Monty's Musings - By Kristina Montesano

I want to do my absolute best to provide quality over quantity, but it is a particularly difficult venture when I have not given much attention to the world of football as of late. The purpose of my articles has always been, and continues to be, [attempted] articulate pieces of writing about our beloved club – with the added ingredients of femininity and Americanness. Not to stand on a soapbox in order to treat this community as I would my personal blog.

I’d briefly mentioned in a comment on a piece a few days ago that I haven’t been at the forefront much in recent weeks. I’m still collecting, editing, and scheduling (and ruining your titles – just ask Churchill), but I’ve stepped back from writing. As the summer goes on, and there’s little “actual” action to report on, I find myself grasping for proverbial straws. I’m genuinely awed by the leaders that flood in from our talented contributors, and know that they have said everything far better than I could ever have. My first thought about the Helenius signing, for example, was “Ohhh! Pretty!” And Antonio Luna? “Ohhh! Pretty!” That’s the red-blooded American female for you.

However, there has been more of a personal reason for my dumbstruck-ness as of late. I have debated about explaining anything, as I don’t want this to sound like excuse-making, nor am I looking for sympathy. (As one of my favorite memoirists, David Sedaris, said: If you’re looking for sympathy, you’ll find it between sh*t and syphilis in the dictionary.)

For the past few weeks, my uncle has been ill with migraines. I come from a very big Italian family and have a whole host of aunts, uncles, and cousins; but, this particular uncle, has always been my rock. After my maternal grandfather (who was my best friend) died, my uncle made it a point to try and fill that void. He introduced me to the music of Pink Floyd, taught me swear words, and accompanied me to my college graduation – before throwing a huge party in my honor. Naturally, when we found out that, at only 44 years old, he was experiencing intense pain that, suddenly, left his entire left side paralyzed, everything else ceased to matter. My car looped from my home, to his house, to the hospital. And then the doctors discovered a tumor the size of an apple in his brain, and I temporarily shut down. This is where I absolutely have to thank everyone who contributed wonderful articles that I would mechanically edit and schedule ahead of time. To those who wrote leaders and sent them to me: I can’t thank you enough.

On Friday, my uncle was transported to a Manhattan hospital to have the tumor removed. At that point, we didn’t yet know if it was benign or malignant. We didn’t know anything, really, except that we were terrified. He underwent his operation; we were told, while visiting him afterward, that we wouldn’t know anything for a few days. And those were excruciating. Seeing him in the hospital bed, unable to open his eyes but responding to our voices and trying to rip the tubes out was even worse. On the ride home, I had to pull my car over and sob on the side of the road. The weekend passed – somehow – and, magically, he was awake. Not only was he awake, but he was alert, talking, and eating ice cream and bananas. My uncle is looking at a full recovery; he’s home, relaxing, and regaining his strength. So now I feel like I can breathe again, and hopefully provide insightful leaders about all things Villa.

I just want to add, to those of you who knew the full extent of what I was going through – Frem, Jason Dale, Ryan – thank you for being there, and for lending your support. This place is certainly more than a mere Villa fan site.

As to what’s been going on in Aston Villa news, I can only lend a few thoughts:

  • I’m excited about Helenius and Luna. Not just because they’re pretty. Helenius, especially, is someone to keep a sharp eye on. I look forward to what he’ll bring to this upcoming season.
  • I still trust Paul Lambert.
  • On my Twitter feed, someone typed “Bellend” instead of “Belhanda” and I laughed for a good half hour. As far as Lambert saying “no” to him: I’m surprised about it. Truly, I thought that we would be gunning to sign him, but I’ve read that Al Jazira apparently offered €8 million for Belhanda. Is it a huge loss for us? Who knows for sure. Again, and surely to the dismay of Steamer, I trust Lambert.
  • The fixtures, I believe, will even out. I’m interested in seeing how the “new” team will hold their own in our first match against Arsenal. I’m putting a call out for everyone to stay positive and not get in an immediate panic. We’ll see how things go. With that said, I do hope that we take all of the experience from this past season and work harder at the beginning, so we don’t have that collective anxiety come May.

I’d like to encourage everyone to submit articles. The quality has been outstanding, and we’d all love to hear from more of you. So don’t be shy.

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