Friday, November 19, 2010

Creepers, Scratches, and the Italian Job

Creeper. I'm in the parking lot of Giant today and all of a sudden this car pulls in behind me to block me into my spot.  I look up at the guy driving as I notice that he's trying to talk to me.

"'Scuse me.  I couldn't help but notice that dent in your car. I happen to be the best dent repair guy in town and I can repair your car if you want.  Here.  Come get one of my cards. Gimme a call and I'll have it fixed in 2 days."

Normally, this sort of thing would startle me because let's be honest...even if he were the "best dent repair guy in town " his approach was totally creepy. I mean who blocks a girl into her spot in a parking lot and asks her to approach his car without sounding a little sketchy? But, unfortunately this isn't the first time it's happened.  It's actually the 5th.  Not sure if they're hurting for business and drive around all day trying to find people who need dents repaired, but whatever their excuse they need a new approach.

That being said, I do have to thank this random stranger because despite all his creepiness he reminded me of my old car and the wonderful memories of driving around in it.

Nope. Not that one.

This one:

If you look closely you can see that scratch on my Mini (I'm sure Mister "dent repair guy" could have fixed this scratch as well).  Most people don't actually want a scratch on their car, but you'd be surprised how long it took me to part with that scratch and get it fixed.  I needed to save money to pay for it as I'm pretty sure my insurance wouldn't cover the repairs, but also it brought back memories of one of my favorite nights.

It was about 2:00 a.m. during Summer 2006 and we had just finished watching The Italian Job. Yes, you can probably see where this story is leading.  Anyway, one of us had this grand idea that we should take the Mini out for some Italian job-esque adventures.  I don't really make the smartest decisions when I'm tired so I figured, why not?  What's the worst that can happen? It's not like I was going to drive it off a building or anything and expect to land it. Upon much debate as to where this should all take place, we finally decided on a location: the circular WALKWAY not ROAD leading from the sports arena to the parking lot of our school. Here is the best picture I have of it:

We all pile into the car and I drive to the selected location only to find a cop car parked directly in front of the entrance to the walkway.  OBVIOUSLY I wasn't going to do my stunt in front of him.  After driving around for an hour and deliberating whether or not to just go home I finally notice that the cop is gone. His car is still there, but he's not.

And that's when all the adrenaline kicked in and for some reason I jumped the curb and decided to go for it. I'm about to go down I slam on the breaks.  What if my car doesn't fit?  I clearly hadn't thought this through. a moment of genius I decide to measure the walkway and my car just to make sure (all the while hoping the cop doesn't return).  Well, like a lot of people, I don't carry a ruler or measuring tape in my car so I figured I'd have to measure the old fashioned way- using the length of my arms- fingertip to fingertip.

Success! I walked all the way up and down the walkway and not a problem- my car was definitely going to fit.

So...I take off again.  This time I'm committed as I'm already halfway down.  And that's when all at once everything hits me simultaneously. As I hear the scraping of my car I instantly realized the one thing I didn't factor in (mostly because it was 3:00 a.m. by now) - PHYSICS.  Yep, clearly if I turn my car around the turns the back half of it is going to swing out increasing the distance needed to clear the turns of the walkway- a distance not calculated by my arm measurement. To prevent further damage, I slam on the breaks again.

At this point, I am stuck in the middle of the circular walkway realizing I have 2 options.

Option #1 attempt to reverse up the walkway before having to go around any more turns.

Option #2 continue to go around until I reach the bottom.

Option #2 won and thankfully the rest of the turns were either wider, or somehow I miraculously fit without any further damage to the car other than the one scratch.

The morning after my little adventure I was supposed to drive home to visit my family and that's when it hit me just how irresponsible and foolish I'd been. I did NOT want them to see the car.  I mean obviously I was going to pay to get it fixed, but they'd still probably be ticked by my poor judgment.  I figured I'd try to go as long as I could without them finding out and that's when I made mistake #2- I called my brother and sister to tell them what happened and get their advice on what to do. 

Upon seeing the chance to jab his little sister my brother immediately calls my mom and dad to tell them the whole story. To my pleasant surprise here were their responses:

Dad: "Well (long pause to think) I can't say I'm proud of her because I'm her Father and I have to set the some ways I actually am because it's so out of character for her.  I just hope she has fun paying to get it fixed."

Mom:  "Did she get pictures or a video of it? Cause if not, then I'll be mad."

Well...I didn't video tape it OR get pictures...and eventually the Mini got fixed and sold, but the excitement of that night will always be remembered.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Office not everyday is an exciting day in the office. Sometimes you have to make your own excitment. Thus, we had a discussion in my office today about which characters we would be from "The Office."  BAD idea- asking your co-workers which Office character THEY think you are.

I mean...I'll be the first to admit that sitting in a cube all day isn't my ideal scenario.  I prefer to be interacting with people rather than a computer, however, I AM a hard worker- just keep that in mind before you are swayed by their bias.  Furthermore, why is it that the one time you make some SMALL mistake everyone in the office remembers it the rest of your tenure there?

So, what answer did I receive from my co-workers? "Michael Scott or Andy Bernard."

Not quite what I was looking for.  I mean sure, it's better than getting Phylis. 

Asking them to defend their reasoning for choosing those characters...this story comes SMALL mistake I wish people in the office could just forget. It all started in Chicago...

We had just finished a week long conference and were all EXHAUSTED. We'd slept an average of 4 hours a night all week and had been working 20 hour days on limited sustenance. By the time the conference had ended, I was in crash mode and had only ONE goal- to make it to the airport in time to catch my plane.  At this point, the thought of actually sleeping on a plane sounded just as good as any California King bed would have. Needless to say, I was so tired I was in no way capable of making good decisions.

Before I go any further you should know that transportation to and from O'Hare was provided for us by the hotel and we had been picked up FROM the airport in a limo. It's not like I'm accustomed to normally riding in limo's or anything.  In fact, I'd prefer to just drive myself if given the option, but the hotel insisted on providing transportation.  Thus, it would be a valid assumption that a limo would be the same means of transportation BACK to O'Hare.

As we are waiting on the curb with our suitcases, the hotel manager informs us that our ride will be pulling up shortly.  Two seconds later a black limo rounds the corner in front of the hotel.  I grab my suitcase, walk up to the car and put my luggage in the trunk. The rest of my co-workers follow me and do the same. 

 As you see in the picture below, I immediately fall asleep.  In fact, I slept through most of the drive UNTIL I'm awakened by the driver asking if my name was Jenny. 

Jenny?! Who's Jenny?  Confused and tired I look out the window and realize we are on our way to Chicago Midway not O'Hare Airport.  And that's when I learned I'd gotten us into the WRONG limo. I thought about calling Jenny at 867-5309 but then I remembered it was just a number from a ridiculous 80's pop song...thus, out of luck and running out of time I had to politely convince the driver to turn around, take us to O'Hare and not back to the hotel so that we don't miss our flights.  Feeling a little foolish I'd gotten into the wrong limo I realized that IN MY DEFENSE I wasn't ENTIRELY to blame and that the driver should have asked me my name to confirm when he picked us up.

Like you have to do in these situations, I just laughed at myself and went on my merry way. Everyone at the office knew the story when I returned, but I didn't think much of it again...until today...when I learned that despite all my hard work that story would forever haunt me in the office AND earn me the office title of Michael/Andy.

In one final attempt to prove them wrong, I took the Office Character Personality Quiz.  After 20 grueling questions my results were in...split personality: Pam and Michael.  Upon seeing the results, they did say that this story was really the only thing that won me the title of Michael and that I really am a hard-worker like Pam. That's an answer I can live with.

But...I just want to state for the record that I WAS CORRECT about the limo....just wrong about which limo...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What the Preak?

So...I know this story is a little back-dated for a post, but a friend reminded me of this story today and I figured it was the perfect start to writing about my adventures!

Most of my close friends and family know me as Katie, Kate the Great, Lady Katie, Younger, or KY (Yes, it's quite the classy nickname. I know you're jealous.  Just know I'm simply called that because of my initials...).  Some of my friends have even gotten creative with my "KY" nickname and now refer to me as Gel, Gelz or Jelzie.  So, if you're around me and happen to hear someone, most likely Britt Linde, call out, "Hey Gelz" don't be alarmed it's completely natural and just know she's referring to me.

Like I said, MOST people know me by one of those names, but to Ray Lewis I am probably only remembered/referred to as "that gullible girl who had NO clue who I was"...that's assuming he remembers me at all.

Now, if you're wondering who Ray Lewis is or why he would know who I am not to worry you are not you will soon find out as you continue reading.

Like all good stories I will start at the beginning on this one.  It's Saturday, May 15, 2010 and I had just received a text from my boss the night before telling me to drive up to Maryland on Saturday because she was able to get me a ticket to The Preakness (one of the Triple Crown Races).  I rode horses in my teens and loved going to the horse races when we'd visit Utah and Wyoming so, needless to say, I was ecstatic. Thus, having to get ready at the last minute I didn't have time to find a huge hat to wear- although I could have purchased one of the hats below at the races for $300...NO THANK YOU.

and so I was able to find this simple, understated piece in my accessories:

Yes, that is a small top hat on the side of my headband- like I said simple and understated. Oh, did I forget to mention I had this free caricature done while I was there? 

Well, I get to Pimlico field and grab a bite to eat in our tent before watching the first races. We are near the Under Armour tent...just remember that as a little foreshadowing.  The first races were fun to watch and I was loving all the live entertainment between the races, including The Zac Brown Band and a cooking demonstration by the Voltaggio Brothers from Top Chef (picture below):

And happened.  Another one of those "KY Moments" as my friends often refer to them...I'm sitting there enjoying the Voltaggio Brothers and my own business when all of a sudden this rather large, black man comes and sits at my table.  I politely start making small talk with him when my eyes are suddenly drawn to this HUGE ring he has on his finger.

"Wow!  Your ring is HUGE.  What's it for?"  I ask.

"Oh, its just a Super Bowl Ring." The random stranger replies.

"Oh cool. For what team?"  I continue (don't worry...I'm still not catching on to the fact that he actually PLAYS for a football team.)

"The Baltimore Ravens." He nonchalantly replies.

"Fun...what do you do with the Ravens?"

"Umm...I work in the office..." Ok, the hesitation in his voice should have told me he was lying.

"Oh that's great.  I'm glad to hear they're giving those rings to anybody now."

And that's when it happened...I blurted out that sentence without thinking or meaning anything rude by it- it just sort of came out that way.  Obviously, he seemed a little taken aback by my comment but kindly gave me time to explain myself.  We talked about my family friend Wally Kleine who helped take the Redskins to the Super Bowl but couldn't play in the actual Super Bowl because he was on the injured list.  After the Redskins won all the teammates received rings...except those on the injured list.  That's what I meant by my comment. I was glad they were broadening their circle to be more inclusive.

Well, even after explaining myself the joke was still on me because at that moment a man in a suit approaches my new friend and hands him a drink. I can tell he's schmoozing him and that's when my gullability flies out the window.  This guy doesn't just work in the office.  People clearly know who he is and they're bringing him anything he wants.  I decide not to call him out on his whole "I work in the office" comment as my co-workers join me at the table. We chat for a while longer and then right before we walk off the stranger opposite me says, "By the way my name's Ray Lewis- What's yours?"


"Nice to meet you Katie."

By now my curiosity is high and I figure well, if he's a big deal I'll google his name and surely something will come up...I mean he IS wearing a Super Bowl ring...and that's when I learned just who Ray Lewis was- #52. Not just #52, but also Super Bowl XXXV MVP honors, Defensive Player of the Year.

Nice one...I just told a Super Bowl Defensive Player of the Year that I'm glad they give those rings out to just anybody...

Well, apparently there really IS a first time for least he may not remember me as a TOTAL gullible girl because he did say "Bye Katie" as I left Pimlico for the day.