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Friday, March 26, 2010



So, there were so many synchronicities on the road….. but some of them were just downright odd… for example, as soon as I hit Palm Springs and all the way to Tucson, I swear to god, every third car was from Minnesota. It was getting downright freakish. I began to test myself, because I am famous for making magic out of molehills (it’s the Piscean in me, you see, or the me in the Piscean: Rose Colored Glasses.) I started really seeing where the cars were from. I mean, I figured, since I was from Minnesota, I might just notice more often when cars are from there. What if I had grown up in, say, Ohio?

But nope, no cars from Ohio at all!


Hmm…… well, while I was waiting, I started ticking off where the cars actually were from:

California… Arizona… Minnesota. California. California. Minnesota.

Once I crossed into Arizona… Arizona… California… Arizona… Minnesota… Arizona. Minnesota. Arizona. New Mexico. Arizona. New Mexico. Minnesota.





Saturday night in Tucson I was up until about 2:30 am. I got back to Joni’s little cabin, nestled in beneath piles of cozy Mexican blankets, and, guarded by her Native American Animal Masks, fell asleep…

For about two hours. I awoke suddenly, just past the witching hour, and had this burning desire to get on to Priceline and book my hotel… Why Pricline? Well, no, they don’t do product placement… I like to try and get 4 and 5 star hotels for super cheap prices…. I’m a Bohemian on a budget with Glamour Girl taste in nice hotels. Trust me, I’ve slept everywhere from park benches to beaches to campsites to sofas to the backseats and frontseats of cars to Le Georges V to the Taj Mahal to castles outside Dresden to…. etc. ad infitum. I like experiences and adventure, even if I’m trying to have neither! I still get them. BUT I discovered that you can go on to Priceline, find the average price for a 4 or 5 star hotel, and then get the deal at half price sometimes if they aren’t sold out… so I like to take my chances. Which is what I did! I ended up booking two nights at the Santa Fe Inn and Spa in, well, duh, Santa Fe… I had been waiting because I wanted to feel guided to stay there, and because I was imagining myself stopping in a few places along the way and you never know who you might meet or where you might end up when you’re on the road.

…I didn’t have a gig in Santa Fe. I was going to see this painting by an artist friend of mine… he’s a friend, sort of. We’ve never actually met. But we are fans of each other’s work, and he painted this painting listening to Poet’s Lovely Daughter. Plus I’d never been to Santa Fe, and I wanted to check out potential venues for my next tour. So!

I tried to get back to sleep but there was no having it. So, I packed up all my items, drove over to Colleena’s Gallery, packed up my gear, left the key in her kitchen, and hit the road.


I had started seeing 7s everywhere, in groups of 2 and 3. I kept seeing “77” on license plates, on signs, streets, exits. And so I decided to get on Highway 77 and head north to New Mexico.

I also began to see all the Minnesota cars again. Arizona, New Mexico, Minnesota. (What the 77 was going on!?)

As the mileage on my car hit 77,007, I passed by a town called “Oracle,” which is a song I wrote for my first and even more obscure album, “Mermaid on Dusty Grounds.” The lyrics are thus:

I walked numb and drunk
to the oracle at Delphi
that I might inhale Pythia's smoke
and gaze into tomorrow

I met a priest who drank
the wine of wisdom
he told me to go home
but instead I stole his cup

and the gods have grown
bored with my possibilities
I can tell by the way my prayers are left
bleeding in the dust

over the entrance to the temple
an inscription reads
Know Thyself

I know my gods
I can smell them on my hands
I kneel at an altar made of rain

but i want to be Athena
babies in my oceanic belly
gods of war sucking at my breast
Oh, Oracle, do not leave me alone with the vanishing smoke
ask of me something I can give
but the Oracle does not ask, it tells
and in this darkness where I stumble
I discover
I do not know the question I want to ask
I had originally written that as a poem either just post or previous to my very first trip to Europe. I can’t remember exactly the timing of it, but I remember sitting in the Kitchen at Keep In Touch, this place I used to work at just after I finished massage school and just before recording that album, and I remember writing in this little travel journal, scribbling those lines…
Anyway, I had to laugh, here on highway 77, because more and more 7s were everywhere. Then I realized it was my Grandmother’s birthday, and her lucky number was 7, and so I called my mom, who confirmed that yes, it was my Grandmother’s birthday.
“She would have been, oh, let’s see. 88!”
I had to laugh… then my mom gave me some bad news.
“Well, your Uncle Bud died.”
That was a sweet pain.
“Oh, no!” I said.
“Yup. He was 98 years old.”
Now, my Uncle Bud was my grandmother’s older brother. He was the last living member of her siblings. My grandmother herself, Grandma Winick is how I knew her in my mind, although her name was Mabel, had died when I was about 12, just before I turned 13, in fact. I remember the night she died, my aunts and I died laying on of hands healing and read from the Book of Psalms. I don’t think it was their intention that I be there, but I was, and although I’ve never told them this, it was my first memory of the experience of energy moving from some source outside of myself and yet within myself and through my hands. It is because of My Grandmother Mabel Winick that I am a singer, a writer, an actress, and a massage therapist/ healer. It is ALL related to experiences I have had with her or because of her… I’m writing a cabaret about that, for my next tour… about the influence of her love of music and movies on my performer life AND my love life. (I’m still looking for my Clark Gable.)
Uncle Bud was a cool guy. I remember sitting next to him at my Aunt Debbie’s wedding a few years ago, and he and my ex boyriend/ drummer and I were having a Heineken and he turned to me, bright shining blue eyes twinkling, and said,
“So! What do you do for entertainment?”
“Well, Mike and I here, we’re in a band!” I said.
His eyes got even bigger and he smiled.
“Oh, yeah? Well, gee! You know, I used to pal around with the Andres Sisters back in the day… they were from the old neighborhood! Oh… you probably don’t know who the Andrews Sisters were…” his smile started to fade a bit.
“Oh, you bet I do,” I said. “’Don’t sit under the apple tree with anybody else but me! Anybody else but me, anybody else but me! No! No! No!”
I started singing that old WWII hit and my Great Uncle Bud chimed right in.
“Well, that’s too bad,” I said now, in 2010, to my mom on the phone. I told her about all of the 7s and she said, “Shouldn’t you be going to Vegas instead of Santa Fe?” We laughed as I passed another car from Minnesota.

I drove north through mountains and the Gila National Forest. I kept waiting for inspiration to stop, but I just kept feeling the urge to keep on ahead! Soon I entered New Mexico, where I saw a sign that read, “The Land of Enchantment.” All along I had been seeing 7s, and I had been seeing reminders of the last guy I dated, which was frustrating, because of course the word is “dated,” i.e., PAST TENSE, and I really didn’t want to think about him, but there was the car he drove, which must be the most popular car on the road, and there was a street sign with his last name on it (seriously) just as my phone started spontaneously, on its own, playing a song that reminds me of him (from the first night we met and the second night we met.) I screamed. “Argh! Erin, really!? Get that out of your mind!” And then I laughed. Because this, I am famous for this. I end things with a guy and then he’s everywhere. It was like that with the first man I fell in love with, and then every time I have felt that powerful “connection,” be it lust or love, if I try to get out, the images are everywhere! I tried to test myself. “Okay, Erin,” I said aloud,
“obsess over Mike.” Mike was one of my best boyfriends, a relationship that lasted 4 years. And there could be a LOT that would remind me of him. We went through music tours together, traveled Europe together, owned about 7 different cars together and lived in about 5 different houses together. We had a lot of adventures together. But I looked and looked and could not see a single Minivan, Vanagon, RV, (!), signs about dinosaurs or Americana music or punk rock, nothing about Tauruses or drummers or Florida. I couldn’t tune into public radio, which he loved, or hear any Rolling Stones or John Hiatt or Robyn Hitchcock or Sade. The only thing I could see that had anything to do with him was all these cars from Minnesota, and now THIS was getting REALLY curious, because an hour or two outside of Albuquerque, I swear to god, every other car was from Minnesota. I guess there must have been a LOT of snowbirds in New Mexico?
Then I forgot all of it as I approached Albuquerque and the gorgeous grey mountains in the horizon. So beautiful!
I thought about stopping, but it was about 6:30 pm, and I thought, naw, let’s get up to Santa Fe, I’ll be there in an hour and I can check in and get dinner and go out and check out the nightlife…
Rounding a curve on the 25, I left relative grey late spring for
a blizzard.
Suddenly, halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, there was
a blizzard.
I suddenly could not see more than one car in front of me and we were driving about 20 miles an hour. I thought about how this little Jetta, which I bought in Santa Monica, CA, had probably never seen snow or ice before. I, of course, spent my formative years learning to run on ice, drive in the snow, etc. So I wasn’t worried or scared exactly, except…
It was bad. All of the exit signs were completely covered in snow and I had no idea where I was. Thank god my iphone was working so I could keep track with its GPS and know approximately which exit to take…. we were driving in a tailgate train of cars and trucks, because you just couldn’t see. 20 miles an hour and we were still slipping and sliding and just trying not to flip off the sides of the interstate, which was now only one lane.
So. NO WONDER EVERY OTHER CAR HAD BEEN FROM FREAKIN’ MINNESOTA! The gods of weather and traffic had been trying to give me signs: IF YOU CONTINUE ON THIS PATH YOU WILL BE ENTERING MINNESOTA (at least weather wise.) It’s as if I entered a portal through space and time (well, I did, but that’s another interpretation of the story) and suddenly Minnesota and New Mexico were one. Wild,
Two white knuckled hours later, I followed the train into Santa Fe. We all were going into the city, I guess, although if I had been smart enough to listen to the weather and traffic radio channel, I would have heard that they were closing off the highways and exits in about half an hour. So none of us would have had any choice, anyway!
I used the GPS to get approximate directions to my hotel, but still stopped twice to inquire and get further directions. I was exhausted I had been driving for hours and hours and then in the blizzard and I was having a low blood sugar and the backs of my legs were wobbly and I was getting a searing headache. Finally I pulled into the registration parking area of my hotel. I got out of my car and looked up at the beautiful snowflakes and as they hit my lashes and melted, I thanked god for getting me there safe.
I went into lobby to check in. It was a lovely hotel, run by Native Americans, all Santa Fe themed, of course. The gentleman in line in front of me was telling the concierge that please, please, please. He needed a room. He and his wife and daughter had tried three different hotels, and there were no vacancies!
“We’re sorry sir, but we are fully booked,” she said. He buried his face in his hands. Then I heard him say that they were closing the roads and what was he to do? Oh…. I felt so bad for him, but really thankful I had woken up in the middle of the night, way too early, and booked the room here. I was so thankful I had just gotten on the road and hadn’t stopped, since I was apparently hell bent on getting to Santa Fe to see this painting…
Another concierge came to the front desk.
“Yes, miss, can I help you?” he said. I smiled. I was about to finally get to check into my room, call my mom and tell her I was alive, and eat something.
“Hi! Yes. I’m Erin Muir,” I said, pulling out my drivers license.
He typed at the keyboard of his computer for a moment, then looked up and smiled.
“Welcome to the Hotel Santa Fe Inn and Spa,” he said. “We’ve upgraded your room to a King-Sized Suite.”
I smiled.
I was gonna make it, at least for tonight.
“Thank you,” I said.


Monday, March 15, 2010

The SW Oddysey: of Love and Music and Writing, Part One

Springtime Oddities and Oddyseys…

From Los Angeles to Tucson to Santa Fe…

March 15th, 2010

I slept in this morning. No, really. I awoke beneath a huge white downy comforter in a bed in a Suite at the Hotel Santa Fe and Spa in, well, Santa Fe, with the shades drawn, having barely any idea of the day and date and absolutely no clue about what time it might be. In fact, with daylight savings and time changes and all, I still have no idea what time it really is. And I like that.

I opened the fat wooden blinds to see that the trees were frosted in crystal snow. I look over the parking lot and see my little Jetta from Santa Monica, CA is covered in snow. No wonder I saw so many Minnesota cars on the way from Palm Springs to Arizona to Santa Fe…. the gods of weather and traffic were giving me fair warning that I would be driving in to Minnesota like conditions! Did I pay attention? Kind of… I kept wondering what the heck was up with all these Minnesotans on the road! LOL… Duh.

But I’m getting ahead of the game…

FRIDAY, MARCH 12th, 2010



It’s about 8 am and I’m doing yoga, having stayed up until the wee hours packing and watching the final season of Sex and the City on DVD. (I know you won’t believe me, or maybe you will, but I have never seen the final season! I missed watching SATC regularly as a fan when it was on tv, and in these last many years of syndication… now, I know you are probably wondering how a girl like me, a girl of the cosmopolitan/ artsy/ writer/ fashionista/ sensually oriented persuasion could have missed Sex And The City, the holy grail of programming for women in the new millennium. But I assure you. I miss a LOT when it comes to TV, especially years 2001-2008. I was on tour so much, and moving around, and doing so many projects that kept me from the social verve, I just… never got to it. but I am getting it now!)

I’m struck, watching Carrie go to Paris to be with her artist boyfriend, how Carrie I personally really am, or how every woman Carrie really is. I mean, I don’t have the shoe thing. I have the vintage pieces thing. And I don’t smoke and never did. But I definitely have the Big thing and the Aiden thing. I definitely had an international, cosmopolitan boyfriend that swept me off my feet and who got me to go with him across the pond only to feel mislead about the nature of our relationship (guess what? He felt the same way) and get slapped (only not at Georges V but while staying in a castle outside Dresden.) (Nobody go get up in arms about FtG. It was a long time ago and a long story and it was back when my nickname was Spanish Lady If that gives you any idea of the give and take.) But there was no Big to come rescue me. I remember thinking very clearly:
Should I call my Dad? I had five euro in my pocket and nothing else to my name… No. He WOULD fly across the universe to come get me and it wouldn’t be pretty. No, Erin, you got yourself into your own mess, you get yourself out of it.

Nope. No Big, no Aiden, no father, no brother rescued me.

I rescued me.

And then I am struck, actually, at how much I have grown in the last few years, personally. I had no idea what life was all about back then. Oh, I thought I did. But I didn’t. Now, I know that I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. And that’s actually really beautiful, taken in context of love and faith in the process of life itself.

Anyway. Lofty philosophy and memoirs aside…





After yoga I pack up my car. One little grey 2003 Jetta which I bought in Santa Monica, and I fit in:

a massage table (you never know when you might pick up a client or run into one of your regulars on the road) (seriously, happens a lot to me)
two sets of massage sheets
my massage bolster
a bag full of massage supplies
some bungee cords
a sleeping bag
my mini Peavey PA system with four track mixer
my Yamaha S30 keyboard
my keyboard stool and brand new pedals
a guitar stand
a mic stand
my seagull acoustic guitar
a huge suitcase packed to the brim with everything from sandals and sundresses to sweaters, leg warmers, long underwear and boots. And a bikini. I always pack a bikini for everywhere I go.
dresses and costume pieces and hair feathers and flowers and falls for my gigs!
leather jackets and my thigh high boots
two yoga mats
a bag full of toiletries and hair stuff, curlers, false eyelashes
another bag full of makeup
my backpack with my laptop, three DVDS (The Gun, the series by Robert Altman, and two “Legends of Jazz” DVDs)
my ipod
my iphone
a new charger for my car that doesn’t work (!)
the books I am reading, a sketch pad, my diary
my lists of things to do, collated into a manila envelope
CDs and merch
Poet’s Lovely Daughter posters
CDs for duplicating promo CDs
my Sony zi6 flip cam
a 20 pack of water
a 12 pack of soda (I know, I know, but it’s a ROAD TRIP!)
a bag of snacks: pretzels, trail mix, mangoes, tea, supplements

And I could still make room for another person, if I wanted.

Who knew that Jetta could fit all of that!!!

I set my intention for a safe journey full of fun, growth, musical success and amazing adventure, and I hit the road…



So, here’s a little guilty secret that I’m coming out with.

I LOVE singing Celine Dion songs. In fact. Just because I write brooding lyrics doesn’t mean I’m relegated only to the lands of Leonard Cohen. I love singing anything emotive, and lemme tell ya. Celine’s got it goin’ on when it comes to that.

My next album, I think, maybe, just maybe, is gonna be a bit more crossover, including some more of my cabaret and classical and jazz passions (don’t ask me how, it’s in the works) but… I see myself as more of a Bette Midler type. Someone who sings lots of songs in lots of genres and yet is always herself. Yup, that’s me. I’m always Erin. There’s no one that sings like me and I sing like no one and I am finally accepting that… so maybe I’ll never be a straight up any kind of singer. So what? I’m having quite the journey in my music career, from my classical beginnings to my rocker chick road trips to my cabaret effusions to my emo indie life to my crossover who knows what the heck is next. One of my friends who is still working for the dinosaurs (major labels, sorry guys, not trying to be mean, but, um, it’s time to evolve. Not that I have a CLUE what that looks like) gets so disturbed by this sort of career path… he can’t believe I don’t just find a genre and stick with it. Maybe I will, if something hits really big. But until then… I think he is underestimating the palate, sophistication and curiosity of music fans and people in general. My god, I have a fan page started by some awesome teenagers in Malaysia. And I have a huge GLBT following in the Midwest. And my hipster NY friends like me, too, even when I sing Carmen and then Kermit the Frog songs in the middle of my very serious hipster joints. And everyone is on line, and everyone is listening to everything from the Pussy Cat Dolls to duets between Luciano Pavarotti and James Brown. So if someone is top 40 pop straight up, that’s great. But Green Day just turned their album into a Broadway Musical and I applaud it and wish to emulate that sort of willingness to cross into all opportunities for expression and sharing music.

So I’m taking the opportunity, from Los Angeles through Palm Springs and all the way to the 8/ 85 bypass of Phoenix (thanks to Anastasia for the tip for avoiding Friday Phoenix Rush Hour traffic!) through Gila Pass to sing, sing, SING! Celine songs at the top of my lungs.

You know what? That woman can SING. Those songs are not easy to sing, with that power and in those ranges. I gotta give it up to that woman. And, you know what?

Sometimes, I too, am frightened, but I’m ready to learn about the Power of Love.

I mean it.

(Sing along, now everybody! “As I look into your eyes… The power of love…”)

(YEAH…. I know you WANT to!!!!! Even you, moody chick with black eyeliner in back. Which, by the way, would have been me. Still is me. HAhahaha.)



I get into Tucson around 7 or 7:30 pm that evening. I disregard the directions from my iPhone maps and decide to see if I can figure out how to get to her cottage near the University on my own. I can’t.

And so I consult the iPhone map. Boy, am I OFF! I actually went the wrong way every time! Which bugs me because I supposedly pride myself on my excellent sense of direction. Ha!

But finally, I arrive, and Joni, whom I have not yet met, is a friend of my dear friend, the poet, Chris Shillock, and she is a psychotherapy student at the University, but also she is a former actress and singer who lived in Minneapolis and has generously offered to let me stay at her cottage, and she will stay in her friend’s yoga studio across the street. !!!! Such kindness and generosity!!!

And, can I say? She’s WONDERFUL. She makes me the most amazing vegetarian stirfry, brown rice, veggies, mushrooms, veggie protein, tea. And we stay up late talking cabbages and kings, and astrology, and channeling, and human behavior, and music and love and sex and passion and everything I love to talk about and read about and learn about. I see why Chris connected us.

In her dear little cottage she has posters from jazz festivals, and paintings of flowers, and books and books and books and music! Jazz, and French singer songwriters. And she has lots of blankets, very important to cold little me. She has dream catchers and jar after jar of herbs and powders and seasonings. It’s like I’m staying in a Wise Witch’s Alchemical Kitchen. (Well… in another time….) And she has MASKS. NATIVE AMERICAN ANIMAL MASKS.

She tells me she is Native American, herself, Omaha. She introduces me to the animals- Bear, Wolf, Raven, Crazy Hawk. I feel watched over, safe and cozy. And blessed.

SATURDAY, MARCH 13th, 2010



I have slept in. I feel amazing. I get up, throw on my running shoes, and hit the roads of the Sam Hughes neighborhood in Tucson.

Running is a great way to get to know a new city. You get to get out on foot and see a city from a viewpoint of health and wellness, and you learn pretty quickly about safety, air quality, generosity of drivers, and, of course, one of my favorite parts, the flora and fauna.

I give Tucson two thumbs up. It was a lovely run! Apparently there were desert bloomings, but nothing affected me. It was an easy run in regards to breathing, so I know that air quality was probably pretty decent. Of course, I live in Los Angeles, so in general, most cities offer better air quality, more or less…

I loved the smell of sage and oranges. I ran past sweet Southwestern ramblers, peach trees and these strange partridge dove looking birds. I wished my Dad were there with his bird book so he could tell me what they were! I will have to look it up. And everywhere, the lawns were dotted with bright orange and yellow flowers, as even the wildflowers and weeds were springing forth in joy at the sunshine and at spring!

I passed a street called “Forgeous,” and of course instantly converted it, in my mind, to “Gorgeous.” And it was.



I had arranged with Colleena Hake, owner of the Candelabra Gallery (where I was to perform) to set up my sound system and sound check in her gallery at around 3 pm. There was a gallery walk in Tucson that afternoon that was winding down- and Colleena’s gallery was featuring the artwork of Lisa Kanouse, Tucson native.

In her email, while we were booking the gig and arranging the particulars, Colleena had informed me that I would LOVE Lisa’s work. SHE WAS RIGHT! Paintings of love making and beautiful women in all their glory, with a slight romantic and maybe even gothic bent! And a few other favorites- Dia De Los Muertos style skeletons, featuring a couple on a swing, and the gentleman skeleton, in a Frank the German (my ex) style Tyrolean Hat with Feather is copping a feel on the lady skeleton who wears a flower in her hair. I laughed out loud once I saw that one.

Colleena is a very beautiful, inspirational woman. She runs the gallery, but is also a performance artist, visual artist, healer and yogi. She’s the kind of woman that inspires you to live your passions and encourages everyone around her. You just feel, comfortable, and happy, and… inspired. That’s it. You feel inspired to be yourself around her.

I set up my little stage on a beautiful Persian rug- keyboard, guitar, and ipod. ;-p

And I set off for Maya Quetzal for some nosh before my performance.



I am wearing a one of a kind, made by my friend Susean Morrow skirt. It’s floor length, purple and dark blue, and it wraps around just below my hips and fastens on a diagonal. Beneath it I am wearing my black boots, but no one can see that they are boots. I chose to wear those because they will be warm, and because the heels are super high! (Maybe I do have a little Carrie from SATC going on when it comes to shoes.) (Okay, so for the record, they are Baby Phat boots.) I wear a purple, sleeveless turtle neck that fits to my form and has these gathers along the sternum, between the breasts. My hair is straight and long and raven colored these days, and I wear lots of dark eye makeup and my Hand of God bracelet, and green and gold hoop earrings and matching Amazonian style arm bracelet.


I am performing two sets, and I decided that within each set, I would make it progress from acoustic guitar to keyboard to full tracks from the album.

Never, Never, Never (Shirley Bassey/ Mina’s song, in English and Italian)
Don’t Mind Me (new song)
Sober (new song)
It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green
La Vie En Rose
Too Much (off the record, but on piano)
Black Butterfly (off Poet’s Lovely Daughter)
Faith (PLD)
Heart Given (PLD)
Poet’s Lovely Daughter (PLD)

The HabaƱera from Carmen
Things that Are Gone (new song I wrote with Infamous Upstairs Zack)
K-15 (off PLD)
Shadow and Silt (PLD)
Supernatural (PLD)
Dreams (the Stevie song, on acoustic guitar)
City Behind the Sky (PLD)



So, after the show, I meet the most amazing crew of Tucsonites. Tucsonians? Tucson denizens. Hm. Anyway.

Adrienne, who works in the music industry, and used to live in LA, sort of takes me under her wing and along with Colleena, and Manuel and a crew of other really cool peeps, we walk along to the place my roommate Linda and my Ladies Who Brunch friend Anastasia said I hAD to go to, the Hotel Congress. We end up talking late of music, of the industry, of Tucson facts and figures, of art and academia, of passion. You know. Erin stuff. Life stuff.


For now, I’m off to yoga, and then the Georgia O’Keefe museum, the Pop Gallery, and the Loretto Chapel. In the snow…. I’ll walk! Thank god I’m staying within walking distance of everything! Because despite the fact that I was born and raised in Minnesota…. I do not have a SCRAPER for my windows on my car!!!!!!! hahahahahahhaa!!!! The story of the journey along 77 and 77,000 miles on my car and the blizzard (shall I say bli77ard?) will have to wait for the next installment…. this girl’s off to explore.







Monday, March 1, 2010's Best Female Artist of the Year Award 2009

Hey, everyone!

I am so honored to announce that I was awarded the's Best Female Artist of the Year Award. Thanks to all who voted!