TribeOhana

Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout ...

...the birds and the bees.... More specifically this bee. No, not the one in the picture. *points to self* This one. Me. I've been posting a lot of things lately that talk about my Bee People...bee feet...blue socks for a Blue Bee...my Twitter handle is BeeGirlBlue...that kind of thing and that is drawing questions from those of you who may be new to our little show here. So, I thought I'd take a post to answer one of the frequently asked questions: "Dude, what's up with you and bees?"

Remember 1991? Flannel around your waist, Docs on your feet and a slightly emo slump to your step because you were so misunderstood by the establishment that it made your soul ache like Kurt Cobain's cancer? We had angst and people like Steven Tyler kept telling us to Rock The Vote to do something about it. Remember those days? Damn, 8th grade was awesome, wasn't it? Anyway...back in 1991 this video came out and MTV played it damn near every morning. (I know, some of you come from a world when MTV didn't play music, but trust me, it was cool.) I woke up to this song many many times and the video always spoke to me. Blind Melon's No Rain.

Here's this girl. Not much to look at, laughed at by the people she's trying to blend with...she goes on her own quest around the town to find someone who will dance with her. Finally, she finds a whole tribe of Bee People who will dance her dance. She finds a place where she belongs.

For many years I felt like the Bee Girl...weird, funny looking and misunderstood. Alone in a crowd and constantly looking for that place of peace and acceptance. My friend Carrie was the first to call me Bee Girl back in college. It fit and it stuck. I envied the Bee Girl because she found that place full of sympathetic characters who not only accept but love her for her differences. Her weirdness is exalted and she ends the video triumphant! Hoo and ray!  I envied her that.

In 2002 I met a friend online who lived in Phoenix. I'd been thinking of moving there and we hit it off online and later on the phone. We talked for 2 years and finally I started making plans to relocate. There was this one weekend that all things seemed to gel. I went to Phoenix for that weekend to meet people I'd only spoken to online or the phone and those people introduced me to more people. I walked into a house for a birthday party of a complete stranger and I met my Tribe. My very own Bee People. No trumpets and choirs...just laughter and karaoke. But that feeling of resonance, sympathetic vibration and utter peace said it all. I didn't want to leave the party. At 3:30am my friend looked at me and said, "Your flight leaves in 3 hours and we still have to go get your suitcase packed and get you to the airport." Bummed, I started saying goodbye. As people hugged me they told me, "I don't want to wish you bad luck, but I hope you fuck up this audition because it means you'll move here."

Two days later I auditioned for Blue Man Group. That in and of itself is a whole 'nother story. Short version: I stood on the stage of the Briar Street Theater in Chicago and drummed stroke for stroke with my personal idol and got a call back. (And on the evening news, but that just made me feel awkward..) I went in the next day for the acting portion, went on my way and waited. A few weeks later I emailed the casting director for information and thanked her profusely for the experience. She said that my drumming was "exactly what we're looking for" but that the character needed work. I was urged to try again.

So I moved to Phoenix in October of 2004. On New Year's Eve I was at The Party (see previous entry) and my beloveds gifted me with a pair of blue LED drumsticks. Blue was my signature color and it became my "thing". The nickname "Blue" popped into being and I've answered to it ever since. (It's on my Con badge.) I have to giggle when I read Christopher Moore's You Suck! because of the hooker named Blue who wears blue make up specifically because of Blue Man Group. I found out recently that Chris Moore's next book, Sacre Bleu!, comes out on my birthday and has a stunning prologue about the color Blue and how it is like a woman.

I am Blue. I am the Bee Girl.

So there's your answer.

Blue Socks

Happy 2012 and Nerdmaste to you all! We're 4 pages into the daily calendar and already there have been victories and losses. Life. It happens.
Just before 2011 made its way into history, it set off one last volley at me. I came home from running errands on Saturday to find a package waiting for me. I opened it to find 2 pairs of awesome socks from Sock Dreams. The invoice said, "Blue Bee Socks for the Best Blue Bee Ever! You are loved and adored. Nerdmaste, my friend." Around this little message, drawings of blue bees swirled about hearts. at the bottom, someone had drawn a ginormous blue bumblebee wearing little blue socks.
Sent by "Anonymous Gifter! :) ".
I admit it... I cried. (meet me after the jump.)

The sentiment of the note was nice, of course, and the socks are freaking wonderful. The drawings were such an awesome touch, too! But it was the act itself that really got me. Just a random act of kindness that someone did anonymously to tell me they cared and to help keep my chilly feet warm with amazing blue stripey socks. (And socks with monkeys! MONKEYS, people!) Someone who didn't have to took a moment for me. And that means so much to me.
Now, my brain can't just let a puzzle sit there. I did guess who my secret Sock Fairy was and I did shower said Sock Fairy with love and gratitude. Sock Fairy asked me, though, if the Sock People followed any instructions... I sent Sock Fairy this picture.
Sock Fairy let out a squee because the people at Sock Dreams went above and beyond the requested drawing. I posted about it on Twitter and actually got a message from the person who drew the bee on the invoice. That drawing of a a bumblebee rocking its own blue socks is so freaking stellar I can't get rid of this piece of paper. My Sock Fairy did something awesome, but so did the Sock Dreams employee.
I can't put into words just how heartening it is to see. Like I said, the socks are cool and the note is sweet... but it's the kindness behind both socks and drawing.
2011 was a difficult year...especially toward the end.  This, though... this redeemed one year and set the tone for another.

As some of you know, I spend every New Year's Eve with my Ohana. Have done so for 7 years with one exception due to illness. One reason I go to this party every year is that this party is where Sean and I decided to take a chance on one another and become an US. So at midnight every year, we kiss and celebrate our anniversary as a couple. Another reason I go is because the people there are my home. There's no better way to spend the first hours of a year than gaming, laughing and enjoying good food amongst them, my family of choice. We have a couple of cool traditions, too. The Year In Review is a favorite. Seven years ago, this rather pessimistic bastard had come to the fireside and complained that nothing good happened in 2004. Brian, the host of the party and my soul friend, pointed at some random partygoer and said, "YOU! Name something good that happened this year." This went on for a while.... we were able to come up with many good things for each month of the year. Now, we do it every year and we have to start earlier in the night every year. We start with January, go around the circle and spend the last minutes of a year counting our many blessings rather than dwelling on the bad stuff.

This year was no exception. However, there was mention of one bad... we lost a member of our family and we couldn't ignore that. I cried like a fucking baby and for those that were present, I'm sorry if my squeaking held up the line. But, we spent 90 minutes coming up with positive things that happened in 2011. New people joined the circle this year, too. That's pretty damn cool in and of itself.
Anyway, that's our end of year tradition. The start of the year has one, too. It's a silly thing, but Brian will usually wake up the next morning and head out to the smoldering fire for a cigarette and a donut or something. As he shambles out, like a grumbling bear from his cave, Brian proclaims the name of the year. We have, in the past, had the year of Dropping Trou, Gay Chicken, and The Fruit Bat. Last year was named after a new friend... the Year of the Laughing Giorgos. Apparently, this year tradition shifted just slightly and Brian named the year just after midnight. (I wasn't by the fire at that point... I was in the house reading a Captain Underpants book to my daughter.)
2012 is ... aw hell let me just have him say it. This is from his Facebook:

And so ends 2011: The Year of the Laughing Giorgos. Thus too begins 2012: The Year of Behaving Admirably. You are invited to do good things, noble things, kind things, things that your loved ones would tearfully hug you for. Not for recognition, but because you are far better than you think you are, and the world needs you mroe than ever. Happy New Year!

The Year of Behaving Admirably.
So you... fellow museslave, wandering reader and demented soul... you have a mission. Do good things. Put people first rather than corporations. Let go of grudges and say hi to someone you've lost touch with. Cook dinner for your friends. Have a potluck picnic. If you miss someone, call them. Talk to people. Take time to be kind. Keep behaving admirably... even if it's just buying a friend some blue socks.

525,600 Minutes

2011 has only a few hours left to it. As is tradition, I'm going to a party tonight with my Ohana. This is the same party where Sean and I became "us". Seven years ago tonight we both took a chance on one another and here we are. Every year we go and kiss at midnight to honor our anniversary. Another tradition at this party is the Year In Review. We started this seven years ago, too. Every year we sit around the fire pits with our nearest and dearest, start with January and go around the circle. We recount the good that happened in the year month by month.This year is weird. Good things happened. Bad things happened. Life changed irrevocably. People got married. Babies were born and conceived after much heartache of trying. A woman left this earth. A family came together. I wrote a novella, several short stories and the first novel in a new series. I lost something I thought I wanted/needed only to find that the loss was the best thing that could've happened. I lost an uncle. I almost lost my grandmother but had the chance to see her...and she made it through. I lost my sister the day after we started to mend fences. A friend beat cancer for the second and third times in his life proving once again that we haven't found all of the horcruxes. Tribe Ohana grew and got its own website. The tooth fairy came to my house a few times. I've made new friends and reconnected with old ones. Weird, I tell ya.

Right now, it's work to come up with good things for the year in review because everything is clouded with the fact that Nicki isn't here to add her voice. I'm tired. Even though it's only a Saturday turning into a Sunday, there's something about changing the calendar that refreshes me. On one side of midnight is an old skin I'm more than ready to slough off and leave behind. On the other is the promise of something new, undiscovered and full of possibility. I'm ready for 2011 to be over and done. I'm ready for what the future brings. I'm ready to hit the reset button.

In 2012 I will reconnect with myself. I won't let the love from October/November dissipate into apathy like it once did. I will get a new tattoo. I will write more stories. I'm going to keep querying on Etudes in C#, write more books of that series. I will write more short stories and send them to lit mags for publication. I will spin poi. Maybe I'll even spin fire again. I don't know when, though. I'm not ready to do that without Nicki yet. I'm going to vote. I'm going to read books, see movies and live music and sit around a fire drumming until my hands go numb. I'm going to laugh and cry. I'm going to play games and go to at least one Comic Con. I'm going to hold newborns and then gratefully pass them back to their parents. I'm going to read with my daughter and cuddle her and watch her grow. I'm going to snuggle the hell out of my husband. I'm going to live, love and laugh.

These aren't resolutions. They aren't plans. They're life. It happens.

2011, it's time to part ways. 2012...let's rock.

Have a safe and happy new year everyone.

Nerdmaste.

And the Daddy Tomato Said...

Ketchup.

So, that's what this post is about. Or rather catch-up. The past few months have been insane, this past 30 days being really difficult. I can't say things are getting back to normal. Nothing will ever be "normal" again because the world is irrevocably different now. But things are settling into a new version of normal.

Monday I started the rough draft for my fourth novel, working title Wednesday's Child. This is Book 2 in my "Etudes in C#" series. Book 2 is coming along. I've gotten the first chapter out and I'm not beating myself about the head and shoulders saying, "This sucks!" So, I must be doing something right?

Another thing keeping me busy lately is Tribe Ohana. As some of you know this is a "pet project" of mine. A group of people hellbent on helping each other through life. We support people, not businesses or factions or whatever. People.  Well, we have an official website now! Please go check it out and say hi.

What else...what else... kiddo's tooth fell out. Um...my house has been Christmas-ified. OH! I get to tell Aetna to take a fucking hike next month! Woot! What else... uh... yeah. Not sure I've got anything to report other than silly stories about my kid and random people on the bus, or rambling about how a complete stranger began telling me how I could self-publish immediately after I told him I was a writer.

How are you? Let's catch up.