I Ate a Twinkie Today

There is actually something that can distract me from Richard Armitage watching. Yes, I know that’s a shameful thing to admit, but there it is. Son (aka the son of SO) has me running all over the country to help him check out potential schools. I have never worked so hard nor been so tired except maybe when I gave birth to said Son. I refresh myself with the thought that he will have several years of schooling possibly paid by someone other than dear old Mom and Dad. Oh, that sounds like a cop out? You have obviously never had to deal with a kid who is maniacal about participating in an activity. Yes, that’s what I thought — no clue about what a huge drain it is on time and other resources, which means I have paid in advance for this “privilege” of someone else paying for Son’s schooling. LOL! The years of driving to his events are enough to scare most sane people.

And now come the recruiters. What a learning curve this has been, and son is getting a marvelous education in card playing. He, who was taught to let his yes mean yes and his no mean no, was innocent about recruiters. I’m happy to say he is a quick study and has learned very fast which cards to play and which to hold. On his own he now has the two schools of his choice up to paying for almost everything. I’m observing in amusement as he might actually get them to pay for all of it. No matter what happens, he’s parlaying this into much more than I ever dreamed of during the years I was watching him work out before and after school, often say no to his friends when they wanted to hang out, eat his precision diet with carb loading on certain days of the week, drink untold amounts of water, monitor the competition, spend what seemed like man years studying the best ways to improve his abilities, and certainly, perform his sport. Ahh! this last is quite a thing to behold, but his ability at the non-answer is fast eclipsing it. In celebration of his new found negotiating skills and our diet not needing to be quite so strict around here in future, I renewed an acquaintance with highly processed, sugary foods.

Since this isn’t a tangent piece (although it borders on one), the inevitable tie in:

Perhaps Richard Armitage was right when he said some of his fans are motherly. Although I don’t feel in the least motherly towards him (the thought is icky), I must admit I have at times thought of his mother and wondered if she has felt about her son as I’m feeling about mine right now. What was it like for her to watch her child immerse himself so completely in something he loved? Was there a niggling thought he may actually want to pursue a career with such a potentially fickle fate? Was she scared about her son making deals only to perhaps find himself hurt and the dream dying? Or did she focus on his wonderful discipline and tenacity to pursue something so difficult for most others to attain? Did she some days get a pang of fear and want to talk him out of it and on other days seek to move heaven and earth to see that he got a chance? I did read somewhere she took a job so he could attend Pattison’s College in Coventry. I also wonder how many performances she saw or perhaps even helped with before her son was ever on anyone’s radar. Did she ever think it would come to this? And when it did, how did she celebrate?

I hope you indulged in more than a Twinkie, Mrs. Armitage.

A picture of Richard in his early twenties and on the verge of entering the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).

For those just stumbling on this site, yes, the guy in my banner picture is the same.

Photo courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com

62 Comments

  1. To help you be an informed consumer I just need to let you know that long after you are gone from this world, they will still find that Twinkie where your body used to be! You and my hubby can run off into the sunset together..when I met him he was addicted to Hostess snoballs! Yuck… LOL!

  2. I have often wondered about Margaret Armitage and frankly wished I could meet her and Richard’s dad and tell them what a fine job I think they did raising Richard.

    Given the, as you say, often fickle and downright uncertain nature of Richard’s chosen profession, and most parents’ concerns for the security of their children, I wonder if she didn’t have some sleepless nights during those fallow years when he struggled, wondering if it was ever going to happen for him.

    I don’t feel at all maternal towards him, either, Frenz, but I do find myself taking so much pride in his accomplishments and they have NOTHING to do with me, but I am pleased as punch when some critic recognizes what a fine actor he is, or he is nominated for some honor, or gets a great role like Thorin . . . so I imagine how his mother, who surely sacrificed to help him get the education and training he wanted, who likely helped make costumes, perhaps fed him lines and sat in the audience and applauded her little boy over the years–what must she feel?

    Pride? Awe? Amazement?

    As if her very heart is going to burst when she looks at and listens to her son and realizes what a really special, beautiful human being she and John brought into the world? The one who enjoys spoiling his parents a bit whenever he gets the chance?

    I raise my figurative glass to you, Margaret and John Armitage for a toast. Long live your lovely, talented son. and thank you, from the bottom of my RA-addled heart.

    And Frenz, so glad things are working out well for your son and his college aspirations. Hooray for scholarships. My Benny’s college education was completely paid for by the USAF based on his grades and his performance in high school ROTC.

  3. It’s a wonderful thing to emerge from college debt free. My two older daughters have successfully completed 2 and 3 years of college with very good grades and NO DEBT! I feel this is as much of an achievement as the grades. One of them flirted with the idea of joining the military. Not a bad way to go. :D

  4. @Annie, I remembe snoballs. LOL! They were really stretccccchy. LOL

    I actually hate stuff like Twinkies, but I was in such a festive mood today that I ate one. So out of character for me. I’ve got to find another way to celebrate, and part of what makes this such a celebration is my son is dylexic and despaired of ever going to college. I’m so happy for him. His confidence is high even though he’s going to have to bust his backside in school. I think he’s up for it.

  5. @Angie, I’ll join you in the toast. I commend those people for raising someone who seems like a class act.

  6. And: what DID she think of that haircut?

    Sweet post, Frenz.

  7. Well, let me put it this way. One time Son wore a Mohawk, and I can tell you that he was so determined in other areas, that I really didn’t care. I have a feeling Mrs. Armitage was the same. LOL!

  8. Isn’t it unfair that men only improve with age whereas for women its just a downhill run!

  9. I hear what you’re saying, but that’s all in the eye of the beholder. I prefer to think I’ve gotten better with age. Yes, my hair is no longer black, but I like myself so much more than when it was. LOL!

  10. OH Frenz, you always manage to make me laugh even when pursuing a rather serious topic. With 3 college grad sons, I can honestly feel your pain. The best advice I can give you (even tho you didn’t ask for advice) is turn it over to God, like you haven’t already!, plain and simple. Our sons had small scholarships here and there but for the most part, they paid their way by working their collective butts off on this farm. They worked alongside grown men from the ages of 12 on and earned not quite the same salary but enough to get them thru college. We had job recruiters hitting all of them before they got out of college. They wanted hardworking farm kids badly. One was offered a fellowship at a major university, one was offered 3 different management positions for some of the largest ag-related companies in the US and one was offered jobs not even related to his ag degree…coaching! And guess what, to a man, they all came back to the family farm. Never and I mean NEVER did I dream that they would all be back here!!! God has a way of teaching us lessons…and the kids too. I could write a book.

    And during all those years, I was going to lots of ballgames, meets, contests…and yeah, it was worth it. But eventually, I had to face the facts that these kids got along pretty darned good w/o me or hubs. They made the good grades, formed lifelong friendships and gained new disciplines in the process. And we went thru those carb loading days too. We even made a study of the most productive to fill-in-the-blank-sport music to listen to before a game. I kid you not. Cello music still reigns here! And TWINKIES & Pepsi rule!!! (well literally according to AnnMarie, who by the way, cracks me up!) No Twinkies here tonight, but I salute you with my hazelnut decaf!

    OH, and believe me when I say there were days when I wanted MORE than a Twinkie, Mrs. Armitage. We’re not drinkers around here, but I can remember thinking on more than one occasion that a fifth of whiskey sounded delightful….

  11. I can truthfully say, without thinking I am all that, I did improve in looks and a lot of it was gaining in confidence and developing my own personal style, if you will. Of course, now I am toting around far too much extra poundage, but small children and animals don’t run screaming at the sight of me even now.

    By the way, Frenz, it’s been so lovely weather-wise I broke out The Big Black Hat the other day . . . :D

  12. Yeah, a fifth of whiskey actually sounded good last week. LOL!

    Angie, you have to post your picture in the hat! :D I thought I still had a link to it but can’t find it.

    If the definition of getting better is small children and animals not running and screaming, then I guess I’m doing okay. LOL!

  13. @Frenz-

    You have EVERY right to be so proud and thrilled for your on. I work in higher ed and a full-ride or almost a full-ride are much rarer these days and a tremendous accomplishment and testament to his skill and ability and your love and devotion to helping him be the best he could be. That is what good parents do. Take a bow for yourself. *Applause* Seriously.

  14. I second that, @Ann Marie. Honestly, Frenzy, just the train of thought you’ve expressed to me speaks volumes about you and your family, and makes me proud to know, even if only virtually, a person of such accountability and endeavour towards her close ones.
    But my admiration is, of course, secondary, when there is a pic as adorable and innocent, as RA’s eyes looking straight into our hearts on it. He looks sooo touching to me, and I don’t think I even care to know why :)))

  15. Lovely photo. What a sensitive face. We’ll have to become accustomed to a Thorin mouth buried under hair. But that is part and parcel of acting.

    Never easy to let the birds fly, Frenz. They thrive, and we survive.

    As for sports, do you know how MUCH goalie equipment costs??!! And that’s before college :D

  16. Oh, thank you so much. I feel so blessed. Truly. My son is a wonderful person, and I don’t think that’s just my bias. I’m far from alone in thinking that. He is a very sweet and kind boy, who is actually very humble about his accomplishments. Plus, you would have to go a long way to find someone as hardworking and earnest. It’s been something to watch him handle these recruiters without ever being glib. I admire him even more now, and these recruiters can see what quality he is. I’m sure that Mrs. Armitage has to feel the same about her son. It must make her feel wonderful to see him behave with such class.

    NovemberBride, That’s so wonderful to hear about your kids. I hope mine do as well!

  17. We cross posted, Fitz. I’ve heard stories about the hockey investment. LOL!

  18. Congratultions on a job well done Frenz and Frenz’s SO! You deserve much more than a Twinkie to celebrate with. ;) I just hope you don’t start to suffer from emply nest syndrome.

  19. Thanks, and I still have a 10 year old. Maybe God knew we needed her. LOL! Oh, I’m going to celebrate with much more than a twinkie! I was just getting warmed up. :D

  20. That wasn’t braggin’ Frenz…just lending a old shoulder ! Do NOT be deceived tho. We had plenty of bumps along the way, but you know the old adage…train a child up in the way he should go…well, you know the rest. ;)

    Thanks and yours will do great. Look who they’re related to!!

  21. Well, sometimes I’m sure SO and I can be a stumbling block. LOL!

    Seriously, I hope my kids are much better people then I am. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

  22. @NovemberBride,

    I just wanted to say that I am glad that I crack you up! What I love about you, the online you, is that you are generally very upbeat and positive and really seem nice a kind, genuine person. So thanks for always adding a lightness and niceness to the blogs. xx

  23. I agree, Ann Marie. I hope to meet NB next week. Tell you whether or not she’s been fakin’ it. ;-)

  24. awww, AnnMarie…I could say the same thing about so many of y’all! But thanks and it’s my pleasure and it’s also my pleasure getting to know all of you!!!

    And the pressure is on…Frenz checking out the old lady and reporting back. Yikes! The online me is pretty much “what you see is what you get”. I hope. I think. But see the cool thing is that I get to report back on Frenz, so we’ll have to make some kind of deal now won’t we? *evil grin*

  25. @ Frenz, then please give NB a hug and a high five from me…

  26. Oh, I will Ann Marie, and NB, did you get my check? :D

  27. I hope you guys have a wonderful meeting, NB and Frenz . . .
    I have this dream of all of us meeting one day. Millyme has actually dreamed of the two of us meeting and I tell her it was “destined to be” :D

    Frenz,
    Re that photo, it is the mugshot Ashley took of me for the paper . . . nearly drove him batty because that is such a huge hat and I had to keep adjusting the angle of it so my lighting would match everybody else’s LOL But I do dearly love it. :D

  28. It would be cool if we could all meet. If not London, then NY might work for some of us. I have always wanted to go to the 24 hour plays — long before I even knew about Richard Armitage. They happen in the fall up in NYC. Just something to think about as a fun event if we did ever plan to meet as a group. Of course there is The Hobbit premiere. LOL!

  29. Oh, and Ashley looks like a good kid. Glad he got that picture. :D

    By the way, have I ever told you I have a friend in Dothan?

  30. I took one with the photo booth on my Mac of me blowing a kiss and posted it on FB and my dear friend and mentor, my former art teacher Priscilla Davis, has raved about it ever since. I said “Self-Portrait of the Journalist as a Not-So-Young Woman”. I guess you could say it captures my whimsical side :D

    No, you didn’t mention the Dothan connection. Home of the Peanut Festival! Haven’t been down there in ages–maybe since one of my roomies got married. Ross Clark Circle . . .

  31. I am soooo with you …NY, London, uh even LA. I think?! All big cities scare the liver out of me, but if I can drive 21 hours to meet up with a bunch of ladies in TN that I met on the internet, I can do this!! Seriously. In a heartbeat!

    I’d offer my place…lodge, country settings, tractor rides, feedlot tours. We’ll even let you clean a couple of pheasants just so you can go home and brag about it!! Well, I am smack dab in the middle of the country…good halfway spot?! But I’m thinking the other places might be a bit more conducive to the sorts of activities we’d want. My dream was to go to NY and see The Phantom. With Michael Crawford. A nice musical would be fun, but I’m up for just about anything short of a drunken party w/male dancers.

    Frenz…yep got the check, spent it and am now the proud owner of a brand spankin’ new container of Ranch Style Pringles. Living’ high on the hog……

  32. I have spent a total of one day in NY and always wanted to go back (But it was a memorable day. 200 of us were flown on a chartered jet to participate in a short-lived reality show called “My Kind of Town” — they fed us numerous times, we got to see a bit of downtown NYC, be on TV and all of us won a cute little moped for being part of it. A very interesting experience, including watching the street vendors pack up their wares and high tail it whenever the cops showed up LOL) I would love to go and spend a few days going to musicals and plays and sightseeing. There is a group of ladies from our area who go at least once a year.

  33. Angie, You have to go back! I have no idea where all I’ve traveled, but it’s quite a few places. NY is still at the top of my list. I feel at home there. I also love the west and feel at home there as well, and yes, I love the UK and feel at home there. :D well, I think you get the idea, but truly, NY is like a bunch of small towns jammed together, and I love that about it. People have no problem sharing their culture, and frankly, people have always been very nice there. NY really gets a bum rap on their image.

  34. Could I tell you that my favorite big little city is Galway, Ireland? Anyone interested? :)

  35. I would love it. I hope to go back to the UK sometime in the near future.

  36. Me too!

  37. The UK..another place I”ve always wanted to visit!! Hubs gets the glazed eyed look when I mention it. So a big ditto on that!

    One of our seed companies sent us to Cornell after hubs did some research for the Large Animal Dept. there. So we flew up for yet another Feedlot Tour. He hobnobbed with Dr. So & So while i cruised the campus, which is beautiful, BTW. Afterwards, he told me we could go anywhere in NY I wanted. I said the big city? He didn’t hesitate a millisecond with his resounding NOOOOOO! You see, he had gone there in 1968 on a college seminar and hated NYC. But, I explained, that was before Rudy took over. Surely it’s better???! Nope. He wasn’t budging so we headed for Niagra Falls. I’m glad we did as it was absolutely breathtaking and awesome and, well you get the idea.

    I have several groups of friends in TX who take off 2 or 3 times a year for NYC with girlfiriends or sisters. My best bet is either you guys and/or our ex-pastor’s wife who lives near Albany. She takes her daughters to concerts, museums, etc. and said I could be the Grand Poobah chaperone next time!!

    It appears that we have a built-in tour guide in Frenz, so we should be good to go! :0)

  38. I am close to NYC to I am in!

  39. You wouldn’t have to twist my arm at all, my darlings, to join in this adventure!! Frenz, I loved how, as we drove into the different neighborhoods in NYC, the streets seemed much more–intimate than the huge, sprawling boulevards I was expecting. I know they are there, too, but it just felt like–as you said–more like a connection of villages. Our bus stopped and a bunch of ladies got out and bought purses from one of the vendors as a souvenir of our day.

    I think there are negative stereotypes of every city and region you have to look beyond. Goodness knows, as a southerner, I have had to deal with being stereotyped my entire life!
    Yet every place I have lived/visited, I have found good things to appreciate in terms of architecture, culture, the residents . . . and NYC is indeed a melting pot of customs and cutltures.

  40. Well, hubs still won’t discuss anything even remotely connected to NYC even when I told him a couple of years ago that a highschool girlfriend wanted me to go with her next time she went. Fine. Go. Have fun. Just don’t ask me to go. LOL!! When the man makes up his mind, it’s made. Good thing too I guess. He picked me, that was it and here we sit 40 yrs later. I’d like to go back to Hawaii and Germany but he hates flying, so not sure how all that’s going to work out.

    As to stereotypes…my TX friends constantly harrarass me with “Did Dorothy find Toto?” and the like.

    NYC sounds enticing and scary at the same time but I’m ready to put on my big girl panties and go for it!! Maybe if I tell him that we now have Police Chief Reagan aka Tom Selleck on the job! He’ll protect us!

    So AnnMarie..how close is close? Like do you have a guest room? LOL!! :)

  41. Make that Commissioner Reagan.

  42. @ NB,

    I live across the bridge from Philadelphia but a very doable train ride to NYC. My parents live 45 minutes from NYC. as for a guest room…technically yes…but need to move stuff out of it…:)

  43. @NB,

    I would probably get a hotel room or I might stay in Harlem with my daughter. I stayed there over Christmas holidays, and it was fantastic — snow storm and all. I fell in love with Harlem.

  44. @RAF – today our son started his first job! We’ve been trying to find a place for him to rent but as he has been at home studying, he has no rental references so he will have to commute until someone accepts his application for a flat. Soon we will have one child left at home (Mulubinba whispers to self …. don’t speak too soon – I heard they always come back!).

    As for Mrs A senior – I would LOVE to ask her a whole lot of questions, not specifically about her son but about being the mother of an actor and the uncertainty of the future. My daughter and a friend are just in the process of buying tickets to London next year after they have finished drama school. They are so full of hope and they have chosen one of the hardest professions in the world. It is very scarey being a Mum and feeling a deal of fear for their future job prospects.

  45. Mulubinba,

    That’s great about your son!!

    I remember about your daughter’s interest. It’s hard to believe she’s almost done! I wish her all the best in London.

    Undoubtedly I would love to question Mrs. Armitage about how she handled her thoughts of her son. Surely, she had some trepidation on his behalf. I’d be hard pressed to think she didn’t. But how did she handle it?

    NB,

    I’ve been through something like Mrs. Armitage. More on that later.

  46. It’s quite wonderful! I was there for a long weekend with girlfriends several years ago. (It’s only a 9hr coach trip from this part of Ontario). I was there for the Met. (art gallery) and the Poiret exhibit, in which I’d planned to spend my time. But Manhattan was so seductive, and anyway, the exhibition so crowded, no possibility of sitting quietly and sketching, that we were “out on the streets” more. The architecture is amazing; all the art deco detail…oh, I love beating someone to a yellow cab! Politely, of course. The key being to get your hand first on the door handle and smile sweetly. Even New Yorkers are hesitant to yank a small woman away from the door :). Found it, from the tourist’s viewpoint, a very friendly city. Would be back any time.

  47. What would make a trip like this great is that several of us really do have similar interests. I adore going to things like the Met, and the MOMA and The Frick, but my favorite place is The Morgan. If you have not been there, you have to go! I also love to hang out at the library, and my favorite park is Bryant Park, which is right behind it. I have to go there every time I go to NY. Of course I wouldn’t want to load any of you up with going on the museum rounds, but making at least a museum would be great.

    I also love the Holocaust Museum. That was life changing. But it’s not for a fun trip.

  48. Oooooo, the MET??!! And the Museum of Modern Art?!!! Now you’re singin’ my song! But I promise I’ll stay away from those LSD Museums…don’t wanna see me getting high on genealogy! ; )

    What the heck is The Frick and The Morgan tho? See, I’m already showing my igonorance. Hubs and I tried to get into the Holocause Museum at the Smithsonian in DC but the line to get into the line to get in to get a ticket wrapped around the block the day we were there. Bypassed that little doosey even tho we desperately wanted to get in.

    @mulubinba, yeah I hear that too, but so far, mine all have their own places. Unless they get hungry. Had 2 show up yesterday when they smelled the Buffalo Chip cookies. One more waltzed thru today leaving with a handful. I’m happy that your son has a job!!! So many don’t.

  49. @NB,

    *whispers* I don’t remember what the Morgan or the Frick are either. And I’m REALLY afraid to ask what Buffalo Chip cookies are… ;)

  50. The Frick and The Morgan. I’m afraid to ask about Buffalo Chip cookies too. :D

  51. I seeeeee! More museums!! But do they have a LSD liberry?!!!

    Buffalo Chip cookies=oatmeal, Uncle Sam cereal, PECANS!!! and chocolate chips. You dip them out with an ice cream scoop. Very addicting but if you eat too many, Uncle Sam’s will send you to see your Cousin Toilee real quick like! I used to send them on all church camp and Boy Scout camp trips. I’ll make a bunch for our NYC or wherever trip. LOL!

  52. How about making some this week? ;-)

  53. I am waaay ahead of you, honey! hehehe. For once, anyways!

  54. Well, I am an art ed major who stumbled into writing as a career, so I am all about some museums, ladies. I could have spent days in the Louvre and the British Museum instead of only hours. Buffalo chip cookies sound very tasty, too. Benny the Baker made a sort of Almond Joy type bundt cake over the weekend. Very nice . . . :)

  55. wish we all had the time and money to go to those places as well.

  56. Love it! NB. :D

  57. Angie tell Benny the Baker I’ll share my BufChp cookie recipe with him if he’ll send me his fav dessert recipe. Heck, I’ll send it to him ever if he doesn’t want share!

  58. @Frenz,

    I would LOVE to go back to Europe with grownups (as opposed to high school kids) although my little brood was really quite well-behaved compared to some of the rest of the lot (at least WE didn’t steal the bus driver’s soft drink funds!!! Bad Indianians!)

    There is something about being able to walk right up to the Rosetta Stone, or see the Winged Victory and the Mona Lisa and so much more that you’ve studied about for your very own eyes . . .

    We were watching “Marie Antoinette” the other night and Benny says, “Oh, I suppose you’ve been THERE, too” when they were showing a scene shot at Versailles. There’s just nothing like actually being there. Oh, I am such a culture geek in some ways LOL

    NB,

    I will ask Benny the Baker to do some thinking on his favorite recipe. *thumbs up*

    (Sounds like a character on the old Muppet Show, doesn’t it? Benny the Baker and the Swedish Chef! LOL!!) Or possibly some Mafioso guy. “We’ll send Benny the Baker over to cook his goose once and for all . . .”)

  59. No, there is nothing like actually being there. What about Vatican City? Been there? I saw a really cool site that has a great virtual tour of it, but it’s still not the same.

  60. I loved the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art..being able to see the size and walk beneath the stone roof and touch the stone pillars *shh don’t rat me out* was something…..

  61. Frenz,

    We only made it to England and France. Would love to also go to Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Belgium . . . oh, you get the idea. And Ireland and Scotland, too. I really want to visit the land of my Killough ancestors.

    Our tour guides were amazed at how knowledgeable my kids were about the places we visited on that trip, I wanted to say, “Well, of course. They are MY students . . .” LOL

    And OK, I admit I teared up a bit when I saw Paris for the first time. I didn’t actually blubber or anything, just had to blink more than usual.

  62. Yeah, Paris is pretty cool. Heck, I love so many places in Europe. I’m hard pressed to think of a place that I don’t like. I do think Austria is the prettiest place though; however, I’ve not been to some countries in Eastern Europe. I’ve never been to Hungary. Would love to go there. I actually was planning a trip to Budapest, and no, it had nothing to do with Richard Armitage LOL! but it didn’t work out. I hope to try that one again sometime.


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