It’s Christmas Eve and around this time of year, I start to get delirious.
Who puts wine in a champagne glass? Me, that’s who. I’ve spent the past several days planning, budgeting, purchasing and wrapping Christmas gifts, so the last thing I care about right now is if my wine is in the right glass.
It’s what happens when your brain turns to mush, which is pretty common around this time of year. At this point, I’m just hoping there is more wine in the fridge.
There’s nothing better than going on vacation and turning on the Out of Office reply. A vacation is in order!
It’s 4:30 am, I’m still awake fighting insomnia (not really) and I have to be up for work in about two hours. It’s Thursday morning which means tomorrow is my last day before I “officially” go on vacation for a week! I say “officially” because I can tell my body has already threw in the towel and is borderline ready to check-out. I can already feel my brain turning into mush just thinking about work.
I planned my vacation for the week of Christmas to maximize my time at home for the holidays. With Christmas and New Year’s Day both falling on Monday this year, combine that with the weekends, it allowed me to be home with my wife and son for 10 whole days! The last time I had at least a week off from work was about 8 months ago, back in April when my son was born. Nonetheless, I only have a couple of days left to work so I’ve got my eye on the “prize” and focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.
Fast forward, It is now 8:25 am, I just got to work about 30 minutes ago, grabbed some breakfast and here I am; just 48 hours away from switching on my Out of Office reply and being “work-free” for 10 straight days!
After only getting a couple hours of sleep last night (more like this morning), I’m awakened by the commotion of my wife (who already seems to be irritated) and my 8-month-year-old son (whose delirious and still learning the concept of time). Not sure if the irritation was caused by me staying up until 4 am or the fact that our little one has been consistently waking up at weird hours throughout the night.
My wife also has the week off, so we both have some well-deserved time-off on the horizon. With the exception of a wedding two days after Christmas, our calendar looks pretty clear for the duration of our vacation. We already have a babysitter for New Year’s Eve, so regardless if we decide to do anything or not, Mommy and Daddy get to celebrate and toast to the New Year worry and stress-free. We “ball on a budget” so highly doubt we’ll do anything spectacular to ring in the New Year, but at this stage, we’re just happy to have some alone time together.
Hopefully, today blows by like a breeze and before I know it, I’ll be sleeping in, enjoying morning coffee, and taking in each minute one second at a time.
Tonight was the company’s annual Holiday Party. Typically, this kind of event usually takes place at our Corporate Headquarters but this year the company decided to take the party off-site to Downtown LA.
Our company’s mission statement has always embraced LA’s lifestyle and culture, so choosing to have our holiday party in DTLA was probably overdue. In the past, we’ve had some pretty good events held at our Corporate Headquarters so the fact that we’re changing scenery this year is pretty exciting.
Earlier today we all got together for a company-wide meeting, which was the platform for Management and Executives to “Kick-Off” the festivities. There was a ton of positive energy in the room so I’m curious to see how the event turns out this evening.
Need a Lyft?
The evening started with a Lyft ride to the venue. If you RSVP’d to attend the Holiday Party the company was courteous enough to provide a Lyft promo code to assist with transportation to and from the venue. Being that the venue was in DTLA, a one-way trip would total more than the actual value of the promo code. Therefore, a group of us decided to carpool to reduce the round-trip cost.
We originally ordered a vehicle that would accommodate 6-8 people. However, when the driver showed up, the vehicle was barely big enough to accommodate 3. Half of our group jumped into the first ride and 3 of us stayed behind to wait for the next driver. At this point, we were pressed for time as the party was scheduled to start around 6pm. Our driver finally arrived but somehow found a way to get lost just a few blocks from our pick-up point. So by now, I’m convinced this is going to be an interesting ride.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences with Uber & Lyft drivers in the past. Some look trustworthy while others do not. This particular driver definitely fell into the “suspect” category. Anyways, to make a long story short, our driver ended up being ok for the most part. My only complaint was that it took us about 30-minutes to even get on the highway (which was literally 5-minutes away), not to mention there were several times where we were split seconds away from getting into an accident. Nonetheless, we got to our destination safe yet fashionably late.
The Secret Entrance
Prior to leaving the office, there was an announcement made about a “Special Entrance” into the venue. I thought this was super ironic being that I just watched The Night Before (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan, and Anthony Mackie) a few days ago.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out. The movie revolves around three childhood friends and their journey to get into the “Nutcracka Ball”, the Holy Grail of Christmas parties in New York City. In the movie, after a night of shenanigans and debauchery, the guys finally make it to the location where the Nutcraka Ball is held. They go through a bizarre “secret entrance” to get into the party. So once we got this notification of a “special entrance” this was the first thing that crossed my mind LOL.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by a doorman/bouncer that checked our ID’s, guided us to a platform/loading dock where we took a photo with a backdrop branded with our company logo. After getting our photo snapped, a host guided us through the service area of a retro-themed hotel, down an old mysterious hallway with old kitchenware, appliances and an old beat up vending-machine that turned out to be the “secret entrance”. Of course, our special entrance was nothing like the movie but it did end up being one of those hidden entrances that led to a Speakeasy Lounge. The host talked the entire time he guided us but that was mainly a distraction to add to the element of surprise. Annoyed at this point, we all pretended to be shocked and surprised when the host revealed the hidden entrance. We entered the venue ready to enjoy the hideaway.
The ambiance of the speakeasy was also retro-themed. Everything from the decor to the DJ was reminiscent of the early 80’s and 90’s; which was right up my alley. The venue itself was rather small and narrow but perfect for a private secluded company event. Apart from the main room, there were other hidden rooms, which all had their own themes. Two of the rooms were for karaoke (one of which was hidden inside a telephone booth) and a third was designated for photo ops with a digital photo booth.
Because of traffic my coworkers and I got there an hour late and missed the appetizers but there seemed to be a good turnout and the open bar was great. The DJ spun a ton of old-school hip-hop and there were a few random performances on a floating stage that traced the outer rim of the bar. From B-Boys break-dancing to a Michael Jackson impersonator, the entertainment was mediocre, but not too disappointing to take away from the night’s festivities.
The company event was private and only went until 10pm. As the night began to come to an end the music switched and locals begin to fill the bar. The night was capped off with company gift bags (filled with goodies) and another Lyft ride back to the corporate office. All in all, it was a great turnout and a good first run at having the company holiday party off-site. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.
We all so often get caught in the rat race that we tend to forget to slow down, live in the moment, and appreciate our significant others. If you’re looking to spice things up or seek deeper intimacy with your significant other, follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way.