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The stories we tell ourselves…

Warning, the post contains instances of blogger referring to herself in the third person which some may find annoying and disturbing.

The stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves…

We repeat them like a mantra till they become set in stone.

blog

AgzyM doesn’t write.

Nope, she loves reading, listening and talking all together waaay too much, but she doesn’t write.

2,5 years later she’s still blogging and although both quality and quantity of her written word may be questionable, she’s still at it.

e369853df766fa44e1ed0ff613f563bd

AgzyM doesn’t run.

Not for a bus, not for anyone…

Yet half way through her Zombies, Run 5K program, she doesn’t mind telling you that she is kicking those zombies butts and has her heart set on further goals- a 10K, perhaps a half marathon one day.

What other stories on repeat in that thick skull- stories of what cannot be done- repeated to the point when they become an absolute?

John Porter wet water

It at moments like these that I think of poor Mr Armitage who script after script is confronted with, what he claims, is one of his greatest fears.

Doused and drowning, sinking and swimming, sprayed, spritzed, hosed down (and that’s just Porter…).

There are more projects on his CV that involve a wet T-shirt competition than not.

Wet in water and mud, soon filthy canal muck, he puts aside the story he tells himself and just does it anyway for his admirers’ amusement and entertainment.

Do you ever tell yourself what you simply can’t do but know deep down inside it may just be that- a story?

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May it be a Blogging 2014 and the dreaded resolutions!

As 2013 nears to an end it’s also time for some New Year’s resolutions (I can hear you groan…).

I hardly need to work hard at coming up with my RL resolutions as I seem to stick to the same ones year after year, decade after decade which makes me think that they might not work.

This year I shall focus on my plans for the blog and leave blogging reflection on 2013 for my blogiversary which is coming up very soon.

resolutions for 2014

Here are some resolutions/plans/aims for the upcoming year for IWantToBeaPinUp:

Update my blogroll list on the right

I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, especially that there are so many amazing new blogs that deserve to be included.

Clean up old posts

Seeing that I’ve somehow managed to produced almost 600 posts this is going to be one heck of a RA thunder thighs mammoth task, but I want to have them in good condition on the off-chance someone might come across an old post and find it useful/amusing/annoying.

I need to go back, remove inactive links, upload photos and such, but perhaps I’ll leave that for the summer when I have more time to fiddle with stuff.

Complete the series of interviews with RA bloggers

I’ve had an idea to pick the brains (not physically mind…) of fellow RA bloggers who specialise in specific fields.

Although I had initially aimed to have this project completed in autumn, let’s shoot for spring.

By the way, a huge thanks to those who agreed to participate a few months ago, I didn’t manage to pull this off then, but I’ll be knocking on your email door again soon.

Come back to regular/scheduled posting

Although I very much doubt I’ll be able to swing daily posts, but I’d like to come back to Arty Farty Fridays.

I know it wasn’t everyones cup of tea, but I think it found a  nice little group of art enthusiasts and that inspired me to watch documentaries and try to come up with something interesting every week.

Supporting fellow Armitage Admirers

Whether it be supporting fellow bloggers, organising RA events, spreading the word etc.

Plan for FanstRAvaganza 5

I haven’t heard anything about the fifth edition of our annual RA celebration, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed and just in case I need to start storing those cream-of-the-crop ideas so I don’t have to panic come March that the RA ideas pantry is very bare.

RA b&w1

From non-blog but very much RA related resolutions:

Attend a red carpet event and watch RA work his magic

This one’s a big dream of mine and I feel like the last instalment of The Hobbit may also be the last chance in a while to experience the exhilaration a fan/admirer/enthusiast/well-wisher can feel being part of something so cool.

It really is out of my hands, if Sir PJ brings the première to London this December I’ll do my best to be there, wearing my thermo undies and being an absolute embarrassment to those around me.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

RA b&w2

What are your resolution, both RA and RL related?

What we leave behind, what we pass forward

richard-armitage-globe

I’ve been thinking a lot about change within our fandom, but then most of us have.

After two and a half years I’ve experienced a lot, people have come and gone but every now and again I get the ‘hey, I wonder whatever happened to so and so…’.

One of the first blogs I stumbled upon fuelled by my Thornton high was Befuddled Musings by Calexora.

I was mesmerised by her frank posts where she’d share not only her fangirling feelings towards Richard, but also the difficulties she faced as someone suffering from a chronic disease.

At the time I was very much a shy lurker and would never even dream of leaving a comment, but day in and day out I’d go back waiting and hoping for a new post.

By the time I had delurked Calxora had decided to focus all her energy on RL stuff and go on hiatus.

That’s hard enough on a devoted reader, but there were the old posts to fall back on, filled with insightful comments and humour.

  Calexora stopped posting, but I was particularly sad to see that she had completely deleted her blog about a year ago.

She wasn’t the first nor the last, but losing all those wonderful posts that she so lovingly created throughout her time as an RA blogger triggered something in me.

It made me think about the aspect of fandoms being the keepers of archives.

Every post, every comment, image, recording etc. documents our journey both as individuals and as a group that wouldn’t have existed prior to the availability of the internet.

We are the network society, the keepers of information that captures who we are now.

Much like the books of old, they preserve our journey as we mould our little group of friends.

On my part I have made a promise that when (and unfortunately there are no ifs about it) I’m ready to let go of the RA fandom and I’m done with this blog I shall leave it intact.

Even if I’m ready to move on, I’d like others who are travelling down this road to be able to access the info that I’ve gathered here, but more importantly what others have helped co-create by commenting etc.

On the off chance that you’ll ever read this Marie, you were a very important part of our Armitage community, you are missed and thank you for all the energy you put into blogging.

Although your posts are no longer available for other Armitage fans to read and enjoy (and that’s a real shame), at least their ghosts exist in the memories of those who were lucky enough to be regular readers 🙂

To those who have their finger on the delete button I urge you to reconsider.

Perhaps shut down comments, delete any personal info that you don’t want “out there”, but leave your posts as testaments to the journey you and fellow RA fans have taken, to the person you were and the community you were an active part of.

logoforspeadthelove_transparent

Talking about the fandom and contributing I absolutely love the idea behind Spreading the Love 2014 (read more here).

Get this:

An anonymous donor will donate £1 for each and every act of kindness “spReAd the love” mentioned here or here till the end of February 2014, up to a limit of £200!

This can mean a donation to charity, like Just Giving or an act of kindness, however you choose to interpret it!

I hope everyone will take a moment and think about what they can do to make sure the whole sum of £200 finds its way to those who need it and thank you anonymous donor for your generosity.

Great idea, great initiative!

Spread the love 1 Richard Armitage

You’ve taken RA blogging too far when:

Hair growth Armitage

You know you’ve taken RA blogging too far when:

– instead of getting up to wee when nature calls you continue struggling through just to make sure the RA post is acceptable and you can hit “schedule”

– you post 3 (count em’ THREE!) posts in a row about Richard’s hair and the chase that up with another one nit-picking through the same photos

– you are beyond happy when someone identifies the brand of an RA item of clothing (loathed knee-pad pants are apparently Belstaff)

– your laptop battery is dying but you can’t tear yourself away from replying to comments and wish you had some solar panel system installed so you wouldn’t have to deal with interruptions

– the ratio of RA to non-RA stuff on your computer is about 4:1

– EVERYTHING is a potential blog idea and EVERYTHING is related to Richard, yet you’re stumped when you sit down to write

– in general, everything can be explained, analysed, focalised, and soothed with the use of an RA pic

– you think attaching Richard’s head to stranger’s bodies is an appropriate form of amusement and a productive way of sending your time

– dinner, housework, laundry- none of them get done

– you are vocal in your appreciation of someone’s arse… publicly and repeatedly…

– you are facing the most important day in your academic career and yet instead of preparing for it your main concern is that you don’t have posts scheduled for the next few days

Beware!

I too had a normal life once… 

On Blogging, taking a Break and Being Back…

I don’t do “serious stuff” often, so I’m just going to stick all my random thoughts in one rambling post.

It should actually be two separate posts, but I ain’t got time for that shiz, I need to get back to the silly stuff I’m more accustomed to doing 😉

Show bloggers you care and leave comments

Guylty wrote a very interesting *ooof* post a while back.

And before you Duh! me because they’re always incredibly fascinating (and so sophisticated yet written so clearly that even a photography dumbo like myself can follow), I was referring to Guylty’s mention of how relieved she was to step away from all the Richarding going on in our little community which was brought on by the end of The Hobbit shooting.

I understand this sentiment completely.

I found the December Hobbit rush to be somewhat unbearable, but it wasn’t the first time I felt this way.

Armitage when enough

I remember Comic-Con 2012, when I was majorly peeved that my internet connection didn’t allow me to track, analyse and fangirl my heart out with the rest of the RA nuts, but, if I’m honest, a part of me felt an odd sense of relief.

It was almost like the pressure of all the stimuli, the condensation of new RA news created a feeling of saturation, and yet didn’t provide fulfilment because it was impossible to take it all in.

Don’t get me wrong, we all know I’ve made my way through old Armitage stuff with a fine-tooth comb, squeezing every last drop from the already knackered RA footage during the great drought of 2012.

I usually moan about not having enough new Armitage news, but then when it all starts tumbling out, I find myself consciously stepping away.

This onslaught of new RA information always feels weird to me, it’s almost uncomfortable, awkward.

Watching footage in almost real time makes him… somewhat all too real.

I actually felt a sense of relief when I  stepped away from blogging and allowed things to happen far away from me.

Richard bloggers

My absence at the start of the year could be explained in another way.

My sister is writing her master’s thesis on Trekkies, and yet she can’t force herself to actually watch any Star Trek episodes.

I think when I was writing mine, I couldn’t research fandoms, write about fandoms AND be an active member of a fandom.

All I could do was lurk around tumblr and let spam accumulate on my own blog and comments go unanswered.

Armitage think quick

The things is, blogging can be hard at times.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful, creative, fun/funny, but it eats up a lot of time and energy.

Usually, I get a post idea, start fiddling with it and 3 hours later I’m still elaborating on the original concept, going between photoshop and picmonkey, correcting spelling mistakes and sentences that make no sense (happens oh so often, but I doubt you’re surprised).

When there’s little time the pressure is on and there’s a sense of obligation (and I don’t mean that in a negative way) to put something new out there.

Armitage leave comments

Blogging is all about give and take.

Don’t get me wrong, we blog to satisfy a personal need, but it’s wonderful to have your voice heard, for someone to respond, even if it’s a quick word in comments or a Like.

That’s why you will have noticed that bloggers are also the ones going around leaving comments on other blogs.

We try and encourage readers to give feedback, and believe me, there’s nothing better than someone engaging in what you have written.

I truly feel blessed (and that coming from an agnostic is saying a lot) that readers visit here, then come back to check out what else I’ve posted, but they also stick around to chitchat a bit.

Leave a comment Armitage

Some blogs don’t get as much traffic, so sometimes there’s no trace of anyone ever actually reading posts, and that gives Agzy the sads 😦

I know that we as readers can’t be everywhere (and I do tend to favour wordpress blogs because it’s easier to follow them, while I shamelessly neglect others), but that’s why Servetus’ Legenda is so extraordinary.

It gives us a chance to check out what else wonderful RA Admirers have come up with and I bet you miss a lot in any given week.

As a blogger I’ll tell you it’s wonderful to have your stuff forwarded (this moved me , thank you dido12, whoever you are!), to be retweeted, reposted, re-whatever else you can do in this day and age!

Your comments, dear reader, are very much appreciated by every blogger and in a way they validate the hours you spent attaching silly moustaches on Richard (that may have just been me…).

don't dash away

So, next time you visit a blog, please make sure you leave a trace, a thought, a comment.

Show bloggers that their posts are important, relevant, that they are a valued voice!

Give them a moment of your time by engaging in their writing, especially seeing that they’ve spent plenty of theirs creating their posts.

And a HUGE Thank You! to all the readers who are generous with insightful, witty, sometimes silly comments.

You make the blogging experience so much richer!

From bloggers everywhere, Thank You!

The AgzyM. There and Back Again!

Resist Gizzy

Dearest Friends,

I’ve been a bad bad fangirl and blogger, but I didn’t think it would take me so long to get back in the saddle.

I’d like to thank everyone who emailed me during my absence here, it really means to the world to know someone out there is thinking: Hey, wonder whatever happened to that weird chick?

I’d especially like to thank a certain someone who rhymes with…. eerrrr… Lervetus (not a real word…) for bringing Richard on board to cheerlead me.

Your support has been invaluable, so Thank YOU for being there when I literally thought I wouldn’t write a page worth a damn (not to mention a degree).

The academic part of my degree is done, and I’m happy to report that I’m satisfied with the results.

As to that other little matter of my thesis… well, let’s say there’s still miles to go before I sleep.

As some of you may know, I decided to change my topic from fashion to…..

Drumrollsssss….

Fandoms and fanfiction!

Yup, obsessive admiration has now bled into yet ANOTHER part of my life, but in my darkest hours (spent tearing my hair out and packed with sleepless nights worrying that I couldn’t/wasn’t writing) having a topic so dear to my heart was my saving grace.

As I hark on about myself you’re all thinking when I’ll shut up and start behaving like a proper blogger contributing to an esteemed fandom.

Well, I do intend to make these blogging thingies a norm (heavens help us all…) but I need to ask something in return, the greedy thing that I am.

I have just completed my second chapter and I am moving on to the last one which may prove to be the most challenging.

In it I will be using a number of my favourite fanfics as a case study, and I need to call upon you (yes, YOU!) to help me get enough data to fill the last 18 pages.

I hope to get feedback from fandom members,  fanfiction authors and readers.

That is why I need to call upon you my dear friends, as I need to pick your fangirling brains in order to complete this last (and most challenging) chapter.

Guy of Gizzy Survey_edytowany-1

I have constructed a tiny (and I MEAN tiny as in 10 questions) survey that will take you under 3 minutes to complete.

It’s a basic list of questions to get me started on my findings and will serve as an intro to the chapter.

It would mean the world to me if you took 3 minutes out of your ogling hot men time to take it!

Here’s a link to the survey:

Click here to take survey

Just so you don’t think I’m asking for something for nothing in return!

The sooner I complete the chapter (with your help), the sooner I can turn my mind to the topic of a very vital Birthday celebration that is taking place in August.

Continuing last years tradition, in return for your help I promise another Operation Armitage Birthday Competition.

Gizzy Competition

Yup, for 7 days to countdown towards Richard’s Birthday (also known as Armitage Day) you will have a chance to get your hands on an Armitage goodie.

That’s right!

I’m insulting your intelligence by bribing you with a week long Armitage competition with prizes, as well as guilting you into taking my damn survey, a move worthy of Gizzy himself 🙂

That’s what friends are for!

Oh, by the way, did I mention this survey you can take AND pass on to others?

No?

Well here it is again:

Click here to take survey

And hell! It’s good to be back! 🙂

Ps. Click on image to see Gizzy riding his horse naked…

Ok, maybe it’s a link to that damn survey I’m cramming down your throat…

Again, Gizzy would approve of my tactics, although would probably object to chafing caused my horse-riding in the duff!

Wouldn’t you know it, it’s my 1st Blogiversary!

I was going to act cool on my 1st Blogiversary, casually mentioning it, thanking my readers, then moving on to bigger better things, but then  I decided HELL NO!

It’s my (blogging) party and I’ll celebrate if I want to!

Bear with me please as I put on a dodgy paper hat and blow up a few balloons!

I figured horns are made for hooting and good times are meant for celebrating 🙂

1st blogiversary

Well holy cow, how did I get here?

No, seriously, how the heck did this happen?

This blog started exactly a year ago with absolutely no clear direction.

It was supposed to be a place where I’d keep all the info I found interesting without clogging up my computer, as well as a quick writing practise before tackling my MA thesis.

In the first months I had told zero people about its existence, as there really wasn’t anything to say on the matter or to boast about.

I really didn’t know if it would be something I’d continue or most probably abandon after the first few weeks.

You must understand that exactly a year ago I was a lurking Armitage Admirer who had only left one comment throughout my entire 6 month craze, but more about that later on.

What I’m driving at is that starting out no one within the fandom had any idea who I was (some undoubtedly miss those good ol’ days…) nor did I seek the support of my RL friends to help push this thing forward, so in the first month of blogging I received a little over 20 clicks and I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I managed to get so many 🙂

Things have certainly changed, and with the amount of visitors dropping by I really do regret writing better, more interesting posts 🙂

 I’d like to thank each and every one of you for visiting, commenting, supporting and being an integral part of this experience.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again that without your presence here I’d just be a sad old (mad) cow posting for no one.

Hey, it worked in January but I think it would have lost its appeal by April…

Your friendship means almost as much to me as Lucas North’s bottom in tight denim jeans, and that really is saying a lot!

RichardArmitage Collage2

I’d also like to give special thanks to Servetus at Me+Richard, as she happens to be connected to many of my firsts!

She was the first blog I had visited after watching North and South, when certain Mr Thornton took possession of my heart and soul.

She’s the first blog I ever commented on some time in the autumn of 2011, under a different alias, and sweating buckets worried that I’d look foolish because of what I had written (being rejected by the RArmy was a big fear of mine back then, as everyone seemed so friendly with each other, and I doubted such a tight-knit group would accept me, let alone welcome me with open arms. You live, you learn!).

Servetus had written one of the first comments on this blog and I swear, I had been such a lurker/admirer over at Me+R it felt like a celebrity sighting 🙂

Anyway, how better to say a heartfelt Thank You! than a Richard Armitage thumb cupcake ( and yes I also think it may well be one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in a while…).

Richard Armitage Thumb Cupcake Servetus Thank You!

Apart from search engines Servetus’ blog refers the most traffic to this site, followed by RAFrenzy!

Thank You for the support of other bloggers!

I adore being perched on your blogrolls, and I’m there in good company, so I’m grateful to you for sticking me there.

I’ll be updating my blogroll to include all of my blogging friends and fellow admirers, so please take a second to click on a few.

We all know how long it takes to write a single post, not to mention updating, checking comments, and in general keeping that machine running, so I can only applaud you for constantly providing new posts for Armitage Admirers worldwide!

Guy of Gisborne collage

Here’s my year in numbers:

I’ve written close to 450 posts in the past 12 months.

There are the good ones, the bad and the right darn ugly ones (sorry about those…).

A few months in I thought it would be the bees knees to get 100 000 clicks in the first year, but it seemed like a bit of a pipe dream.

Wouldn’t you know it, I’m just a couple of clicks shy of doubling that number and will be hitting 200 000 in the next few days, so THANK YOU!

Online traffic is a funny little thing as it often depends on where you’re placed in search engines.

That means that posts that aren’t really all that special seem to attract a huge amount of readers, while other are  popular for a few days after being published, and then go into (semi-) retirement.

Lucas Borth Collage

The posts that have attracted the most views are:

1. On Richard Armitage and Lee Pace

2. Marilyn Monroe and Plastic Surgery

3. DIY Pin-Up

See what I mean?

Anyway, I think the statistics will change in the next few weeks judging by the interest in Richard Armitage and all things The Hobbit.

Fanstra# collage

My favorite posts are:

Fanstravaganza3 was a blast and I absolutely loved taking part in it!

I also really enjoyed putting together all three of my Fanstra3 posts.

I loved punning it out doggy style, seeing Heinz Kruger in his tighty whities, and stripping Richard down just to dress him up again.

I really (REALLY!!!) hope Fanstra4 will happen, because there’s no better way to celebrate the wonder that is Armitage Admiration 🙂

I also enjoyed blogging in July and August (December being my most flaky month…) as I was on holiday and could spend hours fiddling with images, gifs and posts to my heart’s content.

Gisborne's Boy cake kopia

I especially liked the run-up to Armitage Day and  Operation Armitage.

I really do hope that we manage to have a Richard Armitage-rekated competition every year!

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a special Thank You! to my partner in crime Seba from Gisborne’s Boy  for sharing his amazing talent and helping me with the competition.

I hope we collaborate on many other projects in the future (and if you’re reading this Bug, I’m waiting on your email!).

PinUp Collage

The thing is, in the past year of blogging I’ve made many friends, and lost a few (some I’ve mourned, to others I can only say: Good riddance…)

I’ve expanded my horizons, but also tested my patience and understanding.

I’ve bitten my tongue and stepped away from a fight more time than I have in RL, and I think I’ve also been more generous with expressing my delight, enthusiasm, friendship.

I honestly think I’m a better version of my RL self, so if you don’t like me here, believe me, it doesn’t get any better out there 😉

I’ve gone beyond anything I would have though myself capable of, but I’ve also made a few mistakes, some I’ve learned from, others probably not.

I should really finish by thanking Richard for getting this whole project started, but what I’m really grateful for is that by being such a stand up sort of gentleman he seems to attract the absolute best type of admirer any fandom could wish for.

Are there crazy fans in the Armitage Army?

ABSOFUCKINGLUTLEY!

But I’d like to believe that we’re crazy in our own special, unique way 🙂

AgzyM 2012 collage

While I’m on the topic of AgzyM (move over Thorin, I’m all about Me Me Me! today), I’ve decided to retire the Dita photo I’ve been using as a visual representation of my online alter ego.

I’ve had such fun with that particular image, but I needed something new, so here it is:

AgzyM IWantToBeApinUp 2013

You know it’s only a matter of time before I stick a beard on this gravatar!

And here is the full body superhero version, because it seems like it’s going to be one of those years when you really need a cape:

AgzyM 2013 Boom

Thank You!

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