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Another year, another birthday.
In the last five years, I've developed a new birthday tradition:
1 No plans for the day
2 No work (unless it's artwork.)
3 Wake up and follow my whims.

It tends to be a solo adventure. I let my introvert nature lead and do whatever the heck I want to. Simple.

This year, my 32nd:
First, I slept in. Woke up to a call from my sister. We hadn't talked in awhile so it was good to chat with her.
I made my whim list:
I'm not sure what everything means exactly, but I want all these words to be part of my day.

Blue sweater - a new one. A gorgeous cobalt blue, 100% wool, wavy cable sweater. Comfy, unitchy wool. I feel curvy, wavy, sassy myself.

Well dressed and list in hand - I head out.

I get a iced latte from my favorite coffeeshop, Metropolis. This charming drawing sums it up. I love the caped guy on the left who speaks in symbols. That'll play into some drawing soon. The robot rocks. Meto, indeed.

I head south on the train, drinking my latte, eating a birthday choclate bar from Rose and listening to great music. Including Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz's Water of March.

Yes, that says "dirt chocolate." I like chocolate that's so dark it tastes like dirt. This was a tasty 70% cocoa bar. Yee-yum.

The Lincoln Park Conservatory on the way to the zoo.
The koi are darn hard to catch on camera. I love the patterns and layers of this blurry-but-very-interesting shot.
I didn't get the name of this super plant:
Close up of the super plant.

The zoo is empty and gray and loads of animals are inside unviewable. Including my beloved polar bears. A bit of a drag.

A indulge a $3 whim and get stickers of myself in a sticker booth. Honestly, they kinda suck:

My black coat got all garbly in front of the blue screen. ???

My new heroes of the day:
Doesn't this meerkat need a remote control, snack chips and a cola in a foam cozy? This meerkat got the memo on Chicago new standing as the nation's #1 fattest city.
These guys are the meerkat equivalent of Klimt's painting, Die Jungfrau.
The meerkat Sears Portrait Studio shot for their engagement announcement. I wish the future Mr. & Mrs. Meerkat a wonderful life together.
Dance party.
Camels are the wierdest shape. It boggles my mind to see all the shapes, sizes, textures and patterns life comes in.

Quick lunch at Eatzi in the Century Mall. Two potato latkes, sour cream and a red grapefruit soda. $3.02 and very tasty. Ate quick-like before I head upstairs to see Soderbergh's new movie Bubble.


I enjoyed the movie, but it didn't kick my butt. Soderbergh is one of my favorite directors; one of the few that'll get my butt in a seat opening weekend. I really appreciate that he'll nail the big Hollywood movie, and then tackle an entirely different artistic idea in the next one. So, I appreciated that he was doing something different (both the movie itself, and the delivery of it). It didn't wow me. It "hmm"ed me. That's okay.

As I left the theater, I glanced up at the sign. I had to laugh at the wording:
True enough.
Next, I wander a bit and shop. Nothing I really need, but I'm looking for "shiny." I like shiny things. Didn't find shiny. Instead:
Furry/Muppet-y! Woohoo. Jackpot. This fantastic Mongolian lamb bright blue scarf for a bargain-tastic $12.

Head back home, dinner in hand. Glad to be home after much walking in the gray and drizzle. I put on good music and sing.

Follow another whim and wrap the new scarf around my head:

I am a ferocious lion! GRRRR.
Another whim - jordan almonds.
Dinner - sushi and seaweed salad.
After dinner, I get down to making stuff. First a pom pom necklace. An idea I got a week and a half ago on my flight back from Seattle. Perfect with my new Marimekko stripey shirt. Began a sibling necklace, with small black pom poms, but I was getting tired and dropping poms.
Set that aside and went onto a project with less fine motor demands:
I printed 100+ copies of the Va-Va-Va-Voom woman I drew on 12.02.05. Glad to see this in print. I'll be taking 90 of these and handpainting 30 redheads, 30 blondes and 30 brunettes. I took my 26"x40" paper and folded and tore it into 16 equal pieces. They ended up 7" wide and 10" high. A happy accident: the 7" width is the width of my Print Gocco machine, making it easy to line up! Expect to see plenty more 7"x10" images. Great to have these drying, soon ready to be colored.
*psst* - these prints are finished
and available over here.

Get a lovely phone call from my new beau, Eric, belting out Happy Birthday to me from Seattle. Rock on, Eric.

I get out my sketchbook odds and ends, but I was just too tuckered out to concentrate on putting new stuff together. I stack it all up and make myself silly with mini cupcakes!

YUM. I love cake. And I love these kids of basic grocery store bakery frosting. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. A rare treat. I eat six. I've been relatively sugar free lately, so those six baby cupcakes and a handful of jordan almonds earlier have me kinda vibrating.

The leftover sprinkles inspires this:


(Props to designer Rodrigo Corral and photographer Fredrik Borden for the original A Million Little Pieces cover)

Great, great book cover. Haven't read the book. Only admired the cover at the bookstore. Big old hooha these days about the veracity of James Frey's book. Personally, I don't think a story has to be true to be good. But lest I add to the hooha -

I crack myself up. Instead of a Million Little Pieces, my life is about as complicated as about 14 little sprinkles. Much more my speed, so to speak.

Great birthday.

I'm seriously considering adapting my birthday tradition into a once-a-month Whim Day. One day out of 30 to leave unfettered by obligations and open to the possibility of simple pleasures.

Meerkat reprise:

© 2006 Brandy Agerbeck.