An Onion and Two White Chicks Sittin’ Around Talkin’

Get ready ’cause I was on medication last night, and it seems Heidi went off of hers. ;-)

We had a discussion about an issue Heidi raised, and something I’ve been asked about quite a bit in private and most often by new fans.

Note: I’m handling this like the old Point/Counterpoint segment on 60 Minutes with Shana Alexander and James J. Kilpatrick. You decide who’s Shana and who’s James. If you don’t know who those people were, then a) you probably live outside the U.S. or b) you’re not that old yet. :D

I’ll let Heidi go first:

OK.

There’s no easy way for me to graciously get into this without charging like the Taurus bull that I am into the China shop and just ask it:

Are RA’s letters to fans a hoax?

Now before the steam pours out of your ears like Popeye polishing off a chili pepper popper, let me tell you how this question came about.

Picture this: Heidi has insomnia, so to get to sleep, she decides to hit one of those sites that lists all of RA’s letters to fans. After all, the past snippets I’ve read sound like something straight out of a CBeebies episode, peppered with pleas for everybody to be “extra good, be willingly good,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Those things conjure an image of a placid, book-loving, thoughtful man who literally reads my child to sleep at night on Youtube in his sing-song, gentle voice.

You know.

This guy.

I mean, look at him, reading to that stuffed dinosaur. Aw. That’s exactly how I picture him talking to his fans through his letters. “Everybody, you be sweet and go to sleep and have sweet dreams, because we all need to be kind to each other.”

Aw!

Then all the miniature-action-figure-Thorin-toting women in the Western hemisphere collectively breathe a whisper of, “What a sensitive and caring man!” and nod off on their pillows and solemnly swear in their hearts to do every saccharine-dripping request that Richard Armitage asks of them.

You know, you picture this guy admonishing you in his gentle voice:

So Heidi is reading this stuff … trying to get to sleep … and then … WHAM!

A DRUNK GUY HAS TAKEN OVER RA’S COMPUTER AND HAS SENT THIS MISSIVE!

16th December 2008

Following the repatriation of the Robin Hood company to blighty, the spokesperson for RA has mysteriously disappeared. However, Hungarian ‘Rendorseg’ managed to locate a hotel room which was noted as his last abode. After searching the room and forensic dusting for fingerprints an ‘ubersuperduper unbelievably teeny tiny mini me micro film’ was located, secreted in a particle of dust which was lodged in a greasy finger print left on the rim of a pot noodle, evidence of Spokes persons seriously compromised existence. The ubersuperduper unbelievably teeny tiny mini me micro film then had to be dipped in Russian Standard Vodka for processing. Viewing the film proved to be nearly impossible but for a lucky purchase from Wollies at 50% discount of the very last “Ubersuperduper unbelievable teeny tiny mini me micro film player/clock radio with microwave and bagless vacuum attachment….it contained the following message:

“Agent A would like to wish all his contacts/agents a wonderfully joyous, peaceful and fun filled Christmas. He wanted to thank them all for their continued support this year and hopes to deliver ‘in spades’ for 2009. He is once again overwhelmed by all the generous gifts and messages and is attempting to respond a soon as is possible. He would like also to offer a toast to 2009 wishing all ‘agents’, success and happiness. In the spirit of peace and good will this message will self destruct in 3 seconds or if option B is exercised recipients will be termin…………… “

You know what, guys?

Um.

That’s completely and excessively much hotter than anything else I’ve seen RA quoted as saying, and here’s why:

HE. IS. FUNNY!

I mean, did he really WRITE that stuff?

Now, you have to understand that I’m a prankster at heart. I pulled countless pranks when I was in college. My
parents were convinced the family name would be so tarnished, that great-great-great grandchildren would be barred from our learning institution of choice, given the havoc I was creating on campus.

I know pranks.

And this, my friends, is one of the best pranks I’ve seen in ages.

Either:

A) RA’s friends stole his laptop in the dead of night and sent it off to this fan site for world-wide publication as a prank against their mate … or

B) RA himself drank five bottles of champagne by a roaring fire on a frigid Christmas season night and got so toasty silly that he fired this off and then decided to send it, just to see what kind of reaction he’d get. I mean, look at it. It’s Saturday-Night-Live-caliber comedy, poking fun at serious-minded middle-aged women who can’t get enough of reading about a man they’ve never met!

Richard, now come on. You are so busted.

Of those two options …. I choose A.

I think this letter is a hoax, and possibly many of the others he purportedly has written, too. I mean, you saw that intellectual and thoughtful thing he did at that blog with the book reviewers (if not, go here).

Either the guy is an onion with this prankster personality lurking under his Mr. Thornton persona – which, by the way, underscores his acting abilities – or someone has perpetrated one of the most hilarious hoaxes imagined: a letter embraced by fans as the real pearls of words penned by their beloved film idol.

Guys.

I’m going with the hoax.

And if RA actually did write that thing?

We will never hear it from him, because as a prankster to the core, I can tell you that we never breathe a word of our indiscretions. The fun of the prank is portraying to the world an austere and dignified front while on the inside, we are laughing non-stop at you.

Actually, I’ll bet this guy wrote it.

My turn:

This won’t take long. :D

Okay, let me see. You say he’s a prankster, Heidi, and that pranksters can effect an entirely different demeanor. Doesn’t that bolster the argument he did write the letter and wrote the Vulpes Libris answers as well? :D Speaking as a prankster and the offspring of a prankster, I totally know someone can pull off another side to themselves that might surprise people who think they know a person. ;-) Don’t ask me how I really know that. ;P

What I find interesting is this assumption Richard Armitage couldn’t haven’t written these because he’s sweet and kind and good with children — at least from what we can tell by the CBeebies videos. Yet most people have layers. Most people are onions. In fact, I’m married to an onion. He’s wonderful with children. They adore him. He’s a really gentle soul. But oh my gosh can he he come with the humor, and can also slice someone up with his tongue when it’s warranted, and sometimes when it’s not. Wait. He just came into the room. He’s grinning and doing some kind of twisty thing with his body while saying, “I can’t do this if you don’t put some curtains on the back windows.” LOL! Now he’s doing what looks like a dance. He just stopped to grin at me. ROFLOL!! I’m not sure I’m going to leave this in the post, but it may be too good to leave out!

By the way, this is the guy who our daughter wrote of him after his visit to her first apartment in NYC and her first time living away from home:

…my dad is an extremely kind, caring, down-to-earth person. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and is a funny, intelligent, artistic man. He loves the comfort of a well-written book, and has a better understanding of the true meaning of art more than anyone I’ve yet to meet in this artist driven city.

But one thing I love most about my father is his ability to love people exactly where they are. He can see past someone’s pain, someone’s anger or someone’s facade into their being and is able to appreciate them for everything that they are. He truly enjoys each relationship he has with people, knowing that each one is important in its own special way. Just as he enjoys admiring artwork and literature, he enjoys the beauty in humans as individuals.

And he’s also the guy who had me believing his girlfriend before me had a deformed ear which she covered with her long hair swept to one side, and when I met her, my shock evident that her hair covered no deformity. Yes, it was a good yarn. Damn good yarn. Oh that it were the last time he gulled me. He also has a way of twisting up words and phrases to make them funny. He’s the one who should be blogging, and honestly, he could have written that April letter. But those abilities don’t preclude being kind and sweet.

Yes, personal experience is king. Can’t you tell from my account and Heidi’s? ;-)

So B (see above in case you’ve already forgotten it :D), which I’m calling “the onion theory,” says Richard Armitage is thoughtful and kind (but not perfectly; who is?), and he was sitting around drinking beer with a bunch of his buddies who were teasing the hell out of him about the Army, and presto! the April letter (and maybe a few before it) was born.

So yeah, I’m going with the onion theory. :D

I feel another post coming on, and a good thing or this one would have difficulty loading.

The Voice

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What was I saying about the salesman on the side of the bed? Oh man, I really haven’t meant to tease any of you; just had a bit of an emergency, and now things are back to normal, which means they are only somewhat chaotic instead of out and out insane. LOL!

I tried to write a really thoughtful piece about Richard Armitage’s voice, and I hated it. It’s tough being entirely serious when I sit down to write for this blog, and frankly, I’m glad!

So my first real encounter with The Voice was the moment John Thornton had a proper introduction to Margaret. To say I had a visceral reaction would be putting it mildly. Didn’t we all have a visceral reaction? :D I think every cell in my body vibrated. It was almost as if someone poked a stick in my back to make me sit up and take better notice, and it didn’t matter that I typically didn’t like period drama. It didn’t matter that he had not been my ideal. All of my attention was now focused on the guy who had yelled, “Stephens!” several minutes earlier.

Deb (aka November Bride) nails some of my fascination with his voice:

But as much as I loved hearing John Thornton say even the mundane, I still didn’t think Richard Armitage had a phenomenal voice. Yeah, can you believe that? It’s true. I assumed he was phenomenal for this role — larger than life and effecting a brogue and brusqueness that evoked a response from me which probably wouldn’t occur again. It wasn’t until I watched Vicar of Dibley where RA was the congenial Harry, who looked and sounded nothing like John Thornton and certainly didn’t evoke any strong emotion from me when he opened his cottage door, that I began to think I had never seen an actor of his like before. It came when he made his first move (albeit a subtle one) on Geraldine:

That about took my head off. The intimacy in the lowering of his voice and slowing of his speech had me giddy like I was 15 again and some boy I was crushing on smiled at me. Here’s the thoughtful description I gave it earlier, but had second thoughts about publishing: it was like lying on the beach with the sun beaming down and the water washing up on me, and I always want to lie in it, but it’s just cold enough to make me shiver and want to stand up and maybe run away, and I’m never quite sure what to do with myself. The only thing I was sure of was standing there with Harry and Geraldine and convinced Harry was immediately smitten and trying to put Geraldine under his spell, and I was falling under it too. Phew. I think I might have had a bead or two of sweat after that scene. The look on Dawn French’s face says it all. I would give her kudos for acting, but I’ve wondered if she really was.

I wanted so badly to describe his voice after the Dibley experience, but I wasn’t sure how to do it justice, and the perfect description eluded me since I’m not a chocolate lover. Oh, I like it fine, but I’ve never craved it and usually don’t think much about it. I truly can take it or leave it, so it wasn’t until later that I began to associate those beautiful sounds coming out of his mouth with chocolate. Dove Chocolate commercials might have something to do with that. Um, yeah, that’s how I imagine chocolate might sound.

Not too long after I watched Vicar, I discovered the CBeebies stories on YouTube. This was my first exposure to Richard’s voice work, and I thought they were adorable. I put them on my iPod and grinned at the thought of friends and family discovering them there. I also remember Mulubinba talking about using these stories as part of her work as a therapist. I found this infinitely fascinating and have often wondered about the result since I can totally believe that voice could have therapeutic effects. Jonia discusses some very interesting research about the possibilities, and I think she might be right, but I love to hear her voice as well. Enjoy:

And now I can pronounce her name correctly. Don’t ask me how I pronounced it before. LOL! Jonia, you have a beautiful name, beautiful voice, and your English is very good! I’m impressed since I surely can’t speak Polish.

As for Mulubinba, I haven’t had a chance to read her FanstRAvaganza posts, but I look forward to anything she wishes to write about:

Of course RA’s voice is not the first I’ve loved, but its profound effect has puzzled me. Countless times I’ve watched the scenes that move me, and I’m not sure I can quite describe why his voice resonates so deeply. With North and South, the scenes which affected me the most were the ones in which he didn’t speak or barely spoke. I was attuned to his body language and especially his facial expressions, which Musa is making a study of this week:

His facial expressions are a pleasure to study, but with the Vicar of Dibley scene, the emphasis was not on his facial expressions. I find it telling that he’s in profile so that his expressions and especially his eyes could not be the energy behind that scene. It was certainly his wonderful voice.

I will catch you tomorrow when I have a little surprise for you, but in the meantime, I would love to hear about your first encounter with The Voice.

Screencaps courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com and my stash.

Voices courtesy of Richard Armitage and his wonderful fans.

The Home Stretch

For those who don’t know the meaning, home stretch refers to the last part of a horse race and not to be confused with the seventh inning stretch which refers to taking a break before the last part of a baseball game. We’ve passed the time for taking a break. As I write this, we have less than two hours to break the will of the O’Loughlin fans.* MUHAHAHAHA. So get over there and do your part and vote for RA as the Hunkie of the month! Even though RA is really THE Hunkie:

Don’t get confused and take a break and think it’s time to just go home, which is what I thought at my first professional baseball game. Imagine my chagrin and if I’m honest, my disappointment when I got up to leave and realized the game was not over. It had two more torturous innings and thank heaven it didn’t go into extra innings. I’m glad to know this poll is going to end soon because I’d like to rest this weekend. LOL!


Yeah, Keith, I know how you feel.**

Hang in there. The poll will be done at 9pm GMT today (well, today for some of us). Just to make sure you know exactly how much time is left, I provide a big fat link to London’s time below. More of my public service.


Click here to see if there is still time


And be sure to read the instructions about multiple voting so your votes are not invalidated! Hunkess has got her whip out, so don’t be messin’ with her, or our guy will pay…

and we’ll be left behind:

Doncha love how I mixed these metaphors? I can’t think of a better way to honor baseball than to confuse the subject. LOL! But I apologize to race fans for mixing the two.

This post was inspired by Nat, who uses pictures and words to tell wonderful stories or give her own slant on all things RA or somehow related. Phew, that was work, Nat. It’s her blog’s birthday this week, so be sure to give her some good wishes!

*You were supposed to click on that link. ;-)

**Professional ball player Keith Hernandez

Screencaps Courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com

Candid shots courtesy of various artists and allowed under the Creative Commons license.