Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review: The Year of Absence

Hello there.

It's been a long, strange year. I moved into a new apartment in late January, which is why I disconnected my internet. I attended my grandma's memorial service in February, and said goodbye to the school I'd been working at for over four years in June.

I am now an "emergency" teacher, which means I fill in at schools when regular teachers aren't available. It's similar to a substitute teacher back in the US, but this is a step up, not a step down - it's an honor to be in this position. With this position comes some travel - I was up in Morioka this summer, skipping the heat and humidity that Tokyoites suffer through; the fall season was spent on the west side of Tokyo and now I'm working not far from Akihabara.

Being an ET (heh, heh) means I have yet another apartment - I moved from Koshigaya to Funabashi in June with the position change. However, since I've been working pretty far from home, I've mostly been living in branch school apartments instead of my own; my current assignment is only about 20 minutes away so I can actually commute this time. I can pick up free wifi from my Funabashi apartment, though it's intermittent sometimes. And I'm finally getting settled in to my apartment.

I've done some traveling this year; aside from the week in America back in February for the memorial service, I also spent a week in Korea (my third trip) and took weekend trips to Aomori, Akita, and Nagoya.

And while I haven't been posting much, I have been collecting. I've visited a few new card shops (new to me, that is). And I've worked on my collections. Let's see how I did by reflecting on my goals:

I set blogging goals for 2016.

  1. Fully update my card shop posts and publish the card shop directory I've mostly put together already.
  2. Finish up the Japanese card index page.
  3. Seriously, get those Calbee set posts done!
  4. Go back to the Idol Card of the Week posts.
  5. Post timely new release information for Japanese cards.
Obviously, none of those happened. I just flat out didn't post for the past 11 months.

And collecting goals.
  1. Finish the 1973 Topps set. Completed! I picked up the last card needed -  the Yankees manager/coaches card - at the beginning of the December. The key Mike Schmidt RC came from an eBay auction a couple months ago.
  2. Get the nine remaining relics I need for my players collection. Completed! I knocked this off my to-do list early in the year. The most difficult was Julio Franco's bat relic (he has no jersey relics as far as I can tell).
  3. Fully update 2014-present in the Japanese baseball type collection, and organize the non-sport type collection. Not done. I have the SCM guides to do this but not having internet (my spreadsheets are in Google Docs) kind of ruined this plan. 
  4. Reduce my Japanese sets wanted list from 162 to 100. I didn't delete anything yet. The list actually grew to 177 because I added a full new collection to the lists (37 sets). Additionally, there are more than 20 sets that could be and probably will be deleted. So I came pretty close.
  5. I have 428/1023 foreigners in my NPB collection. I'd like to reach at least 500 this year. Completed! I have 514/1075 foreigners now. I'm surprised it isn't more than that.
  6. Somehow deal with the Japanese Baseball Stadiums and Japanese Awards collections. Not done. I did something with US baseball stadiums and MLB awards that I will probably do here too. 
  7. My US card set want list is at 174 sets right now. I'd like that to drop to 125. I'm down to 146. I made some good progress on many of the sets but didn't finish as many as I'd like. And of course some 2016 sets got added.  Additionally, there is a "full set" want list that has 59 sets; I want to reduce that to 50 sets. Down to 22! Most of that was deleting the entire Fleer stickers collection, which I never started. And 14 of the remaining sets are college sets mostly from the Junk Wax era that could be deleted as well.
  8. Finish my set runs of Upper Deck and Stadium Club. I completed Upper Deck this summer! Stadium Club is not finished; I have the base set with rookies from 2008 but not the rookie variations or rookie autographs, and I am having a hard time finding a reasonably priced 2015 set.
  9. Knock the Awards collection want list down to 200 cards. I'm all the way down to 137! And 85 of those are team cards. 
I feel really good about completing some big things. The 1973 set took five years; again I need to thank Jim for all his help on this. The Upper Deck set run and player collections were fulfilling too. 

I also picked up some key cards for my collection. I hope to share those with you all eventually. And my MLB type collection got a big kick from some shopping I've done through COMC, Sportlots, and some luck here in Japan. 

So while I wasn't able to share my collecting experience with you, it was a good year for my collection.