April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month “OT: Alternate meanings for the word NO”

My university opened its annual “What were you wearing?” exhibit yesterday in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  This year, I contributed my story (excerpted from the longer version below).  I left the event somewhat disheartened that so little has changed over time, but also hopeful that such events will continue to raise awareness that the survivors of sexual assault are never to blame…that is 100% on the perpetrators!

Originally posted July 2014:

I love the infinite potential for variety in language…I saw a post somewhere this week that went something like “Tear and tier are pronounced the same but tear and tear are different…arghhhh!”   Some words have a varied array of meanings depending on the context.  Others are more simple.  Take the word NO for example.  NO just means “NO”.  It doesn’t mean “convince me, seduce me, coerce me, force me,” or more recently, as in a horrible news story I read this week, “drug me so I don’t have the ability to object.  NO just means NO –


“a negative used to express dissent, denial, or refusal, as in response 

to a question or request”

Reading the news story, I was reminded of the story of a young woman I knew in college.  One summer night when she was 21, she went out on the town with her girlfriends.  They had dinner and went to some clubs.  There was plenty of music and plenty of alcohol.  She was having a great time laughing and dancing.  They ran into a group of young men…friends of one of her friends.  She began talking to one of the young men.  He was tall and good-looking…recently discharged from the military he said as he rubbed his hand rather sheepishly across his very unfashionable crew cut.  She didn’t mind – she liked him, he made her laugh.  As it drew near closing time, and people began to couple off, the young man asked her if she’d like to come back to his place for a while.  She wasn’t a fool, she knew the language and she was attracted to him, but she was confident that things would go no further than she was willing to go.  She didn’t really even know how far she was willing to go at that moment.  When they arrived at his apartment, one he shared with two other young men, they listened to music in the common room for a while.  When his roommates came home she followed him to his room for more privacy.  Kissing led to petting, petting led where petting leads, and not much later, she was past the point she was willing to go.  She said wait…she said stop…she said no, but he wasn’t listening and he was much larger and much stronger than her.  Before she knew it, it was over.

She rolled to her side.  As she lay there wondering if that had really just happened, he pulled her close, kissing her shoulder and whispering in her ear that she was welcome to stay the night, or he could drive her home.  She murmured something about walking home and quickly dressed.  He insisted he’d drive her…it wasn’t safe for her to walk alone he said.  She couldn’t understand why her safety would be a concern – he had just raped her…or had he?  Rapists were violent strangers with knives who assaulted women in dark alleys, not good-looking, charming friends of friends.  He wasn’t violent, he didn’t have a weapon.  He hadn’t really even hurt her physically.

She thought about all of it as he drove her home.  When she went inside, she didn’t stand under a hot shower and scrub her skin raw or curl into a ball and weep uncontrollably as is often the depiction of victims in film.   Oddly, she didn’t even feel particularly violated.  Mostly she felt stupid.  SHE had gone out that night.  SHE had been drinking.  SHE had worn a miniskirt and sheer summer top. SHE had gone back to his apartment.  She wondered if SHE wasn’t as responsible as he was.

She never reported the incident.  She wasn’t sure there was anything to report.  She told her friends what had happened and he became X-the Rapist to all of them.  When she ran into him in the same club sometime later she was shocked when he tried to renew their “acquaintance.”   Obviously, his version of what had happened between them was completely different than hers…he was clueless to the fact that he had used his superior size and strength to force sex after she had repeatedly said NO.  She stared at him for a long moment and then turned and left the club.  She never saw him again.

If it seems like I know an awful lot about what this girl was thinking, it is because SHE is ME.  I don’t write this now to gain condolence or comfort.  I made my peace with it a long time ago.  It is one of the events in my past that have shaped me into the woman I am today.  I tell the story because of the shock and dismay I feel when I see stories like Jada’s (linked above) and realize how little things have changed.

Sexual assault is defined as any non-consensual sexual act which is forced by one or more persons on another. Forms of sexual assault can include rape, sexual harassment, or any other form of unwanted sexual contact. In the US rape is, in many places, further divided into Date Rape, Acquaintance Rape, Drug Facilitated Rape and Statutory Rape.   RAINN cites that 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.  Clearly, the message is not getting through.

When this happened to me in 1990,  victim shield laws were fairly new and such things as date or acquaintance assaults were just beginning to be taken as seriously as violent, forcible rape.  The cultural context that made my assailant think his actions were fine and me think they were my fault has changed, but obviously, it hasn’t changed enough.  We all need to educate our children, regardless of gender, that NO very simply means NO.  It doesn’t matter how someone was dressed, it doesn’t matter how far things progressed to that point, it doesn’t matter if the partner is male or female.  NO means NO period.  Full stop.

I honestly don’t know how to address the type of individual who thinks it acceptable to steal consent completely by drugging a victim…or the depravity of people who queue up to watch it happen in person and on YouTube.


It’s a serious subject for a Sunday, so I thank you for allowing me to speak my piece.


It’s a beautiful day in the neighborh…well, it’s Friday anyway!

Won’t you be?

As I was doing my morning scroll on The book of Face, ^^ popped up on my feed. As luck would have it, I am indeed wearing a cardigan today (truthfully, I’m a big fan of dressing in layers, so there are strategically hung cardigans all over my space) !

The other thing that immediately popped into my mind when reading this was one of my all time favorite shots of Richard Armitage a la Mr. Rogers:

TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 03: Richard Armitage Of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Photo Session at the Roots Flagship store on December 3, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

Seems like a good day to wrap ourselves up in a cardigan and share a kindness or two. Have a kind and cardigany day!!

Worlds Collide…again! #RABlogReunion


Well, well, well, it seems everything around here is still in working order after nearly TWO YEARS!!  How can that even be?!  I didn’t have any kind of major mood shift that made me step back from the fandom – more like just a series of life altering events that diverted my attention to different things in the short term and ultimately changed the make up of my days so that blogging became something I could no longer accomplish during my normal “computer time,” and my normal “computer time” became so encompassing that logging onto a computer outside of that time became less than appealing.

If I’m truthful, I’ll also cop to the fact that the major Armitage project at the time, Berlin Station, left me pretty cold about half way through the first season.  I like a good convoluted spy thriller as much as the next fangirl, especially if there’s a regular chance of OOA sightings, but Berlin Station just did not do it for me.  Right around the same time, my kids and I moved out of our house for a few months as my marriage hit it’s terminal stage.

Now happily divorced for just over a year and back in my castle, professional life on relatively established path, I’ve noticed that I’ve been veering back to the Armitage oeuvre more and more.  First, I really, really enjoy the animated romp that is Castlelvania – the third season of Trevor Belmont and crew was particularly fantastic!  I have become pretty reliant on what I can easily access from one of my streaming platforms (or even add to my Amazon prime channels with one click) so I was delighted to find (thanks for the tip Servetus!) The Stranger on Netflix.

I settled down on a Saturday afternoon where by some strange planetary alignment, nobody but a particularly insistent lapsitting cat interrupted me as I binge watched the first half of the series.  I do like a complicated mystery, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of this Harlan Coben story.  I guess that I must have mentioned having watched a new RA work to my oldest child (formerly Showbiz Kid who I shall now refer to as Drop Dead Diva), because a few weeks later, my world’s collided again like they had something like 8 years ago!

A little bit of context:  My Drop Dead Diva began transitioning to her true female self right around the time that my ex and I separated (in retrospect, surely NOT a coincidence), and one of the things that she had always been interested in and is now far more open about sharing is the world of drag performers. (there are a lot more layers to this world than I ever knew) I’ve never not been aware of drag – after all, it is a huge element of classical drama, but until recently, I wasn’t really aware of the wide ranging appeal of contemporary drag performers, especially in the wake of the popularity of the RuPaul’s Drag Race series.

This would be the obvious place to wonder how these dots connect…

While it is probably quite likely that Richard Armitage has worked in some form of drag in some theatrical production at some point in his career (I could probably look this up, but, LAZY.), it’s certainly not the first association that comes to mind.  However, one of the things DDD has introduced to our YouTube watching is a little Netflix sponsored YouTube series called, I Like to Watch,”   featuring American drag superstars Trixie Mattel and Katya.  Hilarious.  Definitely moments that are NSFW, but nevertheless, Hilarious.

Here’s where my day to day world and the RA world collide – it turns out that there is also a UK version of I Like to Watch featuring British drag queens The Vivienne and Baga Chipz, and guess what they like to watch?!?

You got it – The Stranger!  The video above is FULL of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched The Stranger, consider yourself warned.  As I laughed out loud all the way through this video, I realized that there do seem to be persistent hints that my worlds are indeed still connected.  Things may evolve into something that looks a little bit different around here, but I think (I know that I’ve said this before but…) I think that I may still have some things to say from time to time since it still seems that, “I Like to Watch,” too Richard Armitage!


Happy Birthday from the Classical tRAdition Richard Armitage

I thought I’d recycle one from the vault to celebrate the special day…

Ancient Armitage

Felicem natalem diem tibi exopto,

Felicem natalem diem tibi exopto,

Felicem natalem diem tibi exopto Richardi Armitagi cari,

Felicem natalem diem tibi exopto!

It doesn’t have quite the same flow, but the sentiment is sincere :). Let’s try it in Greek!

καλὰ γενέθλια σόι…

Or something like that.  It seems the ancients didn’t place the same emphasis on birthdays that we do today, so there really are no standard phrases.

Pig Latin though, is very clear :  Appyhay Irthdaybay Richard Armitage!!

View original post

I thought I’d missed it Richard Armitage!

Missed my FIVE year blogiversary that is.  For some reason, I thought the day was March 23squeeing ad…until I got an email from Tumblr


Which thoroughly confused me until I remembered that I had actually started a Tumblr account first before I realized that I was FAR too wordy for that format  🙂

So here I am, 5 years from my original blog post on March 28, 2013.  Five years…there’s a lot of water that goes under the bridge in five years isn’t there?  I’ve spent more than a few keystrokes in the past five years just plain “squeeing” over a shared OOA, but I’ve also spent a good bit of time finding ripples of that OOA in the art and literature of the classical tradition.

Despite the fact that I’ve been teaching at the college level in my field for nearly 20 years, some part of me had begun to believe that I’d lost my scholarly edge.  These forays delving into classical art history and literary works reminded me that no matter that I’ve never sought or held a tenured position (the holy grail to many in my field), I am indeed an academic, and I could get back in the thick of the research game if I chose to.

Another huge confidence boost that came to me by an extension of the Armitage universe and this blog, was the inspiration to write fan fiction.  Long time readers might remember a regular blog series, “So you want to write RAcy fanfiction…”  in which I talked about some of the challenges and successes of my writing process. Most of these posts were inspired by my Strikeback fan fic titled Recovery, but that isn’t the only Armitage related story I’ve written.


This is one of my favorites…

Five years in I think it’s time to divulge my little secret…I’m not even sure how much of a secret it is anymore, but in addition to Recovery,  I’ve also written a series of RAcy stories under the pen name of RAllatrix…RAcy RPF stories (If you’re interested, you can find them at Archive of Our Own by searching for RAllatrix).

You see, once upon a time, RPF was pretty controversial in the fandom and while the stories just would not stay inside my head, as a neophyte blogger, I couldn’t summon up the energy to argue with all comers about the right or wrong of writing RPF here, so RAllatrix was born.  Truthfully, I still have no interest in this kind of argument – about RPF or any of the sundry “morality” topics that come and go in the fandom.   I’ve stated many times, in many places that my personal opinion is that this is a wide, wide fandom with many, many points of view – none more important or more valid than another.  Over the years, I have encountered a fair bit of stuff that I just don’t like or agree with for one reason or another, so I mostly just give it a wide berth – basically, “Don’t like?  Then don’t read.”

While this has been my main approach, I have to admit, as long as I’m in “true confession” mode, that once in a while, my snarky side gets the better of me…and seeking an outlet, the RAsnarktastic Tumblr emerged…a place to post some tongue in cheek snippets reflecting what was going on in the fandom at points in time.   All in good fun I hope.

Looking back at my “body of work,” it occurs to me that I’ve really been slacking lately, so I shall endeavor to add to my various oeuvre in my 5th year!

As ever, thanks for hanging around to read!







Verbum Latinum Hodie: argumentum

Here I am…and you thought I wouldn’t make it!!

Today’s Latin word of the day – argumentum, and perhaps especially the “use it in a sentence” example given, ilia argumenta visa sunt certa…strike a chord with me today.

On day two of coughing induced laryngitis,

A big bowl of pho does a body good – ilia argumenta visa sunt certa

The past few days I’ve been working remotely from one of our satellite campuses babysitting the HR team of a retail giant as they rent a block of our online student abandoned classrooms for a hiring event.  After a nearly idyllic week of gently imposed solitude interrupted by kind offers of “help yourself to a bagel” or “come join us for lunch” from my renters, today, my voicelessness made me feel completed isolated as I tried in vain to communicate with distant coworkers about things that I couldn’t seem to articulate in an email and they couldn’t hear me speak through the phone.  

Although I’ve always savored solitude, being trapped in it can lead one in all manner of odd directions…

ilia argumenta visa sunt certa

And last but not least, coming across it as I looked for something else, I still adore this portrait –

ilia argumenta visa sunt certa!

What goes around comes around…

January 31st – just squeaking in under the wire to write the blog post that I challenged myself to do once each month for the first quarter of the year.  I was thinking of writing something else entirely when an Armitageworld friend brought this to my attention:

If I had to paint a picture of my reaction to the publication of this book…a sequel 20 years in the asking…it would be something like this:

Once upon a time, almost four years ago, Jazzbaby and I found out that we both had really enjoyed Anne Rice’s The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned.  Rice is perhaps best known for her vampire novels and I’ve read and enjoyed a number of the adventures of Rice’s generations of vamps, but I really, really loved The Mummy, so it was fun to talk about the book with someone who also shared another interest with me.  *cough*  This other shared interest led us to a common Armitageworld occupation – dReAmcasting.

Jazz and I worked our way through the main characters in The Mummy and by the end came to the conclusion that Richard Armitage would be a great choice to play an ancient king turned immortal wanderer who still suffered acutely from all too mortal emotions and decisions.

Looking back, I stand behind all of our dReAmcasting choices, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the new book so I can read it with Richard Armitage in mind as Ramses the Damned. Move over Matthew Clairmont (as it happens, apparently that role has been taken anyway) there’s a new supernatural being in town!!

Well hello there 2018!

I read a thing on Facebook recently (which naturally, I cannot find again) that said something along the lines that 2017 was a year full of problems of all sorts, and dealing with them stifled the creativity of many people.  It went on to offer a wish of renewed creativity to all in 2018.  I really couldn’t agree more!  You may or may not know that in addition to following the career of Richard Armitage, I am also a long time fan of SpongeBob Squarepants – in fact, I find that there are few occasions in life that can’t be connected to a SpongeBob episode.

Case in point:  Looking for the 2018 return to creativity this morning, I ran into the little image above…fellow SpongeBob fans will know that the the rainbow over his head appears when SpongeBob arcs his hands and says,


Works for me.  I don’t usually set minimums for myself, because I find that they are far too easily broken as goals, but in terms of blogging, I think I’ll look at it as a challenge to ease myself back into regular posting.  So here’s my thought:  in the first quarter of 2018, I’ll post at least once per month.  In the second, at least twice, and so on.  I think setting some reasonable goals for myself might be just the ticket to unlocking my creativity vault..

In other news, the upper midwest has been a deep freeze over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday – can you say, “Cabin Fever?!”  Since we’ve been cooped up, we’ve been experimenting with our new favorite kitchen gadget, the SodaStream Fizzi that I got as a gift from my parents.  I’m hopeful that the omnipresence of fizzy water will help me break my soda swilling ways in 2018!  I’ve also been assembling ingredients to try out several TASTY recipes that I’ve been binge watching lately (I’ve also made a pledge to myself to stop eating so much junk in favor of cooking and carrying.)

Last but not least (I rushed Super Glam Daughter to get ready to leave, so I dare not dally…) is a very exciting announcement of travel in 2018.

As with the 2016 trip, if anyone in Armitageworld is interested in joining the group, you are most welcome.  (If you are from outside of the US and interested in joining the tour, email me and I’ll send you the price for Greece only.)  

Here’s to 2018 – a year of renewed creativity and expression!

Happy New Year Armitageworld!!

So yeah…

Once upon a time, there was an active blog in this site.  Sometimes irreverent, sometimes slightly naughty, sometimes intellectual, sometimes goofy, sometimes all of the above.  Lately there’s been a whole lot of:

My prolonged absence has very little to do with anything Richard Armitage has or has not done…I recently watch Pilgrimage (meh) and LOVED Armitage’s voicing of Trevor Belmont in Castlevania.   No, my absence has definitely been all about me.  This space has been really important to me, and it continues to be, so I want to find a way to be present in it again – in whatever form it evolves into.   In the spirit of disclosure I thought I might give you all the highlights reel of what’s been going on that’s been keeping me away.

Back tracking about a year….this time last year, I was having a blast in Greece with Guylty, jholland, Kathy, Claudia and Wydville…a Hellenic girls week.  When I came home, I fell back into my regular routine both at work and at home, but changes were on the horizon.  My Dean’s campaign to find me a full time, full benefit position at the university where I’d been an adjunct instructor for so long was about to bear fruit.  In 2016 we hired a new President and about six months later, a new provost – and we were in for a bit of a ride.  Our new administration has pursued an aggressive program of change in the past year – some of it better received than others, but so it goes with change.  There were hints at a change in my position at the university in November of 2016, but the real kicker was an icy day in January when, due to a knee injury incurred just after Christmas, my meeting with the Provost became a phone meeting.

That phone call initiated a big change in my career path which ultimately resulted in my being offered and accepting a position as an Assistant Dean this past summer.  The past six months has been a crazy journey.  I really like my job, but most days I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into in terms of my insane workload.  So, reason #1 that the blog has been rather quiet, my job has changed to the extent that my down time when not encroached on by home is pretty limited these days.

Never one to limit my challenges, in early March about a month or so after assuming my first job title change, I finally made the decision that my marriage was really over and relocated to my sister’s with my kids while we sorted out the details.   My husband (we are not yet divorced) and I had been unhappy for a long time, and when we finally talked a couple weeks later, we agreed that to preserve some degree of affection for one another and for the sake of our younger child, we should acknowledge that our lives had gone in different directions and that we were no longer a couple and had not been for some time.  Thus far, things have been relatively amicable.   And so, Reason #2  – major life event.

Now, reason #3 is not really about me, but about my oldest child – you know, Showbiz Son.  Well, it turns out that ShowBiz son is actually SuperGlam Daughter.  She had come out to me as transgender about 18 months before, but my split from her father and our subsequent (albeit temporary) move from our family residence was the catalyst that allowed her to begin her outward transition.  She is still a complicated soul, and transitioning is full of all sorts of unseen challenges for us all, but she seems ever so much happier in her own skin these days!

 When I put it all down in writing, it seems pretty crazy.  Yeah, it IS pretty crazy, but we’re all muddling through.  The kids and I are back at home and their dad has his own place not far away.  We’re on the way to establishing our “new normal” I think.   Things have perhaps begun to settle into place a little bit in the new job and even if it is crazy, I’m determined that I really need to carve out a space in my day for blogging.  I’m not entirely sure where I’ll go at the moment, but I hope you’ll decide to come along.