Sorry. I had a beer and a half and now I'm loquacious.
Thinking about the Great American Music Hall led me to thoughts of working at IGN.com, back in the days of heady spendthrift dot-com revelry. One year we had our company (the company at the time being Snowball.com) holiday party at the Great American Music Hall. It was a fancy-dress occasion; the band performing was made up of twentysomething employees; there were hired young ladies in silvery elf costumes running around taking black-and-white Polaroids of everyone. There was a buffet dinner. The place was mobbed.
Midway through the evening, the CEO (who was merely thirtysomething himself, of course) announced the winners of various sumptuous raffle prizes: ski lift tickets, a snowboard. I still have the dress I wore that night--a cheap, black, sleeveless silky number that came to about mid-calf and had rows of blue spangles along the bust area. I still have the jacket, an extra-long black fitted blazer that has come in handy for work many times. Rob wore his three-piece suit. The black-and-white picture of us has gradually been fading.
I even vaguely remember our IPO party. It was in this warehouse loft space somewhere in San Francisco. Random representatives of all our corporate partners--mainly from the video game world--were there. I talked to some game testers from Sega for a long time. They had quite a high opinion of themselves for people who sat around playing video games all day for shit wages. (Not that that sounds entirely bad.) And I remember going to some Tomb Raider-related party thrown by Electronic Arts at Bimbo's 365 Club, which is down the street from the Art Institute. There was free food there, too, and free video games (of course), and a free Tomb Raider wristwatch for all guests.
Sigh. A good time was had by all. Until the bubble burst. And until I got a bitchy boss at the same time as I realized there was no hope of career advancement in the desired direction. And then half of my friends got laid off; whee. No more happy-go-lucky games of Quake on the LAN. Far less Razor-scootering around the office. The commute just didn't seem worth it any more. They were good times (as I'm sure you've gathered, by the sheer frequency with which I ruminate nostalgically on them). I just have to keep finding other good times, I guess.