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2004-05-20 - 10:16 p.m.

I scored the fastest time yet for 3 laps at Purgatory: 36:40! It was great weather for running today. It's amazing the difference it's made in my running attitude when I'm running to get in shape and not running to get faster. Running faster is a nice side-effect, but there's no stress involved worrying about whether or not I should be running faster since I seem to be getting in better shape. Jimmie noticed that I seemed to have lost some weight, and that's enough to make running a million times more enjoyable; knowing that it's working!

Many of the details of Jimmie's trip have already been forgotten, but I'll recount a few of them here for later reminiscing:

I was a little nervous picking Jimmie up from the airport. For one thing I went to the wrong airport. Then I couldn't figure out if his flight had come in or not so I had to go to a different area of the terminal to check. Eventually Jimmie found me. As soon as I saw him again, I knew everything was going to be great. And for once, it was!

I was talking with Jimmie about how when I was little my dad made us go into the basement in the middle of the night and listen to the radio when a big storm blew through. He was afraid we would get hit by a tornado. I was remembering the tornado drills at school and how I used to hear tornado sirens all the time, and I didn't anymore. I missed the tornado sirens and being forced into the basement. Wouldn't you know! Mother's Day the tornado sirens went off! And we all crowded into the basement, except this time it was Jimmie instead of my brother and a TV instead of a radio. Also this time my dad was a little less frightened, and we went outside to look at the clouds. We even saw some of them swirling. It looked green. One of the newscasters couldn't get over how the winds ripped the bark right off a tree.

As if this didn't fufill my storm needs, when Jimmie and I went camping not too long later, there was an intense thunderstorm right over our campsite, and presumably the surrounding areas. We slept in the van, and thank God! The tent was caved in and filled with rain puddles the next day. We were the most disorganized campers. I realized we'd forgotten a flashlight and we made an extra trip to the visitor's center, who had to call a local gas station to see if they had any. They did and we collected one and I think some brats. Later I remembered that I also didn't have any matches, and it was back to the local gas station for matches, as well as some Captain and Coke, most of which we didn't drink and I therefore still have. We had the place nearly to ourselves, and even though it was gray, cold, and rainy, and the only thing we did while we were there was walk across the Mississippi and very little hiking and no canoeing, it was still one of the funnest camping trips I've been on. We played cards and scrabble and drank and ate a weird dried chicken and rice mix and had a good time with the lightning and other things. As I recall we seemed to want to get back by a certain time for something, but I can't remember what now.

That's all for the meantime, because I'm getting sleepy and cold. Tomorrow I'm helping a co-worker move, and almost more for myself and my other co-workers than the one who needs to be moved. She's so easily stressed out and won't stop talking about moving, and every time she brings it up it's like an ice pick driven right through my eyeball and into my brain. OK, it's nowhere near that bad. But we'll all be happy when she has other things to be stressed about instead of moving.

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