The Only Day That’s a Command

My birthday is March 4, the only day of the year that’s a command. In English, at least, as I learned trying to explain the joke to Germans last year.

"Heute Ha-ha-habe Ich Geburtstag" video by Die Prinzen: even if you don't know German, the visuals convey what they're singing about pretty well.

My little brother wrote me an alternative version of the first verse to “It’s Not My Birthday” by my favorite band, They Might Be Giants. I’m not sure they’re teaching him the right things over there at his college… :P

Well the rum falls down without my help I’m afraid;
And my lawn gets drunk though I’ve withheld my consent;
When this gray world crumbles like a cake;
I’ll be hungover from the hope;
That I’ll never see double that recipe again

Janine's Happy Birthday Card
Janine sent me a drawing for my birthday. ^^ I guess our flatmates Micha and Steffi don't like her singing much!
Ellen and Chels taking a turn together
Ellen and Chels taking a turn together after the movie

I woke up to a beautiful sunny day and walked to work for the morning. So many people wished me happy birthday before I was even in the office for five minutes (the internet is a wonderful thing), I felt like such a lucky girl. Lots of people wished me happy birthday, and when I got home my cousin and I had some pizza and chatted until Chelsey and Tara showed up. We drove to the Pittsford Mall (Rochester’s famed shopping center) and all saw “The Young Victoria” with Derik from German club. It was better than I expected – pleasant and interesting, although after you left the theater and thought it over, it seemed to lack a certain depth to the development of Queen Victoria’s story. We had ice cream and visited the motherstore of Wegmans, which is huge but because there’s so much selection, rather than the way Walmart is huge. This is evidently one of the premier tourist attractions in Rochester. Anyone who has not been to a Wegmans cannot appreciate how important this is, because they don’t understand how a grocery store can be cool. Those who have been to a Trader Joe’s may have some understanding, however.

Ellen examining her wine
Examining the wine carefully

Kara and I relaxed afterwards and then walked to Lovin Cup, a cafe bar place not too far from my apartment, where we had delicious hamburgers and I got ID’d for the first time. I had a glass of Riesling at the suggestion of the waitress (before I had decided on my meal, so there), and Kara had Blue Moon, which, she pointed out for later reference, is very drinkable since

Kara at dinner
Cousin Kara

I have yet to appreciate beer. Then we spent a while making fun of people who spend too much time appreciating their wine, because evidently different drinks have to be drunk very differently. Tara and her friend stopped by our table and her friend pondered the question with me of “which wine actually would go best with a burger and potato chips?” Because Lovin Cup is devoid of hard liquor, we had to make a stop at the real bar across the courtyard on the way home to have my “birthday shot.” It was a pretty great birthday, spending a bunch of time with cool people, having good food and ice cream, getting off campus for a nice movie, and going to my first real American bar. (I like that old-world-looking pub in Dessau with the oil paintings a lot better!)

Cake at 21st Birthday
Cake the next day at my party

But I still can’t help missing Rose’s balloon hats for any classmate with a birthday…

5 Responses to “The Only Day That’s a Command”

  1. sheri
    | Reply

    Ellen — Happy Birthday AGAIN again! Wegman’s is my son’s fave place to shop! Sounds like your b-day was a success!

  2. Sally Babbitt
    | Reply

    Happy Birthday Dear Ellen. Just read
    your mom’s post from 2/28 and even
    though I missed the day, I send you
    lots of love and hugs. Elaine seems
    to be having some problems. I hope she gives up the trek. I’m worried
    about her. You seem to be having some fun out there in the east. When
    do you graduate? Is this the year?
    Oh how time flies. XOXO Sally

  3. Rose
    | Reply

    Next year, I’ll mail you one!

    • ellen
      | Reply

      aww, thanks Rose!

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