Thursday, January 01, 2004


Ah, 2003... it's over.† 365 days. 8760 hours. Gone.† Never to be lived again.† Yet never to be forgotten.† At the beginning and end of the year, I was in Tennessee.† I rang in 2003 in Memphis.† And said goodbye to it in Nashville.† The two absolute highlights of the past year were:

1. Spending the 4th of July in New York. That was absolutely the best trip ever, and I hope we can go back again this year. Actually visiting Ground Zero... there are no words to do justice to the feeling that gave me. Chills... that's a start.

1A. Attending the WPBA tournament in March, and meeting Allison Fisher ;-) Also, having Jeanette Lee come up to our table at the snack shop and start talking to us was really cool.

2003 was the year I turned 30.† Me!! 30!! It wasn't as Earth-shattering as I figured. It wasn't bad at all really.† No one really made a big deal over it. The worst part is that 40 is the next milestone.† 40!† Wow.

And 2003 was also the year I started my blog.† May 5.† The entry went something like this:
- 2003 MAY 5 MON (8:45 AM) -

Well, another Monday, and I'm back at work. †Didn't do much Sunday. †Watched the NBA playoffs. †Neither team I was for ended up winning. †Watched "RED DRAGON" over the weekend. †That's pretty good. †I feel fully recovered from my bout with STREP THROAT last week. †Got some antibiotics last Wednesday. †Be watching for me on TV next Monday and Tuesday, May 12-13. †The BILLIARDS TOURNAMENT we attended is going to be on ESPN2. †I'll be sitting behind the table, in the second row, underneath the "N" in the huge ESPN banner. †Hopefully you'll be able to spot me. †I was wearing the navy and gray shirt which I'm wearing in the picture with ALLISON on the main page.

"I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell. †I know right now you can't tell. †But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see a different side of me. †I'm not crazy I'm just a little impaired. †I know right now you don't care. †But soon enough you're gonna think of me, and how I used to be."
Eight months later, and it's still going strong, although I have changed locations twice already.

News stories that come to mind from 2003:

The Columbia disintegrating and debris falling over Texas and other states.

The Shock and Awe campaign in Iraq. Watching the continuous news coverage of the daily bombings. And in the end, we captured Saddam, although we never found evidence of weapons of mass destruction. (I now hate that phrase, btw)

Legal troubles for famous folks: Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, Rush Limbaugh, etc.

Those we lost this year included Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, John Ritter, and Robert Palmer.

The Staten Island Ferry crash, just a few weeks after we'd been on it.

The massive blackout back in August.

In my life, the year started with me working three jobs, which went on thru May I think, when I cut back to two. On top of that, I helped out the Look Mom Video guys with a few projects as well, so that was good experience. I wrecked my truck in Memphis at the end of January.† Caused just minor damage--$1100 worth, and the people I hit sued because they claimed they were injured.† It was bogus.† I gave a statement to the insurance company and never heard anything more.† That was also the weekend of the Columbia disaster, so I was up there when that happened.† Just a few months later, my truck got hit while sitting in the parking lot at work.† Ugh.† All better now though.

Attended two concerts this year, the Kenny Chesney concert in Huntsville, in January or February I think, and the Matchbox Twenty concert at Oak Mountain over the summer.† Those were both a lot of fun.† I went to two Bama games this fall with Jennifer, against Oklahoma and Tennessee.† We lost, but they were fun. Had great seats at both.

I did not go to the beach in 2003, which is very disappointing.† Just 2 or 3 years ago, I was going at least 4 or 5 times a year.† I must rectify this situation in the New Year. Another thing I failed to do was make it to Cincinnati, to see a Reds game at their new stadium. Maybe I can do that in 2004, as well.

I also got a lot more serious with/addicted to billiards in 2003.† My game showed vast improvement, especially in the last part of the year.† Even so, I could still get a LOT more serious with things and there is much room for improvement.† It's like, I am much better than when I started, but I still have a long way to go. We'll see how that goes next year.

I didn't play softball this year, and I kinda miss it, even though I'm not sure how my arm will do if I play again. And played less tennis this year than I have probably since I first bought a tennis racket. Just can't find anyone to hit with. Maybe I should really join a league next year.

Friend-wise, Jack got married this year.† I was a groomsman.† That was a fun time actually.† Bunny's still in Richmond, got to see her on the NY trip. Will have to visit again next year and maybe hit up Virginia Beach.† Shane and Mel are still in Nashville.† Really started hanging out up there more often towards the end of the year, as we discovered Buffalo Billiards. My friend Kyle got fired from his job because of excessive internet usage.† Several other people I know got laid off/changed jobs this past year, as the economy, or at least the job market, pretty much sucked. Also got to hang out one weekend at Amy's lakehouse. Definitely need to plan to do that more next year.

Girl-wise, there was Tiffany, Jennifer, and Jessica. But in the end, I'm still single. lol Got to know Amber this year, as well. She is really a blessing and a breath of fresh air.

Family-wise, as many of you know, it was a tough year for me. I feel like I have grown and improved as a result of the trials though. On a happier note, my sister got engaged on Christmas Eve. She is planning to get married in July. Also, my Uncle John died this year. That was sad.

We lost a member at church this year. He died of cancer. So I wound up at the funeral home a couple of times this year. Donna's brother died in December. He was only 33.

I had several health issues this year, which is odd for me. Started out the year with a UTI (I know, I know... TMI, right? lol) Then had a pretty bad cold at the billiards tournament in March. Oddly, Jeanette Lee was sick that next day. I don't know anything about that though. Then I had strep/mono, which really sapped my energy in April and May. Got all better for the NY trip. Had some stomach problems later on in the year--a stomach irritation. Like an ulcer, but milder. While going thru some bloodwork, I almost fainted for the first time in my life. That was quite an ordeal, if a bit embarrassing. But, for the record, I never blacked out. I clinched my fists and maintained consciousness. lol Then I caught the flu/bronchitis in December, which a lot of people had. I was probably bordering on pneumonia. But that's all better now. So hopefully, all this is an aberration and not a sign of things to come. Usually I might get sick once a year. Someone used to tell me the more you go to the doctor, the more you'll have to go. I never thought much about it, but looking at myself this year, and other friends of mine, I think that is true. People who go to the doctor about every little thing tend to be sicker than those who, if at all possible, let their God-given immune system work. Wow, I don't know how I got off on that in a year-end review, but think about it.

Oh, I can't let 2003 pass without mentioning my favorite Applebees servers, who I see so often. lol Donna, Davina, Jessica, Jade, Beth, Kristina, Charity, and Tracie.

I can only remember two movies I saw in the theater this year, which is like a three-year high for me. lol They were "American Wedding" and "Elf."

Musically, the songs I remember most from 2003 are "Unwell" and "Shake Ya Tailfeather."

States visited in 2003:

Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, Pennsylvania, Jersey, New York. Wow, that's a short list.

I guess looking back at the trips taken, remembering the things done, and the people who have been part of my life, 2003 wasn't so bad. What did I learn? I think I learned to be more giving, or at least worked on that. There's nothing much more rewarding than giving and helping others. I've tried to become a better friend, and slowly become more unselfish. I think I have become more content, in a good way. I realize I have been very blessed, and I thank God. And I see people in my life who are such a blessing to me. And I am thankful for each one of them.

Time is precious. As each year passes, they seem to pass even faster. Time doesn't wait on anyone. There is a reason second chances are hard to come by. I was reminded, yet again, to trust my instincts. You can't spend all your time trying to make someone happy, if they don't spend any of their time trying to make you happy. Don't put your life on hold for anyone. You will only look back and regret the wasted time. Make the most of each moment you have. Enjoy the holidays, the Saturdays, time spent with family and friends, the drive in to work. So many times it's the little things that make life a little more enjoyable.

As I look back on 2003, I can see the passing of time. I can see the brevity of life. I hope that everyone take a more serious, longer look at what is important. What you have, how much you make, how much you can party... those things aren't important. They are only for a time, and no matter how much you gain and how much you store up in material things, you can't take it with you when you go.

K, I'm still finishing up my resolutions. I will try and post those tomorrow.

"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell. I know, right now you can't tell. But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see, a different side of me. I'm not crazy, I'm just a little impaired. I know, right now you don't care. But soon enough you're gonna think of me, and how I used to be..."

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