December 24, 2007

The Silly Season is full of parties...

The holiday season is referred to as the "silly season" here.  I swear that I didn't hear the term used so often last year, but Darren somehow remembers hearing it before.  

Of course, I had to look it up in
Wikipedia! The term actually dates back to the 19th century, and was historically used to describe the time of the year that Parliment and the Law Courts were not sitting (often late Summer). Without significant news, the newspapers would resort to attention-grabbing headlines and articles to boost sales. I don't recall hearing the term in the US during summertime - does anyone know if it's still used in the UK?

In any case, the silly season being the holiday season here is the time of holiday parties.  The first holiday party we had was with a few of our friends and the Meetin group.  We had 20 people overall! In just a year, we have met so many amazing people and were happy to share a great dinner with them at our favorite restaurant (Medina), hosted by our very good friend (and master chef) Tony. 

My office's holiday party started around noon a couple Fridays ago. We were all divided into teams of 4 or 5 people and participated in an "amazing race" where we competed by taking particular pictures and performing tasks for points.  I'd show you the pictures but they would take way more explaining than they are worth. The best part, though, is that everyone participated - even the partners.  Especially the partners.  

We ended up in a conference room at the office, reviewing everyone's pictures and voting on the best while drinking (surprise, I know!) and having some snacks. After the top team received their prize, we suffered through totally enjoyed a skit put on by the interns and new grads. Then we headed off to dinner at Harem, one of my favorite restaurants.  I think a few people went out to a club afterwards, but I finally headed home at 11pm.  Whew!

It was an incredibly fun day and reinforced just how much I like spending time with my coworkers (weird to say, but completely true!).

The best party of all, though, was definitely the Weta Christmas party. As written by Darren:

This year we attended the Weta Christmas party, which coincidentally was our first Weta party as well.  Though I was told it was fairly low-key by Weta party standards, it included go-kart toilets, a live Ukulele Orchestra 
(Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - with Bret from Flight of the Conchords), Halo Warthog rides (Santa arrived in that instead of a sleigh!), good food, beer & wine and bubbles...lots and lots of bubbles.

We also got to taste "The Best Weta Gingerbread Biscuit Ever" and got a copy of the recipe...sweet as!

Oh, and yes - I did say toilet rides:

Though I had worked on the Warthog and done some preliminary tests and costume fitting with it, it was very cool to see it open up and to ride on the back.

This event also solidified the fact that I work for the best company in the world, when Richard Taylor reprimanded me for not telling him that Dawn would have to take the bus to the party.  As he put it "If you had told me, I would have had Tania (his wife and partner of Weta Workshop) pick her up at the time let us know."  [Dawn here...totally true. When I saw Richard at the party, he mentioned the bus ride, and when I told him that I like taking the bus he said "well, a car is nice sometimes too" and threw a look at Darren!  Ha!]  

Who else can say that they have a boss who is known internationally and is willing to pick up your wife for a Christmas party?  As I said...awesome!

Earlier that day, Richard and Tania also gave all the employees a nice Weta Workshop Hat, a Weta work apron (which is VERY useful), Prince Caspian Crew sweatshirts, and a lovely card listing all of the projects we had worked on this year plus a great note from the two of them.
Richard stressed the importance of family and the support they give us (that's you, honey!) in a workshop-wide meeting he called just before the party. Perhaps that explains the bus conversation..?

All in all it was a very nice Christmas BBQ (yes it is still weird for me to put those two words in the same sentence). The weather was pleasant, if not hot! Yes hot... who knew it could actually get hot in Wellington?? Perfect weather, good music, friends, and beer… what more could you ask for from a work party? 


Shannon said...

hmmm...maybe they'd let you take the crapper home and you wouldn't have to ride the bus anymore. that picture is priceless.

Katybug said...

Merry Christmas you guys! Thinking about you!

Marrisa said...

What a gorgeous funny post!! You guys are great - and what a fab time at all those parties!!

Merry Xmas from us at the Dawes household, love always xxx

JJ said...

It sure looks like you're having a great time at Weta!

I'm pretty certain they do use the term "silly season" in the UK. As well as describing the holiday season, it can also be used to describe any hectic or unpredictable period. In sport for example, it's often used to describe the time when players/teams enter negotiations over their contracts for the following year.

JJ said...

...which I see was also referred to in the Wikipedia entry. Never mind :)