Already in Progress, Chapter 40


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Already in Progress, Chapter 40

  1. 1. Welcome back to Already in Progress! Have a good look at thecover picture. Do you notice anything about it?That’s right, Mifune is primping – something no other Sim inthe history of this story has ever done! The “Primp” optionbroke when I installed Pets, and the so-called “patch” andsubsequent EPs failed to fix the problem. During this rotation, Ifinally overcame my phobia of hacks enough to download theentire Director’s Cut from MATY; I currently have installedonly 42 of the 168 files. Of those, most were invisible fixes:antiredundancy, for example, which stops the endlessgeneration of NPCs. You should see almost no difference –with the exception of primping.
  2. 2. To start off with, let’s see if I was right about the number andgender of Celeste’s progeny.
  3. 3. Nope. This is Frederic Kalson Miller.EDGAR (wonderingly): Is he really mine?CELESTE: Of course he’s yours. Who else’s would he be?EDGAR (awestruck): I can’t believe I had anything to do withmaking someone this perfect. Just look at him!(Frederic yawns and spits up all over Edgar’s shoulder)EDGAR (almost in tears): He’s just perfect!
  4. 4. Frederic is a very good baby. He’s quite happy, and only crieswhen he has a dirty diaper. Fortunately, Mommy and Daddy arequick to take care of that.
  5. 5. And when Mommy and Daddy have to work, Frederic has avery nice and competent Nanny who comes to take care of him.Or at least he did.
  6. 6. You see, when Frederic was due to Grow Up, his mother tookhim over to the cake, helped him blow out the candles… andthen set him on the floor and went to read a book. After that,neither of Frederic’s parents would interact with him at all.They went about their business as if he didn’t exist, while poorFrederic lay there completely unmoving and un-interact-with-able. Naturally, I quit without saving, and when I re-entered thelot and played the day through again, Frederic Grew Up withouta problem.But he did end up with a different – and pretty well worthless –nanny.
  7. 7. And that would be the point when I downloaded the Director’sCut and installed the hacks currently in game. I don’t knowwhat the problem was, and I don’t know that any of the hackswould necessarily have prevented the problem. I just know thatit triggered thoughts of having to rebuild yet again, and the painof the last rebuild has not faded enough for me to be able toface the possibility with equanimity.Isn’t that explanation a clever way to hide that I’m showing youpicspam of Eddie being an adorabubble father?
  8. 8. Don’t get me wrong – Celeste is a fantastic parent, too. She’scaring, attentive, and always ready to help her son learnimportant new things. She enjoys taking care of and playingwith her son, and will cheerfully and autonomously do so.She’s just not adorabubble.
  9. 9. And speaking of Celeste, let’s check in with Oakapple andOliver’s house, where my diabolical plan seems to be working.See all those bugs?And what do you do to get rid of all those bugs?
  10. 10. That’s exactly right.Personally, having been raised in a household that practicedpurely organic gardening, I don’t like the emphasis the gameplaces on pesticides.
  11. 11. But I have to admit, there are certain advantages to it.
  12. 12. OLIVER: Ye gods! What happened to you?OAKAPPLE: Once we sell… this crop, we’re… buyingladybug houses.OLIVER: Are you okay? Did you finish spraying?OAKAPPLE: Didn’t… finish. I’m… thirsty. Move.OLIVER: Okay. I’ll finish in the garden, then.
  13. 13. Bad idea.
  14. 14. OAKAPPLE: We’re calling the… garden club in… themorning, right?OLIVER: Right.OAKAPPLE: Good. This is… really weird. Plus… my head…itches. Or not… exactly itches, but…OLIVER: Then scratch. Don’t just talk about it.
  15. 15. OAKAPPLE: Yeah, “itches” wasn’t… the right word.This is Saigon Shankel. She’s named after Miss Saigon, which Ihave never seen. Both Oakpple and Oliver have the same namesas people in shows with singing and dancing, so why not thekids?
  16. 16. Yes, I said “kids.” Oliver figured out the plantbaby thing rightaway. As a Knowledge Sim, he got aspiration points for it, too.This is Fantine, as in the woman who sells her teeth, her hair,and eventually herself in Les Miserables.
  17. 17. OAKAPPLE: Oh… crap.OLIVER: What?OAKAPPLE: We have… children.OLIVER: So?OAKAPPLE: And we’re not… married. Adam* will… neverspeak… to me again.OLIVER: Oh, come on. I bet we’re not the first people toanticipate the wedding. Anyway, we’ll call the garden clubtomorrow morning, and we can do something informal in theafternoon to make it all okay.*Oakapple’s brother, who has embraced Victorianism.
  18. 18. Which is exactly what they did. Nobody paid much attention tothe actual exchange of vows, but nobody said anything nasty,either, and the party was a Roof-Raiser.Sally even offered to babysit as needed.Oakapple Shankel is now Oakapple Couderc.
  19. 19. Over at the Sanders-Miller household, it’s a time of transition.MIFUNE: Here, honey. I think you’re ready for this.LOUISE: What is it?MIFUNE: It’s the deed to QND. I’m ready to retire, and I thinkI’m leaving the family business in good hands.LOUISE: Gee, thanks, Dad! Um… did you have to hand overthe deed in the bathroom, though?MIFUNE: Of course! It is written:“ImportantLifeEvent=GOTO_bathroom true.”
  20. 20. Louise has made lots of changes, with the help of thenolamehires hack from JMPescado’s Director’s Cut. Basically,for an entire generation, the only Sims available to hire forQND were playables who already had jobs. nolamehiresremoves playables from the job pool. Now, in addition to theone pre-existing Teen employee on the cash register, we have atownie sales clerk (in blue) and a college student restocking theracks.I never knew that you could hire dormies. I hope this doesn’tblow up my game…
  21. 21. Louise also hired a townie stylist. I could have hired a Teen tofill that position some time back, but I prefer having adults inthat job.Of course, neither option had any badges, so the customers willcome out looking like clowns either way…Not to mention that all those salaries keep the storehemhorraghing money, and that really, nobody but Mifuneactually likes the GilsCarbo line.
  22. 22. It’s enough to drive anyone to drink!
  23. 23. Tirtha Grew Up Well, into an outfit that didn’t really suit her.At least it matches…
  24. 24. Abhijeet, being younger than Tirtha, didn’t age up. Her agetransition didn’t change the number of Wants he rolls for her,either. I thoroughly approve of that aspect of The Sims: notcaring about the age of one’s spouse.Abhijeet is a good father to Ariadene, too, even if she does liketo try to pull his wig off.
  25. 25. I think Ariadene looks a lot like her father. That’s definitely hismouth, and I think the chin is his as well. On the other hand, Ithink she’s got her mother’s nose, and the cheeks are a blend. Ithink. But no matter which parts came from whom, she’s cuteas a button!ABHIJEET: Do you know, I find that a very baffling phrase. Idon’t think I’ve ever encountered a button whose attractivenessI have felt compelled to judge. But I agree that my daughter is acutie-patootie. And as long as I’ve got your attention, could Iask you something?Sure. What’s up?
  26. 26. ABHIJEET (V.O.): It’s Trixie. She’s been taking Elixir.But that’s illegal.ABHIJEET (V.O.): I know. That’s why I’m concerned. I knowshe doesn’t listen to you, but I thought that perhaps you couldgive me some background before I did anything. I’d prefer thatmy little girl grow up in a safe environment.I can understand that. What do you want to know? (hastily) I’mnot saying I’ll necessarily answer, mind, but you can ask.
  27. 27. ABHIJEET (V.O.): I’m pretty sure the Elixir’s coming fromthis Leonid Andrews that she’s giving language lessons to. He’sRussian, right?Eh, well… See, I don’t actually know any Russians, and his lastname isn’t Russian, but some of his speech patterns…ABHIJEET (V.O.): Russian. Okay. And do you know what hedoes for a living?He’s a Criminal Mastermind, I think.ABHIJEET (V.O.) (to himself): Russian Mafia! I knew it!Whoa, hey now! Let’s not jump to conclusions! A first nameand some syntax do not a gangster make!
  28. 28. Leonid’s sort of a goof. And he and Trixie get along very well.They have two bolts, which is nothing to be sneezed at.
  29. 29. ABHIJEET (V.O.): Believe me, I know exactly how well theyget along. But I don’t approve of him supplying her with Elixir.Where is he getting the stuff? Why is he giving it to her? Thatstuff turns people into addicts, you know.Oh, no, it doesn’t necessarily –ABHIJEET (V.O.): “She can quit any time she likes”? Uh-huh.Listen: I very strongly disapprove of this, and I’m going to havea quiet word with Mr. Andrews about it.I wish you wouldn’t…ABHIJEET (V.O.): Why? If he’s not a gangster, there’s nodanger. (suspiciously) Or is there?(firmly) I’m going to change the subject now.
  30. 30. Samantha had a tough pregnancy: too tired to eat and toohungry to sleep, meaning that unfortunately, this was not anuncommon sight.
  31. 31. It was all worth it, though, for a result like this little angel whoshares her mother’s coloring. Meet Cathrynne Miller, everyone.Cathrynne shares the spelling of her name with authorCathrynne M. Valente. I’ve only read one of Ms. Valente’sbooks, years ago, but I have The Girl Who CircumnavigatedFairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making on hold and am quitelooking forward to it.
  32. 32. Everybody likes Cathrynne. Daddy stayed home from work towatch her birth.DANTE: Hiiiiii, sweetie! Hi, my precious little girl! Oh, youlook just like Mommy, don’t you? Yes, you do! You do! (toSamantha) Can I hold her now?
  33. 33. Granda actually stopped cleaning to come see the new arrival.HARKON: Hey, Don. You don’t mind if I give my newgrandbaby a cuddle, do you?DANTE: Well, I was enjoying holding her myself…HARKON: Oh, that’s okay. You keep right on holding her.(sighs theatrically) Never mind that I’m an old man with notmuch time left on my life bar, or that I never got to hold myown daughters when they were babies…DANTE: Oh, I’m sorry, Harkon! Here, why don’t you give hera cuddle?
  34. 34. HARKON: Heh, that boy is too nice for his own good. I’ve gotplenty of room left on my life bar. And I was the one who choseto adopt Children instead of Babies. But if it works, it works,right, sweetie-pie?CATHRYNNE: (chortles)
  35. 35. Yup, Cathrynne is a real hot property.AMY: Let me hold her, Da.HARKON: Oh, I don’t know.AMY: Let me hold her, Da. Come on.HARKON: You won’t drop her?AMY: Da!HARKON: Okay, okay. Here you go.AMY: She’s so little!
  36. 36. Amy is particularly taken with her niece.AMY: Yup, you are just about perfect. You know, I don’t thinkI’m going to go to school tomorrow. I’m just going to stayhome and hold you all day. I’ll feed you and burp you and playwith you and sing you to sleep. Hey, when you go to sleep, I’llsit there and hold you. I’ll sit real still so you don’t wake up.I’ll… (as Cathrynne pushes the bottle away) Oh, are you done?Okay. I’ll burp you now.
  37. 37. AMY: Because there is nothing I won’t do for you, you perfectlittle sweetheart, you.(A truly impressive stench arises from Cathrynne’s lower half)AMY: …Except that. (sweetly) Oh, Don! Your daughter needsyou.And speaking of people who need diapers…
  38. 38. Over at the Buttercup Shankel household, Jo and Cecil GrewUp in perfect unison. I wish I’d filmed it – I’ve never seen twokids sync up that well before.
  39. 39. Like most of the siblings in my game, Jo and Cecil grew upwith poor relationships to each other. So I set about rectifyingthat via the ancient and mystic rite known as a Water BalloonFight.
  40. 40. Followed by Mary Mack.JO and CECIL:He jumped so high, high, highHe reached the sky, sky, skyAnd he didn’t come back, back, backTil the Fourth of July, ly, ly…Although where I grew up, that was a jump rope rhyme, not ahandclap rhyme. Handclaps were “Down down baby” or“Candy store.”My inner eight-year-old is very contemptuous of EAxis for notknowing something as simple as that.
  41. 41. Of course, Jo and Cecil are still siblings.JO: Mommy! Mommy! Watch me! Watch this!CECIL: Thpppppbt! You stink!JO: You stink more!And children.
  42. 42. Although for Buttercup, “child” is just another word for “cheaplabor force.”Child labor isn’t exactly legal, but if you look really reallyclosely at the picture, you’ll see that that’s not the only less-than-legal thing going on.Albert isn’t wearing a hairnet. You should always wear ahairnet when preparing food. And gloves.
  43. 43. Over at the Littledragon-Tsvirkunov household, there is adefinite reservoir of Awesome. Sarah Jane is an awesomegrandmother: not only does she make Smart Milk upon request,but she taught her granddaughters to walk.
  44. 44. Tim is an equally awesome grandfather, always taking the timeto read to whichever girl is in the mood for a story.TIM: …And so when Magriette wrote “Ceci n’est pas unepipe,” it was not so much a surrealist statement as it was asimple statement of fact: a painting of a pipe is not, in fact, apipe. As Michel Foucalt points out…ABBEY: Shoo flee, Tim! I can’t get to the stove!Admittedly, Tim’s choice of both reading material and locationare somewhat unorthodox, but Rebecca doesn’t seem to mind.
  45. 45. The girls are equally awesome. I don’t have photographic proofof any of it, but just to give you a taste… I did not directAnastasia to do this. And while there is nothing special about akid deciding to play with one of the toys in the same room,Anastasia did not start out in this room. She was in the livingroom, being Tickled by her mother. I left them alone for amoment, and when I came back, Abbey set Anastasia downright in front of the xylophone, where Anastasia proceeded togain a Creativity skill point – and the aspiration points for it.Rebecca has performed similar feats of redirecting her parentsto do her bidding instead of mine. I’m very glad they weretwins: that much pure concentrated Awesome in one Sim couldonly spell Fiery Doom for the ’hood.
  46. 46. Unfortunately, the Awesomeness Quotient in the household hasbeen reduced by one.GRIM REAPER:, .rs. .itt..dra…?SARAH JANE: Don’t mind if I do!
  47. 47. Sarah Jane Littledragon, 71 years old. Sarah Jane was thedaughter of one of my favorite couples, and was prettyawesome at every stage of life. I had not planned for her to beinterested in her childhood friend – I expected Timmy’sfeelings to be unrequited. Sarah Jane put a stop to that ideapretty much the second Tim became a Teen, and she made darnsure to re-stake her claim within three hours of arriving atcollege. Sarah Jane produced a son who was just as awesome asshe was, and spent most of her time being sure that I forgot thatshe and Tim had zero bolts for each other. She was one of myfavorite Sims, and she will be greatly missed.Rest in peace, Sarah Jane.
  48. 48. Hi, Sally! How’s it going?SALLY (coughs): Not so good.No?SALLY: No. (sorrowfully) This was supposed to be mac andcheese. Now it’s charcoal.I’m sorry.SALLY: Oh, it’s not your fault. Hey, did you hear the news?
  49. 49. What news is that?SALLY (V.O.): Oliver and Oakapple got married! And theyhave two daughters now!I had heard rumors to that effect. Is that your niece?SALLY (V.O.): Saigon and Fantine are both my nieces, butFantine’s the only one that’s blood to me. I don’t rememberwhich one I’m holding there.You can’t tell them apart?SALLY (V.O.): Nobody can. Oakapple’s talking about color-coding them.Is he?SALLY (V.O.): Well, actually he was talking about tattooingthem, but Oliver said that would cost too much.
  50. 50. SALLY (V.O.): Oh, and Mom’s permaplat!That’s great!SALLY (V.O.): Yeah, she’s The Law now. And kindainsufferable about it, actually.How do you mean?
  51. 51. LUCY: Sally? The Law says you can’t root around in trashcans.SALLY: But there’s good stuff in there. And it’s our own trash.And anyhow, once it’s put out at the curb it’s legally publicproperty.LUCY: …We’re not trash-pickers, Sally. Stop it.SALLY (V.O.): Like I said, insufferable.
  52. 52. SALLY (V.O.): Oh! And I maxed Creativity!Congratulations! How does that feel?SALLY (V.O.): Pretty darn good, actually. I got a collegescholarship for it and everything.That’s great!
  53. 53. SALLY (V.O.): Yeah, Amy and I already have plans aboutwhat we’re going to do with it.Who’s Amy? And aren’t scholarships for, oh, tuition and booksand stuff like that?SALLY (V.O.): Amy Littledragon, my friend from school.We’re going to college together. The university provides thebooks, and since I’m going to a state school, tuition is free.Wasn’t that how it worked for you?Unfortunately not.
  54. 54. SALLY: Gee, that’s too bad. But you’ll come see me atcollege?Wait – you’re leaving already?SALLY: Uh-huh. I said I was going with Amy. She’s two yearsolder than me.Why are you going with Amy? Is there something I shouldknow?SALLY: No. She’s my friend. And if I go now, then you haveto play two years fewer of college. That’s a good thing, right?Um…SALLY (satisfied): I thought so too. So you’ll come visit me atcollege?Sure.SALLY: Okay, then. See you soon! (waves as the taxi pullsaway)
  55. 55. And I will leave you with one more picture of Edgar theAdorable being an adorable father. D’aaaaaaaw…Until next time, Happy Simming!**********The Grim Reaper said “Drink, Mrs. Littledragon?”