joy magnetism: September 2008

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh, Minnie, you're so fine

Magnet #221 - Minnie Mouse

Blogging from the sunshiney state of Florida tonight.

From Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club.

No. I don't play golf.

Yes. It's weird, I know.

Go with it.

Down here on client business, and so far it's been a fun 24 hours. Yay, Tampa!

Minnie was the closest thing I have to Tampa...but no worries, I'm totally hitting the airport shops tomorrow. I like a little shop.

I just realized. I came to Tampa. But I never saw Tampa. And now I'm leaving. Huh.

BTW, found a supercute Tampa magnet. Whu-hoo! Doesn't have my name on it, though. That's kind of annoying.
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Monday, September 29, 2008


Magnet #220 - Garden Maze

An acre's never seemed so big. The Garden Maze at Luray Caverns, Virginia was terrific fun.

It's one of those old-school giant mazes that you have to figure out how to get to the middle. It's more fun when you travel in packs, though it's funny how you start to compete with other random people in the maze.

It's also funny how as time wears on, you start to second and third guess your choices...mainly cuz you've run into a green wall. Or two. Or ten.

Kinda wish I'd visited the little shop to buy this magnet, before we went through it.
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Allons-y, Alonso!

Magnet #219 - Titanic Artifact Exhibit

So I went to this exhibit several years ago in Raleigh, NC. Given that it's an exhibit about a very real tragedy that ended in more than 1,500 lost at sea, it was still a very cool experience.

When you first arrive, they give you an identity of one of the passengers - from steerage (if you're me) or first class (if you're a Jonas Brother) - and you go through the exhibit, learning more about the experience for that particular passenger, as well as what happened that superscary, cold night. There's even a spooky room that has a giant iceberg that you can touch that gives you a sense of how cold it was.

The real reason I'm using this magnet, is because, through very minimal urging on my part, I managed to get some friends of mine to do a very long Doctor Who Series 1 and 2 marathon over Labor Day weekend.

I found out that one of those friends, who was originally puzzled over my newest obsession, has been trying to catch up on Series 3 on BBC-A and on PBS ever since. And periodically, she's been leaving me vmails or texts or emails or FB wallposts about Doctor Who. She's finally come over to the David Tennant side - she was adamant that she looooved Christopher Eccleston, but David managed to woo her. Heh.

I dropped all of Series 4 on to DVDs for her and got the funniest message yet. A very jumbled and excited vmail thanking me for the DVDs. She had gone home sick that day and found my DVDs in her mailbox. She'd already started watching them, and her favorite quote (of course, because it's like one of the best kick-ass DW quotes ever) was:
I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the Constellation of Kasterborous. I'm 903 years old and I'm the man who is gonna save your lives and all 6 billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?

Huh. I keep forgetting to tell that friend about Midshipman Alonso Frame being touted as RTD's choice for Eleven. Supercute. But, as long as it's not Eddie Izzard, I'm fine with whomever.

Oh. And, obvi, today's title was my own pick for fave quote from the
Voyage of the Damned eppy.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Who are those guys?*

Magnet #218 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

A giant in the industry has passed. I woke up today to the very sad Paul Newman news. Man, will he be so missed. I loved that guy. I'm sure everyone else will do fitting tributes to him, so I won't even go into it here.

Instead, here's another giant of his own industry.

The Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks are home to the Giant Sequoia General Sherman, one of the tallest, oldest and largest living trees in the world. It's something like 2,300 to 2,700 years old! And it's about 10 feet shorter than the 22-story Flatiron Building here in town. Amazing.

I went to visit during my Woman on her Own Roadtrip a few years ago, and the park was just something to behold. There's a certain sense of quiet in the forest as you walk around, and you can almost feel what it's been like for these big trees hanging out in the forests these thousands of years. I would bet money that the people wandering in shadows of these trees have provided absolutely years of entertainment...for the trees.

*Obvi, from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. One of the best movies - ever. Never seen it? Here it is in a nutshell. We used to use this clip in our new business branding presentations. Awesome.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

It was allllll a dream

Magnet #217 - Dallas, TX

Soooo, apparently, 22 years ago today, America saw Bobby Ewing emerge from the dead. In Pam's shower. With Pam freaking out, and the rest of us going, what. the. hell.

I remember watching that episode, too. That was crazy. Like, supermondo crazy. I mean, daytime soaps used to do it all the time, and still do it. But, for a nighttime soap with a more mainstream audience to do it, man, people were con. fused.

The questions were rampant - was everything that happened since his death undone because it was a dream? was it just Pammy's world that went nuts? was Bobby all shriveled like a prune? how much water did he waste? what kind of drugs was Pam on? did JR know? maybe he wasn't shot?

And, who was crazier, us for watching this show with rapt attention? or them, for coming up with that crap?

Well, clearly, that's a draw.
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bear Market

Magnet #216 - William Beard's The Bear Dance


It's such a bear market out there that the bears are practically frolicking in the streets.

Actually, this is what I imagine all the bears do when I leave the vicinity after hours and hours of fruitlessly searching for them.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Duh-na-nu-nuh! Duh-na-nu-nuh! Chh! Chh!

Magnet #215 - Beverly Hills

Of course, I watched the original.

Of course, I watch the reruns.

Of course, I am watching the redux.

What I can't figure out is, is 90210:
  1. An homage to the original?
  2. A spoof of the original?
  3. Trying to be to this generation, what the original was to that generation?
  4. Trying to be a serious Spelling-esque drama in its own right?
I suppose the answers don't really matter since The CW picked it up for a full season. That's fine. I'm kind of light in the Tuesday 8pm hour anyway.

Now, if only the 9pm hour would calm down just a bit. I think The Mentalist may fall off the dance card fairly early. I love me some pretty, pretty Simon Baker and Owain Yeoman, but maybe not enough to give up Privileged (my new Gilmore Girls replacement) or Fringe (my new Pacey show). And I've already tiered Greek down to online status.

Ah, Fall TV is the most wonderful time of the year!

Ok. Let's put all these swirling rumors to rest. George is NOT gonna show up in this last season of ER. He's just not.

Except you totally know I'll watch the damn series finale, just in case that damn man decides to prank us again.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A taste of home

Magnet #214 - Duke's

Our other work "cafeteria" across the street. Love.

It's like being at home. If home is the roadside joint with a bunch of 45s lining the ceiling, strings of non-Christmas, Christmas lights, a busted jukebox, 90 flavors of hot sauce, PBR specials, meals served on a stainless steel TV tray, and some pretty darn good barbecue.

But don't ask for Iced Tea. It's the only way to tell they're not really from the South.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative.*

Magnet #213 - Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design

So according to my sister, the Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design is a must-see...the next time I'm in Milwaukee. I figured with this week being Advertising Week and the results from last night's Emmys, this magnet fit pretty well.

When Mad Men premiered, I couldn't figure out if I was enamored or horrified watching Don Draper and his associates at Sterling Cooper, and his family a Metro-North ride away. A season and a half, and one Outstanding Drama Series Emmy into the show, and I'm still trying to decide.

I'm enamored because the production itself is outstanding - from the acting, writing, and directing to the costumes, the attention to period details, and hair/makeup.

I'm horrified because the characters scare the hell out of me - the lies they tell, the deeds they do, the imperfections that make them more human than characters on television.

I'm enamored because advertising's the focus - the clients, the pitches, the true-to-life never-ending battle between the Creative and Account folks, and even the tidbits during the commercial breaks are pretty neat.

I'm horrified because when I talk to the older guys in the biz, they say they don't need to watch it...they lived it. Whoa.

Either way, it's been one of the best shows on television, and a defining one for AMC. They took a chance on what was arguably a show that wouldn't have lasted more than a month on regular network tv. But, AMC kept it on, let the show find and build its audience, gaining more and more traction with each passing episode. And yesterday's Emmy proves that everyone's finally joining the party. Yay for Mad Men!

*David Ogilvy, "Father of Advertising"
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

I believe in the church of baseball

Magnet #212 - New York Yankees

I admitted a while ago that my baseball allegiances tend to depend on the boy I'm dating. Or, really - what tickets I have for that night.

That doesn't stop me from loving games at both Yankees Stadium or Shea Stadium. Neither are very pretty on the outside, but there's something truly awesome about sitting somewhere in the cheering stands on a warm summer night, with the bright lights and beautiful green grass...and cuteboys in uniform running around the diamond.

Now, we're getting a new Yankee Stadium and Mets Stadium, right next to the old ones.

Tonight (unless the Yankees make it to the playoffs) marks the last game to be played in current stadium. They're opening it six hours early so that fans can say good-bye, and the local newsfolks are already interviewing cuteboys in pinstripe suits - no, no, actual pinstripe suits - on their feelings today.

Big day for the Bomber fans as they say good-bye to the House that Ruth Built.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

You can call me Al

Magnet #211 - Have a nice millennium

I got a email from Al Gore. That's weird, right? Here's why.

I'm in advertising. I should be cynical and jaded about this business and the content that we produce, but I gotta tell you. A bigger sucker for advertising you've never met. If there's an interesting commercial with strong branding and a clear call to action - I end up taking that action.

When the folks at the We Campaign started running their ad, I totally heeded the call and went to their website to learn more. And, simply because the well-designed home page had some blank fields for me to enter in my email addy to opt-in, I joined the fight. And got an email from my buddy Al.

But, his email served a couple of purposes.

  1. To remind us of what We stands for (a nonpartisan effort to help solve the Climate Crisis by Repowering America with 100% clean electricity...within 10 years).
  2. To ask for money. To help air their new Repower America ad. They were already buying a national cable buy. And, if they could raise $80,000, they'd be able to afford a network buy - on 60 Minutes and 20/20.

That's where I stumbled. I'll be dead honest - the fact that we were being asked to help generate money for airtime drove me positively nuts. Mainly because a part of me wondered if people could raise $80,000, couldn't we give it to some organization that actually does something with the money than buying airtime.

The next day, I got an email from the CEO of We, saying that within six hours, Al's email managed to generate more than $150,000. And how because of such an outstanding response, they were able to add on a national CNN buy next week!

Which sent me into such a tizzy. But, after stomping around at work discussing this with coworkers, I think I've come to grips for myself. The left-leaners managed to convince me that the money being raised to help air the spot would generate awareness among millions more viewers (who would then learn more, and donate more and join the cause and help We gain even more traction). The right-leaners managed to convince me that Al Gore invented the Internet.

Anyway, whatever you believe, this marketing effort was a complete success in my case.

  1. It made me visit the website.
  2. It made me join the cause.
  3. It made me discuss it with my coworkers.
  4. It made me blog about it, and hopefully make you guys comment on it.

Well played, Al. Well. Played. Looks like we might have a nice millennium after all.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Shake your money...tree

Magnet #210 - Marine Midland Bank

I wanted to wait to see how the markets closed today before I wrote today's magnetpost. Oh, and to make sure nothing else crazy happened to round out this crazy week.

No, no, don't be afraid, I'm not going into some long diatribe about how we're in a financial crisis of epic proportions and OMG, the sky is falling, etc., etc. It's a magnetblog, not CNNMoney.

But, the market did do some crazy-ass jumping around since the opening bell on Monday to today's closing bell. But, it ended semi-okay today - everyone seems to be doing some positive thinking, based on some supercomplex government rescue plan.

No, no, I'm SO not planning on explaining how they're doing that. I'm full of questions, but I'm not going to lie - I don't think I'd understand it if someone took the time to explain it to me.

I suppose the only question I have is where is this magical money tree that the U.S. Government has? If we're borrowing money from Peter to pay Paul (or should I say China to pay the Middle East) for gas, and we're giving millions away in foreign aid, and giving money for all the natural disasters that we've had recently, and we're already in a trillion, trillion dollars in debt...where did the billions for the Freddie Mac, Fannie May, and AIG bailout come from? Not to mention all money for this new plan to help out the other struggling banks?

Hey, can I get one of those trees? Are they on sale at Target? (My gut says, yes. Right next to Lives. Heh.)

Speaking of banks - Marine Midland Bank. It was a local NY bank from Buffalo, which no longer exists, having been absorbed into HSBC back in 1998. Dudes, speaking of magical money trees, I think I might have a magical magnet tree - I've had this thing for 10 years and I haven't a clue where it came from.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

So...what now?

Magnet #209 - National Constitution Center just have to wonder what the good ole boys were doing the day after they signed the Constitution?

Did they all get straight to work building our nation?

Did they all take a very important vote on goodness knows what?

Did they all make up a supersecret handshake?

Did they all finally go home to their wives and families?

Did they all vote on Senior Class Superlatives, like Most Congenial and Most Gregarious and Most Contentious?

Did they all just go home to sleep for days?

More important, were they all hung over after the partying?

Ok, so additional magnets from various places allow for silly magnetposts. Good to know. The original National Constitution Center magnetpost.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If men were angels...

Magnet #208 - James Madison's Montpelier government would be necessary.
- James Madison,
4th president,
"Father of the Constitution"*

Happy Constitution Day! This day in 1787, our founding fathers signed the Constitution, forever cementing the foundation of U.S. history.

And, at James Madison's Montpelier today, they're celebrating another foundation - that of wrapping up their five-year campaign to restore the presidential mansion back to its former glory.

Interesting, but slightly freaky fact: James Madison died on a July 4...the same date that Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Adams died. But, when Madison died, he was pretty much broke, leaving Dolley to have to sell off Montpelier. Each subsequent owner renovated, and in the end, the house was almost unrecognizable. Indeed, the last owners - the duPonts - had a 55-room house, versus James and Dolley's 22. Whoa. But, if I remember correctly, the last duPont owner left her entire estate to restore Montpelier.

That's where the fun begins. When they began the restoration, the house began to talk. We had a terrific tour guide, and based on her passionate lecture, it truly must have been supercool to work at Montpelier these last several years, discovering all the secrets of the house, not really knowing what was under that floor, in that wall, or over that door.

They found out that there were like 51 doorways in the original house...and by the time we visited, had only found 38 of the missing doors...only they weren't missing, they were just in different locations.

They found out that the windows beside the grand entrance? Didn't open outward: they slid right into the walls - something unheard of back in the day.

Dudes, they even found a rats' nest with bits of a Madison letter (!), and wallpaper, which let them figure out what wallpaper to use!

Ok, ok, suffice to say that the Montpelier tour was one of the coolest live exhibits that I've ever been to, and I'm totally looking forward to going back.

*Source: I rarely ever need to source things, usually because I can link to them, but I find it incredibly funny that a lot of this tour that we did back in 2006 was repeated in the Madison article in American History magazine (Oct 08) that a friend saved for me.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One if by land

Magnet #207 - Old North Church, Boston

Supposedly today's the day that Shawmut village or penninsula renamed itself Boston. I've found only one reference to a date, so let's just go with it.

I picked the Old North Church because it's Boston, and because tomorrow marks the beginning of National Constitution Week, and I thought it might be a pretty good connection.

Oh, I won't go into it, because even if you don't know this particular church, you certainly know the story, or the Longfellow poem about Paul Revere's midnight ride. This is the infamous church, the highest point in Boston, where the guy had to climb up to the steeple and hold up two lanterns to let people know that the British were coming by sea.

Goodness, how different would our world have been had it been a foggy night?
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Monday, September 15, 2008

What the rest of the world thinks of America

Magnet #206 - SoapNet Rich

Yep. Talk about misperception. Relatively speaking, sure, America is a wealthy nation.

Except for, it seems, this year, and in particular, today. I personally freaked out earlier this year, over the Bear Stearns fiasco. Now Lehman Brothers is filing for Chapter 11, Merrill Lynch is being bought (wtf?) by Bank of America, and AIG is scrambling for emergency funds, and WaMu may be doing the same. And now, everyone's holding their breath for the opening bell in a few minutes.

Superscary. Everyone says don't panic. Ummm, yeah, ok. I'll get right on that.

Anyway, I'm turning this magnetpost on a dime....for a quick Rich story to end on a less dire note.

When we were at Chapel Hill, my galpals and I went out over to Duke to see how the other half partied. First, it was a dorm kegger with a band. Whoa, private schools can party right out in the open, apparently. Second, this supercute guy came up to me, and introduced himself.

Him: Hi, I'm Rich.
joy (starting to walk away, with my nonPoker face showing): I'm sure you are.
Him: No, no, I mean, my name is Rich.

We ended up going out after that, but really, he was in the engineering department, and thus way too smart for me. OMG, I think I dated Rusty from Greek!
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Burn after watching?

Magnet #205 - Washington, D.C.

Ok, so remember when I was telling you guys how I was the worst stalker ever? And how I hightailed it up to the Upper West Side to go find George Clooney filming Burn After Reading?

This is how bad of a stalker I am. The whole damned film is set in Washington, D.C., and I couldn't find the Upper West Side anywhere in the movie.

Which means, I might have to go see the movie again, so that I can figure it out.

But, here's the kicker - I don't really want to see the movie again - even with my George. I've come to the knowledge that I'm not the biggest Coen Brothers fan out there. Some of their stuff's good, but some of it, I just can't sit through without looking for my watch.

Burn had a ton of terrific performances. Brad Pitt was hysterically funny, and totally steals the show. The story was terrifically convoluted, as all Coen Bros movies are wont to be. The Carter Burwell soundtrack seemed a little out of place, but I guess they were going for a bit of camp.

My problem was that I spent the first several minutes wishing the story would start. And then the last several minutes for the movie to finally end, desperately trying to remember what the runtime was, and trying to stop myself for reaching for my phone or my blackberry to do a timecheck. To distract myself, I started counting up the times that the audience laughed, particularly the guffawing guy two seats away. There were a few funny moments, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it was as funny as that guy thought it was. I'm just sayin'.

Of course, with Burn placing number one this weekend at just over $19mil, I'm probably in the minority here. But one thing I pride myself on is being able to see Clooney movies with an objective eye - and not just fangurling everyone about it.

Well, sorta:

So, yeah, Burn After Reading. If you're a big Coen Bros fan, I don't have to tell you to see it. But, if you're not, well, my boyfriend was supergreat in it, but it definitely wasn't my favorite Clooney movie ever...but hell, it was better than Solaris and The Good German, so go see it!
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

I do not think Mandatory means what you think it means

Magnet #204 - Rodeo Houston

So. Wow. That happened.

It's superscary to think how many people they evacuated, how many people stayed behind, and how many people they're having to search and rescue for.

I worry about this term Mandatory Evacuation, and why it's not enforceable. I suppose you can't make people leave their homes, but at what point do the fun and games of a hurricane party become too damn dangerous? How do you just ignore the words certain death?

I'm also unclear as to why there were so many damn media people being buffeted by the winds. I understand that we all have this need to actually see what's going on, and we need those people reporting, but man, at some point, just go inside.

My favorite quote was some TWC anchor last night who was pointing out how many people - media and hurricane partiers - were outside in the weather, just hanging out. And he says, as the wind and rain was flying sideways already, "some people just have no respect for the power of Mother Nature." What. The. Hell.

Anyway, just wanted to finish this rather ranty magnetpost by sending out good thoughts for those in Ike's path.

Oh. And a couple of words about the magnet: Enrique Iglesias. Boys in chaps with horses and bulls. Yeah, everybody wins.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Burn with me

Magnet #203 - Beware of Female Spies

I must remember to stop myself from buying additional magnets when I re-visit places. This one's from the International Spy Museum that I've mentioned a couple of times before...and I think there's still another magnet somewhere on the wall over there.

But, this one's a good one - the Coen Brothers and George Clooney (yes, yes, and others) deliver the last of their so-called idiot trilogy, Burn After Reading, which opens today. Go. See. It. Usually, I take a half day, or a day to go see his movies on opening day. But, like a dummy, I scheduled too many meetings. Bah. Anyway. Go. See. It.

So, I've had plenty of chances to stalk Clooney - here, in LA, and even in NC. I've been in the room with him, but didn't tackle him. And I'd never actively seek him out, which makes me just about the worst stalker - ever. But.

Last fall, my colleague over the wall from me at work received a call from her nanny...who ran into George on 78th and Broadway. No. I mean, literally - she bumped right into him. When I found out that my friend had the exact location of the shoot (Ruby Foo's on Broadway and 79th), I quickly shut down for the day, packed my bags, and literally high-tailed it uptown.

Dudes. I've never done that before - for anyone. But it was just too good to pass up!

So, I get out of the subway stop...and it's exactly like in the movies. All the trailers. All the catering. All the mechanical and prop trucks. All the cast and crew. All those orange construction cones and PAs with Madonnaphones.

Poof! Gone.

Seriously. All they had left in their wake was a few sheets of paper drifting in the wind. So sad. I've never actually seen a production break down so damn quick. It was like everyone had left me behind. Dang.

So, yeah. Burn After Reading.

Go. See. It.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Patience or Fortitude

Magnet #202 - Library Lions

I wanted today to be a New York magnet...though ironically, a friend of mine from Atlanta gave me this magnet from my own's one of the Library Lions sitting in front of the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.

While I've been to the library for an event or two, I've never taken the tour. Oh, eventually, I'll get there. Dudes, I haven't even been to the shop! So, yeah, ya'll know for sure that I'll eventually get there.

There's a whole book on the lions - called Top Cats - so I'm not gonna go into much detail here. But, I will say that after many nicknames for some of the first families of New York, it was Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia who nicknamed them Patience and Fortitude...supposedly because that's what he thought New Yorkers would need to help get them through the Depression.

Funny how even now, today especially, these same two traits are still applicable.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who can take the sunrise, sprinkle it with dew

Magnet #201 - Wilbur Chocolate

My sisters brought me back this magnet from Wilbur Chocolate in Dutch Country, PA. Frankly, it's odd to think that there's another chocolate company in Pennsylvania, and one that didn't get put out of business by the Hershey juggernaut.

This is a magnet that I have next to the candy stash at my desk at work. I'm the Candy Girl of the office, I can't help it. I rarely eat it, but always keep a stash of stuff to nosh on.

Today's offerings:
  • Top shelf: Twizzlers Licorice bits and Hershey's Candy Corn
  • Middle shelf: a jar full of Nestle's Baby Ruth and Crunch, and Hershey's Take 5 and Kisses; and a Jelly Belly machine
  • Bottom Shelf: Oddly, Lance crackers - I get them imported from my parents. Heh.
I have to let ya'll in on a secret though - I've become a bit of a chocolate snob. These guys will do in a pinch, but if I had my druthers, I'd rather spend my money on the high-end chocolate. The kind where two pieces = the cost of a bag of Hershey's.

I don't get them often, but my real favorites here in NYC are the Rooster from Vosges, the bon bons from Michel Cluizel, the nut truffles from Kee's, the plain truffles from La Maison du Chocolat, or the assortments from Jacques Torres.

Oh, and if you've got some spare milk around, nothing - and I mean nothing - beats these Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies from Payard Patisserie.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy 200th, and thanks!

Magnet #200 - Takashi Murakami's Flowers

Happy 200th magnet! The internet gurus say that the majority of bloggers abandon their blogs within 3-6 months of starting. So, yay for me!

Today's pin/magnet is Takeshi Murakami's Flowers, for two reasons.

1) Because c'mon, how cute are these flowers. I saw Murakami's work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art earlier this year, and really enjoyed a lot of his work. The flower room was overwhelmingly dizzying, with flowers on all four walls, plus the giant flower sculpture in the middle. Just amazing. My favorite part, was the cellphone description for it, where Murakami says he deliberately included some flowers that aren't smiling...because he thinks kids should know that the world out there isn't all happy and shiny.

2) Because it's a rather cheerful image which reflects my mood today. I just wanted to thank everyone from around the world who has stopped by to visit (and post) on joy magnetism. I appreciate it very much. So far, I've had visitors from almost every continent. Thanks to my handful of regular readers for taking time to read about this weird little magnet collection of mine and the oddball stories that go along with it. And, thanks to the random blogsearch drop-bys.

I have to say that though it's been great to catalog my magnets, on a marketing professional level, blogging has given me tons of insight into the bloggers' mindset. Plus, it's allowed me to see some of the organizations who are clearly on top of their blog monitoring. It's been an interesting ride, thus far.

Of course, I'm still waiting on someone from Antarctica to visit my blog...oh, and someone from And And


I just had to add one more thing, since it's new Fall TV (the
best time of year):

PACEY'S BACK ON TV TONIGHT!!!! Eeeeeee!!!!!!!!

What? I know he hates being known as Pacey. I don't care. It's cause for celebration
! Joshua Jackson's gonna be on my TV in Fringe every week! Well, at least until FOX screws it up.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Mondays suck

Magnet #199 - Taming of the Shrew

Let's hope today's magnet won't be a portent of well, today.

Just a little reminder to keep myself in check, is all.
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

An architectural smile*

Magnet #198 - Gaudi's Casa Batlló

So my sister gave me one of those wonderfully designed and packaged books that I love so much - you know the books. The ones that you rarely buy for yourselves - very little text, pretty pictures, well designed and on good paperstock, so pretty, you're afraid to read it?

She got me 1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die, and I love it. It's fantastic. I love looking through it, seeing all the supercool buildings from around the world. I've been going through it and trying to figure out how many of them I've been to, or seen face-to-face. I refuse to count it up until I get to the end.

I sort of have a leg up, what with living here in NYC, where there are at least a dozen of the buildings. Oh, and also with me having gone to a few countries in Europe. But, if anything, this book has taught me that there's a world of amazing architecture out there. Literally.

This magnet is one of those buildings. It's Gaudi's Casa Batlló, in Barcelona, brought back by the same sister above. Locally, they call it the House of Bones - it does look rather skeletal and bony. But, if you look, there aren't very many straight lines - it flows and ebbs and it's quite amazing. From all the pictures, the inside is just as curvy-curvy. And it has all this neat tilework on the facade. I'm sure it was amazing to see in person. I'm a little sad that there are trees blocking the building from a good view.

It's definitely been added to my list of buildings to see one day. Right now, number one on that list is the Automium, in Brussels. Which was apparently built for Expo 58, a World's Fair type of exhibition.

C'mon. How could you not want to walk inside a giant silver ball? Hello, you could go in and pretend you're Jodie Foster in Contact!

*From an essay by Juan Bassegoda Noneli, lest you think I'm that poetic
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

The city, some flags and some water, too

Magnet #197 - The Gates

This magnet takes us back home to NYC, bringing the musical ambassadors magnetpost miniseries to an end.

Long trip. Long ago. Whoa. This magnet is exactly 15 years after the trip. Excuse me, I need to go find my cane.

So. The Gates. This is quite apropos, because this public art project was set in Central Park 3 years ago, and currently, we have another public art project set along the East River.

The Gates: 7,500 gates (free-hanging, saffron-colored fabric panels, reaching about to 7 feet above the ground), 16 feet high, with a width varying from 5 to 18 feet, stationed about 12 feet apart, lining 23 miles of footpaths in the Central Park. Estimated cost: $21 million, cost borne by the artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The NYC Waterfalls: 4 waterfalls cascading from heights of 90 to 120 feet, dotting the East River from under the Brooklyn Bridge, just above the Manhattan Bridge, at the Brooklyn Piers, and on Governors Island. Estimated cost: $15 million, privately donated. Artist: Olafur Eliasson.

I loved the Gates. Loved. It was weird and silly, if you think about it. Really, someone took the time to construct 7,500 gates, when we could have saved the world? But, take a look at the pictures - it was just gorgeous. The sheer size of the installation was truly amazing, and so much fun to walk through! Of course, I had a friend who teased me about how we spent millions for a bunch of flags in a park.

Cut to three years later, and the Waterfalls. I know they're expecting something like $55 million in tourist dollars from it. And, I will admit to not having seen them lit up at night, or from the water vantage. But, I have to say that every time I've seen them (at the Brooklyn Promenade, or on the pier below Brooklyn Bridge, or driving down the FDR), I've been seriously underwhelmed. I know it's supposed to be pretty, and that it's recycling the water from the river and not hurting the environment in any way, but really, you can see the scaffolding behind the falls, which just dispenses of the magic of a waterfall, and calls attention to how sad the waterflow is.

Nevertheless, like a good New Yorker, I recommend going to see them and I parade visitors around them, too. Although, I may have deterred that one friend from making a special visit to see them. I mean, if he made fun of my flags, how's he gonna like my waterdrops.
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Friday, September 5, 2008

Pip, pip, cheerio, and all that rot

Magnet #196 - Tower of London

Country #7 - Great Britain

Since I've done several London posts, and likely to do more - short and sweet for this one.

So at this point we're in the home stretch, the last stop before flying back home. We've just spent the night swaying back and forth across the Channel, where I remember very clearly rocking back and forth in the bathroom, telling my friends that for sure, Gopher, Isaac, and the Doc weren't swaying to and fro on the Love Boat.

After more tours, and more tours and more museums, we played our last concert at the Barbican, and that was the end of that. Oh! And I totally got ripped off, having to pay like $150-200 for Phantom tickets. For standing room and obstructed view! Though as every band geek knows, back then, the tix were worth it, though, even if it wasn't anyone of note as the Phantom.

Whirlwind trip to be not to be forgotten. I mean, if you think about it, I remember the fun stuff. And the historical stuff, well, that will always be there to revisit.

Oh, except for that chapel at Windsor Castle. Damned if they didn't have to rebuild it, after it burned down shortly after our visit.

I swear, it wasn't us, though between that chapel bridge in Lucerne and this one, I was starting to wonder...
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

And we think they're rude?

Magnet #195 - France-Soir, et un cafe et pain

Country #6 - France

So, again with the musical ambassador kids running around big European cities, unescorted...and for some reason, looking for the Crazy Horse because some of the guys wanted to go? Ummm, I just looked it up, and now I'm sorta wishing I were posting from not my work computer. Oops. Mon dieu, the innocence.

I remember going to the newly Pei'd Louvre, seeing the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysses, being underwhelmed by the rather short Eiffel Tower (but soooo singing View to a Kill), and being outside Napoleon's tomb. I also remember being a very silly high schooler, having a fight with the boy, and thinking it tres tragic et romantique, having him follow along behind us on the streets of Paris, until I finally accepted the silly rose he'd bought to make up with.

On our way to Le Havre to take a Channel ferry to Portsmouth, with the end of our trip finally in sight, we passed through Rouen for a few hours. Rouen is where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, the Cathedral is where Richard the Lionheart's heart is entombed, and the place Monet came to paint a few of his famous works.

And what did we do instead? Found a spare piece of a4, drew a sign of a famous logo with a yellow highlighter and black pen, and asked the locals...

"Ou est Le McDonald's?"
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd...

Magnet #194 - Val d'Isere, France

Country #5 - Switzerland

Again, I'm stretching with an applicable magnet.

A friend brought me this magnet (thanks!) from his ski trip to Val d'Isere in the French Alps...but today's musical ambassadors country is actually Switzerland. So maybe this magnetpost is really more Alps-y.

The confusion, though, is kinda fitting, because we're more than halfway through, and at this point, it's been about a dozen days, five performances, four countries, countless cities and villages, a lot of buses and many, many tours.

Lucky for me, I'd already discovered the magical restorative powers of Toblerone. Not the U.S.-made, weak-ass Toblerone. We're talkin' caffeine-laden, ultra-rich European Toblerone. AWE.Some. And I distinctly remember eating Toblerone as we traveled the through the incredible St. Gotthard Pass - seriously, it's God's country through there.

Let's see...Switzerland - Lugano, Lucerne, Engelberg.

I remember Lucerne because of this really cool medieval covered bridge, Kapellbrücke. It was built in 1333, and depicts the city's history. Sadly, it burned to the ground a couple of years after we went, so what's there now is a reproduction.

Hands down, Engelberg was my favorite place. We bunked here for a couple of days, and it was a good place to catch our breaths...or rather, hanging out in some billiards joint, having made use of the hotel's construction scaffolding to escape curfew and hotel room hop.

We took one of these skyways up to the mountaintops - where we froze our bums off, wearing our light summer jackets. Weird, because it was warm enough to picnic at the base of the mountain. Unlike the bigger towns where we'd all get separated, it was quite odd to see our band mates running around felt like our own mini-invasion.

And it was such a sweet little village - all nestled in the beautiful Swiss Alps. Wrong country, but Engelberg was very Sound of Music-y.

(You're singing the puppet show song now, aren't you.)

Lay odl lay odl lay hee hoo
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Italy, Italy, wherefore art thou, Italy

Magnet #193 - J.M.W. Turner's Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore

Country #4 - Italy

It's funny how many paintings of Venice I have in my little art gallery, so I picked this Turner, since I've not used him before.

By this time in the musical ambassadors trip, we'd gotten a lot more comfortable with each other, having made friends and figuring out the routine of music rehearsals and performances, and then packing up our stuff quickly, boarding the bus and being shepherded and toured around towns that had all begun to blend together. Most of us silly high-schoolers slept through a lot of the guided bus tours, and suffered through the guided museum tours.

To be honest, I can't imagine how anyone trusted us enough to go roaming the cities alone without chaperones - if our parents knew how much alone time we had, they'd have come along as chaps, too. Actually, though, that's what I remember most about my trip - running around each foreign country in a pack of 4 or 5...high-schoolers just mucking about major cities that didn't necessarily speak English. Which means that though we mixed with the locals, we didn't necessarily see all the touristy stuff to see.

Venice was no different. We ducked the pigeons (YUCK) of most beautiful and famous Basilica di San Marco, saw Doges Palace and the Bridge of Sighs (even if I can't remember it), did our own little romantic walk through the canal bridges and back alleys of town, ate authentic pizza, did an organized boat tour (slept again), and therefore couldn't convince my friend to ride a gondola (hmph), and saw glass being made at the Murano glass factory (Chihuly has nothing on them).

We were also set loose upon the streets of Verona...where we opted for a walk through town and authentic gelato, rather than visiting the infamous Romeo and Juliet balcony, or other famous churches and sites. Argh!

We were in actually in Verona to see the non-Disney/Elton John version of Aida in the other world-renown outdoor arena. But we were on a 3-hour rain delay, during which we opted to find a place to serve the boys a contraband glass of wine, run around town in our best clothes, pretending to be a gangster and his mob moll.

Nope, I kid not. It's amazing how a hefty Asian guy with a Swiss name can look like a big Italian bruiser while wearing a big-boy suit and sunglasses.
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Monday, September 1, 2008

The sound of a little night music...but not in Cassone

Magnet #192 - Gustav Klimt's Church in Cassone

Country #3 - Austria

Austrian Gustav Klimt was one of the big Vienna Art Nouveau painters back in the day. Apparently, he was also obsessed with painting the female art form...and my magnet of his Church in Cassone seems to be one of the few famous ones without a chick in it. And that's all I got. Except that I've not seen this piece...I think it belongs to a private collection.

Our visit to Austria seems to have been awfully short...I remember only Innsbruck and Salzburg.

Innsbruck is one of the few Olympic sites I've been to - the Bergiesel Ski Jump bowl was just amazing. We performed at their congresshouse, if I'm not mistaken, and we visited the Imperial Palace, and I think saw the Golden Roof, one of the iconic sites of the town.

Salzburg, I dimly remember waiting in a lonnnnnng line to visit the Mozart birthplace/museum, and seeing some of the sites from The Sound of Music...which is apparently so controversial a topic, they couldn't keep the "Visit Salzburg" site from sounding slightly caustic when talking about the movie.

Oiy. More and more am I feeling this trip was wasted on my youth. Argh - my adult self is wishing my high-school self had paid a lot more what we did, and committed a lot more to memory to what we saw. What I wouldn't give to repeat this trip all over again...minus the boy, but plus a better researched itinerary.
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