A dad, a party, and the time I snotted everywhere.

For about as long as I’ve been alive, my father has always volunteered himself to be Homeroom Dad.

When I was on dance team in high school — the Alamo Heights High School Spurs — we had about 50 Spurs Moms.  And, one Spurs Dad.

We Spurs went on dance team trips each year, to New York one Fall and New Orleans the next.  Each time, Spurs Dad accompanied us there.  He was the first one shouting, “NEW YORK, NEW YORK!” as we stepped onto the tarmac, the first in line to see the Statue of Liberty, and the first to get eight Spurs in trouble because he and a couple of Spurs Moms all went out to Times Square our first night there without permission.  He just couldn’t wait.

It all started in kindergarten, when my father got the opportunity to take my class out to Symphony Square for children’s programs the Austin Symphony used to do.  As you can imagine, leaving school when you are five is terribly exciting.  So on the car ride over, he had a rapt audience.

“Guess where we’re going, everybody?”

Where??” we’d shriek.

“We’re going … to …”

(pregnant pause)

“… the symphony … that’s got SQUARE on it!”

“BA-HAHAHA!!” bellowed four kindergarteners.  We thought this was the most hilarious joke ever.

The whole thing was so affirming, that my father nominated himself to be the official Symphony Square Dad.  Every time my kindergarten scheduled a field trip there, Symphony Square Dad informed my teacher that he would be driving.  And on the way, he always told the exact same joke.

I guess this is why the last time I went to The Paramount Theater — where I snapped the “State” sign in the photo above — I got so damn sentimental.  It was for a Ballet Austin children’s show called “Not Afraid of the Dark,” and it’s a pretty simple story.  Basically, this little boy doesn’t want to go to sleep at night because he’s afraid of the dark.  Then, he has all these awesome dreams.  The end.

However … something about this show, this sweet, sweet show, just made me weep.

Not in a feminine way, mind you.  More a nose-honking, throat-catching way. 

Was it seeing all those little kids with their daddies?  Was it watching Ballet Austin, artistic and earnest Ballet Austin, trade their high-falutin’ arty dance for children’s theater?

I found it all very touching.

Unfortunately for my seatmates, they were dangerously close to my snot range.   A helpful usher leaned over and offered me tissues, looking somewhat confused — probably because at that precise moment, we were watching a number about a moon that could talk.

So, when Paramount / Stateside Theater contacted me a few weeks ago, about a little party they’re having this month, I wanted to hear all about it.  They asked me if I’d like to be involved.  I said yes.

This time, I’m going to try not to snot everywhere.

These are some pictures I took inside Stateside Theater, the smaller, art deco theater adjacent to The Paramount.  (And THAT, my friends, is where the “State” sign comes from. This was always a local mystery to me, the fact that The Paramount had a huge sign in front of it that clearly said, “State.”  Was anyone else confused by this?   Now I realize — it’s a totally different space.)

Back to the party.  It is next Thursday, the 28th.  You can RSVP here.  It’s to celebrate The Paramount, introduce the Summer Classic Film Series, and share other Paramount secrets.  One of which is the Stateside Theater itself, newly jazzed-up and reopened.  Soon, it will be a cozy little spot for music, art house film, and theater proper.

I will be saying a few words at the party.

For other Austin social media types who read this blog, I am advised to tell you that all bloggers / social networkers who RSVP with a website will receive a personalized Paramount card.  It will give you film series benefits and bar/merchandise discounts for an entire year.

I was joking with the party hosts that Congress Avenue is quickly turning into the street for hipsters to go when they grow up.  When they’ve tired of noisy, boozily delightful Red River, they now wander west to Congress for jazz at The Elephant Room, drinks at Annie’s or Bar Congress, and soon, Jules et Jim screenings at The Stateside.  Are their tastes refining?

Mine are.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some RuPaul’s Drag Race to catch up on.