joy magnetism: March 2008

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Monday, March 31, 2008

I got sand in my pocket

Magnet #38 - Hawaii

Here's weird. I hate the beach. I hate the sun. I hate the sand. It's also weird that I hate all three things given that my peoples are from the Philippine Islands.

So, it's weird that I would have so many magnets from Hawaii. No, really! Everyone I know who goes to Hawaii ends up bringing me back a magnet - which of course, I love, (thank you) but it makes me giggle whenever I see them. This lizard I had to make sure was from Hawaii, and I got it confirmed when my friend who brought it back for me said she wasn't totally sure that's where it's from, but she thinks of Hawaii every time she sees it, so it must be from Hawaii. Right?

But, I digress. It should be known that I place the beach-hatred blame on the weekend getaways to the beach down in North Carolina. Actually, I use the term weekend loosely. Mainly, it would be a random Friday night, where my parents would come home from the office and say, pack up, we're going to the beach.

And at 3 or 4 in the morning, we'd be rousted from our beds, piled into the van, and would arrive at the beach about 4 hours or so later. We'd basically spend the morning and afternoon on the beach, and tis true - it was fun. Until the ride home on Saturday night. Where we'd have to change back into our quite sandy civvies, and sit in the van - damp and sand-ridden all the way home. Ugh. Sand in our underwear - not fun.

So, beaches = nofunjoy.
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

I heard a rumor

Magnet #37 - Gossip, by Norman Rockwell

On a random roadtrip, we stumbled upon Stockbridge, MA, home of the Norman Rockwell Museum. Of course, we stopped, because that's what we do.

They had several of his famous works, such as the Four Freedoms, or Stockbridge at Christmas. But the one that spoke to me and gave me a laugh was this one. Gossip. It's basically the illustration of how a story gets related from one person to another, from the old lady at the top left of the painting, boomeranging back to the same lady at the bottom right of the painting.

So awesome, and so true to life. Especially small-town life. Case in point, my friends and I spent the day in Mayberry, NC, and by the time we got to the tour guide's place, they already knew we were from New York, and coming on the tour. I was freaked out that they somehow knew, but they put my mind at ease, by confessing that it was actually the caller ID on my cell. Whew.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain

Magnet #36 - Oklahoma

So, I've been to Oklahoma, only once - Elk City. Where our motor home engine exploded during a cross-country trip when I was young.

I totally want to go back - there's a Route 66 museum in Elk City, and there's a ton of things to do in Oklahoma City.

Though, one word of advice for the Oklahoma City visitors' website - they should probably not list their attractions in alpha order. People might get turned off by the first listing being the Bass Pro Fishing Shop. Ha!

This magnet was actually given to me by a friend of mine who went to Oklahoma for a new business pitch. We didn't win, but dudes, I got a magnet, anyway!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Dr. Seuss, and you can, too!

Magnet #35 - Dr. Seuss's our company offsite meeting. What is it about these things that make me become the biggest kool-aid drinker ever?

It's quite the stuff and nonsense that I happen to love - when the company gets together and everyone's all onelove and happy. It's like all the bad stuff throughout the year fades away. *sips more kool-aid*

This magnet was from the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Garden in Springfield, MA. I love, love, love this place, and I'm not even the biggest Seuss fan out there. But, they have these giant bronze sculptures of Horton, and the Lorax and the Cat in the Hat and a giant, giant!, book. It's just the coolest place ever.

And, as only Dr. Seuss can, it totally teaches us what matters between the stuff and nonsense of our everyday lives.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coffee and moonstones

Magnet #34 - Cambria, CA

Cambria was one of my stops during my Woman on her Own Roadtrip up the California coast a few years ago.

It's six miles away from Hearst Castle, and the only reason I even headed that way was because I was in desperate search for coffee. The only reason I decided on Cambria was because there was a sign for Moonstone Beach.

And how lovely does that sound?

So, off I went, visiting the myriad shops (very few of which were open very early). It's everything you'd think a small California tourist town would be - mainly gift shops and quaint hotels and resorts. And magnets. They had tons of magnets.

I never did get to actually see Moonstone Beach.

Come to think, I never actually got my coffee, either.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vatican memories...or not, actually

Magnet #33 - Vatican City

Well, since I forgot to use this for Easter, but I figure some will appreciate my using the Vatican for my 33rd magnet.

I’ve never been to Vatican City, but feel so much as though I have.

The earliest memory I have is a picture of my mother’s best friend, Uncle Oscar, with Pope John Paul II. At the time, Uncle was a young priest assigned to the Vatican.

In the mid-80s, my mother went to visit Uncle Oscar, and came back with a rosewood rosary, presumably blessed by the pope. What I’ve never been able to tell is whether or not rosewood actually smells of roses, or if it was just magically, overly infused with the scent of roses. Because man, talk about an olfactory memory – I can still smell the roses that wafted out of the souvenir plastic casing.

Oh, and let's not forget the The Thorn Birds - there were several scenes set there, though I'd bet my bottom dollar it wasn't allowed to film on location.

This dimensional magnet was from my sister's visit to Italy during her Peace Corps stint. I love my dimensional magnets - they're always superpretty and interesting to look at. And, no, I have not a clue if that's what they're really called...I'm makin' up my own magnet nomenclature until some other magnet collector sets me straight.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Z like Zebra!

Magnet #32 - Perfecto Pizza

What? Like I said, all my magnets aren't equally cool. Equal time for the common ordinary fridge magnet.

This is the pizza place right around the corner from me at home. The guys all know me by sight, and between them and my mom's frozen cooking, they keep my plate full of good food.

Ironically, I don't end up getting pizza as much - why? Because their chicken marsala's to die for, and their hamburgers are arguably the best within a 5-block range.

And bonus - when I call in an order, they also know that my apartment is 6Z, as in Zebra or Ziti. Not Z as in 6Victor. Not Z as in 6Gyro. Or Z as in 6City. Or Z as in 6Sixty. Oh, my poor neighbors in 6C, 6G, 6S and 6V.

(And, yep, blurred to hide the address. Can't be too careful.)
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Monday, March 24, 2008

We should have had the cake

Magnet #31 - Versailles, France

I mentioned earlier that my parents and I did a week in Paris a few years back, and I made sure to include Versailles on the itinerary. You think I like tours? Hah, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

The gardens for mom and the big giant house for my dad. Little did I know that setting my dad loose on the palace of Versailles would earn us frustrated sighs from our tour guide. Particularly when my dad was questioning the tour guide about Louis XIV, and how he used all the money of the people to build this giant house instead of taking care of the people, and how his descendants feel about it.

Our guide, btw, was a descendant. A million times removed from the throne, but a descendant, nonetheless.


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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Casa Loma, eh?

Magnet #30 - Casa Loma, Toronto

Casa Loma is billed as one of Canada's most famous castles. We just happened to stumble upon it on a random roadtrip to Canada. It's the former home of Sir Henry Pellatt, a financier - who was at one time, Canada's answer to Carnegie, Rockefeller and Morgan.

It was built on a hillside, and had a great view of Toronto. Of course, we took the tour, ran around the rooms and the grounds.
And, of course, the only thing I remember out of all that history is that they filmed parts of The Skulls with Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker in the Conservatory.

What? It was a good movie!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mayberry Days...well, just the one, anyway

Magnet #29 - Mayberry, NC

The infamous Andy Griffith Show theme song should be whistling through your head right now.

My earliest memories of this show, is sitting in my piano teacher's den watching tv with her husband, as I waited for my own lesson. Then, the next was of watching with my dad as they were cooking dinner.

Now, the funnest memory of Andy Griffith, was an unexpected day trip to Mt. Airy, NC, a few months ago. We ate at Snappy Lunch, saw Floyd's barber shop and the courthouse, bought tons of souvenirs, had orangeades at the BlueBird Cafe, and visited the local museums. We even took an official tour of Mayberry - in a vintage Squad Car.

Fabulous. Will we go back? Not unless we decide to stay in Andy Griffith's old childhood owned by the Hampton Inn folks, and to let, for less than $200. Who's with me?

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Friday, March 21, 2008

I like calling North Carolina home

Magnet #28 - Salisbury, NC

The joyfam's hanging out this weekend, here at home, in Salisbury, NC. This is the Hall House, in our historic district.

Seems like everytown, USA, has such a district - or rather, they're just realizing that it's quite the marketing tool to attract the attention of history buffs and snowbirds everywhere.

This one caught the eye of one George Clooney, who actually filmed parts of his period comedy/drama/feel-good-sportsfilm of the year, Leatherheads, here. Caused quite a stir, too.

And now, next Wednesday, he'll be here in Salisbury as part of his press junket. Will I still be here? Of course not. I'm leaving Sunday.

Once again, I'm a step behind George.

Just like any good stalker should be.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spies like me

Magnet #27 - International Spy Museum

Total mood magnet for my wishful thinking today. Heh.

But, the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, is definitely worth checking out. They give you a fake identity to learn and remember throughout your visit with a total quiz at the end. It's musuem interactivity at its best.

There's climbing through air ducts, looking at the history of espionage (hello, Julia Child!), and a ton of other rooms, too many to name. There's sitting in the Oppenheimer room, feeling the first nuclear blast. There's Codetalking! And an Enigma!

If I had a complaint, it would be only that it's always just WAY too crowded with bodies.

Yes. Live ones.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sticky fingers

Magnet #26 - Monet, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Monet and I are likethis.

So, when I saw this magnet one Saturday afternoon during a break at a Cary Grant marathon at the Met, I knew it had to be mine.

I mean. Look at it! It's like the trifecta of win!

  1. It's Monet.
  2. It's blue.
  3. The piece de resistance - there's a Monet quote at the bottom that you can slightly see: "Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."

Come on, people - the thing had my name on it! Oh! And, it was on 50% OFF! Hel-lo!

But it was the only Monet on display. There were tons of Gauguins and (I think) Degas, but only one Monet. OMG! What to do!

And so the quest began. Start the clock - I had 25 minutes before the next movie started, and I knew I'd have to fight the old ladies of the upper east side for good seats to see Cary.

I asked the young sales clerk to look in the back. He looked. Nada. "But maybe you can try in the main store downstairs."

So I walk quickly from one end of the Met to the other end, ignoring the masterpieces and brushing past their wandering admirers. I stop at not one, but two other kiosks and a smaller store on the way. I inquire at the smaller store. "No. Check the main store?"

I get to the main store, where I proceed to stalk the entire magnet section (I know! They have a magnet section!). Again with the Gauguins and the Degas? What up with that, why were there like 30 each of those, and none of my Monet? Grrrr. So I ask. They look. "No. But maybe one of the other stores/kiosks?"

I walk across the hall to another small store - even though it was Egyptian-themed, still I asked. "Uh. No. Did you try the main store?"

So I run back across from that end of the Met, back to my young sales clerk. And I proceed to wheedle him into letting me buy it - and say that I'll even buy a red Gauguin, just to make him feel better.

He looks surreptitiously around for his manager, and success! He takes down the Monet, pulls out a small bag. I hand him a 5-spot, and he proceeds to not take it and drops the Monet into the bag, and shoves the tiny bag into my hand. You could almost see him thinking, please, God, just leave already, lady!

Little guy at the Met - thanks so much!

Although, I have to say, I didn't have a receipt, and I was SO afraid I was gonna get nicked for shoplifting! I was already playing out NYPD interrogation scenes in my head. But, whatever guilt I felt was certainly assuaged by the piles of Met crap I ended up buying at the end of the day.

Oh. And, in case you were wondering, yes. I made it to the movie, and no little old ladies were hurt in the process.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Come together

Magnet #25 - Abbey Road

If you haven't been to Abbey Road Studios, then what are you waiting for?

Of course, unless you're recording an album (or stalking someone who is), there's really nothing touristy on Abbey Road. In point of fact, besides the actual studio, it really is just a road (check out the crossing cam on the in-development webpage above) with some crossing stripes.

But, you still have to go on your next London visit - it's a must for Beatles fans. Plus, you could probably spend a good hour watching silly, sometimes very silly people, trying to recreate the infamous Abbey Road album cover. The problem is that there's no real traffic signal. So, you have all these groups, trying to stage a walk across, with someone in the middle of the road trying to take the picture - in front of oncoming traffic. It's brilliant.

It must be said that if I were a local, I'd probably run their tourist behinds over. Yet, when the joysisters and I were there, we were doing the same exact thing. How could we not?

And, while you're there, run up the road to the St. John's Wood tube station, where a small kiosk sells trinkety-trinkets, of course Beatles-themed. I probably bought way too many magnets and floaty pens at this place...actually, the number of trinkety-trinkets I bought may outnumber the number of Beatles albums I own.

Yes, it is so very touristy, but there's truly something to be said about the staying power of an album that's almost 40 years old.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's rules to live by

Magnet #24 - Drinking to Forget

Picked up this tile magnet at The Big E fair a couple of years ago. Fun, no?

Fitting for today's revelry.

I have to say, and some of you will find this funny (given my own drinking indiscretions), but I've never imbibed, or overindulged on St. Patrick's Day. Nor, have I ever been to the St. Patrick's Day parade down Fifth Avenue in NYC.

Here's why. The very first SPD I spent in NYC, back in 1995, I walked back to the apartment, and somehow found myself outside a police precinct with at least a hundred officers in full dress in the street. Red-faced and rowdy, they were whoopin' it up in the streets of NY. Ok, fine, just that one street.

But, I did say full dress, which meant armed as well. And suddenly I realized that if the coppers were drinking, then how can I count on them to keep me safe if I were drinking.

Sobering thought.

Much like me once trying to tip $60 on a $60 tab. Yeah. They weren't joking with that whole please pay in advance notice!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tolstoy would have loved this

Magnet #23 - W_r and Pe_ce

So, with a little forethought, this magnet could have been Tolstoy's original book cover.
This one's from the United Nations, with a little dove taking the A in War and flying up to place it into Peace. It's a lovely thought, and I thought a fitting one for a beautiful Palm Sunday.

The UN on the eastern side of Manhattan is a pretty amazing piece of work (or, work of peace). It's technically not U.S. soil, and are therefore a pretty self-contained compound.

The tour is great, and with enough people, you can get it in your native language. They take you around the General Assembly, and the Security Council, and several other auditoriums. Each were gifts from different countries, and as such, the interior architecture and design are a little schizo - but all superawesome. Each country's also responsible for their gift's upkeep as well.

Which means it's also building stuck in time, in some respects - say, for example, the earpieces with funny knobs that are straight out of the 60s and 70s, and still in use today. Even the building's design is starting to look too dated as well - and each year, they keep putting off the revitalization of the UN - mainly because it would disrupt their work too much.

It's sort of a metastatement, really, because one could argue that the UN as a concept might be stuck in time, as well. Sometimes it feels like too much falls on their shoulders, rather than letting member countries take responsibilities for themselves. But, bless those few - and George Clooney, I'm lookin' at you - who truly believe in the power of the UN and the good that they're at least trying to do in the world.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Get into my belly!

Magnet #22 - Mr. Jelly Belly

Jelly Bellies were Ronald Reagan's favorite candy - he used to have a Jelly Belly dish in his office, or so I hear.

And, so do I. I have a little Jelly Belly candy machine at my desk, and a line of people coming to eat them. Depending on the person, they come up timidly to me, and say, I just want a few. And then they accidentally overturn the handle, so that many, many beans jump out of the slot.

But, I always encourage them to take more - after all, they're only 4 calories a pop! I know! And you can't eat just one.

Funnily enough, I actually refuse to eat out of my own Jelly Belly machine. I positively can't stand eating from a mixed bag. I'd rather go to the candy store and buy specific flavors to mix together, rather than grab a handful of mixed beans.

And I'll tell you why: Whether it's popcorn or licorice, or jalapeno or banana, it's that one bean - that one bean! - that ruins the whole delicious handful you just ate. So, I just can't do it.

Still, I've seen more yucky-face-scrunching at my desk over the years than you can imagine - you'd think that after that first peanut butter flavor, the coworkers would learn!

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Get your motor running

Magnet #21 - Motown

I've not been to all of the places that my magnets are from - it's because I've roped people into bringing me magnets from the farthest corners of the world.

Ok, so Detroit doesn't count as a farthest corner (and I went through there as a child), but you get the picture. This one was from a friend who went to Detroit for focus groups. (I've learned that some focus groups can sometimes get you to fun locations, but mine always land me in Jersey...that's another story.)

I almost made it to Detroit this year for the car show, but that didn't happen due to some moral turpitude (not mine). I'll eventually get there - I must, because apparently, some of the motor giants actually give tours! Hah, I don't even own a car, but I still would love to tour the facilities. And, there's even a Ford house to tour. And, OMG, there's even a MotorCities Automotive Heritage Area! And, I haven't even touched on the music - because half the itinerary would have to be for the music studio tours.

Yeah, I'd tour a bathroom if there was a tour guide.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Star light, star bright

Magnet #20 - Paramount Studios

Studio tours. The best entertainment that Los Angeles has to offer. Well, ok, fine, just about the best entertainment that Los Angeles has to offer.

I love taking studio tours, Warners, Sony/Columbia, Paramount, NBC, etc. They're all made of awesome win.

The classic movie lot, Paramount's made up of several historic backlots smooshed into one giant one, with like 30 soundstages and a dozen wonderfully familiar backlot exteriors. Loved this tour - where Wings, Sunset Boulevard, Citizen Kane, White Christmas, Raiders, Star Treks, and a million other classics were filmed. You're standing on the very sidewalks that Tracy and Hepburn, Lucy and Desi, Bob and Bing, Fred and Ginger, and yes, even that crazy Tom Cruise, walked down.

The only tour complaint I had was that the tour guide didn't mention one word about the logo. (Of course, my complaint's about a logo.) All those 22-24 stars were meant to stand for all of the stars in the studio stable. And of course, some of the original stars were like Rudolph Valentino, Mae West, W.C. Fields, and Mary Pickford, and Claudette Colbert and Marlene Dietrich.


Oh! Also, he failed to mention the old RKO logo at the corner of the lot - it's the logo from the old RKO Pictures where they show a globe and a signal emanating from the radio tower.


(Ok, fine, that's a little bit of Jericho's opening titles right there. Oops.)

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cuteboys in uniform. Or not.

Magnet #19 - Joy in Annapolis

I've been told there were cuteboys in Annapolis. I mean, there are whole movies about cuteboys in Annapolis. And people I know keep going there and seeing cuteboys.

Of course, the one and only time I've gone, the Naval Academy was closed. Ergo, no cuteboys.

But, what they did have was a lovely little town on the water with history a-plenty, vessels a-plenty, candy a-plenty, and seafood a-plenty.

Hmph. Guess I'll have to wait til the next time to see the cuteboys a-plenty.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chasing waterfalls

Magnet #18 - Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

So, apparently, I have a favorite everything - Frank Lloyd Wright's my favorite architect. Oh, I could never really live in an FLW house (I mean, who can, really), but I find that there's always something supremely interesting about his work.

And Fallingwater reigns as one of his most famous. This was my first introduction to FLW (if you don't count Timothy Dalton's Hollywood estate in The Rocketeer, which wasn't a bonafide FLW house, but definitely influenced by him), and ever since, I love fitting in any and all FLW houses along the way. To anywhere.

I have to say, though, that the more of his structures I see, the more I've begun to wonder about the practicality of his design. I'm always reading or hearing about the conservation of his works. One could argue that some of them are getting on in years, but it does sort of feel like his work wasn't meant for the long haul. A bit of fleeting greatness, methinks.

This magnet might possibly be in my top 10 favorite magnets. I have several in the metals section - they're more expensive, magnet-wise, but the detail on them can be pretty amazing. Also, they can supertotally double as weapons!!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

There's no panicking in advertising!

Magnet #17 - Panic Button

Again, a mood magnet.

It'll be ok, everything will get done. One way or another. It's that another that often worries me.

Yep. It works. Yep. It's loud. Yep. It's like the klaxons signaling an air raid. And yep. Kids LOVE to play with this one.

But, no. It's not connected to say, a trapdoor, or ejection seat, or a set of missiles. Would that it were. Would. That. It. Were.
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Follow your heart

Magnet #15 - Follow Your Heart

How much do I love that we produced this particular magnet for a new business pitch we did a while ago. Sadly, we didn't get the biz, but (bonus!) now I have a handful running around the office and at home.

This campaign never ran, but it really was such a great one convincing the audience to follow their heart across the great state of NY from the tip of Long Island to Buffalo, and from Battery Park up to Champlain. This magnet actually has even more meaning for me, because I really did follow my heart to NY, and here I am, more than a dozen years later.

And, so, faithful readers, tons of NY State magnets will be popping up - a cache built up over the years, but also because of a-just-short-of-a-
thousand-miles weekend roadtrip taken just for this project. While I'd already been all over to begin with, there were a few stops along the way that we hadn't seen - don't worry, you'll be seeing those magnets, too.

Hmmm, after all that, I'm seeing in my collection that I don't have a real I (heart) NY magnet. Yeah, that's gonna get rectified immediately.
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Friday, March 7, 2008


Magnet #14 - Cursing

Because today seems like it's going to be one of those days, I thought I'd just admit here that I bought this magnet just to remind me to watch my mouth at work.

Most unbecomingly, and no matter how hard I try, I'm a total sailor when it comes to my foul language. (Speaking of, how did sailors get tagged with this poor reputation? It's not like Popeye cursed.)

But, this reminder doesn't really help, since I can't see it around the corner from my chair. Which means you can generally hear me blow my top from way down the hall.

Hmmm. Forget the lottery - if I started a curse jar, I'd be millionnaire inside of a week.
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Shoulda gone before we left

Magnet #13 - Fuji Limo

First: How handy is a letter opener magnet? I mean, if I would just remember that I have this thing when I'm opening my mail, it probably would be even more handy. But seriously, what a great idea!

Second: Number 2 magnet in that supercool package of cheesy refrigerator magnets from my client.

Third: Most. Expensive. Pit. Stop. Ever.

I had a client meeting out in Jersey, and of course, it was on the tail-end of yet another all-nighter getting ready for it. Therefore, I had had tons of coffee and water to keep myself active and awake for the meeting.

Meeting's over, and they ordered their regular car service for me. I swear, I went before I left. Except that we hit traffic on the way back in, and after blocks of holding it, we were just below Hell's Kitchen, and I finally, finally convinced the driver to stop and let me drop by McDonald's to use their restroom. Except that it was the longest. line. ever. And what, pray tell, were all those people doing at a McD's at 3 in the afternoon?

When I came out, the driver - who had refused to move the car because he was afraid that I'd come out and find him gone - ended up with a parking ticket. Well, I couldn't very well make him pay for it, now could I?

Yep - I ended up taking the $100 ticket from the guy and paying the bloody thing off.

And the piece de resistance? It was technically breaking the law, so no charging anyone back there! Hah. It's ok, I mean, can't you just see the client invoice for that one?

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tipis. Tepees. Teepees...

Magnet #12 - The Tepee, Upstate NY

Having spent the last few weeks doing research for every highway, byway and roadside attraction in the continental U.S. for an upcoming cross-country road trip, I find myself (as always) gravitating toward the small mom and pop attractions.

A fellow roadtripper told me that we never pick the big cities and attractions for our trips. But I say, that's the only way to see America.

Case in point - The Tepee in Cherry Valley, NY. Who knew that Route 20 is historic? (No one.) Why was there a 50-foot metal tepee in the middle of almost nowhere? (Who knows?) Is that a lifesize buffalo statue buried in that snowdrift? (Hell to the yeah, it is!)

And, the ads didn't lie - The Tepee made good on its promise of cheesy magnets, and even more cheesy (and possibly exploitative) Native American souvenirs.

But this magnet isn't so cheesy, really - it's been added to the "tile magnet" section of my collection.

Yes, there are categorized magnet sections in my collection. You haven't noticed?

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

So you think you're a fan

Magnet #11 - Star Trek Experience, Hilton Las Vegas

I always think I'm like the biggest fan ever of, well, everything. Romance novels, soap operas, Garth Brooks, chocolate, Buffy, you name it.

And then every so often, I learn that I'm totally unworthy of calling myself a true fan. That's when I find myself surrounded by truer fans. That's:

  • avid romance readers at the Romance Writers of America annual literacy booksigning.
  • soap fans at Super Soap Weekend in Orlando.
  • country music fans at Garth Brooks' Central Park show.
  • chocoholics at the NY Chocolate Show every year.
  • Buffy fans at a NYC singalong screening of "Once More, with Feeling."

And for some reason, I'm always surprised. Always.

So, really, when I showed up at the superawesome and fun Star Trek Experience at the Hilton, Las Vegas, I shouldn't have been so surprised. I'm a fan, don't get me wrong - I can tell the difference between all the Enterprises, the shows, and the captains. Sometimes, I can even remember episode titles. And I've seen all of TNG, multiple times. C'mon, that has to earn me some points.

Yeah, I know.

That's why I kept my novice mouth shut during the entire time I was there.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home

Magnet #10 - Ladybug from Godiva Chocolate

I know, right? Such a weird thing for Godiva to put on their spring line a couple of years ago. It's a creepy little ladybug with a weird feather puff surrounding it.

I'm sure someone thought it was neat and artistic to put a ladybug magnet on the box. For sure, I ended up keeping it, and am still talking about it years later. And, kids love this thing. For some reason, it's the feathery puff that attracts them. All the kids that come to the office love to touch that particular magnet, running their little hands softly over the feathers.

I, for one, can't stand ladybugs, but that's because our house in NC is totally inundated with them - they're everywhere. And we can't kill them, because Mom says they're good luck. First, ewwww. Second, ewwww.

Third, still waiting on all the luck. Should be truckloads by now.
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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Penny for your thoughts

Magnet #9 - Rodin's The Thinker

It's Sunday, and as always, I find myself buried in my head, deep in thought. Nothin' special goin' on in there, really.

But, I thought the Thinker was tres apropos for the day.

There are probably a million copies of this guy sitting around the world today. There are a couple in Musee Rodin, for sure. Apparently, it was the first of Rodin's works to be displayed in a public space. Awesome for the selection committee - I can't see that happening here in the US in 1906. Loved this museum and the Gates of Hell...kinda wishing I'd gotten that magnet, too. (My freezer door's serving as a bit of a magnetic art gallery right now - more on those, to come.)

Anyway, my parents and I visited Paris for a week, after having (somehow) found a great internet deal at, something like $500 a person for a week (hotel and airfare!). Superawesome trip - even if my dad got really tired of all the museums we dragged him to.

Though, he was incredibly grateful for every bus bench, park bench and Metro escalator and building elevator in Paris. Heh.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

You say tomato, Jefferson says...tomato, too

Magnet #8 - Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Jefferson was truly an eclectic man - author of the Declaration, U.S. President, founder of UVA, plantation and slave owner - he was passionate about practically everything from music to tomatoes.

Monticello was part of a presidential road trip that the joysisters (plus 1) took around Central Virginia, also visiting Madison's Montpelier and Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland. This trip was chockful of presidential sites, but wherever I go on all my travels, I like to sneak some sort of presidential site (or two or three). I'm not terribly political, but I love visiting the homes and various sites of our former presidents. They're supercool, and often tell you more about the man than any history book.

Incidentally, this one's the first of many (many) photographic magnets. Love these kinds of magnets, they're often better than the actual photos we take.

As for Monticello, the best part about the tour was the deflection of the tour guide about Sally Hemmings. Whoops.

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