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More buttons January 23, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Smiley, Web smileys.
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More buttons. In Boerne, TX, April 2011.

I love smiley buttons. I own two already, which is why I didn’t shell out for these buttons when I found them in an antique store in Boerne, TX, last summer. But it was a bit odd to find them in an antique store. Are smileys really that old?

But sure enough, tonight my wife and I were watching Back to the Future Part II, and in one of the scenes where Doc and Marty go to the future — 2015, just a few years away now! — and Marty stops at an antique store, there in the window is a display of “antique” smiley faces!

Smiley faces are antiques! (So is that Macintosh computer, which is funny, because I'm typing this post on a Mac right now.)

We don’t have flying cars or self-drying clothes or hover boards, but Back to the Future Part II did get one thing right: smiley faces are antiques.:)

Pac-Man … something … in a car November 10, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Clothing & Accessories, Decor, Smiley, Toys.
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Pac-Man on the dashboard of a car in Portland, OR.

What better manifestation of the smiley face in three dimensions has there ever been than Pac-Man? Sure, the guy is so happy partly because he’s overdosing on those power pellets, and he doesn’t do much to help those poor ghosts have a nice day. But if you ever try to turn a wide-grinning smiley into a sphere, you inevitably wind up with Pac-Man. And he does always make me smile.

What exactly this is, though, I can’t tell you. I stumbled across it while walking the streets in my neighborhood back in August and grabbed this quick snapshot on my cell phone as I passed the car. Looking at it later, I thought for a while it might be this bizarre Pac-Man hat, but the seams are different and that Pac-Man hat is HUGE. This guy is more pouch-sized, almost like a small Pac-Man purse. But then, why is it out there on the dashboard for all the world to see?

To make all the world a happier place, you say? Okay, I’ll buy that. 🙂

Sunglasses July 28, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Smiley.
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Sunglasses. From my personal collection.

Okay, I know these are child-sized sunglasses. But they’re awesome. And with the sun out and skies clear on this gorgeous Oregon day, I couldn’t help but think of these happy shades. 8)

Decorative pin May 9, 2011

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Decorative pin. From my personal collection.

I can’t remember where I picked this up — I think I actually found it on the side of the road while walking to a taxi stand one day — but it became my constant companion for one semester a couple of years ago. I kept it pinned to the canvas strap of the messenger bag I carried to work when I was teaching English in Abu Dhabi. Now it resides among all its smiley kin in my collection, but I’m thinking of pulling it out in the fall and reattaching it to my messenger bag. Because a happy teacher makes for a happy classroom!

Lanyard April 4, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Smiley.
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Lanyard. From my personal collection.

It’s funny: I never really use lanyards, yet I have a ton of these things. Most of them are attached to id wallets; these are popular at the academic conferences I attend, and I have taken to collecting the ids and lanyards from all the conferences I go to — I like to hang them around my desk, partly so I can “look academic” to anyone who bothers to look at my desk, but mostly just for the memories of the conferences. (I’ve been to some cool conferences.)

I have no idea where I picked this smiley lanyard up, though. It’s certainly not from any conference. Later this month, though, I’ll be attending the national conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, and I’ve just decided it would be fun to swap out their id lanyard for this one. So if you’re in San Antonio in late April, especially if you’re at PCA/ACA, look for the guy in the smiley lanyard. Chances are good it’ll be me.  🙂

Folding fan March 14, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Decor, Smiley.
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Folding fan. From my personal collection.

I can honestly say that I’ve never used this to cool off on a hot day. The plastic folding handle is almost as flimsy as the dyed accordion paper, and I’m not sure it would survive a hot day. But I love it and have sometimes found ways to hang it on the wall or prop it on a shelf (I’m tagging this as “accessories,” but I use more like decor, so I’ll tag it as that as well).

 

BONUS: Reader-submitted brother Jon February 26, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Reader submission, Smiley.
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My brother Jon. (Photo courtesy of Kate E.)

Ladies and gentlemen: my brother, artist and filmmaker Jon Snoek.

Apparently, he’s feeling jealous of all the attention my niece and nephew got earlier this month.  Just be glad you’re not looking at his armpits.


Also, on a completely unrelated note, typing “my brother Jon” in the caption has now gotten the Blues Traveler song of the same name stuck in my head.  So here, so you can share in that experience:

BONUS: Reader-submitted smiley kids! February 1, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Reader submission, Smiley.
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My nephew Aidan's baby bib. (All photo s in this post courtesy of Sara Snoek).

As I mention in my “About” page, my sister’s kids call me Uncle Smiley. They take that epithet so seriously that they frequently get smiley-face gifts with me in mine, starting from infancy: this is my nephew’s baby bib, which he wore almost as soon as he came home from the hospital!

Below are the two pictures that prompted this post, though: my niece recently got smiley-face earrings and wanted to show them off to me, so my sister took these pictures on her camera phone.

Love you, too, kiddos! 🙂

Buttons January 10, 2011

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Buttons. From my personal collection.

If you followed the links in the post back on World Smile Day, you might recognize these as the original smiley face design drawn by Harvey Ball back in 1963.  We’ve seen a lot of variations of the smiley face on this blog so far, and there are plenty more to come, but this classic image still seems special, I think.  There’s a certain loopy, honest feeling to those lopsided eyes and that extra-wide, dimpled grin, isn’t there?

I don’t know how I wound up with two of them, but here they are, a happy pair.

Patch December 20, 2010

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Patch. From my personal collection.

Filthy, isn’t it?  That’s just a sign of how loved it was–I used to keep this patch attached to a backpack and later a zipping organizer.  (Those of you who know me are, I know, shocked to learn that I ever owned an organizer.  Don’t worry–I used it only sporadically and am still just as lovably disorganized as ever.  But I did make a valiant effort for a while and carried that thing with me at all times, even if I rarely opened it.  Made a good writing notebook, though.)

When I noticed how dirty the patch was getting, I decided to remove it and add it to the stored collection.  You know, for posterity.

This is posterity, apparently.  So here it is.