Already in Progress, Chapter 53

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Hi! Are you ready for another installment of Already in Progress ? Boy, I hope so! If you were hoping for an episode of Desperate Housewives of Veronaville , you came to completely the wrong place… Our usual observational, episodic, and occasionally even humorous story will resume after this brief message.

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Today’s episode of Goldberg & Silent Lady is brought to you by Theraven’s Chest Bandages for Toddler, Teen, and Adult. With blood! ( in one of those rapid undertones used for the “small print” in all the best commercials ) Bandages are classified as shirts. Bandages will not cause your Sims to actually bleed. Available from the website www.moonlightdragon.com. Theraven is in no way aware of this endorsement. And now, let’s rejoin our story: Already in Progress …

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When I loaded up Buttercup and Albert’s house, I was surprised to find this going on. I thought everyone in the household got along! What did I do wrong?

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Nothing, as it turns out. Apparently, it’s entirely possible for two strays to not get along and to have a fight on the porch. What a relief!

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First thing in the morning, Skye got a very minor makeover: her blue eyeshadow was switched out for different blue eyeshadow, and I gave her a more Maxis-matchy version of her hairstyle. (Since I prefer a Maxis-match look now that I’ve allowed cc into my game.) The original hair is by Nouk; the recolor is by SuperFrog and can be found on her LiveJournal.

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Skye is a Pleasure Sim, and she’s cheerfully ready to spend freely on dates. (Her LTW is Fifty First Dates.) The family is loaded, so I let her spend top simoleon on them. Her “perfect matches” so far: 1. Pong Grundstorm (negative bolts) 2. Ratna Miguel (one bolt, but she quickly rolled Wants for Anything In The World But Ratna) 3. Alon the paperboy (no bolts, and he spent the whole date watching TV and ignoring her) Skye is completely satisfied and looking forward to reaching Five First Dates.

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Buttercup and Albert are as three-bolty as ever, despite 1) having their youngest daughter now a Teen and 2) technically only having two bolts.

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And for those of you who might be wondering, the magic hasn’t gone out of Jo and Phoenix’s relationship. In fact, it’s better than ever. Both Jo and Phoenix roll Wants for each other when they get up in the morning, and then get to work fulfilling many of those Wants autonomously.

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Actually, Phoenix is an asset to the household in more ways than one. PHOENIX: Hi, Mr. Oakapple. Good to see you. OAKAPPLE: Finally! Someone… with manners! PHOENIX: Yes, sir. My momma raised me right. I was wondering… Could you maybe stop stealing our paper, please? OAKAPPLE: Sure. No… problem.

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I was as surprised as anyone when we got a popup about Penny failing in school. Apparently, she’s been hiding her homework, and not a word to anyone. PHOENIX (V.O.): Honey, you need to do your homework. PENELOPE (V.O.): I don’t want to, Daddy. It’s too hard.

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PHOENIX: It’s important. I’ll help you. PENELOPE: But why ? I don’t have to work ever, and it’s boring . And anyway, Mom says that you only got through college by the skin of your teeth. PHOENIX: Well, yeah, but I won’t have any problems with your homework. PENELOPE: How do you know? It’s hard . PHOENIX: Tell you what: you get your grades up, and we’ll redo your bedroom in any theme you want.

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PENELOPE (V.O.): Any theme I want? PHOENIX (V.O.): Yup. PENELOPE (V.O.): Can I have a bench? For building models on and stuff? PHOENIX (V.O.): Sure. PENELOPE (V.O.) ( eagerly ): And a bike? PHOENIX (V.O.): Let’s see what those grades are like first. So Penny Learned to Study.

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And Phoenix kept his promise. This guy is really growing on me.

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GOLDBERG Yeah, stakeout has got to be the most boring job ever. Something darts through the shadows. GOLDBERG Gottagobye.

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Hi Sally! What’s new and exciting? SALLY: Nothing in particular. No? SALLY: Nope. Very straightforward right now.

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How’s Troy? SALLY (V.O.): Doing fine. He’s within half a Body point of making his Life Time Want, I think. He wants to become a hall of famer? SALLY (V.O.): Uh-huh. And after he retires, we’ve been talking about maybe opening a gym. Troy figures that if it’s got a hall of famer’s name on it, it’ll do well. Well, best of luck to you! SALLY (V.O.): Thanks.

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How’s Tamara? SALLY (V.O.): Also doing fine, except for the zits. She has a lot of them? SALLY (V.O.): Very few, actually. But she sure makes a big deal about the ones she does get. “No boys will ever be interested in me!” she says. I tell her that’s not true, but she doesn’t believe me. Of course it’s not true!

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SALLY (V.O.): They follow her home like puppies, actually. She just doesn’t seem to get it. ( sigh ) Well, she’ll figure it out in college, I’m sure. Golly, is it getting to be that time already? SALLY (V.O.): Yup. There’s a lot to do with the whole process of getting her accepted and shipped out and so on. ( theatrically ) Oh my goodness! Is that the time? Okay, I get the hint. I’ll stop by next time, okay? SALLY (V.O.): Sure. It’s always good to talk to you. But some times are more good than others, you know?

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GOLDBERG and EMILIANO fight. GOLDBERG takes a hit to the stomach and crumples as EMILIANO flees.

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Isaac’s delivery arrived promptly at 10 am on Day One of the rotation. FREDERIC (V.O.): Please tell me you didn’t adopt a kid. ISAAC (V.O.): I want one. And you are not going to be nasty to Helen. She’s only a little baby and she didn’t do anything wrong, so whatever your problem is, you better get over it NOW . FREDERIC (V.O.): A baby? ISAAC (V.O.): Named Helen.

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FREDERIC: Well, why didn’t you say so? I like babies . ( to Helen ) Hello, gorgeous! Are you ready to come play a video game with Daddy? Of course you are! ISAAC: I wanted to be called Daddy. FREDERIC: Oh, okay. ( to Helen, as they head for the TV ) Come on, sweetie, Awesome Daddy is going to teach you the Konami Code: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. ISAAC: ( following them ) Wait a minute -- maybe I want to be Awesome Daddy instead of just Daddy. And you can’t just give her that code -- she has to prove herself worthy!

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Eddie and Celeste are every bit as cute as ever. Eddie is working on the skills needed for his last promotion before Permaplat, and Celeste is always ready to help him out. CELESTE: Ha! Tremble before my devious master plan! EDDIE: Wow, that must be some plan. It looks to me like I’m going to get checkmate in three moves. CELESTE: I haven’t taken my hand off the piece -- I’m taking that move back!

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Eddie has a new hobby now. It’s somewhat unconventional, but he enjoys it. He likes making things for his granddaughter and is currently working on a quilt for her. The best part? Since this sewing machine is cloned off of a piano, it not only builds Creativity (helpful for a professional mediator) but it also satisfies that annoying “Play Piano” Want (helpful for Pleasure Sims like Frederic).

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Celeste was demoted at work -- see the limo instead of the helicopter? -- but since she’s already Permaplat, I didn’t worry about it too much. Incidentally, the co-worker with the funky hairdo is obsessively intrusive. If she comes home with any of your Sims, say goodbye at the earliest possible opportunity. Otherwise she will not leave . Ever. And she will call and call and call … worse than Marsha Bruenig, I’m telling you!

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I seem to have missed out on taking pictures of Helen as a baby, but rest assured that this picture is quite typical: Both daddies dote on her, and one or the other was always carrying here around.

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Helen is now old enough to get around under her own steam, and while she doesn’t have the manual dexterity to handle a game controller, it’s only a matter of time. Her fathers are developing a rigorous training program for when that day comes. ISSAC: That’s right, sweetheart. Turn the square peg to fit in the square hole. And the square button does what? HELEN: Dame as why bu’on. FREDERIC: That’s my girl! I have no Toddler hairstyles that make use of hair gel, but knowing Helen’s fathers, that’s only a matter of time as well.

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GOLDBERG Here you live? SILENT LADY nods, tying off the bandage. GOLDBERG’S gaze wanders the tiny apartment, eyes unfocused. GOLDBERG But why? I pay you better than this. SILENT LADY snaps her fingers in front of his face imperiously. When he focuses on her, she puts her finger to her lips for silence and frowns at the sickly glow coming off his wound.

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Amy’s house is often used as a testing ground for new hacks and custom content. (I think I may have mentioned this before?) It is also currently temporary home to one Abhijeet Fuchs. Readers of The Jack Point Home for Pedestrian Playables will recognize him as the playable’s boyfriend. Since he is a brujo , I thought it would probably be a good idea for him to have some skill at spells and such. Having him as a playable in this house lets him build up his skills and lets me test out my cc magic system and such magic-type cc objects as an essential oil burner.

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Fortunately, having a temporary boarder sleeping on the couch (when he sleeps at all) hasn’t disrupted life too much. Bryan is still able to have his friends over. His best friends are both female. I’m not sure what that says about him…

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Amy aged up after work one day, into a completely not-Amy look. She also lost her piercings for some reason; I had to restore her nose stud and earrings.

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This is a more Amy-ish look, although I’m not convinced that it’s right. BRYAN: Mom, is it okay if I go out to Tropicana Too with Tamara and Skye? AMY: Are you planning to use a fake ID to buy drinks? BRAYN: Er, no. I don’t have one of those. AMY: Hmph. ( calls ) Adam, are you wearing your glasses in your ID photo? ADAM: No, they said the glare was too bright. Why? AMY: Give Bryan your ID so he can buy drinks tonight, will you?

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Amy has a somewhat unconventional approach to parenting.

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It was a fun evening, though, and definitely the highlight of the rotation.

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For Bryan, anyway. I don’t think Skye would quite agree with that assessment.

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GOLDBERG Enough already! You apologized for the curs éd dagger and you gave me the antidote and God willing, I’ll be fine. What I want to know is why the system crash you’re sneaking around. Do you know the warehouse association hired me to find out what you were up to?

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Dmitri is being a very supportive husband and father-to-be in every way he possibly can: cleaning the catbox, loaning his pregnant wife one of his mother’s precious snapdragons,* or, most importantly in Rose’s opinion… ROSE: You made schnitzel with ice cream for me? You darling ! *By “mother,” of course, I mean Tirtha. You may recall that Dmitri’s mother-by-blood Trixie had no talent with flowers.

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All that hard work paid off in spades in the wee small hours of Day Two of the rotation. ROSE: Dmitri? It’s time! DMITRI ( muzzily ): Okay. I’ll go get the bathroom ready. ROSE: I don’t think I’m going to make it to the bathroooooom…!

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And indeed, Rose did not make it as far as the bathroom. This little fellow is Alexander Shankel -- just Alexander, as neither Rose nor Dmitri could figure out what the correct patronymic for “Dmitri” is. After getting the nooboo dressed, both Rose and Dmitri rolled the Want to Build a Nursery.

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Okay, so they only rolled the Wants to Buy A Bunch Of Specific Baby Stuff. I consider that equivalent to Build A Nursery, so I did. The crib, by HugeLunatic on MTS, seems to conflict with the baby clothes hack. I was never able to put Alexander to bed in it -- clicking on the crib would only offer me the option to “Dress Alexander In…” (A particularly pointless option, as he only has one option: Everyday.) The regular crib works just fine, though, so that’s what he has now.

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Of course, this story is called Already in Progress , not All Babies, All the Time , and you’re probably curious about the business. It’s doing pretty well, actually. Although it isn’t a stylist’s lot, Dmitri follows my policy of “Make over dormies whenever and wherever possible.” This fellow is named Wren Chun. If you understand why I find that funny, you win 3,000 imaginary cookies.

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The business is actually doing quite well, and is making a modest amount of money. Even Mrs. Crumplebottom can’t find anything to complain about. MRS. CRUMPLEBOTTOM: The name of this store is “Flowers 2”? How stupid! There wasn’t ever a “Flowers 1” or even a “Flowers” that I can remember, and I’ve been around since installation! Er, yeah… the name of the lot could use some work. I’m thinking maybe “Roses by Rose” or “Rose’s Roses,” but I’m open to suggestions…

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But in spite of what Mrs. C says, the business is really ticking along nicely. Dmitri has even learned what each key on the register does! Next lesson: Making Accurate Change. And seeing Chant there reminds me…

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GOLDBERG Why wouldn’t you trust me with this? Did I or did I not buy that girl we found last year a plane ticket? SILENT LADY half-nods, half-shrugs and turns her right hand to GOLDBERG, palm up, conceding the point. GOLDBERG So why didn’t you just ask me? I can set you up legitimately as a 124(p) import/export business. You can rent a warehouse, trucks coming and going any time, and you’re not subject to customs inspections more than twice a year.

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Oliver and Oakapple are finally old enough to fulfill my vision of them. OAKAPPLE: Hey, you… kids! Get… off my lawn! OLIVER: I’ll turn the hose on you -- you see if I don’t! Combined, they have one Nice point. Of course they’re going to sit in matching chairs on the porch and yell at children!

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The cold weather doesn’t stop a Plantsim from gardening, or a Plantsim’s crops from getting the full dark-green-super-enthusiastic-smiley-face treatment. It means that Fantine and Saigon don’t go inside much, but they really only need to go inside for the occasional bath. (A bath quite efficiently fills both the warmth and water meters.) Saigon had the Want to Make A Wish, so I let her wish for money. None actually showed up, but she got aspiration points, and she didn’t get beaned, so it’s all good.

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Phoebe was alarmingly large for an alarmingly long time. She also lost her usual hairdo when she was actually dressed. Oddly enough, it still worked when she was in her pajamas…

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But the most alarming part of the whole pregnancy was when Phoebe promptly set the baby on the ground after giving birth.

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Fortunately, she only wanted to make the bed! I suppose that carrying large is a family trait: Phoebe’s mother looked like she was going to have twins every pregnancy, but she only managed it once.* *See Ruth’s (un)Officially Wacky Boolprop Challenge .

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Here we see baby Nicholas -- Er… FANTINE: Chant, where’s the baby? CHANT: He’s not here yet? But I put him down fifteen minutes ago and said to meet me upstairs! FANTINE: He’s a baby , Chant, not a Plantsim like us. He can’t even turn over yet. Where’s Phoebe? CHANT: In the bath. Why? FANTINE: Because you better be taking care of Nicholas before she gets out of the bath if you want to stay married.

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( clears throat ) Right. So. Here we see baby Nicholas being given a bottle by his loving father. Nicholas has black hair and dark blue eyes. Exactly like his cousins Olga and Pitti-Sing. And not-related Helen. And almost exactly like his cousin Alexander. ( grumbles ) Stupid dominant genetics. Phoebe has a blonde (or even red) gene, for Pete’s sake!

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Despite her genetic failings, Phoebe is a loving mother, and dotes on Nicholas. He doesn’t spend much time in the swing, although I find it very handy when babies are awake but nobody can hold them just at the moment.

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Although the animations you get after an adult takes the kid out of the swing are pretty weird. (Putting the baby down and picking them up again fixes it.) For any readers without Apartment Life , the swing is by Rebecah at MTS. It’s also available at AffinitySims.

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Chant rolled the Want to Earn a Silver Restocking Badge, and I did try to accommodate him. Fantine sold produce like there was no tomorrow, and Saigon did her bit as well. Chant restocked and restocked, but no badge. He has to be close, though! And as you can see, the farm stand is doing very well indeed…

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Both Fantine and Saigon aged up at the very end of the rotation. You should be able to tell them apart now, but just in case: Fantine is the one in the leaves, with the giant ears, who is cross with me because I wouldn’t let her Get Married Right Now, Dammit! I will buy them new outfits next time around.

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GOLDBERG Congratulations, Mr. Agonites. You are now the CEO of Quiet Holdings, Limited. I’ll have your warehouse rental completed by the end of the week. EMILIANO Thank you, Mr. Goldberg. (to SILENT LADY) I’ll see you later, then, yes? SILENT LADY nods, and they do the European air-kiss-cheek thing as GOLDBERG watches closely.

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Change is in the air over at the lone apartment building in town. PROFESSOR DOUGLAS: I’ve been thinking of those poor perpetual townie children a lot lately. CATHRYNNE: Like Abhijeet, who doesn’t understand why his friends don’t want to come over and play anymore? PROFESSOR DOUGLAS: Exactly! They have no real parents, either -- no one to care for them, or teach them anything. I was thinking that since we have money and room, perhaps we could take some of them in. CATHRYNNE: Of course we can! And we can teach them useful trades, too!

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So I tried a little experiment. I had Tamara call up her friend Dongsool, a townie Child who is also friends with several Adults-verging-on-Elders. I first used the SimBlender to add him to the family…

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…and then to add him to the adoption pool. Nobody received any “Moved In” or “Dongsool Was Taken Away!” memories, so that was promising.

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Professor Douglas called the adoption agency…

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…And promptly at ten a.m. the next day, Dongsool showed up in the blue van.

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Although the timing of that phone call could probably have been better, now that I think about it…

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I learned something interesting about adopted townie kids this rotation. Dongsool rolled the Want to Gain A Skill Point, so I told him to watch the Yummy Channel. (Which he is patently not doing here, but never mind.) He watched and watched and gained nary a skill point. In fact, his skill bar barely advanced. I thought my game might be broken.

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Actually, the kid’s just a prodigy. See all those skill points he has already? Obviously there are some behavioral issues at school…

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As for Dante, Samantha, and Charlotte -- they’re all doing well. They all want to be friends with Dongsool, and Don and Sam still roll plenty of Wants for each other. I wish I could give you more details, but they were really quite dull this rotation.

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And that’s all there is for this time around! Until next time, Happy Simming!

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The Goldberg and Silent Lady sections used a lot of custom content and poseboxes. All custom content is from Mod The Sims unless otherwise indicated. In addition to the bandages advertised at the beginning, I used: “Timeless Office” set by jgwoods Long drapes and recolors by KiaraRawks “Hacked Coat Hook” by Mary-Lou and Numenor “Custom Modeling Poses Hack V2 w/Facial Overlays” by decorgal21572 SimBlender by TwoJeffs, from Simbology

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