Category Archive – Randomness

Music Minute: Time To Say Goodbye (A Farwell to Middle Earth)

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Bugs Bunny2 242x300 Photo“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” – Tolkien

Well ladies and gentlemen, it comes down to this. After more than a decade our journeys through the wonderous lands of Middle Earth will finally be coming to an end. The yearly anticipated adventures of hobbits, dwarves, elves and men, of wars of rings and battles of immense armies will fade into that realm of storytelling and memory.

Recently the Powers The Be released the ending song for the last installment of the Hobbit Trilogy, The Battle of the Five Armies. Composed and preformed by Billy Boyd, the actor who brought that loveable rapscallion Pippin to life in the Rings films, this song was created to be the final farewell not just to the Hobbit but to all of the great Tolkien adventures.

Take a moment and let it all sink in. Excuse me for a moment. I need to grab another tissue.

Sad Bilbo

It is hard not to feel the urge to curl up into a tight ball and cry like the world is breaking every time this song is played. As previously mentioned in a past Music Minute the  influence of Middle Earth Pop Culturehood is astounding and wide-spread. So even though the final film will not be released until December 17th Tolkien fans have already started going into mourning. It will be a bittersweet moment when the houselights go up while the credits roll. After all the battles, the journeys, the losses and the victories it finally comes to journey’s end.

Unlike with the Potter, Star Wars, and Superhero franchises there are no more stories to tell. The author who brought the magic of a golden ring into our lives has been dead for a great many years and the source materials have run dry. Sure there are the short side-tales and the Silmarillion (The source of the entire history of Middle Earth) but the tales that revolve around the characters that have grown into dear and well-loved friends over the years have been told.

So this is it.

However nothing is ever truly over. Something as deeply loved and respected as Middle Earth will keep on in the hearts and minds of the fans. Books will be re-read and continuously discussed. The films will be marathoned with good company and good food. The music will be played from start to finish so that we can be transported back to strolling along the green rolling hillsides of the Hobbiton or galloping full-out across the plains of Rohan when Gondor calls for aid. Dwarven songs will be sung quietly on cold winter nights to remember those that fell defending their homes against terrible darkness. In coffee houses and pubs everywhere someone will take a moment and hum a tune about a cat and a fiddle or a Green Dragon.

The Soundtracks that Tell The Stories

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (not yet released)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

Lord of the Rings: Two Towers

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus

Unfortunately the Lord of the Rings Musical soundtrack is not available in North America but its songs are just as tale-telling and inspiring as anything that came from Howard Shore’s pen. This one sums up the Baggins Legacy in the straightforward and true nature of the Shire Folk.

These songs are our continuing link to what will be part of our past. Like the ballads and oral epics of old Middle Earth and all who dwell in it will be remembered through song as well as the written word.

It truly has been one great shared adventure.

One that began as it ended. With a hobbit.
Thorin Hug

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!

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spark of vivacity

So, there has been quite a lot of talk in the news these days about a certain radio host on CBC as well as a “pick-up artist” who helps teach men how to pick up women, and I would like to think that you have heard at least a few conversations regarding what’s happened/happening with these two individuals, and thought about why this is something that is making headlines, and – even more importantly - why you should be thinking about it.

So, to bring you in the loop if you’ve missed some of this, I’m referring to the current news of ex-CBC radio host, Jian Ghomeshi, and “dating guru”, Julien Blanc.

The Ghomeshi situation has highlighted the fact that there is still a very strong stigma about going to the authorities for help if you’re ever assaulted (sexual, or otherwise) and the Blanc situation seems to be showing evidence that suggests that the progress we as a society have made toward gender equality seems to be not as much as we had thought.
Basically, regardless of peoples’ sexual orientation/preferences, respect should be at the forefront of any and all interactions, especially when we’re talking about ‘romantic’ encounters.

I mean, yes – everyone has their own way of interacting, but there are some things that should be very clearly crossing the line and the WRONG way to go.  I think the saddest thing with Blanc is how many followers are so keen to attend one of his ‘training sessions’ – and those things aren’t cheap, either!  Honestly, it just seems mind-boggling.

So, to add my *free* two cents of wisdom: if you like someone, don’t be a jerk…the whole pulling pig-tails thing that is so gr. 2, really should stay in gr. 2.  I mean, even Higa figured it out!!

 

 

#teens #instafame #FOMO #smarts

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spark of vivacity

So there are been a fair bit of discussion lately on the topic of how technology has brought about some rather impactful changes to society and teens in particular – and while there have been some pretty amazing good stuff that’s come out of it, there have also been some rather intense and harmful consequences…

First things first – what am I talking about.  Well, to narrow down the tech I’m referring to, let’s say the connectivity of mobile tech and social media sites and apps.  aka. Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Chatroulette, and Vine, just to name a few.

lettersAnd for you lovely folk who are currently one of the millions of teens in the world at the moment, you have lived such an interesting and weird life!!!
Lol, seriously, try and imagine a world without everyone having cell phones.  A world world where if you wanted to talk to you friend, you were either right in front of them, or they happened to be at home when you called them on the landline.  A world where written communication was a letter that went through the postal service, and even if you lived in the same city, it would take at least 2+ days for it to reach them…unless you dropped it off in their mailbox yourself.  Where if you wanted to show someone a picture you took, you’d have to grab the actual developed photo and physically bring it to them (not to mention that if you took a picture, you had to first finish that roll of film, then go to the store and wait for the film to be developed before you could see how the picture turned out!).

McAfeeTweens1 PhotoSo, as I was saying, you have lived your whole life in a very weird world.  Like, seriously, WEIRD!  It’s insane.  It’s super fast-paced, in your face, and constantly changing.  It connects us all.  It takes people (friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike) into our homes – H E double hockey stick – it can take people straight into your bedroom!

And it has changed us.  But, I think maybe it has changed you even more so than those born pre-1990.  And why?  Because you are teenagers.  Yep, that’s pretty much it.

Oh, technology!  You’re so ageist!!

You guys are the age that that has this really odd mixture of knowing everything (though, well, you don’t actually know everything everything, but you sure do know a lot about certain things!) and yet not yet having the life experience, of having incredible power in the home you live in (amazingly enough) and very little at the same time (re: life experience).   You are (relatively!) responsibility-free, all of your disposable income can likely go toward buying whatever you want.  You are the target of numerous marketing campaigns. You are physiologically going through crazy changes – basically, your body is a wonderland for all the chemicals that are responsible for our emotions (hormones!!) to jump up and down and all over the place until they decide where they want to stay.  You are living in a world where how and what the world thinks of you still matters to you –  a lot more than it probably will in the future.

And people, friends, companies will take advantage of that.  Whether they do so in a way that is beneficial to you or not, is not up to you.  And them’s the breaks.  Which means that you need to make sure you stay in control as much as you can.  Want to have an active online social scene?  Fine, go for it – be the next Jenna Marbles or Ryan Higga, I’ll probably start following you (seriously…if you’re funny, witty, or musically talented, let me know).

But remember to keep yourself safe.  While the positive gratification you can get from friends – or I guess I should say ‘friends’ or followers – is really great, don’t place too much importance on it, or don’t let it get to your head, or whatever – pick some other sage words of advise to the point of saying: Make sure you don’t lose yourself.  How you choose to interpret that is up to you.

Keep in mind the bad things that have happened – cyberbullying is a byproduct that has never existed before, and it seems to be more harmful that any previous form of bullying and much more widespread to the ease of it. Becoming a bully has never been so easy; saying something nasty to someone via words on a screen are beyond simple, and it can be as public as you want.
Mercedes Pemberley BrookeChanging yourself or doing something because of pressures that either you are putting on yourself or others are putting on you…it’s just not worth it.
While it has been a few years since I lived my teenage years, I do remember them painfully poignantly.  The good, the bad, and most especially, the ugly.

And to lighten the mood – here’s my sweety of a pup, Mercedes, in her Halloween costume from last year – She’s a princess, obviously =P (but she didn’t like wearing her tiara!)

Music Minute: Goth’N'Roll with the 69 Eyes (Scareliner Edition)

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Bugs Bunny Music Minute' Greetings music fans. Tell me, what happens when you mix the gloom of Goth with the searing scream of high-powered electric guitars and add in the deep growling bass of a baritone voice? The answer is a long-lived Goth Rock Band that does more than just wear black. It makes bats bleed.

For all you lovers of the Undead meet the Finnish rockin’ Goth band The 69 Eyes. Living proof that Goth is not dead but alive and snarling in the dark places where light does not dare to dwell.

The 69 Eyes have a number of albums that have gone platinum and single upon single that have earned their spot as “Must Haves” on musical playlists. Especially around this time of year. Albums to listen to and cut your fangs on are Angels/Devils, a personal favorite of mine, as well as Back In Blood and X. I have no idea what it is about Finland that keeps churning out heavy metal heavy hitters. There must be something in the water over there that spawns a love for all things metal. Especially long lasting metal that is more than just a mere flash in the musical pan.

jyrki699 PhotoBelieve it or not the founder and front man of the band is far more than just a leather clad Prince of Darkness with a fondness for the guyliner. Jyrki 69 (full name Jyrki Pekka Emil Linnankivi) has more going on under all that hair than meets the eye what with a Masters Degree in Analytical Chemistry to his name, leader of an internationally successful band that has lasted 25 years (a quarter of a century folks) and he is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador of Finland who is campaigning against child trafficking in West Africa as well as bringing HIV-AIDS Awareness throughout Kenya. For a man who looks like Nikki Sixx’s Gothic cousin he certainly keeps himself busy with worldly affairs during the daylight hours. After all you cannot judge a book by it’s cover nor a bat by its wings.

So until next time music lovers, Happy Listening and have a haunting Halloween.

Been together as a band for 25 years. Haven’t aged a day….69eyes500 Photo

Vampires or really great hair?

Week of Geek: Who are the Geek Royals?

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lorde Photo

Hello once again Geeklings!

So there’s an expression I’ve been bandying about for a while now, when I see certain people who put out a lot of things that create massive fandoms and get millions of geeks across the globe excited and hungry for more.  When I see people like that, I like to say they are one of the kings/queens of the geeks.  Sounds all official.

But I think the time has come to really narrow down who these movers, shakers and leaders are when it comes to fandom love and devotion.  Who are the people operating today that we look to when we desperately want to know what will happen to certain characters or worlds?  Who are the ones who seem to set the trends in nerd culture?  Who are the ones who truly embody what it means to be a geek in the 21st century?

So may I humbly present the people I think fit that mold and who create a dynamic and stellar world for the nerd-inclined to live.  May the rabid debates begin!

joss whedon head shot Photo Joss Whedon: This guy has been a staple in my life since 1997, though he’s been on the scene longer than that and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.  The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also known for other shows like Firefly and Dollhouse.  He’s a prolific writer, tackling screenplays and graphic novels.  He took the writers strike of 2008 in stride and created the web series Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.  But lately, he’s hard at work directing a follow up to his 2012 superhero magnum opus The Avengers with The Avengers: Age of Ultron AND brought another TV show to the small screen with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.  Joss’s whip smart dialogue, character development and his fearlessness with ‘going there’ has cemented this king’s place in fan’s hearts the world over.

JJ Photo J. J. Abrams: I could go into Mr. Abrams career as creator, co-creator and/or producer of such cult hit TV shows as Alias, Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest and Revolution.  Those alone would likely be enough to get him on this list.  But what really makes him royalty is that not only did he bring Star Trek into the 21st century with two hit movies, but now all eyes are on him to do the same with Star Wars.  Episode 7 will be released to the world next December, but if anyone can make this dream a reality for Jedi and Sith alike I think it’s King Abrams.

 Chris Hardwick Midnight 01 039 ret 430x430 PhotoChris Hardwick: A comedian who may be one of the hardest working geeks around.  Not only is he the CEO of Nerdist Industries (yes, that’s a thing), he’s also a writer, a stand-up comic, an actor (on screen and voice), a musician, a podcaster and a TV host.  Seriously, this guy must not sleep.  And it is for that tireless dedication that he must be crowned a king.

Felicia Day PhotoFelicia Day: This actress got her start in a small role on Buffy and has since sung her way into our hearts in Doctor Horrible and has a recurring role as Charlie on Supernatural.  But outside of acting she’s also created one of the best representations of what life can be like for the modern female geek by writing and starring in the legendary web series The Guild. For that and so much more, Felicia takes the crown as a Queen.

JK Rowling SUM 2348620b PhotoJ. K. Rowling: You didn’t think I’d leave her off this list, do you?  She wrote Harry PotterShe’s working on prequel films for the series.  Her characters have their own amusement park.  Your argument is invalid and here’s your crown, Ms. Rowling.

 Photo Yaya Han: A few scant years ago, the term ‘cosplay’ would not have meant anything to anyone.  Now, not only is it the mark of a true fan as they attend their Sci Fi conventions, people can actually make a living at it if they’ve got the talented chops.  One such person, who has become one of the most famous faces of the cosplay trend, is Yaya Han.  Google her name and you’ll see the stunning costumes from across all types of fandoms that she creates and models.  She’s even paid her expertise forward as a judge on conventions and has appeared in books and on the reality show Heroes of Cosplay.  For taking a geek hobby and making it mainstream, Yaya is the queen of the sewing machine.

moffat 2223053b PhotoSteven Moffat: Over the last decade or so British television has exploded in terms of creating series that fans the world over have given their hearts and devotion to.  At the forefront of that is Steven Moffat.  As a show-runner, writer and producer, he’s someone we can credit with relaunching Doctor Who and turning it into the global phenomenon it is today.  And if that weren’t enough, he created the modern update of the world’s most famous detective Sherlock Holmes with Sherlock, which has fans waiting on the edge of their seats for years at a time for new episodes to air.  For keeping us in his iron grip and allowing us to create Wholock, Moffat takes another crown. (And props also has to be given to Mark Gatiss, another writer who helped create both Doctor Who and Sherlock and who has acted on both shows, most notably as Mycroft Holmes on Sherlock).

peggfrostwright 11 PhotoThe Cornetto Trio: A bit more obscure to North American audiences, but no less worthy of a spot on our list, this trio consists of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  While all three have their own geeky things to be proud of (such as Wright directing Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and Pegg and Frost staring in Paul) what pushes them into royalty are two things they created with their combined forces; The Cornetto Trilogy of films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End) and the short lived BBC series Spaced, one of the best representations of the lives of fanboys and fangirls.  As a bonus, Wright almost joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe before…well, things happened.  But despite that, crowns all around!

Colbert PhotoStephen Colbert: TV host, author, actor, future host of Tonight.  There’s hardly anything Mr. Colbert can’t do.  But did you know that, deep down, from his earliest days, he’s a hardcore fanboy?  In addition to hanging Captain America’s shield on the wall behind his desk at The Colbert Report and being drawn up as the potential replacement for The Falcon, there is narry a person alive who knows more about Lord of the Rings than Stephen.  Want proof?  Watch this video and skip ahead to about the 18:50 mark.  Yeah.  For keeping us informed and entertained while holding on to his geeky roots, we gladly join the Colbert Nation.

Those are the heavy hitters in my humble opinion.  But now, keeping up the tradition of making firm declarations when it comes to fandoms, I throw the floor open to debates and further comments.  Am I on the mark?  Am I not?  Am I completely out of my mind when it comes to my choices?  Have I missed anyone who should be on this list, and how dare I not include them?  Post in the comments, but remember; though opinions may be heated, keep the language clean and good-natured.

Keep watching the airways, the bookshelves, the interwebs and the world around us for the next big projects, the next innovators, and the next big things to make our fanatical hearts go pitter patter.  Stay geeky my friends.