We road trip up to South Carolina for a weekend visit with family. Backyard BBQ’s, boating, swimming, fishing and birthday party fun captures the weekend’s highlights. This video is dedicated to the entire extended family all the way up in ‘low country’ Orangeburg. We love you!
Posts Tagged ‘family’
- Excessive, irrational zeal
- wildly excessive or irrational devotion, dedication, or enthusiasm
- an extreme and uncritical zeal or enthusiasm, as in religion or politics
I’m a fan of many things, whether it is music, books, composing, drawing, technology or traveling cross country. This day and age, you can be a fan of almost anything and in some strange way be accepted amongst that particular group. To be more specific within my own world of fandoms, I like things like Blue Man Group, Coldplay, Metallica, Apple, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Marvel Comics to name a few just for starters. But, in a decent world, there is an invisible line in which I draw for myself that is a barrier of separation from my world and those things in which I’m a fan of. I never cross that line, nor do I invasively invite myself within the sacred realms of those in which I admire and respect.
I’ve seen a lot of fanatic antics in my past from the most random of places. Whether it be a screaming mother in line at a McDonald’s grease bar wanting the green beanie baby toy, not the orange one in the “Mighty Kids Meal,” or one (of whom I know personally), has a vast collection of Michael Jordan shoes dating back to the first ever shoe series made to present day. Imagine the money, effort, time, energy and greed involved in something so miniscule to human life, it’s totally irrelevant to the fact that once you die, none of that crap goes with you. There is also some people out there who dive into a world in which their entire house is decorated with Coke logo items. Their pet collar, curtains, table place mats, napkins, glasses, silverware, light fixtures, toilet seat, toilet paper, even the royal throne itself is a Coke brand knock off. Even though I admire their ambition, gawk at their amazing collection, deep down something is unsettling about all this spending, collecting, fanatics and addictions. It’s as if people become fixated on things in life that they have emotional attachments to from a past experience in their life, and they exhaust all physical efforts in reliving that moment over and over by their fanatical ways. As if, by some chance, something is lacking in their life, and their filling a very large whole with a lot of “stuff” that they really don’t need.
Being the previous owner of the wildly popular at the time only official fan base for Blue Man Group, BlueManLibrary.com has surely thrown me head first into a world of mixed emotions, multiple personalities, races, cultures, diversities and ethics I learned the hard way from an online fan community. Even though the web site now is a horrid slimmed down image of it’s former mighty and bulky presence, the BML was fan central for all things Blue Man Group. It was also central for something else I didn’t expect; egos, naysayers, gossipers, hate, jealousy, verbal insults, attitudes and finally, fake identity. If anything that the Blue Man fan community taught me was patience, perseverance and mental endurance. But even then, some fans, take things a little too far, so my only instinct is to sit back and watch the scenes unfold, and like a time traveler, accurately depicting the outcome of the controversy at hand. Much like the Blue Man is a shaman, I often find myself in that mentality observing, watching and then predicting outcomes. If you’ve ever been involved in any online community before, than you already know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve seen fanatics involved in stalking situations and even banned for going too far with their own obsessions over something they can’t obtain. It’s like watching ground hog day on loop for 24 hours.
There are also fanatics of local theme parks that I find sometimes a little disturbing, not in an annoying sense, but how some people choose to devote 90% of their lives to a mouse, his land/world and will shell out hundreds, sometimes thousands of hard earned dollars to get a gleaming moment in time in a crowded theme park with crying/screaming kids, strollers everywhere, not to mention the blistering heat of Florida. I don’t want to be negative towards my fellow theme park goers, I’m just sitting back retrospectively observing this from a nest high above Mouseville. I just don’t see wasting time and energy going to an overly crowded park, often times shoulder to shoulder, to only wait in line over an hour for a 1:30sec ride on the magical flight of a flying boy in green spandex. Deep down, these industries have deeper, much sinister and darker roots in the soil fabrication that we call the American lifestyle. Honestly, why exhaust all the effort if in something most of us can’t afford, only to be captively drugged psychologically that really, it’s the happiest place on Earth… You don’t say uncle!
Okay, so you kind of get my rant on fans, fanatics and fanaticism. The root meaning of all this is that I think we as humans should be doing other things than clouding our minds, homes and bodies with jaded rationalism that life is just this, and that’s the day to day. Fact is, this is not the way God wants us to live; exhausting all our efforts on material things, worldly treasures and stuff we’ll never use or need. Being a fan of something is great, and deep down when done the right way, can offer great positive outcome to other fans of the desired brand. I’m just as guilty here folks, so don’t think I’m placing myself high on a pedestal of ultimate redemption. My point is that I wish sometimes, we as individuals could stop our habitual ways for a moment, look around to those near and dear to us, and share some small moments of joy without wasting energy on things that will never matter in this life. You reap what you sow, and eye for an eye.
Going into this fan meet, many fans didn’t realize all the planning, hour long phone conversations with NYC over the past several months and the ups/downs. Let me be the first to express that this fan meet wasn’t an easy one to plan, but the fact we did, and the outcome was so much more amazing than any of us had ever dreamed is a true testament to the power of this awesome online community of fans. We’ve been meeting up in cities for so long now, many of us consider ourselves more than just friends, rather more of a family feel. We’re all very close.
The fan meet began outside of John Pizzeria in the middle of Times Square around 3:30PM. Fans were walking up and introducing themselves, old friends were reunited, and new friends were made with open arms. I kept thinking to myself, “Is this really happening? Are all of these great people of which I’ve talked to for years online and have met previously here right now?” I had to pinch myself to make sure this all wasn’t a dream. To say my brain circuitry was on overload is an understatement. We all just couldn’t stop smiling. It was like time stood still for these few hours, and the focus wasn’t on ourselves, but everyone and everything around us. It was an awesome intense feeling of euphoria and bliss.
During the dinner, fans indulged on some delicious Italian cuisine of NYC style pizza. I paused many moments, stopped and looked around at all the smiling faces as they were carrying on their own table conversations and breaking the ice with new fans. It was an pretty powerful thing to see everyone from all walks of life focus on one thing that we all have a passion for in life, Blue Man Group.
The show itself, wow, what more can I say that already hasn’t been noted online? I am so blessed to have been there and have been a part of this momentous occasion. As the show began, I had another one of those moments where I stopped, looked around at all the fans, and as they looked back at me with smiles bigger than their faces, I realized that something truly remarkable was about to happen on stage.
The culmination of ten years have for me as a fan and Insider come down to this, I finally get to see the iconic three original founding Blue Men, get bald and blue one final time for us the fans. I can tell you, emotions were bubbling within me I hadn’t felt in years. I felt a exuberance of life burst through me, and I was instantly reminded of the glory days of fan meets between 2002-2007 in Chicago and beyond. I had “the feeling” all over again. And then, just when I didn’t expect it, during gumballs and marshmallows, the lights came on, and standing before us was the founding members Chris, Matt and Phil. I’m sure by now you’ve seen the video Part 3 to the NYC series, as the whole theater erupts with cheers of joy and accomplishment. It was at that moment, I Joe Burke, an almost 32 year old man, teared up.
I was immediately catapulted back to my old days of running the Blue Man Library, and doing my best to capture Blue Man Group on television for the fans. Finally, after watching old video clips dozens of times, and seeing them only in 2 dimensional space of a computer monitor, there they were standing before us, bald and blue, and completely in character. There is no word in the English dictionary to remotely describe that feeling at that moment, but I’m sure it was palpable by everyone in that theater.
And then, the moment that really clinched my heart, was when the founders graced the stage one more time for PVC IV, one of their most noted pieces of the show. I was instantly taken back to that cold brisk November night in 1999, my old bedroom in Kentucky watching the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and experiencing Blue Man Group for the very first time. And who was it that performed on Leno? The founders of course. All of this was rushing through my head, and then I felt something cold run down my cheek, and I then realized I had tears of joy. My experience as a Blue Man Group fan had finally come full circle, and the efforts we put forth in planning this meet had all payed off.
Another highlight was the merging of fan groups. We’re delighted and overjoyed at the fact that we’re now working more closely than ever with our European fans and their site BMGFans.com. As I write this almost with misty eyes, it gives me such a wonderful accomplished feeling to see Hans, Marco and Brett carrying the fan base torch not only for Europe, but for the world Internationally. I gave up BML because I could not afford the server costs and expenses. They stepped up in a time I could not, and for doing that, BMGFans.com, I’ll always be indebted to you. As all the leaders of the fan communities embraced in a hug, and opened our hearts, we all began to realize the bigger picture.
Blue Man Group is what led us here, and Blue Man Group is the driving force behind ultimately what we do. We follow our bliss, and we as “family” gather not only to see shows, but to reconnect and be in familiar company. This has been the past ten years of my life. It’s what I know, it’s what we do, it’s who we are. We are fans, always have, always will be.
Joe & Alex Burke
I write this with only 11 days remaining until the big day when Alexandra and I get married. Sorry to all my readers about not posting anything the past several weeks, I’ve been extremely busy traveling for Blue Man Group and wedding planning. So, in 11 days, to some, the unthinkable will happen, Joe Burke will officially tie the knot and be married to the most wonderful woman on Earth. It’s been a long time coming, and I am so blessed to have such a great future wife who understands me and all my conditions that goes along me. The wedding will be small and intimate, with only about 50 guests on hand for the ceremony and reception, but deep down, I’m very thankful it is a small wedding cozy wedding and that Alex and I aren’t responsible for over a hundred guests. It’s been a long time coming, a lot of planning has led up to this very moment on October 10th, 2010. Our good friend from Kentucky Rev. Charlie F. Edmonds will be on hand to conduct the services with a host guests that I don’t just call friends, but rather, family. Each person coming to this wedding has played a key role in the success of me and Alexandra, or have been there for me in some special way. To have this gathering on hand, will be both humbling and noble. I share my life with just a handful of people, but those people actually get to see me for who I am. It’s hard opening up to people these days, I am just so thankful that each person at our wedding will be significant in their own way to both the lives of Joe and Alex.
I probably won’t have much time to post updates throughout the upcoming month, since I have a full schedule and honeymoon coming up. But once we get back and settled in, I’ll be sure to update you on all the details. It’s funny sometimes how weddings brings out the true nature or sides in people. I’ve really found how during this trying time who my family is, and who supports me and Alexandra. It’s been a painful road to walk, but finally I can see reward just around the corner, and that reward is a life dedicated to the one I love, my best friend and the angel sent from Heaven just for me, Alexandra. Nothing else matters, just the two of us and our beloved family that will be there at the wedding. Blessings to you all, and see you real soon!
Here’s a sneak peek at our wedding programs.
Meet our wedding party.
Sometimes, being able to spend time with family doing nothing is the best medicine for the soul. This was the idea for our trip this time to Cape Coral, FL to relax, don’t plan anything and just see where the trip took us. From the fun swimming in my in-laws brand new in-ground pool to Moonlit walks on Fort Myers Beach, the trip was calming, rejuvenating and most of all relaxing. Thanks to Danny & Mary for always being such wonderful hosts and great family. This video is dedicated to you both, and the love that Alexandra and I both share.
Sunset over Cape Coral, Florida
Swimming fun with Alexandra in the new pool
Me and Alexandra at her Grandfather’s house during sunset
Our family feast at Famous Dave’s BBQ in Fort Myers
An angel in real life…