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THE REBOOT: ***THE REAL SIMMERS*** - Hard Luck in Lotusland -

The Real Simmers - Hard Luck in Lotusland

Vancouver - Not for the Poor

Author's Note: This is the Sims 3 version of Heather and Haruo (my RL wife and I). There will be element of "truth" and "fiction" in the vein of telling a story. I won't tell you what's true and what's fiction, but I will be drawing elements from "my own life" as well as utilizing the Sims 3 to tell this pseudo-biography and hopefully I can show a bit of the city that I call home. I will be utilizing @sneakfeline0's Vancouver, BC...(unfortunately something has gone corrupt in the Exchange file and it is no-longer downloadable - at least on my end)

As a growing metropolis, the Lower Mainland was an interesting dichotomy of the rich and the no-so-rich. Located on the Pacific Coast with the western tip reaching English Bay and the Pacific Ocean and the the eastern-most tip extending all the way to Hope, it was a great place to settle down, if you had the money.

However if you didn't, you were hard-pressed to make a living. It was money during the 90s that had fueled the real estate boom and outlying parts such as Burnaby, Coquitlam and Port Moody as well as Surrey and Delta that had seen a major building boom. Offshore investors looked at taking as much as they could and building up luxury houses for themselves to park their money leaving many long-time residents of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland to depart to places that their pocketbooks could afford. Housing prices skyrocketed, it seemed almost, overnight, but Noel, Phil Haruo and his girlfriend Heather managed to snag themselves a property at the south end of Knight Street and hang onto it, but after they had purchased the property, they barely had enough to survive on.

Luckily Richmond City Council were too busy exhorting the virtues of Richmond to off-shore buyers to care about evicting a few indigent land-squatters, even if it was on prime development property, just so long as they paid their taxes and bills on time.
Screenshot-2.jpgScreenshot-3.jpgScreenshot.jpg The various city councils were too busy with their development plans that they didn't care what happened to those who were not as fortunate as they were and didn't have enough to put on the table. Mayor Robertson of Vancouver was more interested in developing Fraserview into a cultural hotbed and the area around the arena where the Vancouver Canucks played. At least that would bring in more money and well, more "cultured" people with more money to spend was good for Vancouver coffers.

But it wasn't so good for the ones without money, like the four that were living on a barebones lot in the south of Richmond wondering if they were going to be able to pay the bills.
Screenshot-4.jpg You did what you had to to survive. And Vancouver didn't like vagrants or people binning. they planned to force as many of the vagrants and indigent out of the main city and out into the outlier areas where they wouldn't see them for what they were: a reflection on how society treats their less fortunate.
Screenshot-5.jpgScreenshot-6.jpg But despite how society viewed them, Haruo and Phil did get some enjoyment out of picking on each other. It was the typical guy thing to do and scaring each other seemed to be par for the course.

Heather and Haruo had met "on the internet" an year back and it seemed as though the two of them had been destined to be together. They had fallen hard and fast for each other and of course, their relationship had formalized over the internet and it was only natural that Haruo would definitely pop the question when she "landed" in Canada. And of course, long telephone calls and e-mails had cemented their relationship and Heather said "yes..."
Screenshot-7.jpgScreenshot-9.jpgScreenshot-11.jpgScreenshot-13.jpg Proposing was pretty much a formality as the both of them had pledged that they had wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. And it didn't matter a heckuva lot that Haruo didn't have much money to begin with...it was love and rose-colored glasses; but eventually real life would sink in, hopefully.
Screenshot-16.jpgScreenshot-17.jpgScreenshot-19.jpg Their first house was practically a garden shed from Wal-Mart with a couple of bunk-beds stuck in the house where the four of them could sleep and with no running water it was not a very comfortable situation, but at least it got them out of the elements. Thank goodness for "socialized health care" - they wouldn't have to pay a whole lot of money if anyone got sick. :D But it was still pretty uncomfortable in the rain which in the summer was warm, but as fall approached, the temperature would drop and although Vancouver was temperate rainforest, it was not a place where you wanted to be outdoors when the celcius dropped through the thermometer floor.

The Vancouver skyline was visible over the hill from Richmond and night practically turned into day when the lights were on.
Screenshot-22.jpg Screenshot-24.jpgScreenshot-25.jpg Tosh spent the majority of his time head-first in the dumpster trying to find things to sell off so that they could make sure that they paid off the bills/taxes and were able to eat at least something. But it was tough...
Screenshot-28.jpg though on his behalf, he did, however, find a gemstone, a geode and three metals which he promptly fired off in the mail to get the metals smelted and the gemstone cut. Unfortunately they had too little money to get themselves a gemcutter and do it themselves. Things cost money and in Mayor Robertson's Vancouver - life was tailored to the rich.
GYZ6Ak9.png
Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~

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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Real Simmers - Hard Luck in Lotusland

    Good Golly, Miss Molly

    The day went by relatively quickly as they were all getting used to living together. Noel was always eyeing Heather looking for opportunities to talk to her, but she quickly put a stop to that as she was completely loyal to Haruo. The group mostly hung out in their own rooms either reading or doing other things.
    Screenshot.jpgScreenshot-3.jpg "Hi, Noel..." Noel looked up quickly upon hearing that voice. He knew that voice from university. Gone were the punk hairstyles and weird looking colors. This was a woman that was on the hunt.

    "Hey, Molly, what brings you up here to Canada?

    "Oh, heard you were kickin' around...and thought I'd see my old friend from college days." Molly smirked at him, "I did some work around New York for a bit, studied under a sous-chef and hoped that I could get somewhere, but when I found out that there was a vacancy in Vancouver for a short-order cook, I figured, what the hey... I'll see about going for an interview on Monday."
    Screenshot-5.jpg Noel was impressed. Gone was the indecisive Molly Madani; the girl who couldn't be sure of what she wanted off the $1.49 menu at McDonald's let alone what she was going to do in life. This was a young woman who knew exactly where she was going and what path she was choosing to get there and woe betide the fella who decided to obstruct her way. Molly had a bit of a temper and she would flay the person alive verbally. And Noel was smitten by her spirit as well as the beauty standing before him. Gone was his bit of jealousy that his friend had gotten a girl ahead of him. All his eyes were on Molly now.

    "Um, you look a little tongue-tied, Noel?"

    "Er. uh...well, yeah, Molly. You're looking really fantastic..." Noel stammered and then brought out a bouquet of yellow flowers, "yeah...uh..right...I am...tongue...tied..."

    Molly laughed cheerily, "Well, Noel, I do look a bit different from college days. I ditched the punk style when I got into the culinary field and well...since that's going to be my path in life, I figured I'd better look the part.

    "Yeah...well...I barely recognized you." Noel said...still trying to loosen his tongue.
    Screenshot-6.jpgScreenshot-7.jpg "Think your friends would mind if I crashed here?" Molly asked, rather unsure of herself for a moment and seeing the old Molly emerge for a bit, Noel assured her that they wouldn't, especially not his friends who were easy-going and laid back.
    Screenshot-10.jpg "That's great!" Molly said, flinging her arms around Noel and giving him a hug. The whiff of her perfume, a flowery scent, filled his nostrils and made him tighten his arms around her that much more.

    "Hey, Molly, do you think...that...uh..." Noel looked at her for a long moment.

    "Uh-huh?" Molly prompted.
    Screenshot-11.jpgScreenshot-12.jpg "...I've always liked you...in college...and I was wondering how you were doing these past few years..." Noel fumbled his way through..." um...I was wondering if...uh...you might be interested...um...in going steady?"
    Screenshot-14.jpg "You know what?" Molly smiled at him, "I wouldn't mind that at all..."
    Screenshot-13.jpgScreenshot-14.jpg
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Real Simmers - Hard Luck in Lotusland

    Vancouver Daily

    Life was normal for a while, which meant that it was the usual tasks. Noel and Phil went binning, Haruo and Heather painted and Molly cooked dinner when she wasn't at work the diner.
    Screenshot-15.jpgScreenshot-16.jpg Haruo had a piano gig at the movie lot in North Vancouver, so he first went to the park and played for some tips at the park across the Vancouver Art Gallery and VGH (Vancouver General Hospital). (Vancouver General Hospital in RL doesn't have a park across from it. It has a few smaller clinics and a parkade *Parking garage for you Americans. :D And it's actually on 12th Avenue; have driven past it quite a number of times in my life)
    Screenshot-19.jpgGoogleEarth_VGH.jpg Money was tight, but they weren't starving either. And relationships progressed with Noel and Molly enjoying each other's company. ~evil grin~ And it probably was only a matter of time before Noel popped the question.
    Screenshot-25.jpgScreenshot-27.jpgScreenshot-28.jpgScreenshot-30.jpgScreenshot-31.jpg Evidently Noel had a thing for bugs, collecting them, that is and it never failed that every-time he went binning that he would manage to be able to collect a few. And he donated them all to the Science Center. But he decided to keep one; a Japanese Beetle - named Yoshi.
    Screenshot-32.jpg They finally had enough money to be able to buy a gem cutter and Haruo and Heather painted as many paintings as they could during their waking hours. Phil went dumpster diving daily and it seemed as though that was their life.
    Screenshot-33.jpgScreenshot-34.jpgScreenshot-35.jpg That night was a full-moon and the family locked their doors, which was a good thing because a zombie spawned right outside their door. (told ya, I was going to go into MAJOR fiction here too - hey, I have the SN EP. :D
    Screenshot-36.jpgScreenshot-37.jpg Evidently Vancouver has a surfeit of "hipsters"...and this zombie was no different. I guess he took a wrong turn to the Mumford and Sons concert. But I have to admit, he has an awesome looking toque, eh.

    Haruo decided that he was going to take Heather out to dinner the following night.
    Screenshot-38.jpgScreenshot-39.jpgScreenshot-40.jpgScreenshot-41.jpgScreenshot-42.jpg And what "brilliant" person throws out a tiberium in the trash? Evidently Noel got lucky in his binning and brought home a tiberium which he managed to fish out of the garbage bin. That was a spectacular find and Haruo cut it with their gem-cutter.
    Screenshot-49.jpgScreenshot-50.jpg ...which Phil really appreciated as he was woken up from a sound sleep. Too bad...Phil. the family getting between §35K-45K per stone and gem-dust when it transfigures into large-spires is worth your getting your posterior woken up. Deal.
    Screenshot-54.jpgScreenshot-57.jpg And the resultant mass of gem dust and cutting involved a trip to the Apothecary to see if they could sell the gem dust and the resultant cut gems that weren't tiberium (tiberium just went directly into the ground to spawn a large spire). And life continued to go on, with Haruo and Noel paying the bills as they came due.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Real Simmers - Hard Luck in LotusLand

    The Arrival of Bree

    Mornings were especially interesting since everyone who had jobs outside of the house worked in the afternoon. Noel worked from 1-6 at the Science Center, Molly worked at the diner and Phil actually joined her in employment there. And Haruo and Heather worked from home.

    "Morning honey..." Noel was greeted by his significant other and an immediate lip-lock ensued.
    Screenshot-2.jpgScreenshot.jpg Phil muttered under his breath, "Will you two get a room?"
    Screenshot-5.jpg "Ah...this is the place," Bree Butterfield said to herself, "I hope Molly is able to help me out. Bree had been in a bad spot and had nowhere to turn. A bad turn of the financial wheel had forced her to dress in rags and her meagre fortune was gone. She had pretty much used all but $16K, she had been worth far more when she had started out. In fact she had been a millionaire by the age of 21. But reckless spending had caused her to have to rely on goodwill stores for her wardrobe. She could only hope on the goodwill of her old friend from university, Molly Madani to help her out.
    Screenshot-7.jpg "Bree!?" Molly asked in horror, "What happened to you?" The Bree Butterfield that Molly remembered dressed to the nines, putting practically every other girl to shame with the calibre and cost of the clothing that she wore.

    "You remember Jocko?" Bree growled, "He advised me to put all my money into stock in this one company?"

    "Yeah? I told you that it was too good to be true..." Molly remembered when Bree had come to her looking for advice.

    "Well...I did..." Molly recoiled in horror at Bree's admission.

    "...you...didn't..."

    "I did...and it's all gone...all except §16,500." Bree looked downcast.

    You look like you've been on a bender and living out of goodwill..." Molly looked at her sympathetically.

    Bree replied shamefaced. "I did... and I've had the massive hangover to boot. I'll never look upon poor people again the way I did. They have life rough."

    Poor Bree, it was a wakeup call that she never would have realized until she lost her money.

    "So...what are you going to do now?" Molly asked her.

    "Start over...I have no choice, build up my wealth from the ground up...instead of having it bequeathed to me and hope that I can make it count this time around.

    "Well...let's see if we can help you out..." Molly said.

    "Thanks, I won't forget it..." Bree replied..., "Oh...and one more thing?"

    "What is it?"

    "You mind if I crashed here. I don't have enough to rent a place on my own...but I can contribute what I have left to the family coffers."

    "Well, you have to ask them, but I'll put in a good word for you." Molly could only promise that. "Now let's get you looking human again and not like you spent all your money on an alcoholic binge."
    Screenshot-8.jpgScreenshot-9.jpgScreenshot-10.jpgScreenshot-11.jpgScreenshot-12.jpg And Molly was as good as her word. She did put in a good word for Bree and she was accepted into the family.

    And Bree was as good as her word too. The first chance she got, she headed to the book store and got herself books on Mixology so that she could further her skill in that until she could figure out what her path was in life.
    Screenshot-14.jpg ...and after Molly got home from work, Molly cooked for the family.
    Screenshot-16.jpg Screenshot-17.jpgScreenshot-18.jpgScreenshot-19.jpg And everyone had a good night's sleep, including Bree who for the first time in a while slept worry-free about whether or not she would have a roof over her head or not. And it was about that time that the tiberium small-spire and gemstone dust tranfigured themselves into large-spires, bringing in a net total of §110,000 when sold and that allowed them to build another storey onto the house that they were living in.

    When she wasn't reading her Mixology book, Bree was taking care of household chores, like laundry, washing dishes and transferring the washed clothes into the dryer.
    Screenshot-21.jpgScreenshot-23.jpgScreenshot-26.jpg Noel cycled home from his job at the Science Center and life went on, including a new friend and family member who enjoyed the fact that she now had a stable and secure roof over her head.
    Screenshot-28.jpgScreenshot-31.jpg
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Real Simmers: Hard Luck in Lotusland

    Bree & Phil

    Life was interesting in the household with Bree and Molly as well as the four friends and it wasn't long before their house had to increase in size to accommodate the six of them in their own rooms. It didn't take too long to build and the house looked rather nice when completed.
    Screenshot-31.jpg Heather and Haruo did spend a lot of time working...because that was what was going to bring in the cash flow and keep this roof over their head. Which was absolutely necessary due to the zombies every 9 days, so it seemed. At least they were moaning about "Graains..." and not "Brrains..." Darned Hipster Zombies.
    Screenshot-13.jpgScreenshot-14.jpg Phil planted plants around a fenced in area so that the vegetarian zombies couldn't get in and eat the plants. It was the family's food and gosh darn it, it didn't mean that the undead could eat their food. But still better than brains, I suspect.
    Screenshot-4.jpg Phil got the bright idea to write novels too and started on his big epic bit of non-fiction titled "Has Anyone Seen My Brain?" I'm afraid not, Phil.
    Screenshot-9.jpg They didn't have much of a kitchen table at current, having requisitioned the thing from the dumpster along with four chairs, but at least it was something.
    Screenshot-7.jpg Noel gravitated towards the exercise machine that one of the two (either he or Haruo) found while headfirst in nausea inducing muck. Well, it was able to be cleaned up and put into use so that Noel and Phil could work out if they wanted to.
    Screenshot-18.jpg It tended to rain a lot in Vancouver which was the usual weather in early fall. As August transitioned into September, there were times when it would be torrential rain. (Creator: and this is true for real-life Vancouver as well - so I'm keeping it in there).
    Screenshot-19.jpg Phil, when he wasn't writing his literary pièce de résistance he was staring out the window at the gloomy Vancouver weather, sighing a deep sigh of contentment "Ah...rain...".
    Screenshot-20.jpg And he got the bright idea to do what Noel was doing and exercise. That probably was an enlightening realization as to how much it took to get fit.
    Screenshot-21.jpgScreenshot-22.jpg But the sight of Phil exercising bare-chested encouraged Bree, normally shy and retiring, to talk to him, although she was a bit reticent at first.
    Screenshot-23.jpg And they had a rather animated conversation; quite possibly about plants; since I think, if I recall correctly, she has the Green Thumb trait which makes her a good match for Phil who evidently likes to garden even though he doesn't have the Green Thumb trait, so with three Sims who like gardening and one that has the Green Thumb trait, the family will never be out of food.
    Screenshot-24.jpgScreenshot-25.jpg Bree found herself even more attracted to Phil and things gradually heated up...
    Screenshot-26.jpgScreenshot-28.jpgScreenshot-30.jpg And they proceeded to a first kiss. :D
    Screenshot-33.jpgScreenshot-34.jpgScreenshot-36.jpgScreenshot-37.jpg But then Bree had to deal with the laundry...since the buzzer went off again. Gosh darn it.
    Screenshot-25.jpg Oh, well, maybe next time, Bree. :mrgreen:
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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