joy magnetism: August 2011

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You want me to cook?

Magnet #1286 - Did you eat?

DCsis brought this back for me from Comic-Con.


And supertrue.

It was practically the first thing my dad asked a couple of days ago on the impromptu visit down to Salisbury.

"Did you eat? You want me to cook?"

I should have taken him up on his offer, but as I was pretty much guaranteed a choice between a fried egg or fried rice, I said no.

I mean, he seems to forget he's earned the nickname Heartpatientdad.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Popsicles, not ice lollies. But wonder what Captain Jack would call them?

Magnet #1285 - NYC Popsicle

Ages ago, I made the conscious decision to ignore all the Torchwood chatter until DCsis was able to drop it to DVD for me. It's actually been easy to ignore everyone talking about it, and Twitter's been unusually good about no spoilers these last two months.

What I haven't been able to avoid is how divided people feel about the show.

At our London tweet-up with @blogtorwho, I mentioned that based on the trailers the show already felt more American than its UK predecessor. And he responded with, but it's always felt more American, citing Captain Jack.

It was so odd to hear him say that, because for me, original!recipe!Torchwood didn't have an American feel to it. It was always way too dark for US television.

This week, I'm mainlining these episodes.

First, I didn't realize how much I so very much missed Jack and Gwen. So much. (And Ianto, Owen and Tosh, too, of course.)

Second, it's dark. Darker than I like my US television. Which means it kept its original voice, so that's something, I suppose.

Third, there really is something more American about it. Whether it's bigger explosions or American actors or scope of story or bigger budget or what, I'm not sure at all.

Fourth, I really did love the Babe, I mean, Esther translates Gwen scene. It was cute, and a little tongue-in-cheek. It's why I totally picked up this Popsicle at LaGuardia, because even the littlest things have different names across the pond, and those differences makes me giggle.

Last, I don't know that I like it. It's not pulling me in emotionally as previous TW series. But I think it's mostly due to the overarching storyline that I really don't like - so much so that like TW: Children of Earth, it's a heavy mantle of sadness on me with each episode.

Granted, I haven't yet seen the last three episodes, so maybe they'll figure out a way to draw me back in.

But for now, it's nice to revisit old friends.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Did I do that?

Magnet #1284 - New Bern, NC, Birthplace of Pepsi

I gotta tell ya'll, growing up, I always kinda heard about Pepsi being from North Carolina - that someone was concocting some drink in a drugstore, and somehow Pepsi was born. But for whatever reason, I never connected New Bern, NC, as the birthplace of Pepsi. (Or, maybe I did, and I've just forgotten over the years. Yes, let's hope it's this.)

Save the World Couple did an eastern NC roadtrip a few weeks ago, where they explored some of the places in our NC history textbooks in 4th and 8th grade - Fort Tryon Palace, etc. It's a good thing they went, because eastern NC got pounded by the hurricane this weekend.

And unwittingly, they carried on my own tradition of disaster in my wake. I've mentioned it a few times before, but I keep adding to my list. I visit, and the place gets destroyed a few weeks or months later.

There was a visit to Windsor, then a fire in St. George's Chapel.

There was a visit to that Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, then that burned down.

I visited the World Trade Center in like July 2011.

I went to the Sports Museum of America, and a week later it closed.

Earlier this year, I went to South Street Seaport Museum and Bowne Printing Company and right afterward, they announced heavy layoffs and possible closure, and they're still fighting to stay alive.

Last year, I went to the Washington Monument, the first time in decades since I'd been, and then there was the earthquake.

Last year, I went to Brattleboro, Vermont, one of the hardest hit towns this past weekend.

There's more, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head.

I know! It's crazy! Like rationally, I know it's not my fault, but man, I'm starting to worry!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

How can a chick be bigger than a chicken?

Magnet #1283 - Faberge rooster

Yeah, remember how I said VMFA's Faberge Revealed visitors were sparse yesterday? They were, but there were a few kids running around the exhibit halls, too.

Kids don't really bother me at all...unless they're unruly, or loud, or just spoiled. These kids weren't bad. But apparently, one was just talkative. Or maybe just inquisitive?

I didn't hear her, but they drove Save the World Couple insane with the rat-tat-tat questioning of "How can a chick be bigger than a chicken? How can a chick be bigger than a chicken?" Which is what she asked when she saw this chicken (rooster?) in the display case...because apparently, there was a chick that was...all together now, bigger than the chicken (really, it's a rooster).

Hahaha. Yep. Part of the charm of museums, you never know who you'll meet there.

Anyway, it's Save the World Sister's birthday today, so yay, happy fun trip to Richmond in a hurricane for a milestone birthday. Yay!

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fancy eggs in a hurricane

Magnet #1282 - Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg

We all made it to Richmond!

We all got to see the Faberge exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts!

Annnnnd, that's about all we got to do today.

The Irene rain hit Richmond pretty hard, starting late Friday and continuing on through today. When I say rain, I mean sheets. Going horizontally. But, we holed up in our comfy aloft hotel with our HDMI cord and laptop, some silly movies, and managed to make the best of it.

The endgame for me in Richmond was seeing VMFA's Faberge Revealed exhibit, showing off the largest collection of Faberge in the States. If you've read this blog at all, you know one of my many fascinations are Faberge eggs. This exhibit did not let me down.

First, because it was the middle of a hurricane, visitors were sparse. You could actually breathe, extend both arms and not hit anyone, and best of all, you could take your time. So. Terrific.

Second, hello. It was a really well-done exhibit. And, they had five of the 13 eggs here in the States on view. And, a great audioguide to accompany me through the exhibit. One had me sniffling, I swear the guard was chuckling at me.

Third, dear me, the VMFA must have been paying attention in the year since I've been there, because my goodness the amount of magnets was staggering. I spent way too much in their shop, buying every single magnet, plus a gorgeous Fauberge egg necklace (made by a "real-live Russian!" *eyeroll*) Still, it was A. Maz. ING.

This egg was particularly cool because it houses a Russian double-headed Imperial eagle frame with a double-sided mini-portrait of Tsesarevich Alexei, the son of Nicholas and Alexandra. He was a hemophiliac, something he inherited from his grandmother, Queen Victoria of England, and so was a sickly child. He had a couple of close calls and Faberge made this egg for Alexandra as a tribute to her beloved son.

VMFA, you are truly one of my favorite museums, thank you for staying open and braving Hurricane Irene!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Tempting fate...or, Come On, Irene

Magnet #1281 - Accidents will occur

This magnet made me laugh this morning, because as I type, I'm sitting in a rather nice but kind of ridiculous Delta gate at LGA, waiting for my noon flight. To North Carolina. In the midst of a hurricane.

Note: This silliness is only outdumb'd by me thinking I might actually make it home to NYC on Sunday night.

I'm headed to Raleigh, so that Save the World Couple and I can drive up to Richmond and meet up with DCSis for a weekend in Richmond. You know, the town that was superclose to this week's earthquake epicenter and that's now also relatively close to the Irene's path, too?

The airport's pretty calm right now, so I should be totally fine getting down to NC, but I suspect that it'll be DCSis' bus trip from DC down to Richmond that will be plagued with troubles, if not cancellation.

I'll totally admit here that I'm sad to be missing NYC in a hurricane, but at this point, nothing will stop us from heading into a hurricane to celebrate the baby sister's 30th birthday.

Ya'll stay safe out there, Eastern Seaboard!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

High Line is your line, too

Magnet #1280 - Locomotive on the High Line

Back in the mid-1840s, NY said ok to having a street-level railroad tracks on 10th Avenue, but so many casualties happened during the next several decades that it became known as Death Avenue.

By the 30s, they built the High Line - an elevated train that ran from Spring Street all the way up to 34th Street.

But, as with many great public works, it went through a decline and then finally in the 60s, they started demolishing parts of it. Sad.

Thank goodness for pictures - love this pin magnet because it shows a downtown train (because that's the ESB behind it) on the elevated tracks.

What I want to do is talk to someone who actually rode that train back in the day - I bet money when they walk around at the High Line park nowadays, they're totally amazed with what they've managed to accomplish up there.

And if you haven't been to the High Line park - go when it's not crowded. For sure, the park's been discovered.

Which is a good thing...I guess.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

These are the people in your neighborhood

Magnet #1279 - Starbucks coffee

I moved to New York to become anonymous. No, really. Growing up one of a handful of Asians in a small Southern town, people tended to know who you were. I'm not saying I was Justin Bieber, but you try buying alcohol at Food Lion without them saying, oh, are you Dr. so-and-so's daughter?

So yeah, on the pro list for moving to NYC after college was anonymity walking down the street. It's why I never knew my neighbors until late last year - indeed, the neighborhood restaurant delivery guys knew me more than my neighbors did.

Right. So ya'll know I have this new gig, right? In this new neighborhood? Turns out, it's actually becoming a real neighborhood, as I start to get to know all the delis within a two-block radius. So much so that the chick at my favorite deli called my breakfast purchase "my usual."

Sigh. I have a usual.

Totally freaked me out. I hate when people know too much about me (this magnetblog notwithstanding, apparently).

I'm still trying to figure out if this is a good thing, that they know exactly what I order every time I come in, almost without me having to order.

What keeps me going back in spite of having been made?

They seriously make the best. iced. coffee. on. the. planet. No joke.

My biggest pet peeve for iced coffee is when they stick some ice in the cup, then the sugar, and then the milk and then the coffee. Which means that the sugar has not a chance in hell of melting. I supertotally hate that. Like I want to walk away from the person making it, even if I've already paid for it. Ugh.

But my guy at this deli? Totally has the coffee and sugar mixed together in a separate pitcher and then mixes in the milk and ice. So. Damn. Good. It might be better than iced tea. From the South.

Ace Deli on 28th. Between 5th and Mad. Go. Now.

Awww. Sorry, Starbucks, I bet you thought this magnetpost was about you. Actually, here's a good article on Starbucks' secret menu that @avanveck forwarded on to me earlier this week.

Oddly, there was NO White Wicker Basket listed.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A little rockin' and rollin'

Magnet #1278 - Keep Calm & Rock On

Earthquake! Good gravy. Before today, this magnet totally had another meaning. Now? It's all about the earthquake.

We were sitting in our offices when one of the 20somethings said, arms outstretched, "Whoa, what's that?" And we all realized we were feeling a little sustained flutter of movement.

Within seconds we realized it was an earthquake. Actually, I double-checked and it was @JenniferEhle who told me so. After that, TweetDeck totally blew up.

So totally cool! What a fun afternoon! I've always wanted to feel an earthquake, but didn't want to travel to California to do it. Now, I can cross that off my bucket list. And it was a small one, no really big casualties. Perfect! Thanks, Universe!

I do love how it was totally like a bad TNT movie, with people evacuating buildings, and shutting down businesses and other public institutions. You just know that somewhere out there, there's some really hot geologist, like a Dean Cain or John Schneider or Luke Perry, running around with stacks of paper in hand, saying, "I told you so, get me the President!" while searching for his family and cute kids.

Meanwhile, the team and I just sat upstairs in the office, and chatted away. (Much like the great blackout years ago, where I didn't leave the office once, and missed all the fun shenanigans on the streets.)

Now you know where I was when the Virginia Earthquake 2011 happened.

Of course, given that the rumble was felt from Toronto down to Georgia, it totally poked a hole in our family emergency plan, where if some giant emergency happens, I walk down to DC, pick up DCsis, and then we walk down to North Carolina and hang out at the Abellaland compound. We always figured nothing would be happening in North Carolina.

Yep. Guess we figured wrong.

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Monday, August 22, 2011


Magnet #1277 - Bauhaus

What? I couldn't help it.

This magnetpost is my own little reminder that I need to hit the Uniqlo roller rink over on the West Side soon, and most definitely hit up the @CoolhausNY ice cream food truck. Seriously. Between the fresh ice cream flavors and awesome cookies, that truck is amazing. And they crack me up, having somehow connected ice cream to the Bauhaus movement, my second reason for this magnet.

The Bauhaus movement, in a nutshell, was this utopian-esque enclave of designers, architects, artists, and other notable folks in Europe, banding together to create an art school in Germany, sandwiched in between the two World Wars. And when I say notables, Albert Einstein was involved at some point, as well as Vassily Kandinsky and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. What came out of this movement, was some very interesting art and design in several different fields, including the little known (to me) artist on exhibition at the Whitney, Lyonel Feininger.

Yes. The Whitney Museum of American Art. Folks. I've now been to the Whitney on the Upper East Side multiple times. I don't always agree with their collection or their art, but each time the museum both over- and underwhelms me.

How can the museum own 2,500 Edward Hopper pieces...and then only have one on display. How does that work? The one they have is part of their Breaking Ground: The Whitney's Founding Collection is amazing - both the art and the images and the exhibit. But really? One Hopper up on the wall?

On top of that, I can't show you what that Hopper is on a magnet...because the museum does not sell magnets. You know that's why their "shop" underwhelms me to no end - every time. Never changes.

They don't have magnets. At all. One could argue that their artists are often alive and or so recent that maybe they have to pay licensing rights to estates to develop any swag to sell in the museums. If that's the case, I get it. But man. Not even any museum merchandise - even with their strong Whitney brand? Get on that, marketing folks!

The latest latest exhibition, however, you must make time for: Lyonel Feininger: At the End of the World, and take the docent-led tour. It's amazing. An American who moved to Germany for most of his life before coming home to Manhattan in his later years, he started out doing cartoons and ended up one of the leaders of the modernist movement.

It took five years to pull together, which is amazing, because seriously, in a time where most museums are just re-staging pieces from their own collection and calling it an exhibition, the scale of this one is amazing - pulling pieces from major museum collections everywhere. Indeed, they only own one piece in this collection! That's almost unheard of in these last few years!

But, through the genius way they've set up the exhibition, you can truly see the evolution of his work from the cartoons, through his time at the Bauhaus, and beyond.

Not that I can show you on a magnet.

Because outside of a few books about the exhibition? No merchandise. Seriously. Grandest exhibition in years, five years in the making, the first time in decades Feininger's work's been shown in America...and no merchandise?


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Sunday, August 21, 2011

All the time in the world

Magnet #1276 - Monet's Etretat, Cliff of d`Aval

This Monet painting, part of a million different Monet sets I have, reminds me of that scene in Goonies, where Sean Astin holds up that medallion and manages to extrapolate where the treasure's buried?

I re-watched Goonies on my own recently, since we didn't get around to it at our 80s movie day a couple of weeks ago. Such a fantastic movie. I really hope they never remake that one. Or do some lame sequel for it.

And, speaking of sequels - totally went to go see Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World. I won't lie - it was actually better than 3. And maybe even 2. But definitely not better than the original.

I should have definitely watched it in 3D - and still might go back to see it. You could just tell all the gags that should have been watched in 3D, rather than FlatD. They also give you this card to go along with Aroma-Scope. Which is totally gimmicky, but I totally bought into it...until the fart smell, anyway.

It was definitely cheesy and the new kids weren't as good as Juni and Carmen, but oddly, given that original Juni and Carmen themselves were about as awkward in their roles, it was pretty fitting. I was moderately entertained by Ricky Gervais as the dog, and Jessica Alba and Joel McHale as the parents of the new kids. Though it's scary that Jessica's started playing a mom (even a step-mom) so young.

I loved Jeremy Piven as Danger D'Amo - though, at times, I couldn't tell if he was having fun in the role, or if was in pain...from whatever.

What I loved best about the movie, though, is the life lesson - savor and enjoy the time you have because you won't get it back. No kidding.

Yep. Deep thoughts. From the Spy Kids franchise.

Timely, methinks, given my funtimejoy mentality of late.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Don't expect me to join your Scooby Gang!"*

Magnet #1275 - Desert

Another of my Staples magnets. I know. I buy 'em where I find 'em, folks! The desert, for Las Vegas and surrounding Nevada desert featured in Fright Night, which I went to see this morning, first showing of the day, 3D and everything.

I was kind of apprehensive about it, only because while the original didn't scare me, folks were saying that this remake was good and proper scary. I mean, the last scary movie I saw in the theatre was The Ring - and that was by accident. (Like I'd really watch a movie with scary gross things coming from unlabeled VCR tapes...which make up half my collection here at home!)

Anyway, so I sucked it up and went - and it wasn't bad. Anton Yelchin was the most adorable of adorable cuteboys, and Colin Farrell, whom I've loved since Tigerland was a little too shifty-eyed and bushy-browed in it. But overall it was an ok movie.

And of course - playing a Criss Angel-like showman Peter Vincent, with some of the best lines*, I finally got to see David Tennant in all his "scrawny British" look and appendectomy scar in 3D glory. What? Per the links on DavidTennantonTwitter, that's what he called his uberskinny look on Chris Evans last week!

I know I just saw the guy last month, but man, seeing him in his little jeans and track jacket, and then hearing his patented David Tennant "Wellllll" made me realize how much I miss seeing him on my little TV screen.

I'll definitely buy the DVD of it - it's what I do. But, my guess is that they won't be doing any sequels to this movie, unless they manage to smash the international BO and kill on DVD.

But, until I get my DVD, and in lieu of being at the movie theatre every weekend til it goes away, I have the below David Tennant intro at Comic-Con to keep me happy.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Authority always wins

Magnet#1274 - James I (1603-1625)

Meet James I.

As in King James Bible, which is apparently 400 years old this year.

One wonders what someone's thinking when they say..."Oh, you know what? I think I'll just issue my version of the Bible."

King James (who, as son of Mary Queen of Scots, was the King of Scotland for 36 years before he ever sat on the English throne) was a theologian as well, and had some issues with how the Puritans had interpreted the Bible, and so decided to do his own. It was only the third English version by 1611, and he used almost 50 translators to get the job done.

They must have done a good job, given that the Authorized Version became the one widely accepted.

Or, at least, accepted in hotel rooms worldwide, anyway.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Not Leaving London

Magnet #1273 - Passenger to London

The new blog Not Leaving London is one of the best things to come out of the recent London riots. It's theoretically for non-Brit London-lovers - where you submit an image and a quote about why you'd never leave London.

Here's my entry, with St. Ethelburga the Virgin, the smallest church in the City, backed by the Gherkin, the 6th tallest building in town.

The other thing to come out of London during the last few weeks is their new Tube map that's sparked map vs. diagram controversy on Fast Company. While it may help our tourists a bit more because it maps a little bit more to street level geography, folks seem to be having issues with it for just that very reason.

To be honest, if I were a local, I'd be annoyed as well. Indeed, when NYC MTA redid our transit map last year, I was nervous - we'd had the other one for so long. Part of me feels like London waited to see how NYC would take it before implementing theirs. The other part of me thinks that they just wanted a new map in time for London 2012 Olympics.

Eh, however you feel about it, it's still a pretty, pretty map...and of course now I have a reason to head back to London - need to get the new Tube map magnet!

Oh, yes. This is number two of my 24-magnet London set. What? Yes, I might try and blog them all...remember, I can't see myself breaking up a set!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You don't *get* to complain

Magnet #1272 - Grouchy Smurf

Love Grouchy Smurf. Love him. I would never want to hang out with him, but in small doses, he's great.

Although, what do you suppose he's doing with his hand behind his back? (I mean, Smurfs don't have middle fingers, right?

Picking him for today because I find it hard to believe I've never used Grouchy Smurf on this magnetblog, especially given how miserable I was the last couple of years at my old gig. Granted, the misery was my fault, and I was too lazy to do anything about it for a dozen years, but it was misery nonetheless.

I've been thinking lately about how different I am from that stranger I became over the last few years. I look at myself through the filter of folks who have met me over the last year, and I can see it. I'm happier. I smile a helluva lot more. It's nice.

But I feel for the folks left behind. Well, some of them, anyway.

It's funny because I saw a tweet from the chick who replaced me last fall, and she was tweeplaining about it being a whole two weeks since she'd left the office before 8:30 at night. Really?

First, try a whole decade of that.

Second, really? Less than a year of time served, you don't get to complain, sweetheart. Not unless Edwin the nighttime car service dispatcher knows your travel information just by the sound of your hello.

Now the idea of an all-nighter/round-robin at the office is so foreign to me. I mean, I can't believe I ever lived by the mantra of "A Coke at 8 gets me to Midnight, a Coke at Midnight gets me to 3, and then I can call Edwin to get me home to wait for me while I take a shower and come right back."

Oh, yeah, completely surprised I never used a Grouchy magnet before. I just thank God and the universe for giving me the last year to learn some hard lessons and make me appreciate that things happen for a reason, and that it'll work out in the end.

I told ya'll it'd be fine.

And it was.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elvis and the Hell on Wheels boys

Magnet #1271 - Hell on Wheels Elvis

So when I bought this magnet down the street at Ricky's, ya'll know I was thinking, holy moly, Elvis in uniform!!!

I mean, c'mon, ya'll know I love a cuteboy in uniform. That it's Elvis makes it all the more awesome. Man, can young Elvis wear a uniform.

Then I thought, nope, someone totally photoshopped this image, only because the patch looks a little off. But, it's real.

During his time in the service, Elvis was assigned the 2nd Armored Division, Hell on Wheels, out of Fort Hood, so called because Brigadier General George S. Patton was watching maneuvers in WWII and said they'd be Hell on Wheels in battle.

Today in 1977, Elvis died at a very young 42. He'd have been 76, had he lived. I saw this morning that Doris Day in her 80s is putting out another album this year trying to make a come back, which makes me wonder whether or not Elvis would still be putting out music today.

My guess is hell yeah, and he totally would have been earning that Hell on Wheels moniker in a totally different field of battle.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

The long shadow

Magnet #1270 - Madison and 34th

When I first moved here, my first job was at Berkley Publishing at 200 Madison Avenue.

Every day I'd walk across 34th street to get to my westside train, pass this exact corner on this Tiggy Ticehurst magnet of 34th and Mad and the Empire State Building and never really look up. We could see it from the bathrooms at work - I know, because somewhere I have pictures.

But to be honest, my young 22-year-old self never really took the time to look up and appreciate how cool the view was.

I would however, go there for lunch every once in a while.

Yes. Lunch.

I'd take my $4.75, walk right into the elevators with minimal security delay (try none), and eat a $3.00 hot dog with Gulden's mustard at the top of the building - all in the space of an hour.

No way you could ever do that now with forever and a day wait times and crazy tight security. But, I have to tell ya'll, it was a fantastic way to spend the lunch hour.

And now, I get to see the ESB every day again - my new gig is just a little bit south on Madison, in the 20s. So when I walk across the island for my westside train, I have an even better view. The difference is, I don't forget to enjoy it.

I love getting caught by the lights on the corners of 29th and 5th - I look up and over, and there I am, standing in her long, long shadow.


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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Great expectations

Magnet #1269 - Treasure Island Bintan

In junior high, one of my best friends told me that my expectations were too high, and that inevitably, people would disappoint me, because it's impossible for them to live up to my standards.

This belief is likely a metastatement for every area in my life.

My sisters always mock me for always reporting back that one thing or another was just, "ok." Movies, parties, events, books, people, you name it.

Creative directors sometimes leave meetings with me feeling a little sad when I don't immediately cotton to one of their ideas, proclaiming it the best idea I'd ever seen from them.

And when friends say or do something that's incredibly disappointing to me, I take it personally. Admittedly, perhaps too personally.

In the end, my friend was right. I am inevitably disappointed by one thing or other, and have no one to blame but my great expectations.

On the other hand, it does make it all the more sweet when someone does do or create something that knocks my socks off, or impresses me to no end. You can tell when that happens - I'm usually dancing for, well, me, and generally grinning from ear to ear.

So yeah. Ya'll aim to skew that way. Please and thank you.

Oh! I picked this Treasure Island Bintan magnet today because we managed to make it through only two movies yesterday for 80s movie education day - Breakfast Club and surfer boy Spicoli's Fast Times. Did they hold up? Fairly well, actually - they're definitely a snapshot of America in a different time...but not so different that the stories, the characters and even wardrobe couldn't be found today.

And I know. Only two movies.

If ya'll know me at all, you know that as far as marathons go, even though we had a lot of fun and ate great food and hung out with fun people, I'm a little disappointed that we couldn't power through all eight movies - clearly, these friends haven't hung out with me enough to know it was totally possible.

What? It totally is!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

"It's our time down here!"

Magnet #1268 - Paddington Bear's Shopping List

Spending the day in Jersey today, doing a quintessential 80s movie day for a friend of ours. Actually, a couple of friends who were only born the last 3 years of the 80s and a friend born in the new millennium, and therefore missed out on some of the best movies on the planet.

I know. 80s movies are not exactly the height of film couture (is that word even applicable here to film? whatever), but for better or worse, they're movies that defined a generation. And of course, it's our generation forcing the younger ones to pay attention today.

Not surprisingly, I owned most of the movies that we're putting up for selection, and was pleased as bunch to have an excuse to add a couple more to my movie collection. And, by no means is it an exhaustive set of choices for today, clearly there are some already seen movies that are missing (Top Gun, Raiders, Back to the Futures, etc.)...but it proves that I totes could spend days in DVD cabinet marathoning just movies from my childhood.

But on today's possible docket:

Sixteen Candles
"Duh-nuh-nuh-nuhnuh! You say it's your birthday!"

Breakfast Club

"Eat. My. Shorts."

Princess Bride

"As you wish."

Stand by Me

"Chopper! Sic balls!"

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

Better off Dead
"I want my two dollars!"

"It's our time down here!"

"Whip me! Beat me! NASA's talking!"

Clearly, the ultimate test will be if the movies still resonate with the 12- and 24-year-olds coming to today's funfest. Mind you, I'm fairly sure that watching these movies (a few of which are the 25th anniversary editions, yikes) will make me realize that they were either supergreat or...not.

What's this have to do with this ultracute Paddington magnet I picked up at Paddington Station in London? Nothing much, other than I was keeping a running list in my head as to what we kept adding to the shopping lists - both for food and for movies.

Ok, I confess. Cookies, cookies are the only food on my list for today.


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Friday, August 12, 2011

Those are some biiiiig shoes...

Magnet #1267 - John Quincy Adams

Our sixth president had a lot of living up to, to do, methinks. I mean, when your pops is like the 2nd president ever, of the United States, yeah, those are some big shoes to fill.

But, John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) did it, serving as the 8th U.S. Secretary of State, US Ambassador to the UK, Russia, Prussia and the Netherlands, US House Representative from 3 different districts, and as US Senator from Massachusetts.


Meanwhile, I just picked this magnet because the other day, I saw an @PeterSokolowski video that finally explains (at least for me) why we Americans have our own spellings that differ from the original English spellings.

Turns out it was Noah Webster of Merriam-Webster who gave America our own language. I won't lie, even after having spent a few years editing and converting British spelling to American spelling in romance and science-fiction books, I hadn't a clue about Webster's contribution.

Take a look:

Why the tie back to JQ? Only because it was at the Adamses library that I saw one of the original first editions of Merriam-Webster, and man I would have loved to rifle through that tome.

Yes. I'm a dork at heart. What? You couldn't tell after 1,267 magnets?

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Give a what, now?

Magnet #1266 - Puerto Rican Parrot

When I was in grade school, I had the only big slumber party I was ever allowed. All my friends came over, sleeping bags and typewriters or word processors (shut it) in hand.

It was a big "let's all do our endangered species papers over at Joy's house" slumber party (again, shut it).

My paper was on the parrot, dunno if it was this Puerto Rican parrot on this magnet that my friend gave me, but it's close enough.

So, here's a heart-warming story. Apparently, these Puerto Rican parrots were down to like 10 parrots left in the world in the 1970s, which is why they were on the endangered species list in the first place.

As I was doing my research for this magnetpost, I found this article about how a zoologist from NC State University was helping reintroduce parrots back into the wild. At the time, there were only 40 or so birds left. The very last line of the article said:
"Within a decade, Collazo hopes there will be at least 100 Puerto Rican parrots in the wild."
Ya'll, that article was written in 2000.

It's now 2011. And look what this article written earlier this summer has to say about the current parrot population:
"It is difficult to pinpoint the number of birds because they are elusive and not all have functioning radio collars. But White said there are 20-25 in El Yunque, east of San Juan, and 40-70 in Rio Abajo Nature Preserve in western Puerto Rico."

Yay! That's pretty much a hundred! Talk about people giving a shit!

Yes, yes, I know - don't get me started on MTV's new social awareness campaign called I'm pretty sure I don't know if it's real or fake...just that I want to jump out a window when I see it.

And no, no unlike this superpretty parrot, I can't fly.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You know just what it takes...@duranduran Appreciation Day

Magnet #1265 - Bintan Island

My friend brought this magnet back for me from Bintan, Indonesia. And yes, I had to look up where it was. It's an island getaway, and we all know how I feel about islands.

Anyway, picked it for Duran Duran Appreciation Day because of my John Taylor, bassist for my fave band of all, all, all time.

And also, its tropical island motif reminds me of the Save a Prayer video shot in Sri Lanka from 1982.

What? Of course, I could have used Rio, but don't get me started on how when people say they love Duran Duran, they're like, "yeah, I loved Rio." That makes me crazy.

Not that I'm much better with showing you Save a Prayer, but I haven't seen this video in ages. So, yeah, enjoy.

Although, if I'm hard-pressed, my favorite Duran Duran track might actually be New Religion, because it's so much fun to sing.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

London, what up?

Magnet #1264 - Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

I'm not a Londoner.

No matter how much I want to be.

So I can't pretend to get what the hell's going on over there, no matter how much coverage I find myself watching this week.

But, it's upsetting nonetheless.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy #Loveswept Day!

Magnet #1263 - Authors are my rock stars

In junior high and high school, I loved Duran Duran, my band director, soap operas and my Loveswept authors.

I wrote to John Taylor, wrote a letter to the editor in our hometown paper about our band director, joined the Frisco & Felicia fan clubs and even wrote a screenplay featuring Frisco & Felicia & Sean.

But I also wrote a letter to the editors of Loveswept to find out how I could do what they do - not to be a writer, but to be an editor and work with my favorite authors.

No response, but a decade later, I became a Loveswept editor, getting my dream job very early on in life.

I never wanted to write, but I worshipped Loveswept authors like Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper, Peggy Webb, Joan Elliott Pickart, and dozens more. It was a fabulous job, working with the later generations of Loveswept authors, and really, just an honor for me - and my seventh grade self.

Because it's true, this magnet from my friend - they were my rock stars growing up - and I won't lie, they're my rock stars now.

Now that Loveswept has been relaunched today as a digital imprint, I'm looking forward to discovering more Loveswept rock stars.

Just as soon as I get an eReader.


That's a whole other magnetpost!

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Life to me is...

Magnet #1262 - Ensemble Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, autumn/winter 2002–3

a bit of a Grimm fairytale.”
- Alexander McQueen

Yep. Last day of the McQueen exhibit. And I didn't manage to get out to the Met to go see it.

I think that's ok, though. Visiting the galleries four times over the last couple of months was enough.

Plus, the six-hour wait was totally a deterrent to me, one of the newest Met members.

I saw a tweet somewhere that they brought in 25,000 new museum members, and that attendance was something like 650,000 for the show.

That my friends, is a successful show.

And somewhere up above, McQueen's tickled pink by all the interest, I just know it.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Like riding a bike

Magnet #1261 - To Do, To Be, Do be

So yeah. I haven't ridden a bike in literally decades. Like, so long, that I can't even really remember the last time I rode one.

But when two 12-year-old girlfriends said, "Let's go ride bikes around the neighborhood, Joy!", what's a girl to do? So we rode bikes into town...where we promptly got chastised for lack of helmets. Oops. (No worries, we got helmets for the kids.)

And when the one 12-year-old said, "Joy! Jump off the diving board with me!"

Of course, I couldn't say no. I mean, it was a herculean feat to actually get me to a pool...much less a town one, at that. So, there I went, diving off the boards, without regard to actual diving form - which, believe it or not, I used to have. (Didn't say it was good.)

Now anyone who knows me, even just a little bit, knows I'd rather be sitting in front of the tv or computer, rather bike-riding or swimming. Still, it was a superterrifically fun day, pretending I was 12 again, with both the 12-year-old and her mom, gossiping about boys and secret obsessions.

And, since it was a day spent in Jersey, I figured this magnet ending with Ol' Blue Eyes was perfect for the odd duck occasion.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Schnitzel & Sch**ße

Magnet #1260 - Deutschland

The last time I was in Germany, there were two of them. That's right. That's how old I am.

Eventually I must go see the other side of the non-Iron Curtain, specifically Berlin and Dresden for their architecture, plus a couple of other towns.

As high schoolers running rampant, we certainly had a blast in West Germany, learning how to eat schnitzel (which I loved) and learning how to say shit in Germany, (scheiße, which I also loved saying, much to the boy's utter dismay), and learning about how one shouldn't just plug in hair appliances into wrong electrical sockets...or one doesn't get to do one's hair due to melting appliances (which I did not love).


I haven't figured out how my friend living in Singapore got me a magnet from Germany, but really, who cares - what a cool magnet from Germany! Thanks!

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Survey course

Magnet #1259 - Sydney Opera House

Remember yesterday's post? Yeah, here's architecture magnet 53 of 63. The Sydney Opera House, designed by Jørn Utzon in the 1950s, and finally dedicated in 1973.

Love this magnet set!

Come the fall, I've a feeling no one's going to see me - I overscheduled myself, so that I'd keep busy doing fun things in NY, including this architecture survey course starting in October. Should be great fun, and I totally can't wait.

It's a class that speaks to how we experience architecture, and it covers all the great masters. I was a little worried about being out of my depth, but at the very least, I recognized all but one or two architects listed on the description, so I think I'm good.

Of course, now that I'll have some sort of actual knowledge, I might be a little dangerous on the blogging about architecture front.

Eh. Probably not.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To the brotherhood!

Magnet #1258 - Degas signature

This Degas signature is the first in a set of about 33 artists signature magnets. I know. Wait til you see tomorrow's 63 magnets set.

Anyway, I picked this for today because I finally finished watching the BBC's Desperate Romantics, all about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of Millais, Hunt and Rossetti, and a few others, artists who banded together back in 1840s England. I could bore you with all the details of what they painted, and what they stood for, but that would defeat the purpose of watching this six-part miniseries.

The six-part miniseries that I thought DCSis had watched and liked, and therefore I felt like I had to sit through all six hours. Only to find out she barely made it through the first episode. Sigh. By the time I realized I didn't want to watch the rest of it...I was about five hours in. Goodness.

I definitely had to watch it, because I thought it'd be like the other BBC miniseries, The Impressionists, explaining the stories behind their famous works of art. Instead, I got Entourage, for artists...which is how they billed it. I don't mind Entourage at all, but honestly, I couldn't get into the backstabiness of these artists - true or not.

The best part of the movie was the one painting backstory that I really loved, that of Millais' Ophelia. In a magnificently cast role, the woman who posed for Ophelia, basically their Yoko (or Sloan) inadvertently causing strife between the boys, was superb and eerily a carbon copy for the real painting. If the series is to be believed, then while she was posing in a cold bathtub of water, she nearly drowned because of hypothermia and passing out in the water. Crazy.

The saddest part of the movie? Is watching how hard (or not hard) this band of brothers worked to make themselves known to the art world.

And in the end? Not a one was included in my magnet set of 35 artists.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Ever have one of those days...

Magnet #1257 - Winnie and Eeyore

...where you just can't win?"
- Pooh, to Eeyore

Another Lovely Day Designs magnet...that I totally bought in anticipation of Winnie the Pooh.

Although it seems to me that if any of Pooh's friends had just given him some huney when he asked for it at the beginning of the (really less than) 63-minute movie, there would have been no need for the movie at all.

The poor guy - all he had was a rumbly in his tummy, and off he and his pals went on a very important adventure. A supercute, felt longer than 63 minutes, adventure.

While I hated the deliberate misspellings running rampant, I was most charmed by the interaction of all the characters and the actual book text. Watching Pooh and Eeyore and the rest of the bunch wrapping themselves around letters, or jumping on top of them, or pulling whole paragraphs across the page? Love. I haven't a clue if they do that in the book, though.

I know, I know. I should be shot for never actually having read Winnie the Pooh.
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Monday, August 1, 2011

Sing a happy song

Magnet #1256 - Papa Smurf

I mean, who knew there were lyrics to the Smurf song? As near as I can tell, they didn't have one until the movie, but maybe I'm wrong.

The Smurfs was the third movie of my marathon yesterday - I couldn't wait, after months and months of waiting. And if you know me, you know that I'm not even kidding. I was totally looking forward to it.

With a cast of Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria, plus the Smurfy voices of a million famous folks like Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, Anton Yelchin, you can't go wrong. Right?

I think it's half right. The storyline was ok, of the Smurfs and Gargamel getting smurfed all the way to NYC, how they made a small, but smurfy impact on marketing executive Neil Patrick Harris, and how they smurfed all around town. (Except for the ****SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!**** pigeons. My goodness, I wanted to run out of the theatre during that part.)

I really liked how they meta'd the Smurfs and Peyo, coming right out and explaining who they were. That was totally clever. But I was slightly uncomfortable with the new Smurfs, especially when they had big roles...what? I like my certain set of smurfs, and some of them should have had larger roles, instead of being left behind in the village. And psbtw, I missed Baby Smurf. I mean, I know he was like the Cousin Oliver of the Smurfs, but c'mon. Where?

Oh! And I also totally forgot about Smurfette's origin story. Yes, she has one. Go look it up.

The pacing was a little uneven, some parts dragged and some parts flew by, and some should have flown by. You could tell where things were dragging by the rustling of hundreds of little kids starting to get louder...which usually happened when only humans were on the screen. Yep. Everyone loves those smurfs.

The funny part is that the audience was really made up of all the parents who grew up on the Smurfs introducing a whole new generation to the little blue puffs of Smurfiness.

Wonder what they'll do for the sequel. Maybe NPH could show up in the new Smurf village. Hmmm. An animated NPH!

DJ Skribble's Smurf song remix, click at your own risk:

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