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I've lived in Louisville since 2007 and have gone to the Derby every year since coming to town. I've learned a few things:

1. Calvin Borel could ride a donkey in the Derby and still go off at 5-1 odds.

2. My birthday, May 7, always falls around the first Saturday in May. This year it was on the Derby. That means two things: a) Growing a year older during Derby week does not bring you luck at the betting window, and b) I'll forever associate the Run for the Roses with drunkenly devouring birthday cake.

3. For me, Derby officially ends when the city hauls away my recycling bin and wipes my slate clean. Until then, the orange, beer-bottle-filled box taunts me from the side of my house, reminding my friends and me that we can't party like we used to.

My home is in Crescent Hill, and pick-up is sometime today. (I snapped that photo earlier this morning.) I'm kind of worried, though, because occasionally the guys don't show up until Saturday, which would be a full week after Animal Kingdom crossed the finish line first. Frankly, I don't think I can deal with the hangover 'til then.

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