Archive | December, 2012

2012: A (Quick) Year in Review

31 Dec

2012 is ending in less than seven hours, so I thought I’d take a look back at all the momentous (or, at least, momentous to me) things that happened this year. Think of this as the equivalent of a holiday card where I update you on all the shit that happened, except I’m not wasting paper and I don’t have to write so many addresses on so many damn envelopes.

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Co-directed The Vagina Monologues. What a rewarding experience! Probably the best experience I had all year, in fact. It was a great collaborative process, filled with so many fabulous females and a kick ass co-director. I learned a lot about myself along the way, both as a person involved in the practice of theatre/performance art and as a woman. I even wrote up my very own Vagina Monologue by the end of the process, which I’m extraordinarily proud of.

Completed another 365 picture challenge. My picture blog isn’t completely up to date right now, but I guarantee you this was another successful year of picture taking. I plan on embarking on a third year of this project, and this upcoming January I’ll be doing an art show using all the images I’ve taken thus far.

WordPress. I managed, for the most part, to successfully keep this WordPress alive all year long. I know it’s been kind of dead since summer ended (I learned my lesson about posting once a day for four months straight: it burns you out). Anyway, I’m proud of how I’ve been able to keep it up (heh heh) all year long. Hope I keep at it next year!

I went camping. AND I DIDN’T GET KILLED BY A BEAR. YAY.

Mountain Goats concert. I haven’t been to many concerts in my life (for shame), but I’m lucky in the sense that all the concerts I’ve gone to have been amazing, and this one was no exception. I had the privilege of going with Zach, and it was an amazing, cathartic experience. There’s something so healing about rocking out to your favorite songs played live.

Fanfiction. And that is all. (For now.)

The (stupid) crush. The most momentous aspect of my love life this year was that I had a five month long crush that went absolutely nowhere because, while the guy himself wasn’t stupid, the whole process of me liking him was stupid, stupid, stupid. And yeah. That was about the extent of it. My love life was rather boring this year. No me gusta.

Freelance writing. This year I got three (count ‘em, THREE) writing gigs online, one of which even paid me for several weeks (and still does on occasion). Writing for Tough Pigs, Buzz Patrol, and Cool Gizmo Toys has been an absolute treat and a great start to my future as a writer. I look forward to writing more for them this upcoming year.

I read 50 books in one year. Fuck yes.

My cat passed away. This one’s quite sad. We couldn’t find my beautiful cat, Annabelle, back in September and eventually had to assume she had run away. Then earlier this month our neighbor found her, buy, unfortunately, she was dead. While Annabelle drove me crazy on several occasions, I had her for over two years and loved her with all my heart. I can only hope she’s in a better place now (where there are lots of carpets to scratch up and no one to yell at her for doing so).

Applied to graduate college. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Death Anxiety. Heeeeeeeeeey here’s something I didn’t really talk to anyone about because it’s a super depressing subject and I don’t want to make other people sad but that’s okay because I worked it out on my own but it really explains why I spent a while being depressed. Oh boy! Fun times!

Ran the Color Run. Another rewarding experience! I ran the entire 5k with Nate, and by the end of it looked like Kermit the Frog. I’ve done a much better job taking care of my body this year. I run three or four times a week and exercise almost daily. The next step is being more careful about what I eat.

Got a sweet tattoo. I’ve had tattoos on the brain since I was a freshman in college. I had several designs in mind for a long while, but I eventually landed on the idea of a Muppet tattoo (pictured on the left, which reads “couldn’t we ride?” above it). Though the main question I get asked about it is “Oh, you’re a cyclist?” I don’t mind. It’s a tattoo that’s near and dear to my heart. I’m already in the process of planning and saving up for my next one (probably gonna be this behind one of my ears).

Tumblr Popular. I’m not going to delve into this one, but this year I went and gained a lot of Tumblr followers… a shocking amount, really. I know this sounds like a dumb thing to be happy about, but fuck you, I’ll be happy about whatever I so please. All of them have gotten pretty popular recently, and the tumblr I started less than a month ago has already gained 406 followers. The Muppet tumblr, which I’ve been maintaining for fifteen months now, officially has 1,735 people following it. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Did SantaCon for a second time. Here’s a picture of me incredibly intoxicated hanging out with Nate, Pimp Santa, and some girl on the phone. The only thing I remember about the taking of this picture was that I really wanted to sit in that chair.

Obsessions. Let’s face facts: I am the queen of obsessing over things. There were quite a few obsessions to be had this year, but the ones that particularly stand out are: Downton Abbey, Jurassic Park, and The Hobbit. Then, of course, the Muppets are still at number one.

Italy. What a wonderful, gorgeous trip. This was the second time I’ve visited Italy in my lifetime, but unlike when I went at the age of sixteen I felt like I took so much more away from it this time around. We visited Cortona, Assissi, Cinque Terre, Rome, and Pisa, and I took over a thousand pictures while we were there. We were only in the country for a week, but it was beautiful and amazing and I can’t wait to return again. I’m also in the (slow) process of teaching myself Italian.

Tough Pigs. So, technically I joined up with Tough Pigs in December of 2011, but I think it counts more as a 2012 thing, so shut up. I could write an entire blog entry about my love of Tough Pigs, but I’ve already done that (twice). I would just like all my Tough Pigs, and Muppet friends in general, to know how much they’ve touched my lives and made me a better person. You guys are amazing, extraordinary people, and I’m so thankful to know you all. Thanks for making life so groovy. I’ll never think of socks the same again.

2012 in review

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blunt the Knives, Bend the Forks: Julia’s Rambles about The Hobbit

19 Dec

So, I was going to write this majestic entry about all of my intricate thoughts and feelings about my two viewings of The Hobbit and why it is I liked the film so much… but no. Nope, sorry guys, but being home in Portland makes me notoriously lazy and I can’t bring  myself to write something so in depth.

Instead, you’ll be getting the sparknotes. Granted, they’re detailed sparknotes and they’re SUPER LONG, but sparknotes nonetheless. It’s basically gonna be a huge ramble about the film. Also, if you have not seen the film yet and are planning to, you probably should not read. I’m gonna talk openly about spoilers and the changes made from book to screen. Once more, SPOILERS ARE GOING TO BE IN THIS ENTRY. You have been warned.

Let’s start off with the things I didn’t like, since there weren’t many of those.

  • Okay. Azog. The Pale Orc. I get why he’s there. Totally. The Hobbit doesn’t really have just one antagonist, because the characters keep running into different enemies the entire time. I suppose you could say Smaug’s the overarching antagonist, but seeing as Smaug wasn’t even in this film (except for, y’know, a couple of brief glimpses) he’s not incredibly relevant to this portion of the story, now is he? And the trolls and goblins are there, but only for a bit of time each. So they needed someone to create a consistent challenge for our heroes, hence bringing in Azog. As a villain he wasn’t a bad one… but he wasn’t really a good one either…? I dunno, every time he was on screen (except for that last motherfucking excellent battle) I was just kind of like, “Oh. Could care less about you. Hmmm. Whatever.” He just didn’t strike fear into my heart. The Hobbit is no Lord of the Rings, so the villains don’t really match up to Sauron and the Nazgul anyway, but I would’ve liked some form of villain who made me jump a little in my seat. Also, the fact that Azog was CGI really bums me out. Think back to the Urak-hai in Fellowship of the Ring. How lame would he have been if he were completely CGI? Pretty goddamn lame. I feel like Peter may have trusted CGI on this front a little too much. Yes, giant CGI spiders are frightening, but I’m much more scared of a guy dressed up as an orc than a CGI orc running around on a warg. (Plus, oh my god, when he revealed his replacement arm I started cracking up in the movie theater. It looked like a giant fork with bent prongs. Was I the only one who found his arm ridiculously silly?)
  • I didn’t really think the stone giants were necessary. I’m sure they’re from some Tolkien folklore, which Peter and Fran wanted to include in the story, and I did like the things that happened because of them (ie. the heartbreaking Fili-Kili moment (very reminiscent of Merry-Pippin), Bofur freaking out when Bilbo was missing, and Thorin being a bad ass), but the stone giants themselves made me raise an eyebrow and question why the hell they were chucking rocks at each other. I’ve also never been fond of giants made of stone (here’s looking at you, Neverending Story) so maybe that’s just my prejudice creeping in.
  • Me being nit-picky: Frodo and Bilbo’s wigs should NOT have been that long. I’M JUST SAYING.
  • I am a tad disappointed (okay, more than a tad) that we didn’t get to know a couple of the dwarves that well. There are thirteen, so of course we’re not going to get a huge back story on each and every one of them. I knew going in that Thorin, Fili, Kili, and Balin would be the main dwarves (which they were), and I was pleased as punch that Dwalin had a major part to play. As always, I would’ve liked more Bofur, but I can’t argue with the fact that he was one of the more fundamental characters, which makes me oh so happy. Then the rest of the dwarves, though we didn’t get much of them, we did get a sense of who they were by their interactions with the group (especially Ori). That is, EXCEPT for these three: Bifur, Bombur, and Nori. Did Bombur have any lines? No. No he did not, which shocked me since Bombur’s the third most used dwarf in the book. And Nori only had that one line at the end and, I dunno, maybe I’m just hurt because I love Jed Brophy so much and want him to have all the screen time in the world. Also, if Bifur’s back story is never given in any three of the films I will scream during the credits of the last Hobbit film. Gah.

OKAY! Done with my complaints, now onto my comments about the film!

  • MAN. That opening was phenomenal. With Ian’s return as Bilbo, and then all the flashbacks to the dwarves and what they went through? That was astounding and drew me right back into the world Peter Jackson created almost half my lifetime ago.
  • I was a bit surprised at first at how different the feel of this film was compared to Lord of the Rings, but as the movie progressed I found it fitting. The Hobbit is not Lord of the Rings. It doesn’t have the same sense of grittiness and despair. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some of that in this tale, but they’re not setting out to save the world and rid their land of Sauron. They’re out to reclaim their home. It’s much more light hearted fantasy with a good dose of humor, I found, which was perfectly fabulous. Peter Jackson did it (and hopefully continues to do it) right.
  • LEE PACE ON AN ELK. LEE PACE ON AN ELK. LEE PACE ON AN ELK. OH MY GODDDD.
  • In the past, I haven’t been as vocal about Martin Freeman in comparison to my constant rants about the actors playing the dwarves, but man, that guy sold the role. When I was watching him, I didn’t see Watson or Tim or Arthur. I saw Bilbo Baggins. The same Bilbo Baggins I got to know when I was eleven years old; a hobbit who is so out of his element, but at the same time finds his place amongst the dwarves and gains so much in his quest. I was very impressed with Mr. Freeman. I’m looking forward to seeing him continue the role in the next two films, even if that does mean a hold on new Sherlock episodes.
  • Sir Ian McKellen was beyond wonderful, but what else did you expect?
  • Galadriel had such an amazing entrance, and Cate’s ability to play that character with such gentleness and serenity continuously leaves me speechless. She’s a flawless human being. Speaking of returning characters, I loved Elrond’s entrance on horseback and his camaraderie with Gandalf, and also getting a chance to see good!Sauroman for a change.
  • Some of the people I went to see the film with complained that the meeting in Bilbo’s home went on for far too long. I suppose this is true, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I would’ve loved more of that part. I thought the whole sequence was wonderful and fun. Incorporating the music went a lot smother than I expected, and, I dunno, just watching all of the dwarves run about Bag End while Bilbo fretted in that bathrobe of his was marvelous. I had a big, dopey grin on my face the entire time.
  • Except for the changes previously stated in my complaint section, I thought all the changes were good ones. The addition of Radagast was particularly admirable. I found him to be a fascinating character, and the relationship he has with the animals is adorable. I hope he makes more appearances in the future films. Other things that worked: the Elrond/Galadriel/Gandalf/Sauroman council, Bilbo saving Thorin’s life in the end (character defining moment, ya’ll!), the whole second part of the troll scene, and the dwarves leaving Rivendell without Gandalf (I thought that made for a better explanation as to why they were lacking Gandalf by the time they got to the Goblin caves).
  • It was a beautiful film. That goes without saying. The wardrobe, the character design, the set design, the music, the whole thing was basically a continuous eye/ear-gasm.
  • I foresee so many Bilbo/Thorin fanfics. And Bilbo/Bofur. And Bilbo/Balin. And Balin/Thorin. And Gandalf/Galadriel. And Fili/Kili. BASICALLY ALL OF THE SHIPS, NO MATTER HOW NOT P.C. THEY ARE.
  • Bilbo’s relentlessness to put down those two bowls of soup for Fili and Kili was my favorite.
  • I really liked the throwbacks to Lord of the Rings. Gandalf whispering to the moth, the ring falling onto Bilbo’s finger (really drives home the fact that the ring chooses its owner), Smeagol and Gollum interacting, Gloin being very much against the dwarves (YOUR SON WILL THINK DIFFERENTLY, GLOIN), and Bret McKenzie’s elf character making a return appearance. Plus it was so nice to see Elijah Wood and Ian Holm together again (cue the Muppet music).
  • SMAUG’S EYE OMG FREAKING OUT WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT SO LONG FOR THE NEXT FILM???
  • The whole goblin caves and Riddles in the Dark scene was, by far, my favorite of the entire film, and definitely the one that kept me the most captivated (in the sense that my mind didn’t really wander off to thinking about how much I wanna bone James Nesbitt). The riddles scene was especially well done, and DAMN has that technology that makes Gollum possible gotten good. I loved the way the riddles were delivered, and the acting done between Martin and Andy. Of course I liked the lead up to all of that (ie. the Bofur and Bilbo BROTP talk where Bilbo is sort of a dick), and I really like how the creative staff chose to have the crack be not in the wall but under the dwarves, so that they all fell through to the Goblin lair. I found that to be much more effective, and it certainly got my heart pounding. Then Dwalin’s just being a motherfucking bad ass as they all fight their way out of the caves. Yes. Best part.
  • Someone give Andy Serkis an award. Or two. Or ten. Or all of them. Yeah, just give him all of the awards. He deserves it.
  • Okay, and here it is. The part where I rant about all thirteen dwarves. Brace yourselves, lads, this might take some time.
    • Thorin – Fran said in an interview recently that this story was just as much Thorin’s as it is Bilbo’s, and I’m so glad that they took it in that direction because it really is. Thorin’s not exactly my favorite character (a little too brooding at times), but Richard did such a damn good job with him. You really got a sense of what he’s been through over the years – losing his grandfather, father, and kingdom – and why it’s so important for him to take his home back. I had a much easier time sympathizing with Richard’s portrayal of Thorin than I ever did when reading the book.
    • Dwalin – OH HAI MOST BAD ASS DWARF IN ALL THE LANDS. I don’t like beer, but I’d share a pint with this motherfucker any day.
    • Balin – I knew Balin was going to be important to the story, seeing as he’s quite prominent in the book, but I didn’t know that I was going to love him so much. I like how they play up his friendship/loyalty to Thorin and have him (and Dwalin) in a lot of the flashbacks. As a friend said to me, Balin’s a true dwarf in look and in feel, and I find that to be very true.
    • Fili & Kili – Okay, I cannot lie, these two are effing adorable. The part where they were separated on the different stone giant’s legs tore my heart in two. You just get how eager they are to see battle, and at the same time how naive they are about the ways of the world. And, okay, yes, they’re easy on the eyes, which doesn’t hurt.
    • Dori – While I’m a bit disappointed that Dori never once carried Bilbo on his back like he does in the book (I guess the idea of Mark totting Martin around is a little farfetched), I still really liked his character. The way he offered Gandalf tea in the beginning was precious, and from that interaction alone you got a definite sense of his character. I also liked his relationship with Ori. It’s easy to see what an overprotecting, and slightly bossy, older brother he is.
    • Nori – Grumble grumble, not enough Jed, grumble grumble. He did have one cute moment where he and Bofur were fighting over sausage links at Bag End… But seriously though. More sass monster Nori in the future, please.
    • Ori – I thought that, out of all the dwarves that were under used, Ori was the one that stood out the most. His outburst at the dinner scene about the dragon was a clear sign that he was eager to show that he’d be willing to fight, but then once the battle scenes came you saw just how scared he really was. When the Goblin King said they were going to torture the youngest one and the camera cut to Ori, I wanted to scream. In short, Ori is my precious baby (and I kind of want to marry Adam Brown).
    • Oin – One of my favorite moments of the film was when Oin shoved his napkin into his ear trumpet to block out the Elvish music. Oin’s not having any of your shit, Elves, so GTFO.
    • Gloin – I’VE GOT WORMS THE SIZE OF MY ARM.
    • Bifur – You know something, I think Bifur’s actually the most fascinating character of all the dwarves, and the fact that he was so underused is a shame. The fact that when I say Bifur and most people don’t know which dwarf he is, well, that’s a fucking shame. I feel like everyone missed out on the fact that Bifur speaks an impossible to understand language, having to do with the fact there’s an axe lodged in his head. I know the details of his back story (due to this fabulous interview William Kircher gave), but I’m still really hoping it’s revealed in one of the films, as I think it’d make for a pretty emotional part.
    • Bombur – I was reassured by Stephen Hunter via Twitter that Bombur would have more screen time in the future films, so fingers crossed! I want the fact that he has fourteen kids back home to come up at some point. Also, more Bombur-Bofur brother scenes.
    • Bofur – Oh my. Here we are. Where to even begin with this one? It’s no secret that I absolutely adore this character. He’s pretty much all I’ve talked about these last couple weeks. I’ll be honest, I was worried that I had over hyped Bofur for myself before I even saw the film; that I went and fell for the idea of the character rather than the character himself. I am thrilled to say that was very much not the case. I’m exceedingly grateful for the amount of screen time James got, especially when compared to some of the other fabulous characters. Bofur got many of his own moments and he managed to steal just about any scene he was in with either his comedy or his surprising tenderness. I was a bit disheartened at first, seeing as he didn’t get his own entrance into Bag End, but instead fell through the Hobbit Hole with all the other dwarves. Then he began to have lines, little snippets here and there, and then the bit about the dragon, and you got a great sense of who this character is. He is such a genuine, sweet character, who enjoys joking around and is constantly smiling, and also the optimist of the group. Plus it was easy to see how much he cares for everyone around him, especially Bilbo as the story progresses. He had quite a few of lines that made me laugh out loud, and I especially enjoyed his disgruntled chatter when he was being rotated over the trolls’ fire. His relationship with Bilbo had to be my favorite. I’ll admit, I would have liked an extra scene or two between them, to better establish the growth in their relationship, but I’ll take what I can get. I just love how he went about teasing Bilbo throughout the film, but then when the moment came where Bilbo was going to leave Bofur was the one that stepped up and begged him not to go (which, okay, everyone else was asleep, but you get the sense that Bofur would’ve been the only one to plead the same case had everyone been conscious anyway). I just love how he saw Bilbo for more than he was before any of the other dwarves did. And yes, when Bilbo snapped back at him about not having a home, my eyes welled up with tears. One word: BROT-fucking-P (even if Bilbo was kind of a dick during the exchange). I’m also slightly disappointed because James said he sang a song in this first film, so I guess that means it was cut. I’m REALLY hoping for more Bofur in the extended edition, especially if it means getting to hear him sing some more (anyone who’s seen Jekyll should know by now that man can definitely carry a tune). Maybe we’ll even get more Bofur-Bifur-Bombur interactions. That would be nice. In short, I’m so happy that Bofur has, indeed, turned out to be a phenomenal character. I look forward to seeing his relationship with the other characters, and him as a character, grow more throughout the film’s journey. (James Nesbitt, you sexy Irish bastard you, good job.)

eight word story.

14 Dec

Beautiful blonde.

Phone rings.

Year passes.

Beautiful bald.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas.

9 Dec

Recently I’ve been trying hard to be content with the moment; to live in it. We so often get wrapped up in what’s to come that we forget to take a moment to ourselves, which is why I’ve tried so hard to not over anticipate the future, but to, instead, appreciate the present.

That being said, I’m so glad it’s time to head up to Portland for Christmas break.

It’s been a rough couple of months, both emotionally and school-wise, but I have no doubt that this holiday season’s gonna be a good end to a really “meh” year. I’ve already made plans with friends, such as doing the Santa-Con pub crawl for a second time, visiting the new aquarium, seeing The Mountain Goats in concert, going out for drinks, playing Nancy Drew video games, something to do with cheesecake, and going to the midnight premiere of The Hobbit and feeding the flame that is my Bofu obsession with a group of good friends.

Then there will be the time I get to spend with my family. I’ve already made plans to spend an afternoon with my little cousins, who I barely ever get to see, as well as spending Christmas night with the entirety of my mom’s side of the family. Then there will be the much needed time spent with my dad and brother decorating the house. My family’s plum crazy about Christmas, and turning our home into a Winter Wonderland is always a highlight of the holiday season for me. I also made my dad promise we’d go see Les Miserables on Christmas day, so there’s something else to look forward to.

I’m hoping I wont be my usual lazy self when I go up north this year. I’m not planning on a holiday diet or anything, I’m just hoping that I can drag my sorry ass out of bed and go out running a couple mornings each week, as I normally do. Maybe spend a little less time in front of the TV and computer as well. And, okay, maybe try to watch my cookie and fudge intake, as it normally does go up around this time of year.

The holidays are just such a joyous time of the year. Being with friends and family, exchanging gifts, going out and having fun – gah – I love it.

As I sit here, sipping the coffee my boss got me from Morning Glory next door, I can’t help but think how this is my last Christmas break. The last time I’m gonna have to pack a suitcase for two weeks to head back up to Portland. The last time that sense of relief washes over me as finals draw to an end. This time next year I’ll be graduated, most likely jobless, and already living back at home with my dad. Will my family be driving me crazy at that point? Will I spend the holidays next year cooped up in my room on my laptop? Will this month mean the same thing as it always has in the past? This time of year, while certainly about the holidays and spending time with loved ones, has always been sort of break from real life, since it’s when school ends for a short amount of time and I don’t feel bad about shirking my to do list off for a couple weeks. I can’t help but wonder where I’ll be a year from now, and what state of mind I’ll be in. I guess only time will tell.

But for now? For now I’m utterly grateful for this winter season and a chance to head back home. I have only the highest hopes that the next 2.5 weeks will be a joy to behold, and I plan to treasure every moment.

photo(2)

what is it with me and short men in fiction?

6 Dec

This last week has consisted of me falling head-over-heels for a fictional character who I haven’t even been fully introduced to yet, simply based on short clips, behind the scenes footage, promotional pictures, and the fact that he’s in one of my favorite books/franchises of all time, and I’m too embarrassed to admit to the crush in a non-Tumblr based setting because I’m fairly certain the world wouldn’t understand, seeing as it already don’t really understand my thing for non-conventional, older men. Le sigh.

Oh, and finals are finally over and I get to go home in three days… Wahoo!

Returning to Middle Earth: Getting Stoked for The Hobbit

2 Dec

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is coming out here in the states in twelve days. This is a cause for much joyous celebration, obviously, as it’s been nine years since we last got a Tolkien film directed by one Mr. Peter Jackson. The fans all seem to be excited for this film. I should know, as I am one of them.

As a teenager, the Lord of the Rings series were a big part of my life. When I say that, I’m not talking about the books. I mean the movies. I’m ashamed to admit I still haven’t read the book series in its entirety (though, to be fair, I haven’t attempted since I was fourteen, so I assume I would be able to get through the books if I were to try now. It’s not my fault I could never make it passed Bree. Blame Tom fucking Bombadil and his boring ass chapters. I don’t care if he’s supposed to symbolize God or Satan or Christ or whatever theory you abide by, that doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s a sucky character). I did read The Hobbit in middle school though and then twice more in high school, and oh how I loved it.

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61GvwuyTa4L._SL500_AA300_.jpgBut the films are what became an important part of my youth. I wasn’t allowed to see Fellowship in theaters, because my parents deemed it “too scary” for an eleven year old. I suppose that was a reasonable worry, but at the time this left me feeling upset with them. All my friends had seen it in theaters (and by that I mean my four closest gal pals), and they would talk about who they were in love with and who their favorite character was, while I just sat there not understanding the concept of a Ringwrath no matter how many times they tried to explain it to me. Finally, the film came out on DVD. My parents sat my brother and myself down to watch it with them, prepping us for Orcs and Ringwraths and anything that might scare us. During the entire film there was only one part that truly freaked me out: that scene where Bilbo’s eyes bug out and he looks like he’s about to eat Frodo’s soul. Fucking creepy, man.

Look, it's seventeen year old me with my Frodo cardboard cutout and we're both wearing pirates hat! Because NERD.

Look, it’s seventeen year old me with my Frodo cardboard cutout and we’re both wearing pirates hat! Because NERD.

It was all uphill after that. I saw the second and third films in theaters (each three times), I convinced my mom to buy me the Frodo life size cardboard cutout from the local comic book store (which, to this day, I still have), I began writing (shitty) Lord of the Rings fan fiction, I claimed Frodo as the love of my life, I went as Galadriel for Halloween in the seventh grade, my friends and I attempted to make our own Lord of the Rings movie (pretty sure we got as far as the three elves in the prologue), and I broke the One Ring off of the bookmark my dad gave me so I could wear it everywhere I went. Yeah, Lord of the Rings was kind of a big deal for me (though it still comes in second for middle school obsessions, right after Newsies). Not to mention my senior quote in the yearbook was “Home is behind, the world ahead and there are many paths to tred.”

As I’ve aged, the Lord of the Rings films have remained a sacred thing to me. I do an annual Lord of the Rings marathon once a year, where I’ll hole up in the sanctuary of my bedroom and watch all eleven hours of the uncut DVDs in a row. The first time I did my marathon back during freshman year I invited other people to watch with me, but I quickly wised up after that, seeing as no one would shut up and I had to keep telling everyone to be quiet. Normally I don’t mind silly banter while watching movies, but for Lord of the Rings it’s different. I hate to say it, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but watching those films is just about the closest thing I have to a religious experience nowadays. It’s ridiculous how much I’m not exaggerating right now.

Look! It’s John Watson! … I mean Arthur Dent… or… that pornography stand in from Love Actually… uh… the police chief from Hot Fuzz… um… shit, I’m sorry, who is Martin Freeman playing again?

It should come as no surprise that when I found out Peter Jackson had finally gotten the rights to make The Hobbit a reality, I was ECSTATIC. I remember finding out that Martin Freeman had been cast as Bilbo while I was at work, and literally jumping out of my chair in order to repeatedly fist pump the air. I also remember sitting in the car with my father around Christmas time last year when the first ever Hobbit trailer was released. I made him shut off the music so I could watch the trailer on my measly iPhone and, by the end, I was in tears (I also seem to recall my dad telling me I was weird, but whatever). Needless to say, I’ve been waiting a long time for these films to be made and I have a lot of feelings about them.

So it’s weird that for the last couple months my excitement for this film has been, shall we say, pretty non-existent. Despite doing a Lord of the Rings marathon only three months ago, I just really wasn’t feeling the enthrall of it all. Of course I still intended on seeing the film, but I clearly remember a week or two ago thinking to myself, “Well, I’ll just see it a day or two after it comes out. I can wait. No big deal.” If twelve year old me had a TARDIS you bet your sweet bippy that she’d travel into the future to slap two-weeks-ago-me in the fucking face for being such a terrible fan.

I think, for the most part, I can chalk up my lack of enthusiasm to this rough term. Not that the term’s been rough because of school (though I have a hell of a bad case of Senioritis, and I fear the disease is growing steadily worse), just the mood I’ve been in. I’ve touched on before on this blog, but I’ve been going through a bit of a depression and I’ve been having one major existential crisis. I’ve been drained of any drive whatsoever as of late, and it’s really sucked. A lot. Though, recently, I seem to be getting better, or at least my thoughts aren’t as dismal as they were several weeks ago. So… yay?

But then something wonderful happened. This last Tuesday I wrote up an article for Buzz Patrol about the world premiere of The Hobbit over in New Zealand. Writing this article led to me looking at many pictures and videos of the premiere, as well as stumbling across this Hobbit parody video (I’m sure Rachel has wondered by now why the song “Shots” has been playing on repeat in my bedroom for the last four days straight. Whoops). Before I knew it, I was posting a Facebook status asking Portland friends to go see the midnight premiere with me, and within a couple hours Valerie and I had teamed up to head a Hobbit viewing party/sleepover.

This whole getting excited for The Hobbit totally has nothing to do with this sudden attraction to Bofur. What? Who said that? Not me. Shut up.

This whole getting excited for The Hobbit thing totally has nothing to do with this sudden attraction to Bofur. What? Who said that? Not me. Shut up.

And now, suddenly, I’m super excited. I’m reminded how much I love the Tolkien franchise in general and Jackson’s films. I’ve remembered how awesome it is to be a fan and get excited over new shit being released. Hell, I already have a favorite dwarf picked out from promotional pictures alone (hint: it’s Bofur).

Then today, for one reason or another, I decided to start rereading The Hobbit. A tumblr friend just finished going through the book for the first time, and I’m pretty sure all of her entries about reading it were what persuaded me to start it up as well. I had sort of resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to pick up the book until after I see Unexpected Journey, but this morning I grabbed my annotated copy of the book and hauled ass to work. I’m normally a slow reader, so a part of me was worried I wouldn’t be able to get through all of it before Wednesday evening, but seeing as I’m already four chapters in I don’t think I have anything to worry about.

As I was reading The Hobbit in my freezing cold office, grateful that Sunday mornings at the motel are always non-eventful, I started to cry.

I’m so fucking thankful that Peter Jackson’s directing this second trilogy. A while back Guillermo del Toro was set up to direct these films, and while I love del Toro’s work (especially Pan’s Labyrinth), I was saddened to think that the entire feeling of the films would be different than the first trilogy… but that changed. Thank goodness that it changed. We get Jackson again. We get to return to the world of Middle Earth; the same world Jackson established over ten years ago. It’s the same Shire, the same landscape, the same style of costumes and weapons, the same actors returning to reprise roles, and it’s just so fucking wonderful. I’m invigorated with the knowledge that I get to go back to that feeling I had when I was twelve years old and sat down to watch The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time, and so thankful that I get to experience it all over again three more times.

I can’t hardly wait for the fourteenth.

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