Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Spoke at Dad 2.0 Summit and All I Got Was This Lousy Wrap-Up Post

It’s two days since the Dad 2.0 Summit, and my voice has returned.

uncool-tree-downSo has our power.

You may recall that several pre-conference conspiracies almost prevented my attending last year’s event. This year, I experienced only one.

It came with a crash and thud at 3 a.m.

A tree across the road snapped during 60 mile-an-hour winds, taking down power lines in front of our driveway.

That shouldn’t be an issue now that we have a standby generator, but we live on a cul-de-sac. I had awesome visions of  convincing a MedeVac helicopter pilot to rescue this delirious dad blogger and get him to LaGuardia on time.

However, once I saw my path was clear, I knew what had to be done. I showered, dressed, and abandoned my wife and kids to get my tuchus the hell out of there before Earthquake-Tsunami-Snow-pocalypse struck.

You may now feel free to tear up my “Father of the Year” application.

uncool-speaks-dad-2-summitDespite a serious lack of sleep and knotted intestines, my reading of the sacred text known as “Bra Shopping with Daddy” went very well.

So I’ve been told.

It’s all a bright white light and a stack of notes now. I do remember feeling strangely at ease once I got through the first page. As I later learned through the many kind words and Tweets of those who witnessed it, I apparently wasn’t as stiff as I thought I’d be.

And yes, that is what she said. ::rim shot::

I attribute my failure to flop to burning my nervous energy with jumping jacks behind the projection screens right before going on (much to the amusement of the woman running the AV equipment) while simultaneously chomping a block of Bazooka into smithereens.

In retrospect, maybe I should have had MedeVac on standby.

uncool-crowds“So, any one here have kids?”

Not to say I didn’t have some seemingly prophetic moments of impending   doom.

The morning of my appearance I – for the first time in 25 years of ironing clothes – scorched the sleeve of my shirt. My Love’s blouses, all the time, but my shirts ...

Later, I noticed that in between talks on the main stage, the PA system played “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Nothing like a little pro-suicide heavy metal before a public appearance.

Video now with more cowbell!

After the third time I heard the tune, no kidding, I took it as a sign. Not to off myself to avoid metaphorically dying on stage, but as I sign that I was home.

See, Blue Oyster Cult’s guitarist, Buck Dharma, lived in my town while I was growing up in the ‘80s. His kids went to school with one of my best friend’s sisters. If I have learned anything about who am I, it is that my life is a confluence of arcane connections, obscure facts and random chance.

And I’m down with that.

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If you want more conference details and observations, visit me and the DadCentric boys on that site for our Dad 2.0 Summit wrap-up.

However, know this: the event was more than speeches and presentations and sponsor-paid shoe shines from blonde Latvian women with legs that went on until three weeks from Sunday. (BTW, the latter was as unnerving for the married soul as it was pleasurable for the leather soles.)

It was about people. Specifically, it was about fathers and those who support us and our efforts to stop being marginalized as parents while serving as role models for our children and others around us. I can honestly say I didn’t meet a bad banana in the bunch. Several nuts, yes, but no bad bananas.

I don’t want to name names for fear of leaving anyone out, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one person, Carter Gaddis of DadScribe, because as he put it I have officially made more appearances in his dad blog than his own kids.

That and I almost had the bejeezus scared out of me by being called on to be a last-minute pinch hitter for him in his reading spot two hours before my own. The organizer hadn’t noticed Carter was all of two seats to my left.

In retrospect, I could have done it on the fly. I had started working on that Bazooka a good 20 minutes beforehand.

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One more thing …

As I mentioned on the Always Home and Uncool Facebook page (click, like, tip your waitress appropriately), I did have enough voice left after my reading and yapping all day to join my fellow conference goers for karaoke.

There is a reason I’m not in this.

Sadly, it was also more than enough voice to completely demolish “My Sharona” by The Knack, one of the first band’s Li’l Diva ever saw in concert.

uncool diva get the knack 2001Not exactly the peak of The Knack’s career:
A Toyota dealership in Grapevine, Texas, in 2001

autograf“Twelve years down the road, I’m going to get on stage
and sing the worst version of your biggest hit song. Ever.
But don’t worry, Mr. Fieger.
By then, you’ll have already been dead three years.”

A short video of my performance exists.

I’m so sorry … but here it is: http://vine.co/v/b1v5uTrqrmp

Daring greatly, my receding hairline.

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Lectern photo: Thanks to Jeff Bogle.
Ballroom photo: Thanks to Ben aka ‘SuperDadBlogger’

Karaoke video: Thanks to Amy ‘The Bitchin’ Wife’ Windsor

My singing video: Curses to
Adam Keats


  1. Apparently you did pretty much what I probably would have, so it's better they allowed you to go and not me.

    1. Good thing we had that proxy form notarized before I left, huh?

  2. Hey man, if I somehow forgot to tell you, you rocked your reading! It was a pleasure to hang with you and I can't wait for next season when I can go into it knowing a bunch of you in advance!

    1. Chris -- first, you are much shorter in person than in your headshot. Second, as I said before, you sing, you work the pole, you have stage presence - you are the total package even if it is wrapped in what we prefer to call Taylor Ham in these here parts of North America. Third, your reading made me teary. Even more than "Here Comes the Boom" did on the flight back.

      You are a class act, top to bottom. Hope to see you again soon.

  3. I'm sorry, did we meet? Kevin ... Kevin ... nope. Nothing.

    1. Nah, man. It was so cool meeting you. Thanks for showing me the ropes. Maybe we can make a Mohegan Sun run when we're up at the Cape in August. Cheers, brutha!

  4. Congrats on your public appearance! I enjoyed hearing that someone else notices, and is creeped out, by random background songs. Today while shopping, I heard Donovan's 'Season of the Witch' which I didn't appreciate while perusing the makeup aisle.

    1. It was the strangest set list ever. Until we hit the karaoke bar the night. I think we had Carrie Underwood followed by Journey with Weird Al sandwiched in between.

  5. Great hanging with you, and glad to know that you are Daring Greatly!

    1. And Singing Poorly, my friend, Singing Poorly. Hope to see you around the city sometime.

  6. It was great getting to see you Kevin. I don't think you're actually uncool, but don't worry. I won't blow your cover.

    1. Sssssh. That trip already put me in violation of half of my trademark name.

      Good to see you again, too, Liz. Now would you stop working so hard and let someone else run the Internet for a while?

  7. Buck Dharma lived in your town? Damn, son, you got some seriously heavy kharmic connections going on.

    "Burn out the day, burn out the night..."

    Really enjoyed this post, my friend.

    1. Can't make this stuff up. Skip down to the Dick Trismen bio in this for proof on Buck:


      Also Alice Cooper's original bass player owned a chain of video stores in our town for a while. Pretty certain he is the guy from whom I rented my first Monty Python movie.

  8. I'll room with you any time, any place. I told you this in person, but it bears repeating: you killed it with your reading.

    Also, I've got some leftover condoms that went unused. Best address?

  9. It was great getting to hang out, Kevin and you really nailed every single "My-y-y-y-y" during your karoake-ing.

    Great recap and I just want to reiterate how much the post you read makes me thankful to have sons. It's hard to quantify.

    1. You are too generous. With your praise. Your cash on the other hand ...

      Thanks much, Jay.

  10. The part about the song - Fear the Reaper - and your pre-speech preparations left me laughing out loud. Glad it was a hit.

    1. Truth is funnier than fiction when you bend it just right. Thanks, Larry.

  11. Holy crap, Kevin! How did you manage to stay humble with those huge signs flanking you? When you dads do something you really do it big.

    I'm fairly certain that video of you doesn't begin to do justice of your rendition of "My Sharona." Love the old pictures - you were just a boy toy.

    1. It does justice in that it is mercifully briefer than the actual performance. One thing I learned about karaoke - don't pick a song with not one but TWO long instrumental breaks.

  12. Sounds like one hell of a trip. Perhaps if the planets align, I can attend the next one. I'm always up for meeting another bowl of nuts. I feel more at home that way.

    The Cheeky Daddy


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