joy magnetism: January 2010

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where dreams come true...

Magnet #709 - ACRL Seattle

A librarian friend of mine brought this magnet back for me from a trade show/conference in CA, a couple of years ago. Funnily enough, it's one of the same friends who was down here in Orlando with us for SuperSoap Weekend a few years ago.

Now I'm back in town for a 3-day long client event, and am not participating any down time or character seeing while we're here at the Disney Yacht Club & Resort. It's actually kind of funny how I'm now back here for work.

Even funnier that in my head DisneyWorld has become more associated with ABC's soapstars than Disney's characters, but there you have it.

I'm kind of sad, because I'm fairly sure that this client thing will host no panel with hot boys from any of my previous soaps. All day long, I've been catching myself giggling whenever I pass anything that has to do with that last trip - from the bathroom where I got stuck waiting beside Trevor St. John for his family, to the hotel where they housed all the VIPs, and even seeing the fun ferries around the boardwalk.

Honestly, it's just so weird to be here and not see any people wearing soap star paraphernalia.

Oh, well. Time to get ready for the big kickoff party...that I'm fairly sure won't involve a parade of convertibles with pretty people waving, and women of all ages screaming their lungs off and stepping on my toes. Literally.

Though, I really need to speak to a weatherman about the weather. I haven't seen the sun once, and dang, it's freakin' cold down here. I'm really glad I didn't pack at all appropriately. Once again, it's because I missed Dave Price's weather. Sigh.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shaping the future

Magnet #708 - Eero Saarinen's Gateway to the West Arch

Earlier this week, some random Tweet popped up about the Eero Saarinen exhibit leaving the Museum of the City of New York on January 31st. I didn't even know it was around, and it's been here since November!

But, yay for that random Tweet, because I squeezed it in this morning, and I'm so very glad I did. Loved it. I think what I like about architectural retrospectives are the cool building models. I just love looking at the cool fake buildings. Granted, every time I see them, I think of Michelle Pfeiffer running around New York City trying to repair her own building model, and then ending the night kissing George Clooney in One Fine Day, but there really is something neat about being able to draw something, and then getting it built.

Of course, today was one of the last gallery tours, which means they were inundated with people, and it was hard to enjoy the tour because of all the bodies. But MCNY did a fantastic job setting up the exhibition. Apparently, it's been traveling since 2006, and when it leaves here, it heads for Yale to close out the 4-year-tour.

His work covers a very specific time - the 1950s (and early 60s) - that's when he was most successful, working for prominent corporations and individuals, before he passed away way too young at 51. For those of you who haven't seen Eero Saarinen's work (not to be confused with his pop, Eliel Saarinen), you totally, totally have. If you've seen the Arch in St. Louis on this magnet, you have. If you've ever flown out of Dulles, you have. If you've seen one of those cool Knoll womb chairs, you have.

It's weird how I didn't know how much of his work I've seen before. But, I was quite charmed by the fact that in addition for having designed their technical building (the supercool blue on in this blogpost) , he als0 did a ton of corporate design work for IBM - product brochures and even the neat 1964 World's Fair IBM egg.

I'm sad I didn't get to spend more time reading all the placards and looking at the models, I really just buzzed right through. Otherwise, I'd probably still be rattling off many more facts and figures and quotes and buildings than you wanted to know.

I guess it's not for everyone, as I had to dodge the guy sleeping in his wheelchair...and that was even before we entered the exhibition space!
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Friday, January 29, 2010

All in a day's work

Magnet #707 - The Office

Here's something. Out of all the television I watch, from both the US and the UK, you'd think that I'd be watching such a successful show. But, I don't. In fact, I was really sad when the NBC rep gave me this magnet (rather than the two shows I actually watch on my once-beloved peacock network).

I had thought I'd use this magnet at some point, even though I don't watch the show. And, since I don't know anything about the show - dudes, I had to look up Carrell's character name - I figured that was pointless.

Then I thought, I'll use this during Ricky's stint during this year's Globes. Then I saw the show and was like, um, nooo. (though he did hit a few good bits)

Then I thought, I could totally use this for the next Steve Carrell movie. Then I decided I was too lazy to look up when that was.

Then I thought, I'll wait till I have a really bad day at the office to do it. Then I figured, no, that's just too telling, to do that. And besides, supposedly, folks from work read this blog. So really, that wouldn't be smart. Besides, no complaining, yay promotion!

Then I thought, I'm thinking way too much about this silly magnet, so here's your workplace thought of the day: Just when you think the office is not the funnest place ever, just remember, it can always be worse.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

"The world's largest architectural folly"*

Magnet #705 - Transamerica Pyramid

It's my friend Annette's birthday today. Just shouting it out. :-) I haven't figured out a way to tied her in to the magnet, though.

By the way, this magnet? Totally came in my NY buildings mighty magnet set. And, it actually took me a couple of years to even realize that it was in the wrong set. Heh.

I've been to SFO twice - once when I was like six months old, and once about six years ago. For 12 hours. No lie. I literally got on a plane to deliver something for a new biz pitch.

That morning I flew, that night, I checked into the W with the 800 thread count sheets, had dinner, ran to the office, delivered my stuff, then stayed to help out the chick who gave me that bullfighter magnet below, and then didn't get into that bed with those wonderful sheets until 4. And then had to get up an hour after that for an 8am flight. Then? We didn't win the business. Wha?

Anyway, my point is that I've only seen this building twice, so I know next to nothing about it. But here's the nifty cool stuff I found out about it.

It's called the Transamerica Pyramid, even though Transamerica isn't HQ'd there now, and it's not a real pyramid. According to this fabulous SFGate article, Transamerica used to be a holding company that originally owned Bank of America, and then stuff like Universal Artists and Budget rental cars. But in the 60s, no one knew who they were, so they said in a time-honored tradition, dudes, let's build a building!

So they got this big futuristic-architecture focused architect, William Pereira to design it for them. He's the guy who did the burning of Atlanta. I kid you not. (You can find his work listed here, but I'm hard-pressed to find a favorite.) They finished the building in 1972, to the usual round of lovers and critics.

Love it or hate it, it's one of the best known buildings in San Francisco, if not the best known. You have to hand it to Pereira, that futuristic vision of his seems to hold up well, almost 40 years later. I'm sad that post-September 11th, they've closed the observation deck to the public - apparently, you can hang out in the first floor where they have virtual viewings? Plus, they have a cool website that gives you the latest sightings of the building in the media. But you know what I love? I love that they recently achieved their LEEDS certification. That's cool.

*Criticism from John Pastier, the LA Times architecture critic, 1971 (via @SFGate)
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When you believe, you achieve

Magnet #705 - Achievement Products

Hah. Another magnet from the "given to me by a client" collection. What? He was switching refrigerators to an LG non-magnetable fridge! Heh. Best day ever when I got a whole package of random magnets in the mail.

Anyway, I've been trying to figure out what to say about it. Was gonna call the number on it and everything. But, since I got some good news at work this week, I'm going with yay, promotion!

Oh, I haven't figured out what it means just yet, other than lots of folks emailing and saying, yay, promotion! But, I guess we'll see what the new year brings.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thank you for being a friend

Magnet #704 - Piazza San Marco, Venice

What do you do you call someone who RSVPs yes to the destination wedding of the century?

What do you call someone who blatantly ignores advice from all quarters about going to Italy with this crazy family for this crazy family trip?

What do you call someone who manages to put up with every outburst from every person in our party in every foreign country?

What do you call someone who manages - with aplomb, no less - to keep her cool while the rest of the family melted down around her?

What do you call someone who Freudianslips herself on to the train to Geneva, rather than catching the right train with the rest of our party?

What do you call someone who - despite 10 days hanging out in very close quarters with my nutty family - is still talking to me and other members of that family?

You call her friend.

Happy (insert years of choice here) birthday, Erika! I may not be able to make you a trending topic today, but it's not for lack of trying!

Huh. I forgot to talk about the magnet! I bought this one in Venice - before all the rains began last December. Actually, I think I'm supposed to have given this one to Erika, but let's not tell her.

I picked it for two reasons. First, because of the purple skies. If you've ever seen anyone who likes purple, they don't, not when compared to this chick.

And second, because she managed to get through one rather miserable evening in Venice with sadly, the crappiest food in the world, without jumping into the canals.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Toro, toro, toro!

Magnet #703 - Bullfight Poster

My friend brought this back for me from Barcelona a while ago, and I had to do a little research to figure out what it was, besides a vintage bullfight poster, and a cool one at that.

Here's what I found: Plaza de Toros Monumental is a bullring in Barcelona - and it's gorgeous! Built in 1914, it seats a good 19,500 people. I saw somewhere that the city of Barcelona is officially against bullfighting, and this ring is the only place you can actually see a bullfight in town.

While you're there, you can check out the Museum of Bullfighting as well - apparently, it's filled with costumes and heads of famous bulls (sniffle) and various bullfighting paraphernalia, like tickets and posters, etc.

This vintage fight poster actually calls out one of the greats in the sport, Sebastian "Palomo Linares" whom you can see here, later on in life, I believe.

Even though bullfighting can trace its roots back to prehistoric times, I really can't figure out if it's something that I'd want to see in person or not.

First, when it comes to dangerous sporting events, I'm a chicken. I can't even watch divers in the Olympics anymore, thanks to Greg Louganis. (I was totally gonna link that infamous dive, but I couldn't stomach watching it again.)

Second, while I'm sure it takes great skill to avoid being gored by the bull, it always just seems really mean to be tossing that red cape in front of them, trying to get them to charge. I can't guarantee that I wouldn't be on the bull's side, ya know?

Still, today's magnet is supercool, and now I've learned a little bit about the sport. That's probably for the better, given that all I really knew about bullfighting, I learned from Harvey Korman in Herbie Goes Bananas, circa 1980, where Herbie finds himself smack dab in the middle of a bullring in Mexico, trying to fend off a big bull, and the bad guys, all at once.

Such a great movie! Oh, I know Bananas is one of the most deplored of the series, but it's still one of my favorites.

And, c'mon. Who doesn't love a good Herbie movie?
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Candy shoppe

Magnet #702 - Opie's Candy Store

Yep. That Opie.

I picked this up during our day in Mt. Airy, aka, Andy Griffith's Mayberry. If you haven't been to visit, and you're in the neighborhood, definitely drop by.

The Andy Griffith Show was on for eight seasons back in the 1960s - it's still on networks like TVLand, and I can't help it, when I run across it, I find myself sucked in to the episode. Just reminds me of home, I guess. But the town of Mt. Airy's managed to make a cottage industry out of the show - preserving the look and feel of the small town, complete with Andy Griffith's childhood home, and a small museum. Plus, you can take tour in a squad car (I got to ride up front!) around town!

Anyway, Opie's Candy Store was right on Main Street, and was such a cute candy store, with barrels of candy and various goodies. And if there's anything I like as much as dessert, it's a good candy store.

Little pieces of heaven, really.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Be our guest, be our guest

Magnet #701 - Fiamma Osteria

And now I'll have that song in my head for the rest of the day, complete with the ahhhhh, chorus in the background.

One of the best things about my job, and working in client service, is that it allows me to visit some of the best restaurants in town. Love that.

Ok, really, I just love trying the desserts at them. One of my habits is making sure to request the dessert menu along with the regular menu, so that I can figure out what meal I should get in prep for dessert. That's vital info, or else how can you know what to order for the meal?

Obvi, if you're in a restaurant where there's a dedicated pastry chef listed on the menu, you can't go wrong. Unless you don't see anything chocolate on that dessert menu. And that's a sad little restaurant, indeed.

Anyway, ya'll, I haven't a clue where this magnet came from. I've never been to Fiamma Osteria, and it's not even open anymore down on Spring Street, though they still have a location at the MGM in Vegas.

It's a BR Guest Restaurant though, which means that it was pretty nice, with great food, I'm sure. But, that's kind of the guarantee you get with BR Guest places, methinks.

If you haven't visited any of their restaurants, get thee there soon.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Where do we go from here?

Magnet #700a, b and c - Joy tiles, take two

Totally have another set of these from earlier, but these count as separate, because I bought a set, and then got a set from my BFF a while ago. Totally. Counts.

Yay, happy 700th magnet!!!

I know, I copped out again, using another joy magnet as I always do, but did you expect any different?

Yep. That's what I thought.

Having now blogged on 700 magnets, I've felt compelled to face the possible end in site for joy magnetism. I mean, in my first post, I mentioned that this blog could certainly sustain itself for at least two years. But I didn't count on being given and/or making magnets for myself. Surely, I must be on the back nine of my collection, though.

So the questions remain.

How many magnets do I have in the collection? How long will the magnets last? Should I go out at 1,000? Should I just keep going til the last magnet is standing?

Eh, I look forward to figuring it out. Of course, I did just find out late last night that photobucket lets me download my magnet images in hi-rez! That means my magnetbook will totally have hi-rez images!

What magnetbook, you ask? Eh, the one that's gonna get written. In. My. Head. Hahahaha.

Happy 700th magnet - and thanks for playing along!

I was going to use my shiny new George Clooney magnet for today's post, but USPS didn't get here in time.

But, that's ok. We'll wait to see what the returns are from my boyfriend's Hope For Haiti Now telethon. I'm sure it'll be gangbusters. It's George and friends, after all!
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bear Flag Republic

Magnet #699 - California Republic

I picked this magnet today because it's been ages since I've mentioned my obsession about bears seriously, dudes, what is going on with California weather?

I'll be thinking good thoughts for all of ya'll, but I'm telling you, this is the precise reason why I've not moved my East Coast Girl self over there. I'm convinced, as most disaster movies would have me believe, that the left coast will eventually fall off the continent. For serious, yo. Be safe, ya'll!

Back to this flag, though...I think I've mentioned before how utterly fascinated I am about the fact that while we all study United States history growing up, there are kids in our 50 individual states are learning 50 different sets of statehood history. So like, I know a thousand things about North Carolina history, but absolutely none about say, California. C'mon! That's kinda cool.

To wit: I didn't even know there was such as thing as the Bear Flag Republic, or their revolt (!) which took place during the Mexican-American War, in 1846 in Sonoma, when 33 settlers said, "Nu-uh, you'll not make us yours, Mexico!" and created the California Republic. Whiiiiiich lasted 26 days.

What's crazy, is that they staged this rebellion in June, and they didn't know that the US had declared war against Mexico back in May, and they didn't find out until July! That's a TV-movie right there.

I had a whole thing written here about the original flag designed by Mary Todd Lincoln's first cousin, and had a statant (standing) black bear, versus the modern, en passant (walking) grizzly, who was modeled after Monarch, the last California grizzly in captivity. But, the State of California's written a whole booklet on the flags that have flown over California.

A. Whole. Booklet. Here.

But, if you get a hankerin', apparently, Monarch was preserved, and now hangs out over at the California Academy of Sciences. Sniffle.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Morning in America

Magnet #698 - Ronald Reagan (1981 - 1989)

Noooo, I'm not trying to make any sort of political statement about yesterday's elections in Massachusetts. I know better than that, given the reactions in various Tweets and FB statuses. Besides, hello, magnetblog.

Today in 1981, Ronald Reagan at 69 years, 349 days old, became the oldest president to assume office, and there he stayed for the next two terms. I think that's why Reagan's one of my favorites, because he was president during my formative years from grade school to high school.

It's the big things from his presidency that I remember, obviously. And whether or not I understood them what was happening at the time, most of those memories are tied in to school somehow.

The Columbia landing was the cover of my second grade yearbook. We found out about Challenger in seventh grade English class. I came home from school to hear about Libya being bombed. One teacher tried hard to explain Reaganomics to me. The Cold War and Afghanistan were discussed in our Weekly Readers. I found out that Reagan was an actor(!) in fourth grade, through one of the books Mrs. Honbarrier made me read. And lord knows, I'm totally a product of Nancy's Just Say No generation.

Sigh. It's amazing the things you remember growing up, and the context in which you remember them.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If I only had a brain...

Magnet #697 - Doctor Who Scarecrow

...I'd be smart enough to solve the world's problems, I suppose. Or, at the very least, be able to understand why there's so much ugliness in the world.

Not surprisingly, I picked this one because it best matches my mood today.

This scarecrow is from the "Of Human Nature" 2-parter Doctor Who. Dudes. They totally come alive and hurt people!!!

Here, check it out at the 1:20 mark at the corner of ScareyMcScaretown and MeetYourDoom. You'll never look at another scarecrow the same again.

Anyway, it's one of the official magnets from my official Doctor Who magnet sets. I know it's probably too soon for yet another Doctor Who mention, but honestly, I just bought a whole set of new custom magnets from Kristina Myers Etsy Shop, so you're gonna wanna brace yourselves for the pretty magnets that are to come.

I'm just sayin'. And, no, they're not all David Tennant magnets. Well, not all, anyway. What? I get seven in the set!

I do have to say, though, I really have to hand it to @kristinamyers - she never mocks the images I send her. Bless you.

Ok. Fine. I will say that you might need to watch the whole of the 2-parter to actually be afraid of the scarecrows. Or...I might just be a fraidy cat.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

If I had a hammer...

Magnet #696 - Seattle Art Museum, Hammering Man

...I'd probably be as annoying as the neighbor downstairs who seems to be hammering in his bathroom at 3:07am.

Anyway, I picked this up at the Seattle Art Museum, after having spent a couple of hours at their Olympic Sculpture Park as well as the museum itself. Both venues were terrific - the sculpture park was fabulous, and the museum had two really great exhibits on Michelangelo and Calder. Such a great afternoon.

Just outside the museum, there's this sculpture of Jonathan Borofsky's 48-foot Hammering Man, who quietly hammers four times a minute during the day, taking a rest on Labor Day. Annnd, when I went to visit. He's in the shop now, having repairs done to the motor in his arm.

Speaking of rebuilding...remember when I last week about how Haiti fundraising would be a marathon, and how Red Cross would be my first stop to address the immediate future?

Here's my next stop, a group to turn to for the near and far future. I follow Cameron Sinclair (@casinclair), founder and Chief Eternal Optimist (CEO) for architecture for humanity, a group that does community-led reconstruction & building - schools, housing and community structures. Since last week, the man has worked almost nonstop to rally his own org and partner orgs to help out Haiti reconstruction. afh is uniquely qualified to help out, as they've created much of the playbook post-Katrina, and they've already drafted this reconstruction plan.

It's following casinclair's Tweets as well as a few others that have put a perspective on the non-saving-the-world work "emergencies" I've dealt this past week. Their tireless drive to help out in any way they can is quite inspiring.

They make me want to pick up a hammer to help, though given my handygirl skillz, it's likely that I actually might be saving the world by not picking up a hammer, but the phone or laptop instead.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Past, present and future

Magnet #695 - 1939 World's Fair

I love World's Fairs - I've been to one or two, but mostly I love seeing what the other ones have done in the past.

The 1939 World's Fair first piqued my interest because it played host during the 5-day royal visit of King George and Queen Elizabeth, the same visit that included hot dogs up at FDR's place in Hyde Park.

The fair was held out in Queens, so it was at the Queens Museum of Art (one of the few original fair buildings) where I bought this magnet. It's a fair poster that features the theme center - Trylon and Perisphere, what some reports called the ball and bat. Heh.

It housed the "Democracity" exhibit, a utopian world view of the future. People would walk up the long, giant ramp around the globe, through the 610-ft tower, and into the 18-story giant globe, which was reportedly something like twice the size of Radio City's interior.

What I can't believe is how these two giant structures were dismantled at the end of the fair! Actually, most of venues were demolished after the fair, leaving various supercool books and random supercool footage and documentaries to tell their stories of long ago.

I picked this magnet for today, because after being totally sucked into Being Erica on Hulu, I'm totally watching this Being Erica Do-Over Marathon on SoapNet today.

I completely and totally disagree with the major plot-point of the show. Our heroine Erica has had a life of bad choices. In fact, she has so many regrets in her 32-year-old lifetime that the fates have granted her a way to go back in time to fix and/or course correct her life.

Don't get me wrong, there are probably one or two events in my life I wouldn't mind revisiting or course correcting, but I can't see a sadder outcome than a life of bad choices and regrets.

Still, I'm thoroughly charmed by Erica, played by Erin Karpluk. She's a cute character, and watching this Erin chick play her, is like watching the best of Lauren Graham and Joanna Garcia. Even though she's that cute chick that boys fall over themselves for, she's still kinda everyday normal, and you just want to be her pal. If only to borrow from her superdupercute (though not everyday-sized, but whatever) wardrobe.

Plus, she's somewhat close in age to me, so when she goes back in time, it's always fun to see the clothes and music I grew up with. And, I'm sure it's that same music that will make a DVD boxset cost-prohibitive to produce, so I'm dropping the show to DVD.

Truth be told, though, if I had the chance to go back in time to visit for a bit, it likely wouldn't be the famous places or people and not necessarily even my own timeline. It'd probably be these World's Fairs and Expositions dotted through history - each fair a snapshot of a time period, with a dreamy focus on the future that they were all expecting, based on a past they didn't want to forget.
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Portraits in time

Magnet #694 - David Tennant portrait

Someone Tweeted Ellis Parrinder's site today, linking to this David Tennant portraiture series. Spend a few minutes clicking on the little color boxes in each category - the portraits are simply gorgeous.

Not surprisingly, within 10 minutes, I totally made a couple of magnets for myself.

I know I gravitated toward the striking nature of this image, mostly because it pretty much represents the overwhelming emotions of this week. Like most everyone, I've spent each night glued to CNN, watching helplessly as the Haiti coverage continues, and the stories grow bleaker.

Annnnd, I had a whole long self-indulgent and irrelevant (tm @Alyssa_Milano) rant to complete this post, but you know what? It was self-indulgent and irrelevant, and therefore, poof!

Anyway, check out the Parrinder site - it's seriously like reading the Hollywood/Londonwood pictorial issue of Vanity Fair...but without the long articles!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Lemme tell you, Good Queen Bess...

Magnet #693 - Elizabeth I (r.1558-1603)

According to This Day in History, the coronation of the last Tudor monarch Elizabeth I took place in Westminster Abbey, a ceremony conducted in Latin by a Catholic bishop, but with a service conducted in both Latin and English.

Ummm, yeah, there is no way I can do right by her. None. Not without writing a book. And it's too late to call in her namesake Gloriana, to pinch hit a guest blogpost.

So, let's stay within my wheelhouse, shall we?

First, Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth, in both movies. C'mon. Great movies. Except for some of poor Elizabeth's wardrobe. And look. I have a chance to say, and go see Clive in the sequel cuz he's smokin' hot as Sir Walter Raleigh.

Second, Shakespeare. Hah, you think I was going for Shakespeare in Love. Uh, no. Despite all its accolades, I never could really get into that film.

What I do want to do is read Helen Hackett's book, Shakespeare & Elizabeth: The Meeting of Two Myths, because points to various historical documents, plays and paintings, etc. to trace the meetings that these two may or may not have had. It's so cool how folks love to speculate about their relationship, if indeed, they ever even met.

Third, I kinda dig what an enigma Elizabeth was. It seems as if she didn't let anyone close, didn't let anyone in charge of her or her life or her country, held herself apart from everyone, ultimately for the good of her nation. That aloof behavior and the company she kept, led to all sorts speculation regarding her romantic liaisons, and ultimately led to her nicknames, Virgin Queen and Good Queen Bess.

Which leads me to Doctor Who.

Oh, c'mon. If you know my tastes at all, you knew this was coming. I still think that was one of the best, little payoffs that Russell T. Davies gave us at the end of his DW reign.

In one of my favorite David Tenant/Doctor Who episodes, "The Shakespearean Code," the Doctor joyfully runs into Elizabeth (about the 2:50 mark). She reviles him and calls him her sworn enemy, and he runs off, totally clueless, but couldn't wait to find out why Elizabeth hates him.

Two seasons later, the gag's paid off in the beginning of "The End of Time," when the Doctor explains what he's been doing to stave off the final four knocks. Here, at about the :36 mark, but heck, just watch the whole first couple of minutes, because you can't beat David Tennant in a cowboy hat, sunglasses and a lei.



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Thursday, January 14, 2010

I keed, I keed!

Magnet #692 - Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

I got this from an NBC Universal stock photo rep I met with years ago, and I promised myself I'd never, ever use this Triumph the Insult Comic Dog magnet, mainly cuz, ewwww.

But, after reading Your Nose Is Quite Big's blogpost, plus having read what my fave critics have to say (Jace Lacob, Alan Sepinwall, Maureen Ryan, and Ellen Gray) what better way to be like NBC and break my promises use this magnet to add myself on Team Conan?

Frankly, I'm not even a big late-night viewer, watching only sporadically, and then only for the guests. I really could care less who is in the interviewer chair, if George Clooney's on the couch.

So, I guess ya'll should really just add me to "Team can't believe how far NBC was driven into the ground by Ben Silverman (& TPTB that let him) and now just hopes that they can turn around this debacle with the swiftest of haste, so we can all get back to our regularly scheduled used-to-be-a-great-timeslot NBC dramas at 10." Seriously.

Conan wrote a fantastic letter to the People of Earth, he really did. Classy all the way. And I watched his last two shows - announcement day, where (God bless) Tom Brokaw for helping him through and supporting him, and yesterday, when Ricky totally kicked ass with the funny, and cracked Conan up.

I do wonder if NBC's just not even watching the Tonight Show anymore, given how much leeway they've given Conan with his (well-deserved) NBC-bashing. At some point, Conan's not-veiled-at-all bitterness won't be adequately covered any amount of "I kid, I kid."

Right now, it's funny as hell, because everyone knows what a mucketyclusterduck this whole NBC programming mess has become.

But, at what point does NBC's PR team say, hold up, enough is enough, let's get this settled, so we can stop being the laughingstock of our industry and devaluing our own hallowed NBC brand?

Eh. I know. Everyone's commenting on Conan. Look at it this way. I could have told you the story of my friends' dog, Benji. And how I learned the true meaning of this magnet.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A helping hand

Magnet #691 - American Red Cross

I picked up this Red Cross magnet many years ago, in the post-September 11th haze of preparedness.

Yes. I know I didn't fill out the rest of the numbers. Don't focus on that.

It's early days yet...and it's going to be a marathon of lending a helping hand to the devastated country of Haiti.

But while there are already several places to donate for Haitian Earthquake Relief, and definitely more to come in the future, for now, there's really only one place that I trust that has the infrastructure and resources to help in the immediate future:

The American Red Cross.

Call: 1-877-733-2767

Or visit:
NY Red Cross
American Red Cross


Text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate. 100% of your $10 donation passes thru to @RedCross for Haiti relief. Your cell carrier keeps nothing.

And? As of 5:35pm or so, Mashable confirmed that more than $800,000 was raised just from the txting! Well, there's something to be said for this mobile age, after all.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Geek love

Magnet #690 - I heart Geeks

Here we go with another Smurfy magnet from Target, this one with one of my favorite Smurfs of all, Brainy Smurf.

From Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: geek
Pronunciation: \ˈgēk\
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from English dial. geek, geck fool, from Low German geck, from Middle Low German
Date: 1914

1 : a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake
2 : a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked
3 : an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity

I needed a little reminder of what qualifies anyone as a geek. Though, I suppose MW should update their listing a little more toward Urban Dictionary's entries.

In the past 24 hours, I've seen folks like @NathanFillion and @Alyssa_Milano, and @ZacharyLevi refer to themselves as geeks. And of course, every time I hear a David Tennant interview, he tends to self-deprecate his Doctor Who and music fanboy behaviors as less than cool.

They're certainly not the only ones around, they're just the ones I've noticed recently. Eh, I just think it's funny how most people tend to dismiss themselves as geeks, whether or not people believe them or not.

As for myself, I tend to wear the term proudly - I mean, after all, you're sitting on 690 magnets' worth of geekiness.

Now, excuse me, I need to go find a live chicken. And maybe a carnival.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Hi, ya'll, from joy magnetism

Magnet #689 - Georgia

State crop: Peanut

State fruit: Peach

I want to say that this was given to me by a friend of mine that lived in Atlanta...or, it's quite possible that I picked it up myself. I can't tell if this magnet it's cute, or too stereotypical.

I just kinda like it cuz of the y'all.

Ya'll is pretty funny word - some folks can carry it off, some can't.

Some spell it ya'll. Some spell it y'all.

And, some folk use ya'll when addressing more than one person, and some use it even when addressing one person.

It's that last one that makes my head spin - drives me batty to hear someone approach one person and go, "How ya'll doin' today?" It's weird. After all ya'll is short for "you all" and if there's one person, where's the all in that?

Eh, at this point, I'm thinking I've devoted way too much thought to the use of y'all or ya'll. And I suppose all of ya'll would agree.


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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Princess jewels?

Magnet #688 - Glittery Snow White

Yesterday, we walked into a Target and I beelined to the dollar-store section, and my friend was like, Whhhhhy do you have to look there?

My question is, why not? I swear they put all the colorful items there just for the kids (and me) to pick up.

And, it's not like I'm picking up the crown jewels there or anything, just the odd Disney/Snoopy/Smurfs magnet set or two. Heh. What? I can't resist when they're just sitting there.

But, speaking of jewels, I just looked at this magnet closely. I wonder why the artist thought they should glitter and glorify the apple that poisoned Snow? Moreover, refresh my memory - did Snow White even include any princess jewels?

Very confusing magnet.

Oh! Speaking of confusing...a friend of mine shared this image of the Disney princesses dressed up as their Disney villains counterparts. Freaky!
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Talking points

Magnet #687 - John Wayne quote

Shopping in Jersey, and what did I spy? A quartet of John Wayne magnets, at FYE's clearance rack. Woot!

I loves me some John Wayne. No, seriously. I haven't seen all of his movies, and I'm not a huge fan of his Westerns, which leaves me my favorite few.

And they are, in order: Hatari!, Without Reservations, and McClintock!

A bit random, but all with a romance focus, and none considered the best of his oeuvre. I still had to get this magnet set anyway.

But, I don't mind saying that given that I rarely talk low, I never talk slow, and I always talk too much, I'm betting The Duke and I wouldn't ever be caught hanging out together. Heh.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Elvis, the Flintstones, and a lil bit of George Jones

Magnet #686 - Fred & Wilma Flintstone

My TweetDeck's full of folks wishing Elvis a happy birthday today. He would have been 75 today. Dang.

I know, a lost opportunity, because ya'll know somewhere between home and the office, I probably have a couple more Elvis magnets to use.

But this morning, as I was wracking my brains on what to say about this Flintstones magnet that wouldn't make my family and friends' heads spin (because, yeah, there are oh, so many stories here), I stumbled upon this George Jones song:

Yabba Dabba Doo, the King is Gone.




I've never heard of the song. Even after looking up the lyrics, I still don't quite understand it. And now I'm fairly sure I'll end up with this song in my head for the rest of the day.

The randomness is all, I suppose.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do you know the way to La-la Land?

Magnet #685 - Hopper's Lighthouse at Two Lights

Another sale magnet from the Met. I think I might singlehandedly be supporting their magnet sales.

As I was looking at my little fridge magnet art gallery, I realized I have a couple of Hoppers, well, in the hopper, so to speak.

So I won't wax poetic about Hopper's work in general, and how meant for Lighthouse at Two Lights (Maine) to stand for the individual's stand against industrialization. One, because I don't totally get it, but also because really? fight against industrialization?

But, a twofold reason why I picked this one today.

One, because I kinda like the idea of the lighthouse sitting as a bastion of hope on this promontory. And, two, because of the amount of sky in the painting.

Why sky? Because it really didn't even take the full first week of 2010 before I remembered my theory about advertising folks, and I suppose, people in general:

There are two people in this world.

The ones who have their head in the clouds, going about their merry little way singing their happy la-la-la's.

And those behind them, who have their noses to the ground, scurrying about, just trying to pick up the pieces.

Which one are you?
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Those darned environmentalists

Magnet #684 - Recycle Reuse Rejoice

How pretty is this magnet? I picked it up during our Yale trip a couple of months ago, at their B&N student stores. It's made of wood, painted, and totally bedazzled. Superdupercute.

So here's the thing. I don't claim to be an environmentalist, a hippie, a save the earth type. I don't volunteer for anything worthwhile, I end up leaving as many lights on as possible, and I only fleetingly consider my carbon footprint.

In fact, I'm a pretty cynical thinker, when it comes to thinking that any amount of free speech, peaceful gatherings, ad campaigns (blue or green), passing of laws/regulations, or levying of taxes will actually, in the end, save the earth.

And yet, I remain convinced that the little things help.

A friend of mine was in a grocery store earlier this week, and she'd brought her own grocery bags. And when the cashier was trying to figure out how many bags she had to work with to bag groceries, the crotchety old man behind her was all grumbly about "damned environmentalists and nonexistent climate change."

While it's a little funny (albeit just plain rude, no matter what age you are), do you really need to be all grumbly when someone's just trying to do their part to help the environment? Bringing bags is the wave of the future, man.

For example, starting this year, DC's charging five cents a bag at their grocery stores. It's a great idea that serves to proactively lessen the amount of bags that end up in their landfills, as well as to raise revenue to help clean up the Anacostia River. A river, by the way, whose trash is almost half made up of plastic bags. Dang.

So, yeah, now everyone's gotta get used to toting along those supercute reusable bags to the groceries.

Know what's funny, though? I can't help it. The cuter it is, the more I want to spend the $2.99 to buy it. That's compounded by the guilt from not having remembered to bring my own bags to the store.

Which is why I totally have a dozen such supercute reusable bags sitting in my apartment right now. So while it's lessened my inevitable trash outside, it's also increased my overall footprint. Lesser of two evils, I suppose.

Oh! Right now, my favorites are those Elizabeth Haub Foundation bags from Food Emporium/A&P - great bags, nice art, and even funner colors.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hail, the conquered hero

Magnet #683a & 683b - Thomas Cole's The Departure and The Return

I've been waiting all day to be able to write and magnetblog these! Yes, yes, another art magnet. Even worse, you can't even see this art properly! But, here's a bigger version of the two, side by side.

I made these magnets from stamps I picked up last week at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, a great gallery I hadn't been to before.

They're companion pieces painted by the founder of the Hudson River School, Thomas Cole. Normally, I'm not really one for landscapey scenes, but these two were rather large pieces (indeed, they're three by five feet big!), and I totally got sucked into them.

What caught my eye, before I even read the placard was the majesty of them - the first piece, The Departure, and the second piece, The Return. And then I read the placard. And then I looked at the paintings closer. And then I reread the placard. And then I looked one last time. And then I walked into the next room, where the big museum collection book was strapped to a bench. And then I read the two-page essay on them.

And here's what I remember (and lightly researched):

In the 1830s, one of the wealthy Van Rensselaers of upstate New York commissioned Cole to do two paintings for him - all he stipulated was for them to be morning and night, and it was ready, set, go.

Cole went for a medieval story setting, where in The Departure (bigger version, from the warriors are all leaving for battle, fronted by the knight astride his trusty white steed ready to lead them into hell. Dawn's over the horizon, and you can see his turreted fortress castle in the distance behind them. All's well, and even hopeful, as they ride out to meet their fates.

Then come sunset in The Return, (again, bigger version, from the focus and the tone of the story has changed, somber in the wake of what's taken place that day. The angle of the painting POV has swiveled around to showcase the big foreboding gothic church, instead of the castle. You can tell it's a scenery POV change, because on the right-hand side of both paintings, you see the one common focal point - the tall temple thing (I want to say it was for some goddess).

But, there in the middle, you see just a few men have come home, and almost dead center, a processional, with the knight being carried by his men, mortally wounded, his horse riding alongside behind him.

While each painting is set against a gorgeous landscape with magnificent skies above, my absolute favorite part of these paintings are the little details in each - from the cleric standing in front of them, hailing them in the first piece and then waiting for the men near the church in the second, right down to the little milkmaid and her boyfriend shepherdboy hanging around the well in the first piece, and then quietly standing by the temple in the second.

Ok, ok. Obvi, I got a little invested in these two pieces - probably because I was already susceptible to the subject matter, given my romance editorial side. But, I really do love them.

I love that they tell a story.

I love that it was a story that sprouted from Cole's mind, not based on any one battle or love story or heroic tale, but all of them.

I love that the story doesn't even really begin or end, with so many unanswered questions about what they were fighting for, who was the knight, where's his family, what happens now, will the milkmaid get her man. Awesome.

And once again, I'm seeing that art viewed by oneself is often times the best art of all.

When you're wandering around the museums by yourself, you get to go at your own pace, you can maneuver more easily around the bobbing heads, and most important, you can absorb as much or as little of the art as you want. It was great to look at these paintings with all their tiny little people and details, even though the guard in the corner was wondering why I was loitering.

Mind you, I do kinda wish that these paintings were in the Smithsonian, so that I could visit them for free every time I'm in DC, but the Corcoran's pretty nice, albeit a knight's battle away from the metro.

But that's another magnet, I guess.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

La La, la-la-la-la, La la-la-la-lahhhhh

Magnet #682a & 682b - Smurfette

You have got to love Target for their 99-cent aisles up front. So. Many. Magnets. I totally bought a Smurfy set of magnets. What?

And, you've got to love Sony Pictures for trying to bring back the Smurfs. Noooo, I'm not talking about Avatar. They're seriously trying to bring back the Smurfs in a live-action flick.

Live. Action. Can you imagine? Supposedly, and I guess quite rightly, the director attached is the same guy who did the Scooby movie several years ago with Buffy as Daphne and Mr. Buffy as Fred.

Then again, I just saw the movie's been moved to 2011, so who knows if it'll really ever get produced, but c'mon. Who doesn't love a Smurf?

I mean, they even had a Smurf Island down at Carowinds theme park (on the border of NC/SC). It was an acre-ish big island at the park, aimed at the young-uns with those plastic ball pools that parents are so afraid of nowadays, and fun little jungle gyms. And, the best part was that Papa Smurf and a few of the other Smurfs got to roam around to hang out with the kids.

As usual, in my childhood, I was a little older than the average Smurf-lover, I went, because my two baby sisters had to go. And, I'm sure at the time, it wasn't all that cool to be hanging out there.

But the most scandalized a pre-teen girl can be? Clear as day, while all the other kids were standing with her getting pictures and autographs, I watched as an 8-year-old boy grabbed Smurfette's behind, and hit on her, with a hey, baby.

On Smurfette!

Who doesn't love a Smurf, indeed!
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Long and winding road

Magnet #681 - Mt. Washington Auto Road

Uh, I haven't.

In fact, I had to look up where Mt. Washington was. At best guess, I think Save the World Sister went to New Hampshire and went up Mt. Washington Auto Road and brought this back for me?

I picked this, because as I stare 2010 right in the face, all I can think of is just making it past the first quarter of the year, and how there's a long and very winding road before the end of March.

It's odd that I haven't magnetblogged about New Hampshire before. I mean, I've done the state for myself, but not for this mountain. Of course, when I went, it was with an old friend of mine, and we were headed up there to hang out with her relatives for the weekend. It was so long ago, I don't even remember why we went up there.

It was the oddest trip, really. The house we stayed in was filled to the brim with collectibles. Everywhere we turned, upstairs, downstairs, in the attic, in the basement, in the bedrooms, in the kitchens, there was something else the owners collected. Any one item that had more than one of itself made, there were literally dozens of them in the house. Yeah, read that sentence again.

But, I'm serious. Ya'll know how I watch Cash in the Attic, like all the time? This house should have been a prime candidate - I've never seen anything before or since like that house. Now? I would love a second chance to do a good old-fashion rummage about the house - turn over every little piece, explore every nook and cranny, in every stuffed to the gills room.

Well, except for the ammunition collection - that I didn't want to explore, no matter how historical the collection was.

Not. Even. Kidding. I guess New Hampshire isn't kidding when they say Live Free or Die.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Allons-y, Geronimo

Magnet #680 - The Doctor's TARDIS

For Christmas, I ended up with a supercool gift certificate to @KristinaMyers' Etsy store - which totally means I'll be adding more to my collection of Doctor Who magnets. Yay!

What? Just because David Tennant's gone doesn't mean Ten has to go, too. I'm just sayin'.

I'm just trying to figure out how which images I'll choose for the next batch of magnets. So far, my choices are:

1) Favorite Ten episodes
2) Favorite Ten phrases
3) Favorite Ten scenes
4) All the Ten companions
5) The two recent DW logos

Oh, the endless possibilities. Hahaha. I can't wait. It's gonna be fun.

And, no, I'm totally avoiding a whole Doctor Who/Ten/David Tennant good-bye post.

Maybe if I don't write it, it didn't happen.

Maybe if I delete it from my DVR, it'll be like I've changed history.

Maybe if I don't say good-bye, it'll be like he never left.

Maybe if I ignore it, David'll be the one who shows up in the Spring, instead of Baby Emo Doctor, Matt Smith.


Sigh. Ok, ok. In the meantime, I guess...Geronimo?

And, I guess it's fitting that with the arrival of the new Doctor, there's a stork delivery of my friends' baby girl, heretofore nicknamed NJ, despite that fact that she was born in NC, and not New Jersey, as her nickname would suggest. Welcome, little NJ!

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!!!

Magnet #679 - Luzern

Happy New Year!

I visited Lucerne (Luzern in German, Lucerna in Italian) during our American Musical Ambassadors tour many years ago, but that was pre-magnet collecting days. So I was totally excited when I found this magnet on our Zurich layover. Yay!

I picked this one for New Year's Day, because if there's something that signifies renewal and new beginnings, it's the Kapellbrücke, or "Chapel Bridge."

The original bridge was built in 1333, and had 120 paintings that were begun in the 1500s, documenting the city's history. But in 1993, it nearly burned to the water. I can't imagine how heartbreaking it was to lose it, and then to have to restore as much as they could.

But, restore it they did, to almost its former glory, a testament to man's ability to restore, renew and rebuild.

Here's hoping we can do the same - taking the best of the past, and using it to make 2010 the best year ever.

Oh! Speaking of new beginnings, we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of a special stork delivery for one of my friends. The kid's a dozen days late, so maybe it'll decide it wants to be a New Year's kid!
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