Sunday, November 30, 2008

Make Up Confessions


I don't wear a lot of makeup, or what I consider a lot. Sometimes I leave my house buck ass face naked, mucky hair and all, and other times you can see me looking like I have been studying too much Egyptology. Most of the time it is somewhere in the middle. As a public person, I have to put my best face forward!

Funny how as a young person, I wore more makeup than I do now, and probably needed it much less. Why is it that young people feel they have to wear tons of makeup, when they have porcelain young glowing skin, lush lashes, plump red lips....what I would GIVE to have the skin of my youth back! Now, when I could use a glow, or a bit of blush, I say BAH, too much work, I look too fake, so I am happy just the way I am, even if blotchy, dry, patchy or the color of sour milk - the latter a phrase my AP English teacher used for me.

If I had to choose use only ONE type of makeup, lipstick would be it. I love to draw on my lips, applying the color of my mood. Red, brown, a goth dark plum, or sweet sixteen pink.

When I go to work, or am going out, I wear mascara, sometimes a bit of shadow and/or eyeliner. Eyeliner is like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence on one's eyes. I never wore eyeliner until I was in a pin up girl shoot at Isis's house last year. She also had us paint our fingernails red (yikes-that was the beginning of a new relationship with my nails, I had to grow some!) and we wore false eye lashes for the shoot. Now THAT was a transformation for this 20's flapper model.

Admittedly as an artist I like to use line whether on my lips or eyes, to adorn my face, and would like to do it more, but I think people would think me a freak if I started getting too decorative.

And another confession, I have two pairs of eyelashes that I bought in the Halloween Costume section of Walgreens---a rhinestone adorned set, and one that is made of different kinds of feathers. You never know when someday I will have the occasion to wear them - a shoot, a party, a dare.

But the entire intent of this blog is to say that for the first time in my life I am in love with a mascara that Karen bought me for my birthday from theBody SHop It has a beautiful brush, great coverage and no clumps. It may be 18.00, but my 10.00 tube just doesn't cut it after using this! L'Oreal, we're finished, you've been replaced!

Plus, the Body Shop is a really good company to buy from. Click on the link to see what they have been doing for years.

Patti O Painter

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mission Accomplished



Today I was slow and weak at best, but I managed to fabulously frame the two pieces for Donskoj's show "We're Only in it for the Money"-Artist's examine the currant fiscal crisis.

I have decided on the titles for the two pieces, shown here unframed;"She Almost Made It", and "W's Boner". Both have political overtones of course, and you can read anything you want into it them. As a piece of interest, some of the folding that I did to the money in the pieces were taught to me by high school students, chuckling over their new found creations that came as close to origami as they would ever get.

Some people have freaked about my using real money in the artwork.

Well, if money is made with our taxes....(is it? doesn't some portion of our taxes pay for the production of money?) then it is copyright free, and I can do anything I want to it...save for reproducing it and using it as the real thing. And maybe I just made that all up. BUT IF the CIA is onto me and comes to the show, it will be one of the biggest post election news stories (I have people in places that will help me on that) and I will make Sarah Palin look like small fry. (only in America...)

On a more serious note, while sick, I watched (or rather heard in my feverish zone out) the terrorism in India unfold. What struck me deepest was Deepak Chopra's interview on CNN. He reminded us that in order to understand and perhaps stop terrorism, (if we don't understand we can't really address it now, can we?)we have to learn what it is about Muslim youth that drives them to join such religious extremist groups and do such things. Poverty, hopelessness, anger? And, he also held the U.S responsible for their own part in this (Iraq?!) and their business of dealing weapons all over the world. Hmm.... I am sure he had a lot more to say, but out of all the commentary I heard in 48 hours, that is what struck me most.

Off to bed, I have no more to give!

Patti O Common-Tator

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Not Over Till It's Over


....which I found out today.

I was really weak, but one of my best friends was in town from North Carolina.
She wanted to see me and take me out to lunch. "Besides", she said, "I know you're a cheap date today".

Clear soup and a small Thai salad. And tea. Yep. Pretty cheap.

It takes me an hour to eat it all, and as we are talking I have a suspicious rumble in my guts. OH NO. NOT AGAIN.

It's not over.

But I got to see Julie, and I did eat, two wonderful things that I am thankful for.

Since I am tied to my house again, and there is no energy for the studio, I have been putting more things up on my Ebay (catskillpaper) and Etsy sites, both of which are linked here. Of course at this time of year I have to throw in a few sales pitches now and again. An artist has to do what she's gotta do.

Tonight's art is from a 1922 magazine I have on ebay for sale, called The Mentor, which has articles on the history of rare books, about Dard Hunter, the great Arts and Crafts book maker, about the history of how the tales of the Arabian Nights came to us and how they were translated and put forth into the world through books, and the images captured by various illustrators. The center fold, pictured here, is from one of the editions of the book done by the infamous Maxfield Parrish.

Bet you didn't know I was a bibliofile, did you? It has supported my art from time to time, providing me with money to buy paints, keep the studio heated etc. I have learned much over the years about illustrators, books, binders, history of printmaking, paper and ephemera. Pretty useless most of the time, except when I am junking or needing some money. I do have some pretty cool rare books, and my paper collection is pretty impressive. But that too shall someday pass into someone else's hands one way or another.

Patti O Book Case

I just cracked myself up.... I am a book case.....I am a case alright...lolol.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For



A few weeks ago I had wished I could stay home and make a small intimate turkey dinner for my family.

We usually go to my sister-in-laws house for Thanksgiving. They live in a huge lovely 1900's house in Catskill, NY, the home of my favorite Hudson River School painters Thomas Cole and Frederick Church. Their house is filled with beautiful decorative art, and it is a warm and inviting place, as are they. But this time of year I am working two jobs, and long to keep it simple for sanities sake. I have a small modest home, and can't feed a lot of people without it getting really crowded. Plus, in the house of broken chairs, we have limited safe seating.

Alas, I was still sick, running to the bathroom, afraid to ummm...pass gas without the safety of the toilet. I sent Megan and her brother to eat at my ex's parents house, and Larry picked on the leftovers in the fridge. I have eaten a tiny bit of chicken soup and some toast, and after a three hour nap, feel like I am on the mend. Fever's gone and SHE'S ALIVE...

And the dog saga....the night that Megan got here and we started getting sick, the dog was still barking at 11 pm. Larry lost it, donned his coat as soon as they got home, and went over to read them the riot act. They pretended they knew nothing about the barking laws, only the leash laws, to which Larry retorted that they are ignoring as the dog has been loose in our yard. A million excuses, and he told them the next time we take them to court. We have done everything humanly possible to settle this without legal action, but it has been ignored. Some people need to be hit on the head I guess...not every one is compassionate, or understanding, or bothers to follow the law. Now Megan and I get the evil eye when we pass them by, but it's on them now, not me. I don't like conflict ever, but sometimes one has to stand up for their rights.

Off to bed. A good night's sleep, and I am ready to conquer the world again.

Patti O Flu

and the pics, my two beautiful grandchildren of course.....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

T-day Cancelled

So I got the red state Kentucky flu. Came with grandchild, spread now to Megan and me."THAT will teach you to vote for Obama" it whispered in my ear, grabbing my guts and stomach and squeezing really hard.

I have a fever, and I feel like a dog who spins in circles when it has to go to the bathroom--spinning from being sick to the dreaded runs.

I can barely type, and have canceled all plans for tomorrow.

Thankfully the kids can go to their grandparents house, and Larry bought a pre cooked chicken and some veggies so that he/we can have some kind of a dinner if I can get anything down.

Such is life.

Hope you all have a lovely day, and have some turkey for me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'll Give You Some--------SOMEDAY


My life is becoming pretty mundane. Work, work, and more work.

This time of year it is to be expected as I have lots of shows that I enter, both my fine art and my crafts. I try not to think about the economy too much, though looking at my finances, I will be giving lots of handmade gifts for the holiday season. They are better gifts I think, and I can give a really wonderful gift when I give someone something I have made. I can't afford to spend 50-100.00 on a person, but I CAN give a small piece of artwork that would sell for that much.

Megan is sick, and I am beginning to feel sick myself. Megan just ran out to get more Zicam, and some cough medicine. We are drinking Emergen-C too.

I crack myself up when I am making some of my cards. I should give this to Larry for a laugh. He thought he had a hard time getting any BEFORE the three guests set up residence in my small house.

Now I know what I will give him for Christmas. A priceless gift.
Ho Ho Ho.
Oh Oh Oh.

Patti O Jokester

Monday, November 24, 2008

Against the Clock

It is time for bed, and my laptop battery is just about done for.

I have worked, and then made the round trip drive to Newark Airport. No small feat for one who has a city travel phobia. Thankfully my friend Kip came with me, so that I was able to do it without any major breakdowns. A few spells of whining, but no major freak-out fests. (ask Megan about the time I got lost in Yonkers on a dark rainy night. I think I did a bit of damage on that one)

But we're here and we are safe.

And they are all sleeping after a day of travel. Poor Alanna has THE bug, Megan was thrown up on all day by both children, and traveling alone across half of the country. "Good thing we are here for five weeks" she growled.

I am exhausted and remembered that grandparents hand the children back to the parents, and I preheat my bed and get ready for sleep, cause I have already DONE the parent thing. But I am a good right hand now and then.

Patti O Grandparent

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We're Only In It for the Money


We're Only in it for the Money: A Group Show. Artists examine the current fiscal crisis.

Larry picked up the show invites that have been dropped off around town for the show that I am in. The show was by invitation, and I have two of my off-color sassy pieces in it, which I posted on my Catskillpaper blog a while back. I have picked out fabulous frames and I will float the money collaged 1800's photographs onto a mat.

People wonder why art is expensive. The frames alone were 20-28.00 without glass and my time to frame it. Even though I hate it, I am grateful that a good friend taught me how to frame years ago. I can't afford to have it done. Most artists can't. I can't charge more than 100.00 for either piece, as set by the gallery. I could go the cheap route in framing, but I always frame keeping in mind that I want to be proud to hang it in my home, or give as a gift, so I do my best to present the artwork to the world.

It promises to be a fun and diverse show. The interesting thing about shows like this is to see how other artist's interpret the same theme.

I have a piece done for the ASK show too. It is really cool. I tried to photograph it, but that will have to wait until I can take it in daylight without a flash.

I must go. Most of the day was spent shopping, preparing the rooms for Megan and the children. They have been cleaned, primped, new art put upon the walls. I have one more bed to remake, and then at last I can collapse upon a pre-heated bed. My cramps are killing me, as well as my back, and tomorrow I have to work and drive to Newark and back.

Tonight's music that I am enamoured with is Avvon d'Bishmaiyaby Epiphany Project. It is sung in either Aramaic or Armenian, and is The Lord's Prayer. It is one of the most moving spiritual pieces that I have heard, along with Thich Nhat Khan's The End of Suffering. Take a moment and listen to clips from all their songs on this CD. They are amazing. We went to hear them live the other night in Woodstock in a very intimate atmosphere at the Colony Cafe. We were about 10 feet from the stage, and taken to another place with this duo and friends.

Patti

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Bad Smell


I am back from a vampire series watch-a-thon at Lois's-On-The-Hudson in Hyde Park. She lives in a condo which overlooks woods, in the winter you can see the Amtrack train as well as hear it, and it has a view of the west side of the Hudson River.

Hyde Park is Romantic - Historic - home of FDR and Eleanor, The Vanderbilts, the Mills, and more. Lined with mansions juxtaposed with views of the Hudson.

True Blood, an HBO mini series, was riveting, and done well like so many of the HBO series I have seen. We managed to watch 5 episodes, or 5 hours worth, uncorking a Beaujolais Nouveau, and when that was done, sipped on some Cirac, the smooth French grape vodka...accompanied by popcorn, cheese and crackers.

In the morning Susan bought over coffee and bread, and we spent an hour to so knitting and crocheting in the mid morning light.

A perfect sleepover.

I came home to the continuing saga of the horrid lethal smell in my basement. For four days we have been trying to get to the bottom of it, and we ended up with the fire department and sewer engineer to diagnose the smell. It was outgassing from the fiberglass/resin liners that were being pumped in to the ancient sewer lines to strengthen them in certain parts of the city.

They came with meters and said it was ok to be in the house, but we told him that an infant, toddler and health-compromised adult were coming to stay here, never mind the two humans who have been breathing it for days. I don't trust that it is OK to smell this, and I will pursue this further. In the mean time a document is on file with the fire department that we have a problem, and the question remains as to why it is seeping in, but I hope it gets fixed soon.

It is a cold night, I have been getting the house ready for the kids, and cooking a huge pot of chicken/ginger/wild mushroom soup, and roasting acorn squash. (see photo) The house smells great and it is cozy and warm. We are busy getting the house ready for the kids, and I am actually enjoying being a housefrau for once!

Patti O Domesticator

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Thing in the Fridge


First of all, if you have never had a thing like this photo live in your fridge, skip tonight's blog. It will be of no interest to you. But I suspect that a majority have had things worthy of a horror movie living in your fridge, and might get a chuckle out of my stories.

These kind of finds terrorize me. I have told Larry he must dispose of the beast. I had a rough time photographing it, then altering it a bit in Photoshop.

It all started when I was about 7 years old. I had gone to a friend's house and we made salt dough ornaments. Lovingly. Carefully. We read that they would dry on their own, so I covered our little creations with aluminum foil and put them in my closet, away from harms way.

One day my friend called, probably a few weeks later, to ask me to bring them to her house in order to paint them. In Long Island I could never get lost as long as I followed the squares on the sidewalk, and did not cross the street. (geez, at such a young age I was aware of the difficulties and phobias I had of traveling)

I was skipping down the sidewalk, it was a bright an sunny day. I think I had my aqua poodle peddle pushers on with matching shirt, and it was one of the few moments of joy that I can recapture as a child.

I decided to peel back the foil a bit to see our creations, AND HORRORS OF ALL HORRORS! THEY WERE COVERED IN GOREY INSIDIOUS WEBS OF MYSTERIOUS SUBSTANCE! I screamed, dropped them the ground, and ran home looking like a juvenile version of the scream.

I am now 19, living with my boyfriend and brother. I make split pea soup for them for dinner. Neither one of them came home that night, and I went to bed. They went out drinking, and came home at some ungodly hour of the morning.

The next day I went to find the soup and make it for lunch.

Soup missing. Not in fridge, not on stove, not in stove. No one knew where it was or saw it on their pilgrimage to the kitchen.

A year later, we moved. I was cleaning out the apartment, and I went under the sink to pull out my cleaning supplies. Wait. There is a pot under there. I open it up AND OH MY GOD.... HAVE YOU EVER SMELLED OR SEEN SIX MONTH OLD SPLIT PEA SOUP STORED UNDER THE SINK?

Larry must clean up mysterious mess which I know is the remainder of the egg salad that he made some time ago, and shoved to the back. If he doesn't, I will put the pot outside and hope the neighbor's dog comes by and eats it. Maybe he will trip on the unidentifiable mold and think that his owners are dinner for the night.

Patti O Experiment

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Running Through


After day 7 of working two jobs, then going out till late, all I am good for is a blurt on how I spent my blog time tonight making a folder of thoughts for future blogs before they fade into the black hole of lost inspirations and ideas.

Have you ever had that happen? You are in a place where you have neither computer nor pencil, or toilet paper to write upon---perhaps it in the shower, or while you are driving in intense traffic, or while you are on line at Walmart because you had to buy the ONE thing that the local merchants did not have. The idea explodes, then another and another and all of a sudden they go whoosh.....into the vortex.......never to be seen again. The brilliant blogs, the poems, the ideas for an image that you want to paint NOW but can't.

So now I collect them as they come, and am stuffing them in the folder of "ideas".

Patti O Organizer

The Photo? Just a reminder that spring will come again

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Post Scripts

I have come back from watching a pretty heavy movie called Rachel Getting Married. As the parent of children who both once were in rehabs and/or psychiatric wards, it hit a lot of sensitive spots. Though far more dramatic than my own story, it was difficult to relive the years of 12-Step programs, the tears and the pain of not being able to help my children, having to face the part I played in the drama, and the day to day living in an atmosphere of mistrust and fear.

Now that I have a better understanding of the bigger picture, and how it all unfolded, I realize that it is a part of our paths- such as my having to deal with marrying an abusive husband who was so like my father, whose offspring payed such a high price----as well as my children's having to come to terms with their own abusive father, and forgiveness of their mother who did the best she could under horrid circumstances.

I am now very close with my daughter, and working on the relationship with my son. I have no doubt that we will all be AOK in the end.

PS 1 - I called Megan the other day and she was very very upset. One of her fellow soldiers, the last one left in the unit she was in, just killed himself when he got home from his third tour in Iraq. He came home to a wife who deserted him, and an empty house.

My heart ached for her and for him, and for the 1,000s of soldiers who will come back from Iraq and Afghanistan emotionally devastated. Though my daughter's cancer is our biggest concern, I know that she struggles with the trauma of an 18 year old serving in a war.

When will it end I wonder. I put my hopes on Obama and hope that he will figure out how to gracefully pull our soldiers out of Iraq, yet somehow help fix the country that they have destroyed thanks to W. I also hope that this administration will give our Veterans the services and support they deserve, with honor and generosity. How about bailing out our SOLDIERS who have given SO MUCH-----never mind the banks and everyone else who is whining for a chunk of the money. And I can't help but think that the car industry has contributed to some of their own problems, such as buying up plans for engines that were fuel efficient and shelving them. Greed greed greed and mismanagement has come to bite American in the ass.

PS 2 - The deadly smell. I come home today to a strong choking chemical smell coming from my basement. I noticed outside there were trucks in my streets with hoses and such, with a flagman/truck operator in the street. I donned my wool coat, and thick scarf, and headed up the street to ask him what was going on. He was very kind and sweet, and told me that they city was sealing up certain sewer lines, so that run-off water doesn't go into the city sewer treatment plant. I asked him about the smell and he told me that if I had an old house with a certain kind of drain I might be smelling the resins/fiberglass filler that they were pumping into the lines.

I was appalled as such materials are extremely toxic. I received no warning that this was going to be going on, nor of the possible odors that might ensue.

Methinks a call to the Public Works Department is in order, as well as a letter to the editor. I am PISSED.

So off to stew, and try and be happy with the fact that Hillary will probably end up Secretary of State.....

Patti O Postscripts!

Monday, November 17, 2008

On Procrastination


I have to be honest. I am a procrastinator of things that I either don't want to do, don't like to do, or of things that I have a fear of doing. Categories include taxes, cleaning, colonoscopies, redecorating, paying bills, calling certain people, Christmas shopping, and painting on a giant white canvas.

I usually end up getting most things done in their due time, but not without meltdowns and unnecessary stress because I have left things till the last minute, or give them attention that they really don't deserve. And more than a few times it has come to bite me in the ass, usually in the way of missing out on things I really wanted to do, or in late fees, missed rebates, refunds etc.

* Those pesky art pieces that lay around half finished, not wrapped up enough to sell or even give away. This weekend I took care of a few of the "art pieces" that were potential finishes and actually finished them! I started AND finished my pieces for "We're in it for the Money" and will have a few pieces for the ASK show. I don't know if I can get it together for the 5 x 7" show at the WAAM (I first have to shell out 135.00 to join..)

* Taxes: I have gotten it together the past two years and done my taxes ON TIME, not even rushing to the PO the last night I can post them. I may have to hire one of my kids, or a student to help me (I hate doing them, so why torture myself? Besides, I can be creating while they are listing in ledgers (yeah, I still do it the old-fashioned way)

* Decorating: I have been sick of the curtains in my house for a long time. They came with the house in 1991, and it is time to replace them. I am sick of having to go store to store to look for things, only to find out that what I like is out of stock forever, or they can't provide me with enough pairs for my needs etc. But I did find Country Curtains online, I do know their quality, and though a bit pricey, I am sure I can get what I need, order swatches online to see at home, and at the click of a button order as many or as few as I need. I have started the process, and though I might spend a bit more money, it is my time that is worth money, as well as the gas $ to go searching. I do like the idea of going in somewhere, picking out fabric that I like, and say MAKE THEM FOR ME, but alas, I am not in that class of money.

* still to fix...the computer procrastination. If I am going to be truthful here, by writing this blog I am procrastinating doing some things that really need to be done.

*further procrastination is the - I am going out for a bite to eat with a friend, further putting off all the things that need to be done....

Damn....I have a long way to go, but hey I've come a long way baby.....

patti o who has to research the side effects of natural progesterone that the doctors want me to go on......as my biopsies are all clear but my hormones are so out of wack....

and the card, really has nothing to do with the blog, just made me laugh..I forgot who got that one..

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Doing My Part


I stopped at R and F yesterday to buy some of the iridescent encaustic paints. Larry had bought me a gold brick one year, and I wanted the silver and several others. When I looked at the catalog and saw that they were 25.00 a piece, I had to settle for silver and pewter.

I tried out my Macy's sale electric fry pan which has a large surface and worked perfectly for what I needed, and played around with a few things that I had in mind.

Today's posts are two examples of encaustic over antique photosgraphs with added antique rhinestones, which has inspired me to write another chapbook. The last one I self-produced was based upon altered photographs and called the titled of this blog, EAT MAN DRINK WATER (can be found in my pagibbons etsy shop)and is about a woman with a husband with a hunkerin for drinkin'. The next one will be titled "The Dogs Do Bark" and it will be as evil as the other. That dark Victorian morality humor. He he he.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not spend my entire life obsessing about the barking dogs. I spent some time yesterday examining how I have been doing my part to be less wasteful.

I told Larry that once we finish up those huge rolls of gift wrap that he bought, I am going to use recycled paper ie: newspaper, paper bags etc. to wrap. I have the ability to dress them up a bit to make them fun, and I see no sense in destroying trees to wrap a gift that will be torn apart and then the paper tossed into the garbage. He is not the keen on it, but he has not seen what I will do with making it appealing.

We carry recycled bags around in our car for our groceries, as well as have those nylon market bags.

I turn lights off as much as I remember, and have to start replacing my bulbs with more energy efficient ones, if Larry hasn't done it.

I combine shopping trips so that I am not always running out. Gas may be cheaper, but the source is still finite.

I am now struggling with the Christmas tree thing. For years Larry and I have bought a fresh tree, but now I will go to the farm to cut or by my own as at least I know that they are not deforesting northern Maine or Canada to procure a temporary tree for me, and they replant every year. Of course, I could always buy a plastic one, but man, that is going to be a tough battle with Larry.

We make our own laundry soap using borax, Ivory Snow, and baking soda. It seems to work well, and hopefully I am putting a lot less toxins into the earth. We try and use non toxic cleaning materials such as vinegar and baking soda, though even with Oxyclean I have a rough time getting that bathtub clean of soap scum!

I buy organic as much as I can so that I am not putting more chemicals into my body or into the earth.

I will also attempt at keeping the house colder this winter to save on gas and saving a few dollars is a nice bonus to boot.

Imagine...in the words of John Lennon, if we all did this, how much this would do to heal the earth and slow down our rabid consumption of our precious resources, and slow down the poisoning of the earth.

Like Obama said, we all have to do our part. He needs to remind Americans of that too...as we are indeed a selfish, greedy, consuming society, and I for one, am pretty spoiled..........but will do my part to change this!

Off to the showers for yoga, namaste!

Patti O Conservationist

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Dogs Do Bark and the Mormons


I made this card in the studio the other night.

I wondered if I should scan it and send it to each of the neighbors on either side of me.

Last weekend after Larry told me that the one dog had been barking at some ungodly late hour - or as my previous typo was "undogly" hour of the evening(in other words, a time not fit for even dogs to be outside alone). He heard a car pull up and promptly went over and knocked on the door. Apparently it was a relative or friend going into the house, adamant that the dog is never left out. Larry replied that he had a notebook with a list of the times and dates that the dog was loose, or barking for hours on end. I am sure he was as nice as he could be under the circumstances, but firm.

The next day on my run into town, I went to the family business and dropped off a business card with my phone number to the young man of the house, and asked him to give it to his mother and have her call me. He said that she was working and I could speak to her at work, and I gently declined, saying that it was not appropriate to discuss things at someones job, but a phone call would be appreciated.

Needless to say, no one has called me.

The verdict is still out as to whether they are making a valiant effort to resolve this without us getting legal on them. I think, as I sit here, that in humor I will send a copy of the card and thank them for their anticipated cooperation in the matter, and that I have a three month old, a four year old, and my daughter who will be staying w/me and the dog's barking heads right through the walls into our brains. The neighbor on the other side of us also has a dog who has electric fence, but who also barks for hours on end. So, perhaps I will send this card to each, with a kind note about how though I understand that dogs do indeed bark, it can be annoying to hear them for hours, and enclose a page from the Internet site that sells sonic training devices for dogs who bark.

If they chose to ignore it, I have no other option than to buy the damned thing myself, which means I will have to spent 100.00 to buy two, one for either side of the house, or take them to court. Sigh. I try to be considerate about other people, why can't I get the same respect? If I played hours of rap, or opera for that matter on outdoor speakers, wouldn't the police be by my house for disturbing the peace?

Why can't we all just get along?

And, as a PS to this blog, why did the Mormons contribute to 70% of the money to help get Prop 8 passed. Like the earlier post I made about the grassroots effort to send Sarah Palin a message by contributing to Planned Parenthood in her name, a similar event is going on where for every 5.00 you send to www.InvalidateProp8.org, a postcard will be sent to the head of the Mormon church with this message: Dear President Monson: A donation has been made in your name by _________________ to “InvalidateProp8.org” to overturn California's Proposition 8 and restore fundamental civil rights to all citizens of California. The money will be donated to legal organizations fighting the case and to support grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. Although we decry the reprehensible role The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leadership played in denying all Californians equal rights under the law, we are pleased a donation has been made on your behalf in the effort to overturn the discrimination your church members helped enshrine in the California Constitution. Given that throughout its history the Mormon Church has been subjected to bigotry, we hope you appreciate the donation in your name to fight religious bigotry here in California.

Amen. Off to the sight right now, after I re register AGAIN on the DO NOT CALL site, as my life is again filled with solicitation phone calls!

Patti O Justice

Thursday, November 13, 2008

At W's Expense



I had to make art for a show that I am in. I had been percolating ideas, but until you start doing it, you really don't know where it all is going to end.

I had a great time making the pieces, but I am not sure if Jouri will like them. Laugh, yes, for sure, but hang them in the gallery? They are bad - we shall see what he is made of!(photos of the wicked pieces and commentary about show are on my Catskill Paper blog

I also made two more pieces which were jump started by the previous show pieces, and probably the act of cutting up money inspired these. I wonder if there is a market for W art.

At the very least making the art was cathartic, and I am sure that I will make a few more before I can forget about him.

Patti O Bush Wacker

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In my bones


I heard the geese this afternoon, heading somewhere south. Anywhere south.

As I walked I felt the leaves had turned sharply crisper with several deep frosts, and I flashed back to the wind the other night, tossing flake filled pockets of cold air about in the inky blackness of an early hour on the mountain.

Today I got serious.

Out with the diaphanous fabrics, and in with velvets, cords, wools, and layers upon layers of comfort and warmth.

Bathing suits seem a vision of the past. My skin turns milky white again, another year older and a bit more worn in. Early in the morning as I gaze into the rear view mirror for a CHECK ONE TWO, I notice how each year it settles more comfortably on my bones.

The late summer Yoga for Bones class taught us awareness of our bones inside the body, and how to keep them safe as we age. That seems like a distant memory as the cold reminds me of the aches which hide deep within, and I make secret bets with my bones about the weather. They often win.

So off I go to preheat the bed, to put on the flannels and wrap myself up in a robe. while Larry mumbles something about not seeing an inch of flesh again till spring. I laugh and tell him to buy me a Union Suit for Christmas, you know, the one with the drop seat?

Patti O Closing

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Little Italian in all of Us?




Last night I drove two friends up to Karen #1's house up on the mountain in Willow. I watched the temperature drop steadily on the EOS as I climbed in altitude. The little chime came on with the snowflake warning me of the potential for hazardous weather. YIKES...there were snowflakes whipping around in the wind!

Willow is a little town outside of Woodstock and Bearsville, whose history I do not know. Other than farms and perhaps some hemlock cutting, I know little about this quaint old town other than it has a lot of deer and bear.

Before I got there, a deer ran out towards the side of my car, necessitating trying out my ABS brakes. The car shuddered a bit and stopped rather quickly. Fortunately he/she narrowly escaped a rather sudden death, and I took a moment to breathe through my adrenaline rush. Karen #2 and Nanette were so busy chatting that they never saw the deer and were wondering what the hell was happening. The last time I drove up here, a deer jumped clear over the hood of the CRV!

We arrived safely, even though Ms. Garmin was totally wrong about which roads to take and when to turn. Perhaps the mountains muck up the satellite signals-they certainly seem to absorb all light making night travel very difficult.

Karen is a fabulous cook, and made me birthday dinner, one course which included fresh tomato sauce. It was heavenly. She asked if there were any Italians in the room and I laughed stating that I was pretty clear cut Irish/Scottish and Lithuanian. Karen replied "oh, don't be surprised, the Romans got around". We agreed however, if the Romans had spent a lot of time in Ireland and Scotland, today's food would be much better in those countries!

So....to get to the punchline..out of the blue my daughter emails me the family history of my Lithanian side's name... Gimbutas. Who, it seems, according to Wikipedia which has information on my family name but not about Willow, NY, traces our family to a relative of Nero who escaped Rome with 500 families. They landed in Lithuania, and Duke Gimbutas is the grandson of the Roman man. So...it is possible if anyone can ever agree on the patched together history, that I do indeed have Roman blood.

I am at the tail end of the all royalty and money in my family whether it be the Dukes of Lithuania, Irishmen with servants, Scottish who meandered their way here through Nova Scotia. The titles have long since been absorbed into the ashes of time, and the money will probably never reach me---it is a standing joke in my family that when someone dies it COSTS me money. Good thing I see money only as paper...ephemeral. WHich reminds me. I have an art piece to design for a show using a dollar bill/bills in it. I had better get a move on!

Off to bed. I had a medical procedure done and it was not nice. As long as the lab results are fine, I will get over it. But right now I am not feeling so hot.

Patti O Roman Bust

PS birthday photos

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Off on an Adventure


Last nights concert at the EGG in Albany was intimate, moving, and for the most part thoroughly enjoyable. I have posted a photo of it here taken from the State site. There are better photos out there, but being very copyright conscious, I did not use them, but I believe because this one was on the state site, it is legal to use it, just like you can photocopy state/federal documents as many times as you want on that xerox machine, because folks, it is all done with our money and we own them. Yep, bet ya didn't know that!

I remember when this was being built, in the 70's, by the architect who designed Rockefeller Center. We would drive by it and my father would snort some insult as to its design. Super modern for its time, (unlike him) it is super cool, and a great venue to hear music. In its several theaters I have heard Johnny Winter, Leon Russel, Susan Tedeski, and a few classical concerts there, an hour away from home.

We were about 30 feet from the stage, off to the right, with a great view of Jeffrey Gaines who moves all over the stage. He is a fine musician, and an amazing lyricist. I had seen him some time ago at the infamous Joyous Lake in Woodstock where he played for free. I grabbed my daughter, who was in one of her more behaved modes of adolescence that night, and we sat on the floor in front of the stage and sat transfixed for hours. He played at Skytop in Kingston last winter in an intimate dining room. (groan, that was the night of pints of beer and Marcel drinking scotch which I sipped on and got very very sick from)
I have to say, I enjoyed him every bit as much as Shawn Colvin who was the main show. You know how sometimes you just grin and bear the opening band and can't WAIT for them/him/her to end so that you can hear who you REALLY came to see? Not this time baby.

Shawn was wonderful of course. It was her and her guitar, in a peaceful acoustic session. She played for an hour and a half or so, and sang many of the songs that I know so well. Only my friend knows her a little bit too well, and I had to plug my ear a few times on the side next to her because she was singing along. (I am easily distracted when I am concentrating..and was trying to practice my meditation techniques of blocking out unwanted sound, but it was not working!!!!!)

I am off for now, as we are heading to the Berkshires for a drive with the top down and the heat on. Big black sunglasses, maybe a scarf around my head, feeling like Jackie O. A child of the late 50's, I have her image imprinted into my library of images.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and who knows what kind of trouble we will get in. The Red Lion Inn is our destination!

Till then!

Patti O Wanderer

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Reincarnation Station


I have just returned from an overnight trip to celebrate both my and one of my dearest friend's birthdays. We went out to dinner with a few other mutual friends, and exchanged little gifts. She is a year older than me, and I met her when we were in the same painting class in college in 1977.

Since then we have been to each other's weddings, cried during each other's divorces, birthed our children and celebrated the life of our grandchildren. She housed me while I was homeless for a few weeks with my two babies, found me a place to live, and though we only see each other several times a year, and live very different lives, there is the bond of friendship that will never be broken.

It is awkward at times, as she is married to a very conservative Republican who is the head of his party in a place south of here which I won't mention (no sense in slandering anyone here)is a lawyer, and probably thinks of me as less than an equal due to my lower social status, my sex, and a dreaded liberal to boot. But my quick sense of humor and Scorpio tongue keeps his head spinning, and I told him I am like shoe shit---- I will always be back. I am sure he was glad to see me leave today, with my WTF Bush air freshener flashing him as I spun out of his McMansion driveway.

I had been away from my computer for a day, so first thing I did was check my emails. One of the more fun ones was a link from Annie called The Reincarnation Station. I answered the questions as truthfully as possible, and my animal that I will come back as is an OWL. It stated only 9% of the people will be reincarnated on a higher level than me.
I also did the survey by answering all the questions completely opposite of what I would normally answer, and this time it said I would come back as a rat,and 86% of people would come back as I higher being, but there is time to change. I'll take the owl thank you, as they EAT rats.

So give it a whirl, and if you dare, post your results here.

An owl. Hmmmm......I have always wanted to fly. They can see in the dark, have very good hearing, tear up their prey and swallow it whole (watch out you rats), they live in solitude, except when they mate and they don't bother to build nests for their eggs and babies (smart!) They court by preening one another's feathers,(yumm) and the male will make a gift of food to the female.(yeah baby)The only drawback is that this only happens once a year.

Off to the studio to get some work done. Later is a concert at the Egg to hear Shawn Colvin and Jeffrey Gaines!

Till the next report,

Patti O Incarnation

Thursday, November 06, 2008

FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR



I don't have much energy after a long day. Some of that is for another blog as I am going to be lazy and post a survey that I got from one of my friends. They always list me as a person likely to answer, because, well, I simply have fun doing these. I love to read things about people, and I love writing about my interesting little life.

Surveys make me think about myself and what I do; and sometimes I see a pattern that says "do some readjustments. Perhaps it will do the same for you. Have fun.

Four places that I go to over and over:
A-This is pathetic...work, the post office, the bank and the liquor store. (I need to liven this up a bit more!)
B- Four people who e-mail me regularly:Megan, Karen, Kip, Loel (oh but so many people do email me that it is really hard to pinpoint who and how much. My mind doesn't work like that)
C-Four of my favorite places to eat: The Armadillo, Sobroso, Le Petit Bistro, Kyoto (hmmm...I like International, wouldn't you say?)
D- Four places I would rather be right now: actually I am very happy in the here and now. But, if you are going to twist my arm, on a beach, painting in a beautiful location, in Europe, in a comfy pre-heated bed with a movie and a glass of wine.
E- Four people I think will respond:
Megan,(my dear daughter) one of the four Karens,(and I love them ALL so) Mary,(my fab hip sister) and Frannie (oh she knows how to play!)
F) Four TV shows I watch: The Weather Channel, CNN, Comedy Central, and , and........uh oh. ran out of shows. Anything educational.

Not a long survey. Just send it to a few people and see how well you really think you know them.

Single gals/guys, send this onto some people you are interested in. It could save you some interview time on the relationship end.

If nothing else, do it for fun.

Patti O Survey

PS Top photo is my promised school Halloweenie cobbed outfit, and the other is from my self portrait series. It's fun to recreate or alter oneself whether in the physical or digital world.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm BACK

So part II of today's blog.

As I pulled into the parking lot at school, my friend was blowing her horn at me in celebration of Obama's victory. She is black, and the only reason why I even say she is black, is because we have been sisters in this fight and hope for a new America.In my fantasy world, Obama will bring blacks and whites closer together..more so than ever. I have watched the magic happen even BEFORE he was elected.

The irony of it all is that I have recently been accused of being racist by some students...me, of all people. Me, who hangs with people from all nations, all colors, all religions. Me who does not see color, except on my palette.

It was very tense today in school. Many of us faculty were screaming and doing dances, hugging one another in the halls. There were those who said nothing and stood stony faced. Many students were heard to say "that N----- got in" and they were angry. I try not to judge them as I know that they are probably hearing this at home. However, if this is what I hear in blue state New York, I can only IMAGINE what is being said in other areas of the country. Yet I will be hopeful and send out healing and love. I constantly remind myself as I remind you --- about the law of attraction.

I am deeply disappointed in the continuation of homophobia that exists in this country. Arkansas not allowing anyone who is single to adopt or do foster care -- WTF?! It is insulting to single parents....insinuating that they are not good enough to care for children = and it blocks gays/lesbians from adopting too. Proposition 8 passing. Shame on you California. I thought better of you than that.

So now I will send my meager extra money to the HRC (Human Rights Campaign).

It is so ironic .... that in Arkansas single parents can't adopt or foster a child, but a proposition passes in California that requires that egg-laying hens be raised in roomier cages or no cages at all. WTF I say again.

Off to bed. I am tired after all of this. But I still have hope for America, though I know it will be a long and arduous process to fix a government that has wrecked the economy, sent its youth to a war based upon lies, and still perpetuates prejudice, bigotry and homophobia.

We have a long way to go, but this is a start.

Checking In



After 11 hours of work I went out to watch the results of the election.

I will be back later on with more, but am posting my two photos of election day morning as I walked out the door. Many of you have posted such lovely fall photos, and here are mine...my house and neighborhood wrapped in the soft fog that rolls in here when you have such warm mornings. Today it is 50 out, so I am debating sandals instead of the closed shoes I have been wearing.

I leave you my house, my neighborhood till I get some time at lunch to post more. In the meantime, off to the showers!

Patti, an Obama Mama who is proud to be an American again.

Monday, November 03, 2008

So Here We Are

So here we are, the night before an election - an election with a charge that has electrified the nation. McSame or Nobama. I have seen and heard it all in these many months.

I am surely tired of the negativity of what an election brings to the table, and try and focus on only positive thoughts and change. Remember the law of attraction.

So to bring in the eve before the election, I went to the video store and rented Superbad.

When I told Megan what I was renting, she replied "oh MOM, that is SO CRASS!". I laughed and said "honey, who do you think I have been teaching all these years?!"

I made dinner, invited a darling co-worker friend over, and we celebrated a Monday night with fine cuisine, some libations, and a very funny movie.

I am a sucker for such "crass" classics such as Caddyshack, Porkeys, Animal House and others, and I felt like Superbad was a continuation of the same, only a bit more updated. And I loved it. Crass, yes. Funny, absolutely. It didn't take much for me to slip back some 35 years to the world of hormones, partying, and blood brother/sister friendships that ended when the world of college started. And I was one of the nerds......

We laughed, and it was a reminder to keep everything light, in joy, and to have hope. A whole world is before us.

To a new tomorrow.....and to NOT getting screwed!

Patti O Reviewer

and PS....tomorrow our code word will be MCLOVIN!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Not-So-Secret Obsession



I am addicted to paper, ESPECIALLY antique paper; prints, postcards, scrap, trade cards, valentines, etc.

I remember when it started. I was in grad school for five years (hey, as a single parent of two, and teaching full time, I needed every BIT of the five years to do it!) and was researching and writing my thesis on the role of women in the American Craft Movement. Quilts, Tiffany's girls who put together the stained glass lamps, floor cloths, method paintings, needlework, and more. Then I discovered Ester Howland,who in the 1850's started her own business making handmade valentines. As I read about how women enlisted their families to run their own home business making such cards for extra money, ideas began to percolate. It was the handmade Valentines that inspired me to start making my own handmade cards, WAY before it was fashionable to do so.

My early cards used vintage marbled paper and images from art books. But as I studied copyright law and explored my options, I began to use images that were in the public domain, which meant art deco and earlier.

I have gone to auctions, combed antique stores, shopped on ebay, and like today, attend trade shows for paper. Today was the show put on by the local postcard club.

My finds? Oh postcards and paper for my cards, usually the cheap ones that are damaged and not worth any value as a collectible. But I still hunt for the great deal and treasure in these shows. It is exciting.

But then there are the treasures: one I believe to be an early 1870's handmade valentine, one of the early ones made by the Whitney company. How did I know that? Research, the tell-tale W in red with a number, and tracking down the date of the stamp on the envelope. Normally it is RARE to find an envelope with the cards, and I got lucky.

The other? An 1880's saleman's book for the Hooker Nursery, in Rochester, NY. It is FILLED with fabulous antique chromolithograph prints of flowers, shrubs, trees, and fruits.

I am not sure what I am going to do with my finds. As always I need money. I guess I am going to list the card on ebay and hope that a museum or collector will find it and give it the home it deserves. The prints are amazing, and I scanned a few and will post them and see how they go. These are too fabulous to use in my art.

Tonight's postcards I thought fit for the upcoming election. I am on pins and needles, like so many others. PEACE. HOPE. Couldn't find one for VICTORY, so I will settle for the other two. Oh and these postcards can be found in my ETSY shop, Catskillpaper.

Patti O Collector

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Morning After



What I love about Halloween is that I can dress like the way I do when I go out, or the way I would LOVE to dress if I did not fear people thinking I am a freak. Yeah, no matter where I wear my leather pants, people look. When I wear my green sweater that looks like someone's overgrown lawn, someone ALWAYS has a comment. I love my cowboy boots, (I have gulp - 5 or so pairs) I love my ruana from Ireland, and I love my Renaissance dresses from Moresca.

But I just can't wear them all the time and anywhere I like. Especially when I need to keep a low profile or when I don't want people staring at me.

Yesterday I wore a cobbed together outfit...my FAB leather pants (one of the best investments I ever made) my black leather boots, my hairy sweater and my horns which I bought on Etsy which looked REAL. Though I did not look like any one sort of creature, I certainly looked wild. (photos will be forthcoming as soon as someone gives me one from school)

I took my lunch break to go into town to find some gold body paint for a student. It was over 60 degrees, so I put down the top, and in my outfit, went shopping and to lunch. It was very funny because uptown Kingston is suit land, and noone was out in costume save for me. It got some laughs and looks of appreciate of the costume, and some gawks. I just chuckled and thought how wonderful a day it was and I felt totally at ease, costume and all.

When I got home it was soooo fab out that I decided to take all the clothes sitting in my living room to the Salvation Army. The man working there asked me if I was going to a party. I told him no, this was my normal dress. haha. Then I took the car to the car wash and cleaned it top to bottom.

I drove home and freaked. The streets were packed with kids and cars. I had intended to work in the studio, but knew that too many people could see me in there with the lights on and I did not want to do that as most of the people get imported into our neighborhood from other places, and I did not think it wise opening myself to the staring eyes of some who might be casing my place out.

I called a friend practically begging for her to let me come over. I had a bottle of wine, a tub of Pringles (I know, so bad) I had to get out of this bedlam. She was home for Halloween to give out candy, but she only had a total of 10 kids, so most of our time was hanging out and chatting.

Dinner, and a bottle of wine later, it was safe to return home where the curfew was strictly enforced at 7 pm. Larry was home, his evening was fun at the Center for their Halloween event, and all ended without mishap.

Photo of Larry's costume, and of a bat we bought this summer in Wellfleet from Bali or another one of the Indonesian Islands.

Patti O Dresser