A Happy New Year indeed...
I must say that 2003 was a year of change for Gianni and myself. We both changed careers. We both learned a few valuable lessons. And we shared some good times with family and friends. I also learned the most important lesson that I could possibly ever learn, and that lesson is that I have the ability to change things in my life that I am not happy with. Whether it's your job, your weight, your financial status...it's up to YOU to do something about it. And that's exactly what I did this year.
I started back to school in March of '03 and by August had completely changed careers once again. I am now a Certified Dental Assistant working for an Endodontist in Plano, TX. I miss playing with the puppies and kittens at times, but I really, really love my new job and I finally feel that I am in a place where I would like to remain for the next 15 years or so. I have not been able to say that about a job...ever.
In August I decided that it was indeed time to work on who I really am. I have been struggling with depression and a loss of self esteem for at least 4 years now and I decided that enough is enough. I need to remember the fun person I once was. I chose to give the Atkins Diet a try. I am happy to report that I have shed 35 pounds and several unwanted inches just in the last 4 months. I now weigh a little less than I did almost 7 years ago when Gianni and I married. Most importantly, I want to be around people again. I don't avoid social gatherings anymore and I am regaining my life just a little more every day.
I wish for each of you a very happy new start to what I hope will be a year of change and growth for you all. I realize that 2004 may not be the banner year for me that 2003 was, but the important thing is I realize that I have the power to change things and it is up to me to make my world a better place.
What was I thinking?
In hind sight, that's what I'm saying now, but in real time as the events unfolded I was so filled with adrenaline that I obviously was not thinking straight. As I arrived home from work extraordinarily early yesterday, around 2:45 in the afternoon, I notice a black eclipse is parked sideways taking up my usual spot and the spot next to me right in front of our patio gate at the back door to our apartment. There are no other cars around and at times on a Friday afternoon I have seen new people move in and out of the apartments around me. I went ahead and pulled into the closest available parking space to our unit and proceeded to exit the vehicle. I noticed that the blinds in one of our back windows that opens to the fenced patio were swinging lightly. This is not uncommon for a cat owner since most cats LOVE to sit in windows and swish their tails, thusly making the blinds swish back and forth. I proceeded a little closer to our back gate which is opened and thought to myself, ďthat's a little odd, I wonder if Gianni left it open a little bit and a big gust of wind has opened it even moreĒ. I noticed that the black eclipse has its radio blasting and the windows are down. I also noticed that there is a rather good size TV and a piece of Panasonic equipment in the back seat of the car. I'm still thinking that these is probably someone moving into a surrounding apartment and continue to head toward our back door. I glance at the door and notice that it is slightly open.
My stomach drops and I realize that someone is in our apartment, in fact they are in the process of robbing us. I am now standing in our back patio and notice the window with the blinds that are gently swaying back and forth has been shattered. I glanced back at the license plat on the eclipse, but the numbers and letters are not registering. I am in a panic. The door is open and the window is smashed in and my first thought is, "Oh My God!! Benelli, I hope he hasn't run off." My second thought was I've got to get to my bedroom and grab my gun, this guy is still here and I need to protect myself or at least scare him away.
I run into the kitchen and notice something has been dragged across the floor and black marks are leading into our bedroom. I glanced at the living room and noticed that all of our electronic equipment in our entertainment center has been pulled out and is just hanging by wires in our entertainment cabinet. The TV is still there. I run into the bedroom and notice that our TV and new DVD player are not there and our video camera is lying on the floor in our bedroom.
I grab my cell phone and start looking for the cat. I dial 911, but for some reason the call does not go through. I round the bed and start reaching for my gun. I canít find it. I pick up the landline in our bedroom and dial 911. Just then I hear tires squealing and a car driving off. I run towards the back door with the phone in my hand to go catch the license plate on the eclipse. They are too far down the alley for me to make out the numbers. The 911 dispatcher finally picks up and I report the incident. I found Benelli in our office window hiding behind the curtains. We are both a little shaken but alive.
I am shaking even now reliving the incident. There were so many things I could have and should have done differently. I could have been killed walking into our apartment and I entered the door knowing that I could face death, but I still ran in. I wanted to know that my cat was ok and I wanted to protect myself. Iím not upset about loosing our things. Iím not upset about having to clean glass and blood up all over our apartment. Iím upset that I came home in the middle of the day and there was some asshole in our apartment, rummaging through our things, bleeding all over our carpet and entertainment center, and every other room he entered. My only satisfaction, although little is that the guy cut himself climbing through our window.
I am beating myself up over not getting the damn plates on the car. The car was running, I could have taken the keys out of the ignition and really screwed the guy. Hell, I could have reached into his car and at least pulled out our two DVD players he had just stolen. He also got away with about 30 DVDs. Itís all stuff and itís all replaceable, but it still erks me.
Gianni and I went to the Annual Halloween Shin Dig at Billy and Jessree's place. We didn't get to go last year so it had been almost two years since we had seen some of the folks at the party. It was great catching up with old friends and making new ones too. I'll post all of the photos soon, but here are a few to tide you over.
Destructo admires his handy work while Dorthy and Helga put it to good use.
Isn't it ironic...
Ok, I wathced my Stars loose to my Leafs last night and I must admit that I was more than a little shocked when I realized that Good Old Joe Nieuwendyk is now a team mate of the much hated(by Dallas Stars Fans) Bryan Marchment. Marchment was the very player who back in 1998, while playing bruiser for the San Jose Sharks, drove Joe into the boards knee first causing him to miss several games that season. It was interesting to hear the crowed reaction last night in Dallas. We still love and respect Nieuwendyk here and still hold a grudge twoards Marchment. My second favorite team is definitely The Leafs, but I don't think that I can ever forgive Marchment for that one.
Those Indiana Nights
Gianni and I flew to Indiana for my cousins wedding a few weeks back. We spent our first night in Indy visiting with our friend Hannah Boden who Gianni used to work with. She lived in Big D for a little while and is now back home in Indy. She took us around the Circle (downtown Indy) and showed us the sites. I've added two new wallpapers of shots I took of the War Monument on the circle in downtown Indy. Gianni and I had a great time catching up with her.
We drove down to Terra Haute for the wedding in a brand new 2004 Nissan Maxima. That was a BLAST!! We want one, but neither one of us would be able to afford all of the speeding tickets that we would surely accrue.