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As you all know, I've been struggling for a year now trying to make it in Detroit with my family. I posted a couple times in Feb when my son was born early, but I've been silent since. So let's do an update now that things have...slowed down? lol

My wife is now, at least for the time being, disabled. She has complete use of her faculties, but losing over 8 feet of small intestine has hampered her body's ability to digest and absorb nutrients, leaving her with chronic fatigue and weakness. We are in the process of getting her disability benefits, but it's proving to be difficult. We are also in talks with a lawyer about possible legal actions due to the hospitals medication error which is what was believed to have caused her issue as well as the 3 month premature birth of my son.

Salem (my son), is doing great. He's a demon though! With a name that means peace, it's kind of ironic, but he is the fussiest baby ever lol, but we love him and love seeing him grow. I was able to get him a 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball set for him to give to him when he is old enough to appreciate it. Hoping to pick up a Series 2 set once I have a little money.

Other kids are fine, trouble makers but fine lol.

As for me...where to begin. The job market in Detroit, shockingly, sucks. Even with all the restaurants, there's so much competition that finding and keeping good employment was outrageously difficult. In march, I started my own personal chef business, where I would prepare a weeks worth of dinners for busy clients so they could have home cooked, healthy meals. It started slow, but come May/June I had managed to snare several big time clients who were presidents/CEOs at major corporations, including a major pizza chain that I won't name.

It's shocking that wealthy people actually live like they do on TV. In the time I delivered food, I was shown 9 different ways to get to the kitchen, and was given the use to a kitchen that they had installed in the basement, production size and quality, but had never used...in 15 years! They had art by masters! I didn't even know you could own stuff like that!

Towards the end of June, things really started rolling. I had several good clients who were paying a ton, I had a full time job, a part time job, and I had three members of the Detroit Pistons who were interested in possibly taking me on as a meal coordinator for their season diets...

Come July...my birthday...which I thought was FINALLY going to be good...it hit the fan...yes...IT!

1. My wealthy clients decided that, due to their spouses finally finding some time, that they didn't need me anymore...and quit...with no notice...cutting my income in half OVER NIGHT

2. The Pistons fell off the face of the planet (no idea why, we were texting and things were going great! Probably talked to my wealthy clients lol its a conspiracy I tell you lol).

3. In less than 1 week we were subject to three bouts of gun violence, 2 of which involved my children

Needless to say...we were moved out by the 3rd week of July...with no notice...losing a ton of money in deposits and rent!

Currently, we are living in my parents basement while we search for a home. I have a job as a security guard for the local casinos, which I'm actually enjoying. Pay is terrible, but I get top of the line medical benefits for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, that means I also have to work a second job, which is difficult when I'm at the casino 4-6 nights a week, from 5pm-3/4am. I've already gone through two other jobs because I have literally gone down to the floor from pure exhaustion.

My wife has found the perfect home for us, but right now I just don't know how we can afford it. I've started selling my childhood autograph collection and video game systems trying to get the cash saved up for it...but I don't know how we are going to pay rent.

If I could start over in all this, I'd do a lot differently. I know it's a learning experience, but I am really tired of being poor and worrying about money 24/7. My wife went and got me a cupcake on my birthday...and I actually got mad because she shouldn't be spending money on me. This is no way to live, but currently I don't know any way out.

My health is failing, my hair is falling out...things...suck lol

At least I (currently, I don't know how long she'll stick around) still have my family. They're miserable. My step daughters don't like me and my wife hates the fact I can't provide for them. Even working my hardest it's just never enough.

Well, at least I have a small stack of cards to start a collection again with, but this time I'm going to be a lot more discerning. My current collecting goals are:

Build a complete Motown Madness base/gold/autograph sets
Build vintage baseball sets in lower conditions
High grade vintage from all sports
High end autographs/Relics for Pistons/Tigers/Red Wings

That should be much more manageable and less likely to take over the house...and if it does at least there's a better chance of return on it. Plus since it is stuff that will cost more, it'll take longer to accumulate.

Only good thing about being back up in Traverse City, I'll be here for training camp. Hopefully I can get a day off so I can take my kids to their first one...too bad that takes money! Very least I'll wait outside for autographs to start my collection again.


On a positive note, I finally grew the cajones to swing by my LCS (I owe him some cash from back when I actually made money. We've talked it out and I'm going to get it to him as I can, he knows what's been going on). The items I actually care the most about, specificially the 1988 All MLB team used signed ball and my pucks signed at training camp...are still there! So hopefully they will stick around some more and I can get those staples back into my collection!

Thanks for letting me share guys, I know my posts recently have all been negative...but so has my life lol it's good to be able to speak with you all again and hopefully we can start some trading once I can pay for the organizer!

Miss you all!
Jeez, Justin! That is a load of tough times to deal with, my friend. I do hope that the light at the end of the tunnel starts shining bright for you and your family. wishing you all nothing but the best!

Randi
Glad you're back!!!
Definitely good to see you back on the boards.
Glad to see you stop in and let us know what is going on. Best of luck in landing back on your feet.
Good luck with everything, man!