What happens in Tulalip, stays in Tulalip

posted by Jeff | Sunday, April 3, 2011, 8:27 PM | comments: 0

We had a big off-site "meeting" Thursday and Friday, for the org that my org is a part of (I'm guessing around 300-ish people). It was at the Tulalip (too-lay'lip) resort and casino, about an hour north. It was really pretty nice overall. My impression of tribal casinos has never been good, probably because of all the crap in the places bordering Ohio, but wow did they do it right here. Apparently they're not above some state law where they can't comp alcohol, which makes gambling a lot less fun to me (might as well get something other than the gameplay for the money you're pissing away), but it's a fairly nice place.

I'm switching jobs officially a week from tomorrow, so this was in some ways my self-designated last hurrah with my crew. That's really the hardest thing about the switch for me, because my co-workers are pretty much my entire social circle out here. Not that I won't still see them periodically, but not every day. And in the social capacity, the outing was a really good time. There was one guy from our core group not there, but otherwise it was well attended.

Three of us car pooled, and I drove. We observed a lot of crazy flooding, and even had to detour on the way home. I guess it isn't that crazy to the locals, but some of these rivers in the valleys that take the water melting off of the mountains, and lakes appear around them. Lots of closed roads.

The first day of the meeting wasn't at all interesting. I just didn't learn anything new. In the afternoon, they put us in groups with people we didn't know to play The Go Game. If you've done the Kim Possible thing at Epcot, you kinda know what it is in terms of the tech. You have a cell phone that tells you what to do, and you score points for basically doing a scavenger hunt. Only in this case, the game kinda sucked because the phones never worked. It wasn't even redeeming as a team building exercise, since frankly they made groups of people who may never speak to each other outside of that meeting. I didn't get it. I think with people I work with every day, it would've been more fun.

The food was outstanding. So was the bar. Actually, this is where things took an unfortunate, if temporary turn. There were drink tickets, but they weren't really taking them. That, and given the diversity of the org, many people don't drink anyway for cultural or religious reasons. Tickets would not have been a problem. Given my incredibly infrequent alcohol consumption, a side effect of having an infant/toddler, it would appear that I've lost my ability to tie one on and then sustain the buzz without over-doing it.

At 9:30, I went back to my luxurious room, and barfed in the luxurious toilet. That sucked. That's #4, lifetime. Not a proud moment. The thing is that I didn't feel all that drunk, so I wonder if it was food related. I was also slightly angry with myself for having too much. But whatever, I resolved to not miss out hanging with my friends. I propped myself up on the bed and took a little nap.

An hour later, I wake up, text some friends, find out where they are, and head down to the casino floor. At this point, I was still strongly buzzed, but feeling extraordinarily functional. I found some friends at a blackjack table and sat down. I played $40 ($5 minimum) and left with $25. My boss told me the next day that I wasn't slurring or anything, but I was confused about which hand was mine. I remember why too... he was in the last seat, but his betting circle on the felt was not the last one, so that confused me.

From there, we went into one of the little clubs, where they were playing some really shitty music. Places like this feel more and more ridiculous to me every year. It was a total 20-something meat market, except for the lot of us from work, who were mostly married. I witnessed all kinds of embarrassing things going on that I won't describe here. Drunk dudes were all over hitting on one of my friends too. She was taking care of herself just fine, but I still wanted to punch them in the balls for being cheesy assholes.

Later, three of us retired to the big bar in the middle of the casino for cigars. We were there talking about crap until 2:30-something, about life, work, relationships, sex and casino architecture. We may have outlasted everyone else, which is hilarious because of how f'd up I was four or five hours before that. It helps to have switched to water only. :) Really good times though.

The next day, I did not make it to breakfast, or the morning part of the meeting. I suspected that might occur. So I got to lunch, where the whole crew convened. It was a pretty nice feeling to get away like that with so many friends. I wish Diana could have been there.

One more week in Building 5 for me...


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