An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.

~ G. K. Chesterton, On Running after One's Hat, 1908

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2010 in Review: People

Looking back at 2010, I think about the people in my community – close and not so close, most friends and some not – who have either inspired me or made my life better or more interesting. I couldn't whittle it to 10, so I offer 11.  If you are not mentioned here, please know that you are number 12. Yes, you! 

Poster by Sally Harless
    11. Artist Sally Harless
I don't know artist Sally Harless, and I hope she doesn't think I'm stalking her, but I love her work and I admire her industriousness. She was a key player in the opening of Paper Crane Gallery this year and continuing the very successful local Handmade Market. I don't know the ins and outs of her contributions (See. Not stalking), but she makes the most delightful posters. Sally brings beauty and whimsy to Bloomington.

Trashion/Refashion show

10. Environmentalist Jeanne Leimkuhler  Recycling and fashion. What a glorious combination. I met Jeanne over a decade ago. At that time, she and her husband Joe were leading an effort to build a sustainable house with Habitat for Humanity.   Jeanne's latest projects to make Bloomington a more environmentally friendly and interesting place are Discardia, a nonprofit “dedicated to refashioning used materials that would otherwise be discarded” and the annual Trashion/Refashion, a winter fashion show and fundraiser for the Center for Sustainable Living in which models strut down the runway in fashion made from upcycled materials.  

9.  Theatre Professional Chad Rabinovitz
It has been a privilege to watch the Bloomington Playwrights Project evolve over the years. Sometimes it grows in fits and starts, but the trajectory has definitely pointed up. Chad stepped into the role of artistic director two years ago and he had big and beloved shoes to fill when my dear friend Rich Perez headed for new opportunities in Chicago. Chad has worked like a madman.  Sometimes we disagree, but the man has vision. There are changes a plenty going on at the BPP. The renovation at the Bloomington Playwright's Project alone is an amazing feat.

The beautiful new  BPP Lobby
Gabe the Juggalo and our mayor.

8. Actor/writer/theater manager Gabe Gloden
Without Gabe I would never know the miracle that is the Insane Clown Posse. I like him anyway.  Gabe Gloden grows on you. Or at least, he's grown on me over the years. And, I'm so glad because Gabe makes the world a better place with his ridiculous jokes, his theatre productions, his parties and his love of making and consuming good food.  Try his bacon bourbon. No, wait, don't, but do admire the label.

7. Actress/provocateur Emily Goodson
Where have you been all of my life, Emily Goodson? You are so delightfully odd. Whether you're sharing your talent on stage, plotting to steal my husband or starting imaginary fights with Gen-X celebs, when you are around there is magic in the air.  Please invite me to SausageFest.

6. Environmentalist/gadfly Michael Hamburger
I don’t much mention my professional life on my very personal blog. Suffice it to say I have one, and I made a transition this year that brought me temporarily into the orbit of environmentalist Michael Hamburger.  Sometimes he drove me batty, but Michael Hamburger's dedication to sustainability efforts is unsurpassed.  I have learned from Michael that if you want to create positive change, sometimes you have to be a little deaf.  The local community owes much to his inability to hear the word "no."

Puppet by Rachael and Adam
 5.   DIYer Rachael Himsel
Last year I had a birthday party for myself. Terrible, I know. We made tacos. Everyone pitched in to bring the fixings. If people wanted to mark the occasion with a gift, I suggested I'd only accept a handmade card or a sock puppet.  Rachael and her then-fiancé Adam were the only people who stepped up to the challenge.  

Rachael's wedding was just a few short weeks before mine this year. She lent us supplies and the minute she returned from her honeymoon she  was at my service. With pinking shears and an iron, she and I turned  a few sheets of raw linen used for ad hoc tablecloths into matching cloth napkins for a crowd.  Rachael is the yin to my yang and the eggs to my bacon. I cannot imagine life without her schemes and dreams, her generous heart.

4.  Physical therapist Marissa S.
Without my physcial therapist Marissa's patient efforts, I would not be able to walk. Enough said.

And yet, I’m going to say more because I worked with her almost half a year. While I never looked forward to my sessions, I never dreaded them because Marissa was so knowledgeable, encouraging and sympathetic.  I’ve been through several physical therapists on and off over the last few years. All of them helped me in some way, but Marissa helped me create a long-term plan. Now that my PT is over, I actually miss her.

3. Jill-of-all-trades Lori Garraghty
Please do not ask Lori to do something for you because the woman has trouble saying no. She tells me she's better, but I don't believe it. She is just too generous to turn down the opportunity to help. So, if you need a class taught, a play stage-managed, a fund-raiser produced, a baby shower or engagement party hosted, a wedding planned, please go elsewhere or I will beat you up.

2. Rebecca Stanze
Rebecca needs no qualifier. A week without Rebecca is like a week without my pinky toe. I love my pinky toe. It helps me stay balanced. And, so does Rebecca. Like my pinky toe, Rebecca accompanies me on many an adventure. Book club meetings, lectures, hula-hoop making, catfish dinners in rural Indiana.  Unlike my pinky toe, Rebecca is good with a screwdriver and muck bucket. Before the new husband, we tackled many a household project together. We still do, but Matt now holds the ladder because he's bigger and less distractable than I am.

Without Rebecca, I might not be married. Really. Not only did she and Lori help plan my wedding (and serve as important wedding-day coordinators), but Rebecca was present months earlier when Matt and I decided to get hitched.  

"Enough already," said the impatient Rebecca. "Enough with this talking about maybe, possibly one day getting engaged. Why don't you just get engaged?"  And, then we did.  Yes, that is the story of our proposal.

1. Co-conspirator Matthew Hicks
We're newlyweds so of course Mathew Hicks had a big impact on my life this year. I'll try not to be cute about it. 

Partners in crime
 Every day, Matt inspires me  with his enthusiasm about his job, his classes, and our plans for the future.  He works full-time,  takes 9 credit hours in such irresistible subjects as Chemistry  and Regulatory Affairs in the Biotech Industry, and does his share – perhaps more than his share – of the household chores.

Do you want to know how great Matthew Hicks is?

When I said I wanted to build a huge hippopotamus statue in our backyard so that our future child would not be a total social outcast, he didn't say, "I don’t follow your logic" or "That sounds like a lot of work."

He said, "First, we have to make a mold."


  1. "First, we have to make a mold" is going to be my new life motto. Great post, TracyB.

  2. I'm so happy you have this wonderful support network around you. You are a lucky woman!