Hi there, Dear Reader. It is late morning – almost-but-not-quite midday – here in Lithia, Florida on Thursday, December 9, 2021. It’s a cool – but not cold – early winter day. Right now the temperature is 73˚F (23˚C) under mostly cloudy skies. With humidity at 91% and the wind blowing from the east-southeast at 2 MPH (4 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 72˚F (22˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 84˚F (29˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy, and the low will be 65˚F (18˚C).
Yesterday was a “red-letter day” for me. It was memorable because, after 18 years or so (we round it down to 20 in casual conversation and on Facebook) after we became friends on a now-defunct site called Epinions, I met my fellow blogger and review-writing pal Patti Aliventi in person. She is in the Sunshine State now, and because Lithia is not far from where Patti is now, she told me that she was definitely going to come by to see me and take me out of the house for a bit.
We had a nice time; after we greeted each other at the door, I hopped into her car, and off we went to nearby Brandon; she had invited me to lunch at a place of my choosing, so we went to Denny’s. I had been craving a Moons Over My Hammy sandwich and a cup of Denny’s coffee for a while, plus it’s not as expensive a place as my favorite restaurant in the Tampa Bay area, Cali Viejo. Hopefully next time Patti comes this way we will go there, but for our first outing, Denny’s was great.
As I said, Patti and I enjoyed our outing, my choice of restaurant (odd, I know) notwithstanding. She’s one cool person to hang out with; we’ve “known” each other online, starting in December 2003, for almost 20 years, so striking up a conversation was easy because we are familiar with each other’s lives and philosophies. We’re also sci-fi geeks, although I must admit that Patti embraces far more fandoms than I because, in addition to Star Wars, Star Trek, Stephen King, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, my friend is into Doctor Who, Babylon 5, and other franchises that escape my memory right now.
I didn’t keep tabs on how much time we spent at Denny’s, but we had a leisurely lunch over which we chatted about various topics – family life, the merits (or lack thereof) of Paramount+’s The Stand miniseries, the movie version of Doctor Sleep, the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series on Disney+, politics, and our various pets. Like I said, it was a pleasant and comfortable conversation because we already “knew” each other after many years of reading each other’s writing on Epinions (which closed in late February of 2014) and other online writing venues and blogs, including Thoughts from the Mountain Top and this one.
Inexplicably, neither of us thought about taking a selfie or asking someone to snap a photo, but we both chose to wear Star Wars T-shirts for our meet-and-greet/lunch outing. She wore a Mos Eisley Cantina tee, while I wore one with the Millennium Falcon. (I told you we are science-fiction geeks, did I not?)
It was awesome to meet Patti in person – she’s smart, witty, funny, and kind – and I introduced her to most of my housemates, including the Caregiver (who had half the day off from her county clerk of the court job for personal reasons). Everyone liked Patti, so I’m not alone in my opinion!
After Patti left, I spent most of my afternoon on social media or not doing anything constructive. I took my leftovers from lunch (half the Moons Over My Hammy and most of the hash browns) and ate them for dinner. After that, I watched South Pacific (which I hadn’t seen in a while) till 11 PM. The Caregiver has the day off today, too, and was too wound up to go to sleep, so I played my John Williams Live in Vienna concert Blu-ray for her until…1 AM or something like that. She fell asleep about two-thirds of the way through; I watched the entire program.
As you can well imagine, Dear Reader, I’m a bit tired. I woke up later than I usually do, but I think I went to bed close to 2 AM and did not get enough restful sleep. Also, I need to take my shower and change into clean clothes, and maybe take the rest of the day off to read or watch a movie – or maybe two.
So, until next time, my friend, I’ll toddle off and close for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.