Wow... a lot can sure happen when you don't blog for over a week. The Pens can go from being oh so close to clinching their series with the Canadiens after Saturday's home win (which yours truly attended) to losing the next two games and being out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Pirates can go from sweeping the Cubs in impressive fashion to getting swept by the Reds (at home, no less), scoring a grand total of one run in three games. That takes some talent, gang. And I can go from having an actual date to being told she just wasn't feeling any chemistry after the second date (just two short days later), thereby keeping up my incredible string of not being able to make it to the third date with anyone I meet on eharmony.
I'd like to say I was surprised I didn't make it to date three, but with my track record, I've come to expect it. Call it a self fulfilling prophecy if you will, but when things start to happen to you over and over again, you just aren't surprised any more. Does this mean I'm done with eharmony? Well, I am and I'm not. I am done with it because I'm just tired of having no one respond to my requests to communicate or once I do make it to the open stage, I can't make it past the second date. I'm not done with it because my account automatically renewed days before I made up my mind to drop it. So, I'll give it the occasional check a few times a week, but I'm done looking at it on a daily basis. It's just not worth my time.
So what is worth my time? I'm glad you asked.
I'm going to borrow a phrase coined by my friend The Dean. Some years ago, The Dean had what he believed was going to be a free and clear summer that he could devote to doing the things he wanted to do. He declared it "The Summer of Me." You have to know The Dean - declarations like this are not out of the ordinary for him. I, of course, laughed at him (as I'm want to do), especially after his summer went kaput after he suffered a back injury that kept him on the shelf for most of said summer. Yet, there's something about what he wanted to do that has stuck with me for all of these years.
So, even before my latest relationship bit the dust, I made a vow to myself that this summer would be a big one in my life. I'd finally get around to do all of those things I've either wanted or needed to do but haven't for some reason or another (usually laziness), and when I saw that I was going to be girlfriend free for the summer, I declared that the summer of 2010 will be The Summer of Me.
There is something to be said for being single and childless. It means I can pretty much come and go as I please and not be beholden to anyone but myself. Does it have its disadvantages? Sure. I can definitely think of a really BIG one, if you know what I mean, but like anything else, after awhile, you kind of get used to it...
Anyway, now that I have declared this year to be The Summer of Me, what will it involve? Well, for starters, hopefully more regular blogging. I'd really like to make this blog a more regular part of my life. Between watching (or in my case, not watching) the Pens and devoting time to trying to start an actual relationship with someone, I've sort of let my blog lapse a bit. Of course, I should be happy since this is by far the longest I've ever made it with a personal blog, so yay me.
I also envision much more writing this summer. I don't know if I'll ever fulfill my dream of being a published author (at this point, my sports bar is a much more feasible dream), but that doesn't mean I can't write for the sheer enjoyment of it. An ex-friend of mine always tried to tell me that writing should be difficult and painful (which probably explains why my old friend agonized over every line they wrote), but I never believed that for a second. Writing has always been relaxing and cathartic for me, and even if I'm only writing for myself or a very small audience, I still enjoy the process of it.
With writing comes more reading. Goodness knows I have more books (and comic books, for that matter) than I know what to do with. There's no reason I shouldn't always be reading at least one book a week. Maybe instead of going out to eat at the office every day, I can find a nice, sunny area where I can read. Of course, we'd have to actually have a non-rainy day for that to happen, but I digress. I love to read, and I can never understand why I don't do it more often (probably the aforementioned laziness reason). So, you can add that to the list of things I'll be doing during my Summer of Me.
But I'm not going to stop there. Y'see, with both my mom and dad gone, the house I now live in is mine (even if it's not 100% legally mine, which is something else I should put on my list), and it's high time that I put my stamp on this house. I just bought myself a nifty new TV stand and moved the old console TV out of the living room and into my computer room, out of harm's way. My parents' console stereo system with 5 CD changer is nothing more than a really big radio since the CD player doesn't work, so it and the coffee table it's on will soon be vacating my living room, thereby giving me more room to house my rapidly expanding DVD collection. And my mom's collection of miniature lighthouses may soon be finding their way onto ebay allowing me to buy some kitschy pop culture related merchandise to jazz up the living room and make it more me and less my mother.
Upstairs, I have two extra rooms - one a spare bedroom where most of my books are (something else that might be finding their way onto ebay) and the other a catch-all room with Christmas decorations, fitness equipment, my old stereo and lots of other junk that would make people wonder if I was a hoarder (which I'm not, by the way). A lot of that junk can just be tossed out. The rest? Yard sale or ebay. What I'd like to do is turn that other room upstairs into a sitting/quiet room of sorts. Y'know, maybe buy a cheap stereo (one that works unlike both my and my parents stereos) add a few chairs, maybe an old couch and some other things and try to make it into a room where I can go to relax or get away or read. Whenever I upgrade to a bigger TV next year, it would also make a great video game room where I could put my old TV along with my PS2. Y'know... that's not a half bad idea.
Oh yeah... the yard sale I mentioned in the prior paragraph... that's been on my to-do list for awhile now, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it while my mom was still alive. But now? Well, if you know anyone who's really into crafts and would like to buy some barely (if at all) used craft stuff, let me know! I have a whole bunch of it in my cellar that's going to be part of my yard sale, along with clothes, shoes, kitchen stuff, Christmas decorations and whatever the hell else I can find in this house that someone might want to buy.
I also want to do a top-to-bottom cleaning of my house, maybe even (gasp!) get the carpets cleaned or (double gasp!) do it myself. It's The Summer of Me, kids... I can do anything!
And trips... god knows I need to get away from the Burgh every now and then, so in addition to a trip to Detroit to see the Buccos get lambasted by the Tigers, there's also a trip to Cleveland to see CHIKARA in my future, maybe a trip to Put-in-Bay or the Jersey Shore or a trip to the Maryland/DC area to visit my friends on the Tony Kornheiser message board. I'd just like to go somewhere with a beach... that isn't Erie. I just want to finally enjoy a summer for the first time since... cripe, since I was still a kid and the most pressing thing I had to do every day was deliver newspapers.
And friends... I realize that most of my friends have spouses and kids, but I still want to be able to hang out with them, whether it's over wings at the Grove or a cookout at my house (if any of them can find a spot in their schedules, of course - kids are hard work) or dinner and a movie or whatever. Heck, maybe I'll even meet someone I haven't seen in forever that I've reconnected with on Facebook.
The whole gist of The Summer of Me is me taking advantage of this point and time in my life. I'm in the best mental health of my life. My finances are pretty good. I'm healthy. I have a house of my own and a car that's not even a year old. I don't have any responsibilities with my parents. I'm on my own really and truly for the first time in my life, and I plan on enjoying this summer and getting the most out of it I can.
So, welcome to The Summer of Me! I can't wait to tell you all about it.