joy magnetism: January 2009

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Home is where the Steelers are

Magnet #344 - Heinz Field

Wherever I go, whenever I can fit it in, I love taking stadium tours. My only true allegiance is with Carolina Tar Heel basketball, so it doesn't matter what team or sport the stadium is for, I just love touring the venues.

There's something majestic about quietly standing in the stands without the loud cheering crowds, while looking down at a field without a single player. And, it's way cool to stand on the 50-yard line even though you can't catch a football, or be in the locker rooms without the boys in it (though, I wouldn't mind if the boys were in it), and hang out in the press boxes or private boxes to see how the other half watch the games.

Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has one of the best tours out there. Highly recommended - no, it's not Three Rivers, but even if you're a sometime fan, you can still feel the history of Steelers past on this site.

They traipsed us all over the stadium grounds - it was fantastic. We totally weren't allowed on the field - our tour was during the season, so they didn't want a bunch of tourists messing up the grass. But, I still managed to steal a couple of blades of grass for a friend of mine - that's me, the rule-breaker. Heh.

They also walked us under the giant ketchup bottles, which reminded me of the giant Coke bottles over at Turner in Atlanta.

Still, we were up in the private boxes - cushy-cushy snap, it's a great view from up there. And in the private lounge areas, and just above their little players private dining area. We went into a couple of famous people's boxes, and the real Steelers fans that we were with, were completely bowled over by being allowed in. I'm not gonna lie, while I was excited for them, it totally flew over my head.

At least until we went through their Steelers hall of fame area, where we were able to take time to look at the memorablia and read about the great players and coaches. Totally learned a lot more just wandering through there. And bonus, we were with maybe 15 people, rather than 15,000.

Oh, and the little shop! Dudes, how fun to run around and pick up tons of Steeler stuff without having to fight your way through mobs of people! Somehow, even though I myself am not a huge fan, I ended up dropping a ton of money anyway. Heh, I even picked up a Terrible Towel for my boss, not knowing the significance.

WHAT? I said I wasn't a huge fan! And now I know, okay? Now I get it.

Well, I know enough to theme this Superbowl weekend with Steeler magnets, anyway.

But, for the real scoop on what's the haps with the Steelers, definitely check out Cotter's One for the Other Thumb blog. He'll get ya educated.
Pin It!

Friday, January 30, 2009

YAZ-zle, not so dazzle

Magnet #343 - FDA

Who says that DVR people don't watch commercials?

Supposedly, folks watching a DVR'd program tend to FF through the commercial pods, but will stop if something they see interesting fly across their screen.

But me? I have this ridiculous habit of forgetting that what I'm watching is on DVR, so I forget to FF. And then about 45 minutes in, I'll realize that I could have saved myself 15 minutes. Sigh.

I did that yesterday, and saw that new YAZ commercial that's apparently on heavy daytime rotation on network tv.

I wouldn't have noticed it at all, were it not for the opening lines: "You may have seen some YAZ commercials recently that were not clear. The FDA wants us to correct a few points in those ads."

Whoa. Looks like someone got in trouuuuuble. Actually, I looked it up. The FDA cited Bayer because they thought the commercials were misleading, something about them implying that YAZ would alleviate all their PMS syndromes, when it doesn't.

There's a part of me that says that the FDA and Bayer called more attention to themselves by running the clarification spots when it's quite possible that no one cared enough in the first place. Of course, I also wasn't running around thinking that YAZ really made any PMS symptoms go away - it's birth control, not a miracle drug.

But, whatever, I'm certainly not debating an ad that should have been cleared properly before airing in the first place. After all, this is a magnet blog.

And to that end...dudes. Does the FDA really get that many requests to identify orphaned drugs that they not only need an 800 number, but a handy magnet to boot?
Pin It!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Magnet#342 - Joyful Heart

So like I said, I've been in an intro- and retrospective mood lately.

I was saving this magnet for some cheerful news, but my sister saw it, and it reminded her of our piano teacher Mrs. Louise Pinnix, who always used to call me "JOY-ful!" in her fabulous Southern accent - which I will always hear in my head for as long as I live. (She used to call my sisters, Tiger. I'm convinced it was just to keep from having to tell them apart. Heh.)

The three of us took piano from her for more than a dozen years each, and besides piano, she taught me words like mazurka, and alla turka, and gaddabout, and about people like Tchaikovksy and Bartok.

She was ever the consummate minister's wife, leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land every so often. And, I'm sure that job gave her the patience of Job, because we were all such a handful.

She'd enter us in state contests, make us recital each year, and gave us funny little composer busts every year for Christmas. And she scolded me all the time for not practicing, something I absolutely hated doing.

Which is funny, because I was the one who begged for lessons when I was five. And man, she loved telling everyone how this precious little girl (me, of course) learned how to play the piano by practicing on the kitchen table, before my parents bought our upright.

With three of us taking lessons at a time, that meant spending our free hour at her house each week, working on homework, reading or playing outside. Or better yet, hanging out with Mr. Pinnix back in the den, watching The Andy Griffth Show. He'd get started heating up their dinner, and even now 20-odd years later, I can still remember the smell of dinner cooking, while I sat on her easy chair, re-reading their old Readers Digests.

She was an amazing woman, and we were extremely lucky to know her and have her in our lives. She's probably upset with me up there, knowing that I won't play the piano now, but I've a feeling a lot of what she taught me was more valuable than middle C, anyway.
Pin It!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some red-headed chick

Magnet #341 - Red-Headed Chick from Corbis

Yay, swag magnet!

So almost 18 years ago, I walked down Skipper Bowles Road, down the giant hill toward Carolina's Dean Dome for the first time ever.

I was an incoming freshman, and our incredibly hot (seriously, you'd have to have seen him to believe it) RA (of course, named Tucker, but because don't all hot guys have the coolest names) said we had to go. Something about Convocation being the first of only two times you'd ever be sitting with all of your own college class.

Dutifully, I went.

And behold the wonder, the Dean Dome. If Yankee Stadium is the church of baseball, then for us, the Dean Dome is surely the Cathedral of college basketball.

I walked into the stands, a little dazed and taking in the view, and I sat down next to this red-headed chick.

We started to make the standard freshmen small talk. But our conversation went something like this:

Her: Where you are from?
Me: Salisbury? (cuz no one's ever heard of it)
Her: You're kidding!!! Where'd you go to school?
Me: East Rowan? (cuz really, who knows the ERHS Mustangs?)
Her: What? I went to North Rowan! Where do you live?
Me: Down Bringle Ferry, just past Dan Nicholas.
Her: What??? I live on Providence Church!
Me: OMG, I drove by you every single day on the way to school!

Dudes. Seriously?

One could argue that North Carolina's a small state with even smaller towns. But, honestly? It's a state school, so our incoming class must have had at least a couple thousand kids. It's my firm belief that only The Powers That Be could have intervened and sat me beside this red-headed chick in a dome that seats 22,000.

Years and lots of memories later...we're still friends.

All because of that one fateful meeting down at the Dome.

Happy birthday, Annette!
Pin It!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"If you want a happy ending..."

Magnet #340 - Cinderella's Fairy Tales

"... that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”
- Orson Welles

It's no secret that I love a good happy ending.

It's why I read books like And the Desert Blooms over and over again.

And watch One Fine Day whenever it's on tv, even though it's sitting right there on my dvd shelf.

And watched, in its entirety, the 235th presentation of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie (Loving Leah).

For Pete's sake, it's why I wanted to be a romance editor when I was in seventh grade, and how I ended up with that dream job by the time I was 23.

And before you think this a stupid girly-girl post (which it is, but you're still reading, so there), I would be remiss if I didn't readily admit that the cynic in me always fights back and hears P.T. Barnum's "There's a sucker born every minute." in my head. (which apparently, he never said, see this random page about it)

But, this past weekend, I told that cynic to STFU, while I watched, also in its entirety (and in the background while working, which made weekend work a thousand times more bearable), a hundred videos of General Hospital's Aztec Princess storyline on YouTube. It first aired more than 25 years ago, and marked the beginning of the Frisco & Felicia storyline - one of my most-beloved soap couples - ever.

Frisco was a really hot teen pop idol with a few number 1 hits in real life (Hello, remember Lady of my Heart and All I Need? And don't make fun, because you totally know that I have all [yes, there was more than one] his albums). And Felicia was the beautiful, but spoiled, Aztec princess with gorgeous long hair, and a missing treasure.

How can you resist a pairing like that? And what made it all the more magical, was knowing that Jack Wagner and Kristina Malandro ended up married and with kids in real life, too.

And so what if they eventually character-assassinated both Frisco and Felicia, and they didn't stay together on the show?

So what if Jack and Kristina didn't stay together in real life?

So what, I ask.

On YouTube, they'll be together forever, and I get my damned happy ending every time.

Today I read this post over at Neatorama...apparently, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (who passed away in 1991) and his wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry (who passed away last month) will be blasting off into space together. So, there's a happy ending, I suppose.
Pin It!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Much too young

Magnet #339 - Coffee

Remember back in 1997, when Garth Brooks played that free concert in Central Park? At the time, I'd been in NYC for only two years - I could count on one hand the number of country music fans I'd met, and they had just shut down one of the city's only country music radio stations.

So when they announced the concert, I was absolutely convinced that I'd be the only one in Central Park. In fact, I was worried that it'd be a huge snafu for Garth, that no one was gonna show up.

Glad to say that I was wrong - I saw somewhere that a quarter of a million people were there, including me and this friend of mine who had just moved up from NC.

The next week at work, I was raving about the concert, and the only other Asian girl at work heard about it and says, wait - you went to the Garth concert? Why didn't you say anything? I wanted to see Garth!

And a fast friendship was born.

Turns out, she was a big fan, but couldn't find anyone else who wanted to go. We'd been working at the same company for at least a few months, but didn't even know the other liked country music. Proof that you just never know who's around the next corner. Little did I know back then that the chick who went to the concert with me and this Asian chick who grew up in the big city but was still a country fan, would become my steadfast roadtrip buddies.

So why the coffee mug?

Because before she met me, she didn't like coffee. But she'd wait patiently while I waited in line for my mocha frappes at Starbucks or whatever coffee shop was nearest.

Now, she has a coffeemaker, and the last time I was at her place, I found out she hoards flavored Coffeemate in her fridge.

Happy birthday, Erika!
Pin It!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

XoXo, Elizabeth Wakefield

Magnet #338 - Pekklemint Twins

Yeah, you thought it was a stretch before? I'm totally using this Pekkle magnet to talk about the demise of the Sweet Valley High twins.

It's FB's fault, I'm sure, but I've spent the last couple of days reminiscing the past, thinking about my former career, people I used to know, and what led me to and away from publishing.

I suppose one of the "turn left" conversations of my life that led me down the publishing path was with Jenny Douglas (who moved away, never to be heard from again. Sniff). She first introduced me to Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, letting me borrow Dear Sister, Sweet Valley High book #7. (Would you believe that I totally typed #7, then looked it up, and 25 years later, I still remember the title number. Dang.)

I loved Francine Pascal's SVH series - good gravy, I wanted to be a Wakefield twin. When you're 12, high school was like this amazing place, where crazy insane things happen, and you get to go places and live somewhat adventurous lives. And get to have chocolate-brown painted bedrooms!

I hung out with the Sweet Valley High crowd for a couple of years - until I made the jump to Loveswept (that's another magnet). As I aged up, Elizabeth and Jessica didn't (and no, I don't count any of the other SV series), and so inevitably I left them behind.

But, here I sit, almost three decades later, appalled by the fact that the SVH series has been revamped. Gawker totally called them on the carpet for their silliness, but basically now instead of the perfect size 6, blonde, blue-eyed twins who rode around SV in their Fiat, they're the perfect size 4, blonde, blue-eyed twins who ride around SV in their Jeep Wrangler.

Apparently, they also revamped their personalities as well. And I quote: "Sometimes Elizabeth couldn't help thinking that Robin could be a be a serious hottie, if she'd just stop giving in to her cravings so easily."

Whoa. What? Elizabeth? I mean, c'mon, she was always just a bit judgey, but I don't ever remember her being that much of a bitka.

Pin It!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Attention, Motorists! New England is closed.

Magnet #337 - Vermont State Capitol

So even though I just got back from London last month, I'm finding myself living vicariously through Goldengait's London blogposts. Yesterday, she started out with a plan, and was thwarted at every turn.

Ya'll know that I like to travel. With an itinerary. A fully packed, fully researched itinerary. And maps. Lots of maps.

Sometimes, even those don't help. But, always, when the wind takes you down the road, that's when the fun begins.

Take, for example, the New England weekender my roadtrip buddies and I did. That's how we found out that Montpelier, VT, is quite possibly the cutest state capital in the country. Seriously. We fell in love with this town. From the Corner Café with the old timers out front, to the used bookstore down the street, and the family maple syrup farm up the mountain to the sweetest capitol building ever.

It's seriously as cute as Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. And I've been there, so I know from cute. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

Of course, it didn't hurt that every other attraction we drove to...was CLOSED.

No joke. It became the running theme of the trip - everywhere we went, places were closed for the winter season. Dudes. We went in April!

And it wasn't just the attractions. We were navigating secondary roads, until we made the wrong turn, and the road ran out. The bridge was out - frozen over. Freaky.

A recap list of our trip. Of course, you'll be revisiting some of these sites in magnet form. Well, not the ones that were CLOSED.

Thursday (NY)
  • New York State Capitol: Missed Tour
  • Empire State Plaza
  • New York State Museum
  • Adirondacks
  • Martin Van Buren Historic Site: Missed Tour

Friday (NY/VT)
  • Lake Placid
  • Where’d You Get That Hat? hat shop
  • Winter Olympic Museum
  • Verizon Sports Complex
  • John Brown Historic Site: CLOSED
  • Ferry over Lake Champlain
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • Shelburne Museum: CLOSED
  • Vermont Teddy Bear Company
  • Ethan Allan Homestead: CLOSED
  • Church Street Marketplace

Saturday (VT)
  • Montpelier
  • Corner Café
  • Vermont State House: Missed Tour
  • Vermont Historical Society
  • Walking Tours
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Rock of Ages Quarry
  • Floating Bridge: CLOSED
  • Maple Trees
  • Joseph Smith Memorial
  • Calvin Coolidge Historical Site: CLOSED
  • Bennington Monument

Sunday (MA)
  • Edith Wharton Estate: CLOSED
  • Norman Rockwell Museum
  • Holstein Gallery
  • Olana: Missed Tour

Pin It!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I (don't) know why the caged bird resigned...

Magnet #336 - San Francisco Joy

That little spec on the horizon under JOY, is Alcatraz, which I've talked about before. But, I'm using this magnet to get me to my The Prisoner marathon. It's a bit of a stretch, but really - how many prison magnets do you think I have?

Right. So The Prisoner. Somewhat obscure for my generation, given the show aired more than 40 years ago in 1967. But, because Patrick McGoohan passed away last week, and because I hate missing out on something so iconic, but mostly because AMC has the classic series streaming on their site to promote their Ian McKellen remake (which you know I'll totally watch), I've been marathoning the show.

I'm on the fifth episode (there are only 17) and I gotta be for serious here: I dunno about this show.

It's a pretty good premise: Guy resigns from his government spy job, wakes up, and finds he's been squirreled away on an island he can't escape from by people who have one goal - to find out why he resigned.

I can see how LOST takes some of its cues from this show - this island is a fully functional, actually kinda cool, self-governing, self-sufficient island - complete with oddball and ofttimes nefarious neighbors in funny uniforms with odd little badges, helicopters that don't actually let you escape, giant unidentified objects hovering and attacking, and supercute signs done in supercute fonts.

It's a pretty cool setting as well, quite amazing, in fact. What I had thought was a huge backlot at Pinewood Studios, was actually shot in North Wales, in a gorgeous private Italianate resort called Portmeirion.

It has the same fairly cool opener for every episode. It's interesting that the producers gave up like 3:17 in airtime for the opening, and we've now been reduced to the 10-sec logo build or swoosh and accompanying sound effect.

And it has a supercool lead. Mr. Googhan plays the ever-so-smooth prisoner Number 6, well-suited for the role. The guy spends every week alternatively beat down and stymied at every turn.

So don't get me wrong, overall, there's some good stuff here.

But, I think I'm having fundamental issues with it. Instead of a running MoW (Monster of the Week), it's more like an EToW, Escape (from the village) Tactic of the Week, or Extract (info) Tactic of the Week. Or even, IoW (Ingenue of the Week).

Can a show sustain itself if it's really all about how he's going to try and get off the island, or find out who these people are? Then again, with 17 episodes, maybe you don't have to. Then again, LOST's been doing it for more than 100.

Frankly, the MacGuffin of "why did you resign" is getting old. At some point, who cares? It feels like if, after all this, he won't tell his captors why he resigned - he's not going to sell whatever information is in his head, and it certainly won't be squeezed out of him involuntarily.

I'm also a little worried, because I saw somewhere that the show's ending was never truly resolved, and the mystery of his resignation solved. That will drive me batty. Like, forever.

Again, I'm only at the fifth episode. I'll keep watching, because really, even after all my brazen talk above, I'm way too far in to go back now.

Poor Number 6. I hope he makes it off the island. But maybe he can hook up with the Oceanic 6 if he does!
Pin It!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Orchid Station is bigger on the inside...*

Magnet #335 - Circles of LOST

So, yeah, I'm totally not spoiling anyone for last night's LOST, I promise.

We know about time travel. We know about the Orchid Station. Both from last year. This year, I'm just betting that David Tennant or the Doctor or the TARDIS shows up on the island.

The pros have the reviews and more comprehensive thoughts covered - ya'll know my favorites, Televisionary and What's Alan Watching.

I really just wanted to use this fun magnet, part of a set that my sister's fiance gave me. Dudes, if you change the colors, and perhaps drink a little, you totally have the Oceanic Airlines logo.

A quote about Oceanic from the possibly overinformative Lostpedia:
Oceanic Airlines is the fictional airline that operated Flight 815 which crashed on the Island. The Oceanic Airlines logo has 18 dots spread around concentric circles, creating a total of 4 circles. Also, when the letters of the name are counted they add up to 15 and when the logo is used as an "O" in the Oceanic Airlines heading, it has 16 dots spread around it. The logo incorporates a motif that is reminiscent of Australian Aboriginal glyphs.

NO. I've made my stand, people. I decided last season that I will not buy into the LOST mythology. In the beginning, I visited every faux marketing site, played all their fun online games, devoured all the ads, and totally called the Hanso Foundation and listened for the freaky voicemail like the rest of America.

But, I had to stop - I was overthinking the damn show too much, searching for answers and finding more questions.

So, no more. Oh, I'll totally watch the show, and I'll second-guess everything and everyone, and I'll freak out at the scary music cues, and of course, Lindelof and Cuse will have me running around in circles like this magnet. Dudes, I'll even buy the DVD sets, as well as have weekend-long marathons to refresh my memory of what happened the season before.

But, mark my words, I'm not going to get sucked back in to the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey LOST mythology. Nope. No more fake sites and clues. No more wondering who did what and when are they. No more spinning theories. No more spoilers.

I'm just gonna watch the show and enjoy it.

Although...I'm not gonna lie: Hell, yeah. I'd probably go back to the island.

Particularly if Sawyer loses his shirt again.

*/tm jenny

Annnd, I'm sorry. I totally just deleted a whole very, very long eta here about The Prisoner that got away from me. Since it was almost as long as a real magnetpost, figured it might be easier to continue on with my marathoning theme and use it tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Pin It!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seeing this thing through

Magnet #334 - Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

Whew! Big day yesterday, huh.

Amidst a flurry of Facebook statuses that were all over the place - from extreme jubilation and awe, to hand-wringing and portents of doom (No surprise, since my FB friends are pretty much evenly divided between New York and North Carolina.) - one status stuck out for me:

"____ ____ says whether you voted for Obama or not, you cannot and must not dismiss the historical significance of yesterday's events."

Too true.

To wit: The inclusion of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Apparently, the Obama campaign invited the surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen to the inauguration. And about 200 accepted. Which makes me even happier that my sister and her fiance went to visit this national historic site, and brought me back this magnet.

You can learn a lot more here, or by watching the movie, but if you don't know, the Tuskegee Airmen were the only all-black fighter group to fly in WWII. The then-segregated military was under pressure to expand the role of African Americans in the war effort. And so the Army Air Corps began their great "military experiment" at a small black college - Tuskegee Institute, founded by Booker T. Washington - in Alabama.

They already had a civilian flight program in place, but in the end, the Tuskegee Airmen included the airmen (pilots, navigators, bombardiers), their instructors, and maintenance and support staff. These men and women trailblazed their way through history, trying to overcome segregation and prejudice, and proving themselves one of the most respected fighter groups in the War.

And, in July 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order No. 9981 which provided for "equality of treatment and opportunity in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin." This order marked the first time a president used an executive order to implement civil rights principles, widely considered a major victory for civil rights advocates.

Flashforward 60 years, where a man by the name of Spann Watson, from Westbury, NY, and several of his fighter group, journeyed to DC to see Barack Obama become president. Mr. Watson's 92 years old! And flew in formation for Harry Truman's inauguration ceremonies!

C'mon. How amazing is that?

His "Invitation to History" was captured in this NYTimes video.

Bring tissue.
Pin It!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Freedom is essential

Magnet #333 - Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms

Today in Washington, DC, the streets will be lined, the Mall will be packed, and elsewhere, hotels, bars, offices, churches and stadiums will be packed with people - all there to celebrate the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. And it won't be just in Washington - it's all over the country, and indeed, all over the world.

But, for as much as change seems to be afoot, there are some things that will never change. And four of them are on this magnet.

In January 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union Address before congress - discussing four essential human rights that he believed should be protected universally. The excerpted text is below, but it's odd how much of it applies today.

In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants - everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor - anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called "new order" of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
from the Annual Message to the Congress,
January 6, 1941

The speech so moved Norman Rockwell, that he wanted to do something to contribute to the War effort. He knew he was too old to serve, so he spent six months and several sleepless nights, painting these four masterpieces, known as the Four Freedoms. Left to right: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.

The Saturday Evening Post ran them, when the government turned them down. The paintings were a big hit, and of course, the Office of War Information jumped on the bandwagon - issuing them as a series of posters for the War bond effort. They even toured the paintings around the country in 1943, and raised more than $130 million in war bond sales.

The exhibition has traveled various galleries since, and unless they're out again, they should be on display over at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Well worth the trip. Though, if you head over to their site, they give some great information on each of the paintings.

I'm anxious to see how today goes. Whether you're happy about today or not, it's truly one for the history books. Though, is it weird that there's a part of me that's hoping someone's going to take that quintessential picture of people in front of a storefront full of giant flat-screen televisions watching the inauguration?

In the meantime, happy inauguration day. Stay safe and warm and peaceful and maybe throw in a little hope, if you can.
Pin It!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Managing expectations within the audacity of hope

Magnet #332 - Letters of Hope

One of my best friends in junior high told me that my expectations were too high, that if I didn't lower them, I'd always be disappointed, because no one would be able to live up to them. To a certain extent, that's true.

I've never been a fan of this word getting thrown out too much, mainly because I spend about 80% of my job managing people's expectations about one thing or another. And, when you're relying on other people to come through for you, you learn fairly quickly the need to manage your own expectations.

Today is different. Today we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I wonder what he would have told my friend about lowering expectations. I'd like to think he'd have lectured her good and hard about doing just the opposite. It takes a strong man to put his faith in other people, and hope that they come through for you. But, I suppose it takes an even stronger man to keep putting that faith in those people, even after being disappointed along the way.

For sure, without Dr. King's hope in our people and his dreams for a better future, we wouldn't be swearing in the first black president in our nation's history tomorrow.

I'm not gonna lie, the ebullience of the nation and the world has me a bit on edge - there's a big part of me that wants to take a step back and manage people's expectations for these coming "years of change."

But, there's a little part of me that's hoping, and a little part of me that knows, that today truly is the eve of something better.
Pin It!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The rooster crows

Magnet #331 - Galo de Barcelos, Portugal

A friend of mine brought this magnet back for me from her trip to Portugal. It's O Galo de Barcelos, the unofficial symbol for Portugal.

As with most legends, his origins are so old, that no one knows for sure the story behind it, which leaves us with several versions.

One version is some rich dude in Barcelos gave a banquet, and piece of silver was stolen. One of the guests was accused of the crime, tried and found guilty - and the whole while, he swore his innocence. So, the magistrate gave him one chance to prove his case. The guy saw the rooster in a basket and said if that rooster crows, I'm innocent. It did. So the guy was set free.

There are other versions along the same lines, but say that it was a murder the guy (supposedly a Spaniard) committed, and that he had already been hung, and when the rooster (which was already roasted) came alive and crowed three times, the accused had miraculously survived the rope. He was freed, and went back to Barcelos and built a religious statue to thank the saints who had helped him.

Legends are fabulous, aren't they? Written word, people. Never underestimate the power of the written word.

Anyway, the real reason I picked today, was because I hadn't yet done my homework on O Galo, and somehow had thought this was a pretty chicken. And I was going to use that chicken to expound on the wonders of the best meal ever - scrambled eggs, sausage and hash browns.

Yeah, the rooster was probably a little more fascinating than breakfast.
Pin It!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Someday my spring will come

Magnet #330 - Adolf Dehn's Spring in Central Park

It's weeks like this that make you think spring is never going to come.

This painting is by Adolf Dehn, who was born and raised in Minnesota - so I'm guessing he knows from cold. He'd probably laugh at how the eastern seaboard is suffering from single digit temps, and he was used to worse.

I just read that apparently, Dehn, who spent many years as a lithographer never liked to produce carbon copies of what he saw. According to his long-time dealer, Dehn liked to feel his way into a painting, and let it grow organically. I just think it's a gorgeous watercolor, and I love how romantic it makes New York, and Central Park. Romantic. And warm.

Oh, of course, it'll get here soon enough, and it'll look like this magnet outside. But for now, I'm totally hunkered down in the joycave under a ton of blankets and DVDs, just waiting for spring to get here.
Pin It!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Where were you when...

Magnet #329 - Windermere, Lake District, England

My sister brought this back for me - it's the cruise boat that she took at Windermere Lake, in the ever-so-romantic Lake District. At something like 10.5 miles long and up to 200 feet deep, it's the largest lake in all of England, and is even classified as a public highway.

I chose it for today's magnet, because of the ferry. Up to now, ferries have gotten somewhat of a bad rap. They capsize, they run aground, they run into things - or, in George Clooney's case in One Fine Day, they leave kids behind.

But yesterday at work, we all gathered around the tvs to watch the "Miracle on the Hudson" downed plane coverage. We listened as Wolf interviewed person after person, and watched as the plane was escorted by its entourage of helpboats. And, we got to see NY Waterways and Circle Line ferries help out in whatever ways they could.

You know what? For some reason out, of all the footage they showed, I loved seeing both of those two ferry lines helping in whatever way they could. It was truly a happy-making feeling for me. That, and of course, the fact that everyone made it out alive, and that the pilot is a freakin' hero right now.

For the most part, it was a good news day, because it could have been a hell of a lot worse. I know, because it has been a lot worse. And for some reason, I always seem to be at the office when something crazy happens. In order of remembrance:

September 11, 2001. I was running around the office wondering if our 10am client meeting would still happen, until our chairman sat me down and said, joy, i promise you, the meeting's canceled. And then we all gathered to watch the horrifying coverage, first in our CEO's office, and then in our 2nd floor conference room with the rest of the company.

The Blackout. While half of the darkened eastern seaboard was out getting hammered, a group of us spent the night at the office, after an afternoon spent playing games in the corner office. I've never had so much fun in the office...though people say it was because I actually had company in the office that night. Hello! Sleepover!

Bill and Monica. Really?

Y2K. Well, not the NYE, but really, we all had to muddle through those last crazy contingency planning months of 99, didn't we.

The Hanging Chad. Again. Really?

That Yankees guy who flew into the NYC office building.

Pluto no longer a planet.

Well, ok. That wasn't really at work, but you get my point. And there are so many other events that I always remember where I was. In the office. With the same group of colleagues. Always.

I asked the question aloud yesterday, why exactly it was that all the big events in my life and/or the world in the last 11 years have all happened at work, and they say it's because I'm always at work. (I say bull pucky to that, because by God, this workaholic has totally passed the 12-step program and is working on the next.)

But, I do think there's some truth to the matter that you really do share a lot of your day with coworkers, in the office. I guess it's only natural that we'd bond over the tragedies and triumphs of the day.

Next up? We're all totally meeting up next week in the 2nd floor conference room for the Obama inauguration.

Anyone wanna come with?
Pin It!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You don't bring me flowers

Magnet #328 - Flowers for a friend

In general, I can't stand celebrity gossip. Hate it, in fact.

It goes hand in hand with breaking down the fourth wall - you people stay in my little magic box of a TV, or on my movie screens. Thank you for your terrific work, but I don't need to know what you're up to in your private lives. Emphasis on the word private.

Obvious exceptions to this rule are the dating habits of George Clooney, Joshua Jackson and David Tennant.* And even then, it's just because I want to make sure you boys are well taken care of. (And, no, it totally doesn't have to be me, just has to be someone worthy of well, you.)

But, I digress. To recap:

Celebrity gossip = bad.
George Clooney, Joshua Jackson, David Tennant* = good. (Except when they're dating cocktail waitresses...George.)

So in this (made up of George, Joshua and David*) world where we rarely receive good news, I had read a while ago that Joshua had actually gone backstage to see his old friend Katie Holmes (purportedly his first love and dammit yes, I was a Pacey/Joey fan) at her Broadway show, to say hello, wish her a broken leg, and gasp! to give her flowers.

And in my little heart of hearts (sorry, Tom and Diane), I was hoping Joshua was gonna whisk Katie away and they could go live happily in love ever after (possibly in Wilmington, or at the very least, Capeside).

But nooooo.

My sister passed along this Popsugar story about Joshua Jackson...where he debunked the whole story!

*falls over*

*John Taylor should technically be included here, but in my head he's still that superhot 26-year-old bassist, and I refuse to entertain any thought of him dating, married, having kids, getting old, whatever. So, he's excluded.
Pin It!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Viva Pit Senyor!

Magnet #327 - Sinulog Festival and Pit Senyor, Cebu, Philippines

No, your eyes are not deceiving you - that's baby Jesus on this magnet. Totally bought this at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Taking a step back...

Back in the 1500s, Ferdinand Magellan of Spain discovered the Philippine Islands, and thus began more than 400 years of Spanish domination. So, it should be no surprise that Catholics actually make up more than 80% of the population in the Philippines.

My parents took us back to their home island of Cebu a couple of years ago to see Sinulog, the largest religious festival in the country. It's to celebrate Pit Senyor - Baby Jesus, aka the Santo Niño de Cebú ("Holy Child of Cebu"), the patron saint of Cebu. Thousands make the pilgrimage to this tiny island, and take part this week's worth of celebration, culture and prayer.

I've always thought that religion was a personal thing, not really something to be shared or experienced with others. And, I'm not hugely religious here in NY. But, for some reason, whenever I'm in the Philippines, I can definitely feel religion there.

During the 6am Mass, everyone had balloons - which sounds weird, I know, because it looked weird. Until I realized that people were pinning all their hopes and dreams and prayers on those balloons. Then, they were all singing this wonderful song and then let go of the balloons into the air and then they waved (!) good-bye to them, in hopes that they would reach God and their prayers would be answered. It was quite an amazing experience.

The other great thing we did was visit my dad's old high school, where several different groups put on various shows for us, all about how the natives were there, the Spaniards came and then voila, Pit Senyor! This performance was my all-time favorite. The shows were all entertaining, and the crowds certainly loved it. Of course, they were all there in the grandstands to hang out and gossip with each other, as Filipinos are wont to do.

Definitely visit my public FB album link - pretty pics! And, since Sinulog is going on right now, here are some pics of the current Sinulog activities on this native Cebuano's blog. For more Sinulog background and pics, you can check out here and here.

It was a great week, where we visited our parents homeland, saw the processionals, did the mass, watched the performances, and in general, learned how well Catholicism took, literally a world away from Spain and the Vatican.
Pin It!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What's bugging joy

Magnet #326 - John Derian Bug 21

I mentioned a while ago that I'd use this series of John Derian magnets from Target for any timely rants I may have. Short and sweet, this one, because I edited a much longer version of it, but realized that too much vitriol in the morning isn't good for anyone.

I absolutely, positively hate when I walk into the freakin' lobby at work only to get peppered with stupid work questions. We're not saving lives, people. No one's coding on a hospital bed.

You can freakin' wait until I've put down my stupid laptop, taken off my winter layers, and had my first swig of Mountain Dew.
Pin It!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Light! Light!

Magnet #325 - John Hancock Building

When I was very little, with my parents in Chicago, whenever we would approach the Loop, we'd see the John Hancock building, and according to my parents, I used to yell out, "chu-ka! chu-ka!" and open and close my hands in some sort of jazz hands thing.

My parents' native Filipino dialect is Bisayan, and the word for light, is suga, so that's what I was yelling out whenever we'd see the light signals flashing from the tops of the Hancock Building. Yeah, you probably have to be there to see how much fun my parents have telling this story.

I love the building, for the giggles it still gives my parents whenever they see it, but also, because it's a pretty neat building in its own right. Designed by Fazlur Kahn of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and known for its X-cross bracing, that criss-cross all the way to the top. It's shaped into a wedge, which makes it look much taller than it is.

It took something like 5 million manhours to build, and stands at more than 90 stories. Supposedly, if you include those lighted antennas, the John Hancock Center is the fourth-tallest building in the world.

They just refurbished the Observatory last year, so I bet it's supercool up there. The building is multi-use, which basically means that people live and work in it - they have something like 48 floors of condo space there. Dudes, that'd be an awesome address and view, I'm sure.

The skyscraper was named for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, the company that was named for John Hancock back in 1862. And, the reason I picked this magnet for today?

Today's the birthday of John Hancock - President of the Second Continental Congress, first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and nine-term governor of Massachusetts.

Odd. Big signature. Big buildings. Hmmm...wonder how tall he was in real life.
Pin It!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Me want cookie! Meeeee want coooookie!

Magnet #324 - Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors

Ha. I'm getting more mileage out of these Shakespeare insults than I'd ever imagined. I was gonna use this for a whole McDonald's post, but I figure eventually I'll find a McD's magnet.

What do you do after having a crap crappity week that wasn't necessarily a comedy of errors? You go for the comfort food. Which is what I've done this weekend. In less than 30 minutes, I managed to fill my little reusable shopping bag with goodies of the baked variety.

I ended up at Buttercup Bakery, for these two cupcakes. And then Levain Bakery and Jacques Torres' new Upper West Side location for these cookies.

In the end, the only thing I've eaten is the Chocolate Chip Walnut, which was insanely fabulous. Seriously. So big, you need two glasses of milk to finish it off. And, warmed in the oven to melty chocolate goodness, it was amazing. All other cookies pale in comparison. I may never buy cookies from anywhere else again. In fact, I kinda wish I could take everything else back, and buy another chocolate chip walnut. Good. Gravy.

Mmmmm, cookies. No, it doesn't make the crap crappity stuff go away, but it sure does make it easier to get through.

What fun! Mentalfloss did a blogpost with 20 stories about the Muppets, with Cookie Monster as the number 1 story. That's happy-making. How funny is it that Cookie Monster started out a General Foods concept, then an IBM corporate training vid.

Pin It!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

Magnet #323 - Baby Penguins

Just because I love, love, love these baby penguins.

I keep this one in my cube at work, because it makes me happy every time I see it. Our production manager gave it to me, as a sample of a magnetic poster - it's like 2x4! It might be my largest magnet!

And, in case you're wondering, Dominion's an energy company and this is just a poster for their EnergyShare voluntary fuel assistance efforts.

I'm using it for today because they're calling for like 6 inches of snow here in NYC tomorrow afternoon, and because it's the anniversary of the Blizzard of 96, where the northeast was hit with something like 3 feet of snow.

Now. If this were North Carolina, the news reports would be focused on how nothing's left at Food Lion or Walmart or Harris Teeter, and the live remotes would consist of shopper interviews about how they're prepping for the big snow.

Love those stories - OMG! It's gonna snow! Make like it's the end of the world!!!! Buy milk!
Pin It!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A star is born, or Matt Smith, come on down...

Magnet #323 - Van Gogh's The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum

Yep, pulling one from the freezer door art gallery today.

This piece isn't Van Gogh's most famous work of art, but it seems to be one of his favorites. In letters, he's almost bemused that he could actually paint this nighttime scene, right on the spot - versus having to wait until the daylight to do it.

It's also apparently the first time he painted a starry background, so it seems fitting to use this painting to talk about another star on the horizon.

Just in case you've been living under a rock, or you missed my Emotional Discourse post, David Tennant is leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year, and the new Doctor, Matt Smith, will be taking over the role after that.

While a smallish number of folks knew Matt Smith's resume, the vast majority around the world had never heard of this kid. And, they all ran to imdb to look him up - check out his Starmeter chart, which basically tracks his popularity (by imdb searches). Ups and downs for most of his pre-Doctor career, and upon the announcement, he shot way the hell up there. They literally had to create a whole new chart for him.

Even more astounding - his Starmeter ranking (in as much as anyone cares about these things). Within a week, the guy went from #24,418 all the way up to #47. He's rated higher than Tom Hanks and Seth Rogen, and he's the only actor in the top 50 without a movie gross next to his name. Shoot, even Robert Downey, Jr. is only at like #42.

Whoa. A star is born, indeed.

FYI, incidentally, I just compared the Starmeter chart for David Tennant. It's interesting, I don't think he's ever ranked above 100.

Rank the week before the Apr 16, 2005, BBC announcement for when he was taking over for CE: 574

Rank the week after: 650

Rank the week after that (morning shows): 191

This week: 273
Pin It!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Heaven's in the details

Magnet #321 - Sony/AT&T Tower

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite building in New York was. I hadn't thought about it before, but then, I never like picking favorite anythings.

I came up with two buildings - the Philip Johnson (formerly AT&T) Sony Tower and the Roche-Dinkeloo Ford Foundation Building.

You'll see on this magnet the broken pediments at the top of the Sony building that I just love, love, love. Some people deride the building as a little too Chippendale, but wherever I am in the city, whenever I see this building top, I think of home. It looks like a lot of the furniture I grew up with.

It's fairly boring down the rest of the building, but the building base is quite breathtaking, with its daunting seven-story entry archways and giant lobby. Great building. And a far cry from the other building that Johnson completed in 1984 - PPG Place, one of my faves in Pittsburgh.

As far as the Ford Foundation building on 42nd Street - well, you'd never know it from the outside, but it's probably one of the most peaceful places in town. If you go during a workday, you can often find yourself alone in a gorgeous garden, complete with lily pond. My favorite part is looking up at the sunlight to see the steel girders and glass walls, but also seeing all the Foundation folks going about their workday behind the glass. It must be fab to work there, able to open their windows into the 12-story atrium.

There's one other building that I am in complete love with - the Sloan & Robertson Fred F. French building, also in Midtown. I discovered this one from the observation deck at Top of the Rock. You would not believe how cool this thing looks from up there. The level of detailing 38 stories up is superb. Simply gorgeous. I would love to get into an upper floor conference room in one of the neighboring buildings, just to see those allegorical panels up close. I'm convinced that those allegorical themes are really some sort of ritualistic thing, perhaps a secret NYC coven or ancient underground society. Mark my words.

Anyway, none of these buildings are on the 1001 Buildings list (I'm not sure that's the same list as the actual book, btw), but because of their unique details, they're definitely three great NYC buildings in my book. (I keep visiting all three of them, it's weird, I know. But, fun pix.)

Which leads to the other reason I picked this magnet. I want to share one of my new fave blogs - Scouting NY, written by a location scout here in town. The About Me blurb mentions something about New Yorkers never noticing the little details of our surroundings. How true.

But, since I live for those details, I've enjoyed reading the various buildings and details that he's discovered on his scouting jaunts around the boroughs. A must for the ole Google Reader.
Pin It!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Poor unfortunate souls

Magnet #320 - The Little Mermaid

Every once in a while, I remember that I live in New York City, home of Broadway, Off Broadway and all things in between. And then I run out and buy random show tickets with random Playbill discounts.

I saw The Little Mermaid in previews last year.

So. Much. Fun. And here's why.

In their defense, my performance was a couple of weeks after that stagehands strike that shut down Broadway in late 07. (You know, the one that cost the city and the industry tens of millions, shuttered houses, closed productions, and ultimately lost jobs. Ok, maybe that's another magnet.)

TLM was in previews just before the strike, which meant that they were all rusty when they came back. Which made the performance I saw one to remember.

First - in what was possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen on stage - Ariel and the little boy playing Flounder were skating in their heeleys (No, don't get me started on that), and Ariel whips around to face him. The problem was, Ariel's costume had a floppy fishtail in the back. So when she whipped around, she smacked poor Flounder across the face. The kid was ok, but c'mon, in the halls of slapstick, that was truly hysterical.

Then - Ursula has this giant number near the end, where the focus is on her and her tentacles gyrating and pulsing behind her. At just about the end of the number, the tentacle machine was supposed to retract, and as it was halfway there, all of a sudden, over the music, you hear this terrible grinding noise, and the tentacles got stuck, with its arms all akimbo. They had to leave the apparatus on stage for the last couple of numbers. And truth be told, I really didn't think anything of it, until Ursula came out for her bows, and she smacked the machine like it was a misbehaving child. Hahahaah.

Still, I enjoyed the performance and loved the spectacle, and certainly, the kids in the audience were completely entranced (including the little 4-year-old dressed in a full Ariel costume). That's all you can really ask for in a Disney production.

It was the funnest performance ever - almost...magical.

In other, non-magical news. Tonight's the night of the second ticket of Hamlet that I bought, back when I couldn't figure out when I was going to London. I sold that ticket to a colleague of mine.

Sigh. It's a good thing that David Tennant went back in last Saturday night, huh. Thanks, hon!

Pin It!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gimme a break! Gimme a break!

Magnet #319 - Kit Kat

The whole time I was in London, I noticed a plethora of Kit Kats wherever I went. But, I hadn't a clue that it is the number one selling candy bar and cookie in the UK? Seriously.

Who knew? Now I'm sad I didn't bother to pick one up while I was there. Stupid me packed a bag of Snickers for my trip.

Kit Kats are fascinating! Bear with me.

Apparently, it was originally produced by Rowntrees in York, who then were bought by Nestle. But Hershey's already had a licensing agreement to sell it here in the States. So everywhere else in the world, Kit Kats are from Nestle, except for here. Kind of how Cadbury is also made by Hershey's here. Chocolate production is complicated, man.

I'm directing you to the (most likely corporate-run) Wiki from here, but only because it's seriously an interesting set of facts of what Kit Kats are like and/or mean around the world.

They were originally developed in the mid-30s because some Rowntree employee dropped a suggestion in a suggestion box about how guys needed to have some sort of manly man chocolate treat for their lunchboxes. (Yes, I'm paraphrasing Wiki, but my manly man chocolate treat version is SO much better, no?)

They shortened the name after World War II, which means my vintage packaging magnet that I got at the superneat Museum of Brands in London is pre-WWII. Neat. It's really funny how my knowledge of chocolate in the World Wars is all of Hershey, and how it was sent along to our boys, brought round the world, smuggled into certain places and traded here and there. I never stopped to consider that there was any other option during WWII (or any other war, for that matter), but good ole Hershey's.

Anyway. Museum of Brands. If you've a spare hour or two, definitely pop in. It's a bit out of the way. So out of the way, you can't find it. I love me a good mews, but the museum is at Colville Mews (not Colville Terrace, not Colville Square or Colville Lane, or Colville Place - POOR signage. Seriously.), just off of Portobello Road.

Once you find your way there, you get to wander around a chronological fantasia of packaging through the decades. Which I loved. Except that it was way too dense. (The picture on their home page? Think that...but in glass-enclosed cases floor to ceiling and just as wide. Chock full of stuff to look at. And then think from the 1800s, decade by decade through to the present.) It's practically a visual assault. Superpretty, but ultimately dizzying.

My fave thing was (of course) the accordion cards they had for the Great Exhibition of 1851. But, then at the end of all the decades, the corporate sponsored section (Cadbury, Unilever, Kellogg, and a couple of ad agencies) has certain products where they show it from the very first packaging back in the 1800s, etc. all the way through to the current packaging. It's quite neat. And, if I hadn't wasted so much time looking for it, I probably would have spent at least another hour there.

Finally (yes, this post got away from me, I know - sorry), the reason why I even picked Kit Kats this week. It's because Toxel did a special post on creative bench advertising last month. That's right, park benches. Check it out. But, here's the Kit Kat bench. Fun stuff!

Anyway, gonna go now, to break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar!

Pin It!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Get thee to a nunnery!

Magnet #318 - Yaroslavl

Some friends of mine rescued this magnet from their friends who were going to throw it out, because they couldn't remember where it was from. And it's such a pretty magnet, too!

Since the label looked like Russian, I forwarded a pic to my sister and her fiance - both of whom are somewhat conversant in Russian. Handy that they joined the Peace Corps, huh.

They totally came through for me, with emails like: "it's ya-something. i can't read the second letter. ya-something-oh-sla-vle?" Together, the two of them figured out the magnet reads Yaroslavl, and what we've found (or so I think) is that the church is the superpretty Tolga Monastery, which is on the Volga River.

Dudes, it's like 700 years old! Well, the monastery is. These buildings only date back to like 1670. Whoa. Supposedly, back in the 1300s, there was a bishop in the area who spent the night out outside, saw a pillar of fire that led him to an icon of the Virgin, and that's where they set up shop.

Over the years it's been opened and closed, and used for several different purposes.'s a nunnery.

Yay, mystery solved! Well, it takes a village to find a village, I guess. Thanks, you guys - for the magnet, and for the detective work!
Pin It!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Emotional Discourse

Magnet #317 - Funny Faces

Into each generation, a Slayer Doctor is born.

The Beeb gave us notice, and surprised the heck out of us with the identity of Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith. And, despite people vouching for him left and right (No, I haven't yet watched the two Billie Piper telefilms he was in), all I know is that he's a bit of a finger waggler.

Ah. But will he make funny faces and have funny hair?

You can check out more serious reactions to the new kid on the block here on Televisionary and Stuff on TV.

I'm still gathering my thoughts, and I'm thinking the jury's out until I actually see his work. We may have our answer, but for me, it's only posed more questions.

First and foremost, am I a Doctor Who fan, or just a David Tennant fan. Mind you, I really did enjoy Chris Eccleston's Nine, and after Parting of the Ways, I was completely convinced that this David Tennant guy wouldn't be able to be the Doctor. So maybe I'm a (new series) DW fan.

Second, is the world ready for a Gen Y Doctor. Will they dress him in ratty jeans and turtlenecks or trendy pullovers? Will he an Abercrombie & Fitch Doctor? To be fair, for the most part that seems to be David Tennant in real life, dressing out of his demo with the number of hoodies and graphic Ts he sports.

Third, are we gonna get a young companion as well? Will we have a Michelle from Skins? Or, someone older? But, as my sister says, we can't have him traveling through all of time and space with a cougar. Or could we?

I will say that I've been loving the worldwide reactions. Articles and blogposts of varying degrees of delight and sheer terror. My favorite thus far...a commenter from the Den of Geek article: "A frakkin EMO?!"

Oh, it won't be so bad. Cautiously optimistic isn't on this magnet, but I'm actually quite looking forward to what Eleven brings to the screen. Just from what little I've now seen on the DWC, I would have to agree that there's something pretty self-possessed about this guy.

Finally, I have to hand it to the BBC Publicity Team. Doctor Who seems to be an easy product to sell, but those PR folks sure know how to generate media impressions and overall buzz, the likes and mileage of which I've never seen. And I'm Stateside, just getting the overflow of that PR.

Wow. All this fuss over a guy we won't see for almost a year.

Once again, well played BBC, well played.

I'll bet that Matt Smith's Starmeter chart on imdb has just gone through the roof. I can't wait to see the update on his ranking after this week. His rank on Dec 30 was 24,418. Bet money this week, he'll at least be in the top 5,000. Oooh. Hello, rising star.
Pin It!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tigers, Huskies and Rebels, oh my!

Magnet #316 - LSU Tigers

I wasn't planning on doing birthday shout-outs to everybody I know, I promise, but since I have the perfect magnet (given by her), I'm sending out birthday wishes to my friend, a big LSUfan.

I would have used this magnet for a major LSU victory of some sort, but since my sister's fiance is an Ole Miss alum, I've a feeling it might be a conflict of interest. Especially since Ole Miss did a little raiding of their own yesterday, beating down Texas Tech Red Raiders in the AT&T Cotton Bowl yesterday. (I don't have an Ole Miss magnet, I don't think.)

Of course, their bowl was at least a game with a final score of 47-34. It seems that I could have used this LSU magnet for the Chick-fil-A Bowl (mmmmmmmmm, Chick-fil-A) a couple of days ago, where apparently the LSU Tigers kicked the bee-jeepers (geddit?) out of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets a couple of nights ago, 38-3.

But there is today's LSU/UConn women's basketball game at noon today on CBS. Apparently, the Lady Tigers and the (I thought Lady, but apparently not) Huskies are two of the most storied women's teams in America, both teams having reached five consecutive Final Fours. Dang, that's pretty good, huh. Looks like UConn's ranked number 1, so I will say it (even though Gordon may get huffy): Geaux Tigers!

Whew. This became a totally sporty post, and I didn't mean it to be. Especially when my own allegiances run Carolina Blue! (Even though we lost our own bowl game by a rather depressing one point...31-30. That's ok, we're still doing pretty good in basketball. Of course.)

Joyeux anniversaire, LSUfan!
Pin It!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Don't go changing

Magnet #315 - New Food Pyramid

A friend snagged this magnet for me, and I figured that this subject might timely given all those New Year's resolutions about diets and whatnot.

But, dudes. Seriously.

What is up with the new food pyramid? (Thanks, Washington Post for the graphic, since for whatever reason, the .gov site is superslow right now.)

You can't just take something I've known all my life turn it topsy-turvy. You'll make people crazy!

That is, of course, if you're paying attention to all the PSA materials and PR-driven articles about it. If you're not, then mayhap you haven't heard that they've done a new number on the food pyramid. It's kinda like when they added color to our money!

What? I'm hard-pressed to like change when it happens.
Pin It!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!!!!

Magnet #314 - Alexander Hamilton at the N-YHS

Happy New Year!

Seems fittingly ironic to use Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury for today's magnet.

It's tradition in our family not to spend any money on New Year's Day - the superstition being that if you spend money on New Year's Day, you'll be spending it all year round. Of course, that's never made sense to anyone I've ever met, and truth be told, it's never actually worked out for us. Like, ever.

Nonetheless, it's what we've always done in our household. Some people eat black-eyed peas, some people have gold coins, some people have grapes. We don't spend money.

Except this year, I'm determined to make this 'stition work out for me. Let the year of simplification, moderation and restraint begin.

Happy 2009, ya'll. Make it a great one!
Pin It!