I spent my birthday out-of-town and so did Kate, so for the last couple of weeks I've been trying to organize something with her to have a joint birthday-in-Chicago thingy. She's been really lame about getting back to me, so I had pretty much written it off. Turns out, she was avoiding the issue because Erica had organized a surprise birthday dinner for me on Friday night.
It was in the Pope-room at Buca di Beppo, and OK... I knew something was up, and when we got off the train at Belmont and started walking south I remembered that Erica had asked me out of the blue a few months if I liked Buca. But I was expecting a table with 4 or 5 friends, not 16 people jammed around a huge table with a lazy-susan-mounted pope bust. I got to sit in the throne-chair and drink lots of 3-liter bottles of chianti. (Like Mark said, "You can tell it's good, because it's cold.")
Thanks Erica, thanks friends, thanks pope.