Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Race is Getting Smaller

Hillary wins but it doesn't count, though she has a rally that makes it look like it did. John Edwards, I think you and your family need a vacation together. Willard loses but acts like he almost won. Rudy keeps on losing. More debates coming up. I can only hope the media will start to focus on the important stuff.

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the ... Click

The mouth that bored sniggered and swaggered his way through the first 10 minutes of the State of the Union before I changed the channel. I had a bet to see who could last longer, me or Tommy - I "won." Yes, I know it is his last SOTU speech, but dear God, the man is an idiot and I shouldn't have to listen to him.

In other news, Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama - and thank God, that news clip dominated the day, and will likely dominate tomorrow too. Ave Maria.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

There Will Be...Oscars!!!


Went to the movies today and saw There Will Be Blood and it was spectacular. Also very long, gorgeous, beautifully photographed and featuring flawless performances from every actor. It is a rare film lately that doesn't have a moment where I think "Dammit, that lamp is wrong!" or doubt the sincerity of a piece of dialogue, hate a wardrobe decision or wish for a different Director of Photography (I have been spoiled by Thomas, whom I met at film school.) This film was perfect. For those of you compelled to see the Oscar nominated films - get thee to this one - you will be richly rewarded. I'm even going to pick up Upton Sinclair's novel Oil, which the film is based on.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Am Sobbing Wreck Now

Reprinted without permission. Please donate what you can to your local animal rescue league.

Owners lose home, and pets suffer, too

The wreckage of the subprime mortgage crisis has caused human pain far and wide, but its victims also include a band of seven gentle, woolly-coated huskies.

Their owner was a recent widow facing eviction from her foreclosed home. She had brought the dogs to the Animal Rescue League of Boston where she reluctantly signed paperwork surrendering them for adoption.

"Those dogs were her life," said Melissa Cox, assistant manager of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. "She lost her husband, her house, and then her beloved dogs."

Across the region, dogs and cats are arriving at shelters in growing numbers, as their owners face foreclosures and head to temporary homes, such as rental units or relatives' houses, where pets are not permitted or may not be welcome.

The separations are putting a strain on shelters already strapped for space and are making for teary scenes from Boston to Brockton, from Lowell to Worcester, as owners relinquish their longtime pets to uncertain futures. Some shelters euthanize animals that cannot be adopted.

Shelters say they began noticing an uptick in the number of animals being given up because of foreclosures over the summer and say that the trend has escalated since then. Most do not keep formal records reflecting animals surrendered for foreclosure, but shelter officials say that the evidence is clear.

In the last three months, owners displaced by foreclosures surrendered some 30 animals, including a Chihuahua this week, at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. At the Brockton MSPCA Shelter, officials estimate that half of the dozen dogs brought in for surrender this month were from foreclosed homeowners.

At the Worcester Animal Rescue League, so many dogs and cats from foreclosed homes have been surrendered, including 10 cats last week, that the director created a policy that permits the animals to remain in the shelter at no cost for 90 days while their owners search for pet-friendly housing. If the owners are not able to find suitable homes in the time period, the animals go up for adoption.

"We'd much rather see them go home to their owners, where they belong," said Doreen Currier, director of the Worcester Animal Rescue League.

Once an animal has been adopted, the previous owner has no claim to the animal. A pet owner who surrenders an animal also runs the risk, in some shelters, that the animal will be euthanized if a home can't be found.

Some shelters try to minimize euthanization by capping the number of animals they take. Several said they have run up against those limits this year, even in the typically slow winter months, as owners are forced out of homes.

The toll on the surrendering pet owners is immense, shelter officials say.
But it can also be traumatic for the pets.

Many animals have spent years with their owners. Some animals have a hard time with the stressful, leaderless life in a shelter. Sometimes, these dogs are transferred to foster homes to regain their composure before they can be put up for adoption.

Such was the case with a 9-year-old German shepherd surrendered to the Lowell Humane Society. Liz Shaw, interim director, said the dog was well trained and much loved by its owners, who had lost their home. When the dog came to the shelter, he fell into a slump.

"He was like: What's happened to me?" Shaw said. The shelter transferred him to a foster home.

Most troubling, shelter officials say, are pets deserted by homeowners in the upheaval of foreclosure and found later by neighbors and strangers who can't relay their medical and family histories.

Mortgage companies foreclosed on 7,653 Massachusetts homes last year, about seven times the number in 2005, when the housing boom peaked, and more than twice the number in 2006, according to the Warren Group, a Boston-based publisher of real estate data. The figure represents the largest number of foreclosures in a year since the early 1990s, the last time housing prices went into a prolonged slump. Analysts warn that 2008 could see an even greater number of foreclosures.

Those numbers worry shelter officials, who are already scrambling to find space for the animals arriving daily. The seven huskies brought to the Animal Rescue League of Boston were divided between the League's shelter space, a Dedham affiliate shelter, and a Huskie rescue group.

In Salem, N.H., the animals arriving at Salem Animal Rescue League because of foreclosures is ballooning and taking a toll on staff there. One particularly hard surrender, staff recalled, was the case of a mother and daughter who brought their infirm and elderly dog to the shelter last month after being foreclosed.

"It was just heartbreaking," said Deborah Vaughn, the Salem shelter manager. "They were sitting there crying their eyes out, and they were hugging the dog and saying their goodbyes and wanting to be assured that the dog would be OK." She said the foreclosure separations are unlike anything her staff has experienced. She said she emphasized to her staff that their focus should be on caring for the uprooted animals.

"They are the ones who don't understand what's going on, unlike the people," she said.

Sarah Schweitzer can be reached at schweitzer@globe.com.
© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

Am I Crazy?

I have heard (wandering through the den, twice) the sound of the La-Z-Boy "Armchair Quarterback" commercial. I can't find the commerical online - but when you see it next, tell me what the first word you here is. It's meant to be punt, but that is not what I'm hearing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I am Minty Fresh

Had a visit with Danielle, my dental hygienist at Dr. Valdemar Welz' office. Danielle is the perfect person for me, funny, sweet - understands I'm totally neurotic when it comes to dental stuff. She was pretending to be fierce for this photo (that was hard given the amount of laughter behind the mask.) I am minty fresh.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Think He's Faking It

Just my girlie opinion on the run up to the stupid bowl - I think Tom Brady is faking it as a psych out before the game. I'd watch his other foot carefully to see if he remembers which foot he "injured." I am amazed (and amused) at the amount of coverage the boot is getting. Go Pats!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Magnolicious

MmmmmmMagnolicious! as my friend Lenny would say. My astoundingly talented husband Thomas Magno has relaunched his site ThomasMagno.com

There are four delicious portfolios, so please do click the portfolio link and visit each of them. You will be transported around the world and your soul will be rewarded. May I suggest upping your feng shui quotient by bringing a Magno into your space? I think I just did.

In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. day gives each of us a moment to pause and ask ourselves are we, as individuals, doing everything we can do to help poor, disenfranchised, abused and neglected people wherever they may be. Dr. King's struggles are well documented and can inspire each of us to do, if not great, maybe better things. Start small, find something you can do in your own neighborhood. You'll be as much a beneficiary of your efforts.

Time has a really amazing photo essay about MLK here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Patsys Perfect at 18-0, Stupid Bowl Bound

Congrats Pats, it was a very exciting game. I'm sure you are very excited to be heading to a warm place for the Super Bowl. Mmmm, warm...


Football Playoff Day & What I Can't Wait to See

Today is the pre-super bowl day that everyone loves; you get two "big" games, slathered in hype and nonsense and the big enchilada teams are selected. That is all very exciting, but what I'm really waiting for is the premier of AMC's new series Breaking Bad starring Bryan Cranston as Chemistry teacher Walter White. Kudos to AMC for spending money on an excellent web experience promoting the show.

I am so psyched to see the premier. I loved Bryan Cranston as Hal on Malcolm in the Middle (Rollerskates, best episode ever) and his delicious snark as Dr. Tim Whatley on Seinfeld was perfect. Here's the sell line from AMC: "Meet Walter White, high school chemistry teacher. Sleepwalking through life when, boom, a terminal diagnosis changes everything. Liberates him. Empowers him to use his chemistry skills anew: to man a rolling drug lab and finance his family's future." I will be unavailable from 10-11 on Sunday nights.

Okay, football predictions based solely on my non-invested sans-research reasoning.

Patriots v. Chargers: Pats win. Why: Because I said so, and it probably is destiny.

Packers v. Giants: Packers win. Why: Because it "feels like -24" in Green Bay, and I like their uniforms better.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another (Not So Guilty) Guilty Pleasure

I have to hand it to the folks at TLC - they took something that I have never given more than a passing glance and made it a four-week must watch for me. Miss America Reality Check has been 1 part Survivor, 1 part Trading Spaces and 1 part schadenfreude giggle fest (and if you are a dude, 1 part jiggle fest.)

TLC is giving the Miss America pageant an update - a serious style update. They took all 52 contestants, put them in a house and run them through little challenges - but more importantly, run them through some serious style challenges. There has been the "What is going on with that hair" moment, the "Is that powder blue eye shadow" moment and the "Let's see how they dress for a field day" challenge (big hair for some...) The girls are learning anew how to do their hair and make-up, how to dress - even how to work the runway. They are learning to speak naturally and truthfully and they appear to learning that pageant life isn't real life - and that's okay.

I've been enjoying the show a great deal. If you haven't seen it check it out. You'll get a few chuckles - and you can even vote for your favorite contestant on TLC's website. How democratic is that?!

Friday, January 18, 2008

UN Names Clooney Messenger of Handsome/Peace

The United Nations today named George Clooney a Messenger of Peace. I congratulate the UN for their astounding good taste in messengers.

In all seriousness, it is a prestigious post and one for which he is more than qualified. His work to stop the violence in Darfur via Not on Our Watch recently earned he and Don Cheadle an award at the 8th World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates – a group that includes former Soviet President Michael Gorbachev, former President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In summary, George Clooney is totally hot, totally talented and totally, really good. That is a devastating combination.

Yummy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yellow Book Dot Sucks (and othe aggravations)

Yellow Book. You suck. Specifically the idiots who deliver your books suck. This kind of asshattery must stop. Leave me alone Yellow Book. I can't remember the last time I touched any phone book other than my little town directory. I am one of the Google people - if I can't find on "the Google" it probably isn't worth finding anyway.

Here is a book lobbed into my driveway. (My front porch not being visible?)

Here is a book lobbed into the snow on my front walkway. (Steps away from my front porch...)

Here are both books sitting with the trash on my back porch. (The books will be properly recycled.)
Speaking of idiots, Macy's Boston decided to close the entire store for a full day to do inventory - taping these pitiful signs to the doors. Now I don't usually shop at Macy's - but I thought I would take a peek on Tuesday for something to wear to a party on Friday. Instead I translated the signs for at least three dozen tourists in two minutes. STUPID STUPID STUPID - it's the only major department store in downtown Boston and they CLOSED for the day. STUPID!

Sorry for any inconvenience my ass.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Punishment Is...

Since I (lovingly) mocked Tommy for the man cold, I (of course) caught the cold. I'm going back to bed now.

Mad Mags Libs:

I feel like __________________.

My nose is _________________.

The best re-runs when you are sick are __________________.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Age of Conversation, Part OMG!

Mr. Awesome, Drew McLellan in partnership with the madman down under, Gavin Heaton has announced another collaborative book project today. The Age of Conversation was such a life-affirming, career-enhancing and friend-making experience that I have already signed up for the 2008 book to be named soon!

The book project was a lot like NaNoWriMo - except I only had to turn in 500 words and Gavin & Drew did the yeoman's job of making the book work!

Learn about the 2008 book project at Drew's Marketing Minute and if you love to write, have more than a passing interest in marketing and want to raise some money for charity - sign up! It will be the most fun you can have in front of a computer (that doesn't involve hold 'em poker or naked people.)

I Will Not Tease the Copywriters

It's a good rule.

Monday, January 14, 2008

First Storm of 2008

The predicted Nor'Easter blew in yesterday dumping nearly a foot on my town. Of course it started with a slushy icy mix which clung to the trees and made it a real winter wonderland. Having been stuck in the mid-December storm, I decided to work from home and ensure the snow was removed before it turned into a solid slick of ice.

What I learned about learning to use the snowblower:

1. It's loud
2. It smells
3. It's heavy
4. It's tough to drive
5. It's loud
6. Today my back hurts (but the driveway and miles of sidewalk are clear.)

Photos from the storm are HERE.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Things to Do When the Man is Sick

A few hours in the office, then off to the dump, vacuum, litter, petco, groceries, gas, bank, dry-cleaner, video store. Cooked up a mean roasted eggplant-baked ziti dish.

Watch: The Simpson's Movie (awesome.) 3:10 to Yuma (gorgeous bummer.)

With 14" of snow expected in the next 24 hours, I got all the errands done while Tommy has been down with a bad cold. Tommorow I expect to learn how to use the snowblower. Joy.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Busy...I have a man with a Man Cold

Tommy is a bit under the weather - like this:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dear Pundits & Pollsters

Memorandum

To: Pundits & Pollsters
Fr: Mrs. Magno
RE: New Hampshire Primary
----------------------------------------------------------------

Please be advised that you guessed wrong. That does not require extensive news coverage to explain away the egg on your collective faces. Your positing race, age and sex factors is very interesting, but most likely way off base. I wish my account planners & customer research staff had free time to look into this - I trust their data. I offer for your amusement my own theories:

1. People enjoy lying to telephone pollsters. You call to annoy me at dinner and you think I'm going to tell you the truth? Not likely - I'll tell you I'm writing in Badcat.

2. People don't want to deal with exit polling youths when they waited in line to vote and now must rush off to work, home, soccer practice, ballet recital, spinning class or whatever else people have going in their lives. Why should I spend one second telling you who I voted for just so you can put some numbers in some mouthpiece on television? And how do you know your exit pollsters were getting an appropriate sample from which to make a judgment? Take your time answering this one, I am totally willing to wait.

3. Women felt bad that Hillary was getting picked on after her (as it was variously called in media reports) "meltdown," "emotional moment," or "tearful moment." Hello, it wasn't just women that felt bad that the media made hay with "the moment" by replaying it (in seriously edited mode) over and over. The people I have spoken to all understand that every candidate was completely exhausted by Monday. It's why candidates were at times snippy, cranky and shouty.

4. People enjoy lying to pundits. You are kind of jerkfacey know-it-alls and people don't like that. You seem to be owning up to the fact that people want to see this election process continue by not anointing "the" candidate at this point in time. They want to learn more from many, if not most, of the candidates - so y'all need to shut up and report.

5. Secretly you are all guessing. Everyone knows it, so just stop it now. The electorate would truly appreciate real, in-depth reporting on the issues and the candidates position on the issues. Could you work some of that in between pontification panels? Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Congratulations Hillary

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton for her primary win in New Hampshire. Senator McCain gets a nod for his win (or as I'll personally savor it, a stinging defeat of Mitt Romney.) I'm deducting points for the crazy speech after. I thought it was my natural disinclination to believe politicians of a certain party, but then the MSNBC panel was having fits of giggles afterward - including right wing nutjob Joe Scarborough. One of the panel guest suggested that the speech was a compilation of a paragraph from every campaign chief! John Edwards aquitted himself quite well, but right now I'm listening to pundits suggesting that Hillary won the sympathy vote because she "cried" yesterday. Don't believe the polls, don't believe the pundits.

Give. Me. A. Break. Have you registered to vote yet? Get on it!




Saturday, January 05, 2008

Packed Up Christmas Today

Packed up the Christmas Twig™ and the the other trappings of the holiday. The Mini-Twig™ was on the mantel in a vase of Christmas bulbs. It was a bumper year for photo Christmas cards this year - I put this image on my Flickr page and noted the families who send the holiday snaps.

Hope your holidays (whatever they were) were fabulous. Happy Epiphany!


Friday, January 04, 2008

Blogger Social - The Countdown Begins!

Where will you be on April 4, 2008? If you aren't in New York City - you are going to miss out on the coolest bloggy happening of the year. How cool? SXSW will pale in comparison. Burning Man - feh. Blogger Social - where bloggers are getting social WITHOUT the pretense of bogus conferencing, ideation or nonsense. Simple human bonding. New York City. Awesome. Sign up here by February 15, 2008 - or be the sad kid weeping in the corner.



Join this awesome crowd in NYC: Susan Bird Tim Brunelle Katie Chatfield Terry Dagrosa Matt Dickman Luc Debaisieux Gianandrea Facchini Mark Goren Gavin Heaton Sean Howard CK Valeria Maltoni Drew McLellan Doug Meacham Marilyn Pratt Steve Roesler Greg Verdino CB Whittemore Steve Woodruff Paul McEnany Ann Handley David Reich Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Ryan Barrett ME! Tim McHale Gene DeWitt Mario Vellandi Arun Rajagopal Darryl Ohrt Joseph Jaffe Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Marianne Richmond Thomas Clifford Lewis Green Geoff Livingston Kris Hoet Connie Reece CeCe Lee Jonathan Trenn Toby Bloomberg Seni Thomas

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wow, Iowa

Mike "everyone gets a gun" Huckabee was declared the "winner" of the Iowa Rebulican caucus at 9:01pm on MSNBC. They have just declared Barack Obama the winner of the Iowa Democratic caucus.

It seems a might early to put up the percentages, but Huckabee blew out the rest of the Republicans: Huckabee 34%, Romney 25%, Thompson 14% {how the hell did that happen?}, McCain 13%, Paul 10%, Giuliani 4%. While none of the Republicans hold any appeal for me {actually, I get rashes,} I am particularly pleased that Romney is sucking it.

The Democratic numbers are really interesting: Obama 37%, Edwards, 30%, Clinton 30%, Richardson 2%, Biden 1%. Go Team America!

One race down, 49 to go.

One question people, is this this guy you really want?
While we're on the subject of elections - the Massachusetts Primary date is February 5, 2008. To vote in the primary, you must register by January 16th. Click HERE to learn more about how to register to vote in Massachusetts.

Best Line From A

Two friends at nice restaurant for lunch, one is waiting for potentially bad news. The friend is relieved to learn there is no bad news. Said the other friend:

"Oh no, when I have bad news - I take you to Dunkin' Donuts."

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

First Design Day 2008

While I was enjoying Christmas week vacation, my friend and co-worker Lindsay left me a very thoughtful gift and a dazzling card made from many gorgeous papers.

On the inside she encapsulated all of our best "t-shirt" quotes from last year as little ornaments. I love them all - but she forgot one of my favorites; "That lady called us hamsters." (Referring to a visiting guest speaker who probably meant well, but was having an extremely inarticulate day.) Thanks Lindsay!

The postman was also very kind to me over my holiday vacation and brought a package from StrawberryLuna! And oh how I love the contents (plus awesome bonus goodies) - the awesomely gorgeous Spoon poster!! I am in love with this poster! After it is framed I shall hang it in my studio for inspiration. Thanks Allison!


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year


Happy New Year, originally uploaded by Moda di Magno.

2008 has arrived in Boston. This shot of the fireworks over Boston Harbor is from Mara & David's North End roofdeck. 5 minutes to midnight is when my New Year's Eve luck ran out and the deck filled with rowdy drunk young people blowing noisemakers.

Sample of my internal struggle:

"I hope they stop blowing those noisemakers before I harm someone."

"Oh come on, they're just having fun..."

"Yes, but I might throw that girl & her frigging noisemaker off the roof."

"That would be mean, and not a good way to begin the year."

"True, but not a bad way to end 2007."

I left without harming anyone.

Happy ( & safe) New Year everyone!