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05 February 2017 @ 10:54 pm
For Always Roaming with a Hungry Heart - Much Have I Seen and Known... (3A)  

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quinndominionquinndominion on February 6th, 2017 03:55 am (UTC)
*Val's ring was pure glitchy stubbornness. I'd actually severed the marriage ties, reloaded, etc., pulled out all the stops that would normally get rid of the damned thing but he insisted on wearing it. For story purposes as well, it is stubbornness rather than sentimentality that keeps it on his finger. Angel wouldn't give a damn if he took off his ring, especially not for a commercial, but Val just does not take it off, ever. And definitely not when he's annoyed with her, because if he ever did take it off it might not find its way back on again.

**This issue is not quite personal enough to Tiffany for her to follow up on of her own accord, but one day, when her newly glam future daughter-in-law has gotten Lucy settled in primary school and gone back herself for her business degree, they will form just such a company to address the cosmetic needs and opportunities for the whole spectrum of women. An ill-advised venture, as at the best of times those two only tolerate each other, but one that will ultimately succeed once 'somebody' agrees to be the silent partner.

***To be "current", he really should've referenced Prince's New Power Generation but those new folks hadn't left quite the same visual impression on him as the Prince, and Prince protégés, of the 80s. Besides which, Val is not fussed at all about keeping up with the times. You may have noticed he sounds much the same here as he does as an older man, with his same fallback phrases that were already outdated by this time; because that's just who he is and because he can get away with it.

****For the sake of random referencing, the big bully really should've been Komei Tellerman, but he's just never played that way for me. Kennedy Cox, on the other hand, is an absolute asshole. Less imposing but more insidious - abusive to his ex-wife in private while playing the upstanding good citizen in public life, and living more than the one lie. (Said ex-wife is a different Flo, Florence Delarosa, who got the hell outta dodge years ago only to finally surface in Bluewater Village and find that he'd made a new home for himself, too, the next town over). He is also future cop John's boss, but while childish antics may be forgiven they've not been forgotten...he may yet have to dust off that cape.

†Bonus: Val's ex, Naima, didn't have much direction, career-wise, as a young woman - she'd been athletic like him but the pickin's were slim for women, and she didn't necessarily want to go pro even if she could have - so she ended up making a living off her looks. It was the town. She'd gone with him to Starrywood and she had to do something. A handful of shoots done on a lark snowballed into a rather successful career, but even though the normally ruthless industry had been quite kind to her she never respected the profession and refused to glorify being a 'model', referring to herself always as a 'poser' instead.

In the above, however, Bo wasn't capitalising on the double entendre like Naima did, she was just miffed, and refused to go all phony-baloney and say poseur, even inside her head.
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on February 6th, 2017 10:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, lordy, Flo has no idea how perfectly she's playing Val here. Which is what's giving her the edge over Cat that she's not even looking for. And it wasn't only Johnny she did a favor with arranging the autographing - that put Valentine right back into familiar territory, even in a state of undress, and got him into performance mode.

This is going to become one of Val's standard funny stories, isn't it, with just a tiny bit of exaggeration, to take the edge of dehumanization off the whole "used as sexy prop to sell underwear" thing. Women grabbing and rearranging him without so much as a by-your leave - that's material he can work with, and get whatever reaction out of Angel he feels like going for when he gets home. He's got a long way to go before he gets home, though. Bound to be a third-act turn in coming along sometime.

Sylvia-Marie seems unusually focused on the interplay of attraction going on around her. I wonder if she's got a professional use for that matchmaking eye here, or if she's only planning ahead for playtime. Possibly both, though her desire to talk about personnel with Tiffany should be entirely work-related. (I certainly hope so, for Tiffany's sake!) Things are looking up for her with that prospect. I hope she doesn't blow it from the top of her high horse.

John is such a good boy! Don't you let him be gross about your mom!
quinndominionquinndominion on February 7th, 2017 05:06 am (UTC)
Ah, yes. Let's just say that Angel has better cause than what she was focusing on to be so pissed about the shoot relocation. She had, of course, zero chance of ever replacing Cat in the commercial, even if she did harbour any fantasies toward that end of having her face splashed across television screens, finally. But she had depended on being in the mix, and seeing the inner workings up close, and working her own mojo. Val with these other women wasn't even a concern - she knew who she married - but, still, everything would have been quite different had she been around.

We'll see about the funny story bit - the day's not done yet! There may be more memorable moments that trump his feeling like a talking mannequin, at least at first. There are 2 more parts to Part 3, though not nearly as long, and he does still have to get back to Starrywood, so I'm not done with Young Val just yet. Not by a long shot. It all started with me doing the uniform pics for the trophy room and thinking it'd be funny if Val had also starred in an underwear ad once upon a time. I knew immediately that it had to be with Cat and with the Mashugas directing/producing and the rest spiralled into this full on extravaganza of an analepsis. There are direct ties back into what I was doing and where I was heading before I detoured down this long scenic route by way of The Past, but by the time we catch up with time, I think there'll be some deeper insights into Valentine. And considering how he's taken over, this would be the perfect year to have something special planned for V-Day, but the most I can do is make sure to time the next update for the 14th. (The header pic for Part B looks the part, though, so I guess that works.)

Val's apparent preference for Flo definitely did put her on Syl's radar. She and Bo will likely not be unceremoniously chucked into the trash now when Syl finds their pics on her desk. Whether Tiffany would be willing to actively promote their best interests at the expense of hers is the question. But Tiffany following in Cat's footsteps and finding herself (less savvy than Cat) caught up in their blurred business/pleasure dynamic upon taking a meeting with the Mashugas would be hilarious...but so, so wrong! Johnny might be her saving grace there, too. Who knows what mischief she might unexpectedly wander into if she didn't have him to look after!
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on February 7th, 2017 05:24 am (UTC)
The whole thing with the ring is classic Valentine, I don't care that it was the program doing it to you. He and Tiffany may have wildly different ideas about what does and does not respect the sanctity of marriage; but he's not letting go of his even for a second.

This sort of runaway storymaking happens to us all, and it'll no doubt be relevant when the whole story gets told, as I hope it will be. Both this flashback and events in the main storyline are taking place during his adjustment to major changes in his life, after all. There'll be continuity. And Flo doesn't look much like Mary at first glance, but they do have a number of points in common that are illuminating.
quinndominionquinndominion on February 7th, 2017 08:02 pm (UTC)
Continuity: yes, definitely. I do know what all happens/has happened (will happen - I keep forgetting I never published the rest of the Harts' Round 3, but it is here waiting), including things that won't be shown, at least not here, and some which may or may not make the cut, depending on how eager I am to sprint toward that finish line once it's in sight. Although, one good thing about being so heedless of time is that each update ends up being pretty much just as I wanted it, so whatever gets cut likely won't be because of any rush.

On the Mary front, I don't want to say too much too soon. I won't say there are direct parallels between her and Flo, because they are quite different in a lot of ways, (though Flo is a family sim, if you hadn't guessed) but the commonalities are definitely as important as the differences. Anyway, the end of Part 4 will shed some light on where Val's head is and, to some extent, his heart. Val couldn't begin to tally up all the women he's bagged - partly because he's not keeping score, that's not what it was ever about for him - but the ones he's actually loved all fit neatly in one hand, with a finger or two left to spare. In that way he's something of a true romantic, rather than a true romance sim (by basegame coding standards) because he doesn't fall easily, but on the super rare occasions that he does, he falls hard and forever, even when the relationship itself doesn't last. That's one reason I keep mentioning Naima, because she was his first love - well, of course, his mom was his real first love (sans all that Oedipal ick), so even Flo's easy tossing his head about to mess with his hair had vague positive associations, in a way that Tiffany's hands-on adjustments certainly did not - meaning that while Naima is long gone from his life, she still matters. It is why, in the present time, Angel still matters. Whether or not Mary and/or Daytona make the 'cut' to be amongst the Top 5, and why, will be a bit clearer. I'm afraid poor Lana, despite that want to fall in love with Val (or maybe she has already, I don't remember) never had a ghost of a chance of it being reciprocated! :-D
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on February 7th, 2017 08:52 pm (UTC)
Of course we haven't seen how Mary and Valentine got together in your iteration; but the prime resemblance between Mary's normal behavior and what we see of Flo is that they're both bustling around in the background trying to get work done instead of trying to impress Valentine.

Put this together with his consistent tendency across game worlds to interfere with women when they're trying to clean, and it's clear that if you want the full benefit of the Valentine Hart experience, asking him to get out of the way of the mop will get you farther than making sure he gets the best view.
quinndominionquinndominion on February 8th, 2017 09:42 am (UTC)
Probably best that he hasn't displayed that particular habit in my game then, since Sandy has become the default mop pusher around that house. There is one scene that might come close, I suppose, but that was totally not his fault!

Hmm. Whenever I start to think I may just let this be my swan song, since 'For Always Roaming' is at least unmistakably mine and largely self-contained, there's always all this other stuff to remind me that it's still there waiting. Even had an actual new idea pertaining to some of what surfaces around Penny later. So, I may go dormant every now and again - and I certainly don't expect anyone's interest to hold out indefinitely - but, short of a 'that's all folks' moment, I expect I'll keep coming back to it.
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on February 8th, 2017 08:58 pm (UTC)
I certainly hope so! You'll always have an audience of one, anyway, for what that's worth. I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing what other people do with the toy I made, and how much they can do starting from a base of so little.

If you decided to go on to some other neighborhood I would also read that, because you are very good at character-based stories and that's what I like. But I will always get an extra fillip of pleasure from seeing you do what you do with my little people.
quinndominionquinndominion on February 9th, 2017 07:52 am (UTC)
I appreciate that! Knowing that there's someone out there who'll get a kick out of it like I did has been a great incentive for taking on some of the hassle of getting these pictures into an accessible format instead of just writing up the story in-game the way I always had.

But there is another side that, admittedly, I hadn't considered until I fell into a suitably dour mood some weeks back, which is that an audience of one is rather an unfair responsibility - particularly if I'm putting out these long, busy things that no one else wants to read but you feel obliged because: Widespot. That mood has shifted (and things did get weird between not wanting to write the serious stuff that would definitely be read and wanting to write the silly stuff that probably wouldn't be) but, all the same, that'd be a preposterous cycle to fall into - me posting just because I know you're out there and you reading just because I keep insisting on posting the damn things - so I have to say that if your interest does wane, I absolutely will not take it personally.

In the meantime, more half-nekkid Valentine antics!
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on February 9th, 2017 02:49 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'm the only one reading. I think I just talk so loud nobody else feels they have to say anything. People are weird about comments and "bothering" authors. Don't set too much store on the amount of audience response that gets back to you. Even publishing a book feels like sending it out into a black hole sometimes. A moderately successful local author, Robert Flynn, has a story he likes to tell about the time he was woken up at two in the morning by an angry man who had just finished reading his book North to Yesterday, demanding to know why it ended the way it did. So they had a conversation about that, and once the reader was mollified he realized what time it was and apologized. "That's all right," Bob said. "I'm just glad to know somebody read the thing." Yet North to Yesterday is the best of his sellers.

Believe me it's not an obligation, reading this is a pleasure at my end, and not just at mine. And if it's not a pleasure on your end then of course you should do something else. But yes, more half-nekkid Valentine antics first, please.

quinndominionquinndominion on February 15th, 2017 01:25 pm (UTC)
It's time for my regularly scheduled germ invasion, but more half-nekkid Valentine is now available for your viewing pleasure.

While I wouldn't necessarily vouch for LJ's reliability, I end up judging more by my LJ stats than the comments/notes, which usually does say that you're the only visitor to my page. That's not a point that I want to belabour, however, apart from adding that reasonable expectations vary by context.

Simming is a context unto itself, I think - perhaps it belongs to a larger culture of fandom/fan-fiction, but that's actually something I know precious little about. In any case, because it is so distinct from my frames of reference, I compartmentalise the activity and interactions, but it may be possible that my experiences are colouring my expectations despite my not seeing any reason why they should. No novelist am I, but rather an (almost) ex-academic, meaning that while there are no guarantees about how the work will be received, some manner of reader response is simply part of the deal when putting it out there. It's the distinction between art and discourse. One can't very well discourse with oneself...not very well. Yet, while critical engagement with my work amongst the pixel people is not expected, it's still a lot more fun getting to talk about what those crazy sims of mine got up to and why.
Dawn GilmoreDawn Gilmore on February 28th, 2017 04:37 am (UTC)
You most definitely don't have an audience of one! I've been an avid reader since your first chapter on Widespot.

I love how you've fleshed out all the characters, each with his/her own voice, figured out their motivations and why they act the way they do.

And I love the back-and-forth between you and Peni. So much depth in your convos.

I'm a lurker at heart so you won't be hearing much from me but I will still be reading each new installment.

BTW, what skin are you using for Val? The body hair is very appealing.
quinndominionquinndominion on February 28th, 2017 11:46 am (UTC)
Omigod, hi! *waves over-enthusiastically*

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking a moment to de-lurk and let me know someone else is out there reading along! Almost all of my fellow simming LJ friends have completely vanished, so it does sometimes feel like I'm the lone holdout - telling the kind of story and in the kind of format that no one much cares about anymore. It's really heartening to know that you've been enjoying the story.

And you read the comments, too? Wow. There tends to be a bunch of stuff going on in my chapters, so it's always interesting to see what Peni will home in on - especially when it's something I didn't expect anyone to really notice.

Young Val is using a bodyshape that I frankenmeshed for him, but I'm 99% sure that I put Leh's S3 tone on it, to keep his look consistent across time as I'm using Leh's defaults. (I think these are the ones.)The body hair is an overlay box with about 5 different hair 'style' choices that automatically match the guy's hair colour. It was originally on sexysims but updated a while back to make sure your selections stay put here on GoS.
Dawn GilmoreDawn Gilmore on March 2nd, 2017 04:53 am (UTC)
Thanks for the links to the skin and hair overlay. :-)

I'll try to comment more often.