Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm So Tired

I don't have too much zing left to write, but head on over to the Catstillpaper blog to read about last night's watercolor.

I need a 36 hour day to do all the things that I need to do - teach, nurture family and friends, make art, be with my husband.

So for tonight I will say little, but remember, the music is what happens in between the notes.

Patti O Philosopher!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bits and Pieces

When I was in the monastery, only ONCE did we talk politics. It was too aggravating, and seemed like too sordid and soiled a subject to bring up on this retreat.

But when I got home and read my emails, and caught up on the debate and other issues that had gone on in the past few days, I found myself breathing and trying not to be angry and frustrated. Thoughts ruminated through my mind such as how stupid, undereducated, ignorant and brainwashed by religion (to the point where they can't think for themselves)Americans are.

But I then feel badly thinking such thoughts. I become the very thing that abhors me. Prejudice, pride, labeling. Negativity doesn't help nor serve any purpose here. Besides, what would Tolle say?

HOWEVER, I did get a few emails of note which I will pass onto my readers, if you haven't already received them.

Apparently the email that ran rampant about making a donation to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's name was a huge success that grossed about 800,000 thus far. I don't know if she got the cards thanking her, but I am sure she is aware of the email and its results. Click on this sentence for the link to the article. Yay for Planned Parenthood. I hope most of it goes back into the community.

Also linked here is the article about the PBS NOW poll. I discovered very early on in the poll that it was totally NON Scientific, as I was able to vote numerous times. If I was able to do this, how many others did the same thing, on either side? Read this article for more info by the Huffington Post
The reality is, don't listen to the polls folks. They can be used as propaganda and skewed in many ways. Don't let numbers discourage you, and vote with your heart, from whatever side you are on.

Talk to people, talk to young people especially, to register to vote. In school I am putting up charts that compare the major issues between the two candidates.

Patti O Reporter

ARTWORK. I will tell the story of this work on my Catskillpaper blog, but I think it may have to wait until tomorrow. I am very tired.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back in Reality Land

I have landed here in my wonderful home which Larry has lovingly cleaned for my arrival.

I am back on the "real world", catching up on four days of emails, while playing one of the two CD's that I bought at the book store. Buddhist monks and nuns chant in the background(among them Br. Phap Niem and Thich Nhat Hanh), a reminder of the retreat and of the amazing people I have met. I yearn for the mindfulness bell, and the atmosphere of the monastery.

I am wearing a t-shirt that has a simple graphic with the words "A Lotus to You", the lotus representing the progress of the soul towards enlightenment, a true symbol of my journey.

It is ironic that while opening my mail, I got a notification from my insurance company stating that I won't be covered for the last month of therapy. Some psychiatrist who has never met me has determined that my weekly meetings have not provided me with any significant improvement according to some book that they follow. I chuckle, thinking that this is the first time in my life where a therapist has done me any good, and they-who-know-so-much have NO CLUE about healing and "the journey" and how this amazing therapist has lowered the cost of their liability for my visits for stress/anxiety related illnesses. I will deal with them tomorrow.

I have many stories to tell. Some are funny. Many are amazing. All are honest.

In the Dharma group I was told to contemplate and be thankful for three things, and three people in my life. I gave thanks for my home, my job, and to the talent that the universe has granted me. I was thankful to my dear friend Karen who has been on much of this journey with me, to my mother for giving me life and nourishment, and to my husband who has been my steadfast believer.

This once never-recovered Catholic girl might have found a home.

Patti O Namaste

PS Composite photo by my dearest friend Annie, who was one of my crazy roommates, who sent me the information on this retreat in the first place.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A cacophony and a bad smell

I lied. I am writing one last blog on my lunch hour before I take off. I can't help myself.

I had to share a few sounds and smells before I take off for the retreat.

Yesterday upon arriving at Pegs, my therapist, I got out of the car and stopped for a moment to take in the beautiful early autumn day before I went in. Her office is in her house which is a lovely old 1800's home decorated with fabulous art and objects, and is in the Catskills. It is a heavenly place to heal one's soul, in addition to the woman who has been an integral part of my journey.

Suddenly I hear a sound that I could not identify. It sounded like birds, but not just a few random tweets, it was a constant screech of strange sounds, almost like the sound of heavy high pitched squeaky machinery. I could not figure it out. It was an unworldly sound.

I got Peg and asked her to come outside.

She listened for a bit and said: "oh, it is the blackbirds migrating. There are hundreds and hundreds of them in the woods, sort of like Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie The Birds." I was amazed and a little creeped out by it.

Then I went home and opened the back door. A horrid odor seeped into my nose. I had smelled it before once or twice this summer, but not like this. Larry had tracked in some kind of animal feces the other day, and he thought it was dog shit, and had cleaned it up really well. I walked outside. It smelled outside too.

It smells like something dead, or what I imagine to be wild animal poo. If the woodchucks did make a home under my porch, am I smelling their latrine? Or did a mother of a woodchuck DIE UNDER MY PORCH? I have asked Larry to check it out as it is rank and I cannot stand bad smells. I obsess about them and they cling to my nose hairs like dew on a spider web.

I hope when he has a few days without me, that he does some investigating, so at least I know what it is. I know it is not a dead mouse in the house, as the cats would have made fast work of anything inside. (Larry if you read this, it is a hint!)

Patti O Monster

PS another image done following a Photoshop tutorial
So I leave you with images fit for the season of fall and the cycle of life, and of things that stink and scream and go bump in the night.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Getting Ready

I am going on a journey into the unknown. There is some anxiety attached to this adventure. I am excited and scared at the same time. I don't know what it is I am scared of...perhaps because it IS the unknown and I KNOW it is going to change my life.

However, don't fear, I will not run off and become a Buddhist Nun. I just don't have the discipline.

I am having my last glass of wine, and am saying goodbye to my computer and amenities that I have come to take for granted. I will go sans contacts, sans earrings and makeup. Moisturizer is the only must have for this venture. I am bringing baggy fuzzy clothes with cozy tops. No sexiness, no glamour. I leave the ego behind.

I am giving Larry the EOS and taking the CRV. No sense on taking two cars if I can fit both Karen's and my stuff in my other car. I told him that he will think of me every time he drives it, and he says "yeah, I will be worried about even farting in it. "

I stop a moment and take a good hard look at myself and see how spoiled I am. I am lucky, and I quickly give thanks for what I have.

But man, I am gonna miss the coffee and the lipstick. And blogging. That will be the worst withdrawal. Till Sunday

Patti O Break

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wo Fo Yo O

In two days I am going to be spending four days living a very different life style than I do now as Thursday after school I am heading to a Buddhist Retreat Center for an Art/Mindfulness Seminar - Wo Fo Yo O.

I have received an email outlining our activities at the Center, which was founded by the Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Reality has set in, and a few negative thoughts crept into my mind---can I really do this? Can I practice the Noble Silence which lasts from bedtime till after breakfast? That is nearly 12 hours of silence, from ME who LOVES to talk. All that meditation from ME who LOVES TO KEEP IN MOTION. Arise at 5 am from ME who CAN'T EVEN GET UP AT 6 AM WHEN THE ALARM GOES OFF.

The schedule is rigorous.

05:00am Wake-up
05:30 Sitting Meditation/ Chanting
07:00 Exercise
08:00 Breakfast
09:30 Working Meditation
11:30 Walking Meditation
2:00pm Personal Time
03:00 Dharma Discussion/Activities
05:00 Sitting/Chanting
06:00 Dinner
07:00 Self study time
10:00 Lights out.

I am on the phone with a few friends. "Why didn't I start with a one day practice retreat?" I groan. "No, instead I do a three night four day retreat!"

I have so much to do in order to do nothing. Well, it isn't nothing, but it will be like driving 60 mph and slamming on the brakes.

In the words of Winnie the Pooh..."oh bother".

Patti O Retreater

Photos taken at Olana. Our anniversary was Sunday and we went up there for a picnic and a paint, but instead we had a storm. We made the best of it, as always. More to come on that....

PS... I just got this quote in an email: 'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.'

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let's Be Real

The other night I was getting ready for bed. I turned on the TV to watch the weather, and then over to CNN to see what was up in the news.

Instead I got some Hollywood garbage stuff, like the programs that are on the TV in the gym. I was a bit bothered by it, as I had held CNN to higher standards than that. Is this what America is becoming I thought? With all that is going on in the world, we have to see how dysfunctional the lives of American Icons are, or how much money them make and how many houses they own? What DO we value in this culture?

What disturbed me most was a program on Fabulous Women Over 40. At first I thought YAY..way cool. I love that 50 is the new 35, and that people are valuing the wisdom and beauty of being over 40.

But what I saw was a parade of women whose "over 40 beauty" was artificially enhanced by plastic surgeons. WAIT I SCREAMED, these are NOT true depictions of fabulous women over 40. Mary Tyler Moore, Suzanne Sommers (who claims all she has had is fillers/botox) and more. The one actress who did NOT look fake was Holly Hunter as I saw her crows feet around her eyes, and was quoted in 2007 to say she was going to age naturally.

Ok, having plastic surgery does not negate the fabulous energy of some of these women, or their accomplishments, but what it does is set a standard that the average person cannot or will not meet if they can't afford or choose not to have cosmetic surgery!

Lets have some REAL women on this show. Women who are beautiful just the way they are, and who are comfortable in their own skin as it ages naturally.

Yesterday I went to yoga, totally naked. My face I mean. I combed my hair, washed my face, wearing nothing on it other than my all natural rich moisturizer. I looked in the mirror sans makeup and smiled, and walked out the door loving myself in all of its 50 years of lines and blotches. I earned those lines, and each one has an amazing story tucked away in them.

Patti O Natural

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bush in a Skirt

Yesterday started out horridly.

While rushing around and brushing my teeth before my dash out the door, I knocked over a ceramic glass from a bathroom set that Megan had bought for me and it smashed all over the floor. A string of very bad expletives spewed from my mouth, and I am sure at least one set of neighbors heard it. I picked up the big pieces, threw them in the trash with frustration, and headed out the door pissed, not even kissing Larry goodbye.

Of course those are the times that as you run out the door you notice that the house looks like a mess, with the hair balls from the cats flying away from you as you rush around like a dirt devil. So as I am running out the door and not kissing my husband, I am yelling about our having to clean the house TOGETHER this weekend before the board of health condemns us.

On the drive to work I realize I forgot the fruit for the fruit salad I was going to make for my students, so I stop at the local store to buy bagels and cream cheese. As I get back into my car I drop my keys and they go skittering under the car out of reach. In the middle of a busy street, I am on my hands and knees in a dress crawling partly under the car to retrieve them.

By now my hair is standing on end, my eyes are wild, and I am ready to crawl back into bed.

I get to work and they are digging up the road that I have to cross to get into my school and I sink into four inches of broken up blacktop, stone, and soft dirt. My feet are now dirty and I am cursing the incompetance of a construction company that has had this road dug up for a good three months now and I have decided that I am parking where I am not supposed to...in front of the school where I can walk safely and not break another ankle.

One of the bosses makes an announcement that we have to be in our rooms because they are letting kids in early because of the construction. I mutter F-THAT, and stay in the faculty room with other staff till our union designated time to bring the students into our rooms. HUMPH I say.

When the kids DO come in I tell them that I am a cranky bitch and to leave me alone till I get my second cup of coffee. The girls laugh, cut me some slack, and after the coffee is made we have our weekly friday breakfast and we proceed to talk about their own life which had a rough start to its day too, with issues far bigger than mine.

As the day wore on, I let the negativity go, and enjoyed the relationships I have with my students and friends.

After work, well you can guess. A ride with the top down, margaritas at the Armadillo, a visit to a dear friend's house where we sit and chat while the sun drops in the late summer sky and the air cools and I put on a sweater.

I come home late. Larry had dinner alone, and cleaned the house while I was letting go of the dreck of the week. When I went upstairs there were flowers on my pillow.

I smiled and thought babycakes, this is as good as it gets, and I kissed Larry and the rest...I will keep secret, lol. I just hope the neighbors don't go for late night walks or have all their windows open like I do...

The title and the photo is from the huge protest in Anchorage Alaska yesterday, in fact I think I read it is the largest political rally ever in Alaska. 1,500 women (mostly women)gathered to protest Palin. Of course I chose this photo....double entendres are my thing if you haven't already guessed it by now. I don't have the name of the photographer, otherwise I would give credit to her, and if you are interested in the photos/editorial, email me.

Also, of another note, and anti-gay/pro-straight seminar was recently given in the same church that Palin attends.

Need I say more?

Patti 0 Crabcake

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shifting the Focus

I don't seem to have the time to always write my blog which is getting frustrating. Too much work, and I am fried by 9 PM. So instead today I am writing on my lunch hour as I don't even get home till 5:30 or so, and then have the usual work and cooking to do. I have a few minutes to ruminate and write.

I have been spending time reading editorials and thinking about all the energy we are putting into negative comments about Palin and McCain. And some of it is getting downright mean. And when we get that mean and we develop a "hatred" of the other side, then we lower ourselves as humans and spiritual entities, and become narrow minded in our thoughts and focus...and we can become the very thing that we rant about. And giving too much attention to lipstick and soccer mom comments takes away from the very things we should be concerned about such as where the economy is heading....what can we do to prevent what is going on...regulating rather than deregulating, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should be seeing how we can support the candidate of our choice rather than destroy the other side.

I did read a humorous email however today which gave me a chuckle, right before I sat down to write this blog, suggesting that rather than continue to rant and rave about Sarah Palin, to make a donation to Planned Parenthood in her name. One, you are doing something positive and needed, and two, it tells her where we stand.

I recently attended a Planned Parenthood fund raiser, where 35,000.00 was raised for three sites in Dutchess County in New York. Next year I will donate art to the cause. Planned Parenthood provides many services for people regardless of age or income. The provide services such as counseling, education, birth control, abortion options, pre natal advice, and sexual health.

Here is a snippet from the email:
Instead of us all sending around more e-mails about how horrible Sarah Palin is, let's all make a donation to Planned Parenthood. In her honor!

And the fun part is that when you make the donation, they'll send her a card telling her that the donation has been made in her honor!

Here's the link to the Planned Parenthood website:


You'll need to fill in the address to let Planned Parenthood know where to send the "in Sarah Palin's honor" card. And some are suggesting you use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street, 1st floor
Arlington, VA 22202

p.s. In order for the card to arrive, make sure you use the link above or choose the pull down of "Donate" (and then "Honorary or Memorial Donations"), not the regular "Donate Online" pulldown.

Now I don't know if it will indeed work, but it is an interesting idea, and besides, Planned Parenthood can sure use the money.

Patti O Muser
PS Photoshop Galaxy that I created following a tutorial....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A few cards

Save for the hour and a half that I chatted with Gina, then got a massage, I have been working solid.

School, was NUTS (full moon last night) and mid afternoon until 8 pm I worked designing for my honored and loyal customer.

I am not getting the hang of getting up at 6, then working till 3 or so, and then coming home to work even more. I do take breaks, but I am whiny, tired, and so ready to go to bed. Therefore, not much of a blog.

But the cards speak for themselves, and one of them is for a man who runs a large film studio in Europe. My cards go all over the world and to some very interesting people. Wish I could put a chip on them and track where they go, sort of like "Where's George?".

Off to start designing the postcard for the trunk show now.

I am getting cramps and feel like biting someone.

Patti O Pestilence

Monday, September 15, 2008

Little Brown Nut Hair

It is late...after a long day of work (=not a great day) I went into the studio to work for a bit and let go of the stress.

The only problem was, after an hour or so, I got the urge for going, to cruise with the top down...somewhere...anywhere....

So......never being one to deny the call of riding about the city on a warm late summer day, I called Annie, who is my fabulous 26 year old friend/co-worker whom I adore, and we went on an adventure which started as clothes shopping. It was a hoot. Nothing like pulling all kinds of things off the clothes rack and trying it on - some true gems, others worth at least a good laugh. (PS the older you get the harder it is to go clothes shopping) Then there was the boot and shoe adventure...

Afterwards we cruised uptown to the Hoffman House, a wonderful old Dutch colonial restaurant in uptown Kingston. French Onion Soup. Wine. Nice conversation with the owner and bartender who are cousins.

Then back home to do more designing.

I finished off the night with a laugh from Alanna, which is always a delightful thing to do...to laugh with the joy of a child. Instead of calling the character from Guess How Much I Love You "little nut brown hare" she said MIMI...will you read to me about "Little Brown Nut Hair". Megan starts to laugh in the background, and my mind goes places it shouldn't. "Little brown nut hair?" I ask, imagining how one would illustrate that. NO MIMI, LITTLE NUT BROWN HARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, with that silly story I leave you to ponder my sanity.

Patti O Twisted

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two Sides of a River

The Hudson has been a metaphor in my life for so many things. It has gifted me with endless beauty, and has symbolized the delicate balance between life, death and renewal.

I capture such moments and memories through my photographs, paintings, and writing, and most importantly, my trips across the river have become genetically coded into my cells – each gaze the Catskills becoming a snapshot burned into my mind and sometimes witnessed by the camera, or onto a canvas.

On the days my daughter had chemo, I would go visit her and Alanna, bringing over food, helping out in what ever way I could. My journey took me along the side of the Hudson River from November through April, and I watched the river freeze, heard the ice shift and moan when I would stop and stand to photograph in the late afternoon, river reflecting cool blues and pinks….and then saw the floods of spring rise close to bankful.

My mother lives on the other side of the river….in a nursing home on an estate along the Hudson owned by an order of nuns. It is a place for the living to experience and enjoy, but it is cloaked with a sense of sorrow, illness and death.

Across the river and a bit north hosts Olana, the splendid home and studio of artist Frederick Church, where I married my husband on the autumnal equinox at sunset, with the Hudson gleaming like a heart shaped gem in the evening light.

Dar Williams wrote a lovely song about the Hudson River, Two Sides of the River...

Two sides of a river
The river rushes through
Two sides of a river
One for me and one for you

We can build a bridge or baby
We can jump in
See what the river do
It’s two sides of a river
Great big river rushin’ through

I know the tides of the river
Know how fast and how deep
I know the tides of a river
Hope and pray they don’t shift in your sleep

‘Cause the river bides its lonely loss
It has no vows to keep
I know the tides of a river
Pray, pray they don’t shift in your sleep

I was a bride of the river
Before I ever met you
I was a bride of the river
Where it took me was all that I knew

Now I finally found a love to share my secrets with
Lots of things we can do
I was a bride of the river
That’s where I learned to rock you

Patti --- from the west side of the river.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Some Statistics

I have just finished a very long week, my first week back to work. I finally got my first pay check, and must head out to the bank early to deposit it, then run to the bank that has my mortgage so that I can pay it before the 15th. This time of the year is the most difficult financially for me, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the 40.00 raise in pay that I saw in my pay check. I get paid bi-weekly, so that means 20.00 a week.

Of course, to be fair, an extra 100.00 +/- a check is being taken out additional so that I can get an extra check at the end of the school year, so in actuality I did get a 70.00 a week raise. But I don't think it even covers the extra money I have to pay in gas to commute, and in the increase in fuel oil/electric, and the rising cost of living due to the rising cost of fuel.

One of the misnomers circulating about Obama is the fact that he wants to raise capital gains taxes from "15-28%". When doing some research, I discovered that he wants to raise it from 15-20% (8% difference here) and only for those with incomes over 250,000.00! HELLO - if you make that much money, you can damn well afford to pay the extra 5%! SO WTF...well of course, you know who is complaining, it is the wealthy, as their little fists are so tightly clenched around their American dollars.

Here are some interesting figures for you......the cost of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan-------the chart is a bit crammed up on this blog, but the first figure is the cost in Iraq,then Afghanistan, and then a total for both if you don't want to bother to add.

Iraq Afghanistan Total
Per Month $10.3 billion $2 billion $12.3 billion
Per Week $2.4 billion $469 million $2.9 billion
Per Day $343 million $67 million $410 million
Per Hour $14 million $2.8 million $17 million
Per Minute $238,425 $46,296 $284,722
Per Second $3,973 $771 $4,745

I found another site that states it costs $4,681 per household.
Fine if you make 250,000...but there is the ethics. There are lots of sites out there which tell you what this money could buy in regards to health care, rebuilding, finding alternative energy etc. and if you are interested, do a bit of poking around.

So folks, start doing some research if you are concerned about your financial future....or your children and their children's financial freedom! AND VOTE.

And in the daily closing words of blogger Annie Kelleher whose two blogs have links on the top of this page...(The Cranky Crone and Witches, writer, words ) "furthermore, the war must end. Blessed be".

Patti O Protester

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Muse is on Vacation

Poor sleep. Long day at school. Therapy. The joy of the day was putting the top down, turning on the heated seats just a little bit, and driving from Woodstock into Kingston, near the ZONE, and meeting Annie at our fave Asian restaurant.

Over some Thai food we lamented how the economy has made it difficult to be an artist. Lately we have invested hard work and money into our art, with minimal financial return. With galleries closing left and right, and people spending less money on art and more on fuel, we both agreed that it is OK that we don't feel the urge or need to make art right now, that we renew ourselves by other things.

I have a lot of things pulling me in many directions, and I need to get a grip on some of them before they are out of control. I have a job that pays the bills, and I have to go to that, then navigate all the other complex areas of my life. There isn't a lot of energy or desire these days to go into the studio to make art, and that is OK.

I actually took some time today to read a Vogue magazine. I love looking at the creativity and the lines of Haute Couture, and filing the images away in my brain - the colors, the lines, the fabrics. Maybe I will even take the time to find some fun affordable knock off items for the fall wardrobe. After all, I still like to play dress up once in a while.

Shoot===I might even finish the second half of Everything is Illuminated. I think I started that three weeks ago.

Patti O Cracked

PS. Notice there is no image! I am on strike!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Just Not Flowing

I feel stilted, stunted, unable to write.
Perhaps I am just in a temporary hole, where words elude me and I am vacant.
It might be the fall out from the mini earthquakes in my life that leaves me in a bit of a fog. Or maybe it's the red wine.

Good news...Megan's tumor is benign. She still has to have part of or all of her cervix removed and when I think of if I cringe. I will probably go down there to help her with the baby and Alanna. I have plenty of sick time, and enough money to buy a ticket back to Nashville....

I should get frequent flier miles for this trip which is becoming all too familiar. It is a place where I feel like "A Stranger in a Strange Land". (I read that Heinlein book in high school....I wonder how it reads now.) Take a liberal too-young-to-be-a-true-hippie from New York and plunk her ass in the middle of a military base, wearing her Obama tee-shirt and jeans, replete with cowboy boots which fit-in-so-well there.

Next visit I am going to get daring and photograph the place, replete with women and babies, and uniformed men. Oh and lots of police. And dogs who bark incessantly in their backyards. The life of a dog on a military base....

Patti O

PS. Photos..two done on my drive to work over an old bridge that I traverse every day, twice a day, and an enhanced photo from Clermont....to show how many friggin bugs were in the air.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cranberry Jellybeans

I don't know how to blog tonight as my life has just had another series of mini earthquakes. You know the feeling, where you are fine one moment, and the next your heart falls through your stomach and out onto the floor.

In my gasping I remember to breathe, and stay focused on the NOW.

Yeah, to some it might spell poppy-cock, but after years of therapy, meetings, medication, and tears, I have come to find the most peace in being in the present.Can't change the past. Too many variables to even think about predicting the future. All we have is the present moment.

I find reading the serenity prayer as a mantra can also keep me present.

.... grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace

And so the dance goes on of life and death in my life. WIthin the past month month my mother almost dies, a few days after that my daughter gives birth. In the past few weeks my mother has been getting miraculously better (ah, was this for me to learn the lessons of compassion and forgiveness?) Now Megan called and is having problems and is awaiting biopsy reports. Again our life hinges on a phone call, a lab result.

But I breathe and remember with a smile before I head to bed, how before tonight's phone call I ended my day...at the OB GYNs office.

I am over this peri-menopausal shit and made an appointment with my ex-neighbor to have a consultation. Hormones. Birth Control. Hot Flashes. Migranes ==== all that and more. I did get a lot of information on natural vitamins and foods that will help me (I don't trust meds and hormones) but I also got more than I bargained for. All I wanted was a consultation, not an interview with my hoo hoo....

I had no plans for any of that, but in light of the poor health of many of my family members I gave in...and as a result of THAT exam, I have to go for some testing too.

But that doesn't worry me one bit. I have bigger fish to fry.

I am going to bed soon as it is late...and will turn on the weather channel...or CNN, and the drone of some person's voice with the same story over and over again usually lulls me to sleep. Especially some of those weather people and politicians.

Patti O Piece/Peace

oh and PS...you may wonder what does the title mean? And the art?
Well, both are ways to make myself feel better, and eating them while I write and play with Photoshop is one way to defrag. Oh and I bought the broom label on Etsy. I think it is so cool!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

EOS Review

I am writing this review for all you car nuts out there who do the homework that I did before I bought my 08 VW Eos. Perhaps your Google search will bring up my blog and give you just one more source of info before you make that big commitment on that new car. And, it is a great time to get an '08 off the lot price wise, with plenty of time to still drive with the top down.

After nearly four months of owning my car, I think I have discovered most if its joys and issues. Winter is not upon us yet, and I will get to rate it in the snow, but since it is basically a reshaped Jetta or Passat, I expect it to handle similarly. Remember, I did own a Dasher, two Jetta's and a Bug back in the day, and drove in many snowstorms here in the great Northeast.

What prompted this review, was after a heavy dew the other day, I wanted to put my top down and drive to work. But since the car was very wet and I could not put the top down without wiping it all down, (who wants to fold a wet roof into the trunk?) I settled for the sunroof. Now one of my favorite things about this car besides the top going down like a transformer, is the huge sunroof it has. If you open the sunscreen to the sunroof inside the car, it opens a world of light, which is necessary for me to survive the long winter months here in the Catskills.

HOWEVER, upon opening it when the car is wet, I get drenched w/a downpour of water. Hmm...I did not remember my Honda doing it when I opened its sunroof after rain. I went to open the window a bit and get some air, and the same thing happened, deluged with water. When I open the trunk after it rains or after a heavy dew, water also drips down into the trunk. So folks, the design leaves some to be desired in this department. However, a small price to pay for the luxury of a hard top that folds down with the push of a lever.

The car is a 2 liter with a turbo. Lots of power, but sometimes it is finicky. Give it too much gas when you take off from a stop, and you leave rubber and squeal like a banshee. If you don't give it enough gas, there is a moment where it dogs/lugs before the turbo kicks in, especially when you need to accelerate. Sort of minor issues, just something that I have become aware of and have to work with.

I am thrilled with the handling, the operation of the convertible top. The seats are comfy, the stereo rocks. I love its classic look, the look of the front of the car. It is a bit windy if you are in the back seat, and it can be a bit of a pain to get in and out of the back seat when the roof is up---a cinch when the roof is down however.

The wind screens in the back and over the windshield really cut down on the wind, and on a windy or cold day, you can ride with the top down, and windows up, and not feel a thing and still enjoy the freedom of a convertible.

I have a hard time getting the mirrors and seat coordinated so that I have excellent driving and parking vision, so I have to ask Larry not to mess with them and the seat too much...a memory setting on this might be handy.

I have noticed that there are a few blind spots on this car. With the rear being high and the back seat headrests (which pop up and from posts in the event of the car tipping at a sharp angle threatening rollover) you may not see low objects/cars behind you, and there is also a blind spot on the right rear where I really have to check to see if there are any cars in my lane.

Even though the trunk is small, I manage to put a lot of things in it under the protective compartment. If I need more room, there are the back seats, and if the wind screen is up, it hides whatever you have shoved in there.

So far I have had no problems. The car goes in for its 5,000 mile oil change soon. There is a tiny light bulb out on the center trunk panel where there is an extra brake light, so that will have to be replaced..under warranty I hope.

With the weather having been so delightful in the past few weeks, I have been spending much time with the top down all day, only putting it up to keep the dew off the interior of the car at night.

This car makes driving fun, especially when you have to go places you really don't feel like going---like to work, chores, etc. It makes it a fun trip, I rock on with the stereo, and love the wind in my hair.

Oh, I have discovered why baseball caps are a convertible driving necessity. I put my pony tail thru the hole in the back, it keeps my hair under control, and cuts the glare from the sun if it is overhead when you have the top down. I have a nice collection of four hats, with the black suede cap waiting for my fall rides.

Off to the shower, then to ride to visit my mom in Rhinecliff. There is nothing more fabulous then to go over the Hudson River with the top down.

patti o driver

Saturday, September 06, 2008

In Trying to be Fair....

After watching Obama's speech, and that of a few others in the Democratic party, I decided to watch the Republicans also. Fair is fair, and there are two sides to every story.

I have limited access to TV as I have gone back to work, have worked several 14 hour days in a row and get up at 6 AM. The only two speakers I was able to hear were Giuliani and Lieberman.

I had hoped that I would hear some intelligence, some substance to their speeches, SOMETHING to convince me to see their side too, and inspire me. Instead I heard a lot of bashing and raa-raa good ole boy talk. The economy, global warming, poverty, the war...where was that?

I turned the TV off in disgust, even more firmly entrenched in my beliefs that they are puppets, stupid, or worse, entering senility much like McCain.

What is wrong with America?

I am scared. McCain has had four malignant melanoma's removed from his face. Though his prognosis is good, the fact remains that often melanoma goes to the brain, and often it kills. His father and grandfather were dead from heart disease in their 60-70's. I wish him no ill, but the reality of him not being able to last his term is alarmingly high....

Which brings me to my next rant...his choice of a running mate. He met her once or twice before he picked her. She has admitted to being out of touch with some of the important issues such as THE WAR IN IRAQ. I don't care that she has five children, with a grandchild on the way. She's had nanny's to cover that. After all, who am I to judge a woman who can't parent her children? I too had ambition which separated me from my children, which was to GET A COLLEGE DEGREE SO I COULD GET A JOB AND GET OUT OF THE POVERTY I WAS IN.

I am appalled at her belief in teaching abstinence--yeah Ms. Palin, your daughter is living proof that it works. Creationism in the schools? No choice? What environment?


For more detailed info about Ms. Palin, some from the people of the town she was a mayor of, visit the blog THE CRANKY CRONE. You can click on this hyperlink or the link on the left hand side of my blog. Ms. Annie has done a very good job enlightening and entertaining her readers about Ms. Palin. Oh, and don't be scared by the CONTENT WARNING. It just has a few F-bombs here and there perhaps, and I am a bit confused why it has a warning to start with.

If Sarah Palin makes it to someday be president over Hillary, then this country is PATHETIC and like a teenager commented, "perhaps this country has to fall on its face, and have it ground into the dirt before change will happen in the form of a revolution." I am afraid of the damage that may be done should the Republicans rule for another four years in this country.


Patti O Politics

PS the photo is a sculpture on the steps of Clermont estate, the home the Livingston family.....

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Set Up!

I am set up for the show tomorrow, but not without a few bits of stress and working from 8 am till 10 pm. Day two of no dinner may help a bit with the ole tummy flab.

This is the first time I have shown mostly fine art. A majority of the shows I have done were more craft than fine art. This time I bought mostly art and just one rack of cards.

Still no lesson plans, but today was spent just meeting the kids and talking to them about my class rules, grading etc. For the most part they were low key and very respectful, but then again I give it so I get it.

I will leave you with a few quintessential photos of the Hudson at Clermont on Monday.

Patti O Art

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Photos of the Hudson

I made it through the first day of school, came home to catch up on some return phone calls, then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the studio signing paintings, putting dust jackets on the back, and then putting in hook eyes and wiring them up.

I still have much to do but I have school in the morning and need to get a good night's sleep so that I can figure out what to do with the students when they come in first thing tomorrow. I have not written any lesson plans yet, mainly because there are many things to do yet to get my classroom in order and I think I will have the students do that.

For tonight I am going to let the artwork do the talking.

Two sunset photos from the Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge series. I have been photographing my trip over the bridge for a while now, and these are two whose colors zing. And, I have not done anything but crop in Photoshop.

Patti O Sunset

Monday, September 01, 2008

Laborless Day

I stuffed as much into this day as I could, thanking the 19Th century laborers before me who made this a holiday. It is a celebration of the tenacity and dedication of the work force that has built this country - from OUR own sweat, not from O.P.'s sweat or money, many of which seem to be running this country. (OP=other people's).

The irony of it is tomorrow I go back to my "real job", the one that pays the bills as I am not willing to live hand to mouth trying to sell art in this economy.

Anyway.......snippets from the day.

A visit to mom and look at old photos of her as a young woman.

A lovely visit and swim with Karen and friends.

A glass of wine at the neighbor's party and woodchuck commiseration rant.

A picnic along the shore of the Hudson River at Clermont

A expressionist watercolor as the sun was setting and almost blinding me.

I will go to bed soon so that I can wake up two hours earlier than normal.
When I rise at six AM I will greet the sunrise with meditation and stretching while I sip on my coffee,(OK so I am easing into this, remember?) and breathe as I prepare to meet the day with meetings and work. I know I will dash home as soon as I can and jump in some body of water, trying to recoup every lick of summer till the very end.

Patti O Desperation