last call

You can stare at the Mona Lisa and just feel its power, or you can wonder why she doesn’t have eyebrows and miss the experience.

If you’re constantly getting lost in the details, you might miss out on the enjoyment of things.

Life is like an Impressionist painting: You look too close and it’s just confusing, blurry blobs of paint, all textured and ugly. Stand back and all those unsettling, seemingly random clumps become Monet’s Water Lilies. That’s why I’m a big picture guy … or at least I try to be.

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Last Call: Doing What You’re Supposed to Do
Painting by Ray Stephenson

After Billy Joe Shaver died, I went down the rabbit hole and found a man who lived life to the fullest.

Billy Joe Shaver left the arena in October of 2020. Although I'm a longtime fan, his death didn't make me sad. For one thing, in spite of a less-than-health-conscious lifestyle, Shaver lived almost five years past the U.S. national average. He also managed to pack two lifetimes worth of experiences into his 81 years on this planet.

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Last Call: With Gratitude
John Bohlinger hanging out with his guitar teacher, Mike Hoover. Photo by Kaye Caughey Hoover

I met my guitar teacher, Mike Hoover, when I was in 8th grade. Forty years later, I’m still learning from him.

“For us to live any other way was nuts." —Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas

Never imagined I'd be here, but currently I'm homeschooling my 4-year-old daughter. Teaching has taught me that beneath my Zen Hippie Cowboy façade lies a rigid nerd, weirdly unforgiving and bad at concealing my frustration at both myself and the student. I'm the kind of uptight teacher I would've dreaded as a kid. My incompetence makes me appreciate the good teachers I've had in my life.

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