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It's been awhile

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 10, 2014, 12:38 AM
Since I've been able to create my own work!
I've been doing nothing but client work ...pays the tuition bills, but can't say it satisfies my artistic soul.

It's funny, when I finally start making a decent living at this, I'm miserable and frustrated that I can't paint what I want anymore. I feel as though I've sold out.
Is this normal?

I miss you all so much - I really want to catch up on all the creative directions, new stuff you've been posting. I have lots of new work I haven't posted, just needs those finishing touches...

See you soon :)

  • Listening to: remixes
  • Reading: Outlander
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iTunes
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: fiji water

Magazine cover featuring Robert Plant portrait

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 3, 2012, 7:58 PM


Celebrating the British Invasion since the 60's !
My oil painting has been chosen to honor Robert Plant's upcoming performance at the Sunflower Blues & Gospel Festival in Mississippi...awesome!
Featured on the cover of Delta Magazine, July/August issue:

Robert Plant, Delta Magazine cover by Cynthia-Blair

Needless to say, I'm totally thrilled :w00t:

Happy 4th of July, everyone!



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  • Listening to: Blunderbuss
  • Reading: Plum Island
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: Pandora
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: Thai Iced Tea

1/9/2012 Happy Bday to Pagey, Jinxx and Snape

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 9, 2012, 1:51 PM


Happy 2012 to EVERYONE! I don't believe in any of the doom and gloom, end of the world events, so onward with Intentions for the New Year. A couple of years ago I read a great book explaining 2012 that I think is really logical: Fractal Time - the Secrets of 2012 and the New World Age by Greg Braden .
Do your own calculations with his Fractal Time Calculator www.greggbraden.com/fractal-ti…. Even if you don't believe, it still gets you thinking about the possibilities! If this man is wrong, oh well, c'est la vie. We all have to die sometime. I'm not going to worry about it, RTTG2012, LOL. So, in that spirit, I'll be adding some new work shortly, I'm playing with some new combinations of mediums on Yupo paper. Stay tuned.

Got a cool email from the owner of Evaline Guitars, made my day today:

"Hello Cynthia.   My name is Gary Kozlowski. I'm the owner/builder of the Evaline Guitar Company in Michigan.  I made Jinxx's famous "Ouija" guitar.   I just ran across the painting you did of him with that guitar.  And I must say, I was both completely impressed and quite honored.   Your work is beautiful.  Thank you for painting that picture.  I hope you do well with your gift"  --Gary



There's 3 people who I think are just fantastic at what they do, are represented many times in my gallery art (in tribute) and they all share the same birthday: January 9.  Tall, dark, intelligent and mysterious, those Capricorns.  Each one of them has given me a gift of looking at my life differently.

Jimmy Page:  Jimmy taught me to trust my own inner voice. That something of who you are is infused in everything you do or create. Not to be afraid to push the boundaries of your knowledge, be a seeker of the wisdom you wish to receive. "Don't be afraid to dance on the edge of the precipice." Take chances with your work.  Listening to Pagey's music, many years ago, I created a painting that was instrumental in getting me into RISD (art school) . I was waitlisted until I showed the admissions director that painting!
Jimmy Page by Cynthia-Blair Jimmy Page, violin bow by Cynthia-Blair Jimmy Page 'Magnum Opus' by Cynthia-Blair Jimmy Page, color study by Cynthia-Blair the Music Legend by Cynthia-Blair

Jinxx (Jeremy Ferguson, Black Veil Brides):  Jinxx taught me that being a virtuoso in one medium does not mean you shouldn't strive to master others.  And don't be afraid to express your deviant side!
Jinxx, close-up by Cynthia-Blair   Jinxx and the Ouija Board Guitar by Cynthia-Blair Jinxx, Black Veil Brides by Cynthia-Blair

Severus Snape (well, ok, Alan Rickman's birthday is in Feb, but Snape's b'day is 1/9 ): Snape taught me to embrace the dual aspects in our nature, both  light and shadow. And most importantly, Do what you know is right, in your heart, even if the rest of the world misunderstands you. It's easy to do the right thing when popular opinion is on your side,  hard when everyone throws hate in your direction. Be true to who you are.
Snape: Defense Against the Dark Arts by Cynthia-Blair Snape, the Half Blood Prince by Cynthia-Blair Severus Snape by Cynthia-Blair Snape: Sectumsempra by Cynthia-Blair Snape's Bad Day by Cynthia-Blair



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  • Listening to: Pink Floyd, Dark Side remastered
  • Reading: Water for Elephants
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Drinking: water

I'm a Horrible [pretty normal] Person (tag)

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 15, 2011, 11:23 AM


(X) Smoked a Cigarette. (smoked for like 3 mos. it's stupid/not sexy/too expensive)
() Kissed a member of the same sex.
(X) Are/Been in love.
(X) Dumped Someone.
() Been In A fist fight.
(X) Had a crush on a person older than you
(X) Skipped class.
(X)Seen Someone/something die
() Had a crush on one of your deviantart friends
(X) Been on a plane.
(X) Thrown up from drinking.
(X) Eaten Sushi
(X) Been in a Mosh pit.
(X) Been in an abusive relationship.
(X) taken some pain killers.
(X) Liked/Loved someone who you can't have.
() gone mudding.
() Killed a snake
() Stolen
(X) Been cheated on.
(X) Been misunderstood.  
() been suspended from school. (I was an honor student)
(X) Had detention.
(X) Been in a car/motorcycle accident.
(X) Hated the way you look.
() witnessed a crime. (…Possibly)
() pole danced. (…maybe)
(X) Felt like you were dying.
(X) cried yourself to sleep.
(X) Paid for a meal with only coins
(X) Done something you told your self you wouldn't.
(X) made prank phone calls.
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose.
(X) Got your tongue stuck to a poll/freezer/ice-cube.
() Kicked a fish. (whaaaat? Who makes these things up???)
(X) Worn the opposite sex's clothes.
(X) Sat on a roof top.
(X) Screamed at the top of your lungs.
() Gone streaking.
() Visited jail.
(X) played chicken.
(X) Been told you are hot by a complete stranger.
() Broken a bone.
(X) Made a porn video/got asked to make one. (got asked.)
(X) Laughed so hard you cried.
() cried so hard you laughed.
(X) Mooned/flashed someone.
(X) had someone moon/flash you.
() Cheated on a test.
(X) Gone skinny dipping.
() Been kicked out of your house.
(X) Black-mailed someone.
(X) Been black mailed
(X) Been Used.
() Licked a Cat. (ewwww. Hairballs)
(X) Bitten someone. (not hard)
(X) Licked someone.
() Been shot at/or at gunpoint.
(X) Flattened someone's tires. (ok, they deserved it)
(X) Rode in a car/truck until the gas light came on.
(X) Got 5 dollars or less worth of gas.
() stabbed someone. (with an exacto knife, yes)
(X) Done any drugs.
(X) made someone bleed.
() robbed someone.
(X) Kissed someone

TOTAL:46, I'm A Horrible Person, hehehe.

If you have 00-10..... Write [I'm a goody-goody]
If you have 11-20..... Write [I'm above average]
If you have 21-30.....Write [I'm Average]
If you have 31-40.....Write [I'm a bad kid]
If you have 14-50.....Write [I'm a horrible person]
If you have 51-60.....Write [I should be in jail]

I'm not going to tag anyone, do it if you want  :)



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  • Listening to: Evanescence
  • Reading: A Dance With Dragons
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Drinking: water

Steve Jobs, RIP...you inspired us all

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 5, 2011, 5:31 PM


Man, I just found out Steve Jobs died today.  :cry:

He was such an inspiration, his innovation and ideas made such a difference in our everyday lives, in how people work and connect. And how so many of us artists create.
He certainly did live his dream to the fullest and took all of us along for that amazing ride.


That makes me so sad, in light of my last journal entry (below) .

Great TED video I saw last night…[link]
Steve Jobs address to graduating class of Stamford in 2005. "How To Live Before You Die" in which he states, "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." which includes one of my favorite Jobs quote:

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

So here's Jobs saying: "If I were going to die, would I do what I am about to do today? If the answer is "no" too many days in a row, then I know I have to change something. Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Because everything, all expectations, pride, fear of embarrassment or failure, these things all fall away in the face of death, leaving just what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. In closing: Stay hungry, stay foolish. "

The truth of his words resonate. And it makes me sad, too, for Steve, because it may well be that this time, in 2011, he is possibly facing his own death. I wish he would be with us for a long time.



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  • Listening to: Evanescence
  • Reading: A Dance With Dragons
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Drinking: water

How to Live Before you Die

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 26, 2011, 12:41 PM


HERE'S a fantastic video, amazing tribute to the whole HP series, it brought tears to my eyes: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFBzZf…
If you haven't seen it, ENJOY!

Tarot card for the day: Judgement #20: bringing about great and positive change.

In thinking about Severus Snape from Harry Potter, and the duality light / shadow side…the Love of Power vs. The Power of Love.  His greatest strength (love) was also his great weakness.  I guess that could be true for all of us, depending on how you use it.  So that is the trick…embrace your greatest power (which is always that which you love) and find a way use it in your work. Or take your weakness and turn it into your strength.

Great TED video I saw last night…www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6…
Steve Jobs address to graduating class of Stamford in 2005.  "How To Live Before You Die"  in which he states, "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."  which includes one of my favorite Jobs quote:

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

So here's Jobs saying:  "If I were going to die, would I do what I am about to do today?  If the answer is "no" too many days in a row, then I know I have to change something.  Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Because everything, all expectations, pride, fear of embarrassment or failure, these things all fall away in the face of death, leaving just what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to  lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. In closing: Stay hungry, stay foolish. "


The truth of his words resonate. And it makes me sad, too, for Steve, because it may well be that this time, in 2011, he is possibly facing his own death. I wish he would be with us for a long time.
:(



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  • Listening to: Evanescence
  • Reading: A Dance With Dragons
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Drinking: water

Get spanked for LUMOS charity!

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 15, 2011, 1:33 PM


Copying and pasting from `PurpelBlur's journal....
go here >>>   purpelblur.deviantart.com/jour…<<< and get spanked for charity!!

------------


This was inspired from a few things. After DA's birthday I was playing around with my avatar and thought I might create a game involving it but then I thought of `Topicality's recent endeavor and decided to turn it into something for charity instead.

The charity I have selected is LUMOS www.lumos.org.uk/, which was co-founded by JK Rowling.

My goal is $1,000 USD

This will last until the goal is met or September 16, 2011.

For each person that changes his or her to one similar to mine,
I will increase my donation amount by 10¢.
For your avatar to count you must COMMENT THIS JOURNAL >> purpelblur.deviantart.com/jour…
I will reply to you with "Spanked!" and then you are free to change you avatar back.

For the avatar sized version of your options: s776.photobucket.com/albums/yy…
of course I picked Snape for my avatar because everytime I see the last movie I cry :cry:  during the Snape scene

Go get spanked for charity!
_____________________________________________________________


I'll be on vacation in Martha's Vineyard from 8/16 to 8/20
So if I don't reply, I'll certainly comment when I return.
Thanks for visiting with me!!

I'll be uploading the BVB portrait series when I get back :)



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  • Listening to: Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliche
  • Reading: Tony Robbins' Ultimate Edge
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: fresh homemade salsa
  • Drinking: detox greens

Working for BVB

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 5, 2011, 7:47 PM
Working for BVB

Many of you have probably been wondering why I haven’t posted anything lately...
That’s because I have been working hard this past month for the Black Veil Brides!  Well, the big news is that I’ve been commissioned by the band to do a series of portraits for promotional/merch.  I can’t tell you how honoured  I am to be given a chance like this – I owe Andy, Ash, Jake, Jinxx and CC so much for having faith in me.  It has been my dream to do this kind of work on a professional level – and feeling the way I do about their music just puts this project over the top.

If it weren't for all my friends on DA who encouraged me to work hard these past 3 years, it never would have happened!! I can tell you that for certain! I am very, very grateful for all your support. No one ever does anything alone. Believe me when I tell you that I get no encouragement at home, at all.
And another cool thing?  They usually use some very established artists - but they were willing to take a chance on me - me, an outsider. I mean, they didn't know I have an art school degree in Illustration from RISD- same school as Shepard Fairey, etc. They probably still don't know that, unless someone did some checking up on me.  So that tells me that anyone can get a big break, even in unexpected ways.

I’ve been working like crazy, but I can’t upload any of my new work here, not until BVB has premiered it first. You will see a huge leap in the quality of my work – I promise you THESE WILL BE THE BEST 5 PORTRAITS I HAVE EVER DONE.  Because I would never, ever, EVER  let them down.  Other than that, I have been sworn to secrecy.  :shh:

If you haven’t caught their new video “Legacy”, it is really epic.   Here’s the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7gAn_…



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  • Listening to: Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliche
  • Reading: Tony Robbins' Ultimate Edge
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: fresh homemade salsa
  • Drinking: detox greens

Artist as Revolutionary

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 31, 2011, 5:36 PM


I can't embed the video, but here's the link: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=… worth watching, and different from the text below.

Note! This is re-printed from Kute Blackson's blog dated 3/31/2011, because I thought it was worth sharing. You can visit him at: www.kuteblackson.net &nbs… read more.

You are an artist.

Yes.

You.

Your Life is your art. Do you like what you see?

Art is not just something on piece of paper. Or in a museum.

It is your life.

Deep within you is a calling, a gift that you’re uniquely here to express. I believe there’s a higher purpose for which you are born, beyond eating, sleeping, and sexing. Something beautiful and profound.

Musicians play with instruments. Artists create with tools. Flutes, drums, guitars, reeds, chimes, pots and pans, wooden spoons, pens, paper, clay, metal, cloths, paints, brushes, elephant dung. It’s all up for grabs. But the true “artists” of life—let’s call them “lifists” create with their hearts. It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician, a waiter, a parent, a teacher or a mechanic. It doesn’t matter if you’re pouring coffee, scrubbing floors, trading shares, or coaching kids on the playground. You can be walking, sitting, speaking or meditating. It’s not “what” you do, but “how” and “where” you do it from. Are you connected? Is your heart in tune? Are you a heartist?

At any moment you can create magic. At any moment you can do something different from what you have done. We often think that we are stuck doing what we are doing. But any moment you can shake it up.

It has become very fashionable to “model” successful people these days.  You can create some success by copying other’s formula. But I want to urge you to let go of what you know. Let go of someone else’s road map.

Blaze your own trail. Trust and open so deeply to the innate intelligence of Life within you.

Often we hold onto the known ways of doing things because they seemed to be working, either for us or someone else. But we feel uninspired.

There are deeper dreams dancing within your soul, for a reason.

Just because what you want to do has never been done before, it does not mean it cannot be.

Dare ecstasy.

Defy gravity.

Transcend what people tell you is impossible.

Especially those who have never done what you are seeking to.

For a moment, throw away all the 7 step how-to books, success formulas, mental strategies. And FEEL deeply what is most authentically seeking to express through you.

Not anyone else. YOU.

Deep within your heart there is something magical that wants to be given birth to through you. It is the force of Life itself seeking to express through you.

SO:


-Let go of any judgements of what your life creation looks like.


-Embrace “failure” with delight as a learning opportunity that brings you one step closer.


-Get radically curious about everything.


-Don’t take yourself too seriously.


-Let go of control.


Jesus didn’t take a weekend workshop on branding.

Buddha didn’t go to Buddha Academy.

Miles Davis was not trying to sounds like The Beatles.

They just dared to let go. And dove fully into now. They embraced the unknown. They threw out the rules of what things were supposed to look like so that the authenticity of their lives could emerge.

People all around the world felt it.

Anything great or revolutionary that has evolved humanity forward, was not done by copying something from the safety of the past. The past is dead.

Feel this moment as deeply as you can.

Let it move you.

And find out what happens.

An artist must excavate his art from his heart.

Your heart is your paintbrush.

The entire universe is your canvas.

Your life is your art.

Dare to make it a masterpiece.

You are a revolutionary.


Note! This is re-printed from Kute Blackson's blog dated 3/31/2011, because I thought it was worth sharing. You can visit him at: www.kuteblackson.net &nbs… read more.






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  • Listening to: Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliche
  • Reading: Tony Robbins' Ultimate Edge
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: fresh homemade salsa
  • Drinking: detox greens

Escape The Fate at the Palladium

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 13, 2011, 12:38 PM
Journal Feature: Escape The Fate at the Palladium

Craig Mabbitt by Cynthia-Blair Monte Money by Cynthia-Blair
There must be something special about this band that makes their fans so dedicated.
I have a painting for Craig Mabbitt, but when we get to the venue they want you to pay for their Meet & Greet signing at the end of the show, which is something I just refuse to do. I figure that they’d be happy to have original artwork from me, so I’m never going to pay to give it to them.

My lovely and beautiful assistant, a rabid Mabbitt fan, (who requested me to do the art in the first place)dives into the mosh pit and manages to get dead center in front of him during the set. As Craig jumps off the stage into the crowd, she’s one of the people who catches him (you can see photo on my blog rockbandsandguitarheroes.blogs… , taken just before the dive – she’s the one wearing the Pierce The Veil shirt).  As he sings, held up by the crowd, she’s right there, holding his hand and singing along.

I can’t very well do the mosh pit thing when I have a painting in my bag, so I’m watching from the side of the stage in a spot where I can’t get crushed. At the end of the set she comes towards me, eyeliner streaked down her face and her perfectly straightened hair looking like a lion’s mane...

First words out of her mouth: “I touched Craig Mabbitt’s butt. I can die now.”
Me: “Don’t you want to meet him, Monte and Robert? We can crash the M&G, like we always do?”
A: “No, I don’t need to meet him right now. I held his hand, I held his thigh. And I look like a mess, anyway. And I can’t stop crying – I was singing the lyrics and crying the whole time.”

So apparently Craig Mabbitt has the power to turn girls into emotional jello.  

Me: “It’s good, it’s all good. We’ll meet him next time in person. By then I will have finished Monte and Robert and Max.” Maybe I need an assistant who’s not as star-struck by certain people, but it’s her enthusiasm to meet her heroes that makes it all fun.


There’s something about concerts that never goes as expected.



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  • Listening to: This War Is Ours (G2)
  • Reading: Tony Robbins' Ultimate Edge
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: fresh homemade salsa
  • Drinking: detox greens

2011, Bring me the Horizon

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 4, 2011, 9:44 PM
Journal Feature: 2011, Bring me the Horizon

Happy New Year to everyone!
2011 is going to be a powerful year of transformation, a time to find your own unique expression. A time to let go of old patterns, a time to expand and be open to the unexpected. I definitely feel the creative energy.

Today on Jan 4th we had a Solar Eclipse, a New Moon, and Quadranti Meteor Showers.
Here's a great link to enjoy some photos of what's happening in the sky at Spaceweather.com spaceweather.com  &n… of you were lucky to see these!

So onward and forward - I wish you all HUGE success this year, in every way you can dream of.



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  • Listening to: Diamonds, Breathe Carolina
  • Reading: Tony Robbins' Ultimate Edge
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: some new 5 grain cereal
  • Drinking: water

Who would you spend New Years Eve with?

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 31, 2010, 2:04 PM
Journal Feature: If you could spend your New Years Eve at a party with anyone, who would it be?

If you could spend your New Years Eve at a party with anyone, who would it be?
And where would it be?
(I won't ask you what you'll be doing, but you can tell, if you want to ;) )

1. For crazy wild fun:
2. For waking up the next day and not being able to remember what happened the night before:
3. For romance:
4. For making New Years Resolutions:
5. As good friends (this could be more than one person):




And Happy New Year to all my friends!! :iconnewyearplz:
May you get everything you wish for!

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  • Listening to: Mile High Christmas, Breathe Carolina
  • Reading: The Shadow Effect
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: candy cane hersey kisses
  • Drinking: can't decide yet

How to have the Best Holiday Season ever:

Journal Entry: Thu Dec 23, 2010, 3:32 PM
Journal Feature: How To Have the Best Holiday Season Ever

this is reprinted from Kute Blackson's blog, I didn't write it, but I believe in his words!
You can visit him at: kuteblackson.com/blog/?p=148 for more inspiration.


1. Be of service: Take the focus off of yourself. Sometimes we are so fixated on ourselves. Solely focusing on yourself is a very lonely path. The fullness of life is in relationship. So rather than mope around and feel sorry for yourself or be stuck in loneliness, dedicate yourself to serving those around you. Whether it is friends, family, or the homeless. Be of service this season.


2. Take time to nourish and nurture yourself: Sometime in the hustle and bustle of the holiday mayhem, we stay so busy that we end up needing a holiday after the holidays are done! Make sure you take some time to unplug from the everyday routine. And do things that you typically don't do. This has the power to reinvigorate and reenergize you. Give yourself the gift of nourishment. Spend time in silence. Feed your soul and not just your stomach. Most of the year we are busy talking. In doing so we sometimes lose the connection to our core. To our spirits. This holiday season, make the time for silence. This helps you get in touch with your inner spirit.


3. Do something different: We often get caught up in a routine. Doing the same things over and over again.


4. Let go of anything that is incomplete from the past year: Review the past year and cultivate gratitude.


5. Set the vision and intention for the next year.


6. Move your body: walk, exercise, dance, just move it!


7.Accept your family: If you want to see how enlightened you are, visit your family! Some of us are fortunate to have amazing relationships with our families. However, many are not. Holiday seasons where you might be spending a lot of time with your family can bring up old issues. Accept your family exactly as they are. And give up demanding that they change. This makes you responsible for your experience. Either you choose to continue engaging with them or you choose not to if it no longer works for you. But you are no longer a victim. They are not causing your suffering, your expectation of who they should be is. Give it up. Let it BE.

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  • Listening to: Mile High Christmas, Breathe Carolina
  • Reading: The Shadow Effect
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: candy cane hersey kisses
  • Drinking: tea, what else?

Journal Feature: Emotions Contest Winners

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 1, 2010, 9:10 PM
Journal Feature: Emotions Contest winner

JOURNAL FEATURE!

Here's to the winners of the EMOTIONS contest over at Elite Artists! :iconeliteartists:
We had a large number of great entries, please go check them out at Elite Artists' contest folder!

1st Place winning entry by: SanchoPancho   Discarded by SanchoPancho

2nd Place winning entry by: Marhiao   Tania and the son by Marhiao


3rd Place winning entry by: JenniferHealy   For the Broken by JenniferHealy


Please visit their galleries    



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  • Listening to: Down, Breathe Carolina
  • Reading: The Shadow Effect
  • Watching: *
  • Playing: iPod playlist
  • Eating: M&amp;Ms
  • Drinking: tea, what else?

Who You Are and What They Say

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 16, 2010, 10:30 AM
Who You Are and What They Say

this is a wonderful post I found in my inbox today from Chris Gillebeau on his website at: the Art of Non-Conformity. His site is a great source of inspiration and motivation when I need it (like all the time!)

WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT THEY SAY

If you are confident, they will say you are arrogant.

If you are deliberate, they will say you are too sure of yourself.

If you have a sense of purpose, they will say you are self-absorbed.

If you know who you are, they will ask, "Who are you, anyway?"

If you believe in kindness and compassion, they will say you are naïve.

If you are a dreamer, they will say "join the real world."

If you are a rebel, they will try to shut you down.

The instructions include:
rein it in
slow it down
wait it out

pull it back
take your time
play it safe

But you will know:

They are envious because they want what you have.

They are afraid of change even as they crave it.

They are projecting their own regret into resentment of you.
It's not all bad news: some of them will sort themselves out and end up joining you. Because you are a good person and have had plenty of false starts of your own, you'll understand and welcome them warmly. We've missed you! you'll say. It's about time you made it.

As for the others, well, you will remember what Gandhi said:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

re-post from Chris Gillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity.  Go visit him!



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How to Deal with Criticism

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 14, 2010, 9:22 PM
How to Deal with Criticism

This is a great article written by Steve Pavlina I found in my inbox yesterday, and I'm reposting it here as it applies to art as much as it does writing (or any other creative field) I strongly encourage you to check out Steve's site, his blog and newsletter at Steve Pavlina.com He's full of wonderful insights on living conciously. Since we all deal with criticism, don't we? ;)

We all get subjected to criticism from time to time -- sometimes harsh criticism. What's the best way to deal with it? Do you simply need a thick skin? Do you try to understand and forgive the other person? Do you fight back?
What if you want to stretch yourself by doing something that may incite others to criticize you more? Do you feel you're holding back in some ways because you're worried about what others might think of you? Will concerns about criticism make you less motivated to succeed? What if this criticism occurs in public?

It's no secret that I take a good bit of flak for some of the things I write about. Since I get subjected to public criticism frequently, I've learned over time how to handle it, so it doesn't bother me or slow me down. So let me share some insights that may help you better deal with criticism in your own life. Some of this may seem counter-intuitive.

1. Accept the Existence of Criticism

First, realize that criticism happens. And the more success you enjoy along a certain path, the more criticism there will be. Criticism is simply par for the course. If you succeed, especially in a big way, you'll be criticized.

This may sound like a bad thing, but in the long run it's actually very beneficial.
It's not that criticism makes you a better person by pointing out your faults. While some criticism can be constructive and positive, most of it won't be. The real benefit is that you'll grow stronger by facing the challenge of dealing with criticism. By learning how to deal with it, you burn off some falsehoods and disempowering beliefs within yourself.
I'm actually grateful that I've received so much criticism because by learning to deal with it, I've become stronger and more confident.

2. Understand the Different Types of Criticism

Not all criticism is the same.
Some criticism is helpful and constructive, but in my experience that's a small percentage of the total, perhaps on the order of 1-3%. It's hard to even call it criticism; it's simply friendly feedback.

Helpful criticism is that which gives you new insights into your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and points you towards positive change. If criticism doesn't have this effect on you, then it isn't helpful.

Another category of criticism is useless but well-intentioned criticism. Some critics have their hearts in the right place, but their feedback just doesn't do anything for you. They try to give me helpful advice, but it's filled with too many false assumptions and projections.

Yet another form of criticism could be categorized as trolling. Trolls are your typical drama addicts. They want to get a rise out of you and make you react, which makes them feel powerful. These people are often starved of loving attention, so they try to court attention any way they can, even if it's negative. If you respond to them, they'll try to escalate it into a pointless argument. Hence the expression, "Don't feed the trolls."

And a final category could be described as zealotry. These are people who have deep-seated personal issues or beliefs that lead them to target and attack certain people. This is less than 5% of the total criticism I've received, but it's often the longest and most detailed. Such people will frequently crank out thousands of words to attack someone they've never met. I see this mostly from highly religious people since many of the ideas I've shared apparently push their buttons. For the most part, they're simply projecting their inner struggles outward, turning someone else into the bad guy in order to avoid dealing with the parts of themselves they can't accept. If you're the object of such criticism, you become the manifestation of that person's inner demon, so they'll cast you as greedy, selfish, blasphemous, and so on. While they may attempt to get personal, this kind of criticism isn't personal at all. It really has nothing to do with you.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine the nature of the criticism:
• Does the criticism seem to be motivated primarily by love or by fear?
• Is the criticism helpful and actionable? Do you value it?
• How well does the critic know the real you? Are they merely projecting their own issues onto you?
• How much of each form of criticism do you see arising in your own life?

3. Notice How You React

Next, notice how criticism affects you. How do you generally react to these different types of criticism?
• Do you become pissed off, angry, or defensive?
• Do you feel compassion and understanding for what the critic may be dealing with in their own life?
• Do you get sucked into a debate with them?
• How do you feel about it afterwards? Do you feel that digesting the criticism was a good use of your time? Did you learn anything valuable and actionable from the exchange?

Pay attention to how you're really being affected. Forget about how you wish you'd reacted. Observe your true reactions. Especially notice when you promised yourself you'd take the high road... but didn't.

I notice that with truly constructive criticism, I may initially be a little defensive, but in the end I tend to appreciate it. Sometimes I realize that the other person's assessment is off, and my original mindset remains unchanged. Other times they may see something I've overlooked, and I shift my mindset as a result. Either way, I gain more clarity from these exchanges.

For the other categories of criticism, I've noticed that in the past, my reactions have usually been negative, regardless of how I choose to respond. If I argue and debate, that's invariably a waste of time. If I forgive and forget, I've also wasted my time digesting the criticism in the first place. Either way, it's unhelpful to bother with it at all.
Doing this will quick assessment will raise your awareness of the role of criticism in your life. This helps you make a conscious choice about what to do about it.


4. Silence the Critics
The first basic step was to realize that ignoring unhelpful criticism saved more time than getting into it with someone. It's not that difficult to figure this out, but it can be difficult to apply it if you have a lot of critics in your life. This by itself can help a little, but it isn't much of a solution overall.
The next step was to realize that it was still a waste of time to read or listen to such criticism in the first place. I began to wonder what would happen if I started actively tuning out critical feedback, so it wouldn't even reach me.
I decided this would be a worthwhile experiment, so for several months I began summarily booting unreasonable critics from my life (which means nearly all of them). I began dropping such people hard and fast. If they emailed me, I added them to my spam filter. If they posted on my Facebook page, I unfriended them. If they sent me messages on Twitter, I added them to my block list. If they posted in the forums, I banned them.
It took time to observe the results, but over a period of several months of doing this kind of weeding, I saw many beneficial effects.
First, I felt less stressed and more relaxed.

Second, my own inner critical voice softened. As I refused to tolerate unreasonable criticism coming from the outside, my inner doubts began to die down as well. My confidence increased. I felt better about my decisions.

Third, I felt more motivated. Dropping criticism reduced the drag on taking decisive action. I realized I'm perfectly capable of making my own decisions and learning from the results. I don't need to listen to other people second-guessing my choices. If it's a bad decision, I'll see the results and learn from them. But more often than not, I saw that I was making good decisions and getting good results, and I just needed to trust myself more. By tuning out criticism, I stopped allowing seeds of doubt to take root within my mind.

Fourth, when I nuked the random criticism, it allowed me to pay more attention to actionable feedback from people who know me really well. It's hard to hear this kind of feedback if I'm drowning in fluff.

Fifth, I realized that by engaging with critics, I was generating pointless drama. Dropping this kind of drama freed up more time and energy to create positive stimulation, such as by setting and achieving new goals.

Sixth, my life felt richer and more vibrant overall. I enjoyed some really cool experiences like going on a 3-week road trip. That really brought home what a complete waste of life it is to even look at criticism.

Seventh, the communities around me became nicer. My Facebook page became a friendlier and more constructive place, for instance.

Eighth, I feel less critical and more trusting of others. By preventing the negative stuff from even reaching me, I can pay more attention to the positive items. I can lower my shields and connect in a more heart-centered way. I especially noticed this at my last workshop. During the week after the workshop, I made a point of getting together with attendees who were still in town and hanging out. It's much easier to connect when you don't feel like you're under attack. Interestingly, this also reduces the volume of criticism. If you allow yourself to be more vulnerable and less shielded, you'll tend to disarm would-be critics before they start.

Ninth, critics lose interest when you deny them an outlet. When it gets around that you banish people if they criticize you, it probably won't surprise you that the level of criticism goes way down, at least from those who want to stick around. This doesn't mean you're closed to feedback of course. It just means that people are more likely to think twice before they go kittywompus in your presence. You'll still get the zealots taking their pot shots now and then, but they're a minority, and they're easy to spot. They seem to like banishment anyway since it feeds their persecution complex.

That's a boatload of positive effects. Were there any drawbacks to this? Some people may think I'm a bit ogre-like for doing this, but those whose opinions I respect seem to understand; some even regard it as a no-brainer for someone in my situation. Overall the downside has been virtually nil. In the end I wish I'd had these realizations years ago. In the past I thought I was being magnanimous by welcoming criticism, but today I regard that mindset as ignorant and naive.

My current mindset is that unreasonable criticism (and more than 95% of it is unreasonable) is like a weed being planted in your mind. As soon as you notice it, it's best to pull it out. You don't want weeds growing in your mind.

Is this censorship? Sure, you could call it that. It's perfectly reasonable to censor non-contributing or destructive input. To tolerate its continued presence would be foolish. You can't pay attention to every possible form of input, so cutting out criticism is an easy choice, especially once you realize how it wastes your time and energy.

If you've never tried this before, I recommend a 30-day trial. You need to know what it's like. My words are no substitute for your first-person experience.

So the next time someone in your life starts to criticize you, hang up on them instantly. Put them in your spam filter. Walk away. Close the door. Unfriend them. Banish them to the netherworld. You may miss out on some constructive items, but it will likely be a tiny fraction of the total. You won't miss it.

What if the criticism is coming from family? Give them at least a 24-hour banishment for each infraction -- a week or longer if they're willful or stubborn about it. They'll catch a clue soon enough. Teach your family to treat you with respect. If they walk all over you, you're the one giving them permission to do that; hopefully you can see that this is dumb. Don't expect them to change unless you enforce good boundaries.
Then notice how much improved your life is after 30 days of this.

5. Build Strong Social Support

Once you turn your back on the critics, the next step is to build strong social support. Replace those critics with positive, friendly people who love and care about you. Spend your time connecting with people who will encourage the heck out of you. Dump the people who keep projecting their issues onto you.

It will take time to do this, but you'll have plenty of extra time when you stop filling your life with criticism and sarcasm.
It may piss off your critics even more when they notice how happy you are without them, but you won't be able to hear their screams of protest anyway.
Sometimes you can convert critics into supporters, but that will usually require a period of disconnection and then a future reconnection once they've come around. Don't get too attached to who converts and who doesn't though. That part isn't up to you.

Remember that even Jesus surrounded himself with 12 Apostles, who followed him around and called him Lord and Master. So one denied knowing him, and another betrayed him, but 10 out of 12 still ain't bad. Or maybe it's a lesson that 2 bad seeds can still make a mess of things.

It makes no sense to remain loyal to negative feedback. It's much better to turn your back on those sources, so you can focus your gaze upon the voices that will encourage and support you to be your best self. Criticism won't shape you into a diamond. It will only make you an ever darker lump of coal. To become a diamond, you need people who can see the beauty within you and coax it to the surface.

It's not like you're turning into Joseph Stalin, sending your critics to their deaths, and surrounding yourself with yes-men. All you're doing is disengaging from time wasters and heading in a more empowering direction for you.

Hearing "I love you, and I think you're doing great" will do much more for you than hearing, "You suck and here's why..."

6. Make Your Own Evaluations

What will you do without your critics telling you you're wrong?
You can start by listening to yourself. Pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings. Don't worry about what others may be thinking.
You don't need critics to tell you right from wrong. You can make those distinctions yourself, and you'll do a much better job of it too. Learn to discern when you're acting in accordance with your values vs. when you're violating them.
If you make a wrong turn, you'll see the results, and you'll adapt. Let reality provide you with real feedback instead of relying on the false feedback of criticism.
As you learn to trust your own evaluations instead of worrying about what others think, you'll build experience, competence, and confidence.

7. Do Your Best

In the end, this is a decision you must make for yourself. Do you think you'll excel with an abundance of critical feedback, or would you be better of with lots of loving, friendly support?

There's no rule that says you have to listen to criticism. If you review some of the critical feedback you've been receiving, I think you'll agree that most of it is bogus anyway. And if you happen to think it's valid and that you need it, then I strongly encourage you to kick off a 30-day trial of turning your back on all criticism. You need to know what that's like. You can always roll things back later if you miss it, but I can turn the page by saying you won't want to.

Who will you become with the critical voices muted? Who will you become with the voices of love and encouragement at max volume? Are you ready to become that self-actualized person yet, or do you want to keep weakening yourself by tolerating less than you deserve?

this article was written by Steve Pavlina! go visit him at Steve Pavlina.com




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Scorpio Birthday Month - Yours?

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 10, 2010, 7:37 PM
Scorpio Birthday Month - Yours?

Wow! So many Scorpios to say Happy Birthday to:

10/29  my Mother and my nephew’s wife Stephanie
10/31  my Dad
11/1   my nephew, Dennis Blair over at Universal Republic Records Harry's so adorable by Cynthia-Blair
11/2   Keith Emerson Keith Emerson by Cynthia-Blair
11/10  Greg Lake Greg Lake, drawing by Cynthia-Blair   Greg Lake, ELP by Cynthia-Blair
11/15  Me (no self-portrait yet)

Scorpios are awesome!
These folks are intense, passionate and filled with desire. They're also complex and secretive, so don't expect to get much out of them, lest they become suspicious and exit stage left. It's best not to bet against Scorpios, either, since these folks are surprisingly resourceful.

Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Pluto. Mars was the God of War in ancient Roman mythology and is the first (and most ancient) ruler of Scorpio. When Pluto was discovered in the 20th century, it was also assigned to this sign. Pluto was known as the God of the Underworld in ancient Roman times, so when coupled with Mars, expect some intense energy to head toward Scorpions here on Earth. This planetary combo makes for people who are motivated, penetrating and aware. Scorpions don't miss much, since they are highly attuned to the vibrations of others. They are intuitive, probing and very focused on knowing who's who and what's what. Scorpios can lose their temper (and even become vengeful) when someone gets in their way, so it's best to give them plenty of room. Remember, they're unafraid, and a loss today simply means an opportunity for victory tomorrow.

The Element associated with Scorpio is Water. As opposed to the 'roiling seas' seen in other Water Signs, a better motto for Scorpios would be 'still waters run deep.' Those born under this sign are as emotional as their waterborne brethren, it's just that they're not as likely to show it. The Scorpio's emotions are repressed, kept under cover. Again, these are secrets to be used another day. That said, be aware that these folks are clever, perceptive and always in the mix. Their ability to see into things can sometimes be a curse for Scorpios, however, since they can take an insignificant matter and turn it into a huge slight. Beware the Scorpio who feels crossed! These folks can turn vindictive in no time flat. Luckily, once Scorpios catch their breath, they will return to their usual determined and loyal (albeit strong-willed) ways. Finally, while Scorpios aren't above some subtle manipulation to get what they want, they'd much rather take a scientific, even mystical path. The Scorpio-born are powerful and passionate, qualities that serve them well, as long as they don't let them deteriorate into self-indulgence or compulsion.

When it comes to love, though, Scorpios soften up a bit and are caring and devoted with their lovers, even if they do hold on a bit tight. Scorpios are also lusty in the extreme (how else?), so they need to be mindful of their reproductive organs.

The great strength of the Scorpio-born is in their determination, passion and motivation. Scorpios don't know the word quit, which is why they usually get the job done. A powerhouse? Like no other.  

I’m fairly prone to forgetting birthdays (including my own) so if I've forgotten someone important or you're a scorpio note me or comment and I’ll add it. :)

More Happy Birthdays go to:

:icont-e-q-u-i-l-a:  10/29
:iconabatwa-oolie:  11/6
:iconchrno-joshua:  11/7
:iconjamesuyt:  11/12
:iconshigdioxin:  11/15
:iconheliocyan:  11/15




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Halloween in HP Lovecraft's hometown

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 28, 2010, 9:41 PM
Halloween in HP Lovecraft's hometown

Ahh…Halloween month  again.
Tis the season to revel in all things ghoulish and otherworldy.  For myself, I come from a family of Scorpios, my Dad being born on All Hallow’s Eve over a century ago, my Mother born 10/29 and myself on November 15.  So on Halloween, when the veil between the worlds becomes thin, I send my Dad (now deceased) a special birthday wish.  

As my roots are Celtic, I have always been fascinated by the Pagan rites of Samhain, the Fire Festival. It is said  that the veil between this world and the World of the Ancestors was drawn aside on these nights, and for those who were prepared, journeys could be made in safety to the ’other side’. The Druid rites, therefore, were concerned with making contact with the spirits of the departed, who were seen as sources of guidance and inspiration rather than as sources of dread. The dark moon, the time when no moon can be seen in the sky, was the phase of the moon which ruled this time, because it represents a time in which our mortal sight needs to be obscured in order for us to see into the other worlds.

Samhain was (and is) considered a very magical time, when the dead walk among the living and the veils between past, present and future may be lifted in prophecy and divination. So it’s my time to light a bonfire in the center of my stone circle, summon the spirit guides and ask for guidance on my journey. It is a time of reflection, and time of meditation, and feeling connected with all things both of the material and spiritual world, the physical and non-physical.

As to all those Haunted Houses and Fields of Screams, Trails of Terror, and other local attractions so popular around here, I just don’t find them remotely scary.  I went to a new one tonight, hoping for a real scare…but sadly, no.  And those “cute” Halloween decorations, fake blood, inflatable headless horsemen, and the like?  Sad, really. Just NOT SCARY at all.  I think I’ll take a walk through Swan Point Cemetary (Providence, RI)(final resting place of HP Lovecraft) and watch Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp again.  Now Christopher Walken?  He’s my idea of a guy I wouldn’t want to see in the woods at night.  Johnny Depp? he’s just divine, in any movie. Time to dig out the old Midnight Syndicate CDs and decorate the castle.

What do you think about Halloween these days? Does any of it really scare you? Is it all getting just too commercial?  What or who will you be this Halloween?  I just took a trip tonight to a couple of Halloween superstores in our area…absolutely none of it was scary, a lot of it was in REALLY bad taste…I mean, bar boobs (?)  You know a guy had to think that one up.  Imagine the store detective guy that has to watch the dressing room cams for shoplifting…that MUST be scary :fear:




On a totally unrelated and random note, I found a fun new app for your website or blog. It's a free social media toolbar by Wibiya that sits discreetly on the bottom of your page and is totally customizeable. Check out the FREE beta here: (www.wibiya.com)

You sign up for a free account and customize what you want on your toolbar, and they provide you with a small line of code you add to your page. :) I installed it on my website www.cynthiablair.com so you can see it in action.  I love seeing my pages translated into Chinese, even though I haven't a clue what it says :lol:

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Adventures in Paradise

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 18, 2010, 6:16 PM
Adventures in Paradise

The Boston rock club, that is…Fearless Friends Tour, 10/17/10
We’re late, as always, detours and no parking spaces
so we sneak into a private lot, walk way too far
and we’re so late we miss Artist vs Poet :( and Go Radio

After Every Avenue there’s a non-stop dance party
with Breathe Carolina…we’re screaming the lyrics
and sweating it all out til we head outside gasping for air

There’s Nate Novarro (drummer, Cobra Starship)
sitting alone in the bar
so as Alex and Brianna debate, I tell them to go talk to him
The moment is now and won’t come again.
I leave them chatting and step outside,
as they discuss Halloween costumes and Cobra’s next album.

David Schmitt appears at the bar next.
She tells him to wait right there, don’t you move!
He agrees.
Alex, out of breath, charges out to meet me
grabs the drawing and prints of David Schmitt
runs back up the hallway, loses her footing and wipes out on the floor.
I watch as she gets up without stopping a beat and runs back inside.

David is all by himself
and tells her "it’s legit, the best gift" he’s ever received.  
I watch, amused, knowing how much she wanted to meet him.
He can’t stop looking at his drawing and keeps hugging her over and over again.
Then he tells her to go pick out anything she and Bri want at the merch stand,
it’s on him. posters and t-shirts. Sweet.

Awww… I just love watching these kids reach for their dreams
and see them shine, as they begin to see them come true
They are so wonderfully appreciative of all the attention.


and Mayday Parade was amazing, as always.
But the highlight of the evening had to be Breathe Carolina.
Of course this means I’d better draw Kyle Even. primo Screamo :)

Breathe Carolina by Cynthia-Blair David Schmitt by Cynthia-Blair



Do one thing every day that scares you.

When my friend cancelled out on me to go see the Carl Palmer Band, I decided I wasn’t staying home regretting not going. I remember the words "Do one thing a day that scares you." Ok, maybe it doesn’t scare me exactly, but I do feel uncomfortable going certain places solo.  Finding out at the gas station that my credit card was missing could have been another excuse not to go.  

But I did go anyway- and glad I did. I met some amazing new friends, who gave me a warm welcome, and got to witness probably the best drummer I have ever seen in my life – Carl Palmer.  The energy and mastery of his art was mesmerizing to watch.  Indeed, beyond any expectations I might have had. Mad respect for this guy!  Still fit and thundering away with precision and fury.  His guitarists were damn good, too (Paul and Simon, guitar and bass respectively).  I won’t deny that I missed hearing Greg’s voice and Keith’s keyboards, but hopefully if they ever get together again I’ll fly wherever just to hear them. I suppose I shouldn’t have missed the HVF.  

Great show, and the standing ovation for Carl was well-deserved.
Carl Palmer, signed by Cynthia-Blair

So everything collides…and time no longer seems linear.  I feel old and young at the same time. I give myself permission to do anything I please, so long as it doesn’t go against my principles. We always, always have choices, even when we think we don’t.  Imagine.  Down with self-limiting beliefs!  It’s a great life!


Great article on "Get Excited and change things" here, from "The Art of Non-Conformity" blog I follow: chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/get-ex…

What do you think?

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A Mega Dose of Jimmy

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 17, 2010, 1:01 PM
A Mega Dose of Jimmy

While I was staying with Annie (Memories in Music's Director) and Richard Hollinshead, my gracious and patient hosts, I had a real aural treat.  Richard is an executive with Meridian Audio, and they have a pair of large Meridian speakers in their music room.  Annie selected some classic Led Zeppelin from the catalog and cranked up the volume.

It was transformational, by far the cleanest sound I have ever heard in my life. I owned a nightclub at one time in my life, and we had a massive sound system with JBL's the size of refrigerators.  You could feel the bass pounding in your chest (definitely necessary for the experience).  But the Meridians not only delivered that, but I heard sounds that I never heard on the recordings before, every note, clear as crystal, all in a package the size of a normal tower speaker.  

By the time we got to "Dazed and Confused" we were in a trance, totally surrounded and immersed in the music. It was fantastic.  I could have listened for hours on end, which, actually we did. At which point I think the neighbors would start to hate us or love us, depending on when they had to get up the next day for work.  All I could think of was I WANT (those speakers)!

I only wish I could afford a pair…however I could probably buy that Maserati Cambio Corsa I've had my eye on, or put a sizeable down payment on a second house for the same money.  *sigh*

Well, I'm putting that out to the Universe. As long as you're dreaming, might as well dream big, you know? Never say never.

10/17/10: Off to the Paradise Rock Club in Boston for the Fearless Friends Tour tonight :woohoo:

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