Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I'm a complete geek in so many way, just not the way that brings in the cash (Hi Bill Gates), and I'm going to tell you all about them, just because.

Yesterday I opened an e-mail from the DSO (Detroit Symphony Orchestra for any new readers) with the subject heading: New Guest Principal Conductor and Artistic Director and there were no words, just a picture. Here's the geeky part: I KNEW THE PERSON BY FACE!!! I'm totally excited about this because after Neeme Jarvi, he's my favorite conductor and I've been saying that I want him to replace Maestro Jarvi here in Detroit, but a couple of years ago he signed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (a five year contract, I believe). He conducted the DSO earlier this year (January) in Mahler's Symphony #5 (my favorite) and it was unbelievable. Our former Guest Principal Conductor was Itzhak Perlman, so it'll be sad to lose him, but as I *love* his replacement I think I'll be okay with it. Here's hoping that he loves the DSO & Orchestra Hall so much that he doesn't renew his contract with Toronto and comes to us. Yeah, yeah, I know, as much as I love Detroit, I do know that it can't compete with the very cosmopolitan city of Toronto, but I can dream!

My weekend was utterly fabulous, as racing weekends almost always are. Friday sucked because it rained most of the day and I still managed to get a bit of a sunburn. I knew you could get burned when it's cloudy, but when there's actual water falling from those same clouds?? CRAZINESS!!! One of the Geek Squad got so fried on Friday that he wore pants and my Detroit jacket the rest of the weekend. Poor kid. The race on Friday was good, though, as my boys (and girl) aren't wimps and race (and practice and qualify) in the rain. That's why God gave us rain tires.

The rain was a mixed blessing, actually. I can't sit at a race track and NOT time the cars, so even though it was raining I was using my favorite stopwatch (yes, I have multiple stopwatches, deal with it, I told you I was a race geek), and it ended up getting messed up by the rain. Earlier in the day when we had been walking through the paddock we saw a merchandise trailer with all sorts of technical racing stuff including stopwatches. One of the stopwatches could time FOUR cars at once. HRH decided she had to have one, even though her stopwatches are perfectly fine. I found out that my favorite stopwatch isn't made anymore which didn't make me happy. Anyway, after my stopwatch stopped working I *had* to buy a new one and how could I not buy the AiM MultiChron stopwatch. I had it in time for qualifying that afternoon and within two laps I was in love with the darn thing. It is so freaking cool and it kicked butt during the race too! I ran into my co-worker who is also a Champ Car official Sunday morning in the paddock and showed him it. He turned it over and said, "Right here, it needs to read GEEK!" Woohoo!!! HRH & I are official race geeks and we're damn proud of it!!!

Public Service Announcment:

DO NOT STAY AT RED ROOF INNS, unless you enjoy slipping and falling in the bathtub. They have the narrowest and slopiest bathtubs ever. Every time I got in I almost biffed it big time. And as long as I kept my feet together and didn't move, I could stay upright. The tub is so small that even though I got in at the front, when I started to lose it, I was able to grab the "Oh shit" handle on the back wall of the tub and I slipped twice more while holding on. It was ridiculous. I know I'm a tad klutzy, but I get into my tub every day without falling and cracking my head open. My favorite part was when I was checking out and they asked if everything was okay. I told them that their tubs were very dangerous and that I damn near fell everytime I got in. The head housekeeping woman who had been standing next to me promptly moved five feet away as if I had leprosy and the girl checking me out said not a damn thing. No, I'll make a note of that or anything. When I turned to walk I said, "Thank you for your expression of concern." She looked up startled. I've been staying there for damn near 8 years and I won't be going back. When I was telling my friends about it, Spike piped up that when she and Row were moving, they spent one night in an RRI near their house (they were moving to another state) and she almost lost it in the shower there, so the big renovation from a couple of years ago resulted in them trying to save money by buying the smallest cheapest tubs they could, but I'm sure they'll end up costing them money in lawsuits.

So, to sum up:

Motels to Avoid: 1) Microtels because their walls are a micron thick and you can hear the people in the next room as plain as day. 2) Red Roof Inns for the reason noted above. I shall add to this list as necessary.

The worst part of race weekends is when it's all over and it's time to say good-bye to my friends – some whom I won't see again until next year's Cleveland race, and even the ones I'm going to see in four weeks in Edmonton. It's funny we see each other every two weeks (or so) for five or six months and then we don't see each other again for another six. I'll be forever grateful to the ESPN Racing Chat which brought such good friends into my life eleven years ago. Without it, I wouldn't have attended my 11th Grand Prix of Cleveland this past weekend. I wouldn't have gone to Laguna Seca from 1997-1999, I probably wouldn't have moved to San Francisco, I wouldn't be going to Edmonton in four weeks, etc. I wouldn't even be contemplating going to Europe next year for the 24 Hour Race at Spa, because I wouldn't know HRH. My brother asked us two years ago in Vegas how we met. He had known but had forgotten. Anyway, HRH said, "ESPN Racing Chat. I managed to find someone as stupid as me to spend all our money going to races."

I literally live for races. All winter long is spent preparing for going to races (talking to HRH about what races we're attending, getting hotels, renewing tickets, finding airfares for the away races), then Springtime is spent waiting for the first race of the season (unless we're going to Long Beach in April which we only did in 2000), and then before we know it, Milwaukee is past, Cleveland is done and there are only two races remaining on my schedule and that makes me sad. It'll be very strange on July 9th not to be in Toronto and watching the race on TV. I haven't missed Toronto since 1992, but my friend Toronto managed to find someone to buy my three tix, so that's that. HRH is going as she does live there and as she said How could she not go when she invested in the new stopwatch? I'm so jealous now I could spit. ;-)

Tomorrow I'll be ranting about Roger Clemens and the purported unification of Champ Car with the IRL and how I hate it all.



At Tuesday, 27 June, 2006, Blogger mr. schprock said...

You'll think this incredibly shallow of me, but after see the movie "Cars," I'm actually somewhat interested in racing.

At Tuesday, 27 June, 2006, Anonymous Smed said...

Ah, as long as they keep some of the good road courses and street courses, I'm cool.

At Tuesday, 27 June, 2006, Blogger MW said...

Kathleen: "I was using my favorite stopwatch (yes, I have multiple stopwatches, deal with it, I told you I was a race geek)..."

MW: Oh! This is the final straw!


At Tuesday, 27 June, 2006, Blogger Beth said...

I hate auto racing.

At Tuesday, 27 June, 2006, Blogger Dave said...

Wow...that favorite stopwatch thing is a bit...well....odd. There are certain things in life I would rate as my favorites but I don't know if ----- crap! I just spilled grape juice into my favorite pocket protector!

At Tuesday, 27 June, 2006, Blogger GoingLoopy said...

I don't like Motel 6, either...we stayed at one on the way to and from Bonnaroo, and the return trip featured a broken chair, broken towel rack, and improperly flushing commode.

At Wednesday, 28 June, 2006, Blogger Scott said...

Beth, tell it like it is and stop sugar coating! I stayed at Microtels when I drove cross country because they always had wireless networking. I never noticed the wall thing. I would hate that!

At Thursday, 29 June, 2006, Anonymous Woof said...

Well, Kathleen, I wish I could have been there this weekend; sounds like it was a great time again.

You guys have your stopwatches, that's cool. I would have tried to access the wireless Kangaroo.tv feed with the Pocket PC, though. (I think the first year, you could actually get away with it)

Let me know what you think about the Edmonton race: that would sound like an interesting trip. I'd also like to go back to Toronto one year. And of course, there is Montreal this year (right on my birthday weekend no less).

Although this is the first year in around five I've not had a Mid-Ohio All Access Pass.

At Friday, 07 July, 2006, Anonymous kari Cattanach said...

Kat, I need your help. There is a new racing reality show in the works. The website is www.racinforalivin.com. It had local racers from the us submit resumes...the drivers have been narrowed down into 2 groups with a total of 70 drivers. My son, Kyle Cattanach, is 1 of 20 wild cards to be chosen. (cattanachracing.com)

The wild cards will be narrowed down to 5 thru fan voting on the internet. Currently we stand at #4. We have been working towards this for 13 years. The winner of the series will drive in Busch for 7 races.

So many people are helping get his name out...I thought as much as you love racing, you might help also.

Can you get this info out???

wild card vote
Kyle Cattanach
vote as many times as you wish.

Thanks so much.
Kari Cattanach


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