Brooke’s bridal shower

I’m home sick, and I don’t really feel up to writing a rundown of events, but I at least wanted to get the pictures up from Brooke’s bridal shower yesterday. Mari and Brooke’s sister-in-law Dorothy and I put it on at Mari’s house. Since Brooke’s moving to England and can’t carry a bunch of stuff with her, we decided to do a scrapbook at the party and have guests bring in pictures. It was fun :)

Brooke’s niece Allison is so cute :)

More photos here.

Christmas parties

On Friday Sean graciously agreed to escort me to my office Christmas party, held at the Silver Palms Catering Hall in National Hills shopping center.

I ended up working later than I should have, due to trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible, and when I did finally clock out I still had to change. Once I was in my outfit I realized that my shoes were completely wrong. So on my way home I stopped at Payless to see if they had any tall boots.

They did, but not any that would fit around my huge calves.

Wondering what in the world I was going to do, I got home and dove into the closet. I finally just pulled on some hose and sandals, which sounds freakishly horrible, but just trust me when I say that it was much better with the outfit than the clogs I’d been wearing.

Finally we were off. We ended up arriving somewhere around 8. The party actually started at 7, and dinner had already been served, but people were still in line. We found the only open seats next to each other–at a table with the general manager of the station and the head sales guy–and grabbed some plates and loaded them up with pork, chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, and rolls. Sweet tea was already poured at our table.

The food was okay–not amazingly delicious, but decent. The tea was good, and that’s always important.

After eating, we did superlatives. Yes, just like high school. Last week everyone filled out a form voting for the most spirited, friendliest, wittiest, most intelligent, neatest, messiest, hardest-working, most dependable, most talkative, quietest, best hair, best dressed, and best all-around employee (male and female for both).

I ended up winning neatest and most intelligent. I guess all that office cleaning and rearranging paid off! As for being most intelligent, I don’t know…maybe people are mystified by my job. My prizes were a coupon organizer and a book of sudoku problems.

I actually can’t remember which guy was the neatest, but the guy dubbed most intelligent was my favorite weather guy Adam. He comes and hangs out when he can and we talk about the weather (shock) and married life and whatever else. I figure I’m in good company :)

Wes won friendliest, and Travon won best hair, and no one was shocked at all ;)

After that we had the drawing for door prizes. Neither Sean nor I won any of those, but then one of the sales guys, Robert, said “Merry Christmas” and handed us his prize of a Logan’s gift card!

I had described Robert to Sean as being “the flirty type, but not in a creepy way” while we were in line for dinner. When we got settled at the table, Robert came up and grabbed my shoulders and made one of his comments–I don’t even remember what. So I said, “I just told my husband that you were flirty, but not in the creepy way, and then you had to go and do that!” Teasing, of course. “I ruined it, huh?” he grinned back. And then later he goes and gives us his Logan’s gift card. What a guy.

After that it was time for the white elephant gift exchange. People fought quite a bit over the two sets of lottery tickets, and Wes and his girlfriend fought with Adam and his wife over a Rachael Ray cookbook. I actually can’t remember who ended up with it.

I started out with a Talking Tony doll from Scarface, but Don took that and I ended up with a shower radio, which no one took from me.

While I was doing that, Sean tried the cheesecake, which he said was “okay”. I rejoined him at the table in time to watch Frank from sales sing two Elvis songs, and then they started the music and people started dancing.

Sean and I took that as our cue to leave…it’d been a long night. Even if we were late. Parties kind of take it out of us. So we circled around Bonita and Krusher, who were doing some crazy dance in front of everyone, said goodbye, and headed out.

When we got home, Sean showed me how much he appreciated the outfit I was wearing :>

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to another Christmas party. I was on my way home from a busy day: first a salon visit for my regular Brazilian and then my first-ever eyebrow wax (which I think turned out okay), and then a meeting with Robert (not sales Robert, the Robert I used to work for) to discuss the menu guide. We got a lot worked out, and then I headed down the street to Zaxby’s to pick up dinner. As I headed down Fury’s Ferry to go home the long way (Evans to Lock to Industrial/Belair), my phone rang, and it was the Brookemeister.

She gave me a sob story about how her mom and sister-in-law had stood her up, and would I go to her office Christmas party with her? So I said sure. I ate my Zaxby’s at home with Sean, then made sure I was presentable before heading over to Brooke’s place. She was wearing a beautiful black dress and looked fabulous! After she made several trips back into the house for forgotten items, we headed over to the Quality Inn on Claussen Road.

The difference between the hotel’s reception hall and the Silver Palms was striking. This room was decked out in Christmas trees, and the lighting was low and intimate. There was a dance floor in the corner with strobe and colored lights. I liked the atmosphere a lot better than that of my office party, which was just a huge open room with the lights up all the way, and little to no decorations. The Silver Palms did have real tableware, while the caterers at the Quality Inn–who were actually from Fatz Cafe–simply provided styrofoam, but still.

(I wouldn’t take this as a knock against the Silver Palms by any means. I’m sure the individual companies had people in charge of how the rooms looked. You also have to take into account that my office party was a non-denominational “holiday party” and Brooke’s was an unapologetic Christmas party.)

Since I had already eaten, I didn’t try the food, but it looked pretty good. There were chicken fingers and mashed potatoes and gravy and rolls, and I saw something that looked like either meatloaf or salisbury steak, but I could be mistaken. I did partake of the sweet tea, which was good.

Brooke introduced me to a bazillion people whose names I will never remember. We sat at a table with a girl named Alyssa, her fiance Dave who is former Army, and her mom and dad, whose names I forget. There was also a guy to my right and his girlfriend(?), who was very very late. The biggest character at our table turned out to be Dave, who shared with us some rather interesting terms he’d probably learned in the Army. Sorry, Mom, but I have to share one: “Shut your cock hole.” The best part was when Brooke responded to this with, “Wait, guys said this to each other?” and everyone cracked up.

There was a prayer before dinner, and after dinner they did awards for people who’d hit milestones in their years of service. I thought for sure they were going to mention their outgoing records retention librarian, but nothing was said about Brooke and her imminent move to England. I guess 7 1/2 years isn’t enough of a milestone :>

After that the dancing began. Brooke went up to attempt the Electric Slide; I watched the purses, like a true wallflower. After Brooke came back, we watched more people dance for awhile. Then a slow song came on and pretty much everyone (who had a date) got up to dance, and Brooke and I decided to head out. We’d spent almost two hours there, which is pretty respectable!

“So, what now?” Brooke asked me in the car.

“Let’s drive around and look at Christmas lights.”

So we made a pit stop at a gas station so Brooke could hit the head and get some Tylenol (and I succumbed to a moment of weakness and purchased the most adorable little penguin in winter scarf and cap you have ever seen), and then headed over to the myriad neighborhoods off Pleasant Home, Flowing Wells, and Columbia Road. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures–driving slowly through a neighborhood and having to stop every few seconds kind of precludes using a camera–but we saw quite a few lovely displays.

After we’d exhausted those neighborhoods, I headed up Columbia Road, down through Walnut Grove, and then around to the home of Sean’s friend Paul’s mom and stepdad, whose house is always ridiculous at Christmas. It did not disappoint by any means. (Here’s a picture from last year. This year there was a full-size Santa standing under that arch, dancing.)

By then it was after 10, so most people were turning off their lights. I took Brooke back to her house and stopped in at her parents’ briefly before heading home. I finished off my lovely evening with the rest of my Zaxby’s and the Prince of Tennis live action movie (which could have been better, but was cute nonetheless).

I’m thinking about starting some Christmas cookies today, or at least getting a plan ready. Wednesday is Treat Day at work, and everyone’s supposed to bring something. Cookies would definitely be good!