Getting my festive on…

Has been a fair bit of the ‘festive’ or ‘jolly’ season going on recently.  Tuesday evening – am invited to a work function for a project which I’m not actually working on.  But – I go, and I have a few drinks – then leave relatively easy to walk the 5 minutes back to my apartment (have I mentioned how much I love my new location) to meet my new landlord.  He seems alright – except he’s a project manager.  And, unfortunately, I’m a bit prejudiced against project managers.  But – he reckons he used to do a bit of real work too, in fact – in my own field.  And his email address is a reference to a very very nerdy mathematical concept that I had to look up – so maybe he’s not all useless.  Anyway – we agreed that I was in fact useless, and that he would do all the decision making regarding replacing the venetian blinds – and then we parted ways.  Him – off to a presumably much large accommodation somewhere, and me back off to the work function – a brisk 5 minutes walk away.  I love central city livin’.  And then eventually the party kinda fizzled out, so I returned home again.  And thinking “I’m a little intoxicated – probably due to no food – but wonder if I will have to fit in an episode of some TV show, or even a short movie – to pass the time before I should go to sleep?”  And then realised that it wasn’t even 9pm.  I was really quite intoxicated, and home already – well before 9.  Not good.

And then it was Thursday – which had two functions.  First – a small one in the afternoon for all the people sitting in my proximity at my current client.  Just stayed there long enough for a few drinks – but even within those few, somehow managed to mix my drinks.  Not a good start.  But – did manage to avoid being forced to accept a ‘Secret Santa’ gift.  I used the premise that I’d let it go, in case they were short of gifts per people.   Sweet.  And that was all good – I left fairly early to walk past my place to see if any parcels had arrived today (having ordered a fair bit of stuff off the internet, in line with my new policy of trying to save for a big trip next year) – on the way to my 2nd function.  Because I can do that now – just go for a walk, past my place, and then onto the next function.  I love my location.

Anyway – next function was my actual company’s function.  And somehow I managed to get a little tipsy before we even left for dinner.  Also – managed to put my foot in my mouth good and proper.  It’s a long story – and I’m not sure I can really shorten it without losing some of the subtleties of the causes and possible ramifications of my conversation – but something like: a manager at my client had a discussion with about a job opening.  During this conversation, he intimated that he’d already asked my manager about the possibility of hiring me, but my manager said no chance – and of course it would be illegal for the client to hire me without agreement of my company.  So – I thought I’d clarify to my boss that I had had no part in this, and that when I’d had hints about this possibility a few months ago – I’d actually clearly stated that I wouldn’t be interested.  But – when I start telling my boss this, he claims to have never heard anything about such a proposition.  So now – I start explaining profusely that a) the client wasn’t actually trying to steal me, and had accepted that such a move couldn’t happen; and b) that I had honestly thought the client had already discussed this with my boss, and I wasn’t actually just telling him this in order to gain leverage with asking for more money.  All this, of course, while we had both already had a few drinks – so quite possibly my claims of innocence sounded too repeatedly insistent.  But – anyway, I guess all I’ve done now is create a situation where I can’t bring up the question of renumeration again for a while without looking like a mercenary bastard who actually did use the scenario for my own advantage – but on the other hand, when the renumeration question does come up again naturally, hopefully this does actually stand me in good stead.  Or something.  I don’t really know.

Oh – and I got a little off topic there – so, let’s go through the rest of my bad decisions that night.  So, I’m pretty much drunk before dinner.  Dinner comes out, I try to over-correct my earlier faux-pas by making a point of talking technical (read: talking nerd) to a techie guy held in high esteem by my boss, in front of my boss.  During this time, I’m mixing margaritas, wine, and probably whatever else was going (I think at least one mojito at some point).  And then Fred goes and buys a bottle of champagne.  Of course, I have one taste of it – against my better judgement – and then I’m off to the bar.  Where, for some reason, I decide to buy multiple bottles at once.  I don’t know if I was trying to cut down on trips to the bar, or what, but I arrived back to workmates carrying an ice bucket with 2 bottles of Veuve.  What – a – dick.  Also – I have a vague memory that at some point I pretty much cried on the shoulder of my team leader(?), confessing that I had had some personal stuff going on this year, and pretty much whinging about that for a while, without telling her what it actually was.  Idiot.  And then eventually escorted one of the ladies home – made sure she got home safe, and then suddenly realised that it was probably me that actually needed an escort home.  Because my mind’s logic went “I love my location! I can walk home from here!” – without ever actually bothering to figure out where I was.  And I just started walking.  And it was cold, and in the snow, and very slippery.  Finally I realised that I had absolutely no idea where I was, or where I was going – but I kept going.  And had the idea of calling somebody to ask for help.  So – I dug out my phone – and instead of starting up Google Maps on my phone, which would probably have been fairly helpful – I instead called Australia.  And had a very long conversation to Australia, on my workphone (which I have had hints about not being strictly ‘kosher’) – while stumbling through random streets.  And then a woman tried to befriend me.  This woman, once I’d convinced her that I wasn’t looking for anything other than my house – which I was most certainly going to enter alone  – was actually quite nice.  She led me for quite some time, until we found a main road – where I think she assisted in hailing a taxi for me.  And when, at some point, I mumbled into my phone something about “a midget black 50-year-old prostitute” – she wasn’t at all offended.  And when I asked her “Actually – where are we?”, to get her response – “Soho, dear.” – she merely smiled and nodded when I accidentally blurted out “So I guess that explains, well…. you… then, doesn’t it?”  So – I finally got home, and can’t remember if I have my midget friend any money for her assistance – but I hope so.

And then it was Friday.  And that’s when the problems really started.  Friday – it snowed some more, and was very very cold.  And I was still rather unsteady on my feet from the previous night.  And Dom had his leaving drinks.  I had a few wines, and I think I was in relatively good shape when I left the pub as early as 5pm.  But after the first couple of cartoon style “Whoa – there go my feet in the air, there I go landing straight on my arse, and that’s the back of my head hitting the concrete” – I was most certainly not thinking clearly.  And it was a vicious circle.  The more I hit my head, the less steady I was, and the more likely for it to happen again.  And it did happen again.  And again.  And again.  By the time I got home – I just had vague memories of wandering through central london, attempting back somersaults every 20 metres or so – and I think on at least one occasion, landing on my arse in the middle of the street, but somehow having enough awareness to immediately roll into the gutter to avoid being hit by a giant red bus.  I really was a mess.  I’m not sure what people must have thought – I probably looked like a circus clown doing tricks most of the time – and a completely drunken city wanker the rest of the time.  The truth, of course – being in the midst there somewhere.  I eventually reached home – and proceeded to make calls to Australia again.  Not realising, of course – that this evening it was very very early, and therefore the time difference was not being so generous to my drunken calls.  But – I managed to get Elise to agree to talk to me, only realising the next day that it must have been very very wee hours of the morning for her.  And midway through talking to her, I discovered a massive blood stain on my elbow.  I must have landed on my elbow during one of my spectacular fails – and cut it open pretty good.  A very large blood stain on my shirt had appeared, with blood actually dripping out of it.  Elise talked me through putting the shirt in the wash straightaway – which I’m thankful for, as that shirt came out the next day without any sign.  I also managed to fashion a rudimentary bandage for the elbow.

And then it was the weekend.  And I was mildly concussed, with a nonfunctional left arm.  But – managed to have a spot of yum cha in Chinatown, followed by a couple of hours at an open mic night at a blues bar – and then back to Chinatown for dinner.  And in the middle of all this – got a call from the nightclub I’d been at on Thursday night – they’d found my coat.  I hadn’t mentioned that previously, had I?  I left my very nice custom-made coat at the venue on Thursday.  So all my antics on Thursday & Friday nights had been without my normal additional layer of protection.

And Sunday – I did nothing.  Leading to today – when I made the decision to wear my brown boots to work.  My brown boots look utterly ridiculous with my suit – but they have tread.  And I’m willing to suffer looking ridiculous, to save one more crack to the head.  Even with sturdy treaded boots – I still had a few moments of panic on the way to work this morning when the feet slid a little.  There is no way I’m wearing my polished wood / leather soles on the snow ever again.

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