The fun 14 in 2014
Ryan Summerlin January 7, 2014
I’m best described as a curious person. I’m the type always seeking answers to questions or exploring new places to experience the unknown. Except maybe in space.
I wouldn’t make it past the motion sickness test.
Even if I fear it, I’m usually up for an adventure. Sometimes I just have a hard time saying no. However it happens, my experiences typically start as goals. I always have a full list of those. I like to start out each new year thinking about the possibilities life can offer. Since it’s still early in 2014, and I decided on New Year’s Day to become an overachiever, I figure there are at least 14 experiences I have yet to try.
1. Voice lessons. If anyone has ever been in the audience when I karaoke, they will like this one. I’m OK on the charisma, but I definitely need help in carrying a tune.
2. Skydiving. My nerves are naturally on edge when I’m up in the air. I figure if I’ve had the nerve to fly in a B-17 bomber and go paragliding off a mountain, I can jump out of a plane. But only tandem, with a highly experienced professional.
3. Fencing lessons. There’s something sexy about the sport of fighting with swords. It’s an art, really. And even though there would be no killing anyone in my fencing lessons, I just want to drop that line from “Princess Bride”: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” I wouldn’t be able to resist.
4. Joining an acting troupe. The more comfortable I am on stage, they better I am at stand-up comedy. And I love the stage. It’s a magical place where the imagination can go wild and anything can happen. Maybe a star could be born.
5. When people hear I’ve never watched the former HBO crime series “The Wire,” milk comes out their noses. Most can’t believe it. Apparently I may be the only person who has never seen it. I am obviously missing something, even though the popular show ended in 2008. So, “The Wire” on Netflix this year it is.
6. Wear a fancy hat at the Kentucky Derby. Being from the Midwest, the Run for the Roses is a fairly common sporting event to attend. It’s a tradition I’ve always enjoyed celebrating by TV at house parties with mint juleps. I once almost went in college but finals spoiled all the fun. This year is my year to buy a big hat, throw on a fancy dress and do the Derby in person.
7. Learn to sew. Many people may not know my mother is an accomplished seamstress. She sewed my wedding dress out of white velvet and organza, all the bridesmaids’ dresses in Christmas plaid, and white muffs for all of them out of faux fur. If I don’t sit down with her and learn to sew myself, I will always regret it. I might want to start with learning to thread the bobbin.
8. Living out in Colorado, I have become an extreme fan of scarves and hats, especially of the hand-crocheted variety. It’s hard to believe I’ve called myself a citizen of Carbondale without learning such a skill. It’s a great creative outlet, and I imagine I could make some funny hats for kids.
9. I’ve been playing euchre since college. That’s a long time. And yet, I routinely sit down to play euchre with my Midwestern friends — because it’s kind of a mystery to partygoers in Colorado — and I somehow lose. And when I lose, I make my partner angry. The cycle has to stop and it’s going to be in 2014.
10. Try out for “America’s Got Talent.” I figure there haven’t been tons of female comics to win big on “America’s Got Talent.” Actually not many at all. And the tryouts are coming to a city near me soon. So I will give it a try because I have nothing to lose. And who knows, I may have talent after all.
11. Wear a couture ball gown. I’m not shy about my love for fashion. It all goes back to that Fashion Plates toy for kids who wanted to grow up to be fashion designers from the ’80s. I would have been a fashion designer if I could draw people in perspective. Instead, I like to wear beautiful clothes and coordinate fun outfits. My dream is to wear a vintage Christian Dior couture gown to a fancy ball. Maybe I have Cinderella syndrome. Maybe I just really love pretty dresses.
12. Drive in an Indy Car. My dad would cringe at the idea of me actually driving a very expensive sports car of the caliber of the Indy Car racing league. Lucky for me, companies offer the opportunity to ride in an Indy Car while an experienced, professional driver is at the wheel going around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. And that is fine by me.
13. Brew my own beer. I love hoppy beer, and I can follow a recipe. So I can’t think of anything stopping me from making my own microbrews to save money and get crafty. Maybe I can even start my own label, April’s Ashes. Sounds hoppy.
14. Go surfing. I have been in the ocean many times. I’ve swum in it. Jumped the waves. Cruised them on a boogie board on my belly. But never have I tried surfing. I would love to return to Sayulita, Mexico, someday, a favorite of many on the Western Slope of Colorado. I will sip micheladas and try surfing. That would make my year.
— April E. Clark would also like to grow a garden in 2014. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.