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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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LOTR crew t-shirt!

Weta shirt

Hey, check out the photo above...Jill and Shane sent me an Eye of Sauron shirt! On the front is an embroidered red logo, and on the back is the text: "The Lord of the Rings: Weta Visual Effects Crew". VERYvery cool. I have been cheering and clapping for Shane's name in the credits each time I've seen Lord of the Rings, and now I'm going to be cheering and clapping even more loudly. :-) Jill also sent me some of the new New Zealand Lord of the Rings stamps.

Thank you, Jill and Shane! I'm even more of a geeky newbie Tolkien fan than I was before.

Sauron eye logo

My dad treated us to lunch yesterday at King's Garden. I'm nuts for the shrimp dumplings, yum. Afterwards, Parki and Andrew came to visit. Both had iPods (Parki's was only hours old). Jeff got one from his mom for Christmas. Very cool-looking gadget, and you can supposedly fit a thousand songs on it.

Scott arrived later in the afternoon; he's staying with us until tomorrow. He announced he had just seen Lord of the Rings at the Paramount despite having already made plans to see it with Jeff and me that evening, the cheeky git! He liked it so much he was willing to see it again, however.


Before the movie, we had dinner at an Indonesian restaurant called Garuda (I think that's the name) right across from the theatre. I don't think I'm going out of my way to eat there took 40 minutes for us to get our order even though there were no other customers when we arrived, and the food itself was mediocre to bad (shrimp chips were burned, the mystery meat in my rice dish was tough and had a gamey flavour, for example).

We decided to see the movie at the Eglinton theatre for sentimental reasons. One of the oldest movie theatres in Toronto, the Eglinton is closing soon. Apparently (please feel free to correct me if any of you know differently; I haven't been able to track down any written sources of information so am relying on third-party reports) a Toronto Star reporter and a few others filed suit against the landmark for not adhering to current handicapped access requirements. It didn't matter that the Eglinton was built before these guidelines were established.

Already struggling before the filing of the suit, the Eglinton said that if it invested the money needed to revamp the building (hundreds of thousands of dollars), it would go out of business. Its regretful announcement that it would have to shut down elicited much outrage and regret from Torontonians. The theatre was declared an official national historic site by Parks Canada a while back through the work of the Historic Theatres Trust.

Jeff, Andrew, Parki

Though not the most plush movie theatre in the city, the Eglinton is one of the few theatres left with any semblance of personality, its art deco interior signs and ornaments providing a glimpse into old Toronto. The place has always reminded me of an elderly woman wearing old-fashioned clothing to a corporate schmooze cocktail party. Her outfit may be slightly shabby but still retains its original elegance, and the woman herself carries herself with dignity lacking in most of the party attendees.

Okay, so maybe I'm going a tad overboard on the metaphor, but I still find myself feeling somewhat sad about the whole thing.

So I went to see Lord of the Rings last night for the third time, with Jeff, Scott D. (who saw it twice in one day), Parki, Lindsay and Wendy. First time I saw LOTR, I loved it. Second time wasn't as enjoyable experience because of the bad film quality/sound/audience experience at Elgin Mills, plus some of the negative stuff on Allison's movie board that was still in my head. Before I saw it the third time, I purposely stopped reading LOTR reviews and the message board. And I found myself enjoying the movie even more than the first time.

My moment of epiphany came during the car ride to the subway with Jodi and Allison. Like some other avid Tolkien fans, Allison was pretty upset with parts of the LOTR movie which didn't match the book (though she loved the rest of movie). I found myself fiercely defending why I still liked those parts, but also found my rabid enthusiasm for the movie waning somewhat.

Then I gave myself a mental kick in the head (easier than a physical kick, after all) for letting my own enjoyment of the movie be influenced by what other people thought of it. I purposely stopped reading the movie review board...that forum is wonderful for those who wish to voice and read opinions about the movie (both positive or negative), but I think I'd rather stick to my own little bubble of enthusiasm and see the movie another half dozen times without trying to argue why I like it so much. :-)

The audience at the Eglinton was great, by the way, remarkably enthusiastic (cheers, clapping at appropriate points, for instance) for a movie that has been out for over a week.

Hung out at bookstores with Scott most of the day, going to Parki's tonight.


- My Weta crew "Eye of Sauron" shirt! :-)

- Close-up of the embroidered logo on the front of the shirt.

- Eglinton theatre.

- Jeff, Andrew, Parki.

- IPods belonging to Jeff, Andrew, and Parki. :-)

- Scott Dixon. Scott's staying with us until tomorrow.

Today's Poll:

Have you made at least one New Year's Resolution?

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