Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Concerning Hobbits

My love of The Lord of The Rings is well known in these parts, but really my love goes beyond that trilogy to all things set in Tolkien's Middle Earth.  I may have mentioned this before, but I cried a ridiculous amount when I first finished reading Return of The King, but that is nothing compared to how much I cried when I finished read the appendices to that book – it was like a close family member had died, and I couldn't be consoled.  After that, I only wanted more and so I braved The Silmarillion.

I mention this because sometimes I feel like I'm not the right person to recommend things to people.  I don't like things; I FUCKING LOVE THINGS. For example, I recommend show "Elementary" to some people, but as I'm already a huge fan of anything Sherlock Holmes, plus a sucker for procedural dramas, and I love both Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller, was there any way I wasn't going to at least like it?  And since I am the perfect audience, I'm not sure if other people will enjoy it like I do.  It's much the same with The Hobbit. I love the universe so much, it would have been very hard to make something that I didn't enjoy.  And I have always trusted Peter Jackson's decisions with these adaptations, so please keep that in mind when reading...

As anyone who has read both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings knows, much of what happens "off screen" in The Hobbit is retconed during the "The Counsel of Elrond" chapter (which is like a million pages long in Fellowship) and in the appendices of The Lord of The Rings – Ganalf explains where he was for a quarter of the book, Thorin's back story and name are explained, nameless characters and places get proper names, etc.  So, that's what Peter Jackson has done – he's taking the information we find out later and filled in the blanks.  And if anyone was wondering, like I was when I first heard, how this could be 3 movies, well there's your answer.

A final thought before I cut for spoilers:  I initially wanted to see The Hobbit in standard, old school 2D.  Fiancé was skeptical of the HFR, I don't like 3D, and last time we saw a 3D IMAX film (Promethus), I had to run out of the theater violently ill with a migraine.  However, we accidentally bought tickets to the 3D IMAX version (or "IMAX" since it wasn't on a larger screen).  Unlike other 3D movies I've seen, I did not get sick, or even get a headache.  I felt immersed, not hit over the head with in-your-face gags.  Most reviews I've read so far are complaining about the frame rate, NOT the film itself.  And that's a bummer because I think those things should be looked at independently...

Alright, now on to the spoilery review, in list format because it really is just a jumble of thoughts...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Megmas List

Guys, this is my NINTH annual Megmas mix!  Some of you reading this may even have all 9, which is totally amazing that I've a) known you that long, and b) you keep accepting these crazy mixes from me.  But honestly, working on Megmas is one of my favourite parts of the Holiday season.  I love finding old classics, unknown songs, strange covers, and silly songs for everyone.  So, I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I enjoyed making it! 

  1. "Dasher? On!" – Cabin Pressure 
  2. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (Single Version) – Bruce Springsteen
  3. All I Need Is Love (feat. The Muppets) – Cee Lo Green
  4. Wonderful Christmastime – The Shins      
  5. Merry Something to You – Devo   
  6. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree – Chicago       
  7. Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas) – SpongeBob SquarePants
  8. Do They Know It's Christmas? –  Barenaked Ladies  
  9. "Get Dressed You Merry Gentlemen" –  Cabin Pressure
  10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – August Burns Red
  11. XMS PRTY – Shock And Awe 
  12. Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight) – Bowling for Soup
  13. Santa Claus' Party MIX – The Aquabats!
  14. Baby, It's Cold Outside – Zach Braff & Donald Faison  
  15. Little Drummer Boy – tobyMac       
  16. Xmas Rulez, Voldemort Droolz – Harry and the Potters   
  17. All I Want for Christmas – Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Cary, & The Roots
  18. Fairytale of New York – Stars   

Monday, December 10, 2012

What has it got in its pocketses, eh Precious?

This is the story of how Boyfriend Fiancé and I got engaged!

When I woke up on Friday, November 30th, I had no idea that I would be engaged by that night.  I had taken the day off work because Boyfriend and I had plans to stay at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove.  But before any of that, I had to brave the storm that was hitting the Bay Area and go to the dentist and the bank, and generally boring things you do when you don't think anything special is going on.

That afternoon, when we finally got to Monterey, the storm had settled down, and we spent a few hours walking around the Aquarium.  According to the guides there, we lucked out – the week after Thanksgiving is always slow.  We saw every exhibit, and had a front row spot for the penguin feeding (where the power went out due to the storms)!  And since it was so empty, I later learned that Boyfriend almost proposed at the Aquarium at that window tunnel where the tide falls over you... We had, after all, spent our very first anniversary at the Aquarium and that would have been very fitting.

When we finally checked into our room at Asilomar we were a little shocked.  Back when I booked the room they asked if I wanted a "modern" room or a "rustic" room, and I had assumed "rustic" meant rustic like the inn in Pennsylvania where I stayed for my Cousin's wedding: old but updated, with a fireplace, and a bathtub, and such.  But, no.  This was a cabin that had not been updated since around 1946, with just a bed, a desk, and a bathroom, and with a ceiling so low, I could reach it with my feet when I was laying on bed.  I kept apologizing to Boyfriend for not booking a more romantic room when we first saw it; I apologized even more last after he proposed! 

We decided to go to dinner at once of my favourite restaurants ever: Peppers in Pacific Grove – they have an amazing Mexican jambalaya and blood orange margaritas to die for.  After dinner, Boyfriend suggested that we walk down to Lover's Point, which is only about 3 blocks from Peppers.  We grabbed an umbrella, and as it started to rain we headed down toward the beach.

It was about 9-9:30ish at night, so there wasn't anyone around.  As we walked down the path that leads to the water we spotted a giant black dog on the beach (I think it was a Hellound; my mom later said it was probably Sirius Black) and Boyfriend thought he people below us chatting, so he stopped me halfway up the path.  We could still see across the bay and the lights on the rest of the coast, and it was beautiful.

Then he turned to me and said something like, "Sooo, I have a question..."

Now, don't judge me here, but I still wasn't expecting anything, and it wasn't like he got down on one knee (not really our style).  In hindsight it's all so obvious – even my best friend J convinced me to get a manicure earlier that week – which I almost never do!  But at that moment, I was expecting Boyfriend to say something like "Soooo, if Nic Cage was on a battleship and there was a giant squid attacking, and all he had was his shoes and some floss..." because we always start conversations like that.  But he didn't ask me about Nic Cage or anyone else.

Boyfriend pulled out a ring and I cried and jumped on his face and said "yes, yes, yes!"  And then we had to walk back to the car because though I could see the ring in the moon light, I couldn't really see the ring.  When we got back to the car, he had to drive because I while I was beyond happy, I was also something of an emotional wreck (and too distracted by the ring to drive).

So, it turns out that Boyfriend had been holding the ring in his pocket the whole day, and not even in the box, just in the 5th pocket of his jeans.  Which is hilarious when I thought back to that morning:

As we were leaving, Boyfriend got in the car and his pant's pocket seemed extra bulky.

"Are you bringing your GameBoy on our weekend away," I asked.

"No!  It's my wallet."  And he showed me his wallet.

"Are you sure you don't have anything else in there?  It's really big today."

"Nope, just my wallet," he insisted.

And then I said, "What has it got in its pocketses, eh Precious?" and I start banging on about how Bilbo had The Ring in his pocket the whole time and Gollum had no idea...  And all the while Boyfriend had a ring in his pocket, and I was just as clueless!

I think my love of The Lord of The Rings is pretty well documented, and only I could inadvertently turn my engagement into a reference from The Hobbit.  But hey, that's what makes us so awesome.