Today will be a sad day for loyal readers who reach into our Electric Kool-Aid orange newspaper boxes for Ravens, Orioles and Terps commentary mixed with one-liners about Lindsay Lohan and references to '80s porno movies. This is my final column at b.
There's good news, though: I'm not going very far.
On Monday, I'm packing up my media guides, bobbleheads and Ray Lewis T-shirts, lugging that box down a flight of stairs and taking my talents to The Baltimore Sun, where I'll work as a blogger and community coordinator. It was an easy decision, but I am feeling a certain sense of sadness leaving b because this is where I got my start in the newspaper biz.
I'll never forget my first press conference shortly after we launched in April 2008. I had just finished up a grad class at Towson and walked into our bright neon office -- I can't say I'll miss all the orange -- to find out that the late Steve McNair had retired unexpectedly. When I arrived at the Castle up in Owings Mills, I wandered the halls aimlessly before someone shepherded me into the conference room in the nick of time.
Three years later, I still get lost out there every once in a while, but I have gotten better at not letting it show. I guess there is some sort of career analogy to be made here, but I've never been one for introspection. Instead, I choose to make fun of Koji Uehara's awkward high-fives and sad cheerleaders wearing hot dog costumes. In other news, I probably need to go see a therapist.
The most rewarding aspect of being a content creator at b -- I can't say I'll miss that job title -- was getting the freedom to cover pretty much whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I experienced so much here, but a handful of memories stand out.
I got to lace up my skates with the Charm City Roller Girls, watch Daniel Wilcox get hitched at M&T Bank Stadium, climb into the shark tank at the National Aquarium, go head-to-head with one of my fears on the flying trapeze, get soccer balls fired at my head by the Blast's Pay Healey, witness Matt Wieters' Camden Yards debut and chat with Ray Lewis and his mom about their friendship and his love of her home-cooking.
And I'll never forget when I covered my first NHL game -- a Capitals-Rangers playoff game two years ago -- and teared up during the national anthem because covering the NHL had been my dream since I realized my glove hand was way too slow to snatch an Alex Ovechkin-caliber slapshot.
Hopefully, I will make many memories like those at The Baltimore Sun, and I would love for you to come along for the ride -- while still picking up b, too, of course. This Virtual Vensanity blog is retired as of today, but in the next week or two, you can find my brand-new blog (to be named later) with the same-old attitude at baltimoresun.com. So remember, this is not a goodbye, unless you're too lazy to log onto the Internet, which I sometimes wish I could relate to.
Sure, there will be an adjustment period for me in the grown-up newsroom. Like not being able to wear flip-flops, play office DJ with awful '90s music and attempt to sneak unfortunate double entendres onto b's cover during headline brainstorm sessions -- I can't say I'll miss those meetings -- but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. Or get fired. Whichever comes first. Hey, whatever. I'm simply humbled and thrilled by the opportunity to work for one of the country's most-storied newspapers.
But no matter what my future there holds, there will always be one of those bright-orange b boxes on a corner in my heart.