Already in Progress, Chapter 55

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Hello! Welcome to the most recent (read: hideously overdue) chapter of Already in Progress ! For some reason, I had both player’s block and writer’s block while playing this rotation. If I have one, focusing on the other usually gets me through it, but with both at once, I was stuck. Perhaps I need less restrictive play-and-write rules for myself… At any rate, I hope the finished chapter is not too much of a disappointment. We will have a brief word from our sponsors, and then we will return to our story.

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Today’s episode of Goldberg & Silent Lady is brought to you by Decat’s 3-to-2 conversions of Supernatural items. Because how can you have a self-respecting occult ’hood without dusty bottles, dustier books, and awesome brooms? ( in a rapid undertone ) Set also includes an extra wand and a cash register. Brooms do not really fly. Available from http://decatsims2.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-sims-3-supernatural-conversions.html. Decat is in no way aware of this endorsement. And now, it’s on to our story: Already in Progress …

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We open today’s chapter with photographic proof that Helen can sleep through any video game you care to name.

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Although since she Grew Up Well later that same day, she is now too big to share a room with her fathers. Normally, I wouldn’t show a pre-makeover picture of the birthday girl, but I just wanted to point out that Helen actually looks as though she could be a biological member of the family. See how she and Celeste have the same chin?

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Here is post-makeover Helen discussing her favorite topic with Isaac.

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And here is post-makeover Helen congratulating Frederic on his latest promotion. [/picspam] Frederic is climbing the Culinary ladder pretty quickly. It’s really just a matter of putting in the time, as he has plenty of friends and all but one skill point for Level Ten already.

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The household is a very happy and functional one. Everyone gets along with everyone else, and evenings are filled with family time.

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Mostly. ISAAC: Hey, what is up with you, pal? Can’t you see you’re making my little girl cry? GRIM REAPER: .orr.. ISAAC: Yeah, you better be!

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EDGAR: Now, now. He’s just doing his job. No need to threaten him. GRIM REAPER: ..an. .ou, .r. .ill... EDGAR: Oh, that’s okay. Emotions run high at times like these. You have to make allowances. Do you have my drink? GRIM REAPER: I .ur. .o. EDGAR: And my suitcase? GRIM REAPER: .igh. .ere, .r. .ill... EDGAR: My goodness, you certainly are professional! Okay, I’m ready.

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Edgar “Eddie” Miller, 75 years old. Eddie was a genuinely Nice guy… or, as loyal reader amylu1988 dubbed him, “Mr. Way-Too-Nice.” Despite that, he wasn’t a pushover, finding ways to redirect girls he wasn’t interested in to the guys who would make them happy, and finding creative ways to resolve all kinds of conflicts. (His greatest triumph was the conflict resolution session that netted him his Heavenly Bride.) There were a lot of people whose lives were improved with Eddie’s intervention, and I won’t be the only one who misses him. Rest in peace, Eddie.

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Now, this picture may look a bit inappropriate -- celebrating Eddie’s death?! -- but it’s actually not. This is just a picture of grandmother-granddaughter bonding in the aftermath of loss, with the two of them finding happiness in life again. It’s actually quite sweet. Also, I wanted to include it and couldn’t work it in any other way.

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GOLDBERG It’s a woohooing elf lord! The kind that owns people! I don’t defend people like that. (drops the case on SILENT LADY’S desk) Get rid of it. SILENT LADY picks the case up and hands it back. GOLDBERG I told you, I don’t defend elf lords! (throws the case back on SILENT LADY’S desk) SILENT LADY picks up the case, opens the folder, and hands it back.

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The rotation started out well at Buttercup and Albert’s house. The married couples were getting along very well, and their dates went well.

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Although I have no photographic proof, Penelope continued to do well in school. Bribes for grades really do work. Since she’d been a Child for a while, it was about time for an age transition.

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The sparklies and the hula zombies showed up on the same day, and in the most inaccessible location in the house. (Where else?) Please accept my apologies for the Walls Down, and know that Albert went to the next lifestage with a big smile on his face.

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Albert (Adams) Shankel, 75 years old. The son of a hugely famous rock star (Bertram McClellan), Albert chose a conservative life as an act of rebellion. One wife, three children, and years of careful attention to the tax code later, he couldn’t have been happier. Albert was in the most separate stories of any of my Sims (three), finally settling here in Already in Progress . He will be missed by family and player alike, and the knowledge that his death occurred at the optimum time for maximizing tax deductions will not help to ease the loss. Goodbye, Little Bertie.

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I think we can all agree that Penny looks like her father, can’t we? But those pigtails don’t work on her anymore.

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Much better. For those who are interested, Penny is a Popularity Sim, who likes glasses and jewelry, but not brown hair.

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If the weather permits, Penny does tai chi in the yard with Buttercup every morning. If the weather doesn’t permit, they do tai chi in the living room, but there isn’t as much space. Penny and Buttercup are quite close, and I think it’s a good thing for Buttercup. Of course a granddaughter can never replace a husband, but strong interpersonal connections are a vital part of the healing process. Gee, that sounded pretentious. ( quickly, in a bright tone ) Moving right along!

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GOLDBERG I read up on you, Mr. Brightdawn. You have the highest “attrition rate” of anyone in the Eastern Kingdom. TIARNA Yes, I do, don’t I. Funny how nobody asks to see the bodies. Do you know, if people are willing to squash up a bit, you can fit three to a coffin?

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Amy and Bryan had a pleasant-but-completely-uneventful rotation. You can tell because I actually managed to get exactly zero pictures and had to go back into the game after the rotation ended to take this one. I sincerely apologize, and I will attempt to do better next time.

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TIARNA They can search now. It’s clear. Although it might look good if my learned counsel were to persuade me to cooperate. (raises an eyebrow) I do have a learned counsel, don’t I, Mr. Goldberg? GOLDBERG You bet your ass.

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At the Couderc household, Nicholas’s campaign for a sibling is still in full swing. NICHOLAS: Dada, I can has brudda or sissa? CHANT: Mommy wants to help with that, kiddo, and it can take a while. NICHOLAS: Dada, I can has brudda or sissa now ? CHANT: Mommy and I just aren’t that fast, kiddo. I’m sorry. NICHOLAS: Dada, you can gives brudda or sissa now? ( puppy dog eyes ) Pwease? CHANT: Oh, okay. How can I say no to puppy dog eyes?

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Plantbabies are very easy to obtain, and granting but his son’s request was the work of a moment for Chant. CHANT: There you go, Nicholas. A little sister for you, at least for a bit. NICHOLAS ( suspiciously ): Sissa get big fast? CHANT: Yep. That’s what plantsims do. NICHOLAS: Want sissa same as Nico’as! Same same same ! CHANT: Okay, okay. Don’t yell!

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So Chant dug around in the medicine cabinet and found some (expired) Plantropic-C that Oliver has sensible bought to have on hand in case he or Oakapple got turned into plantsims again, since neither of them cared much for the experience. Chant poured the stuff into a bottle and gave it to the new plantbaby, who immediately became a new regular baby in desperate need of a makeover.

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Chant provided one, but that wasn’t enough to help bring Phoebe around to the idea. PHOEBE (V.O.): What hast thou done ?

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CHANT: Nicholas wanted a sister. PHOEBE: Aye, and we were to give him one together. But no more, now that thou hast introduced a cuckoo into the nest! CHANT: Hey! She’s still my kid ! Are you really saying that you’d rather raise -- raise your sister’s kid than mine ? PHOEBE: At least a child of my sister’s would be blood to me! But this -- ! Ah, thou hast betrayed me!

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Now, as you may or may not know, Phoebe’s older sister Leila was the playable in an asylum -- excuse me, a residential facility for people with psychological differences -- challenge. She was closing in on permaplat and her reward of real fairy wings. Right up to the point where I lost the challenge.

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After her death, two unidentified children were found in the asy -- er, residential facility, cared for only by the inma -- er, residents. Mathematically speaking, for these children to belong to Phoebe’s sister, she would have had to be pregnant a week previously. She wasn’t. Since Phoebe was connected to both the asy -- residential facility and to her sorority sister Catherynne’s orphanage/trade school, she took charge of the kids for a few hours.

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Although Chant was actually in charge of handing the kids over, since Phoebe cried until she was sick and then fell asleep.

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I can’t say that the rest of the household was in too much better shape for most of the rotation. Heavy rains led to a bumper crop of weeds, Fantine stubbornly refused to gain any aspiration points from Chant’s daughter…

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…And Saigon’s wish for friends backfired, leading to a group of strangers having a poke-and-slapfest in the garden. Yes, that sounds dirtier than I meant it to. Sorry.

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GOLDBERG I see. Then he must have put on a wet suit and a scuba mask and tunneled up through the ornamental fish pond -- MACDEIRF ÉAR THORNLEAF He leased her for a year and a day. GOLDBERG No masks? MACDEIRF ÉAR THORNLEAF Don’t be stupid.

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Hi Sally! How’s it going? SALLY: Arrrrrr -- she be going splendiferously, me hearty! That’s good. SALLY: Aye! Er… Is there anything specific that’s going splediferously? SALLY: Aye! We be coming up on the armada, full of Spanish gold! Er… I meant in real life? SALLY: Oh, that.

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SALLY (V.O): Well, there was the fire. A fire ? SALLY (V.O.): Only a little kitchen one. The fire department came and put it out in no time. And I like Cajun pancakes, so it was all good.

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SALLY (V.O.): And then there was the burglar. A burglar ? SALLY (V.O.) ( soothingly ): Not a very good one. And we have an alarm. I think she thought Gran still lived here. Your grandmother the criminal mastermind? SALLY (V.O.): Uh-huh. They used to do that sometimes, try to break in to impress her. But like I said, we have a good alarm system. The cops came right away.

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SALLY (V.O.): I mean, they weren’t a whole lot of help, but they did show up right away. POLICE OFFICER: Excuse me, ma’am. Have you seen a burglar around here? The police officer wouldn’t have happened to be a Centowski, would he? SALLY (V.O.): I don’t know. Why? No reason.

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SALLY (V.O.): Oh! And Troy was planning to open a gym, but we were a few thousand short on the liquid assets needed. Do you want a loan? SALLY (V.O.): No, thanks. Once I catch these Spanish galleons, we’ll have all the gold we need. ( laughs ) Or, you know, we’ll just wait until Troy’s next paycheck. Whichever comes first. But thank you for the offer.

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SKLAVENH ÄNDLER My system is better than that, Mr. Goldberg. I have trolls recording a three hundred point list of distinguishing characteristics of every body involved in every trade, which is compared against a list of the same characteristics for every owned body in the Eastern Kingdom. More than seventy-five points of similarity will trigger an automatic investigation, with genetic sampling if a master sample is on file. The body in question had such a sample in the database, and there were no matches. It’s a very comprehensive system, Mr. Goldberg. This is very big business.

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Now, the problem with running an orphanage is that sometimes you have a lot of kids to take care of. And when three of them are Toddlers, other things can get neglected. Unimportant things like eating, sleeping, peeing, or taking pictures. Generally speaking, only one adult in the household had a green energy bar at any given time, and it usually wasn’t all that green.

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Charlie is probably having the hardest time of it. She doesn’t actually hate kids, but they’ve never been all that important to her, and they don’t raise her Social meter much. As you can see.

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I have been thinking about playing a Toddler Mania challenge, but now I’m not so sure. I mean, Lavinia, Trudy, and Paul are adorabubble, but right now I’ve got a one-to-one ratio of adults to Toddlers and it’s plenty hard enough. I don’t know if I can handle a one-to-seven…

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Poor Dongsool was rather neglected for most of the rotation. I’m not even sure he’s learned to study yet, which for the child of a college professor is kind of scandalous. He’s pretty good-natured about it all, though, and frequently rolls up Wants to play with Trudy.

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He was able to take care of himself anyway (must be all those years of fending for himself in Townie Limbo)…

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…and he Grew Up Well on the last day of the rotation. He picked out his own clothes, and I think they suit him well. He can keep them. Dongsool likes aliens who like to walk around in their underpants, although not so much if they’re athletic. When someone works out enough that they have a six-pack, they’re awfully uncomfortable to hug.

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GOLDBERG Now, if this were a trial for criminal negligence of Mr. Thornleaf’s property, then you could convict him. Absolutely. If this were a civil trial for breach of contract, nobody could be more guilty than my client, because he cannot produce Lucinda as set forth in the agreement. Corrupted files, if this were a trial for being a slave-owning piece of censor blur, I would urge you to convict without hesitation! But this is a trial for theft , ladies and gentlemen of the jury, and by the legal definition of theft my client is clearly not a thief. I must therefore regretfully ask you to acquit him. Thank you.

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At Rose and Dmitri’s house, the bulk of the nighttime childcare has fallen to Mommy lately, so while she took a much-deserved nap, Daddy and Alexander went out to play in the snow. Alexander had a fine time digging a little hole for himself, while Daddy showed him how to build a snowman.

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The end result came as a complete surprise to me. I’ve always written Dmitri as a sweetie, and I’ve never seen him steal a paper, kick a trash can, or prank anybody. After seeing this, I actually checked his stats and sure enough: one Nice point. Go figure.

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No matter who’s on childcare duty, though, Alexander will head right for the kitty treats if left to his own devices for too long. He doesn’t even have to be particularly hungry to go for it. On a completely unrelated note, I’m not sure whose nose he has. One thing’s for sure though: whether it’s Rose’s nose or Dmitri’s, it will certainly be impressive!

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And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a completely gratuitous shot of Alexander being adorable while dancing to the stereo.

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The flower shop is doing well enough that Dmitri was able to hire an extra employee: the blonde girl now handles the restocking while the redhead sells things. Both girls are college students, and I have completely forgotten their names. The cashier is Jerry Ryan, a townie, and he’s not improving all that much. After finishing up with this household, I put in Pescado’s smartercashier hack, which makes cash register badges easier to earn. Normally, I would think of this as kind of cheaty, but I worked retail for eight years in my youth, and registers just aren’t that hard. And when you look at some of the kids working as cashiers nowadays, well… It shouldn’t be that hard a badge, that’s all. [/grumpy-old-lady rant]

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At the end of the rotation, Alexander Grew Up into a handsome young fellow. He looks an awful lot like his father, I think, but there’s some Rose in there around the chin area.

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Predictably, his Family Sim parents immediately (and simultaneously) rolled the Want for Another Baby, Please. I told them to Try for one, but then I had to go to the bathroom, so I left them to it. When I got back, they were sleeping peacefully. I suppose we’ll find out next time if they were successful or not.

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GOLDBERG I wonder if you could beat Sklaveh ändler’s database. You’d need to cover up scars. And birthmarks. And get ownership tataus removed. (yawns) Or altered. But what would you do about your fingerprints? SILENT LADY shrugs and holds out her hand for the deposit slip. GOLDBERG hands it to her, glancing at her palm has he does so. SILENT LADY leaves, pointedly turning off the light. GOLDBERG looks at his own palm and then just sits, thoughtful, in the gathering dark.

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Do you remember Phoebe’s sister Leila, who used to be in an asy -- a residential facility challenge? Of course you do. That was only a few slides ago. Okay then, do you remember Abhijeet, who used to informally bunk in with Amy, Adam, and Bryan before moving out on his own? Yes? Excellent. Did you know that Leila and Abhijeet were dating? Well, they were, and this file photo provides proof of it.

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You may or may not have gathered from previous chapters that Abhijeet is a brujo* : a man who can use magic. Needless to say, he wasted no time in using a Bone Phone to resurrect his lady love. Okay, so using a Bone Phone technically just requires a lot of money… but they don’t sell the Phones in your local electronics chain superstore. Or even in your local mom-and-pop electronics boutique. *Pronounced more-or-less like “BREW-hoe.” Because I like brujo better than warlock , that’s why.

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Abhijeet proposed, and was immediately accepted. Leila’s lifebar was even reset to the beginning of the Adult lifestage, and if there were nearly two game-weeks of retrograde amnesia that came along with that, well… At least she doesn’t have two evil twins, one of whom is a nun? And there’s not a portal to Hell in her bedroom closet? And she didn’t offer her hand in marriage as security on a loan from her own mother?* *The first two options are actual plot points from modern American soap operas. The third option is from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, a show that amply demonstrates why they are called soap operas .

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Leila’s first act (after accepting Abhijeet’s proposal and moving in, of course) was to make friends with the most important figure in the house. LEILA: Well, aren’t you a handsome kitty cat? CAT: Yes, I am, actually. Good of you to notice.* LEILA: And he talks! How clever! ( fumbles in her pocket ) I think I’ve got a fish-flavored treat for a clever cat somewhere in here… CAT ( to Abhijeet ): Fine. I approve. You can keep her if you like. *Abhijeet cast a spell on Cat so he could talk some time ago. Loneliness can lead people to do some unusual things.

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Leila’s motivation for working in the, ah, residential facility in the first place was to earn enough money for body modification surgery to get fairy wings implanted. But as it turns out, there’s more than one advantage to having a brujo for a boyfriend. LEILA: Squeeeeeeee ! Fairy wings! Oh, Abhijeet, you’re the best guy I could ever ask for!

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It was a short rotation for this household: only one day, to get them in sync with the rest of the ’hood. But that’s okay -- it was an eventful day, and they deserve a nice little rest after all the events it held. I think we’ll leave them to their rest. Until next time, Happy Simming!

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The Grim Reaper’s lines, in order: Sorry. Thank you, Mr. Miller. I sure do. Right here, Mr. Miller.

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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 clutter 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 “Parts Posing BOX” by Tsukiko_L Prop hack and accessories by Decorgal and Adele (a two-download set) Police file folder 3to2 conversion by delonariel, from their LiveJournal

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