A dozen things about my trip to Texas last week.
1. The annual Cure JM Foundation National Fundraiser and Educational in Austin was success. We had 200+ JM kids, parents, friends and family and more than 30 medical professionals in attendance – our biggest event ever. We raised $150,000, shy of our goal but not shabby considering the bad economy and Haiti situation probably hurt some of our fundraising efforts.
Note for next time: For event organizer, get George Clooney. Or at least Lionel Richie.
2. When I introduced myself at the conference to one of the speakers, a fairly prominent doctor with the Mayo Clinic, she said, “Oh. You must be the comedian who’s moderating our panel.” The Mother of All Uncoolness would not be happy about that remark. I, on the hand, moved on.
Right after I squirted her with a bottle of seltzer.
3. My Love finished the half marathon in under 3 hours. I offer proof:
Oops. Her head is blocking the clock. It read 2:56-something-something. You must admit, though, not a bad shot for me, the Master of the ‘Hold Out Your Arm and Take a Picture of Yourself’ Shot.
If you look a bit to the left of her head, right above the ear, you’ll see a little green blob in a vest. That’s Ron from Clark Kent’s Lunchbox. He was supposed to pass out water with our Cure JM team but arrived early and got roped into crowd/media control at the finish line. The race officials must have been aware of his secret identity -- mommyblog rabble-rouser.
4. Speaking of passing out water, Thing 1 did this for three straight hours without complaint. She stood smack at the front of the crowd so she was the first one the finishers got to see. How do I get her to replicate this exuberance when I ask her to do her homework? Or clear the table after dinner? Or protect her virginity until her inevitable marriage to Nick Jonas?
5. The finishers didn’t see me as I spent my three hours slicing the shrink wrap off cases of water and then peeling the wrap off the cases so it could be handed out. Ten days later, my right hand is still a bit cramped. At least I got to dust off the box-cutter skills I learned during my six-month hitch in the supermarket union back in the 1980s. Solidarity!
6. I ate more jalapenos in one week in Austin than I did all last year in the New England ‘burbs. Not that we don’t have jalapenos up here. It’s just that the key parties and youth soccer leagues generally keep life spicy enough.
7. Dined with three of my former college newspaper colleagues one night. One of them is now a rabbi. I swear on a stack of matzos, her actual name is Rabbi Cookie.
8. Did one of those Duck Boat tours of the city with The Sister of Uncool (Auntie Uncool to the Things) and the in-laws:
The driver kept making jokes about certain buildings in town being air conditioned. Might work 11 months out of the year in the Lone Star capital, but the day we took the tour it was 42 degrees outside.
Anyway, Thing 2 got to drive the Duck Boat.
We all lived to tell about it. All except that one seagull.
9. Met two of my DadCentric brethren. The Holmes introduced me to the joys of eating Mag Mud and my arteries refuse to forgive him for that. NYC transplant CroutonBoy confided to me that the best way to get Mom-101 to pimp a daddyblog (excuse me, Liz – blog written by a parent who happens not to be playing with a full set of XX chromosomes) is to a) live in the building next to hers or b) pump some drinks into her while surrounded by a table full of other bloggers who can hold her accountable. I can’t afford Five Boroughs rent, so: August ... BlogHer ... Tequila Shooters ... You ... Me. I’ll bring the Pepto-Bismol.
(Note: In the spirit of Liz’s Blog with Integrity movement, Pepto-Bismol did not pay for that reference. It didn’t even roll me over to kiss me goodbye, the cold-hearted bastard.)
10. Determined it is impossible to see a local band on 6th Street without meeting a music star. The first time I did this, back in 1996, I meet Travis Tritt. This time, I upgraded and hung with 96-year-old piano legend Pinetop Perkins:
See that glass on the table? Contains pure grain alcohol. And his bottom row of teeth.
11. Drove to San Antonio one day. Took the kids to The Alamo because that’s what you do in San Antonio when you’re not sipping margaritas by the River Walk, where I’m pretty certain they would have gotten carded (if nothing else, their lack of firearms would have raised suspicions). Regardless, The Things preferred the Guinness Book of World Records Museum across the street from The Alamo more. That’s right next to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum and the wax museum. Texas pride, baby.
12. The Texas Capitol dome is 200-or-so-feet high inside.
That star -- it’s 8-feet wide. That coincides with the average size of a Texas politician’s ego.
This class on a field trip seemed pretty impressed by it, too. They didn’t utter a single sound while laying there staring up it.
Then I learned they were from the Texas School for the Deaf down the street. I would have signed “d’oh” but all I know how to do is the first few lines of “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” If you ever meet me, I will prove it to you.
Yeah, yeah. Shoot me now. Shoot me now. Go ahead.
Did I miss anything while I was gone?