9:00am Street Prophets caucus run by Virgomusic (MissMusicNerd) and Brillig. Fabulous discussion about the role of the religious left, embracing all religions and atheists, how to counter the religious right movement and just how to be respectful of all. I was (as always) floored by the level of intelligent discussion and use of sophisticated vocabulary at such an early hour – and by the diversity of representation in the room. A reporter from a Dallas based paper covered it – have to make a note to look for that article.
Visited the exhibit hall and picked up all the cool giveaways. Met up with friends there and went out on a trek to the state capitol building. Downtown Austin is so clean and easy to walk around! It’s hot, but not oppressively so, there is a breeze. The capitol building was so huge and beautiful and ornate. They do everything big in Texas! As we made our back to the hotel, we walked up on an impromptu rally in the park by Howard Dean! He is our scheduled keynote speaker tonight but we had no idea about this rally. That was fun – picked up some Obama rally signs and was duly fired up by the DNC pres. Then I met up with Elisa from MotherTalkers and rode with her out to a great place for lunch. That is her daughter Eli who was giggling in the car on the way. We met several other moms with kids at a place called Phils Ice House where the burgers were yummy, the ice cream also yummy and the kids had a place to play under cover of shade outside. It had a sign out front saying “Voted best kids restaurant in Austin” and I believe it! With the kids entertained we could talk and relax.
After some rest in the room, we met up for dinner in the bar area. Had a very weird (read: too frou frou fancy) grilled cheese sandwich and tomato bisque soup. At least it was cheap! Then we hustled over to the main auditorium for the evening entertainment. The usual very funny Laughing Liberally host brought out Brandon Freidman from Vote Vets who introduced General Wesley Clark. After that was Howard Dean. The room was pretty packed! Then every one hiked up to a party for Rick Noriega who is running for senate in Texas. However, old farts that we are (that would be me, Terry, Bill & Michael), we stood at the entrance and heard how loud the live band was and turned right back around!! C’mon – its a political bloggers gathering – we want to be able to TALK! Poor Michael is fighting a bout of larygitis which I’ve had hit me during an August mom gathering and I know how frustrating that can be. So we hiked BACK and them up 4 more long blocks to a gay bar that Bill had scouted the night before. Terry and Michael got carded! That was funny to us since Michael is more than double 21 😉 They even put those embarassing bracelets on them. While Bill and I could have been insulted, we were actually relieved. We found these awesome soft leather chairs set up on a platform overlooking the bar, in a seperate room from the music and dance floor so we could talk, watch the scene and sip our drinks. That was a nice way to end the night. Bill was highly entertaining. As he described to us on the walk home, he just knew he could look deep into the bar tenders eyes and see…no, not Jesus, but Christopher Atkins!! Errr…ok then. On that note….on to Friday!