Bobbing up again

Well… I have not perished trying to keep up with the seniors in my parents’ community. I did, however, give myself a minor arm injury by knitting 5 scarves in 6 days, so now I’m cut off… no more knitting for me. Boo. :}

We’ve shopped, celebrated holidays, visited friends, taken lots of golf cart rides to view the Christmas lights, cooked lots of good food, and I’ve had some time for reading. I baked gluten-free pound cake muffins today, and they’re delicious! There are treats in the pantry and my sister is due to arrive tonight with her friend. 

I still have 12 days of  vacation left in the sun, and I intend to enjoy them wholeheartedly. But the best thing of all will be when I get home and can see my little buddy again, give him scratches on his belly, and feel his little stout heart beating under my hand. 

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My sweet little boy. I miss him and can’t wait to pick him up from my brother’s house, where he’s vacationing. :} 

I absolutely cannot keep up with the senior citizens.

They are killing me. :}  I’ve been down here in Florida for two full days, during which time I’ve been out for basic supplies with mom and dad twice, been to a play, a concert, two parties, knitted a scarf and hand-tied a scarf, watched three episodes of “Cranford”, and been for a golf-cart ride to view the Christmas decorations. Oh, and I made another pound of crystallized ginger this evening, so I can give some as gifts to the neighbors, all of whom  were very solicitous last year when I had broken ribs. 

Tomorrow, at least, starts with relaxation: manicures and pedicures for mom and myself, so we’ll be sharp for the holidays. Then I know not what is planned for the rest of tomorrow. The very thought fills me with foreboding. A jai-alai game? Water aerobics? Horseback riding? Then we save the world? 

I have no idea. All I know is, I can’t keep up the pace. These “frail” senior citizens are kicking my backside. I’m about to drop. :}  Heaven bless them. I clearly need to eat more spinach or drink Ovaltine or something!! lol 

Alright, if I survive tomorrow’s frenetic and demanding pace, I’ll write again to let you know. Whew. 

Thank you, Richard Armitage, for this

— for another letter to your fans, and for another uplifting message. For thinking of us, and for encouraging us to think not only of ourselves, but of others and of doing things for and with them. :}

— also, thank you for introducing me to this quote from Checkov’s Uncle Vanya:
“What can we do? We must live out our lives….we shall live, Uncle Vanya. We shall live all through the endless procession of days ahead of us, and through the long evenings. We shall bear patiently the burdens that fate imposes on us. We shall work without rest for others, both now and when we are old. And when our final hour comes, we shall meet it humbly…. we shall enter on a bright and beautiful life. We shall rejoice… A tender smile — and — we shall rest. We shall hear the angels. We shall see heaven shining like a jewel. We shall see evil and all our pain disappear in the great pity that shall enfold the world. Our life will be as peaceful and gentle and sweet as a caress. I have faith…we shall rest.”

Heaven shining like a jewel. The great pity that shall enfold the world. A life peaceful, gentle, and sweet as a caress. And finally, the ultimate blessing and promise: the hope of rest. What a beautiful passage. It made me think of this, my all-time favorite line from Tolkien, which has always, from the age of 7, made me cry every time I read it (or watch Ian McKellen say it!):

“The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.” – Gandalf, to Pippin

Beautiful thoughts as we round the corner of the year into the holiday season. The holidays are always a rather bittersweet time for me; they’re not only for celebrating, but also for remembering, and a bit for storing up memories against future days when loved ones won’t be near. So as you gather with others, or as you take a moment in silence for yourself, think for a moment of your blessings, and send some love and hope to those who aren’t similarly blessed. I wrote a Christmas blessing to Arkenstone, and I like it so much that I’m going to make it my holiday wish for everyone:

“May all the best of what you desire, what you need, and what you are afraid to even admit you long for come to you this year, in the proportions that are best for you. May your home and your heart be filled with health, love, and joy, and may you be surrounded by friends and family who adore and respect you. May you come to sense the Oneness of all and the importance of your place in that wholeness, and may you know utterly that you are cherished and nourished by all that is.”

And because I’m such a sci-fi nerd, I have to finish it with the response from Battlestar Galactica: “So say we all.”

Three Wise Dwarrows

Three Wise Dwarrows

What do you think? CrystalChandlyre and I were brainstorming gift ideas for the Tolkien fan who has everything this holiday season. And since we can’t figure out where to get an Orcrist-shaped cheese knife/lembas slicer…

SAVE THORIN!

So I was thinking while chatting with Morrighan in the comments of her follow-up to her review – lord, we’re all reviewing and following-up; in terms of buzz, you have to credit this movie as a success. We can’t stop deciding whether we hate it or are just irritated by it, or if we think it’s the best thing since the Orcrist-shaped lembas-slicer.

Yes, I’m pretty sure that *was* a hot gift item back in the Elder Days in Gondolin for the Elf who had everything. But I digress.

So it occurred to me. The thing that has me, and a lot of other LotR fanatics up in arms, is the way PJ’s “departed from” source material to make room for changes and additions.

Even if you hate it, every cloud has a silver lining, and I think we may have stumbled onto the great good possible in this case!! If the source material is outmoded and boring and what we need are heroes, action figures, and redemption stories — well, heck! No-one’s more absolutely made-to-order than our King Under The Mountain himself, Thorin Oakenshield!!

So I think an absolutely FABulous idea would be to make one more change – and this one, very much in keeping with Tolkien’s ideas about renouncing greed and embracing the simple pleasures.

LET THORIN LIVE.

Take Thorin’s deathbed line: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” and make it his statement of redemption – just like when he gives Bilbo that big ol’ hug at the end of AUJ. And you know, you can have Gandalf revive him, like you did in movie one. It worked once, why wouldn’t it work again? Come on!

Think of the Christmas joy! Think of the happy tears! Think of the Oscars.

So, For Your Consideration: Let Thorin live.

SAVE THORIN!!

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Image copyright Warner Bros., manip. Dark Jackal, text mine 🙂
SAVE THORIN!!
…and you might spare Fili and Kili too. Fili’s the heir and Kili, well; the boy has game. “She walks in starlight, somewhere far away from me…” or something like that, I don’t know, I was swooning. It’s almost Shakespeare. Between the three of these lads, we’ll have the Line of Durin repopulated in no time. Whew! Is it hot in here? Oh yeah. SAVE THORIN.

Please don’t be frustrated

…if you post a glowing review of DoS and I respond saying I enjoyed your review. It doesn’t mean I’m changing my mind about the things that bugged me. But one of the things that drove Ex crazy about me is that I can usually see just about everybody’s side in an argument conversation. So if you think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, I’ll be happy that you’re happy, and I did *love* some parts. If you wanted to put a torch to your handmade Gandalf cloak, I’ll urge you not to, but agree that I think some things were poorly done. 

I’m a little frustrating that way. Sorry. :}  It doesn’t mean that I recant my rant – NO WAY. I stand by that sucker. Just that I think your opinion is hunky-dory, I’m glad you posted it because I love hearing diverse views, and I can probably agree with at least part of it. So, erm, that’s that. 

Hope you’re having a fab night! xo

Dessication, Desperation, Decimation of Smaug: my thoughts. Sorry. :}

I read Morrighan’s review of “Desolation of Smaug” this morning, and had to respond. I loved it. She said so many of the positive (and negative) things I had to say, and she said them so well.

I am a ranty person. I regret this about myself. I get carried away – and especially about Lord of the Rings, because when I was a little kid and not at all popular with the other little kids, I retreated into a universe of words. Tolkien’s words were, by far, the most important to me because of their soaring beauty and their song of grace and hope. In third grade I had to do a biography of my greatest hero and it was JRR Tolkien, so if that tells you anything… the inventor of antibiotics? Nope. Pioneers in science? Nope.

It was JRR Tolkien, who wrote about the courage of small people and the redemption of that which was thought lost – hope against despair, loyalty, and self-effacing love.

I like to think I’ve come to understand the importance of antibiotics a little better now, but — still. 😉

Morrighan’s comments on the movie are linked below. I’m linking because she really did write “my” ideal review. My comments follow. Also, a rant… and as I noted, part of it is because I’m built for ranting.

But part of it is because WTH was the ending bit there? I just sat through the whole Forge Disaster thinking, “who thought this sequence would scan?” and the less concise, “what in the Sam Hill is even supposed to be going on? None of this equipment even makes SENSE. It looks cool, but – are those water wheels, or – is that molten something, or – what do the buckets do? Is he about to throw up, or – oh, he’s angry? Wait. What?” and then, “WHY DOESN’T THAT MELT WHAT THE F@#$ IS GOING OH WAIT WHAT???!?!!!”

Apparently, my lack of Dwarvish smelting knowledge is a serious drawback in watching this movie. I’ll have to study up before I see it again. (looking deadpan)

OK. Here’s the link to, followed by my post from, Morrighan’s page:

http://lovesexandotherdirtywords.com/2013/12/14/thorin-hot-wow-wth/comment-page-1/#comment-3594

“THIS. Thisthisthisthisthis. I’ve started typing thisthisthis so many times, and then either it sounds too curmedgeonly or not concise enough or I go off on a huuuuge Arwen rant (and by Arwen, I truly mean Arwen – she still pisses me off even after all this time. She was a Magical Aragorn Evisceration Machine and I just WON’T HAVE IT. Grrrrrrrr. But here I go again.) or a rant about the final act and don’t even start me. :\

* Bombur in the barrels!! Yes! 😀 ❤

* But [character] and ArwenOOPSTauriel? 😦  No feels for me there. Although the boy has game!

* Carnivale Lamé Smaug!! SO PRANCY! SO FANCY! Too sexy for your party.  O.o

* But GORGEOUS, slithering sinister devastating genius I-can’t-even Smaug?

AMAZ(forkedtongueslither)ING. 😀

* Fashion Porn Thranduil – during his introduction, did I hear “I’m Sexy And I Know It?”

* But Thranduil OWNED that screen because Lee Pace is fierce as fierce can be. Oh my god. I love his work and have since forever.

Now that PJ is making the Lord of the Rings equivalent of fanfiction movies, could he make one about Thranduil? BECAUSE, SASSY and HIS NOSTRILS ARE MEANER THAN YOU and YES.

(ahem)

Now. I would like to lodge a complaint about the last act of the film, in which the ending of the Hobbit movie was apparently accidentally spliced with part of the upcoming Indiana Jones movie. Even my capacious ability to suspend disbelief was defeated by the, well, the big gold thing. What the what? And what was that even supposed to… wha…? Who built that and when? NOT EVEN SAM GAMGEE COULD HAVE BEEN CARRYING THAT SHIZZ AROUND IN HIS BAGS FOR THAT LONG. Who was supposed to have been transporting that frikking thing? Or did they just remember it as a public works item, “oh by the way, do you all remember that thing from over 100 years ago, around when all of our loved ones were horrifically slaughtered during our people’s worst cataclysm EVER, d’you remember that thing… ? Oh, yeah!” Not buying it. Wait. Perhaps Ori knitted it while the rest of them were busy (spoilers deleted), during which time THE LAWS OF PHYSICS WERE COMPLETELY SUSPENDED.

(Note: This is all after the dwarves, bless them, I love THEM, go rushing back into Erebor.

The high water mark of the movie, and the part where the snozzberries begin to taste like snozzberries and it all goes to hell, is: “If this is to end in fire, we shall all burn together.” (quiver: THAT IS THE BEST. You go on, Thorin Oakenshield, you flawed, magnificent bastard. That character is one huge improvement from the book. – Now, why do they all go running into the mountain to save the life of one hobbit whose life they weren’t going to save? No idea. Perhaps Balin flexed his bifurcated beard and beat some sense into Thorin. Woohaw! Go on, Balin!)

After that, it’s time to bring on the roller-skating aliens – and yes, I’m thinking of the episode of Robot Chicken where they’re lampooning the last Godzilla remake. UPDATE: link is here, because it’s just too too perfect.)

(breathing heavily) I am a book purist, yes. I am not a snob, and anyone who thinks so can go whisper about it to Gandalf’s moth friend. 😉 BUT REALLY, PJ? Really? That ending was just… you should have been drinking less caffeine, smoking less of whatever you and team were smoking, and FOR CERTAIN you should have

been

consulting

fewer

sycophants.

A good, stiff, dose of “Tell me the truth. Does any of this make any f$%^ing sense?”  might have helped. You know – talking to, maybe, some snotty 14-year-olds. Because I think they would have asked the tough questions like: “Wait. What is that thing that he just jumped onto from, um, that other thing that we don’t know what it is either?” and “why did you do that? Because that’s kind of dumb.” and “in what way is this actually better than the book?”

(headdesk)

But I’m ranting again.

The last act is as though he remade, say, Beowulf; and now suddenly the poem is “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” meets “Predator”, with a bad plot and some weird special effects, and the brilliant cast are laboring valiantly to make it all work.

Here is what I would like to say to Peter Jackson, if I had the chance: “Sir Peter, were you perhaps laboring under the delusion that you’d bought a more interesting book to adapt? BECAUSE THE HOBBIT, AND APPARENTLY YOU DID EVENTUALLY NOTICE THIS,

IS

A

SOMEWHAT

DULL

BOOK.

Yep. It’s a children’s book, and it’s set in Tolkien’s 1920’s/30’s-sensibilities universe, which is a Luddite creation in which he strives to create a world of beauty and manners that was already a trifle stuffy even by those standards. I’m pretty sure there were probably moments** where C.S. Lewis looked at him and said, “Dude. Lighten up. Could the Entwives, perhaps, show just a hint of extra twig for some sex appeal??” (**Not really.) But the fact remains that the Hobbit is the property you bought. The Hobbit is the book you chose to adapt. The Hobbit is the book you – ostensibly, at least – read. Sometime.

So why have you suddenly, now, chosen NOT to make the Hobbit?

It’s kind of like if I bought a red dress, knowing it was a red dress, tried it on, looked at it, paid money for a red dress; then got it home and decided that what I wanted was not actually a red dress at all but in fact a three-story cement banana complete with a water-skiing rhinoceros who could juggle flaming dill pickles, and then set out to wear that instead (to the utter surprise of everyone who was expecting a red dress).”

GRRRRRRRRRRR.

… So how do I end this, having now gone so far out on my grumpy limb as to call it bad fanfiction, than which insult I can not think of many worse? Sigh.

I have to say that, if you *know* ahead of time that you are going to see a movie that is NOT the book “The Hobbit” — if you understand ahead of time that you are going to see a work of fanfiction —

–it’s not too bad as a Hollywood blockbuster.

The performances are delightful.

The world is, as always, immersive and beautiful.

The direction of the final act makes no goddamn sense.

Peter Jackson, stop smoking the crack and deliver us a third piece that will justify and save this mess. Please.

OH AND PS YES PLEASE MORE GOLD-LEAF SMAUG AND SASSY FASHION THRANDY because although there’s no way they’re disco-dancing, I would totally go see THAT movie. In. A. Heartbeat.

The “Desolation Of Smaug” meets “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”??? SIGN. Me. UP.  😀 😀 😀