OBLIGATORY YEAR-END POST (2018 Edition)

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NecRoSarX Chronicles Header
grumpy cat party hatWell, well, well. Here we are yet again, at the end of another year. The year that was 2018. At least, for those who adhere to the Gregorian calendar. If you happen to adhere to the Julian Calendar Or Nothing! school of thought, then…I have no idea what year this is for you. Don’t get me started lunar calendar systems.

Anyway, reflecting back on this year…2018 wasn’t too bad. For the most part. My middle nephew got confirmed, fully Luthernized and everything. Really, there wasn’t any big life-changing events that happened this year…until September, that is.

It all started with my eyesight getting noticeably worse, faster than it usually does. Usually, there’s two years in-between needing to get new glasses; it’s only been a year, and when I went in to get a check-up, the doctor at the America’s Best glasses place where I usually go to (they’re reasonably priced, and I’m cheap) said I may be suffering from…what did he call it…oh, yeah: MACULAR DEGENERATION. Which freaked me out more than a little bit. As you all may or may not know, reading and writing is my life. Going blind would be one of the most cruelest of ironies to befall me. Sure, there are work-arounds, but I value my ability to see and create like this.

So, I did what every level-headed human being would do with a prognosis like this–I went to get a second opinion. After some tests that went beyond the standard “Can you read this line over here?” (they numbed my eyeballs, as well as dilated them…that’s a sensation I hope to never have to experience again any time soon, let me tell you), it was determined that it was not Macular degeneration, but in fact cataracts forming. Which is better, because they can be removed when ripe enough.

What stinks about that development is, driving at night has become kind of a challenge, and I had to skip out on the Metallica show in Lincoln because of this. *sigh* But, this is really nothing compared to what happened soon thereafter.

One evening, after stepping out of the shower, the nail on the big toe on my right foot fell off. By itself. No reason, it just…fell off. It was a bit discolored underneath, but I didn’t really think much of it…until about a day or two later, when it showed indications of getting worse with the discoloration. Daily soaking it in antibacterial water and slathering it with a topical cream didn’t work; it was the last day in September when I finally went into the ER in Fremont to get it looked at. They admitted me to observe it, where it finally broke open and started draining. The infection overtook my toe; but the biggest issue they discovered after a battery of tests is that there was no blood flow going to my foot. The arteries in my legs were severely blocked after decades of smoking and not really eating and living healthy. And the diabetes didn’t help much in that regard, I’m sure. So much sugar consumption.

Long story short: They couldn’t save the toe, they opened up the artery in my right leg to get the blood flowing again (that was a procedure I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy; they didn’t put me under so much as put me in what they called “Twilight Sleep”, which fortunately had nothing to do with those young adult novels / movies, but unfortunately meant I was aware of what was going on…it wasn’t pleasant, let’s just say), then I had a pict inserted into my arm that led directly to my heart, for the intravenous antibiotics treatment, before most of the toe itself was taken off. So now, I have a stump where the little piggy that never came back from market was as a reminder of this year.

I was out on disability leave for three months. I missed out on Halloween, and spent Thanksgiving and my birthday at my parents’ place while recouping from all of this. My mother is a retired NP, specializing in wound care, so she helped out with the down time.

I’m back at work now, and settled back into the Haunted Victorian after the 16th of December, when my IV treatments ended. My sister went in for surgery herself, and is recouping nicely. We all had a lovely Christmas; I received more composition notebooks and a package of pens, so I’m set for another year.

Tonight being New Years Eve, I plan on doing the same thing I do every year: grab some over-priced seafood, and sequester myself in my domicile and stay off of the streets, watching horror movies. And since I work the next day, I probably won’t be staying up until Midnight. I rarely ever do, unless I have a nap.

So, until next year (that joke never gets old, really), cheers, and God Bless, my wonderful freaks…

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Sunday A’La Carte – January 4th, 2015

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352910_v1Hello, everyone, and welcome back to my weekly disgorgement of foetid brain droppings I like to refer to as the Sunday A’La Carte’. We’re back doing this, after taking a few weeks off during the Holiday Season in December. Hope you enjoyed both your Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebratory rituals. Me, I spent Christmas Day at work, essentially getting paid to read a couple of books—The Silver Chair and The Last Battle, both by C. S. Lewis, in case you were curious—so my family didn’t have their Christmas gathering until January 3rd. Which we can still call a Christmas gathering, because of a loophole with several liturgical-based Christian denominations, the Christmastide runs for twelve days, starting December 25th through January 5th. What, you thought that ubiquitous song was merely arbitrary? Silly human. As far as New Year’s Eve, I celebrated by coming back home from work, ate dinner, then medicated myself from whatever that bug was that waylaid me the day before and called it a year at about 8:45pm. I’m 41 now. My days of staying up past Midnight to party are behind me. Besides, I prefer the solitude. You knew that.

524170_919734128045521_1675893737774604060_nThis year (and by that, I mean 2014) for Christmas, I made it clear that I wanted nothing as far as gifts go. I figure, there was a lot of personal loss, I wasn’t really in the mood for anything. And, for the most part, my family respected my wishes. For the most part. Of course, my mother, being the way she is, gave me a couple of gift cards, so she got a pass. And my Grandmothers…well, you try and argue with any of them. And my three nephews saw something that screamed UNCLE JAMES, and you can’t blame them for knowing me so very well:

IMG_20150103_190620495One of my surrogate nieces shared a link to this blog concerning the blogger’s own struggle with depression, complete with some helpful illustrations. And in the interest of putting forth awareness of something I try to be open and transparent about, I urge you to take a look at page.

babyowlsDid you know there was a Black Sabbath tribute band that consists of the band dressed as the mascots of a popular fast food chain? They’re called Mac Sabbath, and as you probably have figured out by now, their gimmick is playing Black Sabbath songs retooled to reflect McDonald’s themes. This…is awesome. Now, to make good on that Sean Connery impersonator-led Black Sabbath tribute band Shabbath Bloody Shabbath I joked about a couple of years ago…

Found this blog article urging Bible College graduates to forget their degrees rather interesting.

Even more interesting was this report of a Pastor of a Florida church shooting the church’s maintenance worker. To be fair, the maintenance worker drew his gun on the pastor first, when he learned that he was going to be fired from his position. But the pastor was the faster draw, it seems. Somehow, I picture this confrontation as having that whistling-wah-wah-waaaaaah background music from those spaghetti westerns playing from nowhere as this happened. Also, the fact that he’s the pastor of a church named Living Water Fellowship Church makes this drip with delicious irony, methinks.

nq141231Stuff I’ve Written: I started off with my Obligatory Year-End post—t’was a corker—and the list of all the books I read in 2014. Then I kicked off the New Year by writing a review of a Demon Hunter album here, then posted some previously written reviews of a couple of Jesus Freaks albums here and here, a Jesus Joshua 24:15 album here, a Judean Radiostatic album here, and a Kekal album here. Then I went a slightly bit insane, and declared 2015 the YEAR OF METAL, and proceeded to name January NWOBHM Month, beginning with the band Battleaxe. I swear neither alcohol or drugs were involved with this.

unfunny catAnyway, that’s all for this week. Good to be back in the normal swing of things. Going to be a bit busy for me in the coming weeks, but already I feel that 2015 is going to be a big one. We’ll have to wait until December 31st again to see if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But for now, I’m just crazy enough to want to see how it all ends. Cheers, and God bless, my wonderful freaks.

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Sunday A’La Carte: December 21, 2014

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hD5B9424DI’m going to make this very, very brief. I spent this weekend watching a couple of five-month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies, and their nearly-two-year old mother, all of which have enough kinetic energy to power a small city for a couple of years alone, for my sister and brother-in-law while they went to watch my teenage nephew wrestle in a far-off, mystical  land named Kearney, Nebraska. Needless to say, I’m more than a tad drained. So, considering the final legs of 2014 are upon us, I decided to take the rest of the year off, and start back up the A’La Carte posts after the New Year. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be posting regular stuff on the blog. Just not going to sweat the week-ending exorcise that I’ve been doing for a while now.

Until next year, I bid you all the obligatory Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all that. Cheers, all.

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