Totally get you on the reading and commenting thing (hence why the previous season for Instant City is still on my To-Read list). LiveJournal now has a button that I think is a nice compromise to take some of the pressure off of commenting while the writer still knows you read it.
I think Nemo bought a ticket right away, so no Music/Dance-related buttering up needed. I will find out next time though, to satisfy my curiosity. (Will also avoid the Outsides buying a piano.) And I am totally yoinking the Fire Dance idea for Nicole's more avant-garde studio!
I don't know if you're missing all that much not having the hobby lots. Most are pretty lame IMO.
Can Servos whistle?
Decorating as you go is a fun way to go for some lots, for sure.
Never thought of pre-training strays, that's a great idea... Snapdragons - yesss! I still have the Newsons to play
Never thought of using the hobby lots like that! But then, I don't have any kind of enthusiasm requirements for my job openings. Lydia looks like a lot of fun, and had a very successful first week. Getting Dance opened up in just one week is quite impressive.