wwcitizen: (CologneForChristmas)
Friday night on the way to our niece's 5th birthday party, we raced into Toys R Us to purchase a couple of Barbie dolls for her birthday gifts. Matt dashes into the store and screams, "Barbies!  STAT!" at the Customer Service Rep.

The surprised girl pointed back to the "Babies/Dolls" sign in the middle aisle of the store, watching two big, burly guys rushing to review the store's doll situation. As fate would have it, we two were looking for Fairy Barbies.

We found about 4 different kinds and bought her three of them. The strangest one seemed as though it should require batteries to make the wings flap. Upon further inspection, it looked as though there were no battery requirements, but the instructions showed a little girl doing something with the legs of the Fairy Barbie.
Say what you will, but it looks as though the little girl is squeezing the legs together and the wings are flapping. Truth is, you're supposed to just shake the doll back and forth, frontwards and backwards to make the wings flap. LAME!

We ran to get gift bags, tissue paper, a card, and some squiggly ribbons, then quickly got to the check out. In the car, Matthew drove and I feverishly packed the bags with Barbies and wrote out the card. In my mind I was picturing tissue paper and ribbons comically flying behind the car as we flew up the highway to the hibachi restaurant for dinner. We were already about 30 minutes late for dinner.

I told Matt in the frenzy, "Let's remember to name the Fairy Barbie with the flappable wings... Fangoria!  Her name'll be Fangoria, so that Slagothor has a friend.  Since Fangoria has pink wings, she'll be the leader of the Mean Girls."

In the cacophony and stress of the hibachi restaurant, we forgot to mention the doll's name. Rest assured, it'll happen: Fangoria will find her place in Gianna's doll entourage.
wwcitizen: (NC - Lighthouse)
Yesterday morning, I woke up thinking about all that my father has experienced in his lifetime and what world events have taken place during the 88 years of his being on earth.  Today is his 88th birthday and here's a short list (quickly off the top of my head) of things that have happened in his lifetime:

Wars:
WWII, Korean War, The Cold War, Vietnam War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Desert Storm, Afghan & Iraq Wars

Economic Turmoil:
Great Depression, The Marshall Act (Germany/Europe), Reaganomics

Social Topics/Change:
Baby Boomers (he and my mom had 4), McCarthyism, Equal Rights Movement, Hippies, Abortion Rights, Prohibition (born during it and witnessed its end), KKK (membership peaked in 1920!), Gay Rights, Generation X-ers (he and my mom had one - ME!), the 80s

Governmental Forms:
Democracy, Socialism, Communism, Apartheid

Notable Leaders' Times:
15 US Presidents' terms (Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (1), Clinton, Bush (2), Obama)
UK governmental leaders - Winston Churchil, Margaret Thatcher, he probably watched Queen Elizabeth get crowned
Social Leaders: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Sinn Fein (IRA), Rosa Parks

US Constitutional Amendments:
#19-27 - includes Women's Suffrage, presidential term limit, legal voting age, and removal of the poll tax.

Various Factoids:
- Las Vegas, NV, is only 18 years older than my dad.
- Israel was formed as a modern state in 1948.
- Man landed on the moon in 1969.
- The NYC Twin Towers were built and destroyed during his life.
- The Iron Curtain was erected and torn down in his lifetime.
- My dad is as old as the institution of Social Security.

Notable Inventions/discoveries during my dad's life:
The TV (1923 - 1927), penicillin, FM (frequency modulator) radio, The Mayan Calendar stone (1960), transistors, Teflon, LSD, Barbie, many advancements in photography (including the advent of Polaroid photography and the speedy decline of film cameras), the hydrogen bomb, computers (yes, my dad emails!), the Internet, nuclear energy, robots, the microwave oven (1946), and 1000s more!!

Around my dad and throughout his lifetime, the world has experienced massive change - some good, some bad, and all expressive of the human experience, which I find fascinating. My dad has touched and experienced much of it.  Good on you, Dad!

Happy birthday!
 
 
 
wwcitizen: (Martini Steve)
We were invited to a birthday party in Manhattan last night (the 3rd one this month!). The party was on the upper deck of the Empire Hotel, which overlooks the Lincoln Center. I took some pretty good pictures, but of course, the later it got, the tipsier the pictures became.

In one of the other bars, we heard that Peaches (of Peaches and Herb) were doing a photo shoot. So, we went to where they were and saw Peaches and Herb (who's no longer with us). He sang Reunited to my friend whose birthday it was. REALLY cool!!

I also remember playing belly bump with a cute Greek daddy for some reason. His wife loved my belly, as did he. It was a really fun evening of cheers, smiles, and merriment.

Off to another birthday dinner get-together, but much smaller - four of us meeting at Peasant in SOHO. Amazing restaurant. I already know what I'm getting: the sauteed skate wing. Delicious!

I'll be uploading the video (of Peaches singing) and photos later on tonight or tomorrow. Still working on the 4000+ pictures from LA. It's a lot of work!
wwcitizen: (AngryFace-LobsterAttack)
Our cleaning lady's name is Betty. She comes every two weeks and does a decent job around here. Before she left today after she was done, I sat at the kitchen table while Matthew stood at the door chatting with her. I could hear everything; our place has excellent acoustics.

She said, "Mr. Matthew (she's Serbian), I'm gonna be old this year! I'm gonna be 42 and my son 19. Two of my kids are in college!"

Honey.

When Matthew and I were reviewing this scene at the door this evening, we both looked at each other, mouths agape, as he locked the door. I exclaimed, "I am gonna be 42 this year and I go to NY dance parties that start at midnight! What's SHE talking about?"
wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
Copenhagen was a lot of fun for both of us. We had two very informative and not terribly overlapping tours of the city; one of them had a cool boat & harbor component. I fell in love with Copenhagen and the time we had there was perfect. When we had reached and gone through Tallinn, I had thought I wouldn't be able to find yet another city interesting - especially one I had visited already years ago with my brother.

However, the city proved me wrong. I got a new spring in my step. Maybe because I was officially going to be in my 40s whilst seeing the sights. Not sure. But I found myself walking and walking and walking and not wanting to be done taking in the city - even when we were leaving.

One interesting thing that happened to me in Copenhagen was while walking around town taking pictures on my birthday, August 5th. I was minding my own business looking at all the buildings and people, alone, not thinking of anything in particular when I passed this "guru", we'll call him. Well, he wore a turban, looked Hindu, and had a very Indian/Sri Lankan accent.

He spoke to me in English and said, "You have a very happy aura about you - a very happy and positive aura, but your focus right now is fully on someone else and not yourself. You are always thinking about this other person to make sure that their needs are met before yours; that's very selfless and good. In the next two months - by October - you will experience something new and different and your life will change. Can I read your palm? I would very much like to read your palm."

I've run into many fortune-tellers, soothsayers, and gurus (or clairvoyants) in my day, but none had ever been this forceful or approachable. Many of them want to read my palm - even for free - and you know they all want money for their information somehow. Didn't know where this was leading and when I'm alone in a big city I'm always wary about my surroundings (learned this in Vienna, Austria, of all places). If a stranger - like this - starts talking to me, I start looking (inconspicuously) around to see who might become my pickpocket.

Nothing happened and I thanked the guy. But of course those kinds of instances make an impression. Things he said were true. I am a happy person. I am a positive person. How'd he know that my focus was on someone else - my dad? I felt my "self" being selfless the entire trip with my dad - how does that feeling or exertion translate to facial or bodily expression when you see someone on the street? Maybe because I was looking around him to see who was with him. Dunno. It was all very interesting.
wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
Here's hoping that (although you might be working) you have a fab-o b-day! And many more.
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
Happy (early) Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] squirreltot!! I won't be in town when your birthday gets here. Hope you have a GREAT day!!
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
Happy (belated) birthday to [livejournal.com profile] climatebearnj!! Hope you had a fun one!!
wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
Not sure if he's still checking his blog or if he'll get this note at all, but I want to wish my Boston pal, [livejournal.com profile] likeembeefy a very Happy Birthday!! Hope to see you in Ptown again this year!
wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
"True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness." - Albert Einstein

Today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Einstein!!
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
Hope you have a wonderful day [livejournal.com profile] astrobear! You deserve it.
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
People complain all the time that I'm the most difficult person to shop for. I concede that I am. It's not by choice and it's not (contrary to popular perception) because I have extreme tastes; it's because I want for nothing. There is nothing that I desire, need, or expect. 2008 was a year of unexpectedly and surprisingly well thought-out gifts from folks.

Not sure if it's widely known, but my 40th birthday was last year. Many, many other friends of mine, including Matt's brother-in-law, turned 40. It was a revolving door of party after party after party for friends turning 40. The last thing on my mind was a party, so I didn't have one. That pissed off Matt to the nth degree because he really wanted to throw me a lavish party. A 40th birthday party for me - especially this year - would have been too cliche in light of all the others.

I wanted a 40th celebration just for Matthew and me, and we had that. It was really nice. He got me very thoughtful and surprising gifts. A couple of friends of mine got me a really cool, loud paisley shirt and some flamboyant socks that I love wearing. Matthew also took me out to dinner and to see Young Frankenstein, which was all wonderfully understated, calm, and fun.

At Christmas Matt and I exchanged gifts because it was the season. We capped our spending heavily because we buy each other stuff throughout the year, so Christmas becomes an enforced gift-giving scenario for us. Blech. He and I might just forgo the Christmas gift-giving with each other next year for that same reason.

My sisters, last year, in particular thought about their gifts - scrap-booking supplies, bathroom readers, and a juicer. Everyone in my family heard for months that there was nothing I needed, we have no space for anything, and nothing in particular inspired me enough to want.

BUT, I have to say my sisters surprised me the most this year at my birthday. They got me a balloon ride coupon, which is good until Nov. 2009. When I got it in the mail, I was so excited!! Like a kid in a candy shop. I've always wanted to go on a balloon ride or ride in a glider.

Matt has already told me that he wouldn't go with me. I've asked a couple of other friends and only one has "bellied up to the bar". My ticket's covered, and I can only imagine the cost at about $100 for another person to go on the balloon ride with me. I was looking in the brochure and there are balloon rides (along with gliders and para-sailing adventures) usable with the coupon all over the place. I've thought about looking into a balloon ride in the spring or summer when we're on vacation somewhere. I was picturing us in the Rockies, Florida, the Smokey Mountains, or even somewhere in NJ (there are tons of ballooners in NJ and PA). I'm still excited. Just found the coupon in its envelope and stuck it up on my wall to remind me and keep me focused on that excitement.
wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
Happy Birthday to my OH friend, [livejournal.com profile] renoir_girl. Hope you have a GREAT, FANTASTIC day!!
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
A big ol' Happy Birthday hug and sloppy kisses out to my buddy [livejournal.com profile] durabear for his birthday today! XOXOXOXOX
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
Big Happy Birthday hugs out to [livejournal.com profile] tbone1961. This has to be early cuz I'm gonna be outta town when it actually hits you!! Consider yourself licked by a bear for your birthday!!
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
We were on the road and not online for the last few days; sorry I couldn't wish you Happy Birthday in person and give you a brotherly 40-yr-old hug!! Welcome to the crowd of 2008 400-yr-olds!!

Happy 40th Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] faghatesgods!!
wwcitizen: (Bear With Big Candle)
I'm hoping this works! I'll be on the road when it's your birthday, so Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] trckrfckr!! Hope you have a good one!! Take the day off and have a gay ol' time!
wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
A big BEAR HUG and shouting "Happy Birthday" wishes to [livejournal.com profile] mondragon!! Hope you enjoy it!!
wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
Happy (belated) 25th Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] allsmilesbear!! Hope you had a great day yesterday - extend the celebration to tomorrow!! Three days of a birthday!! Sounds good to me - course I'm a Leo...
wwcitizen: (Default)
I already posted a reply on [livejournal.com profile] martini_tim's entry about his birthday, and for some reason, LJ didn't notify me of his birthday. But, as is the norm on my corner of this universe, I'm extending an (almost belated) exuberantly Happy Birthday wish to my new LJ buddy, [livejournal.com profile] martini_tim!! With many more to come! I'm in fact, having a dirty martini in your honor right now!

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Stephen Lambeth

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