Already in Progress, Chapter 43: Complaint Department. What's YOUR Problem?
Hello, and welcome to the delayed release of Already inProgress! As you may or may not know, I will be moving AnyMinute Now, just as soon as my landlord says it’s okay andgives me the keys to the upstairs apartment. (The wait is drivingme crazy!) I’ll be moving myself instead of hiring someone,which means that most of my time is spent decluttering,packing, cleaning, or attempting to do all three things at once.But I did want to get this update out for you before I went poofwith no warning, and hooray hoorah: here it is!The next update on this – and indeed, on all my stories – will bedelayed an indefinite amount of time, though. I apologize.And now, we return to our story: Already in Progress…
At the Tsvirkunov household, Anastasia and Rebecca seem tobe involved in some sort of friend-making competition. At leastone of them brings a friend home from school every day, andthey are generally platinum or high gold from either making anew friend or becoming best friends with one they alreadyhave.
And the girls have inherited the Awesome – they can evenconvince their mother to play catch in the house!
Admittedly, they don’t have any gardening badges yet, but theyhave successfully grown their own tomatoes. And they aren’tBland, either!The silver badge belongs to Abbey.
Descartes has become an International Sim Of Mystery, which Ibelieve is one promotion away from his LTW of Dread Pirate.Because he is Awesome, he has been promoted well abovewhere the numbers say he should be via chance cards.Apparently, International Sims of Mystery maintain theirMystery by dressing like Mafiosi instead.
Descartes’ opinion of his work uniform seems to be about aslow as my own, since he constantly rolls Wants for the skillpoints he needs to be promoted, and is never happier than whenhe is working on gaining them… somehow.He occasionally rolls the Want to Make A Friend when he islow for promotion, but his daughters are taking care of that endof things very nicely, so Descartes rerolls that fairly frequently.The other Wants are autonomously perma-locked.Descartes is Awesome at skilling (of course), and as it turnsout, there’s only one challenge he’s not ready for.
Parenting teenaged daughters.That’s Anastasia in blue; she’s a Popularity Sim. Rebecca is inpink; she’s a Romance Sim. I decided to keep their same colorschemes going, as they seem to fit.And I actually chose their aspirations randomly! I closed myeyes and waved the mouse around for a count of ten and thendid “Eenie meenie miney moe” (with a “my mother” chaser)beginning on the aspiration closest to where the mouse waswhen I opened my eyes.Not that you care about my methodology, but it wasn’t theusual one so I thought I’d say.
Now, Amy Littledragon and Sally Couderc went to college atthe same time and graduated at the same time, but they were notthe same age. Sally is the younger by two days. To preservethat difference, I played the Coudercs for two days beforemoving Sally back in.They all had the flu, so this is about as exciting as it got.
Of course, Sally didn’t just sit in the Sim Bin. She spent hertime backpacking in the mountains – with Troy.
Let’s face it: since Bon Voyage came out three years ago, we’veall seen the same basic things a million times. “Oh, look! Tomand Janet are throwing axes! And they had a log rollingcompetition! And they learned to slap dance! Oh, and they wentto a lot of trouble to meet Bigfoot!”Instead of making this time number one million and one, I’lljust point out a few things I didn’t know about vacationing inThree Lakes.
For instance, did you know that “Talk” is an option when youhave two Sims in a tent? Or that if you choose it, you can seetheir silhouettes on the tent?
Another new-to-me feature was that Sims in a log-rollingcompetition can splash their opponent.
Generally speaking, though, you can assume that Sally andTroy between them acquired every Three Lakes vacationmemory except “Met Bigfoot.” Sally and Troy bothautonomously perma-locked a Fear of Bigfoot, and I didn’t feellike fulfilling the Fear.
Besides, anyone who can manage three bull’s-eyes the firsttime she ever tries throwing an axe is not someone you want tomess with.
SALLY: Hi, Mom! (hugs Lucy)LUCY: Welcome home, honey. (wrinkles her nose) Would youlike to, ah, freshen up?SALLY: Oh, I’d love to! We both would. Three Lakes only hasthese cold showers and you have to put in a quarter for everyminute of water. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been lookingforward to a good long soak in a real bathtub!LUCY: “We”?SALLY: We. I told you about Troy, you remember? He’ll beliving with us now because (whispers inaudibly)LUCY (shocked): Sally!SALLY: Oh, pooh! Don’t be such a stick-in-the-mud. (wavesTroy over) Troy, come meet my mother!
TROY: Wow, is it good to be back in civilization again! Flushtoilets, real clothes, and refrigerators! (takes a big drink) That’sa pretty dress – it looks good on you.SALLY (demurely): Thank you. I thought it was the nicestmaternity dress in the whole store.TROY: (spits half his drink across the table and shoots the restout his nose)
I may as well mention at this point that I have started makingsure that my Sims have pictures of their relatives in theirhouses. I think it’s a nice touch, and it fills in blank walls well.Some Sims will have more pictures, or more recent pictures,than others, of course.As you can probably tell from the plants at the edges of theshot, this is Buttercup’s house, since that was the first housewhere I put this new plan into action.
Let’s begin with the morning of a typical day.JOSEPHINE: Ugh, Daddy, what are these supposed to be?ALBERT: They’re pancakes.JOSEPHINE: They taste like charcoal. (gags) They’re horrible.Where did you learn to cook?ALBERT: If you don’t like them, you know where the cereal is.JOSEPHINE (quickly): No, I think they’ll be great if I put somemore syrup on them. Can you please pass me the syrup?ALBERT: No. You already had enough.
Buttercup makes friends while the kids are at school and Albertis at work. (She works from home, for understandable reasons.)Although Oliver is Buttercup’s brother-in-law and has been herbrother Oakapple’s best friend since they were so high, shedidn’t get to know him much prior to the wedding. This ismostly because she didn’t (and still doesn’t) get along withOakapple. As it turns out, she gets along fine with Oliver.
Cecil is making new friends, too. Frederic is his first non-female friend. I’m not sure what that says about him, but thereit is.Don’t recognize Frederic? That’s the problem with the way Iplay – everyone ends up at the same point, but I don’t play inorder. Don’t worry: all will be cleared up soon!
After dinner and homework, Jo and Cecil play until bedtime.Sometime they play alone and sometimes they play with eachother, but either way, their Fun meter is nice and full beforethey put on their pajamas.And the reason for the Walls Down? (For it is indeeddeliberate.) To show you just how small and awkwardly shapedJo and Cecil’s room is. I don’t know how they’re going to beable to keep sharing as Teens but I don’t have space on the lotto give them their own rooms.
Whatever it is I’m going to do, though, I need to figure it outsoon. They Grew Up in perfect sync once again this rotation.
And privacy is important once you get to be this old.And speaking of houses that really don’t have enough room foreverybody…
Trixie’s house is so full that Dmitri is actually sleeping in thehall. The family has a cubic ton of money and plenty of spaceon the lot; I am just made of fail when it comes to rebuilding,and I don’t want to split Tirtha and Trixie up.
I mean, just look at how close everybody is! It’s almost likethere’s no difference between the two families.ARIADENE: (covering her face with her hands): Where’sDmitri? Where’d he go? (flipping her hands open) There he is!DMITRI: (crows with delight)ARIADENE: (repeats gestures) Where’s Dmitri? Where is he?There he is!DMITRI: (laughs delightedly)ARIADENE: Daddy, when am I going to get another littlebrother or sister?ABHIJEET: Probably never, honey. Mommy and Aunt Trixieare too old to have any more babies.ARIADENE: Aw…
So, in an attempt to relieve some of the congestion, Abhijeetspent some of that cubic ton of money on a surprise for Tirtha.TIRTHA: What’s this?ABHIJEET: It’s for you. So we can get the flower bench out ofthe upstairs hall.TIRTHA: What, you’ve got an extension to the house in thatlittle box?
ABHIJEET (V.O.): Not exactly, no.But the deed to a flower shop is almost as good, right? At leastit’s somewhere to keep the flower bench and all thearrangements Tirtha makes. And I don’t even care if thebusiness makes a profit.Which is probably just as well, given how QND routinelyhemorrhages money. But I do want to have somewhere for mySims to be able to buy a nice wildflower bouquet withouthaving to spend hours and hours real time watching them gainthe necessary badges.
Now is probably as good a time as any to mention thatAriadene has had a makeover.
So has Dmitri, and for the best of reasons: he’s now anadorabubble Toddler!
And now that Dmitri is old enough to have a personality, hisfather is starting to think about his future.LEONID (V.O.): Zaika, I have met very nice man today, withdaughter almost same age as Dmitri. I am thinkink to arrangemarriage with his daughter for our son.TRIXIE (V.O.): You can’t just arrange a marriage for your kidslike that! What is this, the middle ages? Nobody does thatanymore! And what if they don’t like each other?LEONID (V.O.) (mildly): My parents arranged marriage forme.TRIXIE (V.O.): You were married before? Why didn’t you tellme this?
LEONID: No, no. She is meetink me, this girl, and she iscalling it off. She did not like my eyeliner. And I did not losetoo much sleep because she looks like south end of northboundhippo, with smell to match.TRIXIE (trying not to laugh): The phrase is “south end of anorthbound horse.”LEONID: Da, I know. But hippo is larger. And smellier. I havemuch better wife now. (kisses Trixie) If children do not likeeach other when they grow up, is not problem. Thisarrangement is, is insurance.Did I mention that Trixie is an Elder now? No?Trixie is an Elder now.
And speaking of Elders… When I entered the Mifune Sanderslot, Mifune was just standing there, unmoving, like this whileEileen used the facilities. Eventually, she finished and he gotout of the tub, spun into his clothes, and went about hisbusiness.Then, with a good chunk of time left on his life bar, Mifuneapparently died. I knew nothing about his death until I got thepopup about his life insurance beneficiaries. Nobody else in thehouse paused what they were doing to so much as sniffle at hispassing, so I figured it was a glitch, and quit without saving.
When I reentered the lot, this is the position Mifune was in. Justas awkward, if completely different. Because it was completelydifferent, and because Mifune’s life bar still had a good amountof space on it, I decided he was probably fine.
Alas, I was wrong.MIFUNE: Hey, has anybody seen the timer?GRIM REAPER: Ri… .ere, M.. San…s.MIFUNE: No, not that one. It only does what, a coupleminutes? I need to time twenty.GRIM REAPER: Thi. ti… .oes a .i..ti.., M.. San…s. .nd i.’. ou.o. .an..MIFUNE: Aw, nuts.My best guess is that Mifune’s life bar was slaved to Eileen’s inthe UI. That happens sometimes when a couple was made inCAS – or at least, it does in my game.
At least this time, people noticed he was gone.Eileen took it pretty hard, and Venus howled all night.
Grief takes everybody differently, and in the case of Louise andCharlotte, it took the form of dueling sponge mops. Seriously,you have no idea how many pictures I have of them moppingup the same puddles.Let’s leave them to work out their feelings in private, shall we?
Mifune Sanders, 70 years old. Named after a Japanese actorknown for his work with director Akira Kurosawa, Mifune wasthe only one of his family to have children. (His friendlysquabbles with Eileen Tang in college eventually led to truelove and an unexpected set of twins.) Mifune was a fan of thework of designer Goopy GilsCarbo, although his devotion tothe entire GilsCarbo line led to a business that routinelyhemorrhaged money. Due to some sort of glitch, he died twice.Rest in peace, Mifune.
Here we see another one of those fun family snapshots. As youcan probably tell, this is the home of nine-Nice-points Dante.As you can also tell, the middle-of-nowhere handicap is makingit quite hard to decorate. Between the wall and the mirror, youcan see every piece of wall covering in the whole room.
This will probably be the snapshot that other people have of thisfamily. Dante likes to spend lots of time with his girls.
Although sometimes he has to compete with Amy for time withCathrynne.Amy moved back in after college, as per my usual keep-the-population-low policy, but there’s no room in the house for hercollege sweetheart. (Remind me again why I thought breedingcats was a good idea?) Since she keeps rolling Wants for him,she’ll probably move out again next rotation.
There’s not as much competition for Cathrynne as you mightthink, though, since Dante is a Horoscope Writer. He’s been aHoroscope Writer since before he got married, and he’llprobably be a Horoscope Writer for the rest of his life. I don’tknow what’s going on with him: I’ve gotten the same chancecard for him practically every other time he goes to work, and Ialways choose the “Tell them to propose” option, which comeswith a promotion if it works. And it always does work, and thenthe next time I check to see what level Dante’s at, he’s aHoroscope Writer again. Either my game is glitchy or I’mrepressing the demotions.And can someone please explain why a Horoscope Writerneeds to wear a camera to work?
On the last day of the rotation, Cathrynne Grew Up. I think shelooks more like her father now, especially around the chin andmouth.Cathrynne loves dancing, and will dance with anyone andeveryone. Her relatives are only too happy to oblige.
At the home of Oliver and Oakapple, the girls are making gooduse of their time. Saigon applied for Garden Club membership,and was accepted. The judges did not provide a wishing well,and in fact barely provided any money. This means that I haveonly two more chances at a wishing well, unless someone elsemoves into the house.I really don’t know what they don’t like, since every singleplant on the lot was Thriving and there are no flamingos.They’re just picky, I guess.
Saigon and Fantine do not have a plant light to get themthrough the night, since plant lights cost $2,000 Simoleonseach, and even with the Garden Club award the family bankbalance was at less than $1, 000.However, that was enough to open an extremely basic (andugly) farm stand, selling the produce from the garden, theorchard, and the pond. The farm stand not only broke even, itactually made a small profit in the first play session.
Although Oakapple proved to be something of a liability.OPINIONATED GARDEN CLUB LADY: How can you havea zombie working here? That can’t possibly be hygienic! Whatif bits fall off in the food? And he smells something awful!THE DAUGHTER WHO IS THE OWNER OF THE FARMSTAND: That’s my father you’re talking about. If you don’tlike the smell, you can leave.THE DAUGHTER WHO ISN’T THE OWNER: Yeah –nobody insults my father. (grabbing the Opinionated GardenClub Lady’s collar) Let me help you find the edge of the lot.
Oliver and Oakapple haven’t really contributed much to thestock of the farm stand, either. Although Oakapple planted mostof the vegetable plots, it’s the girls who have tended most ofthem, who have talked the plants into Thriving even when theyare crawling with aphids and Japanese beetles, and caught mostof the fish.
Oliver and Oakapple do try to help with that, but they justaren’t all that good at it.
The girls have a silver and a gold Fishing badge, respectively.You may have noticed that Saigon and Fantine seem to do a lotof their outdoor things at night, and that is quite true. Since theydon’t have a plant light, they’re going to go into motive distressno matter what. I figure they may as well make themselvesuseful while they’re about it.Besides, they keep rolling Wants to gain another Fishing badgeor catch a particular type of fish. I do try to keep my Simshappy.Well, I do the interesting ones, anyway.
Our last stop this round is the home of Eddie, Celeste, andFrederic, where something very strange has happened.This is Frederic: a happy, normal child. He likes playing on theswings and being read to by Mommy and Daddy, and hedoesn’t care that he has an unflattering haircut and the exactsame outfit as Cecil. He doesn’t care, but I do, so I bought himnew clothes and sent him to the mirror to change his look.At this point, please take a good look at Frederic’s eyes. Theyhave whites, yes? And even if you can’t tell the color exactly inthis shot, they are brown.
This is what happened after I went to fix his hair. Alien eyes!His eyes changed as soon as I clicked on the mirror, and nomatter what I did after that, they stayed changed. I am notnecessarily objecting to the change – I was feeling cheated thathe didn’t get any alien features from Eddie – but I admit tobeing just a tiny bit concerned that they spontaneously changedlike that.
He doesn’t seem to have suffered any ill effects, and his parentsaren’t particularly concerned about it, so I’m not going toinitiate another rebuild or anything. But I’m still baffled as towhat happened.
The other exciting thing to happen at Frederic’s house was thata burglar broke in.Now, Edgar may be Nice, but he is not Stupid, and the alarmsystem went off right away.
The police showed up in a timely manner, and a rousing fightensued.Two out of the three people in the household found it rousing,anyway. I’ll give you three guesses as to who did not. (The firsttwo don’t count.)
EDGAR: Well! That was certainly exciting, wasn’t it?FREDERIC (enthusiastically): Uh-huh!EDGAR: Are you going to be okay to go to bed?FREDERIC: Sure. Why wouldn’t I?EDGAR: Well, you know… Sometimes people don’t feel safeafter a break-in. (quickly) Not that there’s any reason for that!We are perfectly safe. But I just wanted to check and see thatyou don’t need someone to hold your hand or stay with youwhile you go to sleep.FREDERIC: I’ll be fine, Daddy. But if you need a hug to makeyou feel better, I can give you one.On which heartwarming note, I will wrap up.
For those of you who didn’t recognize the blonde man in theawesome mustache-and-sideburns combo, he is Old Adam, thecurrent head of household in my (un)Officially WackyBoolprop Challenge. You should absolutely go check it out.[/shameless self-promotion]Any clothing or hairstyles you haven’t seen before are SimsStore items snagged from More Awesome Than You. Exceptthe sideburns-and-mustache combo; I made that myself.
On a related note, the reason Trixie looks so good even as anElder is that I downloaded a hack from Mod The Sims thatallows Elders to wear Adult clothing. Plus, she works out a lot.I also downloaded some recolors of the ceiling tiles I hadpreviously added, but that should do it. I can’t think of anythingelse I want that I can’t make for myself.Until next time – whenever that is – Happy Simming!**********The Grim Reaper’s lines, in order:Right here, Mr. Sanders.This timer does a lifetime, Mr. Sanders. And it’s out of sand.