So I'm back -- actually, I've been back for a couple months now, but wanted to make sure I intended on staying. I've been making good use of the Tactics Trainer and recovered from the rust plus added about 100 points(hovering at about 1300 as opposed to 1200 before). I'm seeing a few new patterns, and sometimes seeing others more quickly. In particular, I think I've become somewhat better at using my heavy pieces.
I officially took the chessic plunge a week ago and entered my first OTB USCF-rated event. I'll be posting the three games I played there, as it was definitely a good experience and showed me, among other things, a fresh view of just how much I have to learn.