A word of warning: Things might be fairly quiet around here for the next few weeks. I'm sure I'll pop in here and there - I'm pretty incapable of not getting on the internet unless someone kills our connection and even then I have my ways - but I suspect it'll be irregular at best.
This coming week is the last week of summer school and while that is definitely a good thing, there's a reason some of us refer to it as Hell Week. The kids are totally off the wall. They're partly excited about getting out of school. Most of their friends and siblings haven't been in school all summer so they're not very happy about those six weeks of summer school. But they're also partly nervous about being at home for two weeks. It's unfortunate but many of them will go home and get no attention - or very negative attention - until school starts back up. And then at this point of the year there are a number of kids who are moving to new classes in September or changing programs altogether and both of these things cause a lot of stress for our kids. Take a bunch of kids who have a hard time recognizing and identifying their emotions and don't always cope with them in the best way and pour a ton of conflicting emotions on them and you have a lot of acting out. A lot of acting out equals tired staff. A lot of acting out with five days till break equals VERY tired staff. We're going to be walking around all week, hands raised and fingers wiggling, yelling, "SERENITY NOW!" Survival is the name of the game.
The following week we'll hopefully be moving into the house. We had a bit of a snafu that made it look for a while like the deal was going to fall apart but we got it all straightened out (and actually ended up paying less so we're not complaining) but it's slowed everything down. Mark called our realtor this week to remind me him that hey, you know, we have NO PLACE TO LIVE once August is over so we're still hoping that everything will pull together so we can move some time over the course of that week. We'll be moving at least all of the small stuff ourselves so I'm going to be making quite a few car trips from the Southtowns to the Northtowns.
The week after that I'll be driving around Pennsylvania with the family. My mom and two of my brothers are flying into Buffalo and we'll then drive to Pittsburgh and pick up my grandmother and my other brother and his family who are coming in from Florida before heading out to Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hershey and back to Pittsburgh. And maybe Lancaster. I forget if that got dropped or not. I'm totally stoked because it'll be the first time in almost two years that all of my family has been together. My mom, Grandma, and I have done some variation of this trip for quite a few years now but Lee and Chris, the two who still live in Birmingham, have taken turns coming up and John and Sarah haven't joined us since before they got married. And that was before Luke, the world's cutest nephew, joined the team. However, since we'll be on the road for a lot of the trip, I don't know how often I'll have a wireless signal although I will have the laptop with me.
So all that to say, if it's quiet around here for a while, don't forget me. I'll be back. And that's if I actually go away in the first place.
A few quick thoughts before I call it a night:
- I'm super happy that Teppo Numminen has officially re-signed and I think $1.1 million is a great deal for him even if he does end up being a 7th man who takes a night off every few games. (Though I'm totally fine with him being in the top six too.) I'm not sure how that means the rest of the defense shakes out. I'm guessing Henrik Tallinder, Toni Lydman, Jaroslav Spacek, Craig Rivet, Teppo and Andrej Sekera start the season in the top six with Nathan Paetsch acting as the 7th. I'd really, really like to see Mike Weber playing up with Sekera since I think Sekera played his best hockey last season when Weber was up with him, but I'm just not sure there's room and Weber is definitely better off playing every night in Portland than sitting in the press box in Buffalo. Plus I think Teppo will be a wonderful partner for Sekera on and off the ice. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Sabres missed Teppo desperately last season and his loss might have been the death knell of the season. The kids came into camp girded for the season without Chris Drury and Daniel Briere but they fully expected Teppo to be with them. Losing him so unexpectedly, right before the season, for such serious reasons had to have an effect. I love Teppo.
- All that said, I think Hank and Toni are the key to the defense. If they struggle the way they did last season, the whole group is going to struggle. If they return to previous form, the defense should be very solid if unspectacular. Hopefully Teppo can soothe their nerves and frustration when they don't play well. And hopefully the don't need that very often.
- Another reason Mike Harrington is the best guy at the Buffalo News? Check out that headline on his post about Teppo's return. I have a soft spot for punny/jokey headlines to begin with but a headline that's also a Seinfeld shout-out? Awesome.
- Speaking of Sabres Edge, on Thursday Bucky Gleason writes about how he thinks it's a terrible idea to re-sign Teppo. On Friday the Sabres announce that they've re-signed Teppo. I'm pretty sure Darcy Regier and co. held out all these weeks, waiting for Bucky to go on the record about this. Of course, in my world, everyone does everything to spite Bucky.
- While we're on the subject of TBN, the one sports blog I never, ever read unless someone points me there is Jerry Sullivan's blog. I don't think Jerry Sullivan likes blogs. I don't think he likes people who write blogs. I don't think he likes people who read blogs. I don't think he understands blogs at all. How he ended up with a blog of his very own is a mystery to me. I'd rather read the opinion of pretty much everyone else in the sports department. But I knew he was going to Beijing to cover the Olympics and I was pretty curious to see how often he would blog from there so I've been keeping one eye on things and you know, he's done a pretty good job so far. He's updated often and he's shared some really interesting things. And kudos to him for coming out in support of softball which, despite what anyone says about the lack of competition, got voted out of the Games because of an unfair association with baseball and its steroid scandal. It's a shame because the Olympics are pretty much the height of a softball career. Little boys who grow up playing baseball dream of playing in the Majors. Little girls who grow up playing softball dream of playing for Team USA. Hopefully the push for reinstatement is successful. Anyway, if you're a fan of the Olympics I'd check out Sullivan's blog. I'd get out as soon as they're over though.
- I was all geared up to watch the Cubs on Fox this afternoon so I was pretty disappointed to find the friggin' Yankees. I understand that I'm in the minority in the Buffalo market but just once I would like to get a national game that doesn't involve the Yankees or the Red Sox. Is that too much to ask? Really? It was shortly after that that I discovered the Ultimate Sports Road Trip's tribute to Yankee Stadium. Beautiful. In this case, a picture really does say a thousand words.
- So I have a steel plate on the outside bone of my ankle, I don't know, 3 or so inches long. When I first went back to work, people asked me if I could feel it when it rains. The last time we got a lot of rain it was hard to tell because my ankle was still hurting a lot, especially at the end of the work day. Well, now I can tell you definitely, yes, I can feel it in my ankle when it rains. Sometimes it really hurts, sometimes it doesn't hurt so much as I'm just really, really conscious of the plate's presence. I feel like a robot.