12 December, 2008

Does anything get better with each recurrence?

Last year I went to my first company Holiday Party at the Space Needle in Seattle. It was fun. There were a lot of people. There was a make-believe casino, with real games, and fake money. People drank a lot. People laughed. There was a DJ. People danced. The lights were dim. There were lots of photo opportunities. There was great food, roast beef, some free drinks. Apparently it was the most substantial party the group had done in several years. Maybe because they thought morale needed it? Or maybe because there was some extra money because things are going well? I don't know.

This year, much to our surprise, the company party was once again at the Space Needle. And this time, sadly, it was a moderate-sized disappointment. There were fewer people by about 75%. It did not even feel crowded. There was no fake casino. There was no roast beef. The crab cakes tasted fishy. There were dueling pianos, with two guys who both had bad voices, and did not accurately remember all of most of the songs, but played a shitload of Elton John, and Billy Joel, interspersed with even cheesier music by Steve Miller and Barry Manifold.

Downstairs (we had the whole Space Needle), there was "rock-a-raoke", which is when a band plays songs, and you can go up and sing them. Now, under the best of circumstances, you would probably expect (and you'd be right) that computer geek types are not going to be the good singers at such a thing. But that would be under the best of circumstances. Under these circumstances, even the band sucked royally. The drummer wasn't tight, the guitar player was too loud. They didn't even had a bass player, but had a cheesy crappy keyboard player, which is always a bad idea. And they had two female quasi-slutty backup singers that are supposed to "get tha pahtee stahted" and it was just horrible. I stayed in that room for a total of about 5 minutes, long enough to get an unrespectably small $8.50 shot of tequila. You'd think that at a company party, the drinks would at least be subsidized, rather than double the usual cost!

I realized that many of the people I thought were kind of cool are no longer in the group. And they were, therefore, not at the party. In fact, even of the people who are in the group, many did not attend. I was somewhat looking forward to introducing Denise to a lot of the people I have mentioned to her in the past. And sadly, I could not. Of the management from our group, at least 4 of them did not attend. A few of my closer friends in the group didn't make it either. That said, a few of them did make it, and that was nice to hang out and spend time.

I should not make it sound like it was a horrible time. It's just a bit of a letdown that the killer party last year didn't carry over to another killer one this year. And that made me wonder, does anything ever get better over time? Bands first albums are usually their best. Movies are always better than their sequels. A good dinner is usually better than the leftovers. The list goes on and on.

Maybe this is why there's a saying "Been there, done that".

Or maybe someone was just really annoying.


  1. Wine. Wine can get better.

  2. I disagree. I think many dishes are MUCH better as leftover, when the flavours have had a chance to 'marry', stew being one of them. And Shrek 2 was way better than the first (though the third was not as good as either), as well as many Bond movies that are better than previous ones, and on and on. I DO believe things can get better with time, it is simply our mindset that informs how we qualify it all. You had expectations because of the year before, which weren't met, so you were disappointed. The key in life is to live with as few expectations as possible and take each thing, person, event on it's OWN terms...comparisons kill. There will always be better and worse times, better and worse people...etc....Live in the moment, love that you are alive for that moment, because that moment is a gift, and gifts are always good.