Tolkien Collection Haul: January-March 2016

Here’s everything I added to my Tolkien Collection since the beginning of the year! I didn’t include anything I got in New Zealand because it would have been too much work to get everything out again. But if you want to know what I bought during my trip, click here.

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Musical Mondays: Burn

It’s been about 10 months (wow I suck) since my last musical song recommendation. I really love musicals so I’m working on queuing a post every week for a couple months, just bear with me!

If you don’t already know about Hamilton, I recommend stopping whatever you’re doing and listen to the soundtrack. It’s a hip hop musical about one of America’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and it’s amazing. I haven’t seen it yet, my mom got us tickets to see it in October of this year…and she bought them in December. It’s almost impossible to buy tickets for this show unless you’re willing to shell out lots of money or buy tickets way (waaaay) in advance. The musical is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and I’ve already talked about him before on my blog because his first Broadway musical, In the Heights, is one of my all time favorites.

I’m pretty much obsessed with every song from Hamilton, but I tend to listen to “Burn” the most. Elizabeth Hamilton, Alexander’s wife (played by Phillipa Soo, a goddess), sings it and it’s after she learns of her husband’s affair. I’m putting in a youtube video but you can also stream the entire album on Spotify. (But just buy the album, truuuust me!!)

New Zealand Haul!

NZ Haul 1

Forever upset that my tour with Red Carpet Tours is over, luckily I bought lots of souvenirs to help me remember it. Looking back I wish I bought more stuff, especially books! I have no idea how I managed to stop myself from buying more copies of LOTR and The Hobbit.

First group of items I bought were from the Hobbiton movie site store. The fact that I managed to spend only about $60 USD is a miracle. This was only the second day of the tour so I knew I had to pace myself, if I didn’t I would have easily spent all of my NZ budget. Kicking myself that I didn’t buy that two-volume edition of The Hobbit, that store was the only place I’ve seen it! Next time — that’s what I keep telling myself. So this is what I bought:

  • The Hobbit cap – I never wear hats, but I bought this so I wouldn’t a get sunburn on my face. I gave it to my dad when I got home.
  • Green Dragon mug – Every mug was different, the colors were never in the same exact spot which I loved.
  • Green Dragon shirt – The back has some lyrics from the song.
  • Hobbiton postcard – I should have bought more!
  • Hobbiton Movie Set pen
  • Hobbiton Movie Set bottle opener – I don’t drink often so I don’t see myself using this any time soon but it’s so pretty! Obviously I needed it.
  • Hobbiton Movie Set magnet – I love that it’s made from wood.

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I went to New Zealand!!


It happened. I was in New Zealand for 18 beautiful days. It’s strange to read this post from about a year ago because at that point I thought I would be going at the end of this year. I’m so happy that I went when I did because my Fellowship was the best (I’m sure people say that every month but I’m right).

I left for NZ on January 1, and my flights were just…not fun. Not to get too personal but I had BAD cramps the entire time, I was grumpy and I just wanted to get to Middle-earth as soon as possible. I arrived in NZ a day before my tour started which I didn’t want to do initially for $$ reasons, but it turned out to be a blessing because it meant I had a little time to recuperate before I met everyone and started my journey. I definitely made the right decision to go with Red Carpet Tours, they took such great care of all of us!

Here are some of the highlights from my trip. 🙂

  • I met Shane Rangi and sat across from him during the welcome dinner!!! It was amazing but the entire time I couldn’t figure out where to look — do I watch him eat? Do I very obviously not look at him?? He is a really nice guy and I still can’t believe I met such an inspiring person. I also need to add that he called James Cameron “Jim”, and if that’s not one of the greatest things you’ve ever heard I don’t know what to tell you.
  • I WENT TO HOBBITON!!!!! I have cried just thinking about going there but when I saw everything in person I didn’t shed one tear. I was more in a daze, it didn’t feel like it was really happening! I loved it of course, but I have some thoughts to share on the entire experience. I’ll save that for later.
  • I didn’t expect this to happen but the Trollshaws location turned out to be one of my favorite places! I’ve seen some beautiful scenery in my travels but WOW, everything was so blue and green and vibrant!
  • I learned that most of the world calls pineapples “ananas”, and that ended up being a very intense topic for the rest of the trip.
  • We got a special presentation from Daniel Falconer (basically Weta royalty) who I was lucky to meet last October at NYCC. If I wasn’t such a pile of anxiety I would have asked for another photo. Next time! Then soon after we met RICHARD TAYLOR, caps necessary. Pretty sure when I turned around and saw him I gasped/screamed, I don’t know it all happened to fast. After that I spent 80% of my NZ budget at the Weta Cave, not surprising.
  • Later that day we visited the folks at Meniscus and make our own leather key chain/necklace. BUT the thing I need to get out is that I MET JED BROPHY. And I’ll tell you the whole story. So since the Meniscus shop isn’t big enough to house the almost 40 people in my Fellowship, we split up in two groups. So while Group 1 was at the shop, Group 2 (me included) stayed behind at a cafe. Deanna, a Wellington RCT volunteer was with us, and while I was too busy admiring the ocean she quickly talked to someone. She came over to us and said “Do you know who just walked into the cafe?” And I shit you not, I thought “If she says Jed Brophy I am going to scream.” She said it was Jed and my roommate and I yelled “JED BROPHY???” So the people in my group went back inside to see him and even though he was having lunch with a friend he agreed to take photos with us. I honestly don’t remember what I said, it was probably something stupid. So afterward we all went back outside and suffered the Wellington winds and who came outside later? JED. He talked a little to Deanna and the only thing I was able to do was stare and hit my roommate because I was so excited. In case it isn’t already easy to tell, Jed is one of my favorite human beings. Telling my friends that I met him was hilarious because most of the responses involved the word “FINALLY!!”
  • As if seeing Shane, Daniel F., Richard, and Jed wasn’t enough, the next day we met Daniel Reeve. DANIEL REEVE. He created all the maps, the “No Admittance” sign, he wrote in the Red Book of Westmarch!!! The guy is pretty much an art god to me. And I just need to tell you that he really does write perfectly straight, I’ve witnessed it and it’s amazing.
  • A couple days later we visited the Jens Hansen shop and met Halfdan! I mentioned that I was the winner of their first One Ring tumblr giveaway — which was back in 2012 — and he remembered!
  • To help the time go by faster, our tour guide, Julie, did a Tolkien quiz and I placed in second! I was aiming for first but it’s fine because I got to be a captain of a team for the last round and we won. 😉
  • Later in the day we went kayaking from the barrel scene. It was a very eventful day, there was a capsize and I got stung by some demon insect that gave me a bacteria infection but I’ll talk about that in another post.
  • WE CLIMBED UP EDORAS! I didn’t know the trek up Mt. Sunday would be so intense, but once we made it to the top, all my feelings of exhaustion disappeared. That was the place where Meduseld stood! Where Eowyn stood elegantly in the wind (oh my god that wind was ridiculous, I don’t know why I even bothered to try and make my hair look presentable that day).
  • The next day we went to the Pelennor Fields and Lake-town refugee locations. We got to charge and scream DEATH, Theoden would have been proud. And Lake Pukaki, oh my god. Gorgeous location! I can’t even begin to describe the bizarre time we had there. I’ll tell you about Ian, the owner, and his 1950’s movie seat transport system another day.
  • Another location we went to was where Pippin dropped his leaf brooch. I’ll never forget Marion’s impression of Gimli! I’ll need to figure out how to post the video on my blog.
  • The second to last day of the tour we went to the Breaking of the Fellowship location, it hurt how fitting that was. I miss everyone!
  • The final day we all did different things, 10 of us did a “Touching Middle-earth Tour”. We went to a few more LOTR locations and played around with weapons. You don’t even know how excited I was to see Herugrim!!
  • I was sad to say goodbye to the people I spent two weeks with but I was also excited because when I got back to Auckland I met Sophie!! We became friends four years ago on tumblr (so many embarrassing memories of our LOTR graphics and gifs). Then the next day I had lunch with Dallas Barnett, Bill Ferny Sr. from DOS! Such a hilarious guy.
  • I also need to talk about how our bus driver on the North Islands was named Wayne, our bus driver on the South Islands was named Wayne…and the taxi driver who drove some of us to the Queenstown airport on the last day was also a Wayne. Every time I meet a Wayne I’ll think of NZ. ❤

Tolkien Collection Haul: October-December 2015

It’s been about a year since I first started doing Tolkien Collection Haul posts! This haul is definitely a big one, and it’s mostly because I went a little crazy at New York Comic Con in October.

Tolkien Haul Oct-Dec 9

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Tolkien Book Wishlist pt. 1

We all should know by now that I have a book hoarding problem, specifically a Tolkien book hoarding problem. Even after years of collecting there’s still so much more I’d like to one day own (this will be the case for many years to come, I’m sure). Here are some books that are on my collection wishlist:

The Hobbit Illustrated by Alan Lee

ISBN: 978-0547928258

The Silmarillion Illustrated by Ted Nasmith

ISBN: 978-0618391110

The Lord of the Rings Folio Society, 2002

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Infinity Dreams Award

I was nominated by Maria and the Traveling Geek Show for the Infinity Dreams Award.


  • List seven dreams. They can be personal or website related.
  • Nominate seven other bloggers/authors/dogs for this award and notify them.

Meet my Middle-earth News Family

I have already met the U.S. members from Middle-earth News (you can read about it here), but that was so long ago and I desperately want to see them again! Not only them, but the European peeps too! We all pretty much talk to each other everyday and I can’t even begin to imagine how much fun we would have together. Our LOTR marathon would be epic and hilarious!

Theatre Designer

Some of you probably already know this but I’m a graphic design major (hopefully graduating soon!!) and I love watching Broadway shows (mainly musicals). Since I’m not an actor or singer, any dreams of starring in a musical are unrealistic. I’d still love to be able to work in the NYC theatre world as a designer. Making ads for musicals/plays, developing logos, do marketing…this is my dream job.

Become a Tolkien Scholar

While I love all things relating to Tolkien and hoard too many books, I’m no where near becoming a scholar but it’s something I hope to accomplish one day. I want to be that person who can drop trivia at any time, answer people’s questions, speak Sindarin, and know how to write in Tengwar. I have a lot of study material (too many books, haha) at my disposal, so it is a possibility for me. I just need to find the time and determination to really get down and learn as much as I can.

Collect, Collect and Collect!

A big dream of mine is for my Tolkien Collection to keep growing. Hopefully when I get a place of my own, I’ll be able to really get it set up nicely. Imagine a room of Middle-earth. There are so many book editions, action figures, statues and movie memorabilia that I want to own. It would be a dream come true to have a good job and home where I’m able to focus on collecting.


I’ve always wanted to cosplay but it’s basically an impossible dream for me because I don’t sew at all. I’m so envious of cosplayers, they get to be their favorite characters! I wish I had the talent and drive to cosplay, and I hope that one day I will. My friend Rachel makes fun of me because I want to cosplay as the most random characters: Cabbage Man from Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Matchmaker from Mulan and Old Bilbo (Grey Havens scene). I also want to be a Kyoshi Warrior and Eowyn (have you seen her dresses???)


I’m the type of person to start something and never finish it, and this relates mostly to all the books collecting dust in my bookshelf. Reading is FUN, but I’m a horrible person and always put it off. There are currently five books I need to finish and I can’t even begin to count the number of series and books I want to start. There are so many great stories out there, worlds I want to explore and what happens? I don’t read. I suck.

Attend More Tolkien Events

HobbitCon, RingCon, MythMoot, OxonMoot…I want to go to all of these events! If it’s Tolkien-related, I want to be there. Especially if that means there will be tons of other fans and scholars to talk to. And I know this isn’t exactly Tolkien-related, but I want to go to a Renaissance Fair. I am filled with lots of shame because I don’t know the joy of a giant Ren Fair turkey leg.

I don’t really know who to tag, so if you’re reading this and it sounds like something you want to do, I nominate you!

Tolkien Collection Haul: July-September 2015

July, August and September were pretty good to my Tolkien Collection! Got a nice mix of items, from books to a Gollum hat.

Here’s my first batch of books. Bought that copy of The Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Taylor at a book sale over the summer, I want to say it was $2? Too bad there dust jacket is missing. I had a difficult time finding the ISBN, but inside it says PR6039.032Z49 1976 828′.9’1209 76-5203. I guess that’s it?

I bought the grey copy of The Lord of the Rings (ISBN 978-0-544-27344-3) at Strand for $9 which was like winning the lottery because the original list price is $30 (NYC book shops usually aren’t that cheap).

I actually got that copy of The Silmarillion First American Edition at a free book exchange! I love free books and I really love free Tolkien books. I already had a copy but this one is in MUCH better condition. Continue reading

Tattoos I Want to Get

Obviously I would want a Tolkien-themed tattoo, possibly more than 1! I have this dream of getting the Tengwar symbol for 9 tattooed somewhere on my body like the LOTR cast. At first I thought it would be kinda weird to get the same one but I’m sure there are fans all around the world that have done the same.

There is also, of course, the Tolkien insignia, a classic! If I get that I think I’d want it on my arm, possibly near my right shoulder. I’d also need a hobbit-themed tattoo but I don’t know what type of hobbit tattoo to get. I don’t think I want a hobbit door, or if I did I’d like it to be in the classic tattoo style like this. That entire Instagram account is dangerous because it makes me want to get ALL THE TATTOOS.

There is a huge cherry blossom tree (Kanzan) in my backyard and it always blooms near my birthday. Cherry blossoms make me think of home and happy times so I’d like a small tattoo of one (flower modeled by Sauron shown below). Nothing fancy, no branches or leaves, just one flower.

I’ve talked about this a lot, so many of you probably already know, but my favorite musical of all time is Rent, and I would like to have the lyric “no day but today” tattooed. I have such a difficult time picking a typeface to use in projects so I don’t know how I will choose one for a tattoo. I’m leaning towards the old-style typewriter look.

A few years ago, I passed a man on the street with tattoos of all the nation symbols from Avatar: The Last Airbender and it looked AWESOME. I’m not saying that this random guy made me realize I wanted an ATLA tattoo (though it would be fine if he had), I’ve been wanting one for years. ATLA is another one of my big fandoms, and I’d love to have a tattoo that represented that show. I imagine my tattoo would be just in black ink and without borders, unlike the image below.

So as of this moment there are 6 tattoos I’d like to get, there will probably be more.

What tattoos do you have/want to get? 🙂