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[Sorry, been nursing a head cold.  Those NYC germs are aggressive.]


Courtesy of MyKdsRllyEatThs

As soon as we crossed the party threshold, we fell down the rabbit hole.

It wasn’t that we couldn’t handle this extraordinary and unique opportunity.  We were both women of a certain age, trained in social etiquette, common sense, adept in making quick judgments calls.  We bound and gagged and our Inner Fangirls and entered as theater-goers/patrons.  It was after all,  basically a cocktail party, so we conformed accordingly, mingling and chatting with guests, and enjoying ourselves.  Zan gives a better account here about who said what.  Some of the younger cast member were quite charming, brimming with youth and euphoria, eager to talk about the stress of the production and or when they could be seen on PBS soon.  All of them lit up at the news that the production was well received, and hoped it might be a springboard to a bigger Broadway run.  I soaked up the energy and purposefulness and contemplated where I could go with my own creative endeavors.

Here’s where the surreal part began:  as we slowly worked our way among the cast dotting the room, we pondered the 6’2″ question holding up the bar.  What were we going to do about Richard Armitage?  Indeed.  What do you do when the only person in the room with whom you’d like to chat know you’re his fans?  Although we’d discarded that role at the door, his certain knowledge still restricted options for both us as fans and him as the star.  Had we not participated in the lobby, we might have felt more at liberty chatting with him, and he with us, but that’s not what happened.  A tiny voice whispered in the back of my mind: watch it, you’re representing to him and everybody in here, – knowing technically I was only responsible for myself.  Calm thoughts, eh?  Still we had to discern the appropriate thing to do.  A few glances showed him chatting animatedly in group.  No problem.  He’d given us his time in the lobby, so we would leave him alone to talk with friends and colleagues.  Problem solved.

But not quite.  Zan murmured that he’d glanced our way a few times, so I glanced over – only to meet a pair of blue eyes.  He’d catch us looking; we’d catch him looking.  There was nothing hostile or negative in his glances.  Suddenly, he’d turn his head and regard us with open curiosity.  This was a bit disconcerting.  I’m a watcher; I watch other people.  I wasn’t used to being observed by others, especially by somebody like him.  Good grief.  He continued looking our way the rest of the evening, even after we established ourselves as polite, sociable and nuisance-free.  What was he thinking?

As the crowd thinned, Zan and I needed an exit strategy.  It would have been quite obvious to him that we’d chatted up everybody but him. Seeing only one person left with RA, Zan suggested we congratulate RA and leave.  Ah, perfect!  His head swung towards us expectantly.  As she said her compliments and thanks, he lit up like a Christmas tree.  His almost “oh gosh” reaction so tickled me that I looked at his lady friend; her eyes twinkled too.  He turned to me, eyes still gleaming, and shook my hand.  I think I murmured agreement as his glow nearly blotted everything out.  My goodness.  He turned to his friend, still beaming and we exited.   Later I wondered if he wasn’t lit up by wine, but from the warmth of his smile and handshake, I think he appreciated us.

Zan and I chatted until the wee hours trying to wrap our minds around the whole thing.  In all my years in fandoms, I’ve never had an experience quite like it.  It will definitely be something I’ll remember for a long time.


Picture or it didn't happen.  Richard Armitage and me.  92nd ST Y, NYC.

Picture or it didn’t happen. Richard Armitage and me. 92nd ST Y, NYC.

So, Dear Reader, I went to New York City.

Okay maybe that’s an understatement but I was thisclose to not going.  Attending the Pinter/Proust production was a last minute, crazy harebrained attempt to snap me out of a post holiday, post illness funk.  Also I blame Zan, my partner in crime during the Anderson Cooper trek in 2012 and Perry for her frequent and intriguing updates.  In addition, my nosy side realized there would never be another opportunity quite like it: no autograph hunters, no cold stage door, no usual post production scrambling, but almost impromptu encounters between actor, fans and patrons for a one-off performance.   As 20 plus year fan veteran, I get more of a kick watching other fans now.  What better environment to watch such interactions?  I shook my limp inner fangurl, told her to get it together and dragged her off to NYC.  Curiously I’ve been having a hard time writing this entry, because I’ve been of two minds –

HEYYYYY there posse!  Whassup?  I’m Inner Fangurl here to save the day.  Judi does go on, doesn’t she?  The readers want to hear the Good Stuff, aka Richard Armitage.   Judi, you can talk about more esoteric things like acting later.  Let’s cut to the chase shall we?

Sigh.  Fiiiiine.

OKAY!  Judi was under the weather, so when I heard about the production at the 92nd St Y, I said we should go!

That’s not what -

Even after she booked everything, she almost didn’t go.  Can you imagine?  Anyway, we met up with our partners in crime, Zan and Perry and headed for the pre-show with Di Trevis, the director for the production.  She told some very humorous stories about Harold Pinter, distracting my spidey senses.  *He* had been seen sitting in the back of the audience laughing along.  RA was in the building.


When the show started, we sat up in the balcony. Judi spent five minutes rummaging in her bag for the hearing device and nearly missed his entrance on stage.  Now we are a bit visually challenged, but he entered with such balletic grace that we knew it was him.  I clamored for her to get Zan’s mini binoculars and we were set.  He was definitely the Man in Black: black shirt, tight black jeans, black long suit coat; longish dark hair combed back still curling at the nape.  He appeared in so many little scenes -

They were memories -

Well, Judi did fine, but I had a hard time following at first. No matter!  When RA wasn’t performing a memory, he sat in the back waiting for his next cue. The little binoculars were very handy, especially when he got to that breast caressing scene with Odette, his obsession -

That was supposed to be Swann brushing something off Odette’s decolletage -

Well, the binoculars showed me differently!  And then the passionate kiss, oh my!  If anybody doubted his ability to be a romantic lead, that scene should put things to rest.  We quite enjoyed watching him gracefully prowl around the stage so tall, lean and lanky.  WOOHOO!


Sigh indeed!  During the intermission, we were alerted to vacant seats in the second row center. We beat a hasty retreat down there.  What a fabulous view!  We don’t really remember much of the story after that because he was RIGHT THERE!

I remember quite a bit!

Well, that’s amazing.  Just imagine Readers, all six feet two inches of him strutting around the stage so close, his features so finely chiseled that you can see his facial muscles working beneath the skin, the cheek bones popping out of nowhere.  He cut such a Byronic figure.  OMG!  SQUEE!!!!!!

Maybe you should mention that his acting was -

His acting???  Oh pish!   Before we knew it, the play ended and they came out to take their bows.  My goodness he seemed so close.  We were practically on eye level with -

Nevermind about that!  Get on with it.

*Sniff*  Fine.  The entire cast came out for a photo shoot then dispersed.  Our compadres had a few words with Trevis and some cast members before moving to the gallery where we heard there would be a meet and greet.

Right, it turned out that the party was private.

Yes!  But the next thing I knew, after exchanging a few words with the lovely gatekeeper, we were on the other side of the rope. I love New Yorkers!  Why do they have such a bad reputation?

Oh yes, me too.  No clue.  *chuckle*

So then RA came out of the After Party to greet the horde of fans and curiosity seekers.  He was absolutely a peach, signing autographs, taking pictures with everybody.  He even declined to be extricated by the guard and went on until he’d seen everybody.  He must have stayed out there a good 30 minutes or more.  He took pictures with our compadres and then it was our turn!  SQUEE!


We’d handed our iPhone to Zan, I caught his attention and there we were, his arm around our shoulders, and our arm around his lean waist.  No love handles there!  And so warm.  That man is a furnace!

Can we just finish this -

Well fine, but it was a surreal moment, his arm there waiting patiently while Zan snapped the photo.  It felt like a second and an eternity.

Very Proustian there, Inner Fangurl.

Okay, maybe I was paying attention to the play – just a tad.  Anyway, it was time to go into the After Party but my time was over.  Judi kicked me out!  I don’t even know what happened next.

Yes Dear Reader, I threw a cloak over her to avoid two worlds colliding.  But that’s another story.  Now that Inner Fangurl has had her say, I can get on with serious impressions about the production, the party, the cast, the fans, the man.




Happy New Year!

I don’t have a lovely photoshopped New Year’s picture of Richard Armitage for you but I send you all my best wishes.  I holidayed like a mad woman for the past week and half to make up for a bad start to the season, and actually made the proverbial silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  While on the way home happily contemplating my excesses, I observed a churlish conductor on the train who gave a disabled couple a hard time.   He seemed determined to spread his unhappiness around, which only compounded his problem because of the disapproving passenger witnesses.  He went so far as to call security on the couple but that backfired.

I wondered about the source of his unhappiness and the situation he’d created on the train to justify his surliness and thought about my own situation.  With a distressing job and depression behind me, the world lays open before me.  But just as the conductor created his own pocket of unhappiness on the train, I must remember that it’s up to me to find and nurture my own happiness in the coming year.

When the train pulled into the station, the snow was still coming down.  I snagged a cab and we fishtailed down a street.  A woman stood on a corner trying to flag the cab, but the driver shouted that it was taken.  The street appeared so desolate with no bus, cab or any other car in sight, that I agreed to share the cab with her and she joyfully hopped in.  We agreed I’d get dropped off first, then the driver would take her to work.  When we arrived at my door, I had “ATM Syndrome,” (no change for a $20 bill) and so did the driver.  To my surprise, the lady said, “I’ll pay for it.  Thank you so much for sharing the ride.”   We all beamed at each other and wished each other Happy New Year.

Nice start to the year, yes?

May your year bring peace, health, and happiness.






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Merry Christmas Eve


Source: RichardArmitage.net

I left for friends’ house two days ago for a cookie bake.  The bake turned to elfing and then shopping and eating and  weathering a deep freeze and before I knew it, I just returned home today.  Goodness, do those friends know how to hustle and bustle.  Tomorrow, I return there for Christmas dinner, but today, I visit family.  It’s still very cold but tonight, we are getting SNOW! Whee!  My inner child is quite happy.   So it’s all good in my world.

Have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it.  Enjoy yourselves and be a safe out there.



Weathering a bit of post-NaNoWriMo and pre-holiday blues, so I’ve returned to blogging on orders of Dr. G.  Write, she said. Wrote it on her pad and everything.   So, here am I writing. I think.

Anyway, I finally saw Desolation of SmOUg by accident, by that I mean my nose caught a whiff of fresh popcorn as I walked by the building and led me in.  Hey, I’m dieting so my sense of smell is very acute.  A review will follow next week, so all I will say is that I enjoyed it.

I caught the Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire a few months ago when Peter Jackson posted it on YouTube.  Naturally, artists are doing covers of the song.   The following one, by Peter Hollens, has been my favorite.  Actually prefer it to the original.






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I could feel it coming in my bones – the fandom meltdown.  It’s a phenomenon that occurs about every six months like clockwork, fueled by boredom, diverse personalities and the crush not giving the fans enough to chew on between projects.  The energy builds with nowhere to go.  Just about anything can set if off.   So when yesterday’s article in New York Moves hit, it was time.    My inner watcher perked up to study the fireworks.     And boy did Richard Armitage not disappoint.

I’m not going to rehash what others have said.  Most of the immediate reactions can be found on Morrighansmuse’s blog and on Twitter.  The negative opinions were a textbook case of fan identity crisis, claiming that the interviewer, the editor, the hot weather, RA’s supposed British ignorance, etc. were responsible for what he said, and what were politics doing in an entertainment interview anyway?

I want to point out a few things:

- NYM is not strictly abut fashion and entertainment.  Also from Morrighansmuse’s blog:

Here’s the description of New York Moves magazine which tells anyone that this is no entertainment magazine just reading off the publicity packet handed by the studios or PR company:

“Moves Magazine is a lifestyle magazine for city women (and men), unafraid to ask hard questions. We take on social, political, and global topics and show how women are shaping the world we live in today. Written with a progressive vibe, the magazine offers a provocative, often polemic view of society; an askance look at the world we live in.”

So RA  stood an excellent chance of discussing politics – and being provocative (if one considers stating his personal believes such).  When asked, he had as much right to an opinion as anybody else without being American.  That’s how our political system works.  Democracy in action.  If we have no problems discussing politics in fandom (it happens all the time), why shouldn’t he?

- According to European fans, what he said wasn’t really controversial.

It seems to only have caused a kerfuffle among American fans.  So sitting and having such a conversation probably didn’t phase him one way or the other.   I suspect he’d be surprised at the extent of the negative reaction from some quarters.

- RA wasn’t tricked, manipulated, edited etc.  Also from Morrighansmuse’s blog and Twitter feed:

elle morris

 He knew the topic and participated anyway.  Despite constant fears to the contrary by some fans, RA knows his own mind.  He knows what he wants to do and say.  He’s certainly old and experienced enough to handle himself with reporters.   He really doesn’t need our protection. Really.

- It doesn’t matter what RA said.

Yes, the nature of his opinions are irrelevant.  It shouldn’t matter, and I think fans are losing sight of this.  It isn’t  important which way he swings on gun control, violence, or the colors in the rainbow.  What matters is that he felt comfortable to reveal a part of himself, let us into his mind a bit to reveal opinions about topics other than his work.  He’s human.  He showed that he’s a real person with real opinions and real thoughts, not a walking talking fantasy to be kept in a pretty box uttering safe platitudes for our amusement.   Shouldn’t he be accorded some respect especially by us, his fans?  Yes, he could have stated the exact opposite opinions, and I would say the same thing.  I respect him for having the courage of his convictions and saying what he thought.  Fans don’t have to agree with him 100%; I don’t.  Disagree.  Criticize.  But do give him a bit more consideration that what I’ve been reading in for the past 24 hours.

After all, his politics don’t determine our level of adoration, do they?




multitaskingNo, I haven’t dropped off the earth.  I’m still doing pretty well, give or take a few days; and I haven’t forgotten you all while I foray into writerdom.  So what’s happening?  Why no posts?  Well, I have a problem.  It’s worse than hemorrhoids, worse than constipation.  It’s even worse than MENOPAUSE (that’s a whole ‘nother post).

My multi-tasker is broken.

You know, that skill set that allows you to do ten things at once, not well, but still multiple things.  I excelled at keeping balls in the air in the past even when plagued by Winston, the black dog of depression.  However, Winston ran amok this time and broke a few things, mainly what the diagnostic manuals call concentration, persistence and pace.   These abilities are more precious than a Ming dynasty vase and crucial to performing daily functions – like working.  When I retired, Dr. G. and I assumed relief from the stress would help put the pieces back together again.  Well, the answer has been yes and no.  Yes, I can concentrate better, complete more detailed tasks, and work on ongoing projects; the foray into writing original fiction has been better than what I anticipated.

But I can’t seem to multi-task to save my life.  You know, doing more than one thing each day: writing fiction and exercising; writing fiction and dieting properly, writing fiction and blogging.  Things normal people accomplish in their daily schedules.  Now that I’ve progressed to more detailed tasks and I want to, say, write AND blog in the same day, the gal in the control room says: sorry, the multi-tasker is still broken; did you insure this thing?  I don’t even know what that insurance would look like.

Therefore, I’ll blog when I can.  Right now, I’m still prepping for NaNoWriMo which kicks off next month.  Since it’s an exercise in total creative writing  obsessiveness immersion, I don’t expect to be even eating then.  I’m also preparing to formally submit a short story for publication for the first time ever.  Then I’ll wait eight weeks for my first rejection letter ever.  I’m really chuffed.  

But don’t worry, the psych pose wants a summit to discuss problems (the newly named Julie has more to say, to the chagrin of Jada and Jodi); Patty the pom hints at divorcing me if her attention allotment drops any more; and The Man is overdue for another adventure. (Speaking of The Man, I submitted one of his stories for review.  Reviewers that got it loved him; the ones who didn’t asked: why doesn’t he have a name?)  I’ll try to post when I can and see if I can find the warranty on my multi-tasker.




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You know, just because the entire fandom has been tweeting, blogging, and tumbling pictures of Richard Armitage at the LA BAFTA Tea Party yesterday doesn’t mean I have to jump on the bandwagon.

CA: BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea

RA at some event. No clue what. Source.

I mean, the pictures would have to be half cropped to shield from view the disaster that occurred below the waist, even if I were to post them.

BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea 2013

Again, RA at some event. Source.

Ideally, a nice three-quarters head shot with long, curly hair at the nape and a little stubble would have been lovely.

More RA. Wonder where in the heck he went. Source.

More RA. Wonder where in the heck he went. Source.

But since I’m the Anti-Fan gurl and need to preserve my reputation, no pictures like that will appear here.  Nope.  No siree.


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Close-up of Lily flowersContributions for the memorial fund in honor of Mrs. Servetus closed yesterday at midnight.  I saved every notification from PayPal in a separate folder and tabulated each donation as they arrived.  After double and triple checking, the final tally was $762.50 (U.S. dollars).  (Told ya this was enough to buy an iDevice).

As you know, RA has four charities on his JustGiving page.  The winning charity was chosen by the scientific process of closing my eyes and pointing a finger at the screen.  The finger landed on – The Salvation Army.   So the entire amount went to this charity.  For transparency sake,  here is the receipt:

 memorial receipt

Here is the entry posted to RA’s message page:


I want to thank FedoraLady who helped brainstorm the idea as well as all the others who helped pass the word:

West of Milton

It’s an RA World

Something about Love

Well, There You Go

Collar City Brownstone

Armitage Agonistes

Unkraut Vergeht Nicht

Ancient Armitage

I Want to be a Pinup

CrystalChandlyreThe Arkenstone

y que iba yo a contar

Obsessive Behavior

 It’s amazing when people can come together at times like these.  I’m proud to be part of such a community.


snoopy writingRemember in grammar school when the teacher decided you’d achieved enough gold stars and moved you to a harder group?  Remember your first day in the group when you realized those coveted gold stars would be harder to achieve?  (Well, that’s the way it was back them thar days, so bear with me).  That exact feeling hit me after joining my new online writers’ group.

The group emphasizes writing original fiction, (read: stories with original characters), not fan fiction.  There’s a certain snobbery element attached but I understand the reasoning. The site’s purpose is to stimulate creativity so a writer can spread her wings. This is not to disparage fan fiction writers (indeed, I’m one of them) by saying their stories cannot be quite creative. However, it’s not until a writer branches into her own universe can she take full flight without the encumbrance of copyright issues and the preconceived notions of an audience.

As soon as I joined, I posted examples of my fan fiction. They received only a few reviews. There has not been enough feedback upon which to assess my strengths and weaknesses or even receive validation that I have real marketable talent. So, I felt stymied by a low lying creeping fear. Now that I had talked with writers intent on publishing their works, I heard a niggling voice in the back of my mind. Could I make the transition from fan to original fiction? Could I leave the preconceived world of Guy of Gisborne, for example, and create my own universe? Did I have the imagination? Of course, I should not have compare myself to people who have been honing their skills a lot longer than I have but I know in the publishing world, TPTB make comparisons all the time.

I’ve been reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness for the past several nights. It soothed me a bit not because it’s astounding award winning material, but because I felt good enough to have written that book that an editor thought well good enough to publish. (This isn’t a slur on Harkness, or maybe it is; I could be delusional and unmarketable). Then there’s the 50 Shades of Grey series which in my opinion is poorly written fan fiction, but those books have flown off the shelves. I don’t fancy myself a Maya Angelou or Colleen McCullough but I wouldn’t mind being somewhere in the ballpark some day. I don’t expect to compose a classic talked about long after I’m gone, but I do want to make a living as a published writer.

This brings me back to the fear of having stepped out of my comfort zone by joining the group. I’ve been warned that before I even get to The Book, I need to write – a lot. But over the last several weeks, I wrote nothing. I used to write stories in my head, behind my eyelids, but even that didn’t occur. Feeling a bit paralyzed, I finally poured all this out to the writing group. They all said they felt the same fear. It’s what motivated them to keep improving. Confidence and no fear, they said, would indeed leave me clutching at delusions.

Finally, somebody in the chat counseled that I simply sit down and write. Write less than 1000 words based on a set contest prompt. Keep it simple, change it up, and don’t think too hard about it. Just do it, they said, like the Nike slogan: dredge up anything, polish and post it. Then the big fear and angst would be out there, over and done with. So armed with the prompt, “There was no reason to look back” I finally hashed out an original short story and posted it to the contest. I don’t expect to win, but the whole point is to gain experience writing. Funnily enough, it’s only been three hours and already I’ve gotten 2 very good reviews. Whew.  I’m not sure if I expected to implode had the story not gone over well but I’m happy for the positive feedback.

You know, the chat group was right.  All I needed to get that first story out there.  I feel the flow already.

If you want to read it, it’s here.


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