Our office smells like a frat house on Sunday morning.
Actual email from the president of our company, sent after everybody had left last night. The funny thing is, I don’t think he was complaining about it. More like boasting, if anything. The guys that run the company are forever demonstrating what a fun and cool company it is. Case in point? A kegerator was rolled into the kitchen last week. I once worked for a company that wouldn’t even allow alcohol at their offsite Christmas party. It’s a totally different culture here, that’s for sure.
Sure enough, yesterday was…chaotic, to say the least. Almost everybody came dressed in costume, and some of them were pretty creative. I made the last-minute decision to combine two costumes myself – a pirate and a hippie – and dressed as a peace-loving pirate. All you need is love, my plastic sword read. And rum. “Peace, love, and harrghmony!” was my motto. I thought it was a pretty creative getup myself, but I was no match for my clever coworkers, who included Freddy Mercury, Hellboy, Margot from The Royal Tenenbaums, Pocahontas, the Hamburglar, and two Damons. Damon is a graphic designer here who always wears a zip-up navy blue hoodie, orange beanie, and thick, black glasses. He was easy to emulate, and that got more than a few chuckles. So it was a fun day, but not one in which much actual work was accomplished, and by “much” I really mean “any.” There was a potluck, and music playing, and people laughing and posing for pictures and visiting. At one point I was diligently tapping away at the computer, when Pocahontas came up behind me. “You’re not working, are you?!” she asked, sounding surprised and disappointed. “Oh, hell no!” I replied. “I’m goofing around online. See? 5 Gross Things You Didn’t Know Were In Your Food.“And then I pointed to the article I had found, quite legitimately, through a link on another hearing aid article I was researching for an assignment. I told her about castoreum, a “natural flavoring” additive that comes from the scent glands next to a beaver’s anus. It may be used as a substitute for vanilla, raspberry, or strawberry in candy, gum, and pudding. She was appropriately horrified (as was I, and you too, probably), but mollified that I wasn’t actually doing any work while on the job.
Like I said, a crazy day. Hard to concentrate when all that is taking place, and you’re constantly brushing hair out of your eyes and hoping your makeup doesn’t run. The pirate wig, you see. And peace signs on my cheeks painted on with mascara. Let’s just say I have a renewed sympathy for women and their beauty regimen. A fun day too, but I was actually eager to return to the routine of a normal work day today.
For the record, other gross things in your food include bug parts (in jellybeans, yogurt, syrup, ice cream, candy, pink lemonade, and grapefruit juice); human hair; hog hair; and duck feathers. I won’t give too much away, but if you’re a fan of those McDonald’s hot apple pies, you might want to consider ordering a McFlurry instead if you’re looking for something sweet.
Speaking of sweet – (best segue ever) – Tara surprised me with a romantic, candlelit dinner earlier this week. She’d come to the conclusion that, while we referred to our Denver trip as a sort of honeymoon, we hadn’t actually done anything romantic. I mean, there was the dinner at Elway’s, and that was dimly lit and delicious, but I think at that point we were exhausted after a long day spent doing about a million different things. And the night before, when we slurped down Moscow Mules at Blake’s, the thumping music from the DJ and the chattering crowd made conversation all but impossible. And while I think we’re already more passionate than 99% of other couples on an everyday basis, it doesn’t hurt to keep the romance alive, so I appreciated the gesture. She made us a linguine carbonara and poured wine while I put on a Frank Sinatra record. A nice change from our usual routine of parking ourselves on the couch and eating dinner while watching TV. We are definitely going to have to do that more often.
We’re looking forward to a relaxing weekend close to home for a change. The weather is turning stormy tomorrow: windy and rainy, lots of snow in the mountains. But that won’t stop us from heading downtown to check out the Portland farmer’s market. Most of the other local markets have closed for the season, but the one in the South Park Blocks continues until Christmas. I like visiting in the fall. It’s a completely different vibe; colorful autumn leaves and a brisk chill in the air, roasted chestnuts, and lots of squash, lettuce, and soups. Plus, it’ll give us an excuse to hit the food carts for lunch. Rain or shine, hot or cold, those are always da bomb.