I love hitting the Irish pubs during the St. Patrick's Day season. The music, the soccer photos, the Joyce quotes... it all just feels right. With that in mind, I went to Conor O'Neill's the other day for lunch and to grade some papers and I saw some weird ass shit. I got a bunch of papers graded which is good considering how behind I was, but it was like I was watching a fucking freak show the whole time. Jason mentioned something about this sort of experience on his site the other day, and I feel I have to respond. As I'm sitting there (accidentally in the small "smoking section"), this group of about 8 guys comes in and sits down. I moved to avoid their smoke, but noticed that they all had hugely long beard. Now I've had a beard for the better part of 10 years, so they don't really phase me as much as some people, but these guys had them down to their stomachs. And not just 1 or 2, but all of them. As I then moved to the other side of the restaurant, I happened to sit near a man who was there w/ what seemed to be his wife and some old lady... the mother of one of them I believe. Something was up w/ the dude though. He was really particular about everything and even brought his own mustard. As they left, he forgot his mustard which then added to the weirdness because he had to come back and freak out. While this is all going on, a second old woman walks by, but this one is wearing an eye-patch. Maybe she was just saluting James Joyce, but I doubt it.
As for this coming weekend, I still haven't decided what to do. My siblings were talking about attempting our ski trip again, but I think it will be too warm. A Grad. Assistant is having a party featuring green beer and green clothing. I have issues w/ green beer, but I don't imagine they would force the food coloring on me. Whitey Morgan is playing at Outriggers, there will be a bunch of bands at TC's Speakeasy, a cool Irish band and Irish dancing at Conor O'Neill's, and the Corner Brewery has a bus going back and forth to the Arbor Brewing Company and apparently there will be a breakfast buffet and everything. I'm thinking I might try to squeeze in a bit of each St. Patrick's Day event. I just hope they have an omelet guy at the buffet. Let me know if anyone has other cool plans. I'm more than willing to modify the end of my St. Patrick's Day season. I'm not willing to experience St. Patrick's Day w/o good stout though, so keep that in mind.
Speaking of stout, Gerry and I met an old college friend of mine, Greg, at Sidetracks last night, and I drank a bunch of stout. We had a great time talking until they finally ushered us out at about 2:20. I hadn't seen him since last fall so we had a lot of catching up to do. I told him all about my recent situations (both financial and marital) and we reminisced about our drunken grad school days. We used to have a class that ended at 6:15 and another that began at 7:00 so we'd run across the street to down a couple 36 oz beers and a couple shot and then stagger back to class a few minutes late. It's hard to believe I ever graduated at all.