Thursday, December 18, 2014

Three free pints and a bottle of Glögg

I wasn't expecting to post anything today, because I knew I would only have a few hours in my cubicle (aka prime blogging time) before the office holiday party, the one I think of as the "real" one because it takes place outside of the office and involves about three dozen co-workers, which is the right amount - more than the people I see weekly in departmental staff meetings, but less than the entire staff of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, most of whom I never interact with in the course of a given year.

The party was fine, nothing especially out of the ordinary for this sort of thing, except that for some reason the organizers decided to keep to a set agenda and move it along fairly briskly. So the whole thing was over and done with by 2:15 p.m., despite the fact that invitations had advertised it as wrapping up around 3. I usually take off at 3:30 to catch my train, so I was fully prepared to call it a day and depart generally homeward from the party, but when I heard most of my colleagues saying they were heading back to the office, I deduced that was the prudent thing to do (I am trying to do my bit to help us secure a contract win, after all).

Actually, my prudence in this case may be questionable, since I had three beers over the three hours at the party, and while I ate plenty of food and used to consider a pace of a drink per hour more than judicious enough to remain relatively sober, I can't deny that I'm feeling a slight fuzziness at the moment. (Thank goodness Blogger has spellcheck or this post would be a mess.) We were all given two tickets for drinks at the bar, but some people naturally didn't use theirs and someone pressed theirs on me, and frankly I consider it a moral victory that I only had three beers and not four.

(Please remember that I take the VRE home from work every day, and I figured when I started my third beer that I'd have the rest of the party, about 45 minutes chilling on the station platform, and nearly an hour ride on the train to metabolize everything. And I still will, if you swap "in the office" for "on the platform". All will be well.)

Anyhoo, no trivia contests this year but there were multiple rounds of bingo and (after informing the people at my table that it seemed like I was betting some long odds because I've been going to our holiday parties for at least five or six years now and I've never, ever won a round of bingo) I did win a bottle of Glögg and a box of cookies. I feel compelled to mention this because a couple of years ago, in a post about the office holiday party, I mentioned that someone got a bottle of gluhwein in the white elephant exchange, and that post always gets tons of hits on Google. So I might as well corner the page-tracking market on Glögg, as well. (Also, umlauts!)

Speaking of the white elephant, and also that old gluhwein post, by far the funniest moment this year once again revolved around scented candles which, I repeat, is really just about one of the worst gifts you could throw into the mix of a funny cutthroat gift swap kind of deal, by sheer dint of how utterly boring they are. Yet someone sure enough put a four-candle pack in the pile, and of course it was opened by a middle-aged guy whose depth of interest in scented candles could only be measured in angstroms (or ångströms). Nonetheless, the peanut gallery demanded that he read aloud the names of the respective candle scents, in order to allow future players to make informed decisions about possibly stealing said gift. (I don't think anyone ended up stealing it.) The scents were as follows: "Fluffy Towels ... Pink Sands ... Island Breeze ... and ... another Fluffy Towels." OK, maybe it's the beer talking, or maybe you had to be there to hear the exact tone of completely deflated underwhelmitude, but that last "another Fluffy Towels" really made me laugh.

It gets funnier every time you say it!

But now all my work parties are done for another holiday season. People have already started leaving for vacation, so tomorrow should be quiet, and next Monday through Wednesday will be like living in a dorm between finals and graduation. Hopefully I'll be able to generate a fair amount of blog content to close out the year on a high note.

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