Around this time last year, I was unsure of myself as a blogger.
I'd been doing it for about a month at that point, but I wasn't exactly thinking in terms of the "long haul" yet.
Back then, I wasn't quite ready to add the words "full-time blogger" to my title. Moreover, I was still a trading forum devotee first and a blogger second last January.
As I sit on my bed writing this post, however, I can confidently say that everything I just typed is basically the opposite of what it was last year.
I feel confident in my writings on a daily basis. And more than that, I know I'll be around here for the long haul.
I've indeed turned into a "full-time blogger".
These days, I am a devoted member of this wonderful blogosphere, first and foremost.
Even so, I can't help but wonder where I'll be at this time next year.
It's almost staggering to think in terms of 2014 already, but I've found myself doing so quite a bit lately.
Should everything work out the way I hope, I'll be past my community college days next January, pursuing my education degree at a full-fledged four-year college.
Hopefully, I'll be able to find a job by then, too.
And I'll be 21 by this time next year. Although I don't see myself frequenting either on anywhere near a regular basis, I'd like to have stepped foot in a casino and/or bar by 2014. Just because I can.
Until then, though, I'll just have to see what happens.
And although I said I wouldn't be making any "resolutions" for the blog in 2013, I have to succumb to pressure.
Like it or not, I have come up with a few.
Admittedly, I'm a little late to the party, but I still feel that I should at least give my readers a taste of what to expect this year.
I'm excited about this first one.
I mean really excited.
Although I've had a blast showing my Top 100 "modern" cards of all-time, I'm starting to come to grips with the fact that it's coming to a close. At this point, we're down to the "Top 30".
Not to worry, though.
By the time my summer vacation arrives this year, I hope to have a Top 100 "vintage" list composed and ready to go. That is, anything from 1980 and before.
With baseball in full bloom and the amount of readership that goes on during the summer months, I figure it's the perfect time to target.
Even though the number of "modern" cards in my collection far outweigh the vintage ones, I'm sure it'll be a lot harder to whittle all the great older pieces down to a mere hundred.
This '60 Topps Frank Howard rookie will always hold a special place in my collection.
But will it make the vintage "Top 100"?
I can't answer that. Not yet, anyways.
You'll just have to wait and see.
I've often said that I have two true passions in life.
Baseball and music.
I'm sure that'll hold true for a long time down the road.
Probably for as long as I'm alive.
Although I managed to do it sporadically last year, I'd like to incorporate music into this blog a little more in 2013.
I'll try not to do it too much, as the amount of feelings and interests I have about the world of music would probably be best relegated to another blog entirely.
I could write for hours about the likes of The Ramones, The Beatles, or R.E.M.
But I'll save that for another point in the future.
As I've found, though, these two "hobbies" of mine are interwoven in far more ways than I'd ever previously thought.
They deserve to be presented together as much as possible.
Which is part of what I hope to accomplish in 2013.
I posted a lot in the earlier times of this blog's history.
Three, even four posts a day. Every day.
I don't expect myself to come close to last year's mark of 557 posts in 2013. Frankly, I think it's a little better that way.
As I've previously recounted, I forced posts quite a bit back in the day to keep my "hit" numbers up. It was the wrong approach.
Recently, I've found myself composing one post on most days.
Sometimes, I'll write a "bonus" second post during the afternoon if I feel like doing so.
Lately, though, my afternoon writings have come to a near stand-still.
That's understandable, as I usually devote my days to other things. Especially when school is in session.
Still, that means that my "theme" posts haven't been as plentiful lately. I've only composed three "Dime Box Heroes" and "Gems of Junk Wax" posts in the last month-and-a-half.
I should probably change that.
As a result, I may start "promoting" a few of my afternoon theme posts to the evenings. I already do so with my "Into the Sunset" write-ups, but I think the time has come to start with the others as well.
Day or night, the story behind this Jeremy Bonderman deserves to be told.
More specifically, of how I passed on what would have been a new "zero-year" card for my collection in a dollar bin, only to find it in a dime box a couple aisles later.
Tales like those are what make this hobby so special to me.
And they need to be showcased more often around here.
After all, isn't that the point of having a blog?
Plus, this whole "theme post" thing leads me into my next point...
I've decided to try and launch a new "theme" in the next month or so on the blog.
I mulled over a few different options the last few months, but the idea came to me earlier this week.
As I've previously discussed, I've always had a thing for making lists.
I have tons of old notebooks scattered across my room that contain "rankings" on numerous different topics.
And whether it's the "Top Ten Sets of 2012" or the monumental "Top 100" posts I've been featuring lately, I've had a ton of fun composing them whenever the time strikes.
Even better, I've found that they're fairly easy to write.
When I finally put two and two together, it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
"How about a theme devoted to anything and everything 'lists'? Random, glorious lists?"
Once that "theme" idea popped into my head, I knew it was the one.
As a result, it's the one I'm going to be debuting sometime during the next month or so. And, no, I haven't yet come up with a name for the theme.
And I'm not sure if I'm going to "retire" one of my other themes or not.
In the end, I just feel that this is too good of an idea to pass up.
For now, there really won't be any rhyme or reason to the lists I'll be composing. All I can tell you is that they'll have something to do with the world of baseball and/or the cards we so love to collect.
One day, you might see my Top 10 favorite Cubs.
The next, it might be my Top 5 Mark Fidrych cards.
I'll try and keep it fresh and interesting.
Hopefully a few of you out there will enjoy them.
Because I know I'll have a lot of fun writing them.
Other than that, things should pretty much stay the same around here this year.
I'll still be doing my best to keep you guessing on what you'll see on "Dime Boxes" on any given night.
That whole "randomness" factor is what made me start a blog in the first place. And I'm glad that so many of my readers have enjoyed it thus far.
For no real reason, here's an extra-special "random" treat.
A shiny card from one of my more "obscure" player collections with Matt Diaz.
Not only that, but a card of a guy listed as an outfielder while sporting a catcher's mask.
And not only that, but a catcher-themed card of a guy who has never played a game behind the plate in his 14-year professional career.
Expect to see more of the same "randomness" in 2013.
I'm already looking forward to it.