Can’t Get Off of This

I have a serious (no, it’s a semi-serious, oh heck, it’s a snark) piece about Lucas North. But I’m saving it for later after I’ve gorged my imagination on Richard Armitage and food. I’m also wondering if all of you have a favorite food you like to eat while watching him — animated or stills. Or perhaps you have a food for him animated and one for him in stills. Bring it on, and yeah, I’m going to tell you mine. :D

Actually, I have a food for each of his characters.

Harry — blackberry cobbler, which is sweet with a zing, and topped with some ice cream.

Monet — some sort of white wine, and does it matter what I eat with it?

Guy — a big chunk of devil’s food cake with lots of hot fudge slathered on top or a steak.

Lucas — blackened red snapper. Fish and chips don’t quite fit him.

John Standring — cheese (any kind) before the transformation and some pudding after.

John Porter — Masgouf and falafel on the side, which I can pop in my mouth as I watch all the episodes in one sitting.

John Thornton — beef stew and later some sort of cream pie (I’m not particular) at the finale.

Ricky — definitely fish and chips, and the greasier the better.

Alex — what else but orangesicles.

John Mulligan — dry toast with nothing on it. Maybe a little butter. And some black coffee.

Heinz — Not sure about this one. No German foods seem to really fit him. I’m at a loss. I did eat nachos and popcorn on my first viewing. Perhaps some German chocolate cake (it’s my favorite cake), or is that too lame?

Yes, I’ve left out a few. Have to think about them some more, but for now I’m thinking about the future:

Thorin — carne asada tacos al carbon. Oh yeah! And something later that’s topped with a chocolate mole. Or I could eat a 1/2 pound cheeseburger in honor of Peter Jackson.

edit: I meant to list one more! Paul — pistachio nuts ’cause they’re salty and a little sweet, and I can’t stop eating them even when I know I should.

Graphic courtesy of Teena via RichardArmitageNet.com

Diary of an RA Fan — Part 24 Good-Bye My Fancy — SPOILERS

See Diary Part 23 here, or to access all entries, hit “The Diary” tab above.

Spoilers for ‘The Impressionists’ and maybe a little for ‘Between the Sheets.’

[note: Regarding this diary, I sometimes get very kind notes from people wanting to comfort me. I really appreciate that. You will never know how much. But it has begged that I address the time line of these entries. Please know that these diary pieces are from two years ago or more. In fact, some entries are now almost three years ago. I thank all of you again who have expressed concern for me. I’m long since over the state of mind I was in then although in some respects I’m not over it. LOL!]

Entry — A few weeks later and still Fall, 2008:

Haven’t watched any Richard Armitage lately, and I’m glad I quit watching so many things repetitively. I think I finally snapped to when I got to the point I was watching but not really watching. My mind kept wandering to all sorts of crazy notions, but I was dutiful in slapping myself mentally for wasting time. It seems I’m always doing that. My daydreaming is almost a sickness. I wonder if I can ever outgrow it. When I was a kid, I was too naive to cover it up, and it was a constant source of teasing. Dad always liked to tell the story of me walking to school and the neighbors seeing me and chuckling at my strolling around looking at the bushes and the trees and singing to myself, and how they would holler at me to hurry up or I’d be late. I still love looking at things along the way. I’ve never been able to completely stop, but the specter of being late is always there. SO seems to be the only one who doesn’t think daydreaming is a problem. I just wish I had been smart enough to make a living at it, and it was always about a living dammit!

When I was 18 and wanted to major in music in college, I got a lecture about what I was really looking at — “Unless you get lucky, you’re going to play dives for years or you’re going to teach other people’s children to play.” Dad was a fantastic musician, and his years of playing gigs legitimized the truth of what he was saying. If he couldn’t succeed, then how the hell was I going to? Anyway, neither of those paths sounded appealing, and so I let myself be talked out of my first love.

Today, ‘The Impressionists’ came from Netflix. I forgot I had it in my queue, and I’m not sure when I’ll watch. It’s just going to make me remember again how I sold out. Maybe I’ll just send it back since two of the little SOs want me to get ‘Jane Eyre’ w/Toby Stephens no matter that they’ve seen it several times. According to them he’s so good that they’re now head over heels in love with Rochester. Of course that was true after they read the book! They even made a Facebook page about fictional characters ruining their love lives. LOL!

I look at them fangirling, and I’m so glad they are lighthearted enough to do it and laugh at themselves. I wish I had let myself revel in things like that as a girl. Eventually I fancied myself above it and was too busy making fun of it to ever enjoy it myself. I was a pompous ass and probably still am. Maybe I’ll keep the ‘The Impressionists’ discs.

A few days later:

The little SOs have had to content themselves with watching ‘The Impressionists,’ and although they’re still into Toby, they’re rapidly becoming big fans of Richard Armitage. They’re just not great fans of him in this particular series. But then they’re too young to really appreciate the nuances of his Monet, and how can they truly understand the conflict over Camille — his contrition to her and his honor to his father? They can’t. Not yet, and hopefully never.

And so much for being lighthearted about this. I was hanging on Richard Armitage’s every move. LOL! I cannot believe I was unaffected by how he looks when I first saw him. Must have been one of my most shallow moments. Granted, he is not the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, yet he is continually making me re-examine how I define handsome. No, actually, he’s beautiful in this. I have rarely thought a man was beautiful, but that’s the best description. He is definitely physically attractive, but it’s something inside coming out of this character, that longing for Camille and something more which permeates his eyes and moves to his shoulders and arms and onto his fingers, and returns to his shoulders, and settles there.

A little while later:

After everything I’ve seen of Richard Armitage’s acting, I can still be in this much awe of how he brings out depth of character? Will this ever get old? I hope it never does, and it has me continually wondering what he draws on to convey his expressions. “Quite a detailed actor” — yes, but what detail is in the mind’s eye? Or does he even do this consciously? Is this part of unfocusing the conscious? I don’t think he has a wife and kids or a pregnant girlfriend stashed somewhere, yet the purity of his movements is stunning. Whatever is happening in his head, I find myself replaying mere seconds of footage to dissect exactly what he does as Monet to convey these impressions and can’t escape recognition of SO in his demeanor.

There’s an earnestness and an innocence in Monet that makes me see SO, my young man who had everything to anticipate but pulling some baggage. How in hell does Richard Armitage capture that? (need to finish the Stanislavski book). I know he’s not innocent, or maybe he is. I don’t know. I’m so curious how he can play this character and the one in ‘Between the Sheets,’ who now that I think of it had a believable innocence as well despite the revelation of his heinous behavior. Or how he could play the stalwart but naive John Thornton and then the mercenary Guy of Gisborne, whose behavior also had a childlike expectation woven through it. Interesting. I keep writing down my impressions, but I can’t quite capture the essence of his performances. It’s like I’m in the dark trying to find a lamp but stumbling over something at my feet when I come close.

The only other actor to stir me to this degree is James Dean. I watched ‘East of Eden’ again the other day (after about a 25 year respite from it), and he nails Cal’s angst. He strays into melodrama some, but I figure it’s the era the movie was made. When I was twelve, this performance embodied the questioning and frustration I had long felt. I remember thinking I would eventually find the answer and some relief when I was grown. But I still question what drives people and what drives me, and I try to push it away and function normally, and “normal” dictates that I figure everything out in a moment. I know that’s not possible, but I keep trying to sum everything up, always trying to conclude, but I can never conclude. In hindsight it was alternately relieving and excruciating to watch Cal.

And now in watching Richard Armitage, that relief and agony is heightened again. Maybe much worse this time. It has created an almost painful longing to express what it is that dogs me all the time, and at one point in my life literally drove me insane. When I was watching him in this, I wanted to paint or play, and even toyed with the idea of writing a story, but writing has a vulnerability I can’t bear. I can’t write and exposing my clumsy attempts at it makes me shudder, and I haven’t painted anything in such a long time I’m not sure I can anymore. I’ve become too jaded to paint anything. But I can still play. I think. All I know is Armitage’s movements as Monet have a resonance that’s clear and sweet, and it reminds me of a finger slipping across a note, the feel of it coming off the note, and the tension and resolution and sometimes lack of resolution it expresses. And now I haven’t put my fingers on any notes for two years, and my frustration at not being able to express adequately how I feel has been locked up. I’ve wondered why I quit playing; I don’t remember any other time I didn’t play. I was playing before I could read. There are pictures of me trying to pick out pieces when I was barely able to sit on the piano bench. But I can’t bring myself to play. The thought of it leaves me…I’m not sure how it leaves me.

The next day:

I wish SO would watch this guy! He would agree with me about his abilities. SO is very attentive to detail when it concerns human beings. He still surprises me at times with what he perceives; I know he would appreciate Richard Armitage’s sensitivity and craftmanship. I would love to hear his thoughts! What a shame he hasn’t really watched anything. He was only half watching Vicar of Dibley, and Richard Armitage is mostly a foil in that. Then there was such a break between Vicar and George Gently that I don’t think SO realized it was the same guy, and Ricky Deeming also wasn’t a big part. Mostly I would love to talk to SO about what is happening to me and my urge to capture on paper the types of ethos and emotions I’m seeing Richard Armitage convey in his portrayals. Until now I’ve been content to swell up like a toad with what I perceive of people and things. I’m about ready to burst with what I want to express, and that’s much more interesting than writing all of this crap about my life.

Present day:

Getting ready to start Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet

And I have to mention this video:

This has become one of my favorites. I love the version of Ave Verum Corpus that bccmee used. She has a great sense about her music selections not to mention tight, well done videos, and this was her first one! I’ve been anxious to post this piece so I could highlight it.

I also love this music because it’s a wonderful Welsh baritone. The Welsh are my weakness. I am a quarter Welsh, and when I visited Wales, the sense of kinship was overwhelming. More about that later. For now, the version of Ave Verum Corpus that I normally listen to is on this album, but the Ave is not my favorite piece in that collection. So glad bccmee introduced me to this new version.

I really need to start that music blog. Maybe I’ll work it in during my spare time. LOL!

See Diary Part 25 here.

Screencap and screenclips courtesy of my stash.

Yorkshire Wench

NOTE: if you’re looking for Yorkshire Wench’s videos, they are no longer accessible online. Go here for more information.

Man, that name conjures all sorts of things. Of course John Thornton and his proximity to Yorkshire, and as a good little RA fan I know RA has ties to Yorkshire as well, and not only due to his interest in Richard III. Then there is my own experience with the place. I was simply overwhelmed by Yorkshire and really bummed I didn’t get to spend more time there. I love history and having read about the War of the Roses, I really wanted to see Yorkshire as I got to see Lancashire. Plus, my camera was having a problem when I drove through there, so I didn’t get one picture! Perhaps this means I have to go back to the U.K. and rectify that? Oh yeah, that’s what it means. LOL!

I wanted to embed this wonderful picture of the Yorkshire Dales, but WP is being a bully, so I’ve uploaded it, Do me a favor and click on the photo to see its original, and hey, you should probably vote for this picture on that site as well.

But all of that is not what this post is about. This is about someone who has supplied many RA fans with countless hours of pleasure in viewing videos and screencaps. YorkshireWench was one of the first to make fanvideos of RA’s works, and I have several. They are some of the first RA videos I obtained, and I still have them in online storage and some on my iPod. I think I’ve thanked her for those on LiveJournal on several occasions (but not as RAFrenzy). However, I’m going to thank her again because she’s shutting down her website, and I’m taking the occasion to tell her again how grateful I am for her work, which is really all I know of her except that I think her name is Claire and she’s a Pisces like me.

If you’re new to RA, then you have probably never seen these videos, since they are not on YouTube. Here is the link to her website [link disabled; see edit below] where you can get links to her videos on Vimeo. You will have to get the links on her site since all of these videos are private and therefore will not come up in search results on Vimeo. To access them you will need a password, which is listed on the homepage of her site. You can also download the videos in various formats. I recommend downloading because the quality is so much better than Vimeo.

Some of my favorites:

Any Other Name (Robin Hood)

Requiem for a Dream (Robin Hood)

Upside Down (The Impressionists)

Adagio for Strings (North and South)

What If (North and South)

Enough about that; go take a look, and if you’re offended by some slash, you might not want to look. I’ll tell you plainly that I’m not a fan of slash, but there are plenty of others to like, and I do. Just so you know, “Any Other Name” is one of my all time favorite Guy videos, I just couldn’t upload it or easily link to it for my top ten fanvids.

edit: since I wrote this piece, Yorkshire Wench has shut down her site, but I have obtained links to all of her Richard Armitage videos on Vimeo, which you can find here. If you want links to all of her videos, you can find them here. But if you go directly to Vimeo, the password is butterfly.

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: