Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DNC - Kim's Star Sightings and Road Adventures

Part of the fun of the DNC is that you never know who you might see, or where you might see them. It's one thing to see stars at a publicized event. It's another just to run into them walking around in your own hometown.

Today as I drove through the downtown Denver madhouse, it took about 20 minutes just to get 3 blocks. I'm not kidding. At first, I was in a hurry to get to my next event, but then I decided since I was stuck behind 3 huge travel buses and was going nowhere in a hurry, it would be a good opportunity to watch the crowds to see who I might see scurrying to their next event .

It didn't take long. My first sighting was political pundit James Carvell, walking down the sidewalk about a block from the Convention Center. It was so quick, but I know it was him. He has a pretty distinctive look, and I'll have to Google this, but is he known for wacky tennis shoes? If not, he should be. I'm not one who notices clothes much, but these shoes were bright white and red or orange, and with his dress pants and sport jacket, it only enhanced his distinctive look. It was very distracting in an amusing way. But extremely smart. Comfortable shoes are a must at the DNC.

As I sat there in the traffic jam, I realized it was getting less and less likely that I would make my next event on time. This is definitely the time to practice patience.

My parking angels must have been with me, because once I finally got through the traffic, I found a paid meter spot on the street right in front of my location. I think people were afraid to park there because a cop was parked in the street right by the spot, and they might have thought it was reserved. It just occurred to me that maybe it was. No one kicked me out. So I kept going.

Once I got to the hotel hosting the Network of Spiritual Progressives' presentation of The Global Marshall Plan, I raced through the crowd to try to catch the end of the presentation. Here's Star Sighting Number 2.

Arianna Huffington! Many independent journalists consider her the queen of the blogging medium, and she's one of my personal favorites. She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of twelve books. She is also co-host of “Left, Right & Center,” public radio’s popular political roundtable program. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that has quickly become one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2006, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people. And she looked so vibrant!!!

After the NSP meeting, which I'll post separately, I ran out of the hotel and back to my car to try to get to my next event, the SeaChange Ideas Forum presentation of Morgan Spurlock's film and Q & A session on Where is Osama Bin Laden at the Starz center at the Tivoli. Loved his Supersize Me film and excellent and provocative TV show 30 Days. I couldn't wait for this event.

Holy Traffic Jam! (I did much better walking everywhere on Fri, Sat, and Sun). Navigating the road closures would have tested even the most directionally proficient individuals, but for me, directionally-impaired to begin with? I drove in circles trying to weave my way through the patchwork of open roads. When I got to the Starz Center, I was told my credentials weren't there, and I would have to go back to where I just had been (before my traffic adventure) to pick them up. No exceptions.

Dejected, and feet aching, I started the long trek back to my car in the 90-degree heat. Ooohhh, I was disappointed to miss this event, especially after my traffic and parking nightmares. But my disappointment didn't last long. Here's random Star Sighting No. 3 from today (not including the stars I saw at events).

As I made my way across the largely empty campus of Metro State University to the parking lot 500 miles away (OK, I may be exaggerating, but I'll always try to warn you when I do), I saw a handsome man standing by a taxi cab talking on his cell phone. As I drew nearer, I thought to myself, "is that who I think it is?"

Yes, MSNBC's Dan Abrams! And could it be true that he's even better looking in person than on TV? Yes, it is true. And he was so nice to me, even though I somewhat interrupted his busy day.

I have admired Dan Abrams for a long time, both as a journalist and a legal analyst, and I sadly watched him give his "final verdict" last Thursday as he passed the baton to superstar Rachel Maddow (also one of my favorites). It was a pretty funny segment in which he talked to former MSNBC pundit Tucker Carlson. Under Tucker's name on the screen it said "Used to Have a Show on MSNBC," and they laughed about the fickle nature of working in the media.

I was sad when Dan's name appeared a moment later with the same description, until he reminded us that this was his 3rd goodbye to an MSNBC show in the last 5 years. He said, "don't count us out entirely." I definitely won't.

I'd say that was a pretty good day for in-person star sightings: Hill Harper (CSI); Angela Bassett (The Rosa Parks Story); Danny Glover (The Color Purple); James Carville; Arianna Huffington; Dan Abrams. My favorites! Fun! More star sightings tomorrow? I'll keep you posted.