Stories [Sunday, Apr. 04, 2004, 7:58 pm]
This is just a place for me to write down all those funny or unusual things that have happened to me (or my family) before I found Diaryland. Or even after. I'll try to think of the most amusing ones that I can. These are all true, although for all I know, I'm the only person they'll make sense to. We'll see. But I'm trying to work on describing things, and I felt this was a good way to practice it.
Number four: How I found Lord of the Rings
I'd certainly heard of the books before, but the first time I really learned what they were about was when I was reading through a kids' magazine that my younger siblings got. I think it was called "Muse". There was an article in it that was all about the new Fellowship of the Ring movie that would be released later that year. There was a picture of the 4 hobbits hiding from the ringwraith, and a picture of Sam in his garden. I thought it looked very interesting.
I loved the fantasy series "The Chronicles of Narnia" ever since I first read them, so I knew Lord of the Rings would have some similarities to that. But I had been a bit disappointed with the movies that were made of that series. Even though they followed the book almost perfectly, I just felt they were rather dull.
But as I read further in this Lord of the Rings article, I noticed a little note near the bottom that said: "The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are wonderful books that we wholeheartedly recommend for children 9 years of age or older. The films, however, carry a PG-13 rating because of the intensity of some scenes, and parental discretion is advised."
Suddenly, these movies weren't looking so dull to me. I decided I definitely wanted to see them, but I wanted to read the books first. So that Christmas, my mom got them for us. It took me about 2 months to read the first one - I got stuck for quite a while in "The council of Elrond". So long in fact, that when I read the part about them discovering Balin's tomb in Moria, I had to page back through the book trying to jog my memory on who the heck this Balin guy was.
After I finished it, and read partway into "The Two Towers" (I just had to find out what "The departure of Boromir" was all about), I had to talk my dad into taking me to the movies to see it. Which wasn't easy, because we really didn't go to the theaters very much at all. In fact, at the time I saw FotR, I had only been to the theater once in the past 10 years - to see the Return of the Jedi special edition.
Anyway, my dad did finally take me and my little brother to the movies - the film was nearing the end of its run, so we 3 were the only ones in the huge theater it played in. In fact, they weren't even going to run it if we hadn't showed up that night. So we got our own private showing of the Fellowship of the Ring, and it blew me away. Everything about it was amazing - the actors (and actresses), the costumes, the special effects (which were used perfectly - they enhanced the film without clouding the story itself), and everything else. The only thing I really didn't like at the time was Arwen's extremely expanded role. Although it doesn't bother me now. And my dad and brother loved it too. After it was over, I was saying, "Aren't you glad I convinced you to see this??"
So I read the next 2 books before the Two Towers came out, and this time we actually saw the movie in December, instead of waiting until it was almost out of theaters! Anyway, I doubt anyone has read this whole thing, but there's my little story of how I discovered the most wonderful movies ever made.
I think all teenagers should have the opportunity of experiencing an amazing epic movie when it comes out for the first time. For my parents' generation, it was Star Wars. For mine, it's Lord of the Rings. Aren't we fortunate?
Number three: A deserving bat-boy
I have no idea how this got started, but one of the leaders somehow got us cheering for the opposing team's batboy. I'm not kidding. Every single time he went out to get the bat, we'd start cheering for him. Yes, I joined in too. How could I not? I mean, he's a batboy; he probably never gets much praise or appreciation. Which is basically what our leader who started it all said.
The first few times we did that, the batboy was kinda cracking up every time he came out. He probably thought we were nuts (hey, maybe we were!). But it was a lot of fun. I mean, how often has he gone out there to collect the bats for all those players, and wondered if he'd ever get cheered for like they do? Well, I'm glad we could give him a little attention.
After the game was over, a few kids went down and were able to get his autograph before he left (which probably surprised him even more). I was able to watch for a while. I found out his name was Kyle, and he seemed like a really nice guy. He was totally surprised at all that attention he was getting, and was very humble about it. So I think he deserved it.
Well anyway, one of the kids had borrowed my pen to get the autograph with, so I went up to him and asked, "Since I actually own the ink that the autograph was made with, does that mean it's half mine?" He just gave me a blank look and said, "Uh, sure."
I didn't pursue the matter. But I sometimes wonder what happened to Kyle. I hope our cheering for him is something that will stand out in his memory, because every batboy needs to be appreciated now & then.
Number two: "You mean the boat doesn't take us home until tomorrow?"
The problem? We had read the last year's schedule. Well, the boat was unloading passengers and as we were getting off, my dad just double-checked and said, "You'll be coming back here at 8, right?" It was then that we found out that the boat wouldn't be returning until around 11 the next morning. Fortunately, this was certainly an inhabited island, and we knew they had a hotel, so we decided we would just get off as planned, instead of wasting all that money just to ride around on a ferry boat.
So we got off and headed up this hill toward the main section of the island. We learned that the only two places available to stay at were a bed & breakfast, and the hotel. We inquired at the bed & breakfast, and they said they were full. And surprisingly, the hotel had only one room. It was single, and there were 6 of us. Anyway, we were soon to learn that the reason everything was so full was because some species of bird was on the island at the time, and people were coming to, well, listen to it. That's right. They were kinda like bird-watchers, except they were bird-listeners.
Yes, very strange. Fortunately, however, we were saved from camping out in the public bathrooms. A very nice man from the bed & breakfast (he was also one of the bird-listeners), who was staying in a family-sized room, volunteered to go to the single room in the hotel, so we could have the family room. Needless to say, we were very grateful. Of course, we hadn't packed anything in the way of toothpaste, soap, pajamas, etc., and another family there even had to 'loan' us a few diapers. So we stayed the night, had a very nice breakfast the next morning, and caught the boat at the right time.
So it all worked out ok. Except, after we had been on the ferry for a while, my mom was above deck, and my little sister asked exactly what had happened to us. So mom told her the whole story about how we read the wrong schedule, etc. And when she was done, a woman who had been standing nearby said, "Oh! So you're the ones!"
Oh great. I wonder how many other people on that boat knew the story about the family who got stranded for a night on the Island of Coll because they didn't read the right schedule. Hopefully only one of them did.
Number one: Language confusion
Well, we were eating at this outdoor cafe, and the waiter came to take our order, and we found out his native language was Flemmish. Now, he could still speak some French of course, but it wasn't that good, and him and my mom were having a little bit of trouble communicating. Well, my mom leaned over to my sister and me, and asked, "So what do you two want?" All of a sudden, our waiter said, "Oh, you speak English? My English is much better than my French!" We all had a good laugh about that one!
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009