Random Thursday: Geektastic

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

I have no explanation for why all this stuff ended up in my Random Thursday Stuff folder.

But I don’t have an apology for it either.



May the Force Be WIth you

When it comes to Star Wars, I will trade laser blasts and light speed for the laws of physics every single time.

But I still really need this on  tee-shirt.


I Love Tolkien Fan Vids—But I mustn’t get into the Hobbit.

And this is why:

I laughed, ya’ll.   I laughed so hard I sprained what small amount of  dignity I have left.


Hawkeye FTW

Someone found this for me on Geek Universe.

Thank you, someone!

Cutest Team Building Moment EVER

I traced it back to its artist, and lost myself in
Skottie Young’s deviantart playground for an indecent amount of time.

I like his art and I love his sense of humor.

Turns out, Mt. Young’s been drawing for Marvel for more than a decade,
(including some of my favorite issues—I have got to start paying closer attention)


(deep breath)



Fortunately the Milk(click for a better look)

I haven’t been this fansquee over an artist since Quentin Blake.
And Shel Silverstein.  And James C. Christensen.

(and maybe that Mike Allegra guy)

Seriously, go take a look at Mr. Young’s stuff.

It’s fantastic.


Fanfic in One Pic

No no no


The Answer is actually Forty-Three 

But how many of those cartoon theme songs can you identify?

The list is on YouTube, if you want to see what you missed.

If you didn’t miss any of them . . .
Maybe you should step away from the screen for a while?  ‘Cause you’ve been away a long time.


Don’t Forget!

I issued a Vonnegut Challenge yesterday!

Write a secret poem, tear it up, and send me a pic of the pieces
(or a link or a tweet or a Facebook holler—whatever)

for a chance to win the regular-sized CafePress mug of your choice.

Limericks Mug

You have until tomorrow midnight!


Something Misty

One of the best things about the Hobbit movie for me is the singing of “Misty Mountains” by the dwarves in Bilbo’s home.

It’s a beautiful, reverent scene—a complete contrast to the washing-up song that came before—set to a gorgeous piece of  music woven by several male voices, with these Gregorian drones that are simply amazing.

So it’s no small accomplishment that Peter Hollens has sung this piece a capella and solo, and nails it:

Bravo, Mr. Hollens—and kudos also to Tom Anderson, who arranged the piece.

The Hobbit: A (Not-Entirely) Unexpected Journey

Watson and I Hobbited today.  This is not a euphemism.

It was my day off (working tomorrow—come on in and ask me where the Tolkien books are) so we’d made plans to see Peter Jackson’s latest third of a story at the 2D matinée showing  for all kinds of reasons having to do with children, money, crowds, lack of stereoptic vision, and so on.

There’s a lot that has already been said, but that’s certainly never stopped me before.   Spoilers might, but seriously, if I can spoil this movie for you, then you really do need to ask the nearest librarian for a copy of the book before the second installment.  If you’re really worried, bookmark this for later, though I’ll try not to be too specific.

I can be specific in this:  I enjoyed it.  A lot.

Here are some random opinions I have about An Unexpected Journey:

The Hobbit movie as a whole is staged as a LOTR prequel—Bilbo is writing his memoirs (by hand with a quill) between the time Frodo takes off to meet Gandalf in the beginning of  Lord of the Rings and the time they arrive at Bag End*—which isn’t how the book is written.  The book was originally a story for Tolkien’s kids, and when it was done, he blinked a couple times and said, “Huh.  What if  . . .?”  and started in on Bilbo’s birthday party.   This isn’t a problem for me at all, but it is a difference.

The Dwarf Dinner Party is amazing. The by-play, the dwarves, Bilbo reactions, the songs, the washing-up, Bilbo’s conflicting emotions, the bloody-minded arguments, Gandalf being manipulative as unapologetic hell . . . it’s perfect.

Whoever designed the eyes of the Orcs and Goblins was a genius—they all have an unearthly beauty that remove them from the less magical characters (I include Gollum in this—his eyes, to me,  are the exaggerated CGI version of Elijah Woods’, because he has been touched by magic).  They’re closer to the Elf end of the spectrum in shape and color, which is as it should be—I also noticed that the Pale Orc looks like Lady Galadriel’s twin brother,** if Sauron had stared at him a bit with that Eye of his like a malevolent child with a white crayon and a magnifying glass on a sunny afternoon.

There are a lot of pony problems in the Hobbit, book and movieit appears to be the fantasy plot-helper equivalent of flat tires and/or wonky cell-phone service in more modern settings.


DwalinWatson’s go-to dwarf is Thorin, because he’s the Character-Arc Dwarf, and I can’t say Richard Armitage doesn’t work it hard—and gorgeously so—but of those few who were allowed to have personalities rather than single defining qualities, I preferred Bofur and Dwalin—though I admit this could be cheating, as I might have already developed small crushes on James Nesbitt and Graham McTavish*** before they were even cast in these movies.

KiliFiliNot to say that Fili and Kili aren’t gorgeous Pin-Up Dwarves, because they are.^  Particularly Kili, who is played by Aidan Turner—he’s not my type in Real Life™, but I can’t deny that the craftsmanship is exquisite and the camera clearly wants to have his babies.  I kept thinking that Fili looked familiar, especially the way he strode around—I was relieved to find out that I did know him: Dean O’Gorman played the Young Aeolus in the Adventures of Hercules/Young Hercules franchises.  Anyone?  Are those crickets?  Fine.  Moving on.

Radagast the Brown is far better here than Tom Bombadil would ever have been in LOTR, but that’s not saying a lot.  His scenes were terrific, and I loved the rabbits so, so much, and the hedgehog and the hinky mushroom references, but this is a place where Mr. Jackson was explaining LOTR instead of filming the Hobbit and while again, I do understand, I wanted to get back to Bilbo a bit sooner, please.

On the other hand, watching Saruman try to pooh-pooh the danger signs that both Radagast and Gandalf are reporting is fun.  But the byplay between Galadriel and Gandalf is odd—can someone tell me if this is Silmarillion compliant?  Because if it is, I might give it another go.

ThorinThe Rock Monsters were entirely gratuitous.  Characters have slipped off narrow ledges and dodged rockfalls in full-out rainstorms without any of that Made-for-3D nonsense.  I don’t care if there are two sentences about it somewhere in the source material(s)—and don’t tell me that Thorin needed another reason to be irritated with Bilbo, because it was already established that he’s handsome, noble, uberstressed, and a bit of an arrogant jerk.

Similarly (not Silmarillionly, which would be. . . meh, never mind), the escape from the goblins went on about five minutes too long in my subjective opinion.  I don’t know if it seemed shorter in the other theater, where all the rocks and timbers and goblin-pieces were bouncing into the audience, and I fully admit that car chases also bore me.

But I adored the Goblin King.  He was erudite, clever, ruled a sort of Bronzepunk kingdom, and had a lovely voice, pretty eyes, and a completely disgusting wattle that was difficult to ignore.

The Riddle Scene.  I won’t spoil it, but this is the Hobbit I know and love.

BilboAnd I adored Bilbo.  Martin Freeman has great talent both as an actor and in choosing roles that allow him to use his essential Martin Freemanness to best advantage.  Bilbo’s arc isn’t quite the same as in the book—his experiences are slightly different from the get-go and so are his motivations—but it works.

And, finally, Smaug is going to rock.

Anyone else want to chime in?


*As if some of us don’t feel inadequate enough about our daily word count.  Sheesh.

**I’m not saying she did, though I only made it through the Silmarillion once, a few decades ago, so anything’s possible.

***Who should always play roles that require him to wear Braveheart-type clothing and loft double-bladed weaponry and/or claymores, because hmmm.

^Louis Peitzman of BuzzFeed went so far as to arrange the dwarves from least to most attractive.  It’s all very subjective—there’s someone for everyone in this weird world and I personally think Balin deserves better—but fun.