Sunday, March 20, 2005

St. Patty's Days Revisited

In what appears to be a developing tradition on this blog of cataloging events on certain days, I share with the Dearest Readership every single St. Patty's Day from the past 11 years.

1994 – I had moved to the big city of Champaign, IL from Casper, WY the previous summer. I was living in my mom's basement, working at the local Wal*Mart, and taking a creative writing class at Parkland College. My mom made a corned beef and cabbage dish, and I think an old family friend from Brookings, SD came over for dinner.

1995 – My first year at the University of Illinois, and by this time I had fallen in with The Onion crowd. A few of us had drinks at a bar in downtown Champaign (I think it was called The Gypsy), where we learned that the Illini had lost their NCAA tournament game. Then we went to Wal*Mart where we rode bikes around the aisles, and eventually wound up at that paragon of campus bars, Murphy's Pub.

1996 – My senior year at the University of Illinois, and by this time The Onion bigwigs in Madison were very, very upset with us and about to completely shut us down (if they hadn't already – I'm a little fuzzy on this). My neighbor and good buddy Nick and I started drinking early in the afternoon, and we played golf on the quad with those giant plastic kiddie clubs. I think I had a kilt by this time (which my mom made for me), and wore it to Murphy's, where the afternoon turned to evening and evening turned to wee hours of the next morning. An interesting note here is that at one point in the evening Nick and I were talking in very loud and very poorly done brogue, and as a young woman pushed her way past our group, she mouthed to her friend: "Oh my god," and rolled her eyes. I later learned her name was Corrie, and she and I wound up dating for two weeks right before I moved to Phoenix. The spot where we had that first inauspicious encounter was right in front of the jukebox, which is now gone, thanks to Murphy's unfathomable expansion and remodeling. They knocked down walls, installed crappy furniture, and even took out the jukebox (!). Now the entire fraternity population thinks Murphy's is just the coolest fuckin' place on campus. And it was, until the fraternities found it.

1997 – Scottsdale, AZ. My friend Matt (an editor from my Onion days) and I hung out at a bar near the Scottsdale public library and then headed over to Jamaican Blue, a coffee house near old town Scottsdale. I definitely wore my kilt, because I remember some of the Scottsdale hipsters were just oh-so-thrilled by it. Which was pretty much the effect I was going for.

1998 – Seattle. I was living in my first apartment, in a basement of a house in Wallingford I shared with 8 other roommates. Some friends from work walked to downtown Wallingford, but the Irish bar there had a line outside, so we went to our regular neighborhood bar and played pool.

1999 – Seattle. Pretty sure I wore my kilt to work that day. I remember walking from my apartment on Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle, and getting a few winks and smiles from the populace.

2000 – Huntington, WV. We arrived in Huntington on March 1 to open Amazon's call center there. I don't remember what, if anything, I did for St. Patty's Day that year.

2001 – Lexington, KY. My girlfriend, also an Amazon employee, and I both had St. Patty's Day and the following day off. I remember drinking at the very Irish bar in downtown Lexington, within walking distance of my apartment. They served free stew and the bartender gave me a free Tullamore Dew polo shirt, which I still have. K and I got hammered on Guinness and whiskey, and she puked when we got home.

2002 – Lexington, KY. I was in a different apartment, and I walked up the two blocks to Ramsey's Diner in my kilt. I don't remember anything else. (Mary Ann, any insight on this one or the next?)

2003 – Lexington, KY or Edwardsville, IL. This was during that very weird period in my life right after I quit Amazon. I know I worked at a nursery for two weeks in Lexington; mid-March is their busy season and I've never done such intense manual labor in my life. But I think I must have been in Lexington for St. Patty's Day, because I arrived in Edwardsville the day after Evan James' death in Iraq on March 24.

2004 – Edwardsville, IL. I know this was just a year ago, but I have no clue what I did. Seriously. No idea. I probably went to Shenanigan's, and I probably hung out with friends, and I probably had a grand old time. Probably.

2005 – Hung out in Willie's condo in Steamboat Springs and watched basketball until about 5, at which point I went to a bar to reserve spots for Willie, Jenn, and their friends. We suffered through an agonizing first half against Fairleigh Dickinson, and four of us stood up at halftime and sang an uninspired acapella version of "Hail Alma Mater." Then the Illini proceeded to kick the shit out of Fairleigh Dickinson in the second half, Jenn's sister dyed everyone's drinks green with her own food coloring, and we eventually went home and crashed out in the living room.


Blogger mary ann said...

I actually have no insights for you. Whatever we did, I must've been really hungover because I didn't update my journal the next day...

10:13 PM  

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