Full geek points to whoever can trace the relevancy of that title to the content of this post.
Anyway, let's go back to Friday, AKA "Birthday Celebrations." I showed up an hour early to the festivities, to be sure we'd get a table. (A totally unnecessary gesture as it turned out for this evening, but when you just assume that there will be a table open, you wind up booking your going away party at a bar during its wings night, walk through it in amazed bewilderment, then spend a half hour very frantically trying to find a venue that can seat yourself and the seventeen guests who are arriving in short order. Or so I imagine.) And then everyone else pushed the fashionably late motif to about an hour or so, which meant that I had two hours by myself in the bar before anyone showed up.
This is not the most conducive atmosphere to foster feelings of birthday mirth, and I'll admit that I have some angsty tendencies at the best of times, but in this case, there was a bright side. I got done my comp exam reading for the day: Pope's "An Essay on Criticism," which is essentially a discussion on how critics should behave--nicely, as it turns out. To get a sense of the quality of my study, I just checked my notes, and the top of one page is written"Is Pope Catholic?" and it took me a few seconds to remember why that was an honest question instead of a punchline. Also included in reading was Rushdie's "Enchantress of Florence," and "The Art of Stealing" by Christopher Brookmyre. I'll probably do reviews of both later, but "The Art of Stealing" begins with an evaluation of how hookers should be detached yet focused while performing oral sex, concluding with the phrase: "Dammit, it's called "blow JOB" not "blow hobby."
So you know, classy.
Anyway, the festivities. It was a pretty good showing, and there was good company and good conversation. I learned a few things about myself: I like shots of Bazooka Joe (1/2 oz Baileys, 1/2 oz Blue Curacao liquer, 1/2 oz banana liqeur; what's not to like?), I CAN, when dared, fit an entire slice of pizza into my mouth at once, and I have in the past sang the Red Hot Chili Peppers'
"Give It Away."
I'll explain that last one. There was a girl from our program who I never quite got around to meeting who made it out last Friday, and she explained that she remembered me from my awesome rendition of RHC's tune on Rock Band (her description, not mine, as my large portions of that night are "File Not Found," in my memory bank, which is my only excuse for not remembering her, likewise.). The comment put me in a bit of a contemplative mood (contemplative between shots, anyway), on how you can never be sure when you're an impression on someone, or what that impression may be. On previous occasions, I've mentioned James Boswell--in fact, it the party night described in that post is just when the "Give it Away" song occured (and it's proof I don't remember it, 'cause if I did, I definitely would have put it in that list). Anyway, to sum that up, Boswell was constantly torn between two desires: the desire to be liked, through any means necessary, and the desire to preserve his dignity. Looking back at that party, I felt the same way he often did; I overindulged, I went beyond the proper bounds of behaviour in the name of fun, and I felt embarressed as a result. Apparently, though, from what I'm told, the impression I left people with, while it may not be the uber-responsible student, was one of a nice, enthusiastic guy. I can live with that.
Socrates said that "the unexamined life is not worth living." The punchline is that, although that may be true, at least the person living the life won't know it. And there's also the other alternative: "the unparticipated life is not worth living." The condolence to that sentiment is that participation comes in many shapes and forms, and Heisenberg tells us that every spectator is playing the game. (That's what he tells us, right? Any quantam phyics people lurking?)
After the initial drinking and talking, there was a smattering of... ugh... dancing, more lovely drinking and talking, and home by 3:00 with many happy thoughts. Participating is fun.