Sunday, January 3, 2010

Restrospective or Flashback?

Gabriella Herkert
Catnapped and Doggone
As the season comes to an end, it’s time for reflections on what made 2009 special. Thus, my list of favorites:

Book: This one is a tie. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba was amazing and inspirational and forced me to think more about what I have to contribute to my world. William is a hero’s hero and not doesn’t he know it, it wouldn’t change anything about him if he did. Also, Freedom by Leonard Roy Frank which was published in 2003 all about what historical figures had to say about conscience, creativity, education and war. If you didn’t know it was published years ago and the words were spoken decades ago, you’d think they had just watched tonight’s news. The beauty of this book is it reminded me how powerful words can be and how much each of us can affect each other by speaking out loud what we hear in our hearts.

Film: Away We Go. Laugh out loud funny family dysfunction giving way to an open mind, an open road and faith. Plus popcorn.

Adventure: Zip-lining over the San Diego Wild Animal Park with best friends Ed and Joe. I stood straight and caught as much air as I could so I could take a slow tour of the amazing African animals until the park attendant started jumping and yelling that I was going to get stuck in the middle if I didn’t pick up a little speed. It’s possible that if you hang there long enough the giraffes make a deal with the hippos for protection in exchange for snacks. That would not be good.

Personal Experience: Circus school. Okay, so I’m still at the kindergarten level of aerial arts with a bunch of former dancers and current Pilates instructors who will be performing at Cirque du Soleil while I continue to be “held back.” I met some seriously cool people totally different from anyone in my life who don’t care that I’m an evil corporate lawyer with the flexibility of wood. They challenge me and never laugh when I ask for the definition of arabesque while I’m upside down hanging from the trapeze with one foot twisted in the rope.

Trip Destination: Maui. Maui. Maui.

Game: Another tie. I loaded Clue onto my mini-laptop and I’m inordinately proud of my Inspector status. On vacation, we took Tabletop Conversations. It’s not a game, per se, but I learned so much about people I’ve known for fifteen years. Interesting things. Then, I had my mind blown when a super-smart engineer friend rattled off his own seven wonders of the world and none of them was a place. String theory as a wonder? Are we talking silly string? Cuz’ that one I could buy.

Concert: Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard. Okay, I went under distress or at least because I was humoring a friend of mine. The whole experience was revelatory. Kris Kristofferson can’t actually sing but he’s a storyteller of Dr. Seuss proportions. Merle Haggard can remember the words to every song even the ones he’s not scheduled to sing. The audience ran the gamut from teenage screamy-boppers born well after these guys started to look really lived in to geezers holding cigarette lighters and screeching out the lyrics. Fascinating. And it lead me to write a story to link Kristofferson’s lyrics into a story a la Mamma Mia. When it’s polished, I’ll share.

Companion: Koko the crazy levitating Labrador. As always.

2010 Resolution: Stop cutting my own hair every time I’m in a bad mood. The mood thing shows and bangs really should be sorta, kinda approximately horizontal. And there’s a reason I’m not called a “professional.”

Here’s wishing all of you had as memorable a 2009 and are eagerly anticipating an even more exhilarating 2010. Thanks for spending this year with me.



Michael Wiley said...

Hmm -- Circus school. That's very cool, and it's enough to make a year memorable. I have a friend who tries to do something "new" on every one of her birthdays. (Some years she won't tell us what she's done.) I'll recommend circus school to her.

Gabi said...

I like to try something new every year as well but like your friend, some year's ideas are better left never mentioned again. Not that you shouldn't ask, of course. Great stories with the names changed to protect the innocent, the injured and the insane.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

An inspirational year! I, too, have the flexibility of wood. When I took martial arts I got to watch every newcomer get more flexible than I. After two years of martial arts and yoga, every woman who entered the class was more flexible than me after 3 classes, every man after 5. But I did break boards and finally get to my toes (not on the same day).

Way to go, Gabi!

Gabi said...

I'm still trying to get to my toes. I can see them, you understand, but short of sitting down I can't reach the little buggers. You give me hope, Rebecca.

Shane Gericke said...

Gabi, we need to see some photos of you. With all the cool stuff you do, you must be Sheena, Princess of the Jungle! Anyone out there know what she looks like???

What is the best way to increase one's flexibility? Seriously, I have the same tree-stump flex as Gabi and Rebecca, and would like to be able to seriously loosen up. Does yoga do it, or is that just hype?

Shane Gericke said...

Oh, we went to see Cirque's "Banana Shpeel" over the holidays. it was all right, I guess; the acrobatic acts were terrific, as you might expect. The vaudeville part--songs, jokes, slapstick--was moronic and went waaaaay too long. Cirque should stick with the acrobatic amazements, methinks.

And, I broke the theater's chair with a big loud craaaack ...

Gabi said...

I do yoga, too, but simply lack the Gumby gene. It's better than it was. I used to need help tying my shoes. Rebecca has it right. Some people get pretzeled very fast. Others, like me, remain remarkably upright.

I'll admit I also don't get the slapstick French thing. It's like English drag. I'm the only one in the room not laughing and I think I've got a semi-decent sense of humor. Try the genuine Cirque du Soleil. Awe doesn't begin to cover it.