Two projects in particlar have kept me on my toes: The Sidewalk @ Sundance blog and a guest chat with Mo Rocca. The later was a primer for Rocca's appearance at the Alys Stephens Center this past weekend. I hadn't realized it before I began working on setting up the chat, but it turns out that Misty has quite the crush on him.
The frenzy began when Misty learned about the chat event and hatched a plan to secure herself a lunch date with Mo Rocca. Her plan was thus: Drive me crazy by repeatedly suggesting that I e-mail Mo and ask him if he'd have lunch with her. Needless to say, I was not about to follow through with this. Misty wasn't phased, though. She maintained high hopes that the lunch date would somehow happen.
The day of the chat arrived, and things went fairly smoothly. I would have liked for more people to have been in the room, but Mo told us later that he probably would have been overwhelmed trying to keep up with it all. Misty managed to find a way to log on for a few minutes (despite not having an Internet connection at work) and act like a giddy schoolgirl. When she found out that I'd spoken to Mo on the phone, though, she was beside herself. A barrage of questions was hurled at me: "What did he sound like? Was he nice? What did he say? Did you ask him about lunch?" (And, in case you're wondering, the answers are: Just like he does on TV... Yes... He wanted to make sure he understood the chat software before we began... And no.)
Because of al.com's participation in marketing and advertising the chat (which essentially served as a prelude for Rocca's performance in Birmingham), the Alys Stephens Center comped us a few tickets. I was lucky enough to get a pair, so of course, Misty had to bug me relentlessly about that, too. Friday morning she called to ask if I'd gotten the tickets yet.
"No," I told her, "but it's not even 8 a.m. Most of the staff isn't in the office yet."
"What time will someone be there to give you the tickets?" she wanted to know.
"I don't know. Probably at 9:00," I said.
"I'll call back at 9:01," she told me. "I want to find out where our seats are."
It turned out that our tickets were being held at will call anyway, so I had no way of knowing our seating assignment. When Misty learned this, she decided to call the ticket office and see if they could tell her where we'd be sitting. She called me back in a frenzy. "We have to go to the box office before lunch," she told me. "Will call tickets are handed out first-come, first-served."
When we arrived she explained her Mo Rocca obsession to the bewildered folks at the ticket window. She pleaded with them to help her get "as close to his flesh as possible." She told them, "I want to smell his breath mints." They asked her if the front row would be suitable, which, of course, put Misty on cloud nine. Then, because they were so amused by her antics, they comped us tickets to the after-party as well. At that point, Misty came unglued and bounced back to the car squealing repeatedly.
So anyway, we saw his show it was more like a funny lecture than a stand-up routine. It was obvious that he'd put a lot of time into researching his material, tailoring it to the audience with humor relating to Alabama and UAB in particular. My favorite part was an un-aired Daily Show clip he showed of himself "interviewing" someone after the Gore/Bradley debates. It made me laugh until I cried.
Unfortunately, Misty found herself too starstruck to volunteer to go on stage for the quizzes Mo presented... or to ask him a question during the Q&A... or to utter a word when she got her copy of All the Presidents' Pets signed after the show. Finally at the after-party though, with a couple glasses of wine in her, Misty worked up the nerve to say something to him. Just before he left, she asked him about Spy on the Wild, a show he hosts on Animal Planet, and they talked briefly about the star-nosed mole, which Misty had
Later at dinner, Misty declared the day "the greatest day of my life... right after the birth of Emily and our wedding day." It's nice to know that I rank slightly higher than Mo Rocca.
You'd think the story would end there, but I've had no such luck. Every day, Misty has presented me with new questions such as: "Do you think Mo is still in Alabama?," "Do you think we'll ever get to talk to him again?," and "Do you think I should have told him about the baloon fly instead?" Then there's her plan to get me glasses like Mo's and her theory that we need to go to Memphis in March to see him again. I haven't looked in her backpack, but I'll bet her notebooks have got "I ♥ Mo" written on them.