Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Company Party

It's that time of the year...yes, the company party where the Missus works at. And every year, I say the same thing, "yeah, I'd rather have my teeth pulled out." And every year, she brandishes the pliers. You'd think one of us would change it up, yet I cave in like post-Napoleonic France.

And every year, it manages to rain. Now for those of you who have never driven in California when it rains, we only drive two speeds out here: Too fast or too slow. Wanna stop three Californians in their tracks? Sprinkle water on them and watch the first two stop come to a dead stop, and then the other will promptly plow right into them.

This is where video game skills come in handy folks, think slalom. Eleven near-accidents later, Procrastinator Jr. and I were at the
aquarium, which is a great place to learn, but not the best place for a party. I'll explain in a few, but first I have to relive the replay with the Stasi, er, security guard.

Five people go in before and the security guard holds the door open for them. I come in and, "um, sir are you hear for the party?" as tries to step and front of me and close the door on me simultaneously. I whip an invitation out on him (no, I really mean an invitation) and then I tell him how I don't appreciate being singled out and discriminated against. Keep this in mind, there are absolutely no other events going on in there or aquarium employees to be picked up. You're either there for the party, or not.

Let me explain it to you, the reader this guards don't like me. Regardless of their age, regardless of their race, regardless of their political or sexual orientation, regardless of what I'm wearing, be it jeans and a t-shirt, or a suit...they plain just don't like me. It's the same in every state I've been to, it's the same in every country I've been to. Now, bouncers? They are about fifty/fifty in their treatment of me, but 98% of the world's security guards go out of their way to show their dislike and disdain of me.

Forty-one years of the same crap and on this, I'm being perfectly serious. If I weren't an honest person, I could make a fortune just walking through a store. Because all of the security guards in there would follow me and thieves could walk out the front door with the entire store under their coats. This character could barely look me in the eye when we left, because he knew he was wrong.

Onward past the one of the poorest excuses for a lower intestinal aperture and on to the good stuff,
Tree Frog Treks! They make reptiles fun, no easy task, that. They had all kinds of reptiles. An iguana, the coolest bearded dragon ever, snakes, and even a tortoise. The hare wasn't present, probably still sore about the race. I tell you, that Aesop blackmailed me into taking a dive and besides, that tortoise had the same trainer as Barry Bonds! They hold the reptiles and you can pet them, or you can hold them too.

Oh, I forgot to mention that they closed and tore down the old Steinhart Aquarium, and moved about one-twentieth of the fish to this new site, while they rebuild the old site from the ground up. The new site is more night club than aquarium in its paint and furnishings. The tanks aren't as big as before given the smaller, temporary building. There were no full-sized sharks, penguins, dolphins or manatees, and the like.

The constants of the company party have always been: this cat who makes bubbles with his hands, dim sum from Yank Sing, sushi, and salmon with mashed potatoes, served in a martini glass. The mashed potatoes are topped with salmon, caviar and dried onions. There was no sushi this year, but instead, they had what looked like crab cakes, topped off with a mushroom sauce.

One of the Missus' friends didn't like the taste of the "crab cake" and as I tried one for myself, I saw why. The "crab cake" was actually a rice and mushroom cake, with a crispy mushroom exterior, not a bad vegetarian substitution.

We enjoyed the food, but the surroundings would kill the appetite of most people. Stuffed animals (and I don't mean teddy bears), birds and skeletons. It was like eating at a taxidermist's shop in some places, but it would take more than that to kill my appetite. The bartender's know how to mix and you'd think that people would tip a couple of dollars at an open bar, but maybe they think the bartenders are super-affluent people that do that job just for kicks.

I had a good time and that was made even better because I didn't have to be on my best behavior the whole time. With the party as spread out as it was, as opposed to being clustered up in the office, we could sneak out early without drawing the attention of the whole firm.



Blogger katie schwartz said...

you know, wp, it doesn't sound like it was that bad at all. love a party you can skulk out of and bring jr. too.

Sat Dec 09, 11:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Geez, you're here at my blog and I'm over there at yours! No, it's great for kids, ironically. If only the vacation and the sick leave were the same.

Sat Dec 09, 11:32:00 PM PST  
Blogger barista brat said...

security also hates my boyfriend. no matter where we are he gets stopped, whether it's by le controle in the paris metro, the rent-a-cop at the liquidation sale at tower records, or the doorman at a hotel.

what's funny is airport police never stop him - but they ALWAYS stop (and search) me!

Sun Dec 10, 01:00:00 AM PST  
Blogger angel said...

what a freaky place to have a company party!

Sun Dec 10, 10:34:00 AM PST  
Blogger katie schwartz said...

of late it really seems like employers care less and less about their employees, so that is most refreshing, wp. the fact that kids are welcome and it's actually fun for them.

Sun Dec 10, 04:37:00 PM PST  
Blogger Eric Riback said...

Oh, I'd go just for the Yank Sing. Best Dim Sum anywhere.

If you don't like eating among the stuffed animals, be sure to avoid one of my favorite restaurants in Denver, Buckhorn Exchange.

Sun Dec 10, 05:11:00 PM PST  
Blogger chelene said...

What a great place to have a party. Maybe I should whisper "aquarium" in the right ears for next year's shindig.

Sun Dec 10, 05:36:00 PM PST  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


"what's funny is airport police never stop him - but they ALWAYS stop (and search) me!"

You know, I forgot to mention the airport gaunlet. Most of time, they've left me alone and they mess with the Missus, just like you. I wonder if that has to with some tidbit of misinformation from D.C, or the fact that they employ junior perverts.


It was pretty nice if you took your food downstairs, or turned your back on the taxidermist's stand like I did. Are you as psyched up for "Eragon" as Procrastinator Jr?

Sun Dec 10, 08:19:00 PM PST  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Do they have a Yank Sing in Denver? It was not the just deer and antelope heads, I've seen those before. I've eaten in restaurants in California that have had bulls and buffaloes too.

I mean all the fauna of California, in both stuffed and skeletal forms. It's realy the birds that affected people, it was like Hitchcock's revenge on our winged friends.


I think that you can't go wrong, but the Missus will tell me Monday if anyone had too much to drink and took a dip where they weren't supposed to.

Sun Dec 10, 08:26:00 PM PST  
Blogger angel said...

i cannot WAIT for eragon! i am on leave over christmas and new year and i am determined to see it on the big screen!

Sun Dec 17, 04:20:00 AM PST  

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