Middle-earth Moments  4

by various

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Working at a large bank I suppose a ME moment could occur, but its never my expectation that it would.

My company has several programs that are designed to nurture front line analysts into future leaders of the company. For 8 weeks, about 16 to 20 entry level analysts from different areas in the company are brought together to learn more about the company and work on a project culminating with a presentation to senior managers. For most of these analysts, this presentation is their first opportunity to give recommendations on how the business should operate and to speak in front of a large group in a work environment.

As a manager myself, I attend these presentations and offer feedback on presentation skills and positiong recommendations. The current group contained four groups of between 4 and 6 people. Each of them was given only a few days a week during a 2 month period to work on their projects while the rest of their time was dedicated to their normal job responsibilities. This put a strain on many of their relationships with their teammates. Many of them learned that teamwork doesn’t always come naturally and that even if they didn’t like the person they were working with they still had to find a way to ensure the task at hand was done to the best of their ability. After the last eight weeks you could imagine I was excited to see the group of four I was working with, getting ready to present. All the tension, hard work, and stressful days were coming to a close with their impeccable presentation.

All 16 analysts had their bests suits/dresses and were ready but nervous. The group I worked with was particularly nervous about the question and answer session immediately following their presentation. This is an opportunity for senior managers to ask questions of the participants which must be answered on the spot. The teams are told to anticipate as many of the questions as possible, script answers and choose who will respond. In the instance it is a question they aren’t ready for, the team member with the most experience in the area of question should answer to the best of their ability.

My team did particularly well with only a few bobbles in their presentation…but not bad at all for their first presentation. I sat back and relaxed after my team was done, but there were still two more groups who had to present their findings. After the third group presented, one of the senior managers asked. “What did you find was the most surprising thing you encountered while tackling your project?”

The response was priceless. A rather nervous analyst came to the podium and began to describe how difficult it was to get the data they needed to analyze their project. He said it took weeks to find the data which needed to be compiled from several sources who were hard to get in contact with. Finally the analyst said, “It was so challenging to get this data that we started referring to it as the precious.” He paused and no one said anything. He continued, “It was like the precious…the ring ….from the Lord of the Rings movies.” He preceded to grasp at the air as Gollum would. Then stepped back with the rest of his group.

I let out an audible snicker and a few other managers got the analogy and giggled. It showed a definite area of opportunity…if the data was hard to compile and analyze it’s a pretty good bet that no one is doing it on a consistent basis. But the analogy (and that moment) was priceless!
- Peredhil

Every wednesday i go to crossroads (a nondenominational christian fellowship group) and tonight our new leader was speaking. she started her presentation off with part of LOTR projected on the screen! it was the splitting of the fellowship part, from Frodo thinking "i wish the ring had never come to me" to Frodo and Sam hugging after Frodo pulls Sam out of the river. i wonder what the other people thought, i was holding back tears the whole time! and afterwards i went up and thanked her for showing it...turns out her brother's a ringer! man, ringers pop up in the most unexpected places!

- HobbitNaga

Today I went and bought the biggest book on computers I could find,you know the 8 in 1 dummies book,well skimming through it to discover there is yet another to get I came across this;
"One box to grab them all and in the den to find them."
okay switch over to the joke edition of Reader's Digest and (still ROTFLMBO),I found this;

How many quarters does it take to play the new,Lord of the Rings, pinball game?

None it only takes Tolkiens.

So of course you might think this is enough right?
No I go in to find one of my patients desperately looking all around her bed for her-

- Halona Treeclan

Here's one for you....
I was just coming back from Portsmouth where I picked up a couple of postcards for Prim ( Wink ), when I drove by the cemetary, and I was suddenly reminded of when I helped the American legion take down the flags from the graves of the Veteran's last year (or was that the year before...)...
Anyway, one of the tombstones has the family name of

I kid you not, it REALLY says "Saurman"

Are you frightened by this? Not nearly frightened enough!
- Brave Hobbit

Not to brag but...I GAVE VARDA THE ONE RING!!! 
Yes, it's true. I did it and I'm proud of myself. I finally got to meet Varda in Boston at the Moot on Saturday. I also got to meet Delphinium Took (very nice and friendly), Sarahstitcher (great costume), FanForever (lovely lady) and I got to see Mathom again (great friend and photo-bearer). However, meeting Varda was a little extra special. We've been on these boards for some time now and we've shared a thought or two now and then. She was wearing a great Ranger outfit, which she'd made and was as soft-spoken as you can possibly imagine. Not without stories to share mind you (loved the recount of your trip to wester Canada V).
All of this skirts the main moment for me though. S.S. noted my One Ring on a gold chain. I recounted how it was a gift from Silivren Ithildin after responding to my need for an inexpensive One Ring replica for a friend who had a young student/LOTR Fan with learning disabilities. S.I. was so generous that she sent me and my friend each a One Ring replica which were taken from LOTR bookmarks. I, in turn, found an inexpensive gold chain at Sears that suited the ring quite well.
As I recounted this tale to Varda I suddenly felt the urge to give the ring to Varda. She had come so far and I felt it only fitting to send this bit of myself, and another of our community, with her. I asked her if she would let me give it to her and after a moment's explanation she graciously accepted it and offered me her cheek for a kiss. She then told me that she actually has never had a One Ring so in some ways I think fate, and S.I.'s kind gift to me, were meant to find their way to Ireland.

I get such a good feeling having done this that I can't begin to tell you all how nice it feels. It's a small trinket, to be sure, but it means a lot to Ringers. I've told others who have seen me wear it that it "helps me find my tribe" and it certainly did that recently here in Pittsburgh when Howard Shore came to town. It's good to know that ring will have a well-deserved home.

I'll share more about Boston in another post but I had to get this in for now. Thanks, again, to all in this community who have been so generous and gracious!
- FredO

I was there, and it was a very special moment. I loved meeting FredO! It's funny, here we are on line and we rarely get to see even an image of one another... but he looked exactly as I had imagined! How did that happen?! It was wonderful meeting everyone, can't wait for the next moot. And perhaps I'll wear one of those book mark one rings to the concert on the 19th... along with my leaf pin...
- sarahstitcher
This is so strange, I was just holding the Ring on its chain and thinking of how you gave it to me and I had a thought that in some way having it brings us all closer together, for although we are always just a click away, going over to America and Canada just forced on me the sheer distance, and also cultural differences that sometimes separate us. And yet we overcome those by our shared love of this book and the films made from it.

thanks again Fredo for your gift, it was so kind and so spontaneous, truly valued. I was pondering the wisdom of wearing it to work tomorrow, braving the orc hordes. Wink

Thanks too for a great evening, I never laughed so much. Meeting you was very important, as I missed Bravehobbit and King Lamoni and his spectacular rigout. We could have compared chain mail knitting notes.

It was all made possible by the kindness of Delphinium Took, (Dianna) who put me up in her beautiful house. It has Ithilien at the end of the garden, and we took a long walk in it before the mosquitoes discovered the delights of White Irish Flesh.

Thanks for your kind words about my outfit, and my filmed interview revealing the secrets of my handiwork Razz I kept shedding bits of my ensemble on the museum floor and had a retinue of small boys who asked things like 'Are you Faramir?' It was worth doing it, though, except for the boiling heat and the exhibition guards, who were not amused, or amusing. But getting asked to pose with people was a blast.

Like you, I thought during the evening that this is what the feeling of the board at its best was closest to, having fun with friends obsessed with the same thing as you, like Bonnie and Sarahstitcher and Fan Forever and Dianna. There were people there who post more to Torn and Torc, and it was nice to meet them, but meeting Sarah and you was the high point of it all.... Wink

Thanks again Fredo and all who were there....

I hope you both got home safely, and that the pictures all come out (bites nails)
- Varda
I was watching "The Lone Ranger" with my family - the first time I've seen it since I was 3 or 4. So we're watching it, and we get to a part where Tonto walks up to talk to the Lone Ranger. It was the first time I'd really gotten a good look at his face, and I exclaimed,"Good heavens, he looks like Orlando Bloom! Whoo-hoo!!!!"

My sister (a tad bit of an Orli fan herself) looked over at me and says,"Un-huh...'Whoo-hoo'???"

I scrunched up in my chair, looking abashed. I put my hands over my mouth...whoops. But he did kind of look like Legolas. Must have been the chiseled-looking face, or summat....

(Also, for the record, I like Mr. Bloom in LOTR, but I'm not really an "Orli fan". It was just weird seeing someone with a face like Legolas in a Western.)
- Firiel

There is a local university down the street from my house that I pass everyday. This week they have a sign up at the auditorium for play they are doing called "Riders in the Sky" and everytime I pass it all I envision are the Nasgul riding on the winged beasts.....not sure if that is an ME moment or not, but that is where my mind goes when I see it......can't wait for ROTK extended version.

Also -

I'm taking Western Civilization in college right now and we were talking about ancient England and their laws and how they named their cities, burroughs, and their counties, Shires....this was first time I had learned that info and made me think of the Shire and it's green-ness and the hobbits who live there. And made me understand a little of where Tolkien probably got the name the Shire from, I'm guessing anyway......
- ArabianQueen

The Six Nations Moot......formerly known as the Mithril Boot Moot

Last Thursday my sis and me had the pleasure to meet Lithilien Quicksilver in London. And being ringers of course we formed a fellowship at once, with Varda, Arwen75, Avondster and Rogorn (yay, a male ringer!!!).
Time for us was short as we had to leave for Ireland the same evening, but the few hours we had were great, and again, like often before, we noticed how easy it is to connect with other ringers.

On leaving we recognized that this indeed was "Ringers United", as between us we represented 6 nations: American, Irish, Dutch, English, Spanish and German.

Could the spirit of Tolkien's books work any better than to bring together so many different people from so many different countries, in peace and friendship?
- Indis

I left early for work this morning, knowing that the fog was going to snarl traffic even worse than usual. *Not to mention the mental fog I was still in trying to wake up* The sun was rising and the blue sky was beautiful over the hill where I live. Driving down the hill, I caught my breath as the surrounding emerald foothills, valley, and sky were still veiled in a curtain of billowing shrouds of mist reaching up to touch a brilliant blue sky just before me. Without even realizing it I began whispering:

" the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise"

And for a sureal moment one could believe Middle Earth had become reality at last.
What a marvelous way to start ones day.

As many of you know it is Balloon Fiesta time here in Albuquerque NM . Have I mentioned it's the largest hot air balloon fest. in the world ? O.K. so maybe I mentioned it a few times.

Well some of the hot air balloons are fun shapes , there's a witch , a stagecoach , Noah's ark and many many more . My favourite one of all is Smaug !! I giant red dragon balloon and yes his name is really Smaug!
Ooooh ! Aahhhh!!
- Empress JuJu

On the way home from work yesterday I passed a sign on a building that said "Under New Management, Greenleaf Enterprises". I didn't know Legolas was into real estate!
- Nuroreiel

This past Sunday my friends and I went to a Jacksonville Jaguar game (at which the home team was victorious!), and on our way home we usually take the game shuttle bus to keep from spending $20 on a parking spot. On the bus I noticed the woman sitting across from me had a leaf design tattoed on her ankle. Looking closer, I noticed it was just like the Lorien brooches the fellowship receive. Below were letters that I were pretty sure were Elvish. After summoning enough courage to talk to her, I asked if it was elvish writing. She smiled at me and told me yes, it was indeed the Tengwar and it spelled out "Aragorn". The woman sitting next to her rolled up her pants leg and showed us her identical tattoo, except it said "Legolas Greenleaf" below instead (which would have been my personal choice. Very Happy ) But I thought it was cool because even tho I seriously doubt I will ever get a tattoo, if I did I would get a Lorien leaf design on my anke with my name in the Tengwar.

I don't know exactly what qualifies as an ME moment... (but it was fun making this encounter sound dramatic )
- NoroLimAsfaloth

The Real Fellowship of The Ring

They are out there you know...waiting to be discovered; fellow ringers. You never know if one is sitting beside you on the train, although I have a badge with Legolas on it so I am pretty much given away.

Today in the shop a regular customer, a professor of linguistics, asked me had I been away as he had not seen me for a while. I said I had been to two Lord of The Rings conventions in two weeks.
'Oh! how nice..' he said.
'Well, yes..' I replied 'except for Ryanair mangling my sword and bow'
'Why did you not put an Elvish spell of protection on them?' he asked in a matter-of-fact way. An interested queue was beginning to form behind him at my checkout.
'I wasn't a Elf' I replied 'I was Beren, sort of dressing like Faramir...'
'Well you are a High Numenorean, that is close enough to the Elves' he said thoughtfully.
'Maybe' I conceded. 'But not powerful enough to protect against Manchester airport baggage handling...'
'Ah yes' he said with a faraway look in his eyes.
'The arm of Sauron has grown long....'

By now the queue were looking at each other and wondering if they should put back their mousetraps and dishcloths and drain cleaner and quietly sneak out of the shop, as they were obviously in the presence of seriously strange folk. The prof and I exchanged a conspiratorial smile....

The Tolkien Secret Society. Or not so secret...should we perfect a secret handshake?

I have been very surprised at places where I have found other secret "Tolkienites." Once I was browsing in a very expensive shop, where on my salary I had no business being in! The sales woman had a very frosty tone in her voice when she asked is she could help me with anything. Translation: What on earth are you doing in here. Confused

When I turned around she saw my "Gandalf for President" button on the label of my coat. She laughed and said he would definitely be an improvement over the current choices.

Long story short, this woman in the Chanel suit, perfect hair carefully styled, etc... had a ten minute conversation with me about the wonders of Tolkiens work.

There are more of us out there then we will ever know. Gives me hope!
- HobbitBarb

First you have to understand that the only door into my house is in the kitchen, so we often have leaves and twigs on the floor. We move them off to the side and go on about our businness.
Well, about a year ago when my daughter was about 3 months old, she woke up hungry around 2 am. So I went into the kitchen with her to fix a bottle. As I stepped down, I felt something under my foot, so I looked down to move it out of the way. There was no need to, however, because it was ALREADY MOVING! It was a tarantula, about 4 inches or so. I raced back to the bedroom to wake my husband and put Anna safely back in her crib.
We looked for about half an hour for that spider and couldn't find it. It finally occured to us that it had probably crawled up into a long jacket that was hanging off the back of a chair and brushing the floor. We knew we needed to check, but my husband had had enough and perched on a chair across the room. I crawled up on my own chair and grabbed the nearest object to use to lift the jacket off the chair and see if the spider was there. It was, so I used the object to drag the jacket out the door (I don't like spiders near me, especially large ones, but I have a much greater aversion to killing them).
I didn't realize in the excitement what I had grabbed until I put it back.
It was Sting.
I had bought it several years earlier and it was hanging on the wall within reach of where I had been standing. I must say that when I bought it I never expected to 'use' it, especially not on a spider.
Well named sword, that!
- AnnaEstel

today I saw the tree of gondor-
it sound strange I know..but every day I drive the same road to my work and back..
it's evening and almost everyday very misty..
at one side of the road you will see some trees..
some together and some a little bit further.
well..I was driving to my work at 16.40 p.m and
I looked at the tres..but the tres were from that view all in one line and I thought : THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!!
what was what I saw? a big tree..the white tree from gondor!!
the same tree that was the symbol on pippin and aragorn's clothes!!
I thought: oh..my god!! gondor exist!! it is there!!
because of the mist the trees looked like one big tree..
what a must beautiful surprise!!
it was my personal christmas greeting from gondor..
maybe to tell you that somehow..middle-earth exist??
- mrspippin