When I moved from NC to NY in the 1990s, people wondered how a girl who grew up with a Salisbury population of about 24,000 (1,800 if you count Granite Quarry, where I really lived), would fare in a city of 7.3 million. Thirteen years later, and I'm still here, and loving it.
It's not easy, because you do tend to become anonymous in this town. That's awesome, especially when your underage Food Lion purchase of Zima in NC gets reported to your mother, not the cops. (Slight exaggeration, but not by much.) But, you make a few good friends in town and you make it just fine.
Of course, there are trade offs. Grass. Tourist-free zones. Fresh air. Open spaces.
But dudes, where else in the world do you get an email in the middle of the day to see James Taylor and RegisPhilbin on Letterman? Where else do you get to see a very unassuming JT come out unnoticed during a break to say hello to Dave, and then hear him jam a number with the CBS Orchestra off-cam, and then hear him sing "Seminole Wind" on-cam?
And where else would I be home to magnetpost about it, while the show is airing, and before the JT performance to come?
How sweet it is, indeed.
Thanks for the tix, Erin! It was the pink of perfection!
No worries, not sharing an old boyfriend story. I just figured this pinkAngry Little Girls Boy Chaser magnet would be fun.
Someone once accused someone I know that the only reason she watched half the shows and movies she watched is because of cute boys. Umm, I say, so what and BMA.
Using my TV dance card from last week, here's my list of TV cute boys - in no particular order, and not paying attention to actor or character. Don't worry, no objectification here, I'll totally respect them in the harsh light of day. :-)
Would I want to meet any of them in person? No, not particularly - I'm quite happy that they live inside my tv box.
Private Practice - Taye Diggs and Tim Daly.
Dirty Sexy Money - Peter Krause, and to a certain extent Donald Sutherland. Oh! And Blair. Oh! And that guy who plays the minister brother. And I love the little kid, so cute.
Eli Stone - Jonny Lee Miller (though I wish they'd let him use his accent), and Victor Garber.
Brothers & Sisters - Hell, all of the Walker brothers. And Rob Lowe, of course.
Grey's Anatomy - - Kevin McKidd. He's the reason this show stayed on the dance card, because I lost interest in McDreamy and McSteamy in seasons 1 and 2.
LOST - Jack and Sawyer, but mostly Sawyer. Oh! And a little bit of Brent Cullen, back in the early days.
All My Children - Thorsten Kaye.
Ghost Whisperer - Leo from Relativity!
Numb3rs - both Eppes brothers.
The Unit - yep. All of them.
Flashpoint - yep. All of them. Except the pink Power Ranger.
Knight Rider - Justin Bruening, I know he's a soap guy. He's pretty, and drives a pretty car.
My Own Worst Enemy - Christian Slater.
Crusoe - Crusoe.
Lipstick Jungle - Paul Blackthorne (bring back Dresden Files, dammit), Andrew McCarthy, shockingly, that new guy who plays Rodrigo (who used to be Mary Camden's hub), and maybe that Scott Speedman-lite guy who plays Kirby.
Chuck - Zachary Levi. And Jayne - I mean, Adam Baldwin.
Heroes - Milo. And Adrian, if he'd gain weight. Oh, and Greg Grunberg. What? I can't help it.
Friday Night Lights - Coach Kyle. Always, Coach Kyle.
Fringe - Joshua Jackson (duh), but also Mark Valley.
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles - Brian Austin Green. Dudes, I'm just as surprised as ya'll are.
Bones - David Boreanaz, and that Hodgins guy.
90210 - Rob Estes. I watched Silk Stalkings for him. Yeah, I'll watch.
Privileged - Up through last week, Megan had 3 cuteboys on the hook. Yeah, go for the Dawson, dude. It's the only time I'll ever say that.
Valentine - that Kristoffer Polaha guy from North Shore. C'mon, he's cute, even when he's shooting that stupid Cupid gun.
Gossip Girl - proving that I'm too old for this show, Rufus Humphries.
One Tree Hill - Nathan. And I would watch a show with *just* the kid that plays his son. He's cuter than Webster ever thought of being. Oh, and that Owen the bartender guy.
Supernatural - Who really wants to choose only one Winchester boy.
Saving Grace - those two hotboys who take turns being her partner.
Psych - c'mon. Shawn and Gus? Yes.
Burn Notice - Michael. Of course.
Doctor Who - David Tennant (duh).
Torchwood - Captain Jack and Ianto (duh).
Top Gear - I know, I know, but I love all three boys.
Cash in the Attic - Alistair Appleton and Paul Hayes.
Primeval - that guy who plays Stephen, who is apparently married to Sarah Parrish.
Robin Hood - Jonas Armstrong and Richard Armitage.
MI-5 - Rupert Penry-Jones and soon Richard Armitage.
Mad Men - Jon Hamm and John Slattery.
GH: Night Shift - that guy who plays Patrick, oh, and Robert Freakin' Scorpio.
Greek - Cappie, and sometimes Evan.
Sons of Anarchy - Jax Teller, cuz he's just awesome. And yes, I'm looking for an appropriate motorcycle magnet for a proper SAMCRO magnetpost.
Entourage - E, even though he's little. And Piven. Even though he's little, too.
Army Wives - I love all the husbands, cuz they're just made of win.
It's TR's birthday today! For a guy people considered an accidental president (because he took over after McKinley was assassinated), he sure became a seminal U.S. President. Bully for you!
A few weeks ago, a friend and I went up to Oyster Bay. It was my second time in (on?) Long Island, the first being just after that European band trip almost 20 years ago. I know, I know. You'd think with all the big deal the Sex and the City and Gossip Girl made about the Hamptons and Sag Harbor, and blahblahblahtoorichformybloodcakes, that I'd have at least gone out there to see what the fuss was. One word: Beach. Here's another: Ugh.
Anyway, so of course, I pick one of the most cerebral things to do on LI, which is visit a presidential house: Teddy's Sagamore Hill.
First and foremost, let me just say that the National Parks Service should give their tour guides a raise. Hands down, the best guides - EVER. They know their sites, they know their history, and for goodness' sake - they CARE. Otherwise, why would they be giving tours to apathetic tourists, instead of earning a cushy salary elsewhere. Seriously. NPS, give the guides their due.
Our guide at Sagamore Hill was no exception. She gave a brilliant house tour.
Sagamore Hill was Teddy's rustic getaway that allowed him to leave the city and get back to nature...without having to go all the way out to North Dakota to do it. Known as the Summer White House while he was president, the house served to entertain industry giants and dignitaries - and he has the hardware to prove it. Seven-feet-tall elephant tusks. Rhino feet inkwells. Samurai swords. He even earned his Nobel Peace Prize (the first awarded to an American) by negotiating the end to the Russo-Japanese War - here at Sagamore Hill.
Like his Birthplace in the city (with possibly my favorite NPS tour guide), Sagamore Hill also houses much of his hunting trophies. It's so odd to think that the walls filled with such game trophies would belong to Teddy, the great conservationist.
Still, it's quite an amazing house. There's so much more to learn about this place, but you really just need to visit. It might be dorky as hell, but I find it's always quite of the awesomest awesome to be able to walk through the front doors of presidential houses to learn about the history of the rooms that lie beyond. Go visit. You won't be sorry.
So, we established yesterday that we moved from Chicago and its snowy, snowy environs down to sunshiny Salisbury/Granite Quarry, North Carolina, when I was in Kindergarten. And, though I was fairly young, I remember feeling very much like an alien on the playground.
First, the alien name: Supposedly, that's when I started going by Joy in school. I swear, I was told it was because no one could pronounce "Linille" as my first name, though now I'm rethinking that train of thought, given the kidnap thing. So already, I was kinda getting used to the name - apparently that took, given my penchant for, well, my name.
Second, the alien language: I remember the first day of school. Because my last name begins with Ab...I was first in the lunch line. The teacher told me to lead the line from the classroom, and "stop down yonder."
I got in trouble. Because I kept going. Because I didn't know what the hell "down yonder" meant. C'mon, I mean, even now, can anyone tell me what "down yonder" actually means?
Third, the alien accent: I was lucky to understand the words "down yonder," cuz on top of not understanding the Southernisms (which we ended up buying a book about later on, which explained so much), I couldn't understand the thick accents. Seriously. Northern versus Southern accents are hard to get used to. Still are, sometimes.
Fourth, the alien environment: No snow. There was NO snow in North Carolina. At least not smackdab in the middle of the state. And how was Santa going to find us without snow? So what'd my very sweet parents do? They packed me up in the car and drove me up to the mountains of North Carolina to prove that it did snow there. I swear, I remember being let out of the car to touch the snow and being very happy.
Finally, the alien communications: So small was Salisbury, that our moving to town made the front page of the local news section of the local newspaper. A whole article about the new family in town, and the kid they had to tote up to the mountains to prove the existence of snow in the South.
Anyway, there were many other things over the years that made me feel like a alien in NC, and the ensuing culture shock from it...but, I probably have magnets for those, too.
(Mind you, they probably wouldn't be a Doctor Who Slitheenfrom Raxacoricofallapatorious, but this was apropos to the subject, and also, pinkish for NBCAM!)
eta: Today's DW shout-out is also because I had a dream last night that I was pals with David Tennant. And went to watch his new show: Hamlet.
David Tennant wasn't that great of a singer in it. Also, mysteriously short.
I was born in Chicago, and lived there for the first five years of my life. Then the Blizzard of 78-79 hit, and, complying with an ordinance outlawing too much snow on rooftops, my dad fell off the roof of the house. By March, we were living in North Carolina. Our people were island peoples, can you blame him?
That was the story I told for the next 25 years of my life. Blizzard, rooftop, bam! North Carolina.
So, my sister (the one actually born in NC) calls me one day, while she was at home visiting our parents, and asked me about the kidnap thing. I'm like, do what?
She'd been in the car arguing with the parents, and had busted out with "Well, I don't know why the hell you moved to this damn state in the first place." And one of the parents goes, because of the kidnapping threat.
I'm still like, I'm sorry, do what? Much like my sister said. Out loud. To them.
They said, yeah, your sister almost got kidnapped, so we had to leave. You know this story.
My sister's like, NO, I don't!
It's at this point where I tell my sister I have to get off the phone. I call my parents to discuss, and the story goes as such:
My mom's practice was in the South Side. I used to hang out there - I was the cute little Filipino girl traipsing around in the office waiting room, mom's office, my playground. One of the patients was a junkie who demanded drugs from mom. She refused. Said patient went a little nuts, and threatened to kidnap me, that anything could happen, and even knew where I went to preschool.
So my parents basically hightailed it out of town to keep us safe.
Cut to 25 years later and I'm freaking out on the phone, and they're like, but you knew about this!
Uh, NO. Don't you think that if I had a choice between the blizzard story and a kidnapping threat, that I'd lead with the kidnapping threat?
At this point, I had to get off the phone with them. So that I could call everyone I'd ever met (/Cordelia), and tell this exact story.
But, as I thought more and more about it, the more it made sense. Where I used to have free reign over the office in Chicago, the office in NC, not so much. We were always restricted to mom's office behind two closed doors, and never allowed into the waiting room, unless it was a patient that I knew (my teachers, principals, etc.). Of course, the more and more I thought about it, I had to call my parents back and to ask, OMG, were they were sure they were my parents, and OMG, what if I'm not really joy!
All joking aside, and to be a tiny bit melodramatic (me? never!) about it, finding out 25 years later completely rocked my world. It was a bit like everything I'd ever known to be true in my life (at least the blizzard/roof thing) was a lie.
Anyway, so now ya'll know the story of how became the Transplanted Yankee on a Southern Playground.
P.S. This story had nothing to do with real playgrounds, or the National Program for Playground Safety, but I thought it fitting. But I'm not gonna lie, I totally changed up the hues from their corporate red, to the pink for NBCAM.
I've avoided writing up my tv show dance card, mainly because I'd have to use mousetype to fit all my shows on the card. But yesterday's Facts of Joy #4 said: "In any given week, I watch at least 30 hourlongs of scripted television. Which means I value television more than sleep. Yes. I know. There's something wrong with that."
By my convoluted math, if I watched full seasons of all my shows back to back, it would take about a month and a half of me watching television 24/7 before I was done.
The below list is in no particular order, and includes all the shows that I watch that are still on the air (even if they're not on currently). It does not include the fact that this year, in an unprecedented move, I've broken up with a few shows (Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty) and cut new shows from the roster early (The Mentalist [sorry, Simon and Owain], Eleventh Hour [sorry, Rufus], and Life on Mars [sorry, Jason]), and I've almost stopped watching my soap operas (sorry, Thorsten).
*Oh, and it does include shows that I know I'll probably watch when they debut. Beyond this list, I cannot add any more shows. Nope. Thank God I don't watch any unscripted television.
ABC (10) Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Brothers & Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, LOST, All My Children, Cupid*, Castle*, Single with Parents*
CBS (5) The Ex-List, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs, The Unit, Flashpoint
NBC (8) Knight Rider, My Own Worst Enemy, Crusoe, Lipstick Jungle, Chuck, Heroes, Friday Night Lights, Kings*
FOX (4) Fringe, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Bones, Dollhouse*
The CW (6) 90210, Privileged, Valentine, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Supernatural
TBS (2) The Closer, Saving Grace
USA (4) Psych, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, The Starter Wife
A&E (1) The Cleaner
BBC-A (11) Doctor Who, Torchwood, Top Gear, Gavin & Stacey, Cash in the Attic, Primeval, Skins, Graham Norton, Robin Hood, MI-5, Merlin*
AMC (1) Mad Men
SoapNet (2) GH: Night Shift, MVP
ABC Family (3) Lincoln Heights, Greek, Diary of an American Teenager
FX (1) Sons of Anarchy
HBO (2) Entourage, True Blood
Lifetime (1) Army Wives
Showtime (1) Diary of a Call Girl
Sundance (2) Architecture School, Iconoclasts
Gravy. I watch television like it's my job. Someone tell me again why the hell I'm not in the industry again?
eta: I totally forgot about the Sundance Channel. Sorry, Bob.
eta2: Though no one really reads past entries, I'm totally going to start crossing out shows that are canceled, if only to help me keep my own sanity. Heh.
I'm relatively new to this blogging thing. It started as a lark, a way to catalog all my magnets. Then it became an exploration into the blogger mindset and WOM marketing practices.
Now, it's become a daily ritual: perusing my collection, picking out the magnet of the day, and figuring out what to talk about - a half & half mishmash of part silliness, part serious content. (Psst, how awesome is it that I had a perfectly pink [for NBCAM] magnet for today's meme-alicious topic?)
Since one of my favorite bloggers Televisionary tagged me in this round-robin of viral marketing, I'm paying it forward with my own list of favorite founts of information.
The Rules: I'm to share seven facts about me (like I haven't shared more than seven in the last 243 magnets, heh), and then tag seven other bloggers.
And away we go, short and sweet:
I used to be a romance editor. Still am, on a freelance basis. Now I'm hopefully a much kinder and not as skeevy Pete Campbell, having been in advertising for a decade now.
I was born in Chicago, raised in North Carolina, and live in New York City. Which means I have an accent that flows with the company I keep or my level of sobriety, middle-American values with a hard-ass New York attitude and just a tetch of country.
I was almost a kidnapping victim. Yes. There will be a magnet on that.
In any given week, I watch at least 30 hourlongs of scripted television. Which means I value television more than sleep. Yes. I know. There's something wrong with that.
I am a giant among my people. I'm 5'4" (and a half - every bit counts), and for Filipinos, that can be pretty tall, dammit.
I cheat regularly on my boyfriend, George Clooney. No. He doesn't mind. David Tennant and Joshua Jackson might, though. Or not.
When I'm not feeling apathetic toward my job that doesn't save the world, I'm a workaholic. Except during Fall TV and Sweeps. Oh, and when my DVR is at dangerous levels of full. Nothing worse than coming home to find your shows didn't tape.
And, below are seven of my most visited noncorporate (except Dezeen) blogs. Obvi, there are a ton more on my Google Reader, but these, and the ones along the right-hand column, are where I hang.
With as many times as I've been to Florida, I've only been to Miami Beach once. For work. Which technically means that I need to go back to do up Miami properly.
Though, we had a lot of fun while we were there. Things I learned:
- Some people have short torsos and long legs. This is what you learn when you tower over your normally supertall supermodel-esque coworker in your candy-apple red rented convertible.
- Some people you never want to see drinking and dancing. This is what you learn when you find yourself in South Beach with coworkers.
- Some people you never want to see in swim trunks. This is what you learn when you decide against your better judgment to go to the hotel's private beach where coworkers are swimming.
- Some people don't go to the actual business meetings. This is what you learn when coworkers show up at dinner with a mysterious, I've just been playing 36 holes tan.
- Some people don't let strikes stop them. This is what you learn when a group of coworkers decide to charter a plane to get there because they were booked on American...during a strike.
- Oh! And Cuban food? Tastes better in Miami than anywhere else.
- Oh! Also? I don't recall seeing any pink flamingos.
- Come to think, I didn't see any guys wearing suits with T-shirts underneath, either.
Yep. Many lessons learned.
Here's another: I'm going with a pink magnet to help support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I was gonna try and do a whole month of pink, but too many things happened in October! So I'm settling for spots of pink this week.
My friend and his wife picked this up for me while they were in Argentina. Dudes. Coolest. Magnet. Ever. Flove it! Thank you!
Lookit! It's dimensional! It has tango dancers! It's from Argentina! It's so colorful, I love it.
I learned the tango in college. Yes, I took Social Dance as my second PE requirement. (Now ya'll know why I suck at bowling.) It was great fun...well, except that I took it in the summer and aside from the supercute quarterback of football team, there were some slim pickins. And by that, I mean it was the older continuing ed folks, and then mostly girls. Sigh. Still, Foxtrot, Box step, the Waltz. Better than Arthur Murray.
Here's a fun little Globetrekker vid on the tango, just to give you more background.
I'll admit, outside of Social Dance and before the advent of Dancing with the Stars, the most exposure I'd ever had to the tango was Anna and Duke dancing it on General Hospital. (Horrible vid quality, but I swear I remember this episode like it was yesterday, rather than 1988. Shhhh. Just watch. You know you remember it, too.)
When I was young, my dad somehow got me interested in reading about the only 5-star generals ever. There were only five of them: George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry H. Arnold, and Omar N. Bradley.
Like most Filipinos of the post-WWII generation, my dad had a special interest in General MacArthur, whose famous speech promised his return to help save the Philippines from Japanese Occupation. And today, in 1944 (about two months before my dad was born), MacArthur made good on his promise, and landed back on the island of Leyte. This famous image of the landing is forever stamped on the minds of Filipinos the world over.
So, it's no surprise that we totally had to visit the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA. I mean, how could we not. It's a great way to spend a quiet morning - a small museum of his personal belongings, he and his wife's final resting place, visitors center, a library and archives, and, duh, a little shop!
Mind you, MacArthur was a hard man, impatient and often at odds with his superiors. That's what I got from the books. But, I got second-hand confirmation, eventually. One holiday, we had some company over - this family and their grandfather who used to keep my sisters and me when we were little. During dinner, somehow MacArthur came up, and old Grandpa Joe, (whom I'd known for 20 years but didn't know he was a vet), sat at the head of the table listening to the conversation, and in mixed tone of admiration and ire, busts out with, "MacArthur! Now, he was a son of a bitch!"
Some friends of mine brought this back for me from Macau. I don't know much about the region, but it's been fun seeing their pictures and magnets. Yay, learning tools!
For example, while I knew there was a fairly big Catholic population in China, I didn't know how that came about. The Jesuits were in the Far East as far back as the 1500s! And, the missionaries that started here in Macao traveled all over the region, and were instrumental for spreading Catholicism in China, Japan, and elsewhere in Asia.
You can learn more about them in the following links, but briefly, the Ruins of St. Paul are within the Historic Centre of Macao, China, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. They were actually the original College of St. Paul and the Mother of God Church (sometimes called the Vatican of the East), which built back in 1565, but were destroyed by a few fires along the way. Sadly, all that's left is the church facade.
Oddly, it's just around that time that Magellan stumbled on to the Philippines, and started them down the road to enlightenment... but that's a whole 'nother magnet.
I lifted this magnet from a former client of mine. Mainly because I was working on the account for a few months before I realized that their brandmark was an L and a G, stylized into a smiling face. Yep. Look again. I know! Add to that their tagline, Life's Good, and you've got some interesting branding work going on.
But, wherefore art thou, Customer Service? A few days ago, I woke up to find that overnight, my DVR (named Gene) had somehow gone back to September 30, 9:39pm (in the middle of that Fringe eppy, which was weird). Two weeks of October programming - obliterated. If you know me at all, you know that I just about freaked out. Very sad.
So I called Time Warner Cable, and giggled when I found out that their satellites were being affected by solar flares. The giggles started to wane, after about 5 minutes of yes, no, sorry, I did not understand you, with the virtual representative, and she said, would you like to talk to a representative? YES.
I got Cesar. And I swear, I was perfectly nice, I just didn't hear the first couple of things he said. He got frustrated with me. And raised his voice. Meanie. Yes. Cesar from Time Warner Cable's customer service was mean, offering no explanation as to what happened, no apologies for the inconvenience, no nothing - except freakin' loud attitude.
I ended up having to go down to the customer service location to get a new box (named Eugenia). The complete opposite of Mean Cesar was Wonderful Nadine at Time Warner Cable's customer service was wonderful, and solved my problem in ten minutes. Thanks for your help, Nadine!
To be fair, working in customer service can't be easy. I was at the post office this morning, and there were three typically self-entitled Upper West Siders who approached three different post office employees and were all so bitchy. I mean, I was there for all of it. Those customers were just embarassingly rude.
So I suppose, Cesar, if sun flares were affecting TWC sat signals, you might have had a hard day already, before you got to me. At least, that's what I'm hoping. Cuz if you're just Mean Cesar, then mayhap you need to seek a non-customer facing position. I'm just sayin'.
Soap operas got their name because they were dramas that were sponsored by companies who made soap. So there's a time-honored tradition of advertisers sponsoring whole television series.
They're going through a renaissance of sorts in recent years. Some of the cable netlets make their money by selling advertisers whole evenings of programming. But, it's probably easier and cheaper for advertisers to buy sponsorships for whole episodes instead - it makes for shorter, less likely to be FF'd commercial breaks and some product integration as well.
My favorite of late was last week's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (click here for GoldenGait's review of the actual show), provided with limited commercial breaks sponsored by the All-New Dodge Ram. There were four commercial breaks, all of them were Ram Challenge trailers, brought to you by the All-New Dodge Ram Challenge and Tony freakin' Scott. And, then within the show, somehow, John Connor's protective detail are suddenly driving a veritable fleet of Dodge vehicles.
Even with the requisite in-your-face, seconds-long close-up of the truck logo, they actually did a pretty good job with integrating product into the program. They had John and hot uncle Derek (BAG, my word, have you come a long way from 90210) leaving for the military academy and they were packing a million supplies into the flatbed of the truck. Nice product demo, that. The covered back of the truck, sliding in the giant boxes into the back, stuffing guns into the side storage space, and then, the cuteboys climbing into it. And then of course, the beauty shots of it rolling into the parking lot, or during the car chases, etc.
But for this episode, there were the trailers for the actual Ram Challenge web series, which directed you to the superfun to play on ramchallenge.com website.
Who went to that site? I certainly did. Who is gonna watch when it launches on October 19? I certainly am.
It's eight Ram Tough guys on four Ram Tough teams - the Cowboys, the Firefighters, the Contractors and the Military. They have to put the Ram Tough Dodge Ram through four big Ram Tough race challenges. The boys are kinda hot with their cowboy hats and tight jeans, and adorable, with their regional accents and their "love" for Dodge. Plus seriously? It's Tony freakin' Scott, you know the footage is gonna rock hard.
Now. Am I the target demo? No. Am I gonna buy a Dodge Ram when I live in NYC and have no need for one? Obviously not.
Nevertheless, I am the biggest sucker for marketing. Well. Marketing...and pretty boys.
So what did this Connor Chronicles sponsorship get Dodge? Well, according to Advertising Age, they were 10th on the Most-Recalled In-Program Product Placement list for that week. We could talk about this list til the cows come home - how great was that pretty boy interaction when Dean ripped out Sam's damnable iPod from his classic car on Supernatural, or what the hell was Boeing thinking, letting the The Unit (pretty boys again - I said I was a sucker) use their name in a plane hijacking story. But I digress.
And from me, well, I must have spent a good half-hour on the Ram Challenge site, I raved about it to everyone on my FB status and on a messageboard, and now I'm telling ya'll.
I'm like a Word-of-Mouth T-800. Well done, Dodge, well done.
*Mind you, I don't think Dodge Ram's using the Ram Tough external marketing tagline anymore, but somewhere on internal strategy documents, they have to be using it as a brand personality trait. Don't you think?
Queen Mary I was the daughter of King Henry and Catherine of Aragon. Today's magnetpost actually has a little more to do with Mary II, but I don't have a magnet for her.
You know how you meet someone on a night out on the town, and it's going well, and both of you are giddy in hazy like? And then...someone says something that you know you can't come back from?
Yeah. that was me. Sealing my fate with this guy...and perhaps all Irishmen.
The night was going really, really well. He was pretty darn nice, had a good job working at Chase, pretty darn cute, and Irish. Then we started talking about his Claddagh ring.
A Claddagh, for those of you who don't know, is an Irish ring, a symbol of friendship or love. The first recorded Claddagh was produced during the reign of Mary II. I'd bought each of my sisters one when I was in Dublin years before - I can't remember what spurred on their attachment to this ring, but there you have it. The point is that I knew better.
So Cuteboy is quizzing me on which direction meant what, and then asking me what each symbol means. We're bent over his hand, heads close together, shutting out the rest of the world (or at least the rest of the bar).
He points to the hands. Friendship, I say.
He points to the heart. Love, I say.
He points to the crown. The Queen, I say.
Sigh. I said it without thinking and with a couple of Tom Collins, Splash of Crans in me. I knew the answer was loyalty, I totally did. I don't know why the hell I said the Queen.
Double sigh. I knew the second I said it, the evening was dead in the water. When I looked up into his eyes, he confirmed it.
Sooooo not my best moment. And soooo not making that mistake again.
Another piece of magnetswag from our friends at Corbis.
We used to live in a world where communications went one way - advertisers told us what to think about products and companies, and the only way for them to know what we were thinking was through focus groups and sales.
Now, with something like 10 million bloggers, a gajillion message boards and dozens of social networking sites - everyone's got an opinion, and aren't afraid to express it. Whether it's posting a comment to a blog or message board, or changing a FB or Twitter status, everyone's got a voice on the Internet.
I'm no exception. I've gone a little post happy. For some reason I've moved from "why in the hell would I need a blog, it's not like anyone would give a crap about what I want to say" to "OMG, ITA, and here's why!" It's almost become a knee-jerk reaction to want to respond to blogposts and newsarticles.
Except I might need to rein it in a bit. Just the other day, I was reading on the train, and I felt the need to respond quickly with my thoughts. And by that, I mean, my fingers physically moved to look for the Post a Comment button.
I was on a train, people!
Reading a BOOK.
*"We do not expect people to be deeply moved by what is not unusual...if we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence."
- George Eliot, Middlemarch
eta: Here's something that a blogger can do. Rail against Cesar at Time Warner Cable Customer Service. He's MEAN. And? Didn't even freakin' apologize for the fact that the DVR just obliterated 2 weeks of programming off of my DVR. Wow. I used to LOVE Time Warner Cable. I know your job sucks worse than mine, but what happened to customer service with a freakin' smile. Bite me, Cesar.
And, I'm *totally* repeating this when I find an appropriate magnet.
My Own Worst Enemy on NBC has been very, very low on my 2008 Fall TV dance card. In fact, I didn't even know it'd been invited to the ball.
Even after it made it to my radar, I ignored it. Can you blame me? Especially given the last few years of high-profile film actors in high-profile flops that drew me in with their incredible marketing budgets, only to suck majorly and get pulled within a few airings. So, yeah, I totally ignored this show.
As of this writing, I haven't read a single review. After this writing, I'm heading over to see what Sepinwall, Televisionary, and maybe even TV Squad thought.
In the meantime, I'm going out on a critical limb here. It was actually pretty good. Surprisingly so. Christian Slater was actually pretty good. Not surprisingly so.
The concept, not a bad one. Henry just learned that through the miracle of government science, he's actually Edward, a secret agent 19 years in service, and he (Henry) is the split personality who has a whole real family, fake job and fake identity...and who doesn't know the secret agent.
I know. Confusing. I can't even imagine what the pitch meeting was like. To the network. Or to Christian Slater. Actually, for it being a pilot, they did an ok job of explaining what his story was. And Christian Slater, him being Christian Slater and all, does a pretty darn good job of keeping his character personalities different.
Yes, of course, there were some cheesy lines. It wouldn't be an action drama without them. But, they'll be easily overlooked if they keep me on the line. They kept me watching with interest for the hour, which means that they automatically get a second viewing on next week's dance card.
And I'll even overlook the part where they put a Merlin Jones-esque fishbowl on Christian's head.
eta: Sigh. Well, I won't retract any of my unfiltered opinions above. But, all of my favorite reviewers hated it. No worries, I'm used to always being the last one on God's green earth watching certain shows.
eta2: Ya know what? After having read a few reviews, I really am gonna be the last one on God's green earth watching this show.
A friend gave me this fun little gold strappy shoe magnet, but she can't for the life of her remember how she came by it.
Over the last several weeks, many people end up on this post, having search-engine searched for "French word for gold." Thanks for your visits, but I feel bad that you end up on a post about Renoir and the U.S. kicking France's ass in that one Olympic swim relay.
Springwood was the home of FDR up at Hyde Park. As you can see, it wasn't a tiny home, either. It used to be a farmhouse at one point, but then the Roosevelt family made it into a stately home.
When you visit, they take you through several of the rooms, where you see FDR's stuffed bird collection, the room where he was born, the rooms where he grew up, where he did his work, and the elevator he had created to get up and down from floor to floor.
What's always fascinated me more though, is visiting Top Cottage, his little rustic getaway a couple of miles away. You can only visit via the shuttle bus, but I just love going to Top Cottage because a lot of history happened up on that hill. And yet, FDR never spent the night there. You can tell that the cottage was designed (by FDR) for entertaining, because the living room is a massive open area, opening out to a terrific little front porch that overlooks a little valley, while all of the other rooms are small and fairly spartan.
A few events happened out on that wooden porch. There's an infamous story about how King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the US in 1939. They did a little tour around the States, visiting the World's Fair out in Queens; Trenton, NJ; Washington, D.C.; Niagara Falls, etc. And it was a very big deal - never before had a British monarch ever set foot on U.S. soil. FDR needed to build up relations with the UK, and after the King accepted the invite, FDR meticulously planned every moment of their itinerary. Crazy. But all of that is not what made that visit infamous.
Nope. It's that FDR invited them out to Top Cottage for a good old-fashioned American picnic. And fed them hot dogs! By all accounts, their Majesties loved the hot dogs, and Americans were torn between being totally appalled or proud to be an American. Even his FDR's own mother was a little freaked out over it.
There's just something funny about the thought of FDR explaining how to eat a hot dog to a prim and proper King and Queen.
I can't believe I haven't done the other Roosevelts yet!
Happy 124th birthday, Eleanor!
Look, there's no way that I could ever do Eleanor justice about who she was, so you can visit the White House site or the Val-Kil site (which is the only National Historic site ever dedicated to a first lady) for more info on her.
What I will tell ya'll is that I positively love visiting the Roosevelt sites in Hyde Park, NY. Some friends and I went to visit last year (my second time up there), concentrating on the Eleanor sites this time. She was arguably the greatest First Lady, and though she wasn't always well-received, she still kicked ass.
Her home, Val-Kil, a shuttle bus ride away from the visitors center is just supercool to visit. I can't believe they sold off a lot of her belongings after she was gone. But, they've gotten some of it back, and reproductions of other things. But, it's just the neatest thing ever to sit see where she wrote her letters to Harry Truman, or her My Day column. I swear, you leave there all empowered and wanting to go save the world, or write a daily column, or compare how either Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain will measure up.
When you visit Hyde Park, there are several places to visit - Springfield, FDR's home; Top Cottage, the little getaway up on the hill; Val-Kil, Eleanor's place; Stone Cottage, Eleanor's little getaway; and the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.
Be prepared to spend a day or more up there, in order to see everything. And the shops! Don't forget the shops! Somehow I always end up poorer when I leave there, but rich in knowledge... and stuff.
Awww, even if I didn't get to do the tour, maybe now I never need to...especially since I have enough magnets. Eh, that's impossible. There are cuteboys in uniform running around Annapolis. Yeah, I think I'll go back eventually. Then I can actually see more than just the auditorium with their heavy-handed, yet tear-inducing recruitment video.
Good gravy, there is no way I'd been able to actually go to the Academy - too much math involved for me to ever be successful. Plus, too much discipline. My hats off to the Academy men and women, though. And thank you for your future service.
I wonder how many of them watched that Justin Lin/James Franco movie, Annapolis? I love me some James Franco, but I just didn't know what to make of that film. Was it a drama? Was it a buddy pic? Was it an inspirational tale? Was it a sports movie? Was it romance? Did it make any money? Wait, no, looks like it made like $17mil. Overall. Whoa.
Fun tagline though: 50,000 Apply. 1,200 Are Accepted. Only The Best Survive.
So, today in 1635, Roger Williams (the founder of the first Baptist church in America) was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony - something about speaking against authorities looking for punishment of religious dissension and confiscation of Indian land.
Roger then hooked up with the Narragansett tribe, and founded what eventually became the state of Rhode Island. Well, actually, first, he settled a bit of land and welcomed all dissatisfied Puritans... I do love that he thought it was a sign from God, and he named his settlement Providence.
For some, RI is a pitstop along the 95 corridor between Connecticut and Massachusetts. And for others, RI is famous for its playground of the rich - Newport - where all the uberwealthy have their summer cottages, etc.
For me, it's both. Oh! And it's home to the second most fun city name to say: Woonsocket. C'mon, say it with me: Woooooooonsocket!
My sister and her friend are winging their way to the UK today for her meticulously planned Great, Great Britain Tour.
The overall theme is Jane Austen, with a splash of Doctor Who, Beatles and Spooks. Stops include London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bath, and Cardiff. Stalking dates include Richard Armitage, Rupert Penry-Jones, and David Tennant. In that order. Yep, with my luck, she'll probably end up sitting next to Clive Owen on the train or something.
Anyway, since she does a great K-9 impression, this DW magnet is apropos, methinks. Apparently, K-9 is much-loved in Doctor Who lore - I mean, who doesn't love a mechanical dog with a weird Dalek-esque plungey thing on his nose, and rabbit-ear ears, and no legs?
He's just a silly tin dog, but he's supercute. You can see K-9 in action with the Cybermen here.
A friend of mine bought this for me at the San Gennaro Festival last year, just because he was there, and just because it was a funny little thing.
What he doesn't know is that my dad is a big-time seafood eater. Won't touch meat or fowl of any kind, but if it swims in the water, he's generally all over it.
Growing up, we had two sets of meals cooking - the Filipino dishes for my dad, usually with shrimp, crab, squid, fish, etc., and then the American dishes for my sisters and me.
I swear half my early childhood was spent on a fishing pier or lakeshore, or driving to seafood restaurants or fish markets. The restaurants were dotted all over NC - Pat 'n Mick's in Albemarle, or any Mayflower Seafood, or hell, even the kids at Captain D's know my dad.
The fish markets were the five-hour drives to Washington, D.C., or South Carolina. That eased up a bit when my dad got to be friends with the fishmonger in our hometown, and knew when the freshest deliveries were made. You see, that's what you do in Salisbury, NC, you end up pals with the fishmonger...the one who owns Spanky's, the (best) homemade ice cream and sandwiches shop in the town square. (And that's what I miss about the 'bury, ya'll.)
The fishing hasn't stopped though. You'd think by now my parents would have fished out the entire eastern seaboard. The funny thing is, my mom is actually the better fisherperson - she's a veritable Ariel of the sea, while my dad always catches the ones that got away.
It's kind of unfair, I suppose, given that mom usually ends up having to clean the fish in the end. Whenever I hear or see seafood, I can still see my mom as she's angrily gutting the fish...and hear her voice ringing in my head, "joy, never marry a man who loves fish!"
Found this little gem on yet another road trip upstate. Of course, we got lost several times along the way...ended up in some chickens' front yard. But, whatever. What's a road trip, without getting lost?
We did some sightseeing - there's a fun museum on Cornell's campus and we went to student stores...but that's a whole other magnet.
Ithaca claims to be the hometown of America's Ice Cream Sundae - you can't claim that without me hunting it down to try it. So, we called a friend upstate to ask for her old haunts, and she recommended the cutest ice cream store ever.
Voila! Purity Ice Cream - they've been around since the mid-30s, and though the ownership has changed hands, they're still using some of the original recipes. I live for pieces of Americana like this, off the beaten path joints that only the locals know about. They had a great merchandise section, but most important - the ice cream was marvelous.
And what could be better than having a sundae, on a Sunday, in the birthplace of sundaes.
Magnet #226 - Unisphere, Symbol of the 64-65 World's Fair, Queens
So, this weekend is Open House New York, where several buildings and attractions in all five boroughs of NYC open their doors for the public.
I freakin' love this weekend - where else can you get more than a hundred tours around town - all free! They have several different types of tours, geared toward kids, architecture, sustainability, the arts, etc.
The only problem I have with OHNY (besides that it's sponsored by Target who hasn't built a damn Manhattan location yet, thus taunting the crap out of me), is that it's only for a weekend, and it's virtually impossible to do more than a few tours in that amount of time. And, then, you have to localize your tours, so that you're not running around all five boroughs like a madwoman.
For example, this is the first year that I'm doing Queens. Yesterday, we did the Trolley tour around Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, where we had a young tour guide tell us about the different areas inside the park. And later today, we're hopefully going to be able to make it on to the Architectural tour.
Another obsession of mine are the two World's Fairs (1939, 1964) that NYC has hosted, both in this park. The Unisphere on this magnet was built by US Steel for the 64 World's Fair, and was meant to symbolize peace through understanding. Corporate sponsorships were the order of the day, and it allowed them to unveil several supercool things to the world, such as:
Disney launched the Carousel of Progress and It's a Small World.
Ford debuted their Mustang, in this weird automated carousel of cars thing, where people could get in line and ride the car of their choice. Some of the guys that used to climb through the fences to avoid the entry fees say that they used to just come for the day, and ride the Mustang, timing their places in line to "get" the Mustang. And then once it was over, queue up again for it.
The Vatican brought Michelangelo's Pieta all the way from home!
The Belgian Village featured Belgium Waffles - which stands out for fairgoers as one of the most memorable foods of the fair.
Clairol launched some sort of hair product there (hairspray?), and they hired several local girls to be hair models.
New York State's Tent of Tomorrow Pavilion was a highlight (/pun intended) of the fair. I've heard from a coworker that it was just the coolest thing ever because of the glass ceiling. But also on the floor of the pavilion, Texaco sponsored a to-scale roadmap that you could walk all over, and see all of the Texaco locations in NY. Pretty nifty. Nowadays, the steel infrastructure is definitely falling by the wayside, its last bit of notoriety being used as spaceships for Men in Black.
Robert Moses (one of the city's most renowned planners/builders/all around city-shaper) had built an almost 10,000-square-foot panorama of the city - with almost 900,000 buildings! You can still visit it today at the Queens Museum of Art - and it's superfabulous. I could literally spend hours looking at it. It's basically in this giant room, with a veranda kind of thing along the wall, and you look down on it trying to pick out certain buildings and stuff.
Oh, I do tend to go on about this stuff, this is probably my longest post ever. Sorry - it's just fascinating the amount of money that people poured into this fair that ended up pretty much a financial disaster.
Anyway, so most of this fun stuff you can find out online, or at the terrific Queens Museum in Flushing, there's actually a superdupercool documentary about the fair that PBS did. They show actual footage of the fair, and interview several attendees. So freakin' neat.
Anyway, off to the fair...grounds!
eta: So, I wrote all of the above before the 2-hour walking tour with an architecture professor and his PPT with superneat personal pictures of the fair. All of that, plus reading a postcard book on the way home, might qualify me to be able to give that tour all on my own now. Heh. Anyone want to go to Queens? I'll totally FB my staycation in Queens sometime tonight. Odd. I had wanted this year to be my Get-to-know-Brooklyn year, but it's turning out to be my Get-to-know-Queens year, instead. Heh.
eta2: Those that know me, know that I love eta'ing my own posts. But, here's the FB pic album of the weekend.
I've never been to the Fripp Island Resort, a friend of mine brought this supercutesy magnet back for me. Had to go look up what this place included, and it's your basic luxury resort in the South. Golf and Beach. Beach and Golf. By all accounts, a lovely place to vacation. And play golf.
I picked this particular magnet because today in 1895, the first U.S. Open Championship tournament was held in Newport, RI. It was a 9-hole course, a 36-hole competition, and played in one day. And the winner was this Brit named Horace Rawlins. His winnings? $150, a gold medal and the cup trophy. Not sure who the corporate sponsor was.
Ahhh, you're noticing the golf theme, huh. You're gonna see golf pop up from time to time during the next several weeks, as I've picked up a client with an keen interest in golf. Golf.
Dudes, ya'll don't even want to know the nongolf shenanigans going on the last time I was on a golf course 15 years ago. It's why I'm fairly allergic to golf and golf courses.
But, you can't sit in a room full of avid golfers and not know the difference between a range and a course (they're lucky I didn't say diamond), a club and a bat, or Tiger Woods and Tigger. So, it's Golf for Dummies for me.
Shut it. I can hear you laughing from here. I've had wonderful success with the Dummies (and Idiots) guides. Besides, I just need something to give me the basics.
I'm hard of hearing. No, really, I am. It's ok. I've always been, since I was in Kindergarten. Apparently, I told the doctors back then that it was my parents fault, something about either poking out my eardrum...or yelling too loud. Oops.
Supposedly, I'm not alone. No one knows the real number, but they estimate that there are between 22 to 36 million deaf and hard of hearing here in the States. And, supposedly, it's like one of the most under-reported ailments!
A couple of years ago, the doctor said that clinically, I probably should have hearing aids. But, that if I don't think I'm missing anything important in my business meetings or wherever, then I didn't actually have to get them.
So, I figure that my 30s are way too young to get them. I'll wait til my 40s. Or 50s.
Or, never. There's a part of me that's ok with not hearing everything. Like, I can't imagine how insanely loud the trains in the subways are. I see people cover their ears, but nope, doesn't bother me. Or, like in movies, when those obnoxious people talk on their cell phones or feel the need to explain the movie to the person next to them. Nope, doesn't bother me.
My friends and family think I have selective hearing - because sometimes I do hear their conversational whispers and asides. That's partially true. Sometimes, I just don't want to listen to what they're saying.
It's a little taxing on anyone having a conversation with me, when I'm always saying, Sorry? What? What'd you say? It's kinda funny, because my best friend married a guy who has trouble hearing out of one ear...so she's totally been prepped for having to repeat her conversations.
Oh, and it totally freaks me out when someone comes up from behind. This is especially true at work when I'm concentrating on something, and someone comes up behind me and softly says my name, or taps my shoulders. I totally freak out, causing them to freak out and feel bad, profusely apologizing for all the freaking out.
And, of course, I'm just waitin' for my worst fear to come true...and that's me sitting in a meeting, taking down the client's direction, and we end up producing the wrong creative because I heard wrong.
But, until then, just know that if ever we're spending time together and I'm nodding away, best to make sure I actually heard you. Or goodness knows what your ad might look like. Oops.
So, FOX picked up the back nine for Fringe. That means a full season of my Pacey!
I'm superhappy about this. Because I love my Pacey. And, as I mentioned before, I was just hoping FOX kept it on long enough for me to learn what Pacey's name is on this show.
Now that we know that Fringe is supposedly topping the list as the best new show this season, and might actually air the rest of the season, they're gonna have to improve a few things.
I'm not liking Anna Torv any better - I'm still waiting for the spark that they must have seen to have cast her. It's like watching Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy...or Dawson Leery from Dawson's Creek. We're not paying attention to the supposed lead, we're glomming on to the other more likeable characters.
I'm not liking the cases (though this week's was probably the strongest of all we've seen so far). Admittedly, I don't like procedurals - I've been known to FF through the Bones cases. But honestly, these supposedly Fringey cases are more milquetoast than anything.
I'm not liking the mythology. Though that could be because I have made it my mission to not fall for any more of JJ Abrams' ancillary marketing tactics with fake conspiracies, fake websites, fake phone numbers, fake commercials, etc. You'll not get me, JJ. It's also that the Pattern's just not that compelling. The Observer is a little silly.
I don't like how they're lifting from Doctor Who. This last eppy had a blatant rip from the Midnight eppy of this past DW series. C'mon - JJ may call it an homage, but that was way too obvious - and? Midnight was executed better. I wouldn't have thought twice, except that this is the second concept from Doctor Who. The other was that "magical man baby" story about the government trying to grow soldiers. Hi. That's The Doctor's Daughter without the instant DNA reader/replicator and the slightly squicky behind the scenes RL dating between the Doctor...and his (onscreen) daughter.
So...what do I like?
I like that they film in New York - even though I've not bumped into Joshua on the streets yet.
Actually, I know Liberace was this bigger than life guy, and toward the end he was more of a caricature of himself. But this funkily-designed museum off the beaten path in Vegas gave me a different perspective on the real Liberace.
Behind the candelabra, funny outfits and razzledazzle jewelry was a musical genius. No, I swear!
He came from a musical family (heh, band geeks would get this, but his dad played with Sousa. Sousa!), and started playing at four years old. I dimly recall there being a giant ring at the museum - there was some story about how he deliberately practiced with big, fat heavy rings, in order to strengthen his fingers. I mean the guy played to capacity crowds the world over, television shows and accolades left and right. Dudes, he even has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (ok, ok, that's twice the maintenance his estate has to do)
Anyway, as a child growing up in the 80s, I just remember the exaggerated version of Liberace. Apparently, that whole ring thing worked out for him, since everyone between the Hiltons and the Queen Mum contributed to his collection of big-ass rings. The guy wore outfits with monkey fur, for goodness sake.
But, like I said, he started out and was a serious musician...and a serious superstar. No. Really, just ask any of the many little old ladies who visit this museum - every day. They don't play, man, they luuuuurve that guy.