Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Motivated, I am not...

So I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering how the GET MOTIVATED seminar went. I admit I’m a little curious myself.

What do you mean Jenny? Didn’t you go?

No. I did not. Wait, let me rephrase…Yes, I went , but no, I did not go to the seminar.

Here’s the recap:

Holly finally finished up her payroll/401k/HR stuff (in addition to every other project she could think of in an attempt to avoid motivation)(Ironically, just the idea of going to a motivating seminar will motivate you to get more work done. Just pointing out the irony.), and once in the car says “We need an ATM so I can get us cash for parking.” I say, “Ok, don’t let me forget.” I forgot. She let me. After a few miles, one of us says “ATM” and then we both say “Oh yeah!” Then we both forgot. Finally, at the last exit before you’re really on the way downtown, Holly comes through and says “Better find one now because there won’t be any downtown.” This is a fact I know to be true, so I exit. Turns out the only bank is on the other side of the interstate so we do a U-Turn and do a withdraw from the slooooowest ATM ever made. EVER. Plus, the sun is kicking off the screen blinding me, so after every button push I have to duck back inside the car so I could read what it says. Also, I did not pull up close enough so I had to do the “open the door and still lean through the window” maneuver to get close enough.

Back on the road, Holly is in charge of navigating. Conversation goes a little like this:

H: “Exit and turn left on 6th street. Hey, there’s the wagon.” (in reference to the police paddywagon parked)

J: “We should’ve brought a camera to document this. Let’s call TM and tell her SWAT was down here.” (TM is our crime scene OBSESSED co-worker who is also completely awesome.)

H: “Go 2 blocks and turn right on Red River.”

J: “Oh, that’s The Boiling Pot! That’s the place that….Wait, did you say go right?”

H: “Yes. Then you’re going to take a left on 5th.”

J: “Ok. Wait, this says 7th and we just came from 6th. That means 5th is the other way. It says right on Red River?”

H: “Yes, turn right on Red River. Oh wait, no, LEFT on Red River. I’m reading the wrong directions.”

Awesome. Getting lost is demotivating. Being lost with a completely hilarious friend? Completely motivating.

Now, because downtown is a series of one way streets, none of which I can figure out, we did some fancy maneuvering to try to get back to where we started so we could go left on Red River. We ended up on the street in front of the soup kitchen. On the corner, there is a sort of raised, parking lot area type thing so there is a waist-high cement ledge next to the sidewalk. There is this guy laying on the ground, shirtless, hanging over the ledge, spitting. That’s a little demotivating. I’m waiting for the light to change, and Holly says, “He’s making spit art.” Um, WHAT? “Yeah, he’s making pictures on the ground with his spit. I saw him spit and then look at it. And then spit again.” I think you all will agree when I say that’s a LOT demotivating. GROSS!!!!

On the way down one particular street, there’s a news lady out on the corner standing in front of her camera. And Holly yells, “THAT’S QUITA CULPEPPER!!!” and goes off on this whole mock teenager #1 Quita fan shrieking fit about how fabulous Quita is and oh my gosh Quita, we love you! You guys? Funniest. Thing. Ever. I am still laughing about it today. It’s a shame we didn’t realize who it was sooner because I totally would’ve stopped so we could mob her. (Holly also pointed out later that poor Quita did not even have a camera man. That must’ve been demotivating for Quita.)

Finally, we make it left on Red River and get to the 5th Street Parking Garage (which is convention center parking for the seminar). Lot Full. This was expected considering how late in the day it was, but still. There was a second garage a few streets down and over so we tried that one. We had to pass the Four Seasons Hotel on the way. HUGE sign on PVC pipes being held up by 2 guys that says “SHAME ON FOUR SEASONS. Labor Dispute.” Okay, I understand workplace frustration. Believe me, I get that. But although I’ve never stayed in a Four Seasons, in my head, they leave chocolates on your pillow and fluffy robes in the bathroom, so as much as I understand your frustrations fellas, I cannot shame the Four Seasons. I’ll bet you will not find a toilet cleaning brush left on the floor of the bathroom nor will you find someone’s soaking wet boxer shorts behind the bathroom door (that’s a true story. I’ll tell you about it later.) at the Four Seasons. The front desk guy will not interpret a request for more towels as an invitation to text stalk you at 4 am. Sorry you guys are having rough times during this economic crisis, but I gotta tell ya, I’m with Four Seasons on this one.

We pull up to parking garage #2. Lot full. Okay, now what? No parking anywhere. I’m not even exaggerating that. None. There were bouncers outside of the private parking garages in black jackets with their arms all folded turning people away. One guy was strutting (and I think he had a curly mullet if I’m remembering correctly), totally drunk with the power of guarding the parking lot. All the while, you KNOW these are the bell boys and maintenance guys they sent out there to act as security.

We drove around for a bit just to see if we could find parking, and we end up in front of the convention center. There is a line of shuttles in front of the building. Parked. Not shuttling people from the shuttling locations as promised (we considered that option). Nope. Just parked. And when someone says “shuttle” I picture one of those airport short buses. No, these were BIG greyhound like shuttle buses. Which means they aren’t going anywhere until they are full. Which means if you choose to leave, you will have to wait for at least 80 other people to make the same decision. No, thank you. Meanwhile…cops EVERYWHERE. Apparently Suze Orman requires high security. Colin Powell can take care of himself, and honestly who is really going after the chick with the big, curly hair? Had to be Suze. As we’re checking out the scene, I totally ran a stop sign. Right in front of a cop car. And technically, I didn’t run it all the way. I stopped, but the thing was like 10 feet before the corner behind a bush and I never saw it so I stopped because it seemed like the logical thing to do. Luckily, the cop in the car was taking a nap or checking his myspace or something because he didn’t seem to mind that I rolled 1,000 feet past the sign over the crosswalk and everything. APD is top notch. Protect and serve.

So no parking for these demotivated girls. Only thing left to do is eat. As we head out of downtown, we pass the Quita corner. No more Quita. We agreed on the same restaurant (Amaya’s Mexican! WOO!) and as we’re pulling into the parking lot, I realized we were in the exact same shopping center where we stopped at the blinding ATM. And BONUS! There was parking at Capital Plaza so I got my yummy cheese enchiladas. And TM (crime scene investigator/accountant) met us there which is always fun. (For real, these girls are hilarious. You all need to meet them.)

So that’s the day for you. Keep an eye on the news because you may see me cruising by behind Quita.

(Oh, and P.S. - Popo is doing better!)

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