joy magnetism: November 2009

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Monday, November 30, 2009

November rain

Magnet #647 - Firenze

Ok. So now we're back in business, posting on the day of. What? Ya'll think I'm insane, but seriously, they say after doing something 14 times it becomes a habit. Try doing something after 640 days!

Anyway, Save the World Sister and BIL (now I need a STW couple name for them) brought this back for me when they first visited here a few years ago, and now I'm actually here for myself.

Today was our first full day in Florence, the city of flowers. And rain. Like monsoon rain. Like pouring gatti and cani rain.

A thoroughly trying and stressful day - it's hard to try and shepherd nine other adults. But, that's ok, we got through it, seeing only Il Duomo, the Baptistry, the Duomo museum, and the inside of a Chinese restaurant, two different McDonald's, and a really great Florentine restaurant with really great food. Well, except for dessert - I'm not a fan of panacotta, so the chocolates from the chocolate festival we found in Padua will have to do.

Oh, like you're really surprised we stumbled upon a whole street paved with chocolate.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh, when the Saints

Magnet #646 - Saint Anthony of Padua

Ah. I'm finally back on real time for these magnets. Whew.

I promise when I have time and more than 12% left on my Mac battery, I'll do a better version of this magnet.

But, I just had to quickly mention...

Since my dad found out that we were coming to Italy for this wedding, he's been after us about a pilgrimage to Padua. My sisters and I had no idea why, but we soon found out.

Apparently, my paternal grandmother used to pray to Saint Anthony for help getting my dad to straighten out and fly right. Heh. There's something funny about my straight-laced dad being a hooligan. But, it meant a lot for him to come visit the church this morning, so we were happy to go.

We sat through Mass, and walked around the absolutely amazing church. Where Saint Anthony is actually entombed. I know! We Catholics get pretty serious about our saints, and our relics. So file in line to touch the left foot of the tomb, and say a prayer. And then we had to go visit the relics. Ya'll, they had his vocal chords and his tongue, and his teeth all up on high altars behind the sanctuary.

Freaked DC sister out. I don't blame her, it's kinda scary to see that stuff just sitting out where everyone can see it.

As for me, I touched a Saint today. And my hand itched. I really dunno what that means. But it's kinda cool.

Isn't it?
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Sigh of something, alright

Magnet #645 - Venice - Bridge of Sighs

Yesterday, while Save the World Couple went off to their Malta honeymoon, the 8 of us remaining went off to Padua, with a quick trip over to Venice.

I've been to Venice once - on my AMA band trip. Where a starry-eyed boy and I spent a few hours wandering the sidewalks and bridges of town and having pizza, so my memories of Venice, are really more of the boy than the town.

Yesterday, I got to make new ones, which were terrific. Though we lost daylight on our vaporetto (water taxi) ride over to Piazza San Marco, we were able to see the beautiful architecture and churches along the way. I was pretty happy - and of course want to watch Italian Job, David Tennant's Casanova and the third Indiana Jones movie.

At least till I saw this treatment of the Bridge of Sighs. I wanted to cry. I'm an adgirl, so I know the wonders of selling valuable adspace for too much money - but seriously, it's almost a desecration. Oh, I totally get they were probably renovating the palace and the prison on either side, but give me a break, the bridge was built in 1602. How is it that 400 years later, it's turned into that? How freakin' sad is that image?

Ah, Venice. I'm heaving a sad, sad, sad sigh for you.
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Let's do this!

Magnet #644 - San Gimignano, Italy

Friday was the Save the World Wedding. It was pretty fabulous, even with all the stress that led up to it.

The groom seemed pretty darn relaxed for marrying into my crazy family.

And the bride was all gussied up - seriously, if you've ever seen her climb a wall like a spider monkey, you'd have been surprised to hear the words "bump it" and "where's my tiara" come out of her mouth. But, she turned out beautiful, far surpassing the best wedding quote of the day, "Lookit me! I look like a girl!"

The ceremony was pretty awesome - held at a church with frescoes from the 1200s. Like old ones that were long hidden under layer upon layer of age and updating. Seriously old, folks. Like the center aisle were final resting places of people I had to step over. Twice. Yikes.

But, the best part of the day, I think, was when it was over and they realized they were done, and the bride threw on her chacos and walked her way through the streets of medieval San Gimignano in her wedding dress - groom and photographer in tow. Fantastic memories of them walking hand in hand, surrounded by the old towers of San Gim, with not a care in the world.

Tip to all bridesmaids in destination weddings held in Italy. Buy a dress size larger, and you can eat allllll the Italian courses you want! Hahahaha.
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He's her penguin!

Magnets #643a & 643b - Penguins

Another one of my Magnerines collection. What? I love these guys. Of course, I really just line them up on my cube shelf at work, rather than use them as real magnets.

Anyway, I heard somewhere that penguins - like the lobsters - mate for life. No, I haven't seen March of the Penguins, but I could swear I've heard it.

So, the whole reason of this Italian holiday, was for us to be here in Italy for the Save the World wedding - wherein my youngest sister married Save the World BIL (brother-in-law). Our family and his traveled here, and stayed in Tuscan villa. Yes. Exactly like you see in the movies, only minus the French baguettes and peasant shirts and skirts, and the hot guys wearing jeans and white T-shirts, with a cig hanging out of his mouth.

Actually it was a beautiful villa - about 20 minutes from San Gimignano, where the ceremony was. But, it was a nice to see the two of them sort of huddled together like penguins against the world, a little united front, trying to shield each other from the onslaught of family togetherness.

Eh, if they can weather pulling off the Italian dream wedding, I think they're pretty much set for life.

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One way, or another

Magnet #642 - London Underground

Well, nuts. I was hoping to keep my daily blogging streak going, but I've been thwarted at every turn during this Italian holiday. Who knew you wouldn't be able to get hotel wi-fi in a Tuscan villa outside of San Gimingano, or just outside the city walls of Padua?

Even now, I'm sitting in a dimly lit "bar," at the end of the registration desk corridor, in a somewhat sketchy (though let's use the word rustic) hotel in Florence, listening to our cute and overworked (well, just since our party got here) concierge snap the wet towels and hang them out to dry on the lines out back. But, hey, I've got wi-fi, and all of our charges are safe and sound in their rustic bedrooms down the hall.

But, what a French farce of a time we had getting here. It's why I'm choosing the London Underground for this first catch-up magnet. London and NYC are two of the easiest to navigate train systems in the world. The Italian train system? Noooooot so much.

Today as we were leaving Padua, we had two of our party - my sister and my friend - get on a train to Geneva. Uhhhh, yeah, we weren't going to Geneva. They didn't even know they'd boarded the wrong train until I texted my friend.

Uhhhh, yeah. This is what happens when you split up big groups.

After loads of parental worries (once the adults realized I wasn't joking about the girls) and reversal of trains (once they realized where they were headed) and more train tickets boughten (once we realized the girls had my train ticket), and yes, loads of laughter (once we were all where we needed to be) and we finally all arrived back in Florence. Whew.

Expensive Eurostar 1st class tickets bought out of desperation? Worth it.

Also. Eurostar - would it kill you to space out the schedule, and perhaps announce trains better, and perhaps order your coaches consistently, so that people with luggage can get to the right place on the platform? Oiy.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.

Magnet #641 - New England Aquarium

A friend of mine brought this magnet back for me...I had to look up where the aquarium was. It's in Boston.

I do so love my little magnet - it's adorable. Though, I'm not a huge fan of zoos or aquariums - don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge animal rights person - I do consider both venues a necessary thing to help folks understand the animal kingdom.

I just worry about venues and how humane the animals are being treated - the last one I went to locally freaked me out with their really small enclosures and smelly water.

But, I think that aquarium is set for a renovation, so maybe it won't be so bad. I'd actually consider going to the big ones - Monterrey, Atlanta, Chicago, and this one. At the very least, I'd go just for the supercute magnets.

C'mon, can't you just see this penguin's buggy eyes, just bursting to get out of his little pen here? He's totally planning his escape.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie

Magnet #640 - Pizza

So, here's the deal. Over the next two weeks, I'll be off and away to Italy for the Save the World sister/fiance's wedding.

Which means I may or may not have time to blog each day. Oiy. It could be good, it could be bad - for me, that is. All I know is that it might be the first time in 640 days I may not be near a computer! How ever will I make it through to December? Why didn't I learn how to post from my BlackBerry? Or start writing all my posts ahead of time and timer set them to autopost? Eh, oh, well.

Anyway, I know it's kinda stereotypical, using pizza to herald the upcoming trip to Italy. But, two things. Pizza's what we had for lunch in Venice, last time I was there. And, Save the World sister's already running around Florence, and her first thing to report back to me was that they saw French Fry pizza. Whoa. See, now, that sounds like an American heart attack waiting to happen. Oiy.

So, yeah, I thought this cute bottlecap magnet from @KristinaMyers' Etsy store, would be fitting.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh, Charlie

Magnet#639 - Charlies Angels

I picked up this swag magnet several years ago when Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle came out.

Totally used to watch when I was little - my parents and I. Every week. Loved them. So much so, I used to want be one of them. Loved them.

I was worried when Drew brought them back - but I won't lie. I actually loved the revamps.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Larger than life

Magnet #638 - Carnegie Hall

My parents kinda hoped that I'd play Carnegie Hall, probably since watching The Competition, with Amy Irving, all about these competitive pianists who fell in love. I dimly remember going to see that movie. Ironically, competitions ended being one of the things I hated most about my 13 years of piano lessons. Ugh.

Still, one of the best things that piano and band instilled in me is a love of performing arts, and being behind the scenes of famous venues. So, every so often, I take a day off from work, just to play tourist town. A couple of years ago, I ended up packing one day with tours of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

Carnegie Hall and the behind the scenes tour is fairly impressive. Designed by William Burnett Tuthill (An architect. And a cellist. Wha?) back in 1891, the interior and exterior architecture's really cool. And while the seats are still rather small, the theatre is daunting and crazy intimidating. You can just feel the history of great performances within those walls.

My favorite part of the tour, though, was the performing arts museum they have there as well. They had Benny Goodman's clarinet! I was so excited, I had to call my dad right afterward to tell him to tell him. I distinctly remember crossing a busy 57th street oblivious to oncoming traffic as I busily yapped about how cool was it that I played the same kind of clarinet that he did. (While my dad basically said, duh, that's why I bought you that Buffet clarinet.)

The other tour that day was Lincoln Center, which sadly didn't have a magnet back then, but I'd bet money they'll start selling them after this current major renovation is complete. But, that tour was supercool as well, split between the actual Lincoln Center complex, but also the Rose Jazz Center at Time Warner Center.

Aside from learning about the architecture and design of all the buildings and venues in both locations, we actually got to see and hear the NY Philharmonic rehearse on one stage, and Placido Domingo rehearse on another.

What a fabulous day! Besides being outside the office on a weekday, I got to see Benny Goodman's clarinet and watch Placido Domingo all in one day! C'mon! How cool is that? Ok, well maybe cool isn't quite the applicable term here, but really, you can't get more New York performing arts cool than that.

* "It has been said that the hall itself is an instrument," said the late Isaac Stern [of Carnegie Hall]. "It takes what you do and makes it larger than life."
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Lil' bit country

Magnet #637 - Grand Ole Opry

I never got into country music until I met one of my college roomies who listened to it alllll the time. It sounds a little cheesy, but she always had a song in her heart, and on her lips, and she introduced me to the best of the early 90s, inadvertently teaching me all the lyrics. And, I guess it took.

Of course, nowadays, I'm finding that my country music love is in stasis. In the 90s.

My friend went to Nashville and brought this back for me from her tour of the Grand Ole Opry. I've never been - I mean, I didn't grow up with it in the house, so I guess it's no surprise that we skirted the Opry in favor of Opryland, instead.

Oh, my.

I just went to go look up Opryland, and realized it was shuttered and demolished in the 90s! Talk about stasis in the 90s. Nooooooo! But it was the Home of American Music, it says!

The park had some cool rides, including a bunch of long-lost to memory kiddie rides. And oh, those fun cheesy performances where everyone swings and claps to overenthusiastic "get your hands clappin'!!" performers. What's weird is that I can't really imagine my parents running around at Opryland, going to what had to have been country music performances.

I do remember my parents would fob me off on my Uncle Oscar to take me on the scary rides - the most memorable one was a scary, scary plane ride. In my head, I've built into a bunch of planes that were hung from a chain (!!!) That flew around a tower (!!!). But, to be honest it's one of those hazy dazy memories the I distinctly remember being is the air, flying around at breakneck speed, and it was dark. And there may have been a joystick.

Or, that was just a hazy dazy memory of being in a cockpit...on television.

Found it! Apparently, there was a plane ride. It was called the Barnstormer (natch) and it was a 100-ft-tall spinning airplane ride. Whoa, from Themepark Timelines. Just whoa. Really? My parents let me ride in that thing?
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm a dreamer

Magnet #636 - Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I picked this up wandering around Times Square a couple of months ago. I love those TSQ/Broadway swag stores! So much stuff! Of course, I also get the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS catalog each year, and so I see a lot of the same cool stuff. But, I can't go down this road of buying swag from every single show I see. That would be nuts, wouldn't it?

But, I had to get this one, cuz hello, ya'll saw me wax poetic about my still-to-star-on-Broadway-but-will-get-there-yet Lee Mead, and how he won the Joseph role on BBC and Andrew Lloyd Webber's reality series, Any Dream Will Do, a few years ago. Adorable, that Lee Mead. Seriously. See?

Sigh. If I could get he and David Tennant to star in something here in town, with maybe Clooney producing, that'd be the trifecta cuteboy show made of cuteboy awesome.

What? A girl can dream.

Well, maybe not so much this girl, not lately anyway. With a couple of national TV spots in play, work on seven other clients, and an Italian trip to plan, the sleep I sleep nowadays is in small increments. And even then, I have these technicolor, not-acid-induced-but-surely-this-is-what-it-must-be-like, dreams where I'm deliriously slurring my words and getting into fights with coworkers. Great. Dreamjoy's an AA candidate. Oh well.

Oh, and speaking of technicolor, not-acid-induced-but-surely-this-is-what-it-must-be-like, decisions - what the heck was BBC-America thinking, letting Garth Ancier get away?

The man's responsible for the goody-two-shoe'd CamRents, the moue-faced Buffy, the melty-faced Joey, the Pacey-goo'd, and the squint-y Pru'd generation over at the former WB!

He's the reason why half of America's even bothering to watch BBC-America! I mean What. Are. You. Tripping. On?
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Field trip!

Magnet #635 - NC Transportation Museum

Meet Spencer Shops. At least, that's what we called it growing up in Salisbury, NC. Really, it's called the NC Transportation Museum, dedicated to preserving the history of the Southern Railways and this, one of their largest servicing centers.

Southern placed the center there because it's a good halfway point between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, GA. It was once the largest employer in the county, and has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years.

Now it's a transportation museum, where local schoolkids get to visit to learn more about the railway industry, get to sit in a railcar, and even get to ride the superdupercool turntable, where they...turn the railway cars around. So much fun!

My sisters and soon-to-be-BIL to visit during their last trip home to relive my sisters' fond memories of the place. They came back from it, saying it was the coolest thing ever - especially now that it's totally renovated. And now, of course, I want to go back.

That's actually what I'd love to do for a lot of the field trips we did growing up. No, I don't want to repeat that field trip to the funeral home, but there are certain field trips that I'll always remember.

Old Setzer's one - it's this one-room wooden schoolhouse, tucked away back in the woods. And every class got to spend one schoolday in the schoolhouse. The assignment would be for kids to run out to O.O. Rufty's, the old school general store with the creaky wooden floorboards, and buy one of those tin lunchpails, and have our moms cook up some old-fashioned ham biscuits or whatever, and then we'd spend the day at the school, learning lessons on old chalkboards and playing ollie-ollie oxen free over the schoolhouse roof.

So much fun. Although, now that I think about it, that's a lot of trouble to go through for a day of class.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tales of the Gold Monkey

Magnet #634a & 634b - Magnerine gorilla

This is not a gold monkey. It's not even a monkey, monkey.

He's a Magnerine gorilla that I picked up (for work, no lie) from the Museum of Natural History. You know, it's a good thing that I haven't discovered a clearance store at that museum too, otherwise, I'd probably have the entire animal kingdom sitting in my cube at work.

So, here's why I picked this funny little guy for today's magnet:

1) Stephen Collins is on Twitter. Squeeee!
2) They're releasing Tales of the Gold Monkey out on DVD next year, with commentaries from Stephen Collins.

Now. Let me tell you why in my little world this is totally the bee's knees.

Ya'll know how much I love my television crushes.

Stephen Collins was my very, very first primetime television crush. I was nine years old watching this show with my mom. Even going so far as recording it on a tape recorder, so that I could play it over and over again in my room. (Presumably because I couldn't get my parents to tape it on the Betamax? I dunno.)

Tales aired in 1982 on ABC, a total adventure series about a hot ex-Flying Tigers pilot named Jake Cutter. It was set in the South Pacific, with a theme song I can still freakin' hum. It was classic Bellasario before there was such a thing. And it apparently conceived before Raiders of the Lost Ark, but not greenlit until after Harrison's success. That was also the year CBS produced a competing series called Bring 'em Back Alive, starring a very hot Bruce Boxleitner, another longtime crush of mine.

Anyway, my show aired for only one season, which I totally just found out today. It's all about how Jake Cutter flies around the in awesome bomber jacket, doing somewhat sketchy cargo runs out of what I've thought was Bora Bora for the last couple of decades, but is actually the fictional Bora Gora. He was always getting into spy troubles, because of Sarah, his one true love, and also the government spy stationed on the island to keep an eye on the local Nazi and Japanese spies.

Jake's BFF is the lovable and affable Corky - who was also on Black Sheep Squadron, which I don't remember, but totally watched reruns of, because of the hot boys in uniform. Robert Conrad I'm lookin' at you.

Annnyway, Jake's other BFF is Jack, the Jack Russell terrier with an eye patch. For serious.

And OMG, Roddy! McDowall! was in it as the bartender slash government official! So sad, but to be honest? My Friend Flicka, nothing. Bon Chance Louie is the role I'll always remember Roddy McDowell for.

I'm telling you, I loved that Jake Cutter - he was the original cuteboy for me. Like, he predates Duran Duran, ya'll.

Loved that Stephen Collins. Loved the theme song. Loved the show. This news has single-handedly made my freakin' day. I cannot wait for the DVDs to come out next year. And if they don't? I am so finally ordering that multiregion DVD set and ordering the ones from the UK, dagnabit.

And, yes. Stephen Collins was totally the dad on 7th Heaven. Which I totally watched.

Make of that what you will.

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Monday, November 16, 2009


Magnet #633 - Hearst Castle

So one of the classic movies that I've never been able to love is Citizen Kane. Mind you, I probably need to see it again by myself, but to be honest, I'm ok if it makes me the crazy one for not liking it.

Even so, that totally didn't stop me from making a special stop at the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument...commonly known as Hearst Castle, during my Woman on her Own Roadtrip several years ago. It was every bit as impressive as the movie, and the website, and the docus make it seem to be.

From the shuttle bus tour that takes you up there, to your choice of several tours to take once you get there, the place is just impressive. And beautiful.

You have to actually see it firsthand to believe it. I've done the east coast Biltmore, and I'm hard-pressed to choose which estate is more impressive. I'm thinking the Biltmore, just because well, it is the Vanderbilts, and because I just love the architecture of the Biltmore house. But, Hearst definitely gives the Vanderbilts a run for their money. Heh.

I love how Hearst Castle is not just one castle, but a whole compound of little houses. If by little, you mean the 8-bedroom house, the 6-bedroom house, the 4-bedroom house, and the so-big it's called Casa Grande, 38-bedroom house. 38. Rooms to sleep in. Plus? There's 61 one bathrooms on the whole estate! You could use a different bathroom for two months straight! Whoa.

And check out this guest list. I'm always enamoured of old-school Hollywood, and the thought of all of them hanging out here together is just fascinating to me. I love that they had their glitz and glamour out in the middle of nowhere atop a mountain. Awesome.

The art collection's to die for, the architecture is borrowed from all of Randolph Hearst's travels abroad, and the pools are kinda cool as well.

Definitely stop for a visit - the side trip's worth it. Apparently, I must go back - about four years ago, they built their superbig Visitors Center. Yes, I had to look up when that was, because the new website's pretty expansive, and they have virtual tours of the compound, but also the Visitors Center.

Dudes. they have virtual tours of the center. And the little shop! Not one cam, not two. But three their little shop alone!!! Nice.

You can even see the magnets they have on sale. How cool. Seriously.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bigger on the inside

Magnet #632 - The Doctor's TARDIS

Yeah, that doesn't ever sound dirrty at all. But, Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, that's what the TARDIS is. Everyone just knows it as the little blue wooden box that that's impossibly bigger on the inside than the outside.

What? I had to use it for today - Doctor Who was a trending topic for at least a few hours today, given that it was the UK premiere of the third to the last David Tennant specials.

And, no, no matter how much disdain and disapproval I get for watching it through "alternative resources," I couldn't resist watching The Waters of Mars online. Twice. About to be three, once the commentaries go up. And probably a few more times after that.

Sorry - but it's not like I'm spoiling the US market with what's happened. And, it's not like I haven't spent a trillion dollars on Doctor Who stuff. I'm totally buying the DVDs, and of course, I'll be buying the DT/Ten DW Specials box set when it becomes available next year.

So you know what, BBC and BBC-A? You guys continue to stagger your DW airings all you want. Still gonna watch it on both premiere dates, it'll just feel like a little time traveling of my own, is all.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vampire Saturday

Magnet #631 - NYC Skykisser, wha?

Heh. So I spent a long time trying to figure out what building this was. Like, so long that I fell asleep trying. Not even joking. It's why I'm late with this thing.

If you know which building it is, let me know. I think it's the Chicago Tribune building, having just seen it fairly up close this year. But, these Lucy Lu Mighty Magnet descriptions (I got these at the Met, I think) say that it's NYC. Then I thought it was the Woolworth building, but it's not. Then I started wracking my brain for other NYC buildings.

Then, well, I got bored with the game.

Anyway, I like this building because it's all gothic-y, and it was very much in keeping with the theme of my Saturday, a day spent at the Paley Center's Vampire Weekend. OML, remember how I have that habit of liking things - like, a lot - but then I go to things/places/events/panels, and am reminded that my love is but a mere pittance to some of the grand love affairs people have with these things? Yeah. Check.

I've mentioned before that I'm so very over the vampire thing - mainly because I was a Buffy/Angel girl, and a Blood Ties girl. And, if pushed, a Moonlight girl. But, the Buffy/Angel thing was years ago for me, and I didn't want to be part of this next cycle. And yet, I went to the Paley Center thing anyway - with the queen of Vampire novels herself (not one, but two of her books were mentioned!), and then with another friend who has fallen down the supernatural rabbit hole. But, they're what made the day fun!

And it was fun. Well, if you don't count that one fan (there's always one) who believes that watching a panel that was filmed earlier is an interactive thing. They can't hear your editorial comments, lady. I don't care what board you post on. Dudes - don't get me wrong - my television and I carry on healthy conversations all the time. But not in a public forum. Then again, she was entertaining as well, I suppose. Oddly, she didn't interact when it came to the real live panel forum.

So, I was saying. Fun. Watching the panelists defend their vampires (Buffy/Angel, Dark Shadows, Salem's Lot, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and of course, the sparkly kid from Twilight), watching all the folks scramble for the trivia games (my reaction time has slowed considerably, I've found), and watching all the cool clips (no, those were great fun).

Overall great job, Paley Center - what a fun afternoon. And thanks for the fun HBO swag!
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Boys who wear glasses

Magnet #630 - David Tennant in specs

Another lovely magnet from @KristinaMyers' Etsy store. I sent her this, my favorite pic of the David Tennant's Tenth Doctor, and she made this magnet for me!

Who says publicity junkets don't work to cull favor? I was saving this for another time, but this guy's allll over the airwaves right now - plugging several things. First, is this Sunday's Waters of Mars UK premiere and the end of his Doctor Who run, St. Trinian's 2, and even Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, his NBC pilot.

Seriously. Co-hosting a handful of radio shows, dozens of radio interviews, magazines, trailers, blogs, websites, auctioning off his 15-year-old manky old bed for $8,200 to British Gas of all bidders - the man's everywhere. And I'm not even in the UK!

But, since I'm here late waiting on some client work to come through, regarding eyewear, I wanted to use this magnet as my blatant to attempt to convince the clients that we should totally use David Tennant as our UK brand ambassador. I'm full-on prepared to go on set for that TV shoot.

Or, maybe at least score a product placement deal if his pilot hits, even if it's an NBC pilot. I'm just saying.

I love this guy in his glasses. Many girls make passes at this boy in glasses. I'm just saying.

Well, ok, that wasn't much of an sales attempt.

I won't lie, then. I really, really, really just wanted to use this magnet.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Laugh, and the whole world...well, not always

Magnet #629 - e. e. cummings quote

When I saw this magnet in New Haven a couple of weeks ago, I knew that even if I already had bought six other magnets that day, that I needed to pick this one up. And not just cuz it's pretty and blue.

Really, it's because if there's one thing in this world that I hope people take away from meeting me, it's that I like to laugh. A lot. I can't help it.

Laugh when I'm happy. Laugh when I'm sad. Laugh when I'm mad. Laugh when I'm freaking out. Laugh when I'm with people. Laugh when I'm by myself. Laugh at myself. Or, laugh at nothing at all.

It's my first instinct. Probably a survival one, at that. Of course, I've been called on the carpet a number of times for laughing inappropriately.
  • At family. C'mon, who doesn't think crazily written letters from crazy relatives should be laughed at, rather than taken to heart.
  • At inanimate objects. You really can't do anything but laugh at the fact that IT has been messing with that stupid MAC all damn day, and she's interrupted a whole day of work.
  • At work. Though, I still maintain that if you don't laugh at the silly things that our coworkers and clients and people in general ask for, you just end up crying.
  • At funeral homes. Though, I still maintain that even for a Death and Dying Unit in Language Arts, no junior high class should have a behind-the-scenes tour of a funeral home.
  • At people in general. Really. C'mon. I live in NYC. Have you seen the crazies running around here?
Anyway, laughter's a big thing for me. It's how I know the world's not ending, when I can still laugh. It's when I stop, that you know we're really in trouble.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank a vet today

Magnet #628 - Korean War Veterans Memorial

Ya'll know I love my war memorials. I just love having something tangible in the world to help honor the men and women who have and are serving out there.

And whether or not you believe it, those that help build the monuments do strive for the most accurate reflection of every aspect of whatever people, places and facts and branches involved. I've been in several long, very long meetings to prove it!

And you can see it in the design of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, one of the most haunting memorials out there. It depicts giant stainless steel statues of a squad on patrol - with representatives from each branch. Even more amazing, there may only 19 statues, but when you look at the reflecting pool, you can count 38 soldiers looking right back.

I haven't seen it at night, but I bet it's stunning.

Anyway, so while I'm using this magnet for Veterans Day today, take it as a blanket thank you, one and all to every person in every branch.

Thank you.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ooh-rah, ooh-rah, ooh-ray!

Magnet #627 - U.S. Marines

Happy 234th birthday, USMC, and a heartfelt thanks to the 203,000 active and 40,000 reservists in the Corps. I know, I should have a tag for as many times as I've written about our military branches. Oh, wait, I do.

I just love the history of the Marine Corps. I love that they began during the Revolutionary War as an infantry group based on a boat (ok, maybe ship) to help protect the guys aboard. Their emblem includes the eagle, globe and anchor, going back to the 1800s. What? I had to proofread several military history books in a former career.

I also love that the Marines have a Birthday Ball. Now, that I didn't know until I saw it on NCIS. I was like, Birthday? Ball? Sweet! Seriously, they really do have a ball! Like huge celebrations - locally around the states, and even worldwide. There's something kind of cool about everyone dressing up in dress uniforms for it.

And, of course, I love - possibly even more than the balls - the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Love.

First, as a building, it's just the coolest thing ever - it's shaped to evoke the memory of the flag raising at Iwo Jima - so as you're traveling down 95, you can see the tippy top peeping out from the trees. It's also supposed to symbolize the swords crossing, or a howitzer poised for action.

Second, as a museum, it's one of those interactive museums, where you can pick up a fully packed backpack and have a drill sergeant yell at you, where you can experience storming Normandy with bullet (sounds) ricocheting around you, where you can learn the story about the Iwo Jima flag raising, where you can stare up at aircraft into the wild blue yonder, and turn the corner to walk through the Marine legacy left by the past 234 years.

So darn cool. That's where I picked up this magnet. Ooh. Rah.

Anyway, hooray for a happy birthday, Marines.

Think it's funny that while I'm typing this post, I just found out that Police Chief Unser on Sons of Anarchy is a Marine, and as I'm ready to hit this Publish Post button, I'm watching the very, very odd trailer for James Cameron's Avatar, which has the cuteboy Sam Worthington from the last Terminator as a Marine.

Funnier still, is that out of the whole two-minute trailer, the Marines part is the only thing that might get me to see this movie.
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh, the impossibilities!

Magnet #626 - Escher's Belvedere

Another cool art magnet from the Pomegranate folks. Oh, you know how I love them so.

This is a magnet of M.C. Escher's Belvedere lithograph. Like his Cycle, the image totally draws you in.

At first glance, it looks pretty darn cool. But then, you look closer, and you realize it's a structure built of impossible planes, stairs, pillars and perspectives.

Lookit, or here, if you don't want to download, or here, if you want to see the Lego version. Quite amazing.

I just happen to like this piece because of the sheer impossibility of it all, even if it looks perfectly normal.

Yeah, I was planning on going deeper than that - waxing poetic about how while advertising looks fairly normal on the outside, the more time you spend in it, the more you realized that all we do is try to sell possibilities and impossibilities, and how admen are all rainmaking salesguys. Which is true.

And I'd expound on it further, were I not already late for an admen meeting where we're going to make rain and sell some possibilities and creative.

Oh, and some impossibilities, too. Heh.
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ukraine do it!

Magnet #625 - Ukraine

How cool is this one?

A couple of colleagues went to go shoot a few spots in Ukraine, and so even with work conference calls, I made sure to make my bid for a magnet.

I knew they could do it. They came back with this one - handmade. Very cool.

Of course, I know next to nothing about Ukraine, except that one doesn't call it "the Ukraine." Odd how people naturally say it, though.

Anyway, apparently I wasn't the only one curious to learn more about Ukraine. Here's their travel site. Here's some "foreigner tips."

And, I love that England's Telegraph did a whole article on the Ten Things You Didn't Know About Ukraine in preparation for their World Cup game against them last month.

Ah, interwebs, what would we do without you.
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

The George who stares at goats

Magnet #624 - SoapNet's Sexy

Apparently, you can do what you will, but there are just some people out there that you cannot make look ugly. George Clooney is one of those men.

Even with his ridiculous and frankly unnecessary mustache in Men Who Stare at Goats, he's still sexy.

Even when you put him in 80s hair and make him dance, he's still sexy.

Even when you put him in sandy desert wear or cargo pants and a ballcap, he's still sexy.

Even when you bloodshot his eyes, tape his nose, and basically beat the bejeepers out of him, he's still sexy.

The man can't help it.

But even I know that sexy can't be the whole movie. Or, rather, any of it. Clearly, him being sexy was not the point of the movie.

Although, I am a little hard pressed to figure out what the whole point of the movie was. Sure, it was funny at times (especially with the meta Jedi stuff, though the joke started to get old), and Grant "OMG, who's that guy parking in George Clooney's parking spot, s it him? Is it him?" Heslov's direction was pretty good (even with the time jumps) and Ewan McGregor's American accent was ok (though it wasn't consistent between the acting and his very modulated VO), and Jeff Bridges seems to relish his hippie role (doesn't he always?) and Kevin Spacey was amusingly sadistic (isn't he always?). And the soundtrack's pretty good, too.

But at some point, I was kinda waiting for the story to get to a point. So much so, that when it did come to a turning point, I almost missed it.

Also, it's unfortunate, and they're gonna get dinged somewhere, I'm sure, but there's about a three-minute scene that literally stopped my heart and took me directly out of the movie, and it almost didn't get me back.

No, not when the goat dropped dead. You'll know it when you see it, and I would bet that had this movie been a later release, they might have excised that scene altogether, I think, in the wake of last week's horrific events at Fort Hood. Just bad timing, is all.

Oh, well. I said yesterday he's got two more movies to go this year. Don't get me wrong - the movie's an okay way to spend 90 minutes. I'll admit that I probably would not have gone to see it sans Clooney, but then again, I'm not the demo. Not really sure who is the demo, and I definitely couldn't tell by the theatre audience, either.

Still. As I said. It's an okay way to spend 90 minutes, if only for the buddy-buddy show Clooney and Ewan.

Hmmm. On another note, I'm almost done with these SoapNet swag magnets that my friend got me. That's sad making.
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Whenever I see your smiling face

Magnet #623 - George Clooney, again

Yes, I made this. Yes, I made this after seeing this pic on the MSN article about George being the smartest actor ever.

Here's what I love about George.

Though he annoys the bejeepers out of me with all his rumory-rumors about his galpal of the day, I do so love that he goes through his relatively quiet publicity periods - usually when he's busy working.

Then, holidays roll around, and boom! Three movies in a row!

Men Who Stare At Goats, opens today. I'm not entirely sure why I'm not taking the afternoon off to see my boyfriend. *looks at the 8 clients on To Do list* No, wait. Never mind. Saturday, first showing it is.

Fantastic Mr. Fox, opens the Thanksgiving Wednesday. Where I'll be in Italy for a wedding. Sadly, not mine and George's. Though, his house is really only 2 hours away by train. Wonder if he could be my plus 1?

Up in the Air, opens Christmas Day. Where I'll be in DC for Christmas. And probably not going to the movies. Hah. Just kidding. Totally going to the movies. Totally.

Yeah, baby! Three movies in the next two months? Yeah, I'm happy. The same publicity junkets with the same soundbites? Yeah, I'm ok with that.

You know why? Cuz it's George. That's what he does.

And in six to eight months? I'll have not one, not two, but three (!) new DVDs in the George Clooney DVD Collection of Joy!


Oh, like you're really surprised there's a George Clooney DVD Collection of Joy.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nothin' scarier than a blank canvas

Magnet #622 - Van Gogh quote

People think that Mad Men's Don Draper is a creative genius. And, honestly, he probably is, with his incredible knack for being able to create something from nothing, and making clients think it's exactly what they asked for. Which is like a metastatement for his sad life, I suppose.

Don, in his dapper suits and Dapper Dan coif, always makes his Creative Director job look easy.

But it's not.

Playing Cosgrove's account manager to Don's creative director, I've sat in several creative development meetings in the last couple of days, and I honestly don't know how the Creatives do it.

From a naming assignment to not one, but two television spots, from a couple of print ads to a social responsibility newsletter, from designing a logo to finding images for a set of data reference cards - I've watched all our creative teams confront that blank canvas, and make something from nothing.

And then try to sell it in - to our internal clients, as well as the real clients.

I couldn't do it.

Give me my pretty colored spreadsheets with useless timelines that no one will meet, my estimating forms with the too high costs that no one will pay for, my letters of engagement with the horrid redlining of details that no one but Contracts cares about, my PPTs with all the jargon that no one outside the industry understands, and my myriad emails prodding people to do what the client wants them to do.

Yep. I'll take all of the above. Except the blank canvas. Don Draper can have that.

If I can have Don Draper, of course.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You can comb and brush her hair

Magnet #621 - My Little Pony, Sweetie Belle

Oh, yeah. You know it, baby. Hello, My Little Pony.

These were a few years behind me, but as I mentioned before, this is what having little sisters will do for ya. You remember their stuff, along with your own. And, I do remember a couple of them running around the house, along with a couple of little girls trying to tame the untame-able manes - no matter what brush they used.

The Early Show is doing a week-long Time Machine segment this week. And, despite the fact that their time machine isn't a blue wooden Police box with a hot Doctor inside, it's proven to be a fun little walk down memory lane.

A couple of days ago was 1979, when Happy Meals were introduced and they had the cast of Dallas. Yesterday was 1990, when VIP Vanilla Ice had a DJ who revolved it, and some funny hair. And he was up there, sans funny hair, but singing Ice Ice Baby...with ole Maggie Rodriguez breakin' it down on stage with him like that time machine really did work for her. Heh. Today was 1983, when juice boxes first came on the scene, and half of the cast of Knots Landing talking with Harry Smith.

Anyway, I totally made this magnet, literally torn out of my Happy Meal box from last weekend.

What? You don't need a kid to have a Happy Meal.

Though, I can't figure out why McDonald's is doing a My Little Pony tie-in right now. I could have sworn a live action MLP movie was in the offing. Then I saw this live-action trailer, and laughed my ass off.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Don't forget me, indeed

Magnet #620 - The Doctor's Good-bye

It's well documented here on joy magnetism my love for David Tennant's Doctor. At least 44 times, anyway. (Jeepers, he's not only edged out, but lapped, Clooney! Whoa.)

So, of course I had to find a magnet for last week's Sarah Jane Adventures crossover (and the vid diaries). There were so many magnets I could have used, but in the end, I had to make a magnet out of this sniffly av. (I know, it's getting out of control, the magnet-making. Not my fault, I tell you.)

The crossover was sad, more for poor Sarah Jane than for her saying good-bye to Ten. No doubt they'll crossover Eleven, just to get that weird older SJ/Baby Emo Doctor dynamic in there. At some point, Eleven might as well just call her mom, too.

I'd probably have been more heartbroken by this episode, if I'd watched Sarah Jane's adventures with the Doctor back in the 80s. Then again, every time I see the old clips, I can't picture anything more than a dad/daughter dynamic there.

Still. We're saying good-bye to David, with just the November special, the Christmas Day and the New Year's specials left to go.

I just saw David on his Masterpiece Contemporary hosting gig - it didn't make me want to watch the actual show, and a few minutes each week for a few weeks isn't nearly enough.

So, hurry up and do something stateside, dude. And by stateside, I mean Broadway. Please and thank you.

Hold the presses. My next stop after posting this magnetpost was my gmail, for the latest Google Alert. Weird. They're reporting (Zap2It says that Hollywood Reporter says) that David's up for some NBC pilot, playing a lawyer in a comedy-drama.

1) Really, David? Really? NBC? Honestly?
2) See #1.
3) C'mon, David.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

A natural part of your life.*

Magnet #619 - Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

My friend bought this magnet as part of a set of local attractions in Buffalo. So prettily designed, I can't tell you. Can't wait to use them!

Though Mom has made sure we've visited many a botanical garden in our lifetime, I've not been to the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. It has a great history, mostly because it was designed by the legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. He's the guy most known for Central Park, but he's done so many parks and academic campuses around the US that it's impossible to have a complete list - and it's almost impossible that you haven't visited any number of his works.

The gorgeous conservatory was built at the turn of the century (wow, I just realized that turn of the century totally needs to be qualified now - make that 1897-1899), and is one of the few Victorian-style conservatories left here in America.

I can just see my mom running around from plant to plant, taking notes here and there. It's what she does - while we're wandering around the gardens, kicking the dirt, she walks around, like a little butterfly, poring closely over various plants and such. She was born for this stuff - I can just see her in Victorian dress, getting along famously with Professor Cowell, the guy who was in charge of the garden's inventory when it was first established - trading with other gardens to make sure he could get a wider variety of plants. So funny.

Or, rather, it's terribly funny. In my head, anyway. Hahah.

*Their tagline. Very sweet, I thought. And fitting. If you're my mom, anyway.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Can you feel it, sugar high!

Magnet #618 - Chocolat Besnier Le Mans Ad

Just spent several minutes online trying to find out more about this magnet. All anyone really has is that it's a vintage chocolate ad from many years ago, artist unknown. Annnnd, that's all I got. I want to say I either picked this up at the Union Square magnet guy...or the Chocolate Show.

For the purposes of this magnetpost, let's go with the latter.

The Chocolate Show is celebrating its 12th year, which I can't believe. I've been on and off, over the years, though it's been a few years since my last visit. Indeed, I almost missed it this year, until a friend of mine pointed out it was this weekend. Yay for last-minute tickets, I guess.

It's interesting to see how it's changed and stayed the same over the years.

I suppose nothing can take away the first time you ever go - the scent of chocolate wafts down the crowded halls, and the exotic chocolates in gorgeous packaging from all over the world are enticing as hell. Really, the sheer amount of chocolate at this thing is always overwhelming.

I used to do the chocolate fashion show of chocolate dresses, with the fancy shindig of fun hors d'oeuvres and nice swag that they finally managed to price the common man out of. I dunno if they even had the show this year, but they definitely had cool dresses to look at, and even a supercool haunted house.

The culinary demonstrations with famous chefs and chocolatiers from famous restaurants and tv shows are still there. Great to sit and watch, even better, tasting the recipes they're demo'ing. They've changed up the demos slightly, based on attendee feedback, I suppose. Like, having demos of recipes or activities that people can do at home - chocolate decorating cookies on sticks.

The exhibitors have changed over the years. One thing I loved was that the show was a good venue for high-end chocolatiers worldwide to come and show off their wares. It was always interesting to see the flavors and infusions they concocted, as well as the beautiful packaging. I can never resist beautiful packaging. Never. They still have some exotic exhibitors, like camel milk chocolates from Dubai (which I didn't get to try) and exhibitors from Europe and South America. But it's mixed in with domestic exhibitors with their chocolates as well.

I will say that I do miss my Payard Patisserie's flourless walnut chocolate cookies - the best chocolate cookies in the city. Yes, of course I can always go to the UES location, and I do, but this was sort of my tradition whenever I go to the show. Buying a couple of the cookies, and hoping to have them with milk, but never being able to save them long enough to get home to have them with milk. What? They're just that good.

One thing that they've refused to change up, which I suppose is a good thing if you're the Metropolitan Pavilion, is the venue. It's too small. Every year, we're all crammed into the tiny walkways and tiny booths, every inch jampacked with sugar-rushed people with their giant bags and rambunctious kids (no strollers, thank God, but I think that's cuz they were all on the UWS today), making the mad dash and elbowing people out of the way to get to the free chocolate samples at all the booths. Honestly, it's just miserable sometimes.

What's really disheartening is to see people saving up the chocolate samples in Ziploc containers and bags. Aside from their appalling booth trick-or-treating, I honestly don't know how that helps the exhibiting chocolatiers. You can't tell whose chocolate is whose if they're all ajumble in those half-melted bags. And having tried the majority of the chocolate at the booths, there's a huge difference in some of those chocolates! Ugh.

You really can't blame them, I guess. With price of admission hovering at the $30 mark, you want to get the most out of the day as possible.

Still, a day of chocolate and chocolate sugar highs is a good day. And that's what the day - and my bag of many various pretty bags and boxes of chocolate - was.

*From Empire Records. Yes, that's Renee Zellweger. And if you haven't seen it. Go. Now.
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