Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Intermission - Liebster and some explanations!

So first of all I want to apologise for the slow updates once again. Free time? Got lots of it. But goddamn are these posts a pain to write sometimes. This is why I'm an artist and not an author ;;
Hawthorne legacy, btw, has slow updates (and by that i mean no updates) due to problems I'm having with my game preventing me from actually playing. The game literally crashes after like twenty minutes and I lose everything. Hopefully I can fix that soon...

Anyway! So. Apparently, theres a thing called the Liebster award. And I was nominated for it by Nocriel - huge thanks for that!!

So what is the Liebster award? Well, I think the easiest way to explain it is to show off the rules...

- Say thank you to the person that has nominated you for the award.
- Answer the 11 questions the person has asked
- Nominate people (comment on their blog to let them know)
- Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

My nominations and questions can be found at the bottom of the post. For now, let's answer some questions. :)

1. Who's your favorite sim?
Zachary! He's such a nervous wreck, and there's just something about constantly worried characters that I like. Kylie makes for a close second.

2. Do you stage a lot? How do you do it?
I actually don't stage at all! Unless you count little things like directing a sim to cry on another's shoulder after someone's just died, of course.

3. Is there a roll you'd really hate to play?
Deadbeat parents. Just, please no. Don't neglect the children. I wouldn't reroll if I got it, as I actually rerolled already (for the first generation. I rolled 5-star celebrity and I don't like the celebrity system), but man I just don't like the idea of neglecting the kids.

4. How about a roll you'd love to play?
Animal Wrangler or Equestrian, perhaps. I love pets. :P

5. What is your favorite Sims EP and why is it Pets?
...Pets. Definitely Pets. I'm a huge animal person and in real life, I'm the crazy cat girl and honestly there just feels like something... missing without animals in a household. Even if it's just a parrot or something.

6. What parts of yourself as a person in real life do you recognize in your sims (personality, experiences, appearance or whatever) or your story in general? Don't say nothing, I'm convinced there's always a little bit of yourself in your sims! :P
Like Zachary, I, too, am a worried, nervous wreck. Oops.

7. What lifespan do you play your RLC on/how many sim days?
The default.

8. Would you play Sims 3 without any CC or mods?
Considering that I already do... yeah. Take away my expansions and I'll bite you, though.

9. What other games do you play? Do you know Heroes of the Storm (I do not get paid by Blizzard, I'm just curious...)?
I'm sorry, I don't know Heroes of the Storm. D: I'm really, really into Pokemon, myself, but I also play Don't Starve and Portal. And I love story driven games and visual novels, especially mysteries!! Danganronpa, anyone?

10. What's a hobby of yours other than gaming/writing?
Art! I'm the resident art kid. I draw and paint and sometimes, photography too. Mostly just drawing, though. 
Oh, oh, and online roleplaying. That's always cool.

11. Is eleven questions too many?
Nah, just the right amount. :)

Now. Nominations!

I. Don't actually read a lot of legacy blogs (I've been meaning to catch up), but I'll throw down the ones I read anyway. I think most/all of these have already been nominated in the past, and if they don't want to answer my questions feel no obligation to!

--The Koyangi Legacy - Nocriel - Oops, you're the one that nominated me. But your legacy is a lot of fun to read, and hey look! C A T S!
--The Winterly Legacy - Marcy - This one I started reading, but I ended up losing my place. Oops. Still, I love your sense of humor so much. I should pick it up again later.
--A Clover and a Bee - Owl_face - I have yet to read this one because the heavy storytelling is intimidating (one day, though!), but you comment on every update I post. You and Nocriel are the only ones, and it means a lot to see that I have consistent readers who are enjoying my legacy. Thank you.
--The Only Way Is Up - Gemly_teddie - First RLC I read, and what got me into the whole thing in the first place. It's gone quiet recently (I believe the author had a baby..?), but even so. It's cool.
--Chaos Theory - Melynx - First of all, I love the name. I read up quite a bit before, like with the Winterlys, I lost my place. I intend on picking this one up again, too. Bloom is such a charming character :)

I reckon that's enough nominations. Questions!!

1. I hear most people use mods and CC in their games - which ones do you consider to be the absolute necessities, and why?

2. How long have you been playing the Sims for?

3. Out of all of your Sims, which do you find to be the hardest to write and why?

4. ^And who is the easiest?

5. Moving away from the topic of Sims temporarily, do you read often? What's your favorite book?

6. What kinds of music do you listen to whilst writing for your legacy, if any?

7. On average, how long does it take for you to write an update?

8. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Or neither?

9. If you could add one thing to the Sims that isn't already in an expansion, what would it be?

10. And if you could remove one thing, what would it be?

11. Why do you think its eleven questions and not ten?

Once again, thank you Nocriel for the nomination!! Hopefully, I'll be able to update soon.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Update 2-5

Dear mom and dad...
Hey!! It's Zachary, but you already know that. I made it to university just fine, in case you were wondering. I just got home from the meet and greet. I wish it was a little later, I barely finished unpacking in time. I got the same dorm room again - it's familiar. I like familiar
I met some of my dormmates, too.  They're... interesting. Most of them are decent enough, but... this one guy just randomly walked up to me and tried to make, ahem, romantic advances. Total stranger. Didn't even get his name.
Clark is coming for another term, too. I don't like Clark. He's lazy, ignorant, and selfish. He doesn't do any work and yet he still gets more than anyone who does and it drives me up the wall! Worse still, he has the talent to do great things, and I can tell he does, but since he's so lazy it all goes to waste!
 Ugghhh...but I shouldn't lose my temper. I know. It's just a bit frustrating is all.
But enough about that. I started classes. Drawing and painting sure looks easy, but... it's really not. I got credits towards my degree based on my cooking skill, but cooking has absolutely nothing to do with this course. So I'm the one in an art course that doesn't know how to draw anything more than a stick figure, and everyone else around me is really talented. They don't say anything, but you can tell that they're judging me, and I'm the weird useless guy again who's only here to do their laundry sometimes.
 They think I'm gullible too. You know, the other day one of them put up green makeup and started roaring at me and pretending to be a zombie. Of course he wasn't a zombie. If he was, he'd've bit me. He just stood there making dumb noises, even when I laughed at him. He kinda stunk, though. I wonder if any of them take showers. 
They had a big fire party. A fire party! Do they want the place to burn down?! Firefighters like you, mom, are working themselves to the bone to keep Simnation safe from fires, and then sims like this just run around playing with it like it's a toy. You know, some science kid threw chemicals on the fire! Chemicals!!
I couldn't get to sleep that night. I was scared that they were going to burn the place down while I was in bed and I wouldn't be able to get out in time. I just stayed up and checked after them to make sure they didn't leave the taps on and flood everything whenever they use them.

The dorms didn't catch fire, miraculously. But do you know what did?
The oven! They really should offer cooking courses - if this girl knew even the basics of how to use an oven, this wouldn't have happened.
The fire department showed up really fast, though, thankfully. Good thing we all had a fire alarm.
I got my report card in a few minutes ago. Guess what!! I got an A! I have no idea how I managed it, honestly. I don't think I learned anything about art from this. But hey, I got the grade!!
Graduation is tomorrow. Same place and time as last time. Do you think you can make it? I know notice is short, but maybe if you take the fire engine you can make it...
 Anyway. I'm out of time. I gotta go to bed now, so that I can be up early tomorrow. Night mom, night dad.
--Love, Zachary

Honestly, it's been like a month and all I have for you is this. But really, I couldn't extend it beyond this point. It'd just be forced and clunky and all that.

No misc screenshots, this time, unless you want more images of Zachary in a lecture hall. You don't want more images of Zachary in a lecture hall. It's not interesting at the least.
You'd think there'd be more happening in a university, but n o p e. Just some kid trying to graduate from art college by drawing stick figures. As an art student I can confirm that you would not graduate with an A by doing that. Hell, the professor would probably just get annoyed that you bothered to show up when you clearly had never drawn in your entire life. But these are sim professors so anything goes.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Update 2-4

Dear mom and dad....
Sorry I haven't e-mailed to you in so long. I had finals and I wanted to spend a whole lot of time studying so that I didn't mess it up like last time. Good news!! I passed!! I did it!! I'm not a failure!

I'm sorry for the short notice, but the graduation ceremony is tomorrow. I'll text dad the details. I'm sure it's obvious, but you're both invited! It's been too long since I've seen you guys in person - this is gonna be great!! We're gonna talk tomorrow, so I'm gonna cut this email off here. See you then!!
 Love, Zachary

 I'd done it! I'd graduated from college!! I may have forgotten to put on my graduation robes, and mom and dad might have been a little bit late, but I had a degree! 
Mom pulled me into a hug the moment she left the building. It had been all to long since I'd felt that. Had I really been away for so long? 
"I'm so proud of you, Zachie." She told me. I already knew that - she told me that all the time - but it was still rather comforting. I wasn't a failure. I'd made mom proud.
Dad came out a few minutes later. He didn't say it, but I think he got lost on the way out. We stood there and made small talk for a little while.
"So how's the garden?" I asked.
"Oh, it's fine. I just got a new trowel the other day, the old one finally bit the dust. But that's to be expected, I'd been using it ever since before you were born... but the old one was certainly better than this new one..." Dad continued to drone on about garden trowels for a good ten minutes. I listened patiently - it had been all too long since I'd seen him, and I couldn't just ignore him after all this. Besides, it was important to him, even if I had no idea why it even mattered that this particular trowel had too much of a dip in the middle of it.
Mom, however, seemed to be much less interested in gardening tools. 
"Alright, Jonah, dear. That's quite enough of that. Why don't we stop and listen to what Zachie has to say for a moment?" She suggested.
Dad looked startled to have been interrupted. "O-oh. Right. So, Zachary, you have a degree. What do you plan on doing now? I'm sure there are a lot of employers looking for graduates with tech degrees, you have options..."

And there it was. The 'subtle' jab to go get a job. I knew dad wasn't trying to nag - he just wanted the best of me, and when he was growing up I imagine he would have had it pounded into his head that he needed a job as soon as possible. But he also didn't go out and get a job straight out of university - heck, he dropped out and walked away from a business degree specifically so that he could go marry mom and not be chained down to some office.

But he did have a point. A technology degree would look darn good on my resume. But... what if I still couldn't get a job after that? Lots of people just got a degree, including a whole bunch of other tech majors... their resumes would also look darn good, and they were popular and good at talking to people. They'd get all the jobs. 
Unless I made my resume look even nicer! If one degree looked pretty, then two would look even prettier! And when I took the aptitude test the last time, I did get some extra credits towards a fine arts or physical education degree.... and nothing they could throw at me in fine arts could possibly be dangerous, right? That was just drawing and painting and stuff, right? No brain fryers there. Sure, I'd gotten those credits based on my cooking, but that didn't matter. Drawing sure looked easy enough.

"You're not going to get a job, are you?" Mom asked, as if she could read my mind.
I grinned like a child in a candy store. "I'm coming back here.  Do you know how good it would look if I had two degrees? Nobody could turn me down then!"
Mom and dad exchanged a knowing look. "Alright then, dear. But do come home again for a little while first, okay?"
"Of course I will."
It didn't take long to pack up my bags before I was heading off home. 
Somehow, even though they went home at the same time as I did, mom had already gotten changed and was playing guitar on the lawn and dad was on his way over to listen before I even got out of the taxi. How do they manage it? The world will never know.
Did you know that when you graduate university you get an extra trait slot?? I didn't. Well, Zachary's a workaholic now too. Just thought I should mention that.
Fun fact - it took Zachary three terms to graduate. Literally nothing worth screenshotting happened in the third term, though, so I just pretended it never happened.
Speaking of screenshots....

Monday, 24 April 2017

Update 2-3

Dear mom and dad....
I failed exams the other day. I'm sorry, I thought I'd studied hard enough. Apparently missing out with the brain enhancer took a huge toll on my performance. I didn't know some of the important answers because I didn't use it.
It wasn't finals. I still have a chance. But if I can't even pass the first exams, how am I going to be able to pass finals?? I'm going to be a failure. I'm sorry. 
But I shouldn't just whine here. How have your days been? I made a friend. Her name is Carey. She's nice enough. She listens to me, at least, and works hard enough for school, which is more than I can say for most of the students here. But then again, most of the students still managed to pass and I didn't, so maybe that doesn't mean as much as I think it does.
There was a party on Saturday. It was hosted in my dorm, so I couldn't just miss it. Besides, I was invited. Clark told me that I needed it. Apparently I'd been moping around since exams and I 'killed the mood everywhere I went'. It started out fairly tame. Nobody was daring each other to kiss random people, which was nice. 
Carey convinced me to try out some 'juice'. I... don't think that was juice. Not from any plant I've ever seen, at least. It smelled and tasted horrible. Like how I expected cat pee to taste. I only had one cup, and then I left it alone. I'm glad I did, too. Once people had had more than a couple of cups of the stuff, they started getting crazy. One girl had her friend hold her up so she could drink from the tap upside-down. Some people started running around naked. Nobody thought anything of it, though.

After a while they started passing out again. I went back to my room and went to bed. 
I got an email from my professor telling me that I could try using some red node thing if I wanted extra credit. I tried it, but... have you seen that thing? I don't even know what it does. I'm not sure I want to find out, either. What if it blows up? I've never used it before, I'd definitely mess it up and destroy something and get myself killed. I didn't get the extra credit. 
I got to use the brain enhancer, though! Not on myself. Some guy I've never seen before volunteered to let me try it on him. Apparently I'd still learn the same stuff, just about this other guy's brain and not mine. I was kinda wary at first, but apparently he'd already used one before, so if he was going to slowly die because of it, he was already going to. He showed me how to use it without frying his brain, too.
 But I should really get going now. Class is starting in a little while, and I still have to have breakfast. I'll talk to you again after finals. Hopefully, I won't fail. 
Love, Zachary
Sorry for the short one, but the longer version didn't flow very well and seemed kinda clunky so I had to shorten it and split it into two updates.
Misc. Screenshots (does anyone look at these?)-
 I tried a study group. The other guy just watched cat videos on his phone :/
Carey doesn't like cats?? Blasphemy.
Zachary autonomously went streaking. I didn't think it fit his personality very well so I didn't include it, but it was kinda funny
The guy I used the brain enhancer on passed out on Zachary's floor
.... That's kinda creepy, bro.
Why the heck is he playing pool with a food processor?
Zachary likes to autonomously berate Clark's ignorance, too. Poor guy.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Update 2-2

Dear mom and dad....
Hi!! It's Zachary again! I've started classes. They're.... kinda stressful, actually. More stressful than high school, although I guess I should have been expecting that. Like... it's uni. I'm not a kid. I'm in the big leagues now. But it'd be kinda nice if I didn't have so many long classes one after another. My schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays is busy as all heck! I do get a break in between classes, but it's not long enough to go back to my dorm and eat before I have to go to the next class.  I'm managing, though.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are better, though. Tuesdays are a class activity and Thursdays are a lecture, and then the rest of the day is free time. The class activity is at some comic book store. We're supposed to use those brain enhancer things.
 I skipped out on it, though. I'm sorry. The professor got mad at me, but I just couldn't. How do I know that thing is safe? The part that goes over your head is made out of a pasta strainer with a spoon, a spatula, and a wrench sticking out of it. That just screams 'dodgy device made in some kid's garage'. How do I know that it won't fry my brain, or slowly kill me over the span of a few years? How can everyone be so okay with this?!  I left mine in my room, and in my room it's staying.
Thursday's lecture is a lot better. All I have to do is sit at a desk, listen to the professor, and take notes. 
It's a little hard to pay attention when there are so many people snoring, though. I don't get it - how can they sleep through this? It's pretty interesting stuff, and more importantly, they're gonna need to know it come exams time.
There was some guy just outside the lecture hall dressed up as a llama. Remember that one silly song that was really popular a little while ago? Gangim Style or whatever? He was doing the dance to that, and singing some other song. Apparently he's the mascot of the university. As for why he was ripping of the Gangim Style dance... I couldn't get a straight answer from him.
 Lemme see here, what else can I talk about.. Oh! My dormmates! They're... interesting. They pass out in the middle of the floor a lot... even though they have perfectly good beds. It's not like they're overworking themselves, though. Some of them don't even bother with work at all!
 They don't clean up after themselves at all, either. I do all of the chores around here. I'm cleaning up after seven other people on top of all my work, while they run around throwing parties and being lazy as all heck.
They're not careful, either! They keep setting the oven on fire!! I have to keep checking on it just in case they've left it on. Good thing they have an alarm.

Honestly, mom, you should come over them and give them one of your fire safety talks. They won't listen to me. They think I'm weird because I keep doing all of their chores, and I spend too much time studying, and I brush my teeth three times over before and after every meal. 
But apparently it's normal to walk around the dorm in your underwear. Nobody thinks anything of it. I don't get it.

I got to try some new things, though. There's this machine in the kitchen that makes coffee. I know you said I wasn't supposed to have caffeine, since it makes me hyper, but I just had to try some! It's great. It helped keep me up long enough to study.
But I gotta go now. It's getting late, and I gotta study for exams tomorrow. It was great talking to you, though!! :)
Love, Zachary
The misc screenshot section makes its return! Including some from the last update, since I forgot to add them then.
Not sure why I took this one, but have Zachary and a book
Coca Cola. Cus why the hell not.
Studying. You'd think there'd be more interesting shots to take at uni, but nope.
Zachary and the firefighter had a nice chat.
Look at this goddamn mess. It only gets worse when I remember to add laundry... *shudders*
Repairing their crappy shower for like the third time.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Update 2-1

Dear mom and dad....
Hey! It's me, Zachary. I made the trip safely! I know I just called earlier, but I wanted to send an e-mail as well. That way, I can tell you about my day a little more coherently. You know how I get when I'm excited... I talk so fast you can barely hear what I'm saying, and I know you're having more trouble keeping up than you used to. Besides, like this I can talk to both of you at once, and you don't have to drop everything just to talk to me! It's great, right?
 I'll still call of course, but remember to check your e-mails a lot. :D (That was an emoticon, mom. Tilt your head to the side. See it? Apparently its a big thing on the internet now. :O :) :( D: :T :P) 
I managed to get into a dormitory. I would have preferred to stay by myself, but the dorms are free and renting a house isn't. I got here pretty early, so I got a really nice room! It even has a fireplace! I'm not gonna use it though. I haven't forgotten what you taught me about fireplaces. What if I left it lit by accident? Everything would burn down and I'd die and the rest of the dorm would die because I was an idiot. Besides, my room has carpet in it. It took a while to unpack all of my stuff by myself, but I think it looks really nice.

See that machine in the corner? Apparently that's a brain enhancer. The university supplied everyone in my major one of those. I really don't like having it in my room, but it's a necessity for class, so I don't really have much of a choice. I really don't want to use it, though....
I found space on my dresser and the mantelpiece for all my stuff, which is a relief. I was worried that there wouldn't be enough room! I brought Cuddles, too. I gave up on the imaginary friend thing a while ago, but it just doesn't seem right without him there. One of the other students in the dorm keeps playing some kinda trick on me though. He and that gnome keep appearing in weird places. It's strange, though - I keep my door locked. They must have found a way in through the window.
There was a meet and greet earlier, too. Everyone was already off in their own little groups, though, and I didn't want to interrupt... they wouldn't have liked that, I don't think. The school was handing out freebies, though! I took a whole bunch. That was super generous of them!!! Nobody else took any, though. Dunno why. 
 I didn't really get to talk to anyone, which sucked. I did play a bit of table tennis with this one girl, though! She didn't really say anything, though, and I didn't get her name, either. 
 I was invited to a party, though!! One of the boys in the fraternity nearby hosted one and invited everyone. He said that he wanted to see who the cool kids were around here. I asked him why he couldn't just do that at the meet and greet, but he said it was because it was 'lame'. I don't see what was so lame about it! They even gave us free stuff.
I still went to the party, though. I couldn't just miss it after he invited me so nicely! There were so many people there, though. Too many people. I spotted the host pretty quickly. He was talking to one of the other guys in my dorm, Clark. As soon as I went over, though, Clark left... dunno why. The host seemed pretty happy to see me, though. He was smiling, at least.
And then for some reason, he told me to just go and kiss someone. Anyone. I don't know why he wanted me to do that, but I really didn't want to. That seemed... rude. Wrong. Besides, what about Donovan? But he was giving me a funny look, and I didn't want to look like an idiot in front of everyone. Maybe it was some kinda tradition or something? I don't know.
Even though he asked me to, he got really mad when I kissed him. I don't get it - didn't he want me to do that? He ran off before I could ask him, but at least I did it. 
I heard someone else playing guitar in another room, so I went over to go listen. And... it was awful. I didn't even know anyone could be that bad. You were so much better, mom. 
 I didn't stay around much longer. This party wasn't very good, and I'd already made a fool of myself. I just went home and made dinner. The kitchen in the dorm isn't very good, either. Everything is really, really cheap. I don't like it.
But I gotta go now. It's getting late, and I have to head to bed soon or else I'll be tired in class tomorrow morning. Goodnight, and see you later.
Love, Zachary

Friday, 7 April 2017

Update 2-0 - Generation II rolls

Generation two!
I must admit, this is the farthest I've ever played in a sim household before. Usually, I drop the game and start fresh by the time the first child hits college. Still, I haven't even come close to running out of steam yet, so I'll bet that we'll be seeing the start of generation three soon enough!

But we're not here to talk about generation three. Here, let me reveal the rolls for generation two--

Family Structure: Step Children
Required No. of Children: 1
Primary Income: Standard Career - Law Enforcement (Special Agent)
Secondary Income: Standard Career - Criminal (Evil)
Generational Goal: Career Student - Ivory Tower
Pet Goal: Perfectionist - Hunting
Misc. Fun: No Strangers

Career student as a generational goal means I'm going to be spending quite a lot of time in university. I could just send Zachary to a whole bunch of classes, but nah. That's not as fun. Besides, his LTW is to get three degrees. 

The careers in this roll are amusing me so much. The special agent married to a horrible criminal. I wonder if either of them are aware of the other's job. Kinda hard to miss.

I'm mildly annoyed that I'm only getting one child again. It's a lot easier, sure, but I have some plans for story this generation and it'd make a lot more sense if I were allowed more than one kid. Still, I can work with this. Step children is a nice change, too, especially since Zachary's romantic interest is male. No worries about adopting some random kid with the same face as every other NPC ever - I just have to go through a bit of meddling to get more kids in the town.

I've already gone and populated the town a little more. Story progression finally moved in some kids, but it was too little too late. One household with like three kids just isn't enough for an entire town. I went and got someone pregnant for the sake of having future step-kids, and then moved in another family with kids from the bin. That'll do, I think. 

Storytelling in this past generation was really 'eh'. I could have done a lot more, had Zachary had more friends, but a combination of story progression being really bad and a long string of holidays and snow days taking up almost his entire teen stage meant he didn't meet anyone at all. I'm gonna give myself some blame too, though. I never set him to "meet new friends" when he did go to school, and he also had a part time job which took up even more time. Plus, I never really have my sims do much social stuff when I play, oops.
I plan on upping storytelling some in this generation, with a newer format. If you guys don't like it, just let me know. It's all experimental.

I didn't want to add any misc screenshots to the end of my last update, so I'll throw Zachary's YA screenshot here.  If you want the rest of the random misc screenshots, let me know, but if you don't mind waiting I'll probably compile one big post of them when I finish the challenge. 
He's got Neurotic, Excitable, Athletic, Genius, and Cat Person. LTW, as I mentioned before, is the one to complete three degrees.

He's currently headed towards a degree in technology. Thanks for following my legacy, and I'll see you in 2-1!

Update 1-7 - Generation I Finale

Soon, Zachary decided to help bring in money for the household. He was old enough for a part-time job now, and the spa had an opening.
It wasn't as exciting as he was expecting it to be. The highlight of his first day of work was a grumpy driver in the carpool.
Speaking of grumpy, Jonah was getting increasingly frustrated with everyday things. He found himself grumbling and complaining at things such as the food processor for no reason, and at one point while playing games on Zachary's laptop, he got so mad that he slammed the lid closed. He slammed it so hard, it broke.
There were ways to remedy this, though. Zachary began to do the cooking instead, and whenever Jonah was upset, Kylie pulled out her guitar and played some music. Something about that was always rather calming.
Zachary was turning out to be quite the bookworm - at least, when it came to skill books. Stories, he had no interest in at all.
Later on, the bathroom got rearranged. Yay, nicer tub, sink, and toilet. You can't see it, but they have a self-cleaning litter box now, too.
That new litter box was just in time, too! They hadn't been expecting it, but one morning they woke up to another kitten!
Kerri and Pumpkin's only daughter was named Skittles, after the candy.
Kerri was looking rather proud of herself. Taiga, on the other hand, barely even noticed her granddaughter as she went off to go play with a toy.
Skittles' first action was to follow Zachary around. (God knows what he's wearing in this screenshot, that's not any outfit I've given him)
Upon realising that someone had broken his laptop, Zachary decided to fix it for himself. He was rather glad he'd been reading so many skill books, as he didn't electrocute himself or anything like that.
Another cat in the household meant they needed another food bowl. They also put in a new kitchen, upgraded Kylie and Jonah's bedroom, and rearranged the living room a bit.
Between holidays, weekends, and snow days, Zachary had barely gotten to go to high school, but soon enough prom came around. Kylie found the spare change to hire Zachary a limo to go to prom in style.
Despite having absolutely no friends at all, Zachary was nominated as prom king. There weren't many teens in the neighborhood, though, so there wasn't much competition. He displayed his crown proudly on his dresser.
The next morning, Kylie woke up to see her son writing love letters on the kitchen table. She decided to leave him be. If he'd wanted to talk about it, he would.
And eventually, he did.
"Mom, can I tell you something? You have to promise not to tell dad.."
"Sure thing, honey. What is it?"
"Well, I met this guy at prom... his name is Donovan. Mom.. I think I like him. Like, like like him."
"Is that it? Zachary, honey, me and your father don't care if you like another man. Just make sure you're good to him, and he's good to you, and remember to use protection..."
"Alright, Zachary, I'm just messing with you. I know you're old enough to know these things. I've got to head to work now, though. Just remember, we'll support you no matter what, alright?"

And that was that. After Kylie left, Zachary decided to call his newfound crush and invite him over.
They talked for a while, before Zachary realised he was behind on homework. He invited Donavan to come inside and join him, but Donavan decided that building snowmen was much more interesting.

The very next day, Kylie got a promotion at work. She was the fire chief now! The top of her career! She even got her own personal fire engine to park outside her house.
Kylie couldn't wait to announce the big news.
But Zachary wasn't nearly as excited as she thought he'd be - and Zachary was very easily excited. Something was wrong.
Quietly, Kylie asked what was the matter.
All good things come to an end, regardless of how great they were. Cats don't live forever, and Taiga was no exception. While Kylie was at work that day, Taiga had finally passed on.
Take good care of her, Reaper. She was well loved, and will be missed.
The loss hit Zachary like a brick. He could often be found sobbing into his parents' shoulders, or crying to himself. He loved that cat.
The cats of the household mourned, too. Hardimos in particular was heartbroken. Taiga's sons looked to each other for comfort.
Some flower bushes were planted out back, and Taiga was buried under them. Hopefully, nobody else will be joining her any time soon.
Even with the most recent loss, the house was still very crowded. The Attaways couldn't afford to move to a bigger house, but they could extend the one they already had.
A lot of the furniture was also upgraded, and I also added a bird cage - Taiga was quite the hunter, and had had quite a lot of small animals in her inventory when she passed, as I learned when Kylie's inventory was suddenly flooded with random minor pets. Kylie released most of them, but she decided to keep a cardinal.
The bird's name is Strawberry. There's not much to say about her, being a minor pet with very little impact on anything. She's getting a section on the characters page anyway, though. Why? Because I want her to. She's part of the family now.
Another critter that had been a part of Taiga's inventory was another rare bug. Move aside, red assassin bug, this thing is both prettier and rarer.
Now that the Attaways had vehicle, Kylie decided to teach Zachary how to drive. At the very least, it served as some sort of distraction from Taiga's death. Besides, how many teens could say that they learned to drive in a fire engine with the sirens on?
Later, Kylie also had another award to pick up from the town hall. Thanks to her great service to the town as a firefighter, the mayor awarded her with a key to display in her home.
Move aside, big bulky trophy, this thing is much higher an award. Oh, and that rare bug from before got moved from Zachary's desk to the dresser, to go besides Jonah and Kylie's achievements.
Eventually, the family stopped mourning Taiga and moved on to celebrate their living family - specifically, Skittles, who grew into an adult the same day that the mourning moodlet ran out.

Guess what Kylie found while firefighting - a child! Finally, story progression got off its lazy bum and put some children in this town.
I've been wanting to add this screenshot to the collection of firefighting shots for a while, but only now have I ran into a child while on the job.
Apparently, the extension on their house was pretty eye-catching. This burglar thought that the household must be rich, and walked on in to steal things.
It ended horribly for her, as she got beat up by both Kylie and the police officer almost immediately.
Kylie got over it fast. Apparently, feeding Strawberry is more important than being robbed.
On Zachary's next birthday, some random lady walked in and stole some pancakes from the fridge. I have no idea who she is and why she thought she could just do that, but nobody bothered to chase her away.
While Jonah set up for the party, however, an emergency came in. Not another fire, no. 
Apparently, the local criminals were planning some terrible plot to steal all of the clouds in SimNation. Their plot backfired horribly - while they got all of the clouds, they soon got trapped in an indoors thunderstorm and needed help from the firefighters.
The rest of the team chickened out of going in there, which meant Kylie bravely faced the disaster alone, just as she had done for every other emergency in her career.
She succeeded in saving the criminals, and worked with the police to get most of them arrested, too. By the time she got home, however, Zachary's party was already halfway over.
Only two people were invited - Donavan and the random girl who stole their pancakes, who was apparently one of Zachary's classmates named Stephenie.
Zachary spent most of the party chatting to Donavan.
After a nap, Kylie provided the music.
Not for the party or anything though. Instead, she provided music for the bush and the sleeping cat outside. She mastered guitar while she did this, though. I thought that was kind of fitting.
Donavan and Stephenie didn't stay long - not even long enough for the cake that Jonah had convinced Kylie to let Zachary have. Despite that, Zachary didn't celebrate his birthday alone - he had all of his family around him.
Finding gifts for him wasn't an easy feat, since Zachary had no hobbies at all. Kylie just gave him an old chair for his college room, and Jonah gave him a family photo and a piece of advice.
"Son, let me put it bluntly. That shirt looks awful on you. I bought you some new clothes yesterday, go check your dresser. You can't show up to college looking like that."
And so, Zachary planned out a much nicer outfit. Then, he rushed to take the aptitude test for Sims University.
He didn't score as highly as he would have liked, but it was something. He'd enrol in university as soon as he graduated from high school - which was the next morning, which meant he needed to sleep early.
Zachary woke up the next morning to find that his bird, Strawberry, had passed. She hadn't been with them nearly as long as Taiga had, but Zachary still cried.
He didn't dwell on it for long, though, as he had to graduate!
Zachary had felt very anxious in the hours leading up to his graduation ceremony, but once it had come, it passed all too quickly. He was given his degree, declared 'most likely to take over the world' by his class, and then it was over.
That was it. He had graduated from high school. Zachary Attaway was an adult, and he was soon to head off to university. He wasn't sure what he was going to do with his life after that, but he didn't let himself worry about it. Not now.

Kylie and Jonah couldn't be prouder. While they had each given him a gift for his birthday, they felt that graduation was a special event that deserved something more. It was a once in a lifetime event, and soon he would be off at university where they wouldn't see him for a while.
They each gave him something to display in his room, to make him feel more at home even when he was miles away. From Jonah, the jade snake from China, and from Kylie, an old medal she was given back in her earlier years as a firefighter.
"Remember, Zachie, you can call or write to us at any time. We're so proud of you. The house is going to feel so empty when you're gone." Kylie said as she gave her son a hug.
Zachary drove his family home in the fire engine, before finally enrolling in university.
This was it. Zachary's parents had passed on the torch to him now. He was the next generation, and he was going to make his family proud.