Sunday, January 27, 2013


Like many artists I am drawn to patterns in nature. I particularly love the regular and seemingly random spots, stripes and myriad combinations of the furred and feathered.  Appaloosa horses, tabby cats, black and white spotted Jacob Sheep, giraffe splotches, leopard spots and tiger stripes - all give me a frisson of pleasure.

While browsing a local thrift shop recently, I came upon a wonderful leopard faux fur vest.  The perfect gift for the kitties!  Sure enough, as soon as it was splayed on the couch, kitties claimed it one by one - with a few hissy quarrels over possession.  Generally though, possession rules even in the cat world and nearly every feline has had a turn mushing and posing on the best $2.00 cat accessory ever.
Pattern upon pattern - Garfy on The Vest
Snoochie if full mush mode. More pattern upon pattern.
I once had a harlequin Great Dane and I once had a brindle Great Dane, so when I thought of getting another dog to keep Freda company, I wanted another Dane.  Came up a bit short though, when I spotted Carrie up for adoption.  She's a year old brindle American Bull Terrier (not a pit type) weighing about 45 lbs. nearly the same size as Freda.  I figured it was meant to be as she purportedly got along with cats (very important), other dogs and liked everyone - even toddlers.  (Geez - I don't even like toddlers...)  And she would eat less than another giant dog which was better for my budget.

I met the owner, brought Carrie home and she and Freda hit it off immediately.  By the third evening she was deathly ill.  What started as a bit of coughing the second night became obvious difficulty breathing and a temp of 106.2!  I'd just gotten home from work and saw her trembling and with her eyes all squinted up like she was in pain.  I rushed her to the Vet Saturday night where she was given fluids and meds I.V.  Several tests were done - none conclusive at that point.  I was able to pick her up on Sunday with a tentative diagnosis of pneumonia and oral antibiotics but she went downhill again and had to go back in on Monday for more intravenous treatments - and they kept her for 24 hours before sending her home with I.V.'s and three antibiotics!  (I was once a vet tech so I know how to give I.V. meds and shots.)

I was puzzled when the Vet asked me to find out whether anyone in the previous owner's household had had flu or especially strep throat recently.  He said no - but sounded unsure about recent illnesses.  The Vet said dogs can pick up strep type infections from humans and visa-verse, which was new to me.  I'll never know for sure where it came from - but get this:  I'm sick now.  Within 24 hours of Carrie's onset, I had terrible bronchitis, sore throat, headache, fever, chills and loss of appetite, rather like my new doggie.  Unlike Carrie, at the first sign I hit the Emergen-C, got out my inhaler and prepared for the worst.  I'm coughing so hard I had to buy protection.... (no I'm not explaining this...)

Sympathy illness?  Perhaps.  I could have pick it up anywhere, but a pattern is a pattern - and this looks like a pattern to me.  That frisson I spoke of?  In this case, it must have been the first onset of the chilblains.

We are both doing better - though that vet bill is likely to kill me.  Better photos when we both stop coughing.
Here's Carrie - See her shaved legs and her bandage?  Poor baby.  Apologies for the cacophony of patterns here.  She's a real sweet tiger of a dog.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On being moved...

I spend a great deal of time alone - and I suppose this has led to more than average (whatever average might be) forays into self examination.  These lead to finding and then poking about in ones (mine own) faults and foibles.  One of my odder tendencies is to avoid seeking out many of the things that move me and that I love.  This would appear to be a contradiction - and it is.  So why?  Here's the deal - or parts of it, I think.

I fear loss of control.

I fear my own reactions.

I'm afraid of feeling too much, being overwhelmed - and then frozen into a rather catatonic state of mind.

In the case of viewing others artwork, I sometimes fear being influenced (another sort of loss of control) or by becoming impotent/immobilized by the enormity of creating work that is relevant and relative.

I'm not saying I cannot overcome these tendencies.  Otherwise I'd probably hole up and cut myself off from all media and communication and just make stuff in a vacuum - or never make anything more.  And every time something or someone really moves me, I'm happier and grateful for the experience.

 What moves me? Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

Thursday, January 03, 2013


No - not the movie - though it is one of my favorite Hitchcock films.  Like the character Jimmy Stewart played, I suffer from vertigo in high places.  My 1989 visit to a World Trade Center tower and the Empire State Building had me literally clinging to the inside walls.  As long as I looked out and away and did not look down, I was okay, but any glance downward had the world spinning for me. I still enjoyed it - and never experienced the paralyzing panic Stewart portrayed.

Fast forward.  This past year I began experiencing vertigo occasionally while going about everyday tasks.  It always passed quickly and I never came close to falling so I assumed it might be an inner ear infection.  Once before I'd had this, though that episode lasted a week or so with constant symptoms.  I finally had to get some righteous antibiotics to quell the little bugs.

Then one morning I opened my eyes and the room began to spin while I was still lying down.  Now that was new!  Stroke?  Dropsy?  Brain tumor?  Another infection?  I decided to do a bit of online investigation.  I learned that vertigo and dizziness are not the same thing - and there are many causes for both.  When I read symptoms and causes of something called BPPV.  I realized I could be the poster child for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

Never heard of it? Me either.  It seems that if one has had a serious head injury (me), a history of sinus trouble (me), broken ear drums/ear infections (me - as a teen lifeguard), sleep on your stomach (me) - suffer from migraines (I used to), and are over 50 (yeah, me) - you might get BPPV.  It has to do with little calcium "stones" in the inner ear whose movements are essential to balance.  Mine get stuck.

Luckily for me, it's not all that serious - and there are quick and easy treatments/exercises that one can do oneself. I can't seem to stop sleeping on my stomach, so I'll likely be prone to these episodes. 

I keep hearing Arnold say: "It's not a tumor" in that accent of his...

No rabbit hole blog is complete without silly cat photos!

It's a bird!

It's a plane!

It's - it's Super Winkle!

The Flying Siamese!
Winkle "flying" through cyberspace on her vintage monitor....