Category Archives: Geekiness

The Year I Almost Missed the Tolkien Birthday Toast

Every January 3rd, I spend more of the day than I should staring at the clock. School isn’t back in yet, which means I’m normally at home. Though there’s plenty of work to do, it’s easy to watch the clock and think about 9:00pm. What will I drink this year? How many minutes does it take to prepare? I have to ready right on time.

Since it fell on a Wednesday this year, we would be at church beforehand, but the timing would be perfect. We would be home in plenty of time, I would make my husband and myself a cup of tea (or maybe hot chocolate for him), and we would have the toast at home. It would be great.

Then reality hit. We got into the car and realized that everything had gone later than usual. We wouldn’t make it home in time. I would miss 9:00.

Though it’s a kind of silly tradition, my husband knows it’s important to me, so he had already thought of a plan B. There’s a Starbucks right on the way home. We swung in, ordered some hot chocolate, and were back in the car in time for the birthday toast.

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It didn’t have the same sense of ceremony that Tolkien’s birthday toast normally does, but it still happened. And that’s what really matters.

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Happy Birthday, Tolkien!

It’s that time again! Today is Tolkien’s 126th birthday!

I always like to pay homage to the author who influenced me the most (and who I enjoy the most). Fortunately, I’m working from home, which means it’s the perfect day for movie soundtracks and lots of tea. Decaffeinated, of course.

This evening is always my favorite part. At 9pm local time, fans around the world will participate in this year’s Birthday Toast “To the Professor.” I’ll be joining with some decaffeinated tea instead of the usual Darjeeling. It’s a great start to the New Year.

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Are you planning on participating tonight? If so, what’s your drink of choice?


Happy (Belated) Hobbit Day!

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Friday came and went faster than expected. While I didn’t get to my annual Hobbit Day post, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t celebrate!

Most years, Hobbit Day (Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday) is filled with everything Hobbit-related that you can imagine. This year was more subdued, thanks to the hurricane. In some ways, though, it felt very much like a typical Hobbit’s day.

I’m currently on a Hobbit’s eating schedule… and sometimes I feel like I have the appetite of one too. I understand why they prefer to spread their calorie intake out over six meals, though. It allows for plenty of variety throughout the day. The only downside: I think I need a bigger lunchbox to take on campus. Oh, and it confuses the cat when I’m home. Sorry, little guy, but you don’t get lunch at 9:30…

I added to my vegetable garden. Since it’s time for fall planting, could there be a more perfect day to spend some time in patches of freshly tilled earth?

Did you celebrate Hobbit Day? If so, what did you do?


Reading the Inklings: Getting Back on Track

Earlier this year, I decided to read something by as many of the Inklings as I could. It started off well (with Robert Harvard’s appendix in CS Lewis’ The Problem of Pain.) Then things derailed a little bit.

The end of the school year is always busy, especially when there’s curriculum to review for next year. Unfortunately, that put me off track on the book I had started: Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy Sayers.

According to the Kindle, I’m 11% in and was having a good time. Dorothy Sayers writes mysteries — a genre that has always intrigued me, but that I’m not particularly good at.

Clearly, all of the stories about Lord Peter (a detective of sorts) tie together, and I can tell that I’ve come in partway through a series. However, there’s still enough that I know what’s going on — even though I don’t have a full appreciation for the relationships between some of the reoccurring characters.

Now that I’m back to reading what I want to read, I’ll have an update on this book hopefully sooner rather than later.

What are you reading right now? Have you ever heard of Dorothy Sayers or read anything by her?


Adventures in Art: May the Fourth

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May the Fourth has come and gone, but this year’s will live on in a special way. Some friends, my husband, and I went to a Star Wars themed paint night and created our own Death Stars.

Looking at the sample when we arrived, I had a feeling that it would be challenging. And it was. I’m not so great with drawing straight lines with a pen or pencil. Creating them with a paintbrush? Let’s just say it’s a good thing that you can touch up.

Besides the straight lines, the other most difficult thing about this project was the size of the paintbrushes. I’m used to small brushes. My collection is almost entirely made up of them. Even when working on larger canvases at other paint nights before, all of the brushes have been on the smaller side. These were huge. Like three fingers wide huge. So adding the fine details was much more difficult than I expected. Needless to say, I’m tempted to do some touch ups now here at home.

One fun thing was the way that we added the stars. We were supposed to get the white paint heavily watered down and then flick it onto the canvas. My husband had that technique down. Unfortunately, mine wasn’t so great (which is why there are so few stars). I think I flicked more paint on my face and my husband’s painting than my own. :)

All in all, though, it was definitely fun and stretched my skills a bit. Next time, I think it’s back to the painting book to try out some new techniques.

How did you celebrate May the Fourth?


A-Z Challenge: Complete (and May the 4th Be with You!)

This year’s A-Z challenge was a different experience, but I liked it. Sometimes in the whirlwind of lesson plans, grades, and housework, it’s easy to forget about spending some time every day (or at least a every few days) to do something creative. This put the pressure on to make it happen, and I feel some fresh inspiration.

Speaking of creativity, tomorrow is Intergalactic Star Wars Day!

It’s always one of my favorite days of the year, but it’s especially fun this year. Not only do I get to traipse around school wearing an homage to Star Wars (after all, there is still a dress code), but some friends found a Star Wars themed paint night. A picture of that will be up Monday!

So now, back to our regular posting schedule and more creative things — painting, poetry, stories, and otherwise — to come!

And May the fourth be with you… always.

How did your A-Z Challenge go? And are you celebrating May the 4th?


Tolkien Fans, Rejoice!

So I wasn’t able to buy Tolkien’s Oxford house (though not for lack of desire), but as it turns out, I may one day still be able to stay somewhere that Tolkien hung out. With CS Lewis and Robert Harvard and all of the other Inklings.

The famous Eagle and Child pub is getting an upgrade, which means there will now be seven rooms inside. (Read more here.)

How much will these rooms be? Maybe a bit too expensive. But that’s okay. A girl can dream, right?

Have you ever visited the Eagle and Child? Would you want to stay there?