DeRAnged Tendencies Alive and Well… in Greece!

deranged-in-athens

I have my Badge on display, Guylty! Overlooking Athens…

It’s been a crazy-wonderful several days, and my internal clock is certainly out-of-whack, because here I am wide awake at an unholy hour of dawn listening to the rain outside our hotel in Nafplion, Greece! This is almost like a second honeymoon for Hubby and me… our first vacation together without the kids, which means in over 8 years… and we are loving every minute of it! Which is kind of funny when I think that no kind of second honeymoon would have been planned if it weren’t for Richard Armitage… because we’re along for the ride with several other Armitagers and lead by Obscura on this amazing tour of Athens and the Peloponnese in southern Greece. Who says my Armitaging can’t benefit Hubby?

It’s all a bit of a blur now… the preparations for the trip… the detailed schedules I worked out for the grandparents, who are sharing custody of the kids and have accepted the gauntlet of keeping them fed, bathed, dressed, schooled and busy with after-school activities. Packing the kids, packing ourselves. Arranging for a relief veterinarian, duck-sitter, bills to be paid and payroll to be handled from across the globe… vacation is a lot of work! And I didn’t have to do any of the nitty-gritty planning for the tour itself, so hats off to Obscura who has made all the arrangements for our transit, schedule, dining, accommodations… =)

So last Wednesday night, after our last full day of work, we’d had a good-bye dinner with the kids, deposited them with my parents, dropped the pets off at the clinic, and done our last-minute packing. It was 11:30pm, and my alarm was set for 4:00am, giving me 4 1/2 hours of potential sleep… when BOOM, I finally looked at a Twitter notification from Richard Armitage and was astonished to see that the first 2 episodes of Berlin Station were available right then! Of course, I knew that I was going to be traveling across the globe in a few short hours… but could I resist clicking the link? Of course I couldn’t.

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Daniel Miller Screencap… looking as sexy as ever. Of course I got no sleep!

Just a few minutes of watching, I told myself. I’m too excited about Greece to fall asleep immediately anyway… 2 hours later I was not only too excited about Greece to fall asleep, but I had discovered that Berlin Station is entirely binge-watchable! Wow! Talk about a shocking opener! My internal dialogue was something like… “There he is! He’s so pretty… he’s so pretty… oh, man, he looks great in this… he’s so pretty… he’s so…. WHAT!?! Shitfuck! No! No way!”

Suffice it to say that I got exactly zero sleep after watching Berlin Station… something I knew I should regret, but now I’m hearing that people are no longer able to watch it, so I’m patting my deRAnged self on the back for having had no self-control or common sense whatsoever! LOL! I was hoping to revisit those episodes a number of times… because I don’t feel that with all the excitement and exhaustion that I really absorbed all that was available to absorb… but at least I’m not furious that I missed my chance entirely!

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Selfie with Hubby at the Acropolis! A dream come true for both of us. =)

Well, my alarm clock is about to go off and I’m looking forward to another full day with this guy (who is the only man on the tour other than our driver, Leonidas, and our amazing foodie local guide, George!) He’s having a blast, even being fully outnumbered!

Until next time, then… Cheers!

 

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Giffing Berlin Station, or… PreoccupiedOnceAgain?

Confession: I have not been overly PreoccupiedWithArmitage for months. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t jump in and arrange to see Love, Love, Love before Love, Love, Love was even guaranteed… or that I didn’t immediately follow Richard when he made the jumps to Instagram and Facebook… and it’s not to say that I don’t still keep tabs on the Richarding world… but as anyone checking the blog this summer can attest, I just haven’t had any bloggerly motivation. Granted, it’s been a busy summer at work and I continue to spend much of my free time in the quilting room… but I really haven’t wanted or needed to express myself here in this space for quite some time.  I have hopes, at least, that my flagging fandom energy will be revived shortly, between Berlin Station airing in a couple of months, and Richard’s performances off Broadway starting even sooner than that!

 

BS interview hands

There is some nice thumb action here.

Today I got around to watching the new promotional material for Berlin Station, and I was struck with what has become, lately, an unusual urge: to have a closer look and really study the man himself, and the man as Daniel Miller’s character. I really liked what I saw, and decided to put some of it on continuous loop… but sadly, it had been so long since I used my Giffing Tool, that I opened it up, captured some Richard… and then couldn’t remember even the first thing about how to edit it! After fumbling around for several fruitless minutes, I resorted to YouTube to relearn the giffing process… and I hope you enjoy the results. =)

 

 

BS calculations

So yeah… I experienced my first *ooof* after many months of no *ooofs* right here.

So the first thing that really made me sit up and take notice while watching the promotional footage was this shot. I absolutely love everything about it. I love the collar of his coat- he looks like a proper spy, here. I love the shadow of his cheek and jawline as he turns, and while I’m at it, I love the length of that sideburn! But what struck me the most was the moment of calculation on his face, the small furrow in his brow as he processes something, and seems to draw his breath, blinking. Moments like these are what I love most about Richard’s acting.

 

 

BS lips

And when I replayed it, damned if another *ooof* didn’t magically happen!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Because the opening footage was actually rather breathtaking as well. Oh, how the light just barley glimmers on that fantastic mouth. And his nose, in all its profile glory, is also thrown into beautiful relief by the lighting. Last but not least… we have the briefest glimpse of Daniel’s downcast eye for a quick, but thorough, eyelashgasm.

 

 

BS blink

And the eyelashgasms keep coming…

BS danial turns

I like how the light briefly illuminates the tendons in his elegant hand.

And a couple more… because once I got started, it was hard to stop giffing.

 

 

 

BS climbI almost mistook this for Francis Dolarhyde. Maybe it’s the black gloves, or the fact that he’s rising out of a crouch as he steps onto the rooftop. Or maybe just the focused, almost sinister determination on his face.

 

 

BS paranoiaAnd that impression (along with another eyelashgasm) was only reinforced here. Because he seems to be skulking in a corridor, and he has a touch of paranoia in his eyes.

 

 

BS shrug and smileBut right here… this is no Francis Dolarhyde. More of a Lucas North vibe… a strong and charming one. I LOVE the little  quirk of his head as he shrugs. And I hope we’ll see more of those slightly conspiratorial smiles. Dayum.

 

 

BS smile1Speaking of smiles… here’s a bit of a lopsided smile as he hands her his ID. It was dark, so I lightened it to better see that dimple in action. Though I hate that the giffing tool only has one setting for the lightening effect.

 

 

BS startledAnd another one that I lightened. Just to see the smile again, and have a closer look at the funny startled face when Daniel is grabbed. Giffing is really rewarding sometimes.

 

 

BS crouchingAnd here was another rewarding moment. I guess I didn’t expect Daniel Miller to crouch behind another person’s back when shit starts to go down! But I suppose we were told he was more of an analyst. LOL

 

 

 

BS bike riderMake that a bike-riding analyst.

 

 

 

BS stridingStride 1But he certainly has some mojo in this shot. There’s that characteristic manly stride that I love so well. Reminds me just a bit of Thornton. With different sideburns, of course. But the stern intensity is there.

 

 

 

And that about wraps up my post for August! I really did enjoy getting back into the swing of actively Richarding… and we can hope that there is plenty more to come!

 

Richard Armitage, White-Shirted

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I mean, who wouldn’t sit up and take notice?

It has been rather a long stretch since I posted anything remotely related to Richard Armitage. (In fact, you might almost wonder whether I was no longer preoccupiedwitharmitage!) And that’s a fair question, because if I’m honest, I do find it hard to be half so obsessive about the man when Nothing Much Is Happening. For all those who waited it out while he was off filming The Hobbit: kudos to you! I’m having a hard time of it with not much news on the Armitage front.

Have I lost interest entirely? Apparently not. But I do have to say it was an enormous relief the other day when Richard Armitage, White-Shirted, filming in the Canary Islands for Berlin Station, came across my radar.

So yes! Inspired! Finally!

I do believe I became quite breathless when first I saw the image above.

 

 

probablynotwhite

OK, so maybe it’s not absolutely a white shirt… but dayum. The man still has it.

And who could blame me? =)

 

With all the talk about how much Daniel reminds us all of Lucas North, I couldn’t help but think he also bears a bit of a resemblance to a different operative… one John Porter… in the image above.

 

Mmmmm hmmmm.

 

 

 

 

 

2016a

Aw, an eyebrow furrow! I’ve missed that!

This look really does it for me. There is just something about a man in a casual white button-down shirt.

 

With heavy stubble as a nice contrast.

 

(Perry even thought it was a beard from a distance!)

 

 

 

 

wet hair

Whew. The stubble, the knowing look in his eyes, the barest hint of a smile. And add wet hair into the mix? Stunning.

Yes, I think we can all agree that this man has always rocked the white shirt and heavy stubble.

*Excuse me while I dash water on myself*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016c

He looks pensive about something here. Inner conflict?

I confess… this type of shirt on a handsome man does make me want to unbutton it.

Hubby, I hope you’re not reading this… but if you are… take notes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

younger

Here’s a young one. Where has all his chest hair gone?

Yes, a white button-down shirt is just begging to be opened further.

Down to where one might stumble across a little chest hair, maybe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

shirt open

No, seriously! I know he has chest hair!

Or a belly button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

withdarkjeans

I wonder… why are you sitting on your hands?

We’d better get you buttoned back up, sir.

Before we all collapse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

open_collar1

Wasn’t there a great hashtag for this on tumblr? Something along the lines of #acollarsituation ?

Maybe we should even add a coat.

I don’t believe I would have survived this look without that coat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

thekiss

Because I never tire of seeing this one moment.

I’m still not sure how Margaret was able to actually stand up and walk after this.

And the man was wearing his waistcoat.

 

 

 

 

esquire

Because… dayum.

And finally, well… there can’t be a compilation of Richard Armitage, White-Shirted that didn’t include this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact, I think it never hurts to revisit this type of White Shirt Situation.

 

Or maybe it does hurt. But it hurts so good! =)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Early Preparation for #BerlinStation

BeardBeGoneSo! Berlin Station… a 10 part original series scheduled for fall of 2016 on EPIX. Isn’t it exciting? I couldn’t have been more thrilled when we learned two weeks ago that Richard Armitage was cast as the lead character, Daniel Meyer, described as something of a rookie CIA case officer, evidently a former analyst… oh please, please, please let this mean he might have a bit of nerdy vibe, or even wear spectacles! Something I’ve been waiting to see… hot men in spectacles really do it for me!

From what I’ve gleaned, Meyer is to be stationed in contemporary Berlin with the covert task of spying on his own CIA colleagues to uncover a mole who leaked information to a “Snowden-esque” whistleblower Thomas Shaw. The fact that he’s more of an analyst than a seasoned operative should put an interesting twist on things. We know Richard’s talents in the spy and special-ops genres, but we haven’t seen him do much in the way of “rookie spook” and I wonder… will that open the door for a touch of humor? I’m not expecting heavy comedy, you understand… but certainly any rookie is bound to make a few mistakes, and mistakes can sometimes be comedic.

Since this is an original series, rather than based off a book that has already been written, like so many of Richard’s recent roles, I was a bit stymied. My usual pattern is to rush out and read Red Dragon, or Brain on Fire, or Summer, or Urban Grimshaw and The Shed Crew… but here, there wasn’t much in the way of advance reading material. Until I stumbled onto this blog post, read the line “The idea of Steinhauer penning an entire TV season (as crime novelist Nick Pizzolatto did so successfully on True Detective) is pure catnip for this spy fan.” Now I realized that I could at least check out the works of the series writer/producer Olen Steinhauer, to get an idea of his writing style. Not that it’s guaranteed that his script writing will be exactly like his novel writing, but I like a good book and this blogger said “catnip” which was good enough for me.

So, I opted to download the first book in Steinhauer’s Milo Weaver trilogy, titled The Tourist… and I wasn’t disappointed. I thought it was a taut, well-written book that made me care for Milo Weaver, had plenty of twists and turns, and even had me dreaming about some of the scenarios. I didn’t love the narrator, and was therefore really relieved when, upon finishing the audiobook this morning, I went to immediately download book 2 and found there is a new narrator (with better reviews) who narrated the next two books in the series. Milo Weaver’s story has nothing to do with Berlin Station, as far as I know, and he’s quite the opposite of Daniel Meyer in some ways, because he’s a seasoned CIA operative, (the author’s euphemism for this type of field agent is “Tourist”)… although as the novel begins, Milo is a bit “rusty”, having retired from field work and spent the last 6 years as an analyst after starting a family.  I was able to get a good impression of the author’s version, or vision, of how the murky world of “tourism” (espionage) operates, and the storyline was compelling enough for me to want to continue, regardless of it having no direct ties (aside from the author himself) to the upcoming Berlin Station. I understand that a succession of companies have acquired the rights to the Milo Weaver stories, but as far as I know, no adaptation is in the works as of yet. By the way, if you’re thinking of reading this, there are some spoilers below.

Aside from the obvious action and intrigue, what I particularly liked about Steinhauer’s writing was his portrayal of Milo’s disillusionment and the resultant paranoia rampant in the black op and espionage culture, his inability to trust and the ways that it influences his family life. The author also draws compelling secondary characters and even manages to get some humor in there. One of my favorite more humerous aspects was the (probably) mythical “Black Book”… the existence of which is a rumor that circulates among “Tourists” and comes up several times throughout the story. Exerpt:

“Let me ask you something,” Roth said. “What’s your opinion on the Black Book?”

“The What Book?”

“Stop pretending, please.”

Within the subculture of Tourism, the Black Book was the closest thing to The Holy Grail. It was the secret guide to survival, rumored to be planted by a retired Tourist, twenty-one copies hidden in locations around the world. The stories of the Black Book were as old as Tourism itself. “It’s bunk,” said Milo.

But Milo, and apparently all the spies, nevertheless have at various times tried to track it down, and though of course Milo never found a copy, he isn’t above pretending that he did, when it comes in handy to impress (and distract) a younger agent Milo is forced to collaborate with later on in the story. I found this to be quite comedic, and I can’t help but hope that perhaps Steinhauer has some similar devices in store for the presumably somewhat naïve character of Daniel Meyer.

If his script writing follows his novel writing style, we can definitely count on plenty of twists and turns in the plot, and possibly some time jumps as well. Steinhauer has a pattern of laying out certain aspects of the story, placing his characters in situations that don’t seem to follow logically from the previous chapter, or introducing new characters that don’t seem to make sense, making the reader think “Wait… how the hell did that come about” or “Just a minute… who the hell is this guy?” and then, sometimes several chapters later, going back and laying the groundwork for how these characters fit into the story or what happened before to bring us to the current action. For instance, Milo may be on the run for his life in one chapter, and then undergoing brutal interrogation, having turned himself in, the next chapter. Only later does the author reveal the scenario that led to him turning himself in, and still later reveal the master plan that has been cleverly set in motion by these events.

So if Daniel Meyer is the protagonist and is anything like Milo Weaver, we can probably expect him at least eventually to have a deeper game than what is at first apparent, and there may be more to his history than meets the eye. I’m definitely looking forward to this movie. If the script is as well done as the one novel I’ve read, and the characters as well-drawn, it’s going to be some great material for Richard. And, well… Richard can take even pretty lame scripts and make the most of what he’s given. So I have high hopes for this one!

Speaking of Spies… @GirlofGisborne Made Me a Lucas Fanvid!!

A couple of weeks ago, after I’d raved about her Francis Dolarhyde fanvid over at the forum and dropped a hint mentioned how I’d always wanted to make a specific Lucas North fanvid, the lovely, talented and compassionate Girl of Gisborne offered to lend her amazing artistic and technical skills to the project!

When I first heard the song “Welcome Home” by Radical Face, I fell in love with the song, and not long after that, I discovered Richard Armitage and soon found myself immersed in Spooks and totally overwhelmed with Lucas North. As many of us in the early throes of Armitage Affliction will have experienced, one of the great joys of “discovering” Richard is in endlessly browsing RA fanvids on YouTube. As you can imagine, I soon began to fantasize about making my own fanvid, and the song I had in mind, “Welcome Home” seemed so appropriate for the tortured character of Lucas North, newly returned from his 8 year Russian imprisonment, so beautiful and so irresistibly full of angst.

I think the result is sublime! I get teary-eyed every time I watch it. Some magical combination of the song, the lyrics, the stunning man, and his emotional upheaval… it’s a gorgeous fanvid. Check it out:

 

* * *

“Welcome Home” by Radical Face

Sleep don’t visit, so I choke on sun and the days blur into one
And the backs of my eyes hum with things I’ve never done

Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline
Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass
Was never much, but we’ve made the most
Welcome home

Ships are launching from my chest
Some have names but most do not
If you find one, please let me know what piece I’ve lost

Peel the scars from off my back
I don’t need them anymore
You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars
I’ve come home

All my nightmares escape my head
Bar the door, please don’t let them in
You were never supposed to leave
Now my head’s splitting at the seams
And I don’t know if I can

Here, beneath my lungs
I feel your thumbs
Press into my skin again

* * *

HUGE and heartfelt thank you to Girl of Gisborne. “Ships are launching from my chest”… I’m so touched that you would go to so much time and effort, and the final product is brilliant! And in light of today’s announcement that Richard will be taking on a similar role (Daniel Meyer, CIA agent) in next fall’s EPIX original series Berlin Station, it’s also a very timely way to celebrate our man’s amazing talents in the spy genre!

2/18/16 Update: Girl of Gisborne took down her YouTube channel for reasons as yet unknown… *sobs*… apparently I had downloaded my special video, so I still have it… but I really miss the other videos. Girl of Gisborne, if you read this… we miss you and your lovely talent!