Monday, March 31, 2008

New Art

I am too tired to write my third blog. I have cramps, am burnt as I have given 200% at my job, done 6 miles, and 60 pull ups/dips at the gym, worked for a few hours in the studio, called Megan for a long while, and wrote 2 blogs.

To view my work and catch up on things, visit my catskillpaper and meganaid blog.

All is good.

Namaste, Patti

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Needing the Studio


As I posted in my art blog, I have not been in my studio for over 3 weeks.

The classroom comes first, family second, and I throw everything else up in a 52 pick up card game, pick a card and play it. One card is cooking, the other cleaning, there is a smokey eyed Jack just waiting for me to invite him upstairs, and once in a while the wild shopping card wins out.

10,000 things to do. And then there is art

I miss my most sacred of spaces. I enter another zone when I go there.

I am working on two pieces for an art show about cancer. I have one completed piece which is very intense about my father, the other one is "under construction" about my daughter.

Out of all the shows I have been invited to and/or been send applications for, this one wins out.

It is so close to my heart.

I will post a photo soon as my second piece nears completion.

Patti O Healer

PS the fabulous dinner Larry made me tonight so that I could work as long as possible in the studio.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Latest Obsession


In May my Honda is paid off.

Larry needs a new car.

Honda goes to Larry, Patti buys new car.

But what kind of car you may ask.

I have always fantasized about driving a red sports car, and it most certainly is a convertible.
I won't hand over a chunk of my paycheck for a car, and I am no longer willing to play mechanic with an older car I may buy. They just aren't that important to me, I am not a motor head, and I would rather spend the time making art than sweating over a 70's engine.

But there is a compromise, and it seem to be the Mini Cooper convertible in red. In my price range.

It seems frivolous to allow myself to drive such a car, though for four years when my children were younger, I bought a new red Jetta. Nice.

The Mini Cooper, is made by Audi/VW now, (was by BMW) it is a sporty ride. You know there is attention to details.....

I know it is small, but I still have a CRV for the hauling jobs. This is for the cruisin' jobs, like the trip to work where I can enjoy the ride to and fro the difficult job that I work. When the kids are here, I take the CRV and Larry gets to play. He fits right into the car too.

It may be the perfect time for me to do this. There is no time like today as they say. And, if I have to work the next 45,000 years of my life, I might as well LOVE my car.

Any comments are most certainly welcome. Mid life crisis, or merely appreciation of life and enjoying it to the max of our abilities?

I have friends who have Mini Coopers AND LOVE THEM

patti o racer.

(Image from www.netcarshow.com where you can get really cool wallpapers for one's "visualization" image.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another Reason not to Talk on Cell while Driving


I was heading back from my therapy appointment, and it was a wild session. You know that kind of session, one where you bare the deepest, darkest secrets that you can't say publically till after you have retired so no one can fire your ass.

Now you KNOW you ALL have some of those secrets, so no shaking your head at me.

So I am driving home, deep in thought, and musing about my higher power and what to do for dinner as my stomach was screaming. I put my cell on speaker, and proceeded to dial about four friends, and not one was home. It is illegal in NY to talk on your cell when driving, so I figure that having it on speaker in your lap makes it legal, cause you aren't holding the phone. (it does look funny to those who pass you on the road and see you talking to your crotch)

Somewhere along the line while talking to my crotch calling around for a dinner date, I derailed, all navigation systems went dead, and I went straight instead of going left, and several miles later found myself at an unfamiliar intersection in the woods of the Catskills. It is starting to get dark, and I wonder, What the F@$%?????

I eventually found the correct road, but there was a brief moment of panic when I realized that my homing device failed because I was multi tasking while driving, which is NOT a good thing to do---under any circumstance.

By the time I reached Kingston I did not find a dinner date, and I really wanted Sushi. I played the game of "if there is a parking space right in front of Kyoto, I will go in". There was a space, I went in, ordered dinner and a glass of wine, and had a lovely time reading my Omega catalog, deciding what part of me I am going to fix this summer. I love my neighborhood restaurant, where the owner sits with me and gives us tastes of things we have never had.

All is good, and amen to another lesson learned.

Patti O Navigator

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Listening to the Silence


One thing I am learning in life is to make time to listen to silence. In order to do that one must sit still.

I spend much of my life running from one thing to another, whether it be job, chore, or any of the 10,000 things that need to be done. I run like a woman possessed and at times cringe at the little voice in the back of my head that hints I am a workaholic. Yet I don't see it all as work either, which complicates matters.

Nevertheless, I forget about taking time to do things that give me such pleasure...lying around reading, or sitting by the fireplace, listening to music, staring into the flames, and when I allow myself to sit quietly, I discover things about myself and the universe, and often the muse of creativity visits. (who is it that said "music is what happens in between the notes?)

So I've been listening-to-the-music-between-the-notes and in it I find peace and inspiration.

And it is good.

Patti O Quietude
PS and it is wonderful when while you are sitting peacefully, your granddaughter crawls up into your lap, wraps herself around you, and immediately falls asleep.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sick

I came home today full of all kinds of good intentions, but I felt very lethargic all of a sudden.

I decided to be kind to myself and lie down for a while; after all, I just came off of a very busy 10 days, and I needed some rest after a day at school.

As I lay in bed, I had the WORST stomach/intestinal cramps for hours. Good thing I listened to my body and was not out gadding about in a store or at the gym.

I got a bite to eat as I am feeling a bit better, had a schluck of sherry, and am heading back upstairs.

Flying takes a lot out of me, and besides, my arms are tired, lol.

patti o landing

Monday, March 24, 2008

Projekt 1







I will post the blog I wrote for today--tomorrow. Tonight I want to give a sampling of a 20 slide presentation I finished for school, and for myself. Titled Projekt 1, born from the need to make art on the plane when I am traveling. Taken with a small Canon Powershot A75 (3.2MP) which I LOVE , and altered in various degrees in Photoshop. Please note these are copyrighted images, so please email me if you want to use them.

patti

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Renewal


Easter is a symbol...of renewal, of life springing from death. This renewal has been celebrated since the beginning of time, in fact, the premise of Christianity, Jesus rising from the dead, has been a theme existing well before the new testament was written.

The earliest record of resurrection stems from Egyptian and Greek cultures, and carries into Judaism, Islam and I am sure in many other religions.

Here, in many parts of the northern hemisphere, Easter coincides with spring, when all that has died from the season past, is born again.

I have spent much time thinking about this while rubbing my daughter's belly, swollen with the life of her little boy. I think of it each time someone I know dies. I think of all of our parts in this cycle, for as soon as we are conceived we begin the slow, or for some, a more rapid descent to death.

I don't know what lies in the great beyond past death. I don't know if I am reborn into another body, or if my body is raised from the dead at the end of the world. But I live each day as if it was my last, and give as much love as I can.......

Here is to spring, rebirth, love, sacrifice and service to others.

Happy Easter and Spring.

Patti

of course, a picture of Alanna with her Easter basket...........

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Southern Hospitality

OK. We are not really in the "deep south" but from where I come from, this is SOUTH in many ways.

Megan took me to the gym on the Army Base at Fort Campbell as I had not done any exercise since my strenuous yoga class on Monday. My muscles did not recover from that until Thursday, and the only exercise I got that day was running around airports.

Half of the base is in Tennessee, the other half in Kentucky. It was 70 degrees, the rolling hills were green, and early blooming trees were a full 6 weeks ahead of New York.

Megan had to show her military ID to get me into the gym, and they told her she was supposed to hang around while I was working out. Putting on my best coy New York face, I promised to behave myself, keep my mouth shut, and do my workout for an hour. The young man whose arm was bigger than my upper thigh looked at me, then at Megan, and said "hmm...alright, we will take care of her." As they handed me a towel (hey, my gym does not do that) showed me where the water machine was, Megan said "I am not worried about what the Army might do to my mom, it is what my mom might do to the Army", and left.

The handsome young man gave me a tour of the gym, showed me all facilities, and I went to the gym that had some people in it. I wanted to be with America's fit men and women.

There was a large screen TV (wow) and the movie they were showing was 300. But of course. Lots of violence, some weird sex (could not figure out the sexual proclivities of some of them) and very surreal. I put my headphones on and did my stint, sweating more than usual as there was no A/C and it was hot to begin with.

The funny thing was, I outlasted all the soldiers on the elliptical. Maybe they were working at a higher level, and just did shorter time, but I watched a few come and go. At one point I realized I was a minority in two ways...color AND age, yet I was completely at ease, and there was more camaraderie here than in my stuffy gym at home.

Afterwards I took Alanna to a playground on base while Megan did some paperwork for housing, and soon I was joined by a young man and his child, and later on his wife. For once I was not the one approaching others....as people here were friendly and looking to chat.

Later we took Alanna to see Horton Hears A Who, which was WONDERFUL. The theater was new, it had REAL theater seating with nice steep tiers, like in an IMAX movie, comfy seats, and a great screen and sound system. I don't know who loved the movie more, Alanna, Megan, or I.

Later we watched Megan's favorite romance, The Notebook, which was a very sweet love story.

I truly enjoyed this wonderful day together, and was humbled; though I am opposed to the war, or any war for that matter, they young people who serve our country are just that-people. They sweat, they hurt, they love, and they relish a warm spring day, the innocence of children, and the companionship of their fellow man/woman.

And it was good.

patti o learner

Photo at sunset driving back from the theater

Friday, March 21, 2008

Delicioso


Landing in Washington D.C. at Regan National and Alanna wearing my sun glasses

Delicioso is a word that my three year old granddaughter taught me upon arrival. It is how I would describe my adventures in life and my love for my friends and family.

My trip from New York to Nashville yesterday was non-eventful, but at the same time there are always meaningful events that take place and my adventures. Non- eventful is good when you are flying; no problems getting to or parking at the airport, no problems at security, no delays, no mechanical problems, minimal turbulence, and nice people to sit next to. Meaningful things happen when you experience something new or meet someone who provides insight, inspires, or entertains.

The best part of my trip was meeting Pam on the leg from Albany to Washington D.C., a woman my age who had fairly recently finished her doctorate degree and works for NC State in the Engineering Department. Liberal, intelligent, very hip with much panache, she has been an organic farmer, and now is an educator and presenter on alternative energy development.

We both had a long layover in D.C., so we went to a pub for lunch and drinks. After all, we were both on "vacation" and did not have any driving responsibilities, so why not? I think we have connected as friends, and I will certainly look her up when I drive down south this summer, and she knows she has a place to stay in the Hudson Valley.

Megan and Alanna showed up as soon as I found the Baggage Claim area, and soon we were heading to their home. An evening full of hugs, kisses, and Alanna telling me every other breath:
"MiMi, I love you SO MUCH." Then Megan and I spent the evening checking out Megan's Pure Romance Products, and then watching sit coms together in bed.

Life doesn't get sweeter than this. As I reminded Megan over breakfast this morning, it all comes down to love. My 50 years of living can be distilled into one word...LOVE. That is all that matters.

Patti O Love



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Mohonk Magic



(l-r Megan, me, and Karen)
Though I have been stressed and complaining about how much I have had to do, I have to admit, I did take several hours each day to meet with a different friend to have lunch.

I saw Rob on Monday at the Raccoon Saloon, Frannie Tuesday in Rhinebeck at The Beekman Arms Hotel,(that will be a separate review at some point---good one) and today was Mohonk with friends Karen and Megan. It is Karen's birthday tomorrow and because I was leaving for Tennessee, we celebrated it a day early.

I had to get up at 6:30 so I could get to Karen's by 8:30, Mohonk by 9. We were half awake when we entered the spa, did our paperwork, and then sat in the Women's Solarium waiting for our masseuse, eating the light breakfast we had bought with us.

The Swedish Massage was 50 minutes. I had a good massage, though I am used to deep tissue work and Swedish Massage is a bit too light. After emerging from the dim lit room with piped in yogic music and wonderful aromas of essential oils, we lounged back at the solarium under a chenille blanket overlooking the woods.

In spite of the fact that is was raining, the temp was 40 degrees, and the fog quite thick, we sat in the open air mineral hot tub..interesting being in the open air in a bathing suit getting rain on with ice cold rain! It was a cold run back to the sauna, where we put iced cucumbers on our eyes,. We left the sauna for the eucalyptus steam room once the cucumbers wilted. (I was hungry by now and wanted to eat them). After much sweat/purification, we took a shower, and enjoyed the sensual process of putting ourselves back together for lunch in the main dining room.

I am not a big fan of buffet food, even in one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. There are a lot of things that I avoid (oh..stories about the buffet lines in Mexico...) and don't eat.But for the money we paid for it, I was determined to eat my worth. I had a great salad and soup, and what we had was fairly good. I ate enough to hold me over till I land in Nashville at 5 pm tomorrow afternoon.

After lunch Karen and Megan went back to the solarium to sit by the fireplace and read, and I headed home to pack, but not before I played with a few photos that I took out of the dining room windows.

Mohonk is magical, though to some it is a little Stephen Kingish in a REDRUM kind of way, but the air is pure, the views grand, and it is only 30 minutes away....and if there are fairies, they surely live there!

Patti O Bather

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Stress of Going Away


Sometimes the stress of preparing to go away is not worth going away. I have to work so hard to get time off, and this time especially with taxes, business, and school.... But of course I am excited to see my family, so I am scrambling, making decisions, prioritizing and realizing there is always the tax extension. I am so close, but it is not worth pulling two all nighters and being totally burnt out when I get there. Nope, not worth it.

Then there is the packing stress. Megan told me to dress for spring as it is warm there already, and I am frantic looking for lighter clothes among the turtlenecks, velvets, and layers. Somehow I don't trust that the weather is all that warm, so I am bringing sweaters and a jacket just in case. After all, areas to the north and west of me have WINTER STORM WARNINGS out. I am having trouble envisioning short sleeves and sandals.

What really stressed me out was when I tried on last summer's pants. I have been working out like a champ for three months now, getting firmer, feeling so much better. But something happened to my hips and butt. THEY ARE BIGGER. JUST ENOUGH so that I cannot wear them and still be decent in public. You know what I mean. There are NO underwear whose lines could not be seen in those pants.

I am down to two pairs of pants...brown and black, and maybe a pair of blue jeans that stretch.
I need to go shopping. But there is no time.

This vacation I did not do the preparatory pre-tan at the tanning salon so that my white skin doesn't burn instantly when exposed to the sun. By this time of year I am sick of being totally white and my skin suffering from the dryness of winter. Somehow the purple veins in your leg don't look so bad with a tan.

Tomorrow I am meeting Karen for a Spa Day at Mohonk. It is going to take some super human effort to not perseverate on what remains to be done. It is her birthday celebration and I must use it to refocus, relax and re-center myself, so that I can be calm Mary Poppins when I arrive on their doorstep.

Patti O Mess

Monday, March 17, 2008

I am no Saint




Today is my namesake day. If I were a boy, I would have been Patrick, but instead with the missing part I fell short. I became Patricia instead.

I still celebrate the day as I was indeed named after the patron Saint of Ireland, and I have a good chunk of Irish in me, but in the words of many a songwriter, I am no Saint.

I celebrated the day by starting off with a yoga class. I had not done yoga in three years, and in spite of my being in fairly good shape, it kicked my butt. But I was calm and centered, or was it that I was just plain exhausted?

Afterwards I headed to the interesting town of Marlboro, NY to visit my painter friend Rob. Rob and I have known one another for over 30 years...when we were both in painting class together, learning about life, and getting over the shock of having one of our parents die not long before we met.

Those were the late 70's, a very different lifestyle, one that we were lucky to have survived. Rob, of all people, knows I am no saint.

Rob and I were never lovers, but we have always loved one another and have periodically connected over the years, in between marriages, divorces, his trips to Bali and his mountains, illnesses, and my own crazy life. (which by the way, I work very hard at keeping it as sane as possible.....I got burnt out on crazy.)

For old times sake we had lunch in the Raccoon Saloon, a place famous for its many beers.
I had lamb stew, a Black and Tan, fries, and Bailey's cheesecake. Then a trip back to his studio where we mused about art, life, health, spirituality, relationships. We talked for hours.

Rob is brilliant. He is a fabulous painter. He is very sick. An inoperable brain tumor, and the illnesses he got in Bali have made him ill for a long time. Yet he still paints like a man possessed.

Sometimes I wonder if I have the stamina or the guts to be a painter like he does. I see how hard he works, and the hundreds and hundreds of canvases he has painted shows in the quality of his work and in the emotion that he can elicit. I am honored to have learned from him, and be part of his journey.

Stop by his site at ARTROOF...

Photos in his studio.

No Saint Patti O

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Domesticity


Those of you who know me personally know I am not a domestic woman.


Yes, my house is interesting and artsy, but I do not have floors you can eat off of, and my furniture and rugs periodically are covered with a layer of cat hair, and an occasional tumbleweed can be seen skittering about my house like monsters in the movie Critters.


I am not a dirty girl, (to the tune of Ani DeFranco's I am Not a Pretty Girl) but I don't see any sense spending time keeping a house spotless when it is like getting a Botox shot. The second it is done things start to fall apart again.


HOWEVER, the past few days I have cooked. I have to say, my new stove is an absolute delight, and I made scratch cream of mushroom soup last night, and my famous Mexican dish for dinner tonight.


My son was supposed to come over and hang out. He never called, and I made the dish half expecting him to be here for dinner. It was one of my children's FAVE meals. I am OK with it as I am sure something better came up. When you are 22, you only go to mom's when you have nothing else planned.


Larry is happy as I have proven that I can still cook, and he bought a bag of chocolate chips and two brand new cookie sheets just in case...


Off to watch Tidelands,


Patti O Chef


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Letter to Sally Kern


Last night was a vigil to protest the senseless shooting of a young gay man in his school because he asked out another young man who was not gay, and in retaliation and fear, the approached straight teen shot the young gay teen and killed him.


Then Senator Sally Kern makes an ignorant, hatefull statement that gays are a bigger threat to our country than terrorists.


I was forwarded this email by a gay friend of mine, and I am posting it here. I have checked it out through snoops, which I do with EVERY forward, and it is indeed true, and I am posting it here. (the paragraphs have been messed up, sorry about that)


I am outraged by the behavior of this senator. It seems that the leaders of our country feel above the law, whether Democrat OR Republican, Bush or Spitzer, and the very basis of freedom from persecution that our country was founded upon, whether it be religious or gender preference, is threatened by Kern and so many others.


The email which I will be reading to all of my high school classes when I return from Easter Break:


Article Date: 03/13/2008

By Tucker

The following letter was sent our way via a field director forEquality Florida. Eighteen year old Tucker attempted to deliver this letter to Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern after her hateful wordscomparing gays to terrorists, but was prevented from doing so by ahighway patrol officer. As a result, Tucker's family members begancirculating the letter in its entirety.


Please be moved, as we were, by the powerful words of this remarkable young man.


Rep Kern: On April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City, a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. Nineteen children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomanswere injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.That terrorist was neither a homosexual nor was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up to them pay with their lives.As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worse than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am surethere are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people who are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong. You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love,sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however,many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has gone by when I haven't heard the word f****t slung at someone.I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. After all, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.I wish you could've met my mom. Maybe she could've guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go through that again.You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me.Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.Sincerely, Tucker


Amen Tucker.


If you think this worthy, please forward onto others. Let's end the hate.


Patti



Thursday, March 13, 2008

They're HERE



Two days of preparation. You think that we were having a baby, or getting a new puppy or some earth shattering event.

Well, for us it was. We had to prepare for the arrival of our new stove and fridge.

First we had to clean out the old fridge of anything we did not recognize, remember when we bought, or last ate from. That was A LOT. Then there was a TON of film in the freezer, which got transferred to my studio fridge, which I suspect is now FULL of film with little room for my drinks.

Then we had to pull out the fridge and the stove and clean up all the dust bunnies and dirt. We had done that at the end of the summer when we painted, and it is amazing how much stuff ends up under appliances. Go ahead, pull YOURS out and see tumbleweeds, space dirt, food, and dead bugs that have taken residence in the dark in your KITCHEN.

We pulled up the oriental runner, as they had to deliver through the front door which we never use. The path was full of snow still, and I knew I would have to later clean up the wood and linoleum floors.

It took a bit over an hour, but the 20 year old appliances (oh how they were no longer pretty OR clean looking) went to the dump, and our lovely new ones put in place.

The only thing is, when I came home I thought, JEEZ, it is FREEZING in here, and turned up the heat. But, it just kept getting colder. Suddenly Larry says OH NO, there is no heat as the gas got turned off and the heater is off. The only problem is, Larry has never had to light the pilot on this heater. EVER.

Fortunately my friend Tom is online, so he is walking Larry through it. Tom is one of those guys who can do just about anything. He built my studio, put the heat in that, put in a heater for me in my house in Eddyville some 20 years ago...., cut down my GIANT ancient bushes that were eating my house, did some plumbing, and probably a ton of other things that I can't remember.

Well, it is done, and all is fine. The pilot is lit, I now know how to use the burners on the stove, and look forward to figuring it out. The fridge is pretty straight forward, but the stove has some bells and whistles to it, like a convection mode, a heating tray, and each burner is a different BTU so I should do a bit of reading before I start doing any fancy cooking. I think Larry is hoping that I will fall in love with my stove and cook a bit more. We shall see....

Photo of the stove and Larry toasting to the fridge!

Patti O Appliances

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

e
Lois and I headed to the movies. We were fifteen minutes early, and there were only two cars in the lot. Not a promising sign for a theater that has 6 movies running at the same time.

Instant ticket, instant popcorn, premium choice of seating.

Two teenage girls come in and sit almost in front of us and hang their feet over the backs of the chairs in front of them. A woman walks over and chides them for that. We are not sure if it is their mother, or a random person. They don't argue with her, but they don't listen to her either. I suspect it is their mother.

The movie was all that I had hoped for. In such historical dramas, I am satisfied if the actors are decent, the clothing sumptuous, the visuals and or special effects eye candy. It doesn't hurt if there are a few sensual scenes, and a half way decent story line. Take me away.

This qualified for all the above. It was easy to watch Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Kristine Scott Thomas mesmerize, seduce, and suffer. I did not know the male actors, and they too had moments of seduction, but their dominance and treatment of women demeaned them. The strength of the movie lay in its women.

I wanted to reach out and feel their velvets and weigh their jewels. I almost felt the essence of the manor and castles. The sex was tastefully done...in all circumstances.

I was slightly disappointed in the music, which for me was quite banal. I never really noticed it, and perhaps it was only meant to be a subtle addition of atmosphere.

However, the last quarter of the movie was ruined by my wanting to kill the kid in front of me who was texting someone on their cell phone. I don't mind them texting.. but the light from the phone was bright and disturbing me, and I nearly lost my mind and said something. Perhaps if I said it nicely she would have stopped.....or perhaps she would have told me to go f-myself. I was afraid of the latter, and let it go. But as they were chopping off a few heads, an evil thought crossed my mind.

So if you are one who enjoys a fun historical drama, go see this, it is worth looking at the pearls, the fabulous fabrics and watching betrayal after betrayal unfold.
Patti O Reviewer

photo from Olana, the one of the Catskill Castles

Monday, March 10, 2008

All Cleaned Up


Things in the studio are back to normal.

I spent yesterday washing the floor, emptying the bucket of muddy water several times, and dried the entire white tile floor with towels.

The upside of all of this is that my studio floor is spic and span, I have reorganized things, and have decided to unload or give away anything that I have not used in a few years. There is a lot of stuff to get rid of too...large pieces of leather and suede...stamp pads and stamps, hot pots, fabric....

I decided that I am NOT going to need a lot of the things I have, that I need to focus on painting and my mixed media/collage/encaustic work. That is enough to master in what is left of my lifetime. So out to eBay/Etsy will go my surplus, or to Megan who will gobble up what I send her.
She needs things to keep her busy while Dole is in Afghanistan, and while she waits for this little baby to be born.

I am delighted over the lingering light with the time change. My most productive time in the studio is when there is light. Once darkness falls, I want to be in my house and in bed. I can feel spring, I can smell it, and I notice that people are getting a little bit frisky.

Off to read Running with Scissors. What a crazy book! What a crazy life! I wonder what the movie is like? Anyone see it?

Patti

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Week in Review


This has been a hell of a week.

I have done major battle with my hormones. I had a headache that lasted three days. 36 hours of bad cramps and everything that goes along with that. (sorry guys....but if you read this blog, this is part of the territory). Menopause is sounding like a vacation for me, only it isn't coming soon enough.

I (and several other women) stood up for my and other's rights, only to be blamed by others for being the cause of those injustices (come on folks, are Americans really still back in the Stone Age?) It has caused me great pain and sorrow, but now I know who my true friends are and again, I am appalled at how backwards a good number of people in our culture are.

I finally had to break down and buy a new fridge and stove. The drawers in my fridge all broke, the racks that are in the door etc. One of the gas burners on my stove does not work (can't be fixed), the handle is always coming off on the oven, and I guess I should be happy that they lasted 17+ years. I don't know how long there were here before I bought the house.

That cost me my savings...as I did not want the most basic of appliances. I don't have the best, but something nice cost some $$$. But each time I use them I will appreciate them dearly, love how they look, and know I worked hard to earn them. I got Stainless in both, and the stove's grates, including the 5Th middle grate, is all cast iron which I love. And not painted enameled cast iron, the real thing. They will look beautiful in my small, but warm and cozy kitchen. Oh, and I also bought them from a store that has been in business selling appliances for 80 years. I would much rather pay a bit more for personal service and to support the small guy rather than corporate America. Besides, Home Depot and Lowes will sell you something easily enough, but try and get information or service????!!!!

The weather has wrecked havoc in my studio. A small flood earlier in the week, had me mopping up a few areas with towels, but the worst I have ever had, came last night. The entire floor flooded, and this time it bought in silt and mud. Larry stood by my side for hours mopping, wet-vac-ing, consoling me as I moved things, dried them off, threw things out, and cried. My only consolation is that the neighbors around me had to get the fire department to pump out their basements, and my house was fine. I have never seen flooding in our city like I did yesterday. The infrastructure of our city is old and needs help, they did not clean up the sewers before the winter came (or at least some were not cleaned) and roads were closed, houses flooded.....and I am sure there was a lot of situations worse than mine.

Today I have to finish my sales taxes, work on the income taxes, start mopping up more of the mud and putting my studio back together. I have work for shows I want to do, and order for a client that must be filled. And never enough time to do it all.

I am going to take a break at some time today to enjoy the sun and the mountains and drive to Shokan to my friend's store.. The Berry Patch, for some wonderful gifts for Megan and Alanna. I also have a few friends who have birthdays coming up, and I know Sherry will have something for everyone.

Till the next report,
Patti O Flood
PS...the tile in my studio is off white...hmmm.....wonder if I will ever see it clean again?

Friday, March 07, 2008

The 10,000 thoughts


"Ten Thousand Things" is a Buddhist expression representing the dynamic interconnection and simultaneous unity and diversity of everything in the universe. (from The Kyoto Journal)

Though I may not have written in a few days, I do assure you, I have done or thought 10,000 things. AOL (which I am slowly weaning myself off of...) dumped my blog last night, and I gave up. I am now typing from Mozilla.

Just a few of my 10,000 thoughts from the past 48 hours: (censored of course)

  • my frustration with our country's culture
  • the constant rain that drums upon my tin roof reminding me that my studio may flood
  • don't expect life to always be fair
  • I have been betrayed
  • mean people suck
  • sensual is not sinful
  • injustice makes me sick
  • ignorance appalls me as does bigotry, racism, and sexism
  • I am brave
  • I am strong
  • I hate doing taxes
  • Hot flashes are very interesting
  • I have become best friends with my heating pad
  • NO means NO
  • I need more flowers in my life
  • I need more time in my studio
  • Thank GOD for my friends
  • I need to clone myself
  • I have a fear of needles
  • I dislike clowns.
  • I love teaching teenagers..I love my job
  • I must think before I act
  • I have a caring and nurturing husband
  • Why can't the city fix the potholes
  • Sometimes I wish I didn't think so much
  • I am lucky
  • I am grateful
  • I am loved.
Tucked inside those 10,000 thoughts are stories, miniseries and soap operas, some thrust upon me. Others are more profound and introspective stories of bravery, love, and strength.

Oh to tell those stories.

Patti o tales

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bicycle Crash

I have had a long long day. In the midst of giving to needy teenagers, teaching art, doing reports and paperwork, and having SEVERE PMS, I had a brief moment where I laughed heartily, at someone else's expense.

I feel a bit guilty about that as I am not one to laugh at others mistakes or misery, but as you read on, I hope you will understand.

I was driving to work, trying to feel the effects of my early morning mug of coffee. I had not slept well in two nights, as I was having night sweats and bouts with insomnia.

Still feeling sluggish, I drove along the creek on a grey March day, composing a poem in my head....to the tune "What If".

Going there is too personal, but I did manage to make myself cry on the way to work.

I mentally smacked myself upside the head, and quickly rid myself of the glassy eyed mist that formed in my eyes.

As I was waiting for the light to change down the highway from where I work, a man rode along side of me on his bicycle.

He was about my age, and made no bones about it that he was checking me out, the woman in the red CRV whose makeup and lipstick were still fresh.

I could not help but notice that he stared into my car, and I looked into my rear view mirror....and saw that in his preoccupation with me he had steered himself right into a snowbank.

He did not get hurt, he did not steer into the line of cars behind me. He just sort of did a crash into the snow bank, righted the bike, and went on his way, perhaps a bit dazed.

I chuckled, my laughter rising above whatever rock and roll I was playing at the time, which was some contemporary metal/rock/rap song by Linkin Park......In the End

Things aren’t the way they were before
You wouldn’t even recognize me anymore
Not that you knew me back then
But it all comes back to me
In the end......
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

Still chuckling,

Patti O Memory

Monday, March 03, 2008

An O Henry Type of Story---Almost


Last week I posted about the Operculum Cat Eye Shells that I bought on Etsy, and how they were used in jewelry in the Victorian era, and into early modern jewelry. I don't know if they were always used to ward off the evil eye, or if later on it became just a fabulous shell to use in a piece. It is not a precious shell--just a very lovely one.

In my Internet research, I came across the eBay listing for tonight's photo.

WOW...I got excited. It was a piece made by an early contemporary designer named Sam Kramer. I knew what the Eames era/style was, so I knew that this was a nice piece. Oh would Larry look smart with that.

I got my reminder to bid. Starting bid was at 30.00 or something like that, and I like it enough to pay that and a bit more..but when I went to bid, and saw that the piece was up to 405.00, my elation crashed.

In our brief time together this afternoon before he took off again, I showed him the piece, and he LOVED it. I told him I wanted to buy it for him, but couldn't afford it, but still wanted to share it with him. "Look honey, here is the gift I can't buy you, but you will really, really like it....."

As I write the auction has 28 minutes left..you know I am waiting to finish this blog to tell you what the final price was...

It is down to a minute. Price has not budged.

At 26 seconds it went to 455.00 and that is where it ended.

Heck, how often does he wear a tie anyway?

Patti

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tax Melt Down


"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (after Robert Burns)

Today was tax day. I was prepared to spend hours getting both my income and my NYS sales tax together, or at least doing a huge chunk of it.

Instead I spent hours on Paypal, on their help line, trying to get my accounts printed up. It did not work, and finally, after much exasperation, the tech on the other end said "we can send you a CD with all of the data on it as we are experiencing system problems, and it will take one to two weeks".

I exploded. WHAT I SAID? ONE OR TWO WEEKS? YOU SHOULD OVERNIGHT IT TO ME IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS AND CAN'T PROVIDE YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH THEIR BUSINESS LOGS!!!.

Of course, the answer was always the same, all we can do it burn it to a disc and it will take 1-2 weeks to reach you.

I threatened reporting them to the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Fraud. It did not matter.

I lost it. I wanted to throw the phone, but since I bought the fancy headset online, I did not want to do that. I was out of my mind, so I went upstairs, slammed the door really hard (that felt good) and had a good cry.

BUT in an AHA moment, I discovered that I could get the downloads if I used any other browser, other than AOL. Another reason NOT to use AOL people.

But guess what, I could be nice and tell them how to solve their own problems, and forget the CD, but I didn't. It took me long enough to get a rep, and I will leave them to their own stupidity. I guess there might be others who are having the same problem, but I solve enough of the world's problems, and I'm not going to solve this one.

I think I will indeed contact the business agencies however, since PAYPAL's solution was totally unacceptable for the fees I pay, AND it is pretty pathetic that I eventually figured it out and they never did.

I don't even know if I have artwork that suits the mood I felt, so to relieve the stress, frustration, and anger, I use humor, and here is a 50's card from a deck of playing cards I am selling on Etsy.

Better go chill out my hormones with a movie or a book.

Patti O Rage

Saturday, March 01, 2008

She Uses Protection


I joined Liz from the Photography Center, and Stephanie who was an intern there, and we spent half the day at one of our FAVORITE art places in the world to go to; R and F Encaustics in Kingston, NY

We rented studio space as it includes a totally set up workstation and all their tools and supplies. It is a DEAL.

I worked on a group of similar pieces, trying to narrow my focus while still learning the medium. My long term goal is to build a few bodies of work so that I can have options for hopefully not-to-far-in-the-future solo shows. In the meantime I have a list of shows I want to submit to, as it has been a near a year since I have remitted anything to show.

I have my surreal and auto-biographical collage works, my moody landscapes of the Hudson River Valley, and my encaustic works, most done with photographs from the latter 1800’s.

This was the only piece that I felt was finished. She is a large Cabinet Photo from the late 1800’s, and I used one of the shells that “ward off the evil eye”, thus her title: “She Uses Protection”. The others are in process, and I will post them as they evolve.

Off to dinner…..patti