joy magnetism: February 2010

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The agony and the ecstasy

Magnet #737 - Michelangelo's Creation of Adam

One of the greatest works of art in the world is the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, painted by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni in the early 1500s. It spans about 5,000 square feet (!!!!), was painted during the course of four years, and mostly tells the story of the Book of Genesis.

This magnet that I picked up at the Seattle Art Museum a few months ago - it's the Creation of Adam, a small part of the many, many, many paintings on the chapel's ceiling. It depicts God on the wings of angels, giving the breath of life to Adam, through their outstretched fingers. A powerful subject, with exquisite detail. In my estimation, it's kind of a shame that it's on a ceiling, where you can't see it up close...or spend hours on your back examining the piece.

The Vatican Museums put together a pretty good virtual tour of the chapel, though, and it's quite amazing the amount of work that's gone into this chapel. The chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who was pope in the late 1400s and founded this chapel and brought together great artists of the time.

I haven't been, but the frescoes alone should be enough to visit. I do have a dim memory of when I was little and being forced by my dad to watch The Agony and the Ecstasy, yet another Charlton Heston movie, this time as Michelangelo and the story behind creating one of his most definitive works. Oh! And there's this Eyewitness to History account of someone who spent time with him, and eventually wrote his biography in the 1500s.

Michelangelo didn't really want the commission for a few reasons, but one was because he didn't really consider himself a painter. He considered himself primarily a sculptor. I've been lucky enough to see some of those other great works. Our trip to Italy saw to that - don't worry, there's a magnet for that. I just love that not even two weeks later, I was in Seattle, getting to see a dozen original Michelangelo sketches and other papers on exhibit.

Fantastic exhibit, that was. The deal is that in the whole U.S., there's not even a dozen of Michelangelo's original works. But in Seattle, for the Michelangelo: Public and Private exhibition, they had a whole dozen, borrowed from Casa Buonarroti. Amazing. (Even though we totally should have hit up that museum while we were in Florence. Ack!)

They had what was supposedly the last letter he ever wrote, plus several sketches from his work on David and the Sistine Chapel. The deal with him was that he regularly destroyed his own sketches, because he didn't like for the public to see him as human, that is, that he would need to practice before his great genius was put into practice. But, his family managed to collect these drawings and studies and preserve them.

Despite all that - the glimpse into the man behind the genius - the studies he made, the original sketches he tried - I have to say, my absolute favorite part of the exhibit? They had a shopping list that Michelangelo put together for his servant. Except, because servants were generally illiterate, he had to draw the list. How fabulous is that?

So there's the list with the Italian word, and then little illustration. On the list was a cute little chicken, a cute little fish, a cute little loaf of bread. Can't you just see it?

Here's the list, just grab what you can at the ShopRite!

Except, you Italian. So...

Ecco l'elenco, basta afferrare ciò che si può al ShopRite!
Pin It!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Magnets, wherefore art thou?

Magnet #736 - New Smyrna Beach, FL

Ya'll, I've said it before. Unabashedly.

I love trade shows. I admit it. It's kinda silly.

And, it's for a zillion reasons. On the exhibitor side, it's just fascinating to see how each organization lays out their booth, their installation, the furniture, even the shirts the booth reps are forced to wear. I love seeing the activities they come up with to get visitors to drop by and stay awhile, and perhaps give up their personal information to boost an operators' database.

Overall, I love seeing branding carried out in all their materials. Nothing pleases me more at these things than to see a booth operator who knows what they're doing - well designed collateral and booth graphics, reps who are engaging but not imposing. Shoot. Sometimes, even nice carpet in their booth makes me happy.

On the attendee side, I won't lie. I love the tchotkes. I love seeing what various operators are giving away. Who has the best bag - general the one that everyone want and are carrying around the floor. Who has the best pens. Who has the most unique giveaways. Who has the giveaway that doesn't even make sense.

All of which means that I end up leaving any trade show with tons of crap. Mind you, I'm not walking around with the rollies, but sometimes, even as I'm tripping over them in the aisles, I envy those my own shoulder's dying from carrying my booth booty and my heavy coat.

This weekend's New York Times Travel Show was no exception. I freakin' love the travel show, and vow to go back every year. I feel like I traveled the world today! And my baby photo album, almost proves it.

It's so much fun wandering from region to region and country to country to figure out my next travel destination. I never really have anything in mind, but I love learning about the different countries in their demonstrations - each region has a stage, so it's great to check out activities of interest.

This year, you can learn to dive, you can rock climb, you can learn to salsa, you can learn a quick Filipino dish. And that's just off the top of my head. I had a couple of target countries for other folks - Argentina for a friend (supercute bag), Iceland for my sister (nada), and cruises for a friend who mistakenly thinks I can be convinced to ever go on one (materials so heavy!).

But, I haven't really settled on a new destination for me. Yet. I have a thousand bits of collateral here, so maybe there will be something.

I've gotten to this point where I really pick up from booths that I really am interested in, or that catches my eye with good collateral. I hate wasting the unnecessary paper, or taking their tape measures or other random stuff.

I have only a handful of pens (not anywhere near my record of 40 pens) booth exhibitors, please know that the pens are fabulous - because wherever I go, I love having cute pens - the cuter the better. Half the time, I'm using random branded pens, if for no other reason than it's cute. Keep that in mind. Oh! And the bags...stop with the little plastic bags. The recyclable fabric bags, over the shoulder, with a good gusset and supercute branding. Those are what I end up walking down the street with, on my shoulders.

Finally. And pertinent to joy magnetism. Magnets. Wherefore art thou, magnets? It's a travel show! People pick up magnets of places they've been. How about the places they want to go to? Why weren't there any magnets? *stamps foot in askance*

Seriously. How sad is it that I go to a travel show with more than 500 destinations, and only ONE magnet could I find.

Of Florida. Where I'll be spending half my life next month.

Pin It!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rollin' with the snowballs

Magnet #735 - Snowman

I couldn't have the "mega" storm of the century go by without using this CVS magnet!

I've said it before - one of my favorite things in this city is driving through a fresh snow in the middle of the night. It's one of the few times when New York seems at peace.

And, right now, we have a fair amount of snow on the ground, and falling. It's lovely out there.

Snow always reminds me of rolling snowballs in our front yard.

We'd start at the farthest corner, and just start rolling. Across the whole front lawn, down the front of the house, down the hill, then along to the road and back to the front again.

We'd just keep going round and round, til all you could hear in the quiet was the crunching and packing in of the snow on to the ball, and then the sounds of the grunts, as it the snowball grew bigger and bigger, until it was both bigger than we were, and hard as hell to push around.

Then the snowball would just sit at the far end of the front yard, melting day by day, sometimes the only pile of snow left as far as the eye could see.

No, there wasn't any reason we did it. But, man, we'd do that snowball before we'd even think of doing a snowman. Heh.

Good times.

I kinda wanted to do that tonight, on the way home, when the only sound in the car was the clicking of my blackberry keys and the sound of snow crunching and packing in under the car.

Can you imagine? Rolling a snowball down Broadway in the middle of the night, before everyone starts shoveling and salting the sidewalks. How big would that thing be if you want all the way down the West Side.

Freakin'. Awesome, is how big.
Pin It!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tunnel vision*

Magnet #735 - Lyndon B. Johnson (1963 - 1969)

Oops. I was picking magnets and was like, I thought I already did Nixon. Sad. Especially given the mantle Lyndon B. Johnson had to take up after Kennedy's assassination.

I can't even imagine - how do you step into those shoes?

I tend to get to know some presidents better than others, for obvious reasons. Mostly, I get to know the cold facts - when they served, major events, random info, etc. But for my favorites, I end up learning who the man was behind the office. Their personality, sense of humor, their family lives, etc.

I'll be honest, I don't know all that much more about LBJ, other than remembering him in that iconic Air Force One inauguration image with Jackie O. Though, apparently, his biographer might shed some light on him here.

I also know that he was a Texan, that he served in WWII and reported to MacArthur in Australia at some point, and was part of those Chicken War between France and Germany. Oh, and that he had three Beagles, Him, Her and Edgar.

That last tidbit leads me to believe that he must have had a sense of humor, no?

*The real reason I picked number 36 today, is because I was looking up LBJ quotes, and he won me over with the below. Even though he's (sadly) referring to Vietnam, I'm snaking it for here, because it's so apropos for the current work crazy.
“Light at the end of the tunnel? We don't even have a tunnel; we don't even know where the tunnel is.”
- Lyndon B. Johnson

Pin It!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hearts and stars and smiles, oh my!

Magnet #733a & 733b - Red and Blue Hearts and Stars and Smilies

When people at work find themselves without gift wrap or ribbon, they totally come find me, because I keep a small stash of both at my desk.

The same goes for stickers.


Aside the fact that I hate throwing anything away, one never knows when one needs to wrap something quickly. The trick is also to keep anything that could potentially be wrapping, or those little things you wrap with the bows, or fun things to stick into cards, or whatever. (Note, I haven't even delved into the stash of notecards in the other drawer here.)

I found this the other day in my stash - it's a pile of holographic plastic cardstocky stuff that I had from literally a dozen years ago. Haven't a clue where I picked it up, I just couldn't bear to throw it away. It's too cute, and always makes for childlike fascination from kids and adults alike.

So, I just took a section of it and made it into this one magnet.

Of course, when I started, I had a good 3x5 piece affixed to the magnetic sheet. Then I started trimming it. Only, after I started trimming in a circle to get it perfect, I couldn't stop. So it's about a inch in diameter now. And not perfect.

It's kinda like how I kept trimming my sister's hair when she was little. I kept trying to get the length to be straight across the back. She kept fidgeting. It kept getting shorter and shorter.

Finally, when I got caught, we tried to convince her we were going for Debbie Gibson's hair.


She was really mad.

Pin It!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Olympics, the ads, and the mascots...sans Mukmuk!

Magnet #732 - 2010 Vancouver Olympics Mascots

Behind me on the wall of our golf event command center/war room here at work, is the giant tv that automatically goes on around noon, so that the boys can glance at the scores throughout the day. Scores for curling. For hockey. For skiing. But mostly for curling.

In fact, that's how my workdays seem to be breaking up. I know I've lost the morning when the TV goes on. I've lost the afternoon when the news comes on. And I've lost the night, when late-night repeat coverage goes on. Heh.

Oh, and then because the speakers are in my left ear, I can now totally tell what ads are playing by the soundtracks, rather than the picture over it. The P&G series about the moms and the laundry they do (unfair, I know, because I actually love the Moms/little Olympians execution). Coke. Toyota's I'm sorry ads. McDonald's chili sauce. That yourmarketingsucks site.

And tonight's newest that I just now noticed - Netjets? Really? That many people still have money that they can rent a jet that Netjets is advertising in primetime now?

Moving on...I know the IOC et al. frown upon unofficial Olympics merchandise. But, honestly, if you're not gonna choose the cutest magnet images for me to buy, and then on top of that, you're out of stock of the magnets I want on your online store, then yeah, I'm gonna make a magnet all on my own for myself.

I mean, how can you pass up these mascots?

Finally. Wow. Just wow.

I was going to do this whole magnetpost on who Miga, Quatchi, and Sumi are, but I just went to the Olympics site, and it's the best. site. ever! So great! Not only well-designed and just fittingly adorable as the mascots, but they've made the content relevant to kids - and adults - with mascot bios, fun games and not one, not two, but six Behind the Mascots Videos!

No way can I top that with a magnetpost. Just go spend time there. You don't even have to have a kid. Hahaha.

I am sad, though, cuz my Mukmuk the Marmot isn't in there. He's got a video, too, but basically, he's the big sports fan with the funny house filled with sport stuff! How cute is that guy? Dudes. He has a foam finger. Love.

Also? I won't lie. I just like saying mukmuk, really.




Pin It!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Two years later...

Magnet #731 - Joy to the world

This night two years ago, I decided to start a blog.

Nope, I still don't believe that I have two years' worth of magnets to keep this joy magnetism going. Probably helps that I keep making things that aren't magnets, like this little plaque a friend gave me, into magnets.

Anyway, you'll see a bit of a color palette change, though I'm not entirely happy with it, and reserve the right to switch it up. Probably won't happen before March 23rd, when I'll be able to sleep again, but we'll see.

Thanks to all of you who have read, commented, encouraged and even reviled me; thanks for sending me magnets and contributing content; thanks for hanging out with me for these last 730 magnets!
Pin It!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Make real the glory*

Magnet #730 - Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury, England, is a sister city of Salisbury, NC. I haven't a clue if that's official or not, but I do remember a high school choral group going over there to sing in at Salisbury Cathedral, and them calling it a sister city, so let's go with yes, official.

I've not been to Salisbury, England - I think this magnet came from my sister. The cathedral was built in the 1200s - dudes, that's 750 years ago! It never ceases to amaze me that these giant structures were built so long ago, and they're still standing. Yet, I don't ever have that feeling about today's new builds that they'll last out the century. Hmmm.

What makes this cathedral different from most religious structures of this size, is that it was fully built within a century, that is 1220-1258, and without any major additions afterward. It was built in one style - Early English Gothic - and one style only...rather than other cathedrals built over several centuries that end up having several architectural styles incorporated into the buildings - depending on the time and the architect in charge.

The Cathedral has the tallest spire in Britain, coming in at just over 400 feet. Plus, it has the country's oldest working clock, from the 1300s. And, it has one of the four existing copies of the Magna Carta from 1215. Lots of stuff to see and do here.

I picked it for today, because I'm watching BBC-America's airing of the BAFTAs - the English Oscars, which are always fun to watch, but also because I've been thinking about Salisbury, NC, these last couple of days, as I watch the statuses and comments on my home Facebook account fly by.

It just amazes me how people that I grew up with high school and college know each other - even if they were from different parts of my life, from different areas of Salisbury. And yet, they all go to the same games, meetings and churches, not always realizing that they have me in common.

It's weird, that. But, I guess that's what happens when you grow up in a town as small as ours.

* From the cathedral's mission statement: Salisbury Cathedral exists to make real the glory and presence of God in the world.
Pin It!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'll think about that tomorrow

Magnet #729 - Gone With the Wind

There are movies that pop up in the theatre, and one or two big box office weekends later, they're gone. They're bits of fluff that people dimly remember as good flicks, but they pass on to the ether of time.

And then there are the classics, the ones that define generations, define actors; the ones that you remember growing up with, that you can quote lines from, the ones that actually mean something.

Gone With the Wind is certainly one of those films. It's half of the magic of Atlanta for me, it's why I make people watch it, if they haven't seen it before. It's one of those movies that's rewatchable, time and time again.

I never read the book - correction, I never read anything but the end, so that I could look for the word damn in print. No joke. I do remember being shocked that it was in our junior high library.

But, I've always been fascinated by the scope of the movie, the epic saga, and the characters that live on in my head. When I was little, I remember being scared of that Atlanta depot scene, the wide shot panoramic view of all the dead and wounded Confederate soldiers on the ground. Apparently something like 1,600 of those bodies were actually dummies. Still, dang.

It's totally fitting that I bought this magnet at Margaret Mitchell's place in Atlanta - a fascinating tour and museum, filled with movie memorabilia and just really cool stuff around the book and the movie. It was truly one of my favorite places of town. Even if none of the friends I was with had seen the movie. Oiy.

Picked this one for today, because we're at about 15 days till go time for our golf event, and I'm mentally going through my day tomorrow, and thinking that at some point, oh, about 15 days from now, I'll have run out of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Heh.
Pin It!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A writer always reads

Magnet #728 - Thomas Jefferson's Library

If you think I picked up this magnet as my secondary magnet from my superdupercool Library of Congress tour a couple of years ago, you've got another think coming. A friend of mine picked this magnet up for me at ALA in Anaheim a few years ago.

That phrase "you've got another think coming" always cracks me up. It was the root of one of the first professional arguments I ever saw in the workplace. One of my colleagues always thought it was "you've got another thing coming," and made sure to change it in the manuscript that she was proofing.

Right? I mean, that's how most people think the phrase goes!

Instead, one of our other most OCD supervisors - ever - took much pleasure in correcting this thought.

I have never seen my friend so mad! She was arguing her own point to me days later, saying that the ordinary reader believes it to be "thing" and we should just fix it in the mass-market book she was working on.

Now, it's entirely possible that this type of "catering to the mass-market" in our editing and proofreading is what's helped chip away at our collective intelligence. But I worry that it might start even earlier than that.

Today, we had the pleasure of three 10-year-olds and a 4-year-old in the office. Great fun! And a good reminder of how much I love kids. And sending them home with parents.

Anyway, I pulled out a stack of books - I know! The nerve of me! Books! - for the girls to read to the 4-year-old. And all three older girls were like, uh, we don't want to read. One went so far as to say, I'm not a reader. I'm a writer.


I couldn't stop myself. I blurted out, But a writer always reads! She said, nah. I don't like reading. I just like to write. Which then led us into this tangent of how she's a blogger. No kidding, here. She's a 10-year-old blogger. Of fashion. (Of course, this was the girl who gets up an hour earlier than she needs to, to wash, dry, style, mouse and gel her hair, for her headband to stay in).

Eh, despite that, I do love this kid, and think she's the smartest thing ever, but I so wanted to cry when I heard she's a writer not a reader.

Pin It!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Apotheosis of pork*

Magnet #727 - Wildwood BBQ

In case ya'll haven't heard, I grew up in North Carolina. In case ya'll haven't heard, they're kinda known for their barbecue down there.

That's why I hesitate to go to any BBQ places here in town, because inevitably, I compare it to a couple of local places at home.

Wildwood BBQ, a BRGuest restaurant billed as one of the first organic BBQ restaurants, is across the street from us at work - which makes like the 4th BBQ place within a 10-15 block radius of me. I'm definitely not lacking up here in BBQ joints. Wildwood has a great space, and usually, the food's pretty good.

Mind you, I wasn't the biggest connoisseur of BBQ growing up. We didn't have it in the house, growing up - so the only time I ever had it was for school lunches. Indeed, it wasn't until I got to college, and maybe even beyond, that I learned there was even a difference between Eastern NC and Western NC BBQ.

Seriously. I don't think I went to the famous Lexington Barbecue* restaurant until college - and I live like 20 minutes away from it. And, if there's any place you should try BBQ in North Carolina, it's in Lexington. Damned good, that stuff. Plus, it's family owned!

I know. It's weird. I promise you, my mother's the best cook for miles, so we weren't wanting for good recipes to knock your socks off. But when it came to the traditional American fare like green bean casserole, tuna fish sandwiches, or sloppy joes, nothing could have been more foreign from our kitchen table.

But to her credit, anytime we'd run home and say, can we have X? She'd find the recipe and go to town. Still does.

Well, except one thing she refuses to make. There's a family we go to for holiday dinners every once in a while, and there's this lady who always makes that green fluffy dish that sits on the dessert table, circumspectly avoided by the Filipinos. Except me, because it's totally the Pistachio Ambrosia stuff we learned how to make in Home Ec. In fact, the (Filipino) lady of the house always knows I can be counted on to take it home. Heh.

Anyway, I picked this magnet today, because yesterday, I discovered that I've been missing out. I just learned about this odd (apparently Southern!) concoction of crockpot meatballs smothered in some sort of chili and grape jelly sauce. Never heard of it before. But the funny part is that everywhere I turned - online and offline - people are like, what do you mean you've never had that? And I'm like, what do you mean, what do you mean? I've never even heard of it!

Part of me wants to try it. The other part of me? Never wants to mention it to my mother, because otherwise, we'll be have it until she perfects the recipe. Hahaha.
Pin It!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It sounds rather strange

Magnet #726 - Chesapeake Bay, Hooper Strait

The AGE10 brought this back for me, from a roadtrip they did to Maryland. It's the Hooper Strait Lighthouse that's been there since about 1879 - signaling the entry of Hooper Strait.

It's one of those screwpile lighthouses, because it has iron pilings with a screw at the bottom that dig down into the soft ground about 10 feet or so. Mind you, I just had to look that up, because I had no idea that they had lighthouses that screw into the grown. In my neck of the woods, we had all those towery North Carolina lighthouses.

All day, though, while I've been thinking of using this magnet for today, all I can think of is Disney's Pete's Dragon, which takes place in Maine, in and around a lighthouse.

And, in my head, all I hear is that It's Not Easy song with Helen Reddy and that ginger-haired kid playing Pete. Which, I guess in the grand scheme of things is easier to hear in my head than Candle on the Water.
Pin It!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The fourth dimension

Magnet #725 - Kandinsky's Several Circles

Last year, the Guggenheim did a pretty great retrospective on Kandinsky's work, and I learned a great deal more than I ever knew about his work, and the man, too. Good stuff.

One thing I didn't know was that Kandinsky was on the faculty at the Bauhaus in Germany, so he's included in the great, albeit crowded, exhibit at the MoMA.

My favorite of all his work, though, are his illustrations, his geometric drawings. They're amazing, and the closer in you get to the drawings (without having security breathing down your neck) the more details you can pull out. I could seriously spend hours looking at them, they're very cool, and make me want to break out the protractor and the ruler and some colored pencils. My drawings would never come out this way, but whatevs.

I picked up this magnetic bookmark the Guggenheim - and yes, I'm very afraid that we're branching into magnetic bookmarks, because all the museums have them, so I'm totally gonna have to start collecting them. Anyway, this is Kandinsky's Several Circles, which was prominent in much of his work. He just liked circles. And circles.

Here's why, according to the Gugg site:
“The circle,” claimed Kandinsky, “is the synthesis of the greatest oppositions. It combines the concentric and the eccentric in a single form and in equilibrium. Of the three primary forms, it points most clearly to the fourth dimension.”
Mind you, I haven't a clue what it means, I don't want to think about it, he lost me at synthesis. Oiy. Especially because I thought time was the fourth dimension.

Of course, that could be because I spend too much time watching Doctor Who.
Pin It!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A day late

Magnet #724 - Snoopy Hearts

Dudes! I've been saving this darn magnet for Valentine's Day for weeks! Then the day rolls around, and I totally forgot!

Anyway, another $1 aisles Target special, with lovable Snoopy surrounded by stripey-stripe hearts.

Sooooo, happy Valentine's Day, a day late, but not a magnet short.
Pin It!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where angels go

Magnet #723 - Columbia Pictures

I picked this magnet up during one of my supercool Sony Pictures tours.

Columbia Pictures was started by the infamous Cohn brothers in 1919, and since has been a great and storied picture house that held contract stars such as Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, and directors like Frank Capra shooting movies like It Happened One Night, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Columbia's gone through many owners - both personal and corporate, retaining same logo that's been altered over the years only a handful of times. No one knows who the original model was for it, but supposedly, the last model used was Annette Benning.

Indeed, I picked this magnet for today, because I didn't realize the Columbia lady wore other colors besides blue, and in the funtastic Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows that I watched with Mom last night, the lady with the torch was dressed in pink! So funny.

The movie was somewhat of a sequel to the Haley Mills movie, The Trouble with Angels, and deals with this girls Catholic school road trip, and the trouble that ensues with dragging a slew of wild and crazy girls across country in a bus, with a bunch of nuns. Between the almost trainwreck, the flat tires and the burro riding, it's actually a pretty hysterical movie. Clearly not on the level as It Happened One Night, but c'mon, not every movie can be the best movie ever.

Mind you, it's almost a hundred years later, and Columbia's still around, producing movies like Da Vinci Code and Casino Royale, so it looks like the lady with the torch is doin' something right.
Pin It!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just the two of us

Magnet #722 - Cyprus

A friend of mine had her friend bring this back for me from their travels to Cyprus. It's so pretty and blue. Mind you, it took me forever to realize that it was Cyprus, and not Ceylon/Sri Lanka. I was all excited because I was like, hey! Duran Duran filmed videos in Sri Lanka!!!

Anyway, so Cyprus used to be a British protectorate, and is basically an island skirmished over by the Greeks and the Turks.

Cyprus is located in the Mediterranean, something like the 3rd biggest island (after Sardinia and Sicily) in the sea...and at that, it's still only a sixth of the size of Connecticut! So small!

They have a few archaeological digs there, along with a ton of superold sites, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the "Tomb of the Kings," which dates back to the Hellenistic/early Roman period. It's amazing how islands date back this far, makes you wonder how many uncharted islands out there have history even further back.

So far, this is one of my most exotic magnets, so I'm happy to count it as one of my own. I picked it for today, because I saw it and wondered if the Cypriots were fielding an Olympic team. And they are!

Check it out! Two Alpine skiers, Christopher Papamichalopoulos, and his sister (!!!), Sophia Papamichalopoulos.

Of course, I haven't figured out where they train, but dang, that's pretty cool. I wonder if they have to room together.
Pin It!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Go world

Magnet #721 - Canada

Got this one several years ago, and it only struck me to use a Canada magnet about an hour ago, when I thought, hmmm, I'm pretty much live-blogging the Olympic ceremonies right now on my Twitter/FB feed. Heh.

But, what's not to like about these ceremonies. I'm really enjoying them. Which is good, because they spent $30-40 million on it.

I love that it represents a lot of Canada that I don't always hear about. The four host First Nations introduction was awesome, though, I did hear there are something like 630 First Nations spread out across the country. That's kinda cool.

Plus, there's bears. Heh. And I almost want to drag out my church shoes and tapdance with this guy on my tv right now. Almost.

What I will say is that I am loving the ads during this broadcast - they're head over heels above the Superbowl ads.

Well, done, advertisers!

Huh. And then they brought in Peter Pan. Still, I love the Both Sides Now song, so I'll go with the Pete.

Annnnd, I'll go even further out on the limb. I liked the slam poetry segment. A lot, actually.

Oh, noes. That was really kind of sad. I feel bad for the apparent mechanical difficulties. Oiy. Someone didn't get to light a flame. Oops. But, man, 4 hours of intense mechanics, and it's down to the last 5 minutes. Dang.

Pin It!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Center of the culinary nation

Magnet #720 - Culinary Institute of America

Nestled upstate in Hyde Park, NY, is the supremely awesome Culinary Institute of America. And not just for the cool student stores there, where they have all this cool CIA swag to buy. Mind you, I never bought anything, lest anyone think that I can actually cook...or, that I'm a spy. Hahaha.

The CIA started out in the 1940s in New Haven, armed with 50 students being taught by a chef, baker and dietician. And now, 40,000+ students later, it's definitely lived up to its goal of being the center of the culinary nation.

What I love about visiting their pretty campus is the fact that you can visit one of the six restaurants to taste the fruits of their students' labor. I've never done dinner, but have heard it's amazing. But no matter, because I love, love, love their Apple Pie Bakery Café - so, so, sooooo good!

I totally want to get my parents to try visit, my mom for the good food, and my dad for the good bread. They'll love it.

Now. If I could only convince my dad that he does want to visit the Roosevelts houses up the street there. He loved Teddy's house at Oyster Bay, but it just so happens that he agrees with Teddy's politics more than FDR.
Pin It!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside

Magnet #719 - SoapNet Cold

Oh, it's not that cold, but how could I let Snowmaggeddon 2010 go by without using this magnet?

Seriously, I can't believe how much people are all freaking out over this snow here in NYC. It isn't that bad.

Well, I guess, til I try to go to work tomorrow. And even then, it still probably won't be that bad.


I will say it is wreaking havoc over work schedules around here, folks from the burbs having to work from home, or dragging their kids around, or businesses closing because people can't get in.

I'm kinda torn. For as much as I really, really, really want a snow day, we don't have time for it at work. But, I love coming in on snow days, because seriously, I get so much more work done when others aren't around. I'm betting it's partially because I'm way more productive in sweatshirts and jeans.

On the other hand, it does bug the crap out of me when people use it as an excuse. Oh, I'm not coming in today, because I don't want to be in the weather. Oh, I can't get into work, because of the weather.

Which holds true, if you're far away and relying on trains, planes and automobiles.

But, seriously, if you live nine blocks away from work?

I think you should be getting your ass out into that cold. Heh.
Pin It!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh, Virgilia

Magnet #718 - Harpers Ferry, WV

My friend got this magnet for me - for some inexplicable reason, she's now been there twice, for like writers conferences. I kinda giggled when she brought this back, because really, everything I learned about Harpers Ferry really stemmed from Virgilia Hazard's storyline in North and South, the John Jakes version.

I know! Sad! But, who says television is the wrong way to learn about history. At least I've heard of Harpers Ferry. I'm just sayin'.

And, I could totally research the subject, and go into the battles that took place here at here, and about John Brown's Raid, but honestly, I haven't been, and I'd just be doing history a disservice, trying to rush to get this done before midnight. So, I'll wait for when I actually get there.

Plus, this way, if ever I get there, I'll be able to pick up another magnet, and magnetblog to my heart's content....and perhaps learn the real history behind this place along the way.
Pin It!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Take me to the fair

Magnet #717 - Young Elvis

Dang, am I behind! Things are crazy at work, and with 26 days left to go before we decamp to Tampa for the Transitions Championship, things are bound to get crazier. I better do a magnet photoshoot quick, cuz dat folder be tres slim pickin's.

I picked this magnet for right this second, because the new Transitions Optical spot, Serenity, just aired, and it reminded me of our Seattle trip.

And the deplorable fact that I was with a whole team of adults, none of whom knew my favorite Elvis movie, It Happened at the World's Fair, that took place at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

Like, seriously. How do you not know that movie? We were sitting at a restaurant underneath the monorail! The monorail that Elvis rode with little Sue-Lin to get to and from the fair! Down the street from the Seattle Space Needle! The Space Needle built specifically for the World's Fair! Good gravy.

One of my travelmates even said, wait, Elvis actor????

Pin It!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It worked, indeed.

Magnet #716a & b - Magnerine Polar Bears

Though I've had CBS on all day for pre-game coverage, I've had it on mute, while I just finished catching up on the LOST premiere.

What can I say about it that everyone hasn't talked about already?

Other than seriously, the only thing missing from the first two episodes beside my kitchen sink were the damn polar bears.

Honestly, could this show mess with my mind any more?

Pin It!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

City of the bear and the strawberry tree

Magnet #715 - Madrid

My sisters brought this one back from Spain for me.

That's a she-bear on this city's coat of arms, which originated back in the Middle Ages - apparently because bears were everywhere back in the day. The stars around the coat supposedly represent the stars in the Ursa Minor constellation.

They added a strawberry tree, because those were found everywhere, and provided much needed sustenance to the local fauna.

When I was little every once in a while, we'd visit one of mom's patients to pick strawberries. But, I've never seen a strawberry tree.

Then again, I've never seen a bear, either. Hmph.
Pin It!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Usonian U-turn

Magnet #714 - Pope-Leighey House

There's nothing better than serendipitous sidetrips. So, after a day of hanging out at George Washington's Mount Vernon several years ago, we were headed back to my sister's place. On the way, we ended up running into the Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria, VA.

The house is on the grounds of Woodlawn Plantation, which is a house that was designed by the same guy who designed the U.S. Capitol, for George Washington's nephew and wife Nelly Custis. That's a great place to visit with a cool tour, but, I was all over the Wright house.

At that point, I didn't even know that FLW even built in the DC area. Of course, at that point, I hadn't been spoiled for the tragic end of Loving Frank, either - but that's a whole different story.

Such a great unexpected sidetrip that was. We made it just in time for the last tour of the day - and the guide took us in and around the house, explaining concepts and layouts for the FLW Usonian house. Basically, FLW's goal was to bring his architecture to the common man, affordable homes for cost-conscious people with great taste.

Though I really love touring and looking at his houses, and seeing all the intricate details in his design work, I gotta be honest. I don't think I could live an a Wright house - mainly because the places he liked to make small, I like to have big. He was a big believer in common spaces being bigger, because that's where the family gathers. His homes have big living and dining rooms, with incredibly small hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms.

And, really. Have you ever tried the plopability of his sofas or chairs? I haven't sat in many, but man, if you can't plop on to a sofa or a chair, there's no point trying to sit in it!
Pin It!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Do you ride?

Magnet #713 - Aerosmith's Rock n Roller Coaster

I got asked that question by a colleague, who was trying to figure out if she'd have a ride partner during the Disney client retreat party.

Do. I. Ride???

Please. I love riding roller coasters!!!

Well, not technically totally true - I can ride any roller coaster. Except the ones that go up and down. It's true, you can ride me backwards, forwards, upside down, corkscrew me, standing up, sitting down, hanging tracks, inside out, whatever, that's fine. But I can't take the ups and downsy ones.

I'm always convince that when I'm headed downhill I'll fall out of the car.

So, when they closed down part of MGM (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) lot for the client party, and gave us free reign on two rides, I was absolutely thrilled to see that this coaster was one of the rides. (The Tower of Terror was the other one, but see above for why we didn't go on that one.)

Of course, I think I was more thrilled to discover the ride itself. Seriously. Apparently, it was opened in 1999. So how did we miss it during SuperSoap Weekend? Like, for realz, yo. We spent a ton of time there during that weekend. Mind you, I know we were watching the hot soap guys, but that's no excuse!

On the other hand, I totally got to ride the ride twice in 10 minutes. So. Freakin'. Awesome. Running up the ramp to ride it the first time, doing the 3Gs to go 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, the three inversions, in the dark with hypercolored neon signs, all while listening to the Aerosmith boys blaring in our ears. And then running back around to do it all over again. If I could have found someone else to ride it with me, I'd have done it again. And probably again. I don't care if my buzz did go away. It was totally worth it.

My only complaint is that at a minute, 22 seconds, it was way too short. But, hey, I also didn't wait the customary 40-60 minutes for it.

Rock. Freakin. On.
Pin It!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Running for dummies. Or just me, eh?

Magnet #712 - Canadian Army

Save the World BIL is a runner. In fact, that's why the AGE10 ended up getting me a slew of swaggy stuff from an Army 5-Miler last year, including this Canadian Army magnet from the Canadian Army booth.

I once was a runner. For about 3 hours.

One day several years ago, I went over to Central Park for a random walk (believe me, if you know me at all, that's totally random) and that's when I discovered the Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir running track. It goes a little over a mile and half around and it was totally full of runners.

It was then that I was convinced, yeah, I could do that. Mind you, I'm the girl who hated the track and field portions of our phys ed classes. Actually, I hated all phys ed classes, except the basketball section, where I was pretty good.

Anyway, by the time I finished that walk, I had myself convinced. I walked over the Barnes & Noble, picked up a Dummies book on running, dropped off at a Foot Locker to buy a set of running shoes, and voila! that afternoon, I was a runner.

Or, at least, I would have been. Had I ever gone back to the park to run.


Well, I also passed the Central Park bridlepath that day, so I guess it's lucky I didn't buy a horse.
Pin It!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A dream is a wish

Magnet #711 - Cinderella's Castle

Ok. I bought this magnet in the Yacht Club souvenir shop, and of course, I will soon have a better picture of it when I get home from this Disney client retreat. Done.

I have to tell ya'll the best Disney story ever. And one from several years ago now. And I just know I've told this story before. I don't care.

I know some people have their issues with Disney. I. Am not one of those people. Like a good little brainwashed kid, I. Love. Disney. I don't care how jaded you are, there's just something wonderful about the wonderful world of Disney. You'll never get me to believe otherwise.

So, once upon a few years ago, during the year of a thousand dreams, in a magic park just a magical express bus away, I was shopping in one of the stores on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, and a couple of castmembers came through, and they found a little girl. A little girl whose dreams had just been granted.

She had been invited up to Cinderella's castle to help Cindy get ready for the ball!

Can you just imagine? You're five years old, and you love Cinderella, and all of a sudden you get to be Cinderella's BFF and get to help her get ready to meet Prince Charming?

I would love that job, granting wishes to little girls (and boys), and all it takes is a little hard wishing. *sigh*

I seriously had to go make myself busy in the High School Musical section, so that I wouldn't get all sniffly over the little girl. C'mon. How does that not make you teary?
Pin It!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seeing the whole picture

Magnet #710 - Gallen-Kallela's Lake Keitele

Ya'll know how I bought that magnet set from the National Gallery in London, the set that has a bunch of insets of famous paintings, and then I spend hours tracking down the name and artist of the paintings, by a sheer matter of guessing?

Heh. Success. I have found that magnet set, and they totally list what painting's whose. So fun! Or rather, really convenient, not to have to look through a thousand pages of the National Gallery's online collection. Not that I don't love doing that, too.

Anyway, I'm always amazed when I pull one of these magnets, and actually look at the full-on image. It's always interesting the places they thought to crop in on. This one was fairly obvious, but when you see the full image, it's amazing.

This particular painting's done by Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela, called Lake Keitele, which is, according to the wiki, is Finland's ninth largest lake, and is situated right in the middle of the country. This photographer caught this image of the real lake at 3am, and it, too, is just breathtaking.

Anyway, I picked it for today, not because I was about to draw some deep Jack Handey thought about being able to see the bigger picture in our lives, and how this, too, shall pass, but really I wanted to because when I saw the full image, I just had to share.

You can see the Monet influences there, and it's just so darn beautiful, I love it.
Pin It!