My Journey with Bilbo & Company


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There are many movies I need to blog about including “Guardians of the Galaxy” but we’re just going to concentrate on this one today.

First off, for those of you who don’t know…I have never read a Tolkien story. I have 2 full copies of “Lord of the Rings” but they are unloved except by my husband who did read these books as a kid and, much to his credit, read them to me for a while as we lay in bed at night. I never grew out of falling asleep while someone was reading a story so…. Back in the Dark Ages (late 70s to mid 80s) these books were all the rage and I TRIED to read them. I really did. Mostly because everyone I knew told me how much I (especially!) would LOVE them. These friends had posters and art work dedicated to LOTR on their walls and dressers. I would look at them be captivated and then make the mistake of asking; “Who’s that?” I think I asked that question like three times before I learned to recognize the style of the works and just assume it was LOTR related. My friends would look at me say; “That’s GANDALF!” or “That’s BILBO!” Inevitably ask; “Haven’t you read “Lord of the Rings”? I’d just say; “No.”

I wouldn’t tell them that I TRIED to read “The Hobbit” but it gave me such a headache I had to put it down. Elves and Dwarves and Wizards…WTF? By then my preferred reading material was molding itself into my preferred writing style and consisted of Stephen King, Harold Robins, VC Andrews, Jacqueline Susan, Judith Rossner and many other Literary Greats. At that younger age I sort of felt like I was being asked to trade in all of that for…Middle Earth? Where the hell IS that exactly?

Then a movie came out. They loved it. More artwork. More posters. More little doo-dads. More people telling me how I (especially!) would LOVE this. So I watched it. All of it. Beginning to end and wondered what the fuck my friends were on that they found this cartoon-over-live-action crap entertaining.

I gave up. I kept my friends but whenever they talked about it I’d tune out and smile at appropriate places.

Skip ahead a few years and a game called Dungeons & Dragons came out. I didn’t understand this game but I watched people play it and they were having fun. It sounded cool as I listen to them battle dragons and orcs. I even tried it once or twice and found it fun but it kept going and going and going.

Skip ahead another few years and I’m married with my first child, hello Miss Nicole! A game called “Final Fantasy” came out. Oh! Hubby and I played and played and played into the wee hours of the morning. We wandered through dungeons, fought monsters, went off on quests, got treasure…died several times, of course…and did it all over again. So began my long love affair with Dungeons & Dragons on SNES (yes, Super Nintendo…shut up.) Generally speaking, my favorite character to play is a Chaotic-Neutral Elf/Mage. Over the years we played so many of those games I’m not going to list them for you because we’d be here all day.

In 2001 a little movie called “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” came out and I went; “Oh shit!”

I knew hubby would want to see it and when I found out how long it was I went; “Oh, double shit!”

But I love him and when you’re married and in love you do things for the other person to make them happy. So went to the movie. I did not get a headache and I was not bored or frustrated. Like Shakespeare, LOTR was a lot easier for me to understand and get into being able to SEE it and not having to conjured the images of elves, dwarves, orcs, wizards, ents, continually inside my head. By the end of the movie I was a little miffed and had thousands of questions. Hubby laughed and said I’d just have to wait for the next movie.

So I did with much anticipation. The same for the next and the next and the next. As we progressed, I realized that I’d be living, at least part time, in a Tolkien world obviously he’s the Grandfather of Dungeons & Dragons and all of the video games that came after it. Being able to make that connection made me appreciate the movies all the more. I came to understand that those long-ago friends were quite correct, I did love it, I just didn’t love READING it. Yes, we’ve gone to every Opening Weekend. Yes, we’ve bought every ‘regular edition’ and ‘extended edition’ on DVD/Blu-Ray. Yes, we’ve watched them over and over and over until I can recite almost all of the lines in all of the films.

So, you can imagine that for us and (especially!) for someone like me, this weekend was much anticipated. We made plans to go to “The Battle of the Five Armies” months ago. We went on Friday and…they were sold out. I felt so bad for hubby! I knew how much he wanted to see it so when we got home I purchased tickets online for last night. That was a good thing because they were almost sold out then. My theater has a new thing…Luxury Seating.

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Yes, recliners that totally recline, real arm rests, and a little table. Oh! It’s WONDERFUL! The only thing that could make it better is if they gave you a little order pad and they brought you stuff during the movie :)

We settled in very comfortably and even sat through all of the previews without caring. I can see we’ll be going to the movies more often.

There may be some SPOILERS coming…not sure but if you haven’t seen it yet maybe you want to stop reading now.

I’ve been advised there are several things ‘wrong’ with “The Hobbit” movies, mainly they don’t follow the books. The She-Elf doesn’t exist, Legolas isn’t in it, the barrel ride down the river is wrong (most people won’t shut up about that part) and so on and so on. Ok, the barrel scene was a little long and overdone, I’ll grant that. I like the She-Elf even if she was brought in to ‘appease the female audience’.

Lights dim…movie starts…

The ending of “The Desolation of Smaug” SUCKED! It was the most nail biting cliff hangar of all of the movies. I have to tell you that I LOVE Smaug. Whoever the team is that worked on that dragon should get a HUGE bonus. They did an awesome job and Cumberbatch did the voice so well. I was sad when he died. Don’t laugh. I was. The way he’s dispatched is pretty cool. I still don’t understand why anyone lived in Lake Town to begin with, what idiot builds a town in the middle of a freaking lake? Oh well. Maybe some day that will be revealed to me.

We’re off to the battle for the mountain and Thorin goes bonkers. I wish they’d done more with the curse on the gold but I guess the lesson is; Greed Ain’t So Good. Especially that kind of greed! That’s one hell of a Treasure Room although it still probably pales in comparison to the one the WalMart Heirs are nesting in. Anyway, nobody likes anybody and somewhere around 5,000 people are going to storm 13 lonely dwarves which seemed a bit unfair to me. Then, of course, the orcs come and everybody fights them and blah blah blah until we reach a not-so-happy ending.

I was pissed! I walked out of that flick with more questions than answers and feeling totally let down! Hubby tried to tell me to remember it wasn’t ‘the end’ of the story but really the beginning. The Happily Ever After is still 3 movies down the road.

I still cry foul! Foul! I understand killing off major characters and beloved characters but one only tends to do it to further a story or bring closure. These seem to be have been done for shits and giggles with the possible exception of Thorin’s death. I actually posted on FB for people who’d both read the story and seen the movie to verify the ending. They said ‘yes, those three died’.

Harumph.

I so wanted the She-Elf and Keeli to go off into the sunset. That was very disturbing and totally unappreciated.

Who the hell is going to be King Under the Mountain now the Royal Bloodline is dead? WTF?

I would have liked to have known more about Bard. I don’t really like that actor but I ended up loving him in this part. What about the Elf-King…little dick. Although, the actor is awesome in the part and in “Guardians of the Galaxy”…still…dick. Someone should have slapped him silly.

The Battle for Helms Deep will always be the best battle scene out of the six movies. The Battle for the Mountain kind of lacks I’d actually place it last out of all of the battle scenes in all of the movies. It came off as overly CG and uninspired.

Anyway, as we all know, Bilbo makes it ‘There and Back Again’ along with Gandalf but I would have liked to have seen some of the journey home.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very glad that I followed Peter Jackson ‘one last time’ and that I saw the entire thing. I guess I’m just an old softy at heart. Not every single book of mine might bring the reader a happy ending but at least there’s satisfaction and here there was none. If Mr. Jackson was going to deviate from the original story so much anyway and bring me the She-Elf the least he could have done was given our unlikely couple a chance at happiness. Just a chance. Just a sliver of hope, that’s all. Instead, it falls flat at the very end and that’s a shame. After all of that work that really is a shame.

While it won’t bring me satisfaction I am hoping the ‘extended edition’ answers a lot of my questions. A lot!

Christmas Bitch


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Yeah…yeah..yeah…tough. Its my blog. I get to bitch around or about Christmas if I want to. If you don’t like that kindly take the advice I’m about to give you and go away. Got it?

Awesome.

Any-hoo. As most of you know I am no longer a Catholic, a Baptist or a Christian in general. I’m a Pagan and Ares is my God either by hook, crook, choice, or plain old Fate. However, since I once WAS a Catholic and a Baptist and my family is heavily rooted in those traditions, try as I might, I just can’t shake Christmas. And I have tried. Believe me. I have tried. I did manage to ditch Easter. That was nice. I sort of look forward to the day that I might be able to visit New Orleans on Fat Tuesday and stick around for Mardi Gras. (I really do, I’d love that, hell I might even show the crowd my old saggy tits. I’d also like to go on a ‘Haunted Tour’ of the town, but that’s neither here nor there.)

So, like most days, I was attached to Yahoo! News today (I can’t shake it, I’m addicted, I admit it.) This came through to me today Mom’s Mock Letter from Santa to Misbehaving Daughter I read it and I laughed and I even posted that she was a good mom and I hope it worked for her. As a parent, trust me, time is short to ‘threaten’ your kids with Santa and him NOT bringing presents. AND it works. It does. Maybe not forever but at least for a while, as loving parent and sentient adult, you can get a little peace at this time of year to do ALL of the things you NEED to do in order to pull off a wonderful Christmas for your kids. Make no mistake, rich or poor, pulling off a Good Christmas is freakin’ HARD WORK…especially if you’re on the poor side of life. This is why we always tried to stress that Christmas wasn’t about getting great big fancy gifts but rather it was about appreciating your family one day out of the year. Just one. I know we should all do that 24/7/365 but let’s be honest…we don’t. Most of us take our families and friends for granted 24/7/364 so ONE day out of the year isn’t that much to ask no matter who you are, what religion you are, where you live, or what your financial status happens to be. You can pick the day if you want and buck the system but it still seems to be designated to December 25th. That’s ok with me.

Just to be absolutely clear here….Christmas isn’t about cars or diamonds or putting yourself in debt until July just to show a little appreciation. If you do stuff like that like that…you’re a moron and you’re only trying to buy what you are incapable to earning the rest of the year. One day doesn’t make up for you being an asshole the other 364 days of the year.

I know, I know, some of you out there will insist it’s about the Birth of Jesus Christ. To you…I hope you know better, I hope you KNOW that the Big JC was NOT born in December. He was born in summer…maybe even some around what us Pagans call Lammas. But that’s neither here nor there because Christmas has been Shang Haid by the American Public…sorry. I know it sucks for you and I sympathize on that count. I really do.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the Big JC was actually born on December 25th to a virgin in a manager. I’ll capitulate. I will. Mostly because I was raised Roman Catholic with a good smattering of Baptist tossed in and I happen to adore the imagery, pageantry, and ritualistic ways of Christmas.

(To paraphrase Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean) Pagan. :) And…my people were here first.

OK, so this well-meaning mom gave her daughter a fake note from Santa telling the little girl to be good and that Santa was watching. I see no shame or wrong-doing in that anymore than I see shame and wrong-doing in the Legend of Krampus. (I am German so, ya know, sue me and see how far you get.) People jumped on her. It was awful. MOST posters, who were obviously parents themselves, agreed with her and what she’d done but other people did not. The sad part is that for those who did not it was pretty obvious that they had been disillusioned when they discovered Santa Claus doesn’t actually exist. I don’t know how that realization came about for them but it must have been pretty bad and for that I’m sorry. As someone who grew up adoring Santa Claus and who still believes him to this very day even though I ‘know better’…I’m sorry they are so embittered by the experience they can’t see beyond their own ‘hurt’ and disillusionment. My only solace is in believing they are of the same generation that received ‘awards’ for doing nothing other than showing up to class.

Throughout the day today negative things about Christmas and Santa and well parenting in general have shown up in my Facebook feed. I don’t know why but I DO know that most of it was written by people who are NOT parents. Not to biological children or adopted children (of which I am one) or any child at all. They may be well-meaning and well-intentioned but to those people I would really like to say: Shut the fuck up.

Seriously.

If YOU have NO idea of what it is to raise a child..shut up. You do the entire world a great disservice when you open your educated but life-lacking ignorant mouth. Look, I don’t care what Degrees you have. If you have a Masters in Childhood Development but have never parented a child…shut up. You’re as ignorant as a new born babe regardless of what your text books and professors have tried to teach you. If you have not given up a minimum of 18 years of your life and dedicated it to the development and betterness of someone other than yourself…shut up and get some Real World experience before you try to offer your very lacking opinion. I don’t care what your Degree cost or how long you spent getting it or where it came from…you’re clueless so just admit it. There’s no shame in that. Well, other than the cost, of course. I wouldn’t dare to tell a person with a Masters in Architecture that that the design of their building was crap…even if I thought it was. I wouldn’t tell the tradesman working his/her ass off to build said building that they were ‘doing it wrong’ because I have no Real World idea of how to ‘do it right’ so why do these people feel so free to tell parents that they’re raising their children ‘wrong’? I don’t get it.

Quite honestly I don’t care to ‘get it’.


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

If you’re too cold hearted to acknowledge that simple fact then I pity you.

Santa Claus lives in the hearts and minds and souls of all Good People of every faith all across the globe. Red suit, toys, and flying reindeer or not, he is the personification of the goodness, love, and sheer joy, that lies within all of us. He is the epitome of that which we as mere mortals with good hearts strive to be every day of our lives; giving, loving, selfless, hard working, and happy.

If YOU can’t understand that then I have only one thing to say to you

Charlie Came Home Giveaway


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In honor of Charlie’s return I thought we’d have a little impromptu giveaway! I’m so happy to have my boy home and I truly believe it is some type of Divine Intervention that led to his homecoming. SO….. pop on over to the site and enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to WIN 1 of 3 SIGNED paperbacks of Women of War (US) or 1 of 5 SIGNED ADVANCE ebook copies of Sister Christian-Genesis. Those ebooks don’t release until 1/1/2015 but if you win you’ll receive yours by Christmas Eve. :)

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