Anyway, Friday was mostly given over to doing various housecleaning and administrative duties in prep of the big move (as will be most days, for the duration of March), but I did manage to drag my ass over to rum_holiday's place for a rousing set of Cities & Knights of Catan. And by "rousing" I mean "utterly miserable, insofar as (a) Andrea won every one of the three games we played and (b) I was beaten so badly in one of them that I ended up with two points as my final score. For those of you not familiar with this amazingly great board game, you start the game with three points, and it requires 13 points for a victory. Which means that I not only lost that game, but that I lost it so badly that I had fewer points at the end than when I started. Luckily for me, there is literally no way to get any less than two points; if there was, I'm sure I would have. (Strangely enough, even though I got pounded flatter than hammered shit in all three games, it was Doug who threw a Catantrum.)
Saturday morning was Chicago's St. Patrick's Day parade. This is an annual tradition for my friends and I, and this is the last one I would be able to attend before I move to Minneapolis, so I wanted it to be special; it turned out to be very enjoyable indeed. In attendance were thaitea and I, Doug and Andrea, Sean and Michelle, Lara and Jeff, April, Claire and Steve, and Dirk and his wife, whose name I unfortunately have forgotten. We always make it a big spread, and this year was no exception: the Trav-L-Bar was stocked with whiskey and Dooley's, there were about five Thermoses full of Irish coffee (continuing my run of bad luck with Thermoses, I lost mine on the way home), my messenger bag was filled with Guinness, and there was Dubliner cheese, Kerrygold butter, corned beef and vegetables courtesy of me, fantastic soda bread via Andrea, and a pan of brownies via Dirk's wife. We were hooked the fuck up, is what I'm saying, and I think for the first time, we stayed until the very end of the parade, having lucked into an absolutely gorgeous 72-degree day.
After the parade, most of us headed back to my place, where more food was eaten, more lovely conversation was made, a bunch of traditional (and a bunch more not-so-traditional) Irish music was played, and out guests did their utmost to deplete my supply of alcohol so that I don't have to haul it all the way to Minnesota. It was a great time, and I'm incredibly grateful to my friends for sending me off in such a delightful way. I was worried, given how little time remains before the move and how much I have to do between now and then, that I wouldn't have time for a going-away party, but this served very nicely; I could take a lot worse memories with me than that of hanging around my apartment with my nearest and dearest friends getting nicely toasted on Irish beer.
I will admit to being fairly plastered by the time we got back from the parade, but I quit drinking after a bit so I could be sobered up by Saturday night, when I had to drive out to Evanston to attend an R. Kelly party hosted by my friends Claire and Steve. At this party, we watched -- twice -- the epic song/movie/crack fantasy "Trapped in the Closet", by renowned auteur R. Sylvester Kelly, and please understand the weight I place behind this statement: it was the single stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life. If you had asked me a week ago what the most misguided, failed, woebegotten botch-job in cinematic history was, I would have had a different answer, but now I know better, because I have seen "Trapped in the Closet". Twice. Once with the commentary track, featuring a rapt R. Kelly describing his own work in breathless awe. There's really no way to describe this interminable, malformed, tell-don't-show monstrosity of a monument to one man's ego, so I can just tell you two things: you can see the whole thing on YouTube, and the first twelve installments are only the first parts of a proposed series of thirty-two three-minute chapters. All with the exact same music. Amazing. The party itself was fine, as I was not beaten horribly by the police despite clearly not belonging in the ultra-swank neighborhood. kp3000 and editrix26 were there, and we goggled at the raw genius that is R. Kelly before degenerating into shop talk that drove lesser beings from the room. I headed home around midnight, with my windows wide open and lines like "He continues to rough up the midget as if the midget was under attack" echoing through my head.
Sunday was almost entirely given over to working on freelance projects and writing stuff, but I did have a delightful three-hour conversation with my amazing girlfriend ninafarina, whose birthday it was yesterday. The upshot of it all: I love her a lot. Then I went to sleep, part of the whopping six hours of nappy time I had all weekend. Tonight I plan on collapsing into a fat noisy heap, so if you live anywhere south of Milwaukee, north of the Lew, East of Iowa City or west of Detroit, wear earplugs, 'cause I'm TARRED.
Feel free to tell me about your weekend, the funny noises you make when you sleep, or your thoughts on R. Kelly's stupefying "Trapped in the Closet" below.