The Gift, or No Banshee Yet

Man, can I just say I have been busting my backside? I’ve been so busy I could barely look up. This is a good thing for my family and for my hip pocket. But it’s not so good for this blog. Every time I get ready to post something, a major issue comes up that I simply can’t ignore. Case in point was yesterday when I was going to rev up the old blog again, and I got a call from someone who was frantic about their site being hacked and now they’ve been blacklisted by Google. Do you know what people sometimes sound like when they’ve been blacklisted by Google? It’s like a cross between nails down a chalkboard and the sound of a banshee. (edit: to be clear, I had never seen this site until someone called me to clean it up).

If you’re not sure what a banshee sounds like, well, this may give some idea (yes, YouTube has everything):

Okay, so I’m not entirely sure if that’s how the mythical banshee would sound, but I loved the facial expressions, and when I’m talking to someone on the phone who is scared to death they may never be found online again, I wonder if their faces don’t look something like that.

Google and websites and search engine results are not really what I want to talk about but rather how I’ve been going down memory lane with my Richard Armitage fascination and reading through Natalie’s blog and remembering how I was commenting and commenting and commenting there and egged on by others expressing themselves until I finally became so overcome with the need to express myself at a gush that I started my own blog.

This seems to be a common phenomenon in RA fandom. So many of us have the need to express ourselves — even some of you lurkers who send me email and swear to me you will never comment publicly. A few of you took the plunge and have commented on blog, but whatever the case, you just couldn’t keep from expressing how you feel. This is the chief gift Richard Armitage has given to so many of us. I hope he knows that — knows that it has manifested in more than some who have published books or blogs.

Richard,

Contrary to how it may appear to some, I have no clue if you have ever read one of my fake fan letters, but I still have so much fun writing them and just expressing something zany or sincere. It is a great release, and that’s coming from someone who has a reputation for being a straight shooter in face to face interactions. Doesn’t matter. There is so much to everyone that you can’t pour it all out in personal interactions. Sometimes you just have to write and write and write, and it seems the more that happens, well, the more it happens, and can I say thanks for priming the pump on that. Yeah, I’m saying thanks for being a catalyst for my unleashing of thoughts that needed to get out — even if no one ever reads them but me. It’s been a wonderful therapy, and no, I’m not sure where I’m going to end this paragraph. In fact, I used to worry about crap like that and wouldn’t write anything unless I was reasonably sure it would be perfect. To hell with that. I mean that literally. That kind of thinking is from the pit of hell and paralyzes too many of us. Plus, I’ve been rethinking what I deemed perfect. Probably a discussion for somewhere other than this blog. Then again, maybe not. Whatever I write, I just want to explore something that keeps moving around in my head and wants to get out.

Onto the second paragraph.

Now the third. I keep saying I’m going to let go of this place, but I’m so undecided. At some point I will let go, but it won’t be until I can develop a voice as myself and not this insane persona I’ve allowed to take over. Who knows when that will be. I surely don’t, and I’ve stopped listening to others about when it should be. I’m just going to keep going and believe it will become clear when it’s time to stop — at least in this place, because I’m never going to stop.

Did I mention how much I appreciate your effect in this not only by exercising your craft but also the people you’ve drawn who have also inspired me? Read the first paragraph again, and maybe I’ll say some more another time. Scratch that. I will say some more another time.

Signed,
One of your crazy fans, who has thoroughly enjoyed being insane and the good friends it’s brought me

P.S. Do yourself a favor and read Nat’s blog. Even if you’ve read it before, do it again. It’s that good.

.

Certainly self-expression has exploded in the last 15+ years with the advent of blogs, YouTube, social media in general and of course the ease of publishing books. If I think about all of that, I could grouse about the crap that’s out there. But there is something in me that is not opposed to all the crap if it’s honest. Let it come out. Let people express who they are — even if it’s not to my taste. I don’t want gatekeepers to the public dialogue. And yes, if I’m being utterly candid, it allows me to express myself as well without feeling I’ve got to walk on water before I do it.

And now that I’m going down this road, let me also say that a few years ago someone wrote something that was not to my liking, and I said as much. Many times I’ve regretted my statements. Not because I don’t stand by most of what I said. I still feel the way I did in most respects; however, I don’t think my saying it was well done. None of that is to say that someone should not express a dissenting opinion. They certainly can, and for most of my life, I’ve not had a problem doing that when I felt it was warranted. In fact, I’ve been expressing my cussed opinion verbally since I was a little kid old enough to talk — saying very forthrightly what I think to my family and friends and sometimes strangers. But I like to think in my “old age” that I’ve learned that my opinion does not always need to be heard. That I’ve learned discretion. Yet that particular day was not my most discreet. If I could take it back, I would, because I have no need to set myself up as the arbiter of acceptable behavior. Again I say all of this not because I’ve changed my mind on much of what I said, but because it served no good purpose to say it.

But all of that aside, I’m glad I’ve written in this blog even when I’ve written something I wish I hadn’t, or my writing was just crap. It’s been a worthwhile pursuit. It’s changed me for the better, and you can’t know that unless you knew me beforehand which none of you did. You’ll just have to take my word for all of this.

In honor of those who grapple with expressing themselves, one of my favorite Richard Armitage characters:

johnstandring

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageCentral

note: I’m really trying to control the need to get on my soapbox about security on a site. Oh well, I guess if people keep having a cavalier attitude about their websites, I’ll keep making money. So on second thought, no complaints here. :D

The Truth is Out

Dear Richard,

You love food and I love food. Oh, heck, we’re both eaters like Nigella (yeah, I know it was the chunk of chocolate cake that had you salivating), but well, I just need to talk about food because really that’s what I want to talk about! And the truth is every time I talk about it, I get all sorts of attention, and man, I need lots of attention — especially about food. Why didn’t I realize that is what I need to soothe my savage breast? See even my metaphors are about food. I was thinking about egg fried rice with chicken breast when I said that. And I’m so relieved I can talk so freely about this since the web already knows.

It all started with the cookedturkey.jpeg. Google knew I had a thing for it, and was so kind to make that the top image for cooked turkey, and it brought me loads of people to read about you! Karma, baby, karma. How do I know? You let something slip in your last message to the fans. And now I know, and of course Google knows you put those dumbbells down and ate some turkey!

As if that weren’t grand enough, this morning WordPress has me featured in their food topic which used yesterday’s piece. I sort of reblogged a recipe from Warm Vanilla Sugar, who’s probably getting some odd traffic about now. But I’m glad. It’s an excellent site, and I should know since I’ve spent a lot of time there. You need to make a visit.

As long as I’m revealing all my secrets, I might as well confess this is my favorite picture of you:


[click for something extra]

When you bit into that sausage, I became a fan for life! I AM NOT kidding about this. And you made that sausage look so good. Every time I think about it, I have to eat some. The first time I saw ‘Sparkhouse’, I did my usual with your work and watched it several more times. SO finally said after a couple of weeks, “You know I love bratwurst, but could we have a break for a few weeks?” Oh, you don’t know SO? Let’s keep it that way. He’s not as into food as you and I. Although if the subject of barbeque comes up, don’t even bother bringing it up. He is particular about his bbq.

Oh, I’m loving this, and now that my secret is out (that this is really a food blog), I will be writing about food and you much more often.

Signed,
unnuvvoorcwazyfans (Phew! That Johnsonville was good! )

P.S. I know Peter Jackson is right there with us on this. Good times. Good times.

You can thank WordPress and this snark facilitator and foodie for the post.

Screencap is mine

Note to fellow bloggers: the food tag is powerful.

I Can’t Keep Up!

Ever feel like all these blogs and forums and websites are too much, oh my?! They probably are, so guess what? Don’t even try to keep up. Read, or listen or watch what you can. You are not obligated to read all of this stuff, and the moment you have that thought, step away from your PC, your Mac, your phone, your iPad, your kid’s DSI…. Go outside and inhale some fresh air. Then come back in and eat something really decadent that is not on your diet. After that, you won’t feel like you’re overdoing the web. You can come back to your system and look up great diet sites that have wonderful tips on how to keep from overeating, which you may never use, but it makes you feel good to read them. See how useful the web can be?

By the way, I had a great piece for yesterday to celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, but I got caught up in reading and watching so much that I never posted it. And posting at 11:55pm didn’t seem it would have the same effect. Maybe next year for that piece. Oh my God! Did I just commit to another year of this?!! Someone slap me.

Oh yeah, I’m putting the Richard Armitage tag on this ’cause he’s an eater like Nigella Lawson. The dude likes food and hasn’t been able to keep that knowledge to himself. Just one more thing to love about him. :D

John Standring savoring a sausage while contemplating Carol’s words:

[click to enlarge]

Screencap courtesy of Richard Armitage Central

Now That I Have Your Attention

I have just a few more things to say before my first anniversary of blogging passes. This was going to be at the end of my last post, but I’m putting it here to ensure it’s read. Not that people skip over posts. No, of course not. :D

So there are a few people I have to thank for being encouraging to me in blogging, writing, just general creativity, and joy.

Heather, Elvira and Angela (aka Spikesbint) were the first people in the RA universe to bring me such pleasure and spark something creative in me. They don’t know that, but it’s true, and I wonder how many people they’ve inspired. It must be legions. Might not be a bad idea for RA to pay them a fee for such great promotion. Oh, I know they do it as a labor of love, but what untold benefits it’s reaped for many of us. Bccmee is another who has challenged my creativity. It’s amazing to me that she was “never creative before” her encounter with RA, and she’s just funny.

For sheer joy, I have to give Iz4blue credit. She is an encourager. It’s just who she is, and that upbeat attitude had a great effect on me. Just when I was about to throw in the towel at six months, she continually made upbeat comments and made jokes, and well, here I am six months later. :D

Pi also gets credit for talking to me about writing and deigning to encourage a hack like me. If some of you haven’t heard me say it, I’m saying it again here. I love her writing and would be glad to read anything she writes — RA or no RA.

Servetus is another one who has been a great encouragement to me. She was one of the reasons I started blogging. I enjoyed reading her blog immensely. It challenged something in me that I had let go dormant. Most of us who blog or comment know that she’s upped the bar on how we approach a subject, and I for one love this. Aside from all of that, she’s just a sweethearted person, and I wish her all the best in the world.

But frankly :D, I would not be doing this blog if it were not for Natalie. She is an inspiration and like Richard Armitage, is obviously a class act. Yes, she’s really as funny and clever and sweet when you talk to her as she appears to be in her blog, and I cannot leave this post without saying that I suspect most (perhaps not all but most) of the current RA bloggers would not exist if not for her. At the time her blog popped up, there had only been one other RA blog to my knowledge. It was run by LuvDemBrooders, but had not been active in awhile. So glad that void was filled by Nat, and I hope Richard Armitage is smart enough (when he’s not too busy) to look at her stuff. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that if he doesn’t, I might think him a fool (ducks). Not sure that I would indeed think him a fool, but I might. :D If he doesn’t look at it, I may really write him a letter. LOL!

Oh, and Nat, I love my Stick Figure Richard t-shirt. Need to get a picture in it.

There are so many other people who have been a delight along the way, but if I named everyone, you would be here quite a while. Suffice to say that I would not be here without so many of you. Thank you so much.

And of course thank you to Richard Armitage, who may never know anything about this blog or any of the rest of us. But does it matter? Yeah, I didn’t think it mattered. :D

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com, who has made this process of blogging exponentially easier. Thank you!

Who the Hell is Richard Armitage?

[NOTE: I now have a permanent page (“Who is Richard Armitage?”), and it has more video clips.]

This post is for all of you who have recently been introduced to Richard Armitage, the actor, via some poll or celebrity site where he popped up as perhaps the number two or even the number one contender in a contest. But you have never seen him animated and are completely perplexed by his fans’ love. Somewhere, sometime, some of you have uttered that question. I used to ask it myself! Hopefully when you are done with this post, you will begin to understand what his fans see. I’m not going to waste time trotting out his bio. You can read that on IMDb.

I want to gush and draw you the perfect picture of him with my words. To somehow convince you that he deserves the respect his fans give him. But I know it is probably wasted because I’ve been where you are, and no words were going to do it for me. I had seen stills of Richard Armitage before I saw him act, and I was profoundly unmoved and even put off. He just can’t be appreciated from a few pictures. The chameleon quality he brings to his acting helps to make him one of the finest actors, but it sometimes puts him at odds with stills. Seeing him moving and speaking is the key to understanding. If you have never done that, then you don't get it. But you’re in for a treat if you watch him. Not only is he extremely masculine, he is sensitive as well, and the superb mingling of these makes him an utterly beautiful man to behold. As gushy as I am, this post has been very difficult to write. I want to gush a lot more, but I’ll refrain and let him speak for himself.

John Thornton:

Guy of Gisborne:

Harry Kennedy:

Claude Monet:

John Standring, one of my favorite characters:

Lucas North:

Ricky Deeming:

John Porter:

edit:

Thorin Oakenshield, his latest portrayal:

Diary of an RA Fan — Part 14 Mr. Embouchure and the Black Hole

See Diary Part 13 here, or to access all entries, hit “The Diary” tab above.

Entry — a couple of years ago (2008) minus a few months:

I’m now the proud owner of a multi-region DVD player. $89 and a little shipping, and it’s sitting in the entertainment cabinet. And why? Because I wanted to watch something else with Richard Armitage and it wouldn’t play on a Region 1 DVD player. I tried to get it some other way, but noooo, it wasn’t available. Did that stop me? Certainly not. I got so excited I ordered it before I left mom’s house and it beat me home. Not a good move as it only created a lot of curiosity in the house. We already have a DVD player. Why didn’t I just hack the damn thing? So that makes a grand total of at least 300 bucks I’ve spent on Richard Armitage, and no one’s ever heard of him! Well, a few people on YouTube and IMDb and yeah, some people in England.

That night:

SO and the little SOs are gone for the evening. I’m so past them watching anything with Richard Armitage. I could care less if they watch him, but I’m ready to watch “Sparkhouse.” Part of me cannot believe I’m doing this. I really did hate Wuthering Heights. Plus, SO made a joke about me watching. Of course it’s a joke. Everything’s a joke, and I always laugh. I can’t help it. He’s funny. Then there’s his obsession with changing up names. So Richard Armitage got a new one. The day SO says Richard Armitage’s name correctly will be the day I probably need to quit watching his stuff. But for now SO made another crack as he was going out the door, “I hope you and Mr. Embouchure have a good time.” Oh we will. I think. Not sure. But with $89+shipping and $30+shipping for the video, it better be worth it. That makes over a 100 bucks to watch the guy in one movie. No matter how much I like Mr. Embouchure, that’s an expensive night at the movies. I salve my conscience with the fact I’ve rarely bought anything for myself — at least in the last several years.

A few hours later:

WHO is this guy?! Ewan MacGregor has a chameleon quality, and yeah, Russell Crowe can change himself quite a bit. But sometimes I can’t forget who they are. I didn’t even recognize Richard Armitage as the same actor. I knew going into this he was going to be different. I kept hearing on IMDb that this character looked almost nothing like him. But I still wasn’t prepared. I saw John Standring, and there was no thought of anyone else even after his transformation. Armitage becomes his characters more than any actor I’ve ever seen. Can I really make that grandiose statement about some obscure actor from England? But John Thornton was a force to be reckoned with. After watching him, I didn’t think Richard Armitage could be someone else so completely. Then he was Harry, and John Thornton was not even a thought in my head while I was watching him. Of course there was Guy, who was also a force and brooded so beautifully, but it wasn’t John Thornton’s brooding, and now another John, who really is another John and not just John Thornton with shaggy hair and dowdy clothes. Even after his haircut and change of clothes, the man, John Standring was still there only better looking. Wow. Why is this guy almost completely unknown? Is there that much of a barrier between here and England?

I wish SO would watch something more than Vicar of Dibley. That didn’t have nearly enough Richard Armitage to show his abilities. SO loves characters and stories so much he would love the acting this guy does. But he’s consigned Richard Armitage to nothing more than a Brad Pitt type of fascination for me. He’s so wrong. Brad Pitt never made me feel I’d been sucked into a black hole. Daniel Day-Lewis came close playing Gerry Conlon, but nothing like this.

John Standring has made this more than just a passing phase.

See Diary Part 15 here.

Screencaps courtesy of my stash.

RAddicts-R-Us

So I’ve been sharing these diary entries in an attempt to show how someone descends into this madness, and I’m only just beginning. I have never spent as much time on something frivolous as I have this fangirling (is that a word?) over Richard Armitage. But of course I’m doing this as a public service, so that the rest of you don’t feel like such nuts. ;-)

I promise to throw in more media even if it’s something you’ve seen a thousand times. Can we look at these pictures enough?

I said I love his jawline, and this is where it started, and if you don’t know which picture is under the link, then you’re not really a fan of RA. LOL!

A few more for your pleasure:

Guy_Gisborne_wooing_Marian

Yes, I flipped that one.

Harry_Kennedy_wooing_Geraldine

John_Standring_Carol

Lucas_North_Suit

John_Porter_beret

Screencaps courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.ComCom, RobinHood2006.com and my own stash.