Surreal Saturday

The upside of Surreal Saturday is I get to scour the YouTube for interesting videos, encountering some  funny, creative, weird and inappropriate things.  Unfortunately my favorites are all four with emphasis on inappropriate – wildly.  No matter, I just troll harder.

Here’s a relatively tame effort from the parody group The Lonely Island, creators of the infamous NSFW viral video I’m On A Boat.  Let’s do The Creep!



A Tall Dark Drink of Water

Shortly before FanstRAvaganza started, I elicited comments from a friend.  She surprised me by saying, “you haven’t talked much about Richard Armitage.”  This comment brought me up short.  Well, hadn’t I?  I stated this blog would mention him on the way to discussing something else, but surely I must have commented about him.  Looking back through the blog I realized I managed to talk about his roles but not about the actor.



I made an audio comment for RAFrenzy’s blog relating how I discovered Richard Armitage. (I suggest you read the entire post if you haven’t, and all the others.  Her blog is always fun and interesting.)  But I never said what exactly made me a fan. I knew it was more than his looks, talent and feeling he’s a nice guy; many other actors share the same qualities. But I couldn’t properly articulate what made him special.  I felt like my mom with her obsession with Laurence Olivier when she exclaimed “I knew!” but couldn’t explain why.   I wracked my brains for weeks and finally settled on these qualities.


I love an intelligent actor.  This doesn’t mean actors who are smart, but actors who understand their roles and use their talents to best advantage.  I’ve seen capable actors turn in inconsistent or flat performances because they appear to not understand or care how their characters inhabit the overall story.    If an actor lacks concern, why should I care as a viewer. Simply showing up for a scene, emoting lines with conviction and hoping that’s enough doesn’t suffice for me.  I realized RA is an intelligent actor in RH.  Guy wasn’t a cardboard baddie because RA created an entire back story for the character which he then inhabited.  Because he fleshed out the role in his mind, there was no need to chew the scenery, usually a good sign of poor character concept.  He could imbue the slightest gesture or minor line with meaning.  Later I learned RA employed this technique in all his roles.  He’s also mastered another concept: facial expression can convey meaning before the lines are even uttered; the words are a throwaway.  It promotes subtle delivery and draws the viewer in.  These factors along with his light/dark approach make him interesting to watch.


I love his eyes.  Not just the color and shape (they’re quite beautiful) but what they reflect: intelligence, alertness, humor, kindness, playfulness, a hint of shyness with a dollop of playfulness.  Certain people exude more than average charm and appeal that mesmerizes. This charisma blazing from his eyes captivates me.  The fact he’s apparently a nice guy based on what he’s said and what others have said about him also shows. I believe the proverb goes “the face is the index of the mind and the eyes are the mirror of the soul.”  I like what I see in his.

There was a third quality but it escapes me right now, but that could be fodder for another post.   I’m sure it was quite profound and high brow, naturally.  Ahem.

[Images courtesy of and]

RA in Epic Acting Fail! News at 11

I kid you not, Dear Reader. I possess proof positive of Richard Armitage’s acting failure. This little gem was posted by in the Robin Hood S1 update section. It’s a BBC 2006 website interview with the man himself.

[jwplayer config=”myplayer” file= image=]

There I was taking in the pretty and considering dusting off my Wacom drawing tablet when his last sentence hit me. It starts at 3:04:

“I’m really hoping that when people sit and watch this, when Gisborne is trying to win Marian, that they actually squirm in their seats, that their skin is crawling; that’s my aim with this character, to make people absolutely despise him.”

After talking about Guy for eight days straight for FanstRAvaganza, I find this hilarious.  This interview suggests he intended to play the panto baddie; he wanted us to boo and hiss and stamp our feet.  This seems true through about half of S1, notably during Guy’s “torture the villagers” phase.  But did RA’s propensity for finding light in dark characters go too far?  Guy very quietly moved towards becoming a more sympathetic character especially when Marian left him at the altar in the S1 finale and it’s quite evident the writers bought into the kindler gentler Guy philosophy during S2 and S3.

However even when Guy was his sadistic best in S1, I never had a sense of total evil particularly when dealing with Marian.  He could be cruel, calculating, and clueless but underneath lie a growing sense he was pitiable.  So, if RA meant my skin to crawl, he did a poor job.   A really bad job.

Tsk, his “evil” needs more work.

Welcome back!

Well, that was interesting.

My IT buddy left after massaging HP back to good health since its trauma at the hands of Geek Squad.  Long story short, after having HP for almost six weeks, they only thing they successfully accomplished was wiping the HD and installing Windows 7, oh, and a new video card.  They did not correctly identify the problem (the possible virus I mentioned six weeks ago); misdiagnosed alleged problems with the old video card, fans and power supply (nothing wrong with any of them); and my favorite – botched backing up my stuff.  In what must be the Epic Fail of Back-ups, I had a restored hard drive full of empty directories and folders.  Yup, they neglected to COPY THE DATA.  Thankfully none was critical but several gigabytes of data are a lot of files to lose and reconstruct.  The moral to this story is: avoid the Geek Squad at Best Buy!

Because of my frustration over the WordPress Service limitations, she also migrated this blog to my own server.  So bye WordPress Service, hello WordPress at Judiang. If you hadn’t noticed, you were redirected to a new URL at You will probably need to bookmark, RSS, or subscribe again to the new URL. Everything here is a la carte as far as personalizing is concerned, so I’ve been adding plug-ins to at least be on par with WordPress Service before I can dabble with the fancy gizmos.

Sadly the move wasn’t damage-free.  While posts arrived basically intact along with comments and links there have been some big problems, the move has stripped paragraph breaks, borked image placement and broken embedded videos.  I’ve been painstakingly parsing and fixing code, although I fear some aesthetics simply can’t be mended.

So, watch out for the boxes scattered around and don’t look at the wallpaper. Be sure to bookmark my new URL, RSS, or subscribe in the right panel.  I’ll get things in some semblance of order while I finish birthday feting.

But I’ve got posters.  Here’s one:

Richard Armitage in 2004 photo shoot

Another Year

Today is my birthday.  Nothing momentous; that was last year, capped off with a cruise in the Caribbean.  I don’t have any insights or revelations today.  There’s simply a sense of tranquility, something I’ve been sorely needing these past few weeks.  One of my buddies (the IT maven) arrived Wednesday and another is due today.  We’re taking things easy while my IT massages HP into health it hasn’t had since it left the factory nursery.

It’s amusing actually. I’m happy chirping at everybody “Today’s my birthday!” but don’t particularly care whether there’s a big dinner or a musical or Something Special to do as the younger me would have.  Just marking another year without much fuss is good enough.  Maturity is definitely a perk to getting older.

My IT is darkly muttering about buying flash drives for HP’s surgery so I need to head out.  Meanwhile take a look at the lovely shiney posted by  Enjoy!

“So, it’s your birthday, milady?” SQUEE! *THUD*