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.

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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

Digital Theatre, You Have Such Good Timing

If you haven’t heard, Digital Theatre has announced today that The Crucible will be available for download on March 17.

Dear Lovely Person at Digital Theatre who decided to make this announcement today,

This is a wonderful birthday present. Makes me forget for a while that my birthday was only a couple of months ago even though others who know me say that was a whole year ago. Whatever.

And Abby is also celebrating since it’s her birthday too.

Yeah, I’d say this day is getting off to a great start. Cheers!


the-dude-white-russian

Signed,
A crazy fan of some guy in The Crucible cast.

P.S. Thank you for not provoking me to use unsavory language.

SpReAd the Love Book Challenge 2015

This post is part of the SpReAd the Love movement started in the Richard Armitage fandom by JazzBaby1 and Obscura. It has included all sorts of giving with this time being an annual event of book giving in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. In that interest, I’ve decided to give some books to my “local” children’s hospital. I put local in quotes because the hospital is four hours from where I am, but I consider it my local children’s hospital, and it also holds a special place for SO and me.

During the weeks after SO received his transplant, he and I stayed at a hotel across the street from the children’s hospital and came to know many parents and grandparents of patients, also got to know their stories, and in some cases made some good friends. One of the recurring comments among these family members was the desire to not only see their children or grandchildren get well but also to see them smile and be lighthearted. When this challenge came around a couple of years ago, I knew immediately what I wanted to do, and this year I’m finally doing it! Later this month, we will be giving the hospital several copies of three of our favorite children’s books. Each of these has a hardcover and a library binding which hopefully means they will last awhile.

51HvVToj-GL

An autobiographical picture book celebrates dePaola’s childhood relationship with his grandfather–“We’re named after each other, Tommy. That’s why I want you to call me Tom instead of Grandpa.” Together they read the Sunday comics, share stories, or tend to the butcher section of Tom’s store. While the actual story line is minimal–Tommy gets in trouble for scaring classmates with a chicken-foot prank Tom taught him–the fans who cherish these reminiscences (adults as well as children) will welcome this skillful evocation of an all-important intergenerational bond. Touches of old-world humor and wisdom add sparkle to the tale, in which dePaola’s idiosyncratic, apple-cheeked characters are rendered in bright, sunny colors. The sepia-toned portraits, simulating pictures from a scrapbook, that adorn the jacket and title page enhance the book’s nostalgic tone. Ages 4-8.

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Making-Inferences-Animals-Should-Definitely-Not-Wear-Clothing

 

Children definitely will not keep straight faces. — “Kirkus Reviews”
Ages 3-8.

 

 

 

 

 

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Miss Nelson is Missing

 

Miss Nelson can’t control her crazy classroom because she’s just too nice. But when she disappears, her replacement is the hard-as-nails, detention-loving, recess-canceling, homework-overloading substitute teacher Viola Swamp! With the Big Test approaching, the kids suddenly realize how much they miss Miss Nelson and they’ll do anything — including hiring a private eye — to solve the mystery of her disappearance and bring her back. Ages 4-8.

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If you would like to join the Challenge, there is more information here.

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.

Goodbye, 2014

I’m not ready for 2015 yet. Did I just type 2015? WTH?! 1985 still sounds modern. Man, I am really giving something away about myself. Yep, I’m ancient, but I don’t feel ancient. I did for a few weeks, but I’m feeling less ancient as the day goes on. That’s what happens when you can BREATHE AGAIN.

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And I’ve really not been myself due to some mind altering medications and a hot toddy here or there — hence my tardiness on the New Year’s festivities and a few other things. Then again, I never have been a fan of New Year’s. I wax on about that here, so I’ll spare you a repeat.

I guess 2014 was…I’m not sure exactly what it was. I remember I worked my ass off, and I got sick a lot. I also remember how we Richard Armitage fans were vindicated in our obsession when Richard took the stage at the Old Vic. I base that on quite a bit of feedback, but this was my favorite. Rich also joined the chaos on Twitter as a permanent member, and the jury is still out on that move. I do hope the best for Rich, and being me, I’m sure I’ll come with some more advice for him as this year rolls on. I haven’t been a big sister for decades for nothing, and he is a younger brother, so it’s the logical conclusion for my voice here, and I’m sure he listens to me (rolls eyes). By the way, I think he may have unfollowed me, so you all can rest easy now. :D

However, I do want to thank those of you who do read. I have not kept up as much this year and yet I got over 200,000 hits with only a little over 150 posts. That blew me away, and I still have the Google bot inhibited. Unreal. Despite this good result, I promise to do better with my number of posts this year. It all depends on how busy I become with work. Whether I can keep the promise or not, I figure it’s a win for me either way. Selfish that may sound, but I do have to make a living.

And since I get questions about previous posts, I’m going to continue on with my archive. 2012 should be coming soon. I’m also adding a yearly favorites page beginning with 2014.

Sobriety test courtesy of the Phantom Professor.

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