Ken, We Hardly Knew Ye

I am getting myself in the Hobbit mood. Whatever that is. We’re about to find out, because this piece is the first of at least thirteen and maybe a few more designed to bring on the Hobbit hysteria for myself if no one else. Oh sure, most of you are focused on Sleepwalker. I’ve always been out of step, so for now I can’t stop thinking Hobbits, er, dwarves. Oh you know what I mean.

And note most of the research on these actors is whatever the first page or two of Google unearthed. Yep, this is how they appear on Google — at least in my part of the world.

Since Scotland was recently in the news, I decided to come with the Scottish guys first, and Ken Stott was my pick for the opener. Why Ken? I knew the least about him and so was most curious about his life and work. Oh, and he’s only half Scottish. The other half is Sicilian. When I was done reading about this half Scot, half Sicilian, I was fascinated with him. Still am. He also plays Balin, one of the most important dwarves in the Hobbit storyline and quite naturally should go first.

Balin

Balin is second in command of the dwarves and the conscience of the group if not the entire story at times — at least in the movies. As such, he is a calm force who often characterizes the series of events for others in order to encourage and inspire them to continue the quest. This serene mien is somewhat lacking in Thorin, whose royal presence alone is supposed to encourage and inspire, and it does but not entirely without Balin.

Given the usual demeanor of Balin, I was expecting Ken to be similar in nature. I suppose that’s the beauty and the hazard of being an actor. When someone is so good at what they do, you really can’t see past that to what else they may be capable of doing. Imagine my surprise when I came across Ken’s portrayal of Rebus:

If you didn’t watch that video, just know that Rebus is a badass. See around 4:20 if you don’t believe me. Balin is a badass as well, but he’s a kinder, gentler badass.

As I continued to research, it became apparent Ken is a bit of a badass in real life. I’ve picked up from several interviews and/or reviews about him that he does not put up with much crap (one article said, “he doesn’t suffer fools gladly”), and he tends to hit between the eyes. In 2009 he was in a West End performance of the Arthur Miller play A View from the Bridge when he got fed up with a school kid’s mobile phone going off one too many times. Ken stopped in the middle of the performance, had the house lights turned up and switched from his effected American accent into his native accent to let the school kids and their teacher know he wasn’t going any further until the nonsense ended. When I read that, I started laughing out loud and thought, “Go, Ken!” Then I read the bit to SO who chuckled and said, “I have no idea who this guy is, but I like him already.”

So Ken may be a curmudgeon at times, but he also has a sense of humor:

Most important, to me anyway, is that he seems extremely honest. I love that.

He also has a twinkle in his eye:


This is Ken in 2009 with his partner Nina Gehl. Nina is a piece of work herself. She’s an artist and seems to be pretty honest too. My favorite interview of Ken is one where he talks about Nina.

Fun fact about Ken: in his teens growing up in Edinburgh, he was part of a band called Keyhole who later became (or some members became) the Bay City Rollers. If you’re not familiar with them, here you go:

I did try to find a picture of Ken from his days with Keyhole, but to no avail. However, I did come across a photo of him I really like:

debt-collector-3This is from The Debt Collector. I don’t know if he smokes, and I really don’t give a damn if he does. That’s just a cool looking picture of a cool guy. Also looks like a character out of a Coppola or Scorsese movie.

One more fact about Ken or maybe two. 1) He supported Scottish independence. Why does that no surprise me? 2) It was his birthday a little over a week ago. I was going to post this then, but if I’ve learned anything about him, I imagine him thinking about all the birthday posts, “Dammit. Can they just stop?!” :D


Dear Ken:

Okay, so it was me! I was the one who didn’t know much about you. I’m sure there are others who know tons. But I’m on the other side of the pond, man. What I will tell you is now that I know a little more about you and your illustrious career (and I do not say that with any snark), I am making a point to watch some of your other roles and would love to see you in a live performance.

As for the rest, Nina sounds interesting too. Would love to have you two for dinner and discuss art and theater or whatever subject you want to pursue and especially anything you may want to call bullshit on. Oh, yeah, you can call vigorous bullshit on some things if you like.

Signed,
A Crazy Fan who loves it when someone has a finely honed bullshit detector

P.S. I have to ask: what instrument did you play in Keyhole? I would dearly love to know but could find the answer nowhere, or maybe I missed it.

I’m serious about wanting to see Ken Stott’s other roles. After reading the wonderful reviews of his stage work, I would go to see a play based on his casting alone.

note: I hope those among you who take me too seriously at times will read my disclaimer that I have no hope Ken Stott will ever answer my question or come to dinner. But that was fun to write. :D And hey, if anyone does know what instrument he played, please tell me.

There’s a New Addict in Town

A new Richard Armitage blogger describes the addiction as “Armitageitis,” and the description is so apt for many of us who are RAbid fans:

“Armitageitis” – (pronounced “Ar-me-tij-eye-tis”) – is an addiction to the actor Richard Armitage . Symptoms include – smileyness, excessive giggling and sighing, insomnia, and a noticeably increased usage of Twitter … oh, and the need to create your own Richard Armitage based Blog!

Would Richard Armitage do all of that to us?

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 21.12.12

Oh yeah.

And if you’re wondering how much you are affected, ask yourself: since I discovered Richard Armitage, do I feel compelled to talk about the experience? Do I feel the pull to blog? Or write a guest post? Or hell, maybe I have a book in me? Or do anything something to express his effect on me?!!

Come on in the water is fine, and in the meantime, you can assure yourself of being right where you should be by reading Antigone’s blog.

You can also catch up with Antigone on Twitter.

A Momentous Date

November 14th is fast approaching, and it’s a date that holds a great deal of meaning for me. First and foremost and way more important than any other event on that day, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl about 3:00 in the morning and became a mother for the first time. It was after 23 hours of labor, and no, I’m not going to tell the rest of my labor story. Yes, I have a labor story. Almost every woman who has given birth has a labor story, but again, I’m not going to say anymore about that except to say it was possibly the most momentous occasion of my life and of SO‘s life too. To watch a human being coming into the world? I can’t describe it. So I won’t. You had to be there. And this year I wish I could be with that beautiful girl on her birthday, but that won’t happen except via FaceTime.

Enough about that, since I realize this is two posts on my kids in a little more than a week, and I’m not here to talk about my kids although I’ve given into temptation to do just that on more than one occasion. I can’t help it. They’re great, and I don’t care how that sounds. Love them and can’t say enough good about them.

Okay, I think I got that out of my system although I now have tears in my eyes.

*wiping the tears away long enough to finish this post*

As some of you may know, November 14th is also Prince Charles’s birthday.

Here are a few other notable events that occurred on November 14th:

1666 – Samuel Pepys reports on 1st blood transfusion (between dogs)

1732 – The first US professional librarian, Louis Timothee, hired in Philadelphia

1840 – Claude Monet, the painter, is born in Paris

1900 – Aaron Copeland, the composer, is born in Brooklyn

1908 – Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light

1994 – 1st trains for public run in Channel Tunnel under English Channel

2004 – North and South is first broadcast by the BBC

All of these are somehow tied together in my mind.

More on this as the date gets closer. :D

A little something while we’re waiting:

Sometime I need to write a post about picking these tunes out on the piano. One of the greatest pleasures I’ve ever had in picking out pieces.

Oh heck, something from one of my favorite composers and a piece befitting John Thornton and how his character has made it to so many shores:

Now that I’ve gotten some corny thoughts out, maybe I can return to the snark.

Poor Richard

It seems there is an epidemic which was first noticed on Facebook:

Area Facebook User Incredibly Stupid

Michael Huffman the Dumbass

DOYLESTOWN, PA—Describing him as frequently frustrated and overwhelmed, sources confirmed Monday that local Facebook user Michael Huffman is incredibly stupid. “I need stuff easy,” said the absolute dipshit, adding that he finds many things confusing, and that those things must be changed so that they make sense to him.

read the rest here

This article was the Onion’s response to Facebook’s plan to put the hashtags #satire and possibly #comedy on the Onion’s FB posts. It’s all because of the condition known as Drawing Unwarranted Misinterpretations from Bullshit, and this propensity now seems to be on Twitter and infecting Richard Armitage and some of those around him.

Oh shit!

Dear Richard,

I want to apologize for the fake fan letter to Elliott Lester and how it may have negatively affected him and you! I’ve had my tongue in my cheek so long I didn’t realize you and some others would actually take me seriously. This fear of being taken seriously is one reason I started using so damn many emoticons a few years ago. Before I did that, oh man, it was hell. I’m not a great writer you see, so I had to do something to make it clear I was teasing. But I guess the emoticons weren’t enough huh? Yes, I KNOW you read my fake fan letter to Elliott or somehow got wind of it and felt so put upon you had to actually provide a photo. No, don’t bother denying. I KNOW you did.

I just wish I had known you are both stupid. If I had, I would have put the ‘bullshit’ tag on that post, so you would not have suffered any mental anguish. And I NEVER would have said this when you were so kind to provide a beautiful photo:

Glasses Tweet

Oh man, I am so sorry. It was a sacrilege. I know that now, and please, no worries about acquiring glasses. I’ll just take the photo as it is, and every time I look at it, I will feel duly ashamed of myself for being so bold.

Signed,
A crazy fan who really, really, really didn’t mean to ruin your day and would love to know how I could make it up to you.

P.S. I guess I need to face the fact you’re an action fan who needs the dots connected. Yes, this is bullshit.

Armitage Protection Mode is alive and well.

And I have always wanted to title a post with that phrase. I’ve also been dying to use that Onion story. :D

edit: dropping the snark for a moment but just a moment. For those who are confused, just know that it seems some fans thought Richard Armitage was badgered into providing us a picture. To wit:

A Possible of Dr. White

One of my favorite creatives and bloggers, @VioletsFrameworkBlog pointed me to a graphic which I think is probably going to be close to what Dr. White will look like:

BzvGnDSCQAA3sbj

I’m hoping he has glasses! I love RA in glasses and have a theory about that.

I am aware that this drawing was tweeted by @DI_alpaca several days ago, but I still wanted to highlight it whether you’ve seen it already or not.

And for those who haven’t figured it out yet, I’ve never cast myself as a news aggregator for Richard Armitage happenings. That is not to say I don’t very much appreciate the sites/blogs who provide that kind of service. I appreciate what they do! And yes, I have brought some news myself on occasion, but mostly, I’m here to editorialize and have fun with it. That’s right, I’m going to give my damn opinion and hopefully laugh often enough to make this place a pleasure and never a pain. :D

Speaking of a pain, there’s a dynamic I’ve been observing which is begging for its own piece. Hopefully I’ll talk about it in my next post.

Dr. White Hot — in case you missed him

Richard Armitage in Sleepwalker

Yeah, there he is burning up the place.

And for the rest of ya, I don’t care if you have already seen this; can you see it too often?! :D

note: first I have to get cheesy (see the last post) and then I have to go into objectification mode in order to get into the flow here.

Photo courtesy of Elliott Lester with some magic done by Ali at RichardArmitageNet.com

Paging Dr. White

Elliott Lester
No, it’s not Dr. White but rather the guy who’s been teasing all of you on Twitter. Who I think is a cutie as well as a tease.

Oh you don’t like my title ’cause the doctor is not that kind of doctor? Wait. Someone else says, “Go ahead and page him. We wanna see what he looks like!” I’m not sure I can satisfy the lust for info, but a fan sent me a couple of pics of the film set she literally happened on. She had gone to the venue to see a sporting event and then noticed there was something else going on. She was kind enough to share some long distance shots from her phone:

206

207

And the fan who took these had a friend and recent recruit to the Armitage Army with her. To quote the friend, “He is hot! and better looking in real life.”

Okay, so they’re not the greatest shots of Richard, but if you were overwhelmed by the presence of himself when you weren’t expecting to be, could you really get a good shot? Yeah, that’s what I thought. :D

Dear Elliott:

Please don’t change Richard’s character’s name. “White Hot” is too good to ignore. The Army can have a field day with that. But we need a clear picture, man, or do you want us to apply our imaginations to this thing?

Signed,
One of Richard’s crazy fans who is dreaming up all sorts of ways to mine the name ‘white,’ but I may not publish any of them; just entertain myself dreaming them up. ;-)

P.S. Are you ready for the fangirl deluge?

Angie: I throw this out to you: we need a graphic stat! :D

To the rest of you: Okay, so yeah, the title is cheesy. How do you think I get back in the flow of this craziness?!

edit: ArmitageBesotted and I were recently talking about the misuse of there, their and they’re. So what do I do? Misuse the hell out of it in this post. LOL!!

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