It’s 11:15, and I’m home, just in time to go to sleep. (Yeah, like that’s going to happen.)
This was a freaking awesome weekend. (Despite the fact that I somehow completely ditzed out and forgot my toothbrush, toothpaste, and pajamas! I still am not clear as to how that happened, because I know I packed them…) As I said repeatedly, it felt so good to be an unadulterated geek–and I knew more about Lord of the Rings than I realized, despite not having read the books in several years, which was nice! It also had a sort of familiar feel to it, because the male-female ratio was reminiscent of Georgia Tech’s, and I quite often would be the only girl or one of few; of the six of us, there was one other girl there (Rich’s wife Lei) besides me. In attendance besides Mat (the host) and me were Jim from Hiwasa, Rich and Lei from Donari, and Mat’s friend Derek (who was in Tokushima for a while but now is in Wakayama). I arrived on Friday night and Derek and I stayed the night, and Jim and I stayed the night Saturday.
It’s also funny that despite the fact that Mat and I have read each other’s online journals for probably the last 6 months, we’d honestly never gotten to hang out before, besides bumping into each other very briefly at a couple of JET get-togethers, so it was almost like meeting an online friend who happened to be involved with some of the same things I was or shared mutual friends with me, which has happened a few times. It was cool finally getting to change that. And of course, we made blogging jokes several times throughout the weekend. “Hey, maybe I should blog about this!” and so on.
Anyway, we did indeed make it through the Extended Editions of all 3 LOTR films–and I like them a lot more, now that these extra scenes have helped to flesh everything out far more. The only thing I didn’t like was the romance, but that wasn’t handled so well to begin with, even in the books. I need to acquire the Extended Editions at some point. We started watching at around 9 or 9:30 AM and went till 12:30 AM (only Derek couldn’t make it all the way through), and took a break after each DVD (the films were 2 DVDs each, each one 1.5 to 2 hours long) to eat and stretch and go outside and walk around. The food was well thought-out and themed as well–we had a Hobbit-like breakfast, with fresh fruit and breads and eggs, and then a Gollum-like lunch with sushi (because, as you know, Gollum likes raw fish!), and then a Middle-Earth-esque dinner, with a roast chicken, vegetables, and bread. And to be honest, it wasn’t at all a difficult marathon! There were a few points where we would glance at the clock and think, “Oh, man, we’re only halfway there…” but I think the breaks were really well-timed and we were able to stay really fresh through to the end. I don’t envy Rich and Lei for making the drive back home last night itself, though; that had to have been tough, since they couldn’t have arrived till close to 2 AM.
I wanted to jot down some really geeky quotes, but I honestly got so into the movies (as all of us did, though we did allow ourselves a chance to give them the MST3K treatment in a way that wasn’t too annoying for any of us) that I didn’t get to jot down much. The only thing I wrote down was during Fellowship, during the Council of Elrond, when Aragorn tells Frodo, “You have my sword,” and Legolas chimes in with, “And you have my bow,” and Gimli adds, “And my axe!” Rich jumped in with, “And my nuclear warhead!”
All in all, the weekend was a smashing success. The marathon went off without a hitch, the organization and preparation were just awesome, and we all had a great time.
Oh, and today, I helped Mat chase off a determined stalker girl by offering to get on the phone with her, with the hopes that her hearing a female voice would scare her off. Later, Jim and I were following Mat as we all were driving to lunch (a ¥400 vegetarian teishoku!), and he suddenly veered sharply off the road and jumped out of his car, dashed towards us, and nearly threw his phone at me (the look on his face was priceless–frantic and wide-eyed near-panic) as soon as I rolled down my window. I actually ended up telling her that I was his girlfriend because she refused to take the hint! I don’t think she’ll call back. (But Mat, if she does, feel free to put us on a 3-way call and I’ll try to scare her off again for you! It was embarrassing, granted, but freaking hilarious, too.)
Anyway…also today, before lunch, we (Jim, Mat, and me) had pancakes for breakfast, took a drive and a short uphill walk to see a really beautiful waterfall not so far away. We then went to lunch, which was quite filling for such a cheap price and gave us a really gorgeous view of the Katsuura River gorge–and having completely vegetarian Japanese food was so refreshing for a change. We also tried to see this huge display of hina matsuri dolls, but we’d just missed the display by 2 days. After that, we made the (45-minute! Holy crap) drive to Komatsushima so I could make my train…except that the train didn’t come and they were heading through the city anyway, so I caught a ride with them and caught a train from there out west (and ran into Julie and her aunt while waiting to board; we seem to have run into each other at train stations several times), and Julie very kindly gave me a ride in her rental car to the restaurant where people were meeting to hang out at Fumi’s for dinner with Ellie and her parents, who are in town for the spring break. Hannah and Lindsay were there as well, and we caught a ride back with Andrew K. to our apartment.
So, moral of the story: Lord of the Rings freaking rocks. And if you ever need a surrogate/stand-in/pretend girlfriend to scare off your stalkers, give me a call.