Dinner Music

Have you ever been to an elegant restaurant and been serenaded by a musician? Well, in my game, I definitely want to treat my diners to the full dining experience, complete with violin. In fact, I think I know a violinst who might be interested in performing. This sounds like a perfect job for Jonathan Evans, don’t you think?

In honor of today’s forthcoming release of Dine Out, I’m sharing a little dinner music. Enjoy!

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Getting Ready to Dine Out

Since I’m not a builder, I’m already happily browsing restaurants in The Gallery in anticipation of tomorrow’s Dine Out game pack release.

This creation from Ranczer01 caught my eye. I’m sure others will enjoy this fine dining experience, as well.

Restaurant by Ranczer01
Restaurant by Ranczer01

To download, you can visit the Gallery, or just click here to go directly there. This 30 x 30 lot is currently listed as a “Lounge”. I’m sure once the new game pack is released, this beautiful venue can be easily converted to meet “Restaurant” requirements.

Today I’m thinking a lot about my sims and their communities. Although I’m still wondering exactly where I’ll put any new restaurants, I’m sure I’ll figure something out. I know my “master chef” Craig Dennison will open up a new restaurant. He had one in the past, but working around the game limitations to make it seem like a “real restaurant” was a problem. Hopefully running his restaurant will be more realistic after tomorrow.

I love having restaurants in my game, and in the past I’ve included everything from little ice cream shoppes to elegant restaurants serving fine cuisine. I’ve had little “Mom and Pop” burger bars, all-night diners, and fun little sandwich shops.

To add a more realistic flair to my games, I’ve always given names to the venues in my neighborhoods and worlds — even ones that didn’t really exist on the map. I like knowing where my sims work, you see, so many  of my “culinary” career sims were employed at Blossom Hill. I always imagined it sitting atop a gentle slope, surrounded by apple trees, cheery trees, and peach trees in bloom. Of course, fresh fruit pies were their specialty.

Tomorrow, once I’ve downloaded and installed Dine Out, I’m going to open a new Blossom Hill restaurant. I think I’ll situate it among a grove of blooming trees, and yes, I’ll include lots of fruit on the menu. I won’t know until then, of course, what other choices I’ll have. I’m looking forward to the “grand opening” of this fine dining establishment.

I’d love to hear about your plans for dining out!

A Husband of Her Own

ProposalFiona Patterson was about to give up on Benjamin Brooks. He’s always late! They were supposed to meet for a romantic night in the park, and he didn’t show up. She got tired of waiting and went home, and then he showed up at the park.

He finally came on home, and before she had a chance to yell at him, she found out why he was late. He’d stopped at the jewelers to pick up the engagement ring he’d ordered.

An engagement ring!

Yes, he proposed, and Fiona didn’t want to wait. They hurried off to find a judge and got married right away. After all, they’ve been living together so it wasn’t anything to make a big deal over. Fiona was tired of listening to her mother go on and on about how sinful it was.

Is Fiona happy now? No, not really. Well, yes, she loves Benjamin, but he’s still always late. He’s late to work. He’s late getting home. He’s late getting up. He’s not making much money either, but neither is she. They’re broke. Bills are coming due again soon, and Fiona’s a bit concerned. Things will get better, of course.

And what of Jonathan? She hasn’t seen him since he broke off their relationship. He told her then that he really loved his wife and wanted to make her happy. Well, Fiona told him a thing or two! And now, Jonathan, guess what! She doesn’t need you anymore. She’s got a husband, and by the way, he’s much better at keeping her satisfied that you ever were.

So there, Jonathan!

 

 

And the Winner Is…

Today’s the day, folks! The day I hand out the first ever “Edgar Evans Award for Community Service“.

Award

And the winner of this prestigious award is Liev Capra, created by Simmer RosemaryMarie for her Sim Blog Noble Doubt. Be sure to stop by, read her stories, and congratulate her for Liev’s “community service” award.

Liev Capra with Memphis Noble - Photo courtesy of RosemaryMarie
Liev Capra with Memphis Noble – Photo courtesy of RosemaryMarie
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
I am extremely honored to be receiving something as important as the Edgar Evans Community Service award. I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received because I am very sure that every other nominee for this award was as adept, if not more so, of winning this award.

I have faced many challenges on my way to this moment, both personally and professionally. But each one of them has only built up my character; making me the person I am today. Winning this award would not have been possible without the encouragement I have received from my family, colleagues and community all for whom I have the deepest respect, and from whom I have received the strength to challenge myself.
I sincerely thank Jonathan Chronicles for inspiring me to reach a stage where I can proudly hold up this award as a symbol of my accomplishment. Thank you!

The Edgar Evans Fan Club

Edgar EvansPart of the fun of following Jonathan along on his life’s journey comes from knowing his family. His father, Edgar, was one of the first sims I created for this version of the game, and I’ve always been proud of him and his accomplishments. I’ve also been amused at his bungling attempts to master social media

Yes, Edgar has conquered the stars, but now that he’s been retired from space flight missions and is back on ground duty, he can’t quite get the hang of blogging and creating a following. He finally decided he should simply leave the writing to his talented wife, author Sara Evans.

But truly, Jonathan does have a following — in the form of a fan club begun by kids in the neighborhood. The little fan club is up to sixteen members now. Yes, that’s more than Get Together allows for a single “club meeting”, but in Edgar’s world, once a member, always a member. For story purposes, his fan club continues to grow.

Now, this is what I most admire about Edgar. He is quite literally “down to earth”, and he cares very much about his six-, seven- and eight-year-old fans. A lot of busy, important men would likely find it a bother or think it a waste of time to meet with these children. Not Edgar. He enjoys getting together with his little fan club.

He gives them inspiring talks, shows them — even lets them touch — curios he’s collected from his space missions, and answers their questions about the astronaut program. Edgar likes to think that what he’s doing today might be the reason why a child chooses to pursue a career in space exploration or rocket science tomorrow.

We need more people like Edgar Evans, I think, and I’m not just talking about Sims 4. We need people like this in our real world, people who care about youth, people who are passionate about serving their community.

I guess I consider myself another member of The Edgar Evans Fan Club. I’m definitely one of his biggest admirers, and I’m grateful for the inspiration he gives me.

Big Blue DividerDo YOU have a sim in your game that you admire?

I’d love to hear about your upstanding sim citizens.

Please leave a comment on this post.

You and your sim might win the first “Edgar Evans Award” for

service to the community.

Award

I’ll be presenting the award one week from today.

 

An Award for Jonathan Chronicles

Spirit Animal Blog AwardI’m honored to have been chosen by simmer Rosemary Marie to receive the “Spirit Animal” blog award. I’ve enjoyed reading her stories at Noble Doubt, and I hope you’ll check them out. She has a true gift for creating realistic characters as well as a very enjoyable voice as a writer. If you like “SimLit”, you’ll love her blog.

I’ve been part of the “Simming” community almost from the beginning. I started playing The Sims soon after it was released, but it was a few months before I discovered the online discussion board and came to see how much more fun the game could be when I shared my stories with others.

Since then, I’ve been actively involved in both the Sims 2 and Sims 3 communities, although in very different ways for each game. My rotational playing style didn’t work well with Sims 3, so I turned toward “modeling” and creating sims for other players to enjoy.

Now, with Sims 4, I’m active on the Forum — under the forum name of NoWayJose527 — and also through Jonathan Chronicles. Because of my forum name and the blog name, a lot of simmers mistakenly think I’m male. I’m not. I’m a happily married old woman with lots of stories to tell. I learn a lot about life from my sims, and I also see the game as a valuable resource for developing creativity. One of my passions in life is to help others understand their own inherent creativity — and to put it to use. I enjoy sharing my thoughts about life, love, and all things sim through this blog, and I hope readers might draw a bit of inspiration from it.

wolf-howlingAs for what animal I would be if I could choose…well, in a sense, I have chosen. I’m a wolf. At least, I used to be. Years ago, I became involved with LARP — Live Action Role Play — and for my character, I chose a wolf. It was a magical realm, of course, with an on-going storyline and many supernatural creatures.

It was quite an experience to be part of a wolf pack. I’ll never forget the night when one of our young members was killed — in game, that is. We mourned with long, soulful howls. I’ll remember it always.

Now, to choose ten nominees for the award!

There are so many outstanding sim blogs to enjoy, it’s a difficult choice. My nominees are:

I enjoy putting posts together each day for Jonathan Chronicles, and I hope you are enjoying the blog as well. Jonathan seems to be heading down an unfortunate pathway of late, and I hope he soon sees the error of his ways. Of course, only time will tell.

Thank you again, Rosemary Marie, for thinking of Jonathan Chronicles.

Graduation Day

Graduation DayIt’s the day that Jonathan and Kat have both been waiting for. They’re donning graduation caps and walking across the stage at the Academy of Performing Arts.

Jonathan is proud to have earned his Bachelor’s degree — with honors — in Violin performance. Fiona has earned her degree in Piano performance.

What’s ahead now for the young couple? Neither is quite sure. Jonathan will start sending out queries to symphony orchestras, but despite his degree, his honors, and his talent, it’s hard to get auditions. And even harder to land a chair in a major orchestra.

Katherine isn’t setting her sights so high. She’s happy being Jonathan’s wife, so she’d prefer spending her time at home, taking care of the house, cooking meals…and maybe setting up a nursery? She and Jonathan had agreed they wouldn’t start a family under after graduation day.

Well, Jonathan? Are you ready now?

Kat would love to have children, but sometimes she’s not sure how her husband really feels about it. He’s been a bit distant at times, but maybe that was just the pressure of final exams, long rehearsals, the stress of the performances he’s given, and all the worries about finding a position.

Kat hopes that there’s nothing seriously wrong in her marriage. She still harbors a few suspicions about Fiona Patterson. Now that they’re all out of school — Fiona graduated, too — there won’t be many opportunities for Jonathan and Fiona to cross paths.

Having a baby would be a great way to get Jonathan’s full attention. Kat’s hoping it will happen soon.

 

Big Blue Divider

 What do YOU think? Should Kat and Jonathan start a family now?

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Party!

Party time!

2016-04-13That seems to be the theme for a lot of EA’s content. A quick look at any Sims 4 advertisement will show young adults having a great time, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sims do like to party — whether it’s in the hot tub, at a local night spot, or in one of the beautiful parks included in the game. It’s all about having a good time.

Of course, there are a lot of players who aren’t thrilled with the party-party-party atmosphere. We need time to relax and unwind in life — and so do our sims — but there’s more to life than having a good time.

The original game from 2000 didn’t include parties, but they were soon added. Parties were first introduced in the Livin’ Large expansion pack which was released a few months after the game came out.

I loved having costume parties! It was great fun to pull out that costume trunk and see what outfits my sims would choose. And, of course, who didn’t love that huge cake with a girl popping out? When the House Party expansion came along in 2001, we could also throw big bashes that — if successful — could be crashed by celebrity Drew Carey. Watch out, though! A bad party could result in a mime appearing. Mimes were awful. Really awful.

Now, with Sims 4 and all the emphasis on party-giving and party-going, I don’t find them quite so much fun. I don’t really enjoy hosting parties or other events because I’m terrible at them.

Of course, there are really two different ways to party in Sims 4. We can host a “prestige event” — complete with a dreadful list of things-we-must-do and a scoring system — or we can just use a little imagination, invite friends over, turn on music, put out food, and have a good time.

I know there are lots of players who hold elaborate events — not just weddings but dinner parties, birthday parties, and other festivities — and some game aspirations require sims to “earn silver” on a number of prestige events. I know, too, that a lot of players don’t care for the party system with its checklists.

A Forum search turned up a few posts and comments on the topic:

Throwing Successful Parties Unlocks Content posted by GreenCats

Parties posted by Kamb64

From The Sims 4 Feedback Thread, there’s this insightful comment from Forum member kimjo313:

And parties, well there is a scripted bore. In order to have a successful party you have a menu of items you have to complete. Socialize 12 times, have 3 sims flirty at the same time, have 3 people dance at the same time. Have 3 people eat food and so on. So much for your sim having fun. Of course I did the whole scripted party thing and completed the social dance and eat part and got a “good party” rating with a message that said maybe I should have more seating next time??? What. I have 2 sofas and a living room chair, 4 dinner chairs and 2 bar stool seats and a chair in the den and at the desk. I had 6 sims plus mine at the party. Where is the seating issue??

In browsing around this morning, I was able to find several guides to weddings in the game, but I didn’t come across any “How to Have a Good Party” guides. Maybe it’s easy for other players. I never have any success with them.

UPDATE: Simmer charlotteprice linked me to this guide from Sims Online:

Social Events – Throwing a Party in Sims 4

Recently one of my sims tried advancing toward his aspiration by throwing yet another party. With the help of his wife, he’s tried hosting several parties in the past. He’s never succeeded yet. It’s destroyed his self-confidence. Why don’t people like him? What’s wrong with him? That’s what he’s wondering now. For his sake, I think I’ll change his aspiration. It was too demoralizing.

Oh, but unplanned parties can be so much fun!

When I recently posed a question in the Forum about celebrating holidays, I was treated to some glorious screen shots of sims having a great time.

Do Your Sims Celebrate Holidays?

The game does offer a lot of fun content. We’ve got the fountain of mirth, food buffet tables, DJ booths, and dance floors. We have games our sims can play, movies for them to watch, and an easy way to organize get-togethers. Having a good time has never been easier. Add in your choice of music and lighting, and we can easily create just the right party mood for the occasion. OK, so we don’t yet have girls jumping out of cakes like we did before, but hey, other than that, parties can be a lot of fun.

I’d love to hear thoughts from other players about the in-game party “system” and the “just have fun” parties. In my opinion, it’s a sign that something’s wrong when so many players prefer doing things their own way rather than use the in-game “scripts”. Of course, I’m a huge fan of sandbox play. Give me the tools and let me and my imagination go from there.

What about YOU? Do you like the prestige events? Do you have tips on how to make them successful? Or would you rather forget the checklists — they are optional — and just do your own party thing?

 

 

 

Happy Hunting

Even though I don’t use mods in my game, I know many other players rely on them to make the game more enjoyable and more suited to their individual playing style. Today, I’m sharing a new mod I found while browsing around a bit at Mod the Sims. It’s called “Easier Easter Egg Collecting“, by Shimrod101.

6t63t79
Sim photo from mcrudd’s newest “collection room”. You can download this and other collection rooms from the Gallery.

I’m not taking part in the egg hunt this year for a number of reasons, so fortunately simmer mcrudd has gathered all the eggs and shared them on the Gallery as a “collectible” room. As you can probably guess, I’m not a fan of collecting. The only time any of my sims has ever completed a collection was when I downloaded the items and put them up for sale in a retail store.

If you’re interested in getting collections from the gallery, you’ll find all the links in this forum post:

Collection Rooms

I’m grateful to simmer mcrudd for taking the time to organize these collections and make them available to players like me who would rather spend time with my households than scour every inch of the map for a piece of metal or rock…or even for a glowing Easter egg.

So, whether you choose to hunt them or download them, your sims can quickly complete this latest in-game collection to put on display.