I am not a big art buff. I don't pretend to know a lot about art and when Gallery Night rolls around, as it just did, I normally stay in with my TV remote.
But I do like photography. I like snapshots my kids take of my grandchildren. I like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I love a picture of my baby granddaughter sound asleep on my chest as I nap on the couch.
There is a Milwaukee photographer named Jim Herrington who takes pictures that really touch me. Lately he has been exploring images of the legends from the world of mountain climbing.
But his pictures of famous musicians really strike a chord in me.
His photos are now on display in Milwaukee at the Third Ward's Hanson-Dodge Creative, one of the best design firms in Milwaukee. I don't think it's open to the public but if you call I'm sure they'd let you see these photos.
As an example, Herrington has a picture of Waylon Jennings that just tells you this man has spent lots of time on lonely roads and empty hotel rooms. And his shot of Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones lets you see into the face of an artist who is always up for something new.
He's got a picture of Willie Nelson that might be my all time favorite photo. This is a picture of an old man, with a young heart and a fearless commitment to an old guitar, music that moves and a faded pair of old blue jeans worn with a red bandana.
It's getting down to the tense moments on "American Idol," as only six contestants remain. Tonight they will all sing the songs of Carole King before the cut to the top five.
After watching all year, I've got some impressions about both the judges and the contestants.
I started out absolutely loving the judges. But as a group my affection has waned a bit. I just don't hear enough criticism. They are too in love.
Randy and Jennifer are trying and Jennifer is as passionate and cute as a hot-blooded Latina could be. But Steven Tyler has been a disappointment. He just loves too much. As someone who knows about putting on a breathtaking show, he could bring a lot, but he's sitting on his hands.
Now, the singers.
My picks for the top three are Scotty McCreery, James Durbin and Casey Abrams.
Laura Alaina is too young and seems too stupid to win. The judges ask her, "Do you get what we are saying to you?" She nods her head like she has no idea what they said.
Jacob Lusk sings every song like he's at the pearly gates and is applying for admission. Not every song has to be overwrought with emotion, and fans are catching on to his act.
And poor Haley Reinhart, the only sex appeal left on the show. Great legs. Good singer. But suffers from a continuing identity crisis and she's going to pay the price.
I think Durbin is the most electrifying and Abrams makes me gasp with the depth and variety of his talent. McCreery is like Randy Travis, solid and down home. Going to be tough to choose a winner out of those three.
It was 30 years ago that Prince Charles got married to Princess Diana. It is the 6th rated television program of all time.
That's pretty good, especially considering the fact that there were no DVRs in those days. If you wanted to watch it later in the day, you needed to wrestle with the VCR.
Now we approach the wedding of one of their children, scheduled for Friday of this week. I plan on getting up at 3 a.m., to watch the event live. But I wonder if mine will be the only house on the block with the lights on at that hour.
No matter what people like Andy "The Crotchety One" Tarnoff, the publisher of OnMilwaukee.com says, this is a big deal in this country.
These are our antecedents and our most stalwart ally in the world. Plus this is the stuff of history.
Kings and queens and princes and princesses are in short supply these days. And these British monarchs always set a standard of civility and dignity that we could all learn a lesson from.
So I'm getting up. There will be coffee. There will be bagels. There will be orange juice. There will be cream cheese and jelly.
And there will be wonder about how many of my Milwaukee neighbors will be doing the same thing.