Good Saturdays (Also Called: I Want to Play on a Giant Hamster Wheel Too!!!)

Lately, I’ve been limiting myself to one good blow-out go out day per week as financially I’m not entirely secure at the moment. (My career is definitely in flux at the moment and it’s showing in my bank account balance, but more on that later.)  This past Saturday, the outing was more than perfect.

My good friend B came into town Saturday morning for the day and we’d planned a great day out. I took her up to the Getty Center to go look at arts. It was an amazingly beautiful day and the Getty was crowded but we’d gotten there early enough to see it all just about. (We skipped most of the section of French Antiquities – which I tend to refer to as the Rooms of Ugly Old Gaudy Crap.) But the rest was fantastic – like the photographs by Felice Beato – classic images of India and China as well as the rest of 1800’s Europe – amazing images of places that have been since changed and lost – and in some cases (Constantinople) don’t exist any longer as they were then. B was particularly impressed by the classic paintings – Van Gogh’s Irises amongst others. In a particularly accurate description, she said that seeing these paintings – the ones that are so completely ingrained in our consciousness, the ones we have grown up looking at in books and movies – that seeing them in person was like realizing there was a rock star sitting next to you. I get that. Particularly when I wander into that one room at the Getty Center. It’s a small room. It’s in the corner of the top floor of the west building and most of the rest of the room is taken up by it’s star attraction – which is a mural of some sort that takes up one side of the room entirely. Honestly, it’s such a trivial painting to me that I have never even noticed what it is or who it’s by. But opposite that wall, is a smaller painting that takes up the lesser side of that opposite wall. But it is my favourite painting of all time. (Edvard Munch’s Starry Night.) Every time I see it, it makes me happy.

The other thing that made me happy on Saturday afternoon at the Getty was the most innocent and spontaneous and gorgeous thing I think I’ve seen in a long time. B and I grabbed a sandwich to split and wandered outside in the garden to sit in the sun and relax for a bit in the midst of our art infusion. We weren’t the only people out there with that idea and the lawn under the building was filled with families and people picnicking. And kids. Lots of kids. Two of these kids, a brother and sister team, who I think were about 8 or 9 years old took it upon themselves to run to the top of the lawn and roll back down it. You know, that perfect kid’s activity when you would lie down in the grass sideways and just roll down a hill wrecklessly? The two of them started it. Then another kid joined in, then another. Pretty soon there was a swarm of kids all rolling down the hill in waves. It was AWESOME. I would have joined them, but I think their parents would probably have thought I was nuts and made them stop.

After a day of wandering around getting cultured, B and I drove out to Echo Park to pick up another friend, G for dinner and a show. And what a show it was.

We went to see a showing of Cirque Berzerk – a darker and more alternative show not unlike the wholesome and family oriented Cirque du Soleil; not that the two have anything to do with each other really, other than a similar style of acrobatics and aerialists. Amongst the aerialists and trampoline acrobats, contortionists and tumblers, the singers, fire breathing, fire dancers and one slightly psychotic stilt-walking clown (who strangely didn’t bother me in the least though I am absolutely terrified of the more traditional clowns – you know the ones with the false noses and bad orange wigs?) there was one other act that got my attention. The apparatus is called the Roue Cyr and is what looks like a giant hula hoop that the acrobat stands inside and on and rolls around spinning and twisting. I kept calling it a giant hamster wheel (actually until about 3 minutes ago while I was writing this and I decided to actually look at my program from Saturday night and figure out what the hell it was called). OHMIGOD it looks like fun!!!

Saturday’s activities took me back to my initial beginning of the year blog post about resolutions and the coming year. After the day I had, I want to add a new one to the list. It’s simple and probably the most easy one to do. Just have more FUN. Whether it’s rolling down a hill in the sun or spinning around on a giant hamster wheel, isn’t that what it’s about – spending time with friends and generally just having fun. Or shouldn’t it be?

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