Already in Progress, Chapter 54

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Hello! Welcome back to Already in Progress! I hope that someday I will get back to updating regularly. Until that time, I am open to suggestions for special features. Just tell me what you’d like to see and I’ll see what I can do. I hope you remember where we left off, because recaps are one thing that I am no good at, not even for my loyal readers. Alas! Our story will resume after this brief word from our sponsors.

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Today’s episode of Goldberg & Silent Lady is brought to you by: “Karen’s blue floral dress” by mamasimk (on a mesh by gothplague), available from Simmergirl. Caveat: It does feature some mapping issues, as illustrated by Murakame’s left hand. And by: “Dog Dumped Him” FtM conversion of Peggy 090712/5520 hair by heget, available from Plumbbob Keep. Because without SimPE, genderswapping is darn near impossible. None of the aforementioned creators are aware of this endorsement. And now, let’s return to our story: Already in Progress …

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Jo got us started off this rotation by setting the stove on fire. ( rolls eyes ) Of course she did. Because what’s a rotation without a conflagration or two?

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Jo’s not been having an easy time of it lately, actually. JOSEPHINE: Hi, sweetie. Do you want me to read you a story? PENELOPE: What story? JOSEPHINE: Er, Johnny Gnome Comes Home . PENELOPE: No thanks. But when my next issue of Popular Mechanics comes in, you can read it to me. ( examines the underside of her toy car ) I think I can make this go faster…

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Phoenix’s policy of bribes-for-grades is still working well. The latest bribe was a Make Your Own Bicycle kit. Penny not only put it together herself, she made a few modifications. She’s constantly on her bike, going hither and yon all over the neighborhood. Nobody in the house is able to convince her to wear a helmet, though. KIDS! Never ever ride a bike without a helmet! They save you from terrible head injuries. I myself have been saved from injury twice, so I know what I’m talking about.

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Both Skye and Penelope are busy making friends. Penelope’s friend is local, while Skye’s friend is a Far Eastern exchange student.

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The exchange student started up tai chi, and I made sure to have as many Sims as possible join her. I can’t stand that sea chanty, and make sure that my Sims never learn it, but tai chi is very useful. So far, only Albert has mastered it to the point where he can gain Body skill from doing it, but that will change. Oh, yes. That will change.

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Skye made another friend as well, local this time. They obviously bonded over their excellent taste in clothes. This is the last friend Skye will make in high school. Not because I am feeling particularly cruel, but because she is due to go to Uni at the start of next rotation. Where does the time go?

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One minute they’re babies, and the next minute they’re off to Uni, and you don’t feel any older. ( sigh ) Albert’s apparently feeling some of that as well, since he tucked Penelope in on the last night of the rotation. I’d love for this action to be directable, not autonomous-only, but I suppose that makes it all the sweeter when Sims choose to do it.

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GOLDBERG Oh, come on. Kitsune are shapeshifters. Going female is traditional. MURAKAME I only do it if there’s a hot girl involved. GOLDBERG Silent Lady’s hot. Anyway, Cochon only allows beautiful women in. That’s the whole point. MURAKAME Have I told you lately just how much I hate you?

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Alas, this update begins on a sad note for the Miller/Wheeler household. DANTE: Aw, gee. Don’t I even get a chance to change out of my work clothes? GRIM REAPER: .op.. .orr.. DANTE: Drat.

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Dante “Don” Miller, age unknown due to a glitchy lifebar. Dante, along with his twin sister Charlotte, originally had the first version of my Birth Queen skin, but lost it due to neighborhood corruption. I never did get around to giving it back to him… Dante was very persistent in his affinity for redheaded girls, to the point where they were the only people he ever brought home from school. When he found his one true redheaded girl, he had to wait for her to get over crushes on his brother and his cousin -- but he would have said it was well worth the wait. Goodbye, Don.

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The family held an old-fashioned wake for him, although Catherynne didn’t have any drinks due to her condition. (Dongsool was allowed one, and subsequently passed out on the couch. Prodigy he may be, but he can’t hold his liquor.) The discussion turned to the future. SAMANTHA: I don’t know that I want to stay in our apartment alone. CHARLOTTE: I’d offer to move you in with me, but we’d have to share a bedroom. SAMANTHA: That’s okay, thanks.

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PROFESSOR DOUGLAS (V.O.): Our place isn’t laid out very well either, not for a family. We already have to eat in shifts because there’s nowhere to put a third chair. And it’s all very well and good for Dongsool to sleep on the foldout for a little while, but what are we going to do when the baby comes? CATHRYNNE (V.O.): Not to mention that we want to adopt more kids and give them a chance at a better life. They just won’t fit.

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And so the family moved to a new house, with several floors but no pesky “apartment” layouts. It has lots of bedrooms and some good community rooms for building badges, learning skills, and having family dinners. It’s also the house that the family moved out of when Catherynne graduated Uni. Because I was trying to design a new place that would work for a school and realized that I already had, that’s why.

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Even before the family was fully settled, Catherynne decided that they needed a change of scenery. Or at least the baby did. Hey, if your family moved to a new house, wouldn’t you want to see what it looked like?

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And this is Lavinia Wheeler! Like almost every other Very Small Person in the neighborhood in the moment, she has black hair and blue eyes. At least these are light blue eyes. DONGSOOL: Do we get to keep her? PROFESSOR DOUGLAS: Of course we do. DONGSOOL: Really? This is the best day ever! Not that anybody but me seems bothered by the lack of genetic variation…

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Alas, in the midst of life, we are in death. (Yes, this is a clich é. But it’s a cliché because it’s true.) Samantha did not make it past the first day in the new house, although she did manage to make Best Friends with Dongsool before she left. SAMANTHA: Already? But I haven’t finished redecorating the kitchen yet! GRIM REAPER: .orr. .bou. ..a.. .’ve go. . …edu... I don’t know if being Best Friends makes the situation better or worse for the poor kid…

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Samantha “Sam” (Littledragon) Miller, age unknown due to the aforementioned glitchy lifebar. It’s sad yet fitting that she didn’t outlive Don by much. In Uni, Sam was a huge fan of The Gloaming , but fortunately for Don, she got over it. One thing she never got over was her love of karaoke, even if she didn’t get to indulge in it much after Catherynne was born. A little-known fact about Sam: her original name was actually the name of an acquaintance that I particularly dislike. I pretended about her name until I had to rebuild, and then her name became “Samantha” in truth. No matter what her name, she was a good Sim, and she’ll be missed. Rest in peace, Sam.

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MURAKAME I can’t believe they took it away! Lots of girls carry nail files! And how does he know I’m not an expert in unarmed combat? SILENT LADY stops dead and gives him a Look. MURAKAME What? I could be! SILENT LADY rolls her eyes and stars walking again.

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Chant hasn’t really gotten any better at child care, unfortunately. CHANT ( frantically ): What? What’s wrong? Do you need a bottle? Are you warm enough? OLIVER: I think he needs a new diaper. CHANT: Well, what do I do about that? OLIVER: Can’t Phoebe handle it? CHANT: She went to the store.

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OLIVER: Let me have a go, then. CHANT ( much relieved ): You’ve changed him before? OLIVER: Nah, the last time I changed a baby was when Dad let me help with changing Sally. CHANT: But Aunt Sally’s over fifty. OLIVER: Yeah, but how hard can it be? I bet it comes back to me in no time.

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Childcare was something of a challenge all around for the household this time, and not just for my Sims. OAKAPPLE: What’s… wrong? You just got… a fresh… diaper. And a bath. And… your mother says… I’m not allowed… to give you any… pasteurized processed… cheese food yet. NICHOLAS: ( screams louder ) OAKAPPLE: I… know. She’s a… meanie, isn’t she? Did you know babies will scream when they’re tired? Neither did I.

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Although childcare may not be the household’s forte, plant care certainly is. All the plants are lovely and happy and healthy. And there are eight rows of five plants each, plus six orchard trees, so that’s nothing to be sneezed at. I will say, though, that I am very happy to have Macrotastics in. I can just tell the crew to Garden, and I don’t get muscle cramps from clicking the mouse an ungodly number of times.

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Now, as you may or may not know, I write up my gameplay in little chunks, after each play session or two. And what I found when I came back to this household after writing about their less-than-stellar child care skills was that absolutely everyone was standing around, just waiting to do Nicholas’s bidding. CHANT: I don’t know. There’s something I should be doing, but I don’t know quite what. OLIVER, FANTINE, and PHOEBE: Change Nicholas’s diaper, but I’m going to do it. OAKAPPLE: And I’ve… done it. Don’t… you have lives? EVERONE ELSE: No.

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I don’t know if these mind control powers are temporary or if they will continue as Nicholas grows up. I have heard the (completely non-scientific) theory that all babies start out psychic, but that they are trained out of it by society pretty quickly. Oddly enough, this makes a sort of sense to me.

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I’m not sure at exactly what point this theory states that children lose their psychic abilities, but it’s quite young -- young enough that they retain no conscious memories of their ability, mostly. I don’t know if Nicholas is an exception or not. But then…

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CHANT: Don’t you think Nicholas needs a brother or sister to play with? PHOEBE: Of a certainty! Let us to bed, and make him one. CHANT: No -- I mean, yes, of course I’d love to try again, the trying’s the fun part. But I was talking about a one his own age. PHOEBE: O, I cannot produce a child so quickly! CHANT: No, but I could… PHOEBE: Is not the old-fashioned way good enough for thee? Come, let’s upstairs. …I also don’t know if this it Chant’s own idea or not. We’ll see…

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MURAKAME Ye programmers, but I’m bored! SILENT LADY presses her finger to her lips and gestures meaningfully at the walls. MURAKAME flings himself down on the bed. MURAKAME You’re one to talk! You’re not surrounded by temptation! They’re all so beautiful and not a one of them has a female gender preference!

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Hey, Sally. How’s it going? SALLY (V.O.): Just fine. Have you seen this picture of Troy? I have now. Why do you ask? SALLY (V.O.): Isn’t he the smartest man ever? Er… SALLY (V.O.): He’s spraying the roaches, not stomping them! That way they’ll die and he won’t get sick. Isn’t that brilliant? It certainly sets him above most Sims of my acquaintance. SALLY (V.O.): I told you so.

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So what’s new and exciting? SALLY (V.O.): Well, Tamara’s gone off to college now. She has? Already? SALL (V.O.): Actually, it’s later than usual. But she’s a sweet girl and wanted to stick around for a little bit. Why? SALLY (V.O.): Because of reasons.

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SALLY (V.O.): But Troy and I made sure she didn’t go off unprepared. Troy taught her the school cheer. TROY: “Gerbits, gerbits, vooooooo gerbits!” And then you finish the windup and throw your arms in the air, like this? TAMARA: “Vooooooo gerbits!” And you do that at every game? TROY: After every goal, and before every penalty shot. Now show me the hand gestures again, so I can be sure you’ve got ’em down.

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SALLY (V.O.): I gave her a cell phone, because you really should have one in college. It lets you talk to people in private if you want to, not out on the common-room phone. You gave it to her in the hallway? SALLY (V.O.): You’d prefer I gave it to her in the bathroom? Touch é. But why did Tamara delay going to college at all? SALLY (V.O.): Well, you know kids… Not really. Why? SALLY (V.O.): Do we have to talk about it? Now that you’ve got me curious, yes we do.

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SALLY (V.O.): Fine. We got old. But that doesn’t mean that we have to like it. You’re not old! SALLY (V.O.): I have white hair and a daughter in college. Pooh! That just means you can get an AARP* discount on movie tickets and stuff. SALLY (V.O.): ( snickers ) Did you just say “Pooh!”? I did. SALLY (V.O.): ( laughs uproariously ) Oh, that makes me feel much better! Thank you! *The American Association of Retired Persons. If you are over 50, you can join, even if you aren’t retired. Being a member gets you lots of discounts.

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MURAKAME Where’s Mona? COCHON She headed out to my place in the country last night. MURAKAME She didn’t say she was going. COCHON She didn’t know. I wanted it to be a lovely surprise.

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Celeste has already topped the business career once, but she was demoted due to a bad chance card. She’d like to reach the top again before she retires, and even though she’s permaplat, I’m going to indulge her. It’s the same career path as my asylum playable,* but since Celeste is one level ahead, I can use her as a gauge for planning Leila’s skilling strategies. *See The Jack Point Home for Pedestrian Playables .

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Frederic is doing very well in his chosen career -- he’s now a Sous Chef. He’s only one skill point away from maxing out Cooking, and hopefully will reach the top of the career soon. When he does, I will buy him a restaurant of his very own to run. I suppose I had better start designing that now, huh?

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Eddie has topped his career and so achieved his Eaxis provided LTW. You can probably guess his game-career, but O fficially, he’s still an extremely successful arbitrator. EDGAR: Wow, this helicopter is loud . I’m sure it’s louder than Celeste’s. FREDERIC: WHAT? EDGAR: I SAID, “THE HELICOPTER IS LOUD.” FREDERIC: I CAN’T HEAR YOU. THE HELICOPTER IS TOO LOUD. (Mr. Way-Too-Nice generously offers other family members a ride to work in the morning.)

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This means that most of the childcare duties fall to Isaac. He was okay with that before, but now that Helen is entering the Terrible Twos, he’s not so sure. ISAAC: Come on, Helen. Let’s do something else, huh? HELEN: No! I wanna story! Want “How to Cleaw Level Free in Fweezew Bunny Two ”! ISAAC: But you’ve heard that five times in a row. Can’t we at least hear something else? HELEN: “HOW TO CLEAW LEVEL FREE --” ISAAC: Okay, okay, ’Lanthee. “When you see the first treasure chest, shoot it thirteen times with your Lollipop Pistol…”

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ISAAC: Stop struggling, Helen! You need to take a bath. HELEN: No! No baff! When muvvabowds get wet, dey lose hippie! ISAAC: “Hippie”? HELEN: Hippie! Dey lose hippie and de bosses can take dem owt! ISAAC: Oh, HP? Are you talking about the motherboards in Motherboard Madness ? HELEN: Yeah. No baff! I no lose hippie! ISAAC: You’re not a motherboard, Helen. Baths don’t lower your HP -- they raise it. HELEN ( dubiously ): Weally? ISAAC: Promise.

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And now that Grandma has taught Helen to walk, I’m sure that Isaac’s job is only going to get harder…

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One final positive note: one of the fixes I downloaded from Cyjon’s site means that the gardener is of more use. GARDENER: This is a tree! So it is. GARDENER ( happily ): I know what to do with trees now. And what is that? GARDENER: You trim them!

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MURAKAME Place in the country, my ass! COCHON Isn’t death the “undiscovered country from which no traveler returns”? Do hold still, please. SILENT LADY bursts from the shadows and kicks COCHON in the stomach before bringing her knee up into his nose.

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I was very pleased with the way Rose and Dmitri’s rotation started out. I did some redecorating and rearranging, and now Rose and Dmitri can work on arranging flowers together, while keeping an eye on Alexander.

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Rose even achieved her Gold Flower Arranging Badge, which certainly took long enough.

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Then Tiger got stuck in the floor. I quit the game as soon as I noticed, because this did not seem like a very good thing to have happen. A little research confirmed that no, it is not. The problem is usually caused by bad cc, so I pulled my most recently installed cc, including the walls and floor in the kitchen.

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That seemed to work pretty well -- Tiger popped right out of the floor. I redecorated the kitchen using a base game wall and a Seasons floor. Tiger sank right back into the floor. To cut a long story short, I had to learn how to generate and read an error report. Fortunately, there is a good tutorial by Numenor on MTS, and I was able to trace the problem to its source.

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The problem was not the sink, nor was it the plant. The problem was that I had used a cheat to place the plant in that relationship to the sink. Apparently, that messes up the slots, and the messed-up slots sink the cat into the floor. I move the cactus to a different counter, and Tiger popped out of the floor and headed straight for his bed. But poor thing! He was too tired to manage even the two extra steps needed to sleep in it.

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Alexander was having some difficulties too, specifically in the area of Growing Up. I finally had to break out the cake to get him to transition, which seems to be a theme in the ’hood this time around. I’m not sure what Alexander’s problem was: he wasn’t hungry, wasn’t dirty, wasn’t uncomfortable, and when he transitioned, he proved to not be too very tired either. Just one of those things, I guess.

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I think you’ll agree that the extra effort was worth it, though. Can you say “adorabubble”? I used contacts to give Alexander his father’s alien eyes, since genetically he should have them, and the flannel-shirt-and-overalls outfit is perfect for him.

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The whole floor debacle struck me as enough drama for one rotation, so the family spent the remainder of the time having quiet, happy family moments like this one. Well, except for the little squabbles over who got to potty train Alexander and teach him to walk. ( rolls eyes ) Family Sims!

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Although I am not sure that Tiger wouldn’t rather still be stuck in the floor if he was given a choice…

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MURAKAME So who was the client? One of the girls’ parents? GOLDBERG No client. MURKAME You sent me and Silent Lady in there with a serial killer because what -- you didn’t like his tie? GOLDBERG It was Silent Lady’s idea. But basically? Yeah. MURAKAME One of these days, I’m going to stop being friends with you, you know.

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My visit to the House of the Double As (and a B) started off with a little mystery. Somehow when I wasn’t looking, Amy went and got herself trapped in the corner behind the loveseat and the chair. I have no idea how she managed it, but I fixed the problem using moveobjects on. This was the most exciting thing that happened all rotation, but not the only thing worth mentioning.

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For starters, Amy got a makeover. It’s only a small change, but I think this hairstyle suits her much better. I also thing we can all agree that she is the most unusual SWAT Team member out there. But doesn’t she look fabulous? Amy’s new hairstyle is by another Amy: amylu1988. amylu1988 has Maxis-matched Emilia’s all-ages mesh conversion of Newsea Hedonism. It is available on Desirable Discourses (in the Sims 2 Artistic Avenue section) or on amylu1988’s LJ.

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The family’s unofficial houseguest spent much of one morning cleaning up after himself and removing all his magical paraphernalia from the living room. The purpose of having him briefly playable is now accomplished, and it made sense to get him out on his own.

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Bryan has been working on making friends before Uni. He’s Pop, so there’s probably no practical way to stop this, even if any townie friends will likely be left behind when he goes to college. Pong Grudstrom certainly will: three hours of friendly socialization, and he left with exactly one STR point more than he arrived with.

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Bryan has a lot more luck making friends with girls, like Allyn Tsvirkunov here.* In fact, he will be going to Uni one day earlier than my usual time frame so that he can go through school with his two best friends, Tamara and Skye. This has nothing to do with my not wanting to string Uni out any longer than absolutely necessary. Nope. It’s friendship all the way. *Allyn comes from my story 100 Days of Awesome , available on my LJ.

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Right at the end of the rotation, Adam aged up. He actually aged up into the look I would have chosen for him, so I left well enough alone. He also aged up into a bit of a gut, but since it doesn’t bother him or Amy, I’ve decided to not let it bother me. So all in all, a successful and calm rotation for this household.

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And don’t worry about Abhijeet -- he’s got a lovely new place all his own. We won’t be following him, since I’d like him to still function as a townie right now, but he’ll be reachable by phone. If all goes well at the asyl -- at the residential facility for people with psychological differences,* we’ll see more of him later. Until next time, Happy Simming! *See The Jack Point Home For Pedestrian Playables , available on my LJ.

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The Grim Reaper’s lines, in order: Nope. Sorry. Sorry about that. I’ve got a schedule.

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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 dress and hair advertised at the beginning and content advertised in other episodes, 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 Beer from bienchen83’s “MTS2 Birthday Food Pack”

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