bus dropped her off and had spent the rest of his time pestering her about it. When she’d finally answered him about where she went he switched to begging to be brought along.

          “Welcome to my home,” Mariah said somewhat shyly as he finally entered. She really hadn’t wanted him to come. This was her place. Her escape and sanctuary. Her thinking place, and the one place she could really be herself.
          Also, she’d put a lot of work into the old cabin, wearing out two brooms getting it swept clean. It was her pride and joy and she kind of hoped she could get Roger to help her fix it up some more. Perhaps lug some more chairs and maybe a table into the place.
          “This is where you come?” Roger’s voice held no hint of the disgust she was sure he would feel and for half a second her heart swelled in gratitude.

          Roger’s eyes swept over the few objects before he strode across the floor, plopping himself down in front of his friend.
          “So, what is this place? How’d you find it?”
          “Wandering around one day when I just didn’t want to go home to Abuella I found it,” she answered, adjusting herself to be more comfortable. “I think it’s just an old abandoned house. At least, when I found it it looked like no one had been here in years. So I cleaned it up and I come here sometimes.”

          “Well,” he answered. “I think it’s awesome.” His eyes swept around again, a half smile on his lips. “I mean, you’ve kind of got your own hideaway. Sometimes I wish I had a hideaway, to get away from JJ and Benji. Sometimes, when I’m tired of them picking on me, I just hide in the hay loft, but they can find me there, so it’s not a very good hideout. Why do you hide here from your Ah-AhbWay- Ah-Bay-Way-Lah? And isn’t your mom back? Are you hiding from her too?”
          Stiffening, Mariah looked down at the hands folded neatly in her lap.
          “Doesn’t matter,” she said quietly, trying to find a way to change the subject. “And it’s Ah-bway-lah. It means grandma. Though I don’t know why we call her that instead of Grandma.” 

          “Awwww,” Roger stuck his legs in front of him and leaned toward her. “You can tell me. I told you that I hide sometimes, too. It’s ok. We’re friends!”
          Then he grinned that grin that made Mariah hate herself for reasons she didn’t fully understand. And that made her hate him.
          “I told you it doesn’t matter,” she said, not meeting his eye. “Just drop it, okay?”
          “It’s alright! You can tell me!”
          “No! I can’t! And I shouldn’t have brought you here to my place. It was a dumb idea.”
          Roger’s face fell, and he leaned back, tracing a finger along the grooves in the floor.

          “I’m sorry,” Roger looked up at last, puppy dog eyes brimming with tears. “I’ll go now if you’d like.”
          Mariah rolled her eyes, looked away, sneered.
          “It’s not your fault,” she whispered, not trusting her own voice. “I’m sorry, too. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”
          Sniffling a little, Roger wiped his nose with the back of his hand and nodded.
          “Will you still be my friend?”

          Mariah sighed. She was so mean to him, and he was way too nice.
          “Of course we’re still friends,” she said.
          “Okay,” Roger nodded his head again then suddenly brightened, eyes alight on the fireplace. “Cool fireplace! I learned how to light a fire with just some twigs and cotton in Scouts. Wanna light the fireplace?”
          Fire sounded like lots of fun to Mariah too, it was also always a little chillier down by the river.
          “Sure! Then we can do our homework together next to a roaring fire!”

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First of all- They are NOT going to get hurt with fire. They are both really close to being teens (In story. They are already teens in game) and my brother and I lit lots of fires on our own in the great outdoors and in fireplaces when we were growing up and never got hurt. Well, for the most part. At least we never destroyed anything ok? There’s nothing wrong with firebugs. (Mwuuahahahahahaha!)
Second- for the record Henry and Tibi is not inbreeding. In case anyone forgot, Tibi is the daughter of Melly, not Layla.
And finally- This is glow bowling in my game.(WARNING! Pretty Neon Game Spam Upcoming)
Suck it EA. We’ll get to go in that arcade with the nifty lighting later on. And for the record, Mariah totally owned Tibi 24 to 16. lol

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Downloads- Tuning Mod- Sunny's No Burglar Mod

Cop: I'm supposed to be arresting you, but your eyes are arresting me! They remind me of stars!
Ignacio: Uuuuuh? More cop less lonely bachelor please?
ZOMG! It's that Strings and Bassoon stinger meaning a burglar is about to slip onto my lot! But but but, my sim just got back those 29 gold and palladium ingots in the mail today! and I spent hours getting all those pink diamonds heart shapped cut with that machine! You're going to steal them all from me aren't you? NOOOO!!!

And so it goes.

Layla: Ah-Ha ,burglar! I might have forgotten to put in the alarm since we just moved to this house but I will foil you and get a no burglar mod! Who cares that it hasn't been updated in 5 years?
Burglar: *snort. Yeah, you do that.
Which is exactly what I did. Almost immediately after this pic was taken because at this point, my poor heiress was getting a burglar almost every other night.

Layla: Uhm, I got a no burglar mod. Why are you here?
Cop: I can't reach him to nab him! This wall is in my way!
For a few sim nights it slowed down.

Cop- Finally! I got one!
Ignacio- Wait a second. We've had that No Burglar mod for How long now? And How many Burglars does this make? I'm losing count.
Layla: Mama said they're'd be days like this, they're'd be days like this my Mama said! (Mama said Mama said!)
 But in reality, as time wore on the problem only seemed to get worse.

Burglar: I'm back Bitches!
Cop: I'm sorry to inform you that the burglar got away. Have an awesome night! And Remember, Appaloosa Plains's Finest Loves you! There. Now you should sleep better at night.
Ignacio: If the burglar got away who did my wife just beat the stew out of?!?
Burglar-For such a little thing you sure are athletic. You ought to stop by the warehouse and sign up! We're always looking for more talent and we get free donuts from the cops every Thursday!
Layla-Please just go away.
(Please note, I don't take pictures of each and every robbery. And all those pictures were taken of different burglary attempts.) This was happening a LOT. To the point I got fed up with it and decided to track down the No Burglary mod again to see what was up. What was up is that the mod was not ever really truly made to be an absolute no burglary mod. Also, the creator of the original No Burglary mod (found on MTS) has become inactive leaving me little choice but to take matters into my own hands.

What I did-
I changed the chance of a burglar to 0.000% from 0.025%.

Then I changed the <!--For each kSimoleansForOnePercentIncrease dollars of household worth, the chance of a burglar spawning is increased by 1 percent.--> to 20 million Simoleans. So if your household is worth §20,000,000 you'll have a 1% chance of getting burgled. Ha! Though that thar tuning is probably why I had been getting hit each night since the original tuning states that per household worth of  just a measley §20,000. Laynacio has about 300k in cash alone. So they have a 15.025% chance of getting burgled each night just because of their pocketbook! I can't even remember the total what they're worth including their household, but because of all the collectables the house is worth at little over 1 million simoleans, which makes a 50.025% chance of a bungler Per chance! Per.chance!

Then I changed the Min Relationship To Not Rob House to 1. So if you know him at.all from just around the neighborhood, he won't rob you ever. (Note that there are 2 burglars that spawn per neighborhood, so technically you'd have to have met them both. But still... That One you met? Yeah, he's gonna leave you alone tonight. ;) )

Also- I changed the minimum days between burglaries to 999. Which should also help in the long run. Y'know, just in case you play the same game for that long. That's almost 143 in game weeks of play before the next "Chance" even occurs at the much reduced percentage.

Have you spotted it yet? The hole in my plan? Yup, that's right. No matter what, per new game opened using this mod there is a chance on the very first night that your sim could get burgled. Sorry, that's unavoidable. Just make sure at least one of your sims stays up until after 11pm that first night and you should be fine though, even if your household is worth §112,000,000.
That was my testing household which I had to start over, and over and over, and over again some more with that super high net worth. She did not get burgled once. Ever. So I think it's fairly safe to say that this mod is almost watertight.

You want it right? Of course you do! Give your simmies peace of mind, a good night's sleep, and allow them to keep their carefully hoarded belongings with Sunny's No Burglar Mod!
Final Note- This mod WILL conflict with any other mod that edits the  Burglar_0x58b099f7ebc071dd _XMLfile in game. This mod was tested with and recommended for use with Patch 1.63. It will work with BaseGame only or with any number and combination of EPs.

Download Sunny's No Burglar Mod
Gee, thanks EA, for releasing a patch the same day I get the guts up to release this. For now, as I said above, this is compatible with Patch 1.63. I have NOT yet tested with further patches but I will do my very best to see if I can make this work for 1.66. But you'll have to be patient since I refuse to open my game without Error Trap installed and I don't know how long it will be before it is updated by the incredibly army of volunteers who have pledged themselves to keeping up Twallan's legacy.

Huge huge huge thanks to those who contributed to the tutorial on MTS/The Wiki on how to create your own tuning mod. I could Not have done this without someone holding my hand and this tutorial did just that.

Muchos Muy Muy Grande Gracias to Misty/Margaret Pendragon who helped me to test this out. Honestly, thank you ever so much for helping to test!  

And, of course, huge thanks to Gemma/Gemly_Teddie for also helping to egg me on. I need it sometimes. ;)

What are you still reading for? Go grab the goods and leave a comment telling me how much you love it! And:

Fight the Power, people!