I Did Good!

I surprised a friend yesterday with a Happy Birthday text message. I haven't seen or talked to Hoppy since I left Champaign. We used to hang out at work. (Hoppy worked for the fire dept when I worked for the ambulance company.) Anyway, I sent a HBD text and a little while later my phone rang, so we chatted a bit. It was good to talk. I'll definitely give a shout out next time I'm up north and maybe we can grab dinner or something. I forgot to ask how life as a lieutenant is going, so I will definitely have to ask about that the next time we talk.

As long as I'm in pinging mode, I'm going to call or e-mail one person each week, just to keep in touch. I can't complain about other people not calling or writing me if I don't do a very good job of it either. Well, I could, but that hardly seems fair and besides, as you'll read later, the complaining isn't very helpful.

Last night was incredibly rainy and incredibly windy. It actually woke me up, which rarely happens. I don't know if it was the wind, the rain or both which did it. I tried to look out the window, but it was raining hard enough I couldn't see much anyway. It sounded really cool. I was a bit surprised there wasn't any thunder and lightning to go along with the intense rain.

Since I can only barely hear the storm siren when I'm awake, I decided to put my weather radio on the nightstand last night. It went off once, but that was for a flash flood warning in another county. I'll definitely be keeping the radio handy for future stormy nights. I even managed to find the local weather radio frequency.

Latest Books
I am listening to Eric Clapton's autobiography at work. It's really good. He makes no excuses for his poor behavior in his younger days and readily admits to being ashamed of a number of things he's done. This is accomplished without beating himself up or bragging about his exploits and escapades. I have often joked about Mr. Clapton being unable to keep a job since he has played with quite a few bands. He pretty much says the same thing about his early days, feeling unsatisfied by various bands for various reasons. I didn't realize how much intermingling between various British rock bands there was in the 60s. Everybody knew each other and played with/for each other. Fascinating stuff. At the moment he's gone from being a heroin addict to being a full-blown alcoholic. I think we've just entered the 1970s, but I'm not sure. I either keep missing the dates or he doesn't mention years very often.

For lunch/fun reading, I have chosen A Complaint Free World. I picked this one up on a whim from the new book shelf. It's about choosing to quit complaining, criticizing and gossiping for 21 days. They recommend you wear one of those jelly-like wristbands, then switch wrists with it every time you complain. This is to make you more mindful of what you say and how you say it, so that you can change what you say. So far the best I've done is to complain maybe 7 or 8 times. I can do better when I'm at home on a weekend since I don't usually complain out loud to myself. Most of the time I just try to not say negative things, even to myself. The underlying premise to the Complaint-Free movement is that you create your reality by what you focus upon and talk about. If you focus on the negative things, you call more of the negative, bad things to you and your life. If you focus on the positive things and what you want, you can call that to you and your life. It's a concept I've considered for some time and now I have extra motivation and reinforcement to practice being positive. I may have to buy this book, just to have the reminders handy.

Bedtime reading is either the Complaint Free book or Winterbirth. Winterbirth is a fantasy novel. I'm trying to get into it, but I'm not there yet. There is something bad lurking in the woods waiting to attack the village and castle. It might be about to get really good.

Movie Night
I went to the movies with some women from work on Monday. We saw The Bucket List. I had expected it to be a cute movie, but it was much better than I thought it would be. I have never been much of a Jack Nicholson fan, but I was very impressed by him in this film. Morgan Freeman was his usual classy, talented self. The two of them looked like they had a lot of fun making this movie. I also noticed that the company they chose for skydiving, Skydive Perris, is one of the companies that went to the World Freefall Championship in Rantoul. I may very well have seen that plane in person.

After the movie, all eight of us went to dinner at a local steak house. We ordered our meal uneventfully. (I got a salad and steamed seasonal veggies.) Half of our meals came out at once and we expected the other half to arrive shortly. Only they didn't. The other half waited and waited and waited. Our waitress appeared to vanish too. The manager stopped by after a while and said the rest of the meals would be out in just a minute. He was right. He also apologized for the delay and said they'd lost the ticket in the kitchen. One of our party asked if we could have dessert. He said he'd see what he could do. He came back later and said the late meals were on the house. He also brought out three huge desserts for us to share!!

We had a big chocolate brownie ice cream monstrosity, a caramel apple turnover with ice cream and a huge piece of bananas Foster cheesecake. They were all delicious. I thought the apple pie/turnover was the best, but the bananas Foster cheesecake was a close second. I'll definitely be ordering the apple thing again in the future and will certainly go back to the restaurant again. I was very impressed by how smoothly the manager handled the delay and how gracious the waitress was. She apologized for the mix up. Needless to say we all tipped very well and we all had a blast.


Stefaneener said…
This inspired me to mail a letter to a friend. Not a particularly inspired letter, but just a "hey howdy" kind. Everyone loves mail, and I love writing letters.

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