Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy Birthday Girl

Wow! What a spoiled girl I am! I have been very busy celebrating my birthday over the past few days.

I started my Friday morning, the day before my birthday, with a birthday cupcake. Jamie ordered a Red Velvet Revolution cupcake from Bangerang Bake Shop and had it shipped to me. It was a fun and yummy indulgence, which I happily ate for breakfast.

Paul had claimed the day of my birthday for secret birthday fun far in advance, so I had birthday celebrations with others in advance of the actual day. On Friday evening, my mom and I went out to a delicious dinner at one of my favorite places to eat in the whole wide world: The French Meadow Bakery and Cafe. I actually ate the dish pictured on the front page of their website, the Sweet Corn Arepas. We also shared the often raved about Appetizer Tasting Flight, some tasty stout beer, chocolate torte and dessert wine. It was a great feast and a great one-on-one evening with the woman who has known me the longest.

On the morning of my actual birthday, Paul started the day by unearthing our car from the snowfall and driving us through the snowy city to have a birthday breakfast at Victor's 1959 Cafe.

Victor's serves Cuban food in a mismatchy, oil cloth clad, graffiti filled, shack-like building. We loved it!

The food reminded us of the meals we ate in Costa Rica. Beans, rice, eggs and plantains = Yum.

At breakfast I was presented with an envelope titled "Do." It was filled with options of art exhibits that I could chose from as the thing we would "do" with the rest of the morning. The first omen that indicated things might not go as planned was that Paul realized he had forgotten his wallet at home. I had to front him the money for breakfast. No big deal. We have linked accounts and he can transfer the money back to me and it'll be like he bought it the whole time. Well, that was the beginning of things being a little off. After more snow clearing, more snowy driving and a wallet recovery stop at home, we headed to the first exhibit at Franklin Art Works.

William Lamson - Actions
Lamson, based in New York, will premier his recently completed Actions series of 33 short videos (2007-08) in which the artist artfully bursts dozens of black balloons in increasingly inventive ways. The videos, extending over 30 minutes, are a study in motion with a dry sense of humor throughout. Each short required intricate planning, exact timing and deadpan performance by the artist, such as Actions (April 10, 2008) depicting the artist swinging into frame, suspended from his heels to pop a falling balloon at the last possible moment of its fall with a pin attached to his head.

When we got there we found it was closed until noon. Ok, that was fine, we just headed to the second one and planned to return to the first one later. The second exhibit was called Sketchy Past and was at the Rosalux Gallery. That too, didn't open until noon, but with the drive over there, it wasn't long until noon. So we wandered around the Open Book Center and waited for it to open. Which, it didn't. The snow was pretty bad, so we suspected that the staff person was delayed. While waiting for it to open, I got hooked up with info about a pottery sale from Jamie and Charleen, so Paul took me there to buy me a little sumpin' sumpin' out of clay.

Then, we made one last attempt at seeing an exhibit and headed back to Franklin Art Works. It was open this time, but when we got inside we encountered an dark, empty screening room where the exhibit was supposed to be. As stated by the staff person, they were having "technical issues" that weren't worth fixing being that this was the last day of the exhibit. Ahhhh!!! At this point we took an arm's length photo and headed home to be under quilts for a while. We had had enough of fighting the weather and didn't want to further tempt the deck that was seemingly stacked against us that morning.

After a lazy afternoon and another envelope entitled "Touch" full of coupons for a year's worth of massages from Paul, we got bundled up again and went to dinner. Paul found a place in St. Paul we hadn't been to before called Cafe 128.

The menu didn't have a lot of choices, especially for a vegetarian, but the choices were all quality and quality is better than quantity! Paul had a chicken dish and I had roasted vegetables with saffron cous cous. We were impressed with the flavors and enjoyed our cozy dinner.

But, there was one more envelope to be opened. This one was titled, "Go." It was a BIG present. Paul is sending me to Rhinebeck in 2009! He knows how much I enjoy it and heard more than a few remarks during Rhinebeck 2008 about what I was missing out on, so he decided to start a little "savings" account into which he will make a deposit each month until my flight and admission are covered. What an amazing gift!

Now I just need to find some travel partners...calling Becky!...calling Jamie! Let's go!

As if that wasn't enough, the day wasn't over yet. Paul told me that I had dessert waiting for me at home, so we didn't order any at the restaurant. You'll have to wait until the next post to hear what happened next :)


  1. Happy birthday! It sounds like it was an excellent day, despite the little snags you had along the way. Super yay about rhinebeck - i have never been, but plan to go next year for the first time! Maybe I WILL see you again someday! ;-)

  2. Woohoo! Rhinebeck '09!

    And happy birthday!

  3. You deserve to be spoilt, lady. ;)

  4. Happy Happy birthday! Your darling is very sweet and thoughtful! I hope reinbeck is amazing as it sounds. Now that I am moving my home to Ontario, maybe I will get down there!

    Enjoy your birthday week!


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