Happy Birthday to Me


I had a pretty good birthday this year–I actually celebrated it in various small ways for almost a full week. A few touching gifts from my co-workers and loved ones, two wonderful meals at my favorite local restaurants with my daughters and my best friend, a little shopping with my birthday money. One of the nicest gifts I was able to give myself was the opportunity to volunteer for a full weekend at a local conference. I ran around around madly for three days working sixteen hour shifts, helping to set up classes, equipment and parties, taking notes on every presentation I could cram in along the way.

Taken as a whole, the passage into my 44th year was a reminder that my life, however difficult it can sometimes seem, is also quite wonderful. I have meaningful connections to a great many people. And in my own small way…I am loved.

Really, what more can you ask?

This little piece of Otter Sanctuary concept art was commissioned from Ludovic Mercier, a Sword of the Stars fan who also happens to be a freelance illustrator. He drew the original sketch and posted it to me as a birthday gift on Twitter, which I found quite touching. I decided to commission a paid piece as a gift to myself, not only to support his art, but to remind myself that we are all, at one time or another, in need of the Grumpypants Recovery Centre.


Here’s the original sketch, which he made for me at the beginning of January. It was just a quick doodle in response to a joke that I had made about one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite tv shows, Fringe:

“They say that some people leave an indelible mark on your soul, which can never be erased. Mine…is a cartoon otter eating with chopsticks.”

May the Noodle Otter smile on us throughout the year!

This week’s Otter Link: the Discourse on the Otter Tumblr. A little fun for all my friends who love philosophy and sociology. Enjoy!

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About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, Feminist, reformed Supervillainess.
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4 Responses to Happy Birthday to Me

  1. sayethaether says:

    I always appreciated talented artists, be they freelance, hobbyists or working full-time and this otter truly reflects incredible joy – so much that it actually made me giggle in front of my computer.

    Maybe a little bit late, but allow me to wish you Happy Birthday as well, and also many successes in your future endeavours be they conquering the world or other pleasant things!

    • Arinn says:

      Thank you. πŸ™‚

      Otters definitely remind me that there is joy in the world, even when it is very hard to find within myself. That’s why I fill up the Grumpypants Recovery Centre with them.

  2. Ludovic Mercier says:

    Happy birthday to you again Arinn and most importantly… thank you πŸ™‚
    May this year be a great one for you.

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