Monday, August 29, 2016
I had that gold bar in one of my bead boxes for months. It was a piece I took off of a broken necklace from the jars of broken jewelry. The horizontal gold bar is in right now. It means something, but I'm not sure what. Perhaps I should look it up.
I never did know what to do with it, nor did I find the right thing to put it on. Then I looked up and remembered I had that gold colored leather cord. I slipped it in, tied a knot, and Shazam. It was so simple and beautiful. I listed it and shared it and within about ten minutes, it was sold.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
I had some really annoying heartburn for about a week. Nothing helped. I don't know how, but I ended up on the site for the organization "Go Red for Women" which insisted I was having a heart attack.
But for a whole week? I'd be dead, no?
This organization also claims that women's symptoms of heart attacks differ from men's. While men have the more traditional symptoms like chest pains, women have more elusive symptoms like (heartburn), pain in an arm, feeling tired, feeling nauseous, having jaw pain and "overall feeling unwell".
It doesn't really describe how or why it's different for women and men. The things they list for women are also extremely vague and can be caused by a million different things.
Finally, I discovered that simply a teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz of water made my heartburn go away like magic. It's the opposite of acid, so that makes sense.
I've mildly heard of Go Red for Women before, but now they just strike me as a fear mongering organization. It's like they're trying to get people all worked up.
I think if one feels the need to go to the ER, then they should, but if you go and say you're nauseous, they're more likely to ask what you ate.
Friday, August 26, 2016
As I have said, the profits from my etsy shop are going to the Go Fund Me account for Evan's wife and 3 year old daughter until 9/12. They've raised a lot of money, and my jewelry sales have helped.
I do want to continue to give a *portion* of the profit (Evan's wife and daughter are getting all profits) to another endeavor, and the good news is that I still get to keep it in my family.
My cousin Ashley Rafalin is a physical education teacher in what's probably the poorest part of Chicago. She's the granddaughter of my favorite aunt Diane. She has set up a campaign for her students here:
After September 12, that's going to be the fund of choice for my business. Just like I know Evan is proud of his wife and daughter, I know Aunt Diane is proud of Ashley, and I can't wait to do this for all involved.
And last but not least, here's my etsy shop:
I've sold 12 items and added who knows how many more, and it's going to keep changing until I am out of supplies.
That video is also tear-jerking and less than five minutes.
The thing he says that you get "one day about 40 years old" is a mid life crisis, and I arrived there at 36. Thankfully, that's over.
All of the people on the beach at the end represent to me people arriving in the afterlife, and the little boy I see as Evan. The woman with the red hair and green dress I see as "Grandma", who was not my grandma. She was my aunt's mother. She's also Evan's great grandmother. She lived well into her 90's and was very finished at the end and begging to die. I remember her saying, "I must be such a huge sinner, because God isn't taking me."
I wish I could go back and tell her that's not how it works. But you can't convince people. We base our interpretation of God on an amalgamation of things.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
I got the email today that my ancestry DNA tests for ethnicity and genetic mutations has gone to the lab for processing. I'll get the results in about a couple days. I am so happy. Something good needs to happen before August ends!!!
All my life, all I have known was Greek-American, and now I'm going to find out information about my own self that no one ever talked about. I feel like I am going to react like the people in this five minute clip. Their tearful reactions are not abnormal. This is a wonderful video:
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
I'm so done using Ibotta and Checkout 51 for a while. As you can see, over the last few months, I've earned almost $900, and this is not including the combined deals I've gotten from coupons I've clipped. I'm just too obsessed with it. I have become obsessed with buying only what's in the apps, to the point where if I need milk and milk hasn't shown up in the app yet, I'll eat cereal with yogurt mushed in- which is good. But geez Danielle just get some milk. I've also become obsessed with the bonuses. The cash is king bonus, the mid month money maker bonus, the monthly level bonuses, the levels of cash is king bonus, the body wash bonus, the bread bonus, the pasta sauce bonus, the buy chips+ dip 3 times bonus. It gets crazy. A good thing that came out of this is that it got me into probiotics, which have really cleaned me out (not to be gross). And $900 is $900.
Monday, August 22, 2016
I had to apologize to my mother for staying behind in Georgia earlier this month to attend Evan's funeral when they decided for religious reasons not to attend.
She explained to me once more that it is important to preserve the body so that at the final resurrection of the dead, we can all be presented.
I told her that I don't know how, why, when, or even if that's ever going to happen. But if it does, then if your attendance and worthiness is judged based on the condition of your post-hummus body, then it's an event I'd rather skip. Kind of like a school dance where you know only the snob kids are going.
My mother's religion also has a 40 days after death significance. I think they believe the soul roams the earth for 40 days and then goes to heaven. (But who knows, and who even cares). Since Evan passed on August 2, his "40 days" happens to be on 9/11.
I remember watching a documentary on 9/11. A victim's mother said that what they identified of her son was "so minuscule". It was merely a fragment that contained his DNA. There were no bodies to be recovered after the 9/11 attacks, not unless they were of the people who jumped from the towers. And if I remember correctly, the church had something to say about that devistating choice as well. It just goes to show you that we can't help what will happen to our bodies after we are gone. And to go all the way to "the end of the world" (whenever that may be) and have to be worried about being kept totally intact... Or else be judged? That's not a belief system I want a part of. And while I apologized to my mom for not doing things her way earlier this month, I was also up front with her about how I feel about this. Evan's death drove a hatchet between us that would only make things worse if removed.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
My daughter and I watched The Prince of Egypt again last night. It's a sad story, isn't it? Especially this beginning scene. Moses' biological mother tells him, "I pray we meet again", but by the time he meets his older brother and sister and realizes who he is, it's assumed that she has passed away.
I never paid much attention to the lyrics before. Historically, this was before the Ten Commandments (obviously, since Moses was still an infant), so monotheism had not been commanded yet. They were still probably practicing polytheism (or else there wouldn't have been a need for that commandment).
The lyrics in the beginning of this scene, which are hard to catch, are "Elohim, Adonai, can you hear your people cry..." In the ancient Caananite religion, Elohim (or simply El) and Adonai were both gods that Abraham worshipped. Jewish monotheism didn't happen in an instant.
At the end of The Prince of Egypt, as the Hebews are being led out of Egypt, they start singing a song to Ashera. Ashera is a Caananite goddess. She's in the bible actually, but only in a bad light. That song to her in the movie is linked here:
Saturday, August 20, 2016
My parents would kill me if I read this book lol.
But from what I've studied about pre-Christianity, the christianization of Greece was particularly brutal. And from what I have watched about the old Greek gods, a lot of the traditions are still in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Go figure?
I do want to see if half price books has it before getting it from Amazon. I really don't think I'll be able to find this one cheap, tho.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Do not guilt me with, "You'll be old someday, too!" Because my answer always will be, "Hopefully". It is a privilege denied to many.
Don't ask me what you should make for dinner, because I will alway say spaghetti. Chances are,
You have some.
Don't ask me what color, I'll almost always say green.
Don't tell me to avoid men who are divorced with children. I am divorced with a child, so does that mean I am to be avoided as well? Am I supposed to hook up with the 40 year old virgin, be a cougar, or just join a convent, figuratively?
When someone dies,
Oh for the love of God,
Do not say "God needed them more". God doesn't really "need" anything, and you might as well say, "you didn't really need that person or want him or her around anyway."
It's well meaning, but it's obnoxious.
When I was younger, I used to be so adamant and so dead serious that you could not turn away from things just because they upset you. I believed that staring evil down was the way that would eventually lead it to demise. Those rose colored glasses peeled off slowly and painfully. Then things like this get shared, and I must watch - not with rose colored glasses, but with anger. Growing up changed me I guess. Being human is complicated. Warning, it's graphic. It's two little boys being rescued from a bombed building in Aleppo last week. Also to note is that there are no more pediatricians in Aleppo. Most fled, and it was reported recently that the last one was killed in another Isis attack. Don't watch if you think you will become sensitive, but please do watch if you'd like some awareness.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
I just got finished watching the movie "Eve's Bayou". I watched it several years ago, but got more out of it this time. The trailer is here:
In the trailer, Eve says she killed her father when she was 10 years old. She actually did not kill her father. She was practicing Voudou against him, because she believed he was abusing her sister. Her father's lover's husband actually killed him.
When I moved to Texas in 2002, I quickly learned that there was a silly rivalry between people from Texas and people from Louisiana. At the time, I thought, how stupid. A couple weeks ago, as I rode in my mom's backseat across Louisiana, I realized I have adopted some of those biases that Texans have. I kept making snarky references to "the swamp". I refused to eat meat, even from McDonald's, because
Louisianans eat EVERY kind of animal. One time, I traveled to a small town there with friends and was trying to order food from a deli. Everything I asked the deli clerk to identify got a worse and worse reaction out of me. She finally got annoyed and said, "Y'Ain't from around here, are you?" I said no, ma'am.
I'm definitely not from "around here".
I went back to the table where my friends were and told them that I should have told her I was actually from Chicago. (I actually am) and that in Chicago, we aren't used to eating Boudain penis and alligator ass. My friends laughed, but I'm too nice to say that to a person's face.
Eve's Bayou takes place in the heart of Louisiana where all the stereotypes Texans hold about them are true.
It is such a riveting story, though, that I cried through near the whole thing. I was so sorry for being biased. Every human being on this earth has a dark side. Us, them, other "thems", other "us's".
I was reminded that my 23 and me DNA test should return soon. A part of me already knows what it's going to say. I'm going to have some DNA in me from the Levant, the part of the Middle East where Isis is from. I know this, because the country of Turkey is part of the Levant. About 3 or 4 generations ago, and up to a couple hundred years before that, the Turks invaded Greece. One of their atrocities was to take young girls as sex slaves. If that region comes up in my DNA test, then I know that sin is running through my veins. I'll have crimes against humanity in my blood. Maybe every person on earth actually does.
You know what's horrible about that? It all starts with the silly rivalries between regions, religions, ethnicities, and groups that I noticed in 2002 and slowly adopted myself.
The characters in Eve's Bayou, though very Louisiana, were VERY much like me. We are all the same, and we are different. We struggle with labels and identities. We say things and regret them later. We wish for things and pray for things, and later wish we hadn't. "The Human Condition " has no race, ethnic, religious, sexual, gender, or other label. It's what we all have in common. Let's all get along. If not, we will suffer the consequences.
Oh yeah so I had a dream last night about my aunt Diane. She passed away in 2012. Two months ago, her oldest granddaughter had a baby which would have been aunt Dian's first great grandchild. In my dream, aunt Diane is holding the baby and rocking him. I walk slowly up to them, a little timid, and finally ask,"Aunt Diane, what happened?" She looked up at me with a little bit of a "Large Marge" face, tho not nearly as creepy and told me, "SIDS!!!!" As soon as she said it, I woke up in a cold sweat and gasping. It was just a dream tho, the baby is fine. Nicole and baby daddy get married next month.
The next night:
I had a dream last night that I was in church with my parents in Galveston. In the middle of it I started sobbing and yelled, "I can't be here!" I ran out, looked over my shoulder, and this one old lady was coming out after me to console me. This old lady passed away a few months back. She was in her 90's and very close with Annalise.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Up until September 12th, all of the profits from my etsy shop will go to my late cousin's wife and daughter's go fund me. It's all inexpensive upcycled stuff there now. I'm not ready to sell tree of life pendants. Thank you. Also, Evan's father's workplace is matching all donations to that Go Fund Me. Thank you so much.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Why must youtube stop videos at the worst images of you? Ugh
This is the last time I blog or vlog about Evan. But I use the story to get to how and why I changed my next of kin for the brain bank. I don't know why the sound is bad in this video.
I also give a shout out again to the brain bank and describe how you can donate upon death as well, for Tourette's research.