joy magnetism: April 2010

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Saddle up!

Magnet #798 - Courage quote

Yep. Another of my John Wayne set. C'mon. Who doesn't love that I have a John Wayne magnet set!

Anyway, sometimes it feels like courage is one of those words that people throw around pretty lightly. But this magnet pretty much sums up my feelings about the subject.

I was kinda thinking that I should earmark this magnet for when I see something truly courageous...but the more I think about it, the more I believe everyday courage is something to celebrate, too.

It comes in many different ways, and I think you can see it anywhere you look. Whether it's a kid just making it through her standardized testing this week, or a guy working on an oil rig out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Or, someone and their family facing life-threatening illnesses or even someone just leaving the four walls of their home.

It's everywhere.

And it's awesome.
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Anything you can do...

Magnet #797 - Tiffany's Magnolias and Irises

This Tiffany stained glass window centered around Magnolias and Irises is another of my art gallery magnets from the Met. Yes, I should own stock in the Met Shop.

This piece used to be in a Brooklyn cemetery mausoleum, which is kinda weird, mainly because I'm wondering what's now in its place over the bridge. I don't know why I didn't know this, after seeing so much of Tiffany's work, but he and his studios were often commissioned for memorial windows - that's the River of Life back there.

Even from its sad beginnings, I do love this magnet - it reminds me of both my parents. My mother, because she loves magnolias and irises. And my father, because he's something of a stained glass artist himself.

Basically, he took a bunch of stained glasses courses, learned the rudimentary skills, quit the classes, and started designing and making his own designs. He's designed a couple of really gorgeous pieces, mostly for the house. All of that, is because when he sees something, he honestly thinks he can do it better.

I mean, after all, we're talking about the man who sat in Musee Marmottan in front of Monet's giant paintings and said, I can paint better than that!
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Frailty, thy name is woman!*

Magnet #796 - Victoria / Waterloo & City

I'm late! Blame Hamlet from last night. After 3 hours of David, I was pretty listless to do much more than fall asleep to Happy Town.

I picked this magnet in honor of dcsis, who's off on a weekend jaunt to Londontown and will be seeing Matthew Macfadyen in Private Lives along the way.

Yes. Because Matthew's perfectly fine and didn't hurt his back. David.

What? Yes, I'm still bitter. What. Of. It.

*Hamlet Act 1, scene 2, 142–146
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This is the life

Magnet #795 - Florida

So there were a couple of all-nighters down in Tampa last month, but there was one night that was just one adventure after another. Basically, I had to run a friend out to the airport at 4 in the morning, but then on the way back from the airport, I must have stopped by every 24-hour-place along the way home. I mean, back to the resort.

I picked up this magnet at like 5 in the morning at a CVS on Tampa Road, I think. Really, who hangs out at a CVS at 5 in the morning?

There were a least a half dozen running around. The cashier asked me if the Championship was hiring. And yes, because I'd forgotten to take off my all-access pass from the day before. Heh.

But that's nothing compared to the fun people at the Walmart (no, not the groceries-only Walmart - which I didn't even know existed!). Seriously, 24-hour-Walmarts. Interesting place to be at 6 in the morning. And boy howdy, are the employees friendly! Actually, if one had one's druthers - I think 6am might actually be the best time to shop at Walmarts. Heh.

Anyway, I knew I'd have to get this magnet from that CVS at 5am...mostly because I laughed my bum off, when I read the fine print on the umbrella...

Oh, yeah. This is the life, indeed.
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Monday, April 26, 2010


Magnet #794 - Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)

I've been thinking a lot about travel lately, and this guy, Millard Fillmore, our 13th president best represents that thinking.

He's the guy that started it all, really. One weekend roadtrip, we went to Niagara Falls and on the way back we saw a sign for Millard Fillmore's house.

I yelped, Millard Fillmore's house! We have to go!

And my road trip buddies were like, Who???

So yeah. We stopped, so we could take pictures of the building...and thus begun a long history of roadtrips and roadside attractions.

Of course, my penchant for roadtrips was ingrained by the time we saw Millard's house, with immigrant parents who loved exploring what this country has to offer. But the need to start itinerary-planning blossomed shortly thereafter.

I do so love traveling. I hate the spending money. I hate the packing, but I adore the planning (once I finally settle into it) and of course, the actual travel.

And it doesn't matter, the conveyance. By preference: car, rail, then air. (Oh wait, but not by sea. You'll never catch me on a cruise, unless I'm in a black and white movie.)

So the concept of not wanting to travel to places is totally foreign to me. How can you not want to see what's in other countries? Their history, their culture, their people?

On the other hand, sometimes it's easier and safer and certainly cheaper to stay home. Which I totally understand. Totally.

Except when I've got wanderlust. And boy, have I got it bad.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Terrible passions of humanity"

Magnet #793 - Van Gogh's Night Cafe

I love when my magnets tell a story, or have a story themselves. This Van Gogh is at the Yale University Art Gallery, where I picked up this magnet.

Such an awesome painting - I just love looking at it. It's a little painful on the eyes because of the bright yellows and the reds, combined with the greens - Van Gogh said he was trying to show the "terrible passions of humanity" through those colors. In truth, it's a sad little painting - it's supposed to be this place where people are socializing and having fun...and yet, everyone looks sad and miserable, in their own space.

People love the painting for the perspective of it, that it draws you in so well, so much so, that you're staring right at the door in the back, wondering what's going on over there. I just love that Van Gogh stayed up for 3 nights in a row in 1888, trying to capture this scene, of a cafe that was open all night in Arles, France. It's arguably one of his most famous paintings. I don't honestly know that to be true, because I do feel like there are several others that more people recognize. Still, I do like it. And, I also like that his pal Gauguin, also painted the same cafe, but from a totally different perspective. Ya'll know how I love that all those guys hung out.

Anyway, I just found out tonight that it's been at the heart of some controversy over the last year - by the early 1900s, the painting was sold into a Russian collection, and with all the government upheaval, it then became something like a ward of the state...the state which sold the painting on the open market in the 1930s, as a way to raise money for the government. A wealthy New Yorker bought it, and upon his death, gave it to his alma mater, Yale, where it's been ever since.

But, the kicker is that a descendant of the original Russian owner was like, dudes, that's my painting, and the government had no right to sell it, and therefore it was his. And, of course, Yale countersued for their rights, and they won.

So, there it sits, on a huge giant wall at this quiet museum. I do find this kind of ironic, there's something really funny about the hottentotty of Yale and all its visitors, staring at the night cafe full of drunk degenerates and prostitutes.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

"You see, today I am *living.*"

Magnet #792 - Caesars

I have a couple of magnets from Caesars - one from Vegas and one from Atlantic City. I'll use the other one to rave about how much the Vegas Caesars freaks me out so much with their animatronics and scary thunderstorms. But this one, I have to use today for a couple of reasons.

When I woke up this morning, I was planning on finishing up a book (yes, I know, I was reading), then running out to get a camera to finally replace the crappy and crapped out Nikon Coolpix (a brand which I will never, ever buy again, based on most of the almost 800 magnet pictures you see here on joy magnetism), getting passport pictures done (because I can't believe I let my passport run out last month and what if my Italian prince finds me and I don't have my passport ready?), and then coming home in time to watch the UK episode of Doctor Who (which was the best yet, with Amy Pond, who is poised to become my favorite companion).

Alas, there were already a dozen work emails in my inbox this morning by the time I woke up, which of course, knocked the day and this night (still, because I seriously just emailed it out not ten minutes ago, and it's already 12:44am Sunday) for a loop (hence the crappy picture resolution above).

I had to use this magnet to tell ya'll about one of the best books that I've read in a while. I mean, a friend of mine read it ages ago in manuscript form and really raved about it, and I was completely like, really? Cuz it sounds like all the heroine did was a bucket list.

I generally admit when I'm wrong. And I'm admitting it here. I was wrong. She was right.

And now you must all run out and buy Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. While it has the longest title ever, and one that I can't believe she convinced her editor and the cover art director to keep, it's also the one book that has managed to capture my rapt attention all the way through to the final page. And believe me when I say there are at least a dozen books (of all genres) sitting on these bookcase shelves with bookmarks in the middle of them.

It's the charming, engaging, and downright funny story of Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, who has been stuck overlong in Spinster Seating, and the hot Marquess she's been dreaming of for nearly a decade - ever since their first meeting in a darkened maze, when he recognized her namesake as Caesar's Empress (hence the magnet). In an attempt to live, Callie's written a to-do list to help push her clearly off the shelf. And that's all I'm going to say, because every one of her adventures is just that. One adventure after another. Fantastic.

I kinda just realized right now as I'm typing that I won't be able to write a review about this book, because it'll just turn into some combo of edit letter/cover letter, listing all the things that I loved about it, and all my minor edits, and all the things to look out for on the next book. But, that's not my job anymore.

And, for once, I'm glad. I loved reading this book, for the sake of reading romance. For the sake of reading.

I'll just say that clearly, I really enjoyed it, as I've totally been SimulTweeting my reading of it over the past 24 hours, I'm sure, bugging the bejeepers out of my Facebook friends.

I don't care. Go. Buy the book. You'll love it.

Dudes. See? Backordered. That's because it's so good. That's why I said Run. Out. And. Get. It.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Light on the Sea

Magnet #791 - Light on the Sea

Hey, did you know that if you hit Tab_Enter too many times, it can lead to premature blogging? Whoa.

So, yep, this is Winslow Homer's Light on the Sea, from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in DC. I really did enjoy this gallery, even if it was fairly small. (I'm still convinced I may have missed a like a whole couple of sections somewhere in there. But anyway.)

This chick is funny looking - is that bad to say, given that, you know, Homer's a pretty well-known artist? Still. She's a bit mannish. And, who is she mad at, that she's got her hands on her waist looking in askance at some dude (because you totally know it's a dude sitting up there) farther up on shore?

I mean clearly, by the title of the piece, we're really supposed to be looking at how the light sits on the sea behind this woman, but, it's fairly hard to see. I suppose the other thing to consider is that this is a picture of a stamp with a picture that was probably taken a while back, so the image quality is clearly something to be desired. Even if you go to the Corcoran site, the image has a vastly darker quality to it. I kinda like this lighter version of it, really.

And, there's no particular reason I picked this for today, other than it reminded me once again of my favorite picture of me in Rhode Island. So much so, that I totally just went to my Snapfish account and made that picture into a magnet. I hope it turns out ok. Of course, when I went to my account, I found a few older images in my Snapfish albums that I wanted to make into magnets.

Yep. This blog could go on and on, I say.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Resolution #1: No more chicklit

Magnet #790 - Charleston, SC

Chicklit. Anyone who knows me knows I hate chicklit.

Love my romance books. Love the historicals, even when they feature Southern Belles, like this magnet from Charleston. Love my contemporaries. And you know I LOVE y category (except Harlequin, depending on the author). Dude, I can even hang with Paranormals. Kinda.

But chicklit? With its neurotic heroines? No.

In fact, I'll go you one unpopular opinion further that might make you hate me: I hate Bridget Jones.

Yes. I said it. I hate Bridget Jones. I blame her for the plethora of chicklit in the marketplace.

If there's anything I can't stand, it's a heroine I can't look up to. I don't care that she gets the guy in the end. I have to put up with her silliness before getting there - the embarrassing moments, the insecurities, the gaffes, the social ineptitude, and through it all her indomitable and quirky spirit survives!

Only to find out she hasn't really changed, that finding her true love who accepts her for who she is, quirkiness and all, and thennnnn, we have to sit through another movie of basically the same gags. Ugh. I know. I'm not human.

Look, I read romances because it's an escape for me. It's about the hot guy and the fun romance. It's about love conquering all. But for me, there has to be some aspect of the heroine that I respect. Honestly, why would I want to read about someone who is possibly as neurotic as me?

So here's my dilemma. As much as I hate chicklit, I love the trade paperback format. Bigger, easier to hold open on a subway, and dammit, sometimes cuter covers!

I get sucked in by a cute cover with a contemporary design, a British flag, with somewhat intriguing sales copy on the back, and yes, even a quote from Meg Cabot, and I'm walking out with a $4.98 B&N bargain book about a quirky movie star who moves to London to find herself and her true love.

First few pages, sucked right in.

Next few pages, heroine's internal thoughts still seemed ok, even though she's starting to lose her cool.

Next couple of pages, she's totally headed to the land of no return, as I wait for her to redeem herself. She doesn't.

By the next few pages, she's totally taken up residence in the land of no return with a complete heroine breakdown, with yelling and sushi and massages from her half-Asian assistant named Akira.

And, by page 27, she thinks that "Asians always had that magical touch."


Yeah. Done. So done that I'm recycling the book. In the trash.

On Earth Day, no less.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Magnet #789 - Whatever

Another magnet that I got from Kristina Myers Crafts.

I'm worried that too many people say this word, in every situation.

But, at what point do we stop saying Whatever, and start saying What can I do to help?

/grumpitygrumpgrump message brought to you by Grumpy McGrumperson. But admit it, short and sweet is way better than Ranty McRanterson.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monsieur Monet

Magnet #788 - Monet's View of Bordighera

Random quickpick for today, this magnet of Bordighera, a city on the Italian Riviera, just over the border from France. Monet spent some time here, along with his pal Renoir, who also painted views from there as well.

This magnet was part of a bigger set of magnets that I bought from the Brooklyn Museum of Art several years ago. Though, I noticed this weekend that I am quickly outgrowing my Monet magnetboard. Mind you, that was after I bought two more to add to the collection.

Anyway, here's something weird that I've been thinking - it's always hard for me to remember that Monet was French. And doubly hard to remember, given that in my head, he's Richard Armitage!
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Monday, April 19, 2010

"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going"

Magnet #787 - 787 Dreamliner

I love tours. I've said it before, I'd take a tour of a paper bag and the factory that made it, if there were one available.

So when I was in Seattle late last year, I totally went to the Boeing plant in Everett, after hearing what a great tour they had. And, dudes. They totally had the best tour ever! It comes in a close second to the VIP WB Tour, my favorite tour ever.

Part of this enthusiasm I know is because of the work I did with Brazil's Embraer years ago - and I loved seeing the concept work, the factory shots, the brochureware that we did. Seeing a plane go from a drawing to a fully flight-tested piece of machinery that flies? In the air? With people? That's pretty freakin' cool.

So, yeah. All over this tour. On the drive in, you kinda freak out when you pass by the largest building in the world, with apparently the largest digital graphic sign in the world. It's the Boeing factory, where they build the 747, 767, 777 and the 787 Dreamliner.

The Dreamliner's the latest in the long line of airplanes from Boeing, and it basically carries 210-330 passengers depends on the airline carrier (who, by the way, decides exactly how many bodies they want to fit. So Delta, when you're squeezing us in, it's your fault, not the manufacturers. I'm just sayin.). It's been a long time coming, and they finally testflighted it the week after I was there. They've got several big orders on the line, so it's cool that the 787 Dreamliner program is finally...getting off the ground. (Sorry, I had to!)

The 787's supposed to fly more people for less fuel and energy and time, and uses soooo many different parts from so many different places, the darn thing has its own plane! They've had to retrofit the 747-400 into a cargo plane called the Dreamlifter. It's sooo fat and cute, I love it! It was actually my favorite plane there.

The tour actually starts at the Future of Flight building, where they make you check all your electronics. Dudes. My blackberry and my cell. Talk about trauma. I was a little freaked out over not having either on my person. For two hours. Heh. But, the corporate video was pretty good - you have to love a good corporate video. If they're good, they make you tear up, and go, dang, what a great company! Then again, a lot of their corporate ads do much the same for me anyway.

Then, they pile you all into a motor coach, and you get driven out to the giant factory - where you get to enter from the basement...which was supercool. It's like miles and miles of corridor, I would bet money any action flick would so want to use for a location shoot. The coolest thing ever. You can totally pretend that you're in that action flick. As I was. In my head, of course. Saving the world from evul. Right from the bowels of the Boeing factory.

They take you up to the factory, and you get to walk around on a bird's nest type level, where you're above all the action, but totally seeing it all. How they're riveting the planes together, how they're putting components together, how they're painting. From start to finish.

And it's not just one plane, it's like several. At one time. Turn here, and here's where the nose is being attached. Turn here, and here's where the tail section's being attached. Turn here, and the wings are getting ready to be riveted on. That's just how big the building it - several, several football fields big! It's amazing! They apparently have 1,300 bikes to help the factory's 30,000 employees get around.

After a quick trip around the tarmac, the tour ends with a ride back to the admin building, and of course, a trip to the gift shop - seriously, I could have walked out with like a dozen magnets. Restraint, people, that's also what I learned there. Plus, they hand you a superfun, and of course, well-designed DVD piece filled with fact sheets. What? It's part of what I do for a living, look at what other people's branding! Mind you, it's not like I'm running out to buy a plane, but still - fun!

But, no best tour ever would be the best tour ever without the best tour guide ever. And that's what we had. The best tour guide ever. No, seriously. He knew his stuff, he was a former Boeing designer, a former serviceman, and it helped that he was a funny, funny guy.

The fun part for me, is that he was also a Big Band guy. No, like he plays in a Big Band combo. He's a little young for that generation - like my dad, he was born a bit after his time. But you know that sax part in Peggy Lee's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree? Totally him, when he was like 16! It was Christmastime, and I literally had just heard that song on the way in. He was tickled. As was I.

But, then, he went on about how he knew a few people from the actual Glenn Miller Orchestra. I love Glenn Miller! Because I'm secretly a 90-year-old chick in a mid-30s body! But whatever!

The dude even had a couple of Glenn Miller orchestrations - one of which was American Patrol, the song my dad hummed to us growing up. So, yes, in the middle of the Boeing plant in Everett, WA, I held up my hands and did the hand dance my dad always made us do, as I hummed along with the tour guide. What?

Like I said, best. tour. ever.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Over the rainbow

Magnet #786 - No Place Like Home

As I was shopping for wrapping paper (I ask again, why, oh why, can't gift-wrapping be my job?), I found this perfect magnet for what's bound to be my next mini-obsession, Over the Rainbow.

Ya'll know that I hate reality television. Like a lot. I have too much scripted television on my regular schedule to get involved with reality. But every so often, there's a show the happens to catch my full and rapt attention.

Last year I got sucked into the Andrew Lloyd Webber's other two reality performance shows - BBC's Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria? where ALW allowed the British public to cast Joseph from Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Maria from Sound of Music for his West End productions.

I don't know who was the sillier - BBC-A for airing the competition almost a year after they aired in the UK, for shows that never made it back over to Broadway (darn it) or me for sitting through the edited US versions of them, knowing that Lee and Connie won. The answer's probably both, I'm sure.

BBC-A didn't even bother to air the Oliver! series here, and I didn't both to look it up. Mainly because, hello, it's Oliver...the boy's too young, and I didn't really know the songs, and I didn't really care because, hello, it's Oliver!

But, now, this weekend,
I've powered through the first four episodes of Over the Rainbow, where Andrew's trying to cast the role of Dorothy in the new production of Wizard of Oz. I dunno what it is about these series, but I love watching.

While I'll miss Barrowman and Denise Van Outen, there's a new panel in place: John Partridge - who I don't really know from Adam, but he's pretty. And really, why is Charlotte Church still 12 years old in my head?

I'm agreeing with the panel so far - for whatever reason, this crop of girls seem to be so good! Before, I could see most of their little flaws and let's face it, their craziness, but this time around all the girls are terrific...and with just a hint of the crazy that will likely come into play down the line.

And no, BBC-A's not airing them - I'm full on watching by alternative methods. From what I can tell, I'm still two episodes behind. I know this because I totally spoiled myself by visiting @bbcdorothy's Twitter page.

I won't be able to follow @bbcdorothy til I catch up. But I have to say, it's marvelous not knowing who is going to win, week after week, not knowing the ending of the show before it's begun.

As for voting, I have my favorites, but I can't vote from here - and I gotta be honest, I've never even dialed for American Idol or Dancing with the Stars here, so I likely wouldn't have voted anyway.

So, goooo UK, vote for the one I want to win!
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Saturday, April 17, 2010


Magnet #785 - Rana

Ya'll, I have found a new magnet series to start collecting. How gorgeous is this frog? Love it.

I picked up this magnet last month in the new Tampa Museum of Art, and what I should have done was pick them all up, to add to my collection! I already have the beautiful bull that my friend picked up for me in Barcelona.

But, what I didn't know back then, I know now - they're from a design firm based in Barcelona, called Barcino. They have so many gorgeous designs, I can't wait to discover more around town.

And, what I thought about the bull last year was correct! According to the Barcino folks, these magnets were created in the Spanish mosaic practice called "trencadis" that Antonio Gaudi made so popular on his buildings. They're hand-painted, which makes them all unique.

But, we all know the reason I picked the frog for today. Wait. Don't we?

It's because after a full-day BBC-A marathon of David Tennant Doctor Who episodes, the US will be broadcasting the first Matt Smith episode, "The Eleventh Hour," tonight. Likely, if I get back from shopping in time, I'll have seen the third one airing in the UK, all before the first airs here. So bizarre. And kinda wrong.

Anyway, so did ya'll know the frog - and apparently several cold-blooded animals - can regenerate limbs when it's young, and can even "die" and come back? No, really. I mean, I kinda knew, but I just sat through this video with one eye shut, in case something gross happened. There were no brilliant flashes of light, but the frog just hopped to, after being dead. Which is just kinda icky.

But, it's neat how the Doctor can do much of the same. I had no idea that Time Lords are frogs. Still, I suppose there's something to be said for the genius of Doctor Who - being able to span the years since the day after Kennedy was shot in 1963 to now, with almost a dozen men playing one character, and goodness knows how many people playing the Doctor's faithful companion.

As I was watching tonight's episode a couple of weeks ago, it amazed me to think that the BBC can just throw in a new guy and a new chick, and have an entire audience not only buy into the concept of same character different guy, but to enjoy the regenerations and the new takes on the Doctor.


Kinda like that frog in the video.

Very cool.

Kinda like this frog right here.
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Lo so! Pazzo!

Magnet #784 - Firenze, Santa Croce

Perhaps our best day in Florence was visiting Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross). Everyone was getting along, no one was overtired, and we were really enjoying what we were seeing.

Santa Croce is where Michelangelo was buried, as I've magnetblogged before, but I wanted to use this other magnet because whoa, there's a new Michelangelo in town.

Well, sortakinda. It's not technically new, because it's been here since before I was born. And, it might technically not really be a Michelangelo.

This really interesting ARTnews article is about Everett Fahy, the former head of the Met's European paintings group, who wrote a paper about how the Met's Saint John the Baptist Bearing Witness could supertotally actually be a Michelangelo.

I know! Insane!

Back in 1970, the Met bought these two paintings by Franciso Grannaci from Sotheby's, one for $150,000 and the other for $200,000. The one for $200,000 wasn't technically attributed to him, but like someone in his close circle of friends....that just happens to include Michelangelo.

I know! Insane!

So, apparently Fahy has kinda always had his eye on the painting wondering if it was really Micheangelo, until one day, things kinda clicked and he put some pieces together, and he just sort of gradually realized it.

I know! Insane!

So they've done all sorts of studies, and they started doing all sorts of techy tests, trying to examine the paintings further. One was trying to see if the underwriting (where some artists draw out what they want to paint, and then they paint over it) was visible. Apparently, while Grannaci did that, Michelangelo (cuz he's Michelangelo, hello) did not. According to them, he knew what he wanted to paint. So, when you see all the underwork stuff, you can see that the John the Baptist one didn't have the initial drawings.

Lo so! Pazzo!

I'm trying to figure out why this isn't the most fanfare-iest news ever, and why more folks haven't like freaked out over it. That's way cool that we have a Michelangelo in our backyard.

Oh, I suppose when it comes to paintings that were supposedly done before the Sistine Chapel in the early 1500s or so, unless ya'll have the Doctor and his TARDIS to go back in time, you're never going to know 100% that it's Michelangelo's.

Still, it's enough to get me over to the Met as soon as I can get there. I kinda want to go right now. Hmmm. Stay tuned.

And yet again, I love living here because I can make that last-minute decision to run up to the Met and check out the painting for myself.

I love how it sits in relative obscurity in the last gallery (#7) in the back on the second floor. I was able to hang out for as long as I wanted, great bench seating, and like no foot traffic. The security guard knew I was hanging out for a reason, and was like, you know? And I said, yep, I just read the article.

I told him to watch out, once that article hits the mainstream and more people find out, you won't be able to get into the room. We agreed that they'd probably pull it from the collection in order to find a place of honor somewhere...not in the back. Hahahah.

BTW? Not surprisingly, I really couldn't tell the diff between the Granacci and the Granacci/possibly Michelangelo. But, the painting's really cool, the longer you stare at it.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

All of time and space...but not for me

Magnet #783 - New Doctor Who

OMG, an official DW magnet!

Look, I'm not saying it's because someone in the official Doctor Who world got tired of me using my two official DW magnet sets to magnetblog, or me making my own DW magnets to magnetblog about.

Maybe someone at BBC-A just really loves magnets.

But dudes. I'm just sayin'. OMG, an official magnet!

Mind you, I'm still disappointed I didn't get into last night's screening/panel in the village. (You know, the other, public screening/panel, instead of the one that I missed at the Paley Center.)

It was kind of silly for them to pick such a small venue in the first place, but yet again, US audience for this show was underestimated. (To be honest, I did, too, really, because from what I understand there were people who drove 6 and 7 hours to get here. Something that I likely wouldn't have done, even if it were David Tennant and Russell T Davies and Billie Piper.)

Eh, it's fine. I can live with my not true-fan status. I'm still more mad about the Paley member communications thing anyway.

Besides, in the end, we walked down the street for some supergood S'Mac (Imagine, a place that only sells mac & cheese. Like Rice to Riches that only sells rice pudding, it's one of the happiest places on earth.) and got to watch a police chase at the same time! And ya'll wonder why I don't go below 14th street.

I will confess, though, that because of that missed first session at the Paley and this missed session in the village (and no, I didn't want to brave the Apple crazies on Tuesday), I've kinda been avoiding the Whovian media blitz.

I don't want to see pictures about what I'm missing. I don't want to see Tweets about what I'm missing. I'm like that spoiled brat who didn't get her candy, and now doesn't want to know that candy exists. Like I know it's out there. But not for me.

Yes, I'm pouting. Yes, I'm considering canceling my Paley membership.

Still. Hmph. I guess we'll have to see if BBC sends the team out for Comic-Con in July.

Oh! I have to tell ya'll, I've been reading the RTD book, A Writer's Tale. Great fun. Heavy to lug around the subways/buses, but worth the read, if you're a fan. Then again, if you're a true-fan, you've probably already read the original and the revised editions.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh, Henry

Magnet #782 - Henry II "Curtmantle" (r. 1154-1189)

I know. With as many Henrys in the family line, I could have picked a better monarch on which to blow this magnetpost title.

The only thing I know about Henry II is what I dimly remember from Peter O'Toole in A Lion in Winter, which seems to bear another watching. He was an acerbic king...or, that was just Peter.

Anyway, he was definitely a monarch with a really big kingdom - far-reaching enough to afford him the titles of King of the English, Duke of the Normans and Aquitanians and Count of the Angevins.

Henry gets a mention today, because today back in 1969, Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand tied for Best Actress Oscar - a feat that I didn't even know ever happened. Kate won for playing Eleanor of Aquitaine to Peter's Henry II, while Babs won for Funny Girl. Even better, that night, Kate became the first actress to be awarded three Oscars, with her final tally at four by 1981.

I thought a bit of royalty would work for today, because tonight, we'll be queuing up for the Doctor Who panel down in the village. I'd like to thank the Paley Center for that. Think I was bitter before? Wait. Give me 12 hours.

We'll likely not make it in, because people are planning on getting in line right about now (for a 7pm event). But, I suppose, in the end, it'll be fun to taste the madness.

Oh! And, yes, I looked up "Curtmantle" - it's supposedly a name derived from the fact that he wore a shorter robe than the other men about town. Really? Would love to see what he says about what we wear now. /random
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Way to go, Big Red!

Magnet #781 - Cornell University

Woot! Finally caught up to the real-time magnet count! Yay!

Ironically, I'm using this magnet to belatedly congratulate the Cornell Big Red for making their first-ever Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAAs, even as I'm still not acknowledging post-season basketball in 2010. Anyway, way to go, Big Red!

I bought this magnet during a trip upstate, where we packed in a fun sidetrip to Cornell University. Picked this one for today because it's my friend's birthday, and she's a Cornell alum. Just like @earlyshowdave, my cuteboy David Marshall Price!

Anyway, so here's where I was going to do a magnetpost about how the adorable little paw print here was because the school's mascot originated in 1916, having to do with the $25 the football team raised to buy a bear cub so adorably named Touchdown. I dunno how they went from a little black bear to a big red bear, but we'll go with it.

Because then I got distracted by the alma mater just below the mascot story. I thought instead of singing Happy Birthday, Dear Gin, I'd post the alma mater instead. So here it is, the Cornell alma mater, as sung by the Cornell glee club.

But. Here's why I got distracted. I listened to the above, and couldn't help but think of this, the UNC alma mater as sung by the UNC glee club.

Zoinks! It's the same!

So I have to ask...are all schools singing the same five alma mater tunes, just with different words? Did all the schools' founding fathers get together and just decide to use these same tunes? Is it in the How to Set Up a University handbook? Is there some sort of rule? Do universities have the same tune and colleges have a different one? Is there a wiki page that explains it?

Goodness. My world is askew. Kinda like when we went to England in high school, and at the Royal Tournament at Earl's Court, they played God Save the Queen. While the entire class sang...My Country Tis of Thee.

Sigh. It takes a birthday and YouTube to knock my world off its axis. Hope you're happy, Gin.

Happy birthday!
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Royalty of the garden

Magnet #780 - Amen Corner, Augusta, Hole 13

Man, these three magnets are soooo pretty! I doubt they do the actual course justice, but they're a start. Thank you so much for my magnets, Erin! I love 'em!

The final leg in our holy roller at Augusta is Hole 13, Par 5, 510 yards.

This one's called the Azalea, a signature shrub of Augusta - indeed, several varieties line the entire left side of 13 from tee to green.

This hole would definitely be my mom's favorite place to hang out, as evidenced by the quarter-mile of azaleas she once planted along our driveway.

Of course, I look to the history of the course to tell me why there's a huge emphasis on horticulture here. From what I gather, it's mainly because the 365 acres they built the course on was filled with the natural architecture of a golf course, but also some trees and shrubs that had been there since as early as the Civil War, when it was owned by Fruitland Nurseries.

After reading some of these older articles though, I have to say I wish I'd kept the Masters on my DVR. I'd love to go back and watch, not for the golfers, though Phil Mickelson pulled off some miracles in his pursuit of the green jacket this weekend, I know. But I'd love to go back and match up the holes to the flowers.

Whoa. Now that's me, channeling my mom.

Well, look at that. @cnnbrk and @PGATOUR should take a hint. With the exception of this eta, I just magnetblogged three magnets about the Masters - without talking about Tiger! It can be done! Even from Amen Corner!

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Swirling dervish

Magnet #779 - Amen Corner, Augusta, Hole 12

The second in our golfing trinity at Augusta is the Golden Bell, Hole 12, par 3, and only 155 yards.

I was thinking that with it being only 155 yards, it'd be fairly easy. (I can say this with absolutely no authority, since I've never been on a golf course to actually golf.) But, from what I understand, this hole has a supremely narrow green, with Raes Creek in front, and a bank of azaleas and Golden Bells behind it.

On top of that, hit that corner on a windy day, and man, are you in trouble!

Historically speaking, the original name of the tournament was the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, and it wasn't for another five years (1939) that they could convince Bobby Jones to go with the name the Masters Tournament.

I imagine that it takes years for any golfing event to build up an audience, so I'm betting those first couple of years it was Bobby and his buddies rounding up everyone they knew to come out to Augusta to watch some guys hit a ball around. But, even without being an official PGA TOUR event, judging by what I saw on tv this weekend, it's certainly well attended, with guesstimates being somewhere around 35,000 folks a day. Whoa. I can't even imagine.

Of course, now, I've got this insane urge to watch that cuteboy Jim Caviezel play Bobby Jones in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, and also to see that cuteboy Joel Gretch play Bobby Jones in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Then again, I've also got a hankerin' to see Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack and Tin Cup, too.
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Shoutin' in that Amen Corner!*

Magnet #778 - Amen Corner, Augusta, Hole 11

Ok, ok. I'm taking the easy way out, but ya'll should know, I'm so far behind on everything - in work, in life, in getting timely information from the Paley Center. Moving on.

So when my friend brought these next three magnets back for me from the Masters, I took it as a sign from on high that I should use Amen Corner as the last three magnets that I'm behind! Tomorrow we'll be back in real time! Amen to that!

Augusta National Golf Club has a storied history that you can find here, but it was founded in 1934 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of an old plantation in Georgia. The course itself is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

So this magnet is Hole 11, a par 4 that's about 505 yards. It's the most difficult according to the PGA TOUR. It's the beginning of Amen Corner in the southeast corner of the course, made up of the second shot at 11, all of the 12th, and then the tee shot at 13.

I love that Hole 11 is called the White Dogwood because of all the White Dogwoods lining the fairway, that's sweet. Also, seriously. How is this course not in North Carolina with all those dogwoods!

*Amen Corner, dubbed so by golfer/writer Herbert Warren Wind in 1958. There's this whole debate around it, but supposedly, it was based on a song he knew as a kid at Yale, Shoutin' in that Amen Corner!
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Yes, Dahling?

Magnet #777 - Queen Mary passing 42nd Street

Here I go again with the vintage photography of New York - again, from my collection from the Met.

I can't help it - I love seeing very old images of the city. The black and white romanticizes a lot of it and I know things weren't all that terrific back then. But when it's one-dimensional black and white, you can interpret the image however you like.

Andreas Feininger made this 1946 image of the Queen Mary cruising past 42nd Street.

I have to tell ya'll, I would never go on a cruise these days to save my life. But back in the day? On a Trans-Atlantic ocean liner bound for England? Hells yes, I'd be there.

With my supercute daysuits and matching overcoats (one for every outfit, natch), long evening gowns and matching stoles (one for every outfit, natch), uppercrust (probably English or Swedish or German) accent, and my feathered evening hats and long cigarette holder, and Glenn Miller or Count Basie playing in the background. Of course, I'd need to have Cary Grant or Gregory Peck or heck, even William Powell by my side.

And I'd have to have some sort of coded note or priceless artifact in either my hatboxes or my steamer trunks, because of course, I'd totally be an Allied spy.

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Why wasn't I notified?!?!

Magnet #776 - New Doctor Who

Dudes. Dudes! So this Wednesday, USA Today's hosting a panel/preview with the new Doctor, his new companion, and their new executive producer. How did I know this? Cuz @BBCAmerica Tweeted, then FB'd it.

And I was all over it, within seconds, immediately Tweeting three (now four) additional souls to go with me. Because that's how social media works.

This morning, via an @PaleyCenter Tweet, I find out that the Paley Center is co-hosting the same event with BBCAmerica. Tonight!

An event, as far as I can tell, was *not* widely talked about. An event, that I said to one of my friends not two weeks ago, it's odd that Paley's not doing anything with BBC-A about this, especially since they're gonna be in town for the USA Today thing.

Clearly, I would rather have gone to the Paley Center event, first and foremost, because I've been a member of the Paley Center for a few years now. A member! How was I not notified?!?! Mind you, I'm always pushing the Paley, on joy magnetism, on Twitter and FB, and to all my friends on whatever boards I visit. I always know what's going on at the Paley!

But, I didn't see the DW notice on FB, and I'm a group member. I didn't see it on Twitter, and I follow both @PaleyCenter and @BBCAmerica. I don't even remember seeing it on the many collateral pieces they send to me - in duplicate, because they think I'm two different people with two different memberships!

To be fair, I'm sure the panel info was emailed to my Excite account (shut it, I know). But it doesn't stop me from being frustrated that I didn't find out through any social media outlets, where I spend half my working and personal life to begin with.

Oh, I should totally get over it, because I'm gonna see the very same people on Wednesday night in the village, admittedly with a demo that's probably more my age than the Paley membership. And it's totally ridiculous that I should be this upset, particularly as I'm not even 100% in Matt Smith's corner (probably more like 80%). It's not like they're hosting David Tennant or anything.

But, I just hate missing out on things here in town. Especially when I've taken measures to ward against making sure I'm a member of fun, cool places in order to not miss out on fun, cool things.

And, at the risk of sounding like one of those people who hashtag everything in life, this was a #totalsocialmediafail, particularly as I totally could have wrangled an additional four people to come with me!

Hmph. And now I've wasted a perfectly good homemade Doctor Who magnet on this rant, rather than talk about the new series and the new Doctor and the new companion and the new executive producer and the new ad campaign and the new branding! Oh, wait. I just did.

Still. Grrrrr.

And now I'm extremely disappointed, because I did just go check my Excite inbox that I haven't checked since middle of January. And, no. There wasn't a notice. Hmph. That's not cool. That's not cool. At. All.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Learning never ends

Magnet #775 - Roycroft Campus

Some friends of mine brought this back for me - it's another place I haven't been, but will totally go when I finally do my roadtrip up to Buffalo. Oh, I know, who actually has a roadtrip to Buffalo planned? Me. At some point.

You know what I love? Learning new things. I always remember learning something cool and running home to tell my parents, like it was something that no one else knew before. Whether it was how to use an apostrophe (yes, that story has to be another magnet all together) or that the earth was 70% water, or whatever.

So, it's with great anticipation that I'll eventually learn about the Roycroft Campus, and what they're calling a "significant cultural movement that influenced" ...that I've never heard about until this magnet.

From what I can tell, it's basically the arts & crafts preservation movement that happened in response to the mechanization and mass production of well, arts & crafts. The Roycrofters were apparently in favor of the individual artisans - indeed, the campus became the place for those artisans, authors, and philosophers to get together.

Nowadays, it's a National Historic Landmark, with more than a dozen structures included, and you can still visit and take classes in bookmaking/binding and letter typesetting, or metalsmithing or screenprinting, or other activities like watercolors or stained glass.

At the very least, worth a visit!
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Sitting on top of...the Chrysler Building

Magnet #774 - Margaret Bourke-White

Ya'll know how much I love the Chrysler Building, and the fun story behind the building of it, and how it shines like Mrs. Hannigan mentions in Annie, and how it's just the coolest architecture ever.

That's this building that photographer Margaret Bourke-White is hanging off of here.

I don't know much about Margaret Bourke-White, just that she was one of the most famous photojournalists of the 20th century. She was the first female photographer for FORTUNE, and it was one of her images on the first cover of LIFE. And that she was the first female war correspondent, allowed into war zones, taking pictures of bomber crews and concentration camps.

If that weren't enough, I do think she kicks all kinds of ass for having gone out on this eagle on the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building to take a picture.

Mind you, it does beg the questions of what the picture she took looked like, and of who took this picture of her. Can't wait for the next Margaret Bourke-White photography exhibit to hit the city. Maybe I'll find out then.
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Legacy of the admantine ladies

Magnet #773 - Museum of Modern Art

Love the MoMA. Even if sometimes it makes me think too hard, it's still one of the best museums in town.

I just visited last weekend, to see the Tim Burton exhibit (way too crowded, but fun) and the Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present exhibition (way too out there, but interesting).

And, finally the weather was good enough to visit the Sculpture Garden, which is one of the best vantage points to see how the building's expanded over the years, from the Philip Johnson work in the 50s, to Cesar Pelli residential tower from the 80s, to the recent revitalization by Yoshio Taniguchi.

It's just one of the coolest Modern architecture buildings in town, and fairly apropos, given the museum's purpose over the last 80 years.

Not surprisingly, it was begun by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and a couple of friends, called "the adamantine ladies," opening up just nine days after the stock market crash of 1929 with the likes of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat.

I do love that Abby's husband didn't really like Modern Art and so kept the purse strings shut for a bit. It was years before he'd donate any funds, but of course, in the end, the Rockefellers became one of the museum's greatest benefactors.

Me? I'm just trying to figure out how I can get to be called an adamantine lady.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

New balls please

Magnet #772 - Definity Fairway's PAL

Got this magnet from the Essilor booth at the Live Your Vision Pavilion - they're Definity Fairway Transitions SOLFX Lenses, which apparently is a golfer's best pal.

The magnet was packaged with a T-shirt, as a giveaway for making a putt. Dudes, I was so excited to see one of our partners giving away magnets, it was kinda like last year, when VSP gave away theirs!

What? Thought I'd share, since I'm spending some of the weekend reviewing the telecast of the Transitions Championship from a branding perspective. Because that's what we do.

Mind you, I'm not a big golfer, so as I'm watching the telecast, I'm hoping golf knowledge soaks in through osmosis. Bogeys, Birdies, Eagles, 8 irons, 9 irons, hooks and shanks, and how to tell whose balls are whose, the whole shebang.

The ball thing I'm very confused about, only because I really don't understand how people know whose balls are who when you come up on the green. It's not like they all run out there and put down those chippy things right after their shots.

They have to walk over there, don't they? And when they get there, how do they know? Do they have people watching all the greens, and do those folks tell the golfers which ball is theirs? And, if you're just a regular golfer, golfing with the guys, how do you know which ball is yours?

Do they Sharpie their names on the balls?

Huh? Huh? Huh?
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Friday, April 9, 2010

Today, the Duke of Somerset had his head cut off on Tower Hill.*

Magnet #771 - Edward VI (r.1547-1553)

Edward VI was Henry VIII's only legitimate son, given to him by Lady Jane Seymour. She was supposedly the only wife that Henry VIII showed true affection for. Sadly, she died almost two weeks after giving birth to Edward at Hampton Court Palace.

So, Henry VIII totally breathed a sigh of relief that he'd begotten a righteous heir, going so far as to betroth him to a baby cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. (Which led to this whole "Rough Wooing" series of events that included folks smuggling the six-year-old Mary out of the country and into France, so she could marry the King there. I know! Crazy! Find that on Disney Channel!)

Except then Henry VIII went and died, leaving a nine-year-old Edward VI the head of England. And Ireland. And the Church. I won't lie, I was totally gonna make fun of this monarch's signature when I saw it. I mean, look! Then I realized the little guy was...little, and you really can't mock the kid.

You kinda have to feel sorry for him. I mean, nine years old and bam! You're the king! Of course, he totally had a regent council to rule in his place, his mother's brother, Edward Seymour who was dubbed Lord Protector of the Realm. Of course, in true regent fashion, everyone clamored for power over the young king, so there was never any peace.

No. Like, literally, never any peace. Skirmishes and backstabbing, lies and treason, alliances and bald-faced betrayals were the order of the day. Or at least while Edward VI was around. Except that in the end, he wasn't.

This is totally weird, and if I were a better historian, I wouldn't stop until I found out this answer, but this is a magnetblog.

Anyway, there seem to be some discrepancies around his death. How very royal.

According to this article, the poor kid who had always been sickly anyway, caught some combo of the measles and smallpox (whoa), and just went downhill all the way to consumption from there. In January 1553, during a thunderstorm that some say was actually Henry VIII freaking out from beyond the grave, Edward VI cried out a final prayer and died at age 15.

That same article then says that they keep it secret until June of 1553. (Which sounds totally crazy and frankly, slightly impossible.)

But, wouldn't you know it, according to the BBC and the wiki, Edward died in July of 1553. Mind you, the official royal site just says 1553.

The unsurety (that's totally not even a word, I don't think) of when (and in some instances how) he died is just a little freaky. I dunno why, but I certainly would have expected things to be a little different without TMZ.

*A supposed diary entry from Edward VI. They say that he was somewhat detached from everyone, because even in his journal this entry shows no real emotions around the beheading of his uncle, the Duke of Somerset.

On the flip side, though, apparently one of the people in charge of him used to review his journal and correct entries. So I'm going with yeah, no real emotions in that little diary!
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Thursday, April 8, 2010


Magnet #770 - NCIS

Ok, I didn't make this one, but it continues my cuteboy magnet marathon today, and so here it is.

NCIS, my late to the party, favorite procedural. And no, I haven't a clue why it says, "NCIS | Based on the TV Series." (Like, is this magnet image scarfed from a book series? From the DVDs? Who knows.)

I just bought it last week at the CBS store in Midtown. (Yes, I do silly touristy things like go to Times Square in the middle of the day sometimes.)

But, I had to buy this when I saw it, because the last time I went to the CBS store, they had none and I told them they should have some. (And, yes, in my own little universe, they totally made them because I said they should.)

What I had to do was keep myself from buying the other three magnets they had in stock. And had my friend not been there to judge and frown at the silliness of buying four NCIS magnets, I probably would have bought the whole set. (And yes, don't think I totally won't be going back to buy them at some point this summer.)

I just bought this one first, because it has cuteboy (sounds ridic to call him that, I know) Mark Harmon front and center (left?) with that half-smile that he does once in a blue moon.

Seriously. I'd bet money that if Gibbs didn't kill me first, I'd spend half my day trying to make him smile that smile.

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Doctor Who?

Magnet #769 - Doctor Who, Ten to Eleven

Lest ya'll think I've thrown David over for Matt, here's a magnet that better explains where I stand on the whole regeneration issue.

Having seen the one Eleven episode and a few interviews with the guy, I find myself willing to accept the newbie. But unwilling to leave David behind.

Anyway. There.

A Doctor Who magnet and another magnetpost with absolutely no real content whatsoever.

What? I'm still trying to get caught up to my real-time magnet count, and willing to sacrifice my handmade magnets of cuteboys to do so. I do this, rather than spoil anyone for how good the first Matt Smith episode is for those crazies in the US audience not willing to use alternative means to watch that episode ahead of time. And besides, @BlogtorWho has way funner review of the episode than I could have written.
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Smiles away

Magnet #768 - George Clooney, Up in the Air

Lest ya'll think that I favor David over George, here's a magnet of my absolute favorite scene from Up in the Air.

C'mon, who doesn't love a man with an easy smile?

Anyway. There.

A George magnet and a magnetpost with absolutely no real content whatsoever.

What? I was gonna do this whole thing about the movie and rant about the hard decisions being made, the sucky conversations that people have to go through, the terribleness of the times, the high rate of unemployment, the rugs being pulled out from under people, etc., etc.

But you know what? It's a magnetblog. And sometimes, you just gotta take time to look at the cuteboys.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

James K. Polk, Silent Sam, and what was your name again?

Magnet #767 - James K. Polk (1845 - 1849)

Even though I officially refuse to acknowledge the existence of post-season college basketball this year, I do find myself thinking about my alma mater in recent days, as we've hired a junior account person from Carolina, and I've interviewed another candidate who lives like 30 minutes away from where I grew up.

So, James K. Polk, our 11th president, it is, then.

He was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and I've been to his birthplace. Sorta. I've been down the very, very dark road that leads to his birthplace, but didn't actually get to see anything (see very, very dark). Ok. Permaybehaps, it doesn't count.

I can however, as a former student tour guide for UNC, guide you to Polk Place, the quad named for him.

I can also take you past Silent Sam, a Civil War monument for the 321 Carolina alumni who died during the war, and those who joined the Confederate Army. Sam's silent because he only fires his rifle when a virgin passes by. (Ok. Fine. I've later learned that he's silent because he doesn't have one of those cartridge boxes for his ammunition.)

Oh, yes, on a campus as big as Carolina's, I've got a million little stories. The Davie Poplar. The Old Well. Sitting on the loveseat at McCorkle Place. The Morehead-Patterson Belltower dunce cap over Wilson Library (remember that one for later, peeps).

There was this big crush I had during summer session, and he asked me to give him a private tour (of the campus, you gutter-dweller). Of course, I eeeee'd quietly, and we started on our merry way.

As we passed by Morehead Planetarium (which used to be where astronauts trained!), I was explaining all about the Morehead family (how alum John Motley Morehead III started Union Carbide, and how they award the biggest scholarship on campus, and they were totally one of the founding families at Carolina, etc.). Crush was totally listening, but he was nodding way too much during the family part of it, and I looked at him, and he was like, yeah, I know all about the Moreheads.

And I said, "Really, how? Wait. What was your last name again?"

Crush: "Morehead."

End tour.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quilty glass

Magnet #766 - Chihuly's Sun Panels

Another one from my Columbus, Indiana, collection. Again, if you haven't gone to Columbus, and you know, you're in the area roadtripping, it's worth a drop-by.

I'm very sad to report that I missed seeing this piece at the Columbus Learning Center. Though it looks like a pretty qulit, it's actually a specially commissioned piece by Chihuly, called Sun Panel Garden, a painted collection of 32, 3' x 3-ish panels suspended from the ceiling. It's backlit by the sun and artificially spotlit at night, and they basically show all of Chihuly's blown-glass forms - his reeds, his baskets, ikebana (flower arrangements), floats, etc.

I love all the shots of everyone visiting craning their necks to look up to admire it. There's a part of me that wouldn't dare step under it, though. There's this whole complex steel grid and tubular steel that holds up the panels - the whole piece is something like 19 feet!

But it is so very pretty, I bet it'd made for a great swaggy blanket or quilt.

Hmmm, I wonder if I didn't miss that in their supercute gift shop at the visitors center!
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Never get involved in a land war in Asia*

Magnet #765 - Vietnam

I love that I have globetrotting friends who bring back magnets for me. This one was brought back by a couple of friends of mine who went to Vietnam.

I could have done a long magnetpost about Vietnam, but not done it any real justice. So, here we are.

Seriously, the only info I have on Vietnam, is what I've learned from movies. Oh! And that really funny episode of Top Gear, where the boys roadtripped from end of the country to the other. If you haven't seen it, get thee here, now. So good!

*From one of the best scenes of Princess Bride, duh.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Get your head in the game

Magnet #764 - Mickey Mouse

I've been having such a hard time getting my head in the game at work, at home, or basically anywhere. Sheesh, I'm still trying to catch up to the real number of magnets I should be on this day! I'm like two weeks behind.

Moving on. I picked this Mickey magnet because I'm rounding out my weekend of television and getting nothing accomplished with the Disney Channel and High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

I've already seen it, but for whatever reason, even in my late-30s, I find these things pretty rewatchable. I think it's the breaking into song, and what catchy songs they are.

Plus, I think I'm just hard-wired for anything the Mouse puts out there anyway. Or so says the amount of time I've just spent on Disney this weekend. Heh.
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Ten to Eleven, and not an Elvis in sight

Magnet #763 - Vintage Elvis

Had a sleepover this weekend, which included Doctor Who, Clash of the Titans, Doctor Who, High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and Casanova. But no Elvis!

How is it possible that I'm friends with someone who doesn't want to watch Elvis movies? Especially the one at the World's Fair?!?

Eh, it's ok. I think we did ok with everything else on the docket.

Well, kinda.

Yesterday, I found out the answer to the "Am I a David Tennant fan, or a Doctor Who fan" question. The answer is both.

The Eleventh Doctor debuted in the UK, and I found myself pretty charmed by Matt Smith. I kinda knew that was gonna happen, but I didn't think I'd throw over David Tennant so quick.

To be clear, I haven't. Still love the David. But apparently, liking the new Doctor, too.
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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ease your storm

Magnet #762 - Medusa, by Caravaggio

As the last-minute, looking for the exit, bid to see more art at the Uffizi, we saw the Caravaggios hidden off in one of the more remote galleries.

As with DaVinci and Michelangelo and so many others, it was so very cool to see Caravaggio in Italy. That's probably what most surprised me, how much I was affected by seeing all that art in its native homeland.

Caravaggio painted Medusa around 1597, and it's so very lifelike, it makes you take a step back for fear of turning to stone. Ok, ok, it wasn't as lifelike as all that, but you could certainly make out the gruesome sheen of blood spouting from Medusa's head in that dimly lit gallery. Totally creepy and scary.

Which is fitting, because that's how I remember the classic 1981 Clash of the Titans fight between Harry Hamlin and the Gorgon Medusa. Scary. Sure, it was supposed be cheesy and crazy silly with the animatronics and greenscreen work of the day, but as a kid, I was totally freaked out by Medusa!

So, when I heard they were doing a new Clash, and with my boy Sam "packed only my books when I moved to the States" Worthington, I could not wait. Seriously, having watched the trailer a few times, and had the giant 20-story billboard teasing me from up the street. Totally looking forward to it. It was my first movie in months!

And, especially given how much technology's moved forward on the CGI/SFX front, I really thought the movie was gonna be amazing. And in 3D!

That's why we went to the 11:45am showing at the Ziegfeld - which has, despite the lack of stadium seating, the largest screen in Manhattan. I should have known when the theatre had about a dozen people. Goodness.

I love Sam. And Nicholas Hoult (Tony from Skins). And shoot, I even love Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson.

But the movie? I did not love.

It was just silly, and not in the way that classic Clash was silly. That was silly good. This movie was silly bad. So bad that I was entertaining walking out of the theatre, and would have, had I not spent $15.75, and have a thing for Sam's knobby knees, which for some reason, directors seem to focus on.

They updated the story, revising storylines and characters, which was fine by me, and they had a couple of shout-outs to the old - with a great one to the mechanical owl of old. And I suppose the effects were great, too, even though sometimes, I felt like someone on the production side was a huge LOST black smoke fan, with a little dash of Harry Potter.

The rest, though, was just terrible. I can always tell when something's bad, when I'm totally laughing at dialogues and scenes that I'm not supposed to laugh at. Out loud. To a deathly quiet theatre.

But c'mon. With a line like "Ease your storm" in the mix, you can see why I did a fair amount of giggling. I mean, really. Who wrote that and said, yes, that's an awesome line! Who directed that and said, yes, that was a great take! Who acted that and said, hells yes, that's not cheesy at all?

Ugh. Mind you, I'm totally stealing that line for everytime someone I know gets overexcited. I seriously can't wait. Sigh. Just like I couldn't wait for the movie to finally be over.

Oh, not to worry, they're still gonna make money, if the $24mil they made off of Friday's box office has anything to say for it.

No easing of the storm there.
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