As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Sunday, August 18

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Fuel

Emerson Dameron / April 14, 2005 4:16 PM

Food. Pals. Coupla drinks. Nothing special.

Erica / April 14, 2005 4:17 PM

This year? Dinner at El Cid and drinks at Burke's Web Pub -- complete with karaoke. I got a Bettie Page DVD and a gift certif for UrbanShe. Very cool. My ladies (and dudes) rock.

Photos of me making an arse out of myself (I'd be the one in the nurse hat/ tiara or whatever):

http://community.webshots.com/album/251852695ckBpDh

salty / April 14, 2005 4:23 PM

Breakfast! I have to go out for a big breakfast. Mmm.

I also need to blow out a candle, or it's not a birthday.

And it's this Monday! (Whadja get me?) ;-)

Leah / April 14, 2005 4:44 PM

Every year I have a huge potluck dinner. I invite anyone and everyone. I have had potlucks since I turned 22 and they are so much fun. Everyone cooks interesting and surprising items and I have leftovers for a week!

Oh... and red wine.

heather / April 14, 2005 4:48 PM

it's a week long celebration with food, friends, gifts, and more food. and drinks. and gifts.

and then there's the family celebration dinner (this year's was very white trash. and fun: in three parts)

j3s / April 14, 2005 4:50 PM

My company gives birthdays as personal holidays, so every year for the last three or four years I've had the day off and gone to the Art Institute. Then of course dinner and drinks with friends, usually sushi but this year it was Thai (Dharma Garden).

I miss having a spacious house where I could throw big birthday parties, but I love living by myself.

Blake / April 14, 2005 4:58 PM

Quit my job!

Brenda / April 14, 2005 5:09 PM

No one ever remembers my birthday (end of summer, near Labor Day, was always the first week of school as a kid) so I usually celebrate with a bottle of wine, Chinese food, a Sex and the City marathon, and me. Oh - and I always buy myself something frivolous and naughty. Sometimes naughty because it *is* frivolous. Sometimes not ;)

miss ellen / April 14, 2005 5:38 PM

food, friends, parties, shenanigans. i've got it on a saturday this year, so that's always fun.

j3s has the best company in terms of the "birthday" holiday....what a wonderful idea.

waleeta / April 14, 2005 8:06 PM

something that ensures I am the center of attention.

That's right.

lacey / April 14, 2005 8:17 PM

Usually I like to just be with friends on my bday. This year, I learned I had mono *on* my bday, so I was feeling really awful and had to stay in. As my fiance and I were settling in for dinner and a movie, about 15 of my friends showed up to surprise me! They even flew in a high school friend to add to the surprisey-ness. Good thing I was wearing my best sweatpants, eh?

daruma / April 14, 2005 9:10 PM

Champagne, cake, friends, and always, dancing at Planet Earth, requesting Culture Club.

chris / April 14, 2005 9:27 PM

I sit in a dark corner drinking and crying. I have no friends.

Leelah / April 14, 2005 10:30 PM

Holy crap, I am the most annoying person on earth about my birthday. I love my birthday and I love anyone who has my birthday. It's August 8th, and it's brilliant, so brilliant that I have to have several celebrations.

One involves dancing, one involves food and on the actual day, I usually make people go bowling with me. Typically, I run around the alley shrieking that it is my birthday (when I get carded) while wearing a child's tiara on my head.

Steve, is this an exaggeration?

Ron / April 14, 2005 11:02 PM

Poorly

chris / April 15, 2005 12:57 AM

I rocked out (in my unmentionables no less) with my iPod shuffle (my birthday present) as I looked out my windows and enjoyed the view of the City below.

Seriously.

unmake / April 15, 2005 4:27 AM

I try to pretend it's like any other day, and that such anniversaries are really meaningless, like life.

LeahW / April 15, 2005 8:00 AM

1. I watch the Oklahoma-Texas football game (around--and in 2003 on--my birthday) at a big rowdy sports bar.

2. I avoid the Chicago Marathon (around--and in 2004 on--my birthday).

3. Historically, I get ditched by friends who go to see people speak (2000 was Ralph Nader, 2001 Kurt Vonnegut).

4. I think about how weird it is that people in my family have the birthdays 10/10, 11/11, 12/12, and 3/3 (me, uncle, grandpa, grandma).

Overwrought / April 15, 2005 9:04 AM

I like to stretch my birthday out a couple of weeks.

I usually have a nice group dinner. Previous years I've gone out to the bars, seen a show, bowled, and threw a house party.

But I always want to spend it with all of my closest friends.

Pedro / April 15, 2005 9:15 AM

...um, am I the only one that makes sex a requisite on birthdays? No wonder you're so bitter.

e_five / April 15, 2005 10:16 AM

My birthday usually involves a combination of uncontrollable weaping, alcohol, bruises, broken furniture or windows, small lascerations, screaming, pre-dawn phone calls to ex-lovers, neighbors banging on the door, ambulances, police, and sternly-worded notices from the landlord.

karen / April 15, 2005 10:39 AM

as a kid, my birthday always fell on the day of the Venedy Shooting Match. not familiar with small-town fun? you didnt miss much! a bunch of hunters trying to shoot targets in the local town park, all while eating Turtle Mulligan. true story.

now i hit the dance floor with my close friends 'til we can't shake it no more. what a 180 degree difference.

Roni / April 15, 2005 11:00 AM

Normally nothing. This year I got a surprise party. Yay for 30! My bday is 3 days after Christmas. Talk about getting the shaft. Brenda, at least you got the chance to take cupcakes as a kid. Me..nada.

JayDee / April 15, 2005 11:01 AM

I make up birthday-related survey questions.

Steve / April 15, 2005 11:20 AM

LeeLAH, you are hilariously spazzy every August 8th. But hey, at least you get me to dust off and play my Simpsons CD with "Lisa It's Your Birthday" on it each year....

d4ve / April 15, 2005 11:38 AM

these things must happen:
-take the day off of work.
-do some hippie crap like fly kites or blow bubbles
-a yummy vegan dinner (traditionally Thai)
-drinks at some dive (traditionally Delilahs)
-dance my ass off to some good local spun house (traditionally Carter or Farina)

a combo of all my favorite things!

Eamon / April 15, 2005 11:57 AM

I was sick on my 30th birthday this year, but the missus still outdid herself: she put together a little surprise dinner the night before at the always excellent Morseland, brought party favors and funny hats to McGee's after our football game, and bought me some excellent birthday trinkets, including this crazy-ass thing.

For my part, I gave platelets-- you should, too!

Staci / April 15, 2005 12:01 PM

Usually I just do dinner with friends and lots of drinking (last year that occurred at El Cid - yum) but I love the potluck idea. Sounds awesome. This year, the day after my birthday I get to help my little sister get ready for her prom, so that is going to be awesome.

fred / April 15, 2005 10:01 PM

Shop for family presents. We were all born in January. Fucking in April must run in the family.

mike-ts / April 17, 2005 8:42 AM

Close the shades, put a towel over my head, then eat horseradish to remind myself of the bitterness of what a drag it is getting old...

Seriously, birthdays have been a non-event for me since puberty. I never saw the big deal over the milestone thing. Life's been an evolution, not a snap revolution based on a number changing, so except for getting to vote for the first time in a real primary senior year in high school, I never felt like "well, I'm this number now, gotta do XYZ." That also explains my lifelong puzzlement at the big to-do made out of New Years. In the 80's, bartenders used to give you a free shot for your birthday, but now that disappeared, I get no freebie for randomly appearing on the earth through no effort of my own, so what do I care. I'd rather celebrate things I accomplish through my own efforts. Like getting a sale, putting in that box garden, and mailing the tax forms on time.

My real birthday comes next week, but for a few years I celebrated it in November with three buds who happened to have their birthdays in November, each a week from each other, 1st, 2nd, and 4th weeks of the month. I was the 3rd week, so we had excuses to get drunk and ignorant once a week for the whole month! So much for the solemnity of birthdays.

Leelah / April 17, 2005 10:16 PM

I just remembered that there is a song about my birthday. It's called "August 8th" by NOFX... the chorus goes "August 8th is a wonderful day." :)

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15