Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year! :D
I still feel stuck back in 2011, but now that I think about it, it does seem like it's high time for a year change.
So let's see, what happened this year...
I read Les Miserables and Notre-Dame de Paris(Or Hunchback of Notre-Dame, but the other title is shorter and more accurate. XD). Also the Illiad, though I didn't like it that much. I preferred the other book I read for literature, that'd be a Greek tragedy called 'Antigone'. And Deeply Odd came out, so I was excited to read that. :)
I think my favorite book that I read for the first time this year was To Kill a Mockingbird. It has me actually thinking about Law School. XD
I think my favorite movie that came out this year is Despicable Me 2, though my favorite movie that I just saw this year is Les Miserables. Of course, Desolation of Smaug was pretty good, and we all laughed really hard at Monsters University. I think my favorite thing about Monsters University was the short film that went with it, called 'Blue Umbrella'. It was a very unique work of art. :)

Other Stuff That's Apparently Outranked by Books and Movies... O_o
It's my new years resolution to not make any resolutions. Heh heh. Well okay, I want to get into the Honors Orchestra. But that's all I can think of. XD
Not good at being deep and such, but through the year, I think my resolve for certain things deepened, and I'm starting to seriously think about what to do after school. Not like I'm having that much luck with that, buuuuuut... Had luck with other things. I figured out how to do an F Chord on my guitar, after a year of trying! :D
I guess it's pretty lame when you're that exited about a chord.

Hope you had a good year! And let the next one be good also. :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Battles are Loud

Post titles aren't something that somebody would pay me to think of. That's for sure.

I sure hope that everyone can tell that's a window with shutters. Hopefully the flowerpot gives it away that it's a window. XD
On an unrelated note, didn't the National Guardsman from the movie have such a fabulous mustache? :D
Oh, and the year is almost over. Oh. my. gosh.

Feliz Navidad!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins [2008-2010]

I have a load of comics photographed and ready on my phone, but I have been really forgetful about downloading them to the computer, how silly of me. So for now, enjoy this probably really long review of the insanely popular, Hunger Games series.
I actually found out about this series two years ago when we were on vacation eating breakfast in the hotel dining room. There was a TV, and a news report about the 'wild teen phenomenon series'. Now, I'm sort of a titanic contrarian. It's a little hard for me to like something that's popular, but the premise sounded interesting and since there didn't seem to be any sparkly vampires, I gave it a read. That was all a few years ago, so forgive me if some of the details are a bit fuzzy. Also, this is going to be very rambly and disjointed, so... maybe get a snack.

The Hunger Games takes place in a post apocalyptic future where the people live in 12 separate districts, and lead mostly miserable lives. There's also the Capitol, where rich people live. Every year, the Capitol puts on games, and a teenage boy and girl are chosen from each district to fight to the death in the titular 'Hunger Games'. Katniss Everdeen (Why is it that names like Eowyn and Bilbo don't seem silly, but Katniss Everdeen makes me want to melt in a puddle of giggles?) is a 16 (why are all the heroines these days 16?) year old girl who supports her family with hunting- specifically archery. On 'reaping day', the day the Hunger Games contestants are chosen, her little sister Primrose is chosen. Katniss bravely steps up and takes her place.
That's a pretty interesting premise, though already sort of falling flat, at least to me. I know that some stories are just dark (Les Miserables, Odd Thomas), and that's no problem. But kids killing each other?
Why is that tolerated? Why don't the parents work harder to stop this? Why are the children so open to killing each other? I understand that some of the districts encourage violent behavior, but what I don't understand is why everyone else is okay with it. Aside from the heavily trained careers, none of the other contestants are that eager about killing each other. Why don't they band together and defy the capitol and all that? Why are Katniss and fellow District 12 contestant Peeta the first ones to defy the capitol? These are the 74th annual Hunger Games, and nobody in all those decades has thought to rise up and protect their children. I know, I know. The government would punish anyone who rebelled, yeah. But isn't freedom worth it? If so many people hate these games, why is it so out of the question to just stop?

On the other hand, this does make for an interesting point. Nowadays, people are very desensitized to death (abortion is one example of murder people don't really care about, and even encourage.), and there are striking parallels between the culture in The Hunger Games, and parts of our culture.
I mean, not everyone who reads the books likes them because of the parallels. It's a little disturbing to see reviews for these books praising them as 'pulse-pounding' and 'thrilling'. It's like even as the readers side with Katniss and abhor the violence in the story, they're at the same time embracing it.
I know. These reviews are of the book, but it's easier to just get pictures
of the characters from the movie. This here is Katniss.
As for the characters, they really are mixed bags. Katniss Everdeen is certainly interesting, and some of the things that she does are admirable and brave. I mean, she takes her sister's place in the deadly competition, that's pretty good.
A concern for me when I started the book was that it would make random slaughter look appealing and totally okay. At least at first, Katniss only kills when she absolutely has to, and it clearly leaves it's mark on her when she does.
However, there is an incident where she kills somebody out of mercy. This is a little difficult, since the person in question obviously wasn't going to survive, and they were in tremendous agony. Later in the books too, Katniss becomes more ruthless when it comes to killing. She kills an innocent bystander, a woman from the capitol, when she wanders onto scene and surprises Katniss. There are some odd remarks, like "I could still see the grease on her lips from the fried chicken she was eating.", but I'm not sure if this is supposed to be guilt, or just random observations from a hardened mind. Because over time Katniss is hardened, and that's understandable. Even in the beginning though, she's a cold person who puts her family above all else. The only person who has her sympathy is Primrose, the aforementioned little sister.
A cold, harsh attitude doesn't exactly make for a likeable character. It might make for an interesting one, but could you imagine hanging out with Katniss? One of the of the marks of a likeable fictional character is that you can imagine yourself hanging out and being friends with them. I could be friends with Odd Thomas, or Emma Woodhouse. Heck, I think even Marius Pontmercy would be a decent fellow to be friends with. But Katniss? Nah. She doesn't seem too easy to get along with.
Not that a character has to be buddy material to gain the reader's sympathy, of course not. Eponine isn't somebody you could be casual friends with, and yet she beckons a ton of sympathy. However, Eponine had something that, at least in my point of view, Katniss didn't. Eponine redeemed herself in the end, doing her best to make up for the mistakes she had made.
Katniss? The redeeming qualities that she had in the first book disappear gradually through the series, and by the end of the third book, I didn't care much for her. She went from the strong, independent girl who did everything for her family, to a dependent lapdog, doing everything for her slack-jawed boyfriend. Which brings us to our next character...
"Tee hee. I like turtles!" :D

Peeta Mellark. A bland love interest if I ever saw one. Peeta barely has a personality, I mean let's take a look. He loves Katniss. He decorates cakes. And he's apparently really charming, funny, and likeable. Not like we, the readers get much of that charming likeableness. Because most of his time actually in the story he's mooning over Katniss! He has no really unique characteristics. He's cute, he's brave, he's a talented painter, and he loves you Katniss more than anything. Peeta's not really his own character, and gets almost no development though the course of three books. The most interesting thing he does is get brainwashed into wanting to kill Katniss. And even then, he's pretty bland.

The romance between Katniss and Peeta isn't that special either. It starts as a ploy to get special help from sponsors during the games, but as it turns out, Peeta actually did love her. Of course, Katniss is torn between Peeta and her childhood friend Gale. Yes, Gale is a man. Over time though, she becomes totally entirely in love with Peeta.
Now, there are romances that I like. Having a love interest isn't really a bad thing. But it bugs me when a tough girl gets a love interest and then BAM! She's no longer strong and independent, but rather, she's totally melted into a spineless jellyfish. The romance is a definite weak spot in the story, for me at least.

Along with the characters, morality too is a mixed bag here. I know that not everyone is going to agree with me here, so you can feel free to skip this paragraph, or present your point of view, but I'm just going to go by what I believe. Oh. There's also spoilers, too.
The games themselves aren't presented as something cool (though I don't doubt that there are at least a few fans who'd like to be tributes...), and the reader certainly isn't supposed to approve of the killing. However, in the third book, Katniss vows to kill the tyrannical President Snow, in some kind of revenge-rampage. She insists that she be the one to kill him. However, in the end, the leader of the rebellion, President Coin, is the one Katniss kills. Which brings me to another point that I didn't exactly like about the books.
In the third book, Mockingjay, there is a rebellion that Katniss joins in to overthrow the oppressive government. Allright, finally people are doing something about it! Well, don't get too exited. Because it turns out that the insurgents are just as bad as the Capitol they're trying to overthrow. In one of the battles, the rebels actually drop bombs onto their own battlefield doctors (including Primrose.) who were tending to injured children. Why? They made it look like the Capitol dropped those bombs, that way it would stir up more outrage among the people. And once they're overthrown the old government, President Coin suggests that they force former citizens of the Capitol to participate in their own Hunger Games, as a sort of revenge. This idea doesn't happen, but it's quite depressing to read a book where you can't root for any one side, or even character. I'd root for Katniss, buts she's too fixated on revenge. I'd root for the rebellion, but they're just as bad as the government they want to overthrow. See, when you don't have any characters to root for, it makes for a very depressing, bleak, and utterly lightless read. Real life can be depressing, but there is also light.

The writing for the Hunger Games books is unique. It's told in the 1st Person, using the present tense. That's part of the reason the stories feel so fast paced and immediate, since the way they're written makes it feel like it's happened right now, to you. It does work for the series, and keeps the tension ramped up. The descriptions of characters and locations is pretty good too, and the storytelling is fast-paced and well executed. The plot- whatever qualms I might have with it- is mostly well done, but there are one or two little plot holes, and some of the characters are very flat.

The Verdict: C
I'm giving it a plain ol' C because even if I don't think this series is that great, I don't think that it never should have been written, either. Most of the immoral aspects of this series are presented in a negative light, as things that shouldn't be. And at it's core, it had an interesting message. So while I'm not eager to read it again, I suppose I don't regret reading it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noel! メリークリスマス

Whatever language you speak, I hope you have a truly joyous Christmas! God Bless!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Les Halloween Costumes

Does anyone actually like these? Who knows!
Do I enjoy putting them up? You betcha! :D

So, as I've probably mentioned before, me and les siblings went as Les Miserables characters for Halloween. And here's Chibis of us in our costumes. With matching scenery.
My sister is Cosette, leaning against that gate, my brother is Enjolras(Though he'd work really well as a Gavroche... we couldn't talk him into it though.), standing on a table. Let's just hope he doesn't start singing like Merry and Pippin. I'm Eponine(I don't know why I felt the need to point that out. I mean, which other character wanders around at night looking sad?).
Huzzah for poorly drawn scenery! But seriously, if I'm going to make decent looking strips, I'm going to have to learn to put in scenery. Otherwise it looks like they all take place in the Veggie Tales opening. :P

Yikes! It's only five days until Christmas?! Where'd December go?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Long Rant About Eponine

[Sorry for all the pictures in this post. I found some Les Miserables illustrations on Bing, and went a little crazy, I guess.]

While reading the book, I was really looking forward to reaching Eponine. I actually flipped to the chapter where she comes in and dog eared it so that I could keep track of where I was in relation to it. (To be fair, that's around the halfway mark in the book, so it was also a way to record my progress. Trust me.)

A very young girl was standing in the half-open door. The dormer window of the garret, though which the light fell, was precisely opposite the door, and illuminated the figure with a wan light. She was a frail, emaciated, slender creature; there was nothing but a chemise and a petticoat upon that chilled and shiver nakedness. Her girdle was a string, her head ribbon a string, her pointed shoulders emerged from her chemise, a blond and lymphatic pallor, earth-collar bones, red hands, a half-open and degraded mouth, missing teeth, dull, bold, base eyes; she had the form of a young girl who has missed her youth, and the look of a corrupt old woman; fifty years mingled with fifteen; one of those beings which are both feeble and horrible, and which cause those to shudder whom they do not cause to weep.
-Volume III, Book Eight, Chapter Four- A Rose in Misery

Yikes, that's a pretty chilling description, yeah? A little shocking, since most of the time in the musical, Eponine looks something like this.

As the book went on, I noticed that Eponine from the book is radically different from Eponine in the musical.
In the musical, Eponine is a very sweet, shy girl, who does her best to be a good person despite her scumbag family. She's in love with her friend Marius, who is blind to her true feelings. As she laments frequently.
Little he knows, little he sees...
-Les Miserables Act I, The Robbery
Little you know, little you care...
-Les Miserables Act II, Building the Barricade

As you know, Marius falls in love with a young lady named Cosette, and Eponine is shot while on the way back to the barricade after an errand. Which was taking a letter to Cosette for Marius.
Why would she do that? Because Eponine loves him so much that she's willing to throw her own chance of happiness away, if it means he will be happy. That's some pretty strong love. And yes, I choose to think that it's real love, not some mopey teen crush. Because if Eponine was that shallow, she'd have found some other man to moon over.
As much as I like Eponine in the musical, she is far more complicated in the book.

In the book, Marius is probably the first man- or person, for that matter- in a long time who's treated Eponine with courtesy and respect. So for that reason, she clings to him like a lifeline. Marius is the only thing keeping her from going the same way as her parents. Once she meets Marius, Eponine does her best to be a decent person and be more than what she seems doomed to be.

It is remarkable that Eponine did not speak in Argot. That frightful tongue had become impossible to her since she had known Marius.
Volume IV, Book Eight, Chapter Four- A Dog runs in English and barks in Argot
Marius is Eponine's only hope for escaping her current, dismal life. That's what makes her character so tragic. If she were rich, it wouldn't be half as sad because she wouldn't need Marius. Eponine needs Marius if she's going to have any hope for the future. Sadly, she has no such luck. There was a line from the Japanese version of On My Own that I felt illustrated the tragedy of her situation well.
This boy does not need me,
I have no such hold on the world of happiness.
[Ano hito atashi o iranai
Shiawase no sekai en nado nai]
-Les Miserables, Act II, On My Own [Hitori]
However, she is less sympathetic than in the musical. She isn't pretty(At least at first, later she's described as beautiful.), she's rough, and amoral. She steals the letter that Cosette left for Marius, telling her new address, so that Marius would fall into despair and go to the barricade. That way, she and Marius would be able to be together in death.
Pretty dark, and radically different from the selfless girl in the musical.
But in the end she sacrifices her life for Marius, and gives him back the letter. Of course, you can argue that since he was going to die anyway(she thought), Eponine just gave him the letter because it didn't matter. Once again, I'm going to take a leap of faith and say I think her conscience gave way and she wanted him to be happy. Aside from being less dismal, that scenario makes a selfless and complete end for her story arc.

She dropped her head again on Marius' knees, and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had departed. Eponine remained motionless. All at onces, at the very moment when Marius fancied her asleep forever, she slowly opened her eyes in which appeared the somber profundity of death, and said to him in a tone whose sweetness seemed already to proceed from another world;-
“And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you.”
Volume IV, Book Fourteen, Chapter Six- The Agony of Death After the Agony of Life
So at the end of the day you're another day colder, Book Eponine is an almost completely different character from Musical Eponine.
In the musical, she's melancholy, shy, and selfless. In the book, she's talkative, strangely cheerful even when dying, and very conflicted. In the book, Eponine's not just the girl who loved Marius, she's also the girl who faced down against a murderous street gang- and won. She didn't scream though, but she did make a pretty awesome and terrifying speech that reveals a lot about her character.

[Eponine] began to laugh in a terrible way:
As you like, but you shall not enter here. I'm not the daughter of a dog, since I'm the daughter of a wolf. There are six of you, what does that matter to me? You are men. Well, I'm a woman. You don't frighten me. I tell you that you shan't enter this house, because it doesn't suit me. If you approach, I'll bark. I told you, I'm the dog, and I don't care a straw for you. Go your way, you bore me! Go where you please, but don't come here, I forbid it! You can use your knives. I'll use kicks; it's all the same to me, come on!”
She advanced a pace nearer the ruffians, she was terrible, she burst out laughing:
I'm not afraid. I shall be hungry this summer, and I shall be cold this winter. Aren't they ridiculous, these ninnies of men, to think they can scare a girl! What! Scare? Oh, yes, much! Because you have finical poppets of mistresses who hide under the bed when you put on a big voice, forsooth! I m not afraid of anything, that I'm not!”
She fastened her intent gaze upon Thenardier and said:
Not even of you, father!”
Then she continued, as she cast her blood-shot, spectre like eyes upon the ruffians in turn:
What do I care if I'm picked up tomorrow morning on the pavement of the Rue Plumet, killed by the blows of my father's club, or whether I'm found a year from now in the nets at Saint-Cloud or the Isle of Swans in the midst of rotten old corks and drowned dogs?”
She was forced to pause; she was seized by a dry cough, her breath came from her weak and narrow chest like the death rattle.
She resumed:
I only have to cry out, and people will come, and then slap, bang! You're six people, but I'm everybody.”
Volume IV, Book Eight, Chapter Four- A Dog runs in English and barks in Argot
So... let's see, how to conclude... I suppose my point here is that in the Musical, Eponine is a more sympathetic character, but in the Book, she's deeper.
Part of the reason I really like the 2012 movie is because it keeps in the part where Eponine steals the letter, and she totally smacks Thenardier after she screams in Attack on Rue Plumet. (Sure, he slapped her back and all, but hey, at least she showed that she wasn't afraid of him.)
Of course, not to say that Musical Eponine is no good. That partly depends on the actress playing her, of course.
I think that a really good portrayl is one that remains sympathetic, while still being the rough, self-loathing, terrifying rose in misery.
(How was that last sentence for over-dramatic prose? :D But hey, I like how it flowed out of my pen... er, keyboard.)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [2013]

Okay, there are going to a lot of spoilers in this, so whenever you see This loud font, skip the paragraph. Unless you like spoilers, in that case, knock yourself out! :)
Okay, we've been waiting a whole dang year for the sequel to An Unexpected Journey, and now that it's finally here, how does it measure up?
I'll start with the bad, then the good, so that we can end on a positive note.

The Bad
A lot of CGI. I know that it's hard to do a fantasy movie without it, but I'd like if the sets were a little more real looking. You'd think that with such a huge budget, they'd be able to spring for some nice, big sets.

Also, the spiders. No, not the spiders themselves, because they were great, but the way that scene was done. I wish that they had kept in the part where Bilbo rescues the dwarves while taunting the spiders with a funny song. Yeah, it was a little cheesy, but not anymore so than the romance between Tauriel and Kili. Which brings me to my next gripe...

Why did there have to be a half-baked love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili? Not like it didn't have it's moments, but it seemed a little strange. Plus there was a rather *ahem* crude comment which seemed a little out of place for Tolkein. I see that the romance plot benefited the main plot of the movie, but it wouldn't have to be there if they had stuck to the relatively simple plot of the book.

It seemed like the stuff from the book that they kept in were very rushed to make room for the things they were adding. Like Mirkwood. There weren't any chilling nights spent in terror of the creatures of the forest, or any business involving that river Bombur fell in, then was asleep for ages... Plus, no crashing the elves feast, either. They meet up with the elves during the spider part.

Spoilerificness Ahead! Read on, if ye dare!
The thing that bugged me the most about this movie though, was the way they did the Lonely Mountain bit. Bilbo doesn't even come out with any gold after first conversing with Smaug, instead the Dwarves come in, and there's a long fight scene that finishes out the movie. I was actually a little afraid that it would have the dwarves kill Smaug, because it ends with Thorin and Company dousing Smaug in liquid gold. Then of course, Smaug bursts out of it(How was he still alive? And don't say 'Because he's a magic dragon'), crashes out of the mountain, shakes off the still-liquefied gold(Well, maybe the gold is magic), and flies off to destroy Lake Town. Then the movie ends on a royal cliff-hanger. I felt like the action sequence here was kind of jumping the shark. Oh, and what was the deal with Gandalf and Sauron at the end?! Why do they always break the poor guy's staff?
Spoilers end here.

Beorn didn't get that much screentime either. He was there though, that's what counts I suppose.
The violence, too, got a little over the top. I mean really, we were getting into really cartoonish Orc-Killing Methods. Speaking of which, did I miss the part in the book about the Orcs chasing them?
I suppose by now I sound like a grumpy ol' purist. I suppose I am a purist, but I'd like to think that I can be well-humored company when I try hard enough.
Let's get onto the 'good', yeah?

The Good
Omigosh, Smaug looked terrific. He actually was quite frightening, (Well, not like I'll be having nightmares or anything, but I could totally see why he was feared), and the voice work was awesome. He sounded so fierce and evil, sounded just right. The scene where he and Bilbo were talking was also a definitely highlight of the film for me, even if it was staged a little differently.

Bilbo. He was great. His actor is so likeable in the part, I think that him and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug were the best performances in the film. Not to say the others weren't good either, I really like Balin, and Gandalf. Radagast also seemed a little less zany than in the previous film.

The music, as usual for a LOTR movie, was beautiful. The credits song was allright too, not as good as The Song of the Lonely Mountain from the last one, but still better than the cheesy theme song from the Cartoon version.

Despite what I said earlier about the sets being a little too digital, I have to admit that they did look stunning. Especially the inside of the Lonely Mountain, and Lake Town.

The Verdict: C
Well, I had a lot of fun watching it, but it just didn't seem 'Tolkien' to me.
The Hobbit is much lighter source material to work from than The Lord of the Rings, so yeah, maybe it doesn't have that sort of melancholy. But The Hobbit is a very charming, whimsical book. It's the kind of book that apologizes for the bad table manners of trolls. I didn't get that charm while watching the movie.
That being said (aren't I such a Puddleglum?), it was fun to see it, and the good parts were worth the parts that weren't that great. Because heck, it's just cool to see Smaug in a live-action adaptation. :D

So it's not the most faithful adaptation of a book ever, but it's not the worst adaptation of a book, either.

Hope you're having a good Advent!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Music of Lord of the Rings

I was sort of at a loss as to what to write for the LOTR party, but as you can see, I finally thought of something. :)
Even in the books, music is a large part of Lord of the Rings. The books are filled with beautiful, powerful poems and songs, and one can only wonder what the tunes would be.
The question is partly answered by the music for the movies. Mr. Howard Shore did a wonderful job with the music for the film trilogy(and is continuing to do a great job with the music for The Hobbit), and I'd like to think that Tolkien would approve of it. The soundtrack is perfectly fitting with the melancholy atmosphere of the series.
I'll highlight some of my favorite tracks from each movie, starting with Fellowship of the Ring.

One of my favorite tracks from the first movie is the Shire Theme, 'Concerning Hobbits'. It's very rustic and gentle sounding, beautifully illustrating the simple nature of the Shire-Folk. I love the instruments they use, like a wood flute, and some sort of mandolin-ish sort of thing (It's really visible at about 01:20, I'm not sure what kind of instrument it is). It makes it feel like something Hobbits would actually listen to. :D Basically, this song just makes me very, very, happy.

And now the other end of the mood spectrum. In my family, we affectionately call this the MEN theme, because it plays when our heroes are doing something manly and heroic. This track is many layers of awesome, with powerful brass, high-tension violins, and here's something cool. The ominous male chorus in this song is actually singing in the style of native New Zealand warriors. I thought that was a neat touch. I love how the song goes absolutely nuts at the bit where the Balrog comes in. Totally gives me shivers.
Then of course, there's an abrupt mood change when Gandalf is apparently 'killed', and the song becomes very mournful.

Now for the awesomeness that is this. I know in the book that the Ents sang a cool song as they marched on Sauruman, but I think that this breathtaking music makes up for not having singing trees.

As I recall, this played as Aragorn and Theoden King decide to ride out and take out as many orks as possible, even if they don't win the battle. Then after they ride out, Gandalf is there with the Rohirrum, and there's a cool, heroic reprise of the usually melancholy Rohan theme(Which I also love <3).

I feel like this post is long and ranty enough, so I'll finish out with what's probably my favorite, albeit, really depressing, LOTR song- The Sacrifice of Faramir. Yeah, the title is so dramatic that I had to put it into italics.
But seriously, this song is so terribly sad, heroic, tense- all sorts of moods mashed up together. And then Pippin starts singing. That's the metaphorical cherry on our metaphorical sundae.
This was a really good scene in the movie, too (well, except for Denethor's table manners... eugh...), always makes me sad for poor Faramir. And Denethor, too. Since he does love Faramir deep down, but he just doesn't realize it.

Well, there it is. *some* songs from the mind-numbingly awesome LOTR soundtrack. Because I couldn't think of anything intelligent to say about anything else. And even this post was basically just me going: "[drool] Duh, this song iz puritty..." XD Well, minus the drooling.
Later, amis!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrate LOTR Tag

Over at her blog Classical Ramblings, Miss Jane Bennet is having a Celebrate LOTR blog party!
As a fan of LOTR, I thought it'd be fun to participate, and maybe get to know the series a little better in the process. Let's get started, shall we?

  • What was your first introduction to Lord of the Rings?
    When I was little, my mom read me the books as bedtime stories. And then a short time after that, the movies started coming out, and I got to see those, too.

  • Have you ever read the book?
    I've read the Hobbit all the way through(does that count?), and I've read all my favorite parts in the books, too. Sad to say, I've never been able to have a copy of the books handy for long enough to actually read them. They all get caught up in the quagmire of books that my bed consists of. I'd really like to read them all through someday though. :D

  • Which version of the movies do you prefer – the extended version or the theatrical release?
    I don't know, the extended ones are a lot of fun to watch with the new scenes and such, and they kind of fill in stuff that they didn't have time for in the theatrical releases. I think that I like to actually watch the theatrical versions better though, since they're shorter, hence, we have time for them more often.

  • Who is your favorite character and why?
    My favorite character, hmmm... For a while it was Legolas(For... obvious reasons), then it was Faramir(again... for obvious reasons), but right now I'd have to say that my favorite characters are Gandalf and Sam. Sam, because he's such a loyal friend, and pretty much everything you could want in a best friend. Gandalf, because he's a rockin' awesome wizard who gets some really good moments and lines. I can't forget Sméagol though, he's a sad character, and so important to the storyline. I like how things work out with him.

  • Which of the other books concerning Middle-Earth have you read?
    I've flipped through the Silmarillion, and as I mentioned before, I've read the Hobbit. I also have an elvish dictionary, does that count?

  • If there was one thing about the movies you would change, what would it be?
    I think I'd make more of an effort to show how Sauron had been breaking Denethor's mind with the Palantir. I also think that I would cut out all the Faramir being tempted by the ring stuff. But that's two and I have to pick one, so I think I'll go with the Faramir thing.

  • What is your favorite scene in either the books or the movies?
    My favorite scene in the books, well, I've got a few. I like the scene where Faramir kisses Eowyn while they're recovering in Minas Tirith. That scene just struck me as being very sweet, and it shows how much of a romantic Mr. Tolkien was.
    I also like the Barrow Downs from the Fellowship of the Ring. Really chilling, and so cool. I'm a little sad it didn't make it into the movie.
    Speaking of the movie, my favorites scene in the whole series was the march of the Ents to Isengard. The music, the shot of all the Ents marching, everything was just awesome!

  • How would you rate your addiction to Lord of the Rings – Aragorn being the lowest and Gollum/Smeagol being the highest?
    Erm... I'm going to say... Frodo. When he was at Mount Doom and said 'The Ring is mine!"

  • If you could be any Lord of the Rings character, who would it be?
    Um... Gandalf? Or Legolas, and shoot a wicked awesome bow and arrow.
    Well that was fun! :)
    I'll see if I can think of anything to do for the LOTR week, but if not, I'll see you later!

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    Advent is Upon Us...

    We've got the Advent Wreath up, the weather is getting quite cold, and hallmark channel is playing endless marathons of [insane eyetwitch]... interesting Christmas movies.
    All this can only mean one thing. Christmas is coming!
    This time of year really is special, because I live on the West Coast, where Spring, Summer and Autumn are all pretty much the same thing, but Winter at least brings the promise of frost and lower temperatures. XD
    I can't wait until Christmas week, that's when we get to bake Lebkuchen! Which for those of you who don't know, is a German cookie. It's like gingerbread, but it's got candied fruit inside, and sometimes has nuts. We don't usually do it with nuts though, because there are certain people in our family who would rather die than ingest a single one of the vile things.
     Here seen is our (artificial *sob*) tree, being decorated by my sister. She really went nuts with the ornaments. XD
    And here's the Advent Wreath, along with a really pretty little Advent Calendar we got. Each day you open up a door, and there's a bible verse inside. Neat, yeah? Oh, and you can also see, in the corner, a cookie jar shaped like a bear chef. Oh woe is me for getting him in the shot. XD
    Well, I hope you're having a good December, mates!

    Monday, December 2, 2013

    Les Hockey Season

    Because if you think about it, it works. XD
    Yeah. That shrill blob thing is supposed to me me, but I'm not sure there's any *real* resemblance. XD
    Go Sharks!! 

    Sunday, December 1, 2013

    Stranger Danger

    Of course, it was really sweet and lovely when Jean Valjean found Cosette in the woods all alone and frightened, and took her back home. But you've gotta admit, a stranger approaching you from the dark woods just isn't a sight that immediately evokes trust.
    Gosh, that tree is an abomination.
    Meanwhile, on an unrelated note...
    Omigosh, it's December already?! Well, I guess that would explain why it's been getting so cold at night! :)