joy magnetism: April 2009

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's us. We're the variables.

Magnet #433 - Oceanic Radio-Television

Today, in 1939, NBC transmitted the first commercial broadcast from the top of the Empire State Building. It was the opening of the 1939 World's Fair in Queens, a presidential address from Roosevelt.

And if you were Daniel Faraday, or any of the Oceanic 6, you could go back in time to watch it happen. Good gravy, how trippy was LOST's 100th episode last night?

No, I'm not mentioning any spoilers, nor giving any insight to this twisted world. I told ya'll before, I'm done with the mythology - they won't suck me in again. I am just along for the ride.

But yay for a fun ride.

Also? Yay for a multipurpose magnet. Awesome.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Okay, but stop after one.*

Magnet #432 - Uptown Martini Bar

Nope. Never been. In fact, I'd like to even tell you the Uptown Martini Bar once existed. But I haven't a clue. I found this at a vendor I discovered over at Union Square.

Seriously, I emerged from the subway and there, in the bright sun, like manna from heaven and a chorus of angels ringing in my ears, was a guy, setting up a table of magnets. This table of magnets.

Well, ok, so maybe there was no chorus of angels, nor any manna. Also, I could have sworn the bright sun was there, but looking at that picture, apparently, memory hath made my heart grow fond.

Anyway. I picked this for today, because it's just been one of those weeks, and I'm sorely hoping to get someone to run across the street with me to try this Stoli Darkening Theater cocktail. The mixologist over at B.R. Guest restaurants wanted to create something in honor of the Tribeca Film Festival - so it's a cocktail concocted out of Stoli, infused with popcorn, with salted coke syrup and lemon, and garnished with caramel popcorn. It sounds like something I don't want to be near, but ya'll know I love my TFF, so I feel like I need to give it a try.

*three Darkening Theaters later*

Not bad. Not bad. It tastes like your Coke does during that last 30 minutes of the movie. Didn't look like the picture, but the caramel popcorn was darn good.

*Said someone who knows me better than he ever should...
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The measure of a chair

Magnet #431 - Van Gogh's Chair and Pipe

Ok, so for as long as I've had this magnet from the London's National Gallery, I thought it was really just an inset/cutaway of the chair in Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles.

I loved that painting, because it was on the cover of a desk calendar from the Van Gogh Museum that my first boss at this company gave me. I remember, because it was the best desk calendar I've ever had design-wise, and I've spent the last 11 years trying to find that exact calendar layout. No, I'm not even joking.

Turns out, this chair, is actually Van Gogh's Chair and Pipe. (Seriously, there was some major magnifying of both paintings on my part to verify. Heh.) It's kinda cool on its own, I guess - especially now that I know that Van Gogh painted it as a companion piece to a chair that he painted for Gauguin, as a representation of the vast difference between the two men - as artists, and I'd bet, as men.

It's odd thinking about a chair being the measure of a man. I mean, these days people sit in myriad chairs all over the place - at home, at work, commuting, etc.

But, if I were to think about what my favorite chair would be, it'd be a big, soft ploppable number, where you can burrow down into it and stay for hours and hours. And it'd be blue. With blankets. And have a tv with cable, an overflowing DVR, and DVD player in front of it and maybe the remotes, some chips and chocolate beside me.

None of this straight-backed, woven seat crap. Heh, sorry Van Gogh. Nice painting, though.

Here's something else superodd. I just randomly picked this magnet for today. It wasn't until I started to write that line about my first boss here that I realized - today's my 11th anniversary at the same company. Huh. Odd that I should be thinking about that, on today of all days.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

The few. The proud.

Magnet #430 - Semper Fi

The U.S. Marine Corps adopted semper fidelis, Latin phrase for always faithful back in the 1880s, meaning that they're always dedicated to the mission, the country, their brotherhood. It's a way of life and a mantra they always live by, even after they've left service - once a marine, always a marine. There are no ex-marines.

I picked this magnet for today, because on this day in 1805, the Marines took Derna, on the coast of Tripoli (now Libya), part of the Barbary conflict, or the Barbary wars, or the Tripolitan War. I know!

Barbary what? Tripolwho? Guys, I'm a fairly intelligent soul with a pretty good grasp of history, but I'm still trying to remember where this section was during our AP U.S. History class! Or, any of my other history classes, for that matter.

This time period, though, has been getting a little more play with all the piracy issues we've been having of late, with folks comparing Obama to Jefferson.

The gist of the story is that at the time, we were still paying monetary tributes to Barbary pirates for safe passage along the Barbary Coast (made up of what's now Libya [once called Tripolitania], Tunis, Morocco, and Algeria). Some bad pasha reneged on the arrangement, and tried to get the ships to pay double.

Jefferson, as minister to France had been opposed to these tributes for several years, was now president, and took this opportunity to say hell no, we won't pay, and the Barbary conflict began. From what I gather, it was one of the first times America tried to execute foreign policy.

But, it was actually the first time the marines were sent to fight on foreign soil, and it included an overland desert march of something like 500-600 miles, while the navy fought along the coast. Once they took Derna, they were able to restore the pasha-ship back to the rightful ruler, and the guy was so grateful, he presented one of our guys with the Mameluke sword - the only ceremonial piece that we still use today.

You know the sword I mean - the one that the really hot marines use in the ads? Here's one. Or here. Or this knight one. I know, I can't help it. They can be a bit over the top with the majestic views and heroic music and sometimes silly storylines, but I do so love them. (And the hot marines. What? Like you didn't know that was coming.)

And no, I didn't know any of this before I looked it up, everything sort of just snowballed from there. But, hey. Now you know.

Hey! I totally forgot the obvious connection for the USMC to today...Chuck's Col Casey is a marine. Ya'll don't forget to buy a $5 footlong from Subway - although instead of a bonafide save the show campaign, there's a part of me that thinks that NBC's just in cahoots with Subway to drive traffic there to save a show that's a sure thing on the NBC schedule.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

A color for your thoughts

Magnet #429 - Feng Shui

Heh, I was saving this magnet for when I ever felt like talking about feng shui. But, since one of the fifteen magnets I found at the Met yesterday was a dragon magnet on sale yesterday (a $20 magnet for like $4!!!), I think I'm good there.

Since I'm feeling a little lazy after yesterday's superbusy day, I'm just posting this for my sister, who is in the midst of picking paint chips. She's in love with the Disney paint color names - Rumbly Tumbly, Clock Strikes 12, Oh Bother Blue, Dreams Come True, Sorcerer's Hat, Tink Pink, etc.

So, here's a good color guide, dude.

Oh. Speaking of of the best things about volunteering at Tribeca is getting to see the really, really pretty clothes all the people wear. It's one of those times where folks in New York actually wear color. It's nice when you don't feel like you're going to a funeral, with everyone around you in a million shades of blacks, grays or blues.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Buzzzz, Buzzzz, Buzzzz

Magnet #428 - Pooh and Piglet

Lucky Pooh and Piglet. Ya know, replace that lazy stream with a television, and you basically have, I love sleeping Saturdays and Sundays away, in and out of sleep watching really crappy television. Those are my favorite weekends. Ever.

This is not one of those weekends. It is, however, one of those days where I love this darn town. Love. I'll be busy as one of Pooh Bear's hunny bees, but where else can you visit a world-class museum and celeb-laden film festival, get a book autographed by an architect giving you a tour of a hotel, and try and save the world, all in one day?

If I get up early enough, I'm dropping by the Met really quick to see their Walker Evans Postcard exhibit. He left the Met his entire collection of 9,000 historical postcards, and they're exhibiting them through May 25th. Hmm. I wonder which museum will get my magnet collection. Heh. I better draw up that paperwork. Hahahaah.

Then (and here's the plug), the Clear2Go folks are doing their HUGE event over at Grand Central all day. That ought to be huge amounts of fun - product demos, and giveaways, plus showing people what 1,514 disposable water bottles look like. Whoa.

Then! I'm on the list for the architectural tour of the new Plaza! I'm totally jazzed about it, because first - it's the Plaza, and I definitely want to see what they've done with it. Second, holy crap, I just realized that the guy giving the tour is Francis Morrone. He's the guy who wrote The Architectural Guidebook to New York City, one of my absolute favorite NYC architecture books ever. Seriously. I've spent several days wandering around town...with his book in hand. OMG, eeeeeeep! (They better have freakin' magnets at the Plaza boutique, that is all I'm sayin'.)

Annnyway, finally, as if it's not already a long day - I'm headed back down for the third volunteer night down at the Tribeca Film Festival. My confidentiality agreement forbids me to mention anything else...but I feel fairly certain that no one will be surprised that Josh Lucas is hot in person. And that's all I have to say about that.

Ok. Wait. Last night, I stood right next to Josh Lucas (and Thomas Haden Church), and it was perfectly fine. Now, I'm freaking out because the guy who wrote my favorite architecture book is giving me a tour of the Plaza tomorrow.

Seriously. What is wrong with this picture?
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Cuckoo for Budapest

Magnet #427 - Cuckoo clock from Budapest

Ok. I give up. I have been trying to find a connection between hedgehogs and Budapest. To no avail. C'mon! Doesn't that little guy on the right look like a hedgehog? He has funny little hair, and a snout! Adorable!

I thought maybe it was a national animal or something, so I looked up Hungary and hedgehogs. To no avail. But, if you wanted to know...the national animal of Hungary is the Turul. Oh, and I found one instance of a family in Budapest that was infected by a rabid hedgehog.

Then, I tried to look up the connection of cuckoo clocks to Budapest. To no avail. But, if you wanted to know, cuckoo clocks were invented in the 17th century deep in the heart of the Black Forest, and in fact, one of the largest, if not the largest cuckoo clocks in the world is still nestled there. (Even though, apparently, people dispute it, saying the largest functioning clock is actually in Wilmot, OH. These are not to be confused with the world's largest free-standing cuckoo clock in St. Goar.)

So then, I figured, ok, maybe it's like a special clock somewhere in town. Nope. But, if you wanted to know, there's a little red hedgehog in a relief just above a doorway of Hess Andras Ter No. 3, a souvenir shop housed in what was the historic Red Hedgehog Inn, dating back to the 14th century. (Further, this square was named for Andras Hess, the first printer of books in Budapest.)

In the end, I can tell you that this cuckoo clock reminds me of the one that we have in our house. Tiny, but loud, it sits on the far wall of our living room, and has always been with us, in whatever house we're in. I don't remember a time before my mom not having this clock. Of course, I also don't remember it being the right time ever in my life, but that's another story.

Good gravy, this hedgehog thing has stymied me every which way from Sunday. I hope I haven't insulted some poor soul...especially if it's like not supposed to be any animal whatsoever. Oh well...but now, I've learned a ton about cuckoo clocks and hedgehogs. But, that's the beauty of a magnet from faraway places.

But. Seriously. How darn cute is this magnet? I heart it. I heart it soooo much. My friend's friend went abroad, and brought back some goodies for me.

Thank you sooo much! Or, köszönöm szépen!!!!
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dayon, dayon!!!

Magnet #426 - Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa

Or, welcome, welcome! to Fantasy Island.

In my very first magnetpost, I mentioned the Shangri-La in Cebu, Philippines. Truly an oasis. Our port in an otherwise hot and humid storm. As part of our family trip, my sisters and I made sure that the three of us booked at least one night in this gorgeous five-star resort. Some resorts bill themselves as world class, but the Shangri-La is world-class.

Please, don't get me wrong - we were staying with our family in Consolacion, and it was a gorgeous house. It's not like we were roughing it at all during our trip. But, we knew after all the running around that we were doing, we'd need a break to pamper ourselves.

And by pamper, I just mean nonstop air-conditioning, cool to the touch sheets on perfect beds, people calling us mam left and right, and gold star service wherever we turned. Oh! And a business center. Shut it.

The sad of it is, most of the resort went to waste on us - we're not spa people, so we didn't even check out any of the spa offerings. I don't even think we had dinner there, at least, not from what I can remember.

In the end, we really only had time for the pool that night (all of our relatives and their helpers came over to hang out), and then the beach the next morning. I've said before that I'm not a beach person, so I got to plop down on the beach and clear my mind, while the two sisters snorkeled. No, they didn't see any seahorses. Note, I did go into the water - but my problem was that it was too clear, and I just didn't want to actually see the fish I was wading with.

I'm also not a pool person, and to be honest, I've never, ever understood the need for chlorinated pools when you're right by beautiful stretch of beachfront.Nevertheless, we sure had a ton of fun in the superfun submerged chaise longues, and making our way through their incredibly large pools.

I'm betting that after the end of my sister's confirmation trip (yes, there's a magnet, and a story there) there this coming week, she'll wish she'd booked a stay here again. Lord knows, next time I get a chance to stay at a Shangri-La, I'm taking it, with no reservations about it.

I bought this seahorse tongue depressor bookmark magnet at the little lobby shop. They had no other magnets, so, as usual, I had to jimmy something up. I picked this one for today, because yesterday, Neatorama featured Evil Mad Scientist's 17 Cool Magnet Tricks blogpost.

Holy freakin' cow. There are 17 more fun things you can do with magnets! Other than having a magnetblog! Make a motor! Use magnets to pull out batteries from things! Fool your Mac into going to sleep! Find studs! In your walls!

But, buried within the magnet tricks post, was this even better 2006 post, Making Crafty Fridge Magnets! Jeepers! A whole magnetpost on how to make your own magnets out of eclectic food packaging. Altoids! Sun-Maid Raisins! Yoo-hoo!

Ok, ok. I know, I've been jimmying up magnets out of whatever the little shops have in lieu of magnets - usually keychains, buttons, or stickers. But dudes. I've never thought of making cool food packaging magnets. Good gravy.

Just. You. Wait.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome, Little Man Tate

Magnet #424 - Tate Gallery

So, some friends of mine just had a baby! Congratulations! And his name? Tate! How cool is it that I have a magnet just for him!

I bought this pin magnet over at the Tate Britain, surprisingly my favorite over the Tate Modern. Really, because of two paintings:

Ophelia by John Everett Millais - a Pre-Raphaelite painting that's just gorgeous viewed up close. And, The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon, the last painting of Edward Burne-Jones that's just gorgeous viewed from afar, as seen in this Telegraph pic.

Oddly, Hamlet's sister, the drowned Ophelia, is the most popular postcard that the Tate sells - and of course, I totally bought one. Even though I can't stand Hamlet, there's just something about this painting that's oddly haunting. Even more odd, since December when I saw the painting, I was convinced that we used it as cover art back in my publishing days a dozen years ago. It's not, but the cover of this Patricia A. McKillip novel is very close. Hello, false memory.

For Arthur, the Tate had the chance to purchase the painting for a steal 40 years ago, but let it go, and now, it's owned by a museum in the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, and it's worth millions now. And, because the Museo is undergoing renovations, they've loaned it to the Tate and now the Prado, having signed, sealed and delivered it, in a hugely complex and kinda supercool process. I mean, the thing's like 9 feet x 21 feet big, and took Burne-Jones something like 17 years to paint...he was supposedly working on it right up to his death!

Ooof, such somber works for such a happy occasion! Eh, it's all very circle of life-y, I guess.

So, these two paintings were definitely worth the museum drop-by. Also, definitely worth the magnet!

Especially now - welcome, little man Tate!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

The stars are going out...

Magnet #422 - Tiffany Dragonfly Lamp

...or, it could just be other planets conserving energy. Today marks the beginning of Dark Skies Awareness week, timed just right for Earth Day/Week.

This project is one of the 11 Global Cornerstone Projects during the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, with its goal to raise public awareness of the adverse effects of excess artificial lighting on local environments.

That's too much light in our skylines, drowning out the stars; or street lighting that doesn't really light the streets, as much as it does the sides of buildings; or major venues that continue to use floodlights when not needed. All of it contributes to light pollution.

We spend billions on unnecessary lighting every year, but not only that, the light we waste releases something like 38 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. We need to be on the look-out, or Earth could be the next star to go out. (dire, much?)

And speaking of a light going out...a couple of years ago, the New-York Historical Society produced an exhibition called A New Light on Tiffany, where they highlighted the work that the Tiffany Girls did. Led by Clara Driscoll, these were the women who picked and cut the glass for the Tiffany windows, shades, and mosaics.

Though she was known for her Dragonfly design (the dragonfly being an ancient Japanese symbol of new light and joy), Clara designed the famous Wisteria pattern as well.

It was a great exhibition of the Tiffany studios work - where several of the lamps were displayed. All gorgeous, lit, and unlit - some of them not having seen the light of day in decades. It was fantastic. Loved it - even if, at the end, this woman, who was clearly a driving force behind Tiffany, had to quit the second she got engaged in 1909.

Company policy: Married girls couldn't work for Tiffany. Ugh. Just ugh.

Who knows if the light went out of her life afterward - maybe she was tired of working on Tiffany's designs without very much credit. Maybe she was happy with her husband.

I guess, but it's still kind of annoying that she had to give up her glass career in favor of a husband, and a career painting scarves.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunrise, sunset

Magnet #422 - Paris

It's weird that I can't remember if I bought this magnet for myself in Paris, or if someone gave it to me...whomever bought it knew that I love blue. And, if I do say so myself, this is a superdarn pretty magnet.

Have ya'll seen the bookend Richard Linklater movies Before Sunrise and Before Sunset?

In the first, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy meet up in Vienna, and we spend the entire one night stand with Jesse and Celine, watching them talk and talk and talk, and finally get together, and then make plans to meet up at a later time. We're left with an open ending - did they meet, did they not?

They seemed so perfect for each other, how could they not meet back up again? And, your interpretation of the ending all depended on how much of a romantic you were.

Ever the realist, I always thought they had a great night, and that they didn't end up meeting again.

But, then, Linklater brought Ethan and Julie back together, nine years after the fact to give us the answer. Jesse and Celine never met, but Jesse wrote a book about their night together, he's at his Paris booksigning, and in walks Celine! Eeeee! So then, we spend the afternoon wandering around lovely Paris, watching them talk and talk and talk about why they didn't meet, and about their lives and what they've done in the past nine years.

Ever the romantic looking for a happy ending, I kept waiting for Jesse just to give up trying to make his plane back to New York.

Two very quiet movies - not very much happens in them. They're what my dad refers to as talking-talking movies. Still, I love both - even if all they do is chit-chat away, it's like spending time with a couple of self-absorbed friends. They have a fantastic rapport, and you almost feel like an interloper, watching them.

Kinda makes you want to run over to Vienna or Paris to see what's what. Kinda.
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

On behalf of Mother Earth

Magnet #421 - Clear2Go

Full disclosure, this post is totally an unabashed push on my part, because my colleagues worked their butts off of this project, and because it's also something I happen to believe in, and because...

Yay! Someone convinced these folks they needed magnets for their product launch! Awesome.

Even more full disclosure, it wasn't me. I don't even work on it. But, I won't lie, I totally eeee'd with glee when the bossman brought it over to my desk. And, it's blue!

If you haven't heard of Clear2Go(TM), no worries, this is their big launch month. The product itself is actually kinda cool - it's basically a water bottle, with a built-in water filter up at the top. So, you can fill it up anywhere on the go, and have clean water.

Methinks this is what I need to get for my Save the World sister for when she goes on her many treks...she just needs to let go of her icky Nalgene bottle.

They're billing it for its convenience (take it anywhere), how it saves money (buying less bottled water), for how many gallons of water it filters (about 100), and that it gets rid of tons of the bad stuff in water that you don't want.

But, what I love, love, love about it is that apparently, when you use it, you're potentially saving about 750 disposable plastic water bottles! That's an eco-stat that won't leave my head. It's almost as good as the eco-stat I learned from NBC Universal's Green is Universal campaign a year or two ago: you save something like 15 pounds of paper waste a year, just by using a mug every day at work, rather than using/buying a paper cup of coffee.

It's the little things that people can do that add up, I'm convinced.

But, these Clear2Go folks, are actually doing a ton of good stuff this weekend and next. If you're in any of these major markets I'm listing below, definitely check 'em out.

In the meantime, Drink Clean and Go Green...on behalf of the Earth. (insert peace, love, and joy symbols here)
Clear2Go Earth Day Events:
  • Chicago - Grant Park Conservancy on Sunday, April 19 (9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
  • Austin - Shoal Creek Clean Up on Friday April 17 (3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
  • Denver - South Platte River on Saturday, April 18 (8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
  • San Francisco - Golden Gate Park on Saturday April 18 (9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
  • Los Angeles - Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, April 18 (10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
  • Miami - Bayfront Park on Saturday, April 25 (10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.)
  • D.C. - National Mall on Sunday, April 19 (noon - 6:00 p.m.)
  • New York - Grand Central Station on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25
    (noon - 7:00 p.m. / 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

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Friday, April 17, 2009

O Canada...and their boys in uniform

Magnet #420 - Royal Mounted Canadian Police

So this magnet is only tangentially related to the quick plug I want to make...

I used to have a coworker from Canada who used to explain some of the Canadian mysteries of life - proving that natives actually say eh, why curling is a sport, poutine, and for me, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Mainly, because we got to talking about the RCMP, the show Due South (that I never watched, but my sisters did), and Dudley Do Right (whom I love, but not really as much as I love Brendan Fraser).

The way my dearly missed Canadian colleague explained it, is basically, they're the equivalent to our FBI, being essentially a national police force. More about the RCMP in a later magnet, since apparently, I have a few of them. I know you're shocked.

Here's where the tangent comes in. And I promised quick, so I won't go into how much (and oddly) I love Hugh Dillon, and surprisingly, Veronica Mars' dad, Enrico Colantoni, plus the other cute-cute-hot boys on the team. (Again, I'm forced to ask the question, what is it about hot boys from Canada?)

Have ya'll watched this (Canadian) show called Flashpoint? Because you should. Even if it's on Friday nights and you have to DVR it. Honestly, with almost 60 shows on my dance card throughout the year, you'd have thunk the show about a Toronto Strategic Response Unit (SRU) team (not to be confused with the RCMP, thank you), with cute-cute-hot Canadian boys and big guns would have gone off my radar. Or, not, if you know me at all.

It's one of my top 20 shows. Seriously. For some reason, the storylines always get to me. They generally start out the show at the point where things have escalated (usually a hostage situation) to where their team already has "a solution" to take out the perp, and they flash it back to how they all got into this situation (from the SRU team's POV, but also the bad guys, who aren't always as bad as you think).

For the most part, I think use of flashback in a story can be lazy and somewhat boring, but they manage to get you back to the flashpoint fairly quickly, and we watch (sometimes with bated breath) how the team resolves the situation, through conflict resolution/negotiation tactics, trying to talk the perps down, or through brute force, if they have to. Awesome.

Great stories, great team.

And the cute-cute-hot boys and the big guns don't hurt, either.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Picture pages, picture pages

Magnet #419 - Hershey's Times Square

This is the other half of my Hershey's Times Square store magnet. I've just never found a good picture of me in Times Square to put in it.

I'm glad, because have I got a not-so-sweet rant for you today!

One quick search for Facebook on this site will reveal my love/hate relationship with it. One day I love it, because I've connected with a friend I've lost touch with. The next day I hate it, because I see someone do something utterly stupid on it.

To wit:

One of the first workplace rules I was taught: if you're at a work party, and someone's aiming a camera your way, and you've got a drink or a beer bottle in your hands - lower it.

It's something that's always stuck in my head, and not just cuz I had a silly crush on the coworker guy who told me. I think I'm still the only one who does it.

That's why it boggles the mind some of the party and bedroom pictures that get posted to Facebook. People! Doesn't matter how many settings you set, how many privacy levels you allow - at some point, potential or current coworkers, bosses and even HR folks see this stuff. Never mind that - family sees this stuff.

This bogglization probably extends to untoward Facebook statuses about the guy you went home with the night before, or the hookah you were hookah-ing the night before, or the mary janes you were eyeing the night before...or basically anything that gives away anything that you were doing the night before that you don't want your mom to know about. But, when there's actual pictorial proof of what you were doing the night before that you don't want your mom to know about, that's a good indicator that you may want to think twice about uploading it.

Yes. Once again, I'm railing at another rule that I was taught but didn't get taught to a different generation. Once again, I sound like I'm 90 years old, a tight-ass and a prude...but to be brutally honest, I don't need to see anyone's teenage cousin kissing on their boyfriend in bed. Even if she's in college.

Family. On Facebook. Countless cousins, one sister, and one aunt. An aunt related to your mom.

Psst, I know I just said that it doesn't matter how many privacy levels you allow, but for the love of Pete (literally), keep that junk between you and your boyfriend. Shocker! You actually can set it that way. Dummy.


Ewwwww. Thank you. Now I have to go bleach my eyes.

eta, in bold, because it's fairly more important than my standard etas:
Dudes. So, while I chose to write the above rant, lambasting those who upload untoward other cousin came through with this Ad Council vid, a far more eloquent, astounding and totally creepy PSA: Everyone knows Sarah.

Mind you, I could be accused of the same practices, here on
joy magnetism. But aside from some pictures with Ponch and me - in a work context - I try to be a little more vigilant.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Empire strikes back

Magnet #418 - AMC Loews Empire Theatres 25

Last week, I figured out that the last movie I went to see a movie house was Burn After Reading, my boyfriend George's movie. That was seven months ago.

I know! If you know me at all, you know that I must be on crack, or something's off-kilter. I mean, I'm usually the girl who must see a movie the second it comes out.

There's no real reason for it, I didn't even notice, to be honest. And, since this is a magnetblog, I don't even want to delve into this unJoylike behavior, thank you.

So anyway, this magnet is from one of my favorite movie houses in town. Seriously - 25 houses, all in one. In the middle of Midtown! 25! Hmmm, I wonder if I've even been in all 25.

It's gorgeous - this cinematic treasure was opened in 1912, and went through several iterations as the Eltinge (where some famous actor [Eltinge] did female impersonations - seriously, although apparently Gable and Olivier played it, too!), and then as the Laffmovie (Hahahaha - clever) movie house, and then finally the Empire movie house, before closing down in the 80s.

When I first moved here, it was this tiny little building down the block. Then a developer with big plans for 42nd street decided to do something with it. They picked up the building and moved it. Like 170 feet. Down the street. I kid you not. Then, they finished off the renovation by building the movie house around and beside it.

One day it was close to Port Authority, and the next, they were toward the middle of the block. It's no big thing, for sure, buildings all around the world are moved all the time. But, here? In New York? The city that will keep razing and building and razing and building until there's not a patch of green grass left? No way! It's absolutely amazing that someone would actually give an old building a second life, by preserving and reusing it, versus just razing the heck out of it. So, yay for a great comeback, Empire!

Lucky us. Or me, rather. This many theatres and this many movies in this one complex makes it one of the best places in town to do an all-day movie marathon in - and yes, I pay for all three (or four) movies, rather than sneaking from one house to another.

C'mon, like you're surprised.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brand new day in New Jersey

Magnet #417 - The Toxic Avenger Musical

I was luckily enough to get a great seat to The Toxic Avenger Musical last week, where I picked up this keychain magnet.

I'd never seen the 80s movie, so I went in completely blind. All I knew, was that it was supposed to be funny and campy. And it was. Hilariously so.

From the moment the story opens in Tromaville, NJ, you're just not allowed to rest. The story was totally fast-paced, you don't stop head-bopping and toe-tapping until the end. I swear, it's a good several hours before the songs leave your head.

I had thought of giving ya'll a rundown of the characters, but then I realized there were just too many memorable ones. The actors were superb - and with only five people playing all the roles, that's saying something. That's all I'm going to say, without giving away the game. Dudes. I can't even imagine the quick changes and in general running around backstage. Bravo.

I'll come right out and say it. I love a boy with a guitar - bass, electric, acoustic. Doesn't matter. I love a boy with a guitar. Always have (see: Ode to John Taylor). The band was super awesome, the songs were terrific, and they totally rocked the house (which I can say with a straight face, given the 80s vibe overall).

The set design? The production itself? FanTASTic. I guess on so small a stage (at the New World Stages - I think I saw Braveheart there back in the day), you need to be superinventive. Dang, did these guys make the most of that stage - up to and including the vertical real estate as well. Amazing. And just damned clever.

So, what didn't I like? It's nitpicky, silly relating only to me, stuff.

Remember, I was a romance editor, so I was never sold on the love story.

And, well, there's a reason that I don't watch any of the CSIs. A reason why I totally look away during about 25% of Bones. I was sitting so close (in an already tight theatre), that I could see every little gross dangly thing hanging from Toxie's body. Ewwwww. Makeup/costuming - well done, you!

Also, while I loved the loud music, I winced every time Toxie growled. He was too loud.

Finally, I was a little put off by the violence and implied violence. But, that's me. I get upset when people raise their voice. Don't get me wrong - some of it was hysterically funny, ripping off of limbs and whatnot. Some of it was just too over the top.

I know! I'm like the oldest mid-30s chick you ever did meet!

I'll tell you one thing, though - the little boy seated beside me enjoyed the hell out of the show.

As did I.

I will say that one thing pissed me off more than anything...New World Stages are so close, that the audience is literally looking up actors' noses. (In fact, the little boy told his dad that Toxie was still breathing, when he wasn't supposed to be.) But, during the pivotal moment at the end, where the Sarah has Toxie lying in her arms, and all eyes were at stage center, like 2 feet from the edge - some jackass in the middle of the 2nd row stood up, and excused himself.

I gasped aloud at the utter rudeness of it, as did many others. Seriously, I wanted to smack that guy. But you know what? The two actors, particularly blind Sarah, handled it well - they didn't miss a beat. So, bravo, Sarah and Toxie. Bravo.

Anyway, definitely check out the show, but go to the bathroom first. Don't want to pee in your pants from laughter.

What? It's a blogreview, man, not the New York Times. I'll tell it like it is, thank you.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Inside CNN

Magnet #416 - CNN New York

A little shout-out to my news-loving friend upstate - happy birthday! Funnily enough, I did a FB search for the CNN product page just now, and she was the first fan listed!

I got this at the Time Warner Center, here in New York, just after a tour a few years ago. But, oh noes! I don't think they still give this tour! Which is a shame. (Even more of a shame is if they closed down the supercute little shop with all the cool TW stuff!)

You might not believe it - it was a fun tour. Our tour guide was supernice, even though they really are just walking you through the twisty windy corridors...of their offices. Heh.

But, you do see the studios, and you do get a peek into the newsroom to see how they work. They did the whole greenscreen weather trick, just like in Atlanta (yep, a whole other magnet), and, at the BBC Tour, too.

Apparently, we tourtakers are easily amused.

I do like to think they weren't lying when they pointed at the far corner of the newsroom, telling me that it was Anderson Cooper's office.

Otherwise, I'm giving a silent wave (and an eeeep) to the wrong place, every time I pass the building.

I was looking to see if I could find if they were still using the CNN: Most trusted newsource tagline (I think they are), but I found this interesting branding blogpost about CNN's house of brands. Interesting, because I've never even considered how much I've been associating the anchors with the shows on CNN - well, at least Wolf and his Situation Room, and Anderson with his 360.
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

A far off place

Magnet #415 - Dubai Creek View

This is the other Dubai magnet my colleague brought back for me. Have I told ya'll that I love you guys for thinking of me on your travels? Very sweet. Thank you.

So, from what I've gathered from about a zillion radio interviews, this magnet might be the Dubai that the Doctor Who folks didn't get to see, during their rather cursed, three-day shoot in Dubai.

Last night, the BBC transmitted Planet of the Dead, the fourth to last of David Tennant's run as the Doctor. Sniff. But, with all their trials and tribulations, it was worth it the trouble - the Dubai landscape looked amazing, with the sweeping sandy vistas all over the place.

I won't bother giving you any reviews - Stuff on TV's done an excellent job of that. Spoilers be there, so go, only if you want to know.

I didn't spoil myself - I didn't have to. How much do I love that within two hours of the show airing across the British airwaves, I'd already started watching, and within another two hours, I watched it, and rewatched with the Julie Gardner, James Strong and David Tennant commentary. Ah, the magic of the interwebs.

And, no, I won't get into the ethics of downloading/uploading - I'll own the DVD at some point, I traveled to London and Cardiff, spent my money at the Millennium Center for their tour and did the Doctor Who Exhibition, gave my money to the RSC, and to the BBC for their tour, and of course, bought a ton of ancillary products I didn't need. So, yeah, I watched it online. Serves you right for a) not cracking down and b) for not hammering out a deal with BBC-A to air it over Easter - we have the same Easter here, thank you very much, Auntie Beeb.

But, I digress.

Overall, PotD was a very good episode, and I was happy to see the Doctor in action again. Honestly, though, for most of the show and for every sand dune they walked over, I was half expecting the Doctor and Lady Christina to come upon a very young Reese Witherspoon and Ethan Randall (Embry), and their tongue-clucking friend, lying in the sand.
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stepping into the map

Magnet #414 - Queens Museum of Art NYC Panorama

Looks weird, right? It's the borough of Manhattan, as seen in the NYC Panorama over at the Queens Museum of Art.

I freakin' love this place. I've mentioned it before, but Robert Moses had it created for the 1964 World's Fair. It amazed people back then, and it's doing the same thing now.

I love looking at maps - so when I see this thing, I just kinda want to sit for hours, trying to look at different neighborhoods, figuring out where my buildings are, watching the plane fly in and out of La Guardia. Endless entertainment.

I've done one guided tour walking around the little skyway veranda thing, but Jeremiah's Vanishing New York got to go behind the scenes and actually walk in it.

Supercool blog entries for for his entire visit:

Panorama Part 1: New York Paleotectonic, in which we learn where all vanished buildings go to die, and also how to adopt a NY building. $10k is a bit steep for me, but I'd love to buy the Sony Tower. Or the Fred F. French building. Or 30 Rock. Or the Ford Foundation building. Or...yeah, it'd be hard to decide.

Panorama Part 2: Brooklyn in a Book, in which we learn a bit about Brooklyn.

Panorama Part 3: A Walk Up the East River, in which we step. Into. The. Map. Yep, Joey Tribbiani would have been proud.

Freakin' awesome.
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Friday, April 10, 2009

What's bugging joy

Magnet #413 - John Derian Bug 20

You know what's been bugging me for a while? Twitter.

It's been around since 2006, and is finally gaining more traction. Here a Tweet, there a Tweet - on television, in the media, and it almost seems like John Q. Public might even know what it is.

I have at least three accounts.

That I quit using almost a year ago in protest.

Back then, it was because I hated how people at work were using it to summon people to meetings - e.g., I'm sitting in X conference room. If you're supposed to be in this meeting, get here now. At that point, for me, Twitter was a fun place to connect, and voyeuristically see what other people were up to. It grated on my very last nerve that even in the Twitterverse, work seemed to know no boundaries.

Of course, it's even worse now, as people, celebrities and other public figures, and brands themselves are Tweeting obsessively. Look, I totally understand the need to to Tweet - it's mass communications at its best, worst, and most raw.

For example, yesterday, we found out that Joss Whedon's Dollhouse might be cancelled. But we weren't entirely sure, because they shot 13 episodes, and are only airing 12, or they only produced the 13th just for the DVD set, and were never, ever planning on airing it, or, it was always in the plan, or that the pilot didn't count or that the last one was shot for scraps/parts, or that FOX just screwed Joss again, etc., etc.

See how squishy all that info was? It was worse information flow than when we watch crisis newsreports as events unfold. And everyone was constantly updating as the day went on.

But, what I do find ridiculous is that such a ruckus went on for hours, and no one from Fox responded to emails, or issued a release to just control the messaging out there. And a lot of the confusion was generated by Tweets - from people connected to the show.

(Mind you, this situation is obviously happening more often than not - misinformation and Twitter whirlwinds. I'm just picking on Dollhouse, because I couldn't care less about it being canceled. That's sad, because I was more than a little excited when I heard about the show, but have been disenchanted with the show from the pilot. Also, this random, truncated opinion is being included here, because I realized I already used the magnet I wanted to use for my now-moot Dollhouse rant.)

I will concede that lately, I've been feeling the pull back to Twitter. I won't lie - I still don't care if my coworker's hanging out watching the game at home, and I don't give a fig about the celebretweeting break-ups or opinions.

But, at least two of my favorite bloggers are Tweeting, and I know they're bound to be great entertainment. Plus, I hate being left out. And what if George Clooney decides to start Tweeting?

So, who knows, I might have to give in to critical mass.

Oh! But the question is, how critical a mass is it, I wonder: To wit - I love, love, love this :60-second spot from Sprint about their Now Network, with the best copy ever, and the VO says:

233,000 people just Twittered on Twitter.
26% of you viewing this have no idea what that means.

And, this is in no way meant to be sacrilegious, especially today...but I'm now wondering if God is Tweeting. Last night on Facebook, I saw someone I know Become a Fan of God. I clicked, curious (he has like 12,700 fans, more, now, I'm sure). But, on God's wall, it said, "God has joined Facebook." Which was hysterically funny. But now, I want to know if - like that famous billboard campaign that they did in His Name - someone's Tweeting for God. Now I have to go look.

And now I've looked. You'll be interested to know that god is in fact, on Twitter. His latest status?

"Hells yeah, it's me!

Yep. A special hell for that one.

eta3, I promise, the final one:
Apparently, Twitter might be able to help save
Chuck. Now, see, that's what I call using your powers for good.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Man for all seasons

Magnet #412 - Riding Shotgun with Ponch*

My friends down at Evolution Studios produced this magnet for me. (Thanks, Jay!) You kinda have to see it to believe it - it's almost letter-sized! Eeeeep!

After this magnet, I promise to stop talking about all this silliness. I've mentioned a few times that while down in Tampa, I ended up with the assignment of working with Erik Estrada as he issued Sight-ations at the Transitions Championship.

I don't mind saying that I was filled with all sorts of trepidation and doubt about how this stunt was going to fly. I was pretty vocal about it, too.

But, I also don't mind admitting that I was wrong to be worried - turns out Erik was a really big hit with the tournament attendees and the media.

As was expected, Erik was a great hit with the chicks. But, it wasn't just the women who were anxious to meet him (seriously, a couple of those women pushed and/or nudged me out of the way - we had to have one of our own guys be our muscle!).

But the guys! The guys! We'd be whizzing by in the little golf cart, and you'd hear, Ponnnnnnnch! from more than just a few boys. In fact, they were angling for pictures almost as much as the women were. I know. I have proof.

And every law enforcement guy within 20 yards wanted their pictures with him as well. Very sweet, with several of them telling Erik that it was because of CHiPs that they became cops. Dudes, at some point, we were practically surrounded by boys in uniforms. Ya'll know I loved that.

Yep, I'll admit doing a ridealong with Ponch in a golf cart was almost as good as if we'd been on motorcycles riding down the PCH.


*I've never really been one to mix characters with the actors. Erik is Erik. Ponch is Ponch. But, it was hard not calling him Ponch like everyone else, given that he was in uniform about 80% of the time we were running around Innisbrook. I won't lie, for the first day, I was pretty much calling him Dude (as I'm wont to do), or hon, because it felt weird to call the guy by his first name.

Oh! One other thing. I've done Starmeter jumps from before, for Matt Smith and David Tennant, from
Doctor Who. But, I just took a gander at Erik's numbers.

Rank the week before the Tournament: 5,876

Rank the week after: 1,838

That's a fairly decent jump in a week, methinks.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sucky day at black rock

Magnet #411 - No time

Yes, yes. I know. Now I'm going to get it from my mom for my use of profane language on an actual magnet.

Truth be told, I bought this magnet - with glee - in London, from a store called...wait for it...JOY. I couldn't wait to get mad enough write up a bitchy magnetpost about it!

I was even sure that I was going to use it for my trip down to Tampa. But, then, I didn't want to have too negative of an attitude in times of crisis. Plus, I didn't ever get so mad down there that I needed it. Well, except for when someone complained about Vivas. Yes. The paper towels. You have no idea. But, if I ever get a magnet for Bounty or Viva, I'm SO doing a magnetpost on them.

Moving on.

Annnnd, I just poofed the rest of the original quite vitriolic magnetpost. Because it's a blog. About magnets.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We are Carolina

Magnet #410 - Michigan state, with a little Tar Heels on top

Talk about leaving your mark...

Carolina 89 - Michigan State 72.

And, here's the video of Franklin Street, because you know they've gone insane down there, closing off the street, crowded as hell, bonfires and all. See?


It's what we do. It's who we are. We are Carolina.

The funny thing is how much we underestimate or take Carolina for granted, both the school, and the basketball.

To wit: Before going, I never thought of UNC as a particularly great school. But apparently, it is. It's a state school. Practically half my high school went there, so it never dawned on me that Carolina was a hard place to get into. It was the only school I even applied to. (It was that, or join the Air Force, but that's a whole other story - let's just blame Algebra, shall we?)

It's also never dawned on me that basketball wouldn't be a big part of someone's college years. I have never understood people who don't have a huge attachment to their college sports teams as we do. But, then I remember, ah, it's because we grew up on Tobacco Road.

Finally - and I swear this will sound cockier than I actually mean - but, we tend to take it for granted that our team will be awesome. I mean it. When we aren't good, we're actually surprised.

But, there's a reason we're good. Great kids, great coaches. It's our history we compete with the hardest - the great coach and great kids who came before.

As my sister (a Carolina alum, but unabashed Dook fan, don't hold it against her...really) put it: "You just forget. You just forget how good it is. You just assume that every other school is just as good."

No truer words.

By the way, no, that's not photoshop work up there on that magnet - I always keep a stash of Carolina stickers. You never know when you need them.

Well done, boys. Well done. No practice tomorrow.

Back in '93 (yes, showing my age), before I was allowed to head over to Franklin Street with a bunch of my friends, the boys made me go back to my dorm room and pull out my favorite sweatshirt - a very sacrilegious, but so damn cute, Dook sweatshirt. And, as I watched, the boys literally tore it to shreds and used it as fodder for the bonfires. Bonfires, like the ones in this slideshow from the Daily Tar Heel.

Methinks it was a worthwhile cause.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Stone cold crazy

Magnet #409 - Metallica's And Justice for All

So, guess who got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend? Eeeeep! Just another reason to visit Cleveland. (No, I'm serious, I'd totally go...after all, the building itself was designed by I.M. Pei.)

My friend picked this up for me at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex downtown, because ya'll know I loved that place. Like, a lot.

I mentioned once before that when I'm ticked off at work, that I like to put on my headphones and blast my Metallica Pandora station. Loud. Probably louder than someone who is hard of hearing should do.

Can't help it. I like the pounding music and the harsh lyrics. And generally, only when I'm mad. Otherwise, I can't stand it. It's weird. I can't tell if I'm encouraging my bad mood when I'm listening to it, or if I'm soothing it away. Cause or effect.

Eh, either way, I still love it. The other funny thing I like is the actual boys in the band - but only because I watched that Some Kind of Monster documentary about the boys. Not sure how true to life it was, but it totally made me fall in love with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. I know! Seriously, if you know me, you know how crazy that is. And yet, you know you're not surprised.

What's really crazy is that you really can't call me a real fan of the band. I still can't tell you the complete track list from any of their albums, nor can I tell you who else is in the band besides Lars and James. Shoot, I can't even tell it's a Metallica song blasting in my head until I peek at the Pandora tab. All I can say is that whenever there's a song that I'm totally rockin' out to, nine times out of ten, it's a Metallica track.

What? Just trying to be honest here.

But, the other reason I picked this magnet for today, is because it's the NCAA basketball finals tonight (we all better know who to root for, by the way), and because during this tournament, they've been airing the greatest Guitar Hero ad ever - the one with Pitino, Roy and Bobby (and oh, yes, I suppose you have to count Coach K). The ones where my boys Lars and James ask them what they're up to? So. Freakin'. Funny. And the follow-up ad? Even damn funnier.

Except dang. A week ago, I could have sworn that these ads were totally computer generated. Seriously.

Until I saw this video with the coaches. Dang, those boys are crazy spry for some old guys.

First, let me just say that I think it's freakin' adorable that the Carolina boys played enough arcade games to earn 70,000 tickets to get Guitar Hero for their locker room.

Second. I don't think I needed to see Coach K up close in boxers.

I'm just sayin.
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wildcats not so wild

Magnet #408 - Meow Mix

Yeah, this magnet might be one of the biggest stretches ever - but seriously, how many Carolina magnets do you guys think I can own?

Can I help it if my alma mater totally kicks ass and I have to keep mentioning the milestones with my magnets?

Of course, if I had my druthers, I'd be in Chapel Hill right now, with the hundreds of folks that have closed down Franklin Street with the bonfires and the booze and the happy, fun times. Instead, I'm magnetblogging about it. With a cat magnet.

Anyway, a cat-loving friend of mine gave me this magnet - a free bit of swag at at Meow Mix Acatemy experience that they did down in Union Square a few years ago. Seriously - they did this whole big experience, where people could bring their cats and learn all about their habits - catnapping or cat-isthenics, or making a new toy for your cat. I'm not a cat person, but I still am sad that I missed out on this.

However, I'm glad for the magnet, because the Villanova Wildcats were tamed by the Carolina Tar Heels last night - 83-69.

As usual, I didn't watch...well, that's not entirely accurate. Though I was keeping up with the live updates online, I did think that when we were up by 18 toward the end that I'd be able to watch. Then I turned it on. Then we were only up by 12. So I turned it off.

See what I do for you boys? I totally took one for the team again.

Yay, Tar Heels! Don't go crazy excited, we've still got one more game to play, and maybe, just maybe, ya'll might be back out on Franklin Street on Monday night, too.

In the meantime, ready, Carolina Band?

There'll be a Carolina Victory,
When cross the field our foe has fled.
Cheer our team to victory,
For we are Tar Heels born and bred (Rah! Rah! Rah!)
Glory, Glory UNC,
Our hearts will live with thee.
Fight! Fight! Fight! for the blue and white
Are rolling to victory!

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

A daughter all of her life*

Magnet #407 - Cockney Rhyming Slang for Mum and Dad

Me friend bought me this supercool magnet down Londontown, and we had a good giggle over Cockney slang, where saying "I think I'm going a bit Mum and Dad" really means, "I'm going a bit mad."

But, I'm going to be a bit literal in my usage of this magnet for today, because frankly, I can't Adam and Eve what I just heard not an hour ago, and I know me Mum and Dad would be mad as well. Mad, mad.

There we were - the sister in DC, the Save the World sister in Nepal and her fiance - all Skyping away, havin' a giraffe or two, just larkin' about. We spoke for a good long while, because STWsister is leaving at six on Sunday morning to go to South Base Camp. Of Mount Everest.

Yes. That Mount Everest.

Apparently, a bit of dosh will get you and your sherpa up there, and she has to fly in to the closest airport, and then will do 14 days of walking - just to get to Base Camp. She's not going farther up, but it's something she's always wanted to do - go to Everest.

And, that's something I understand. Everyone has things they want to see, do, experience before they die. Of course. And, it's not like thousands of people don't do this exact trek every year. Plus, she's in the neighborhood, so yeah, I totally get it.

But how you gonna go visit the highest mountain in the world and not call your parents before you leave? How you gonna go trekking for days and days through some of the toughest climes (and probably climbs) in the world, and send only an email to your parents, leaving your two sisters holding the bag? How? In what world is that ok?

Two words: It's not.

She better bring back a damn magnet, that's all I'm sayin'.

Anyway. To bring this back to me, because after all it's not called joy magnetism for nothing...

How come I'm the only one who got the 50-mile radius rule handed down to them in college?

Don't know it?

After my parents found out that I drove from Chapel Hill to Western Carolina University for my best friend's 21st birthday party, they laid down the law:

It's ok if you go places, that's fine. But, please, if you go outside the 50-mile radius, just call us and let us know. That way, we know where to pick up the body.

So tonight, I mentioned that parental law to both my sisters (one's five years younger, the other is eight years younger), and shine a damn light, neither one of them have ever heard that rule!!!! Bah.

This weekend, someone's gonna be going a bit Mum and Dad, but me, I'm just thinking about how the life of the oldest of three daughters is so vastly different than the lives of those that come after. I mean, it's close to two decades later, and I'm still quoting the parental rules...but that's what I've heard the Irish say: *A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life.
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Friday, April 3, 2009

"If you're gonna be a bear...

Magnet #406 - Two Canadian bears and a canoe a grizzly."

C'mon. That's like the best quote ever.

A friend of mine told me that yesterday. Heh. Oddly, a friend who knows not of my bear obsession.

Actually, I picked this magnet for two other reasons as well.

First, the canoe. Today is Iron Eyes Cody's birthday. He would have been 105 years old. For those of you who don't know - Iron Eyes Cody was the guy in the Crying Indian PSA for Keep America Beautiful that my company produced back in the 70s, which debuted on the first Earth Day in 1971.

Remember? The booming drums, dramatic music, and Iron Eyes in full Native American regalia, canoeing down a river, beaching his canoe, and walking to a roadway shoulder, only to get pelted by polluters and their fast food - cut to a lone tear falling down Iron Eyes' forlorn, stoic face.

Sounds cheesy, I know. But, without tooting anyone's horns, to this day, it's still widely regarded as one of the most memorable and successful commercials ever, as well as one of the most effective awareness campaigns.

Mind you, we're in much the same environmental boat (/pun intended) nowadays, but it's certainly not for lack of trying.

Second, the canoe again. It reminded me of that surprise ER cameo that George Clooney did back in the day.

Remember? In Seattle, he was lookin' all hot, wearin' flannel, and workin' on his boat, when Carol came around the back of the house. Hot.

I knew in my head that he wouldn't be on last night's ER series finale, but in my little heart of hearts, I expected Doug to show up in a tux at the Carter Center gala, then in jeans at the bar, then in shorts for one last pick-up bball game, and even to the very end, in his yellow smock, rounding the corner of the ambulances, asking Carter to get a move-on.

So, even though ER spent a small bundle on that wonderfully executed CGI wideshot of County General (photo by bethie, thank you), I was a tiny bit disappointed when my boyfriend didn't show up.

What? You were, too. Admit it.

A whole eta, because I'm still marveling over that gorgeous CGI wideshot (screencap from the NBC player) of County General. It just was a simple overlay, but here's what's really there.

Finally getting to see County General was fantastic. Kind of like when General Hospital: Night Shift first revealed the Port Charles skyline, General Hospital and the waterfront in their opening titles.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Speed-dating Philly

Magnet #405 - Philadelphia

Today, in 1792, Congress authorized the first U.S. Mint, in Philadelphia.

A few years ago, while in town for a client-related trade show, I did one of my signature whirlwind tours, where you cram as much as you possibly can into as little time as possible. Or, almost every item on this magnet.

I took the train down in the morning, and by the time we met the clients for drinks and dinner, I'd already walked from the Convention Center down to the Independence Mall, done the tour at Independence Hall, visited the Liberty Bell in its new digs, visited the Independence Visitor Center, sniffled at the National Constitution Center, and visited the U.S. Mint visitors well as scoring the Oregon quarter from their nifty little vending machine.

It's what I do. It's who I am.

Hey, it's better than when I used to just make people drive by the Liberty Bell and peer at it through (sometimes) rolled down windows.

Although, classic me - I must needs go back to visit, because apparently, I missed Ben Franklin's grave!
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