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Dialing the time machine back to about a month ago...

So, the holiday parties last month. All three parties were right in a row this year: Thursday was the organization-wide party at EMP, Friday was the team-wide party at a lodge at Snoqualmie Pass and Saturday was Kat's party at some little restaurant in Puyallup. Thursday started off very slowly. I was supposed to meet some of the younger members of my team at EMP around 7:30 PM and eventhough I got there at 7:45 PM, I was still early. Eventually, everyone showed up and the party picked up. The food was good, but the two drink tickets didn't last very long. Being the ingenious people that we are, us Microsoft people, we figured out that we could simply exit the building, come back in, show our ID and get two more tickets. Of course I didn't do this, but my ID was used by a non-Microsoftie for this purpose. Afterward, a few of us were supposed to go out to a bar, but we all parted ways for a bit and we were supposed to reconvene 15 minutes later. 15 minutes later, one of the girls still hadn't showed up. We were all a bit drunk and antsy to get away from the formal party, so we just left. Four of us went over to a friends place and continued the drinking and watched some TV. I ended up fitting five people in my car, dropped them all off, and called it a night.

The next day, the team party was supposed to start at 10 AM, but since I knew there was no rush, I didn't end up getting there until 12:30 PM. The drive up to Snoqualmie Pass was interesting at least for the fact that it was the first snow I had ever seen in Washington. The farther up the mountain, the more snow there was (shocking, I know). By the time I hit the exit for the Pass, traffic was down to 30 MPH. I actually passed someone on my team on the exit, which wasn't surprising since he had a RWD Bimmer with bald tires. Anyway, most of the day was pretty laid back. A few of the highlights included me running the white elephant gift exchange (including a box of old Atari games, a Nascar coffee table book and a bike axle), playing DDR, and a snowball fight that included someone in a hot tub. I picked up Kat from the airport that night, but I can't remember the rest of the evening.

The final day of holiday parties was at some crappy little restaurant in a crappy little town far far south of Seattle. This was with Kat's coworkers, who had an average age of just about 35. It was slightly odd socializing with them, but luckily we got a table with the friendliest of the bunch. The food was horrible, the drinks were crap, and the supposed white elephant gift exchange wasn't! Kat brought a gag gift, since that's the point of a white elephant gift exchange, yet some of the other gifts included a fondue set, a set of nice martini glasses and a clock from Pottery Barn. For dessert, I ordered decaf coffee. Since I was awake until 5 AM and got about two hours of sleep all night, I believe it wasn't decaf. Anyway, the parties overall were typical work holiday parties.