Daily Archives: February 17, 2012


NY Ink tattoo artist/model Megan Massacre at work.

Lucas's many tattoos told the story of his time in a Russian prison and his own personal inspirations.

(Lucas North screencap–RANet; all others courtesy of TLC)

One thing I have never had any desire to do is get inked (as in tattooed). And yet I find myself fascinated with one of several reality shows which focus on tattoo artists and their clients. NY Ink is a spinoff of Miami Ink and focuses on the Wooster Street Social Club, a tattoo business in the Big Apple.

It’s not the lives and loves and families of the artists that intrigue me, although some of the personal stuff is interesting enough; it’s the work they produce. I admire and respect skilled artisans, craftsmen and artists working in their chosen field and I have to say, these guys (and girl) can create some pretty impressive works of art.

As Ami James, the owner of the business and an experienced tattoo artist, tells his friend and apprentice Billy, it takes lots of time and practice and paying of your dues to become top-notch in the profession. In other words, you’ve got to draw lots and lots of roses (the most popular image chosen for a tattoo, it seems) before you can tackle the intricate and more interesting portrait or script quote or some other subject.

Along with the artistry brought to the table by those who ink others for a living, it’s the client’s reasons for getting the tattoos that capture my interest. It may be to immortalize a lost friend or family member or beloved pet; an opportunity to mark a new chapter in their lives, or a way to promote their band, business or other enterprise as a sort of walking billboard. Some of the stories are quite touching; others funny or just plain odd.

What does all this have to do with RA? The character of Lucas North, of course, and his fascinating assortment of Russian prison tats, which led me to first do tattoo research. But it’s also about acknowledging talented people investing the time and effort and dedication to pursue their dreams and perfect their craft. People who care about and take pride in “getting the details right”.

Remind you of anyone you know?

Tattoo You: Richard Armitage and artists in ink


The dwarf of my dreams.

(images from RANet)

Dear Thorin,

I must tell you that I can hardly wait until you hit the big screen in December. The tantalizing peeks that we have received through the video logs and trailer and photos so far leave me yearning for more. Sir Peter is one very canny guy. He certainly knows how to dangle the carrot, doesn’t he?

I was already quite entranced with the look of you and what does Sir Peter and company do? Put together a trailer which introduces you to the audience, this handsome, proud figure sitting so regally on that saddle. And then we heard you sing and speak in that deep, honeyed baritone. What a commanding and charismatic screen presence you are!

I have to tell you I normally go for–somewhat taller males. With less hair. Who are of same species.

But for you, O King Under the Mountain, I shall happily make an exception. Suddenly a four foot hirsute dwarf is the guy of my dreams. I imagine combing that mane of hair, plaiting your braids, trimming your beard for you. Keeping Orcrist polished.
I am at an age when I really shouldn’t want to rush things along, and yet–I really, really can’t wait for you to arrive in theaters and win the hearts of many, many audience members.

You already have mine.

Your ardent admirer,


A fan letter to Thorin


Miss Lee in a hat. I dig it.

She gave us fever.

A few months ago, I decided to make a Guy video using Peggy Lee’s version of Fever. In the midst of working on it, I discovered, or re-discovered in some cases, several of Miss Lee’s wonderful performances. For a North Dakota girl of Scandinavian descent, the lady could certainly sing the blues–and the jazz. She also was fond of hats, it seems.

I ended up going on to use several more of her songs for RA-related vids. I fear I make Carla cry with some of my selections, but this one set to Fever surely makes her smile. 😀 And thank you, Miss Lee, for making such terrific music. You were a class act, just like a certain TDHBEW.

(photos Getty images)

Sir Guy & Miss Lee: They Give Me Fever

Why ‘fedoralady’ loves her chapeaux –and Mr. A in his hats


Richard spotted in his charming cloth cap outside BBC Radio 1 studios.

Meryl Streep and Robert Redford sporting period chapeaux in "Out of Africa."

Mr. Thornton about to remove his tophat as any respectable gentleman would. Gentleman remove their headgear inside; luckily, we ladies aren't required to do so.

One pic. Two great hats. Bogey and Bergman in Casablanca.

I love hats. I have scads of them, although there’s a handful I wear the most. I have been collecting them for more than a decade now. I started wearing hats on a regular basis after I became a newspaper reporter. I have a black fedora my husband gave me for Christmas one year–after all, every reporter worth his or her salt needs a good fedora, right?

I have black, torquoise, tan, brown, coral, red, navy, white, multi-colored hats in straw, paper, felt, velvet and fabric, dressy hats, casual hats (more of the latter than the former)
They are great for bad hair days; on sunny days they help protect me from the UV rays and on rainy days, they help keep me dry. I love a good hat. They can be both stylish and functional, fun and practical.

And I love movies and TV series with good hats, which generally means period dramas these days. There’s just something about a hat . . . and I like the looks of Mr. Armitage in a hat/cap/scarf, too.
Some words of wisdom I was once given by the owner of the last millinery shop in Birmingham. “You can wear a hairstyle and you can wear a hat, but you cannot necessarily do them both at the same time” and “You must wear the hat, you cannot let the hat wear you.”

(photos courtesy of Google images/RANet)


Angsty Guy, you made me want to do bad things to you--and give you a nice shampoo and scrub.

Ah, those fetching curls at the nape . . . so touchable.

Floppy raven locks paired with a sexy smirk and those eyes. Irresistible.

Guy, sporting his longish tresses and those hot sideburns . . .

Glamour Guy--fresh from PJ's Red Door Salon and Spa. A stunner!

(screencaps courtesy of RANet)

Sir Guy: The Rightful Hair

A lighthearted little homage to Sir Guy’s tresses . . .

Sir Guy, dear Guy, I love your hair;
Sometimes it seems to be unfair
For the villain of the piece to be so blessed
While the hero is rather—scantily–tressed.

Oh, some may jest at your mullet medieval
with its cluster of lush raven curls;
Or at your floppy Guy locks
their derisive, dismissive howls, hurl . . .

But surely none can deny the power of the Angsty Guy Mane
Those long, unkempt jetty locks, so wild and untamed,
Never have lank and greasy been quite so—fetching,
And the glory of Glamour Guy—aah, makes our hearts sing!

Oh, yes, you work it, that amazing mane,
First as a curtain to hide your deep shame,
Then as an arrogant, proud dark stallion stamping its feet;
Is it any wonder watching you, I always feel such—heat?

And meanwhile, your nemesis, what of he?
His receding hairline, we now clearly see.
Sweaty combat reveals his balding pate,
Makes us understand why you he hates.

For you have the hair, the teeth, the physique;
“But I am the HERO!” he cries in a fit of pique–
And clutched his locks in full-blown despair,
Oops—watch out! More comb-over needed there.

Guyday Friday: It’s All About the Hair