Now that Lost is over, I’m going to need a new hobby. Sure, I’ve got writing, video games, continuing education, music, ballroom dance, gardening, kombucha, outrageous pet medical bills, stenciling, bicycle repair, the Lions Club, barbecue, and yoga to fall back on, but I need something to really keep me busy.
With that in mind, this past weekend, Kat and I pilgrimaged out to the Makerfaire, a festival of artists, crafters, mechanics, engineers, furries, farmers, robots, vampires, and zephyr pilots– sort of a Woodstock for dorks.
I used to think I had an artistic sensibility. I spraypaint stuff; I take stuff apart and put it together in a different order; I hang funny old signs from my fence, and leave old railroad ties and scrap wood all over my backyard and living room. But man, do these “makers” (as I’ve learned to call them) put my humble craphounding to shame.
I went from booth to booth, table to table in a sort of awed daze. Here’s a guy who makes biodegradable guitars out of sporks from taco bell. Here’s a guy roasting marshmallows with a remote controlled firebreathing dragon. Here’s a couple on a double-decker solar powered bicycle. Here’s a bicycle that makes compost. Here’s a bicycle that looks like a tree. Here’s a bicycle that powers the amps of a teen girl rock group. All my bicycle does is make my legs hurt.
I didn’t let all of the superior makesmanship drive me to shamefaced self-pity, though. No, I took it as a challenge. I looked around and asked myself, what can I do better?
Walking through food town, I found my prospects more promising, but somehow less exciting. Sure, I could grow tomatoes for seed or make my own jam, but I pretty much do that stuff already, and I was looking for more of an exxxtreme hobby, because I’m all about exxxtreme.
Just when I thought I might have to give in and learn how to put circuits together, I came across the honeymakers’ booth. It wasn’t very exciting to look at–some literature, some wax, a couple of combs, but then I saw it: a glass-fronted cabinet teeming with busy, swarmy, stingy, stripey, buzzy little bastards. BEES! THE BEST BUGS EVER!
The head beekeeper droned on forever about the importance of honeybees and their relative docility and how they’d help our plants and make delicious honey and we could come and see a master beekeeper at work someday but all I heard was this: I was going to get a sweet mask and a smoke gun and a swarm of monstertruckin’ bees.
New hobby found! Goodbye stupid magic island; Hello BEES!