Chicago: The Final Countdown

I am not going to talk about the weather. Except to say I've never experienced cold like this. And I'm from the wilds of suburban Connecticut. Okay. Done. Let's talk about the important stuff.

1. Lost. I watched it with one of my book's psychologists, the brilliant and equally Lost-loving Dr. Wicks, at her apartment that's across the street from a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house. Why can't I get over Chicago architects? Why did I nearly get an aneurysm when I thought of SIXTEEN back-to-back episodes of Lost, totally buying into the commercial hype, for a television show? Simple pleasures, my friends. I'll take them where I can get them.

2. I hosted a fashion show on Fox Morning news yesterday, that is sadly not online for your consumption, but suffice it to say, my models from the Woodfield Mall were decked out in some outfits that I'd indicated would be appropriate for job interviews, first dates, etc. It was actually kind of fun once again. I also signed books at about every Barnes & Noble and Borders in the CHICAGOLAND!TM area, so if you buy a copy anywhere here in the next few days, it should be signed. That could be your retirement account. Better buy two. (Was that too obvious?)

3. I went to hear Norman Mailer speak at the Borders by my hotel. As I was advised, he's a showman, charming and articulate and (dare I say) crushworthy, even at 84. I know the question on everyone's minds: Could Mailer bring out the crowds as I did? Fine, he packed the place, it was standing-room only. I'm willing to admit I've met my match. He has a sixty year head start on me, however. I was delighted that he personalized my copy of The Castle in the Forest even though he'd sworn he wouldn't do that as I was brave enough to mention I'm close with some of his family. I also made friends in line ("Chicago! Where People Are Friendly to Strangers!"TM) and brought my new Mailer-fan friend Alan, who admirably had an early edition of The Executioner's Song with mylar cover (my kind of book preservation) to meet Dr. Wicks and her sister, the amazingly grown-up Wicks Jr., at a very cool champagne bar.

4. Anna-Nicole?!?! What?!?! I watched twenty hours of Headline News about it. Who is this Nancy Grace character? I know I'm living in the dark ages without cable now. A strangely emotive newscaster who ends the program with "Good night, friend."??? Friend?!? Heck, why not. So I made two new friends yesterday--Alan the Mailer Fan and Nancy Grace the Scary TV Host.

5. Today I talk women and relationships on my last day on the Fox Morning News. Oh, Valentine's Day. I miss the days when my friends and I were all young and single and we met every year at the same bar for the "Lonelyhearts Club." I think several of our posse met their future spouses there. We dwindled to dust after about four years, but it was a swell idea while it lasted. The table we sat at had a lazy susan in the center and we sent paper Valentines around the table to each other on it.

More later. Goodbye, friend. (??!?!)

marshall fields

The Marshall Fields Building, so lovely.