Sometime at the extruded office product the next few days we're going to have the Christmas party. I hope it's not tomorrow; I'm pretty sure it's not. It's taking the form of a luncheon, as you might expect, and if it's like last year's should be reasonably good fun. Last year's also introduced me to a section of the second floor that I had never seen before even though I'd been at that place over six months. Well, from where I went it had never looked like more than a little alcove.
This year there's not a Secret Santa swap. If there was one last year I missed it. But there's a variation of it which I'm informed is called a ``Pollyanna'', which was sent out without explanation so I had no idea what I was being invited to participate in when I read the e-mail. On asking the person organizing it --- who was curious whether I'd gotten the e-mail because she hadn't seen a return-receipt from me; I couldn't imagine that a notice of this mundanity could be worth a return-receipt --- explained that in this Secret Santa variant participants write down their names and three suggested presents of under $20 in value, and you draw names and present lists from the hat. (In this case, the hat is a plastic bowl.)
Well, I'm up for trying these things. It took some concentrating to think of three things costing under $20 that I'd specifically like to receive and that wouldn't be difficult to find. And then I drew my own slip: one of the several people on the first floor with whom my interactions are smiling genially and nodding on my way in at the morning and out at the evening. She asked for (1) a gift card, and (2) surprise me. This isn't so much guidance as I might have hoped for. I suppose a gift card is easy and is almost impossible to get terribly wrong, but it feels so dull.
Trivia: Pike's Peak was not known by that name during the lifetime of Captain Zebulon Montgomery Pike. Source:Whose What?, Dorothy Rose Blumberg.
Currently Reading: A Short History Of British Expansion, Volume 2, James A Williamson. This is the shorter volume since, really, what interesting stuff happened in the British Empire after 1783?