My Year in Hobbies 2019: January!

In the interest of not making y’all deal with 10,000 word posts with 100 images, and in the interest of making the load a little lighter, given the new imaging captioning policy on this site, which I’ll get into a little later (and which I’m still figuring out, years and years too late; please be kind as I’m getting used to doing this, and if you have suggestions on how I can make my captions better, please share them in the comments), I’m breaking 2019 down into months. Here’s January!

Screenshot from the video game No Man's Sky. A space ship flies through a star-lit stretch of outer space, past the silhouette of a planet, and over grey hills on the horizon, leaving a green vapor trail behind it.
Screenshot from the video game No Man’s Sky. A space ship flies through a star-lit stretch of outer space, past the silhouette of a planet, and over grey hills on the horizon, leaving a green vapor trail behind it.

I started out the year, again, feeling quite ill, dating back to a pretty severe concussion I got on my wedding day (life’s weird). I didn’t actually realize how ill I was (we’re talking 14 months of serious post-concussion symptoms, and still some lingering ones, some of them probably permanent because I’ve had a LOT of concussions and sub-concussive hits), because I’d been playing an absolute ton of No Man’s Sky, dating back to the last month and change of 2018. As it turns out, it was helping me mitigate a ton of neurological vertigo, related to eye tracking, which I didn’t find out until I 100%-ed the achievements in the game at the beginning of April. Apparently, “play a video game for 3 winter months to help me deal with some sort of illness or another” is a thing now, though I’m hoping it’s just a 2 year trend. I can play video games just fine without being so sick that I can’t leave the couch for months. I am back to playing the game over the past week, trying out the new update, so if you play, let me know in the comments.

A copy of issue #53 of Jim Balent's Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose comic book, published by Broadsword Comics, with a $7.00 price sticker at the top left (cover price was $2.95). On the cover, in the top right, there is a logo which reads "Jim Balent's Tarot" in green with a black rose with a blue center to it extending from the letter R in "Tarot", resting under the O and T in "Tarot", with "Witch Of The Black Rose written underneath the rose. At the cover's center, Crypt Chick, a white-haired, pale blue-grey skinned (see-through, in parts, displaying her bones) woman in a black bikini top with white outline crosses on it, a black leather belt with silver rings hanging off of it, a black patent leather micro-mini skirt, white panties, black and white striped tights on her right leg, and black leather boots with silver buckles, sits on her knees near green skulls against a black background. Artwork (signed at bottom right) by Jim Balent.
A copy of issue #53 of Jim Balent’s Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose comic book. On the cover, in the top right, there is a logo which reads “Jim Balent’s Tarot” in green with a black rose with a blue center to it extending from the letter R in “Tarot”, resting under the O and T in “Tarot”, with “Witch Of The Black Rose written underneath the rose. At the cover’s center, Crypt Chick, a white-haired, pale blue-grey skinned (see-through, in parts, displaying her bones) woman in a black bikini top with white outline crosses on it, a black leather belt with silver rings hanging off of it, a black patent leather micro-mini skirt, white panties, black and white striped tights on her right leg, and black leather boots with silver buckles, sits on her knees near green skulls against a black background. Artwork by Jim Balent.

Toward the end of the month, I got a copy of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #53. If you’ve never seen it before, or have never read the article I linked to above, it’s one of the best worst comic books of all time. I will give you the one-panel CliffsNotes version of why, if you don’t feel like reading the other article:

A comic book panel from Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #53 in which Skeleton Man, a brown-haired white man with a skull mask over his face and a black leather jacket with a bone on the right sleeve, yells "Samantha Brown! You have to get out of here! Your vagina is HAUNTED!" at a white woman, whose right arm, hip, and leg are barely visible in the picture. Artwork by Jim Balent.
A comic book panel from Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #53 in which Skeleton Man, a brown-haired white man with a skull mask over his face and a black leather jacket with a bone on the right sleeve, yells “Samantha Brown! You have to get out of here! Your vagina is HAUNTED!” at a white woman, whose right arm, hip, and leg are barely visible in the picture. Artwork by Jim Balent.

Yes, that’s a thing that happened. And I have a copy of it for at-home reading now.

A screenshot of multiplayer solitaire statistics from MobilityWare Solitaire for iOS. The field is broken into 4 horizontal bars. Going vertically from top to bottom, the top bar is a blue bar with "Multiplayer" written on it in white lettering at left, and at right, an up arrow meant to collapse the data if you touched it on the iOS touch screen. The second through fourth bars are a grey with black lettering. The second bar says "Wins" at left and "4569" at right. The third bar says "Ties" at left and "0" at right. The fourth and bottom bar says "Losses" at left and "1162" at right.
A screenshot of multiplayer solitaire statistics from MobilityWare Solitaire for iOS. The field is broken into 4 horizontal bars. Going vertically from top to bottom, the top bar is a blue bar with “Multiplayer” written on it in white lettering at left, and at right, an up arrow meant to collapse the data if you touched it on the iOS touch screen. The second through fourth bars are a grey with black lettering. The second bar says “Wins” at left and “4569” at right. The third bar says “Ties” at left and “0” at right. The fourth and bottom bar says “Losses” at left and “1162” at right.

I don’t know if I’ve ever really gotten into this here, but I play a lot of online multiplayer solitaire, using MobilityWare Solitaire for iOS. Enough that, out of over 300,000 users who have played at least one game of online multiplayer solitaire on the app, I was ranked 650th in the world in late January.

Television seasons binge-watched in January 2019 (1): Grace & Frankie Season 5 (I loved it, of course.)

Comic books cancelled or ending in January 2019 (the first of an ongoing theme for this year): Exiles (Marvel Comics). I loved this book, and hope to someday see more of all of the characters from it. Saladin Ahmed has written some terrific comics over the past couple of years.

February will be up soon!

2 thoughts on “My Year in Hobbies 2019: January!”

  1. Hopefully you’ll continue to get better, and will stay out of the mosh pits from here on out, oh, and will stop hitting your head on things as well 🙂

    Did you know that the comic was going to be that bad before you bought it? Or was it one of those deals where you had to have it because it was known to be so bad?

  2. I’ve known about the Tarot issue for close to a decade, so yeah, I was familiar with what happens in the book, and pounced on the first copy I’d ever seen in person (I doubt it’s rare, but I don’t run into a lot of stores with a huge back stock of Tarot issues).

    And yeah, here’s hopin’ things continue to improve some. Thank you! I’m actually banned from head-banging, even, which is very hard, but as “Smart” Mark Sterling mentioned on New Year’s Eve, every time you headbang, you lose 9 brain cells!

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