hobbit

The Attack

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I only buy bras at Victoria’s Secret if I have a coupon. That’s the stipulation, otherwise it’s just too extravagant for my income level. Luckily, VS sends me coupons…entirely too often.

Last night upon a shopping excursion, I was disappointed to find that not only did Victoria’s Secret stop selling my favorite bra, but that they were reverting all bras back to the styles of the 1940’s. “You don’t understand,” I began to explain to the sales girl. “I wear a lot of v-necks – 80% of my wardrobe is black, low cut tops!” She smiled understandingly and then directed me to a medieval boulder holder that lacked even the slightest padding. Jazz videos played on TV’s hanging from the ceiling and intended, I suppose, to enthuse us toward the styles of the past. I was less than thrilled.

I found  Chip, and steered him from the store. The waves were restless, crashing hungrily on the dark rocky outcroppings along the coast that evening. As we walked I lamented to him about my experience in the shop. He listened, nodding, keeping any opinions he may have had inside; much more likely they simply weren’t there at all. I trailed off in my Bra Tale of Woe, noticing a man in long dark robes – a wizard, actually – teetering perilously on the black rocks.

“There’s something out there, something coming! Get some lights on the water!” he shouted, right before falling in. Chip rushed to take off his coat and dive in after the poor man. As I climbed down the rocks to pull them both onto land, my attention was caught by the ominous black shapes moving toward the shore.

There could be no doubt: ORCS!

I dragged my wizard-tugging friend out of the water, scrambling over rocks and lurching toward home. “We must get off the road, out of the town!” I gasped, and off we ran. What happened to the water logged man, I’m not sure.

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Photo Credit Blogspot

Once settled into the living room of my Aunt’s house, where we were staying, I nervously watched our cats play on the carpet. Too shaken due to the approach of Orcs to watch television, I told Chip we should turn off all the lights, not draw attention to the house on the edge of the sea, and let the Orcs pass along with their thirst for blood. The living room was cozy, but featured a large wall of windows without dressings. It was quiet, warm, and horrifying, sitting there in the dark and feeling so exposed. I don’t know how many hours we sat waiting, fearing. I heard a thud, and suddenly the worst smell filled the room. We attempted to turn on the lights, but the electricity was faltering and the lamps could only muster the dimmest of glow. Against my better judgement, I chose to activate the flashlight app on my phone, just for a moment to check the cats. As I did so, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and dove to the floor, hiding the light beneath me. While the cats were alright, we were not. Just outside the window was a gang of orcs – and on the floor in front of me the dead body of a neighbor.

“RUN!” I whispered to Chip, and sprinted toward the kitchen. “To the stairs, we’ll head up!”

My aunt’s house was built into a hill, so while the front door was on the main floor and exited out, if we could exit out back on the attic level, four stories up, we could reach the back field and escape. I grabbed the banister and wheeled around it, hurling myself up the stairs, my left hand searching behind me to keep a feel for Chip’s presence. I slowed as I reached the top realizing that other neighbors had sought refuge in the same place…and had booby trapped the second floor hall. There wasn’t time to stand in the open. Without giving our position away, I delicately made my way down the corridor, attempting to not make any Orc sounds while not making any sound at all. I reached the back bedroom and immediately looked around for a human leader of some sort, combing the room for the man courageous enough to protect his family and remain rather than fleeing, as I was attempting to do. There were children clinging to their crying mother. She must have been imploring her husband to leave with them.

crying

Photo credit Blogspot

I turned to Chip, “Take the children through the hidden door. I will be there in a minute to direct you out.” I wanted to know what was going on outside. As Chip got the others out, I approached the man who had constructed the traps, I noticed he was shaking. He was a little shorter than I was, or was slightly cowering, in his late 40’s, fair-haired. He seemed the man who had always worked the vague office position, settling in his cubicle nicely, but not decorating it either, like a piece of furniture that could use a computer. Even still, he was the man who stayed, the one who tried.

“What’s happened?” I asked calmly, quietly, attempting not to spook him.

“Th-they came in the night. I took my family and the neighbors who answered and got them in here – they’re in the attic – WE’VE GOT TO GET THEM TO THE FIELD!” The words tumbled from his mouth like each was trying to escape before the other. His voice also got louder, something we couldn’t afford. I could hear the Orcs now in the house on the main floor. I looked past the man’s shoulder and saw who I assumed to be his son, maybe fifteen years old, slowly, nervously, rise from the back corner. I placed my hand on the man’s arm.

“You’ve set up some nice traps out there. I don’t know if it would do for you to stay-“

“I can slow them down!” he charged loudly, cutting me off.

“Okay,” I pressed softly. “Do what you feel is best. I’m going to gather the people in the attic-“

“YES! Please get them out -“

“Yes, I’m going to get the women and children out.” I said calmly, forcefully, as though trying to move my levelness to him. “Do you want me to take your son?”

The man turned slowly, his breaking heart evident on his face as he did so.

“Y-yes,” he choked.

“Okay.” I motioned for the boy to follow me, pausing at the hidden attic door to allow emotions to be conveyed between the two. After a moment’s wait I stepped through the entry stating “Come” over my shoulder. I moved into the area, searching for faces as I did so. Numerous children, all younger than the man’s son. Five or Six women. Chip, darkness. Quiet sobbing. I heard the door slide shut and knew the boy had left his father. Noises began from outside. The panic that spread on the faces of the hidden was immediate.

“We are not at the top floor yet,” I stated firmly, controlled. “We have to go up two flights. It is after dawn, and they are coming.” Attempting to move everyone out to the hidden stair before the children had time to whimper their fear, I directed everyone toward the stairs in the corner of the room. Daylight was beginning to creep through cracks in the wood. In the odd design of the home there was no third floor from this tiny area, merely two flights to a forth floor attic. Built as if aware of the impending Orc threat, the third floor was what appeared to be the only attic, and only accessible from the obvious attic entry from a drop down ladder in the ceiling of the second floor hall. I assumed the orcs would search there and, while I also assumed they would eventually find the hidden door, I hoped their shear stupidity combined with the unnamed man’s heroism would buy us sometime.

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Photo credit Tumblr

Once we scaled the steps to the small fourth floor attic room, I moved the children away from the door, huddling with the women toward the back to help keep them quiet. The teenaged son stayed defiantly at the door, as if ready to pounce on whatever came through. I allowed him his courage, knowing it would be both pointless and hurtful to him to attempt otherwise. Chip stood against the eave. And I watched.

There we stayed for who knows how long. I did my best to convey calm while I listened closely to the sounds of the house, attempting to decipher anything close, measuring the distance of each noise. The sun was up by the time the sounds shrank enough that I dared move. Much to the dismay of Chip, I wouldn’t allow an exit onto the field until I knew we either had to escape or that the orcs were truly on the losing side within the house; I didn’t know what awaited us on the exterior of the house and I wasn’t willing to take any chances until I was sure. I sat there, arms crossed, slightly leaned toward the door, silent, intent.

Eventually, the shouts and bangs quieted down. I turned hearing a train in the distance. Now. Now was the time to move. We needed to get as many people as possible away from the area and that train was our chance. I moved toward the pitched roof interior and slid my hand over the wood, looking for the break I knew was there. Finding the hidden handle, I tugged, popping out a three foot by two foot piece of what would other wise look like attic roof. I stuck my head out the opening and could see a few other humans gathered on the field, anxious, but waiting. Without hesitation I motioned everyone out of the attic. I remained there alone for a moment, listening to the lessened, but still aggressive clamor coming from the other parts of the house.

I wish I could say that I found my courage. That I went back through the door leading to the stairs, charging down the hidden flights, to find the man who remained and hauled him to safety.

I didn’t. I stared at the door, swallowed, and left.

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Photo credit Mind Touch

There were no screams outside. My eyes, wincing in the sun, found the women gathering the children, comforting them, while searching for their other relations. Dozens of people were beginning to converge on the field from all directions, but slowly, as if exhausted, not scared. My eyes scanned and finally rested on Chip. He was observing a group of musicians who had not only escaped, but had done so with their instruments. They were setting up to play, as if desperate for normalcy after the horrors of the previous night. Chip’s face was blank.

I took out my phone and looked up a train schedule for the area. It was all well and good that we seemed relatively okay for the moment. Reinforcements for the Orcs would be coming, however, and if a military force didn’t show up soon any safety we felt now would be shattered.

8pm. I sighed, knowing that train would be too late, though I hadn’t stopped to check the current time in my haste. 11:34am. Definitely too late. It seemed impossible that the morning was almost over, that the sun was not only out, but high in the sky.

“Kate!”

I turned to the right to see my friends Nell and Fiona jogging toward me. “Thank God!” We embraced. They began to recant to me their own tale of surviving the night, my look expressionless as I tried to take everything in. They were so animated in comparison to my own fatigued, stoney face.

“What’s next?” I murmured staring down the outlying road.

“That’s what we were going to ask YOU!” stated Nell. “Have you heard anything?”

“No….but last I checked the Orcs didn’t drive a caravan of white shuttle buses.”

The girls turned to follow my line of site. Coming down the road and circling the field was a dozen or so small white shuttle buses.

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Photo credit Bus Sales

“LET’S GO!” the girls screamed and ran toward the closest one. I didn’t budge, instead taking a moment to watch the scattering people that had grown to a crowd in the hundreds, searching for Chip, rather than dissolving into the mayhem. I was positive I would see him boarding a shuttle on the opposite side of the field near the musicians. Only I didn’t.

“Kate! KAAAATE! COME ON!” shouted Nell through the shuttle window.

Military men were now walking the grass, barking at people to get on the shuttles and move out “ASAP”. Where was Chip? Hesitating I began to move toward the bus, still ever hunting for some sign of Chip, listening for a shout, anything. But there was nothing.

Fiona half pulled half dragged me onto the bus, my face never leaving the field. I was fumbling with my phone waiting for his call to say he was fine. I could hear Fiona and Nell assuring me that they were certain he was alright, but it was kindness and not assurance that made them say such things, as if they were trying to smother the doubt in their throat. I stared out the window as the bus began to move. Mostly everyone was on a vehicle at that point and field was almost deserted save for the remaining military personal. I began to text Chip, glancing incessantly out the window. Where was he? Why wasn’t he contacting me?

Chip. Shuttle bus. Chip. Chip. Please. Shuttle bus. Chip. My texts repeating, begging more than asking.

We circled the field on the exit. As we did so I noticed a young orc, maybe a teen at most, who was obviously suffering from hypertrichosis. The hair on his face had been dyed neon green, I assumed as fear tactic imposed by the other orcs. He looked right back at me, both sad and humiliated, as military scientists descended on him for study. I had enough strength within to allow my heart to ache for the orc boy, even in the attack of the night before, even with my missing friend, because that’s what makes us human. Empathy.

I looked at the phone in my hands. Silent. Still no message from him. I looked up as the buses began to cross a bridge to the mainland – and noticed they were separated into two lines, each going in opposite directions.

“Wait!” I shouted. “WAIT! Where are the buses going? Will we meet at night?!” I was blindly trying to dial Chip while searching anyone for answers on the bus.

“Ma’am, please calm down. We need to get everyone as far away as possible. All will be revealed at a later time.”

The phone was ringing. Ringing. Ringing…Voicemail.

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Photo credit BBC

———-

That’s when I woke up. I saw the outline of Chip, his back toward me asleep. It was all I could do to keep from hitting him awake and berating him for ignoring my calls. You can bet he got an earful when he woke up.

Also, I’ve been texting him all morning: “Chip! Cell phone! SHUTTLE BUS!”

And each time he’s sent me a reply. Thank goodness.

Pop It Up Now: The Hobbit, Ace Power, & So Much More

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* First of all: Horse Riding Fitness ACE POOOOOOOOOOWER!!!!!

Okay. I feel better now. Super fit…or at least super something.

* Netflix added the next season of Breaking Bad to Watch Instantly this past weekend. Naturally, my marriage has been put on the back burner until all episodes can be watched.

* Wired interviewed Neil Gaiman and his wife, Amanda Palmer. It’s all fine and good and funny and interesting. Whatever. All I really got out of it was that I am not Neil Gaiman’s wife, and I should be. At least I’ve believed I should be since the age of 13. [Wired]

* If you haven’t heard by now, you should know: There’s a guy in the hills of Utah dressing and behaving as a goat. Some are speculating that he’s a hunter. I am speculating he’s a man dressed as a goat with 99 problems and hunting ain’t one of them. [WebProNews]

* Every time you start to think you’re cool, just remind yourself that you’re not Patrick Stewart. You are not Patrick Stewart, and you never will be. You’ve never had the accolades he’s earned from doing Shakespeare while simultaneously doing voices for Seth McFarlaine and being the Captain of the Enterprise. And you won’t run the olympic torch across London while looking super awesome doing it. [Blastr]

* And, finally, Peter Jackson debuted the newest Hobbit journal at Comic Con. Whoot!

Pop Bytes – Push out the Jive, Bring in the Nerd with Arrested Development, Dark Knight & More.

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I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption and I’m totally obsessed. More than anything, I want to compile a collection of a bunch of the hats from John Marston’s unlockable outfits. Also, I’m a wicked good shot. Wicked good. I’ve just gotten a bit stuck on bagging a cougar with a stick of dynamite – but I’m sure I’ll get it soon.

And none of that has anything to do with this post, except for the fact that I “totes” don’t need any more hats; I already have an adorable collection that doesn’t get worn info.

Back to nerding out on real stuff.

It’s almost time. My Netflix subscription will finally pay off: New episodes of Arrested Development start filming in a mere 4 weeks! According to Netflix’s original statement, all new episodes will be uploaded for streaming all at once. Speaking of which, I’m going to have to re-watch all the old episodes stat. All original members of the cast are on board with this project, making it all the more exciting. [BuzzFeed]

Photo Credit That’sWhatSheaSaid

So, a Twilight fan was killed after being hit by car at Comic Con yesterday. When I first read that headline my first thought was “Oh, no! That poor 12 year old girl!” Only it wasn’t a young child; it was an adult woman over 50 years old. An adult who made the decision to run into on coming traffic to score a spot in line to see teen heartthrobs. No, she absolutely did not deserve to die and this is 100% a tragedy. I just feel our desire for escapism as Americans is a bit out of touch right now. [LATimes]

<Begin super thick sarcastic tone now.> Wow. I’m so surprised. Hey, everybody, Hollywood has decided to make Mockingjay, the final of the Hunger Games trilogy, into 2 movies. Wow, totally didn’t see that coming. <End sarcasm.> I am a fan of the Hunger Games books, I truly am. I felt, however, that Catching Fire and Mockingjay, based on their content, would need to be only 2 movies. It might have to overlap a bit, bringing some of the third book into the second part Catching Fire. While the second installment is exciting, there’s not much to it until…well, if you’ve read the book then you know. If you haven’t, I’m not spoiling it. In other words, there’s enough content there for 2 movies, but not any more than that. I just hope the next installment isn’t filmed likeThe Blair Witch Project again. But who are we to complain: We are the movie studios cattle, herding to pay over priced tickets for movies with budgets that are out of control. Ans we do it with smiles on our faces.

A 30 second clip has been released for The Dark Knight,airing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

As the nerdiest of us know, it’s the 25th anniversary of TNG (that’s Star Trek: The Next Generation). Now, granted, the first season started off a bit rough, what with Riker’s super chin dimple and that Tasha Yar nonsense. Be that as it may, TNG quickly developed into the best Star Trek series, second only to TOS (that of course being The Original Series). To celebrate this, a number of movies theaters across the US are hosting an anniversary event showing two first season TNG episodes on the big screen. This is a one time thing on Monday July 23rd at 7pm – and, Austonians/Austinites, be aware that the Alamo Drafthouse will NOT be showing this. I know, I’m shocked, too. You can find out were to see this in your state on Fathom Events.

Photo Credit

The Batmobile was designed in the late 1930’s. It’s one of those iconic cars that is instantly recognizable to this day, no matter how it’s updated. And it’s the standard to which every car lover out there compares their current ride to. It’s only fitting, and about time, that the creation and evolution of the Batmobile finally gets its own documentary. It will air Monday on the CW (whatever the hell network that is) at 8pm eastern time. Don’t expect amazement here, however: All six versions of the Batmobile are supposedly touched on, but the special is a mere 30 minutes in run time, so 22 when you subtract all those fantastic ads. Holy Bull Sh*t, Batman. [SuperHeroHype]

Tom Baker, the 4th inception of the Doctor and quite possible one of the most memorable with his incredible scarf, will be returning to Doctor Who for it’s 50th anniversary event. There is little to no additional news released on this event other than this will also serve as Matt Smith’s last moment as the character. I have been hesitant with each new inception of Doctor, hating that time for them passed so quickly and now I would have to work through the adventures with someone new, yet every time I’ve been more and more blown away. I had never been so surprised by an inception than with Matt Smith, who I feel managed to encapsulate the Good Doctor all too well, making his departure all that more rough. [Buzzfeed]

When I was young, I thought Xena was…well, not cool, per say, but one of the tougher women to look up to given my options as a child of the ’80’s. I find it interesting that now, 17 years after the short-lived television show aired, her “armor” is serving as inspiration for real life combat in the U.S. Military. I get the importance of properly fitted combat gear; a soldier must be protected while being able to move in a stealthy manner in order to complete their duties and survive. I just hope they dispense with curly golden designs on the tits. I don’t think those really aided to camouflage. [TheInquistr]

Photo Credit

And, though it’s a month old, Peter Jackson has uploaded his 7th behind-the-scenes Hobbit movie journal to his YouTube page. What better way to end this out than with a little Hobbit enticement?

Poptastic 4 U: Hunger Games, CumberbaTch, Hobbit News, & More

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I’m poppish and I know it.

*Ugh, new Hunger Games. I can’t wait for this movie. I am a nerd for this movie. I already have tickets to a showing (no, not midnight – I’m nerdy, but I’m also old). A spot aired on TV last night and, being a fan of the book, I have immediate reservations about it. Yes, I’m one of those asses that has problems when a movie doesn’t follow the book, i.e. the opening 4 seconds of this new trailer. Still excited, though. I’m mostly faux indignant. I do  love the newest clip I’ve posted below the District 12 focused trailer.

*Speaking of The Hunger Games, a new report shows that even though the movie based on the young adult novel of the same name doesn’t come out for another three weeks, it may already be more popular that Twilight. I’m assuming it’s because The Hunger Games isn’t crap. …Did I mention I already have my tickets? [Blastr]

* Do I care about Top Chef? Not really. You see, living in Austin means I have access to more restaurants, and tattoo parlors, per capita than any other American city. I’ve been lucky enough to go to Uchiko a number of times. Their social hour is fantastic, the $6 Ham & Eggs of katsu pork belly served with yolk custard and espelette is amazing. This doesn’t even touch on their fish caramel sauce and maguro sashimi paired with goat cheese, fuji apple, pumpkin seed oil, and black pepper. It’s an incredible delight to sit there for hours tasting a million different things that you never dreamed were possible. So it was no surprise to me that Uchikos head creator, Paul Qui, won Top Chef recently. He may have “…felt pressure to win”, but that’s probably because everyone in Austin expected him to do so. [TV Guide]

*Wish there was a way for those Girl Scout Cookies to stick to your ass even faster? Well, yearn no more: You can soon get Girl Scout Cookie CHOCOLATE BARS! How about a Thin Mint Crunch Bar? No? Well, personally I’m holding out hope for a Samoa Reese’s cup. I’d call it a Katie Cookie FatAss Chunk. It would be awesome! Apparently the Thin Mint Crunch will be available in June. And who’s spreading this rumor, you might wonder? Why none other than the Girl Scouts of America themselves! [HuffingtonPost]

* You can take the Lindsey Lohan out of a train wreck, but you can’t take the train wreck out of the Lohan. I think that’s just about the nicest way I could word that. And, just for the record, I loved Mean Girls. In an attempt to ‘slum it’, Matt Lauer interviewed Lohan on the Today show. And in an attempt at a ‘come back’, Lohan…tried to have a coherent conversation. Ugh. It’s rough to watch and her hair only adds to the sad situation she’s in.  [BuzzFeed]

* I want to live in Middle Earth the same way I want to work at Hogwarts. I’ll happily take being employed at a museum while living in New Zealand in exchange for that which does not exist. And this has absolutely nothing to do with Peter Jackson’s newest video production diary entry about The Hobbit! Is it me or is Andy Serkis getting kind of hot? Jackson is currently working on Part II of The Hobbit, no spoilers of which we’re able to see in the video. Many of the dwarves discuss their experiences and you get to see Hobbiton, which is beautiful beyond imagination, but you don’t really want to read me talking about it – you’d much rather watch it, right? See below.

* It’s about damn time: Johnny Depp is finally working on The Lone Ranger. The film will be coming to us from Walt Disney Studios and also stars – surprise, surprise – Helena Bonham Carter. I know: because we’ve all wondered what it would be like to see Depp and Bonham Carter in a film together and now we’ll finally get the chance. Depp will be Tonto to Armie Hammer’s John Reid, and Ranger will hit theaters in May 2013. [USAToday]

* Global warming is upon us. Our presidential candidates are an all new low of human scum. It is a leap year and the year the Mayans believed the world would end. But more than anything else, 2012 will be known as The Year of the CumberbaTch. He was Sherlock, he will be Smaug, and he’s currently portraying the new Star Trek villain. That’s not to mention War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, both of which were up for Academy Awards. No, there’s nothing that Brit can’t do apparently. Oh, wait. He can’t keep his mouth shut. In a recent interview with MTV, CumberbaTch notes that he couldn’t stop giggling while on The Hobbit set. He’s just such good besties with Martin Freeman, who portrays both Watson and Bilbo, that his pal’s hobbit get up kept causing the confident Englishman to burst into laughter. Very mature. A brief excerpt of the interview is below. [MTV]

* COMIC CON BADGES GO ON SALE THIS WEEKEND! Every year I get soooo excited for this. And every year I don’t go. I’ve never been to a Con and I feel sad and pathetic for it. I don’t know if I even truly want to go to SDCC at this point; it’s massively popular meaning there are too many people for too small a space, Hollywood has stepped in to make it less Comic-focussed and more Con-the-people-esque. Maybe I’ll drag my ass to Dragon Con one day, but I will always dream of SDCC before and after. Doesn’t really seem fair to DC, huh? [LATimes]

* Artist/Genius Igor Kieryluk decided to take it upon himself to imagine what the characters of Batman would look like if they were active during the Renaissance. Just check out Two Face below. [BuzzFeed]

Photo credit BuzzFeed

* Yet another ‘Worst Idea Ever’ is coming out of that stink pit known as Hollywood. A remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation is heading back to the big screen in the form of a remake. I couldn’t care less about this, so I’m ending it here: LAME. [DenOfGeek]

* Speaking of Hollywood, Netflix’s contract with Starz is coming to and end. Roughly translated this means that you have one week left to watch anything in your queue that’s a Starz feature. More than 800 titles will be soon to leave Netflix, so get off your ass and…and go sit on it, to watch some good family fun before it’s unavailable. Starz and Netflix were unable to reach a deal regarding pricing. Awesome. [SlashFilm]

* I once made my father an apron of questionable taste, as ironed onto it were the words “Heil to the Chef”. But aprons don’t have to just be plain or funny. They can also be hot as hell, as proven by Etsy store Nerd Alert. Love2Right came up with fantastically themed aprons including Harry Potter, Portal, and Super Heroes – oh, so many Super Heroes! My personal favorites are Wolverine and the Link aprons, but the S-Mart one is pretty great, too! By far the best thing about these aprons? They’re super affordable! [GeeksAreSexy]

* I have to tell you: Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. I’ve written about it, sure, but let it be know he is a stupid, stupid man. Birth control has nothing to do with prostitution, is not prostitution, and a man who confuses the two has no place in any role of authority or power. Just the latest news in his long term goal of proving himself a Class-A Moron. [BuzzFeed]

* And, finally, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie trailer has finally hit the web. Both the new trailer AND the original 1984 movie in its entirety are below. Enjoy.

Peter Poster Picked a POPper: Hobbit, Arrested Development, Portlandia + More

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* New Hobbit still to start your Tuesday morning right. Chip the glasses and crack the plates – that’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!

Photo credit to Blastr

* Fox News accused the Muppets of being Communists. Naturally, Kermit and Ms. Piggy staged a press conference to respond to such nonsensical allegations. It goes without saying that they get the last laugh. [MSNBC]

* Moving into our Star Wars segment of the morning, Chris Pratt of Parks and Rec has a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader in a new ad for Kinect. It’s okay. He wasn’t ever my favorite on P&R, but he has grown on me. [AdWeek]

* And a grown ass man decided to attack people in a Toys R Us with lightsabers in Portland, Oregon yesterday. He was practicing to be a Jedi. Because all Jedi’s train in children’s toy stores. It’s where real evil lurks. [MSNBC]

* Moleskine journals were never used by Hemingway. They were created as we know them in the very recent year of 1997, for crap’s sake. And they’re only “legendary” because that’s the advertising word they chose to go with. As opposed to “blank”. That being said, I need to start keeping a journal so I can get my hands on one of these sweeeet Moleskin Lego books. [Wired]

Photo credit Moleskine.com

* Just so that everyone understands, the entire cast of Arrested Development is TOTALLY in for the new season. I feel like this is kind of a moot point. We know they’re all in, we can’t freakin’ wait. Get on with it. [HuffingtonPost]

* A letter from J.R.R.Tolkien recently sold at auction for almost $2700. The letter was to a couple he met while Tolkien was on vacation with his wife. There was a time when people were polite and genuine. You didn’t have to deal with others, you simply got to spend time with them. My how times have changed. Grumble. Grumble. [Blastr]

* Bubbler crabs in Malaysia have been filmed creating little galaxies of sand-and-spit bubbles. It’s all so freakin’ adorable. [Buzzfeed]

* Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein can’t get enough of Rock n’ Roll. The Portlandia duo’s newest music spot: covering DEVO. And it’s awesome, of course. [CoverMeSongs]

* Canadian Skier and X-Games pioneer Sarah Burke passed away recently due to injuries suffered while training on a half-pipe. He untimely death has caused even further scrutiny of the American health care system – or lack thereof. The medical bills incurred due to trying to save her life in an American hospital are expected to reach over $200,000. As so often seen in this corrupt nation, the emotionally debilitating stress of having a sick or dying loved one is compounded by the rest of the family having to lose their home or go into bankruptcy to simply pay medical expenses, even though that individual might be a tax payer or contributing member of society. Had Burke fallen in Canada, her expenses would have been paid. In fact, had she been hurt in almost any other nation with an economy similar to that of the United States’, her medical expenses would have been paid. So, what are we doing here? I for one don’t make much money at all, but I would be happy for my taxes to increase 3+ percent so that I would not have to worry about health care costs or my loved ones needing medical care or my father’s cancer treatment. A charity fund has been set up in Sarah’s name; donations have exceded the expected costs of hospital bills and the remainder will be given to other charities. [MSNBC]

* And, finally, speaking of money, what do the wealthiest of Hollywood Stars do with all of their millions? New York Magazinerecently spoke with “…a high-level Hollywood money manager…” in an attempt to gain perspective on exactly where millions can possibly be spent by one person in a single year. Check out the break down below. It’s just a little infuriating. [NYMag]

Pop It Up: Sherlock, Bizarro Hobbit, & More

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* Remember that time that William Shatner said that Star Trek was way more popular that Star Wars. And then Carrie Fisher told him he was out of his ego maniacal mind and stated that Star Wars was, in fact, better? And then George Takei tried to make peace by awesomely stating that they should join forces and both fight against those craptacular Twilight films? Well, Shatner has now created a response to dear, sweet Takei. Let’s watch!

* DrFaustusAU of Deviant art created works depicting Seuss inspired Batman comics. A beautiful, perfect mashup. Each shows an easily recognizable Batman character in an undeniable Seuss style. [BuzzFeed]

* Robot Chicken will be airing its 100th episode this week. To celebrate they’ve set up a live webcam where fans can watch the actions of a robot and a chicken in a wee little hotel room. It’s a real robot and real chicken. And it’s adorable. [RobotChicken]

*Want to see a super bizarre animated Czech version of the Hobbit? Okay! [Blastr]

* Eight new stills from the upcoming Hunger Games movie have hit the internet to feed the over excited spoiler beast that dwells within all of us.  [DenOfGeek]

* It’s no secret that I’m a huge Sherlock fan. And not just ’cause I’m chubby, I mean I really love Sherlock. So, I’m over the moon that the spectacular, gripping, and beautifully shot drama has been signed to a third series! I just wish it aired sooner in the States. BBC1 is currentlyairing Sherlock series 2 over in the UK, but it won’t air here until May. It will be on PBS, though, so even I, a fan without cable, will be able to catch it. [Zap2It]

* Parks and Rec just got even cooler: Paul Rudd will be playing Leslie Knope’s city council opponent on upcoming episodes! Rudd has perfect timeing, an excellent knack for improv, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him bounce off Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Actually, I’m pretty sure that if SNL wanted to throw together a skit of just Rudd and “Ron Swanson” Offerman it would be a viral hit in no time. Just when I thought I couldn’t get more addicted to this show… [NYMag]

* Love Downton Abbey? Perhaps it’s because there’s something familiar about it. And it seems even Hollywood isn’t immune to the harsh economic times. In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, it was stated that roughly 60% of Downton‘s costumes are recycled from other shows and movies. Even still, many of the dresses and costumes have been adapted and are barely recognizable from their previous turns on screen. If I were an actress I’d find it extra thrilling, having a bit of vintage and historical movie magic in the dresses I got to wear each day. Of course, I’d probably be so light headed from starving myself to fit into said dress that I wouldn’t even be able to remember my own name let alone be excited about who might have worn my outfit previously…  [DailyMail]

* They’ve finally made it: An Alien vs. Predator chess set. In sharp detail and color, and even some almost clear pieces for the Predator’s side, the board was created by Deviant Artist Joker Laugh. Don’t act like you don’t want it. [iO9]

* The new season of East Bound and Down hits Sunday, February 19th. Here’s a trailer to tease us until then.

* Star Wars: Underworld. I’m not crazy about the name. Underworld is just to reminiscent of those terrible Kate Beckinsale movies that are forever needlessly in theaters. But this is the titled rumored for the Star Wars live-action series. In an interview with IGN George Lucas stated that this series would take place between Episode Puke – I mean, Episode Three and what we purists know as Star Wars, i.e. Episode four. [Blastr]

* Jeff Tweedy’s kids are growing up and to prove it, his eldest son made a music video…for his dad’s band. Spencer Tweedy created the video for  Wilco’s song “Whole Love”. [StereoGum]

Hobbit & iPad3 Now, Ribs Later

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It’s Peanut Butter Hobbit time!

Let’s do a couple of Sunday morning rumors, shall we?

* The Guardian is throwing around the rumor that Peter Jackson may have plans to change the ending of the Hobbit. Now, the title for this article is “Will Peter Jackson give Tolkien’s Story a New Ending?” and I resent that. A title like that causes millions of Ringers to shit themselves while simultaneously hitting a thousand internet nerd forums to pour angry font diarrhea out over nothing. Remember how the Return of the King (the movie) ended? Do you remember how the book ended? Yeah, not the same. The Shire was over run by the time Samwise and Frodo got back. Their story didn’t end when they finally disposed of the ring in Mount Doom. Frodo did see enslavement of the Shire in the movie, when he looked in Galadriel’s mirror; this is the fate of the Shire regardless of whether or not Frodo completes his quest, not just in the event of failure as she states.

[Photo courtesy of Screenrant]

The rumor of change was brought about due to an EmpireOnline interview with Benedict Cumberbatch in which he stated that he voices Smaug (Yeaaaa!) and the Necromancer (speaking of the dead, not a doer of the dead) who eventually turns into the eye of Sauran. The Necromancer’s change into the Sauran happens not int The Hobbit, but later and involves the Battle of Five Armies, which is well away from any part of There and Back Again. So, we’ll just have to see.

The fact remains that my excitement for the films is undiminished.

I love Tolkien’s works. And I loved the movies. I’m not worried about any little tweak Peter Jackson may make. He’s stretching the Hobbit into two movies and it’s not that long of a book. Maybe he needs a little filler.

* Apple is apparently unleashing both an iPad 3 AND 4 in 2012. This is stupid. I don’t believe that for a second. I do believe that they may try a scaled down version to compete with the Kindle Fire and new Nook, but until I have a $300 ipad in my hands, I’m not getting a boner for any new iPad rumors for quite a while. [Inquistr]

Photo courtesy of Inquistr

I have to be off to Ultimate Frisbee, but afterwards Chip & I will be having a Rib Off.

That’s right: Not just one rib recipe, but TWO.

Be excited.

I am.