Already in Progress, Chapter 41: "You Look Radiant, Zaika"
Hi! Welcome back! Golly, it seems like forever since we’veseen each other, doesn’t it?At any rate, welcome back to Already in Progress, the onlystory that starts in the middle. And because it starts in themiddle, I won’t be recapping anything.It has nothing to do with my being terrible at writing recaps,nope. Not at all. But, um, if someone out there is good at recapsand would like a job as my recap writer, applications are beingaccepted.Let’s start with the household of Buttercup and Albert Shankel,known for their… flexible approach to legality.
Buttercup’s father Ryan has a habit of coming over to visit andletting himself in unannounced.RYAN: Ey shrouda, Buttercup. How’s life treating you?BUTTERCUP: Dad! You should have let me know you werecoming over! I’d’ve put up screens or something.RYAN: Meh, I’m retired, honey. If you have a green thumb,it’s no business of mine. Now where are my grandkids?Ryan used to be a cop.Incidentally, Ryan comes from Ruth’s (un)Officially Wacky BoolpropChallenge, available over at Boolprop. [/shameless self-promotion]
So we probably shouldn’t tell him that business is booming, nomatter how often he says he doesn’t care.
Albert is not doing quite as well: once Joey the Comb wasarrested, his CPA practice lost a lot of business. And that wasbefore the IRS audits.He came up clean, of course. Albert doesn’t do anything illegal.But it’s amazing how many loopholes there are in the tax code.
Being underemployed does mean that Albert has time for otherthings.ALBERT: Hey, Cecil. Up so early?CECIL: Uh-huh. I couldn’t sleep.ALBERT: Well, hurry up and get dressed. But don’t wake upyour sister or your mother.CECIL: Why?ALBERT: You’ll see. Come on, it’ll be fun.CECIL (dubiously): Okay…
These early-morning father-and-son walks always start off in adifferent direction, and always progress seemingly at random,and yet somehow they always end up at the lake in the park,and there are always fishing poles handy.When I was little, my early-morning walks with my fatheralways somehow ended up at the doughnut shop, but it’s thesame idea. Fish are better for you anyhow.
Both Jo and Cecil are doing very well in school. Their parentstaught them to study, and they were bringing home A+ reportcards in no time.
But only Cecil is doing well with members of the opposite sex.He is extremely popular with the young ladies – this is acommon sight.
Of course, the young ladies in question are his cousins, oralmost, so there will be neither hanky nor panky at any time.But it bodes well for his future success.And speaking of Cecil’s cousins, let’s check in with two moreof them.
Now, Oliver decided that he wanted to join the garden club sohe could get discounts on gardening supplies. While bothOliver and Oakapple come from money, running a farm is quiteexpensive, especially when you have children with uniqueneeds, and neither man is willing to ask for a loan.Anyway, Oakapple’s brother has four daughters of his own toraise, and Oliver’s mother would require a written schedule ofrepayment and above-market rate of interest for any loan shemade.
The Garden Club inspection went reasonably well, and Oliveris now a member. I believe he received the minimum cashaward, and no wishing well or award or whatever else you canget, but he will get the discount now, which is what he wantedin the first place.Oliver decided to use some of the prize money to take Oakappleout to celebrate.
OLIVER: Thanks for coming over, Sally.SALLY: Oh, no problem! I said I’d babysit, and I meant it. Youtwo were only just married – you still need some couple time.Go have fun.OLIVER: Okay. So, they may need a bath while we’re gonebecause it’s pretty hot. They’re color coded, so if you could justput them back in the right colors after their baths, that’d begreat. Fantine is the one that’s kind of elfin-looking, over there.SALLY: Easy enough.OLIVER: Oh, and emergency numbers are by the phone. And ifyou get hungry, there’s some grilled cheese in the fridge. Andhere’s the number of the restaurant where we’ll be, and whatelse?SALLY: (laughing) Oliver, we’ll be fine. Go out with yourhusband. Have a great time.
SALLY: Well, that feels better, doesn’t it?NAKED TODDLER #1: (splashes)NAKED TODDLER #2: Uh-huh.SALLY: It’s so much more fun to take a bath together, isn’t it?And it’s so much easier on Auntie Sally – now I only have toclean up the bathroom once.NAKED TODDLER #2: I help clean.SALLY: Yes, by splashing the water all over everywhere.(picks up Naked Toddler #1) And you’re my little elfin maiden,aren’t you?NAKED TODDLER #1: (giggles) Elves not real.SALLY: Yes, you are. And that means you wear yellow, right?(spins Naked Toddler #1 into a yellow sundress)
OLIVER: Fantine! Saigon! We’re home!GIRL IN YELLOW and GIRL IN GREEN (together): Hi,Daddy!OLIVER: Did you have a good time with Auntie Sally?GIRL IN YELLOW: Yes.GIRL IN GREEN: Wheeeee!OAKAPPLE: Did you have… any problems?SALLY: Nope. We played a few games, and then the girls hada bath, and now we’re enjoying the sunshine, aren’t we, girls?
OAKAPPLE: Did you… miss me… Saigon? (to Oliver) Saigonis… the one in… yellow, right?OLIVER: Saigon is the one who looks Vulcan, not elfin.OAKAPPLE: What’s the… difference?OLIVER: Er – Saigon, tell Daddy which one you are, okay?GIRL IN GREEN: (giggles)GIRL IN YELLOW: Airplane!
Babies and Toddlers are never little for long enough, and that’seven more true for plantsims than for ordinary children.OLIVER: Happy birthday, Saigon and Fantine!OAKAPPLE: Happy birthday… girls! (whispers) Uh – Oliver?Which one… is which… now?OLIVER: (whispers) Crap, I don’t know. (aloud) So, Fantine,how about you come give Daddy a big hug, okay?GIRL IN BACK: (giggles)GIRL IN FRONT: (aside, to her sister) He thinks he’s so smart.(aloud) Daddy?OLIVER and OAKAPPLE: (together): Yes?GIRL IN FRONT: Can we have some money to go shopping?We promise we’ll get color-coded clothing again.
Without Oliver or Sally at home, the Couderc household hasgotten a lot more routine. (We will see more about Sally in thecollege chapter, coming up next time.)Simon spends a fair amount of time fixing things.
Cillian gains weight and takes it off again.(sigh) If only real-life weight loss were this easy…
Lucy keeps up connections with everyone, including the cat.
And of course everyone congregates in the smallest room totake care of everything.Never mind that there are two bathrooms in the house, not tomention four bedrooms, a parlor, a living room, a dining room,and a huge kitchen. No, when you want to Hang Out withsomeone, you have to do it in the bathroom.
It’s Rudy I feel sorriest for, though.ANNE: …So I really have to say that as much as I like AdamSandler movies, the Walter Matthau version was much better.Of course, he was far too old for the role, but on the other handhe didn’t have anybody picking up coconuts with a portion oftheir anatomy that really isn’t designed for picking up coconuts.And that was another thing – if you just couldn’t touch thecoconut with your hands, why didn’t they just use theirforearms? Okay, so that wouldn’t appeal to the prurient interestof the audience, but still –RUDY: awk Shut up Shut up Shut up awkANNE (fondly): Aw, isn’t it cute how they repeat things?
Anne’s cousin Harkon still has three bolts for his husband, andthey still spend time demonstrating those bolts at everyopportunity.I seem to have misplaced my notes, but if I’m rememberingcorrectly, this Blow Kiss was autonomous.Honestly, with these two it’s either non-stop romanticinteractions or non-stop cleaning.
Dante also has ten Neat points, but he rarely gets to cleananything. In fact, his cleaning is often limited to the catbox, asHarkon and Nirel both tend to leave that until last.Plus, Dante’s the only one in the household with an actual job.He’s a Journalist, and was recently promoted to HoroscopeWriter.I think that’s actually the fourth or fifth time he’s beenpromoted to Horoscope Writer – there’s a bad chance card atthe next level up that kicks you back several levels. The correctanswer appears to be “Ignore,” except I have a personalhandicap of not using that option…
Dante was also in charge of one special little girl’s birthday.Cathrynne grew up adorable, although I have to admit that I’mnot sure what exactly she got from her father.One recessive red hair gene, certainly, and I’m still debating ifshe has his eye color, her mother’s eye color, or the light bluewhich is between the two in range. I think that the light blue istheoretically possible as Dante’s father Matthias probably hadthat coloring. Maybe.
Cathrynne, like most of my Toddlers, gets Smart Milkwhenever possible. Even accounting for that, though, she skillsfaster than any child I’ve ever had. She learned Potty Trainingin one and a half sessions, conquered Learn To Talk in front ofthe potty…
…and finished up with Learn To Walk in the same session,gaining the memory right after the Smart Milk Glow wore off.(I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t believe me that they allhappened at once, but it’s still true.) Of course, that leaves herwith two and half days of Toddlerhood left and no speciallessons to learn. (sigh) I suppose that’s what the toys are for,right?
That would be why you’ll still see pictures of Cathrynnesporting the Smart Milk Glow at times, since it helps skill fasteron the toys as well. Plus it just looks cute on her. You wouldn’tthink that bright aqua would go with red hair, but it really does.In other news, Samantha finally has a reasonable LTW aftermultiple rerolling attempts. Why is it that all of my PopularitySims want to be a Hall of Famer? And all my Fortune Sims, barnone, want to be Criminal Masterminds – as do half myKnowledge Sims.It has something to do with the rebuild, I just know it. Like howat least half my male townies are now named Abhijeet.
And lest you think the cats have been forgotten, they haven’t.They’re still doing well – unless you count being routinelystrangle-hugged and almost kissed to death as a bad thing…For those of you who love animals, rest assured that any petsyou see will be around for many chapters to come. Each chaptercovers one rotation, and each rotation is usually three dayslong. This particular rotation was four, to line up with the folksat college, and (as usual) playing a four-day rotation was likepulling teeth. I don’t know why one extra day – twenty-fourextra real-life minutes – should make such a difference, but itdoes.Hopefully, all this rambling has distracted you from the factthat you’ve just had a bunch of Cathrynne-picspam… Wait, didI say that out loud?
Tim has been recovering gradually from Sarah Jane’s death. Heis back to working on his latest work of philosophy, tentativelyentitled Hume’s Fork: Ataraxia, Dogmatism, and the InfiniteRegress. He plans to dedicate it to his wife.
He spends time playing with his granddaughters, and this is justabout the only place where his lack of Nice points really shows.REBECCA (indignantly): Ow! Grandpa! You almost hit me!TIMOTHY: That’s good.REBECCA: What do you mean “That’s good”? You almost hitme!TIMOTHY: The operative word in that sentence is “almost,”honey. You’re getting much better at dodging. Now you justneed to try catching the ball.
Tim has also been invaluable to Abbey in her quest to get thegirls accepted into private school. They’ve both spent a longtime on homework help, and Tim used his nine and a halfCooking points to prepare a nice turkey dinner for theHeadmaster.*Abbey gave the tour – despite her Shyness, she’s the Nicestperson in the household – and the girls helped out too: first byhelping clean, and then by going to bed early, in Tim’s room.What? They couldn’t sleep in their own rooms – then the roomswouldn’t be nice for the tour!At any rate, the girls were accepted with a score of 110/90, sosomething paid off.* His name was Abhijeet, by the way.
Descartes has had continued success at work, but has beenpromoted well above his level via chance card, so he will needa heap of skill points before his next promotion. He isAwesome, so of course he will manage it, but it may take a bit.He’s already made a start on the required friend count on hisown initiative: notice that he has brought home co-worker andneighbor Trixie Sanders.Trixie is not a Dread Pirate; I’m not sure why she is wearing theoutfit. I think that perhaps the hack that is supposed to havecoworkers dressed in the appropriate outfit to their level(instead of to match your Sim) when they come by after workdoesn’t do what it’s supposed to.
Now, some wives might be worried about their husbandsbringing home an attractive co-worker who wears shirts open tothe navel and nothing underneath. Abbey has no such qualms.She and Descartes can be pretty stalker-y, although he tends toinitiate such things. After all, he’s followed her around like apuppy since college.
Of course, Anastasia and Rebecca, being Children, don’t careabout mushy stuff like that. Instead, they are both apparentlyhell-bent on a competition to see who can make the mostfriends the most quickly. To this end, they engage in lots ofwater balloon fights. Lots and lots of really big water balloonfights.They can be hard to manage, but water balloon fights are anexcellent way to get a lot of people an friendly terms quitequickly. I have never seen a negative interaction occur during awater balloon fight.Not even when the girls all decide to gang up on the lone boy atthe same time.
And their Hang Out sessions are pretty epic too. There areactually seven children in this picture, but Tim’s leg is blockingyour view of Anastasia. The family has a huge living room withplenty of floor space, but no – everyone has to cram into thedining room.But a few pictures ago, we saw one of Descartes’ fellowAdventurers, who happens to live right across the street. Let’sgo see how she’s doing, shall we?
ABHIJEET: Why are you supplying Trixie with Elixir?LEONID (confused): Because she asked?ABHIJEET: I don’t believe that. You must have some nefariouspurpose, and I want to know what it is!LEONID: Excuse me, please. “Nefarious”?
ABHIJEET: Bad. Wrong. Evil. Because you’re a criminal whohas probably killed dozens of people.LEONID: Oh, no! I am brains, not muscle! I am coming upwith ideas for money, freelance. I sell ideas to highest bidder.(wistfully) It is not as good as being inventor or scientist. Iwould like to be scientist.ABHIJEET: So why would you give Trixie Elixir?LEONID: Trixie is second-most wonderful woman in world,yes?ABHIJEET: Wait – you’re talking down your own wife?
LEONID: No, I think Trixie is most wonderful woman inworld. But I think you think your wife is most wonderful, yes?ABHIJEET: Well, of course she is!LEONID: And you want as much time with her as possible,yes?ABHIJEET: Of course! …Oh. But that stuff’s addictive!Dangerous!LEONID: I am stoppink her any time I like.ABHIJEET: (folds arms) I don’t believe you.LEONID: Is true. Watch.
LEONID: Trixie, zaika, you look radiant.TRIXIE: Yeah? Well, I feel like an overweight rhinoceros. Atleast I’m not puking anymore. But now I have to pee everyforty-five minutes. And Tirtha says it’ll get worse before it getsbetter.LEONID: You look radiant, zaika. And think! With enoughElixir, we can have twenty-six of these!TRIXIE (flatly): If you ever bring that stuff within fifty miles ofthis house again, I will have you arrested. (stomps off)ABHIJEET: Okay. I’m impressed.
Not too long thereafter, Trixie obeyed her programmingimperative and gave birth in the bathroom.LEONID: Hello! Hello, solnyshko! Oh, you have your mother’seyes! (to Trixie) He has your eyes, zaika.TRIXIE (amused): I noticed.LEONID: Dmitri Leonidovich Sanders, you have just made mevery proud papa.
LEONID: Oh, no.TRIXIE (suspiciously): What?LEONID: I am now havink to get new haircut. I do not looklike responsible father right now.TRIXIE: Will you get rid of the eyeliner, too?LEONID: …Eyeliner was tattooed on in 1985. To save time inmornink. (as Trixie glares at him) Is not my fault New Wavemovement was flash in pan!
Leonid did find a more paternal look. He also quit the Criminalcareer track to become a Scientist – there is far less chance ofretaliation against one’s family in that field, although “publishor perish” is still very real in the halls of academia.Trixie has been promoted again and now has to wear a hat witha false ponytail attached to it. I suppose it maintains that air ofmystery. Either that, or people think that nobody wearing sucha dippy hat could possibly be a spy and adventurer.
And two other people have new looks too: Ariadenetransitioned from Toddler to Child. It was a good transition, andI’m sure you can tell just how enthusiastic she was.
Abhijeet also aged up. I wasn’t entirely sure how much youngerhe was than Tirtha, but I suppose that now we know the answer.The first thing he did as an Elder was to get rid of the wig.Er, pay no attention to the fact that Abhijeet’s “wig” changedcolor when he became an Elder…Nobody minds if an Elder is bald, and you’d be amazed at howlong it takes people to notice the missing eyebrows.
Over at the Mifune Sanders household, it’s been a very eventfulrotation. I turned my back for one second, and the stove caughton fire. Everyone was several rooms away, too, so I stillhaven’t figured out whose fault it was.I blame the dog.
It’s certainly true that after the fire, Venus was smelly enoughthat Charlotte actually got aspiration points for giving her abath. You have to admit, that’s both impressive andincriminating.
At QND, the Reporter came by – or at least, one of them did.This is actually the third Reporter who has showed up in my’hood, but she’s the first one to give a Review to the businessvisited. Despite what she appears to be thinking, the Reviewwas actually a Good one.
Of course, it’s probably lucky that she wasn’t here to see this…
Or this. Louise finally laid off the Townie Teen who workedthe register. It was time and past, really – I wouldn’t have hiredher if there had been any non-playables available to hireinstead. She can’t wear the uniforms I want, and completelyruins the look of the store.She wasn’t very happy about that.
She was undoubtedly even less happy that her job wasimmediately given to Lexi Rossi. I’m sure you remember LexiRossi from her last appearance way back in Chapter 13, right?Lexi, the random move-in to raise money for the dorm? Dug upa treasure chest? Had bolts with both Mircea and Kitty? Is thisringing any bells?Well, she was pretty well supplied with Win, and I finally cameup with something for her to do: she’s my model for the SnapOf Life competition over on Boolprop. Astonishingly, I havenot yet been eliminated.When the competition is over, I’ll post the story for you.
Now, I can’t prove that it was Disgruntled Townie Girl, butsomebody came along and kicked over the trashcan, producingthe roaches that Charlotte is so enthusiastically Stomping On.And the roaches produced the flu that Mifune is soenthusiastically Spreading. (rolls eyes) Mifune, coughing intothe crook of your arm severely reduces the person-to-persontransmission of infectious diseases! Go to bed and don’t evenbreathe in anyone else’s direction until you’re better!But it was too late, of course. Both Charlotte and Louise hadalready contracted the virus at that point. The entire householdwas quarantined for the remainder of the rotation, hence thelack of further pictures.
I believe I mentioned that Frederic has a new Nanny. This isshe.And for some reason, she changes skirts roughly halfwaythrough each shift. Either she is amazingly hard on clothing, ormy ’hood is going to blow up.Again.
Frederic’s family can also afford a Gardener, for all the goodshe does.GARDENER: What’s this thing?It’s a tree.GARDENER: A “tree”? Never heard of it. Are you sure that’s areal word?Yes.GARDENER: Oh. So what do I do with it, then?Although Frederic’s family could afford a maid, they don’thave one because Eddie prefers to do the cleaning himself.
He also prefers to do the childcare himself, as much as he can.Celeste is in charge of paying off the Nanny when they gethome. Eddie is in charge of giving airplane rides and snuggling.He’s also in charge of supervising Frederic while he helps outaround the house.Small as he is, Frederic does indeed have chores.
For instance, he’s a big help when Mommy is buildingCharisma skill.CELESTE: Where does the ball go, Frederic? What do I do?FREDERIC: Ball go uppa geen, Mommy!CELESTE: Does it now?FREDERIC: Yah! Uppa – uppa geen en inna hole!CELESTE: Thank you, sweetie. I always forget.
And he’s very good about taking his naps on schedule, whichmakes finding a little Mommy-and-Daddy time that mucheasier.Still three bolts, folks.
But kids can’t stay little and cute and sweet forever. Sooner orlater, they get big and sweet instead.Not that Frederic isn’t cute, of course. But I’m so used to the“chicken” look that the “fish” look is going to take a littlegetting used to.
Actually, maybe we should scratch that “sweet” as well…And that is where (after a few brief notes) I will leave you.
Zaika is Russian for “bunny,” and is a term of endearment forone’s wife or daughter. Solnyshko is Russian for “sunshine,”and is a term of endearment for one’s spouse, small child, oreven pet. These words come from my Russian consultant,Yousei. Yousei writes I’ll Be There For You, which is analphabet legacy available over on Boolprop. She also speaksexcellent English and is absolutely not responsible for the restof Leonid’s accent, which comes from 1) the five minutes Ispent on Wikipedia and 2) lots of really bad movies from the1980s. Now that he’s a recurring character, it will get a lotbetter.
Dmitri did indeed inherit his mother’s eyes. No, I don’t havethe hack that uncouples the alien eyes and skin. But I made myown custom alien eyes and gave them to Trixie so that theycould possibly be passed on. They look pretty good as long as Idon’t zoom in too close when I take the picture.
You may or may not have noticed that there are now ceilings ina few pictures. In addition to being a handy way to tell thesequence in which the pictures were shot, the ceiling tilesrepresent my first (and probably last) custom content download.In fact, unless I decide to get that mod that lets Elders wearAdult clothing, I’m probably done downloading altogether.I mentioned that I am participating in a picture contest over onBoolprop, and I keep getting points taken off for having visiblesky in my pictures. Now that it’s been pointed out as negativerepeatedly, it’s started to really bother me. Hence the download:Visible Ceiling Tiles Version 3.0 and recolors by jgwhiteus,with a controller by Inge Jones, available over at ModTheSims.Until next time, Happy Simming!