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.


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.


2014 Final Tally

I had a different post planned for today, but it didn’t pan out so well.  So instead, I’m gonna look at my goals from the beginning of the year and see how things panned out (with intermittent pictures to fight the boredom).  I’m sure this will end well… >.>;

Finish Fergie Jenkins Career Run– Not quite.  Still no ’68 or anything from ’70s off-brand sets.  I think the league leaders from the ’70s and almost everything from the ’80s are taken care of though.

Progress was made..

Progress was made..

Get Ryno’s other RCs– Nope.  The only other ’83 Sandberg I landed this year was his Topps sticker.  We’ll call it his 5th RC in the same way Billy Preston is considered the 5th Beatle.  He was absolutely the reason the group held together near the end of their run, and a complete run of Ryno RCs is not complete without his Topps sticker.

Complete 12 Trades– I don’t think I quite made it, but the two I got myself into at the end of the year might have gotten me into double digits, which is honestly better than I was expecting.  I will try to get better at posting my trades in the coming year.

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a Jerry Rice RC!

A couple biggies found their way to me via trade, including a pretty decent condition Jerry Rice RC!

Complete Three Sets– Failed.  Hard.  I abandoned like half my set page over the course of the year, though I don’t think any of the trio I mentioned as likely candidates in the original post were officially abandoned.  But I still ended up with nothing from them.

The only set I made any progress on.  And I only just broke the 30 mark after Christmas..

The only set I made any progress on, and I only finally just broke the 30-card mark after Christmas..

Complete the Following Single Page Sensations

2011 Topps Legend Variations– Nope.  Don’t think I added a single one.  Made a little headway on 2009 Update though.

'09 Reggie Update..

’09 Reggie Update..

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Legend Variations– I picked up Harmon Killebrew and Paul Molitor.  Only one more needed!

2011 Topps Diamond Die-Cuts– YES!  The Winfield Single Page was decommissioned again (for the third or fourth time in my blogging career), and he returned to fill his old hole in the page.  The final piece came when I decommissioned my Adrian Beltre page, and the Diamond Die-Cut I had of the future Hall of Famer completed the page.

2012 Bowman Chrome Legends in the Making Die-Cuts– Yes, and then I abandoned the page and decided to only keep a couple.

2012 Topps Finest Faces of the Franchise– Same as above.  What I don’t want is available for everything I’ve abandoned over the past year.  Inquire and acquire within.

2013 Museum Collection Canvas Collection– Yaharr, this was so easy I was even able to replace a few I decided I didn’t like as much.  RA Dickey, Tom Seaver, and whoever the other one was are available for sale or trade.

As an aside, I’m still at 8/9 on 2012 and, pending shipment, 5/9 on 2014.  I am also at 8/9 on the 2013 football version.  I’d be finished already, but I’m holding out hope for a Deion Sanders to get close to the $0.60-1.38 range I paid for the rest that I picked up over the second half of the year.  Aikman & Andre Johnson were on the low end, Russell Wilson & Megatron were the most expensive.

Victoria/Tara– Nope.  Was too busy going overboard and accidentally turning Gail Kim into a full collection (2 new autos and two #’ed cards and a several early base cards cards).



Luol Deng– Nothing.  Completely forgot about him, aside from that weird sleazy racist scouting report brouhaha during the offseason.

Carlos Santana– I’m still three short.  Four if the sweet Topps Tribute WBC patch #’ed /35 I picked up for around $3.40 doesn’t fit in a binder page.  My other addition to his page was a sub (if just barely)-$10 Bowman Platinum printing plate.  An expensive addition for one of my less important pages, but it was there, and still relatively cheap for an at least borderline superstar player.

This is one of those scans don't do the card justice cards..

This is one of those scans don’t do the card justice cards..

Any five others– Unbelievably, this is a yes.  It was almost entirely stuff either I eventually abandoned (2012 & ’13 Dynamic Die-Cuts, Rod Carew also available FT), decided to go back to the drawing board on later (Robbie Alomar), just pared down to a single page (Randy Moss), or eventually overdid to the point they are full collections now (Darvish, Jorge Soler, and the above mentioned Gail Kim) but I think I actually did this.  Pending shipment, Javier Baez and 1975 Topps Minis (George Foster and Dock Ellis are the final additions) pages will also be complete for the time being.  Winner-winner, sexy sinner!

Complete any two Sketch Card pages– Yeah, pretty much.  They ended up not quite being what I originally expected, but I have a full page of She-Hulks and a full page of Women of Marvel 2 sketch cards.

Sketch Cards!

Sketch Cards!

Add 10 more key RCs– Blew this one away.  A single trade almost did the deed by itself, and a later eBay lot purchase would have easily done it on its own.  I even landed three of the biggies I listed: Nomah, Gwynn (’83 Fleer), &  Boggs sorta (also a Topps Sticker).

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Key RCs was easily the most successful pursuit of the year..

Complete five more trifectas– I didn’t make them a priority.  I think I managed a couple though.  Brandon Phillips and Alshon Jeffykins were completed this year, I think.  Maybe three if Booker T counts, since I might be in possession of his oldest card now.

It's the oldest WCW set, post Booker T's 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

It’s the oldest WCW set, post Booker T’s 1993 debut that I know of, so maybe it counts as his RC?

30 new 1960 Topps– Abandoned set.  Everything but Vic Power, because that was my first ever vintage card, is available.  Even Gil, Maz, & the high number commons, if you bring it with your trade offers.

Break 100 cards with another player– Surprisingly, it was Nomar Garciaparra, because I bought a ginormous 200+ card lot of him on eBay.

Pay off old debts– Completed one, added one.  My original package for the dude on twitter never turned up, so I’ll have to go with a replacement package in the coming year.  Meh, I should’ve done better. :/

Now onto the blog, where things get even dicier than the cards themselves.  I started off strong, then posted pretty much nothing for at least nine months for no good reason, then ended with a nice little flurry.  And even though I added nothing else, my art got a good a percentage of focus, so I’m not terribly disappointed by my effort during the small fraction of time I was actually here.  Now if I could just find some focus to actually hang around all year.

What about me in real life?  I never did hit the gym, and it’s just been the past several weeks that I started running with any degree of regularity again, but this godforsaken place I live made it so I was going out and walking constantly all year long.  Eating healthier has still been spotty at best (in fact I was in stomach distress from overdoing it on probably the most unhealthy regional brand of potato chips you can buy as I was typing this, which is why it’s going up Sunday morning instead of Saturday morning), but I am still maintaining my weight.

Finish old sketch cards– Not many.  Mostly just the more recent of my old stuff, and I’m staying on top of newer work as well as can be expected.

30 realistic portraits– I don’t know for sure, but I feel like I have to be very close on this.  I managed to do a couple in the early morning hours before I had to do stuff just in the past few days, and I think I have at least one more in me in the waning days of this year.

50 new sketch cards– I expect to be around 40 by the time the year is out.  My arting is up significantly overall even if 50 sketch cards won’t happen though.  I think I probably drew somewhere between 100-125 things total this year.

Decent effort, kid..

Decent effort, kid..

Finish first draft of novel– I failed so miserably at writing this year.  To be fair to this and my lack of blogging most of the year, my computer situation was in serious flux the entire year, and I was too broke to do anything about it.  I was also leaving constantly due to noise.  However, there was more than enough downtime that I should’ve been able to do plenty of both.  So while there were mitigating circumstances, my first sentence still stands: I failed so miserably at writing this year.

Lynna Sage from something I'm writing, currently under the working title Nexus Eternum..

Concept sketching went better than expected though..

Travel– Nope.  I’ve never been this ridiculously tight on money so constantly for an entire year before.  Not hopeful for 2015 either.  My money will be likely be at least as tight, though more focused on the things I need to get on with my life rather than things that I want or are necessary for an immediate specific purpose/moment.

Watch more anime– Only marginally more successful than the other things on the list.  Mostly just Space Dandy, a couple random movies, and a little hentai.

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

The Space Dandy gang are so disappointed in my lack of anime viewing..

More video games– Again, only just a slight uptick in activity.  A lot of it was done in the week & a half I went without a computer in late November/early December.

So there you have it.  I’m still a mostly useless wreck of a human being, but I can point out things that are actually improvements over years gone by.  That should give you an idea how hopelessly broken I’ve been, the incremental improvements I’ve made, and the many, many light years I still have to go before I could ever be considered functional in any meaningful way.

That’s it for now.  Here’s to a better 2015!  Thanks for stopping by.

We have come to terms…

I Have Had Enough…

…of this fucking hellhole.  Pardon my French, ahem…

So yeah, I’m having issues with my neighbors again.  Here is the deal: I have severe sleep issues.  For the last three years, people be coming and going all hours of the night, every single night, slamming their fucking doors.  This has literally cost me HUNDREDs of hours of sleep that I desperately needed.  In the meantime, over the same period, I have had the police called on me for being too loud, by the same damn people that have been keeping me up at night, at least a half-dozen times, the latest being verrry early this morning.  They also complain about me to the office a ton as well.  I have received at least three letters from them.

As if the total hypocrisy of that isn’t enough (I don’t care if they don’t realize it, it’s gotten *increasingly worse* for three fucking years), for the first year, or close to it, I actively did my best to be fucking quiet at night!  And that was when most of the complaining happened.  So I finally gave up trying after awhile, and had actually only heard the a smattering of complaints since.  However, as I said, the noise they were making got so bad that a year or so ago, I took to punching the arm of my chair whenever they slammed a door or made any other kind of loud noise at night.  And by now, I just do it almost instinctively to any noise they make any time of day.  I just don’t care anymore.

Yeah, I guess that makes me not completely innocent.  I’ve never claimed I was a saint.  However, they are the ones that started it, and continue to cost me sleep.  And no, filing complaints myself isn’t a very viable option.  First of all, I have a mountain of complaints against me for various things over the years, exactly one of which can be considered legit.  I have no trust in the people running this place anyways.  In every instance I’ve dealt with them, they are a bunch of back-talking weasels.  Even though they FINALLY did get the word out to try and keep people from slamming their doors, and it has actually worked to some degree, trying to get my point across was like pulling teeth.  I’m pretty sure it was only done at all because I was so righteously pissed off I that I was physically shaking trying to keep my shit together when I was talking to the lady.

But of course, now that people are being *somewhat* better about slamming their doors, someone above me nearby has seen fit to start scooting something heavy-sounding across the floor every night.  This sound actually bothers me more than the doors slamming.  The slow, obnoxious scooting sound that lasts up to several seconds at a time is quite literally one of the most annoying sounds I have ever heard in my entire life.

Anyway though, last night it happened while I was trying to get to sleep, as in I was halfway to dreamland when it started in.  I did what I do, I punched the arm of my chair, except really, really hard.  Fucker did it when I was almost asleep.  So I’m starting to get back to sleep a little later and I here some talking in the and then a knock at my door.  Three cops are out there.  Guess with that many, they must’ve been expecting some shit.  I told them what was going on and that I just wanted get some fucking sleep, they took down my name, listened to what I had to say, and went on their merry way.

Well, I’m sick of it.  If I had somewhere else I could go, I would not still be here, but I don’t so there isn’t much that can be done right now.  I decided I needed to say something to the people causing me trouble though.  So I wrote a note and put it on the cranky old bat’s door across the hall, since most my tormentors hang out together.  It took me four tries to try and get out what I had to say, not holding back how pissed off I was, but still trying to keep it clear and to-the-point.  Here is what I wrote in it’s entirety:

“Hi, it’s me. Y’know, you don’t seem to understand something. You guys started this shit with me. Understand this, the last three years, while you guys were complaining about my alleged noise all the time, you were costing me literally 100s and 100s of hours of sleep, slamming doors every. Single. Night. And keep this in mind, I did not start retaliating against y’alls BS in any meaningful way until a year or so ago. I even tried to not be loud for awhile, but I finally gave up when it proved futile.

What I’m trying to say is this, you guys have treated me like shit, even and especially when I was trying to be quiet. This is what happened on my end, this is what you did to me. Period. And I absolutely do NOT appreciate it. I don’t care if you care what you have done or not, but now you know. And know that I don’t like or respect almost any of you, that have caused me so much grief the last few years. That won’t change. You guys made my life even worse than it already was, to be 18-19 years old and end up in a place like this. This is how it is. Good day. I have nothing more to say to any of you, ever.”

Too light?  Too heavy?  Whatcha think?  I’ve let the world walk all over me for too long.  I had to say something, and I’m a much better writer than talker, so I wrote my heart out at them.

Alright, rant mode off.  I just had to get this off my chest.  I’m so sick of this place it’s not even funny.  I’ve been treated like shit since I moved here really, but I mostly didn’t care until people started screwing with my already tenuous ability to sleep like a normal human.  My next move is to file a complaint against whoever’s scooting stuff in the middle of the night if it continues.  I know it’s something I should take up with whoever’s doing it before I complain, but I just have no tolerance for any shit having to do with this place anymore.  I don’t think I can be respectful as I need to be, so I just have to file the complaint and be done with it and hope they can be arsed to do something about it.

Truth is, the only thing I wanted when I moved here was to be left alone, ideally so that my mental state could hopefully improve to the point where I’d be able to be completely self-sufficient someday, or if worse came to worse, a place I could slowly fade into oblivion.  Morbid, but yeah… I was barely functional at all back then.  It could’ve gone either way.

Fortunately, despite the constant string of shit I’ve received, I am getting better, and have no desire to fade into oblivion.  And I have all my online peeps to thank for that.  So for everyone I’ve been lucky enough to befriend online, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I don’t think I’ll ever think very highly of myself, and who knows if I’ll ever really make good on my alleged potential, but you’ve all given me the will to try and be a better, stronger, more worthwhile person.

Okay, NOW the rant mode is off.  Have a great night, everyone.  Peace, love, and fighting spirit. 😉