Monday, August 16, 2010

If there is one thing that you should know about the Kanes, it is that they make a lot of mistakes. Every family, no matter how upright and up-tight always has their fair share of oopses and shortcomings, but in the case of this particular lineage, there is seldom a time when everything goes right. Whether it's a curse, a genetic flaw, or simply horrible luck, not a single Kane can even hope to aspire to perfection.

But, where their shoddy footwork and bad choices lead them, there is one saving grace to their abysmal luck: they always find room to forgive. No matter how bad things get, every Kane knows that they're all bound to the same fate, so why not stick it through together? Even Great-Great-Great Grandfather Trenton Kane, a miserable father and stern hand found a way to forgive the son who abandoned him. In each generation, the bad eggs and the 'better' eggs came to love each other despite the errors they made, for better or for worse.

Unfortunately, it was a quality they took for granted: some things are just too great to forgive... Too painful to forget.

However, some people outside the Kanes were given much, much more than their fair share of the ability to forgive.


"It's so great to see you, Eva," Meredith said as she squeezed her friend tight. "You're looking so good, today!"

Eva laughed as she drew away. "Everything's been going so good for me, lately. Shamus has been more than helpful and loving since the uh... you know... and I've actually been promoted again at the bookstore! Alesha's birthday is tomorrow, which is a huge burden off my chest, I'm so looking forward to having a bit more time for 'me' from now on."


"Well, that's what tonight is about!" Meredith enthused, her smile wide. "Girls night out! Movie for just the two of us."

"You sure you're alright with Alesha staying here until we get back? I just figured Shamus could use a bit of a break, too..."

"Of course! Both Jeb and Brad are home, and I'm sure Amelia would be more than happy to play with her."


As they got ready to get in the car, Meredith stopped in the living room to say hi to Alesha... Who was busy picking her nose. How quaint.


Meredith and Eva had nothing to be worried about; there was plenty to keep Alesha occupied while they were out having fun...


... and Amelia was excited to have someone a bit closer to her age to play with at last.

If only Alesha were only one day older!

The next morning, Meredith's night of celebration was beginning to wear off; the reason they'd been out and about was now the only thing on Mere's mind, and the butterflies were flapping around in her stomach like a raging herd of buffalo.

No breakfast, this morning.


"Is there any way I can, like, avoid Brad for the next couple years? Move into the shed? Sleep out in the car?"

"Travis, you're going to have to tell him sooner or later. The last thing you want is for him to find out from someone else, right?"

"Yeah, I guess.... Hey, today's the big day, right?!"


Meredith nodded slowly, her anxiety slowly bubbling back. Travis laughed, when he saw her expression change. "Oh, come on, mom, you're gonna do great! Show me a smile!"

When she looked up, she couldn't help but laugh; Travis certainly was going overboard to cheer her up, but it worked. At least, for now. Maybe she'd be able to scarf down some pancakes...


House Number One: Sam Grant. From the outsides, she could already tell -- this house hadn't had a makeover in some time.

That's right: today was her first day as Twinbrook's newest architect. With Amelia in school and Travis so close to graduating, it was time to start looking for things outside the home to keep her occupied. Her job as a painter was fulfilling, but there was only so much business she could get selling portraits to the same thousand occupants of town: it was time to do something new. To get out. To stop being a hermit!


"Aaah, Meredith!" Sam Grant rushed to the door to greet her; she tried to smile, but her face was so numb from excitment and anxiety that... well, this was the best she could manage.

"Mr. Grant, I presume? What seems to be the trouble?"


He led her inside, and began to explain; he'd recently moved in, inheriting all the previous owner's furnishings, but it just wasn't doing anything for him. "Looks too much like an old lady parlour. I really just need to have somewhere to sit down and read, watch TV, that's a bit more... masculine, you know?"


Yes... Meredith could see what he meant. The place was awful; even the colors didn't match! She knew she had her work cut out for her, but, considering the budget that he was giving her to work with, she didn't think she'd have much trouble turning this place around.


Once it was finished, she breathed a sigh of relief -- and nervousness -- and called Sam to come take a look. She had a hard time thinking 'masculine', but... Well. Hopefully he liked it!


And he did, In fact, not only did he give her a rave review, but said he'd be calling her back in the future to work on the rest of the house. Wow! Meredith couldn't believe her ears. She knew she had artistic skill, but for her first day, things were going really well.


And, they continued to go well.

Clark Peddler was really excited about the new private gym she built for him. "Makes the rest of my house look a shambles," he said with a laugh as he looked it over. "You're going to have to come back and fix up the rest someday!"


Well, Meredith hoped that the jobs didn't keep flowing in all at once, but, her success was enough to convince Jeb to convert the nursery into a work room. "I'm mostly out on the town or working on the laptop, anyways," he told her with a shrug. "You may as well have somewhere quiet and private to concentrate. And, I think our baby days are over." Thank the Plumbbob.

It was tough, changing her lifestyle, but... Meredith had to say, she was happy, creating something for someone else.


She wasn't the only one hard at work at creation, though -- looks like Bradley discovered how to make another useless contraption... "Hey, floating this rubber duck may be the future for technology!" Brad, it's just magnets. Work on something more impressive!


As much as Travis didn't want to tell his brother about him and Emerald, he knew his mom was right: it was better to tell him now than wait until he found out from someone else. That would just be cruel... And even though Brad and Travis had never had much in common, he still loved him -- he was his brother, after all.

"Hey, Brad... Can we talk for a minute?" He finally found him reading in the backyard.

"Yeah, one sec, almost done with this chapter..." Bradley flipped the page; Travis grumbled, impatient he had to put this off for a even second longer.


"Alright, what's up?" Brad tucked the book away before walking over to where Travis waited.

"Look, I wanted to tell you before you found out from someone else, because I know it might be a bit hard for you to hear, but... Well, there's no easy way to say this, bro. Me'n Emerald started dating."


Bradley seemed inanimate, for a moment. "W.. What are you saying, Travis?"

"Emerald... Your best friend? Well, I asked her out. She said yes."


After the shock had worn off, Bradley couldn't contain himself any longer: he exploded. "How could you, Travis?! You knew I was planning on asking her out! You knew I've been practically in love with her since we were kids, for plumbbob's sakes... You could have any girl in school you wanted, why'd you have to ask her?!"


"Look, don't get all accusatory with me, Brad. If she didn't want to go out with me, she would've said no. So obviously, she doesn't like you as much as you think she does..."

"That's a lie," Bradley growled under his breath.


"Oh yeah?!" Brad yelled, pointing his finger in Brad's face. "Well, I don't think you actually like her as much as you think you do, either! Otherwise you wouldn'tve left her hanging, left her lonely, when she tried so hard to get you to date her! You're just jealous you don't have the guts to do what you want... And upset because it's your own fault that you let her slip through your fingers!"


"You're WRONG!" Bradley screamed back. "You just want me to be miserable! Through grade school, now high school, all you've ever done is make fun of me, talk about me behind my back, act like I don't even exist... And you know what?! I hate you!"


"Fine! Hate me! Say whatever you want, for all I care! That doesn't change the fact that Emerald is mine! So go wallow in your misery, Bradley. It's the only way you'll ever learn."


As Brad stomped up the back steps and slammed the door into the house, Travis stopped for a second to think about what he'd said... and he instantly regretted it. He didn't mean for it to come out that way... Brad was his brother, for plumbbob's sakes. His brother.

He'd get over it eventually, though... right?


It wasn't until he turned to leave himself that he suddenly realized that Amelia had been there, listening, the entire time. "Oh... uh, hi, Mia."

"Whatcha think of my tower?"


"It's great, Mia... Listen, what we were just talking about, if you wouldn't say anything t--"

"I don't know what you're talking about! I didn't hear aaaanything..."

"... Thanks, sis."

The door slammed loudly as Bradley escaped indoors, still fuming about what his brother had said to him. The nerve! He supposed he was true, but... How could he say things like that to him?!


He was caught off-guard when he walked through the living room on the way upstairs, and saw his mother standing there looking incredibly anxious.

"Brad... is everything alright? I could hear you yelling..." From a mile away too, probably. "Can... can we talk for a minute?"

"I'm done talking!" Bradley fumed. "All that ever means is 'I've got something tell tell you that'll crush your soul'! But I guess I couldn't hear anything worse, so... What?!"

Meredith had to back away; she'd never seen Bradley like this, at least not since his meltdown over his glasses some time ago. "Whoa, whoa, sweetie... All I wanted to do was talk to you about how you felt... To make sure you're going to be okay."


Bradley obviously felt bad about the way he reacted, as he instantly seemed to have remorse. Meredith's face fell as she watched her son's fall as well...


... and to her surprise, he suddenly collapsed onto her in a hug, crying on her shoulder.

"Oh, Brad... I'm so sorry," she said in a soft voice, cringing; she wasn't exactly sure what else she could say, especially not to make him feel better.


"Look," she continued. "I know it hurts, right now, but there's always going to be other girls. Someday, you're going to look back, and wish you'd given your brother a chance. I know you're a strong person, Brad. You're gonna be able to make it through this... Being angry isn't going to make anyone happy, okay?"

Brad muffled a soft "mhm" out before he turned away, but he knew... No matter what his mother, his brother, his best friend said... he wasn't sure when he'd ever be able to forgive them.

Not for this.


PiB - Nicarra August 16, 2010 at 1:27 AM  

Oh, hi Sam! You at least didn't end up in one of the absolute dumps in town. Looks like Meredith did well.

Oh, no more babies for Meredith? so sad - NOT.

And now for the pain. Bradley, in some ways Travis is dead right. She did try to get you dating and you wouldn't. She might just be hoping you'll finally wake up though.

Still Travis could have been a little less blunt.

Poor Brad, your brother isn't that evil. Just thoughtless.

Anonymous,  August 16, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

Being a teenager sucks. Sometimes those wounds stick with you, even twenty years or more in the future. I hope Travis and Brad mend their relationship. There's nothing that says you have to like your sibling, you just have to be able to coexist with them until you're able to get out of the house.

Great job, Mere! I couldn't get past the first few levels of that profession so it will be fun to see Mere go through it.

Unknown August 16, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

Hahaha. Sam actually got a house to himself, too! A lot of them had to end up sharing a house. Still hasn't been lucky in love, though.

Travis and Brad are both wrong and both right in their own way. They're definitely being teenagers... Moody and stupid. They'll make up, hopefully... someday. It'll just take time.

I'm really enjoying the architect career, but it definitely slows down my gameplay even more. I only take two jobs a day, and have her research design the rest of her shift. It's really long hours, which is kind of annoying, since after 3pm all the kids need to be managed.

It's actually not as hard as I thought it'd be, either. As long as you pay attention to detail and add lots of decor/sim-made objects, you get a rave review every time.

Anonymous,  August 16, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

I'm glad you like it! It's good to see Meredith branching out.

Since I read this I have the song, "Unforgettable" stuck in my head. I just changed the lyric to "Unforgivable."

It was so nice to sit at the computer and read all these blogs.

And, I'm glad Tatianna is in PiB's Bachelor Blog. I was going to miss her since she left Twinbrook and the Kane's. Now, I can still get my Tatia fix.

Unknown August 16, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

"Un-for-givaaablleeeee"! I can hear it now, hahahaha. :)

I'm glad you were able to sit down and read today, too. :) Hope you have a bit more time today to relax, Chrysame. Sounds like you had a really hectic weekend!

I doubt this will be the last we see of Tatianna. You guys seem to have a lot of fun using her, and I haven't *quite* decided if I'm gonna perma-kick her from Twinbrook, yet. She could come in handy, later... Hmm.

Unknown August 16, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

Oh, so, I downloaded the new Woohooer, and gauged attraction between Jeb and Mere: 10 out of 10 both ways! Am I surprised? Hardly. -_-

Anonymous,  August 16, 2010 at 2:13 PM  

What I don't understand is why gauge attractiveness and consider attractiveness have different ranking. One has a max of ten and the other a max of four.

PiB - Nicarra August 16, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

I'm trying the designer career but so far, Thomas has only had a day so I'm not too far along. I did check the forums for best tips and the top two are a) consult with each client about the renovation during the day and b) take a pic of the client to hang in their new room.

Yeah, that one really slows game play a lot since you go into build mode to do the renovation.

Guage attraction vs consider attractiveness...scales might be different cause one is how the active Sim knows they feel and the other is how the active Sim thinks the other feels. Jack's challenge - they are a well chosen group. He thinks they are all damned hot.

Unknown August 16, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

I have no idea why they're different, either. May need to ask Twallan. I'm actually really curious what all the criteria is, too. I want to know what makes it tick!

Architect isn't hard, it just demands a lot of patience and time. :-/ Taking a picture of the client is good, they like personal touches... But I just discovered that if you clutter things too much, it makes them very unhappy. >.> My first bad review! Blargh. And of course, it had to be Shamus. *shakes fist*

Dee August 16, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

Wow, those two are so much like brothers in real life. Hopefully not the part about going with the others GF but the arguing part is so real.

Mom's telling Bradley the truth but that isn't what he wants to hear right now.

Smart girl Amelia. You didn't hear anything.

The pictures are perfect for the story.

I've never tried the architect career. I've been waiting to see someone else try it. :)

Anonymous,  August 17, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

Hey! What an amazing dramatic chapter, like always! your writing is so unique and I love the narration at the beginning. I love what's happening with all of them. Great work! Keep it up!

New chapter up on my blog!

Unknown August 17, 2010 at 5:54 PM  

Thanks, antsims3!

I'll be sure to stop by and check it out -- welcome back from vacation. ;)

Di Al Martini August 18, 2010 at 12:39 AM  

Sorry, a bit late. Just taking some rest from this 'blogs and games world'. Anyway, great chapter. I got carried away from the beginning. Poor Brad. I am glad that Travis had a bit regret though.

Unknown August 18, 2010 at 12:45 AM  

No problem at all, MJ. :) We all need breaks, even from our hobbies, sometimes. There is such things as too much of a good thing. I'm even downsizing how many posts I do each week next season, since I'm spending *way* too much time doing Simmy stuff these days, haha.

Thanks, though! This was a bit of a hard transition to do, since the "fallout" from Brad/Travis/Emerald was even difficult to play out in-game. I know that teenagers can be even 10x worse than this, but generally that's not what we like to play in our games, me thinks.

Jen August 21, 2010 at 11:32 PM  

Aww, poor Brad. I do feel sorry for him...but excuse me for laughing at his melt down. lol That was a classic shot of him and the most animated I think I've ever seen him!

He look so much like Jeb too it's not funny.

Loved all your shots Kaleeko. Esp the ones at night time, the lighting on the sims is perfect. Do you use a 'lighting mod' or was it just the right time...just after dusk. :)

Unknown August 22, 2010 at 8:56 AM  

Hehehe, yeah, Brad's not a very animated guy, is he? 'No Sense of Humor' tends to make sims kind of... docile. ^^

I don't use a lighting mod, I just got a bit frustrated after a few shots of darkness and moved the table with the lamp on it closer to them. I just wish I'd done it sooner, since most of the shots look pretty bleh.

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