Monday, February 26, 2018

Castles and Cowboys

Started off a cloudy morning with corn meal mush, half of a grapefruit, and an episode of Garfield and Friends. I watched this one for the first short, "Polecat Flats." Jon visits the title ranch with Garfield, who dresses as a cowboy to get a decent lunch. When Cactus Jake, the ranch's owner, makes fun of Jon, Garfield plays a prank to get back at him. Orson's dream that he's the great and powerful "Hogules" gives him an idea of how to deal with his brothers. "Brain Boy" is the obnoxious genius son of Jon's dull cousin. Garfield would rather eat raisins than deal with this spoiled little inventor and his nasty creations. He finally finds a way to turn the brat's inventions on him.

Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon finishing off my current story. Leia also misses her adopted son Poe...especially after three kingdoms send treasure to thank Poe and his brothers for saving them from the Sultan Snoke and his First Order armies. She visits Luke and Rey and laments that she wishes she knew what happened to Poe. Rey has a way of finding out. She and Luke create a golden road with their magic that leads to the Jedi Castle. If someone rides down it, they're her true love.

Benjamin and Armitage compete with each other to get to the castle first...until they find the road. They think the road is too beautiful to ride on, so they ride beside it. Rey turns them both down. They don't care about her. They only want her money and lands. Poe, who has heard about it from the queen's lady-in-waiting Kaydel, is so excited, he rides right down the road. Rey is delighted to see him and marries him, making him the heir to both kingdoms. They make Paige, Finn, and Rose their advisers. Benjamin and Armitage flee in Armitage's ship the Finalyzer and are never seen again.

I'm really happy with how these short stories are coming out. The next one will also be based after a lesser-known Grimm's Fairy Tale. "The Poor Miller's Boy and His Cat" will feature Luke in the title role, with Mara Jade from the Extended Universe as the enchanted princess who helps him compete with his brothers for his master Obi-Wan's mill.

For right now, enjoy Poe and the Water of Life here:

Poe and the Water of Life - Archive of Our Own
Poe and the Water of Life - My Writing Blog
Poe and the Water of Life -

Had lunch at 1 while watching an episode of Rick Steves Europe. The story I'm currently reading, the Mercedes Lackey Elemental Masters fantasy From a High Tower, takes place in the Black Forest of Germany. To give me a better idea of the setting, I watched the episode where Rick takes his family to the Black Forest area, exploring the towering Gothic cathedral in Cologne, the elegant casinos and spas of Baden Baden, and the beautiful rural woods and fields of the Black Forest.

Work was steady, though not quite as busy as yesterday. Once again, while I did mop the bathrooms and gather trash and baskets, I spent most of it outside. The carts were bad when I arrived, though it wasn't that horrible later in the day.

Had leftovers for dinner at home while watching another Rick Steves episode. Remained in Germany, but moved south to Munich, Bavaria, and the Alps. Though Munich, with its beer gardens and sprawling park, was lovely, my favorite part of this was the trip into Bavaria. I loved seeing both "Mad" King Ludvig's fanciful castles of the 1800's and the ruins of two less romantic fortifications being excavated nearby.

Did some Lego Star Wars after dinner. Started off with the second "Lego City" bonus round, un-creatively titled "New Town." Same deal - break and ride everything you can to gather studs and get a gold brick. Did much better here, winning it in a little over 20 minutes. Did "Through the Jutland Wastes" in New Hope next. That round is long and complicated; I didn't get all the pieces, but I did find the red brick and a lot of studs.

Finished out the night online with Annie Get Your Gun. The 1950 movie adaptation of the Broadway show is basically the same as what I listened to yesterday, with some songs and minor characters cut out to focus more on the relationship between Annie (Betty Hutton) and Frank Butler (Howard Keel). Not my favorite MGM musical, but it does have its fun moments. Hutton tries a little too hard with the comic numbers, though I do love her and Keel's "Anything You Can Do" duet. Their "They Say It's Wonderful" is quite lovely as well. They're joined by Louis Calhern and Keenan Wynn for a fun "There's No Business Like Show Business."

Warnings that this version does retain "I'm an Indian Too." It's a big, loud number, and not the most necessary, though Hutton seems to be enjoying herself a little more in it than Judy Garland did in her original version. (On the other hand, I thought Garland's "Doin' What Comes Naturally" was more fun and relaxed than Hutton's over-the-top rendition.)

Not my favorite MGM musical, but not horrible. Worth a look if you love the cast or the Broadway version.

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