Daily Archives: April 9, 2013

Meet the dwarves I know only too well . . . the Seven Dwarves of Fibro!


And they aren’t nearly as appealing as Thorin, Kili, Fili, Dwalin and the rest.  Here’s the seven dwarves of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS).


I am currently battling a full-blown grade-A Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) flare-up. There’s the searing pain that seems akin to a red-hot poker being pulled from a roaring fire and pressed firmly against the back of my neck, downward between my shoulder blades to my back and my hips. The throbbing in my jaw, teeth, temples, behind my eyes.



There’s the so-called “fibro fog“–that frustrating thick haze that sometimes envelopes my brain, impairs my concentration, attacks my memory, makes me feel stupid and useless.


And the weariness that seeps deep into my bones, sapping me of all energy, mental and physical.  My vision fluctuates; on bad days like today I have to wear reading glasses with my bifocals.


There are the tears that insist on coming and make me feel like such a bloody coward.


There’s that  knowledge I will never live another pain-free day in my life, that this invisible illness and I are bound together until the end of my days. Oh, it’s not fatal; I won’t die from it. But I will die with it.


I don’t want pity, I am not asking for a miracle cure. Honestly, I’d rather first see a cure for cancer.

I  do ask for compassion and understanding and a non-judgmental attitude towards anyone you know–a loved one, friend, neighbor, classmate, co-worker–who is living with an invisible illness and dealing with their own nuisance dwarves.

This isn’t like a cold or the flu you’ll get over. It’s not the normal aches and pains from working out or growing older. They aren’t being lazy or trying to shirk their duties. There’s no one medication or course of treatment that works for every FMS patient.

Some therapies are not covered  by insurance; for those of us without insurance it can be even trickier getting the medical attention we may need. And so we take it one day at a time and some days, we congratulate ourselves for even getting out of bed.

Your life is irrevocably changed by conditions like this one. You try to stay positive, to engage in activities and interests to keep your mind off the symptoms, but it is always there. It waxes and wanes; it never truly leaves you. Foggy, Sweaty, Hurty and the rest are always hiding around the corner, ready to make an attack.

You really will never know what it’s like until you’ve experienced it firsthand; but I wouldn’t wish that on you.  Do your best to educate yourself and be empathetic.  And never assume you know what sort of pain and frustration another human being is dealing with. If I’ve learned anything from my personal lessons in the poetry of pain, it’s to never judge.



Thanks for reading, and I promise to return to Richarding before too long.

To learn more about FMS, visit these sites:




Maybe you do need a break from ‘slightly dour’ my dearest RA.


I am sure you’ve probably all seen this by now, but here is another online interview promoting the Hobbit DVD release, this one courtesy of Christa Ktorides at DIY.

(What an apt place for our Thinking Woman’s Greek God-like DIY Geek to appear, don’t you think?)


Now, some have interpreted Richard’s comments about being the slightly dour one who doesn’t get a punch line to mean he doesn’t understand the punch line–as in Richard Armitage doesn’t get the joke. That he is being the typically diffident, self-effacing gent we all know and love, the one who “can’t do impressions” and is “not a bad singer.”  (To which I say, “Poppycock!”)

My interpretation is that RA doesn’t usually play characters who get to crack jokes. He’s often the brooding, angsty, conflicted hero or anti-hero types, and, let’s face it,  they typically don’t get a lot of funny lines. They aren’t the proverbial life of the party.




And yet there were moments of levity, times in Robin Hood, for example, when I thought he was absolutely hysterical in his own way. Look at some of his facial expressions and body language when reacting to the Treacherous Troll’s antics. RA’s no “slip on the banana peel” slapstick kind of actor. He’s not fated to do stand-up comedy, I am certain.  But he’s definitely got a sense of humor and of mischief. “Love in an Elevator” and “Master and Servant,” indeed!


One of my favorite RH S3 moments: Guy realizing Vasey is still alive–followed by a little “hi there!” wave and singularly insincere smile.

How about some of the moments he shared with Ewan Bremner in Strike Back? Definitely funny.


In VoD he’s more or less the charming, cheeky straight man to Dawn, but it’s certainly proof he can handle lighter stuff just fine, too.  He can *cough* charm the pants right off you.


We’ve got two more installments of TH trilogy, which promise to be much darker than the first film. More conflict, More angst and brooding. And you do it all so beautifully, so compellingly.

And yet–maybe, dear Richard, you do need a break of sorts.

Something, as you have mentioned,  without all the action and violence, with less of a dark edge (as good as you are at all the angst, brooding and “simmering dignity”).  Something well-written and witty–that goes without saying–that combines comedy and drama, and a talented co-star with whom you have great chemistry.  Just for a change of pace and a break from all the sturm und drang.  Surely that would be good for your own mental well-being, yes?

And it might help your fan base out, too. Our poor besotted hearts can only take so much . . . *sniff* Show of hands of those who want to re-write the ending of The Hobbit? I know, I know–but a girl can dream.

‘First Impressions’ of the Leader of the Company: More from ‘Chronicles II’


More fascinating tidbits from the latest Weta Workshop book, this time from Peter King, makeup and hair designer:

First impressions are often lasting . . . when you are designing a character for the screen it is vital you get their look absolutely right for the first shots in which they appear . . . so that we impart a message about the character we want them to understand instantly when he walks on screen. Consequently, we put a lot of thought into Thorin, and his arrival in the movie is built up by the other Dwarves as they await his arrival at Bag End.

thehobbit-p1_1274Thorin, as he appears at Bilbo’s door. Our first glimpse of the majestic dwarf in present day.

There is an awe and a reverence that surrounds him. He is very strong and slightly scary, but also hypnotic and charismatic. Thorin is the leader, a king among his people and the Dwarf upon whose shoulders the future and hopes of his people rests.


I have to say that I was “wowed” by the first impression of Thorin when Gandalf opened that door to him.  Charismatic? Absolutely. Hypnotic? Hmmmmm–was I saying . . . oh, yes. Definitely.

I was truly awed.  (Not that I expected anything less than awesome with Mr. A involved.)

King discusses how Thorin’s look evolved:

We went through a number of iterations before we settled upon his final makeup, which consisted of a thin forehead and nose, wig and ear. Thorin’s nose was Romanesque, which imparted a sense of nobility. His wig was also composed entirely of human hair, without any yak, which was used to add body to some of the other dwarves. That allowed it to flow and move more romantically.


*sigh* Works for me, Mr. King. Works for me.

As for Thorin’s beard, King has this to say:

For the same reason, Thorin’s beard ended up clipped quite close to preserve his more refined appearance and to not hide the actor under a full face of hair. It was important for people to understand and relate to Thorin so we didn’t want to build a wall of hair in front of him that would impede that in any way.

Very wise decision, sir. That face is much too expressive to hide it all under heavy prosthetics and excess facial hair.

And here are some thoughts from Mr. Armitage himself:

Early on in the shaping of Thorin’s look, we had some quite extreme prosthetics and elaborate beard designs. I was very pleased with the effort, which was such a transformation.  I looked like another being–older, and very much like a Dwarf.  As the design began to change, with resculpting, reshaping and stripping back, I realized that is was a process we were going through, to find a point at which Thorin and the actor inside him were both visible.  Of course, that feels like a great compliment, although Richard Taylor did tell me fairly near to the end of filming that they straightened my nose, which is apparently off-center . . . I didn’t know that!

Gosh, I thought his real nose was darned near perfect. Perfect in its imperfection. And truly noble.

And I do love that romantic hair . . .  I think it’s time for my “Thorin: King Under the Hair” fanvid!