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Showing posts from March, 2009

Snap, Crackle and POP

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I feel like I am short circuiting, and know that pressure has given me a fever blister type thing on my lip, made me less patient than usual. My throat is feeling sore, and I am hoping that it is allergies, and not my getting sick. I have travel phobias, and they are like little demons running around in my mind. There are too many things to do in such a short amount of time; the pressure of packing, of having to have my difficult taxes finished with a visit to the accountant at 4 pm the day before I leave.

I have had the week complicated with medical issues, such as the call from my doc about the necessity of scheduling a hysteroscopy and I heard the word hysterectomy thrown in there. I told her I will deal with it when I get back. Then there was the message on the machine from the other docs office wanting to discuss my endoscopy and biopsy results. I am hoping that it will be nothing more than "take this pill" or "change your diet". I have medical phobias…

Still the Same, Only More So

So I still don't have a train booked from Madrid to Valencia and back, and the dog shit is still sitting in their driveway. Un-f-in believable.

At least tomorrow I know that I will have the train booked as I am going to get my friend whose first language is Spanish help us out. I am over caring how much it costs as long as it is booked and we know we can get from point A to point B. The English portion of the site only gives us part of the picture....we need to book it via the Spanish site which gives us more information. What a trip this is going to be, the two gringas in Spain.

My main computer is really near the end of its life. It has been fair in giving me plenty of warning, and I am a fool for not taking advantage of it and backing up all the things that need to be backed up, but there has been so little time. I hope it has a little bit of life left when I come back.

I have doc appointments, a hair appointment, taxes, art to be sent out, galleries to drop work off to, and…

Shits and Giggles

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Shit by any other name is still shit. And whether it is old or new, it is still shit. Same shit, just a different day.

Yesterday we scooped many different days of shit in the yard left as a present to us from the now famous dog-next-door and strategically placed it where the neighbor pulls up in the driveway. I watched the kids who live in the house walk past it several times. Mom has been in and out of the house several times and so far, it hasn't moved. It smells pretty bad, it is near their side door, and definitely in a danger zone for getting in and out of cars. There are even shovels by their side door. And still the shit sits, festering, and by now quite waterlogged from the rain.

I am not sure how people think anymore. I am stymied. If I had a pile of my dog's shit left for me in my driveway by the entrance to my house, I would be embarrassed, and quickly dispose of it, or I might even be mad that the neighbors did that, but to leave it there? WTF. These peop…

A One Liner

If you see two ovaries and a uterus listed on eBay, they are mine.

Patti O Sales

It's all so WTF

I had a melt down today during lunch. Actually I don't get lunch anymore these days. It is filled with meetings on student issues, or planning, or prepping, or ordering.Today for the umpteenth day in a row I did not get a true lunch, and was in a meeting with a co-worker. I get a knock on my locked door. I won't stop my meeting to get up and ask the student what they want. To use my little mirror the girl says. I tell her not now, I am in a meeting. BITCH she mumbles as she walks away. Then I have boys who come to ask why I gave them detention for lunch. They tell me I can't do that, and I tell them that indeed I can, and they need to be responsible for their behaviors. They start yelling at me and won't leave my room. I begin to feel harassed, and call someone to come to my aid. They finally leave, cursing me out all the way down the hall. I feel that I can no longer take this. I wonder if I am working in a psychiatric hospital instead of a public school.

Ten m…

Living for Vacation

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Sometimes I think I work in a psychiatric hospital, not a school. This has been one of the most difficult years ever, mainly because we have students who are classified, or recently declassified (to save money I bet) who are enrolled as regular ed students many of which really need to be in special ed due to their extreme emotional needs.

It takes its toll on us, and this time of year has been bearish. But I am living for vacation, first in Spain, then a trip to Kentucky to help Megan and see the babies, then I am hoping to book the house/property shown here in Wellfleet Mass, on the Cape near Truro/Provincetown.

Larry and I have never gone away with another couple and two teens and a dog, but the house seems large enough, we will have the downstairs bedroom and sunroom, while they have the two bedroom suite upstairs. It is a lovely property that runs to a tidal creek that we can canoe/kayak in, it is close to the bike trail, and if we feel industrious, there is a 1.5 mile path to t…

Latest Visualization

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The dog story goes on. For a while things were better. After a few trips over there at 2 am, and phone calls once we got their number, in the middle of the night, and the dog was kept relatively quiet. Guess they did not like THEIR sleep disturbed.

But spring is here, the snow banks have melted. The dog is let loose, it is easy for him to walk right over into our yard to bark under my window (picture BIG DOG bark) and leaves the proverbial big dog dump in the yard and garden.

Calls to the dog warden result in rote responses. We'll send another letter. Well duh, letters don't work, they didn't before. OK well then you can take them to court. OH RIGHT- SO BECAUSE THEY BREAK THE LAW AND ARE TOTALLY DISRESPECTFUL I HAVE TO TAKE ONE OF MY FEW PERSONAL DAYS TO TAKE THEM TO COURT TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW. Take a few photos he said. I AM GOING TO TAKE THEM OF YOU COVERED IN THE DOG'S SHIT I think. Useless.

I can only hope that they won't renew their …

Prosperity

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Today my Notes from the Universe hinted at financial prosperity for me. Money coming in from somewhere to make all my dreams come true. A hidden bank account? NO. A will left by a relative? Not likely since each time someone dies in my family it costs ME money.

Do I need money, like most of us? Money for the major bathroom repairs, money for the new computer to replace this dying one. How about blacktop for the driveway, or for the house I am booking with a friend for a week in Cape Cod, something I have never done with my husband and feel I MUST do in our "golden" years?

I came home, with baited breath. Perhaps my ex actually filed his income tax returns from the past few years and I have gotten the money? Perhaps I got a nice large chunk of my 30,000+ in back support that he owes me? (PS I told the agency I would waive the interest on it for the past 20 years, just give me the money!) Maybe, just maybe?

What, a check in the mail?

But when I saw the check for 75.00, it…

Sad News....

I woke up to an email from my cousin informing me of one of my cousin's sudden death. She was a few months younger than I, and the last time I saw her was at her parents double funeral about 5 years ago. Both my aunt and uncle died the same day in the same hospital within moments of one another from different diseases. The day of the funeral was surreal; it was also the day Megan called me from Iraq to tell me she was pregnant.

My first memory of her was at my fifth? birthday party. I remember it vividly because a party in my house with relatives from "the other side" was unheard of, actually, a party in general was a rarity.

After her parent's death my cousin went into seclusion. I did not see her online anymore, did not hear how she was doing.

They are doing an autopsy but they believe she had pneumonia with congestive heart failure. Her boyfriend found her dead.

The service is only for immediate family only. I do not ask why, and I respect the wishes of my r…

The Dream

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I woke up agitated and inspired at the same time.

I have many vivid dreams, and if I had a clone of me I would journal them. They have been fabulous fodder for interpretation and art. But alas, there is not enough time in the day as it is, so I have to forgo that.

But this morning's dream stuck in my mind. It was inspirational at the very least.

I was back in grad school, and was in a drama/literature class. The professor was a man, about my age, and an angry demeaning man who for some reason, did not like me.After reading a paper I handed in, he gave me a failing grade, and told me that I was failing the class. I was in shock, and said "I was only out once and missed one assignment that I will do!" He laughed and snickered something about my being worthless in the class.

The class had to do an acting piece, whether as a group or as an individual. I watched part of the group do a performance which blew my mind. I had decided to quit and not do it since he was failing me …

The Procedure

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I started the day with dry swallowing an Ativan, which seemed to do nothing for my state of agitation over the endoscopy. When I arrived, they took me in immediately, and as I lay on the little stretcher the anesthesiologist says: colonoscopy? I look at him and tell him they are in for a big surprise if they do that as I did not prep for THAT test.

Then I go to the next room in my little bed where the nurse is cleaning off a long tube, which I say "oh, is that going down my throat and into my stomach?" She looks at me and says "no honey, not this one". I look and say, "well, if this is the room you are doing the procedure in, and that is the butt tube, then you are NOT putting that down my throat into my stomach!" She looks at me and says, "OH, you are having an endoscopy! We have to get the other tube". In my head I am wondering whose butt that was in last, and the thought of it going into my throat.

Now I have no doubt that I would have…

The Night Before

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I am trying to breathe. As of late, I have upped my 8 minutes of meditation to 10, and the time flies by. As usual, tons of thoughts run in and out of my head, and when I realize that I am getting caught up in them, I release the current thought and settle back into the sounds of the first birds waking up and chattering their good morning twitters, the whistle of the train as it blows its horn throughout the city, the cars rumbling down the street, the high whine of the trucks traveling up and down the Thruway a few miles away. On occasion there is a siren, or THE dog barking right under the window, but the sounds are like a symphony to me, and I find them soothing and I stay centered in their harmony. I also listen to my breath, and with each exhale I let my conscience travel beyond my body, beyond the pale green walls of my meditation room, out into the yard, the city, the woods, and into the mountains and the sky.

But today's meditation calm has worn off. I am trying to…

VALENCIA IT IS!

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I did indeed book a flight to Madrid with final destination Valencia for spring break. I have gone to Florida, New Orleans, and California for spring break over the past several years, but you can't get better than this. Europe? I am still in shock. For 560.00 which includes 60.00 for the insurance, I got a round trip ticket from JFK to Madrid. From there we will take the train to Valencia, about a 2-3 hour trip.

Moi? Who doesn't like to fly, gets nervous on trips? Who feels guilty when I spend money on myself yet gives generously to others? Another great challenge in my life, another phobia to overcome, yet another adventure?! I keep challenging myself, and through all of it I grow.

I am going with my friend Annie, a bubbly, adorable 28 year old. We are going to visit our co-worker who took a year sabbatical after her divorce to go live in Spain and teach English as a second language. Fortunately Annie speaks a bit of Spanish, as I speak German and can only curse in …

Valencia?

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Spring break is coming. I have not found out if our 10 day spring break is intact, but I was planning on going to Florida with Lois and her friend, IF that worked out.

Then I get a call from my co-worker friend (who is 28, single, energetic, and adventurous), asking me if I want to go to visit our mutual friend who is living in Valencia, Spain. We can get a flight for less than 500.00, and have a place to stay.

What's there to think about I say. I have a passport, have been saving what little bits and pieces of child support which dribbles in every few weeks (thought the last check was only 27.00 which makes me suspect he is either working part time, or it ran out...) and I work hard for my money. We drive to NYC, fly to Madrid, get a train to Valencia, and in a day we are there.

Already I am mentally packing my camera, my art supplies, and figuring what is the bare minimum I can travel with. Annie can speak some Spanish, and I will take a crash course.

Dana has to work when we are th…

Celebrating Early

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It has been a whirlwind of a weekend. Women's party Friday night, then the openings last night. Today I did some more work on taxes, a wee bit of work on some cards, threw the brushes in the cleaner, and then around 2 took off for Woodstock with Karen to see the two art shows.

It was warm, so we put the top down and had the first ride of the open air together. The streets in town were busy with locals and tourists, enjoying the lovely late winter day.

I did not go to the St. Patrick's day parade; too crowded, too much drinking and frivolity for me on a Sunday. It is the one day I seek peace and often solitude. But on the way home, we did stop at Skytop Restaurant as friends of ours were playing music there, so for an hour we sipped on a pint of some excellent amber beer, and listened to the music.

The other day a friend asked me if I was going to something that involved crowds. I laughed, and told him that I did not like crowds. To know me is to find that quite odd as I…

When Black is Better than White

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I am dragging a bit from the party I had last night for the girls. I had to limit to 15 friends, as my house is not that big, nor do I have enough chairs for any more. As it was Collette bought over a few folding chairs, which I may hijack forever as they were the ONLY chairs in my house that did not wiggle, squeak, or did I have to worry about old joints coming unglued and dumping my friends on the floor. (some of my blog readers remember such a story....)

I felt badly that I could not invite ALL my friends and neighbors over, but I have decided to hold a few different parties so that I don't leave out anyone.

We did have a blast, and today's photo is the shadowy essences of a few of my friends dancing to the beat of 90's house dance band...Deee-Lite. We had unbelievable food from the best caviar served on top of little mini pancakes with Crème fraîche, baked clam dip, orzo salad, bean salad, coleslaw and a variety of finger foods. No one left hungry and the drink of…

Brief Editorial

When I sign onto my AOL on occasion, I read some of the headlines. Now I have to say, after looking at the polls they create, and reading the comments left by some of the people, a little voice in the back of my head squeaks "AOL=assholes on line". Now I happen to be one of them, so I as I mock it I realize that I am part of the continuum, only far to one end. There is a lot of ignorance sported on the online community.

I read the latest polls which gave Obama "F"s for his policies. Though I took the poll and gave him a B, I certainly think it is far too early to give him an F. How many weeks has he been in office? If McCain were in, do we REALLY think that he would be able to pull an instant recovery out of his hat?

I admit, I am not totally comfortable with this stimulus package. I fear that without strict guidelines and control, it will be mismanaged and disappear just like 1/2 of my retirement fund has. But I am still willing to give him a chance to see…

The Reader

Larry is standing here while I type reading to me all the rejection letters received for novels/literature such as Animal Farm, Carrie, Peter Rabbit, Lolita, Madame Bovary, Leaves of Grass, The Diary of Anne Frank, et. al, trying to make me feel better about my previous rejection. It was said of Emily Dickenson that she was "generally devoid of any true poetical qualities".

What he doesn't understand is that I AM OVER IT. It's all OK. I don't compare to the above artists, at least until I am dead, but the message I did hear clear and loud is that you can't please all of the people all of the time, or even some of the time.

I have moved on.

I have had some very difficult situations at work, and it has been an effort to get up each morning and face the world of dysfunctional adolescents and adults. As a treat to myself I met a friend to see The Reader after school. A treat or a descent into the deep abyss.

I have always loved Ralph Fiennes, and his perpetual t…

Lady Writer

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I just came down from putting on my outfit for the evening, one from a Victoria's Secret catalog. I bet what comes to your mind is something sexy, with my breasts and ass hanging out looking totally f-able in any direction. At 51 it is no longer possible to look like those models without doing LOTS of touch up in Photoshop. I have stopped buying such things which look totally ridiculous on me, unless I am in the dimmest of candlelight and we have both imbibed on copious amounts of alcohol and then there are no boundaries, and with any luck neither ones remembers anything in the morning.

However, I like to think of myself as nefarious in my plum velour yoga pants, with a bachelor-button blue sweater that shows only as much cleavage as I allow, or as exists depending upon which miracle bra I am wearing.

While I am writing I my feet are being massaged by my heated Homedics foot machine that Larry got me for my birthday, to work out the kinks of the day. I am sipping on my Peter …

A Day Without Meditation (aka Medication)

I woke this morning LATE. The alarm went off at 6 AM, usual time, but because I run on an internal clock, and get up according to the light, I fell back into a solid sleep for another hour.

Thus, no meditation, no quiet time to set intentions other than moving my ass F A S T.

Of course, I stayed up till midnight to watch D.L. Hughley on CNN who had on Frank Schaeffer, who wrote Crazy for God. Once a member of the Christian Right, it is interesting to hear what he has to say.

Embedded video from CNN Video

He certainly rips the Christian Right and Republicans a new one, doesn't he? He was a little bit intense, and I wondered if he had too much coffee. I will however, check out his book. It will counterbalance the fact that I have to order a book for my aunts on Amazon by Mark Levin, titled "Liberty and Tyranny, a Conservative Manifesto". YIKES. I will have to do a lot of meditation after I follow through on that.

After hours of doing reports for taxes, and then having …

A Change of Light

Daylight savings time has totally messed me up. I got up late as it was, and before I knew it, it was 11 AM and I had done nothing except putter on the the puter, and drink my coffee.

I briefly went into town, did not find what I needed, and returned home to paint for the afternoon.

The Salt Marsh is 98% done, and signed, and I worked on my drama sky painting which was a disaster, so I brushed over the entire painting and am playing with it much more freely. Worst case disaster is that I paint it black, and let it dry thoroughly and start over. A lesson I learned - I need to know about oils more before I can attempt to pull off a difficult subject matter.

I joined YouTube so that I can post videos etc. here. I love music, and hopefully I have figured out how to do this right. Enjoy. I am heading up to bed, as it is getting late...and really have nothing more to say (it's a miracle!)

Patti O

LAURA GIBSON: THE LONGEST DAY

Ecstasy Girl

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Most of my day was spent driving around doing chores, one of which was wash the salt off the car. Since it was 64 degrees out (and still lots of snow on the ground around here, much of it very dirty and unrecognizable as snow along the roadsides) I put the top down, thus tonight's self portraits, with moi, looking very Joni-like.

After all my running around, I came home to finish up some framing, so that I could drop off 2 pieces at the Varga Gallery, and then head to the opening at WAAM.

What should have been an easy project turned into a nightmare as I split the frame on one of the two pieces, even though I had pilot holes for my screw eye. "#$@$%@-OLA" I cursed, and had to decide which piece was going to be the stand in for my Water Witch. I grabbed Ecstasy Girl, one of my rare assemblages.

Like much of my work, it is autobiographical. A vintage found Jesus holds a double-entendre vintage toy hoe, while Ms. Ecstasy sports a silver spoon glistening with some unknow…

Late Winter Thoughts

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Tonight's entry is excerpted from what I wrote on my daughter's blog tonight. I had not written her blog for several months - people still check it from time to time, and I feel guilty about not keeping abreast on her progress. Sometimes it is easier to not think of frightful or sad things, but once in a while the earth shakes enough to remind me not to get too complacent.

"It is almost spring, and maybe I am pushing it, but the clocks change this weekend, we are starting to get above 32 degrees more so than not, and I can see some of the dirt from my garden underneath the snow.

We have made it through another winter, through the little earthquakes, and come out of it relatively unscathed.

Megan has been diagnosed with systemic lupus...a long time coming. Too bad she had to get so sick and be in so much pain in order for them to panic and order more tests, but at least it has been done.

I bought her in for testing before she entered the Army (or was it after?) and the doc…

I'm IN!

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I got into the WAAM show for the month. I am thrilled.

This weekend I have to have two pieces ready for the Varga gallery; it is hard to believe that it is time for another show there, and I have the opening at the WAAM to attend on Saturday.

I have made a commitment to making art for two galleries each month, and even though I don't count on selling it (who is selling now anyway?) what counts is that I am showing it. Woodstock is such a great historic art town - I am proud to be back and active.

I suspect that I will gradually be phasing out my cards and other decorative arts except for designing for my client, and perhaps for a shop or two, and the couple of shows I do a year. I am passionate about my fine art, and I am ready to put my other arts aside to delve deep into what is most passionate to me. I suspect in a while I will be selling off or donating to school the myriad of art/craft supplies I have collected over the years in order to focus on my fine art. Plus, I need …

Quick Movie Review

Let the Right One In is a Swedish vampire movie that is in its last few nights of showing at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck.

Lois and Susan met me at the theater. After the first few moments of the movie I wondered if I should have recommended this to them. Susan disappeared within minutes, and Lois's face was intense. (turns out Susan had to move as she could not read the subtitles through people's heads in front of us)

It was VERY well done if you like that genre of film.

I have been fascinated with vampires since I was a young adult and read Dracula and Salem's Lot. I have seen many vampire movies and enjoy each director's take on this macabre and horror genre.

This was filmed in the Swedish tradition, and I can only think of the austere settings of Bergmann films. Though filmed in color, it could have easily been filmed in black and white. Most of the film is set in an endlessly snowy dark depressing apartment complex, where lonely 12 year old bullied boy meets…

Hey It's Good to be Back Home

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The 10 mile ride up Route 28 to Woodstock was lovely, even though it was 24 degrees, and I was imagining what it would be like to drive with the top down again.

I pulled into my favorite parking lot, behind the florist shop and clothing store that I worked at 25 years ago. Some of the stores are comfortingly the same, others change location, or color and names.

I flashed back to my teenage years growing up and partying that that town. You could spot me, the tall skinny chick with the long red hair, wearing rose colored glasses, and a straw hat from Jeans Hats and Artifacts, prancing about with my friends. At night time I frequented Rosa's Cantina where I kissed one of my first men there, who ended up later on being the infamous mayor. Then there was the time I made out with two brothers at the same time as they dropped me off at my friend's house, much to her horror. I knew I was destined for hell then.

I experienced the disco of the 70's with Disco Linda at the Joyous …

Olana Sunset

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This painting, again not quite finished, is of a fabulous sunset at Olana, full of dark blues, greys and glowing oranges. Very difficult to pull off, at least for me, and I am going to get out my Hudson River Painting books and look at how they did it.

I don't aspire to paint like Church or Cole (though if I did I would be one hell of a talented girl...) as I want to find my OWN voice in my landscape work, but there is much to be learned from others, so I will study. And in order to get it right, I know I have to paint paint paint. Problem is, I need another life to do this if I work full time.

So instead of writing tonight, I am going to get a few pieces together for another show submission, I will keep on trucking until I get SOMETHING INTO A SHOW. I might fall a few steps back, but I will never give up the climb.

Patti O Painter

An Old Man

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My friends were making fun of me tonight because I kept calling everyone "old". It was quite by accident, you know "the old hair cutter who worked at ---, my old friend ----.

I am going to have to drop that adjective out of my vocabulary if I am to keep my friends it seems. At our age, they don't want to hear it, and I can relate.

But here tonight is an OLD man. He was photographed in the late 1800's. It is a very unusual tintype, and someone took the time to hand color his cheeks pink. How odd. He is another piece of my collection that I am offering on eBay cause the economy is bad and art moves S L O W L Y, slower than this old man who will probably make his minimum bid.

Oh, and on the way to Woodstock today I saw the greatest billboard: "ART, THE BEST INVESTMENT" (or something to that ilk)

Anyway, no energy to write much tonight. After working for 5 days, and then spending the entire weekend standing in front of an easel, I am beat. I am counti…