Things I Sometimes Wonder About — still

Sometimes when life smiles at me or gives me a slap, I’m occasionally curious what Richard Armitage has experienced. There’s no question he’s had his share of ups and downs. We all do, but what were they for him and how did he deal with them?

I don’t wonder about these things as often as I did when I was in the euphoric state of my fan odyssey, but I still wonder about how he’s navigated the sometimes treacherous waters of the entertainment business. Have some others given him a break out of the kindness of their hearts even though he doesn’t fit into the usual frame Hollywood thrusts on us? Does kindness even exist in the entertainment culture? Yes, it’s an old question but still largely unanswered, or maybe that’s just me because I don’t read Hollywood exposes. Let me rephrase the question. Does kindness exist significantly enough to be on the radar of those in that business? My gut says if it does, it’s a blip, but I could be wrong. And not to beat a dead horse, but I really did like Todd Garner. Whether you think his movies are any good, I believe he’s a nice guy. Sure he’s part salesman. That’s how money is provided to make movies. Gotta have the salesman, or nothing will get done. I found out in the course of dealing with him and not too long afterward, that he has had the same core group working for him for quite some time. Doesn’t that say something about him? I know it does when others have long term employees or associates. It usually means someone’s a good guy.

But back to Richard Armitage. Have some in the business just fallen all over themselves at his talents? (yeah, I’m still trying to rationalize this addiction.) Or are they just preening for the camera because baby, it’s all about selling the dream. :D

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Actually, I tend to believe Michelle Forbes. Probably because she seems to be pretty blunt, and she’s 50 something, and could well think, “What the hell! I’m gonna tell it like it is, and dammit, I like Richard Armitage.” Yeah, that’s what I infer from her, ’cause baby, that’s what I want to infer. I’m 50 something too, so yeah, that’s how I see it.

But back to Richard. What is in that head? After all these years of being a fan and hating the word fan and generally being at odds with the whole fan thang, I still wonder what is in that head! Oh, I’ve speculated about what’s in there — much more than I’ve written on this blog (yeah, can you believe that) — and on many occasions thought I knew. Sometimes I still think I know. I’m arrogant that way. :D But if I’m being honest, I don’t have much more than a clue, because niggling at the back of my mind is always the thought, “How good an actor is he really? Is he so good that he’s got me completely buffaloed about what kind of person he really is? Then I second guess myself and think, “Nah, he’s a great guy.” And that my friends, is almost always where I land in my thinking. He’s a great guy. A human being who can get upset like the rest of us, but a great guy in the sense that he is kind and polite and still doesn’t have the demeanor of someone who deserves adulation.

I have more things I wonder, but I make no promises on when I’ll type them out. It seems every time I try to make a commitment to communicate here, something happens, and it’s usually major. I won’t bore you with the details, but trust me, it’s usually YUGE. :D So glad I can grin at the trauma. I guess I can because life is crazy, but somehow, somehow, it turns out. Yeah, I know why, but I’m not going to preach on this blog.

Thanks for letting me snaffle your photo, Ms. Forbes. :D

Trying to Keep Up

I haven’t lost complete track of Richard Armitage but darn near. As some of you know, I started a business, and it’s taken almost everything out of me. It is working, but it’s like being pregnant, giving birth and then dealing with an infant. All things that take the stuffing out of someone in her childbearing years let alone someone like me who is long past that. Yep, that’s my concession that I’m not a spring chick.

The rest of my story is that I have one child I’m still homeschooling, take care of two houses (one’s mine, the other one’s a church house), and I got something dropped in my lap a few months ago which has me driving 1,500 miles a month. Unreal. I don’t even know how I’m doing all of this, but the good news is that it’s paying all of those horrendous medical bills. I do not want to go into my old age owing six figures, and thankfully, I won’t!

And thank God! my youngest child, who is in high school, is independent or there would be real trouble. She directs her days more or less. I oversee the subject matter she studies and do lecture on some subjects, but other than that, the child tells me what’s happening. Most of that is her reading constantly — about four books a week and titles such as To Kill a Mockingbird or Ethan Frome or A Member of the Wedding, and some popular fiction thrown in like Looking for Alaska, which she hated. She said, “I don’t get why everyone [read that as her peers] thinks John Green’s writing is so great. This is my third book by him, and the first two I kept thinking that maybe the next book would wow me. That hasn’t happened. Honestly, Mom, To Kill a Mockingbird is soooooo much better than anything John Green has written it’s not funny.” I replied, “You know what’s happened don’t you?” She looked at me, and I continued, “You’ve been spoiled by good writing.” From there we went onto a very productive discussion of what we both like to see in writing.

So where am I going with this? Lately, discussing writing has stirred up such a longing to write again. Not that the desire ever went away, but it’s more intense these days because time’s winged chariot is kicking my ass, and I want to say something before I’m completely crushed. When I feel this way, I become wistful about this place, because writing this blog freed me up to write other things which I needed to get out or self combust. And I still have so much I want to say. Not sure how I’m going to pull it off, but I need to finish something here.

Other than that, picture me something like this (below) as I go about my day. I’m almost constantly with people. I love people, think they’re fascinating, and I never want to be completely cut off from them. Yeah, you can feel that “but” coming. I’ve got to get in a dark room and coalesce my thoughts instead of forever reacting to others — or feeling like I am.

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Candid photo snagged from RichardArmitageNet.com

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.

Diary of an RA Fan — Part 808 The Wayward Lover

August 11, 2014

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Entry — Sunday, August 10, 2014:

_______ sent me another song. Every few days she sends one and wants my take on it. Most of them have been great, some good and some okay. But whatever the performance, the sum of her writing is fantastic. Yeah, I’m biased. I can’t help it, but I’m far from alone in that assessment.

She was always a writer and has been successful at it for quite sometime. At barely 20 she went to NYC and landed a good writing job of a few hours a week which more than paid her rent. But writing for someone else was never going to satisfy her. She’s always working on something else, and then she picked up her guitar again and started writing songs. Now SO and I have quite a few on our phones which we can’t stop listening to. They are all rough cuts with all kinds of extraneous noises like her roommate’s hair dryer in the background. I don’t care. They are well written, and some of them I believe could gain something significant.

For the last couple of weeks, part of one song has been on my mind waking up and going to sleep. I have literally gotten up singing it. This prompted me to listen to the whole thing again this evening. It’s about expectations, identity and the desire for acceptance. Despite this song being written for others reasons, I began to see it as something from Richard Armitage and concerning his relationship to us fans. I imagined him singing this song to us and using all sorts of pronouns and of course sincerely but with an occasional sarcastic tone. It made me laugh and think about what may or may not be real.

The lyrics and copyright info, and if you don’t listen to anything else, listen from 3:40 on.

Maybe these thoughts were also brought on by Lee Pace’s interview in May. Maybe it was reviewing Richard’s interview in the Telegraph and the Sunday Times. Or maybe it’s because SO and I live a public life and have for quite a few years. A lot of our moves are watched, and if either of us look at someone the wrong way or reveal something about ourselves the public isn’t ready to see, it can cause some consternation on the public’s part. I don’t worry about this most of the time when I go into public, because some people are going to think what they want to think no matter what SO or I do. But occasionally something comes back to us that we supposedly said or did, and I’m dumbfounded and feel bad that someone read into our expressions and was hurt by them. Obviously, I’ve read in all kinds of things about Richard Armitage during the life of my blog, and I still wonder what he really thinks, and if I should write what I think about that. I don’t wonder this as often as I did when I first started writing. But that song made me wonder, and that in itself makes it a really good song.

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Candid shot of the musician in Central Park

Candid shot of Richard by Gundi (and I’m wondering if Gundi is a fan who has shared this photo with us via RichardArmitageNet.com or not and if I’m violating copyright. Someone raise your hand if you know the answer. Thanks!)

edit: I have riddled this post with typos, and now I see RichardArmiteneNet.com. ROFLOL!! It will be fixed by the time someone reads this comment. Sorry about that, Ali. I flat did not see that. Oy

Dreams and the Passing of Time

I’m not quite as up on Google Alerts about Richard Armitage as I used to be, and really there’s no need since so many fan sites keep up. I appreciate that! Plus, it gives me time to do something I really love which is watching videos like this one below from my oldest kid.

She wrote this in a few minutes, taped it and sent it to me. And she’s got about 20 more, since she can’t seem to stop. This one is not perfect, but I love it. Not just because I think it’s a great song and has tons of potential but also for what it represents.

She is pursuing her dreams, which very definitely include a highly artistic facet — writing, photography and music, and who knows what else. It seems when someone is letting their artist flow, it just doesn’t stop. This interview with Viggo Mortensen speaks to the mentality and reminded me of how I really did think as a child — that there were no limits on what I could do or express.

But the kind of focus required for these endeavors has “real life” envious and continually trying to intrude. The ability to ignore real life then becomes paramount to the creative if they are ever to do anything significant. They must learn to hang onto the precious dreams of childhood.

SO and I did not have a great ability with this. We were forever trying to please our parents. Sadly, our parents and others preached such a conservative approach to life that it almost squelched the creative in us. It’s been a fight to keep it alive! Even my father who was fairly unorthodox and highly creative was very conservative when it came to my future. Don’t get a degree in music, don’t play in a band for a living, don’t go off to parts unknown to do photo essays, don’t, don’t, don’t, because (gasp!) you might experience some hard times. This was said incessantly. Guess what? I’ve experienced hard times anyway. Don’t we all?

With our children, SO and I have tried to take a better approach, tried to inspire yet prepare them for what they were getting into without demoralizing them. Don’t be stupid and still pursue your dreams is what we’ve said. Certainly, that’s hard, but anything worth doing…

This was also talked about, and thankfully, they seem to have taken it to heart. Two have ended up in New York to pursue their passions and one is on the west coast doing the same.

And who knows what’s going to happen. At worst, they will always know they tried.

© 2014

In the meantime, this child keeps writing as well as bartending in the city with her sister (they are middle and far right) and going to school (the “don’t be stupid” part):

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What does all of this have to do with Richard Armitage? I’m getting to it. It’s been slow, and I’ve dithered around for a couple of years about my diary in the process, because it’s been hard to figure out what I should publish and what I shouldn’t. But I’m determined to finish. I’ve also talked to a lot of people (including all of the people mentioned in the diary), and almost all have said go for it. Even before I started, I had permission from those put in the most unflattering light, but I have still struggled with publishing. I’m very loyal to my family and never want to cause them harm. But I think I’ve come to understand that what I reveal is not harmful but a common reality and perhaps how it resolved in my life will help someone else.

Tangent — I’m in a Funky Mood

This isn’t a critical commentary on fandom or my being a fangirl, or maybe it is. I’m not sure yet. Frankly, I would have loved to have participated more in the Berlin premiere festivities and all that’s ensued since. I just couldn’t. The events of my life for the last two and half weeks have been consuming and surreal. But first a little history.

For those who haven’t figured it out yet, and I think I said it one time on blog, SO is a vicar in a small town. Yes, that’s right, I’m Harry Kennedy. ;-) And as SO’s significant other, I’ve seen and done many things that sometimes confound me at how life has turned out. When I was pondering what I would be when I grew up, I don’t think anything to do with a vicar ever factored into it. And if someone had told me I would be intimately involved with a vicar, I would have laughed until I wet my pants. For the record, SO wasn’t a vicar for the first almost 20 years I knew him.

But SO being a vicar the last several years means we often deal with tragedy and sometimes deal with death. And when I say deal with it, I mean not only going where tragedy and death have occurred on occasion in order to help the people involved but also having an open door policy to our home, so that hurting and devastated people can come see us when they want. When my kids were little, we put a limitation on this, but despite that, my children have seen and heard a lot of what goes on in the world that’s ugly. We have had drunk people, beat up people, devastated people in our living room on many, many occasions. As to death, SO and I also see the side that most of the public does not see very often if at all — being with someone when they die, the coroner coming to call, the undertaker showing up not long after and sometimes witnessing the devastation left by someone who has killed himself. These are experiences I’ve had countless times since we moved to this place.

To top that off, for over ten years I sat on the board of a cemetery district which oversees cemeteries in a few of the little towns around here, and when you deal with small cemeteries, it means you may be overseeing burials. I’ve overseen countless burials and a couple of reburials, and that includes sometimes standing in an open grave. I remember one time standing in a particular grave where a woman being buried was to be placed beside her parents, who had died about 70 years earlier. When we were preparing the grave, the ground was very soft, and the coffin of one of her parents had shifted a little so that its corner was poking into the woman’s grave site. I looked over and the wood had rotted enough on the buried coffin that there was a hole big enough for my hands to fit in up to my shoulders, and I could see some of the blousy liner coming out of the hole. Yeah, that was creepy, but I got over it.

And I’ve gotten over so many things. Looking at a hole in a buried coffin is nothing. I’ve gotten over being with two teenage boys in the counseling room at the high school when SO told them (at their mother’s request) their dad had committed suicide an hour before, and they had to be told so that the town’s people wouldn’t break it to them. I got over watching a man rejected by his father on the father’s deathbed. I got over one of my closest friend’s sons being lost in the river and being with her when Search and Rescue came to tell her several days later that his body had been found 8 miles down the river. He was 18. I got over the guy down the street shooting himself in the head with a shotgun, and SO and I being asked to come to the place before it had been cleaned up. And I could go on and on with much worse.

Maybe I’m not completely over these things as it’s hard to type this. But when I say I’ve gotten over something, I mean enough to bounce back and do what needs to be done. That’s always been my best ability — to roll with the punches no matter what they are, and I’ve done it and done it and done it, but on Monday, December 9th and the following days, I was almost in a zombie like state.

What created my malaise was three deaths occurring the week before and then about 15 minutes before the premiere started, I got a call about a dear friend of mine who had been careflighted to the city and died within a few hours. No one knew she was ill. The next day I was talking to another friend and said to her how it’s eerie these things usually happen in threes, but this time it was four. As soon as I said it, I stopped and had the horrible thought that this was the beginning of the second three. The next day two more deaths occurred.

All of this is a very small part of the terrible events I’ve come close to over the last 15 years. I ask myself sometimes if it’s only SO’s profession which makes me privy to so much heartache. That’s some of it, but I’m not sure. I don’t know anything except that tragedy has become the norm. Most days I can deal with it, but sometimes I get overwhelmed, and I think that’s a good sign. May I never become so accustomed to horror that it has no effect on me.

Is there any wonder why I want to be lighthearted and laugh when I come here? Does that mean Richard Armitage or anyone else is a lesser person? I hope not. Just know that my blog and many of my comments are supposed to be fun for the most part, and to make it something that is life and death is not my intent, and that’s not a judgment on anyone else. It’s where I’m coming from.

Given all of this, I don’t want to forget the point, which is to love people as God loves, help others as often as I can, and never weary of doing good. And I appreciate this:

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And I keep listening to this:

I had to get this post out of my system. Now that it’s done maybe I can get back to cutting up. And I’ll be giving my review of Desolation of Smaug and not whimping out by letting SO do it for me as I did last year. Just need to go see the movie and keep staying away from other reviews and spoilers.

#6 A Good Day

This is part of my series of posts counting down to and through the Thanksgiving holidays and expressing my thankfulness for something I’ve received, experienced or participated in.

A Good Day.

Yesterday was a good day. I would love to say I never took good days for granted, but until several years ago, I didn’t let myself fully bask in good days. Whenever I got close to basking, I would feel guilty. There was always too much to be done and too many people hurting. How could I be gleeful at a good day? How could I let myself forget all the troubles of the world around me?

To add to that, I was a perfectionist. My need for things to be the way I thought they should be was violent. And when I say that, I mean order in things I could easily control. Things that don’t matter. Like the carpet or the dishes. What helped prolong it is I effected a demeanor to coworkers and friends and most of my family of being easy going. Sometimes it’s laughable to me that people thought I was so cool about living life and often commented on it. But then the violence was mostly internal.

Having a mental breakdown cured that, and no, I’m not going to rehash it here. I’ll just say I ran out of gas and all that angst had to go away. I’m sorry it took that kind of upheaval for me to wake up. And if there is one regret I have in life (and I have several), it’s my stubbornness to not see what I was doing. I thank the Lord for His infinite wisdom and how He helped me see it, which is a whole ‘nother story not for this blog.

All I know today is I’m way past the control freak girl who would have squirmed uncomfortably at the dinner table yesterday because her daughter placed big, fat, red salt and pepper shakers covered with smudges from being on the stove, onto the elegantly laid dinner table done in burgundy and white. I’m way past the control freak girl who would have looked at that sweet daughter’s smiling face and said harshly, “No! Where are the crystal shakers?!” Or she would have done everything herself because she didn’t trust anyone else to do it “right”. That girl was incapable of fully enjoying the talking and laughing during the meal and certainly wouldn’t have let herself enjoy the food she cooked. Thankfully, that girl is gone.

The new girl was there and having a great time, and for one brief moment when she spied the red shakers, was aware of how far she’s come in the pursuit of life and happiness.

By the way, a good day today means I will not be out at the stores shopping on Black Friday. :D