It is a measure of just how epic and awesome my going-away-party from Ziff Davis Media and 1up.com was last night that I feel utterly miserable today. I may not have had this much alcohol since college, which was like 70 years ago now.
The entire evening is kind of in a blur, with many hours unaccounted for, but I do know that a large crowd of fellow 1upers, ex-1upers, and friends was gathered at Steffs, the grungy sports bar conveniently located about 200 feet from our office. Much imbibing was then embarked upon. Despite my own awareness that I am kind of a lightweight, that nevertheless did not stop me, whatsoever, from joining a group who were determined that I would do one shot of liquor for every one of my 17 years at Ziff Davis. I am here to report that we did not succeed--thank goodness. We did, however, made it about 7 or 8 shots in, of whiskey, bourbon, and run, not necessarily in that order. This was accompanied by many beers in between.
And here is a photo, thanks to Tina Sanchez, of me with those shots I was just talking about:
This was all great fun, and in between drinking I was subjected to repeated chants of my name, as if I had been hanging out with a bunch of soccer hooligans and my name was Manchester United, and I also had the chance to engage in the kind of mushy heart-to-hearts, chest-pounding declarations of love, and backslaps and sloppy hugs that we humans can only engage in when alcohol is involved, and which, on sober reflection the next day, seem kind of embarrassing but actually not regrettable.
From here, though, my memory gets shaky. All I know is that somehow I ended up, with no memory of actually getting in there, inside a limo with fellow gaming journalists and friends Simon Cox, Garnett Lee, Matt Chandronait, Patrick Klepek, and Kat Hunter. We drove I don't know where and then found ourselves inside a loud and packed club, where for the next I-don't-know-how-long we danced, drunkenly and ridiculously and with great joy, with everyone in the place. I do also recall at one point being up on some kind of stage-like platform, above the crowd, with Garnett, Kat, and Matt. I also recall at one point I found myself seated at a table with total strangers. I don't know how I got there or what I said. Hopefully it was something smart and witty, but let's not bank on that. Thankfully, at least, I am quite sure I did not vomit on their table. So we'll call that a victory.
From there, we piled out onto the sidewalk, probably at around 1:30 a.m., and then made our way to some kind of restaurant that is apparently extremely popular with folks in SF who are actually out that late. Patrick Klepek had now mysteriously vanished, but Garnett, Kat, Simon, Matt and I pigged out but didn't really sober up much, as I recollect talking the head off the poor waitress, though I think in a friendly drunk way. I think.
After that, I was piled into a cab, where the kind and friendly driver patiently listened to me babble while driving me across the Bay Bridge to my home in Berkeley. Arrival time: Sometime after 2:30 a.m.
My head, it hurts.
My heart, it is both happy and heavy.
It was an amazing sendoff--the whole day, in fact, not just the drunken part--from my friends and colleagues at 1up.com. In this first day after, as I nurse this hangover and deal with the fact that I am no longer employed at the place I spent the last 17 years, I am focusing most on this one true thing: No guy has ever been this lucky to work with such cool people for so long. For that I thank you all.