I've got a problem I'm going to share with all of you. I don't think it's rare or unusual but I think you may be able to relate. The thing is, I like to buy things. Not anything mind you, but specific things. I got needs man, habits. There are types of things I mainline when I can, and have to fight every day not to spend my money on them. Hi, my name is Howard, and I like to shop online for things that make me happy for no apparent reason.
As a player of RPG's, I think the items I like to buy often are an extension of my gaming life. Sometimes there is a direct correlation, and other times the things I like shopping for and buying are more versatile...and sometimes I buy things I never even use GASP!!!
SO, let's talk about the groups of things I enjoy spending my money on, or more importantly that I struggle to NOT spend my money on.
I have a serious notebook addiction. The books above are in my collection, and so are any number of others. I love the paper, the feel and the smell of it. I really enjoy how the entire book feels in my hands. The Midori Notebook on the left above is one of my favorites, and strangely I use it the least. It's like a holy book I can't seem to write in, fearing I might despoil it. For my IRL Labyrinth Lord game I've started using a graph-lined Moleskine to make notes, keep track of combats, items, XP...you know. There's always record-keeping in-game, DM or player. When I see a video review of a cool or unusual notebook I usually need to sit on my hands so I don't click the 'send me one' button that Amazon has so conveniently added everywhere in my life.
Yup. I love these things. I can't draw worth a shit, but there is something so satisfying about how mechanical pens feel and how they function. The Pentel Graphgear above is my favorite, but I also own a Rotring and a few cheapo's as well. I've had a love for these pencils ever since elementary school, where I first encountered them at the School Supply Dispensary that popped up weekly. No wooden #2 ever felt as good as the clickety-click of my mechanical pencils.Obviously these are great for mapping, making quick notes in one of my many notebooks such as tracking combat and adding the xp up. For some reason I tend to use them mostly during and for gaming. I don't write that much in my daily life, having switched my note-taking to the phone when I'm out and about.
BAGS & BACKPACKS
This is a big one. HUUUGGGEE! I have been a bag-whore for so many years now I can't even remember when it started. One day, just for laughs, I'm going to take pictures of all of my bags and backpacks and post them just to try and keep my habit in check. The Backpack of Holding above was on sale earlier in the week at ThinkGeek and I had to sit on my hands (yup, that really is my method) in order to keep from buying it, and it was HARD. I prefer backpacks, but I own my fair share (and then some) of messengers, slings, and other assorted units. I have 2 or 3 Lowepro bags for my cameras (yup..I have a camera problem too, but it's very small in comparison to these...the bigguns). I have bags that fit into other bags. Working in the Pawnshop hasn't helped either, because when we get something in that has a nice bag, the bag is quickly separated from the item and I stash it.
DICE & DICE BAGS
I love dice...don't you? The way they look, how they sound when they hit the table (and different surfaces are satisfying in different ways), and how they feel in my hands make them one of the things I always end up spending money on. Not alot...there are some good dice sets for cheap on ebay, and I will often click on some when I'm just foolin' about if I like how they look. Many times you can get 'em shipped for less than $3, which makes them a dangerous impulse-buy item, but heck...you only live once. My dice bag problem is like the mutant bastard child of my dice problem and my bag problem. These two folks hooked up one drunken night in the 1980's after a long weekend of gaming, pizza, weed, and Yes albums and now I find their kids all over my place. I segregate the dice into bags... this is where I keep the losers, in case I need to roll low...here is the bag I use as a player since they all roll high....oh, and this is the bag for when I need some super-special rolls to happen. When I get mad at a die or a set I move them from one bag to another as punishment. Now you need to go in the bag with the purple, cracked Chessex dice...let me know when you're ready to apologize and make amends.
Through the years I've had many such problems. I used to have a book problem, but my phone, ipad etc. have thinned that out heavily. I still go to the bookstore, but only to peruse the new inventory and decide what I want to download. I reserve physical book purchases for very special items.
I still am a shoe whore, but these days money management keeps that heavily in check. I never spent alot on sneakers, but other shoes and sandals are great. Lately I have thinned this out and keep a pair of sneakers for everyday good weather, a pair of hiking/walking Merrells for hikes or during the bad seasons, and a pair of comfy slip in dress shoes in brown and black.
I love electronics, and gadgets, and watches and guns and knives and fountain pens...ok...maybe I have alot of problems, but they are all under control. After well over 10 moves in my 47 years I've learned that lean living is good, and small purchases are best. If I can't get it easily into my SUV, I'm probably going to leave it behind. Several moves in my life I left behind alot of stuff...I'm not proud of it or happy about it, but the situation required a rapid bug-out with only essentials in tow.
My food problem translated into a cooking problem which by default made kitchen items a large problem. A day shopping at the restaurant supply store is how I roll now, and even then I make a list before I go.
I love RPG's and the associated gear...like in the pic below:
Long ago (1994) I divested myself of my entire RPG collection dating back from about 1981, as I was setting off across country to start fresh. It was a huge mistake. I know I could spend endless days on ebay trying to rebuild it, but until I win the lottery or that rich uncle dies I'm just forging ahead and trying not to spend too much. The method and the urge are there, believe me, but I simply cannot justify the financial expenditure on such an endeavor.
OK...I'm glad I got that off of my chest. Thanks for listening. If you too have a similar problem, or a specific item/group of items you can't resist, leave a little comment below. Share with the group. Unburden your soul. It will feel better once you put it out there, I swear.
Until next time...
Oh...PSSTTT...BTW...If you are feeling generous and evil at the same time, and want to buy me something...feel free. My wishlist on Amazon is below...