Judiang Versus the Terrible Time

A week has lapsed since I last blogged. The best intentions, right?  The reason is I’ve been working full tilt on a segment of my Sooper Seekrit Projekt. This project requires a lot of learning on the fly – A LOT, – watching instructional videos, and simply doing by trial and error.  And it has led me back to my ongoing battle with time.

Hourglass on laptopSince it’s only February, I imagine Father Time (why not Mother Time?)  is still a tot stumbling around crying for attention and structure.  I want to make him behave but I’m not good with children, especially the toddler variety. Time isn’t exactly my nemesis but I struggle to keep him to a schedule.  Because of this project, I’ve gone from long naps in the afternoon to staying up until the wee hours primarily because there is so much preparation to finish before I can even start.   I wake feeling harried and tired. Before I can put my feet on the floor, Little Time is up and off to the races again.

I’ve been instructed by well meaning types (who are just naturally organized) to create a set schedule and stick to it.  But Time cries so to watch that extra video, spruce up this blog post one more time, or figure out just what a “headline analyzer” and a “AISEO” are blinking on my WordPress dashboard.  (It just turned green! Is that…good?)  Before I know it, my carefully crafted schedule goes from late to ruined.  And there’s the matter of my creative processes. Ideas and sentences must percolate before I write them.  Even Toddler Time beating on a pan with his spoon can’t rush it.  So whether it’s by allotting bigger time blocks in my schedule, or buying more hours in a day, I’ve got to get a better grip on time management.

So Dear Reader, what do you do to manage your time?

 

Surreal Saturday: Taboo?

Welcome back to Surreal Saturday where I serve up the shocking and the weird.  Today Facebook’s questionable algorithm showed me videos from Cracked.com.  For the uninitiated, Cracked was a comic book dealing in cartoon spoofs and political satire.  It competed with its better known rival Mad magazine.  In the digital age, it transitioned from cartoons to an online video website.  (The demise of the comic form makes me a bit wistful; both magazines raised spoofing to an art form.)

In its usual irreverent way, Cracked.com tackled a subject considered taboo in some cultures but dear to the heart of every child-bearing aged woman everywhere – menstruation.  The best way to take the sting out of a topic is to make fun of it, and Cracked.com comes through.  And since I love the irreverent, here is the full court press on “Aunt Flo.”

Enjoy!

 

I’m Baaaaaaaack! (Once Again)

After not blogging for 3 1/2 years and not having the blog online for 2 1/2 years, I’m back again.  The blog disappeared in August 2018 when I changed web hosts.  Migrating a WordPress blog from one web host to another is NOT as easy as hosts say and I consider myself tech savvy. Just back up the WP site and database, download to a local computer, upload them to the new web host, install, and presto, they said.  Simple, right? WRONG.

I perused the literature, looked at my 3 gigabyte WP directory and opted for the techs to handle it.  Several times the old techs failed in giving me uncorrected files or even all of the files for the new techs to install.  Several fruitless attempts and much aggravation later, I became discouraged and gave up, thinking that I’d probably lost seven years worth of blogging.   Winston, that damn dog also got in the way.  Then I embarked on a Sooper Seekrit Projekt (which I’ll talk about in a later post).  Suddenly I needed my blog online and working.  Oh dear me.  I started again.  However this time some cosmic deity and the planets and sun must have been aligned because techs on both ends finally got the blog online intact.  Things are a mess behind the scenes; the layout is old and dated but the blog is back. Over time you will see changes to make it better – and different.  How so?  Stay tuned.

Since this blog started as a Richard Armitage appreciation site, I’ll leave this picture of him here looking older, wiser and doing his best to weather this pandemic lock down.

Richard Armitage
Richard Armitage courtesy of Gratiana Lovelace’s archives (via @MsSarahLena)

Good Morning, September

Good morning, September!  As a child, this month meant back to school.  Now for me it begins the journey to December winter (and Christmas.  YAY!!!)  So because I’m an old fart, this song has been my earworm all morning.  Jerry Orbach originally sang it in the 1962 off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks. 

Enjoy.

No Title

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Delete

The man’s finger poised over the iPad’s delete button.

Delete or not?  After several years on Twitter, he still wasn’t sure what to do.  The Infamous Picture had kicked off his rise on the platform and to his surprise, the subscriber number had increased despite everything.   He’d been careful ever since, but that seemed to be the problem.  Was he too careful or not careful enough?

His hand dropped to the leather seat.  He gazed out at the German countryside as the limo sped to Schönefeld Airport.  For the past few days, he and his colleagues from his latest project had celebrated his birthday in style.  After his fandom had sent so many birthday greetings, he thought they might appreciate a peek into his life.  So he’d shared some harmless pictures with them. 

Harmless.  Right, he thought. 

He’d enjoyed the days before social media when he’d sent long missives through a designated website and that was that.  Nobody interfered.  It was just me and the fans, he thought.  Now it’s me and fans and the world.

He admired a lovely selfie he’d snapped of himself and a few colleagues.  The production PR said it had not authorized any release of cast and crew photos.

Damn it.

If he were honest, he really missed the silence for days and weeks after clicking “send.”   At least until he received mail in reply or curiosity killed him and he consulted the forums.  Now, the responses came fast and he just couldn’t not look.

“Nice pic!”  Hmm, yes it is.

“Is that your new girlfriend?”  Heh, not if her husband has anything to say about it.

“Were you drunk?” Wait – what? I was sober as a judge.

Sheesh!  Click. Delete.

Next, a picture of an abstract sculpture depicting a man, he was told – a cast gift.  The sculptor alerted him that the painting behind the piece was not available for public viewing.  Oops!

“Nice pic!”   Of course.

“Love the painting!”   I know, right?

“Was the sculptor drunk?”   What?  Hmmm.  No clue.

Click. Delete.

Oh.  A selfie of himself on set.  Could the production PR tell? Best to be safe.

“Nice pic!”   Right.

“Thanks for sharing!”   You’re welcome!

“You don’t have to photoshop your selfies.  We love your wrinkles!”  What??? Like I would be vain enough to rub out my  – wait, the lines aren’t that bad, are they?”

Shit.  Click. Delete.

There.  Four tweets left for the week.  That should take care of everything.

Oh wait. The funny one is still here.  He perused the entry containing a selfie with plant leaves sticking out of his ears and mouth followed by a quotation.  He wasn’t sure if everybody got the reference.  He wasn’t sure if he got the reference.

“Nice pic!”  Who is this person?

“Goofy dude!”   Yes, yes it is.

“Were you drunk?”  Am I getting some sort of reputation?  Well yes, yes I was.

Click. Delete.

Three entries left.  He smirked at the selfie of himself trying to pinch a liquor cart.

“Nice photo!”  Oh, that’s a change!

“Very cute!”   I thought so.

“Hey, you’ve deleted three entries!”  And one more makes four.

Click. Delete.

He looked at the last two entries: an innocuous quote and a selfie of him showing off some wild looking socks. Should he leave them? They were harmless enough.  But would he be giving them significance by not deleting them?  Would fans read something into it all?   Surely not.  He’d leave them.

His eyes shifted to the flurry of comments hitting his Twitter timeline.

Why do you keep deleting tweets like this?”

“You know once you post, it’s out there forever, right?”

“Are you drunk?”

The man sighed.  He had to do what he had to do.  If it meant deleting posts, then so be it.  He just couldn’t leave things on his timeline if it caused problems.  Besides, he’d noticed that the deletions gave his fans something to discuss.  They seemed almost as important as his posts which was handy during periods when he really had nothing to say.  His finger hovered over the quote entry.

Click. Delete.

“I loved that quote!”

“Dude! What are you doing!”

“You gotta lay off the sauce, man!”

He eyed the socks entry.  On second thought, the socks seemed controversial – verrrrry controversial.   He had a right to change his mind didn’t he?

Click.  Delete.

The man smirked.   That should hold them.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

[Hi all!  I know it’s been four months.  Will explain later but first, here’s what you’d rather see today.  Enjoy.]

***

The man looked at the gray sky again and sighed.

He perched on the railing, feeling all elbows and knees as he tried not to bump the two women on either side.  A young brunette to his left chattered nonstop with her companion.  On his right, a mature woman in a baseball cap sat reading a pamphlet.  He didn’t want to disturb either of them.

Around him, the excited flow of chatter rose and fell as experts on little mobile screens discussed the imminent first total solar eclipse of the century.  Everybody seemed to have prepared for the event with bagged lunches, information pamphlets, eclipse glasses and extra batteries for their mobiles.  Of course, he had come only with sunglasses that offered no protection. Don’t stare at the sun, experts warned.  So he’d spent the last hour glancing up at the sky for a only second or two. Not that it really mattered now.

His impromptu trip to this college town to personally witness the phenomenon had turned out to be a waste of time. He’d taken the needed the break in his schedule and arrived that morning unprepared.  The morning dawned with blue skies.  Now, ominous clouds had rolled in, blotting out the sun and threatening to make the thing a non-event.  It’d put him in a worse mood – just the opposite of what he’d hoped for.  Story of my life, he thought. 

Squirming on the metal bar, he managed to jostle both women.  Damn it. I’m not in the mood for small talk.

Both budged over just a bit.   The chirpy one threw him a toothy grin . “It’s packed and jammed, huh?” She waited for an answer.

He blinked at the American, trying to process the slang and the accent.  Oh, she must mean it’s close quarters here.  No shit. I should just leave. He managed a weak smile and a nod before studying the sky as if there were something to see.  He felt her turn away slowly to turn address her companion.  The woman on his right closed her booklet and looked off into the distance.

So now you’re moody and rude.  He felt like a tosser.  He should apologize somehow, or at least try to chat Chirpy up – only he couldn’t bring himself to do it. 

The man’s head dropped and he gave a sharp exhale.  It was that time of year again when he felt his mortality.  Well, not so much his age – he had reconciled himself to growing older as a fact of life.  But his youth oriented profession pressured him to strive and achieve his goals before The Powers That Be perceived him as too old.  He’d gained success later in his career; that maturity had helped him cope with it but now he felt behind the eight ball, as the Americans say, as if he had to achieve it now, whatever it was. 

He stared at his clenched hands.  What was his looking for? He had no right to complain.  He’d appeared in a play off-Broadway to positive reviews, snagged some roles in feature movies and even worked in independent films where he could hone his skills and stretch himself.  He was breaking into the US market. His agent touted him as a new kind of rising star.  Why did he feel as if aging was blotting out his star, much like the clouds blotted out the sun overhead -that he was running out of time? Damn it, was he always going to become so maudlin this time of year?

“Damn it, damn it, damn it, ” he hissed.

“Are you okay?” A soft voice on his right. The baseball cap woman.

The man glanced at her, readying a brushoff but stopped.  Two brown eyes gazed back.  No, not just brown but big and soft, steady and caring.  They seemed to pull him in.

It was out of his mouth before he knew what had happened.  “Tomorrow is my birthday!”  Alright.  Now, that explains everything.

He expected his behavior to elicit the surprise but he didn’t expect the rest, as her eyes registered consideration and then knowing.

“Ah,” she said, her lips curling into faint smile.  She nodded and regarded him for a moment.  “You need to look up.”

He blinked. Look up? What did that mean?

“Here.  Take my eclipse glasses.  They’re certified,” she stated wryly.

He donned the glasses and looked up. “But they’re completely dark. I can’t see a thing!”

He reached to take them off, but she stayed his arm. “Keep watching. Never mind the clouds.  It’s almost time.”

The man looked up.  Was something happening? Yes! Against the dark filter slowly appeared a vivid sliver of orange crescent. The crowd cheered.  The clouds have parted, she murmured.  He grinned. The clouds had parted just in the nick of time.  The moon moved in front of the sun leaving nothing but the sun’s corona. 

“Totality!” somebody yelled and the crowd cheered louder.

“It’s quite dark now. Like dawn before sunrise,” she murmured close. “But there’s always dark before light.”

“Amazing,” he breathed.

The woman murmured again.  “Now, you only have to wait for the light. When it comes, it will be brilliant.”

As the moon rolled away from the sun, a pinpoint of orange began to glow bigger and brighter until an engagement ring of light burst into view. The crowd cheered again.

The man whipped off the glasses and turned grinning to the woman.  “A total eclipse.  That was absolutely amazing!”

She smiled back and squeezed his arm.  “Don’t forget: you only have to wait for the light. When it comes, it’s brilliant. Enjoy it.”

He stared as she jumped down from the railing and turned back to him.

“And don’t forget: have a happy birthday.”

***

 

[Have a happy birthday Richard Armitage, wherever you are.]

 

Interlude LII: Sign Me

Michelle Forbes and Richard Armitage appear to promote “Berlin Station” during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ in New York City, New York on October 10, 2016.

I’ve been pulling blanks on topics here forcing me to dive into my bag of goodies because I know what you come here for.  Ah, here is one.  I think this photo showcases well his physique at this angle. 

In the meantime, feel free to suggest topics for me in the comments.  I’m desperate here.

Interlude LI: Mr. Rogers

Richard Armitage rocking a Mr. Rogers look. Wouldn’t have minded staying in his neighborhood.

So I drank a margarita made with little alcohol (or so I requested) and it still knocked me on my ass.  I need to crawl to bed.  In the meantime, I’ll leave one of my favorite pictures of Mr. Rogers – I mean Richard Armitage.

April 9th through the History of Confessions of A Watcher

Fellow bloggers Herba, Servetus, Perry, and Guylty have been posting about today through the history of their blogs.  (Let’s pretend I’m not a day late.)  So I took a look in my archives and discovered I’m not a good April blogger.  In some years I didn’t blog at all following meager posts in March.  I think the strain of stoically marking off another birthday in April contributed to the silence.  The years also reflect the trajectory of my fangurling, slowly starting out, steadily building to a flurry of writing, then leveling off to an intermittent trickle.  Such has been my life in any fandom.

2011 oversaw a steady increase in posts.  April 9th was a Saturday which meant the usual Surreal Saturday posts dedicated to the weird, the usual and the downright scary.  That day I showcased the parody group Lonely Island and their dance video The Creep.

2012 was my heyday in fandom with posts galore.  Oddly, April 9th showed a blank spot on that date between The Four Tops singing Reach Out on Serene Sunday feature and a popular Foolish Friday entry My Gal Marian.

2013 showed my fascination starting to ebb with nothing written in April between some March and May posts.  2014 to 2016 had very few posts with due to ongoing personal issues coming to the forefront.   Had I bottomed out?  I don’t know.  But I continue to post. 

Confessions of a Watcher marches on.

 

Surreal Saturday: Panty Party?

Nothing can get as strange and weird as Japanese media.  If you want to take sexism to the wall, check the Japanese media. If you want a weird sexist game, yeah, check out Japanese media.

Here is a real game where you can dash and dodge in high speed battles – with panties.

I have no words.

Panty Party Trailer – I must find the Warrior of Love!

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Foolish Friday: Soft Focus

Richard Armitage getting the gauzy treatment.

Hello class.  Hope your week has treated you well.  Me, I was alternately placid and annoyed but that a topic for another.   Today is all about the objectification.  Let’s hit it.

Here is Richard Armitage news program picture from a 2014 interview circuit.   This is a low resolution photo causing artifacts and blurring but the effect reminds me of a soft focus camera setting. The gauzy light makes him appear to have discovered the fountain of youth.  Notice the return of soft radiant youthfulness, the smooth skin and perfect hair curling at the perfect longer length.  (Personally, this is the perfect style for him at this age.  It softens his angular features, balances the high forehead, and covers the elven ears.)    Even the early stubble looks touchable.  While I’m not a fan of dark shirts other than black, the brown does complement his hair.  Overall, it’s a pretty damn good bad picture.  Ah, the misty water colored memories of the way he was.  Sigh.

What do you think?  Do you prefer the old RA or the newer RA?

Recap Thursday: Fetish

Because a certain segment of the fandom really enjoys The Beard, I wrote this story for the The Man in June 2013.  This was quite the stretch for me since I’m in the Anti-Beard Brigade.  Enjoy.

*****

The man knew it was wrong the moment he saw the three women, but he couldn’t help it.  He’d spotted them as he left the studio, tired from a long day on the set.  From the sudden intense whispering and shy smiles his way, he knew they were fans.  Ordinarily, he felt pleased and a little gratified to meet fans, making small talk, scrawling autographs and posing for pictures.  But this promised something more – naughty. A thrill of anticipation rushed through him as he approached.

He scanned their faces, judging who could be The One.  The slight blonde, standing behind the two older women, didn’t seem a likely prospect.  She smiled and eyed him in a polite detached manner, lacking the “fan” aura.   She likely accompanied her friends to the studio just to observe.  The youngest of the trio looked ready to burst with excitement, shoulders scrunched in tension, hands clasped in front of her tightly, and the widest smile he’d ever seen.  He would have been able to see her shining eyes but she could barely look him in the eye. No, she wasn’t “it.”

As he turned to the oldest of the trio, his heart sped up.  The tall brunette stood nearly eye to eye with him. She regarded him in a more subdued fashion with a crooked uncertain grin and cocked head.  The eyes gave her away: they darted from his and away. Ordinarily, he’d think she was stealing sneaky glimpses of his mouth, but he knew that wasn’t it.  It was the BEARD.

He reached up reflexively to touch it.  This was the beard’s second stretch for his character.  After four weeks, it had grown in but hadn’t reached it’s full potential.  Commentators on Alia’s blog called it “the baby beard.”  He smirked.  When the itchiness of the growth subsided, he quite liked the surprising silkiness of it.  He also liked another thing: the fans touching it.  That discovery occurred when a fan had asked to touch it on a dare.  He’d posed in amusement for the photo but had been secretly shocked by one thing; the frisson of tension he’d felt the second her fingers stroked his face.  It was as if another part of himself had leaned forward figuratively to luxuriate in her touch.  It had felt so – sensual.  He hadn’t regarded himself as a particular tactile person in this touchy-feely business, so he’d been caught out by the fleeting intense surge of pleasure.  Friends did not produce the same effect; the touch of a fan seemed somehow thrilling and – forbidden, yes, deliciously forbidden.

His hand’s motion quickly drew her eyes.  Her top lip sucked at the bottom.   Surely news of the earlier fan had gotten out; she wanted to touch his beard too.  Her eyes darted back to his questioningly.  His smile widened as that naughty part of him tempted her by leaning forward.  She took the bait.

“Would you like to?” He leaned tantalizingly close, marveling how he could invade her personal space like this.  Who was he and what was he doing?

“May I?”  She didn’t seem to mind.

Her hand seemed to move in slow motion as it rose from her side. The anticipation stretched as she came closer and closer and then – just the barest, lightest touch. His eyes fluttered closed as her fingers left a trail of subtle sensation across his cheek and along the jawline.  He slowly exhaled breath he’d not realized he’d been holding and he shuddered lightly.  Delicious.  Simply delicious. The hand fell away suddenly.  His eyes opened.  Good grief, had she noticed?  She smiled, thanked him, and glanced in amazement at her friends.  No, she’d probably remembered she’d been stroking the beard of a stranger.  She’d been too enthralled in her own experience do notice his.   He collected himself and posed for the group photo, pretty sure that his eyes possessed a bit more twinkle.  He sent them off with a nod and smile.

He turned away, heading for his bike. Tonight, he would relive the moment over and over.  Maybe Alia would write a post about it – beard stroking by strangers as pleasure.  He reached the bike and stopped in his tracks.  Good grief. What was fandom doing to him?

He had a fetish.

Here’s a Retweet You Need to Delete #Richard Armitage

I haven’t figured out how to embed Keke Palmer’s dumb tweet and Richard Armitage’s dumber retweet of it into my blog.  But then I’m too annoyed to work on it.  If you really want to see it, look here and here.   Here’s my imaginary message to his retweet:

Dear Rich,

What in the hell is wrong with you?  I know defenders will say “but he’s British!” and therefore doesn’t know but you’ve been in this country long enough.  Keke Palmer might think she’s hip and edgy using the N word but being black doesn’t make it any more acceptable.  It’s a derogatory term and no supposed “re-appropriating” of the word makes it any more palatable no matter the spelling.  It’s still a derogatory racist slave epithet and will always be one.  This is an ongoing big bone of contention in the African American community.  Personally I think it’s a hallmark of colossal ignorance.

And you, my white friend, don’t get to use it, retweet it or anything else.  Don’t add to the confusion and perpetuate the ignorance.

No Love,

Judiang

My Name is Geek

Pong, the first video game I ever saw. It was captivating.

Yes, I’m a geek from way back.  It started with a fascination of all things electronic beginning with my oldest brother’s reel to reel tape recorder. (Yes, I’m really dating myself.)   We all crowded around the first cassette tape deck recording silly voices and bad but funny singing.  No more bulky unspooling reels.

The golden age of arcades began.  It’s funny now but Pong was captivating back in the day.  Games changed to blazing color with the advent of color televisions.  Pac-Man debuted in 1980.  Video games entered its first golden age.  Soon I heard about the astonishing idea of playing games on monitors – at home instead of arcades! 

With breakthroughs in technology, these games entered my home and rested on a table next to a small television that we bought just for gaming.  Two televisions in the house!  That was incredible.  I could now play Bowling and Golf on a relatively compact home console (we sadly opted for Intellivision instead of Atari 2600 in the gaming wars.  However we chose VHS over Betamax in the videotape format war, so we scored there.)   Gaming continued to evolve as I grew up and away from it.  Life got in the way. 

Legend of Zelda. This was state of the art console gaming circa 1990.

Around 1991, my older brother introduced me to a new home console, the Nintendo NES and an amazing new game, The Legend of Zelda.  Instead of performing inane tasks like like chasing balls across a screen, I could follow a high-fantasy adventure story-line and solve puzzles in addition to fighting the usual baddies.  But I didn’t rush out and buy a Nintendo console. I’d fallen head over heels for another emerging high tech – personal computing.  In 1984, my parents gave me an IBM PCjr. (Yes, I again backed the wrong horse; others had gone over to Radio Shack’s TRS-80.)  In college, it was still the day of Fortran, punch cards and mainframes that were perpetually “down” and I was unable to complete my computing assignments.  This dissuaded me from a career in computer science.  The idea that I could now sit down and finagle programs on my own time blew my mind.  But I quickly learned that the PCjr wasn’t a “real” computer (by today’s standards), and cast it aside.  More adulting happened.   But Dear Reader, you know what happened next.  It was the early 1990’s.  I discovered THE INTERNET.  The World Wide Web opened to the public and I wanted in it.  

Thus began one of the most expensive hobbies outside of car collecting.

The PC that started it all for me – the Packard Bell 386.

Developers released software for word processing, data-basing, rudimentary graphics, as well as access to the internet through Compuserve, Prodigy, and AOL.  I ran out and purchased a Packard Bell 386 (fondly known as Packard Hell) with a 120MB hard drive and 2MB RAM, and a 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives.   I cruised the internet at a snail’s pace on a 24 baud modem. It was heaven.  When the 386 reached the end of it’s usefulness, I chucked it for the faster 486.  It too reached it’s upgrade cap (which occurred roughly every two years) so out it went.  Because it cost less to buy the parts than buy a complete computer, I started building my own.  On and on the cycle went of upgrading components and building or buying new computers.  I’ve happily remained on this wheel for over 25 years.  Since manufacturers have miniaturized chips so much and the speed of components have far exceeded the needs of the average user other than a gamer, graphics artist or architect, the turnover time for new computers is much longer. 

But I told you I was a gamer, right? 

The Nintendo Switch Zelda: BotW Edition. Because you can never spend too much money.

For the last month I’ve become enamored over a home console again, the brand spanking new Nintendo Switch and it’s pilot game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Yes, I’ve come full circle.  No, I don’t own it yet.  I’ve been watching other gamers play it on TwitchTV.  Yes, a gamer watching other people game is a thing.  Don’t laugh.  This looks awesome.  You can play it on a television then “switch” instantly to a portable hand held device without missing a step in the game.  Its manufacturer suggested price is $300 but retailers have hiked the price to over $400.  The game is $70.  So this new wave in gaming high tech is expensive which gives me pause. 

But it’s still my latest shiney.

The geek in me is still strong.

 

Surreal Saturday: Petlexa; or Happy Birthday to Me!

I’m not sure whether everybody has seen Amazon’s Echo.  This device connects to an artificial intelligence server named Alexa, a kind of competition for iPhone’s Siri. (I have one.)  With the appropriate equipment, Alexa turns lights on and off, wakes you up and puts you to bed, answers questions, and walks the dog.  Well, not exactly but that doesn’t mean that Amazon hasn’t been thinking about your four-legged friends.  Enter Petlexa – for your pet.   What could possibly go wrong?

Enjoy.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my birthday with a day of lazing followed by culinary overindulgence at a location known only to friends.  Ta ta!

Amazon Alexa Moments: Petlexa (Amazon Echo Commercial)

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Foolish Friday: Sensual

Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde displaying the latest in skintight briefs. From the series Hannibal.

Hello class.  How’s your week been?  Did you enjoy last week’s nose study?  Well, we wouldn’t be at out objectifying best if we didn’t examine other…erm…areas. For science, you know.  During my blogging absence, I continue to track Richard Armitage’s roles, including that of Dolarhyde in Hannibal.  Luckily or not (your mileage may vary), I was already watching the show.  In preparing for class, I came across an article describing the character as “sensual and empathetic,” not words I would have used. 

But what’s important is that RA was “half undressed most of the time.”  No I’m not criticizing his acting; it was quite good.  However the character proved quite intense and violent which made viewing a bit daunting.  Hence, I enjoyed the time he was on screen clad in nothing but nice tight black briefs. 

This isn’t the greatest screen shot but RA here still appears as fit as he was as Guy 10 years ago, but let’s be sure.  Shall we?  Perky pecs? Check. Chiseled abs? Oh yes.  Waxed chest? Yes please.  Long finely muscled arms? Mmm hmm.  Looks slightly heavier than the lean Guy days but perfectly acceptable. 

But wait – is that a slight burgeoning love handle?  Personally I think the briefs are so tight that they are cutting him in just a tad at the waist.  The verdict?  I think RA still looks pretty fine at his age, or for any age.

What do you think class?

 

Recap Thursday: The ChaRActers Go to TheRApy – Part 3

This post hails back to March 2012 at the height of my Guy of Gisborne fascination.  Written for Fanstravaganza 3, an annual Richard Armitage fan appreciation fest, this madcap farce featured me, my psyche trio (mischievous id Jodi, nanny superego Jada, and enigmatic ego Quiet One), Patty the Pomeranian, Winston the black pug of depression, and my therapist Dr. G.   And let’s not forget Guy of Gisborne as played by Richard Armitage in Robin Hood. 

Be sure to read first parts 1 and 2 linked below to get the full picture of our heroine’s situation.

*****

We last left off here and here with our intrepid heroine not getting her money’s worth in therapy.  But her fantasy figure certainly is.

A Big City

7:45PM

I gaze at my watch again.  Has it only been 45 minutes?  Have we slipped into a crack in the space/time continuum?  Surely it must be next week.  On the upside,  Guy has covered a lot of ground but the session ends in five minutes.  What could possibly go wrong?

Guy sits slumped in his chair, his fingers still caught in his long hair – correction, much longer hair.  It falls in waves to his shoulders, obscuring his perfect profile.  His black leather has changed for the designer Italianate variety.  He’s ready for the cover of Medieval GQ.   Oh dear.  I have a bad feeling about this.

Jada makes an observation. “Dr. G. seems to be putting him through changes.”

Jodi licks her lips. “I’ve always liked this version best.”

Quiet One … is quiet.

Winston and Patty paw through my copy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (Fourth Edition), chuffing and apparently arguing with each other.  Clever pooches.

I glance curiously at Dr. G. as she scribbles notes in earnest.   She has pulled books off the shelf behind her, including her own DSM manual.  Her eyes have a strange light, the kind I get when I think about “peaches.”

Jada eyes the manual.  “She’s probably thinking about how many diagnoses she can cram into her medical journal article,  plus her best seller and a slot on Oprah’s new network.”

Jodi ogles Guy as he turns his glamorous face to the therapist.  “She’s probably thinking about the ethical question of treating and shagging a fantasy figure at the same time.”

Quiet One snerks.

Dr. G. stops scribbling.  “Let me get this straight, Guy.  You craved the love of your mother, hated your father, and eschewed love and security for status and power.  Despite your childhood experience, you accidentally abandoned your baby in pursuit of that in the fear that your lady love would find out?”

Guy’s lovely brows furrow in confusion.  “Aye, er… nay… er… aye?”

Jada interjects.  “Well, it’s a little bit more complicated that…”

Jodi adds gleefully. “Yes, don’t forget about the love/hate relationship with Vasey.  Oh, the Freudian  implications there!”

Quiet One actually nods.

Winston and Patty rip pages out of the DSM manual.  They have an impressive pile.

Dr. G. sighs.  “Vasey?”

Guy looks away grimly.  “The Sheriff of Nottingham.  He was my liege lord since I was made a knight.  I was duty bound to carry out his orders.   He promised me return of my family lands, status and power that was taken from us when King Richard took the throne.  His ways … were not always well received.”

Jada nods.  “Guy was the black knight.”

Jodi elucidates further.  “Guy was the sadistic, lying, cheating, hand chopping, murdering black knight.”

Is Quiet One holding her breath?

Guy flicks his hair and snaps defensively.  “I only chopped off one hand, killed a few.  My sins were middling as far as black knights go.”

Jada ponders this.  “Yes, he does have a point.  He was fairly average.”

Jodi scoffs. “Average?  He couldn’t shoot an arrow straight, lost every fight with Robin Hood and was a lousy swordsman!”

Quiet One is … yes, that was sporfle.

I almost sporfle as well.  Jodi, as usual, makes a point;  Guy was not only pretty, he was a pretty bad black knight.  Who knew?

Guy jumps to his feet, shaking in impressive manly umbrage.  “I did the best I could, you accursed… id! I did not wish to do it at all! I could not get away from Vasey.  At least Marian could see the best in me.”

Jada clears her throat uncomfortably.

Jodi harrumphs.  “And look what happened there…”

Quiet One heaves a long sigh.

Winston and Patty pause in their page ripping.

I gaze anxiously at my watch.  “It’s time, session is over!  Let’s go!”

Everybody ignores me.

Dr. G. can’t help herself.  “So what happened with Marian?”

Guy’s lovely features scrunch heartbreakingly, sapphire eyes welling with tears.

Jada begins hesitantly.  “Well… there was an unfortunate knifing…”

Jodi puts it out there. “He ran her through with his sword.”

Quiet One is … very quiet.

I hold my breath.

Guy erupts in a rage, hair flying gorgeously as he shakes his head.  “It was an accident! I did not mean to do it.  I would never harm her!”

Dr. G. leaps to her feet cooing.  “Of course, now calm yourself.”

Guy continues in his angst. “It was truly an accident!  But such words that came from her mouth … she said she would rather die than marry me, that she would marry Hood!  I wanted to stop those words.  I had my sword like thus -”  He whips out the broadsword.  ” – and reached for her like thus -… GOD’S BLOOD … !”

We all gasp, including surprised Dr. G. with the sword sticking out of her.

She stares up into Guy’s face.  “I – I think … I know … what your problem is.”

We all lean in close.

She gasps out.  ” You – You … You’re a fuck-up.”  *THUD*

To say there is a long silence is an understatement.

Jada states the obvious.  “This isn’t good.”

Jodi considers the remark. ” It sure isn’t!  Is “fuck-up” even in the DSM manual?”

Winston and Patty gape and shake their heads.

I’m beyond words.  On the downside I have a dead therapist on my hands.  On the upside, I won’t have to worry about the bill.  It’s always best to think positive.

Guy stares in angst at his sword, probably wondering how it got there, too. His magnificent shoulders droop in resignation. “I am cursed! I have killed another innocent maid.  This cannot stand.  I must throw myself upon the mercy of your law.”

Jada is ever pragmatic. “Point that thing elsewhere, Guy.  Actually, you’re not real.  None of us are.  So only Judi can go to prison.”

Jodi grins saucily. “Exactly! So you’ll have to resort to getting blindingly drunk and indulging in wild forgetful sex every night again.”

Guy flinches.  “I remember not.”

Jodi winks.  “It hasn’t been written.  Yet.”

Jada finishes her assessment. “And Patty will be ripped from the bosum of her rescue forever home and thrown back into the clutches of foster care.”

Patty yelps and faints.  Winston whines at her.

I’m feeling a bit faint myself.  I could see it now: The new Twinkie defense! – woman says therapist killed by fantasy figure, only eyewitness is traumatized dog, news at 11.

Quiet One speaks, astounding us all.  “Look, if Guy isn’t real, then neither is the sword.  See, there is no wound at all.  I think she’s just suffered something like a psychic shock.  It’s going to be okay!”

We gawp at Quiet One for a second as the realization sinks in.  Much relieved backslapping ensues.

I am exhausted.  “Well, we’d better get out of here before she wakes up.  Hopefully she won’t remember a thing.”  Or I’ll need a new therapist.

Suddenly a male voice booms. “It looks like I have arrived just in time!”

We look around before finally looking down.  There stands a small, stocky, but very attractive fit figure with long flowing gray streaked locks and full beard, regal blue robes and a fur cloak. Blue eyes regard us imperiously.

Guy eyes the interloper, sensing competition.  “Who is this?”

The figure pulls himself up to full height.  He barely reaches Guy’s elbow.  “I am Thorin Oakenshield, King of Erebor, and King Under the Mountain.”  He turns to me and inclines his head.  “I am at your service, madam.”

Jada smiles.  “Ohhhh, it’s the Hobbit dwarf!  Are we moving on already, Judi?”

Jodi stoops, pinches Thorin’s cheek, and coos.  “He is sooo cute!  Wait until we get him some sexy time with that elven model.”

Thorin blushes and sputters. “We don’t do such things with elves!”

Jodi winks and strokes his beard. “Oh, but you’ll like what this elf does.”

Quiet One laughs.

Guy turns charmingly red in the face.  “You are forsaking me for a … a… a HOBBIT DWARF?”

I quickly try to smooth this over.  “I’m not forsaking you -”

Thorin interrupts.  “She promised to write me tales in which I regain my kingdom and riches.”

All eyes turn to me.

I shrug helplessly.  Oh dear.  I wonder if I’ll survive the next session.