Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Law of Attraction

I have been busy dealing with the promotion/marketing part of my life.

I teach all day, then go home and work on profession no.2 - artist.

That could entail shipping, or to the art supply store. More often than not it means going into the studio and doing as much as I can do before I run out of "art" steam, and head into the house to do one of my many jobs....cook, clean, organize, do some computer work in the way of selling, marketing, blah blah blah. 1/3 of an artists time is supposed to be doing such s----, thrown in with a few political emails to my beloved cousin, who LOVES to do battle with me, and I can't resist the challenge. (yeah, I still love ya Jim)

Today's cooking challenge at 7 pm, was to save the bag of hen (or chicken?) of the woods wild mushrooms that my friend harvested, cleaned, and it was up to me to cook. So while I was designing, thinking, and advertising, I was cooking home made chicken soup with mushrooms, and sauteing said mushrooms for the base for early Friday morning omelette's for my students.

Th universe has dropped a couple of tidbits into my lap (see my catskillpaper blog) which even complicates matters more. And I am going for the challenges. Keeping centered, and accepting that things play out EXACTLY the way they are supposed to, keeps me sane. But I also believe in putting out positive energy as much as I can, and man, does it come back to me the same, only more so.

An aside, I am trying to plan my birthday weekend. Last year I had a horrible drug reaction that ruined my 50Th b-day (oh my ruined b-days are a blog onto themselves..) so this year I am trying to re-coup. And when I say drug reaction, I don't mean illicit drugs...I mean PRESCRIBED drugs which made me hallucinate more than any 60's or 70's drug trip could do.

So thus far, I have bought tickets to see my beloved Jeffrey Gaines play before Shawn Colvin, another favorite whom I have not EVER heard live.

So here's to STEADY ON, to adventure and fun and work and not going crazy.....

Patti O Marketeer

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Irony


From time to time I look up words online to make sure I am making proper usage of the English language in my blog. I have always been a word hound. As a child I would pull out from the stack of magazines my mother's Readers Digests and read "word power". When I got to junior and senior high, I practiced my words within great literary dissertations on The Iceman Cometh, Ethan Frome, McTeague and MacBeth.

After spending a few years trying to learn English words in German, and German words in German, I decided to give up my battle with the nuances of a foreign language, and learn the words I don't know within my own language.

So today's word was irony: the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning, or an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

I learned that there are different kind of ironies.
Socratic irony which is pretended ignorance in discussion, and dramatic irony which is irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.

So isn't it ironic that the McCain and Pain (oops, forgot the l) are accusing Obama of "pal-ing around with a terrorist, while a few days ago Al Qauda just gave McCain their endorsement.

The reasoning why---- is frightening - read the full N.Y. Times article - click HERE.)



And a week away, the future of the world plays out.

Patti o Webster

Monday, October 27, 2008

So THAT's WHY

The past few days I have been - how would you say it - off.

With the flurry of the show, I think I repressed the signs from my body and head. My only focus was work, prepare, and show.

Friday night, after setting up, I went out to meet my friends for a bit at one of the places we converge on a payday Friday. I had a Cosmo or two, then went home. I did not care if I ate, and went and crawled under the covers, and watched TV for a bit. No, I did not want to go out for dinner. I wanted to listen to my body and play turtle.

I worked all day Saturday doing the show, then went out for a bite to eat, and came home. I found myself battling with the "ick, I don't feel right so don't touch me syndrome". Larry had to figure out how to get around that one.

Sunday I went to do my yoga, and broke down the show. By 2:00 I was antsy to do something. "GO SEE LEVON HELM" the little voice said inside my head. "NOW"

I mentioned my little voice to Larry, and he went on a diatribe about how he did not think that Levon Helm's last CD, Dirt Farmer, was all that (it earned him the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in February 2008!) "Fine" I said. "I don't mind going alone". The little voice said "IF HE ISN'T READY IN FIVE MINUTES, LEAVE. YOU GAVE HIM PLENTY OF NOTICE". Hiss....

I packed my camera, got my phone, and headed to the car.

I returned a few text messages, found the music I wanted to hear, and backed out of the driveway to head to adventure land. As I was about 10 feet down the street and I hear a "HEY!" and look to see Larry running down the driveway after me, dragging his coat, hat, and scarf behind him, sort of like a kid who is about to miss the school bus.

Honestly, I did not think he wanted to go. REALLY. I did not mean to leave without him. It was just that the little voice said "LEAVE NOW LEAVE NOW LEAVE NOW" and I listened to it. (yeah, yesterday's blog made it sound all nice and groovy and totally loving...well now you know the REAL truth!)

Today I am in the middle of class teaching. Cramps grip my gut. I head over to the calendar, shake my head and say no, it has only been two weeks since I wrote the blog from Fort Campbell. I tell a female student that I am really not well, and she shakes her head and says "well, it IS the end of the month.".

I shake mine in return thinking what the hell does THAT mean?

An hour later I go into the bathroom, and then I say WTF for the third time this week as I bleed to death on my lunch hour.

The flip side to this all is that I am not pregnant and I won't have a two - headed child. If you thought my mind could go places about horse shit, imagine what it can do thinking about a 50 year old pregnant woman named Patti.

Off to have a glass of wine and take a few of those newfangled drugs that sort of work.... Ponstell. At least I wont' be up all night curled up into a ball moaning how I want it all out.

Patti O

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who Picks Up After the Horses?




Yesterday's show was wonderful - it felt more like a party than a trunk show and many came, shopped, jiggled to Motown, and giggled while sipping wine (and cider). Thai dinner afterwards, and today the largest amount of energy I expended was going to a yoga class, where we did yoga for 1.5 hours with our eyes closed. A challenge for me as I don't know all my yoga positions, and I am a visual person, so I had to concentrate even harder to listen to the directions. But as always, so very good.

On such a beautiful day, I relished the rides I took in the countryside. As I was driving on the way to yoga, I saw that on the rail trail, a place where many bike/skate/walk, was a group of people getting to ride their horses. I was glad I was not out on the trail today. What DO you do when a group of horses comes up behind you while you are blading with Nirvana or Beethoven blasting out of your Ipod? And when they pass you, you try not to fall because you are totally surprised and freaked out by their hugeness and ability to grind your bones to a fine powder should they decide to stomp on you. And then PLOP. They leave a trail behind them that now has turned smooth sailing into an obstacle course that tests your ability to turn quickly.

As all this flashes through my mind in an instant I wonder, WHO PICKS UP AFTER THE HORSES???? You have to pick up after your dog, so you must certainly have to do that with your horse, no?

On the way back I checked for tell-tale lumps of brown simmering on the blacktop of the trail. None spotted, so I presumed that either their horses don't poop, or they have a crew on a golf cart that follows behind.

About 2 PM I grabbed Larry and said "let's head to the Fall Festival at Gill's Farms" where the renowned Levon Helm (from The Band) and his crew were playing for FREE FREE FREE near a pumpkin field at a farm stand along 209.

The show was great, the sun was warm; Larry and I walked around the fields, took photos, listened to the music, and saw some friends in the crowd. Rag Mama Rag rocked on in the background, fiddles abounded, and everyone was jolly. I saw people from all walks of life gathered in a field on a country road to hear a legend. No beer drinking, no whiff of someone smoking some herb. Just kids running through the corn maze, people picking pumpkins, young and old dancing in the fields, and everyone smiling. It was all so very good.

Photo of our shadows inspired by my friend of the blog Inevitable Regeneration,the other of Levon playing drums from way back in the crowd. The best I could get. And the pumpkins rockin' on in the field.

patti o fall

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Morning Fortune


No writing yesterday as I had nothing left to give, and I am writing now as the coffee kicks in, before I am going to be gone for a day of showing and selling.

My WTF anxiety/frustration state reached a crescendo yesterday when I was undermined by a co-worker. The Scorpio came out full force, and I let those know who needed to know how unprofessional it was.

It is a fine line between being vindictive and standing up for one's self. Most of my life I laid down and took whatever the abuse was. Now I stand up for what is fair and I am learning how to do it in a level headed manner without poison or being downright mean back. Ah the lessons we still need to learn.

Oh and an aside re: the dog blog, I did go speak to one of the kids a month ago about the dog, explaining the leash and barking law. I was very kind and nice, and the dog warden did drop off a pamphlet backing up my info...just sort of stuck it in the door. Obviously, those efforts have been ignored. So, as I am packing my car yesterday afternoon, the dog, a giant old fat lab with big white teeth comes charging at me, barking, growling, drooling flying, etc. (it is the kind of dog that if you did not know it, would be very scared of if you had kids around...as he looks a bit..hmmm...rabid?!) I yelled at him several times to go home. Finally someone opened the door and took the dog in. I would rather just have the dog go home and shut up. How does one get a dog to listen to you, if their owners won't? I never had a dog, so I need some help folks!

ANYWAY....today is my trunk show, yep folks, you are going to get to see the "junk in my trunk" downtown on the Strand at BECKON, a few doors down from Ship to Shore and Next Boutique. It is a drizzly day, a perfect day to sip on cider, donuts, or wine, and meet new people and chat with old friends.

I have paintings, collages, cards, and journals there, and have finally decided to put out some of my very funny collage/encaustic antique photos. From 5.00-375.00 you can find something to take home!

As I was heading to the computer to write this, I pulled a fortune out of my pocket. I keep the ones I like, and I find them at strange times and in odd places. This mornings tidbit was in my studio jacket's pocket: "Pat yourself on the back for creating an opportunity" and the phrase in Chinese was: "The sun comes out". I smiled, remembering to put out positive energy into the world, as that is indeed what we get back in return. I thought how funny it was that I was in a growly mood yesterday, and met up with a very growly dog, a mirror of my personae. It slapped me upside my head a few times, and I took a deep breath, focused on being calm, and went to set up the show with joy.

And in joy and silliness I am giving you a link to a video which is a hoot. Not to play around small children, or perhaps teens, or someone who might be offended, like great grandma..though she may have a better sense of humor than you think. Thanks Julie for the wake up song that made Larry and I chuckle first thing in the morning!
H e r e 's STROK'IN


Patti O Stroker

Thursday, October 23, 2008

WTF Part II

I think because I have been working two jobs since I got home from Kentucky I am fried, and as a result my patience for things that otherwise might pass me by is minimal.

This morning I awoke to WTF running through my brain, and having fantasies of hatchets and police cars, which was too early in the morning for me. I had just finished my meditation and my second cup of coffee had not kicked in.

Life is now very different in this once quiet sleepy part of our city that rates 5 on a scale of 1-10 for violent crimes. *a FYI aside*

I have new neighbors. They have four teenagers. And a giant black lab.

At 7:30 in the morning I know that someone has arrived next door to pick up one of the three teen girls to bring them to school. It is a young person I presume as the stereo is turned way up and the base is rattling my windows. Larry is miraculously sleeping through it, and I wonder if Megan and the kids will also sleep though a car stereo that is literally 15 feet away from her ears.

The dog loves to bark. At everything, at anyone, at any or all times. 4:30 am. 7:30 am. 3:30 pm. and so forth, sometimes for hours. Unfortunately he is stationed some 10-15 feet from my bedroom, dining room, computer room and guest room.

For the MOST part I am able to let it just be another sound in the noise of the world around me, but sometimes I just need it to STOP.

And I really hate his shit on my carpet when Larry steps in it in the yard.

I have thought about procuring some darts that they use to tranquilize animals in order to study them. I have thought about buying them a muzzle -or a bunch of bones for the dog to eat so he will be quiet.

In trying to be humanistic about the whole thing, I have to change WTF to WCWAGA(why can't we all get along) and sit down with my neighbor over a glass of wine or coffee--her choice, and talk to her like an adult, instead of getting aggravated and waging war.

After all, isn't this the way we should all deal with situations before they get out of hand? If I expect that from my president, I had better practice that myself.
(something you also need to know about me-I don't deal well with conflict)

Sometimes I wish for a house in the country, bounded by a mountain. Now there is some awesome living. Too bad I did not appreciate it when I had it.

Patti O Silence

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Studio Break


I am going to leave you with a picture of a collage I did on a journal. It is countdown time and I have to have all of my art and cards ready by tomorrow night for Saturday's show.

I am surprisingly calm, and figure I have done all that I can do, and I look forward to seeing some people that I have not seen in a while. If nothing else it once again gets me out into the public eye.

Today a friend told me that she heard an ad on WKZE, which is a really wonderful station out of Red Hook, NY and Salisbury, CT, and it mentioned my name! I wish I had heard the ad, but I am excited that it is being advertised!

So do come down and meet me at BECKON on lower Broadway in Kingston if you are a local. Check out Maryann's wonderful store, have a snack/libation, and I am the strawberry blonde (is that what I am?).

Till tomorrow

Patti O Artist

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

W: Part II


Thanks to one of my readers, I made it a point of taking a photo of the W banner today on my way home from work.

I believe this to be the office of a Bluestone business located on the Rondout Creek, which is close to the Hudson River in the late 1800's. The Catskills were full of bluestone, which was quarried and carried by water to build the sidewalks in the Hudson Valley and in NYC. Bluestone, by the way, is the same stone that Stonehenge is made with! My 1928 home features an 18" thick bluestone foundation, and bluestone walks and grace my property.

The bluestone office was eventually remodeling into a home which was once owned by my friend's grandparents, and in the late 70's I was invited in for some ice cream on a hot day. It was a very interesting place; smallish rooms with very high ceilings, and VERY elegant, at least to a wide-eyed 19 year old.

Someone else owns it now, and they are doing major renovation work on the building.
I suspect it was be glorious when it is done. Kudos to you for sporting what many of us think....

AND.....for an interesting bit of info about how the election is being handled in a Christian church...read the first comment left by one of my readers on yesterday's blog. WOW.

Patti who is trying to keep the faith

Monday, October 20, 2008

W


As some of my readers know, I have an air freshener in my car that has a picture of "W" on it with the acronym WFT above him.

I have had a few people ask what the WTF means, and I gently explain it. I have had people give me the thumbs up when they see it.

On the way home, the old lovely building on the Rondout creek that used to be the office in the 1800's for the bluestone industry (if I have the local history correctly) has a HUGE banner on it that states: "W-WORST PRESIDENT".

I was so shocked, that I did not think to take out my camera until I was nearly a mile away.

Flash forward: my mid afternoon leaf peep partner was on his way to NYC, so I spent time in my studio. In my pile of antique papers I found this W and thought it a sign from the universe (haha haha) to post it for all to see, along with today's quote of the day.

I have not seen the movie yet, and I won't make a decision on it before I read some reviews. Oliver Stone. Hmmm. Any of you folks see it, drop me a comment or two.


Patti O No Mo W

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Retrospect


It has been several weeks since my retreat. The bells, the monks, nuns and novices have left an indelible mark on me. Life has shifted, and I cannot go back to old ways.
It is work to learn the new way, but the reward is a peace that I savor.

I ponder on what I have taken back with me. I miss the toll of the bells that signaled us to stop and be present. I have no bells here, and I sometimes forget to take moments to stop, look, and listen. More than ever I appreciate the food I eat, and I am conscious of conserving and honoring the earth.

I have learned how to enjoy some of the chores which I normally abhor, because I do it meditationally, and with a smile. That has seemed to make things a lot more pleasant, instead of wishing them away, which in essence, is wishing my life away in bits and pieces. Of course there are times when I still grumble...there IS a learning curve on this!

I meditate each morning, and that seems to be just what I need before I launch myself into the day. I wish I could do yoga every day like I did at the retreat. I will carve out time for that too as I adjust to the shift in lifestyle, attitude and living.

In appreciation for all that I am blessed with, I want to thank the universe for the following:

*The beautiful Catskill Mountain roads lined with Obama signs.
*The fabulous weather.
*Donna, the Yoga for Bones class rocks!
* VW for making a car that is toasty on a 50 degree day, enabling you to put the top down and play catch the falling leaves while you drive.
*Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama.
*For my friends, readers,family, co-workers - each one of you brings a very special piece to my life.
*Oh and the new heated mattress pad, thanks JUDY VARS, my blog friend from Wasilla, Alaska for the idea! (link on left!)

Off to lay in the luxury of a warm bed.
Tonight's art is a new art card I designed. Ah..loaded with meaning!

Patti O Puzzle

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Start of the Weekend


I know that I will have a very busy weekend. The task is to do what needs to be done at a sane pace, and not get caught up in the frantic whirlwind of the 10,000 things that need to be done in life.

Laundry. Post Office. Bank. Yoga. Visit to Mom. Visit with son- his birthday. Make art. Make more art. Tackle some of the leaves in the yard. Tackle the cat hair on the rug. And so on.

I started the evening off with the most fabulous massage by my dear friend, and after that I felt like I could tackle the bills, the dishes, the start of the laundry.

I spent a piece of time writing out postcards and sending emails for my show next weekend, and I have to make sure I have everything framed that I can possibly make, and have an assortment of cards for the show.

I think I care more about people coming to see what I do in the hours of solitude that I catch here and there in between career, being a wife, mother, grandmother, and taking care of myself. I want people to experience the joy and the excitement of my work. Purchase is never my focus, but I am honored when someone falls in love with a piece. Of course I like to make money, as I am concerned about my ability to keep the studio open all winter, but I am always grateful when my friends show up to celebrate my art and honor what I do.

Here is the card I designed, and the show is at BECKON, on 27 West Strand, Kingston, NY, down by the water. Next Saturday. I will post again before next weekend. It will be a party at the very least.

Till tomorrow

Patti O Marketeer

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ignorance in a Blue State

I can't WAIT for this election to be over. I am tired of the name calling, the hype, the lies, and the stupidity of so many supposedly educated people.

I crossed the river into Rhinebeck, a well to do town in Dutchess country in the Hudson Valley. I stopped into a friend's shop where I met one her her clients. She teased me saying "and he is voting for McCain". I rolled my eyes, said "oh no", and proceeded to chuckle and leave it at that.

He proceeded to drill me and asked me wasn't I scared if he got into office.

"What do you mean by that?", I asked.

"Because he is a Muslim and he pals around with terrorists".

Now mind you, this comes from an investor, who was well groomed, and I would presume have half a brain.

"No, he isn't a Muslim" I retorted, shocked that he did not know by now that rumor was false (check out snopes!) I told him that 30 years ago I too was a very different person, and hoped that people judge me for who I am now, not what I did or who I was some 30 years ago.

"Nope" I said, "the only thing I fear is what will happen to this country if McCain gets in. THAT is R E A L L Y scary."

We continued our conversation about it, but I ended it quickly as my girlfriend and I were heading over to the movies to see the Dutchess, an entertaining flick about politics in England in the late 18th century, where the men ruled the government,land, home, and women were merely a vehicle for producing heirs.

I thought about it for a while, and it seemed that we have not moved forward much in 200 years...

Back to The Dutchess. Fabulous costumes, sensuous and hot at times, but painful to watch the abuse of women and others by men in power. Keira Knightly is beautiful and fabulous, and Ralph Fiennes is his usual painful tragic self. The music was also complimentary to the movie..neither distracting nor boring.

I love period films, and have watched a long list of them, the most recent being The Other Boleyn Girl.

As an interesting aside....I just finished reading about the French Revolution. Some of the causes? "Louis XV fought many wars, bringing France to the verge of bankruptcy....The social burdens caused by war included the huge war debt, made worse by the monarchy's military failures and ineptitude, and the lack of social services for war veterans. The inefficient and antiquated financial system was unable to manage the national debt, something which was both caused and exacerbated by the burden of a grossly inequitable system of taxation. Another cause was the continued conspicuous consumption of the noble class.....resentment by the ambitious professional and mercantile classes towards noble privileges and dominance in public life....resentment by peasants, wage-earners, and the bourgeoisie toward the ...privileges possessed by nobles, and....perhaps above all, was the almost total failure of Louis XVI and his advisers to deal effectively with any of these problems." (as extracted from Wikipedia)

Sound familiar?

Let's hope it doesn't get to that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Last Debate

I am forgoing my blog to head upstairs, take out my contacts, and settle into my bed to watch the last debate.

I spent three miles while walking discussing the election and the political climate of this country with a friend. Often it came back to the war and to our children. My daughter is a disabled veteran from this war, her husband is in Afghanistan, and my friend's son is in the Army as a Ranger. We are appalled and disgusted with Bush, anyone who smells of him, including Ms. P. While we don't support the war, we support our troops as we understand that it is a complicated issue and it is our children, mostly the young kids of middle America who pay the toll, not the politicians who send them forth.

It was a Zen kind of conversation as we walked along the reservoir road with the Catskills splayed out against the horizon, and the trees near peak color. We tried to sort out the craziness of the world while appreciating the freedoms we do have. We need to heal as a country, do good in the world, and move on from the gluttony and ego that seems to have enveloped us.

To change for the good.

Patti O Debater

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

City Hoppin'

Flying over Detroit
Coming through the clouds
Coming into Albany
Kingston-Albany-Cleveland-Memphis-Nashville-Fort Campbell-Detroit-back to Albany and finally home in Kingston.

I had a wonderful time with my daughter and her family, even though it was not in the best of circumstances. The tumor was sent to Nashville for testing..it was a rare one, but fortunately, no cancer. Just pain and the recovery period and the probability of no more children. But we rejoice in the good, and offer up the bad as it being another part of life, and enjoy the love that we all share.

64 degrees in Albany quickly climbed to 72 as I headed south on the thruway back home with the top down, enjoying the sun which was low on the horizon, but warm and giving the autumn trees a golden glow. Life is good.

Once I got home I called up a friend to go out for a ride and a drink. I had been on a military base for 5 days, most of the time in the house, and needed to kick up my heels a bit.

I have fabulous memories which I will treasure. The baby smiling at me and trying so hard to talk...with his toothless grin and cooing noises that tell me he is happy. Alanna crawling into see me where I slept on the sofa, sleeping on the floor to be near me. My daughter bemoaning the fact that 5 days melted away and she was sick and not able to go on adventures. A difficult times with a happy ending....my teenage friend being allowed to come back to visit me. Forgiveness and hope that her father will find peace someday in his life, and if not in this life, the next one.

Off to spend some time with my husband who has not seen me in forever. He made me dinner, and bought me flowers to welcome my return.

As I said, it is all good.

Patti O Bliss

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Banana Koona Cardinals





It was a beautiful warm early fall morning in KY land. I call it KY land...not only because it is the state's initials, but seems that here in military land, people are constantly getting screwed, and if you aren't watching your back, you'd better have some good lube.

I was greatly missing my Sunday yoga class at Duck Pond, so I got inspired to do yoga out in the backyard. The yard is amidst a hemisphere of other yards in this neighborhood of nondescript duplex family housing, with the main road not far from us that enters the PX and Food Court.

Not a person was to be seen; only one lone dog pacing inside of its cage several houses away.

I wondered what the neighbors thought of some new woman out in the open field doing stretches, downward dogs, shoulder stands, and positions that had my ass in the air. Some moves must have made me look like I was fighting an invisible enemy.

I was.

Yep, I am one scary liberal I thought as I practiced my breathing in Warrior I.

After I came inside I looked down at the shorts I had borrowed from Megan. They were backwards! That wasn't so bad, except that they were boxer shorts, replete with the man-hole in the front...which was really in the back.

I called Megan in from the kitchen. "Megs, what color underwear do I have on?" as I bent over sticking my ass in her face. "RED" she blurts, cracking up when she realized why I asked. "Damn" I said.

So....I fully expect some video to be posted on YouTube showing me doing my yoga, bending over in extreme poses with a split in the back of my blue plaid short shorts, showing red through a backwards man opening. Could be worse?

People have asked me about baby pics, so I have included a few here. One is the bird Alanna spied at the top of a tree with her new binoculars from the bird kit I bought her. A Banana Koona Cardinal bird she informed me. The other are two blissful pictures of Randy in my arms. Yeah baby, you know why HE's in heaven. Oh, and a pic of Alanna I had to include. I love my grandbabies.

Patti O Hooter

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shunned



I just did a longer meditation than my book suggests as I woke up totally stressed from a dream which precipitated from a situation that happened yesterday. PLUS a canon was shot off, and it was most disconcerting first thing in the morning.

I am not going to use names here because it is not necessary, though it would indeed make the story that much more interesting and certainly more tabloid worthy.

I have become close with a 12 year old girl here who happens to be a stranger in a strange land. She knows more about the 60's than I do, and she slaughtered me on the music part of Trivial Pursuit. She wears tie dye, sports wire framed glasses, and would fit perfectly in Woodstock. But she lives in a military town in a military household, and is always excited to see me, nutty ole me, when I am here. We have good conversations and I feel the pain of growing up different. I was an alternative kid myself.

She called me yesterday, very upset. Her father has forbidden her to ever see me again. Why? Because I am a liberal. He told her liberals are two faced, and he hates "bible thumping liberals". I was shocked and told her evidently he had no clue who I was. I don't thump any bible, or any other doctrine for that matter. I am a kind, loving, open, and evolving person. Liberal yes, but not always in all ways....though I do joke about being one, I don't like to be pigeonholed into any one political party, religion, or philosophy.

I felt sorry for her. I have many reasons that I could hate him, but I don't.
It was sobering and woke me up that there are people who are ignorant and angry. In my world none of my friends would treat another human being that way.

So last night I had a dream...that I was back in High School. A group of girls were talking about me in a negative, catty way, and I got up and pounded the shit out of them. Little ole me would never do that in real life (ok, I did it three times in High School out of necessity, and two of them were boys. In all three fights I came out the winner...btw), and in my subconscious I still felt the hurt of being belittled, made fun of, and ostracized for my being a bit different than everyone else for years. This recent comment bought me right back to the early 70's.

I have to let this go. I cannot make trouble because it could get nasty and I am the stranger here. I don't know how this will play out, and I have to stay out of it. I will just keep putting love out into the world, even towards those whose hearts may be closed to it.

patti o outcast

ps Photos take by Alanna of me going down the slide. Pretty good for a four year old!!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Morning Meditation




I am going into my second plus week of meditating for 8 minutes a day. After my weekend at the Monastery, I realized the dire importance of mindfulness and meditation in our of our lives, no matter what religious persuasion you are.

I had bought the book 8 Minute Meditationa month or so before and had not done it. The retreat was the perfect jump start.

This weeks exercise are sound meditations. You listen to the sounds around as just sound. At home that is pretty mundane. The occasional rattle of the cats in the food bowl, a car that goes by on the street. The low hum of the refrigerator. NOTHING compared to this morning.

I am in Kentucky (3 planes to get here) helping with the grandchildren as Megan had some more surgery. I have to get up super early to beat the children waking up.

I settle in on the couch. No quiet mind this morning, and here are some snippets of the voice in my head.

"Jeez, can't the Army make air conditioners that sound less like my head is next to a jet engine? Speaking of jets, why did I have to take 3 planes to get from NY to Nashville? Very warm here...must be all the left over hot air from the debate. HA. The election. Oh, stop right here. Don't go there. The stock market. UGH. Ah, the A/C is off. Jeez, doesn't that refrigerator ever top running. A BIRD. That is what woke me up this morning. Damn birds sing loud in this state. In fact, I think one is following me around here. The birds. I have to have Alanna help me fill the bird feeder. Today we will do some bird watching. Back to the breathing Patti, back to the breathing".

In meditation, you recognize these thoughts, and let them flow through your mind. Not judging, not reacting, just sort of seeing them like a movie run through your mind.

Off to make coffee. I have taken my migraine meds as I had a bad headache all night, woke up w/one in the morning and I can't go through this all day.

Oh, and I joined facebook. I like it so much more than myspace. Think I will dump that. Find me under Patti Gibbons if you are interested. Thinking of starting a group or two.

Patti O Meditative

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

WTF


WTF has become one of my favorite phrases. It allows me to use the F word without really saying it, especially in places or around people where it isn't appropriate.

Knowing that, and knowing my political bent, Megan sent me this air freshener for my car. It hangs from the rear view mirror, not far from the Obama bumper sticker which sits on the ledge of my windshield.

People have asked me if I am concerned about someone vandalizing my car, and I say no, for I refuse to live in fear and be a wimp. No one gonna call this girl some wimpy ass liberal/democrat.

I am leaving this blue state for Kentucky again, to help Megan at Fort Campbell. I guess the CIA hasn't heard about me yet, as they still allow me on base. I land in Nashville, where last night Obama and McCain "debated".

Now I don't know about you all, but there wasn't enough of the word DEBATE in the debate. I would have liked to have heard more clarifications of some matters, as many of the issues needed more than one statement each, especially when some of the comments may have been distortions.

Two things bothered me in the debate. One when McCain refers to Obama as "that one" and I was confused when he said something to the effect of "there will be no cold war" and then continues to talk about the risk of it. Perhaps I heard it wrong.

I just wish I heard more facts and plans, and felt confident that they will be carried out with the same fervor that they are planned. As an educator I know all about talk and plans, and about how they often don't get carried out.

I am hoping that whomever gets in (and you know who I am voting for!) will be held accountable, unlike the investors who have royally F-ed you and I. (I heard that this bail out will cost every person in the USA 5,000. Now you know there are those who don't have the money, so some of us will be paying more I am sure).

As I was driving today, I was thinking about all the states and countries that I have visited. I decided that I had a better resume than Palin on that count. I have more college education than she does, and I did three degrees in two colleges, not one degree in five colleges (I wonder why she bounced around all colleges??)I graduated Magna Cum Laude, made Deans List most of those years, etc. etc. I have done a lot in my life too, have determination, an assertive and smart, but there is no way I would be ready to be a VP. Yes she has her political experience, but we need brilliance to run this complicated country, not a hockey mom aka a lipstick wearing pit bull (her words, not mine) I won't go on and on....I just don't think she is qualified. Period. And many esteemed writers and great thinkers seem to agree.

SO, will be reporting from Fort Campbell, where I will be playing a "stay at home mom" for a week, a role I am not used to playing. I was one of those mothers who had to return to work w/in 2 weeks of giving birth to each one of my kids so we wouldn't starve or have our lights turned off. No nannys for me Ms. Palin, and I did not have a man around either for most of the time either.

PS the Planned Parenthood donations in Palin's name from that grassroots email have reached over 1,000,000.00 thus far. If that isn't a statement, what is?

Patti O Debater

Monday, October 06, 2008

Harvest


Larry headed to the garden late this afternoon to see what was left to harvest before the frost, and he cut the cat nip and the basil before we went our separate ways for the evening.

I ate the last of the grape tomatoes the other day, and pulled off a few more hot red peppers. They will be enough to put in a few pots of chicken stock.

The chives will last well into late fall, and I may even get a second harvest of dill if we get some warm spells. The delphinium are sprouting again, and they too seem to survive through the winter. A true hardy species I have growing.

The Pink Oriental Poppies are still in bloom in front of the Buddha, though I don't know how they will last in a light frost. The marigolds might hold on, and the mums are near the house, so they should be OK.

The cat is on my lap while I type this, a true sign of the winter to come, as she seeks my comfort and warmth. I haven't told her this yet, but I like how she warms MY lap....

The downstairs has an odd odor as the basil smells slightly like cat pee. It is one of those herbs that in large amounts don't always smell as good as they taste. I will have to deal however, as I cannot make the pesto till tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will assess the damage to the garden, and remind myself that it is time to put in some bulbs again so that I have a burst of color in the spring.

Off to put on my heating pad to warm up the spot where my butt goes on the mattress, and have some good laughs at the absurdness of the political pandering that is going on. Too bad that it is at our expense.

Patti O Harvest

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sequel to the House of Exploding Chairs



A long time ago I wrote a blog which some of you found exceedingly funny about my dining room chairs.

I don't have the money right now to buy a new dining rooms set. I am still eating at the second hand set that my ex-in-laws gave to me when I moved in with their son some 25 plus years ago. Since that time the table had to endure kids, my artwork, their play, and the cats that still walk on the table when I am not home. The chairs? Like our marriage, they fell apart piece by piece.

Larry and I have been picking up chairs this past 10 years off the street that no one else wanted and we gave them a home. Sadly they did not last long either as they were not in very good shape. One day at a huge holiday dinner, one exploded, falling totally apart, dumping my girlfriend on the floor.

I still have some oak T-backs that I won't give up. I keep thinking that someday I will find someone to fix them. But they sit off to the side, a chair that will only hold the weight of one of my cats.

Last night before the opening, I ducked into one of the local antique stores and found this chair that took me back in time to my grandmother's house in Woodside, Queens. It looks like a chair from the set that has been promised to me, only I have not had the time nor the manpower to rent a truck, drive to Queens, load it in, and drive it back. I am sure that it is not safe to walk up the stairs in the house, and that in order to get the set out, I will have to excavate the room. You see, my aunts are the Collyer sisters who have three houses, full of STUFF (like old bags, newspapers, mail, just piles and piles of it) Somewhere underneath it all are very fine antiques and lots of fabulous objects that I remember from my childhood. The epitome of artwork and images that I collect and use in my artwork. The things of which fond memories are made.

SO....I bought the chair...38.00 plus 20% off...a steal for a chair made around the same time my house was built. I now call it my throne. I am on the hunt for at 3 others like it. They can be slightly different, but of the same style and year. I hear it is a shabby chic thing now to do this....all different chairs. I do it not out of fashion, but of necessity. It's all good.

Pattio O Diner

PS other photo is of my old 1800's post office cubby that is filled with my vintage xmas elves and bottle brush trees. Wine is usually stored on the left. Don't look too hard, it is very dusty, haha.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pink Martini


It was a beautiful ride into work. The sun was rising in the sky, while the bluing sky was dotted with white cotton puff clouds racing along towards the horizon, hastened by a strong upper level wind.

I thought it too cool to put the top down, though I am sure that a day like this in mid-December I will be found donning a leather jacket, a leather baseball cap, and a thick scarf to wrap around my neck so that I can enjoy the open sky and fresh air from my car once again.

After a 12 hour school day yesterday, and a truly long day today, I came home and headed straight to the studio. No stopping at one of the local watering holes on a Friday afternoon with some of my co-workers. We were all fried, and headed home--some for a nap, and some of us to work.

I don't mind having to work after work. The space is cozy, is dedicated only to my art, and I put on music to work by. I get lost in the music, the art, the thinking, and sometimes stop to play air guitar, or dance and sing.

Today's pick was Pink Martini's Sympathique. As I listened to pieces of music I had heard in my distant past as a child (Never on a Sunday et.al.) I drifted back to memories of boxes of 64 crayons tucked under the Christmas tree with new coloring books, Venus Paradise color by number sets, Play Dough, Erector Sets, Tinker Toys, and Block City.

Here I was in my studio, playing much the way I did when I was a child. My art becomes my escape and fantasy world, where people sport dog heads, and ghosts haunt old buildings. The outside worries and issues lay beyond the closed studio door.
Collage is like playing with Colorforms, a toy I loved as a kid. I still get the same satisfaction moving the pieces around, making them tell a story, like I did when I was a child who believed in magic and Santa Claus and tooth fairies.

Off to rest. I am looking forward to the weekend, to going to the farmer's market, cleaning the house mindfully, and yoga. Studio work will be also calling me, as well as an opening with a few of my pieces. New adventures await, but I must be ready for them.

Good night, Patti O Memories

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Newbie


I am sure at the retreat that most people knew I was a newbie to the Buddhist way.First of all, NEVER wear shoes that tie or buckle, as you will spending a lot of time taking off your shoes and putting them on. No shoes in the meditation hall, none in your room, none in the gift shop, or in the yoga room. The only place you could wear shoes was in the dining room or walking outside. I was always the last one to everything as everyone else slipped on their Crocs, clogs, etc. (even the monks/nuns wear Crocs!) and I was still trying to find a place to sit to put on my shoes, get the shoes buckled, or untangle the shoe laces.

Then I did not have the bow thing down. No one explained it to me, and I had to watch very carefully to see what others were doing. I asked another participant why we were not given directives, and they reminded me that this was a mindfulness retreat and one of the goals of the weekend was to watch and pay attention to what is going on around you. OK cool. By the end of the weekend I had internalized it and understood how the bow honored our food, the Buddha, and each other. I wish we did more of it in this culture, as we take so much for granted and don't realize the work that it takes to grow/harvest/buy/cook the food, and how we also take one another for granted.

I think the hardest time I had was the mindful walking, which is at a slow and thoughtful pace. I kept finding myself walking at my NYC pace, and even once I ran though the dining room.

The worst thing I did was squash a mosquito in the dining hall. It landed next to me and I immediately slammed it and it went SPLAT, as a refrain from a song drifted in that a group that was singing outside about not even killing the mosquito and asking it to spare your blood. "Great " I thought, as I nonchalantly wiped the splattered mess off the table.

At one point in time I said to one of the sweet nuns, "boy, do I have a lot to change to do this right", and she replied to me in the deepest of sincerity, "you are a beautiful person and don't have to change a thing. You just need to calm down!" I smiled warmly and wondered if Type A was tattooed across my forehead.

I still feel pretty calm in spite of the long days I have been putting in. I got this book on 8 minute meditations, and have found that it is not enough time for me so I am going to up it to 10, and slowly increase it till I get to a point that feels right for me. I do it first thing in the morning, though I am half asleep anyway and have not had my coffee.

Off to have dinner now, one of Pika's quiches that I bought at the farmer's market.

Till tomorrow,

Patti O Student