joy magnetism: June 2010




@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Living in dreamtime

Magnet #859 - Dream

People say that if you want to remember your dreams, you should write them down in a dream journal, and with each dream that you remember and write down, you'll be able to better remember your dreams in the future.

But, for far back as I can think of, I usually remember my dreams. It's weird, I know. I think it's because I'm one of those people. You know them - the ones that come up to you every morning and tell you when they've had a weird dream.

I mean, I can remember telling my friends about my dreams in seventh grade homeroom in the bandroom. What's more, I can probably even tell you some of those dreams that I had back then.

Doesn't everybody have those dreams that stick in your mind, no matter how long ago you had them? I remember being less than 10, and having a dream of being back in Chicago, living at the old house in Palos Heights, and finding a present in every nook and cranny of my bedroom. I vividly remember the dream, because of the cool presents I was supposed to unwrap (never got to, darnit!), and because the whole dream had a pink hue to it, as if I were looking at the dream in rose-colored glasses.

And there are many dreams I've had that I remember vividly. Every so often, they give me feelings of deja vu - like yesterday when I had dinner at East Coast Wings, telling my friend about meeting Dave Price. I've dreamed that entire restaurant/dinner set-up before. I was even waiting for a phone call that was supposed to come through, while I was telling her about meeting Dave. I've never been to ECW, and up til last week, I'd never met Dave. The phone call didn't come through, but still. Freaky.

The weirdest part is looking up the things that I dream about in any online dream dictionary - more often than not, it's right on par with what my subconscious is feeling. Sometimes, scarily so. Like the dream about helicopters and kumquats. Or, the roller coaster rides or speeding trains. Scary.

Oh! You know what else is scarier than you'd think? The other week, I dreamed I was on a mission with Burn Notice's Michael Westen. Like, we were ducking and covering, because people were shooting at us. You know how cool it looks when you're watching on tv? That stuff's scary in dreamtime, man. Like you wake up in a sweat with your heart pounding, you realize it is SO not cool being in a shoot-out. Heh.

Anyway, I just bought this magnet as part of a set at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts gift shop (hello, love their gift shop and the museum). I figured I'd use it for today, since I have a 12-hour train ride to finish THINK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE, Part Two, Get-a-new-life Bugaloo, wherein I actually have think about my own future, rather than that of my company.

Of course, maybe after tomorrow, it'll be decided for me. Maybe not.

But, a girl can dream.

eta, sometime later in the middle of the night:
So the downside of remembering these dreams, is that you remember the bad ones just as well as the good ones. *shiver*

I'm not writing that one down here.

eta2:
But, I just looked it up, and damn, did that just make sense. Whoa.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Died of a theory*

Magnet #858 - White House of the Confederacy

And, here it is, the White House of the Confederacy, nestled in the heart of Richmond, where we went last week on the BFF Babymoon Over the Confederacy roadtrip. It's part of the adjacent Museum of the Confederacy.

I always feel a little weird going anywhere with heavy Southern sympathizer tendencies, mainly because some of the teachers I had growing up in the South were old enough to remember the last years of an America before the Civil Rights movement. I remember being the fifth grader asking the hard question about which camp this little Filipino girl would fall in. And, I was always considered the Yankee (and foreigner) who moved from Chicago to North Carolina...in kindergarten.

But, I suppose history is something you can't ignore, and when you're here in the South, it's almost unavoidable. But last week, we actively sought out history, to look it right in the face.

The Museum of the Confederacy was actually a pretty cool little museum - it takes you through the major battles of the Civil War, which of course, I totally related back to North and South, and the battles that Orry and Billy Main and George Hazard fought.

But the White House was supercool. It was the residence of Jefferson and Varina Davis, and their six kids. He took us through the receiving room, as well as the sitting and retiring rooms, as well as the upstairs private rooms. Though some of the decor was questionable, it was quite amazing to walk the halls of history.

From the coal-shaped "IED" that the confederates would stuff with gunpowder and stick into coal piles to be able to blow up ships/trains, to the rubber hoses made by Mr. Goodyear to pipe gas down from the chandeliers to the table lamps. And learning that Jeff Davis didn't believe in disciplining his six kids, believing that it would stifle creativity...so much so that whenever they placed nanny ads, they had to place it blindly, with a fake address and a fake name, so that no one knew it was for the Davis kids.

C'mon, that's a movie in the making right there.

Such a great tour. And you know I always say that the tour guide makes the tour. Always.

The 3pm tour last Thursday the 24th of June? Out. Standing. He was so good. You could tell the kid wanted to share much more about the lives of Jefferson and Varina Davis, and the Civil War. He was just bursting with information, and he was coaxing us to ask the right questions.

Loved it. No matter how you feel about the War between the States, this museum/tour is definitely on my Recommend list!


“If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.”
- Jefferson Davis

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Monday, June 28, 2010

"Finest prison in the world."*

Magnet #857 - The White House

This magnet's part of my presidential set I bought at the Kennedy Library a while back. They stuck in a few symbols of the Democracy in the packet.

The White House is definitely something I need to check off my list - touring it as an adult. I remember doing it as a kid - maybe - but I know I've never done anything but peer through the gates of the whatever lawn since then.

But, I'm particularly curious, having just toured the White House of the Confederacy (yes, there's a magnet for that) this past weekend. I can't actually wait to see how the real White House differs from Jefferson Davis' residence.

Now, I just need to get that letter to my congressman started.


* “The White House is the finest prison in the world.”
- Harry S Truman

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sticky rice

Magnet #856 - Mahatma Rice

My dad eats rice with every non-breakfast meal. For serious. Rice, and a banana, with whatever entree they've made to go with it.

Which means a good 75% of our dinners growing up, we had rice as our main staple. Not unusual in a Filipino family.

But, this Mahatma magnet is not that rice. I've never actually heard of Mahatma, but apparently, it's America's favorite, according to their site. My sisters gave this magnet to me, from an Embassy day they did in DC.

I actually had to look this up, cuz I was convinced Mahatma was a country I didn't know about. Don't judge, I just had no idea.

The Mahatma site also has a section devoted to Riceipes, which makes me crazy for a couple of reasons. The very concept of rice recipes is completely foreign to me - that they exist and that they involve different ingredients and rice. On the other hand, there's a small part of me that wants to try them.

We've always had the steamed rice you normally find in Chinese restaurants. The other stuff's just foreign to us. It's beyond our ken that someone out there actually wants unsticky rice.

I mean, I've actually mocked those commercials that show the cooked rice freely tumbling into the bowl.

Silly Uncle Ben's.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

By a Lady - Guest blogger, DC Sister

Magnet #855 - Winchester Cathedral

I've been deemed inhuman in some circles because of my non-fluency in the Jane Austen oeuvre.

I know. I can't help it - even after my seventh grade English teacher reco'd Jane to me, I just couldn't get into her. I skipped Jane and jumped right into Loveswepts.

But, my middle sister has a thing for Jane Austen. So I figured since she brought this back for me from Winchester, she'd be the best person to magnetblog it out.
- joy
____________________________________


Joy's off having quality BFF time, so she asked some of us to pick from a selection of magnets to blog about.

Well, of course I chose this one. I gave it to her!

I've been to Jolly Olde England about five times now, starting with a high school band trip. I wonder if my parents had some kind of 19th-century "all girls must take a grand tour of Europe" philosophy because we all went to the Continent in high school. Anyway. Back then I had only a slight interest in Jane Austen. We'd seen the 1980 Pride & Prejudice adaptation in English class, I loved the chemistry between Elizabeth and Darcy, and I muddled my way through the book (still my fave ever). So you'd think I'd have known that Jane Austen was buried at Winchester Cathedral when I was, you know, at Winchester Cathedral way back in 1995 on that high school trip.

But no. I was kind of distracted at the time (cute boys will do that to you), and so I totally missed that fact. So ever since then I've wanted to go back to Winchester.

And since those halcyon days of high school, my love for Jane Austen has grown exponentially. A few years ago I re-read all her books in order of least familiar to most familiar (if you must know: Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Emma, Sense & Sensibility, then finally P&P).

Right afterward, I went on a Great Great Britain tour: two weeks of traveling through the country via train. LOVE. When planning the trip, I asked my friend: Do you want to see or do anything in particular? His reply: Not really.

Wheee!

Left to my own devices, I scheduled us tons o' Jane Austen stuff! We went to Chawton Cottage, where she spent several years and saw the little table where she revised P&P and Sense & Sensibility and wrote Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Emma. Imagine: this woman all hunched over this tiny table laboring over these books that, during her lifetime, were published anonymously, described as being written "By a Lady."

Today those same books are a veritable industry. Crazy!

We went to Bath, where I succeeded in suppressing my squees at seeing the Pump Room and Milsom Street and Queen's Square (all associated with her books) and the Assembly Rooms (closed for a private event -- boo!). Then we got to the gravel walk where Anne and Capt. Wentworth reunited in Persuasion -- my second fave book -- and I couldn't hold it in anymore. Squeeee! People looked at me funny.

An we went to Chatsworth, the Peak District home of the Duke/Duchess of Devonshire and the supposed inspiration for Darcy's Pemberley estate, though a few estates are said to have that same distinction. Chatsworth, y'all? Amazing. I mean, damn.

It actually was Pemberley in the 2005 P&P movie with Keira Knightley, who incidentally returned to the home again to film scenes for The Duchess [as in Devonshire]. In a nod to Austenites like me, the estate's sculpture gallery still has the bust of Matthew Macfadyen that played a part in the P&P movie. Of course I have a picture with it. So go if you can. The ride on the bus there was cool too - lots of barren peaks and moors.

Very Heeeeathcliffffff!

So with all those Austen-y adventures planned, you'd think I went to Winchester on that trip, right? Wrong. I was at Winchester a few months ago on my woman-on-her-own trip to London. Finally.

We just couldn't fit the town into the Great Great Britain Tour or on any other visit to the U.K. I've taken in the past, oh, 15 years. It took an hour to get there and I spent about 30 minutes total in the cathedral and about 45 minutes at the gift shop, buying this magnet and a book examining the social context of Austen's novels.

They have a few of her letters on display in the church and she has a memorial window, a marker inlaid in the floor plus a plaque on the wall. All in all it was very cool. Still, though, I think of all the places I visited, I still love Chawton the most, with its whole OMG-she-lived-in-this-very-house vibe.

Anyway, I was going to include links and interesting facts about Jane Austen, such as she moved to Winchester in 1817, the year she died.

But you know what? You only need to know one thing: Jane Austen kinda rules.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Tennis is crazy*

Magnet #854 - Wimbledon

My sister brought this back for me from her tour of Wimbledon a couple of months ago. How timely.

Seriously, boys. How do you play for eleven hours, five minutes. Across three days?

Never-ending tennis. They broke pretty much every record in tennis you could think of.

Though, really, all I thought of, after he got off the court was, whoa, that John Isner is hot.

And he has to play again. Today.

Sheesh.

*Live quote from said BFF of the BFF Babymoon Over the Confederacy Roadtrip
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Old Well

Magnet #853 - UNC's Old Well

The Old Well is a long-standing symbol of Carolina, once the only water supply for Old East and Old West, now two dorms. Old East is actually a national landmark, they call it the oldest state university in America (from 1795).

There are a few legends about this well, though. The first is that all in coming freshmen should drink from here, to ensure great grades. The other, is that there's a reason some folks nicknamed it the Pee Well. Ewww.

I picked this one that my sisters got me a couple of weekends ago, because in a few hours, I must get up and over to my BFF's house, so we can get this roadtrip on the road.

We'll be stopping along the way for a late breakfast in Chapel Hill with another friend and then the start of the BFF Babymoon Over the Confederacy Roadtrip to Richmond begins in earnest.

Richmond's a place that we've both driven through, but never been. I mean, all I know about Richmond, is what I know from whizzing by it on 95. The crazy streets with the tons of crazy drivers, zipping around the corner of that really pretty church. I swore I've never been, but I have a dim memory of driving around deserted streets. My dad confirms that "Oh, c'mon now, don't tell me you've never been to Richmond! We've had Chinese dinner there!"

Uh, yeah. That totally doesn't count!

I'm superexcited about our trip. The Virginia Museum of Fine Art is what I'm hanging my hat on. You'll see why, soon. Just gotta get into that gift shop!
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tilting at windmills

Magnet #852 - Aruba Windmills

Ah. Tilting at windmills. My favorite, favorite useless pastime.

This magnet works for today because it's THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE train ride day! Woot! Of course, I'm in DC right now, and I have to force myself to get over this barrier I find myself up against when trying to think past the next 20 minutes of any given day.

Anyway, I've never read Don Quixote, but from what I can gather, he was a silly man who swore to "defend the helpless and destroy the wicked," and paid the consequences for it. A guy who cared too much about everything and tried in vain to make good things happen and then who basically ushered in the death of chivalry?

Really? Is this story about me? Bah.

Sorry, that's too negative a connotation to associate with SUCH A CUTE MAGNET! And it actually whirls around! LOVE it.

My friend brought this back for me from Aruba. It took me a second - and Google - to make the connections between Aruba and windmills, but I think this one might be De Oude Molen, built in 1804, and brought over piece by piece from the Netherlands in 1960. Except that one's not blue. So maybe this is just symbolic of the Dutch origins of Aruba?

Either way, let's all look at how pretty this magnet is on my pretty new blue background.

What?

eta:
Dudes. I consider my geography knowledge pretty good. But I won't lie, I'm about to go look up Aruba on the map. What? When it comes to the island nations, I pretty much get confused. Unless it's the 7,000 islands of the Philippines. And even then, I can point out major islands of the PI, and that's it.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hunk of the day

Magnet #851 - SoapNet Hunk

Ok. So here's my last SoapNet swag magnet! And the silly people at ABC are closing down the network in a couple of years, so who knows if I'll get any other SN swag again!

It's kinda fitting that I use this one as my last one, methinks. I mean, what else do you see more of on SoapNet than on any one network, but hunks.

And, it's such a weird word, because honestly, I'd rather blog on a magnet that said cuteboy or hotboy. "Hunk" is just more of a visceral, I want to jump his bones, word, rather than "cuteboy/hotboy," the more look from far away but don't touch (unless he touches first, obvi) word.

Lord. Did I just blog that out loud? So much for those Bible verses my cabbie gave me this morning at 6:30. Heh.

Also fitting that I use this magnet for today, given that it was our full day of running around with Erik Estrada with the Healthy Sight Patrol, for our client Transitions Optical.

I've magnetblogged about him before, so I won't go into it, except to show you these pictures, but each time we work together, I'm amazed at three things.

First, how nice and engaging the guy is. He seriously knows how to put on a show, and talk to everyone - from the littlest guy (a little toddler out in Brooklyn) to the oldest senior with her walker, who walks right up to him and smacks his forearm for not aging like she did. Heh.

Second, how the crowd, of pretty much every demographic, responds to him. Not only the gals, but the guys. Not only young, but the old. And, not only the US, but everywhere. Today, we were approached by folks from Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Japan, China, Ivory Coast, Spain, United Kingdom, France. Apparently, Ponch is global, baby!

Third, how even after all these years, Ponch is apparently timeless, too. The guy never ages. No. Seriously. He needs to figure out how to bottle that stuff.

Yep. You can't help but like the guy.

Plus, who can't like a guy who totally went and told my weatherman crush that I want to marry him. Then, when I finally get to talk to my weatherman crush...all's he can talk about is how awesome Erik Estrada is.

Oiy.

eta:
An amusing thing. I just went to look up HUNK quotes. Hahahaah.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

For the game. For the world.








Magnet #850 - Rio de Janeiro


My client brought this supercool magnet back for me from her trip to Brazil.

I dunno why I've never been to Brazil. It keeps popping up in odd ways for me.

Embraer, the Brazilian jet manufacturer, was one of my first advertising clients. (Right? You'd think I'd have finagled a trip those three years.) Instead, I had a friend/colleague who traveled down and through Brazil on the Amazon. I had a former author ask me to help edit her book - and it was set in Brazil (and it was fabulous). Even my other clients keep going down there for work and play.

And, still, I've never been. A shame, really.

I picked this one for today, in honor of the Brazilians beating Cote d'Ivoire 3-1 in #WorldCup soccer yesterday.

Oh, I'm not a soccer fan. Other than one fun semester in college living on the soccer floor at Carolina, I really don't follow soccer. Yes, I know Carolina women's soccer is as storied a soccer program as you can get. But, it's not really anything I grew up with. Plus, any game that allows ties is suspect to me. Heh.

However. I do love the World Cup. Doesn't everybody? Actually, I don't love the dang vuvuzelas constant buzzing, so I tend to watch on mute. But, the two things I love about it...

The cuteboys. The cuteboys with the penchant for taking off their shirts the second the game ends. That's nice.

The second thing I love more, is how - even more so than the Olympics - how the world really seems to come together to cheer on their country. And cheer on other countries, too.

It's awesome that no matter where you are, or who you're watching with - everyone's cheering. But it's not only where you are, it's everywhere. One big Goooooooaaaaaallllll! and the streets outside are cheering. The thunder resounds up the concrete canyons here in New York, and it's just amazing.

For those few hours during the day - a couple times a day, for several days in a row, the world is a happy place. Or not, depending on which side you're on.

It's like FIFA's tagline on the field barrier says:

For the game. For the world.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Missing David Tennant

Magnet #845 - Cheeky David Tennant

I miss David Tennant.

Oh, I know it sounds ridiculous, but I do. And, it's not even like I miss him as the Doctor. Well, it's partly that.

The funny part is that after the first couple of episodes of the current series, I stopped watching wondering how David would play this scene or that, or how he'd get along with Amy Pond or not. (He totally would.)

I stopped comparing pretty early because I think Matt Smith filled into his role as his own Doctor ok. I mean, I'm not rewatching episodes as much, and Twitter knows I love Amy Pond almost more than any of the other companions. (Fighting words, but at this point, you either love her, or hate her.) But, overall, the Baby Emo Doctor and his gorgeous-haired ginger companion have settled the show into something different than Ten's era.

That said, I do miss David Tennant.

We don't get the press coverage here. I dunno if he's still all over the UK mag rags, but he doesn't make it into our US mag rags too often. And, we sure as heck don't get his other series that he seems to be popping out every several weeks or so.

So, unless I pop in a DT dvd, the only time I see him is when my DVR decides to record one of the earlier airings of Doctor Who. I know he's got a couple of flicks he's attached to (really, I'm not too terribly crazy about the Fright Night remake, but whatever), but man, that's a ways off! And David won't be at Comic-Con in July, so there goes that. Right now, there's the daily unofficial @david_tennant on Twitter who tells me David's happenings will have to do.

Sigh. Oh, hurry up David, and either score a Broadway gig, or a US series. I dunno that my DVDs will last much longer.

*Magnet from the David Tennant shoot set by Ellis Parrinder. I couldn't help it. What a cheeky monkey he looks here!

eta:
BTW, have I mentioned lately that I like blue? Still messing around with it with the new blog layout, with minor edits (most notably my header pic up top) to come.
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Music in motion

Magnet #848 - Dega's Dancers Resting

Today's magnet is Dega's Dancers Resting - which is currently not on view, but is part of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts collection.

I have to confess, I've never been a fan of Degas. There's always something a bit skeevy about him, the man. It's something that always colors my view of the painter.

But today, watching the New York City Ballet company twinkletoe their way across the stage, I feel like I really see and get Degas and his dancers now.

I finally went to the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. No, it's not because I'm cultured. It's because I like architecture, and the NYCB invited renown architect Santiago Calatrava to set designs a few of their commissioned Spring season ballets, in a program called Architecture of Dance.

Such a great idea. Such a great partnership.

When I told the nice lady next to me it was my first ballet, and that my own background was more music-oriented, she was just so excited for me. She said I picked a great program, explaining to me how ballet was really just music in motion.

And how, nice lady. And. How.

The set opened with Donizetti Variations, a piece first performed in 1960, choreographed by George Balanchine, a co-founder of the NYC Ballet, and music by Gaetano Donietti. In a word, delightful.

The music was so airy and light, and it carried the dancers to the tops of their tippy toes. I'm fairly sure that feet just don't go in those directions naturally.

The company was dressed in (what I've always considered it to be) standard ballet dress of the turquoise family - the girls in fitted bodices with flouncy tutu-y skirts and tights, and the boys in fitted jackets and tights.

In such pretty contrast were the ballerina and ballerino (what, I looked it up!) were dressed in the same, only in pink! So cute! I loved it. So wonderful that 30 minutes went by, and I didn't even realize it.

The second set was Luce Nascosta (Unseen Light), choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti with music by Bruno Moretti. In a word? Powerful.

This was commissioned by the NYB, with Calatrava's set design. Simple, understated, gold discs in the sky, forming both an ominous and hopeful orb(s) over the starkness of the company dressed in black. This was hard to sit through - the first several minutes was performed in silence, then as the music opened and swelled, I was reminded of a Hitchcock score.

This was a more earthy, guttural ballet - at times sexy, at times angry, but all times powerful. Seriously. The dancers undulated and wrapped themselves around each other in such a visceral way, you couldn't help but watch.

The final piece was The Concert, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with music by Chopin. In a word, hysterical.

I know! You're thinking, what? But I think the best part of this piece were the sounds of the kids sharing the Fourth Ring of Exile giggling uncontrollably at the farce onstage. Fun costumes, a pianist at the forefront, very funny staging, and excellent dancing.

I was completely taken aback at how three hours at the ballet could take me from light to dark to laughter. What a great performance, and congrats to the NYC Ballet for introducing ballet to a new audience with the Calatrava work!
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Pictures on my mind

Magnet #847 - Horace Pippin quote

I've said it before, creative people stump me. I love 'em, but I dunno how it is they do what they do. Sometimes, I stare at their heads and their hands to wonder how one thing dictates another, and beauty is the result.

Earlier this week, I was marooned in Queens with my art director, and a photographer. We were supposed to be visiting what we thought was going to be a fantastic (and free) location for a client of ours. But when we got there, it was something straight out of the Wedding Singer. Marble walls, gilt, mirrors and a parquet dancing floor. For serious.

So, while one of us desperately called for another location, the art director and the photographer started sketching out how we wanted some of our shots to be set up.

On a piece of paper, some squiggles and lines, and magically, it became a great reference point for the two artistes to get their points across to each other.

Dudes. When I draw things? They usually end up like this and this. No foolin'. Whenever I have a pen in my hand, or multiple colors at my disposal, that's what I draw. That, or cursive Ls. What?

So, that's what I notice most when I walk into any museum. The very idea that any of these folks hanging on the walls, or sitting in the galleries - or indeed, two guys sitting at a foldy table in the heart of Queens - can draw something out of thin air and a brush or pen, is just amazing to me.

This guy, Horace Pippin, he was a self-taught artist from when he was very young and won a box of crayons. He served in WWI and was injured, losing use of his right hand. When he came home, he managed to find himself a calling to painting, becoming one of the most notable African-American artists of his time, painting legendary scenes and figures central to African-American history.

He did that, having to hold his right arm with his left, to guide his painting. That, my friends, is determination.

That my friends, is God-given talent.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lost and found

Magnet #846 - Saint Anthony of Padua and Child Jesus

The quickest Saint in history. That's what St. Anthony was known for, the quickest canonization - in less than a year, by Pope Gregory IX, back in 1232.

I magnetblogged about him when we were in Italy late last year, just after we visited the Basilica of St. Anthony. The saint is entombed here, and many people make their pilgrimages to touch the end of his coffin. In fact, that left side of the coffin is actually shiny from the gentle touch of millions of prayers over the last eight centuries.

It's truly a sight to behold, the power of faith and prayer in action. Oh, I'm not talking, Praise the Lord, slap the forehead, you're healed! kind of prayer. Rather, it's the silent and heavy prayer of the hopeful and desperate, single-filed patiently waiting for their turn at the coffin.

I can actually count on one hand the times I've ever felt the presence of God in a church, and this was one of those times.

It could have been the church. It was beautiful - full of several different architectural styles of day, or rather years, since it took about 70 years to complete (1238 - 1310) and has a terrific history. The opulence and reverence is truly something - you know us Catholics and our churches, we know how to send that glory unto God, for sure.

Or, it could have been the people. Big and old churches are funny - the more significant it is, the more activity going on inside. This side chapel, that nave, that family crypt, that reliquary, this piece of art. Not to mention, candles being lit, silent prayer in every corner, and Mass being served as tourists walk around with their cameras in hand. While distracting, it's comforting that everyone's there for one reason, faith.

You can't get that in every place of worship you visit. But, once in a while, if you can manage to find the stillness for a few minutes, you really can feel the presence of a higher being.

I like that.

I've got my hooligan dad on the brain, hence today's magnet. But, also St. Anthony's the patron saint of lost things.

Hopefully I can find whatever it is I'm lookin' for.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blue skies and best friends

Magnet #845 - Pier

Needed something that was pretty to pick me up after another wonderful day here at Martyr Kingdom. And this swag magnet from Corbis - despite its subject matter - is pretty.

Check it, it's where the blue of the sky meets the green of the earth. I love when I see that in nature. It's beautiful, and makes you think Earth's totally the best planet in the solar system!

Plus, dudes. It's totally the pier where the LOST submarine was docked. Or, for those of you in the know, it could totally be the pier where Jake Cutter lands Cutter's Goose on Tales of the Gold Monkey.

Wait. What? You haven't heard about my love for Tales of the Gold Monkey? (The follow-up to that magnetpost is that I have a couple of very, very special Direct Messages that my inner sixth grader is so very fangurly squeeeee-ish about.)

Anyway, ya'll know I hate the beach, it's like my idea of not fun. Ya'll know that despite my best attempts, I'm afraid I'm going to end up there a little over a week from now.

But, you know what? If it happens, I'll do it, because that BFF Babymoon's meant for the two of us to spend time together, these last months before she pops that kid out. And, I'll put up with it, because I've known the girl for almost 30 years.

Thirty years. Shoot. That's insane. I remember she and I giggling over knowing each other 10 years. And 18 years. And 20 years. And 25 years. I can't wait to see what she says when I say, dude. 30.

Whoa. Too bad we both can't drink on this trip!

NOTE: This magnetpost brought to you by the fact that the New York Times posted the single-silliest article I've read in a long, long while - the death of the Best Friend relationship, and how schools are trying to encourage kids to have more friendships and not have one single BFF, and how sleepaway camps are hiring "friendship coaches" to help kids have more friends.

Seriously? What kind of liberal, overcoddling, overmeddling child-rearing crap is that?
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Forgive my avarice

Magnet #844 - Emily Dickinson quote

The magnet I picked up from BEA this year. Truly, I love this quote.

I know next to nothing about Emily Dickinson, but clearly, she treasured her friends. And how.

Well, I mean, who doesn't, right?

And, yes, I was planning on this being some sort of very sappy "I love my friends and family" post, but you know what? They kinda know. And they don't need some Emily Dickinson magnet to tell them.

Translation: Dudes, I'm a day late on this magnet, and I spent a few hours this evening with a couple of good friends and former colleagues brow-beating me with the hard truth of my 13-year bout of Stockholm Syndrome. Can't be mad at them, they speak truth.

That's how they do.


*"My friends are my 'estate.' Forgive me then the avarice to hoard them." - Emily Dickinson, 1858
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Monday, June 14, 2010

You've come a long way, ducky

Magnet #843 - Circuit board ducky

Hahaha. You totally thought it was gonna be another NCIS post, about my love for Dr. Ducky Mallard, didn't you. Sorry to disappoint.

My sister picked this up for me at London's Natural History Museum. I think she just thought it was cute. It totally is. Of course, it makes me think of her running around as a baby, singing that Ernie song,

Rubber ducky, you're the one!
You make bath time, lots of fun!

Over and over. And over.

Still, it's a supercute circuit board ducky.

Picked it for today, because this day in 1951, the first commercial computer was unveiled. The UNIVAC - Universal Automated Computer, with U.S. Census and Prudential as its first customers.

The UNIVAC filled a whole room at 25' x 50'. Feet! And it had an internal storage of a whopping 1,000 words, processing at 2.25MHz bit rate.

Compare that to today's technological wonder, the iPad, which can go virtually anywhere at 9.56" x 7.47". Inches! No telling how many words it can hold with a minimum capacity of 16GB, processing at 1GHz.

Whoa.

Now. If we could just get those flying cars moving along, we'd be in business.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

YIPA* and the Frick

Magnet #842 - Windmill in Amsterdam, Monet

Ya'll know I loves me some Monet. Yes, he's the most cliche Impressionist painters to like, but what can I say.

There's nothing that makes me happier than when I discover a Monet I've never seen before - it's awesome. I kinda feel that way whenever I discover a museum I've never been to before as well. And today, I did both!

I picked this magnet up as part of a collection from the Houston's Museum of Fine Arts - a quick visit, where I didn't really see the museum, as much as I ended up on the phone for work. Still, I got to walk around for a quick bit, and peeking around the corner, much to my surprise, was this Monet - The Windmill on the Onbekende Canal, Amsterdam.

So pretty. I loved it. And I've never seen it before. Mind you, I don't even think I knew he'd ever painted in Amsterdam. But so he did.

I picked it for today, because I made another discovery. It's taken me 15 years, but I finally found time to visit the Frick Collection, thanks to a late-morning @NewYorkology Tweet about Sunday's museum discounts. (Dude, I wish you'd Tweet things to do much earlier on in the day, on the weekends!)

I've always meant to visit the Frick, but I want to say someone told me years ago - you know who you are - that it was boring. In fact, it couldn't be more the opposite. It's a small collection, but man, it's so diverse.

For those who don't know, Henry Clay Frick who was born on a Pennsylvania farm and became a coke baron, joined in with Andrew Carnegie, and became a titan of industry, and then relocated here shortly after PA Homestead Strike. I know, right? Hadn't a clue, either.

Anyway, he was an avid art collector - he bought his first Rembrandt for $38,000 by the time he was 31. Can you imagine? La-la-la, I think I'll buy a Rembrandt. Or a Monet. Or a Goya. Or a Titian. Or Turner. Or two!

The Frick houses another Monet that I haven't seen before, V├ętheuil in Winter, one that he painted in the dead of winter, shortly after his wife Camille passed away. This image rendering from the collection doesn't even begin to do the actual painting justice - in real life, it's simply gorgeous, and a more than a little desolate.

I love Frick's penchant for reuniting paintings that had been separated over the years, and finding fantastic ways to display them. And, he had a knack for pairing them as well. He has a couple (!) of Holbeins - one of Sir Thomas More and of Thomas Cromwell and they flank an El Greco above the fireplace. On the opposite wall, are two Titians who flank a Bellini, with the coolest painting of St. Francis of Assisi - ever. Dudes. That's just one room. One. Room.

And, speaking of, as I wandered around, I realized why I liked the museum so much. In addition to a sometimes wry and overwrought audioguide, the Frick is such an intimate museum. You really feel as if you're walking through someone's house. It's because you are. Though the Fricks lived here together for only five years, and then his wife another dozen or so, they definitely kept the house intact, as much as they could. It gives it such a different feel than the standard gallery.

What a great several hours I spent at the Frick today. The collection was just fantastic. If you get a chance, definitely check it out.

*YIPA = "Yes, I'm Procrastinating Again." I know it was supposed to be THINK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE Weekend, but for whatever reason, I ended up whiling it away in two of our great NYC museums. It's either just me procrastinating as usual, or maybe it's a sign.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Room with a view

Magnet #841 - FLW Robie House Window

So, I've lived in New York since 1995, and I've been to the Met countless times. Seriously, doesn't it feel like I'm always writing about it?

Earlier this week, the Met Tweeted something about their Frank Lloyd Wright room. Dudes. I didn't even know they had one of those! And, ya'll know how much I love my Frank Lloyd Wright!

Totally don't have a clue how I've managed to miss it, but I totally rectified that this evening. It was pretty cool, though, really, in the end, it was just a room. Heh.

I think what I love about FLW houses is the fact that he designed not just the house, but much of the interior and furnishings as well. In some cases, he was pretty OCD about his furnishings being used.

I have to wonder if I'd be able to take it, if he dictated everything that could go into a house I lived in. Even if he did design it. From the chairs to the lights to the screens to the windows - I'd imagine it could be quite overbearing.

Clearly, I say this with a little bit of sour graping, as I also wouldn't turn down a FLW house, even if I think I couldn't live in it.

I will say, though, that I do love his windows. They're really very cool - with subtle differences in colors and patterns. This magnet is of one of the 174 glass patterns of the Robie House, one of the grandest of his Prairie Homes, in Hyde Park, IL. They're celebrating its centennial this year and is currently under a lengthy process of restoration and preservation.

I was so glad I detoured from our Met Scavenger Hunt to see the FLW room tonight. Love those scavenger hunts, they force you to notice the details of what you're seeking...even when you're running from one end of the museum to the other.

So, yay, for @metmuseum Tweeting about tonight's Internet Week event. Fun had by all!

Oh! Speaking of which - apparently, the New York Times has decided to disallow use of the word Tweet in their stories, because it's not in the dictionary. NYTs, you're one of the world's most venerable papers. But seriously. There's a reason why the dead tree industry is dying. But, ignoring the digital future won't make it go away. IJS.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

American Woman

Magnet #840 - American Woman

I picked this magnet that my friend bought me from the American Woman exhibition at the Met, because I can't wait to see the exhibition to see for myself how the clothes make the woman.

I may have a different opinion tomorrow when I see it, but frankly, I just like the very idea of the American Woman, kicking ass and taking names. And, I'm hoping that maybe it'll give me some kick-ass encouragement, as this weekend has been dubbed THINK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE weekend.

The theme for this month seems to be change - of any kind, for the good, for the bad.

I had dinner with a friend and former colleague of mine this week, one who will be embarking on some pretty major life changes shortly. Possibly starting a new gig with a fancy new title, halfway around the world, and possibly with a new boy to accompany that gig.

I remember many years ago during our post-September 11th layoffs, she was just a couple of years older than me now, and she was very concerned about her future. Mostly on the professional front as a single-income household, but also on the personal front as a single-soul household.

It's what we single gals have to worry about. If we lose our income, there's no safety cushion in the form of a spouse's salary to land on and carry us through to the next gig. It's a trade-off. We have our freedom to be footloose and fancy-free, but if something happens, tag. We're it.

But, in my friend's case, I've watched as over the years, she's managed to climb the ladder of success at a sister company, and now she's about to reap the rewards of that success. And, her journey's been both inspiring and amazing for me, on the professional front.

I mean journey, literally, too. She's also traveled the world - having done stints in the Amazon and Morocco, not to mention Easter Island and half of Asia, to boot. And she did most of that - by herself. That to me, is fantastic. That, to be frank, takes balls.

It takes balls to be a single woman going it alone - both in work and in life. It's an accomplishment that no one should take away from. It's why I nearly smacked her for thinking she's accomplished nothing over the years.

No kids? No husband? So. What.

There's a world full of women who have both.

The world can use a few good women who have neither. And like it that way.

eta:
And yes, it doesn't escape me that I'm writing this on a Friday night, getting ready to leave work, after another crazy work day. Plotting to have ice cream for dinner.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Make thy books thy companions.

Magnet#839 - Book worm

My friend picked this one up for me at this year's BEA. Love it - it goes with my matching mug from DCsis!

Summers were the best time of year for us growing up - for most kids it meant running around outside all day. But for us, it usually meant more time at the public library.

My parents would drop us off, and we would literally run all over the place. Now that I look back on it, basically the librarians were our babysitters and the library, our playground.

Now, sometimes that was great, sometimes not. Generally, we were pretty well-behaved bookworms - the darling little Filipino girls timidly peeping around the corners. Other times, we could get a little unruly, running around the stacks and staircases and water fountains.

But for the most part, you could find us nestled in the aisles, each in different sections of the library, reading our treasures, or finding new ones. And we each had our checklist of what sections to go through - after I outgrew the summer reading program, my favorite part was poring through the paperbacks section - looking for new authors and romances to read. Then doing the same thing through the hardcover fiction aisles. I'm glad I never discovered the joys of nonfiction there, otherwise, I truly would never have left the library.

As it was, no matter how often we'd visit the library, though, each of us would always, always, always leave with giant stacks of books to bring home - arms full of new people, places and things to discover. We'd check out so many books, it was hard, sometimes, to keep up with them.

Yep. Or, at least that's what I learned that one summer I wracked up $30 in overdue fees. Even Sonja the librarian was like, how is this even possible when you're here so often? Then she cut me a break and like brought it down to $20. Hee. Love those small-town libraries.

*Make thy books thy companions. Let thy cases and shelves be thy pleasure grounds and gardens.
- Judah ibn-Tibbon (12th century)

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taxi!

Magnet #838 - New York Taxi

Disclaimers:

1) If you're a kid, stop reading. My mother hates when I curse. And I can't help this one, and it's the 2nd worst curse word to use!

2) If you're a respectable, nonthreatening cab driver, please disregard this magnetblog - and thank you for your great service.

3) If you're a New Yorker or a visitor, you probably have your own cabbie stories to share. ALL of my cabbie stories are probably a lot like ones you've heard before. And of course, with this post, I've jinxed forever my cab-hailing luck.


Ok. By now, ya'll have heard how much I love New York City - the bestest place ever, the coolest place ever, yadda yadda yadda. Yes, I drink the NYC Kool-Aid.

That said, I am not blind to her faults. There are certain things in this city that I can't stand, and here's #1 with a bullet.

Over the last several years, I've come to hate riding cabs in the city. Hate it. I would rather WALK somewhere, than have to cab it. And if you know me at all, you know I hate walking anywhere.

But today it was raining. Today it was like a freakin' miracle that a cab at shiftchange was even available. So when I saw an open cab, I hailed it, and as he was slowly turning down Lexington and stopped, I opened the cab door, and he was yelling at me, with some serious, serious rage in his eyes: "Goddammit, not yet, Goddammit!" Yelling.

The door was already opened, and I had forward momentum going, and said, "I'm already in," and sat down. Then, I couldn't get the door to close, and as I re-opened the door, he yelled again, "Goddammit! Get out!"

As the car was rolling. Rolling, people. Yes, not breakneck speed, but rolling is rolling, yo.

Shocked at the cabbie's atrocious behavior, I looked at him and said, "Yeah, I'll get out," and opened the door, and folks, while the cabbie was still yelling, and still rolling, I stepped out. And slammed the door.

It's been a helluva day today, and that didn't stop me from dropping by Times Square to buy this particular magnet (let's not discuss how I knew what magnets are sold where, thanks) to use for today.

I wanted to file a complaint. But, apparently, filing an official complaint (rather than firing off an email) for this abhorrent behavior with the TLC, leads to an automatic hearing with the guy in person. You know, this same rage-filled guy that I would be afraid of meeting in broad daylight, much less around 3pm on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, on the Northwest corner of Lexington and 96h Street, Cab #5N61.

Yeah. No, I don't want to go after this guy or his livelihood. But people should know that there are some crazy-ass mofos out there.

Complaint. Magnetblogged.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

Magnet #837 - Mr. Goodbar

I think I after this magnet, I have one more chocolate miniatures magnet left to go. And then I might have to head back over to Hershey (either Pennsylvania, or you know, Times Square) to see what new magnets they might have.

Man, I used to hate when my dad would buy Hershey's Miniatures. Sounds crazy, no? Why hate those bags of chocolatey goodness?

It's because they were the hardest bags to eat at my house. First, everyone ransacked the bag for their favorites - usually the Krackel, and then Mr. Goodbar. Then, when pickings were slim (or you weren't fast enough), we'd go for the regular milk chocolate.

Finally, when all the other kinds were gone and we were just left with a bag of Special Dark - and it's been determined that there wasn't another bag of chocolate somewhere in hiding - then, we'd eat that last bunch of chocolates.

And? It always felt like they made more of the Special Darks, versus all the other flavors! Ugh!

What, it took me a while to appreciate dark chocolate!

Why'd I pick this magnet for today? It was the first title that came to mind, when this post was gonna be all about how I saw pretty Matt Bomer and the cast of White Collar last night at the Paley Center.

Then I actually looked up the movie, and if Matt resembles Mr. Goodbar. Uhhh, yeah, thank goodness I looked it up!
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Make that change

Magnet #836 - Mind the Gap

One of the most familiar phrases associated with London, "Mind the gap, please, mind the gap." It's one I know and love, particularly when it's done a very thick accent. Heh.

This magnet (which I can't remember if I've used, gasp!) isn't the red, blue and white color scheme I picture in my head when I hear the phrase. But, I suppose you can't get any more official than part of a set bought at the London Transport Museum.

I picked it for today in honor of a friend of mine who just moved to London with her Brit hub.

I rarely get jealous of other people's lives, but my friend moved. Moved. As in, packed up her belongings, dumped Raleigh, NC, and hit the road. Or, air, as the case may be.

Jealous. Jealous. Jealous.

Not sure if I'm more jealous that she's made such a drastic change in her life, or if it's because she moved to London - probably both.

I have this small cartoon (that I should make into a magnet, really) on my computer monitor that has a chick daydreaming at her desk and the thought balloon says, "I wish something would happen to push me violently in the right direction."

I've always had a love-hate relationship with this cartoon, because while I absolutely hate the laziness of her inaction and her passiveness of waiting for change to happen to her, I do know it's hard to make that change. Mind you, I did find this cartoon after I fell into the subway 8 years ago this month. And I'm still here at this job, for all intents and purposes, doing the same thing I was doing when I walked into this office 12 years and 3 months ago.

How's that for not learning a lesson.

But, I've had almost week facedown in a pillow to think about it, and I'm slowly but surely committing myself to some sort of change. Whether it's change at work or change in my life, hopefully the back end of 2010 will see something happen.

And, with any luck, it'll finally be change for the good.

Oh, and hopefully it won't be as violent as that chick in the cartoon's wishin' for.

*crosses fingers*

eta:
Huh. Maybe the Universe didn't quite get that I meant change for
meeeeeee. Jealous, as another friend of mine is accepting a job offer in Singapore today. Wow. I need to get on the stick. Heh.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Change is good

Magnet #835 - Grand Central

Or so they say.

This little tile magnet is one of a really cool MTA map set that I picked up from the Transit Museum Annex at Grand Central Terminal.

The MTA has revamped our subway transit map, set to be released next month. It's like the first time in several years they've redone it, but it kinda makes me crazy.

I mean, it's not like they're renaming subway lines, or making superdupermajor changes to it. (Unless you're from Staten Island, in which case I have to wonder how ya'll feel about being shrunk superdupersmall.) And, at least they're making big announcements about it. When they dumped the 9 line, I was like the last person to hear about it. I didn't even notice they'd eliminated the line until months later. And that's one of my major lines!

So, yeah, when I actually notice it, I get a little unnerved by change. I should be getting used to it, given the year I've had. I dunno. All I keep hearing change is good, and I've yet to see how that's truly the case.

But who knows, maybe this map will keep me from getting on the wrong lines - I'm still always the one who has to double-check my lines when I'm headed to Queens or Brooklyn...otherwise, I head to both.
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Brace yourself, Vinnie

Magnet #834 - Self-portrait with a Straw Hat

If you're on the U.S. Doctor Who viewing schedule. Stop reading now.

Van Gogh, one of the greatest painters that ever lived. He painted like twenty self-portraits, using himself as a sitter, not being able to pay others to sit for him. This one's over at the Met.

Picked it for today, because the Doctor takes Amy Pond on the best adventure ever, first, to a retrospective of Van Gogh's work at the Musee d'Orsay (one of my most favorite museums ever), and then back in time to meet the grand master himself.

No real spoilers here. Suffice to say that this one's probably in my top Doctor Who episodes ever - joining the ranks of the Doctor's visits with Queen Victoria, Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. Sigh. Clearly, I'm a sucker for the Earth historicals.

In fact, I'll wager a guess that my blogger friend, GoldenGait might even come out of hiding and do an episode review/recap - I totally thought of her when I wondered how the BBC production folks produced all the Van Goghs. Did they just photo-reproduce them on to canvas? Did they hire artists to reproduce them?

I guess I should watch the Doctor Who Confidential to find out. Maybe they'll explain why not Claude Monet instead. My guess is that Vinnie's personal problems were likely the key to that puzzle, given how the BBC plugged their helpline at the end of the episode.

Anyway, be on the lookout for this episode and the fantabulous paintings, coming up in like a month or so here in the U.S.

So. Darn. Good!
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Man in a balloon

Magnet #833 - Stick figure

One last sickbed magnet, because hopefully when I wake up on Saturday morning, I'll rejoin the human race again. And perhaps catch up on the hundreds of work emails in my inbox.

Because I didn't check emails. I couldn't. Not when I couldn't sit up long enough for more than an early morning Tweet here and there, not when I barely left my bed. So I know there's a thousand work explosions lying in wait for me, and I know I'll be paying for it, and cursing before the end of the catch-up.

There are all sorts of theories as to why this food poisoning knocked me down so hard this week. There's the theory of last week being a never-ending series of craptastical weeks, and my nerves were frayed to the point I couldn't hold any conversations regarding my work well-being without being all teary. (That's the broken workhorse theory.)

The other part of me refuses to let that crazy place get me down. (That's the Sister Mary Sunshine, albeit deluded, theory.)

There are several other theories. But this is a magnetblog.

I wanted to use this Kristina Myers Crafts magnet that came from her mistake bin because first, it kinda cracks me up. I can't figure it out. I mean, it's a stick figure in a quote balloon. What can it possibly be saying?

For me, it's saying, I can count the number of meals I've had since Tuesday, only 2 of which included solid food, 2 of which consisted of Cheetos, and the rest was really just liquids.

So, yeah, this magnet is probably more representative of how I feel right now, a mere stick figure of myself. Oiy.

By the way, who knew Cheetos could be a good stand-in for Saltines? I know! They should use that in their marketing materials.
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Growly bear

Magnet #832 - Bear

This mean-looking bear looks like how I feel, like a dead stuffed bear of a girl.

My sister got me this giant bearhead magnet. I both love it, and feel sorry for it.

I love it, cuz it's a huge giant bearhead! It's so big, its snout fits in the palm of my hand!

I feel sorry for it, because as I placed it on the wall, I realized it looks like a stuffed bear head on my wall! Even then, it makes me think of Teddy Roosevelt, the great conservationist president with his stuffed animal collection.

Still, it's awesome, awesome, awesome.

And, it reminds me of how much of a bear I am when I'm on my sickbed. When I woke up this (Friday) morning feeling worse than I have since Tuesday, I was all set to head over to the ER. But then I remembered every late-night phone call that came to the house growing up, rousing everyone out of their beds, and realized that I should just call my mommy instead.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

All things entertainment

Magnet #831 - Geppi's Entertainment Museum

This magnetpost will be timestamped last Wednesday, but it's being written 11:31pm Friday night, after I've finally surfaced from a 4-day bout with food poisoning, thank you very much, Bojangle's.

Or, rather, that's what we think. I basically spent a whole weekend sharing the same meals, and no one else got sick, until Tuesday, when I just had to grab a Bojangle's breakfast.

Tuesday, with a 10-hour drive back to New York, and the yuckiest drive ever. So yucky that I was alternately praying to break the land-speed record and practically begging for stops along the way, just to get out of the car.

Geppi's Entertainment Museum was one of those stops. It's a great museum, a perfect pitstop in Baltimore. I've been meaning to go to this museum since they had a booth set up at NY Comic-Con a couple of years ago.

I wish we'd had more time to wander the rooms of the museum. From the little books, to the comics, to the timeline and all the associated memorabilia along the way, the museum truly was a tribute to pop culture.

It was just chock-full of basically my childhood - from Howdy Doody to Disney, from the California Raisins to Dick Tracy, it was fun taking that stroll through time. My only complaint is that they didn't have magnets. A pop culture museum, sans magnets! Mind you, I basically just took my museum badge and stuck a mighty magnet on it, but still! Oh, the horror!

Anyways, Geppi's Entertainment Museum, recommend!

Food poisoning, not recommend! Of course, I'm blaming the breakfast and not the iced tea, lest you think I've sworn off Bojangle's forever.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Knock, knock, ding dong

Magnet #830 - U.S. Census

Ya'll, the U.S. Census is not playin'. If you guys haven't gotten in your Census forms from earlier this year, they're seriously sending a merry and not-so-merry band of Census-takers to your houses!

To. Your. Front. Doors.

Yesterday, while visiting some friends in Chapel Hill, we went over to some of their friends for a BBQ. (I'd heard this kind of stuff happens, but honestly, when's the last time you've had a bonafide BBQ in New York City? Cooked by a person you've actually met, and with no tab to pay at the end of the day?)

So, while we were over there, the doorbell rang, and it was the Census-taker! And immediately, everyone gasped, pointed at the husband accusatorily, saying, "You didn't turn in your Census form!" (Which, if you think about it, is fantastic for those [how did they get those celebrities to do those, anyway] ads the Census ran on rather heavy rotation a few months ago.) Meanwhile, the wife went outside to answer the guy's questions, while the husband maintained that they totally did turn in their form.

Which then leads you to, really? The guberment's missing some forms and sending Census-takers around to households that already submitted the forms? And on holidays? Are they getting time and a half, those Census-takers? Feel so bad! It was Memorial Day, and instead of partaking in BBQ, he was walking around knockin' on doors!

It's so weird, knowing these guys are running around. Mainly because honestly, if he'd knocked on my door in NYC? Totally wouldn't have answered it.

What? I already turned in my form, I promise! Didn't you hear, it's in our hands!
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