Sunday, 25 April 2010

You only live once

Round 26: Summer 2024
last update/next update

James Novak is 49, Madelyn is 44 and Connor is 11.
(Naomi is 49, Aaron is 21, Ethan is 18 and Sophie is 11)

Narrated by Madelyn Novak

About six months ago, I lost my mother and this summer, Dad passed away. Coupled with my son Ethan leaving for college a few days before, I really didn't cope too well.

My mind was completely unable to focus on anything else. What's worse is we live across the street from the cemetery where they're buried, so every time I'd look out the window, I'd think of my parents.

After a few days, I started trying to get out of the house, thinking it would be good for me.

I still wasn't thinking clearly though and after I ate, I went to the bathroom, came back and forgot I hadn't paid.

That was embarrassing, especially as it happened right in the middle of the lunch time rush. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

I can't count the number of times I've been up at 3am, unable to sleep, and James has got up to keep me company.

I feel so lucky to have him. James has been so wonderful to me.

Connor has really been missing his brothers now that he's the only one left in the house. I think it's worse for him because his friends Charlie and Jack just started high school and he's feeling a little left behind.

He's been hanging out with Sophie Gottlieb a lot instead, who is in his class at school. They're having fun together.

It certainly seems that way anyway, judging by how often I have to beg him to come down so he can do his homework, clean his room, eat dinner, etc.

Connor did really love it when Aaron and Ethan came over though. So did I! Neither of them were planning to visit so early in the year but after Dad died, they made the trip home.

When Aaron came out, I was hoping and praying that James would get used to the idea and all the awkwardness would ease. I'm pleased to say it really has. There was a lot of effort made on both sides but they get along beautifully now.

I think a family dinner was just what I needed after Dad died. I really appreciated having all my boys back home for a while.

Most of the evening was spent talking about Aaron's plans after graduation. He's due to finish this year (summa cum laude, if he keeps up the good work!) and he's talking about going into journalism. I'm so proud of him but I can't help but wonder when I got old enough to have a son who's a year away from a university degree!

James's sister Naomi has been working in Exeter (she opened up a boutique there a couple of years ago), close to where James works, so we've been able to catch up with her more often. We haven't done that regularly since our kids were a lot younger.

Naomi and James are so different that I often forget they're twins. It's only when you see them together that you realise they do have some traits people might associate with twins, like mirroring each other's mannerisms and finishing each other's sentences.

It's kind of amazing to watch, although it does make me a little sad that I was an only child. I always wondered what it would be like to have a brother or a sister. James is lucky to have one of each.

I was a little nervous when I walked into James's office the other night and found him sitting in front of the computer, grinning. He didn't want to do it without consulting me, but he'd found a business he wanted to buy. I had my reservations but he was so excited. How could I say no?

So that's how James came to be selling cars.

He has a manager who runs the place while he's at the office but I think he's happiest when he's running it himself.

The main issue I had with him buying the place was the cars are such big ticket items and I imagine it's not as easy to sell them as it is to sell something like clothing or food. But James is doing so well, so my worries were unfounded. He's never worked any sort of retail job before but he just has a natural affinity for sales!

  • Title is from You Only Live Once by The Strokes.
  • Two ROS for this household! Madelyn drew the "Cheapskate (take someone out on date and skip out on bill)" and James drew "Get gold badge". I decided pretty early on that he'd get a gold sales badge but only just decided what he'd be selling the day before I played.
  • Novak Motors is this awesome, awesome lot from MTS. It looks amazing as is but I have made a few changes to it that made it more playable for me. I got rid of the sunken part on the left side of the building because it drives me nuts how lights never work properly over areas like that. I also changed the wallpaper in some areas and got rid of the jukebox. Don't need any smustlers blocking the passage to the finance office, thank you!
  • I wasn't sure how the car lot would work out for me because in the past, I had to sell those little remote control cars for a long time to build up ranks before I could sell the real cars. But Novak Motors is at Level 3 and James sold his first car before he got to Level 1. He also earned his gold badge really fast, so I guess he's a natural. ;)
  • I had James, Madelyn and Naomi sitting in their restaurant for so long before I realised there was no waitress! So if you were wondering why there was no food in front of them, that's why! Virginia, the old waitress, is a playable NPC now but I don't remember getting her a different job. But I'm playing Tate next, so I'll check that out when I do.
  • I made Aaron selectable when I had the boys visit and his wants panel was filled with wants for James, which was very sweet. After he fulfilled those, he rolled up wants to talk to Calvin and Nick. So I guess he decided he was finished with his visit then!


  1. It's sad to lose both parents so close together like that. But Madelyn has a very caring and supportive husband to help her through all of this. And her boys are awesome as well.

    How's the car business working for you? When I had one I was only able to sale those cheap cars because they are so much money. David was losing more than he was making. Any tips?

  2. I feel so bad for Madelyn! Both of her parents dying... how horrible. My parents are eight years apart, so I doubt that will happen to me, but I still feel for Madelyn. It looks like she getting through it fine though, so good for her!

  3. I'm glad the boys came over for a visit, hopefully that will help her cope. I like how you worked in the ROS with the diner and her grief-it makes sense that way.

  4. Riverdale, Madelyn's got a very sweet family, so she'll hopefully be okay. She was really upset though, the poor woman!

    The car business is actually working out pretty well. James's gold sales badge helps, plus he has maxed out charisma. Getting the wholesale rewards as soon as you climb rankings is a good plan too - then the cars are much cheaper to restock. James has the first three wholesale rewards so far. Being rich from the start is a good place to start from too. The Novaks don't have a lot of money left now (around $15,000) but James had plenty to get his business off the ground. It cost about $130,000 to buy the lot, plus another $50,000 to stock it initially. He's selling the cars for "average" right now but once he climbs some more ranks, I'm going to raise the prices so he can rake in more cash!

    I'm not an expert on car lots but this is all working for me so far!

    Tessa, I felt bad for her too. She really wandered around the house sobbing quite often this round. And she was always thinking of her parents, or death in general, or looking out the window at the cemetery. But she's getting there!

    Apple Valley, thanks! I was glad I rolled the ROS for Madelyn because I've rolled it so often that it's getting hard to think up creative ways to work it in! LOL. But I had this idea fairly on in the round, so it's good that it worked out.

  5. I feel for Madelyn. I lost my father and paternal grandmother within three months. It takes a long time to get over something like that. She'll be fine one day :)

    I'm glad there's no awkwardness between James and Aaron anymore. I was worried that it would take years for James to get used to the idea that his son is gay. He seemed pretty shocked when he found out.

  6. It seems things have worked out well for James and Aaron, that's good. ANd I'm glad the boys came back for dinner and to be with Madelyn. It's good her family is really being there for her through all this. I can just imagine her memories panel isn't very pretty.

    I really like that car lot, I have that one in my game too. I have the same family that owns all my car lots (grungy second hand and the nicer ones), and I think the car selling business is one of the easiest. I think it's easier to sell a car then it is a tomato (farmer's market). I want one of my sims to marry into my playable NPC family and inherit all these car lots. LOL.

    It should bea good business to inherit for Connor if he wishes as he grows up. And lastly, I'm surprised too, that Madelyn is old enough for a child to be nearing graduating university!

  7. I feel for Madelyn, it can't be easy loosing both your parents so close to one another. Thankfully she has such a good husband to comfort her. And the facht that the boys came home, has done a lot of good too, I guess.
    The car busnis is pretty great. I love it actually!
    I love how you integrated the ROS into Madelyn's situation!

  8. Oh the car business looks really good! What a nice lot, and how different that is. Now townies will come with their own cars, lol.

    And how sweet to see the family together after everything that's happened. It seems Madelyn could use the support.

    Also, lol at Naomi and James' picture. They are mirroring each other.

  9. Sari, losing one relative is hard enough but two so close together makes it so much worse. I didn't end up putting it in today's update but Zelda had Madelyn over for coffee, so she's getting out of the house again.

    James just needed some time to accept the idea of Aaron being gay. He was never outright hostile about it but he was definitely uncomfortable. But he's had 3 years of Aaron being out of the house, which is plenty of time to mull it over without having it waved in front of his face, so he and Aaron are doing alright.

    Maisie, yeah, there's like three red death memories in Madelyn's panel but they're interrupted by those green "inherited money from" memories. I always hated the wording of those!

    Ah, so your car lot is owned by playable NPCs? I'm thinking of having one of my playable NPCs buy a business eventually and I'm already scheming ways to get one of my Sims to marry into it! LOL.

    I think it'll probably be Aaron who inherits the business. He's a Fortune Sim, so he'd be most likely to want to. Ethan is Popularity and I have Connor earmarked for either Knowledge or Popularity when he ages up. But we'll see!

    Tanja, James and the boys are being very good to Madelyn right now, so she's coping.

    I love the car lot. I already can't wait to play it again!

    And thanks, I'm glad the ROS worked out the way it did.

    Lunar, I was thinking that about the cars too. I saw Matilda Jacobson looking at a BMW though and I thought "Away! You're a college student and you cannot afford a BMW!" LOL.

    You know I love a family get together, so this was the perfect opportunity.

  10. Oh, I haven't lost a parent yet, but both my parents just lost their second parent to die, and I think that is quite a milestone, as well as possibly being very difficult.

    Novak Motors is such a fun sounding idea. I don't think I have any Sims rich enough to own a car store yet. Anyway, it will be so nice for Aaron, if he inherits it.

    I love the picture of Madelyn looking up into the tree house to get Conner to come in.

    Do James and Naomi really mirror each other a lot? The picture was good.

  11. Poor Madelyn. :( But she has a great husband and caring sons to help get her through this hard time.

    I'm glad to see that James has accepted Aaron's sexuality and is keeping up a good relationship with his son!

    I have plans to hopefully have one of my sims run a car lot one day, so I love seeing yours! I'm glad to hear that it's been successful already! :)

  12. Francesca, of all the businesses, car lots are probably the ones that are most expensive to start. I'm hoping I can make all the money back sooner or later though.

    I didn't even set that tree house picture up! I sent Madelyn out to talk to Connor because she had the want and while she was waiting for him to come down, she did that. Too cute.

    I've never noticed the mirroring thing before but they were doing it during dinner. But I just figured twins should have some kind of twinny trait and James and Naomi aren't very alike at all, apart from looking similar. And Naomi doesn't really look any more like James than she does Eliot.

    Shana, James is a bit uptight but he loves his kids. So he made the effort to get over his discomfort for his son's sake.

    I'm enjoying the car lot more than I thought I would, so I hope you do too, if you get around to it!

  13. Oh, Madelyn! It's so sad to see sims crying over loved ones - and I could never imagine living across the street from a cemetary!

    Loved the twins together - and how they really did mirror each other!

    The car dealership is SO COOL. Your sims always have some of the nicest businesses.

  14. bbop, I know, it'd be a pretty depressing place to live, I think. There's a cemetery near here but everyone buried there died in the 1800s, so it's more of a historical landmark than anything.

    I usually can't take credit for my businesses and I definitely can't for this one. I hardly changed anything at all. The creator did an awesome job on this lot. :)