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IS 9/9/09 JUST A NUMBER OR A PERFECT DAY TO ACT?

Look! It's 9/9/09.

These dates that seem somehow numerically noteworthy happen every year in the beginning of any century, and then every decade after that, 1/1/01, 2/2/02, 1/1/11, 2/2/22, so on and so forth.

On 8/8/88, some people thought the world was going to end; on 6/6/06, some people thought the world was going to end; false alarms. Now people worry about 12/12/12. That's definitely going to be it. Curtains.

But today?

Some say nine means patience. Others say nine means harmony. The ninth hour is when Christ expired on the cross.

On 9/9/09, the movie 9 is opening, the La Bella Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas is having a $99 special, Domino's is giving gift certificates to people who are turning 9 or 99, and today the newly remastered digital catalogue of Beatles tunes will be released - including, of course, the infamous Revolution 9.

Numbers. Dates. They're as important as you want them to be. They're as important as you make them.

Take Janine Schenker and Anthony Battaglia. They got married in St. Petersburg on 7/7/07. They exchanged their vows at 7 p.m. They did this because they had been dating for seven years.

"Plus," Janine said Tuesday on the phone, "it'd be really easy to remember our anniversary."

For the last two years, two months and two days, it's been happily ever after and whatnot. They're both 28, they live in Odessa, he works for Edward Jones Investments in Safety Harbor, she works for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Largo. They feel lucky.

They honeymooned in Hawaii. About three weeks after getting back, Janine felt tired, and the jet lag wouldn't go away. She started to wonder. So she took a test.

Later that evening Anthony came home from work.

She said: What do you want to do tonight? Watch Knocked Up?

He said: No. Why would I want to watch that?

She said: Okay. I'm going to go to the store and get some sauce for dinner. Prego.

He said: Okay. That's random.

She said: And tomorrow morning I'll have some buns in the oven.

His eyes got wide. "No way," he said.

Lucky Luke Battaglia is 17 months old. He's a happy little kid, likes to sing, smile and laugh. He was born on April Fool's Day.

Make of that what you will.

Times news researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Michael Kruse can be reached at mkruse@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8751.

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