It's May, as you may have noticed (god what an awful pun). May always means fun things: the end of the semester (still no proposal, but a good idea what I need to do this summer), papers to grade without commenting upon, exams to grade in a laughably quick manner, a trip to Chicago next weekend for the F15 show (If anyone I know is still in Chicago, I need a place to crash Saturday the 19th since Bluesman is out of town. Any takers?), and my birthday, arriving just in time to place me within the triumphant realm of the May Geminis and not within the lesser, enfeebled ranks of the May Tauruses (Taursi?).
Today, to celebrate both the end of the semester and the onset of my 27th year, I went shopping. Rather than let my parents buy me things that I only marginally like, I just took their cash and bought things that I myself actually like. I have decided I'm a blue person. I enjoy the color blue, particularly in shirts. Now, shopping is something I traditionally abhor and shun as if it were a certain crystal-reading gorgon my New York friends will know all too well. Even when shopping for myself, I tend to be the "strike quickly and get out before the echo fades" kind of shopper. So what makes me go shopping, even when I have money to spend? Well, I found something I didn't want to do even more: grade papers. Yes, when it comes down to grading papers or shopping, I choose shopping. But it's still a close race.
For my birthday proper, I'm still planning what to do. And for that, I need your help, dear readers. Birthdays are traditionally a time of great, mind-erasing drunkening for me. I highly doubt I'll top last year's birthday, when the director of our graduate program bought me the glass of bourbon that sent me over the edge, but I still plan to give it my best. And for that, I've got three options in mind. Please offer your comments.
1. Dinner at Dotty's and drinking at a bar with larger seating afterwards. This plan has the beauty of being simple; I get to eat at Dotty's (some of the best burgers in Madison, for my outsider friends), and then lots of people will buy me drinks. Odds are I will get drunk and shout crazy things in the streets. Not much more to it, but what more do you need?
2. Drinking and then karaoke: This is a variant of plan 1, but with karaoke. I've never been karaoke-ing, but it sounds fun. And I hear some of the younger generation of grad students are hot hands on the mike.
3. 15 bars in one night. This is the challenge set forth by my New York friends, who tried and failed to do the exact same feat. I think they made it to 12, but then were sabotaged by both the need for food and the negative influence of their friends (correct me if I'm wrong, Quantum). Ours would be a slight variant, becoming 15 bars in one day, which isn't quite as cool, but we have a good deal of walking between. This plan has perks and detriments. The perks: my birthday becomes a day-long event, starting with brunch and drinks, and basically continuing drinking all day long. It will be an epic event, suitable for the last cubed birthday I'll have until I'm 64 (when I will be more worried about someone needing me and feeding me than I will about 15 bars in one night). And it'll be as much an intellectual exercise as it will be a drunkening. The detriments: it'll require a lot of scheduling, so people can join up if they want later in the day. It'll require a hefty time commitment. And we may die of alcohol poisoning. Plus, we may be so focused on getting to the next bar and staying on schedule that we might not be open to spontaneous fun (though I highly doubt that will be an issue the more we drink). Part of the joy of the birthday bar time is sitting in one place, gathering many many friends around, and watching them all drink with you (not to mention buy you drinks). I feel that if we're constantly hopping bars, we won't get that solid group effort that I really appreciate.
Ok, so those are my three options at this point. If you have other suggestions, feel free to add them. Or just offer advice, ideas, etc., on how to make sure my 3x3x3 birthday is quite spectacular.
Oh, and if you know you're going to be out of town for a time at the end of May, let me know. I'll try to schedule accordingly, but I can't accomodate everyone I already know.