Well, I just got back from the Developer Division Christmas party. I had an awesome time. Now, FrontPage is part of Office, not DevDiv; DevDiv contains Visual Studio, the .NET Framework, and other developer-related products. I was the stand-in date... the girl that my friend was originally going with had to cancel, so he asked me instead. I've been obsessing about this ever since he asked me. On one hand, I'm really glad that he invited me, because I had a lot of fun. On the other hand, I couldn't stop thinking to myself, "I'm not actually the person he wants to be around right now." This is still driving me crazy, analyzing each little moment, trying to figure out if it's a good thing or a bad thing to be #2. I keep saying, "hey, #2's great. He obviously knows more than two people; I beat out all of those other people." But then I respond to myself, "well, maybe he did just invite me because he found out that Office isn't having a party, and he wasn't joking." I was finally happy on the way home, and as he dropped me off, I said, "well, thanks a lot! I had a great time. Sorry your real date couldn't make it." He seemed annoyed: "yeah... well. You win, I guess." I'm going to go insane. It really shouldn't matter so much, but it's really important to me to know how much people like me, and making sure that I'm reasonably pleasant to be around.
Chronologically, that's the end, but this post isn't chronological. There are more things I'd like to say about tonight. Tonight was quite the party—probably the coolest event I've ever been to. There were three floors of things happening in the massive conference center building: the top floor was set up as a dimly-lit restaurant, the middle floor was mostly a huge dance floor, and the bottom floor was casino games, as well as pool, foosball, and air hockey. (All three were heavily stocked with alcohol.) Having both already eaten, and not really feeling in the mood to, uh, dance with each other, we spent the whole night on the games floor.
At 8:30 we met up with two people I actually already knew from my weekly Thursday evening gaming sessions (in fact, I only know a couple other people in the whole division, so that was lucky). We had a blackjack table to ourselves for much of the next three and a half hours. Everyone got $30,000 in chips to start; at one point I was up to almost $200,000, though I bet an absurd amount on the last hand and lost, bringing me down to a cool $40,000. I'm still pretty happy with that... I played for three and a half hours and actually left with more "money" than I started with. I did some stupid stuff at the beginning (actually getting remarks of "are you insane?" and "I can't believe that you're sober" from the dealer), but I was doing well for much of the night. I was down to $2,500 halfway through and still managed to bring that up to my two hundred grand. Having never played blackjack in real life before, I was quite happy. I earned myself five raffle tickets, so I guess I'll find out Monday if I won anything.
At one point fairly early during the night, the three guys out of the four of us busted, and the other friend's wife (who was sitting next to me) won... The dealer, a woman, started this exchange:
Dealer: I don't know what's wrong with you men! She's a woman; she knows what I'm talking about!
Me (shocked): Wait, you're kidding me!
Wife: No, seriously! (jiggles her boobs at me)
In hindsight, making that comment probably wasn't a smart move, but it worked out okay in the end. Anyway, the boob-jiggling was apparently the cue to the dealer that she could be as casual as she wanted, which made things pretty fun. I have a problem with fiddling with objects placed in front of me, and the chips were no exception, even the ones that were part of my bid. I was doing this one hand in which I won:
Dealer: Hey! Move your damned hands so I can see what you're playing with!
Me: Man, if I had a dollar every time someone told me that...
The only thing that was kind of annoying is that the dealer would, when getting an Ace or a 10 on top (so she would look at the bottom card to see if they totaled 21), often then give us hints that round:
Dealer: Try harder.
Dealer: Try harder.
Me: Oh. Hit.
Dealer: 29, bust.
The dealer then flipped over her cards to show that she had 20. Whenever she would do this, she'd just pass it off and say, "hey, this isn't Vegas." This sort of thing happened many times, and while funny the first couple times, it got really annoying later on. It made the game take longer, and it's not like you have good chances of getting an Ace or a 2 when you hit on a 19 anyway. I don't think that it actually helped me out more than once (maybe not even once), but it did still kind of make me feel like I hadn't really earned all of my chips. Still, I ended with more chips than could possibly be explained by the rampant cheating, so I'm still happy.
So, anyway, that was long. I really enjoyed myself. When I actually make my way to Vegas sometime, I'm going to have to play real blackjack now.