joy magnetism: September 2010

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You know too much

Magnet #951 - Always be my friend

I inherited this magnet from my old boss when he left our former company. He got it from a mutual friend and colleague of ours, who saw it on my cube wall and said, "Heeeeey! I gave him that magnet!" Ooops.

They always say that friends are the people who know you, and who like you anyway.

I'd venture to say that they're also the people who not only know you, but know what you've done, who you've done it with, who you've done it to, no holds barred.

And like you anyway.

I think those people, and you know who you are (and what I've done, who I've done it with and who I've done it to, no holds barred), are awesome.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"A source of joy and inspiration"

Magnet #950 - Our Vacation at WDW

I had a friend in high school who called Mickey Mouse the anti-Christ. While I've never agreed with him, I will say I can't believe how much of a killing Disney makes off of kids and their parents. (And those who aren't parents, but love visiting Disney, anyway.)

And based on another friend who is spending a week down there with her family, Disney makes it soooo very easy to spend money - staying on various properties, fun character events, meal plans, cruises, corporate and school packages, plus the theme parks. Amazing.

I mean, the three of us in this magnetpicture with Stitch totally dropped a bundle for a week at Disney, and that was just to see a bunch of ABC Soap Stars.

I often wonder when Walt Disney dedicated Disneyland in the 1950s, if he had an inkling of the reach his park would have many years later. I love seeing those old videos of him giving updates on the construction of Disneyland, and later introducing the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. He had to have known something, I'd bet.

He had intended his parks to be "a source of joy and inspiration," but I imagine that they're quite the source of income for the estate as well, and that has good old Mickey giggling all the way to the bank.

Oooh, hey, happy birthday, Jan! You're not in this picture, but you totally should have been!
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stuck in the mud

Magnet #949 - Sargent's Oyster Gatherers

It's raining like crazy outside in NYC today, and like a dummy, I'm wearing sandals. So when I saw this Sargent in my magnets photobucket cache, I knew I had to use it.

Saw this piece at the Corcoran's Sargent and the Sea exhibition earlier this year. I've never been a huge fan of Sargent, but I really dug this show because of his sketches/sketchbooks on display.

There's a whole background here at the JSS gallery about this painting, and how it's the women of Cancale doing the oyster gathering, while the men are away. You can see here all the generations heading out for the hunt (the gather?).

It does remind me of all the clamming we did when we were little - we'd head out to the marshes, in either North or South Carolina, and go digging for clams. What sticks most in my head (pun intended), though, is the loud sucking sound that came from pulling our feet out of each hole we'd made in the sludgey mud.

Lotta effort, given that we kids weren't big clam fans. For a kid, that's pretty much playing like a pig in slop, fun as hell, and of course, dirty as hell, too.

Wonder if if I'd dig it now.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Something in the water

Magnet #948 - Perdido Key, FL

My sister brought this magnet back from her trip to her hub's family reunion in Florida, mostly because I misunderstood and thought she saw James Van Der Beek at the beach. I couldn't figure out why Dawson Leery would be near BIL's family reunion.

Turns out they saw dolphins at the beach.

Yeah. Well, the audiologist did mention that if I think I'm missing too much, it's time to get hearing aids.

I picked it for today because I made my train ride today, so I'm training my way back up north, and whiling away the hours by watching the rest of Invasion, that short-lived alien sci-fi show produced by Shaun Cassidy, starring cuteboy Eddie Cibrian.

It's set in Homestead, FL, after a big hurricane where strange lights in the water began to take over the townspeople, and how two families try to get through the aftermath. There's almost no reason to finish watching the series, since clearly, I'll never get an ending from it. But, cute is, as cute does, and who can resist a little Eddie?

He's actually the only reason I own the DVD set. Although, Invasion came out on ABC, when CBS put out Threshold, the other "aliens taking over the world" show...which I also own, because of cuteboys on it.

Nah, you can't tell me you're surprised that my TV DVD collection includes a sad little section of short-lived series that no one ever watched but me and the grannies. Or that the majority of them only live on my DVD shelves because of one or more cuteboys on those shows.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Past and prologue

Magnet #947 - Penn Station

I love historic images - old images of places and people gone by. You can almost feel the history jumping out at you. (Although, I will say that I hate those superold images of people, you know, the ones that look like the people could jump out at you and kill you?)

But images of old buildings in their former glory are always cool to see.

I magnetblogged Penn Station a couple of years ago - and looking at this magnet, it's still so very odd to know that people just went out and demolished such a grand building.

Penn Station is still there, of course - the original station celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. But it's a much lesser version of itself. Still busy as ever, it's used by Amtrak, LIRR, NJ Transit, and the MTA. There are even plans constantly afoot to improve it as the Moynihan Station, but who knows if they can restore the past.

I picked the station today, only because as I type this, I should actually be walking through the halls Penn on my way home. Except that I missed my train, having overslept this morning.

Thank goodness Amtrak tickets are much easier to switch than plane tickets!
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Church's waterfall

Magnet #946 - Frederic Church's Niagara

Frederic Edwin Church is the classic Hudson River School artist who painted this canvas that hangs at the Corcoran in DC. That's where I picked up this magnet. (Or, stamp, if you want to get technical.)

Niagara is one of the few paintings I've seen that do justice to the actual waterfalls. Of course, it's seven-feet-wide, so that probably helped a bit. Plus, in the deafening quiet of the gallery, you can almost hear the pounding of the falls on the rocks below. Very cool.

The giant piece is overwhelming and amazing, and is likely the painting that solidified Church's place in art history.
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Way down to Pocono

Magnet #945 - Pocono Mountains

Dudes, I haven't a clue where this magnet came from. I can't figure, is where I went in the Poconos that would have a generic mountains magnet.

And, why?

Why can't I get Kokomo out of my head?
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crossing universes

Magnet #944 - Fringe

I picked up this one at Comic-Con a couple of months ago, and have been saving it for tonight's season three premiere of Fringe.

By all accounts, it should be a pretty good one, now that the two universes are a little flip-floppy with folks having switched sides, with no real foreseeable way yet to right the two universes.

My raison d'etre for watching this show has always been Joshua Jackson. I won't lie, if he weren't on this show, and such an integral part of the show, and come to think about it, really good in the Peter Bishop role, I'd totally have dropped Fringe from my TV dance card two years ago.

But he is, so I'm still watching...and sometimes for more than just him. Actually, I found myself growing to like the alternative universe mythology of the show, and if we didn't have to deal with all the other X-Filesy stuff, I probably would like it more.

I kinda wished I'd already picked up the S2 DVDs, just to do a quick refresher course before the premiere tonight, but I'm sure the extra long previouslys will get me through.

Just the blurby-blurb reminded me of alterna-Olivia, and the Gaudi dotting the alterna-NYC skyline.

So, yes. Let's see that again. Oh, and lots more Peter Bishop, too, please.

(Especially since, like an idiot, I missed Pacey-Con in San Diego. Gosh, it still makes me crazy seeing that video.)
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Captive unicorn

Magnet #943 - Unicorn in Captivity

My friend bought this magnet for me, which is sad because the darn Cloisters are just a bus/train away from me. Even sadder, given how often I'm darkening the halls of the Met, the parent museum of the Cloisters.

It's one of those New York places that I've been saving, for dcsister to finally do it with me. The thing is, we've been trying to go for seriously, almost twenty years. Every time we think we're gonna visit it, we end up choosing something else in town, or we somehow talk ourselves out of the long trek uptown.

But, at some point, we have to go because I really do want to see the Unicorn tapestries from the 1400/1500s.

I love this Unicorn in Captivity tapestry, because everyone has that elusive thing they're trying to catch. Whether it's that dream job, or a bear, or whatever, everyone can relate to trying to catch a unicorn.

And, hopefully, this year, I'll be able to "catch" both. And maybe even visit the Cloisters, to boot!
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mission not accomplished

Magnet #942 - Mission Inn

And so, the chronicles of "Let's visit someplace of import, but not really know anything about it..." continues.

One of my favorite aunts and uncles brought me to see the historic Mission Inn in Riverside several years ago. We wandered around the hotel lobby for an hour or two, and saw some really cool stuff.

But, here's just a sampling of what I missed. Le sigh.
  • Apparently, not one, but TEN U.S. presidents traveled through here.
  • They have a giant chair in the lobby, especially made for Taft, after Frank Miller (no, not that one, this one, the "Master of the Inn,") heard the rumor about Taft getting stuck in his bathtub.
  • Nixon got married here!
  • The Presidential Lounge that used to be where the presidents stayed, but now is a cool little...lounge.
  • They have about 400 bells scattered throughout the grounds - they used to collect them. Including one that Louis Comfort Tiffany tried to buy...with a blank check!
Ack. It always makes me crazy when I find out I've missed out on something, or twelve.

Of course, now that means I have to go back, and actually take a docent tour and go to the museum!
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Monday, September 20, 2010

"America was never a travel destination for us"

Magnet #941 - Australian koala

My friend brought this koala bear back for me from her trip down unda. Figured it works for today, being as there's an Australian couple sitting across the aisle from me on my Amtrak train ride down to NC.

I take this train pretty regularly, but this morning, for some reason, I figured I better double-check the departure time - I couldn't remember if it was 7 or 7:15. Either way would have meant leaving the house at 6, getting ready (and packing, of course) at 5.

But what ensued was 35 fresh minutes of hell, when in the quiet of the room, I yelled out, When the hell did the Carolinian start running at 6:15!!?

So as I was repacking my bags that I threw everything into, this lovely Australian couple asked me if I take this train regularly, and which side did I recommend. I told them both sides. I went further and told them I loved this train route, taking this mode of transpo more than I'd ever take the plane, and I warned them that it was a lonnnnng train ride.

Some 12 hours later, with our final destinations still hours away, we're just now pulling out of Rocky Mount, and the Australian couple with the cool Ozzie accents are like, I can't believe you like this way of traveling!

Eh, of course I still do! You just gotta roll with it, even as you're stuck on a hot train, listening to several different conversations about kids and grandkids, and cell phone conversations that loudly start with, "I'm stuck! In Rocky Top! Rocky Mountain? Rockyyyy Mount."

There's a woman from Solvang - hey! I've been there! It's a little Danish community with a windwill over a bakery in California. There's the 91-year-old hub with his young 88-year-old wife who (while they're still young) have finally decided to pack up the house and sell it and move to be close to the kids. There's the loud woman in the back having a conversation with the loud woman up front who takes this train all the time and has never been stuck for this long!

But, it's the Oz Couple who fascinate me. They take a good 3-month break every year to come visit their daughter and grandkids in the States, and for the past few years, they've managed to rack up visits to about 40 US states.

They're doing better than most Americans!

And this is coming from the couple who declared, Oh, America was never a travel destination for us, and yet, here we are.

Stuck on Big Rock Candy Mountain.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

What you don't know, will hurt you

Magnet #940 - Bearden Quote

I've never seen an episode of Hoarders - I don't even know what channel it's on. Just the commercials scare the bejeepers out of me. How do people live with all that stuff?

Then it struck me a bit dumbfounded this weekend that I might have the makings of a hoarder. No, no, stop backing away. I said makings of.

I'm a Taurus, I'm supposed to like having stuff. The mere possession of stuff makes me happy.

For example, if I notice I'm missing something from my wardrobe, next thing I know, I have 10 pairs of capris. It's not like I buy in bulk or anything, it just sticks in my head that I don't have something, and I keep picking up the same thing.

If you go even further back to my high school days, that old Loveswept series I worked on? Close to a thousand books in the bookcase in my old room at home is missing maybe 200 of them.

It's scary how many possessions people own. During the last few days, I've been doing a giant clear-out of my apartment, getting rid of clothes (8 giant bags!), books (remind me to quit my paperbackswap account!) and in general, just getting rid of clutter.

And I have a ton of it. All in a very small, supertiny NYC studio.

Tell me. Why do I need my old dayplanners? From 1999? Even if it is the Van Gogh calendar my boss brought back from the Van Gogh museum, I shouldn't need to keep it. Right? (Dudes, that one, I totally am.) Ok, other example - does one need 15 scrunchies? Wrapped around an empty Rave hairspray aerosol can from the early 1990s? (Those totally went, so no one ask me for one when you come to visit. IJS.)

Already, I feel a ton better from getting rid of all the useless crap in my apartment. After all, you can't take it with you when you go.

Anyway, I figured this Bearden magnet was apropos to the occasion, as I try and figure out the stuff I really need, the stuff I really don't, and the stuff I really just like to own.

Just don't touch my magnets, and we're good.

Hey. How about I have a magnet with quote from a guy who has a den for bears? C'mon, that's awesome!

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The gift of bodily salivas...ewwww

Magnet #939 - The Moxx of Balhoon

What better magnet to use for a Doctor Who marathon than the Moxx of Balhoon.

I started yesterday morning with Rose and Nine, and have been making my way through slowly but surely. As I type this, I'm on Love & Monsters and Ten.

It's my own gift to myself this very busy weekend.

And for you?

Well, I won't offer you bodily salivas as felicitations upon this historical happenstance, but damn, this exchange of ambassadorial gifts scene never fails to crack me up. I could watch it for hours.

Or at least five or six times in a row just now, while I figured out what the quicktalking Moxx actually said.

Cuz I was just gonna say, here's some spit.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

"Never in the field of human conflict..."

Magnet #938 - Churchill Quote

"...was so much owed by so many to so few."
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill

I must have started this magnetpost a few times, on a couple different days, but since @stephenfry (#ff, if you don't already) Tweeted about the 1940 Chronicle, I figured this particular magnet works for any day this week.

Forty years ago around this time, the London Blitz was in full swing, and I honestly can't even imagine how that felt. Imagine, every night, going to bed, knowing that the Luftwaffe was headed your way, and being powerless to stop it.

The chronicle keeps you up to date with what happened forty years ago each day, related to readers as newsreports from correspondents and diaries. Such a great idea, because it gives today's audiences a better context to learn history.

Despite the fears of the people, they must have felt a little better knowing the Royal Air Force was bravely defending the skies and warding off the Germans. Mind you, this four-month Battle of Britain (celebrating its 70th anniversary), fought mostly in the air, is considered one of the turning points of the war. The RAF successfully defended the UK from German invasion.

Which brings us to the point of the 1940 Chronicle. Without being terribly salesy about it, the site is actually part of the very clever digital fundraising campaign for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

They have a fundraising spot featuring Winston Churchill, (sloooowly) talking about the speech he gave to the House of Commons, regarding progress of the Battle of Britain - which included the quote on this magnet.

There's also a second microsite, where you can leave your Heartfelt Thanks to those in the RAF. Oh, it makes me sniffle!

Seriously, I love this campaign. It's just well-done, all around. Of course, my first instinct was to check out who produced it - a digital agency called reading room. What a terrific project for that digital team to work on.

It's not often that you're privileged to do great work for even greater causes, so cherish that.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010


Magnet #937 - Monet's Agapanthus

This piece is currently on view at the MoMA, and is superpretty. Of course, it's superpretty, it's a Monet.

According to the MoMA description, this lily plant, Agapanthus, was part of Monet's famed Giverny gardens. Love that place.

Last week, I was pressed for why I love the Impressionists so much, and it was deduced that I love Impressionist work because it's softer and more romantic.

It's not cutting edge. It's not trying to make a whole lot of social statement. It's not trying to change the world. It's there to hang on a wall, look pretty and be admired.

I suppose that one could argue that the artists of the day were definitely cutting edge back then, that some of their work did stand as a social statement, and that they were trying to change the world. And it's only the passage of time that has rendered their avant-garde work part of the establishment.

One thing I have definitely been thinking about lately is whether or not I'm liking art for what it's trying to say, or for what it makes me feel. Whether or not I like art for the technique and skill behind the piece, or if my favorites are based on my favorite color palettes of blues and greens.

Eh. It's the same old story with me. I like what I like, and I try not to look too hard into why I like it.

After all, it's there to be hung up on a wall, look pretty, and be admired! Done!
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

His Accidency

Magnet #936 - John Tyler (1841-1845)

Ok. Here's weird. Check out this magnet. And compare it with this John Tyler image. What up with that?

Yesterday, I did a flipbook commemorating our BFF trip to Presidents Park, and I had to go through and caption all of the presidents and the years of their administrations. Which was when I realized the 1841 saw three presidents sit in office.

It was an election year, so out went Martin Van Buren.

A month after his superoverlong inauguration speech, William Henry Harrison caught his death of cold and pneumonia, which then left "Tyler, too" holding the bag.

What a busy year for America. I wonder how it affected the American public. I mean, I can't imagine if that happened in modern times, it would create such a feeling of uncertainty, I'm sure. Plus, imagine all the business cards they'd have to throw out.

Wait. Does the president have business cards?
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just dessert?

Magnet #935 - Blue Water Grill

One of the perks of my previous job was the wining and dining of clients, which sounds kind of frivolous, but really, it's not.

Some folks don't like doing it, thinking it's a waste of time, but when it's with people you like and respect, and love working with, shared meals are pretty fun. It's a great chance to see your colleagues and clients outside the work environment, outside of the stuffy cubbies and even stuffier conference rooms. Always great for makin' memories.

And, if you get to eat at some of the better restaurants in the city, like Blue Water Grill, hey, what's the harm? Especially when they have a really great dessert chef. If I truly had my druthers, I'd totally go into these nice restaurants and order just dessert.

Of course, for me, it's like the first thing my clients learn about me at dinners - I never share desserts. What? Dinner's what you go through to get to dessert.

Anyway, thanks to a Tweet from @Newyorkology, I found out that tomorrow is Free Dessert Day, which means that some restaurants are offering a somewhat dubious treat of one free dessert for every two entrees purchased. One? Really? It should be a one for one ratio, methinks.

Still, if I were entertaining a client tomorrow, I'd offer up that opportunity for them. The meal at a participating restaurant, I mean.

The dessert? Would be all mine, thankyouverymuch.
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Some errands, some Pop Tarts & some Ben

Magnet #934 - Pop Tarts Flavors

This magnet totally fits my fun day today, running all over town.

Hey, did ya'll know that's what people do when they're not chained to a desk? They do errands, like pitstops at the Dept of Labor, NY Public Library to work on resumes, and FedEx Kinko's.

But, besides the mundane, apparently, they get to have some fun, like Pop Tarts and Ben Affleck!

As I meandered around the island, I nearly stopped in my tracks crossing 42nd when I looked over and saw Pop Tarts World. Dudes. For serious. Pop! Tarts! World! I can't even believe how cool it is. It's a giant fun and hip space on 42nd Street - I had thought it was one of those pop-up stores (pun intended), and one of the chicks in supercute blue Pop Tarts gear said they'd be there until at least January. (Unless people really like it, she said, so go tell my friends. Consider yourselves told!)

So what's in the space?

Well, ya'll know how I love swag? They have superdupercute PT stuff to choose from!

And, they have a whole sweets shoppe in the back!

And, you can design your own Pop Tarts shirt!

Dudes, they had like four other magnets to choose from, but I had to get this stop me from buying the supercute tote bag with the same design.

The second highlight of the day, was seeing a taping of The Daily Show. Mind you, I've probably seen five total episodes of the show...but we all know I love all that behind the scenes stuff.

So, after waiting three hours (seriously, it was like Comic-Con all over again...only with old people, too), we finally went in. Had a really great first row, left of center seat, and a supercute cameraman workin' the flyover cam.

And, the fun thing is now, having seen Ben, I've thus completed the trio of Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck and Matt Damon! (Matt Damon! I just did a joy magnetism search, and I can't believe I haven't told the Damon story yet. Oh, it's coming.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to figure out if I want to run another errand. For some reason, I'm craving a Pop Tart. Or ten.

Ok. Freaky. I went into Pop Tarts World at about 11:30 or so, by my count, a half-hour after its Grand Opening. Apparently, I missed the "big" announcement about the store on last night's VMAs. Of course, I'd be the only one in the world who stumbles into a grand opening. Heh.

Of course, now I'm dying to know if I bought the first Pop Tarts magnet out of the store!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

A whole city at your feet

Magnet #933 - Spring Street

Another one of my tile magnets from the MTA. Love them. They're so little, and cute! And you know someone's making a mint from a really cute idea. Plus? Hello! Recycling of old Transit maps! Green!

I've said it before, but I love this city's public transit system - yes, we're under budget cuts; yes, some of our bus stops are smelly and the trains can be unclean; yes, it's not air-conditioned. But, dudes, where else can you go anywhere in this city - anywhere in the five! boroughs! - for $2.50! Plus a transfer!

Like, today, there was so much going on in town - and most of it free. It's why I love this town.

The Brooklyn Book Festival would have been cool. Broadway on Broadway would have been fun, if not soggy.

But today, I went back to the Paley Center, for their Fall TV previews, and of course, now have a few more shows to add to the dance card below. Superslim pickin's this year, I think, and I can't really figure out why.

Possible additions emphasized below, based on yesterday's and today's screenings. And some shows look like they'll be relegated to online viewing, based on the latest TV Guide fall schedule. Sheesh.

TV Dance Card
ABC (5)
Private Practice, Brothers & Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, Castle, V, No Ordinary Family, Better with You (a possible, but only because it's Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan)

CBS (4)
NCIS, Flashpoint, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife

NBC (3)
Chuck, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Undercovers (because who can resist a JJ show?)

FOX (3)
Fringe, Bones, Lie to Me, Lone Star (until I can't handle the con anymore, but yay for Tyra and Coach Kyle-lite)

The CW (6)
90210, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Life Unexpected, Hellcats (yes, I'm surprised, too)

TBS (3)
The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles

USA (5)
Psych, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains, White Collar

BBC-A (3)
Doctor Who, Merlin, Being Human

Mad Men

ABC Family (2)
Greek, Pretty Little Liars

Syfy (2)
Warehouse 13, Haven

FX (1)
Sons of Anarchy

Lifetime (1)
Army Wives

A&E (1)
The Glades

Total: 43

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paint your palette blue and gray

Magnet #932 - Van Gogh's Starry Night

If you've never seen Van Gogh's Starry Night, get thee to the MoMA asap. It's lovely, this magnet doesn't really do it justice.

Anyway, I love the swirliness of the sky, it almost feels like it's moving above the sleepy village below. Apparently, there are also somber overtones to the piece - those trees in the foreground, jabbing the skies and interrupting the movement of the stars, are actually cypresses, which are usually found in cemeteries.

Hmph. Sometimes, I hate learning too much about the painting. I really kinda just liked it because of its deep blue color palette.

I also love that it's the same painting they used in Doctor Who, when Vincent, Amy and the Doctor were laying down in a field, while Vincent explained how the skies looked to him. (I tried to find that exact link to that scene, but as with most BBC properties, the only scenes I can find are in those tribute videos using Don Maclean's Starry, Starry Night, so here's one that starts with the swirligig.)

The other reason I'm using it for today, is because the skies theme reminded me that the September 11th "Tribute in Light" is up and running in full force, and if you haven't seen those either, get here now.

As someone Tweeted, it's easily one of the most breathtaking things to see around this time of year.
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Friday, September 10, 2010


Magnet #931 - Captain America

Another one of my newly rediscovered, should have used for Comic-Con, Marvel magnets.

I had a whole post written out for this magnet, a pretty whiny one, but Stand Up 2 Cancer's on, and a Captain America magnet works for it, too. I love when the big networks get together and do simulbroadcasts for great causes.

Donate now: 888.90.STAND
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

When will I ever use this in real life?

Magnet #930 - Sholes, Glidden & Soule TypeWriter patent

Another magnet from my National Archives patent set, it's the type writer patent from the 1800s.

I never took typewriting in high school. Nope, my mother refused to let me give up one of my regular class periods in school for it, and she sent me to the Salisbury Business College during the summer for several of their classes, from Teen Typing to Word Processing.

While I must not have liked going, I remember a couple of things from those classes. First, that I was really the only teen in the class - the rest of the class were adults, none of whom looked like they were having as much fun as I was typing asdfghjkl;asdfghjkl;asdfghjkl; or 12345678901234567890 or qwertyuiopqwertyuiop. (OMG, is THAT where qwerty keyboard comes from? *runs to Google*)*

I remember the first class we took the classes on those old, very old, giant IBM Selectric typewriters, but when I moved up to the other computer classes, we were working on those old Radio Shack TRS-80s with 5.5" floppies. Whoa.

And finally? This is how young I was...every session, we'd get a little break. And I loved running to the breakroom with whatever change I could scrounge from the house and buying some silly snack and drink out of the vending machines. I lived for those snack breaks!

But, I have to hand it to my mother - those classes (like my 9th grade Home Ec class) served me well. I knew how to do straight-up admin work (business letter formatting, etc.) before I went to college, which meant I could work as an admin during school breaks.

Plus, to this day, I can type like no one's business. Some could say it was the classes, but it could have been the 13 years of piano as well.

asdfghjkl;asdfghjkl;asdfghjkl;asdfghjkl;. (How odd to type that now. I mean, really, who types all the keys in a row in real life?)

*Well, what do you know. It IS where QWERTY comes from. Ya'll, I know I should have known that, but I didn't. Dang.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The corner of What if and Maybe

Magnet #929 - Joy in Monterey

So the best thing about roadtrips is the time you get to spend with yourself, thinking about things. While you're singing at the top of your lungs, you have almost no choice but to follow your every train of thought, which lets you explore certain feelings, relive certain memories, rethink certain conversations, and in general, think about yourself.

Which sounds slightly selfish, I know, but ya'll know I'm right.

That Woman on her Roadtrip trip I took several years ago up and down the California coast was just one of those trips. (Especially since no one told me that you don't get radio signal along U.S. 1, and you have to recall every Disney song you ever knew.)

I was struggling with a crossroads of moving to California or staying an East Coast girl, staying in my advertising job or moving into entertainment marketing. And that's where I picked up this Monterey magnet, somewhere between the corner of What if and Maybe.

Today's been one of those days - even without a car, a roadtrip, or a CD (or 50).

The NY State Department of Labor has this long list of careers seminars to help those on the job hunt, and today I attended three of them. First, can I just say, yay for the DOL for trying to help us? Second, very helpful!

We went through three sessions - marketing yourself, networking, and then interviewing. And yes, a lot of it was common sense stuff, stuff that you can read on any website. But it's different when you're in a group of folks in the same situation, with someone completely objective assessing you and your skills.

Plus, the instructor was dynamic and engaging, and even better, gave me a lot to think about. Stuff that I know I'm supposed to be thinking about but have managed to avoid over the last three weeks roadtripping with my parents. But stuff that I can no longer ignore.

I can't wait to see where this crossroads leads!

Oh! And, in a show of how small this world truly, truly is. The instructor used to work at the same company I did...and knew at least one person that I know. Freaky!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What is it about a boy and

Magnet #928 - Sons of Anarchy

I made this magnet a while back, right after the kick-ass S2 finale last year.

And, I spent most of my train ride home on Sunday re-watching Sons of Anarchy S2, and a couple of hours today, re-watching the last disc, in anticipation for tonight's S3 premiere on FX.

Three years ago, if you'd told me this show's return was the one that I would be looking forward more than the entire Fall 2010 television season, I wouldn't have believed you.

As it is, I've been trying figure out why I like this show, and have magnetblogged it several times before, but I've given up. It's just a damned good show. And possibly not a good influence.

Watch this show.

Or I'll kick your ass.

See? Bad influence. Still. Watch the damn show. It's awesome. Tonight's episode was freakin' insane.
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Italian diversions

Magnet #927 - Il Duomo & Campanile

This is one of my favorite images of Florence - ever. I think the reason why, is because Il Duomo and its Campanile was built between the 1200s and the 1400s, and still, more than 600 years later, I can take the very same picture - without meaning to!

I'm using it for a couple of reasons, first, because I finally went to go see The American, mostly set in the Italian countryside.

Gravy, is my boyfriend George Clooney superduper pretty. But, definitely drink some coffee before you head into the theatre.

Oh, even though I should have known it from the get-go, it was definitely not the action flick I was anticipating. It's quiet. It's tense. It's quiet. No. I mean, seriously, George's dialogue had to have been less than 10 pages overall. Even as he came off as a model for designer sunglasses and wardrobe, George was fabulous in it - there was definitely no sign of George playing George.

The camera work is beautiful, and you can tell that the director is really a photographer. But ya'll know how I hate overdirected movies? This would be one of them. My biggest pet peeve with this movie.

"Here. Look at this beautiful roadside with a car driving down the left side. This movie (not car commercial) is set here. Here. Look at this beautiful Italian countryside. This movie (not NatGeo photoshoot) is now set here. Here. Look at George look beautiful in this doorway. He's worried someone's after him. Here. Look at George. He looks really hot in sunglasses. You can't see his true thoughts."

Oiy. Moving on.

The other reason I picked Florence because I picked up a new favorite show called Art of the Heist - all about famous art heists through history. Pretty cool stuff. Like the guy who walked into the Louvre and walked out with the Mona Lisa, and tried to sell it back to the Uffizi in Florence three years later. Really? You didn't think they'd notice?

Or, how some family started forging masterpieces and selling them. And getting away with it!

Or how the Hermitage in St. Petersburg did a standard inventory and found that more than 200 pieces in their collection were missing. Missing, I say!

I swear, most of these stories are fodder for White Collar on USA. Even so, now, I'm now totally planning my trip to the Hermitage in 2012.
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Candle on the water

Magnet #926 - Lighthouses of Maine

As I type this, I'm sitting on the slowest moving train known to man (I could seriously run faster, ya'll), on the last leg of my three-week sabbatical home.

Looks like that layoff was some damned good timing, since I ended up having to chauffeur my parents up and down the east coast for my dad's eye surgery. First the surgery, then the week-after follow-up. And, in another two weeks another follow-up roadtrip.

So this trip included:
  • One train trip from NYC to NC
  • One roadtrip from NC to Boston, with an overnight stopover in NYC
  • One roadtrip from Boston to NC, with an overnight stopover in NYC
  • One "roadtrip" to Raleigh to have some fun with a former client and friend
  • One roadtrip from NC to Boston, with an hour stopover in NYC and a rather profitable side trip to Mohegan Sun
  • One roadtrip from Boston to NC, with a detour through New Hampshire, Vermont, and an overnight stopover in NYC
  • One train trip from NC to NYC
Whew. I Tweeted it, but dang, did I make the 85/95 corridor my bitka!

I picked up this magnet at a Hannaford's in York, Maine, when it was becoming clear that I wouldn't be able to see any lighthouses of Maine. In fact, I'd mentally written up the whole lighthouse magnetpost to be how of course I went to Maine and didn't see a lighthouse.

The next morning, though, we decided to take a quick oceanside jaunt, and just before a fabulous breakfast at Sandy's Purple Palace, we stumbled to Nubble Lighthouse. It's on an island, next to a look-out promontory - so gorgeous. Hurricane Earl helped us out with a strong surf, so it was very cool to see it with busy waves hitting the shores.

The lighthouse and its outerbuildings were very much like a Hopper painting and I couldn't stop taking pictures, just trying to capture the right shadows of the towers on the lawn.

Or, you know, waiting for the gift shop to open.

I have this strange urge to see Pete's Dragon now. And I haven't been able to stop singing It's Not Easy or Candle on the Water, ever since. And I can't stop trying to say Passamaquaddy, either.
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Here's lookin' at you, joy. Part two, electric Moose-a-loo

Magnet #925 - Moose

Yes. I totally bought this second magnet from that same gas station in Massachusetts. What?

This guy was totally what I was looking for all up and down the Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont part of our roadtrip this week.

What? It's not like they're joking when they put up those MOOSE CROSSING signs!

Sigh. The Meese must be on the same evac plans that the Bears are on when I come rollin' through town.

Quick! Joy's here, everyone! Stay outta sight!
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Friday, September 3, 2010

Here's lookin' at you, joy

Magnet # 924 - Bear

This magnet that I bought at a gas station in Massachusetts today basically sums up half the roadtrips I've ever taken. Ever.

Ya'll know that when I'm traveling, I'm constantly on the lookout for bears by the roadside. Always.

I did see a bear a couple of days ago on a country road in NC. At least, I think it was a bear.

It was an unfenced field, and there was a black blob in the middle, with a light snout - exactly like this guy here. And there was a pick-up truck off to the edge of the plot of land, watching the blob. I think. I totally looked around to see if there were any other black blobs or cows to make sure it wasn't a bear that went Moooo. (/tm Erika)

Sigh. I dunno.

But seriously, ya'll. One day, this big guy is totally what I'm expecting to see one day.

Just you wait.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Say hello to George for me...

Magnet #922 - Kennebunkport

My dad has this funny joke that he uses whenever he gets a chance.

When we went to London, he wanted to drop by Buckingham Palace, to say hi to Liz.

When people visited DC, he sent his regards to Bill or George.

And so, today, it made sense that when we stumbled into Kennebunkport on our way to Portland, that my dad would want to visit George, even from across the inlet.

I honestly didn't believe that's what this house was, the Bush's cottage getaway, even as half a dozen other tourists stood at our same vantage point. But, that's what it was, and of course, now, we have the pictures to prove we said hello.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From Valley of Fire to Casino of the Sky

Magnet #922 - Valley of Fire State Park, NV

When the baby sister turned 21, we went out to Nevada and Utah, mixing fun stuff (Las Vegas, Hoover Dam) with STWsis stuff (Zion, horseback riding but thank God, no camping). And, because it was on the way, the Valley of Fire State Park. I'm really, really hoping I knew we were jaunting around the Mojave Desert at the time. Heh.

It was a very cool park, though really, it was just driving around and around (it's got about 20 miles of roadway), stopping every once in a while to look at some cool stuff along the way. These petroglyphs are apparently some 3,000 years old, and we didn't get to see them - raise your hand if you're surprised we missed all of this. (Though, driving around the desert, we felt very Mulder- and Scully-like - remember when they were out in the desert, discovering that hole in the ground with all the alien bones? Totally could have happened. Here. For sure.)

Anyway, I picked this magnet for today, because to kill some time overnight, we decided to drop by Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for some fun.

I've been there before a few times, but never really looked up and noticed all the crafty beadwork glyphs and pictures the tribe created on the ceilings. Some gorgeous work up there, and of course, it was one of the first things my mother noticed the second she walked in.

While not as old as these petroglyphs on this magnet, they were definitely just as cool.
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