I arrived in Denver last night (see you all later at the Tattered Cover – although to be fair, Dave Barry is also speaking at the Tattered Cover in Denver tonight, and I’d totally get it if you were going to see him. I sort of want to go see him instead of speak myself.) Trips to Denver for me are marked by a wild fatigue, a headache, swollen hands and feet and the knowledge that whatever twist of fate made me five feet tall… that’s as far off the ground as I’m meant to be. The altitude simply doesn’t agree with me. I know that you’re not supposed to experience altitude sickness until about 8000 feet, but my particular body didn’t get that memo, and I woke up this morning and winded myself trying to get a glass of water and an ibuprofen, and I went straight back to bed. I’m feeling better now, but this afternoon I have wicked big plans for a nap just to make sure I’m on my game for tonight. If I am ever the Queen of Denver, I’m going to get the whole state a little of that air we all enjoy so much other places. The last few days have been marked by being out of my element, geographically, since yesterday I was in Phoenix.
Phoenix (although Changing Hands in Tempe was where I gave the reading, and I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that it’s pronounced “Tem-pee” not “Tem-Peh”) is an amazing place if you’re from Canada. First, you don’t need a coat. Yay verily, they look upon the coats and do not know what they are. Similarly, the landscape looks like something right out of a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. Dig this –
It’s a cactus, and they were everywhere, acting like it was no big deal to be a cactus. (It is totally a big deal. I couldn’t stop looking at them, and there was a totally dodgy moment in the shuttle on the way to the airport where I would have got the guy to stop, except there were about five other people on the shuttle who didn’t seem to know cactus were a really big deal, so I curbed my enthusiasm and quietly Kinneared the thing.)
The bookstore was wonderful too, and as usual only the coolest people came out to play.
(I don’t know why that middle one is blurry. I blame the briefest of coffee shortages. Also, Canadians? Note the absence of coats.) As usual, everyone is amazing, but let me show you two knitters in particular. (Actually, I can only show you two, but let me direct you to a lovely blog post about the event by Antiquotidian. I love it, and not just because she failed to notice my height.) First, Hazel –
Hazel gets mad first project props from me. I think she did more than well, for someone at the beginning of her journey. Ten years from now her skill is going to be scary. Ten years from now… she’s going to be Hannah.
That there is Hannah and her Chuppah. She knit it for her wedding, and it took a year, and it’s amazing. Nothing short of amazing. The best part though was that while she was holding it up like that, and we were all falling all over it, I heard someone behind me say “That shawl really got out of control” and I just about laughed out loud. Out of control indeed.
It was a grand evening, and I was so thrilled to be there, and Phoenix, thanks for the sunshine and the good time. It was hard to leave – but leave, I did. For now, I’m off to knit a little (and take that nap)