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March 16, 2003 - March 26, 2003

Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Tolkien Society Goodness In NY State - Xoanon @ 20:20 PST
SJ writes: Next Saturday, March 29, the Tolkien Society of New York will be hosting an event in honor of International Tolkien Reading Day at Marymount Manhattan College, located in New York City. The event will feature open-mic readings, costume and trivia contests (with cool LOTR prizes!), and open game demos based on LOTR from Games Workshop and Decipher. Better yet, the event is FREE, and you may bring children in costume! (or not in costume.) (Or YOU may come in costume !)

A good time should be had by all, which is saying something in times like these. The event is Free, but you must RSVP with Heren Istarion (the Tolkien Society of New York) at herenistarion@yahoo.com. If you have any questions, just send me a message, and I can fill you in. [More]

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Regional Cooking from Middle-earth - Tehanu @ 17:34 PST
Regional Cooking From Middle-earth: Recipes of the Third Age by Emerald Took

Book Signing at Barnes and Noble, Saturday March 29,2003 from 2-4pm
Route 30 West (near The Olive Garden)
Greensburg, PA15601
Information: 724-832-0622
Lots of free parking!

There will be some quick food demonstrations, and some samples from the cookbook as well. Saturday happens to be International Tolkien Reading Day, so this worked out well.
Those in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland who may be interested, come on by!

Friday, March 21, 2003
Mordor Iron Chef continued - Tehanu @ 17:10 PST
OK, Matthew wrote in with a continuation of the Mordor Iron Chef fancy that we got yesterday - that, incidentally, comes from the highly-amusing and ever-growing thread on the Straight Dope messageboard called 'If LOTR Had Been Written By Somebody Else.' [More] The Mordor Iron Chef is 2/3 of the way down and it's by CerberusUberUnderdog.

Here's Matthew's continuation:

Bilbo: (Bowing) I must apologize to the panel, I have a lovely salad dish that I could not manufacturer in time. I appear to have misplaced all my carrots...

Gandalf: (Muttering to himself) I know where those carrots walked off to... Fool of a Took!

Arwen: (Giggling) Oh, that's ok, my little man. Your dishes all look so wonderful!

Wraith: Give us the dishes, she-elf!

Arwen: (Annoyed) If you want them, come and claim them!

Glorfindel: Now, now, everyone will have a chance to sample the wares presented! May the tasting commence! (The panel starts to eat.)

Aragorn: I am surprised by Mr. Wraith's choice of dishes, seeing that his last encounter with fire ended in disaster.... but such a wonderful flavor! I say, is that paprika or charred bone that I taste?

Wraith: You will taste Man-flesh!

Gandalf: Hey, that's not your line! But I most agree with my esteemed colleague, your dishes are surprisingly good, especially when served with a full bodied red wine. You only lack depth in your menu choices.

Wraith: Well, yes, and I apologize profusely for that shortcoming (Bows) I have prepared a third dish, a baklava made from lembas and drizzled with honey collected from Beorn's bee hives, but I would be tortured for all time by Sauron if I were to present such a dish to the panel. Again, many apologies. (Bows again)

Sam: Heh - he might turn you into something unnatural...

Wraith (Muttering) He already did, you stupid git!

Bilbo: Hey, now, what about my dishes?!

Sam: Well, Mr. Bilbo, I'm usually not partial to foreign food, but I must say, lembas makes just about anything taste good! Your meals are quite good in of themselves, but then that's only because the Gaffer showed you some tricks with parsley!

Bilbo: (Going red) Errr.....

Sam: Not THOSE tricks, you idiot!

Glorfindel: *Ahem* Let's keep the panel focused on today's event, shall we? Arwen, we have not heard from you.

Arwen: (Giggling) Oh, it's so hard to decide! Both chefs have presented wonderful dishes and in such different mannerisms! The flavors just overwhelm me! I love them both!

Elrond: Have you no love for your father?

Arwen: (Swoons) Oh Father!

Aragorn: (Muttering to himself) God, what do I see in her?

Gandalf: I have a question for Mr. Baggins. Do you have any more lembas pitas I could have for later? They are quite good!

Bilbo: They're mine. My precious....

Gandalf: BIBLO BAGGINS! I am not a cheap conjurer of tricks! I am not trying to rob you... well, yes, I am. Give them to me!

Glorfindel: PUH-lease, sit down! We must pass judgment on our two chefs. Is the panel ready with their decision? (The panel huddles in the corner for a few minutes, then gives Glorfindel a large envelope.)

Glorfindel: And now, the winner is.... (loud drum roll) Bilbo Baggins!

Wraith: WHAT?!

Glorfindel: Oh, I'm so sorry, my good man, err, wraith. While the panel judged your dishes to be much better overall, surely you know that in the Tolkien world good triumphs over evil in the end! That's all we have tonight, folks! Thank you for watching Iron Chef!

(Fade to black)

Thursday, March 20, 2003
The Iron Chef : Lembas Battle - Tehanu @ 18:51 PST
"If memory serves me correct, today's challenger, the wraith who appeased Sauron's palate first trained in the trades of Angmar. He later gained more experience in the fiery kitchens of Orthanc. At the age of several thousand, he opened his own restaurant at Minas Morgul. He specializes in the melding of exotic cuisine with spells and is considered one of Orthanc's finest Mordor-ese chefs."
Commentator Glorfindel, "Who imagined there was of Chef of Mordor cuisine ... this man's food ... someone to closely watch ... let's bring him on ... the Witchking of Angmar."
Commentator Glorfindel, "I hear you handle yourself quite well in the kitchen." Wraith replies, "[bloodcurdling screech]"
Okay, let's bring on Chairman Elrond.
Elrond, "Welcome to my kitchen stadium. And now ... the pride of my gourmet academy ... 3 iron chefs ... I summon Iron Chefs!"
Iron Chef Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, of the Shire
Iron Chef Elvish, Haldir, of Lorien
Iron Chef Dwarvish, Gimli
Witchking chooses, "Shire ... Baggins."
Commentator Glorfindel, "Born in Hobbiton, Iron Chef Bilbo Baggins trained in the epicurean kitchens of Bag End before moving to Rivendell at the age of eleventy-one. He is known for his long-awaited parties of Hobbit cuisine. It is said no one leaves hungry."
Now chairman Elrond unveils the main ingredient ... Lembas!
"Allez cuisine!"
Commentator Glorfindel, "Of this luxurious ingredient, it is said one bite can fill a grown man's stomach."
"It appears Bilbo is first up to the stand, and he appears to be sampling the theme ingredient already. This lembas is a special treat ... what dishes first come to mind?"
Taster Arwen, "Lembas goes well with everything, it has such a sweet flavor ... I would like to see it in a soup or something."
"Fukui-san ... the Hobbit says he will take this into consideration and plans to mix it with a nice healthy elven wine."
Arwen, "[giggles]"
"And what about you, Aragorn?"
"Something good for the road."
Commentator Glorfindel, "It will be interesting to watch the Witchking, because lembas is not traditionally used in Mordor-ese cooking."
"One minute to go"
"Time is done, the lembas battle is over!"
Challenger Witchking is offering 2 dishes:
- Filet of Fell Beast topped with a Lembas-crumb crust
- Scorched Malice Cake Flambe - in the shape of Orthanc, with a ring of fire around it
Iron Chef Hobbit is offering 5 dishes:
- Ranger Ploughman's lunch w/ Dichon Radish
- Elven-Wine-Onion soup served in a lembas breadbowl, perfectly complimenting each other
- Lembas Pitas, filled with Pork and Benito Shavings, accentuated by Hobbit-pipe infused smoke
- Lembas Stuffing, with mushrooms, truffle oil, and nice crispy bacon
- Lembas Bread Pudding, a simple way to end the meal
Panel of tasters:
Wizard: Gandalf
She-elf: Arwen
Gardener: Sam Gamgee
Ranger: Aragorn
Whose cuisine will reign supreme?

Billy Boyd Reports - Xoanon @ 14:10 PST
Prarie11 & Erendira sends in these reports from their time with Billy Boyd up here in the Great White North. Take a look! [More]

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Volunteer with Sean Astin! - Tehanu @ 23:24 PST
BitofEarth.net is putting out a final call for volunteers who would be interested in participating in a public service project with Sean Astin!

On April 6th, 2003, from 9am-5pm, a select group of 50 volunteers will be building a children's reading garden at the Riggs Institute Learning and Literacy Center in Beaverton, a division of the Portland, Oregon metro area. This event is being held in cooperation with Sean Astin, who intends to attend the event personally, and all additional proceeds will go to benefit Reading is Fundamental.

BitofEarth.net is still taking applications for volunteers, and will be doing so through midnight, March 22nd, Pacific Standard Time. For more information about Project Elanor, including how to volunteer or otherwise support our endeavor, please visit our website

More information about the Riggs Institue and their exciting literacy program will be available soon. The most up-to-date information can always be found by visiting our news page

Thank you

Project Elanor Staff www.bitofearth.net

Billy Boyd at Trent - Xoanon @ 14:15 PST
Rosamunde Brownlocks sends along this great report from Billy Boyd's appearance at Trent University in Ontario, take a look!

"Billy Boyd at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Question of the day - what is Billy doing talking here? Peterborough is about an hour and a half outside of Toronto, in the midst of rolling farmland and forests. Trent University is not a large university - perhaps 5,000 full time students and 2,000 part-time, spread amongst 3 campuses. The talk is to be in the Great Hall, which is a large, high-ceilinged room in the student union area, usually used as a cafeteria, with tall, narrow windows to the outside, and Frank Lloyd Wright style lights in large, long geometric wooden holders. It's 5 pm, and already there are fans in the seats - about 20. There's a small, portable wooden platform in the middle of the long side of the hall, with a small round table, 2 chairs, and 2 mikes, next to a screen. VCR on cart facing screen. Chairs in ever-widening semicircles fanning out - maybe 200 at most - in about 8 rows of seats. Not very big. No spotlight. I grab a seat in the 4th row, smack dab in the middle, along the aisle behind the VCR, so that I'm facing the table.

Spent the next 2 hours chatting with the nice woman (Kim) across the aisle from me, who was saving a seat for her husband and her husband's friend. They were fans of the book first, then the movie; she read the books after the movie, and became a fan. A real tribute to the movie and book that each can be enjoyed after experiencing the other; not generally the case for movies made from books. In front of me are Trent U fangirls, from whom I learn why Billy Boyd is there, as well as why there was such a short notice about it.

The Master of one of the schools in the college is related to Billy Boyd, and he asked Billy to do a talk in one of his classes (Children's Literature). As the day approached, and the number of interested people grew, the event ended up moving to the hall. It was not publicized, but was mentioned on the school website. Kim, a librarian at the Bata Library there at the school, only learned about it Sunday, the same day I did. Apparently they didn't want it getting too big. (Take all of this with a grain of salt; I may not be reporting it completely accurately, since it's from memory.)

Well, by the time 7:00 rolled around, the place was packed - and warm! There were a couple of fangirls behind me, who ended up sitting on the floor in front later, who had driven 23 hours from Bismarck, North Dakota (or is it South?), god bless them. They were internet knowledgable, and very nice, and soon made friends with another couple of fangirls who were local. The majority of the crowd appeared to be college students as well.

Finally, Billy showed up at a little after the start time of 7:30. He was wearing his trademark leather jacked and black shirt, and I was watching the door I knew he'd come into. I and a few others started clapping and soon all of us were.

He looked wonderful, although he's getting over a cold. You couldn't tell it from his voice, and he still was very involved in the discussion, and animated. He's a real trouper, he really is. He and the Master, Stephen Brown, went and sat at the table. There were to be 3 clips from FOTR and a clip from Sniper, with a couple of questions from the Master in-between, and Q&A at the end. I must say that Prof. Brown did a wonderful job - very relaxed but professional, good questions.

I can't write everything down now - it's late, and I have limited internet access, since Prodigy doesn't have Canadian access numbers, but he really was a joy to see - so well-spoken, relaxed, funny but thoughtful, and a natural speaker and teacher. I will say that he said he has a possible project on the stage in London this summer, so here's hoping. Other than that, he said he'd been taking a break for the last couple of months, since work wrapped up on MAC:FSOTW just before December, which was then followed by TTT activities until Christmas. Yes, he and Dom worked on the screenplay for their possible movie during weekends off in the MAC:FSOTW shoot.

The clips were: the fireworks, "second breakfast", and Moria - from the finding of the book, through Pip's disastrous tweaking of the arrow in the skeleton, all the way through to Frodo's mithril shirt. As for Sniper 470 - it was apparently a tape off of the presentation on Scottish TV, since it started with The New Found Land logo and was not film quality; I would guess that he had to use a copy for the program. It went all the way to just after the *ahem* toilet scene (kind of surprised it didn't end a bit earlier!).

Afterwards, there was a very nice long Q&A, then clapping and a swarm to the stage for autographs. I didn't try to get an autograph, since they didn't seem to need even more people up there in the throng that appeared to swallow up Billy (I hope he survived! *g*). But I'm glad I went. I'll never get an opportunity like this again, and it was worth it.

And, Billy Boyd - you are a top notch human being for coming out and doing this wonderful talk for a small audience at a small college in the middle of Canada - thank you."

Monday, March 17, 2003
Billy Boyd Invades Canada - Xoanon @ 19:40 PST
Dimoreion and anine write:

I thought you would all like to see the pics I took of Billy last night at Garneau Theatre in Edmonton. He is looking very well though he had lost his voice :(

My friend and I drove up from Calgary to see him and it was well worth it. It was pretty much the same as the Medicine Hat review you guys posted, but Billy's publicist made him leave afterwards, even though he wanted to sign autographs.

Some quick notes: He claims the script him and Dom are working on is in a terrible mess, Dom is working on it this moment with two fingers typing away.

His new film that was supposed to be out in June has been pushed to November, Billy wasn't altogether sure what day it was coming out.

He loves Canada! And is having a great time.

Hope you all enjoy the pics! I have more on my website along with a complete writeup.


Hi, images from Medicine Hat Film Festival; great shorts, great to meet Billy!

Trio: Billy with Karen Bruce (right) Manager, Film Circuit for Toronto International Film Festival Group and Anine Vonkeman, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta.

Billy: Billy signing one of many books and other assorted paraphernalia here at Mario's following the screening.

Shirt: the shirt referred to by Fooph on 3/14/03

Sunday, March 16, 2003
Andy Serkis At BookSoup Report - Xoanon @ 21:58 PST
CAhobbit writes:

I just wanted to share my wonderful day. Today in Hollywood I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Andy Serkis. He was doing a book signing for the newly released book: The Art of the Two Towers, in which he wrote the afterword. I got in line a little before 11am. This of course was after the horrible ordeal of trying to find a parking spot in Hollywood.

I met up with a fellow TORnsib and we chatted and laughed almost the entire time while in line. We also had some very nice and interesting people around us to chat with from time to time. Time always seems to go by quickly when you are in good company. Of course Lord of the Rings fans are alwyas good company.

The book signing started around 1pm and a little after 2pm the time came for me to meet the man behind the CG. He seemed to be a very nice man. He had a very warm smile and hello for everyone. He answered peoples questions and made small talk with others. He seems to really love and appreicate his fans. He was gracious enough to personalize our books,if we wanted. I had him personalize to me (of course) and had him write “The Gollum” before his signature.

All in all it was a wonderful day. Thank goodness the rain let up.

Ted Nasmith Tour Schedule - Xoanon @ 20:53 PST
From the folks at tednasmith.com:

Ted Nasmith magnificent and visionary Tolkien artist is due to appear at two events next month: He will be the speaker at a Tolkien Society AGM in Chester,England April 11-12. So my dear hobbitlings get on down there! He will also attend Elf Fantasy Fair just outside Amsterdam, Holland on April 25-27. Ted will also be at two conferances in Canada.

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