My unexpected hiatus from Just an Online Minute has garnered a lot of attention. I haven't even been doing this gig very long, but once I stopped, inboxes were flooded -- emails to me, emails to my boss (no, really. People actually emailed my boss asking if I got fired), emails from my editor.
Calm down, y'all! I'm busy! We recently overhauled OMMA, making it quarterly and 72 pages long, so that took up a lot of my time along with the last-minute beach vacation I took to see my parents in South Carolina. Anyway, these are just excuses, and I know this column doesn't hold much meaning unless there is consistency with its publishing. So, here, right now, my loyal followers, I'm making a promise to you that I know I will soon regret: I promise a party column every Friday from here out. So, invite me to parties and if it doesn't suck, or I don't have another party to cover, I'll write about yours.
Speaking of parties that didn't suck, Definition 6 threw one of the best parties I've been to in New York last month. It was the after-party for the PromaxBDA 2011 Conference, where I stayed too long, drank too much and danced on the roof deck.
The PromaxBDA 2011 conference was the reason for the event, but over the past few months I've gotten to know the Definition 6 team, and they're always looking for an excuse to throw a party at their office that lasts until 2 a.m. I knew it was a bad idea to go alone to this party. Whenever I don't have a friend (read: chaperone) with me, I can't say no to shots with CEOs or after-parties in different states, and my time on the party scene has taught me that Definition 6 employees are as good at partying as they are at winning Emmys, which is to say: they're beasts.
I showed up about two hours after start time, tired and ready for a drink. The whole office was open for the party, including the beautiful editing and mixing rooms with their leather sofas and quiet atmosphere. I walked in towards the "step and repeat" -- which I've always refused to do because I'm a) not important and b) impatient. Imagine my surprise when I see former Online Minute gal Kelly Samardak playing the role of house photographer for the evening.
I moved onto the main room with the food where I met up with Rachel Conforti, senior marketing communications manager at Definition 6, as well as my main contact for all things post-production and beer. She explained the evening to me, pointed me towards the "Irish pub" in the back of the offices and reminded me to go check out the tattoo parlor. Yes, that's right, they were giving out real tattoos. I knew this was supposed to happen because the invitation I received asked those who wanted tattoos to email their requests to be on the list, but I didn't think it would really occur. I was excited to see the morons who were getting permanently inked at what was, at its very core, an office party, but I knew I couldn't go in the tattoo room without a few drinks in me because I wouldn't have anything funny to say.
I made my way to the pub room. It was empty and very chilly -- my idea of a perfect bar. I ordered a beer and made my way toward a window seat that overlooked the city and started playing Angry Birds. Jenny Lee of MTV and her plus one, Tom Celia, a talent agent, showed up shortly after I sat down. They agreed that office party tattoos were ridiculous but were equally curious to meet the kind of person who would get one. A few drinks later, we made our way to the roof deck with the DJ. There, I met someone who got a tattoo! I could lie and say that I'm not revealing his name in order to protect him, but the truth is that I forgot it. How could I not? When he showed me the hilariously douche-baggy tribal tattoo he'd gotten, my brain could hold no more information.
A few more rounds and trips to the bar later, I ran into my friend Hoss, who is a talent agent in my office building at Atlas Talent. He didn't stay long, but it was nice to see a familiar face. After Hoss left, I bumped into JonAccarrino, director of social media for Definition 6. He invented the social DJ which is a way for people to DJ from their phones, so it's nice and interactive at conferences and even parties. I played with it at one of their other parties and subjected the group to Britney Spears.
After all my mingling and drinking, I realized I'd forgotten to eat. To my horror, when I went to find food, it was gone. Then I saw Michael Kogon, CEO at Definition 6, who had flown in from his office in Atlanta. "Where did the food go!?" I asked the CEO of a large, award-winning company. I was assured that pizza had been ordered for the "late-night crowd." I shouted "GO MARYLAND!" -- Kogon's alma mater -- as I skipped away into the ether of the evening.
I would eventually eat pizza, drink more, and dance to Michael Jackson on the roof at 1a.m. But the most important part of the story is that I broke my main party rule that ensures I stay cool and hip: I stayed until the end. So, thank you, Definition 6, for throwing what has to be one of the best office parties I'll ever attend.
See you next Friday. In the meantime, invite me to things at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Kelly Samardak for providing the photos.