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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 955
 - posted March 06, 2018 16:17
Hey everybody!

Snaggy's sad announcement got me thinking that those of us who are still poking around here might take a few minutes and catch everybody up on what's going on in our stupid lives these days.

As for me, I finished my "13 year" Associates' in Liberal Arts in 2012, and now I'm finally finishing up my Bachelor's Degree at Wayne State University, in the heart of Detroit. I'm working on my Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music with a Sacred Music specialization. I'm due to graduate in May 2020 (but we'll see how that goes). I will be the first ever person to graduate from Wayne with this particular specialization (can I get a "woot woot"?!). [Big Grin]

For the last 2.75 years I've been working as a Music Minister at a medium-sized parish in a "downriver" suburb of Detroit. We have about 700 registered families. I play for 3 masses a weekend, plus all funerals, holy days, and special occasions. We got a brand new Allen digital organ in October 2016, and we have a K. Kawai 7ft. grand piano; I'm blessed to have such fantastic equipment to work with. I play both (though not simultaneously) and direct (and coordinate!) our 20-member choir and our 6-member children's choir. I absolutely love what I do, and the people to whom I minister. My boss on the other hand... that's a long story (one I'll tell if anyone asks).

As for my bus... I still have it and it still, technically, runs. In October I took it to a body shop for the winter to have some very basic work done (like patching the holes in the floor) and, sadly, the body shop (which is owned by a family friend) condemned it, declared it unfit to drive. [cry baby] I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do about that... I'll have had it for 16 years this April. So many memories, so many adventures, so many breakdowns. [Happytears]

What else is new... Oh! I had freaking brain surgery in January 2016! I had been having dizzy spells since around September 2015, and it had gotten so bad that I knew when one was coming on so I'd sit down. But Christmas was coming up (super busy), and I was so used to living without health insurance that I just kept ignoring it. Anyway, on January 7th, 2016 I blacked out at work, they called 911, the ambulance took me to the ER. I had six X-rays, 2 CT scans, and 2 MRIs, then they shoved me back into an ambulance and sped me off ("Priority 1"!) to another hospital with a neurosurgery department. The MRI showed a large mass, about the size of a baseball (~3in., ~7cm) on the back of my head, under my skull, pressing against the Occipital Lobe of my brain. The scariest thing I've ever dealt with in my life was when the doctor said, "This is brain surgery, it could paralyze or kill you. Sign here."

The next morning I was Dr. Junn's first surgery of the day (because, you see, my case was so serious). I was out for about 5 hours. They cut into my skull and sucked out the mass, along with 1% of my cerebellum. They determined that the mass was a Dermoid Cyst composed of hair, skin cells, bone, collagen.. they explained to me that it was basically a bunch of stem cells that had never figured out what they wanted to be when they grew up. Oncology chopped it all up to make sure it wasn't cancerous (it wasn't), so I didn't even get to take it home in a pickle jar.

The MRIs also showed that I had hydrocephalus (too much fluid in my brain). We'd hoped that removing the cyst would fix it, but it didn't. So on April 18, 2016 I had a second surgery where they installed a P-V Shunt in my brain to drain the excess fluid. The shunt is basically an adjustable pressure-relief valve that sits on top of my head (under the skin) and drains cerebro-spinal fluid down into my abdomen, where it's rounded up by my kidney (I only have one? found out about that in 2013!) and goes out with the rest of the waste product. Now that the fluid pressure is down I'm fine, save for an occasional re-adjustment of the pressure valve (which they do in a 5 minute office visit with the magic of magnets).

So, uhm, geez, I'm fine. Life's good, I'm happy (save for the boss situation). Feeling fulfilled with purpose.

How you doin'? [Smile]
Member # 2097
 - posted March 08, 2018 09:21
It's been a wild ride for me.

Let's see, about the time I started to drift away from the forums I had gone back to school to get a degree, moved from California to Utah and was entrenched in family court drama.

Since that time, I completed that degree and moved into the world of development as a QA guy. Which turned out to be both rewarding and infinitely frustrating. And now I am slowly moving into development as my current company wishes to make everyone a dev. And here I thought I could rest on my laurels and coast on 4 years of schooling.

The family drama has long since passed, and in that time I have been married for what is coming on to our fourth anniversary and 11th year together.

Recently I have begun to re-accumulate stuff and have been buying old cars, motorcycles, and guitars to stay entertained. And I spend my evenings messing with one of those three when I am not trying to thaw out because I am a displaced Californian in a state that uses snow as a marketing gimmick.

All in all, I can't complain. But that isn't going to stop me from doing it anyway. [Big Grin]
Member # 111
 - posted March 12, 2018 00:18
OMG! MacManKrisk! I'm so glad everything turned out well! What an ordeal! Dish on the boss, it'll be fun! [crazy] You're music career sounds unique and very fun, I'm really jealous of that grand piano. [Eek!]

I've been hitting a rough patch, my mom has pneumonia that can she just can't shake, and it's been really hard watching her go through all that, hospital and everything.

We got a pupper and two kitties! They don't all get along, but it's a work in progress. I super miss Nitro Kitty. [cry baby]
Member # 4926
 - posted March 14, 2018 09:05
..er.. I see that I first enrolled in 2006 - that's, let's see, er, twelve years ago?..!

And what have I done? I sold my cinema in 2001, am going to a grandson's 4th birthday in about one-and-a-half hours, I've just fed the cat, I had my fingers' tendons joined back together again a few years ago (they snapped when I was adjusting a boat water pump), my camera and lens collection has grown ..the cupboard's groaned.. we've been to New Zealand, Australia, Amsterdam (the other week), Germany, France (again next month), Thailand, Uranus, Jupiter, deep space, Ramsgate and, er, what's the other one? ..er, London.

All best wishes to Nitrozac and to her mum, and, er, we're going to see Michael Caine tonight, talking about his new film all about the 60s in 'Swinging London' (..where, and when, I used to deliver clothes for the "5th Avenue" shops on the King's Road).

My cousin Merton is 90 next month, my brother is 81 and whizzing about the world - to South Africa and back, and he's just gone off to Sri Lanka - and I'm, er, just about to make a cup of tea. Byeeee!
Member # 780
 - posted March 17, 2018 01:21
Blimey...time flies...

I think it's been ages...and life has been /interesting/. I'd say it all came out in the wash, except for the hell that began in Nov. '16.

Back to lurking? [Wink]
Member # 955
 - posted March 19, 2018 10:17
Shroomy!! [Big Grin]

Conga rats on the degree! And married for four years!! [Applause]

Nitrozac! [Cool]

Sorry to read about your mom, that's never fun, but I'm sure it'll sort out eventually.
RIP Nitrokitty [Frown]

..er..! [crazy]

I'm, as the kids would say, jelly. You're such a jet-setter!

d-man! [Beard of Peter Gabriel!]

Better interesting than boring, I suppose. In regards to the catastrophe of 2016, though, I'd rather we had boring.

GROUP HUG!! [Happytears]

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