Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sir Guy is gonna melt ole Leon–’cause he’s HAWT. (NEW edits! old vids!)


Well, it’s been quite a week in Lower Alabama. A cold, icy, snowy, slick, downright dangerous week. Yes, much of our state was more or less shut down by Winter Storm Leon, and no, it’s not because we are a bunch of pantywaists who don’t know how to handle a couple of inches of snow.  It’s the ice, ice, baby, underneath that snow.

Try navigating around in sub-zero temps on hilly terrain coated with a solid inch or more of the frozen stuff, with few resources and limited manpower in place to remove said ice, and see how you like it.  Thank goodness it’s continuing to warm up and most of what’s still out there should be gone later today. We have temps of near 70 degrees forecast for the weekend. Yes, in Alabama you CAN wear snow boots and flip-flops in the same week. ‘Cause that’s how we roll . . .

So here comes the magnificent Hot Velvet Henchman, the Sultan of Snake-Hipped Swagger, the Leather-Clad Man with the World’s Sexiest Smoulder, to really get that warm-up underway.   ‘Cause he’s hawt like a sauna!!







The RAworld Secret Valentine Is Coming


Share the love . . . a chance for commentators to get in on this, too. ❤

Guylty Pleasure

Be still my beating heart… Valentine’s Day is coming. And the blog world wants to share the love. At least that is the result of my little poll. We had 15 votes, and a clear winner. The Secret Valentine it is!!!

Valentine poll


To reiterate – this is the plan:

The idea behind the Secret Valentine is to create a little occasion for the community to hone in on itself and spread the blog love by focussing on individual bloggers. To that end interested participants send in their name to me, and I will assign a secret Valentine to them, using the ever-reliable principle of coincidence. There is no buying or crafting presents, no postage or calculating of despatch times, no costs attached – not counting the time you may have to spend engaging (secretly) with an as yet unfamiliar community member and conjuring up your contribution. All you need to do…

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Richard’s ChaRActers to the Rescue! Warm us up way down south . . .


A swath of the southern U.S. from Houston, Texas across the Gulf Coast right up the Atlantic Coast is expecting to experience sleet, freezing rain, snow and ice over the next couple of days. And that is big news, folks. We aren’t used to it and we aren’t equipped for it (goodness knows, local citizens who’ve never lived in other parts of the country as we have don’t know how to drive in it). And if we lose power in an ice storm, it’s gonna be kind of miserable around here for at least a little while.

See the Pepto-Bismol pink county with “Greenville” on the map below? Well, we live on the eastern edge of it. As one of my FB friends who posted this said, “Not a forecast you expect to see down at the beach.”


Now, having fallen and banged myself up in the shower earlier, I am in a lot of physical distress that even a large spoonful of Nutella and a muscle relaxer haven’t been able to calm down.  Nasty weather is on the way and I’m in pain and I need heeeeeeellllllppppppp.

Hmmmm . . . this might help. Think warm thoughts. An inviting dip into the pool on a summer’s day . . .



Feeling better already!!

Now things are really getting hot . . .




In fact, they are sizzlin’!! Too hot to resist . . .


*sigh* Yes, yes I do . . .
Mr. A and a jar of Nutella. Now THAT’s a thought.  *drool*

Now if you aren’t thawed out enough yet, dance along to the grooves of LMFAO ’cause those ChaRActers are sexy and they know it (and so do WE)!

Heart full of love (and fridge full of soup!): SpReAd the Love Weekly Update


Latest update on SpReAd the Love! ❤

Ancient Armitage

I think that the world is a experiencing a bit more kindness these days…the STL kindness reports keep growing from week to week.  Remember, any gesture of kindness, no matter how small, is worthy.   Even though it might seem small to you, it probably has a much larger effect on the receiver.  Personally, it’s been a big week as I wrap up the annual soup sale, that I coordinate as a fundraiser for the Kindergarten-6th Grade Youth Group at my church, by delivering some frozen leftovers to the homeless shelter.

This year we had 85 donated quarts of soup to sell to our congregation (in our “house” if you sell food, they will buy it!) for $5 each to support youth group activities.  Part of the funds raised go to offset cost on recreational activities that keep our kids off the mean streets of NE Wisconsin….Yeah, just a tad…

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I’d like to give the world a hug . . . but the ChaRActers will do it instead.


I look around me right now and I see a lot of people hurting. Some are my fellow bloggers and RA fans; others are friends and acquaintances from my own community.  Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s emotional, spiritual, mental or some combination thereof. Whatever the case may be, the pain is genuine. I am thinking of you all early this Monday morning.


My husband is battling a bad cold; he hardly rests well when he isn’t ill, but it’s even worse now when he needs a good night’s sleep the most. Knowing he has to drag himself into work and to a job he pretty much hates anyway doesn’t help. I want to take the cold away (without catching it), but all I can really do is try to do what I can to make him feel better without fussing too much. The man has a real stoic streak.

My younger friend, who was actually a student of mine before she transferred to another school, is battling major anxieties. She’s had quite a struggle in recent years, losing both her parents, then having her brother wrestle away the family business and proceed to run it into the ground before walking away. Now it’s shuttered and she is left to try to pick up the pieces.

Friend was so hungry one day she was rummaging through restaurant garbage cans to find something to eat. It took every dollar I had at the time to buy us a meal out together at a local bakery/deli, but it was worth it because (A) I knew she had a good hot meal and (B) she knew I really did care and she had someone to talk to who’d really listen, even if I certainly didn’t have all the answers.

Sometimes I feel wretchedly inadequate in helping my community. I was all too painfully aware of it over the holidays, that season of giving. I don’t have much money to spare to donate to worthy causes; I am not able-bodied enough to invest much sweat equity in projects. But I can listen. And isn’t that what people quite often want, someone who will simply be there for them?


Friend finally got a job after a lot of fruitless searching, but she was put on third shift and the idea of running a gas station alone in the dark of night this week terrifies her. She suffers from periodic panic attacks and can’t take her prescribed drugs and work without fear of drowsiness.

So we talked again tonight via FB private message. I still haven’t solved all her problems, but she thanked me for listening. I also promised to pray for her and try to check in on her at work if I was awake myself.

I don’t attend church regularly anymore, but I do still pray for the needs of others and for guidance for myself. I do believe it helps. I have felt people praying for me in recent weeks and it has benefited me.

Some of the gray weight of depression has shifted, with light beginning to shine through the cracks.  That is a true blessing.

I was asked to write a new column for the paper this week. A sliver of light. Several friends from miles away reached out to help me in a tangible way last week, and the light certainly grew brighter. Thank you all so very, very much.


I am looking into some online opportunities to write for pay. A little brighter still. I am about to undertake a self-paced photography course which should benefit me personally as well as professionally. The desire to write is again stirring within me. I want to be creative.  want to explore. I want to give back.


I have ordered a copy of my favorite children’s book to donate to my alma mater’s school library as part of the SpReAd the Love February Challenge (more on that later). I’ve encouraged all my book-loving friends on Facebook to do the same.  I encourage you to consider doing it, too!  We all know books are the gift that keeps on giving.

In my own small, flawed and very human way, I truly do want to make the world a better place. I wish I could give all of you a great big hug right now. I can’t, but I can share some images of Mr. A’s chaRActers doing just that. Be well, and for those of you facing more nasty winter weather as we are, stay warm and safe.






SpReAd the Love : First Challenge


More about SpReAd the Love! It’s the first challenge and I really love it. 😀

Ancient Armitage

Following is a repost from FunkyBlueDandelion:

Thank you all for embracing SpReAd The Love. Obscura should have an update this afternoon of where we stand in regard to the number of kindnesses we’ve logged so far  but before we do that we wanted to let you in on our first blogger challenge. We’ll be issuing these periodically throughout the year and the first one is a really fun one.

Dr. Seuss’s birthday falls on March 2 and in the US it kicks off Read Across America in elementary schools and libraries. The challenge from us is to choose a book that meant the world to you as a child (or a children’s book you’ve read and loved as an adult), blog about it and then donate a copy of it to a school, library or literacy program, or give it as a gift to a young family member or friend…

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Memorable Adventure (Finale) …


Here’s the much-anticipated finale to Zan’s amazing Big Apple adventure with RICHARD!!

Well, There You Go ...

(Need the link to Part 1?  Here ya go  … )  (Need the link to Part 2?  Here ya go  … )

Did you ever step into a room and feel like time stops.  The moment freezes.  Your brain has a huge “What the front door am I doing here?” moment.  And then, as if someone flips a switch, everything moves at normal speed around you again.

That was the feeling that washed over me when we stepped over the threshold of the Gallery.  In front of us were the cast from the play, mingling, talking, laughing.  The air was positively electric with happiness, and perhaps a bit of relief that they had pulled the night off so well. The smiles on the faces that greeted us were genuine, reflected in their eyes as well as their demeanor.

And enter Zan, who everyone thinks is an extrovert but…

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To the people who devoted their lives to struggling for the civil rights of all Americans


In honor of Martin Luther King Day in the US, and the continued effort to establish racial equality and harmony. Don’t let the dream die.

Me + Richard Armitage

I offer my modest and presumptuous thanks. Thanks to the people who inspired each other and us with their vision, to the great speakers and organizers, to every person who supported their efforts with their prayers, to the janitors and cleaning women without number, thanks to everyone who scraped coins together for a child to go to school, for everyone who studied hard to change the world, everyone who walked into an unfriendly educational institution, for everyone who stood and stands in the way of the daily violence we call racism, for everyone who repented of violence or discrimination and tried and tries to the see the world in a new way, for everyone who tries harder.

We’ve got a long way to go, still, and I see how long that distance is every day on my campus and in the street, but I still fervently hope and believe the…

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Memorable Adventure (part 2) …


And here’s the next part (but not the last!) of Zan’s Grand Adventures in the Big Apple 😉

Well, There You Go ...

(Need the link to Part 1?  Here ya go  … )

Cue surreal atmosphere … and Action!

I heard my name being whisper-shouted from the aisle.  I looked up and there’s Perry trying to get my attention. She motions to meet her out in the hall, so I climb over the other folks in the row (suggesting to them not to sit back down too quickly as I’ll be right back 😉 ).

Perry met me in the hall, excitedly explaining that the two seats next to her (in ROW TWO) had been empty all night.  She told me to grab Judi and come on down.  I did not need a second invitation.  Back to my seat I flew, apologizing to the couple I had just climbed over (and this time insisting that they just hold on a sec, I was leaving), telling Judi to grab her stuff, and…

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Memorable Adventure (part 1) …


Here’s Zan’s reflections on the pre-show talk and the reading . . . it’s a good read. 😀

Well, There You Go ...

Just a beginning note: Sorry this took so long to post.  I really needed to process this entire adventure (and yes, it was indeed an adventure), let it settle and give  the veil of seeing through excitement’s eyes a chance to part just a bit to reveal the real.

How coincidental — or appropriate — or self-indulgent? — is it that this post is all about my memories of attending a reading of a play in which the central theme is about memories?  I am believing more and more often that everything and everyone is connected.  Somehow.

The chance to see Richard Armitage on-stage.  Not just as a guest on a morning show. (Although, that was an adventure I wouldn’t have missed either.)  This was an opportunity to see him show his acting chops in a live setting. And it was one that I just didn’t want to miss.  One…

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Killing me softly. Some things are unbearable.


Dear Richard,


I can’t watch anymore right now, Mr. Armitage. As beautiful and fine and graceful and wonderful as you are, I just–can’t. Call it jealousy, because there is certainly an element of that, jealousy and longing and a certain amount of anguish.

Everyone says you were amazing in performance, and gracious and sweet and even more handsome in person, none of which I find surprising. I have long believed in your talent and in your character (not to mention your masculine beauty) and nothing has shaken that for me. I don’t think anything ever will.

What I am having difficulty dealing with is how miserable I continue to feel during this long, miserable winter, how even this latest performance of yours could not lift me from this awful funk. I’ve tried, I really have.

But I am weary of the false smiles I plaster on and trying to spread a degree of cheer and positivity I don’t really feel. I am tired of pretending I’m OK when it’s becoming more and more clear to me that something is broken or damaged inside.

This is the third night in a row I’ve burst into tears for no apparent reason. They started flowing earlier much tonight, before I attempted to go to bed (note I say “attempted,” because the cold has been making me hurt so much I couldn’t rest, and Benny’s snores were either louder than usual, or my nerves were more raw than usual).

“Why didn’t you just go to the other bedroom?” I am sure some might wonder. Because it has been cold and we have no central heat and it’s warmer with two people in a bed, that’s why. Tonight we finally gave up, both being exhausted, and I am here with a space heater and a mound of covers over me, wishing I had those damned fingerless gloves . . . I’d type a little faster to warm them up, only the stupid computer can’t keep up the pace.

I want to improve myself, to take some art classes and brush up on my skills, some beginner yoga classes to help this aggravating body, but the truth is, I just can’t afford to do any of it, Rich.

Benny would also like to eat something besides peanut butter and bologna sandwiches everyday for lunch, but that’s not happening, either. He hates his job, I know he does, but with nothing, absolutely nothing on the books for the video production company, we can’t afford for him to quit.

We are behind in almost all our bills. I do a lot of robbing of Peter to pay Paul. “What can we do without the least?”

I wish I could bring in more income. I’ve sold as many of my baubles as I could online; mounting a yard sale is a lot of work but at least it would rid me of some of this stuff which only burdens me all the more. The house is now way too much for me to handle. I hang on to things I shouldn’t. I don’t know why.

I want to write fiction, but I can’t seem to get my thoughts collected well enough to do it. Do I have adult-onset ADD? Not that there’s any guarantee I’d make a dime from it, anyway. And that’s what I need–cold, hard CASH.

I also need to be creative, but I keep running into brick walls. I desperately need to go away somewhere, anywhere–but damn it, my car is too old and run down and I can’t afford the gas. I keep dreaming of journeys, to where I don’t know, traveling by foot and car, by train, plane . . . but I never seem to arrive.

People grouse, but truthfully, they should never take a job or a regular salary for granted. I can understand why you’ve had that fear about being out of work, Richard. Two-plus years of it is beginning to get to me. I feel–useless, worthless. And sometimes hungry. That romantic idea of the artist in the garret is just a lot of balderdash, isn’t it? The reality is quite another thing.

I’m starting to dread going on FB. I am so weary of hearing about other people’s vacations, their nights dining out, their new acquisitions–actually, the latter doesn’t bother me so much. Stuff is just–stuff.  I have already established I have too much of it.

But getting to go new places and see new things with my husband, that is what I miss. I look at my future and it looks so bleak to me right now–financial woes, worsening health.  Maybe I will get disability, something to keep me afloat. How long will it take, though? Could be years. Another battle to fight, and I am getting so tired.

Nothing to really look forward to. I can’t help the people and institutions I want to help, including the charities you support, Mr. A,  because of finances and logistics. Useless. I feel useless.

And I have so little self-confidence left, not that I was ever brimming over with it, mind you.  I haven’t even been asked to write another column or article for the local paper. They can’t spare that measly $10 for me? I am not even worth that? Oh, man, the humiliation I feel . . .

You did look wonderful on stage, Richard, and I really wish I could have been there to take it all in. I wish you could be here now and tell me not to give up, maybe give me a reassuring hug.  Tell me that no matter how I feel right now, Benny and my family would actually be worse off without me.

Right now, I just don’t think so.

And so I cry. At that, it seems, I am really good.

I stumbled over Richard Armitage at 92Y [guest post]


A wonderful guest post by the fan who accidentally ended up sitting by Richard at the theater . . . well worth reading!!

Me + Richard Armitage

Remember the fan who accidentally stumbled over Richard Armitage on the aisle at the 92nd St Y? Here are her further reflections on the evening!

[ETA: You can tweet the author of this post here.]


1522075_10151783889157217_338555985_nI am always running late. Always, and always for different, valid reasons. I had planned to go see the Di Trevis talk before the Pinter/Proust staged reading at 92Y. I know it takes an hour door-to-door from my home in Brooklyn. I should have left enough time. But as is always the case, something came up to make me late. In this case, it was a pretty amazing something.

I started and run an all-volunteer, non-profit dog rescue called Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue. I have always named the dogs I rescue after celebrities, writers, artists, historical figures. My own dog is named after Existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. I…

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The Hot Velvet Henchman & his CReAtor: always ‘amazing!’


“Hmmm, seems Thorin 6277 on tumblr says Richard is ‘amazing’ in the Pinter/Proust reading tonight . . .”

Ladywriter murmured aloud as she browsed through the latest email alerts from RA blogs to which she subscribed. She gave an inner sigh, feeling more than a little wistful, imagining herself sitting in the audience of the NYC theater . . . seeing RA, reportedly all in black, clean-shaven and still longer-haired.  Yummy. And wearing an eye patch at one point.  Sounds positively rakish . . .

A loud sniff broke her little reverie. “Of course, many have said the same thing about me.”

LW looked up into the well-stubbled visage of her favorite So Not Dead Dark Knight, his noble brow slightly furrowed.


“Yes, Sir Guy, and so you are. Amazing. And still my favorite ChaRActer . . .” She smiled and held out her hand. “And while the dear CReAtor is far away in the Big Apple, you, my Hot Velvet Henchman, are right here.”

He smiled that dark angel’s smile and LW felt her toes curling with pleasure.

“And I shall always be here with you, my lady,” Sir Guy rumbled in his deep, delectable baritone, before taking Ladywriter’s hand in his own and kissing it.


Richard Armitage and his awesome array of ChaRActers: always AMAZING. And just maybe, one day, LW will get to know what it’s like to be in the presence of the CReAtor himself.  Until then, she can dream. And hang with the handsome hottie from Nottie. 😉  RA, as always, so proud of you! 😀