joy magnetism: November 2010

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rails of the past

Magnet #1012 - Salisbury Station

My other magnet from Critters, part of my Small Business Saturday in Salisbury. I couldn't resist getting two magnets, especially since I feel like I've come through here so many times just this year - and I have the Amtrak Guest Rewards points to prove it!

It's another reason to love the train - rather than having to drive the hour south to Charlotte or north to Greensboro for the airports, my parents can drive the eight miles into town to pick-up/drop me off at the Salisbury Station.

It's a really cool mission-style station, designed in the early 1900s by prolific NC architect Frank Milburn, one of many of his stations for Southern States Railway. (For those in the know, he's also the guy who designed what must be the tallest building in downtown - the seven- or eight-story Grubb-Wallace Building, up on the square.)

But, the shame of it is, you never really notice the station's facade if you're driving right in front of it. It sits so close to the street, that you can't enjoy it, so you have to look at the building from afar.

It's terrific that the NCDOT and Salisbury have managed to keep the building from demolition, by maintaining it as the Amtrak station, but also as office and events space. It even has its own place in history at the Smithsonian!

Truly one of the best places to feel like you're stepping back in time. Much like Salisbury.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Capeside and Tree Hill

Magnet #1011 - Wilmington, NC

If there's anything you should know, it's that I love cheesy television, and frankly, I don't care who judges me for it. Whether it was Dawson's Creek in the early 2000s or One Tree Hill now, they're some of my guiltiest pleasures and I make no excuses for it.

So yeah, I admit to being a little giddy as my dad pulled into historic Downtown Wilmington, and there was perhaps a little inside squee. Or, it could have been aloud, and under my breath, acutely aware that there were others around me. But, I couldn't help it - these familiar streets, storefronts, and the Riverwalk (on this magnet) have been such a big part of my WB/CW television-viewing history - from the Capeside regatta that Pacey totally won, or to Nathan and Haley and their little friendship bracelet, studying by the water.

Doesn't matter that I've been down there several times before, that I've touched Pacey's locker, been to the Potter B&B, drove down the bend where Pacey first kissed Joey, on both friend tours and the EUE Screen Gems tour several years ago.

I was still silly, walking around town, with various scenes playing in my head this afternoon. Truly, the town's basically become a backlot for both shows.

It was fun, hanging out with my dad, roaming around town. He'd never been to Riverwalk, and was truly surprised to see the USS North Carolina moored on the opposite bank. As for me, I was surprised the ship was blue...but I was even more surprised to find out that the River Court actually exists! For years, I've thought that One Tree Hill was green-screening the court with the riverfront background! Weird.

I'll tell you what, after walking the three square blocks of Capeside and Tree Hill, just looking for someone who would have fried fish for my dad, I was desperate for Leery's Fresh Fish, right around the corner on the water. Instead, we ended up at a restaurant endorsed by both Food Network magazine & OTH cast as one of the best places to eat in town. My dad would have been happier at Captain D's.

I'd have been happier at Pacey's locker.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

He seems to be saying it rather well

Magnet #1010 - King George VI (1936-1952)

A few weeks ago, I managed to squeeze into a 92Y audience for a screening of the film, The King's Speech, followed by an hour-long Q&A with Colin Firth.

If I may take a moment to say (accompanied by a little girly squee, natch), ya'll I was so close to the stage, I could see the red lint on his black pants. Seven rows back, was I - not bad, for having bought my ticket an hour before showtime.

If you don't know, The King's Speech is a Tom Hooper indie about King George VI and his work to overcome his speech impairment. The second son of King George V, Bertie (his nickname to his family, Prince Albert to the public) never expected to rule, until his older brother abdicated the throne a year into it, for that Mrs. Wallis Simpson.

Even before he ascended, Bertie's fears of public speaking had led to numerous public gaffes, and he'd already gone through a few experts for help help. But, in Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush), the man who would be king finds a friend, mentor and coach, helping him to deliver many speeches over his lifetime.

The film's been on the film festival circuit for a while, and is finally being distributed - this weekend was its opening, and it did pretty well. Not surprising, given the cast of Firth and Rush, rounded out by Helena Bonham-Carter, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, and even a splash of Jennifer Ehle.

But on top of that, watching this poor man suffer and work through his stuttering, his family, and especially through his speech therapist makes for such an engaging story. By the end, you just want to cheer...but it'll be hard, through the tears.

The Q&A after the screening was a lot of fun to sit through. Colin was wearing his glasses of smart, and it makes me wonder if all dashing UK actors buy their glasses of smart at the same glasses of smart spectacles shop. He went through the filming process (working with Hooper and Rush), and talked about being able to see the first-hand source material (which was important, since he didn't have access to the royal family and the king wasn't available for "kinging" with him). And he mentioned that Helena liked to have her own little army of experts ("other people read the books, Helena just gets the authors.").

Such a great interview. Such a great movie.

Go. Now. Why are you still reading this magnetpost. Go!
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Small Business Saturday in Salisbury, aka #smallbizsat

Magnet #1009 - Historic Salisbury Bell Tower

Some friends from Chapel Hill come visit me while I was at home in Salisbury, NC. I was excited for them to come visit, because it's been a few months, but also, because it's Small Business Saturday, promoted on Twitter and Facebook as such by American Express. And ya'll know I love participating in stuff like this.

We met up at Spanky's for sandwiches and ice cream (made 40 feet away from the spot you order it!). The guy who owns it, used to own the same fish market my parents loved going to in the 80s. The summer of 92, I worked in "downtown" Salisbury and even back then, Spanky's had the best roast beef sandwiches in the world. You know what? They totally still do.

Then, my friends asked for an impromptu "joy tour" of Salisbury. Totally unprepared! We really should have dropped by the tourist information center, because we missed so very much.

And ya'll should know by now that any joy tour provided, is usually riddled with half-a-facts and odd anecdotes, and this time around, they got none of the actual history and quite possibly the most boring-ist tour ever!

To wit:

We drove around Salisbury, past the courthouse and jail, Hap's Grill, the pretty historic houses, the old Earle's office supplies store (one of my faves), the Salisbury Post building, the Confederate Angel, the town's historic mural, my parents' old office, the library, my old church, the old YMCA, Salisbury High School, the hospital, and WAKE UP!

Yeah, that took about 30 minutes.

The next hour was a drive down to Catawba College, Jake Alexander Blvd, my BFF's dad's mechanics shop, my BFF's grandfather's old house, Granite Lake, Granite Quarry, my parents old office, Granite Quarry Elementary School (and playground), the house on Jack St. I grew up in, Granite Knitwear, East Rowan High School, the band room, the football stadium, Erwin Jr. High, and WAKE UP!

Finally, we ended it with a quick jaunt up and down Main and Innes streets, supporting Small Businesses like nobody's business, shopping at the (what have they got against romances, anyway) independent bookstore, having orangeades (best in the world, I swear) at the soda fountain in Innes Street Drug Store and picking up some Cheerwine cakes, buying magnets at Critters (no kidding, that's the name), and browsing through (not O.O. Rufty's, but close) a general store. (Not at all done with #smallbizsat, I ended the day with a quick drive-thru for superyummy Hendrix BBQ, where they meet you at your car to take and hand-off your order.)

It was pretty fun pretending we were tourists in my adopted hometown. (Adopted only because even if I moved when I was 5, I was still the Yankee when I graduated.)

It was definitely a little embarrassing the amount of information I didn't know about Salisbury, even living there for nigh on 20 years. Like, who knew the bell tower shown here was the First Presbyterian Church Bell Tower? Ok, likely every Salisbury native knows that. But I'll admit, I sure didn't.

And, up until just now, I didn't even know til this photography blogpost, that the tower was originally attached to the giant, original First Presbyterian Church, a place of worship that was razed in 1971!

I can't believe they razed the church to rebuild down the street! Good grief, it's Penn Station all over again.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Too much

Magnet #1008 - ELVIS-a-rama Museum

Black Friday.

I bought way too much. I didn't even need anything really, since about 80% of my Christmas shopping was done, but my cousins and I left at 3 in the morning, and didn't come home til 3 in the afternoon.

We started out with Best Buy, Target, a craft store, a fabric store, and all of Concord Mills ("the number one attraction of North Carolina, my mom always tells me). Whew.

One of the great deals was this Elv1s CD of his #1 hits for only $6.50 at Target. I mean, hello! When was the last time you picked up a CD with 30 tracks for under $10? Yay!

I've mentioned before how much I love Elvis, so of course, I couldn't miss going to the ELVIS-a-rama Museum and Gift Shop, a roadside attraction in Vegas.

I've a confession to make, though. I didn't do the museum part, I just did a quick trip to the gift shop (because I had to also squeeze in the Liberace Museum before my flight).

Although, I'm really glad I dropped by, because the poor museum closed back about four years ago. It's yet another museum that I regret just paying to go through really quick. I was about to say, just like the Pez Museum in PA, and I just found out that it closed down, too!


Son of a gun! I just looked up the Liberace Museum, and it looks like it just closed, too!! Three weeks ago!

Good grief.

I'm starting to wonder if I go to sad little museums who are too obscure to stay alive, or if I'm bad luck!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Decoder magnet

Magnet #1007 - Egypt

Ok. How cool is this magnet? I love how there's a hieroglyphics key! It makes me want to find the nearest Egyptian collection and start decoding. Funnily enough, it wasn't until I looked at the picture of the magnet that I realized that it holds the keys to the universe. Or, at least the letters to it.

Egypt's on my list of places to visit, but not for a while, methinks. But, just think, I didn't even have to go farther than the Egyptian goods stall at the Union Square Holiday Market to find this magnet! Another reason to be grateful for New York City!

Supershort post today, I have to keep moving, otherwise, I'll go into a food coma. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hu-hu-hu-ha-ha! Hu-hu-hu-ha-ha! Guess who?

Magnet #1006 - Woody Woodpecker

C'mon. You can't tell me you're not singing the Woody Woodpecker theme song right now!

He was one of my favorites of the Saturday morning cartoon line-up, growing up in Chicago. Back when I had to be dragged away from the television to start my day.

Uh, yeah, that really hasn't changed much. To this day, I am not opposed to running Cartoon Network or Boomerang all day long in my apartment. And of course, I still have to be dragged away from the television to start my day.

Anyway, I knew when I saw this magnet at Universal Studios I couldn't walk away from him - he was such a part of my childhood!

I did want to share a new cartoon that I discovered on Facebook, the Velvet Mouse Show. It's basically a bunch of guys who got together to create a new cartoon show worthy of the 70s and 80s Saturday morning cartoons.

It's about the shenanigans of four dudes - two stoner kids (ok, fine, but Shaggy-like) who end up forming a band with Merlin's nephew and a Buzz Lightyear-ish dude from another planet. Oh, and the requisite cutegirl (voiced by Emma Caulfield) who drops by every so often, a mouse who doesn't really show up all that often so far, and Dr. X, the evil scientist who hates confounded rock music. *shakes fists*

No, I know it sounds a little crazy, and it totally is, with its trippy music and animated sequences, silly stories and even sillier 70s sound cues, but I've now watched every episode on their site, and actually kinda love it. The pilot's below, cuz I can't stop hearing the Velvet Mouse theme song in my head now.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bam, said the lady* - Guest Blogger, DC Sister, #sdcc

Magnet #1005 - BAM!

All of geekdom wasted another two hours going after the SD Comic-Con badges that their registration vendor, EPIC, couldn't make happen. Again. Making this BAM! sticker magnet pretty accurate.

I had nothing to do but ride a train and hit refresh, so I sat back and watched the #sdcc hashtag fly by, laughing as each hatetweet and #EPICfail Tweet and Cafe Press shirt went by. But, it's not really funny.

On the business side, there's absolutely nothing funny about a vendor who doesn't deliver, twice. There's also nothing funny about slow PR crisis response, waiting too long to communicate with the pissed-off masses, and waiting even longer to call Time of Death on the registration proceedings.

I do feel terrible for the folks that were running around trying to fix the bad situation. But that time lapse allowed so much
#sdcc vitriol to spew that it would make any and all corporate reputation experts' heads spin. So much goodwill was lost in those two hours, it's impossible to gauge. Will anyone boycott? No, of course not. Will people continue to mock the SDCC and EPIC brands? Most likely.

Now we wait for the next TBD reg date. In the meantime, the below post is from DC Sister, who was one of the lucky ones who got a golden ticket.

Take it away, Charlie!

- joy

So if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that Joy and I went to the San Diego Comic-Con this past summer. Yeah. Cool, right?

She and I (and maybe SaveTheWorldCouple) were supposed to have bought our tickets for the 2011 Comic-Con yesterday. You would think that after the big registration fail two weeks ago, the organizers would’ve come up with some solutions before they reopened registration yesterday. Too bad that didn’t happen.

Once again, I was obsessively pressing the Refresh button for more than an hour only to get server errors. Sigh. Oh well.

In the end, I got my badge at least before they closed registration once more for technical difficulties. Sadly, I have a feeling that one more fail means none of my group will want to go and I’ll have to sell my ticket back.

Oh, but I do so want to go!

Why? you ask. Why venture back into the fray of the great, graphic-T-wearing unwashed? Here goes:

- The stars. How often do you get to see/hear your favorite stars talk about their shows/movies? In D.C. it doesn’t happen often. I don’t like New York much, but I do get jealous when Joy gets to see someone like Colin Firth speak at a screening. (To brag, though, I’ve been on the set of The West Wing and met the cast when they filmed in D.C., so ... holla!)

- The spectacle. Dudes, a lot of people go to this shindig. Like a lot, a lot. And I hate lines; I like to blame the three-hour wait at Bloomingdale’s to meet Santa when we were kids. [This way to Santa! This way to Santa! - joy] But at this place? I don’t mind so much. Because, really, where else can you sit down for an hour or two in line and see Wonder Woman, Mal Reynolds, Chewbacca and a TARDIS pass you by in a matter of minutes? Best. People watching. Ever.

- The possibilities. The $64,000 question: Is it better to go in 2011 or 2012? Much of this hinges on what movies are coming out next year. Captain America had a panel this summer, but the film is scheduled to open Comic-Con weekend in 2011! Will the cast be there again? Will they have, like, surprise screenings? Because if so, I’m there. Richard Armitage is in this movie. It may be a bit part, but who cares. He’s. In. A. Movie. Like a big movie. What if he’s there???

Also, he’s gonna be in The Hobbit. I don’t even like that book! All I remember from reading it in sixth grade is the vocabulary word “fortnight.” I don’t really know who his character is either. But I do know I’ll be seein’ that ish. But will Richard, Peter Jackson et al. be at Comic-Con in 2011?

Presumably they’d still be filming in New Zealand, but could one or two of them - preferably someone whose initials are brought to you by the letters R and A - give an early sneak peek at footage, maybe to raise awareness? Or would they come in 2012, a few months before the movie releases in December? Bah. These are important questions!

They likely won’t be answered until well after we decide to give up our tickets. Alls I know is I’ll be kicking myself if I’m at home that week in July and there’s some YouTube video of Richard Armitage playing Just Dance with Zachary Levi on the Comic-Con show floor in San Diego or something.

*TM @NathanFillion, who *needs* to call me when we’re in San Diego...if anyone can successfully register, that is.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

For time and the world do not stand still.*

Magnet #1004 - John F. Kennedy

Where were you forty-seven years ago today?

It's definitely one of those days that a few generations can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news about John F. Kennedy being shot in Dallas.

It would be a good decade before I was born, so all I have is the legacy of his presidency and the tragic story of his assassination. And several magnets...including this one, from Pomegranate.

It looks like some folks are planning on educating a whole new generation about the JFK legacy, with a January 2011 launch of JFK50 - currently a launch page announcing an innovative community website dedicated to celebrating the 50th anniversary of his presidency.

I'm not gonna lie, the hopeful tone of the video and the content just made me all teary - especially within the context of today's turbulent times, and how far (or how little) we've come in the last 50 years.

Nice job, JFK50.

*For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
- John F. Kennedy

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

To infinity and beyond, indeed

Magnet #1003 - Fredric Edwin Church's Aurora Borealis

What a gorgeous painting. My friends brought this back for me a few weeks ago.

Do you suppose, back in 1860, when Fredric Edwin Church painted his Aurora Borealis, that he ever thought that man would be Tweeting the same image...from space?

While I get it's totally a PR mechanism for NASA, I can't even believe that all the astronauts are allowed to Tweet...much less from space. And holding Tweet Ups? Wha?

It's like the coolest thing - ever. The astronaut who Tweeted that image (@astro_soichi) has already gone home, so I've started following @astro_wheels and @NASA_Astronauts. I won't lie, it's mainly because in my head, I'm totally envisioning how the kids from Space Camp would have Tweeted. (@JinxtheRogueRobot: "@Max and @Jinx, friends foooooreeeeeever!" or @ImTish: "Whip me, beat me, take away my charge card, NASA'S TALKING!")

Anyway, from this Church painting to those Twitpics, it's truly unbelievable how far we've come in the last couple of centuries.

Back then, it was amazing that Dr. Isaac Hayes was leading an expedition to the Arctic, and that he made it back alive. He's the one who brought back sketches from his trip, and gave them to Church to paint. Folks actually considered this painting a portent of doom, an omen for the ensuing conflict between North and South.

Now, we're marveling over Twitpics from space. Whew.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

You must rememble this

Magnet #1002 - Rememble

Ok. Someone's been listening to this blog, because I took a quick spin through the Holiday Market down at Union Square yesterday, and bought tons of stocking stuffers. And at least four magnets.

I dunno what it is, but this year, a lot more booths seem to be selling them. That's right. You heard it here, joy magnetism is the vanguard of magnet popularity.

Anyway, one of the places I dropped by was the supercool Nicola and the Newfoundlander booth. I was totally drawn in by the gorgeous display of wood magnets with tiny 1x1 images on them. Loved it.

The wood magnets were what they called "reclaimed words on reclaimed wood" - the most novel and creative idea I've seen in a while. The artists, Nicola and Brendan (I'm assuming he's the Newfoundlander) have been creating hand-crafted, green art for the last decade. They have some beautiful work for sale at the market. But you know I had keen eyes for that small wall of magnets.

Nicola explained to me that she and Brendan have created images of lost words - words that have gone out of use - and placed them on reclaimed wood that they rescued from all over Brooklyn - watertowers, Coney Island boardwalks, pickle and wine tanks, etc. There's some gorgeous ones on the board, but I'm now deathly afraid to go back down to visit, because I worry that it'll be too tempting to just start collecting. (Kind of like this whole carousel of the Unemployed Philosophers Guild.)

But, even if you're not a pins/magnets kinda person (although, hi, you're reading about magnets right now!), there are nightlights, vases, clocks, etc. Very cool. And you feel smart for buying from them, because they've done their utmost to be as green as possible with their work.

So by now, you're probably wondering what rememble means. No, this isn't a sneaky ad for Rememble, the social media site, either. Basically, rememble is having a false memory, one of my mother's funniest phrases. (I can't wait to tell her that there's an actual word for it.)

For example, dcsis seems to have a memory that she's the one who came up with the idea of doing a blog about a different magnet each day. I have no recollection of this conversation. So that means one of us, does not rememble correctly.
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Friday, November 19, 2010


Magnet #1001 - Inspire

Dudes. You've no idea the pressure over selecting the next of the millienialmagnets!

I figured a little echo from yesterday's magnet wouldn't hurt, so I'm using this inspire magnet for a couple of the most gratifying days I've had in years.

I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but JCP is running their Adopt-an-Angel / Angel Giving Tree Program again this year, in partnership with the Salvation Army and Rascal Flatts.

Yesterday I volunteered for their media event down in Herald Square - your usual "hand over a giant check" and shake some hands media event, followed by a little meet and greet with the band. We helped the Salvation Army collect toys for the toy drive, and in return JCP/RF gave away autographed copies of the latest CD.

Then, this morning, I got to help out in the Salvation Army Toy Workshop! Dudes. A. Toy. Workshop.

If you guys know me at all, you know that I love toys. Christmas. Gift-wrapping. And not necessarily in that order.

Shoot. If you know me at all, you know that for me, being in the Toy Workshop, knee-deep in piles of toys, looking for just the right one for little Johnny or Suzie must be what Heaven's like. (Only with more chocolate and television. And George Clooney. And Joshua Jackson. And David Tennant. And throw Alex O'Loughlin in there, too.)

Can I tell you guys? I had the best time for those few hours, sorting and resorting, pecking and hunting, bagging and tagging toys for a local daycare. Yes, it was just me with my supervisor (Dudes, she's in charge of a Toy Workshop! How is that not the best job in all of the world right now?), and the toys, and I don't remember the last time I felt this good about something I was involved in.

Don't get me wrong. I love volunteering. But, usually, when I volunteer, it's for stuff like Tribeca Film Festival with an angled view of the Red Carpet and Mickey Rourke brushing past me as I'm calling for audience ballots, or a Dragon Boat Festival where I'm knee-deep in a semi-submerged boat in the Hudson wondering why the cuteboys aren't helping me bail water, or at the NY TV Festival giving out directions, waiting for my comp pass to a TV critics panel, or once, (and I quit after one session) babysitting helping over-privileged, spoiled Upper West Side kids through a kids' workshop at a kids' museum.

So I never really get to help anyone.

But, this was different. Yeah, I don't get to see the kids unwrap their presents, but just knowing that because of the Salvation Army, they'll actually have a present...well, that's present enough for me.

What inspired me this season? (Don't think I'm not mourning for all those seasons past that I could have been helping out there.)

The only reason I ended up helping out is because I had on the TV in the background last week, and heard the JCP Angel ad come on, and I was tickled because the VO said something about the greatest gift you can give someone is joy.

I was amused so much, that I went online and picked an angel, who lives somewhere in a 2-block radius of me. As I was clicking here and there, selecting all my gifts, it struck me that I wondered who was coordinating the gifts and wrapping the gifts on the other side.

The next day, I emailed the Salvation Army to see if I could help out in any way, and voila! Toy Workshop. I can't wait for Thanksgiving to be over, so I can come back and dive back into the toypiles.

Who says TV ads don't work?

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inhale Courage, Exhale Fear III: The Flowers of Adversity - Guest blogger, Sasha Muradali, Little Pink Book

Magnet #1000 - Experience

Whoa. One thousand magnets. I look around my studio and think, well, at the very least, I have a thousand magnets sitting in this room. Remember, I pegged this blog to last only a couple of years. Next February makes three. Whoa.

And I
still don't know how long this journey will continue. (Especially not if I keep shopping at Cafe Press. Oiy.)

Anyway, it's been a great experience writing
joy magnetism day after day, as it's slowly become part memoir, part journal, part art guide, part entertainment, mostly kooky, and almost 100% me. Almost, because as you know from time to time, I pass the baton over to a guest blogger.

Today's guest blogger is Sasha Muradali, a former colleague of mine, who has graciously cross-posted today's entry with her Little Pink Book.

And now for something a little different
- joy

There is this funny thing about life that happens -- it gets in the way of itself.

There is no rhyme, no reason, no logic and no sense of sense.

Blaise Pascal, the famous French mathematician said,
"Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point."
In other words,
"The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know."
In 1989, Bruce Hornsby wrote "The End of the Innocence" where he said,

via WeHeartIt
"Remember when the days were long and rolled beneath a deep blue sky,
Didn't have a care in the world with mommy and daddy standing by,
When "happily ever after" fails and we've been poisoned by these fairy tales..."

... and dreams of Disney, The Grimm Brothers fairy tales and Barbie dolls came to mind, slightly behind the cursing of Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell shortly thereafter.

It's an interesting dynamic how the world works: the fine line between what we are taught to believe, forced upon us by society, and what truly exists.

In work, in relationships, with friends, lovers, foes and friends - it's that loathsome, self-depreciating torturous loophole in the human psyche where we contribute to the deterioration of our own control.

In 1949, Walt Disney said

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

3 Octopuses & An Otter World Tour - #makeithappen

Magnet #999 - Fezzes are cool

(I promise. This is the last Doctor Who magnet, at least until the Christmas Special.)

Here's the thing. I love the BBC. I even love BBC-America (even though I haven't a clue what's going on with their programing right now).

And lord knows, I love me some Doctor Who.

But, I've been puzzled over why the big U.S. push. Why now? Why not when David Tennant was being hailed one of Britain's national treasures?

There's a part of me that thinks that the BBC underestimated the American Doctor Who audiences until they brought David Tennant and John Barrowman together at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. And by then, it was too late to do anything more with DT.

I figure, post-SDCC, they all got together in a big room and said, dudes, there's a new team in place, we have a little money in the budget because we have new talent, so let's go raise that U.S. awareness even more, shall we?

Which is how we ended up with a huge push for Series 5 with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan - I'm talking actual advertising dollars, including outdoor advertising all over the place (at least here in NYC), they closed the gap between UK/U.S. airings, and they did a whole PA tour around the U.S.

The only gap in this media blitz plan is why the lull at both SD/NY Comic-Cons this year. Would have thought they'd have made it over, or fielded a panel or two. Perhaps they were saving up for the big U.S. shoot, just around the release of the DVDs?

Brilliant plan, I suppose. Because the shoot and the DVDs give young Matt Smith something to talk about - in his big profile piece in USA Today, his podcast with (the suddenly oh so cute, when the hell did that happen?) @nerdist, and now a whole Doctor Who-themed Craig Ferguson show today.

I wish I had the link for the whole show, but it just aired like an hour ago, so I don't have it, but I'm sure someone will upload it asap. It was freakin' awesome. From Craig's (real or fake, who knows) outrage at not getting Doctor Who themesong legal clearances, to the sonics to the male/female Dalek, to Chris Hardwick's audition for Twelve, to Matt Smith's stay at the Playboy penthouse and meeting a girl in Vegas, and his incredibly cute socks, and his secret ability to play the harmonica for the Three Octopuses & An Otter band. Great episode.

Truth be told, I'm well aware that it just seems like we're getting bombarded here, but it's totally nothing like the ubiquitous PR blitz on the cover of every magazine, every talk show, reality show, quiz show in the UK.

Not that I'm not complaining, folks. Really, it's more like professional awe for all the hits that the PR team's managed to get for the show and for Matt Smith. Way to go, BBC kids! (I kinda just mourn for all the might have been's with my boy David Tennant, had he had the same sort of media support. Sigh. What? Ya'll know, David's my Doctor.)

Anyway. Yes. I'm spending way too much time on Cafepress. Why do you ask?

Besides, fezzes are cool.

Heh. I just realized, it prolly should be octopi. Still. Cute. And I would totally go see them, if it meant Craig, Matt and Chris on stage together dancing.

And so, my friends, behold, the lovely Matt Smith/Craig Ferguson interview.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sterling's Gold

Magnet #998 - Mad Men's Roger Sterling

Yep, another one of my Mad Men: The Illustrated World pins magnets that I picked up at New York Comic-Con this year.

I'm using it today for a couple of reasons, mostly because ya'll know I'm supertotally picking up Sterling's Gold this week. How could I not?

If it's anything like Kendall Hart's Charm! or Richard Castle's Heat Wave, it'll totally hit the New York Times list. Although, I will cry if it's as bad as the excerpts that Don overheard on the show. Let's hope Roger's ghostwriters did a great job.

One thing's for sure, Roger would be pleased as punch that as an ad girl 12 years in the business, I haven't read David Ogilvy's Confessions of an Ad Man and I haven't read Bill Marsteller's Creative Management (I own it, so that kinda counts, even though they used to give it to all Marsteller employees.) but I'm about to read Sterling's Gold.

Boy. I can't wait for Don Draper's book to come out.

Hah! I totally forgot the whole reason I decided to do this magnet this week in the first place. It's because I saw John Slattery's Lincoln MKX ad. Nice to see him in it, cuz he's purty, but it probably wasn't a good thing that I thought it was a very nice companion piece to Kate Walsh's Cadillac spot a couple of years ago. Oops.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Take a look, it's Dinosaur Land - Guest blogger, Save the World BIL

Magnet #997 - Dinosaur Land

I have a confession to make:

I've never seen an episode of
Reading Rainbow. I know! It was on from 1983-2006! How could I have missed 155 episodes of the show!

So when STW BIL sent me his guest blogger post below, and said it was written a la
Reading Rainbow, the reference totally went over my head. Sure, I've seen bits and pieces of it over the years, and heard my sisters rave about Levar Burton, but I've never sat down for a full-blown episode. Of course, I had to go look up the wiki.

Still, the below's written in voice so well, that it's not hard to imagine hearing Levar in your head, reading the below magnetpost aloud to you.

I'll see you next time!
- joy

Hi, I’m a guest blogger.

Do you enjoy stories of giants, epic battles, and wild exotic lands? Well, then this magnet is for you. Dinosaurs may have lived millions of years ago, but there’s one place in Virginia where you can relive their glory days. What would you call this intriguing land of dinosaurs?

Dinosaur Land, of course!

Dinosaur Land takes us back to a simpler pre-Spielbergian time when plastic replicas represented these giants and roadside attractions brought people from miles around on the weekends. You can see the dinosaur battle reenacted by the titans on the magnet, and if you squint hard enough you’ll swear that they really moved. They have all the dinosaurs you’ve come to love and know like stegosaurus, triceratops, and brontosaurus; and a few you may not really know such as the oviraptor and iguanadon. Each one has a written description of where it lived and what it ate.

If you wanted something a little more than just dinosaurs, then you too are in luck. They also have a giant spider, sabertooth tiger (really a smilodon), and King Kong. Once you finish your self-guided tour, make sure get to the gift shops where you not only find dinosaur-themed gifts, but Native American and patriotic fare. [Clearly, this guy was meant to be in our family, if he's mentioning the gift shop! Yay! -joy]

If you find yourself near Winchester, VA, Dinosaur Land makes for a fun afternoon. But don’t take my word for it…..find out for yourself!

Bundump dump.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010


Magnet #996 - Las Vegas

Remember when I was cheating on George Clooney with Josh Duhamel? Yeah, still doing it. Thanks to TNT's drama blocks in the morning, there's two hours of Charmed, two hours of Supernatural and then two hours of Las Vegas.

I know when Sam and Dean are on, I've overslept, but when you don't really have anywhere to go, it's ok. Of course, it's gonna be hell, the first week at a new job, getting back into a new sleep routine.

I can't remember if I bought this magnet, or if someone gave it to me knowing I love my name on magnets. This one looks like it dropped out of the 70s or 80s, and who knows what's going on with the calligraphy font. Just silly creative decision there.

For some reason, though, the magnet reminds me of that old tv series Vega$ with Robert Urich. Clearly, I'm showing my age, because the show aired from 1978-1981, and that still puts me in single-digits, with a slight tv crush on Robert Urich. I remember thinking how handsome he was, running around solving cases in Las Vegas in his really cool big red Thunderbird.

I was definitely way too young to be watching the show, though, because I distinctly remember one case, where they were going after a stalker, and I think it was Dan Tana who got into the shower, had his eyes closed as he turned on the water, and as he faced up into the falling water, it turned deep red, like blood. And then he opened his eyes to realize that he was covered in red goo.

That scene seriously scared the bejeezus out of me. Like, to this day, the thought of it freaks me out.

Looks like the show's on DVD, though, so maybe I can go back and watch it...and scrub the scary memory from my mind.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Brooms up!

Magnet #995 - Minnesota

I've always said that I wasn't going to start collecting these state magnets, because I didn't really want (or have space for) all 50 magnets.

The thing is, I have a good handful of them, and I couldn't figure out why in the heck I had these specific magnets: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin (2), Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. And British Columbia. About a week ago, my cross-country traintrip buddy explained - apparently, I bought them at the Mall of America, and bought all the magnets of the states we were going to touch on our trip. Bingo! (It doesn't explain Oklahoma, but whatevs.)

I picked Minnesota today for the Quidditch World Cup. Yep. You read right. Another reason to love New York, because you can see Quidditch, a Low-Riders parade, and some antiques, all in the heart of Hell's Kitchen.

After yet another visit to the Time Warner Center Dali exhibition, we headed over to the Pier Antiques Show. I've never been before, and it's not like I'm really in the market for anything new, or old as the case may be. There was a whole section of modernist furniture - which I would totally have delved further into, if I had the disposable income to completely redo my apartment. I love that stuff! Uncomfortable as hell, but supercute!

And of course, we checked out all the fun jewelry - both the inexpensive bangles (yay, cute ring!) and more expensive costume pieces. For my part, I also loved looking at all the Royal Doultons, the Laliques, the cranberry glass, the tiny micromosaics, the kitchenalia, etc. - basically all the really cool stuff that my boys Paul Hayes and Alistair Appleton always dug up on Cash in the Attic.

Across the street at DeWitt Clinton Park, all the kids were out for the International Quidditch Association World Cup. Ya'll, I've never read a single Harry Potter all the way through, but even I know that Quidditch involves flying. When I saw the signs at MIT, I was convinced those smartkids had come up with a way to fly. So when we showed up at the park, I was kind of convinced I'd be seeing kids flying around, capes flying behind them. (What, I've seen the movies!)

Well, there were capes and a little bit of cosplay (ok, a robe here and there), and definitely brooms...although no one's invented the flying broom yet. Muggle Quidditch turns out to be a mix of dodgeball, soccer and a bit of football, maybe some handball and basketball. Oh! And definitely broomball...without a skating rink. Still. Fun stuff!

What I can't get over is that almost 50 teams are taking part in the games today and tomorrow from near and far, with uniforms ranging from the homemade shirts of the NYU teams to the snazzy jerseys of the U of Minnesota team, sponsored by OfficeMax. I'm assuming it's like intramurals, but man, those kids were on coach buses all the way from Minnesota (hence the magnet) to Canada's McGill. Whoa.

That's total a sport that didn't even exist before 1997. I mean, it's possible that some of these kids are giving up their firstborns, by the looks of their running around with a broom between their legs. Ouch!
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Friday, November 12, 2010

They weren't you, honey.*

Magnet #994 - Marion Ravenwood

I love seeing Harrison Ford positively everywhere lately. I'm not even a huge fan, it's just nice to see the guy out and about and on people's sofas. He was on Kimmel this week. Kimmel. And? He was actually pretty funny.

(Plus, there's something hot about Harrison Ford, journeyman carpenter. Pictures. We need to find those. Surely some woman took a picture of her hot carpenter. No? Really? What a waste.)

So, seeing all the commercials for Morning Glory, and hearing the news that he lobbied for Han Solo to kick it in Return of the Jedi, and hearing his gravelly voice all over the place, kinda makes me want to rewatch his whole Netflix oeuvre, starting from scratch. Kinda.

For sure, I need to re-watch all of the Indiana Jones movies, because after reading Marion Ravenwood's Indy wiki, it feels like there's a whole Indyverse that I've missed out on. Like, seriously. Just scroll down to the bottom of that page, there's appearances everywhere, including non-canonical ones! And two from the LEGO Indiana Jones alone. (Ok, what?)

And I've always thought I needed to watch the Star Wars saga back to back, to back to back, to back to back. (Guess what I just added to my Netflix queue. This could take a while.)

So, I guess the question is, should I also add in the Jack Ryan series? I mean, they're great, but not epic. Plus, no one's dressing up at Comic-Con as Jack Ryan.

For sure, I don't need to rewatch Witness or Mosquito Coast, or Frantic, or Working Girl, and definitely not Six Days, Seven Nights.

Though, I've never really seen Regarding Henry.

Oh, yeah. This could take a while. I'm not making any promises, honey.

*Indy to Marion, in Crystal Skull. I've never really believed that they procreated together, but I'll admit that if they manage to make a new Indy series with Mutt the Greaser, I will totally be there for it.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Freedom is not free

Magnet #993 - American Flag, c. 1781

When you think of all the battles our troops have fought and are fighting, both on our soil and off, it's both scary and amazing. The veteran stats are mind-boggling. And they're doing it, so that we can go about our normal days.

So, wherever you are, whatever you're doing today, thank a vet this Veterans Day. Either in person (in Times Square with Cosmo's Kisses for the Troops), or online (at USO's Thanks from Everywhere or at Operation Gratitude). There's a million ways to show your support, today, and every day.

Here's something else that was mind-boggling. This flag. I debated whether or not to use it, because I honestly didn't know what the story was behind I just spent the last hour researching, just in case it was a bad flag to use today.

I bought it at the Alexander Hamilton exhibition at the New-York Historical Society several years ago - as part of a set, which included Alex, his buddy Burr, the dueling pistol Hamilton was killed with, and several others. But I didn't keep the description. Because I'm smart that way.

Check it - the flag has only 12 stars and stripes. Why? And the Eagle's on it. Why? This General Fremont flag is the only one that comes close, but no cigar.

So then, I clicked on a couple of old links for the Hamilton exhibition, and eureka, I found the flag! It's actually correct on the flag, which was used around 1781, and carried at the Battle of Yorktown.

Turns out the magnet was cropped wrong - way to go, magnet dudes. Thanks for that.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Small gift, big smile, indeed!

Magnet #992 - Pekkle

Dudes! Pekkle's back on Sanrio shelves! Ok, ok, just for Sanrio's 50th anniversary, but still! Pekkle's back!

What? Ya'll know I loves me some Pekkle.

I was very sad to see them retire him a few years ago, so I stocked up on a bunch of Pekkle items before he went away, so I do have quite a bit of duck stuff sitting still here around the house. Nevertheless, I did do a bit of squeeing last week when I found out they brought back several Sanrio characters back for the celebration. Of course, I picked up a few more Pekkle items, including this pin magnet, some stickers and other small gifts...with a big smile on my face.

And, new stuff seems to be popping up each time I go back. Not that I've been back that often. Since last week. Or anything.



I'm excited, though, because even though there's a big Sanrio store on 42nd street, there's a mobile pop-up store coming to town in early December. Of course, I'll find it.

I mean, hello.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bow ties are cool

Magnet #991 - Bow Ties Are Cool

I grew up at an ad agency where my C-suite made bow ties cool. I miss those guys. And, really, guys who know how to rock the bow tie.

Luckily, I've got Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor to fill in the gap, and it was probably this running line that won me over.

I've been saving this Cafe Press magnet for a couple of weeks, because Doctor Who Series 5 (or 31-ish, if you're really counting) comes out on DVD today. I'm excited, Best Buy's already told me it's waiting for me, so in about 12 hours, I'll have it in my hot little hands. (I'm actually more excited that the BBC DVD boxset prices were inexplicably a little more affordable for this season, but with a $20 BB certificate? Score!)

Won't lie, David Tennant will always be my doctor, no matter who the "girl who screams a bit" is by his side. And, I was a little nervous (and possibly psychic, with that Van Gogh magnet) about the new guy. But, after Matt Smith's first episode, I was kinda sold - his madcap Doctor was a little scary, but his performances with both Amelia and Amy Pond were just terrific. Plus, love her or hate her, Amy's a pretty great companion for this iteration of the Doctor.

Of course, (shout-out to @goddesspharo...and her glorious picspams) it helps that Karen Gillan's hair is just about the prettiest on television. (What? A shallow hair comment shouldn't come as a surprise from the girl who wanted to be a blonde Farrah Fawcett when she was five.)

Seriously, I do enjoy a good Eleven and Amy Pond story. And, between Van Gogh and the Weeping Angels two-parter, with a dash of River Song and even some James Corden, we had some really good episodes this season. Which is great, because those balanced out my two non-faves, Vampires in Venice (because ya'll know besides Vampire Diaries and of course, old-school WB, I hate vampires) and Victory of the Daleks (because ya'll know I hate Daleks - Oh. The. Horror.).

I'll also miss my ever-charming David Tennant Video Diaries, for sure, but maybe Matt's will make up for them? Maybe?

Anyway, if you haven't checked out the Doctor in any of his iterations, I don't know who you are, try the BBC official site...but for a much more fun dive into the Doctor's universe, drop by Blogtor Who, always ready with a good review, a laugh, and a fun time. /that's what she said!
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Monday, November 8, 2010


Magnet #990 - Pow

A sticker magnet after my own heart. I totally made it yesterday, I think I got the sticker sheet from the vaunted dollar aisle at Target.

Last year on this date, I would likely have been saying Pow! due to work frustrations. I'm so pleased that I can use it for something fun instead.

I think every geek and their brother blogged about the San Diego Comic-Con ticket-(non)selling debacle last Monday. Well, according to their site, today's the day they're going to make an announcement about when they're going to open registration and start selling badges.

Or you know, maybe they'll just start selling badges?

Who knows?

(C'mon, you can't tell me no one reading this just answered with, "The Shadow knows.")


Oh, good grief. The SDCC announcement today was to let us know that they'll be ready to open reg on November 22nd. Really?

There's like a myriad possibilities that would take a good three weeks in between last week and the 22nd. New trade show vendor to handle reg. Ordering new servers. Reinventing the abacus.

Any way you slice it, I'd be willing to bet there's some poor team that won't be sleeping for the next couple of weeks to make that deadline. Good luck, ya'll.

And, I'll see the rest of ya'll on the 22nd!

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

The other London

Magnet #989 - London, Ontario

One of my roadtripping friends took a mostly for work roadtrip with another friend up to London, Ontario, and brought this back for me.

Settled by Europeans in the 1800s, London, Ontario, Canada, it's definitely taken its cue from its namesake in England, with both a Thames River and a Covent Garden Market.

And, as it turns out, the town of more than 350,000 inhabitants has a lot to see and do.

I'm not a beer person at all, but would so do the Labatt Brewery tour, it looks like fun! I don't have kids, but I would love to visit Storybook Gardens, cuz it just looks like a great place to hang. They have a few museums as well, and we all know how I love those.

Also, I'm not like a huge tree fan, but how cool does this London Tree Trunk Tour look? The public art project's done by some amazing artists, with the tourism board and STIHL Canada. The artists have taken more than a dozen tree trunks scattered throughout the town, and have created some gorgeous carvings out of the trunks. Seriously cool stuff!

Definitely helps them earn that Forest City nickname!
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Saturday, November 6, 2010


Magnet #988 - My Other Car

I like to think that I'm open to new things, new ideas, new experiences.

Ok, I like to think that I try to be open to new things, new ideas, new experiences. So when I see or hear of things that I feel like I should know about, I try and explore it. Or, at least dip a toe.

My latest fascination is the Steampunk culture. For those who aren't quite sure what it is, according to a couple of sources, it's basically an era or alt world where steam power's the main source of energy - usually around latter 1800s (Victorian, my absolute fave period of history), with a huge dose of science fiction/fantasy.

And, from what I've gathered so far, it also includes airships, gas masks (presumably to ward off steam pollution), clockworks, parasols, shiny buttons and shiny metal, and very cool goggles. No, really. I'm all about the goggles. WANT.

The reason steampunk ever came up in the first place, is because @jane_l or @smartbitches, can't remember which, said that Meljean Brook's The Iron Duke was so good, that they were ready to buy a copy off of Amazon for three followers, asap. That's a helluva recommendation for me.

But since then, I keep running into it everywhere I turn.

They were at Comic-Con, not enough to make me think it was a thing, but enough to say to myself, goggles.

Then someone (probably @Syfy) Tweeted about Riese: Kingdom Falling, a web series from Syfy.

I also went to Lady Jane's Salon, where authors read their work aloud, at the sexy, red velvet-draped Madame X, and promptly sat down next to the lovely author Stella Price, who gave me her marketing packet which included this supercool sticker magnet.

A friend of mine's assistant dressed up as a Steampunk Librarian for Halloween. Same friend's assistant reco'd Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Katie MacAlister.

See? It's ubiquitous. The thing is, every time I try to delve into Steampunk, something holds me back.

I read the free Kindle first chapter of The Iron Duke, and liked the heroine, but had a hard time adapting to the world around her. Then I tried to read a bit of the second chapter in B&N yesterday (and yes, I put the re-shelved the books correctly /pet peeve) to see if it grabbed me, but it didn't. And then last night, I was disturbed to hear that there's a bit of "forced seduction" in it. Which I'm not totally opposed to, when done right. But, I'm afraid I can't get that far. Yet.

Then, because I was already at B&N, I tried reading Steamed, which had gotten quite mixed reviews on Amazon, but I was thrown off by the first person POV, which I really don't like in a romance. I may use a lot of Is in my magnetposts, but it's vastly different than reading a whole romance. Plus, there's the added hurdle of figuring out how to get into the hero's viewpoint. And that's hard to do! I don't know if she did it well, I didn't get to the heroine and the hero's first meeting. Yet.

And then there's Riese: Kingdom Falling. So far, it's the only Steampunk piece holding my attention. I'd like to say it's because of the storyline or acting or the great production values, or the less than 10-minute segments.

The overall storyline's ok, with a pretty cool alt universe. And I'm actually loving the overall production of it, it's nicely done, and I can't even add on "for a web series" to that. It's good. And looks expensive. I will say that I'm having huge troubles with the female voice-over talent - her read feels too audio-book-ish.

If I were honest? The biggest reason I'm still watching Riese, and will keep watching the rest of the series, is because of Riese. And her kick-ass wardrobe. Which includes those much-coveted kick-ass goggles. And bonus! She has a cool cape! And a wolf as her constant companion! Hello, superhero. (It's kind of weird, because I see her and I think Fred, from Angel. Not Amy Acker herself, but Fred, the character.) But, goggles!

So I'm thinking, maybe Steampunk is an acquired taste, like beer. Just because nothing's clicking so far, I'm not ready to give up on it yet.

Clearly, I'm not. Because today, I totally almost walked out of a store with a superduperreallycool Steampunky overcoat. And, were it not for the 17% Wool (in NYC? in the winter?) and 11% Other (what is "Other" and where does it grow?), and the impossibly cuter and more practical coat on the next couple of racks over, I totally would have brought that home and Steampunked that ish up!

Oh! I'd forgotten! There was one other thing! The really good Steampunk episode of Castle!
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Surveys and renderings

Magnet #987 - Museum of Science and Industry

The magnet is from the supercool Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. So much fun to be had there! And epiphanies, as well.

The museum building was originally built for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, otherwise known as the World's Columbian Exposition, as the Palace of Fine Arts. The 140-room building housed 8,000 exhibits, and was one of the great buildings of the fair. (Ya'll know I love my world's fairs. STWsis emailed me about the National Building Museum's world's fairs exhibition that I'm totally gonna see between Christmas and New Year's. I can't wait!)

I won't lie - I love this magnet because it's pretty and blue, and it reads like architectural renderings for the building. Don't worry - even on the real magnet, you can't read the type on the magnet. I tried. With a magnifying glass. (Sheesh, between being deaf last night and not being able to read this puppy, I'm decrepit, I tell you!)

I picked this guy for today, because it's part of what I've learned recently. Art comes in three forms: pictures, sculptures and architecture, which is what I've raved about for the last couple years on this blog.

That's part of why I decided to start a little independent study class for myself, running out and buying an incredibly heavy art history textbook (thank you Barnes & Noble Textbooks!). Each day I'm doing a little bit of reading and notetaking, to at least have some basic knowledge of art history.

Yes, yes, you can't learn everything from books, but I feel like I visit enough museums and galleries, and lectures to count as a well-rounded survey course. Plus, I have an in with the professor!
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Little Night Music

Magnet #986 - A Little Night Music

Look, I dunno who told Broadway that I would totally buy any and all magnets of any and all shows I attended, so definitely make magnets for that one definite sale they'd get, but thanks!

And, thanks, Telecharge for having great sales. Between you guys and Playbill, you're killing me. But maybe saving me, too. /melodramatic

Although, I will admit that tonight's performance of A Little Night Music, I would have likely paid full price sometime between now and January 9th, I feel sure. Because hello, you don't get any better than Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch on Broadway. I mean, amazing. People were wiping tears away during Send in the Clowns. For real.

I was worried at the beginning, because during the first number, I had troubles understanding the book and lyrics as they were being sung by the chorus. I can't figure out if that was Sondheim's fault, or if my hearing's getting worse. So the first part of the show, I was thinking, hmmmm, maybe I need to check out those infrared hearing devices, and would I look silly next time I went to a show asking for one, and would they believe that a "young" person really needed them, and would they give me guff about it, and how would I look in the audience, wearing one? Can you see them? Are they like headphones? Does it have an infrared laser that people will notice? Will it look like on tv or the movies when they show up on someone's forehead, if I look their way? Will the sopranos hurt my eardrums? And why does her voice go up so high in the first place, mine doesn't do that!

Uh, yeah. Pretty busy in my head for the first couple of numbers. But, I finally eased into the show, as Elaine and Bernadette showed up and I got out of my head. So glad I did, too. As the story was being set up, I started thinking ahead of how they were gonna solve each couple's storyline, and was greatly amused as the show moved forward. So, yay, terrific job. And not just by the two grand dames - they were surrounded by a great supporting cast, who performed their solo numbers with such fabulous verve, it kinda made me want to sing.

I won't, obviously.

You're welcome.

I know, I'm a lucky gal for being able to see such wonderful shows with Broadway greats. I don't take it for granted, I promise. I've seen Bernadette a couple of times - in Annie Get Your Gun and a Broadway puppies benefit (not even kidding) in Shubert Alley, and no matter where I see her, I'm always brought back to her performance in Annie.

And, even as I hated this number when I was little, I love, love, love seeing Tim Curry, Carol Burnett and Bernadette Peters belt out Easy Street.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big easy

Magnet #985 - The Big Easy

A friend of mine took a work trip down to New Orleans this year, and brought this bag for me. It's cute! I've always loved this design.

I just love that some souvenir company somewhere is making tons of money from creating these cute icons for different cities and throwing them on to mugs and magnets and shirts and other souvenirs. I could swear I saw this in Boston. And Chicago. And in New York. And Los Angeles. The same illustrated icons! Dudes, I bet they're in London, Paris, Rome, Egypt, Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong, too. Brilliant! And easy!

If you look close, I took this picture when it about 82 degrees in my apartment. That's why I'm using it, because right now, it's about 48 degrees, and I'm buried in blankets and sweaters right now. Not that ya'll in Cali will feel sorry for me with 95-degree weather today.

Yes. I just did a post on souvenirs and weather.

What? It's a thermometer magnet! What'd you expect?
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oops, we broke it!

Magnet #984 - NERD/GEEK

Yesterday, a hundred thousand folks broke the internet, losing two hours of our lives trying to buy tickets to next year's San Diego Comic-Con. Since I wasn't doing anything but watching TNT's 2-hour block of Las Vegas, while hitting the refresh button, it was no skin off my index finger.

But to the rest of humanity, it was surely a tragedy. Actually, more like a comedy, if you watched the #sdcc hashtagged Tweets fly by. Which I did. Superentertaining.

While 13% of the tickets were sold, according to the SDCC site, the rest of us couldn't get past Step 1, that's if the page loaded. We really had no one to blame but ourselves - it was like every cell phone in the world calling the Doctor - only instead of reaching him, we broke the site. Which doesn't make sense unless you've seen that episode. And, I won't lie, if you reread that sentence, it still may not make any sense.

Annnyway. I felt really sorry for whomever at SDCC that had to deal with the issue during those two hours (and beyond), because honestly, that kind of stuff happens all the time on launch days. No matter how much you prepare for the oncoming storm, the web teams just have to pray for server space, no hackers, no typos or wrong versions or wrong code or no QA, and a problem-free launch.

But, really, whoever heard of a problem-free launch? (This was slightly different cuz it wasn't a true launch - just a hundred thousand people waiting for 12:00pm to hit. Like that Rhodes Furniture commercial from the 80s where the guys are getting ready in the store to let all those people trample down the doors? Yeah. That. Only virtually.)

They finally got the situation under control, letting us know that the new reg date would be set next Monday, and even wrote a nice apology (PR Crisis Communications Rule #1, check!). So, when they finally get that new vendor and/or server space, or whatever it is they gotta do, I'm looking forward to all my fellow Nerds/Geeks (probably the same ones who ended up with this Cartoon Network button magnet from SDCC or NYCC) Tweeting and trampling down the virtual door with me.

To buy tickets we won't use until next July.

But whatever.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Who's who in British history

Magnet #983 - Westminster Abbey

One of the coolest places to visit in London is Westminster Abbey. There's been a religious structure on this site since as far back as 960, when Dustan, a Benedictine monk from London, and a dozen of his buddies set up shop here. Dudes. The 10th century. That's 1,050 years ago!

Sure, the present church has really only been there since 1245, but how many buildings have you been in that are a hundred years old, much less almost a thousand? It's nuts.

And when you walk in, you can feel the history oozing from every nook and Poet's Corner, from every stone and Coronation Throne, and from every step and funerary monument. It's where almost every British monarch was crowned since William the Conquerer in 1066, and it's the final resting place for at least 17 monarchs. This place has seen more history that could fit in anyone's history books. It has to be seen to really be believed.

Remember last year, when I visited Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence? Santa Croce may have Michelangelo and Galileo and a few others, but man, Westminster is just like it...but on speed.

Chaucer's there. Chaucer. Buried in 1400. And he's just one. Shakespeare. Darwin. Keats. Shelley. Dickens. Newton. Olivier. Those are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head! There are so many famous folks buried and/or commemorated in the abbey that you'd need at least a couple of days and a couple of tours before you can see everyone. The list is so long, that it's not even complete! It truly reads like a who's who in British history, and makes you realize what the Brits have contributed to this world.

Can you imagine what it's like in the dead of night when all the spirits are chatting each other up? Because you know the spiritual din in that building must be crazy. And the conversations they're all having?

You know, if I weren't creeped out by crypts and monuments and statues of dead folk, I probably would have spent much more time there if I could. As it was, on my last London visit a couple of years ago, I skipped it, opting for pretty pictures outside, rather than visiting with the dead by myself.

What? There's a reason I can't continue watching The Walking Dead on AMC.
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