Friday, October 22

Fancy Business Dinners

Last night was more lively than most Thursday nights.  M's company, Concept Technology, Inc. was honored as an inductee into the Future 50 Hall of Fame.  Basically, the company has been nominated and won for 5 years, so they are officially in the Hall of Fame. 

I met M after work at his office, I got to see his minuscule desk/cube type area.  His office is on music row in a cute old house.  Then we headed to downtown Nashville to the Renaissance Hotel.  From 5:30-6:30 was a "networking reception" and cash bar.  Now, I don't really like, understand, or feel comfortable with networking.  M is particularly good at schmoozing people, but I always feel awkward that whatever I strike up a conversation about won't interest the person I'm talking to.  I also hate talking about my job, and often times, that's how networking works.  So all in all, I hate networking.  M and I got a couple beers, talked to some of his new coworkers, and just generally wandered around. 

The old CEO at the science center, aka M's former boss, Ralph, is head of the Chamber of Commerce, so M introduced me and we chatted a bit.  He's a great guy.  Very charismatic, much like M.  He isn't like Jack Nicholson exactly, but he kind of reminds you of him when you chat with the guy. 

So they finally opened the doors the the ballroom, and I was so relieved.  1) Because I hate networking, so it meant I didn't have to think about it anymore, and 2) because I made the stoopid decision to wear my knee-high heeled black boots all. day. long.  What I should've done is worn flats to work, like I do every other day of the year, and put my boots in my bag for when I changed clothes.  No.  Instead, my feet were extremely tired and cramped inside the boots by 5 o'clock and then I was miserable wearing them the rest of the evening. 

Ahh, we finally got to sit down at the table.  Sweet relief.  Concept Technology had reserved 5 tables, which at $850 a pop, is insane!  The meal was a surprising one for a mass group of people: we started with a salad of greens, bland cheese (I think it might've been mozzarella) and tomatoes.  From there, they main course was served which was a breaded fish filet (my guess was tilapia [which blogger seems to think I've spelled wrong]) with a side of rice, squash, tomato and asparaus.  I proceeded to eat the fish and a small portion of the rice.  The desserts were on the table for us when we sat.  Our options were red velvet cake or what appeared to be a mini cheesecake about 2 inches in diameter.  When we started dessert, M and I swapped giving him the red velvet cake and I the "cheesecake."  As soon as I took a bite, I realized it wasn't cheesecake.  It was some sort of fluffy peanut butter something.  Now, I like peanut butter, but only if it's partnered with something else: jelly, chocolate, apples, etc.  PB by itself is too dry for me.  So M and I switched back, he loves solo peanut butter.  I was kinda shocked, though.  There was nothing in the program about the desserts, no one voiced what they were outloud...what if you had a peanut allergy and you took a big-ole-bite without thinking it could be anything but cheesecake?  Hello death. 

Anyway, so I met lots of M's coworkers and really liked most of them!  I wish I could remember all the names...grr.  I sat next to Brian, who was probably in his mid-to-late 40s.  He was really nice and had his wife Amy with him, who I spent a large portion of time talking to.  She loved my name (obviously, who doesn't) and has a daughter named Genevieve, which I absolutely adore!  I didn't really talk to many other people at the dinner.  I met the CEO, James, who is taking all 23 or so of his employees + spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend what-have-you to Vegas.  I'm pretty pumped.  I also met M's boss, who wasn't very enthusiastic.

After the dinner concluded, we all went out for drinks, but got separated from about half the group.  Our group went to Bailey's on Broadway and sat on the patio.  It was a great time.  The Phillies/Giants game was on and there were a raucous crowd of Phillies fans amongst us.  I talked mostly to Amy (who I just adore.  She's liberal and opinionated, and blogs!  Win!) and Mary-Michael.  M-M, as we'll call her, was just floored by the fact that M and I met on  This is a little like how the conversation went:

M-M: "So where did you to meet?"

I look toward M: "We actually met on" (which I don't find weird at all, I just worry what other people's reactions might be)

M-M: "No way?!?!?!?  That is so cool!  I always tell my husband Joe that I wish we'd met that way.  I think it's the coolest way to meet someone."  She turns to Joe who's in another conversation.  "Joe, Joe, Ingrid and M met on!  Isn't that so cool?!?!?!"  She turns back to us, "I always wished I'd met my husband on" 

The whole conversation was hilarious.  M-M was great.  She's a bit older than me, but we got talking about college, and she went to UT.  We both lived in South Carrick.  When I told her I lived in Massey, she asked which sorority I was in.  Once I told her, she said she rushed DG and wished she'd pledged them instead of Chi Omega.  That made me pretty happy.  We both lived in this rather sketchy area of Knoxville as well, so that was fun.

Once people started to head out (to meet babysitters and because of early Friday morning workdays) we left as well.  My feet were in extreme pain by this point, so when we got downstairs, M hailed a cab and we took it approximately 6-8 blocks to our car.  I know that seems lame, but I was in such pain.

When M and I went to Knoxville for the Florida game, we walked back to the tailgate to meet up with everyone.  M, having gone to school at Vandy, which was practically in downtown Nashville, didn't understand that we couldn't just hail a cab to get from the tailgate to the strip.  He's so used to cabs just driving around everywhere.  Well in Knoxville, I supposed to have to call a cab service and then wait for them to come get you.  So he proved his point of how convenient it is that cabs are driving all over Nashville.  It was either a cab or a piggy back ride back to the car.

Tonight, we have tickets to the symphony!  I'm so excited.  M's never been and unfortunately, Schermerhorn hasn't reopened since the May flood, so it's at War Memorial.  Oh well, guess that just means we'll have to go to another performance!  Details on Monday.  Happy Weekend!


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