Thirteen’s the charm?

•February 27, 2023 • 80 Comments

Thirteenth blogiversary. So strange.

I owe myself a post, but it’s late.

So how about this? My ranking of the Oscar nominated films from worst to best.

10 – Avatar 2 (didn’t see)

9 – Top Gun 2 (didn’t see)

8 – Women Talking (really boring)

7. -All Quiet on the Western Front (clichéd, and why did they change the ending?)

6 – The Fabelmans (too long, self-indulgent)

5 – Elvis (fine, but nothing special apart from the leading performance)

4 – Tár (good but VERY cerebral)

3 – Triangle of Sadness (I really liked this, but occasionally felt it was a little slow)

2 – Everything Everywhere All At Once (I loved this, esp the first half hour or so)

1 – The Banshees of Inisherin (Loved this, and it was slightly easier to follow than #2)

What say you?

Oh, wait, the Velveteen Rabbit dies

•January 23, 2023 • 6 Comments

Hopefully, Armitage has figured out his dumpling dilemma!

Happy lunar new year to those who mark the season!

Bessert euch drauflos

•January 1, 2023 • 34 Comments

Three things that happened in 2022 appear remarkable in retrospect: first, I went back to work full-time for the first time in five and a half years; second, I went to a doctor for myself (well, actually, urgent care) for the first time in twenty; third, I finally joined a synagogue (first time in twelve). I don’t know if those are all the big changes but they are significant.

re: the second — I had been feeling inexplicably dizzy for several days in ways that concerned me. Verdict: I do not have heart disease, a-fib, or congestive heart failure, and I did not have a stroke or heart attack or COVID. I left with a mild blood pressure medicine as my blood pressure was really high. They did not know why. My health is not something I talk about all that often, but if you know me well you know I regard this as the first step down the garden path. Still, I took the pills, so it’s my own fault. Another reminder (along with the arrangements around dad’s estate) that I’m in the last third of my life now. Almost no one on my mother’s side of the family lived past the age of 72 in the entire twentieth or twenty-first century. What will I do with the last (maybe) twenty years?


re: the first — not unrelated: According to my boss, I am really successful. At the same time, I don’t know if I want to stay in this kind of role for that whole time. Although I can’t imagine retiring, either, as the five and a half years with dad were very frustrating in that regard; I was not cut out personality-wise for that task, no matter how important it was and how much I was praised for doing it. I do feel like I am doing something now that not just my clients, but also people in general find important (way more important than being a professor, anyway). I have helped roughly thirty people find work, and most of them are still in the jobs they took. As word about the program spreads, more people call for assistance, and we’ll be starting a new outpost in a public housing setting in the new year. I’m really pleased for clients and proud of the steps they are taking to change their circumstances. But their problems are often really severe, even in situations where they are not contributing to them, themselves, and the emotional toll on me is high. I do not know how to detach, and am not confident I will learn. I miss both the hopefulness of teaching young adults, and also the creativity. In any case, this was a huge step forward but more thought will be required. Side note: I spend way too much time driving.

re: the third: I won’t get into the reasons why I delayed doing this, but now was the right time and after the frustration of this year’s Rosh Hashanah / Yom Kippur celebrations, I decided I needed to set myself up for success in future. It’s been a great experience, and I feel a strong sense of belonging, although some of my reservations were immediately confirmed. In any case, I have been warmly received and after only two months, asked to join a number of committees and groups. Most notably: the ritual committee. I imagine I will eventually have a lot more to say about this. Inevitably the decision to join a Jewish group was going to lead to the excavation of a lot of my feels about religion generally and Judaism specifically.

Resolutions for 2023:

1. Stop buying things in plastic bottles.

2. Strongly consider employing a cleaner.

3. Be more creative / blog more.

2022 at “me + richard”

•December 31, 2022 • 16 Comments

For comparison purposes, 2021 is here.


New marketing image for The Man from Rome. I bought an Australian DVD copy. Hope I’ll be able to read it when it arrives!


Here’s the annual recap of “most popular posts written in 2022.

10. I prefer full price Richard Armitage (March 21): response to snarky comment in Vulture’s weekly recap of season 2 of Sanditon.

9. Maxwell Smart usually makes me think of something else (October 25): Armitage insta about a new project based on the novel, The Boy in the Woods.

8. This looks like a new project (March 17): Armitage tweets a cast photo from the set of Damage (now Obsession). I ordered a copy of the novel but have not found time to read it.

7. Richard Armitage moves into lucrative NFT market (April 1): Annual April Fools joke. But really, given what happened with crypto this year, it’s fortunate that it was a joke.

6. Richard Armitage moves into Area 51 (August 22): Annual birthday post.

5. Whose dadbod? (May 2): Screencap from a trailer for The Man from Rome as pushback against Armitage’s (boringly predictable) comments about the state of his middle-aged body.

4. Richard Armitage always has good shoes (October 18): an attempt from me to be polite about a disaster outfit at one of the Spanish premieres of The Man from Rome.

3. The Queen is dead, long live the King (September 9): reference to the death of Elizabeth II. Another watershed event, and the funeral spectacle was unchallenged. Tangentially: I watched season 5 of The Crown over the last few days, and it’s a fascinating document. I did not love Imelda Staunton in this role; Jonathan Pryce grew on me; Elizabeth Debicki was a disaster — and I think the best performance was probably Dominic West, although again it was mimicry rather than acting, something that seems to be increasingly prevalent these days. While not up to the standard of previous season, still I thought it was much better TV than it got credit for being. I also want to say: almost as interesting as the show itself were the various critical and political reactions to it. But it’s hard to imagine people would still care as much as they do about the Diana episode if it weren’t for Megxit.

2. I’m sure I’m the problem here (March 3): my criticism of Armitage’s solicitation to give to an unproven charity. I’m sure I posted this in the wake of numerous problems I’ve had with his charity suggestions over the years. Here’s an update on the progress of the 1K project — but / and the point about giving without checking stands.

1. The dream ends (August 22): Lee Pace acknowledges that he’s married.



Interesting to me: the most concentrated spate of blogging I did in 2022 (the recaps of Stay Close episodes) did not hit the top ten. It was fun for me, but the practice of binging has kind of killed that particular audience experience. The other thing: that I didn’t blog when Armitage finally “came clean” (because that’s really what it was) about his sexual orientation. Although I had a lot of thoughts.

Other than that, I don’t have much to say in what necessarily has to be a short post today. I don’t think I’ve ever posted less than I did in this year, and yet I don’t have the feeling that “me + richard armitage” is dying (I may be kidding myself). I still have many relevant reflections that don’t make it as far as this screen, some due to other bad habits I’ve developed in the atmosphere of working full-time in an emotionally demanding role, some due to questions I have about whether the themes are important any more (see above under: I had a lot of thoughts). But I still want to post, and I probably still will.

In that light: a million thanks to everyone who still reads here, in particular to regular commentators, and — in case it doesn’t go without saying — to Richard Armitage.

Two Richard Armitage intersections in one day

•December 30, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Vivienne Westwood has died.

Richard Armitage wore her work twice that I’m aware of, in 2013 and 2005 (the photos are here under Spring 2005).

You can buy a paper copy of the latter appearance in Another Magazine for £100 at ebay.

Adeus Pelé

•December 29, 2022 • 2 Comments

The King of Football has died.

Merry Christmas

•December 24, 2022 • 24 Comments

It’s really cold here (I’m sure it’s all over the news). I was planning to go to Minneapolis on Wednesday to visit my cousin and see the Botticelli exhibit, but there was a horrible storm forecast, and then my right front tire / steering started making a funny noise. Couldn’t get an appointment for it till Tuesday, so decided to stay here and have been at home since Wednesday. Shoveled five inches of snow on Thursday, then yesterday it started blowing around. Really high winds. It didn’t affect me too badly (I’ve figured out how the snow has to be banked in this house to prevent the wind blowing what I’ve just shoveled), but the mail carrier got stuck yesterday afternoon in the snowbank that was forming in the street. I ran out to help her, and we got the mail truck out of the snowbank but then I fell into it! Urgh. Came into the house to dry off and warm up. Then in the early evening an emergency alert went out that we all needed to turn down the heat — one of the gas providers had “an equipment malfunction.” I only had the house on 64F, but I dutifully turned town to 60F (55F is the point at which I would have needed to drip all the faucets). This morning things were back to normal, so I turned the heat back up inside, but judging by the view through my window and from FB, the outside is a catastrophe. My street is partially drifted shut. Whole north-south roads are drifted shut and the highway is glare ice.

So I’ll stay here, snug as a bug in a rug.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. Above a “Richard past” graphic for your delectation.

Same procedure as every year

•December 19, 2022 • 10 Comments

Chag urim sameach! I finally joined the local synagogue, there was a party tonight, and this was one of the songs we sang.

Armitage also posted his annual Christmas message. (Sorry, Mr. Armitage, TikTok is about seven bridges too far for me.)

Strong agreement

•December 16, 2022 • 40 Comments

I’d put “Banshees” first — haven’t seen such a good film since “Parasite.” “Tar” is also excellent, although I left the cinema very undecided as to what to think. Haven’t seen the other two yet, but I think “Empire of Light” will come here and I do plan to see it.

Wachet auf

•November 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Sunday is 1. Advent and time for Guylty’s fundraiser. Bid early and often.

[I promise I will write again. Hopefully over the Christmas break. State employees get an insane number of days off, I think. Although I feel a certain urgency to what I do, so I also have a hard time taking the holidays I have.]

Belated happy Thanksgiving to the Americans, however you prepare your turkey. Und zur Feier des (morgigen) Tages:

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