Things I Love Thursday #27

Love x List

The Lord of the Rings. Yes, I am officially a secret fangirl, and this past week my fangirlishness was re-awoken at an impromtu Lord of the Rings movie marathon! I first received a copy of the book on my 13th birthday, and read it avidly once a year from then until I was about 20 (by which time I was into my degree honours and reading far too much other stuff to keep it up). My relationship with the films is somewhat difficult (where the HECK is Glorfindel, Jackson?!), but as I sat through the extended editions this past weekend (albeit having to put up with childish “ew, that’s gay” comments and unfair criticisms of Sean Astin’s performance), I realised that for the past three years I have been sadly neglecting my geekishness. I have officially decided that there are far worse things to be obsessively interested in than one of the greatest literary (and linguistic) works of the 20th century (The Boy is into Star Trek, Doctor Who and 1950s pulp sci-fi magazines, for example!), so I intend to reignite this particular obsession with aplomb. I figure that now I’ve spent five years reading the big hitters of literature, I can get away with it. Any other geeks out there? Lets talk LotR… who’s your favourite character? (It’s a tough call but I think mine are Boromir [movie] and Legolas [novel].)

Read This 15. By the time you read this, I will probably be sitting in the Forest, watching Read This Issue 15 come off the printer. I know I always get excited about the new issue coming out, but this one really is pretty good. We’re featuring poems from the incredibly talented Mr Jonathan Hayes, from Skin Deep contributors Noel Williams and Morganne Couch, and from the man behind the magic of The Forest (and Scottish Poetry Library Reader in Residence!) Ryan Van Winkle. We also have artwork from Derek McCrea. Not only is it a great issue… I have also sorted out the shipping on Etsy, so if you want to buy a copy, you’ll be paying the right amount of P&P at last! Check it out!

The Oscars. Sadly, I do not have Sky Movies, so I was unable to watch the (this year) hideously predictable campfest that was the Oscars 2009. However, I have been furiously catching up on everything via the wonders of Perez Hilton and Youtube ever since Monday morning. I was, of course, absolutely thrilled that Kate won — she’s basically my Hollywood heroine and I was really rooting for her. Her acceptance speech was lovely, though I was not totally sold on her dress (which is what it’s all about really. And on that note, my vote for worst dressed undoubtedly goes to the usually awesome Gwen, who looked like she was wearing something made of old mops… and also surprisingly, I reckon one of the best dressed was Miley Cyrus, who seemed to be channelling vibes of Glinda)…
Other highlights: Sean Penn winning best actor, and Hugh Jackman’s song!

The University Challenge final. If you live in the UK you must have heard about this! It was amazing!
OK… another geeky confession: I am a massive University Challenge fangirl, too. Sadly the University of Edinburgh has a history of FAILING MISERABLY whenever they go on, but I always watch it, and usually, I always root for whichever team is from the North, or Scotland. If all else fails, I root for whichever team is not Oxford or Cambridge. This year’s final was Manchester vs Oxford, but Manchester’s captain was just too unbearably smug to even look at for long, let alone support, and Oxford had on their team the now-legendary Gail Trimble, who is amazing. I want her to be my best friend, she is so modest and sweet! I am genuinely shocked at the haters who think they can start blogs and Facebook groups suggesting that she be physically harmed because she is a) very smart and b) not necessarily the most beautiful girl in the world — I mean, what?! Given that I was berated in school for being studious and ugly too, my heart goes out to her… and the UC final was the most blood-pressure-raising piece of TV I’ve seen since the bus stop chicane at Spa in 2008. It’s not on Youtube yet, but it will be… watch out for it!

Honourable mentions: hot cross buns // my lecturing class working incredibly hard and proving to be a bunch of total stars // Amanda’s new blog // this sweet tattoo // Michelle Obama = style icon // my new floor-length kilt-skirt — toasty warm! // rice crispy cakes // small victories // walking through Morningside at midnight // Skin Deep — first proofs off the press and they look HOT // being too busy to blog — sad, but it = excitement and productivity! // being arty and crafty // mooching around in record stores // engaging record store employees in unhealthily animated conversations about Tom Waits // buying far too many secondhand “bargains” in record stores // Aberfeldy — finally a cool song with my name in it! // guacamole // getting stickers in the post

(Image by Kittypinkstars)

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15 Responses to “Things I Love Thursday #27”

  1. Jason Says:

    LOTR rules! I can never understand people who say it’s wooden or boring. I think it’s full of vitality and warmth and the underpinning of history and language gives it so much more depth than modern attempts at similar things. I also have a complicated relationship with the films though. On one hand, it’s great to see that world on the screen and I can accept a few changes to fit the format, but on the other hand … so many unaccaptable changes …. Sam would never leave Frodo! Ahem. I’ll stop now.

  2. Rachel Fox Says:

    I love these crazy bursting-with-enthusiasm posts!

    And (re the marvellous Trimble) I was pondering some of the how-girls-are-judged-by-their-looks questions…back on 8th Feb. Partly to do with author photos. Will the bitching never end!


  3. Claire Says:

    Jason — I am always so pleased to meet a fellow fan! Like you, I also can’t understand the haters… I feel that there are a lot of people out there who are determined that LotR should not be recognised as ‘real literature,’ etc. I have no idea why. It’s like Germaine Greer’s idiotic suggestion that it was “Nazi” (she later admitted she hadn’t read it) — why are people so ready to be mean about it? It is a freaking great book!!!
    Yes, the films kind of suck in some ways. There’s far too much scantily-clad Arwen for my liking, but then I suppose they needed to play up the few female characters in there. I was also really sad that they didn’t have the guts to go for Saruman/Sharkey’s invasion of the Shire and the subsequent “scouring”… yes, it would have made the movies even longer but there was a lot they could have cut. I also hated that Legolas ended up only saying about fifteen words in the whole trilogy — he really became one-dimensional in the movies, and I don’t think it was 100% Orlando’s fault either. Humph. Anyway, this is getting super-geeky. I will shut up now too!!

    Rachel — I read that post and thought I’d commented at the time, but I’ve just been back, and obviously I meant to, but forgot. I think the author photo (and personal appearance in general) definitely makes an impact on how interested people are in you, and in what way. I am just shocked about some of the stuff I’ve seen written about Gail Trimble — someone wrote on a BBC comment board that she deserved to get cancer, which I thought was disgusting. All because she’s clever?! Why are people so threatened by intelligent women?! No one said anything about the smug little sod captaining Manchester…!

  4. Jason Says:

    Hehe … we must have a discussion about this one day! My main beef is that they made lots of changes supposedly to make it more commercial (like the Arwen stuff), but was anyone seriously seeing this movie as a “normal” action flick? Everyone went to see it knowing what it was, so why change anything? And it was really irritating how they turned Legolas and Gimli into comedy characters.

  5. swiss Says:

    lotr? okay i’ll bite. no, no, no and more no. so much so that a friend and i have used his copies for kindling. but, that said, i did read them a lot when i was young and then, doubtless, i may have been irate about the films. as it is when i watch them it reminds me of young me and how enthusiastic i was back in the day. so broadly i’m okay with them.

    except. arwen. you can criticisse that protrayal for many things but scantily clad!? i must not have that version. aside from the impressive rate of costume changes, maybe it’s an elf thing, they manage to make her even more insipid than the ex she reminds me of (yes it’s fair to say i have isues!). but the portrayal that i really dislike was that of eowen(?). i remembered her as being a kick ass heroine well fit for my adolescent imagination. and now she’s in a cave!! myself and my fellow tolkien burner both concur on this.

    which brings me neatly to the trimble issue. i don’t watch uc much these days. too easy. and i was reminded of this when i watched trimble rolling off a row of correct answers. well, duh. perhaps she actually reads books!
    and i got somewhat animated about all the ‘intelligence’ comments. er no, she’s just got a healthy general knowledge!

    but then the negativity. i’m unsurprised. people do dislike intelligence, and intelligent women in particular. and women, who don’t need an excuse to dislike each other can really go for it. i don’t understand it but it’s the way it is.

  6. swiss Says:

    i’ll say it again for you tho.

    we took the tolkien, gutted it. and torched it ; )

  7. Amanda Says:

    You’re such a sweetie!!! I always love losing myself here!!!!!


  8. Col Says:

    I carefully edge in the debate… My favourite character from the book was Strider, before he was recognised as being Aragorn. I just really liked the idea of being a ranger. I think Viggo Mortensen did a good job for the film. As for Arwen, in the film she was just very annoying. Far to floaty. I can’t really add to the debate between film versus book, since it’s been well over 15 years since I last read it, but the films still excite me, I just don’t have an entire free day to watch them all in…

  9. Claire Says:

    Swiss — for some reason, I always expect that it’ll be you who will bite, so it comes as no surprise! But you’re totally entitled. I don’t expect everyone to like it — God knows I found it bloody hard going the first time I read it and did think at first “what is everyone on about?!” (then I got to the Two Towers…) If you’ve read it and don’t love it, fair dos. Buying copies especially to use as kindling? That seems somewhat extravagant, but hey!

    As for scantily clad — there’s a certain “dream sequence” scene in The Two Towers where you can actually see clean through her dress. My sister, who is a bit of a rad-fem and an even more rabid Tolkien fan than I am, responded to seeing Liv Tyler’s nearly-naked form projected forty feet high on the cinema screen by practically yelling “OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE THAT’S RIDICULOUS” in the middle of a packed showing…

    I know what you mean about Eowyn — the ass-kicking thing is not played up anywhere near enough, and her epic “I am no man” line is totally wrecked by the little shampoo-commercial hair-shaking-out thing she does right before she says it. SIGH. Haha, I notice I have got even you talking somewhat geekily on the topic!

    Re: Trimble, now you mention it, it does seem to be mostly women who are getting at her in public forums. Sad but true — we’re all desperately insecure it seems.

    Amanda — <3! Hope you’re feeling better after your recent bad day!

    Col — YES Viggo Mortensen is awesome in everything I’ve ever seen him in. Seems like a total nutter “in real life,” but a great actor.

  10. Chris Lindores Says:

    The University Challenge final was still pretty exciting even though I was watching it on iplayer and knew who won anyway.

    Actually have stuff this week…

    The Band - this is from a few weeks ago, but listened to their self-titled album for over a week solid and fell in love with it. Then…

    The new Franz album - which I listened to for a week solid, until today, when I started on…

    The new Prodigy album - which is truly awesome. Nearly did a bit of a wee when I listened to the title track for the first time this morning. I know what’s going to be my soundtrack for the next week of essay rubbish anyway.

    Fmylife - bad shit that has happened to people. Addictive and terribly depressing if you read a few hundred in one go.

  11. swiss Says:

    like i said i loved it when i was young and new no better! so it’s just one of the many, many things i can don an anorak, nay a cagoule, for.

    but no, he didn’t buy a copy to burn. much worse. an old copy from the sixties, worn, annotated. a sacrilege. but the burner advised me that it was ‘just a book’ and that it would be cathartic for me. which, in a weird way, it kind of was.

    so there’s a question - what book could/would you burn and why?

  12. Rachel Fox Says:

    Well when the gas has run out and the coal has run out and the oil has run out and the trees have all gone…we’ll find out, won’t we?

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