My Year in Hobbies 2023

Hahahahaha, nope.

Probably not doing a long (by my standards, not yours) read if I can help it.

Didn’t keep track of first and last card of the year (and I’ve got 8 days on last card), am genuinely unsure of what the coolest thing I’ve gotten in any or all of my hobbies is without researching my own life (memory issues will do that), and I’ve only got three goals for 2024. One of them is “have fun”, another is “get rid of a bunch of stuff, because I can totally spare it”, and the rest is below.

Short (again, by my standards) Version:

I still have hobbies. I probably still need some new ones, but let’s deal with the ones that are currently on my plate first.

I’m looking to wrap up the serious collecting part of my current hobbies by June of 2024. After just under 5 decades of Collecting Them All (thanks, Oats), I’m really tired of being constrained by completism, so I’m working on that, to the best of my ability.

I’m not getting rid of all of my stuff, but just going over my doubles, I have kind of a lot. More posts about that here soon, I promise.

I have started doing card trades again, and I think people have been pretty happy with their ends of the deals so far. Have a few of you to square away stuff with yet, and a few that I’m still trying to get things moving with, but I’ve been in touch with all of you, or tried to be, anyway, pretty recently.

I’m almost out of active players whose sports cards I collect. Weird. Right now, I’m down to Vlad Jr., Harper and Greinke, assuming he finds a gig for ’24. (If I’m a baseball team, I sign the guy and let him pitch, no matter how he pitches, for as long as he wants to. His value’s much bigger than wins and losses.)

Probably for the best that I’m not focusing on the present day in sports, as a company I don’t care for has a near-monopoly on sports cards.

As I wrote on a Discord server that’s familiar to a few of my readers earlier today:

“OK, so who wants to help me further figure out what cards I wish to keep collecting?

I’ve been updating my comic and video game want lists throughout the weekend, had a few of my top wants come in, so I keep updating those on my site, and every time, when I look at the top card wants? It’s all kind of a blur of names and numbers to me. Which happens, we fall in and out of hobbies, and sometimes, if stuff’s not right in front of you and you’re not in the middle of it, you’re not really in touch with what’s fun about it.

But yeah, I streamlined the want list some, but I need to further figure out what I’m actually excited to chase at this point, if anything. It could be that nothing changes further on that list, but I just don’t prioritize it aside from trading my duplicate and unwanted cards with y’all.

Tall order, I know. I don’t think it’ll lead to any bigger of a sell-off than I’ve already been passively working toward (like, I’m not going to start shoveling ’59 Topps at people or whatever), but I really need to continue to nail down my perspective on that one of my collections.

(It’s not the only one. I have tons of action figures, but only really have Mego and DC Direct/Marvel Legends-scale figures on display right now.)”

In my other hobbies, I’m pretty close to having the collections I dreamed of as a kid, and hopefully I get some genuine quality time to enjoy them as an adult. I also definitely have to figure out what that looks like for a few of ’em, but “that’s why we play the games”, so to speak.

But heck, enough about me, though. How was your year?

New Version of the Card Want List

Dig this.

While working on a deal with Nick, we were talking briefly about how tough it was to assess what I prioritize and value by looking at my card want list, so I had a look at the most recent version of it, and while I saved that version (and it’s still probably linked to all over this site, but there’s a pointer link to the new list on the old one now), I ended up cutting off 27 pages of wants for the new version of the list (version 6.0), and it is now linked to in most of the important places like the menus here, as well.

I think it reads much better, with all of the sets by all of the companies in one place, and no more confusion about higher/lower priority sets. If you see it here, it’s higher priority. I may re-add stuff from the previous list over time as I review it a bit more, but for now, this’ll do.

And yes, I’m actually back to trading at the moment, with long-in-gestation packages out to Madding at Cards on Cards and Bru this week, and a few other things in the works. Uncle Doc, if you see this, please get ahold of me about a trade we were sorta thinking about doing a year or two ago, as we were communicating near-exclusively through Twitter DMs, and I don’t do that anymore.

If you’ve been actively looking through my want list recently, or haven’t looked in a while (particularly if trying to look at the old list made you completely tune out), please give this thing a look, and let me know what you think of the new version!

A Few More Updates

Comic inventory is complete (list of duplicates for trade or sale coming soon), and the card boxes are open (filling 2 want lists at the moment, will hopefully have stuff in the mail tomorrow).

I enjoyed looking through the cards the other night, as I haven’t in a good while, and it was satisfying to find cards that people needed in a way I hadn’t felt in a while (my existing stock was really picked over for a long time, but I’ve gotten some new things, released some others into trade stock and am trading with someone who hasn’t had a full pass through my boxes yet in one case). Once I catch up on the names I had down for trades, I’ll be talking a bit more about what I have here that needs new/good homes, and what I’d like for it.

I’ve also been tweaking the look and functionality of this site a bit, and will be doing so for a while. On one hand, this layout isn’t as mobile-friendly as I’d like it to be, but on the other, mobile web browsers are hot garbage, so it’s gonna be a process.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your holiday if you celebrate a holiday this weekend and we don’t talk sooner, or just enjoy your weekend if you’re not down with all that (for what it’s worth, my household has transitioned to celebrating Big Meal Thursday, a name I credit my spouse with).

I totally didn’t remember what I wrote last until I read it all.

Brain damage. Not even once, y’all.

Some updates since June:

I’m a little less than halfway through inventorying my comic books (DC is basically done, but Marvel, independents, and then the pretty ridiculous number of doubles I’ve gotten by picking up cheap-ish lots over the past few years needs to get re-counted, as it’s probably been a year since I’ve done that). Yes, it’s a pretty big job, and I’ve had to pause it recently because my back can only handle so much throwing around of heavy cardboard boxes, and also because I’ve been on watch duty the past couple of weeks (more on that in a minute).

When that’s done, I’ll be in my card boxes, and in touch with those of you who I have trades-in-progress (really, trades-long-in-gestation) to let you know what I have for you.

I’ve had very little motivation to collect trading cards of any kind in the past little while, but I still have a want list, and if I start trading for some things, I may end up feeling differently about it. I’m going to try to avoid doing what I’ve done with a few collections in my lifetime and over-purging them, just because I don’t care that much about a particular thing in a particular moment, but with that said, I’m also coming up on birthday number 50 in the middle of next year, I have no obvious heirs, and baseball in particular has done a lot to make me not care as much about baseball in the Manfred era. There’s also the “How many cards do I need of any athlete whose cards I don’t collect and, in some cases, who I have a strong personal dislike of?” question, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

As I’m going through things, though, I will be making a note of what does bring a twinkle to my eye, so to speak. Earlier today, I had one of those moments, when I hung my framed Roger Maris 61st HR headline from the Daily News back up in my room, after having it stored for a little over a year due to renovations and such. I think about a lot of things, largely good ones, whenever I look at it, and not even Roger Maris Jr. could change that. The goal moving forward, once I get these last few months of rabid completism out of my system, is to try to find that twinkle in my eye in everything I do, enjoy, and yes, collect to the degree that I wish to collect things past that age 50 cut-off date on the Triple Digit Pages to My Want Lists era of my life. And, really, who knows how long any of us has, or how long any of this (this being civilization, Earth, etc.) will last?

I’m fun today, right? Moving on…

teh socials: I’m still using the ‘tree to track my active, mostly-publicly-available points of presence. I’ve been on the blueski a lot over the past few months, and it’s doing a better than average job of fulfilling needs developed during Peak Twitter. I check the old site maybe once every couple of days, but I just end up checking my feed on my old, main account and almost never look at the account for this site, even though I wish I did so I could see about encouraging independent pro wrestlers to come over to the new place.

Renovation/House Stuff: I need to get new pictures of my Mego shelves for y’all. Your minds would be blown. I’ve also been working on getting my CDs displayed and stored in a better way than I had them, as well as my video games (there was a big influx of Atari 2600 stuff over the past year or so, and with this coming out soon, I anticipate that’ll be an ongoing thing, so I need to adjust my living room accordingly), and with everything happening in all of these spaces with all of these collections, they need to be cat-proofed, because, after 5 terrible catless months, we’ve had a new cat for about 2 weeks, and she wishes to climb on and into everything.

Keeping busy with new music (list-in-progress of this year’s favorites is here), caught up on new comics (Fantastic Four and Birds of Prey are my favorites of what’s currently being released), and I’ve got another October movie list for y’all:

October 1st: The Old Dark House (1932) and Season of the Witch (1973)
October 7th: Crocodile II: Death Roll (2001)
October 8th: Frankenhooker (1990), Frogs (1972), Children of the Corn (1984) and Fade to Black (1980)
October 12th: Totally Killer (2023) and Snakes on a Plane (2006)
October 13th: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) and Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
October 14th: Saturday the 14th (1981) and Blood Quantum (2019)
October 15th: Alligator 2 (1990)
October 18th: Scream (1996)
October 19th: Pumpkinhead (1988) and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
October 26th: Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)
October 27th: The Blair Witch Project (1999)
October 28th: Student Bodies (1981)
October 29th: Ginger Snaps (2000), Halloween (1978), and Halloween 4 (1988)
October 31st: The Mummy (1932), The Mask (1961), Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) and I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

The Old Dark House, Totally Killer, Blood Quantum, Invasion of the Saucer Men and Ginger Snaps were my favorite new-to-mes this year, and Frogs, Friday the 13th Part 2, Saturday the 14th, Student Bodies and The Mask were my favorite re-watches.

A thing I will give y’all a heads up on: moving forward, as I get my shit slightly more together, I’m going to be listing items and lots of items here for sale or trade, as an experiment. I have a really small audience here, of course, but I have the ability to grow that audience a bit by pointing people in the other places I spend time at links, as we all have for a few decades now, and I want to see if I can sell or trade anything directly from a website that doesn’t have a Facebook page or eBay listings or a storefront or whatever, just to see what happens. If it tanks, it tanks. If not? While it’s dirty, dirty commerce, I think it could give us something to do here on the regular. And, again, I am saying “sell or trade”, and I will be welcoming trades of all kinds, once I’m caught up on a relatively short backlog of them. If someone wants to trade me a Subaru Forester in relatively good shape for my ’86 Fleer Jordan, I’m interested. That kinda stuff.

I think that’s it for now. More, including pictures and such, soon. I hope you’re all well in the meantime.

OK, so… (Part II of II)

Alright, so…the future.

I don’t think I’ve gotten into this here yet (it’s possible that I have, but a search for “50th birthday” didn’t turn anything up), but sometime in the past few years, I started to think, for a variety of reasons (space, money, no kids, the amount of time I have left to truly enjoy what I have and get the rest to people who will, the obstacles that a pandemic has thrown in the way of collecting things, and other reasons I’m just not thinking of at the moment), about winding down my collecting by my 50th birthday, which is coming up in a little less than a year now.

Now, I have been buying things or having things bought for me since I was a very young child, and I’ve actually been collecting them since the late 1970s (I have some toys, comics, and even a couple of records that have survived my early childhood; I started on cards with the 1980 Topps set, so cards are definitely a 1980s concern), so I’m not foolish enough to think I’ll stop buying new things, or never go back and buy any older things.

However, this idea of completism…finishing sets of cards, runs of comic books, series of toys, and so forth? That, I’d like to wrap up as much as possible, as soon as possible, as most of the things I’m still doing it with are older now, and getting expensive, hard to find, or both.

Without the ability to browse stores, yard sales, flea markets and hobby-based shows, for the reasons discussed in Part I, it can be a real drag trying to do this, too.

I’d like to eventually just do what I see regular folks who casually enjoy, and casually collect things do, where they see something they like, and they just pick up that thing, without worrying so much about its broader context, how many other things they’ll now have to consider owning, and all that nonsense that’s pretty formally ruled my life since I started reading The Daily Planet in the back of DC Comics as a very young kid, and looking at the card backs on action figure packaging.

I’ve actually made a lot of headway on finishing things up before the deadline, and I am gaining perspective on what I’ll realistically be able to do in the next year without substantial help from people, as well as perspective on how much space I’ll need to store what I don’t have yet.

It just feels like it’s time, or way past time, to stop chasing and start enjoying, or trying to enjoy, anyway. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I’d like to try.

As for what I think this’ll do to even a very regularly updated version of this site? Honestly, given the backlog of virtually everything I have to deal with, I could probably write entries regularly for the rest of a long life without buying anything new or running out of things to talk about.

As far as posting goes, as I re-activate this site, or try to, I do, once again, have to re-silo everything I post about, because I exist online in more than just this space. I find that it is very hard to get the few of you who read this site to visit the other spaces, though, which makes me think that some of you only love me for my trading cards (and gosh, are you going to be disappointed as I gradually sunset, or at least pause, that collection, particularly the sports part of it) that you used to mostly read about when I was in the heyday of posting to this site’s predecessor, which is like a decade ago now.

Again, while it is an incomplete resource (mainly because not everywhere I post is public-facing), the ‘tree should help you find some of the rest of that, and you could also always reach out and ask me where everything else is (I am the last person on Earth who enjoys long personal emails).

I think that should do it, for the moment. I wrote a lot tonight, so I’ll let y’all catch up, and start thinking some more about What’s Next. Hopefully, at least some of you will be along for the ride, whatever shape it may take from here.

Oh, one more thing: please subscribe or re-subscribe, if you want notifications of these posts by email. When I wasn’t looking, stuff on my subscriber list got weird, so I had to nuke it. There were not many of you on it, but you got at least one email from me today, so you’re hopefully aware that I’m active again. There’s a form at the top right. Thanks!