Happy (early) birthday to me.

Today has been a very long day and I feel like I have a lot to say about it. I got a birthday card from everyone in our department at work. It's something we do for people whenever a card worthy event comes up. I mean, I work at American Greetings...it's expected. Anyways, I don't actually interact with everyone in our department. I really only deal with the creative people on a daily basis and sometimes even not that often. As for those dealing with the business side of things? I don't think I could tell you the name of any of them. But today in my birthday card I received this message:

Hi Cheryl - My name is Rob. I hope to meet you someday. Happy Birthday. - Rob

I really enjoyed this. Not only because it made me laugh a little, but because it was so sincere unlike the other "Happy Birthday"s from faceless names. However, possibly better than that was the "Congratulations" that was mixed in with the bunch.

I decided today that I would treat myself to an early birthday present by going to the pet store and using the rest of a gift card I had gotten for Christmas to buy some new fish. Andrew argued that this couldn't be a birthday gift because technically it was just a remainder of a Christmas gift. So, in my defense, I decided that the birthday gift part of it would be going out and treating myself to something when I should be at home working on the 6 greeting cards, poster, and t-shirt design that I have to get done this weekend. So after working an hour overtime at work I went to the pet store, picked out 5 little neon tetras, and headed home. Little Italy is my least favorite place to park on a Friday or Saturday evening. Parking is bad enough during the week (at least for those of us that have to park on the street), but on the weekends all of our nice spots in front of our homes are stolen by rich people, who live in the suburbs, in their fancy SUVs looking for an expensive (but delicious) Italian meal. Thanks to the pummeling of snow we got on Wednesday and the lack of snowplowing on my street, the number of available parking spots was pretty much cut in half. The last thing I wanted to do when I got home with a bag of fish after a long day of work was spend 30 minutes digging out a parking spot for myself with a heavy, metal shovel. 30 minutes! I didn't have boots on. My feet, socks, and pants were soaked. My arms and shoulders that were already sore from digging my car out of the snow on Wednesday were feeling even worse. I was not happy. On top of it all, once I managed to almost get myself into a decent parking position (my car was spinning out so much despite my shoveling efforts that I ended up having to park on a diagonal) my steering wheel locked up. I've had so many car problems in the past few weeks that this just made me want to cry. I was completely frustrated, and cold, and wet. But inside the door to my apartment were two packages waiting for me. I love getting mail.

The first was from Blurb. This is the company that I used to publish and print the book that I created for my BFA thesis. My book was a "staff pick" on Blurb within the first week of it being available. Apparently my book has continued to stand out to them because they recently asked permission to use my book for their personal marketing purposes and in return they gave me two free copies of my book plus one more free copy of a book I have yet to publish. I was very excited about this. Not only for the amount of exposure that my book will be getting through their marketing, but also because the only copy of my book that I had before was handled by far too many people during my BFA exhibit and you could see it in the pages.

The second was from Andrew. I wasn't at all expecting him to mail me my birthday present since I'm going to be there on the 12th, but he did and it made me extremely happy. He said I was allowed to open it even though it wasn't my birthday yet. Inside was an antique locket already filled with pictures to make me smile when we are apart.

Later on I went to Presti's to treat myself to another little package. Chocolate mousse cake. Absolutely delicious.

And at the end of the day the new fish are happy at home.

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