ALSO THE ATVS!!

HERE’S THE THING. Godaddy fucked up all my Windows-livin’ sites yesterday (that’d be this one, plinko.net, and 404lab.com, for those of you keeping track), and they’re mostly back now. I may have yelled at them this morning. Super-frustrating, dudes, but now I am back to talk to you.

This weekend nearly killed us in the best way possible. Friday night was the second annual Awesome Christmas, and we started the evening with dinner and drinks at Azia. Back at my apartment, we exchanged gifts; the rule is that you have to spend $3 per person, so the emphasis is on amusement factor. We did a really good job, and ended up doing things like taking shots from a syringe, having a dance party in the kitchen, and playing recorders half the night. Also, Wendy decided to play spin-the-bottle, which only resulted in her making out with inanimate objects on the floor, like a box of Diet Coke. I should probably have let her take it home with her.

The upstairs neighbors were not amused, but I will abstain from guilt about that because I have a party at my house roughly one out of every 365 days, and I spend virtually no time at home. So there, jerks.

We slept at my house, which excited the cats a lot, then made our way to the couch at Matt’s house for a few hours of recovery before getting dressed and heading to the Mall of America for my work party, which began promptly at 5pm.

We checked into the insanely-mobbed Radisson with the waterpark (my boss got us rooms there so we wouldn’t all have to drive home afterwards), then we went over to the mall and met my coworkers at Tucci Benucch for a legendarily gigantic meal and cocktails. After dinner, my boss presented us with the first challenge of the night: we each got $35, and had 40 minutes to spend it on items that spelled the word ‘HOLIDAY’. The first group to return would get $100 bonus, and so would the purchases voted the most creative.

We pondered the dollar store, but it was on the other side the mall. Then we had an even better idea: the liquor store was directly upstairs. We ran up there, and filled the old guy behind the counter in on our mission. He was very excited at the prospect, and went through the huge rack of airplane bottles, picking out the ones that started with the correct letters. The only thing we couldn’t find was something with an O, so we ran to Holiday for orange juice. We needed a mixer, after all. Unbelievably, Mary and her husband beat us, even though it took less than 15 minutes. We were pretty proud of our lineup, though.

We gathered outside the restaurant, and Pam passed out envelopes and new rules. The way the party’s always worked in the past is that she gives us $300, and we have to go spend it all within 2 hours, or we give it back. We also have to buy things that fit certain rules. This year, the rule was that we had to get things that we would’ve wanted when we were kids.

Though we’d already done some scouting at the mall and figured out what I wanted (it was way more difficult than it should’ve been), we suddenly had some rethinking to do: the new rule, and the fact that this time, she gave us $400 to spend. Holy crap.

We got a couple of the things we’d originally planned on, like a really nice suitcase from Macy’s, and a set of long-range walkie-talkies we’re going to use to keep track of our group on the cruise. We also got an awesome remote-controlled Lego train, because I had a serious Lego fetish as a kid, and all they had then was the standard Legos and the outer space sets. Lastly, we got a Wii game. Because we’re getting a Wii, dammit, we just have to find one. Guitar Hero rules.

We met up again at Ruby Tuesday, my boss ordered us approximately 14 more rounds of drinks, and we all showed off our stuff. There were six of us left by the time the place closed, including my boss and her husband, and she didn’t want to be done, so we decided to meet up again at our hotel bar. She handed me a card with a bonus check on our way out (Matt and I went over there first to ‘get a good table’), and I almost died when I opened it. Man.

The Split Rock Grille at the Radisson was hopping. We were floored. They did actually have to set up a table for us, even though it was after midnight. The bartenders were practicing their flair in a very shaky way, and our waitress was smashed. I had a pickle-flavored martini, while Matt cringed. Pam, Forrest, Nate, and Jen arrived, and we ended up closing the place down. Our server made sure we knew that we could take anything we wanted up to the room; people were going to the bar to buy bottles and everything.

We made it the short distance to the elevators, and to our awesome room. Matt fashioned a Do Not Disturb sign from an envelope, since ours was missing. We played with the Sleep Number bed a lot, and decided that 100 was best right around the time we passed out. 10am came far too soon.

Sunday morning, we met the other members of Team Boobylicious at the Holiday Inn downtown to finish packaging cookies and divide them up for delivery. I couldn’t drink enough coffee. We spent the rest of the day on the couch, and it was glorious. Also, we set up our train and played with the walkie-talkies. I love being an adult.

Yesterday was highly productive. I went to the gym, did laundry, got a ton of knitting done during the Vikings game (YAY!), we went to the grocery store, and then made burritos for dinner and even packaged up a couple to freeze for lunches. Tonight we’re going to the suburbs to rescue Cindi from her conference, finish Christmas shopping, and deliver cookies to my aunts. We’re practically responsible this week.

In very sad news, though, I just found out that my old piano teacher passed away this year. Stephanie told me she got a card back from her family, and I expect I’ll get the same, since I mailed her card before hearing the bad news. Eleanore was one of the nicest ladies ever, and she’ll be missed.

In much brighter news, however, it’s only 25 days til the cruise. Wendy had to go and post about it again, so now it’s all I can think about. According to the webcam, our ship is in Grand Cayman right now! Prepare the stingrays, because we’ll be there soon!

Jenni

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