A Hole in the Ground

How is it that a person who a little more than a year ago was holding a LEGO in his hands…

200px-thOrinlego

…is now the lead in a history play which is a veiled reference to the hysteria in America during the 50s? Ahh yes, I get it. Ask and ye shall receive. I said Daniel Day-Lewis one too many times. ;-)

Daniel Day-Lewis in The Cruible

Go ahead and click on that photo. You get to see a pretty good “love” scene and back when people still knew the name Winona Ryder. Whatever happened to her anyway? Yeah, I know she had sticky fingers, but what happened to her after that? No, don’t answer. It will just take us off of this serious topic. Other than that, DAMN! that Daniel was hot. He’s still hot in my opinion.

Wait! I just realized there will be no screencaps like this from Richard Armitage’s performance at The Old Vic. Help! I’m already starting to have withdrawal!

Seriously, I understand this move. It is how a person washes the taste of Hobbits out of his psyche.

And that’s my H entry for this April challenge thingy.

Getting There

GHow many of you have run a business? Raise your hands. Yeah, those of you who have run an enterprise for a decent length of time know it’s hard as hell. It’s like raising a child, and an unreasonable child at that because he doesn’t let you go to sleep at night, and when you finally do, he wakes you up. And no babysitter for him. He’s with you all the time. If by some quirk of fate he’s not, you are constantly thinking about him and what you want him to do next, and what he may do next that you don’t know about. But you don’t really mind any of this because he is after all, your child.

Right now I’m in the grip of this, and despite the unruliness of it, I’m enjoying and finding success. This makes it hard for me to give myself over to fan behavior as often as I once did. If I were a genius who had 48 hours in a day, I might be able to pull that off. But obviously I’m not. I’m just one person trying to make something that wasn’t there before.

I’m also the oldest child, which means I’ve often been placed in charge and feel most comfortable there. Man, I sound like an ass, but hey, it’s the truth. When you’re put in charge of the house or your younger sibling, it does things to you. Dare I say it makes someone bossy (no matter their sex)? Let me amplify that. I want to give advice and lecture, and it’s hard sometimes to keep myself from doing that. How’s that for some honesty?

I can also spot younger siblings from a mile away, and Richard Armitage has the demeanor of a younger sibling written all over him. Before I knew anything about his birth order, I knew he was a younger child. Older siblings never have the deer in the headlights look. If they ever had it, that was beat out of them at an early age. So when I see Richard, I often want to tell him what to do. LOL! Yes, I’m laughing. At the absurdity of that. But hey, I press on. :D

Where is all of this leading? You have to ask?

Richard,

There’s a lot of old thinking floating around. It says someone who is 42 almost 43 can’t break into Hollywood, or make any kind of major life change that’s productive to anyone but themselves. Don’t listen to that crap. Yeah, it’s crap. And those who listen to it are destined to be like most everyone else. I made one of my best life changes when I was around that age and know it was productive for others. And now I’m making another one and I’m, oh never mind, I’m supposedly too old to make a shift. Hogwash.

Anyway, you are unique, and I hope you stay that way, but I also know you’re trying to figure things out in this new phase of your career, and you’re not God and not going to make perfect choices. I would love to see the person who does. Whatever is going on, there is something so utterly appealing about who you are that it inspired me to write about you off and on the last four years. If you really knew me, you would know that is not anywhere near my MO. And there are lots of others in your “fandom” who are like me. They have been surprised at their reactions because it’s just not typical for them. But many of us have eventually figured out why the reaction, and it comes back to the fact you are not like other actors. It’s not just that you have managed at times to capture these slices of emotions that are so real they reverberate for years, but you have a kind of purity that seems like we can see to your back collar button. To wit your comment about being an actor [around 1:00]:

This also means your “trajectory” is probably not going to be like others. I’m totally okay with this and hope you are too most of the time. That’s what this note is about — a bit of cheerleading in case you’re not and from someone who is not a cheerleader by nature. Encouragement is not my strong suit. I’m a critic most days, and it’s so easy to be a critic. Any moron can be a critic. But I like you well enough as an actor and also as a person to step out of my comfort zone and say, “Keep going!”

Maybe this quote below is hackneyed. Doesn’t really matter. It’s true and still good to hear, and I’ve had it on my office wall for years and often glad. It knocks me out of the pompous critical mode and hopefully before it leads into harm of myself or anyone else:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

– Teddy Roosevelt

Mostly, it keeps me from becoming like David Letterman, a guy who used to be funny, but now just comes across as a bitter, frustrated, old crank.

As for “a worthy cause,” there is nothing wrong with making a living. That’s a damn worthy cause, and speaking of which, I need to get back to work.

Signed,
A Fan who is sometimes crazy but not today.

Yep, this is some Armitage Protection Mode. Why? Isn’t it obvious? I like the guy. But that’s not all this is. A story or maybe two short ones, and then I really, really have to go back to work.

When I started my first major business, all I heard was how it could not be done or how I was was doing it wrong — this latter mostly from people who had never run a business. LOL! Whatever the case, negativity was coming at me in unbelievable waves. I realized at the time I was doing something that most people don’t do, and since many around me could not conceive it, they were going to deem it impossible. Funny enough when I was successful, I heard another story from some of those same people. Things like, “I knew you could do it.” Oh yeah. I have a good memory, and I knew they were full of it.

I doubt I could have weathered that kind of talk if I had not had a great role model — my parents. My mother became a lawyer when females were still far in the minority of that profession. But her biggest sin was going to law school after she was married and had children. That simply was not done in the late 60s/early 70s! Never mind she was summa cum laude upon graduating from college and had never failed at anything academic in her life. She was turned down from her first pick of law schools because off the record she was an established (read that: old) married mother of two underage children. I know that was the case because one of the former professors of that law school and a close friend of our family contacted the school to find out how someone with her academic record and achievements was turned down. Mom was 31 at the time. This seems ludicrous now, but that was the conventional thinking of the time.

Obviously she didn’t let that stop her, and my father was her biggest supporter. I’m so glad I was old enough to take mental notes about what they were doing and to remember the large number of people (both men and women) who told my dad that once she had a law degree, she would have no use for him? WTF? My dad ignored that and pressed on. He and my mother were crazy about each other and married until my dad passed away over 25 years later. And from all of this I learned the priceless lesson that the masses do not know best. Their thinking is too homogenized and unimaginative and like water. Ever seen water run uphill? Yeah, I figured not.

Maybe I’ll come with H and I later today.

F This

FNo, I’m not giving up on the blogging challenge, but trying to narrow down to one F word is hard. It’s my mind that works against me. It’s all over the place when I’m on free time. When I’m working it’s another story. I am so focused a bomb could drop and I might not hear it.

Onto G.

Expectations

EA long time ago, I knew a girl who was eccentric. Her name was Jan. As with most eccentrics, she always did her own thing, and it started early. When she was 10 and I was eight, she got her ear pierced. Yeah, just one. Often other girls would look at her one earring and their faces would get screwed up before they asked horrified, “Why did you only get one ear pieced?!” To which Jan would deadpan reply, “Arr.” Sometimes she would flick her earlobe as she said it.

Being her close friend, I also asked her about it and if it had hurt so much she couldn’t do the other one. I hadn’t been around at the time it was pierced, but in those days, it was usually a barbaric procedure performed by another kid with a needle, a cork, a piece of ice and maybe some rubbing alcohol if there happened to be some in the house. Despite the presence of the ice, girls usually whimpered quite a bit when the needle went in. I doubt Jan whimpered. That wasn’t her style. She told me she always wanted just one ear pierced because deep down she was a pirate and didn’t want anyone to forget it. I never did.

On some vague level, I understood she was wise beyond her age. I’m not sure exactly what brought about this wisdom. It doesn’t appear to be her parents. They were very close friends of my parents, and great as they were, there never seemed to be anything about them that stood out as exceptionally wise. Jan was simply an anomaly among her peers. She was funny and original and had an innate understanding of people. She also didn’t suffer fools, and fools to her were the people who lived their lives at the whim of others, at the tyranny of societal pressure. None for Jan thanks, and she often used her tongue as a humorous sword to fend it off and which often made those on the receiving end a joke. In particular were the attacks from other females who could not stand that she was her own person. And because she was completely unruffled by what others thought, she was a threat to them. But I never once saw her cry or whine about it. She just seemed to accept there were foolish people in the world who would go along with others and obliterate who they were.

But something finally broke Jan. Something happened, and I’m not sure what. Maybe society’s pressure finally taking its toll? Could be. I’ve speculated a lot over the years. Whatever it was, it put her normally sunny self into despair, because three weeks before her 18th birthday, she killed herself. And everyone was shocked. Her parents never got over it. And I still grieve it and most of all on her birthday, which is today.

It’s like I’m stuck in a time warp, and I keep wanting her story to change. But it can’t. It never will, and I hate it. She was the person who brought light into a room and made people see things about it they never had. What more could she have done?

One of these days I may consign her to the past, but for now, I write about her every year on this day, which is also the day I started this crazy place as a sort of backhanded tribute to her. She would have loved it and goaded me out of any bouts of circumspection, which I’ve had all day today and almost didn’t post. It seemed embarrassing to think I’ve done this for four years. Then I thought of Jan, and here I am.

Didn’t

DI’m skipping D. Deal with it. :D

Instead I read youmuttonmeeecrazy, and the latest post made me howl. I almost wet my pants laughing at how fitting it is.

E is coming later today.

edit: Wait! I have a late D entry. Go here, and after you watch the video (or watch it again), come back and please tell me what the hell ‘devotation’ is?

Crazy People, Gotta Love ‘Em

CWhen I was a kid, I used to laugh about the crazy people in my family. Their trips to mental institutions or barricading themselves in their houses was a source of almost never ending mirth. Everyone in the family laughed about it including those who had been afflicted. At family reunions the joke was that the family crest should be three guys in straightjackets.

Then adulthood came with a vengeance, after college sometime, maybe 27, and I got serious and self-conscious about the very real nuts with whom I share a bloodline. Eventually, I also became afflicted with a good ol’ full blown nervous breakdown.

For the uninitiated, there is no such thing clinically as a nervous breakdown. Usually all sorts of other diagnoses are assigned to a person’s condition. Things like bi-polar with recurring anhedonia and occasional paranoia. Such fun and it comes with lots of medication too, and I’m not saying I’m down on medication. I’m glad I took it ’cause as the doctor said, it pulled me out of the hole I was spiraling further into, and once I was out, I was able to deal with the real issue of why I went there in the first place.

And may I tell you that coming out of the hole, out of the other side of a mental breakdown and yes, I’ll say it — insanity — is empowering. Yes, I’m saying this made me stronger, and it fascinates me how this kind of intense pressure and almost decimation of something that then survives and thrives more heartily afterward is reflected in nature.

One of the best things about the experience is that it made me lighten up about life and my family although sometimes I can start walking down that road again. The good news is I usually recognize the road after a short time instead of years later. Mainly, my experience allowed me to realize I had been too serious about myself. Let me put a fine point on that. I was too self-aware, too self-absorbed, too self-centered, and there is nothing more miserable. It’s also boring after a while.

I’m not saying everyone should have a nervous breakdown in order to gain strength, but if you have recently had one, don’t be ashamed. Learn from it and use it. And for the record, I do talk about this as my real identity and have absolutely no shame about what happened. I made a mistake. I had beliefs and habits that needed to change, and they did. It would have been great if I hadn’t suffered, but that’s not how it was going to be for me, and now I don’t care.

Speaking of crazy, yesterday, I highlighted a blog with ‘crazy’ in the title, and today, I’m going to highlight a few more:

Mad Scientist. Crazy Mom — very interesting person and blog. I will be spending more time there.

The Crazy Thing about Hugarians — isn’t that redundant? No, I’m just kidding. I’m learning some interesting facts from this blog.

youmuttonmeeecrazy — oh yeah, this guy is talking my language although I’m not quite as jaded as I used to be. Thank God.

My Richard Armitage segue: I would love to see him playing a character who is losing his mind or has lost his mind. Maybe we’ll get a taste of that in The Hobbit: There and Back Again. This screencap is from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but it could hint at some of what we may see in the next installment:

HobbitAUJ-218[Click to enlarge]

Yes, I would love to see him play insanity with more subtly and layers than Thorin has, but for now, I’ll run with this one.

See your tomorrow

Tangent — Peter Jackson and the Missing Malaysian Plane

MH370: Hobbit Director Peter Jackson’s Private Jet Aids Search

A private jet owned by “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” director Sir Peter Jackson is involved in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, New Zealand media reported Wednesday.

The Gulfstream G650 is being used as a communications relay for military aircraft searching for wreckage of the Boeing 777, officials at Australia’s Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre told Radio NZ and the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

Read the rest here

This doesn’t surprise me at all. It seems in character for what I’ve deduced about Peter Jackson. Part of that conclusion is predicated on the belief the cryptic post Larry Curtis made about unreported acts of kindness had something to do with Jackson.

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