Archive for the ‘The Better Half’ Category

Today’s post was written by my wife, the card-sorting genius Literal Quirk (or “LQ”), on another blog to which she is a popular contributor. The article is absolutely hilarious and the topics contained therein are SO HER that I just had to share with all of our readers here. So, please, read her hilarious account of 30 minutes at a laundromat as posted at Hardly Serious.
For all of you that haven’t been inundated with Chris’ “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! …we’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need THE EDGE”—tweets about the first Ladies’ Night Break on Saturday, January 17th, you may have been offline for the last month!

I’m super excited to be the ring-leader for my first live-break, and am going to do my best to ensure that it doesn’t turn into a clown show. Because if there are two things I hate, it’s disorganization and clowns.

This break is being held in celebration of all of the amazing women and girls in the hobby. Don’t worry, men. You’re allowed in, too! We just hope you’ll include your girlfriends, wives, daughters and nieces! Going stag is just fine and dandy, too!

Chris asked me to choose the benefitting charity for this break and I happily chose the V-Day foundation. A major part of their mission statement is as follows (from their website):

“By raising money and consciousness, it will unify and strengthen existing anti-violence efforts, triggering far-reaching awareness, it will lay the groundwork for new educational, protective, and legislative endeavors throughout the world.”

I believe this cause is one that we can, and should, get behind!

Throughout the course of the night, I’ll be doing random drawings for prizes! The prizes will come from the V-Day website. You need not be present to win – you’ll just have an extra surprise coming your way!

If you’re looking for a play-along drinking game (it’s on a Saturday, after all), you can bet your Ty Cobb rookie that I’ll do the following:

  • Mangle the ever-loving crap out of, at least, 100 players’ names
  • Ask Chris for help and then immediately tell him to back-off like a petulant 4th grader
  • Accidentally disconnect from the live-stream
  • In Crackin’ Wax tradition, incorrectly predict “Ohhh, I think we have a hit here!” when it is, in fact, a decoy
  • Say, “Is this something special?” when I pull anything that looks remotely shiny
  • Start to swear and then remember this is to be PG and artfully turn it into a non-swear, a la SHHhhugar-Plum-Fairy
  • Thanks again for your continued support of Crackin’ Wax’s charity-breaks; we’ll keep doing them as long as you’ll keep participating in the fun. We still have some good spots left, so please spread the word—let’s get this filled!

    See you on the 17th! Whoop whoop!

    -LiteralQuirk

    While I’m not busting cases, I like to tear into the occasional blaster of new product. Since I won’t be doing a case of Topps Chrome this year, I figured resurrecting the old Blaster Buster series might be a neat idea. Even neater, still? Literal Quirk, my MUCH better half, asked me if she could do it! Ya know, as practice for her future Ladies Night Case Break. Here’s what happened…


    REMINDER
    2014 Bowman Chrome comes out in a little under 3 weeks and I’m hosting a random team group case break! It sounds like this product is going to be absolutely HOT this year. In fact, Blowout Cards (where I got my case) is all sold out! I currently have 18 spots left, so get your spot(s) now while you can!

    Hello dear readers of Crackin’ Wax! It’s Amy again, a.k.a. @literalquirk

    First off—thanks very much for the fantastic response to my inaugural piece on Crackin’ Wax. I heard from quite a few of you via comments and tweets and your encouragement means a lot! Writing it made me realize how much I’d missed “writing for assignment.” As a few of you know, I’m a chef by trade (I work on a corporate chef team from 9-5) so a lot of my writing leans toward that topical direction. I write restaurant reviews, “romance copy” for recipes, and take more photos of food than I care to admit. Needless to say, writing about trading cards and collecting…I mean, THE HOBBY, and sports, in general, is pretty far removed from any realm of my expertise; I’m barely a novice, but that’s never stopped me from having an opinion.

    The assignment Chris gave me for this go ‘round was to share my perspective as a female on the hobby as a whole. (I’ll bet you ten bucks, that when Chris proofs this, he’ll snicker and read that as “a-hole”.) Editor’s note: I totally did.

    As I’m involved in the community only by proxy and the occasional ill-timed, on-camera facial expression, I don’t feel that I can aptly speak for what it means to be a female involved in the hobby, but rather to speak toward what I’ve learned, in general.

    One card is just like another. WRONG.
    In 2006-ish, Chris decided to get back into card-collecting—specifically baseball cards. My experience with trading cards of any kind came in the form of obsessively purchasing Garbage Pail Kids cards in the 80’s—let me tell you, when I finally scored that elusive “Acne Amy,” I was one happy camper. So, I definitely understood the appeal of collecting sets. To be completely transparent here, I was a bit taken aback by my 30ish year old husband jumping into a hobby that I (wrongly) thought was only reserved for teenage boys.

    As Chris showed me the designs and card-types and spoke to layout form and stats, I started to see trading cards as much more than parity to “Acne Amy’s” and the like—I found it pretty fascinating. I learned general terminology like base-card, relic, hit, set, case-break and enjoyed opening the packs with him. I was warned about dinging corners and how to properly insert them into top-loaders. I learned how a SASE* was used to request an autograph and watched him send them off to his favorite players. This semi-direct interaction with ACTUAL pro-athletes was awesome! (Though, I’m still waiting for my Nick Punto auto. ARE YOU READING THIS, NICK?!)

    Collecting cards means trips to Target and sending SASEs off in the post. WRONG.
    The cards themselves were a lot of fun for Chris to collect, but I think what he enjoys more than the cards are the opportunities to TALK about the cards and interact with the community. I think simple, low-key, recreational card-collecting is a mere gateway drug to the harder, meth-like experience of Card-Breaks. Am I right?? One day, you’re just sitting in your home, staring at your Twins base-sets and, all of a sudden, hear the siren call known as Brent & Becca! Ohhh Ooooo OOOOO! Next thing you know, YOU. MUST. GET. YOUR. TEAM’S. SLOT!!!!!!! Chris participated in a few (eleventy-six) breaks and decided that he’d like to give it a whirl. This is where things got interesting…

    All serious card collectors/breakers are dudes like Kevin Smith and Jeff Albertson (Comic Book Guy) and only interact with humans when they come out of their mom’s basement. Holy shit, so WRONG. (Wait, can I say shit on here?)
    Through case-breaks on this blog, and consistently being tagged in Chris’ tweets (regardless if I have any idea what he’s talking about), I’ve been able to interact with some seriously awesome people. FUNNY, SMART, ORIGINAL, GENEROUS (with a capital G!) people! Some are super-fans, some are fans-for-fun and others are just in it for the community. I think I fit into the second and latter categories—I love the friendly banter and wisecracks you all toss in one another’s general direction. I appreciate the fact that I can be a part of it with not even knowing enough to be dangerous. The Hobby’s community is good-natured enough to let this girl join the game, even without a glove.

    …and I don’t know if it’s old-fashioned to say this or not, but I’m blown away by the strong female presence in Chris’ breaks—I LOVE IT. There’s something pretty fantastic about a smart, articulate female, knowing her way around a sporting hobby. Don’t even get me started on Sooz; that woman is a Phenom! So, please keep up the break-attendance, ladies—I enjoy seeing your names on the post-its during my sort-a-thons. (I’m 99% sure Deb’s name will always be under the Phillies’ stack!)

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Card-collecting/breaking is a tough thing to describe to those that aren’t part of the hobby—when I talk about Chris’ charity breaks with friends and co-workers, I almost need to have a preliminary, half-hour long conversation describing what being part of The Hobby really means. Do any of you have a hard time articulating this to others, too?

    I definitely intend to learn more about trading cards and am currently being talked into doing an on-camera break of my own (please accept my apologies in advance). Maybe even attend a card-show with Chris?! I’ll be the one standing next to him, trying to tap into my minimal knowledge of trading cards while internally cringing when someone calls him Topher.

    *I’d always read that as a “SASE-Y” and thought it was a kind of a stamp. Bonus totally useless side-note: I also thought “facsimile” was pronounced Fassy-smile. (I apparently flunked out of postal-school.)

    (Oh the humanity!)
    (Not really…I’m just dramatic.)

    Hello, readers of Crackin’ Wax! Chris has asked me to write a piece about the woes of being married to him. Ahem, I mean, to a card blogger/breaker. Actually he’s a pretty great guy– I could write for days about being his partner-in-crime and expound on his virtues, but that wouldn’t be as interesting as airing my grievances, right? Right. Onward.

    I’m Amy, Crackin’ Wax’s wife, a.k.a. Literal Quirk. You may know my hunched-over torso from my not-so-stellar, on camera sorting abilities. Here’s a Brady-Bunch grid of our family:

    Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.57.51 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 10.01.59 PM

    Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 9.24.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.58.41 PM

    I used to live here, where I’d post about wretchedly embarrassing moments. If you want a good laugh or enjoy peeing your pants, give this one a read. I’ve now set up shop at Literal Quirk but have apparently been out-to-lunch since April. My intention is to get back to regularly posting in the fall. I appreciate Chris’ offer to go all 5th-grade-creative-writing on this site; I promise to relinquish controls back to him after I hit “publish”.

    I wish there was a manual for “Living with a Card Blogger/Sports Enthusiast/Boy” because, WOW, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Since no such manual exists, I thought I’d create an FAQ for this topic:

    Q: How will our house look before, during and one week following a break?
    A: Say goodbye to any clean, open surfaces – each and every one of them will be covered with stacks of cards, post-it notes, bubble-wrap, web-cam/laptop cables, packing tape, and approximately 1000 pieces of card-protectors. Give up the idea that you have a dining room; this is a complete lie and it will forever be filled with eleventy-six cardboard boxes, ranging from jewelry-box size to coffin because “I might need that!”

    Q: What if we have cats?
    A: Your cats will constantly be jonesing to knock over a precariously stacked team-set so start training them to live in one room for about a week. Quickly realize that said room will be covered in an inch of cat hair and contain a very questionable aroma. Invest in Febreze and a turbo-brush for your vacuum. Ahh forget that. You’ll just have to burn that room down and re-build.

    Q: Will I receive any mail?
    A: No. You will never receive another piece of mail because nothing but Take-My-Cards SASE’s will take up all the room in the box. Note: SASE’s will be placed in strategic piles that you can’t possibly understand but “DON’T MOVE THEM, YOU’LL MESS UP THE SYSTEM!”

    Q: What will be my husband’s name?
    A: A shortened, dippy-version of his real name that he would NEVER answer to unless it’s via his blog/twitter/breaks. If you ever call him by this dippy-version, he’ll say “don’t even” like a Kardashian. If you’d like to change your name from, say, Matthew to Thew, this will be acceptable to the blog community, but not elsewhere; elsewhere, you will be called a douche bag.

    Q: Will I get to practice photography?
    A: Oh yes. Be ready for “Do you have a quick sec to take a photo?” to turn into a full-out, hour-long session. You will take photos of the card-breaker, cards, cases of cards and boxes about to be shipped. Prepare for the fierce glamour of it all.

    Q: What is the diet of a card-breaker?
    A: Outside of breaks, it’s pretty darn healthy, but during breaks, dark-chocolate MnM’s and Mountain Dew will be main-lined like heroin. When the break is over, the card-breaker will almost always be confused as to why he’s wired and has a gut ache. Note: Responding with “Really?” will not be seen as supportive feedback.

    Q: What will be the constant soundtrack of our home?
    A: This sound will be omnipresent. FOR REAL. It will haunt your dreams.

    All kidding aside, I’m terribly proud of Chris and all that his blog and all of you in the card-collecting-community have done for various non-profits. I find myself getting excited for breaks and feel lucky to be a part of the experience! Until next time, as TOPHER (good Lord) would say, “Keep Crrrrackin’ that Wax!”