B, B, B, B, B, B, B

BThink the ubiquitous Barbara Ann, and for those too young to know, to wit.

It was hard to decide on a topic for B. There are probably a week’s worth of topics in my draft posts about this letter. Actually, I’ve struggled with several letters wanting to take over and be posted on more than one day.

Since this is nominally a Richard Armitage blog, it seemed natural to post something related to him and B, but I can’t do it because I have always made this place safe for work, and the only B that comes to mind in regard to him is his performance in a piece that would take us into waters potentially not safe. No, it wasn’t porn. Wait. That’s not entirely accurate. For the British, it isn’t porn. In the US, it would be considered soft porn and frankly, I realized from learning of this that I may well be a prude. No, I am a prude. AT least about people having sex in front of me. I admit readily. But using some foul language to adequately describe things that cannot be described with more pristine words? I have no problem. Watching someone’s bare bottom in flagrante delicto? Nah, that’s not my thing, because I’ve never thought of sex as a spectator sport and don’t plan to start. A provincial American view? Yes, I’m a bit provincial at times, but hopefully none of that equates to boring, which is another word I thought to post on.

Boring is the shark that nips at a blogger’s heels. To be boring is to bring death, or so it seems. So how to prevent it? Be yourself, take chances and if you have to be anonymous to do this, then do it. Frankly, the biggest obstacle I’ve seen to blogging is that people think they have nothing to say. If they’re trying to sound like everyone else, then they don’t have anything to say that can’t be read at thousands of other sites. Boring.

But this is easily solved with a practical solution that doesn’t require you to undergo a head change before you begin. Merely keep an idea log. I used to carry a very small spiral notebook around with me to jot down ideas as they came. That got to be an obstacle because I got my best ideas while driving. I bought myself one of these, and it was revolutionary! These days I use my phone, and I’ve thought many times what in the hell did I do before I had these devices? Lost a lot of great ideas.

Now for the really important part to remember if you start collecting ideas. Don’t think too big. Yeah, I said think small. Some of the best ideas come from something seemingly small and fairly mundane such as seeing a dad carrying his small son on his shoulders, and then the dad turns around and you notice he (the dad) is wearing something at odds with what you would expect dads to wear while carrying their sweet little ones on their backs. If it’s fall or winter, a nice plaid shirt would seem apropos, or if it’s spring or summer, maybe a polo shirt. Not a t-shirt with a picture of a dog trying to lick himself in unmentionable places (notice my pronoun choice). I started laughing to myself about that when I wasn’t grossed out, and I was eating at the time too. Yuck. It occurred to me that my thoughts about this were probably shared with others, so I wrote a piece about it. Maybe I’ll post it before this challenge is done. Not sure yet.

In the meantime, a photo of Richard for your edification if you’re so inclined:


Oh heck, a couple more, and no, these aren’t from the piece referenced above. These are all from a show called Strike Back:



See you tomorrow.

Tangent — The New Year’s Thang

January 3, 2011

[Note: For those new to this blog, my tangents usually have little or nothing to do with Richard Armitage. For the fans: I do like to post pictures of RA as often as I can, so maybe there will be one at the end. And for all of you: be sure to read the post script at the very end if your stamina holds out.]

I have this quirk in my nature which always wants to buck the system when I have even the slightest sense the system is all about form and not really about any meaningful function. The first time this obstinance manifested was in the first grade. One Friday the teacher asked me to go to the blackboard to write something so I could learn along with the others, and I said, “I don’t have to go to the blackboard.” She arched a brow and looked over her glasses at me, and said, “What do you mean?” I replied, “It’s Friday, and my mother says I don’t have to go to the blackboard on Fridays.” I was quickly reprimanded and taken to the hallway where she grabbed my chin and with her other hand, dug her fingernail into the top of my head while she told me how much trouble I was in. The following week she requested a conference with my parents (I still hate that word conference), and I got my backside blistered by dad when he got home from that meeting. I also got a lecture about how it was wrong to co-opt the idea from our Catholic neighbors who didn’t eat meat on Fridays. All I knew is there was no need for me to go to the board. I already knew what the teacher was talking about.

None of this is to say that I’m generally obstinate. I just don’t like doing things expected of me which don’t appear to have any benefit, to anyone. Yeah, it sounds arrogant and selfish, but how many of us hate doing things that are a waste but we do them anyway? C’mon, I know some of you do things like this, but you do them only because someone, somewhere expects it. And you hate it. We’ve all done it. But as I get older, I find I’m going back to my six year old self. I don’t want to squander time on things that really don’t count no matter how good they might make me look. So where am I going with this? Well, I felt a little bit of a pull to do the requisite New Year’s write-up/recap thang on the blog, and I was not excited about that at all. So I didn’t do one. I’m simply enjoying the wonderful pieces done by others.

But you’re not getting off the hook before I wax on about my objection to New Year’s resolutions, and yes, I know I’m not the first one to say this nor will I be the last. But people like me need to keep saying it until a few of you get it. New Year’s resolutions for most of us are a waste of time. I mean who keeps those things — if you even remember them after a couple of months? I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who kept a New Year’s resolution. No, that’s not true. I have known one person who did, and she talked about it incessantly, which was the result of being shocked that she kept it. But most and probably darn near all people don’t keep them. Or maybe I just run with a slothful crowd.

Obviously, I think my crowd is in the majority, which compels me to talk to you about something that is so unnecessary and usually just leads to guilt. Yep, it’s a setup for failure. I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t need any help with feeling like a failure, and several years ago I resolved to stop making resolutions because of that feeling. There are so many deadlines to meet in life, and I don’t need to create another one for myself especially when it only facilitates self-flagellation. Of course there is that minority who keeps resolutions, and if you are one of those people, and it makes you feel good, I’m sincerely happy for you. My lazy self will continue to refrain.

Yet I completely understand the need to make New Year’s resolutions, the need to wipe the slate clean and start over, the need to have another chance at making something right or attaining something we long for. That need is so great among us, that when a year comes to an end and a new ones starts, and we’re quite naturally taking stock of our lives, it seems fitting to cobble together something that sounds important for us to do, something that sounds like a great destiny. But I submit to you that you don’t have to start on January 1, and that may be the worst date to do it for some of us. So make up your own day for starting over, and hey, it really can be every morning. Frankly, if I didn’t start over at least once a week and sometimes daily, I would never want to talk to anyone or leave my house, and I’ve been there before. Not fun. So it’s Monday after the holiday, and the day didn’t get started all that well. I may need to start the year over on the 4th.

End of sermonette.

A picture of Richard Armitage as sort of promised. (Scroll beyond it for Post Script).

Yeah, I know you understand what I’m sayin’, Rich.

Screencap courtesy of my stash.

Post script: My mother just reminded me the first time my obstinate nature clashed with a teacher was actually in kindergarten. The class was learning to print their names. My name ends in an ‘A’, and I’ve always hated the look of a lower case ‘a’, and when it was on the end of my name, it didn’t look finished. So when I printed my name, I ended it with a small sized capital ‘A’, and I still print it that way today. (Yes, I know it’s harder to write.). When the teacher came by to check my work, she said, “No, honey, you must write it like this — ‘a’.” I just nodded and kept writing it with a capital ‘A’. The teacher got so flustered she screamed at me and ripped my paper into several pieces. Then she gave me another paper, but I still proceeded to write with an ‘A’ on the end of my name. She finally called my mother, who met with her that afternoon. The teacher told her I was developmentally delayed (or whatever pc language teachers used back then to say a kid was slow mentally). Mother was devastated and went home in tears. When my dad came home from work, he quizzed her about her upset, and she told him what the teacher had said and how she wasn’t sure what to think. To which good ol’ dad said, “Oh, that’s horseshit. The kid can write in cursive for cryin’ out loud.”