Deconstructing the Avant Garde: Ed McCartan’s Art Retrospective

When my dad moved into the nursing home, I didn’t think an art show would be possible. I shelved the idea of a gallery opening. His amazing work has only been shown publicly at outdoor art shows once or twice, more than fifty years ago. He has always been a humble man and he remains unrecognized for a large body of artwork created during his lifetime.

Ed McCartan Self-portrait

Ed McCartan’s self-portrait.

Then Hospice took over. They came up with an idea to do a retrospective at the nursing home where he is living, the Evansville Manor, a few blocks from my parents’ house in Evansville, Wisconsin. Danny and I had to go.

Drawing had helped my dad with the transition into the nursing home. He would sit in the window of his small room and sketch from photographs or from a book of animals. A few weeks before the show, he stopped drawing.

Ed McCartan Art show 2

Dad and Mom.

My mom had framed many pieces over the course of the last year. He had forty paintings to show. We set them up in order from earliest to latest work. Continue reading

Introvert or Extrovert? Maybe You’re an Ambivert.

We all know people who are so shy, we have to pry words out of their mouths. The whole room goes quiet when they begin to speak. We call them introverts. Other people can talk to anyone in any social situation. We label them extroverts.

introverts and extroverts

Introverts and extroverts are polar opposites, so how can we be one or the other? My eyes roll with every debate. Introvert or extrovert? GAH! There’s a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between them. It’s the perfect place for another personality type called, ambiverts. I would guess it comes from the Latin word ambi – both and verts – green. Both green? No. That’s probably not right.

In order to understand this new personality type, we need to review what we know about introverts and extroverts.

Introverts are reflective and happier alone with their thoughts. They energize through being by themselves. They stress out in social situations. If they do go out, they are exhausted afterward.

Continue reading

A Canine Crime Caper

A crime of passion occurred in our house last Sunday. The result of a love so strong she would risk everything including her health and her place in society. The best of the beasts crafted and succeeded in pulling off this caper. But which beast?

tug of war

It started with a brilliant plan. It would have worked if she had only covered her tracks. She fooled all of us, for a while.

First she lulled us in a relaxed setting. Continue reading

Spamming Aruba

Aruba beach

Many of us dream of island sunsets and endless beaches. I have written a few photo essays about this kind of family vacation. One of them, Aruba, Natalie Holloway, Bad Hair and Photos, recently received a spike in views. Classmates reported Natalie missing ten years ago last weekend. I included a waiter’s conspiracy theory in my post, drawing legit traffic.

Unfortunately slimy spammers also staked out turf on my Aruban beach. Continue reading

Tales from Denver Comic Con 2015

Courtney's doppelganger

I was a Comic Con virgin. It has always evoked images of nerdy Treky fans and comic book geeks. Neither tickled my happy parts. I haven’t kept up with Star Trek since the television series ended and the one and only comic book I bought back in the seventh grade was Archie. So when my daughter, Courtney, called and expressed interest in going to Denver Comic Con 2015, I hesitated. Continue reading

Start the New Year With a Revolution!

My daughter, Courtney, noticed a few ignorant people on social media replaced New Year’s Resolutions with New Year’s Revolutions. It made me think. (Keep in mind, I’m still on Oxycodone after my surgery last Monday.) Revolutions might be a better word!

sunburst over earth

 

First of all, the Earth “revolves” around the Sun in one year’s time. The start of the New Year begins after a complete revolution.

We all want to make changes or reach goals in our lives. You don’t? Wow. Lucky you. I think the promises we make on New Year’s Eve are closer to revolutions than resolutions since they require a huge change in our lives. Oh sure. If your only goal in 2015 is to take more vacations, I wouldn’t call that a revolution. But if you want to make a lifestyle change, that my friend, will take a revolution. Continue reading

Becoming New and Improved Bionically in 2015

This photo was taken in Jackson Hole, Wyoming my senior year in college. Yep. That’s me with the bota bag. Remember those? My friend and I stayed with ski bums who worked on the mountain as ski hosts. Little did I know drinking while skiing could be a very bad idea. I would face surgery becoming even more bionic thirty years later.

Mistakes were made Jackson Hole

I thought my hairstyle was a good idea because… Continue reading