joy magnetism: February 2008

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Roll out the barrel...

Magnet #7 - ChickNStein, Germany

No, not really a place name. This one's arguably one of my more attention-getting magnets. A friend of mine brought it back from her trip to Germany.

But how weird and funny is this magnet. Like, who designed it? Had to have been a guy - I mean who else would want to smoosh together a woman and a beer stein. Sheesh, I'd hate to see the boy version of this one.

That guy probably went to one too many Oktoberfests.

Sadly, I've only done the ones at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, and EPCOT in Orlando.

Even sadder, the last time I was in Germany, there were still two of them. I was in West Germany, performing with a band in Berchtesgaden, just below Hitler's Eagle's Nest. The memories are hazy, but I remember mountains and a lake cruise. And apple schnapps. But that's another story.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The bear went over the get away from me

Magnet #6 - The Bears at Grandfather Mountain

I have an obsession with bears. I want to see one in real life. No. I'm serious. I know they're scary. I'm not lookin' to make friends, people. I just want to see one. Walking in its natural environs.

So, here's the issue. Whenever I go to nature (wherever it may be), a high alert rumbles through the valley saying, "CALLING ALL BEARS, EVACUATE THE PREMISES, JOY IS A-COMING."

And then, I never see one, even with HOURS spent looking out of windows along the way. And I mean - hours in Montana. Hours in the mountains of North Carolina *points at magnet*. Hours in California. Hours in New Jersey. (Shut up, they have a bear problem there.)

This magnet was from Grandfather Mountain, NC, where they have a few wildlife habitats (read: zoo) with a couple of pent-up bears. (Hated it.)

Alas, my bearquest continues.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A joy by any other name...

Magnet #5 - Joy, from Hoover Dam

If you don't already know, you'll quickly learn that I have an obsession with my name.

No, really. I thank my parents every once in a while, cuz it's just the best name ever. Especially at Christmas.

And, so, wherever I go, I try and find these Joy magnets - some are cuter than others, obvi. Unfortunately, there was no Joy at Hoover Dam.

See how the Joy is slightly off-center? All I have to say is thank goodness for Joyce.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ask me no questions...

Magnet #4 - Bucky's of New Lebanon, NY

Lest ye think that all of my magnets are cool and weird, some of them are quite ordinary.

*points at magnet*

I've never been to Bucky's, and I don't even know where New Lebanon is. This gem was part of a package of magnets one of my clients sent me when he got a new fridge. (Coolest client present - ever.)

However, I've often wondered, just who is Bucky? Is it short for Buckingham? Is he a Brit? Maybe he's related to Paul Buchman from Mad About You? Did poor Bucky have buckteeth as a child? Maybe Bucky's a woman?

The bigger question, does Bucky use the same dough for his bagels and his pizza?

And, seriously, what sort of food does et cetera represent?

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Monday, February 25, 2008

No Country for Old Men, or the joyfam, as the case may be...

Magnet #3 - Don't Mess with Texas.

While Texas may have been a boon for Joel and Ethan Coen, bad things happen to the joyfam when they go to Texas.

1) In the wee hours of the morning, the little burgundy station wagon that couldn't anymore, somehow flipped over (or, turned turtle, as my mom likes to say). I dimly remember peanut shells flying all over the place, and baby sis being stuck in the back behind the seat.

2) On another trip down there, other baby sis was sitting on the escalator of the Galleria, and didn't get up when mom told her to. So, she almost got eaten by the escalator. Mom said that the Neiman-Marcus replacement outfit was the most expensive that she'd ever bought. (Ok, that was actually kinda hysterical.)

3) On another trip, our motorhome blew up in Elk City, OK, and we rented a sedan, drove to the Grand Canyon, and then had to stay in Houston to stay with friends while my dad and the priest (my parents' best friend, along for the trip) drove up to OK to pick the motorhome up. (Ok, technically that was more Oklahoma's fault.)

4) I lost my Merlin on that trip! (Ok, that was more my fault, I guess.)

5) On still another other trip, I saw Enrique Iglesias there. (Ok, that wasn't so bad. After all, there were cowboys at the rodeo.)

6) And on allll the trips, it was hot. Like ALL the time. (Ok, that's also not the state's fault.)

But, it does make for good magnet, guess.. Except does my magnet say, Don't Mess with Texas...cuz we'll sic the heat on ya? Or, Don't Mess with Texas...cuz we're too darn hot?

What they really should do, is make a magnet with a picture of Javier Bardem (in his Little Lord Fauntleroy haircut, natch), beside the Don't Mess with Texas.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pink drinks for a red carpet

Magnet #2 - Hollywood & Highland

Given my deep love for anything and everything entertainment-related, Oscar day's something of a holiday for me.

April 2005. A week in Hollywood with a ton of studio tours and famous locations/exterior visits, a few celeb sightings, an almost-conversion to Scientology, and a birthday wish from Dean Cain.

And, yet a major highlight was staying at the offical hotel of the Oscars (the Renaissance) and touring the official home of the Oscars right next door (the Kodak Theatre). The backstage tour was totally made of awesome win - sitting in the seats and boxes, hanging out in the private party rooms, walking down the back hallways to the grand ballroom of the hotel where the Governor's Ball's held, and even taking a trip to the bathroom. Visions of Clooney, Julia and Spielberg running around in my head. (Well, ok, definitely the Clooney part, anyway.)

And, there at the corner of glamour and glitz was Hollywood & Highland, a testament to old-school Hollywood with new-school brash. A mix of posh and non-posh restaurants, high-end chocolatiers and sunglass huts, Lucky Strike bowling and Grauman's. Nothing beats that giant elephant, though. Damn, I wish I'd gotten *that* magnet instead.

Maybe when George escorts me down the Red Carpet.
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

One fish, two fish

Magnet #1 - Cebu, Philippines

April 1981.
- The Space Shuttle Columbia passes its first test flight.
- The first IBM PC is introduced.
- Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.
- The joyfam visits Cebu, Philippines, for the last time until 2007.

January 2007.
The good:
- Familiar faces - and they all know who you are, what you do, and where you live...that's if they can tell you apart from your sisters.
- Familiar places - everywhere we went felt as if we'd been there before (see Malls, below).
- The Shangri-La. It's no joke, a little piece of heaven on earth. Air conditioning, gorgeous views, wonderful beaches.
- Su tu kil: Open air dining, where you pick your meal from the day's catch (*points to magnet*). Soooooo. Good.
- Seeing your parents in (and out) of their elements. Like, my dad climbing a tree to pick my mom's favorite Filipino fruit. (all together now, awwwww!)
- No more oil barrel to hold the bathing water - I'm talkin' running water, people!!!
- The USD goes a loooong way there.

The bad:
- Helpers. Yeah. I'm on the fence. It's unnerving to be introduced to people you think are your cousins...but they're not.
- No driving laws. Well, there are, but no one follows them.
- Too many bugs. Wayward snakes and lizards in living rooms.
- Hot. (But that's not the Philippines' fault.)

The malls?
- Malls. Filipinos love their malls. Nope, not all that different than America.
- Hot boybands in malls. Nope, not all that different than America.
- Filipino cuisine in the mall. Totally made of win.
- Did I mention there were a lot of malls?

Cuz there really were.

A lot of malls.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

The 10 millionth blog

- Small, very small, sampling of magnets

Ok, there are almost 10 million active blogs in the universe, so why can't there be one on magnets. They're ubiquitous. Everyone buys them. Everyone has them. And, if you're lucky, each one tells a story. A travel story. A random celebration of place/date/time story.

So that's what I'm aiming to do - pick a random magnet each day and tell a story. By my calculations, that could keep this blog alive for the next 2 years.

And who knows, maybe someone else will come forward to share their own magnet stories and/or collection. They sell them all over the world - how can I be the only one who collects them?

Ready. Set. Go.
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