Hi. Remember me?
I really had no intention of completely disappearing from the face of the earth this summer, but well, a number of things happened. Here's a run-down:
1. I decided to go back to school full-time. As some of you will remember, I took some classes last semester. After really sitting down and looking at how much I had to do yet, I decided to just take the plunge. That led directly to...
2. I quit my job. That's where a lot of my focus ended up this summer. For all the ups and downs, I loved, loved, loved my job and I especially loved the little group of boys I had this past year. They were sweet, funny, smart, lovable little guys so it was really important to me that we have a full, fun summer session together. On one hand, ending with such a great group was awesome. On the nights when I feel overwhelmed by how much studying or writing or planning I have to do, I know memories of those guys will remind me why I'm doing all this. By on the other hand, ending with such a great group was tough and emotional. Right now I feel like I'm just on vacation but next week when they all go back to school and I don't, it's going to be very, very weird.
3. Hank depression sank in. Henrik Tallinder signed with the Devils, I put up my funny little "I'm heart-broken" post, I put Jochen in the header and I thought well, that's that. And then I got really sad. Honestly, I feel a little silly even writing this because hello, I'm 32-years-old but hey, why quit being honest now, you know? I completely underestimated how much being the Tallinder fan had become a part of my identity not so much for you guys but for me. And I loved him. Irrationally and unconditionally and the truth is, the Sabres aren't exactly loaded with those kinds of guys, at least for me. I'm really, really hoping to fall in love with some of the youngsters this season.
4. I went on a couple of vacations. I spent a week in Boston - I have a half-written post about my trip to Fenway Park that I might finish and post one of these days - and then went home to Birmingham for a week. Both trips were awesome. You know what, I'm definitely going to throw up a post about the Boston trip at some point.
5. And finally, I just got kind of sick of hockey. I got sick of the Sabres, I got sick of fans, I got sick of examining every little thing. I was in Boston when the Tim Kennedy buy-out story broke so I didn't get the full effect, but even what I got was annoying. Kennedy and his agent did what they thought was in their best interest, the Sabres did what they thought was in their best interest and as so often happens in professional sports, those interests didn't work together. Was anyone surprised that the Sabres are running on a budget? Or that that budget is below the cap? And if so, where have those people been? The outrage over a guy who will have a perfectly fine NHL career, the outrage every time any player signed anywhere but in Buffalo, the outrage over anything that could possibly be raged about just did me in. I have a number of friends who don't pay one iota of attention to anything that doesn't happen on the ice. When the season starts, they turn on the TV or show up in the arena, they cheer for whatever players show up in Sabres jerseys, and then they go home. I always thought they were missing all of the fun stuff, but there was a point this summer where I really started to wonder if maybe they didn't have it all figured out.
Now, that will never, ever be me. For better or for worse, I love the behind-the-scenes stuff. I'm fascinated by things like scouting and drafting and salary caps and budgets. But I think I needed a break from it. I love Twitter, and Facebook, and blogging, but those things mean there's no off-season anymore, not really. Hockey is always there somewhere, ready to be examined or picked apart. I needed to step back and miss it for a while.
So now I think I'm ready to talk about things again. I want to be honest up front though, I'm not sure how well blogging is going to fit into my schedule of class, work (eventually), and babysitting. I'm going to be seeing a lot of partial hockey games for one thing. There may be stretches where I don't have a lot to say or I don't have a lot in-depth to say. I don't feel at all ready to give up on blogging though so I hope you'll hang with me.
Let's go Buff-a-lo!