Trying it Again

I’m trying a different theme again. It’s not perfect, but I don’t hate it. Definitely better than the previous one. What do you think?

Edit: Looks like we have a winner.  This theme stays for now.

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Oh Yeah, I’m Supposed to be a Writer

… I guess I forgot for awhile while I was overextending myself on trades and pretending to be an artist.  I think maybe it’s about time I get back to something I’m actually supposedly kind of good at.  There’s many lifetimes worth of stories kickin’ around in my head, but one in particular is fleshed out enough for me to actually start telling it.  So, once I get things sorted out on the trading front, I may well be going on lengthy hiatus again.

So yeah, I’m gonna try and be writer now.  Legend has it that I have some skill at this.  I think it was my first grade teacher that wanted me to mention her when I wrote my first novel.  And the teacher of one of the last (and greatest) classes I took before the premature end of my high school days noted I had some talent for it, intending to have me take a journalism class the following year.

But alas, I’ve never even had the focus to complete so much as a short story, or even start many.  And if you read into the last sentence of the previous paragraph, you know whatever talent I allegedly have is very un-edumacated.  I’m out of practice too.  I’ve hardly read any books since my mid-teens, and my only effort of note to write (dabbling in fanfiction) about four years ago flamed out after about six chapters.  And now I’m going to write a freakin’ novel?  Lolwut?

As you can see, I’ve got pretty much nothing going for me here… you may even be thinking I’m delusional.  It’s a perfectly reasonable and probably correct assumption.  After all, legit mental health issues aside, I’ve spent my 24 years of life skating by on “potential” and have disappointed everyone who has ever seen anything even remotely special in me.  My mind burns out on things pathetically easily because I’ve never needed to put much effort into stuff to do well enough to just skate by.

To be honest, I don’t even think I can do this.  I have no reason to think so.  Nothing in my history says I am even capable of pulling off something even a thousand times easier.  I’ll be lucky if I make it past the first chapter (and I’m being generous going that high).  But… I have to try to make good here.  I hate myself for failing the above mentioned people who thought I had potential (it’s… not a small number).  I also hate myself for failing myself.  If I had such mythical potential that so many of those people went to ridiculous lengths to try to get me going in the right direction, why am I in such pathetic place in life?

I’ve failed on almost every possible level, and it’s made me very self-loathing and miserable.  I’m sick of feeling useless and worthless and helpless and hopeless.  Worse, I’m sick of BEING all those things, and more.  And for as little as I’ve actually written, writing is the one skill I have enough confidence in to try and make good with.  Even if I’m stable enough, I’m never going to have the mental stamina to be able to work 9-5 or do anything tedious (no, writing isn’t tedious to me), so this is what I’ve got.  I don’t think I can make good for myself or any of the people I failed in the past in any other way.

I’ve been a miserable shell of a person for over a decade, if not my entire life, but for some reason this summer, I’ve started to come out of it a little bit.  Little-by-little, I’ve been finding myself capable of doing things I had no idea I could do.

So… I’m going to try to write now.  I have no real expectation of getting anywhere significant with this project, as bad as I want to have some sudden crazy burst of whatever and write the whole thing in a month or two, but I will give it the best effort I can muster.  It’s all I can do.  Maybe I’ll get a little further than I think, maybe it’ll be a little better than I think.  Maybe it’ll suck like Hoover.  But even if I only manage to write a page & a half that isn’t very good, it will be better than nothing.  It will be something.  It will be a start.  And maybe I can build on it.  I guess I just have to do it, and keep at it for as long as my will can hold out.

~I’m a writer now.

Contests Out the Wazoo

Card Cashe‘s contest is almost over, but check it oot.  Maybe we can get another person or two in under the gun.  Win some Allen & Ginter goodness, as long as you leave one for me. 😛

Also try to win a HUGE Hall of Fame prize package from the Collective Troll. Or just vote for some Hall of Famers if the prize interests you not.  Enter here, more votes are needed, nay DEMANDED.  Bwahahahaha… umm, yeah.

One of these days I’m gonna do a contest.  Maybe when I get to 5,000 hits.  I’ve got some stuff I’d like to give away.

Alright friends, fans, and future lovers (wait, do I even have ANY of those things?), I gots to attempt sleepin’.  Sh*t’s about to be on when I wake up in the morning early afternoon.  Peace & pizza pie!

Get ya trollface on…

Blogger’s Saving Throw

SOMEDAY I will complete the 500 Home Run Club post, but that is not tonight.  Tonight we take it easy, take it slow.  Yeah, we’re just gonna touch on a few pressing issues, just for the sake of doing a post.

• First thing first.  I mentioned it on twitter, and it’s half the reason I haven’t felt like blogging for the past few days.  It kinda bummed me out.  My Allen & Ginter cards fell on the floor a few days ago.  Fortunately, relatively few were damaged, and only a half dozen severely so.  Unfortunately, most of the severely damaged ones were intended for Night Owl.  I’m really really sorry, but a few of the A&G meant for you are pretty much ruined.  The bat card, the SP, and the base Dodgers are undamaged, but I think most of the regular base have had it.  Again, I am really sorry about this.

• Moving on, I’ve wasted a s***load of money on several 2009 Topps Chrome fat/rack pack things.  They have seven cards and one or (usually, judging by my packs) two parallels or inserts per pack for $5.  As of right now, I’ve sworn off of them.  Here is what I have of them to trade.  Take note, most of the first two packs, typed up in a recent post, fell in a separate incident and were damaged beyond saving, and a select few already have potential homes.  Anyway, here is what is available.

Base-

1, A-Rod, 9 Mike Lowell, 12 Stephen Drew, 25 Garrett Atkins, 27 Francisco Liriano, 62 Chase Utley, 69 Max Scherzer, 94 Joe Mauer, 196 Rickie Weeks, 113 Magglio Ordonez, 124  Joe Nathan, 132 Derek Lowe, 142 Yovani Gallardo, 178 Scott Lewis Indians RC, 179 George Kotteras Red Sox RC, 190 Andrew Bailey A’s RC, 194 Elvis Andrus Rangers RC, 217 Brett Cecil Blue Jays RC, 218 Derek Holland Rangers RC

Refractors-

118 Andy Pettitte, 139 Ryan Howard

X-Fractors-

108 Howie Kendrick, 187 Jesse Chavez Pirates RC

• Here is a random pack break of ’09 Score football, for the heck (trying hard to cuss less) of it:

230 Hines Ward

193 Brandon Jacobs

119 Matt Schaub

154 Davone Bess

17 Martellus Bennett Young Stars

335 Devin Moore Seahawks RC

106 Donald Lee Glossy Parallel

Pretty cool looking cards.  I want to get all the Bears in this set, and Cutler if he isn’t in a Bears uniform.

• It’s a purely theoretical assumption, but hopefully asking here will be the simplest way.  I sent out packages to Baseball Dad, Indians, Baseball Cards, and Random Wax (Is this a name change alert? I haven’t been paying much attention for a few days…) and Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius.  I believe they went out last Monday.  Have any of you gotten them?  And was there anything useful for the former two gentlemen?

• Oh, so you can see just how in over my head I am when it comes to trading, here’s my overall Trade/Send Stuff Queue and how far along everything is.  Note that the order of readiness doesn’t mean order it will be sent (aside from the first one), size of the package and my random sense of focus-ness will determine that:

Night Owl (EDIT: SENT!)

Dinged Corners (EDIT: SENT!!!!!!!!!!!  After this monster of a package, I had to go buy more cases to send cards in.  They’ve gone up in price… >.<)

Cardboard Junkie– Being a Lonestarr Special, I suppose this one is Nearly Ready.

Sooz– Nearly Ready, Jeter Sketch Card just needs finished.

Marie– Must Email; but all potential cards are organized.

Wicked Ortega– (EDIT: EMAILED)

Beardy– Must Email; but pretty much all potential cards are organized.

JD’s Daddy– (EDIT: This trade is ACTIVE.)

Wax Heaven– SASE About Ready, just need to finish Andrew Miller Sketch Card, which isn’t as far along as I thought or hoped. (SASE is for ’09 UD Football Heroes inserts, btw Mario)

Nachos Grande– Must Email and Organizing; slightly further along than ones below.

McCann Can Triple– Organizing.

White Sox Cards– Organizing.

Sharpe Since ’92– Early Stages.  Was it just for random A&G minis?  In any case, I must see what else I can offer.

Shot Not Taken– Where To Begin…

Wow, that is madness… I didn’t even realize I had that much stuff in the works.  And I bet that isn’t even one of the longest trade queues going.  Now if I only had an even remotely acceptable excuse for my slowness and/or laziness. *le sigh*

I guess that does it for now.  If I forgot to put anyone in the neverending conga line of trades/sends that should be there, let me know please, and I will correct it.  Back to looking over Night Owl‘s epic checklist.  His cards go out around Wednesday-ish.  The rest… I don’t know.  I’m sorry.

… Did I mention I’m sorry? 😦

The Least of the Best

Over at Wax Heaven, a question was posed: Which member of the 500 Home Run Club had the least impressive career?

Well, let’s find out… by looking at the statistics.  They say the numbers never lie, so Baseball-Reference will be our guide.

Notes before we begin:

I’m not taking performance enhancers into consideration.  We’re going purely by statistics.  Deal with it.

Everyone with 600+ Home Runs are exempt from least impressive debate due to the sheer number they hit.

Triples and stolen bases are pretty irrelevant unless in abnormally high amounts, and even then only stolen bases are worth considering.  Triples are too dependent on where most of a player’s games are played.  In other words, it’s hard to hit triples at Wrigley.

We’ll start at the bottom, and work our way up.

~Eddie Murray~

Stats: 504 HR, 3255 Hits, 560 2B, 35 3B, 1917 RBI, 1627 Runs, 110 SB, 1333 BB, 1516 K, .287 AVG, .359 OBP, .476 SLG, .836 OPS, 129 OPS+

Awards: 1977 Rookie of the Year, 8-time All-Star, 3 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, Top-5 in MVP voting 6 times, 0 MVPs

+ 3255 hits, 1917 RBIs, and 560 doubles are all legitimately legendary numbers; Highly decorated, even defensively

– .287 batting average, .836 OPS, and  129 OPS+ aren’t quite elite

Notes: Overall, Murray’s numbers indicate longevity more than out & out greatness, but still an outstanding and highly decorated career with some numbers that are much too big to ignore.  And hey, there’s nothing wrong with longevity.

He isn’t going to be the best of the bunch, but I highly doubt he’ll be the worst.

~Gary Sheffield (still active)~

Stats: 509 HR, 2683 Hits, 465 2B, 26 3B, 1674 RBI, 1634 Runs, 253 SB, 1471 BB, 1165 K, .292 AVG, .393 OBP, .514 SLG, .908 OPS, 140 OPS+

Awards: 9-time All-Star, 5 Silver Sluggers, Top-5 in MVP voting 3 times, 0 MVPs

+ Borderline-elite OBP, OPS, and OPS+; Considerably more walks than strikeouts; Highly decorated

– Hits are kinda low, but that’s due to missing a lot of time over the years

Notes: Sheff has actually played more seasons than Murray, but has more than 2000 less ABs.  That’s FOUR seasons he’s missing out on, compared to Murray.  Given the same number of at-bats, he’d likely be pushing 600 Home Runs with everything else at least being on par with Murray.

I have to put Gary Sheffield just below Eddie Murray, even if he does have a good excuse for his lesser numbers.  What say you?

Okay, this is going to be way more time-consuming than I thought, and I’m getting really tired, so I will post continue it tomorrow evening.  I WILL get this done though.  There is just too much good debate to not do the whole thing.

Pack Breaks & Sketches

I got a couple fat packs of ’09 Topps Chrome at Walmart, cuz that’s what was available.  Seven cards and I guess two inserts or refractors per pack.

Pack 1

175 Bobby Parnell Mets RC- I am so sick of pulling Niese & Parnell rookies this year… I guess Max Scherzer found his anti-collection successors.

68 Jay Bruce- Jay Bruce got a Rookie Cup?  Really?  I didn’t think last year’s class was that weak.

129 Jeremy Bonderman Blue Refractor #ed /199- Blue refractors are nice, and less… odd, than bronze. For a flagship at least.

164 Ryan Zimmerman X-Fractor- Who needs an arbitrarily limited regular refractor of random color when you can have this?  The X-Fractors this year are officially SICK~!!  Gone is the s***ty over-the-top “static bling” of recent years, replaced by this much more subtle look… THAT MOVES~!!  This is the closest thing I’ve seen to an Atomic Refractor in years.  More of this plz.

90 Johan Santana

168 JD Drew

185 Everth Cabrera Padres RC

Checklist 3 of 3

Pack 2

97 Dustin Pedroia

147 Garrett Anderson

W8 Kenji Johjima World Baseball Classic- Have I mentioned how awesome I think the World Baseball Classic is?  I loooooooove it.  Keeper!

21 Brad Hawpe Refractor

19 Rich Harden- Keeper.

110 Jonathan Papelbon

121Francisco Rodriguez

Even if 2009 Topps Chrome’s design was total arse, it’d still be somewhat worthwhile entirely on the strength of it’s easily obtainable X-Fractors.  Fortunately, it looks good and has good photography from what I’ve seen too, so it’s a big winner all-around.  This probably won’t be the last of this I pick up, it’s right up there with Upper Deck X.

Also, to make up for lack of Chrome pictures (not that a scan could ever hope to convey the epicness of this years almost Atomic Refractor-quality X-Fractors), here’s a couple quickie sketches I did with a sharpie while sitting around downtown earlier this month:

Quickie Sharpie Sketch

Quickie Sharpie Sketch #2

Not too bad for 40-50 minutes combined when I’ve never done straight ink before I guess.

Until Our Next…