The Gift, or No Banshee Yet

Man, can I just say I have been busting my backside? I’ve been so busy I could barely look up. This is a good thing for my family and for my hip pocket. But it’s not so good for this blog. Every time I get ready to post something, a major issue comes up that I simply can’t ignore. Case in point was yesterday when I was going to rev up the old blog again, and I got a call from someone who was frantic about their site being hacked and now they’ve been blacklisted by Google. Do you know what people sometimes sound like when they’ve been blacklisted by Google? It’s like a cross between nails down a chalkboard and the sound of a banshee. (edit: to be clear, I had never seen this site until someone called me to clean it up).

If you’re not sure what a banshee sounds like, well, this may give some idea (yes, YouTube has everything):

Okay, so I’m not entirely sure if that’s how the mythical banshee would sound, but I loved the facial expressions, and when I’m talking to someone on the phone who is scared to death they may never be found online again, I wonder if their faces don’t look something like that.

Google and websites and search engine results are not really what I want to talk about but rather how I’ve been going down memory lane with my Richard Armitage fascination and reading through Natalie’s blog and remembering how I was commenting and commenting and commenting there and egged on by others expressing themselves until I finally became so overcome with the need to express myself at a gush that I started my own blog.

This seems to be a common phenomenon in RA fandom. So many of us have the need to express ourselves — even some of you lurkers who send me email and swear to me you will never comment publicly. A few of you took the plunge and have commented on blog, but whatever the case, you just couldn’t keep from expressing how you feel. This is the chief gift Richard Armitage has given to so many of us. I hope he knows that — knows that it has manifested in more than some who have published books or blogs.

Richard,

Contrary to how it may appear to some, I have no clue if you have ever read one of my fake fan letters, but I still have so much fun writing them and just expressing something zany or sincere. It is a great release, and that’s coming from someone who has a reputation for being a straight shooter in face to face interactions. Doesn’t matter. There is so much to everyone that you can’t pour it all out in personal interactions. Sometimes you just have to write and write and write, and it seems the more that happens, well, the more it happens, and can I say thanks for priming the pump on that. Yeah, I’m saying thanks for being a catalyst for my unleashing of thoughts that needed to get out — even if no one ever reads them but me. It’s been a wonderful therapy, and no, I’m not sure where I’m going to end this paragraph. In fact, I used to worry about crap like that and wouldn’t write anything unless I was reasonably sure it would be perfect. To hell with that. I mean that literally. That kind of thinking is from the pit of hell and paralyzes too many of us. Plus, I’ve been rethinking what I deemed perfect. Probably a discussion for somewhere other than this blog. Then again, maybe not. Whatever I write, I just want to explore something that keeps moving around in my head and wants to get out.

Onto the second paragraph.

Now the third. I keep saying I’m going to let go of this place, but I’m so undecided. At some point I will let go, but it won’t be until I can develop a voice as myself and not this insane persona I’ve allowed to take over. Who knows when that will be. I surely don’t, and I’ve stopped listening to others about when it should be. I’m just going to keep going and believe it will become clear when it’s time to stop — at least in this place, because I’m never going to stop.

Did I mention how much I appreciate your effect in this not only by exercising your craft but also the people you’ve drawn who have also inspired me? Read the first paragraph again, and maybe I’ll say some more another time. Scratch that. I will say some more another time.

Signed,
One of your crazy fans, who has thoroughly enjoyed being insane and the good friends it’s brought me

P.S. Do yourself a favor and read Nat’s blog. Even if you’ve read it before, do it again. It’s that good.

.

Certainly self-expression has exploded in the last 15+ years with the advent of blogs, YouTube, social media in general and of course the ease of publishing books. If I think about all of that, I could grouse about the crap that’s out there. But there is something in me that is not opposed to all the crap if it’s honest. Let it come out. Let people express who they are — even if it’s not to my taste. I don’t want gatekeepers to the public dialogue. And yes, if I’m being utterly candid, it allows me to express myself as well without feeling I’ve got to walk on water before I do it.

And now that I’m going down this road, let me also say that a few years ago someone wrote something that was not to my liking, and I said as much. Many times I’ve regretted my statements. Not because I don’t stand by most of what I said. I still feel the way I did in most respects; however, I don’t think my saying it was well done. None of that is to say that someone should not express a dissenting opinion. They certainly can, and for most of my life, I’ve not had a problem doing that when I felt it was warranted. In fact, I’ve been expressing my cussed opinion verbally since I was a little kid old enough to talk — saying very forthrightly what I think to my family and friends and sometimes strangers. But I like to think in my “old age” that I’ve learned that my opinion does not always need to be heard. That I’ve learned discretion. Yet that particular day was not my most discreet. If I could take it back, I would, because I have no need to set myself up as the arbiter of acceptable behavior. Again I say all of this not because I’ve changed my mind on much of what I said, but because it served no good purpose to say it.

But all of that aside, I’m glad I’ve written in this blog even when I’ve written something I wish I hadn’t, or my writing was just crap. It’s been a worthwhile pursuit. It’s changed me for the better, and you can’t know that unless you knew me beforehand which none of you did. You’ll just have to take my word for all of this.

In honor of those who grapple with expressing themselves, one of my favorite Richard Armitage characters:

johnstandring

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageCentral

note: I’m really trying to control the need to get on my soapbox about security on a site. Oh well, I guess if people keep having a cavalier attitude about their websites, I’ll keep making money. So on second thought, no complaints here. :D

Them’s the Rules, Baby Cakes

Dawn French and Sting

Reblogged from graffiti living.

You may remember James from when he gave us advice about how to view our blogs. I did take that advice and have never regretted it.

Now he’s back with some rules for Twitter:

My Rules On Twitter (in the order that I just made them up):

1. Don’t be a dick (Try to play nice with the other children)

2. Be yourself (I’m a part-time sarcastic git and full-time grumpy arse, but I mean well)

3. Don’t feed the trolls (and resist the urge to set an angry mob onto them)

4. Follow / Unfollow who you want (I prefer friendly creative types; sarcasm is an added bonus)

5. Don’t act butt-hurt if someone Follows / Unfollows you (all we are is words on a screen)

6. Talk with people, rather than market at them (take part in the conversation)

7. Be funny (and if you can’t be funny, be careful)

More here

Wonder what Richard Armitage is doing today?

Have you seen Dawn French and Sting together in the Red Nose Special 2007?

Are you sick of waiting on me to post my dwarf pieces? And a few other things?

Is baby cakes one word or two?

Got plenty more questions where those came from.

Loose Ends

There are so many stops and starts on this site. I would apologize, but well, this is something I do in my spare time. ROFLOL!! SO is looking at me from across the room and obviously wondering what I find so funny. He doesn’t realize I burst out laughing at the notion of spare time. I don’t think I’ve had any spare time since about 1986. Yet somehow I’ve managed to make the time for this place, and it’s never enough. But I press on.

The first thing that has been bugging me for most of the duration of this blog is all the streams of thoughts I’ve started but then something came along to divert me, and I ended up somewhere else. No, I’m not going to come with posts on all of the seemingly dead end thoughts I’ve had. I’ll spare you that. And sometimes I was only musing aloud, and the subject matter is not important any longer. But there are some thoughts I need to let flow a little more in order to feel I’ve done what I set out to do when I started this place. One is obviously my diary. Another one is maybe my experience at Comic-Con 2012. I’m still pondering that one because if I really tell what happened, I’ll probably burn a bridge, and I hate doing that. But we’ll see. There are also interviews I have that need to be published, because I believe you will enjoy learning about those people as much as I did. And then there are other thoughts such as my take on Heinz Kruger (I never did say what I really thought of him, and as time has gone on, I find the need to talk about him has increased.), or my many thoughts on objectification (no snark; okay, maybe a little) and I have no idea how many other thoughts I started to pursue.

The second thing I want to address is the fact I have a couple of big boxes full of Richard Armitage memorabilia or paraphernalia (depending on how you look at it *snort*), and I have never intended to keep all of it. Some of it was given to me to give away, and for that I am immensely grateful. The rest of it I purchased with the plan to give most of it away. Some of these items I have already given away. Somein “giveaways” and some when I felt like it. Please note none of the items in those two boxes are keepsakes sent to me by fellow fans. Those items I consider precious and will keep because they represent friendships.

But I find it strange I have those two boxes. Collecting is not usually my thing. Oh, I can be a pack rat with things like paperwork ’cause I might need it later. But collecting items for the sake of just having them has always seemed like too much work. Yeah, I’m lazy. Sue me. Of course if you looked around my house, you would think I collected books. I do love reading. SO does as well, and we encouraged it in our children. Consequently, we have bookshelves in every room of the house. Some rooms have several shelves, and there is an entire room with nothing but floor to ceiling shelves crammed with books. But the only reason those were collected is because they have had some usefulness and not for the sake of just possessing them. (And now with Kindle, I don’t have to devote so much space in my house to them; don’t ask about my Kindle collection. Oy).

None of this is to say I’m knocking the idea of being a collector. I have friends who are collectors of various and sundry items, and I’ve enjoyed their collections by enjoying what they have collected, by enjoying how they bask in their treasures, or by being fascinated at their efforts. But then I can go home, and I don’t have to dust anything or worry that those collected items will be damaged or stolen or misplaced. Yet I find myself with those two large boxes full of stuff about Richard or tangentially related to him, and sometimes I ask myself, “How did I end up with all of this?” The answer is always immediate. Oh yeah, I am having fun, and some others are having fun along with me.

As much as fun seems to have morphed into a four-letter word for some in the fandom, that is essentially the reason I’m here. It may sound shallow, but then define fun. Yep, maybe it’s not what you think I’m thinking. Oh sure I like to snark, but if that’s all I ever did, your eyes would glaze over,and maybe they have at times. Mine have. But then I regroup and come back to the blogging adventure where I can usually find something interesting and enlightening, and sometimes it makes it into a blog piece, but most times it doesn’t. Damn time constraints!

But I wouldn’t change a thing. The meandering around and trying things and having flops or hitting walls, and then stepping back and rethinking something and seeing it differently and all the time writing, writing, writing (whether any of you ever see it or not), has been one of the best things I’ve done in my life. I cannot recommend it enough. To those of you who wonder if you should blog, let me say that again. I cannot recommend it enough. It is manna for the brain whether this place looks like a pile of fluff. It’s feeding something in my mind by facilitating writing and research and ideas and ideas and ideas and did I mention fun? well, I’m saying it again ’cause the fount will not stop. Thank you, Richard Armitage! And more important, thank God. I’m serious as a heart attack. I do thank God and for Richard Armitage as well. :)

And all of that brings me back to thoughts of the itinerant kind, I’ve let Ken Stott languish by himself long enough. I need to come with the blog pieces on his er, compatriots.

Okay, a picture, and honestly, the only reason I’m putting this here is so I have something that will post to Pinterest other than that picture in my banner. As much as I like it, the picture doesn’t begin to hint at what this piece is about. Or maybe it does?

I think I just talked myself out of a picture for this piece.

Keepin’ It Real

I heard something the other day that means i will never feel self-conscious about my fan odyssey again, or maybe not as often. It seems Beyonce has a religion of her own. It’s called Beysim. What the heck?! I knew there was a reason I don’t keep up with popular culture too closely.

Of course Beyonce is a great singer, but I’m never gonna be a member of her church after watching this video. :D

When I was watching that for the first time a few years ago, I started looking around to see if someone could see what I was watching. But I could have saved myself the stress if I had known she would have her own religion.

Still felt like I lost a few brain cells.

Richard,

So you’re on Twitter now, and your style has improved. It’s true. You went from this:

richard armitage bafta 2007

to this:

BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea 2013

But man, please don’t become too hip. If you get too slick, I may find myself in the midst of some real groupies. AS it is, I did hear about some shrines laying around, and there is some sort of mark worn by really RAbid fans and recognized by same. Of course that’s just scuttlebutt, so I’m not really sure it’s true.

Whatever is going on, I like to keep my obsessions real. KWIM?

Signed,
A Crazy Fan who is NOT in denial. Nope. ;-)

P.S. I like the new you, but I also love the guy who went to the 2007 BAFTAs. :)

And now for the story I’ve been saving since I came back from NYC a month ago. I was in the airport waiting for my plane, and a woman saw one of Guylty’s badges on my coat. She actually stared at it intently, and then she started talking to me and eventually mentioned how much she enjoys BBC programs. I chimed in with my enthusiasm, and then she said, “I especially love one that I’ve never seen on any networks here in the states.” My ears pricked up, and I almost felt what she was going to say next. “It stars an actor I have come to adore. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Richard Armitage?” Then she looked at my badge again. I felt like we were two spies having an encounter.

More on Beyism here if you don’t believe it’s real.

Candid shots courtesy of Richard Armitage Central and my stash

First Time Movember

Reblogged from Matt on Not-WordPress

I had never heard of this fundraiser, but I really like the idea. Men need a great campaign like the pink ribbon done for breast cancer.

Maybe it’s not too late for Richard Armitage to participate. HINT. Or maybe he can do it next year. Whatever happens, I’m tucking this away for future use, or someone’s future use. Yeah, I’m going to shave the date. ;p

2014-movember-740x740

Automattic is participating in Movember for the first time this year, and so to join I shaved for the first time in the better part of a decade. (Before and after pictured above.) For those not familiar with it, you shave clean on November first and grow and groom a mostache (no beard, goatee, etc) through the course of the month, and when people comment on how ridiculous you look you encourage them to donate to Movember which is a non-profit which has raise over $500 million and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries. (Wow!)

the rest here

In the meantime:

Matt, you look cute no matter if you have a beard or not.

Signed,
A fan who knows two intelligent and beautiful young women who either one would make a great wife, and you would have a fabulous mother-in-law ;-)

2011 Posts are Up

425417d8My kid is learning HTML and CSS (and eventually PHP and JQuery). She’s been hand keying my posts into archive pages, and boy is she learning how to move around with HTML. Phew! But I’m not about to tell her she can do this dynamically. If I do that, she’ll want to jump ahead when she needs the pain of doing links and other stuff manually. MUHAHAHAHA.

The point of this is not just so she can learn these languages but so you can easily look at my old posts. I’ve had countless questions about that and quite a bit of email from people venting their frustrations in trying to find something. Well, I’m trying to make it easier. 2010 went up a few weeks ago, and 2011 is now available. Look under ‘Archive’ on the menu.

The best part about going through these old posts, besides my kid learning something valuable, is my laughing and crying and cringing and being encouraged by all this crap I’ve written. I’m currently going through 2012 and so far, this is my favorite post from that year, and just may be my favorite on this blog. It really speaks to the spirit of this place.

And yes, I will put up a category and tag page. That’s when we’re going to jump to some PHP. :D

Tangent — Have Hanx Writer, Will?

tom-hanks-hanx-writer-app

For the last couple of days I’ve been reading up on an iPad app that was prompted by Tom Hanks. He wanted it to mimic a typewriter, so he approached some app developers to build one. It does sound and act very much like a typewriter but a little too much for my taste. Perhaps the sensory attributes of this app will provoke someone’s creativity. I don’t know, but after trying it out, I’m hard pressed to think I would use it much to aid in my drafting.

The sound and feel of a typewriter never did help in spurring my thoughts. I never needed any help with that. My head has always been crammed with them and racing with them at that. The typewriter did nothing but create frustration for me. Perhaps not as frustrating as pencil and paper, but still a level of frustration that was a big, fat turn off. I turned to a cassette recorder to get out my thoughts, and many remained in that format until I discovered something life changing — word processing software.

When at the age of 20 I had the privilege to use what was then a newfangled machine called a word processor, I felt I had made an exodus out of the land of blank pages. The racing thoughts that had always been a curse became a blessing overnight. And I have no desire to move back to Egypt however majestic the ruins may look. They are only for visiting and not dwelling in, which is what I suspect will be the reaction of many to Hanx Writer. A fun thing to experience and observe, but I doubt anyone serious about writing will want to live there for long.

More thoughts on the Hanx writer from a recently discovered writer whom I’ve come to really enjoy and appreciate his cleverness:


Tom’s typewriter – thanks Hanks but no
by David Hewson

Tom Hanks loves typewriters. So much that he’s put his name to an app for the iPad that recreates his beloved machine. Hanx Writer is yours for free though there are in-app options including a ‘Writer’s Block’ bundle whatever that is.

I spent the first twenty five years of my life using a typewriter every working day… and quite a few when I wasn’t supposed to be working too. I wrote my first unpublished book on one of the things. Never again.

Each to their own. Some people still love typewriters and paper. Some enjoy writing out their work longhand (and then handing it over to someone to type into a computer I imagine).

Not me. Here are my reasons.

read them here

During all of my reading on this app, I also read Tom Hanks has or had a collection of near 2,000 typewriters.

And now I know where Nora Ephron came up with one of the quirks for Frank Navasky.