Cough. Excuse me a second while I pull these sheets off the blog and shake out all the dust, oh, and those cobwebs in the corner, grab the broom would you?
So, I’ve been absent from the blogiverse for awhile. A few people were kind enough to check on me to make sure I wasn’t dead, which was nice, but overall, I was not missed and that’s okay. We’re all busy and stuff gets in the way, the last thing you need to worry about is whether that guy you know who runs that blog was swallowed up by the piles of his own dragon’s hoard. You actually forgot all about that guy until you read the tale of his tragic demise through a listicle on Buzzfeed — “17 of the Strangest Things Found in Tidal Wave of Toys that Killed Hoarder,” and then you’ll be like, “oh shit, I know that dude. I sent him a Ninja Turtle once,” and then you’ll immediately go to Buzzfeed to see if your Michaelangelo figure made the list.
But seriously, I’ve been absent lately, due to yet another serious case of burnout. It certainly isn’t the first time this has happened to me, and it surely won’t be the last. This time was a bit different because at the same time I was undergoing the slow burnout of the blog, I was going through a red-hot fireball of burnout with my fellow collectors. Ugh, not good. I blame Mark Zuckerberg. See, I had joined several Facebook groups focused on collecting various vintage toys where trades and sales were hot and heavy. I learned about items I never knew existed and interacted with a few “good eggs,” but those positive experiences were steamrolled by scammers and genuinely ugly people. My Facebook feed was dominated by ranting strangers, spewing some truly awful things about people they didn’t even know. Threats were common as these morons regularly recruited people in nearby cities to go knock on the door of someone who they thought had screwed them.
I have always enjoyed interacting with fellow collectors — sheesh, that’s kind of the whole basis for this website — but man, I found myself not wanting to be associated with them in any way. So, a month or so back, I decided to cut the cord and “un-like” all those Facebook groups and stop being inundated with their constant vitriol. As a result, my days are now filled with rainbows and unicorns. I have started to enjoy collecting again and am blissfully unaware that some a-hole repackaged a Mace Windu action figure at a Target in Toledo.
Most of these Facebook groups were heavily populated with the prospectors, scalpers, and profiteers, so lumping them in with collectors may not be totally fair. There are some very focused Facebook groups that do a good job of staying on topic and policing the idiots, but those groups tend to be fairly rigid and as a result, don’t have too much dialogue, for fear of running afoul of the group’s moderators. I’ve thought of starting my own group, but there’s an aggravation I don’t need! Oh well, I guess I could always start a blog. oh wait.
Wow, this has been a pretty depressing read. I had every intention of coming back with an upbeat and positive message, but it looks like I may have missed that mark by a mile or two. I’ve been inspired by the Bloggess to try and embrace her incredible stream of consciousness, no-filter style, so things could get interesting (seriously, go buy her book Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, it’s incredible). Anyway, in case you were wondering, I’m alive, and I hope to be active here once again — I’m even considering starting another blog where I can write about all the other “non-collecting” thoughts that are colliding around in my head, and who knows, maybe the LXB should be dusted off at some point too, for my fellow blog holdouts — you guys are still out there hiding in your bunkers aren’t you?
Oh, and speaking of inspiration, I received a Summer Swap 2015 box over the weekend from William Bruce West, the preeminent expert on a cappella singing Power Ranger cosplayers — don’t let his three names fool you, I’m pretty sure he’s not a serial killer. The content of this box was incredible and the impetus for getting me back to writing on Cool & Collected. Stay tuned for that post in the very near future!