I had one of those ugly days at work yesterday. About as bad as it gets. A day that will linger into the months to come. That's how ugly.
The next day, today, was a day off. And you know what that means: major decompression. Even if I wanted to do something today, the forces inside my body would conspire against me: "Do you know what happened to you yesterday???? Eat whatever you want! Do whatever you want! Sleep the entire damn day!"
I can't resist the forces. I'm too weak from yesterday. So I hit the "decompress" button hard and shut down. No, I didn't sleep the entire damn day, but I did the next best mindless thing:
I stuck stickers.
Really, it's the proper thing to do when you can barely sit up. Find the right square. Peel. Stick. Do it again. That's the entire thought process. And, thanks to Bert at Swing And A Pop-Up, I received a whole bunch of stickers for the only sticker album I'm trying to fill -- the 1982 Topps Sticker Album.
There it is right now. You've seen it many times on this blog. But now it was time to do some real damage.
I had sent Bert my '82 stickers want list, which was quite large. And I received a package in return with a note that said "I think this should take care of it."
It didn't quite take care of it -- I may have missed some numbers when I sent the list -- but it came impressively close.
That's the stack that came out of the package. Isn't that pretty? One of the reasons I'm so committed to the '82 stickers and no others is because they feature colored borders, and also because the American League borders are red and the National League borders are blue as GOD INTENDED.
So above is the stack so nice and neat.
This is the stack all messy. But still very pretty.
Here is what I was looking at -- so much work to do. But yesterday was going to require a loooong period of decompression. I needed an extensive sticker session.
I cued up some '80s music and went to work. I tried to keep the music to 1982 only, but some other '80s things snuck through. I wasn't going to fight it. What's the point? Fighting just gets you more trouble at work, It doesn't solve ....
Oops, sorry. Slipped out of decompression for a moment there.
I decided to select the stickers at random out of the pile. The first one was the Blue Jays' Otto Velez. Kind of neat after Toronto's victory last night (an 11-inning game finishing just before we have to figure out what's going to fill that giant white space at the top of the sports page was the perfect capper for yesterday).
With Velez stuck at around 12:45 p.m., that left two more spaces for the Blue Jays.
Next up was the Mets' Doug Flynn. We desperately need a Mets victory tonight. All of civilization does. I stuck Flynn and there were two space left for the Mets.
Cecil Cooper was next, and with the sticking of Cecil in the upper right, the Brewers page was complete, at 12:54 p.m., with the Gap Band's "Early in the Morning" playing in the background.
I took my time. The stickers, which peeled like one of those infuriating generic brand cheesesticks, helped me pace myself.
Dwayne Murphy, Mike Schmidt, Rob Wilfong, Len Barker, Ken Singleton All-Star, I did not discriminate. They were all stuck.
It was glorious.
Tom Seaver completed the next team page, the Cincinnati Reds at 1:12 p.m., stuck to the tune of Donald Fagen's I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World).
I took a sticker break to find some food, force myself to mow the lawn, coax the dog outside and returned to my sticker project. Here is the rundown of my completion of the other team pages with the name of that team's last sticker stuck (the Pirates and Padres had been completed before I got Bert's stickers):
Team: White Sox; Sticker Stuck: Greg Luzinski; Time: 2:47 p.m.; Song: Sukiyaki - Taste of Honey
Team: Blue Jays; Sticker Stuck: Damaso Garcia; Time: 2:54 p.m.; Song: Juke Box Hero - Foreigner
Team: Yankees; Sticker Stuck: Jerry Mumphrey; Time: 2:57 p.m.; Song: Burning Down the House - Talking Heads
Team: Rangers; Sticker Stuck: Danny Darwin; Time: 3:10 p.m.; Song: Round and Round - Ratt
Team: Royals; Sticker Stuck: Willie Wilson; Time: 3:12 p.m.; Song: Staying Up Late - Talking Heads
Team: Tigers; Sticker Stuck: Kirk Gibson; Time: 3:17 p.m.; Song: Things Can Only Get Better - Howard Jones
Team: Twins; Sticker Stuck: Hosken Powell; Time: 3:21 p.m.; Song: Murphy's Law - Cheri
Team: Indians; Sticker Stuck: Mike Hargrove; Time: 3:25 p.m.; Song: The Warrior - Scandal
Team: Angels; Sticker Stuck: Ken Forsch; Time: 3:27 p.m.; Song: When He Shines - Sheena Easton
Team: A's; Sticker Stuck: Matt Keough; Time: 3:32 p.m.; Song: Alone Again - Dokken
Team: 1981 postseason; Sticker Stuck: Dodgers edge Montreal; Time: 4:00 p.m.; Song: What Do I Know - Saga
Team: Cardinals; Sticker Stuck: Bruce Sutter; Time: 4:02 p.m.; Song: Do You Wanna Touch - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Team: Dodgers; Sticker Stuck: Pedro Guerrero; Time: 4:04 p.m.; Song: Shake It Up - Cars
Team: Highlights; Sticker Stuck: Fernando Valenzuela; Time: 4:07 p.m.; Song: More Than the Two of Us - Sneaker
Team: Phillies; Sticker Stuck: Manny Trillo; Time: 4:08 p.m.; Song: Atheena - The Who
Team: Mariners; Sticker Stuck: Jose Cruz; Time: 4:09 p.m.; Song: Old Man Down the Road - John Fogerty
Team: Mets; Sticker Stuck: Dave Kingman; Time: 4:11 p.m.; Song: High On You - Survivor
Team: Orioles; Sticker Stuck: Mike Flanagan; Time: 4:14 p.m.; Song: Man on the Corner - Genesis
Team: Cubs; Sticker Stuck: Tim Blackwell; Time: 4:15 p.m.; Song: Don't Let Him Know - Prism
Team: Giants; Sticker Stuck: Milt May; Time: 4:17 p.m.; Song: Love Is Like a Rock - Donny Iris
Team: Expos; Sticker Stuck: Warren Cromartie; Time: 4:20 p.m.; Song: Island of Lost Souls - Blondie
Team: Braves; Sticker Stuck: Chris Chambliss; Time: 4:22 p.m.; Song: Love Plus One - Haircut 100
Team: Astros; Sticker Stuck: Jose Cruz; Time: 4:24 p.m.; Song: Someday Someway - Marshall Crenshaw
After that sticker flurry, I went through the pages of the book to see what was left that still needed to be stuck.
Almost every page looked like that. Completion! Accomplishment! I did a thing during Decompression! My life has meaning again!
I had completed all but one team page and the All-Star centerpiece in the middle of the book.
This is a picture of that page before I stuck the stickers. I've added the Ken Singleton and Rick Gossage (the two blank spots at right). But there are still three stickers missing.
The other missing sticker I actually did receive from Bert.
It's the Dwight Evans sticker to the left of the book because of course it's Dwight Evans, the single most difficult non-superstar to obtain in every blasted set.
When I tried to peel the Evans sticker, the backing started to tear off.
I didn't pull it any more because I didn't want to damage it. I was pretty surprised that more of the stickers didn't do this. These stickers are 34 years old!
So after all of that fun, my want list is now down to four mere stickers:
#123, #124, #131, #153
That's the Schmidt, Concepcion and Carew All-Stars and Evans, of course.
Those are the remnants of a productive afternoon of meaninglessness.
The whole process was a heck of a lot of fun. And I have to admit after doing all that sticking, I feel just a little bit better. Until I have to go back to work, of course.
After that I could need another stickerbook to complete.