Sort of Art Deco

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As you can tell, I’ve been busy. And if it’s not too crass to admit, I’m particularly pleased with how my new calendar came out. Lots of new artwork for this one that I’ve never released. At first I was concerned about pricing (being notoriously frugal when it comes to buying things for myself) but then Mi’chele, my home-health aid (and truly great friend) pointed out that you get a lot of value for your dollars when purchasing a calendar since the artwork can be framed when the month or year is over and enjoy for years to come at far less cost than purchasing separate prints. I hadn’t really thought of that before. Mi’chele’s got such great common sense and is terrific as a “Reality Check” for me on all kinds of subjects, from the seemingly frivolous to the most significant life-altering decisions. Although 20 years my junior, I really cherish her wisdom and raw honesty. Those are traits that many falsely lay claim to, many more oblivious to the incomparable value of, and which few and far between have. Thanks, my friend!

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

I've Got Class (pin) button
I’ve Got Class (pin)
You Can Customize The Text!
by IconDoIt

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Does A Mirror Reflect The Truth?

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Does a mirror tell the truth? I asked that question in a poem I wrote for my psychiatrist over 40 years ago. I hadn’t thought about it again in all these years until tonight, when it suddenly popped into my mind after having read several articles and forum posts about Malignant Narcissists. Interesting how the subconscious works, but I think that I now finally know the answer to the question. – “Maybe. It depends on who’s looking in it!”

According to the medical professionals having expertise in this area, the evil, ugly old witch who with all sincerity was able to look into the mirror and ask “Who is the fairest in all the land?”, fully believing the answer to be herself, was a classic model of malignant narcissism. The witch was the biggest dupe of all, falling for her very own cons, long after the rest of the kingdom had finally seen through her façade. The old bat was blind to the fact that people were no longer afraid of her ominous shrieking and cackle and no longer fooled by her self-serving lies.

Like all folk tales, fables, and legends, there is more than a grain of bare-knuckled reality in the fairy tales read to us as children. Life isn’t always pretty. People can be dangerous. The innocent often suffer the most and often, evil appears to be triumphant. While the malignant narcissists of this world see the witches and sorcerers and power-obsessed characters as role models for “how to get your way”, most of us grow up still believing in the power of goodness and that truth and honesty shall eventually prevail.

I firmly believe that the path we choose and the image we thus see in the mirror is a reflection of what is in our souls and not a reflection of the particular arrangement of skin and bones that form our physical faces. I realize that this may sound illogical or contradictory at first since you might assume that if my theory is true, then evil people would see ugliness in the mirror and then naturally realize everyone else sees it, too. But that’s not how it works. In the twisted ego of a malignant narcissist, they are in such denial of who they really are, they actually view themselves as the idealized person they believe they were born to be right out of the box. So why would you want to change perfection? By comparison, when the rest of us look in a mirror, we see a person with flaws who is still working to become the best she can be. To be clear, I am not trying to say that malignant narcissists all see themselves as physically beautiful when they gaze into a mirror. Rather, I’m using the mirror as a metaphor for how a person sees their whole self and imagines that this is the same image they present to the world and that the world sees. Because so many Malignant Narcissists [“MN’s”] are intellectually quite bright, it can take quite a while for other’s to recognize that MN’s are at the same time, emotionally shallow and socially obtuse. These deficiencies leave MN’s so ill-equipped that they are incapable of questioning their own beliefs, judgments, and actions. Consequently, Malignant Narcissists are completely blind to the red flags that their attitudes and behaviour raises in the objective minds of those around them. In contrast, people with a healthy soul are always re-examining themselves from the inside out and making adjustments, as that is the only way one can learn from their mistakes and have a chance at becoming a better and more effective person.

After much research, analysis and reflection on this subject, I’ve come to realize that Malignant Narcissists simply cannot see behind their own masks. I have also realized the necessity of revising my short-hand description of myself from “What you see is what you get” (meaning I’m not into playing mind games and have no hidden agendas) to what I think may be more accurately put as: “What I see is what you get.” Does that make sense to you?

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Does a Mirror Reflect The Truth?

That Man in the MirrorThe Man in the Mirror

What Do YOU see?

The One in the MirrorWhat Do You See?

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Cleveland Corruption – R U Sorry Yet 4 Not Voting?

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I live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland has always been high on the list for stand-up comics, television series, movies, newspapers, cartoonists, authors, weathermen, musicians, and yes, even athletes, to take potshots at. Most of it has been very good natured and done with love for the simple reason that so many in the entertainment field and publishing world grew up here. Some of the put-downs have been not so loving, such as the comments LeBron James made about Cleveland when he decided to abandon the team, fans, and city who have done so much for him while asking so little. And then some of the attention has been due to situations involving the environment, crime, or politics where we have essentially shot ourselves in the foot. Of course, we’re not the only city in the U.S. that has had their share of environmental disasters, infamous crime sprees, or political corruption – nor is Cleveland necessarily the worst of those cities. But the story that’s been rocking the headlines this week is a real doozy in that just about every single major local politician, several judges, well-known attorneys, labor union leaders, and numerous contractors have been served (or are about to be served) with Federal indictments for serious charges ranging from bribery, accepting bribes, “selling” verdicts, embezzlement, abuse of office, and on and on. Yesterday, the FBI made a great show of leading the County Commissioner, Jimmy Dimora, out of his house not merely in handcuffs, but in chains, just in time for the local news.

Make no mistake, I find morally abhorrent all corrupt practices by anyone who has been elected or appointed to a public office or by an attorney or judge who have taken an oath to honor the law and our legal system. Such persons sit in a fiduciary position which means that they have a sworn duty to serve ALL of their constituents with an even hand and are personally responsible for the harm they’ve caused to the people as a result of any breach of their fiduciary duty. By law, they are required to be held to a “higher standard” than us civilians: meaning that they are required to be able to genuinely hold themselves up as honorable and moral role models, both in deed and in perception. I feel no compassion for those who choose to ignore such duty and who instead use their positions for their own personal gain, be it for power, financial benefits, sexual favors, or jobs for their deadbeat relatives just to keep their spouse happy. Public humiliation, such as the spectacle of a “Perp Parade”, should be de riguer for any and all persons who have arrogantly abused their publicly held positions of trust. Why? It is not as if such humiliation would serve as a deterrent or cause such people to suddenly get a flash of insight about the harm they have caused to others, as those who indulge in such activities are at the very least, sociopaths, who are incapable of seeing beyond their own nose. The real point of public humiliation is that it allows the start of the healing process for the victims of those narcissitic, scheming ingrates in whom we had placed our trust, our city, our schools, our jobs, our homes, our quality of life, and our regional pride.

I am grateful that the Feds did not succomb to the “politics as usual” which would have deferred the indictments until after November’s election. Not so amazing is the fact that the names of many of those indicted are likely to still be on the ballots, due to time and cost restraints and due to the fact that it is too late for any “replacements” from the same party to throw their hat in the ring. While I believe there are some excellent people up for election, many are newcomers who don’t have established name recognition. It will be interesting to see how the registered voters here handle this election. Will anyone vote for the now disqualified encumbants? Will they choose to vote for alternatives that they’ve read up on and feel good about casting their votes for? How many will indiscriminately vote for anyone and everyone but the dishonored old-guard? Or will most of our citizens stay home, leaving the fate of our city to “someone else”, as they did in the September primaries when the turn out was 16.48% (only 160,00 out of 960,000 registered voters) ?

Whether you live in Cleveland, Ohio; Broward County, Florida; Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; or anywhere else in the United States, take this year’s election as an opportunity to take back control of our country, states, and cities by voting for candidates that you would not hesitate to trust with your live and your children’s lives, as that is ultimately what is at stake. If you leave it to chance by either choosing not to vote or by voting by faces, names or parties rather than by thoughtful consideration, then forever hold your tongue with complaints about taxes, school, jobs, health care, and the economy. The right to complain (as well as the right to help determine how our laws are applied and how our government’s run) comes at a price. That price is to be a responsible voter not only every 4 years, but in every election.

Tirade and Lecture Over. 😉 Thanks for bearing with me.

Tonight’s freebies are from my archive of original Art Deco inspired designs which I’ve never displayed before. Enjoy!

But first…

NEW FEATURE: BACKGROUND LINKS

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Filed-Curio-Cabinet

DecoBldg3DecoBldg4

Dishes 2

Deco Bldg 2Deco Bldg 5

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IconDoIt’s Commercial Break

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Just a quickie post tonight that’s an unabashed plug for some new items I’ve posted at my online store as well as a 15% off sale on all mugs ordered now through this Saturday (August 28, 2010). To take advantage of the sale, be sure to include this discount code with your order: BTSRULE5MUG

MUGS – Just a few of the styles available.

Montmartre (mug) mug
Montmartre (mug) by IconDoIt at zazzle.com
Freedom (mug) mug
Freedom (mug) by IconDoIt at zazzle.com
Too Loose (mug) mug
Too Loose (mug) by IconDoIt at zazzle.com

BUTTONS or PINS – Just a few of the styles available.

Sun-Dance (pin) button
Sun-Dance (pin) by IconDoIt at zazzle.com
Maggie (pin) button
Maggie (pin) by IconDoIt at zazzle.com

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Justice In The Spotlight

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Today’s the day I’ve been waiting and waiting for, TWELVE LONG YEARS! The three judge merit-panel at the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Florida is scheduled to meet today to make a decision. I won’t know what they decide for another 2-3 weeks (or at least that’s my understanding) but it’s a huge relief just to know the case finally reached them. My prayer is only that they’ll consider ALL of the facts and have the wisdom and courage to devise a remedy that’s not only fair and just but also will serve to really end this hell I’ve been put through so my little family and I can finally have some peace.

In the spirit of today, I’ve created some new legal icons/clip art – each in vastly different styles. Trying to experiment and widen my range. Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

You Can't Out-Run Justice

“You Can’t Out-Run Justice” (Note: This image incorporates a modified photo of a vintage Art Deco sculpture by an unknown artist.)

Justice In The Spotlight

Themis-Blue-Velvet

Themis 8

Themis-B&G

Themis-4

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What I do when me brain’s on the fritz…

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The tinnitus in my left ear has been roaring all week, so loud I feel like I’m trapped in the wind tunnel at NASA with a squadron of B-52’s just outside. It is exhausting and mind-boggling and so mostly I sleep but tonight I was restless and so thought I’d just play – let my mind alone to wander, my imagination take flight, and my mouse go where it willed without any restraint. I had no idea where my doodles would lead and now that I’m done, I’ve no idea what’s displayed on my screen. Is it just a bit of digital silliness? Or subconscious deep thought? I leave it to you to decide. All I know is that the jets have not landed and the ocean tide is rushing at my feet. And so I go back to sleep.

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details))

In-The-Groove

“In The Groove”

Talking outta me arse

“Ever notice how some folks just can’t seem to help talking outta their arse?”

Harlem & Paris, Together at Last!

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Eiffel--Tower

The segues between thoughts and subjects my mind makes often seem to befuddle people, including my Hubby, until I backtrack and connect the dots for them. Now, in Don’s case, this is a guy who actually passed the test to get into Mensa so he ain’t a mental-lightweight by any means! He’s told me the problem is that where most folks think linearly, I seem to able to jump from point “A” and go immediately to “Z” to reach a conclusion that’s just as sound and logical as those who tackle things by consciously thinking them through one step at a time. He’s right about that, or so it seems, because while most of the time I can fill in each of the steps in-between to show why my “Z” was not only logical but often the best answer, in reality I hadn’t reached that “Z” by consciously going through those steps. My mind simply just went there. How that actually works on a biological level, I’ve absolutely no idea but I do know for certain that the wiring in my brain is rather convoluted and fudged together as a result of having epilepsy, having had a stroke at age 27, having gone through chemo so many times, and then partly due to just being me. 😉

Today’s post is just one of those odd segues. It started out with a new set of icon/clip art images I created after noticing a growing interest in my prior releases of alpha-numeric icons. I played with a few different styles until I decided on doing a dulled metal finish on an Art Deco style font that in my mind resembles the structural steel of the Eiffel Tower. While I was working on it, a melody kept going through my head and when I realized that it was the great jazz standard “Harlem Nocturne” it instantly made sense to me. While most people probably recognize that tune best as the theme from Stacy Keach’s Mike Hammer show, it was written in the 1930’s and first recorded in 1941. In the 1920’s through the 1930’s the Harlem neighborhood of NYC was going through a tremendous renaissance and was at the top of it’s artistic form as far as exposing the creativity,sensitivity,massive skill,and tremendous heart of the newly developing northern, urbanized black culture. From visual artists like Aaron Douglas and Lois Mailou Jones to poets and play-writers like Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen to musicians like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday. Harlem was the hottest, sexiest place on earth. Art Deco was also in it’s hey-dey at that time and the particular brand of that art movement which came out of Harlem was in perfect harmony with the stark sensuality of the works coming out of Paris typified by anything having to do with Josephine Baker.

Ironically, the composer of Harlem Nocturne, Earle Hagen, was not only a white guy, he was also responsible for composing the theme songs for “Gomer Pyle”, “The Andy Griffith Show” and “That Girl” – Hardly compositions you’d confuse for great black jazz standards… ;-( I’ve no idea how Earle played this tune himself or what his original concept for it was meant to sound like, but the version I grew up loving was played by a local jazz trio at the Theatrical Grill, a dark, smoky nightclub in downtown Cleveland, Ohio – which even in the early 1960’s was the only place where both white and black customers would come together to dig the black saxman belting out this melody in such a hungry, heartbreaking manner that it could stir you to tears, spur you to drag that bartender (or cocktail waitress as your choice may be) into the coatroom to get it on right then and there, or all three at the same time.

Ahem. Now that I’ve got my composure back, thought I’d turn y’all onto a web page titled “42 Versions of Harlem Nocturne”. It’s hosted by Radio Station WFMU and they’ve got MP3’s on that page for each of those 42 very, veeeeerrrry different versions. The earliest version they’ve got was recorded by in 1941 and they’ve got variations as diverse as the Quartet San Francsco, which has a violin and obie alternating turns on the main solos which give it a decidedly gypsy feel; to Esquizel’s version where the traditional alto sax part is replaced by what is either an absolutely incredible female vocalist or a Theramin (with my narrow level of hearing I honestly call tell the difference); to a ukelele plinking away au natural; to The New York Jazz Orchestra’s Ska rendition; The Ventures doing it up surf-style; Terry Edwards and the scapegoats with their post-punk interpretation, and of course the version that most of you probably recognize as the theme from the 1970’s tv show, “Mike Hammer”. With perhaps the sole exception of the version by Wildflower (?who?) each one has it’s own kind of cool that makes me want to stop everything I was doing just to listen. I’ve still got the version from my childhood rumbling in my brain as my all time favorite and having a hard time deciding which of the versions on WFMU’s BEWARE of the BLOG will take it’s place. According to the Earle Hagen link, Harlem Nocturne has been recorded by at least 500 different artists! Which is your favorite?

Free Icons of the Day

The following is a reduced-size preview of my “Eiffel” Alpha-Numeric icon/clip art series. As you can see, it inludes Capitals A-Z, Numerals 0-10, plus some punction and coordinated ding-bats and of course, the obligatory Eiffel Tower. To download the entire set in one fell-swoop, simply right-click (or control-click) anywhere on the preview. The zipped file contains all images as 512px X 512px .png’s.

Eiffel-Preview

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