Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rancher Artie: Part One

Note: The following will be much more amusing if read in a hick accent. This will also induce some cringing and may be highly annoying. Read at your own risk.

Head Rancher Uriah “Lizard-sticking” Kingsly didn’t have a son. Leastways there was no young’uns about his place (making exception of the time Lucy Grace’s girl set a spell). Though no folks thereabouts believe him much, he told Ray, his head of ranch security and right hand man, that he was sure he did have a young’un somewhere. “And if it be, then he’ll have hisself the best pistol I ever done own. I called it “Acero”, which means steel, and I never missed a shot when I used it, ner lost a fight, neither. It had a shiny white handle which jist fit perfect in my hand, and a steel barrel with gold flurishes and my name engraved in it. My old friend Merle, an Indian, gifted it ter me. When we was in love, I gave it ter Nora Mae, and if I knowed her a bit, she’d ‘ve given it ter ar son.”
But when Uriah died — it was sudden like, he warn’t above forty years old —no young’un had showed hisself. Now Rancher Kingsly had quit a bit’er property thereabouts, and piles o’ gold besides. His name might’er bin prophetic-like, fer he was jist about the king of the ranchers. So his havin’ no son made a piece o’ talk fer the town folks to chew on. They were started ter hear that Uriah didn’t make Clay, his sister’s boy, his successer, but Ray Crawfish. Ray told the blunt farmers, when asked, that Uriah gave hm the persition in trust. One day soon Uriah’s boy would show hisseln, and he’d take over tuh ranch.
Will, that got folks’ tongues waggin fer a spell. It also started the biziest years of Ray Crawfish’s life. Folks of all descriptions said they was Uriah’s young’uns. Uriah’s ranch was so expansive, even folks from out er state cem ter see Ray. But each one was terned away, fer not one had a gold-engrave pistol. Ray never told nobuddy what he was lookin’ fer, but palightly insisted they go back home. Eventually even folks as was needin’ the money real bad got it through ter their brain batter that they was tryin fer nuttin, as things settled down real quiet like.
But this didn’t satisfy Ray. He always insisted he was holdin’ the persition in trust. He told his cowboys, “You know I cen’t handle a herse tuh way I used ter, but whin I stay at home from tuh cattle drives, I’m jist about et up with worry about you boys and my cows. If I warn’t duty-bound to watch over this ranch fer Uriah’s he-ir, then I would be fixing to retire. Mebbe try sumtin peaceful like raising beans.”
“Ray, even Uriah knowed he didn’t have no young’uns,” they said. “It was jist his way of leaving ya the ranch. Being direct warn’t his way. The idear of a son were jist wishful thinkin.”
Ray stayed firm. He would not pass the ranch ter Clay, or ter any of the ranch hands. Instead, he finally compromized by announcing a contest. It had been siven years since Uriah’s death, and he had not once even heared about the pistol. A shootin’ contest oughta bring it out, though. He still didn’t tell no one his real reasons fer the contest; he simply announced he would select an he-ir from the winners.

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Classics Challenge: April (sort of) and May, Plus a New Thing

Well, if you remember from this post, my April book was The Lord of the Rings and my May book was a choice between The Scarlet Letter and The Last of the Mohicans.


I did not finish LotR in April, as mentioned in my previous post, but I did read The Scarlet Letter in April for school, so that counts, right? I'm considering them switched. LotR I'm still working on, obviously, but it's a long book, okay? I will provide a long post of pictures and thoughts when I finish.

Not my copy, I just liked it.
My thoughts on The Scarlet Letter are complicated. It's a very interesting, complex book, and not at all what I had expected. Hester and Pearl I thought particularly enigmatic. Hester seems sometimes repentant; yet ready to do it all over again, I think. Pearl was a little confusing. This is a great essay on her.
Arthur Dimmesdale was somewhat simpler to understand, yet also very interesting. He has great strength at times, yet is weak-willed mostly and weak in body. *SPOILER* One could write an essay just on his reasons for hiding his guilt. I disagree with him (he would have suffered so much less if only he hadn't), but he's very convincing. If you do, please tell me about it, because I'd love to read it. *END SPOILER* 
 I can't even get into Roger Chillingworth. Talk about complex. He is rather the victim of the story, but in many ways he's also the villain. You want him to fail, though he, of all the characters, "deserves" most to "win". *TINY SPOILER (not even a spoiler, just talking about the books events more than I usually do)* While I don't support Hester's affair or her attempt to leave with her lover, there is a feeling of wanting them to succeed, to get past Roger and onto a "better" life.  *MAJOR SPOILERS* I prefer, though, the way Hawthorne ended it, because a life lived in sin would not have been better. Confessing to God, what Arthur should have done in the first place, was the relief he needed, not a vacation from Puritans. *END MAJOR SPOILERS*
One thing I found interesting (and wrong) was how Hester keeps thinking of herself in relation to her lover, how they are "bound together" for good or for ill, but for eternity. She believes that even if they are kept apart on earth, even if they should be kept apart, they will stand together at the Last Judgment. I guess she didn't read Matthew 22:30.
I did guess the identity of Pearl's father midway through the book, but this didn't detract from the experience. Something that DID was the long prologue which has nothing to do with rest of the book. While interesting (and curiously enough, somewhat true, as it is based on Hawthorne's experience when he worked at the Salem Custom House), it seemed very random and made the book difficult to get into at first. There is no actual content in this book (no description of Hester's adultery or anything), and I don't think there was any cursing, but obviously the topic makes it a better read for high schoolers.

Do I recommend this book, and to whom? I recommend it, yes, as a thought-provoking read, which I interpreted as showing the point of true repentance. High schoolers and up will benefit most.

I highly recommend this article for further thoughts on The Scarlet Letter (it does contain spoilers).

Finally, on to this New Thing for which I have kept you all in suspense. You may have noticed that this post has "King Arthur" and "writing" as labels. You may not. Regardless, I now introduce to you

Rancher Artie: A Mockery of the Western Romance Genre
You now see my cleverness in adding the image above, so that you would not at first see this one.
Or my imagination of The Arthurian Chronicles if they were in the Old West, written for my mental stimulation and your amusement. I shall provide installments whenever I feel like it. Look for the first this weekend.

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P.S. I just changed my profile to reflect my new age. I just wrote that I'm seventeen!?!?!?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Life Update

Life has been a little crazy. Usually when I say that I mean busy. This semester has actually not been too hectic, and after my play performed things got quieter still.
When I say crazy this time I refer to events. There have been a lot of changes, and I know there are more to come soon. The main ones:

  • My uncle stayed with us for a few weeks, and will likely be moving in with us indefinitely.
  • All my childhood friends (including my middle sister) are graduating on Saturday (!?!?). Which necessarily brings some stress, cooking mania, and an attack of cleaning lady syndrome in which I dust every surface, vertical or horizontal, in sight, and vacuum every floor, tile or carpet, in the house.
  • I got my driver's license FINALLY.
  • I'm turning seventeen in less than week (?!). While in many ways I'm excited to be a senior next year, graduate, go to college, get married, etc. I'm also sad about getting to the end of high school and especially about leaving sixteen. Sixteen has always been my ideal age, the age I sort of thought I might never reach. ;) I remember thinking about it when it was ten years away and wondering how I could wait that long. And now it is almost over.
  • I had my one year anniversary of my first job (I'm a house elf), and the same week applied for a  second job (at a grocery store a block from my house).
  • I signed up for two five-credit-hour courses at a nearby community college, for this fall: Calculus 1 and Beginning French. I'm considering Composition 1, too, since it fits neatly between the aforementioned, and I'll need it eventually. 
Smaller things:
  • I'm in part two of six in Lord of the Rings and loving it. The Council of Elrond is not boring.
  • I'm studying the Revolutionary War period in history and plan to continue through the summer, eventually finishing my high school history studies in February or so of next year. Calculus I'm excited for but a little scared about, Composition I would rather not take, but history I love wholeheartedly!
Unfortunately I can't put "wrote chapters and chapters of Arthur" since I've not written very much since I last posted about it here. :/ Next time I write, I won't mention it. Maybe it'll last longer then. ;)

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