Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day #4. The Sally


Each day I try and get another chore done - a chore, any chore which has been bugging me for a long time. I am great at starting lots of things, and then either getting bored with the project, or running out of time to finish it. Today it was the two bags of clothes to go to the Salvation Army which had moved three times to three different rooms before they got moved to the car where they lived for another three days.

They guy at the Sally knows me and probably wonders where the hell I get all this stuff? Bags and bags of donations. I have a friend and a sister who give me their clothes, and I go thru them, keeping what I like, and then packing off ones I don't, or ones that I am tired of in my own wardrobe. I try and be feng shui about it because these old houses don't have a lot of closets, and the attic is overflowing with BOOKS and PAPER LARRY, so off the clothes keep going. And folks, my donations are one of the few tax deductions I have left besides my house and struggling art business.

I go in there fairly often, both to donate or to look for an odd thing or two that I might need in the studio for some project. Hot plates, glass jars, old frames. I won't buy clothes there as I don't like the smell in there. I know, I am weird. But just ask my husband about my nose and he will raise his eyebrows and tell you that I should have been hired by the FBI for my sense of smell. (my kids hated it because I knew exactly what they had been up to in the party world).

In all my trips I never remembered seeing the candy machines near the door. But leave it to a 4 year old who is at eye level with the machines to find them. "Yes, of course you can have those jelly beans Alanna" I reply, and dig in my purse for some money. I flash back to being her age and a bit older, and remember all of the candy machines I stared at in my life and dared not ask for a coin to put in them. I think I spent most of my life yearning for things. Candy. Horse rides. Hugs. Boyfriends. Love.Guess it explains some of my hedonistic behaviors....

Because of my crusty eye syndrome, it was off to the Doctor's office where I learned that you can get a form of conjunctivitis from allergies, which is probably what I have. I got meds for both just in case, but can't wear my contacts. There are worse things. There Alanna scored scads of stickers and a lolly pop. Man, maybe I could pimp her out for stuff.

Karen invited us to the pool, where Alanna wore swimmies and waist floats and for the first time was not afraid to get her head wet when she jumped into the water. Ah, the joy of discovery and adventure.

It was my first time all summer in the water, and it was warmer than I had expected with all this rain. I bet if I had her all summer, she would be swimming by the end of it.

It has been a delightful time thus far with her. I get to be the parent I never was with my own kids, due to the lack of tools that I had when I was a single parent, and the stress of my life. Now I know what battles to pick, what not to worry about, and say I yes a lot more than I say no.

Patti O Sage

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day #3 - Working in the Garden


After what seems to weeks on end of rain, we had a full day of sunshine.

As I sipped on my coffee, I took a walk out into the garden. I was amazed at how many weeds had taken up residence in the flower beds, and the purslane was having a feast in my center veggie garden.

Purslane is a member of the portulaca family that is edible. It can be used in salads, on sandwiches, in soups, stir fried etc. It is higher than any other green in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It is a staple in many countries, but here we consider it a pernicious weed, and rip it out. (photo from Wikipedia btw..and I believe they are copyright free...hope so)

By early summer the spinach, cilantro, and arugula are done and gone to seed. I pulled out the plants, and since there are very few veggie plants left at farmstands to put in, I resorted to planting seeds again.

I had planted tons of seeds in little pots a few weeks ago, but they must have either been no good or rotted with all the rain. Not one sunflower, cucumber, or zuccini plant came up. I am now trying purple bush beans and will see how they go. In the meantime there are lonely holes in the garden.

Alanna helped with the planting, and was rewarded with a new sprinkler to play in.At her age it is so easy to amuse her and still get my work done. It will be interesting to see how she does when I want to paint.

Off to find out how to harvest and store my bok choy and swiss chard. I have an over abundance of them and don't want to waste any. Then to do chores...have a 2 pm doc appt as either I have the worst allergies in my eyes, or else I have conjunctivitis. My eyes itch, are constantly runny, sometimes stuck together in the morning. They feel irritated, though they are not red. Fortunately I have daily contacts so they are not infected, though I suspect I am going to have to buy all new eye makeup if I do have an infection, which sucks because I have good stuff...Body Shop and Aveda, and it isn't cheap make up. Well, might as well give myself a complete makeover, lol, I sure deserve one. Just as I get one body part back in balance, another one goes out.

So much for the 50+ stage.

Patti O Planter

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day#2



I am now in the habit of writing my blogs in the morning, while leisurely sipping on coffee. Day #2's blog is actually written on the morning of Day #3....

My goal for this summer is simple: to heal my body, and work on my paintings. Healing will take on many forms. Rest. Reading. Doing things that bring me joy, whether it be weeding one of the gardens, or working on my house, or art. Eating well.Enjoying friends. And saying NO to stress - especially stress that can be avoided - the drama kind.

My morning routine is simple and comforting. I wake up when my body says it's rested. Now that guests are gone and I have my meditation room almost back together, I will meditate for 10 minutes before going downstairs to feed the cats, make my one cup of coffee, open up the screened in back porch and step out to feel the early morning air. I put on the weather box (which Alanna now asks to hear so that she can determine if it is a sprinkler or pool day) and stretch. By then the coffee is brewed, and I sit down form a dose of AM computer.

After that, it's all a clean slate to design the day ahead of me.

Yesterday my sister, her hubby, and two little children came to visit. Because I was prepared with a clean (for me) house, food, and toys, the rest was cake and I was really able to have quality time with all of them. The highlight for the kids, and for us, was when Peter blew up the giant bouncing castle and probably much to the chagrin of the infamous neighbors (house pictured in photo) who had to listen to the squeals of three children for an hour or so. (I figure I owe them 1,000 of hours of that or similar noise from the dog barking).

It was a day so full of love in so many forms, and I tearfully said goodbye, telling my sister that we have to do this more. Such times are so important for the children, and as I get older, I embrace the time I have with my small family. Times like these are therapeutic and healing. And, when I flash back to the bad times, the times that were dark with abuse and lack of love or nurturing, I fast forward to the delightful times of childhood, or of adulthood, and focus of the memories of discovery, play, laughter, and sunlight, and I feel so much better.

To healing and the joy of family/friends.

Patti O Laughter

PS There is a battle going on over the day lillies. The deer like to eat them, and so do we. Alanna also loves them and I have to direct her to which ones she can eat so she doesn't eat a row of them, lol.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

V A C A T I O N


I started my first day of vacation by waking Alanna up a bit early and taking her to an art opening at 10 AM.

Yes, an odd time, but it was the unveiling of artwork purchased by the county for the Ulster County Rural Transportation building, which is normally only open to the public for meetings.

It was great to see my friends get commissions for a public space, and it is always delightful to see government investing in art, but I was a bit disappointed that all these wonderful paintings are hidden away from the public eye, especially since my tax dollars paid for it and I would love to have access to it.

The food was nice, I got to meet gallery owner James Cox (all these years I had never formally met him) and to see some of my artist friends who attended to support their fellow artists. It was a nice "wake up" to the day and I left quite cheery. Plus, I hooked up with a few people who have children or grandchildren and want to have a play date.

I had grand plans for the afternoon, but the constant heavy downpours and thunderstorms put a damper on the day as I did not want to drag Alanna around in the middle of it. So we picked flowers, cooked, cleaned, I put more cards in my Etsy store and did productive things like organize my "tupperware" draw and weed out the tops without bottoms and vica versa.

The final part of the day was a party in the "Ridge" with four other women friends. The ride there was beautiful; mist floating on the corn fields, embracing the mountain tops. Great food and company, always lots of laughs. I have committed myself to hosting a beer pong party soon for the girls as they have never played it. Isn't that nuts...a group of 40-50+ women playing beer pong. What has this world come to?

Sister is coming with her family for a day in the country. I hope the weather cooperates as we planned a day outside with the kids, a walk to a neighborhood party,and a visit to the playground to feed the animals. If it rains, we will have to figure out the next game plan with 2 four year olds and one very active 2 year old, in a non-child proofed house!!!

Photo was taking when I pulled off into a corn field to get the shot. Only thing is, I don't have a good zoom on my aging digital camera, and I did not get the shot I wanted. So in order to save it, I photoshopped it for the blog and for reference.

Off to get ready for DAY #2!!

Patti O Vacation

Friday, June 26, 2009

PISSED, REAL PISSED

I am saddened by the death of Farrah and Michael Jackson.

But I am even MORE angered by the endless streams of jokes, nasty remarks, and judgments by people's comments on Facebook about MJ. None of the comments were made by MY friends, but by some of my friend's friends.

I don't know what happened with those children Michael slept with. Many of them, including some very famous kids, said it was all just like the family bed, where nothing but sleep went on. In many third world countries, entire families sleep in one room, as many cramming on the "bed" as can fit. And I can tell you for a fact that I teach kids whose extended families and friends sleep in large beds together in all kinds of configurations.

But that is chump change to the world. They aren't someone famous and rich.

I don't know what happened, and I am not to judge. He was an abused child, and who knows what the pressures of being a child prodigy star did to his young developing mind and ego. I would venture to say it wasn't good. If he loved himself he would have never done what he did to his face/body.

Instead I look at him with sorrow, compassion, pity. I hope he finds peace in the next life or reincarnation. I hope that people stop being so self righteous and leave him alone and honor him for what good he did in the world, and not for what he was never proven guilty of. As Chaska put it, "Besides, writing ugly comments as well as reading them, spreads the ugliness.".

If if he did do it, then he will have to deal with it.
And if that family lied to extort money, they too will have to deal with their actions.

And a word for Farrah....and the Burning Bed.
I remember watching that movie with my ex-husband.
It was intense, and it upset me greatly, but it also touched me deeply as I lived that life. At then end I quietly cheered for her and felt no pity for the man who drove her to that desperation. It was one of the few times my ex said nothing, and skulked up to bed, probably pissed that I watched a movie that gave me ideas.

Thankfully I escaped with my family to start another life all over again, though not without scars.

And when I die, what will some of the rumors be said about ME on Facebook as I lay cold in the morgue? That I yelled, screamed, partied, had to make some life and gut wrenching decisions which may have hurt others, broke hearts, smashed up a few cars in recklessness, moved on when others hurt me?

Or will they remember the good things I did, the art I made, the kindness and love that I gave to all who would receive it?

I guess it depends upon who you are.

Patti O Ranter

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mom?



Today was my last full day of SCHOOL. (to the tune of SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!!) Summer is officially here when I get up tomorrow morning and salute my house for the last time and head off for a few hours of work, collect 4.5 paychecks, and run to the bank. After wards maybe go out to lunch or drinks with the crew for a bit. Then pick up Alanna and play grandma for a few weeks and learn about life, time, and play through the eyes of a four year old.

Today no one was home, so I enjoyed the quiet for a bit. I stripped the bed in the guest room, as Julie will be in town in a week or two and I hope I get the honor of hosting her for as long as she needs/wants. I cleaned up the mess from dinner last night, and headed out to the studio.

The phone rang. "Mom?". "Yes", I automatically answer. "Uh mom, uh...". For a moment I panic. It is a little voice, and I cannot ascertain whether it is Alanna, or one of my kids calling after something really bad happening. "uh Mom, dad said to call you and he said it was OK if I..." "You've got the wrong mom" I tell him/her.

Silence at the other end.

"I am a mom, but I am SURE that I am not YOUR mom kid".
I refrain from saying "my kids haven't seen OR spoken to their dad in forever. You got a dad in your life? Lucky you, cause there are lots of children growing up without dads". But I stop and tell the kid: "hope you reach your mom, have a great day" and I hang up.

Tonight's photo is of one of my studio mascots. She is an early American portrait painting, oh, jeez, 1700-1800's I would guess. Given to me by Julie as she has a horrible tear in the canvas, but she knew I would give her a place of honor. She and my other mid 1800's charcoal sketch sit sentinel on my walls looking out to the door of the studio. I figured if any one looked in and saw these two faces, they would freak out and run.

They may be long dead, but their spirit lives on in my studio, the haven for discarded and forgotten portraits and photographs of those who have long passed to the next realm.

Patti O Ghost

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day at Olana





For a Father's Day adventure, Larry was to choose a destination.

No.1, located somewhere in the Berkshires, was a botanical garden. Too far for the time that we had. We had to be home early enough for the once-happy-free-range-hormone-free chicken to go in the oven so that we could eat dinner at a reasonable hour.

No 2, was Olana. That always excites me as I can NEVER had enough of Olana, home of Frederick Church, of Persian and Italian architectural foundations. A few of my paintings are of the view from Olana, and each set of digital photos that I take on the road is a story unto its self. Light changes, the river changes, as does the color, the clouds, the flora. Me. My camera.

This visit I took some unusual pictures while exploring the properties of photographing against glass, shooting into Church's studio. No flash used of course. Straight on gave an eerie quality through the glass, back and at an angle provided me with three layers; the landscape, the photographer and the inside of the studio. Pictured here "The Ghost of Frederick". The other, "Petra", is named after the painting that you can see on the wall.

We explored a few of the back roads on the trip there, Larry obliging me as I wanted to shoot the Catskills in the rain storm. At one point we drove to the river where the road entered a factory, there was a private road which led to a few houses, and the railroad tracks a stones throw away.

I climbed up on the crushed stone to the tracks, and took a few shots. I felt a strange connection to it as I did while photographing from the bi-plane. Or was it a strange thrill. Whatever it is ...there are vibrations and inspirations which produce art.

The end of the story...I made that wonderful dinner at the end of the day, but Larry got very sick and could not eat. The good news: Megan, Dole, and Ross got to eat what I cooked. The bad news: when Larry was able to eat later, there were no left overs.

So tonight I cooked him another wonderful dinner...to make up for it.

Patti O Shooter
(all photos copyright....and taken with a Canon Powershot A75. I love that little camera. It has served me well, and still not quite ready to die on me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

TAGGED... aka More About Moi

I have been tagged again, possibly because my readers know how I love to do these, and talk about myself. Sometimes I think this whole blog adventure is a bit narcissistic. I do a lot of talking about myself.....but perhaps the one difference is that I hope to reach others, to show the universality of joy, pain, illness, and struggle. I hope that I touch someone, make them laugh, think, or feel that they are not alone...... so here you are...a touch of hedonism....

The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

What is your current obsession?
Lately due to health issues, it has been what to eat, and how to keep my body and mind healthy. Avoid stress, get rest, eat right and be happy. When I am not doing that, I am putting my energy into my next body of work.

What is your weirdest obsession?
Oh I have had an obelisk obsession since I was a child. It is a Freudian thing, and I dreamed that they would come to strike me dead. It has been the basis of several art works, and the image still haunts me. I have photos/print/publications on the subject.

What are you wearing today?
at this very moment, a pair of spandex running pants, a purple t-shirt, a short hoodie sweater, and socks. That will change in a bit.

What’s for dinner?
Father's Day dinner menu is still in the process of being created. But the plan is quiche and salad for brunch, and then a once free range happy roasted chicken, blue rosemary roasted potatoes, braised swiss chard, salad. Perhaps vanilla ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream for desert.

What would you eat for your last meal?
If I knew it was my last meal, I am not sure that I would have much of an appetite. BUT I think a bottle of champagne, some kind of fabulous salad, Filet Mignon, lobster, a baked potato slathered in butter and sour cream, maybe some corn or carrots, and a fab NY cheesecake with raspberries and sauce drizzled over it. And some Gran Marnier or Drambuie for a night cap.

What’s the last thing you bought?
Larry's Father's day gift and I can't tell right now in case he reads this before I give it to him.

What are you listening to right now?
Larry sitting on the floor with Alanna, making things with her plastic block while Alanna sings.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
anywhere with a fabulous view as I would have my paints and a glass of wine in hand and enjoy every moment of that hour.

Which language do you want to learn?
Hmm...a toss up between Italian and French.

What do you love most about where you currently live?
The Catskills are magical, beautiful, and inspiring

What style is your current home decorated in?
it is a conglomeration of antiques and objects passed down from family,bought at yard sales, flea markets, shops, given as gifts, and also art and objects d'art made by Larry and I, and collected from others.

If you were a time traveler what era would you live in?
I like modern amenities, but I would love to live in the 1800's, at a time where travel may have been long, but not impossible - so that I could see the world before the industrial revolution hit, and we started making tourist attractions out of anything possible. Oh, and of course I would be very rich.....and travel with my paints.

What is your favorite color? THIS IS THE QUESTION THAT I CHOSE TO OMIT.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
I have a pair of jeans that I love to paint in. I wear them out from time to time..they are a bit raggedy. Also I have a v-neck t-shirt (the one I have now) that I bought in Provincetown in the surplus store that is long, sexy, and makes the perfect companion to the painting jeans. These are my comfort clothes......

What were you doing ten years ago?
Having a continuous nervous breakdown because I had 2 out of control teens.

Describe your personal style?
definitely my own person...a mix of chic and bohemian, sexpot and slug.
Think that covers it all.

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on?
I would put it away for my Cape Cod Vacation. I am saving every nickel and dime so that we can eat out, go on a whale watch...etc.

What are you going to do after this?
Clean a bit, maybe weed or go for a ride. Make sure that my husband has anything he wants. He has been so good to me in all my bad times, that I can't do enough for him today, and every day.

What are your favorite films?
Films that inspire deep thought, emotion, passion, and laughter. Dr. Zhivago, the English Patient, Reds. Little Miss Sunshine. Something About Mary. House of the Spirits. Oh and period pieces such as The Dutchess, Elizabeth, The Other Boleyn Girl (mostly for the visuals)

What inspires you? My friends, nature, a good brain. Adventure. Trips to a gallery or museum

what doesn't? ignorance, cruelty, anger, violence.


Your favourite books?
I love to read. The TIme Traveler's wife. Water for Elephants, A Long Way Gone, Snow Falling on Cedars, historical fiction, biographies..... art books.


Do you collect anything?
I am trying to STOP collecting. The older I get the less I want. I wish I could convert Larry on that. I did collect old illustrated books, antique paper and prints, pine cone elves and santas, bottle brush trees, and those little cardboard houses made in Japan, put out at xmas time. And art books and art supplies. But little by little I am giving away and selling, keeping only the most important pieces for now.

What makes me follow a blog? Sadly, I don't have the time to read a lot of blogs. But those I do read must be written with feeling, intelligence, humor, compassion. And I do love photos on blogs....of art or the person's life. It helps me feel more connected. I have met several amazing people through Facebook and Blogland, and I know that I will someday get to meet them in person. Interestingly enough, I don't follow any men's blogs.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Spend loving time with my granddaughter and husband, not feeling that I have to do anything but create a fabulous atmosphere filled with love for them.

And my question? What are you doing to make the world a greener place?


in accordance with Rule #2, i tag:

Dawn
Loel
Dana
Megan
Judy.

In order to fill the obligation for more people, perhaps I will post to Facebook.

OFF to decide how the day is going to play out.

:)

Patti O Weeds

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And the rain falls...

The Peppermint Patch

The Anal Expulsive Side Garden


The Swiss Chard
Alanna and Randy


We have had so much rain that the seeds I started for my next planting have either rotted, or else the sun hasn't been strong enough to get their little heads to pop up out of the dirt. I am frustrated as they are cucumbers and zucchini and should be in the ground by now, and I have nothing but trays of dirt with puddles.

Of course the rain and the occasional break through of the sun has made my garden lush, as well as the weeds, and our lawn which is looking pretty out of control. I should be out weeding in between showers, but somehow I can't find the energy to do it.

Patti's Peppermint Patch is flourishing, and have discovered the delight of a large pot of fresh peppermint tea to sooth my irritated stomach, which was very upset with last night's debauchery. I cooked up more bok choy and made a huge salad out of the greens still left in the garden. The arugula is past its prime and is nearly 3' tall, and the spinach looks like it is going to seed too. I have a ton of swiss chard and need to figure out how to freeze it for the winter. What to do with a ton of swiss chard I ask, besides share it?

This weather makes me tired, sluggish, and I can't get up the energy to turn the heat on in the studio to work. I have more art work to hang on the walls in there as I picked up cards and art from BECKON, a store downtown Kingston which sold my work. They raised the rent, forcing Maryanne to find another venue. She is hoping to open both a gallery/shop in Saugerties in the fall. I have never had so little business..store closes, my client has not ordered cards in a very long time, so I am trying to make some bucks selling supplies/art, but with little $ coming in. I can't even sell my more valuable things on eBay, because the market is flooded with people's things who are in the same boat, or much worse.

Pics are of the garden, and of the grand kids; another good reason why I find it hard to find time to write.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

I have been a bad girl.

Last night I played the infamous beer pong game with the kids and their friends for a bit. I only lasted a few games as I really can't drink, but I was dying to play this generation's "college drinking game" - a very different game from some of the college games I played at their age. It was fun playing with youth half my age, and was honored that they even WANTED me to play. I made sure I did not wear out my welcome, and graciously slid back into the house for the last few games. Besides, it was dark and the mosquitos were out.

I told everyone to leave and continue their partying at 10:30 PM so I could go to bed. I heard Meg and Dole come in at 1, then at 3 AM was woken up by a wild animal screaming - either due to copulation or to death ( or was it copulation - then death, or death then copulation--not sure how that works in the animal world) Just as I got back to sleep I heard the baby crying at 4 and 6. I had a rough time getting up to go to work and resorted to drinking coffee which THANKFULLY did not wreck my stomach.

I had fully intended to come home and nap, but before I knew it I had another "get together" at my house which entailed take-out sushi, and then had to spend and hour or so booking tickets to bring Alanna back to Nashville in July. I found it cheaper to buy 2 one-way tickets, than to buy a round trip ticket. As I was booking and rattling out airport codes, Megan says: "travel much mom?"

I have ignored my painting, ignored my blogging, and spent time with family and friends. In the end that is what counts anyway as I relish the time spent with my daughter, getting to know her husband more, and cherish to fabulousness of those beautiful children they have.

Off to bed........as I write at 11:30 PM, the rotten neighbors are screaming at each other so loud that I can hear them through the walls of two houses. Even Alanna asks "what ARE they doing Mimi?". I tell them that they fight a lot and don't have very good manners. She asks if Larry and I fight like that, to which I reply "not usually". With wide eyed innocence she says: "mommy and daddy argue too. Mommy yells, daddy forgives her, but mommy yells at him anyway." Larry and I chuckle, roll our eyes, and I remember that I too did my share of yelling and arguing....but I have better tools now. Those secrets, I won't tell....especially not to a 4 year old.

patti o party

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why Women my age should NOT have babies


I have read about women a bit younger than myself who go through extraordinary measures to have babies. Personally, I think they either must have tons of money to hire a nanny, a big family to help them, or they are just plain crazy. After one afternoon with a 24 lb 10 month old, I am convinced that there are reasons that younger women should have the babies.

I am a type A personality. I can multitask, work full time, run a few businesses, show art, garden, socialize etc., but only a few hours with a baby nearly put me under the ground.

I picked up Randy from his other grandfather.
I had to take the Honda today as I would have NEVER fit anything in my Eos.
I loaded:
1 pack and play
1 portable high chair
1 walker
1 box of baby food
1 large diaper bag
1 large backpack full of clothes
1 misc. bag.
I car seat
1 24 lb baby.

When I got home I left the baby in the car as he was temporarily smiling and took all of the above into the house and up one flight of stairs.

I ran out of steam and laid down on the driveway before I could summon the energy to carry said baby into the house.

I tried to put him into the walker, but he put up a fight, so I put him down on the floor of the living room and played blocks with him while preventing him from eating the little balls of cat hair and ants that were marching past him.

When he got bored, I managed to put him in the walker and gave him little snacks to hold him while I prepared his dinner. In a short time he threw said snacks all over the floor (which meant more ants) and I quickly started feeding him the real food.

After he was done he started screaming, so I got him a bottle, and summoned all my energy to sling him on my hip to go up the flight of stairs.

Then there was the diaper change which made him REALLY MAD and he proceeded to try and rip off the new diaper.

I got his head stuck in his shirt while trying to get it off which made him scream even louder. I finally freed his head, which is 4 times the size of the opening on the shirt, and put his jammies on.

He was tired, as his eyes were purple and rolling in the back of his head, so I put him down with the bottle which he promptly finished and then screamed his head off. I quickly made a few more ounces, which when given to him, would have been thrown directly between my eyes if his aim was better.

I tried to rock him, I tired to sing to him, I tried to stroke him, which only made him madder, sweatier, and scream louder. His window faces the house with the dog, and I hoped that they heard every bit of it, especially since one of the teenage girls is pregnant.

I left him to cry his head off as there was nothing else I could do, but not before taking his photo to blackmail him with when he is older.

After 15 minutes of screaming, blubbering, and sobbing, he slowly drifted off to sleep.

I promptly made myself a vodka and tonic and slid down into a chair, wondering how I EVER did it with 2 kids by myself.

I am waiting for the 4 year old to arrive - an age which is much easier to handle, even when she accidentally poops in her pants while on the playground which I discover as she climbs into the EOS.

Soon Megan and Dole will be back, and I will collapse into my bed, hug my pillow, and be GLAD that I am grandma, not mama!

Patti O Grandmother

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To Play...




I had my four year old granddaughter for the day, so life today was slow and mellow.

She had fresh made juice for the first time.
We picked flowers in the gardens and I showed her how to arrange a vase.
We took photos of one another. She did tonight's portrait of me - set the scene and how I should sit.

She went shopping with Larry for groceries while I took the car to the car wash and spend an hour cleaning it up. (Convertibles are high maintenance. The leaves and road dirt and pollen make a mess of the inside!)

I rested for a bit, then we went to the park to see the peacocks, and play on the playground. We met new people, and Alanna made friends with a girl her age.

I made dinner and she ate all her shrimp, rice with saffron that I hauled back from Spain, and even the stir fried bok choy with sweet red peppers.

To end the day:
A huge homemade chocolate chip cookie.
A Sponge Bob Bubble bath.
Two stuffed animals,
A tuck into bed, kisses goodnight.
She was in heaven.
So was I.

Patti O Play

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Definately Slogging

Washington Avenue, Kingston, NY
Heading up Route 28
Heading into Woodstock
Heading back home in the storm.
(PS...did not finish this last night due to bad thunderstorm...so I am finishing up to post now, as the sun is shining through the French windows of my sun porch)

Energy level low, along with the atmospheric pressure.
Health in the yellow zone, hovering on the line where it becomes orange.
I eat carefully today, and sleep a lot.

I am angry.
The house is a mess.
It is the weekend.
There are openings and parties.
And the market, and shopping, and gardening.
And painting.

But I must listen to my body. Being able to do a few things is better than being able to do nothing.

So I must rest.

Later afternoon, the sun was shining strong, and I rolled myself out of bed to go to a few of the openings. I had already decided not to go to any of the three parties I was invited to. But a nice ride in the 82 degree sun in the lovely evening light was enticing, as well as seeing a few of my art friends.

As soon as I hit the road, the darkness rolled in. The storm gathered, and I wondered if I would make it to Woodstock before I got the roof back up.

Photos of my ride into the maelstrom.

I went to the Center for Photography opening and met some of the new interns and artist in residence, and then off to Vargas.

Perhaps it was the head I was in, but I left pondering where I fit in---in this art life I have chosen. Openings are not my favorite, and it is such a struggle to get my art into shows, never mind sell it. And then the self doubt and critical voice creeps in from time to time when I look at others art and wonder "what am I doing here? Do I belong here?" At Vargas, while standing under the umbrella of the big question mark, I leave and am swallowed up by darkness and fog.

Later on following my post on Facebook, Woodstock Ross reminds me - its about passion and exorcising demons. Thanks for the reminder Ross. The rest doesn't matter.

Patti O Muser

photos of the ride up to town....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Colorectal Surgeon Song


Today was a bit of a backslider, or should I say, a back sider. Ate a few things in the past 24 hours that my body did not take well. A reminder that I have to really watch what I do. Oh but it is soooo tiring, this two long months of being unwell and having to make serious diet and lifestyle styles. And in addition to the colitis, my acid reflux is breaking through the Prevacid.

I saw the doc yesterday and she gave me the diagnosis of cologenous colitis. One of the more unusual forms of colitis, usually found in women 50-70. Not much info on it, can go away on its own, or can be a lifetime affliction. Causes possibly a virus, bacteria, or an auto immune disorder.

Mine was serious, lots of inflammation and blood throughout the colon. Excess collagen is found in the large intestine interestingly enough. So that's where the collagen in my face has gone to....I wonder if somehow I can..... oh, no, forget that thought!

List of problem foods: fatty foods, lactose, non-Tylenol products, caffeine.

As Annie has reminded me, I must keep my immune system strong, and keep stress to a minimum.

Good thing school is ending soon.

Oh and thanks Annie for telling me that this disease may have almost killed your friend. A reminder that one should not ignore such things.

Hope you enjoy the video.

patti o bottom

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

They're HERE!!!


A quick post as I have spent most of my day after work with my kids and grand kids. Drinks, pizza, a trip downtown to try and see the boats come in from the Hudson, (no parking that was convenient with 2 little children), ending up at the local ice cream place for dessert, one of our favorite past times. Larry used to take Megan to Mickeys all the time when she was pregnant, and now 5 years later, we keep the tradition.

Megan, her husband, and kids are in town from Kentucky. Dole is back from Afghanistan, and happy to be reunited with his family and friends, and back in NY for a few weeks.

Megan has already informed me that the second she or the children are woken up by the barking dog or the screaming family who owns the dog, she will get military Kentucky on them and be at their doorstep. Whoa baby, I don't envy them having to deal with her. Whereas I fear of confrontation unless forced into a corner, she is dead ass aggressive if she needs to be. Imagine a cross between Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts showing up at your doorstep with an AK-47. (She did win a sharp shooter award from the Army when she was in Germany)

This is going to be an interesting 2 weeks, lol.

Patti O Conflict

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And Thus the Day Went.........


Tough morning to get up as it was dark, raining, and I could hear the distant rumble of thunder crawling towards me as I stirred in my bed, thick with the remainder of dreams and distant memories of the night before.

I did my meditation in bed, and stumbled downstairs to make my juice and check my email.This was one morning where I really needed a cup of coffee to wake me up. In this state I juiced, but forgot to put the glass under the nozzle, so I juiced all over the counter and the floor before I realized what was happening.

In the craziness of now being late because I was cleaning up the mess, I forgot to take all of my meds which included my Pepto Dismal, which is supposed to keep me from going to the potty TOO many times in a day......

And thus the day went.

School was crazy. I won't discuss it here (saving it for the book) but kids went nuts, we had to lock down the classrooms and deal with a few incidents on hand. I seemed to be one of the few adults who was keeping their cool while the world was a dust storm around them. In keeping my cool, my students kept their cool, and we hung out in the dusky classroom working on various projects.

I came home to work on the house as Megan and her family are staying here tomorrow night, which meant mopping floors, doing laundry, cleaning and folding towels, cleaning up plaster. In the middle of it all some man comes knocking at the door selling magazines. He was from Chicago working with a program that takes people out of inner cities and gives them jobs around the country selling mags. Sounded legit enough, but I did not need any more magazines. Instead I donated some money to be used to give magazines to various local organizations.

He was from Chicago, and was trying very hard to be polite and proper. I gave him what I had in my wallet (sans a few dollars for lunch tomorrow) and wished him well.

Was he legit, or was he scamming? He had an honesty and simpleness about him, and gave the info as straightforward as he could. If he was a scammer, he still had a good heart....and if I can't give 15.00 to a brother.....then what good am I.

Painting was done on a snowy school day, where hardly anyone was in school. I found an oil painting by an 1800's artist (whose name eludes me) in a magazine, and I copied it in watercolor. One of my better studies...done on a grey day.

Patti O Muser

Monday, June 08, 2009

A New Read

I started a new book, "Water for Elephants". I was immediately engrossed, and I wonder what my fascination is for things like HBO's now defunct series "Carnival" (too weird for the general public?) and books like these, especially when I have never been to a circus.

I have gone to the local police carnival for 25 years, and watched it change year after year. Larry has photographed many of the carnies...and talks easily to them. They have let him into their little world year after year, especially when he gives them fabulous 8 x 10 photos of them. It is a strange world, one that has been captured by the likes of Mary Ellen Marks and others.

Off to read more. Perhaps it is through the imagination of others that I can live such a colorful life, and also by throwing in an adventure or two of my own. My ride in a plane that was built to be part of a side show 80 years ago has fulfilled my adventure quota for this week. Maybe.

patti o flyer

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Big Surprise

I woke up early, but decided to finish A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beal. Not light Sunday morning reading; more like a autobiographical true horror story about the civil war of Sierra Leone in Africa, and of the recruitment of young boys as soldiers.

It is a heartbreaking story, and in the end there is a happy ending for this one young man. But it is the ghosts of his story and those who still live the horrors of war that is etched into my being.

Larry and I spent the early part of the day "working the land", our small plot of city soil that we will own in about 10 years. I am determined to keep my soil well conditioned and able to provide us with organic eating from spring to fall. I look forward to eating the crops as each comes into season and there is great satisfaction from doing the work and being able to be reap the benefits.

After a shower, I settled in for a bit of Sunday paper read time. I hear a commotion at the door, someone's voice saying JUST GO IN, and Larry and I look at each other quizicallly. Who would tell their kid to just walk in someone's house? I open the door and stare at this blonde haired, blue eyed Shirley Temple for several seconds, in shock that this child looks uncannily like my granddaughter, who is in Kentucky.

"Mimi it's me!" she says. I close my mouth which has been hanging open and ask: "how did you get here?". She looks at me, confused, and says: "Mama's car!"

They were supposed to be here Wednesday, so this was shocking for me. Two seconds later in comes my daughter, son-in-law, and my blond haired blue eyed heart breaker of a grandson, resplendent in chub, one tooth, and a great big grin that says: "I can't WAIT to get a hold of the cats!".

They stayed for a bit, long enough to take Alanna for a ride with the top down, and show her how the car worked. She sported a pink baseball cab just to use in the car, and grinned ear to ear.

They are here for a few weeks visiting family before they head back. I am keeping Alanna for a few weeks after they leave then flying back with her. School will be letting out, and I will be letting out the kid in me. In my crystal ball I see the water park, the zoo, swimming, movies, parties, play dates, museums, and lots of art time together with her. Oh, and I might have to break my non-dairy fast now and then for the ice cream and bagel parties!

patti o mimi

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bagels and Bi Planes





I got up extra early because Tom was coming over to work on the bathroom - again.I don't do well with the dirt and ado of construction, so I took myself out to go to the farmer's market, and then for my second bagel of the month. F--- no gluten, dairy and caffeine. I had myself a fat everything bagel with cream cheese AND butter and a coffee.

I read the local paper as I settled in with my little feast, and my eyes caught a small ad. Free day at the Rhinebeck Aerodrone. The mechanics were tuning up and test flying the planes before the season opened next week.

Was it the lure of the memory of my father taking us as kids, my fascination for flying and airplanes, the trip to back to another time that the Aerodrome provides, or the movie The English Patient, that made me call Larry and say: "GET READY AS WE ARE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE".

I had not been to the aerodrome since my father took us as little kids. I was the oldest, and guess that I was about 12 when we went to see an air show there. Fokkers chased one another in the sky, shooting fake guns, doing tailspins, and cutting up rolls of toilet paper tossed from higher above.

We arrived at the aerodrome, and felt the thrill of an adventure. Music from the early 1900's blared on the loudspeakers. There was an old car taking folks for rides around the grounds. A man on a unicyle with a HUGE front wheel wobbled down the runway.

I watched the goings-on of the arena, and took photos of the planes taking off and landing, with the glee of a child. And like a child, I wanted a ride. Badly.
As I walked around the grounds, I found myself at a booth, and a young girl says to me: "do you want to go up?".

Now my intention/desire before I left was one of "I am going to get myself in one of those planes" but I wasn't sure how I would pull that off. So I said to her: "Really? I need more details. Let's talk".

"65.00 for 15 minutes, keep your hands in the plane during take off and landing as the pilot is behind you and can't see if you hang any body parts over the side. Hold onto your cameras, keep on your hat and goggles. It is windy up there. In order to get into the plane, only grab hold of or step onto anything black. Orange is dangerous and you could break the plane".

I looked at Larry, and said, "you game?" and the rest is history.

I was not scared, and it was one of the most incredible things I have ever done. It was like a ride at the carnival, and the 1929 New Standard D25 open cockpit bi-plane was designed specifically to take people for rides, like the scene in the Ya Ya Sisterhood movie.

I have many photos for memories, and will forever have the force of the wind pushing on my goggles, and the Hudson River like a snake below me etched into my memory. And again I am amazed at how sychronicity, the law of attraction, visualization etc. work together to give us exactly what we desire.

Pattio O Airplane

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Gift


Several times last night while writing my blog, Larry came downstairs from the Netherlands and asked: "are you coming up?".

I issued my typical curt answer: "when I am done."

I answered this question a few times...but it's OK, it is part of the routine mating dance that we perform with love, grace, and at times, brevity.

Finally, after summoning enough energy to write a few emails and a few thoughts on the blog, I headed upstairs.

I performed my typical night regime; pee, brush my hair, brush my teeth, brush the hair on my teeth, (I know, b a d Patti...) and entered the bedroom.

Larry is in bed, and smiling. I begin to slough off my painting clothes; a much loved and lived in t-shirt, and my favorite pair of feels-great-to-do-anything in jeans - the haute couture of my introvert art world.

I look on the bed, and there is a bag. "Garbage?" I ask him quizzically.

He laughs.

I see that in the bag is tissue, and that it is a present.

"Because you have been feeling so poorly, I bought you this" the magic man says.

I open the bag; it is a lovely sun dress. I try it on and smile thinking back to the days when I would buy vintage clothes at flea markets, and model them for Larry. A time when we were much younger and our hormones were out of control and trying clothes on was like acting in a black and white soft porn vintage French film.

I try the dress on and wonder if it is too revealing, too young for this 50+ woman. I then remember, with revelation and humility, the wisdom of a wise man I met on the beach. He was a spiritual man, raised by Native Americans. I asked him to give me one thought about his 50 years of marriage. He smiled at me and said: it was never easy,all these years. But every night when I wrap my arms around her, I see the girl I fell in love with and married 50 years ago".

I'm gonna so rock that dress.

patti o display

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Nina, Pinta and view from the Rhinecliff Bridge



It was such a nice day at work as I got to take some girls out to lunch. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we ate lunch outside on the veranda of the Steel House, which was paid for by the girl's small craft business of making flower pens and selling them during lunch time. They raised 77.00, and when asked what they wanted to do with the money, they said GO TO A REAL RESTAURANT FOR LUNCH.

As we sat on the Rondout Creek, sipping on our sodas and waters, the replicas of the Nina and Pinta motored slowly into their moorings for the weekend. I taught the girls the art of waving to people on boats, explaining the etiquette of boating on the river and creek.

We talked about how difficult a journey it must have been on these boats, which were not that big, offered very little protection from the elements, and how people pooped/peed/bathed 600 years ago while sailing the great seas. Hanging out with teenagers is great because my potty humor is never considered scandalous, in fact, we have conjured up a great idea for an underground book based upon very silly potty humor....

It was an afternoon where a few teachers and students got together and had a good old fashioned fun time, complete with going for Italian Ices. It left a grin across my face.

After coming home, I worked more on the painting. This is the 3rd coat on the sky area. Still more work to do, and I am going to TRY and submit it and a few other paintings to a show.

There's magic in the valley.

patti o painter.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

More on Being Green

The workshop with Zoe weil planted a seed very deep into my soul. I cannot go through a day where I don't think about how my actions and decisions are affecting others, animals, the environment.

I stop before I buy a bottle of water or juice, and think to myself, can I wait a bit, and get that in my classroom or at home without adding more waste to the landfill, or taking valuable water away from a farmer?

Lately I have been eating from my garden. I find it so fulfilling to go out into my very own yard and pick the most beautiful organic produce. So far I have harvested bok choy, several kinds of lettuce, peas, arugula, spinach, parsley, cilantro and rosemary. Sometimes it does get a bit monotonous to eat the same thing day after day, , but I think about how many people in the world live this way, making the best of each crop as they come into season. I must learn how to dry some of the herbs, or blanch/freeze/can the excess produce.

On Facebook, some of the people I know are raising more than they need in their garden in order to give those in need some great fresh produce. Perhaps I too can find a family who is in need, who would love to cook what I bring them.

Now I save all my paper bags and bring them to the farmers at the farmer's market instead of recycling them. The farmers are always grateful for them. I have developed a love and great respect for the local farmers, especially for those whom I have met who do their best to grow with the least impact on the environment and their customers.

All waste from my fruits/veggies, go into the freezer, then into the compost pile which eventually makes it back into the garden. I avoid the box stores, and try and support local business, and at the very least, US made.

I have become a bit obsessive with this, and certainly it takes more effort to make better decisions. But when I think of what we are doing to this earth, and how selfish and ignorant we are as a people about WHAT we are doing, I cannot let it lie anymore as just "something I heard on the news", or is something that happens "to someone else".

Off my soap box.

I just know that I have been infused with a newer way of thinking, and you know, I am glad for it. We live a really nice life here.....and folks, someday it ain't going to be so nice after we are done f-ing it all up.

And thanks for the responses to the blogs on Introverts. It has given the extroverts something to think about, and given comfort to those of us who are introverts.

Slinking off to a hot bath and then bed,

Patti O Hermit

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Meyers Briggs Test

After my posting the article on Introverts/Extroverts, and reading the private emails and responses to it that I had received, I headed over to take my own Meyers Briggs test that I found online for free. It was a Jung Typeology test, and I whipped through the 50 questions quickly.

The results? My personality type is INFJ known as the Counselor Idealist Type(Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). Rare, only 1% of the population. Considered one of the more creative types who have a complex inner life. They are found teaching/counseling/and often are artists/designers/novelists. Tisk tisk. Is this me or what? I share this personality with others such as Mohandas Gandhi, Sidney Poitier, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Goodall, Emily Bronte, Sir Alec Guiness, Carl Jung, Mary Baker Eddy, Queen Noor . Not shabby.

It is funny how I have never even thought about this before....and the article on the Introvert really hit home the other night. I have felt guilty at times that I am not a big social person, and though I LOVE people, and working with them, I need a considerable amount of time by myself to be able to give to those in my life.

Head on over and take your own test, and see your own personality type. It may give you some insight, comfort or inspiration. If nothing else, it is a lot more interesting than some of those funny Facebook quizzes....

Patti O Personality Tester!!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Caring for your Inttrovert - LONG


Before you decide whether or not to read the rest of this, the painting tonight is stage 1 over the under painting which I posted several weeks back....it is interesting to see the phases that my work goes through before I feel it is complete.

My friend sent me this great article on introverts. For a long time I have felt guilty for not being a social person in the sense that I don't entertain much at my house, and I don't have a lot of guests stay over. I am not one of those people that you just drop in on. I prefer a call. I would never turn away a friend who drops in of course, as I am not that rigid, but I really value my down time and am very protective of it. To be a friend or lover of mine, you have to be very independent. I am a loyal and low maintenance friend, all I need is room to breathe...lots of it.

So here is some thoughts to ponder. We are all such unique people, if only we understood one another and did not try and pigeon hole one another into some fantasy form of what we think a person should be.

Caring for Your Introvert

by Jonathan Rauch

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

If so, do you tell this person he is "too serious," or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.

I know. My name is Jonathan, and I am an introvert.

Oh, for years I denied it. After all, I have good social skills. I am not morose or misanthropic. Usually. I am far from shy. I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests. But at last I have self-identified and come out to my friends and colleagues. In doing so, I have found myself liberated from any number of damaging misconceptions and stereotypes. Now I am here to tell you what you need to know in order to respond sensitively and supportively to your own introverted family members, friends, and colleagues. Remember, someone you know, respect, and interact with every day is an introvert, and you are probably driving this person nuts. It pays to learn the warning signs.

What is introversion? In its modern sense, the concept goes back to the 1920s and the psychologist Carl Jung. Today it is a mainstay of personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say "Hell is other people at breakfast." Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses."

How many people are introverts? I performed exhaustive research on this question, in the form of a quick Google search. The answer: About 25 percent. Or: Just under half. Or—my favorite—"a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population."

Are introverts misunderstood? Wildly. That, it appears, is our lot in life. "It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert," write the education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig. (They are also the source of the quotation in the previous paragraph.) Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

Are introverts oppressed? I would have to say so. For one thing, extroverts are overrepresented in politics, a profession in which only the garrulous are really comfortable. Look at George W. Bush. Look at Bill Clinton. They seem to come fully to life only around other people. To think of the few introverts who did rise to the top in politics—Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon—is merely to drive home the point. With the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, whose fabled aloofness and privateness were probably signs of a deep introverted streak (many actors, I've read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors), introverts are not considered "naturals" in politics.

Extroverts therefore dominate public life. This is a pity. If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. As Coolidge is supposed to have said, "Don't you know that four fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still?" (He is also supposed to have said, "If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it." The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.)

With their endless appetite for talk and attention, extroverts also dominate social life, so they tend to set expectations. In our extrovertist society, being outgoing is considered normal and therefore desirable, a mark of happiness, confidence, leadership. Extroverts are seen as bighearted, vibrant, warm, empathic. "People person" is a compliment. Introverts are described with words like "guarded," "loner," "reserved," "taciturn," "self-contained," "private"—narrow, ungenerous words, words that suggest emotional parsimony and smallness of personality. Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty.

Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts. Also, it is probably due to our lack of small talk, a lack that extroverts often mistake for disdain. We tend to think before talking, whereas extroverts tend to think by talking, which is why their meetings never last less than six hours. "Introverts," writes a perceptive fellow named Thomas P. Crouser, in an online review of a recent book called Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money? (I'm not making that up, either), "are driven to distraction by the semi-internal dialogue extroverts tend to conduct. Introverts don't outwardly complain, instead roll their eyes and silently curse the darkness." Just so.

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

How can I let the introvert in my life know that I support him and respect his choice? First, recognize that it's not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's an orientation.

Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don't say "What's the matter?" or "Are you all right?"

Third, don't say anything else, either.