Last night was H2H. If you're reading this right now, you know what that means. And if you don't, you're probably reading the wrong blog.
I was reading The Original Rob's post over on TPL, and it got to me. Like, a tearing up in a public place surrounded by people kind of got to me. Let's not even talk about what happened when I read myself mentioned in that post.
As many -if not all- of you know, I am a Marine. If you didn't know THAT, you're still on the wrong blog. There are a few things that I've done that I'm proud of within the past few years. Finishing the Crucible in boot camp and actually spanning that gap from recruit to Marine is one of them.
Ranking above that, yes, above that, is just getting my dirty little fingers into this whole H2H movement. Being a part of it, spreading the word, just doing what I could do in my limited capacity, brings such a sense of purpose to the choices that have brought me here.
I feel like me joining the Marine Corps brought me into this crazy, dysfunctional, off-the-wall, -but so amazingly beautiful- little Red Wings internet community, and that's worth all the literal blood, sweat, and tears I've put into this.
And being in the Corps, I've been through 5 different bases, 5 different groups of people, 5 different jobs. In a little under 2 years. That doesn't leave a lot of room for consistancy. It doesn't leave a lot of room for making friends and lasting relationships.
However, no matter where I go, I have you guys to talk to. Not just about Bertuzzi's latest failed spin-o-rama and Jimmy for President of Space and all that stuff, but I can talk to you guys about things like my pay issues, my Achilles, crab rangoon, Jurassic Park and Marlboro Reds.
And it was instant. I started off just lurking around and reading your blogs and your collective tweets, afraid to speak up because you guys were so good and so close knit, I was in awe of the little community I'd stumbled upon. Eventually, I got the guts to send a tweet to one of you, half expecting some sort of "Oh, yeah, that's great, but who the fuck are you" response. (Now, keep in mind... Marine Corps. This was the equivalent of a Private going up to a Sergeant Major in my eyes.) Instead, it was a warm response. It was an "Oh, I hadn't heard that, thanks for sharing" or a "Yeah, you might be right about that". And I felt accepted. So I kept it up. I met more and more of you. And you all have become the family that I don't have here on the bases I'm stationed on.
There's also the added sense of belonging within the group because a lot of you are just like me, relocated out of Michigan for whatever reason it is, family, job, school, witness protection. But we had that same tie in to each other. As much as I'd really love to that that we all bleed red, it would just be silly, because we all really do bleed red. Damn.
You are all wonderful. Wonderful fans, wonderful minds, and wonderful people. Some of the smartest, wittiest, most clever (I really wish I could say 'cleverest') people I've known. I can be having a shitty day, and without even expecting it, reading one of your blogs or seeing some of your tweets or a couple comments can have me laughing and forgetting why I was in such a bad mood before.
And, of course, there are the games. In my Marine Corps career, I have only met 2 people who even cared about the Wings. One is from Ohio, and grew up BEFORE the Blue Jackets, so his loyalties remain in Red and White. The other is from the hockey mecca of Savannah, Georgia. But his mother was from Michigan, so he was bred into it. But neither of them were as die hard as I was, following every game on the internet like me.
So who was I going to talk to? Not only that, who was I going to talk to that actually knew what they were talking about and would make it fun?
I spent the majority of last season following on ESPN mobile. Every thing there was so bland and so PC that it got boring.
Now, I've got jailsexing and movie posters and limericks and photoblogs and ladders to titties and beer and golden facepalms and me singing Huey Lewis and the News in my bathroom.
This post is probably jumpy as hell. It probably lacks real structure or flow. But I'm just typing what I feel, as I feel it and as I think it. It's crude because it's honest. I could have just sat here and thought out what to say when and where to place it in the context of my other points to make and all that other stuff they taught when I was asleep in AP English. I don't really even have a closing paragraph prepared or anything (that THAT, Mr. Jackson!).
All I really want to say it that I appreciate everything you've done for me, everything that you do for me. Even the little things count. Hopefully next year, there will be another big shindig, and the Sad Face Group can show up and meet you all like so many people did this year.
I'm getting my paperwork ready now.
I have a feeling 2011 is going to be nuts.
A Look At Aaron Ekblad
23 minutes ago