The volunteer at the check-in table flipped through her clipboard a couple times before giving me the "are you sure?" look.
"Oh right, I must be listed at the celebrity tabl--"
That thought bubble of mine abruptly popped as she followed up with "are you on a list?"
"Oh, yeah. The blogger one."
"Oh, the mom blogger list." she concluded.
*mumble mumble* "yeah... that one."
So, I didn't enter Tony Hawk's "Stand Up for Skateparks" fundraiser like a rock star. But at least Fury and I partied like a couple of 'em.
Stand Up for Skateparks is an annual event that benefits the Tony Hawk Foundation, whose mission it is to build skate parks in underprivileged neighborhoods. To me, there is no single initiative out there that is more suited to keep at-risk kids off the streets than this. Skateboarding is cool. This isn't macaroni art at the community center. Skateboarding makes you sweat. Kids today need to learn to move more than just their thumbs. Skateboarding can make you famous and stinkin' rich. Let's be realistic. That's motivation.
Skateboarding is also badass. Which is why you'll run into guys like UFC star Chuck Liddell.
Besides the fact that Chuck Liddell has been one of my favorite UFC guys since his debut in 99, this picture is all the more awesome because Fury finally got to meet the guy he used to imitate when he was 3. This is Fury getting his "rally-hawk" on when Liddell avenged his loss against Jeremy Horn in 2005.
New heroes, old heroes, they were all there. I'll buy you a beer if you know who this guy is:
Give up? That's Lance Mountain! He was one of the original Bones Brigade guys, along with Tony Hawk. When I was in high school, a bunch of us chipped in for a Bones Brigade skate video called Future Primitive, which we mail-ordered out of Thrasher magazine. We passed that video among us and watched it till the heads on our VCRs wore off. Now that's file sharing at its best.
We also enjoyed free booze, free t-shirts, free booze, free hats, free booze, free granola bars, free booze, free stickers, free booze, free pizza, free booze, and got to try out Tony Hawk's newest video game: Tony Hawk Shred.
Shred is similar in game play to Tony Hawk's groundbreaking Ride game, released last year, but the graphics are more comic-booky and the tricks are way more fantasy-superhumanish, and you can snowboard (There aren't many sure things in life, but I do know that last sentence I just wrote will never make it into the testimonial list on the Tony Hawk Shred commercial).
There was also an old fashioned photo booth. It was pretty rad. And I wouldn't have written about that, except for the fact that I really love this set I took with Fury and I wanted to show you.
But the BEST part about the event? The part that I didn't know until after I accepted the invitation? FREAKIN' JANE'S ADDICTION performed. Arguably my favorite band in college. I was actually at the very first Lollapalooza concert ever (at Great Woods, in MA) when Jane's Addiction headlined. But this time, I could actually see the band without binoculars.
Also different this time? I noticed whenever Perry Farrell dropped the F-bomb. And I cringed juuust a little bit. But after a while, the vigilant parent act wore off, and all of us parents just accepted this as one of those cool bad parenting moments you laugh (or blog) about later.
Perry himself put it best when he reassured the audience. "Don't be like us when you grow up, kids. Grow up to be like Tony Hawk. Tony's a good guy. We're his weird uncle. This next song's about whores."
Because in the end, when you and your son can rock out to the same band, it's a bonding moment that will never be forgotten. Also, the neck pain.
Also, pictures with weird Uncle Perry...
That's not the coolest thing that happened. This was:
As Fury and I perused the silent auction, we noticed a gift basket for the show "The Office" which included a DVD set, T-shirts, caps, mugs and water bottles. I would have walked right by it, had it not been for the golden opportunity presenting itself. I had to do it.
You see, now I can say the following and it will be 100% verifiably true:
"I used to train in mixed martial arts. I beat Chuck Liddell."
I have the receipt to prove it.
As the event came to a close, we gathered our stuff, paid for an auction item I didn't think I'd actually win, and walked towards the exit. We managed to catch one more celebrity making his way out as well.
Thanks, Tony Hawk! You are indeed a good man. Fury has your book to read, your tricks to learn and your example to follow.
As for me? I've got my spoils of war. Sorry, Chuck. Better luck next year.