About 10 years ago, when I shared that I usually take at least a week to celebrate my birthday and consider it a season, my friend Dr. Alison Buck suggested that I refer to this season as Kimbertide, and so I do. I usually plan several different celebratory possibilities so that if friends can’t make it to one event, I still get to celebrate with them at another. (If you have questions about why a woman as grown as me still celebrates, you can email me and we’ll talk about it.)

This year, obviously, is a bit different. At first I was going to try to coordinate a number of virtual activities, some synchronous and some asynchronous, but instead I’m going a bit more free form. So instead, I’m providing a menu of possibilities for fun things you might do to celebrate. If you do any of these, I’d love it if you comment here and share a link!

  1. Bake something. Bonus points if it’s cupcakes. I’m going to be making myself chocolate cake using this gluten-free vegan mix and vegan frosting that I discovered at Target. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to have a gluten-free, corn-free, potato-free cake mix that I don’t have to create myself. And canned frosting! That’s something I never thought I would eat again. (If you know me, you know that I tend to be a cake and frosting snob, due to having a strong obsession with cupcakes when I was getting my MSLS. But more than a cake and frosting snob, I am a tired doctoral candidate looking for something easy to make as an activity with my kid, so. Mix and can.) I’d love to see what you bake!

  2. Cosplay. I’m planning to spend tomorrow morning painting the belt buckle for my Kitty Pryde cosplay. You can go elaborate or casual. Whatever you want. Closet cosplay is always a good option. My favorite fandoms are anything Whedonverse, X-Men, and Disney. I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to wear tomorrow. But if you dress up, SEND ME PICS!

  3. Have a Darkwave Dance Party. You can put on this Spotify playlist created by my friend, author Nathan Kotecki/DJ Twentieth Century Boy. Grab a little video and tell me where to find it! Or just do it and tell me you did, you don’t HAVE to make a video or anything. Alternately, you can attend the Zoom party [Facebook link] he’s hosting tomorrow night, which may be more just strange and a little less dark.

  4. Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m probably going to watch “Once More with Feeling” in the next couple of days, because I’m just feeling that vibe right now. (Hulu is probably the best place to stream BtVS.) Never seen it before? Need a starter episode? The double pilot is a solid introduction, but if you can’t commit to more than 45 minutes, you can jump in with the Season 1 finale “Prophecy Girl,” Season 2 Episode 7 “Lie to Me,” or Season 3 Episode 11 “Gingerbread”." If you want to have the full Kimberly Hirsh experience, start with Season 4 Episode 8, “Pangs.” (I’m pretty sure that was the first episode I ever saw. It’s possible it was an earlier one but I think what I’m recalling when I recall bits from the earlier episodes is probably what was in that night’s “Previously.")

  5. Watch The Little Mermaid. For my ninth and twenty-ninth birthdays, I had The Little Mermaid-themed parties. For my thirty-ninth, I might try to talk my kid into watching The Little Mermaid, The Little Mermaid II, and the prequel. (Well, maybe not the prequel.) I’ll be all IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! and he’ll be all I WILL WATCH ANYTHING YOU’LL LET ME!

  6. Play a game. Video or board, your choice. I’m actually thinking about trying to pull together a Jackbox games remote play, maybe for Sunday, 7/19, around 2:30 pm ET. Let me know if you’re interested.

  7. Make something. My go-tos are cross-stitch or crochet, but you make whatever sounds fun to you.

There you go, seven ways to celebrate my birthday/excuses to do something fun. Thanks for joining me!

Schmidt, from the TV show New Girl, saying, 'Can we just take a moment to celebrate me.'