Tag Archives: Party

Google Christmas Party 2016

31 Dec

The holiday party this year was Peter Pan themed. Weird, but it could have been weirder I guess – Anne Marie’s party theme was Mythbusters!

It was in the same location as last year (though no oyster bar, boooo!) and everyone agreed that this year seemed much more crowded. The food and bar lines moved quite quickly though, so it wasn’t inconvenient – just busy.

Helen got there right as it started so was able to take this photo with almost nobody in it:

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photo stolen from Helen

As usual the party had casino games, cigars, bourbon tasting, various food stalls, wandering entertainers and foosball/ping pong/shuffleboard games.

The new stuff they had included a room of giant teddy bears to chillax in, a lovely lady with a snake and caricatures (apparently the line was crazy long so we didn’t bother).

The food and booze were much better this year! I did miss the oyster bar, but the sushi bar helped make up for it.
IMG_20161217_202123(Wow, red-eye – haven’t seen that in awhile!)

The sushi bar only provided teeny tiny plates but we used larger ones from one of the other food stands – people kept coming up to us and asking where we’d gotten them from.

The evening’s signature cocktails (though they could make other stuff if you wanted):
IMG_20161217_194701I also met James’ manager. He was very nice and introduced James to his wife as “the guy whose coattails I’m going to ride to get promoted”. =D

This snake was called Lola and she was my favourite part of the entire night:
IMG_20161217_215513She was so docile (which apparently they are bred for) and her scales were surprisingly moist. And here we are with her handler:
IMG_20161217_213905 (1)There was a big pirate ship in the middle of the hall, with lots of comfy seating next to it:
IMG_20161217_223855Which I didn’t need because I swapped to ballet flats about 3/4 of the way in.

There were the customary photo booths. This one took three photos in quick succession:
Google Holiday Party 2016 with Nick and KellyLook at that expert prop exchange. It took a lot of planning.

And here we are in the giant pile of teddy bears at the end of the night. It was hard to get too comfy in them because I saw a guy leap into the bears, and as he did, a huge layer of dust went up in the air like a mushroom cloud.

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photo stolen from Alex

We caught up with friends, ate and drank in moderation like responsible adults, and had a really great night. =)

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Google Holiday Party: Under the Sea (Unda da Sea! Unda da Sea!)

13 Jan

This year the Christmas party was held at one of the event venues along the SF pier. We found our friends almost immediately which was great, since last year everyone kept wandering around and missing each other. We claimed a couple of big tables and just kept refilling it with food and booze. Because we’re pro.

A lot of stuff was the same as last year’s party, like the green screen photos:googleholiday002Cheesy but fun! They had props this year too.googleholiday001They also had the same casino games that they did last year. We played a little bit but it’s hard to keep interested without money involved. They seemed quite popular though.

And also like last year they had booze tasting (bourbon this year instead of scotch), cigars and a dance floor.

One thing they had this year that I don’t think they did last year was a game area with ping pong tables, shuffleboards, billiards, foosball, corn holes, and even a fishing simulator.
IMG_20151219_192743(In the background you can also see one of like, seven open bars that night)

And here are some freshly shucked oysters! You can bet we kept coming back.
IMG_20151219_194018You could also put on 3D glasses and walk through this colourful corridor. The line was non-existent which was nice because it was kind of meh.
IMG_20151219_200821No wait, apparently I found it amazing. IMG_20151219_200932Also the food was great! I mean, I mainly had oysters but I did sample stuff from the other buffets. Later they packed up the buffets (though they kept the taco stations open) and brought out a dessert bar with little cakes, mini root beer floats and teeny tiny cones of spiced popcorn. Heaven!

Last year there were more things to do at the venue itself (aircraft simulators, multiple ship tours, photo ops inside jets, etc). I think that’s why they had more performers and acrobats this year, to keep everyone entertained. But this year I had more fun since we got to hang out with our friends. =D

PS – I’m not sure this link will work, but check out James’ colleague’s photo album. You can see us in a couple of photos and he did a much better job getting photos of the food and entertainment. Probably because he wasn’t stuffing himself with oysters all night.IMG_20151219_193831

(No regrets)

 

Googleween 2015 (Say it Out Loud – It Rhymes)

11 Nov

Yarrrr! This year’s Halloween party was pirate themed!

Alex drove me and Helen down to Mountain View so we could have lunch before the party. We met up with Anne Marie and her husband Ken, James’ coworker Nick and also Will from our Monday board gaming group.

This year we wore costumes!
12190544_10156241749280038_755498155_oCat and Ivo discussing me via email a couple of days after:

Cat: Did you see the Googleween photos on Kaye’s FB page? Is she the shark? ROFL
Ivo: OMG I think it MIGHT be Kaye in the shark costume!
Cat: She looks so happy!

There was lots to eat and drink and we spent most of the time wandering around looking at the different attractions. Like last year, everything (or most things) were based around the theme.

There were various carnival-like games, where you had to knock over bottles or race boats using water guns. Here I am on the ring toss:
IMG_20151029_153207We also got to “walk the plank” (a.k.a fight each other with foam swords over a squishy blue pit). IMG_20151029_154517-2I won! I know James let me win because it’s funnier that way, but it was still satisfying.

There were many shark sightings throughout the day. Here I am with my cake pop friends (also note how beautifully my dead seal is highlighted by the sun):
IMG_20151029_155240Here I am with my inflatable buddies:
IMG_20151029_150421They were actually part of a bouncy castle obstacle course that James and I competed against each other in. James won, but in all fairness the shark costume was really hampering me.

Here I am finishing like .. a minute after he did (it was a short course – a minute was a long time!).
IMG_20151029_150524There was also a writer who would write a short verse about whatever topic you wanted, and then put it in a souvenir bottle (message in a bottle!).
IMG_20151029_151811I asked for my bottle verse to be about a shark who didn’t want to be eaten:
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We had our photo taken with a snake (also with a parrot, but the snake was cooler).
IMG_20151029_172416They also had face painting and some mermaids who would put sparkly ribbons in your hair, but as an apex predator I didn’t need any of that.

We left just before it officially closed but I felt like I had a pretty good sampling of the party. There was also a scavenger hunt  where you had to get your photo taken at various locations to win a mystery prize but I was content just floating around.

I had a much better time than last year since I knew a lot more people. Also I wasn’t desperately homesick – that definitely helped.

Helen and Zoltan dropped us back in the city which was nice. As soon as we got home we had to pack for a week long trip to Cancun to see Luke and Madeleine get married. But more on that next time. =)

The Google Christmas Party

4 Mar

3 months late is better than never! And blurry photos are better than none!

Last December James and I went to the Google Android Christmas party (the company is too big so they have to split the parties into different departments). It was 1940s themed and held on the USS Hornet, an old aircraft carrier.
IMG_20141206_192403There was a lot going on as soon as we entered the carrier – music, food, drinks, games, etc. There were also tours of the ship but we didn’t sign up for those in time – bummer.

We both got some silly press-on tattoos to start the night.
IMG_5016There were lots of food and booze stations. James was drinking Old Fashioneds all night but I was more excited about the sushi.
IMG_5020 And the fresh donuts!
IMG_5021We met up with James’ coworkers and it was awesome to see how well-regarded he was, even after only a couple of months. One of the managers was introducing James to someone and was like “this is one of our new hires – and what a hire!” =D

We also rode in a fighter plane simulator and got to look at various exhibits. Here I am clutching my fresh donuts (also you can see my flaming skull bicep tattoo):
IMG_20141206_204423And here James is in one of the planes!
IMG_20141206_213213We also played some casino games like craps and blackjack with fake money.

You could walk up and down the (very narrow and rickety) levels of the aircraft carrier, and on the deck they had a band, some scotch tasting and souvenir cigars.
IMG_20141206_202642Of course, James and his friends decided they had to smoke cigars and drink scotch the rest of the night. =P We bummed some matches from some other people but it was really windy on the deck so they kept sputtering out. James eventually managed to light his cigar by using one of the lanterns inside.
IMG_5027Look at Jamesy. He thinks he’s so cool with his cigar, face tattoo and little hat.
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It was a fun night (aside from James feeling a bit sick on the shuttle ride home). I’m looking forward to this year’s party because I have a couple of friends whose husbands work in Android so I’ll know some people in my own right. Plus I won’t be as crazy homesick as I was last year, so it will be even more fun! =)

Googleween!

31 Oct

Yesterday James and I went to the Google Halloween party. There were decorations everywhere and even the t-rex had been mummified.
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The main party was at GARfield park and a lot more elaborate than the Amazon Halloween party we went to last year. This one was Alice in Wonderland themed.
IMG_20141030_163821It’s been awhile since I read Alice in Wonderland so I’m sure I didn’t get all the references. Were there mushrooms? I think I vaguely remember mushrooms, though maybe not in bouncy house form …
IMG_20141030_173743Though I definitely remember giant (and tiny) Alice.
IMG_20141030_180327

And Eat me!
IMG_20141030_173733

Drink Me!

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There was also a game of croquet going, a white rabbit petting zoo, sumo wrestling (OK I’m pretty sure that wasn’t in the book) and another oversized costume duel thingy with big jousting sticks.

We met up with some of James’ coworkers and James and Sundeep did battle. The victor was the person whose head didn’t fall off (OHHH I just got it! Off with their heads!). They had some crowd-pleasing fights, mainly due to their tendency to double KO.

IMG_20141030_162803I don’t know why James is celebrating so hard – they both lost!
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There was plenty to eat and drink. Snacks everywhere, lots of (free) food trucks and of course plenty of booze. Here is James double-fisting it.
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You could also get your face painted, and James and I both went for creepy Cheshire cat mouths.
IMG_20141030_172806Good thing we took a photo before we ate (I think this photo was actually taken while we were in the queue for some Roli Roti roast chicken) because after wiping his mouth James smeared his face makeup everywhere. =(

The party was short and sweet – from 3 until 6 and there was just enough to keep us busy the whole time. Of course we were both stuffed at the end of it – and I was a bit tipsy because we each had a green vodka drink plus the little blue bottles, which James didn’t like so he made me drink his.

It was really fun, and it was nice getting to meet some of James’ coworkers. I’m looking forward to the Christmas party (maybe I’ll actually dress up for that since we’ll have all our stuff back – which I’m actually looking forward to way more!)

Disaster at the Amazon Post Holiday Party!

19 Jan

Amazon doesn’t have a Christmas party because December is a really busy time, but in January they have a post holiday party. This year was our first one – we didn’t go last year because we were sick and James was so bummed because Imagine Dragons were playing. They also had casino games for charity and international buffets, so it sounded pretty cool.

This year’s party was held at the event center at CenturyLink Field. Each hall had different kinds of entertainment – pinball machines, foosball/air hockey/shuffleboard tables, dueling pianos, palm readers, karaoke, a band (Vampire Weekend), magicians, and a laser game (more on that later).

Here people were shooting marshmallows into buckets for charity – look at PeculiarPus finding love with a snowman!

It was surprisingly difficult. James was taking photos and captured my childlike glee.

There were also multiple stations where you could get food (unlimited) and drinks (2 per person). The food was varied and nothing really stood out as being particularly good or bad.

All of Seattle is football crazy at the moment, so of course they had 12th man cookies.

We also got to see an Amazon drone prototype.

We wandered around with friends for awhile and then we saw it: the laser game.

It was a corridor that you had to run through as fast as possible while avoiding the static green lasers. You pressed a big button at the start, then another one at the end when you finished to time how fast you went – every time you touched a laser it added 5 seconds to your time. You can’t see all the lasers in my photo but it was very intimidating standing at the start of the room (James said it was like being in a spy movie).

The fastest time was 1.62 seconds but most people were getting 15+ seconds with the occasional person getting 5 seconds. Mike went through and did this amazing flip in mid air that had everyone cheering! His time was something like 2.6 seconds.

The line wasn’t very long so you could go through multiple times and there was a big crowd of people watching. Here is James on his first run-through:

I failed pretty hard on my first go but on my second try managed to get 1.92 seconds!

I got too competitive and decided to go again. The second run looked a lot like the first (marginally slower – 2.3 seconds I think) but I cracked my chin on the concrete floor. =(

You can’t even tell the moment of impact in the video and I didn’t even notice except afterwards when randoms were coming up to congratulate me (James at the hospital later:  it was especially impressive because you went after a couple of really shit people) I realised that something warm and wet was dripping. I left this giant pool of blood on the ground so James, Mike and one of the staff took me to the first aid station.

James and Mike kept looking horrified, and eventually James took a photo to show me what they were seeing.

I have a second mouth!

James said it was even worse when the medics moved my chin cos it flapped open. There was a dull ache but it didn’t hurt that much. The first aid guys patched me up as best they could, took an accident report and called me a cab to go to the hospital (which took awhile because all the taxis kept rejecting them because they assumed we were drunk).

I figured we’d be waiting at the hospital all night (which was our experience at the Box Hill hospital when James had to get his appendix out) but it was actually really fast – we were in and out in under an hour.

They asked what happened, cleaned the wound, gave me a tetanus shot and stitched me up. Here I am hooked up to one of those machines you always see on TV.

Everyone at the hospital (Swedish in First Hill) was very nice. The doctor and nurses were friendly and joking around with me. One of the nurses let me check how the lines changed when I held my breath. =) They also gave me an ice pack for my knee. I was starting to ache and feeling pretty stupid at this point – I mean, I threw myself onto concrete for no real reason. That is not a smart thing to do.

But anyway, I got seven stitches and here is the final result (the doctor was very pleased with his work):

I have to get them taken out in 5 days. A friend said the hospital bill should be pretty cheap since we’ve already met our insurance deductible this year.

So yeah, that was the Amazon post holiday party. It was a bummer cos I couldn’t go snowboarding today (the Seahawks are playing for a place in the Superbowl so it would have been nice and empty at the snow).

Lying in bed last night I was feeling sore – my poor knee was super bruised – but popped a couple of ibuprofen and this morning I woke up feeling great. My chin doesn’t even hurt – I thought that when the adrenaline and painkillers wore off the stitches would be painful, but nope. So yeah, I have learned not to be competitive over stupid things. Actually I don’t even know if I’ve learned that; unless we get a massive hospital bill or the organisers got in trouble for my stupidity I’d say that the night was pretty fun. The cheering … the cheering!

(Also James took me to get consolation salmonella buns today)