Thursday, June 26, 2008

How many things do you have that have lasted 32 years*?

Today is our wedding anniversary. Norman and I were married (drum roll or a chair to catch you when you faint...) 32 years ago today. Aren't we cute!

No disaster stories to tell. Instead our wedding was a great party for those who attended. Me, I was too nervous about how things were going and obsessing over whether we were doing things "right" to really enjoy myself.

Times have changed, colors have DEFINITELY changed and for better or worse, some of the people have changed. From left to right in the photo are: Ted Lundquist, Norm's best man. Ted was a friend from college who Norm asked as he really didn't have a best friend from childhood or any siblings. Ted was a pip! Funny, great with the ladies (especially the grandmothers!) and an all around good guy. We lost contact with Ted and haven't heard or talked with him in over 28 years.

Next to Ted is my maid of honor, Barbara Scandurra O'Dea. To this day, Barbara is my best friend. The sad part is we only get to see each other once every few years. This has me bummed immensely. Luckily she reads my blog and is much better at calling me than I am her. Her daughter, Laura graduates high school - probably this week. I owe her a call and a whole lot more for all she has done and meant to me over the years. She out distances Norman by 10 years as we have known each other since we were 13 years old!

The bride - me. Story goes I met Norman on the 2nd day of freshman orientation for college. He was with the roommate of the only other person I knew in the state of New Hampshire (where I was going to school). He says he saw me playing volleyball on the lawn in front of the Commons and I looked really cute in my hot pants and great legs! We started dating about a month later and have been together ever since. That's where the (*) comes in above. I want life experience credit for the five other years between meeting and marriage!

Next is Norman. Isn't he the cutest thing!! Girls, I lucked out in the cute department. He was prettier than I was at the wedding! Truth be told now, he has the cuter legs. I inherited my grandmother's thick ankles which kicked in about 15 years ago - bummers :-( Story goes he was dating Mary Betha Fales (my friend's roommate) but spending all his time with me! Took him a month to get it right.

Next is Suzanne Hensler. I had known Suzanne since the first grade when as a new student, brought into my class in the middle of the semester our teacher asked me to show her to the girl's room. Suzanne was my daring, dangerous, not mom approved friend. But she was cool and fun and non-judgemental and didn't make fun or tease me like my other childhood friends would do. So Suzanne and I formed a friendship that lasted a number of years. We had one really big falling out as kids. I don't remember what it was about but the bottom line is we didn't speak to each other for a year! We made up only to have her move away to upstate New York within the next year. We kept in touch, I spent a week up at her house almost every summer and then we drifted apart again. We continued to stay in touch but her life took a different direction from mine. She married her first husband about a year or so before my wedding. It wasn't a good relationship and although she was my bridesmaid, she spent very little time at the reception and in the prep stages before. She had a lot more problems with her family, her husband and her health. The break came in 1999 when she told me I had to believe her way or it was the highway for our friendship. She was into a lot of fundamentalist, zealot, doomsday stuff and believed(truly) that the world would end at the stroke of midnight starting the year 2000. I told her that while I could respect her decision to live her life a different way and believe differently, I could not accept that it was her way or nothing for all mankind (let alone little old me)and that I could not live my life according to her rules. So we ended our friendship and I haven't heard from her since.

Last, but certainly not least is the Boy Wonder, my brother Brion. The only major glitch in the wedding date was that the next day my brother would graduate from high school. My mother saw this as not a great omen. Brion was allowed to bring a guest to the wedding so what hot date did he pick...Richie Papperno (sorry about the spelling). Well, he and Richie had a great (and I mean a really good time!) Brion was dancing away with his cousins, he was the life of the party. Come to find out later that while we were winging our way to Florida the next day, Brion was hung-over with a barf bag under his robes, graduating from high school!

So that's what I was doing 32 years ago today and yes, we decided to renew the contract for another year...

Update: Norman just got home and for our anniversary and this is what he said, "Because I care enough to give the very best. I did extensive research and discovered that chocolate cake from the Medaille college cafeteria is what is given on your 32nd anniversary." With that I got a piece of chocolate cake from my honey.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Observations and Updates

I have some observations and comments about other events and news from the last week or so.

I got an envelope from a former student of mine, Kelly O'Malley Dutton last week and when I opened it look what I found! The beautiful, absolutely adorable, Claire Marie Dutton! I was so excited. Kelly was a work-study in my former office and she was not just a student worker, she became a wonderful friend, and an absolute delight to have in my life. I was honored to attend her wedding and absolutely thrilled to introduce her daughter to world!

Buffalo's Favorite Son...

Tim Russert's sudden passing last week has left Buffalo, western NY and much of the nation in shock. I'm not a political person - verbally. I let my vote do my talking. In this day of biased, left wing vs. right wing political reporters and networks Tim Russert was an example of what a reporter is supposed to be. Someone who challenges our political leaders, someone who does not let his own political bias rule and dictate his reporting. A reporter who demands the truth from our politicians and holds them to task. It is getting harder and harder to find a journalist and/or reporter who is willing to submerge his or her political opinions and personal ambitions and bring to the American people BOTH sides of an issue. The type of reporter and journalist Tim Russert was is what we need in this country more than ever right now.

On a local level, Tim Russert was Buffalo's favorite son. This city has been in mourning since we received the news last Friday. He was loved by Buffalo and he loved Buffalo. The son of a city worker who grew up in the blue collar Irish Catholic neighborhood of south Buffalo, Tim never left his roots behind. He was proud of Buffalo - something many of the city's leaders and citizens today - are not. He announced the opening day line-up via the big screen every year for our AAA baseball club, the Buffalo Bisons. Her returned to the city often to visit his dad, Big Russ and he never turned his back on his roots. He will be missed here as much as he will on Sunday mornings by the rest of the country.

What Fun!

I'm a couch potato that really likes to watch sports - on the couch! I get my love for spectator sports from two people, Jim McKay and my mother. Saturdays we would watch Wide World of Sports. This was way before ESPN. Jim McKay covered everything from ice skating to barrel jumping to the Kentucky Derby to the Indianapolis 500 to Arnie's Army. Many, many weekends I'd sit with my mom and watch WWS on Saturday and then the final round of a golf tournament on Sunday. My mom really liked Arnold Palmer and like me she was the spectator in spectator sports. The most active she ever got was her Monday night bowling league when I was a kid. But thanks to both mom and Jim McKay I watch golf, ice skating, gymnastics, football, baseball, auto racing and the Olympics to name a few.

I had the best time watching the U.S. Open this past weekend and Monday. Watching Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate was a gas! I haven't enjoyed a golf tournament this much in a long time. I'm a big Tiger Woods fan. I think he's the greatest thing to hit golf since Arnold Palmer - my mom's favorite. This weekend was a tour de force of excitement, skill, luck and good sportsmanship.

So, while we say a tearful and thankful goodbye two broadcasting icons, as a nation, life goes on. Welcome Claire Marie.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Heat and Sex, not necessarily in that order!

I had a girl's night out last night. A bunch of us from the store went out to dinner at the Oliver Garden and then went to see 'Sex and the City'. What fun!!
We don't have HBO, but while the show was still on the air, every time we were in a hotel that had HBO I'd be looking through the TV listings to see if it was on during our stay. The only trouble was the trip would have to be sans Alexa as the ladies could get a bit risque. Then they started showing 'abridged' episodes on TBS. I finally got to see most of the series - and I wanted more!
Now, the movie! I could have dragged Norm (under extreme duress) but it was so much more fun to go with Sharon, Dimitra, Linda, Marty and Elisabeth. We went to dinner first. Trying to fill in the ladies who didn't know the show in a public restaurant was a bit of challenge. So was our waiter (another story). It was like in the movie. I needed words to substitute for the more graphic and earthy language, like in the movie. Coloring was good, but I needed polite euphemisms for different types of coloring and other coloring instruments and accessories! Luckily, the beginning of the movie explained each character and their individual backgrounds. Being with the other ladies meant I could laugh out loud, cry (yes, I cried, more than once) and revel in the joy of girlfriends!
It was so good I went out this morning and bought the first three seasons on DVD - now I want to see the unabridged version! Again, maybe I better wait until Alexa is in bed - maybe even Norm too!
P.S. - AC is fixed, living in a comfortable 75 degree house - but, the manufacturer's rep is coming on Thursday to check out the unit because we asked for a new one. To be continued...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

How I knew it was the beginning of summer...

Summer has begun - I'm not a summer person. I know most people look at the calendar counting the days until the "official" start. Me, summer really begins when I have to turn on the air conditioning. If you are a faithful reader you know I already have issues with heat - the internal variety. Now, not only is my internal furnace working past what is required, mother nature is hitting me again with external heat!

But, I digress. We've 'enjoyed' and I use that term very loosely, two days of 80+ degree temps. So yesterday when I turned on our central air (one of the reasons we bought this house), guess what didn't work...again. When we moved here four years ago the house had central air. As a 50+ year old woman, yippeee! I thought, my misery is solved! Well, the AC worked great the first year but the second year, no go. So we called the company that the former owners used. They came, they saw, they advised and we bought a whole new unit. I have another name for the 'new' AC - LEMON!

Every year on the first hot day, we turn the AC on and it doesn't work! This year was not exception. I've slept in the basement the last two nights - I want my bed - any bed again! I am a hot, unhappy, hot flashing, camper! Stay tuned for updates

P.S. - Had to change the color, green wasn't working for me!