Welcome to the Chaos

You have stumbled upon the new blog (i.e. random babblings) of a quirky single mom. A shoot-from-the-hip, anti-pink (yet almost gaggingly perky), non-traditional, can cuss like a sailor but loves insanely and has the save the world syndrome gal who is bracing for a future as a Crazy Cat Lady though she secretly hopes like hell it doesn't come true. Enjoy your stay and feel free to say hi- I don't bite. Well, unless we're dating and you are into that type of thing or you contain peanut butter. >;-)

About Me

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Quirky single mom of two monkeys. I used to beat up the kids that picked on the "special students" during recess. Now I work with those with chronic mental illness. I speak quite a few languages, enjoy coed naked underwater basket weaving, have an addiction to Sushi and humor is my defense mechanism. Arrogant people make my right eye twitch. I'm ambidextrously brained, I will knit for tattoos, I am the friend that everyone comes to for advice and bail money. I pride myself on keeping my eyes, ears, heart and mind open. Making me laugh goes a long way with me, I think the brain is the sexiest organ and I'm the kinda gal you can take anywhere and I'll have a good time. Other than that, I'm just me.


It Has To Start Somewhere

During two recent interviews I was asked “Why? Why should people who don’t live in Milwaukee, who can’t walk into the UberDork Cafe when it opens back this project?” It occurred to me that it may be a good idea to share this with you all. It seems in all the excitement I may have overlooked that.

UberDork Cafe is more than just a cafe. More than just a place to game. More than just a place to learn. More than just a place for people like me and my daughters- the geeky, the nerdy, the dorky. It’s more than just the dream of one place. At the root, the dream is much bigger than that. It’s about nurturing a community.

I am fortunate to have always had a strong sense of self. From a really early age on, I knew who I was. I also knew that I didn’t quite fit in, but I was ok with that. Though it was not always easy, I have always proudly waved my geek/nerd/dork flag. Being a gnork was just a big part of who I was and am. It’s not based on a set of interests, there’s no test for it, there’s no cred or badge to earn or mark you are born with. If you are one, you just get it. Though “the geek shall inherit the earth” is a phrase most can get behind, there are many who still hide their lil flags. That hide who they are or downplay it because those around them wouldn’t get it.

No matter who you are, there comes a time, even just an instance, in all our lives where we feel like we don’t quite fit in. That there are people that may get parts of us, but not all of us. To feel truly understood is an amazing feeling. To have someone understand it all and nurture it is even more amazing.

Growing up, my parents accepted who I was. Which was a big help. But they will be the first to tell you that they never understood me. “You were just so different from us or your sister.” Being accepted and being nurtured are two very different things. The nurturing I received was at school, from teachers. I lucked out.

Now, we live in a time where programs are being cut left and right. Arts and extra curricular activities that are non athletic are the first to be affected by this. “Gifted and talented” programs are being eliminated, as are “accelerated” classes. Opportunities like I had are dwindling. It’s even worse in the inner cities. Many have never had these programs to begin with. So a cycle perpetuates from generation to generation.

Right now, in Milwaukee, in cities across this country, in a city close to YOU there are children and teens that need a place to go. A place that understands them. A place that supports them. A place that believes in them. There are parents that have lil gnorks of their own that are looking for places to take them to help nurture who they are. There are adults that want to have a place where they can wave their lil flags.

UberDork Cafe is that place.

I believe in my community. I believe in nurturing our inner gnorks and our future gnorks. I believe in providing a place that teens can affordably hang out at instead of the streets, or locked away in basements with their secret gnorky interests and dreams. Where they can meet other people who share their same interests. Where they can turn to in hopes of earning a scholarship that will continue to nurture their gnorky dreams. Scholarships that may lead to the person that develops your next favorite game, favorite comic book, favorite gadget that makes your life so much easier.

I believe in a place where kids can be kids. A place that parents can take them for fun classes that don’t cost an arm and a leg. A place where they can take classes with them. A place where people old and young can leave the world at the doorstep, walk inside and just be themselves. A place that reminds you of the importance of play. The importance of imagination. The importance of letting your flag fly.

We ALL need a place like that. It has to start somewhere- why not here?

And to all the people that have asked “When are you going to open one in…..” The answer is- let’s get this one open and successful. WHEN that happens, I promise you more.

It all has to start somehow, why not with $1.00? How much is your community worth to you?

Click here to visit the UberDork Cafe Kickstarter Project Page and show your support.


Phineas Delgado said...

You know, I've given money to a lot of causes in my time: cancer research, UNICEF, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, the church... just to name a few. I don't do it to ease my conscience, and I don't do it so I can puff out my chest and say I did good. I do it because I was asked for help.

This isn't any different.

Well, yes it is, in a way. This isn't just helping someone, it's helping bring a dream to life. And in a world where all too often the cynicism and diatribe hold us back, when I see someone struggling to bring the light of love and hope and companionship back... well... damn it.. I want in.

George Bernard Shaw said it better:
"You see things; and you say 'Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'"

NakedHobo said...

Man, I got a little teary eyed there. I know the importance of letting one's flag fly. I have seen too many friends hide their flags (I have even done it myself) because they wanted to fit in. Aside from those once a year type things, like a GenCon, there aren't really good places to let your flag fly all year. It would be great to have a place to go where everyone is flying their flag proudly. I may not have any little gnorks of my own, but I know I gotta do something for the future gnorks. I mean, who will bring me anime and comic books when I am old?

Keep kickin' ass lady! Keep flying your flag! And never, never, give up on your dream.

8Bit-Emma said...

Thank you so much for writing this and for your efforts to open this cafe! As a kid I never fit in and I didn't care. I didn't want to be made fun of but I liked what I liked too much to want to fit in. I wasn't encouraged in any direction, unfortunately. Because of my experience I really believe in this project!

UberDorkGirlie said...

Thank you all soooo much! Your support means the world to me. Standing in the face of adversity does build character, but everyone needs a break and a place to go. Someone recently called it "Kinda like Cheers" and I kinda like that. :)

Kristen said...

To start: Phineas Delgado said...
"... This isn't just helping someone, it's helping bring a dream to life. And in a world where all too often the cynicism and diatribe hold us back, when I see someone struggling to bring the light of love and hope and companionship back... well... damn it.. I want in.

George Bernard Shaw said it better:
'You see things; and you say 'Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'"

July 6, 2010 5:35 AM
<- The Shaw quote has always been one of my lighthouse concepts. So, thanks, P.
Natali, given that I work in non-profit fundraising, I'm very aware that people will find a million reasons to say, "No, I can't," to something. Saying, "Yes," is an expression of faith, of passion, of trust, of will, and of hope. You've said, "Yes," to a dream, to the Monkeys, to yourself. That you've moved people to embrace the concept and embrace YOU as an agent of change, is a beautiful thing. :)

UberDorkGirlie said...

Aww thank you so much Kristen. I won't lie, you made me all kinds of teary. In a good way though. This whole process has been such an emotional thing for me. I've run the gamut of scared to complete awe to feeling utterly loved to pride- not in myself but in my community. I'm used to people looking at me and thinking "Oh there's another one of Natali's quirky ideas." I'm not used to "Hells yeah, let's do this!!!" I'm completely serious when I say that people better be prepared for huggles when they show up to the grand opening cuz everyone is getting one. Whether I know them or not. :) I'm a freak like that. :) Thank you again doll :)

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