Monthly Archives: November 2012

Santa Hunk, I can’t wait to see you!


Here I am humming “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with a smile on my face, with visions of sugarplums Richard Armitage dancing in my head. And boy, does the man know how to dance . . .

Judit, I know you don’t love his hair in this pic, so I took care of that. ūüėČ


Hey, ’tis the season to share and care, right? And is there a more deserving celeb to give in honor of?

Me + Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage arrives New Zealand, November 24, 2012. Photo by Simon Runting / SNPA. Edit by Jonia.


Love the above?

We’re praying for him, loving on him from our screens, reading what he’s said, happy for him, excited about what’s about to happen!

So, because I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t think about this, I want to take this moment to capitalize on the publicity from this event to suggest that if you loved Richard Armitage’s photo yesterday, you consider making a donation to a charity on his behalf.

It’s easy to use a credit or debit card to donate to JustGiving, where Armitage has been raising money for several years for the following organizations:

It takes just a minute or two to donate ‚ÄĒ and it‚Äôs not the amount that counts, but the thought of caring behind it. You can donate with total anonymity if‚Ķ

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“No Shortage of Smolder”: A tribute mag’s view of sexy dwarves


My ever-helpful husband found a copy of a mag titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Prequel to The Lord of the Rings while we were browsing at Books-A-Million¬†Saturday night. Naturally, I had to take this periodical, which bills itself as “TheOneRingnet’s¬†Collector’s Edition” by Topix Media Lab.

I wanted to share some of the contents with you with a few editorial comments thrown in.

“There’s something to be said for a short man with a hot temper . . . Gimli didn’t stand up to the rugged allure of Aragorn or the ethereal good looks of Legolas, but this new crop of dwarves manages to stay true to the brawling, bearded dwarf aesthetic of the books while showing off a bit more of what the dwarven race has going for it.

Each dwarf has a very unique look, but they all have one thing in common: really awesome facial hair . . . from Bifur’s black braids to Thorin’s well-groomed goatee, the variety of scruff proves without a doubt that beards are back in a big way.”

(naturally, I love this following quote and thoroughly agree with opinion expressed)

“No Shortage of Smolder . . . it takes only one look at the leader of the Company to see these dwarves are not your average brawlers. Richard Armitage¬†as Thorin Oakenshield is the breakout heart throb of the series, with his baritone singing voice and his piercing gaze throwing female audiences into a tizzy. It’s safe to say this dwarf would have no trouble finding someone to join him on an adventure.”

(Yeah, where do we sign up for this adventure?)

The writer adds that Thorin’s nephews Fili and Kili are “arguably the easiest on the eyes¬† . . . looking more like elves or humans than the typical dwarf , with manicured beards and flowing locks that frame their chiseled features. However, they still stay true to Tolkien’s vision, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is complaining about watching these two trek through three movies.”

(Personally, I am not complaining about watching Uncle Heart Throb and his Hottie Sister-Sons through it all and beyond.)

Having a holly jolly holiday so far . . .


Ho, ho, ho! Yeah, I know, the bangs need a serious trim and if you could see the regrowth and all that grey . . . but I am still holly jolly.

I have admitted to really being in the holiday spirit these days. I’ve started breaking out the Christmas scarves and this particular pair of specs always makes me feel like Mrs. Claus. I need a little red mob-cap with white lace trim . . .

Saturday only¬†further cemented my festive feelings.¬†Benny and I headed to Montgomery late¬†in the¬†afternoon for our evening at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. We are both big fans of “A Christmas Carol” (our favorite film version being from 1951 and starring the incomparable Alistair Sim as Scrooge) and we sat tonight and counted up. It is¬†five times we’ve seen ASF’s various stagings of Dickens’ classic tale (another year I was seriously ill and unable to attend). By attending one of the two preview performances (the show doesn’t officially open until early December) we scored great seats (second row) for a very reasonable price.

A scene from the dress rehearsal of this year’s production of “A Christmas Carol” at ASF.

I had to confess¬†it¬†was not my favorite of the adaptations they have presented. It had a¬†somewhat sluggish second act that could have used some tightening up. Nonetheless it was very enjoyable, ASF’s customary high-caliber production, with lots of talented actors, detailed costumes and sets, and good use of the Festival Theatre’s revolving stage and trap door and lots of atmospheric stage fog.

One thing I did really like about this version was adding Dickens himself as a sort of narrator and actor within the play, taking on roles such as Fred’s dim-witted but good-hearted friend, Topper. Dickens , who went on tours where he gave readings in which he performed portions of his novels for the audiences, was also¬†an enthusiastic amateur magician who performed for his large family, and several magic tricks were incorporated into the play.

The author also seems to be pulling invisible strings as the master puppeteer, causing bells to ring, thunder to crash, and mysterious figures to rise up in the fog . . .

And I do love how it “snows” at the end of each production. I like to look around and watch the faces of children in the audience, who are clearly delighted to see the white stuff–even if it isn’t the real thing. You don’t see a lot of snow in Lower Alabama.¬† And Tiny Tim was downright adorable.

Before the play, several of the production’s carolers, clad in Victorian costume, performed Christmas classics in the front lobby, with the giant statue of Shakespeare looming behind them, a festive wreath of holly adorning his brow and another in his hands.¬†I was wishing I had my camera with me. Benny tried to take some photos with his phone, but–they didn’t turn out, alas. Knowing I couldn’t take photos of the actual play, I hadn’t packed the trusty Olympus. Always be prepared!

The promo art for the 2012 ASF production of Dickens’ classic holiday tale. I love the message of spreading Christmas spirit through generosity, kindness and compassion for the less fortunate.

Scrooge encounters Marley’s ghost as the fog machines work overtime. Courtesy of the Montgomery Advertiser.

The theatre complex is located on a lake within the beautiful green expanse of Blount Cultural Park, which also hosts such events as the Scottish Highland Games.

Not only did I get to enjoy this classic holiday tale on stage, I also got to do some shopping, my feet comfortably¬†enclosed in a pair of red leather high-top Nikes¬†that Benny dug out of the closet for me. My beloved “elf shoes” of years past, red suede Reeboks, have had to be retired. But with the colorful¬†holiday¬†ribbon I found at Target and the jingle bells I should find in the multi-purpose room, my elf shoes will return! Now I know what my go-to footwear will be this Christmas season.

I was trying to find a copy of the Rolling Stone’s Hobbit¬†issue, but had no luck there. However, Benny came through once again for me. His sharper eyes discovered a Hobbit Tribute magazine dedicated to our friends at TheOneRingNet. So naturally I had to snap that up. ¬†Benny and I also looked over the Hobbit/LOTR display at the big book store we were visiting.

Funny thing is, I seem to already have¬†a lot of it—books, Thorin’s action figure . . .¬† who’d a thunk it?¬† Ah, Thorin . . . will it only be three weeks now from tomorrow that I finally see him in glorious 3D? It shall, it shall!!

And then I come home later and see that new photo of Richard at the airport after a 24-hour flight on Servetus’ blog¬†and am¬†gobsmacked at how fine he looks.¬† Good grief, imagine this on the red carpet. The mind boggles. The heart palpitates. Drool seems to be forming in the corner of the mouth.

Oh, Richard, how do I love this photo? Let me count a few of the ways . . .

And once Agzym pointed out certain–aspects of Mr. A’s appearance, it was hard to look away. My gosh, what a splendid specimen of masculine beauty.

It’s freezing cold tonight after another big atmospheric change here. But I feel snug and warm and¬†not just from my cozy PJs and the layers of blankets and the cuddly tuxedo cat on my feet.¬† Feeling all holly jolly–and having new¬†Armitage goodness to contemplate–warms the very cockles of a girl’s heart.¬† Have a happy Sunday/Monday, my dears.

Oh, and I almost forgot. My beloved Alabama Crimson Tide beat their archrivals, the Auburn Tigers, 49-0. They were pulling first string players off the field by the fourth quarter to give them a rest and keep from further running up the score. Now we have bragging rights until this time next year and a good chance at another National Collegiate Championship, which would make it two in a row.  Rooollllllll Tide!

I love you, PJ. (Video Blog 9 now at FB)


My favorite cuddly-looking, cardigan-wearing movie director has posted another video blog at his Facebook page. This entry deals with post-production of The Hobbit and proves not only very informative, but highly entertaining. Love the Beard Hair Unit. Pity the poor guy who gets to look at code on a computer screen all day.

And the glimpses of Thorin are quick but plentiful, with screencaps promised by Ali at  later today.

My favorite moment? A glimpse of Richard with his headphones on, dubbing in some of Thorin’s dialogue. “Elves!”¬†Richard says, with a growl of distinct disdain.¬† Love it.

Once again I love how we get to see more of the village of talents it takes to make a complex film like The Hobbit.¬†Dedicated talents who put in a lot of long hours to make the movie magic happen for us on screen.¬† But it definitely looks like it isn’t all work and no play under PJ. I love the sense of humor and the feeling of community that seems to pervade in Jackson’s domain.

Thank you, Peter Jackson, for taking us along and giving us so many fascinating and fun glimpses behind the scenes on this incredible journey. And now you are promising another vlog from the premieres! Cool.

I love you, PJ.

The recreation of the entrance¬†to Bilbo’s home at Bag End and a giant Gandalf figure in place for the film’s Wellington premiere. It seems the production staff for The Hobbit are working almost right down to the wire to make the magic happen.

Mr. Armitage, you are a prime specimen of masculinity.


Manly and masculine without feeling the need to be “macho.” Strength without the need to “throw your weight around.”

Confidence without cockiness. A keen intelligence seen in those eyes. Intelligence and that glint of mischief.

“I take my craft seriously. Myself? Not so much,” they seem to say.

There’s the hint of a smile playing about those well-shaped lips.¬† The smile of a man who handles life’s challenges with grace, aplomb and good humor.

A man easy to admire, adore and desire.

And I never grow tired of looking at you, listening to you, reading your words, Richard Armitage.

(Oh, and thank you for those biceps. The world somehow feels safer when I see those biceps.)

He’s downright balsamaceous, that boy: TAE Word for the Day


(And I’d like to hear him say that word, too.)

Balsamaceous: (adjective): Possessing healing or restorative properties.

The word derives from the Latin balsamum, “resin of the balm tree.” The substance is historically celebrated for its aroma and healing properties.

Dr. Track is a healer by profession, and with his steadfast dedication and delightful bedside manner, he certainly makes us feel better.

And whilst John Porter is a tough soldier by trade with kickass skills, his gentleness and compassion helped Katie through the trauma of her captivity even as he worked to free her. This balsamaceous hero is tops in our books.

Our Victorian hero, Mr. Thornton, restores our belief in foolish passion and sweet romance. Surely he’s been a balm to many a troubled spirit.

Dear Harry Kennedy. His sweet, sunny, nurturing nature–perhaps a reflection of his CReAtor’s own lovely character?–cannot fail to bring a smile to our faces and a warm tug on our hearts.

Just a few examples of Mr. A’s balsamaceous¬†characters. But of course, the most balsamaceous of them all is the man himself.

Lovely, funny, brilliant, modest, insightful, endearing, charismatic . . . how you touch our hearts, minds and souls, Richard Armitage.


Dr. Servetus kindly translated the Accion article that went with that divine pic. Muchas gracias!

Me + Richard Armitage

[ETA: I‚Äôve been informed that this translation is illegal. I‚Äôm indexing this post and leaving it here for now, but if I am asked directly to remove it, I will. A .pdf of this part, along with the bio that accompanied the original article, which is not included here, is currently available at, so if it‚Äôs important to you to save a copy, download it there. In that translation, ‚Äúensayo rodado‚ÄĚ is translated as ‚Äúfilmed rehearsal‚ÄĚ on the recommendation of Antonia Romera; below, Violet suggests ‚Äúextended take.‚ÄĚ]

Hi, here’s my translation. I made it for RA Net, and when it posts there, I will take it down from here. Enjoy. Corrections welcome. I have a BA in Spanish, but I’m not a native speaker.

Exclusive: Richard Armitage

Interviewer: Jes√ļs Usero

Perhaps in in our country he may be more known for his television roles in series like Robin…

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Guyday Friday: ‘Tis the season to be stunning


It’s the official kickoff of Christmas shopping in these parts today, and my official kickoff to sharing more holiday¬†fun with our Richard and his ChaRActers. To help get you in a festive mood, here’s some Guy to make your season merry and bright . . . ūüėČ

I am happy. Let me tell you the reasons why.


(1) Today is Black Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year here in the good old USA. Some people are currently rushing Wal-Mart and other retailers to grab their gift bargains.

I, however, am still¬†here in my black rose pajamas, all comfy and cozy, and quite chuffed that I have ordered something for my husband which he really wants, wouldn’t buy for himself and I saved 65 percent off the regular retail price, no sales tax and very cheap shipping. I do love¬†bagging a bargain in my jammies.

(2) I have two new videos made which I think you are really going to enjoy. Very uptempo, with brand-new special effects,¬†and fun!! Like a party in a video.¬†Now, still having issues with uploading, so there will be a delay–but it’s something for you to look forward to. ūüėÄ

3) It’s Guyday Friday. Always a reason to be happy.

(4)  This.

Here’s the enlarged photo from the AccionCine movie magazine, thanks to RAFrenzy. Squee!!




Oh, my. This made me very, very happy. The v-necked white T reminded me of Porter. Those biceps. The hair on the forearms. Those eyes. Is that manly stubble I spy? Guh . . . .¬†¬† how’s your day going?

It’s Black Friday, It’s Guyday Friday!



But then again, around here–every Friday is Black Friday, isn’t it?

So let’s all be politically incorrect and celebrate the most glorious¬†bad guy (who really isn’t so bad once you get to know him.¬† Trust me on this).

“I had to pick myself up off the floor”: New interview with RA


“With 13 dwarfs in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, audiences are expected by the film trilogy’s end to easily distinguish and recognise each one.¬†

¬†¬†¬† But if there’s one dwarf that will be easy to spot from the moment he appears on screen it will be Thorin Oakenshield, played by British actor Richard Armitage.

One reason is that Thorin is the leader and, going on a glimpse I got of the band of dwarfs on set during filming earlier this year, a heroic risk-taker. I couldn’t help but think that Thorin could be to The Hobbit what Aragorn ‚Äď played by Viggo Mortensen ‚Äď was in The Lord of the Rings . . .

Portrait of a charismatic handsome prince–young Thorin.

An older, more world-weary Thorin.

Armitage first heard about The Hobbit after Sir Peter Jackson¬†contacted the actor’s agent. Jackson asked if Armitage could read for the part of Thorin. “I thought, first of all, I’m six foot two [1.8 metres] and Thorin’s an old guy. Maybe they want me to read it for a general audition.

“But then when I read what they’d done with the audition speech I realised that they were looking for something quite different. They needed someone who could play a warrior, who could play a young Thorin and old Thorin and also to bring the idea of somebody who could return to his full potential to become a king. That’s when I sat down with Peter and we talked through the journey and the arc of the character ‚Äď and then they offered it to me. I had to pick myself up off the floor.”

~~excerpts from Tom Cardy’s interview with Richard Armitage in The Dominion Post¬† (NZ) 11/23/2012

Here’s the link to the rest of this interview:

Thanks to Heirs of Durin for the heads-up on the new interview. As always, Armitage brings thoughtful, intelligent and good-humored responses to the reporter’s questions.

He also discusses being on pins and needles during the months when he had the role, but the project had not yet been fully green-lighted. RA had to juggle projects, as he was determined that no one else would play the role.

And now, frankly, can any of us imagine anyone else playing the role? Just as Viggo became Aragorn, so Richard IS Thorin.

To all the naysayers, it does appear that Richard, a man in mid-life who is also strong, athletic, fit and accustomed to action-oriented roles as well as detailed characterizations; a skilled actor known for his chameleon-like qualities, is the perfect choice to play Thorin. Sir Peter obviously had faith in him.

Richard mentions the Powhiri¬†ceremony kick-starting the production being an “amazing moment” after those stressful¬†months of being on that knife edge, and I recall how overwhelmed he seemed to be in those opening moments: the flare of his nostrils, eyes shining with emotions, the smile on his face. And then the way he did us all proud with his little speech as representative of the movie’s cast and crew.

You also discover the importance of Thorin’s boots. I knew a broadcast journalist who taped pieces from the waist up. So you couldn’t see that she wasn’t wearing her customary high heels. “For some reason I can’t talk if I’ve got my heels on, so I do those reports barefooted,” she told me with a laugh.¬† Apparently Richard couldn’t play Thorin without his boots–even if the shot was from waist up! Just shows how importance costuming is to the characterization.

A GIF of RA doing a bit of boot bumping at Dwarf Camp (click on to play).¬† Richard said he had never traveled so far from home and felt more at home in New Zealand, it all seemed so familiar to him. Funny, that’s the way I felt about London!

Oh, things like this article only make me more ridiculously excited about the film. Just a few more weeks . . .

Elysian Armitage: TAE Word for the Day


Elysian: (adjective): blissful; delightful. Of, or relating to, or characteristic of heaven or paradise.

From the Latin Elysium, from the Greek elysion pedyon (Elysian plain/ fields). In Greek mythology, Elysium (or Elysian fields) was the final resting place for the souls of heroes and the virtuous after their deaths. Earliest documented use: 1579.

Richard Armitage manages to evoke feelings within us which I believe can be described as truly elysian. Surely our endorphin levels are boosted when we see his image, hear his voice, read his words? We experience positive emotions; our pain seems to lessen, our bliss seems to increase. We are inspired and excited in such a manner it takes our breath away.

RA  and his cast of ChaRActers can make us downright euphoric. It seems as if we see a glimpse of heaven itself in those fathomless blue eyes, in the sweetness of his smiles and the joy of his laughter.