Pick-Me-Up

Music & More Challenge

 

38.) of the RA dvds that you own, which one could you not live without?

The Vicar of Dibley: the handsome stranger

I don’t think that came as a surprise to anyone, did it? I don’t own a lot of Richard’s films to begin with but if I could only keep one, it would have to be Harry.

 

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that choice is not necessarily based on which film I think is the best or which film I think Richard was better in but rather which film makes me feel good. I often turn to The Handsome Stranger when I’m in need of a pick-me-up. it’s an easy program to watch, fun and light, no matter which point in the story you’re watching. sometimes I’ll watch certain scenes when I only have a few minutes to spare.

The Date is a favorite of mine–spot on comic delivery

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The Walk makes me feel all warm and fuzzy

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as does The Goodnight Kiss

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I like the bit with Rosie too, when Harry gets all bashful

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and The Proposal scene too, of course

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I’m also fond of scenes that don’t have Harry in them: when Alice thinks she’s going to Narnia, or the book club meeting, or Jim’s Agony Aunt letters. it’s just an all around good time and I’d surely miss it if I could never see it again.

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:star: :star: :star:

 

music question: a song you couldn’t live without

there isn’t really one song that I couldn’t absolutely live without and really, if I never hear a certain song again, it will still live on inside my head.  so I’m tweaking this question a bit to: the song that always seems to end up on my mp3 player, regardless of the tone I try to set with my choices. and that would be

 

Freak the Freak Out by Victoria Justice

 

I know, right? but this song is definitely a pick-me-up. I cannot listen to this song and not bob my head around to the music or sing out the lyrics. it lets me get my frustrations out and often leaves me with a sense of empowerment.

 

I’m so sick of it,
Your attention deficit
Never listen, never listen.

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Prince Thorin

The first Richard Armitage character I became acquainted with was Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit: an unexpected journey. My first impressions of Thorin centered around the heavy responsibilities he carried upon his shoulders and how he seemed to wear his pride like a protective armor. I thought Thorin resisted the friendship between himself and Bilbo due to a superiority complex, and that it was less a case of accepting the friendship as becoming resigned to it. Thorin grew to respect Bilbo because he willingly subjected himself to the hardships that they all suffered along the journey, while also becoming a useful addition to the company. I still see those things in Thorin, but now I see so much more. 

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Prince Thorin was a protector– he was softer before the dragon came. his father and grandfather were ahead of him in line to the throne–he was expected to observe, to learn, to hone his bravery on the battlefield. there is a lightness to his being when we see the younger version of Thorin in the flashback scenes– his stance isn’t as rigid and rooted as it becomes later, and there’s almost a shyness there. Prince Thorin is capable, can jump into action and take charge, as we see when he realizes it’s a dragon that is on the wind. Thorin shouts out orders immediately and grabs Balin to save him from the first attack of fire. but there is also fear. later, Thorin will try to mask that fear with arrogance and authority, but young Thorin wears his heart on his sleeve. when the Elves turn away and refuse to help– the incredulity upon his face. Prince Thorin had a trusting heart. 

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After the dragon came, Thorin quickly became weighed down by responsibility, his stance changed to carry that load. his face became closed off, making the eyes stand out more than they did before. with age Thorin became more stoic, his body owning the space around him; older Thorin was solid. he no longer wore his heart on his sleeve, I would even venture a guess that he no longer believed he had one. Thorin was a leader now, a provider, and he would be damned if he let youthful fancies cloud his judgment. 

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Prince Thorin wasn’t gone for good though, just hiding. when the keyhole didn’t appear: the vulnerability, the defeat, the loss of purpose. the acorn scene with Bilbo: the smile that made my heart hurt and soar at the same time.

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Bilbo was able to reach the young Prince that was still inside of Thorin. the friendship that grew between them was the one thing that Thorin felt was his– apart from titles and responsibilities, from expectations and limitations. Bilbo saw Thorin, valued him for who he was, not who he was “meant” to be. I imagine that was scary and comforting and everything in between for Thorin, but it was real. the one real thing that Thorin possessed. 

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I see you Thorin. I see me reflected back in you.

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A Personal Approach

Blog Introspection Challenge

15.) Any blogging role-models?

 

I certainly take the things that I like and admire from other bloggers and adapt them to my own style, but I wouldn’t say I have specific role-models in that regard. there isn’t one blog or one blogger that I like or admire above all others; I just soak it all in like a sponge. I tend to like the blogs that take a more personal approach to things though, put a bit of themselves in there alongside the subject they are blogging about.

me, giving of myself for Richard
me, giving of myself for Richard

I can get news and updates anywhere, but I can only get you on your blog.

I want you. not Insurance Salesman you.
I said you. not Insurance Salesman you.

….and I’ve finished another Challenge! woo-who!!

 

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I enjoyed this challenge immensely because it really helped me look back at where I’ve been in relation to my own blog, not just my interactions in the fandom or my interest in Richard. I’m a very introspective person by nature and had been doing a lot of soul-searching prior to this challenge in regards to what direction I wanted this blog to go, as I headed into my third year of blogging. it’s been very helpful and I’ve enjoyed answering the questions a lot! I did a much more compact version of it on my non-Richard Armitage blog too.

no, I said "non". I know it's hard to fathom but there is such a thing.
I said “non”. I know it’s hard to fathom but there is such a thing!

Next time I’ll start looking back at all the RA characters, until then, here’s a fanvid of my favorite  “character” to carry you through the weekend:

 

 

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Still Wandering

Blog Introspection Challenge

14.) Your plans for your blogging future

Plans. hmm. what’s that saying? “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” yeah, I’d rather not plan too intently. I have a habit of starting things and then abandoning them once the excitement wanes. 

 

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here’s your coat, what’s your hurry?

This blog is important to me, for so many reasons. I’m proud of it– proud of the posts that I’ve put out, proud of the reputation that it has. just looking at it some days gives me the warm feelings I need to take me through the day. there have been times these past two years, when I’ve become disillusioned with the fandom, so much so that I just wanted to throw in the towel. but I couldn’t bring myself to turn my back on this blog: the positive way it makes me feel, the easy interactions I have here with others, the fun I have creating the posts. I’ve had very few negative experiences here. as long as that continues to be the case, I’m going to keep wandering along this path to Nowhere in Particular

I have a horrible sense of direction, wandering is inevitable!
I have a horrible sense of direction, wandering is inevitable!

My intention, at the moment, is to look back at each of the Armitage characters and see how my impressions of them might have changed. that, along with Challenge questions from series that I haven’t finished yet, are the only things I’m planning outright. what I said in my very first post still applies

 

I never walk a straight path, you discover more when you wander!

 

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Novice No Longer

Blog Introspection Challenge

13.) What have you learned from blogging?

 

That’s a broad question! I could either go the technical route or the more emotional/mental route. seeing as how the latter is ever-changing and I keep relearning things I thought I already knew, I’m going to focus on the former; the more boring of the two but the easiest to tie down. 

*not* easy to tie down
easy, you say? 

One of the first things I learned from blogging is what bandwidth is and why hotlinking is not always polite. when I first started this blog I wasn’t uploading the images I use to the blog’s storage area but using the url‘s from a picture-sharing-site instead. I wasn’t sure how much storage space I had on this blog or how quickly it would fill up, so by linking to the photos instead of uploading, I didn’t need to concern myself with the storage space. I soon found that the free account I had on the picture-sharing-site gave me a monthly allotment of bandwidth though, and if I ever went over that amount then all my pics would not be viewable until the allotment reset itself for the next month. ohhh, now I understand why some people bitch about hotlinking.

fe-fi-fo-feef, I smell a bandwidth thief!
fe-fi-fo-feef, I smell a bandwidth thief!

some sites and blogs have unlimited bandwidth through their hosting company (as I do, now that I’ve switched most of my images back over here) , but others have a set amount that they can’t go over. so if I use the url from a pic on someone else’s site and post it on mine, then every time it gets viewed on my site I am eating up their bandwidth. not cool, if they have a limit or pay for their bandwidth.  it’s something that I didn’t really understand and took for granted before I started running my own blog. 

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Another thing that I learned through blogging is that it’s really annoying when someone (me) inserts actions into their sentences repeatedly, like *laughs* or *blushes*. it’s fine to do sometimes but not constantly like I used to do; that’s what smileys are for! but then again, one can go overboard on the use of smileys too. be a responsible smileys user.

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[“responsible” smiley doing laundry–what I should be doing right now…]

 

this reminds me of when I found a handy dandy list (oh shit, another Blues Clues reference!) of how to make the various smileys while browsing through the WordPress help section one day. I was so excited to finally know how others were accomplishing this! I may have made myself a little cheat sheet.

now I'm ready for any situation. bring it on!
now I’m ready for any situation. bring it on!

Recently I’ve even dabbled in HTML code to better format my posts (the Matrix is real! ) when making a post, we have the option to use the visual editor- which essentially looks the same as it will appear in the finished post, or we can use the text editor- which shows the HTML for the post. every color, image placement, font, text size, alignment, etc. is part of a command that tells the computer how to display it. I’m sure it comes as second nature once you learn the language but I only know bits and pieces, so it’s slow going. it seems to use the same part of my brain that handles math, if that tells you anything.

math= temper tantrum
Math= Temper Tantrum x Infinity

it’s all an ongoing process. there are things that I already knew before starting my own blog that I’ve learned how to do better, and there are things that I always wondered about but didn’t quite grasp. I’m constantly learning and improving what little skills I have in the techie department. it feels good to finally be able to follow computer conversations that my husband has with me, without catching flies in my mouth. and it feels great when I know something that he doesn’t!

*smug*
me, basking in knowledge

note to self: do not trust Urban Dictionary to give reliable definitions

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One Parent’s Point of View

I wasn’t going to write a post in reaction to Richard’s involvement with Cybersmile and the things that he’s said in the interview, blog post, and tweets relating to it. I understood what he was saying and can appreciate the points he was trying to make, so although some fans were upset by his words, I wasn’t one of them. now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been reading the opposing blog posts and comments in regards to this subject and I think they all have merit, the issues they are bringing forth are sound and worth discussing; I just don’t think Richard was necessarily talking to us. we’re not why he’s doing this.

I have a 10 year old daughter–she’ll turn 11 this summer (a Leo, like Richard), so she’s one of the youngest in her upcoming 6th grade class. I think she’s the target audience for these talks, preteens/teenagers/young adults. they’re the ones who have not known a world that didn’t include social media in some form. they don’t write letters, send them in the mail, and wait weeks or months until they get a reply. they don’t depend on a physical Library to get their information from, some of them don’t have the benefit of family members who give them their undivided attention. the majority of them have social media in their hands, literally, from the time they wake up in the morning until they go to sleep at night. they don’t have the life experience to understand that kind of power. every knee-jerk reaction comes pouring out of their fingertips, for better and for worse, and spread over vast virtual areas.

I mentioned my daughter specifically (I have a 15 year old son as well but he already thinks he knows everything) because these issues have become very relevant to her, as of late. she experiences first hand how her peers lash out in anger, jealousy, and fear on a regular basis through text messages, saying horribly nasty and taunting things. then deleting those conversations later, pretending they didn’t happen with excuses of lighten up, I was only kidding, don’t be a cry baby. all of this from friends, not bullies, friends. the way she gets push-and-pulled emotionally, back and forth, is disheartening. she’s not completely innocent herself, she joins in because she knows no other way, that’s how children her age communicate. she knows it’s wrong in her heart because it makes her feel bad, both when it’s directed at her and when she directs it at someone else, but what other way is there? I think this is what Richard was trying to get across– the flip side– how sometimes we’re the bullies without realizing it. don’t react in anger, stop and think why you might be having the particular reaction you are having to someone’s words/actions, use your real picture/name to begin with so that it will automatically cause you to think twice about saying things that you might not be too proud of later, etc. 

I try to get my daughter to vent to me first, to give her a chance to think through how she feels before she hits reply, and plead with her to stop engaging– walk away, say what you need to say and then stop because it will be never ending if you don’t.  meanwhile my tongue is bleeding from how forcefully I’m biting it, wanting to tell her exactly what I think of these “friends” and what nasty mean girls they are, resisting the urge to grab that handheld reality show and go all Mama Bear with text replies of my own…but I don’t, because I’m the adult and I know what will follow will not help anything. I know because I lived through those kinds of friendships myself in my youth. I’m an adult who has life experience. an adult that knows how to pick my battles, who knows that her circle of friends/school is not the whole world. I know that not “everyone” is against me, that not “everyone” will believe the petty lies that might get told about me in revenge, that not “everyone” is making fun of me or whispering about me behind my back. she’s not an adult, she’s 10 years old. 

but when her Mom tells her that “the guy who plays Thorin” is addressing these very issues, she stops to listen. we talk about all of the things we’ve talked about many times before but if “that guy whose picture is on Mom’s keychain” is saying the same things, maybe those things will work. if it’s important to someone like him, a movie star who wears suits to walk down colored carpets and takes selfies in mirrored sunglasses, then maybe it’s happening in other places, to other kids, in other countries. just thinking about that may take away some of the weight she’s been giving it. 

If Richard waited until he knew all the ins and outs of social media himself before he spoke out about these issues, waited until he had answers to all the opposition, it would never get done. and my daughter may not have had the courage to stop engaging in one of those detrimental text conversations yesterday. she may not have realized that she has a choice, that the power rests with her. she may have done those things next week or next month because I would have kept talking with her about these things (and I’ll still need to, because learned behaviors don’t change overnight) but she would not have told me just this morning how much lighter she feels. she would not have ignored that particular friend’s nonsense and thus be looking forward to a stress-free (her words) weekend. 

Richard gave my daughter that just by attaching his name to something like this, just by giving one small interview and taking the time to write a blog post. other children, teens, young adults can benefit from these things he’s said as well and I sincerely hope they do.

It was never about us. 

It’s about them.

 

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Real

Blog Introspection Challenge

12.) How- if at all -has blogging changed your life?

 

It’s given me confidence, helped bring my creative side back out again, and given me the freedom to express the funny side of my personality through the image choices and captions that I use in my posts. we tend to get stuck in the labels that were given us in our childhood, and I was never the funny one. I was the contemplative one, the mediator, the do-the-right-thing girl. my mother was the cynical one, my brother the witty one, those roles were already taken so I only showed those aspects of my personality to a select few. my style leaned more towards teasing sarcasm but all my pop culture references tended to get lost on those around me.

crash and burn!
crash & burn!

fast-forward to my early adult years when I was the first to have children in my circle of friends and extended family, which meant we generally did not share the same cultural references–like my crush on Steve from the children’s television program Blues Clues

I...don't know what to do with that information.
I…don’t know what to do with that information.

The people I came into contact with everyday were generally older than me and so I felt like I needed to work my way up, skipping the wandering post college years and heading straight into upright responsibility, since I was already married and having children. it wasn’t until I hit a low point in my life and found a refuge in the lighthearted atmosphere of the Twilight fandom that I started to let myself be me, instead of what I thought everyone expected me to be. it was an ongoing process but by the time I came over to this fandom, the metamorphosis had already begun. 

more butterfly than evil incarnate but both are pretty!
more butterfly than evil incarnate, but no less pretty!

It’s scary to put yourself out there in blog posts, especially in the beginning, and definitely when you’re still a newbie in the fandom. something unexpected happened when I did: suddenly my playful nature became an asset instead of something to explain away. I had readers who shared my sense of humor and got most of my references. this gave me a certain kind of validation in my off-line life as well, to just be who I am and to like what I like. 

Dorks 'R Us
Dorks ‘R Us

I brought the humor out into my everyday interactions more, instead of just saving it for home, and found that it builds bridges in ways I never imagined it could. You did that for me. every time you laughed along with me. every time you encouraged my uniqueness. every time you acknowledged that I had a voice. you made me real. and it has changed my life for the better.

once you are real you can’t become unreal again.

it lasts for always.

 

<3

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