Friday, February 10, 2012

Clef Notes

Gabriella Herkert
Catnapped and Doggone

Confession time. I'm not a music person. I know we creative types are supposed to be hanging out together and I have nothing but awe for the truly talented musicians and songwriters in the world who manage to tell their stories with rhythm. But the thing is, I grew up in a predominantly silent house. Except for the yelling and name-calling to be expected with eight people and one bathroom, there wasn't a lot of noise much less composition that would lend itself to a background tapestry upon which I could paint my life story.

I was going to write this blog by finding out the top songs in the key moments in my life but figured out that would help everyone do the longevity math and, well, that is not a place I'm going to willingly go. Instead, I chose some key moments, places and people and borrowed quotes from some of my favorite authors that, at least in my rather convoluted thinking, manage to convey the essence of that person I was in that moment. With any luck, once linked, each of these snapshots will flow into the verbal soundtrack of the Life of Gabi.

Of course, I couldn't make it that easy and I'm a little unsettled with simply handing the key that makes me tick over without a little fight, I've written two lists. Mix and match my bulleted moments with the numbered quotation. Any insights are welcome. Answers are at the end.

A. Reporting day at the United States Military Academy at West Point
B. Circus school
C. Kerouac and Kokopelli
D. Arthur Andersen interview, Bouchercon and parade formation
E. Moving to Austin to write full-time
F. The terme baths at the Grand Wailea Spa, Maui
G. Law school at the University of Oregon
H. Amarillo, Texas
I. 7 Criminal Minds
J. Changing the world

  1. “I can’t swim.” – The Sundance Kid

  2. “You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes.” -- Dr. Seuss

  3. “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” – Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz

  4. “I say beware of all enterprises which require new clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau

  5. “Oh,” said Cecilia with a deep sigh, “but we must live here.” An Irish setter ran out to inspect us. I bent down and patted it. “With a dog,” I added. -- A.A. Milne

  6. “Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend,Unnerves his strength, invites his end.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. “The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” – Joseph Conrad

  8. “America is my country and Paris is my hometown.” – Gertrude Stein

  9. “Where’s the beef?” – Clara Pell

  10. “Good friends, good books, and a sleep conscience: this is the ideal life.” Mark Twain

A. 4 -- The West Point dress grey uniform is the same outfit worn by the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. There's a clue in there somewhere.

B. 1 -- I was the first person in my trapeze class to climb all the way to the ceiling using the silks. Then I looked down. Unlike Sundance, I knew it was the fall that was the problem (although technically, it's the landing).

C. 5 -- Ker and Koko are my dogs, past and present. It's not a home without dog hair on everything.

D. 2 -- These are all examples of moments when the brains in my head had to work out the fix for the two left shoes on my feet.

E. 7 -- I turned my world upside down to spend more time writing, moved to Austin and promptly burned my office-cubicle-haven't-seen-the-sun-in-Seattle skin to a crisp.

F. 8 - Everyone has a place they walk into and no is their special place. Those terme baths -- they're mine.

G. 3 - I went from culturally homogenous Midwest to identical soldier Army to the Grateful Dead are in town Eugene, Oregon. Talk about your culture shock.

H. 9 - My mother liked to route our vacations so we could eat at the Big Texas steakhouse. Wisconsin to California via Amarillo, Texas. Is my sense of direction (or dearth of one) any real surprise?

I. 10 - I love our blog community even if my chances of being arrested have increased by a factor of ten thousand.

J. 6 - I've been working with the passionate people at the Rainforest Partnership to bring sustainable incomes to communities in the rainforest while protecting the environment. I don't leave my friends.

Thanks for reading.



Meredith Cole said...

For a moment there, I thought we were going to have guess which quote went with which place/event. I guessed Mark Twain right for 7CriminalMinds... Awww.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

From West Point to Clown College. I think that's a book title.

Great songs and quotes, Gabi!

We on the blog love you too!

Gabi said...

You never fall for my trickery. I'll have to stay on your good side.

Gabi said...

From West Point to Clown College???

You're right. It's a great title especially for non-fiction.