Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

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Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Delia Death » Mar 15, 2019 4:55 pm

Welcome, travelers!

Come on in and choose a seat! If you haven't heard, the illustrious Dr. Lyman Milner is stopping over in Ditto Town. If you don't know, Dr. Milner is one of the leading experts on the westward expansion of humanity, and he is on his way to share his latest research in Monstropolis. Fortunately, he has kindly agreed to share some of his knowledge (and maybe give us a sneak peek at his new discoveries!) before continuing his journey. You can stash your coats in this closet, and then come on in to the lecture hall! You are welcome to mix and mingle with the other guests, but do keep in mind that the lecture will begin promptly on March 18th!

As you listen to the lecture (and attend the reception following in the Mansion!), remember the following:
1) If you choose to come as a character (other than yourself), please do keep your characters original. Showing up as Lucy Pevensie or Bilbo Baggins would be a no-no.
2) Do not fold, staple, mutilate, maim, kill, or otherwise destroy, another writer's character(s) without their express written permission.
3) Keep in mind that all general forum rules still apply.
4) Keep all posts rated “G” or “PG” for the sake of our younger members.

I also recommend making frequent trips to the Cavern Tavern, as this is a planned story, and more plot-sensitive details may be discussed over there.

If you are new to Ditto Town, or are interested in learning a bit more about what goes on here, this is a perfect place to jump in, as no prior knowledge about the subforum is needed to participate. If, however, you have any questions, feel free to visit the Cavern Tavern or PM myself or one of the Ditto Town mods, and we would be happy to provide you with an answer. And if we don't know the answer, we'll either make something up, or refer you on to someone who does know. We're pretty good about knowing, though!

Come on in and join the fun!

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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Ryadian » Mar 16, 2019 11:22 am

For the past couple of weeks, Cody had been subtly hinting to his boss that he was interested in going to the lecture at the Mansion. He'd "casually" mention that his parents and sisters weren't interested, but drop hints about his long love of history and especially the Old West (both things Faye had never heard him mention before, but then again he didn't often talk about his interests on the job).

At first, Faye's plan was to wait until he actually worked up the nerve to ask her directly, instead of his attempts to get a backdoor invitation. She even made a point of making it clear that the event was going to be a lecture, not a costume party, and that he'd probably get quite bored. She suspected she should've found a better way to say that, since he apparently took that as a challenge.

Finally, she lost her patience and told him, "Cody, if you want something, you should just ask for it directly. I'd rather you ask for something presumptuous than beat around the bush." Cody turned bright red and didn't say anything for quite a few minutes, but he did eventually come back and contritely asked if she was going, and if she was if he could come with her.

In truth, she'd been debating it in her mind - she had some fascination for the time period as well, but enough to go see a lecture on it? Ultimately she decided to make him happy and agree to it. And now that it was finally the night of the lecture, and they were walking up the steps to the front door. Cody had decided to come wearing a cowboy hat and boots, though he either didn't have a full costume or chose not to wear the whole thing. Even with just the two accessories, Faye could see him change his mind about whether or not it was too much more than once on the trip there. Faye hadn't bothered with that at all, she just chose a simple dress.

They stepped inside, and it quickly became clear that they were the first guests to arrive. Faye found that her first instinct was to look for any squirrels that might be running amok.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby stargazer » Mar 17, 2019 9:16 pm

“Isn’t it nice that Melissa was available to watch the girls while we’re gone?” Dan Baxter smiled over at his wife as they walked toward the Mansion. They’d met Melissa’s brother, Cody, during the Holiday celebration, and they’d learned she was available to help out watching their kids if needed.

“Yes it is, but I hope Grace will be all right.”

Angie was understandably worried. Their older daughter was still uneasy when separated from her parents, and after their ill-fated adventure on the Titan IC, who could blame her? But Melissa had proven wonderful in helping put Grace at ease, and in any event the two of them also had little Emma to keep them occupied.

“So do I, but she is getting better.”

The couple arrived at the Mansion shortly after Faye and Cody had arrived. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as an Old West kind of gal,” Dan said as he held the door open for his wife.

“My dad loved watching all those old Westerns when I was growing up, and I guess I caught the bug that way. And besides, it still reminds me of good times with him.”

“Well, I’ll do my best to stay awake,” he said with a wink.

“I love you too,” she shot back. “There’s Cody and Faye. I think we have time to say hi to them before the lecture starts.”
But all night, Aslan and the Moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Mar 18, 2019 3:15 am

Ottelia Nordin stepped into the mansion. She did not particularly care about the topic but her father liked her to go to a variety of events. It was good for their family's public image.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Bob Saget » Mar 18, 2019 8:05 pm

Bob Saget has graciously donated his account for Dr. Milner to use for this Mansion. Thank you, Bob!

"Errm, excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, but if you would please take your seats, it's time for the lecture to begin." The man who murmured into the microphone was none other than Dr. Lyman Milner himself. He was a short man, and could comfortably be called plump. His light brown, curly hair was clearly thinning, though under his white ten-gallon hat, it was hard to tell to what extent.

In any other scenario, his unassuming figure probably only would have stood out because of the bolo tie and kerchief - and of course the hat - that he wore over his light brown suit. But, what with the staff all also wearing period attire, he'd been very easy to miss until the moment he stepped up to the podium.

Dr. Milner cautiously adjusted his hat while waiting for those assembled to take their seats, or at least for the chatter to quiet enough for him to begin his lecture. A slideshow was projected onto the wall behind him, a minimalist but professional visual aid for his audience.

Once he felt the room was sufficiently settled, he straightened himself and began. His eyes rarely left the copy of his slideshow projected off the back wall for his own reference, and when they did it was usually only to check his note cards or to give a quick glance around the room. Nonetheless, as he began his speech, he spoke with a practiced confidence in his material:

"The time we call the Wild West is one that has certainly captivated our collective imaginations. Why, my own boyhood was filled with books and old movies, which couldn't help but let you dream of a time when the world was so open and free to possibilities. But, of course, there's often a great deal of difference between fact and fiction, so today we'll explore some of the finer details of what life was truly like in that time, and find out if it was truly the place we imagine it to be...."
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Meltintalle » Mar 24, 2019 5:35 pm

There was a rustle at the back of the hall, and a gangly fellow with bright red hair slid into a seat. Even though he tried to be quiet, there was still a clatter as Anthony Lively deposited his violin case by his feet. He winced, raising his hands in apology in case anyone glanced his way, and tried to pick up the thread of the lecture.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby aileth » Mar 25, 2019 2:14 am

After trying to concentrate on the lecture for almost fifteen minutes, Molly Brown gave up, and let her thoughts drift. She was sitting in a back corner, from which vantage point she could see most of the room. To her surprise, she recognized a number of people, some from the Christmas party, and others from the Titan IC. But so far, no squirrels.

Someone had just come in--someone with hair as bright as her own--and she looked at him with interest. He had a violin case--did he play the violin? Or maybe there was something else in it. People did carry other things in violin cases, after all.

Briefly Molly tried to bring her attention back to the lecture, but in vain; she was soon thinking of other matters once more.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Delia Death » Mar 25, 2019 10:30 pm

Delia sat, back as straight as a pin, in the back of the lecture hall. In the little time (not more than a few millennia) she had been chasing down the escaped spirits of the Underworld, she had visited most of the hallmark eras of planet development. Sure, she hadn't been to this particular world's Wild West, but she had visited them elsewhere and found it to be something like castle ruins in Earth's Europe: after you'd seen a few, you'd seen them all.

She did not want to show her boredom. She considered a strong understanding of history to be the cornerstone of society, and supported the pursuit of that under any and all circumstances. But platypuses this was boring. She rubbed her shoulders and neck. She had spent most of the day--and the day previous--running around and preparing for the lecture. Now that it was here, she could feel the stress vibrating in her muscles.

"I need a spa day," she grumbled under her breath. "A royal spa day. With pomegranates."

She briefly wondered how she had ended up in a place like Ditto Town, but she already knew that story. Ditto Town was a crossroad for escaped souls; it was easy pickings for her. Plus some of them just needed an eye kept on them. Or, rather, they needed to be properly retrieved and re-homed, but she was a sucker for a good romantic melodrama. This Dr. Milner, however. Why had he decided to stop here? He was the sort that only spoke to large college lecture halls. Definitely genuine, definitely a master of his topic, and definitely boring. Her eyelids drooped slightly.

Falling asleep would not do. Delia moved forward onto the edge of her seat, teetering where any overcoming drowsiness would be quickly contested by gravity. Sheriffs, gunslingers, miners, gingers, pioneers. They had to be more interesting than this. Giving up on following the lecture and staying awake, Delia look around. There were familiar faces, to be sure, and a few unfamiliar faces, too. She reminded herself that did not necessarily mean they were new, but just that she hadn't met them yet.

There were an awful lot of gingers for this small of a crowd, though.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Ryadian » Mar 26, 2019 10:21 am

Cody refused to admit it, even to himself, but Miss Brixton had been right: the lecture was downright boring. It's not fair to say it was objectively boring - Cody was, after all, just shy of 15, and Ditto Town's only school was too small for the teacher to lecture the students in quite the same way, so he'd never gotten used to such things.

He glanced at Miss Brixton, and at first thought that she must've been paying attention, she was taking notes! He glanced at it again, though, and realized that, while she did have a couple of notes, she was mostly actually sketching. She seemed most interested in the buildings, though when he first looked he caught her putting the finishing touches on a wagon. He instantly regretted not bringing a notebook or something to doodle.

To Cody's credit, he managed to at least sit still for most of the lecture. He of course looked up when the red-haired man came in and made a bit of a racket, and he probably should've turned back sooner, but now his mind was running with ideas. A violinist? Was he with the staff? Were they going to have music afterwards? Cody really needed to learn an instrument. Why was he late? Under normal circumstances, he probably wouldn't have cared, but right now letting his imagination run wild was keeping him entertained.

Cody couldn't have been more relieved when the lecture was finally over.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby aileth » Mar 26, 2019 2:34 pm

Molly, too, was glad when the lecture was finished. She hadn't wanted to be rude and leave right in the middle, but then she hadn't wanted to be rude and fall asleep right in the middle, either. What a shame, she thought, normally I'm quite interested in a subject like that. I guess I must be extra tired, or something.

She waved to Faye and the Baxters, and moved across the room to say hello.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Meltintalle » Mar 26, 2019 6:36 pm

As soon as the lecture was over, Anthony grabbed his violin case (it had a tendency to get left places if he didn't keep an eye on it) and hurried toward the front of the room. Dr. Milner's lecture had only lightly touched on the music of the people and places, and Anthony had several burning questions about the origin and style of cowboy ballads.

"Excuse me," he said, turning sideways to slide between the small knots of people forming. "Coming through. I've still got questions--"
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby stargazer » Mar 27, 2019 9:24 am

Dan was no stranger to boring lectures, but this one really took the cake. He glanced at his wife and she winked back at him, pretending to stifle a yawn, so he knew it wasn't just him. She was interested in this stuff and still found it dull.

He tried to keep it subtle - his parents had raised him to be polite if nothing else - but he glanced around the room and made eye contact with some familiar faces, like Molly, Cody, and Faye. He even noticed Ms. Death in the back of the hall, and she looked even more bored than he did.

Wait, what's this? he wondered to himself as a young man with bright red hair made his way to the front of the room. A violin? Well, that will probably be more interesting than the lecture was.

Angie nudged him and nodded her head toward the violinist. "Hopefully we'll get some good music now," she whispered.
But all night, Aslan and the Moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Bob Saget » Mar 27, 2019 11:34 am

"Oh, goodness!" Dr. Milner started at Mr. Lively's approach - he'd been so engrossed in pulling his notes together that he hadn't even noticed the young man. A couple of his papers scattered in his start, and he quickly pulled them back together as he cleared his throat.

"Um, yes sir, you had some questions?"
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Ryadian » Mar 27, 2019 12:36 pm

Cody was disappointed after the lecture when he saw the man with the violin run up to the doctor. So he wasn't part of the entertainment after all. He wasn't really sure why he was disappointed by this, it's not like music particularly fascinated him. But he'd gotten an idea into his head about there being a full-on dance after the lecture, which he'd thought might be fun. Then again, it's not like he would've enjoyed dancing, especially with no one his age around. He was too old to get away with not being any good at it.

Almost as soon as it was socially acceptable to do so, Miss Brixton had stood and started walking over to the Baxters. Just before she got there, though, she'd caught sight of another woman with bright-red hair waving at them, and her expression brightened. "Molly! It's good to see you!" She called, waving back. While "Molly" made her way over, Faye turned to the Baxters and commented, "Sorry we didn't say hello before - the lecture started a bit too quickly. It looks like the girls stayed home tonight?"

Cody was already well aware of that fact. He knew he was just being moody, but he didn't really care to make small talk with the others with Miss Brixton. He pulled his cowboy hat over his eyes, hoping it looked cool and not like the pitiful attempt to hide that it was, and took a couple of casual steps away from Miss Brixton, hoping this would keep him out of the conversation.

He wasn't paying attention, and quickly realized that he'd ended up right next to another woman. He vaguely recognized her, she'd been at the Holiday Mansion. Miss... Nordin? She'd been the one with the giant squirrel and the grape salad. He quickly turned his eyes away and tried to pretend he didn't see her.
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Meltintalle » Mar 27, 2019 3:48 pm

"Dr. Milner! Thank you, that was truly an inspiring talk!" Anthony thrust out a hand and shook the surprised doctor's unresisting one enthusiastically. He'd felt that the audience was a tough crowd--and it did take concentration to follow each of the doctor's scholarly ramblings--but Anthony admired Dr. Milner's focus on his topic.

There were very few things Anthony could focus on for long stretches of time, but music was one of them.

"Yes, I did have questions. You mentioned details. I'm particularly interested in immigrant heritage and the songs they brought with them and how they adapted them to new circumstances. I've been tracking a few, like Chapin's "Ocean Burial" which reappears as "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie"--I can show you my notes if you have time--but I was wondering if you had any insights, or further sources...?"
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Re: Mansion: Winning Your Spurs

Postby Bob Saget » Mar 27, 2019 5:36 pm

Dr. Milner tried to return the young man's handshake, but he wasn't quite prepared for the energy behind it. He took a few moments to recover himself, glancing between his notes, the young man, and the front door all the while. He reached up under his cowboy hat and subconsciously rubbed his head, inadvertently exposing the bald spot he was rubbing to anyone behind him.

"Well, you see, I'm afraid that music is not exactly my specialty, you see," he explained apologetically, before catching himself and adding, "b-but to be sure, music has always been a huge part of life in that time. I know more about how music brought people together than the sources of those songs." He thought for a moment, before adding, "But, I suppose I could point you in the right direction. Rutherford in particular wrote a great on the, the folk music, I shan't be surprised if she didn't have some useful research on that."

Dr. Milner paused a moment, glancing again at the front door, then over at the clock. "I... cannot promise I'll be in town for very long, but if I have time, I would be obliged to see your notes, Mr....?
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