What Turning 30 Means…

Warning, incoming rant..

Warning, incoming rant..

In the wii hours of the morning on February 9th, 2015, I will officially turn 30 years old.  It’s a milestone year, and nice, round numbers are typically thought of as a good time for reflection.  The word reflect itself calls to mind something quiet, thoughtful, and personal.  It’s really hard though, to keep it calm and cool when reflecting on the first 30 years of my life.

DIGITAL CAMERA

Whaddya mean smile? This *is* my happy face..

The barely functional walking disaster you see before you has come a long way just to get to “barely functional walking disaster”, as a few of you who have traded with me over the years can probably attest.  There’s no sense of accomplishment that comes with the knowledge that you’ve done as much as you have to get to where you are when you still feel this wrecked.  I might be in a nominally better place than I was in some ways, but ultimately, all I see is what hasn’t changed, what hasn’t been accomplished.

I’m still in the exact same circumstances I started in, and I still don’t know how to get out of them.  I still live in the same godforsaken place.  I’m still basically unemployable.  I still can’t hold up my end of a conversation in real life.  I’m still a fat, lazy slob.  I’ve still never been in a relationship.  The stability of my mental health and well-being that makes up the sum of all of the above is still a very clearly dubious thing.  It’s horrible and it sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up.  It’s just frustrating to look back and ruminate on how sideways a person’s life can go without even having a bad upbringing or the discovery of a predilection for illicit substances along the way (besides shiny cardboard, of course).  Just being some combination of bipolar/borderline/aspergery can screw a person up just as bad as trauma and drug abuse.  I feel a million times more guilty about it too, because it’s hard to explain when you have no specific trauma or addiction you can point out to people to explain why you are the way you are.

I’m just a fucked up weirdo who happens to be self-aware enough to realize it, but not smart, or maybe schooled is more accurate, enough to explain it or make sense of it.

It just doesn’t feel good to feel like you’ve let down every single person that’s ever cared about you and/or saw potential in you.  Isn’t that a fun thing to feel whenever you can’t distract yourself hard enough?  I don’t know if, if somehow I managed to accomplish all the dreams I’ve ever had, that I could ever make it up to everybody I’ve let down in my first 30 years.

The truth is, I’m just scared.  Afraid to fail, afraid to succeed.  I don’t trust myself.  I don’t believe in myself.  I feel like a giant fraud, and I’m afraid I’ll never stop seeing/feeling/living life this way.

Griffey commission..

Griffey commission..

Here’s a handy case-in-point.  This is the sketch card commission I did for The Junior Junkie.  He said he loved it and plans to give it a place of honor in his collection, but all I can see is how much unexpected difficulty I had with it, and the resulting mistakes I made in trying to get it looking right.

When I look back, the failure is all I see.  Failed potential, wasted talent, all the dreams I’ve let fall by the wayside because I’m too scared and lazy and damaged and stupid and hopeless to even take the first step.  There’s nothing about me I see that anybody could ever find worthwhile in me…

I think what might scare most in this very moment though, is that while I’m writing this at 30 years old, and I fear that I might not having anything positive to change about it, or add to it, by the time I revisit it on the morning of my 40th birthday.

#DirtyThirty

The H-Word

No, not hell.

Not even hentai (sadness, I know.  Sorry.).

I’m on hiatus.

I love you, goodbye.

I’ll stop in long enough to scan some stuff when I can, as well as posting an interesting non-sport box break, but don’t expect a Heartbreaking Cards-type non-hiatus hiatus, not even close (though I do hope to contribute more to his brainchild APtbNL in the future).  Sleep has gone mostly to crap again (barely coherent as I write this), and it’s backing up the Breygent sketch cards, and I can’t keep my sh*t together even to the most marginal degree to start with.  So something’s gotta give, and this is it for now.  The endless quest for consistently decent sleep, sketch cards, and a massive rearranging of crap that probably requires a professional rearranger of crap looms, so until I have time, inspiration, and focus to blog again beyond a cameo, this is my “lost my smile” speech, and I guess I’ll see y’all when I sees ya.

Also, know that I’m not skipping out on anybody.  All previous trades are still on (email me with details, I’m not even sure I remember half of them anymore… *sigh* click the blogger profile on the sidebar, my email addy is there), and those that I already owe should find cards owed in your various mailboxes… eventually.  I’ve failed so many times, I guess just knowing that they will get there someday is the best consolation I can offer (thank you all for being way more understanding about my slowness than I am with myself, btw… it’s something I guilt trip over often :().  And I’ll be sure to check up on some of your blogs from time-to-time when the mood strikes or if you link it in a tweet.

I guess it’s no coincidence I’m mostly closing up shop at a time when baseball especially, and sports cards in general… well, let’s just say I couldn’t give two delightfully disgusting Gellman-esque unnecessarily specific descriptions of poop about sports cards right now.  All my card related concern is being poured into the sketch cards at hand, with just a pinch leftover to pick up the odd sketch card or Project S.T.A.L.K.E.R. addition (mission accomplished on both accounts this month).  I’m not sure when or if the sports card itch will ever fully return, but the blogging itch will, so the focus may shift rather harshly upon returning to irregular regularity, though I’m unsure what the focus might shift to.

And, Beardy, your Markaki sketch card is done.  The couple of peeps that were cool enough to stay up waaaay into the night to see me draw it up were quite impressed, so I hope you will be too.

Finally, being a bigtime professional artist now (I couldn’t even come close to typing that with a straight face, just so you know :P), you should totally commission me for money.  Cash will come in immeasurably handy when I make my big escape from crappytown, much moreso than for cards I plan to keep.  And since there’s no messy as hell collection to fight, you’ll actually get them shortly after they’re finished.  How long they take to finish… is another matter entirely.

Now I’m going to shut up because this post is proving way less short & sweet than I was intending.  Much love and a temporary goodbye.

Until our next…

O Happy Day!

Something I’ve been waiting for for so long has finally happened… I got Bipped!  And what a Bip it was.  This was no ordinary Bip, my friend.  Somehow the surprise even managed to usurp the awesomeness of trading for the sweeeeeeeeeet Frank Robinson relic in the package, if only for a minute (it’s still makin’ me grin though).  Scans to come when I’m not half asleep and can be arsed. 🙂

If giving double-meaning to Bipping as a right of passage akin to losing virginity is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.  Haha, yeah...

Odds & Ends + A Bonus Rant!

I’m still here I guess.  Been busy with the sketch cards & was sick all day yesterday.  Looks like we’ve run out of time on the group break, to get it done on opening day at least.  If the six or seven who’ve shown interest still want to do it sometime though, I’ll keep the option to do one open until we do get enough people who want in, however long that may take.

And I haven’t forgotten about any trades or people I still have to send cards too.  I’ll get on that sooner or later, I swear.  Baseball Dad and part 1 (because I forgot to put the McGriff sketch card in it, so there will be a second package with that & translucents & the Rich Hill joisey etc) of the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame‘s stuff is as good as on it’s way and maybe I can just devote an entire day to trying to all the others together whenever I take a day off from card drawing and am not otherwise distracted.

To reference the maybe still vaguely relevant to things Yu-Gi-Oh!, my heart just hasn’t been in the cards lately.

«~•°•°•°•≈Warning, I feel a rant coming on…≈•°•°•°•~»

I’ve almost sworn off ripping new stuff (with two possible minor exceptions later in the year) due to that now infamous patronizing bullshit press release by MLB, and distaste for a topps exclusive (if not topps itself, jury’s out) in general.  topps has never done it for me.  I think I’ve preferred pretty much every other brand that came and went in the past thirty years over topps.  Maybe even Pacific!  And frankly I don’t give a rats ass about topps’ history and tradition, that they so enjoy shoving down our throats.

Look, I loves me some real vintage cards of all kinds.  I love that I get them in trades once-in-a-while and would pick more of them up on my own if I had access to decent (or any) card shows or shops around here.  I happen to have a sweet tooth for history in general, it truly fascinates me.  But something rings hollow about topps’ hanging their hat pretty much entirely on their history, and the history of others whom they’ve acquired the rights to (206, Allen & Ginter, and Bowman going wabac).  It’s like topps has nothing but history (and shitty gimmicks, though I don’t personally mind those) to offer.  And I, like probably most that grew up and started collecting in the 1990s or later, have no real connection to that.  My very first cards weren’t even made by topps (seven packs of 1991 Upper Deck on my 7th birthday)!

Maybe topps really doesn’t have anything else to offer.  Aside from the surprisingly decent flagship, the only good stuff they did in 2009 were the usual suspects Chrome and Allen & Ginter, the latter decidedly retro and the former has been around for about 15 years (their A&G brand is no rookie either, starting in 2006).  Heritage was only notable because it pulled a good year design-wise in 1960 (and because I pulled a Gordon Beckham auto from retail).  topps206 was an uninspired ripoff of the A&G formula (though I guess the A&G formula got it’s start in the original 206 sets from topps from 2002-2003, but A&G perfected it, so the point stands).

And despite Upper Deck’s releases never really rising above mediocre in 2009 and usually falling well short of even that, topps still managed to put out probably the two worst reviewed sets of the entire year in Ticket to Stardom (with it’s wonderfully nonsensical tickets and little overall bang for the buck) and Unique (I can think of about ten reasons it sucks just off the top of my head).  And it’s pretty well known that topps’ high end is… wait, let me put this in a way that topps will understand: utt erc rap.

So yeah, maybe they’ve got nothing more to offer, though I’m starting to think topps was never anything special to begin with.  Sorta the McDonald’s to all the exciting and interesting companies that came and went from 1981 until 2009.  Just a tepid, mediocre product with name recognition and the “tradition” and “heritage” that comes with being around the longest.

I’m sorry, but I don’t have the connection to look back at topps’ history with the rose colored glasses of nostalgia.  And I can’t look at topps offerings with anything other than disdain if they insist on shoving history down my throat and every attempt at something new is riddled with crippling flaws or just plain uninspired.

I’m not even going to delve into topps’ laughable cluelessness when it comes to the marketing towards kids & whatnot.  Another rant for another time, perhaps.

But I will close by saying this: If we’re going by current companies that make the best quality cards, then neither topps OR Upper Deck really deserve an MLB license, let alone an exclusive.  Upper Deck’s baseball had been on the decline for at least a couple years before losing their license and I think I miiiight have mentioned above that topps could use a good kick in the pants to shake the perpetual creative mediocrity and stupid nostalgia kick they’re on.

Honestly MLB, since the decision to even let an exclusive happen in the first place is ultimately on your shortsighted and archaic-thinking head, I’d take Tristar, In The Game, and good lord even Panini over topps (and Upper Deck for that matter) right now.  Even their average stuff is better and more importantly, more FUN, than all but very best of what topps has to offer (well, Panini is still a work in progress, but showing improvement).  You should be begging them to make cards for you.  So fuck the confusion noise, because I don’t give a damn.  It’s not a good time to be a baseball card collector.  Period.

Rant mode off.

I Really Mean it this Time!

Okay, I guess I meant TODAY is when I finally get down to business. Damn if being medicated again didn’t help the hell out of me, I feel pretty good today.  Being able to sleep rocks!  Gonna get some packages ready to send, there’s about a dozen bubble mailers ready to go that need creamy card filling. And maybe I’ll even get around to sending the two that are already ready.

Also, we’re running out of time on the group break if it’s going to happen by Opening Day. So if your interested, please let me know. A few peeps have stated their intent to join, but there’s still a good 9 or so spots available! Join up!

Still Livin’ the Dream…

Ha, are you sure it’s not a nightmare, title post that I wrote?  Anyway, I’m still here.  I basically shut it down since last I posted, and have accomplished nothing at all.  But that will change today, oh yes.  The sketch cards should be getting here any day now, so I have to get my act together.  This means two things: I have to start cleaning and moving all my crap around cuz of the stupid closet door nonsense, and people can finally start looking for cards from me in the near future and have some expectation that they will actually be there! 🙂

That’s all I’ve got for the moment.  No pictures or nuthin’, sorry.  Gotta go clean & get a little shuteye right now.  Someone wake me at the crack of 3pm please.

Woo, cleaning! *Sarcasm-o-tron spontaneously combusts*

Frustration…

I am getting really frustrated with my collection.  It is a total mess that I can no longer keep up with.  It’s holding me back from sending out my end of trades to Baseball Dad (the Alomar is missing), McCann (one of the mini Chipper jerseys is missing), The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame (Tyronn Lue card and Rich Hill jersey missing), and Baseball Card Stuff (most of the topps206 Bronzies are missing).

This really sucks.  My frustration has reached a boiling point and I want to be rid of most of this stuff.  It’s just taking up space.  I’m not quitting, I’m just starting over.  I’ll still buy cards in the future, I just want 2/3 of what I’ve got, gone, so that then I’ll be able to organize what’s left and be able to easily shuffle new cards into the collection and also find stuff!  So if you’d like a random assortment of cards from your team and/or possibly off certain wantlists, email me your address and I will stuff as much as I can into a 4″x7″ bubble mailer and it can be your problem.* 😛

All I ask for is something off my wantlist in return.  It can just be one card or it can be a whole bunch of stuff.  I’m not so concerned with keeping my PC so in order, because it ain’t going anywheres, so just send whatevers.  I just want the stuff I don’t want or need that is getting in my way outta here and hopefully to people it will be useful to.

It’ll just be a random stack of your team of choice, or non-random stack of set needs (or both), but should you offer up a hit or something #’ed in the email, I will very gladly return the favor for that.

And remember, my email is available via the link to my google account profile on the sidebar!!!!!

In other news, I need the good Troll’s address to send him some Pirates for the kids, and the now Pirate Japanese Aki card that turned out to be the boobie prize from my contest.  Brian, you’re winnins be on the way soon too!  Did second place and beyond ever choose the card they wanted?  Would like to get those sent one of these years too.  Need to move it along so I can have another contest on account of just passing 10,000 hits.

Also, who got the Hello There, Ball thing waaaay back in the day?  I’ve got a Zack Duke jersey card with their name on it (not literally, of course).

*Offer doesn’t apply to Cardinals or Red Sox, because the Red Sox are already part of a major trade, and the Cardinals will be soon, or the Rangers and Marlins, because I barely have any of them.  I have a disturbingly decent amount of Steelers and Cowboys (and probably a few other teams) football cards though, if anyone wants them though.

Another day, another time…