DHR seeks BCHS’s assistance with elderly couple & their 25 cats: Can you help?

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fedoralady:

My heart goes out to people who have hearts for animals. Everyone who finds unconditional love and companionship with cats/dogs doesn’t have the financial means to do what needs to be done for them. So I not too proud to reach out to the fandom and seek help for those in need. <3

Originally posted on Butler County Humane Society:

There’s an elderly couple here in Butler County who loves their cats. They’ve taken strays into their modest rural home and into their hearts, taming and feeding them, caring for the formerly home felines to the best of their abilities and their income.

600px-woman-kissing-therapy-cat                         ( Image of elderly woman with therapy cat is courtesy of Bing. For  illustrative purposes only.)
But these pet lovers are now in need of a helping hand themselves.

The couple is trying to care for a dozen adult cats and another 13 kittens who are their offspring. It is simply too many pets for an older couple on a small fixed income to manage and that number will only grow without intervention.

Butler County DHR is trying to help this couple, providing several window A/C units to the currently A/C-free house to help them survive during the intense heat of a south Alabama summer.

In terms of the cat overpopulation issue, social services has turned to the BCHS for help.

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The Final Countdown…Bah-dah-dah-dah bah-dah-dah-dah-dah!

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fedoralady:

Want a chance to win a signed Crucible poster while sharing RAndom acts of Kindness? Read on!

Originally posted on SpReAd The Love:

Wow, my Twitter TL is saucy tonight…’cause there’s eating of people and stuff and you need sauce and I’m just going to shut up now. Anyway, it’s the final week till the first appearance of Francis Dolarhyde on Hannibal and Obscura and I have something really cool to celebrate. Last summer during the run of The Crucible a friend of ours went out of her way to get us a poster signed by The Dude and now it’s time to give it away.

This one, in fact. Forgive the glare but check how legible the sig is! This one, in fact. Forgive the glare but check how legible the sig is!

So, to win this fabulous, signed by The Dude poster you know what to do, right? Leave a comment with a kindness that you’ve done or that’s been done for you and we’ll draw one name from all commenters next Saturday around 9PMish ET. Cool? Cool. Okay, cue the hairband and happy commenting!

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It really *is* all in the perspective.

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Recently, this photo taken last year in London of RA with that bottle of champagne (one that was ultimately auctioned off for charity) popped up and pretty much everybody agreed it just looked–odd. Servetus blogged about it over at Me + Richard Armitage as commenters chimed on what made it such a funny-looking photo of Mr. A.

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Holding that oversized bottle (is it a magnum or a jeroboam?) in his hands makes our strapping six-foot two (or three) inch tall actor look positively diminutive, doesn’t it? The lighting doesn’t help, casting shadows that somehow make his slender yet solid neck look downright skinny.

We are accustomed to others looking petite in RA’s majestic presence. Below, a still of Dexter Fletcher as the German “boobie” on the set of Robin Hood with RA as Sir Guy. At 5’6″ Dexter is my height (and the same height as Lucy Griffiths, who played Marian), yet from this angle he appears even shorter, doesn’t he?

 

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Now, take a look at this photo of pro basketball player turned commercial pitchman and occasional actor, Shaquille O’Neal.  I should point out that is a normal 12 oz. soft drink can he is holding.  Shaq is 7’1″ with a weight of 325 lbs. and wears a size 23 shoe. I am guessing he has them custom-made . . . he can certainly afford it.

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It really IS all in the perspective, isn’t it? Next to Shaq, almost all of us are shrimps! ;)

 

 

I do wonder what Richard thinks about it all.

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A pensive Richard on board the TV Guide yacht at Comic Con in San Diego.

A penny for your thoughts, Richard. How do you really feel about events like Comic Con?

Is it sometimes silly yet satisfying fun as you promote your projects?

speaks onstage at the "Hannibal" Savor the Hunt panel during Comic-Con International 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in San Diego, California.

speaks onstage at the "Hannibal" Savor the Hunt panel during Comic-Con International 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in San Diego, California.

Or do you just feel like throwing things at people??

(Not that you actually would, of course.)

What set me to thinking about this was something I saw on the Bing homepage here on my laptop.

This is excerpted from an AP article by Linda S. Zhang who interviewed actor Jesse Eisenberg, one of many celebrities featured at SDCC last week.

 

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Jesse Eisenberg’s Comic-Con experience apparently wasn’t a joy.

Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in the upcoming “Batman v. Superman, ” was at the massive San Diego convention last week with co-stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. In an interview Monday, he was decidedly negative about the experience.

“It is like being screamed at by thousands of people. I don’t know what the experience is throughout history, probably some kind of genocide. I can’t think of anything that’s equivalent,” he said.

Here’s the link to the short interview with Eisenberg:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/actor-jesse-eisenberg-compares-comic-con-to-genocide/ar-AAcYpVR?ocid=ansentap11

He got himself into hot water for his comments, which led to Eisenberg trying to clarify today while speaking to Ms. Zhang what he’d said in that interview last week.

“I of course was using hyperbole to describe the sensory overload I experienced. I sometimes do employ that,” he said. “I’m a normal person who has normal sensory experiences, so Comic-Con was very overwhelming for me. That said, it was really an honor to be on that end of such jubilation.”

Eisenberg said it was “wonderful” to be involved in something that is so highly anticipated and loved.

“That people are excited about it in that way is unheard of and thrilling,” he said.

He added: “I’ve been on the receiving end of movies that no one loves and no one anticipates. That’s worse, even though it’s a much quieter press tour.”

It led me to wonder just how the typical celebrity really views an event like this, which is one of the largest of its kind on the entire planet, I suppose. I imagine it can be overwhelming (especially for a first-timer) and I am sure it is grueling.  Maybe it’s not the right fit for every actor or every fan.

I have a condition that makes being in large, noisy crowds sometimes difficult and I really have to force myself to stay calm and to concentrate. I can do it–I’ve survived everything so far, so my track record is good–but it does take its psychic toll on me. I must have some time to recharge.

I also know what it’s like to be part of the “pariahs” (as Eisenberg refers to the media)  just doing what the media is paid to do,  although I have never had to jockey for position with quite so many other photographers and journalists trying to get the best angle and/or that sound bite to make their editors/producers happy campers. Seeing how they lead the actors from one group after another to pose for pix, answer a few questions or move to a new spot for yet another group or individual interview, I know the celebs have to be running on empty by the time their day is done.

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Richard Armitage on his rounds at ComicCon, including the EW SoundCloud interview and wearing the teensy dragon and ever-present floral crown for the Pannibal. And giving a former co-star a tongue-in-cheek shout out.

However, I am sure the actors who participate in CC also feed off the fans’ enthusiasm and energy, their passionate devotion to their characters, the shows and the films. Some fans have come a long way to attend and all seem determined to make the most of their experience. They line up early and wait hours to get autographs and pix of their favorite celebs. It’s easy to see in the selfies posted by fans taken with these actors and other celebs, for them, those brief Comic-Con encounters are exhilarating, and not soon forgotten.

 

 

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As Eisenberg said in today’s comments, being on the receiving end of movies that are not loved or anticipated is a whole lot worse, even if it’s not so nerve-wracking at the time.  When nobody wants your autograph on their ankle or book or theatre program, or a photo with you, when they stop buying tickets to see you or tuning in to watch your show–then, just maybe, you’ve got a problem.

Richard has always shown a genuine appreciation for his fans, not to mention that fear of not getting more work (which I really don’t think need ever be the case anymore). I think he understands you have to deal with  craziness and hoopla along the way. It’s part of the business, part of the job. You have to promote yourself and your projects in order to keep practicing your art, your craft.

And hey, Richard, you really DO look good in floral crowns and loud jackets. Just sayin’ . . .  ;)

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Read this book. You won’t regret it. ‘Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness’

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Having learned of Richard Armitage’s latest film project, rather late last night I decided to purchase (via my Nook) Susannah Calahan’s harrowing account of her battle with a mysterious illness that threatened her sanity and her life. I fully intended to read a couple of chapters at most. So much for good intentions.

I stayed up until close to dawn with only 40 or so pages (including the afterword) left to go. I finished reading it this morning. CJw1a8IUYAEmFgr

Photo tweeted by Richard Armitage as he headed back to Canada for his latest film project, based on Susannah Calahan’s best seller. Looks as if he’s started his note taking on his character, Tom Calahan, Susannah’s father.

 

There are best sellers that I don’t think deserve to be best sellers. Thank heavens this non-fiction account is not in that category.   Susannah has to put all her well-honed journalistic skills to use to write this memoir. Her “month of madness” is all an incredibly muddled blur for the reporter, a painful period she seeks to reconstruct by interviewing medical personnel, co-workers, family members, her boyfriend and others. She reads their journal entries and watches the videotapes shot while she is in the hospital.

What she sees is this pasty-faced, underfed creature prone to seizures and hallucinations, riddled with paranoia, struggling at times to form her words. Someone who can be violent and combative, forced to wear restraints, or silent and rigidly staring into space.

That Susannah is barely recognizable as the bright, outgoing, ambitious and fiercely independent young New York Post reporter everybody knows.

The book recounts her struggle to discover what is causing her physical and mental decline as she tries to make her way back to some semblance of normality and sanity. Early on, one doctor tells her to quit drinking and going out and get more sleep and she will be just fine. Another puts her on antipsychotics for schizophrenia. Susannah is doggedly determined she is bi-polar. Physicians seemingly give up on her when a battery of medical tests and examinations keep ruling out various diseases and conditions.

However, her boyfriend Stephen and her family do not give up. The moral support they give her throughout her ordeal  is inspiring and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Richard will be playing the role of Tom Calahan, father of Susannah. Tom and Susannah’s mother are divorced. Both remarried, they make a point of avoiding one another whenever possible (it was clearly not an amicable split).  Yet when this crisis arises, they manage to put aside their mutual animosity to focus on their daughter and her needs. And she has never needed them more as her inflamed brain continues to attack her body.

An emotionally detached man whose relationship with his own father was strained, Tom and Susannah have never been particularly close. Behind that wall of reserve, however, beats a fiercely loyal, protective and caring heart. There is no doubt he loves his child. If he has to curse out a group of medical students so Susannah can get a little peace and quiet, then so be it. He gives her positive words to repeat like mantras. Sometimes, he cries.
I have absolutely no doubt Richard will bring all the shading, all the complexity to this role we could desire and more. He makes a great onscreen dad (think of Porter and Lexi in Strike Back, Peter Macduff in Shakespeare Retold or Gary in Into the Storm, not to mention Thorin serving as a father figure to his nephews in the TH trilogy).  Plenty of opportunity to share fatherly angst and protectiveness and love here.

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The fact that Susannah was able to write this book lets you know there is ultimately a happy ending for her.  By sharing her story of battling what turned out to be auto-immune encephalitis, first via an article for the Post and later in her book, she has helped others with the same condition ultimately get the right diagnosis and treatment. She has given people true hope, and that is always a good thing to give.

https://aealliance.org/

(Above is a link to learn more about the condition)

It took courage to write her story.  Courage to go back and retrace the steps of her “month of madness” and read those words, see those images, to hear how much she had frightened and dismayed those who loved her, to discover just how sick she truly was.

 

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Calahan speaking to an audience at Yale about the early signs something was amiss. On the screen to her left are images of her in her hospital bed.

It will be a challenging role for any actress. At only 18, Chloe Grace Moretz is actually several years younger than Calahan was when she fell ill (24), yet she has a certain maturity for her age that will bode well for her portrayal.  I’ve read interviews with her and was impressed with her maturity and level-headedness.

I first saw Chloe in “Let Me In,” the English language version of the Swedish horror thriller “Let the Right Ones In” and she made a strong impression on me. She was also delightful, alternating between tough crime fighter and vulnerable kid in the irreverent “Kick-Ass” and has appeared in a diverse collection of films, from the remake of “Carrie” to YA favorite “If I Stay.”  It doesn’t hurt that she also bears a good resemblance to the author. Photos of both Calahan and Moretz.

Susannah Cahalan recently returned to her beat at the New York Post after recovering from autoimmune encephahalitis.  Photo by Zandy Mangold

Susannah Cahalan recently returned to her beat at the New York Post after recovering from autoimmune encephahalitis. Photo by Zandy Mangold

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The fact that the gifted actress Charlize Theron is a producer for the film is another plus for me.

I will be eager to learn more about the upcoming film, and eager to hear your own thoughts as you read Calahan’s memoir. A highly recommended read, and not just for Richard Armitage fans.  The book is available for Nook and Kindle and there is an audio edition from Audible.com as well as in traditional book form.

Here’s a link to the author’s official website

http://www.susannahcahalan.com/

Looks Like Speculation About “Brain On Fire” Was Real….

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fedoralady:

So it looks like our Richard will be working on this project with Charlize Theron as producer—busy man!

Originally posted on preoccupiedwitharmitage:

CJw1a8IUYAEmFgrSo often, speculation is just that… speculation. RA had followed Charlize Theron and a couple others involved in the project a few days ago on Twitter. Then this tweet. Looks like he’s already making his notes!

Description from book excerpt:
‘One day, I woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to my bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. My medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which I have no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier I had been a healthy twenty-four year old, six months into my first serious relationship and beginning a career as a cub reporter at the New York Post.

My memoir Brain on Fire chronicles the swift path of my illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving my life. As weeks ticked by and I moved inexplicably from…

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So, do you practice safe selfies, Rich? And other stuff on my mind this week.

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In case you missed it, Russia’s Interior Ministry has put together a leaflet aimed at reducing the number of injuries and fatalities occurring when Russian citizens take selfies. According to the Ministry, there have been more than 100 injuries, some quite serious, and at least 10 fatalities since the beginning of the year due to people attempting what I dub “Danger Selfies.”

 

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A worker taking a selfie before detaching a Ukrainian flag placed atop a skyscraper by protesters in Moscow, August 20, 2014. PHOTO: Ilya Arlamov, AP.

How exactly do you kill yourself with a cameraphone? Well, try striking a cool pose with a “non-lethal” pistol while taking a selfie. That’s what one 21-year-old Muscovite did. Bad idea.

A teenager tried to photograph herself standing on railroad tracks and died. Guessing she didn’t stop, look and listen.

Young people, who cannot imagine a world without constant self-documentation, it seems, want to post selfies with wild animals, on tops of high buildings and in other spots and situations that aren’t particularly safe.  We call these “Hey, y’all, look at this!” moments in my neck of the woods, and almost invariably, those moments do not end well for the person calling attention to themselves.  Body parts often get blown off/burned off/gnawed off or broken into a million bits.

There have been electrocutions, falls and yes, even deadly grenade explosions whilst young Russians attempted to capture their Kodak moment, hoping, I suppose, to one-up all their friends on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.

Now, I am certain that Mr. Armitage, in spite of his professed love for “danger sports” and a certain fondness for selfies since joining Twitter, would never be as stupid as some of these folks have been.  When you are young, you think you’re ten feet tall, bullet-proof and quite possibly immortal.

When you’re 40-plus, hopefully, you know better.

So Mr. A, have fun slapping meat on your face, looking ridiculously attractive, boyishly sweet, posing in sports jerseys and the like. Just don’t do any of it perched precariously astride a tiger on top of a skyscraper with a live grenade in your hand, OK? Practice safe selfies. ALWAYS.

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At least you and PJ didn’t decide to take your selfie stick and hop up on those dodgy bricks in China . . . *shudder”

 

Richard will be part of the Hannibal panel at Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend, so I am sure he will have the chance to take lots more selfies if he so chooses. ;)

Speaking of Comic-Con . . . some cute artwork by Dorkly Comics, found on Pinterest

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*POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR HANNIBAL IF YOU ARE WATCHING BUT NOT CAUGHT UP*

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Hannibal . . . I felt as if I had shot myself up with whatever Gillian Anderson’s character was tripping on tonight. There was the use (or near-use) of a variety of instruments of torture and death (guns, knifes and power tools among them, close-ups of droplets of blood, lovingly photographed). The series is certainly not lacking in high production values.

This ep also had a lesbian love scene with a kaleidoscope visual effect that was pretty but left me asking, “what’s the point unless it’s just to make it all the more aesthetically appealing? Is it to contrast with the blood and pain to come?” The episode ended with Hannibal and that poor old glutton for punishment, Will Graham, in yet another fine mess.  One episode to go before Richard arrives on the scene . . .

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Here are links to some articles giving details of “death by selfie” problem in Russia:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/07/07/globalpost-russia-selfies-safety-accidents/29825231/http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/08/asia/russia-selfie-death-brochure/index.html
http://rbth.com/society/2015/07/08/the_dangers_of_narcissism_leaflet_tells_russians_how_to_take_safe_sel_47561.html

OK. I am feeling kinda sorry for E.L. right now. However . . .

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EL James recently held one of those Twitter Q&As. Not sure she will do another one anytime soon, as the “50 Shades” author apparently got raked over the coals. (See the link below for an MSN story about the debacle)

http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/books/‘fifty-shades’-writer-el-james-whipped-mercilessly-during-twitter-qanda/

Now, our own Wydville happens to be acquainted with Ms. James in real life and can attest she is a funny, bubbly sort of individual who is probably well aware she is not the second coming of Shakespeare. And I can’t help feeling twinges of sympathy for anyone undergoing trial by Twitter. I have sort of been there myself and it ain’t pretty. I hope Mr. A never has such an unpleasant experience via social media.

Then again–I have to give James’ detractors credit for getting in some good zingers.

“What do you dislike more, Independent strong woman or the English language?” (tweeted by “90210” actor Trevor Donovan)

After the success of ‘Grey,’ have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write.”

But there were serious tweets along with the snarky ones, such as this one:

“how do you feel knowing that you have essentially invalidated the experiences of many abuse survivors around the world?” 

Having read not only comments on the post I wrote about “50 Shades” from individuals who had experienced abuse but the emails they also sent me privately, I know how hurt and disappointed many felt by this fractured fairytale. As if they’d been assaulted all over again. And I confess that is what I have such a hard time getting past in terms of her wildly successful trilogy.  That, and that far better writers are out there struggling to get their stuff read. Well, whoever said life was fair?

As for my trepidations about her new novel “Grey” (after reading those random cringe-worthy lines US posted)–seems my fears were justified. Entertainment Weekly’s  Jessica Goodman had a review of the book in last week’s issue. It got a D+. It seems the story when told by Mr. Grey does make you wonder what in the world poor sheltered Ana ever saw in the creepy stalker guy in the first place, helicopter or no helicopter. I quote, “Swapping out Ana’s ‘inner goddess’ for Christian’s freakish musings leaves you with a guy who pretty much fits the definition of sociopath.”

No arguments from me.

Things I have learned lately. Some of which include Richard Armitage.

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Bras are inherently humorous.

Along with the lack thereof.  Also, that bras have their very own personalities . . . I always suspected this, but now there’s PROOF.

 

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Richard Armitage looks cute in a flower crown.

And I was really chuffed he finally won an award for Thorin. So very much deserved. <3

 

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Even hard-core Hannibal fans seem to find the current season less than spectacular. Good to know it is not just me, a newbie to the show: this general sense that watching paint dry–or golf–would be about as compelling. I suspect that if the first few episodes of the production’s first season had been like what I’ve seen thus far, there never would have been a second.  Not entirely surprised the ratings continue to drop. I just hope someone sticks around to watch RA–because I know in my heart that he will give an amazing, nuanced performance, even if it breaks said poor old heart to watch it.  Sometimes I think I may be a glutton for punishment.  Shades of watching the calculated dismantling of Lucas North episode by episode. At least I know this time around what to expect . . .

Let’s see, three more episodes before Francis Dolarhyde makes his appearance. I feel oddly like a kid anticipating Christmas.  Christmas as interpreted by David Lynch, perhaps (hey, I loved “Twin Peaks” before it got just a little too weird). Nothing like looking forward to a serial killer who slaughters entire families and likes sinking his teeth into some of his victims, is there? Oh, Richard Armitage, the things I put myself through in order to appreciate your artistry (currently re-reading “Red Dragon”). Will I be drawn to making fanvids or fanart from this character? I have to say the jury is still out on that. So far, I haven’t felt that tug . . . I tend to be drawn towards the humorous, irreverent and “sexy with a wink “approach (as most of you who are familiar with my vids know).

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Stay away from your FB feed on certain days. Just because.

When people start getting on their hobby horses about Confederate flags being removed, gay people getting married, and the latest in a long line of presidential candidates announcing they are running, it is better for my blood pressure and general stress levels to back away. For the record, this born-and-bred Alabama girl supports the first two and has no idea who she will vote for in the next election. It may be a case of choosing the lesser of the evils.

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I think I’d rather vote for this cat than I would “The Donald.” But that’s just me . . .

 

I still love to write.

And I am reasonably good at it.

I love making videos.

I do it for pay now as part of our video production company’s DVD packages, and it still gives me a great deal of pleasure.  And photography and photo editing continues to be a wonderful creative (and cathartic) outlet that also allows me to earn a little extra money. As a friend and neighbor who has also been a client commented, “It’s so good you can do something you really love like that.”

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I am also capturing the young people of our community as they grow and change from year to year, watching them gain in knowledge, skill, confidence. Watching them blossom. That, I think, is a good thing.

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And now I’ve got a castle I need to draw . . . it’s good to flex our creative muscles, yes?

Congrats, Mr A. Looks like you had a fun night. And richly deserved.

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I hope your Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Fantasy film–your truly epic performance as Thorin in The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies –is just the first in many more accolades won for your acting prowess. You looked as if you were having a good time hanging out with the Hannibal peeps. And that cool trophy echoes the selfie you recently posted. A premonition of things to come? ;)11061955_809071129210855_8692823586910927282_nAnd what do you know? The flower crown teased on Twitter appeared on that handsome head after your win. CIZ5iNiUwAAgR2Q

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And somehow it all made me think of an image like this (with apologies to Caravaggio):

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I hope you enjoyed good drink, good food and good friends on your big night. You deserve it.

P.S. Loving the slightly longer hair (any way I could talk you into growing out those nape curls? Pretty please?) and that neatly trimmed beard. And those faithful old boots.  ;) Those boots make certain fans VERY happy.

OT: Each life can make a difference, for better, for worse. An acquaintance who lost a friend.

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I hope this link will work for you. My friend Dr. Jean Thompson, a retired English professor at our local community college, shared this with me on Facebook today. It is Dr. David Saliba, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Greenville, my hometown, sharing his personal experience as a classmate and friend to Clementa Pickney, the slain pastor of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. It made me cry but it also gave me hope.

David spoke at the baccalaureate service we videotaped for FDA as part of their senior package. A warm, personal address with a pinch of humor–he did it sans his loafers, in very colorful socks, as requested by one of the graduates. Love a preacher with a sense of humor.

Peace, y’all.

http://fumcgreenville.sermon.net/main/main/20424778#.VYnLOPi3hv0.facebook

OT: Ala. Governor Removes Confederate Flag from State Capitol

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This was just posted online by The Huffington Post. Thank you, Governor Bentley. It needed to happen.

WASHINGTON — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol Wednesday morning, saying it was simply “the right thing to do.”

The flag is part of a confederate memorial at the Capitol in Montgomery. Two state workers came out Wednesday morning and “with no fanfare quickly and quietly took the flag down,” according to AL.com.

Bentley said his decision to remove the flag was, in part, a response to last week’s massacre of nine African-Americans in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann Storm Roof, the accused shooter, was a racist who proudly displayed the Confederate flag. The incident has sparked renewed criticism of Confederate tributes across the South.

“Yes, partially this is about that,” said Bentley. “This is the right thing to do. We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”

A spokeswoman for the governor told The Huffington Post she was looking into whether the removal of the flag was permanent.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has called on her state’s legislature to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds. The move would require a two-thirds vote of approval from both chambers.

Will the real Richard Armitage please stand up? Or–maybe not.

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“Who’s Richie A, Who’s the real guy, will the real Richie A please stand up, please stand up”

(with apologies to Eminem aka Slim Shady, who is, in fact, actually a guy named Marshall Mathers)

Fedoralady plays the devil’s advocate a bit here . . .  tossing out some food for thought.  Glean from it what you will.

 

Who exactly is Richard Armitage? That seems to be a question a fair amount of fans are asking these days.

What concerning RA can we agree upon?

I think we can all agree he’s enormously talented. Charismatic. A hard-working professional (maybe even a workaholic). He shows an appreciation for his fans and has a generous heart, supports worthwhile charities and encourages others to do the same. He is not at all hard on the eyes. In fact, he seems to get more attractive with each passing year. There is a lot to like and appreciate here.

The RA that most who have been fans for a longer period have come to expect is this thoughtful, diffident, humble, bookish, boyish, good-humored and gentle sort of gentleman—a kind of Harry Kennedy come to life in some respects. Richard himself once said HK was the character he had played who was most like him in real life, which led to quite a few “squees” in the fandom.

 

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We saw glimpses of this “Admirable RA” in television and radio interviews to promote his shows and films, in the behind-the-scenes features for DVDs and in some print interviews. There was never a great deal offered up about his private life, even when interviewers tried to pry or provoke it out of him. He preferred to focus on his work, a subject about which he was clearly passionate.

Some fans who first discovered him as Thornton in “North and South” found Richard Armitage the perfect romantic hero and longed to see him in more high-quality period drama. Those who adored him as Harry Kennedy pined to see him perform in a wittily scripted rom-com. Others found “Action Hero with a Heart” Armitage and “Beautiful Baddie (Who Really Isn’t)” irresistible.

 

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For certain fans, RA pretty much ascended onto a pedestal. If he wasn’t a saint, surely he was an angel, almost too good to be true.
After all, look at all his virtuous qualities . . . he was different from all that riff-raff out there in celebrity land, and we could pat ourselves on the back and smugly smile and say, “We fangurl only the best and the most pure of heart.”

 

And other fans said (in private, if not on forums), “Virtuous qualities, shmirtuous qualities. He can effin’ read the phone book for all I care (preferably in really tight jeans and a shirt with a few buttons undone) as long as I can hear that smooth chocolate baritone and gaze into those hellagood azure eyes and imagine all the bad, bad things I could do to him!” (I should point out these feelings can be found in fans who really, really admire his personality and acting talent, too.)

 

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As for Richard, he has always tended to dismiss talk about his sexual allure, expressing disbelief that he could ever be considered a hottie, proclaiming he’s always found himself a bit odd-looking.

RA has seemed like the perfect celebrity crush for the discerning fan girl: bright and gifted, yet humble and modest. Beautiful and sexy, yet seemingly unaware of his physical charms (although quite a few of us found that hard to swallow). Here was an intensely private man who clearly intended to remain so, one who wanted the focus to be on his body of work as a serious actor–and not his body, as it were.

And then he joined Twitter. Dived in headfirst, one might say.
And we started getting selfies. Lots of selfies. Some were quite funny and cute and a little weird, but in a good sort of way. And one or two were— “Huh? Zat you, Richard?”
They seemed to be of a handsome young man but they didn’t exactly look like Richard Armitage—maybe a younger look-alike relative?

Clearly, our Richie was doctoring his images. Hey, no big deal, right? Don’t all celebrities (and quite of few of us nobodies) use filters and other touch-up tools on our photos before we post them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like? And he’s working at lot in Hollywood now, where youth is the religion; he’s almost 44 and there are always younger actors up for the same roles.

 

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B4cEX4uCIAE03cWAnd maybe, just maybe, Mr. A is a bit more vain and conscious of his good looks than we were led to think.

Then there’s this whole thing of tweeting—and deleting. And tweeting and deleting some more. “Make up your mind, Mr. Armitage, a legion of fans is apparently hanging on your every word and trying to dissect what went wrong that caused you to need to remove a particular image/words!” Fans cry out.

So, tell me, Richard,  are you just teasing us, or are you in fact still a bit inept when it comes to this whole social media morass? Inquiring minds want to know. Some fans are getting downright frustrated!

And there are some of the roles Richard is choosing—very action-oriented, one even described as “hyper-violent” and of course, that blood-soaked turn as a serial killer later this season on “Hannibal.”
Didn’t he once state horror was a genre he didn’t think was a good fit for him?

“What caused you to change your mind?” ask some fans, disappointed over your decision.

“Aren’t people allowed to change their minds?” Other fans respond. “This isn’t your run-of-the-mill splatter fest, anyway. There’s great scripting and character development. The critics love it!”

There’s a lot of disquiet and a certain degree of disappointment expressed in the fandom of late and it has led me to query: While we’ve never been completely harmonious, were fans in general happier when RA was actually less accessible?
Was ignorance bliss for some of us when that alluring veil of mystery still swirled around him? Is a portion of it still there or has social media permanently dispelled it?

 

8992342a74186be2f224f6dbd9d00254I wonder, would it be more acceptable for some fans if he were like a movie star in the old studio system, in which the Powers That Be carefully groomed and molded their stars’ images . . . and kept anything negative out of the press.

Has Richard Armitage as an individual actually changed in any fundamental way, or are we simply seeing him break out of his shyness and shake off some of that British reserve,with the self-professed late bloomer now “busting out all over” with a nearly nude photo posted on Twitter? (Of course, it’s not like he hasn’t gotten naked before for the camera . . . on several occasions, in fact. “Between the Sheets,” “Spooks” and “Strike Back.”)

Do we know/see a little too much now, and are some of us afraid of what we might discover next about “our Richard” that could potentially shatter our illusions about him?

And do we as individual fans and as a collective truly want the real Richard Armitage—whomever and whatever he might prove to be—to stand up? Or can we ever really “know” a man who is such an expert at immersing himself into his characters?  Actors–well, they ACT.

Would we prefer to only fangurl a Richard made to our personal specifications . . . and is there any harm if we do?  Should we hold tight to our fantasies even if reality turns out to bite?

I wonder.

*NSFW* Still giggling. Had to share.

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I needed a really good laugh of the Beavis and Butthead variety, I guess. I don’t even know if these auto-correct fail text messages are legit, but they almost had me ROTFL.  There are some profanities and obscenities, so don’t read if your sensibilities are feeling particularly delicate. My husband, on the other hand, loved them. ;) And there’s no blood or gore! :D If you dare, scroll down and have fun . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take heart, Fannibals. Axed NBC shows can have long lives . . . a case in point.

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thRFX1OAB8I know a lot of “Hannibal” fans are pretty unhappy right now since the news broke that this cult-favorite show has been officially axed by NBC at the end of its current, and third, season.

I can’t consider myself one of those Fannibals–I am watching the current season simply as preparation to see one of my all-time favorite actors perform for the first time on American TV screens (discounting a very brief appearance on the Cinemax version of “Strike Back”), the very same Richard Armitage for whom this blog is named. Starting with episode 8, RA will be playing the serial killer Francis Dolarhyde, aka “Tooth Fairy,” previously portrayed on screen by Ralph Fiennes (“Red Dragon”) and Tom Noonan (“Manhunter”).

Mr. A was only lined up to be in those final six eps, so none of his fans were anticipating seeing him in any future seasons of the show.  Some RA fans haven’t and won’t be watching because of the blood and gore attached to this production. Just not their cup of tea (and I am not too sure it is mine, either).

However, I know there are Armitage fans who are also Hannibal fans, who watched before and would have watched after Richard Armitage had come and gone.

For all of you Fannibals out there–take heart. Cult favs can and do have second lives, particularly when you consider all the television channels now existing, not to mention streaming services.

Many of you are probably too young to remember seeing a certain NBC production from the mid-1960s. It was different from pretty much anything else on television at the time–science fiction when westerns and crime dramas were staple fare. I wasn’t even six years old yet when it first aired, but I was captivated, as was my 12-year-old sister. We watched faithfully every week as this ground-breaking series took us “where no man has gone before.”  What it lacked in sleek and pricey production values, it made up for in a set of unforgettable characters and riveting storylines.

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(courtesy of Bing images)

Who knew when “Star Trek” was cancelled by NBC after three seasons that this cult favorite would go on to spawn an animated series, books, several successful TV spin-offs, films and more?  Now, realistically I don’t anticipate Hannibal dolls, cartoons or a slew of TV spin-offs–I would say it’s even more of a niche show tailored to specific tastes (no pun intended) than “Star Trek: The Original Series” ever was.

Still, I say there is very likely life after cancellation for “Hannibal.” Show creator Bryan Fuller seems stoked on taking his show to a new home and there are a number of possibilities out there. Fans are rallying to the cause (see link below).

https://www.change.org/p/nbc-netflix-what-are-you-thinking-renew-hannibal-nbc

And Fuller tweeting photos like this probably can’t hurt his cause. ;)

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Richard Armitage getting his Red Dragon tats painted on for his Dolarhyde role. What that man won’t go through for his art.