Serene Sunday: Groovin’ on A Sunday Afternoon

I’ve been lying around on a hot Sunday afternoon, sipping a frozen strawberry margarita and being remiss in publishing today’s post.  I mulled over what uplifting and terribly appropriate spiritual spoke to me over some delicious flan.  That’s when I made the mistake of looking at my blog stats.

There’s an app for that on my iPhone which inexplicably quit then started working again.  It lists posts, comments, referrals and search words.  Curious about what people googled to find me, I took a look.  “Judiang,” check.   Various permutations of “confessions of a watcher,” no surprise.  “Thorin beard,” okay.  “Thorin beard Klingon,” yes, I did say that.  “Richard Armitage beard,” I’m noticing a theme here.   “How large is Richard Armitage penis,”  Oh. OH!

I sat baffled that somebody expected to find the answer, as if he or persons unknown measured and put the information out there.  Then I was stunned this inquiring somebody hit MY blog!  Let’s be clear: I have never and will never blog such a topic to be remembered for all posterity on the internet.  I have standards.  That’s what the chat room is for.  (Seriously, if you haven’t participated in our sessions, you’ve been missing out.)  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Distracted by this discovery, I strained the brain all day trying to make the herculean leap from RA’s little Richie to today’s Serene Sunday.   One idea was wildly inappropriate so I decided to be good and stay with, you know, those standards I mentioned.  So, *ahem,* moving right along.   “Serene” can be applied to other songs besides spirituals, something that is also calm, peace, unruffled.  The following song is perfect for a lazy afternoon.  It’s smooth, pleasant and catchy.   I’m sure RA has been taking it easy today and hope you did as well.

Here is Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon by the Rascals



For those of you craving that dollop of RA, here’s a recent photo to contemplate as you listen.


Richard Armitage at the NYC Captain America premiere 2011; courtesy


The Infamous Beard Post: Redux


I don’t know how to say this.  It flies in the face of better judgment. I can’t even begin to comprehend.

Most of you saw this post in which I passionately argued that a good looking man like Richard Armitage in a beard and a buzz cut was travesty.  The Project magazine photo shoot that caused the whole furor shocked me with RA’s radically different appearance.   Where was his hair and his face – I couldn’t see every inch.  What was the joy in being a shallow fangurl if I couldn’t squee over clean-shaven floppy haired loveliness?  RA’s working look harshed my squee!  It was all ironic and funny.  As the beard and anti-beard camps (well, us 7 against the beardy horde) squared off the post comments, I was forced to give the opposition opinion thoughtful consideration.  Was my assessment a hasty knee jerk reaction?  As the masses continued to swoon in virtual rapture, I couldn’t believe that was the case.  As a psychology enthusiast who is fascinated by workings of the mind (hence the title of this blog, the watcher), I smugly wondered if this wasn’t a case of group behavior/mass hysteria or virtual McClintock Effect (remember women in a dorm?). Calexora theorized this was the dopamine effect.  So was this a definitely a female thing and I was missing out?  Still skeptical, I decided to keep an open mind.

The siege continued as the beardy photos flew around social media.  Fans linked and compared their favorites.  Well, I didn’t have one.  But if forced to choose, I decided this one wasn’t too bad:


RA realizes they lied when they said viewing the film Sex in the City would send chills down his spine.


Then creative types hit me with this.  Oh, that photo:

A beautiful desktop by HeathRa. Very British.


And this:

Ferociously wonderful desktop by BccMee


And this, uh oh that photo again:

Another lovely literary desktop by BccMee


But then there was this.  It’s a Fanny’s (aka Sinjoor on Twitter) film of the one of Project magazine’s artsy iPad video. It’s sideways so cock your head to the left:



I’m can’t explain exactly what it was here but when RA unveils his head and pierces the viewer with those eyes – I was riveted.  As he moves his head around like a model I have to confess he’s one handsome bastard, beard, buzz cut and all. So congratulations Fanny.  After being cajoled by the beardy horde in chat, blogs and Twitter, you were the one to finally break me with a video of RA in action.  I am defeated.

Before you lot start laughing and cackling in the comments, let’s be clear: I still dislike beards on good looking men and can hardly abide buzz cuts on anybody,  but I’m only make an exception for one Mr. RA.  This is a special case.

So, I’ll just say it.

I like his beard.

Damn it.


The Infamous Beard Post

Unless you were comatose, on the moon or at a Harry Potter marathon, everybody in ArmitageWorld has seen The Pictures.  Ironically I didn’t see them on the iPad publication but in blogs, tweets, Facebook comments and emails within 15 minutes of release.  Richard Armitage has done photo shoots before but the amazing thing about these pictures is how they caused ArmitageWorld to collectively swoon.  I walked over virtual bodies, so to speak, as I was summoned to the chat room for account for myself.

The problem started a few days ago when Sir Peter Jackson released his second video blog.  RA appeared for a few seconds displaying a new look.

He does an escaped convict quite convincingly.

RA as himself, during The Hobbit break

Fans squeed approvingly over the buzz cut (probably short to stay cool under the wig) and clearly natural color hair. They loved his beard.  Simply adored it, would crunch it between their toes and eat it with a spoon if they could.  The consensus was he looked tired but happy if only a little thin and possible sun or wind burned.  They described his look as real and accessible.  What did I think?  Well, you know me.  I wryly commented he looked like an escaped convict who got sun or wind burned going over the wall.  They suspiciously speculated this was not a ringing endorsement.

I knew he would have his beard for the Recognize magazine photo shoot edition due out next month. However the pictures today from Project Magazine came as a surprise.  This is the first one I saw.

RA misses Thorin

RA clearly misses Thorin

Many women (and apparently some fellas) exclaimed this was one of his best pictures EVAH.  He had attained the epitome of manly perfection and need not do anything else to himself.  My reaction was “Nah nuh!”  Hence I ended up in that chat room with the nick “Anti Beard Judi” debating Beard or No Beard (also Hair or Not and Chest Hair or Not – well, you don’t want to know) for almost three hours with no less than 20 people.

RA shows you can mug in style

RA shows how to stylishly mug in dark halls.

I asked what was it about The Beard that made them swoon and break into cold sweats.  They said in a nutshell: “he looks so VIRILE, like a REAL man, not a pretty boy.  He looks so RAW, and PRIMAL and SEXY!  PHWOAR!”  PHWOAR! wasn’t actually used, it was worse than that, but all capital words were.  I was aghast.  “What’s wrong with you girl?” they cried.

“But he IS a pretty boy!,” I retorted.  Let’s look at some examples, shall we?

RA as pretty boy

RA as a pretty boy in main publicity picture

This is his main publicity photo.  It’s slightly and badly airbrushed under the eyes but that’s how he looks. He can’t help himself.  Now look back at the bearded photos.  You can’t see the dimple at the corner of the mouth, the dip over his lip or all of his lips, the curve of his chin or the planes of his face as it slopes downward; you only hair which obscures it all.  You also don’t see how his hair curls over his forehead or gently shapes his face because it’s mostly gone, shorn like a sheep.  And observe, he certainly looks like a virile real man.  Tell me he’s not sexy.

RA still being pretty sans make-up

RA still being pretty sans make-up.

Here he is again, sans make-up after an awards show, still not being able to help himself. There’s some stubble.  He looks about to smile. You see the planes in his face.  You couldn’t see that with a beard.  Hair frames his face, makes you look at everything.  And let’s be honest, we all love to look.  Fans have gushed over these pictures and more.  No matter what fans say, his looks play a significant part in the squee factor.  But now we have pictures like these and fans have lost their minds.

RA thinks the AC is a bit high

RA suspecting the beard disguise won't work anymore either

I don’t care for the beard because it obscures his looks. Beautiful people have no need to cover their faces.  Don’t get me wrong; he’s rocking the beard.  His long angular face goes well with one.  But he doesn’t need one (other than for his character) because it doesn’t really enhance his looks.  Plus a beard with a buzz cut is too much. It’s a personal preference but I think buzz cuts make nobody look good.  They make ugly men uglier and handsome men less so.  They remind me of skinheads, so I guess that would be a personal bias.  I think RA is too good looking for styles that can only take away.

It seems to me from that chat room, setting aside personal preferences for beards and very short hair, that many fans would prefer something that takes away.  They want a beard covering his face and hair shorn to make him less of a pretty boy, the very thing that attracted many fans in the first place.  It’s like many are saying “I can’t stand all this pretty;  I just want him to be (extraordinarily) sexy man next door!”    Am I missing something here?

Call me old-fashioned.  I like a man with hair on his head, and if I’m going to spend my time eyeballing a pretty man, I want to see all the pretty.

Doesn’t anybody agree with me?  Anybody?  Bueller?


All photos courtesy of

Back to Reality

I’m back home after a relaxing weekend, having survived with no limited.  Well, except for those 5 hours at hotspots on Saturday and my phone the rest of the time.  It was an interesting experiment but if I return later in the summer, I plan to bribe her folks to reconnect.  Yes, I’m sad.

My guru also fixed my WordPress problem which took all of 5 minutes of tinkering on my server.  It was so simply, even I could have done it, if I knew how to work php, SQL, and databases.  Thinks have changed a lot in the 15+ years since I learned HTML.   A whole world opened before me.

Speaking of world and server, I got to thinking about the live chat we did on the Christchurch Rise Up site.  People seemed to enjoy the experience of talking in real time.  Could I set up something like that on my server for the community I asked?   Yes, yes, I could said my guru.

So what do you think?  If there is a demand for it, I could tinker about and set up a chat room, or several, we all could access depending on what we doing.  We could have weekly get-togethers, celebrations, a place for blog discussions, whatever sounds feasible.  It will be an interesting experiment.

Let me know in the comments below.

In the meantime: shiney!

RA promo shot; Courtesy




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]