joy magnetism: September 2011

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Friday, September 30, 2011

You're the cream in my coffee

Magnet #1316 - My Mood Is Coffee

If you've been anywhere near me in the last few weeks, you know I've been fangurling over Seth MacFarlane, left and right. Actually, if you paid any attention, you'll know I picked up this particular crush way back at SDCC 2010 - sometimes, I am so damn consistent.

So yeah, a year later, the cuteboy crush is still going strong, only now, he's released a Big Band album. As he put it during his online concert tonight, "Don't think of it as music your grandparents listened to. Think of it as music your grandparents listened to...while making your parents."

It's funny, because it's totally the music I grew up with in the house, in the van on every roadtrip everywhere with my family. Now, I can't stop listening to the album. And when I'm not listening to it? I'm humming a track from it, usually You're the cream in my coffee, or Something Good from Sound of Music.

I'll admit, I'm completely fascinated by a dude my age, who can put out stuff like Family Guy and Cleveland Show and American Dad, but also play the piano and sing like an old-school crooner.

The marketer side of me wonders how the hell he is marketing to two such disparate audiences. For example, the 20somethings who watch his shows - at least a couple of them that I talked to - just refuse to acknowledge the musical side of Seth. Meanwhile, me, the 30something who can't watch anything he puts on television, loves the musical side of Seth.

But how is he selling his album? How are the numbers? Who is buying it? There's a part of me that feels like he basically waited until he had the money and the cred to produce this album, so that he wouldn't have to worry about any of that stuff.

And if that's the case, kudos to you, Seth. Let me know when the next album drops!
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lost in Trafalgar Square

Magnet #1315 - Trafalgar Square, London

I just got myself lost in Trafalgar Square tonight.

Ya'll, I can't count how many times I've been in Trafalgar Square. But, it seriously just took me 20 minutes of googling images and layouts trying to orient myself to this vintage image.

Not even joking.

I finally figured out that the vantage point is actually as if you were standing with the National Gallery to your right, as if you were on top of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

Here's why this is even more ridiculous.

The very first time I walked into Trafalgar, it was to find the National Gallery. And I walked around for a good 10 minutes before I found it. You should have seen how much I laughed my ass off when I finally walked up the stairs of the giant building right in front of me.

For context, it's akin to walking around the National Mall in DC, and not being able to find the Capitol Building. Or walking around in Times Square, and not being able to find the Coke sign.

See? Ridiculous.

Anyway, picked this magnet for today, because we sat through a couple of tapings of Would You Rather? with Graham Norton for BBC-America's Ministry of Laughs comedy block. Much as I love Graham, highly doubtful I'll actually watch the show when it airs, just not my cuppa.

But, ya'll know how I adore tapings and behind the scenes anything, so it was a fun way to spend a few hours.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg

Magnet #1314 - Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg

Oh, yes. I still have several Faberge egg magnets left. And I love. them. all.

I just want one egg. The more I wear my own cobalt-blue "made by a real, live Russian" (seriously, that's how they billed it) Fauxberge hummingbird egg with the odd little angel as the surprise, the more I'm convinced I should buy a real one. Now, I just need all that disposable income.

This Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg from the VMFA collection was designed by one of the Faberge workmasters, Henrik Wigström, in 1915. It's made of silver, enamel, gold, mother-of-pearl, and watercolor on ivory. The surprise inside were miniature portraits painted on ivory of the women in Tsar Nicholas' life, the women of the House of Romanov - his sister, his daughters, and his cousin - who also served with the Red Cross.

Check out the below vid, seen up close the workmanship is just amazing.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Hellish banditti"

Magnet #1313 - Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Louisiana's Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is made up of about six different sites - the Barataria Preserve in Marrero, the Chalmette Battlefield in Chalmette, the French Quarter Visitor Center in New Orleans, the Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette, the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice, and the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux.

Lots of places to visit, I'm sure it must take days. At least, I think, that's how long my friends who brought back this magnet for me spent down there!

Depending on who you ask, Jean Lafitte was either a pirate or a privateer, a smuggler, or a patriot, creating mayhem and havoc in the Barataria area of southern Louisiana back in the early 1800s. They say he had about a thousand people working with him, helping him smuggle goods and slaves throughout the region.

During the War of 1812, the knowledge of the local area and people came in handy for Lafitte, who actually started working with General Andrew Jackson, the very man who had dubbed him Hellish banditti. Together with Jackson's troops, Lafitte's Baratarians managed to win several key victories during the war, including the Battle of New Orleans. Their efforts earned Lafitte and his men full pardons from President Madison.

Of course, Lafitte totally went back to smuggling. I suppose after doing lots of crime, which he totally blamed on the government, it's hard not to go back to what you know.

But here's what I love. All that living and ne'er do welling, all that fighting and smuggling...and in the end, no one seems to know what happened to Lafitte! While there are some reports that he lived well into the mid-1800s, no one actually knows what happened to the guy in the end.

Talk about building a mystery.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Timeshare art

Magnet #1312 - Baby (Cradle) by Klimt

The same friend who went to Australia brought this magnet back for me from the National Gallery of Victoria's Vienna Art & Design exhibition, featuring artists Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele and architects Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos.

Sounds like the coolest exhibition ever.

Here's funny, though. She went all the way to see this painting, Baby by Klimt...owned by the National Gallery of Art. In Washington, D.C. Hahahaha.

I read a story a while ago about a trend for museums to just re-hang important pieces from their own collections and focus a whole exhibition around that one piece, supplementing them with lesser works from the artist, or with works from the same school. Part of it was to cut down on having to pay for the insurance and transportation of important pieces from museum to museum.

But, it looks like that's starting to ease up a bit - for example, that Feininger exhibit at the Whitney that I mentioned a few times already, only one Feininger is actually owned by the Whitney. The rest came from around the world, after years of work.

I love that. I love knowing that museums share their collections with each other - it's like timeshare art! (I know, it's a pretty naive idea that they're sharing, when there's all sorts of deals and insurance and whatnot that actually means they're not really sharing, per se, but go with it.)

What it does mean is that people all over the world get to see artwork they'd never be able to travel and see. It's why I try to see as many exhibitions here in town, because you just never know if you'll be visiting the museums the work came from. Pretty cool.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Direct mail

Magnet #1311 - New York City Ballet

A while ago, I made a promise to myself to enjoy everything this city has to offer. The problem that I didn't count on is that everything - from Groupons to direct mail to email blasts and Living Social - is determined to help me spend my money.

That means that besides the usual amount of bills in my mail, I get an extraordinary amount of direct mail about various performing arts programs scattered throughout the city.

And they're all these gorgeous 4-color, folded every which way, wafer-sealed, direct mail pieces. That totally get my attention. Add a celebrity component, one that I recognize, I'm almost sure to take the bait.

So that's how I ended up sitting at the New York City Ballet today, watching Paul McCartney's first ballet, Ocean's Kingdom, performed in Stella McCartney's costumes.

While the story didn't quite capture my heart, the music was wonderful and the costumes were simply amazing. You could tell they'd been designed as beautiful works of art, rather than costumes the dancers normally wore, but to see the colors splashed across the stage was something else.

It was a full house, for an afternoon matinee. Not surprising, I suppose. Then again, maybe it's just direct mail proving yet again how effective it is.
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

We are gathered here today...

Magnet #1310 - Garden at Sainte-Adresse

Monet painted Garden at Sainte-Adresse during the summer of 1867, using family members as models. I picked it for today, because the idyllic setting reminds me of our walk through Central Park.

After spending the morning sitting through a nutritional immunology conference (don't ask, but it was actually pretty interesting), we decided to run up to the Upper East Side for a quick GoBurger visit to test out their milkshakes. They were pretty good - especially with the Kahlua and chocolate liquor.

After lunch, we found we had absolutely nothing to do.

If you know me at all, you know I'm usually never without anything to do in NYC. We decided to make our way through Central Park, a place that my friend has been to, but never really explored. So when I found out she hadn't been to Belvedere Castle after having grown up in New York City (yes, Brooklyn counts), of course we had to drop by.

While we were up in the towers of Belvedere, we totes ran into a wedding! Or rather, they totes ran into us. I mean, c'mon! That only happens in NYC. All of a sudden, we weren't just tourists running around the park, but we were now part of the intimate group of friends of the bride and groom.

What? Have a wedding in one of the largest urban parks in the world, yeah, you'll have an audience of strangers!
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Top heavy

Magnet #1309 - Whitney Museum

Another one of my architecture collection.

If you haven't visited the Lyonel Feininger: At the End of the World exhibit, like I told you a while ago, best to get going soon before it ends.

Such a good exhibit. Even as the gift shop merchandise always leaves something to be desired.

The other reason to visit the Whitney is for the awesome building. Built by Bauhaus-trained Marcel Breuer, the giant slab of granite on Madison Avenue is like an upside-down pyramid of sorts.

Both impressive and imposing, you're almost afraid to walk inside. You're instantly rewarded when you walk through the galleries, and spy a glimpse of light through the trapezoidal windows scattered throughout the building.

When you visit, take a moment to hang out on the lower level, where the giant windows give you this wonderful sense of openness you don't often feel when you're essentially belowground.

Pretty genius, methinks.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

A koala is not a bear - Guest Blogger, Globetrotter

Magnet #1308 - Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

So a long time ago, my roadtripping friends and I planned a huge Asia tour of Hong Kong, the Philippines, and ending with a cross-Australia train trip. Mind you, that trip ended up being a 10-day roadtrip through North & South Carolina. (Don't ask.)

Luckily (for me and my magnet collection), my friend didn't let that stop her, and she made her way to Australia with another roadtripping friend of hers, for a long getaway for both work and pleasure.

And koalas!

- joy

“A koala is not a bear.”

I heard this declaration no less than five times during my visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Australia. Totally news to me, as I’d been calling them bears. But no matter, since I actually got to cuddle one!

His name was Randol, and I was his first of the day. The other one they brought out had been fussy, wouldn’t stay still for photos, and actually kept turning away from the camera. Randol was much calmer, sat in my arms for a solid two minutes before his trainer moved on to the next person in line.

Cuddling koalas is actually illegal in parts of Australia, and only in Queensland are you allowed to do it. At this particular sanctuary, there are rules: koalas can only be cuddled for less than 30 minutes per day; and they must have every third day off. It’s the life!

It was my dream to have a picture taken with a koala, so now I can cross that off my Bucket List.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Old Rough and Ready

Magnet #1307 - Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)

Our 12th president, Zachary Taylor, had no political experience when he was elected. He was basically elected for being a war hero, having served in the military for 40 years, in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Second Seminole War, and the Mexican-American War.

But here's something. Ya'll know how I love my American presidents, and that every once in a while, I can whip out a little-known fact or two. (Millard Fillmore being the 13th president is not one.)

So, I dunno how I'm just now finding out that Taylor, the 40-year warhorse known as Old Rough and Ready, served only a 16-month term, because he was supposedly felled by cholera...

Contracted from eating a bowl of cherries and drinking a pitcher of iced milk.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If you're fond of sand dunes...

Magnet #1306 - Cape Cod

How cute is this flip-flop from Cape Cod? It's blue and silver! A friend sent it over, after they spent some of their time at the Cape waiting out Hurricane Irene.

I love it! So adorable.

And? It totally doubles as a bottle opener! Yay!

This magnet reminds me of this one Patti Page tape that got some seriously heavy play in the blue van growing up. All of us kids knew all the words to all of the tracks on the tape, and could sing along with every inflection.

But one of our favorites songs, besides Tennessee Waltz and How Much is that Doggy in the Window? was Old Cape Cod. Check it out...I've been humming this song off and on since I got this magnet!

Huh. OR, it could have been any number of Anne Murray albums that we listened to.

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Monday, September 19, 2011


Magnet #1305 - Whistler

So apparently Whistler had several ways of signing his work.

I'm kind of wishing I had his supercool butterfly signature on a magnet instead of this one that looks like Winnie the Pooh drew it himself for Christopher Robin.

And yes, I'm waiting til I actually have a Whistler painting on a magnet before I go in depth on the fascinating Whistler himself.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Handy Joy

Magnet #1304 - Handy Smurf

I might have too many Smurf magnets. And I don't even know where most of them came from!

Handy Smurf would totally come in handy around my apartment lately. I've been putting up new magnetboards around the apartment. It's entirely possible that I don't have enough space for all the magnets I'm acquiring left and right.

But, dudes, I managed to put the magnetboards up with the power drills and everything. Handy Smurf would be so proud.

You know, if he tilted his head slightly to the side to check my handiwork...

What? Levels and I are not friends.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Swan Lake

Magnet #1303 - Dance at the MET!

Or, at the David Koch Theatre, as the case may be. Went to see Swan Lake today. I've never seen it, so when I saw it was part of this season of the NYC Ballet, I knew I had to see it.

I had seats way up in the Fifth Ring - so high, that I had a 2-second attack of vertigo when sitting down in my seat. Oops!

The performance itself was amazing, in as much as I know anything about ballet. But, the set design was gorgeous, and each dance number was flawless, and the orchestra was just fantastic.

And, as usual, I had my issues with the story. For some reason, I've managed to never learn the whole story of Swan Lake, so I was totally surprised when I found out it was an unhappy ending. I can't stand unhappy love stories, they make me crazy.

Mind you, it didn't stop me from sniffling a bit at the end, but still, made me crazy.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Out of time and dress

Magnet #1302 - Lady with reticule

I was totally born in the wrong time period. I can't exactly tell when in history I should have been born, but I know this isn't it. Sorta.

It kinda changes depending on the romance novel or television show I'm watching. Like, could I have worn a dress like this, with its bustle and the longish train, plus a bonnet and reticule?

Or am I more of a poodle skirt chick?

Or leggings and oversized shirts?

Who knows.

I just know I love, love, love this dress. Possibly because it's blue and white and everything in my closet is basically the same color scheme. But mostly because can you imagine the time it took to get into and out of the dress?

Makes you realize there's no way all those historical romance love scenes could have been as sexy and rushed (or not, depending on the hero, I guess) in real life. Musta taken hours just to get out of this outfit.

And forget about evening trysts out in the orangeries or darkened quiet gardens!
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Thursday, September 15, 2011


Magnet #1301 - Macarism

Dudes. Somehow it's almost the holidays. Yeah, I said it. I just can't believe it's September already.

But, with the holidays comes the holiday market down at Union Square, which (hopefully) means that Nicola & the Newfoundlander will be setting up shop, hopefully with their reclaimed words on reclaimed wood. I'm running out!

This magnet is my favorite of all of them so far.

Macarism: taking pleasure in someone else's joy.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Smaller is better

Magnet #1300 - Les Grands Boulevards

Love this Renoir. Les Grands Boulevards was painted back in 1875 on the street of Paris.

It shows best one of the things what I love most about art - paintings are as good as photographs in depicting what urban settings looked like during that time period. Those are the pieces that I tend to look into the most, it's so much fun looking for the things that date the time period, horse-drawn carriages, folks in period dress, etc.

This one's from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which has definitely become a favorite - I can't wait to go back. I've decided that while I love the bigger galleries, the Met, the National Gallery in London, the Uffizi in Florence, it's the smaller museums I like most.

Yes, the big museums have the major works of artists throughout time, but it's the smaller museums with their lesser-known pieces that I love discovering. When walking through the Philly museum, I found myself in one room with at least seven Monets I had never seen before in real life. Seven! You've seen my Monet art magnet collection - it's pretty extensive. I've seen a lot of Monets in my life.

But, on top of that? I didn't have to climb over anyone to look at the paintings up close. I could look at paintings across the room with an unobstructed view.

It was amazing.

And of course, as I'm looking at the museum site, I just realized they have a Zaha Hadid exhibit starting soon. Sigh. It took me ages to get down to Philly just for their museum. And now I'll have to go back before March to see this Hadid exhibit.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't dazzle me with your fancy math.

Magnet #1299 - I suck at math

Familiar refrains if you spend any time with me - both "don't dazzle me with your fancy math," and "I suck at math."

But it's true. If you've ever had to work a spreadsheet with me, split a tab with me, figure out calendar days with me, budget projects with me, measure dimensions with me add two apples together with me, you know this to be the case.

It's why my sister bought this magnet (ok, ok, pin) for me.

It's also why I can't figure out how some of the first cousins are in actual mathematical and engineer courses, while I need a calculator for those two apples.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Hei tiki, you're so fine

Magnet #1298 - Hei Tiki, New Zealand

Hey! My first Kiwi magnet!

My friend bought this hei tiki magnet for me, on a cleverly planned layover in New Zealand. Pretty cool!

They're commonly known as tikis, and are considered treasures, special pendants worn by Maoris, as either memorials to ancestors, or as a symbol of the goddess of, um...childbirth.

So, um yeah, Erika, thanks for that. Hahahaah.

I see this tiki, though, and I remember that Brady Bunch episode when they went to Hawaii and the boys found that tiki that gave them bad luck. I'm hoping this won't do the same.

Actually, here's something weird. Last week, a random chick commented on a blogpost in response to that cartoon I used to have with the girl daydreaming for something to violently push her in the right direction. Her comment made me re-read my original blogpost, wherein I lament the fact that I was in a bad way, and was hoping for a change.

Ya'll. I can't believe I basically put it out into the universe that I was hoping the back half of my 2010 would bring about change.

And change it did. I mean, put that wish out in the universe, and that stuff gets answered like you don't know what!

I mean, the last year has been nothing but absolute craziness between getting laid off the day I came home from Comic-Con, my apartment building getting bought in the fall, my dad's heart attack in February, spending most of 2011 commuting back and forth between NY & NC with trips to Houston and Tampa in between medical appointments and hospitals, meeting loads of new people, losing and regaining contact with old friends, accepting new jobs and leaving new jobs.

Seriously, it's been 15 months since I wrote that post, and it's only just now starting to feel like I've got some semblance of my life back. I'm at that point where I don't want to ever relax, for fear of the next obstacle heading my way.

Mind you, upheaval yes. But it's led me to what I think is a much better place now than when I wrote that blogpost in June 2010. I think the last year of upheaval has definitely been worth it.

And I definitely think the point of that random visitor comment was to remind me of such.

So you hear that, hei tiki? Please remember, I'm accepting only good fortune from my ancestors!
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Always remember, never forget

Magnet #1297 - Cross from Mexico

I found this cross at yesterday's Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus gift shop. I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy it mainly because it is such a religious icon to make into a magnet.

But, given that I'd just bought Jesus on a magnet (yesterday's Supper at Emmaus), I figured I'd already crossed that line. Plus, this photo does no justice to this magnet to how gorgeously painted this magnet is.

Anyway, using this cross feels fitting today, as everyone shares their own September 11th memories on television and all over the internet.

Private reflection feels the mood of my day, with the highpoint of just taking a long, leisurely walk on the Upper West Side.

A much different walk than 10 years ago.
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

The face of Jesus

Magnet #1296 - Supper at Emmaus

We went on a roadtrip to Philly today, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art being top of the list of things to do. It was a spur of the moment trip, and I didn't even check to see what their current exhibitions were, but their big one was Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus.

I was on the fence for paying the extra fees to see it, mainly because I have to admit, I'm not a big religious paintings buff. I get how all the different schools and countries and epochs had their ways of portraying religious icons, and how it's all important.

But honestly, for me, there is something odd about humanity's need to put a face to Jesus. We know we were created in His image, so I don't necessarily agree with having to figure out what God or Jesus looked like.

But in the end, the exhibit was actually pretty interesting. I learned a lot about Rembrandt the man, as well as the artist - which is always good for me. Apparently, he was one of the first artists to actually portray Jesus in a more human, more expressive light, so the main section of the exhibit focused on several paintings of Jesus in several different facial poses. Pretty cool. Plus, the galleries were filled with different paintings, etchings and drawings from Rembrandt and others of his school.

One of his favorite scenes to paint was the Supper at Emmaus, where a couple of disciples were on their way to Emmaus, and they meet a stranger, who then reveals himself as Jesus at dinner, as they are breaking bread. That's this painting here, on loan from the Louvre. Jesus is in the middle, with a shining outline of light, and even the back archway reminds you of a church altar.

It's a fairly amazing piece.

And of course, here's me, sitting here in New York, not even realizing that Philly had borrowed this piece from Paris.

Yep. Even with the audio guide, even with reading the placard...I still missed that tidbit of information.

Anyway, so now you know. Get on down to Philly to see the exhibit before October 30th!

Mind you, I have to say here that I'm in awe, and somewhat surprised at the amount of merchandise the museum produced for this event. Not only are there tons of religious items, plus a healthy set of Rembrandt pieces, but they extended the merchandise to include a ton of Dutch wares.

No, I mean like Holland windmill pens, spicy cookies from Amsterdam, wooden shoes, Delft blue items, Dutch waffle cookies, tons of tulips, etc. I mean, it totally felt like I was at a gift shop in Holland.

I wanted to buy a set of the cookies - because of the gorgeous blue and white tin. But, I reined it in. I was appalled at the Messiah Mints, so I didn't get those. But I totally did end up with a green Holland windmill pen.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

The prey of great powers*

Magnet #1295 - Amedeo Modigliani

Another from my great artists magnet set. Amedeo Modigliani was Italian, and worked mainly in France - as near as I can tell, his telltale artistic style was mostly notable for elongated faces, seen here.

I won't lie, I had never heard of the artist before last fall. That's when one of his nudes sold at Sotheby's for $68 million, the same price as my 23-story pre-war apartment building, with like 400 units. That's when I started to pay attention to him in the galleries. After all, if you can command that sort of price tag, it's definitely well worth a peek in the museums, no?

Turns out that Modigliani has a rather sad, sad story, never making that much of a success of himself while he was alive, selling pictures here and there, with at least one small exhibition. In the end, he died of tubercular meningitis, which wasn't helped by his propensity for overwork, and oh, that addiction to drugs and alcohol.

(The story's much, much sadder than that, but you should look it up, since I can't believe how sad the story ends, the least of which is a $68 million sale he'd never see.)

*From one of Modigliani's letters to a friend
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

By rote

Magnet #1294 - Dos Caminos

Ya'll. I keep getting lost on the way to work.

Ok, ok, not lost exactly, but whenever I'm on autopilot, I end up doing funny things. Funny things like:

- getting out at Union Square instead of 28th Street in the morning, or
- walking right past my office building til I look up and realize...I've walked right past my office building. Or,
- leaving the office, intending to walk up several blocks to a restaurant on 29th...only to remember I'm already on 29th.

It's amazing, in my head, I've stepped into the Manhattan map, only my origination/termination point, is my old office building. So, when I'm on autopilot, I end up completely disoriented, and not where I'm supposed to be.

I suppose it's natural - I mean, I spent a third of my life in that building (holy crap), but still, it's so odd!

Of course, the new gig in a new building does mean getting to know a new neighborhood, and new restaurants.

Dos Caminos isn't one of those new restaurants - my friends have been going there for years for lunch. And since I rarely did lunch, I never did get to go with them.

So I finally got to go, and voila! Magnet!
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The boys are back

Magnet #1293 - Harley-Davidson

Sons of Anarchy. Finally. The boys are back. Back after 18 months of hard time, a shiv and a haircut.

Of course, Charlie Hunnam looks about 24 with his new baby boy haircut, but you know, I'll take it. Meanwhile Opie's got wicked long hair and a beard that's almost as long. Crazycakes - completely unrecognizable from his other roles. Love that Ryan Hurst.

Seems like the jury's out on the fourth season - based on @sepinwall's and @moryan's reviews. I have to say I agree. The first ep did a great job setting up a lot of the storylines for the season - sad it's only 13 episodes - so it should be a good one. Hopefully.

I had my issues with last season, feeling like the pacing was a bit uneven and then had quite the anticlimactic baby resolution. But I think this season will be good, even as I was a lot put off by the last 10 minutes of uberviolence. The show's always been that way, but damn, has Jax come a long way from offing Tara's stalker boyfriend.

Kinda scary.

I'm excited because STWsis is along for the um, ride, totally caught up on the show and almost as in like with it as me. She's the one who got me this Harley magnet. Feels like it's only a matter of time before one or both of us are up for figuring out when we'll be riding our first.

Bike, that is.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Anything Goes

Magnet #1292 - Anything Goes

I love musicals. That's right. I said it. The classic ones. The revivals. The ones where I know the songbook. Something like Anything Goes.

In a word? Amazing.

Seriously. I loved it so very, very much. I can't say it enough.

Sutton Foster was amazing, Joel Grey was terrific, and OMG, Kelly Bishop (aka Emily Gilmore) was awesome. And the rest of the cast? Fanfreakin'tastic.

Cole Porter music and lyrics meant I knew half the words to all the songs because they're standards we've all grown up with.

The story went fast and the jokes were classically timed, even the deadpan ba-dum-bump moments were funny.

The set design was incredible, only to be outdone by the wonderful costumes.

But my goodness, the big Anything Goes tap number before the intermission? Astounding. I totally wanted to jump to my feet and tap my way down the aisles, says the girl who used to wear her church shoes for the tap numbers during Lawrence Welk.

For a few hours while the lights were down, I was reminded yet again, that it's entirely possible that I was born in the wrong decade. On top of that, everything - from the costumes, life on a transatlantic ship, references to Cunards, to celebrities aboard ship - about the show could have come straight out of the Seaport Museum's DECOdence S.S. Normandie exhibit.

Folks, I cannot stress this enough - if you come to NY or if you see any Broadway show this year, Anything Goes should be that show. It truly is Broadway at its best.
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Please hold for San Francisco

Magnet #1291 - de Young Museum

Argle. San Francisco's calling me, too!

Here's yet another museum I haven't been to, the de Young Museum! A friend of mine brought this one back for me from her trip out there.

As I look around my apartment, I have to admit that I'm lucky to have been able to travel as much as I have - with repeat visits to multiple fun destinations. But I don't think I'll ever sit back and say, yeah, I'm done with travelling. There's just too much out there to see and do, than just sit at home in NYC.

Following on yesterday's post, I really did start my spreadsheet of future vacation destinations and activities. No real itineraries just yet obviously, but so far Russia and LA have the longest list of things for me to do.

And, because I rediscovered this magnet in my collection, I had to add San Francisco to my list, and specifically this museum. You can't tell in this from this shot (indeed, wait til I use one of the several other magnets in the set), but it's the coolest building ever!

It's designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the same folks that did the Bejing Olympic Stadium, and who re-purposed the Tate Modern in London, and the Allianz stadium in Munich.

Shoot. Germany. I have to go add that to my list!
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Many moods of Mickey

Magnet #1290 - Shades of Mickey Mouse

A friend of mine brought this back for me from Disneyland. So cute!

You know, for as many times as I've been out to California, I still haven't done one trip centered around themeparks.

This is bad! I'm also getting annoyed that my list of places to visit is getting longer and longer. I should probably set up a spreadsheet of trips that I want to take and the bucket list of things to do in each place. Then I can start tiering my trips. As it is, it's been only 3 months since my last international trip and I'm already itching to get outta dodge.

Anyway, I do love this magnet because it's like someone's asking Mickey to be Happy! Be Sad! Be freaked out! Now you're surprised! Plus, with all the different colors, it's like an Andy Warhol set.

Ok, fine. It's really a set of 15 magnets. But honestly, did ya'll want 15 separate Mickey magnetsposts?

Nope, didn't think so.

Therefore, I present Mickey Warhol.
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Je ne cherche pas, je trouve

Magnet #1289 - Picasso quote

So now I've missed Picasso at two museums, the Met and the VMFA in Richmond. But each place left me magnets to buy, so of course, I picked up a couple.

The translation for this magnet? I do not seek, I find.

Today, I did a bit of both.

Ya'll know that I've been here in NYC since 1995, and so by now, I ought to be an old hand finding my way around. Well, I'm here to tell you, I still get lost in this town.

This morning, I ran out of the house, hurrying to get to Amy Ruth's in Harlem by the mandated 10:30 for my Harlem Food Tour. I made sure I had the address (113 West 116th Street). And by rote, I got on to uptown 1 train, thinking it was up by Columbia, and forgetting that the 1,2,3 trains split somewhere uptown.

I got off at 116th, and spent a good couple minutes wandering west of Columbia, pulling up my map on my phone (which I totally should have done before I left, obvi) ...and realized that I hadn't a clue where I was going, as all signs pointed East. A lot east.

I decided I was not going to be beaten - plus I paid Groupon $60 for the tour (normally $95), and by george, I was gonna make it! Off I went across Columbia's giant quad, emerging at the 400 block of West 116th. 400!

I kept hoofing it. As I approached Morningside Drive, I realized, whoa, that's a huge cliffside drop-off, where'd West 116th go??? That's when I first learned what Morningside Park was, and off in the distance, was what I could only (hopefully) assume was the rest of West 116th.

So I ran (in my flip-flops) down the steep steps. No, seriously, like a lot of steep steps until I finally found West 116th - the 300 block! I was like, seriously! 300!

It was now 10:45, and I was figuring that if my Harlem tour started at a good place like Amy Ruth's, then I had a bit of time. Still, hot and sweaty, I found Amy Ruth's, and fairly flew in expecting a big group of people waiting for me.

Only to be greeted by a couple, who were also on the tour (who had been waiting since 10:30). My new friends and I sat there until 11:30, contenting ourselves in good conversation about tours in NY, San Fran, publishing, social media, their SO adorable new granddaughter Ella Simone, and yes, magnets.

But do you know what? The tour guide was a total no show! We were none too happy about it, and neither was our new friend Sharon, in charge at Amy Ruth's. She couldn't believe we'd been ditched by this tour guide, and made copies of our Groupons, and checked in on us as we took up a table waiting for the guide.

Of course, after such gracious hospitality, we decided we should stay and eat - we were starving, having spent a lot of time watching other folks get their meals.


Ya'll. If you're ever up in Harlem - shoot, not even! If you're ever hungry for chicken and waffles? Make your way up the 2/3 to Amy Ruth's to eat. They serve soul food so good, you'll think you're down South, instead of...West 116th Street, Harlem, New York City.

So very, very good.

In the end, while we didn't get the full-on Harlem Food Tour we were seeking, we definitely found a great place to eat, and learned that sometimes, strangers make the best companions! Thanks again for a lovely time, @chinhansen and Phil!

N.B.: The second I got home, I asked Groupon for a refund for the tour, given the no-show, and they quickly responded with apologies and a refund. Though I'm surprised that a Groupon vendor fell through, their customer service is A-ok!
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Friday, September 2, 2011

LOLs is Joy

Magnet #1288 - Laughter is Joy

LOVE this magnet.

The second I found it on CafePress (during one of their insane magnet sales), I knew I had to buy it.

It's so true! Ok, fine, maybe only when it comes to me.

I mean, I spent a whole weekend bugging the crap out of STWsis by laughing out loud over things and quickly covering with "Nothing!" or "Never mind!"

I'm always laughing at something, I think. Can't help it when something strikes me funny!

I found myself giggling at my desk again today. Only instead of cuteboy account execs over the wall from me, I have a whole team of 20somethings sitting behind me in the social media command center who hear me giggle softly and not-so-softly to myself.

I can't even remember what made me laugh this morning, just that something struck me funny, and I had to mentally remind myself I wasn't alone to laugh out loud.

Usually it doesn't stop at some point in my life, I know I'm just gonna be that crazy old broad laughing to herself in the corner.

And ya'll can say you knew me when, I guess.


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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sooooo not Toledo, Ohio

Magnet #1287 - El Greco

I know next to nothing about El Greco, except that he's included in my set of artist signatures because he was one of the leaders of the Spanish School back in the 1500s/1600s.

Even if he was Greek, and really named Domenikos Theotokopoulos.

This View of Toledo at the Met is one of my most favorite El Grecos of all. The vibrant splash of grays and blacks and greens strikes you from across the room, and as you walk slowly toward the painting, it slowly crystallizes into the hills and towns of Toledo.

And I'm not just saying that because I love blues and greens. It's truly a magnificent painting!

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