Moving Too Fast

Yeah, there’s why I’m blogging.

And time really goes quickly when having so much fun. This time last year seems like a couple of weeks ago when I was over half a day into running this blog. I posted my first piece a few minutes before midnight on April 5th. Didn’t have the courage to do it in the light of day as I wasn’t sure anyone would ever read it, and if they did, would I really want them to? LOL! No, seriously, I knew I was going to have fun with this no matter if only a few of you read it. It’s been much more fun than I conceived, and a little more than a few of you read it. Thank you for that.

So some statistics, which frankly, I’m mostly posting for my own encouragement.

233 published posts and almost that many in draft. I’m most proud of that number. For someone like me to write that much is astounding. I really didn’t think I could do it.

115,519 (avg. of 9627 a month) as of a couple of minutes before midnight on April 5, 2011, and a healthy percentage is unique. But lately I’ve been getting closer to 30,000 hits a month.

Busiest Day:

March 30, 2011 — Doing the Hongi was the featured post.

Not much surprise on this one. LOL!

Top search strings:

richard armitage
armitage army
richard armitage girlfriend
richard armitage captain america
richard armitage nigella lawson
richard armitage girlfriend 2010

That top one tells me a significant number of you found my blog by word of mouth; otherwise, who in their right mind would type in rafrenzy? Okay, yeah, I know there’s a game by that name but doubt all or most of those searches were done by gamers. I’m surprised at the second string because months ago I inhibited the Google bot. Oh well. Still not up to speed on how to do all of that.

I never thought ‘armitage army’ would end up being one of my top searches, but then I did wax on about it quite a bit. As a result, the blog ended up on the first page of Google when the string ‘richard armitage army’ or any variation was used. That’s when I quickly inhibited Google bot, ’cause I’m fine being on the 18th page. More freedom that way. :D

Man, ‘girlfriend’ is hot! Yep, I knew that would be a top search, but I had no clue how much so. Kick in the head is that I’ve only used the tag ‘girlfriend’ or the word itself in four posts, and the first time used was done just to mess with people. LOL! Amazing, and it’s brought me tons of readers. Sorry I don’t have more about it but doubt I will have much in the future either. I hope those of you who landed here by searching that string were not too disappointed at my lack of coverage.

As for the other two strings, I had no way of anticipating them, but I’m so glad I got lots of hits for Nigella Lawson. I love those posts where she’s mentioned, and surprisingly, it’s only four again.

In case anyone might be wondering, no, I don’t have the ability to see who searched on what. The software is only configured to filter the search strings.

Top referrers:

Armitage Fan Blog
Spooks Fan Blog
An RA Viewers Perspective

These stats also tell me that most of my traffic is word of mouth with only a little being from searches, i.e., WordPress, Twitter and Facebook being mostly indicative of searches. I didn’t even want to make a Facebook page, and I forget now why I did. Still not a fan of Big Brother Facebook. As for Twitter, that is my only concession to anything high profile, but I’m having so much fun there, I can’t stop. Oh, and thanks to you, Natalie, Servetus, Phoebe, Ali, Skully, and Mulubinba for making my place easier to find. And the ‘Mail’ are subscriptions.

Top Ten Posts:

What Would You Do If You Were Checked Out by Richard Armitage?
Being Richard
I’m Scaring Myself
Doing the Hongi
I’d Have to Shoot Them
Maybe It’s True?
Who the Hell is Richard Armitage?
CW Breaking Out All Over
The King May Have Been Dethroned
Diary of an RA Fan — Part 8 I Sense Trouble

Duh! on the top one. Actually, I’m not sure this one really is a duh. I think this might have something to do with the blogger in question making this known on Twitter and her friends possibly coming over here to check it out. ;-) Interestingly, the common thread running through all but three of these posts is they either concern an interview with Richard Armitage or a sighting of him or both. The only ones that don’t share that have either video clips or pictures that most of you love. Anyone want to guess which RA character is in the pictures? ;-)

Least read post:

The Unlikely Duo

This is a bit of a shocker until I consider this was very early on in the blog. If I did this one today, I’m sure it would be read quite a bit — even if you don’t like Britney Spears.

Post with the most comments:

What Would You Do If You Were Checked Out by Richard Armitage?

Are you surprised? I didn’t think so. :D

Posts with no comments:

Puddle of Goo or Don’t Tell Me The Moon is Shining
The Perfect Symphony
Tangent — If Media Producers Would Just Listen to Me
Waiting on SO
Housekeeping Again
FanstRAvaganza What’s the Big Deal?

The first two posts are two of my favorites. If you don’t read anything in that list, read those. The third post is a tangent I’m deadly serious about, and there will probably be more about that as I go on — whether on this blog or somewhere else. Before I looked this up, I thought this was my first tangent. It was my fourth, and I was surprised how many I’ve done. Thirty four in all. Phew, man, I like to go off topic. The fourth post I wrote strictly for myself. It was a trip down memory lane. I let my kids read that one, but not on this blog. LOL! They always love to hear SO and I reminisce, so they loved this one. The fifth post makes total sense; however, I’ve tried to make even those worth reading. The last one has no comments because I disabled them; otherwise, I think some of you might have ruined some surprises. LOL!

First comment:

“I could have written what you just wrote, practically word for word! I had to look up the word “squee” when I first started reading blogs about him. Now I write one too! See what he makes us do? In nicer terms I call him my muse.” By Phylly

So well put! Oh the things he makes us do. :D Muse indeed.

Oh, and I forgot to look which post had the most “Likes” and now I’m too tired to go find out. Do you really care? I didn’t think so. :D Anyway, I could care less which ones you liked the most. Yes, I really said that. Haven’t you figured out by now that a lot of this stuff I write for myself? Well, I do, but I’m glad so many of you have enjoyed it. Thank you again for that, and a big thank you to those of you who have made yourselves known. What a treat you are!

And a last thank you to DelicateBlossom who was gracious about me uploading her video in one of my first posts but without previous permission. Hopefully, I’ve made that up to her, and in the near future an interview with her since she rarely says much, and some of you might be curious. I know I was. LOL!

Photo courtesy of the Richard Armitage Russian fan site

New banner courtesy of Karima, who gifted me with it a while back. Thank you, Karima.

Note: Yes, I really am going to have a final FanstRAvaganza post, but I’ve been waiting on something. If I don’t get it by tomorrow, I’m posting anyway.

Gotta Love Him

I adore this article. How could I not? Either RA is the smartest guy walking who knows how to work women or he’s smart and he really means all of this. Wow. Both possibilities are wonderful, but I hope it’s the latter — for his sake.

Richard Armitage: ‘I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into’

By: Vicki Power. 30/05/2010

The sexy 39-year-old star of Spooks and Sky One’s Strike Back on growing into his looks/nose, why he’s more ‘new man’ than macho soldier, and looking for that perfect food-loving woman

You’re the go-to guy for brooding heroes. Do you like being seen as a sex symbol?
Richard Armitage: It’s quite funny – no, it’s hilarious to be considered a sex symbol. In school I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into. Being thought of as sexy makes one employable, but it’s not going to last forever, so I try not to think about it. It’s like something that exists outside of me.

You certainly look hot in the dark blue suit you’ve put on for this interview…
RA: Thank you. It’s Dolce & Gabbana and the shirt is Prada, but the truth is, nearly all my other clothes are Lucas’s from Spooks. I can’t bear shopping. I can choose clothes for my characters, but not for myself. I’ve got no dress sense. Or I’ve lost it.

What appealed about your character John Porter in the Sky series Chris Ryan’s Strike Back?
RA: I thought, here’s a chance to have a crack at a man who’s not a bog-standard war hero. Porter is what Lucas wishes he could be – SAS men get to go all over the world and operate in deep cover, while in Spooks we only get to walk up The Mall and go onto a few London rooftops. Lucas would love to be shooting out of an aircraft.

Could you have been a soldier?
RA: Not a chance! I can work hard and be disciplined like a soldier, but I could never reach their level of fitness. I have a whole new appreciation of soldiers. I saw myself on screen and thought, ‘That body is so not hard enough to be a soldier.’

What sort of training did you do?
RA: I did mega-training with ex-military men. I’d be in the gym for two hours after a 12-hour day on Spooks, and it was so hardcore I’d throw up. I stuffed myself with food and drank protein shakes to bulk up. I used to be a dancer, but I had to strap my weak ankles every day and strengthen my wrists so I could hold a machine gun. My body just wasn’t up to it.

So you’re not a macho man…
RA: I’m probably more of a new man. I’m not particularly alpha. ‘Nourish and nurture’ are my watchwords as opposed to ‘search and destroy’. I kept asking myself why on earth have they asked me to play this character, rather than someone who’s really hard. But I suppose it’s because I bring something softer to the character.

You were filming in South Africa for five months. What was that like?
RA: We had a great time, although it was so hot it felt like you were in an oven. We filmed in a poor black township outside Pretoria that everybody told us was dangerous, but we’d often play football with the kids. Once we didn’t have anywhere to change and one of the locals said, ‘Come to my house.’ It was a tin shack, but it was spotlessly clean. You can’t believe it’s somebody’s home. It was so humbling.

What did you miss most about home?
RA: I didn’t miss anything. I was so in the character, I’d dream about him at night. Even I thought, ‘This is crazy, I’m too involved.’ I found it hard to call or Skype friends – it was almost as though I couldn’t get out of the character. I screwed up my social life a bit.

Speaking of which, how’s your love life?
RA: Unfortunately, my love life is nil. I’m not in a relationship any longer – I’m working too much – but I would like to settle down at some point. That’s probably why I’m going to LA soon, when I’m not tied down. I feel like if you don’t try LA, then people will think you’ve failed.

Do you want a family?
RA: Yes, I’d like a wife and family. I spend so much time with my brother’s little boy, Abe, who’s coming up to five, and he’s so hilarious. Playing a father in Strike Back has really resonated with me, although I can’t believe I’m starting to get cast with teenage daughters! I’m quite relieved I don’t have that responsibility in real life, but I look around and my fellow actors are having babies and I’m envious. One day, one day.

But you’ll turn 40 next year. Isn’t about time you gave it some thought?
RA: Yes. That’s part of the problem, isn’t it, because I still feel like I’m 25 in my head. I always thought when I got to 40 it would be OK because I’d feel 40, but I don’t.

What type of girl would you go for?
RA: Someone a bit naughty. And who likes food – because I really do – and who doesn’t take life too seriously and has a sense of humour.
I could never go out with another actor, I’d find that hard – the stresses of the job, they just pull people in different directions.

(emphasis mine)

See what I mean about being smart, and he wants someone who likes food? WHAT?!!! Wait. wait. Maybe he really meant it about kissing Nigella Lawson. Nooo! Surely not. But he has talked about this more than once. Hmmm. All you single girls out there who like to cook AND eat, have you died and gone to heaven yet? But hey, you need to be able to laugh while you’re eating. No eating without laughing. Hey, most of us who like to eat only have to look in the mirror to start laughing. LOL! I used to be a tiny little thing, and I’m still not huge, but there’s more of me to love these days. SO says I’m voluptuous and he likes it! I’m going to assume this is the kind of gal RA is talking about. So all you single, voluptuous gals need to line up. At the very least, I’m sure you will have sweet dreams tonight. :D

Your fans call themselves Armitage’s Army. What are they like?
RA: Over the years they’ve sent me presents and turned up at film sets, but lately I’ve kind of left them alone. I got a bit too involved and there’s an expectation from them that goes along with that.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m tired of reading about all of us. Man, that husband who came up with this moniker is getting his revenge. LOL!

Do you read about yourself on the internet?
RA: I decided this year not to read anything. It’s been very liberating. The problem with me is I read everything, but it’s only the bad stuff that stays with me. It’s weird, you only need to be told something once and it stays with you.

What are your hobbies?
RA: I only learned to ski five years ago, but I’m addicted to it. I went five times this season. I should have been a ski instructor instead of an actor. I also dragged my cello out of the loft a couple of weeks ago and went back to that, but I have to squeeze playing it into the hour and a half I get in the evening after work. God, I sound like such a boring workaholic.

I would love to talk about this part, but I would really give myself away. :D

To read the rest, go here.

Do I need a picture? I didn’t think so. Those answers are so good, the images in your head are better than anything I could post.

edit: and yes, I know he’s only 38. How could I call myself an RA fan and not know that! But the journalist was correct that he will be 40 next year. He just hasn’t turned 39 yet. This edit was also put here as a public service for all of you who are not quite up yet on your RA facts. ;-) Oh, heck the whole post is a public service for women who like to eat. LOL!

RAFrenzy — Richard Armitage Addiction

I can finally admit I am an RA Addict, and I have created this place for me and my fellow “sufferers.”

If you are reading this, I suspect you are thinking  I am a nut or you totally get it because you are a nut too.

If you are not like me, you might want to move on to spare yourself the head shaking and misplaced pity.

If you are like I am, you have never been afflicted with anything remotely like being a fan of the actor Richard Armitage (not to ever be confused with this guy). You have never been a fangirl of anyone and barely knew there was the word  “fangirl.”   But lately you are becoming self-conscious about this obsession and cannot stop wondering if you really have gone nuts.  If you are also like me, you say to yourself, “If I have, can I become more insane, please?” LOL!

Am I serious?  I hope not, but then I’m not sure.  This exercise may prove I really am insane.

Stay tuned for when I take rationalizing to new heights.

Also, please bear with me as I muddle around WordPress to figure out the bells and whistles.  So far I only have a few bells and definitely no whistles.  That may change daily.

edit: I have been at this for two and a half years, and if you’re shocked anyone could talk about Richard Armitage (a still fairly unknown actor) that much, I think you’re normal. I’m shocked too. :D But psssst, I’m not the only one who does this. Check out the ‘Addict List’.