Saturday, January 31, 2009

BLOG GIVEAWAY


I think I am going to periodically give away things on my blog that I no longer need, or that I need to feng shui. Books, art, decorative items. I have toooo much and need to make way for the new.

If you get back to me before I leave town, I will ship this today.

It is a book I liked, but no longer need. I think I have depression by its bullish horns and have given it a shake. And, if it sneaks back, I have a big bag of tools and tricks, and think I can get through it without drugs.

I have taken medications over the years. They might have saved my ass. Some made me very sick however, and caused me many problems, thus my trying to figure out how to live life without them.

Some of it took very hard work, and at times, still does.

So this is a good book for someone who wants to understand more about depression, or knows of someone who might benefit from this book. Almost new condition. No dirt, food, drool, or wine stains.

Comment or email me.....

Off to get ready for adventures, will be taking my trusty laptop with me, so I won't be dropping out of sight!

patti o adventurer

Thursday, January 29, 2009

If You Don't Like the Show Switch the Channel

I am going to do my best to be nice here. I really don't like being mean, except to those who truly deserve it.

My blog is a place where I like to have fun. Tell stories, dreams; hopefully I inspire some, make others laugh, and it seems, make others very angry.
Which I guess is OK too as you can make some of the people happy some of the times...well, you know the rest of that old adage.

Politicians have been the fodder for comics,artists,and writers for years. And they don't always stop when some of them leave office either. I think Mr. Bush will be one of them, and though we have a new president, people just don't forget the events of this past 8 years, including this recent election so easily.

So no, I won't stop. It's my blog and I can do what I want to. (sung to the tune "It's my party......) You can start YOUR own blog and do the same. It's all fair game...EXCEPT I don't believe in being racist, homophobic, or saying anything that might belittle any one group of people. Oh except politicians, because we know they, as well as lawyers, aren't real people. (OK only kidding..I know a few nice lawyers)

So....I will add a few more limericks that I wrote for my book which is going around some Museums, galleries and such in the US this year, along with 2,700 others. It will be a book with limericks and mixed media collages, or other images that go along with the writing. Eventually I am hoping to self publish it, like I have my EAT MAN DRINK WATER and OBSESSIONS zine. After the chuckles I got at political art I made for a gallery in town, I am not ready to call it quits yet.

So the comment on last night's blog actually inspired me; there is always good that comes out of the bad. Thanks for the inspiration! What I wrote bright and early today....

drum roll please....(please note, all material copyrighted!)

There once was a woman named Palin
Who liked to hunt moose and go whalin'
Todd-bring me a beer
I see Russia from here!
No wonder the polls were an ailin'

There once was a man called Obama
Who was mostly raised by his mama
He had a great mind
And came from behind
To end the Bush-Cheney drama

There once was man called McCain
Who was pretty much labeled McSame
He pulled out some tricks
And ran with a chic
His loss she was partly to blame.


Patti O Cheerio

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day #6



So it is day No. 6 of no sleep.

I feel like I am cursed.

Last night I gambled that there would be a snow day, which there was, and I stayed up to list things on Ebay and Etsy. I went to bed around midnight, and fell into a deep sleep.

At 2 am the phone rings, making both Larry and I jump.

My first thought is "it is the snow chain" but at 2 AM?

I pick up the phone..and there is a silence on the other end.
" Give me back my newspaper" the male voice says.
"I think you have the wrong number" I reply.
"I am your neighbor, and I KNOW WHO YOU ARE:. GIVE ME BACK MY PAPER, I KNOW YOU ARE STEALING IT".

By now I am pissed and I hang up. I settle back into bed, and the phone rings again.

"STOP STEALING MY PAPER AND GIVE IT BACK".

I tell him he's got the wrong person and I hang up and wonder what I am going to do if this persists. He never calls back, but I lay in bed disturbed by it till 3:30 am.

At 5:45 I get the call about the snow day.
I lay in bed for another hour or two, but know that 6 days of very interrupted sleep is beginning to get on my nerves.

Tonight I may take a hot bath, watch a movie..I have a few..The Queen, and Queen Margot. I may even break into my mostly undisturbed stash of Ambien and take a half which will guarantee a good nights sleep.

I spent the day doing things around the house, working on the taxes, being creative, and writing limericks for a book I am working on. Here are a few, which were inspired by the pictures above.

There once was a girl in a shoe
Who rowed with a man from Peru
He reached for her hand
And WHACK went her fan
Which split his face into two.

There once were two ladies from town
Who flirted by pulling their gown
Along came a guy
Who then pinched their thigh
And took off to never be found.

and last, but not least, to be matched up with one of my Bush collages:

There once was a President BUSH
Whose politics smelled like his TUSH
He cried for his mama
Instead came Obama
Who gave him a very big PUSH

Patti O Rhymer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sweet Revenge




The thing I love about my art, (some of it, not all of it) is it is payback to those who wronged me or others, without really doing anything other than telling a story on paper.

I have yelled at my father for his cruelty, at my mother for having ruined my hair for so many years, and today's art is about mean boys.

Boys who pull your hair, call you flatty Patti, dump you, sleep with your best friend and so on.

Tonight's card was inspired by a story that Larry's sister told me. He is about 5 years older than her, and once stole her doll, put it in a "doll coffin", and lit candles around her, just like a real wake. Then he bought her downstairs to the basement and showed her his little display. He totally freaked her out, and she never forgot it.

Well Anita, this one's for you.

I have sold the two art pieces I have pictured here. It is strange that someone would want to buy such personal and autobiographical works, but it happens. Tonight's card will go on Etsy soon, in my pagibbons store...or email me about it.A good laugh for 4.00!

Patti O Revenger

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Blurb About Bathrooms


I don't have much energy to write. Probably because I have gone three nights without much sleep, and after a massage and a dinner out with a good friend, I don't have much left.

But two days in a row, I have been left with images of ladies rooms that are just plain YUCK.

Yesterday...a nice lunch in a fancy French restaurant in town. Champagne, good food, topped off with a trip to the ladies room before I head a few miles west to Woodstock.

I enter the ladies room, and it is pathetic. Worn, chipped wood. The decor is a few lonely shells strung along a shelf. The art work is wrinkled from some moisture, its origin uncertain. I look around and think, it wouldn't take much to transform this to a place that ladies would be comfortable visiting. I wonder what the men's room looks like, and I immediately turn the image off.

Tonight a different restaurant, same scenario. Lovely place, and I have to take a trip to the powder room before I head home. The toilet doesn't flush right, the place has no character or sense of cleanliness.

I fantasize about being the "fly lady" of bathrooms. The person who goes from restaurant to restaurant, redecorating the privvies with small things that make a girl feel good. Hand creme. Perhaps fancy hand towels in a basket. Nice art work.An aromatherapy plug-in that actually smells good. Maybe even a basket that contains a few feminine items. PUT A FRESH COAT OF PAINT ON THE WALLS.

How do I approach the owners to tell them "SEDUCE YOUR LADIES IN THE BATHROOM - make them feel like they are loved in ALL the right places!".

Perhaps I should send them this blog. I am willing to do a consultation for a dinner or two.

Patti O Potty Mouth!

ps. Thomas Cole's privvy from the mid 1800's looks good compared to what I visited!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Getting Into My Pants


My day started off with another night of sleep deprivation. At 3:10 am, the neighbor let the dog outside, and he barked till 5:30 AM. Big deep barks, about 10 feet from my window. Somewhere around 4 AM Larry went over there to knock on the door. No answer. Can't call the police, because they are useless. Been there done that, and they never show.

I think I slept 4 hours before I was awake for another 3. I slept in for a few more before I got up and started my day.

Since I could not get to yoga, I went to the gym for the first time in forever and did 1/2 hour on the elliptical, going a bit over 2 miles.

It had been SO long since I had been to a gym that my trusty Ipod was dead, and I was relegated to doing some people watching.

I check out the young woman in the skin tight tank top and low cut pants who is lifting weights like a pro. Definitely in good shape, and cute to boot.

I see a couple of middle aged men walking around the gym most of the time. They lift a weight here and there, and continue to strut talking to one another. I wondered if it was a relationship in the making.

I recognize a few people, then see an old acquaintance whose butt could serve as a serving surface for a meal. Now normally I am not "catty" but this person is the same one, who, when spotting me in my newly leased red Jetta in 1991, said "oh Patti, this is the nicest thing I have seen you drive to date". It was NOT meant as a compliment about my new hot car, but was instead a put-down of the multi-colored cars that I drove in the years of being a poor single parent.

That's OK --------- (name deleted) I think with a grin on my face. All your elitism and money STILL can't get rid of that gi-normous butt that you have been wearing the past 25 years. The bumper sticker MEAN PEOPLE SUCK flashes through my mind and I try to let it all go, as I don't like remembering the pain that I suffered in that other lifetime.

I go home and quickly shower as Karen is coming over to do a photo shoot of her art work for a show that we both want to be in. While I am getting dressed, I pull on my most beloved jeans, the pair Lois bought me in Pirate's Alley in New Orleans the spring before Katrina hit.

I love these jeans, the ones that make my ass look great, and fit like they were custom made for me. As I do the customary "yank them up over my hips by the belt-loops hike", I hear a clear RIP. I have nearly torn off the loop, and left a hole that shows my skivvies. OH NO, I groan.

After dropping off the submission, Karen and I head to a shop that has been in Woodstock for at LEAST 35 years.

SALE.

Oh good. I need some new jeans. I flash back to 1972 when I bought one of my first pairs of Levis in Woodstock....

I go into the store and see brands like LUCKY and others that I don't recognize. I go over to the sale rack, and they are on sale for 99.00. YIKES. Yet I try some on, but they are so low that 4" of my low cut undies show.

"Don't you have anything higher cut?" I query. "Yes", the sweet young salesgirl responds. "How much are THEY?" I ask. "169.00" she coyly replies.

I gasp, and flash to a scenario where a kid accidentally gets paint on my pants.
I don't even bother to try them on, remembering the 15.00 pair that I bought a lifetime ago in the very same spot.

I think I will go to Marshalls, where for 100.00 I can buy at least 3-5 pairs for the same amount. Maybe they aren't Lucky (yeah, Lucky for the company that gets the big bucks for a name) but they are fine enough for me.

The measure of a woman isn't the tag on her jeans!

Patti O No Name!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Night From Hell


It has been a rough start to the weekend. Larry has an infection from a cracked tooth beneath his cap, and has to go to the oral surgeon on Monday. So he has been in bed all day, and sick and groaning.

I make a very very bad nurse, as I have no patience for groaners, but have done my best to be kind and made a humongous pot of chicken soup for him to eat. I am going to go upstairs to watch either Rivers and Tides, or Titus with him.

I did my own dentist thing yesterday, but my check up was great save for a tiny cavity near an old filling that has to be redone. Then I went to Rhinebeck to have my hair "enhanced" a bit. Before Lois did my hair, I took a few of my Canadian aspirin that I smuggled in to the country (the ones that have some codeine in them with aspirin and caffeine) as I was having a really nasty ache in my shoulder. I don't remember injuring it, sort of like my last shoulder injury which took 2 years to heal, and I don't want to go through THAT again. I can't figure out if it is from shoveling, or yoga, and am now afraid to do either one. Fortunately the weather gods are behaving themselves this week, and instead of yoga I will go to the gym and do lower body instead.

Back to the aspirin - it tore up my stomach, and all night I was in bad pain. It ruined my night out, and then I did not sleep at all. I raced to the drug store this morning to get Pepcid, which seems to work, but I HAVE to call the gastroenterologist this week as it has been a year that this has been going on. The gall bladder has been ruled out, so I suspect an ulcer, gastritis, or some other thing. Ah, the joys of aging, eh? Oh, and I bought Aleve instead of using aspirin!

But I don't want to bore you with the sordid medical details of my life.

After I wrote the blog on following one's dreams, my "Notes from the Universe" email arrived in my inbox. It said: "Baby steps spark miracles, Patti. Miracles do not spark baby steps." This has happened a few times where I get a daily inspiration note which is directly related to my life at the moment. Even once, when my daughter was really sick, the note said to "visualize health in your daughter Patti". Now everyone gets the same notes I believe, as Mike Dooley (from "Tuts Adventurers Club")does not have time to check into our daily lives, and it always spooks me - in a good way, when this happens.

I have been taking baby steps for years. And little by little, it has paid off. I wonder, what if I took bigger steps? Like adult steps?! I really believe in the law of attraction, and the power of positive thinking. It has worked for me many times.

Another case in hand. I want to take this painting course with Christie Scheele, whom I studied with last year at this time. I really don't have the 200.00 for the weekend course as my extra money is going into filling up my propane tank in the studio. I just joined an expensive art organization and entered three pieces in a show, and extra play money isn't around.

So today, when I bought in my mail after a long quiet afternoon in the studio preparing things to sell on Etsy and Ebay (supplies, not art) I saw something that looked like a check from my mortgage holder. Hmm...what would they be sending ME money for?! I open it up, it was a 1000.00 refund on an overpayment for my escrow account.

HORRAY. Now I have NO excuse not to take the class. I will fund it partially with my business, and partially with my refund.

Now, how fabulous is that.

Here is to ANY step taken forward. And I refuse to believe in Bruce's song with the line..."one step up and two steps back".

Cowabunga!
patti o adventurer!

photo is of my having my hair highlighted. I look a bit like a Yorkshire Terrier!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who Says You Can't Make Money as an Artist?

Tonight I had the most fabulous therapy appointment and field trip.

Though Peg is my therapist, she is also my mentor. I credit not only my mental health to her, but my courage to take risks and adventures in the spiritual and artistic realm. She is a gift from the universe, given to me at a time when I needed it most.

I am ready for great adventures. In fact I crave it. Entering shows, joining art organizations in places that count. Searching for residencies/fellowships for the summer. Planning for future trips around various US spots and Europe. A girl has got to have dreams, and I dream big. And I have come to realize that dreams CAN come true.

After Pegs, I headed over to Woodstock to meet an old friend whom I taught with before they cut the music program out of our school. For 5 years he has been designing and building a 7 million dollar log home in Woodstock, and I got to see it for the first time today.

Can I just say...UN-FRIGGIN-BELIEVABLE?! Three floors, and the floors are GLASS in some parts (don't wear a skirt there). Some parts are pieces of exotic wood embedded in grout. Giant beams abound, with a few beams shaped like a tree trunk (actually some were left in their natural form) a variety of kinds of fireplaces, radiant heat, copper galore, hand crafted EVERYTHING. Wave pool, sauna, steam room, workout room, lots of flat screens and a few mini kitchens scattered about. Toilets that are heated and wash your tush. Decks galore, etc. etc. Cork floors, cork furniture......

The greatest part of the story is that the woman started out in the 60's/70's tie dyeing and selling T-Shirts. She sold a design to Rolling Stone and the rest is history.

I did not even THINK to bring my camera, so I am going back sometime to photograph the inside of the house. All these years I have known this man and never knew that he had this talent. I knew he was a fab jazz musician, but this too...a true Renaissance man, who has kept quiet about his many accomplishments.

So the moral of the tonight's blog is...persevere. Trust. Work hard. Dream. Dream big. And believe.

Patti O Believer

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

25 Random Things


I got tagged on Facebook by one of my cybespace friends for something called 25 Random things. I did it, as I love to play such games, only I will have to figure out the Facebook details tomorrow, but it made for a good post for tonight.

The image is from fact #18, and is one of the many pieces I have in my collection. I wrote a zine about my obsessions, and my obelisk obsession is in the zine, replete with images and a story.

25 random things about me.

1. I am a true red head in case you were wondering and no, I don’t color my hair, just put in some highlights now and then.
2. I have had three long term relationships. Married 2 of them, Divorced #1, still married to #2, and I think it is till death do us part.
3. I am fiercely independent.
4. I love to write, and make art. It is an integral part of my life.
5. I am a never recovered Catholic who spent time in a Buddhist Monastery this past year and loved it.
6. I hate to work out.
7. I quit smoking twice in my life, the last time because it would age my face faster.
8. I try and meditate every day
9. Even though I am 51, I still have a draw full of bikinis
10. I love epic romance movies such as Dr. Zhivago, Reds, and the English Patient
11. I love to do things that I can’t write about here.
12. The older I get, the more passionate I get about life.
13. I love to travel, even if it is to the next county.
14. I still don’t have a debit or cache card
15. I bought a convertible this year – a fantasy come true.
16. I am a grandmother to two, and love them dearly.
17. I have a passion/addiction for antique paper/prints
18. I used to have nightmares about obelisks as a child and collect their images
19. I wish my father didn’t die so young so that I could get to know him and figure out what made him so angry.
20. I hope that my children find the peace in their life that I have found in mine.
21. I hope that my ex finds peace too.
22. I wish I could thank all of the men who were part of my life for the lessons I learned from them so that I could end up with the man that I am married to now.
23. The only TV I usually watch is the Weather Channel and CNN
24. I hate to clean
25. Sometimes I fantasize about my cats dying so that I can buy a new sofa….something that I have never owned.

Hope you got a chuckle or two out of them. At first I did not know if I could come up with 25 random facts about myself, but after the first 5, it was all cake. And, as I sit here, I can probably think of another 15 at LEAST.

Patti O Divulger

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historical Day

It was a historical day for our country. I won't go on and on about it, because by now, I am sure you have heard it all. But it was amazing.

My principal got up in front of the entire school and encouraged the students to take note of this moment in history as we began our school-wide celebration. She talked about how she marched for civil rights, and got pushed off the streets by policemen on horses, others sprayed by fire hoses.

I have been reading Maya Angelou's novel "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". Larry gave it to me for my birthday. Perfect reading for a time like this, and it is hard to believe that it has taken my entire lifetime of 50+ years to get to the point where people are appreciated for their ability, not their color.

What we did today in our Alternative High School was pretty amazing. We started with an assembly to prepare the students for the day, then we ran a series of 30 minute seminars related to the big day, such as Finding Peace Within Yourself, History of the First Lady Fashions, Green Energy, poets who have read for presidents, and a few others that I cannot remember. Mine was on Political Art, which took me four hours to prepare, but I learned a lot from it. Then we all gathered in the gym for an hour and a half to watch the Inauguration.

I found myself in tears during several parts of the ceremony. We applauded and hugged one another. I hope that we can get beyond the wounds of our past and look to heal together to unite for a new future. I hope that color can be relegated to our paintboxes, where it belongs.

To the dawning of a new day in America. And to all Americans, take part and be responsible. You are part of the problem if you aren't part of the solution.

Patti O Gratitude.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Farewell to BUSH


And no, farewell to Bush does not mean that I am shaving. In fact, the other day in class, we had quite the conversation about Americas obsession with getting rid of body hair, washing our clothes even if they are not dirty, and an our aversion to any natural smell of the human body. We shave it off, scrub it out, and we are still a bunch of dirty Americans in our rampant pollution of the earth.

Elizabeth, a writer from Philadelphia wrote an excellent blog the other day titled The Age of Innocence is Over; she writes about our wasteful habits and the need to do our best to live green.

But I diverge.

I went to a party last night that was a farewell to Bush.

I love my bush, I love Kate Bush, I can even handle Bush Beans, and I don't mind bushwhacking, but THIS Bush has been the bane of this country and it was a joyous event to celebrate the end of his reign. He and his cronies have done much to destroy our environment, our economy, our image, and our Constitution this past 8 years, never mind sacrificed the 4,200 lives of Americans soldiers in Iraq, injured some 31,000, and killed 600,000 Iraqis Civilians. (hmmm we are getting close to Saddam Hussein's count!).

The fall out from his 8 years will be great. I have heard that the real estate market will take 20 years to recover. People lost their retirement investments,(thank God I might have a chance to recoup the 1/3 of my retirement savings that I lost in the blink of an eye) Some lost their jobs, and some are in the process of losing them still. THOUSANDS who have served in this war and survived it will come back disabled from a variety of diseases, traumas, physical injuries, and some, like PTSD, are invisible and disabling. Obama has said it will get worse before it gets better, and to fix the mess is beyond his possible 2 terms as president.

Tomorrow however, we are being given hope. Hope for an America I can be proud of. A country that thinks before it acts. A president who is intelligent and articulate and who stands for the American people, not the 9% of those who hold the wealth.

Tomorrow I will wear red, white, and blue, for the first time in my life as a show of my patriotism. I will stand proud as we swear in our new president. I pledge to do my part to help heal this country, the earth, and make the American Dream available to all, not just the wealthy few..

My words to you Mr. Bush, are farewell, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bucket List

I just watched a short video that made me cry, of a brief talk make by an Australian man, Nick Vujicic. Maybe many of you have seen it already, but it got me in the gut, and I found tears streaming down my face.

It is a video that I will show the kids in my classroom. I am sure some of them will laugh and poke fun of the guy, but I know it will be out of discomfort or nervousness. It puts life and one's complaints in perspective. And the message..."never give up", is so important for both the young and the old.

Which brings me to my topic...the Bucket List, another email sent to me today by a different friend, about how we should never put off till tomorrow....as we don't know how many tomorrows we have. Perhaps you might want to copy this list into a word processing program and keep just for yourself...to review from time to time to see if you have been following your dreams.

(x) Been to Europe (But want to go again)
( ) Been on a cruise-hmmm...now that is an idea.
(x ) Gone on a blind date (sorry folks, that is over rated and good for another blog)
(x ) Skipped school
(x ) Watched someone die (I guess there is much to be learned from this..sigh)
( x ) Been to Canada - several times
( x ) Been to Mexico-twice
(x ) Been to Florida-once
(x) Been on a plane-lots
(x) Climbed a lighthouse-Saugerties...cool!
(x) Swam in the ocean-OH YES
( x) Cried yourself to sleep-too many times.
( x ) Seen the Cherry Blossoms in Washington , D.C. - in 1977
(X) Played cops and robbers- of course!
( ) Flown a plane - uh NO and I HAVE NO DESIRE TO DO THAT
( x ) Owned a boat- does one that you power yourself count?
(x) Watched grandchildren grow-oh yes
(x ) Recently colored with crayons- YEP
( ) Been to the Kentucky Derby-NOPE but been to the races
( ) Been to Key West -no, but THAT I would like to do.
( ) Been to a rodeo- NO AND I DON'T WANT TO GO.
( ) Sang Karaoke - no, ok, I would try it if I were toasted.
( x ) Paid for a meal with coins only? - I am sure somewhere in my college days I did
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? (hehehe...YES)
( ) Made prank phone calls- NO AND THAT IS NOT NICE.
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose - oh yes and I also managed a pea (not a pee)
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue - duh!
(x) Danced in the rain- yes, in fact, ran away in the rain when I was 5 or so
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus-YEP
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe - oh yes
(x) Watched the sunrise with someone-the Grand Canyon
( ) Seen the green flash at sunset--hmmm...no
(X) Blown bubbles
(x) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies
(x ) Owned a convertible-NOW I DO!

From the look of it I have done a lot of things on that list, including my dream of owning a convertible, building my own studio, and c0-owning my own gallery/stop. Some of them I have no desire to do...like a rodeo? That is cruel to the animals in my opinion. (who made up that list anyway?! How about use an outhouse, pee in the snow---now you haven't lived until you experienced that!)

There ARE some things I want to add to my list, and they are: start applying for artist residencies, apply for a Fulbright, take more art classes, and travel more. I have to say, if I died tomorrow, it would be without regrets as I have had a full, adventurous life.

But the list IS a reminder to keep pursuing your dreams.

Patti O Adventurer




Friday, January 16, 2009

What I Learned in School Today


At 51, I would think that I have one up on the kids. Not in the school that I work in.

In alternative education, you hear EVERYTHING. Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, rap, blues, more sex and more drugs, it is a constant edu-ma-cation.

Today I had a young woman come in and say: "so and so (name deleted) totally freaks me out". "Why?" I query. She replies: "oh he sits in the back of the bus and asks questions like do my curtains match my carpet?".

I look at her, and ask "what is wrong with that?", as I figure that the person asking the question is anal retentive and try and imagine what their home looks like.

The kids AND the staff are staring at me in a quizzical kind of manner. In my naivety, I say "what is wrong with that?". A twitter goes around the room and they look at me like OH MY GOD, WHAT PLANET IS SHE ON?.

I sense the suppressed laughter and know that there is some deep hidden meaning to this question, but at the end of a long week, I cannot figure out what it might be.

Again I say, "what is wrong with that?".

A student takes pity on me and says, "aw Patti, you know, are you a true redhead?".

I instantly know what they mean. I don't blush, as after working there for 17 years I have heard it all.

"OH.........." I reply, thinking about the same question asked by a good friend some million years ago...and the answer I gave her, and the nickname I earned.

I thank them for the lesson for the week, and think back on all the other terms and words I have come to learn...chode, tea bagging, and probably many more that have now become a standard part of my vocabulary.

A teaching assistant reminds me that anytime I don't know what the kids are talking about, I should go to urbandictionary.com and research it.

I am still chuckling to myself, feeling priveledged that I have been let into their teenage world, and amazed at the scope of what I still have yet to learn, and grin knowing how much I love them and consider myself a lucky woman that I get to work with such amazing young people, in spite of the challenges and awkward moments!

Patti O Learner

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Real Life Benjamin Button




The other night, after a few weeks of getting back to our life after Megan and the children left, I suddenly realized there were parallels in our life to the Benjamin Button movie.

Over the past year, and even more so during the holidays (when I wasn't sick) Larry and I have been doing some partying (in a modest and responsible way) by going out to dinner, going to the movies, opening bottles of wine, inviting people over, going over to friends houses, celebrating, laughing, snuggling and purring............like teenagers discovering the adult world.

I spent some time thinking about it, and realized that when we met 14 years ago, I was in the throes of single parenting, which all went rapidly sour after meeting Larry. (nothing to do with him...just circumstance) He should have left after meeting the kids for the first time, and getting kicked in the shins by a nine year old while he was helping me move furniture.

During the teen years, I don't know how he hung in there --- I don't know how I hung in there. They weren't even his kids. He had to deal with the ex-husband, the ex-fiance, and the most I ever heard out of his mouth was him mumbling something about "shoe shit" (which has become one of my favorite terms for people you can't get out of your life!).

He suffered through the trips to the hospitals, the rehabs, nights of hysteria on their and on my end, hours of counseling, blips in our relationship where I almost left or wanted him to leave.

He still married me, we had to wait a year or two to take a real honeymoon, and just when we thought we were going to have a life together, my kids joined the military, my daughter was shipped to Iraq, to later come home pregnant, and develop a slew of medical problems. (which are not over) She was diagnosed with cancer with two year old who called the hospital "mommy's home". Again, I was a mess, and not much fun.

The universe has given us some respite...the past year where we have had some time where we have actually started to "date". Dinners together out or in front of the fire. Adventures in the convertible, acting like we don't have a care in the world. Getting silly sipping glugg or some crazy concoction that we invent. Doing the things that we never got to do as a young couple sans children.

I know that more is to come down the pike. Such is life. But I am going to live life like a child who is wide eyed with discovery and the excitement of learning about love, almost as if it were for the first time - from the Sound of Music:
"Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth
For here you are
Standing there
Loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Patti O Sentimentality
(tonight take out Sushi, in front of the fire, with Shiva joining in. He loves edamame!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some of the Best Things in Life Are Free


A busy day. School, packing up the sales I had in the past 24 hours on Etsy.
Though it may be hard to sell art, I have many fabulous things to sell to USE in art, so I have been keeping busy listing on Etsy and Ebay, hoping to make enough money to pay another studio heating bill.

I got my largest heating bill EVER yesterday. Six weeks of working in the studio cost 160.00. Most of the time the heat is at 40 and when I am in there, I pump it up to 65 or so. Sheeeeit. There is still 3 months of winter left. GULP.

One of my friends suggested I go solar, but somehow I have this idea stuck in my head that it will cost me a lot of money. And, as Larry pointed out, there are lots of trees around my studio, so it might not be practical.

But in spite of all of this, I realized that there ARE some things in life that are free, like the coffee/tea that is served in my bank. Too bad it doesn't open till 9 am, cause I would figure out how to make many transactions there during the week so that on my way to work I could grab a cup. They have a great one cup machine that makes coffee or tea from Green Mountain Roasters. Today for a healthy pick-me-up, I had the green tea. D E L I G H T F U L.

Then there are the free address labels that I get from St. Jude's Hospital, a Cancer Society, the Human Rights Commission or some other organization that thinks if they send you return address labels, you will send them money. I usually don't send money and there is no guilt, as this year I have been the most generous ever. Maybe I only send out checks for 25.00, but I have supported an organization for teens/abused mothers, Planned Parenthood, a local Community Center for Children, the local art society building fund, several scholarship funds, local people who are ill or need help etc. Then there is the art that I donate, for which the government will only give me a write off for the cost of the art, not its value. Though a piece may only cost me 50.00 to make, the market value is MUCH more, but alas, I cannot claim the fair market value. Obama, can you help out on this one?

There there are the daily gifts that mother earth grants us... sunrises, sunsets, snowflakes, kittens, puppies, flowers ET.AL.

And then there is the priceless gift of love and friendship.

If I could only bottle it all and shove it in my gas tank, but somehow, I will make it through the winter.

In appreciation of all that IS free,

Patti O Gratitude!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Moment of Silence

In a snowstorm I wrote this and posted this to my art blog.
Tonight, when I am tired and full of cramps, and post movie MILK, I am posting this poem here. More to follow at a time when I have more energy.

As I fold laundry

In murky silence of storm

I hear movement of gears

On mantle clock.

Tick tock

Tick tock

The gong sounds

Bongggggggggggggggg

Bongggggggggggggggg

- a moment of silence

Tick tock

Tick tock

Grey snow glows outside window.

Swoooooosh of slush from passing cars

Agitation of laundry in wash

Rain on roof.

drip drop.

Drip drop.

Tick tock

Tick tock.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Dream


I have vivid dreams nearly every night. I fly, I travel, I move into new houses, I fight, I have adventures that only those who dream could experience.

I love my dreams, and sometimes wisps of them overlap into my day, confusing me, making me wonder if I really have traveled somewhere the night before.

Last night (in the dream) Larry's cat got let out of the house by my daughter. (He loves his black half Siamese cat who plays fetch with stuffed mice, a gift from me for his birthday about 10 years ago and our cats NEVER go outside). I freaked, as I knew he would be a total mess until Shiva was back in the house. I got in my car to look for him. I was so crazed that I was driving around in a flooded parking lot with my top down (car top that is) I kept getting stuck in the mud, thinking what a mess my car was going to be with the mud flying out from under the front wheels. I could not find him, so I went back home.

In the house was a young man who was a friend of my daughters. He was upset by relationship problems. I whispered into his ear so that no one could hear me "Stephen Stills says LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH". He looks into my eyes, and begins to kiss me. I half feign horror, as my daughter is in the other room, but I do not stop him. He is a bit of a sloppy kisser, and I am thinking that he needs to fine tune his skills. He stops and asks me "what did you have for lunch?". I look at him and say "what does it matter?". He says "you taste like garlic". I say "SO WHAT?". He says "well, once I get some food in me, perhaps I can stomach it". Dream over. I wake up.

WTF?

Well Larry, you are safe, even in my dreams I can't get into trouble. Something ALWAYS happens to put a kabosh on THOSE kind of adventures.

Artwork was made for a fat book on one of the yahoo swaps. It is based upon a flying dream I had, where I left the atmosphere and entered a place that had warm white light. I did not want to go back, and I tried to get others to join me there. At least this piece flew...though I did not, to Cologne, Germany for a show.

Patti O Dreamer

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Googling Myself


It's a snowy day here in the Hudson Valley. My friends came over early to hang out. I was prepared for them with some brie and crackers, and cassis and champagne drinks. It was after noon, why not? The Christmas tree is still up, so as far as I am concerned, we are still in the holiday mode.

Just when I was about to head across the river to see Lois, it started snowing, so all plans cancelled. Instead I went to my attic where even those clutter buster folks would shudder. I cleaned off one minor surface, and came away with a folder of old prints and such which I am listing on ebay and etsy.

While researching some old prints and art, I googled myself which is something I periodically do in images and on the web. I was rather disappointed that more art did not come up under the images, no matter what I put in. Patti Gibbons, P.A. Gibbons, etc. But I did come up quite a bit on a web search, and while cruising around I re-connected with one artist friend, found an article with a blurb about me and an artwork in a Hudson Valley online article, and found that Nancy and Jouri Donskoj have the images of the entire show We're Only in it for the Money ONLINE. Follow the hot link I have provided, and note that all photos were taken by Nancy Donskoj. (the link should take you to photos she did of my cutie pie friend and ex-student Jesus) Those of you who live in the Hudson Valley need artwork photographed, she is the one. My two pieces were in glass, and she did a FAB job.

So now to figure out how to have a larger Image presence on Google. Any suggestions from any of you computer nerds out there? (I am a partial nerd in need of a better computer education to be a whole nerd)

Off to do some more work. I just got so excited and wanted to share this with you guys! Plus, it is fun to see how people interpret the theme. (money was supposed to be incorporated somehow into the art)

ta ta

Patti O Googler

PS This piece was stolen from a film set I was working on. It was in the Madonna 2000 show, and it is titled "Madonna of the White Pussy". Anyone seen her?

Friday, January 09, 2009

In the Studio



I have gone back writing my art blog. I could not let it languish in cyberspace, and once I recuperated from the weeks of 12 hour days, I decided to keep it going, understanding that there are cycles in my art life, as in everything else, and there may be periods of time where I don't post. I keep two separate blogs as I figure not all artists want to read about my personal life, and some who read my personal blog might not be that interested in my art.

My art blog talks about the shows, the swaps, the risks, journey, and process of my art, which is a sub-life of its own. Stop by Catskillpaper some time for a look into the right side of my brain.

Tonight's images are from my recent studio work. The bottom piece is for a swap which I have named "Detritus Art", otherwise known as cleaning my studio while making art from the debris. It has been fun, and that was one of the reasons I joined a swap. I needed to put some art into the world to share with others, and have fun doing it. Plus it is a GREAT way to clean!

The other is a mixed media artwork , titled "Marie", which sat around in my studio for a long time in pieces. It is missing one element. I don't know where it is, or what it is, but someday it will show itself to me. This is an autobiographical piece about childhood, religion, and blind faith. Marie was my confirmation name, which is Italian for Mary. 11 or so years of age I was going straight to the top. No Teresa, Agnes, or Bernadette for me. And I did not name myself after St. Mary the Slave or St. Mary the Consoler either. I was picking a name on my OWN and it was going to be GOOD.

Marie was also a measure of how much trouble I was in. If either one of my parents got to my confirmation name when yelling at me ...Patricia Ann Marie....I knew I was done for and I had better start praying.

I laugh now, but I remember the solemnity that surrounded the mystery, ceremony, and the white crisp crinoline virginal dress of confirmation. I was innocence personified.

Off to Thai/Japanese/Chinese dinner, and then a quick stop at Hannaford before the snow storm tomorrow. Larry is my date. Yehaaaaa.....

patti o preparedness!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm in Love


I'm in love with Victoria's Secret, but wait, we are jumping the gun on the story.

A two hour delay this morning. Fabulous. Unexpected, another gift from the universe. Or is it.

No one is able to get into any kind of routine with snow days and delays . The kids are grouchy, the teachers are grouchy. We are all trying ease back into this structured school environment. What the kids sometimes don't understand is - I get it.

I go out to the car. My car cover/blanket cover worked, except that I had to take it off before it froze to the car. Then I was faced with drying out a cover that seems the size of an elephant, and the color of one too. (I propped it on my easel and have been drying it in the studio) But the windows opened fine this morning, and I headed to work.

Because I should not talk about my job here, I will only say that it was a challenging day. Just when I thought I have experienced everything, some new drama/emergency/situation arises to test how quickly and smartly you can react.

When I got home, I looked an noticed that my side windows had a horrid streaked film on them. To my dismay, nothing took off the film. Not glass cleaner, not vinegar, not hydrogen peroxide and water. I am sure it is from the lube/spray/dressing that VW put on the window seals to help ease the freezing problem. I think it mixed with the water and ran down the windows; it is the only thing that I can think would make such a mess and be difficult to clean w/all the lubricants in it. So now tomorrow I have to take the car BACK to the dealer to see if THEY can remove it. I will see if I have anything in school and try on my break as a last resort. I can't stand the thought of sitting around a dealership again. (mental note: bring book in case)

I was in a funk after my appointment with Peg, but on the couch was an envelope that was my Victoria Secret order. I have never ordered clothes from them before, but some of my friends have bought the loveliest things. I took advantage of their sale, and bought plum velour yoga pants (yumm), a Henley Cotton sweater, a boucle sweater with a peplum, and a simple scoop neck long sleeve thin cotton shirt for underneath sweaters and jackets. Everything fit, everything looked fabulous, and I smiled, especially when I stood before the fire Larry made in my luscious velour pants. ( I mean the fire in the fireplace. Don't want you to read that the wrong way, hahahahaha...)

Patti O Tsssssssss..........

Pictured: The boucle sweater that is now on sale at Victoria's Secret.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On Being Domestic



Most of you who know me have heard my famous joke about failing the Martha Stewart school of housekeeping and organization. One look at my house, and you will know that I DO NOT spend my time cooking, cleaning, or organizing. Playing, making art, socializing - yeah baby, but being domestic, blech.


Though not dirty, or totally messy in every room, my house is an prime example of a lived-in house occupied by two collectors/artists. Paperwork piles on the kitchen counter. Sometimes on the dining room table. Glasses of all shape and kind litter surfaces that range from the mantle to the hall table (hmm...I wonder whose they are...) Then there is my computer room, where I sit and write, sell my art and collectibles, filled with piles and envelopes full of things that I sort and measure. When necessary, I clean off the couch to watch TV.

Yet people come back, and so far no one has yet stepped in any cat vomit or stray turds from the long haired feline.

But on snow days, where I can't leave the house, and don't even want to bother wading through the snow to get to the studio, I get swept with a slight wave of nostalgia and a titch of domesticity comes out.

A fresh apple pies bakes in the over. The spare room has been stripped and put made into a "quiet place" for my early morning meditations. At last - a place out of the mainstream where I can meditate any time of the day undisturbed. I am starting one of several loads of laundry, and enjoy neatly folding the house and kitchen towels. The dining room table is clean, set with a small wooden bowl of clementines.

Pictured is a snippet of the warmth I feel when I get in such a nostalgic place. I even took out my old pie tin (which I can't bake in anymore for fear of giving my family lockjaw from the rust HAHA) to gaze at. I need a small nail so that I can hang this up in the kitchen.

But, the creative itch creeps under the skin, and at 1:30 in the afternoon I am OVER the domestic part of me, and am thinking about heading to the studio.

See ya!

Patti O Pie Hole

PS THE PIE SUCKS. THE APPLES TURNED TO MUSH. APPLE SAUCE PIE. BAH HUMBUG.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Little Christmas




I am tired and almost said "furrrgetaboutit" when it came to writing tonight's blog.

But I got inspired by taking a few photos tonight, the night of "Little Christmas" , day #12 of the 12 days of Christmas.

It is snowing out. It's light, fluffy, and pretty now, however it is also going to sleet and throw down some freezing rain to boot. I can't deal with a totally frozen up car again, so I decided to try out my new car cover, but I was told that I should put down an old blanket first. I did that, but it only covered the windshield and the roof up to the back window, and am fearing everything sticking to the car and making a huge mess only to be undone with above freezing temperatures or hot water. Sigh. I will report back tomorrow.

I took a few shots..inside - the mantle, the lights by the side door, and the neighbor's house. Hand held, no flash shots, which can get blurry or grainy unless you get lucky - but you still get the feeling...of Christmas!

Here's to a delay, or better yet a snow day. I love being snowed in and eating what I can forage up in the kitchen, which tomorrow will be making an apple pie in the morning. Perhaps we will light a fire, and do some things that we so often put off. And, IF I have off tomorrow, we will make the spare bedroom into my meditation/yoga room. I am psyched. (photos will be forthcoming)

Have a safe and peaceful night,
Patti O' Holiday

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Week in Review-Film


Over the vacation I have managed to watch a few films that were either laying around here from Megan or my mom, or ones that have been gathering dust from Netflix.

I watched two scary movies. I know, wrong holiday, but Larry loves horror genre films, while I consider most of the modern ones repetitive scenes of unnecessary violence which are poorly done. (save for Silence of the Lambs - oh so excellent) But I will watch them, closing my eyes if I can't deal with what is happening, or going to sleep.

First was "The Happening" by M. Night Shyamalan with Mark Wahlberg and John Leguizamo. Not a great thriller, but an interesting message. Man ruining the earth till it fights back. It held my attention, though it could have been kicked up a notch or two in the intellectual realm. 3.5 stars.

Then there was "The Stranger" with the beautiful Liv Tyler. The young director definitely attained his goal of terror (I watched the extras) in this film. Young couple ends up in an empty home after a wedding, and is terrorized and tortured by three masked young people. It was based upon an experience the director had in his childhood, as well as the Charles Manson murders, and possibly another murder in California in the 80's, where a family met a similar fate. I felt like I was stuck in a dream where you could not run....and did not enjoy it. 2.5 stars.

I wanted something a little more sexy and off beat, so Swimming Pool was next. I was a bit disappointed in the film, - it reminded me of the soft core porn like "Lady Chatterly's Lover" and others that came from the 80's. This was Agatha Christie like in approach, and though enjoyable enough it only gets 3.5 Netflix stars from me.

Larry and I even made it to the theater to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I went just to see Cate Blanchett (the Gift, Notes on a Scandal) and Tilda Swinton (Burn after Reading, Orlando, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe), two excellent actresses , and secondly, Brad Pitt. Now many of you girls LOVE Brad Pitt, but there is something about him that disqualifies him from my fantasy bank. Don't know what it is, perhaps he is too blonde, or too wholesome for me, or reminds me too much like the "hump at dump" lifeguards at the resort I worked at in the 70's. I like the darker side, Jeremy Irons and Ralph Fiennes.

An interesting story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this movie was a tad too long for what it was. I am a sucker for epic love stories, but I could not relate to it emotionally as I could in Reds, Dr. Zhivago, The English Patient. I felt a little stain in my heart, and a tear well up in one part, but I was not emotionally engaged. Visually perhaps, and the story did twist my brain a bit, so I give it a "barely reaching 4" rating. (out of 5 BTW)

There are some other movies I want to check out in the theaters - Doubt, Milk, Revolutionary Road and The Reader. It will be interesting to see how they compete with Benjamin Buttons.

Off to a hot bath, some wine, and to start meditating on how I am going to approach the students coming back to school after a long break. I am sure many of them came from craziness over the long break...but then again, so have I. Patience, nurturing and some chocolate cookies!


Patti O Reviewer

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A National Geographic Collage


It has been said ....sigh....that I could make something perverted out of thin air.

It is a skill that I have honed over my lifetime, and held against me by #2. Don't know where it came from, considering that I was raised in a strict Catholic family where the word tampon could shake the world. Actually, I think I was so repressed, that my sexuality eventually started to leak out somewhere, and it started in my humor.

The tampon story for your entertainment: I remember being about 12, sitting in my parents living room and reading my mother' s Reader's Digest, probably looking for the jokes and the "increase your word power" section, which were the only things that interested me. I came across an ad of a young girl riding on a horse, stating that with Tampax, you could be safe riding a horse, swimming, bowling etc. Wow I thought, this is magic, whatever it is..something very mysterious and cult like. BUT WHAT WAS IT? Both my parents were miraculously sitting down at the same time and in the very same room.

"Mom" I queried. "What are Tampax?". No answer. "It says here you can do everything with them, but nowhere does it say what they are!". My father shifts the paper and wiggles in his seat. My mother looks at me stonily with glazed eyes and says nothing. I knew from experience that the conversation was ended. But what they didn't know, is that Ms. Encyclopedia Brown had something new to investigate.

OH LET ME TELL YOU. Once I learned what it was, and all about how it was used, and what it was for, it started a new educational campaign that lasted a few years. I cross referenced my sources, found illustrations, read everything I could get my hands on, and then a classmate gave me a copy of The Sensuous Woman by "J" in my 9th grade global studies class, and the rest was history.

I was so repressed that even National Geographic was hidden if there were any pictures of nude African natives dancing around. Nudity was verboten, and I remember as a young child accidentally seeing my mother naked, and hiding under the bed fearing that the roof would fall. And the one time my father's man thing opening in his PJ's failed, I was mortified. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? Nothing like my younger brothers, that was for sure.

So as a commemoration of my repression and my freedom, I made a collage completely out of National Geographic images from the 50's or so. Hope you get a chuckle. Bet I could do something fun with anything...anyone got a Catholic Charities Magazine laying around?

Patti O Perversion

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Fabric of Our Lives


I started to clean out the hall linen closet near my bathroom. It houses my sheets, towels, personal care items and more - sometimes a sneaky cat.

The closet is deep, and things often go missing for a L O N G time in the inkiness of the back.

As I was cleaning I found a PILE of old fabrics that I had bought at auction about 10 years ago.They were from a lot of partially assembled quilt blocks, and the fabrics were from the 1930-50's.

As I carefully and lovingly unfolded each piece, trimmed, ironed and folded it to sell on Etsy, (I have decided that I must not get diverted by other things so that I can really delve deeply into my art) I took a trip back in my past.

This fabric reminds me of my mother's apron collection, and this one of the pot holder set in the white metal cabinet in our kitchen in Long Island. This pile over here reminds me of my Scottish great aunts, who wore cotton shirt dresses with thick black shoes. I loved them very much, rutabagas, boiled eggs and all -- I hope I see them on the other side. Ah, here's some 70's looking pieces, and I remember the peasant blouses and skirts I painstakingly made on the same Sears machine that I use today in my artwork. Wait - these two pieces I bought in the 80's when I was a young single mother, sewing every curtain and extra we needed. I closed my eyes and tried to count the number of places I left things behind that I made, knowing they would never fit anywhere else, nor wanting the often difficult memories they harbored deep within their fibers.

One last whiff (I smell everything....) and I carefully place these ancient squares into packages, hoping they will find a person who will give them a new life in a quilt, a pillow, a doll.

So much is woven into our memories..but the dong of the clock reminds me to stay in the present, so I tuck it all away for a little while until once again it is unleashed by the sight of a stray sock, a lone glove, a pile of fabric or a photo.

Patti O Memories

PS fabric found in my Etsy store - Catskillpaper