Can someone please tell me what on earth happened to A&E? I am sure I am not the first person to point out that that channel has neither A nor E in any sense of the word. I'm a girl who loves cable TV, and I only get to watch it in hotels, so I was all set to take advantage of the televisionistic bonanza my first night in Denver. I am also, for the record, a girl who does not get grossed out easily or lose her appetite if someone mentions poop or vomit or maggots during dinner. But that's all changed now that I've been subject to back-to-back episodes of Intervention, one of which included graphic imagery of cutting, plus a truly horrifying documentary called something like, Crank: America's Sweetheart, in which I was shown looooooong drawn-out close-ups of people shooting up. I thought I liked shows like this, because I love a tale of a person hitting rock bottom then climbing his or her way back from the abyss, but A&E, you made me sick. I mean like Tums sick.
In Denver I discovered just why people get up early. I had to meet my media escort at 5:40am, which meant I had to be up by 4:30am, which meant I technically could have worked the 2-hour time difference to my advantage and gotten a full night's sleep anyway, but I had terrible insomnia. Just the idea of getting up at 4:30, and the terrible lonely fear I get before meeting a new media escort and shaking hands and being "on" in a strange city, I was up up up all night. Luckily I had Hillary Carlip's funny memoir, Queen of the Oddballs, to keep me company. Usually if I'm reading an entertaining book, I fall asleep more quickly than I want to, reading with one eye open, trying to finish a chapter. Not so in Denver. I read most of the book. PS I like Hillary's memoir, even though she doesn't hit rock bottom and have to claw her way back from the abyss. She talks a lot about loving the limelight and being a little girl who wanted a lot of attention and I can relate to the latter and am working on the former.
First stop, a radio station where there was a foozball (sp?) table in the lobby, reminding me of ye olde Internet glory days when toys in the office meant small salaries and big stock options.
Then off to breakfast at a Panera bread outpost, which doesn't exist in New York that I know, but I'm pleased to see carbs ruling the roost so elegantly in a chain restaurant. Then I did two live TV shows. At one, I met both Susan Isaacs and a very talky magician who were also guests on the show. The magician was there representing (you guessed it) The Mile-High Magicians and was there to give his opinion on The Prestige, which I think they were giving away on DVD. I ended up spending a lot of time hanging out with the magician and seeing a lot of card tricks. I also learned that the magician was formerly a member of the bomb squad and "nearly got blown up" at Columbine. I ask you.
I'd like it to be known that I conducted all this business and stopped by a Barnes & Noble to sign some books, oh and also dropped off and picked up a jacket at a tailor all before noon. This is what life is like for people who get up early. Aha! But I bet they don't get in half the collage-making or wee-hour blogging that I do while prowling around after midnight.
Later, I had a fantastic time with the very cool women of the Denver Women's Press Club, where there was wine and we talked about my favorite topic lately, the prevalence second-wave feminists complaining that their daughters and granddaughters are politically uninspired and are squandering the triumphs the women's movement. One of the women had worked at Time as a fact-checker under Henry Luce. There were three generations of women there, mostly journalists, all brilliant and open and articulate. I loved it.
Later, at the super-amazing Tattered Cover bookstore, I spied on a man of about 50 reading my book for at least an hour. My shrewd media escort, Sharon, ran interference while I surreptitiously took his picture. Unfortunately, his bald pate is cut off, but you get the idea. Exactly what I keep telling everyone: The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything: Not Just for Girls.