The holiday party

Friday’s entertainment was a Soul Calibur II mega-battle with Brian and Nate, built on a foundation of the first disc of Aqua Teen Hunger Force volume 3. For whatever reason, I got on my game later in the evening and began a reign of terror. (Actually, I started using Charade to limit my powers—though I did mourn my inability to taunt at the beginning of matches.) We wrapped things up with a look at Katamari Damacy, a game where you go around rolling ordinary objects (you know: cookies, shrubs, cats, people, buildings, islands) into a giant ball to launch into space as a replacement star, since your dad (the King of All Cosmos, and an ass) got drunk and somehow destroyed all the real stars. Weird, whimsical game—we just played it far too early in the morning.

Saturday was the office holiday party. At the Country Club, the premiere place for these sorts of shin-digs. Eric and I (after I fought with my tie—it’s been a long time since I’ve bothered dressing up) showed up on time, and were darn near the first to arrive. We got to chat with our boss a bit, who made the mistake of asking us what we had done with the rest of our day. Eric’s answer included the phrase played a violent video game, which created an atmosphere not unlike the trip to Portland that my boss, Debi, and I took wherein Debi chatted about downloading MP3s of punk covers. (I, sadly, never got to tell the boss what I did with my day.)

The place itself was set up nicely, with a small wooden floor on one end of a long hall (where they served dinner and, later, would have dancing) and a few bajillion tables. At the other end was the (legendary) open bar, and beyond that was an entirely different party. People started filtering in, and soon the bulk of my coworkers arrived in a few large groups. Those groups congregated on three tables in a corner; Eric decided that he wanted to meet new people, and staked a position at a table in the center of the room. I was never convinced that would work (our table would be avoided by others, or would feature a small group congregating on the other end and chatting among themselves), and so never sat down. As the place started filling in, Eric came to the same conclusion—so we wound up sitting with the younger gals in our office. Both Eric and I were complimented on how well we cleaned up, which I guess is a good thing.

The waitresses were darn responsive, and impressed me with their ability to remember everyone’s drinks. (I wish my memory was half as good—I would have to write every order down, along with where the person who ordered it was sitting, if I wanted half a chance of getting things right.) Food was generally excellent, though people found the roast beef quite tough; some (discreetly) resorted to the so-called caveman technique to finish their meat.

As the drinks kept coming, Billie told a hilarious story about Kristina. Before you get that, however, you get my experience:

The first time I saw Kristina at a ballroom dance practice, after she started working at my office, I went over and said ‘hi’ to her. Then a west coast swing song came on, and someone asked her to dance; I returned to my usual haunt and habits (i.e. holding up the wall). At the last waltz of the evening, I asked Kristy (different gal; friend from a couple dance classes) if she wanted to dance; I was too late, however, as she had already begun packing up her shoes to leave. Right then I felt a tap on my shoulder—Kristina asking me if I’d like to dance. We did. End of evening.

Billie’s story: Kristina and Billie went out for a beer after work sometime after that. According to Billie, Kristina told her about how Brent totally wanted [Kristina], as we had danced and my hands had been shaking something fierce throughout.

Now, as I mentioned here just last week, I have an intention tremor. It is bloody annoying at times—dancing included—though most follows just assume that I’m nervous (until it comes up in conversation, and I set the record straight). Billie was aware of my tremor, courtesy of an ill-fated attempt to cut a birthday cake, and pointed that out to Kristina. Sadly, she never really told us what the response to that revelation was.

I don’t deny I liked Kristina (though I don’t think I’ve ever totally wanted someone)—but the Kristina I liked was the one I saw at work: quiet, friendly, and smart enough to keep her mouth shut around the office. Apparently that’s not necessarily her true nature—a darn shame.

After dinner ended, the dancing started. I could almost see the gears grinding in the heads of the people who built the playlist; among the chosen were such classics as YMCA, Stayin’ Alive, and Old Time Rock and Roll. The people who got up and danced were basically doing the drunk person flail, so I entertained myself (and only myself) by remaining seated at the table and informing Eric what dance one might do to each song. (Hustle and WCS dominated; WCS mostly because you can dance west coast to almost anything.)

As we headed home, Eric and I touched on the amount of money that event must have cost. If it’s anything around what we suspect, it is both amazing and galling.

And now, some entertaining links for you to check out:

The Ad Graveyard—Advertising that wound up dead, usually for good reason.

Adventures in Advertising—Offbeat anecdotes, in the shape of a bookmark.

Scary Go Round —Webcomic featuring hilarious dialogue. (You’ll especially thank me for this last link, as I thanked Brian for introducing it to me.)


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