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therapeutic thump

i like your moxie, sassafras!

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somewhere over the weekend
quintessential, wear you like a jewel, winter soldier, bucky barnes
Hi, everybody!

I am going to sign up for Yuletide this weekend, without fail, this I vow. I just need to figure out what I want and what I could actually write for someone else. A few of the letters I've seen have been particularly inspiring, so I think I already have a few treats lined up - we'll see if I actually convert that desire into words on a screen.

I'm thisclose to finishing up a project that's been many, many moons in the making, and I am really looking forward to having it off my plate.

Confession time: it's been a while since I watched Political Animals, but I do have vivid memories of one TJ Hammond, as played by wide-eyed beauty boy Sebastian Stan, and I remember being so hurt for him when his lover refused to be with him publicly. AND THEN. Then, I see the lover in a soup commercial, in a relationship with another man, both fathers to a little boy, and I got all worked up, like, "You don't get to have this! You weren't willing to acknowledge TJ!" Um, so I may have been weirdly emotional for the last few weeks.

Part of that might have been due to my birthday. Thank you to everyone who reached out to wish me a lovely day! (I hope you all enjoy my best gift, courtesy of the remarkable [personal profile] musesfool.) Some of it is due to work stuff, where things keep changing and I'm getting tired of people who make demands without thinking about what those changes will mean in practical terms. And some of it is due to my apartment and the property managers who are supposed to be maintaining the building. Oh, and some of it is because of my upcoming trip to India, which I am completely unprepared for.

Plus, half my team at work is sick, and so I'm spending this weekend not budging from the couch. I will sign up for Yuletide, I will read some fic, and I will write some of my own. Yes. And I will watch more of Cosmos, which I have out from the library. Man, the evolution of the eye was super cool!

What are you all up to?

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/455243.html.

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I loved TJ! I got really angry at the lover, too (although I didn't have the soup commercial experience). I loved most of the characters but got very frustrated with all of them. It was a fantastic cast.

I thought Sebastian Stan looked better before he bulked up, and I've been wondering if anyone else thinks that. As TJ, he seemed so appealing, physically and in other ways (I'm a sucker for certain kinds of vulnerability). Now, the actor looks like just another guy who works out too much. What do you think?

Wait until you see this commercial - it will tap into that anger like it never went away!

I think SS needed to bulk up to play the Winter Soldier - the bigger, tougher physique suited the role tremendously well - but, like you, I preferred him slim and gazelle-like, with those slender limbs and amazing bone structure. I wonder how much of the change I'm seeing is due to his working out and how much is due to his aging - part of the appeal of his earlier look was his youth, the sense I got of him ripening into beauty, you know? Whatever the case, he's tremendously appealing and I can't imagine not finding him so.

I still find him appealing, but not in the same way. I suppose aging is part of it. I don't really like bulked-up bodies, though you're absolutely right that for the role, he had to do it.

I read an article recently about just how much work it is for actors to get those kinds of bodies, and how some of them use drugs because it's so darned difficult. I've read in other places that Chris Evans and now Chris Hemsworth want to stop playing their characters in part because it's just too much work to keep that physique: constant workouts, constant vigilance about what they eat. Now I'm wondering when we're going to star seeing male stars going into rehab for subjecting their bodies to extreme demands to fit particular body types. That's not the kind of gender equality I want. Matt Damon lost a huge amount of weight for some role without proper supervision, and nearly killed himself a few years ago; apparently now actors are being more cautious and making sure they consult with a professional about weight loss or building muscle, which is good, but I'm not sure whether it's enough.

Maybe I need to watch fewer superhero movies. Peggy Carter—now she's my speed! No super body, just a lot of smarts and a willingness to use whatever is at hand. And Jarvis, who isn't the greatest spy, but he is a superb butler!

And I suppose I can always go back and watch Political Animals again, and imagine what would have happened next. . . .

It really doesn't make sense to me that people insist on actors changing their bodies so dramatically. I mean, now that we have the technology - see Chris Evans as Skinny Steve - why can't we just use it to get people in the shape the characters need? I remember Matt Damon gained a lot of weight for The Informant! and Christian Bale lost an unhealthy amount for The Machinist, and I really do not understand the thought process behind that kind of body modification. Your body doesn't know something is just for a role, and it takes time to bounce back from whatever stressors you're putting it through. I remember Jensen Ackles saying, when he had to do take after take of crying as Dean Winchester, that his body didn't know the crying was for the camera, and it kept reacting as if he were really upset, which only made things harder for him. How much worse must it be when you're literally changing your shape?

I know that actors tend to give superhero movies some slack in this regard, as they say they're finally getting into their ideal shape, but it's still a major change. And you're right, the maintenance of that body must be ridiculously difficult.

Yes, do rewatch PA, and come talk to me about TJ!

TJ Hammond is such a sad puppy, I was so angry at his lover for ditching him (and saying such cruel things while he was at it!) but also so much "TJ, honey, you can do better than this douchebag." I like to think that if the show had been longer, he would've found someone eventually.

I also thought that Anne and Douglas should break up, because they clearly both feel stifled in that ill-fitting relationship, but probably they never will. I figure Douglas couldn't face the prospect of a public break-up and would pull out all stops to keep it from happening, and Anne would probably get suckered back in if he confessed his love with sufficiently panicky sincerity. She wouldn't know he was panicking at the thought of the potential media circus, rather than the thought of losing her.

I have surprisingly strong feelings about basically everyone in this short series.

And yay, a trip to India! That sounds exciting!

Oh, yes, TJ absolutely deserved better than a closeted, married Republican senator, but in the moment, it hurt so bad for TJ to be told that his feelings weren't fully reciprocated. Poor baby. I just want him to be someone's most important person, you know?

I agree that Anne and Douglas were not a long-term match, at least while he's so active in politics, but also completely agree with your take on them. I think Anne befriending TJ would do them both a lot of good, and I'd be interested in seeing that.

The trip to India is a family thing and I'm not excited for it yet. Hopefully I will be soon!

I hope you enjoy the trip!

Well, I do always get sick when I visit, so if I don't, that will automatically make it the best trip to India ever!

And the senator was so mean about it. I can't remember exactly what he said, but he pretty much took aim at TJ's insecurities and threw poison darts at them. Awful.

...I am now envisioning a possibly future where Anne has befriended most of the Hammond family (she's already winning over Grandma in the show!), to the point that Douglas complains that they're all on her side when the inevitable split happens.

That senator was just such a shit to TJ and to his wife. Ugh. (Also, shallowly speaking: not nearly cute enough for our boy.)

Ha, Anne getting all the Hammonds to like her best (surely no great feat where Bud is concerned, at least) would be amazing. But I do think TJ loves his brother even more than he realizes, and what I want most is to see what those two make of each other once their mother decides to run again.

I got all worked up, like, "You don't get to have this! You weren't willing to acknowledge TJ!"

Ha, this made me literally laugh out loud. :D

Happy belated birthday! I can keep up with absolutely nothing in a timely manner these days, but I still wish all the happiness in the world for you. <3

Hee, I aim to please! Don't worry about missing the date - thank you for the birthday wishes!

HA, omg. I've never seen that soup commercial, but i would feel the *exact same*!!!

Oh, TJ.
*pets him*

I was sick starting early Sunday (maybe Sat. night?) up until late Wed/half Thurs, I'd say. Finally feeling normal today, only got to take one day off work. Blech.

Hope you don't catch the bug!
It's chilly and overcast and *autumnal* here, I am delighted.

Oh, man, that commercial is positively enraging! And I'm sorry you're sick! The temperature here has been fluctuating between 40s and 70s, which is confusing everyone and no one knows just how to dress for the day. So far, my policy of holing up in my apartment all by myself has kept me from succumbing to illness, but my new office (we moved Thursday evening and I'm still sharing with the same teammate) is tighter quarters than the old one, and in a more heavily traveled corridor, so who knows how long my little quarantine will stay effective.

Aw, it's okay - I'm mostly well now. We have a ton of idiots at my work who don't know how to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, as well as utterly useless cleaning people.

So i wash my hands a *lot*.

PA was amazing, and Sebastian Stan is freakin' adorable and gorgeous and....*flails*


Hey, have you seen Kings? SS being lovely and amazing and emoting all over the damn place.

It's not so much that people at my office don't know to cover their mouths - it's more that I'm on the subway for a minimum of 90 minutes each day, crammed in with people who are in various stages of illness and recovery, and then in meetings with people who are fighting off colds. It's basically a powder keg, you know?

Glad you're mostly better!

I started watching 'Kings' - it was so damn evil and dark, it made me kind of cringe. I wasn't quite as *aware* of SS then, yet, and didn't see it through.

I might try again.


It's operatic, and definitely not flawless, but given your awareness of SS, I'd say it's a must-watch. You can stream the whole thing from the NBC site (I put a link in my actual Yuletide letter). Go forth, and revel in Jack!

I'm convinced. :)

Long time lurker/reader of your fanfic. But I totally just read a Captain American/Political Animals crossover that was Cap/TJ and it was amazing. It's on AO3 if you're interested.

Hi! Is it weird to say I think I recognize your icon? Glad you've liked my stuff, anyway!

Please do send a link - I've been reading what I can but I'm sure to have missed a lot.

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