Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it...yet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Long-Awaited Trailer

Having now watched the trailer sixteen times, I feel qualified to do a bit of commentary and analysis on the two-and-a-half minutes of glory which were released this morning. I apologize in advance for the "ugly" formatting. I actually chose to do this on purpose, feeling that the size of the picture made up for it going into the sidebar a bit. If you haven't watched the trailer yet, go here now. Right, then. Let's just start from the top, shall we?
Second shot in the trailer, we get the forsaken lands of Angmar. It's one of my favorite passages in the book, when Bilbo sees the ruined castles on the mountains and feels as if something evil had once lived there. (Of course, we know he was right.) It's so deliciously chilling, and it's amazing to actually see it. Kind of makes up for completely missing the Barrow-Downs in Fellowship. On a side note, I suppose you could argue that this is Dol Guldur, but I just don't see it. It doesn't fit with the narration at that point or the shots around it, and it looks too ruinous.
I know this isn't "new" material, but isn't it thrilling to actually see the map?! Yes, it's in LotR, but here is irrefutable proof that The Hobbit is finally truly happening.
Look familiar? Well, some things never change.
Made me smile. Good old Bilbo and his well-rehearsed escape tactics.
Thorin. Like a boss. Okay, okay, you got me: I don't actually have much to say here. Just any excuse to post a picture of Richard Armitage. He's awesome, alright? I did want to point out, though, that I like how he calls it Erebor instead of The Lonely Mountain. Seems more appropriate.
The hobbit on the left here lives close to Bilbo, is concerned enough to inquire as to where he's "off to," and calls him "Mr. Bilbo" as opposed to "Mr. Baggins." Would it be safe to assume that this is Sam Gamgee's "Old Gaffer?" I think so.
Did he say an adventure? A respectable Baggins of Bag End? This will give them something to talk about... May I just take this opportunity to remind you all that Martin Freeman is not only a perfect Bilbo, but also a stupendous actor all around? *cough*gowatchSherlock*cough*
"Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid. And he gives me courage." I have nothing to add to this line. Just love.
At last, what I would consider a concrete example of something Peter Jackson added which wasn't covered in the book itself. Looks like we get to see the rescue under the Misty Mountains from Gandalf's perspective! One of the complaints I've heard a lot of about LotR is that you don't see Gandalf do enough magic, so this is potentially very exciting.
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No! It was Radagast the Brown and his magnificent Bunny-Sled! All jokes aside, I can't wait to see what they do with this character.
Yeah, that is definitely a super-creepin' spider. Gulping Gargoyles, those things terrify me.
The "eats it whole" line is already the most popular part of the trailer, so no need to go into that. One of the things I'm the most excited for in the movie is to see how they handle Gollum. It's such an interesting task, reverse-character development. On the one hand, he definitely won't be the Smeagol we all know and love from TTT, but on the other hand he hasn't had to endure fifty years without the ring. Yes, five hundred with it, but still. At this point they could certainly play up the crafty (but not so desperate) side of Gollum. It would be backed up by his attitude and description in the book, and they seem to be headed that direction with this clip of the riddle game. Gollum talks to himself and yet it's not so much the hate we see in the LotR conversations as just straight-forward kill-or-be-killed. Even an interest in companionship, as long as he's not too hungry. So maybe still two sides, but not such pronounced differences between the two? One more eager, closer to his hobbitish-self, and one more possessed by the Ring? We'll see.
(Sorry the picture's so blurry. Everything was moving really fast.) Ah. Here comes the good stuff. These are wargs! I was a little put-off by how stocky and canine they were in LotR; I'd always pictured them more lanky and mangy and very, very lupine. Like this!! Goblins and eagles and wargs, oh my! Except...definite goblins...definite wargs...maybe a glimpse of eagles. So what does this mean about the movie? I think we just got ourselves a pretty solid cut-off point. No Carrock, no Beorn, no Mirkwood, one shot with a few blurs that could be a bird flying past (see below), nothing later than that. (And, no, the spider shot is not evidence of Mirkwood because it's Radagast and can't have anything to do with the dwarves.) I foresee an enormously dramatic cliff-hanger: thirteen dwarves, a hobbit, and a wizard clinging desperately to a handful of trees. Wargs and goblins prowling below. The forest in flames. An eagle's screech. The flash of a wing. And Ooooh! I'm getting chills just thinking about it!
They look like cave trolls. And as far as I can remember, cave trolls say "Argunhgheah!" These trolls are supposed to be complaining about mutton, and have names like Bill. This is one of those places where the light-hearted fairy story qualities of The Hobbit need to be reconciled with the sweeping grand fantasy of LotR. I'm intrigued to see how they'll do it.
See? There's so much playfulness in The Hobbit that just isn't there in LotR, so then you get the complaints that Merry, Pippin, and Gimli were "cheapened" into "pure comic relief." People can't say that about Hobbit because the lighter tone is all right there in the book. I'm not saying it won't be epic--watch the trailers, for crying out loud!--simply that we're in for a fun ride.
More of Thorin bossing. "I would take each and every one of these dwarves over the mightiest army. Loyalty. Honor. A willing heart. I can ask no more than that." Whoo!
And now my absolute favorite line in this trailer: "Home is now behind you. The world is ahead." Was your reaction as emotional as mine? I mean really: Gandalf says it to Bilbo. Bilbo writes it in one of his songs when he gets back. All his younger relatives learn all his songs. And then Pippin sings it in Denethor's hall. Wow. This attention to detail is why we love Peter Jackson and Co.
Here's that shot I mentioned earlier. You can see the eagle flashing past behind Gandalf's right shoulder. The more I think about it the more convinced I am--this would make a fantastic ending point. Nothing short of conclusive later footage in another trailer is going to convince me otherwise.
Right. It's funny and all. It made me giggle. But what is it? I honestly don't have a clue. It must be in the Misty Mountains somewhere, but that sure doesn't look like a goblin to me, nor does the joking seem to fit in that situation. Looks like a troll (a stupid troll) but that doesn't fit either, because the trolls turn to stone, end of story. Opionions? What is the goitered monstrosity?
Ah-hah! You think we're done, don't you? Well, we're not! Huzzah! In case you missed it, there are five separate endings to this trailer! The one with the dwarves, and four others. So a few more quick thoughts.
  The Sting Ending. Balin. Balin always has been and always will be my favorite of the dwarves. Isn't he wonderful, folks?
 The Gandalf Ending. Ah, I love their relationship. They're so much fun! And it makes me excited for the "What about very old friends" moment in LotR. It's strange, isn't? Being excited for how a  prequel will retroactively affect your perception of the sequels?
 The Bilbo Ending. "Incineration?!" Once more, all together now: Martin Freeman. Worship him.
The Gollum Ending. Um...just go back up and read what I wrote about Gollum earlier, because this clip backs me up even more.
Yes, now we are officially (finally) done. Sorry it was so long, but I hope you enjoyed it! And I want to hear your thoughts, arguments, etc. What did you think? Do you want to argue a point? Do tell!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


It is actually impossible to push through two swinging doors (such as the entrance to the kitchens in the Cannon) without picturing Aragorn's entrance to Helm's Deep. Try it. I dare you.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Poem

Dinner Rush

The Cannon Center
holds its breath.
The quivering stillness
of prey in front of a predator.
The deer in the headlights.
The rabbit looking at the wolf.
The antelope that knows the lion is just around the corner.

Here they come.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Scullery Maid

Actually, her name isn't Beth. It's Ella, naturally. Lady Lorn calls her Beth because the last scullery maid was named Beth and she can't be bothered to tell them apart, not when there are much more important things to be kept track of. The Newtons' dinner party was the height of elegance and she is determined to outshine them. If the candlesticks on the mantle in the dining room are still tarnished on Friday there will be hell to pay downstairs.
The cook simply calls her Girl.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


The dish room becomes infinitely more manageable (even enjoyable) when you are not Kat, a minimum-wage college student, but a scullery maid named Beth who's trying to save up enough money to marry the footman.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Be of Good Cheer

There's a saying in the scullery:
"Life is like the PowerSoak.
 You never know what will come up next but you know eventually it will hurt."

The scullery isn't a particularly optimistic place. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

All Dolled Up

Here's the thing about my job: on days off, like today, it is so nice to shave and know it matters because my legs won't be covered by baggy checkerboard pants. To do my hair and know I won't ruin it by stuffing it under a baggy black snood. To put on makeup and know it won't be steamed off.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Working Woman

So. I have a job. And it has occured to me that I could probably get a whole lot of blogging material out of it. I'm instigating a "Blogging Work" series, a la Kaela's Blogging Basketball/Volleyball Coed. Only I know how busy I am, so each post will probably be very, very short.
Oh, and just so you know: I work at the Cannon Center, which is one of the cafeterias on campus. If you can call it a cafeteria when the food is so darn good.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Humor Me

I know it's bad form to drop off the face of the planet and then return with something I didn't write specifically for my blog, with no pictures and almost 2000 words. Sorry! This was my Independent Reading project for the last term of AP Lit, and I did it on Beowulf. Don't look at me like that. I think it's interesting and it's my blog. So there. And I would love it if you read it. I really would.

Quote 1:

Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon, 
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

Lo, praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
(Lines 1-3)

These are the very first lines of the poem. The narrator is getting the attention of his audience (as the poem was originally entirely verbal) and introducing them to the beginning of the poem with a history of the Kings of the Danes.

I chose this quote for a few reasons, none of which actually have anything to do with the story. I wanted to comment on the really amazing structure of the original poem. It’s a classical Anglo-Saxon or Old English poem in the alliterative style. Basically, it doesn’t rhyme but it has a strict meter with two “halves” per line. In each of the halves there are two strong downbeats, and at least one of the downbeats in the second half has to be alliterative with at least one of the downbeats in the first half. Kind of hard to describe but anyway, you get “Gardena”and “geardagum,”and “theodcyninga” and “thrym.” It’s incredible in the Old English, but presents a few problems when translated. Many translating “schools” exist for Beowulf: some go for flat-out prose, some try to keep the meter intact, and some focus on alliteration. My personal favorites have a good strong meter and as many alliterations as possible, but the most important thing is to keep it understandable and to keep the integrity of the culture from which the poem sprang. Which is a lot to ask. No wonder there are bad translations out there.

The other point I wanted to make about the original and translation goes along with that. I think the magic of Beowulf isn’t merely the story, although that’s all very well and good. It’s the glimpse it gives us into the people to whom it wasn’t a relic but a well-known story told around a fire by a respected member of their community. To these people, it was a time for bonding, for learning, for tradition and pride in their people. The urgency and rhythm of the original poem is a large part of what portrays that, and so is incredibly important to preserve. But I don’t know how well it can be done. With the very first word we run into problems: “Hwæt!” the speaker proclaims. Literally, this means “What!” But obviously something is lost in translation. I’ve seen it put down as “Lo,” “Listen,” “Now,” “Hear me,” “Attend,” “Behold,” “So,” and many other variations. I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. Maybe I’m suggesting that everyone learn Old English. But I think mostly what I’m saying is that you have to be careful in picking your translation, and the translator has to care about the culture and the feel of the poem, not just the story.

Quote 2:

To the house the warrior walked apace,
parted from peace; the portal opened,
though with forged bolts fast, when his fists had struck it,
and baleful he burst in his blatant rage,
the house's mouth. All hastily, then,
o'er fair-paved floor the fiend trod on,
ireful he strode; there streamed from his eyes
fearful flashes, like flame to see.
(Lines 720-727)

            This is Grendel’s entrance into Heorot, Hrothgar’s hall. He has come from the wild moors, angered at the Danes and desiring their deaths. Grendel is a descendent of Cain, Adam’s son who killed his brother, and the Danes in righteousness have scorned his lineage. Grendel is determined to kill them and he is not fearful of this new warrior, Beowulf of whom he has heard.

            For one thing, this is a major point in the story. If you mention Beowulf to a layman, the only thing they’re likely to know about it (if they know anything) is that he fights a monster named Grendel. This is also a really cool passage—the whole section has some excellent imagery. Grendel blasting through the doors without any trouble, striding over the floors with fire in his eyes, and then falling on the hapless soldier and devouring him. Good stuff. I’d also like to point out this really masterful translation: strong meter, strict alliteration, almost word-for-word inclusion of the original, and it makes sense. Very, very impressive but unfortunately I can’t find who did it because I read this version online. The story of this lake monster as a descendent of a Bible figure is also intriguing to me. It’s an interesting glimpse into what happens when a pagan society is “converted” to early Christianity.

Quote 3:

Of Sigemund grew,
when he passed from life, no little praise;
for the doughty-in-combat a dragon killed
that herded the hoard: under hoary rock
the atheling dared the deed alone
fearful quest, nor was Fitela there.
He had of all heroes the highest renown
among races of men, this refuge-of-warriors,
for deeds of daring that decked his name
since the hand and heart of Heremod
grew slack in battle.
(Lines 884-889, 898-901)

            After Beowulf slays Grendel, a celebration is held in Heorot. There is a great feast, the heroes are presented with gifts to show Hrothgar’s gladness, and a bard comes out to favor the honored guests with fables. Here he tells the tale of Sigemund, a king of long-ago and a warrior of great renown. A dragon was guarding a great hoard, and Sigemund defeated it single-handedly.

Can anyone tell me what foreshadowing is? I mean really. Don’t we read this part later in the story? Can we skip it here? Aside from that, though, I picked this for another reason. One thing I really love about Beowulf is all the asides in the form of other stories. All through the poem other characters come in to tell their own stories or legends from years past. It’s another glimpse into the culture, and adds a roundness to the poem that would be missing if it merely followed Beowulf’s travels.
Quote 4:
“Ne god hafoc
geond sæl swingeð, ne se swifta mearh
burhstede beateð. Bealocwealm hafað
fela feorhcynna forð onsended!"

“No good hawk now
flies through the hall! Nor horses fleet
stamp in the burgstead! Battle and death
the flower of my race have ripped away."
(Lines 2263-2266)

            This is the passage where the hoard-keeper is quoted. He has watched his entire race be slaughtered, and now as he buries their treasure all away he mourns their loss and all that once was and never will be again.

            There are many reasons why I included this quote. First and foremost, I think that this passage is one of the most beautiful in the entire poem. The man’s emotion, though the grief he mourns is long past, is still so clearly raw that it touches deep down. The rhythm of the passage and the wording is so stirring, I think, partly because he weeps for his lost people and this poem is a glimpse into a lost people: reading Beowulf, trying to see what its performers saw, a modern audience can sympathize with the Guardian. A second reason for this particular bit of his speech is that I made an incredibly exciting discovery the other day. I was watching the extended edition of The Two Towers, and it got to Eowyn’s mourning song at Theodred’s funeral and suddenly it sounded oh-so-familiar. I’d never been able to quite tell what she was saying before because of the singing breaking up word structure (I do know a little Old English, but not enough to recognize words in a song.) So I went and looked up the lyrics online and sure enough: Bealocwealm hafað freone freccan forð onsended! A change in conjugation, that’s all it was: instead of the “flower of my race” being ripped away, it was “the brave warrior.” Yep. The soundtrack used a quote straight out of Beowulf. The “complete” song also had the beginning of the passage; it just didn’t make it into the movie. This is actually really fitting, because Tolkien himself was a professor of Old English and an expert on Beowulf, and the influence is clear throughout his works, especially in the Rohirric culture which is essentially Anglo-saxon. But we really don’t have time to get into that, so I’ll move on. I also love this passage because it was the first (and, so far, only) passage of Beowulf I memorized. In sixth grade for our medieval unit we were supposed to perform a ballad and I chose the Guardian’s Lament. Proof that I’ve been a nerd for longer than even I thought.

Quote 5:
Thus made their mourning the men of Geatland,
for their hero's passing his hearth-companions:
quoth that of all the kings of earth,
of men he was mildest and most beloved,
to his kin the kindest, keenest for praise.
(Lines 3178-3182)

            Here are the final lines of Beowulf. The great hero has died, defeating the dragon but defeated by him. He won his people glory, renown, and at last the hoard of the monster, and though they now fear being overrun by the enemies Beowulf had held back, they hold a funeral worthy of their king. His down is raised high on a hill, so that all sailing by may see it and remember the great ruler. The poem ends as Beowulf’s heorðgeneatas, the members of his household, sing his praises.

            Once again a glimpse is offered into the culture of the Geats and the Danes. The seeking of glory and the fight for your people and for your own praise are prized as much as kindness and leadership.  It was Beowulf’s physical prowess and might in battle that won him the kingship of the Geats, and he was loved for it—it is interesting to note that the Old English guðdeað can be translated either as “good death” or as “battle-death.” To fall in battle is the most glorious and fitting way for Beowulf the Great to leave his people. “A good king,” he is called—and here the earlier words of the poet are echoed, when he called both Hrothgar and Sigemund, in their turn, “good kings.” Thus passes Beowulf. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hair Photo A Day 1-10

So there's this hair-themed Photo-a-day challenge that some of my friends are doing. I wasn't going to (too much time commitment), but then I decided, eh, I'll do them a chunk at a time. And yes, there is a reason for this: scroll down! (And sorry for a couple of re-used photos. I'm really, really tired from State Drama.)
1. Hair Self-Portrait. So my face isn't in it. So what? This is supposed to be about hair.

2. Celeb Hair You Love. While this is never, ever, something I could pull off myself, I'm just so impressed by her confidence! And if anyone looks good with short hair, she does.

3. Hair Flashback. This picture was simply too good to pass up, though I'm not the focus. First grade. Short curls.

4. Going-Out Hair. Can't find any good pictures of me, so here's one of my basic style: twist and pin.

5. Hair Color You Adore. I love love love dark brown hair.

6. Your Hair-Do Today. And here we come to why I did this post. I-chopped-off-all-my-hair. Okay, not really, but a good six+ inches are gone, and I love it! I haven't had hair this short since freshman year, and it feels so weird for it to just end. But now it's completely healthy and it curls so nicely and I'm not constantly trying to get it out of my way. Yeah. I love it.

7. Best Hair Moment. Sadly, all my best hair moments seem to be right before to bed or when I'm not going anywhere and are consequently undocumented. I will therefore give you a picture of my most exciting recent hair moment: when I played an astrological adviser at my friend's murder mystery party. (Fine. Not so much a hair moment, but a fun moment nonetheless.)

8. Your Fave Hair-Accessory. Don't even need to think about this one. My pearl circlet made by my darling friend Shaylynn. Go here to buy one of your very own.

9. Straight Hair. It happens occasionally.

10. Long Hair. Just for comparison so you can see how much is gone.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

Stake Conference on this beautiful Easter morn was truly glorious. I wish I could just transfer everything we heard straight into your heads, but since I can't I'll leave it to those much more capable than I.

He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory.

Come with high and holy hymning;
Chant our Lord’s triumphant lay.
Not one darksome cloud is dimming
Yonder glorious morning ray,
Breaking o’er the purple east,
Symbol of our Easter feast.

He is risen! He is risen!
He hath opened heaven’s gate.
We are free from sin’s dark prison,
Risen to a holier state.
And a brighter Easter beam
On our longing eyes shall stream.

Christ the Lord is ris’n today,
Sons of men and angels say,
Raise your joys and triumphs high,
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply,

Love’s redeeming work is done,
Fought the fight, the vict’ry won,
Jesus’ agony is o’er,
Darkness veils the earth no more,

Lives again our glorious King,

Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Once he died our souls to save,
Where thy victory, O grave?

Happy Easter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Contrary to popular and personal belief, I appear to have a life. Here are a few things that have happened in the last few weeks which I hadn't had time to process until today.

1. (And this one you've heard about a lot...) The Shakespeare play ran its run and was absolutely magical to be involved in.

2. I turned eighteen. Yep, I'm an adult.

3. I auditioned for Anne of Green Gables at the Covey Center and didn't get in. But it's ok because now I can really throw myself into...

4. The play my friends and I are going to be putting on. ('Fraid I can't say more here.)

5. Youth Conference was a blast. My ward is amazing!

6. I got into BYU! College, here I come.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Can Explain

I know, I know: I haven't posted on here for approximately an age. In my defense, though, I've been doing a whole lot of everything else. (See my previous posts.)
But hey, the play's over! Hard to believe and I don't know what I'm going to do with all my extra time now, but yes, it's done. Closed. Finished. And it was amazing, it really was. I know it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, but I was honestly so blessed to be a member of such an incredible cast and crew and to be able to tell this fabulous story. If you haven't seen it or read it, please do. You'll love it.
I'll undoubtedly post more about The Winter's Tale (including a certain LotR cross-over we worked on backstage...) but for now, here are some pictures and an enormous thank you and congratulations to everyone involved.

The End