Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another year older...

That's right.. yesterday my biological odometer turned over yet another number.  I'm now 28.  Lord have mercy I'm getting old!

I had a wonderful day with family and friends.  I woke up to what seemed like a million greetings on facebook wishing me a "Happy Birthday".  I think Facebook is helping to put greeting card companies out of business... since we can now share greetings instantly over the web.

I LOVE getting the facebook and text message greetings.  Just like on Christmas morning... the whole ride home from Mass my phone will be chiming with text messages of warm wishes.  It's a cool feeling to get so many at once, and realize just how many people are in your life.. and care.  :)

My good friend Bob takes me out to lunch or dinner every year.  This year I decided I wanted a WNY staple, beef on weck.  To me, there was only one place to go for that.. Schwabl's in West Seneca.  Yes, it's a bit of a drive for me, but it's worth it.  The food was amazing and we had a good time.

After lunch, the two of us drove to Allen Town to stop at Q for a drink... or two.. or three.  We met two of our friends there and laughed over some wine... and whatever "summery" concoction Bob was drinking.

Pizza and wings were then dished out at my brother and sister in law's home... along with a birthday cake and homemade coconut cream pie!! DROOOOOOOOL!!!  I LOVE coconut cream pie.  My sister-in-law's mother... who is so kind to me... baked it.  She is an amazing baker!!  It always seems as if I'm doing the baking for other people, so it was nice to have someone make something just for me.

I even got my own personal mini-birthday cake, baked by my friend Susan's 12 year old daughter, Olivia.  From what I understand, it was her first venture into the world of baking.  It was so cute.. and delicious!  She can also bake for me any time she wants.  Heck, I can have a whole baking staff now!

Now that I think about it... I don't want to know how many calories I consumed yesterday.  Haha!

I've always heard you shouldn't tell people what you wish for when you blow out your birthday candles, but I'll tell you as long as you promise to keep it a secret.  I wished for a new JOB.  One thing that is glaring in my mind when I reflect upon the last 10 years of my life is the lack of momentum my professional career has had.  I truly want to move forward with my life, have a stable income and get a place of my own (here in WNY if possible).  If I could have one wish.. that would be it.... and world peace and a boyfriend if the genie isn't too busy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's in a number?

Before telephones became the norm in all households, and prior to the need for area codes, phone numbers used exchanges so the operator knew where to connect the call.  For example, our phone number starts with 695.  Up the the 60's, our extension may have been OXford 5 --- the OX corresponding to 69 and the term OXford telling the operator where to connect the call (should you need the operator's assistance).

Why this entry about telephone numbers?  It's because of a telephone number that my Grandparents met... and fast forward decades later... I came into existence.

My mother's parents both lived in small towns in Pennsylvania around the Wilkes Barre area.  Most families worked in the coal mines which didn't give much money for luxuries.. such as having a telephone line.  My Grandmother's family was one of the few in her neighborhood to have a telephone since it was needed to conduct business in her parent's "Mom and Pop" store which they operated in the front of their home.

My grandmother remembered her neighbors giving out the store's telephone number (my grandmother's home phone number) to friends.  The call would come to my grandma's house.. and she would have to hunt down the party for whom the call was intended so they could come use the phone.  She always hated that.


One day, Grams and her friend Dorothy were out and about and a man started hitting on Dorothy.  My Grandmother could tell Dorothy wasn't interested... but couldn't resist antagonizing this poor fellow further.  The man asked Dorothy if she had a phone so he could give her a call some time... before Dorothy could tell the guy off, Grams yelled out: "VAlley 2-2047!".  She told Dorothy she'd be happy to bring her to the phone should the guy call her.  Dorothy was not amused... Grams was hysterical with laughter. 

The romance between Dorothy and this fellow never materialized, but this man thought Grandma was so kind to help him out that he told his buddy Vince about her.  Soon, Grandma got a call from this Vince asking her out on a date.

Yes.. it was my Grandfather.  A star football player for his High School, good looking, though rather shy and reserved.. he took my Grandmother out on a blind date.  She used to tell me she never understood what he would see in her... he was so handsome and could have any girl he wanted.

After the date though, Grams didn't hear from him again... not for an entire year.  Talk about playing hard to get!  On New Year's Eve Gramps was sitting around and said to himself "I wonder what Helen is up to" and gave her a call.

Not one to sit around waiting for the phone to ring... Grams was out having a good time with her friends.  My grandfather called and woke up my Great-grandmother who spoke little to no English.  He would have to try again.

As you may have guessed he got a hold of her, they started dating regularly... and the rest was history.  All thanks to a simple telephone number.. and my grandma being a smart ass.  Because of this story I have a great affinity for that number VA2-2047.  Without it, my grandparents might not have met.. and I might never have been born.

In light of the story though, perhaps I should give the guys a meet a year to call me back before giving up on them???  Nah... I'll find a football player of my own.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Bucket List

It's exactly what the title implies... like the movie... it's a list of things I'd like to do before I "kick the bucket".

1. Spend more time in the Manhattan area: Brooklyn, Liberty Island, Coney Island (what's left of it), Greenwich Village.. etc.
2. Visit Chicago and make a pilgrimage to Optimo Hatters (and if finances permit at the time.. buy a hat)
3. See the ocean in person
4. Take a trip on a train
5. Visit the Vatican
6. Attend a Papal Mass
7. Learn to drive stick shift
8. Drive a classic car (pre-1957) -- hence wanting to learn to drive a stick shift
9. Own my own home
10. Get "married" (for lack of better term)
11. Visit Ireland
12. Visit Germany
13. Go to Hollywood
14. Learn to sew
15. Take a trans-Atlantic cruise

For now... I think that's a good list.  Enough to keep me busy for a while at least.