Surreal Saturday: Blogging Is Non-Habit Forming

clockSo I just missed the deadline for yesterday’s post.  Ordinarily I write for the next day but this time, I’ve been leaving things until the night of that day’s post.  Oddly since retiring, I’ve not fallen into a routine.  Before, I fit my life into the limited free available after work.  Blogging didn’t pose such a big problem; a three hour post-dinner deadline always loomed.  Now with all the time in the world – you’d think I would write reams.  That’s not been the case.  After 25 years working, it’s hilarious to develop time management problems in retirement.  This goes back to an issue I touched on last year.  I spent my time always reacting to negative motivation on the job (i.e., work deadlines, micromanaging etc).   Now I have to be proactive; all the impetus must come from within.  But that’s one of the problems with/recovering from depression – finding the mysterious self-motivation.

Then I wonder about other people with illnesses who seem to have no problem in the respect.  People like Stephen Fry who acts, produces, lectures, hosts, blogs, geeks, writes, advocates and seemingly has his fingers in every UK entertainment pie despite being bi-polar.  Closer to home, The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson writes books and a hilarious bawdy off-kilter blog even with depressive and anxiety disorders.  Both of these people manage to regiment their time quite well.  Are they juggling many balls to stay ahead of their illnesses, or is The Secret keeping busy and productive with many things.

Maybe I’m suffering from too much time on my hands.

Since you made it this far, here’s a treat – a man who doesn’t have enough time on his hands.  I’d love to ask him about time management.

Enjoy.

 

Richard Armitage photo by Robert Ashcroft

Richard Armitage photo by Robert Ashcroft

 

Interlude XLII: What Me, Volunteer?

There’s no polished piece tonight.  I spent most of the day with my friend Mary shlepping from store to store purchasing materials for an upcoming high school production of The Snow Queen. The costumer had a hacked credit card, and although she’s the musical director Mary had to leap into the breach.  Where do I come in?  I’m now her volunteer assistant and she’s over the moon at the prospect of putting me to work.  But before I can actually interact with the kids, I must sift through hours of paperwork for background checking, online training, and what I exasperatingly call “Chester the Molester” instruction so that I know of, am vigilant about, and don’t run afoul concerning inappropriate interactions with minors.  Becoming a volunteer sadly isn’t the same these days. This prep school is quite posh and quite large, so they have a lot to protect by dotting all “i’s” and crossing all “t’s.”  I must be squeaky clean.  All this must be done pronto, naturally.  Mary wants me in place for the next production, Phantom of the Opera, one of my favorite musicals.

So I leave you with my latest Richard Armitage favorite that he recently tweeted.  I think it’s the cold and lovely snow that really pulls me in.  Would I lie?

Enjoy.

RA skiing

 

Still Topsy Turvy

Sorry for the false starts Dear Reader but I’m still acclimating to my new environment and finding some semblance of a schedule.  NaNoWriMo has started and I’m behind the eight-ball.  Because there wasn’t time to outline a new novel, I’m revising the psychological thriller from last year – only I started last night.  Ahem.  I promised the London recap that’s almost two months late as well as another The Man story. Both might take a little time.  I need to read the Crucible before delving deeply into an issue I have with the play and discussing Richard Armitage’s performance.  An “end” post has been drafted about the trip’s surprising effect on me, so I am working on things.  And as for poor The Man, I have to check in with him; he must be exhausted.

While I handle time management issues, here’s a video from RA’s last stage door on September 13, 2014.  Sadly my iPhone stuck in portrait mode while filming in landscape, hence the small picture.  I flipped the view so we can at least see him properly.  As you will see, the line extended down the street and around the front of the theater. People stayed calm until halfway down the line when things became a little rowdy.  More aggressive fans pushed my friend against the wall, blocking her filming my encounter with RA.  This was unfortunate since I will talk about that moment in the “end” post.

So here’s a taste of what it was like.  Enjoy.

REPRISE: Social Media

Hi all.  I’m still alive and in the middle of barely controlled chaos known as relocation.  Unfortunately I’ve not had the time to compose an original story.  So in honor of Richard Armitage joining Twitter (I KNEW it would happen.  Should have bet all of you),  I’m republishing an old story that seems quite fitting for the occasion.  You know the one.

******

The buzz pierced through the fog of his mind like a hatchet.

The Man lie prone on his stomach, face buried in the pillow.  The arm dangling over the side felt dead.  He peeled open an eye, but the light’s glare snapped it shut.  He flopped onto his back, sending a jolt of pain through his brain.  The buzzing continued.

He lifted his head gamely, trying to pinpoint the noise.  Hotel room …. floor… pants … trousers… oh, the phone.  Ignoring the banging headache and few unsuccessful attempts at snagging the trousers and rummaging through the pockets, he managed to silence the thing.  He lie back again and groaned over the hangover.  He’d had a few glasses of wine the previous night while – doing something or the other – something about fans.  Why did dealing with fandom seem to drive him to drink?

The phone dinged.  Running a tongue across parched lips, he lie waiting for the rest of his body to check in.  The phone dinged again.  He was popular this morning.  Another ding.  He fumbled, then raised it to blurry eyes.  The red-haired bloke had texted, “Wow!”  Wow?  He peered at the next texts.  “Hey, you really know how to make an entrance!” and, “I couldn’t have done that!”  His eyes opened wider as he scrolled through tens of messages from friends.  His PR person had left four messages.  His agent left a text, “WTF!!!  Did you really put that on Twitter?!”

The man frowned.  What in the world were they on about? His fingers flew across the screen as he opened the program and searched for his tweet.  He vaguely recollected that a few fans had been dubious about his identity, even on a verified account, when he debuted several days ago.  They had demanded he tweet a picture of himself; he agreed.  What was wrong?  He tapped open the link.

The man sat bolt upright, hangover completely forgotten.  Oh.  Shit.

***

The man glanced down at the bowl of soggy cereal he couldn’t eat.  Naturally the news had spread like wildfire through the cast and crew, but they all treated it as hilarious.  Some passed his table with a few joking words; others waved, winked or flashed an enthusiastic thumbs up sign on their way out to the studio.  He gulped some apple juice as his phone continued lighting up like a Christmas tree.  He switched it to silent.

***

The man stared into space, barely listening to the 3-way conference call with his agent and PR person.  The agent had stopped swearing and started listening raptly to the woman five minutes ago. When the agent began chuckling, the man blinked in confusion.  What, everything was okay?  The woman expounded on “changing social mores,” and “appealing to a younger generation.”  At the part about “getting maximum exposure out of the situation,”  the agent burst into laughter.  Exposure, indeed. Imagine the rags back home.  Classy,  just classy, he thought.  He groaned, head sinking down to his chest.

What would his mum say?

***

The newspaper clippings tumbled out of the large envelop onto the table.  He pawed through them: Guardian, Daily Mail, Sun, Times, they were all there.   The rags had tried to make a mini- scandal of it all, but his PR person had arrange a quiet chat for him with a reporter who relayed an amusing story about “smartphone mishaps” and “depth perception,”  which other papers picked up.  He snorted.  The reporter had left out the part about “doofus” and “pissed.”   For the most part, reaction had been favorable.  He found himself with a half million followers on Twitter in 10 days.  They didn’t care particularly what he tweeted, as long as he acknowledged them.  He picked up the infamous picture and looked with a new eye.  He had no clue how he’d managed to set a wide angle that he didn’t even know the phone had, but the pose looked rather lazy and sexy against the sheets, even if he had only intended to reveal a portrait angle. An inadvertent centerfold.  His agent reported that interest in him had not been adversely affected.   It was all a silly mistake to be put behind him.  He sighed in relief.

Right.  Now time to get a different smartphone.

***

The man sat poised at the laptop, stone cold sober.  He knew his feelings could get seriously hurt, but he itched to know what his fans thought.  He’d heard not a peek out them in a month.  Considering the past problems, it was worrisome.   The red-haired bloke had joked he felt a little jealous because his own fans were still talking about it.  So, what were his fans saying? Hopefully, he’d received boffo reviews.  He found himself giggling.  Oh, this was ridiculous.   I’m too old for this silliness, he thought.  He glanced at the sheets containing line changes for tomorrow, then back at the screen.  Oh, hell.   He surfed to the forum, logged into the members-only section with his secret account, and read.

Oh for fuck’s sake!

He stared glumly at the announcement: “DO NOT OPEN THE JPEG.  Looking at his junk is disrespectful.”

They haven’t seen the picture?  What, am I supposed to tweet, please look at my junk?, he fumed.  He could imagine the red-haired bloke falling down laughing at the news.

Bloody fans suck.

*****

Life imitating art maybe?  It tickles me just thinking about.

Happy birthday Richard Armitage.  Have a ball on Twitter.

 

 

Interlude XLI; or Real Life Intruding

I had a “The Man” story percolating on the back burner but Real Life ate my homework. Honest!   Long story short,  my new retiree budget requires me to make a few cuts, including selling my condo.  Right now I’m in a flurry of decluttering that must be completed in a matter of days in time for the listing going live.  All my physical and mental energies are dedicated to making this happen.  So The Man will have to wait for his next foray through the absurd mind of yours truly.

In the meantime, have some suave, clean shaven Armitage.  Do we really need a reason why (other than the NON-BEARDY goodness?)

Richard Armitage picture by Robert Ashcroft

Richard Armitage picture by Robert Ashcroft

 

Interlude XL – Sexy Smexy

Real Life socializing (read: attending festivals) has me derelict in my writing duties.  I have a nice “The Man” story in the works but it probably won’t get done this week.  So I’ve dusted off my Bag of Goodies and rummaged around.  But what to my wondering eyes should appear but a fresh pic from a not so new Esquire video.  Can’t have too much class, I say.

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

RA thinks his trousers have finally reached tight enough.

RA thinks his trousers have finally reached “tight enough.”

 

The Allure of the Accent; or RA Goes Okie

british accentYears ago in the film Love Actually, British Colin Frissell can’t find a girlfriend at home. So he journeys to the U.S. in search of one. To his surprise, he finds himself a hit with American women the moment he opens his mouth. It seems American women dig British accents. Of course, this was hilarious to me because I’ve been exposed to British accents since I can remember. (I blame PBS and my mother’s undying crush on Laurence Olivier). So this phenomenon didn’t really surprise me, although my crushes on British actors have been totally incidental. Naturally.

Flash forward to last week. A few of us were chatting about the latest Into the Storm trailer and analyzing what we could of Richard Armitage’s American accent. While I couldn’t separate his voice from the background noise, a few said they thought the accent pretty decent. Then I heard something to this effect:

“As soon as he spoke American, he lost part of his sex appeal.”

My mouth nearly fell open at the heresy before my inner anti-fangurl exclaimed “that’s right, he’s British!” One chatter recounted how one favorite actor’s sex appeal leached away the moment he spoke in an American accent (dreadfully). This brings me to another meandering thought: it that why Americans are so keen on foreign actors getting American accents right – is it because of the aural dissonance, or the resulting perception of declining sex appeal? They’re just not that hot without the Queen’s English?  There’s no real reason why this should be except maybe prove the adage “everything is greener on the other side of the street,” or pond, as the case may be.  I picture RA trying out a Chi-caw-go accent with me listening incredulously and wondering what I ever saw him. Would I beg him to “speak British” again?   Could that possibly happen if I were wearing a blindfold?

I can’t decide how I feel about RA sprouting an American accent. I do know what if he fails to impress in the few scenes, I won’t be able to take him seriously the rest of the movie.  It sets my teeth on edge to hear an accent done poorly.  Truly, I’ve reacted the same way with other actors.  But will I find him less sexy? I don’t know yet.  Maybe the wet shirt will make up for that.

What do you think?  Honesty will get you kudos.  Total heresy will get you cookies.

 

 

The Crucible Previews – Whose Opinion Matters?

crucibleAlong with the rest of ArmitageWorld, I’ve been tracking the opening preview reviews coming in from blogs, Tumblr and Twitter.  Naturally I focused on Richard Armitage as the touted star of the production.  How did he do?  Does he have the chops to be a headliner?  Responses ranged from “brilliant,” “outstanding,” and “[left me] crying and shivering,” to well – underwhelmed.  A tweeter stated that as a lead, RA was “weak.”  The former reaction didn’t surprise me; the later responses have me a little concerned.   Was it an accident that the superlatives poured from fans who have a vested interest in seeing their man succeed; and the not so glowing comments issued from those who simply viewed RA as part of the ensemble?  If so, what would the critics say on press night?  Or does it really matter who says what?

Fan-wise, it might not make any difference.  Fans are delighted merely to see him in the flesh (no pun intended) and onstage in a quality production.  What could be better than that?  Looking through adoring eyes, they would be more likely to praise his strong points and forgive the weaker aspects of his performance. Then based on some reviews I’ve read, there is the problem of some fans not fully comprehending the play.  If they don’t understand the basis, how can they objectively judge the performance?    I’m not saying all fans have that difficulty or would deliberate skewer opinion in his favor no matter what, but there is an element of loyal blindness.   Does any of this matter?  They’d encourage their friends and family to see it too because it’s Richard -freaking-Armitage, right?

What about the opinion of the Old Vic?  Here is a man with star power who can put bums in the seats. Financially speaking, it doesn’t matter if RA proves stellar or only competent – he has a sizable fanbase willing to buy tickets more costly than other East End productions.  Although certain critics have decried using “popular television actors” to feel the theaters, the truth is live theater is a costly and competitive business – directors will do whatever it takes to fill the seats and keep their enterprises afloat – as long was critics don’t deem their lead actors box office poison.

But what about the critics’ opinions I’m keen to know?  These are people well versed in the artistic side of the theater and supposedly know a good production from a bad one potential goers should skip, thus affecting ticket sales and ultimately the possible closing of the show? Should they have that sort of power?  A case in point: a famous British theater  upon learning David Tennant had been cast as Hamlet essentially stated that the trend of theater directors hiring “TV actors” for productions was harming the artistic integrity of theater by lowering standards. The ignorant critic only knew DT from Doctor Who and was unaware of his previous acclaimed career in the RSC.  This snooty rant ultimately made the critic look bad, but imagine the sway he perceived himself as having by implying that non-theater actors had no use on stage besides being a box office pull and readers listened.  And yet, it’s the professional critics’ opinions directors and the theater-going public notice.  The directors crave acclaim for their productions; the public loathes wasting money on anything less than praiseworthy.  I admit wanting to see shows both popular and highly acclaimed, and really hope this is true for The Crucible.

But what if opinions diverge? What if the fans rave and the critics boo?  What if the latter say the cast is brilliant but the lead is not?  Would it matter to Old Vic if they are interested in more than the bottom dollar?  Would it matter to directors looking to cast other leads?  Should it matter?

And would it matter to Richard Armitage to be a popular or artistic success or both, and would it effect his ability to be cast in other productions?

When I began this post, I thought the answer would be that opinion shouldn’t matter as long as the audience and the producers get what they want.  Then I had to ask myself whether I’d travel thousands of miles to see a “popular” but not acclaimed actor in a play.  The answer is I’m torn.  On one hand, I’d love to see RA perform onstage; on the other, I want to see something considered more than competent. Tickets are expensive.  I want to see a prime specimen of outstanding theater. I want to be transported, so I can say years from now “oh yes, I saw him when he first returned to the stage in The Crucible.”  I want to be seriously impressed.  So I suppose professional criticism matters to me, even more than popular opinion.  Some may say there’s an aspect of elitism in there, but it’s my honest view.

What do you think?  Are you swayed by fan opinion or holding out for press night?

 

 

Richard Armitage and Pinter/Proust: Cast Party

[Sorry, been nursing a head cold.  Those NYC germs are aggressive.]

castcrewphoto

Courtesy of MyKdsRllyEatThs

As soon as we crossed the party threshold, we fell down the rabbit hole.

It wasn’t that we couldn’t handle this extraordinary and unique opportunity.  We were both women of a certain age, trained in social etiquette, common sense, adept in making quick judgments calls.  We bound and gagged and our Inner Fangirls and entered as theater-goers/patrons.  It was after all,  basically a cocktail party, so we conformed accordingly, mingling and chatting with guests, and enjoying ourselves.  Zan gives a better account here about who said what.  Some of the younger cast member were quite charming, brimming with youth and euphoria, eager to talk about the stress of the production and or when they could be seen on PBS soon.  All of them lit up at the news that the production was well received, and hoped it might be a springboard to a bigger Broadway run.  I soaked up the energy and purposefulness and contemplated where I could go with my own creative endeavors.

Here’s where the surreal part began:  as we slowly worked our way among the cast dotting the room, we pondered the 6’2″ question holding up the bar.  What were we going to do about Richard Armitage?  Indeed.  What do you do when the only person in the room with whom you’d like to chat know you’re his fans?  Although we’d discarded that role at the door, his certain knowledge still restricted options for both us as fans and him as the star.  Had we not participated in the lobby, we might have felt more at liberty chatting with him, and he with us, but that’s not what happened.  A tiny voice whispered in the back of my mind: watch it, you’re representing to him and everybody in here, – knowing technically I was only responsible for myself.  Calm thoughts, eh?  Still we had to discern the appropriate thing to do.  A few glances showed him chatting animatedly in group.  No problem.  He’d given us his time in the lobby, so we would leave him alone to talk with friends and colleagues.  Problem solved.

But not quite.  Zan murmured that he’d glanced our way a few times, so I glanced over – only to meet a pair of blue eyes.  He’d catch us looking; we’d catch him looking.  There was nothing hostile or negative in his glances.  Suddenly, he’d turn his head and regard us with open curiosity.  This was a bit disconcerting.  I’m a watcher; I watch other people.  I wasn’t used to being observed by others, especially by somebody like him.  Good grief.  He continued looking our way the rest of the evening, even after we established ourselves as polite, sociable and nuisance-free.  What was he thinking?

As the crowd thinned, Zan and I needed an exit strategy.  It would have been quite obvious to him that we’d chatted up everybody but him. Seeing only one person left with RA, Zan suggested we congratulate RA and leave.  Ah, perfect!  His head swung towards us expectantly.  As she said her compliments and thanks, he lit up like a Christmas tree.  His almost “oh gosh” reaction so tickled me that I looked at his lady friend; her eyes twinkled too.  He turned to me, eyes still gleaming, and shook my hand.  I think I murmured agreement as his glow nearly blotted everything out.  My goodness.  He turned to his friend, still beaming and we exited.   Later I wondered if he wasn’t lit up by wine, but from the warmth of his smile and handshake, I think he appreciated us.

Zan and I chatted until the wee hours trying to wrap our minds around the whole thing.  In all my years in fandoms, I’ve never had an experience quite like it.  It will definitely be something I’ll remember for a long time.

 

Richard Armitage and Pinter/Proust; A Watcher’s (and Fangurl’s) Review: Part 1

Picture or it didn't happen.  Richard Armitage and me.  92nd ST Y, NYC.

Picture or it didn’t happen. Richard Armitage and me. 92nd ST Y, NYC.

So, Dear Reader, I went to New York City.

Okay maybe that’s an understatement but I was thisclose to not going.  Attending the Pinter/Proust production was a last minute, crazy harebrained attempt to snap me out of a post holiday, post illness funk.  Also I blame Zan, my partner in crime during the Anderson Cooper trek in 2012 and Perry for her frequent and intriguing updates.  In addition, my nosy side realized there would never be another opportunity quite like it: no autograph hunters, no cold stage door, no usual post production scrambling, but almost impromptu encounters between actor, fans and patrons for a one-off performance.   As 20 plus year fan veteran, I get more of a kick watching other fans now.  What better environment to watch such interactions?  I shook my limp inner fangurl, told her to get it together and dragged her off to NYC.  Curiously I’ve been having a hard time writing this entry, because I’ve been of two minds —

HEYYYYY there posse!  Whassup?  I’m Inner Fangurl here to save the day.  Judi does go on, doesn’t she?  The readers want to hear the Good Stuff, aka Richard Armitage.   Judi, you can talk about more esoteric things like acting later.  Let’s cut to the chase shall we?

Sigh.  Fiiiiine.

OKAY!  Judi was under the weather, so when I heard about the production at the 92nd St Y, I said we should go!

That’s not what –

Even after she booked everything, she almost didn’t go.  Can you imagine?  Anyway, we met up with our partners in crime, Zan and Perry and headed for the pre-show with Di Trevis, the director for the production.  She told some very humorous stories about Harold Pinter, distracting my spidey senses.  *He* had been seen sitting in the back of the audience laughing along.  RA was in the building.

*groans*

When the show started, we sat up in the balcony. Judi spent five minutes rummaging in her bag for the hearing device and nearly missed his entrance on stage.  Now we are a bit visually challenged, but he entered with such balletic grace that we knew it was him.  I clamored for her to get Zan’s mini binoculars and we were set.  He was definitely the Man in Black: black shirt, tight black jeans, black long suit coat; longish dark hair combed back still curling at the nape.  He appeared in so many little scenes –

They were memories –

Well, Judi did fine, but I had a hard time following at first. No matter!  When RA wasn’t performing a memory, he sat in the back waiting for his next cue. The little binoculars were very handy, especially when he got to that breast caressing scene with Odette, his obsession –

That was supposed to be Swann brushing something off Odette’s decolletage –

Well, the binoculars showed me differently!  And then the passionate kiss, oh my!  If anybody doubted his ability to be a romantic lead, that scene should put things to rest.  We quite enjoyed watching him gracefully prowl around the stage so tall, lean and lanky.  WOOHOO!

Siiiiigh.

Sigh indeed!  During the intermission, we were alerted to vacant seats in the second row center. We beat a hasty retreat down there.  What a fabulous view!  We don’t really remember much of the story after that because he was RIGHT THERE!

I remember quite a bit!

Well, that’s amazing.  Just imagine Readers, all six feet two inches of him strutting around the stage so close, his features so finely chiseled that you can see his facial muscles working beneath the skin, the cheek bones popping out of nowhere.  He cut such a Byronic figure.  OMG!  SQUEE!!!!!!

Maybe you should mention that his acting was –

His acting???  Oh pish!   Before we knew it, the play ended and they came out to take their bows.  My goodness he seemed so close.  We were practically on eye level with –

Nevermind about that!  Get on with it.

*Sniff*  Fine.  The entire cast came out for a photo shoot then dispersed.  Our compadres had a few words with Trevis and some cast members before moving to the gallery where we heard there would be a meet and greet.

Right, it turned out that the party was private.

Yes!  But the next thing I knew, after exchanging a few words with the lovely gatekeeper, we were on the other side of the rope. I love New Yorkers!  Why do they have such a bad reputation?

Oh yes, me too.  No clue.  *chuckle*

So then RA came out of the After Party to greet the horde of fans and curiosity seekers.  He was absolutely a peach, signing autographs, taking pictures with everybody.  He even declined to be extricated by the guard and went on until he’d seen everybody.  He must have stayed out there a good 30 minutes or more.  He took pictures with our compadres and then it was our turn!  SQUEE!

*facepalm*

We’d handed our iPhone to Zan, I caught his attention and there we were, his arm around our shoulders, and our arm around his lean waist.  No love handles there!  And so warm.  That man is a furnace!

Can we just finish this –

Well fine, but it was a surreal moment, his arm there waiting patiently while Zan snapped the photo.  It felt like a second and an eternity.

Very Proustian there, Inner Fangurl.

Okay, maybe I was paying attention to the play – just a tad.  Anyway, it was time to go into the After Party but my time was over.  Judi kicked me out!  I don’t even know what happened next.

Yes Dear Reader, I threw a cloak over her to avoid two worlds colliding.  But that’s another story.  Now that Inner Fangurl has had her say, I can get on with serious impressions about the production, the party, the cast, the fans, the man.

Tomorrow.

 

Fandom Frenzy; or Richard Armitage Goes Political

I could feel it coming in my bones – the fandom meltdown.  It’s a phenomenon that occurs about every six months like clockwork, fueled by boredom, diverse personalities and the crush not giving the fans enough to chew on between projects.  The energy builds with nowhere to go.  Just about anything can set if off.   So when yesterday’s article in New York Moves hit, it was time.    My inner watcher perked up to study the fireworks.     And boy did Richard Armitage not disappoint.

I’m not going to rehash what others have said.  Most of the immediate reactions can be found on Morrighansmuse’s blog and on Twitter.  The negative opinions were a textbook case of fan identity crisis, claiming that the interviewer, the editor, the hot weather, RA’s supposed British ignorance, etc. were responsible for what he said, and what were politics doing in an entertainment interview anyway?

I want to point out a few things:

– NYM is not strictly abut fashion and entertainment.  Also from Morrighansmuse’s blog:

Here’s the description of New York Moves magazine which tells anyone that this is no entertainment magazine just reading off the publicity packet handed by the studios or PR company:

“Moves Magazine is a lifestyle magazine for city women (and men), unafraid to ask hard questions. We take on social, political, and global topics and show how women are shaping the world we live in today. Written with a progressive vibe, the magazine offers a provocative, often polemic view of society; an askance look at the world we live in.”

So RA  stood an excellent chance of discussing politics – and being provocative (if one considers stating his personal believes such).  When asked, he had as much right to an opinion as anybody else without being American.  That’s how our political system works.  Democracy in action.  If we have no problems discussing politics in fandom (it happens all the time), why shouldn’t he?

– According to European fans, what he said wasn’t really controversial.

It seems to only have caused a kerfuffle among American fans.  So sitting and having such a conversation probably didn’t phase him one way or the other.   I suspect he’d be surprised at the extent of the negative reaction from some quarters.

– RA wasn’t tricked, manipulated, edited etc.  Also from Morrighansmuse’s blog and Twitter feed:

elle morris

 He knew the topic and participated anyway.  Despite constant fears to the contrary by some fans, RA knows his own mind.  He knows what he wants to do and say.  He’s certainly old and experienced enough to handle himself with reporters.   He really doesn’t need our protection. Really.

– It doesn’t matter what RA said.

Yes, the nature of his opinions are irrelevant.  It shouldn’t matter, and I think fans are losing sight of this.  It isn’t  important which way he swings on gun control, violence, or the colors in the rainbow.  What matters is that he felt comfortable to reveal a part of himself, let us into his mind a bit to reveal opinions about topics other than his work.  He’s human.  He showed that he’s a real person with real opinions and real thoughts, not a walking talking fantasy to be kept in a pretty box uttering safe platitudes for our amusement.   Shouldn’t he be accorded some respect especially by us, his fans?  Yes, he could have stated the exact opposite opinions, and I would say the same thing.  I respect him for having the courage of his convictions and saying what he thought.  Fans don’t have to agree with him 100%; I don’t.  Disagree.  Criticize.  But do give him a bit more consideration that what I’ve been reading in for the past 24 hours.

After all, his politics don’t determine our level of adoration, do they?

Right?

 

BAFTA, SHMAFTA

You know, just because the entire fandom has been tweeting, blogging, and tumbling pictures of Richard Armitage at the LA BAFTA Tea Party yesterday doesn’t mean I have to jump on the bandwagon.

CA: BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea

RA at some event. No clue what. Source.

I mean, the pictures would have to be half cropped to shield from view the disaster that occurred below the waist, even if I were to post them.

BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea 2013

Again, RA at some event. Source.

Ideally, a nice three-quarters head shot with long, curly hair at the nape and a little stubble would have been lovely.

More RA. Wonder where in the heck he went. Source.

More RA. Wonder where in the heck he went. Source.

But since I’m the Anti-Fan gurl and need to preserve my reputation, no pictures like that will appear here.  Nope.  No siree.

 

Oh Guy, You’re So Fine

I’m baaaack.  There’s real life news to report but I’ll talk about me next week.  Today is Guy Day.

Every time I think that my Richard Armitage crush as moved away from 00gling blatant objectification visual admiration, Guy Day Friday rolls around and I find myself pawing through my stash. Then Guy jump starts the admiration all over again.  Take a look at some of these lovely lovely pictures:

What’s a fan gurl to do? I suspect the visual images of Guy fascinate me because of the amazing masculine and feminine mix in Richard Armitage’s features during his mid- thirties at height of his looks, IMHO.  Just a change in lighting or angle of the head accentuated one over the other. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.  Let’s just admire for now.

Still More Beardy Horde

One of my pals (INSTIGATOR!) sent this graphic:

Save the beard

The Graphic of Utter Bollocks

It’s posted by Save the Beard in the Love for the Beard group on Facebook.  Apparently there’s a beard and mustache competition in August.  I hear people travel to these contests, even abroad. Interesting concept.  The beard phenomenon is trending now; at the past Oscars, every other movie star wore one. Sheesh. It’s not a good time for a lukewarm beard person like myself. Even the fandom’s beardy horde continues to expand.  Don’t get me wrong; I’ve nothing against beard. A well groomed small beard looks distinguished on the average man.  I just think they do nothing for good-looking men, and in fact, take away a little something.

Before you start sniggering, Richard Armitage is the ONLY good looking man I’ve ever seen to be the exception to the rule.  He’s got the perfect beard facial line and his square jaw and round chin make a great platform for a baby beard.  (Baby as in just grown in, not teenage straggle.)   So yes, I confess that the man rocks a baby beard.  When it becomes too hirsute and unkempt like during the Captain America premiere, then the rule kicks back in again.

See, I can be reasonable.  Some.

Here, have some pretty.

There's a beard?

There’s a beard? Courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com

 

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.

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.

Richard III or the “Battle” of RA vs. PL

[Everybody knows this, but I’ll state it for the record: this post is pure speculation and conjecture on my part. I don’t even remotely know anybody who remotely knows Richard Armitage and Phillipa Langley.  I’m simply adding my 3 cents worth because 1) I need to force myself back to blogging and 2) there’s nothing new to talk about apparently until Christmas.]

richardiiia

But whose Richard III? Art by @Flodwyns on Twitter

I don’t give a damn about Richard III.  Yes, I’m a history buff and watched the Channel 4 documentary with Phillipa Langley. The discovery of the king’s remains was quite remarkable and an achievement.  To my disappointment, there were no new clues suggesting what sort of man he really was: man or monster?  Simply, the king’s bones were found; now they can be laid to rest.  My historical interest ended there, but my fascination with the players around Richard III began. So, yeah, I’m not a Ricardian.

Unfortunately for the Ricardians, the Channel 4 documentary did them no favors. Through the magic of editing and selective interviewing, they came across not only as dedicated and passionate about their man, but also narrow-minded, obsessive, and possibly delusional.  I suspect the network did not go out of its way to interview less colorful fans along the Ricardian spectrum; that’s not as interesting to viewers after all.  In the center of this sat poor Phillipa Langley, depicted as a tenacious woman, but ultimately, the poster child for That Fan And How Not To Be, as she shook, trembled and half fainted over the bones of a man dead 500 years.  I have no clue as to the type of person Ms. Langley is actually.  However, by the end of the special, I felt chagrinned and sad that a televised show which was supposed to celebrate the discovery, ended up robbing Ms. Langley of dignity and credibility.  For me, “man or monster,” turned to “is or isn’t she crazy?”  Channel 4 sowed the seed of doubt about her, something that may come back to hurt her, especially when persuading people to buy her script.

This is where things get interesting again.

Ms. Langley has a script about Richard III.  Anxious to strike while the iron is red hot, she set up her bandwagon by telling the press that Richard Armitage, her main choice to play the king, was in Los Angeles flogging a script (the assumption being it was HER script). Such serendipity!  RA, a smoking hot property fresh from The Hobbit and touted actor to play Richard III, was in L.A. pitching to Hollywood Types, a script connected to a smoking hot international discovery.

As soon as I heard this, I thought: “O rly?”  For over six years, RA has been trying to interest investors in his own Richard III project (the assumption being it was NOT HER script) in which he never at any time mentioned Phillipa Langley.  But such serendipity!  He could set up his bandwagon and use his emerging world exposure  from The Hobbit to pitch to Hollywood Types his project connected to a smoking hot international discovery.

But wait, did Ms. Langley’s statement mean he was now on her bandwagon instead of the other way around? What has followed in the last few weeks from RA, has been the most excruciatingly coached noncommittal AND distancing remarks he’s ever uttered.  He has stated he’s spoken to Ms. Langley in the past. It’s highly likely he has seen the special and its slant on her.  We have no clue what they said to each other or when, or that his being in L.A. at that time had anything to do with her although she wanted the press to think so.  He can’t say “yes, I’m on her bandwagon,” because that might scare off wary Hollywood Types.  He can’t burn bridges and say, “WTF, no way we are connected,” in case her project does come to fruition first and he is sought for the lead.  Also, he can’t say anything because it’s premature and unprofessional to discuss a project before the ink is dry on the contracts and the PR machine is in place.  So poor RA must continue with the damage control.

Can’t wait to hear what she says next.

EDIT: Our Jane in the comments pointed out that she thought their projects were one and the same.  However, this bring me back to whether he should admit he’s on the bandwagon with Ms. Langley.  Could he still be circumspect while throwing her a crumb and acknowledging her in some way?  I just have a hunch (yes that’s a legal term) that something else is in play besides circumspection.