Sometimes, My Life Works

Like when a card comes together this perfectly.  It’s a fine note on which to end this weird year.



For your Holiday pleasure, a bit of the wonderful 2011 stage production of “Frankenstein” at London’s National Theater.  I saw this last night at a movie theater (a blaspheme in itself, putting a stage play on screen, but that’s another theological debate).

When the play was in production, Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch switched roles every night—first being the Creator, and then the Creature.  Their performances fed off each other, as the Creature and the Creator do in Mary Shelley’s story.

And then, how interesting that both actors moved on to play Sherlock Holmes as leads in their own individual TV series.  Art mimics Life mimics Art.


Every Moment

At our Thursday TOPS meetings we draw a Pledge for the coming week.  It’s usually something healthy and weight-related we’re called to do every day—a reminder to keep proper nutrition and management at the front of our minds.  The penalty for not fulfilling the Pledge is a dime.  Not a huge deterrent, just a nudge.

This current bout of depression started its dive two weeks ago.  On my way down I jettisoned any semblance of control as the darkness took over my eating.  I bought what was cheap and could numb the pain.  I included fruit and vegetables, but that was like throwing a life-preserver to someone bitten in half by a shark.

The illness and the distorted thinking twisted me in knots of self-loathing.  I felt hideous inside and out.  It was intolerable.

So, when I weighed in today I knew what the scale would say.  I tried to remember that it was just a number, not an indictment.

In the meeting we talked about our goals and vision, why we continued to attend the meetings, and what we wanted.  I felt defeated and helpless against the constant cycle of compulsive eating, shame, and celery.  I hated myself.

Then, one of the women drew out our Pledge for the coming week.  “Every day, tell yourself you are worth the struggle.”

There were so many ways my twisted brain wanted to argue with that statement.  But I just took a deep breath, came home, ate too much, then sat down at my work table.

The only positive voice in my head—when there is one—is baritone and British.  I thought I might just listen to that affirmation if I could imagine it in the Voice.  So I made a piece to stick on my bathroom mirror where I would be sure to see it every day.  Many times every day.

Every Moment, Benedict Cumberbatch

When I read these words, I know they’re not just about obesity and compulsion.  They’re about poverty, madness, and loneliness.  They’re about getting up after falling on the ice for the umpteenth time.  They’re about laughing when it would be much easier to cry.  They’re about taking a deep breath and looking up at the stars instead of keeping my head down in the cold.  They’re about Remembering who I am.

And if I need to hear these words in a British accent to believe them, then so be it.  We do whatever works.

I am Sherlocked


Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
as Holmes and Watson

I have fallen, and I can’t get up.  On top of that, my deeply geeky slip is showing.  What’s got me showing my fan-panties is the BBC’s current incarnation of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock.


Rupert Graves as DI Lestrad

I’ve always been a Holmesian—loved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, faithfully watched every Mystery! presentation in the ’80s and 90’s with Jeremy Brett, enjoyed the new movies with Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law.  But, my Pinterest boards kept exploding with news and images of this new Sherlock.  The amount of drool over Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman rivaled the rabid foam of the Baskerville hound.  Also, both actors cross over into my other fannish delights—Cumberbatch playing the evil Kahn in Star Trek Into Darkness, and Freeman bringing Bilbo Baggins alive in The Hobbit.  I could not get away from these guys, so decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Sherlock, Lara Pulver, Benedict Cumberbatch

The Seductress Irene Adler

Conceived by Holmesian geeks themselves, the old stories get a complete reboot into present day.  Mark Gatiss (who plays Mycroft in the series) and Steven Moffat give us a Holmes who knows everything about cell phones, terrorist cells, and cellular biology.  Their Watson is a thoughtful veteran of the Afghanistan war who blogs about his adventures with Holmes.  Instead of being smelly and incompetent, Scotland Yard’s Detective Lestrade is earnest, smart, and considers Holmes an asset.  There’s a sweet little coroner with a hopeless crush on Holmes.  Irene Adler is a professional dominatrix, Mrs. Hudson a dear, and Moriarty just bug-shit scary.  Mycroft is still a pompous twit, but in a good way.

Sherlock, Moriarty, Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott as Moriarty

My fannish heart committed itself fifteen minutes into the first episode as Watson struggles to re-enter civilian life and Holmes shows off as all genius, high-functioning sociopaths are wont to do.  Dorky, gangly, and socially offensive, Cumberbatch’s young Holmes can’t make ends meet as a consulting detective.  He meets Freeman’s Watson, whose delight and amazement in Holmes’ abilities comes as a shock as most react with repulsion, disbelief or defensiveness.  Of course, Holmes usually displays his ability dripping with smarty-pants insults, which win him no friends.  Watson becomes a buffer, which makes Sherlock easier to swallow, and provides grounding in the real world.  Together, the business and their friendship flourishes.

Martin Freeman’s performance as Watson won him a BAFTA award (the British equivalent of an Emmy) in the series first season.  Andrew Scott’s portrayal of Moriarty garnered another BAFTA in season two.  And then there are the dulcet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice (described by one fan as a jaguar inside a cello) as he speed-deduces like a velvet gatling gun.  The stories are crisp, surprising and witty.  The fact that Steven Moffat is prone to killing off his characters adds another layer of delicious tension.

Molly Hooper, Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

Molly the Coroner, Fan-girling

Cast and crew are currently at work, with delays to accommodate Freeman’s Hobbit shoots in New Zealand.  But eventually, season three will come to PBS.  Until then, there are always the DVDs of seasons one and two.  (A word of warning:  A “season” consists of three, 90 minute episodes.  I know.)

Read between the lines of my fan-girling gush, and you’ll find a show worthy of Sir Arthur’s approval.  The game, as this Sherlock says, is on.

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