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!


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!!

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.


It’s that time again *insert fanfare*

Or not.  It’s the 4th Blogiversary of Ancient Armitage – I’m almost chagrined to say it out loud, because new visitors might wonder if there is any blogger on the premises lately.  Some days I wonder myself.  Recent events point to a day in the not too distant future where I may again have time, headspace and inspiration all at once, but until then, I thought I might share a highlight reel of the past four years.

  1.  Post of recent interest…no small wonder given the recent classically inspired tweet
  2. The most visited post of the past year where I spoke my mind about speaking my mind.
  3. The All-Time most popular post …art history teacher of the world, I AM SO SORRY!
  4. Favorite post title yet:

5. Favorite Holiday post 2014…15…16…for reasons

6.  Favorite ARTSY post.

artsy post

7. Because THIS really should happen…


These are just a few – that struck me today.  If you have a favorite blast from the past, feel free to link it in the comments.  Thanks to everyone who has wandered by, read, commented and most of all stuck around – I hope you’ll hang around for more!

Alive, if not exactly kicking…

This blog as been a pretty barren landscape of late – rest assured, I’m still around, just somewhat sidelined lately.  Since a nasty slip on the snow right after Christmas that resulted in a nastier *SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! in my left knee, I’ve been hobbling around.  An MRI on Monday revealed tears to both the lateral and medial menisci as well as the aggravation of an old injury to the ACL – more hobbling ensues as I try to evade surgery through some physical therapy.  Time will tell on that front.

The general slowdown in my locomotion has been accompanied by an upsizing in my workload as I took on a new role at my university at the beginning of this month – it’s a positive change, a change that will empower me to make some necessary changes in my life, but one that is sapping what little energy I have left when everything I do seems to take toll on my energy stores.

The unfortunate result of all of this has been that I’ve been largely absent from Armitageworld of late.  I sincerely hope that will change soon…perhaps once I can find equilibrium with my current challenges.  I’ve also been reflecting a bit that in addition to my challenges, perhaps I’m in a bit of an Armitage funk as well.  I’ve been pondering whether maybe part of my Armitageworld mojo has been fueled by a certain level of Alpha Armitage in the chaRActer oeuvre that has been dormant recently.  Apparently, I like my fantasy characters to be asskickers, albeit asskickers with a sensitive side (I’m lookin’ at you John Porter).  I’m holding out hope that Raymond de Merville may be an asskicker in chainmail who’ll jump start the engine.

In any case, until I’m back in the kicking game, I’ll leave you all with a link to an excellent gif of Daniel Miller kicking – third .gif on the right. (oddly, he didn’t flip the “asskicker” switch for me in S1 of Berlin Station – here’s to hopes for S2)


An Ovidian Armitage Elegy

Ovid was an Roman poet par excellence.  Like most people, I first encountered him vis a vis his mythologically themed poem Metamorphoses, a tour through the various and sundry mythological stories of metamorphosis…Daphne, Narcissus, Tithonus et al.  Imagine my surprise when in an advanced class (they save all the good stuff for the advanced classes!)  I found that Ovid was also a very, VERY naughty poet of Latin love elegies.  Unlike Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius and a sole female poet, Sulpicia, whose verses often lean to the love lament, Ovid’s have a tendency to lean to the more sultry side of love elegy (sometimes falling right into raunchy! Let the reader beware of what lies beneath the line of hearts!!)  


In that vein, as a Valentine’s celebRAtion of the lurve and attraction along with the lust and longing inspired by a certain someone, I’ve taken the liberty of a slight reiteration from Ovid’s Amores Book I, Elegy V….

 When he stood before my eyes,

the clothing set aside,

there was never a flaw in all his body.


What shoulders, what arms, I saw and touched!

Chest formed as if it made for pressing!

How taut the belly beneath the slender waist!

What flanks, what form! What strapping thighs….

*Ahem*  I think I will leave it right there (if you’d like to see how it ends, you can find Ovid’s original here)

Happy Valentine’s Day Armitageworld

I’m back baby!!

My own ξενία sandwich…

One of the things I’ve encountered again and again in my time in the Richard Armitage fandom is expression of hospitality and generosity from my fellow fans.  In fact, just last week, I was gifted with the most amazing quilt by jholland of preoccupiedbyarmitage.  I think it is safe to say, that in many neighborhoods of Armitageworld, there is a strong sense of ξενία at work.

ξενία – or xenia transliterated into English – is the ancient Greek concept of  “guest-friendship,” that is, the courtesy and hospitality shown to travelers, and/or associates of the giver of the hospitality.  It was understood to be a reciprocal relationship marked by both the exchange of material gifts, but also of non material things like food, shelter, and various favors.  Xenia functioned as an important component of the ancient Greek social and religious system…after all, one never knew when one might be in the presence of a god, so practicing xenia was paramount.

I rather like the notion of offering courtesy and hospitality to those in my orbit.  I try to do it as a matter of course.  Most of the time it’s pretty easy, but sometimes?  Sometimes I end up in a weird xenia sandwich.  I have two neighbors…on either side of my house.  To the west is Marlene – she’s a bit older than my parents and is more and more in need of assistance with some of the larger tasks of caring for her home – particularly lawn work and snow removal.  We’ve been doing all of the lawn work and snow removal for several years now…the fact that she is also our landlord does factor in a bit, but this work isn’t in our lease and we aren’t compensated for it – we do it because it’s the right thing to do.  It’s xenia.

In any case, I’m happy to extend xenia to Marlene…and she returns the favor in a lot of ways.

Here’s the problem…to the east there is another neighbor – Melissa.  I honestly don’t know what to make of these people.  They moved into the neighborhood about 5 years ago.  They are about the same age as hubs and me, our kids go to the same schools, but man, I just don’t know…there is just so much weird over there.  I’ve tried to be neighborly, but there is some kind of massive xenia black hole centered over her house.  I may come off sounding like a giant heel in all of this, so I should clarify just a bit.

The Melissa’s didn’t exactly ease themselves into the neighborhood, which isn’t terribly tightknit, so it’s not hard to “break into.”  I’ll give you the highlights reel.  Within a week of moving into a neighborhood of 80 year old homes with streets lined with mature maple trees, it became evident that the Melissa’s had some sort of issue with trees – the evidence being the fact that they immediately cut down every tree in their yard – all healthy youngish trees -including the ones that shaded their full western exposed windows.  Um – ok, it’s your yard, your trees.  However, when they went to their neighbor to the east and demanded she cut down a beautiful old tree because it hung over their yard, they started a tree war I’m afraid.  One that persists to this day.

The tree thing is a little weird…so is the raking the concrete slab driveway and the accidently nailing herself in the head with a nailgun (a glancing blow).  I admit, I have a bit of an issue with the fact that there is always a car in her garage, but she always needs a ride somewhere – she doesn’t drive you see.  She also doesn’t have a printer, a cell phone, a phone book or a sense of  discretion about what intimate details of her daughters’ lives she should share with me.  Let’s not even get into the fact that Mr. Melissa is apparently something of a peeping tom.

It’s actually kind of a funny story if it weren’t kind of creepier than funny:  My laundry area is in the basement and the basement windows face the Melissa’s driveway.  One summer evening, I was in the basement at the washer when my husband calls down the steps:

“Hey, are you changing your clothes down there?”

I had indeed just taken off my shirt and thrown it in the washer before putting on a PJ top – not an infrequent event actually…or at least it used not to be.  I answered, puzzled:

“Yes, why?”

Hubs replied:

“Because Mr. Melissa is up on the roof of their new shed watching you.”


Needless to say, I’m more careful about where I drop trou in my house these days, and I’m less inclined to lend a hand to The Melissa’s – xenia is a reciprocal concept after all.  The prompt for this post is the latest installment of the weird neighbor show that has unfolded since Christmas.

On the day after Christmas (Hub’s birthday BTW) I foolishly answered the pounding on my back door to find Melissa.  I opened the door a wide crack and politely inquired what she might need – we aren’t really friends, we don’t have coffee, etc.  Right in front of my astonished eyes, she pushed the door open wider, stepped into my back entry, closed the door and said, “That wind is cold”  Um, OK – I usually wait to be invited in, but since you’re already in…Evidently, her washing machine is broken and she wanted to know if she could use my washer.  I pondered – I really don’t like her, but if she needs to do an emergency load or two, I could just wash them for her.  Except that wasn’t what she had in mind – she was proposing that she troop in and out of my house over the next several hours and do all of the weekly laundry for her family of four.

Three problems with that:

  1. There is not a day that I’m not somewhere in the process of a load of laundry, so my washer is always busy.
  2. It was Hub’s birthday and I was hosting dinner to celebrate
  3. Is she unfamiliar with the word LAUNDROMAT?!

Don’t get me wrong – I can relate.  My washer was out of commission for like 6 weeks last summer and then the replacement was a lemon so it was another week.  Do you know what I did?  I packed all of my laundry in the car and took it to the laundromat.  As I have done with my laundry in the past when I did not have a washing machine in my home.  As it happens, there are TWO laundromats within 1/2 a mile from our houses.  This is not a Herculean task here.

Now, in the interest of xenia, knowing that Melissa does not drive (even though I cannot understand why because she seems to have no handicaps and has a vehicle at her disposal), I offered to drive her to the laundromat and pick her up when she was done with her laundry (her creepy peepy husband apparently doesn’t like to drive her places – reason #576 to learn to drive in my book)  She turned me down and we had a short conversation about a nice laundromat that my parents use all the time that Peeper could drive her to. (they have a washer, they just like to do it all in 90 minutes – then go to lunch…*shrugs*).  When I told her that I needed to get going because you know, hosting a party in 2 hours, she went home and I thought the subject was closed.  Au contraire my friends!

Yesterday, 2.5 minutes after I emerged from the house and was cleaning some trash out of Mini Me’s spot in the car, I hear my name being called and look over my shoulder to see Melissa hot footing it across the street.  You guessed it – she renewed her application to use my washer…she is in the loop to get a replacement for what is apparently a lemon machine.  I grimaced internally and replied that I was going out, and for all of the reasons I’d already told her, I really thought the laundromat was a better option.  I did offer this time to wash an emergency load if she needed something to tide them over – this initiated a conversation about her adolescent daughter’s bras…they are expensive, unpadded and she only has three.  TMI Melissa, T. M. I.  Especially since this whole conversation is going on in the driveway at the mercy of -20F degree winds.  My Melissa xenia tank is getting pretty low at this point!  Hubs thinks the laundry issue is closed.  I’m not so sure…

Even so, my notion of xenia is still alive and well otherwise…I might even crutch over to Marlene’s tomorrow and see if we can do her computer purchase online –

Meet my best friends for the next 10 days for sure...

Meet my best friends for the next 10 days for sure…

I was on my way down the steps to go computer shopping with her  today when my knee had other ideas and I ended up back in the ER – #meniscusfail.

Truthfully, even though Melissa is making me consider parking my car around the block so she doesn’t know I’m home, if she asks me again, I’ll offer again to give her a ride to do her laundry…but xenia or no xenia, no xenos is getting in my washer!!  😀

Thanks for indulging my rant…perhaps “My Loony Neighbors” will become a regular feature here (who knows, maybe The Melissa’s have a similar feature about the Obscura’s!)