Blog Introspection Challenge 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

 

 

 

 

blog-intro-challengeWell, we’re back from our water park adventure! (Sheesh… nothing like a vacation to stress you out… young love’s eye relapsed with one herpes blister but luckily a timely intervention with antiviral medication put a quick stop to it, and little sister slipped on the steps in the kiddie pool and split her chin open, requiring 3 stitches! We still had a blast though, with both kids requesting a return next weekend. LOL- nope!)

 

 

* * *

So I’m back to blogging Richard Armitage and re-commencing blogger omphaloskepsis as per Guylty’s directives.

Exactly That

Preoccupied. With Him.

2. The significance of your blog’s name:

I think it’s self-explanatory. I’m a bit preoccupied with Richard Armitage. I wanted the title of the blog to reflect my situation. =)

 

 

 

 

forgive me

I guess every blogger has her little idiosyncracies.

3. What’s your (usual) blogging process?

Well, I generally just start typing whatever it is I have to say. I’ll compose words first, then usually find or create images to illustrate or entertain, and enter them to the left or right of the text, most often paying little attention to the original source of the image and failing to cite sources (bad blogger!) I sometimes like to go back and put a few phrases in bold, and I don’t know why I do that exactly and hope it doesn’t annoy the crap out of the audience. Then I preview the post, which is where I seem better able to catch any errors or typos I may have made. Most often I publish right after that, though a couple of times I’ve written something in advance and published it on a certain day, such as when I published our love story as a sort of tribute to Hubby on our 13 year anniversary.

4. What’s your favorite post?

Armitage Dogs

The Russian Asset and Richard’s Fluffy Puff

OK, I’m going to have to give two. So for 2014 it was my super ridiculous dream when Richard Armitage (or was it Lucas North?) arrived at my vet office ready to adopt a dog. The dream was pretty fantastic and the write-up was both funny and popular, drawing a lot of fun comments. I have published several dreams and I assure you they were all real dreams that I have had, despite certain commentators nudging me to just make them up if they don’t come naturally. I’ve had a real dry spell lately and that’s too bad, but maybe we’ll have something frightful coming when Dolarhyde enters the subconscious arena. Not sure whether to hope for that or not. =)

tumblr_inline_nlgwu8IEXt1sc2pww

I *think* this edit was by thranduilea. Makes me giggle every time.

For 2015 I would have to say it was my Nipplegate Spoof, which was also utterly ridiculous (seems to be a pattern here!) and has been viewed a laughable number of times by me, myself and I whenever I need a good chuckle. I think I’ve written three spoofs and enjoyed each of my absurdities more than the last. So as soon as a new spoof-worthy situation arises, I’m looking forward to more.

 

 

 

 

armitage8

My most-clicked image. Can’t figure out why….

5. Which Post Got The Most Views?

This one’s easy, and not unlike Perry’s situation, it wasn’t anything that took a lot of effort on my part. It was when images of shirtless John Proctor hit social media, and I posted my edit of those photos in my Damn! Another Spontaneous Ovarian Combustion update. This post is easily the most viewed, ladies. Now, it may be in part to Servetus having re-blogged it, but the thing is, it gets views on a daily basis and it’s high enough in the google image search ratings that my blog almost got outed the day my surgery tech was showing me encouraging images during a real endurance challenge in the surgical suite. LOL.

100 Armitage Photos4

Yep. This one continues to give. I won’t specify what.

6. Which post continues to give?

Well, if this question means which post brings the most traffic, it’s the Spontaneous Ovarian Combustion post above. If it means which post brings me the most pleasure, it’s probably my spoofs because like I said, I myself revisit those on a regular basis. I also enjoy my own Not Quite 100 Armitage images post, which provides a lot of eye-candy when I need a boost.

 

* * *

So there you have it. Knocked out several questions today and maybe caught up with a few of the other Armitage bloggers who have been participating. Thanks again, Guylty, for livening up the blogosphere and inspiring all of us to navel-gaze!

Hubby Googled Preoccupied With Armitage

So last night, profoundly tickled by my own new Giffing skills, I proudly showed Hubby my new GIFs, and he was of course very impressed… if not with my GIFs, then at least with my determination to tackle a new, somewhat technically demanding (if you’re *me*) project. We got to talking about the blog, the blog stats, the search terms that I know of, etc. Hubby said he still hadn’t really visited on his own time to see what I’ve been up to, and I must admit, that bothered me a bit. Nevermind that I kept it a secret for the first few months and then accidentally outed myself

Beg Pardon

I guess now that the cat’s out of the bag, I expected he might show at least a little interest in what I’ve been up to, but apparently not. I didn’t know whether he just really has no interest in the topic of Richard, or whether maybe he actually has some level of displeasure/jealousy/irritation etc. I suppose my tone of voice, or perhaps my indignant facial expression, must have cued him, because he quickly added that he didn’t know if he was “allowed” to look at the blog.

Screenshot1I told him to basically enter at his own risk, or not, and I fear I may have come across as a bit petulant, because with a raised eyebrow, he typed in “preoccupied with armitage” into his phone google app, and saw this: ——->

Yeah, so somehow or other, Ladies, the top suggestion seems to be the tag “Shirtless Richard Armitage” (I can’t imagine why…) and when you click on it, it leads here. Yes, that tag is on some all of my top-viewed posts. I immediately began to regret my peevish tone.

“Just what kind of blog are you running?” he asked mildly.

“That… ah… that does look a bit shady.” (Gulp!)

Believe So

But Hubby clicked on “Shirtless Richard Armitage” and read the top post, which involved some shenanigans in the surgical suite. And as he read the post, and viewed the many lovely examples of Richard’s manly chest, that eyebrow went a bit lot higher.

Oops.

Bad Idea

When he finished reading that, he commented to the effect that me, myself and my surgery tech are a lethal combination, and should no longer be unchaperoned together in the surgical suite. Then he saw my trepidation, he reassured me that this came as no surprise. “You forget I’ve seen your fridge.”

Sorry

At any rate, now Hubby knows just what kind of blog I’m running.

Just what kind of tags I’m tagging.

Let the ribbing begin. LOL

Richard Armitage in the Surgical Suite

Sounds like another one of my dreams, doesn’t it? Well, I had rather a marathon of a surgery this morning… 2 hours under the hot surgery lamp wearing mask, cap, gown and gloves while bending over and stressed out because the dog’s so fat that all the surgical instruments become greasy and slippery to handle, and you can hardly find the anatomical structures in all that fat, much less the vessels you’re supposed to ligate… let me tell you, it really takes it out of you.

At about the 1 hour mark, my enthusiasm started to flag, and at the 1.5 hour mark, I started bitching and whining. My surgery tech took pity on me, and soon had her smart phone in hand. About every 5 minutes for the last half hour, she would hold up the phone and show me an encouraging image….

thorinart1 hr 30 min…

 

 

 

 

 

portershirtless1 hr 35 min…

 

 

 

 

 

gisborneshirtless1 hr 40 min… she seemed to be falling into a pattern at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

armitage81 hr 45 min… This scared me… Thought my blogging activities might be discovered since it’s my own edit!

Whew.

 

 

 

thespeedo1 hr 50 min… She said “Ew!”

I said, “Not remotely ‘Ew’… Keep ’em coming!”

 

 

 

 

notrichardshirtless1 hr 55 min…

I said, “That’s nice of you, but that’s definitely NOT RICHARD.”

 

 

 

 

alsonotrichard1 hr 56 min…

I said, “You’re starting to suck at this. That’s actually very nice but it’s ALSO NOT RICHARD.”

She then ranted about the inaccuracy of the google image search.

 

 

richardshirtless1 hr 57 min… Better!

 

 

 

 

 

2 hr End of Surgery Prize!!!…. She really had me practically salivating with anticipation…

.

Wait for it…

.

.

wtfWTF is that?

She’s so mean to me.

Another Onion Article?

A Fandom Divided: Oglers Unite as Theatre Purists Decry Images of Bare-Chested Actor

The notoriously drama-filled fandom revolving around The Hobbit star Richard Armitage has found another bone of contention to pick among themselves, sources say. Pursuant to the decision to film the British actor’s recent performance as John Proctor, the tortured protagonist in Yael Farber’s critically acclaimed production of American playwright Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (staged at the Old Vic Theatre in London, 2014), many believed that the fandom, loosely known as The Armitage Army, having united its factions with unparalleled success in its efforts to obtain a DVD or other recording of the vaunted Armitage performance, would continue to present a unified image to the world. However, it would seem that The Armitage Army continues to nurse grievances among themselves that periodically explode across social media.

The latest quarrel amongst the ranks appears to revolve around the mysterious release of several images of a bare-chested John Proctor, seen down on the floor washing himself at the beginning of Act 2. We contacted a spokesperson from Puritan Farmers Cooperative, and showed him the images. “I would have to say, I can not object to these images. Without we wash at the end of a long day, we land in the barn for the night. Does not every goodwife say, ‘Come you not to my bed smelling of manure’?” Our contact found nothing scintillating about the images, although he was quick to add that he does not plow on Sundays.

However, it would seem that many members of the fandom did, in fact, find the images to be stirring. One Armitage blogger was swift to share the controversial images, and likened the experience to a hormonal conflagration. “Yes, those images caused a spontaneous ovarian combustion! I’ve seen one of the images, or something close to it, already, but these camera angles,” she said, pointing with trembling fingers to images showing Armitage’s wide shoulders, muscular back, lean torso, and a tantalizing thigh/buttock side view, “Whew. These angles are simply spectacular!” She went on to postulate that the images might in fact be dangerous to reproductive health. “There is such a syndrome as Spontaneous Ovarian Hyperstimulation, you know.”

As of press time, representatives from the National Institutes of Health could not be contacted to answer whether these images might in fact be useful in the treatment of infertility in women, and the Armitage blogger was hesitant to postulate as to the effectiveness of Richard Armitage’s bare torso for the purposes of improving conception rates for struggling couples. “Whoa, now. I’m a veterinarian. I might be able to answer your questions about fertility in bitches, and I may occasionally refer to Armitage images jokingly as good medicine, but I’m not qualified to offer any sort of treatment plan for other women.”

Medicinal uses aside, many Armitage admirers appeared to seek sensual gratification by viewing the images. “It’s a rough job, but someone has to objectify him,” commented a preeminent Armitage blogger, viewing with satisfaction one of her own edits. The busy image depicts twelve locations on John Proctor’s exposed upper body that the blogger would like to kiss, and prompted many blog commentators to point out other areas that they felt were additionally deserving of collective smooching attentions. This post spawned further debate as to the definition of a widow’s peak amongst the fandom, so we contacted the Hairline Consultation Hotline, whose experts were familiar with Armitage’s work.

“While Thorin Oakenshield does show a prominent widow’s peak, it is our conclusion that his hairline was in fact achieved by use of a very convincing hairpiece. Upon review of images of Richard Armitage as himself and as John Proctor, most hairline pundits agree that he does not sport a widow’s peak. The traditional understanding of a widow’s peak is most certainly a V-shaped point in the center of the forehead. I would place celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Leonardo DiCaprio much higher on the widow’s peak spectrum than I would place Richard Armitage.” When asked to discern the V-shaped area of hairline that the blogger wished she could kiss, the hairline expert readily identified the disputed area as a receding temple, and remarked, “Mr. Armitage here is a lovely example of why a receding temple is not always an unattractive feature of a hairline. The sharp, almost dramatic points of his receding temples add interest to an otherwise rather humdrum hairline.”

When the controversial wash basin images were shared on Richard Armitage appreciation pages on Facebook, however, they were met in some cases with derision and incredulity. Taking down the images and citing her reluctance to circulate “beefcake screengrabs” prior to every fandom member first viewing the much-anticipated release of the Digital Theatre download of the Yael Farber/Richard Armitage collaboration, one Facebook administrator pleaded with disgruntled members to show respect for Farber and Armitage. Urging everyone to first watch, and register the pivotal themes and solemn subject matter, the administrator unwittingly stirred the pot in a fandom troubled by fears of internal policing amongst their ranks.

“You do realize that he took his shirt off approximately 101 times during the run of The Crucible, right?” wrote yet a third blogger, incredulous that the images of the “half-nekkid” actor should have been at the center of yet another fandom “dust-up”. Arguing that Richard Armitage not only knows exactly what he’s about, but appreciates occasional raunchy humor, including dick jokes, the blogger opined that Richard Armitage should be allowed to draw his own boundaries. A review of tweets from the actor himself seems to validate the blogger’s assertion. Not only dick jokes, but a flurry of scatological humor was discovered in a review of Armitage’s hashtags, which are widely accepted to have proceeded forth from the actor himself on many occasions, and have resulted in the actor’s followers topping 100,000.

When contacted to ask whether he intended to share scatological humor and dick jokes with his Chinese followers on Weibo, Richard Armitage declined to make any promises, but he did mutter that he didn’t understand how his foreskinned penis had anything to do with any of it. It is surmised that Armitage may have been referring to yet another blog post, whose author chimed in by implicating that the beleaguered anti-ogling faction was in fact akin to Judge Hathorne, the judge who presided over the Salem Witch trials, in their efforts to subdue the fandom’s reaction to the shirtless images of John Proctor. Yael Farber was also contacted for comment, and her representatives categorically denied any knowledge of Armitage’s foreskinned penis, but did confirm that Farber was aware of the actor’s actions while removing his shirt approximately 101 times during The Crucible run, and indicated that this would not hinder her decision to collaborate with Armitage in the future.

 

 

Reflections on Recent Fandom Drama

shoulder

Richard Armitage as John Proctor, shirtless, The Crucible official poster, Old Vic Theatre, London, 2014

 

The post that caused recent uproar:

“Folks, as the creator of this page, I had and *have* a vision: to 1) celebrate RA’s *performance* in The Crucible, and 2) to show respect for Yael Farber’s astonishing production of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece (staged at The Old Vic in the summer of 2014).
PLEASE, respect these two things.
The play is not about a shirtless RA, shots which occur for brief moments in a 3.5 hour-play
Rather, The Crucible is a play about hysteria, mob-thought and mob-violence against good, innocent people, and it is about integrity.
So, these bare-chested shots of RA seen elsewhere will have to wait until after the download has been released in the States, and most of us have seen the entire play, and registered its powerful and timely message.”

And her comment under the post:

“… What can I say? I’m a theater purist. I like a shirtless RA as much as the next person, but it seems a shame that these “beefcake” screen-grabs are the first to make the rounds. I have a home-school subscription to Digital Theatre Plus (sharing with small groups of local students, and a teacher or parent, through screenings in my living room). The Crucible is one of those plays that so powerful and so stunning – especially this production – and Miller includes so many heart-breaking, beautiful, terrible, horrifying, and/or poignant moments that I’m just sad to see these shots come out before those…” Richard Armitage US, Facebook, ‘Richard Armitage in THE CRUCIBLE’ Appreciation Page

Hmmm.

Maybe she didn’t intend to sound condescending, but what I felt, upon reading this, was this: Those of you who have shared, stared at, discussed, enjoyed, or drooled over the screencaps of shirtless John Proctor have completely failed to not only admire RA’s critically acclaimed performance in the role, but even to comprehend or appreciate the important themes in Miller’s work. So shame on you.

I also didn’t quite understand, from this post, whether she meant that after the download has been released, will we, the oglers, then be allowed to appreciate, share, stare at, discuss, enjoy, and drool over the screencaps of shirtless John Proctor? After we’ve contemplated the deeper, disturbing messages, that is? How long should we spend on our contemplation before it is ok to appreciate the shirtless Proctor? Or should that be never? Perhaps that scene should, in fact, be cut. Maybe it was a mistake on Yael Farber’s part to add such a distraction into the mix.

The truth is, I 100% agree with her assessment that the production was stunning, heartbreaking, beautiful, terrifying and all the rest. Indeed, I was not myself for a couple of months after I saw The Crucible performed three times. I was profoundly moved by the play, devastated even, and couldn’t get any part of it out of my head. I couldn’t get involved in a new book, I had little interest in TV or movies, and those deep themes and disturbing subject matter haunted me. The fact that I can now look upon John Proctor’s form in the firelight, and appreciate the rough, masculine elegance of a farmer, washing, does not reflect poorly on my understanding of The Crucible, or in any way diminish its powerful message. On the contrary, the moment I saw the images, I was taken back to those moments, in London, when I watched him, in all his vulnerability, perform this scene. I experienced that intimacy, and the shaky, light-headed, breathless feelings that it effected in me, anew.

Yes, he’s powerfully attractive. Yes, my ovaries combusted. So, apparently, did Abigail Williams’ ovaries, at some point. John Proctor was (to his ultimate shame and regret) a sexual creature. Ironically, the washing scene was actually one of the least sexually charged moments, in terms of on-stage chemistry. This scene did allow the audience a chance to appreciate John Proctor’s form, and his appeal, yes. But it also set the stage for the Act 2, in which we see John Proctor’s reality in the privacy of his own home. He puts the shirt back on, you see. He is vulnerable, and alone, as he washes. When his wife enters the room, with coldness and a hint of accusation in her tone, he puts the shirt back on, and with it, the weight of his struggling marriage.

At any rate, I don’t have a problem with Richard Armitage US controlling what is posted on a page she created. It is her prerogative whether or not she allows images of shirtless John Proctor to be ogled, discussed, admired on her page. However, I do think she might reflect on her own words a bit. She states that the purpose of her page is:

1) to respect RA’s ” *performance* “: Huh. I must say that I did admire his performance in that scene… he embodied the exhausted, hard-working, lonely farmer completely, from his posture, to his facial expressions, to the little noises he made as he washed… and yes, I did also admire his form… what’s not to love? Is the fact that he took his shirt off a problem here? Can he not perform as well without his shirt? Enlighten me!

2) and also to respect “Yael Farber’s astonishing production of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece”: So… was Yael Farber somehow not involved with or aware of the inclusion of the wash basin scene- did her vision for the production not include the audience’s inevitable appreciation for the stripped-down farmer? Was there no purpose, from Yael Farber’s perspective, for that scene? Should looking at the screencaps of that scene therefore diminish our respect for Yael’s work?

In other words, why should our appreciation of and discussion of the shirtless scene be automatically disrespectful, or somehow minimize the impact of the production as a whole? It honestly makes very little sense to me. I agree, The Crucible is not just about a shirtless RA. But is the admiration of a shirtless John Proctor really disrespectful, or indicative of a failure to appreciate Miller’s themes, or the ensemble’s performance? Is it necessary to prescribe for other fans what facets of The Crucible are acceptable to appreciate, and in what order we should appreciate them?

I say no.

Damn. Another Spontaneous Ovarian Combustion…

Remember the absolute excitement when the very first tweets came rolling in when The Crucible premiered? I’ll never forget this Tweet: https://mobile.twitter.com/claireanatomy/status/480451141701210114

Clearly, that was of great interest! I remember sending a PM of that tweet to my cousin, with words along the lines of “Fanning myself! OMG!”

armitage8

Richard Armitage as John Proctor. Infamous wash-basin scene, Act 2, The Crucible, 2014 Old Vic Theatre. Photos found at rachelduncandoughnuts.tumblr.com

And the scene did not disappoint, especially from the first row, when it happened 2 feet in front of me. I remember my heart rate was elevated, and I felt flushed and light-headed.

Happened again this morning when I came across these photos. Damn him. I can hardly type when I look at these.

Operation Assist-A-Student: What IS John Proctor Preoccupied With?

Just lately, my WordPress stats page has been turning up quite a few visitors from search engines using the phrase “What is John Proctor Preoccupied With“…I just had to know, so I googled that phrase myself and what do you know, the second post I ever made on this blog came up first in the google listings!

I find it rather humorous. Almost every day for the past couple of weeks, some poor schmuck- a student studying for a quiz, or working on an essay about The Crucible, I’ve no doubt- has stumbled over here looking for inspiration and answers, only to find extensive fan-girling for Richard Armitage! =)

Sorry, kids! My bad.

stallion1

Proctor: I Really need to Get Some.

So! I thought I’d take a few minutes, here, and maybe help them out. We all know what I’m preoccupied with, but what IS John Proctor preoccupied with? Of course, the answer to this Google query depends on the context of the question, and which Act in Miller’s work we’re discussing. Since I don’t have it in me today to cover the deeper themes that Proctor must contemplate in the later Acts, I’ll stick with the surface-level preoccupations that I believe may be affecting John Proctor as the play opens. With helpful images for illustration…

Early on, one could argue that John, a virile man whose mistress has been ousted from his land and whose wife is yet cool toward him, might be preoccupied with those same thoughts that no doubt plague stallions, when breeding season is over. “The promise that a stallion gives a mare I gave that girl!”

 

candlesticks

“For twenty week he preach nothin’ but golden candlesticks until he had them!”

Alternatively, when his mind rises above his sex drive, maybe John Proctor is preoccupied with indignation over the shoddy preaching on the part of his pastor.

“Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again?”

Let’s not forget Reverend Paris and all that grasping for wealth.

Pewter candlesticks are good enough for John Proctor.

logging1

Proctor was preoccupied with working the farm, and evidently locking horns with Putnam in land disputes. “I… I have once or twice plowed on Sunday.”

Or, how about his ongoing wrangling over property boundaries and acreage with nasty neighbors like Putnam?

“My lumber. From out my forest by the riverside!”

(And when he wasn’t plowing on Sunday, he was probably thinking of other kinds of plowing. I know I did, when he said that.)

heifer1

“I mean to please you, Elizabeth.” Here, have a cow!

At home, poor John Proctor’s mind works feverishly to think of ways to restore himself to his wife’s good graces… and after much deliberation, he’s had one stroke of manly creativity he thinks might please her.

“If the crop is good I’ll buy George Jacobs’ heifer.”

Men. Sigh.

 

proctor1

John Proctor, overwhelmed.

Once the ball gets rolling, our hero is about to have these base and arguably petty preoccupations swept away completely. With his wife now accused, her life and the life they’ve built together on the line, John Proctor finds himself suddenly faced with much weightier preoccupations… presenting a case that might restore reason to a court gone mad, facing his own demons, finding his honor again.

These weightier preoccupations I just don’t feel up to tackling today. Hint: Students, you will find other Richard Armitage bloggers that can, and do, tackle those deeper themes. Am I right, Servetus? =)

But if you’re looking for simplistic answers, I’m your gal. You ought to be able to take one or more thoughts here and run with it.

shirtless1

Oh yes he did!

P.S. Students: if you get the chance, do watch for The Crucible staged by The Old Vic starring Richard Armitage (of Thorin Oakenshield fame). Might be coming to theatres near you (unless you happen to live in North America), and it’s an extraordinary performance from the entire ensemble. Will also be available for download at Digital Theatre in 2015!

Oh, and there’s this. —>