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Company Holiday Party Showdown
sword
tiger_spot
Last weekend my company had its holiday party. The weekend before that, andres_s_p_b's company had its. Here is the point-by-point comparison:



Location:
Andres': Pier 48, a large warehousey sort of building. Very nicely decorated (see "Decorations" below) but inherently extremely dull.
Mine: The California Academy of Sciences. Way better than the last time we were there. The aquarium is still there, and still awesome, and the upstairs area is about the same, but the downstairs mess of poorly copy-edited randomness has been replaced with a really lovely dinosaur exhibit. It's cool. (Andres decided that the styracosaur skull was a dragon.)
Winner: Mine.

Timing:
Andres': Friday night. Since both parties were in San Francisco, and I work in San Francisco, it's more convenient to be able to hang out after work than to have to drive up, so Friday was a good night. brooksmoses came up to have dinner and keep me company between the time work ended and the time the party started, which was nice. We walked around a bit after dinner and found a Borders in which an employee restocking the massive Calvin and Hobbes collection gained the distinction of being the only person who is neither (1) me nor (2) at a Renaissance festival that I've ever heard use the word "Huzzah!". (Oh, wait -- those Shakespeare on a Shingle guys when they came to our school to talk about acting. But they're like a small walking Renaissance festival anyway.)
Mine: Saturday night, necessitating a special trip up. We had vague intentions of doing something in the city earlier, to make the trip time : destination time ratio more favorable, but decided that actually we were pretty tired and a nice quiet day at home sounded much better. Also, the whole drive up it was raining really hard.
Winner: Andres'.

Decorations:
Andres': Really awesome themed rooms. While these were named after assorted Greek gods and goddesses, they didn't really have anything to do with them. The Aphrodite room was a sort of warped Versailles, with actors in peculiar open hoop-skirts (one of whom recognized Andres from the ski trip at the very beginning of the year), mutant Nerf croquet, a booth with interesting wigs at which you could have your picture taken, some swings, and a group of 8 or so string instruments playing popular tunes like "Time Warp" and "Pretty Woman". Dionysus was wine-themed, with some sort of Spanish band, a wine-cork shooting gallery, and a giant tub with a couple of people who'd been paid to spend the night lying in it waving their legs in the air, throwing grapes at each other, and so forth. Poseidon had very cool underwater decorations, sushi, and an obnoxiously loud reggae group. Hades/Zeus, right next to Poseidon, had a sort of angel/devil theme going on, the best food of all the rooms, and two people playing odd-looking musical instruments. They might have sounded nice if we could have heard them, but they were pretty much washed out by the reggae from Poseidon. The Apollo room had a kind of speakeasy thing going on, with a stage containing a profoundly irritating MC and a series of burlesque acts. Morpheus had many small curtained alcoves with palm readers, Tarot readers, and so forth, and giant screens on the wall showing twirly rainbow things. Athena was a recreation of an LA street scene, with a bunch of old cars and a roving mariachi band. Hermes was the dance club; it didn't open until after we'd done our grand tour, and the sound emanating from it later kept us well away.
Mine: There were some curtains. They were black.
Winner: Andres'.

Entertainment:
Andres': Vastly many bands, roving actors in bizarre costumes, and booths full of things to do. Nerf croquet, wig-wearing, psychics, Playstations, day-glo blacklight basketball, flamenco lessons, shooting gallery, pool tables, dancing -- we didn't actually do any of this, mind you, because we are terribly boring people and didn't feel it was worth standing in line for, but it was there! Unfortunately, all of the bands except the popular-music string octet were loud enough that I couldn't comfortably be in those rooms, so that was a bit of a drawback. The strings were cool, though, so it was okay.
Mine: There were two or three people in the lobby with a cello and some other nice quiet tasteful instruments. I think this was actually better than the music at the other party, because at no point during the night did my ears hurt, but there weren't any of the other weird little things to do.
Winner: Andres'.

Guests:
Andres': A good dozen or so people we know and like, along with, you know, hundreds and hundreds of other people we ignored. Fun chatting.
Mine: I recognized about four people, and couldn't remember two of their names. We spent almost the entire time looking at the (very cool) dinosaur exhibit, which nobody else was doing.
Winner: Andres'.

Food:
Andres': Multitudinous tasty variety, by theme in every room. I particularly enjoyed the molten chocolate cakes and cherries flambe in the Zeus/Hades room.
Mine: Pasta (seafood ravioli and mushroom tortellini) and dim sum; bars for which we each got two drink tickets, with completely ridiculous prices on a little board for when tickets ran out. I got water (free), and gave my tickets to a little clump of people talking with my grandboss when we left.
Winner: Andres'.

Total Score:
Andres': 5
Mine: 1
Winner: Andres'.
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I... Andres' party would probably have creeped me the F out, 'cause I would have assumed I was having either a very good or very bad trip. Y'know? it just doesn't sound real, and would probably have fractured my very delicate hold on reality.

It was extremely surreal. I hadn't thought about it terms of tripping, but that's an excellent analogy. Even when I hallucinate (dehydration and sleep deprivation both do this to me eventually) I just get flashy lights, so that meant the bright red fellow with the horns and cape and beard was real... oh dear.

...we didn't actually do any of this, mind you, because we are terribly boring people and didn't feel it was worth standing in line for, but it was there!

That an interesting sort of difference in how we'd score things, there. If the entertainment isn't something that I actually want to do (even if the reason I don't want to do it is just "the lines are too long"), then it doesn't really seem to me to be a thing I'd count as a bonus. Unless it's fun to watch other people doing or something. So I'd probably have counted this one as a win for yours.

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