With Dad 2.0 Summit recaps already posted elsewhere by our Chief Executive Dad Jason and Vice President of Redacted Vice Beta Dad, three of us opted for the easy way out — a compilation post summarizing our experiences in the Land of Testosterone and Child Care.
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I had three goals for the Dad 2.0 Summit:
Meet A.J. Jacobs
Meet Mike Adamick
Ride a mechanical bull
Not only did I accomplish all three, but also A.J. and Mike knew who I was when I introduced myself, which was almost as good as having the bull know me, though the bull met me and THEN got to know me, as in the Old Testament sense. You should see the bruises on my inner thighs.
The clouds spat enormous buckets of downpour upon us the entire time (probably because of what I did to that bull and how such actions make the God of the Old Testament feel), but inside the compound in which we found ourselves were ample quantities of bourbon, beer and bro hugs to make sure the time inside was well spent. As long as it’s not scheduled on drill weekend (that would be the first weekend of the month, unless it’s a holiday — are you listening Doug French?), y’all can count on my attendance for years to come.
Hell, maybe they’ll even let me speak.
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Speaking About Writing
The thing about speaking on a panel, at least for me, is that despite hours of preparation I tend to melt into a rambling blob of tangent-filled nonsense. More so. And then there is this thing I do with the crying. If I am ever asked to speak again (doubtful) I’m going to have someone sit in the audience and chop onions every time I open my mouth. I think that will be much less awkward for everyone involved. You know who you are.
I spoke on a panel with fellow DadCentricians Jason and Andy, who were great, as was our fabulous moderator, Mr. Mike Adamick, about writing well, and then I spent the rest of the weekend thinking of things that I should have said. In the future I think I’ll just write a panel about writing and then stand at the podium sipping whiskey and avoiding eye contact. Please note, I am available for birthdays and bar mitzvahs.
But that was just me. Every panel I attended was full of insight and information, to the point that I actually learned something. Lots of somethings. There were also occasional bouts of blatant self-promotion by a couple of the otherwise amazing panelists that left a taste in my mouth much worse than a heavy night of bourbon and BBQ, but hey — to each their own. #hashtag
For the most part I walked around amazed and inspired. Also, drunk. The other parent bloggers (DadCentric was well-represented) that I met were enchanting (nod to closing keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki) and interesting, and I left Austin excited about the respective (and combined) futures of fatherhood and blogging. Also, hungover.
The Dad 2.0 Summit was a huge success, and I think I am better for it. Now for putting words to action.
Shoot, I should have said that on the panel.
(Ed. note: Whit, having diarrhea of the typing fingers, also posted on his site about the conference. Prolific show off.)
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The only adult male I hang with on a regular basis is my dog, but if he wants to eat he has no choice. Maybe you could count the elderly gents I bump grocery carts with on Social Security Wednesdays.
Hence, I was a bit worried going to a conference with roughly 200 dads.
Then, within minutes of arriving at the hotel, my apprehensions disappeared. This giddy Tennessee elf at the bar greeted me by name. It was magical. The beer helped, too.
The weekend kept getting better even though the weather never did. Maybe three days of rain confining us (but not my fellow DadCentricians and their gluten-intolerant driver) helped. I know planning a conference in a place 30 minutes from a bar open past midnight certainly did.
I swapped stories with a fellow former ink-stained wretch about reading the newspaper to our children. Discussed kiddie lit with a guy well above my intellectual pay grade. Commiserated about the ragged forest of stubble a $200+ electric razor left on our necks with a Movember compadre.
We didn’t agree on everything, not even no-brainers such as who was a better host of Blue’s Clues — Steve or Joe? (Sperber, you ignorant slut!) We also didn’t beat drums or primal scream or whine about how our dads did or didn’t treat us as kids.
We talked. We listened. We shared.
About our kids and raising them to be good people. About our battles against stereotypes and sometimes gender bias. About our heartaches and our triumphs.
And about how all of us can change a flippin’ diaper.
The doofus/Neanderthal image of dads wasn’t changed during three deluge-filled days in Texas, but I met a lot of guys who through actions and deeds do shatter it like an old-fashioned glass baby bottle.
I’m now happy to call many of them my friends.
My “guy” friends.
At least on Facebook.