The "Brit a Day" series

What does a months-long parade of attractive British men have to do with fiction, you might well ask? These gentlemen have inspired some lovely scenes, part of the life I live in my head. Over time, some of these scenes reach out to one another and begin to form a story. For the present, each one of these pictures provides a writing prompt for me, a way to keep me writing with a sense of passion and narrative, even when the stories are not yet fully formed.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Brit a Day [#85]

Eddie Argos [center] appeared in a video made by the British band The Indelicates supporting their single "Julia, We Don't Live in The Sixties." The theme of the song and the video is, as you'd expect from the title, a satire on apathy. Hence, the protesters' posters declaring, "It's FINE" and "It's a Bit Chill," in as much as the weather is the only thing this dispassionate generation really has to complain about.

In the foreground is the lovely Julia Indelicate, one of the finest vocalists of our time. I wish she had a solo or a bigger part on this song. You can watch the video here:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Brit a Day [#84]

Here is Henry Ian Cusick on the set of 'Lost', most likely filming an episode near the end of season 5. Co-star Michael Emerson is in the backgound and a very happy [lucky] stagehand union guy is in the mid-ground. In the episode in question, Ben [Emerson's character] arrives at the marina with the intention of killing Penny, Desmond's wife, first shoots Desmond in the shoulder, then equivocates about shooting Penny long enough for wounded Desmond to jump him and throw him in the drink. This picture must have been taken before the action because Ian's not all bloody and Michael isn't all wet.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Brit a Day [#83]

If you click on this picture and enlarge it so you can read it, the article speaks for itself. The "dogging" comment refers to an incident where Harry Potter script pages were reportedly found in an unusual public place.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Brit a Day [#82]

Perhaps the most lovable co-stars ever, here are Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson on the publicity tour for HP4, 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.' I just noticed for the first time the beautiful layering Emma did with her lockets and necklace.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Brit a Day [#81]

Here are Christian Bale and Russell Crowe making the rounds in support of their film '3:10 to Yuma.' It is an incredible film. Don't be put off by the fact that it is a remake of a classic Western. It is a beautifully sad story of men looking for redemption. And you can't go wrong with good-looking men wearing dusters and riding horses. It's good to see Christian and Russell smiling and looking relaxed here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Brit a Day [#80]

I can hardly believe that I have stuck with something like this blog for 80 posts, and that I have posted everyday since I began A Brit A Day. There is a good reason why both my children suffer from ADHD--it appears to be hereditary.

This week I'm going to focus on Happy, Shiny CoStars Making Friends. Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman have made at least 2 movies together, and both were about as different as 2 films can be. In 'Galaxy Quest,' Weaver played a hot leading lady. In "Snowcake" she portrayed a high-functioning autistic. In both cases, she has a great on-screen chemistry with Rickman, not the steamy romantic kind of chemistry but simple human chemistry.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Brit a Day [#79]

Today is the last post in our week of fantasy doctors. I thought we could expand our coverage to include fantasy lifeguards, EMT's, and general givers of mouth-to-mouth resusitation. Here are a couple of pics from LOST Season 3 in which Desmond [Henry Ian Cusick] rescues and resusitates a drowning Claire. This thought is not original with me: I want to be Claire's right hand.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Brit a Day [#78]

Eddie Argos could easily have an honorary Ph.D. His brilliant lyrics are taken so seriously by those Art-Brut-loving Germans that college courses have been offered there to analyze them for there philosophical content. Here, Eddie is performing with an earlier band, The Art Goblins.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Brit a Day [#77]

This is for Thursday.

Another LOST timeline with Desmond practicing medicine? Sorry, no. Henry Ian Cusick played a doctor on the Scottish [?] television series '2000 Acres of Sky'. Thanks to my Sistahs for unearthing those screen caps at HenryIan Daily--it's hard when you live in North America and a show has only ever aired in Region 2--don't even get me started on the absurdity of that. One of the Sistahs points out that Ian is the loveliest obstruction of an eye chart that ever existed.

Frankly, today I could use a good exotic small pet doctor. And if he's good looking, I require a house call.

A Brit a Day [#76]

I thought today's post was going to be hard. But Jason Isaacs has played a doctor on more than one occasion. He had an uncredited role as a doctor in Resident Evil. But I particularly like the top picture where he bears a great resemblance to my daughter's orthodontist.
Yeah, my life is good.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Brit a Day [#75]

You are certainly encouraged to click on this picture to see it larger. Based on some of the qualities Harry Potter exhibited, I decided that Daniel Radcliffe should be a veterinarian in today's post in keeping with this week's theme. This photo is clipped from a promo pic for 'Equus' a few years back, but it is amazingly appropriate. Decades ago, before they had special clothing for the purpose, large animal vets would strip to the waist before they got down to business with....a large animal. I learned every thing I need to know about large animal practices from the James Herriot books like 'All Creatures Great and Small.'

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Brit a Day [#74]

I looks like I'm going to be able to play doctor with the boys all week, then. My favorite performance by Christian Bale is probably 'Laurel Canyon' in which he plays a doctor who has moved to LA for his residency and ends up living in his mother's house. I think all of us who have seen the movie know that he is going to get lucky later on in that car [middle picture] without ever removing his clothes. Sexiest Fully-Clothed Love Scene Ever.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Brit a Day [#73]

Alan Rickman, an Emmy-worthy performance as a doctor in Something the Lord Made.

I love presenting a brit a day, but I don't want to be dead as a fiction writer. I'm working on a story that has a doctor as one of the central characters--if you read Thursday's post this will probably not surprise you, as I do wax poetic on doctors from time to time--and have sooo little left to do, but I seem to be avoiding it. Don't want it to end? Perhaps because then I have to do something else, start something new, in order not to be....dead as a fiction writer.

Speaking of dead authors, I've returned to the novel I think I love more than any other for a third [more?] reading--Lady Chatterley's Lover. Usually I say that life is too short and the world library is too large to re-read books, but since nothing has surpassed it, I indulge myself again. D. H. Lawrence could not have been born into a society less fit for his genius than early 20th century England. When I read his prose, I often cry, not only for the beauty of it, but for all the missed opportunity and misunderstanding that afflict those who have shunned it without ever reading it. Reputation is such a dangerous, pivotal attribute for an artist. Pivotal because it can turn on a dime.

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia about the campaign by his friends to rally against his critics after his death--

D H Lawrence’s friend Catherine Carswell summed up his life in a letter to the periodical Time and Tide published on 16 March 1930. In response to his critics, she claimed:

In the face of formidable initial disadvantages and life-long delicacy, poverty that lasted for three quarters of his life and hostility that survives his death, he did nothing that he did not really want to do, and all that he most wanted to do he did. He went all over the world, he owned a ranch, he lived in the most beautiful corners of Europe, and met whom he wanted to meet and told them that they were wrong and he was right. He painted and made things, and sang, and rode. He wrote something like three dozen books, of which even the worst page dances with life that could be mistaken for no other man's, while the best are admitted, even by those who hate him, to be unsurpassed. Without vices, with most human virtues, the husband of one wife, scrupulously honest, this estimable citizen yet managed to keep free from the shackles of civilization and the cant of literary cliques. He would have laughed lightly and cursed venomously in passing at the solemn owls—each one secretly chained by the leg—who now conduct his inquest. To do his work and lead his life in spite of them took some doing, but he did it, and long after they are forgotten, sensitive and innocent people—if any are left—will turn Lawrence's pages and will know from them what sort of a rare man Lawrence was.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Brit a Day [#72]

Today is Henry Ian Cusick's birthday. He will have 43 candles on his cake, if he chooses to do that sort of thing. He will most likely celebrate with his wife and three sons. I am 99% certain he is on Oahu today, and that would make almost anyone happy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Brit a Day [#71]

This is for Friday. Ankle is resting comfortably, time to kill, blah blah. I do wish Blogger would let you save an unfinished post and date it on the day you actually post it, but no, it has to be dated on the day you start it. So it goes.

This post, of all the posts this week, features the picture that makes me happiest of all, happy with memories. I don't get to see Eddie very often, but on this particular evening--the one pictured-- Art Brut was playing here in San Diego at Cane's down by the rollercoaster and the ocean. Eddie and our friend Keith snuck up behind me while the opening band was on and tapped on my shoulder. This was startling simply because Eddie is quite in excess of six feet tall. Keith gave me a button I'd been coveting from their first band, The Art Goblins, and Eddie and I had a good laugh over the button I'd brought him, one that said "I [heart] Dan Radcliffe." Through his fans' enthusiasm for his excellent taste in music, Daniel Radcliffe had pretty much put Art Brut on the map. Eddie put on the button and wore it for the show, see above, the white one on his sweater.

Keith and Eddie finally met my husband, Sean, that night, and Eddie's girlfriend Dyan was in the opening band, The Blood Army. Art Brut played second, like the middle child, and the final act of the evening was The Hold Steady, Eddie Argo's own personal favorite band. By that time, Eddie had been on the road with his idol, The Hold Steady's frontman Craig, and Eddie was over the moon. The night at Cane's was a lovefest. When Eddie did his customary wander through the audience during "Modern Art", he gave me a little wave. I beamed. In the background of another photograph that was taken that night, you can see me glowing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Brit a Day [#70]

This is for Thursday. I'm laid up with a sprained ankle, so I might as well put the time to good use. The middle picture is from the show 'Lost', when Desmond meets Jack for the first time and tapes his ankle. Lucky Jack. Lucky ankle.

Desmond from 'Lost' is one of my epic crushes. The character more than the actor--even though Henry Ian Cusick, who plays Desmond, is adorable, lovely and incomparable--it's just that Desmond is that good. Sigh. Here's the thing--Desmond doesn't get to be happy very often. So a picture [bottom one] of Desmond happy makes me happy. I have pictures of dear Desmond with a bigger smile, but in this case he seems honestly...content.

Here's the other thing--Desmond has implied that he wanted to be/almost became a doctor. But he didn't. We don't know why that turned out to be the case. But what could be sexier than a guy who wanted to be a doctor and then was robbed of his dreams by some unexplained tragedy? It's the Holy Grail of fantasy men. The possibility that you could be the woman who rescues him from this mysterious obstacle is tantalizing beyond comprehension. You are his rock, you provide the emotional support that allows him to overcome his self-doubt. Then you get to hook up with a doctor [speaking of Holy Grails--at least from my mother's generation's POV].

The top picture, then? It's Desmond, happy, almost a doctor. Sigh.

A Brit a Day [#69]

I've always loved the notion that in all incarnations of 'Peter Pan,' Mr. Darling is played by the same actor as Capt. Hook.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Brit a Day [#68]

As pretty as a wedding picture but with the innocence that reminds of of why we fell in love with these kids. The way Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe are lit here gives us a glimpse of what little angels they must have been as young children as well as a peek into their futures as stunning adults.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Brit a Day [#67]

This week's posts--yesterday's included retroactively--are going to be pictures that have made my life happier every time I look at them. Real life happiness can use a little boost every now and then from the fantasy kind of happiness we think we are missing out on, but at the end of the day....

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

– Philip K. Dick

Today: Christian Bale. I like this picture because he looks....well....comfy. I want to take a nap on him.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Brit a Day [#66]

This post is for Sunday April 11.
Best. Alan. Rickman. Movie. Ever.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Jane Austen and Emma Thompson for 'Sense and Sensibility.'

A Brit a Day [#65]

James Joyce and Sylvia Beach, the publisher of Ulysses, here as Constance and Clifford Chatterley.

Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.

This was more or less Constance Chatterley's position. The war had brought the roof down over her head. And she had realised that one must live and learn.

The opening paragraph of Lady Chatterley's Lover (D. H. Lawrence)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Brit a Day [#64]

This is for Friday.

Eddie Argos.

Leopold Bloom thinks he sees a map of Dublin in the residual foam of his pint.

Ulysses [James Joyce]

A Brit a Day [#63]

Henry Ian Cusick.

Oliver Mellors, gamekeeper to the Chatterley estate, returns from his rounds to find Constance Chatterley at the door of his cottage.

Lady Chatterley's Lover (D. H. Lawrence)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Brit a Day [#62]

Jason Isaacs.

Jake Barnes awakes to his last morning in San Sebastian before Brett's telegram calls him to Madrid.

The Sun Also Rises [Ernest Hemingway]

free advice, and spoilers applied as liberally as sunscreen

If you watch 'Lost' and you haven't seen last nights' episode yet, please go away for a little while, okay?

When I started 10th grade English I was so stoked to be assigned my first Hemingway novel to read, 'A Farewell to Arms,' I think it was. Ernest Hemingway seemed to me to be the most famous author in the English language. "I'm going to learn something cosmic, adult, and shattering from reading this," I remember thinking. And you know what I learned? Everything comes down Just love, the way we understand it from the day we are born. That's all, the most important thing in the world is love.

It's such an affirmation to have this history-making series come down to the same thing. Last night's episode 'Happily Ever After,' hit it out of the park.

And eerily, I had this beautiful Nick Cave song stuck in my head all day yesterday before I saw 'Happily Ever After.' I must have listened to it 3 times--

I've felt you coming girl, as you drew near
I knew you'd find me, cause I longed you here
Are you my destiny? Is this how you'll appear?
Wrapped in a coat with tears in your eyes?
Well take that coat babe, and throw it on the floor
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

As you've been moving surely toward me
My soul has comforted and assured me
That in time my heart it will reward me
And that all will be revealed
So I've sat and I've watched an ice-age thaw
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

Out of sorrow entire worlds have been built
Out of longing great wonders have been willed
They're only little tears, darling, let them spill
And lay your head upon my shoulder
Outside my window the world has gone to war
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

O we will know, won't we?
The stars will explode in the sky
O but they don't, do they?
Stars have their moment and then they die

There's a man who spoke wonders though I've never met him
He said, "He who seeks finds and who knocks will be let in"
I think of you in motion and just how close you are getting
And how every little thing anticipates you
All down my veins my heart-strings call
Are you the one that I've been waiting for?

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Brit a Day [#61]

This is for Tuesday, and it's dedicated to India L.

Years later, Scout Finch (Emma Watson), Dill Harris (Rupert Grint), and Scout’s brother Jem (Daniel Radcliffe) still remember the treasures they received from Boo Radley.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Brit a Day [#60]

For Monday.

Young Vicomte Raoul de Chagny contemplates his next move to save his beloved Christine from the clutches of the monster he knows only as Erik.

Christian Bale, The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux)

A Brit a Day [#59]

This week our virile British cast will be featured as great characters from literature.

Arthur Dimmesdale prepares to give his Easter sermon. He is momentarily disarmed by the sight of Hester Prynne with little Pearl in her arms.

Alan Rickman, The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Brit a Day [#58]

Like I said, I could have done a whole week of hands just using pictures of Eddie Argos. Here are a few more of my favorites.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Brit a Day [#57]

Trying to find the best picture of Eddie's hands is like trying to find the loveliest coal in Newcastle--there are just so many of them. The man has gorgeous hands, and he knows how to use them to tell a story, one of them usually wrapped generously around a microphone. His long, slender fingers mimic his overall height. One of his songs, "Rusted Guns of Milan," is a bit of an ode to his own hands, though I'm not sure it started out that way.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Brit a Day [#56]

Henry Ian Cusick played the part of Jesus Christ in 'The Gospel of John.'

As I tell my friends and my kids--other family would not want to hear this--Christianity is my culture, but a lifetime of experiences has not shown me that Christianity celebrates/reflects/informs my spirituality. However, I do take Easter very seriously, not in the sense that I take it literally, but in the sense that if you are going to acknowledge that there are Christians in your midst, then you also have to acknowledge that Easter is their holiest of days. Without Easter, simply, there is no reason for any other holy day in Christianity.

Tomorrow is the day we celebrate the death of a man named Jesus. Celebrate?? Hold on here. My mom volunteered as church secretary when I was a kid, and she was at the desk in the church office when I asked her to explain what on earth was good about Good Friday. I think I was eight. Without hesitating she stood up and said, 'Let's go talk to Katherine.' Katherine was a lay-minister and an ex-missionary and a wonderful dinner guest with tales of Africa in her repertoire and a woman with a teacher's nurturing soul. I don't remember her worlds, but I do remember she made me feel pretty okay about the whole thing. I don't think I said it out loud, but I at least thought as I left her office, 'But I can call it Black Friday if I want, right?'

I have always kept, then, that human connection to the Friday before Easter. It is a day to wallow in 'what if's' for me. It is a day to wonder if We The Mortal Population of The Universe killed someone who was somehow better than us. It is a day to wonder if a really, really good normal person was humiliated and killed unjustly. It is a day to wonder what would have happened if he had not been.

Enjoy this beautiful hand. And happy Easter.