Something to Smile About: A SpReAd the Love Challenge

A challenge you can get your teeth into…

SpReAd The Love

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about Richard Armitage’s biting debut as Francis Dolarhyde…aka The Tooth Fairy…on NBC’s Hannibal.  We here at STL like to mark special Armitage events, and this one is no different.  You might wonder how we are going to blend together kindness collection with an orally afflicted serial murderer…that’s easy!

Anyone else remember this from Captain Kangaroo??

In honor of the “Tooth Fairy” we are challenging ArmitageWorld to donate toothbrushes (and/or other oral hygiene products) to local or international organizations in need.  Dental health is directly connected to overall physical health, yet millions of people around the globe lack easy access to oral hygiene products.  Toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpaste and mouthwash regularly show up on the “Things We Need” list for homeless shelters and also for international relief agencies.  Here are just a few I know about:

Donate A Toothbrush


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And The Winner Is…j

Congratulations to Heather!!

SpReAd The Love

Heather!!! Get ahold of us via the About tab so ee can get your address.

Thanks to all of you who participated, your kindnesses were an absolute privilege to read! Heartfelt thanks to Servetus for going out of her way to get the poster into The Dude’s hands, and to The Dude for being such a Nice Guy and signing the thing. Keep your eyes peeled to this space because Obscura has another challenge coming up shortly. 

Featured Image -- 160 Rad ecard that I snaffled from Guylty

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It’s Hariclea’s “D-Day”!!

Hariclea d day

The new ArmitageWorld Community Calendar is a little barren for July, but today is “D-Day”  (Discovery Day) for Hariclea of Opera is Magic.  Give her a shout out here, or over at her blog!

The Merriam Webster Word of the Day for today, July 21, 2015 is truculent.  Here’s a little Armitage Truculent for Hariclea’s big day!!

truculent armitage

Richard Armitage cure-all?

This afternoon I found myself in need of a mood boost (it has been one of those days where pretty much everything that could go wrong or at least sideways, did.)  I skipped lunch because I was in the middle of something, so my first attempt (perhaps misguided) at a mood enhancement was culinary

Coconut cookies...cream cheese...

Coconut cookies…cream cheese…why is this picture so humongous??

Research…OK, comment consensus on Facebook supports that dipping cookies into frosting is not inherently wrong.  However…even my recently confirmed non-diabetic constitution can only take a small does of that (followed by an overwhelming urge to lock the door and take a nap!)

Seeking a less caloric means of attitude adjustment, I clicked over to Tumblr for a little visual lift…

Pardon my prurience, but it's been a really #$%@#$ day! Servetus ScreenCap

Pardon my prurience, but it’s been a really #$%@#$ day!
Servetus ScreenCap

Boom!  Yeah, that’s definitely a cure for what ailed me.  A panacea if you will...did you think you were getting away with out a classical connection?  Pshaw!  Panacea ( Πανάκεια)…the daughter of Asklepios (God of Medicine) and Epione (Goddess of Soothing),  was the Greek goddess of Universal health and she was rumored to have a single potion which she used to heal all varieties of ailments.  Well then, it’s often been cited that Richard Armitage also has a certain cuRAtive effect for a variety of ills….you might even say he’s a RAnacea!  (Sorry…not sorry.  I really have no control over it at this point…)  

On my way over here to tell you all about it, I dropped in at SpReAd the Love to see how the poster drawing pool was shaping up and what I saw really did blow away any traces of ill humor.  What I found were all kinds of new-to-me names reporting acts of kindness given and received…many of them demurring participation in the drawing, but wanting to share in the good will.

One of my very favorite things about this fandom is its capacity for kindness…in and among the admirers, analysts, admiring analysts and analyzing admirers of Richard Armitage, there are a lot of very real, very kind people just going about their business making their corner of the world a bit more pleasant everyday.  Being witness to it never ceases to make my day brighter.

It’s a downright RAnacea!


(Getty Images likes a nice reveal….click on “view image”) 

The Final Countdown…Bah-dah-dah-dah bah-dah-dah-dah-dah!

A very cool SpReAd the Love giveaway…

SpReAd The Love

Wow, my Twitter TL is saucy tonight…’cause there’s eating of people and stuff and you need sauce and I’m just going to shut up now. Anyway, it’s the final week till the first appearance of Francis Dolarhyde on Hannibal and Obscura and I have something really cool to celebrate. Last summer during the run of The Crucible a friend of ours went out of her way to get us a poster signed by The Dude and now it’s time to give it away.

This one, in fact. Forgive the glare but check how legible the sig is! This one, in fact. Forgive the glare but check how legible the sig is!

So, to win this fabulous, signed by The Dude poster you know what to do, right? Leave a comment with a kindness that you’ve done or that’s been done for you and we’ll draw one name from all commenters next Saturday around 9PMish ET. Cool? Cool. Okay, cue the hairband and happy commenting!

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Saturnine InspiRAtion?

I’ve been slowing partaking of the SDCC 2015 bounty, and one thing that has fascinated me was the nugget that Richard Armitage has drawn inspiration from Goya’s horrific Saturn Devouring His Son

Currently housed in the Prado in Madrid Source

Currently housed in the Prado in Madrid

I haven’t chased down the original source of the quote, but it is referenced here, here and here to name a few.  This is a fascinating insight which has reams of connection to the classical world.

Saturn was originally a very ancient Roman god connected to fertility who was later syncretized to the Greek Titan Kronos.  This piece by Goya is a depiction of a scene from the mythology of Kronos, and it illustrates a relatively common thematic element in classical storytelling.

The Greeks understood their deities to be part of a great cosmic family….generations of gods begetting the next generation of gods.  The poet Hesiod dedicated a massive poem, The Theogony, written in the Homeric epic dialect, to detailing the genealogies of the Greek pantheon.  There is an element that repeats in several generations and is also found in the genealogical myths of non deities…the fear of overthrow by one’s progeny.

The Greeks saw the divine genealogy as unions of the forces of the earth and the sky…when they come together each day, they create children.  The first personified version of this is the marriage of Ouranos (the sky) and Gaia (the earth)  This union was tremendously fertile…the children of Ouranos and Gaia included the Titans among others.  Ouranos was on the paranoid side though, and feared that his children would overthow him.  To prevent this, he essentially crammed them all back into Gaia’s womb which was more than a little uncomfortable for her.  (I cannot make this up!)  To alleviate her pain, Gaia implored her children to free themselves and to deal with their father…she even provided them with a giant sickle to take care of things.

Only the youngest, Kronos, was willing to take the challenge.  He took up the sickle and freed himself before using it to castrate Ouranos, solving all of Gaia’s problems and making himself the new ruling god.  While the Greeks are happy enough to describe these gory scenes in literature, it is not so common to find them in artisitic depictions.  In fact, the most common visual element of this story is the part where Kronos flings the castrated genitals of Ouranos into the sea.  Hesiod describes how the seed of Ouranos and the sea created a foam out of which rose the most beautiful of the Greek gods – Aphrodite


Birth of Aphrodite

Kronos goes on to take control of the cosmos and then to generate his own family by marrying his sister Rhea (another earth goddess).  Having usurped his own father to take power, Kronos was understandably afraid of overthrow by his offspring.  He’d learned that mothers could not be trusted to keep their children under control, so he took matters into his own hands…literally.  Everytime Rhea bore a child, he took it from her and consumed it (hence the Goya).  Like the castration of Ouranos, ancient Greek depictions of this event are decidedly less gory

Rhea hands swaddled baby to Kronos...kind of like a burrito?

Rhea hands swaddled baby to Kronos…kind of like a burrito?

By birth number twelve, Rhea had had enough of this game and secretly sent her youngest, Zeus, off to a cave on Crete to be raised by a magical goat (again, not making this up).  To keep Kronos from being suspicious, she handed him a swaddled stone to swallow instead.  What happens next?  You guessed it, Zeus grows to maturity, frees his siblings (the older Olympian gods) from Kronos and it’s on.

Zeus is the last in the family tree to consume his offspring…well, with Athena, he consumes her pregnant mother Metis, but finds out that this won’t work either…

Birth of Athena

Birth of Athena

…when sometime later Athena pops out of his head –  fully grown and fully armed !

Child eating seems to have a rather storied past with the ancient Greeks…it begs the question what they were really afraid of that there is such a plethora of it in their cosmogony.  The topic also makes me extremely curious as to what other roles Richard Armitage used this imagery to inspire.  Francis Dolarhyde I get…toothy serial killer.  Other child eating things coming down the road?  I seriously hope he elaborates on this somewhere!

Look at that, time for lunch!

(I’m going to dine *with* my progeny, not on him!)

I still think you’d deliver a wonderfully detestable Jason, Richard Armitage!

It’s Medea season again…I love having a new class get their teeth into this play.  Today was the day I throw the discussion turner in and my students rose well to the challenge, several of them noting the timelessness of the themes.  This comment really grabbed me…

“That being said, I think the themes of this play are still relevant today.  I would really enjoy seeing a modern adaption of it performed.  Perhaps it could take place in modern day Dallas, Hollywood, or Wisconsin.” 

Hmmmm…maybe I should get to work on that…especially since I have someone in mind for Jason!

inter alia: Echoes of Apicius…

Regular readers will not be surprised to hear that I love to cook…or that I have a rather alarming tendency to connect all sorts of minutia to the ancient world 🙂   It makes perfect sense really.  I spend a whole lot of my professional life immersed in things ancient, and every so often, there is active crossover.  I recently completed a class on Pompeii and Herculaneum during which a student presentation on the bakeries produced a practical demonstration on Roman bread.

I usually shudder in anticipation of Roman food presentations because of one word – GARUM, but I figured that a presentation on bread would be far enough removed that I would be safe from the Roman’s favorite ingredient.  With no fermented fish sauce in sight, all things proceeded apace until the presenter realized that her yeastless Roman recipe, bread was more than a little doughy in the center (the center being the entire thing minus a one inch ring around the edge.)  Turns out she was following a British recipe…adapted from the Roman culinary stylings of Apicius…and had not made the adjustment from Celsius to Fahrenheit when she set her oven temp (she tells me that she re-baked the bread and that it was quite tasty)  

Baking mishap aside, it was an exceptionally good presentation, but it reinforced my conclusion that I would much rather cook.  Baking requires far too much precision for the sort of haphazard cooking chemistry that I prefer.  Cooking is a much more experimental process for me…I rarely break out the measuring gizmos except for general proportions.

I seem to have food on the brain lately (I broke down and turned on the A/C in the kitchen) Now that using the microwave doesn’t make it sweltering hot in there, I’m cooking again.  So, I thought I might share a couple of the “recipes” that I used to feed the small masses this week…perennial crowd pleasers I’ve adapted from their original forms.

Calico Beans

The image is a little flat...should have given them a stir, but MiniMe was interrogating me about why I was taking a picture of beans...

The image is a little flat…should have given them a stir, but MiniMe was interrogating me about why I was taking a picture of beans…

This recipe is really more “stirring” than it is cooking, but here goes:


1lb ground beef

1/2 lb of bacon

1 medium onion – diced

28 oz can of baked beans

15 oz can butter beans

15 oz can kidney beans

15 oz can cut green beans (short cut work best since they don’t break up as much)

1/4 c. brown sugar (lightly packed)

1/2 c. ketchup (chili sauce if you must)

1/4 c. yellow mustard

The last three ingredients are approximate measurements as I usually grab a handful of brown sugar, give a big squeeze of ketchup and a smaller squeeze of mustard.  In fact, this recipe is really forgiving of substitutions.  I often use ground turkey in place of beef, turkey bacon in place of regular (could wholly omit the meat too if you wanted) and any combination of cooked, canned legumes I have on the shelf.  (you do need some variety of baked beans though since they are the base of the sauce, but you could go altogether naked bean if you craft your own sauce).


Brown bacon…drain and set aside.  In the same pan, brown ground meat and onions together.  Drain excess fat.  In a separate large bowl, combine all the beans.  (I drain and rinse all but the baked beans).
 Add the remaining ingredients, along with the meat and onions to the bowl and stir gently to combine.  Dump the whole mess into your preferred baking dish…I use a small enameled roaster pan for a batch this size…and bake for one hour in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Since everything is already cooked, all you are really doing is heating it through and allowing the flavors to marry.  I let them cool a bit since I prefer not to eat lava, but to each their own!  (Salt and pepper to taste)

The batch above went to a local homeless shelter where a group of friends and I sponsor a dinner once a month.  The ladies don’t always get a lot of protein, so this dish packs a nutritional punch.

Napa (Chinese) Cabbage Salad

If I bring this to a potluck, I almost never get any of it...I take that as a good sign.

If I bring this to a potluck, I almost never get any of it…I take that as a good sign.

This salad is a really tasty, sweet and sour side for all kinds of grilled meats, or stands alone quite well.


1 medium head of Napa Cabbage (1-1.5 poundish I guess) sliced

1 bunch of green onions (scallions are fine too)

4oz of slivered almonds (lightly toasted) – I subbed dry roasted sunflower kernals here…yummmmm!

1 pack of Ramen Noodles (toast them in butter if you like…I’m usually in too much of a hurry for that step)

Dressing (here’s where I go rogue)

1/4 c rice vinegar

1/2 c vegetable oil (I sub olive oil)

1 tbs soy sauce (I only put in a shake or two and use the seasoning pack from the noodles…if you have MSG or sodium issues, DO NOT do this)

1 tbs sesame oil (I add this to taste…I really like sesame)

1/4 c sugar (I wiggle to taste on this and I usually use Splenda or Stevia since I’ve got diabetics to consider)


Take off the outer leaves of the cabbage if…give it a wash, then cut off the core, quarter it and then slice in thing crosswise slices.  Cut off the onion roots and slice them up.  Add this to a large bowl with the toasted nuts and noodles.  I mix the dressing up ahead (at least 30 minutes) in a jar and then dress and toss the salad right before serving.  It holds up to the dressing pretty well, but if it sits too long, the noodles and nuts get soggy…not so tasty.

There you have it…two tasty recipes and not a whiff of fish sauce in sight!

Happy Stirring Armitageworld!


By the number of new posts in my reader (I turned off my email notifications because the buzzing was creating a numb spot on my leg) Richard Armitage and the fandom had a productive visit at San Diego Comic Con this weekend.  As always, I’m extremely grateful to all those who built an archive of the event by tweeting, posting, commenting, etc.

As for me, I find that I need to sit these massive media affairs out. (HeRAsy, I know…but keep in mind that I am a resident of Wisconsin who can easily pass by a cheese plate…I’m a rebel of long standing)   Basically, the rapidity and volume of information comes at me too fast and furious and I get completely overwhelmed.  It wasn’t always this way….I was all in for the 2012 Wellington Hobbit premiere…three different computers live streaming and live chatting during the event.  It was exhilarating.

Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what has changed…perhaps it is part of the evolution of my fandom, or maybe it’s just bad timing….that is, media events come up when I’m not able to free up the dedicated time.  (I have been anxiously watching the Greek debt talks, but after being spellbound by the new trailer, I did find some time to research how to download from my Hulu service so that I can access the series while traveling in August and maybe, just maybe do a solid for a good pal).

I marvel at those who are in the thick of it, but I’ve come to realize that it’s perfectly OK if the “highlights reel” of the event is more my speed…there’s no cut and dried way to be a fan…viva la variété!

I also learned that the latest Armitage/Hannibal news ran somewhat second to these bad boys today…no, I’m definitely not a vegetarian…

Hail to my dad who seems to have lost his knack for overlooking steak...mine was a perfect medium rare...its a wonder I'm sill alive!

Hail to my dad who seems to have lost his knack for overcooking steak…mine was a perfect medium rare…it’s a wonder I’m sill alive!

I imagine that I will get around to watching some footage here and there…or I won’t, and I’ll still be eagerly awaiting the big July 23rd debut and Armitageworld will keep on keepin’ on.  Armitageworld is awesome that way!!

Is there a Greek god for fatigue and time management Richard Armitage?

Blerg. It’s Friday already. I should really stop trying to plan on doing anything productive…it’s always a recipe for moderate disaster. Mini Me has been at summer camp this week, and I had *planned* to get tons of stuff done around the house, get back into a blogging groove, etc. After my most recent sojourn a la vertigo, I imagine you can figure out how all of that went. I did manage to get the laundry done even though my washer has decided to bite the dust this week as well.

I was just silently lamenting my lack of Mini Me-less productivity when a new tweet popped up from Richard Armitage that turned my mind back to Sleepwalker. Brings to mind Hypnos and the Oneiroi (Sleep and dreams)…food for thought…I’ll work on that, but since I seem have a brief date with Hypnos right now I’ll leave you with a little “dreamy” poetry to tide you over:

What if you slept?

by Samuel Coleridge

What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
You dreamed
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in you hand
Ah, what then?