Friday, April 1, 2016

Carol Irvin Returns with a More Personal Blog

I am back but a bit differently. I am going to write this blog as the spirit moves me and not on any set schedule. I also am changing the format. I will be writing it as a diary or journal and whatever I'm working on will be thrown into the mix.

Felix and I have been up to our usual old people's act. Yesterday we went shopping together at Trader Joe's. Normally we do not shop together but he doesn't know this store yet and I do. So until he gets it down he is saddled with me. We are not ideal couple shoppers. I have my ideas on what to get and he has his. Yet there we are with just one cart.

I don't last long on these ventures as some pain will sooner or later start up. This time it is in my back. I head for the check out exit and hear behind me, "Where are the gummie bears?"

I can't believe it. When I used to do this alone I would buy him mango yogurt gummie bears as a treat. He wants those damn bears! Next I see him walk up to a guy clerk and ask where the bears are. Here is a man who never will ask for directions but is throwing all male pride to the wind in pursuit of those gummie bears. We leave with four big packages of gummie bears, 2 for each of us. They do not even survive the afternoon.

We return home and I resume work on my newest art show. This one is African American art. A portion of this next appears. As the farcical Presidential race continues around me, it is a rather striking moment to run into a historical moment of governmental ingenuity, the WPA. Read on.
There is a present day African American artist whose work juxtaposes perfectly with the above work.

I have been arm chair traveling all over the world for my art history shows. Prior to this one I concluded ones on the Canadian Group of Seven Art, Australian Art, African Art, Feminist art and so on. So I have lots of pictures to post here but this time they will be seen here and there.

While working on this show, I have various other programs playing for me. Serial Season Two (podcast) just concluded and I was underwhelmed. This time Sarah Koening picked an American soldier who left his base (AWOL) and was captured by the Taliban and held for five years. The issue is whether he should be courtmartialed and further punished for desertion. I just could not get excited about this case. By the end, I really didn't care what happened to it. However, I love Koening's voice and could listen to it reporting just about anything. So I stuck with it. I hope she picks something more exciting for Season 3. 

Although I had not planned on voting in the Primary, Felix talked me into it with these immortal words, "Do you really want Donald Trump as President?" I put down the show I was working on, walked over to the clubhouse and voted for Hillary Clinton. There was one reason I voted for her: she has read and understands the U.S. Constitution and its checks and balances upon the office of the Presidency. My primary thought throughout this circus has been that most candidates could not pass a middle school Civics quiz about our Constitution. They seem to be running for king or dictator instead of the US Presidency. As you know, I do not think much of politicians in general but this latest slate hits the nether regions of even my very low expectations. 
Chicago in 1968.....Cleveland in July 2016?

Worst of all, Cleveland is getting the GOP convention in July. It currently is receiving tons of riot gear. I will not be going anywhere near downtown the entire time they are here. I expect a repeat of Chicago in 1968 and hope my expectations remain unfilled. Below is a sample of the order for July.
Has anyone been wondering about my knee or foot? Just in case you have, they are still recovering. My surgeon considers me good to go because at age 67 1) I can walk 2) although it may feel weird, I am not in any real pain 3) I can flex my foot and knee to his satisfaction. When you see the rest of his waiting room and the hospital itself, one understands why I might be considered a success story. It is the Cleveland Clinic's niche hospital for orthopedics. Most people are missing limbs or portions of limbs or are in wheelchairs or walkers. If you can walk to his office on your own two feet, as I did, you are a success story.

Unfortunately, I seemed to have developed a massive itching problem from all that chlorine. It got so bad that Felix has redone the shower with a new seat and new products. I now have an anti chlorine product with a massive sponge. I also use a medicated shampoo. I am constantly itching and scratching. I am waiting for my skin to calm down some before going back into the pools. Yes, I have reached the point where it is just one "body thing" after another. I even wondered momentarily if I had a super reduced version of shingles. I have had the vaccine so perhaps this was the junior version I was warned about as a possible substitute? My new mantra on greeting the morning is, "What else? What next? What's gonna go kaput today?" Then I go drink as much coffee as I can hold. I don't give a damn what it does to my "health."

Felix is miserable without a new hobby so I am happy to report that he has renewed his cooking skills with a vengeance. His new guru is Jamie Oliver of UK fame. Felix has been remolding the kitchen into his own image. Our strangest story to date is that he cooked the holiday turkeys in a wok in the oven. Turned out great too. Next comes an herb garden. He and Rebecca have worked out their own curious way of working on this condo garden plot. I almost used the word "together" but they do not work together on it. They instead work on different things at different times and share in the results. It seems to work for them. Our condo has a field of garden plots for residents' use. We have those high transmission towers in one area and no one wants to build there. Hence it became the gardening area. They can bike to it, which Rebecca usually does. Jim drives to it. I ignore it except for the results. Greenwood's Community Garden is shown below.

If you are still not watching "Better Call Saul," you are making a mistake. Rebecca and I are enjoying it hugely. This is the story of Saul Goodman, the attorney from "Breaking Bad." He is played by comic and writer Bob Odenkirk with a brilliant supporting cast. Rebecca and I can't believe we have to wait another year to get more of it. We dissect the episodes together. For awhile we were having a spirited debate over whether Saul's brother was faking his mental illness. For now, we do not think he is.