Monday, December 04, 2006

Birthdays, booze and Breakfast Burgers.

I turned 29 on Thursday. I tried to keep it as low-key as possible, but the people in my department at school like to have birthday cake (or, more generally, anything chocolate) as often as possible, so a cake was obtained and consumed in honour of my odometer rolling over, as it does every 365 spins of the Earth, give or take one. Anyway, later on that evening I was treated to a wasabi-infused dinner at a local Japanese place (which had some prices so high they had to be in yen, I swear) and kickass Polish pastries; a dynamite combination, if I do say so myself.

(Incidentally, as I've pointed out before, the weather was lousy on my birthday. Sure, it started off in the teens, but it was weird and rainy and slid down to a couple of degrees above freezing by the end of it.)

The weekend brought a men-only excursion to my friend Ryan's cottage, north of Kingston. It's nice to have a bunch of guys together, talking about guy things, eating assorted grilled meats and playing Risk and having your watch continually set to "beer o'clock."

One thing we don't do at such gatherings, I've found, is talk about women. They cause us a lot of grief as it is; why do we need to be constantly re-living it when they're not around? Sure, I talk to a lot of my female friends about relationships and all that gooey stuff — which is good, in moderation — but sometimes you just have to get back to your primal, gender-based roots and, for example, congratulate your fellow man on a post-dinner burp with generous volume and a deep, vibrant tone.

The crowning achievement to one of these cottage excursions is the infamous Breakfast Burger. For those who have never had the pleasure, it's a well-seasoned and generous hunk of ground beef, a dollop of barbecue sauce, melted cheese, bacon, and to top it off, a fried egg... and it's delicious. We calculated today that we were getting back at the animal kingdom in five different ways: the beef, the cheese, the bacon, the chicken's egg and the butter in which the egg was fried. Ultimately we inconvenienced three different members of kingdom Animalia, which gives me an odd sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, there are seven days to go before my thesis defence. I'd like to be down in K-town on Sunday night, but since it seems like everyone I know from Queen's has either graduated or will be crazybusy with exams and hence can't house a guest, I'm going to just get a hotel room. Free shower curtain!

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