joy magnetism: July 2008

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Magnet #160 - Teddy Roosevelt and family

Picked today's magnet because Theodore Roosevelt is my sister's favorite president, and today's a milestone birthday for her. Yay, happy birthday!

It's kinda funny that Teddy's her fave president, because she's not a huge fan of the outdoors, and yet Teddy was responsible for establishing almost 60 Wildlife Reserves and 150 National Forests and created at least five National Parks. Apparently, the total amount that TR placed under public protection is about 230,000,000 acres!

They're both kinda short - most people think TR was like superbig, but I think it's just cuz he had a sort of larger than life, blustery personality. In reality, he was only like 5'8", which I guess still makes him taller than Tom Cruise.

The best thing they share, though, is the way they say Bully. She does a spot-on imitation of TR's booming Bully! Seriously. Next time you see her, make her say it.

Oh! And then! Make her say:

1) Oh. My. Gouda.

2) We are in a car. (/Doctor Who's K-9)

Hours of entertainment, I swear.
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's a bird! It's a plane!

Magnet #159 - SR-71 Blackbird

So I remember when I first heard of Stealth bombers. There was some news report back in the late 80s. And I remember thinking, Hey, cool. We have invisible planes.

Ummm, yeah. Somehow I convinced myself that we had Romulan cloaking technology, or Wonder Woman's invisible jet.

Shut. Up. I know.

I've since learned that we don't. They're not really invisible. Imagine that.

Now imagine me a few years ago, walking around the little shop at the National Air and Space Museum out at Dulles, and picking out this SR-71 Blackbird magnet, as a pokey little reminder that Stealths are not really invisible.

Now imagine me starting to write this post and saying, Huh. Apparently, SR-71 Blackbirds (unveiled in 1964) are NOT the same as the F-117 Stealth Nighthawks that they unveiled in 1989.

Sigh. Yep. You learn something new every day, I guess.

Still. It's a pretty sweet magnet.

Ok, ok. My only consolation is that the SR-71 is actually a precursor to the F-117. Which makes me feel a tiny bit better. Heh.
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture

Magnet #158 - McKim, Mead and White's Pennsylvania Station - 1910-1964

Yeah, I still haven't figured out how New York actually stood by and let "progress" raze McKim, Mead and White's original Penn Station.

Oh, I know there was a huge fight over it, and that the one good thing that came of it was the Landmarks Preservation Commission. But after looking at these images and these images, I still can't quite believe that this grand old building no longer exists. And, to know that it was replaced with such architectural gems as Penn Plaza and the current (and fourth) iteration of Madison Square Garden? I mean, c'mon!

Anyway, I digress.

I picked today's magnet because, a little late to the game, I just found out that the AIA celebrated its 150th anniversary by showcasing America's favorite architecture - the top 150 buildings, with Penn Station figuring in at #143.

Quite an amazing collection of structures that we have here in the States. At least...when we allow them to stay up.*
"Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed."

- "Farewell to Penn Station," New York Times editorial, October 30, 1963

*stinkeye to the idiots who killed Penn Station.
Pin It!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fried eggs and SPAM

Magnet #157 - SPAM

SPAM's become somewhat of a pop culture icon nowadays - most people know what it is, most people know what it tastes like, but most people refuse to admit that they've ever bought it.

I'll go out on a limb by wagering that most Filipinos have had it for breakfast at some point in their life or another. Usually on a visit to some relatively unknown "auntie" or "uncle" - of course, you're not really related, they're generally some sort of a distant, distant cousin of your grandma's uncle, or some classmate your parents had in second grade, or knew med school.

Of course, you've never met before, but you generally end up spending the evening hanging out with the kids of the family, playing with their toys, or running around outside, or watching every movie they own. After you've spent the night on blankets on the floor or on the sofa in the basement or in the guest room, you usually wake up to the sounds of all the mothers yakking it up in the kitchen, while the fathers are at the kitchen table with their coffee and bread. Somehow they're still gossiping about days and people gone by.

But, it's the sounds and the smells you remember: always the sound of frying eggs - always. And every once in a while - the smell of frying SPAM. "Good morning, good morning!"s greet you, as you groggily drag your feet into the kitchen, and suddenly a plate full of fried eggs, SPAM and of course, rice, magically appears on the table in front of you.

And, even though you may not have had it since, I'm telling you, the smell of SPAM in a frying pan can still make you feel like you're eight years old again, in some random house in some random state with some random aunties and uncles, randomly wondering how you got there in the first place.
Pin It!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm Henery the Eighth I am!

Magnet #156 - King Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547)

For some reason, King Henry is one of the most recognized of all the English monarchs. It seems he's almost everywhere - in books and plays, in the movies and music, on English Toby jugs and even on The Simpsons.

I've been debating on whether or not I should be blogging my collection of the Kings and Queens of England (from 1066 through the present) as individual magnetposts, or as a set. I'm still up in the air about it - but they're all individual magnets, and there's round about 40 total.

For now, we'll go individual, but I reserve the right to gang them up if I can't find anything interesting to say about Anne...or any of the Edwards. And, I'm not gonna give vastly scholarly info, as peeps across the pond can do a better job of that. But, I did find this supercool interactive game and timeline about the monarchs.

I will say that the best thing about Henry VIII is how he got my father very interested in English history. I'm hoping it's that we dragged my dad to Hampton Court Palace and to the Tower of London that opened up this new window of history for him. More likely, it was that Henry seriously questioned the Catholic faith, and my father respected that. Hopefully, it's not that he has designs on me mum.

Of course, my dad did make us repeat "divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived" a couple of times. Hmmmmm.
Pin It!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Olana day in the valley

Magnet #155 - Olana stenciled panel

Frederic Church was one of the most important landscape artists in America in the 19th century, and he made his home in New York's Hudson Valley. That home is the beautiful Olana, designed by Robert Morris Hunt, the same guy who did a few of the houses up in Newport, RI.

Mind you, the above paragraph was a heck of a lot more than we knew before we visited, because during a trip upstate, my roadtripper friends and I saw the signs for Olana, and decided to drop by on a whim. And what a find!

It's a Persian style house, built high on a hill, overlooking about 250 acres of his property. There's a long drive to get to the actual house, and suddenly you look and there's this superamazing house, and you can easily see why Church dubbed it the Center of the World.

If I remember correctly, we weren't able to make the last house tour of the day, so we were only allowed to roam the grounds outside, which you can see in this random slideshow that I found.

And, of course, we were able to visit the little shop. Which is where I picked up this stenciled panel, designed by Church for his vestibule door. If it's any indication, it seems that the interior of the house well matches the gorgeous exterior.

Hopefully, I'll find out for myself, eventually. (And, at least then, I'll know just a little bit more about what I'm lookin' at.)
Pin It!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rock of Joy

Magnet #154 - Joy's Rock Garden

A friend of mine gave me this magnet, which could either be a pet rock named Joy, or a my own little piece of the rock, or my own little Rock of Ages. (A song that honestly, I don't ever remember singing in any Mass I've ever attended, which always makes people wonder what kind of heathens Catholics are.)

Joy's actually my middle name, because when you're five, no one could pronounce my first name, Linille. Well, no one down South could, so we went with Joy because it was easier, even if they did end up making it into two, sometimes three, syllables.

Annnnnd, that's all I have on this lovely Friday - other than TXF opens today, wuhooo!
Pin It!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Talk about Cash in the Attic

Magnet #153 - National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

I dated a guy from Taipei once. He had this extra lobe in his ear, which he insisted made him royalty. And, he pretty much conducted himself as such as well. So you can see how, after it was over, I've sort of been put off ever visiting Taiwan.

However, a friend of mine living and working there now sent me this superawesome magnet from the National Palace Museum, and may have single-handedly changed my mind about visiting eventually.

According to the NYTs, this museum ranks among the top in the world, just after the likes of the Louvre, the Met and the Prado. And, it has quite a storied past, when one of the emperors from the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) decided that he wanted to hoard all of China's art treasures and sent out tons of servants to scour the countryside and bring back, well, everything of value. Dudes. 9freakin'60. That's like...old. Heh.

But, like most museums, its turbulent history has been tied closely to all the political regimes since, right on through to World War II, when some 7,000 crates were secretly shipped around the country to hide them from enemy hands. It's quite an amazing story.

Get this, though! After years of renovations in the early 2000s, the museum as it stands now holds 700,000 Chinese artifacts. But! They can only display like 15,000 pieces at any given time, and they keep the rest stored in special vaults deep within the mountainside!

To keep the collection fresh, they rotate the displays a few times a year. But, if you do the math - it would take you about a dozen years to see everything in their collection. Dannnnng.

Yeah, you'd have to get a membership for that.
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where have all the flowers gone?

Magnet #152 - Atlanta Botanical Garden

A friend of mine from Atlanta sent me this superpretty magnet.

What? I just did four straight posts on pretty boys. Now here's some actual pretty! Chrysanthemums, to be exact.

I've got a couple of these flower magnets, and on the back, they all say REAL FLOWERS (just in case you thought they weren't), and the name of the flowers pressed under the glass.

Dudes, someone actually had to sit at a table and press the flowers. Did they grow the flowers just for this purpose? Is there a magnet flower farm somewhere? How do you choose which flowers to press? Are they seasonal? Do they freeze or shellac them, or something before they get set on the tiles? And like, when you're pressing flowers, are you constantly looking to see if one of the petals have pressed funky? I mean, I do that when I press flowers into a book.

Does anyone do that nowadays? Press flowers into a book? How sentimental. And an odd thing to think about in this day and age.

I've done it only a couple of times that I can remember. A pretty flower from somewhere in Big Sur. A pretty baby bloom from Paris or England, I can't remember.

Oh, and somewhere, in a travel book, I have contraband pressed blades of grass from Heinz football field in Pittsburgh. What?

Again. Having hit Publish Post and seeing this magnet in pretty with the blue and green. Sigh.

(That's weird, huh, to sit back and admire that which I didn't really design...)
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cheating on George Clooney...with Joshua Jackson

Magnet #151 - Dawson's Creek, but really, Pacey's Pond

I swear, this is the last of the Cheating on George Clooney series, but really only because I haven't any magnets for Clive Owen or Jason Statham or Gerard Butler or...well, you get the picture.

Really, one could argue that my fling isn't really with Joshua Jackson, but really with Pacey J. Witter (except for the tragic Promicide episode, which we won't discuss here).

Joshua's probably the longest fling, since he's from like, OMG, the 1990s, which is odd, since he's actually the youngest. He's also the most like George, too. I'm convinced young Joshua's gonna be a George when he hits his mid-30s and 40s.

Really. He had a taste of success when he was really young - obvi, those Duck movies (/Pacey, Breakfast Club-esque Detention eppy). Then the Creekers were the hottest thing off The WB for a couple of years. And during and since, he's done a couple of rather ok movies, mixed in with some critical work that no one really saw. Having watched almost anything he's put out - I think he's damn sight better than most people give him credit for.

I'm hoping that Fringe, his new show this fall, will do for him what ER did for George. That might be shooting a bit high, and I might be here next year at this time wondering why it didn't take off. Granted, I've seen only the same "leaked" pilot version online that everyone else has seen.

It has a few things going for it. Joshua Jackson. The other JJ - J.J. Abrams. A fairly interesting concept. Damned awesome titles and supers (what? yes, I'm reaching, but they really are freakin' awesome). A fabulous good teaser campaign that I hope they decide to nix the real launch ad campaign for.

It does have a few things against it. It's on FOX, which means (unless J.J. has them over a barrel somehow) it has only a couple of shots to make it, before Fox programming decides that they don't care how much they've spent on advertising and ruthlessly pulls it. Also, Mark Valley's in it, and though I love him and he's adorable, too, he can be somewhat of a show killer. And, the verdict's out on the lead chick - though she's like a young Cate Blanchett, she's a little too bland. (They should have cast his real-life gal pal, Diane Kruger, but no doubt, there's another National Treasure to produce. Heh.)

But, for now, who cares? My Pacey's gonna be back on my tv every week!

Dear FOX,

Don't screw it up.

Love and kisses,
Pin It!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cheating on George Clooney...with Thorsten Kaye

Magnet #150 - Thorsten Kaye

Ok, ok, it's a miniseries, I can't help it. I think there's only one left after this one.

Yeah, George Clooney knows by now that I'll always come home to him, but my wandering eye, has forced me to wander to places and people that I would never have thought I'd go.

Case in point: Thorsten Kaye, from the ABC soap operas, All My Children, One Life to Live and Port Charles. And the film Shark Attack 2. (Yes, there was a second one. And a third, if you want to get technical. But that third one shouldn't count since John Barrowman swears he did that just for the money. Wait, you didn't know there was a first?)

So V thinks I'm a little nuts going to London to see David Tennant. Some might think I'm a little nuts because I already have my elevator conversation planned out for Josh Duhamel (it's to tell him that I've been to his hometown of Minot, North Dakota, but we thought it was pronounced Mineau...c'mon, he's sure to get a giggle out of that. Oh, shut it.)

But, to be honest, only Thorsten Kaye has lured me to actual soap fan events. I know! And not just one. Noooo, because that would be sane. I've now been to one AIDs fund-raiser, one pancreatic cancer fund-raiser, one studio taping event at ABC, and the piece de resistance, one SuperSoap Weekend at DisneyWorld. To be fair, I convinced friends to go to them too, so I'm not the only nutter in the bunch.

And, it's not like I want to meet the guy. Actually, it's not like I want to meet any of my boys. Oddly enough, I don't like knowing there's someone behind the tv or movie screen. I don't really want to know what these guys are like in real life, lest they let me down, and ya know, be human.

I guess it's a good thing that I haven't met any of them. You see, they serve alcohol at these fan events, which gives both the fans and the soap actors a chance to unwind and get stupid. Together. In the words of David Tennant driving around the Top Gear track - "That was baaaaddd!!!! That was baddddddd!"

So, Colin Egglesfield - you're definitely one guy that I'm not cheating with George on, but you were the last actor to pay for my fan event silliness. I'm sorry for drunkenly chastising you (read: yelling) for forcing your BFF from Chicago (read: the guy who works at a sister company of mine and technically a work colleague, since that's all we talked about - work) to come to the last charity bartending event and making him watch all the girls fawn over you (read: instead of him, cuz honestly, in a drunken haze, he was a bit cuter than you).

See? David Tennant was right. That was bad. Having a bit of a shouting match with a soap star is bad. Though, I suppose it could have been worse. I could have been a drunken cocktail waitress from Vegas who ended up going home with George Clooney.

No. Wait. Damn.
Pin It!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cheating on George Clooney...with David Tennant

Magnet #149 - Doctor Who (again)

As I mentioned yesterday, my current fling is David Tennant. Again, George Clooney doesn't mind. After all, he's been clearly enjoying his summer post-that Vegas cocktail waitress. George is also safe in the knowledge that David seems to prefer BBC employees anyway. *snerk*

Since Josh got his time yesterday, David gets equal play today. Well, that's not quite true - I keep blogging DW/DT since I was silly and bought not one, but two, different Doctor Who magnet sets and now have a disproportionate amount of DW magnets lying about my fridge.

I will give David his props - after I finished Christopher Eccleston's turn as the Ninth Doctor, I was absolutely sure that I wasn't going to like the Tenth Doctor. I derided the Wee Doctor at first, but it didn't take long before David's mad but passionate Ten quickly overwrote Nine. Sorry, Chris.

As I've managed to watch more of the David Tennant oeuvre, he's proven himself in role after role - whether as the mad but passionate mental patient in Takin' Over the Asylum, or as the mad but passionate psycho in Secret Smile, or even the mad but passionate lover in Casanova.

But, he keeps saying that being on the telly's more like a sabbatical from his real job - stage actor. So, I can't wait to see him in his natural environs. I finally got my Hamlet tickets - looks like I'm spending a few days in London during the holidays. Supposedly, that performance will have a talkback/Q&A with the cast, so I'm equally (if not more, actually) excited at the prospect of hearing Patrick Stewart speak as well.

Who knows, maybe it will take David and Patrick to make me like Hamlet, the play, the production, the Prince. (Not that Richard Burton was able to sway me, but I'll give it a shot.)

And, they'll have at least six months to practice - they open this week in Stratford. Break a leg, boys!
Pin It!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cheating on George Clooney...with Josh Duhamel

Magnet #148 - Las Vegas

Every once in a while, I cheat on George Clooney. My flings never really last long, because I always go back to George. And, really, he doesn't mind - we have sort of an understanding. An open relationship. (Except that chick, Sarah Larson - I dunno what the hell that was about.)

Anyway, my current fling is David Tennant from Doctor Who. But, not so very long ago, it was Josh Duhamel from Las Vegas.

I never really watched Josh during his All My Children years, but the second he hit prime time and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, I was won.

I loved Las Vegas - yes, yes, I know it was a total, gratuitous T&A show. Really more girl (and sometimes, on-girl) action for the boys, but as long as they gave me equal time of my boys - Josh, James Caan and James Lesure - I was pretty happy with it.

It was a silly show, and to be honest, I dunno how it managed five seasons all told. I was a big Danny/Mary fan, right down to the Duran Duran-centric episode, where they talked about going to the DD concert back in the day. And, I loved Vanessa Marcil - she totally rocked the girl-power as Sam "Hummingbird" Marquez.

But, my biggest reason, besides Josh, for watching this show, was James Caan. He was just fabulous to watch. I freakin' love James Caan. Sorry, Magnum, but Las Vegas jumped the shark the second they let Jimmy go.

Anyway, the show's done, but I heard rumors somewhere they may try for a special to tie up loose ends, or the producers may figure out a way to get a cameo Danny/Delinda (cuz of that stupid spawn of theirs about to be born in the series ender) scene on to one of the other shows.

Well, I guess I shouldn't complain. I'm all for seeing Josh Duhamel in anything. I mean, really, did anyone need to watch Turistas past the shirtless Josh on the beach scene?
Pin It!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blah-blah-blah, crabcakes

Magnet #147 - Annapolis, MD

Yep. Picked this one in anticipation of possibly going into work and trying to catch up after three days of being out.

It's a helluva lot funnier, if you know where I work.
Pin It!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

T-shirt heaven

Magnet #146 - Johnny T-Shirt

Going for a fridge magnet, because I'm on day three of fever, chills and aches.

Anyway, Johnny T-Shirt is one of the best places to find Carolina shirts in Chapel Hill. You can spend at least an hour there, and the one thing you won't be able to do is choose just one shirt to buy.

You know, come to think, I have to say, they may be the best quality tees, too. I still have and wear the shirt I bought there after the 93 Championship.

Dang. That's a great T-shirt.
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Off the Florida Keys

Magnet #145 - Key Largo Joy

I've never been to Key Largo, mainly because I'm betting I wouldn't be able to get away from the beaches down there.

But, every time I see this magnet my sister gave me, I think of the Beach Boys singing Kokomo.

That's right...and now you're singing it, too, aren't ya.
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SoapNet, wherefore art thou?

Magnet #144 - SoapNet Hot

I love swag. I'm a sucker for anything with a corporate logo on it. No, really. Stop snickering. I can hear you.

I had a friend who used to work at HBO, so she had access to all the coolest swag. But did I ask her for cool HBO stuff when she was there, or when she went travelling to trade shows? Nope. She basically knew which channels to hit up.

And at the time, my favorite little netlet was SoapNet. Oh, I know I was slightly obsessed with the soaps at the time, but more than that, for me, SoapNet was the damn little network that could. They were hot, and were the perfect case study of launching a cable network with a corporate umbrella. They had just celebrated their 5-year anniversary, they had stayed true to their mission, and hadn't yet branched off into their own programming, or those stupid SNM (Sunday Night Movies), or extended their scope to soaps...and celebrities. Ugh.

And they always had the best swag - right down to these fun little magnets (with Hot, Sexy, Liar, etc.) that I'll eventually post here, and supercool wine-glass tags labeled with "Evil Twin" and "Hero."

SoapNet branding was just wonderfully insane - and strong. It kinda still is, with its great commercials and really strong brand presence. But now their programming's gone a little haywire - taking what used to be my go-to-sleep channel to my go-to-sleep channel if Boomerang's not playing something good.

And I gotta tell ya, SoapNet - Boomerang's usually always playing something good late-night. Even when it's Top Cat. Or that damn Thundarr the Barbarian.
Pin It!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Would you like a side with that potbelly (stove)?

Magnet #143 - Potbelly

In keeping with the fridge magnet theme, here's a Potbelly magnet that a friend of mine got me in Chicago.

Until just now, I hadn't connected it with the sub shop, because we don't have any here in town. Which is sad, because I'm writing this post during my lunch hour, and now I'm kinda hungry.

But, how neat is this. Apparently, the owners used to run an antique shop, and on a lark, they started selling sandwiches. People started coming back for the sandwiches, and voila! Potbelly Sandwich Works!
Pin It!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

NYC Eats

Magnet #142 - Park Avalon

I haven't done a random fridge magnet in a while, so, I give you Park Avalon - a B.R. Guest restaurant that closed down a few years ago. People from work used to frequent this place so often, that it was tagged as one of our company "cafeterias."

Feels like everywhere you look here in town, there's either a new restaurant popping up, or an old one closing down. It's been said that there are so many places to eat here that that you could eat at a different place for every meal for literally the rest of your life. Sheesh.

I believe it, too. Just today, we visited three places I'd never been in my dozen years here - we went to Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side (where the Tres Leches doughnut is to die for), then walked into Brooklyn Heights and had paninis at a new bakery called Tazza that just opened last week, and then stuffed ourselves full of pasta at Lidia's Becco on restaurant row.

Well, I did say you could eat at a different place for every meal.
Pin It!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Everything I know about wine, I learned from Falcon Crest

Magnet #141 - Oakville Grocery, Napa Valley, CA

Well, it's true. I was only eight or so when Falcon Crest started, a CBS nighttime soap set in fictional wine country, Tuscany Valley.

I loved that show - had the biggest crushes on Lorenzo Lamas, Billy Moses, and even old Robert Foxworth. I loved watching Chase and Richard go up against the devious Angela Channing, played by the ex-Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman.

Seriously, watching this stuff during my formative years is totally why I ended up a romance editor.

Anyway, so like the Ewings fought over land and oil, the Channings fought over vineyards, grapes, and wine.

And sadly, that's where my wine knowledge begins and ends. I know I like white better than red. I know I like it sweet and fruity, and not terribly dry. And, I can't drink wine (or any alcohol) with any meal. I know that's weird, but I can either eat or drink at nighttime events, I can't do both. The alcohol clouds my taste buds for the food. The food clouds my taste buds for the alcohol. (Kinda like separating your veggies from the gravy on your mashed potatoes.)

Anyway, a friend of mine brought this magnet back from her Napa trip - I don't know how she knew that I love these "this far from nowhere" signs, but there you have it. It's from Oakville Grocery, which looks like the cutest place ever. The kind of first-name basis place where the same people have been going since it opened in the late 1800s.

I dunno why I didn't just drive the extra 169 miles from Monterey on my Woman of her Own Roadtrip, but at some point, a lost weekend in Napa is in order.

And then we'll see if my tune about wine changes...or if I end up buying a case of wine - with the prettiest labels.
Pin It!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weirder than those crop circles

Magnet #140 - Holbein the Younger's The Ambassadors


So remember how I was all complainy because someone at the National Gallery in London had made the decision to crop Holbein's Ambassadors around the inanimate objects, rather than actual ambassadors?

Dudes. While I was visiting my art gallery, I realized that I had yet another piece of that painting. Well, of course, it wouldn't be either of the Ambassadors. Quite clearly, the more interesting article would be the, I mean, the terrestrial globe.

Pin It!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

joy = fuddy-duddy. Yeah, I'll own it.

Magnet #139 - Friends are Angels
(Rant ahead, which will offend your young interactive sensibilities)

So, according to Merriam-Webster, the definition of friend is:

1 a: one attached to another by affection or esteem
: acquaintance
2 a
: one that is not hostile
: one that is of the same nation, party, or group
: one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
4: a favored companion
capitalized : a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war —called also Quaker

I'm of the mind that social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn, will soon make it necessary to add in
6: Persons interactively connected via social networking sites (whether they are real friends or acquaintances or not)
Since the advent of SNS, I've been torn over who my friends are online. There are those friends:
  1. who you actually know and spend time with IRL (in real life)
  2. who are former schoolmates from years back who have suddenly come back into my life (either I've gone searching for them, or they've found me)
  3. who are past and present coworkers and colleagues
  4. who are members of various groups you belong to
  5. who are family members
  6. who aren't really friends, they're just total randoms. (Well, no, actually, I'm one of those people who refuse random friending - I have to actually have some sort of interaction for you to see my profile. But, you get my point.)
What I don't understand are the folks who have a trillion friends, and openly admit that they don't know half of them. What is that about? Limited profile access or not, you're allowing random strangers into your life. You might as well walk up to people on the 2/3 train and say, "Hi, I'd like to be your friend. Ya wanna?"

Oh, I totally get the random friending, if you're a brand, a company, some sort of entity that wants to build a community (a band, author or other artists trying to get their name out there), or even a blogger with a high Technorati rating with some sort of influence in the blogosphere. But for individuals to follow this practice seems a little weird to me. For the individual, what's the point? So you can say I have a thousand friends? Is that how we're measuring popularity? Or how we're measuring personal relevancy on the web?

I mean, Mark Cuban hit 5,000 friends, and then was faced with how to tier his friends, or figure out another medium to get his message out there - because his website(s), blog and other accounts weren't enough. And, in his post, he goes through his tiers of friends - his real ones, the acquaintances, and the so-called Power Layer of those he's just friends with because they're good network connections. So that meant he (or, ok, his assistant) had to sift through those friends to figure out who stays/goes and at what level. Good grief. But, then! He's like all shocked that people wanted to treat him as a real friend - people checking in on him, sending FB emails, etc. I don't know why he was surprised - you accepted randoms, silly!

While I'm at it, SNS has completely obliterated the barriers of personal space. I mean, really, does your boss need to know that you went out over the weekend, got trashed and got laid and lived to regret it? Do we need to see the proof of that night? Do we need to know you're about to do it again this weekend? Does your high school crush need to know that you're still the same old dork you were years ago? Does your cousin need to know that your boyfriend loves you and thinks you're hot? Do we need to know what you dress like outside of the office or school?

One could argue that everyone has a vote in how much access they want to have to your life. We don't have to read the statuses, we don't have to click on the pictures, we don't have to watch the videos, we don't have to read all the Wall-to-Wall comments on the newsfeeds. And, yes, everyone has the choice to defriend friends, but man, how awkward is that? Plus, really. How will I know where the nearest happy hour is. In your neighborhood. Three states away.

Mind you, I'm not completely against social networking - I love being able to keep up with my actual RL friends via these sites, and in fact, I keep pushing more and more of them to join. SNS does have its benefits, I just worry that this Friend-frenzy is going to come at a long-term cost.

Just a quick eta, to say that I'm betting when my BFF gave me this magnet, she didn't anticipate me using it for this vitriolic post. If she were on FB, my status would say, "Joy apologizes for using Jan's magnet for today's vitriolic magnetpost."

But she's not. So now my status says, "Joy can now confirm
Rear Dress, Row K, Seat 19 for Hamlet in December 08. AND Dress Circle, Row D, Seat 21 for Hamlet in January 09. Decisions, decisions."

Hell. Damn. Yeah.

And Robert? Yes. I'm the same damn dork you knew in high school. :-)

Pin It!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Do what, now?

Magnet #138 - You want me to do what?


Feels like I'm saying this more and more.

Right before I go and do whatever it is they're asking for.

Yep. Somebody's got sucker written on her forehead. Wanna bet who that somebody is?
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Give the man some knowledge...

Magnet #137 - Japanese Footbridge

I mentioned yesterday that if you'll look at the pretty-pretty picture of Monet's water garden, you'll see the Japanese footbridge waaaaay in the back.

And here it is!

What? I can't help it, I loves me some Monet. I was thinking of making this week Monet week, but, as I was visiting my art gallery (on my fridge door, remember), I sort of realized that I could have a Monet month. So, consider yourselves spared.

Which is what my dad was hoping for during our time in Paris, a bit of a reprieve from the daily grind of Musee du this, Musee d'that. And everywhere we went, there was more Monet. After our Giverny trip, he was all studied up on Monet, having been on the tour and everything. And, he learned, that Monet had a degenerative eye disease, just as Goldengait mentioned yesterday.

So, there my parents and I were sitting (my dad has a homing beacon for benches of all sorts) in the middle of the Musee Marmottan, surrounded by walls and walls of Monet. And we're surrounded by quiet conversation of the other visitors.

And all of a sudden, through the quiet, you hear my dad: "You know, he's not very good. He only painted this way because he was blind."

Pin It!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Impressions of Monet

Magnet #136 - Giverny, France

If the picture in the magnet to the left looks familiar, it very well should.

It's Monet's water garden, which Monet had custom-designed, after he purchased the land across the railway from his home in Giverny, France. If you look superclose, you can see the Japanese bridge far in the background, and in the foreground, you can see the clouds reflected in the water, among the water lilies that he was so fond of painting.

My parents and I did a side trip to father was glad for a day not spent in yet another museum, and my mother was entranced by the gorgeous gardens. Our train trip started from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris - the subject of another Monet painting, and it ended in the sweet, sleepy little village of Giverny. Then on to Monet's house for the tour (of course) of the house and the gardens.

I have to say, there was something truly special about being in the very place of several of Monet's masterpieces. It was like seeing all of his impressions come to life as we walked where he walked, sat where he sat, and took pictures of what he painted.

We enjoyed ourselves so much, that we almost missed our train ride back to Paris that evening. Seriously. We hurriedly walked all the way back to the station, and I was so worried that we'd end up having to stay out in Giverny, without anything but the clothes on our backs, and speaking un peu Francais.

I was busily bargaining with every higher being I could think of, while my parents were totally cool about it, just being merry, la-di-dah travelers, having put all of their faith into me just getting the job done and us back to Paris.

Oh, it turned out just fine, but man, it's hard work being in travelcharge!

Having hit the Publish Post button and seeing this magnet in my blog layout, I have one thing to say: Oh, how pretty! Blue and green!

Hee. It's just so lovely that I had to say it. Forgive me, it's my favorite color combination in the entire world.
Pin It!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Whew! Or, is that Who!

Magnet #135 - Doctor Who - Ten (again)
(U.S. folks, caution: There be Who spoilers here.)

Yep. Dodged that one with a bullet.

For the past week, the world's been been waiting to see if the BBC had managed to pull off the biggest secret in Doctor Who's broadcasting history - regenerating David Tennant's Ten off the show, and casting the Eleventh Doctor. I swear I think I got more damn Google alerts about David Tennant in these past seven days than I have since I created the alert last year.

Finally, we have our answer - not only didn't David Tennant leave, he became a Doublemint twin! And now, all TPTB at Doctor Who and the BBC can rest at ease.

Except, apparently they haven't. What's also been interesting this week is the massive crackdown that the Beeb is finally getting around to doing. After a whole season of full episodes being available all over the net, the BBC spent this week been pulling vids and accounts left and right, sending out cease and desists, and in general, flexing their BBC muscle - obviously to protect their show copyrights and licensing fees and what not.

Since 4 or 5pm New York time Saturday, only a few hours after the show had been broadcast in the UK, I've been watching as content just disappeared from almost every outlet, as if the Daleks themselves were at work. In fact, it's like the BBC specifically targeted this time period, because they knew the traffic would be just enormous. Seriously, it's like the middle of the night, and vids were still getting yanked.

What's even more surprising is the will of the people: the material's getting re-uploaded, almost as quickly as it's taken down. Poor BBC web team, I imagine it's like trying to take out an anthill in your backyard - the more you kill, the more and more pop up from underground.

If I were to be perfectly honest, I've always generally landed on the side of big business - it's their material, and they've the right to protect it however they see fit. When it's uploaded without permission, no one involved with the show gets one red cent from that airing. So in the end, we're hurting the little guy, and the people that poured their blood, sweat and tears into this project. Yep. That's me with my business cap on.

However. There's the fangurl part of me - you know, the one who'd move to the UK just to be on the same viewing schedule - the one who just wishes they'd held off one more week, and then did their crackdown.

Of course, that fangurl is the one who watched the finale tonight at least four times, the one who will watch the episode when it airs on SciFi in four weeks, along with every other airing of it on BBC-A and SciFi this summer and for months to come, and most important, the one who will buy the damn DVD box set at its highly inflated (though generally worth it in the end) prices when it's finally available in the US.

No, I have no answers for you here. I just wanted to say that while the Doctor Who finale (and its truly devastating ending[s]) was pretty good, the real show tonight was the BBC vs. the Internet.
Pin It!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Birthdays, weddings and beaches (or not, as the case may be)

Magnet #134 - Pacific Beach, CA

Birthdays. There are a few friends and family birthday combinations that always confuse me every year, no matter how many times I'm corrected. I never get them right.

January 26 vs. January 28
May 20 vs. May 22
June 6 vs. June 10
July 5 vs. July 6
December 30 vs. December 31

Seriously - you'd think that I'd have a master calendar of birthdays. And I do. It's just that sometimes, it's even wrong. Or, it's at the office. Heh.

So, today may or not by my friend's birthday. If it is, hope you're having a great birthday. If it isn't, and it's tomorrow, hope you'll have a great birthday.

This is us in the magnet. Her wedding in San Diego was the final stop on my Woman on her Own Roadtrip I took. It was great fun - she rented a house on the beach for everyone to stay at, and it was like a reunion of all her cousins...people she'd grown up with, and by extension, people I'd grown up with.

As ya'll know, I don't like the beach - in fact, I don't remember actually touching the water, even with the house on the beach. So instead, one of her cousins and I squeezed in a drive-by trip of San Diego proper and of Coronado to see the Navy SEALs. (Shut it. I like SEALs.) I even squeezed in the Flower Fields of Carlsbad...I didn't actually go into the fields, but of course, made it into the little shop to grab something for my gardening mom.

Even with all the sidetrips - at some point, I need to make it back out to San Diego - to actually do San Diego, but mostly to meet her ever-growing family! I'll get there, I swear!
Pin It!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy fourth!

Magnet #132 - Hong Kong

What? It's just a couple of hours to July 4th there!

Actually, it's pretty much July 4th every night there - they have the Symphony of Lights, a daily light show that highlights almost 50 buildings in Hong Kong. It's supposedly the largest light show in the world. And, it's truly amazing. While you can see a pretty good vid of it here, it really doesn't do the actual show justice.

We were in HK last year, as part of a 15-hourish layover on the way home from the Philippines. (Hey, I didn't plan it - like I'd plan a layover where a good six of those hours are sleeping. Heh.) After dinner, we tucked the tuckered-out parents away in the hotel room and hightailed it down to the water so that we could watch the show.

Jeepers. I gotta tell ya, the lighting design was simply spectacular - the designers used every inch of the skyline, and brilliantly used the great architecture to their advantage. One of my favorites was how they used the cool geometrics on I.M. Pei's Bank of China tower - you can see it at like the 3:25-minute mark of that random YT vid I mentioned above.

And, if you go here, it's an interactive section that totally takes you through what each building is on the skyline.

The show does go on just a bit, and as you're watching and oohing and ahhing, and in between taking many, many photos (half of which won't come out because you're in the dark, and with a point and click, it's almost impossible to catch the right lighting with the right flash and the right amount of arm's length to get a group self-portrait shot), you find yourself thinking several things.

First, oh how pretty.
Second, oh how colorful.
Third, wait. There's music?
Fourth, wait, how much are they spending on electricity?
Fifth, wait, how many buildings are involved?
Sixth, dannnng, how'd ya like to be the poor coordinator who had to deal with the building owners of all those 50 buildings?

Then it's over.

And then you go shopping for 50-degree weather clothes that's not flip-flops, a T-shirt, and capris because you forgot that a layover means you pack a change of clothes in your carry-on because they keep your suitcase. Duh.

I forgot! This superneat magnet is what they call a Twinkle Postcard Magnet! For reals, yo! That's what it says on the back. It's foamcore and you just pull the tabbytab and the fireworks light up! Dudes! (It's really a postcard for mailing, too.)

I'm cheating, though. Instead of using the magnet I bought in HK, a friend of mine brought this back from a recent Asia trip of his. Wait til you see the other ones he brought back for me!
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Angry Little Asian Girl

Magnet #131 - Angry Little Asian Girl

Well, sometimes I do!

Anyway, I made this magnet (and quite a few others that I'll get to, eventually) out of an ALG postcard. What's ALG?

Dudes. Really?

Angry Little Girls. A comic strip by Lela Lee. She's only the most awesome to ever awesome.

My sisters and I have been watching this strip grow over the years from Kim, the first little Asian girl, to all of her little friends and now pets and family. And between us, we have the ALG books, a couple of the totes, shirts, and, well, you get the picture.

And, now that she's got that little shop, I've been seeing tons of her stuff around town. (I kinda wish she'd start selling magnets, though.)

Go. Now!
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

That that nation might live

Magnet #130 - Gettysburg College Cupola

So, this day in 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg (the turning point in the Civil War) began.

It's kinda weird, I seem to have quite a few magnets that are war-related. I wonder if that's because man tends to build more war-related sites and monuments, etc. Or, maybe it's because more happens on the field of battle than in a meadow of peace, and that's what we need to remember. As Lincoln said:
The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
Actually, this magnet is the Gettysburg College cupola at Pennsylvania Hall. A friend of mine went to one of their events, and they were giving these magnetic lapel pins away.

Why the cupola, you ask? It seems to be one of the hallmarks of the college, and according to the site, Pennsylvania Hall has great historical significance. It's one of the college's original buildings (circa 1837). But also, both armies took it over at some point during the Battle. It's a high vantage point, so they (included General Lee) used it to keep an eye on the fighting raging below. On top of that, this building housed the more than 700 casualties treated there. And finally, it was from here that the students (I had thought most colleges had closed during the war, but I supposed wrong) walked into town to hear Lincoln deliver his address.

Oh! There's also a whole Cupola Society, which is comprised of the high-end donors to the school. Which I totally thought was a secret society, but then realized that to be secret, they'd probably not have their own webpage.

Pin It!