Coming Back

October 26, 2012

I have been noticeably absent from the blogging world lately. I’ve been noticeably absent from a lot of things lately.

As I soldier through this academic year, I think there’s going to be a lot of that. Right now, my job takes probably 15-20 more hours a week than it has in years past. I’m teaching new classes, I’m trying to get National Board certification, I’m trying to be the very best teacher I can be.

And so other things are suffering. The end of the baseball season for the Reds killed me, but it was, in some ways a relief. Over the last year, I’ve taken on a lot of baseball-writing responsibilities. It’s even started to pay a little bit, which is really nice, but it’s overwhelming at it’s most intense and it’s nice to take the long view to next season instead of standing on edge with every pitch and thinking about how I need to write about it later that same day.

The end of the seasons means I’ve been able to recuperate a little and it means I’m starting to be able to turn my attentions back to my more traditional pursuits. I’m right on the verge of finishing the sort-of-a-story-collection-sort-of-a-short-novel thing I’ve been working on for several years. And I have, I think, reasonable hopes of seeing part of it published in the not-too-distant future. We’ll see, of course.

But finishing that might not happen until well into the new year. Because, well, because of the stuff I’ve mentioned already and because my kids and my wife need me and when time is limited, it’s more important to play Cootie with Simone than it is to work on a story or a blog post.

But this is just for now. Just for this year. If things go well, we’ll be celebrating a financial windfall at this time next year, and I’ll be back in my old groove, but I’ll also be better at my job.

So, yeah, I know the content is erratic here right now, and it will be a for a few more months, but come the end of March when I ship off my National Board materials, this will all be over and I’ll get to be a regular person again.


October 11, 2012

Baseball, for the people who read this site, is not a casual affair. It isn’t a dalliance. It’s love. And every team, or at least every core group of players, is a new relationship.

For a long time, we had the kinds of relationships that are doomed from the start. Sure, there were nice moments, but you knew it wasn’t going to work. There was too much wrong. You weren’t compatible. This was a decade in the life of a Reds fan.

But lately, things have started to change. You go into spring thinking, “Hey, this might be it. This might be the one.” Maybe there are a few missteps at the beginning. You overreact a little bit when they’re a few minutes late to dinner. But it’s pretty clear that this is serious, so you keep at it. Months go by and you learn about each others imperfections and they aren’t deal-breakers. This really seems like a good thing.

And then something happens. You find out something they didn’t want you to know. Or you have a massive fight and it’s not about something trivial. You’ve invested a lot and you find yourself alone for dinner and it hurts.

And part of you wants to pick up the phone and say, “Screw this, I’m done.” Part of you doesn’t want to give them a second chance. But there’s another part of you who remembers how nice the last six months were. How much promise there was. That can’t all be a mirage can it? And so you have to decide. Do you pack it in and move on or do you go another round?

This hurt. The way the Reds lost this series is especially painful. It hurts more than it would have if they hadn’t started so well. This wound is going to take a little bit to heal. But I know what I’m going to do.

I’m going to take a couple of days off. I’m not going to read about baseball or think about baseball or tweet about baseball or write about baseball. I’m going to finish a book. I’m maybe going to work on a short story. I’m going to watch a movie with my wife and visit the forestry near by to watch the leaves change.

And then, in a few days, I’m going to come back and I’m going to start thinking about next year. I’m going to acknowledge that I love the core of this team like I haven’t loved a team since I was kid.

No, they aren’t perfect. No one’s perfect. But they’re close enough. I can forgive this heartbreak.

(Note: This is cross-posted on Redleg Nation.)