Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Snap, Crackle and POP

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 and my recent issues put me on edge.

There is art to submit, design jobs to be finished. As of tonight my main computer has officially fried; all I get is a black screen. There are some things which I never got off the hard drive, which might be a problem if I can't recover them. I am on my laptop, which is not hooked up to my scanner or printer. I feel lost.

I really lost it however this afternoon, as I was working in the studio finishing up some cards for a client, when the next door neighbor came home. She goes in the house, opens up the door, and THE big dog comes out, immediately ducking under the fence to pee on all of the exotic grasses, and got ready to take his great big dump.

That was it. The Scorpio devil took hold (oh it is scary when that happens) and I put down my work and marched across the lawn, with the dog snarling and barking at me in my own yard.

BANG BANG BANG goes my fist against the door. The kid looks out and says "THE NEIGHBOR IS HERE", and he knows it isn't because I am bringing over a cake. She opens up the door and I rip into into her. "WHAT DON'T YOU GET" I yell. "FOR A YEAR I HAVE BEEN PATIENT AND NICE AND NOW I AM SO OVER IT. YOU LET YOUR DOG OUT WITHOUT A LEASH, BREAKING THE LAW, AND LET IT PISS AND SHIT ALL OVER EVERYONE ELSE'S YARD. IT KEEPS US UP ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT. I HAVE HAD IT, YOU WILL SEE ME IN COURT. IF I WANTED A DOG, I WOULD HAVE MY OWN". And I left her speechless standing in the driveway. As I walked back I saw all the shit that Larry missed and start planning the next move. I don't have time to deal with the dog warden and going to court, but I may just make the time to start the process before I go.

It is not a pretty sight to see me that angry. I have been told that my chin juts out and I look like a turtle as I charge. I dragged W.B. out of his seat on the bus in high school, and pummeled him till he begged for mercy. Then B.M. bothered me one time too many and my hand had a life of its own and I left him bleeding profusely down his plaid flannel shirt. I ripped the skirt off a girl too, leaving her standing in the aisle with only her stockings on. No one after that messed with Patti Gibbons.

For the most part I have it under control...but when I get pushed to the edge, watch out. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

Off to bed as my battery is getting low. As I am getting ready to turn this off, at 10:15 at night, I hear the dog barking outside my window. Good thing I am in bed.

Patti O POPPER

photo of the tulips I bought - a great deal at 5.99, for a pot full of 12+ potted tulips that are lasting forever!

Monday, March 30, 2009

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 more. All to be done before Saturday. I keep reminding myself to breathe - all day long.

So off to bed to rest. If I am not rested I cannot think straight, or keep sane while the rest of the world spins out of control around me.

Patti O Top

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shits and Giggles


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 people run a local eating establishment. Aside from our dog and noise issues w/them, something tells me that I don't want to eat there.

But onto more fun things.

Last night I went to Crazy Hat Bingo, a benefit for the High Falls Civic Association, where you BYOB, eat, drink, and play bingo. There is a parade and a contest on the best/craziest/loveliest etc. of hats, and fabulous prizes.

I did not have much time to be highly creative, but did take the hat Megan left behind and decorated with bird wings that I have been saving for years, never knowing quite what to do with them. PERFECT for the hat event. I also had three small very realistic black birds to adorn the brim. Collette decorated her hat with all the tools of the bartender trade, and the cork screw came in handy! Larry wore his top hat, and Karen and Phill donned hats they had too.

Many of us won prizes. We won a gift certificate to a lovely local supermarket, three bottles of wine, and a lovely hand marbled paper appointment book made by the fabulous Val Wells. Her website isn't up yet, otherwise I would post the link to her!Karen and Phill won a day at Mohonk, complete with meals. If you are a local, and love some zany wholesome community building fun, then join us next time! You WON'T be disappointed!

Off to deal with tons of things today that I must do before taking off next weekend.I feel a bit under pressure to get it all done in time, and I must make a list and prioritize. I feel very scattered.....

Patti O Party Hat!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A One Liner

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

Patti O Sales

Thursday, March 26, 2009

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 more years? I start to cry. But I shake it off, and decide to eat a bag of potato chips instead.

I work and hour and a half past my paid day - again, then head home. It is damp and cold, not even nice enough to open up the sunroof.

On the way home, a headache drops over me like a heavy veil. I start to not feel well. While in the bank, I get sharp pains in my abdomen. NO, I think, it can't be, not yet.

I get home. Oh yes it is. A week after I put my box of Tampax back into the closet, it is back. A grand total of 13 days after the start of my last period. OH NO I think, and cry again. The only hope that keeps me from having an all out bawling session is that perhaps, JUST PERHAPS, my body will allow me to be period free for the 8 days I will be away.

My desktop is on its way out. I am now using my fairly well maintained and minimally used laptop. It is 2 years old, but has been babied. It is almost like new. I try to go on facebook to do some interaction over computer and photo/art stuff and I get a blank screen. Another WTF. I try on Internet Explorer instead of Mozilla and it is somewhat better. The I Mac is looking better and better.

Well, off to put the heating pad on my belly, and try to get a good night sleep.
I pray I can get through the last day OK, knowing how I am going to feel tomorrow..and it ain't pretty folks.

Patti O WTF





This is my day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Living for Vacation



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 the beach. It has wireless, we have friends in Orleans, and there is PLENTY to do rain OR shine.

Knowing I have adventures ahead has kept me fairly calm in the midst of the storms as does meditation, walks after school, a little bit of shopping, and my art and writing. And soon, it will be warm enough to go for rides in the afternoon with the top down and do some plein air painting.

Here's to adventure, spring, and peace in life.

Patti O

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Latest Visualization



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 lease, and think about all the ways I can make them miserable. To start, the dog shit on the lawn will be deposited on their back porch in front of their side door. They seem to be pretty dumb, so they can stop and wonder how it got there when the dog is inside the house.

I am visualizing enough money for a 5' high fence between the properties, which will suck for the owner of the house (who is not living there and renting it..) because then his driveway and house will be boxed in by a high fence. Till then, I am going to get chicken wire, staple it all along the rustic fence that he put up on OUR property, plant morning glories on it, or sweet peas, to keep the dog from wandering over in that section.

I am a pet owner, and a loving, responsible pet owner. When I dog sit I take the dogs on a nice long walk and bring my plastic baggies. My cats don't go out because I don't want them hurt, get fleas, eat things that would harm them, or be annoying to others. I just don't get some people. Stupid ignorant obnoxious dumb asses. My Buddhist ideaology and love and peace have gone out of the window.

Thanks for letting me rant. This is going to END!

Patti O Revenge

Monday, March 23, 2009

Prosperity


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 was from my dental company, giving me my own money back. Guess that's better than the proverbial poke in the eye with a sharp stick, and it will feed me for several days in Valencia if I eat fruit, cheese, bread and some wine, and get me into a museum or two.

In therapy last week, I was a bit nervous about having booked this flight to Spain. It was done with the money that I saved from dribs and drabs of back support I had gotten. Blood money I call it. Money that I don't put into the household. Money that I use to visit my daughter, and money that I used for the down payment on the car that I tortured myself over. Money slowly coming back to me after raising my kids on mostly my own sweat and hard work for 15+ years. Then why the guilt? Really, if I lose my job, or Larry loses his job, will the money I spend on this trip, really make a difference? Why can't I relax about it?

Peg looked at me and said, look, you give everyone else your money, why can't you spend some on yourself. In the end, the money you spend on yourself doesn't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Guilt serves no purpose".

So with this attitude, I still am positive about having enough to do the things that I need and want to do. I still believe in the law of attraction, and that I will always have enough for it all. So far, it hasn't proved me wrong.

Patti O Prosperity

PS this 5 x7" or so 100+ year old print is only 5.00 on Etsy ... ID Catskillpaper!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

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 remaining cousins and mother's family. I wryly acknowledge that they are Lithuanian, and my experience with them, especially the older generation, is one of distance, silence, and non-involvement. When my mom had her stroke, over 20 years ago, they stopped visiting her. I don't even know if they ever wrote.

I will remember her, the little curly blond girl who came to my party and sat at the table with me to blow out the candles, and the woman who never had children, but gave her love to her cats.

Live each day with joy, as we never know when our own candle no longer burns bright.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Dream


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 anyway.

Then Ida (a sweet woman from one of my past lives) came up to me and said, "don't do it for him, do it for US. WE will benefit from whatever you do".

The ending? A def poetry rap about my struggle, being a phoenix rising from the ashes, whose resurrection cannot be stopped, not even by a misogynist angry man.

No rocket science needed for this interpretation. The professor was my father, and in the end I triumphed over his feelings of my being worthless and inferior.

It will make for an interesting collage, and I wonder if I should write the poem.

Clone, wherefore art thou?

The image is from an antique print. I wouldn't mess with her!

Patti O Student

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Procedure



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 had the right test done in the end, but I was a bit startled by everyone assuming that I was there for a colonoscopy. I know they want to see my ass, but they have to work up for that test. I'm not THAT easy.

I have a wonderful doctor, a beautiful woman from some exotic country, who had on patchwork leather pants which took me back to the 70's, and a shirt with the most adorable embellished sleeves.

Classy I thought. I like this doctor. What I really want is those pants.

The anesthesia guy starts to inject the juice into my IV (done fabulously by the previous nurse on the first stab!) and my entire hand and arm feels like its on fire. "WTF" I mumble and ask him what is happening. He explains that he is starting the drugs. Why they don't tell you that your arm feels like it will be on fire is beyond me. Then the doc put this blue bite thing with a hole in it in my mouth which reminds me of something I saw in the BDSM section of the "toy" store. "Hey, this is getting a bit kinky" I mumble, and that was the last thing I remember.

I wake up and they ask if I want Larry there. "Sure, why not" I have a slight panic attack as I don't know where I am... the painting on the wall is of a flower, not the one of the cyprus trees on a Tuscan hillside that was in the room I last remember. I realize that I am in a recovery room, and I breathe a sigh of relief.

I am drugged for a while, and so mellow that my BP is 80/60. I have hypertension, so for me that is quite unusual, and they make me eat some sugary things to get some food into me and raise the old BP. It takes a while, but then I am ready to go.

I came home and had to finish the taxes. I don't remember much of the conversation with John, how I got the figures in the right boxes and how I wrote out the check. I decided I could not drive so Meredith came to take me to the PO to post it, then I came home to fall directly into bed for several hours.

I managed to go to dinner at Joshua's, one of Woodstock's only remaining original restaurants from way back in the day. I remember going there for tea back in the early 70's with my friends. It still has the same ambiance, and the food is great.I did break the rule of no alcohol, as I was not driving, and had a bit of champagne and wine to toast to Karen's birthday.

The doc said that I do have irritation and inflammation of the stomach, and they took a few biopsies. I will get the results in a few weeks, but in the meantime I am starting on Prevacid. Add THAT to my list of medications for now. But once I get a true diagnosis, I will be searching for a natural cure/solution.

Off to bed, I am still tired. But I survived and it wasn't all that bad.

Patti O Procedure

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Night Before


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 figure out the legal talk of the sales tax forms, wondering if I have been doing them wrong all along. They are due tomorrow, and I am hoping that after I recover from the drugs of the endoscopy, that I will be able to call my accountant to clarify some questions, make out a check and be OK to drive uptown to post the payment.

The papers states that I cannot drive for 24 hours, and that I cannot drink alcohol for 24 hours. Yet when I read the bottles of the medicines I take on a daily basis, all of them had warnings on them about driving while taking them. EEKS. My blood pressure meds, my progesterone? I drive on them all the time? Then again, I am the women who woke up twice during surgery, and the woman whom the ER could not sedate no matter how much morphine they gave her.

Well, off to get my one last glass of water before the fasting deadline. It's funny when you know you can't have something, that you crave it even more. It will be a rough morning without coffee OR water in the morning, and a rougher time when the doctors won't be able to find a single vein in my body to put the sleep juice in. They had better be good, or they are in for trouble.

Patti O Faster

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

VALENCIA IT IS!


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 Spanish and say please, thank you, and bathroom.

Someone on Facebook wrote how they envied how people have the freedom to travel the world. I don't know if it was in response to my "announcement", but my response is "things are not what they appear".

I worked hard to get a job where I had breaks such as this. It is funded by blood money...the little bits and pieces of the $35,000.00 of back Child Support I get from my ex when he is working. I busted my ASS to raise my kids, educate myself, and stay in a job for 17 years with no or little support from him. I earned this vacation, every stinkin' moment, and every single cent of the money I am using to pay for it. Nothing in my life has come easy, perhaps that is why I am so grateful for every second, every tangible item in my life and then some. And, if I had little, I would STILL be happy, because I have been there too. I don't measure my life by material goods, but I do enjoy every spec of what I have.

Enough of the diatribe. I am excited, and I will get over my fears and guilt and go and have fun.

And make art and write of course.

Manana,

Patti O Adventurer

Monday, March 16, 2009

Valencia?



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 there, but that leaves us all day to explore city and surrounding area. I am sure that we will have no problem filling our time with sitting in little cafes, trips to the ocean, museums, markets, etc.

Tomorrow I will find out if we are safe to make a reservation.

Tonight's collage which I did a while ago is titled "Amphitrite" who was Poseiden's wife and the Greek Goddess of the Mediterranean Sea.

Off to eat dinner. I can hardly contain myself.

Patti O Traveler

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Celebrating Early



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 appear on the surface to be such a gregarious and social person. And indeed I can.....charm the rattles off a snake, talk to anyone at length, or host a party with grace and great geniality. But I can also go very deep into hiding, for the most part I hate large groups of people, (I think it is genetic) and am very happy not answering my phone or seeing anyone for days on end. I have a lot of friends, and that hermit part of me often makes it difficult for me to be a good friend to all of them. I find that I have to pick a few, and try and see the rest whenever I can. The Bob Dylan concert last year almost threw me over the edge, (hours getting out of the parking lot!) thus you will find me in small intimate concert halls, shopping in small open air markets, and wishing that I could move to a tiny town in Europe with no highways or box stores. (oh and Walmart totally freaks me out!)

So another day, another secret. Back to hiding.

Patti O Hermit Crab

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When Black is Better than White


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 the night featured 44 North, which is a huckleberry Vodka from Idaho (made from potatoes of course)mixed with seltzer, pomegranate and lime juice. At the end of the night a bit was left in the bottle, and I sipped on it plain.

Today I am tired, have awful cramps (thank you universe for waiting a day) and have to rest before tonight's opening at Varga's in Woodstock. Debuting my Planetary Pinch, and only the second showing of Ecstasy Girl.

Oh, and after reading about how much energy a google search takes up (enough to boil a cup of water) I am switching to blackle.com, which is a subsidiary of Google which uses a black screen instead of a white screen. In fact, I have to switch my home page to that as it will also save energy each time I open my browser. Seems that black screens take up less energy than white ones, and though there is some debate as to the amount, even if minuscule, it adds up, and we are doing something to conserve energy. Same goes for TURNING OFF THE WATER WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH, and not flushing after just a pee.

My green suggestions for the day, off to nap dear friends!

Patti O Napster

Thursday, March 12, 2009

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 what happens. I am not ready to call it a failure yet.

I see how mismanaged our small city government is. Giving them more money for highway projects and such provides me with images of even more men standing around taking 4x longer than it is should to fill a hole in a road, and do in half-assed. Great, more money to do the same pathetically shitty job.

Maybe I am simplifying it too much, or missing the point, but I fear more of the same, only more so.

Obama's words still ring true to me. Each one of us must take responsibility as Americans to helping heal the earth, find peace, help one another, and work together to find solutions, not find another way to sling mud at one another.

Patti O Commentary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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 tragically self. The English Patient. The Constant Gardener, The Dutchess, Red Dragon, The End of the Affair. I am attracted to him as I am to Jeremy Irons, and wonder what it is about men who play such roles that makes me hot. Do I want to save them, bring a smile to their face, do I related to the sadness, hopelessness, and tragedy of the human condition? In all of my therapy, I have not addressed this.

The movie was excellent, the subject matter difficult. I wept several times during the movie. And just when I came up for air, I was plunged down again into dark waters.

Kate Winslet brilliantly portrayed the tragic Hanna, as was the young man who played the lead role, 18 year old David Koss. The sex scenes were hot, and yet we never forgot Hanna's odd detachment from the affair. I will not tell the story, only say that I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

In the same genre of Holocaust films and literature, I suggest Ursula Hegi's Stones From the River, an unforgettable journey told through the life of a dwarf between both World Wars. I found it insightful into how the Nazis gained control throughout Germany and brainwashed or frightened its citizens into following their beliefs.

I must go to bed now. Last night was ANOTHER night without sleep. The alarm company called twice last night, around 2 AM for the Photography Center as there was a power outage, and I wanted to scream. I am not sure what kind of sleep awaits me tonight!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lady Writer


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 Gillman's Natural Vitality Calm tea, an "anti-stress drink which balances your calcium intake and restores healthy magnesium levels" which is a fancy way of saying WORKS GREAT AS A LAXATIVE. At 22.00 a container, it costs much more than the Milk of Magnesia that my gastroenterologist suggested, but instead of tasting like liquid chalk, this is like drinking a hot fuzzy mug of Lemon Up.

I remember first taking this when I was visiting a friend in Sausalito. I had been constipated for days, as I tend to get when traveling, and the night before I left she suggested I try some. I found it tasty, and palatable, and swallowed down a mug full.

What she did not let me do is read the label which states: "some people might have to start with 1/2 tsp and work gradually work their way up (to 3 tsps.) She had been taking this for a while, so she made me a cup based upon HER dosage.

Well, let me tell you. I sat on the toilet right until the car service came to take me to the airport. It worked REAL WELL.

I am still on a tsp at night, but it works miracles. I can't wait till spring, when my diet changes to munching on my daily diet of fresh picked lettuce and herbs from the garden and the CALM can go back in the cupboard.

Oh and I can't title this blog with the title it has without giving you the song...


Tonight's photo is of a print which is one of several that I have posted on eBay. I am a bit worried about some of my business bills, so I am pulling rabbits out of hats to try and raise some money. I have a clientele that buys these, and hopefully they still have a bit of money left that they are willing to part with.

Here's to wine and roses, and to looking good in whatever you are wearing!

Patti O Mover

Monday, March 09, 2009

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.



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 few friends over for a brick of brie and bottle of wine, I am ready for bed. I enjoy quiet gatherings on a Monday night as it stretches out the weekend one more day, and lets me be in denial that the work week is here. But now I have to be good for the rest of the week as I am throwing a Friday the 13Th girl party, something that I don't often do, and have lots of cleaning, planning, and cooking to do before then!

Patti O Monday Night Party

Sunday, March 08, 2009

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

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Ecstasy Girl




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 unknown substance. The figure on the right is Mr. Hornito, replete with pitchfork and grin. I leave it to you to fill in the blanks.

Had a wonderful time socializing, networking, and looking at art. Tomorrow is a full day of painting in the studio, mixed up a bit with taxes and some house cleaning, oh, and throw in some yoga too.

Patti O Spring Party

Friday, March 06, 2009

Late Winter Thoughts


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 docs brushed her symptoms off as fibromyalgia and said there was nothing they could do. Come to find out, her lupus could have been the cause of her cancer; a normally healthy body tells the bad cells to stop making more bad cells, but a sick body may forget to throw that switch.

Megan has gone through a round of high dose prednisone and suffered its ill effects.The docs have lowered it now, and she is feeling much better.

Life is tough being a single mom while your husband is off to war....I wish that we as humans could figure out how to live in peace and solve conflict without war, and that all religions could live in peace.

As the light grows stronger, and lasts longer, I look to the sky with a smile and feel the stronger sun upon my face. I am grateful for every day that me, my family, and my friends live above the ground."

In the background James is singing "ohhhh I've changed".

And so we have.

Patti O Muser

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm IN!


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 the room!

Art work tonight is the piece that they accepted. You cannot get the essence of it by the photo/scan, you must see the painting in person. It is acrylic on wood panel, 8 x 10".

Patti O Art!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

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 lonely 12 year old vampire girl. What happens in between is psychological horror.

The sub plot was about bullies, and being that I work in a school with similar problems, and was a victim of bullying, I cheered for the underdog. (so hard to write a review without giving anything away)

And I have to add, after a long winter of snow, I decided I will only visit Sweden in the summertime.

I give this a two thumbs up, and if you like suspense, horror, and artistic films, this is the one for you.

Patti O Vampire

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hey It's Good to be Back Home



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 Lake, who is one of the Woodstock legends from that era. The 80's was the age of Deanie's, where the lawyers, artists,lawyers and "beautiful people" went to have dinner and do some pretty heavy drinking.

Then came the drunk driving laws, and that all stopped.

We were so carefree and foolish during those times, and most of us made it out intact, though I suspect some lost their brain cells along the way, if not more.

As I got older I made a pact with myself to never date anyone in town as it was an incestuous small town. I broke my pact once, OK, twice, and as a result got my heart quite smashed. I would still keep that pact today - if I were single.

I was thinking of that John Denver song..Hey it's good to be back home again" as I walked into the Woodstock Art Association (and now added Museum onto the end of the WAA to make it WAAM) to drop off art for 2 juried shows. The volunteers at WAAM were lovely, and they all seemed to be retired teachers. "Wow" I said to them, "there IS life after teaching!" and they just grinned. So we will see what happens with this show and this set of jurors. I'll let you know if there is an opening to attend. There is so much more "art" in Woodstock than my city, thus the brave decision to spend and travel more to get my art into the public eye. If nothing else, I am putting it out there. You can't win if you don't play the game even IF the stakes are higher and the players better. (I like a good challenge)

Photos of Jaritas Florist, close up and from a distance, where I worked when I was pregnant with one of my two kids, and in the store next to it when it was Laughing Bear. The parking lot is tucked back through the alley way to the left of the store. At this time of year, you can still get a good spot.

Till the next report

Patti O Woodstocker

Monday, March 02, 2009

Olana Sunset


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

Sunday, March 01, 2009

An Old Man


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 counting on a snow day tomorrow as a northeaster is heading up the coast, and I am doing some magic to make sure that it comes in a little bit to the west of its projected path, to make sure that it shuts the schools down for one day plus a two hour delay on Tuesday.

May the weather gods and goddesses be with me.

Patti O Forecaster