Note: Balathin and Fiommereth are rough equals to our Halloween and Christmas...

October 24th

I am ready to admit my defeat. I don't care what anybody says or thinks about the whole tabloid thing. I can't take any more of this rustic adventuring.

For the past seven weeks, I have (as according to plan), been driving about on obscure mountain roads with Elrohir, killing Orcs, taking their wallets, and using the plunder to pay for second-rate motel rooms 10 miles downhill from failing ski resorts. However, I have had enough. The last motel we stayed in had no shower curtain or hot water. The one before that had odd stains on the carpet. The one before that had a sleazy pub that played the same Roxette tape in a continuous loop all night.

Also, Elrohir has a bladder the size of a walnut. Stopping at an Esso every two hours for him to use the gents' toilet really isn't practical when we're supposed to be on this great mission to kill Orcs. He spends more time peeing than killing, and I spend more time waiting for him. It doesn't help that at every Esso stop he buys a two-litre bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. So we're ready to admit defeat and head home. I'm thoroughly ready to sleep in a bed that doesn't have springs sticking up in awkward spots, and contemplate the deeper meaning of my pillow. Or three pillows, maybe. That would be bliss.

Elrohir is driving right now, and we are approaching the valley from the north-east.

23-32: I change the tape in the stereo to This Mortal Coil.
23-34: Elrohir changes the tape back to Kinky Boyz, and almost hits a pylon on the side of the road when he looks down for the eject button.
23-50: I can see the purple glow of Rivendell.
00-28: We stop at an Esso station. Elrohir takes a whiz.
00-33: Elrohir gets me to unscrew the lid of his Diet Dr. Pepper bottle and hold it at a precise angle while he drinks.
00-34: There is Diet Dr. Pepper all over the dash. It's not my fault- Elrohir can't drink fast enough.
01-02: We just passed a sign that says "Welcome to Rivend ll". Someone seems to have stolen that last wooden E.
01-16: Elrohir got stuck in the middle lane and missed our exit on the freeway.
01-44: We are home.

There seem to be far more cars than usual parked along the pavement and in the driveway. So either dad's having some sort of midlife crisis and couldn't settle for just one new car, or there's a party going on. Elrohir thinks party, since some of these license plates are from pretty far away. The one parked in front of us is from Gondor.

Half the lights in the house seem to be on, and there is loud drunken singing coming from somewhere. Elrohir and I have obviously come at a bad time. I think the best course of action would just be to sneak into the house and go straight to bed, and try to figure things out in the morning.

October 25th

I am on the sofa. I tried to sneak into the house last night and go straight to bed, and it all worked fine until the actual getting into bed part. I had undressed and brushed me teeth and everything, but when I got into bed I discovered that it was occupied by a Hobbit.

Actually I didn't realise it was a Hobbit right away- I first assumed that it was a child belonging to someone at the party. But it still startled me, and I jumped up and yelled, and the Hobbit started yelling, and then Elrohir came charging down the corridor shouting that there was a Hobbit in his bed too, and it was all very loud and confusing. Then Elrohir's Hobbit came running in and started hitting Elrohir with a broom and yelling, "Run, Mr. Frodo!" Mr. Frodo didn't run, but he did fall out of my bed and scramble toward the corner of the room, knocking a lamp onto the floor and adding to the chaos.

At this point, while Elrohir tried to grab the broom from his Hobbit, two others ran in, yelling and brandishing large hairbrushes. About five more minutes of confusion and terror and breaking things passed before one of them thought to turn on the lights. Then Elrohir's Hobbit said, "You're Elves!" to which Elrohir replied, "Of course we are, we live here! What did you think we were?!"

All four Hobbits at the same time said, "Ringwraiths." They are obviously in need of some education if they can't tell the difference between Ringwraiths (who tend to wear large black draping things with hoods) and Elrohir and I (who were wearing naught but our underoos). Luckily for them, dad is holding some sort of council seminar thing today about Mordor and other business, so maybe they will learn a thing or two.

Of course I am not invited to this council, so I had to learn about it accidentally. Dad came into the television room this morning looking for his shirt (Elrohir and I obviously missed a wild party), saw me (Elrohir was still asleep), and said, "Oh, you're back- I need to talk to you later." And that was that. A very warm and loving welcome home indeed.

He came back half an hour ago for what I assumed was the talking-to, but all he did was ask me to have a look at a speech he's going to be giving at his council. Part of the speech included: "The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came." I tried to point out that "from whence" is redundant, as "whence" in fact means "from where", but he rolled his eyes and said, "I think I know what the word means, Elladan." Psh. He thinks he's so smart just because he's been studying lore for over six thousand years! Obviously prepositions aren't included in that general "lore" theme.

Later: Glorfindel, leaving the council with dad, was overheard to have said, "'Back into the fiery chasm *whence* it came', Elrond, you stuck an extra 'from' in there." Dad was overheard to have said, "Shut up." Legolas, who is back here again for some reason, was overheard to have said, "That was the coolest speech ever!" One can guess who dad will favour for the rest of the week.

October 26th

The Hobbit, that is Frodo, that is Mr. Frodo Baggins, that is Ring Bearer Extraordinaire, is still staying in my bed. Elrohir's bed is occupied by a Mr Samwise Gamgee. Elrohir asked dad if maybe the Hobbits could share my room and he and I could share his room, but dad proclaimed that to be completely out of the question; he wouldn't treat the Hobbits with such poor hospitality as to make them share a bed. They looked a bit disappointed.

So Elrohir's off scouting the neighbourhood for a flat we might live in for the next little while, as neither of us is too keen on the sofa in the television room. I'm staying at home ready to claim a bedroom in case one of the five thousand guests leaves. But in doing so (patrolling the corridors looking for any suspicious packing activity), I met a nice young Man from Gondor; he owns the Sunfire parked in front of mine and Elrohir's Topaz. His name is Boromir. He swears a lot, but is generally tolerable. He doesn't seem to like Aragorn much, but I can live with that. I'm none too fond of Aragorn myself after he so callously abandoned me at that motel in Rohan.

I also met up with Galdor, but he ignored me completely. I think he's still upset over my not going back to uni, resulting in his not being able to afford both the rent and his tuition and having to drop out. Some people get upset over the most trivial things.

October 27th

I spent the day with Boromir, showing him around the house and yard and avoiding Legolas, who I'm sure has at least fifty hours worth of stories to tell me from the summer. Boromir and I made sandwiches and sat on the roof for a while, watching the Dwarves down on the patio having a shin-kicking contest. Apparently shin-kicking is a very popular sport among the Dwarves. They go one on one and the first to concede due to pain loses.

Nobody has made any mention of the Enquirer cover. My guess is that the story came as too much of a shock and they've all repressed the memory. Which is good- saves me having to explain things.

October 28th

This morning dad announced that we (by "we" he meant me, Elrohir, Boromir, Aragorn, Legolas, and all the entourage that came with the abovementioned plus others) ought to go out patrolling the countryside and trying to gather information on Sauron and the Ring. "We" were about to grudgingly go, but Glorfindel suggested that maybe a more effective course of action, given the horrendous petrol prices these days, might be to go to the library, read newspapers, watch pirated satellite telly from Mordor, and surf the internet for information. Dad thought about this for a moment, and then agreed. He must've known I was planning on charging the petrol to his Visa.

Everyone sounded very enthusiastic, and then they all immediately went off to do their own things. Glorfindel said he was going to go look up something in a Magazine he remembered seeing last week, but half an hour later I saw him wandering around outside playing that lame worm game on his mobile. Elrohir said he was going to do a search for "One Ring" on Google, but got distracted and started looking up available flats in the online classifieds. Then he said he had to go to the biff, and he's been in there for nearly forty minutes now. So no luck anywhere.

I am far to busy trying to remove a sliver from my toe to do any research right now, but as soon as the sliver is removed I'm sure I'll get right to it.

October 29th

Glorfindel took his Lexus in to the shop today, on account of how it's neither sounding nor running very well at all. He came back looking rather pale. I asked him what's wrong, and he said that things haven't been right ever since he drove recklessly across the old Bruinen ford (missed the bridge by 200 meters) with Frodo Baggins in the back seat, trying to outrun the Nazgûl gang. The car needs new tyres, shocks, and transmission, plus brakework and some paint along the bottom. He's considering sending the bill to Aragorn, as it was Aragorn who rang for a lift after his van broke down in the Trollshaws.

I asked Aragorn why he got Glorfindel to come to his aid instead of Arwen, who drives that big SUV, which is much better suited for fording rivers than a luxury sedan. But Aragorn just gave me an exasperated look and said, "Because that would just be wrong!"

Now Glorfindel's taken dad's Mazda and gone with Elrohir to the Eastpoint Mall to drown his sorrows in rayon. As far as I can tell, Glorfindel wears only rayon. Also as far as I can tell, both he and Elrohir *should* be following dad's assignment and checking up on the Ring and/or Mordor info, as should everyone else. But apparently this Ring activity has taken second place. Even Boromir, who was really keen to start off, has gone to the cinema with Legolas, leaving me to study Mordor all on my own! And I will, just as soon as I beat Elrohir's new pinball score.

October 30th

From the look of the kitchen counter, dad decided to stop by Superstore after work today and pick up two hundred over-packaged bags of Balathin treats to hand out to obnoxious costumed children tomorrow night. I was hoping he'd get good candy of the brand-name chocolate variety, but alas I only found peanuts. He seems to have severely overestimated childrens' fondness for non-sugary treats.

There were also three pumpkins: two reasonably-shaped ones, and then one other that was shaped rather like a pear, but with a rounded snout-like protrusion on one side. Elrohir immediately chose that one as his. He just finished carving it, and it has twelve eyes, seven mouths, and sequins.

Arwen chose the more perfect of the two remaining, and carved it into a smiling happy face with a flower and two hearts on the back. I gave mine to Legolas, and he didn't know what to do since they don't celebrate Balathin in Mirkwood. But he somehow managed to carve out two very small eyes (which looked suspiciously as if they'd been poked in with a pencil) and a large nose that was accidentally connected to its off-centre mouth. The accidental connection was fixed with masking tape. Then the top of the pumpkin was sort of collapsing in on itself because Legolas decided to carve it some hair. All in all I'm sure a monkey could have done better, but dad proclaimed it to be a wonderful first effort, and put it out on the front step for everyone to see. Surely he must know that the masking tape is a fire hazard?

I stole one of the packs of peanuts while he wasn't looking, and the back said "May contain traces of peanuts or other nuts." I should hope so!

October 31st (Balathin)

Dad finally came to have his talk with me, the one he wanted to have six days ago. I pretended to pay attention while he voiced his disapproval for my behaviour since the beginning of August. At one point I asked why he wasn't lecturing Elrohir as well, and he told me I was missing the point of his talking-to. I said no, I understood the point completely- he wanted me to be more responsible. All of his talking-tos are about responsibility. He said, "Well... make sure you are!" I promised I would try.

I wonder if being responsible means telling him Elrohir and I are going to a rave tonight and won't be home to hand out peanuts to trick-or-treaters like he asked us to do?

November 2nd

Dad is furious, but at least the blame is not on me. He is, in fact, furious with Erestor and Glorfindel. Ha! It is all their fault we've been missing for two days. I think they should get a responsibility lecture.

Erestor and Glorfindel came to the rave with us. If I'd have known this I might've stayed home, since things are still somewhat difficult between Erestor and me. But Erestor was driving us in his Tempo, and he was wearing a sailor costume. Glorfindel, sitting in the back seat, was looking quite piratey with a plastic budgie sewn to the shoulder of his shirt and an eye patch. He was also looking surly because Aralindë opted to go trick-or-treating with her school friends instead of coming to the party with us, but the mood suited his costume. Elrohir sat next to him in the back seat and called him "Surly G" all night. Elrohir himself was wearing some sort of shiny pink vinyl trousers, silver platform boots, a glittery blue feather boa, a silver lace shirt, and fishnet gloves. I have no idea what he was supposed to be, but he had a cheap blond wig on top of it all. Next to him, I felt pleasantly plain and inconspicuous in my cheap vampire cape and fangs.

I was forced to sit next to Erestor in the front for the whole drive up to this old barn north of town. He said nothing to me and I said nothing to him. We silently listened to the radio while Glorfindel in the back said things like, "You know, Elrohir, the Vanyar as a whole tend to wear more conservative clothing."

The rave itself was uneventful, as Elrohir soon disappeared into a massive crowd of writhing maniacs with glowsticks and Glorfindel took off to casually stroll about and look for shady youths selling pipeweed. Erestor mainly stayed near the alcohol line and looked horribly out of place. I wandered around feeling out of place myself, but soon a girl with pink rabbit ears grabbed my arm and pulled me over to get a glow-in-the-dark design painted onto my hand. I think her name was Filleth, but I'm not entirely sure; it was hard to hear when the music was so loud it made my clothes vibrate.

After a while Glorfindel came and sat next to me and got painted on. He looked substantially less piratey with PLUR written in glowing yellow letters across his cheek, but he was quite mellow by that point and didn't seem to care. Around three o'clock he fell asleep on a pile of Filleth's stuffed animals. I must've fallen asleep too, since I woke up some time later snuggled between Glorfindel and Elrohir, with Erestor's shoulder on my knees, Filleth's arm under my head, and three of her friends nearby. It was six a.m. and the security fellow was coming around to break up our cuddle puddle and tell us to go home.

We managed to get less than a third of the way back to Rivendell before Erestor's car stalled and refused to start again. Luckily we were all so tired we didn't much care, so Glorfindel and I pushed the car to the side of the road and we fell asleep for a few hours. When I woke up Erestor had gotten out to look under the hood with a bewildered sort of expression on his face. Then he got back in, and tried to start it again with no luck. We sat being clueless for a while before Elrohir and Glorfindel started to make up a song that went something like:

Elrohir: If I had a million dollars-
Glorfindel: We wouldn't have to drive a Ford,
Elrohir: And if I had a million dollars-
Glorfindel: We'd drive a Lexus 'cause it costs more,
Elrohir: And if I had a million dollars-
Glorfindel: Maybe we could put a little tiny cell phone in there somewhere...

At this point Erestor yelled at them to shut up and think of something helpful to do instead of just being jerks. He is terribly fond of his car and won't tolerate anyone mocking it. He went back out to look under the hood again and I'm fairly sure I saw him lovingly pat the radiator.

It took us an hour to convince Erestor to leave the car, and another seven to walk back to town. We made to the donut shop in the far north end, which was just opening for the morning, before Elrohir demanded we stop for a rest. He quickly fell asleep across the orange formica table and nearly knocked Glorfindel's coffee combo into my lap. The rest of us sat in a mindless daze watching the donuts get stale until Glorfindel suddenly got the bright idea to use the pay telephone to ring for a taxi.

So we are back home now. I would like to go to bed and stay there for twelve hours, but Mr. Baggins is still here. So I will have to settle for occupying the tub and the inflatable bath pillow, and hope I don't accidentally drown in twelve inches of water.

November 3rd

Stayed in bed (that is, the hide-a-bed) all day. Elrohir went out around noon and came back with poorly-made peanut butter sandwiches an hour later, so that was good. He couldn't find the Playstation, so had to settle for playing Nintendo while I remembered I was too tired to do anything.

Dad came round after supper to make sure we weren't dead or horribly traumatised or anything. He stayed and had a chat for about eleven seconds before going back to doing whatever it is he does when I'm not watching.

Elrohir figures that's probably Legolas.

November 4th

Erestor had his car towed to the shop to get fixed up. Glorfindel's been having a go at him all evening, asking why he doesn't just buy a new car since the Tempo ends up at the mechanic's at least three times per year. But Erestor got all defensive and yelled that he was perfectly happy with his car, rust spots and cracked tail light and broken radio and all, and that the seats are very comfortable besides. More argument followed, until the two decided to go settle their dispute the old-fashioned way, by typing "Lexus" and "Ford" into Google and seeing which came up with more hits.

Ford won 14,4 million to 1,9. Then Glorfindel sniffed and said that the numbers only meant his car was more exclusive. Erestor clicked on the Lexus homepage and pointed out that the ES 300 is the best-selling luxury sedan in Eriador, while nobody buys Ford Tempos any more. So really, the Tempo is more exclusive. Glorfindel narrowed his eyes and was silent for a moment before saying, "My car is nicer than yours, and cost eight times as much." Erestor left after that.

Later, Glorfindel told me that he suspects Erestor to be a secret millionaire. Since Glorfindel does all the finances he knows how much everyone makes, and Erestor is second only to dad on the government payroll. I am shocked. I'd never have guessed this, since Erestor's car is almost as old as the Topaz, and he buys all his clothes from Zeller's. Also he has a regular old blue Visa card like mine, while Glorfindel has a platinum Visa. I suppose I've always supposed that Glorfindel was paid more, since Glorfindel never misses an opportunity to let people in on the fact that he has adequate money. But apparently Glorfindel's flashiness is all just a façade.

November 5th

Now that both Glorfindel's and Erestor's cars are out of commission, and since they refuse to take public transit to work, Glorfindel has broken down and hired a car from Spiffy Auto Services. Unfortunately, the most exotic thing Spiffy had available was a Kia. So Glorfindel wears dark glasses and makes Erestor drive.

November 6th

Erestor's car is back from the shop. He waved the bill around for a while last night and made a point of showing Glorfindel three times. Glorfindel's car may cost eight times as much as Erestor's, but his repair bill will be more like fifteen. Glorfindel is not looking well at all.

He looked even less well this morning when he suddenly remembered that today is the day he and Erestor are supposed to go to Rivendell High School's career fair to try and con youths into working for the government once they graduate. He begged dad to switch cars with him for today, as the prospect of showing up at Aralindë's school in either a rusty Ford Tempo or a Kia with "Spiffy!" painted on the side in ten-inch-high orange letters was enough to make him pale and shaky. But dad seemed to have little regard for Glorfindel's vanity, and insisted that he needed his own car today for special government parking purposes.

I tried to assure Glorfindel that Aralindë would understand about his car being in the shop, but he kept making sad, worried noises. He tried to convince me that he's worried about the students mistakenly believing that the government pays so poorly its employees have to drive clapped-out old rust buckets, but I know he's secretly terrified he won't be able to impress the highschool girls.

It didn't help that Erestor left the car illegally parked in front of the fire lane, and Rivendell High's Principal Lornir had to use the PA system to tell them to move it. All of Aralindë's friends now know that Erestor drives a Tempo, and that Glorfindel carpools with him. Erestor was snickering about it, so I'm suspicious that he did the illegal park on purpose.

November 7th

Glorfindel has his precious car back. He spent a good portion of the afternoon trying to figure out where to park it to optimise visibility while at the same time keeping it out of harm's way in the event someone should come careening down the driveway and lose control, smashing everything in sight. He ended up putting it between a maple bush (for visual effect) and Arwen's SUV (for protection). I should probably mention that Arwen has a tendency to hit, scrape, and ding things while backing up, but that would just cause him needless anxiety, so I won't.

November 8th

It snowed last night. It hasn't snowed in Rivendell since before I was born, but last night it snowed and the temperature made a sudden drop to below zero. I woke up this morning to Glorfindel screaming "My car!!!" So I went to peer outside, sure that Arwen had dented it while parking last night, but saw instead that Glorfindel's car, along with everything else, was covered in four inches of snow. Glorfindel was out with a broom, frantically trying to clear the windscreen. Erestor was at the front window, smirking.

In the end they had to take the Tempo to work because the Lexus wouldn't start. I'm sure this caused some sort of falling-out, since Glorfindel came home in a taxi. Then there was a big row at the supper table with Glorfindel yelling that there hasn't been snow here since the Second Age, and how could dad let this happen? Dad shifted uncomfortably and, avoiding eye contact, said something about how since this whole thing with Sauron and the One Ring came up, he was thinking that maybe it would be a good idea not to use Vilya this year and simply let nature take its course.

Glorfindel seems to be the only one opposed to this plan, so looks like the snow is staying. He grumbled for a good hour after supper and is now out on the driveway with a hair dryer trying to defrost his engine.

November 9th

More snow. The Hobbits are making a snow fort with Elrohir, Boromir and Aragorn are trying to make a snowboard jump, and all the Dwarves are happily digging for sand out back to sprinkle over the steps and walkways and improve the safety rating. Legolas is brushing the snow off of Arwen's SUV and starting it for her since she's dressed up to go shopping in a mini skirt and high heels and is too girly to do it herself. She promised to give him a bag of pretzels and all the wine gums he can eat at one sitting.

Glorfindel's car still won't start. He was pleading with it earlier, but it doesn't seem to have listened. Erestor made a point of driving around in circles for a while to show off.

November 11th

3019 years ago today, Isildur cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron. Unfortunately that's all he did, leaving us to fix up the rest of his mess all this time later, but still it's a public holiday today so I'm not complaining.

But I will complain about the snow. It is still snowing, and it's getting a bit ridiculous, almost as if nature is making up for three millenia of snow-free winters all in one go. Boromir and Aragorn have given up their snowboard park and are back to being wary of each other. The Hobbits likewise have abandoned their tunnelling in favour of drinking cider by the fire and playing Monopoly. Only the Dwarves are still going strong at their sand mine.

I wanted to go outside and have a look at the snow, but I couldn't find my shoes anywhere. So I sat and watched Elrohir play Super Mario 3 instead. It was almost the same- he was on World 6.

November 13th

On his way to work this morning, dad stopped suddenly to avoid hitting a weasel as it crossed the driveway. He lost control of the Mazda on the slippery road, fishtailed, and ended up stuck in a snow bank alongside the hedge. Since he's too proud to ask for help, it took him half an hour to get out. Elrohir and I watched from the window. We would have gone out to offer our help, but Elrohir had left his Mega Man game on pause and we didn't want to risk going too far in case somebody turned it off.

At supper, I noticed dad was wearing Vilya again. I think the snow is on its way out.

November 14th

Temperatures are back up to normal, and everything is all mucky outside. Arwen hired Legolas to walk down to the shop and get her some hairspray, but he didn't even make it out of the yard before getting stuck in the mud, losing one of his shoes, and falling over. Really, it was his own fault for wanting to ascertain that yes, the mud puddle did indeed come up to his knees. Now he's wearing Arwen's bathrobe (not dad's- something must be horribly wrong) and playing dominoes with Gandalf while he waits for his clothes to wash.

Elrohir and Aragorn though went outside to exploit the puddle and have a mud fight. They seem to be having fun, but I know I'd look like some sort of mindless idiot if I went to join them. So I'm going to stay in and watch dad polish his spoon collection instead.

November 16th

Dad asked today after the progress of our One Ring research. I realised I'd completely forgotten, and in a panic told him I'd found lots so far. He asked to see. Hoping he wouldn't know any better, I did a Google search for "Sauron One Ring" and came up with 39.800 hits. I told him I'd compiled the list myself. He was quite impressed. Then he asked Elrohir.

Elrohir said he hadn't really done any actual research, but had drawn a really cool picture. He showed dad and I a drawing of the Ring half-melted in the fires of Mount Doom while all around Orcs were falling into lava. Dad nodded approvingly, and took the drawing to stick up on the fridge. Elrohir's working on another one, this time with more Orcs, more lava, and a few flaming skeletons. Watching him draw isn't quite as much fun as watching him play Nintendo, so I did a few rounds of pinball on the computer. I think I might be getting better.

November 18th

I realised today that I've been wearing naught but various forms of pyjamas (sweats, shorts, tee-shirts, fleece jumpers) since the 2nd and have spent most of my waking hours since then watching Elrohir play old Nintendo games. This has to stop. Glorfindel has already started to call Elrohir "Eltendo", and I shudder to think of what he secretly calls me, as I think I must be slightly more pathetic for only watching Elrohir play all day and never actually playing myself.

So I got dressed in clothes I don't mind being seen in, and resolved to spend more time playing my own video games instead of just watching. I hope Elrohir doesn't mind, but it does get a bit tedious that he makes me sit out in the corridor whenever he's at a hard part in the game. He takes his Nintendo far too seriously.

November 19th

I was almost about to beat Elrohir's pinball high score today, but idiot Glorfindel (who has no respect for video games and the amount of concentration they require!) came in at a bad time and made me lose the ball. I almost kicked him.

He was saying that the whole car situation has caused a rift in the space-time continuum and unravelled the laws of physics, causing irreconcilable differences to arise between him and Erestor. As a result, they can no longer be friends. And since Erestor has claimed dad as his new buddy, Glorfindel needs to find a supportive sidekick PDQ.

I assured him I was far too busy on the computer to help team up against Erestor. I must admit the prospect did have a certain allure, but still the pinball intrusion was nigh unforgivable. I also advised him against asking Elrohir, since I could hear the Bowser music filtering out from the den, and Elrohir doesn't take video game interruptions very well. So Glorfindel is going to look up Lindir, who I know has been desperately trying to break into the clique for years and years.

November 20th

Some of the houseguests have finally started to leave. Unfortunately not many, but I hope that this small exodus will make the others realise that they probably have better things to do than hang about here all the time. Galdor has gone but Legolas stayed, Boromir and two other Men are still here, and all but one of the Dwarves have opted to stick around for a while longer. I think they might be trying to set up some political movement to oust the Elves from government.

November 22nd

Now that I'm living at home again, nobody ever sends me emails. I am bored with my pinball game, bored of solitaire, bored of freecell, bored of minesweeper, and bored of everything else. There is nothing to do. So I rearranged my desktop icons for a while, first putting them in alphabetical order, and then arranging them for ease of use according to which ones I click on most often. Then I looked through all the Windows desktop themes to find out which one is least crappy.

After a while, overcome by extreme boredom, I sent am email to Legolas. Surely there must be more to life than this? Or has the computer failed me?

November 23rd

Legolas replied to the email. He must be just as bored as I am.

From: "*Legolas*" [email protected]>
Subject: Re: Anything fun happening?

Hi Elladan! I just got back from going to a movie
about aliens with Boromir! It was a bit scary but
had kewl special efects! Like this one part where
all the aliens are in their space ship and are
about to kill the good guys but at the last minute
they don't and everything is OK and all the aliens
die! I bet aliens really exist you know. They
have big eyes. Boromir thinks he saw and alien
once but he was on drugs so maybe he only saw a
cactus with big eyes. There aren't any cactuses
in Mirkwood but there are shrews and the shrews
are pretty small and have skinny tails. Once my
dad put his beer cooler on a shrew and squished it
by accident. He also squished a toad once but that
was when he was digging up the peony bush with a
big shovel. Maybe we should play dominos tonight!
I beat Gandalf at dominos three times already. I
played with Boromir too but he tries to cheat by
puttin gthe dominos in his pants and I noticed this!
So he lost and then we played again and he tried to
put the dominos in MY pants but I noticed this too
(duh!!! Boromir is so stupid!!!) and he lost again!

I stopped reading at this point because the email just wasn't making any sense. I skimmed over the rest, but it seemed to be focusing predominantly on the topic of Boromir's pants.

Luckily though Eltendo wandered over to ask why I wasn't watching him play any more (he had just beat Mega Man 3), and I was able to get him to decipher the curious babble. His analysis revealed that Legolas wants to know if we're interested in going for pizza tonight.

November 24th

Elrohir and I ended up going to Greasy Onor's Thick Pizza with Legolas last night. Having not left the house in three weeks, I was shocked to see that all of downtown is covered in cheap sparkley light-up Fiommereth decorations. In fact, Fiommereth seems to have exploded in the streets. Trees and stars and bells and lights and tinsel abound. The city decoration committee could at least have the decency to wait until December 1st!

The pizza was greasy (big surprise) and Legolas and Elrohir's supper conversation left much to be desired. I think they were talking about television, since it sounded something like:

Legolas: And did you see that other one that was on-
Elrohir: Aw, dude, yeah! That kicked!
Legolas: I know! Especially the part with that guy!
Elrohir: Oh man, you mean when he did that thing with the-
Legolas: Mm-hmm! That was *sooooo* cool!
Elrohir: And what about that other time, in the car?
Legolas: Yes!!! I saw that too!
Elrohir: Straight up now tell me! That was sweet!

I'm hesitant to admit this, but I think my brother just might be a moron.

November 25th

I asked dad if he noticed when all the crappy Fiommereth decorations came out downtown, and he said they were up on the 6th! Which is, in my books, far too early. I asked him if he couldn't pass a law forbidding all Fiommereth nonsense from starting before December 1st, but he said he didn't mind the decorations, and actually called them "festive"! So it is obviously his fault that the decorations come out earlier and earlier with each passing year to guilt trip us all into spending all our money and buying gifts for absolutely everyone in the world!

Which reminds me, with only a month left until Fiommereth, I should start shopping.