Get naked. Stripping down #Outlander Ep11

That got your attention huh?  Just like the cold but hot open of this episode probably got you. I know my attention was captured, but a naked Roger will do that.

Now, this may be very obvious to everyone out there and you may say to me that this blog is the worst of the season because I haven’t dug deep enough and that’s fair. I don’t think I really did. This just stuck with me through the 3 times I watched.  It became more and more obvious and the reality is, I wanted to talk about it, so I am.

In this episode, our characters were on full display. They might as well have been playing their parts how Roger started the show for us.  In the raw.  That would have made the dinner party a lot less appetizing mind you.

The levels of exposure we saw in If Not For Hope went deep.  This may take me a while so you might want to pour yourself something hot or cold, grab a snack or two.

The obvious is Roger. His literal nakedness isn’t just there for our viewing pleasure. I believe it speaks to a few things. He is now stripped completely of who he was.  The buttoned-up historian of many layers. Each one tore away until he was bare and now, being recreated.  This Roger we will get to know was always beneath the layers but had no reason to be exposed. The layers have been ripped away and no longer protect him, this Roger steps forward to run the show.  Well, at least keep one foot in front of the other. Which is all we can seem to hope for.

Granted, Roger himself wasn’t physically present in the episode but make no mistake, he was there.  Through Brianna, Claire, Jamie, Ian and even Lord John, each bringing him to the surface.  They repeatedly reminded us of how perilous Roger’s situation is. How he was relying on them to save him from this situation they had a hand in placing him in (except Lord John…he’s cool).

Roger is completely on the outside of all of this.  He has no reason to believe anyone is looking for him. He has to trust that Brianna loves him as much as he loves her. That, my friends, is blind faith. Which is perhaps the most vulnerable anyone can make themselves emotionally.  This is intricately tied to the horrific moment at the end of the episode.  Roger makes himself just as vulnerable physically. He realizes what he needs to do. He stands to accept a substantial beating at the hands of his captors in a type of gauntlet, a blind faith, trusting he is strong enough to make it through.

Personally, I would have rathered another shower scene. Richard Rankin, for the lack of screen time, has most certainly given Roger a surprising amount of depth.

I will add, it would be fantastic to see either, in conversation or flashback, what happened at those damnable stones. Richard conveys so much of what Roger thinks in facial expression alone (something I think this cast is flippin’ remarkable at) I would love a peek at that moment.

Please know I do not view vulnerability as weakness. It is a state of being from which each one of us needs to be in, in order to trust or love.

In Brianna’s case, she was all over the vulnerability scale from frailty, threat, disquiet and even pliancy during this episode. She was open to her own pain, in fact, the first moment we saw her in this episode she was in the midst of drawing it. Lizzie saw this as demons. They were in a sense, Brianna’s own demons…of sadness, anger and worry.

Speaking of Brianna’s drawings, it seemed she was using them to expose her disquiet. The opening credits showed many pictures of the slaves at work. Phaedre came into her room, Brianna saw how the light caught her face, she asked Phaedre to sit so she could draw her.  To me, this showed Brianna’s discomfort with the way this world was working around her. She was able to capture that and put it to paper.  I do believe Phaedre was pleased with being seen by Brianna, yet, you could feel her unease. Even if she were safe with Brianna at that moment, she was only safe with Brianna at that moment. The second someone else came into that room that safety would disappear instantly.

Next is Brianna, exposed lamb to the slaughter, Tinder 1700’s version.  This was painful to watch with a modern eye.  I had to keep facepalming myself to reset.

Seeing Brianna have to shut down the fake compliments, the greasy ‘we should ride into town alone together after just meeting one another’ and ‘hey, my mom doesn’t know I’m gay, let’s pretend to be bff’s.’, was too much.  Brianna made the right call with the fake ‘case of the vapours’ to get the hell out of there.  I now know why so many women fainted back in those days and it wasn’t because of the tight corsets. Women are tougher than that. It was to get the hell out of the room and away from all the creeps. They literally had to pretend they were unconscious before people would let them leave the damn room.

After the delightful dinner party (she says with dripping sarcasm), Jocasta gets some alone time with Brianna and in that small amount of time Brianna pliancy grew.  At first, she started this conversation out strong but Jocasta, always cunning, knows exactly which string to pull to unravel even the most complex of patterns and she does just that. She grabbed onto the Roger and baby strings and pulled, hard. Brianna went from bold to pliant, which is a completely different variant of vulnerability.  Jocasta used the perfect words to cut Brianna down and weaken her ‘Roger’s gone…no matter dead or alive. GONE.’ ‘If your baby is born out of wedlock, their life is RUINED.’  Brianna is brought to the point of being forced to look at her situation as the condition it is being referred to.

 

Jumping ahead Brianna is armed with what she thinks is the blackmail of the century. Bree decided to hit LJG where it hurts, in the ‘being gay is punishable by death’ spot.  She felt this was a pretty great plan, she could coerce him into marrying her because she knew this big secret and he would never want to sleep with her because he didn’t like women. Win Win.  LJG is a great guy and all but he isn’t one to be trifled with. He clapped back, letting her know the Vaginawagon wasn’t in mint condition and she would do well to stand down.

That moment with LJG is where Bree is the most exposed.  She allowed him to know all the details of her pregnancy and her desire to protect her child even over her own happiness.  It proves it doesn’t matter if we are trying to show others how strong we are, if there are cracks in the armour, someone will get through it. Even if it ends up being us, no one can stay locked in there forever. It’s stifling.

 

Lord John Grey. That name deserves a moment. He isn’t one you would feel is in a state of vulnerability given his status. Lord John, however, is a man who happens to love men. In colonial America, this is a crime punishable by death. This instantly makes Lord John a person in jeopardy.  The moment he is introduced to Brianna you can see him soften from Lord John Grey…to John, Jamie’s friend.  Which in itself brings an openness to him.  Since he is raising Willie, Jamie’s son, it makes sense that he would have a soft spot for Brianna, Jamie’s daughter.  You would think when LJG is most vulnerable is when Bree exposes his throat and threatens to chow down on it by telling the world he is gay. The idea may be threatening but after the initial imagery passes, he knows this won’t happen. The moments he is truly most vulnerable is when he is speaking of his relationship with Jamie and Claire.  When he speaks to her of Willie. Many of LJGs vulnerabilities lay in the secrets he must keep. The more people he opens himself up to, the more likely those secrets will be exposed.

Lord John chose to keep Brianna and the child safe by becoming engaged to her. It was LJG , after all, who told Bree to trust that Jamie and Claire would bring Roger back.  By promising to marry her, he was giving her the hope she needed and saving her heart from breaking any more.

It certainly was beautiful to see Marsali and Fergus again.  Their relationship is one I wish we could get more of.  They are strong and fierce but when it comes to one another, so tender. Fergus is being attacked by a toxic mentality of not being ‘man’ enough and Marsali is requesting Murtagh fix it.  She knows very well she could tell Fergus, a million times, he is more man than anyone, it won’t make a difference. Until Fergus feels that himself, it will tear at him.

 

When we love someone, even things we are not responsible for, weigh heavily on us. We want to fix them, which will sometimes cause us to be exposed to our own vulnerabilities. Marsali is not a fan of asking for help, but she does, for her husband. It works out perfectly in the end as Fergus feels needed but also knows his place is with his family.

Marsali knew she wasn’t responsible for Fergus’s pain but she worried about it. We see Jamie worrying about Brianna’s pain, and he did cause hers.  Naturally, this is weighing very heavily on not only him but Claire.  Both are in solitary and pensive states.

 

I believe as long as Brianna feels angry, Jamie will feel guilty. That is par for the course, isn’t it? As family dynamics go, when we hurt someone, intentionally or not, most will stew about it, worry, wonder what we can do (if we can do) anything to fix it. Jamie was in his own head, as he should be.  A big part of forgiveness is beating ourselves up, I think we all know that.

Taking responsibility for our actions means owning them and feeling bad they happened.  Wrapping it all together means having apologized and trying to make things better. Sadly, when we attempt to make things better we become vulnerable to not being forgiven.  That is the scariest thing of all.  When we have created pain for someone, it is never up to us if they can move past it. I think that is why Jamie is in this space he has created.  Jamie’s future happiness as a father to Brianna is 100% out of his control. What an all together powerless feeling, but one he understands, from the things he said.

Claire knows some of this though, she is the healer. She does that for them both, physically and emotionally.  She identifies the wound, assesses the treatment and then, she does the best she can.  The same we do for those we love. In turn, we expect those who love us to accept it.  This couple is best when they share their vulnerabilities and allow the other to be the strength where they lack.  With each struggle, bump in the road, argument and disappointment – couples grow. We see Claire and Jamie settled into their life as a couple but still growing and that’s important.

Knowing we are watching Brianna and Roger in their infancy as a couple excites me because it means we still have so much more to look forward to.  There is nowhere to go but up.

 

Now that I wasted a whole hour of your day, I will wrap it up.  I could go on to mention every character and how they were vulnerable and exposed but even I get tired of myself…

 

When we get naked, let our vulnerabilities be exposed – do we do it knowing there is the possibility of getting hurt?                                                                                                                  Do we hide our nakedness all together so no one has the opportunity to hurt us but we are so lonely…it hurts?                                                                                                                      Maybe we only allow certain people to catch a glimpse here and there and still find ourselves harmed in some way.

Life is messy, isn’t it? It’s messy…but it’s beautiful. It’s chaotic…but it’s an adventure. What we focus on expands…what are we choosing to look at?

We only have 2 more episodes left before the next Droughtlander commences my friends, this had gone by so fast!

Sher (Founder of the ABOotlanders)

Please live tweet with us Canadians as we watch on W Network at 8pm MST using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN

Safety is key. Unlocking my Ep10 thoughts. #Outlander

We experienced yet another powerful episode with The Deep Heart’s Core.  Season 4 just keeps my brain in gear which I am not sure is such a great thing cuz I think it might be getting warped from overuse. It certainly has refreshed all those years of human behaviour seminars I took back in the day.

I don’t exactly do recaps with my blog this season, I kind of pick something that stands out to me. You might be on the same wavelength I am (if that is the case, you may want to seek help because I am not sure that’s altogether healthy) and you will think to yourself…well OBVIOUSLY…in that case, I suppose I’m not as unique as my mother told me I was.

This episode was not a comfortable one. I don’t think it was written to be. In fact, I think it was meant to give you that feeling of discomfort. Of being unsettled and not feeling right in your own skin, like things were ready to fall apart at any time.

Let’s open with the conversation Bree had with her bio-Da about her rape.  That in itself shows us that Brianna feels a certain level of trust with Jamie now. She is asking for his help in processing the trauma she has experienced. She doesn’t need to give him names, dates or details to share her pain. Most victims can tell you that isn’t how it works. The things they need to let go of first are the could haves, would haves, should haves.  Shedding the blame, guilt and shame are critical to recovery. Survivors do this with people they feel safe with.

Jamie experienced these things himself.  He knows the process she has to go through. Claire took him through it.  He put himself in front of his daughter, angered her and brought forth her rage (as Claire had) in order to show her that no matter how hard she fought that sunnuvabitch Bonnet, he would have taken from her what he did and likely, she would have gotten herself killed in the process.  In the end, Bree wasn’t angry with Jamie for overpowering her, saying cruel and hurtful things to her – once she realized why he had done it. In fact, she felt safer with him. So safe that she reached further inside his heart and questioned him about his own experience with rape.

Jamie was raped by Jack Randall.  He didn’t fight either.  He didn’t fight because he gave his word in return for Claire’s life – which means at its core it was out of fear.  Fear for her.  That Jamie was able to share the truth of this with his daughter opened up a door to their relationship – in which Bree stormed through later on in the episode.

Let’s talk about that door now, why wait?  Bree found out Roger made his way to the ridge and subsequently, what happened to him. The Fraser Fury was unleashed like…well…a Fraser unleashes their fury.  There were a lot of words, a lot of confusion and amoung that,  Jamie misunderstood what Bree was saying and heard her say that she had sex with Roger then fought with him- he mistook those words and thought Brianna claimed she was raped by him in anger. Jamie’s Fraser Fury mixed with Brianna’s – as you can imagine, that went up like a bomb.

Bree lashed out, slapping him. Hard. He let her. Why do I believe he let her?  Jamie showed us earlier in the episode that he could stop her from hitting him if he chose to.  Do Bree’s words hurt Jamie? Of course they do but does he know they help her more by her saying them? Yes. Jamie opened that door to his daughter earlier in the episode. That she would feel safe enough to say or do anything to him and know that he would be there to love and care for her no matter what. It is also why he said nothing when she yelled at him that he wasn’t allowed to be angrier than she was.  Jamie heard her words and accepted them.  It is something many of us don’t do when we are angry because we are too busy giving that anger to others in the form of hurting them back.  Jamie had helped create that safe space for Brianna earlier in the episode, even though he screwed up when he lashed out with his words, he backed up and gave that safety net back to her instead of closing it off again.

Bree knows that Jamie loves her. She does love Jamie, otherwise, she wouldn’t even care enough to try to hurt him. She wouldn’t pull out the Frank card to make him hurt like she is hurting.  That is what many of us are guilty of, isn’t it?  When we are in so much pain that we want that person to feel it too? We try and cut them that deep. We go for the one thing we know will get them?  She points out Frank would never have said the things Jamie just said to her. Her statement is not baseless, Jamie did just accuse her of lying about being raped, it was ugly and it was hurtful.  She lashed out in her own ugly and hurtful way.  I am not saying this is the right way to fight with family, however, I see that it is the way a lot of families fight. Good, bad or ugly we can say and do things within those walls and know forgiveness is available to us.

Jamie is being a father more than ever at this moment by letting his daughter feel, process and allowing her to use him to do it. He knows what he did and what he said was hurtful. He is attempting to move forward and doing what he can to make it right. Like at the beginning of the episode, he knows it isn’t about his words, but his actions.  He isn’t begging her to forgive him because he knows forgiveness needs to be earned and she must go through the steps to get there.  All he can do is what he has promised and allow Brianna the time to meet him in the middle.

Plus, Brianna is pregnant. Here I am remembering what a shit show of emotions that was like WITHOUT adding in all of this craziness and confusion to it. My heart ached for her this episode. Stepping back and seeing it all from where she stands. Taking away all of the confusion and miscommunication and blame we can lay down. Purely the circumstance of what can be lost – Brianna – that she is still upright, is impressive.

I think the previous commentary answers the why of Brianna not telling Lizzie about that sunnuvabitch Bonnet and the rape. Why Brianna didn’t subsequently hold Lizzie responsible for Roger’s current circumstances.  Brianna feels like she is the one protecting Lizzie so it doesn’t occur to her to share that kind of pain with her.  Brianna wouldn’t feel confident Lizzie could handle that level of anger from her without it completely damaging the relationship they have.  Brianna doesn’t have the kind of relationship with Lizzie that screams: “I feel safe with you, I can be vulnerable with you.” We won’t expose our innermost thoughts to those people in our lives, we don’t see that it serves a purpose. Of course…hindsight…

The relationship between Jamie and Claire right now is something so quiet and reserved that I know I see it differently than many. I see it sitting in the “safe zone”.  Claire is being fiercely protective of Brianna in this episode which I completely understand.  She made the choice to come back to Jamie and in that, leaving her daughter. We have seen her struggle with that choice repeatedly over the last 2 seasons.  With Bree now in the past with them, Claire has been so intuned with her daughter, grief-stricken by her pain and riddled with guilt over Bree’s rape.

She and Jamie are becoming parents together for the first time. They are parenting an adult daughter that is dealing with some pretty heavy shit.  This is not a rainbows and unicorn little house on the prairie universe.  When the Fraser fury is released Claire goes to the Fraser that needs her comfort the most. Their daughter. Jamie knows it, Claire knows it.

Claire has a whole lot going on in the episode, yet she is pretty quiet. She is angry with the whole situation, you can see she is upset with herself for not telling Jamie about that sunnuvabitch Bonnet. The resignation when she places the ring on the table becomes a quiet communication between them. Jamie and Claire have been through many storms, arguments and this is yet another bump in their road. Like most committed couples, they will learn from one another and whatever circumstance they have created for themselves.  I was relieved to see Claire being fiercely protective of Brianna. This wasn’t against anyone, it was for her child. I think we can forget that sometimes, that we can be in someone’s corner and stand up for them but that doesn’t mean we are fighting or belittling others in order to do it.  The relationship Jamie and Claire have is one of mutual respect and love.  That is security, it means they have the ability to get angry, disagree and fight. All the while knowing they will come back to one another because their love and respect for one another are bigger than all the other stuff happening around them.

Roger Roger Roger.  I can’t let this one go without talking about Roger. Of course he doesn’t feel safe! Who the hell are we kidding?  The #PoorRoger hashtag is getting out of control. This guy is becoming the energizer bunny of Outlander, the punishment gets handed over to him…he takes it…puts it in his pocket…gives it a tap and says “All safe with me” and then extends his hand and says “Got anymore where that came from?”

#PoorRoger. See?  He is getting dragged around like a goat on a rope from the top of the episode. He has company though and shares a kinship with this fella, safety in companionship I suppose. He chats with him along the way, is his motivational coach and one morning, his companion – dead.  That’s uplifting.  Sure to bring Roger the glimmer of hope and keep him looking forward?

Not really but Roger brings us to the end of the episode facing the one thing that is absolutely certain to bring him back to safety. He can have a warm bath, a sane Scottish lass (I will hop on the #FIOGER ship) and you know, not getting recaptured by the Mohawk…all with one touch.

The question is will Roger feel safer in the future or in the arms of Brianna? I know what I want him to do! I guess his safety isn’t my first thought, does that make me a horrible person?

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far.

Sher ( founder of the ABOotlanders)

Please join us for our Live Tweeting as we watch on W Network at 8pm MST Sunday nights, using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN

 

 

Just because you can do it alone…doesn’t mean you should. S04E09 #Outlander

I am going to open this #TheBirdsandTheBees blog with a huge SIGH.

There. I feel better now I suggest all of you do the same.  Deep breath in…let that sucker out.  Feels better, doesn’t it?  Episode 409 was one that made us hold our breath more than once.  I want to talk about all the things that made me tear up…the things that made me rage and the things that made me just sigh with pure joy and happiness.  That isn’t what my blog has been about this season though and I shouldn’t change that now.

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This time for me, the loudest thing was the silence.  Bree’s silence in particular was deafening.

Like most of us, Brianna learned from those around her.  To protect those we care about, we deny them the truth and shoulder the burden of our secrets. Her mother and father both did this for her.  It is her natural go-to whether or not she understands it, almost like a reflex.

This young woman is so protective of those around her that she carries each worry on her own. She is taking such great care of Lizzie, that she holds onto the joy and heartbreak of her time with Roger. She keeps the subsequent violent rape at the hands of that sunnuva bastard piece of Bonnet to herself. Lizzie all but begs her to share her burdens but instead, Brianna holds them even tighter. Bree shows she is strong enough to weather any storm alone and as impressive as that might be, there is no reason for her to do it alone.

Ian retells the horrid story to Brianna, of how Bonnet attacked the family on the river and stole Claire’s ring. She takes note of this and puts this in her own personal file as “Reason 132 why I should heap more onto my breaking heart to protect my mother and Jamie and not think of how it will eventually affect me”.  Yes. Brianna, you are strong, you are mighty, you can handle all of the things, but should you?

We can see the toll that the secrets are taking on Brianna as the episode goes on (I would mention the meeting with her bio-da and reunion with her mama but I would just cry again and I have Bells-Palsy and my ugly cry is a butt-ugly cry so…no).  Bree is distracted, uninterested in things that would usually thrill her, flustered and easy to anger. All normal reactions that happen when we are holding onto something toxic, they poison us from the inside and start showing on the outside.  Claire notices, not just because she is in tune with her child but because it is like looking at a mirror.  Claire does exactly the same thing when she is hiding something, the behaviour is familiar to her.

How often do we walk through life saying “I can do it on my own.” “I don’t need help.” Or “I’m fine by myself, I’m good.”?  You know what?  We probably are.  It’s also probably hard and would be easier with help, it likely would feel better if we said “Sure, here…thank you.”, and simply allowed the person who offered to help, to do that, help. We struggle and we carry the heavy stuff all for…what? Who does it help? Who does it end up protecting? If we answer this question honestly we will often find out the answer is – no one. In fact, sometimes, it ends up hurting someone in one way or another.  We become so busy protecting people we lose focus on the important things. We become so involved in hiding our hurt that we fail to see the other things going on around us.

Brianna keeping the truth from Lizzie allowed her to create a story from the information she had. Something all of us do. We take visual cues and fill in the blanks, it is how the brain works. Brianna not telling anyone about the ring ensured no one knew who raped her. Leaving those doors open for further misunderstandings. Yes Bree, you can do it alone – you definitely should not have. We all make mistakes, some repercussions cost more than others.

Jamie rounded out this picture for us at the end of the episode. He chose to go it alone. Demanding Lizzie not tell Claire or Brianna what was happening. Storming off to take care of who he thought was Brianna’s rapist.  Just because you CAN do it alone…doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

The proof is in the pudding with this one…the pudding being poor Rogers beautiful face.

We may be strong. We may be capable. We may be all of the things we think we should be.  We also are allowed to be tired. We are allowed to lean on people. We are allowed to accept help without shame or regret.  We never would tell a loved one they are weak for letting us help them, we would never tell a friend they couldn’t rely on us for a hug or an ear when they needed one – so someone please tell me why do we feel we are any different? Why should we be the exception?

I wish you the happiest of New Years.

 

With Love,

Sher (founder of the ABOotlanders)

Join us for Live tweeting while us Canadians watch on W Network Sunday nights at 8 pm MST.  Use the hashtag #OutlanderCAN so we can find you!

 

 

Dear Roger and Bree: An Outlander love letter

The Droughtlander has been long and hard (that’s what she said – aren’t you glad I’m doing this again???) but we are almost there. Nov 4th is right around the corner, which means Season 4 of Outlander is perched and waiting to pounce. https://media.giphy.com/media/fQuBiAaW9S6noFvVz1/giphy.gif

We, as fans, have many things to look forward to while Outlander explores the new world by delving into Drums of Autumn.

By the end of season 3, we had a cute young couple Roger Wakefield and Brianna Randall.

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See? Awwwww

By the end of season 4…they will have aged…A BUNCH (like Brianna can get much older than 200 and something?)  I am referring to life experience here.

I won’t give away too much plot as that’d be rude but I will share my little love letter to this fantastic couple who you are all sure to fall head over heels in love with.

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Dear Roger and Bree,

It started out crazy, didn’t it?  Time travel. Dead fathers. Living in two different countries, separated by an ocean.  Both of you wanting to be open to love and willing to sacrifice parts of yourselves in order to achieve it.  Funny thing, that. Being willing often opens that door big and wide.  I’m afraid both of you will be walking right through it.

You were born into the world of Outlander.  This world does not go gently for those who love deeply. It will test you.  It will punch you in the throat, ask you if you are ok and when you nod…it will punch you again.  It doesn’t sound very hopeful, I know.  The truth of it is, it wouldn’t be if you didn’t have one another. But you do.

Roger, you are loyal and love deeply. Some might say your love is raw, I would agree because I am the one that says it.  You are worthy, dude.  So damn worthy.  You don’t deserve the shit mountain you need to climb in order to become the man you do.  I’ll say this though, many of those things were the spark that lit the fire that burns in Roger Mac, as we will know him to be.  You could have chosen to become bitter and full of hate – instead, you chose to be better and full of dead sexiness…*ahem*…sorry…full of dead sexiness. Sorry.  I’m stuck.

There is a young woman, that has stolen your heart. You are a gentleman and a fool for her all at the same time.  If I didn’t know what an incredible love story this was going to be, I would tell you to get in your orange morris and hit the gas.

Bree, you are so misunderstood. Young, smart, headstrong and when we meet you as a young adult you have just lost the only father you knew.  You were understandably distraught during a time when you were coming into your own as a woman.  Being told your recently dead dad wasn’t your biological father was a real kick in the teeth. Those watching from the outside thought you should have been thrilled to have a Scottish warrior father from another century floating around but I get it. That’s a lot of shit to take in.   Sure, you are a quick-tempered and cerebral- given who ALL your parents are, you really didn’t have a fighting chance. There was no possibility of you being mild-mannered or artificial.

When your mom was having the sex talk with you, I wish she would have mentioned the trials of jumping into situations without thinking about the consequences because, well, she should have learned it would have been a great lesson to pass on to her daughter. Alas, it wasn’t a thing and now…you will go through the same level of IDGAFs as your mom and both you and the man that you love will suffer for it.  Granted, that IDGAF attitude of yours makes you stand up and out. You can pretty much deal with anything that gets thrown in your path – it’s a definite case of taking the good with the bad, I suppose.

The truth of it kids, all the crazy shit that you go through is your story.  We have watched you both grow up in snippets.  You are a part of the next generation of Outlander and we could NOT be more excited to watch all the bumps, turns, free falls and LOVE that you will be showing us.

Love,

Me.

AKA – Sher (Founder of the ABOotlanders)

P.S.  Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin fit into their Bree and Roger puzzle pieces perfectly. I am SO JAZZED to watch these two bring this love story to life.

Remember to watch and tweet with us and your fellow Canadian friends using  #OutlanderCAN while watching Outlander on W Network!

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He’s my Jamie but he thinks he’s my Frank. Oh the drama!

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Puzzle me this

Since  day one of Outlander discussions & arguements abound regarding Claire/Frank… Frank/Jamie…Jamie/Claire.  Why?  It is the human condition.  The urge to make others see what we see…wanting them to change their minds so they can see it like us.

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No matter how hard they look, they might never see it (source)

Let’s not expect people to see it HOW we see it. Instead, let’s share how or why we see it that way.  It is what we can do in order to understand others perceptions and beliefs.

We tend to grab peoples shoes and try to make them fit at all costs.  It’s going into ‘Anastasia and Drizella mode’ without even thinking about it.

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Grown-up like (source)

We see characters and situations through our personal filter of experiences and the people in our lives. It’s easy to see why others do the same.  It stood out the most to me when my husband had a difference of opinion on the Jamie/Frank topic.  We generally agree on things, having been together for so long, many of our experiences & people are shared…this time…not so much.

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Not this time…nope!

My husband and I have been married for 25 yrs, together for 31.  For 23 of those 31 years, I have been an Outlander fan.  The stories and the characters have long been with me…him, let’s say- no. He would often tease me about my book boyfriend, Jaaaaaaaamie.

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It might be funny…cuz it’s true (source)

Fast forward to my husband starting to watch the show with me.  He finally “got” why I loved the Jamie character – though, he still teases. He also would mention often how he really felt bad for Frank.  A character, who in the books, personally gave me a case of the “mehs”.  He made a comment during “All Debts Paid” that caught my attention “Frank never had a chance…the husband got the shaft there.” The husband…LIGHTBULB moment.

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Not. A. Chance. (source)

It makes sense, doesn’t it?  My husband – my first husband (depending on how well he plays his cards, the last) feels empathy for another first husband.  He sees himself in this role…not the Jamie role that “I” see him in.  Even though Jamie was the other man … I saw him as the only one.  To me, the Claire/Jamie love was palatable…the love between Frank & Claire, I saw as stiff and awkward.   I don’t fool myself into thinking that isn’t because of my own perception of what professors are like.  We all do it in one way or another.  My husband…relates far more to Frank.  He sees himself as  1) The husband 2) not the super hot Scottish warrior. In my eyes…ok, not Scottish but a hot warrior for sure. *He rolls his eyes at this*

There are so many variables. Pigeon hole-ing ourselves to one view lacks variety.  Being able to see the picture through other filters can be something that will expand our thoughts.  It doesn’t mean we have to agree – understanding another view is equally as valuable. It can cut the legs off of the animosity felt for the other person seen as “not getting it”.

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Oooooooooh! I get it! (source)

Until Next time, Enjoy the #Outlanerd in you & we will to!

Sher AKA Sherry AKA SherryLynn AKA Hey You!

Founder of the @ABOotlandersOutlanerds

The Doctor is IN! Outlander Anatomy gets the LOVE.

We have featured Beth & Connie – we are at it again.

Next up in our #ABOotlanderLOVE spotlight —  You know her…you love her…you feel smarter after you read one of her blog posts, so you make sure to read more of them.  She is as warm as she is intelligent.  That is why we keep going back to OUTLANDER ANATOMY.

It was no surprise when I asked my fellow admins in the ABOotlander group who they wanted to see featured, her name was brought up loud and clear.  Again, when I tweeted to our followers who they thought was a positive influence in the fandom…dozens responded with OutlanderAnatomy.  I am going to call her Dr.Karmen for the remainder of the blog as to protect her brand and to keep my carpel tunnel from kicking in.

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I was so pleased that she accepted our invite to step into the spot light & share with us some behind the blog aspects of what makes her tick.

My introduction to the world of Outlander came via my daughter. She had read all the big books (in less than a summer) and invited me to join the party. I kept saying no, I didn’t have the time and, anyway, I wasn’t interested in time-travel novels. She kept at it for a year… “Mom, you must read these books!” Finally, in early 2014, I yielded. By the time I arrived at Jamie’s dislocated shoulder, I was in – hook, line, and sinker! Since then, I have read the eight big books, at 8-10 times each.  –  And the lesson is, it sure pays off to nag. Well done Rebecca- We salute you!

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Dr.Karmen’s blog is incredibly interesting and so unique – I wanted to know what inspired her to start it.

I began my blog in October 2014, after watching early episodes of Outlander S.1. About that time, my daughter said, “Mom, have you considered writing an anatomy blog that incorporates Outlander?” No, I hadn’t thought of that. So, my daughter is to blame for getting me reading and writing the language of Outlander.  –  This daughter, is a keeper. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude. CHEERS Rebecca!

Fan to fan, we wonder if Dr.Karmen had experienced one of those momentous occasions that makes your heart pound just a little extra- sure enough – she had.

My most memorable fan encounter was meeting Diana Gabaldon in October of 2014, at Fort Vancouver, WA. I was first in line for her autograph, handed her my book, and waited while she searched a bag. I asked her if she needed a pen and offered her mine.  She pulled out a rolled container, opened it, and presented an array of every type of pen needed for autographing different surfaces. Of course, I laughed at myself, Herself would come prepared!

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I find all Outlander Anatomy lessons fascinating.  They teach me things I had no bloody clue about, they give me insight & extra tidbits of info but I don’t feel stupid while I read them. Pretty incredible.  I wondered if Dr. Karmen had any personal favourites in her collection? (I double dog dare ya to guess mine, you cheeky buggers)

Thank you for the lovely compliment about my blog. Oh, dear, this is a hard one because I learn from every lesson. Perhaps my favorite is always the last lesson I write, not only because I must thoroughly review the anatomy but because I strive to present the topic in a way that is accessible to all. Although some of my readers have biology backgrounds, many do not, and I feel compelled to direct my lessons to folks who lack anatomic experience. My latest, is the first of a series about the gastrointestinal system: Anatomy Lesson #44, “Terrific Tunnel – GI System, Part 1.”

My first lesson, Anatomy Lesson #1, “Jamie’s Tush or Bottoms up!”, was posted just after the airing of Starz episode 107, The Wedding. To be perfectly honest, it was Jamie’s beautiful bottom that caused me to consider just how I might teach the anatomical “underpinnings” of such a splendid body part. He is a perfect male anatomical model and I hear he works quite diligently for those bonny buttocks!

I was also intrigued about writing a blog. Up to this point, I had been writing grants and medical and technical papers. As you can see from this first lesson to the most recent, it’s taken time to develop a voice, a format for my lessons, and understand this new medium. I also want to be respectful of the actor’s private lives so I only refer to their character’s names as they graciously provide anatomical examples. I wrote about this POV last year: Education & Privacy.

Diana’s books and the Outlander series are filled with anatomical goodies that demand attention. I also love the pathology (abnormal anatomy) which is abundantly sprinkled throughout the books and episodes: a veritable gold mine for an anatomist!

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Some people may lose their joy after working in a particular field over time.  Reading Dr. Karmen’s blog shows me, this has not happened to her. I was curious how she keeps her love of anatomy thriving. You know, besides Jamie’s cute tushie.

My passion for anatomy stays alive because I harbor a profound awe and respect for the human body, a sublime blend of form and function, which we often take for granted as it ferries us through a rather precarious world. It matters not how much I learn about the human body, there is always more, and the more is endlessly fascinating. Why wouldn’t it be? It is our vehicle, our home, our sanctuary….erm…as you see, I can easily wax poetic about the human body!

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We all have our own vision for what we believe Outlander will look like in the years to come. Dr. Karmen sees things a bit more intimately than others do, haven’t you noticed? I was anxious to hear what her brain thinks the world of Outlander will be like in the years to come.

The future of Outlander world… First, I hope all of Diana’s big books and the Lord John series are filmed. Then, I envision the largest global community of devoted fans, constantly networking to appreciate, support, create, praise, enjoy, and celebrate this amazing, shared adventure. Hurrah for Diana Gabaldon who, one day, decided to write a book for herself. Praises to her CompuServe pals who encouraged her to publish it. Kudos to her family who support her fathomless talents. Thanks to Ron D. Moore, Terry Dresbach, Maril Davis and to all the actors, writers, directors, staff, designers, composers, musicians, builders, trainers, linguists, herbalists, doctors, sempstresses, and detailers. Without them devoted fans would wander lost in a vast desert-scape, otherwise known as, Droughtlander!

I wanted to give all of you a chance to peek into the Outlander Anatomy waiting room.  Sit back a moment & spend some time peeking behind the curtain that is Dr. Karmens life.

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Well, I am now professor emerita (retired female professor) of human anatomy at my medical university. When I was actively teaching, my “waiting room” (dissection lab) was filled with medical students, graduate students, allied health students, surgical residents, surgeons, and donor bodies. I was director of the gross anatomy course for many years, ran the body donation program for my institution, and was demonstrator of anatomy for my state in the US. Over the course of my career, and before birth of the internet, I taught almost 10,000 medical students gross anatomy, histology, embryology, neuroanatomy, and cell biology. And now, that the internet (and Outlander) has such a long reach around the world, I am able to teach many more readers about the amazing human body.

I always am curious what others find most fascinating about Gabaldon‘s world of Outlander. It is one of the topics of conversation I can’t get enough of.

Wow, this is a hard one because I find Diana’s creations endlessly fascinating. If I had to choose one thing it would be her remarkable ability to divine a story from a single line, sometimes books apart. Here’s an example: in Outlander book, Jamie and Claire are eating dinner at Castle Leoch; the table convo centers on Sandringham and his personal preference for young lads. In a line or two, Rupert comments that Jamie should guard his wife because unlike the Duke, his man servant actively pursues women! This really didn’t grab my attention until my last read-through. Then, Bingo! In the next book, Dragonfly in Amber, the Duke’s valet reappears as a member of the foul gang that rapes Mary Hawkins! This type of thing happens many times throughout her books. How does Herself recall such wee things and then revisit them hundreds of thousands of words later?! I actually learned the answer this past week while attending SiWC2016 in Surrey, B.C. Diana said (and I’m paraphrasing), that she writes all sort of things that might be classified as debris, but which provide kernels for later works.  – It’s what I call Gabaldon word Tetris 

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In this photo, taken at 2016 SiWC, she honored me by donning a necklace I made for her: Mr. Willoughby, complete with acupuncture needles inside his hollow body!

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Diana Gabaldon with Dr. Karmen & DG wearing the super cool Mr. Willoughby necklace

This an ABOotlander must ask. We ask for shiggles – If you were to come to Alberta Canada and someone offered you a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

My first choice would be Taber corn.  I have never tasted this variety but it sounds delish and I love corn and corn-grinding! <G> Second choice would be beaver tails, that is, if you mean the fried pastries –  they look yummy!  But, if I am wrong and you mean the rear appendage from a large, big-toothed rodent, then I will pass. I will also pass on the prairie oysters as I am not fond of raw eggs. Finally, I refuse to dine on moose poop because I am a picky eater (although, I suspect these are chocolate covered candies). Great question!  – I must say I am impressed, though not surprised at Dr.Karmen’s thorough answers. What an absolute delight she has been!

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Please feel free to share your comments with us about #ABOotlanderLOVE below. It takes no time to #BeKind & spread the LOVE.

 

Sher

ABOotlander Founder & Friend of the Fandom

 

ABOotlander LOVE- Episode 2- Connie V does it her way…tickles eh?!

ABOotlander Love is all about spreading KINDNESS JOY & SUPPORT throughout the OUTLANDER Fandom, especially during #Droughtlander. In our last edition we shared Beth Wessons story with our readers.  

The ABOotlander World FB Page is choosing those in the Outlander fandom who have made it their mission to add a touch of positivity & entertainment.

We are highlighting bloggers, artists, podcasters, cast or crew members who simply share parts of themselves that bring happiness to those enjoying the World of Outlander. 

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There is no doubt that Connie Verzak aka ConnieBV aka atom1cflea.tumblr.com is the epitome of this.  Connie’s recaps are inventive, creative & not just funny – they are uproarious.  If you have any bone of funny in your body…it will be tickled.

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We always wonder what makes the fanciful tick, what is it that causes them to see the comical in things that others see as mundane.  

This is what I adore about Connie – I feel a kinship with her…a weird, wild and witty connection.  I was thrilled when she happily agreed to step into the ABOotlander LOVE spotlight. 

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Let’s listen to Connie’s OUTLANDER Journey.

In Connie’s real life she is a translator  (we know she turns the everyday into awesome) and a proofreader. She has had a wide variety or jobs from bridal salon attendant to telemarketer. (I wouldn’t say mean things and hang up on HER!)
All of us have our “Outlander” story, how we got here… Here is Connie’s-
The first book was on display in the library shortly after it came out. I think it was under “New Historical Romance” or something similar. I picked it up, read the first few pages to see if it would be up my alley and was intrigued by the writing, so very painterly… I took it home and read it in two days. I have been waiting for the next book ever since, and the Frasers have been with me through my own ups and downs. It’s such a cliché, but it really is like looking in on old friends. (This is the cliche of our lives)
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We are inspired by many different things and I was curious to know what inspired the crazy lil fleas recaps, aren’t you?
Oh, a combo of boredom and whimsy. I heard the show was coming out and I wanted to talk about my favorite scene, so I did a bit of that and then made the images to accompany it. A few folks on Tumblr knew me and liked them, and by episode 3 I had promised them full recaps, and though I couldn’t do them fast enough to keep up with the show, people seemed to enjoy them and so I kept it up. I didn’t even finish the long S1 recaps till a month or two before S2. The first time Diana shared them I almost had a heart attack. I still get such a thrill that she likes them and am so happy whenever anyone says I made them laugh.
It was so exciting to see Connie’s recap headlined with ScotlandNOW, I really wanted to know how that came about, so, I asked of course.
Well, I heard through a couple of fandom friends that they were looking for someone to recap the show, and that they had forwarded my name. I replied to the editor with a sample of my work (I either sent the “Rent” recap or the Wedding, can’t quite recall) and she had me finish out season 1. They were very short and more like reviews, since I had almost no time to work on them between airtime and deadline. People kept liking them, so we kept on. I love that I can ask her if it’s a good idea to write as a cow and she’s like “Well, let’s see it…” For S2 I have tried writing longer ones with some more analysis. At some point I’ll settle on a format, but they’ll always be humorous. I have to laugh.
Being an Outlander fan is such a kick in the pants, when we get to cross paths with those who started this brilliant world it can be … the best ever! 
Meeting Diana Gabaldon was my biggest fangirl moment.
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Such love..such admiration…so much awesome in one frame. Photo by friend Allison.

I was at a fan gathering in Iowa, and I had brought my camera to have my picture taken because I wanted a good photo, and the girl wasn’t sure how to use it and the photo was blurry, and it was very late and Diana had been signing for quite a while, so she glanced briefly at my printed recap page and then moved things along. I was SO crushed, I didn’t get to talk or anything I was so nervous. My friend Allison who I bless to this day forced me to get back in line, and tell Diana the name of my blog and when she said, “You’re Connie!” I wanted to faint. I got my picture re-taken and she hugged me and told me I was “a  funny lady.” I don’t think she knows how much that means to me, but it’s a warm glow every time I think about it. Especially in winter.
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There is no denying that Connie makes us guffaw, giggle, snort and chortle.  I had to wonder if she ever thought “Man…that was too funny!” 
It’s usually not the funniest ones in any traditional sense. For me at least it’s the ones where I jump out of bed or the shower and make something ludicrous and cackle because I can’t believe I get paid for this (please keep paying me). (In fact, give that woman a raise!) This particular one was free but I laughed myself stupid making it, hearing this cat’s voice in my head. I laughed just now seeing it. Making animals and inanimate objects talk always gets me, because I am a child. Also I love my running gags, of which I have many.

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Everyone has “things”…here are a few of Connie’s…I am disturbed by both marshmallows and licorice. You didn’t happen in nature. Someone made you! (She is so weird…did I mention I adore HER?)

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When you are an entertaining person, you need to be entertained. I inquired as to who amuses Connie.
My husband is the funniest person alive. He’s well-read, quick and has a fine grasp of the ridiculous. I don’t like humor that makes people feel bad, or puts someone down. I like it when you laugh, and you had to think quickly to get that laugh.
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The ABOotlanders must ask question for all spotlight inners.  You come to Alberta Canada and someone offers you —

a) Moose Droppings b) Beaver Tails c) Prairie Oysters d) Taber Corn…which would you choose & why?

I live in the U.S. Midwest now with a proud Midwestern dude, so unless I say corn I might find the door locked when I come home. (Good choice Connie, Taber Corn is delish! Drowned in butter n salt and you have yourself a Friday night!)
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Taber is a town…in Alberta…with the sweetest corn EVER!

The ABOotlanders are so grateful Connie agreed to join the ABOotlander LOVE adventure! We started with Beth Wesson’s thoughtful prose. Followed it up with Connie’s humourous peek on life…stay tuned for our next spotlight…it will be therapeutic folks!
SherryLynn
ABOotlander Founder & funmaker