So let me begin by re-living the conversation I had on the phone with my mom last Saturday as I was headed home from work:
Me: “Hey, have you made it back to Crockett?”
Mom: “Oh not yet, we’re in Trinity. We stopped off and looked at some new bedroom furniture which put us behind a bit. You done with work?
Me: “Yeah, I think I’m just gonna have a quiet night in… no plans set up.”
Mom: “Good! Now you just stay in and go to bed early, ya hear?”
Welllllllllll that’s at least how I intended for the evening to go. About twenty minutes after I arrived home I got a call from my friend Michele who invited me out to have celebratory drinks with her husband, Brad (who had just had his last day of law school), and their friend, Hester (who, for the remainder of the evening, Michele and I affectionately kept on referring to as “The Scarlet Letter”).
So let me break it down for you a bit.
Calhoon’s Saloon: (which I have since discovered is actually called Cayhill’s)
I meet up with the gang at a bar, get a drink and we all start a game of pool (two thirds of the Southern Baptist wickedness trifecta if I remember my Baylor handbook correctly) and have the pleasure of being introduced to Hester, whom Brad met while doing a semester in Cambridge. For some reason she has family who live in Montgomery, Texas and so she is spending some time in our lovely city. Midway through the game another patron comes over and puts four quarters on the table, to which Michele quickly responds: “THANK YOU!!” Now, I thought maybe she had asked for change from the bartender and he sent it over or something, but after realizing he was just saving the next game on the table I just stood there with a perplexed look on my face and asked “who the hell are you talking to. That’s not your money!”
While Brad and Ms. Prynne continued to play (I managed to nudge the ole 8 ball in the pocket a little too early and they pretended like I hadn’t just so they could finish the game to the music they put on the jukebox) Michele recounted a conversation she had with her boss the day before. Apparently she told him they were going out for drinks to celebrate Brad’s semi-freedom and he incredulously interjected “What? Drinks?!… ugh that’s so typical. You’re young and in the city, you should be out crashing corporate Christmas parties at all the hotels downtown.”
My only response was an emphatic “ummmm, why AREN’T we out crashing corporate Christmas parties at all the hotels downtown!!!!!” So… we did. With a mighty handful of hotels to choose from we decided on the Intercontinental cauuuuuuse, you know, it’s the Intercontinental. That, and if it was a dud then the Hotel Derek was just a stone’s throw away.
For future reference, the Intercontinental is the motherload of locations for corporate events. Take in mind that I don’t actually have anything to compare it to, but there were three simultaneous parties going on: 1. Exxon’s ArcticProject 2. Aramco’s tropical island themed shindig and 3. some company I don’t remember who had a mediocre poker night theme.
Getting in was surprisingly easy considering that we were obviously not dressed for an elegant evening out on the town. We waltzed right in there like we owned the place without ever looking (or feeling, quite frankly) guilty. Oh, and I had paisley on as well, which I’m pretty sure is the real reason we got in.
Straight to the dance floor with a little help from the not too horrible band up on the podium. The podium which also happened to be showing slides from said ArcticProject. Photo’s like the following, which carried the party atmosphere when even an infectious ABBA song just couldn’t keep the people on their feet.
Quite a toe-tapper
Michelle and Brad, who we started calling Dorothy because of his blue gingham shirt
Not wanting to run out our
not so welcome we headed over to the balmy, palmy tropical Aramco party.
On our way in a certain wooden box caught my eye and I had to take a picture of it… it’s from POTTERY BARN. As I was taking the picture Michelle reached in while saying: “Screw Pottery Barn, I’m taking these for all of us!”
Modeling the latest in tropical chic
We didn’t spend long at all inside the ballroom because A. nobody was really dancing and B. we began the evening’s first round of my new favorite game: “Umm… hey guys, where’s Hester?” The way you play is you start to go somewhere, realize you’re down a party crasher and ask “Umm… hey guys, where’s Hester?” It’s pretty fun, and Brad took this moment to inform us that he’s actually a champion player seeing as how he had already played, except in place of an upscale hotel his game board was the whole city of London.
Round One: Can’t see the Hester for the palm trees
Turns out she wasn’t too impressed with the lack of dancing and decided to check out the booths set up on the other side of the ballroom, where she made friends with a gentleman who was showing her his personalized photo flip book… which, by the way, is not a euphemism.
Dorothy thought we should at least check out the other party before we headed out to the Black Swan (no relation) at the Omni Hotel where we were meeting his friends later. This one was a “poker night” theme and I got a little video of some dance action:
After a quick bathroom break we were off to… uh oh, looks like it’s time for “Umm… hey guys, where’s Hester?” ROUND TWO! She was fairly quickly found back in the Aramco party talking to some of the other guests.
Hester: “Now, ladies, why on earth is no one dancing? I mean, the floor is practically barren.”
Lady: “Oh my gosh I know!!! It’s so lame out there.”
Michele: “So which company is this again? It’s getting a little hard to keep track.”
Lady: “It’s the Arammmmwwwait a minute you don’t work here?”
Michele: “Nope… just killing some time before we meet up with friends.”
Lady: “Oh what the hell, I’m gonna quit next week anyway. Have a fabulous time!!”
But before we even had the chance to be fabulous it was time for “Umm… hey guys, where’s Hester?”: Quickfire Challenge. I believe it was Michele who said: “You know, I bet she’s over at that flip-book booth. I could see her eyeing them earlier and I don’t think we’re getting out of here without one of those things.”
Aaaaaaaand we didn’t:
Michele and I stayed to have one made and while it was being put together we discovered we had reached (surprise) a hidden level on the “Umm… hey guys, where’s Hester?” game! Michele headed back into the tropics, I checked out the fortune teller booth to see if I could cheat a bit, and Dorothy went to check the hotel bar.
Attempting to phone a friend in the afterlife.
Turns out A was at the bar chatting with some Danish (or maybe Norwegian, I can’t remember. Some country where they eat pickled herring) and German business men. Before we finally got out we stopped off and had our picture taken by the Aramco photographer in front of the Christmas tree.
Photographer: “You know we’ve actually had people from the Exxon party crashing over here and getting party favors!”
Michele: “HOW DARE THEY… … … steal our idea.”
Merry Christmas!!!! Love, Michele, Joseph, Dorothy and Demi Moore circa 1995 !
As we were leaving the parking garage:
Attendant: “And the reason for your visit?”
Michele: “Ummm, the Aamco party?”
Attendant: “Okay, that’ll be $6.00.”
Now, two things you should know. 1. What Michele of course meant to say was the Aramco party, Aamco being less a petroleum company and more a transmission repair shop. And 2. Because we were at the “Aamco” party we ended up getting a 2/3rd discount on the parking!!!
The Black Swan:
So then it was off to the Omni hotel, where The Black Swan nightclub is located. Nothing much to report from our final location except that we danced until exhaustion set it. Well, that and I’m about 93% sure I met Miss Texas 2007.
And now, to conclude our evening, some blurry dance pics. (The man in red in the first picture we lovingly called the Mexican Billy Ray Cyrus because of an uncanny resemblance to the singer. I kept hoping for him to break out into “Achy Breaky Corazon” but he never did.)
Continuing my shoddy-photography-as-late-nineteenth-/-early-twentieth-century-paintings theme from an earlier post.
Dorothy jammin’ it out
Plus any time we got especially heated from dancing we could just step out to the gorgeous Omni courtyard:
All in all it was a pretty friggin’ fantastic evening!!!! Stay tuned for Dance Night: Law School Graduation Edition (with special guest star, Dobbie, from the Harry Potter series)
Artist: Of Montreal/ Album: The Sunlandic Twins