Office Christmas Party

Last night was the office Christmas party. Last year it was practically across the street from where I lived, so that was incredibly convenient. This year, it was at Science World, the big spherical building at the end of False Creek. Not as convenient, but not horribly so. It was close enough that I decided I could walk it; a coat check would be cheaper than parking. The walk turned out to be about twenty minutes. When I got there, I discovered a free coatrack for everyone, and stories about how the Cirque du Soleil show had used up all the nearby parking.
I had initially planned to wear my suit and tie. But when I wore it to the symphony last week, it felt large on me; I’ve apparently shrunk sometime in the past year. I decided to wear an outfit that I had last worn when I worked at FileNet in Edmonton. I know this because I found my old business cards in the pocket. That would have been about ten years ago. It still fit, but it was also a bit large. I really need to see a tailor.
Science World was a good place for the event. They tried to make it cultural and had “representatives” from five countries there. For the most part it felt like they were picking the worst stereotypes. Canadians were shown as dressing like Mounties. The Germans were wearing lederhosen. The Mexicans had a mariachi band. The better part was that there was matching food!
I started with the Mexican tacos, and then moved on to the Japanese sushi. I got mine in Aburi style (i.e. flame seared) and it was delicious. Unfortunately, due to rationing, we only got two pieces each. On the second floor the Canadians fulfilled their stereotype with poutine. The Germans’s had good pastries. The Chinese chow mien was surprisingly good.
I then passed the time seeing the educational movie in the Imax theatre, Dream Big. It was good and inspirational and made engineers look like gods who walk as men. I want to go out and build a bridge now. Actually, now that I think about it, that description isn’t correct. Almost all the engineers that were shown were women. I didn’t notice until I made that misogynist remark.
Afterwards I saw the various cultures do performances. The lederhosen Germans were doing a good band. The Mexican mariachi band may have been good, but there was a drunk co-worker (who I’ve never seen before) who seemed to be trying to be the centre of attention. The Chinese had dragon dancers wandering the halls. The Japanese had really good taiko drummers; they even let several of us try out and learn how to do it.
One of the best parts of having the party at Science World, is that you could try all the exhibits. And it is great to be able to learn science without having to deal with children running around hogging all the fun toys.
In the end, I learned that my old outfit was warmer than I expected. I was hot enough throughout the evening, that when it came time to walk home, I felt no need to put on a jacket for the outdoors. It was nice to slowly go along my running route and soak up the sights that I normally run past. The fog that has been lingering around Vancouver has made everything look different and exotic.

A Lunch Denied

I saw the dentist today. It was at one o’clock, which is when I usually take lunch. So beforehand, I ate a plum as a snack and had my usual apple a bit before the appointment. The cleaning and checkup went quickly. Due to a weird quirk of fate, I had gotten into the habit of flossing every day since I last saw them, and they could tell. I got back to the office at two, although I was told not to eat for half an hour.
I had a meeting at two though, but I couldn’t find the other participant. This would be my last chance to meet with him before he leaves the company for an exciting opportunity in Singapore, so it was an important one not to miss. When I discovered him, he was running late, so we didn’t start until half past.
Just when it ended, the fire alarm went off. “This is not a drill.” We all shuffled out of the building to wait for the fire department, which is kitty-corner to the office, to deem the crisis over.
Only then did I finally get my lunch. At around three o’clock.

Classics of Broadway

Yesterday was Catalina’s last night in Vancouver before heading back to Houston. I tried to make it special.
In the afternoon we watched a movie (Finding Dory) then I took her out to “The Flying Pig”. It is a very good restaurant that we both enjoy going to. The veal picatta that she got was fantastic. I wish I had ordered it instead of my half chicken.
After that, we dressed up and went to the symphony; the one across the street from where I live. They were doing “Classics of Broadway”. I know she likes to go to the symphony, so I tried to pick a performance that I would enjoy as well. And since my enjoyment is directly proportional to how much I recognize the songs, this looked like a good bet.
I did not recognize any of the songs in the first half. They were dong the classics in chronological order, so the early ones were really old. They also shied away from the most recognizable songs. So the work from “There’s No Business Like Show Business” was not the title song, but “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”. (I’m not even sure the song that I think is in the play is actually in it; they may only share a title.)
In the second half, it got better. But I now have The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music stuck in my head. That said, it is much better with a full symphony behind it instead of a bunch of kids singing it on a small TV.
They did not do the title song from Oklahoma! but they did for Jesus Christ Superstar. It concluded with a sample of three songs from “Phantom of the Opera”. Unfortunately, by this time it was getting late, and we were both getting tired. A matinee performance would have been easier on us.