Friday, August 15, 2008

Detroit City

So once again I’ve gone to Detroit. This was a last second trip with no advance warning to repair failed instruments with two large customers of ours. Well, I was on the fence up until the last second as to if I should fly “dressed” or not but ultimately decided I didn’t want to have to get up at 3:30AM to get ready for catching the flight. I suppose it’s a good thing I didn’t because after arriving at 6:30 AM for my 8:30 AM flight I was informed it had been canceled! I didn’t get out of Austin to Atlanta until 1130AM, and then my flight from Atlanta to Detroit was delayed. Before it was all over, I spent about 14 hours traveling and would have looked like hell had I done it as Kim.
Well, got to Detroit and had a little fashion show and photo shoot. I’ve bought a lot of little odds and ends lately and this was my first chance to see how the “whole package” looked.
The first outfit I tried on was a skirt and red knit blouse that I got at Beads and Baubles in Austin. The top was so cute on the hanger and looked so awful on me that I deleted the pictures and so no, you don’t get see it.
I have looked at this purple blouse in JC Penny in at least three different malls but finally decided to grab it. Here I matched it with a skirt I bought at a consignment store in Austin (I Think it was Beads and Baubles). I include the pictures just to show you that I DO make fashion mistakes, cause this looks awful. The skirt hugs me too tight in the hip area which is undesirable when your wearing hip pads as it makes them obvious. The skirt is a bust but I’ll keep the top. I think maybe it would look best doing he layering thing with another blouse under it – any advice?

The next outfit I tried is a long black “professional” type skirt that I bought at a thrift store more than a year ago but have never worn. I matched it with a cute little black top that has lace around the neck line. I think this outfit is a winner and will be wearing it when it gets a little cooler outside.

Same top, but different skirt. My wife and I were shopping at Goodwill last week and she found this skirt and brought it to me. I LOVE it. Not too long, not too short, and it’s light, cute, and flouncy. I decided I will wear this on my second night here.


For my first night out here though, I wanted to wear a new skirt I bought at Neiman Marcus Last Call. It’s kind of short, and has a cross hatch pattern to it that shines and glitters as it moves. The thing had a price tag on it showing that it had originally sold for over $200 but was now in it’s last sale for $60. That’s still a lot of money in my book, considering that much of my wardrobe is from Thrift and consignment stores, but I loved the skirt and decided to go for it. When I bought it, I had thought it would go well with a large number of purple tops I have, including the new one I just bought, but I think I was mistaken.

On the advice of my fashion adviser (my wife) I had also brought along one of my favorite salmon colored tops. I really wasn’t sure it would work, but as usual she was right. The salmon color highlights the cross hatch threading in the skirt and I think it looks terrific. Loved it and so wore it out!

As has become my habit in Detroit, I headed for the Motor City Casino. The bad news is I got greedy and wound up loosing $20. I find this particularly annoying as early on I had been up $40 and should have had the sense to bail out. The problem is, it was early in the night and I didn’t want to head back to the hotel after only 45 minutes. So, spent a couple of hours playing video poker, lost my $20, and was heading out when I heard what I thought sounded like a live band. When I investigated I found there WAS a band there and so stopped to listen. I think their name was Mem Shannon and these folks were out of New Orleans and were great. I swear, the front man looked and sounded just like BB King. I took a couple of videos to get some sound bites for my blog but the sound quality really sucks.
As I’m sitting there listening to this, a guy walks up to me, crosses his arms, and gives me an exaggerated frown. As this was more or less my own posture, he was clearly poking fun at me. When I started to laugh he walked up and asked me if I wanted to dance! Umm, I don’t dance . . EVER, but it was way cool to be asked. I listened to the blues for a couple of hours and then headed for the hotel.

Day Two
Normally I wouldn’t mention who the customer is because I think that might cross the line into something my company might have a reason to yell about if they ever do stumble across my blog and figure out what I’ve been up to in my off hours. The problem is, how can I brag that I just got to see the 2010 Mustang if I don’t tell you I was at Ford?! LOL
As a lot of you probably know if you’ve read my blog and posts, I’ve got a 1967 Mustang – the fifth or sixth classic Mustang I’ve owned in my life, so I clearly have soft spot for the car. While we were fixing his instrument, I kept dropping the hint that it sure would be cool to see the newest model and he obliged by letting us peek in the window of the environmental testing chamber they had it in. Purty cool stuff! Literally – the chamber was at 20 degrees F. J
Well, got their instrument up and running very quickly but sort of dragged it out to get the engineer traveling with me some hands on experience. Even letting him stumble through our awful procedures to do the repair, we were still done shortly after lunch. It was killing me! This could have been an entire afternoon out shopping but here I was stuck with the new guy. This got me to thinking about things and so I took a hard look inside myself and decided that I have been a jerk. I had really made no serious effort to be sociable with this poor guy because I’d rather have my time to be Kim than socialize with a peer. Decided I didn’t like this about myself and so asked him if he might want to take a trip to the Casino with me and maybe check out the band they were going to have that night, and he agreed. We spent a couple of hours at the hotel going through documents and procedures so that we didn’t have to feel guilty about screwing off the entire afternoon and then headed to the Casino at about 3. He likes to play roulette and I like to play video poker, so we separated pretty quick. About 40 minutes later I’m down another $20 when he walks up, and says he just won $50 and is ready to go as soon as I am. Cool! HE is giving ME the bums rush to separate, and it’s still early!
Got back the hotel, got dressed, and headed back to the Casino again. This time not with my heart set on gambling, but just wanting to see what that nights band might sound like.

 I stopped at the bar / lounge and went to order a drink. As I’m standing at the bar, I notice the couple sitting next to me whispering and glancing my way, so I listen to see if I can hear them. Clearly I’ve missed the start of the conversation, but given their whispering and furtive glances my way, you don’t have to be a detective to figure it out.
“I’m telling you it is,” he says. She glances my way and quickly looks away.
“Uh uh, no way!” she replies. I turned and looked away from them, but am still trying to hear.
“It is too!” he says, “Just look at her . . “ and the noise in the lounge drowned out the rest of his words.
“No freaking (not the word she used) way!” she replied again. I got my drink and turned in time to see them both looking directly at me. What the hell, might as well have fun with it, so I looked them both in the eye, winked at them, and went and found a table to listen to the band. According to the Casino's schedule, this band was called the Bomb Squad. Problem is, I looked up their web site and they look nothing like the band I saw so I'm not sure the name is right. They were not just good, they were incredible! They started off with Motown hits of the 60’s and nailed everyone of them. As the gamblers heard the quality, people started filling the lounge and soon people were dancing and shouting encouraging the band. Besides the realy awesome music, they had to ladies singing up front and one these women was built . . . umm . . exceptionally well, and OMG could she dance and move. I’ve never seen anyone live (not on TV or movies) that could move like this woman. I’d swear her hips must have been mounted on ball bearings, because this lady moved like a professional belly dancer. She always had the brightest smile on her face and you just couldn’t help grinning when she looked your way . . and she looked my way a lot! Watching her dance was so much fun, I would have stayed just for that. As usual, this sort of thing fills me with conflicting feelings and emotions. On the one hand, I am filled with envy, and wish like hell I could look and move like her. On the other hand, believe it or not, I have all the same interests in attractive women that most men have.
The band took a break and so I hit the poker machine again . . . and promptly lost another $20. This sucks! I had started to feel like the Casino was my personal ATM because I usually walked out with more than I walked in with, but not this trip!
Heard the band start up again, so I returned to the lounge. Went to the bar first to order a drink and while I’m standing there waiting for it, a guy built like a wrestler points at my bangles.
“Aren’t those heavy?” he says, clearly joking with me. The place was kind of loud and so at first I wasn’t sure I’d heard him and gave him that “huh?” look.
“Aren’t all those bracelets heavy? How can you lift your arms?” he asks with a huge smile.
“Nah, their cute and fun,” I told him, as I got my drink from the bartender “You should try it some time!”. He must have had too much to drink, because he thought that was hilarious.
The bands second set was hits from the 70’s, and yes this included some disco. Most of the crowd was about my age, and we all ATE IT UP! Lol I listened the rest of this wet, watching the lady with the perfect figure doing impossible things with her hips, and then called it a night.
Day 3
My third day was all work and no play. Our next customer was a 2 hour drive north ot Detroit, and by the time we made the round trip, refurbished the customers instrument, and got dinner, it was about 9 PM and far too late to consider getting ready and going out.
All in all, a pleasant trip!

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