If We were Having Coffee – December 2nd 2018

Welcome back to another ‘If we were having coffee’ -post were we pretend to meet up for a coffee to catch up with each others lives.

By now, our frequent readers will know that it is common for this blog to become quiet for months at a time. At this point, there is no apology I can give to fully compensate for that. However, I still want to give an update or explanation as to why I, for one, disappeared.

Since the last time we had our virtual meet-up in April , a lot has happened in my life. I got a job offer not long after that post, moved to a different city and started my new job. These changes have been rather bitter-sweet for me. While I love my job and my new home, and hometown, I miss living close to my family and friends. It has been about four months since I’ve moved, but I’m far from finding new friends or even exploring my new home town. About every fortnight, I visit my parents over the weekend which means that I’m commuting a lot (I have no car and are using public transport) which leaves me with not much freetime and during that little freetime I have, I’m too exhausted to do anything.  Basically, I’m still adjusting to working 40 hours a week and commuting every second weekend. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel: I’m slowly getting used to it and very slowly go back to enjoying my various hobbies (incl. this blog) that are not reading.

Speaking of reading, because I’ve been commuting so much the past several months, and was too braindead to do anything else, I’ve read a lot. As of now when this post is published, I’ve read 62 books! Sure some of you read way over 100 books each year, every year, but I’m a slow reader and this number is a big deal to me. I’ll create a infographic for my 2018 reading year where I’ll break down how many books I’ve consumed as printed editions, e-books, and audiobooks, alongside other reading related statistics. However, I’ll be honest, without audiobooks, this number would’ve been a lot lower. And no, listening to audiobooks is not cheating, it is as valid as reading a printed book. Fight me if you like, I’m not changing my mind!

I’ve finally got Netflix! Yeah I know I’m very late to the game, but where I lived previously had a terrible internet connection where loading a 10 minute long Youtube video took ages, so I never bothered to get Netflix. So far, however, I’ve watched only one TV series in its entirety, but started several others. The only one I finished was Mind Hunters and I’ll give it 3,5 or 4 out of 5 stars. I was good, don’t get me wrong, but not exaclty what I expected. I hoped for more interviews with serial killers and less personal drama, but that was just my own misguided expectation. I’ve started watching Sabrina and I probably won’t finish it. Yeah its nicely done and has some good elements, but for the most part, I just don’t care for any of the characters. Also I miss my sarcastic and adorkable speaking Salem. The last show I started, but genuinly love, is, of course, Stranger Things. Yes, the hype is real, I’m completely hooked and can’t wait to finish it.

I’m still learning how to deal with my money responsibly which is code for ‘I hauled a bunch of stuff which I’ll share with you in the weeks to come’. I never had such a well-paying job so as of now I spend most of my money on books, nerdy collectibles, and stuff for my apartment. Ok that is a slight exaggeration, but still, I need to start saving money for hard times as well as a car.

What has your life been like? Any topics you want me to write about? Leave a comment down below! Oh and  I wish you a merry first advent for those of you who celebrate Christmas. To the rest of you, I wish you a merry Sunday. 

The Unique Blogger Award

We’ve been tagged by Olga from Middle-earth Reflections for the Unique Blogger Award. Thank you Olga, we are really excited to participate!

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The Rules
*Share the link to the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
*Answer the questions.
*In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
*Ask them 3 questions.

 

And now to Olga’s questions:

1. Who is your favourite villain from the books you’ve read or films you’ve seen?
Oh, that is a tough one. I have many ‘favourite villains’ for different reasons. Sometimes I love them because they are charming, other times because they are terrifying, then there are times where I love villains because the actors/actresses did a fantastic job. At the top of my head, I’d pick Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Sir Christoper Lee’s performance was, of course, amazing. However, the reason I prefer Saruman over Sauron, in the films anyway, is that we can see how deceiving villains can be. Sure, there are the stereotypically monsters such as the Orcs, but in real life, terrible people don’t have horns on their heads or other clearly visible markers that tell the rest of us “watch out this is an evil person”. Yes, in the books, Sauron was even more deceiving and underwent a “wolf in sheep’s clothing to terrible villain” transformation, but not everyone has read the books. So Saruman is in the films is to me a great example of why the best villains are those that are not the stereotypical disfigured monster. Another great villain in this category would be Michael Corleone from The Godfather. A great villian from a book I’ve recently read would be Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs.

2. What can you be found doing on a day-off?
I wish I could write something fancy as “going on long walks in the countryside” and “reading a good book while enjoying a fantastic coffee beverage in a small but charming local café”, but the truth is that I spend way too much time in front of my computer. Many of my hobbies, these days, are somehow dependent on my computer. I love to play Lord of the Rings Online, catch up with videos or blog posts from my favourite Youtubers or Bloggers, practice digital art, and write for my various blog projects such as Travelling Geek Show.

3. Do you prefer long books or short books?
I’ll be honest, I prefer short books. I’ve been an English major at univ. so we had to read tons and tons of books, most of which were very long. For the entirety of my studies, I’ve spend trying desperately to read all the books my professors picked for class. Yet, the closer I got to graduating, the more I fell behind (sorry Profs!). As much as I love reading, this taught me to avoid long books. This doesn’t mean that I won’t pick up long books (the one I’m currently reading has 500 pages), but I tend to buy more shorter books than longer ones these days.

Now, here are my three questions:
1.If you could travel to any fictional place for a day, where would you go and what would you do?2.Whether we are part of the nerdy culture or are part of sports teams, we all are shaped by the things we love. What are three fictional characters that influenced you or shaped you in some way?
3.What book, movie, comic, or video game did blow you off your socks this year?

I tag the the first 8 people who like or comment on this post! Ok, I know it is somewhat cheating, but I’d love to get to know our readers but I don’t want to single anyone out in particular while ‘ignoring’ others. So whoever is courageous enough to answer my questions, please leave us a comment or e-mail!

Wizarding World Crate May Unboxing

A few days ago, I’ve received my very first subscription box, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World crate from Lootcrate. It is a bi-monthly box and in May, the theme was ‘The Dark Arts’.  Before I will go into detail of what I got and what I think of it, I want to discuss a few things in regards to shipping and Lootcrate in general.

Price & Shipping

The price of the Wizarding World crate was 45.48€ including shipping. I received on May 20th a notification that my crate ended up at customs, so on the 22nd I went to pick it up. In Germany, and the EU in general I think, you have to pay an import tax for orders outside the EU over a certain amount. In Germany, this import tax amounts to 19% of the price you paid for your product. In other words, I had to pay 8.64€ import tax. So all in all, I paid 54,12€ which is a rather hefty price to be honest.

When I ordered the crate, it was said in the notification E-mail that I’d receive an E-mail once my order has been shipped and that I’d receive a tracking number. Now, I did receive an E-mail with both. However, I’ve received this E-mail only once the order reached the last stage of shipping when it reached Germany. Until then, I was in the dark. I ordered my crate in early April, so I really would’ve appreciated it to receive a notification when my order was started to get processed.

What I got in my Wizarding World Crate ‘The Dark Arts’

In this crate, we received 5 items. A T-shirt, an enamel pin, a pencil case, a set of 4 plastic plates, and a stationary wax stamp set which includes 6 cards, 6 envelopes, a velvet bag, a wax stick, and a stamp. According to the note inside the crate, all items are exclusive to the Wizarding World crate.

Chamber of Secrets Stationary Wax Stamp Set

My personal favourite in this box is this wax stamp set. It is hard to tell on my images, but the cards have the logo of the Chamber of Secrets embossed to them. The wax stamp itself just looks stunning! I’ve already made up my mind who will receive a Chamber pf Secrets greeting card from me.

Dolores Umbridge Plastic Cat Plates

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This one made me laugh out loud. Back in April, when I tolk my sister about the theme ‘The Dark Arts’, I was joking around how fun and rediculous it would be to receive Umbridge’s cat plates….and now we did! I’m a dog person, so I won’t put them on my wall, but I will bring them out whenever I need a good laugh.

Tom Riddle’s Diary Enamel Pin, Azkaban Prion Pencil Case & Fantastic Beasts T-Shirt

I’ll be honest, I probably wouldn’t have picked any of these three things up in a store, but I’m still happy that I got them. The T-shirt is too big to be honest. I ordered the size M (which is normally my size), but it is a men’s style T-shirt and, therefore, too big. If you’re thinking about ordering a Wizarding World crate and want a slim fitting T-shirt, order a size smaller than your normal T-shirt size. The enamel pin and pencil case are beautiful and I can’t wait to use them!

Final Thoughts

I really thove all items in May’s Wizarding World Crate, but the prize is too high for me to get another one. The regular prize of 45.48€ is aready somewhat steep to be honest, but having to pay an additional 8.64€ at customs is just too much for me. On the long run, the Wizarding World Crate may become something I treat myself not more than once a year. However, if you do decide to treat yourself with a Wizarding World crate, no matter how often, I still think that the items you’ll receive are awesome!

Have you got any of the previous Wizarding World crates? If so what are your thoughts? Leave a comment down below!

Join our Silmarillion Read-Along in March!

Ever wanted to read Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, but you’re intimidated by it? Or already read it and you’re left confused by all those names and plotlines? Seek no more, we’re going to untangle The Silmarillion together!

For March 2017, in the spirit of Tolkien Reading Day on March 25th, I’ve decided to re-read The Silmarillion and take you along with me. While it is not the first time, nor the second time, I’ve read The Silmarillion, it is certainly a while since I’ve picked it up and read the whole thing. So it felt like it is time for a re-reading.

So what is my plan?

Below, you’ll see that I’ve divided the chapters into 5 weeks. In week one, we will start with chapter 1 and progress with each week until we reach the last chapter in week 5. Then, on each Monday, my goal is to write a blog post with my thoughts, favourite quotes and anything that I’d like to discuss with you. You can then share your thoughts and questions in the comments.

Moreover, as you can also see, I’ve decided to come up with certain themes for each reading week. The aim is for us to read the chapters with a specific theme in mind as a starting point for our discussions. Still, if there is anything that strikes you while reading that has nothing to do with the theme of that week, don’t be discouraged! These themes are a guide only. Every thought or idea that comes to your mind is welcome. In the end, the goal is to explore and discuss the book together.

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The Kinslaying at Alqualonde by Ted Nasmith via tolkiengateway.net

If this will be your first reading of The Silmarillion (or still struggling after having read it), there are two blogs out there with ‘reading guides’ which are, in my opinion, very informative and great.

Silmarillion Read Along Schedule

Week 1: 01.03 – 05.03
Theme: Music & Harmony

  • Ainulindalë
  • Valaquenta
  • Of the Beginnings of Days
  • Of Aulë and Yavanna
  • Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

Discussion post on 06.03.17

Week 2: 06.03 – 12.03
Theme: Light & Dark

  • Of Thingol and Melian
  • Of Eldamar and the Princess of Eldalië
  • Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
  • Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
  • Of the Darkening of Valinor
  • Of the Flight of the Noldor

Discussion post on 13.03.17

Week 3: 13.03 – 19.03
Theme: Life & Death

  • Of the Sindar
  • Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
  • Of Men
  • Of the Return of the Noldor
  • Of Beleriand and its Realms

Discussion post 20.03.17

Week 4: 20.03 – 26.03
Theme: Hope

  • Of the Noldor in Beleriand
  • Of Maeglin
  • Of the Coming of Men into the West
  • Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
  • Of Beren and Lúthien
  • Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad

Discussion post on 27.03.17

Week 5: 27.03 – 31.03
Theme: Shadow & Deception

  • Of Túrin Turambar
  • Of the Ruin of Doriath
  • Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
  • Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
  • Akallabêth
  • Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Discussion post on 03.04.17

If there are any questions left in regards to The Silmarillion read-along, leave me a comment or contact us via travellinggeekshow [at] gmail [dot] com! Will you join my Silmarillion read along? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! If not, do you plan on reading another of Tolkien’s work? Leave a comment down below!

Whether you decide to join me or not, I’m very excited to post my thoughts on the first five chapters on March 6th so stay tuned!

Another Exciting Trip Around the Sun: Happy Birthday, Alice

Can you believe that out of all the geeks in the world, two of us here at The Travelling Geek Show have back-to-back birthdays? The party keeps going because today is Alice’s birthday!

Continuing the tradition of birthday moodboards, Lily and Maria each created collages of images that remind us of our amazing friend.

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To get to know Alice better, check out her posts here on The Travelling Geek Show or head over to her personal blog — The Geeky Burrow.

What makes you think of Alice? Please share your birthday wishes in the comments below!