20 blogging prompts in 1 post

When you have a WordPress account, you also have a ‘My Home’ page in the admin section of your blog or website. Occasionally when I check in there, I see a writing prompt question and some of them can be interesting but I never answer them. While checking my spam filter today I saw a prompt asking “What is your career plan?” As I’ve been working today and yes, I was by chance also briefly considering my career, that question felt quite timely. So, I figured I could jump in on that blogging prompt and answer that question. I then scrolled through a few more prompts but there were only 5 or 6 prompts left. I did a little extra search and found a few more prompts here. “Why not compile a list?”, I thought. And so I cherry picked some questions that don’t need very long answers and have decided to answer them here:

1- What is your career plan?
I don’t really have one, never did! I do have some requirements, though:

  • My job needs to be in a social or educational setting, something where I can feel that my work is useful to others. I love that I’m working in a library again, and one in education to boot.
  • I want to be challenged, do something I enjoy and can use my brain for.
  • I can’t only sit behind the computer all day, I also need the aspect of socially connecting at work.
  • I want to make enough money so that I can live in relative comfort.
  • The older I get, the less patience I have for management bullshit, so if it gets too hairy, I’m out.

2- What public figure do you disagree with the most?
Donald Trump. And many more but he’s got to be the worst.

3- List your top 5 favorite fruits.
Israeli Sharon fruit (Persimmon), Avocadoes, Red apples, Bananas, Grapes

4- What’s the oldest thing you’re wearing today?
A black Franz Kafka Prague t-shirt.

5- Reincarnation: do you believe in it?
Lovely thought but nope.

6- Tell me something you know you should do . . . but don’t.

7- Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

8- Early bird, or night owl?
Night-owl. It is almost impossible for me to go to bed before midnight. Ideally I’d go to bed at 2 am and get up again between 9 and 10 am.

9- Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?
Half-full, mostly.

10- The last book you read?
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Fun book.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend.

11- Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to?
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. We have a huge, thin fabic wall hanging of the painting in our living room. This summer we’re going to Vienna where I finally hope to see it for real.

12- Tell me something most people probably don’t know about you.
In my real life, practically no one I know knows that I have this blog.

13- Tell me about the last time you had a real, deep, crying-from-laughing belly laugh.
I laugh and smile regularly but one that really had me in stitches must be from a few weeks ago about something (and I can’t remember exactly what) my daughter said at the dinner table.

14- Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.
Yesterday, actually, watching this clip on YouTube. I adore the inclusivity of this group of young dancers and singers.

15- Finish this sentence: “When I look in the mirror, I . . .”
“… should tell myself to be kinder to myself.”

16- Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”
“… my husband and I love him so dearly.”

17- Cast the movie of your life.
Childhood and youth: Richard Armitage as my dad. Amy Adams as my mom. Maybe have Millie Bobby Brown play me?

Current self: As I have a bit of an Oedipus complex, it would be Richard Armitage again as Mr Esther (this time with beard), and Kate Winslet as me.

18- Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it?
Esther, from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, means “star”. My parents chose all Old Testament names for all my siblings and so they did for me as well. My dad was a doctor in Theology, specializing in Judaism and Jewish-Christian relations and my parents both liked having that theme for all our names. My middle name is for my paternal grandmother, albeit in a different version.

19- Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.
Well, not the same pair because every now and again I buy new ones, but for the past 14 or 15 years I’ve been wearing Birkenstock slippers as soon as the weather allows. I have been on summer holidays all over Europe, Israel and even in the US on my Birkenstocks. Picture on the left is from 2009 in Canterbury, picture on the right is from last summer near Naples. Yeah, my feet got filthy, but I don’t care, I just love my Birkenstocks and I have several pairs.

20- Dog person, cat person or both and why?
I grew up with dogs and love them but I always wanted cats and have now had them for many years, so I’d say cats. I love their independence, their laissez-faire attitudes and the way they can curl into you and purr so endearingly. But really, the love for one species does not exclude the other and I love both. Here’s a picture from 1980, a few months before we moved from Israel to Germany. The little black dog on the left and the black and white dog were ours, the German shepherd dog belonged to our neighbour.

When I was 27 (in 1997) I got my first two cats and have not looked back since. Here are the four great cat loves in my life…

There you have it: twenty blogging prompts efficiently crammed into one post. If anyone else who reads this is inclined to play, I’d love to know what your answers would be (in the comments here or on your own blog).

Sweet to the fans

I just came across this little Q&A video of Richard but I’m not sure he’s actually answering questions from the Armitage Army. I know a little of what happens in (my corner of) the fandom and I never saw a request to send in questions. But hey, that’s just semantics, I guess. He does answer a question about the Armitage Army in a sweet way…

…which is why I figured I’d share this particular video here….

The questions and answers aren’t too surprising and the man and his stance towards his own nudity remains baffling to me. He doesn’t want to take his kit off after 50 but then does so in this series where apparently we will see more of him than we ever have before and he even tries to sell the series with his nudity. A man of contradiction. Anyway, it still is a nice little interview.

I haven’t had the patience and head space to dive into Obsession yet. I am curious about Richard’s performance but am also finding that I need to talk myself into watching this. From experience I can tell you that it could take a while before I do so. For example, it was not until earlier this week that I finally watched Space Sweepers which I enjoyed far more than I ever thought I would!

Anyway, has anyone watched Obsession yet? Without spoiling too much, was it good?

The publicity machine for ‘Obsession’

Only have a little time to pop in here and there in the Richard Armitage fandom, but the publicity machine is in full-on mode for Obsession, which comes out next week. There’s an ITV interview with Charlie Murphy…

Richard wrote a piece in The Telegraph on working with an intimacy coordinator, which I quite enjoyed. Text is here, thanks to Ketvelin August on Twitter:

He’s been to the BFI in London for a Q&A, although I admit I have only seen pictures and have not yet read anywhere what may or may not have been discussed…

I was out to dinner with friends yesterday evening, so missed him on The One Show but have just seen a clip of it up on YouTube. Not sure if it will stay up but for now it’s viewable here…

The nicest tidbit I read was this morning. I hate The Daily Mail but apparently Richard did give a bonafide interview to the newspaper which was quite interesing. One of the things that stuck out for me was the confirmation that he’s in a relationship and has been for five years already!

Richard came out as gay to his family when he was 19 but not publicly until a few years ago, saying he was worried ‘if I said the wrong thing or revealed too much, it could all come crashing down and my parents wouldn’t be proud of me any more’.
He’s still uncomfortable discussing his private life, but says he and his partner of five years have become friendly with Charlie and her husband.

I’ve got to say I’m so happy for him! I’m assuming it’s with Jim Gibb, who he was photographed with in 2019 at a charity dinner (and I take it he was also seen on the Obsession set). When I saw those photographs three and a half years ago, it left me in no doubt…

Richard is a very private person and he should keep his life as private as he wants to but after having been so invested in him for so many years, I do like knowing this little tidbit about him. I hope they keep going strong. Congratulations on finding your person, Richard!

Anway, back to Obsession: I assume the publicity machine will wane after it starts airing next week on the 13th (unless it becomes a big hit, then I assume we’ll see more). Not sure if I will watch the show right away (I have some trepidations), but I will watch in time. I wonder how the reception of it will be and if it will only be about the sex or if there is something more-dimensional to discuss.


So, Richard’s new project for Netflix, Obsession, will start airing mid April and I’ve been reading some of the reactions to the new trailer…

Richard always looks so good when he looks so intense and focussed…

… and for that I will watch this. The project in itself has never interested me that much, though. Not because of the sex scenes, which I have no problem with as long as they aren’t too gratuitous and are somehow integral to the story, but because of the whole love triangle thing. I hate love triangle stories in general and a love triangle with a father and son involved has me cringing even more. Yeah, I get that it’s supposed to be about all encompassing and uncontrollable obsession and how destructive that is, but still…

Richard seems to think (as per this Guardian article) we should all at least once experience an all-consuming orgasm and that we should all be pitied if we do not at least once feel an overwhelming physical obsession for someone.

The thrust of Obsession is broadly as Armitage describes: “Has anybody ever stepped into your life who has given you that sense of overwhelming, indescribable physical obsession? If they have, did you end up in a relationship with them or did you choose to walk away? If they haven’t, I pity you. Because everyone should feel that.”

Yeah… nope! I know the man is promoting his movie, but really? I know all about obsession when I dive into some actor that I obsess over (not only Richard, I’ve obsessed over others too) and while, yes, it’s fun for a while, it also comes at a cost, i.e. no time for anything else, sleeping less and this constant hunger to learn more and more feels insatiable. At some point it’s good to get out of it. Luckily, that is only about fan-life and harmless with no lying and cover ups and hurting loved ones involved. It’s more than enough obsession for me in my life. If I felt such an obsession for someone real, especially physically, I know it would be destructive and I really don’t think it would be gratifying in any way, it would just become soul crushingly depressing. I prefer to make better decisions for myself that make me happy. My life is too precious to mess up with such an obsession. I am very happily consumed by a deep love for my husband and my kids, I don’t need an obsession messing that up. As for an all-consuming orgasm – aren’t most orgasms that anyway? And if you can’t have one, for whatever reason, is it really so terrible to miss out on that when there are other great things in your life as well? For me, this article is probably best quickly forgotten.

Next week there will be a Q&A session at the BFI in London about Obsession

I had hoped to be there myself for a little last minute trip to London but alas I can’t make it. I wonder what Richard will have to say then and I hope it’s better than what he said for that Guardian article. Fingers crossed! I also wonder whether Obsession can surprise me in a good way. I’m still open to trying it.

Richard and Harlan

Earlier this week, Richard Armitage interviewed Harlan Coben about his new book I Will Find You. I had briefly considered actually travelling to London to be at this event (admittedly for Richard and less so for Harlan) but in the end it just wasn’t feasible with work and such to travel there on a Thursday. I couldn’t make the livestream, so I hoped for a video of the talk to be released and there is one now! ZedEffEye over on Twitter graciously shared a link for the video.

I see that the YouTube video is an unlisted video, so it will not show up in searches, but is only available through the direct link that I’m also embedding here:

I have just watched it and found it interesting to hear Harlan speak about his writing process. It was also lovely to hear Richard give his insights and I think I may have recognized Opera is Magic‘s voice asking a question (the one about thinking about other plots while writing the current one). She always has great questions at these things.

I took a buttload of screenshots, thought I’d share them here, as a little fan service, to do with as you please (click on images to enlarge)…

Some better pictures were posted on Twitter. Armidreamer, were you in the first row? You got some really good shots.

There are more nice pictures…

It looks like it was a nice event! Next time, if it’s on a weekend, I’ll try getting myself to London again as well.