Friday, November 30, 2012

Okay, okay, I shall admit the irony about my previous post. I am still a teenager myself. But I don't scream.

On a better note, the Association for the Education of Jorunalism something-something-something is celebrating its 100th birthday today and had cake (a strawberry cake and a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing) out in the lobby of the comunications building. So I gave my last speech of the semester and then got cake! It made up for a lot of the high schooler idiocy.

The Jesus people were again not present. Perhaps the high schoolers scared them off. Or maybe they simply got tired of preaching to the squirrels...

The landscaping people are digging up the president's lawn again. Why are they doing that? It appears to have something to do with water lines, however. Does the lawn need a new sprinkler system?

Also, back to Paradise Lost, people were taking it far too seriously. One girl was quoting Genesis by chapter and verse. Really? You can definitely tell we are in the Bible Belt... Christian, a fellow Catholic, admitted to trolling the class about Milton being inspired and God not being perfect in trusting satan and commented that everyone's reaction was like, "18 Bibles being pulled out of thin air." Which is the most hilarious and most apt (aptest?) thing I have heard in a long time about Bible-thumpers...

Pardon me while I go laugh myself silly again...

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Invaded by Screaming Teenagers


"GRRR! Too many high schoolers! Could not get lunch because of them!"

Seriously. We have been invaded. Inundated. Overwhelmed. Swamped. They are clueless (even more clueless than me) and annoying. A much better use for Portal e-mail instead of sending me messages begging me to join the Rugby Club would be to warn us all real college students when irreverent high schoolers invade.

On another note, today is my 220th post.

On another note, I went to the bathroom in the Guillot without Priscilla turning up to haunt me. Priscilla is the ghost of a girl who hung herself in O'Neal Hall, which was there before the Guillot was. Perhaps Priscilla is responsible for the insanely long lines... that might actually be a better method of haunting people.

In literature yesterday, we covered Paradise Lost. There were many sympathizers for satan in there. (No, I do not capitalize 'satan'. He isn't deserving of it.) They were debating many philosophical and theological points and I was scribbling counterpoints in my book- and I usually don't write in my books. It got so bad that people were suggesting that God prevented satan from repenting. Hello? The text said the fires of Hell inside satan prevented him from accepting repentance- that is, that an internal, not an external, force prevented him. I'm not even drawing on the Bible here, peoples!

My personal conspiracy theory: satan hijacked Paradise Lost (which means, I suppose, that he hijacked Milton) in order to have himself portrayed more admirably.

I make a very good conspiracy theorist, although I don't theorize about the usual things.

Also, the Jesus people weren't out on campus yesterday. It was a very nice change. I almost missed them. Today, however, high schoolers were screeching and hanging off the amphitheater... I'm not sure which is more annoying. There's a lot more high schoolers. But they're not handing out literature. On the other hand, they're everywhere...

Grr.

 
 
Can you tell that I found new Dwarf posters for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? XD Of course I have. I found a very nice collection online, but what else would you expect from a website called www.thorinoakenshield.net? I have a VERY extensive collection of Dwarf pictures. I really don't have many of LOTR stuff in comparison. Seriously, I probably have more of Thorin than of anyone else individually. I'm not really sure how that came about... He isn't even my favorite character. It's probably simply because he is one of the main characters and so there is a lot of very nice art depicting him.
 
ANYWAY. In the above picture, that is Balin on the left and Dwalin on the right. I still think Balin looks a bit like Santa Claus. Without a moustache. And with a sword. Santa Claus who joined the "bikers' gang of Middle-earth", as the producers put it.



And this is Bombur, Bofur, and Bifur, from left to right. I just love Bofur's hat. I know I've mentioned it several times before, but it's just so adorkable!!!

And, no, I don't care that I've posted three Hobbit pictures in one day, since I have more than enough to last me until December 14th.

In other news (yet again), I have discovered the Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth and the Protectors of the Plot Continuum. I have correspondingly developed an insane love of mini-Balrogs and Elrond. In fact, I think I am deciding that Elrond is my second favorite character of Middle-earth, right after Eomer. If I go insane enough, I will post fanart (not mine, of course) of LOTR charactesr from the Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth in black leather. Seriously. People draw this. It's apparently called the Black Leather Alliance of Men and Elves. However, I love Elladan and Elrohir and Glorfindel, so I ain't complaining...

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Thursday, November 29, 2012


"Is that ANOTHER Dwarf I hear at my door?"

In other news, now that the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has come and gone, reviews are leaking out onto the Internet. I am trying to avoid any further spoilers, especially about the plot, though I consider any pictures and stills fair game. I've heard there's a TV spot that shows Smaug's tail and leg, or something like that- bits and pieces of him, at any rate-, but I refuse to go look it up.

Goodness, it it just 15 days away?

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


And so am I.

I am also counting down the days until the end of the semester. Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday... and then exams. I have three exams on Monday. However, one of them really doesn't count, and the other two are spaced far enough apart that I can study in between.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Monday, November 26, 2012




The thirst for secrets, by a kind of instinctual reaction, seems never to be stronger than in those eras when people appear to reject all mysteries.
 
– T. M. Doran

Honors Forum, 11/26/12

Tonight's speaker was Dr. Barry Morris, current councilman for District 6 of the City of Florence and a Professor Emeritus of Economics here at UNA. Hilariously, what he said to Dr. Brewton's mentioning of his political status was, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Looks like someone's been reading up on their Ronald Reagan!

Dr. Morris was easily one of our more engaging and memorable speakers. He put a lot of energy and conviction into his talk, and he had a lot of great points to make, even if most of them concerned economics. I guess that's no surprise, when he taught it for over thirty years. I suppose he must get really annoyed at some people's financial decisions and wants to scream, "Economics do not work that way!" I know I want to yell stuff of that sort a lot, but it's usually versions like, "Science does not work that way," "You fail logic forever," and, "You fail history forever."

Speaker of which, maybe I should visit those lovable logic-less Jesus people again tomorrow and give them another run for their money...

ANYWAY. Back on track. Back on track. Dr. Morris said that, in order to love your neighbor as yourself, you have to love yourself first. That is a good point- and one that probably most of us have never stopped to consider before. (G. K. Chesterton would not approve of such thinking failure.) Dr. Morris said our responsibilities are first to those who are dependent upon us- our family- and we are to ensure that they are taken care of first before moving to take care of others. A principle of first and second things, really. In other words, we are to help other people from a position of strength.

Then commenced the economics lesson. Dr. Morris explained with a help of a handout and numbers why buying a Mustang right out of college is stupid, and why investing that money instead is a good idea. His style of diction throughout was very entertaining, such as when his sheet stated, "Crusing the mall is dangerous to your wealth," (good thing I avoid the mall like the plague, then!) and, "Buying beer and pretzels on your Visa card does not constitute proper use [of debt]."

To simplify, I was very surprised that the words "Dave Ramsey" were not brought up at some point during his talk, because everything he said was very much Dave-approved. And I approve of Dave in almost everything.

It is true; you really don't have to have it now. Delayed gratification is a great and important concept that more people need to learn. When I see something I like, one of the first questions I ask myself is, "What would I do with it?" That kills a lot of wants. For instance, while it would be incredibly awesome to have a full-size replica of Frodo's sword, Sting (yes, they sell them. They also sell full-size Andurils), I would do nothing with it. This probably explains why my Christmas list is pretty much limited to LEGO's and books... and a music CD or two... and a Hobbit poster...

NO! NO! BAD ELYSE! VERY BAD! YOU PROMISED YOURSELF YOU WOULD NOT TALK ABOUT THE HOBBIT ON THIS LAST OFFICIAL HONORS BLOG POST! BAD!

...Ahem. Sorry about that. I had to go slap some sense into myself. I need to get this post over with before I have a second lapse of concentration.

After reiterating that one should get one's fiscal house in order to help one's family before helping one's community, Dr. Morris stated that a community is only as good as its citizens. Its politicians do not make it a good place. I suppose he wanted to imply that they don't necessarily make it a bad place. Perhaps I should have asked him why on earth we need two more Wal-Marts in Florence. (I am including the Wal-Mart Marketplace going in next to the Darby Drive parking lot.)

Honestly, I hope the new Wal-Marts fail. I'd also like to know why, after having consolidated Bradshadw and Coffee and put 7th and 8th with the 9th grade at the 'Freshman Center' (which I always thought made it sound like an institution for juvenile delinquents or something), they feel it necessary to build a new structure for the 9th grade. Florence has done more school rearranging around through the years than one would believe possible. Perhaps they should have left the two high schools alone. It was a good rivalry...

I still remember that Coffee lost the last football game with Bradshaw. I have no idea how old I was at the time. My dad went to Coffee, you see.

I guess having just one high school to root for unites the town, but still. Politics is a mess- the dirtiest business on earth, to quote Dr. Saraiva from Set All Afire. It's probably also one of the oldest professions.

I sincerely hope I never get involved in it. Whenever you get near people, there's just layers and layers of stupidity.

Oh, dear. I'm sounding a bit misanthropic here. Time to sign off.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

"GASP! Is tonight our last forum?"

XP See, I managed to work The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in with school! I am becoming a master at this!!

Although it does appear that the Dwarves (and Bilbo) are recoiling from something... It looks like Bifur will try to poke whatever it is with that big pointy thing on a stick he is holding... Dwalin doesn't look too concerned, though. Then again, he is Dwalin and probably not very concerned about most threats.

love Bofur's hat! It is just too cool for words. Plus, Bofur has the most adorkable smile of all time, and the end result is just charming. How can you not love Bofur?

The ninth production video for TH:AUJ  has come out, so go check it out! I was reading on The One Ring.net's message boards today, and people are still complaining about how the Dwarves don't have long enough beards. I want to go bang my head against the wall. The defining characteristic of dwarves is probably their shortness, not the length of their beards. As someone who loves to buck common fantasy stereotypes (you wouldn't believe the dragons in my stories), I love the idea of dwarves like Bofur and Dwalin and Thorin and Fili and Kili. (Yes, I have favorites by now. Can you tell?) The portion of axe embedded in Bifur's head, not so much, but all the same...

Oh, and I've had a bit of Fridge Logic (this time I've been kind and provided a clickable definition) concerning their beards. I mean, wouldn't long beards get in the way when they're mining ore or working at the forge? What if they accidentally hacked off part of their beard or caught the end on fire? What if it got stuck in something? Long hair and loose clothing need to be restrained to create a safe working environment! Of course, they didn't exactly have OSHA back then...

Apparently, some sort of Christmas pageant will be held in the Wesleyan auditorium. We walked in today to find costumes hanging up, wooden beams and boards for some sort of inn/stable place, hilarious plush crowns, and baskets of plastic food. While his music was playing, Dr. Mikey wandered over to inspect the loot. I am pretty sure he was thinking something along the lines of, "Potatoes did no exist in 1st cen. AD Palestine," since he mentioned that potatoes come from South America in one of his lectures. It was also on the test, I think...

Also, instead of blogging, I should be looking up stuff for my persuasive speech. Meh. I'm just feeling so demotivated about that class...

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Friday, November 23, 2012


Evil is the failure to live freedom well.
 
 – T. M. Doran

Since I have finishsed with my little Dwarf a Day project due to having posted all of the character posters for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I shall have to resort to posting other Hobbity stuff from now on. This little gem comes from The One Ring, and I found it too funny not to share.

In other news, I have the bare minimum of volunteer hours required for honors program now, so I am happy. Hopefully, Dr. Brewton will be happy as well (although I shall do a few more hours before the semester is up).

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


This here is Ori, the younger brother of Dori and Nori. Thank you forever, Professor Tolkien, for giving Dwarf siblings rhyming names. It really does help in learning names and relationships.

Ori is the Dwarf geek. No exaggeration. He's the skinny one whom Dori is always looking out for, who is always scribbling away in his diary, who still has the purple ribbons his mother tied in his hair, and who is so polite. His beard, though, reminds me of Mr. Tumnus... His LEGO minifigure has the same shape hair piece as Lloyd Garmadon, which I find hilarious. It's the stupid bowl cut.

So, if you like geeks and knitted mittens, Ori's your man! Or Dwarf.

Yes, I'm referencing the production vlog #3. Go watch it. It's one of the best ones.

Oh, and I am posting this a day early for Thanksgiving, since tomorrow I shall almost certainly be too busy, going to Mass, running to one uncle's house for lunch, then running to another uncle's house for supper... yeah. I love it, though. I love all of my family. I love seeing my relatives. It's always great fun.

Few things make me sadder than families that don't get along or are separated for some reason.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

This is Oin. Oin is the brother of Gloin. You could probably figure that out from their names. That means Oin is Gimli's uncle. Since PJ and crew have made Oin the group medic in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, we now all know how and why Gimli knows that he has his axe embedded in the uruk's nervous system.

On more of a downer note, during Balin's expedition to retake Moria, Oin was eaten by the Watcher in the Water. Not a pleasant fate! Frodo almost succumbed to the same, but thankfully he had Sam, Aragorn, Boromir, and Legolas around to help him out, at least in the movie.

I do not know if I will be able to get around to posting tomorrow. I don't think I will be. Oh, why not, I'll just post tomorrow's picture tonight. It's not as if anyone looks at the date over the post anyway, right?

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


As you can tell from the caption, this is Nori. He is the younger brother of Dori and the older brother of Ori, so there is definitely sibling name theme going on there. Nori has the most improbable hairstyle of all the dwarves, including his eyebrows braided into it. His knives are cool, though.

Oh, and Nori is apparently a trickster. According to promotional material: "No one is really sure what Nori gets up to, except that it's guaranteed to be dodgy and, quite probably, illegal." For some reason, that strikes me as hilarious.

Bonus fun fact: Nori is played by Jed Brophy, who also played in The Two Towers the older orc, Sharku, who helped Aragorn to 'take a little tumble off the cliff'. Naturally, the last time we watched The Two Towers and came to that scene, I had to yell out: "Nori just pushed Aragorn off a cliff! Bad Nori!"

I really need something better to do.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Monday, November 19, 2012

Honors Forum, 11/19/12

Unfortunately, we did not get out for Turkey Day. The freshmen, of course, did. The French phrase c'est la vie may or may not be appropriate here; I think it means, "Such is life," but as I am particularly un-gifted with French I may very well be wrong. Marcela...?

And, no, I don't know any other phrases in any of my other languages that would fit, other than an Italian one that is eluding me at the moment... Aha! Che sara, sara. Is that it? UNA doesn't even offer Italian, does it...?

Anyway.

Our speaker tonight was Dr. Tom Osbourne, a UNA history professor emeritus (which, we were assured, means that he retired in good standing with the university- sort of like an honorable discharge, as he put it). He is also a deacon with the Episcopal Church, for added distinction. He told us a bit about his duties as a deacon before diving into explaining about his work with Kairos and The Help Place.

Before I get into all that, though, I think I should definitely mention one thing he stressed to us: there is an understandable human reluctance to get involved in service work. This reluctance can never fully be erased, just as actors never fully get over stage fright, but it can be overcome by long practice.

My opinion is: So what if you didn't want to do the work? The important thing is that you did it. Maybe my opinion on that is a bit skewed since I am often like that myself. I try to take a little comfort from a story in the Bible, one of Jesus's parables, where the father goes to his sons and tells them to go out and work in the fields. The elder says, "I will go," but doesn't, while the younger son says, "No, I will not," but later goes and does as he was told anyway. I feel a lot like the younger son for some odd reason... I grumble interiorly (and occasionally exteriorly) but I go and do it anyway...

Actually, though, I don't mean my service work. I love playing for the residents at Merrill Gardens. I don't mind at all when I hear them tapping on their walkers in time to the music. It just makes me happy that I've brightened someone's morning.

Anyway. Back on track again.

I wonder how many people knew what kairos was before Dr. Osbourne explained it. Not everyone showed up, to begin with. I have a habit of 'collecting' Greek words that I like and their meanings when I stumble across them in my various philosophy books, so, yes, I can tell you what kairos is and what thlipsis is and what logizomai means. So... khronos and kairos... (By the way, I'm not sure if it's kronos or khronos; I've seen it both ways. Percy Jackson and the Olypiams- great reference, I know, but Rick Riordan does his homework- goes with Kronos. I suppose it depends on whether or not it's spelled with a kappa or a chi. ??? Any Greeks want to enlighten me?)

Khronos refers to purely temporal time, such as that measured by a clock and a calendar, while kairos is a particular time, "the fullness of time", whereat something appointed happens, regardless of khronos. Kairos is a very fitting name for a sort of three-day retreat with inmates in prisons. No matter their circumstances, no matter the time, it is always the perfect time, the kairos, to "get right with God", to borrow the phrase.

So, I think I've explained the Kairos program. Dr. Osbourne also brought up the Help Place, which is also an inter-denominational effort. They distribute food and clothing to people and also help them pay their bills. I think St. Vincent de Paul's does that as well- there is always a note in our church bulletin about how many cases they've had that week.

One sobering statistic came when Dr. Osbourne said about 80% of the people in prison or coming to the Help Place for assistance were in those circumstances due to drugs. That is very sad. Drugs seem to be the bane of America. I can't countenance using drugs under any circumstances, but I haven't been in their shoes. I guess I just can't understand it...

Joy. Surprised By Joy. (Anyone get the reference?) Yes, joy is definitely a fruit of self-giving in service. However, I think people get joy confused with pleasure and happiness too much.

To borrow the example from Peter Kreeft, pleasure- that is, satisfaction derived from physical things and comforts, or things that please the body- is a superficial satisfaction, like the level ground. Happiness, or satisfaction derived from things that please the mind, like solving a difficult problem, is a deeper satisfaction, like halfway down a canyon. Joy, which is contentment deep within the soul, is all the way at the bottom of the canyon, in the Colorado River (geography class is getting to me).

Joy starts in the heart and rises outwards to flood the whole person, mind, body, and soul, with its warmth. Joy is a powerful force. Joy can live amidst many sorrows and turmoils, since it is rooted deeper and thus is not affected by them, as mere physical satisfaction and pleasure will be. Joy is a free gift from Heaven; it can't be duplicated. You may receive it from God on account of your actions, but you will not always get it. You cannot count on being happy just because you did something for someone else. Ingratitude will kill any natural feelings of happiness. But joy won't be touched. Joy isn't the reflected happiness of someone's positive response.

And now that I've composed an ode to joy (does anyone get that reference to my favorite tune?), I'll have to mention that in life there will be trials and tribulations where we will not have joy to sustain us. And that's when you begin to function on willpower and grace alone, the true "chance to show your quality, the very highest". (Does anyone get these references or should I give up and crawl away under a table somewhere?)

Dr. Osbourne ended his talk by asking us: "What is your joy? Do you know what your joy is?"

He was greeted with profound silence, of course. He mentioned that he has asked that question several times, and always gets "paralysis" in response. I did have a response for him, but something so deep is hard to put into words. It's hard to talk about something so deep to your heart. It's easier for me to write about it than talk; here I have the opportunity to think about what I'm saying and there's a certain level of emotional detachment.

Moreover, I didn't think I'd be understood if I tried to explain where my joy is. It's hard to explain the Blessed Sacrament to someone who doesn't believe in it...

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Ideas create idols; only wonder leads to knowing.
 
 – St. Gregory of Nyssa

Kili In All HIS Honor And Glory



A few days ago, as my faithful readers (haha) may have noticed, I posted for my Hobbit Picture of the Day Fili, the young blond dwarf, and added two more pictures of him for whatever reasons of my own.

Well, today we have here his younger sibling Kili! Kili is the youngest of the dwarves in The Hobbit, and in the movie he actually resembles his uncle, Thorin Oakenshield. The three of them- Thorin, Fili, and Kili- have become known among the international online Tolkien community as 'the hot dwarves' (no exaggeration) and Kili probably demonstrates the most as to why that is so. The other half of the online community just bewails his lack of a beard. My opinion: He looks great, so hush and enjoy the movie. What else did you expect a young dwarf to look like?

Based on the way Fili and Kili are shown prominently in advertising art for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I will predict that they will have a significant part in the movie. (It is equally likely that Peter Jackson is banking on all the idiot fangirls going to see the movie just because they saw posters of said 'hot dwarves'. Yes, I'm cynical.) Based on the way Bofur seems to have gravitated to the front of many group shots despite (I think) not having any speaking lines in the books, he will be important, too. However, he has a cool hat and an adorkable smile, and so I shall not complain.

Since I am in a Kili mood (today is Kili Day on my blog!), I am going to gratuitously post more pictures of him, just as I did with Kili. Why not? It also helps that I'm listening to, "Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold," from the trailer as I type this...

 
 
This is the picture that started it all with the 'hot dwarves' concept. I suppose you can see for yourself why that is so. Some people have accused him of looking too Elvish. I never really saw that. I actually saw that with Fili, due to not having read the book in a while and thus not remembering that he (and Kili, incidentally) are actually supposed to be blond. So when I saw his picture (entirely by accident... I was roaming through Thain's Book over a year and a half ago looking for updates on Silmarillion stuff when I happened to click on the Dwarf page. I was astonished to find dwarf pictures from The Hobbit and quickly scrolled down the page for more), I went, "WHOA, he looks like an Elf!"
 
When I got to Kili, on the other hand, I just flat-out stopped and said to myself (it was the picture above- not the one at the top of the post, but the second one), "That is not a Dwarf. That is a Gondorian. There is no way that can be a Dwarf."
 
For bonus points, here is another picture:
 
 
 
The detail I appreciate the most about Kili's outfit is the glove on his right hand. Kili shoots a bow in the first trailer (and you can see him carrying it or shooting it in various trailers and promotional material). While Legolas went through three movies without any protection on his hands, Kili gets this three-fingered glove that would actually provide some protection against the bowstring. (I know this from real life, yes.)
 
For even MORE bonus points, here's a picture of Fili and Kili together:
 
 
"At your service!" XD
 
Hmm... Kili looks taller. Must be the Longbeard genes. Maybe my theory of Fili taking after his dad is true, after all...

In UNA news, never was the cancellation of a class greeted with greater rejoicing than that of COM 201-HO1 today. I happened to be the bearer of the glad tidings of great joy, since I was the one who actually noticed the sign next to the door. Cue rejoicing in the lobby of the com building and Jacob giving me a hug because, he said, he otherwise would have gone and sat in the classroom for an hour. XD It's nice to spread some good news around. I also got to spread it to Savannah, Kennedy, and Trey.

"Class is cancelled!" *thumbs up* "Yay!"

"Class is cancelled!" "Yay!"

"Class is cancelled!" "Awesome!"

Repeat ad infinitum.

The only annoying part is that I have to do research for my persuasive speech now. Well, it ain't happening tonight. I might start studying for my geography quiz, because I actually like geography and care about that class. Speech... not so much.

In other UNA news, I learned today that there is a projection room for the Wesleyan auditorium. I know that because I had to take a test there today, for lack of empty classrooms and empty offices.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Saturday, November 17, 2012


For those of you who cannot read the caption, this is Gloin, the brother of Oin. He is also the father of Gimli, for those of you who have not seen The Lord of the Rings or read its marvelous pages. Gimli is certainly introduced as, "Gimli, son of Gloin," often enough!

Now, Peter Jackson seems to have certainly made an effort to differentiate between his dwarves in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. However, there does remain a certain family resemblance between Thorin and Kili, for instance, but especially between Gloin and Gimli. Which is very appropriate. We can only imagine that Oin was a redhead too, when he was younger.

Here is Gimli for comparison:



Now, I did have a picture of Gimli that is perhaps better for comparison, but I thought this one was funnier (I have dubbed it the "Gimli Oops" picture), so it is the one that shall grace this blog.

And as you all should know, I won't be posting a Hobbit Picture of the Day tomorrow. However, I shall return on Monday. And Monday's picture shall be an especially good one. *smirks*

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Friday, November 16, 2012

And Now For a Pointy Hat Trick



 
 
Yay! I was finally able to post this Hobbit poster of Gandalf! Of course, in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey we are back to Gandalf the Grey, so get any lingering notions of Gandalf the White out of your head. (We're also going to get Radagast the Brown in his magical bunny rabbit sled, but I don't have any posters for him.)
 
 
Today I actually don't have much to talk about, other than to note that the geography department is still being razed. That's what the furniture in the middle of the ground floor Wesleyan corridor is about, if you were wondering. Dr. Mikey explained it all on Wednesday. Someone knocked an old barometer off the wall and it broke. Naturally, it contained mercury. So the haz-mat team had to come in and rip up the carpet and burn it, along with everything else that was contaminated. Now they have to finish cleaning, put down new carpet, etc. An involved process.
 
Also on geography: I think I broke the speed record for exams today. I don't know at what time I started, but I was walking out of the room 14 minutes after the hour. And it was a 10-pager, too.
 
Okay, okay, there had been an error with the copier and half of those pages were blank. There were actually only 40 questions, all multiple choice. But it's fun to brag and say, "I finished a 10 page test in 14 minutes!"
 
In Pace Christi,
 
Elyse

Thursday, November 15, 2012


As you can see, today's Hobbit poster is decidedly not of a dwarf, but rather of the Lady of Lothlorien, Galadriel. She is not actually in The Hobbit itself, but they're sticking her in the movie to help explain the parts about the White Council (i.e., what Gandalf gets up to while he leaves the dwarves to fend for themselves).

This is all part of an effort to have female characters in the movie, since there are absolutely none in the book. The only named female character in the book is Belladonna Baggins, Bilbo's mother. Not that I had even considered the lack of female characters before it was pointed out to me, mind you. I'm not the sort who needs women protagonists to like a story. I like good characters, that's it. I'd like to side with Christian, who said in literature a few days ago that he was tired of all this feminism stuff. I'm tired of it, too! I've only done a few of my reading responses from a feministic point of view because I could think of something to write for them.

Anyway.

The other day, I saw a dude on campus with a Charmander hat. Seriously, Charmander, Pokemon #4, which evolves into Charmeleon and then into Charizard. Yes, I remember all this. I am sad. Either that, though, or he had an orange octopus hat with green eyes.

The other day I was looking at other people's blogs in the honors program. Most are passably up to date- none, of course, have embraced their inner blogger to the extent that I have. Some, however, are weeks or even months behind. My next words are addressed to said culprits: IT'S ONE OR TWO PARAGRAPHS A WEEK FOR AN EASY A! GET ON WITH IT!

Ahem.

I would also like to motivate them with the words of our esteemed honors program director:

Reading over your blogs I am seeing some great and interesting responses to our speakers. I'm also seeing interesting reflections on the other things going on in your lives right now and naturally there are a lot of things going on in your lives right now. So jolly good.
Some of the other blogs are still not so hot. Need some hotness there. Failing Forum means no scholarship for the spring and repeating Forum next fall. Q. How cool would that be? In a class with the new Honors students. A. Not cool. And that's the best case scenario.
So, to whom it may concern, get with the program, which in this case is the Honors Program. If you are absent from class for any reason, aliens abducted you, whatever, it's still your responsibility to research our speaker and the topic addressed so that you can write intelligently about it. Yo!

Vince

This is an email he sent out last year on October 22nd. Yes, I kept the email, simply because I thought it was hilarious. I am posting it in an attempt to get everyone else to do your homework. Yes, I am "that person". I am the person who in computer class today, who when everyone began logging on to Facebook because ANGEl was down and they 'couldn't get to the Access tutorials' said, "Hey, you can just google it..." And promptly 2/3 of the class turned around to shush me. I am the only person on campus who wants to do my homework, methinks...

And yes, concerning the above copied e-mail, you had better be careful what you say or send to me. You just never know when I might resurrect it to haunt you.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fili In All His Honor And Glory

 
 
I feel very sorry for Dean O'Gorman. Once The Hobbit hits theaters, he's going to have legions of mindless, obsessed fangirls who will stalk him for his portrayal of Fili just as much as they did Orlando Bloom for Legolas.
 
Anyway, so this is Fili, the older of the two nephews of Thorin in The Hobbit, despite what it actually says in the book. Personal theory: Fili takes after his dad, since Kili looks like Thorin and they are related to Thorin via their mother. Betcha didn't expect a blond Dwarf! And a hot one, too... No, I didn't coin that term. However, Thorin, Fili, and Kili are now known collectively as the 'hot dwarves' across the globe. I am not kidding. I have seen the term on several fan websites by now. Which leads back to my sympathy for Dean O.
 
As to the title of this post, my brother has decided to start saying, for reasons of his own, "Fili in all his honor and glory," whenever Fili or Kili is brought up. It's become sort of a household meme, you might say.
 
I feel like posting a bunch of pictures, and I have more than enough from all the lurking I've done on various Tolkien websites, so here's another for absolutely no reason at all.
 
 
 
Oh, what the heck. I'll add another.
 
 
 
In my defense of what seems like shameless Fili-ogling on my part (because it isn't), I liked Fili and Kili long BEFORE any images from the upcoming movie came out. I have stated this before. In the book, Fili and Kili are the two cheerful, helpful Dwarves always running around with Bilbo and Balin and being sent to do stuff the older Dwarves didn't want to do. But they never complain. You just can't help but like Fili and Kili. So I actually like Fili and Kili for their characters, and not for their actors' appearances. Although the latter is a bonus, you might say.
 
As long as Peter Jackson keeps Fili and Kili's characterization right in the movie (and I do hope he does... there is a rumor about some craziness he may attempt with Kili... *groan*), they shall remain my favorite characters, tied for first place. Bilbo will come in second. Of course, once I see the movie, that may all change. I am predicting that Bofur shall be pretty funny and that I shall like him as well. What's not to like about Bofur? He has a nice hat and the most charming, adorkable smile ever.
 
Of course, who's to say that I won't decide that the fangirls are too much and I shall switch my loyalties to some unappreciated character, as I have done with Eomer in LOTR.
 
In Pace Christi,
 
Elyse



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ramblings and Pictures


Tuesday's Dwarf of the Day here is Dwalin, brother of Balin. In the movie, Dwalin is the real warrior of the bunch, with runes spelling out the Dwarf battle cry (Baruk Khazad! Khazaid ai-menu! -- The axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!) on his knuckles and so forth. He is one of the larger Dwarves, coming in at about 5'1'' or so. Yeah, not very short for a Dwarf. Thorin is supposed to be 5'2''. Dwalin is also bald on top, even more so than Bombur, so he'll be recognizable for that.

Predictions are being made that he will say some epic line that will become a meme, just like the infamous, "They're taking the hobbits to Isengard!" and, of course, "One does not simply walk into Mordor."

In other Hobbity news, the soundtrack for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey can be previewed online a month in advance. Yay! Here's the link, if I can get Blogger to work: http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=35757 Happy listening!

I have a new Middle-earth related theory to state. I have outlined in a previous post about my reasons for picking Eomer as my favorite character, most of them due to the alarming extremist tendencies of Legolas's fangirls. (I have even found Elrond fangirls. Yes, Elrond fangirls. The Hugo Weaving guy. With fangirls. The mind boggles. And I thought Legolas fans were scary... then I saw what the Haldir fans were saying about him. YIKES!!!)

Anyway, this new theory of mine is somewhat related to the Eomer preference. We were watching the second disk of The Two Towers Extended Edition Sunday when I came up with it. My theory goes like this: King Theoden almost completely ignores Eomer in the movies due to lingering, selective amnesia caused by Saurman possessing him.

This is Theoden:



Theoden's Saruman-induced amnesia was total at first, but memories gradually returned. This is why he says to Eowyn when he sees her: "I know your face... Eowyn." He's just now recognizing her again. Further proof is that it takes him a few minutes to think of his son (and then they have to break the bad news to him...).
However, Eomer was not around to remind him of his existence, and so the memories of Eomer as his nephew and his Third Marshal of the Riddermark were not triggered and thus returned. However, his men talked about Eomer being gone with most of their best Riders, so he was able to deduce that Eomer was one of his important military guys. He was probably also told that Eomer was his nephew, but without his previous memories of him Theoden had no emotional attachment to him.
Thus, by the time Eomer does arrive on the scene, it is too late and Theoden's memories of him are gone forever. Theoden is grateful to Eomer for saving his hide, but cannot bring himself to act as fatherly towards him as he does to Eowyn. Eomer, therefore, goes off to console himself with people who actually appreciate him, like Legolas and Gimli (and Aragorn- in the book, they became quite good friends, the four of them). He even referees their drinking contest.
Any flaws with this theory can be ascribed to lingering black magic from Saruman's possession of Theoden. It makes perfect sense. I'm going to believe this from now on and chant it to myself in order to assuage my righteous indignation on Eomer's behalf whenever I see him being ignored on screen from now on.

Poor Eomer. At least he gets to look awesome in battle. (I positively adore his armor!)

 
 
Why am I putting so many pictures on my blog today? I don't really know. I am trying to learn more about Blogger, however. Learning how to put pictures on my blog is a big achievement for me. If I have indeed managed the hyperlink above, I shall be very happy. I want to know how to do this kind of stuff on Blogger so that at the end of the semester when we have to video ourselves and upload it to our blogs I shall not be totally ignorant.
 
See? It's all for a good purpose!!!! I swear it is, precious!
 
Leaving all Tolkien stuff, I have a few things to say about UNA. One is that the Jesus people were at it again today. When I came out of Stevens, one was orating from the amphitheater and the other was revolving like a top at the end of the bridge, practically throwing literature at everyone who passed by. They don't get the picture. They insist on preaching to us that we are all going to Hell unless we throw ourselves at their feet, repent of all our wicked ways, and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.
 
Y'know, that old adage about catching more flies with honey rather than vinegar holds true. It really does, folks. Yelling about the pains of Hell isn't going to get too many jaded college students to repent. Nor is stuffing literature full of the same going to get you anywhere. And for Heaven's sakes, if someone doesn't want to take it, don't stand there in front of them holding it out for so long that it becomes really awkward and the student is forced to take it. Because you did that to me today, and I wasn't happy about it.
 
Also, you Jesus people Fail Logic Forever! I have noticed that logic is not a popular concept nowadays, but these Jesus people have simply defenestrated it (i.e., thrown it out the window). One does not simply defenestrate logic and not suffer the consequences. One of the consequences is me then mocking you on my blog.
 
For example, in one of the two pieces of Jesus people literature foisted upon me today, it said that not even Baptism can save a person from Hell. What? Seriously, what? They fling Bible verses around with abandon- usually from their beloved St. Paul- but they've apparently forgotten that whole bit about being "born again of the water and of the Spirit".
 
However, I'm not gonna march up to them and remind them. They'd probably zero in on the crucifix I wear and start screeching about how I, a heathen papist, am going to burn in the flames of Gehenna for my idolatry and my Mary-worshipping and my statue-worshipping, my calling priests "Father", etc., ad nauseam.
 
I tell you, it's these annoying people that give Christianity a bad name. *sigh* How about what a saint said: "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." These people seem to believe: "Preach the Gospel at all times with as many words as possible. If necessary, hit people with Bibles."
 
Yes, I'm annoyed. Can you tell?
 
In Pace Christi,
 
Elyse

Monday, November 12, 2012

Honors Forum, 11/12/12

So, yes, naturally we had school on Veterans' Day. There was some sort of ceremony- I saw the ROTC people as I entered Wesleyan- but I couldn't go to it because I had a class.

Anyway, tonight our speaker was John Rusevlyan. I can't even pronounce that, so it's a good thing I don't have to do that on this blog. He is the Immediate Past President of the Florence Rotary Club. What is an Immediate Past President? It sounds like a grammatical verb tense, y'know, like past perfect, pluperfect, irregular, etc.

And why is it called the Rotary Club? That is what I should have asked, but I just now thought of it. Is it because they sit in some sort of honorary circle like re-enactors of King Arthur and his Round Table? Off to go do good deeds of chivalry in service to the community and whatnot.

Mr. Rusevlyan also said he owned Weichert Reality, or something like that. I don't know how to spell it. It wasn't on his PowerPoint. Dr. Mikey does that, too- he rattles off names of locations and he doesn't write them down for us! So how does he expect us to make notes of it for the exams??

Anyway, the Rotary Club has half a million responsibilities, missions, objectives, and duties. Seriously. Mr. Rusevlyan would finish one slide of them and then bring up another. It's like, DUDE (or club), pick one and stick with it! Most of them were repetitive, though... which leads to me saying, DUDE (or club), it's not called the Redundancy Department of Redundancy for no reason. (TVTropes.net strikes again!) Consolidate! Even the Boy Scouts are more concise, and they have both a motto and a slogan. As well as a very cool oath. I think the Boy Scouts are amazing. I wish the Girl Scouts were that good. No, they sell cookies and promote horrible things.

To list some of the redundant missions, responsibilities, objectives, and duties of the Rotary club:

It's object is to encourage service by (1) socializing and networking (if I had a dollar for every time I've heard that word this semester...) (2) participating in service problems (2) supporting the Rotary Foundation financially (of course!) and (4) developing leaders to serve above and beyond the club level.

The members' duties, on the other hand, include the (1) service (2) recruiting and (3) attendance aspects of it. Attendance is very important. I would like to write, "Attendance," on a textbook and go around banging the heads of everyone who doesn't show up to class with it. That would be a very big reason why I don't want to be a teacher for any reason. The students would constantly demotivate me with their apathy to learning. (There may be shades of hypocrisy in this because currently I have a very demotivating teacher. However, I don't think she knows or is trying to be demotivating, so it's a little different.)

I just really can't countenance not attending class. Sometimes I don't want to, sure. I'm just like everyone else. Tonight it was cold and dark and rainy-like and I really didn't want to go to Forum. But I went. It's my job to go to school, so to school I go. And I do my homework and all that good stuff. So if I joined a group, I would attend.

That's an idea. Teachers should be able to smack students with textbooks if they skip class because Halo 4 came out and no other reason... Or, if that fails, they should do cool things on the days when only the dedicated few show up. Like that wonderful day in Chemistry 112, the Friday before spring break, where only 20 or so showed up out of 72 students. Dr. Gren took us outside and set balloons on fire.

BEST. DAY. EVER.

Where was I? Oh, yes, rattling off Rotary stuff. (I can tell I'm a Catholic. I keep trying to type 'rosary'.)

The Rotary also has several avenues of service: (1) club service, by strengthening fellowship and maintaining club functions (I snicker whenever I hear the word, "fellowship," because, as you might guess, LOTR music starts playing in my head) (2) ??? I have no idea what this one was. I had barely finished writing down the first one before he advanced the slide. Stupid fast talkers! It may have been personal service. I'm not sure. (3) community service (4) international service.

The Rotary club's mission is to (1) improve health (2) support education and (3) alleviate poverty. Good luck with that, guys! No wonder you are to the Optimist Club near allied. Despite what some people think, we cannot cure everything wrong in this world. There will always be some poverty, some evils, some despair. Our human nature is broken and failing; our planet has been stained with our evil, and our enemy is constantly prowling about like a lion, searching for someone to devour. I'm not saying they don't have a worthy goal. It just reminds me of this:

A man that would expect to train lobsters to fly in a year is called a lunatic, but a man that thinks men can be turned into angels with elections is called a reformer and remains at large. - Peter Dunne

We have a very large amount of such people at large.

Do I sound disillusioned? I probably do...

Oh, and the Rotary Club ALSO has a 4-way test. When I saw the four on his slide, I immediately thought of 4-H. Oh, goodness. You can tell what kind of upbringing I've had. Anyway, the 4-Way Test is what you are supposed to ask yourself before thinking, saying or doing anything. Thus: (1) Is it the truth? (2) Is it fair to everyone? (3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? (4) Will it be beneficial to all?

I have issues with the 4-Way Test. Would you like to guess why? Because of the inherent contradiction in it. It fails logic forever! And ever! It's wishy-washy, feel-good, and morally relativistic. No doubt it was coined to work with not only a wide selection of professions but also a wide variety of religions. The problem is, that the first question, that of truth, trumps all the rest, and it can, and often does, contradict the third.

"The ugly truth" is not a phrase for nothing. Truths sometimes are harsh. Coating them in sweet words do not make them better, to paraphrase Soren from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Sometimes, the truth has to be said. And people do not always like hearing the truth. They stoned the prophets because they didn't want to hear the truth. So sometimes you've gotta tell the truth and it WON'T build goodwill and better friendships. So what's a Rotarian to do?

I don't know. The cynical side of me says: The Rotarian is going to keep his mouth shut and maintain his goodwill and friendships.

Rotarians, can you prove me wrong?

Truth is a first thing, because Truth is a Person, Jesus Christ, and He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow forevermore. One day, we'll be held accountable to Him. I have a feeling it won't be pretty- for any of us.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

One Blog To Rule Them All


    Resuming our blitz of all things Hobbity, here's Dori. He is mentioned as the strongest of the Dwarves in The Hobbit, and he is the older brother of Nori and Ori. Do you notice a certain theme going on with their names?

     In the book, Dori is also often the one fishing Bilbo out of scrapes, such as helping carry him out of the orc tunnels, help him up a tree to get away from the wargs, and so forth. In the movie, he is also going to be on the lookout for Ori, who is basically the geek of Dwarves. Yes, a Dwarf geek. LOL. It's gonna be great. But we'll see Ori when we get to him.

    Oh, and no, I do not know what is going on in this picture. It appears that Dori is sloshing milk all over the place. It appears the food fight at Bag End has gotten underway. However, why they chose such a scene for a character poster is beyond me.

    In UNA news, today was freezing. Tomorrow, it's supposed to be even colder. Note to self: wear two layers of everything tomorrow. It's times like these when I really wish UNA would build a bus stop for those having to wait on shuttles. If we only had to wait five minutes, it wouldn't be so bad. But today I stood in the wind and the cold for twenty minutes. The Florence Parking Garage has a shelter, and so does Lion's Den Apartments. There is at least one glass bus stop shelter on campus- it's over near Stevens. Why can't they build one near the fountain? It can be tastefully done and put off to one side. But noooooooo.

    While I was standing at said bus stop the other day, I happened to look up and notice that in one of the large oak trees is a big bunch of mistletoe. I am willing to bet that most people cannot recognize mistletoe in any other form than hanging from a doorway during Christmastime, and that they do not know that it is, in fact, a parasitic life form that grows on tree branches, primarily oaks. (Or, at least, I've only ever seen it growing on oak trees.)
    Most people probably also do not know why you're supposed to kiss under it. Granted, I don't understand that part very well, either. But I do know that it ultimately comes from Norse mythology, where Loki (not the Tom Hiddleston version) killed Baldur with a spring of mistletoe. How mistletoe could kill anyone, let alone a god, is a plothole. Mythologies are full of plotholes, you see. They sort of run on plotholes. They're like bad fanfiction, in that respect.

    Oh, and speaking of bad fanfiction (in addition to the fact that there is going to be a lot of that centered around Thorin, Fili, and Kili come December 15th), bad writing isn't a new thing. My literature class has taught me that. Lanval by Marie de France was basically a Mary Sue fanfic with gratuitous Ron the Death-Eater treatment of Arthur and Guenevere. (If you do not understand those terms, please refer to tvtropes.net.)
    Today, I did a reading response on Petrarch. Audrey, Marcela and I have come to the conclusion that Petrarch was a creepy stalker who needed psychological help. C'mon, he wrote 366 poems over the course of about 20 years about some girl he may have seen only once! Certified nutcase.

    Also in UNA news, I had a geography quiz today. Hailey and Emily from the Honors Program probably studied, but other than them I may have been the only person who actually studied for the quiz. While a few of us were waiting for the previous class to vacate the room (that class has a bad habit of lingering), some were discussing about how hard it was to study for this quiz. Apparently, Europe has too many countries and they're all too small, so those kids decided not to study because it was too hard and they'd just bomb the quiz because Dr. Mikey said he'd drop one.
    My thoughts: What if you bomb the map quiz on Southeast Asia or something like that? What do you do then?
    Europe is not a hard continent to study. Dr. Mikey didn't even have Andorra, Cyprus, San Marino, Vatican City, Belarus, Lithuania, etc. on the list. We had three mountain range, a few seas, four rivers, and the major cities, in addition to the major countries. Malta was the hardest thing on the list of things to study, and it wasn't even on the quiz. I was very disappointed. Dr. Mikey had even shown us pictures of Malta. The hardest thing turned out to be Amsterdam, and that still didn't even fluster me.
    I really wanted to scribble a note to Dr. Mikey on the quiz, something along the lines of, "I'm disappointed that Malta wasn't on here," or "Was this supposed to be challenging?" However, that would probably have been impertinent, and the rest of the class would have hated me had they known I sort-of-wanted to petition for harder tests. Well, maybe not necessarily harder tests, but at least tests that are less insulting to my intelligence.
    I'm willing to bet that most of the people in that class are just there for the general ed requirement. 90%, easy.

    Oh, and this is my 200th post. Go me! I am truly the Blog Queen of the Sophomore Honors Program. I have the ONE BLOG TO RULE THEM ALL! MWAHAHAHAHA!

In Pace Christi,

Elyse
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.

- G. K. Chesterton


That was the cryptoquote today in the Times Daily, in honor of Veterans' Day. Why did I put it in big type? I am not real sure. However, it deserves big type, as it is a quote by G. K. Chesterton (a.k.a. the Apostle of Common Sense) and it was for Veterans' Day. Several members of my family have been in the armed forces, ranging from WWI to WW2 to Vietnam.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I know it's late, but I got a picture up today! There will be no picture tomorrow, as we do not turn on our computers on Sunday in my family. Sundays are a day to rest, and I have never met someone who could tell me that computers are restful.

Anyway, here's Bombur! He will probably be known to most casual moviegoers as "the fat Dwarf", which sums him up fairly well. He is, indeed, fat and there are many jokes made at his expense in the book. He is the brother of Bofur and the cousin of Bifur. Apparently, he is the only other married Dwarf other than Gloin. I'm not sure if they made that fact up for the movie or if it's listed in some of Tolkien's background material.

Here Bombur looks unusually contemplative. Not sure why. Perhaps he is thinking of his next meal.

In other Hobbit news, tickets for the first showings of the movie have already gone on sale. Here's where the hilarious part comes in. The movie doesn't open for over a month, mind you, and already its ticket sales have flattened both Skyfall and Breaking Dawn: Part Two. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey earned 33% of ticket sales this week, with James Bond at 31% and Twilight at 28%. I find this immensely amusing. However, it is also worrying. I may not be able to see The Hobbit until next year!

Oh noes!

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Friday, November 9, 2012


Bofur is just as adorkable as the rest, isn't he? Gotta love that hat, even if people say it makes him look Mongolian. He even has his musical instrument, as he does in the book. Some behind-the-scenes footage of the unexpected party shows the Dwarves playing music- Dwalin appeared to have some sort of stringed instrument, possibly a viol. I think the whole scene in Bag end is going to be hilarious. I do hope the scene of Kili and Fili turning cartwheels in the entry hall makes it into the movie.

Bofur, by the way, is the brother of Bombur, a.k.a. the fat guy, and their cousin is Bifur. They are not related to Thorin and the rest, and are not descended from the Longbeards. They are ordinary, working class dwarves, who joined the Company partly because they want to seek their fortune and partly because they were told the beer was free. At least, that's what the descriptions on the back of their action figure boxes says. XP

Updates on the graffittiing (how on earth do you spell that?) college cars: apparently, Alpha Lambda Delta was involved. I saw today a car painted like this: "Alpha Lambda Delta loves Sigma Chi." I could have sworn it was Zeta Tau Alpha. Anyway.

Also on the subject of painting cars, what is with the word "Mafia" written on them? I'm not entirely sure I want to know, however. That some Greek organization is involved is pretty much a given.

And why are Halloween decorations still up around town? Usually, those are yanked down November 1st and plastic turkeys and stuff like that go up, if it isn't already blow-up Santas, candy canes, and liberal application of blinking icicle lights.

Back to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the fourth TV spot has come out! I can't wait! I can't wait! I can't wait!

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Thursday, November 8, 2012


And heeeeeere's Balin! I meant to put him up yesterday, mistakenly thought I already had, and instead put up Bifur. But here he is now, and a very pretty poster this is, too!

Balin is the second Dwarf to arrive at Bag End, coming soon after his brother, Dwalin (whom we shall see in a few days). If memory serves me correctly, Balin wore a red hood, and Dwalin had a blue beard. (??? Really, Professor Tolkien?) Balin is the real Nice Guy of the Dwarves, becoming good friends with Bilbo and coming to visit him in the Shire sometime after their adventure. Balin also serves as the chief look-out of the Company. He is a cousin or distant relative of some sort to both Thorin Oakenshield and Gloin, Gimli's father, whom we shall see in a few more days as well.

Those who have either read The Lord of the Rings or seen the movie know, however, that, perhaps heartened by the success of retaking Erebor/the Lonely Mountain, Balin took some Dwarves and tried to retake Moria. That... didn't go over so well. For those who didn't really understand why Gimli was so upset over a random tomb in The Fellowship of the Ring, you know have the chance to become acquainted with Balin and then become really sad when you realize he dies in some messy fashion. (Along with a couple others, but let's just wait until I post their posters. Post their posters... that sounds a little redundant.)

In other UNA news, one of two things needs to happen, or maybe both: (1) force all students parking at Darby Drive to take parking lessons and (2) repaint the parking lot lines there. Apparently, no one can park in a straight line. It's understandable somewhat when the lines are practically invisible, but what is not so understandable is when a dozen or more cars are parked side-by-side, and each successive person has felt the need to pull up a little more than the last person. Thus, there was not so much a line of cars as a crescent of cars. And then people pull up on either sides and it just gets messy. Very messy.

One girl today got out of the bus in dismay: cars were parked both in front of her and behind her, boxing her in. Fortunately, there was not a car to her right and she was able to pull out diagonally. If not... yeesh.

Note to self: park at the far ends of the lines, where there will be less chance of this happening to myself.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Am Beyond Officially Hobbit-Obsessed

I have spent several frustrating minutes trying to find out how I managed to find on Blogger's confusing layout how to set an image as my background. As you may surmise, I intended to put a very nice Hobbit poster as the background. The only problem was, at that time I had not found a Hobbit image with enough pixels to serve as one grand background, so Blogger took my smaller picture with its smaller amount of pixels and multiplied it across the screen until it looked like a kaleidoscope. Not what I wanted.

Now that I think I have found an image with enough pixels, I cannot find where I had gotten to on Blogger to even add such a background, which is annoying. I had really wanted to stick Gandalf with his hat and stick walking through the Shire in the background. It would have been really nice.

However, Blogger is evil, and the Precious is once again lost. At least I'm not being as melodramatic about it this time.

My very own version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey countdown has made me do an astonishing amount of blogging, however. I'm not the only one, though. Today I stumbled across someone's blog on Tumblr, and they (I think) seriously had a crush on Fili. Or his actor, Dean O'Gorman. I'm not really sure which, and it didn't seem to matter to the Tumblr blogger. Both, perhaps. Fans can be terrifying...

Don't worry, I'll get posters of Fili and Kili up soon. Actually, I intended to put Balin up today instead of Bifur, since I was going to start going in alphabetical order. Oops. Anyway, I'll put up Balin tomorrow, unless I forget. I'll have to try to get some sort of commentary on each poster, too. There's a very nice poster of Galadriel, for bonus points. Was not expecting that. She appears to be holding her Phial. Hmm. Where's the Elrond poster? He's cool (especially in armor) and is actually in the book...

Oh, and a note on Bifur, since I forgot: you'd think he would be the brother of Bofur. However, it is Bofur and Bombur that are brothers, and Bifur is their cousin. Go figure.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

There And Back Again

I have finished re-reading The Hobbit. It has been a wonderful journey; I have truly gone there and back again with Mr. Bilbo Baggins, and Thorin and Company. I have been to Rivendell and over the High Pass of the Misty Mountains and through Mirkwood to the Lonely Mountain itself. I have grieved over what was lost and I have rejoiced over what was gained.

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
 
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
 
- Bilbo, Chapter XIX, "The Last Stage"
 
 
In Pace Christi,
 
Elyse

I'm not sure exactly what Peter Jackson was thinking with the bit of orc axehead embedded in Bifur's head. (It apparently makes him only speak in Dwarvish. ???) However, I shall still trust in Peter Jackson, who is rapidly gaining a lot of respect in the cinematic world that was formerly accorded to George Lucas, who has earned the undying ire of his fans by betraying them in selling Lucasfilms to Disney Of All Companies.

The first thing, actually, that struck me about Bifur is the multicolored arrangement of his beard and mustache. The actors of The Hobbit are predicting that beards will come back in style; if they don't, it won't be for their lack of trying. The Dwarves all look very cool, and fans who bewail Fili and Kili's comparative lack of beards should just be quiet. They still look very Dwarvishly cool.

So now we know who we're going to have as president for the next four years. I'm not really surprised. I am also not surprised at learning of voter fraud yesterday. Apparently, some lady who works for ACORN was helping UNA students register to vote, but held back the registration forms for Republican-oriented voters. So they went to the polls yesterday and couldn't vote.

SHAME ON THEM! This should really be publicized more. In addition to more Hobbit coverage.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Tuesday, November 6, 2012



Aaaaaaaand I am pretty sure everyone who stumbles across this tiny little blog knows exactly who this is. If not, there is a helpful caption in the top right corner of the poster that spells his name out for you, and a helpful caption in the bottom right corner of the poster that tells you in what movie he shall be appearing soon.

In other news, my piano teacher (who is not much of a LOTR fan herself but whose husband is) knows Gollum as "that creepy little man", which I find hilarious for some reason. I am willing to bet that a large percentage of the American population knows Gollum only as 'the Precious guy' or some permutation thereof. "My Precious!" is, after all, his iconic line.

*sniffle* I am getting close to the end of rereading The Hobbit. The Battle of Five Armies has just concluded, with all its drama and loss. I won't spoil the ending for you, since I urge you all to go read it yourself. But I will say that I felt like crying since, in rereading it, I have picked up on a lot more nuances that I missed in the past. A children's book? Children can read it, yes, but no adult who picks it up will find it stale. The Hobbit does not deal with sentimentality; it has true emotional depth. And then there's The Lord of the Rings...

I had a literature test today, and two of the passages I analyzed were from Beowulf, both illustrating very well the prevalent theme of loss in said poem. So I went at them from that angle. The theme of loss is a very beautiful, tragic, and poignant theme if done rightly (if not done rightly, it ends up being mostly snark bait... like, say, Hamlet). There are few things in my opinion that can rival the end of the timeline in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings for sheer heart-breaking capability: "Then Legolas built a grey ship in Ithilien and sailed over the sea, and it is said that with him went Gimli, son of Gloin. And at that was truly come the end of the Fellowship in Middle-earth."

Now pardon me while I go bawl my eyes out.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse

Monday, November 5, 2012


How do you like this one? This is the next in a series of character posters for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I'm going to try and make my own little countdown of sorts with pictures for The Hobbit on my blog. We've seen Thorin's poster, so now it's Bilbo's turn! Doesn't he look so brave and adorable with his hobbity clothes and Sting?

It's kind of funny. I started out with The Lord of the Rings and not The Hobbit, actually. (By the way, for any of you out there reading this blog- if there are any lurkers, I mean-, I do not recommend doing that. By all means, read The Hobbit first. Everything will make much more sense that way.) I had seen, but not understood very much of, the animated Hobbit movie, and there was a short explanation in the Prologue of LOTR that I thought would tell me everything I needed to know. It didn't. So I was a little confused when I read LOTR the first time. I didn't know what was the deal with the Eagles, and I didn't have much appreciation for Bilbo. To me, LOTR was everything.

I did go back and read The Hobbit later, though, I assure you.

However, I have recently taking to re-reading The Hobbit before classes in preparation for the upcoming movie. Even though the narrator's voice (absent in LOTR) kind of turns me off, I have been amazed at how good The Hobbit actually is. I love Bilbo now, I seriously do! He's such a plucky Hobbit for someone who didn't even really want to go on the journey. He didn't even know how to use a sword at the beginning of the book, and then in "Flies and Spiders" he's chopping away at them like nobody's business, trying to save the dwarves. And then he tells off the dwarves when they're complaining, and taunts a dragon. He gets a little singed for it, but that tells you just how amazing Mr. Baggins really is.

So, yeah, I am now a Bilbo fan. BEFORE the movie comes out!

As another note, yes, I do like Fili and Kili. They're the youngest two dwarves, and they're just as adorable as Bilbo. However, I consider myself to be of a different caliber than the fangirls they will inevitably attract in the movie, since I liked them BEFORE I saw pictures of them from the movie. They're the most cheerful dwarves in the book, always running around with Bilbo (and Balin), helping him and scouting around. All the older dwarves always make them go do stuff they don't want to do themselves, but they don't really complain. Just gotta love Fili and Kili.

Plus, there is one moment I found rather heartwarming- the scene where Smaug is ravaging the slopes of the Misty Mountains in an attempt to find the secret door and kill all the dwarves. Thorin orders the dwarves to help him haul up Bofur and Bombur, as well as their supplies, to get them inside the secret door before the dragon spots them. However, he sends Bilbo, Fili, and Kili already inside the door, saying that "at least some of them should live". I just went, "Awwwwww," when I read that. Since Fili and Kili are young dwarves, they're always being told to do stuff since they're stronger. However, in this moment, when their youth and strength would be an advantage to rescuring Bofur, Bombur, and the supplies, Thorin gets them out of the way, trying to keep them safe. It's like, see, he really does care about his nephews. Awwwwwww.

And that makes the end of the book all the sadder. *sniff*

...I think I'm going to have to console myself with watching all the trailers and TV spots again.

In Pace Christi,

Elyse