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13/10/2010 / Hackett

Summer is the Cruelest Month…Cruelest Month

Now Playing: The Dandy Warhols – Welcome to the Monkeyhouse

So it’s no secret that I’m a bit of a sports fan, more specifically, an outright hockey junkie, my team of choice being the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.  I enjoy baseball to an extent, but other than the occasional competitive season by the White Sox and/or Brewers, the time between hockey seasons is more or less a lull in the sports world for me.  Don’t get me wrong, the annual Brewers Tailgate is one of the highlights of my summer, and I always love spending an afternoon or evening tipping back a few at a ballgame, but I certainly don’t get as competitively immersed in the intricacies of the game or the team as I do with hockey between October and early June. 

So with my Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup this past June and being one of two teams to take the season to the limit, you’d think that there would have been the least amount of down time for me, right?  Unfortunately, it seems that even the shortest of offseasons disagrees with me.

As you may or may not have read here previously, this summer started with something less than a bang.  A scant 18 hours after the Hawks first hoisted the Cup I lost the love of my life.  Faaaaaaantastic.  It proved to be quite the heartbreaking harbinger of a crap-tacular summer to come. 

I was in the less than envious of looking for a new place to live on the absolute shortest of timetables: Immediate.  After inevitably wearing out my welcome at a friend’s place, I had to stash myself and my belongings at my parents’ house in the suburbs (something that, well, let’s say they were less than thrilled about).  I eventually found a place, albeit not big enough to accommodate my hoarder-ish tendencies, with a roommate whose schedule agrees with mine (read: he manages a bar, so neither of us sleep at night). 

This offseason was also filled with car troubles, health issues, and me losing my Zune.  For those of you who understand how much music means to me, you know how devastating this was.  Then, just as we were on the cusp of the brand new hockey season and it seemed I was about to clear the tall grass, my grandmother passed away mere hours before the preseason kicked off. 

This wasn’t exactly a sudden development, as Grandma Betty had been battling Alzheimer’s for several years as well as many physical ailments that were causing her so much pain, but as all of us know, whether expected or not, losing a loved one is never easy. 

This just seemed to bookend the worst summer in a morbidly fitting way.  In my opinion, there is no city that offers more in the summer months than Chicago.  There are street fests catering to any and all tastes each weekend, a handful of gorgeous beaches, beer gardens, beautiful public parks, an incredible lakefront, and mostly breathtaking weather.  However, this summer, I found myself too bogged down by personal wear and tear to enjoy the fruits of the best city in the world. 

It’s unfortunate, because I’ve been told by a lot of friends lately “I miss you, Hackett”.  I know, I miss me too.  I haven’t been myself for quite some time, and I’m anxious to return to that.  The good news is, with the 2010-2011 hockey season kicking off, I will be at least much closer to what most consider “me”.  I will again be covering the Blackhawks and NHL for NHL Hot Stove and View From My Seats, and I can once again dive head first into one of the only loves I have left: hockey.  Not to mention, with the chillier weather, I can stop ironing my dress shirts and just wear a freaking sweater.  Fellas, don’t tell me you don’t love that…



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