It’s already 2 months into 2016. Time continues to fly as usual and life remains relatively uneventful. The most exciting thing going on right now is in making the decision on if I should cut my hair or let it grow out a few feet again. As much as I enjoy having long hair, the cat likes to eat it, which is hazardous to her health if she manages to get it wound up in her intestines, so for that and other reasons (laziness) my years of 3ft. long locks may be well and truly past.
My time nowadays is saturated in multiple small commitments. I play a tabletop RPG with friends every Sunday, help run a board game group two nights a month, belong to two bookclubs, and still volunteer at the Quatrefoil library. On top of that I’ve somehow found myself on the committee of a local convention. How did this happen? Granted, I still spend a lot of my time relaxing at home and playing video games. Even though it’s a distant dream, I spend a lot of time learning about game design and writing too. I find I’m a much less happy person when I’m not pursuing some sort of creative project, and in the last few years my activity on that end has fallen drastically. So now I’m writing a text game. Like most of my creative projects it will probably never be completed, but as a hobby project it still provides its benefits.
Work continues on without much change. I’ve already had my first fair of the year at Pasadena. California as a state is not my favorite, but the Cali fair itself attracts some wonderful dealers. There wasn’t much there for me to buy as it’s a higher end fair, but one dealer was gracious enough to point me to a box of kabuki postcards notable for the fact that almost every one of them were annotated in the back with information on the play depicted. When I didn’t show as much enthusiasm as he did he went in with my boss “so that I’d have them anyway,” and when I realized they had essentially beat me to it he let me buy out his half. It was extremely generous of him, considering the amount profit he thought could be had with the item. The reason I looked so incredulous was the price tag. It’s still hard for me to be willing to invest a sizable amount of money into a single thing, even when that thing seems to be a steal. But when the risk is shared it becomes a more palatable prospect.
I’ve benefited a lot from simply listening to other dealers talk amongst themselves, and one of the themes that comes up constantly is whether or not certain people have the personality for this sort of work. They talk about whether or not so-and-so has it in them to “take the blows” and “get knocked around.” A bad few months, a disastrous purchase, shifting collecting trends that render a specialty unsellable: there is so much risk in this business that those who are timid about it simply don’t last. I’m still learning whether or not I have it in me to take those risks. It’s harder to do, knowing that my personal wealth is in the negative dollars, thanks to my student loans, but I suppose we’ll see.
It occurs to me that money comes up often in these little posts. I don’t think that will change in the future. I’ve never been one to buy into the common wisdom that one does not talk about one’s finances. I think there’s much to be learned in hashing it out and recognizing that money drives our behavior in a myriad of ways, no matter how much of it we have.
Anyway, the fair itself was remarkably well run, Pasadena was a bit of a bore, but it had good restaurants, and dining out is half the reason I think dealers till do these fairs. I had myself some decent ramen, and a shake as thick as cement, and managed to dodge the illness that was spreading through the fair floor like wildfire. Now all there is to do is catalog and hope that my investment will pay off.