I Am A Grown Woman and I Am A fangirl

I fell in adoration of the good old fashioned villain, and a deplorable level of respectful lust for the virgin. I fell just as hard for the doctor not of this earth as I had for that ranger who would be king from Middle Earth. And goodness knows a certain Sassenach of the 1940s would totally understand -well not really- that am I, a woman of the 2010s, would go BAMF for JAMMF of the 1740s –  Je suis Prest indeed! I follow the Tumblr posts, the Facebook pages, subscribe to YouTube Channels of my faves, “Tried It!” in Pinterest and yes, as much as most fanfic has me rolling my eyes, crying with laughter, the few magnificent pearls found amongst the swill of the swine, makes the dumpster diving worth it.  I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

I am fully aware I am not the demographic that come to mind when one thinks of fangirls. Girls is a misnomer. For I am here to tell you, honestly, there is no demographic. Yes, some ages cater to certain shows or characters than others, but across the board, it is the shared love and adoration we feel about the chosen characters to bind us.  Like everything else in life there are levels, I prefer to think I am a fangirl based somewhat in reality.

I fall in love with the characters, how they behave, how they feel, how they make me feel. However, I do not confuse the character with the actor. We all understand that actors, especially method actors, must have at least a trace characteristic of each part played in order to portray them so well. But having a trace of a characteristic in an actor’s real life, is not the same as having the whole of the personality presented. Even when they purposely blend the two.

When watching “Iron Man” we know the egotistical, but likable genius, multi-millionaire, manufacturer of various technology, decadent playboy, and philanthropist Anthony Stark is not the actor Robert Downey Jr. However, RDJ the multi-millionaire, actor, happily married man, father and philanthropist has wonderfully gleaned from the reckless cockiness of his youth as a Brat Packer to give snark and charisma to the character. Yet because it is a small part of him, he plays the part of likeable scoundrel off well to his adoring public.  (PS: And not that he is ever going to read this, but all these years later I want give a most sincere Thank You to Elton John — those of you that know what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about.) I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

When it comes to, say, BBC’s “Sherlock”, I adore the Gatiss/Moffat modern interpretation of the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Not even gonna lie, I, like so many millions of others, put myself in Molly Hooper’s place for the five seconds of a most crashing Holmes kiss. However, once the show fades to black, those feelings I have for William Sherlock Scott Holmes do not transfer to Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch. While I feel I “know” this Sherlock, well – as well as anyone can know a fictional high-functioning sociopath that is, I do not pretend to know Benedict Cumberbatch. Do I admire his incredible acting talent? Oh hell yes. His talent and that damned voice, a weapon which he wields with utmost pervection (that is not a misspell – think about it), as Sherlock, it is used to even more deadly effect in the character of Khan Noonien Singh in “Star Trek: Into Darkness”. Most of us know of the now infamous Cumberbatch photobombing of U2 at the 2014 Oscars, it is a pure Benedict being random and having fun moment; it is something neither Sherlock, nor Khan would ever deign to do. I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

Fans of the “A Songs of Ice and Fire” series of novels by George R. R. Martin, know the character of Tyrion Lannister is a physically repulsive character, we adored him nonetheless.  The adoration of Tyrion increased a thousand fold once it became known by the moniker of the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones” where the character was graced by the incomparable talents of Peter Dinklage.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe of “The Avengers”, the wicked Loki of Asgard, is portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. Fangirls find Loki beautiful in spite of the evil he’s done because of Tom Hiddleston gives the character depth that transcends his physical space.

With a nod to Capaldi who has had the role since 2013, but there are fangirls to this day who argue heatedly over Tenant versus Smith as the better Doctor.

It is easy to why Sam Heughan raises heart rates as Jamie Fraser in Starz “Outlander”, the deities have given us most delectable eye candy in him. That he is an excellent actor, playing Diana Gabaldon’s well developed dimensioned male protagonist is icing on an already very delicious cake.

With the exception of Heughan and by extrapolation Jaime, part of what makes these specific characters of interest is that they are portrayed by actors who do not fit the “convention” of what is considered heart throb material. Sticking with Sherlock for a moment, the character’s purple shirt of sex, notwithstanding – Cumberbatch himself is quoted at not understanding the hullabaloo over his looks. When asked what does he most dislike about his appearance, his responds with “The size and shape of my head. I’ve been likened to Sid from Ice Age.” “BuzzFeed.com” agrees with both his sex symbol status in 25 Things That Prove Benedict Cumberbatch Is The Perfect Man and with a very uncomplimentary list of 13 Things Benedict Cumberbatch Looks Like. I know this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

So what is it? What pulls us in and then straps us down? Easy answer: the character of the character. Even when the character is considered outside of what society considers normal – Sherlock, Loki, James Moriarty, Khan, The Doctor – can we understand them? Can we understand it, even when we acknowledge that what they are doing is a bit not good? Sherlock is considered to be asexual with Asperger’s or autism depending on whom is asked, whose social skills are considerably lacking to say the least. Loki, in his mind at least, feels he has always been slighted and slotted a life as second best living in the shadow of his brother Thor. “Sherlock”’s Moriarty, played beautifully psychotic in the hands of Andrew Scott, has a genius intellect comparable to Sherlock – that’s bored. Sherlock shoots walls when bored – we all can complete the phrase an idle mind is… Moriarty’s workshop is doing triple overtime simultaneously to keep from being bored, and if people die in the process well, “That’s what people DO!” Kahn, methods leave a lot to be desired, but he just wants to save those he considers his family. Well at least until we find out otherwise.  The Doctor, that last of his kind, an alien by our standards, is a man alone, not just in the world, but in the universe, yet he is the most human of us all. Protagonist or antagonist, can they make us feel for them? It’s no different than the adoration of a sports figure, other than our characters are mostly fictional.

I have encountered actors from various shows I’ve been enamored of over the years, and not once did I lose my mind in those moments. I had my internal five seconds, Isn’t that? Wait – that’s! OMG that’s! for I am sort of human (except for when I must return to my gelatinous form to rest or forever lose my ability to shapeshift ß bonus points to those who get the reference), but again, that’s internal. Once I get those five seconds out the way, outwardly I’m good. Depending on where we are, I may or may not nod in acknowledge of their existence and keep it moving. I presume, like me, they are trying to get from Point A to Point B with as little distraction as possible. Maybe it comes with being born and raised in New York City. Maybe it’s my natural personality, but Toodles RDJ, Laterz Cumberbatch, grown woman here, I got things to do. Who attend 2016’s Tartan Day Parade in the rain because Sam Heughan was the Grand Marshall? This fangirl right here raises her hand high.

Did I get up at 3 in the morning to be downtown by four in the morning to stand in line, to be hopefully be up to stand around outside for a chance to see Robert Downey Jr at 7 in the morning for a news show? Uh, no. There are limits to my fandom. Am I in the process of watching all six seasons of “Game of Thrones” again, because I know Season 7 starts Sunday, July 16? Yep. Have I intermittently re-watched favored episodes of “Sherlock” because I still can’t believe the series might be over – forever? Yes. Have I watched “Captain America: Civil War” again? Yes, because it’s a damned good movie and I am ready to comply. Do I have a OTP in any of my fandoms? God no, but do I “ship” aw hell yeah. Why? I do this because…

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

If they can make us think, if they can make us smile or laugh, if they can make us feel. They’ve got us. And just like Ross eventually won Rachel in “Friends”. They get inside our heads first, making themselves at home in our lives, and before we know it our hearts. When what’s inside them calls to us what’s inside us, we see beyond their physical and all of them becomes something beautiful in our hearts. Once they have taken up residence there, telling us it’s just a television show, is akin to the athletically challenged spouse telling their sports oriented significant other, it’s just a game. We know this, I know this. I did not let my love of “Game of Thrones” and “Outlander” interfere with my trip to Toronto. Hello? That is what DVRs are for. Priorities! The antics of Jon Snow and James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser were the last things on my mind from the moment I locked my front door to the moment I opened it once again. However, fifteen minutes after I walked in the house I had the remote in my hand. I do this because …

I am a grown woman and I am a fangirl.

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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 Challenge – Week 22

52essays2017

A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

Priorities

A couple of weekends ago, many fans of the rock band Avenged Sevenfold were really upset when the band did not appear to open for Metallica in Philadelphia. The band was forced to cancel when guitarist Synyster Gates’ wife went into labor and he flew home to be present for the birth of their first child. I can only imagine how much worse the discord would have been had it been a member of Metallica.

Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, a former NBA player with the Indiana Pacers and current head coach for Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian League was being questioned by a reporter for allowing one of his players to leave, during the midst of his team’s semi-finals games nonetheless, to attend the birth of his first child. Firstly, Jasikevicius’ initial expression was priceless. You could all but hear him think Did that asshole really just ask me this bullshit?  His spoken response was condescending to the reporter, but frankly he had it coming. It was a stupid question, clearly intended to start some drama, that backfired and the reporter ended up getting schooled as the kids say.

https://youtu.be/XyLO3els0Zc

Life happened, literally.

Granted, musicians only tour every few years as new music drops. Concert fans can pay a lot of money to view their favorites bands live, still it was a concert.

Sports fans have more potential for access to their favorite players and when it’s crunch time I understand fans want the best players front and center, still it was a game.

This is playing a semi-final game or performing at a concert compared to bringing new life into the world for the first time. I might have more sympathy to those upset by this were it the third, fourth, fifth baby. Clearly you get how it works by then, but the for first time. If the partner has the chance to be there, and s/he wants to be there, then s/he should be there – period.

I would have liked to hope that even most those who choose not to have children, or those who have been there done that, can at least have some empathy, but as always, social media snatched the rose-colored glasses off of that fantasy — quick.  That this is even a question for some people as to why at least a first time-parent would want to drop everything and be there, honestly kind of appalls me.

Kudos to the fans in Philly who were understandably disappointed, but took it in stride. Kudos to Jasikevicius who understands that a player’s personal needs will sometimes trump his professional ones.

Priorities:
— Some people have them.
— Some people at least understand them.
— Some people really need to seriously get theirs in order.

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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 Challenge – Week 21

52essays2017

A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday – let’s see how others are slicing it up:

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Slice of Life Writing Challenge | Two Writing Teachers

The Big If

What in the actual fuck am I do with my existence and time on this planet?? Do you know what you’re doing with yours? If you died today would you be happy?

This query was posed by a friend on Facebook.  Because it was Facebook I gave a quick one paragraph response.  Below is that paragraph expanded out.

The biggest problem with worrying about our existence and time on this earth is that we have no clue how long our ride will last. Therefore worrying about it takes some of that very finite time away from actually living it.  We all, well most of us, want to be someone grand, want to be a known quantity. We want to know we have a purpose in life.  My purpose in life is easy…

Don't just survive life, live it.
Don’t just survive life, live it.
 

I believe if I simply live my life to the best of my ability each day, everything else falls into place.

Within the past ten or so years I have rediscovered ME.  The me I am when I’m not being a semi-professional on the job, when I’m not being a mother to now two grown men, when I’m not being a potential someone’s significant other. I have rediscovered the me I am when I take away all the things I have to do and am left with only the things I must to do to make my soul happy. I had no clue as to how just badly I was lost, until I slowly started to find me. I am still learning, challenging and discovering myself, and it has been one heck of an exploration.

I may never be the next Poe or Renoir or Piaf. Especially Piaf,  because this Raivenne who ironically loves karaoke, can’t sing for shit.  Yet on a very small-scale my name is now somewhat known in many countries across this globe. I could never have imagined that ten plus years ago. That is not to say that, with hard work, ten years from now if my name is well on its way to being as recognized as say Angelou or  Chihuly or Adele (again, please see my caveat re: singing above), I will not complain; really I won’t. A few ago I posted in my blog how my life has done a complete 180 degree turn regarding the arts in my life- from it dearth in my youth to its depth now. My love of writing, music, painting, poetry, theatre – it is all so ingrained into me now I cannot imagine breathing without it. I have rediscovered not just my love for the art of others, but to also appreciate and love, nurture my own arts as well.

I have accomplished some things I could not conceive of doing 30, 20, 10 years ago. Imagined?-yes. Hoped and prayed?-yes. Actually thought I would get to do?-no. But I have done and it has been a marvel. I have so many wonderful people in my life, and I include some of those whom I have yet to meet face-to-face. Had you asked me years if I ever truly thought I would know get to know just people globally, outside of my best friend, that if I should ever step foot in their country and did not make a sincere effort to meet with them that I would be royally cussed out, I would have laughed heartily in your face. Heartily. Yet, I am slowly marking not just countries, but continents of my lists; this is where I am now.

I look in the mirror each morning and I’m glad to say the majority of the time I smile at what I see. (Queue Mary J. Blige’s Fine here.) Not just physically, but emotionally as well. I have my raw days, we all do, however I can honestly say I have never been so full of life, enjoying life, thriving in the art of simply living life as I am right now.

So, if I have to make that final exit today, I can say I would be happy.  Still, for as much as I have already accomplished, have I crossed-off even a third of my ever-expanding Want-To-Do list?-Nope. So forgive me if  I’m hoping for at least a few more decades to work on those, before I leave you guys, okay? Because I’m Happy!
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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 14

52essays2017

A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

And I Think I’m Going Out Of My Head

My afternoon session over, I’m part joking around with a student and part mentally prepping for the next day’s training when my train of thought crashed spectacularly. It must have shown on my face.

Student: You okay?

Me: Yes. No. Tomorrow.

Student: Tomorrow?

Me: Yes, Tomorrow…

And this is what it sounds like when my brain fries

and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty…wait no, that Shakespeare, that’s not tomorrow… creeps in this petty pace from day to day… NO!..Tomorrow never dies……what about tomorrow?… To the last syllable of recorded time… what the ever loving fuck?! I’m having a damn Shakespearean earworm!! …pace from day to day…day by day, oh dear Lord three things I pray…wait. What? No! My mind is shot…arrows… suffer the slings and arrows…GOD DAMN IT WILLIE SHAKES!…arrows…shot through the heart and you’re to blame…NO!…I will burn the heart…I have been reliably informed that I don’t have one… Oh Sherlock…Moriarty…Mycroft Masada Holmes…dammit no… Mycroft and Sherlock…broken heart…playing Operation…operations?…YES! Office of Operations! That’s who is coming in for training tomorrow!…

The mystery of tomorrow solved, I sigh in relief returning to what I was doing.

It was the very amused expression on my student’s face that informed me that entire stream of unconsciousness had in fact occurred aloud.

><

For the record I referenced:
Shakespeare's "Macbeth” and “Hamlet“,
James Bond’s “Tomorrow Never Dies“,
Day By Day” from the musical “Godspell”,
Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name“,
From BBC’s “Sherlock”, the pool scene
A friend and fellow blogger whose name (Mycroft Masada Holmes) coincides with a character from the show and finally,
An operating scene from BBC’s “Sherlock”

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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 16

Is It Only Pretty In Pink?

WARNING: ADULT CONTENT AHEAD

A friend posted the following on her Facebook…

I was at work at the time and could not view it. I actually forgot about it and did not actually see the video until a day or so later.

At first I just rolled my eyes, but then I just saw red.

A different friend had the same initial reaction I had in thinking how men around the world are a huge reason for a lot of the fucked up shit we females go through when it comes to feminine beauty down to our vaginas. Over the years I have come across articles, advertisements, with commentary on what should be the labia color, labia size, to be or not to be hirsute, its vaginal canal width, depth, the proper moisture discharge and content and of course the natural scent of a woman. I suppose with so many cultures using complexion lighteners to attain the presumed ideal (read pink) beauty, I honestly cannot say that I am truly surprised by this. However, I am appalled and frankly disgusted at the depth of how -well- deep this desire, this need to achieve this presumed ideal for even our most intimate of places can go. Stop the madness.

This brought up some far from scientific, but highly interesting conversation twixt various friends of all genders over the next few days. In one such conversation I groused on how most CIS men seem to behave as though any vagina that does not look like a Georgia O’Keeffe painting is unworthy. Of course one of my idiot male friends sarcastically asked then, which artist I felt best represented mine. Me, being me, immediately replied “Rorsach”. When asked to elaborate I said “Each person sees something different in my lips.”

And calling spades what they are, the ones who are doing this are likely doing do to obtain some ideal to beings who should have no say in this very specific so of our bodies whatsoever, not that they should have it in any other, but really absolutely none right here  – and yes I mean men. Because as misandry filled as this is to say – no woman is likely going through labia bleaching, labiaplasty, vajazzling, and/or any other nonsense some women do to alter themselves from what nature intended, for another woman. It’s bad enough we have legal legislation, by mostly men, trying to rule on that what comes out of of our bodies.

Now we have to put up with social legislation on how it should look before going in?! Stop the madness.

I mean seriously, we women go through enough shit on the daily with regards to our bodies on the parts that every one can see. Are you effing kidding me that it has come literally down to that level?That some women have been made to feel so insecure about the appearance of their labia that they would subject themselves to that? Stop the madness!

Because it seems to me if you’ve been invited to see this woman that up close and personal that you can make comparisons you should praising your local deity for the honors and shut the fuck up! Preferably by putting your lips on mine since you’re down there I’m just saying…

And speaking of IJS – Stop that madness.

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Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 11

52essays2017

A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

How I See It

Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch, could become story fabric - Buffy Andrews

Ah Buffy, I do not know you, but oh how writely (<- not a mistake), you’ve nailed this. This reminded me of a conversation I once had with a friend on how a Facebook post I once wrote came to be in the manner it did. It came down as such.

When I see/hear any thing, it’s all a matter of part of me registers it first. Casual me sees things at one level, writer me see things at a different level and poet me let things resonate on another. Then there are the times when it all converges effortlessly as one.

Looking at the last of autumn leaves on my street is rendered as follows–

The casual me says:

The trees on the block were so pretty last week, now all the leaves are almost gone, it makes me sad. 

The writer me tomes:

A week ago, this tree-lined block was in full bloom of autumn colors. Now only few leaves are left on graying branches to testify to that erstwhile splendor. It’s near maudlin in my heart to compare.

The poet me pens:

Leaving memories 
Reflected in these gray tears
Golds and rubies fall

(PS: Yeah, I know not the best haiku, but hey, not all my two-second poems are going to be gems – shoot me)

And when they all came together in the Facebook status post in question:

There’s a tree-lined block I walk through almost daily. A week ago this block was awash in the vibrant hues of fall. Today gnarled gray fingers claw at pink cloud-dotted cerulean skies, desperate to hold on to their remaining gold and ruby jewels in the ever shortening daylight of mid-autumn. I watch one such topaz jewel lazily drift to its final resting place upon the concrete. It felt as if watching a tear fall.

The same eyes saw the same street, the same leaf, at the same moment, yet each part views it, and thus tells it, differently. Still, not matter how it’s seen/heard/felt…

Warning: I'm a writer. Anything you do or say may be used in a story.

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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 13

 

Just Another

Some slices of life will be of the mundane, this is one:

So it’s just another Sunday afternoon. In these final days before spring, Old Man Winter reminds us he’s still in charge. It’s cold outside, so I am inside. I spent part of the weekend bingeing on TV shows; a true Netflix and chill. Some parts were spent setting up potential subject draft for future essays. Other parts giving time to muse and dropping random lines of poems and prose in draft for potential future poems.  I even donated a couple of hours to laundry sorting and house cleaning – as I said, the mundane.

Still, I am hardly bemoaning of these more quiet and frankly necessary times.  Yes, these more mundane times help me to appreciate the times that are anything but. Mostly, they are needed and appreciated to help recharge the old noggin and give this body some rest beyond the basic, and there is never mundane anything about that.

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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 12

Cold As

Hung out last night for dinner and drinks with friends. On my way home this happened:

Male Friend I ran into on train: Have you been drinking?
Me: Yup.
MF: You’re drunk?
Me: Nope. Inebriated.
MF: What’s the difference?
Me: A) I can still pronounce it easily. B) I can still spell it slowly. C) You’re attractive, but not nearly enough for me to have illicit thoughts. D) I actually thought the words “illicit thoughts”.
MF: Damn. Even inebriated you’re cold.
Me: Yup.

For the record, even when sober, I spell inebriated slowly.

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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 11

As Old As

Killing time before class starts, my students and I are shooting the breeze about music. One mentions she will be attending Metallica’s upcoming concert in NJ, which I will attending as well. It segues into first album purchased (Micheal Jackson’s “Off the Wall”) and first concert attended, which for me was The Spinners with an appearance by Dionne Warwick. Only one student, not much older than I, knew of the group. Way to feel ancient Rai – geesh, but I guess it was better than none of them knowing, right? Right.

The student who knew of the Spinners sings out  “I’m sitting all alone by the telephone, waiting for your call..”

Not missing a beat I join in singing “…when you don’t call at all. It’s a shame, sha-ame.”

We trade lyrics and singers from the late 60s, early 70s for a bit. Clearly, I was familiar enough with the music of that time to have not just heard it from my parents collection. I am accused of that often enough that I just shrug it off for the compliment it accidentally gives. Meanwhile I can see the numbers crunching in his head as he looked hard at my face, which is never a good way to judge my vintage, by the way.

“How the hell old are you?” He baldly asks the burning question at last.

“Damn dude!” Exclaimed another student “You don’t do that!”

Without batting an eye, me – being me, answered in true me fashion.

“Let’s just say I was a cougar to Methuselah.”

There was a most awkward pause before some of them got it and laughed. While Methuselah had to be explained to the rest. It amused me immensely that I, the self-proclaimed resident heathen, made a biblical reference that went over nearly everyone’s head.

And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.”
–Genesis 5:27 King James Version (KJV)

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10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 10