Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rock Band Christmas

Last night was our annual JD Edwards Christmas party. It’s kind of funny since JD Edwards hasn’t existed for 7 or 8 years now, having been purchased by Peoplesoft, who was purchased by Oracle a couple years later. All of us had worked together for varying lengths of time before the merger, many of us in the same technology Operations department, and we had started getting together then for a Christmas party. Despite most of us moving on to new jobs, we still get together. This past year the lunches are further apart and the communication is a little less, but we still have the party and look forward to it. We bring the kids, have a good time, and exchange gifts in the annual White Elephant Gift Exchange where all gifts are wrapped and we pick numbers from a hat, taking turns opening a random gift or stealing one that’s already opened.

That party has caused some problems with kids over the years as gifts are stolen, and it’s had some fun moments as we’ve had the “Tree” passed from person to person over the years. We had it a couple years ago and thankfully haven’t gotten it again. Whoever gets it is supposed to regift it the next year, not sure how that tradition started, but it didn’t come back last night. A few people didn’t make it, so maybe it will make an appearance next year. There’s also an animated stuffed monkey that has been around and did come back.

This year I was tired, the kids were all feeling slightly sick, and it was more hanging out catching up with people for most of the evening. I avoided the gift exchange with all the yelling and cheering, not wanting to be the middle of that. Kyle ended up with a huge whoopie cushion and Delaney stole a KNEX set from someone the 3rd time, keeping it safe for him. No need to try and hide it this year.

As people drifted away, especially those with younger kids, it seemed that the rest made their way to the basement. Rock Band was setup down there and I thought it was mostly kids and teenagers. When we started going our kids were small, shy, and clung to us. Quite a few of those early parties had either Tia or I downstairs with the kids playing As they’ve gotten older, they’ve started to mix well with other kids and Kendall spent almost the whole night down with other kids, shooting pool and playing ping pong while Kyle and Delaney did those things but also joined in Rock Band. When I went down about 11 or so, Tia was singing with another lady while the instruments were manned by others.

It was pretty cool. Despite being tired, I got pulled into the drums when someone else quit and did OK on the medium setting, but my foot was getting tired so I switched to the easy setting to have less bass pedals. I actually thought I’d have none, but that didn’t work.

We jammed a little until people started to leave and eventually it was just us, the Duensings and the Hasterts. We closed the party again, about 1:15 with a few songs from the new Beatles Rock Band, which the teenagers had hidden. I guess they didn’t want to play the “old people’s music”, preferring to stick with the basic “Rock Band”

It was a fun party, but getting home at 2 was tough. I had 2 beers between 6:30 and 7:30 and then drank about 10 bottles of water, so I wasn’t impaired, and I’m not hung-over, but I had a headache when I got home, and my eyes ached. It was a hard drive back, about 18 miles. This morning I will have a headache and I didn’t want to wake up, but after a week plus of getting kids up, I couldn’t help it.

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