Mental Rehab: Day 1

In case anybody was wondering “whither Judiang,” I’ve journeyed to the wilds of Ohio for an annual get-together with friends at a cabin in the woods by a lake.  My friend has just finished showing me around the new school where she teaches. It’s a very lovely 21st century school with all the bells and whistles but in a location so rural there’s no phone reception.  This causes a cognitive dissonance in my citified, always connected mind.  But it gets better: the cabin has dicey phone reception and no wi-fi.  I will spend a week not cruising the internet, not playing Borderlands 2, not obsessively viewing strange crap on YouTube, not tweeting at 2AM instead of sleeping, not NOT.  Instead I will engage in unfamiliar activities like talking with live people in the same room, walking about, pointing at unusual animals (read: horsies and piggies), eating nutritious food, and letting the sun touch me.  My iPad has a tethered keyboard, so I could like – write – with no internet distractions.  My friend thinks I can do this for a week.  Uh huh.  She also promises that she’ll take me to an internet cafe if I start seem unhinged.

I wonder how she’ll be able to tell.

Uh oh, she’s finished closing her classroom for the school year.  Wish me luck.  I’ll post when I can.

Oh, and Happy Guy Day.

Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne, realizing he has no competition in the series.

Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne, realizing he has no competition in the series.

Foolish Friday – Guy Day Friday; or About Chest Hair

Hey, how about those fabulous posts this week?  They would have been incredibly awesome had I been able to get them…out of…my head.  Hmm.  Okay, problems with concentration, persistence and pace have interfered with flow.  But, when the moment seizes me, I seize the opportunity to get the thoughts out.

This brings me to the subject of chest hair.  (The segue is perfectly logical; just work with me).  Some tweeters and commentators have asked how I feel on the issue; they know I’m not a fan of Richard Armitage’s beardy look, but what about his chest?  Well, since it’s Guy Day Friday, let’s look at this picture:

Yowza!

Marian interrupts Guy as he fits his armor. (And we know all knights fit their armor while naked, right?  So why the trousers?)

Here is RA as Guy of Gisborne.  His chest is smooth.  This deserves a closer look.

In a scene totally integral to the story, Guy turns his smoothness to Marian.

In a scene totally integral to the story, Guy turns his smoothness to Marian.

Yup, he’s totally smooth.  If you were to imagine placing your hand on his chest (tough I know, but you can do it), it would glide smoothly, as you felt one defined muscle flow (see there?) into the next without any other sensation, like – hair.  Wouldn’t that feel nice?  Hmm? So ideally, I tend to prefer smooth chests for the same reasons I like smooth faces.  I want to feel see appreciate what’s underneath without peering through a forest of fur.

Richard Armitage unwaxed in photo by Robert Ashcroft.

Richard Armitage: Unwaxed in photo by Robert Ashcroft.


However, RA apparently waxes his chest for these scenes.  From what we can glean from recent photos, the hair is light and sparse, so much so that it makes more sense aesthetically to wax his chest for nude scenes than go au naturel.  It’s a wise choice which I totally endorse.  Hairy men just don’t float my boat.  It’s a personal preference and probably a cultural thing.  But happily, RA isn’t too hairy.  If he were to decide to appear in the future unwaxed, I wouldn’t look away.

I’m not totally crazy.

Have a happy Guy Day.

 

 

Monday, Monday; or the Pot Stirs

Oh wait – I retired.  I don’t have to go to work.  (Sorry, had to rub it in once. I’ll be good now).

Returning to blogging again means dealing with WordPress.org – again.  The recent version is causing tech problems with subscriptions and postings.  Lovely.   If you’re having issues, please let me know.

I’m baffled to have acquired new subscribers in my absence.  Don’t have a clue why that happened.  So, hello New Readers!  This blog is parts irreverence, snark, stream of consciousness, and a showcase for sojourns into fiction and drawing.  It’s brought out the contrary and perverse side of my nature, so expect much pot stirring to ensue.  I even gleefully point out the emperor wears no clothes, even if he’s a certain British actor.  Please remember that I try to do so with love and humor.  I aim to remind fans that we are here to enjoy our crush and each other, and not take him, fandom, and ourselves too seriously.

Speaking of not taking RA too seriously, there’s a six month backlog of things I’m dying to say about him: the premiere and DVD release press junkets, his new groomed persona, his … interesting… utterances – Richard Armitage 3.0.  Then there’s the fans’ reactions – both old and new ones.  It’s a veritable treasure trove of things from which to pick.  However, one of the downsides of having too many options is indecisiveness.  I don’t know where to start.

So, Dear Reader, what would you like me to tackle first? Are you dying to hear my opinion about something? Please keep it simple; my brain can’t handle meta at the moment.

Oh, here’s another pic.  I know what you come here for.

Richard Armitage picture by Robert Ashcroft

Richard Armitage picture by Robert Ashcroft

 

Serene Sunday – Mozart’s Concerto 21

Hello again, Dear Readers.  I’m instituting a new regimen that includes dedicated writing.  I must write something – anything – no matter how long or short.  There’s a two-fold purpose: 1) to get back in the habit of writing, and 2) to move from writing for self-distraction to writing as a way of life? hobby? goal?  So bear with me if things seem a bit scattered for the next few weeks.  This is mental rehab unfolding before your eyes.

New readers, I’ve always dedicated Sundays to inspirational music.  I’m no longer religious, but still enjoy the songs.  You can read about why here.  As I sat here wracking my brains for a new entry I haven’t covered, it occurred to me that classical tunes also inspire. My older self chuckles because the younger me used to find classical music boring and stuffy until learning that many pieces have been translated into modern songs.  My gym classes exercised to Strauss waltzes in primary school.  Clever way to introduce a genre to children, yes?

Anyway, the following composition came to mind: Mozart’s Piano Concerto 21 in C Major.  It’s difficult to describe music but this piece is so beautiful it gives me goosebumps.  It subtly marches while calming, soothing and uplifting. It’s something my mind needs – to march forward, slowly and quietly.  Baby steps still.

My pal, Wiki, says:

The Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, was completed on March 9, 1785 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, four weeks after the completion of the previous D minor concerto, K. 466.

This is only an excerpt. The entire composition is over 30 minutes long. Enjoy.

Mozart. Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major (European Pictures)

Música instrumental. Mozart acompañado por imágenes de países europeos *** Instrumental music.

Oh, and Happy Sunday.

Richard Armitage photo by Robert Ashcroft

Richard Armitage photo by Robert Ashcroft

 

RE: Beard Scandal!

Attention Dear Readers!  It seems a terrible thing has happened tonight.  I was hacked!  Yes, my Skype account was hacked by a devious perpetrator who engaged unsuspecting Jasrangoon, Zan, and ItsJSForMe.   S/he was so diabolically clever and convincing that they didn’t know it wasn’t me.  So when this person evilly reported that I liked RA’s b-b-beard, s/he lied.  Imagine my surprise when I logged in (thus booting the villain) and discovering they had posted my alleged confession.  WordPress.org doesn’t have a reblog function, so you have to use your imagination (or better, visit their blogs).  And now the alleged confession is all over Twitter.  This is a travesty.

Wait, here is the gif that poor duped Jasrangoon created:

judiang-said-what

Shocking, isn’t it?

I will be conferring with my lawyers, spin doctors, and hackers through the night to mop up the situation and get this off the internet.

Stay tuned.

A Story

sunshineHere is my story.

I can’t post until I explain what’s happened with me, and that’s been difficult.   So, I’ll just spit it out: my depression finally forced me to retire last Tuesday, ignominiously ending an almost 25 year career in government.  A few colleagues acknowledged my departure by treating me to lunch.  Dejected and conflicted, I left carrying a box and bag of all my things.  This occurred at least nine years too early. It was definitely not what I had ever envisioned, so somehow, I had failed.

That is what a younger remnant of myself wailed -the 30-something lawyer focused on attaining the badges of my profession: law firm partnership, high salary, husband, McMansion, two kids, and a dog.  As time passed and old classmates burned out in their jobs, divorced, and seem to go batshit crazy, I learned to redefine success for myself.  But my younger self wailed, and I let her – overnight.  After thrashing it out with Dr. G., I realized what really happened.

Let me start again. Here is my story.

Shortly after Christmas, Mother Nature (read: menopause) kicked in.  If you’ve been following my depression saga for past two years, things didn’t just worsen, they went straight to hell.  Friends reported I sounded like a 45 rpm record played at 33 1/3.   I couldn’t work.  I called Mayo Clinic which took me almost immediately in February.  Armed with more hormone patches and pills, my condition improved, but functioning did not.  I wasn’t sad but supremely apathetic and detached from the world.  I had shut down, withdrawn, and built walls around myself, as if I were in survivor mode under siege.  Dr. G. was baffled.  I was baffled – in a uninterested way.  Even my dwindling bank balance didn’t faze me.  Dimly, I knew the point of hospitalization loomed close.  Then, a series of events happened.

I published a post -the usual pot stirrer variety – hoping to stimulate my mind.  Long story short, a reaction provoked a fit of rage in me so OTP and uncharacteristic that I realized that counseling and medication would not fix the problem.  The rage created a two day window of clarity.   I felt glad for the clarity but disturbed why only rage could pierce the fog.   Clearly, the bizarre apathy signaled something different.  My family intervened, spoke of moving me and getting nursing care.  Oh shit.

Many readers don’t know that at work, while management paid lip service to being hospitable towards my illness, their actions declared the opposite.  Even with union intervention, they created a miserable, soul-sucking environment. Meanwhile headquarters “encouraged” old (read: 50+) and sick (read: me) out the door.  In recent years, management mentality has morphed to the soulless corporate variety.  The old guard, like me, do not enjoy the buffer or support from the caprices of bureaucratic decision-making.  So it was a race between recovering from an indefinite illness and being either fired or forced onto disability (a financially poor option).

During the window of clarity, I returned to the office for a day.  Just as my mind flatly refused to work, a colleague (and surprising champion) dropped information on my desk.  The gist was that I could feasibly retire early.  I checked with Human Resources.  It was true.  But I needed money before interim payments began; I was flat broke.  While dumping months of mail out of my box, I discovered income sources I’d either forgotten or didn’t realize.  A few calls and the checks were in the mail.  (No, really. I got one already).

So, six weeks after the fit of rage, I retired. A few friends I liked treated me to a farewell luncheon.  One later came to my office and thanked me for 25 years of public service on behalf of the agency and the public, which management didn’t do.  He told me my work had been appreciated.  He thought this was the best thing for me, now I could get well.   He understood I was sad but reassured me I’d feel better the next day.  Then he carried my stuff to the taxi and waved.

So that’s what really happened.  He and Dr. G. were right.  The next morning, I awoke and felt – fine.  A dear buddy drove over to get me on a proper eating and sleep regimen.  I talked, ate, laughed and went to the movies (twice).  I’m preparing to sell the condo for something less expensive.  The loss of toxic stress has increased the groggy side effect of my med, so Dr. G. REDUCED the dosage.  How about that?  I looked at the blue sky and budding greenery and sensed – joy?  The last time I felt this good was June 2011 during the London trip.

I spent 28 years in a profession I didn’t particularly like, and 25 years in a job which grew increasing toxic.  Yes, I still have a depressive disorder, but the endless drip of professional poison was psychologically killing me.  I lasted long enough in a high paying job to retire early on a nice pension.  While I can’t live in the style to which I was accustomed, it’s a damn sight better than other situations.  I served the public for almost 25 years and am proud of my work.  I’m young enough to start a part-time second career in a more nurturing field.  I’ve gone from no options seven weeks ago to having too many.  As Dr. G. said, it’s like the universe conspired to move me out of the old bad and into the new.

That’s my story.

Who woulda thunk it?