Lights, Liquor, and Licks

Our company Christmas party was this past Saturday, and it was held at Mr. and Mrs. CEO’s house. They live in one of the ritzy parts of town, where they not only have a gate, but a guard station to keep the riff-raff (i.e. people like me) out.

That said, the neighborhood had the worst Christmas lights I’ve ever seen. When I lived with my parents, my brother and I would put up the Christmas lights; I like to think we did a good job of it.

My biggest Christmas light pet peeve is the whole “wrap the lights around the trunk of the tree” bit. It is particularly ugly when you do it to a fucking MESQUITE tree where the branches go every which way but straight up. If you are going to put lights on a tree, COVER THE WHOLE DAMN TREE. Obviously you can’t do this unless the tree is short, but when you do, it looks awesome, and yes, I’ve done it. Otherwise, it looks half-assed, as if you had strings of lights left over and didn’t have anything better to do with them.

Anyway, every few houses had trees with lights wrapped around the trunk from about 3-10 feet off the ground. I’m not sure if that was by design, but whomever had the idea should be hung by them.

I met some of the developers that work just around the freakin’ CORNER from me at the party. I find it a little disturbing that I’ve been there half a year and have not met a lot of these people. Lesson learned: if you want to make your developers even more anti-social than usual, give them offices instead of cubicles.

The food was good. Granted, it was a hell of a lot fancier than I’m accustomed to, though. There was also a “white elephant” gift exchange. I had neglected to buy a gift, so I didn’t participate, but it was fun to watch. No company Christmas party would be complete without speeches as well…blah blah blah. They really need to have it somewhere else next year, though, there was nowhere near enough seating for everybody. My feet were hurting pretty good when I left.

Overall, I’d say the company Chrstmas party I went to last year was better. Those who were there may raise an eyebrow, but I’ll take good company and regular food over a fancy-pants setting and unfamiliar faces. Call me nutty, I guess. Of course, the BEST one I’ve ever been to was the one where the company president was handing out Christmas bonuses. Payday is coming up, though, so perhaps that might still happen. -crosses fingers-

As I was leaving, Mr. and Mrs. CEO were at the door handing out boxes of chocolate and bottles of wine to employees as they leave. I don’t drink alcohol at all, but I also didn’t want to be rude, so I take the wine and go on my merry way. I now have a bottle of Chateau Liversan Haut-Medoc 2003 sitting in the kitchen collecting dust until I find someone to give it to. I can only assume its good stuff, all I really know is that it was made in France, but it may as well be a bottle of air as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps when I distribute Christmas cookies this weekend, I’ll find a taker. Does a red or white go best with Oatmeal Raisin cookies?

On Sunday, I went looking around for gifts for my nieces and nephew, as I’ve already got all the adults on my gift list taken care of. I’m agonizing over what to get for the kids, for whatever reason. As part of my trip, I went to Best Buy, where I noticed the Rock Band demo was available. Having been a drummer myself (marching band), I thought I’d give it a shot, and fired up “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss.

Rock Band was damn good fun, and I was getting into it. The drum pads don’t feel quite right, though. When you strike a drum, your stick should bounce. The Rock Band drum pads are hard plastic, and you don’t get that bounce. I don’t expect this to make sense to those who don’t play drums, but it makes a difference. Between that and the hardware issues I’ve been hearing about, I think I’m going to wait until version 2 before I get it, if indeed, I do. Or perhaps I should get a cheap electronic drum set and rock out that way. In any event, Guitar Hero isn’t going away anytime soon!

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