Casey giving a high five

Happy Hangovers PICers! I hope you all realized you celebrated my birthday the same time you rang in the New Year! I know this is a few months late, but I've been busy and battling hangovers. I check my Facebook constantly to ensure you wished me a happy birthday. Those who didn't and don't will be severely punished in the near future.

My year of 2012 ended up being pretty awesome. I published a textbook, finished another, and started a third. I work at a university, kindergarten, and after-school school, so my teaching jobs pay my bills, student loans, and excessive drinking. I met and fell in love with a girl. I still suck at skateboarding and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but I improved slightly.

I decided I better prep myself and bought some Coke Zero (the true elixir of life) and the cheapest bottle of champagne I could find. This year, as every year, I tried to figure out an awesome party for my birthday/NYE. And alas, as every year, my plans changed about five times. Originally we were going to rent a hotel room, then a bar, then we were gonna go to the university part of town, and then finally I just said, "Let's go to Woodstock. It's in a central location. It's fun. It's relatively cheap. Be there or be a dork."

My birthday started off nicely. Unfortunately, it was my girlfriend's first day of work, an 11-hour day if you can believe it. So for a big part of my birthday I was solo.

I dicked around and returned Green Hornet to the DVD rental place. Who still rents movies? I do. Why? Because I don't have internet and I think picking out DVDs is fun.

I moved giant boxes and backpack of my girlfriend's stuff from her friend's apartment to her new pad. I'm pretty sure she stuffed her bowling ball collection into those boxes.

After that I met up with my friend Robot, since he speaks better Korean than me, and he told the jewelry store guy if he adjusted this calculator watch, I'd buy it from him as a little birthday present for myself. The jeweler did and my present ruled. It's not just a watch, it's also a calculator, alarm clock and data entry thing. Granted, my smart phone does all that stuff, but who cares? It's a silver calculator watch WITH Indiglo. Way cool!

KC wearing calculator watch

Later, we tried meeting up with one of my gym buddies who happens to be a Korean gangster and owns a really delicious squid place. Unfortunately, he stepped out to pump some iron. So Robot and I cruised for ???? (this should translate to Seagull Meat but really it's barbecued pork neck). The meat tickled my tummy, but smartly I avoided drinking.

Next, there's a BB gun target range. If you score enough points, the desk dude lets you pick out a prize. I racked up enough bull's eyes to win myself a little Angry Bird danglebobber thing. In fact, I didn't miss a single BB shot. I rule!

KC with Angry Bird toy

When your birthday falls on New Year's Eve, you learn quickly that the event appears to be more of a marathon than a sprint. I knew I'd be boozing into the wee hours. In fact, on Christmas I think we guzzled booze until about five or six in the morning. I figured my birthday would be the same.

Robot left to feed his dog and I didn't have anything to do so I walked back to the Gangster Squid restaurant. Shi Hoon, the gangster and restaurant owner, doesn't speak much English, and my Korean is pretty piss poor, so we chatted very brokenly in our respective languages. Shi Hoon told me to drink some beers and eat some clams with him, and when a gangster tells you to do something, you do it with a smile. Thus, I started drinking at about seven at night. We hugged it out, I received some nice butt pats, and then I needed to shave, shower, and get pretty for my night out.

I picked out my outfit a few days earlier. For Christmas my girlfriend bought me a nice, plain, navy blue sweater. Under that I wore my awesome jackalope shirt because I figured I'd probably strip down to next-to-nothing. I also slipped on some grey jeans that I always thought were too tight, but my girlfriend said my junk looked big in them so they're now the best pants I own.

I guzzled some water and grabbed my backpack full of beers. I decided I better prep myself and bought some Coke Zero (the true elixir of life) and the cheapest bottle of champagne I could find. The lady at the checkout counter just looked at me, shook her head and laughed. I think she said something in Korean along the lines of, "You're going to have a big one."

My pre-party plan consisted of sitting in a local bar and waiting until my friends and my girlfriend finished work and got ready. After everybody was ready, we'd jump on the express subway to a different bar that was more central to the group.

At the first bar, I met up with a dude I wrestle with, a kid I used to work with, and some folks I barely know. Also, an annoying dude who thinks I'm his new best friend. I turned down more shots and more shots and just sipped my Jameson rocks and slugged back more water.

I started getting pissed at my girlfriend because she was taking so long and I knew we probably would be stuck on the subway for the midnight makeout session. Nobody else seemed like they cared, but my biggest fear was sitting in an effing subway car at midnight on NYE.

I figured now was the time for shots. So I did a Jameson, a Jell-O shot, and something called a Polar Bear (or PFB "Polar Fucking Bear"). I've been a big Jameson drinker since I tended bar and bounced. However, no matter what the situation, if I see Jell-O shots I buy them. And the annoying kid bought me PFBs. So, whatever.

Finally, my girlfriend finished her makeup and whatever else she did for way too long, but she wanted to meet us in the subway, not the bar. We rushed to the subway and jumped on the train. We transferred to the express train and eventually my lady and I met up in transit. I passed out the beers I smuggled in my backpack. I even did the cool thing where you open bottled beers with a lighter, but I did it with my money clip—which is also a switchblade. I drank a nice, relatively cold Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor Grenade, which once happened to be my drink of choice. I thought I grew out of it. I didn't.

KC with Mickey's malt liquor bottle

The big bosses frown upon drinking on the Korean subway, but we did our best to hide our drinks. We chatted about the year and the good and bad. The annoying kid did most of the talking, mostly about how much he likes movies, IMDB, and Marky Mark music videos.

When we arrived in Gangnam (yes, that's actually a part of Seoul) we rushed out of the subway. Did we make it for the midnight make-out session or not? Well, you'll just have to read Part 2 next week to find out!

Continue to Part 2 »

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