Monday, February 1, 2021

Favorite Pic of the Day for February 2nd

-See More Below-

~Check out today's BIRTHDAYS HERE:~

Happy Groundhog Day!

'No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.'
Hal Borland

Although I love author Hal Borland's quote, it's didn't really apply to the spring of 2020.  With the pandemic really revving up, it feels like last spring was really a blur.  Most of the first half of the year was really like one long Groundhog day with lock-downs and closures making one day feel just like the other.   Hopefully this year's Groundhog Day will be the start of a year full of positive changes, and not a repeat of last year, or more importantly,  a repeat of the last four years...

Groundhog day is really like the Lady Edith of holidays.  We like it, but pay it little to no attention. We don't really think about it until it's actually right in front of us, and it's overshadowed by more decorated and celebrated holidays.  Sure, there are a lot of old men hanging around, but none seem really very invested, nor does she in them.  There are no special meals,  gifts or decorations, just a poor groundhog hauled out for a few fleeting minutes of camera time.

When I was a kid, I always felt sorry for the Groundhog when the local news would air the day's ceremony. The poor thing always looked so stressed, and the heavy coated stuffy ol men around him didn't really seem to give a fuck. I always thought the poor animal was most likely in a small cage the other364 days a year, carted out that one day for the holiday photo op

There can be some joy, and some erotic holiday fun in any holiday, even Groundhog Day. A few years ago, thanks to photographer Tom Nakielski (Lights On Studio) and model Michael Moody, our randy rodent had a little more fun than he usually does on February 2nd.  (HERE:) Tom's holiday shoot with Michael remains a favorite of mine, and really, how often do you see a hot male model in an erotic Groundhog Day shoot?

This year, before I knew Tom was shooting a model for the holiday, I went back to the old shoot to see if there were images to celebrate the holiday that I hadn't used before.  That's when I had an idea!  I asked artist Roy Johnson (badsign769) if he might have time to put his own artistic take one of Tom's images of Michael. As you can see from the results below, Roy certainly worked his creative magic!  If I was Michael however, I'd watch out for that groundhog, he looks a little hungry...  

Happy Groundhog Day!

Seasonal Sightings:

6 More Weeks????

I think we can handle it!

12 Days: Charles Aitken in Happy Death Day

 'A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer's identity.'

There are not, understandably, too many  movies focused on Groundhog Day.  The holiday isn't really a holiday at all, and not especially romantic or with a Hallmark holiday vibe.  We all know the main one, Groundhog Day, the 1993 film starring Billy Murray. That film, brilliantly directed by Harold Ramis has become a classic, played every year on cable TV channels.  It's status isn't only because it's one of the only films about February 2nd, it's also because it's really a great piece of film making. The film isn't really known for it's stable of 'hunks' but I tried my best to find them in my piece from 2019. (HERE:)

There are however, many films that celebrate the theme of Groundhog Day.  Winter is a long season, with Groundhog Day becoming a way to mark the monotony of the season.  Repeating the same patterns over and over and over again is something we've all fallen into, in life and in relationships. There have been many television shows and movies that have taken on this 'lather, rinse and repeat' formula, one of the most recent being 2017's Happy Death Day.

Happy Death Day (2017)

After a night of drunken partying, university student Theresa (Jessica Rothe) wakes up on her birthday in the dorm room of hottie, and fellow student Carter Davis. (Israel Broussard)  Later that night, Theresa is murdered by a killer wearing a mask of the school's mascot.   Theresa immediately wakes up back in Carter's bed, destined to repeat the day, and her murder, over and over again.

In the course of the day, she repeats meeting up with Dr. Gregory Butler, the man she's been having an affair with.  I was instantly drawn to Dr. Gregory's beautiful face, and was sure I recognized the actor from somewhere.  That actor, turned out to be British born actor Charles Aitken, who studied acting in both the US and in England. 

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof  (The Royal Exchange Theatre 2014)

'Charles Aitken began shocking (or exciting) the old ladies in the audience by appearing naked in the shower during the opening scene. Mind you he was tastefully hidden behind a louvre window. For the rest of the performance he snarls, abuses his wife and hobbles around the set with one foot in plaster. He is simmering with resentment and anger and unable to talk to anyone.'

Bonkers (2007)

I was first introduced to the talented actor back in 2009, while researching a post on stage actor. Con O'Neill.  I had loved O'Neill in Blood Brothers, and when searching for info for a post, I found images of O'Neill in a musical version of Midnight Cowboy.  His co-star, the beautiful blonde Charles Aitken.

From there of course I had to check out Aitken's first starring role in the 2007 British sit-com Bonkers.  Aitken played Mark Addy's son in the shows one and only season and had several butt baring scenes, including the embarrassment nudity themed scene below. 

A Long, Brutal Winter: Tony by Lights On Studio

'I'm not going to live by their rules anymore.'
Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

Although I have sort of a mission statement, a philosophy I try to follow, I  don't really have many rules for FH. When it comes to art, rules can be annoyingly restrictive.   That being said, I've struggled whenever an artist includes fur in their imagery.  I hate cruelty of any kind, and as an animal lover, the fur trade the most brutal of industries. When photographer Tom Nakielski (Lights On Studio) recently sent on this Groundhog Day themed hoot, I wrote him back that I didn't feel I was comfortable with sharing the shots.

This wasn't easy for me to do.  I'd asked Tom to shoot something for the holiday.  I knew Tom still had the stuffed groundhog from his previous Groundhog Day shoot.  I also loved Tony, the model Tom chose for the shoot.  Tom has always created incredible holiday imagery for the site, creative imagery I continue to look forward to featuring.  While I wasn't initially comfortable with using the shoots, me being me, I soon began to feel uncomfortable about not using them.

I didn't mind the fur so much, Tom assured me it was fake, he bought it years ago at a thrift store as a prop for his shoots.  My issue was the combination of the fur coat with the way Tony was holding the poor stuffed Groundhog.  The images looked almost like Tony was about to skin the poor rodent he just caught in his trap.  It seemed a bit brutal to me.

Tom is always wonderful to work with and laughed at my response, he also assured me that he was more than fine if I chose not to use the images.  He did however, want to clarify his and Tony's goal for the shoot.  Tom assured me that skinning the adorable woodchuck wasn't on either he or Tony's mind.

'My idea for the shoot was that the rascally rodent saw his shadow and that Tony grabbed him to put him back in the ground where he belongs.  Tony wanted to give him another chance to come out of his varmint dwelling and not see his shadow. '

Although Tom's explanation helped, I was till struck by how Tony was holding the groundhog upside down.  The fact which really had me wanting to go ahead with featuring the images was Tom's response to my concern about the animal being harmed.  Well, turns out the stunning and fake fur wearing Tony is also a Vet student/  Having handled many wild animals, not happy to be held or transported by a vet, Tony knew the best way to carry him back to his burrow was to extend his arm far away from his body and hold him by his leg far, This would prevent the groundhog from getting hurt, and as well, prevent Tony from getting bitten. The phrase Eye of the Beholder, really came into play for me with this shoot.