joy magnetism: June 2009

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Well, I dunno what Keira has to do with it, but ewww*

Magnet #494 - James Bond's Aston Martin DB5

Another one of my Union Square magnets - this one I had in mind for if I ever finally watched the latest Bond flick, or for one of my favorite shows Top Gear.

Yeah, let's go with Top Gear, only the best show ever. If you haven't seen it - go find BBC-A, and track it down. Better still, find it on YouTube.

The beauty of this show is that everyone can watch it. Now, hang on, bear with me. Really! Everyone really can.

I'm totally not a gearhead, but find myself fascinated with the car footage. It's amazing. When you watch, you can see why guys love cars, the sleek lines, the sheen, the revving of the engines. They're just gorgeous machines.

But there's also the coolness of the guests - seriously, where else would you find Helen Mirren saying that she sets her alarm early so she and her hub can have some alone time. The first I ever saw of the show were the three hysterically funny Doctor Who interviews (Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper and of course, David Tennant), and I was instantly drawn to the lap time competition.

I love watching folks race around the course, cursing all the way through it, and then finding out where they landed on the board. (I have to admit, it makes me all giggly, too, when they slap the magnetic strip across the board. Hah. I also admit that I'd totally be all over racing that damn course, too.)

You also have to love all three presenters - Jeremy Clarkson, James May and (no, he doesn't really look like David Tennant), Richard Hammond. Whether or not they're RL chums, they certain get on well on camera, and they make you want to hang out with them.

Or rather, they make you want to compete with them, in one of their wacky races. Remember the Wacky Races cartoons? Just like that. Whether it's across the deserts of Africa, the traffic of London, the country of Vietnam or the superscary backwoods of the US, you just want to go along for the ride.

And, luckily, we get to.

* Random almost-related-to-my-magnet quote from Jeremy:
I’m sorry, but having an Aston Martin DB9 on the drive and not driving it is a bit like having Keira Knightley in your bed and sleeping on the couch.
- Jeremy Clarkson

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Lost and found

Magnet #493 - Hannya


So, this guy - or actually, gal - came from a friend and colleague of mine during his trip to Japan. It's a Japanese nō theatre mask, with two horns, very mean eyes and a giant scary mouth from ear to ear.

Freaky deaky, I know. Supposedly it represents a jealous female demon - she was soooo jealous that she grew those horns. Huh. Ok.

The sad part is that I can't even tell you what the rest of the writing is on the magnet, despite taking Japanese at school. I only took it under extreme motherly duress - she was convinced that I should learn Japanese, so that I could do business in Japan. In the end, I took those three ill-fated semesters of Japanese in college.

Which meant, every Friday, I had a katakana/kanji quiz. Ugh. Oh, I loved writing the characters. Loved. They were so pretty and fun drawing them! It was when I had to actually associate them with words and speaking that I had troubles. Good gravy, those were some of the hardest semesters at Chapel Hill. I hated it.

And guess what, Mom wasn't wrong - my first advertising client was NEC, whose headquarters were in Japan. Oddly, my clients were actually based on Long Island, so I rarely had to interact with their headquarters. But, having not retained one word of it, it was about two years or so on the account that I even confessed that I'd had Japanese in school.

There's a part of me that's a tiny bit envious for those whom Japanese came seemingly easy - for example, the friend/colleague of mine who went to Japan? He took Japanese in school, and ran the complete gauntlet, totally immersing himself in the language and the culture, even went to live there for several years. It's weird how some things stay with people, and some things just fall away...

Here's another weird thing...that same friend/colleague? I lost touch with him after freshman year, as you do. But one day a couple of years ago, I was sitting at my cube minding my own business, and my chairman rounds the corner and introduces us, saying that we had to get to know each other since we were both big Tar Heel fans. And it was a good two minutes before I placed him to JAPN101 at Chapel Hill.

See, that kind of thing happens when you go to smaller schools. But when it's a school of 22,000 kids in NC, you don't often expect former classmates to randomly pop up in your cube in NY.

Talk about freaky-deaky.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Welcome to Puerto Rico!

Magnet #492 - Puerto Rico

Here's something weird - whenever I think of Puerto Rico I think of that one travel commercial with Ricky Martin where he says, "WELcome to PUERto RIco!"

But now, I'm wondering if it's one of those false memories, particularly as I can't find the vid on YouTube. Hmmm. No one else remembers that commercial? Of Ricky in white linen, looking all hot and poetic justicy?

I think I'm just having one of those days, because I also can't for the life of me figure out who gave me this magnet. So if it's you, thanks very much!

I picked it because - and this won't surprise you in the least - I watched Disney's Princess Protection Program last night. The one with total (or Disney hype'd) BFFs Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato - filmed entirely on location in Puerto Rico. About the princess of Costa Luna (Demi) who had to be relo'd to the backwoods of Louisana with a covert agent and his daughter (Selena), and the trials and tribulations of a modern-day princess trying to blend in as a typical American teenager. Adorable concept.

What? I love DCOMs (Disney Channel Original Movies). They're great fun, you don't have to think about anything, they don't solve the world's problems, and every once in a while they make you sing.

But, there's a caveat to my DCOM love. It's basically anything pre-High School Musical. For some reason (other than singing a couple of their songs), I'm not on the HSM bandwagon. In fact, I didn't even really like Camp Rock all that much (which didn't stop me from buying the Camp Rock Band-Aids, but that's a whole other magnet, methinks.).

Yep, my favorites of the bunch are several years ago now, but movies like the Zenon series - the ones with pre-soap diva Kristen Storms, where she's a preteen in outer space, living in a spay-stay. Or, the one with pre-grown up Ryan Merriman, Luck of the Irish, about a basketball player who finds out he's half-Leprechaun. I know! It's crazy!

Up until last night, I would have said it was a function of me growing older (finally) and not liking the newer movies, but Princess Protection Program was kinda cute. Silly, but cute. And, they didn't solve anyone's problems, you didn't have to think too hard, and if I watched it more than once, I'd probably start singing the soundtrack. Of course, it didn't hurt that cutie Tom Verica was in it, playing the covert agent dad.

The one thing that I was absolutely in awe of the big Disney machine over, was the part where the whole thing centered around the concept of princesses...and how it's not about what you are, but who you are and what you can offer to the world. It dawned on me that they were totally adding another level of substance to their own Disney Princesses empire.

Whoa. C'mon, that's sheer genius.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Paging George Kaplan

Magnet #491 - North by Northwest

I bought this one from that magnet vendor down at Union Square. How cool is this magnet!

I mean, it's the epitome of cool with awesome Cary Grant on it. I'm actually watching North by Northwest right now, as I type. TCM's running a daylong Hitchcock marathon. Yay for TCM marathons!

This one's never been one of my favorite Hitchcock movies. I always lean toward the obvious Vertigo and Rear Window. But, as I'm rewatching it, I'm finding myself looking at it with new eyes.

I just did a tour of The Plaza, and that's where Roger Thornhill was abducted. I just went to the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition at the Guggenheim, and though the house at the end wasn't a FLW house, it was certainly done in his style. And on and the end, I do find myself liking this movie even more.

Funnily enough, I've had the magnet a few months now, and only when I started to take a picture of it today did I notice there was a fifth head up on Mount Rushmore! Hahahahaa. That Hitch, he's a nut.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Beary glad the week's over

Magnet #490 - Yosemite

A friend of mine gave me this wood cut magnet. LOVE!

I've not been to Yosemite, but one of my sister's best friends is a park ranger there. Or maybe it's Yellowstone?

Eh, either way, the magnet's supercute, and after a week of ups and downs, highs and lows, nooks and crannies, I'm glad to be sitting here at home on a Friday night finally in relative quiet.

Sad? Maybe.

Peaceful? For sure.

Though, honestly, I might would rather be out in Yosemite right now, with these guys.

Of course, it'd be hard to drag my laptop, wireless, TV, DVR, cell and blackberry along with me. Hahahaah.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Cycle of life

Magnet#489 - Escher Cycle

This is one of the magnets I bought from the Pomegranate folks at BEA, who licensed it from M.C. Escher's his lithograph called Cycle.

I know next to nothing about M.C. Escher, and it's kind of a shame, but my earliest memory of his work was seeing them as dorm posters on sale at the stationery store on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. But from what I gather, he's known for his lithographs and woodcuts and mezzotints - mostly mathematically inspired. Well, that's my problem right there - math does *not* equal joy. Heh.

Apparently, he's also known for his work being impossible constructions, with wonderful architectural explorations in planes and infinity. Supercool - I suppose one could spend hours just looking into one of his works. Oddly, I wondered why I hadn't seen his work in any galleries, so I looked up where his work is, and it seems to be spread around the world - the Escher Museum in The Hague, National Galleries in DC and Ottawa, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Huis ten Bosch in Nagasaki, and the Boston Public Library. Looks like he's my next artist exploration in DC. Heh.

I particularly like this Cycle piece because it closely matches my mood of late. When I was young, people used to talk about the rat race, and I had this image in my head of people all over the world (on different time tables), waking up, leaving their houses, getting into their modes of transit, working their jobs, coming home, going to sleep, and starting all over again - en masse, like little drones. And nothing ever got accomplished, really, no real goal except to clock the most mileage on our little human bodies.

I just realized that this image closely resembles my vision - the little guy leaves his house at the top of the stairs, and as he descends, he slowly loses his individuality, and joins the dozens of carbon copies of the 2-dimensional figures at the bottom, with his house behind him, and the real (3-dimensional) world of nature behind his house at the top of the magnet.

Well, that's quite maudlin, no? What can I say - it's hard to live up to my name some days. So, here's a happier thought to end this magnetpost:

This work is called Cycle, I suppose, for a reason. So imagine...this little guy in this painting does get to go back up the stairs every day, back to his home and family and become a 3-dimensional guy again...and I bet, every once in a while, he even leaves his house from the other side, and gets to go frolic and play in the hill and dale behind his house.

Yes. I said frolic and play.

And hill and dale.

That's kinda happy-making, no?
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Money for nothing

Magnet #488 - South Africa Taxi

Tonight's the premiere of NBC's The Philanthropist, which they premiered last night at the Paley Center, complete with a cast/production team panel (which I loved) and an exclusive afterparty (which of course I didn't go to).

I love going to these events at the Paley, because you just never know who is going to show up in the audience.

Last night's surprise was Sting. No. Seriously. Just walked right on by us. Here's something - we have no proof. No one has any pics of him (yet), and he didn't do the tiny little red carpet with the 'razzi corps. So now I'm second-guessing if it was him. (Of course, it was.) Other people were there as well - Julian Schnabel of Diving Bell/Butterfly fame, a ton of network execs, and Paley stakeholders. You know it's big when they reserve the entire center of the auditorium for special guests, and leave the riff-raff members to fend for themselves.

We screened the pilot of the show, which is based on the philanthropy of this real-life guy Bobby Sager who spends 10 months out of the year, striving to make real change in this world. And that's what James Purefoy's character does - he gets tired of the little that he can do with his money, and he goes out in the world to help people, really help them.

Not surprisingly, I'm totally on the fence about this show. I like James Purefoy a lot, but I'm not totally sold on his character, Teddy Rist - there's a smugness in Teddy that I don't like, but it will be interesting to see if they continue to have his character journey match his physical journeys. In other words, how much his character will grow with each new situation he helps with. To be honest, there's a part of me that wants to see if Teddy ends up wearing (with a suit) the funky lime green converse high-tops that Mr. Sager was wearing last night. Very Doctor Who-y. Hee.

But mostly, I had real issues with the VO flashback exposition...that's a function of the pilot, I know. So hopefully they move away from that format in the next seven episodes. (They have eight in the can.) It was fairly well written, and it did keep me entertained. Some of it was over the top and melodramatic, and some was a little teary.

But what I can't complain about was the absofreakin'lutely beautiful the location shooting is. That's why I picked this magnet my friend gave me, because when they needed Africa, they went to Africa - though bless him, Peter Horton thought he could make do with shooting Germany for Africa. Heh. But the location shoot added so much to the show, and I can't wait to see where they go next. The score was pretty good, and we were wondering if that's why Sting was there. (Yes, he was.)

Finally, it'll be interesting to see how this particular story (of a wealthy man giving away his money to people in need around the world) plays in today's current economic and political climate. What's more, it will be even more interesting to see if it can inspire John Q. Public to go out and make concrete baby steps toward a better world - which is part of what everyone associated with the project wants to have happen. (Besides wanting you to watch the show.)

Oh, let's face it. We all know I'm going to end up watching it, no matter how many critics pan it, or love it. It's summer. It's pretty. He's pretty.

So, yeah. Totally watching. Come. Join me.

OMG! I forgot the biggest, most relevant to my job, part of last night's pilot! The integration of for their global navigation - kinda like how Doctor Who closes in on Earth and zooms in? Yeah, just like it.

There's a part of me that thinks it was very cleverly done, because God help me, by the end of the episode, I actually waited for bing's logo to pop up in the corner.

Then, there's the other part of me that knows it was a blatant sell, and was annoyed by it.

Then, there was the other part of me that grudgingly and somewhat jealously applauded the terrific marketing team on both ends (NBC/show/agencies/bing) that brokered the deal.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nothin' like a dame

Magnet #487 - Audrey, in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Confession. I'm not a big Breakfast at Tiffany's fan. I'm sorry. I know, I'm a girl, a girl in New York City - I'm supposed to revere offbeat characters like Holly Golightly and Carrie Bradshaw.

In fact, not liking Breakfast might actually make me inhuman.

Oh, I know Holly's supposed to be all quirky and daring and brave, and then by herself, she's the complete opposite, and it takes the love of a good, if slightly befuddled, man in the shape of George Peppard to make her truly shine.

I get it. And yet, still, I've never been able to identify with this character. She drives me insane.

She's gorgeous, though, no one can argue with that.

I picked her for today, because first, the song Nothin' like a Dame has been rolling through my head all morning - not that it has anything to do with Audrey or Holly or the movie. It's just that South Pacific's playing here in town, and the commercials are incessant, and it's always that song.

But second, Holly Golightly reminds me of all the funny girls in New York City. The ones who are obviously wearing skirts they know are too short for daylight, because they keep surreptitiously pulling them down. Or the ones who are clearly wearing stilettos too high, because they're walking funny, and desperately avoiding subway grates. Or the ones who are standing outside the fashionable restaurants - switching out one pair of flip-flops...for another pair of flip-flops. Don't get me wrong, I've been accused of all three.

But today's target is the cutechick on the train this morning. The one who was standing in the center of the train, with her cute blousy outfit and tights, her hair carelessly, yet artfully, tossed at her nape, her giant designer bag and shopping bags creating a wall around her tiny frame, taking up entirely too much room.

The one who, while everyone else was smooshed up against each other trying not to fall over, nonchalantly looked in her giant compact mirror and applied her mascara (three coats each!), then put that away to get out her smaller mirror compact, so that she could apply her blush and lipstick. Half of the train watched her, both in wonder and annoyance at her ability to not even hang on to the bar.

Well, I guess Holly was right - "I mean, a girl just can't go to Sing Sing with a green face."
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Monday, June 22, 2009

One angry Joy

Magnet #486 - New York State Capitol, Albany, NY

Yes. I totally took a tour of the NY State Capitol, and it's a freakin' awesome building. It's gorgeous - inside and out.

You can see more of it in this FB slideshow, but I want to get to the reason why I picked this magnet for today - as this blogger says, Jury Duty = Civic Duty! (I linked to this fellow blogger, because I needed a little validation after the ribbing I've been taking over the course of the day. Hehehe.)

Flashback: Back in junior high and high school, in our civics classes and as part of the Sheriff's Blue Ribbon Committee (wherein they take not at-risk, honors kids and show them the ins and outs of the judicial system), we got to do one or two mock trials, and got to visit the courtrooms of Salisbury, NC, and learn, well, the ins and outs of the judicial system.

To my parents everlasting disappointment, I didn't become a lawyer.

But, these classes and tours instilled a great need to do my civic duty. Jury duty.

I've been in NY since 1995, and in that time, I've been called exactly three times.

The first time, I was totally excited. I served two of the three days, and they picked me to sit in the oh-so-cool jurors box. The attorney/prosecutor (whomever he was, he was supercute) asked us questions, and they didn't select me. I think it was the "Pick me! Pick me!" gleam in my eyes.

The second time, I was excited again. I served a couple of the days again, and they again picked me to sit in the oh-so-cool jurors box. The attorney/prosecutor (whomever she was, she was kinda scary) asked us questions, and they didn't select me. I even tried to play it cool, answering questions as honestly as possible, and trying to keep the "Pick me! Pick me!" gleam from my eyes.

Present day: So,! I get there, and I'm all excited, because man, it was GRAND JURY for the SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK!!! So I get there, and we go through the rules and procedure, and how if we got selected to serve, that we'd have to report from 2-5pm every day from June 22 through July 17. I know there was a "Pick me! Pick me!" gleam in my eye - but it didn't matter, because they picked names out of a little draft barrel! Gah! I didn't get picked! Four jury pools were selected, and I still didn't get picked!

Sigh. I'm so very, very, very disappointed.

But, I'm kinda disappointed in Americans today...or, at least some of the folks in the (kinda cool but dingy Art Deco) courtroom today...everyone has an excuse to get out of jury duty. C'mon, people.

Here's what I don't's our freakin' civic duty. The Constitution, people! It guarantees that whomever's been accused of a crime, has the right to a trial by an impartial jury of their peers.

Dudes! Why are ya'll trying to get out of it? People fought and died so that we'd be able to do this. Dudes! There are people out there still fighting and dying out there to be able to have some sort of semblance of same!

Okay, okay, fine - some of my ire is really just sourgrape-ing about not getting picked. But, still. I just don't get it. Oh, well. There's always next time.


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Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Coming home with me?"

Magnet #485 - Chatsworth House

So my sister went on this Jane Austen pilgrimage to the UK last year, stopping by several JA sites such as this one, Chatsworth House.

Jane Austen's World has a great blogpost on this particular house and its fountains. If it looks familiar, it should - it's been used in several movies over the years, including the latest re-do of Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen (versus the original!recipe, best all-around adaptation, with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth).

Supposedly, Chatsworth is the house that Jane Austen based Mr. Darcy's Pemberley on in Pride & Prejudice.

I don't mind saying, I've never been one of those P&P girls who love, love, love the book, Colin Firth and the 95 version (in that order). I think the 95 version is terrific and Colin's a fantastic Darcy. I even think the 05 version is ok and Matthew's an fairly good Darcy. But, having never read the book, P&P has never imprinted on me as OMG, the best love story ever. (I own the book, and I have a bookmark in it at about the 100-page mark, so that's half the battle, methinks.)

One day about four years ago now, on a lazy weekend afternoon, I was flipping through channels, and stumbled on this BBC movie on PBS called North & South. No, not that North and South, as I've magnetblogged before. I was completely enchanted. I don't think I moved from the sofa. For four hours. Straight.

Because it's awesome. It's a fabulous love story (minus the Bennett henhouse), set against an interesting background of the Industrial Revolution. The hero is the one man who could possibly best Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy for best romantic hero ever: North & South's John Thornton, as played by Richard Armitage. In addition to one of the greatest movie-ending lines ever, Mr. Thornton gets one of the best hero introduction scenes - ever. You'll find yourself holding your breath in the moments just before...well, both scenes, actually. Or really during any scene with he and Margaret.

It definitely has one of the most angsty proposal scenes ever - again, here it is. The ending is arguably the best romantic movie ending ever - here it is, if you want to be spoiled, but it won't make much sense if you haven't invested the other 3 hours and 55 minutes.

And, finally, it's probably the only miniseries that could spawn a marathon 5-hour, 32-page, global, cross-locational (NY/Boston/DC/Las Vegas/Beijing) simulpost session between five women, who for the most part, haven't even met each other, but have bonded over an irrational love of screencaps, trains and train stations, all things Fanny and Higgins, numerous cups of tea and handshakes, rewinding the good parts, fugly pants, and most of all, Richard Armitage.

Goodness, if you haven't seen it, and you love Jane Austen (or hell, even if you don't), get thee to Netflix now.

As my sister says: "It's like Pride & Prejudice! With cotton!"
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

When sharks attack

Magnet #484 - Long Beach Island


Hahaaaha - actually, a friend of mine gave this one to me - I've never actually been to Long Beach Island. Truth be told, I thought the magnet was actually from Long Island, until I took this picture, and had to look up where Long Beach Island was. (It's in Jersey.)

Have ya'll seen those super, super, super, silly, silly, silly Shark Attack movies? Where something's off about a shark (or two) off the coast of [insert country here], and [insert hot guy scientist here] has to find out what's going on and eliminate the threat - parts one, two and three. Three even has a Megalodon! Hahaa.

You might ask why I've ever bothered to watch. (You might actually ask why anyone bothered to make not one sequel, but two.) I never watched Shark Attack with Casper van Dien, even though he was hot. But I own Shark Attack 2, because it has Thorsten Kaye, the superduper hot guy from All My Children. And of course, I had to Netflix the third, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, has superhot John Barrowman, who all but admitted that he did the movie for the money.

Hahahaa, it's truly amazing what I'll watch - and own - all for the love of a hot guy.

This magnet's kinda scary, though - lookatit's teeth! Grrrrr. Hmmm, I wonder if sharks actually growl.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Antoni Gaudí? Gau...don't

Magnet #483 - Paul Klee

I'm probably committing some sort of artistic sin or something, quoting one artist to talk about another...but this Paul Klee quote most accurately sums up the works of architect Antoni Gaudí.

If you haven't seen any of his work, Wiki leads you here, to his list of masterworks, all of which are superduper cool. And, from what I've heard, they're absolutely amazing in person.

Judging from the images I've seen, I honestly think the man couldn't draw a straight line to save his soul. And it's wonderful. But, I've already blogged on Gaudí before, talking about with my Casa Batlló magnet that my sisters brought back for me from Spain.

Ya'll know I love my architecture and my architects and fun designy, and yet extremely dorky, stuff. So it probably doesn't come as a surprise that I couldn't wait to watch Antonio Gaudí, a Japanese documentary of Gaudí's work. (It probably doesn't surprise you that I spent a couple of hours watching another one on Louis I. Kahn last week. But that's a whole other magnet.)

I have to be dead-on honest here. I hated it. I disliked it so much, that halfway through, I was convinced that I wasn't a Gaudí fan at all. But my sisters convinced me that it was the documentary's fault, not the work itself.

Here's what was missing:

Dialogue. I'm not talking about the conversation at the 29:57 mark. Or the interview at the 59:46 mark. I'm talking a narrator who gives me more information about who Gaudí was, as a man, as an artist, as an architect. Someone who gives the person context.

Supers. While I recognized some of the work that I was looking at, there were no captions naming the building. A simple super on the screen would have helped, so I wouldn't have to keep looking through my books and online to figure out what the hell I was looking at.

Less music. The music was silly and overdramatic, and played too much of a character here. Understandably, since there wasn't a voice there to begin with. Literally, and figuratively. (At least for the first half, because I'm totally pulling a Roger Ebert on this particular issue - I got fed up and muted it right after the dialogue came in at the 29:57 mark.)

Oh, I know there's a whole second disc, which apparently has the bio and other pertinent information. And, I know there's something to be said about letting the gorgeous work speak for itself, i'm sure. But, I just didn't like this film. In fact, I can't believe I was going to pay for a ticket to the swank arthouse art deco theatre here in town that's been showing it. Sorry, Paris theatre, but I'm glad I Netflixed this bugger.

Huh. I can't believe I'm panning a documentary produced 25 years ago. It probably makes me somewhat of a noob for not liking it. But GAH. I'm just so disappointed!

I wanted to learn more about the work. It's nice to see gorgeous cinematography, really, it is. It was seriously beautifully shot. But honestly, I could have just watched some kid's Gaudí fanvid on TV with stills and weird transitions and misspelled titles and gotten more out of it. As it was, it was like my sister's like those stupid HD "shows" where they lay dramatic music against images of sunsets and sunrises in California, or wherever. That's not a documentary, that's not programming, that's not a show - that's a screensaver.

Ok. Here's something. I just read some of the Netflix comments. You'll not be surprised to know that I am apparently a big old noob for failing to appreciate one of the greatest Japanese documentarians known to man, and the scoring by one of the greatest Japanese composers known to man. I have no excuse.

Joy = noob.

I tend to disregard online comments until I'm done with something...kinda like how author quotes on books mean nothing to me when making a purchase decision. But really, even knowing now that it's my own failing doesn't stop me from wishing I had my time back.

(Thank you, GoldenGait, for the word noob.)
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rollin', rollin', rollin', those eyes!

Magnet #481 - VSP's Mobile Eyes

Not feeling particularly inspired today on this rainy Thursday. (Don't get me wrong - I am the only one in the world who is loving this rainy weather. It matches my disposition of late...)

But, I will say that picking this swag magnet from the VSP Mobile Eyes unit down at the Transitions Championship in April made my day. (So you could tell what sort of day I was having, I suppose. Heh.)

I had been despairing of actually finding a magnet during that Tampa trip, and when we made this pitstop, I totally snagged this from their little basket.

VSP is a vision insurance company, who sends this motorhome out on the road to help provide vision screenings for those who need/want them. It's crazy tricked out inside - from the examination area to the frame selection area, to even a small little waiting room. Dudes. No lie - they even have a Twitterfeed. Or three.

If you see it rolling by, definitely check it out. They have good pens, too. Hahahah.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NOW you tell me? NOW? Really?

Magnet #481 - Angry Little Asian Girl

So, here's my thing...I'm so very sad that Angry Little Girls doesn't produce magnets, especially because they have such darn cool stuff in their little shop.

That's why I made this one, along with several others from a postcard that they put out at the Licensing Show last year. I love these guys. But I would totally give up my homemade magnets for officially licensed products in a heartbeat. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, you've seen most of the magnets by now, but I saved this one for something that's just made me an angry little Asian girl!!!! And, it's totally irrational, I know. It is. I admit it.

Apparently, the breaking news in the entertainment world today (through Twitter and BBC-A...even though I always rely on blogger critic Televisionary for my hard news), BBC America has announced their official line-up for ComicCon in July. Freakin' Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Euros Lyn, John Barrowman and Ten, himself, David Tennant, will be there. In San Diego. In California. In the United States. In July.

Mind you...I've already seen Euros at New York's CC. I've even seen John Barrowman, albeit almost 20 years ago during his turn at Sunset Boulevard. And, I don't really need to see the affable RTD in person...and Julie's delightful enough on the DWCs.

But let's be honest, folks. I'm the girl who joined the RSC to get a Hamlet ticket, and then planned a whole unplanned London trip to see David Tennant. And then didn't get to see him.

And now I'm missing him at ComicCon. In San Diego. In California. In the United States. In July.

The show's been sold out for ages, which is probably why they waited until now to announce it. I'm sure it's not some conspiracy that BBC has to block me from ever seeing David. (Kinda like what the bears have?)

And anyway (sourgrapes, anyone?) I've never really wanted to go to SD for CC, because I can barely take the crowds over at Javits. But really, I should have known that that this would be the year to go, I mean, it's the 40th ComicCon, and goodness knows, the BBC's been trying to get every last drop of work from David Tennant's soul before he leaves Ten for what's theoretically good. And, after so many years as the Doctor, I'm thinking he kinda owes U.S. fans a CC appearance...before he starts doing them at the end of his career. (Was that mean?)

Gah. Oh well. Yet another missed opportunity for my Doctor and me. I'll wave at his plane as he flies over me.

No worries. He'll eventually do Broadway. He must. Maybe he and my Lee Mead will do a show together. But he's another magnet entirely.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And away to his castle we'll go

Magnet #480 - Snow White

So, I already explained where I got this Snow White Disney Princess magnet...yay for Target $1 aisle!

When I first moved to New York, I lived with my aunt and her young family for about 3 months, while I got acclimated to the big city, and looked for gainful employment. I slept in the daybed in the living room, which meant every morning, I could tell what time it was by the sounds of Nick, Jr. (bum-bum-bahhhhhmp!) and Gullah-Gullah Island.

It was a fun few months, mainly because I had a blast living with my cousins at the time, a five-year-old and a two-year-old. Thank goodness it was before the Disney Princesses had started to become the huge branded machine they are now. Back then, all we had were the big honkin' VHS tapes in the white plastic collector cases.

The best part was the toddler who looooooooved Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. Actually, that's not true. She loved Dopey. Seriously. Her mom would be headed off to work, the little girl would cry and cry and cry, until we'd sit down on the white wicker rocker and turn on Doooo-pey! Dooooo-pey! Again. Totally adorable.

Never mind the fact that that two-year-old is in high school now, and I haven't watched Snow White since. Heh.

Anyway, I picked this one for today's magnet, because I found this photographer, Dina Goldstein, who did a whole series on Disney's Fallen Princesses. It's a slightly disturbing, but very interesting photo series that's apparently two more away from being complete. I just loved her interpretation of poor Snow White, after her happily ever after.

Away to his castle, indeed.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

She goes strong and she goes proud*

Magnet #479 - Arkansas

Sooo, my sister's fiance bought me this magnet, and the oddest thing is, that I can't figure out if I've ever been to Arkansas before. I want to say yes - because it's on the way to Oklahoma, and I've driven there. I want to say no - because I honestly don't remember passing through it.

Sigh, sometimes, I wish our family's almostcross-country trip was done a little bit later in life, so I'd remember a bit more.

But, I picked this one for today's magnet, because Arkansas joined the Union this day in 1836, the 25th state to do so. It's funny, I just went to go look up any interesting facts, and found this page with way too much copy and way too many bullets. Dudes, I was just lookin' for state bird, flower, etc.

Though, this is kinda funny - apparently, much of the early settling of this territory was done by the French, that's why a lot of the place names are French pronunciation of Indian words. Apparently, back in the 17 and 1800s, they were decided on whether or not to pronounce their home as ArkanSAW or ArKansas - they couldn't even decide how to spell it, either.

Finally, in the 1880s, the state's General Assembly had to pass a whole resolution to settle the debate with a compromise: spell it Arkansas (in deference to the French explorers), but pronounce it ArkanSAW (in deference to the original Native American inhabitants).

Heh. Nope, that's not confusing at all.


State Flower: Apple Blossom
State Bird: Mockingbird

And a couple of bonuses that made me giggle:
State Gem: Diamond
State Drink: Milk
State Dance: Square

*From the State Song

Heh, my dad just informed me that I've been Arkansas. Well, at least three of their rest areas. Hahahahaha.

OK. Oooohkay. I just found out, thanks to
Nat Geo's Intelligent Travel blog (via Jaunted) that I could dig for diamonds in Arkansas at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Hmph. I guess that's why they have that big fat diamond on this magnet. Dig. For. Diamonds. At the Crater. Of. Diamonds. State. Park. Ya'll. We must ALL head down to Arkansas. Posthaste!!!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Long may she wave

Magnet #478 - Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

Ya'll know I have a thing for visiting national parks, and historic places. A couple of months ago we visited Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, MD. It was always one of those placesigns along I-95 that you just drive past on your way north or south, and you just never stop. This time we did.

Here's the thing. You grow up with the national anthem, the American flag (and apple pie, I suppose), but you don't necessarily think about from whence they came. So to see the flag flying, and to stand in the very fort where the star-spangled banner waved, and to walk o'er the ramparts, is something pretty cool.

That same weekend, we also went to the newly renovated Smithsonian National Museum of American History in DC, where we could see the same flag from the song. And you think Fort McHenry was cool, seeing the actual flag itself is even more awesome.

Both places gives you more historical context more than any history book ever could - so it's highly recommended.

The flag itself and the journey it's been on since the War of 1812 is quite extraordinary. You can learn more about it through the Smithsonian's fabulous interactive demo - definitely check it out. I love this magnet because it really shows a couple of details that I find fascinating. Heh, so fascinating that I totally did their little quiz thingy and got this cute certificate.

The original flag was about 30 x 42-feet - which is insanely large. At the time that Mary Pickersgill sewed it, there were 15 stars on the canton (the field of blue on the flag), and it's the only time there were 15 stripes - one for Kentucky and one for Vermont just admitted to the Union. (Of course, they had to stop the extending the flags by the stripes, because they realized that the flag would become too cumbersome if they kept adding stripes. Really, imagine the flag with 50 stripes?)

After the War of 1812, the flag remained in the possession of the Armistead family (the husband was fort commander)...and over time, they would give away pieces of the flag as souvenirs or remembrances to people. That's why there's a star (the white halo'd one on the magnet) and about 8 feet of flag missing. You'll also see what they believe is a little red A sewn into a white stripe - sewn onto the flag by Louisa Armistead, the commander's widow.

Still, if there's one thing I love about this country, it's our recognized need to preserve our relatively short history. And this flag is no exception - the Preservation Project shows how workers have toiled painstakingly to help this national treasure survive.

You think you tear up now, when you hear the below words being sung? I promise, the below words will take on so much more meaning once you've visited both Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner in DC. Happy Flag Day!

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Love stories you'll never forget,

Magnet #477 - Loveswepts authors you'll always remember."
- Loveswept tagline

So yeah, did ya'll think I was going to magnetpost on Harlequin, and not give equal time for something better?

Yes, my beloved Loveswepts. People get annoyed with me because I hold grudges longer than most, and this Loveswept thing is no different.

When I was in seventh grade, I wrote a letter to the editorial director of Loveswept, asking her how do I become an editor, and get to do what they do. After all, these were the women who were producing the books that I was hoarding my lunch money and spare change to buy. They were the ones writing the Editors Corner in all the books, where they told me what was coming up the next month. I felt like I knew these women.

The letter went unanswered.

A decade or so later, I was working alongside them. A dream come true.

So when The Powers That Be made the awful decision not to support the imprint any further, choosing to kill my Loveswepts, it completely messed me up. I mean, when you get your dream job when you're 24, only to have it ripped from you (via E-mail no less, thank you, Roger Cooper), you sort of say screw it, and them. I was soured on the industry, and so I left.

But, enough about that.

One of my most favorite job responsibilities ever was working with our Loveswept authors on their cover art. (Actually, my favorite thing was being able to chat with authors I'd grown up with, but anyway.) I wrote up a little questionnaire for them, and called them and we'd get to discuss their characters and hot boys, and who to cast as their hero and heroine.

In fact, look closer on this magnet I made, particularly the bottom rows. John F. Kennedy, Jr. and George Clooney. Julia Roberts and Demi Moore.

But beyond looking at model portfolios and headshots, there was the extreme pleasure working with the actual artists to come up with a pose and a background. So much fun, watching the art go from roughs to sketches to finished paintings, and then bound book. I used to take special pleasure mailing out the books to the authors, knowing that the second they received them, they'd be calling me squeeing with delight.

It's kinda funny, as I was pulling cover art from various websites to make this magnet you can see the progression in the art, as well as how the cover design adapted to the changing world.

The original cover design from the early 80s with the iconic (shut it, it was) Loveswept wave featured couples in hot clinches, with a sort of gauzy, dreamlike feel to them. Then, as the 80s wore on, we graduated to the more colorful 80s colors, with one specific color each month, framing the different cover art for each book.

Then, they started to experiment with photography, because it was cheaper to use than original paintings. Then, they made a decision (of course, based on economics, and was probably the beginning of the end of my beloved Loveswepts), to drop down to what amounted to headshots of male models in costume.

They weren't received all that well. I mean, really. They were inaccessible hot men, men we can look at in any magazine or tv show. But putting them on covers of our books didn't give us, the reader, any room to imagine. The photos were too literal.

Of course, those male models were infinitely better than their next move, which was to drop cover art altogether, going with some crazy (though pretty) flower border, and making the ultimate faux pas of reusing cropped images our old cover art for the back cover!!! I had authors telling me, yeah, they reused my art for so-and-so's book. Come. On!

But, thankfully, by the time I arrived on the scene, we had gone back to real cover art. The last, too little, too late, desperate push to regain our readers. It probably could have worked, had we just kept going and supported the line a little bit more.

Mind you, for every Harlequin plot I shared in yesterday's magnetpost, there are a dozen or so more Loveswepts that I can remember - the cover art, the heroes, the heroines, the title, the author, and in some cases, the book number. I painted my bedroom at home the color of a Helen Mittermeyer book. I tear up before I get to the good parts of an Iris Johansen title, even when I've read the darn thing a thousand times. I squee whenever I see current books by old authors on the shelves. I cringe whenever I see they've repackaged or beefed up what were already perfectly wonderful books for re-release.

Do the books hold up? Some do, some don't, but they're always as good as I remember...or rather, they tend to transport me back to my bedroom when I would read them one after another, until 3 and 4 in the morning, or begin one in homeroom, and be done in time for dinner.

Eh, but that was ages ago, and only women of a certain age (mine and older) remember those old Loveswepts. It was a grand time for me, remembered mainly for the cover art shenanigans...

Though I've moved on, in the end, all I have to show for those years, reading such wonderful books, is a giant cabinet full of just about every Loveswept ever published. Oh! And a giant stack of gorgeous cover flats, stuffed somewhere deep in my closet.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Heart of a Woman

Magnet #476 - Heart of a Woman, Harlequin

Gasp! I know!

I'm actually doing a magnetpost on Harlequin romance, using a magnet that I made. Whoa.

Anyone who knows me knows my long-standing frustration with Harlequin series relying on the salesability of formulaic brides, babies and cowboys stories.

So. What am I doing? I'm giving credit where credit is due.

In honor of their 60th Anniversary, the Harlequin folks put on cover art retrospective downtown. It was a small exhibit, at OpenHouse Gallery, but I really enjoyed it. I'm only sorry I went on the last day, I probably would have gone back again to spend more time reading the copy that went with all the art.

It was well put together, wonderfully thought out and designed, and the copy was just terrific. It was like reading good cover copy, in fact, it was actually better than some cover copy I've seen running around. They went chronologically, managing to artfully map out a great timeline that was representative of the history of the genre allowing the artwork to mirror our country's history, as well as (ironically) the feminist movement. From their early gritty suspense novels written by men, to the soft-spoken quiet novels of deep, abiding love, from the damsels in distress to women in the workplace, and from the doctors and nurses, to the Fabio historicals, it was pretty damn cool.

See? I can be complimentary.

Though, I did have a couple of issues with the exhibit:

They really concentrated on the cover art, the full paintings...but they didn't pair up the paintings with the actual cover of the book to give it context. It probably would have been a pain to pull each book, but it would have been nice to see the cover design evolution as well.

They concentrated only on the Harlequin books, not any of the Silhouettes, that I could tell. Though maybe that's because I couldn't see the cover design that I didn't know which series the art belonged to.

And finally, they held it in New York City. In SoHo, no less. Really. How much of their demographic lives here, and what tourists can easily find it, without having to go off the beaten tourist path? Honestly, I might have thought twice about going, were it not for the lure of Rice to Riches on the next block. I'm just sayin'.But overall, it really was a great exhibit.

Well done, Harlequin.

Though, to be fair, even with my publisher issues, I will admit to growing up reading Harlequins and Silhouettes, all the way back to their Silhouette YA line. They really do have some fantastic writers who can tell really good stories. In fact, I have a stack of them at home that are double-starred on the spines as ones to keep and never give away.

There's the Intimate Moments set in Hawaii, where the Chase (who looked like Robert Fox from Falcon Crest) fell in love with the dancer when she did the Hawaiian dance for Pele, the volcano goddess. It's also where I saw the S-word for the first time in print. (So upsetting, it was!)

There's the Intimate Moments that I managed to do a 10th grade book report on (to the surprise of my teacher, when she learned it was a romance). The hero was Grant Sullivan, and he and the heroine (no one ever remembers heroine names - hehe) are traipsing through the jungles of South America, trying to get to safety.

There's the Harlequin Presents with the chick who had an accident and went blind, and had to go to a special clinic to learn how to be blind, and she fell in love with her doctor.

There's the Harlequin Presents with the nanny who went to live in the big mansion to take care of the two little kids, and their father, who fell deeply in love with her, despite her shady past.

There's the American Romance about Corey, the race driver, who gets hit by the heroine who was hazily under the influence of expired cough syrup. Of course they fell in love...even though she was scared to death each time he raced.

Mind you, I think it's quite funny that I can't remember a single Silhouette Desire (the direct competitor to my Loveswepts) cover. I know I read them. I must have.

But no matter what, with each paragraph I just typed above, 20 years later, I can clearly see the cover art of each book in my head, even if I don't remember the titles or the authors.

Which all just goes to show the true power of great cover art.

Oh! I forgot! Pictures from the exhibit.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

"The nerve of her...

Magnets #475a & 475b - Zuni Owl Magnerine

...coming here with your face!"
- Susan's snotty roommate, Parent Trap

I promise. This is the last Hayley Mills movie in the marathon.

C'mon. How could I not use this magnet for Parent Trap? Plus, honestly, how can you talk about Hayley's Disney movies without talking about Parent Trap?

I used to wish for a twin. A twin who had my face that I'd find when I finally got sent off to that camp halfway across the country. A twin who had my face that I'd find when I finally got sent off to that camp halfway across the country, who had been living with my other set of parents this whole time, and OMG, you look like me, I look like you, and oh, how happy now we could be, Together!

Ummm, yeah, that never happened for me.

Still. I freakin' adored this movie.

And the sequel with Susan and Sharon as adults, with Tom Skerritt as the leading man.

And the next sequel with the Creel triplets (whatever happened to them?) and the I'm Always Chasing Rainbows song, with Barry Bostwick.

And the sequel to that sequel, where they do the requisite honeymoon. In Hawaii.

And darn it, I'm not ashamed, I loved the remake with (once upon a time) sweet little Lindsay Lohan, too. (An aside, I didn't love it more than Hayley's version, obvi, but Omigod, Cuppy!??? LOVE. Plus, she was adorable playing twins Hallie and Annie. I'd be torn between dads Brian Keith and Dennis Quaid, though.)

Anyway, I don't know a living soul who hasn't seen the original Parent Trap, so I've said my piece. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh again. You might even get goosebumps!

And thus endeth the Hayley Mills marathon...

In case you're wondering, this little guy is a Zuni Owl effigy vessel, pottery from the Zuni Indian tribe of New Mexico. The real one's sitting at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, even though I bought this at the Met, and therefore haven't seen him in real life.

He's supercute, a Magnerine, just one of my growing collection that's amassed since the last time I blogged about these supercool magnets.

I must confess...the reason why I picked this owl for today, is because this little guy:

totally reminded me of Hayley - particularly in this (wrong movie, but right pose) LIFE cover.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"If one must have Maine...

Magnet #474 - Bar Harbor, Maine

...why not Bar Harbor?"
- Cousin Julia, Summer Magic

Right at this moment, my sisters (who unpacked the DVD out of moving boxes) are now re-watching Moon-Spinners for the thousandth time, and I've hit pause on Summer Magic, to write this post.

I certainly didn't intend for this to be a Hayley Mills mini-marathon, but who can resist the call of Beautiful Beulah, Maine, and the wonderful, oh so cheesy Carey family of Summer Magic?

There's the ever-so-put upon widowed matriarch, Margaret, placed in reduced circumstances, mother of willful daughter and consummate dreamer Nancy, ragtime pianist son, Gilly, and impish son, Peter, who sleeps every night with the Shaggy DA dog.

Nancy (who has the cutest dresses, with the wrongest hairwear) has convinced the affable Osham (?) Popham (played by the affable Burl Ives) to let them live in the gorgeous abandoned yellow house in the outskirts of Beulah, and it's all about how the Bostonian Careys get used to living in the countryside (because really, who needs money, in the land of milk and honey)?

And then horrendously prissy and snobby Cousin Julia, who is the Pink of Perfection, comes to live with them, and turns their lives topsy-turvy....

And then a hot teacher shows up to create a love triangle...

And then the hot owner of the house comes back and...

Ok, ok, the story's way too complicated to get into, but suffice to say that there's a happy ending. Of course. Hello, it's Disney!

(Actually, in point of fact, Summer Magic was based on a book called Mother Carey's Chickens, written all the way back in 1911 and already downloaded to my BlackBerry. It was written by Kate Douglas Wiggin...who, in addition to pioneering Kindergartens in the U.S., also wrote Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.)

Also? Being Disney, it has several musical numbers that won't leave your head - apparently ever. For serious, yo. I'm seeing tonight that on top of quoting scenes, I can still sing along for every freakin' number... Good. Grief.

Overall the movie tends to hold up ok - mostly because even though it was released in 1963, it's set in the early 1900s. I won't lie, some of the songs are pretty FF-worthy - particularly when they're just montages of the countryside and the flora and fauna of said countryside. Some of them are just toe-tappin' fun. Yeah, you read that right - I said toe-tappin' fun.

You'll see below by the lyrics of Femininity, some of the songs are pretty darn offensive to our modern-day feminist sensibilities. But, scored right, and yeah, I'll be singing this song all the way to work today.
You must walk feminine
Talk feminine
Smile and beguile feminine
Utilize your femininity
That's what every girl should know, if she wants to catch a beau

Dance feminine
Glance feminine
Act shy and sigh feminine
Compliment his masculinity
That's what every girl should know, if she wants to catch a beau

Let him do the talking
Med adore good listeners
Laugh, but not too loudly (Haha)
If he should choose to tell a joke
Be radiant, but delicate
Memorize the rules of etiquette
Be demure, sweet and pure
Hide the real you

You must look feminine
Dress feminine
You're at your best feminine
Emphasize your femininity
That's what every girl should know
Femininity, femininity
That's the way to catch a beau
Heh. You're still here. Go. Watch!

Oh! I forgot! I've never been to Maine, either! Save the World Sister got me this magnet while hiking in Maine. Huh. Now there's a question. I wonder why comes it's "trekking" when you're in Nepal, but it's just plain old "hiking" Stateside.

You know what's funny? Reading comments on the YouTube installments. So funny to see how people react to this movie...

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

For crying loud out!*

Magnet #473 - Greece

When I was growing up, whenever we had kids come visit - particularly girls - my mom would bust out the Betamax, and later, the VHS, tapes of old Hayley Mills movies from Disney.

Don't know Hayley? Of course, you do.

She's the daughter of Sir John Mills, the goddaughter of Sir Noel Coward, and the darling of several Disney movies, including The Parent Trap, The Castaways, Summer Magic, That Darn Cat and Pollyanna. Seriously. My mom had the Hayley Mills oeuvre nailed down.

I could go on, with the lesser-known The Trouble with Angels, Truth About Spring, The Chalk Garden, and Flame Trees of Thika....or still even more obscure Good Morning, Miss Bliss, the precursor to Saved by the Bell.

You wouldn't believe the hours we spent with Hayley growing up. Well, no, actually, you've probably gotten an idea, so far.

But, if you're paying attention, you've noticed that I left out my favorite Hayley Mills movie of alllllll time - The Moon-Spinners. You must see this movie. Must.

Filmed on location, it was a mystery/romance with a teenage Nikky Ferris coming to picturesque Greece on holiday with her doting Aunt Frances. No sooner than they check in to the lovely Moon-Spinners inn, than Nikky manages to bumble her way into a murder and mayhem, complete with a jewelry theft ring, windmills, a strange innkeeper named Stratos, weird little sidekick named Alexis, and superduper cute mystery man named Mark Camford at the center of it all. Oh, and don't forget the eclectic Madame Habib, with her exotic pet!

But let's go back to Mark Camford, played by Peter McEnery. I freakin' loved this guy. Mind you, I was watching this movie a good 20 years after the movie was initially released, but I had a right proper crush on this guy, even though he was older than my parents. But, in the movie, Nikky Ferris was a teenager, with fabulous outfits and cute hair and wonderful Brit accent, in love with a guy with a wonderful Brit accent, who was older, more mysterious, and trapped in a bloody crypt! (Heh, it's one of my favorite scenes. Ok, well, he was the bloody one, and he was just hiding out, but still!)

Goodness, you couldn't get more romantic than that!

And you know Nikky and Mark totally lived happily ever after after they returned to London. They totally did. Yep. I'm a romantic at heart, and it's no wonder, with me watching movies like this (and Summer Magic and Parent Trap) during my formative years. Apparently, though all of them are on DVD, someone's uploaded Moon-Spinners, too. Go. Now. (Though, honestly, just go buy them, cuz you'll get your use out of the DVDs. I'm just saying.)

Go. Why are you still here?

Oh! The second I saw this magnet, I knew I had to buy it, because I'll always think of this movie when I think of Greece. Ummm, yeah. I've never been to Greece, so I suppose it loses a bit of its romance if I admit that I bought this in Tarpon Springs. Florida. Heh.

*One of Alexis' silly American quotes
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Magnet #472 -

Hells, yeah. I totally made an incredibly dorky, but (for me) oh, so loveable magnet of my masthead. What? Like you weren't expecting it at some point down the line.

At the urging of quite a few people, I went ahead and made them. Feels like it was something kitschy that needed to be done.

I figured that since I bought the domain, I needed something to celebrate. Plus, oddly, it feels like I needed something to hand out whenever I mention this silly blog. Of course, now I'll actually have to pass them out, I suppose.

So, yay. And, yes, I'm totally sending them around to friends and family, at some point, no worries. Heh.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's time to say thank you

Magnet #471 - World War II Memorial

Theme weekend! I was going to use this World War II Memorial magnet for Memorial Day, but this D-Day weekend works just as well, if not better.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the dedication of the memorial, built to honor the 16 million who served during WWII, the more than 400,000 who died, plus the millions more here at home who helped in the war effort.

It's one of those things where you wonder why it took almost 60 years before a national memorial was built for the WWII veterans. The truth was that there were dozens of local memorials, but nothing on a national level. Then, the right veteran wrote the right letter to the right member of congress, and the rest is history.

And, it's a fascinating history - American Battle Monuments Commission couldn't build the memorial without the funds to build and maintain it in perpetuity. What'd they do? Raise twice as much money as they needed.

They needed someone to help drive the fundraising, what happened? Tom Hanks mentioned the memorial during an awards ceremony and money started flooding in, and he became the national spokesperson, with a couple of commercials telling everyone that it was time to say thank you.

The design itself is as fascinating a story as its history - again one of those stone memorials that say so much. The design of it is quite intricate, from the two pavilions - one for the Atlantic and the Pacific, to the pillars for each state, to the incorporation of the existing rainbow pool, and the Freedom Wall, a field of 4,000 gold stars, representing the 400,000 that were killed. There's also the bronze eagles and wheat, and inscriptions, and bas reliefs, and I could go on and on. Luckily, someone recorded a tour! Whoa.

Dedication weekend 2004 was amazing - it ended up being a four-day Tribute to a Generation, with concerts and ceremonies around town, and presentations and exhibits on the Mall, all culminating in the dedication of the memorial. It's so funny, though I worked on the advertising team for the memorial, I didn't go down to help out with the dedication team.

Instead, my sister and I volunteered for the Smithsonian's reunion weekend, which was even more fabulous than I could ever have thought.

It was the largest gathering of the World War II generation before or since. One particular tent we worked in was the Reunion Hall - it's where all the vets could come in and hang out, sharing stories with each other and with the volunteers. But best of all, they could post notes for men/women in their battalions and fighter groups and bases, or whatever designation they were seeking. Meet me here, are you still alive, would love to talk and catch up - some of the loveliest notes. And watching them reunite with hugs and tears in their eyes after so long was just the best thing - ever. Smithsonian photos are here, but here's a fantastic aerial shot of the ceremony, where you can see all the way back to the stage toward the Capitol.

Still to this day, it's one of the best weekends of my life. It just made you want to thank everyone in uniform everywhere. So thank you.

Later that year, my parents went to visit it, and according to my sister, as my dad (a baby boomer born at the tail end of the war) was walking around, someone came up to him and said very somberly...thank you.
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