Blog Introspection Challenge #7 – The Most Commented Post

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Swisher Twinkle Stars, still a bedtime favorite for Mommy and Daughter alike. Though, our reasons differ somewhat…

Continuing the Blog Introspection Challenge issued by Guylty brings me to Question #7: Which post has the most comments?

The answer, at 59 comments (though probably half of those were mine), is my Swisher Armitage: A Man For All Ages post from October 2014. In this post, I shared how my daughter, aged 3 at the time, was a proud member of the Armitage Army: CBeebies Division, her startling reason for joining the fandom, and her reaction when it was suggested that her beloved “Swisher” (Richard) was the same “mean man” in the scowling poster of John Proctor in The Crucible.

KellyDS and Tree both re-blogged it, and apparently many readers enjoyed it. Jollytr said “I’m pretty sure my heart just exploded with happiness and twinkle stars” and Guylty hinted that she had all the materials necessary for a CBeebies shrine… maybe I need to see how such a shrine is to be commissioned, now that I know the importance of this post in my blog stats.

Swisher Twinkle Stars also accumulated the 2nd highest number of likes, at 20, behind Another Onion Article?, my spoof about Proctor’s Bare Chest in Act 2. That spoof garnered 22 likes and 50 comments, making it the second most-commented-upon post to date.

Dream: Richard Armitage Spurns Unique Cat Breath Opportunity!

I haven’t had a memorable Armitage Dream since late October! Somewhat of a long draught, but last night I had the pleasure of another rather cute (translate: G-rated!) dream starring Richard Armitage, my family, and our kitten-cat, Zax. *I* thought it was pretty entertaining, but maybe only because I have the benefit of knowing the child, and can’t help but find his antics continually amusing…

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The Young Love as Charlie Brown, 2013 Preschool Christmas Program

I’m at home alone, feverishly speed-dialing family and friends to remind them that my young love’s performance at last year’s preschool Christmas program is about to be televised on PBS! (The kiddo’s pre-K class did a Charlie Brown-themed play last December, and the young love had the leading role. Naturally, Mommy and Daddy were stupendously proud!)  Apparently, PBS is doing a feature on children’s theatre performance, and this humble preschool production has been selected to be featured on the show! (This stellar production really was videoed for posterity… for a fundraising effort whereby the smitten parents buy the DVD, though: not for television! LOL) Hubby has the kids, and has gone down to the PBS studio to chaperone the young love for the PBS station interview. (While I, apparently, stayed home. To man the DVR, evidently. Right. Moving on.) Little do I know, this program is to feature not only the young love’s phenomenal performance as Charlie Brown and various other worthy children’s theatre productions, but is also to feature old footage of several noteworthy celebrities’ early childhood theatre experiences.

The show kicks off, and I watch excitedly, enjoying all the cute snippets from various kid productions around the world, and secure in the knowledge that my young love made the cutest Charlie Brown ever to be seen in live theatre or television. Just as the show is wrapping up, getting ready to move to the studio interviews with the young love and other child performers, I’m blown away to see a brief, Thorin-filled selection from the most recent BOFA trailer, and the PBS host announces that they happen to have exclusive footage of Richard Armitage in his FIRST Hobbit appearance, when he was just a small boy, cast as an elf!  

I can’t believe this scoop! As far as I know, this PBS appearance was not announced anywhere in the fandom, and what are the chances many Armitage admirers would be watching this rather obscure PBS documentary? I might be the one to “break the story” and I happen to be at home, manning the DVR recording the show because the young love was to be featured!! I watch with unmitigated delight as the clips of young Armitage begin to roll. The spindly youth has enormous elf ears, and moves lightly across the stage. He’s simply adorable. Almost as adorable as the Charlie Brown star I’ve just been watching. There isn’t much to it, no dialogue from youthful Richard-the-elf, and it’s over in minutes.

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He looked roughly like this… Is it hot in here????

I check Twitter, WordPress, and Richard Armitage Central on my phone, and there is no mention of it yet! (I seem to always be eager to get “the scoop” for the fandom in my dreams. Like the time I found out about the secret wax figure RA characters at Madame Tussaud’s London. LOL. In real life I tend to be the last to know.) PBS cuts to the studio, and I see my own young love sitting on a large couch with about 5 other children; he’s wearing his Charlie Brown shirt, and seems to be preoccupied with a duffel bag on his lap. This niggles at me, but I am soon distracted: the camera pans around to the other side of a coffee table, and on another couch, sits Richard Armitage and the host of the show! Richard is short-haired and is sporting the stubbled look. He’s wearing casual jeans, black shirt, and black boots. He looks relaxed, and is watching the squirming couch-full across from him with a warm and open expression.

The host of the show introduces the children by first name, and then introduces Richard Armitage. Richard is asked a question or two about his experiences filming the Hobbit, and asked to compare the Peter Jackson mega-blockbuster with the children’s theatre performance from his youth. Richard makes a little joke about the dragon in the early production being basically nothing but smoke and red light, and that’s when I hear a familiar, lisping voice loudly interrupt to announce “But did you know… When I grow up, I’m going to be EITHER a Dragon Sthlayer, or… a Dentisth!” The camera quickly pans out, now showing both couches, but nobody needs to tell me who has just interrupted Richard’s answer. I’ve heard all about my child’s professional aspirations before.

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Maybe the young love is onto something.

Richard’s face lights up and he smiles at the absurdity of this pronouncement. “Are you really? A dragon slayer, or a dentist!  And you can’t be both?” The young love furrows his brow, and takes a moment to thoughtfully ponder such a notion.

“Actually, did you know… a Dragon Sthlayer could be a Dentisth because a Dentisth can kill the tartar-bug in your mouth and make bad breath disthappear, AND a Dragon Sthlayer can kill a dragon and dragonths have bad breath, too? That’ths why I want to be a Dragon Sthlayer because dragonths have BURNING BAD BREATH!”

Richard is chuckling now, and he praises my young love’s determination to fight bad breath on every front. My heart rate has increased, and my foolish grin must be enormous, but the young love isn’t done educating Richard. “Right! But did you know… that old caths can have bad breath but kittenths don’t have bad breath? And did you know… my Mommy can pull out bad teeth on caths?”

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Quick! Somebody screen-capture those crinkles!

Richard, judging by the elevation of his forehead crinkles, is apparently dumbstruck by this revelation, and simply says, “Can she really?”

The young love nods knowledgeably, then unzips his duffel bag and his kitten, Zax, a long-haired black cat of about 6 months age, scrambles out. Because he’s tried putting Zax into a duffel bag on more than one occasion, the young love is ready for him, and manages to snag the laid-back cat  before he reaches the floor, and the cat relaxes like a ragdoll, knowing it is the path of least resistance when a child has hold of him. Young love carries the kitten-cat over to Richard Armitage and introduces him, offering Richard the opportunity to smell the pet’s breath. “Zaxth has good breath. Thsee? You can sthmell insthide hith mouth and it sthmellth like cat food!”

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The ragdoll effect. And the source of the lisp is clearly evident in this photo, as well.

Richard, with a priceless expression, is now leaning as far away from the proffered cat breath as possible, and declines this sniff firmly but politely. The young love asks if Richard would like to hold the cat, and Richard again declines politely, trying not to laugh. “But did you know… if we don’t hold on to Zaxth, he will get sthtraight into that plant!” He points to the on-set decor. “Zaxth alwayth climbth up into my Mommy’th planths and then my Mommy maketh a sthound like thith: PFFFFFTH! and that sthpooked him out of the plant. But here: you hold him!”

Zax is plunked onto Richard’s lap, and like any sensible creature, seems well-pleased to be there. He circles once then settles in, making biscuits. The young love is evidently satisfied that Richard is holding the kitten safely, even if still leaning as far back as possible, and moves off to inspect sound equipment. (We’ve been to a number of pre-school Christmas programs. When he was three, the young love participated not at all, forsaking the song and dance for the chance to open a trapdoor and fiddle around with sound equipment onstage.) Hubby is in the audience and gestures emphatically for the young love to get back to the couch. The young love continues frizzling with sound equipment and ignores his father’s stern gestures like a champ. As if nothing off-script has occurred, the host winks conspiratorially and resumes the discussion, and Richard reluctantly hangs onto the cat. (Far be it from Richard to allow the cat to get into anyone’s plant!) He has a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look at first, but soon relaxes.

However, the temptation presented by a fluffy black kitten and a closer inspection of sound equipment is simply too overwhelming for the other young theatre performers, and pretty soon several other children have left the couch. The little girls swarm around Richard Armitage, (no surprise there!) while the little boys join the young love in fingering the sound equipment. The little girls, ignoring the boring adult talk, are now petting and cooing to the cat. Pretty soon I see my three-year old daughter, who is supposed to be in the studio audience, has joined the mix. I glance at Hubby, and see mortified resignation on his face. (He clearly should have been the one to stay home and man the DVR…  *I* would not have missed the cat in the duffel bag, or let the daughter slip onto the set. You can take that to the bank!)

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I must assume this is a fear of Richard’s.

Although he couldn’t be bothered to mind his daddy, this development does get the young love’s attention. “Did you know… that’th my sthisther! Sthissthy: did you know, he didn’t smell Zaxth’ breath!!” Sissy gives Richard Armitage a pitying look, letting him know he’s missed a real opportunity. It seems our daughter has not made the connection between the unfortunate fellow who won’t smell kitten breath, and her beloved Swisher. (It must be the lack of Twinkle Stars on his wall.) She opens her mouth to say something, but the host of the show, a little flustered now, announces they will cut to commercial. As the film pans out, I see Hubby leap to his feet and hurry over with the duffel bag to collect Zax off Richard’s lap.

Richard and Hubby pass a conspiratorial look, and without any words spoken aloud, I clearly read the silent conversation, the conversation that they dare not have in front of a studio audience and a handful of children.

They say not one word about a Fluffy Black Pussy.

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Perhaps fortunately, I don’t remember anything after they cut to commercial. Note to self: take every precaution in future to be physically present for these proud parental moments! Hubby is absolutely not to be trusted to supervise PBS broadcasting appearances ever again!

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Very Happy New Year? Here’s to more Richard Armitage dreams in 2015… =)

Cheers!

Recent #RichardArmitage Images Really Float My Boat!

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This one struck me simply because his eyes look so very blue. Looking at this image, there can be no argument for grey eyes. I even found myself staring at the eyes and wondering if the image had been manipulated, or the man was wearing color contact lenses. At any rate… his eyes are incredible in this pic.

The past couple of weeks, I made a long-overdue adult decision and prioritized my time at work to finally catch up on my stack of charts, which had reached epic proportions. This necessitated me keeping my browser mostly closed and my nose firmly affixed to the grindstone. My Richard Affliction got me there in the first place, along with my lifelong tendency to procrastinate, and I decided to take advantage of the comparatively low-intensity of my ongoing Armitage Preoccupation to get that stuff out of the way. Then, too, I have three quilts-in-progress with a December 25 deadline, so I’ve been sewing every spare moment I have, at home. Needless to say, I’ve hardly had time for my normal Armitage routines. Finally this morning, having at last finished up my backlogged charts, and with a quilting marathon awaiting me at home, I decided I’d post a quick entry on my neglected blog between clients this afternoon. As busy as I’ve been, I *did* take a moment to save an image of Richard Armitage, here and there, out of the ocean of available new material that has appeared with the promotions associated with The Hobbit.

 

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That is a Come Hither Look, if I’ve ever seen one. The more I look at this, the more I start to wish Hubby was available, right this minute. I’d like to put him in a dramatic coat, push him onto the bed, knock the lamp ajar, and jump him. Hubby, that is. *coughs*

This next pic did more than float my boat. It just about caused my ovaries to go into overdrive. I look at this pic, and I just want to… climb him. I don’t know when I’ve seen an image that was quite so stimulating. It seems to hit each of my personal lust-triggers. I don’t even know where to start. The masculine curve along the musculature of his thigh? The length of those limbs? The urge I have to rotate the perspective so I can see just how much his legs are parted, for one foot to be planted on the floor, and the other well onto the mattress?  I love the way the coat falls open, and echoes the dramatic appearance of the collar. I love the sweater. I love the size of the foot and the hand that are closest to my perspective. I love that he’s grasping the headboard. I love the look in those eyes, and the faint smile that I imagine is about to cross his lips. He looks delicious. It’s one of the favorite images I’ve ever seen of him. Thank you, Sarah Dunn. And my apologies, Richard Armitage, for perving.

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Richard Armitage, in velvet. I’d never have imagined that would work.

But my perving doesn’t stop there! I have seen several comments that weren’t very positive about the velvet tuxedo in the Daman Magazine shoot, but I like it just fine, in this picture. I enjoy the feel of velvet, and I can’t help but imagine stroking down that jacket. I’d like to stroke down his chest and across his lean torso. Pet his arms. Slide my hand down his back, feeling the muscles under the velvet, and finishing at the level of his lovely rear end. Then there’s the image itself. I love the contemplative, slightly guarded look on his face. The furrowed brow. When I zoom in, I like the way that his nose looks, with a tiny divot on the very end, and how it echoes the bow in his upper lip, the dent in his lower lip, and the slight cleft on his chin. I also like the cuffs on the velvet jacket, which somehow look like they were designed just for him, to compliment the shape and elvish quality of his ears. I also love the side of his face that’s in shadow- the line of his cheekbone above the beard stubble, and the way the light barely catches his eye on that side. For me, another delectable image. And I didn’t even mention the vessels and tendons in his right hand. If there’s one part I didn’t like, it was the lack of definition and shadow on the left hand. If that hand was showing the same definition, this image would be hard to beat.

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We have another warm-eyed smile. Richard Armitage, that kills me, every time.

And finally, an image I just saw today. This one’s marginally more wholesome, although if I tried, I could perv over this image, easily. But I’ll try to keep it a little cleaner, because he just looks so sweet. I really like the shape and grooming of the beard.  I love the warm color palette, and that jacket is just amazing.  But what really draws me to this image is that Richard Armitage looks genuinely in a light mood here, and his eyes are very warm, and very engaged. This is the type of affectionate smile and glance I see on Hubby so often, which may be part of why I find it so attractive.

That just gave me an idea. I am totally going to show this picture to the Swisher Twinkle Star fan in my household, and see what she has to say. I wonder if “Rich-ard” looks more like “Swish-er” to her in this pic. I’ll check, and get back to you on that. LOL

 

 

 

 

Swisher Armitage, a Man for All Ages

Not long after discovering Richard Armitage, I stumbled across his lovely Bedtime Hour children’s storytelling episodes on YouTube, and soon after I had my daughter hooked, too. She’s three years old, and a proud member of the Armitage Army, CBeebies Division.

In keeping with the CBeebies script, Richard always starts off with “Hello, I’m Richard.” I’m not sure whether it’s his British accent that throws her, or just a kid thing, but she’s believed his name is “Swisher” from the get-go, and insists that we both call him by the especially sexy moniker of “Swisher Twinkle Stars”.

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Several months ago, Hubby emerged from our daughter’s bedroom after reading her bedside story, completely baffled.

Hubby: “Have any idea what she means by ‘Swishers Stories’?”

I feigned confusion. “‘Swishers’?”

Hubby: “She made several requests for ‘Swishers Stories’… but I looked at every title on both kids’ shelves and I have no idea what that is. Maybe something at the grandparents’?”

Having a pretty good idea of what our child was after, and totally relating to her craving, I told Hubby that I would handle it. I entered our daughter’s bedroom with my smart phone, dialed up “Richard Armitage CBeebies Bedtime Hour” on my Youtube app, and was the instant hero. Poor Daddy, ineffectually searching the bookshelves for who knows how long. LOL!

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Swisher Twinkle Stars… just look at those stars on his wall!

Daughter: “Oh! I love Swisher’s stories!” (That’s funny, I have the very same reaction!) I asked her what she loves about them, and that’s when she told me her number one reason. “I love his Twinkle Stars! Swisher has Twinkle Stars on his wall!” (OK, so I hadn’t ever noticed those. I seem to have been more focused on Swisher’s torso and arms, displayed ever-so-nicely in  tight shirts. I may have also been ogling some long muscular legs in faded jeans, and admiring his expressive hands….)

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He does look a little mean.

Ever since that conversation, our daughter has refered to him as Swisher Twinkle Stars, because in her experience, “Swisher’s Stories” was just not specific enough, since Daddy couldn’t find them. The other day, however, new information rocked her world. Our desktop homescreen still features Hubby’s Crucible Poster joke, and in the past, our daughter has mentioned observations along the lines of “That man looks like my Daddy! But I think that man is meaner than Daddy.” Then the other day, for the first time, she asked who the “mean man” was.

I answered with “His name is Richard Armitage”, but she apparently heard “His name is Swisher Armitage”, because that mutinous expression of a three-year old who’s been told an ugly falsehood immediately came over her face.

“Mommy! That’s not Swisher! Swisher has Twinkle Stars and he’s NOT MEAN!”

(My bad. I guess John Proctor doesn’t float her boat quite like Swisher Twinkle Stars.)

I didn’t have the heart to correct her. So I reiterated the “Richard” part, clearly enunciating the difference between “RRRich-arddd” and “SWishh-er” … and all was right in her world again.