Going Postal Over Thanksgiving

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In doing some research concerning the history and traditions of our celebration of “Thanksgiving” here in the US, I came across something that really peaked my curiosity. What I found was that a dozen or so countries around the world have issued one or more postage stamps depicting either the “Mayflower” (the ship which the first wave of pilgrims journeyed) and/or honoring those pilgrims in general or individual passengers that landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusettes on November 21, 1620. (November 11 to those of you using the Julian calendar, as did the pilgrims themselves).

Among those countries, I found stamps issued by: the United States, Bangladesh, Chartonia, Great Britain, Guinea, Isle of Man, Oman, GrenadaUganda, Burkina Faso, Canada, Antigua, Liberia, and more. The question I was not able to find an answer to, is “Why?” Why would any country, other than the US, have any connection to or interest in honoring the Mayflower or those pilgrims?

While the ship did depart from an area of London, England known at the time as “Plymouth”, the pilgrims were fleeing that country due to oppressive (deadly) means of dealing with those who defied the rules of the Catholic Church. They were not government-sponsored explorers or emissaries that Britain could claim bragging rights in the more traditional manner. So had their issuance of such stamps been with the attitude “Thank G-d, we got rid of them buggers! They’re your problem now.”? Or was it simply a matter of commerce in that they saw the US as a great marketplace that they sought to exploit by appealing to our vanity? Me thinks that is the most likely explanation, not only for Britain, for all of the other countries as well. What do you think? And while you’re at it, anyone ever heard of Burkina Faso before? Or am I the only one so ignorant?

Enjoy!

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)

The Welcoming Committee

Mayflower Landing at Plymouth RockMayflower Landing at Plymouth Rock (2)

Turkey Feast

Mayflower Landing (3)

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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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Rejection As A Prognosticator for Success

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Some Interesting Facts:

  1. “The Salon des Paris”, sponsored by the French government since 1673, was considered the most esteemed artistic competition in Paris and one of the greatest spectacles in Europe. Works rejected by the selection committee got marked with a big red “R” on the back of the canvas.
  2. In 1863, the Paris Salon, called “The Exhibition of Living Artists” averaged 23,000 visitors a day (400,000 total at 10 francs a pop).
  3. That same year (and again in 1864), due to pressure from the artists and the public, the Emperor Napoleon III permitted a second exhibition, the “Salon des Refusés”, to take place simultaneously right next to the Salon, to showcase the artists whose work had been rejected by the Paris Salon. A total of only 3,500 people attended the Salon des Refusés, despite the bargain ticket price of 1 franc.
  4. Amongst the artists displaying at the Salon des Refusés in 1863 and 1864, were Édouard Manet, Edgar Dégas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, and the American painter, James McNeill Whistler.
  5. In 1878, Alphonse Mucha’s application to the Prague Academy of Fine Arts was rejected, with the following recommendation: “Find yourself another profession where you’ll be more useful”.
  6. Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting, “Red Vineyard at Arles”, during his lifetime. He was little known to the art world at the time of his death, but his paintings became famous after he died.
  7. In 1907, Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” was so way ahead of its time that it was rejected by the art world and the general public. This painting of five figures in a brothel is nowadays regarded as the most outstanding work of Picasso’s earlier years.
  8. In 1961, second-grade school teacher at Belvoir Elementary, Claire Heiss, flunked Leslie Sigal in art (because she could not stay within the lines with her crayon)

The lesson to be learned? Listen to your own heart about who you want to be and what you want to do in life and then, do it. Period.

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)

SALON_Drawer

SALON_InBox 2SALON_OutBox

SALON_Documents Fldr

SALON_DocumentSALON_Folder Generic

SALON_Document Box

SALON_NotesSALON_Diary

SIGAL_signature

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The Cat’s Got My Tongue

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For the last six weeks or so, I’ve really had a hard time putting my thoughts into words (written and especially spoken). It’s one of the symptoms (or side-effects?) of both my epilepsy and leftover vestiges of the three rounds of chemotherapy, wherein I know in my conscious mind exactly what I want to say but for some reason can’t get the message to my mouth or hands. It comes and goes without warning and can last for anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours, and has on occasion lasted for several days. It is incredibly frustrating – especially when it creeps up on me in the middle of a sentence! Something in my brain diverts the message from it’s “normal” pathway to who knows where. I think that if I can discover that location which holds all my lost words, I’ll probably find the missing mates to my socks and mittens there as well. ;=)

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)

Cheshire Cat 512x512px

Dot's The Cat!

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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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