Linnet Has Sent A Richard Armitage Locket Shrine!!

locket shrine 3I’ve received a lovely, lovely surprise! And I must say, it really couldn’t have come at a more fortuitous moment, as I was up to my ears in tax documents trying to get everything together for the accountant, which is never any fun, and it was the last thing in the world I expected when they brought the mail in. In fact, I studiously ignored the mail for a couple of hours, not in the mood for any more bills. Imagine my surprise when I finally cleared some space on my desk, and reached for the stack of mail to go through and make sure there weren’t any last-minute “Important Tax Document” envelopes to be added to the file box I was compiling… and there on the top of the stack was a padded envelope! What a huge boost to my spirits!

locket shrine 2It contained the first Linnet Moss Richard Armitage Locket Shrine (so honored to be in possession of the first!) and it is a completely unique and beautiful gift. This is the coolest thing! The locket opens up, and little tiny charms can be interchanged to create a whole different look. In the photo, you can see how tiny they are in comparison to a ball point pen! She included two larger photos, one of John Proctor and one of myself with RA at the Stage Door, and on the back side of these, she’s put a screencap of my preoccupiedwitharmitage blog tag cloud. If you remove one of these larger photos, you can insert a variety of the smaller charms and gems, including a faceted Peridot gemstone (RA’s birthstone). She’s miniaturized the “Iconic Man” edit that Guylty and I worked on recently, as well as a black and white version of Proctor, then an eye photo (love, love, love!! My personal fave!) and another facial front-shot in color. There’s an itty-bitty Hobbit book (inside cover of which shows RA as Thorin) which is just incredibly adorable, as well as an “Arkenstone” and a filigree gold clasp. Just one piece of gold, to appease the dragon-sickness!

Linnet is a talented jewelry artist and has shared details about how she constructed the locket shrine, along with better pictures and tips for anyone who might be interested in creating their own, over at her blog. It contains a little bit of me, a little bit of Linnet, and several little bits of the beautiful man who has inspired our fandom.

I absolutely adore it, Linnet, and will treasure it! Thank you!

It’s A Wonderful Monday… WHOOT!


What could possibly be more festive than Thorin Oakenshield in my office, waving the Broncos flag?

Oh, you didn’t know that Thorin Oakenshield cares about football? Well, obviously, he does! My team won Superbowl 50!!! Still riding such a high!

Thorin and I are definitely celebrating. Yeah, so I may have alluded once or twice to the fact that I am a loyal Denver Broncos fan… both my parents were born and raised in Colorado, and one of my earliest memories of spending time with my Dad involves us sitting on the couch together, watching the Broncos during the Elway era, and me finally asking Dad, after years of vague confusion, what they always meant by first down, second down, third down, and so on. Dad looked baffled that his little football buddy, despite enthusiastic yelling and cheering, had evidently been watching football with him all her life, yet never really grasped the basic rules of the game!

Well, that was a long time ago, and now I’m at least decently familiar with the various rules and strategies involved, and I never miss a Broncos game if I can help it. When they recruited Peyton Manning four years ago, I was overjoyed. I’d always respected Manning as an amazing athlete and strategist, and feared him whenever the Broncos had to face the Colts. I was astonished when the Colts let him go, but never imagined that he’d sign with Denver and suddenly be MY quarterback. It’s pretty likely that he’ll retire now, and take his place in the NFL Hall of Fame, and as much as I’ll miss seeing him every Sunday during football season, I think it’s the right course of action… go out riding a crest of glory! (Or don’t… I’ll be cheering either way!)


Here’s a nice meme following the Broncos’ first Superbowl outing with Peyton Manning. I actually thought we had a great shot that year, but my Broncos unfortunately went AWOL.

It’s always been a bit of a rollercoaster, being a Denver fan. Denver has been to the Super Bowl 8 times, and they generally love to get there, then go down in flames. Losing scores with margins as high as 55-10 is the general rule, and even with Peyton Manning at the helm, our last Super Bowl outing ended with a score of 43-8. This season, we had an absolutely amazing defense, but our offense struggled all season, only managing to eek out wins because the defense simultaneously held off the other team and made a lot of scores of their own. As we entered the AFC championship game against the Patriots, I told Dad that really, our only hope of winning was that it was probably about time for us to make another devastating Super Bowl appearance…. LOL!

broncos selfie

I admit it… we wore our Broncos jerseys and identical expressions of fear yesterday as the game began…

And of course, it didn’t look like ANYBODY was going to be able to stop the Panthers this season, so as our family gathered yesterday afternoon with our chile con queso and plenty of alcohol on hand to drown our sorrows, we all agreed that if the predictions were true (almost everyone who was anyone heavily favored the Panthers and the official prediction was a Panthers win by a margin of 10), we’d actually count that as a victory! Any scenario where the Broncos at least showed up and stayed within 10 points would be a suitable outcome for us! LOL

OK, so I’ll stop boring everyone with my football rejoicing now. I’ll just say that I was as astonished as everyone else when we led the game the entire time, and won with a final score of 24-10! It’s a wonderful day!


Clearly a fan!





My Adventures At The Theatre: EE Desolation Of Smaug


Richard Armitage. Thorin Oakenshield, dazed and confused. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

I finally saw the extended edition of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug last night at the local theatre. This was after a major FAIL on my part Tuesday evening. You see, I’d somehow gotten the dates mixed up, though how this happened I’m still not really sure. For some reason, I believed these showings, in a limited number of theatres in the U.S., might be pretty popular, and so I bought my tickets in advance. Boy, was I wrong about that… very low turn-out, with only a handful in attendance at both AUJ and DOS in our local theatre. Anyway, I’d been online a couple of weeks ago and clicked on each of the movies and purchased the tickets. Somehow, I either clicked on the wrong thing, though that seems unlikely because I was on the DOS page when I clicked “Purchase Tickets”, or the website had a glitch, but in either case I wound up with an e-ticket to something called “RiffTrax Live: Miami Connection”… though I didn’t *actually look closely enough* at the ticket to notice that words like “Hobbit” or “Desolation” or “Smaug” weren’t there. Nor did I notice the words “Miami” or “Connection” that were there. No… I just saw the date and time on my e-ticket, and walked right on into the theatre Tuesday night with every confidence that I was in for 3+ hours of Richarding. (I did wonder why they didn’t have Hobbit trivia in the lead-up, but figured they were just changing things up a bit!) I was impressed that the turn-out was better… maybe 15 people compared to the 5 people, myself included, present for AUJ the previous night. Only when 7:30pm came around and the Rock Concert started did I realize I was NOT at Desolation of Smaug, so I checked my ticket to confirm I’d not gone to the wrong auditorium, and that’s when I saw that the ticket did indeed say “Miami Connection”… I believe I blurted “Well, Fuckaduck” (my go-to swearing phrase, always)… and walked out.

No biggie! Just had to go through the slightly humiliating routine of exchanging the ticket at the counter. (“No, I don’t know what concert that is, but I meant to be watching The Hobbit. Is it on tonight? No? Ah… no, I don’t want to refund the credit card. Can I just exchange for a ticket for Desolation of Smaug, whenever that is? Tomorrow night? OK! And… ah… can you confirm when the Battle of Five Armies is to be shown, while we’re at it? Oh, thank you. Ah… yes, I am. I am. Big Hobbit fan!”) Thinking to myself… Dammit, Richard! Then I had to do my mea culpa routine with Hubby, explaining that the 3 nights of “solo” daddy duties he’d graciously agreed to had just turned into 4. Hubby, as usual, was pretty laid back about the whole thing. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve turned up somewhere on the wrong date. In fact, after commenting that for the first time in years, I hadn’t botched his birthday last week (I always, always, ALWAYS think it’s the following day), he merely said “No worries… but sorry your Richarding was so sadly thwarted.”

Yes, well… so after my abortive attempt on Tuesday night, I made it to the theatre again last night, and was profoundly relieved when the Hobbit trivia began to roll. DOS was my least favorite of the 3 movies, but I did enjoy it. I think one of the funniest lines and deliveries of the entire trilogy is during the Bilbo-Smaug confrontation, though it wasn’t new to me:

Bilbo: L-Luck-Wearer… R-Riddle-Maker…

Smaug:  Lovely titles… Go on.

Bilbo: Barrel-Rider!

Smaug: Barrels! Now that is interesting!


As far as new material, I guess the most interesting and exciting part for me was the inclusion of Thrain in Dol Guldur. I’d always felt that something was missing, that they’d presented this mystery of what happened to Thorin’s father, then just left it dangling, and that had always bothered me. So it was nice to have that closure. I also enjoyed seeing the extended version of Thorin in “Druggie Mode” in Mirkwood Forest- very comical. Made me wonder what experiences in his own life Richard Armitage may have drawn from to portray the dazed and confused… and okay, I just liked his slumberous eyes. A Lot. =)

But my adventures weren’t over… I’m sad to say that during the first half of the movie, all of 2 people were in the theatre. Me, and one younger guy. I was quite happy with this situation. We rubbed along quite well together, he several rows forward and politely watching while making no disturbances. Me, seated in the back row so I could drink my smuggled-in drink without any raised eyebrows. Then, about halfway through the movie, a third person entered the theatre with a package of candy-covered popcorn and a few other snacks as well. The late-comer sat down in my row, and not even on the aisle, but just a couple seats down from me, and he was rather disruptive with all his rustling and chewing. I mean… come on! An entire theatre of empty seats, and he had to plunk down right next to me with all his candy!?

At the end of the movie, he leaned over and said “That was good! Are they showing the next one?” To which I politely responded, “Yes, next week sometime,” thinking to myself that I was really the last person anyone ought to ask, after Tuesday night’s debacle. He was a slightly disheveled older gentleman, I noticed. “Oh, great! Hey… have you ever tried this candy popcorn? It tastes just like Reese’s Pieces!” When I stood to gather my stuff and told him I’d not tried that, he offered the bag, but I was fairly certain that even if I wasn’t on a diet, I wasn’t going to share an open bag of sticky popcorn when a stranger’s hands had been noisily grubbing around in it for the past hour. I thanked him and politely declined, and the younger guy walked past and winked at me. I smiled. Then the kicker… “Hey! If I give you my phone number, will you call and remind me next week when that next movie is showing?”

I sort of gaped at him for a moment, and I distinctly heard the younger guy muffle a laugh behind me.

“Um… I…. No, no I don’t think so.” (Even if I wanted to, I could never be counted upon!)

“I’m just terrible at remembering things!” (My soul-mate, clearly!)

“Could you… ah… write yourself a note?” (I was grasping at straws!)

“I’d rather have a call!” (He looks at me quite hopefully!)

“I’m sorry. I don’t… generally…. call people. And I’m married!” (He looks crestfallen.)

“OH! Oh, yeah, that might seem odd to your husband.” (You think?)

“Right. Well… ah… have a nice evening!” (I’m on the move now, wondering if I should have thought to bring pepper spray.)

“I think I’ll ask the lady at the concession stand to call me!” (Right… great idea!)

“Okay… well… good luck!” (I bee-lined for the ladies restroom!)

Like I said… Dammit, Richard!


How Did I NOT Fall For Richard Armitage In December 2012?


Richard Armitage. Thorin Oakenshield. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

I went to see the extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the movie theatre last night. As I’ve previously mentioned, Hubby and I have long been fans of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth films, and haven’t missed an opening night on any one of them. However, with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we waited until all three films were out then bought all three at once with a boxed set of extended editions, and have been waiting for several years now to do likewise with The Hobbit trilogy. All this to say, I haven’t ever seen the AUJ extended version, and though I’ve watched bits and pieces on television when it aired, I haven’t actually watched it all the way through since December of 2012.

What struck me last night, with my newfound “preoccupation” with Richard Armitage, was how in hell I didn’t “discover” Richard back then? I do recall thinking the actor who played Thorin Oakenshield did a damn fine job, and was unusually hot for a dwarf (along with Kili and Fili) to boot… after all, my experience with dwarves to that point rested mainly with the not-so-stirring Gimli from the earlier trilogy. No offense, Gimli! I liked you well enough to consider getting a pug and naming it “Gimli”…  But really, there was the end of it. We loved the movie and were well-satisfied to return to Middle Earth. I vaguely remember asking Hubby if he knew the actor who played Thorin, and when he didn’t, I IMDB’d the guy, notified Hubby that he didn’t look anything like Thorin in real life, and was some British actor I’d never heard of. I even scrolled through his credits to confirm I’d never seen any of his previous works, and I believe I concluded that he was an “unknown”… LOL! Sorry, Richard! Little did I know that you already had a fervent following!

While we were avid enough fans of Peter Jackson to brave opening night, long lines and all that jazz at the cinemas, and we were aware that the Hobbit movies were being filmed, we weren’t nearly so avid as to be actually following who was cast, so we were blithely unaware that there had been controversy and disputes within the Middle Earth fandom surrounding the casting of a young, handsome “unknown” actor for the role that many believed should have gone to someone older, someone “fantasy cast” for years by Tolkien lovers. I can only hope that the naysayers were for the most part proven wrong (you can’t please everyone, so 100% conversion is not to be expected!) All I know is that I was, at the time, NOT familiar with Armitage, and I was very much impressed with everyone’s performance. I don’t believe I bothered to IMDB any of the other cast, though, so that tells you something- Thorin stood out for me even back then.

However, from my new perspective, it’s hard to believe that I didn’t overcome my apparently inherent prejudice against short hairy dwarves and fall irretrievably in love with Armitage back when. After seeing the film again last night, I appreciated him even more. Thorin’s voice! That noble visage! What was wrong with my eyes and my ears in 2012? I could just smack myself when I look back on it.

I’ll never understand it. Looking forward to Desolation of Smaug tonight, though! Extended Edition Richarding… it’s a beautiful thing. =)

Azog’s Codpiece, and Other RAndom Musings on BOFA

Needless to say… SPOILERS BELOW!

bofa poster

My personal favorite among the many promotional posters for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

I don’t know that this is going to be so much a review, as some random thoughts on The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. I’ve seen it three times, loved it even more each subsequent time, and am planning to see it at least once more in theatres. The first time, I saw it with Hubby in the 3D IMAX format (we both fully enjoyed this final installment, for those of you wondering what the Hubby’s verdict was!) and other times, I saw it by myself in a regular theatre. Although I had some minor quibbles, for the most part, it really satisfied me. I do occasionally see movies that I love more than once in the theatre, but before I developed this PreoccupationWithArmitage, I’ve limited all of my Middle Earth movies to viewing once, and always on opening weekend, in theatres, then waiting for extended versions before viewing again. So… in no particular order, here are some of my thoughts:

First, the creatures in this movie were fantastic. From the dragon down to the rabbits, the creature designs and animations were pretty freaking cool. Some of the stand-outs for me:


The Beast descends on Lake-Town.

Smaug strafing Lake-Town– I have never seen a depiction of a dragon attack that was done more beautifully and believeably. The creature design on Smaug was always fantastic- it seriously irritates and bothers me when I see a dragon concept that does not provide believable musculature and wing structure to sustain flight. This is an issue for the Hubby, as well. I’m happy to report that for the serious anatomical analysts in my household, not only did Smaug have credible anatomical features, but the animation- the undulations of flight, the wind shearing, just the quality of motion- were once again, phenomenal. I particularly loved the creature’s death throws, and the fall.


I love bunnies.

Rhosgobel Rabbits– The quality of the creatures, down to the little details- for instance, when the harness-racing rabbits came to a stop, I loved how they immediately started grooming, rolling in the grass, and doing other rabbity- behaviours.


Thranduil’s Elk- what a rack! That creature just defined nobility, and was almost as aloof and elegant as his rider.


Can’t. Look. Away.

Azog- was it just me, or did Azog almost look handsome in this movie? I mean, as orcs go… Lol. Before these movies I wouldn’t have thought a dwarf could be handsome, but how wrong was that? OK, so Azog isn’t exactly sex on a stick, but I found him rather aesthetically pleasing for an orc… he did have a certain symmetry to his features, as well as a rather better complexion than the average orc, making him handsome in the way that a really brawny pit bull is handsome. And wowzers- did anyone else find themselves sort of weirdly appreciating his codpiece? approving of his new duds? That armor he sported for the Big Battle was a step up from the tattered rags he always wore in the earlier movies.


That bad-awful orc killed Kili! Unforgivable. I wonder what Bolg’s mother looked like?

Bolg- Azog’s spawn has always been one of my favorite creature designs out of all of the Middle Earth films. Love the metal riveted in his skull, and the jagged metal protruding all over his torso, like an amalgamation of armor and flesh. It’s just a sick design! (Side note: my all time favorite creature design and portrayal is Sméagol-Gollum, though!)


Then, there were the characters. A few stood out above the rest:


Filthy, horrid man! But he kept me snickering from start to finish.

Alfrid- seriously, what a piece of toad slime he was! I’m not familiar with the actor, Ryan Gage, but what an absolutely magnetic performance. Some combination of worm-like posture, crazy eyes and that wide, mobile, rotting mouth just made me shudder with loathing. Bravo! He also delivered wonderful comic relief, when so much of the movie was disturbing, and sad. This butt-ugly character trying to avoid battle by passing for a woman in that ridiculous mob-cap, and stuffing coins into his big bosom? Loved it.


He sort of stole my heart. The cold bastard.

Thranduil- Before now, Thranduil as a character was portrayed well, but not a stand-out for me. However, in BOFA, maybe his badass elk just impressed me and made me take notice, but damn! Lee Pace delivered. Thranduil was the ultimate embodiment of cold elven elegance in all his silver and white hauteur. I really need my own cape, or even a robe would do, if it was made out of that beautiful silvery stuff. And my, but didn’t he look hot, when he smiled at Dain’s challenge on the brink of battle? (Speaking for a moment of Dain- loved that make-up design, with the boar fangs in the beard… another one PJ’s team knocked right out of the park- fabulous antithesis to Thranduil in every way!!) But back to Thranduil. He kicked some serious ass in battle, and was superb in the pre-battle scenes, as well. I loved his cool dismissal of Gandalf’s warnings, and the wry humor when he blandly asked Bard if he would really try to reason with a dwarf. I don’t know how it happened, but I fell a bit in love with Thranduil in this final film.


I can’t imagine anyone else more suited to the role of Bilbo Baggins.

Bilbo- Martin Freeman actually gives Richard Armitage a run for his money with the ability to communicate with his eyes. I think the chemistry between Thorin and Bilbo was always right on the money, and I just loved the acorn scene. Martin is also a master at subtle facial comedy. One of my favorite moments, and another moment of humor for me, was the scene with Gandalf (Ian McKellan, who also excels at subtle comedy) where Bilbo and Gandalf are sitting together after the battle, and Gandalf is tamping, tamping, tamping away on his pipe, really disrupting Bilbo’s morose moment! The best scene, though, was Thorin’s death scene. Bilbo’s despair, and every word and moan that he uttered, were so touching that I tear up even thinking about it. Watching Thorin die would be horribly hard no matter the circumstances, but the interaction between the two actors, feeding off the emotions of the other, was both the pinnacle of the film, and the lowest point for me.


Black leather, ladies. Black leather.

Thorin- of course, there was Thorin. I think he deserves his own section, because I have to agree with others who have declared that this truly was Thorin’s movie, and Richard’s triumph. His portrayal of the Dragon Sickness eerily echoed The Ring sickness, and watching those transitions, those glimpses of warmth, honor and sanity transforming into what can only be described as madness, were riveting. So, more on Thorin later.


A few things I didn’t care for:


I did like seeing how Sauron was reduced to a Ball of Burning Eye.

The Gandalf-Galadriel-Elrond-Sarumon-Wraiths-Sauron scene. I could have done without it. Then again, if Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth movies stand the test of time, and I predict they will- future generations, my children included, will likely watch in order, starting with The Hobbit and ending with LOTR, so the inclusion of these background scenes, which have been present throughout TH trilogy, are understandable from that perspective.


Kili hands his rune stone to Tauriel.

I also could have done without the entire Tauriel/Kili love affair. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, or think it added any substance to the trilogy. This is not to say that I didn’t like Tauriel- I did like her, and found her both aesthetically pleasing to look at, and quietly compelling as a character. I found the death scene with Kili moving, despite myself, and her exchange with Thranduil at the end was also to my liking.


Shame on the costume design team. So many other wins, but this one was a big FAIL.

There were a few things that didn’t make sense to me, but hopefully at least some of them will be explained and improved upon in the director’s cut. Where did Thorin’s company come by those battle mountain goats? What happened to Thorin’s battle armor? I mean, if he stripped down on the lake of gold, why weren’t we treated to that no doubt amazing sight? But why would he, if he’d just resolved to join the battle? And for heaven’s sake, of all the helmets on the dwarves, why did Thorin have to have the truly butt-ugly one??? That’s quite an accomplishment, to make that chiseled and handsome face look round and almost pig-like. (Was that intentional? Because he was acting like a creep, hogging all the gold?) Thankfully, Thorin threw that stupid thing off before he emerged in all his gorgeous, albeit armor-less, glory, ready to lead the dwarves One Last Time.


I had myself convinced this screencap from one of the trailers was a burial chamber. I was expecting a send-off for the Heirs of Durin.

Finally, and this is my biggest complaint with the film… why didn’t we get to see some kind of a funeral, or wake, in honor of Thorin Oakenshield? With the film only 2hr 35 min, when I was really expecting and anticipating closer to 3 hours, WTH were they thinking to have cut such an important and potentially amazing scene? I will say this- if it’s not in the extended edition, I will be floored.





The Great Battle Charge.

Many have said that the Battle scene was too long. I didn’t find it so, and was riveted throughout. Again, every creature, from the boar that Dain was riding, to the bats bred for war, to the goliath ugly giant troll-things, were fantastic to watch. I particularly loved some of the moments of comedy in the battle, such as when one of those enormous goblin things charged the wall and knocked himself unconscious, and when Alfrid tossed the sword like a hot potato to Bard’s son. I also loved the choreography of the battle scenes. The elves leaping over the dwarves’ shield wall to meet the orc’s charge was pretty spectacular. Thorin’s charge from inside of the mountain out onto the battle field was a truly majestic, cinematic moment. And Thorin’s battle with Azog. Just, WOW.


The artwork during the final credits was simply stunning.

And that brings me back to Thorin Oakenshield. What can I even say? It was a phenomenal performance. I’d like to think that, had I not seen North and South last April, and developed my thorough PreoccupationWithArmitage through that route, I would have come away from BOFA with the same driving fascination on the strength his performance of Thorin in this film. (I’m so thankful it didn’t happen that way, or I would have missed The Crucible, and would have yet to have made so many new connections and friendships that have so enriched my life these past months!)


That moment. When Fili is slain, and Thorin makes a sound of despair. It’s moments like these that make me want to watch the film again and again.

I absolutely adored the voice of Richard Armitage as Thorin. It was deliciously low and raspy. The way he said “Gold”- spoken like a breathless lover… the transformation of his voice to that Smaug-like quality, hoarse with Dragon Sickness and twisted, obsessive passion… the softness in his voice, when he had moments of lucidity with Bilbo… and how his voice broke, when he was speaking with Dwalin. Even the agonized sounds he made when he watched Fili executed, and when Azog delivered the mortal wound- I could rhapsodize on for hours on the voice alone.


Graham McTavish as Dwalin. I should have mentioned him above, because he did stand out for me in this movie. He broke my heart.

And that countenance. In a cast of exceptional actors, Thorin wasn’t the only one whose facial expressions spoke volumes, but I was nonetheless captivated. I know now that Armitage excels at emoting with not only his face, but every part of his body- I’ve seen it live, and I’ve seen it in film after film. It still wowed me. I absolutely adored that transformation of Thorin’s face during the acorn scene… when he first sees the acorn, his eyes almost well up, and he stares at Bilbo with a sense of wonder. We see “Our-Thorin”… that kindness, that warmth, that glimpse of sanity returned… only to have that beautiful face transform and the mask of Sick-Thorin drop over his features when the arrival of the Lake-Town survivors is announced. Another magnificent facial transformation: Thorin’s face when he realizes that Bilbo stole the Arkenstone. Disbelief, pain flickering, tears welling again, then insane fury. The Dwalin-Thorin scene, when Dwalin (performed flawlessly by Graham McTavish) tries to tell him, “You are lesser now than you have ever been”… they were both amazing in that scene. Dwalin’s sorrow and despair, Thorin’s wild swings from incapacitating fragility to lashing out in madness. But perhaps the masterclass of facial acting was in the scene all by himself, on the lake of gold. With no other actors to feed off of, this was Richard Armitage in Thorin’s head, wrestling demons, beautiful, lost and alone.


Thorin walks out from the Lake of Gold, having conquered his madness.

The Noble Thorin… Walking backlit out of the gold cavern- so hot and incredibly majestic, the warrior finally returns. I had chills, and tears in my eyes, when he asked if they will follow him, one last time. The fight with Azog on ice and rocks- I don’t know about you, but I have never seen Thorin look so hot. (Can’t go wrong with RA in black leather!) Richard displayed a stunning athleticism in the fight sequence… arching, ducking, swaying for balance- so limber. Rolling around, up/down, balancing, slipping as the ice bobbed around.


Is this not hotness, personified? I could stare at this image for hours.

They totally used that hair to good effect– when Thorin’s hair would flip up over his head and to the side, it reminded me of Hawkeye in Last of the Mohicans. But back to the battle scene with Azog… I absolutely loved that priceless face (perhaps the only moment of humor delivered on Thorin’s part) when Thorin tossed the huge block of rock on the chain to Azog, then nimbly skipped back. How I wish it had ended there!



It’s about to happen. He intentionally lets it happen. You can see it in his eyes.

But, no. Damn it, Thorin! How could you be so damnably mesmerized as to let that monster floating underfoot fool you!? The first time I watched it, I just about shouted “Watch Out!” (Thankfully, it only happened in my horrified head.) I did appreciate the battle’s conclusion, in a love-hate sort of way, when Thorin willingly sacrificed his life to defeat his mortal enemy- you can see the decision happen on his face, and it was fitting.


The final moments. The finest moments.

And finally, the Death Scene. Thorin’s final scene. As I said, it was the best scene, and the worst. The tears were streaming down my face. The Hubby squeezed my hand. I usually think of cinematography as it relates to the scenery and the geographical features of the setting, but here, there was also amazing cinematography in this very personal, up-close footage. Every time the camera angle was low, and showed the profile of the fallen king, it almost made me gasp. At the beauty of this man. I mean dwarf. Tears.


* * *

Wow- so that was a lot longer than I intended. I guess it’s a testament to how much I really did appreciate the movie. Richard should have had an Academy Award Nomination for this film. And then he should have won it.







Limerick: Richard’s Beard

beard1Because it’s amusing, this limerick is geared
To discuss, in detail, Richard Armitage’s Beard.
It’s a point of contention
And so often mentioned
That to compose nothing in its honor would be weird!




beard2A beard is, of course, a matter of taste…
Some women love it, others back away in haste.
When I was younger
I had no beard-hunger
Then I met Hubby, and found my preference replaced.





beard3Certainly a beard can hide certain defects…
A weak chin, poor jaw line, or a wart that projects!
Some men, no doubt
Allow a beard to sprout
Because facial hair is such a manly effect.



beard4Well, we know that Armitage has nothing to hide…
He can show off his chin and his jaw line with pride!
His chiseled lips
Need no manips
As countless admirers will gladly testify.


beard5And yet, not every man can wear a beard well…
Sometimes it’s sparse, and that looks like hell!
For a beard to attract
It must in fact
Be full enough not to repel.




beard6An illustration of this, I’m sorry to say
Was the look that we saw when he portrayed Monet.
I thought that wisp
Was a fashion miss
And the chatter must have ruined Richard’s day.


beard7That being said, it’s also a fact
That excessively bushy does not attract!
A beard should be shaped
Not to look like an ape
Too much can also detract.




beard8For me, Thorin’s beard does not cross that line…

Though some of the dwarves are too bushy to be fine!
Thorin’s beard is quite full
But it doesn’t read as wool
So most agree when his hotness is opined.


beard9Richard is blessed with the ability to grow
A beard in a hurry, as many photos show.
I have to admit
That along with his lips
I love the soul patch that sits just below.



beard10When Richard expressed the desire to disguise
Proctor’s “weirdbeird” I was surprised
I personally thought
That facial thatch was hot…
And to cover-up with bacon was unwise!




beard11I knew the suggestions that Richard desired
Were a funny diversion, but it was not required!
Proctor’s beard was a work of art
For a Puritan man, he looked stylish and smart!
(Though I eagerly await the photo shoot that transpired.)


beard12We haven’t seen much of Dr. Scott White…
Though the selfie from Sleepwalker was quite a sight!
I’m pretty certain
That when they lift the curtain
My desires for the good doctor will ignite!




beard13It’s always fun to see what is next…
Will the beard stay or go- the fandom’s obsessed!
When Sleepwalker wrapped
Many admirers clapped
For it appeared that the beard had regressed.


beard14Then came a new selfie that seemed to imply:
The beard would be back… the question is why!
Does he just like to tease?
Does wearing a beard now please?
Or does he have a bearded role on standby?




beard15Since I have composed this ode to RA’s facial hair…
One might conclude that I really care!
But that isn’t true
I like him clean-shaven too
In fact, every look he sports causes me to stare!


glove beardI contributed to #OneBeardToBringThemAll myself…
@RichardsBeard was on Twitter longer than Richard himself!
Objectively the topic
Is borderline neurotic
But it seems our Beard Speculations are impossible to shelf.


Limerick: Armitage Eyes

0dc986e815da37aa2ed332d75b37142bSeated at my desk with a tall stack of charts…
I can’t face catching up, I don’t have the heart.
I know the day this stack began:
The blame belongs to a particular man!
It was October 9 when my chart count did start.



B0GAZPxCYAEWKPiRichard Armitage on Twitter distracts every time…
But on that particular day, his tweet was sublime.
He planned a surprise
A selfie, with eyes
So distRActing, it was actually a crime!





IMG_303485126580042Yes, I need to catch up, I’m a month behind…
But I find that Armitage is always on my mind.
Preoccupied each day
I can’t look away
If I weren’t my own boss, a pink slip I’d find!




1163f321756786328c6c224f3bc86f4dBut really, Richard Armitage, I can’t help myself…
Your ears just remind me of the sexiest elf
Then there’s your mouth
And everything south
I can’t choose your best feature from such wealth!





EyesThat being said, if I had no choice but to choose…
I’d have to decide on those baby blues.
Even before I fell
Into this preoccupied spell
Richard’s eyes had me truly enthused.





imagesDE55D5IMThat was way back, when Thorin walked through the door…
He arrived at Bag End ready to settle an old score.
I was at the local theatre
With my eyes on the leader
And a whole new outlook on the dwarves of Tolkien lore!


Richard Armitage London StudiosI suppose it’s as well that I didn’t pursue…
At the time I couldn’t afford to bid normalcy adieu!
It would be over 2 years
Before I kicked into gear
John Thornton made me join the queue.





thorntoneyes1I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…
He had me at “Stephens”- it still makes me grin!
But as a first time beholder
Yet to see John’s eyes smolder
I’d no idea the trouble I was in!




sadeyes1Such expressions those eyes at different moments convey…
Be it outrage, arrogance, or wistful dismay.
As my viewing progressed
I couldn’t help but be impressed
At the volumes Those Eyes Alone can say!



glamorguySometimes what kills me is that “Come Hither” look…
Gisborne’s eyes only, no finger need be crooked!
I’d be a goner
If he’d do me the honor
It’s no mystery why I’ve become hooked!




proctor2When I saw him live in London at The Old Vic…
The fire in John’s eyes caused my heart to kick.
The intensity of his stare
Had my heart snared
In a way that can’t be explained in a pic.





IMG_0739reMy new friend Irache, from The Crucible Stage Door
Managed to get a shot that I love all the more.
It’s nothing but eyes
But it’s a hell of a prize
When we first saw it, we practically yelled “Score!”



Thorin2As if all of this wasn’t sufficient to distract…
A heartbreak is coming, that’s just a fact.
We’ll all follow Thorin one last time
Profoundly painful, and yet sublime
Grappling with these images that both sadden, and attract.




esquire1So back to the charts… I’m afraid they must wait…
Until my equilibrium returns to steady state.
Armitage Eyes have struck again
I’m beginning to wonder if or when
Their hold on me will begin to abate.

Warner Bros Angling for Another Onion Article?


Illustrated reference showing dwarves included, excluded and questionable to appear at London’s World Premiere of the The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.

“Multi-Billion Dollar Conglomerate Warner Bros Cites ‘Budgetary Shortfall’ In Decision to Ground Six or Seven Dwarves”

LONDON- What began as merely a rumor on social media last week was recently confirmed by numerous news sources. Irrespective of projected profits in the billions of dollars, film giant Warner Bros confirmed that they could not possibly bring all thirteen dwarves to the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, the much-anticipated final installment of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy in London.

Having previously touted that this World Premiere, to be held in Leicester Square, London, on December 1, 2014, would feature “key players” from all six Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films combined, many fans feel that Warner Bros has offered quite a slap in the face to the six or seven so-called “Kiwi” actors, whose roles comprise a slim majority of the party of dwarves accompanying remarkably handsome displaced Dwarf King, Thorin Oakenshield, on his danger-fueled expedition to reclaim the lost homeland, and treasure, of his hairy people. Oakenshield, played by British actor Richard Armitage, is scheduled to appear at the landmark London event, as are other “European dwarves”. Only the dwarves played by actors hailing from Oz will be excluded, except for probably Fili, Warner Bros assured concerned fans.

This reassurance, however, appears to be a grotesque misjudgment on the part of the film giant.

“It has not escaped my notice that all the hottest dwarves will probably be there,” said Jholland, a Richard Armitage superfan.

“You have Richard Armitage, the hottest dwarf by all possible measures. Graham McTavish, who looks as incredible in a kilt as any man I’ve ever seen. Aidan Turner, definite hottie. James Nesbitt- look at those eyes of his, those dimples! Dean O’Gorman- I doubt he’ll miss the flight… I mean, hubba hubba!” Jholland went on, skipping over only a couple of actors.

As of press time, the question of whether Fili, another remarkably sexy dwarf played by Dean O’Gorman, would be attending the London Premiere of The Battle of Five Armies is still up-in-the-air. Although O’Gorman hails from New Zealand, like the other uninvited actors, many fans predict he will make the cut.

“They’ll send Fili. He’s smokin’ hot for a dwarf. He’ll get to go with the cool kids,” predicted the Armitage blogger.

“I’m offended on behalf of men with beards going grey,” commented Jholland’s Hubby, stroking his own beard, which sports a smattering of grey and white hairs. “Looking at that line-up, it looks like either you have a full-on white beard, or hardly any grey in your beard at all, if you want to make the cut. That, and you’d better not be a ginger dwarf. They obviously don’t cut the mustard, either.”

As online Tolkien fans began grass-roots efforts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, including more than one online petition, Warner Bros scrambled to save face.

“Who? Oh, them. Ah, well… they’ll… ah… they’ll be… they will definitely be a key part of the, the, the, the… ah… The L.A. Premiere! What’s that? You didn’t know there would be an… ah… L.A. Premiere? Well, there will be one now! A very nice L.A. Premiere, with all the Kiwi Dwarves. Of course there will be! They won’t be left out! Nope! Not at all!” babbled one Warner Bros publicist.

Peter Jackson has not weighed in. Some cynical fans have expressed an opinion that the entire kerfuffle may be no more than a publicity stunt designed to stir interest in the film premiere and to distract New Zealanders from their disappointment that the event would not be held in Wellington.

“It certainly gives New Zealanders something to rally behind,” mused Jholland.

Other actors involved in The Hobbit films, postulated to be almost certainly unable to voice their opinions, have also remained silent on the issue. Several weeks ago, Oakenshield actor Richard Armitage exploded his Twitter feed with what many presumed to be Dwarvish Epithets, but it is not known at this time if the mysterious tweets were in any way related to the troubling news of his Kiwi contingent.

* * *


Seriously, it could be an Onion article.

Pretty shabby, Warner Bros. Pretty shabby.




Dream: Abject Humiliation- Hubby/RA Encounter

If you recall- my last Richard Armitage dream, the Comic Con/Responsible Dog Ownership Con dream, was interrupted by the alarm clock while I was busy doing OFA patellar certifications on toy breed dogs while fluffy-white-dog-sitting for Thorin Armitage.

I do have to wonder if spending the time writing up my dReAms may be helping along my subconscious mind, because last night I had a follow-up dReAm, and that was pretty fast. This one went swimmingly, right up until the end. Now I almost hope I never have another.

Warning: Up until now, my dReAms were all G-rated. But read this one at your own risk: contains a lewd joke and racy language!

* * *

I am standing backstage with my office manager at the AAHA Convention Awards Ceremony, feeling the usual flutters one has when one is about to make a public appearance on a stage. Our veterinary practice recently passed our AAHA Inspection to remain an AAHA-Certified practice, and apparently, we are about to receive an Award. (I am actually a little unclear what the Award would be for. In real life, we were told we’d receive a special plaque of recognition at the AAHA Convention when we have been certified for 25 years, and the practice I recently purchased has actually been AAHA-certified for only 21 years. But whatever. We are evidently about to be presented with a rare 21-Year Award. Why not?) My office manager is practically bursting with pride, and true to her nature, she’s come prepared for anything. We naturally didn’t realize we’d have Richard Armitage’s dog along with us when we cross that stage to receive our 21-Year Recognition Award, but she happens to have not one, but two specially-made leashes for the occasion. (Sigh. It’s a practice standard. Good AAHA hospitals take extra precautions, and that means we walk dogs with two leashes. That way, should the unexpected happen, and one leash fails, we still have that additional leash and we won’t lose your pet. Thank goodness we don’t have to cross the stage with Armitage’s dog on gasp! only one leash!)

We hear our names, with all kinds of enthusiastic applause, so out we go. Just to be different, each of us holds one of the leashes, and the fluffy white dog prances along looking really adorable between us. I wish that Richard could see this moment. She doesn’t pee even once as we accept our special plaque! (Of course, there are no scary dwarves anywhere to be seen, so the dog is quite safe. lol) While my office manager is really enjoying all this pomp and ceremony, I am personally rather impatient to take the Award and go. Although I am all finished with my allotted patellar certifications, I still have a stack of paperwork to finish back at my booth at the Responsible Dog Ownership Convention hall, and more importantly, I’m kind of expecting Richard Armitage. These are both excellent reasons why I can’t stay and schmooze, so I delegate the Post-Awards schmoozing to my employee, and make haste for the nearby RDO-Con. 

Now I am back, seated contentedly in my booth, filling out OFA paperwork for Responsible Dog Owners at the RDO-Con, and keeping a cheerful eye out for Richard Armitage. Presumably, Richard will be here soon to pick up his flighty fluffball, and I hope that he will remember to get out of his Thorin costume before he arrives. Everything has gone pretty smoothly, and I am of course very eager to see him again. I haven’t decided, but am deliberating about whether I should bother to mention the fine that I paid when his pet peed the Comic Con carpet, or whether I should just write it off as a business expense. I’m definitely going to provide Richard with these two new leashes, perhaps also with a mild little lecture about the importance of leashes, when he gets here. 

Pretty soon, I hear a buzz of commotion, accompanied by an increase of little-dog-yipping and snarling, and I look up, expecting to see Richard. Earlier, Thorin was perceived as a high-level threat by the toy breed contingent, so I’m snickering and rolling my eyes, thinking Richard has forgotten to take his Thorin costume off. However, instead of seeing Richard Armitage in the center of the buzz, my heart skips a beat. It’s not Thorin- it’s someone similar- equally tall with long brown hair, a beard, sword… but this masculine attraction (or threat, depending on your gender and species) is strutting along garbed in Viking Age attire. I think I’m about to ovulate, because this is just too much excitement for one day- It’s Rollo. Rollo Lothbrook, of Vikings. And his confident warrior’s stride and his beautiful male arrogance as he surveys the RDO-Con booths is breathtaking.

(Vikings, on History Channel: another show I absolutely adore, not least because Rollo, played by very appealing Clive Standen,  is involved. The Award-winning doc is in danger of a swoon, pant, and hypersalivation attack.)


Rollo Lothbrook. I must be in Valhalla. Have mercy.

As had happened earlier with Thorin Armitage, the ladies are beginning to swarm Rollo. The temperature in the convention center suddenly feels uncomfortably hot, and I am beginning to fan myself, wondering if I ought to get his autograph. All I have in the way of paper are my OFA patellar certification forms, but that doesn’t stop me. Then I remember Hubby’s physician cousin and her close friend, who originally encouraged us to start watching Vikings, and who are both as terribly attracted to Rollo as I am. So I grab 3 patellar certification forms and emerge from my booth, ready to brave the snarling doggies and hoping Rollo has time for 3 more autographs, when I hear a low, smooth, familiar voice behind me ask me if I’m going somewhere!


Richard Armitage is one shrewd operator. [Photo found on]

(You guessed it!) It’s Richard! Now all becomes clear- the cagey man has sent Clive Standen/Rollo in as a diversion, and slipped unnoticed past the responsible dog ladies on his mission to retrieve FluffyPuff. (No, I don’t know if that’s her name, but it perfectly describes Richard’s little dog.) Forgetting all about Rollo and my dream of autographed OFA patellar certification forms, I turn to Richard. (Yes, the dilemma about the fine I paid earlier has flown right out of my head!) He did remember to remove his Thorin gear, and here he is, wearing familiar Stage Door apparel, a ball cap, and an entirely self-satisfied smile. His gambit has worked. He can sneak in and out with nobody the wiser, and retrieve his FluffyPuff without having to run the yipping dog gauntlet again.

The dog is overjoyed to see him and only makes a small spot on the floor, which I am amazed and touched to see he is prepared for. He pulls a paper towel out of his back pocket and quickly mops up the little mess, while she rolls over in submissive joy and presents her belly for a rub. My heart is melting, as he obliges her, and as soon as he finishes the enthusiastic belly rub, she leaps into his arms and he catches her in an obviously oft-rehearsed move as he smoothly rises to his feet, simultaneously catching the dog and tossing the paper towel into the nearest wastebasket with splendid aim.


Here is Shania. A full grown Anatolian Shepherd, she weighs in at 130 lb.

Before I can really gather my wits, something catches my attention on the far side of the convention center. I see a beautiful, huge Anatolian Shepherd on a leash, and the crowds are parting around her as she makes her majestic entrance. Then I realize it’s my own Anatolian Shepherd, Shania. And attached to the other end of the (cough! single) leash is my Hubby. (Expletive!) Hubby does look pretty sexy today. I have no idea why he has shown up here with Shania, but he’s dressed to kill in his black jeans, sports coat and boots, like he’s dressed for a date. (Did I forget more than one thing on my Tulsa itinerary? Is this supposed to be a date night? ) Richard follows my gaze and spots Hubby and Shania, and I hurriedly tell him that’s my Hubby. I am suddenly in a complete fluster about what I should do! Hubby knows about my Armitage Affliction, but I didn’t tell him I would be meeting Richard today, and I’m immediately feeling uncomfortably concerned that Hubby might draw the wrong conclusion here!

Richard kindly thanks me for watching his dog, and I am more than relieved to see him slip out of the booth and start for the door. (Evidently our gentleman is no slouch when it comes to reading a domestic situation clearly! Lol) However, much to my consternation, Hubby and Richard Armitage stop and sort of face off in the center of the Convention center in a modified show-ring that was used for some canine obedience demonstrations earlier. I watch like a hawk, not sure what is happening. Is it going to be a pissing match? I have the funny thought that Shania, a giant-breed, could pee gallons compared to FluffyPuff if it came down to a literal pissing match. However, the two men, who are both bearded, dark-haired, blue-eyed, and of a same height, seem to be conversing pleasantly. Richard sets his dog down and she sniffs noses with Shania, who casually wags her tail, and Richard pats Shania’s head. Now that it appears I am not in Big Trouble, I consider whether to join the men and their dogs. Especially when I notice that Rollo Lothbrook is now headed in that direction.

I snatch up my OFA patellar certifications and follow Rollo. If the opportunity arises, I’ll be ready. As I make my way toward the ring, Rollo stops to admire a rather impressive Great Dane, so I’m able to catch him. I ask him how he got roped into being a diversion for Richard Armitage, and he laughs and says he owed him one from their Robinhood days, but he doesn’t elaborate. Clive Standen/Rollo kindly signs my absurd forms, jokingly putting his signature on the line reserved for the certifying veterinarian, and we both hear Richard and Hubby burst out into laughter. I glance over, and see Hubby is showing Richard something on his phone, and then they both laugh again, and Richard slaps Hubby on the back, then covers his face with one hand, laughing and shaking his head as if he can’t believe what was just said.

(This does not surprise me. Hubby has the gift of gab, and is more than capable of holding his own in any kind of ribald exchange.)


Richard laughs at Hubby’s lewd joke. Pink-ear manip. Photo unattributed, sorry.

I suddenly am not so sure I want to go over there after all, because there is absolutely no telling what they are talking about, and Richard has just glanced in my direction, still chuckling, and his ears are pink. I have a terrible premonition that I might be the butt of this joke, so I sort of smile, lean against the side of the ring, wave casually, and give Hubby one of those looks that a married couple can exchange with perfect comprehension… namely: “I love you, but you’d better get your ass over here and explain yourself, right now!” Aborting my original mission, I thank Clive/Rollo and send him on his way to join Richard, and Hubby continues toward me. Hubby and Rollo fist-bump as they pass one another. I’m impressed.

I greet Hubby with a hug and quick kiss, then I turn to watch the incredibly compelling rear view of the actors as they stroll unhurriedly toward the exit. Richard is sharing something humorous with Clive.  When I turn back to Hubby, I note that he, too, is still smirking. With a knowing look, Hubby asks if I have enjoyed myself today. I flush, and show him the Rollo autographs, and he assures me that his cousin and friend are going to flip out when they see these. I finally get up the courage to ask Hubby what he thought of Richard, and Hubby decides to play it cool, saying Richard seems like a nice, down-to-earth guy. I wait, and Hubby doesn’t say anything else. Finally, I have to specifically ask what they were laughing about, and now it’s Hubby who is turning pink. At first he tries to brush me off, saying it was just a jest, and “Nevermind.” Of course, this only inflames my curiosity further. I’m not about to let him brush me off, (though now I wish I had) so finally, he reveals more about their conversation.

It seems that Richard had seen Hubby watching him walk away from my booth, and so he’d stopped in a friendly manner, and explained that I’d lent a hand in catching his little dog earlier. Then Richard, like most people who have never encountered an Anatolian Shepherd, had politely enquired what breed Shania was. They had talked a bit about dogs, and then Hubby had offered that, being a Cat-Person, this was his first trip to any sort of dog convention, and he’d mentioned to Richard that he’d recently been to a cat show, which was a lot quieter. (This is true!) Richard, the self-confessed Non-Cat-Person, had scoffed at him. Hubby’s rejoinder: “Richard, you really haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my wife’s naked pussy.”

(#FacePalm! #SomebodyShootMe! #OMFGI’mGoingToKillYou!)


Charlie and Noobie. My Nekkid Loves. #FacePalm

Then he’d pulled out the cell phone and shown Richard my “naked pussy”- referring, of course, to my beloved Sphynx cats! I am speechless. I am so mortified- yet at the same time, think it’s slightly hilarious- that I sort of shriek out in a horrified cry of laughter, and I smack Hubby, hard, and tell him he’s such an ass! I hear another peal of laughter and turn to see Richard and Clive looking our way, waiting to see what my response would be. I smack Hubby once more for good measure, then bury my face in his chest in mortification, and refuse to look their way again. Ever. I don’t see this, but something tells me Hubby gives them the thumbs up.

And that’s the end.

 * * *

So there you have it! If this scenario ever played out in real life, I’m sorry to say I’d have to kill my Hubby. I do have to give the dream Hubby props, though. I can think of no better way to ensure his wife’s immediate desire to Avoid Richard Armitage At All Costs! LOL


Dream: Thorin Scares His Own Dog

I’ve had another Armitage dream and I’m happy to say that it did follow-up somewhat on last month’s prize-winning dream in which Lucas North made an office call. If nothing else, it answered the burning question in all our minds… what was the fate of the fluffy white dog?

* * *

Much to my surprise, I find myself tagging along as the proverbial third-wheel on a date that my veterinary technician has had planned for months. She and her spouse have treated themselves to one day at the Tulsa Comic Con, and she, at least, is there for one reason: Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead.

(If I may be said to be PreoccupiedWithArmitage, then it may also be said that my vet tech is PreoccupiedWithDaryl. Norman Reedus is supposed to represent TWD at the upcoming Tulsa Comic Con, and I have heard pretty much nothing but #DarylDiscussion out of her for the past week. Perhaps this explains why I find myself dreaming I’m at this Comic Con, when I’ve never been the Comic Con-type, and neither Richard Armitage, nor Graham McTavish are on the Tulsa schedule.)


Daryl Dixon. Not too shabby.

While I’m not sure why I’m here, I do enjoy The Walking Dead and I am looking forward to seeing Daryl a bit myself. He’s pretty much all that one could hope for in a post-Apocalyptic redneck hero, and I’m not exactly immune to his charms. As we are meandering through the crowded building, I notice that some of the cast from Outlander and Game of Thrones are advertised, and I start to feel pretty glad that I have materialized at the Comic Con despite its thin Hobbit presence. I study my schedule and lay out my plans for the day, notify my companions of where I’ll be, and head out on my own.

No sooner have I separated from them, when I hear a pretty big commotion coming from The Hobbit area. Since as far as I know, only a couple of orcs will be there, I don’t have a lot of interest in that booth. Nevertheless, I hear the commotion and scan the area, and I spot a familiar fluffy white dog evading the crowd. People are trying to catch her, but her tail is tucked and she’s skittering out of reach and clearly very frightened. It looks a lot like my former tornado/hoarding refugee dog #1 that was adopted by Richard Armitage… or was it Lucas North?… last month. I become concerned that the animal might bite someone out of fear, or get tangled in a camera cord, or urinate on the floor, which is her specialty.

Crouching down, I call to her, and she not only hears me, but she recognizes a familiar face and makes a bee-line in my direction. When she reaches me, she falls all over herself in happy dog-reunion style, and obligingly urinates on the floor. I reach into my purse and grab my microchip scanner (oh yes, I take that to all the Comic Cons!) and sure enough, the scanner confirms what I already suspect: here we have the very dog that Richard… or Lucas… adopted last month. (I evidently keep every microchip serial number I’ve ever implanted stored in my brain. I’m that good.) I gather her into my arms, already on high alert. It’s possible that Richard Armitage… or Lucas North… is in the building.

I start to scan the area, my heart pumping, my face flushing, knowing that I might have another encounter with RA-LN-whoever he is. But before I can make any progress, a Comic Con official hurries toward me with a very stern face. I’m told that not only are dogs not allowed in the building, but I’m breaking Tulsa leash law ordinances, and I must pay a fine for the urine mess. I have his back, though. Rather than saying it’s not my dog, thereby casting RA-LN as the villain in this piece, I write a check to pay for the damages, and apologize very sincerely as I am escorted out the door. Privately, I’m pretty disappointed in my favorite actor. I had expected better from him. Imagine letting a scared little dog loose at a Comic Con!

In fact, the more I think about it, the more irritated I become. Not only has RA-LN lost the dog, but now I am stuck babysitting outside, instead of attending the activities and events of some of my favorite programs. (If I miss Jamie Fraser, Jon Snow or Daryl Dixon, Armitage will have a lot to answer for!) Then something even worse catches my attention. The neighboring building has a big sign that says “Responsible Dog Ownership Convention” and I realize that I have slipped up and forgotten my purpose for coming to Tulsa. I was not ever supposed to be in Tulsa for Comic Con… I was signed up to do OFA patellar certifications for the responsible dog owners of Tulsa, and I’m late!!! (Don’t you hate when that happens!? lol)


Thorin Oakenshield. Bane of small canine companions everywhere.

I hustle into the other convention center and find my booth is incredibly over-run with people. At first, I am concerned that my brain lapse has made me so late that I have kept everyone waiting for hours, but then I see that is not the case. There are a few people waiting, but mostly everyone there is crowding my booth because one of the people in line is none other than Thorin Oakenshield! The responsible dog owners are clearly thrilled to see the cross-over between conventions, but many of their dogs are not. Several toy breed dogs- Pomeranians, toy poodles, and Chihuahuas- are barking and growling at the Hairy Dwarf King. And it is Thorin. Long hair, prosthetic nose and brow, Middle Earth costume and all. People and yipping little dogs are closing in around him. He looks strained.

As I get closer, it occurs to me that while everything else is the same as the Thorin on film, there is one major difference… this Thorin is no shorty, and I realize it’s probably Richard Armitage, looking for his dog. I begin to feel better, because at least he knew where to find me, even if I myself didn’t know where I was supposed to be. I hurry up to Thorin, and find him watching me with a very interesting expression on his face. Sheepish, relieved, and astonished all at once. I immediately capitalize on this happenstance. Nobody needs to know I forgot about the OFA patellar certifications. I was just late because I was rounding up celebrity dogs. All in a day’s work. (Love it when you come out smelling like roses!)

I start to hand the dog over to Thorin, but he backs away with an even more sheepish and apologetic expression. He warns me she’s about to “piss on both of us” and admits that he’s just started his Hobbit promotions and damned if the dog isn’t scared-to-death of him when he dons his Thorin paraphernalia. He explains how the dog got away from him in the first place- he made the mistake of leaving her off the leash when he was going to take her for a walk before his Comic Con appearance, and discovered her fear of Thorin when she wouldn’t come to him. He’s been chasing and cajoling her for hours in costume, and she finally slipped inside the Comic Con building. Rather than going after her, he threw in the towel and came to the Responsible Dog Ownership Convention in hopes of obtaining my assistance in catching the dog, since he didn’t have time to get out of Thorin-gear and back into costume and make-up before his scheduled appearance.

(How odd that of all the actors involved in the Comic Con, only Richard Armitage had to appear in full costume. Very unfortunate for him! lol)

True to my usual form, I start to become concerned about the line of people waiting for their patellar certifications, so I tell Thorin Armitage that he is welcome to return to his Comic Con duties. I will watch the dog until he is finished, but not a moment longer, because I have a couple of items on my Comic Con schedule that I would hate to miss. I politely wish him well and take my place at the exam table in my booth.

(Why do I hustle him away at every opportunity I get? It’s baffling!)

I watch Thorin sign a few autographs and snap a few pictures with exhilarated ladies (and their intimidated and/or snarling little dogs) as he makes his way out of the building. I’m pretty pleased that he was at least a responsible-ENOUGH-dog-owner to have sought my assistance in retrieving his dwarf-phobic pet, and I’m really enjoying the free positive buzz he’s provided for my veterinary practice and for OFA patellar certifications in general.

My booth is the cool booth, today!

* * *

Hate to say the alarm clock went off before Richard came back to my booth to retrieve his erstwhile little dog! At least the alarm saved me from having to do too many more dreary patellar certifications. All in all, pretty pleasant dream! =)