Richard Armitage tangentially related

•July 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment


John Standring (Richard Armitage) exits his residence in episode 3 of Sparkhouse. Source:

Posting this picture because dad and I spent about a half hour (an eternity for him) practicing the stairs at the front entry to our house today. We’ve been using the rear entry because there are so many stairs at the front (split level entry), and because dad was being a pain about trying to use the front entry when he’d been asked not to, there’s a fixed baby gate at the summit of the stairs, which is a huge pain because essentially to go downstairs I have to exit the house and enter by the front door. Anyway, he has kind of been a pain bout this but he stuck with it. I’m thinking in about ten days he should be able to enter and exit via the front.

You see the achievements of my days.

Ocean’s 8:

The Road Not Taken:

Collateral attractions:

$132M cumulative U.S. domestic box office for Ocean’s 8 as of this weekend

•July 15, 2018 • Leave a Comment

At Forbes. And I am a bit embarrassed to note how fixated I am on the film at the moment. I just keep going back. Yeah, it’s escapism. Yeah, it’s Richard Armitage on the big screen. A lot of it, I find, is the music. There’s a certain piece of sitting in a darkened room and no one bothering me and not feeling guilty about whatever chore it is I am not doing that moment. I do keep noticing details in the sets and the costumes that I didn’t see before. But I don’t get it, really. I practically have the film memorized, but I just keep going back to it.

In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, 1

•July 15, 2018 • 15 Comments

Since 1999 I’ve driven a Ford Taurus. My current exemplar is a 2005, which I bought used in 2008.

Since June 16, 2018, I drive a 2013 Ford F150 crew cab with a cap over the pickup bed.

This, more or less. Ours is a bit paler, more towards tan than copper. It’s the vehicle my father bought the month after mom died — trading in all the random, slightly rickety vehicles we’d been using that summer for various kinds of transportation. It was expensive. It is his dream truck — believe me, mom never would have let him buy this new.

I’ve also had to drive, in the last month, a Ford F350 pickup, the noise of which unsettles me when it accelerates uphill, but that’s a last resort vehicle, for when I have to do some kind of change with my brother, move a boat, or pull a heavy trailer. Because dad is officially restricted from driving now, I spend most of my time in the F150. It’s been a lot of driving — last week he had eight different appointments with doctors, labs or therapists, and the stroke therapy center is 40 mi. round trip from our house.

I’m not one of those Americans who refuses to use public transportation or anything, but in most of the U.S. cities I’ve lived in, it’s not very good. So except for when I lived in Germany, I’ve owned various cars since I was sixteen, many of them inherited or purchased for very little, and like Richard Armitage, I’m okay with a car as long as it starts. As long time readers know, I definitely enjoy long haul driving in my car. I like speeding along, skimming the ground. I like knowing where the front and the back end of the car are, and exactly how much space I need to make a U-turn, and the Taurus still has six cylinders, which means it has effective acceleration despite being (by world standards) a largish sedan. It gets an acceptable, if not exemplary, 30 mpg and it’s a comfortable ride. To get into it, I open the door, reach my right foot into the car, sit down, and pull my left foot in. To get out, I open the door, put my right foot out, and stand up. Driving it makes me feel light and mobile.

A pickup truck, on the other hand? To say it doesn’t fit my image is a severe understatement. It’s big and heavy. I never know exactly where the rear end is. This one — with a jazillion bells and whistles — wants me to back using a camera with a display I see in a rear view mirror, rather than just looking out the rear window or at the mirrors. I’m constantly afraid I’ll hit something except, of course, that it beeps like crazy if it thinks I am getting too close to anything. When I get out of the car, I’m convinced it looked like a drunk parked it, and for that reason I drop dad off at the door of places we go, and park far away so I don’t accidentally dent someone else’s vehicle. Blessing: the stroke therapy center has valet parking. I’ve always scoffed at that type of thing as something the likes of me doesn’t need, but I’ll admit, in the last month I have become a very generous tipper.

If driving the thing makes me feel oversized and clumsy, getting in is a similar experience. The passenger side has a handle to help, but not the driver’s side. I have watched my brother get in and out of the truck, and I think the plan is that the driver grasps the door frame with the right hand, puts the left foot up on the running board, and swings and plops into the seat. Not me. I put my right foot on the running board, sort of push my butt onto the edge of the seat, then I grasp the steering column and pull myself up into the beast. I always feel the opposite of nimble when I do this and I have to suppress my desire to say “ooof” — something I feel I am too young to be saying yet in this situation. To get out, I perch my butt on the edge of the seat and slide out and hope both feet hit the ground at the same time.

But this is better for dad — it’s easier for him to pull himself into the truck than to get in and out of my low-to-the-ground Taurus. Also, I think he feels safer in the truck (and no matter what he thinks, he’s never criticized my driving). So every day, every trip, it’s into and out of this huge thing.

It was his dream truck. Theoretically, it was supposed to last him till he stopped driving. That may have just happened. He has a medical direction not to drive (which means, apart from being unsafe, if he did drive and cause an accident, his insurance wouldn’t cover him). His rehabilitation is going swimmingly, somewhat faster than expected, but it’s unclear that his reaction times will recover, or that even if it does, his vision is really good enough. What will likely happen is that the doctor will require that he retake the written and road tests, and that these together will constitute an insurmountable goal. (There are additional problems that I’ll talk about in another post, I think.) Dad is really hanging on the hope of driving again, to the point that he’s a bit in denial about it. He tells people he could drive just fine, even though he’s taken the response test once and his responses are quite a bit too slow, his right side muscle control is poor, and his peripheral vision has been bad for years.

My brother and I are still talking around this topic, as neither of us are entirely ready for this transition. We’ve chatted a bit about what will happen if I still need to drive dad in another six weeks, or into the winter, when all bets are off as I really don’t want to be driving a truck on ice. My niece will turn sixteen in December, and will need a vehicle. Theoretically we could give her my car and trade in the truck against something that would still be comfortable for dad and easier for me to drive — a minivan or a crossover or even a Jeep.

I have a deep affection for my car, but it’s only a car. Ford has decided to stop making them. And really it’s not a lie to say I’m happy driving anything that starts (and has brakes). Still it’s hard for me to see myself driving a big clunky thing. I shouldn’t borrow trouble. Also whatever I have to do will be easier for me than not driving will be for dad.

I find myself clinging to the present, to my current (independent) picture of myself.

Can’t stop time, but I’d like to.

[hopefully there will be another piece of this, but The Dadsitter is coming over and I can escape to the Ocean’s 8 late show, so I will.]

Richard Armitage tangentially related

•July 14, 2018 • 8 Comments

Happy Bastille Day to our fellow French fans! Although it’s a bit heavy of a dish for the weather lately, do consider indulging in some of Richard Armitage’s favorite potato dishes: aligot and dauphin gratinois. Or his favorite French grapes, such as pinot noir.

Richard Armitage fan art by the much-missed AgzyM. Source.

Ocean’s 8:

Berlin Station:

Their Lost Daughters:

Collateral attractions:

Industry issues:

Social media:

Things we’ve talked about:

I got my perch dinner!

•July 14, 2018 • 14 Comments

Richard Armitage as John Mulligan in Moving On: Drowning not Waving

Woke up ♦ Woke up dad ♦ took him to breakfast with the guys ♦ came home ♦ pills ♦ dad napped ♦ I blogged and surfed a bit ♦ trip to bank to introduce myself to dad’s banker and long conversation about his finances ♦  trip to sporting goods store to buy 1 and 2 pound dumbbells for new arm exercises ♦ got gas — first time I drove my car in about two weeks ♦ drove home ♦ dad was still asleep ♦ woke him up ♦ hand / grip strength exercises ♦ hand / fine motor exercises ♦ short-term memory exercises ♦ lunch ♦ dad watched a game show while I napped ♦ phone rang after I’d been asleep fifteen minutes ♦ speech therapy practice ♦ walking practice — 1200 feet. Much better — the physical therapist yesterday really got through to him ♦ walking practice — walking backwards — scary ♦ leg exercises ♦ arm exercises with weights ♦ warfarin ♦ drove dad to Flower’s house for dinner — the entryway is safe for him with the cane ♦ got my perch dinner — one of the best things I’ve tasted recently; I’m getting tired of my own cooking ♦ picked dad up ♦ came home ♦ dad watched Penn and Teller ♦ statin ♦  bed for dad ♦ staring at pictures of Richard Armitage ♦ rootbeer float ♦ bed for me ♦ thanks for reading ♦  sorry I am so boring


•July 13, 2018 • 21 Comments

Richard Armitage posts a photo

•July 13, 2018 • 3 Comments
%d bloggers like this: