Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What to blog about?

I'm sitting here at my dad's desk, and I have the itch to blog.  I do not have a specific subject, though.  I guess I'll just do tidbits.

Tonight was math game night at Annalise's school.  It was a whole lot of school after school, but Annalise had a blast.  The best thing was that she got a homework pass for going.

I decided that Annalise and I should move to a specific area of Houston that I've always liked.  It will be super nice to be more conveniently located.  I need to brace myself, though- looking for a place in Houston now is going to be a LOT different than it was 15 years ago.  There has been a ton of gentrification here.

I bought this Accura about 7 weeks ago now.  I am realizing how annoying it is to have a white car.  I never worried about car washes before.  I had maybe one a year, if that.  Now, because I'm in a white car, I notice how dirty it is right away.  I cringe.  It would be cheaper to go to the do it yourself ones, but I have no idea how to work those.  Is that sad? I did see a sign that said "Car Wash $5", but I didn't have time to stop in, and now I have completely forgotten where that sign was.

Annalise and I had a garage sale this past weekend.  Super fun!  She took it extremely seriously.  She had the task of arranging items, and she did so very meticulously.  Whenever someone bought something, she'd start completely over to make up for the space that was left.

I decided also that we will drive to Arizona for a road trip the last weekend of July.  That will be the weekend before the 1 year anniversary of my cousin Evan's death.  The Greek Orthodox memorial prayers called "Trisagion" are often held at one year marks, and I am sure my aunt and uncle will have one at the church I attended with my parents when we lived in Phoenix.  I am not so angry at my parents' denomination anymore.  Their actions after Evan was killed are water under the bridge now.  I also have an on again/off again old flame from high school.  It's such a long story with him.  He has been a very very good friend for a very very long time, and we want to see each other again.  He'll also go with me to church.  I don't care what anyone says.


The day after tomorrow, Evan will be gone 6 months.  It does not get easier.  It is getting harder and harder to deal with.  His little girl, now 3 and a half, has decided to morph into a mini clone of him.  She used to look more like her mother, but you know how kids change looks and kind of switch which parent to look like.  Her mom put pics from some pecan picking adventure, and wow.  Same face.  I found an old pic of me as a high school senior holding Evan at age 3.  It's like the same kid, without the ponytails!

We will never know why some things happen.



Monday, January 30, 2017

Standing ground

In the past, I have raised some eyebrows and gotten "comments" about my upcycled jewelry items having religious significance for people of a few different faiths.
I briefly considered avoiding making religious jewelry items, but decided in the end not to stop.
The purpose of my jewelry business is not to promote any religion by making jewelry with their symbols, nor is it to denounce any religion by not making items with their symbols. The purpose is simply to salvage good pieces from any broken item and making a new item out of it.
If the salvaged pieces have religious significance, then someone of that faith will buy it if they like it. I'd be untrue to myself if I discarded a loose crucifix or a Star of David or anything else religious in order to not instigate controversy. People need to be aware that I also may not even know if something I made means something in a specific religion. I was told that one of my pieces had a symbol for jehova's witnesses. That was news to me. I didn't even know jehovas witnesses had symbols. I don't know much about them at all except for the fact that they like to leave their publications in laundromats.

Houston Protests

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1309695235759804&id=134478666614806

Houston locals gathered at the discovery green park downtown to protest the recent legislation against immigration from 7 Muslim majority countries.

Protests were also held at the international airport in the north side.

Houston is an extremely diverse city. Over 90 languages are spoken here, and that's something we take pride in (mostly)

Most everyone is sharing their immigration status, so here is mine, briefly:

Three of my four grandparents were immigrants from Greece.
I had one American born grandmother, and her parents were immigrants from Greece.
We all come from somewhere else, unless you are 100% Native American.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

B-school

I came across this on Marie Forleo 's YouTube channel. She created her own business class. It costs $2K to take this class. 2K is definitely way, way cheaper than getting a degree in business admin. Not only that, but business admin courses probably don't teach you the things that this class will teach you. Marie teaches online marketing and how to market on social media. In a traditional college, you'd probably just learn old techniques.

However, my own business, upcycle jewelry, is so small that if I took $2K and just put it into the business itself, it would automatically grow exponentially. The class sure does sound like fun, tho. It sounds like there is a lot of motivation and support from others.

Here is link:

https://www.marieforleo.com/bschool/

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Big Night for Tips

Uber Eats customers generally don't tip.  I think the Uber Eats app for customers claims that tipping is included in their fee.  Postmates customers tip, but the commission is lower for us, and they are prompted to tip when closing out their order.  If Uber customers tip at all, it's very seldom, and it's only $2 or $3 at most.
However, yesterday evening, an Uber customer gave me $10!  I messaged the postmates coworker that I PM most often, and bragged with this picture:



 I also bragged, "And it's crispy, too".  He, in turn, decided to be a smart ass, and send me this picture in response:

He also works on a platform called "Shipt", which is only for grocery shopping and delivery.  He keeps telling me to sign on with them, but I really don't have time for Shipt.  He claims $20 tips are common.  I would imagine, since you spend more time shopping for someone than you do picking up a takeout.

I just had to laugh at his response, though.  It was obvious he had just pulled that out of his wallet to zing me.  No telling if it was really a Shipt tip or not, but I laughed at myself anyway.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

No homeschooling for this kid

Annalise got a form from the middle school she's attending next year. There were 5 elective choices. She picked science and technology. I told her, "if you want those classes, then we're going to have to do some homeschooling on the scientific method."  She shot me daggers. She still believes homeschooling is the worst thing that can happen to a kid. I just meant like on our own time outside of school. I had to clarify

Supervisory experience?

My dad told me that I need supervisory experience on my resume. At the children's museum, I supervised junior volunteers (teenagers), but never actual employees. I argued to my father that being the Facebook group moderator for Houston Postmates is a lot like being a supervisor. People message me asking questions about their pay, scheduling, and on duty procedures. He said that I would not be able to put "supervisor" as a job title (I wasn't going to anyway), but could list it as a key word under duties performed. (I would actually use the word moderator to be safe)
That in and of itself is worth staying in that Postmates Facebook group. There is a lot of complaining in that group!  I understand it's hard to budget when you are an independent contractor, but it might be a good idea to get a more regular job if it's a problem.
I disagree with people who think Postmates drivers should be regular employees instead of independent contractors. If we were regular employees, yes we would have minimum wage guaranteed to us- but that's all we would make. They would also control our schedule. We would not be able to hop on and off duty whenever we want to. That's a problem for people like me who have regular jobs. It robs us of the opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility for side income.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Annalise's Ancestry DNA results

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x4HF5shfhBE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Indian Restaurant

This morning, my parents took Annalise to their church for an event.  I decided, I might as well go out and do Uber Eats.  Uber Eats requires you to do a certain number of deliveries with them before they give you stacked orders, and whatever number that may be, I must have reached it.  Today, I was getting stacked orders for the first time, and I was getting them like crazy.
There is a funky donut shop in the Heights called "Hugs and Donuts".  They even carry vegan donuts!  I literally went there 5 times today!  Each time, the guy behind the counter said, "You're back".
I also got to go to this Indian restaurant that I'd never seen before.  It was on the southwest side, and it was very authentic.  It made me feel like I was actually in India (not that I've ever been there or anything) but it just seemed to be that authentic.
The dining room in this place was empty, and it was noon.  However, there were two other Uber eats drivers in there with me, and the restaurant's computer kept going off with the Uber sound.  We must keep them in business.
My order from this place was huge.  It made my car smell like India.  The address of the customer was that of a very fancy hotel downtown.  I thought it would be a guest at the hotel, but when I pulled in, the customer texted me that he was waiting outside.  He was the lead chef at this fancy hotel!  I definitely have to go to this Indian restaurant now.  It must be good if a professional chef ordered for several people from there.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Documentary

I don't know how this documentary got into my YouTube suggestions. It's extremely graffic!!! Warning!! But staring down tragic images and realities is often necessary.
What somewhat bothers me is that I didn't really tear up until the end. Not until about ten minutes
Before the end when the child psychologist who went to Romania from British Columbia and ended up adoptin a child of her own was shown coming home, showing the baby to her husband and kissing her husband in the airport. I cried then. But not during all the extreme images from the orphanages. I've known for a while that I'm immune, but still not ok with the fact that I'm immune.
I was 11 years old when Ceaucescu was overthrown and executed, and I do remember watching it on the news on Christmas. It's sobering to think that the kids portrayed in this documentary are my generation.

https://youtu.be/HGxE6qhPssg

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Don't throw away those crayons!

Donate them to the crayon initiative:

www.thecrayoninitiative.org

They recycle them into new ones and donate them to hospitals, schools, and other places where children are.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This is fishy

Someone shared this GMA clip of ten year old twins, who were separated as infants, being reunited.
It's a very tear jerking moment indeed. But do you see what I see? The girls had the same foster home in China. The agency must have known their background. They must have at least known they were twins. There was more profit to be had placing them individually rather than in a pair. That's my hunch.
https://youtu.be/Rit0vLBtSXI

Friday, January 6, 2017

Where is home?

Lately, I have not liked to be home. My apartment has felt desolate and depressing ever since I took most of my art down (long story why).
My lease is up on February 28th. Yesterday morning, I stood around me and looked at all the apartments surrounding mine. This used to be a really nice place. I have not even lived here 7 years, and in that time, so much has changed. I used to know almost all of my neighbors!  From the two elderly women quarreling over cats to all the families with kids that my child played with (I also babysat for one of them) and a Russian immigrant family whom we were close with. The Russian lady always gave me hand me downs from her daughter. One day, she knocked on my door and asked me to give her a ride to the school, because they had called her to pick up her daughter.
All of those people have left one by one. I worked at the daycare across the street, and one of my coworkers lived on the other side of my building. Her niece, whom she babysat and who went to that daycare used to come over Willy Nilly to play with my daughter.
Not only that, but I saw how much they are pricing my apartment at, and I know when that renew notice comes on my door, it's going to go up almost $300.
Where I live is kind of a dirty, run down place now. I'm not kidding when I say there is literally trash everywhere most of the time. There are these two shady teenagers that always hang out and about that look like they're up to no good.
There are random people hanging out in the laundry room, and most of the machines are never working (which, oh yeah, that's another reason I'm always at my parents).
There are no more kids around.
When we are at my parents' house, my daughter asks me to stay over.
I literally stood out in the cold in the middle of the courtyard at 3 am and said- I think it's time. Before that dreaded renew notice shows up on my door, let me go draft a 60 day notice. So I did.
I don't know where we are going, but it's on the back burner.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Short TED talk

i think TED talks are generally cheesy, but this one is good. Idk about all the labels she throws around, but she makes the point clear. Of course, she could not finish up without the oxygen mask metaphor

https://youtu.be/ZsaorjIo1Yc

Monday, January 2, 2017

Can't remember...

I cant remember if I posted this link, but if I didn't, then here it is. I believe I did post it. I just can't remember, and don't have the mental power at the moment to scroll back to my old posts. I love this video. It's only four minutes long, but so poingnant.

https://youtu.be/TCcTJjLFDE8

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Uber Eats on New Year's Day

Postmates and Uber eats were both super dead for the whole last half of December. This was horrific for those who depend on it. What's worse (for me) is that since I'm the forum moderator for the Houston Postmates, I'm often mistaken for a supervisor. So I was getting some complaints for this, too. I mean, it sucks, but all of these platforms make it clear that we are independent contractors and there are no guarantees. I also don't like being mistaken for a supervisor. I didn't ask to be moderator either. I was just "made" moderator.

Anyway.

Both picked up pace today. I did 6 Uber eats deliveries during the three main lunch hours and came back to my parents' house. They had taken Annalise to church. Do you know what was really, really nice? I could tell customers "Happy New Year" and not worry about anyone getting offended. Everyone celebrates New Years. Even if you are of a different culture and celebrate it at a different time, it's still a thing.

At Christmas time, if you tell people Merry Christmas, they might get offended. If you tell people Happy Holidays, they will be offended. (Even though Christmas is a holiday, but I digress). New Years is just for everyone.